Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
East and West in the Age of crusades, c. 1050-c.1250
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 3 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment 2 Hours   Written examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   supplementary (resit) written examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of current approaches to and on-going debates on the history of medieval Europe.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the longer term historical questions of continuity and discontinuity in medieval Europe.
3. Demonstrate an ability to use a range of relevant primary and secondary material relative to medieval Europe.
4. Demonstrate the skills appropriate to the study of the history of medieval Europe and produce work in a professional manner.


The module will provide an additional element of choice for Part II students, particularly important to students on the Medieval and Early Modern degree scheme (V190), but available to single and joint honours students more generally. This module is intended to provide students with an introduction to one of the key institutions of medieval Europe, and to debates that continued to define European history well into the modern period. It will cover western Europe as a whole, and will use a range of primary sources students will be acquainted with developments in kingship, legal structures, economics, religion and culture.

Brief description

This module explores dealings between Western Christendom, Byzantium, and the Islamic world from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. On the one hand, this was a period of violent conflict: Christians and Muslims clashed in Spain and the Middle East, Westerners and Byzantines in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. On the other, it was also a time of ever deeper interaction, of often close political, economic and cultural contact, collaboration, and cooperation. One aim of the module is to outline that complexity, to explore how contemporaries thought and wrote about each other, how they built and conducted relations with those of a different faith or culture.

Yet the period also experienced profound change, a deep transformation in attitudes towards war, in how people engaged and interacted with those of a different culture. To outline what changed, and to explore reasons for such change, will thus form the second aim of this module.


1. Introduction
2. The Medieval West on the Eve of the First Crusade
3. The East on the Eve of the First Crusade: Byzantium
4. The East on the Eve of the First Crusade: The Muslim World
5. East and West: Christian and Muslim Spain
6. East and West: The „Norman” Kingdom of Sicily
7. The First Crusade
8. The Crusader States
9. The Later crusades
10. The Military Orders
11. Christians and Jews after the First Crusade
12. Christians and Jews in the Islamic World
13. The Jewish Response
14. Western Perceptions of Islam
15. Islam and the West I
16. Islam and the West II
17. Byzantium & the West
18. East & West in the twelfth century

1. Introduction
2. Urban II’s preaching at Clermont
3. Dhimmitude: Jews & Christians in the Muslim World
4. Anti-Jewish violence in the west, 1096-1215
5. Western views of Islam after the First Crusade
6. Jihad and crusade: al-Sulami’s Treatise on the Jihad

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills An understanding of the complexities of intercultural exchange in pre-modern Europe.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 5