HIS 3342-40 – Era of the Crusades

Mid term take-home exam



In lieu of a written exam where students often speedily regurgitate information in class, this exam will force you to critically consider (and partially regurgitate—but in the privacy of your own home) the material covered over the semester thus far. 


For the purposes of this exam, any information presented in class (i.e. what I presented in the lectures and what was seen in the videos) should be considered common knowledge.  All additional information, whether taken from the Allen reader, the Riley-Smith or Maalouf texts should be cited correctly using either MLA or Chicago style.  (Failure to cite correctly in one of these styles will lower your exam grade.)


Do not quote extensively—quotes demonstrate the ability to copy while explanation and paraphrase demonstrate comprehension.


While your answer should be supported with evidence (i.e. sources), there is no need to use additional information in writing the essay.  (Clarification: Do not use any additional sources in answering the question.  If you do, expect your grade to suffer accordingly.) 


For clarification regarding how I grade written work, please see the History Essay grading rubric: https://lat.taskstream.com/rubricExternal/k7ecfjfjfifhf6ep


Your essay should be double-spaced, 12-point Times font, 1-inch margins all around with numbered pages.  Essays will not be longer than 6 pages, exclusive of the works cited page.  (Clarification: 6 pages and one line on page 7 is not acceptable.  No shrinking fonts either!)


Essays must be submitted in Blackboard not later than 7pm on 10 October.  (Clarification: If you’re thinking you might have car trouble or might be feeling ill or a family member or pet is looking peaked or like they’ll need emergency surgery, get it turned in early—late exam essays will be penalized at one letter grade per day they are late—7:01pm on 10 October is 1 day late.)



Here’s the two-part question:


1. Describe the conditions of the Islamic, Byzantine, and Western European worlds by 1095 in such as way that as you move toward that date, you’ll operate from the premise that the most unsophisticated of the three will, by 1095, be invited to assist one, which will result in the partial conquest of the other.  This part of your essay will explain how, by 1095 (i.e. don’t actually start the Crusades), that’s logistically possible.


2. In 1095, Pope Urban II preached the First Crusade as a religious endeavor.  As a relatively weak force in Europe, how was he able to amass a force of some 100,000 Europeans to march toward Palestine and what were the circumstances that ultimately led the Crusaders from victory to victory and, finally, the ultimate prize--Jerusalem-- by 1099?