During the late 11th through the early 14th centuries at least seven major expeditions were made between Western Europe and the Holy Land with the goal of ending Muslim control of Jerusalem. Ultimately the crusaders were driven out, but not before a cultural exchange had taken place that had an immense impact on Western Europe and an equally enormous, albeit less positive, impact on Arabs and the Islamic world. Although the crusades occurred many centuries ago, echoes still resound through the current clashes of nations and ideologies, kidnappings for ransom, assassinations, and the declaring of "jihad"-all making the crusades an eminently timely subject. This one-volume overview provides an accessible reference work for scholars, students, and general readers on the period with numerous entries on key persons, places, events, battles and sieges, use of weapons and armor, and the deeper issues of the political and cultural background. Complete with a detailed chronology and a bibliography, this work allows readers to learn how Europe was changed forever by these battles with Islam.
About the Author
Corliss K. Slack teaches European history and the crusades at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. Her first book was a collection of charters left by crusaders departing from northern Europe between 1138 and 1275. She has also published articles on the reform of the secular church in the century between 1050 and 1150, and on the activities of the Premonstratensian Order in crusade preaching and procuration.