Questions and Comments

If you have a question to ask me about the Crusades, please read this first.

If you have a comment about the pedagogy of the course, or the design of these Web pages, or if you have spotted an error in either, please let me know. There's an e-mail link at the bottom of this page.

If you are a student and you are looking for help with an exam or assignment or term paper, I'm willing to answer your questions if and only if you have done your homework. If the answer to your question can be found in the two basic textbooks listed below on this page, I probably won't even respond. I teach three courses on-line and I get e-mail almost every day from someone who essentially wants me to do their work for them. Doing your own research is an absolutely fundamental part of higher education, and I have no intention of becoming Tech Support for Medieval History.

If you have done your reading and you want to discuss a point, or to ask for clarification, you are welcome, with this caveat: I am not a Crusades scholar. I've never published on the topic; I've never even read the sources in their original languages. I have, however, read most of the sources in translation and have read most of the major secondary works. And I'm always glad to talk with someone else who has a scholarly interest in the subject.

If you are a teacher, at any grade level, I welcome all sorts of questions and discussion.

Basic References

Here are the fundamental works on the history of the Crusades. These are all works in English. I welcome important additions from other languages.

Mayer, Hans Eberhard. The Crusades. 2nd edition, 1986.
Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Crusades, A Short History. 1987.

These two are the starting-point. You need to read both of them.

If you would like more depth, then consider these:

Runciman, Sir Steven. A History of the Crusades. Three volumes, 1951. Still the most readable history of the crusades and still generally reliable. Should be supplemented by Mayer and Riley-Smith.

Setton, Kenneth, ed. A History of the Crusades. Six volumes, 1953-89. A collection of essays on various topics. Rather eclectic, but has stuff you won't readily find anywhere else. Not required reading, but worth a look if you can get your hands on it. Available at most university libraries.

Those are the basics. There are also lots of specialty books that focus on a single crusade or aspect of crusading, some of which are very good. Once you've read Mayer and Runciman and Riley-Smith, though, you ought to delve into the primary sources, many of which are available in translation and in paperback. The bibliographies of the above-cited works will guide you from there.

Here are my main e-mail addresses:

Credentials and affiliation

I have been adjunct professor of history at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho USA since 1986. I received my MA in medieval history at the University of Utah in 1980 and my PhD in early modern European social and economic history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984.