Phillips, Jonathan P.
PHILLIPS, Jonathan P.
PERSONAL: Male. Education: University of London, B.A., Ph.D.
CAREER: Author and educator. Royal Holloway College, London, Egham, Surrey, England, senior lecturer in medieval history.
(Editor) The First Crusade: Origins and Impact, Manchester University Press (New York, NY), 1997.
(Author of forword and bibliography) De Expugnatione Lyxbonensi (title means "The Conquest of Lisbon"), translated into English by Charles Wedell David, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2001.
The Crusades, 1095-1197, Pearson (Harlow, England), 2002.
(Editor, with Peter Edbury) The Experience of Crusading, Volume 2: Defining the Crusader Kingdom, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2003.
(Editor, with Martin Hoch) The Second Crusade:Scope and Consequences, Manchester University Press (New York, NY), 2004.
The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, Viking (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Jonathan P. Phillips, a senior lecturer in medieval history at Royal Holloway College, London, has often written about the crusades, especially during the period of the eleventh through the thirteenth centuries. In his Defenders of the Holy Land he explores the fascination the Middle East held for the West from early times, focusing on the combined desire to spread Christianity and to mine the area in order to build up a short-term military. He addresses the various nations' involvement in the region, examining both their goals and the effect of the crusades on their homelands. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan wrote in the English Historical Review that "Phillips's minute examination of the various appeals led to a self-imposed ban on discussion of any tangential issues" that the critic found "regrettable in those places where his analysis is at its most masterly." Keats-Rohan went on to describe Defenders of the Holy Land as "nevertheless a very important book that will be invaluable to scholar and student alike." Journal of Ecclesiastical History reviewer Benjamin Z. Kedar noted that Phillips "shows that it was not only military assistance that the appeals aimed at, but also money and the recruitment of husbands for important Frankish heiresses." He concluded that "the book throws fresh light on several crucial chapters in the political history of the Frankish states."
The Second Crusade: Scope and Consequences, for which Phillips served as editor, collects ten papers presented at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds in 1998 on the 850th anniversary of the attack on Damascus in 1148. The papers aim to broaden the scope of the Second Crusade from the traditional focus on Byzantium and the Latin East, and include analyses of attacks on Lisbon, Tortosa, and the Wends. Malcolm Barber, in a piece for Catholic Historical Review, observed that "much stress is laid on the importance of these: the papers by Susan Edgington and Matthew Bennett support Jonathan Phillips's contention that the Lisbon campaign was a planned part of the crusade and not merely a chance diversion." He went on to note that "much thought has gone into the construction and content of this book." Peter Edbury, reviewing the book for Journal of Ecclesiastical History, wrote that it "provides a welcome reminder of the possibilities for fresh research as well as a useful insight into current thinking on the subject."
With The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, Phillips moves on to the early thirteenth century and the crusade during which Roman Catholics, due to changing circumstances, ironically laid siege to the city they had set out to save and, ultimately, destroyed their ties to Orthodox Christianity. Thousands died, churches were razed, and Constantinople was all but destroyed. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly stated that "Phillips's book provides a first-rate narrative of this significant episode in medieval history," while a contributor to Kirkus Reviews concluded that "Phillips does a good job of rendering this complex, even timely story intelligibly."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Catholic Historical Review, July, 2004, Malcolm Barber, review of The Second Crusade: Scope and Consequences, p. 528.
Contemporary Review, January, 2004, Edward Bradbury, "The Crusades Revisited," review of The Experience of Crusading, Volumes 1 and 2, p. 52.
English Historical Review, April, 1998, K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, review of Defenders of the Holy Land: Relations between the Latin East and the West, 1119-1187, p. 413; February, 2003, A. J. Forey, review of The Second Crusade, p. 172; April, 2004, Colin Morris, review of The Experience of Crusading, p. 438.
Guardian (London, England), April 3, 2004, Diarmaid MacCullouch, "The Holy Beach-Towel Hypothesis: Diarmaid MacCulloch Rides to the Crusades with Some Memorable Companions," review of The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, p. 14.
History Today, November, 2001, Anne Pointer, review of The Second Crusade, p. 54.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, January, 1998, Benjamin Z. Kedar, review of Defenders of the Holy Land, p. 165; January, 2003, Peter Edbury, review of The Second Crusade, p. 135.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2004, review of TheFourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, p. 905.
Medium Aevum, fall, 2003, Andy King, review of TheCrusades, 1095-1197, p. 376.
Publishers Weekly, October 4, 2004, review of TheFourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople,
Royal Holloway, University of London, Web site,http://www.rhul.ac.uk/ (November 12, 2004), "Jonathan Phillips."*