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De Re Militari | Book Reviews

Jonathan Phillips & Martin Hoch (eds.)

The Second Crusade – Scope and Consequences

(Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2001) 234 pp. $74.95 ISBN 0-719057108.

Although historiographies often judge the second crusade as a crusaders failure, this military and political campaign actually marked a significant turning point in the ideology of crusading. Namely, crusades as campaigns for the liberation of the Holy Land from this time assimilated an idea of struggle against pagans / unbelievers, in general. In other words, henceforth the second crusade it became more obvious that crusades were not only campaigns promoting Christianity but also military actions closely connected with contemporary economy and politics.

Aware of these facts, editors of this issue (J. Phillips and M. Hoch) collected the best works from four sessions dedicated to the history of the second crusade, held at International Medieval Congress in Leeds (1998), and published them together. Their aim was to promote the significance of this medieval military campaign and to create a volume that can be useful to the future researchers, as well as to the students of medieval war history.

The volume contains ten contributions, and covers various aspects of this (really huge) military campaign. Thus, in this collection of works reader can find relevant studies about crusade’s impact on the Iberian Peninsula, effects in the Baltic countries, and Holy Land, together with works dealing with relations between papacy and German and French courts. List of contributors covers, not only English speaking writers, but also German and Danish historians; and this provides additional value of this issue, since it covers the most recent results of this topic viewed from different angles.

Therefore, one can only hope that this valuable volume will find its’ proper place in the European historiography, as interesting reading as well as helpful tool in various seminars dealing with medieval politics and war craft.

Gordan Ravancic

Croatian Institute for History<email>

Page Added: April 2004