History 4963

The Crusades: 1095-1481

Room: Conwill Hall 106
Section 0939: TTh 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Instructor: Doug Catterall
Office: South Shepler 634
Office Hours: M-W 2-4 p.m.
and by appointment

work telephone: 581-2949 
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

        A Rendering of Saladin
Richard I of England
Richard I of England         

Goals and Approach:
Welcome to the Crusades, 1095-1481!  In this course we will consider interactions between the predominantly Christian societies of Europe, on one hand, and the predominantly non-Christian societies and cultures of Eastern Europe, the Iberian peninsula, and, of course, the Middle East, on the other.  We begin with how people see crusading today.  Then we move into the discussions within 11th-century Western European Christian society of the reasons for crusading and their main outcome: the First Crusade (1096-1099), which sought to claim Jerusalem for Christianity.  We will also consider the Muslim and Orthodox Christian societies of the Middle East and their initial responses to the crusaders.  The First Crusade and the responses to it established precedents that determined the course of relations between Muslims and Christians of all stripes in the Middle East and Europe from 1200 into the 17th century by some measures.  Among the more concrete results: the crusader states, which created new multi-religious societies and new relationships between Europe and the Middle East as well as an enduring impulse for the continued crusading of the Second, Third, Fourth Crusades, and later Crusades until the last of them, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, fell in 1291.  We will consider this history in two parts: the period from c. 1100 to 1200, when the crusader states were growing and prosperous, and the period from c. 1200 through 1300, when they were in decline.  Then we will turn to the other two major products of the First Crusade: the military orders (e.g. the Knights Templar, the Hospitalers, the Teutonic Order) and internal crusading (in Spain, in France, in Eastern Europe), developments that overlapped and influenced one another to some degree.  Finally, we will end with the transformation of Anatolia, the Balkans, the Iberian Peninsula, and the Mediterranean mercanile world that unfolded from 1300 to 1650, although most of our emphasis will be on the period through 1500.

Through our consideration of the course material I intend that each of you will gain a greater understanding of relationships across the fault lines of religion, politics, and culture within and between the Middle East and Europe c. 1100-1500.  I also want you to see this course as a vehicle for learning more about the world in which we currently live for the past is always more present than we think.  As I place a particular emphasis both on written and oral expression, it is also my hope that you will each improve your abilities in these areas as well.

Click on the link in this sentence to access a more detailed description of the course's aims.

Course Texts:

Main Texts:

The Crusades: A Reader, edited by S.J. Allen and Emilie Amt (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010)

Robert of Clari, The Conquest of Constantinople, translated by Edgar Holmes McNeal (New York: Columbia University Press,  2005)

Thomas F. Madden, The New Concise History of the Crusades, updated student edition (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005) 

Jonathan Phillips, The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople (New York: Penguin Books, 2004)

Other Materials: When I deem it helpful, I will supplement these readings with primary or secondary source readings, usually taken from online resources or my own collections of source materials.

All of the above readings will be required for the course. They are all, apart from the supplementary materials, available at the CU Bookstore, although I do not require that you buy them there.

Requirements: Course work consists of three elements: participation, which consists of several elements; a source essay; three reading quizzes; and an essay-based final examination.

Participation (150 points):
a. Structured Debates (80): This is an upper division course run partly as a seminar.  As such one of the things we do is devote serious class time to extended discussion of the big ideas in the course.  We will do that through four structured debates in which there will be a question or topic assigned and the class will be divided into teams.  Participation in the debates is therefore mandatory and your grade will suffer if you do not participate.

b. Source Anaylsis Pieces (80 points possible):  To focus our dicussions and your reading and prepare you for the longer source essay I will assign four short source analysis pieces, each of which will be worth 20 points and be 2 typed, doubled-spaced pages in length, written in Times Roman, 12-pt. font and must be properly footnoted (see me before starting an assignment if any of these standards are unclear).  The emphasis will vary from paper to paper, but since the focal point of this course is basic source analysis, it will be determined by the sources I pick.  In addition, I will not want just a summary, but an actual discussion of what's going on in the assigned source.  The purpose of these assignments is to give you practice with analyzing different kinds of sources before you have to write a serious essay for me.

c. Credit for Participation: A perfect score in participation is 150 points.  Thus you need a minimum of 135 for an A, at leasts 120 for a B, at least 105 for a C, and 90 points for a D.  Anything less than that is an F.

Source Essay (350 points): You will have to write a focused source essay on a group or individual's experience's in the Crusades.  Most of you will use the major Crusades chronicle that we will read this term: Robert of Clari's The Conquest of Constantinople.  You may, naturally, choose to use another chronicle for your paper, but it must come from the list of sources on page 323 of Jonathan Phillips's The Fourth Crusade or, alternatively, from the list of approved sources at the back of Thomas F. Madden, The New Concise History of the Crusades, pp. 243-246.  I will make every effort to ensure that a selection of sources from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Crusades is available either on reserve at the CU Library or via the course's Blackboard module, but if there is a source that I cam not able to obtain that is on the lists of sources just mentioned you may order it via Interlibrary Loan, but please note that this will take time so plan ahead!  The focus of your paper will be a reconstruction of the everyday crusading experiences of a group or individual; I will be less interested in having you reconstruct the "big picture" of the Crusades through this person's story than I will be in seeing the Crusades through their eyes as it were.  The total value of the paper is 350 points of which 150 will be earned as part of a drafting process and the remainder will be earned on the final draft.  The paper must be 10-12 typed, double-spaced pages in length.  Papers are to be typed in Times Roman font with a 12-pt. pitch and must be appropriately footnoted (please see me before writing a paper if you have questions about these standards).  There will also be a mandatory drafting process involving a paper proposal (15 points), three posts to the class Blackboard blog on Robert of Clari's The Conquest of Constantinople in standard, well-crafted English prose (20 points for each post for a total of 60 points), and a draft of 8 to10 pages (75 points) that will undergo a mandatory peer critique and a critique from me.  Failure to turn the proposal, make the posts, or turn the draft in on time will result in an automatic loss of the points available for that piece of work, and writing drafts that are short of the minimum length will result in up to a 10-point deduction for each page you fall short of the minimum.  In addition, failure to participate in the in-class peer review will result in a 10% deduction from the final paper score.  Due dates for the various drafts for the paper are listed below. General guidelines, including my expectations for a paper, are to be found by clicking on the hypertext in this sentence. Specific guidelines for the papers will be provided in this syllabus in a timely manner.  To find them look for the due dates below in the course assignment and reading schedule where you will find the paper title in hypertext; by clicking this hypertext you will arrive at the specific instructions for the paper.

Reading Quizzes (100 points possible): There will be three. multiple-choice reading quizzes each worth 50 points and based on the primary textbook for the course: The New Concise History of the Crusades.  These quizzes will be taken online in the Academic IT Computer Lab (104 Burch Hall-581-2829) or in the Tutoring and Testing Center of CU Duncan (CU Duncan Main Building-877.282.3626) and there will be a week-long window during which you will be able to take each quiz.  Please note also that you will need to call and reserve a place in advance to test on the CU-Duncan campus.

Final Examination (150 points): There will be a comprehensive, essay-based final examination.

Grading Breakdown:

Course Component Component Point Value
Participation 150
Reaction Papers 350
Reading Quizzes
Final Examination 150
Total of All Categories 750

Calculation of your mark: In this course 750 points is a perfect score.  Thus an A requires a minimum of 675 points, a B at least 600 points, a C at least 525 points, a D at least 450 points.  Anyone earning less than 450 points fails the course and earns a mark of F.

General Policies:

Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated.  Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell-phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable.  I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions.  Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults.  Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.  

Attendance: Regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  Equally, and as outlined above, lateness in coming to class and early departures will be penalized as these habits are rude to your fellow classmates and to me as the instructor.  I will take attendance daily in this class and an absence is an absence and will be counted as such.  

Preparation: All assignments, whether involving reading or writing, for a given day are to be completed before the class meets on that day.  I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and dicussions as this will make studying for the reading quiz and final examination and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

Late Papers: The following policy applies to all late final drafts of papers or formal writings for this course that will receive a letter grade. All papers submitted to me at any time on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time. Papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have seven days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero.  Please note that a different policy applies to rough drafts for formal papers and it is outlined above.

Late Working Papers: No late working papers will be accepted as the lowest of the four scores will be dropped.

Missed Quizzes and Examinations:  There will be no make-ups for the quizzes as the lowest score that you earn will be dropped.  Make-ups for the final examination are granted to the student at the instructor's discretion and only with a legitimate (e.g. a medical emergency) and documented reason.

Academic Dishonesty: As per Section 4.07 of the CU Student Handbook: "Each student is expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach. Students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action."  For examples of academic dishonesty please see the full version of Section 4.07 at: http://www.cameron.edu/student_development/student_conduct/

Among the most serious offenses a student can commit is plagiarism, which is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions.  Instructions on the basics of citation may be found under the general guidelines for papers.  before any formal essays come due.  If for some reason you do not choose to examine this page, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines.  In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the current "Student Handbook," as described in Sections 4.07 and 4.08 of the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

1) The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required of other students in the course;

2) The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of "W" or "F"; or

3) The student's grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure. 

Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.

Disability Statement: As per the Office of Student Development, "It is the policy of Cameron University to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law.  Students with disabilities who need classroom accommodations must make their requests by contacting the Office of Student Development at (580) 581-2209, North Shepler Room 314."

Website for this office:


Crusaders in Battle
Knights setting out on crusade                        Crusaders besieging a castle

Schedule of Readings, Lecture Topics, and Assignments

Week List of Topics Readings, Assignments, and Activities
Popularizing Crusades: Now and Then
Read: Madden, 1-14, 213-225; Allen & Amt, 7-24, 28-35.
The First Crusade
Read: Madden, 15-35; Allen & Amt, 39-80.
Debate Topic: The First Crusade was justified given the decline of Christian society in the Middle East during the 11th century.
The Founding of New Societies in the Middle East: the Rise of Crusader States
Read: Madden, 36-61; Allen & Amt: read 1 history, 1 pilgrim's guide, 1 Non-Christian travel account, & either the Laws of Jerusalem or the Venetian Treaty.
Quiz Window for Reading Quiz 1 Opens on 9/5 and closes on 9/12.
Turn In: Source Analysis Piece 1 (due on 9/8)
The 12th-Century Decline of the Crusader States
Read: Madden, 62-95; Allen & Amt, 127-177.
Debate Topic: The crusader states fell, because they became too closely tied to regional dynastic politics.

The Fourth Crusade: the Genesis of the Anti-Christian Crusade
Read: Madden, 96-120; Allen & Amt, 221-240.

The Fourth Crusade in Depth 1
Phillips, 1-101.
Quiz Window for Reading Quiz 2 Opens on 9/26 and closes on 10/3.
Turn In: Source Analysis Piece 2 (due on 9/29)
The Fourth Crusade in Depth 2
Phillips, 102-205.
The Fourth Crusade in Depth 3
Phillips, 206-320.
Robert of Clari's Fourth Crusade
The Conquest, 30-83.
Robert of Clari's Fourth Crusade
The Conquest, 84-128.
Turn In: Paper Proposal 10/25
The Spread of Anti-Christian Crusading
Read: Madden, 121-141; Allen & Amt, 241-256.
The Later Crusades of the 13th Century and the Rise of the Teutonic Order
Read: Madden, 142-190; Allen & Amt, 276-295.
Debate Topic: The Teutonic Order proves that crusading was not sustainable by its very nature
The Military Orders in the Period of the Later Crusades
Read: Madden, 190-194, 210-212; Allen & Amt, 378-384.
Quiz Window for Reading Quiz 3 Opens on 11/17 and closes on 11/23.
Turn In: Rough Draft of Source Essay on 11/15 for In-Class Peer Critique
The Reconquista
Read: Allen & Amt, 316-339.
Pick Up: Instructor-Commented Draft of Source Essay on 11/22
The Rise of the Ottomans and Fall of Constantinople Read: Madden, 194-210; Allen & Amt, 397-407.
Debate Topic: The fall of Constantinople was the proverbial shot heard round the world.
Turn In: Source Analysis Piece 3 (due on 12/1)
Turn In: Source Analysis Piece 4 (due on 12/6)
Turn In: Final Draft of Source Essay via Blackboard by midnight of 12/7

Finals Week
Final Examination
Take: Final Examination on 12/15, 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Please note, the syllabus is subject to change if I judge that this is necessary.

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