History 236: 

The Crusades: Conflict and Accomodation

Lycoming College, Spring 2005


Instructor:     Dr. Cullen Chandler

Office:           D-121

Office Hours:  M-W 2:00-3:30; T 3:00-4:00

Office Phone: 4173

Email:           chandler@lycoming.edu


Required Texts:

The texts should be available at the bookstore.  If problems acquiring books should arise, notify the instructor immediately.


Textbook:     Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A Short History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990.


Reader:        Thomas F. Madden, ed., The Crusades: The Essential Readings.  Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002.


Sources:       S. J. Allen and Emilie Amt, eds., The Crusades: A Reader. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2003. 


Purpose and Goals:

The study of history is important to the development of educated people and the leaders of society.  This course is an in-depth study of the Crusades, an important movement and series of events, originating in medieval western Europe and destined for the Middle East.  Historical issues we will cover include the rise of Christian and Islamic civilizations after the end of the Roman Empire, the military and political events known as the Crusades, the motivations of Crusaders, and the impact of the Crusades on Europe and the Middle East.  Our main objectives are three: 1) to build knowledge and understanding of these events and mindsets concerning people hundreds of years ago, 2) to develop historical perspective, that is, to gain insight on how modern conditions relate to and can be better understood with deeper knowledge of the past, and 3) to further the liberal arts ideal of not only learning information, but learning to deal with information, read and think critically, draw conclusions, and communicate those conclusions to an audience.  For all of these goals, it is important that students become historians, if only for one semester.



Policies and Requirements: 


I.  Participation

Participation in the class is crucial to accomplishing the goals for the course.  There are several ways to participate, and thus several elements of the Participation grade.  Participatory activities cannot be made up.  Participation as a whole is 15% of the final course grade.


A.  Attendance

Attendance is first and foremost among the requirements for this course.  Most of the time, we will do something in class that you will need to be present for.  We all have things to take care of, so if something comes up I will understand, but the “somethings” need to be rare.

(15 lectures @ 1 point each = max. 15 points for Participation)


B.  Discussion

Some weeks will feature opportunities for class discussion over the assigned source readings.  You will be expected to come prepared with notes, guided by questions I provide.  Each discussion provides a possibility for 10 points.  Sometimes we will work in groups for discussion, but all grades are based on individual performance. 

(11 discussions @ 10 points each = max. 110 points for Participation)


C.  Informal Writing

In some classes, you will have time to put your thoughts to paper.  This can include summarizing a section of reading, addressing important issues, working through unclear points, or answering questions I provide.  Such exercises will lead to short, informal essays (or “free-writes”) written during class time and taken up at the end of class.

(5 free-writes @ 2 points each = max. 10 points for Participation)


II.  Exams

The major exams will consist of written responses to identification items and essay prompts.  The purpose is to develop critical thinking skills and the ability to deal with information and communicate ideas effectively.  All exams are unit exams; there is no comprehensive test.  NO EXAM CAN BE MADE UP.  If you must miss an exam, SEE ME BEFOREHAND.  If you miss an exam, a grade of zero (0) will be recorded.  Each exam counts 15% of the course grade.


III.  Critical Reading and Writing

Since critical analysis and written communication are valuable skills in both the academic world and the business world, this course will involve written exercises based on critical reading of assigned materials.  You will write one Source Essay (5 pages max.) based on one section of the Allen and Amt source reader.  The Source Essay will count 15% for the course grade.  Instructions will be distributed later.


In addition, you will write a brief book review (3 pages max.) on a historical study of some element of Crusades history.  The book you choose will be available in Snowden Library.  Guidelines for the review assignment will be distributed later.  The Book Review will count 15% toward the course grade.


IV.  Academic Dishonesty:

If any student cheats on a writing assignment or exam, it will receive a grade of zero (0).  That could really sink a final grade.  Plagiarism is stealing someone else’s ideas and/or words and putting them in your written work as if you came up with them.  Not only is plagiarism cheating, it is also a crime.  More information on how to avoid plagiarism will be given with the Source Essay assignment.  In addition to course penalties, Lycoming College may take disciplinary action against a student accused of “academic dishonesty.”


V.  Evaluation: 

Each student will earn grade credit based on participation, exams, written work, and the group project.  Letter grades will be determined as follows:


A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60-69%, and F = 0-59%

NOTE:  On the +/- scale, approximately three points constitute a partial letter grade. 

For example:  B- = 80-82%, B = 83-86%, B+ = 87-89%, and so on.



Exam I: 15%

Exam II:           15%

Exam III:          15%


Book Review:   15%

Source Essay:   15%

Participation:     15%

Presentation:     10%




All reading assignments for this course are preparatory.  In order to be ready for lectures and participation, read before the beginning of the week.

Key:     R-S = Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A Short History

            Madden = Madden, ed., The Crusades: The Essential Readings

            A&A = Allen and Amt, eds., The Crusades: A Reader




Week 1: 

READ:  Madden, Editor’s Introduction

R-S, Introduction

A&A, Introduction

January 11:  Introductions

January 13:  Heirs of Rome


Week 2: 

READ:  A&A, Ch. I – All

January 18:  Europe and the Umayyads

        January 20:  Discuss A&A


Week 3: 

READ:  R-S, Chs. 1-2

          A&A, Ch. II – All

    January 25:  The Abbasid Caliphate, Byzantium, and the Turks

        January 27:  Discuss First Crusade readings     


Week 4: 

READ:  R-S, Chs. 3-4

          A&A Ch. III – nos. 23, 24, and 28-32

        February 1:  The Crusader States: The First Century

        February 3:  Discuss A&A


Week 5: 

READ:  Madden, Part I – ALL

        February 8:  Discuss Madden


February 10:  Exam I




Week 6:                                            

READ:  R-S, Ch. 5

          A&A, Ch. IV – nos. 33, 34, 38, 41, 42, 44; Ch. V – nos. 45, 47-49

        February 15:  A Developing Concept: The Second and Third Crusades

        February 17:  Discuss A&A

            ***Select Book for Review with Instructor’s Approval by February 17***


Week 7: 

READ:  R-S, Ch. 6

          A&A, Ch. VI – nos. 56-58, 61; Ch. VII – nos. 64, 66, 71-73;

                 Ch. VIII – nos. 74, 75, 77-80

        February 22:  The Reconquista and the Age of Innocent III

        February 24:  No Class – Turn in answers to A&A questions via email


February 28-March 4:  SPRING BREAK


Week 8: 

READ:  R-S, Ch. 7

          A&A, Ch. VI – nos. 60, 61, 63; Ch. VII – nos. 69, 70;

                 Ch. IX – nos. 84, 85, 86

        March 8:  Forms of Crusading

        March 10:  Discuss A&A


Week 9: 

READ:  Madden, Part II

        March 15:  A Different Kind of Crusade

        March 17:  Discuss Madden


March 22:  Exam II





Week 10: 

READ:  R-S, Ch. 8

          A&A, Ch. V – nos. 50-55

        March 24:  The Culture of the Crusades; Discuss A&A


Week 11: 

READ: Madden, Part III

        March 29:  The Crusader States: The Second Century

March 31:  Discuss Madden

***Source Essay Due March 31***


Week 12:

READ:  R-S, Ch. 9

          A&A, Ch. VIII 81-83; Ch. IX – nos. 90, 91; Ch. X – nos. 95-98

        April 5:  New Directions for the Crusades

        April 7:  Discuss A&A


Week 13: 

READ:  R-S, Ch. 10 and Conclusion

          A&A, Ch. IX, nos. 88, 93, 94; Ch. X – nos. 99-104

        April 12:  The End of the Crusading Movement

        April 14:  Discuss A&A


Week 14: 


        April 19:  Flex Day

            ***Book Review Due April 19***

        April 21:  Student Presentations


Final Exam Week:

Exam III Day and Time TBA