While “the crusades” have become a synonym for brutality and bigotry, the crusader states represented a positive example of harmonious coexistence between Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Likewise, while scholars from a wide range of disciplines including archaeology, art history, and medicine have shed light on diverse aspects of the crusader states, to date there is no single introductory source that provides a comprehensive overview of these unique states as a starting point for the uninitiated.
The Holy Land in the Era of the Crusades: Kingdoms at the Crossroads of Civilizations by Helena P. Schrader fills this gap while correcting common misconceptions. It brings together recent scholarly research on a range of topics to create a comprehensive description. It will cover the history, demography, state institutions, foreign policy, economy, art, architecture, and lifestyle of the people who lived in the crusader states in the period from 1100 to 1300. It provides a chronological summary of the history of the crusader followed by a thematic discussion of key aspects of these unique political entities. The final chapter on the rise and fall of the House of Ibelin gives the entire history a human face.