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What were the "Crusades"? Were the great Christian expeditions to invade the Holy Land in fact "Crusades" at all? In this treatment, the author questions the very nature of our belief in the Crusades, showing how historians writing more than a century after the First Crusade retrospectively invented the idea of the "Crusade". Using these much later sources, subsequent historians have employed propaganda from a much later period to explain events that were understood quite differently by contemporaries.
CHRISTOPHER TYERMAN is Lecturer in Medieval History at Hertford College, Oxford, and Head of History at Harrow School.