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Contemporary interest in the period of the Crusades has intensified in the last decade or so, partly because of the inflammatory invocations of holy war and jihad made immediately after the traumatic events of 9/11.
The main charateristic of Crusade studies in the post-Runciman era has been expansion and diversification (much like the crusading ‘movement’ itself). One of many new ways into the topic is to focus on how crusades and crusading were received, understood and interpreted by different social groupings.
In the Middle Ages a series of Old French knightly-spoken poems known as chansons de geste, devoted to the subject of crusades, took shape in the north of France.