The Crusade in the Fifteenth Century: Converging and competing cultures

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Norman Housley
Routledge, 2016 M06 17 - 220 pages
Increasingly, historians acknowledge the significance of crusading activity in the fifteenth century, and they have started to explore the different ways in which it shaped contemporary European society. Just as important, however, was the range of interactions which took place between the three faith communities which were most affected by crusade, namely the Catholic and Orthodox worlds, and the adherents of Islam. Discussion of these interactions forms the theme of this book. Two essays consider the impact of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 on the conquering Ottomans and the conquered Byzantines. The next group of essays reviews different aspects of the crusading response to the Turks, ranging from Emperor Sigismund to Papal legates. The third set of contributions considers diplomatic and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity, including attempts made to forge alliances of Christian and Muslim powers against the Ottomans. Last, a set of essays looks at what was arguably the most complex region of all for inter-faith relations, the Balkans, exploring the influence of crusading ideas in the eastern Adriatic, Bosnia and Romania. Viewed overall, this collection of essays makes a powerful contribution to breaking down the old and discredited view of monolithic and mutually exclusive "fortresses of faith". Nobody would question the extent and intensity of religious violence in fifteenth-century Europe, but this volume demonstrates that it was played out within a setting of turbulent diversity. Religious and ethnic identities were volatile, allegiances negotiable, and diplomacy, ideological exchange and human contact were constantly in operation between the period's major religious groupings.

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List of illustrations
Crusading in the fifteenth century and its relation to the development
the travels of Nicholas
Sigismund of Luxemburg and
Alfonso V and the antiTurkish crusade
the Hussites
Baltic crusades against Russia in the fifteenth
Tīmūr and the Frankish powers
Venetian attempts at forging an alliance with Persia and the crusade
Quattrocento Genoa and the legacies of crusading
The key to the gate of Christendom? The strategic importance of Bosnia
Between two worlds or a world of its own? The eastern Adriatic in
transformations of crusading in the long fifteenth century

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About the author (2016)

Norman Housley is Professor of History at the University of Leicester, UK.

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