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3. Why did the First Crusade succeed?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about why the Franks were successful in the First Crusade, focusing in particular on: (i) the scale of the achievement: the conquest of several major cities thousands of miles from home, and the establishment of the crusader states; (ii) the view that the Franks were successful because of their religious conviction, and the evidence for and against this view; (iii) the view that the Franks were successful because of the instability of the Near East, including in-fighting among the Turks following the death of Malik-Shah I in 1092, the conflict between the (Shia) Seljuk Turks and (Sunni) Fatimid Egypt, and the conflict between the Turks and the various people they ruled over; (iv) the view that the Franks were militarily dominant; and (v) the range of sources that we might use to answer this question, including the various chronicles of the First Crusade, the Muslim sources, the Eastern Christian sources (particularly the accounts of Matthew of Edessa and the Byzantine princess, Anne Komnene).
– Nicholas Morton, The Field of Blood: The Battle for Aleppo and the Remaking of the Medieval Middle East (2018)
– Peter Frankopan, The First Crusade: Call from the East (2012)
In this course, Dr Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent University) considers three questions related to the First Crusade, 1095-99: (i) Why did Pope Urban II launch the First Crusade?; (ii) What motivated warriors and pilgrims from across Christendom to participate in the First Crusade?; and (iii) Why did the First Crusade succeed? In each module, we outline some potential approaches to the question, as well as considering the sources that are available that might help us answer the question.
Dr Nicholas Morton is a specialist in the history of crusading and the Medieval Mediterranean between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. More recently he has begun to focus specifically upon the theme of inter-faith relations between Christianity and Islam in this region. He has published extensively on topics connected to this subject area, writing a range of monographs and scholarly articles. He is also an editor for the Ashgate series Rulers of the Latin East.
Currently Dr Morton is completing a monograph exploring the First Crusaders' attitudes and behaviour towards the various non-Christian peoples they encountered during their campaign. This will be a highly revisionist work addressing many key scholarly and public orthodoxies surrounding the nature of Christian/Islamic interaction during the crusade.
Cite this Lecture
Morton, N. (2018, August 21). The First Crusade, 1095-99: Essay Questions - Why did the First Crusade succeed? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-first-crusade-1095-99-essay-questions/why-did-the-first-crusade-succeed-7ff1e918-4fb0-43da-b342-a8d2cd21cac7
Morton, N. "The First Crusade, 1095-99: Essay Questions – Why did the First Crusade succeed?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-first-crusade-1095-99-essay-questions/why-did-the-first-crusade-succeed-7ff1e918-4fb0-43da-b342-a8d2cd21cac7