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Friday, July 18
Saturday, July 19
SUN Course between July 14 and 25, 2008
Public Lecture Series between July 14 and 23, 2008
July 18-19, 2008

From Holy War to Peaceful Co-habitation. Diversity of Crusading and the Military Orders

Faculty Tower, Room #409


CEU, Summer University and the Department of Medieval Studies

Contact person(s):
Csilla Dobos



The crusades and the emergence of the medieval military orders was one of the most debated historical issues in the last century. Historical, archaeological, and religious studies were dedicated to this problem, and political, economic and military explanations were put forward to highlight and to explain the relatively fast development of the concept of the new type of holy war and the emergence of new power centers (Kingdom of Jerusalem, Latin Empire, etc.). The transformation of the early medieval political and religious system in the Mediterraneum is one of the key historical issues in this context, and the religious confrontations of the Christian and Muslim worlds have been interpreted in many fundamentally different ways since the beginning of the twentieth century.
Recently, major international conferences and monographic studies reinterpreted the whole period and they proposed fundamentally new concepts for the explanation of this religious and military conflict. They represent an extremely wide range of modern ideas of reinterpretation and many complex issues concerning the concept of holy war, as a new type of warfare and interaction between Christian and Muslim societies, regional development patterns in the Holy Land and other crusader states, and the very general concept concerning the clashes of cultures. These very important new historical works were also confronted with contemporary political events and with the most recent religious and military conflicts between the Western world and the Islam. „Nine eleven” and the fundamentalist Islam movement confronted the scholars dealing with the problem of crusades and the military orders that their research agenda is not simply an academic problem, but one of the most difficult political and religious issues of our world. The thought-provoking, or rather provocative essays interpreted the whole issue in the light of recent political agenda, arguing that this entire circle of discussions is only the result of historical retrospective arguments, where modern Western or Islam civilizations want to find their historical justification in a very misleading interpretation on the holy war. In this argument, the peaceful co-habitation, the concept of acculturation is just a modern political agenda, and the crusades and the emergence of medieval military orders is indeed should be seen as a period of cruel wars, terrible destruction and conflicts and confrontations leading to the hostilities of our contemporary world. A fundamentally different explanation and interpretation can be found in several other well-documented and clearly argued studies of scholars, who follow the concept of a gradual transformation and take into consideration the evidence for war and destruction just as the evidence for revival, restructuring or co-habitation. New research methods and approaches (environmental-historical studies, architectural history of military constructions, art historical interpretations of Christian-Muslim interactions) offer a wide panorama on the fast growing published written source material, the archaeological evidence of this period, which fundamentally changed our understanding on the main issues of the period.

Friday, July 18

10:00 - 13:00
Session 1: Many Views on the Crusades and Military Orders – Diversity of Crusading

The Historiography of the Holy War in France - Michel Balard (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France)

Chaucer's Knight and Holy War - Anthony Luttrell (Independent Scholar, UK)

Old French Translation of Wiliam of Tyre - Peter Edbury (Cardiff University, UK)

Coffee break

Late Crusades in the North - Kurt Villads Jensen (University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark)

The Crusade of Andrew II – Old and New Interpretations -László Veszprémy (Institute of Military History, Budapest, Hungary)

King Sigismund and the Preparations for the Great Crusade -
Attila Bárány (Kossuth Lajos University, Debrecen, Hungary)

14:30 - 16:00
Session 2: Colonization – Co-habitation – Interaction: Transformation of the Regions Affected by the Crusades and the Military Orders

Colonization Co-habitation: Recent Questions and Research Trends - Ronnie Ellenblum (Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel)

Colonization and the Military Orders – Interdisciplinary Approaches - Aleks Pluskowski (University of Reading, UK)

Colonization and Rural Settlement - Archaeological Survey and Pottery - Micaela Sinibaldi (University of Florence, Italy)

On the (re)construction and deconstruction of lieux de mémoire - Constantinople and Venice, A. D. 1204 - Niels Gaul (CEU, Hungary)

Colonization and Military Orders – Archaeological and Historical Approaches - József Laszlovszky (CEU, Hungary)

17:00 - 18:30
Project discussion: Proposal for a new Research Project on the Problem of Holy War
Kurt Villads Jensen - József Laszlovszky

Saturday, July 19

14:30 - 16:00
Session 3: (Royal Palace, Visegrád): Crusading Warfare: Techniques, Military Architecture

Crusades and Warfare - Matthew Bennett (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, UK)

Fortifications in Coastal Syria under the Military Orders and the Muslims at the Time of the Crusades - Benjamin Michaudel (French Institute of the Near East, Damascus, Syria)

The Research Project in al-Marqab Citadel (Margat) - Balázs Major (Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Piliscsaba, Hungary)

Castles of the Templars in Palestine and Syria - Denys Pringle (Cardiff University, UK)

16:30 - 18:30
Visegrád, visiting the medieval royal palace
Gergely Buzás - King Matthias Museum, Visegrád, Hungary, József Laszlovszky, László Veszprémy
the exhibition on Crusader Military Architecture and the New Research Project on the Castle of Margat
Balázs Major, Gergely Buzás

SUN Course between July 14 and 25, 2008

For the detailed program please visit

Public Lecture Series between July 14 and 23, 2008

For the detailed program please visit

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