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Introduction

The Crusades simplified

The First Crusades simplified for education. The Crusades were a great symbol of Christian unification, and also a symbol of military exploration, in search of riches in a rich and powerful Muslim world.

To talk about the Crusades, I believe, one should always mention the Byzantine Empire as the last Cristina military presence in the East. Constantinople was the Great city that stud between the East and West and was the seat of the surviving Roman state.

Council of Clermont The First Crusades Simplified
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Council of Clermont

The Byzantines had managed to survive the conquests through military innovations as well as bribery and diplomacy. For instance, the Byzantines invented Greek fire as one source of protection against the Muslim raids.

In 1095 the Byzantines were having much difficulty defending their territories in Asia Mino against the Turks. In 1095 Byzantine Emperor Alexius I sent an emissary to the Pope in Rome asking for any kind of help.

Pope Urban II

Pope Urban II was a very influential and powerful pope. Alexius Pope Urban II responded by calling several councils including. The most important decision made by Pope Urban was his unification of warring Christian Kingdoms.

The Council of Clermont was historically the council that managed to get the attention of most monarchs and nobles of Western Europe.

Pope Urban II used the call for help of the Byzantine Empire. The Islamic invasion saw the City of Constantinople constantly under attack, including the invasion of Byzantine’s Asia Minor.

Pope Urban unified all European Kingdoms which subsequently ended most military conflicts in Europe. For the Byzantines, this was just what they needed. In Europe, several massive armies were assembled and headed for the Middle East to recaptured Jerusalem the land of God.

Pope Urban II
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Pope Urban II

The first Crusade was led by Godfrey of Bouillon, Raymond IV, Stephen II, Baldwin of Boulogne, among many other important nobles (God Will it!). The crusader army was very powerful; it had Knights, Calvary men, Lancers, and many Pilgrims looking for their personal salvation.

Although faith was driving the crusaders, they also had their eyes on their own personal wealth, as mentioned above the Muslims were extremely rich, therefore, booty was going to be a key factor when sacking a city.

First crusade

The First Crusade traveled westward towards Constantinople. They would use the port in Constantinople to sail over to Asia Minor and face the Ottoman Turks. Quickly they besieged Nicaea and took the city.

Then they headed deeper in the east for Jerusalem, while sacking and pillaging cities on the ways. During the First Crusade, the large city of Antioch was sacked.

In 1099 the Crusader army besieged Jerusalem and began preparing for an assault. The city of Jerusalem felt quickly.

The crusade’s target was finally accomplished. However, almost the entire Muslim and Jewish population in Jerusalem was a massacre.

This act was deeply influenced by the psychological influence of wars in Medieval times. As a result of the First Crusade, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was permanently established in the region.

Map_Crusader_states_1165-en
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Crusader States 1165 AD

The Kingdom of Jerusalem protected the Christendom from the Muslims, most importantly the powerful King Saladin.

According to “Listening to the Past” the crusade was a failure. The First Crusade, from the Muslims’ perspective, was nothing more than a Frankish expedition over Muslim territories to acquire land and booty. 

Pope Urban II’s idea of the First Crusade was conveyed to the Muslims Caliphate resulting in failure. The Christian kingdoms could permanently capture Jerusalem resulting in numerous more Crusades.

Reference

John F. Madden-The Modern Scholar: God Wills It!; Understanding the Crusades
McKay, John P., et al. A History of World Societies. 8th ed. Vol. I: To 1715. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s

, 2009- 364-365-366

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