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Old November 21st, 2012, 07:21 PM   #331
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Back to the OP: did the Crusades have a victor?
[Sic] (emphasis is mine):
Quote:
Conclusion: The Results of the Crusades

As is so often true of history, the Crusades are more telling in their failures than their successes.
Because of them, the credibility of the Pope as the agent of God on earth suffered irreparable damage, especially those Crusades that turned out not so well, which added up to virtually all of them in the long run.
But even the ones that did succeed in some respect accomplished little real good over time.

For instance, laying the groundwork for the destruction of the Byzantine Empire can hardly be seen as a boon to Europe, if for no other reason than Byzantium no longer could serve as a buffer state against Moslem expansion to the west.
That opened Eastern Europe to Turkish incursion, the consequences of which can still be seen in the recent conflicts in the Balkan region.
Ironically, then, the two parties which had instigated these grand experiments in foreign atrocity—the Byzantines and the papacy—suffered the most in the end.

In sum, by all reasonable standards none of the Crusades profitted Europe much, certainly not in proportion to their cost.
Only the First Crusade delivered any substantial and immediate gains.
Moreover, the commercial progress, the extension of trade which might have followed in their wake, didn't, as if even that would excuse the extermination of so many souls.
Besides, even then only the Venetians in the wake of the Fourth Crusade managed to advance their mercantile interests in the East long term.
But, on the whole, was the toppling of Constantinople a fair price for this small gain?
Few would say so today.

Still, to be fair to the complexity of these military expeditions, they surely amounted to "more than a romantic bloody fiasco," as some historians claim, but not much more.
Surely, then, there's something to be learned from all this somehow but what that lesson is has yet to be determined since we still live today in the aftermath of the Crusades' devastation.
Until we decide what drove our ancestors to this mad exploit, how we became the enemy of our brethren in the East, we will find no safe path out of the morass of intolerance and animosity which characterizes Christian-Islamic relations in the modern world.
No other aspect of life today makes it clearer that there can be no secure future as long as we continue to war over our past and what-really-happened back then.
Prof. Mark Damen, Utah State University.
Course USU 1320: History and Civilization


Wiser words have hardly ever been said on this issue
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Old November 30th, 2012, 09:26 AM   #332

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Originally Posted by BrowniesRule View Post
Crusaders are barbarians and savages that pillaged their way through the Holy Land killing muslims and jews alike. The Crusades are a scourge to christianity, and they distorted the good-hearted inoffensive teachings of the Church and plunged Islam and Christianity in a gladiator fight for eternity.
You can say that with every other war.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 09:46 AM   #333
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You can say that with every other war.
Cruelty is indeed inherent to war itself; what was peculiar of the Crusades (even relative to other Holy Wars) was their fundamental remoteness and especially their objective absolute futility for the invaders themselves.

Most wars all along History have had a pragmatic rationale at least from the standpoint of the party beginning it; any such rationale was fundamentally absent from these wars.
Greed was of course regularly a factor, but there was objectively no reason not to try to satisfy such greed with the local neighbors in an exponentially more economic and sensical way.
There was simply absolutely no pragmatic rationale for abandoning the own homeland and so gratuitously slaughtering soldiers and civilians of diverse faiths in such an impoverished and remote corner on the other side of their own world.

The ostensible (and in all likelihood fundamentally real) rational was fundamentally just pure religious fanaticism, more specifically the penance of any previous personal sins for the massacre of the residents of what was so eloquently called Holy Land.

The Crusades themselves couldn't have been any more pernicious for the development of the societies and nations of western and central Europe; it was a most incredibly absurd & colossal centuries-long waste of whole generations of human resources, even accounting for the returning survivors.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 07:40 PM   #334
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Your signature should definitely be ''the worst thing that the present does is cloud our view of the past''. There are many problems with what you're bringing to the table.

It's useless to ''look'' for pragmatism in the crusades, because the very concept is articulated around what you deem pragmatic. By demanding a pragmatic explanation of the crusades, you forget the religious factor, mentioned by all sources, that you definitely shouldn't underestimate. The ultimate goal wasn't to gratuitously slaughter soldiers and civilians, but to deliver Jerusalem. No wonder everybody came back home after this was done. Can we call that fanaticism? Sure you can. Does it help understanding anything? Not at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
The Crusades themselves
The Crusades themselves? Don't tell me you can't differentiate what crusades ''are'' and how crusades are ''represented''. What you call the crusades ''themselves'' is what you make of them, not how they actually occurred.
This whole idea that the Crusades are at the center of ''the west's'' problem with muslims is simply false and misleading. Crusades were well forgotten in ''western'' and ''non-western'' historiography for a long, long time. They only regained popularity during the modern era, and the way they were represented varied greatly depending on the when and the where. The psychology of ''the other'' (read ''muslims'') didn't take shape with the crusades, but mainly with Orientalism and Interventionism.
So forget Mark Damen, he is unqualified, stuck in the present and incapable of analyzing the intrinsic nature of things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
couldn't have been any more pernicious for the development of the societies and nations of western and central Europe; it was a most incredibly absurd & colossal centuries-long waste of whole generations of human resources, even accounting for the returning survivors.
The crusades weren't pernicious for the ''development of the societes and nations blah blah''. The Italian city-states made the big bucks, and the papacy asserted its mega-thunder-power over christendom. As for what you call the ''absurd & colossal centuries long waste of whole generations of human ressources'', maybe you'd like to look around first before emitting judgements like that. First, the mass of popular elements present in the crusades is negligible, especially the late crusades. To go on a crusade means to be armed, to be armed means having money, and to have money means to be well-born, which was only a privilege given to a small fraction of the population of Europe. Second, what waste? Princes and nobles had their reputation boasted because of crusading exploit, while they could enjoy the church's good will. There was nothing to formally ''waste''.
Was the colonization of India, Americas and other places a ''waste''? I'd be curious to hear you out on that.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 09:25 PM   #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrowniesRule View Post
Your signature should definitely be ''the worst thing that the present does is cloud our view of the past''. There are many problems with what you're bringing to the table.

It's useless to ''look'' for pragmatism in the crusades, because the very concept is articulated around what you deem pragmatic. By demanding a pragmatic explanation of the crusades, you forget the religious factor, mentioned by all sources, that you definitely shouldn't underestimate. The ultimate goal wasn't to gratuitously slaughter soldiers and civilians, but to deliver Jerusalem. No wonder everybody came back home after this was done. Can we call that fanaticism? Sure you can. Does it help understanding anything? Not at all.



The Crusades themselves? Don't tell me you can't differentiate what crusades ''are'' and how crusades are ''represented''. What you call the crusades ''themselves'' is what you make of them, not how they actually occurred.
This whole idea that the Crusades are at the center of ''the west's'' problem with muslims is simply false and misleading. Crusades were well forgotten in ''western'' and ''non-western'' historiography for a long, long time. They only regained popularity during the modern era, and the way they were represented varied greatly depending on the when and the where. The psychology of ''the other'' (read ''muslims'') didn't take shape with the crusades, but mainly with Orientalism and Interventionism.
So forget Mark Damen, he is unqualified, stuck in the present and incapable of analyzing the intrinsic nature of things.



The crusades weren't pernicious for the ''development of the societes and nations blah blah''. The Italian city-states made the big bucks, and the papacy asserted its mega-thunder-power over christendom. As for what you call the ''absurd & colossal centuries long waste of whole generations of human ressources'', maybe you'd like to look around first before emitting judgements like that. First, the mass of popular elements present in the crusades is negligible, especially the late crusades. To go on a crusade means to be armed, to be armed means having money, and to have money means to be well-born, which was only a privilege given to a small fraction of the population of Europe. Second, what waste? Princes and nobles had their reputation boasted because of crusading exploit, while they could enjoy the church's good will. There was nothing to formally ''waste''.
Was the colonization of India, Americas and other places a ''waste''? I'd be curious to hear you out on that.
Yup, because your academic credentials and sober unbiased neutrality couldn't be any more evidently superior than poor Prof. Damen right?

And because all these aforementioned facts (mostly not mentioned by Prof. Damen, BTW) would not doubt be any less perfectly evident if such scholar might be ignored, huh?


Aside from some enthusiastically misplaced anachronic nationalism by proxy, any relevant hard evidence even potentially against my still exact statements you would like to share with us?

Of course it's useless to look for any "pragmatism" in the Crusades; that's exactly my point... aside of some religious fanaticism, of course.

Quote:
FANATICISM
: fanatic outlook or behavior

FANATIC
: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion
Source: Merriam-Webster

Would you require a Merriam-Webster elementary definition of "waste" too?

Of course the trade cities of Italy (and other Mediterranean ports too) made big bucks; precisely because they systematically did tend to avoid any fanatic stand.
Just ask Enrico Dandolo and the IV Crusade.

[Sic]
Quote:
This whole idea that the Crusades are at the center of ''the west's'' problem with muslims is simply false and misleading.
Just a cheap fallacious straw man.

[Sic]
Quote:
Was the colonization of India, Americas and other places a ''waste''?
What a paradigmatic fallacious red herring.

Not exactly rocket science, huh?

Last edited by sylla1; November 30th, 2012 at 09:49 PM.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 12:39 AM   #336
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All I mean, sylla1, is that I think shiny glitter sprinkles the view you have of the crusades. To even begin to think about remotely trying to understand them requires not only the reading of the all sources available, but also knowledge of medieval thought and emotions, pilgrimages, the parties involved, and so much more. I don't think it's appropriate or even acceptable to explain them all by simple ideas like ''fanaticism'' or ''waste'', because many other events emcompass these two concepts and deserved better historical treatment. You can bug me all you want on words, but don't try to impress me with some lunatic posing in a toga that never wrote a book and is not even remotely specialized in the crusades or the middle ages. What a credible source that guy is.

If you think ''Wiser words have hardly ever been said on this issue'', then I do not see the need to monopolize a thread just to argue about taste, be my guest.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 12:53 AM   #337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrowniesRule View Post
All I mean, sylla1, is that I think shiny glitter sprinkles the view you have of the crusades. To even begin to think about remotely trying to understand them requires not only the reading of the all sources available, but also knowledge of medieval thought and emotions, pilgrimages, the parties involved, and so much more. I don't think it's appropriate or even acceptable to explain them all by simple ideas like ''fanaticism'' or ''waste'', because many other events emcompass these two concepts and deserved better historical treatment. You can bug me all you want on words, but don't try to impress me with some lunatic posing in a toga that never wrote a book and is not even remotely specialized in the crusades or the middle ages. What a credible source that guy is.

If you think ''Wiser words have hardly ever been said on this issue'', then I do not see the need to monopolize a thread just to argue about taste, be my guest.
And exactly why calling things by their name would imply that one wouldn't be able to understand the medieval thought and emotions, pilgrimages, the parties involved, and so much more?

If you really think that using euphemisms is going to change the historical facts, be my guest.
Like the Shakespearean Rose by another name...

Besides, why would I be interested in "bugging" you "with words"?
Please remember that you were the one who addressed me, not the opposite way.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 09:23 AM   #338

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Is this really still going? Good heavens.


Pragmatism, waste, its like one is still stuck in 18th century historiography. Good things the field has moved on since then.

Judger's gonna judge and anachronisms will remain.

Now people seem to like dressing matters up in rather flowery language that is all rather superfluous. Talking about the matters in such general terms is rather limited in its benefits, a lot of hot air. Unless conclusions are going to be drawn off hard economic data and the detailed analysis of primary source materials, which currently nobody is doing and perhaps lack the ability to do, there is minimal value in it.


So unless people are going to do that, gas bag away with opinions.


Last edited by DreamWeaver; December 1st, 2012 at 10:11 AM.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 10:09 AM   #339

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Dreamweaver, could you possibly recommend any books on the Latin Kingdom/Crusades? That is a period that I am most interested in atm!
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Old December 1st, 2012, 10:25 AM   #340

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Originally Posted by Mangekyou View Post
Dreamweaver, could you possibly recommend any books on the Latin Kingdom/Crusades? That is a period that I am most interested in atm!

One of the problems of the field is that there are many historians of the Crusades but not so many of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, one thus tends to find that though dedicated monographs on various aspects of the KOJ exist there is no real "history" dedicated itself. Steven Runciman's 3 volume work, is perhaps still be best simple default despite its flaws.

So you could have a look at for other aspects

Joshua Prawer, he is a little dated and matters have moved on and his conclusions challenged, the colonialism argument for exampel, but still he has a lot of good stuff a lot of information.

The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages: Amazon.co.uk: Joshua Prawer: Books
The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages: Amazon.co.uk: Joshua Prawer: Books


Crusader Institutions Oxford University Press academic monograph reprints: Amazon.co.uk: Joshua Prawer: Books
Crusader Institutions Oxford University Press academic monograph reprints: Amazon.co.uk: Joshua Prawer: Books



Bernard Hamilton

The Leper King and his Heirs: Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: Amazon.co.uk: Bernard Hamilton: Books
The Leper King and his Heirs: Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: Amazon.co.uk: Bernard Hamilton: Books


Latin Church in the Crusader States: Secular Church: Amazon.co.uk: Bernard Hamilton: Books
Latin Church in the Crusader States: Secular Church: Amazon.co.uk: Bernard Hamilton: Books



Riley-Smith

Feudal Monarchy in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1100-1291: Amazon.co.uk: John L. Lamonte: Books
Feudal Monarchy in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1100-1291: Amazon.co.uk: John L. Lamonte: Books


and others

The Crusades and the Christian World of the East: Rough Tolerance Middle Ages Series: Amazon.co.uk: Christopher MacEvitt: Books
The Crusades and the Christian World of the East: Rough Tolerance Middle Ages Series: Amazon.co.uk: Christopher MacEvitt: Books



For the Crusades themselves, there are plenty of decent general histories out there. Asbridge The Crusades, Runciman, Hans Mayer, The Crusades, Christoper Tyerman's God's War. All cover the ground all cover in sufficient detail the major events, even if they leave the history of the KOJ a little tangential to other events.


but other aspects that may be of interest

Hillenbrand, I recommend quite highly, one of the leading Arabists.

The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives Islamic Surveys: Amazon.co.uk: Carole Hillenbrand: Books
The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives Islamic Surveys: Amazon.co.uk: Carole Hillenbrand: Books



Crusading as an Act of Vengeance, 10951216: Amazon.co.uk: Susanna A. Throop: Books
Crusading as an Act of Vengeance, 10951216: Amazon.co.uk: Susanna A. Throop: Books


The Crusades and the Expansion of Catholic Christendom, 1000-1714: Amazon.co.uk: John France: Books
The Crusades and the Expansion of Catholic Christendom, 1000-1714: Amazon.co.uk: John France: Books




Apparently some pictures unrelated to book title....well done there Amazon.
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