Cover image for Encyclopedia of the crusades
Encyclopedia of the crusades
Andrea, Alfred J., 1941-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 356 pages : illustrations, maps ; 27 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D155 .A6 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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What were the Crusades? Were they a series of battles that pitted European Christians against Muslims for control of the Holy Land, or was there something deeper, something more significant beneath the violence? This A-to-Z encyclopedia explores the phenomenon of the Crusades in all of its complexity, ranging from the classic numbered crusades in the Middle East to the Reconquista in Spain, and from the Baltic Crusades to the crusades against Albigensian heretics in France. The Crusades marked a violent interaction between cultures. This book includes not only European leaders and themes but also biographical portraits of Islamic leaders and topics related to Islamic culture. And although men dominated the Crusades, women also played important roles. Their contributions are examined.

This is the most up-to-date reference source available, reflecting the most recent scholarship in the field. More than 200 entries are extensively cross-referenced, and many provide additional readings, including accessible primary sources. Nearly 100 photos and six maps accompany the text. A bibliographic essay leads readers to the most useful and important works in the field, while an appendix of major crusades, events, and figures helps readers put the era into perspective. This invaluable tool gives students, researchers, and general readers all they need to begin their own exploration of this fascinating time of intercultural conflict--one which continues to reverberate in today's world.

Author Notes

ALFRED J. ANDREA is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Contemporary Sources for the Fourth Crusade , among other works.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Andrea, professor emeritus of medieval history at the University of Vermont, wants the reader to learn about the classic era of the Crusades (ca. 1095/1096-1291 C.E.) through factual sources, not romantic histories. Thus he compiled this work and wrote it in a readable and enjoyable manner for his intended audience of high-school students, undergraduates, and the general public. There are more than 200 entries, each one between approximately 10 lines and four pages in length. Some entries one would expect to find, such as Children's Crusade and Richard I the Lionheart. However, the author has also expanded the field to encompass, for example, the recent focus in academia on gender studies by including several entries dealing with women. The introduction gives the entries some historical context and defines the term crusade for the reader. The entries are in alphabetical order and include cross-references in bold type to other entries in the book. Many entries also include suggested readings, both primary sources and historical studies. At the end of the work, the author has included a chronology of important dates and events, a Basic Crusade Library of further readings in bibliographic essay style, and a general index. Entries are enhanced by 100 photos and six maps. Although it is impossible to write a detailed history of the Crusades in a mere 356 pages, Andrea has done a fine job of capturing the spirit of the time and has written a concise, enjoyable work. He also managed to present an inclusive history that covers women, as well as members of the Islamic world, treated not as victims but rather as full-fledged actors. This encyclopedia is recommended for high-school, undergraduate, and public libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Choice Review

Andrea, an expert on the Fourth Crusade, presents an accessible and fascinating guide to the whole gory pageant of the Crusades, in Spain and the Baltic as well as the Middle East. The main topics are printed in boldface throughout the text, a deliberate imitation of hypertext that can be distracting at first. Andrea's grasp of the material is admirable, and he repudiates the tendency to romanticize a series of bloody religious wars; his entry on cannibalism (a gruesome aspect of the siege of Antioch, 1098) removes any doubt concerning his attitude. A time line, a select bibliography, and a good index round out the work. The only notable lack is maps, which are buried in the text and unmentioned in the table of contents--inconvenient when one is trying to locate, say, Lesser Armenia. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All collections. A. L. Unsworth University of Rochester

Table of Contents

List of Entries
Important Crusade Dates and Events A Basic Crusade Library