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Date(s) - 4 Mar 2014
6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Columbia University Faculty House

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The next meeting of the University Seminar on Medieval Studies for the 2013-2014 academic year will take place on Tuesday, March 4, from 6:00-7:30pm in Room 2 of Faculty House (Columbia University). Please note the change from the usual 5:30pm start time.

Christopher Tyerman, of the University of Oxford, will speak on

“Money and Motives on Crusade”

Recent crusade historiography has emphasised the religious elements in the appeal, incentives and impetus of crusading. This has operated as a reaction to earlier materialist and colonial interpretations. After a century of ideological warfare, hot and cold, historians more easily recognise the power of ideas and emotion. However, other perspectives and insights remain possible without recourse to crude dichotomies of God or Mammon. This paper suggests that large sections of the armies that fought for the cross, including the First Crusade in the 1090s, comprised paid soldiers whose presence depended primarily on the reciprocal ties and obligations of lordship. This observation allows insight into the structure and operation of these forces but also offers perspectives on the wider cultural context of crusaders as well as on the pressures and incentives experienced by participants. No cross, no crusade; but also no pay, no crusade.


The talk will be followed by dinner at Faculty House. All those who wish to dine with the speaker after the talk must make reservations by contacting the rapporteur of the seminar, Jeffrey Wayno, either by phone or by email no later than one week before the talk. Dinner is a fixed buffet menu, which costs $25 per person. Payment can be made by checks made out to “Columbia University.”