Dr Tom Asbridge

Reader in Medieval History

Location Arts Two 4.06

Email: t.s.asbridge@qmul.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8343

I studied for a BA in Ancient and Medieval History at Cardiff University, and then undertook doctoral research on the early history of the ‘crusader’ principality of Antioch at Royal Holloway, University of London.

I then taught at St Andrews and the University of Reading, before joining Queen Mary in 1999.


I am a medieval historian specialising in the study of the crusades and the broader history of relations between Islam and the West.

My major publications include The Crusades – The War for the Holy Land (2010), which so far has been translated into eight different languages, and The First Crusade: A New History (2004). I am the founding director of Queen Mary’s Centre for the Study of Islam & the West and chair of the interdisciplinary Islam & the West Research Seminar.

  • Medieval history
  • Crusades & the Crusader States
  • Islam and the West
  • Medieval Knighthood 

Current PhD Students

  • Stephen BennettElite participation in the Crusades
  • Belinda GuthrieThere's no room for the perfect knight in Jerusalem': The Portrayal of Knights during the Era of the Crusades
  • James WilsonDid the arrival of the crusaders in the Levant signal the beginning of a new type of conflict: northern Syria 1055-1154

Undergraduate teaching

Postgraduate teaching

Postgraduate supervision 

I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research on any field of medieval history, with particular reference to

  • military and religious history
  • the crusades and the crusader states
  • cross-cultural contact between Islam and the West



  • The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land (London: Simon & Schuster, 2010), pp. 1-784. A second edition of this book was reprinted with a new forward in the UK in 2012. Other editions of this work already published: US Edition – New York: Ecco Press, HarperCollins; Dutch Translation – Amsterdam: Het Spectrum; German Translation - Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta; Romanian translation – Iasi: Polirom; Danish Translation – Copenhagen, People’s Press. Forthcoming editions of this work: Spanish Translation – Barcelona: Edhasa; Russian Translation – Moscow: Centrerpolygraph.
  • The First Crusade: A New History (UK Edition: London: Free Press, Simon & Schuster, 2004), pp. 1-408. US Edition: The First Crusade: A New History. The roots of conflict between Christianity and Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004). Dutch edition: De Eerste Kruistocht: De oorsprong van het conflict tusen Islam en Christendom (Amsterdam: Athenaeum – Polak & Van Gennep, 2006). Polish edition: Pierwsza Krucjata: Nowe Sporjzenie (Poznan: Rebis, 2006).
  • The creation of the principality of Antioch 1098-1130 (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2000), pp. 1-272.
  • Walter the Chancellor’s ‘The Antiochene Wars’: A translation & commentary (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999), pp. 1-230. Co-authored with S.B. Edgington.


  • ‘How the crusades could have been won: King Baldwin II of Jerusalem’s campaigns against Aleppo (1124-5) and Damascus (1129)’, Journal of Medieval History, vol. 11 (2013), pp. 73-93.
  • ‘Talking to the Enemy: The role and purpose of negotiations between Saladin and Richard the Lionheart during the Third Crusade’, Journal of Medieval History, vol. 39 (2013).
  • ‘The principality of Antioch and the early history of the Latin East’, East and West in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean II, ed. K. Ciggaar & V. Van Aalst (Wilsele: Peeters, January 2013).
  • ‘The Holy Lance of Antioch: Power, devotion and memory on the First Crusade’, Reading Medieval Studies, vol. 33 (2007), pp. 3-36.
  • ‘Knowing the Enemy: Latin relations with Islam at the time of the First Crusade’, Knighthoods of Christ, ed. N. Housley (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 17-25.
  • ‘Alice of Antioch: a case study of female power in the twelfth century’, The Experience of Crusading: Defining the Crusader Kingdom, ed. P. Edbury and J. Phillips (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 29-47.
  • ‘The impact of Islam and Byzantium upon the crusader community at Antioch’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th series, vol. 9 (1999), pp. 305-325.
  • ‘The significance and causes of the battle of the Field of Blood’, Journal of Medieval History, vol. 24.3 (1997), pp. 301-316.
  • ‘The Jabal as-Summaq and the principality of Antioch’, The First Crusade: Origins and Impact, ed. J. Phillips (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997), pp. 142-152.

Web Publications

Appearances in the media

I wrote and presented a landmark three-part BBC Two television series The Crusades based on my book The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land. This series was broadcast in early 2012.

In 2006 I also wrote and presented a BBC Two Timewatch documentary The Crusaders’ Lost Fort, and have appeared in a number of other documentaries both nationally and internationally.

I have been interviewed about my research on both television and radio, on outlets including

I have also worked as a historical consultant for HBO and Company Pictures.