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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years

Foreword,   pp. xiii-xviii PDF (127.8 KB)

Page xiv

deal with the influence of the crusades upon European thought and literature,
the arts and architecture, and economic and social life. It will also contain
an extended bibliography. 
 The source from which this work ultimately derives is the am bition which
the late Professor Dana C. Munro long nurtured to write a comprehensive history
of the crusades. An inspiring teach er, Munro aroused a vast interest in
the crusades among students in his seminars at the Universities of Pennsylvania
and Wisconsin and at Princeton. At one time or another Munro's students in
cluded — and this list could be expanded — August C. Krey and
Frederic Duncaif, William E. Lingelbach and Louis J. Paetow, Eugene H. Byrne
and Einar Joranson, Charles W. David, Thomas C. Van Cleve, and Marshall W.
Baldwin, the last of whom has been my fellow editor of this volume. It was
the hope and expectation of all Munro's students that the results of his
years of research would finally be embodied in a two- or three-volume history
of the crusades. He had intended to write such a work and had ac cumulated
and organized much material for this purpose. Mun ro's desire for perfection
was an obstacle to literary production throughout his life. One of his closest
friends, the late Professor Edward P. Cheyney, has described how the years
were to make of his high standard of scholarship almost a disability: "From
the beginning Munro insisted on the most rigorous scientific method. 
No statement... [is to] be made in historical writing for which a satisfactory
reference to a contemporary source cannot be given. His influence has thus
been marked on a long series of younger scholars. This practice also was
probably responsible, at least in part, for the slow progress of what was
to be his magnum opus, a detailed and scholarly history of the Crusades,
based on an ex haustive and critical use of the contemporary sources and
vivified by a careful study on the ground of the regions traversed and occupied
by the Crusaders. For the latter purpose he made two visits to the Near East.
The work was still incomplete at his death."2 In a sense the work was unbegun
at his death; and in another sense this is the first volume of that work.
 Munro was prevented from writing much not only by his per fectionism but
also by the demands made upon his time by uni 
2 "Dana Carleton Munro (1866—1933)," Dictionary of American Biography,
XIII (1934), 
330; cf. Cheyney's memoir of Munro, in the American Historical Review, XXXVIII
618-620; and A. C. Krey, in Munro's lectures on The Kingdom of the Crusaders
(New York, 
1936), pp. v ff., 205 ff. Munro's former students presented to him in December
1926, as retiring 
president of the American Historical Association, the valuable volume on
The Crusades and 
Other Historical Essays (New York, 1928). 

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