The Crusades are a period of struggle between the East and the West, or between Muslims and Christians, covering nearly two centuries. However, much of the academic research on the Crusades is European-centered and written by experts of the Middle Ages of the West. Changing this viewpoint whose impressions about the Muslim perspective are incomplete and distorted is possible by reconsidering the History of the Crusades from an East/Muslim point of view. In this study, the first reaction of the Muslims against Crusades, the situation of the Seljuk State, the Treaty between II, Friedrich Barbarossa and Kılıç Arslan will be discussed in the axis of the third Crusade. The sources of the research constitute the chronicles, biographies, and geographical studies related to the subject.
One of the primary sources for the Norman Kingdom of Sicily, Geoffrey Malaterra’s The Deeds of Count Roger of Calabria and Sicily and of his Brother Duke Robert Guiscard (written around 1098) remains understudied in relation to how it portrays ethnicity, as reflected by ethnonyms. In this paper, I shall examine a conflict between the tone taken by Malaterra towards the Lombards, Greeks, and ‘Saracens’, in his narrative and how his rulers were managing the diversity of this kingdom at the crossroads of Latin, Greek, and Arab cultures, broadly defined. A combination of close reading and database analysis results in a picture of Southern Italy that sees a committedly multicultural state, yet one determined to maintain Norman domination whilst balancing the various ethnic factions of the kingdom. Malaterra himself portrays a dramatic, conflict-driven, and Norman-centric picture of the kingdom’s formation. Sentiments like Malaterra’s contributed to civil strife on the island of Sicily itself, with so-called Lombards taking arms against Sicily’s Muslim subjects, which created a destabilised environment for future Norman rulers and ultimately dynastic change. In conclusion: The Crusader killed the Kingdom.
Based in the historical study of Vita Joannis XXII written by famous Inquisitor Bernardus Guidonis and of the official letters and encyclicals of Pope John XXII, the paper examines the dialectics arising between papal Church and the popular masses in the context of the ‘Crusade of Shepherds’ (1320-1321). The basic methodological tools of the research come from intellectual and conceptual history in order to examine the transformations of Papal Church two centuries past since Gregorian Reformation. Also the Pastorelli’s massive attacks against the Jews and lepers are linked to the concepts of ‘multitudo’ and of ‘ecclesia militans’.In a social perspective we can illustrate the construction of ‘otherness’ and the targeting of ‘Others’ in a historical phase characterised by crisis phenomena and turmoils.