East Meets West

GBP £12.95



ISBN: 978-1-913875-02-2

72 pages

180 x 180 mm, (7 x 7 in)

46 colour illustrations

In association with Macquarie University, NSW, Australia

November 2021


An entirely new volume which illuminates the complex intersection of western and eastern culture and civilization during and after the period of the Crusades

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The Crusades resulted in a series of wars of epic proportions. Between the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 14th century CE, the 206-years-long conflict involved almost all European, North African and Middle Eastern countries, from Egypt to Mongolia. People lost their lives, were sold as slaves or were otherwise de-rooted; empires emerged and collapsed; faith and religious beliefs were challenged as well as supported; and the impact of the divide between the East and the West still remains traceable today.

East Meets West seeks to illuminate the lasting legacy of  the Crusades through the study of Byzantine and Mamluk Egyptian artworks and illuminated manuscripts. The artworks examined and beautifully presented in full colour include ceramic bowls, sgraffito ware, gold and glass jewellery, and leaves from the Qur’an and other illuminated manuscripts. The volume includes a timeline, selected bibliography and brief biographies of the contributing authors.

Author biographies

Edited by Martin Bommas. Contributions by Mohamad Ali, Georgia Barker, Keagan Brewer, Louise D’Arcens and Bronwen Neil

Martin Bommas is director of the Macquarie University History Museum, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Mohamad Ali is the founder, director and curator of the Al-Khatt Al-Jameel Private Collection of Qur’an Manuscripts based in Sydney, and a head teacher with the NSW Department of Education.

Georgia Barker is an honorary postdoctoral associate in the Department of History and Archaeology at Macquarie University.

Keagan Brewer is a Macquarie University research associate, who specialises in the intersection between beliefs, disbeliefs and emotions in medieval Europe.

Louise D’Arcens is professor of English at Macquarie University.

Bronwen Neil FAHA is professor of Ancient History at Macquarie University.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction by Martin Bommas
  • The Crusader Period and Medieval Understandings of the East by Keagan Brewer
  • The Byzantine Empire by Bronwen Neil
  • The Invention of Skyscape: Mamluk Architecture in Egypt during the 13the and 14th Centuries by Martin Bommas
  • The Art of Sgraffito by Martin Bommas and Bronwen Neil
  • The Book of Hours by Martin Bommas and Louise D’Arcens
  • ‘We have sent down the Qur’an ourself, and we ourself will guard it’ by Mohamad Ali
  • The Middle Ages in Sydney Cultural Institutions: Western and Eastern by Louise D’Arcens
  • Timeline by Georgia Barker
  • Glossary
  • Select Bibliography
  • About the Authors