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Debate on the Crusades (11 Edition)


Debate on the Crusades (11 Edition) Cover

ISBN13: 9780719073212
ISBN10: 0719073219
Condition: Student Owned
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Publisher Comments:

Eighteenth-century philosopher David Hume famously declared that "the crusades engrossed the attention of Europe and have ever since engaged the curiosity of mankind." This is the first book-length study of how succeeding generations from the First Crusade in 1099 to the present day have understood, refashioned, molded, and manipulated accounts of these medieval wars of religion to suit changing contemporary circumstances and interests. The crusades have attracted some of the leading historical writers, scholars, and controversialists from John Foxe (of Book of Martyrs fame), to the philosophers G.W. Leibniz, Voltaire, and David Hume, to historians such as William Robertson, Edward Gibbon, and Leopold Ranke. Accessibly written, a history of histories and historians, the book will be of interest to students and researchers of crusading history from upperclass undergraduate to postgraduate level, and to cultural historians focusing on the past and on medievalism.

Book News Annotation:

Part of a superb series on historiography, this impressive volume contains a chronological summary of the approaches and interpretations found in the vast bibliography of the Crusades from the Middle Ages to the present. Tyerman (New College, Oxford, the UK), who is well known in the field of Crusades studies, writes easily, describing the particular views expressed by historians of the Crusades in a narrative accessible to the undergraduate student as well as the interested general reader. Distributed in the US by Palgrave Macmillan. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Christopher Tyerman, MA, DPhil, FRHistS, is a Fellow and Tutor in History at Hertford College, Oxford and a Lecturer in Medieval History at New College, Oxford.

Table of Contents

General Editors foreword * Preface * Introduction * Medieval views on the Crusades * Reformation, revision, texts and nations 1500-1700 * Reason, faith and progress: a contested Enlightenment * Empathy and materialism: keeping the crusade up to date * Scholarship, politics and the Golden Age of research * The end of colonial consensus *  Erdmann and Runciman and the end of tradition * Definitions and directions * Epilogue * Selective guide to further reading * Index

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John Lowe, November 24, 2012 (view all comments by John Lowe)
This recent work by Christopher Tyerman is unassuming in its purpose, that of writing a short crusade historiography that is accessible to both a scholarly and popular audience. The focus on writers and philosophers from 1099 onward to the present, outlines extensively the changing views towards the crusades from contemporaries of the First Crusade to the modern world in ways that demonstrate multiple shifting attitudes. This work is a real gem for the crusade historian who seeks an overview of all the important names in the field along with their perspectives, and is thus a must read. Making several stops from the medieval period into the Reformation and Enlightenment, Tyerman jumps through the final centuries to the present noting each major work that moves forward the debate on how the crusades are defined.

Tyerman's warning as it were throughout the book and neatly summed up in the epilogue, is the danger of attempting to contextualize the crusade past in modern perspective which correlates to current events. This was true for Voltaire and David Hume as much as it is true today in a post-9/11 society. Instead of constantly asking what lessons can be learned, we must allow the facts to remain just so; facts of events that occurred in an era somewhat alien from ours some nine hundred years ago. However, in taking this position Tyerman almost seems to exclude the possibility of using history as an instructional form at all. His real issue addressed in the work, is the perceived moral applications that heighten tense relations between Christians and Muslims today, if not between Protestants and Catholics, and Representative versus Totalitarian government.

The Debate on the Crusades is a history about history and opens up questions about other fields of historical inquiry, demonstrating that even if Napoleon was right and "history is a myth that men agree upon", that myth is always in danger of changing because of the very human tendency to want it to conform to perceived reality. As an intellectual history this work challenges the reader to come to grips with his own perceived notions and sometimes strongly held beliefs about the nature of history, this should be a work that is suggested reading in any class on historiography or the study of western civilization.
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Product Details

Tyerman, Christopher
Manchester University Press
Europe - General
World History-European History General
World History-England General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Strategy Tactics and Deception
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Medieval
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Medieval and Renaissance
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

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