Jonathan Riley-Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jonathan Riley-Smith
Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History
University of Cambridge
In office
Preceded by Christopher N. L. Brooke
Succeeded by David Maxwell
Personal details
Born Jonathan Simon Christopher Riley-Smith
27 June 1938
Died 13 September 2016(2016-09-13) (aged 78)
Citizenship British
Education Eton College
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Jonathan Simon Christopher Riley-Smith, GCStJ, FRHistS (27 June 1938 – 13 September 2016) was a historian of the Crusades,[1] and a former Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History. He was a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Early life[edit]

He was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his BA (1960), MA (1964), PhD (1964), and LittD (2001).

Academic career[edit]

During his career, he taught at the University of St Andrews, Queens' College, Cambridge, Royal Holloway College, London as well as at Trinity College. His many respected publications on the origins of the crusading movement and the motivations of the first crusaders deeply influenced the current historiography of the crusades.[2]

He was a Knight of Grace and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and a Bailiff Grand Cross of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Riley-Smith was married to Louise, an artist, and was a convert to Catholicism.[4] Riley-Smith and his wife had three children, including singer-songwriter Polly Paulusma, he died on 13 September 2016.[5]



  • The Knights of St John in Jerusalem and Cyprus, c. 1050–1310 (London, Macmillan, 1967 repr. 2002)
  • Ayyubids, Mamlukes and Crusaders. Selections from the Tarikh al-Duwal wa'l Muluk of Ibn al-Furat (with Ursula and Malcolm c. Lyons), 2 vols. (Cambridge, Heffer, 1971)
  • The Feudal Nobility and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1174–1277 (London, Macmillan, 1973 repr 2002)
  • What Were the Crusades? (London, Macmillan, 1977 2nd edition 1992 3rd edition Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2002)
  • The Crusades: Idea and Reality, 1095–1274 (with Louise Riley-Smith) (London, Edward Arnold, 1981)
  • The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (London and Philadelphia, Athlone/ University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986, paperback US 1990, UK 1993)
  • The Crusades: A Short History -London and New Haven, Athlone/ Yale University Press, 1987, also in paperback) (translated into French, Italian and Polish)
  • The Atlas of the Crusades (editor) (London and New York, Times Books/ Facts on File, 1991) - (translated into German and French)
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades (editor) (Oxford,Oxford University Press, 1995, paperback 1997) (now reissued as The Oxford History of the Crusades, paperback, 1999) - (translated into Russian, German and Polish)
  • Cyprus and the Crusades (editor, with Nicholas Coureas) (Nicosia, Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East and Cyprus Research Centre, 1995)
  • Montjoie: Studies in Crusade History in Honour of Hans Eberhard Mayer (editor, with Benjamin Z. Kedar and Rudolf Hiestand) (Aldershot, Variorum, 1997)
  • The First Crusaders, 1095–1131 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997, paperback 1998, 2000)
  • Hospitallers: The History of the Order of St. John (London, The Hambledon Press, 1999, also in paperback)
  • Al seguito delle Crociate Rome (Di Renzo: Dialoghi Uomo e Societΰ), 2000
  • Dei gesta per Francos: Etudes sur les croisades dιdiιes ΰ Jean Richard (editor, with M. Balard and B.Z. Kedar) Aldershot (Ashgate), 2001
  • The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam (Columbia University Press, 2008)
  • The Knights Hospitaller in the Levant 1070–1309 (Basingstoke, 2012)


  1. ^ Andy Soltis; Richard Johnson (5 May 2005). "Knight Clubbing - Historians' Jihad Vs. 'Heaven'". New York Post. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Jonathan Riley-Smith on the Motivations of the First Crusaders | Andrew Holt, Ph.D". Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Order of St John". The Gazette. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Cambridge colleges head porters in portrait show". BBC News. 4 June 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith 1938-2016". Cambridge University. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 

External links[edit]