The First Crusade: Origins and Impact by Jonathan Phillips, ed. (1997)
There are only a few historical events initiated with Christian fervor that, on the face of it, are as hard to defend as the Crusades; the Catholic-Protestant wars and the policies for dealing with heretics are probably the others. And yet the First Crusade was initiated by the appeal of Pope Urban II, partly in response to the increasing encroachment of Muslim armies on previously Christian lands, including an appeal by the Byzantine emperor.
This collection of essays on the First Crusade, written by professors and lecturers of history at
A prime example of this error also relates to the First Crusade: in our cynical age, we do not understand how a group of people, motivated mostly by piety, could agree to take up the Cross and recapture the
Other essays address the historiography of the crusades over time (Susan Edgington’s “Reviewing the Evidence,” Alan V. Murray’s “The Chronicle of Zimmern as a source for the First Crusade”), a few major players including Peter the Hermit (Colin Morris) and Alexius Comnenus (Jonathan Shepard), and how the principality of Antioch came into being (Thomas Asbridge).
This is not a book I would recommend for anyone with less than a sure footing of the known facts of the First Crusade and the essays are certainly less than comprehensive, but they do provide many jumping-off points for a person interested in issues related to the study of the event (or series of events) in history that came to be known as the First Crusade.