The Crusades

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The arrival at Jerusalem revealed an arid countryside, lacking in water or food supplies. Here there was no prospect of relief, even as they feared an imminent attack by the local Fatimid rulers. The Crusaders resolved to take the city by assault. They might have been left with little choice, as it has been estimated that only about 12, men, including 1, cavalry, remained by the time the army reached Jerusalem. After the failure of the initial assault, a meeting between the various leaders was organized in which it was agreed upon that a more concerted attack would be required in the future.

The Crusades

On June 17, a party of Genoese mariners under Guglielmo Embriaco arrived at Jaffa and provided the Crusaders with skilled engineers, and perhaps more critically, supplies of timber cannibalized from the ships with which to build siege engines. On July 15, a final push was launched at both ends of the city, and eventually the inner rampart of the northern wall was captured. In the ensuing panic, the defenders abandoned the walls of the city at both ends, allowing the Crusaders to finally enter.

Capture of Jerusalem: A depiction of the capture of Jerusalem in from a medieval manuscript. The burning buildings of Jerusalem are centered in the image.

5 Books To Help You Understand The Crusades

The various Crusaders are surrounding and besieging the village armed for an attack. Nevertheless, some historians propose that the scale of the massacre was exaggerated in later medieval sources. The slaughter lasted a day; Muslims were indiscriminately killed, and Jews who had taken refuge in their synagogue died when it was burnt down by the Crusaders. Still, it is clear that some Muslims and Jews of the city survived the massacre, either escaping or being taken prisoner to be ransomed.

The Eastern Christian population of the city had been expelled before the siege by the governor, and thus escaped the massacre. On July 22, a council was held in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to establish a king for the newly created Kingdom of Jerusalem. Raymond IV of Toulouse and Godfrey of Bouillon were recognized as the leaders of the crusade and the siege of Jerusalem.

Episode 1: Holy Land - Crusades - BBC Documentary

Raymond was the wealthier and more powerful of the two, but at first he refused to become king, perhaps attempting to show his piety and probably hoping that the other nobles would insist upon his election anyway. The more popular Godfrey did not hesitate like Raymond, and accepted a position as secular leader. Having captured Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Crusaders had fulfilled their vow. The Second Crusade — was the second major crusade launched against Islam by Catholic Europe, started in response to the fall of the County of Edessa founded in the First Crusade; it was largely a failure for the Europeans.

The Second Crusade — was the second major crusade launched from Europe as a Catholic holy war against Islam. The Second Crusade was started in in response to the fall of the County of Edessa the previous year to the forces of Zengi. While it was the first Crusader state to be founded, it was also the first to fall. The armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe. After crossing Byzantine territory into Anatolia, both armies were separately defeated by the Seljuq Turks. Louis and Conrad and the remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem and participated in an ill-advised attack on Damascus in The Crusade in the east was a failure for the Crusaders and a great victory for the Muslims.

It would ultimately have a key influence on the fall of Jerusalem and give rise to the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century. On February 16, , the French Crusaders met to discuss their route. The Germans had already decided to travel overland through Hungary, as the sea route was politically impractical because Roger II, king of Sicily, was an enemy of Conrad. Many of the French nobles distrusted the land route, which would take them through the Byzantine Empire, the reputation of which still suffered from the accounts of the First Crusaders.

Nevertheless, it was decided to follow Conrad, and to set out on June The German crusaders, accompanied by the papal legate and Cardinal Theodwin, intended to meet the French in Constantinople. When the German army of 20, men arrived in Byzantine territory, Emperor Manuel I Komnenos feared they were going to attack him, and Byzantine troops were posted to ensure that there was no trouble.

On September 10, the Germans arrived at Constantinople, where relations with Manuel were poor. There was a battle, after which the Germans were convinced that they should cross into Asia Minor as quickly as possible. Conrad split his army into two divisions. Conrad underestimated the length of the march against Anatolia, and anyhow assumed that the authority of Emperor Manuel was greater in Anatolia than was in fact the case. Conrad took the knights and the best troops with him to march overland and sent the camp followers with Otto of Freising to follow the coastal road.

A force from Provence, led by Alphonse of Toulouse, chose to wait until August and cross by sea. At Worms, Louis joined with crusaders from Normandy and England. Relations within Byzantine territory were grim, and the Lorrainers, who had marched ahead of the rest of the French, also came into conflict with the slower Germans whom they met on the way.

Manuel had sent ambassadors complaining about the pillaging and plundering that Louis had done along the way, and there was no guarantee that the Byzantines would assist them against the Turks. Meanwhile, Conrad fell sick and returned to Constantinople, where Manuel attended to him personally, and Louis, paying no attention to the warnings of a Turkish attack, marched out from Ephesus with the French and German survivors.

The Turks were indeed waiting to attack, but in a small battle outside Ephesus, the French and Germans were victorious. After being delayed for a month by storms, most of the promised ships from Provence did not arrive at all. Louis and his associates claimed the ships that did make it for themselves, while the rest of the army had to resume the long march to Antioch.

The army was almost entirely destroyed, either by the Turks or by sickness. The remains of the German and French armies eventually continued on to Jerusalem, where they planned an attack on the Muslim forces in Damascus. The Crusaders decided to attack Damascus from the west, where orchards would provide them with a constant food supply. They arrived at Daraiya on July The following day, the well-prepared Muslims constantly attacked the army advancing through the orchards outside Damascus.

The Crusaders were pushed back from the walls into the orchards, where they were prone to ambushes and guerrilla attacks. According to William of Tyre, on July 27 the Crusaders decided to move to the plain on the eastern side of the city, which was less heavily fortified, but also had much less food and water. Some records indicate that Unur had bribed the leaders to move to a less defensible position, and that Unur had promised to break off his alliance with Nur ad-Din if the Crusaders went home. Meanwhile, Nur ad-Din and Saif ad-Din had by now arrived. With Nur ad-Din in the field it was impossible for the Crusaders to return to their better position.

The local Crusader lords refused to carry on with the siege, and the three kings had no choice but to abandon the city. First Conrad, then the rest of the army, decided to retreat to Jerusalem on July 28, and they were followed the whole way by Turkish archers, who constantly harassed them. Each of the Christian forces felt betrayed by the other. In Germany, the Crusade was seen as a huge debacle, with many monks writing that it could only have been the work of the Devil.


Despite the distaste for the memory of the Second Crusade, the experience had notable impact on German literature, with many epic poems of the late 12th century featuring battle scenes clearly inspired by the fighting in the crusade. The cultural impact of the Second Crusade was even greater in France. The memory of the Second Crusade was to color French views of the Byzantines for the rest of the 12th and 13th centuries. The Third Crusade — was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from the Muslim sultan Saladin; it resulted in the capture of the important cities Acre and Jaffa, but failed to capture Jerusalem, the main motivation of the crusade.

  1. Bibliography.
  2. Distinctiveness and Memory.
  3. The Crusades;

After the failure of the Second Crusade, the Zengid dynasty controlled a unified Syria and engaged in a conflict with the Fatimid rulers of Egypt. The Egyptian and Syrian forces were ultimately unified under Saladin, who employed them to reduce the Christian states and recapture Jerusalem in The death of Henry in , however, meant the English contingent came under the command of his successor, King Richard I of England known as Richard the Lionheart.

The elderly Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa also responded to the call to arms, leading a massive army across Anatolia, but he drowned in a river in Asia Minor on June 10, , before reaching the Holy Land. His death caused tremendous grief among the German Crusaders, and most of his troops returned home. On September 2, , Richard and Saladin finalized a treaty granting Muslim control over Jerusalem but allowing unarmed Christian pilgrims and merchants to visit the city.

Richard departed the Holy Land on October 2. The successes of the Third Crusade allowed the Crusaders to maintain considerable states in Cyprus and on the Syrian coast. However, the failure to recapture Jerusalem would lead to the Fourth Crusade. One of the major differences between the First and Third Crusades is that by the time of the Third Crusade, and to a certain degree during the Second, the Muslim opponents had unified under a single powerful leader. At the time of the First Crusade, the Middle East was severely divided by warring rulers.

Without a unified front opposing them, the Christian troops were able to conquer Jerusalem, as well as the other Crusader states.

The Crusades | Boundless World History

But under the powerful force of the Seljuq Turks during the Second Crusade and the even more unified power of Saladin during the Third, the Europeans were unable to achieve their ultimate aim of holding Jerusalem. Nur ad-Din also took over Egypt through an alliance, and appointed Saladin the sultan of these territories. Pope Urban III is said to have collapsed and died upon hearing this news, but it is not actually feasible that tidings of the fall of Jerusalem could have reached him by the time he died, although he did know of the battle of Hattin and the fall of Acre.

The Siege of Acre was one of the first confrontations of the Third Crusade, and a key victory for the Crusaders but a serious defeat for Saladin, who had hoped to destroy the whole of the Crusader kingdom. The Crusades were organized by western European Christians after centuries of Muslim wars of expansion. Their primary objectives were to stop the expansion of Muslim states, to reclaim for Christianity the Holy Land in the Middle East, and to recapture territories that had formerly been Christian.

Many participants also believed that undertaking what they saw as holy war was a means of redemption and a way of achieving expiation of sins. Louis led the last two Crusades. The First Crusade, called in response to a request for help from the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus , was astonishingly successful. The Crusaders conquered Nicaea in Turkey and Antioch and then went on to seize Jerusalem , and they established a string of Crusader-ruled states. Richard signed a peace treaty with Saladin allowing Christians access to Jerusalem.

  • The Crusades (1095–1291).
  • Crusades | Definition, History, Facts, Summary, & Legacy |
  • Section operators.
  • The Power of Representation: Publics, Peasants, and Islam in Egypt;
  • The Fourth Crusade—rather than attacking Egypt , then the centre of Muslim power—sacked the Byzantine Christian city of Constantinople. None of the following Crusades were successful. The Crusades slowed the advance of Islamic power and may have prevented western Europe from falling under Muslim suzerainty. The Crusader states extended trade with the Muslim world, bringing new tastes and foods to Europe. The Crusades had a marked impact on the development of Western historical literature, bringing a plethora of chronicles and eyewitness accounts. However, Constantinople never returned to its former glory after being sacked by the Fourth Crusade, and the schism between Eastern and Roman Catholic Christianity was further entrenched.

    The Islamic world saw the Crusaders as cruel invaders, which helped engender distrust and resentment toward the Christian world. Approximately two-thirds of the ancient Christian world had been conquered by Muslims by the end of the 11th century, including the important regions of Palestine , Syria , Egypt , and Anatolia.

    Crusades-inflected propaganda has become virtually indistinguishable from alt-right memes on Reddit, 8chan, and elsewhere. The problem is that the crisis we are facing goes well beyond the confines of Crusades scholarship. Early on in his book, Tyerman mentions the algorithm. Since it now plays a key role in the spread of historical information and misinformation alike, it seems a good place to start. The son went to school to learn accounting, where he was riveted by math.

    Ten years later, in Pisa, the young man published a book called the Liber Abaci. With these nine figures, and with the sign 0 which in Arabic is called zephirum, any number can be written—as will be demonstrated. But he was more accurately from Pisa, which in the medieval era became an independent maritime trading city due to its vast wealth.

    The same was true of Venice, Genoa, and others. They were very well-funded powers, with remarkable navies and money to lend. Fibonacci lived in a professional entrepot then called Bugia, not as a warrior or an enemy, but as a regular person and student who respected his teachers.

    Fibonacci, whose world straddled the Mediterranean and its multiple cultures, was not an exception. Well before and throughout the battles we call the Crusades, the Mediterranean was an integrated market connecting most of Europe via a string of ports and trading posts, running all the way to the Strait of Hormuz in Iran, which in turn connected to sea trade with India.

    The rise of the Italian city-states pushed global systems of accounting and banking forward, helping create the vast trading web that would grow tendrils from Britain to Cairo to China over the next hundred years. If the medieval world were truly split down the middle, with Muslims on one side and Christians on the other, fighting holy wars at the place where they met, then the global economy of the time would not have functioned.

    1. Rebel?
    2. Origin of the Crusades.
    3. Why Muslims See the Crusades So Differently from Christians - HISTORY.
    4. The Darkest Pleasure.
    5. Optical WDM Networks - Principles and Practice (The Springer International Series in Engineering and Computer Science).

    The Crusades—or, at least, the Crusades of twentieth century Hollywood and contemporary rightwing lore—never happened.

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