Prof. Richard Abels (Sampson 325, x6253, email@example.com)
Office Hours: TuTh 0830-0930, and by appointment
Manual of Style Citation Guide
(Last revised 28 April 2011)
HH462 is the "capstone" seminar for the History major. Focusing on the interpretative debates surrounding a particular event or problem in history, students in HH462 learn to discriminate between conflicting interpretations and to make judgments regarding the merits of different analyses.
This section of HH462 studies the historiography of the Crusades. Through examination of the historical debates over the meanings and significance of the Crusades, we will investigate methodologies and approaches to the writing of history, examine the biases and agendas (whether hidden or explicit) of historians, and learn about various aspects of Crusades, Holy War, and medieval Christian religion and culture. Our discussions will focus upon historical interpretation and method. I have purposely assigned secondary source readings with conflicting interpretations. You will be expected to identify the key historical issues defined by these works and to explore how and why the authors dealt with them in the manner in which they did. We will also examine primary sources and how historians use them to arrive at their interpretations.
1. Class Participation (30%). This class will center on the analysis, discussion, and assessment of historical arguments and sources. Consequently, it is imperative that you complete the readings and be prepared to discuss them prior to class meetings. All students are expected to participate in class discussions, and class participation will be assessed for each class day. Every student will be required to write up a discussion question based on the day’s reading. Be prepared to read out your discussion question if called upon by the discussion leader. The questions ought to deal with matters of comprehension, analysis, application, or synthesis (the terms are from Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Goals .)
Each student will be required to lead a class discussion. Each student will also act as a designated note-taker for the class and be required to type up the notes and distribute copies to his or her classmates and the professor (you may post this directly on blackboard if you choose) before the beginning of the next class meeting. Both will be graded activities.
Discussion leader (DL in lesson plan). The responsibility of the discussion leader is to elicit discussion and to keep that discussion on topic. Discussion leaders must prepare a list of discussion questions and order them in a logical fashion so that the discussion in class is coherent. Discussion leaders must, of course, have read carefully and critically all the assigned reading for that day. (If there are two sets of readings for a class, the discussion leader has to read both.) Discussion leaders are NOT to lecture. (To the class in general: do not 'bilge' your classmate by coming in unprepared to discuss intelligently the reading. If you do so, you are not only making yourself look bad and hurting your grade, but you are also making very difficult for the mid tasked with being discussion leader to look good.)
Designated note-taker (NT in lesson plan). Note-takers are to record questions, issues, arguments, insights and conclusions from our discussions. If possible, the speaker should be identified and credited. Note-takers are to type up their notes and post them on Blackboard before the beginning of the following class. We will begin the next class by reviewing the notes and, if need be, correcting them.
Quizzes will be given as required.
2. Homework: reading evaluations/ short essays (30%). You are required to do ONE writing assignment a week for ten of the semester’s twelve weeks of classes. You will have a choice of writing either a critical evaluation of a starred (*) reading in the Lesson Plan or a short essay on an assigned topic. Evaluation and essays are to be no longer than three double-spaced pages. Altogether you will be required to turn in 10 reading evaluations and/or writing assignments. If you write additional ones, the lowest grades will drop out.
Format of a critical reading evaluation:
1. Heading: author’s name, title of the work, and full publication information.
2. Identification of the thesis (the author’s answer to the question or solution to the problem he posed in the article)
3. Explanation of the arguments/scholars the author is refuting (the “wrong” answers),
4. Explanation of the author’s argument(s): how does he prove his thesis?
5. Identification and assessment of the evidence employed by the author to prove that argument,
6. Your thoughtful reaction to the reading, including how this reading relates to other assigned articles and/or books in the course.
I have posted on the web a full template” for a critical reading evaluation and a model of the evaluation of an article. I advise that use and follow that template.
You are to bring your written evaluations and essays to class with you, and I will collect them at the end of class.
3. Midterm Exam (15%). In-class essay exam.
3. Capstone essay (25%).
Due at the beginning of the last class
day: Tuesday, 2 May. You are required
to write an end-of-semester capstone essay (a minimum of seven full
typewritten, double-spaced pages in Times New Roman 12 point font) in which
she/he synthesizes the arguments and methodologies encountered in the
semester's readings and draws her or his own conclusions about the
historiography of the Crusades. I will expect to see references to and
discussion of specific historians that we have read this semester. The essay
must be fully documented using
Capstone essay topics (write on one):
1. Based upon your study of the key historical questions, perspectives, and methodologies you encountered this semester in the study of the Crusades, evaluate the historiography that underlies the Wikipedia entries on the “Crusades” and one particular crusade of your choice. Identify the historiographical debates and controversies dealt with in these entries, and analyze how the authors treated them. Which are ignored, and why? Would you assign these Wikipedia entries if you were teaching a course on the crusades, and if so, how would you use them in that course? (You should begin by assessing the secondary sources used by the authors of these entries.)
2. Based upon your study of the key historical questions, perspectives, and methodologies you encountered this semester in the study of the Crusades, what have you learned about
1) the Crusades as a historical movement, and 2) the purposes, approaches, and limitations of the discipline of History? In addressing these questions, consider explicitly how the focus of historical enquiry has changed over time, how it has been influenced by the contexts in which the historians have written, and how historians’ assumptions and preconceptions have influenced their understanding of the Crusades. Optional: You may also explain how the course has influenced your understanding of contemporary issues.
Whichever topic you chose, conclude the essay by explaining
1) in what ways your responses to the historical theses and arguments you encountered in the readings have been influenced by your experiences as a student of history, and
2) how this course has affected your understanding of and approaches to the other history courses that you have taken or will take at USNA.
5. Documentation and PLAGIARISM: Writing assignments lacking full documentation--endnotes or footnotes or parenthetical references with proper bibliography--will receive at best a C. All direct quotations (more than three words in a row), paraphrases, allusions to specific passages in a text, and use of another's interpretations and research must be documented with a note that includes a specific page/section reference to the work used. Entries in the reading journals must have in its heading the full name of the author, title of the article/book, and full publication information (use the Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style format for either notes or bibliography for this). Use parenthetical references in these reading evaluations.
Do not plagiarize. To 'paraphrase' means to put another's ideas into your OWN words. If you take another's words and fail to indicate that fact with quotations marks, that is PLAGIARISM. See the USNA plagiarism statement linked to this syllabus. If you commit plagiarism unintentionally--either out of carelessness or laziness (or failure to read USNA's plagiarism statement)--you will receive a ZERO on that assignment. If I believe that you intended to deceive, the paper will get a zero AND I will turn the matter over to the midshipman honor board.
6. LATE POLICY. All writing assignments and reading evaluations are due by the beginning of class on the day indicated in the syllabus. Writing assignments and evaluations handed in later that day before 1630 will be docked 5 points. After that they will lose ten points for each class late.
No capstone essays will be accepted after 1630 on Monday, 2 May. Those handed in after class but before 1630 will lose one full grade—so don’t get the capstone essay in late!
Because papers can be lost, mutilated, or swallowed up by angry computers, you should always make a copy before handing one in and a hard copy before turning off your computer. I will not accept as an excuse, "The computer ate my paper." It is your responsibility to make sure that it doesn't. (At the very least, I will want to see your notes for the paper or a rough draft.)
Weight of Assignments:
Class participation 30%
Midterm Exam 15%
Homework assignments 30%
Capstone essay 25%
to be purchased
2. Madden, Thomas
(editor). The Crusades: The Essential
3. Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Crusades, Christianity,
4. Tyerman, Christopher. The
Crusades: A Very Short Introduction.
In addition, you will be receiving handouts (marked as ho in the syllabus) and assigned readings on the internet.
N.B. The lesson plan and readings undoubtedly will change somewhat over the course of the semester. Make sure you click on the syllabus regularly.
DL (discussion leader)
Key to the Lesson Plan:
Note that you must have an entry in your Journal for each of the starred (*) readings in the Lesson Plan. Make one copy for your journal and one copy to hand in.
[N.B. You are to write an evaluation of ONE starred (*) work each week. If more than one reading is starred, you may choose among them. The evaluations are due at the beginning of the class for which that reading was assigned and will be collected at the conclusion of that class. If you hand in during Thursday’s class an evaluation of a starred reading assigned for the previous Tuesday’s class, you will lose ten full points.]
Week of 10 Jan
Tu (Jan. 12). Introduction to the course: movie “Crusades” (Terry Jones)
W. “Crusading” and Al Qaeda
F. The Medieval Context for the Crusades: Overview
Reading: Abels, Overview of the Middle Ages; glossary of terms for medieval Christianity; Timeline for the Central Middle Ages, c.950-c.1300 (Abels); Review: Abels: timeline for the Crusades (to 1192)
Identify three historical events or developments prior to 1215 important for understanding the genesis and evolution of the crusading movement.
Week of 17 Jan
M. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday. No class
W. Medieval Historical Constructs: Chivalry (DL Sciford, NT Olson)
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum). Based on Dr. Richard Abels’ article, what was “chivalry” and why would some historians prefer to write about “chivalries” rather than the “code of chivalry”?
F. Medieval Historical Constructs:
Richard Abels, “The Historiography of a Construct: “Feudalism” and the Medieval Historian,” History Compass (April 2009): http://www.blackwell-compass.com/subject/history/ (on Blackboard in “class documents” section)
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum). Write on one:
1. Based on Dr. Richard Abels’ article, provide two different definitions of “feudalism” and two reasons why some historians (e.g. Elizabeth Brown and Susan Reynolds) would ban the word from history books.
2. Based on Dr. Richard Abels’ articles on “chivalry” and “feudalism,” explain what a “historical construct” is and what problems are presented to the historian in using one.
Week of 24 Jan
The Medieval Context for the Crusades II: Medieval Warfare (DL
Reading: Sean McGlynn, "The Myths of Medieval Warfare," History Today 44 (1994); John France, Victory in the East. A Military History of the First Crusade (Cambridge U. Press, 1994), pp. 27-51 (handout)
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum): According to historian Sean McGlynn, what was the true nature of warfare in the Middle Ages? Does historian John France agree with him?
W. Overview of the Crusades (DL Hinz, NT Hammons)
Reading: Tyerman 12-52
Internet research assignment (required for everyone). Do both of the following:
1. Identify Christopher Tyerman and Jonathan Riley-Smith using the internet.
2. Identify two “good” internet databases/web sites for the study of the history of the crusades. What makes them “good”?
F. Holy Wars (DL Dunavan, NT Driver)
Week of 31 January
M. The Business of the cross (DL DeMatteo, NT Bukowsky)
Reading: Tyerman 86-108
W. The Idea of Holy Lands (DL Boykin, NT Sciford)
Reading: Tyerman 109-135, 145-6
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum): Based on Tyerman’s treatment of crusading in The Crusades. A Very Sort Introduction, to which school of crusading interpretation (Tyerman 145-6) would you place him and why?
F. Historiography of the Crusades: Western Perspectives (DL Olson, NT McCormick)
[note: Tyerman, p. 145, outlines one of Constable’s main arguments in this article: the characterization of modern historians of crusades as falling into four rival “camps” based on their understanding of what constituted as “crusade”: traditionalists, pluralists, generalists, and popularists].
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum): How does Giles Constable divide up the stages of Western historical approaches to the crusades? What characterizes each stage, and are they chronologically distinct?
Week of 7 Feb
M. Historiography of the Crusades: Arab Perspectives (DL McConnell, NT Lerro)
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum):
On the basis of the Constable and Sivan readings, compare and contrast how historians in the Muslim east and the West have approached the study of crusades in the twentieth century. What do you think accounts for the differences between modern Muslim and Christian historiography of the crusades?
W. Defining “Crusade”: Historiography (DL Lankes, NT Hinz)
Reading: Housley 1-23
F. What Were the Crusades? (DL Hammons, NT Dunavan)
Reading: Riley-Smith 9-44*
Week of 14 Feb
M. Crusading as Imperialism? (DL Driver, NT DeMatteo)
Reading: Riley-Smith 45-62*
W. Origins of the First Crusade (DL Bukowsky, NT Boykin)
Reading: Housley 24-47
F. Crusading and the ideology of Christian violence (DL Sciford, NT Olson)
Reading: John France, “Holy war and holy men: Erdmann and the lives of the saints,” in The Experience of Crusading vol. 1: Western Approaches (2003), pp. 193-209*; Helen J. Nicholson: Serious Violence: Church Justification for Violence in the Middle Ages. Paper based on 1998 Conference presentation.*
Week of 21 Feb
M. Washington’s birthday. No classes
W. Sources for the study of the Crusades (DL McCormick, NT McConnell)
Reading: Giles Constable, “Medieval Charters as a Source for the History of the Crusades,” in Madden (pp. 130-53)*; Urban II’s call to crusade at Clermont: five versions
Writing assignment (3 pages). Write on one of the following:
1. Are there any elements common to all five versions of Pope Urban II’s call to crusade at Clermont? What elements are individual to each? How does a historian go about choosing which of the four speeches is most faithful to what Urban II actually said at Clermont? (To answer this, you will have to do a little research on the five authors and the works they wrote: Fulcher of Chartres, Robert the Monk, the author of the Gesta Francorum, Balderic of Dol, Guibert of Nogent, and Urban II’s letter of instruction.)
2. According to Giles Constable, what does the study of charters add to the historical understanding of crusading in its first century? (In answering this, explain what a “charter” is.)
3. According to the five versions of Urban II’s speech at Clermont, what was the pope’s purpose in calling for a crusade? On the basis of Constable’s study of the charter evidence, well does his intentions match up with the intentions of the nobles who answered his call?
F. Motivations of the early crusaders (DL Lerro, NT Lankes)
Reading: Housley 75-92, Riley-Smith, “Crusading as an Act of Love,” in Madden (pp. 31-50)*
Week of 28 Feb
M. Motivation of Crusaders: the economics of Crusading (DL Hinz, NT Hammons)
Reading: Housley, 93-98; Riley-Smith, “Early Crusaders to the East and the Cost of Crusading,” in Madden (155-71)*; France, “Patronage and the Appeal of the First Crusade,” in Madden (pp. 194-207)*
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum): Compare and contrast Riley-Smith’s and John France’s explanations for why knights went on crusade in the first century of crusading. On what do they agree? Where do they disagree?
W. Motivation of Crusaders and Cannibalism (DL Dunavan, NT Driver)
Reading: Jay Rubenstein, “Cannibals and Crusaders,” French Historical Studies 31 (2008): 525-52 (on Blackboard: course documents)*
F. Islam: Counter-Crusade and Jihad (DL DeMatteo, NT Bukowsky)
Reading: Hadia Dajani-Shakeel, “A Reassessment of Some Modern and Medieval Perceptions of the Counter-Crusade,” The Jihad and its Times: Dedicated to Andrew Stefan Ehrenkreutz, ed. Hadia Dajani-Shakeel and Ronald A. Messier (Center for Near Eastern and North African Studies, of the University of Michigan, 1991), pp. 41-68.*
Week of 7 March
M. MIDTERM EXAM
W. The Military Orders (DL Boykins, NT Sciford)
Reading: Helen Nicholson: “Knights of Christ? The Templars, Hospitallers and other Military Orders in the Eyes of their Contemporaries, 1128-1291” (ORB: The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies, first posted 1998)
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum). Write on one of the following:
1. Based on Dr. Nicholson’s survey, compare and contrast praise and criticism of the Military Orders during the thirteenth-century.
2. What was a “Military Order” according to Helen Nicholson, and what distinguished the various Military Orders from one another? Were members of the Military Orders “crusaders” (crucesignati) under Jonathan Riley-Smith’s definitions of “crusade” and “crusader” (Housley, pp. 3-4)?
F. The Trial of the Templars: History and Legend (DL Olson & Bukowsky, NT McCormick)
Reading (for students with names beginning C-K): Malcolm Barber, “The Trial of the Templars Revisited,” The Wichard Lecture, Fall 1999 (ho) and Anne Gilmour-Bryson, “Did the Templar Trials Work?” The Medieval History Journal 3.1 (2000): 41-65*;
Reading (for students with names beginning L-S): Malcolm Barber, “The Trial of the Templars Revisited,” The Wichard Lecture, Fall 1999 (ho) and J. Riley-Smith, “Were the Templars Guilty?” in S. J. Ridyard, ed., The Medieval Crusade (2004)(ho)*
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum): Compare and contrast Gilmour-Bryson’s and Riley-Smith’s conclusions about the guilt of the Templars?
Week of 14 March
Week of 21 March
M. Constructing the Other: How Crusaders saw the Muslims (DL McConnell, NT Lerro)
W. Constructing the Other: How Muslims saw the Franks (DL Lankes, NT Hinz)
Reading: Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 1999), chapter 5 (“How the Muslims Saw the Franks: Ethnic and Religious Stereotypes”)(on Blackboard)*; excerpts from Usama ibn Munquidh's Memoirs (discussed by Hillenbrand, pp. 259-63).
Recommended reading: Social constructionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum): Based on the Housley and Hillenbrand readings, compare and contrast the images developed during the crusading era of the ‘Franks’ by Muslims with that of the Muslim by Western Christians. Do they have anything in common?
F. The Crusades and Islam (DL Hammons, NT Dunavan)
Reading: Kedar, “The Subjected Muslims of the Frankish Levant,” in Madden, pp. 233-64*
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum): Based on Benjamin Z. Kedar’s article, who was “better off,” Arab peasants under Frankish or Muslim rule, and why?
Week of 28 March
M. Historical Memory: Jerusalem Massacre of 1099 (part 1) (DL Driver, NT DeMatteo)
Reading: Benjamin Z. Kedar, “The Jerusalem Massacre of July 1099 in the Western Historiography of the Crusades,” Crusades 3 (2004), 15-48 (posted on Blackboard)
W. Historical Memory: Jerusalem Massacre of 1099 (part 2) (DL Bukowsky, NT Boykin)
Reading: Benjamin Z. Kedar, “The Jerusalem Massacre of July 1099 in the Western Historiography of the Crusades,” Crusades 3 (2004), 49-75 (posted on Blackboard)* (reading assessment of the entire article)
F. Crusading in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries: Developments and Issues (DL Sciford, NT Olson)
Reading: Housley 48-74 (note: we will discuss the Fourth Crusade, pp. 64-8, separately during Monday’s class)
Week of 4 April
M. The Fourth Crusade (DL McCormick, NT McConnell)
36-8 (review); Housley 64-8 (review);
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum): What sources have historians generally relied upon to explain the diversion of the Fourth Crusade to Zara and Constantinople, and what new body evidence does Pryor introduce to the debate?
W. Crusades in Europe (DL Lerro, NT Lankes)
Reading: Housley 99-121
F. Crusades in Europe: The Spanish Reconquista (DL Hinz, NT Hammons)
Reading: R.A. Fletcher, “Reconquest and Crusade in Spain, c.1050-1150,” in Madden (pp. 51-68)*; Housley 100-09 (review)
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum): According to Fletcher, should the Spanish “Reconquest” be thought of as a “crusade”? Would Housley agree?
Week of 11 April
M. Crusades in Europe: Crusades Against Christians (DL Dunavan, NT Driver)
Reading: Housley, “Crusades Against Christians,” in Madden, 71-97*
W. Historiography of trends in recent military history
Reading: Robert M. Citino, “Military Histories Old and New: A Reintroduction (review essay),” American Historical Review 112 (2007): 1070-90*
F. Military History of the Crusades (DL Boykin, NT Sciford)
Reading: R. C. Smail, Crusading Warfare, 1097-1193 (Cambridge University Press, 1956, second edition 1995), pp. xiv-xxxiv (Christopher Marshall, “Bibliographical Introduction”), 1-17 (“The historians of crusading warfare”) (Blackboard)
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum). Write on one:
1. How did R.C. Smail’s approach to the military history of the crusades go beyond that of earlier historians? Based on Christopher Marshall’s survey, what have subsequent military historians added to Smail’s study of crusading warfare?
2. Compare historical approaches to the crusades outlined by Christopher Marshall with the recent trends in military history discussed by Robert Citino.
Week of 18 April
M. Women's History: Women and the Crusades (DL McConnell, NT Lerro)
Reading: Christoph T. Maier, "The Roles of Women in the Crusade Movement: A Survey", Journal of Medieval History 30 (2004) 61–82*; the Wikipedia entries for “Feminist History” and “History of Women.” (In the latter entry note the first sentence and what it suggests about the reliability of Wikipedia entries.)
W. Women Warriors? (DL Olson, NT McCormick)
Reading: Michael Evans, “’Unfit to Bear Arms’: The Gendering of Arms and Armour in Accounts of Women on Crusade,” in Susan B. Edgington, Sarah Lambert, eds., Gendering the Crusades (2002): 45-58 (Blackboard and ho)*; James Brundage, "Prostitution, Miscegenation and Sexual Purity in the First Crusade," in Crusade and Settlement: Papers Read at the First Conference for the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East and Presented to R. C. Smail, ed. Peter W. Edbury (Cardiff: University College Cardiff Press, 1985), 57-64 (Blackboard)
Recommended: Helen Nicholson, ‘Women on the Third Crusade’, Journal of Medieval History, 23(4) (1997): 335-49 (Blackboard)
Writing assignment (3 pages maximum) Write on one.
1. How does Michael Evans’ article fit in with Citino’s general review of recent trends in military history (April 13’s reading) and Maier’s survey of the historiography of women and the crusading movement (April 18’s reading)? (One question you need to deal with is into which of the three general schools of military history would Citino place this article?)
2. According to Michael Evans, how should one interpret the primary source evidence for Christian and Muslim women fighting in combat on the crusades? What does Evans posit about twelfth- and thirteenth-century Muslim and Western Christian attitudes towards women engaging in combat, and what does this reveal about medieval assumptions about the nature and role of women in general?
3. Compare how Maier and Evans use Thomas of Froidmont’s account of the activities of his sister Margaret of Beverley during the 1187 siege of Jerusalem to support their general theses.
4. Compare Evans’ and Nicholson’s interpretation of the sources that depict women as actually fighting on crusade.
F. Later Crusading (DL Lankes, NT Hinz)
Reading: Housley 122-43 (DL Hammons, NT Dunavan)
Week of 25 April
M. Consequences of Crusading
Reading: Housley 144-66*
W. Post-modern criticism and historical writing (DL Driver, NT DeMatteo)
Reading: John Tosh with Sean Lang, The Pursuit of History: Aims, methods and new directions in the study of modern history, 4th edn (Pearson, 2006), pp. 178, 195-206 (on Blackboard)
Recommended Reading (for reading eval): William Chester Jordan, “Cutting the budget: the impact of the crusades on appropriations for public works in France” - from Revue belge de philosophie et d'histoire v.76 (1998)
F. Movie: “Kingdom of Heaven”
Week of 2 May
m. Discussion of Capstone essays
CAPSTONE ESSAYS DUE BY 0755. (Capstone essays received after class but before 1630 will be docked one full grade. No capstone essay will be accepted after 1630.)