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  • 24 Apr 2023 6:20 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    We were very saddened to learn of the death of Professor Rudolf Hiestand, a scholar of immense importance to our field of study. Please find here a brief appreciation of his life and career from his friend and former student, Professor Jochen Burgtorf. A longer reflection on Professor Hiestand will appear in a forthcoming issue of Crusades.

    Remembering Rudolf Hiestand (1933-2023)

    “When you study the Crusades for years, you begin to view your own work ... as a pilgrimage over oftentimes hard and arid ground. Yet the desire remains to, one day, see the final destination and to, hopefully, reach it, too.” With these words, Rudolf Hiestand prefaced his 1985 volume on papal documents for the churches in the Holy Land, and they aptly illustrate his dedication to “peregrinatio” as an academic rite of passage, a research topic, and a life philosophy.

    Rudolf Hiestand was born in Zurich on August 30, 1933, the son of two secondary-school teachers, both with doctorate degrees in philosophy from the University of Zurich. Following in their footsteps, he enrolled at the same “alma mater” to study History, Romance Languages, and Classical Philology, with the intent to become a secondary-school teacher as well. Following a semester in Paris, he did indeed teach school in Switzerland for three years and, in 1958, submitted his doctoral dissertation, supervised by Marcel Beck, on Byzantium and the kingdom of Italy in the tenth century (published 1964). His academic “peregrinationes” subsequently took him to the “Istituto italiano per gli studi storici” in Naples (1958-1960) and the German Historical Institute in Rome (1960-1962). After some time at the University of Zurich (1962-1966) and the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen (1967-1968), he joined Hans Eberhard Mayer at the Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel, where, in 1972, he presented his habilitation thesis, a three-volume study on the papal legates of the Crusades and in the Crusader states. From 1976 until 1998, he was Professor and Chair of Medieval History at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, yet his scholarly productivity continued after his retirement and well into the third decade of our current century.

    Not counting his archival explorations all over Europe, encompassing—in his own words—the space between Malta, Lisbon, Aberystwyth, Vilnius, and Budapest, and his travels throughout the “Orient,” Rudolf Hiestand lived thirty years in Switzerland, five years in Italy and the Near East, and over fifty years in Germany. Anyone who visited him in Düsseldorf, whether at home or on campus, quickly learned that it was important to him to have “a room with a view” (also the title of one of his articles), which he considered an antidote to any and all forms of narrow-mindedness. His multilingual publication record is extensive, and for scholars of the Crusades and the Latin East, his three volumes of “Vorarbeiten” (i.e., preliminary works) on the papal documents for Templars, Hospitallers, and churches in the Holy Land, in addition to scores of articles on a multitude of related subjects, will remain indispensable. To facilitate the eventual and, if need be, posthumous completion of his remaining projects, including the “Oriens Pontificius Latinus” and the edition of documents from the “Inventaire de Manosque,” he set the wheels in motion years ago.

    Teaching was perhaps Rudolf Hiestand’s greatest passion. In addition to brilliant lectures and fascinating seminars, he provided hands-on coaching in paleography and diplomatics, he encouraged his students to set out on their own “peregrinationes,” and he cherished the oftentimes daily “confabulationes” over lunch and coffee with his academic family. He took his motto from one of the great scholars of the Carolingian Renaissance: “Profectus discipulorum mihi merces apud Deum.”—“The students’ success shall be my reward before God.” Rudolf Hiestand died on March 31, 2023, in Düsseldorf. He will be missed dearly.

    Jochen Burgtorf

  • 12 Oct 2022 4:32 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    Registration for an online workshop about sermons and the liturgy as new pathways in crusade studies is now available

    From the conference website: 
    "The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars at all stages working in the above-mentioned fields and encourage further development in and between these innovative areas of research. It focusses in particular on the connection between crusading, crusade preaching, crusade ideology, or crusade commemoration on the one hand and theology, exegesis, sermons, liturgy, or apocalypticism on the other. Ultimately, the conference seeks to enhance understanding of the place of crusading in Latin Christian ecclesiastical and religious culture, and inspire debates on how the biblical metatext, disseminated via different media and in a variety of settings and circumstances, caused, shaped, and commemorated the crusades."

  • 4 May 2022 1:26 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    We are glad to share a new initiative, being organised by Professor Emanuel Buttigieg and myself from the University of Malta, and Dr Daniel Gullo from HMML (Malta Study Center): The early modern Hospitallers online talks series. 

    It's been evident to us for some time that while scholars working on the medieval military-religious orders (including the Hospitallers) are well organised and connected, those working on the early modern (and later) periods are still dispersed. Our hope is that this online series of talks might help foster a closer collaboration and stimulate multidisciplinary discussions, covering broad topics and bringing together a variety of specialists. At the same time, our goal is to create awareness of all the Hospitaller archival collections being digitised by the Malta Study Center and available online for free in the platform vHMML.org.

    We would like to invite you to the first seminar on Monday 16th May 2022 at 6.30 pm (Malta time) which will serve as an introduction to the series, with short interventions by myself and Professor Buttigieg, and a talk by Dr Gullo. The second one will be held on the 16th of June 2022 at 7pm on the theme of Venice, Malta, and the Ottomans. The speakers will be Professor Victor Mallia-Milanes, Professor Giancarlo Casale, and Liam Gauci.

    Each seminar will include 20-mins presentations and a discussion, focusing in particular on historiography, methodology and sources.

    The participation is free of charge but registration is required. Please fill in this form to receive the Zoom link: https://forms.gle/eyLFguqHmbemFCT98

    Your participation and contribution will make for a fascinating interaction and exchange of ideas. 

    Please feel free to spread the word about this initiative.

  • 26 Apr 2022 6:52 PM | Gordon Reynolds (Administrator)

    Many of SSCLE's friends and members will be interested in a new article on useful digital sources:

    Katy Mortimer (PhD, Royal Holloway) has produced an article outlining the online resources available for studying the crusades, and argued for further development of digital humanities projects within crusade-studies.

    You can find Katy's article under the following:  

    K. Mortimer, 'Networks of Crusading: An Introductory Overview of Digital Resources for Research into People, Place and Space', Medieval People, vol. 36, no. 1 (2021), article 14. 

  • 26 Apr 2022 6:15 PM | Gordon Reynolds (Administrator)

    SSCLE has a new instagram page - @thelatineast - to help broadcast the research of our members and friends, share news, and raise awareness of the society.

    If you would like to feature on the page, share photos from your research in archives, in the field, or from conferences, please get in touch.

    You can DM the Instagram page itself or send an email to: ssclesocialmedia@outlook.com

  • 23 Apr 2022 7:37 PM | Gordon Reynolds (Administrator)
    Jochen Burghof (California State University, Fullerton) will be delivering a hybrid lecture entitled, 'Refugees and Population Displacement in the Eastern Mediterranean During the Crusading Era', on Friday 29 April, 3pm CST. You can attend the event in person at Adorjan Hall Room 142, Saint Louis University, or join via Zoom. To attend online, simply sign up to SLU's 'The Crusade Studies Forum', through the following link: http://www.crusadestudies.org  
  • 22 Apr 2022 11:22 AM | Gordon Reynolds (Administrator)

    Online Lecture by Hayley Bassett, University of Cardiff, Wednesday 4 May, 7–8pm (BST)

    When Baldwin II King of Jerusalem died on 22 August 1131, his eldest daughter Melisende became Jerusalem’s first regnant Queen and was crowned jointly with her husband Fulk and infant son Baldwin III. This talk will examine the monarchical relationship between Melisende and her co-rulers; firstly with her father Baldwin II until his death in 1131, then with her husband Fulk until his death in 1143 and finally with her son Baldwin III until she stood aside in 1152. Co-rule was not a harmonious partnership and the kingdom was brought to civil war twice during Melisende’s reign as the men she ruled with sought to wield power alone. 

    Hayley Bassett is a PhD student at Cardiff University. Her research interests include Anglo-Norman politics and diplomacy, particularly royal succession, regnant queenship, marriage, consorts and gender authority. In 2021 she received the St John Historical Society Award for original research. She is a contributor to Queens in Waiting: Potential and Prospective Queens, Ambitions and Expectations, due to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2022.

    This talk will take place over Zoom and live subtitles will be provided by Stagetext. A link will be provided when you book your ticket through Eventbrite UK.

    Melisende Queen of Jerusalem: Co-rule and Conflict in the Kingdom of Heaven Tickets, Wed 4 May 2022 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

  • 6 Apr 2022 12:43 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    The Crusades and the Medieval Mediterranean

    Friday 27th May 2022, Nottingham Trent University, UK

    We invite proposals for 20 minute papers from postgraduate, ECR and established scholars from the fields of history, literature, art history, archaeology, music or any other relevant discipline. The NNSC links together scholars working on all aspects of the Crusades in the Midlands and the North of England but proposals are welcomed from anyone currently working on a related topic. Pending any future coronavirus restrictions, it is envisaged that this will be an in-person event hosted at Nottingham Trent University in the UK with a view to offering opportunities to scholars, ECRs and PhD students to develop their in-person presentation skills and network with each other, though there may be options for online provision. Postgraduate students and academics who are developing papers for future conferences are welcome to attend and present working papers in a welcoming and friendly environment.

    Papers may consider any aspect or area of crusading activity, with a special emphasis on those which explore the Mediterranean settings of crusading activity, whether contributing to or impacted by crusading across any chronological or geographical field of enquiry.

    Themes could include but are not limited to:

    New encounters and interactions with cultures and societies.

    Crossing or living in border and frontier zones both real and imagined.

    Narratives of invasion, conquest and displacement.

    Diplomacy, communication between peoples, borders, languages.

    Environmental cultures: impacts of and recovery from natural and human-generated crises.

    Belonging, exclusion and marginalisation, gender and identity.

    Performance and memory of crusading in Mediterranean contexts.

    Material evidence and culture.

    Travel by land and sea, migration, trade, slavery, pilgrimage and cross-cultural interaction.

    Proposals should include a title and abstract of c.200 words, together with your name, institutional affiliation, and email address to Adam.Simmons@ntu.ac.uk by Friday 22nd April 2022.

    Please also list any additional equipment required for your presentation. All papers presented should last for no more than 20 minutes.

    This NNSC event will be co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Religion and Conflict at NTU.

  • 6 Apr 2022 12:37 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    The Crusades: Historiography, Settlements, People and Roads (11-14th Centuries)

    The articles should be sent by e-mail to the address: hacliseferleritarihi@gmail.com

    About the Book and General Topics

    This book will cover the following topics: 

    • The origin of the idea of crusade 
    • Crusades historiography: eastern and western sources 
    • Battles: The Crusades of 1096-1291
    • Alliances and Conflicts
    • Settlements: Crusader States (County of Edessa, Principality of Antioch, County of Tripoli, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Kingdom of Cyprus) 
    • People: The Crusader and Turkish leaders, Muslims and Christians people 
    • Roads: Crusades army route: sea and land roads from Clermont to Jerusalem 
    • Byzantine Empire, Constantinople and the crusades 

    Please send 150-500 words with five key words

    Number of pages Final papers should not be longer than 10,000 words


    • Abstract deadline is 3 October 2022
    • Full paper deadline is 1 July 2023
    • Publishing date scheduled to end of 2023

    Editor: Dr. Sevtap GÖLGESİZ KARACA

  • 21 Mar 2022 1:39 PM | Kyle Lincoln (Administrator)

    Mandeville 700: call for papers

    30th June 2022

    In 1322, Sir John Mandeville left his native England to travel through Europe, to the pilgrim sites of Jerusalem, and beyond to the Far East, where he served as a mercenary in the Great Khan’s army before returning home 34 years later to write an immensely popular and influential account of his travels. Or not: historical research has been unable to find any John Mandeville who can be firmly identified either as traveller or author, and the book itself was largely adapted from other sources. To mark the 700th anniversary of his supposed departure, this conference will bring together scholars working on one of the most striking and enduring inventions of the late Middle Ages

    Currently planned as a live event to be held at King’s College London. We appreciate that not everyone will be able to attend in person, so please contact us if you would like to contribute remotely or if you have any questions.


    • Professor Anthony Bale, editor and translator of John Mandeville, The Book of Marvels and Travels (OUP)

    • Dr Sierra Lomuto, Rowan University

    • Daisy Black will give a story-telling performance based on the mappa mundi


    • The multi-lingual Mandeville tradition: translations and transmission; manuscripts and illuminated cycles; Mandeville and the archive

    • Mandeville and the global medieval; Mandeville as colonial forerunner; Mandeville and Orientalism; race and religion

    • Pilgrimage, physical and virtual travel, cartography

    • The reception and influence of Mandeville; Mandeville monuments and tombs, and the politics of commemoration

    Write to us with 250-300 word proposals by 01/04/22 at Mandeville700conference@gmail.com. We particularly welcome submissions from early career scholars and postgraduate students, and collaborative abstract submissions.

    More info, here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/events/mandeville-700-call-for-papers

    Accessibility info for our venue here: https://t.co/qFuTbXIG8g

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