This volume is a reference work that presents an encyclopedic survey of the Crusades. The Crusades were a series of 11th, 12th and 13th century religiously sanctioned military campaigns, waged by much of Roman Catholic Europe, particularly the Franks of France and the Holy Roman Empire. At least seven major expeditions were made between Western Europe and the Holy Land with the goal of ending Muslim control of Jerusalem. Ultimately the crusaders were driven out, but not before a cultural exchange had taken place that had an immense impact on Western Europe and an equally enormous, albeit less positive, impact on Arabs and the Islamic world. This overview provides numerous entries on key persons, places, events, battles and sieges, use of weapons and armor, and the deeper issues of the political and cultural background. Complete with a detailed chronology and a bibliography, this work allows readers to learn how Europe was changed forever by these battles with Islam.