This two-part course explores the crusades: A two-century period (11th to 13th) of on-and-off religiously motivated warfare where Europe invades and fights its way through the Turkish Middle East, parts of the Byzantine Empire and, occasionally, Europe. This chaotic period changed the balance of Europe and the Middle East for quite some time and has had far-reaching consequences that arguably lasted to today, but despite its significance, the details are harder to come by, since the period spans two centuries.
Over this course, we will explore not only the details of the six major crusades and a few others besides, but the states they founded around Jerusalem, some of the major figures involved, and the reasons that led up to all this. At the other end of it, you should have a much better idea of the factors that drove the crusade, and just what went on in the middle of all this; if you still have questions afterwards, you can count on me to answer them for you.
While the course will stay factual, it will not be entirely dry, partly thanks to the bumbling crusaders taking care to write half the jokes for me. So long as you’re not looking for a completely scholarly tone throughout, it’s my hope that the courses will be entertaining as well as educational. With that said, I strongly recommend watching the free trial of the course before you decide one way or another: It’s around half an hour of the first course, covering a crusade you’ve probably never heard of, and will give a good idea of what to expect tonally.
The first course covers the origins of the crusades, some information on the crusader states, the People’s Crusade, and the first two major crusades. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth, Albigensian and Children’s Crusades as well as some of the aftermath are covered in the second course; despite this, the two are about six minutes apart in length. The first course can stand alone by itself, and the two can be bought separately or at a bundle (though I wouldn’t recommend buying the second course alone unless you’re already very learned about everything the first course covers).
In the courses, I aim to cover a range of experience. Complete beginners will find terms explained, locations pinpointed on maps, and so on, while I can also answer any questions you might have left afterwards. More knowledgeable students will still be able to learn much finer and more minor details of the crusades, as opposed to the broad strokes of events. University professors- well, I might be at a loss there.
In addition, the course contains a text version alongside the recordings (pictures still included), as well as a list of recommended further reading.
In this video, we will further describe what you can expect from the course, and the overall structure. To reiterate, in the first course, we will cover the origins of the crusades, the People's Crusade, the First Crusade, and the Second Crusade, while also touching on the Crusader States.
This video concludes the First Crusade section, while also spending much of the time elaborating on the Crusader States.
In this lecture, we examine the conclusion of the second crusade,and its after-effects including sowing the seeds of the third crusade, as we wrap up the course. Please remember that if you have any questions at all by the end of the course, I will be very happy to answer them.
The resources here contain both a text version of this course (videos are, after all, not for everyone), and a list of further reading material.
Owen Kinnersly is an amateur writer, Japanese-to-English translator and historian, living in Japan and increasingly self-conscious about writing in the third person. After several years of study at Athabasca Univeristy, and over a decade of daily independent research. By making courses here, he hopes to spread some knowledge on lesser-known parts of history, and spark new interest in the field.
Here you can expect courses covering either more obscure historical topics, or less well-known details of major topics. The courses are appropriate for anyone from a beginning to intermediate level of knowledge, and are written to entertain as much as to educate.
If you have any questions over course material, he is available at irregular hours but will reply within 48 hours at most, barring exceptional circumstances.