100 books like The Atlas of the Crusades

By Jonathan Riley-Smith,

Here are 100 books that The Atlas of the Crusades fans have personally recommended if you like The Atlas of the Crusades. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The World of the Crusades

Alfred Andrea Author Of Seven Myths of the Crusades

From my list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fated to become a crusade historian. Research for my doctoral dissertation on medieval relations between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople inevitably led me to the Fourth Crusade. I was hooked, and for the past fifty-plus years the crusades have been a passion—I hope a healthy one.  Although I have published two books on the Fourth Crusade, my crusading interests have now gone global, and I am currently studying sixteenth-century crusading in the eastern Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, Ethiopia, and the Americas. Perhaps someday I shall turn to more modern crusades. Sad to say, the crusades are still with us.

Alfred's book list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians

Alfred Andrea Why did Alfred love this book?

This lavishly illustrated book focuses on the crusades’ material objects: sculptures, paintings, manuscripts, architecture, coinage, and even jewelry. As historical evidence, artifacts are as important as documents, and these carefully chosen items provide privileged insights into the largely-shared crusader worldview and sense of mission. They further illuminate the complex relationships that developed between crusaders and the many foreign cultures with which they came into contact.  

By Christopher Tyerman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The World of the Crusades as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lively reimagining of how the distant medieval world of war functioned, drawing on the objects used and made by crusaders

Throughout the Middle Ages crusading was justified by religious ideology, but the resulting military campaigns were fueled by concrete objectives: land, resources, power, reputation. Crusaders amassed possessions of all sorts, from castles to reliquaries. Campaigns required material funds and equipment, while conquests produced bureaucracies, taxation, economic exploitation, and commercial regulation. Wealth sustained the Crusades while material objects, from weaponry and military technology to carpentry and shipping, conditioned them.

This lavishly illustrated volume considers the material trappings of crusading wars…


Book cover of The Crusades

Alfred Andrea Author Of Seven Myths of the Crusades

From my list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fated to become a crusade historian. Research for my doctoral dissertation on medieval relations between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople inevitably led me to the Fourth Crusade. I was hooked, and for the past fifty-plus years the crusades have been a passion—I hope a healthy one.  Although I have published two books on the Fourth Crusade, my crusading interests have now gone global, and I am currently studying sixteenth-century crusading in the eastern Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, Ethiopia, and the Americas. Perhaps someday I shall turn to more modern crusades. Sad to say, the crusades are still with us.

Alfred's book list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians

Alfred Andrea Why did Alfred love this book?

There are numerous excellent books of every length (one runs more than 900 pages) that survey the crusades across the centuries and in their multiple theaters of operation. And several books are more recent, but this little book of fewer than two hundred pages is a gem. Written in clear prose and incorporating biographies of important individuals, key documents, and a glossary, it is tailor-made for students and general readers, and its price is modest. 

By Helen Nicholson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Crusades as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In addition to a clear, engaging survey of the Christian crusades to the Holy Lands, this book offers an overview of the many contemporary campaigns against non-Christians throughout Europe and the Middle East. Seventeen biographical sketches of key figures and a dozen primary texts in translation are included, as are six maps and an annotated bibliography and chronology.


Book cover of The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives

Alfred Andrea Author Of Seven Myths of the Crusades

From my list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fated to become a crusade historian. Research for my doctoral dissertation on medieval relations between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople inevitably led me to the Fourth Crusade. I was hooked, and for the past fifty-plus years the crusades have been a passion—I hope a healthy one.  Although I have published two books on the Fourth Crusade, my crusading interests have now gone global, and I am currently studying sixteenth-century crusading in the eastern Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, Ethiopia, and the Americas. Perhaps someday I shall turn to more modern crusades. Sad to say, the crusades are still with us.

Alfred's book list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians

Alfred Andrea Why did Alfred love this book?

Hillenbrand does for counter-crusading Islam what Tyerman does for crusading Latin Christianity. This book is chock full of images of objects illustrating the rich variety of cultures embraced by medieval Islam. But beyond that, it is the single best book in English on Islam in the Age of the Crusades. Topics covered in detail, but always in a reader-friendly style, range from Muslim ethnic and religious stereotypes of Westerners to the evolution of jihad as a principle and a reality before and during the crusading era. No serious student of the crusades should overlook this important contribution to crusade studies.   

By Carole Hillenbrand,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Crusades as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First Published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


Book cover of The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople

Alfred Andrea Author Of Seven Myths of the Crusades

From my list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fated to become a crusade historian. Research for my doctoral dissertation on medieval relations between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople inevitably led me to the Fourth Crusade. I was hooked, and for the past fifty-plus years the crusades have been a passion—I hope a healthy one.  Although I have published two books on the Fourth Crusade, my crusading interests have now gone global, and I am currently studying sixteenth-century crusading in the eastern Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, Ethiopia, and the Americas. Perhaps someday I shall turn to more modern crusades. Sad to say, the crusades are still with us.

Alfred's book list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians

Alfred Andrea Why did Alfred love this book?

Study of the ins and outs, the steps and missteps of a particular crusade allow us to move from the general to the particular and to view closeup the choices and actions of participants who lacked our 20-20 hindsight. No crusade was more beset by unforeseen circumstances and miscalculations than the Fourth Crusade (1202-04), which left Venice headed for an amphibious assault on Muslim-held Egypt but wound up capturing Christian Constantinople not once but twice and establishing the Latin Empire of Constantinople (1204-61). This classic in-depth but never dull book puts a human face on that crusade and brings alive its numerous twists and turns. History is intrinsically exciting, and Queller and Madden’s enthusiasm does full justice to that fact. 

By Donald E. Queller, Thomas F. Madden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fourth Crusade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On August 15, 1199, Pope Innocent III called for a renewed effort to deliver Jerusalem from the Infidel, but the Fourth Crusade had a very different outcome from the one he preached. Proceeding no further than Constantinople, the Crusaders sacked the capital of eastern Christendom and installed a Latin ruler on the throne of Byzantium. This revised and expanded edition of The Fourth Crusade gives fresh emphasis to events in Byzantium and the Byzantine response to the actions of the Crusaders. Included in this edition is a chapter on the sack of Constantinople and the election of its Latin emperor.…


Book cover of Crusading Warfare, 1097–1193

John D. Hosler Author Of The Siege of Acre, 1189-1191: Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the Battle That Decided the Third Crusade

From my list on crusading warfare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m just a guy who once obsessed over Forgotten Realms novels as a kid and, now, teaches history to military officers at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In between, I got married, earned a PhD at the University of Delaware, and spent 12 years teaching in Baltimore. I’m very interested in cross-cultural warfare—as the crusades are a window into not only western and eastern warfare but also facets of cultural, literary, political, religious, and social history, studying them is endlessly fascinating and infinitely rewarding. My next book, Jerusalem Falls: Seven Centuries of War and Peace, continues my interest in the subject.

John's book list on crusading warfare

John D. Hosler Why did John love this book?

A classic. Originally published in 1956, it was one of the first retorts to the dominant strain of military history that emphasized decisive battle, as seen through the eyes of 19th-century theory. Instead, Smail advances the notion—now widely held—that medieval warfare deemphasized risky battles and instead utilized a range of effective operational approaches (raiding, ravaging, sieging, and skirmishing) in a coherent, positional fashion. Similarly in opposition to older approaches, Smail examines not only western warfare through the activities of crusader and crusader-state armies but also how Muslim forces were organized, sustained, and fought. While his sections on military organization, fortifications, and technology have been greatly updated by newer studies, this remains a standard text for anyone interested in the general subject.

By R. C. Smail,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crusading Warfare, 1097–1193 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a revised edition of R. C. Smail's classic account of the military achievements of the Crusaders in the context of a 'feudal society organized for war'. A new bibliographical introduction and an updated bibliography have been provided by Christopher Marshall, while the original plates section has been replaced by a series of new subjects. In covering the period 1097-1193, this edition also complements Dr Marshall's own Warfare in the Latin East, 1192-1291, also available in a paperback edition.


Book cover of The Written World: Past and Place in the Work of Orderic Vitalis

Tracey Warr Author Of Daughter of the Last King

From my list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a library, an eccentric bookshop, or the roadside book exchange cupboards where I live in rural southwest France. There is serendipity and synergy in what can be found through browsing (as opposed to purposeful searching). I am the author of five historical novels set in medieval Europe and centred on strong female leads. Idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries bring unexpected twists to my research and writing. My six-year-old grandson recently started to read after his mum and I read many bedtime stories to him. It was a thrilling moment to hear him join the ranks of readers. Writing is inspired by and learned from voracious reading. 

Tracey's book list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries

Tracey Warr Why did Tracey love this book?

I stumbled on this book in Raven secondhand bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I was researching for my 12th-century trilogy, Conquest, and this book is a brilliant critical study of the Anglo-Norman chronicler, Orderic Vitalis. The book is wonderfully written and conveys the astonishing beauty of Orderic’s own work.

Orderic, as he writes, ranged far and wide across the Anglo-Norman kingdom in his imagination and then returned to his ‘black-clad life’ as a monk.

Raven and Shakespeare and Co. Bookshop in Paris are amongst my top favourites. I love to visit Shakespeare for its cramped unevenly floored labyrinth and intelligent array of books.

I greatly enjoy a bookshop – these two and Victoria Bookshop in Haverfordwest spring to mind – where the staff is obviously as lovestruck by books as I am.

By Amanda Hingst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Written World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Anglo-Norman monk Orderic Vitalis (1075-c.1142) wrote his monumental, highly individual Historia Ecclesiastica as an exercise in monastic discipline intended to preserve the events and character of Christendom for future generations. Though cloistered since childhood in a Benedictine monastery near Normandy's southern border, Orderic gained access to an intellectual world that extended from Scotland to Jerusalem through his engagement with texts and travelers that made their way into his monastic milieu. His Historia Ecclesiastica, with a breadth of vision unparalleled in its time, is a particularly fertile source for an investigation of concepts of space and historiography in the high…


Book cover of The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades

Nick Brodie Author Of 1787: The Lost Chapters of Australia's Beginnings

From my list on changing how you see history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professional history nerd who is perennially interested in both sides of the history coin: What happened? How do we know? I’ve got a PhD in sixteenth-century European history, have written articles that cover things from antiquity to Vikings in America, and have written several history books about Australia and its region. I like history that is robust, so I’m always looking for books that make clever use of sources. And I love stories that disrupt preconceptions, so I enjoy researching and writing and reading histories that make you think.

Nick's book list on changing how you see history

Nick Brodie Why did Nick love this book?

A great insight informs every aspect of this excellent book. While few historians today would put the crusades down to mere fanaticism, too many uninformed people still think of the crusades in absurdly simplistic terms of clashing civilizations, cultures, and religions. This book takes aim at that sort of ignorance by telling the history of one of the world’s great historical phenomena in a very accessible way from the perspective with which most readers will be least familiar.

By Paul M. Cobb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Race for Paradise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1099, when the first Frankish invaders arrived before the walls of Jerusalem, they had carved out a Christian European presence in the Islamic world that endured for centuries, bolstered by subsequent waves of new crusaders and pilgrims. The story of how this group of warriors, driven by faith, greed, and wanderlust, created new Christian-ruled states in parts of the Middle East is one of the best-known in history. Yet it is offers not even half of the story, for it is based almost exclusively on Western sources and overlooks entirely the perspective of the crusaded. How did medieval Muslims…


Book cover of Logistics of Warfare in the Age of the Crusades

John D. Hosler Author Of The Siege of Acre, 1189-1191: Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the Battle That Decided the Third Crusade

From my list on crusading warfare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m just a guy who once obsessed over Forgotten Realms novels as a kid and, now, teaches history to military officers at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In between, I got married, earned a PhD at the University of Delaware, and spent 12 years teaching in Baltimore. I’m very interested in cross-cultural warfare—as the crusades are a window into not only western and eastern warfare but also facets of cultural, literary, political, religious, and social history, studying them is endlessly fascinating and infinitely rewarding. My next book, Jerusalem Falls: Seven Centuries of War and Peace, continues my interest in the subject.

John's book list on crusading warfare

John D. Hosler Why did John love this book?

If, as Napoleon once quipped, an army indeed marches on its stomach, then surely military historians should work from a firm understanding of logistics and sustainment. Conceived during a 2002 workshop on the subject held in Sydney, Australia, this volume includes fourteen substantive chapters authored by some of the foremost historians in the field, as well as one specialist in game theory! The covered subjects are impressive in scope: provisioning, finance, rates of march, supply and resupply, cartography, roads, and communications (for both Christian armies and their Muslim foes), with due attention given not only to land warfare but also naval affairs. Fourteen maps, seven figures, and sixteen data tables complete what is currently the best available book on medieval logistics.

By John H. Pryor (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Logistics of Warfare in the Age of the Crusades as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How were the Crusades made possible? There have been studies of ancient, medieval and early modern warfare, as well as work on the finances and planning of Crusades, but this volume is the first specifically to address the logistics of Crusading. Building on previous work, it brings together experts from the fields of medieval Western, Byzantine and Middle Eastern studies to examine how the marches and voyages were actually made. Questions of manpower, types and means of transportation by land and sea, supplies, financial resources, roads and natural land routes, sea lanes and natural sailing routes - all these topics…


Book cover of Victory in the East: A Military History of the First Crusade

John D. Hosler Author Of The Siege of Acre, 1189-1191: Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the Battle That Decided the Third Crusade

From my list on crusading warfare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m just a guy who once obsessed over Forgotten Realms novels as a kid and, now, teaches history to military officers at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In between, I got married, earned a PhD at the University of Delaware, and spent 12 years teaching in Baltimore. I’m very interested in cross-cultural warfare—as the crusades are a window into not only western and eastern warfare but also facets of cultural, literary, political, religious, and social history, studying them is endlessly fascinating and infinitely rewarding. My next book, Jerusalem Falls: Seven Centuries of War and Peace, continues my interest in the subject.

John's book list on crusading warfare

John D. Hosler Why did John love this book?

The subtitle gives it away—this is my (and, I’m guessing, most other medieval military historians’) go-to book for that most famous of crusades. France masterfully combines a captivating narrative with abundant historical detail, keen tactical/operational/strategic analyses, and expert interpretation. Each chapter is a delight, but not to be missed is France’s discussion of medieval generalship, his close study of army sizes, and especially the three full chapters on the fighting in and around Antioch in 1097-1098—which still constitute the best scholarly treatment of the events there. Despite a rash of newer works on the First Crusade over the last three decades, this remains the standard treatment for those interested in the war’s martial contours.

By John France,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Victory in the East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The success of the First Crusade, and its capture of Jerusalem in 1099, has been conventionally explained in terms of its ideological and political motivation. This book looks at the First Crusade primarily as a military campaign and asks why it was so successful. Modern writing about the crusade has tended to emphasise the moral dimension and the development of the idea of the crusade, but its fate was ultimately decided on the field of battle. Victory in the East looks at the nature of war at the end of the eleventh century and the military experience of all the…


Book cover of Baudolino

Martin Treanor Author Of The Logos Prophecy

From my list on indulge the metaphysical mind and cultivate a mystery.

Why am I passionate about this?

Through both a former career as an engineer and my writing, I have developed a craving (bordering on obsession) for all things scientific, historical, archaeological, metaphysical, and a more than avid interest in quantum physics which I like to introduce into my books and stories. I also have a fondness for the dark and macabre, for the bizarre, the wondrous, and the plain out there. The weirder the concept – the more I like it… get consumed by it.

Martin's book list on indulge the metaphysical mind and cultivate a mystery

Martin Treanor Why did Martin love this book?

Set in during the Forth Crusade, Baudolino is another book by Umberto Eco I have read numerous times and, as with Foucault’s Pendulum, throws up the idea that, if the world isn’t as we would like it to be (the great enigma of should and is), is there an imperative for someone of influence to create the illusion, engineer a fantasy, bring forth a false reality… all to satisfy their need to mould existence to their own world view.

In Baudolino’s case, his self-delusions really do create his reality, as his quest to find truth in his religious devotions unfolds exactly to his perceptions.

By Umberto Eco, William Weaver (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Baudolino as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An extraordinary epic, brilliantly-imagined, new novel from a world-class writer and author of The Name of the Rose. Discover the Middle Ages with Baudolino - a wondrous, dazzling, beguiling tale of history, myth and invention.

It is 1204, and Constantinople is being sacked and burned by the knights of the fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion Baudolino saves a Byzantine historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors, and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.


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Interested in the Crusades, the Middle Ages, and geography?

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