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Just how powerful was the impact of the Crusades on the spiritual and political landscape of the medieval world?
And this impact has resonated through the centuries, contributing to everything from the rise of the Ottoman Empire to the Protestant Reformation and infiltrating other aspects of life, including
Because the Crusades were so consequential to history—both then and now—it’s essential that we understand the context, motivations, and preconditions of these military campaigns. And in doing so, you’ll get a fresher understanding of an era in history with which we’re still trying to come to terms.
How the Crusades Changed History plunges you into the series of Crusades to the Holy Land (and elsewhere), from the calling of the First Crusade in November 1095 until the collapse of the last crusader state, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, in 1291. Delivered by master medieval historian and award-winning professor Philip Daileader of The College of William & Mary, these 24 lectures are more than just an enriching recount of captivating historical events. They’re an intellectually rewarding exploration of the ways in which the Crusades shaped the history of the medieval world—and laid the seeds for our own.
Dispel Misconceptions about the Crusades
The Crusades remain lively topics of debate among historians and scholars, and they’re rife with contradictions and misconceptions that require us to peel back layers of history and confront some startling truths that go against what we traditionally think about medieval crusading.
Take, for example, these points:
As you’ll learn with this course, these and other truths about the Crusades demonstrate that, rather than being grand wars, many of these military campaigns were tangled misadventures. And yet you’ll see that, for all their messiness, the Crusades made an indelible impact on the identity of Western civilization.
A Fascinating, In-Depth History
Professor Daileader spends the first 17 lectures of the course delivering a riveting in-depth narrative history of the Crusades that takes you in and around the medieval world and sweeps you up in the crusading fervor that led to some of the era’s most intriguing—and disastrous—campaigns. You’ll immerse yourself in the causes, battles, and consequences of the period’s major crusades—as well as some campaigns often overlooked.
View the Era with a More Inquisitive Eye
Once you reach the end of the major crusading period in the late 13th century, you take a step back in a series of thematic lectures that treat a host of topics with an inquisitive eye. Professor Daileader’s goal with this section of the course: to clarify your picture of the Crusades and to provide you with a stronger grasp of their broader historical consequences.
You’ll get a chance to probe issues and questions that have intrigued historians for centuries:
By taking this approach, you’ll come to see how this frenetic period of warfare paved the way for subsequent historical movements and moments, including the centuries-long dominance of the Ottoman Empire, the Protestant Reformation, the prevalence of missionary campaigns around the world, and more.
Learn from One of America’s Best Professors
How the Crusades Changed History places you in the hands of a historian and teacher named one of the best professors in the United States by The Princeton Review and a four-time winner of Harvard University’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.
Just minutes into the first lecture of this engaging course, you’ll find out why Professor Daileader’s lecturing style—filled with eye-opening insights, clear-cut explanations, gripping stories, and touches of ironic humor—has been praised by so many of our customers around the world.
“Whether the Crusades deserve admiration, opprobrium, or something else entirely is a matter for individuals to decide for themselves,” notes Professor Daileader at the start of his engrossing lecture series. “Our goals are to understand the Crusades and to assess their consequences.”
And by doing so with this course, you’ll have the knowledge necessary to come to your own conclusions about just how important and consequential these centuries of warfare were to Western civilization.
The College of William and Mary
Ph.D., Harvard University
Dr. Philip Daileader is Associate Professor of History at The College of William and Mary. He earned his B.A. in History from Johns Hopkins University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Harvard University.
Before taking his position at William and Mary, he taught at the University of Alabama and the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Professor Daileader received William and Mary’s 2004 Alumni Fellowship Award for excellence in teaching. As a graduate student, he was a four-time winner of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.
Dr. Daileader is the author of True Citizens: Violence, Memory, and Identity in the Medieval Community of Perpignan, 1162–1397. His research focuses on the social, cultural, and religious history of Mediterranean Europe.
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