Muslims see the establishment of the State of Israel as a furtherance of the crusading
mentality of the Western Christian nations.
Without centuries of crusading
that slowed (but did not stop) the advance of Muslim expansionism, it seems likely to me that Western Europe would have succumbed, just as southeastern Europe did.
In short, historians have focused on these issues in terms of Europe's drive east against its Islamic counterparts and the main "isms" behind the crusading
Throop presents what she regards as unexplored aspects of crusading
by examining examples of the actions that validated medieval Christians' belief that their faith expected them to take violent revenge against Christ's enemies.
As indicated by its title, the author does not consider crusading
activity outside the Levant besides a bit on the Iberian Peninsula during the Second Crusade.
Yet the roots laid down by crusading
proved extraordinarily deep, in part because of the idea's flexibility.
Far too many histories of the crusades, both scholarly and popular, begin with 1095, thereby rendering the whole phenomenon incomprehensible and contributing to a profound misunderstanding of crusading
in particular and of Christian-Islamic relations in general.
After long years of celebration of the crusade by such authors as Harold Lamb and Henry Treece, the monolith of crusading
studies splintered into two separate schools: the "traditionalist" (headed by Hans Mayer) which claimed that the only "real" crusades were those which set out between 1095 and 1291 in answering papal calls to liberate or protect the Holy Land from Islam, and the "pluralist" (headed by Jonathan Riley-Smith) which asserted that wherever the pope activated the crusading
machinery of indulgence and bull, there the crusade existed, even if the enemy was pagan or heretic.
The section on crusading
advances our knowledge of the logistics, personnel, and groups contributing to the crusading
Painstakingly researched and clearly presented in a chronological narrative, the history of the crusades from the time of Pope Urban II's speech at Clermont in 1095 until the fall of Acre in 1291 is described in terms of the Polish point of view, with attention to crusades against the Balts, the participation of Poles in the Teutonic knights, crusading
theology applied to heretics and pagans, and specific crusading
activites of Polish aristocracy and church leaders.
Indeed, the most interesting aspects of his story have little to do with Islam and everything to do with presenting the striking admixture of religious devotion, greed, ambition, and willingness to shed an enemy's blood that characterized the behavior of the crusading
ON THE FACE OF IT, medieval crusading
appears to have little to do with the creation of modern secular Europe.
The author made great use of his knowledge of Byzantine history and shows how feeble were the successes of the crusading
armies when set against their unsettling effects on the balance of power in the Middle East.
A growing emphasis on crusades in the later Middle Ages and Early Modern period has been one of the most important recent developments in the historiography of the crusading
movement, and Norman Housley's previous books have played an important role in this process.