Increasingly, historians acknowledge the significance of crusading activity in the fifteenth century, and they have started to explore the different ways in which it shaped contemporary European society. Just as important, however, was the range of interactions which took place between the three faith communities which were most affected by crusade, namely the Catholic and Orthodox worlds, and the adherents of Islam. Discussion of these interactions forms the theme of this book. Two essays consider the impact of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 on the conquering Ottomans and the conquered Byzantines. The next group of essays reviews different aspects of the crusading response to the Turks, ranging from Emperor Sigismund to Papal legates. The third set of contributions considers diplomatic and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity, including attempts made to forge alliances of Christian and Muslim powers against the Ottomans. Last, a set of essays looks at what was arguably the most complex region of all for inter-faith relations, the Balkans, exploring the influence of crusading ideas in the eastern Adriatic, Bosnia and Romania. Viewed overall, this collection of essays makes a powerful contribution to breaking down the old and discredited view of monolithic and mutually exclusive "fortresses of faith". Nobody would question the extent and intensity of religious violence in fifteenth-century Europe, but this volume demonstrates that it was played out within a setting of turbulent diversity. Religious and ethnic identities were volatile, allegiances negotiable, and diplomacy, ideological exchange and human contact were constantly in operation between the period's major religious groupings.

chapter 1|12 pages


ByNorman Housley

part Part 1|34 pages

Conquerors and conquered

part Part 2|60 pages

The crusading response

chapter 4|15 pages

Dances, dragons and a pagan queen

Sigismund of Luxemburg and the publicizing of the Ottoman Turkish threat
ByMark Whelan

chapter 5|11 pages

Alfonso V and the anti-Turkish crusade

ByMark Aloisio

chapter 6|15 pages

Papal legates and crusading activity in central Europe

The Hussites and the Ottoman Turks 1
ByAntonín Kalous

chapter 7|17 pages

Switching the tracks

Baltic crusades against Russia in the fifteenth century 1
ByAnti Selart

part Part 3|42 pages

Diplomatic and cultural interactions

chapter 8|11 pages

Tīmūr and the ‘Frankish’ powers

ByMichele Bernardini

chapter 10|16 pages

Quattrocento Genoa and the legacies of crusading

BySteven A. Epstein

part Part 4|62 pages

Frontier zones

chapter 11|18 pages

The key to the gate of Christendom?

The strategic importance of Bosnia in the struggle against the Ottomans
ByEmir O. Filipović

chapter 12|18 pages

Between two worlds or a world of its own?

The eastern Adriatic in the fifteenth century 1
ByOliver Jens Schmitt

chapter 13|19 pages

The Romanian concept of crusade in the fifteenth century

BySergiu Iosipescu

chapter 14|5 pages


Transformations of crusading in the long fifteenth century
ByAlan V. Murray