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Chapter 9-12

HIST 2311 Chapter 9-12: Unit 3 - How to Read Secondary Sources - works on the Crusades

Course Code
HIST 2311
David Mayes

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How do the Author’s Interpretation of the Crusades Compare?
Generally, crusades are referred to as a successions of religious wars that took place
between the Christian people and the Muslims. These events were started mainly as a means
to take control of the holy places that both groups considered as an important and holy place.
These conflicts resulted in ruthless and violent engagement that paved the way for the
European Christians as a significant power after the series of crusades. Consequently, the
crusades became an important event in history, which engage many historians and scholars to
offer their interpretation of these extraordinary happenings. While there were authors who
developed a romantic and noble interpretation of these events, there were also those who
considered the crusades as an earlier form of colonialism, which propelled the empire-
building mindset of the Europeans.
The Crusades According to Hans Prutz
More than signifying the triumph of the Christian church, the crusades served as a key to
the enlightenment of the European people. Historical evidence reveals that the early crusades
were initiated as a religious war, and was regarded as divinely inspired. However, this cannot
be said of the later parts of the crusade, which, when examined based on historical truth, had
lost sight of the real purpose of the crusade, which was to promote Christianity. According to
Prutz, the Church offered an “exaggerated misrepresentation of the crusades” (Prutz 46), and
the made the people believed that the crusades were intended for the achievement of a better
spiritual life. The general contention was that the Europeans succeeded during the crusades,
and while the Church considered them as their greatest triumph, these series of conflict, in
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