Alfred J. Andrea
<p>What were the Crusades? Were they a series of battles that pitted European Christians against Muslims for control of the Holy Land, or was there something deeper, something more significant beneath the violence? This A-to-Z encyclopedia explores the phenomenon of the Crusades in all of its complexity, ranging from the classic numbered crusades in the Middle East to the Reconquista in Spain, and from the Baltic Crusades to the crusades against Albigensian heretics in France. The Crusades marked a violent interaction between cultures. This book includes not only European leaders and themes but also biographical portraits of Islamic leaders and topics related to Islamic culture. And although men dominated the Crusades, women also played important roles. Their contributions are examined. <p>This is the most up-to-date reference source available, reflecting the most recent scholarship in the field. More than 200 entries are extensively cross-referenced, and many provide additional readings, including accessible primary sources. Nearly 100 photos and six maps accompany the text. A bibliographic essay leads readers to the most useful and important works in the field, while an appendix of major crusades, events, and figures helps readers put the era into perspective. This invaluable tool gives students, researchers, and general readers all they need to begin their own exploration of this fascinating time of intercultural conflict--one which continues to reverberate in today's world.