Criticism: The Crusades And The People - Attitudes And Influences - Essay

Dana Carleton Munro (essay date 1931)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Western Attitude toward Islam during the Period of the Crusades,” Speculum, Vol. I, No. 3, 1931, pp. 330–43.

[In the following essay, Munro surveys the extent to which anti-Muslim propaganda was utilized by papal and literary sources during the Crusades to encourage the crusading movement.]

At the time of the First Crusade, very little was known in western Europe about the Muslims and their religion.1 This may seem strange, as Prutz points out2, when we consider how long the Christians had been fighting against the followers of the Prophet and how many pilgrims had visited the Holy Land. In the accounts of the pilgrimages there...

(The entire section is 6061 words.)

Carl Erdmann (essay date 1977)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Further Development of the Popular Idea of Crusade” in The Origin of the Idea of Crusade, translated by Marshall W. Baldwin and Walter Goffart, Princeton University Press, 1977, pp. 269–305.

[In the following essay, Erdmann analyzes the various elements—including religious and literary developments—that enabled the “general idea of crusade and war upon the heathen” to take the specific form of the Crusade to the Holy Land.]

Gregory VII's idea of a hierarchical crusade brought general discord rather than united action; alongside it the popular idea of crusade led a life of its own.1

The socioeconomic conditions for...

(The entire section is 13846 words.)

Colin Morris (essay date 1998)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: “Picturing the Crusades: The Uses of Visual Propaganda, c. 1095–1250” in The Crusades and Their Sources: Essays Presented to Bernard Hamilton, edited by John France and William G. Zajac, Ashgate, 1998, pp. 195–209.

[In the following essay, Morris examines the types of “visual propaganda”—such as placards and the windows and architecture of churches and halls—used to keep the crusading spirit alive.]

Pictures, commented Gratian, are the ‘literature of the laity’.1 The idea had received its classic statement long before, in Gregory the Great's ruling to Bishop Serenus of Marseilles: ‘pictures of images … were made for the...

(The entire section is 6937 words.)