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April 9, 2004
9780801878237
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v2.1 Reference

France and the Holy Land

Frankish Culture at the End of the Crusades

During the First Crusade launched in 1095, thousands of Europeans fought to liberate Jerusalem from the Seljuk Turks. By 1099, they had succeeded, and in the decades that followed, Franks settled in the newly conquered territory, creating a rich intellectual and cultural life. They wrote poetry and histories of their experiences, erected churches and castles, and commissioned illuminated manuscripts, frescoes, sculpture, and more. The majority of the crusaders and settlers were French, so the art and culture of France were of abiding importance to them. But the settlers did not merely transfer French artistic forms to the Levant; they also incorporated ideas and images from Byzantine and Islamic neighbors.

In France and the Holy Land, Daniel H. Weiss and Lisa Mahoney bring together leading scholars from a variety of disciplines to shed light on the many aspects of this Frankish crusader culture. The authors examine the art, poetry, and architecture of crusader Paris, look at the imprint the Frankish settlers left on the Levant, and explore cultural exchange between the Franks and both Byzantines and Muslims.

Although the crusaders' struggle to hold the occupied lands was ultimately futile, their stay in the Levant produced a unique and fascinating intellectual and cultural flowering that was neither Western nor Middle Eastern, but a distinctive melange of both. These thoughtful, provocative essays from prominent medievalists profoundly broaden and deepen our understanding of this significant historical period.

Contributors: Annemarie Weyl Carr, Southern Methodist University; Rebecca W. Corrie, Bates College; Anthony Cutler, Pennsylvania State University; Anne Derbes, Hood College; Jaroslav Folda, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; David Jacoby, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Bianca Kühnel, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Gustav Kühnel, Tel Aviv University; Stephen G. Nichols, The Johns Hopkins University; Robert Ousterhout, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Scott Redford, Georgetown University; Jonathan Riley-Smith, University of Cambridge; Mark Sandona, Hood College

About the Authors

Daniel H. Weiss is dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and former chair of the Department of the History of Art at the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of numerous articles and four books on the art of the Middle Ages and winner of the Van Courtland Elliott Prize of the Medieval Academy of America. Lisa Mahoney is a Mellon dissertation fellow in the humanities and graduate student in the history of art at the Johns Hopkins University.

Reviews

This book is especially valuable to both art historians and crusade historians, since it provides much that they would otherwise overlook.

- Catholic Historical Review

Endorsements

France and the Holy Land brings together some of the finest scholars on the medieval period, offering a series of essays on a variety of subjects related to Frankish culture in the crusader states and, when pertinent to the Crusades, in France itself. Each piece is interesting and valuable: many are gems, combining extraordinary scholarship with smart writing; a few will make major contributions to the literature. As a whole, this volume is unique.

- William C. Jordan, Princeton University

This volume makes an excellent contribution to our understanding of the Crusades and culture during the High Middle Ages.

- Comitatus

Offers a wide-ranging examination of cultural interchange in the Levant, which will be of interest not only for art historians but for scholars of the Latin East in general.

- Iris Shagrir - Mediterranean Historical Review

It will be quarried for its information and ideas for many years to come.

- Denys Pringle - Crusades
Johns Hopkins University Press
Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society
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