Geographical Worlds at the Time of the Crusades

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Geographical Worlds at the Time of the Crusades

One thousand years ago the nations and peoples of Europe, western Asia, and the Middle East held differing cultural and religious beliefs. For hundreds of years tensions and conflicts had divided these clusters of nations. Tensions eventually came to a boiling point in November 1095, when the pope of the Catholic Church, Urban II, called for a Crusade to the Middle Eastern nation of Palestine to reclaim for Christianity the holy city of Jerusalem.

The nations and peoples of Europe, western Asia, and the Middle East

A full understanding of the Crusades requires an understanding of these different cultural groups. Each had its own history, and all shared an interest in the holy places in and around Jerusalem. The groups that would play a role in the Crusades were the Europeans, the peoples of the Byzantine Empire, the followers of the religion of Islam, and the Jews.

Europe in 1095

Despite their many differences, the countries of Europe, also known as the "West," shared a belief in Christianity. The version of Christianity that dominated Europe was that of the Catholic Church, centered in Rome. The leader of the Christian church was the pope, who often wielded more power than the kings of Europe, or at least tried to. Because the peoples of Europe spoke so many different languages, the Christian church conducted its affairs in Latin. Latin was the language of the old Roman Empire that had ruled these nations for centuries. It thus became the common language not only of Christian priests, monks, and bishops but also of nearly all educated people in Europe, who generally received their education through the church. Accordingly, this group of European countries was often referred to as "Latin Christendom." It included such nations as England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, and northern Spain as well as the countries of Scandinavia and the "Low Countries," such as Holland.

The Byzantine Empire

A second major cultural-religious center was the Byzantine Empire. This empire was formed out of the remains of the Roman Empire in the East. The name comes from the empire's ancient capital city, Byzantium, although the city's name was later changed to Constantinople (present-day Istanbul, in Turkey). Because it was more unified, this empire, which stretched from portions of Italy through southeastern Europe and into western Asia, was more powerful than the separate and often quarrelsome nations of the West.

Like the West, the Byzantine Empire was Christian, although the version of Christianity practiced in this region was called Eastern Orthodox or, frequently, Greek Orthodox. The primary language of the church was Greek, but many other languages were used locally. Unlike the nations of the West, which fell into a period of backwardness and turmoil with the end of the Roman Empire, the East developed a rich and complex culture and amassed a great deal of wealth.


A third major cultural group formed around the religion called Islam, members of which are called Muslims. In
1095 Islam was the dominant religion in the countries of the Middle East as well as in parts of Asia. (Europeans called this region the Middle East to distinguish it from the countries of Asia, which were farther away and therefore called the Far East.) The Middle East extends roughly from northeastern Africa through the Arabian Peninsula and into western Asia. At the time of the Crusades it included such countries as Persia, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.

From its beginnings in the seventh century, the Islamic world expanded from its roots in the city of Mecca (in today's Saudi Arabia) to include much of North Africa, Arabia, western Asia, and even parts of Europe. Also converting to Islam were the peoples of central Asia, whom the Byzantines referred to as Turks. The Turks in time became powerful militarily, and eventually they overran many of the other Muslim nations, including Syria and Persia.

The Jews

A final group that played a role in the Crusades was the Jews. Unlike Muslims and Christians (both Latin Christians and Eastern Orthodox Christians), the Jews did not have a homeland in any specific country or group of countries. They were widely spread throughout all three regions and preserved their cultural identity through ancient religious practices and a common language, Hebrew. Because they often remained separate from the cultures surrounding them, and because those cultures saw them as different, Jews were often subjected to harsh persecution (prejudice), particularly in the West.

Claimants to the Holy Land

The historical journey that these cultural and religious groups followed and that eventually brought them into conflict before and during the Crusades was long and complex. It started during the early history of Judaism and continued through the first centuries of the Christian era.


From a historical perspective, the first seeds of the Crusades were sown as far back as the tenth century b.c.e. (Before the Common Era). At that time the Israelites, or the Jews, under the leadership of the Old Testament king Solomon, constructed a magnificent temple (a place of worship for Jews) in the city of Jerusalem. In a room called the Holy of Holies, the temple housed the Ark of the Covenant. The ark contained the tablets on which the Ten Commandments, delivered to the Old Testament prophet Moses, were carved. Within the temple was a bare rock called the Foundation Stone. According to the Old Testament, Abraham, the biblical father of the nation of Israel, was prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to God on this stone. As God's "chosen people," the Jews regarded both the temple and the city of Jerusalem as their most holy site and the center of their faith.

The Temple of Solomon survived for four hundred years. Then, in 586 b.c.e., it was destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, who drove the Jews into exile. The Jews returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple in 515 b.c.e., and this "Second Temple" survived until c.e. 70. By this time, though, two new claimants to Jerusalem were on the scene.

The Roman Empire

One set of claimants was the Romans. The Roman Empire lasted for about five centuries. It began in 27 b.c.e., after years of civil war, when the Roman senate confirmed Gaius Octavius as the sole emperor. The empire had its roots much earlier, however. During the period historians call the Roman Republic, which dated from 527 to 509 b.c.e., Rome had taken over other parts of Italy and nearby territories. Rome expanded greatly during the period of the empire. In time, it dominated the entire area around the Mediterranean Sea, including much of Europe.

A Note on Dates

In referring to dates, historians distinguish between the Common Era, beginning with the year 1, and the time before year 1, or Before the Common Era. Many texts use the initials a.d., which stands for the Latin expression anno Domini, or "the year of our Lord," in referring to the Common Era. They use b.c., which means "before Christ," to refer to the era before the birth of Christ. Many modern writers, however, believe that these designations seem to exclude people who are not Christian, so they prefer designations referring to the Common Era. Thus, instead of a.d. they use c.e., and instead of b.c. they use b.c.e. By convention, b.c.e. is placed after the year, while c.e. is placed before the year.

In 63 b.c.e. Jerusalem and the surrounding nation of Palestine fell under the control of Rome. In the decades that followed, life under Roman rule became increasingly difficult for Jews, who were persecuted and forced to pay high taxes to Rome. At about the beginning of the Common Era, a radical Jewish group known as the Zealots formed. In c.e. 66 the Zealots launched a revolt against Rome, known in Jewish history as the Great Revolt. The revolt ended in the year 70, when Roman troops laid siege to Jerusalem, massacred the Jews, and destroyed the Second Temple. In 132 the Romans built on the site their own temple to their god Jupiter.


The other new group that took an interest in Jerusalem in the first century was the early Christian church. Early Christianity, which formed around the teachings of Jesus Christ, began as a sect of Judaism and shared many of its beliefs. But as time went on Christians separated themselves from Jewish traditions and practices. The Christian church laid claim to Jerusalem as its holy city, for it was the site of many of the key events in the life of Christ. (For this reason, the region around Jerusalem and Palestine is often called the Holy Land.) In particular, it was the site of the Holy Sepulchre, the tomb of Christ. Rescuing the tomb of Christ from the Muslims would become a key motivator for many of the Crusaders hundreds of years later.

As Christianity spread and its influence over the people in the region grew, it became more and more of a threat to Rome, which practiced a pagan religion, worshiping many gods. For three centuries Christians suffered from persecution at the hands of the Romans. This persecution ended abruptly when the Roman emperor Constantine I, who ruled from 306 to 337, could see that Christianity was gaining in power and influence. In 313 he converted to Christianity, declared it the official religion of the empire, and ruled from the eastern capital of Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople in his own honor. Some historians believe that his conversion was sincere; others believe that he converted only to retain power over the empire. In 391 and 392 the emperor Theodosius I made Christianity the sole legal religion in the empire. These events gave Christians more control over Jerusalem and enabled Christianity to spread throughout the region.

The collapse of the Roman Empire

By the fifth century the Roman Empire's boundaries stretched from England in the northwest across Europe and into Asia. Such a large empire was expensive to maintain and hard to control and defend. Communication over these long distances was difficult, and the economic demands of ruling such a large empire weakened Rome.

In the fifth century the Roman Empire finally collapsed. The last ruler of a united Roman Empire was Theodosius I, who reigned from 379 to 395. Just before his death in 395, he divided control of the empire between his two sons, and at this point the empire was united in name only. The western realms continued to be ruled by the emperor in Rome, the capital city, but the throne was weakened by a series of child emperors over the next several decades. The eastern part, called the Byzantine Empire, was ruled by an emperor in the capital city of Constantinople. No emperor was ever again able to control both the eastern and western halves.

In the years that followed this division, the empire in the West was almost immediately attacked and overrun by warlike tribes, including the Vikings from the north and various Germanic tribes from the east. These invasions further weakened the western empire. In 476, when the Germanic warlord Odovacar defeated the last western emperor, the Roman senate declined to name a new emperor. In this way, the Roman Empire ceased to exist in the countries of western Europe.

Europe before the Crusades

What followed was a period of turmoil and warfare but also a period when the individual nations of Europe began to unify and grow stronger. Many of these nations, though, were not really nations. Rather, they were loosely connected federations of provinces and regions that shared common languages and cultures but lacked a sense of national identity and purpose. That would begin to change in the centuries preceding the Crusades.

The Frankish kingdom

Among the most important of these nations was the Frankish kingdom (known today as France) in the region Rome had called Gaul. After the Romans withdrew, the Frankish kingdom was relatively weak. By the eighth century it included a number of loosely related provinces, including Aquitaine, Burgundy, and large parts of modern-day Germany. But Charles Martel, who reigned as king from 714 to 741, and his son Pepin the Short, who reigned from 741 to 768, formed strong alliances with the Frankish nobles and the church in Rome, and the empire began to become stabler.

The kingdom blossomed under Pepin's son, Charles the Great, or Charlemagne, who ruled from 768 to 814. Charlemagne, a skilled military commander and beloved leader, expanded the boundaries of the kingdom. Under Charlemagne the kingdom dominated western Europe and became a center of learning and culture, as he attracted scholars and artists to his court. Beginning in the tenth century further unification took place under the so-called Capetian kings of France, named after the first, Hugh Capet. He and his successors, especially King Louis VI ("Louis the Fat"), subdued many of the less important nobles who tried to defy them, claimed and enforced a hereditary (usually passed down from father to son) right to the throne, and turned the Frankish kingdom into a major nation-state.

The Viking and French invaders

Meanwhile, in the north, the Vikings from the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden joined the Germanic invasions of Europe in the fifth century. Because of the cold climate of extreme northern Europe, there was not enough farmland to support the population, so this southward migration resumed in full force in the ninth and tenth centuries. The Vikings began to raid England in 787, and in 841 they plundered London, starting an era of conquest of the British Isles. Throughout the ninth century the "Northmen" continued to conduct raids down the Atlantic coast in Normandy (a coastal region of France), around the coastline of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), and into the Mediterranean Sea. They also expanded into the Slavic regions of eastern Europe. While the Scandinavians initially were not as strongly Christian as the rest of Europe, many eventually converted to the Christian faith.

In England, King Alfred the Great, who ruled from 871 to 899, organized an army and turned back the Danes. Then, in 1066, Duke William of Normandy led an invasion of England—the Norman Conquest—that forever changed the face of the island nation. His successors, Kings Henry I and II, accomplished in England what Charlemagne and the Capetians had accomplished in France. They were strong rulers who turned a collection of dukedoms into a nation-state with more of a national identity. The relationship between

Charlemagne (742–814)

While the reign of Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, predated the Crusades by more than two centuries, he was an important background figure. His life contributed to the ideology, or philosophy, of crusading. For centuries he remained a hero whom many Christian Crusaders strove to imitate.

Charlemagne ruled as king for forty-six years. He was important politically because he gave form to the Frankish kingdom. He was a popular hero and a skilled commander, well loved by his soldiers. In A History of Europe, historian H. A. L. Fisher writes:

To his Frankish warriors he was the ideal chief, tall and stout, animated and commanding, with flashing blue eyes and aquiline nose, a mighty hunter before the Lord. That he loved the old Frankish songs, used Frankish speech, and affected the traditional costume of his race—the high-laced boots, the cross-gartered scarlet hose, the linen tunic, and square mantle of white or blue—that he was simple in his needs, and sparing in food and drink were ingratiating features in a rich and wholesome character.

During his reign, Charlemagne fought for Christianity against the Danes, the Lombards, the Saxons, the Slavs, the Muslims in Spain, and others. In doing so, he helped cement the position of the Christian church, making it a stabler and more powerful institution throughout Europe. In recognition of his role as a fighter for Christianity, the patriarch of Jerusalem (that is, the chief Greek Orthodox cleric) sent him the keys to the holy places in the city, telling Charlemagne that he relied on the king for their defense. This, plus his many victories over enemies of the Christian church, planted a seed that would grow into the Crusades—the belief that it was God's will that Christendom extend its realm and that Europe might one day be called on to rescue the holy city. The legends that surrounded Charlemagne contributed to a way of thinking. In the minds of many Christians, the most heroic person imaginable was a Christian knight bearing the cross and willing to fight and die to protect the faith from nonbelievers.

England and France, though, was complex. These English kings held as part of their domain large portions of western France. For this reason, England and France were in a near-perpetual state of warfare.

The Holy Roman Empire

A final western power that would play a role in the Crusades was the Holy Roman Empire. This empire was formed in 962 when the German king Otto I was crowned. It lasted until 1806, when the final emperor, Francis II, gave up his title. The Holy Roman Empire had been founded by Charlemagne, who believed that the Roman Empire had not truly ended in the fifth century but rather was suspended. He and his followers, as well as the pope, wanted to restore it to power, so in 800 Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as the new Roman emperor.

For the next century and a half, the title was more of a personal honor and carried little political authority. That changed with the coronation of Otto, and for the next nine hundred years the Holy Roman Emperor ruled over a kingdom that consisted largely of Germany but also, at various times, of Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, part of northern Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. The emperor was always a German king who, technically, was elected by the German princes and had to be confirmed by the pope. In time, the crown became hereditary.

The political justification for the formation of the empire was that just as the pope represented God in spiritual affairs, the emperor represented God in temporal (earthly) affairs. The emperor, therefore, claimed to be the supreme monarch, or ruler, of all of Christendom. While the Holy Roman Emperor held considerable power, he was never recognized as a supreme temporal ruler of all the Christian nations. Christian countries such as England, France, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Spain, and others never fell within the boundaries of the empire. One Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I, or Frederick Barbarossa ("Red Beard"), would lead an army of German knights during the Third Crusade. At the center of the Sixth Crusade was his grandson, Frederick II, who negotiated with the Muslims and won Jerusalem back for Christendom—at least briefly (see "The Third Crusade" and "The Sixth Crusade" in Chapter 6).

In contrast to western and northern Europe, the Byzantine Empire not only survived the breakup of the Roman Empire but also, in the centuries that followed, grew in power and influence. Constantinople became a major world capital, the center of great wealth, learning, and cultural development. Trade flourished from the empire's port cities, especially the capital itself, and the surviving architecture and other artifacts (the man-made objects of a civilization) from the region show its past as a stable, prosperous empire.

Religious separation of East and West

In time the political separation of the eastern and western parts of the Roman Empire led to religious separation as well. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, both parts of the empire remained Christian. In the West the withdrawal of the Romans left behind a power void that was filled by the church. Without strong temporal rulers or fully unified nations, the church became, in effect, the ruler of much of Europe. The concept of a Christian state, often referred to by the Latin phrase Res Publica Christiana, was widely accepted. While the separate nations of Europe warred with one another in the centuries that followed, the Christian church became the dominant social, cultural, educational, and political institution.

In the East, the church fell under the authority of the Byzantine emperor. In the centuries that followed, tensions between the two branches of Christianity emerged. Part of the division was cultural. As noted earlier, the West relied on Latin, not just in the church but also in law, government, and learning. The Latin language enabled people educated by the church to communicate with one another, even if they came from different countries or spoke different dialects of the same language. In the East, by contrast, church affairs were conducted primarily in Greek and other local languages. Not speaking the same language, the two branches of the church drifted further and further apart.

By this time, too, the Byzantine Empire had surpassed the West in power, learning, and influence. Without the support of Rome, western Europe plunged into a period of backwardness, leading many historians to refer to the Middle Ages in Europe as the Dark Ages. For this reason, the Byzantines tended to look down their noses at the Romans. As Terry Jones and Alan Ereira quote in Crusades, at one time a high-ranking member of the eastern church told a Roman clergyman that Rome was home to "vile slaves, fishermen, confectioners [candy makers], poulterers [dealers in poultry and game birds], bastards [children born out of wedlock], plebeians [lower classes], and underlings [inferior commoners]"—in other words, that they were all common, lower-class laborers and shopkeepers. For their part, Europeans tended to share the view of one bishop (also quoted by Jones and Ereira) who had visited Constantinople and found the inhabitants "soft, effeminate, long-sleeved, be-jewelled and begowned liars, eunuchs [castrated men] and idlers [lazy people]"—that is, they were all weak, lazy, unmanly people who lounged about in fancy clothing. In this climate of distrust and mutual scorn, the two branches of the church competed fiercely over converts to the faith, particularly among the Slavic peoples of eastern Europe. Rome also resented Byzantine churches in its own backyard in southern Italy.

The Great Schism

Finally, in 1054, these tensions reached a snapping point. The eastern branch of the church refused to recognize the authority of the pope in Rome. In response, the pope excommunicated, or expelled, one of the highest-ranking clergymen of the eastern church. (This excommunication was eventually lifted, but not until 1965.) The clergyman had actually been provoking the division by declaring to the other patriarchs (leaders of the eastern church) that supporters of the Roman church were heretics, or believers in false doctrine.

The result was the Great Schism (or split), creating two separate Christian churches. In the West was the Roman Catholic, or sometimes Latin, Church. In the Byzantine Empire was the Eastern, or often Greek, Orthodox Church. In time, various nations developed their own brand of Eastern Orthodoxy, so reference is made to, for example, Russian Orthodox or Armenian Orthodox Christians.

It is important to remember that this division did not lead to bitterness or permanent ill feeling. Despite their differences, the eastern and western churches, like quarreling siblings, retained a kinship with each other that would play a role in the Crusades, particularly the First Crusade, when East and West were initially allies in the fight against the Turkish Muslims. In the meantime, however, Jerusalem fell under the control of the Christian Byzantine Empire.

The emergence of Islam

As if the political and religious situation in the Middle East were not complicated enough, a new claimant to the Holy Land emerged in the seventh century: Islam. Islam was founded in the early seventh century by an Arabic preacher named Muhammad (c. 570–632). In 610 Muhammad heard the voice of the angel Gabriel, which revealed to him the words and prophecies of Allah (from the Arabic al-ilah, meaning "the One True God"). In the years that followed, Muhammad, who regarded himself as the last in a line of prophets that began with Abraham and included Jesus, spread these revelations to his followers. These revelations became the basis of the Islamic faith, and a follower of Muhammad became known as a Muslim, from the Arabic expression bianna musliman, meaning "submitted ourselves to God." In time these revelations and prophecies were written down in the Islamic sacred text, which is called the Qur'an, usually spelled "Koran" in English texts; the present version of the Koran was written in 651 and 652.

The holiest place for Islam was and still is Mecca (in today's Saudi Arabia), where Muhammad was born and experienced his revelations. Also regarded as a holy place is the city of Medina, 270 miles (434.5 kilometers) to the north of Mecca. Medina was originally named Yathrib, but its name was changed to Medina from the Arabic phrase Madinat al-Nadi, or "city of the Prophet." It was at Medina that Muhammad developed his beliefs and first began attracting converts. Jerusalem also held an important place in Islam because it was the site of the Foundation Stone, where Muhammad made a miraculous flight to heaven. In 691 the Muslims built a sacred mosque (place of worship), al-Aqsa Mosque, on a site adjacent to the Foundation Stone. The mosque is next to the site of the Temple of Solomon, which remains sacred to Jews.

A Note on Spellings

The name Muhammad is spelled in various ways, including Mohammed and, especially in older texts, Mahomet. Many words and names associated with Islam and the Middle East have alternative spellings in different English texts. These words are usually Arabic or Persian, and these languages do not use the Roman alphabet. The words, then, have to be transliterated, meaning that they are converted into the Roman alphabet. This process often leads to different spellings, especially because there may be different pronunciations of the words.

These different spellings can become a problem, especially with Internet searches. For example, the Turkish clan that drove the Crusaders out of Jerusalem just before the Seventh Crusade was the Khwarismians. Sometimes, though, the name is spelled Khwarizmians or even Khoreszmians. The Muslim caliph, or ruler, who seized Jerusalem in the seventh century was Umar, but many texts spell the name Omar. Even western names written in the Roman alphabet pose a problem. The name of one Crusader castle referred to in the literature of the time is spelled thirteen different ways. Internet researchers need to take alternative spellings into account when entering key words. In books, these names may be found in different places in an alphabetical index.

Older texts written from a western perspective often refer to Islam as Muhammadanism or Mohammedanism. Muslims regard these words as offensive, because they suggest that Muhammad was a deity, or god, rather than a prophet.

The spread of Islam

At that time the lands of Arabia were populated by largely nomadic clans and tribes—that is, people who moved
about rather than settling in one location—that competed and fought with one another. The Arabs had played a small role in world history, but after Muhammad, these clans and tribes were united under one banner, with a deep sense of purpose and historical mission, though tensions came to divide Muslims. They believed that they were the successors to the Jews as Allah's chosen people and that Allah required them to spread their faith through conquest.

Under the first four caliphs, or Muhammad's successors, the Muslims spread their faith with great efficiency. (One major sect, or subgroup, of Islam did not recognize the caliphs as legitimate successors to Muhammad. See Chapter 5 on the division of Shiite and Sunni Muslims.) By the 640s they had seized most of the Byzantine province of Palestine (where Jerusalem was located) and Syria, conquered Persia, and overrun Egypt. In 638, after a lengthy siege, the second caliph, Umar, accepted the surrender of the city of Jerusalem, which was now in Muslim rather than Byzantine hands (see "Muslims and Jerusalem" in Chapter 2). By the year 700, from their capital of Damascus in Syria, the Muslims ruled an empire that stretched across northern Africa and into central India.

Not content, the Muslims turned their attention to the West. In the early 700s they captured the southern regions of the Iberian Peninsula, which included the countries of Spain and Portugal. From there they crossed the Pyrenees into the kingdom of the Franks, but they were driven back at the city of Tours by Charles Martel exactly one hundred years after Muhammad's death. In the early 800s Muslims conquered the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Corsica and then added the island of Sicily to their empire in 902. Beginning in the 800s they attacked cities in southern Italy and even advanced on Rome, though they were repelled in the 900s and 1000s by armies led by the popes.

Spanish Islam

During these same years Spanish Christians were limited to the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula, while Muslims occupied the southern regions. Muslims, whom the Spanish called Moors, dominated most of the south from its caliphate, the Umayyad caliphate, based in Córdoba, Spain. (A caliphate is a region or domain ruled by a caliph. "Umayyad" is the name of a family dynasty.) Spanish Christians began to push south to recapture their land. This conflict lasted until the early fifteenth century. At the Battle of las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, a Christian army met and defeated an invading Muslim army from North Africa, and by 1225 only the region around Granada, a city in the far south of Spain, remained under Muslim control. Muslims were finally driven out of Granada in 1492. In the meantime, Spanish Christian kings actively recruited Christian settlers for the re-conquered territories, often giving them generous grants of land. This process of recapture and settlement in Spain is known to historians as the Reconquista.

What is important about these events in Italy, France, and Spain is that for more than three centuries, European Christians had come to regard Muslims as enemy invaders and had already engaged in armed conflict with them many times. Christians, both in the East and in the West, believed that Muslims were occupying their holy ground, the same ground to which the Jews also laid claim. Cultures that were in large part defined by religion were clashing, and these clashes would eventually give rise to the Crusades.

For More Information


Chambers, Mortimer, Barbara Hanawalt, Theodore Rabb, Isser Woloch, and Raymond Grew. The Western Experience. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Fisher, H. A. L. A History of Europe. Vol. 1, Ancient and Mediaeval. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1935.

Jones, Terry, and Alan Ereira. Crusades. New York: Facts on File, 1995.

MacMullen, Ramsay. Christianizing the Roman Empire (A.D. 100–400). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984.

Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. Translated by Joan Hussey. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1968.

Von Grunebaum, Gustave E., ed. Medieval Islam: A Study in Cultural Orientation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971.

Web Sites

Halsall, Paul. "Crusades and European Expansion." Introduction to theMedieval World. (accessed on August 11, 2004).

Sloan, John. "The Crusades in Levant (1097–1291)." Xenophon Group Military History Database. (accessed on August 11, 2004).

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Geographical Worlds at the Time of the Crusades

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