Not too easy. Not too difficult.
This course was an eye-opener on how Europeans and people in the Middle East interacted in the early 1000s. The 8 Crusades still have a major impact on the relations between these two groups today, which makes it important to learn about in order to understand and try to prevent future conflicts.
Brian Hale was a huge highlight in this course. Instead of attending a lecture, Hale makes the classroom feel like a theater in which he is the performer. There is one big research project in this course in which you pick a text from a list Hale has put together, each one expanding on a certain aspect of the Crusades. Hale is always open to helping on this research as well, so even though it is a big essay you are not left in the dark. I learned a lot about how the various groups, like the French, Byzantine, German, and the Muslim Caliphates related to one another through this period of fighting, although the fighting started long before the Crusades. The happenings in the Crusades help explain why it is hard for the Middle East people and Europeans to negotiate today since betrayal and slaughter were a common feature of the Crusades.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
Make sure you stay up to date on the reading and study guides. Hale usually lets you use your study guides on the exams, so make sure to be very thorough.