Seven Myths of the Crusades

I have somewhat of a firm knowledge of the history of the crusades, where I can easily laugh at some of the myths about the Crusades that spews out of people’s mouth. Though in some cases, that laughter may translate to absolute disgust because of the blatant disinformation. I can understand having biases, after I’m the first to admit my bias in favor of the Latin world. However I can’t stand any sort of slander. The Crusades is one of topics that is slandered to death.

This book is written by 10 different well established history academics, all of which provide extremely well research and good objective points of view’s debunking the different myths covered.The following are the seven popular myths that are thoroughly explained in this book:


  1. The First Crusade: Provoked Offensive or Overdue Defense?
  2. Mad Men on Crusade: Religion Madness and the Origins of The First Crusade
  3. The Crusades and Medieval Anti-Judaism: Cause or Consequence
  4. The Quest for Gain: Were the First Crusaders Proto-Colonists?
  5. Myths of Innocence: The Making of the Children’s Crusade
  6. Templars and Masons: An Origin Myth
  7. Islam and the Crusades: A Nine Hundred-Year-Long Grievance?

Each chapter starts with a quote of someone fueling the example of a popular crusading myth. I’m not joking when I refer to these as being laughable. The authors do provide some backgrounds of those individuals spewing negative crusading rhetoric. Some of these includes, Hollywood movies and TV shows, Western Politicians, and shocking (not really) university academics. The latter was amusing to me, since after I did a quick Google search of some of these academics regurgitating crusade (and Christian) disinformation, all mostly were Western scholars whose university programs happened to be sponsored by the Saudi government! But I digress.

In my opinion, this is the perfect introductory book for anyone that is mildly interested on learning about the crusades. It gives a good foundation on explanation what the crusades were, but more important what they weren’t.

As someone who has studied the Spanish “Black Legend”, the popular negative crusade myths aren’t any different. Even as such both are well intertwined! So I wasn’t surprised that the inspiration for this book came from the book Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest.