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Paul F.


Four Myths about the Crusades

I n 2001, former president Bill Clinton

delivered a speech at Georgetown Uni-
versity in which he discussed the Wests
ments such as The soldiers of the First
Crusade appeared basically without warn-
ing, storming into the Holy Land with the
response to the recent terrorist attacks of avowedliterallytask of slaughtering
September 11. The speech contained a unbelievers; 2 The Crusades were an early
short but significant reference to the cru- sort of imperialism; 3 and Confrontation
sades. Mr. Clinton observed that when with Islam gave birth to a period of reli-
the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem [in gious fanaticism that spawned the terrible
1099], they . . . proceeded to kill every Inquisition and the religious wars that rav-
woman and child who was Muslim on the aged Europe during the Elizabethan era.4
Temple Mount. He cited the contempo- The most famous semipopular historian of
raneous descriptions of the event as de- the crusades, Sir Steven Runciman, ended
scribing soldiers walking on the Temple his three volumes of magnificent prose
Mount . . . with blood running up to their with the judgment that the crusades were
knees. This story, Mr. Clinton said em- nothing more than a long act of intoler-
phatically, was still being told today in ance in the name of God, which is the sin
the Middle East and we are still paying against the Holy Ghost.5
for it. The verdict seems unanimous. From
This view of the crusades is not presidential speeches to role-playing games,
unusual. It pervades textbooks as well as the crusades are depicted as a deplorably
popular literature. One otherwise gener- violent episode in which thuggish West-
ally reliable Western civilization textbook erners trundled off, unprovoked, to mur-
claims that the Crusades fused three der and pillage peace-loving, sophisticated
characteristic medieval impulses: piety, Muslims, laying down patterns of outra-
pugnacity, and greed. All three were essen- geous oppression that would be repeated
tial.1 The film Kingdom of Heaven (2005) throughout subsequent history. In many
depicts crusaders as boorish bigots, the corners of the Western world today, this
best of whom were torn between remorse view is too commonplace and apparently
for their excesses and lust to continue obvious even to be challenged.
them. Even the historical supplements for
role-playing gamesdrawing on suppos- Paul F. Crawford teaches medieval history at
edly more reliable sourcescontain state- California University of Pennsylvania.

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Paul F. Crawford Four Myths about the Crusades

But unanimity is not a guarantee of The answer is the rise of Islam. Every one
accuracy. What everyone knows about of the listed regions was taken, within the
the crusades may not, in fact, be true. space of a hundred years, from Christian
From the many popular notions about the control by violence, in the course of mili-
crusades, let us pick four and see if they tary campaigns deliberately designed to
bear close examination. expand Muslim territory at the expense of
Islams neighbors. Nor did this conclude
Myth #1: The crusades Islams program of conquest. The attacks
represented an unprovoked continued, punctuated from time to time
attack by Western Christians by Christian attempts to push back. Char-
on the Muslim world. lemagne blocked the Muslim advance in
Nothing could be further from the truth, far western Europe in about a.d. 800, but
and even a cursory chronological review Islamic forces simply shifted their focus
makes that clear. In a.d. 632, Egypt, Pal- and began to island-hop across from North
estine, Syria, Asia Minor, North Africa, Africa toward Italy and the French coast,
Spain, France, Italy, and the islands of Sic- attacking the Italian mainland by 837. A
ily, Sardinia, and Corsica were all Chris- confused struggle for control of southern
tian territories. Inside the boundaries of and central Italy continued for the rest
the Roman Empire, which was still fully of the ninth century and into the tenth.
functional in the eastern Mediterranean, In the hundred years between 850 and
orthodox Christianity was the official, 950, Benedictine monks were driven out
and overwhelmingly majority, religion. of ancient monasteries, the Papal States
Outside those boundaries were other large were overrun, and Muslim pirate bases
Christian communitiesnot necessarily were established along the coast of north-
orthodox and Catholic, but still Christian. ern Italy and southern France, from which
Most of the Christian population of Per- attacks on the deep inland were launched.
sia, for example, was Nestorian. Certainly Desperate to protect victimized Chris-
there were many Christian communities tians, popes became involved in the tenth
in Arabia. and early eleventh centuries in directing
By a.d. 732, a century later, Christians the defense of the territory around them.
had lost Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North The surviving central secular authority
Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and in the Christian world at this time was the
southern France. Italy and her associated East Roman, or Byzantine, Empire. Hav-
islands were under threat, and the islands ing lost so much territory in the seventh
would come under Muslim rule in the next and eighth centuries to sudden amputa-
century. The Christian communities of tion by the Muslims, the Byzantines took
Arabia were entirely destroyed in or shortly a long time to gain the strength to fight
after 633, when Jews and Christians alike back. By the mid-ninth century, they
were expelled from the peninsula.6 Those mounted a counterattack on Egypt, the
in Persia were under severe pressure. Two- first time since 645 that they had dared to
thirds of the formerly Roman Christian come so far south. Between the 940s and
world was now ruled by Muslims. the 970s, the Byzantines made great prog-
What had happened? Most people ress in recovering lost territories. Emperor
actually know the answer, if pressed John Tzimiskes retook much of Syria and
though for some reason they do not usu- part of Palestine, getting as far as Naza-
ally connect the answer with the crusades. reth, but his armies became overextended

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Paul F. Crawford Four Myths about the Crusades

and he had to end his campaigns by 975 ess of Tuscany. Clearly the Italian Chris-
without managing to retake Jerusalem tians were gaining the upper hand.
itself. Sharp Muslim counterattacks fol- But while Christian power in the west-
lowed, and the Byzantines barely managed ern and central Mediterranean was grow-
to retain Aleppo and Antioch. ing, it was in trouble in the east. The rise of
The struggle continued unabated into the Muslim Turks had shifted the weight of
the eleventh century. In 1009, a men- military power against the Byzantines, who
tally deranged Muslim ruler destroyed the lost considerable ground again in the 1060s.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem Attempting to head off further incursions
and mounted major persecutions of Chris- in far-eastern Asia Minor in 1071, the
tians and Jews. He was soon deposed, and Byzantines suffered a devastating defeat at
by 1038 the Byzantines had negotiated the Turkish hands in the battle of Manzikert.
right to try to rebuild the structure, but As a result of the battle, the Christians lost
other events were also making life difficult control of almost all of Asia Minor, with its
for Christians in the area, especially the dis- agricultural resources and military recruit-
placement of Arab Muslim rulers by Seljuk ing grounds, and a Muslim sultan set up a
Turks, who from 1055 on began to take capital in Nicaea, site of the creation of the
control in the Middle East. This destabi- Nicene Creed in a.d. 325 and a scant 125
lized the territory and introduced new rul- miles from Constantinople.
ers (the Turks) who were not familiar even Desperate, the Byzantines sent appeals
with the patchwork modus vivendi that had for help westward, directing these appeals
existed between most Arab Muslim rulers primarily at the person they saw as the
and their Christian subjects. Pilgrimages chief western authority: the pope, who, as
became increasingly difficult and danger- we have seen, had already been directing
ous, and western pilgrims began banding Christian resistance to Muslim attacks.
together and carrying weapons to protect In the early 1070s, the pope was Gregory
themselves as they tried to make their way VII, and he immediately began plans to
to Christianitys holiest sites in
Palestine: notable armed pil-
grimages occurred in 106465
and 108791.
In the western and central
Mediterranean, the balance of
power was tipping toward the
Christians and away from the
Muslims. In 1034, the Pisans
sacked a Muslim base in North
Africa, finally extending their
counterattacks across the Med-
iterranean. They also mounted
counterattacks against Sicily in
106263. In 1087, a large-scale
allied Italian force sacked Mah-
dia, in present-day Tunisia, in a
campaign jointly sponsored by
Pope Victor III and the count- Defending the West

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Paul F. Crawford Four Myths about the Crusades

lead an expedition to the Byzantines aid. Again, not true. One version of Pope
He became enmeshed in conflict with the Urban IIs speech at Clermont in 1095
German emperors, however (what histo- urging French warriors to embark on what
rians call the Investiture Controversy), would become known as the First Crusade
and was ultimately unable to offer mean- does note that they might make spoil of
ingful help. Still, the Byzantines persisted [the enemys] treasures,8 but this was no
in their appeals, and finally, in 1095, Pope more than an observation on the usual way
Urban II realized Gregory VIIs desire, of financing war in ancient and medieval
in what turned into the First Crusade. society. And Fulcher of Chartres did write
Whether a crusade was what either Urban in the early twelfth century that those who
or the Byzantines had in mind is a mat- had been poor in the West had become rich
ter of some controversy. But the seamless in the East as a result of their efforts on the
progression of events which lead to that First Crusade, obviously suggesting that
crusade is not. others might do likewise.9 But Fulchers
Far from being unprovoked, then, the statement has to be read in its context,
crusades actually represent the first great which was a chronic and eventually fatal
western Christian counterattack against shortage of manpower for the defense of
Muslim attacks which had taken place the crusader states. Fulcher was not being
continually from the inception of Islam entirely deceitful when he pointed out that
until the eleventh century, and which one might become rich as a result of crusad-
continued on thereafter, mostly unabated. ing. But he was not being entirely straight-
Three of Christianitys five primary epis- forward either, because for most partici-
copal sees (Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alex- pants, crusading was ruinously expensive.
andria) had been captured in the seventh As Fred Cazel has noted, Few crusad-
century; both of the others (Rome and ers had sufficient cash both to pay their
Constantinople) had been attacked in the obligations at home and to support them-
centuries before the crusades. The latter selves decently on a crusade.10 From the
would be captured in 1453, leaving only very beginning, financial considerations
one of the five (Rome) in Christian hands played a major role in crusade planning.
by 1500. Rome was again threatened in the The early crusaders sold off so many of
sixteenth century. This is not the absence their possessions to finance their expedi-
of provocation; rather, it is a deadly and tions that they caused widespread infla-
persistent threat, and one which had to be tion. Although later crusaders took this
answered by forceful defense if Christen- into account and began saving money
dom were to survive. The crusades were long before they set out, the expense was
simply one tool in the defensive options still nearly prohibitive. Despite the fact
exercised by Christians. that money did not yet play a major role in
To put the question in perspective, one western European economies in the elev-
need only consider how many times Chris- enth century, there was a heavy and per-
tian forces have attacked either Mecca or sistent flow of money from west to east as
Medina. The answer, of course, is never.7 a result of the crusades, and the financial
demands of crusading caused profound
Myth #2: Western Christians economic and monetary changes in both
went on crusade because their western Europe and the Levant.11
greed led them to plunder One of the chief reasons for the founder-
Muslims in order to get rich. ing of the Fourth Crusade, and its diver-

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Paul F. Crawford Four Myths about the Crusades

sion to Constantinople, was the fact that pope took steps enabling him to assemble
it ran out of money before it had gotten a great treasure, without which such a pas-
properly started, and was so indebted to sage [crusade] would be impossible.12 A
the Venetians that it found itself unable to few years later, Marino Sanudo estimated
keep control of its own destiny. Louis IXs that it would cost five million florins over
Seventh Crusade in the mid-thirteenth two years to effect the conquest of Egypt.
century cost more than six times the Although he did not say so, and may not
annual revenue of the crown. have realized it, the sums necessary simply
made the goal impossible to achieve. By
this time, most responsible officials in the
West had come to the same conclusion,
which explains why fewer and fewer cru-
sades were launched from the fourteenth
century on.
In short: very few people became rich by
crusading, and their numbers were dwarfed
by those who were bankrupted. Most
medieval people were quite well aware of
this, and did not consider crusading a way
to improve their financial situations.13

Myth #3: Crusaders were

a cynical lot who did not
really believe their own
religious propaganda;
rather, they had ulterior,
materialistic motives.
This has been a very popular argument,
Louis IX, Crusader King
at least from Voltaire on. It seems credible
The popes resorted to ever more des- and even compelling to modern people,
perate ploys to raise money to finance steeped as they are in materialist world-
crusades, from instituting the first income views. And certainly there were cynics and
tax in the early thirteenth century to mak- hypocrites in the Middle Agesbeneath
ing a series of adjustments in the way that the obvious differences of technology and
indulgences were handled that eventually material culture, medieval people were
led to the abuses condemned by Martin just as human as we are, and subject to the
Luther. Even by the thirteenth century, same failings.
most crusade planners assumed that it However, like the first two myths, this
would be impossible to attract enough statement is generally untrue, and demon-
volunteers to make a crusade possible, and strably so. For one thing, the casualty rates
crusading became the province of kings on the crusades were usually very high, and
and popes, losing its original popular many if not most crusaders left expecting
character. When the Hospitaller Master not to return. At least one military his-
Fulk of Villaret wrote a crusade memo to torian has estimated the casualty rate for
Pope Clement V in about 1305, he noted the First Crusade at an appalling 75 per-
that it would be a good idea if the lord cent, for example.14 The statement of the

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Paul F. Crawford Four Myths about the Crusades

thirteenth-century crusader Robert of antique and medieval worlds, but suffice it

Crsques, that he had come from across to say that the willing acceptance of dif-
the sea in order to die for God in the Holy ficulty and suffering was viewed as a use-
Land15 which was quickly followed by ful way to purify ones soul (and still is, in
his death in battle against overwhelming Catholic doctrine today). Crusading was
oddsmay have been unusual in its force the near-supreme example of such difficult
and swift fulfillment, but it was not an suffering, and so was an ideal and very
atypical attitude. It is hard to imagine a thorough-going penance.
more conclusive way of proving ones dedi- Related to the concept of penance is
cation to a cause than sacrificing ones life the concept of crusading as an act of self-
for it, and very large numbers of crusaders less love, of laying down ones life for
did just that. ones friends.17 From the very beginning,
But this assertion is also revealed to be Christian charity was advanced as a rea-
false when we consider the way in which son for crusading, and this did not change
the crusades were preached. Crusaders throughout the period. Jonathan Riley-
were not drafted. Participation was volun- Smith discussed this aspect of crusading
tary, and participants had to be persuaded in a seminal article well-known to crusade
to go. The primary means of persuasion historians but inadequately recognized in
was the crusade sermon, and one might the wider scholarly world, let alone by the
expect to find these sermons representing general public. For Christians . . . sacred
crusading as profoundly appealing. violence, noted Riley-Smith,
This is, generally speaking, not the
case. In fact, the opposite is true: crusade cannot be proposed on any grounds
sermons were replete with warnings that save that of love, . . . [and] in an age
crusading brought deprivation, suffering, dominated by the theology of merit
and often death. That this was the reality this explains why participation in
of crusading was well known anyway. As crusades was believed to be meri-
Jonathan Riley-Smith has noted, crusade torious, why the expeditions were
preachers had to persuade their listeners seen as penitential acts that could
to commit themselves to enterprises that gain indulgences, and why death in
would disrupt their lives, possibly impov- battle was regarded as martyrdom.
erish and even kill or maim them, and . . . As manifestations of Christian
inconvenience their families, the support love, the crusades were as much the
of which they would . . . need if they were products of the renewed spirituality
to fulfill their promises.16 of the central Middle Ages, with its
So why did the preaching work? It concern for living the vita apostolica
worked because crusading was appeal- and expressing Christian ideals in
ing precisely because it was a known and active works of charity, as were the
significant hardship, and because under- new hospitals, the pastoral work of
taking a crusade with the right motives the Augustinians and Premonstra-
was understood as an acceptable penance tensians and the service of the friars.
for sin. Far from being a materialistic The charity of St. Francis may now
enterprise, crusading was impractical in appeal to us more than that of the
worldly terms, but valuable for ones soul. crusaders, but both sprang from the
There is no space here to explore the doc- same roots.18
trine of penance as it developed in the late

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Paul F. Crawford Four Myths about the Crusades

As difficult as it may be for modern from other conflicts between Christianity

people to believe, the evidence strongly and Islam.21
suggests that most crusaders were moti- Nor had there been an immediate
vated by a desire to please God, expiate reaction to the crusades among Muslims.
their sins, and put their lives at the service As Carole Hillenbrand has noted, The
of their neighbors, understood in the Muslim response to the coming of the
Christian sense. Crusades was initially one of apathy, com-
promise and preoccupation with inter-
Myth #4: The crusades taught nal problems.22 By the 1130s, a Muslim
Muslims to hate and counter-crusade did begin, under the lead-
attack Christians. ership of the ferocious Zengi of Mosul.
Part of the answer to this myth may be But it had taken some decades for the
found above, under Myth #1. Muslims had Muslim world to become concerned about
been attacking Christians for more than Jerusalem, which is usually held in higher
450 years before Pope Urban declared the esteem by Muslims when it is not held by
First Crusade. They needed no incentive them than when it is. Action against the
to continue doing so. But there is a more crusaders was often subsequently pursued
complicated answer here, as well. as a means of uniting the Muslim world
Up until quite recently, Muslims behind various aspiring conquerors, until
remembered the crusades as an instance 1291, when the Christians were expelled
in which they had beaten back a puny from the Syrian mainland. Andsurpris-
western Christian attack. An illuminating ingly to Westernersit was not Saladin
vignette is found in one of Lawrence of who was revered by Muslims as the great
Arabias letters, describing a confrontation anti-Christian leader. That place of honor
during postWorld War I negotiations usually went to the more bloodthirsty, and
between the Frenchman Stphen Pichon more successful, Zengi and Baibars, or to
and Faisal al-Hashemi (later Faisal I of the more public-spirited Nur al-Din.
Iraq). Pichon presented a case for French The first Muslim crusade history did
interest in Syria going back to the cru- not appear until 1899. By that time, the
sades, which Faisal dismissed with a cut- Muslim world was rediscovering the cru-
ting remark: But, pardon me, which of us sadesbut it was rediscovering them
won the crusades?19 with a twist learned from Westerners. In
This was generally representative of the modern period, there were two main
the Muslim attitude toward the crusades European schools of thought about the
before about World War Ithat is, when crusades. One school, epitomized by peo-
Muslims bothered to remember them ple like Voltaire, Gibbon, and Sir Walter
at all, which was not often. Most of the Scott, and in the twentieth century Sir
Arabic-language historical writing on the Steven Runciman, saw the crusaders as
crusades before the mid-nineteenth cen- crude, greedy, aggressive barbarians who
tury was produced by Arab Christians, not attacked civilized, peace-loving Mus-
Muslims, and most of that was positive.20 lims to improve their own lot. The other
There was no Arabic word for crusades school, more romantic and epitomized by
until that period, either, and even then lesser-known figures such as the French
the coiners of the term were, again, Arab writer Joseph-Franois Michaud, saw the
Christians. It had not seemed important crusades as a glorious episode in a long-
to Muslims to distinguish the crusades standing struggle in which Christian chiv-

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Paul F. Crawford Four Myths about the Crusades

alry had driven back Muslim hordes. In the crusades. The irony is rich.
addition, Western imperialists began to
view the crusaders as predecessors, adapt- Back to the Present
ing their activities in a secularized way Let us return to President Clintons George-
that the original crusaders would not have town speech. How much of his reference
recognized or found very congenial. to the First Crusade was accurate?
At the same time, nationalism began It is true that many Muslims who
to take root in the Muslim world. Arab had surrendered and taken refuge under
nationalists borrowed the idea of a long- the banners of several of the crusader
standing European campaign against lordsan act which should have granted
them from the former European school them quarterwere massacred by out-
of thoughtmissing the fact that this of-control troops. This was apparently an
was a serious mischaracterization of the act of indiscipline, and the crusader lords
crusadesand using this distorted under- in question are generally reported as hav-
standing as a way to generate support for ing been extremely angry about it, since
their own agendas. This remained the case they knew it reflected badly on them.24 To
until the mid-twentieth century, when, implyor plainly statethat this was an
in Riley-Smiths words, a renewed and act desired by the entire crusader force, or
militant Pan-Islamism applied the more that it was integral to crusading, is mislead-
narrow goals of the Arab nationalists to a ing at best. In any case, John France has
worldwide revival of what was then called put it well: This notorious event should
Islamic fundamentalism and is now some- not be exaggerated. . . . However horrible
times referred to, a bit clumsily, as jihad- the massacre . . . it was not far beyond what
ism.23 This led rather seamlessly to the rise common practice of the day meted out to
of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, offer- any place which resisted.25 And given
ing a view of the crusades so bizarre as to space, one could append a long and bloody
allow bin Laden to consider all Jews to be list, stretching back to the seventh century,
crusaders and the crusades to be a perma- of similar actions where Muslims were the
nent and continuous feature of the Wests aggressors and Christians the victims. Such
response to Islam. a list would not, however, have served Mr.
Bin Ladens conception of history is a Clintons purposes.
feverish fantasy. He is no more accurate Mr. Clinton was probably using Ray-
in his view about the crusades than he is mond of Aguilers when he referred to
about the supposed perfect Islamic unity blood running up to [the] knees of cru-
which he thinks Islam enjoyed before the saders.26 But the physics of such a claim
baleful influence of Christianity intruded. are impossible, as should be apparent.
But the irony is that he, and those mil- Raymond was plainly both bragging and
lions of Muslims who accept his message, also invoking the imagery of the Old Tes-
received that message originally from their tament and the Book of Revelation.27 He
perceived enemies: the West. was not offering a factual account, and
So it was not the crusades that taught probably did not intend the statement to
Islam to attack and hate Christians. Far be taken as such.
from it. Those activities had preceded the As for whether or not we are still pay-
crusades by a very long time, and stretch ing for it, see Myth #4, above. This is the
back to the inception of Islam. Rather, it most serious misstatement of the whole
was the West which taught Islam to hate passage. What we are paying for is not

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Paul F. Crawford Four Myths about the Crusades

the First Crusade, but western distortions Hawthorn Books, 1963), 47.
of the crusades in the nineteenth century 7 Reynald of Chtillons abortive expedition into
which were taught to, and taken up by, an the Red Sea, in 118283, cannot be counted,
insufficiently critical Muslim world. as it was plainly a geopolitical move designed
The problems with Mr. Clintons to threaten Saladins claim to be the protector
remarks indicate the pitfalls that await of all Islam, and just as plainly had no hope of
those who would attempt to explicate reaching either city.
ancient or medieval texts without ade- 8 The Version of Baldric of Dol, in The First
quate historical awareness, and they illus- Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres
trate very well what happens when one sets and other source materials, 2nd ed., ed. Edward
out to pick through the historical record Peters (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylva-
for bitsdistorted or merely selectively nia Press, 1998), 32.
presentedwhich support ones current 9 Ibid., 22021.
political agenda. This sort of abuse of his- 10 Fred Cazel, Financing the Crusades, in A
tory has been distressingly familiar where History of the Crusades, ed. Kenneth Setton,
the crusades are concerned. vol. 6 (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin
But nothing is served by distorting the Press, 1989), 117.
past for our own purposes. Or rather: a 11 John Porteous, Crusade Coinage with Greek
great many things may be served . . . but or Latin Inscriptions, in A History of the Cru-
not the truth. Distortions and misrepre- sades, 354.
sentations of the crusades will not help 12 A memorandum by Fulk of Villaret, master
us understand the challenge posed to the of the Hospitallers, on the crusade to regain
West by a militant and resurgent Islam, the Holy Land, c. 1305, in Documents on the
and failure to understand that challenge Later Crusades, 12741580, ed. and trans.
could prove deadly. Indeed, it already has. Norman Housley (New York: St. Martins
It may take a very long time to set the Press, 1996), 42.
record straight about the crusades. It is 13 Norman Housley, Costing the Crusade:
long past time to begin the task. Budgeting for Crusading Activity in the Four-
teenth Century, in The Experience of Crusad-
ing, ed. Marcus Bull and Norman Housley,
Notes vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University
1 Warren Hollister, J. Sears McGee, and Gale Press, 2003), 59.
Stokes, The West Transformed: A History of 14 John France, Victory in the East: A Military
Western Civilization, vol. 1 (New York: Cen- History of the First Crusade (Cambridge: Cam-
gage/Wadsworth, 2000), 311. bridge University Press, 1994), 142. Not all
2 R. Scott Peoples, Crusade of Kings (Rockville, historians agree; Jonathan Riley-Smith thinks
MD: Wildside, 2009), 7. it was probably lower, though he does not indi-
3 Ibid. cate just how much lower. See Riley-Smith,
4 The Crusades: Campaign Sourcebook, ed. Allen Casualties and Knights on the First Crusade,
Varney (Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994), 2. Crusades 1 (2002), 1719, suggesting casual-
5 Sir Steven Runciman, A History of the Cru- ties of perhaps 34 percent, higher than those of
sades: Vol. III, The Kingdom of Acre and the the Wehrmacht in World War II, which were
Later Crusades (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni- themselves very high at about 30 percent. By
versity Press, 1954), 480. comparison, American losses in World War
6 Francesco Gabrieli, The Arabs: A Compact II in the three major service branches ranged
History, trans. Salvator Attanasio (New York: between about 1.5 percent and 3.66 percent.

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Paul F. Crawford Four Myths about the Crusades

15 The Templar of Tyre: Part III of the Deeds of the 23 Riley-Smith, Crusading, Christianity, and
Cypriots, trans. Paul F. Crawford (Burlington, Islam, 73.
VT: Ashgate, 2003), 351, 54. 24 There is some disagreement in the primary
16 Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Crusades, Christi- sources on the question of who was respon-
anity, and Islam (New York: Columbia Univer- sible for the deaths of these refugees; the cru-
sity Press, 2008), 36. saders knew that a large Egyptian army was on
17 John 15:13. its way to attack them, and there does seem
18 Jonathan Riley-Smith, Crusading as an Act of to have been a military decision a day or two
Love, History 65 (1980), 19192. later that they simply could not risk leaving
19 Letter from T. E. Lawrence to Robert Graves, potential enemies alive. On the question of the
28 June 1927, in Robert Graves and B. H. massacre, see Benjamin Kedar, The Jerusalem
Liddell-Hart, T. E. Lawrence to His Biographers Massacre of July 1099 in the Western Histori-
(Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1938), 52, ography of the Crusades, Crusades 3 (2004),
note. 1575.
20 Riley-Smith, The Crusades, Christianity, and 25 France, Victory in the East, 35556.
Islam, 71. 26 Raymond of Aguilers, in August C. Krey, The
21 Jonathan Riley-Smith, Islam and the Cru- First Crusade: The Accounts of Eye-witnesses and
sades in History, Crusades 2 (2003), 161. Participants (Princeton: Princeton University
22 Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Per- Press, 1921), 262.
spectives, (New York: Routledge, 2000), 20. 27 Revelation 14:20.

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