Representing the Crusades

From Medieval Imagination to Contemporary Popular Culture


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About the Book

How are the Crusades portrayed in popular culture today? Have the medieval images of chivalric and military heroes survived the eras of Orientalism and decolonization?
The first of its kind, this comparative study examines representations of the Crusades in both European and Arab medieval texts and in 20th and 21st century transmedia recreations. It follows the cartography and illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages through modern, hybridized narratives in novels, film, comics and gaming. The shifting literary tastes, political agendas and cultural exchanges of audiences on both sides of the Mediterranean reflect their anxieties and ideals.

About the Author(s)

Sandra Gorgievski is an associate professor of English at the University of Toulon. Her research interests include medieval and contemporary popular culture. She is the author of a book on Arthurian myth and the co-author of a book on medievalism.

Bibliographic Details

Sandra Gorgievski
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 263
Bibliographic Info: 40 photos, notes, bibliography, index.
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8698-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5026-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Part I. Constructing Memory: Geographical Space and Images of Empires
1. Mapping the Other: Mappa Mundi, the Evolution of Maps and Charts in Medieval Arab and Western Geography 8
2. The Wonders of the East: Iconology in Eastern and Western Illuminated Manuscripts 24
3. Propaganda: Nostalgia for the Orient and Topoi of the Crusades in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries 61
4. Orientalism in the Nineteenth Century: A New Repertoire of Images 76
Part II. The Making of Heroes: Perceptions, Representations, Idealization, Propaganda, Mythmaking
5. Mirrored Chivalric Images of Saladin and Richard in Arab and Western Sources from Medieval Illuminations to Crusade Films and Illustration 80
6. The Rhetoric of Violence: From Medieval Hyperbole to Combat in Comic Books and Euphemized, Virtual Death in Gaming 121
7. Patrimonialism and the Cult of Crusading Heroes and Jihâd Militants in the Twentieth and ­Twenty-First Centuries 147
Part III. Reframing History: Time, History, and Uchronia
8. Literary Manipulation: The Crusades as ­Pre-Text in Novels 160
9. Redesigning the Orient: Syncretism in Western Illustration and Comic Series 181
10. Gaming, Multiculturalism, and Transmedia Narrative 204
Conclusion: The Reception of the Crusades Today 216
Chapter Notes 219
Bibliography 229
Index 249