Publication Date: 23/02/2023 ISBN: 9780198806721 Category:

Women and the Crusades

Helen J. Nicholson

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 23/02/2023 ISBN: 9780198806721 Category:




The crusade movement needed women: their money, their prayer support, their active participation, and their inspiration…

This book surveys women’s involvement in medieval crusading between the second half of the eleventh century, when Pope Gregory VII first proposed a penitential military expedition to help the Christians of the East, and 1570, when the last crusader state, Cyprus, was captured by the Ottoman Turks. It considers women’s actions not only on crusade battlefields but also in recruiting crusaders, supporting crusades through patronage, propaganda, and prayer, and as both defenders and aggressors. It
argues that medieval women were deeply involved in the crusades but the roles that they could play and how their contemporaries recorded their deeds were dictated by social convention and cultural expectations. Although its main focus is the women of Latin Christendom, it also looks at the impact of
the crusades and crusaders on the Jews of western Europe and the Muslims of the Middle East, and compares relations between Latin Christians and Muslims with relations between Muslims and other Christian groups.

Publisher Review

a significant and timely addition to the field. * Natasha Hodgson, BBC History Magazine * 4*: Nicolson's careful and detailed retelling of women of all socioeconomic classes during the crusades makes Women and the Crusades one of the most helpful new publications for history enthusiasts and students. * Zhihui Zou, World History Encyclopedia * The main contribution of Nicholson's book is her mere emphasis on women's involvement in the crusades movement for centuries. Based on an impressive breadth of sources, she convincingly shows that beyond fighting in the front line, women indeed made an important contribution to the Holy War of Christendom. * Professor Sophia Menache, University of Haifa * Widely researched from a wide spectrum of sources and broadly focused, Helen Nicholson's comprehensive study reveals the considerable and varied roles women played in the promotion, conduct, support and memorialisation of crusading and crusaders over more than four centuries. Using telling vignettes of participation, she shows how women of different social status and economic condition were integral to crusading culture and practice, not just marginal or ornamental. * Professor Christopher J. Tyerman, University of Oxford *

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