|Guide to the Middle Ages||
Crusades - What were the Crusades?
The Crusades were a series of Holy Wars launched by the Christian states of Europe against the Saracens who were Muslims. The term 'Saracen' was the word used to describe a Moslem during the time of Crusades. Crusades started in 1095 when Pope Claremont preached the First Crusade at the meeting of the Council of Claremont. The preaching of the pope led to many thousands of Medieval people immediately affixing the cross to their garments - the name Crusade given to the Holy Wars came from old French word 'crois' meaning 'cross'.
The Crusades were massive military expeditions undertaken by the Christian nations of Europe for the purpose of rescuing the holy places of Palestine from the hands of the Muslims. They were eight crusades in number, the first four crusades are sometimes called the Principal Crusades. The remaining four are referred to as the Minor Crusades. In addition there was also a Children's Crusade. There were several other similar expeditions but these were were insignificant in numbers or results.
Crusades and the Orders of Religious Knights and the Knights Templar
Crusades also gave rise to the important knightly orders, the Knights Templar, the Teutonic Knights and the Hospitallers. These were orders of religious knights, working from monastic rule to defend the holy land and pilgrims en route to Jerusalem. The members of the orders of Religious knights were both monks and knights; that is, to the monastic vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience they added a fourth vow, which bound them to protect pilgrims and fight the infidels. The Medieval period saw the emergence of a military order called the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon. Their name was to become the Templar Knights, or the Order of the Knights Templar.
What was the Cause for Crusades?
The reason for Crusades was a war between Christians and Muslims which centrered around the city of Jerusalem. The City of Jerusalem held a Holy significance to both the Christian religion and the Muslim religion. For Christians the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem commemorated the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ's burial and was visited by Pilgrims. In 1065 Jerusalem was taken by the Turks and over 3000 Christians were massacred which started a chain of events which all contributed to the cause of Crusades.
What were the Objectives of Crusades?
The Objectives of the Crusades was at first to release the Holy Land, in particular Jerusalem, from the Saracens, but in time was extended to seizing Spain from the Moors, the Slavs and Pagans from eastern Europe, and the islands of the Mediterranean.
How many Crusades were there?
There were a total of nine major crusades! The first four crusades were seen as the most import and scant reference is made to the other crusades - with the exception of the Children's crusade which effectively led to the decline of Crusades. For a period of two hundred years Europe and Asia were engaged in almost constant warfare due to the crusades. Throughout this period in history there was a continuous movement of European crusaders to and from the Moslem possessions in Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt.
The First Crusade - 1st Crusade
The 1st crusade, which lasted from 1095-1099, established the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, providing more lands for the crusading knights, who often travelled across Europe to try their fortunes and to visit the Holy Sepulchre.
The Second Crusade - 2nd Crusade
During the period of the 2nd crusade the religious military orders, known as the Hospitallers and the Templars, were formed
The Third Crusade - 3rd Crusade
The 3rd crusade resulted in the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187
The Fourth Crusade - 4th Crusade
During the period of the 4th crusade the crusaders of the Fourth expedition captured Constantinople instead of Jerusalem.
The Fall of Jerusalem and Acre - the Last Crusades
The kingdom of Jerusalem was gradually lost until the last Christian city, Acre, fell in 1291. The dream of returning to the Holy Land nonetheless proved popular; the Kings of France and England frequently made such plans, though in nearly every case Crusades were redirected or derailed by regional tensions.
The Effects of Crusades
The effects of Crusades on Europe of the Middle Ages were an important factor in the history of the progress of civilization. The effects of Crusades influenced the wealth and power of the Catholic Church, Political matters, commerce, feudalism, intellectual development, social effects, material effects and the effects of the crusades also prompted the famous Voyages of discovery.
Crusades - The Kingdom of Jerusalem
The Kingdom of Jerusalem was ruled by European Kings and Queens between 1099 and 1291. This section details the founding of the Kingdom of Jerusalem by by Godfrey of Bouillon, the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and its fall into the hands of Saladin. The names of all the Kings and Queens of the Kingdom of Jerusalem are also listed on this section.
The crusaders came from both the Upper and Lower classes. What prompted tens of thousands of people to travel 1000 miles to go on the First Crusade? What privileges were granted to crusaders?
Holy Land Pilgrimage
The Holy Land Pilgrimages sprang from the pilgrimages which Christians had long been accustomed to make to the scenes of Christ's life on earth.
Sign of the Crusade - The Red Cross
Each crusader had a huge red cross, made out of fabric, stitched onto their shirts or armor. It made all crusaders, irrespective of rank or background, appear to be a unified army. It reminded the crusaders that they were fighting a holy cause. The red cross was added to flags and banners.
After about two years of harsh traveling, hunger, disease, freezing weather, and quarrels amongst themselves, the crusaders finally arrived in Jerusalem. After a two-month siege of the city, the city fell. The crusaders had won back Jerusalem. Some men stayed. Some headed home. Those who returned brought back new foods and new forms of culture.