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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on the Near East

Preface,   pp. xv-xvi PDF (325.9 KB)

Page xv

 This volume deals less with the cry of battle and the clash of arms than
with the daily affairs of the Near East and its inhabitants — Moslems,
Christians, and Jews — whose lives were wrenched this way and that
by more than two hundred years of violence. It is about crusaders too: not
those who came and went, but those who came and stayed, and "for the love
of Christ," to quote Alexander III, "put their fighting blood at the disposal
of king and magnates." Among much else it examines the Arab culture of the
twelfth century and the lasting impact that crusading belligerence had on
Moslem lands and peoples; the social structure of the crusaders' states whose
problems were as stubborn as they themselves were ephemeral; the long, tenacious
exploitation of the eastern Mediterranean, especially by the Venetians, surely
the most fortunate heirs of the crusading inheritance; and finally the new
direction given to the European drive eastward by missionaries rather than
warriors. The missionary movement drew much of its early inspiration from
St. Francis of Assisi, whose brief mission to the sultan of Egypt remained
green in the memory of his followers, and most of its energy from a long
line of mendicants, Franciscans and Dominicans alike. Their devotion brought
increased knowledge and a deeper understanding of the peoples of the east,
but not, alas, any real awareness of the futility of warfare against Islam.
Only time would do that. 
The Centre for Medieval Studies 
University of Toronto 
Toronto, Canada 
March 21, 1983 
 ' E. Martène and U. Durand, Veterum scriptorum et monumentorum. ..
collectio, II, col. 749: "qui . . . ibi ad defensionem terrae permanserit
et sudorem certaminis ad praeceptum regis et majorum terrae pro amore Christi
portaverit, remissionem iniunctae poenitentiae se laetetur adeptum." 

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