Syllabus: The Crusades (Madden)

History 306 — The Crusades

Thomas Madden

Fall 2002

Required Reading

  • Thomas F. Madden, A Concise History of the Crusades.
  • The Crusades: The Essential Readings, ed., Madden


Supplemental (Optional) Reading

  • Carl Erdmann, Origins of the Idea of the Crusade.
  • James A. Brundage, Medieval Law and the Crusader.
  • Derek W. Lomax, The Reconquest of Spain.
  • John France, Victory in the East: A Military History of the First Crusade.
  • Jonathan Riley-Smith, The First Crusaders.
  • Jean Richard, The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
  • Malcolm Barber, The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple.
  • D. E. P. Jackson, Saladin: The Politics of the Holy War.
  • John Gillingham, Richard the Lionheart.
  • Joseph R. Strayer, The Albigensian Crusades.
  • William Chester Jordan, Louis IX and the Challenge of the Crusade.
  • Norman Housley, The Later Crusades1274-1580.


Tentative Schedule

Week Topic Assignment
Aug 2628-30

Sept 2-6








Oct 7-11




Nov 4-8





Dec 2





 Overview; The Crusades Yesterday and Today  The Mediterranean World Before the Crusades

The Origins of the Crusades

The Council of Clermont and the Response

DISCUSSION: What Were the Crusades?

DISCUSSION: What Were the Crusades?

The First Crusade

The Rise of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

DISCUSSION: Impact on the East

The Second Crusade

The Rise of Saladin

The Third Crusade


The Fourth Crusade and the Latin Empire

The Albigensian Crusade, the Children’s Crusade

The Fifth Crusade

The Crusade of Frederick II

The Crusades of St. Louis

The Fall of the Latin Kingdom

DISCUSSION: Critique of Terry Jones’ The Crusades

The Fourteenth Century

The Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries



 Essential Readings, pp. 1-7 Concise History, pp. 1-4

 Concise History, pp. 4-7

 Concise History, pp. 7-14

 Essential Readings, pp. 15-97

Essential Readings, pp. 129-207

 Concise History, pp. 17-37

Concise History, pp. 39-53

 Essential Readings, pp. 211-64

 Concise History, pp. 54-63

Concise History, pp. 65-81

 Concise History, pp. 81-97


Concise History, pp. 99-122

 Concise History, pp. 123-41

 Concise History, pp. 143-55

 Concise History, pp. 155-65

 Concise History, pp. 167-86

 Concise History, pp. 187-91


Concise History, pp. 192-98

 Concise History, pp. 198-215





Class Participation 20%
Midterm Exam 20%
Term Paper 35%
Final Exam 25%


Class Format.  Most classes will consist of a lecture, with some give and take as questions come up.  Do not hesitate to bring up questions and comments at any moment.  It is assumed that you will complete the assigned reading for each week.  It is also assumed that you will attend all classes, although I will take roll only on discussion days.

Class Participation.  There will be four class periods devoted to discussion.  In three of these we will discuss a group of readings from The Essential Readings.  In one we will critique a popular portrayal of the crusades.  Your class participation grade will consist of my evaluation of your preparedness and the level of your participation in these discussions  Obviously, if you are absent on a discussion day you will be unable to participate very effectively.  If an absence is accompanied by an official excuse I will assign an alternate writing assignment.

Exams.  Standard, garden variety history exams with a group of identification questions and a choice of essays.  The final exam will include one comprehensive essay.  No makeup exams will be given without official excuse.

Term Paper.  The largest chunk of your grade, and the reason that the other reading for this course is light, is your term paper.  You may choose almost any topic in crusading history but you must first clear the topic with me.  Stop by my office during regular office hours, speak to me after class, or make an appointment to talk about your topic.  But first explore your possible topic a bit.  The Supplemental Reading list is a good place to start, or check out the Dictionary of the Middle Ages, which is in the reference room of the library.  The final paper must be typed, double spaced, font size no larger than 12 point, 1 inch margins all around, and no less than ten and no more than twenty pages.  Footnoting must be done in a published standard style and the paper should have a bibliography.  You should make use of at least one primary source (something a medieval person wrote).  Your term paper is due on December 9.  Papers will be graded on substance as well as style. Late papers will have one letter grade deducted for each day late.  I am very willing to read and comment on paper drafts turned in at least two weeks prior to the due date.

Academic Honesty.  Please see the Student Handbook for a definition of plagiarism and all sorts of dire warnings about what will happen to you if you engage in it.  Don’t!  What with the Internet it is pretty easy nowadays to detect plagiarized papers and discover their source.

Office Hours.  My office hours are MWF 8:00-8:50 am.  If that isn’t convenient we can work something else out.  My office hours are for you.  Get your money’s worth!  If you have any questions, complaints, or just want to chat, please stop by.

Graduate Students.  See the supplemental graduate student syllabus for additional course requirements

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