Professor Jonathan Phillips

Jonathan Phillips

Professor Jonathan Phillips

Professor of History of the Crusades

Phone: +44 1784 443295

Personal profile

 

Jonathan Phillips was educated at the University of Keele (BA, 1987) and Royal Holloway, University of London (Ph.D, 1992). He worked at the Universities of Southampton and York before returning to Royal Holloway in 1994. He became Professor of Crusading History in 2005.

 

He is the author of numerous books on the crusades, most recently (2014) a second, extended, edition of The Crusades, 1095-1204, published by Routledge (formerly, The Crusades, 1095-1197, Longman 2002).

 

In 2013, with Martin Hall, he produced Caffaro, Genoa and the Twelfth Century Crusades, Crusade Texts in Translation no. 24 (Ashgate, Farnham, 2013), a translation and commentary on the writings of Caffaro of Genoa. Caffaro was the first layman to produce a narrative of the First Crusade, he was also responsible for the first urban history of the medieval age with his ‘Annals’ of Genoa.  A selection of charters, mainly in the form of commercial privileges, supplements these texts to give a rich insight into Genoese involvement in the Eastern Mediterranean during the twelfth century.

 

In 2009 Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades was published by Bodley Head to very positive reviews. It was selected as one of the ‘History Books of 2009’ by The Sunday Telegraph and by BBC History Magazine. Professor William Chester Jordan, Chairman, Department of History, Princeton University, wrote: ‘Jonathan Phillips’ Holy Warriors is a superb book, one written with an elegant blend of clarity and zest. Its author demonstrates his mastery of all the relevant scholarship, from the oldest to the most recent, but he may be the most successful in his ability to capture the spirit of the various crusades through word portraits of some of their most memorable human characters. Readers will find it difficult to put this gripping book down’. Holy Warriors has also been translated into Dutch as In naam van God and published by Nieuw Amsterdam in 2009, into French as Une histoire modern des croisades by Flammarion in 2010; into German as Heliger Kreig: Eine neue Geschichte der Kreuzzüge by DVA, 2009 (with a student-price edition by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2012), and into Italian as Sacri Guerrieri by Laterza 2012.

 

Phillips’ previous monograph The Second Crusade: Extending the Frontiers of Christendom, (Yale University Press, 2007), was strongly praised by reviewers in, for example, Times Literary Supplement (Professor R.I.Moore, 25/4/08), plus The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph. It was translated into Polish in 2013. His earlier The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople (Jonathan Cape, 2004) was also translated into Greek, Spanish and Japanese and was shortlisted for the Hessell-Tiltman Literary Prize 2005.

 

His current research interests centre upon: 1. The life and legacy of the Sultan Saladin. 2. On a major history of the Third Crusade. 3. The Memory of the Crusades in western Europe and the Near East from the C18th to the present day.

 

He is also the General Editor of the forthcoming 2 volume Cambridge History of the Crusades.

 

Over the last two years Phillips has given invited conference papers and plenary lectures to or at: University College Dublin, Bristol University; the Ecclesiastical History Society summer conference, Chichester; Haifa University; Athens University; and the University of Ghent. He will be speaking at: the Riggsby lecture at the Marco Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Knoxville, USA; the Hebrew University, Jerusalem later in 2014.  

 

Professor Phillips has appeared in numerous television and radio programmes. He has completed a major 6 part series on early Christianity, The Road From Christ to Constantine (Sunrise Productions) which he co-wrote and presents.

 

Recently he was on EWTN’s Crusades series, along with interviews for al-Jazeera’s forthcoming series on the Crusades and for Yesterday TV’s ‘Ancient Black-Ops’ on the Assassins. He wrote and presented a radio essay on Saladin as part of Radio 3’s acclaimed ‘Golden Age of Islam’ series in 2014. He also acted as the historical consultant for David Eldridge’s play Holy Warriors: A Fantasia on the Third Crusade and a History of the Violent Struggle for the Holy Lands, performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, London in the summer of 2014. 

 

Other TV appearances include Channel 4's Back from the Dead: Crusaders (September 2011). He participated in BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week to discuss Holy Warriors. He was the consultant and an interviewee in Channel 4’s programme on the Crusades (part of the Christianity season, presented by Rageh Omaar, 2009); he was the consultant and an interviewee in Boris Johnson’s BBC2 programme After Rome (2008), and he was the consultant and lead presenter for the History Channel’s Crescent and the Cross (2005).

 

Phillips is a member of the national AQA Council and an advisor to the AQA GCSE reform panel.

 

He is (with Professor Benjamin Kedar) co-editor of the academic journal, Crusades. He co-chairs the 'Crusades and Eastern Mediterranean' seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, London. Phillips is the Course Director of the MA in Crusader Studies.

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