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Military History: The Crusades


This guide is for Dr. Shirley's HIST 2500/3500 course, "Studies in War:  The Crusades."  Please see the reference librarian for assistance in finding more sources (the best sources for your specific topic may not be on this guide) and to order books and articles on interlibrary loan

Reference Books and Databases

Reference books (on the main level of Lewis Library) that may be useful include:


  • Dictionary of the Middle Ages (call number REF D 114 .D5 1982, especially vol. 4 pp. 14-62)
  • The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages (REF D 114 .O94 2010, esp. vol. 2 pp. 469-474)
  • Historical Dictionary of the Crusades (REF D 155 .S533 2003)
  • History in Dispute vol. 10:  The Crusades, 1095-1291 (REF D 20 .H543 2000 v. 10; also online in Gale Virtual Reference Library)
  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (REF DS 35.53 .O955 2009)
  • The New Encyclopedia of Islam (REF BP 40 .G42 2013)
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (REF DF 521.O93 1991)
  • The Papacy:  An Encyclopedia (REF BX 955.2 .D533 2002)
  • Milestone Documents in World History (RED D 5 .M53 2010 v.2:  “Urban II’s Call to Crusade,” pp. 497-512; “Usama ibn Munqidh’s “A Muslim View of the Crusades,” pp. 529-542)


Also try our reference databases, which provide full text for some reference books:


Online Catalog

Use the online catalog to find books, e-books, and videos.


Note subject headings; you can use these to find more books on the same subject:

Subject Term:   Crusades -- First, 1096-1099.

Subject Term:   Crusades -- Second, 1147-1149.

Subject Term:   Crusades -- Third, 1189-1192.

Subject Term:   Crusades -- Fourth, 1202-1204.

Military history, Medieval.

Military art and science -- History -- Medieval, 500-1500.


Often (though not always), including “sources” or “personal narratives” in a “Subject” search will help you find primary sources:

Subject Term:  Crusades -- Sources.

Subject Term:  Crusades -- First, 1096-1099 -- Sources

Subject Term:  Crusades -- Personal narratives.


Primary Sources

As you read secondary sources, note references to primary sources; if we don’t have them in Lewis Library, you can order them on interlibrary loan.

Primary sources in Lewis Library include:

  • Chazan, Robert.  God, Humanity and History:  the Hebrew First Crusade Narratives.  California:  University of California Press, 2000.  (call number DS 135 .G311 C53 2000)
  • Christie, Niall.  Muslims and Crusaders:  Christianity’s Wars in the Middle East, 1095-1382, from the Islamic Sources.  London:  Routledge, 2014.  (D 157 .C474 2014)
  • Crusade and Christendom:  Annotated Documents in Translation from Innocent III to the Fall of Acre, 1187-1291.  Ed. Jessalyn Bird, Edward Peters, and James M. Powell.  Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.  (D 151 .C765 2013, also available as an e-book
  • Dass, Nirmal.  The Deeds of the Franks and Other Jerusalem-Bound Pilgrims:  The Earliest Chronicle of the First Crusade.  Lanham:  Rowman & Littlefield, 2011.  (D 161.1 .G413 2011, also as an e-book
  • Edbury, Peter W.  The Conquest of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade:  Sources in Translation.  Aldershot:  Ashgate, 1998.  (D 163 .A300 C66 1998)
  • Maalouf, Amin.  The Crusades through Arab Eyes.  Transl. Jon Rothschild.  New York:  Schocken Books, 1984.  (DS 38.6 .M3213 1985)
  • Nicholson, Helen J.  Chronicle of the Third Crusade:  A Translation of the Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi.  Ashgate, 1997.  (D 151 .R527 1997)
  • Peters, Edward.  Christian Society and the Crusades, 1198-1229:  Sources in Translation, including The Capture of Damietta by Oliver of Paderborn.   Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971.    (D 151 .P47; also available as an e-book from ProQuest or EBSCO)
  • Peters, Edward.  The First Crusade:  The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and Other Source Materials.  Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971.  (D 161 .P47 197; 2nd ed. 1998 available as an e-book
  • Robert, of Reims.  Robert the Monk’s History of the First Crusade – Historia Therosolimitana.  Aldershot (UK):  Ashgate, 2005.  (D 161.1 .R614 2005)
  • Villehardouin, Geffroi de, and Jean de Joinville.  Memoirs of the Crusades.  New York:  Dutton, 1958.  (D 164 .A3 V4 1958)

Four volumes in the series “Crusade Texts in Translation,” published by Ashgate:

  • The Gesta Tancredi of Ralph of Caen (D 181 .T3 R3615 2005; also available as an e-book)
  • Letters from the East:  Crusaders, Pilgrims and Settlers in the 12th-13th Centuries  (D 176 .L47 2013)
  • The Conquest of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade.  (D 163 .A300 .C66 1998)
  • The Seventh Crusade, 1244-1254:  Sources and Documents (D 167 .S48 2007)

Also this e-book:

Medieval Worlds:  A Sourcebook.  Ed. Roberta Anderson and Dominic Aidan Bellenger.  London:  Routledge, 2003.  (especially Chapter 4, pp. 87-110)



More books


  • Bartlett, W.B.  An Ungodly War:  The Sack of Constantinople & the Fourth Crusade.  Stroud:  Sutton, 2000.  (D 164 .B377 2000)
  • Boas, Adrian J.  Crusader Archaeology:  The Material Culture of the Latin East.  London:  Routledge, 1999.  (D 183 .B633 1999)
  • Bradbury, Jim.  The Routledge Companion to Medieval Warfare.  London:  Routledge, 2006.  (U 37 .B73 2006; includes chapter on “The Crusades, 1095-1500”)
  • Cobb, Paul M.  The Race for Paradise:  An Islamic History of the Crusades.  Oxford University Press, 2014.  (D 157 .C58 2014)
  • France, John.  Victory in the East:  A Military History of the First Crusade.  Cambridge University Press, 1994.  (D 161.2 F73 1994)
  • France, John.  Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades 1000-1300.  Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 1999.  (D 160 .F73 1999)
  • Gillingham, John.  Richard I.  New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1999.  (DA 207 .G473 1999; other books on Richard I in the same area)
  • Hillenbrand, Carole.  The Crusades:  Islamic Perspectives.  New York:  Routledge, 2000.  (DS 38.6 .H555 2000)
  • A History of the Crusades.  Ed. Kenneth M. Setton.  Madison:  University of Wisconsin Press, 1969.  (D 157 .S482, six volumes)
  • Lambert, Malcolm.  God’s Armies:  Crusade and Jihad:  Origins, History, Aftermath.  New York:  Pegasus Books, 2016.  (D 157 .L36 2016)
  • Madden, Thomas F., ed.  Crusades:  The Illustrated History.  Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, 2004.  (D 157 .C775 2004)
  • The New Cambridge Medieval History.  (D 117 .C300 1995 v. 4 pt. 1, chapter on “The Crusades,1095-1198” by Jonathan Riley-Smith)
  • Phillips, Jonathan.  Holy Warriors:  A Modern History of the Crusades.  New York:  Random House, 2009.  (D 157 .P55 2010)
  • Phillips, Jonathan.  The Second Crusade:  Extending the Frontiers of Christendom.  New Haven:  Yale University Press, 2007.  (D 162..2 P55 2007)
  • Richard, Jean.  The Crusades c. 1071-c. 1291.  Cambridge University Press, 1999,  (D 157 .R524 1999)
  • Riley-Smith, Jonathan, ed.  The Atlas of the Crusades.  New York:  Facts on File, 1991.  (D 157 .R522 1990)
  • Runciman, Steven.  A History of the Crusades.  Cambridge University Press, 1951 (D 157 .R8, three volumes)
  • Tibble, Steve.  The Crusader Armies 1099-1187.  New Haven:  Yale University Press, 2018.  (D 160 .T53 2018)
  • Tyerman, Christopher.  God’s War:  A New History of the Crusades.  Cambridge, MA:  Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006.  (D 157 .T89 2006)


More e-books


If you access an e-book that gives you a choice of “Read Online” or “Download book,” please select “Read Online.”   You can download sections of the book onto your computer if you register


To find articles, use GALILEO databases.  For this course, you’ll probably want to select a specific database by clicking “Search Databases A-Z” on the library home page.  (The “DISCOVER” search box searches many databases simultaneously, but use it with caution. Some of the databases are intended for middle school students.)

For peer-reviewed articles, either use JSTOR, or select a database below and click the box to restrict your search to “scholarly journals” or “peer reviewed.”

The best databases for this course will be:


JSTOR (full text scholarly journals in many disciplines including History)


Historical Abstracts (provides citation and often full text for many scholarly journals; focuses on the period after 1450, but has many articles on the Crusades)


Other databases that may be worth trying are:


Tips on using JSTOR:

  • Select “Advanced Search”
  • Select “History” (and any other disciplines that may be relevant to your topic)
  • Use quotation marks for phrases:  “Urban II,” “second crusade”


Remember that JSTOR searches the entire article for your search terms, so you may retrieve a 40-page article that mentions your term only once.  You can use “Ctrl-F” to search the PDF and determine where and how often your search term appears.


EBSCO databases, such as Historical Abstracts and Academic Search Complete, provide subject terms and abstracts, which makes searching more efficient.  If you use these:

  • Again, the “Advanced search” will probably be easier to use
  • Click the “scholarly (peer-reviewed)” box to limit your search to scholarly journals
  • You’re not searching the full text, but the database record (title, abstract, subject terms).  Use single words or short phrases, linked with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).  See our library guides if you want to review database searching and Boolean operators.
  • Use truncation to find multiple forms of a word; pilgrim* will retrieve “pilgrim,” “pilgrims,” and “pilgrimage”
  • When you find a good article, note the subject terms (e.g., Crusades (Middle Ages); First Crusade, 1096-1099; Military strategy).  They will help you find other relevant articles.
  • “FullText Finder” means we should have full text in another database; click on the link.
  • If you don’t see full text, e-mail me or use Ask-a-Librarian.   We may have the journal in print, or I can order the article on interlibrary loan.


Journal Locator is a useful database if you already have a citation and want to determine whether we have full text for it.  Just type the journal title (not the article title) in the search box.  This may also be useful if you want to look at the book review sections of the journals Dr. Shirley lists on the syllabus (American Historical Review, Georgia Historical Quarterly, and Speculum; here is a sample review from Speculum.  Or if you prefer, you can look at a hard copy (we have recent issues of Georgia Historical Quarterly on the main level, and the American Historical Review up to 2013 on the lower level; ask a librarian to show you where they are).


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