Few events in European history generated more historical, artistic, and literary responses than the conquest of Jerusalem by the armies of the First Crusade in 1099. This epic military and religious expedition, and the many that followed it, became part of the collective memory of communities in Europe, Byzantium, North Africa, and the Near East. Remembering the Crusades examines the ways in which those memories were negotiated, transmitted, and transformed from the Middle Ages through the modern period. Bringing together leading scholars in art history, literature, and medieval European and Near Eastern history, this volume addresses a number of important questions. How did medieval communities respond to the intellectual, cultural, and existential challenges posed by the unique fusion of piety and violence of the First Crusade? How did the crusades alter the form and meaning of monuments and landscapes throughout Europe and the Near East? What role did the crusades play in shaping the collective identity of cities, institutions, and religious sects? In exploring these and other questions, the contributors analyze how the events of the First Crusade resonated in a wide range of cultural artifacts, including literary texts, art and architecture, and liturgical ceremonies. They discuss how Christians, Jews, and Muslims recalled and interpreted the events of the crusades and what far-reaching implications that remembering had on their communities throughout the centuries. Remembering the Crusades is the first collection of essays to investigate the commemoration of the crusades in eastern and western cultures. Its unprecedented multidisciplinary and cross-cultural approach points the way to a complete reevaluation of the place of the crusades in medieval and modern societies.
Nicholas Paul is an assistant professor of history at Fordham University. Suzanne Yeager is an associate professor of English and medieval studies at Fordham University and author of Jerusalem in Medieval Narrative.