Hello world!

11 Mar

Thanks for visiting my new blog!

I am a medievalist, teaching and researching at Birkbeck College, University of London. I’ve recently edited and translated Sir John Mandeville’s fourteenth-century Book of Marvels and Travels and, growing out of this, I’ve started a new research project, funded by the AHRC Research Network award and then by a Philip Leverhulme Prize, on western European representations of Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the period following the Crusades (i.e. 1291 – c. 1550).

The Latin Christian kingdom of Jerusalem was established by Crusaders in the Holy Land in the period 1096-9. Nobility, clergy, pilgrims, converts, and many others quickly established a state focussed on, and based around, the conquest of Jerusalem, building new castles, fortresses, cathedrals and cities. The Latin Kingdom was hugely important, but endured for only a short time: the last mainland Crusader town, the fortified city of Acre (Akko, Israel), was taken by the Mamluks in 1291. The Remembered Places project explores the European memory of the Crusades in the centuries which followed, thinking about the cultural consequences of the loss of the Latin Kingdom. As Jerusalem and the Holy Land once more came under Islamic control, European Christendom re-imagined its relationship to the holy sites, especially to Jerusalem, the ‘centre’ or ‘navel’ of the known world.

I’ll be using this blog informally to report on and discuss the many different versions of Jerusalem I come across in my research, and at the workshops and public lectures associated with the Remembered Places project. I’ll also be using it to get feedback on some my ideas and to share and store my photos of representations of Calvary, Jerusalem and other holy sites.

All photos on the site are taken by me, and can be used freely (though an acknowledgement to me, Anthony Bale, would be nice).

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One Response to “Hello world!”

  1. Matt McLaughlin June 10, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

    But in case you just wanted to enjoy the view, pause a while at the obelisk commemorating the visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1898, which is now found at the centre of a small grove. Here, the residents of the Templar Colony of German protestants celebrated their holidays in the days before they were expelled by the British in World War Two, especially the “Kaiserpast” on October 25, the day of visit of the German Kaiser in Haifa. In 1918, the British Army, under General Allenby, destroyed the obelisk, but it was restored by the Israeli government, but with the ‘counterbalance’ of an enormous French naval cannon. With a delightful pool and a children’s playground, this really is a ‘do not miss’ location.
    The Louis Promenade is immediately opposite the top entrance to the Bahai gardens (just cross the road carefully and climb a few steps), or from a passageway between the Tikotin Museum and the Dan Carmel hotel.

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