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Contents:


  1. What Were the Crusades?
  2. Crusades - Wikipedia
  3. First Crusade
  4. Background and context

This battle, known as the Seventh Crusade, was a failure for Louis.

What Were the Crusades?

As the Crusaders struggled, a new dynasty, known as the Mamluks, descended from former slaves of the Islamic Empire, took power in Egypt. Under the ruthless Sultan Baybars, the Mamluks demolished Antioch in In response, Louis organized the Eighth Crusade in The initial goal was to aid the remaining Crusader states in Syria, but the mission was redirected to Tunis, where Louis died.

Edward I of England took on another expedition in This battle, which is often grouped with the Eighth Crusade but is sometimes referred to as the Ninth Crusade, accomplished very little and was considered the last significant crusade to the Holy Land. In , one of the only remaining Crusader cities, Acre, fell to the Muslim Mamluks. Many historians believe this defeat marked the end of the Crusader States and the Crusades themselves. Though the Church organized minor Crusades with limited goals after —mainly military campaigns aimed at pushing Muslims from conquered territory, or conquering pagan regions—support for such efforts diminished in the 16th century, with the rise of the Reformation and the corresponding decline of papal authority.

While the Crusades ultimately resulted in defeat for Europeans, many argue that they successfully extended the reach of Christianity and Western civilization. The Roman Catholic Church experienced an increase in wealth, and the power of the Pope was elevated after the Crusades ended. Trade and transportation also improved throughout Europe as a result of the Crusades. The wars created a constant demand for supplies and transportation, which resulted in ship-building and the manufacturing of various supplies. After the Crusades, there was a heightened interest in travel and learning throughout Europe, which some historians believe may have paved the way for the Renaissance.

Among followers of Islam , however, the Crusaders were regarded as immoral, bloody and savage.

Crusades - Wikipedia

The ruthless and widespread massacre of Muslims, Jews and other non-Christians resulted in bitter resentment that persisted for many years. Timeline for the Crusades and Christian Holy War to c. United States Naval Academy. We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! The Christian armies defended their conquest in August by defeating an Egyptian relief army. Pope Urban II died on July 29, , without hearing the news.

Encouraged by the success and in some cases threatened by excommunication for nonparticipation or desertion , more armies left for Jerusalem in ; these armies were defeated in Asia Minor. During subsequent decades fighting but not crusading continued in the area.

The Byzantines were unhappy about the Franks not returning land that had once belonged to Byzantium; the Franks were unhappy about the lack of support from the Byzantines during the crusade--and the subsequent attempts by the Byzantines to retake territory as in , , , , , and Bohemund, in fact, organized a campaign or even a crusade against Byzantium that was defeated at Durazzo. In addition, fighting continued between the Franks and the Muslims. While their eastward expansion was stopped at Harran in , and they were defeated at Sarmada in , in general the Franks expanded their territory.

Italian city-states gained considerable concessions in return for assisting the Crusaders and established colonies which allowed trade with the eastern markets even in the Ottoman period, allowing Genoa and Venice to flourish; they consolidated the collective identity of the Latin Church under papal leadership; and they constituted a wellspring for accounts of heroism, chivalry , and piety that galvanised medieval romance , philosophy , and literature.

The Crusades also reinforced a connection between Western Christendom, feudalism , and militarism. The term crusade used in modern historiography at first referred to the wars in the Holy Land beginning in , but the range of events to which the term has been applied has been greatly extended, so that its use can create a misleading impression of coherence, particularly regarding the early Crusades. The term used for the campaign of the First Crusade was iter "journey" or peregrinatio "pilgrimage".

It was not until the late 12th to early 13th centuries that a more specific "language of crusading" emerged. The Song of the Albigensian Crusade from about contains the first recorded vernacular use of the Occitan crozada. This term was later adopted into French as croisade and in English as crusade. The Crusades in the Holy Land are traditionally counted as nine distinct campaigns, numbered from the First Crusade of —99 to the Ninth Crusade of — This convention is used by Charles Mills in his History of the Crusades for the Recovery and Possession of the Holy Land and is often retained for convenience even though it is somewhat arbitrary.

In modern historiography, the term "Crusade" may differ in usage depending on the author. Giles Constable describes four different perspectives among scholars: The Arabic loanword Muslim is first attested in English in the 17th century. Before this the common term for Muslim was Saracen , [14] in origin referring to the pre-Islamic, non-Arab inhabitants of the desert areas around the Roman province of Arabia. Frank and Latin were used during the Crusades for Western Europeans, distinguishing them from Greeks. The Islamic prophet Muhammad founded Islam in the Arabian Peninsula and had united much of Arabia into a single polity by his death in Arab power expanded rapidly in the 7th and 8th centuries largely by military conquest.

Jerusalem was taken from the Byzantine Empire after a siege in Tolerance, trade, and political relationships between the Arabs and the Christian kingdoms waxed and waned. Pilgrimages by Catholics to sacred sites were permitted, Christian residents in Muslim territories were given Dhimmi status, legal rights, and legal protection. These Christians were allowed to maintain churches, and marriages between faiths were not uncommon. The victory over the Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert was once considered a pivotal event by historians but is now regarded as only one further step in the expansion of the Great Seljuk Empire into Anatolia.

From the 8th century, the Christians entered to recapture the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims, known as the Reconquista. Europe was immersed in power struggles on many different fronts. The Christian Church split along Latin Orthodox lines in after centuries of disagreement leading to a permanent division called the East—West Schism.

Extra History: The First Crusade

Beginning around and continuing during the First Crusade, the Investiture Controversy was a power struggle between Church and state in medieval Europe over whether the Catholic Church or the Holy Roman Empire held the right to appoint church officials and other clerics. The result was intense piety and an increased interest in religious affairs amongst the general population in Catholic Europe and religious propaganda by the Papacy advocating a just war to reclaim Palestine from the Muslims.

Participation in a crusade was seen as a form of penance that could counterbalance sin. In , at the Council of Piacenza , Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos requested military aid from Pope Urban II , probably in the form of a small body of mercenary reinforcements he could direct and control. Alexios had restored the Empire's finances and authority, but he still faced a number of foreign enemies, particularly the migrating Turks who had colonised the sparsely populated areas of Anatolia.

Many historians consider that Urban also hoped that aiding the Eastern Church would lead to its reunion with the Western under his leadership. Almost immediately Peter the Hermit led thousands of mostly poor Christians out of Europe in what became known as the People's Crusade. Only survived an ambush by the Turks at the Civetot. However, members of the high aristocracy from France, western Germany, the Low countries, and Italy were drawn to the venture, commanding their own military contingents in loose, fluid arrangements based on bonds of lordship, family, ethnicity, and language.

He was rivalled by the relatively poor but martial Bohemond of Taranto and his nephew Tancred from the Norman community of southern Italy. They were joined by Godfrey of Bouillon and his brother Baldwin I of Jerusalem in leading a loose conglomerate from Lorraine , Lotharingia , and Germany. Having already destroyed the earlier People's Crusade, the over-confident Sultan left the city to resolve a territorial dispute, enabling its capture in after a Crusader siege and a Byzantine naval assault.

This marked a high point in Latin and Greek co-operation and also the start of Crusader attempts to take advantage of political and religious disunity in the Muslim world: Crusader envoys were sent to Egypt seeking an alliance. The Crusades' first experience with the Turkish tactic of lightly armoured mounted archers occurred when an advanced party led by Bohemond and Duke Robert was ambushed at Dorylaeum.

The Normans resisted for hours before the arrival of the main army caused a Turkish withdrawal. After this, the nomadic Seljuks avoided the Crusade. Instead, Aleppo and Damascus had competing rulers. Eventually, Bohemond persuaded a tower guard in the city to open a gate and the Crusaders entered, massacring the Muslim and many Christian Greeks, Syrian and Armenian inhabitants.

Sunni Islam now recognised the threat. The sultan of Baghdad raised a force to recapture the city led by the Iraqi general Kerbogha. The Byzantines provided no assistance to the Crusaders' defence of the city because the deserting Stephen of Blois told them the cause was lost.

Losing numbers through desertion and starvation in the besieged city, the Crusaders attempted to negotiate surrender, but this was rejected by Kerbogha, who wanted to destroy them permanently. Morale within the city was boosted when Peter Bartholomew claimed to have discovered the Holy Lance.

First Crusade

Bohemond recognised that the only option now was for open combat, and he launched a counterattack against the besiegers. Despite superior numbers, Kerbogha's army, which was divided into factions and surprised by the commitment and dedication of the Franks, retreated and abandoned the siege. This ended only when news arrived that the Fatimid Egyptians had taken Jerusalem from the Turks, and it became imperative to attack before the Egyptians could consolidate their position.


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Bohemond remained in Antioch, retaining the city despite his pledge that this would return to Byzantine control, while Raymond led the remaining Crusader army rapidly south along the coast to Jerusalem. An initial attack on the city failed and, due to the Crusaders' lack of resources, the siege became a stalemate. However, the arrival of craftsman and supplies transported by the Genoese to Jaffa tilted the balance in their favour.

For two days the Crusaders massacred the inhabitants and pillaged the city. Historians now believe the accounts of the numbers killed have been exaggerated, but this narrative of massacre did much to cement the Crusaders' reputation for barbarism.

Background and context

This relief force retreated to Egypt, with the vizier fleeing by ship. Of the other princes, only Tancred remained with the ambition to gain his own princedom. This may be in part due to a reluctance to relate Muslim failure, but it is more likely to be the result of cultural misunderstanding. Al-Afdal and the Muslim world mistook the Crusaders for the latest in a long line of Byzantine mercenaries rather than religiously motivated warriors intent on conquest and settlement.

Even the Turks were divided, with rival rulers in Damascus and Aleppo. In Baghdad the Seljuk sultan vied with an Abbasid caliph in a Mesopotamian struggle. This gave the Franks a crucial opportunity to consolidate without any pan-Islamic counterattack. Bernard of Clairvaux , who had encouraged the Second Crusade in his preaching, was so perturbed by the violence that he journeyed from Flanders to Germany to deal with the problem. Christian princes continued to make gains in the Iberian peninsula: The caliph's chief administrator, called the vizier , was chiefly responsible for governance.

From the system fell into murderous political intrigue and Egypt declined from its previous affluent state. In the deposed vizier, Shawar , visited Zengi's son and successor, Nur ad-Din, atabeg of Aleppo , in Damascus seeking political and military support. Some historians have considered Nur ad-Din's support as a visionary attempt to surround the Crusaders, but in practice he prevaricated before responding only when it became clear that the Crusaders might gain an unassailable foothold on the Nile. However, Shawar asserted his independence and allied with Baldwin's brother and successor Amalric of Jerusalem.

When Amalric broke the alliance in a ferocious attack, Shawar again requested military support from Syria, and Shirkuh was sent by Nur ad-Din for a second time. Amalric retreated, but the victorious Shirkuh had Shawar executed and was appointed vizier. Barely two months later he died, to be succeeded by his nephew, Yusuf ibn Ayyub, who has become known by his honorific 'Salah al-Din', 'the goodness of faith', which in turn has become westernised as Saladin. He was the first Muslim to unite Aleppo and Damascus in the Crusade era.

Some Islamic contemporaries promoted the idea that there was a natural Islamic resurgence under Zengi, through Nur al-Din to Saladin although this was not as straightforward and simple as it appears. Saladin imprisoned all the caliph's heirs, preventing them from having children, as opposed to having them all killed, which would have been normal practice, to extinguish the bloodline. As Nur al-Din's territories became fragmented after his death, Saladin legitimised his ascent by positioning himself as a defender of Sunni Islam subservient to both the Caliph of Baghdad and Nur al-Din's son and successor, As-Salih Ismail al-Malik.

His overconfidence and tactical errors led to defeat at the Battle of Montgisard. However, Saladin lured the force into inhospitable terrain without water supplies, surrounded the Latins with a superior force, and routed them at the Battle of Hattin. Saladin offered the Christians the option of remaining in peace under Islamic rule or taking advantage of 40 days' grace to leave. As a result, much of Palestine quickly fell to Saladin including, after a short five-day siege , Jerusalem. Such were the deprivations of the Crusaders that at times they are thought to have resorted to cannibalism.

The journey to the Eastern Mediterranean was inevitably long and eventful. Philip considered his vow fulfilled and returned to France to deal with domestic matters, leaving most of his forces behind.

But Richard travelled south along the Mediterranean coast, defeated the Muslims near Arsuf , and recaptured the port city of Jaffa. He twice advanced to within a day's march of Jerusalem before judging that he lacked the resources to successfully capture the city, or defend it in the unlikely event of a successful assault, while Saladin had a mustered army. This marked the end of Richard's crusading career and was a calamitous blow to Frankish morale.

However, in Henry died and most of the Crusaders returned to Germany to protect their holdings and take part in the election of his successor as Emperor. As collateral, the Crusaders seized the Christian city of Zara ; Innocent was appalled, and promptly excommunicated them. Following upon their initial success, the Crusaders captured Constantinople again and this time sacked it, pillaging churches and killing many citizens. The Fourth Crusade never came within 1, miles of its objective of Jerusalem.

The 13th century saw popular outbursts of ecstatic piety in support of the Crusades such as that resulting in the Children's Crusade in Large groups of young adults and children spontaneously gathered, believing their innocence would enable success where their elders had failed. Few, if any at all, journeyed to the Eastern Mediterranean. Although little reliable evidence survives for these events, they provide an indication of how hearts and minds could be engaged for the cause.

Leopold and John of Brienne besieged and captured Damietta but an army advancing into Egypt was compelled to surrender. However, since his marriage to Isabella II of Jerusalem gave him a claim to the kingdom of Jerusalem, he finally arrived at Acre in Frederick was culturally the Christian monarch most empathetic to the Muslim world, having grown up in Sicily, with a Muslim bodyguard and even a harem.

His great diplomatic skills meant that the Sixth Crusade was largely negotiation supported by force. In return, an alliance was made with Al-Kamil , Sultan of Egypt , against all of his enemies of whatever religion. The treaty and suspicions about Frederick's ambitions in the region made him unpopular, and he was forced to return to his domains when they were attacked by Pope Gregory IX.

What is sometimes known as the Barons' Crusade was led by Theobald I of Navarre and Richard of Cornwall ; it combined forceful diplomacy and the playing of rival Ayyubid factions off against each other.