Recorded January and February, 2005 ~
The Crusades are among the most famous events of the Middle Ages. Beginning in 1096, armies of Western European Christians tried for 200 years to recapture Jerusalem from the Muslim peoples who had successfully ruled there for nearly half a millennium. The Crusades continued even after the failure to recapture the Holy Land, with fateful consequences for Christian and Muslim relations that reverberate to this day in contemporary Middle East politics. Professor Robert Stacey explains how this extraordinary movement arose, discusses it successes and failures and the lasting impact the Crusades have had upon Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.
Audio CD #1 & #2 ~ If I Should Forget Thee O Jerusalem ~ The Origins of Crusading and the First Crusade ~ In 1096, a hastily gathered army of perhaps 100,000 western European Christians set out to recapture the city of Jerusalem, a city that had been in Muslim hands continuously for almost 500 years. In the first lecture of this series, Professor Stacey discusseds the story behind the extraordinary series of events that resulted in the military conquest of the city in 1099.
Audio CD #3 & #4 ~ "God Wills It?" ~ The Rise and Fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099-1198 ~ The crusader kingdom faced hardship during its first century of existence, working to attract settlers, establish diplomatic relations with neighbors, and resolve internal struggles between nobles, kings and the military. In 1187, Jerusalem fell to Muslim forces and Europe responded by launching a massive new crusade. The failure of that effort reflected larger shifts within Europe that undermined the crusading movement.
Audio CD #5 & #6 ~ "Kill Them All! God Will Know His Own" ~ Crusades in Europe, 1199-1272 ~ During the 13th century, crusades were launched against Christian enemies within Europe and against Muslims in the Holy Land. This little-known but essential aspect of crusading focuses on the 1204 conquest of Constantinople, the Albigensian Crusade in southern France, the crusades against the Emperor Frederick II of Germany, and the Magna Carta rebellions in England.
Audio CD #7 & #8 ~ "The End is Come Upon the Four Corners of the Land" ~ The Failures of Thirteenth-Century Crusading in the Holy Land ~ Return to the Holy Land to trace the long-drawn-out demise of the crusader kingdom, and learn why even some of the best-organized of these crusading expeditions failed. Professor Stacey also looks at the geographical expansion of crusades encompassing expeditions against Egypt, Tangiers, Spain and Eastern Europe.
Audio CD #9 & #10 ~ "They Have Begotten Strange Children" ~ The Later Crusades and the Aftermath of Crusading ~ Although the last outpost of the crusader kingdom fell in 1291, Europeans continued to plan and sponsor crusades for the next 500 years. In his concluding lecture, Professor Stacey describes the protracted "afterlife" of crusading, its 19th and 20th century transformations. He relates its impact on relations between Europe, America and the Middle East at the beginning of the 21st century.