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The Crusades

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The Crusaders

Casey Roden
THEO 350-B13

The crusades are something that I love to read about. Not only are they filled with action, but also mystery. As a kid I remember watching things like Indiana Jones or even Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and wanting to know more about the time period. I would love to travel to the areas that the Crusades went through. The crusades were a series of holy wars called by popes with the promise of indulgences for those who fought in them and directed against external and internal enemies of Christendom for the recovery of Christian property or in defense of the Church or Christian people. Crusaders would take a vow and granted indulgences. The Crusades are often related to pilgrimages, spreading Christian love and piety that paid for penalties earned by sin. Crusades were a combination of Holy war and pilgrimage to produce the concept of indulgence, “remission of penance and/or sin granted by papacy for participation in sacred activity”. This paper will be looking to answer the question, “Although there were clearly political, intellectual, and technological benefits to Europe as a result of the Crusades, can it be said that the Crusades advanced the cause of Christ?” Scholars argue what is covered as a Crusade and what is not. There are traditionalists that limit the true crusades to expeditions aimed at recovering or protecting Jerusalem. Pluralists, regard any expedition preached as a crusade in which the participants took crusading vows and received crusading privileges should be regarded as crusades. I will try to touch on both sides throughout this paper. The scope of this paper will cover modern day Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Spain, the Baltic, Italy, Sicily, and Southern France. The Crusades were first launched by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The traditionalists believe the last Crusades ended in 1291AD with the fall of the last Crusader castle of the Latin Kingdom, the city of Acre. Pluralists believe it ended in 1588 with the Spanish Armada. Pope Urban II is best known for starting the First Crusade (1096-1099AD) and setting up the modern-day Roman Curia, in the manner of a royal ecclesiastical court to help run the Church. Pope Urban II was originally Otho, but was elected Pope in 1088AD. Right as the First Crusade began there was a struggle for power to appoint secular rulers and churchmen. In 1095 AD the Council of Piacenza was brought together. Urban met with an ambassador from the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos asking for help. Turks had taken over most of Anatolia, formally under Byzantine control. Urban waited until the Council of Clermont of the same year to give a sermon. This sermon was highly effective at summoning the attending nobility and the people to take back the Holy Land and Eastern churches. Urban died fourteen days after the crusaders took Jerusalem. It is said that he was holding out to hear about Jerusalem, but died before the news had reached Italy. In 1095AD the official crusader armies set forth from France and Italy at different times, one in August and the other September. The army, made up of as many as 100,000 combatants and non-combatants, divided into four parts traveling separately to Constantinople. They were welcomed by a worn out Byzantine Emperor. The main army was made up of french and norman knights, under the control of baronial leadership. They marched south through Anatolia pledging to restore the lost territory to the empire. Notable people that took part in the First Crusade: Godfrey of Bouillon, Robert Curthose, Hugh of Vermandois, Baldwin of Bouillon, Tancred de Hauteville, Raymond of Toulouse, Bohemond of Taranto, Robert II, Count of Flanders, and Stephen, Count of Blois. Major figures that were absent: The King of France and Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, because they were both in conflict with the Papacy. The battle began in October 1097 with a siege of Antioch. This battle lasted for almost a year, before the Crusaders breached the city walls. It was not uncommon for there to be rape and pillaging on the Crusades, but the Muslim inhabitants were massacred. The only thing that saved the city from being burned to the ground was a relief army led by Kerbogha. They drove the Crusaders out of the city, but the Crusaders defeated Kerbogha’s army on the 28th of June of the same year. The rallied Crusader army marched south, destroying town after town along the coast. The army finally reached the walls of Jerusalem on June 7th 1099, but only with a fraction of their original force. Bother Jews and Muslims fought together to defend the city, but on July 15, 1099 the army finally broke through the walls. Every remaining Jewish and Muslim civilian was killed before the mosques and parts of the city itself was destroyed. As a result of the First Crusade, four main crusader states were created: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch, the County of Tripoli, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Second Crusade began on 1147AD and ended two years later. The Second Crusade was being called on by many preachers, but most notable was Bernard of Clairvaux and Pope Eugene III. King Louis VII and King Conrad III led an army of French and South Germans to Jerusalem. They failed to win any major battles and launched a failed sieve on Damascus. The crusaders had a bit of luck with meeting and grouping up with Portuguese King, Afonso I. With their new allies, the crusaders marched on and retook Lisbon from the Muslims in 1147. A group of crusaders helped Count Raymond Berenguer IV of Barcelona conquer the city of Tortosa the very next year. Bernard of Clairvaux, the man who preached for the Second Crusade, was upset with the amount of misdirected violence and slaughter of the Jewish population of the Rhineland. The Third Crusade was lead by Richard the Lionhearted of England, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and Phillip II Augustus of France; between 1187-1192AD. In 1187 the scattered crusaders were defeated and pushed out of Jerusalem. On hearing the news, Pope Urban II died of a heart attack. That led Pope Gregory VIII to issue a papal bull, Audita tremendi, proposing the Third Crusade. The crusaders pushed to take back Jerusalem, but once again failed. The Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) was considered a failure. It started out to take back the Holy land, but never reached it. They did end up attacking Constantinople. The Fifth Crusade started the same as the Forth, with the target being the Holy land. With seeing how badly the Fourth Crusade went the crusaders gathered more people to fight for them. Innocent III was one of the reasons this crusade failed. He was viewed as corrupt and only wanted to further his own personal gain. With the arrival of more crusaders, Leopold and the King of Jerusalem didn’t wait to take Egypt and Damietta. They fortified and held the crusaders out, eventually forcing them to surrender. Al-kamil forced the return of Damietta and agreed to an eight-year truce and the crusaders left Egypt. The rest of the crusades were utter failures, except for the Sixth leading to Christians controlling most of Jerusalem. The Seventh went from 1248-1254 and that led to the crusader army being led into the battle at La Forbie in Gaza. The crusader army and its allies were completely defeated within forty-eight hours by Khwarezmian tribesmen. King Louis IX of France even organized a crusade, but that just led to him getting capture, his army defeated, and signing of a peace treaty. This wrapped up the Crusades, really not showing a lot for themselves at the end. The start was to control the Holy land, but that didn't go so well. The conclusion to all of this was nothing more than death and destruction. Looking at all of this through the eyes of being a Christian is really sad. I have read many different articles and books saying that the Crusades helped Christianity, but I don’t believe it. I mean I can’t say that things would have been better without them, but this isn’t what Jesus wanted. Ideals are peaceful, but history is violent. I’m not naive to think that there wont be fighting, but to have five million people killed during just the first four crusades is insane. I don’t think any of the crusades were backed by God, but that is just my opinion. I have no clue what goes through people’s minds when they kill in the name of God. Nothing is worth taking a life over, but tell that to history. To answer the thesis statement, no it cannot be said that the Crusades advanced the cause of Christ. Not in the way that Christ wanted and that is the only way Christianity can truly advance.

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Bibliography

Asbridge, T. (2005). The First Crusade: A New History: The Roots of Conflict between Christianity and Islam, Oxford University Press. Asbridge, T. (2011). "he Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land." Bull, M. (1999). Origins. The Oxford History of the Crusades, Oxford University Press. Clairvaux, B. o. (2000). In Praise of the New Knighthood, Cistercian Publications. Hindley, G. he Crusades: Islam and Christianity in the Struggle for World Supremacy, Carrol & Graf. Madden, T. F. (2005). The New Concise History of the Crusades, Rowman & Littlefield.
The Holy Bible (NIV).

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. ------------------------------------------------- ADDIN EN.CITE Asbridge, Thomas2005443Asbridge, T. (2005). The First Crusade: A New History: The Roots of Conflict between Christianity and Islam, Oxford University Press.My EndNote Library.enlEndNote4434436Asbridge, ThomasThe First Crusade: A New History: The Roots of Conflict between Christianity and Islam2005Oxford University PressAsbridge, T. (2005). The First Crusade: A New History: The Roots of Conflict between Christianity and Islam, Oxford University Press.
[ 2 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 3 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Clairvaux, B. o. (2000). In Praise of the New Knighthood, Cistercian Publications.
[ 4 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 5 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 6 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Bull, M. (1999). Origins. The Oxford History of the Crusades, Oxford University Press.
[ 7 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 8 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 9 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 10 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 11 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Clairvaux, B. o. (2000). In Praise of the New Knighthood, Cistercian Publications.
[ 12 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 13 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 14 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Hindley, G. he Crusades: Islam and Christianity in the Struggle for World Supremacy, Carrol & Graf.
[ 15 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 16 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 17 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Ibid.
[ 18 ]. ------------------------------------------------- ADDIN EN.CITE Madden, Thomas F2005442Madden, T. F. (2005). The New Concise History of the Crusades, Rowman & Littlefield.My EndNote Library.enlEndNote4424426Madden, Thomas FThe New Concise History of the Crusades2005Rowman LittlefieldMadden, T. F. (2005). The New Concise History of the Crusades, Rowman & Littlefield.
[ 19 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Hindley, G. he Crusades: Islam and Christianity in the Struggle for World Supremacy, Carrol & Graf.
[ 20 ]. ------------------------------------------------- Madden, T. F. (2005). The New Concise History of the Crusades, Rowman & Littlefield.
[ 21 ]. ------------------------------------------------- ADDIN EN.CITE Hindley, Geoffrey441Hindley, G. he Crusades: Islam and Christianity in the Struggle for World Supremacy, Carrol & Graf.My EndNote Library.enlEndNote4414416Hindley, Geoffreyhe Crusades: Islam and Christianity in the Struggle for World SupremacyCarrol GrafHindley, G. he Crusades: Islam and Christianity in the Struggle for World Supremacy, Carrol & Graf.

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