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HIST351: Islam, The Middle East, and The West

Unit 5: The Crusades   The Crusades—a series of religious wars launched to restore Christian control of the Holy Land—began in 1096 and were the most conspicuous sign of the rise and expansion of Christian Europe.  The first crusade resulted in the division of Syria and Palestine into smaller Christian kingdoms, although subsequent crusades had less successful outcomes.  Under the Muslim ruler Saladin, most of the Holy Land was reclaimed for Islam by the late 1100s; by 1251, Muslim armies had expelled all Christian kingdoms.  The impact of the Crusades was twofold: first, they established a precedent for the rift between Western Christendom and the Middle Eastern Muslim world and second, they intensified commercial contact between the two regions.  While Europeans were interested in obtaining textiles, scientific knowledge, and medicine from the Muslim world, Muslims had little interest in European goods or culture.
           
In this unit, we will examine the causes and effects of the European claim to the Muslim-dominated Holy Land.  We will also study the impact of the Crusades, which led to the fall of Byzantium and increased anti-Muslim sentiment in Christian Europe.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 7 hours to complete.

☐    Introduction: 5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 2 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the Crusades.
  • Describe both Muslim and Christian perceptions of the holy wars.
  • Describe different scholarly understandings of the Crusades’ long-term impact on the Middle East and relevance for understanding contemporary controversies.

  • Reading: Boise State University: E.L. Skip Knox’s The Crusades: “The Major Crusades” Link: Boise State University: E.L. Skip Knox’s The Crusades: “The Major Crusades” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read all of the entries under “The Major Crusades” (i.e. the First through the Seventh Crusade) to get a better understanding of the crusades’ various goals, conduct, and legacy.  This information addresses subsections 5.1 though 5.3.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunesU: The Open University: Religion in History: Conflict, Conversion and Coexistence, Lecture 7, “The Crusades” Link: The Open University: Religion in History: Conflict, Conversion and Coexistence, Lecture 7, “The Crusades”  (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please listen to the entire 30-minute lecture to get a get a better understanding of the context, causes, and legacy of the Crusades.   This lecture addresses subsections 5.1 through 5.3.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunesU: Yale University: Yale Religion, Lecture 12, “Medieval Crusades and Today’s Global Conflicts” Link: iTunesU: Yale University: Yale Religion, Lecture 12, “Medieval Crusades and Today's Global Conflicts” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please listen to the entire 40-minute lecture, which addresses the history of the Crusades and their enduring impact on Western/Islamic relations today.   This lecture addresses subsections 5.1 through 5.3.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: NPR: Mike Shuster’s: “The Middle East and the West: The Crusades” Link: NPR: Mike Shuster’sThe Middle East and the West: The Crusades” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Also available in:
    HTML Transcript

    Mp3
     
    Instructions: Please listen to this 10-minute program, which explores the Crusades in the Middle East and its legacy for the region.  This program also presents a different perspective than the previous programs.  Please click on the link above and, when the page loads, click on “Listen” to stream the program.  This program addresses subsections 5.1 through 5.3.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: NPR/American Radio Works/Minnesota Public Radio: Sandy Tolan’s The Arab World and the West: “Part I” Link: NPR/American Radio Works/Minnesota Public Radio: Sandy Tolan’s The Arab World and the West: Part I” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Also available in:

    Mp3
     
    Instructions: Please listen to the 13-minute program that explores the legacy of the Crusades for the Middle East.  This program presents a different perspective than the previous programs have.  Please click on the link above and, when the page loads, click on “Listen” to stream the program.  This program addresses some of subsections 5.1 through 5.3.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.1 Causes   5.1.1 Violence in the Holy Land   5.1.2 Christianization of Europe   5.1.3 Muslims in Iberia   5.1.4 Muslim Encroachments   5.1.5 Breakdown of Carolingian Empire   5.2 Goals of the Crusades   5.2.1 Recapturing Jerusalem from Muslim Control   - Reading: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s The Medieval Sourcebook: “Fulk of Chartres: ‘The Capture of Jerusalem, 1099” Link: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s The Medieval Sourcebook:Fulk of Chartres: 'The Capture of Jerusalem, 1099'” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this webpage, which offers a firsthand account of the First Crusades.

 Note on the text:  During the First Crusade (in 1099), the
Christian armies attacked and captured Jerusalem.  In this text,
Fulk of Chartres, who participated in the storming of the city,
describes the fighting between the Frankish army and the Saracens,
or Muslims.  After taking the city, the Christians burned the bodies
of Saracens with the goal of extracting the gold coins that the
Muslims had swallowed.             

 Terms of Use: This material is part of the public domain.

5.3 Impact of the Crusades   5.3.1 Papal Authority and Religious Piety   5.3.2 Unity Among European Christians   5.3.3 Massacre of Jews and Muslims   5.3.4 Fall of Constantinople   5.3.5 Rift between Islam and Christendom   5.3.6 Trade