Study Day: 5 June 2019
Wednesday: 10.30 – 16.30
Course code: 18TON389
An exploration of the first three Crusades & the role of the Knights Templar gives fascinating insights into the medieval mind and attitude to the new concept of ‘holy war’, and also to older established ideas of the importance of pilgrimage & veneration of holy sites & relics.
The First Crusade of 1096-1099 controversially offered absolution of sins through the recapture of sacred Christian sites in the Holy Land. A precarious Crusader kingdom was established, protected by the Knights of St John & the Knights Templar. Saladin re conquered the Holy Land for the Muslims, leading to an epic confrontation with the most charismatic of all the crusaders, Richard the Lionheart.The origins of the Knights Templar is shrouded in legend and there are many dubious modern myths about them. The Order, uniquely of fighting monks, united the knightly & religious roles at the core of medieval society and evolved because of a need after the First Crusade. But many contemporaries thought them greedy for money and power. They were involved in banking and commercial concerns which brought huge wealth, and were confidants to kings and popes. But this wealth, combined with the ultimate failure of the Crusader kingdom in the Holy Land, led to their dramatic downfall, accused of heresy, indecency and idol worship.
This Study Day is suitable for all, no prior knowledge is required. It allows you to spend time exploring a subject for interest, among like-minded people, without formal assessment.
Asridge, Thomas, The Crusades –The War for the Holy Land (Simon & Schuster, 2012)
Phillips, Jonathan, Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades (Vintage, 2010)
Nicholson, Helen, The Knights Templar (Sutton, 2002)
Intended learning outcomes
- to acquire a factual knowledge of the first 3 Crusades & the issues.
- to acquire an appreciation of the range of motives, religious & secular, amongst crusaders.
- to separate fact from fiction & legend in the accounts of the Templars.
About the tutor
Dr Geoff Doel has a PhD on Thomas Hardy and lectures on literature and history. He is co-author of 15 books and has made several television appearances.