What Was The Chief Goal Of The Crusades

What Was The Chief Goal Of The Crusades – Crusaders go to Damascus. 1337, from ‘Le Roman de Godefroy de Boulogne’, France. (Bibliotheque Nationale / Bridgeman Images)

Over the past four decades, the Crusades have become one of the most dynamic areas of historical research, indicating a growing interest in understanding and interpreting these extraordinary events. What convinced the Christian West to reclaim Jerusalem? What effect did the victory of the First Crusade (1099) have on the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities of the eastern Mediterranean? What was the impact of the Crusades on the people and institutions of Western Europe? How did people record the Crusades and, ultimately, what was their legacy?

What Was The Chief Goal Of The Crusades

The academic debate progressed significantly in the 1980s, as debates about the interpretation of the Crusades gathered real heat. Understanding of the context of the Crusades expanded with the new recognition that the Crusades were much longer in both chronological order and scope than the original 11th-century expeditions to the Holy Land. That is, it lasted long after the end of Frankish rule in the East (1291) and continued into the 16th century. Crusades against Muslims of the Iberian Peninsula, pagan peoples of the Baltic region, Mongols, political opponents of the Papacy, and heretics (such as the Cathars or Hussites) are cited as their goals. Acceptance of this framework, as well as the centrality of papal authority to such expeditions, is often referred to as the ‘pluralist’ position.

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The emergence of this definition energized the current field and influenced a large number of scholars. There is growing interest in reevaluating the Crusaders’ motives, given the current emphasis on money and the clichéd adventure of small boys without land. Using a variety of existing evidence (especially charters, i.e. sales or loans of land and/or rights), pressure on contemporary religious impulses emerged as a powerful driver, particularly the First Crusade. Yet the wider world in some ways fueled this academic debate: the horrors of 9/11 and President George W. Bush’s pernicious use of the word ‘crusade’ to describe the ‘war on terror’ fueled the extremists. The message of hatred and the concept of a long and wide conflict between Islam and the West, dating back to the Middle Ages, was very important. In reality, of course, such a simplistic view is deeply flawed, but it is a powerful shorthand for exploring the legacy of the Crusader era, including, of course, extremists of all persuasions (from Osama bin Laden to Anders Breivik to ISIS). The modern world, as we see here, calls for a comprehensive online archive

The First Crusade was called by Pope Urban II in November 1095 in the city of Clermont in central France. The Pope expressed his proposal as follows: ‘He who goes to Jerusalem only for loyalty, and not to gain honor and money, for the redemption of the Church of God, may make this journey a substitute for all penance.’ The call was a combination of several contemporary trends with Urban’s own inspiration, which added exclusive innovations to the mix. For several decades, Christians retreated to Muslim lands on the coast of Europe, in the Iberian Peninsula and in Sicily. In some cases the Church participated in these events by offering limited spiritual rewards to the participants.

Urban was responsible for the spiritual well-being of his flock, and the Crusades gave the sinful knights of Western Europe an opportunity to stop fighting and endlessly exploit and reform the weak (laymen and church). Living with Urban saw the campaign as an opportunity for the knights to direct their energies toward what they considered spiritually worthy, namely the recapture of the holy city of Jerusalem from Islam (the Muslims captured Jerusalem in 637). Instead, they are forgiven for their confessed sins. This, in turn, saves them from the prospect of eternal damnation in hellfire, which is often suggested by the Church as a result of sinful living. For more information, see Marcus Bull, who describes the religious context of the campaign in his 1997 article.

In this age of religion, the city of Jerusalem played an important role as the place where Christ lived, walked and died. When the goal of liberating Jerusalem was intertwined with (perhaps exaggerated) stories of the mistreatment of local Levantine Christians and Western pilgrims, the desire for revenge formed a very powerful combination with the opportunity for spiritual growth. Urban tends his flock and improves the spiritual condition of Western Europe. The papacy was in a mighty struggle with the German emperor Henry IV (proposal of investiture) and the fact that the call for a crusade would increase the papacy was a great opportunity for Urban to escape.

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The spark for this harshness came from another Christian power: the Byzantine Empire. Emperor Alexios I feared the advance of the Seljuk Turks towards his capital, Constantinople. The Byzantines were Greek Orthodox Christians, but from 1054 they were in conflict with the Catholic Church. The beginning of the crusade gave Urban an opportunity to draw closer to the Orthodox and mend the rift.

The response to Urban’s call was overwhelming and news of the trip spread throughout the Latin West. Thousands saw it as a new way to reach salvation and avoid the consequences of their sinful lives. However, promises of glory, adventure, financial gain and, to a very small number, land (in the event, most First Crusaders returned home after the expedition was over) could exist. While the Church abhorred worldly pursuits because they believed such sinful pursuits displeased God, many lay people had little difficulty reconciling these with their religion. So Stephen of Blois, one of the most senior figures in the campaign, could write that his wife, Adela of Blois (daughter of William the Conqueror), had been given precious gifts and honors by the Emperor, and now he had twice as much. Gold, silver and other riches when it left the West. People from all walks of life (except royalty) joined the First Crusade, although the initial rush of unruly zealots led to violent outbreaks of anti-Semitism, especially in the Rhineland, where they tried to finance their expeditions by taking Jewish money. attack A group considered enemies of Christ in their own countries. These forces, known as the ‘People’s Crusade’, encountered problems outside Constantinople before leading Alexios across the Bosphorus and into Asia Minor.

In 1096, the main armies assembled in Constantinople under the command of a series of high-ranking nobles. Alexios had not expected such a large number of Westerners to appear at his door, but he saw an opportunity to recover lands lost to the Turks. Due to the Crusaders’ need for food and transport, the emperor prevailed in this relationship, although this did not mean that he could not negotiate with the new arrivals, especially after the troubles caused by the Crusades and in fact the main armies were a large group of Normans. This included Sicily, which occupied Byzantine lands until 1081. See Peter Frankopan. Most Crusader leaders swore an oath to Alexios and promised to hand over to him lands previously held by the Byzantines in exchange for supplies, guides, and lavish gifts.

In June 1097 the Crusaders and the Greeks captured one of the emperor’s main targets, the city of Nicaea, 120 miles from Constantinople, although some writers report the reluctance of the Franks to divide the spoils resulting from the victory. The Crusaders crossed the Anatolian Plain and went inland. A large Turkish army attacked Bohemond’s army at Taranto near Dorylaeum. The crusaders marched in separate convoys and this, together with the unfamiliar tactics of rapid attacks by cavalry pigeons, defeated them until the arrival of troops led by Raymond of Toulouse and Godfrey of Boulogne. This hard-fought victory proved a valuable lesson for the Christians, and as the campaign progressed, the military cohesion of the Crusader army grew and grew, becoming a more effective force.

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During the next few months, under the command of Count Baldwin of Boulogne, the army marched into Asia Minor and captured the Cilician cities of Tarsus and Mamistra and others with some counts, east of the Christians of Edessa on Cappadocia (Bibl Rohais), most of whom were Armenians. People welcomed the crusaders. Local political strife meant that Baldwin was successful

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