Defining the Crusades (King Sigurd Case Study)

Crusade Definition

Read the introduction to this topic on the project website (n.b. For those of you who would like to delve into greater depth on this subject, Giles Constable’s ‘The Historiography of the Crusades’ is now available online):

  • Make a list of the 4 types of crusade historian mentioned by Giles Constable, and be sure that you understand the attributes of each
  • How useful is this sort of historiographical categorisation?
  • What are some of the pitfalls of relying on it to interpret existing scholarship?
  • Which definition best fits the ‘numbered’ crusades you have looked at in this course or that you know about from other work/interests?

Case Study: King Sigurd of Norway

It will help to get an overview of Sigurd’s venture. Any of the following will be very useful:

  • Doxey, Gary B., 'Norwegian Crusaders and the Balearic Islands', Scandinavian Studies, 68.2 (1996), 139–60
  • Jones, Dan, Crusaders: An Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands (London: Head of Zeus, 2019), pp. 145–159
  • Kalinke, Marianne E., 'Sigurðar Saga Jórsalafara: Fictionalisation of Fact in Morkinskinna’, Scandinavian Studies, 56.2 (1984), 152–167
  • Norako, Leila K., 'Crusading Gone Global? The Icelandic Magnussona Saga’s Visions of the World and Home,' Literature Compass, 11.7 (2014), 423–34

Then examine the accounts of the initiation of the expedition in Heimskringla and the later discussion of Sigurd wearing a cross in Morkinskinna, both of which are available in the sources section of this website (n.b. the full account of Sigurd’s venture in the Heimskringla is freely available through the Viking Society Web Publications – you will find it on pages 145–170 of volume three).

  • Do some research on Heimskringla (n.b. Diana Whaley’s Heimskringla: An Introduction is available on the Viking Society website)
  • What must historians take into account when using this source to study Sigurd’s venture?
  • In your opinion, is Sigurd’s expedition presented as a crusade? Give reasons for your answer
Defining the Crusades (King Sigurd Case Study)