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Imagining Defeat: An Arabic Historiography of the Crusades

Imagining Defeat: An Arabic Historiography of the Crusades published on

Authored by Naval Postgraduate School

This study tracks changing conceptions of the Crusades among Arab authors, from medieval through modern sources, examining how current emotionally charged interpretations of the Crusades came into the literature and how they came to resonate. This study shows that in medieval Arabic sources, the campaigns and settlement of the Christian Franks is not seen as a discrete event, and despite modern interpretations of a two-hundred year struggle between two sides, that the Franks are seen as just one more facet in the political scene of the era, often of less concern than “internal” enemies. The study then tracks the introduction of the concept of the Crusades as a discrete event into Arab historical writing in the mid-nineteenth century via Christian Arabs working from Western sources and its gradual inclusion in Muslim Arab historical thought. Finally, this study examines modern Arabic interpretations of the Crusades, colored by current experiences and nationalist and/or Muslim fundamentalist thought.

Publication Date:
May 16 2014
1499555938 / 9781499555936
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / Middle East / General


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