What Were The Crusades?

What Were The Crusades?

The First Crusade. Image credit: Hendrik Willem Van Loon / CC.

On 27 November 1095, Pope Urban II stood up at a council of clergy and nobility at Clermont and urged Christians to embark on a military campaign reclaim Jerusalem from Muslim rule. This call was met by an incredible surge of religious fervour, as tens of thousands of Christians from across Western Europe marched east, in what was an unprecedented expedition: the First Crusade.

After a series of unlikely victories against the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia and Syria, Frankish knight Godfrey of Bouillon scaled the walls of Jerusalem in 1099, and the crusaders entered the holy city, massacring the inhabitants they found inside. Against all the odds, the First Crusade was a success.

But why were the crusades called and what were they about? Who were the crusaders, and why, four centuries after Muslim rule was established in the East, did they attempt to take the Holy Land, four centuries after Muslim rule was established in the region.

Why did Pope Urban call the First Crusade?

The backdrop to the call for a crusade was the Seljuk invasion of the Byzantine Empire. The Turk horsemen had descended into Anatolia in 1068 and crushed Byzantine resistance at the Battle of Manzikert, depriving the Byzantines of all their lands east of Constantinople.

Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Comnenos wrote to Pope Urban in February 1095, requesting aid in halting the Turk advance. However, Urban mentioned none of this in his address at Clermont, as he saw the emperor’s request as an opportunity to bolster the position of the papacy.

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Western Europe was plagued by violence, and the papacy was struggling to assert itself against the Holy Roman Empire. Pope Urban saw a crusade as the solution to both these problems: diverting military aggression against an enemy of Christendom, in an expedition led by the papacy. The crusade would elevate papal authority and win back the Holy Land for the Christians.

The Pope offered everyone who went on crusade the ultimate spiritual incentive: an indulgence – the forgiveness of sins and a new route for attaining salvation. For many, the chance to escape to fight in a holy war in a far off land was exciting: an escape from the otherwise socially rigid Medieval world.

Jerusalem – the centre of the universe

Jerusalem was the obvious focal point for the First Crusade; it represented the centre of the universe for medieval Christians. It was the holiest place in the world and pilgrimage there flourished in the century before the crusade.

The crucial importance of Jerusalem can be understood by looking at medieval maps of the world, which place the Holy Land at the centre: the Mappa Mundi is the most famous example of this.

The Holy Land had been conquered by Caliph Omar in 638 AD, as part of the first wave of Islamic expansion after the death of Mohammed. From then on, Jerusalem had been passed between various Islamic empires, and at the time of the Crusade was being fought over by the Fatamid Caliphate and the Seljuk Empire. Jerusalem was also a holy city in the Islamic world: the Al-Aqsa mosque was an important site of pilgrimage, and said to be where the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven.

Who were the Crusaders?

There were actually two Crusades during the late 1090s. The “People’s Crusade” was a popular movement led by Peter the Hermit, a charismatic preacher who whipped crowds of believers into a religious frenzy as he passed through Western Europe recruiting for the crusade. In a religious frenzy and show of violence, the pilgrims massacred well over a thousand Jews who refused to convert to Christianity in a series of events known as the Rhineland Massacres. These were condemned by the Catholic Church at the time: the Saracens, as followers of Islam were known, were the real enemy according to the Church.

A Victorian painting of Peter the Hermit preaching the First Crusade. Image credit: Project Gutenberg / CC.

Lacking military organisation and propelled by religious enthusiasm, thousands of peasants crossed the Bosphorus, out of the Byzantine Empire and into Seljuk territory in early 1096. Almost immediately they were ambushed and annihilated by the Turks.

The second expedition – often known as the Prince’s Crusade was a far more organised affair. Leadership for the crusade was assumed by various princes from France and Sicily, such as Bohemond of Taranto, Godfrey of Bouillon and Raymond of Toulouse. Adhemar, bishop of Le-Puy in France, acted as representative for the Pope and spiritual leader of the Crusade.

The army they led into the Holy Land was made up of household knights, bound by feudal obligations to their lords, and a whole host of peasants, many of whom had never fought before but who burned with religious zeal. There were those too who went for financial purposes: crusaders were paid and there were opportunities to make money

During the course of the campaign, Byzantine generals and Genoese merchants would also play a crucial role in capturing the Holy City.

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What did they accomplish?

The First Crusade was an extraordinary success. By 1099, the Seljuk grip on Anatolia was dealt a blow; Antioch, Edessa and, most importantly, Jerusalem was in Christian hands; the Kingdom of Jerusalem was established, which would last until the Fall of Acre in 1291; and a precedent for a religious war in the Holy Land had been established.

There would be eight more major Crusades in the Holy Land, as generation after generation of European nobility sought glory and salvation fighting for the Kingdom of Jerusalem. None would be as successful as the first.


The Crusades: Causes & Goals

The Crusades were a series of military campaigns organised by Christian powers in order to retake Jerusalem and the Holy Land back from Muslim control. There would be eight officially sanctioned crusades between 1095 CE and 1270 CE and many more unofficial ones. Each campaign met with varying successes and failures but, ultimately, the wider objective of keeping Jerusalem and the Holy Land in Christian hands failed. Nevertheless, the appeal of the crusading ideal continued right up to the 16th century CE, and the purpose of this article is to consider what were the motivating factors for crusaders, from the Pope to the humblest warrior, especially for the very first campaign which established a model to be followed thereafter.

Who Wanted What?

Why the Crusades happened at all is a complex question with multiple answers. As the historian J. Riley-Smith notes:

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It cannot be stressed often enough that crusades were arduous, disorientating, frightening, dangerous, and expensive for participants, and the continuing enthusiasm for them displayed over the centuries is not easy to explain. (10)

An estimated 90,000 men, women, and children of all classes were persuaded by political and religious leaders to participate in the First Crusade (1095-1202 CE), and their various motivations, along with those of the political and religious leaders of the time, must each be examined to reach a satisfactory explanation. Although we can never know exactly the thoughts or motivation of individuals, the general reasons why the crusading ideal was promoted and acted upon can be summarised according to the following key leaders and social groups:

  • The Byzantine Emperor - to regain lost territory and defeat a threatening rival state.
  • The Pope - to strengthen the papacy in Italy and achieve ascendancy as head of the Christian church.
  • Merchants - to monopolise important trading centres currently under Muslim control and earn money shipping crusaders to the Middle East.
  • Knights - to defend Christianity (its believers and holy places), follow the principles of chivalry and gain material wealth in this life and special favour in the next one.

The Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire had long been in control of Jerusalem and other sites holy to Christians but, in the latter decades of the 11th century CE, they lost them dramatically to the Seljuks, a Turkish tribe of the steppe. The Seljuks, already having made several raids into Byzantine territory, shockingly defeated a Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert in ancient Armenia in August 1071 CE. They even captured the Byzantine emperor Romanos IV Diogenes (r. 1068-1071 CE), and although he was released for a massive ransom, the emperor also had to hand over the important cities of Edessa, Hieropolis, and Antioch. The defeat astonished Byzantium, and there followed a scramble for the throne which even Romanos' return to Constantinople did not settle. It also meant that many of the Byzantine commanders in Asia Minor left their commands to stake their claim for the throne in Constantinople.

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Meanwhile, the Seljuks took full advantage of this military neglect and, c. 1078 CE, created the Sultanate of Rum with their capital at Nicaea in Bithynia in northwest Asia Minor, which was captured from the Byzantines in 1081 CE. The Seljuks were even more ambitious, though, and by 1087 CE they controlled Jerusalem.

Several Byzantine emperors came and went but some stability was achieved during the reign of Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081-1118 CE), himself a veteran of Manzikert. Alexios could not stop the Seljuks though, and he had only himself to blame for his territorial losses as it was he who had weakened the military provinces (themes) in Asia Minor. Alexios had done this in fear of the rising power, and thus potential threat to himself, of the theme commanders. Instead, he had bolstered the garrisons of Constantinople. The emperor had also been doubtful of the loyalty of his Norman mercenaries, given the Norman control of Sicily and recent attacks in Byzantine Greece. Seeing the Seljuk control of Jerusalem as a means to tempt European leaders into action, Alexios appealed to the west in the spring of 1095 CE to help kick the Seljuks out of not just the Holy Land but also all those parts of the Byzantine Empire they had conquered. The sword of Christendom could prove a very useful weapon in preserving the crown of Byzantium.

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The Pope

Pope Urban II (r. 1088-1099 CE) received Alexios' appeal in 1095 CE, but it was not the first time the Byzantine emperor had asked and got papal help. In 1091 CE the pope had sent troops to help the Byzantines against the Pecheneg steppe nomads who were invading the northern Danube area of the empire. Urban II was again disposed to assistance four years later for various reasons. A crusade would increase the prestige of the papacy, as it led a combined western army, and consolidate its position in Italy itself, having experienced serious threats from the Holy Roman Emperors in the previous century which had even forced the popes to relocate away from Rome.

Urban II also hoped to reunite the Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) Christian churches, with himself at its head, above the Patriarch of Constantinople. The two churches had been split since 1054 CE over disagreements about doctrine and liturgical practices. The Crusades could be given wider appeal by playing on the threat of Islam to Christian territories and the Christians living there. Most important of all though was the loss of Christian control of the Holy Land with its unique sites of historical significance to Christianity, particularly the tomb of Jesus Christ, the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. On top of that, Spain was a reminder of how precarious the Christian world's situation really was. By 1085 CE half of Spain was back in Christian hands, and the Normans had wrested Sicily back to the Christian fold, but the Muslim threat in Europe remained a potent one, something Urban II could now remind people of. The appeal of Alexios I Komnenos had all sorts of political and religious advantages.

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On 27 November 1095 CE, Urban II called for a crusade in a speech during the Council of Clermont, France. The message, known as the Indulgence and aimed specifically at knights, was loud and clear: those who defended Christendom would be embarking on a pilgrimage, all their sins would be washed away and their souls would reap untold rewards in the next life. In medieval Europe, Christianity permeated every aspect of daily life, pilgrimage was common, monasteries were full and the number of newly created saints booming. The idea of sin was especially prevalent and so Urban II's promise of immunity from its consequences would have appealed to many. Crucially, too, the church could condone a campaign of violence because it was one of liberation (not attack) and it had a just and righteous aim.

Urban II embarked on a preaching tour in France during 1095-6 CE to recruit crusaders, where his message was spiced up with exaggerated tales of how, at that very moment, Christian monuments were being defiled and Christian believers persecuted and tortured with impunity. Embassies and letters were dispatched to all parts of Christendom. Major churches such as those at Limoges, Angers, and Tours acted as recruitment centres, as did many rural churches and especially the monasteries. Across Europe, warriors gathered throughout 1096 CE, ready to embark for Jerusalem.

Merchants

Merchants, although not so involved in the First Crusade, certainly became more involved from 1200 CE as they wanted to open up trade routes with the East, even to control such prosperous trade centres as Antioch and Jerusalem. Further, merchants could make a handsome profit from ferrying crusaders across the Mediterranean. Indeed, from the Second Crusade (1147-1149 CE), lucrative contracts were drawn up beforehand to ship armies across to the Middle East. The Italian trading states of Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, as well as Marseille in France, were particular rivals, and each was eager to gain a monopoly on east-west trade. It should be remembered, though, that these cities also provided plenty of religious zealots keen to fight for the Christian cause and not just make cash from it.

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European Knights

By the 11th century CE society in medieval Europe had become increasingly militarised. Central governments simply did not have the means to govern on the ground across every part of their territories. Those who did govern in practice at local level were large landowners, the barons who had castles and a force of knights to defend them. Knights, even kings and princes, too, joined the crusades for religious principles, a reward in the afterlife perhaps or the pure ideal that Christians and Christian sites must be protected from the infidel. It is important perhaps to note that there was only a very limited racial or religious hatred specifically against those who had usurped the Holy Land. Although the clergy certainly used the tools of propaganda available to them and delivered recruitment sermons across Europe, the fact that Muslims were virtually unknown to their audience meant that any demonisation had little value. Muslims were the enemy because they had taken Christian holy sites, not directly because they were Muslims. This important point is stressed by the historian M. Bull in the following terms:

Popular understanding of the crusades nowadays tends to think in terms of a great conflict between faiths fuelled by religious fanaticism. This perception is bound up with modern sensibilities about religious discrimination, and it also has resonances in reactions to current political conflicts in the Near East and elsewhere. But it is a perspective which, at least as far as the First Crusade is concerned, needs to be rejected. (Riley-Smith, 18)

For willing knights there was also the chance to win booty, lands, and perhaps even a title. Land might have to be sold and equipment was expensive, though, so there was certainly a major financial sacrifice to be made at the outset. Monasteries were on hand to arrange loans for this who struggled to meet the initial costs. There was, too, the idea of chivalry - that a knight should 'do the right thing' and protect not only the interests of their church and god but also those of the weak and oppressed. In the 11th century CE the code of chivalry was still in its infancy and so was more concerned with upholding a brotherhood of arms. Thus the relevance of chivalry as motivation to join the First Crusade is perhaps more to do with the importance of being seen to do what was expected of one by one's peers, and only in later crusades would its moral aspects become more prominent and the message fuelled by songs and poems of daring crusader deeds.

Many knights, too, were simply obliged to join their baron or lord as part of the service they performed to earn a living. Technically, crusaders were volunteers but one can imagine that staying at home to tend the castle fireplace while one's lord and benefactor rode off to the Middle East was not a practical option for knights in service. In addition, many knights followed their fathers or brothers as ties of kinship and mutual protection were strong. As the Crusades continued, traditions and expectations were established within families so that at least one member of each generation was expected to continue to fight for the cause.

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Citizens

Besides knights, the idea of a crusade had to appeal to ordinary foot soldiers, archers, squires, and all the non-combatants needed to support the cavalry units of knights when on campaign. That the ideal did appeal to ordinary folk, including women, is illustrated by such events as the people's army led by the preacher Peter the Hermit which gathered and arrived in Constantinople in 1096 CE. The unruly army, sometimes referred to as the “People's Crusade”, were promptly shipped by Alexios I Komnenos to Asia Minor, where, ignoring the Byzantine's advice, they were ambushed and wiped out near Nicaea by a Seljuk army on 21 October 1096 CE.

Besides the prestige and honour of 'taking up the cross', so called because crusaders wore a badge on the shoulder on their tunic or cloak, there were some practical benefits for ordinary citizens, at least by the 13th century CE. These included a delay in feudal service, a court case might be speeded up before departure, an exemption from certain taxes and tolls, a postponement of the repayment of debts, and even a release from excommunication.

Conclusion

As the historian C. Tyerman points out in his God's War, in many ways 1095 CE was the 1914 CE of the Middle Ages - a perfect storm of moral outrage, personal gain, institutionalised political and religious propaganda, peer pressure, societal expectations, and a thirst for adventure, which all combined to inspire people to leave their homes and embark on a perilous journey to a destination they knew nothing about and where they might meet glory and death or just death. The fervour did not dissipate either. If anything, the success of the First Crusade and the recapture of Jerusalem on 15 July 1099 CE only inspired more people to 'take the cross'. The idea of crusading spread to such endeavours as liberating Spain from the Moors (the Reconquista) and attacking minority targets in Europe such as the Jews, pagans, and heretics (the Northern Crusades). Orders of knights were created to defend the territories gained in the Middle East, and taxes were continuously raised to fund the crusades which followed as Muslim and Christian armies enjoyed both successes and failures, constantly keeping cartographers busy for the next four centuries.


The Byzantine Empire had been in control of Jerusalem and other holy Christian sites such as the Holy Sepulchre on Golgotha and the Mount of Olives. However, during the middle of the 11th century, the dynamics shifted.

In 1071 C.E., the Muslims, under the Seljuks, which was a Turkish tribe, raided parts of the Byzantine territory such as Anatolia and Byzantine Armenia. They managed to defeat the mighty army. They even managed to capture the Byzantine King.

However, he was released when the Seljuks received a healthy ransom and some important cities such as Edessa and Antioch. They did not stop there. By 1079 C.E., the Seljuks had managed to create the Sultanate of Rum and by 1087, they had taken over Jerusalem.


On April 28, 1192, the Hashshashin (Assassins) assassinated Conrad of Montferrat (Conrad I), King of Jerusalem, in Tyre, just two days after his title to the throne was confirmed by election. The incident was one of many bizarre and violent episodes to occur during the Crusades. These wars rank among the longest religious conflicts in human history. This article presents a timeline of some of the most bizarre incidents to occur in the roughly two hundred years long conflict between Christians and Muslims for control of the Holy Land.

Digging Deeper

In late April 637, Jerusalem was officially surrendered by the Christian Patriarch of Jerusalem (St. Sophronius) to the Muslim Caliph Umar (r. 634–644), thereby solidifying Arab control over Palestine, control which would not again be threatened until the First Crusade in the late 11th century.

Map of the Muslim invasion of Syria and the Levant (September 636 to December 637)

The First Crusade (1095-1099)

On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II’s speech at the Council of Clermont included the call to arms that would result in the First Crusade.

On May 18, 1096, Christians in Europe heeded the call of Pope Urban II and joined up with the throngs following local noblemen in a Crusade to regain the Holy Land of Jerusalem from the Muslims that occupied what is now Israel and the Levant, but on this day the Crusading zeal went in a horribly different direction.

On October 21, 1096, a Seljuk Turk army led by Sultan Kilij Arslan I massacred a Christian army from Europe, known as the People’s Army, ending the first of the religious wars known as the Crusades.

On December 12, 1098, in what is now Syria, Crusaders massacred 20,000 Muslims and ate some of them!

On July 15, 1099, during the First Crusade , Christian soldiers took the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jer u salem after the final assault of a difficult siege.

The Crusaders capture Jerusalem

On February 15, 1113, the reigning Pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Paschal II, issued a Papal Bull titled “Pie Postulatio Voluntatis,” recognizing the Order of Hospitallers, a military order of Catholic knights that had existed in the Holy Land since about 1099.

On October 11, 1138, the city that would one day become the most populous city in modern Syria, Aleppo, was hit with a catastrophic earthquake.

The Second Crusade (1147–1149)

Edessa, seen here on the right of this map (c. 1140), was captured by the Zengids. This disaster was the primary cause of the Second Crusade, which resulted in a decisive Muslim victory.

On May 22, 1176, The Hashshashin (Assassins) made an attempt on the life of Saladin, the First Sultan of Egypt and Syria.

On September 20, 1187, the Islamic forces of the famous Kurdish Muslim leader Saladin laid siege to the capital of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, the holiest city in the Christian world and likewise in the Jewish world, and the third holiest city in Islam.

On October 2, 1187, one of history’s most significant sieges ended, The Siege of Jerusalem in which Sultan Saladin of Egypt and Syria (r. 1174–1193) captured Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule.

The Third Crusade (1189–1192)

On July 27, 1189, Friedrich Barbarossa (also known as Frederick), the Holy Roman Emperor, arrived at the capital of the Serbian King Stefan Nemanja, a city called Nis.

On June 10, 1190, during the Third Crusade, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (r. 1155-1190) drowned in the river Saleph while leading an army to Jerusalem.

On July 4, 1190, King Richard of England (r. 1189–1199) and King Philip II of France (r. 1180–1223) met in France at Vézelay and set out together as far as Lyon where they parted after agreeing to meet in Sicily Richard with his retinue, said to number 800, marched to Marseille and Philip to Genoa.

King Richard the Lionheart of England marches towards Jerusalem in 1191 .

On April 28, 1192, the Hashshashin (Assassins) assassinated Conrad of Montferrat (Conrad I), King of Jerusalem, in Tyre, only two days after his title to the throne was confirmed by election.

On September 2, 1192, Richard and Saladin finalized a treaty granting Muslim control over Jerusalem but allowing unarmed Christian pilgrims and merchants to visit the city.

On March 24, 1199, while fighting in France at Limousin, an administrative region in the South-Central part of France that is now Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the King of England known as Richard I, the Lionheart, was struck in the shoulder by a bolt launched by a crossbow, leading to the King’s death on April 6, 1199.

The Fourth Crusade (1202–04)

On November 10, 1202, despite letters from Pope Innocent III (a much more popular pope than Pope Guilty III!) forbidding the action and threatening excommunication, Catholic crusaders on the Fourth Crusade began a siege of the Catholic city of Zara (now Zadar, Croatia).

On April 12, 1204, the Crusaders’ conquest of Constantinople marked the culmination of the Fourth Crusade.

Conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204

The Fifth Crusade (1217–1221)

On August 25, 1218, despite resistance from the unprepared sultan Al-Adil of Egypt, the tower outside the city of Damietta, Egypt was taken by crusaders.

Frisian crusaders confront the Tower of Damietta, Egypt in 1218.

The Sixth Crusade (1228–1229)

On February 18, 1229, a treaty resulted from the diplomatic maneuvering of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (r. 1220–1250), which allowed the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem to regain some control over Jerusalem for much of the ensuing fifteen years (1229–39, 1241–44) as well as over other areas of the Holy Land.

Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (left) meets Sultan al-Kamil of Egypt (right).

The Seventh Crusade (1248–1254)

On April 6, 1250, The Battle of Fariskur, the last major battle of the Seventh Crusade, resulted in the complete defeat of the crusader army and the capture of King Louis IX of France (r. 1226–1270).

King Louis IX of France during the Seventh Crusade

On June 19, 1269, the King of France, Louis IX, ordered that any Jew found in any public place not wearing the obligatory yellow badge would be fined 10 livres of silver.

The Eighth Crusade (1270)

On August 25, 1270, Louis IX died, in penitence, on a bed of ashes during the siege of Tunis in North Africa.

Death of Louis IX during the siege of Tunis

The Ninth Crusade (1271–1272)

On May 9, 1271, English Prince Edward arrived at Acre with a small but not insignificant contingent of no more than 1,000 men, including 225 knights.

Operations during the Ninth Crusade

On September 24, 1272, Edward left Acre for Sicily and, while recuperating on the island, he first received news of the death of his son John, and then a few months later news of the death of his father.

On July 18, 1290, King Edward I of England, also known as “Edward Longshanks” or alternatively “The Hammer of the Scots,” issued the Edict of Expulsion, a royal decree ordering all Jews out of England.

On May 18, 1291, the Fall of Acre resulted in the loss of the Crusader-controlled city of Acre to the Mamluks after being in the hands of the Franks for 100 years.

On February 17, 1370, the Teutonic Knights fought a great battle against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a battle known as the Battle of Rudau.

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Contents

The conflicts that are usually associated with crusades in the Holy Land begin with the Council of Clermont in 1095 and end with the loss of Acre in 1291. These include the numbered Crusades (First through Eighth or Ninth) with numerous smaller crusades intermixed. One of the first to view the Crusades as a movement was English historian Thomas Fuller (1608–1661), whose Historie of the Holy Warre (1639) identified crusades as the Holy War consisting of "Voyages," numbering One through Thirteen, plus a Last Voyage and two additional Holy Wars. [4] These Voyages include the First through Eighth Crusades in current numbering. Shortly thereafter, French Jesuit Louis Maimbourg (1610–1686) published his Histoire des Croisades pour la délivrance de la Terre Sainte (1675), identify the First through Fifth Crusades. [5] In his work The Crusades—An Encyclopedia, historian Alan V. Murray further explains the traditional numbering of crusades: [6]

It was in the eighteenth century that historians evidently first allocated numbers to individual crusades, from the first to the ninth. However, these numbers are neither consistent nor accurate. Of the identity of the First Crusade (1096—1099) there can be no doubt, but there is no consensus about numbering after the Fourth Crusade (1202–1204). The Crusade of Emperor Frederick II (1227–1229) is sometimes regarded as part of the Fifth Crusade (1217–1221) and sometimes as a separate expedition. This means that the term Sixth Crusade may refer either to Frederick II's crusade or to the first crusade of King Louis IX of France, which might also be called the Seventh Crusade. Consequently, each subsequent number after the fifth might refer to either of two different expeditions. The only absolutely clear method of designating individual crusades is by a combination of dates and descriptive terminology relating to participation, goals, or both, and this is the solution that has been adopted [here]. However, the names of the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Crusades, which are at least unambiguous (if not accurate), have been retained, as they are now established by long tradition.

The list of the Crusades to the Holy Land from 1095 through 1291 is as follows.

First Crusade. The First Crusade (1095–1099) refers to the activities from the Council of Clermont of 1095 through the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the battle of Ascalon in 1099. Sometimes segregated into the People's Crusade and the Princes' Crusade. Some accounts also include the Crusade of 1101 here. The original chroniclers of the First Crusade did not, of course, refer to at such, or even as a crusade (as noted above). In the twelve Latin chronicles, the event is called, for example, the Deeds of the Franks or the Expedition to Jerusalem. Anna Komnene simply notes the arrival of the various armies in Constantinople, and Arabic historian ibn Athir calls it the Coming of the Franks. Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyage 1 of the Holy Warre. It is unclear as to who first used the term, but it has been credited to Louis Maimbourg in his 1675 Histoire des Croisades. The term was certainly in common use by the 18th century as seen in Voltaire's Histoire des Croisades (1750–1751) [7] and Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–1789). [8] Thomas Asbridge's The First Crusade: A New History (2004) [9] is among the standard references used today. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

People's Crusade. The People's Crusade (1096) was a prelude to the First Crusade led by Peter the Hermit. The first of what is known as the Popular Crusades. Sometimes regarded as an integral part of the First Crusade, with the Princes' Crusade as the second part. A standard reference is Peter der Eremite. Ein kritischer Beitrag zur Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges (1879) by pioneering German historian Heinrich Hagenmeyer (1834–1915). [15] Peter and his crusade achieved a popular status in the 19th century through such works as Heroes of the Crusades (1869) by Barbara Hutton. The references shown above for the First Crusade generally cover the People's Crusade as well. [16] [17]

Crusade of 1101. The Crusade of 1101 (1101–1102) was also called the Crusade of the Faint-Hearted. Campaigns that followed the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 that were generally ignored by 18th and 19th century historians. Thomas Fuller nevertheless referred to it as Voyage 2 of the Holy Warre whereas Jonathan Riley-Smith considered it part of the First Crusade in his The First Crusaders, 1095-1131 (1997). [18] [19] [20] [21]

Norwegian Crusade. The Norwegian Crusade (1107–1110), also known as the Crusade of Sigurd Jorsalfar, king of Norway. More of a pilgrimage than a crusade, it did include the participation in military action, with the king's forces participation in the siege of Sidon. This crusade marks the first time a European king visited the Holy Land. This crusade is described in Heimskringla by Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson. [22] [23] [24] [25]

Venetian Crusade. The Venetian Crusade (1122–1124), also known as the Crusade of Calixtus II. The Western participants from the Republic of Venice were regarded by Riley-Smith as First Crusaders, and the actions resulted in the capture of Tyre from the Damascene atabeg Toghtekin. This marked a major victor for Baldwin II of Jerusalem prior to his second captivity in 1123. [26] [27] [28] [29]

Crusade of 1129. The Crusade of 1129, also known as the Damascus Crusade, was begun by Baldwin II of Jerusalem after his captivity. The crusade failed in its objective to capture Damascus and is described by Syriac historian Michael the Syrian in his Chronicle (after 1195). [30] [31] [32] [33] [34]

Second Crusade. The Second Crusade (1147–1150). After the disastrous siege of Edessa in 1144, the Western powers launched the Second Crusade, which accomplished little. Principal chroniclers of the event were Odo of Deuil, chaplin to Louis VII of France, who wrote his account De profectione Ludovici VII in Orientem and Otto of Freising who wrote Gesta Friderici imperatoris concerning the emperor Frederick Barbarosso. Referred to as the Second Crusade in Maimbourg's Histoire des Croisades... as well as Georg Müller's De Expedition Cruciatis Vulgo Von Kreutz Fahrten (1709). Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyage 3 of the Holy Warre. The Wendish Crusade of 1147 (one of the Northern Crusades) is usually associated with the Second Crusade. [35] [36] [37]

Crusader invasions of Egypt. The Crusader Invasions of Egypt (1154–1169) were attacks into Egypt by Amalric I of Jerusalem to take advantage of crises concerning the Fatimids. These activities eventually led to the fall of the Fatimids and the rise of Saladin and the Ayyubid dynasty. [38] [39]

Crusade to the East of Philip of Flanders. The Crusade to the East (1177) was a crusade led by Philip I, Count of Flanders that intended to invade Egypt, instead only mounting an unsuccessful siege of Harim. [40] [41]

Third Crusade. The Third Crusade (1189–1192). The Third Crusade was in response to the loss of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187 and had significant English participation, under Richard I of England, as well as by the emperor Frederick Barbarosso. To the English, it was known as the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi, the Itinerary of king Richard, and to the Germans as the expedition of Frederick, as described in Historia Peregrinorum (History of the Pilgrims). Thomas Andrew Archer's The Crusade of Richard I, 1189–1192 (1889) provides a comprehensive look at the crusade and its sources. [42] Thomas Fuller referred to Frederick's portion as Voyage 4 of the Holy Warre, and Richard's portion as Voyage 5. The numbering of this crusade followed the same history as the first ones, with English histories such as David Hume's The History of England (1754–1761) [43] and Charles Mills' History of the Crusades for the Recovery and Possession of the Holy Land (1820) [44] identifying it as the Third Crusade. The former only considers the follow-on crusades to the extent that England participated. [45] [46] [47]

Crusade of Emperor Henry VI. The Crusade of Henry VI (1197–1198) was also known as the Crusade of 1197 or the German Crusade. A crusade led by Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI as a follow-up to the Third Crusade. Although Henry died before the crusade began, it was modestly successful with the recapture of Beirut. Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyage 6 of the Holy Warre. [48] [49] [50] [51]

Fourth Crusade. The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) wasalso known as the Unholy Crusade. A major component of the crusade was against the Byzantine empire. Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyage 7 of the Holy Warre. Charles du Cange, wrote the first serious study of the Fourth Crusade in his Histoire de l'empire de Constantinople sous les empereurs françois (1657). [52] Geoffrey of Villehardouin was a knight and historian who wrote his eyewitness account De la Conquête de Constantinople (c. 1215) of the crusade and its aftermath. [53] Voltaire did not call it a crusade in his Histoire des Croisades, instead calling it the Suite de la Prise de Constantinople par les Croisés. [54] Jonathan Philips' The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople (2004) is a standard reference today. [55] [56] [57] [58]

Fifth Crusade. The Fifth Crusade (1217–1221) was a failed attempt to recapture Jerusalem by first conquering Cairo. Critical original sources include Historia Damiatina by Oliver of Paderborn (died 1227) and Chronica Hungarorum by Joannes de Thurocz, compiled in the collection Gesta Dei per Francos (God's Work through the Franks) (1611) by Jacques Bongars. A standard reference is Reinhold Röhricht's Studien zur Geschichte des fünften Kreuzzuges (1891). [59] Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyage 8 of the Holy Warre. [60] [61] [62] [63] [64]

Sixth Crusade. The Sixth Crusade (1228–1229), was also known as the Crusade of Emperor Frederick II. Sometimes regarded as part of the Fifth Crusade, it was an extension of that activity that involved little fighting. Jerusalem was nevertheless returned to Western hands by negotiation. Original sources include Chronica Majora (1259) by Matthew Paris and Flores Historiarum (1235) by Roger of Wendover, with Arabic sources that include Abu'l-Feda's Tarikh al-Mukhtasar fi Akhbar al-Bashar (1329). Modern histories include Röhricht's Die Kreuzfahrt Kaiser Friedrich des Zweiten (1228–1229) (1872). Referred to it as Voyage 9 of the Holy Warre by Thomas Fuller in his 1639 Historie. See also references under the Crusade against Frederick II (1220–1241) below. [65] [66] [67] [68] [69]

Barons' Crusade. Barons' Crusade (1239–1241) was also referred to as the Crusade of 1239, or the Crusade of Theobald I of Navarre and the Crusade of Richard of Cornwall. Called for in 1234 by Gregory IX in his papal bull Rachel suum videns. Successful expeditions to recaptured portions of the Holy Land. First treated by R. Röhricht in his Die Kreuzzuge des Grafen Theobald von Navarra und Richard von Cornwallis nach dem heligen Landen. [70] Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyages 10 and 11 of the Holy Warre. [71] [72] [73] [74]

Crusade of Theobald I of Navarre. The Crusade of Theobald I of Navarre (1239–1240) was a crusade led by Theobald I of Navarre, also referred to as Thibaut of Navarre or Theobald of Champagne. Part of the Barons' Crusade, 1239–1241. Among modern historians, René Grousset was among the first to discuss this crusade in his Histoire des croisades et du royaume franc de Jérusalem (1934-1936) [75] Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyage 10 of the Holy Warre. [76] [77] [70]

Crusade of Richard of Cornwall. The Crusade of Richard of Cornwall (1240–1241) was also known as the Crusade of Richard of Cornwall and Simon of Montfort to Jaffa. Richard also held the title King of the Romans, and had a noteworthy biography written by Noël Denholm-Young. [78] Usually referred to as part of the Barons' Crusade, 1239–1241. Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyage 11 of the Holy Warre. [79] [77] [80] [70]

Crusade to Tzurulum. The Crusade to Tzurulum (1239) led by future Latin emperor Baldwin of Courtenay was conducted concurrently with the Barons' Crusade. In the military action, Baldwin besieged and captured Tzurulum, a Nicaean stronghold west of Constantinople. [81]

Crusade against the Mongols. The Crusade against the Mongols (1241) was ked by Conrad IV of Germany and is also known as the Anti-Mongol Crusade of 1241. British historian Peter Jackson documented this crusade in his study Crusade against the Mongols (1241). [82] [83] [84] [85] [86]

Seventh Crusade. The Seventh Crusade (1248–1254) os also known as the Crusade of Louis IX of France to the East, or Louis IX's First Crusade. Early works on this crusade include Primat of Saint-Denis' Roman des rois (1274) and Jean de Joinville's Life of Saint Louis (1309). [87] Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyage 12 of the Holy Warre. Grousset's Histoire des croisades. and Peter Jackson's Seventh Crusade, 1244–1254: Sources and Documents (2007) provide the necessary historical background. [88] [89] [90] [91] [92]

Crusade of Odo of Burgundy. The Crusade of Odo of Burgundy (1265–1266) was an expedition of Odo, Count of Nevers, who led 50 knights to protect Acre from Mamluk sultan Baibars. [93] [94] [95]

Crusade of 1267. The Crusade of 1267 was an expedition from the Upper Rhine to counter the threat posed by Baibars. [96]

Crusade of Charles of Anjou. The Crusade of Charles of Anjou against Lucera (1268) refers to the attack made by Charles I of Anjou on the Muslims at Lucera in conjunction with the Crusade against Conradin of 1268 (cf. Italian Crusades below). [97] [98] [99]

Crusade of James I of Aragon. The Crusade of James I of Aragon (1269–1270). James I of Aragon joined forces with Abaqa, Mongol ruler of the Ilkhanate, to take a crusade to the Holy Land, but returned without engaging the Mamluks in light of their strength at Acre. [100] [101]

Eighth Crusade. The Eighth Crusade (1270) was also known as the Crusade of Louis IX of France to Tunis. Accompanied by Jean de Joinville who wrote the biography Life of Saint Louis (1309). [87] Thomas Fuller referred to it as Voyage 31 of the Holy Warre. [102] [89] [90] [103] [104]

Lord Edward's Crusade. Lord Edward's Crusade (1271–1272) was led by the future Edward I of England, and is also known as the Crusade of Lord Edward of England, the Ninth Crusade, or the Last Crusade. It is regarded by some as an extension of the Eighth Crusade. Edward, later King of England, was accompanied by his wife Eleanor of Castile, who came to his aid after an assassination attempt. Discussed as part of the Eighth Crusade by Joseph François Michaud in Volume 3 of his seminal Histoire des Croisades (1812–1822). [105] [106] [107] [108]

Crusade of Henry of Mecklenburg. The Crusade of Henry of Mecklenburg (1275). Henry I, Lord of Mechlenburg (died 1302) went on a crusade or pilgrimage to the Holy Land c. 1275 and was captured by the Egyptians and held for 32 years. The only known reference to this is by Thomas Fuller in his Historie of the Holy Warre, where it is referred to as the Last Voyage. [109] [110]

Siege of Acre. The Siege of Acre (1291) marked the loss of the Holy Land to the Mamluks, typically identifying the end of the traditional Crusades. The anonymous Les Gestes des Chiprois (Deeds of the Cypriots) contains one of two eyewitness accounts of the siege. [111] [112]

After the fall of Acre, the crusades continued in the Levant through the 16th century. Principal references on this subject are Kenneth Setton's History of the Crusades, Volume III. The Fourteenth and Fifteen Centuries (1975), [113] and Norman Housley's The Later Crusades, 1274-1580: From Lyons to Alcazar (1992) [114] and The Crusading Movement, 1274–1700 (1995). [115] Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century (1978) provides an interesting perspective on both the crusades and the general history of the era. [116] A nineteenth-century reference often cited is Joseph François Michaud's Histoire des Croisades (1812–1822), translation by William Robson. [117]

Crusade against Frederick III. The Crusade against Frederick III of Sicily (1298, 1299, 1302). The final round of the War of the Sicilian Vespers in which pope Boniface VIII attempted to dislodge Frederick. Frederick's position was solidified by the Peace of Caltabellotta in 1302, after which the crusaders were unable to dislodge him. [118] [119] [120]

Crusade against the Colonna Cardinals. The Crusade against the Colonna Cardinals (1298) was a crusade of Boniface VIII against the Colonna family. [121] [122] [123]

Expedition of the Almogavars. The Expedition of the Almogavars (1301–1311) consisted of campaigns of the Catalan Company, formed by veterans of the War of the Sicilian Vespers (the Almogavar) against the Anatolian beyliks. It concluded with the Catalan's taking control of the Duchy of Athens and Thebes. [124] [125] [126]

Hospitaller Crusade. The Hospitaller Crusade (1306–1310). A crusade known as the Hospitaller conquest of Rhodes that consolidated hold of the Knights Hospitaller on Rhodes. Documented by Hans Prutz in his Die Anfänge der Hospitaliter auf Rhodos, 1310–1355 (1908). [127] [128]

Crusade against the Catalan Grand Company. The Crusade against the Catalan Grand Company (1330–1332) was also called the Anti-Catalan Crusade, waged by Walter VI, Count of Brienne, and titular Duke of Athens. In 1330, John XXII issued a papal bull and ordered prelates in Italy and Greece to preach for a crusade against the Catalan Grand Company. Shortly thereafter, Robert of Naples gave the crusade his support. The Venetians, however, renewed their treaty with the Catalans in 1331. By the summer, it was clear that the expedition had failed, and Walter returned to Brindisi, saddled with crippling debts. [129] [125] [124] [126] [130]

The Naval Crusade of the Holy League. The Naval Crusade of the Holy League (1332–1333) was short-lived crusade against the Aydinid Turkish fleet by Pietro Zeno, serving as balio of Negroponte. In 1332, a Turkish armada under Umur Bey attacked Negroponte, and Zeno bought them off with a large tribute. Zeno and Pietro da Canale were accused by Francesco Dandolo with arranging an anti-Turkish alliance. By the end of the year the Holy League (also known as the Naval League) "a union, society and league for the discomfiture of the Turks and the defence of the true faith", had been formally constituted. In 1334, Zeno took command of the league's fleet and defeated the fleet of the Beylik of Karasi at the battle of Adramyttion. Zeno later served as one of the leaders of the Smyrna Crusade of 1344. [131] [132] [133]

The Holy League of Clement VI. The Holy League of Clement VI (1343) was a crusade proclaimed by Clement VI in 1343 that resulted in a naval attack on Smyrna the next year. The Grand Counci of Venicel elected Pietro Zeno as captain of the flotilla sent to assist the crusade against Aydinid-held Smyrna. Other crusader leaders included patriarch Henry of Asti, The crusade was a naval success and Smyrna was taken. Zeno was killed by Umur Bey's forces in an ambush while he and other crusaderswere attempting to celebrate mass in the no-man's-land between the battle lines. [134] [135] [136]

Smyrna Crusade. The Smyrna Crusade (1344) was the first of the Smyrniote Crusades (1343–1351). The Smyrna Crusade began in 1344 with the naval victory of the battle of Pallene and ended with an assault on Smyrna, capturing the harbour and the citadel but not the acropolis. Sometimes considered as part of the Holy League of Clement VI. [134] [137]

Crusade of Humbert II of Viennois. The Crusade of Humbert II of Viennois (1346) was the second of the Smyrniote Crusades. A second expedition under the command of Humbert II of Viennois with little to show other than a victory over the Turks at Mytilene. Described in the Book of Chivalry by Geoffroi de Charny. Also called the Second Smyrna Crusade. [138] [139]

Crusade against Francesco Ordelaffi. The Crusade against Francesco Ordelaffi (1355–1357) was a campaign by Innocent IV and Cardinal Gil Álvarez Carrillo de Albornoz against Francesco II Ordelaffi in order to restore papal authority to central Italy. The pope's Angevin troops had some success against Ordelaffi through 1356, by mercenary troops sent by Bernabò Visconti allowed him to hold out until 1357. [140] [141] [142]

Crusade of Peter I de Lusignan. The Crusade of Peter I de Lusignan (1362–1365). Peter I of Cyprus (Peter I de Lusignan) was King of Cyprus and titular King of Jerusalem. He founded the chivalric Order of the Sword in 1347, dedicated to the recovery of Jerusalem, and attempted to convince nobles in Europe to mount a new crusade. His efforts were eventually merged with the Alexandrian Crusade. [143] [144] [145] [146]

Alexandrian Crusade. The Alexandrian Crusade (1365). An attack by Peter I of Cyprus that resulted in the destruction of Alexandria, but had little real impact. Accounts of the crusade was given by Guillaume de Machaut in his La Prise d'Alexandre (after 1369) and by Muslim historian al-Nuwayrī in his Kitāb al-Ilmām (1365–1374). [147] [148] [149] [150]

Crusade of Amadeus VI. The Crusade of Amadeus VI of Savoy (1366–1367). Amadeus VI of Savoy (Amadeo), known as the Green Count of Savoy, launched a minor crusade against Thrace and Bulgaria. He attacked Ottoman sultan Murad I with 15 ships and 1,700 men in 1366 in order to aid his cousin, John V Palaiologos. Recounted by Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga in his work about French knight Philippe de Mézières (c. 1327 – 1405) and Eugene L. Cox's Green Count of Savoy (1967). [151] [152] [153]

The Great Schism and the Crusades. The Great Schism and the Crusades (1382–1387). The Great (or Western) Schism within the Catholic Church from 1378–1417 led to a number of minor crusades included that against Charles III of Naples (1382) the Despenser's Crusade (1383) and the crusade of John of Gaunt (1387). The work by Walter Ullmann on the subject is a standard reference. [154] [155] [156]

Crusade against Charles III. The Crusade against Charles III of Naples (1382). Charles Durazzo became Charles III as king of Naples and titular king of Jerusalem after having his cousin Joanna I of Naples strangled in jail. In 1382 Clement VII granted crusade indulgences to Louis I of Anjou and others to dethrone Charles. A crusade associated with the Great Schism. [154] [157]

Despenser's Crusade. Despenser's Crusade (1383), also known as the Norwich Crusade, was a military expedition led by Henry le Despenser in order to assist Ghent in its struggle against the supporters of antipope Clement VII. A crusade associated with the Great Schism. [154] [158]

Crusade of John of Gaunt. The Crusade of John of Gaunt (1387). John of Gaunt led an unsuccessful crusade against Henry of Trastámara to claim the throne of Castile by right of his wife Constance of Castile. A crusade associated with the Great Schism. [154] [159] [160]

Mahdia Crusade. The Mahdia Crusade (1390), also known as the Barbary Crusade or the Crusade of Louis II de Bourbon against Mahdia, was a Franco-Genoese military expedition in 1390 that led to the siege of Mahdia, a stronghold of the Barbary pirates. A work by Belgian court historian Jean Froissart called the Chronicles of England, France, and the Adjoining Countries (c. 1400), referred to as Froissart's Chronicles, includes an account of this crusade. [161] [162] [163] [164] [165]

Crusade of Nicopolis. The Crusade of Nicopolis (1396), also known as the Battle of Nicopolis or the Crusade to Nicopolis. The crusader army of Hungarian, Croatian, Bulgarian, French and German force (assisted by the Venetian navy) was defeated by the Ottoman's at the Danubian fortress of Nicopolis, leading to the end of the Second Bulgarian Empire. [166] [167] [168] [169]

Crusade of Marshal Boucicaut. The Crusade of Marshal Boucicaut to Constantinople (1399). In 1399, Boniface IX preached a crusade to Constantinople, and Jean II Le Maingre (Boucicaut) was the only respondent. His one-man crusade consisted of raids on Turkish towns along the Black Sea coast. [170] [171] [172]

Crusade of Varna. The Crusade of Varna (1443–1444), also known as the Crusade to Varna, was an unsuccessful military campaign by the European monarchies to check the expansion of the Ottoman empire into Central Europe. The crusade was called by Eugene IV and led by Władysław III of Poland, John Hunyadi of Hungary, Voivode of Transylvania, and Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy. The aftermath left the Ottomans free from further attempts to push it out of Europe. [173] [174] [175] [176] [177]

Crusades to Recover Constantinople. Crusades to Recover Constantinople (1453–1460). New crusades called for after the loss of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453. Includes the Crusade of Nicholas V (later, Callixtus III) and the unrealizeded Crusade of Pius II. [178] [179] [180] [181]

Crusade of Nicholas V. The Crusade of Nicholas V (1455–1456). After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, pope Nicholas V planned a small crusade to recapture the city, reconfirmed by Callixtus III after Nicholas' death. Only John Hunyadi responded, defeating the Turks at Belgrade in 1456 before his untimely death. See Crusade of St. John of Capistrano (1456). [178] [182] [156] [180] [183]

Genoese Crusade to defend Chios. The Genoese Crusade to defend Chios (1455–1457) began after Mehmed II declared war on Chios and Rhodes, and a Genoese fleet was dispatched to defend the island. [184] [177]

Crusade of St. John of Capistrano. The Crusade of St. John of Capistrano (1456), also known as the Siege of Belgrade of 1456, began after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 when Mehmet II set his sights on the Kingdom of Hungary. The Ottoman forces were defeated by an army led by Catholic priest John of Capistrano and John Hunyadi. Crusade of Nicholas V (1455–1456). [185] [186] [183]

Occupation of Sporades. The Occupation of Sporades (1457). Occupation of the northern Sporades islands by papal galleys. [181] [187]

Siege of Rhodes. The Siege of Rhodes (1480). In 1480, an Ottoman fleet unsuccessfully began the siege of Rhodes. The Ottoman army under the command of Mesih Pasha was defeated by the Knights Hospitaller garrison led by Pierre d'Aubusson. Gulielmus Caoursin, vice-chancellor of the Hospitaller, was also an eye-witness to the siege. [188] [189] [190] [191] [192]

The Anti-Turkish Crusade. The Anti-Turkish Crusade (1480–1481) was a crusade of pope Sixtus IV against Mehmet II to protect southern Italy. Primarily consisted of the Crusade of Otranto. [193] [194]

Crusade of Otranto. The Crusade of Otranto (1481) was acrusade to recapture the city after the Ottoman invasion of Otranto. The citizens, killed by the Ottomans for refusing to convert to Islam, are known as the martyrs of Otranto. Part of the Anti-Turkish Crusade of Sixtus IV. [195] [196]

Spanish Crusade in North Africa. The Spanish Crusade in North Africa (1499–1510). Following the end of Muslim rule in Hispania, a number of cities were recaptured including: Melilla (1497), Mers el-Kebir (1505), Canary Islands (1508), Oran (1509), Rock of Algiers, Bougie and Tripoli (1510). [197]

Siege of Rhodes. The siege of Rhodes (1522) was the second and ultimately successful attempt by the Ottoman empire to expel the Knights Hospitaller from their island stronghold of Rhodes. [192] [198]

Crusade of the Emperor Charles V to Tunis. The Crusade of the Emperor Charles V to Tunis (1535) was also known as the Conquest of Tunis. In 1535, Tunis, then under the control of the Ottoman empire, was captured by emperor Charles V and his allies. [199] [200]

Crusade of the Emperor Charles V to Algiers. The Crusade of the Emperor Charles V to Algiers (1541), also known as the Algiers Expedition, was an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge to Ottomans from Algiers.. [199] [200]

Spanish Crusade to Mahdia. The Spanish Crusade to Mahdia (1550), also known as the Capture of Mahdia. A Spanish naval expedition supported by the Knights of Malta under Claude de la Sengle, besieged and captured the Ottoman stronghold of Mahdia. Mahdia was abandoned by Spain three years later, wit its fortifications demolished to avoid reoccupation of the city. [201]

Crusade of King Sebastian. The Crusade of King Sebastian of Portugal to Morocco (1578) was also known as the Battle of Alcácer Quibir or the Battle of Three Kings. The battle was between the army of deposed Moroccan sultan Abu Abdallah Mohammed II allied with Sebastian I of Portugal, against a large Moroccan army under the new sultan Abd Al-Malik I who was allied with the Ottomans. Al-Malik and the Ottomans won a decisive victory. [202] [203]

Crusades against the Byzantine empire began shortly after the First Crusade and continued throughout its existence. These include the following. [204] [205] [206] [117]

Crusade of Bohemond of Taranto. The Crusade of Bohemond of Taranto (1107–1108), also known as Bohemond's Crusade. A campaign led by Bohemond of Taranto against the Byzantine empire that ended with the Treaty of Devol. [207] [208] [209] [14]

Crusading Project against Byzantium. The Crusading Project against Byzantium (1149–1150) was an effort by Roger II of Sicily and Louis VII of France to aid the East and exact revenge on the Greeks after the Second Crusade. [210] [211] [212] [213]

Fourth Crusade. The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204), also known as the Unholy Crusade. See details above.

Crusade against the Bulgars. The Crusade against the Bulgars (1205) was a call for a crusade against Kaloyan, king of the Bulgarians, by Renier of Trit, duke of Philippopolis. Their offense was that they had aligned themselves with enemies of the Cross of Christ, the Bogonils and Paulicians. Nothing came of the request. This and other aspects of the eastern Byzantine commonwealth were exhaustively studied by contemporary Russian historian Dimitri Obolensky. [214] [215]

Crusade of William VI of Montferrat. The Crusade of William VI of Montferrat (1225). A minor crusade of William VI of Montferrat to support his claims to the throne of Thessalonica (rarely mentioned). [216] [217]

Anti-Byzantine Crusades. The Anti-Byzantine Crusades (1261–1320) included three attempts to regain the Byzantine empire from the Palaiologos dynasty. The loss of Constantinople in 1261 happened during a papal interregnum, and the next year the newly-seated Urban IV authorized a crusade to retake the city. Nothing beyond the defeat of the Byzantines at the naval battle of Settepozzi in 1263. Urban IV renewed his call for crusade in 1264, for the succor of the Morea, but to no avail. In 1281, Charles of Anjou, Philip of Courtenay and the Venetians planned an incursion into Romania for the recapture of Constantinople. This was blessed by Martin V, labeling it a crusade. This was thwarted by the war of the Sicilian Vespers. After the Peace of Caltabellotta, the final anti-Byzantine crusade was hatched. Charles of Valois, the husband of Catherine of Courtenay, titular Latin empress of Constantinople, sought to use the Catalan Grand Company to advance his goals, but the company proved unable to effectively organize. [218] [213] [130] [219]

Some pilgrimages are referred to as crusades, especially if the journey resulted in some military activity. Some examples include the following. [220]

Norwegian Crusade. The Norwegian Crusade (1107–1110), also known as the Crusade of Sigurd Jorsalfar. See above. [22]

Crusade or Pilgrimage of Fulk V of Anjou. The Crusade or Pilgrimage of Fulk V of Anjou (1120–1122). The future king of Jerusalem traveled to the Holy Land and joined the Knights Templar, according to Ordoric Vitalis' Historia Ecclesiastica (c. 1141). [221] [222]

Pilgrimage of Rognvald Kali Kolsson. The Pilgrimage of Rognvald Kali Kolsson (1151–1153) was also known as the Crusade of Rognvald Kali Kolsson. In 1151, Rognvald set out on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land as described in the Orkneyinga saga. The earl's party left Orkney in the late summer of 1151 in fifteen ships, with six sailing to Jerusalem while Rognvald stoppeded in Narbonne. After visiting Jerusalem, the party returned via Constantinople, where they were received by the emperor, then sailed to Apulia where they took horses for the journey to Rome, arriving back in Orkney in time for Christmas 1153. [223]

Crusade or Pilgrimage of Henry the Lion. The Crusade or Pilgrimage of Henry the Lion (1172). A pilgrimage to Jerusalem documented by Arnold of Lübeck in his Chronicae Slavorum (1209), often referred to as a crusade. [224] [225] [226] [227]

Crusade of Henry of Mecklenburg. The Crusade of Henry of Mecklenburg (1275). Henry I, Lord of Mechlenburg (died 1302) went on a crusade or pilgrimage to the Holy Land c. 1275 and was captured by the Egyptians and held for 32 years. The only know reference to this is by Thomas Fuller in his Historie of the Holy Warre, where it is referred to as the Last Voyage. [109] [110]

The Popular Crusades were generated by enthusiasm for crusading, but unsanctioned by the Church. [228]

People's Crusade. The People's Crusade (1096). A prelude to the First Crusade led by Peter the Hermit. See above.

Children's Crusade. The Children's Crusade (1212) was a failed Popular Crusade by the West to regain the Holy Land. The traditional narrative includes some factual and some mythical events including visions by a French boy and a German boy, an intention to peacefully convert Muslims to Christianity, bands of children marching to Italy, and children being sold into slavery. Thomas Fuller referred to it as a Holy war in his Historie of the Holy Warre. [229] [230] [231] [232] [233] [234]

First Shepherds' Crusade. The First Shepherds’ Crusade (1251) was a popular crusade also known as the Crusade of the Pastoreaux. The movement was aimed at rescuing Louis IX during his imprisonment during the Seventh Crusade. The group was dispersed in Paris. [235] [236] [237]

Crusade of the Poor. The Crusade of the Poor (1309) was also known as the Crusade of 1309 or the Shepards' Crusade of 1309. A popular crusade that began with the unfulfilled Crusade of Clement V (see below). [238] [239] [240]

Second Shepherds' Crusade. The Second Shepherds' Crusade (1320), also known as the Pastoreaux of 1320, it was the last of the popular crusades. [241] [236] [242] [243]

Crusades against heretics and schismatics include the following. [244] [245]

Albigensian Crusade. The Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229), or Cathar Crusade, was the first of the so-called religious crusades and was conducted against the Cathars in southern France. The 20-year campaign was successful. One of the first actions, the massacre at Béziers, helped earn the crusade the title as "one of the most conclusive cases of genocide in religious history." After the military phase, the inquisition conducted by Gregory IX in 1234 all but eliminated the Cathars. Contemporaneous chronicles of the crusade include Peter of Vaux de Cernay's Historia Albigensis and Guillaume de Puylaurens' Cronica, both of which appear Guizot's Collection des mémoires relatifs à l'histoire de France (1823–1835). Thomas Fuller referred to it as a Holy war in his Historie of the Holy Warre (1639). [246] [247] [248] [249] [250] [251]

Bogomils Crusades. The Bogomils Crusades (1234, 1252) were crusades against the Bogomils were called for in 1234 by Gregory IX and in 1252 by Innocent IV. [252] [253]

Crusades against the Bosnian Heritics. The Crusades against the Bosnian Heritics (1235, 1241), also known as the Bosnian Crusades. Fought against unspecified "heretics," the action was essentially a war of conquest by Hungarian prince Coloman of Galicia against the Banate of Bosnia, sanctioned as a crusade by Gregory IX. The would-be crusaders only succeeded in conquering peripheral parts of the country. [254] [255]

Despenser's Crusade. Despenser's Crusade (1383), also known as the Norwich Crusade, was a military expedition led by Henry le Despenser in order to assist Ghent in its struggle against the supporters of antipope Clement VII. A crusade associated with the Great Schism. [154] [158]

Crusades against the Hussites. The Crusades against the Hussites (1420–1431). The five crusades from the Hussite Wars known as the Anti-Hussite Crusades. [256] [257] [258] [259]

First Anti-Hussite Crusade. The First Anti-Hussite Crusade (1420). Pope Martin V issued a bull in 1420 proclaiming a crusade "for the destruction of the Wycliffites, Hussites and all other heretics in Bohemia". Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund and many German princes laid siege to Prague with an army of crusaders from all parts of Europe, largely consisting of adventurers attracted by the hope of pillage. Sigismund was defeated that same year at the battle of Vítkov Hill. [260] [261]

Second Anti-Hussite Crusade. The Second Anti-Hussite Crusade (1421–1422). After the Hussite victory in 1420, a priest named Jan Želivský obtained authority over Prague. In 1421, a new crusade against the Hussites was undertaken, laying siege to the town of Žatec. Sigismund arrived in Bohemia at the end of 1421, but was decisively defeated at the battle of Deutschbrod in 1422. [260] [262]

Third Anti-Hussite Crusade. The Third Anti-Hussite Crusade (1423–1424). The pope called a new crusade against Bohemia, but it was a complete failure. Poles and Lithuanians did not wish to attack the Czechs, the Germans were hampered by internal discord, and Eric VII of Denmark, intending to take part in the crusade, soon returned to Scandinavia. Sigismund Korybut, governor of Bohemia, helped broker the peace in 1424. [260]

Fourth Anti-Hussite Crusade. The Fourth Anti-Hussite Crusade (1426–1428). In 1426, the Hussites were attacked again by foreign forces. Hussite forces, led by Sigismund Korybut and Prokop the Great, defeated the invaders in the battle of Aussig of 1426. Despite this, the pope believed that the Hussites were weakened and proclaimed a fourth crusade in 1427. Cardinal Henry Beaufort was appointed leader of the crusader forces. The crusaders were defeated at the battle of Tachov that same year. Korybut was imprisoned in 1427 for conspiring to surrender Hussite forces to the emperor Sigismund. He was released in 1428, and participated in the Hussite invasion of Silesia. [260] [263]

Fifty Anti-Hussite Crusade. The Fifth Anti-Hussite Crusade (1431). In 1431, Frederick I, Elector of Brandenburg and papal legate cardinal Julian Cesarini led a crusader army against Bohemia. The defending army led by Prokop the Great, supplemented by Polish Hussites, defeated the crusaders at the battle of Domažlice that same year. [260] [264] [265]

Waldensian Crusade in the Dauphine. The Waldensian Crusade in the Dauphine (1487–1491) was a crusade against the Waldensians (Vaudois), a sect regarded as heretics, beginning with the burning at the stake of 80 Waldensians in 1211. In 1487, Innocent VIII issued a bull for the extermination of the heresies of the Vaudois. Alberto de' Capitanei organized a crusade and launched an offensive against the Vaudois in Dauphiné and Piedmont. Charles I, Duke of Savoy, intervened in order to save his territories from further turmoil and promised the Vaudois peace, which did not occur before the offensive had devastated the area. Angelo Carletti di Chivasso brought about a peaceful agreement between the parties, which was short-lived as attested by the Mérindol massacre of 1545, with persecution continuing until after the French Revolution. [266] [267] [268] [269]

Political crusades include the following. [270]

Political Crusade against Roger II of Sicily. The Political Crusade against Roger II of Sicily (1127–1135). Called the First Political Crusade, it began in 1127 when Honorius II, suspicious of the growth of Norman power in southern Italy, and at Capua in December, the pope preached a crusade against Roger II of Sicily. Upon the death of Honorius in 1130, Anacletus II and Innocent II were both claimants to the papal throne. Roger supported the antipope Anacletus. In 1135, Innocent II offered Crusader indulgences to those who fought his enemies. There is no evidence that any military action was taken, but the action is viewed as a harbinger for the political crusades of the 13th century. [271] [272] [273]

Crusade against Markward von Anweiler. The Crusade against Markward von Anweiler (1199). The second of the so-called political crusades, that the papacy regarded as a pre-condition to a fourth crusade. In 1199, Innocent III declared a crusade against Markward von Anweiler, Imperial seneschal and regent of the Kingdom of Sicily, who opposed papal claims on the regency of Sicily. Markward was regarded by Innocent as "worse than the infidels," granting those few who fought against him crusader indulgences. Among those taking arms was Walter III of Brienne who wished to secure his claim to Taranto by virtue of his marriage to Elvira of Sicily. The need for the crusade ended with Markward's death in 1202. [274] [275] [276]

Papal Quarrel with John Lackland. Papal Quarrel with John Lackland (1208). The conflict between John of England and Innocent III that led to John's excommunication has been referred to as a crusade. [277] [278]

A Political Crusade in England. A Political Crusade in England (1215–1217). Two crusades were declared by Henry III of England against his rebellious subjects. The first began with a French knight Savari de Mauléon who had been in service to Hemry's predecessor, John of England, in the First Barons' War. The pope, Innocent III, had described Savari as crucesignatus pro defense Regni Anglie, setting the stage for Henry to take the cross, with the inherent protections from Rome. The conflict was finally settled in 1217 with the Treaty of Lambeth between Henry and Louis VIII of France. [279] [280]

Crusade against Frederick II. The Crusade against Frederick II (1220–1241). Efforts of pope Gregory IX against Frederick II. See also references under the Sixth Crusade above. [281] [282] [283] [284] [285]

Crusade against the Stedinger. The Crusade against the Stedinger (1233–1234), also known as the Stedinger Crusade. The Stedinger were free farmers whose grievances over taxes and property rights turned into full-scale revolt. A papal-sanctioned crusade was called against the rebels. In the campaign of 1233, the small crusading army was defeated. In a follow-up campaign of 1234, a much larger crusader army was victorious. [286] [287] [288]

Innocent IV's Crusade against Frederick II. Pope Innocent IV's Crusade against Frederick II (1248). The conflict between the pope and the emperor began with the apostolic letter Ad apostolicae dignitatis apicem in 1245 and was not resolved until Frederick's death in 1250. [289] [290] [291]

Crusade against Sicily, The Crusade against Sicily (1248). Actions taken by Innocent IV after Frederick II's defeat at the battle of Parma.

Crusade against Conrad IV. The Crusade against Conrad IV (1250). A crusade against Conrad IV of Germany that was a continuation of the crusade against his father Frederick II. [292] [293]

Another Political Crusade in England. Another Political Crusade in England (1263–1265). The second of Henry III's political crusades began with the Second Barons' War in 1263. Again a crusade was declared by Henry III of England against his enemies, with consent two papal legates to England. The death of Simon de Montfort in 1265 put an end to this rebellion. [279] [280]

Crusade against Frederico I of Montefeltro. The Crusade against Frederico I of Montefeltro (1321–1322) was a crusade proclaimed by John XXII in 1321 against Federico I, Count of Montefeltro (1296–1322), and his brothers to regain possession of the March of Ancona and Duchy of Spoleto. Malatesta da Verucchio, ruler of Rimini, supported by the commune of Perugia, killed Federico and captured his brothers in 1322. [294] [295] [296]

Crusade against the Emperor Louis IV. The Crusade against the Emperor Louis IV (1328–1329) was a crusade against Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor, also called the Crusade against Ludwig IV of Bavaria. Pope John XXII declared a crusade against Louis shortly after his coronation in 1328. Louis responded by installing an antipope, Nicholas V, declaring John deposed because of heresy. The crusade against Louis was renewed in 1329, and Robert of Naples sent forces against Louis and his ally Frederick II of Sicily but little came of it. Louis was also a protector of the Teutonic Knights, bestowing on the order a privilege to conquer Lithuania and Russia. [297] [298]

The Northern Crusades (1150–1560), also known as Baltic Crusades, occurred in northern Europe at the same time as the traditional crusades. [299] [300] [301]

Wendish Crusade. The Wendish Crusade (1147) was the first of the Northern Crusades, usually associated with the Second Crusade. A military campaign by the Holy Roman Empire and directed against the Polabian Slavs, or Wends. [302] [301]

Swedish Crusades. The Swedish Crusades (1150s–1293) consisted of the First Swedish Crusade (1150s), likely fictional, the Second Swedish Crusade (13th century), and the Third Swedish Crusade (1293). [303] [304]

Drenthe Crusade. The Drenthe Crusade (1228–1232) was a papal-approved military campaign launched against Drenthe in 1228. The crusade was led by Willibrand, Bishop of Utrecht, commanding a Frisian army. Willibrand's crusade ended inconclusively in 1232. [305] [245] [306]

Danish Crusades. The Danish Crusades (1191, 1293). The Danes made at least three crusades to Finland. The first is from 1187 when crusader Esbern Snare mentioned in his christmas feast speech a major victory from the Finns. Two next known crusades were made in 1191 and in 1202. The latter one was led by the Bishop of Lund, Anders Sunesen, with his brother. The Danes also participated in the Livonian Crusades. [307]

Livonian Crusades. The Livonian Crusades (1193–1287) are the various Christianization campaigns in the area constituting modern Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia following the 1193 call of Celestine III for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe. It was conducted mostly by Germans from the Holy Roman Empire and Danes, and consisted of four parts: Crusades against the Livonians (1198–1209) Conquest of the Estonian Hinderland (1208–1226) Crusades against the Oeselians (1206–1261) Crusade against Curonians (1242–1267) and, Crusade against Semigallians (1219–1290). The principal original sources on these crusades are the Livonian Rhymed Chronicle and the Livonian Chronicle of Henry. [308] [309]

Crusades against Livonians. The Crusades against Livonians (1198–1209). When peaceful means of conversion failed to convert the Livonians, bishop Berthold of Hanover arrived with a large contingent of crusaders in 1198. Berthold was surrounded soon after and killed, his forces defeated. To avenge Berthold's death, Innocent III then issued a bull declaring a crusade against the Livonians. Albert of Riga arrived the following year with a large force and in 1202, formed the Livonian Brothers of the Sword to aid in the conversion of the pagans. The Livonians led by Caupo of Turaida rebelled against the crusaders. Caupo's forces were defeated in 1206, and the Livonians were declared to be converted. Albert invaded with the forces of the Order in 1209, and the Livonians under duke Visvaldis were forced to submit to Albert. [310]

Conquest of the Estonian Hinderland. Conquest of the Estonian Hinderland (1208–1226). The crusaders began operations against the Estonians in 1208, with the help of the newly converted Livonians. From 1208–1227, war parties rampaged through Estonia. A truce was established from 1213–1215, but the Estonians were unable to develop into a centralized state. They were led by Lembitu of Lehola who was killed along with Caupo of Turaida (fighting for the crusaders), at the 1217 battle of St. Matthew's Day, a crushing defeat for the Estonians. The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia relates how in 1226, papal legate William of Modena successfully mediated peace in the area. [310]

Crusades against the Oeselians. The Crusades against the Oeselians (1206–1261). The Estonian region of Saaremaa, whose occupants were known as Oeselians, resisted the German crusaders, maintaining war fleets that continued to raid Denmark and Sweden. Danish armies led by Valdemar II of Denmark failed in Saaremaa in 1206 and 1222, as did John I of Sweden in 1220. The Livonian Brothers of the Sword finally succeeding in converting the Oeselians to Christianity in 1226 after failing in 1216. After regressing, the Oeselians once again accepted Christianity in 1241, and signed a treaty in 1255. Conflict returned in 1261 as the Oeselians once more renounced Christianity and killed all the occupying Germans. A final peace treaty was imposed that year by the Livonian Order, a branch of the Teutonic Order. [310] [311]

Crusade against Curonians. The Crusade against Curonians (1242–1267). After the defeat of the Estonians in 1126 and the Oeselians in 1241, the crusade moved against the Curonians who had attacked Riga in 1210 and 1228. Those in the north accepted peace with the Germans in 1230, but in the south the fighting continued. In 1260, the Curonians fought along side of the crusaders in the battle of Durbe, abandoning them in the midst of battle, allowing the Lithuanians to gain victory over the Livonian Order and Teutonic Knights. The Curonians were finally subdued in 1267 and the land partitioned. This was documented by Peter of Dusburg in his 1326 work Chronicon terrae Prussiae. [310] [311] [312]

Crusade against Semigallians. The Crusade against Semigallians (1219–1290). According to the Livonian Chronicle of Henry, the Semigallians formed an alliance with Albert of Riga against the Livonians before 1203, and received military support to hold back Lithuanian attacks in 1205. In 1219, this alliance was shattereded after a crusader invasion in Semigallia. Duke Viestards then formed an alliance with Lithuanians and Curonians. In 1228, Semigallians and Curonians attacked the main crusader stronghold, with the crusaders taking revenge and invaded Semigallia. In 1236, Semigallians attacked crusaders retreating to Riga after the battle of Saule, but by 1254, the Semigallians had been subdued by the Livonian Order. In 1270, the Semigallians joined Lithuanian Grand Duke Traidenis in an attack on Livonia and Saaremaa. During the battle of Karuse, the Livonian Order was defeated, and its master Otto von Lutterberg killed. In 1287, a force of Semigallians attacked a crusader stronghold in Ikšķile and plundered nearby lands. As they returned to Semigallia, they defeated the crusaders at the battle of Garoza, the last such victory. The Semigallians were finally subdued by 1290. [310] [313]

Prussian Crusades. The Prussian Crusades (1222–1274) were a series of 13th-century campaigns of Catholic crusaders, primarily led by the Teutonic Knights, to Christianize the pagan Old Prussians. These include the Crusade of 1222–1223, the First Prussian Uprising of 1242–1249, and the Great Prussian Uprising of 1260–1274. [314] [315] [316]

Lithuanian Crusades. The Lithuanian Crusades (1284–1435) were a series of economic Christian colonization campaigns by the Teutonic Order and the Livonian Order under the religious pretext of forcibly Christianizing the pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania to Roman Catholicism. (cf. Italian Wikipedia, Crociata lituana) [317] [318] [319] [312]

Crusade of Magnus II Eriksson. The Crusade of Magnus II Eriksson (1347–1351). The Crusade of Magnus II Eriksson of Sweden (Magnus IV of Sweden) against Novgorod began in 1348, when Magnus led a crusade, marching up the Neva, converting the tribes along that river, and briefly capturing the fortress of Orekhov. The Novgorodians retook the fortress in 1349 after a seven-month siege, and Magnus fell back, partially due to the ravages of the plague. He spent much of 1351 unsuccessfully seeking support for further crusading action among the German cities.

Crusades in the Iberian peninsula, commonly referred to as the Reconquista, from 1031 to 1492. [320] [321]

Granada War. The Granada War (1482–1491) was a series of military campaigns between 1482 and 1491, during the reign of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, against the Emirate of Granada. It ended with the defeat of Granada and its annexation by Castile, ending all Islamic rule on the Iberian peninsula. [323]

Crusades against Italian republics and cities, and Sicily. These are documented in the work by British historian Norman Housley, The Italian Crusades: The Papal-Angevin Alliance and the Crusades Against Christian Lay Powers, 1254-1343 (1982). [324]

Mallorca Crusade. The Mallorca Crusade (1113–1115), also known as the Balearic Islands Expedition.

Crusade of John of Brienne in Apulia. The Crusade of John of Brienne in Apulia (1229). Conflicts between John of Brienne and his son-in-law Frederick II in Italy. [325] [326]

Genoese Crusade against Savona and Albenga. The Genoese Crusade against Savona and Albenga (1240). A minor conflict summoned to suppress supporters of Frederick II. [327] [328]

Crusade against Manfred of Sicily. The Crusade against Manfred of Sicily (1255–1266). The first crusade against Manfred of Sicily, the illegitimate son of Frederick II, was preached in 1255. The second was declared after Manfred's coronation as the King of Sicily in 1258. He was excommunicated by Innocent IV and indulgences continued to be enjoyed by those crusaders until his death at the hands of Charles I of Anjou, brother of Louis IX, at the battle of Benevento of 1266. [329] [330] [331]

Crusade against Ezzelino III da Romano. The Crusade against Ezzelino III da Romano (1256). A crusade preached by Innocent IV in Venice against the tyrant Ezzelino III da Romano and his son Alberico da Romano. Innocent had excommunicated the father, who won an initial victory over the crusaders. Wounded in the battle of Cassano d'Adda of 1259, Ezzelino killed himself by self-neglect while imprisoned. The reaction to this crusade left no doubt that crusades against domestic enemies of the Church were every bit as serious as those against Muslims. Ezzelino was a "son of perdition" in Dante's Inferno, his soul consigned to Hell. [332] [333] [334] [335]

Crusade against Conradin. The Crusade against Conradin (1268). Conradin (1252–1268) was nominal king of Jerusalem as the son of Conrad IV of Germany. He attempted to get control of the Kingdom of Sicily, causing Charles I of Anjou to declare a crusade against him. Conradin joined with Muslim forces at Lucera and was defeated by Charles at Tagliacozzo and later beheaded. [336] [337] [338] [99]

First Crusade against the Arogonese. The Crusade against the Arogonese (1284–1285), also known as the Arogonese Crusade, or Crusade of Aragon, was part of the War of the Sicilian Vespers. The crusade was declared by Martin IV against Peter III of Aragon in 1284 and was conducted by Philip III of France. The crusade effectively ended with a French loss at the battle of the Col de Panissars in 1265. The wars of the Sician Vespers continued until 1302. [339] [340]

Second Crusade against the Arogonese. The Crusade against the Arogonese (1309) was a dispute over the succession of Azzo VIII d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara. [341] [342]

Third Crusade against the Arogonese. The Crusade against the Arogonese (1321–1322). Also known as the Anti-Ghibelline Crusades, these were crusades preached against Matteo I Visconti and his son Galeazzo I Visconti in 1321 and renewed in 1325 against Aldobrandino II d'Este and his son Obizzo III d'Este and supporters in Ferrara. Angevin forces carried out the fighting for these crusades. [343] [344]

In the 14th century, much work was done to call for a new crusade to recapture Jerusalem. This includes proposals by Benedetto Accolti, Martin Luther's On War Against the Turk, Francis Bacon's Advertisement Touching on a Holy Warre, and Leibnitz' Project de conquête l'Egypte présenté à Louis XIV. In addition, there were other crusades that did not leave the planning stage, including the following.

Crusade of Emperor Henry IV. The Crusade of Emperor Henry IV (1103) was a planned crusade planned by Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV that never materialized. [345]

Crusade of Conrad III. The Crusade of Conrad III (1124) was an expedition by Conrad III of Germany discussed by Ekkehard of Aura in his Chronicon universale. [346] [347]

Crusade Preached against the Mongols in Syria. A Crusade Preached against the Mongols in Syria (1260). After the Mongol takeover of Aleppo in 1260, the Franks in the kingdom called on Alexander IV and Charles I of Anjou for help. The pope issued the bull Audiat orbis calling for a crusade against the Mongols and excommunicating Bohemond VI of Antioch for cooperating with the invaders. The abbot Benedict of Alignan was tasked with organizing the crusade, preaching it in Acre. The defeat of the Mongols at the battle of Ain Jalut in 1260 removed the Mongol threat, at the cost of an increased threat from the Mamluks. [348] [349] [83] [84] [350] [351]

Plans for a Joint Latin-Greek Crusade. Plans for a Joint Latin-Greek Crusade (1274–1276). The Second Council of Lyon in 1274 thwarted Charles I of Anjou's hopes of leading a new crusade. Nevertheless, Gregory X was favorable to a proposal from Michael VIII Palaiologos for a crusade against the Turks to restore the ancient Christian cities of Anatolia. Gregory's death in 1276), put an end to such talks. [352] [353] [354]

Crusade of the Genoese Women. The Crusade of the Genoese Women (1300). Boniface VIII declared 1300 a Jubilee Year, and crusading planning was generated by enthusiasm for the celebration. The women of Genoa intended to go on crusade, to the point of designing and building armored suits. [355] [356] [357]

Crusade of Clement V. The Crusade of Clement V (1309) was a crusade, or passagium generale, against the Mamluks was planned by pope Clement V. The crusade was to be executed by the Knights Hospitaller under Foulques de Villaret, fresh from his successes at Rhodes, and reduced to a passagium. Instead, members of the lower classes of England, France and Germany formed a peasant army, and executed the Crusade of the Poor. [238] [358] [359]

French Plans for Crusade. French Plans for Crusade (1317–1333) were crusades planned for or proposed during the Avignon Papacy, involving three successive kings of France, Philip V, Charles IV and Philip VI. [360]

Crusade of Philip V. The Crusade of Philip V (1317–1322) was a planned crusade by Philip V of France. At the Council of Vienne in 1312, Philip's father Philip IV of France and pope John XXII had agreed to a new crusade. John continued to assure the Armenians that a crusade would soon happen, but instead turned his energies against Ludwig IV of Bavaria and to the Second Shepherds' Crusade. [361] [362]

Crusade of Charles IV. The Crusade of Charles IV (1322–1328) was a planned crusade by Charles IV of France, continuing the interest expressed by his brother Philip V. Charles entrusted his uncle Charles of Valois to negotiate the terms, but conflicts with England took precedence. Nothing ever became of the proposed conflict and the idea died with Charles IV in 1328. [363] [364]

Crusade of Philip VI. The Crusade of Philip VI (1330–1332). An anonymous document Directorium ad passagium faciendum proposed an extensive crusade to Philip VI of France in 1330 or 1332. The proposal was for the conquest of the Holy Land, the Byzantine empire and Russia, In RHC Documents arméniens, Volume 2.IV. [365] [366]

Crusade of Joan of Arc. The Crusade of Joan of Arc (1430). In 1430, Joan of Arc threatened to lead a crusading army against the Hussites unless they returned to the Catholic Church. This followed Martin V's threat to the Hussites and the subsequent Fourth Anti-Hussite Crusade. [367]

Crusade of Pius II. The Crusade of Pius II (1464). At age 60, Pius II took the cross in 1464 and departed for Ancona where he was to meet a small Venetian fleet to attack the Turks. Pius died before the fleet arrived. Nevertheless, a fresco of the pope by Bernardino di Pinturicchio depicts an idealized (and fictional) version of his launching the crusade (Fresco #10, Pope Pius II Arrives in Ancona). [368] [369] [370] [371]

The consolidated list of the Crusades to the Holy Land from 1095 through 1578 is as follows. For the Reconquista, consult the Timeline of the Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula for a more detailed chronology.


The Real History of the Crusades

Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common. The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far. See, for example, Steven Runciman's famous three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, or the BBC/A&E documentary, The Crusades, hosted by Terry Jones. Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining.

So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression — an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.

Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity — and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion — has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.

From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over.

With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed's death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt — once the most heavily Christian areas in the world — quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.

That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.

Pope Urban II called upon the knights of Christendom to push back the conquests of Islam at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The response was tremendous. Many thousands of warriors took the vow of the cross and prepared for war. Why did they do it? The answer to that question has been badly misunderstood. In the wake of the Enlightenment, it was usually asserted that Crusaders were merely lacklands and ne'er-do-wells who took advantage of an opportunity to rob and pillage in a faraway land. The Crusaders' expressed sentiments of piety, self-sacrifice, and love for God were obviously not to be taken seriously. They were only a front for darker designs.

During the past two decades, computer-assisted charter studies have demolished that contrivance. Scholars have discovered that crusading knights were generally wealthy men with plenty of their own land in Europe. Nevertheless, they willingly gave up everything to undertake the holy mission. Crusading was not cheap. Even wealthy lords could easily impoverish themselves and their families by joining a Crusade. They did so not because they expected material wealth (which many of them had already) but because they hoped to store up treasure where rust and moth could not corrupt. They were keenly aware of their sinfulness and eager to undertake the hardships of the Crusade as a penitential act of charity and love. Europe is littered with thousands of medieval charters attesting to these sentiments, charters in which these men still speak to us today if we will listen. Of course, they were not opposed to capturing booty if it could be had. But the truth is that the Crusades were notoriously bad for plunder. A few people got rich, but the vast majority returned with nothing.

Urban II gave the Crusaders two goals, both of which would remain central to the eastern Crusades for centuries. The first was to rescue the Christians of the East. As his successor, Pope Innocent III, later wrote:

At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.

"Crusading," Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith has rightly argued, was understood as an "an act of love" — in this case, the love of one's neighbor. The Crusade was seen as an errand of mercy to right a terrible wrong. As Pope Innocent III wrote to the Knights Templar, "You carry out in deeds the words of the Gospel, 'Greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends.'"

The second goal was the liberation of Jerusalem and the other places made holy by the life of Christ. The word crusade is modern. Medieval Crusaders saw themselves as pilgrims, performing acts of righteousness on their way to the Holy Sepulcher. The Crusade indulgence they received was canonically related to the pilgrimage indulgence. This goal was frequently described in feudal terms. When calling the Fifth Crusade in 1215, Innocent III wrote:

The reconquest of Jerusalem, therefore, was not colonialism but an act of restoration and an open declaration of one's love of God. Medieval men knew, of course, that God had the power to restore Jerusalem Himself — indeed, He had the power to restore the whole world to His rule. Yet as St. Bernard of Clairvaux preached, His refusal to do so was a blessing to His people:

It is often assumed that the central goal of the Crusades was forced conversion of the Muslim world. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the perspective of medieval Christians, Muslims were the enemies of Christ and His Church. It was the Crusaders' task to defeat and defend against them. That was all. Muslims who lived in Crusader-won territories were generally allowed to retain their property and livelihood, and always their religion. Indeed, throughout the history of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, Muslim inhabitants far outnumbered the Catholics. It was not until the 13th century that the Franciscans began conversion efforts among Muslims. But these were mostly unsuccessful and finally abandoned. In any case, such efforts were by peaceful persuasion, not the threat of violence.

The Crusades were wars, so it would be a mistake to characterize them as nothing but piety and good intentions. Like all warfare, the violence was brutal (although not as brutal as modern wars). There were mishaps, blunders, and crimes. These are usually well-remembered today. During the early days of the First Crusade in 1095, a ragtag band of Crusaders led by Count Emicho of Leiningen made its way down the Rhine, robbing and murdering all the Jews they could find. Without success, the local bishops attempted to stop the carnage. In the eyes of these warriors, the Jews, like the Muslims, were the enemies of Christ. Plundering and killing them, then, was no vice. Indeed, they believed it was a righteous deed, since the Jews' money could be used to fund the Crusade to Jerusalem. But they were wrong, and the Church strongly condemned the anti-Jewish attacks.

Fifty years later, when the Second Crusade was gearing up, St. Bernard frequently preached that the Jews were not to be persecuted:

Nevertheless, a fellow Cistercian monk named Radulf stirred up people against the Rhineland Jews, despite numerous letters from Bernard demanding that he stop. At last Bernard was forced to travel to Germany himself, where he caught up with Radulf, sent him back to his convent, and ended the massacres.

It is often said that the roots of the Holocaust can be seen in these medieval pogroms. That may be. But if so, those roots are far deeper and more widespread than the Crusades. Jews perished during the Crusades, but the purpose of the Crusades was not to kill Jews. Quite the contrary: Popes, bishops, and preachers made it clear that the Jews of Europe were to be left unmolested. In a modern war, we call tragic deaths like these "collateral damage." Even with smart technologies, the United States has killed far more innocents in our wars than the Crusaders ever could. But no one would seriously argue that the purpose of American wars is to kill women and children.

By any reckoning, the First Crusade was a long shot. There was no leader, no chain of command, no supply lines, no detailed strategy. It was simply thousands of warriors marching deep into enemy territory, committed to a common cause. Many of them died, either in battle or through disease or starvation. It was a rough campaign, one that seemed always on the brink of disaster. Yet it was miraculously successful. By 1098, the Crusaders had restored Nicaea and Antioch to Christian rule. In July 1099, they conquered Jerusalem and began to build a Christian state in Palestine. The joy in Europe was unbridled. It seemed that the tide of history, which had lifted the Muslims to such heights, was now turning.

But it was not. When we think about the Middle Ages, it is easy to view Europe in light of what it became rather than what it was. The colossus of the medieval world was Islam, not Christendom. The Crusades are interesting largely because they were an attempt to counter that trend. But in five centuries of crusading, it was only the First Crusade that significantly rolled back the military progress of Islam. It was downhill from there.

Whether we admire the Crusaders or not, it is a fact that the world we know today would not exist without their efforts.

When the Crusader County of Edessa fell to the Turks and Kurds in 1144, there was an enormous groundswell of support for a new Crusade in Europe. It was led by two kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, and preached by St. Bernard himself. It failed miserably. Most of the Crusaders were killed along the way. Those who made it to Jerusalem only made things worse by attacking Muslim Damascus, which formerly had been a strong ally of the Christians. In the wake of such a disaster, Christians across Europe were forced to accept not only the continued growth of Muslim power but the certainty that God was punishing the West for its sins. Lay piety movements sprouted up throughout Europe, all rooted in the desire to purify Christian society so that it might be worthy of victory in the East.

Crusading in the late twelfth century, therefore, became a total war effort. Every person, no matter how weak or poor, was called to help. Warriors were asked to sacrifice their wealth and, if need be, their lives for the defense of the Christian East. On the home front, all Christians were called to support the Crusades through prayer, fasting, and alms. Yet still the Muslims grew in strength. Saladin, the great unifier, had forged the Muslim Near East into a single entity, all the while preaching jihad against the Christians. In 1187 at the Battle of Hattin, his forces wiped out the combined armies of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem and captured the precious relic of the True Cross. Defenseless, the Christian cities began surrendering one by one, culminating in the surrender of Jerusalem on October 2. Only a tiny handful of ports held out.

The response was the Third Crusade. It was led by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa of the German Empire, King Philip II Augustus of France, and King Richard I Lionheart of England. By any measure it was a grand affair, although not quite as grand as the Christians had hoped. The aged Frederick drowned while crossing a river on horseback, so his army returned home before reaching the Holy Land. Philip and Richard came by boat, but their incessant bickering only added to an already divisive situation on the ground in Palestine. After recapturing Acre, the king of France went home, where he busied himself carving up Richard's French holdings. The Crusade, therefore, fell into Richard's lap. A skilled warrior, gifted leader, and superb tactician, Richard led the Christian forces to victory after victory, eventually reconquering the entire coast. But Jerusalem was not on the coast, and after two abortive attempts to secure supply lines to the Holy City, Richard at last gave up. Promising to return one day, he struck a truce with Saladin that ensured peace in the region and free access to Jerusalem for unarmed pilgrims. But it was a bitter pill to swallow. The desire to restore Jerusalem to Christian rule and regain the True Cross remained intense throughout Europe.

The Crusades of the 13th century were larger, better funded, and better organized. But they too failed. The Fourth Crusade (1201-1204) ran aground when it was seduced into a web of Byzantine politics, which the Westerners never fully understood. They had made a detour to Constantinople to support an imperial claimant who promised great rewards and support for the Holy Land. Yet once he was on the throne of the Caesars, their benefactor found that he could not pay what he had promised. Thus betrayed by their Greek friends, in 1204 the Crusaders attacked, captured, and brutally sacked Constantinople, the greatest Christian city in the world. Pope Innocent III, who had previously excommunicated the entire Crusade, strongly denounced the Crusaders. But there was little else he could do. The tragic events of 1204 closed an iron door between Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox, a door that even today Pope John Paul II has been unable to reopen. It is a terrible irony that the Crusades, which were a direct result of the Catholic desire to rescue the Orthodox people, drove the two further — and perhaps irrevocably — apart.

The remainder of the 13th century's Crusades did little better. The Fifth Crusade (1217-1221) managed briefly to capture Damietta in Egypt, but the Muslims eventually defeated the army and reoccupied the city. St. Louis IX of France led two Crusades in his life. The first also captured Damietta, but Louis was quickly outwitted by the Egyptians and forced to abandon the city. Although Louis was in the Holy Land for several years, spending freely on defensive works, he never achieved his fondest wish: to free Jerusalem. He was a much older man in 1270 when he led another Crusade to Tunis, where he died of a disease that ravaged the camp. After St. Louis's death, the ruthless Muslim leaders, Baybars and Kalavun, waged a brutal jihad against the Christians in Palestine. By 1291, the Muslim forces had succeeded in killing or ejecting the last of the Crusaders, thus erasing the Crusader kingdom from the map. Despite numerous attempts and many more plans, Christian forces were never again able to gain a foothold in the region until the 19th century.

One might think that three centuries of Christian defeats would have soured Europeans on the idea of Crusade. Not at all. In one sense, they had little alternative. Muslim kingdoms were becoming more, not less, powerful in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The Ottoman Turks conquered not only their fellow Muslims, thus further unifying Islam, but also continued to press westward, capturing Constantinople and plunging deep into Europe itself. By the 15th century, the Crusades were no longer errands of mercy for a distant people but desperate attempts of one of the last remnants of Christendom to survive. Europeans began to ponder the real possibility that Islam would finally achieve its aim of conquering the entire Christian world. One of the great best-sellers of the time, Sebastian Brant's The Ship of Fools, gave voice to this sentiment in a chapter titled "Of the Decline of the Faith":

Our faith was strong in th' Orient,
It ruled in all of Asia,
In Moorish lands and Africa.
But now for us these lands are gone
'Twould even grieve the hardest stone.
Four sisters of our Church you find,
They're of the patriarchic kind:
Constantinople, Alexandria,
Jerusalem, Antiochia.
But they've been forfeited and sacked
And soon the head will be attacked.

From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over. But we should be mindful that our medieval ancestors would have been equally disgusted by our infinitely more destructive wars fought in the name of political ideologies. And yet, both the medieval and the modern soldier fight ultimately for their own world and all that makes it up.

Of course, that is not what happened. But it very nearly did. In 1480, Sultan Mehmed II captured Otranto as a beachhead for his invasion of Italy. Rome was evacuated. Yet the sultan died shortly thereafter, and his plan died with him. In 1529, Suleiman the Magnificent laid siege to Vienna. If not for a run of freak rainstorms that delayed his progress and forced him to leave behind much of his artillery, it is virtually certain that the Turks would have taken the city. Germany, then, would have been at their mercy.

Yet, even while these close shaves were taking place, something else was brewing in Europe — something unprecedented in human history. The Renaissance, born from a strange mixture of Roman values, medieval piety, and a unique respect for commerce and entrepreneurialism, had led to other movements like humanism, the Scientific Revolution, and the Age of Exploration. Even while fighting for its life, Europe was preparing to expand on a global scale. The Protestant Reformation, which rejected the papacy and the doctrine of indulgence, made Crusades unthinkable for many Europeans, thus leaving the fighting to the Catholics. In 1571, a Holy League, which was itself a Crusade, defeated the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto. Yet military victories like that remained rare. The Muslim threat was neutralized economically. As Europe grew in wealth and power, the once awesome and sophisticated Turks began to seem backward and pathetic — no longer worth a Crusade. The "Sick Man of Europe" limped along until the 20th century, when he finally expired, leaving behind the present mess of the modern Middle East.

From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over. But we should be mindful that our medieval ancestors would have been equally disgusted by our infinitely more destructive wars fought in the name of political ideologies. And yet, both the medieval and the modern soldier fight ultimately for their own world and all that makes it up. Both are willing to suffer enormous sacrifice, provided that it is in the service of something they hold dear, something greater than themselves. Whether we admire the Crusaders or not, it is a fact that the world we know today would not exist without their efforts. The ancient faith of Christianity, with its respect for women and antipathy toward slavery, not only survived but flourished. Without the Crusades, it might well have followed Zoroastrianism, another of Islam's rivals, into extinction.

End note: Regarding the modern day reference to the crusades as a supposed grievance by Islamic militants still upset over them, Madden notes: "If the Muslims won the crusades (and they did), why the anger now? Shouldn't they celebrate the crusades as a great victory? Until the nineteenth century that is precisely what they did. It was the West that taught the Middle East to hate the crusades. During the peak of European colonialism, historians began extolling the medieval crusades as Europe's first colonial venture. By the 20th century, when imperialism was discredited, so too were the crusades. They haven't been the same since." He adds, "The truth is that the crusades had nothing to do with colonialism or unprovoked aggression. They were a desperate and largely unsuccessful attempt to defend against a powerful enemy." "The entire history of the crusades is one of Western reaction to Muslim advances," Madden observes.

Commenting on the recent scholarship of Oxford historian Christopher Tyerman in his recent, Fighting for Christendom: Holy War and the Crusades (Oxford, 2005), Professor Steven Ozment of Harvard writes how Tyerman: "maintains that the four centuries of holy war known as the Crusades are both the best recognized and most distorted part of the Christian Middle Ages. He faults scholars, pundits, and laymen on both sides of the East-West divide for allowing the memory of the Crusades to be 'woven into intractable modern political problems,' where it 'blurs fantasy and scholarship' and exacerbates present-day hatreds." Ozment notes how Tyerman also views "the Crusades as neither an attempt at Western hegemony, nor a betrayal of Western Christian teaching and practice." As Tyerman explains, the warriors who answered the pope's call to aid Christendom in the Holy Land were known as crucesignati, "those signed with the cross." Professor Tyerman considers the Crusades to have largely been "warfare decked out in moral and religious terms" and describes them as "the ultimate manifestation of conviction politics." He points out the Crusades were indeed "butchery" with massacres of Muslims and Jews, and that even among their contemporaries, crusaders had mixed reputations as "chivalric heroes and gilded thugs." However, as Ozment observes, Tyerman adds that rather "than simple realpolitik and self-aggrandizement, the guiding ideology of crusading was that of religious self-sacrifice and revival, and directly modeled on the Sacrament of Penance." See: Steven Ozment's "Fighting the Infidel: the East-West holy wars are not just history".

Whereas support for the crusades was far from universal within Christendom, in contrast Medieval Muslim expansion through the military conquest of jihad as dictated by the Koran was directly supported by Islamic scholars, who provided a spiritual imperative for violence. For example, Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328), who wrote: "Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God's entirely and God's word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought." And by Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), who declared, "In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force." (See: Robert Conquest's, Reflections on a Ravaged Century, reviewed at: http://victorhanson.com/articles/thornton100406.html).

Classical scholar, historian, and commentator Victor David Hanson, reviewing Christopher Tyerman's recent 1,000-page history of the Crusades, God's War (Belknap Press 2006), notes how Tyerman is careful beforehand to declare the political neutrality of his work: "This study is intended as a history, not a polemic, an account not a judgment, not a confessional apologia or a witness statement in some cosmic law suit." Tyerman's history then points out, as Hanson then succinctly summarizes, that "it was not merely glory or money or excitement that drove Westerners of all classes and nationalities to risk their lives in a deadly journey to an inhospitable east, but rather a real belief in a living God and their own desire to please him through preserving and honoring the birth and death places of his son." For the crusaders, religious "belief governed almost every aspect of their lives and decision-making. The Crusades arose when the Church, in the absence of strong secular governments, had the moral authority to ignite the religious sense of thousands of Europeans — and they ceased when at last it lost such stature." Noting the widespread ignorance of the true history of this subject among most modern Westerners, Hanson comments on how absent "is any historical reminder that an ascendant Islam of the Middle Ages was concurrently occupying the Iberian peninsula — only after failing at Poitiers in the eighth century to take France. Greek-speaking Byzantium was under constant Islamic assault that would culminate in the Muslim occupation of much of the European Balkans and later Islamic armies at the gates of Vienna. Few remember that the Eastern Mediterranean coastal lands had been originally Phoenician and Jewish, then Persian, then Macedonian, then Roman, then Byzantine — and not until the seventh-century Islamic. Instead, whether intentionally or not, post-Enlightenment Westerners have accepted [Osama] bin Laden's frame of reference that religiously intolerant Crusaders had gratuitously started a war to take something that was not theirs."

Thomas F. Madden. "The Real History of the Crusades." Crisis 20, no. 4 (April 2002).

This article is reprinted with permission from the Morley Institute, a non-profit education organization. To subscribe to Crisis magazine call 1-800-852-9962.


200 Year Struggle

After the first crusade took place, a 200 year long conflict ensued. The Christians established several Latin Christian states in the Holy Land, while the local Muslims fought back to regain what they considered to be theirs. The Crusaders had other Christian allies in the Byzantine Empire, but relations soured during the Third Crusade and escalated in the sack of Constantinople. By 1291, the Christian rule of the Holy Land had come to an end when the Mamluk dynasty in
Egypt destroyed Acre, the last stronghold.


Contents

Christianity and Islam had been in conflict since the latter's founding in the 7th century. Less than a century passed from the death of Muhammad in 632 until the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem and the Levant, and Muslim invaders landed in Spain. By the 11th century, Islamic control of Spain was gradually eroded by the Reconquista, but the situation in the Holy Land had deteriorated. The Fatimid dynasty ruled North Africa and swathes of Western Asia to include Jerusalem, Damascus and parts of the Mediterranean coastline from 969, but was at relative peace with the west. That all changed in 1071, with the defeat of Byzantium in Anatolia and the loss of Jerusalem to the Seljuk dynasty. [3]

While the root causes are varied and continue to be debated, it is clear that the First Crusade came about from a combination of factors earlier in the 11th century in both Europe and the Near East. In Western Europe, Jerusalem was increasingly seen as worthy of penitential pilgrimages. While the Seljuk hold on Jerusalem was weak (the group later lost the city to the Fatimids), returning pilgrims reported difficulties and the oppression of Christians. [4] The Byzantine need for military support coincided with an increase in the willingness of the western European warrior class to accept papal military command. [5] [6] Western Christians wanted a more effective church and demonstrated an increased piety. The knighthood and aristocracy had also developed new devotional and penitential practices that created a fertile ground for crusading recruitment. [7]

Situation in Europe

By the 11th century, the population of Europe had increased greatly as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish. The Catholic Church remained the dominant influence on Western civilization, although badly in need of reform. Society was organized by manorialism and feudalism, political structures whereby knights and other nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors. [8]

In the period from 1050 until 1080, the Gregorian Reform movement developed increasingly more assertive policies, eager to increase its power and influence. This prompted conflict with eastern Christians rooted in the doctrine of papal supremacy. The Eastern church viewed the pope as only one of the five patriarchs of the Church, alongside the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople and Jerusalem. In 1054 differences in custom, creed and practice spurred Pope Leo IX to send a legation to the Patriarch of Constantinople, which ended in mutual excommunication and an East–West Schism. [9]

Early Christians were used to the use of violence for communal purposes. A Christian theology of war inevitably evolved from when Roman citizenship and Christianity became linked. Citizens were required to fight against the empire's enemies. Dating from the works of the 4th-century theologian Augustine of Hippo a doctrine of holy war developed. Augustine wrote that an aggressive war was sinful, but could be rationalized if proclaimed by a legitimate authority such as a king or bishop, it was defensive or for the recovery of lands, and it did not involve excessive violence. [10] [11] The breakdown of the Carolingian Empire in Western Europe created a warrior caste who now had little to do but fight among themselves. [12] Violent acts were commonly used for dispute resolution, and the papacy attempted to mitigate it. [13]

Pope Alexander II developed recruitment systems via oaths for military resourcing that Gregory VII further extended across Europe. [7] These were deployed by the Church in the Christian conflicts with Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula and for the Norman conquest of Sicily. [14] Gregory VII went further in 1074, planning a display of military power to reinforce the principle of papal sovereignty in a holy war supporting Byzantium against the Seljuks, but was unable to build support for this. [15] Theologian Anselm of Lucca took the decisive step towards an authentic crusader ideology, stating that fighting for legitimate purposes could result in the remission of sins. [16]

On the Iberian Peninsula there was no significant Christian polity. The Christian realms of León, Navarre and Catalonia lacked a common identity and shared history based on tribe or ethnicity so they frequently united and divided during the 11th and 12th centuries. Although small, all developed an aristocratic military technique and in 1031 the disintegration of the Caliphate of Córdoba in southern Spain created the opportunity for the territorial gains that later became known as the Reconquista. [17] In 1063, William VIII of Aquitaine led a combined force of French, Aragonese and Catalan knights to take the city of Barbastro that had been in Muslim hands since the year 711. This had the full support of Alexander II, and a truce was declared in Catalonia with indulgences were granted to the participants. It was a holy war but differed from the First Crusade as there was no pilgrimage, no vow and no formal authorisation by the church. [18] Shortly before the First Crusade, Urban II had encouraged the Iberian Christians to take Tarragona, using much of the same symbolism and rhetoric that was later used to preach the crusade to the people of Europe. [19]

The Italo-Normans were successful in seizing much of Southern Italy and Sicily from the Byzantines and North African Arabs in the decades before the First Crusade. [20] This brought them into conflict with the Papacy leading to a campaign against them by Pope Leo IX who they defeated at Civitate, although when they invaded Muslim Sicily in 1059 they did so under a papal banner: the Invexillum sancti Petrior, or banner of St. Peter. [21] Robert Guiscard captured the Byzantine city of Bari in 1071 and campaigned along the Eastern Adriatic coast around Dyrrachium in 1081 and 1085. [22]

Situation in the East

Since its founding, the Byzantine Empire was an historic center of wealth, culture and military power. [23] Under Basil II, the territorial recovery of the empire reached its furthest extent in 1025. The Empire's frontiers stretched east to Iran, Bulgaria was under control as was much of southern Italy and piracy in the Mediterranean Sea had been suppressed. Relations with the Empire's Islamic neighbours were no more quarrelsome than relations with the Slavs or Western Christians. Normans in Italy Pechenegs, Serbs and Cumans to the north and Seljuk Turks in the east were all in competition with the Empire and to meet these challenges the emperors recruited mercenaries, even on occasions from their enemies. [24]

The Islamic world also experienced great success since its foundation in the 7th century, with major changes to come. [25] The first waves of Turkic migration into the Middle East enjoined Arab and Turkic history from the 9th century. [26] The status quo in Western Asia was challenged by later waves of Turkish migration, particularly the arrival of the Seljuk Turks in the 10th century. [27] These were a minor ruling clan from Transoxania. They converted to Islam and migrated into Iran to seek their fortune. In the following two decades they conquered Iran, Iraq and the Near East. The Seljuks and their followers were Sunni Muslims which led to conflict in Palestine and Syria with the Shi'ite Fatimid Caliphate. [28] The Seljuks were nomads, Turkish speaking and occasionally shamanistic. Behaviours that were very different from those of their sedentary, Arabic speaking subjects. This was a difference that weakened power structures when combined with the Seljuks habitual governance of territory based on political preferment and competition between independent princes rather than geography. [29] Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes attempted to suppress the Seljuks' sporadic raiding, but was defeated at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the only time in history a Byzantine emperor became the prisoner of a Muslim commander. The result of this disastrous defeat was the loss of the Eastern Roman Empire's Anatolian heartland, and was one of the root causes of the First Crusade. [30]

From 1092 the status quo in the Middle East disintegrated following the death of the vizier and effective ruler of the Seljuk Empire, Nizam al-Mulk. This was closely followed by the deaths of the Seljuk sultan Malik-Shah and the Fatimid caliph Al-Mustansir Billah. The confusion and division meant the Islamic world disregarded the world beyond and this made it vulnerable to, and surprised by, the First Crusade. [31] Malik-Shah was succeeded in the Anatolian Sultanate of Rûm by Kilij Arslan, and in Syria by his brother Tutush I. When Tutush died in 1095 his sons Ridwan and Duqaq inherited Aleppo and Damascus respectively, further dividing Syria amongst emirs antagonistic towards each other, as well as Kerbogha, the atabeg of Mosul. [32] Egypt and much of Palestine were controlled by the Fatimids. The Fatimids, under the nominal rule of caliph al-Musta'li but actually controlled by vizier al-Afdal Shahanshah, lost Jerusalem to the Seljuks in 1073 but succeeded in recapturing the city in 1098 from the Artuqids, a smaller Turkish tribe associated with the Seljuks, just before the arrival of the crusaders. [33]

The major ecclesiastical impetuses behind the First Crusade were the Council of Piacenza and subsequent Council of Clermont, both held in 1095. [34] Both were held by Pope Urban II, and resulted in the mobilzation of Western Europe to go to the Holy Land. [35] Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos, worried about the advances of the Seljuks in the aftermath of the Battle of Manzikert of 1071 who had reached as far west as Nicaea, sent envoys to the Council of Piacenza in March 1095 to ask Pope Urban II for aid against the invading Turks. [36]

Urban responded favourably, perhaps hoping to heal the Great Schism of forty years earlier, and to reunite the Church under papal primacy by helping the Eastern churches in their time of need. Alexios and Urban had previously been in close contact in 1089 and after, and had discussed openly the prospect of the (re)union of the Christian church. There were signs of considerable co-operation between Rome and Constantinople in the years immediately before the crusade. [37]

In July 1095, Urban turned to his homeland of France to recruit men for the expedition. His travels there culminated in the ten-day Council of Clermont, where on 27 November he gave an impassioned sermon to a large audience of French nobles and clergy. [38] There are five versions of the speech recorded by people who may have been at the council (Baldric of Dol, Guibert of Nogent, Robert the Monk, and Fulcher of Chartres) or who went on crusade (Fulcher and the anonymous author of the Gesta Francorum), as well as other versions found in later historians (such as William of Malmesbury and William of Tyre). All of these versions were written after Jerusalem had been captured. Thus it is difficult to know what was actually said and what was recreated in the aftermath of the successful crusade. The only contemporary records are a few letters written by Urban in 1095. [39] [40]

The five versions of the speech differ widely from one another in regard to particulars, but all versions except that in the Gesta Francorum agree that Urban talked about the violence of European society and the necessity of maintaining the Peace of God about helping the Greeks, who had asked for assistance about the crimes being committed against Christians in the east and about a new kind of war, an armed pilgrimage, and of rewards in heaven, where remission of sins was offered to any who might die in the undertaking. [41] [42] They do not all specifically mention Jerusalem as the ultimate goal. However, it has been argued that Urban's subsequent preaching reveals that he expected the expedition to reach Jerusalem all along. [43] According to one version of the speech, the enthusiastic crowd responded with cries of Deus vult! ("God wills it!"). [44] [45]

The great French nobles and their trained armies of knights, however, were not the first to undertake the journey towards Jerusalem. Urban had planned the departure of the first crusade for 15 August 1096, the Feast of the Assumption, but months before this, a number of unexpected armies of peasants and petty nobles set off for Jerusalem on their own, led by a charismatic priest called Peter the Hermit. Peter was the most successful of the preachers of Urban's message, and developed an almost hysterical enthusiasm among his followers, although he was probably not an "official" preacher sanctioned by Urban at Clermont. [46] It is commonly believed that Peter's followers purely consisted of a massive group of untrained and illiterate peasants who did not even have any idea where Jerusalem was, but there were also many knights among the peasants, including Walter Sans Avoir, who was lieutenant to Peter and led a separate army. [47] [48]

Lacking military discipline, in what likely seemed to the participants a strange land (Eastern Europe), Peter's fledgling army quickly found itself in trouble despite the fact they were still in Christian territory. The army led by Walter fought with the Hungarians over food at Belgrade, but otherwise arrived in Constantinople unharmed. Meanwhile, the army led by Peter, which marched separately from Walter's army, also fought with the Hungarians, and may have captured Belgrade. At Nish, the Byzantine governor tried to supply them, but Peter had little control over his followers and Byzantine troops were needed to quell their attacks. Peter arrived at Constantinople in August, where his army joined with the one led by Walter, which had already arrived, as well as separate bands of crusaders from France, Germany, and Italy. Another army of Bohemians and Saxons did not make it past Hungary before splitting up. [47]

This unruly mob began to attack and pillage outside the city in search of supplies and food, prompting Alexios to hurriedly ferry the gathering across the Bosporus one week later. [49] After crossing into Asia Minor, the crusaders split up and began to pillage the countryside, wandering into Seljuk territory around Nicaea. The greater experience of the Turks was overwhelming and most of this group of the crusaders were massacred [ citation needed ] because of it. Some Italian and German crusaders were defeated and killed at Xerigordon at the end of August. Meanwhile, Walter and Peter's followers, who, although for the most part untrained in battle but led by about 50 knights, fought the Turks at the Battle of Civetot in October. The Turkish archers destroyed the crusader army, and Walter was among the dead. Peter, who was absent in Constantinople at the time, later joined the main crusader army, along with the few survivors of Civetot. [50]

At a local level, the preaching of the First Crusade ignited the Rhineland massacres perpetrated against Jews, which some historians have deemed "the first Holocaust". [51] At the end of 1095 and beginning of 1096, months before the departure of the official crusade in August, there were attacks on Jewish communities in France and Germany. In May 1096, Emicho of Flonheim (sometimes incorrectly known as Emicho of Leiningen) attacked the Jews at Speyer and Worms. Other unofficial crusaders from Swabia, led by Hartmann of Dillingen, along with French, English, Lotharingian and Flemish volunteers, led by Drogo of Nesle and William the Carpenter, as well as many locals, joined Emicho in the destruction of the Jewish community of Mainz at the end of May. [52] In Mainz, one Jewish woman killed her children rather than see them killed the chief rabbi, Kalonymus Ben Meshullam, committed suicide in anticipation of being killed. [53] Emicho's company then went on to Cologne, and others continued on to Trier, Metz, and other cities. [54] Peter the Hermit may have been involved in violence against the Jews, and an army led by a priest named Folkmar also attacked Jews further east in Bohemia. [55]

King Coloman the Learned, had to deal with the problems that the armies of the First Crusade caused during their march across Hungary towards the Holy Land in 1096. [56] He defeated and massacred two crusader hordes to prevent their pillaging raids in Kingdom of Hungary. Emicho's army eventually continued into Hungary but was defeated by the army of Coloman. Emicho's followers dispersed some eventually joined the main armies, although Emicho himself went home. [54] Many of the attackers seem to have wanted to force the Jews to convert, although they were also interested in acquiring money from them. Physical violence against Jews was never part of the church hierarchy's official policy for crusading, and the Christian bishops, especially the Archbishop of Cologne, did their best to protect the Jews. A decade before, the Bishop of Speyer had taken the step of providing the Jews of that city with a walled ghetto to protect them from Christian violence and given their chief Rabbis the control of judicial matters in the quarter. Nevertheless, some also took money in return for their protection. The attacks may have originated in the belief that Jews and Muslims were equally enemies of Christ, and enemies were to be fought or converted to Christianity. Godfrey of Bouillon was rumoured to have extorted money from the Jews of Cologne and Mainz, and many of the Crusaders wondered why they should travel thousands of miles to fight non-believers when there were already non-believers closer to home. [57]

The four main crusader armies left Europe around the appointed time in August 1096. They took different paths to Constantinople and gathered outside its city walls between November 1096 and April 1097 Hugh of Vermandois arrived first, followed by Godfrey, Raymond, and Bohemond. This time, Emperor Alexios was more prepared for the crusaders there were fewer incidents of violence along the way. [58] It is impossible to estimate the numbers involved. Some historians put a figure of 70,000 to 80,000 on the number who left Western Europe in the year after Clermont, and more joined in the three-year duration. [59] Estimates for the number of Knights range from 7,000 to 10,000 35,000 to 50,000 foot soldiers and including non-combatants a total of 60,000 to 100,000. [2] King Coloman of Hungary allowed Godfrey of Bouillon and his troops to cross Hungary only after Godfrey offered his brother, Baldwin, as a hostage to guarantee his troops' good conduct. In this way king Coloman wanted to prevent the pillage of the Crusader army. [56] [60]

Recruitment

Urban's speech had been well-planned: he had discussed the crusade with Adhemar of Le Puy and Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, and instantly the expedition had the support of two of southern France's most important leaders. Adhemar himself was present at the council and was the first to "take the cross". During the rest of 1095 and into 1096, Urban spread the message throughout France, and urged his bishops and legates to preach in their own dioceses elsewhere in France, Germany, and Italy as well. However, it is clear that the response to the speech was much greater than even the Pope, let alone Alexios, expected. On his tour of France, Urban tried to forbid certain people (including women, monks, and the sick) from joining the crusade, but found this nearly impossible. In the end, most who took up the call were not knights, but peasants who were not wealthy and had little in the way of fighting skills, in an outpouring of a new emotional and personal piety that was not easily harnessed by the ecclesiastical and lay aristocracy. [61] Typically, preaching would conclude with every volunteer taking a vow to complete a pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre they were also given a cross, usually sewn onto their clothes. [62]

As Thomas Asbridge wrote, "Just as we can do nothing more than estimate the number of thousands who responded to the crusading ideal, so too, with the surviving evidence, we can gain only a limited insight into their motivation and intent." [63] Previous generations of scholars argued that the crusaders were motivated by greed, hoping to find a better life away from the famines and warfare occurring in France, but as Asbridge notes, "This image is . profoundly misleading." [64] He argues that greed was unlikely to have been a major factor because of the extremely high cost of travelling so far from home, and because almost all of the crusaders eventually returned home after completing their pilgrimage rather than trying to carve out possessions for themselves in the Holy Land. [65] [66] It is difficult or impossible to assess the motives of the thousands of poor for whom there is no historical record, or even those of important knights, whose stories were usually retold by monks or clerics. As the secular medieval world was so deeply ingrained with the spiritual world of the church, it is quite likely that personal piety was a major factor for many crusaders. [67]

Despite this popular enthusiasm, however, Urban ensured that there would be an army of knights, drawn from the French aristocracy. Aside from Adhemar and Raymond, other leaders he recruited throughout 1096 included Bohemond of Taranto, a southern Italian ally of the reform popes Bohemond's nephew Tancred Godfrey of Bouillon, who had previously been an anti-reform ally of the Holy Roman Emperor his brother Baldwin of Boulogne Hugh I, Count of Vermandois, brother of the excommunicated Philip I of France Robert Curthose, brother of William II of England and his relatives Stephen II, Count of Blois and Robert II, Count of Flanders. The crusaders represented northern and southern France, Flanders, Germany, and southern Italy, and so were divided into four separate armies that were not always cooperative, though they were held together by their common ultimate goal. [68]

The crusade was led by some of the most powerful nobles of France, who left everything behind, and it was often the case that entire families went on crusade at their own great expense. [69] For example, Robert of Normandy loaned the Duchy of Normandy to his brother William II of England, and Godfrey sold or mortgaged his property to the church. [70] According to Tancred's biographer, he was worried about the sinful nature of knightly warfare, and was excited to find a holy outlet for violence. [71] Tancred and Bohemond, as well as Godfrey, Baldwin, and their older brother Eustace III, Count of Boulogne, are examples of families who crusaded together. Riley-Smith argues that the enthusiasm for the crusade was perhaps based on family relations, as most of the French crusaders were distant relatives. [72] Nevertheless, in at least some cases, personal advancement played a role in Crusaders' motives. For instance, Bohemond was motivated by the desire to carve himself out a territory in the east, and had previously campaigned against the Byzantines to try to achieve this. The Crusade gave him a further opportunity, which he took after the siege of Antioch, taking possession of the city and establishing the Principality of Antioch. [73]

The size of the entire crusader army is difficult to estimate various numbers were given by the eyewitnesses, and equally various estimates have been offered by modern historians. Crusader military historian David Nicolle considers the armies to have consisted of about 30,000–35,000 crusaders, including 5,000 cavalry. Raymond had the largest contingent of about 8,500 infantry and 1,200 cavalry. [74]

The princes arrived in Constantinople with little food and expected provisions and help from Alexios. Alexios was understandably suspicious after his experiences with the People's Crusade, and also because the knights included his old Norman enemy, Bohemond, who had invaded Byzantine territory on numerous occasions with his father, Robert Guiscard, and may have even attempted to organize an attack on Constantinople while encamped outside the city. [75]

The crusaders may have expected Alexios to become their leader, but he had no interest in joining them, and was mainly concerned with transporting them into Asia Minor as quickly as possible. [76] In return for food and supplies, Alexios requested the leaders to swear fealty to him and promise to return to the Byzantine Empire any land recovered from the Turks. Godfrey was the first to take the oath, and almost all the other leaders followed him, although they did so only after warfare had almost broken out in the city between the citizens and the crusaders, who were eager to pillage for supplies. Raymond alone avoided swearing the oath, instead pledging that he would simply cause no harm to the Empire. Before ensuring that the various armies were shuttled across the Bosporus, Alexios advised the leaders on how best to deal with the Seljuk armies that they would soon encounter. [77]

Siege of Nicaea

The Crusader armies crossed over into Asia Minor during the first half of 1097, where they were joined by Peter the Hermit and the remainder of his relatively small army. In addition, Alexios also sent two of his own generals, Manuel Boutoumites and Tatikios, to assist the crusaders. The first objective of their campaign was Nicaea, previously a city under Byzantine rule, but which had become the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum under Kilij Arslan. Arslan was away campaigning against the Danishmends in central Anatolia at the time, and had left behind his treasury and his family, underestimating the strength of these new crusaders. [78]

Subsequently, upon the Crusaders' arrival, the city was subjected to a lengthy siege, and when Arslan had word of it he rushed back to Nicaea and attacked the crusader army on 16 May. He was driven back by the unexpectedly large crusader force, with heavy losses being suffered on both sides in the ensuing battle. [79] The siege continued, but the crusaders had little success as they found they could not blockade the lake, which the city was situated on, and from which it could be provisioned. To break the city, Alexios sent the Crusaders' ships rolled over land on logs, and at the sight of them the Turkish garrison finally surrendered on 18 June. [80]

There was some discontent amongst the Franks who were forbidden from looting the city. This was ameliorated by Alexius financially rewarding the crusaders. Later chronicles exaggerate tension between the Greeks and Franks but Stephen of Blois, in a letter to his wife Adela of Blois confirms goodwill and cooperation continued at this point. [81] As Thomas Asbridge writes, "the fall of Nicaea was a product of the successful policy of close co-operation between the crusaders and Byzantium." [82]

Battle of Dorylaeum

At the end of June, the crusaders marched on through Anatolia. They were accompanied by some Byzantine troops under Tatikios, and still harboured the hope that Alexios would send a full Byzantine army after them. They also divided the army into two more-easily managed groups—one contingent led by the Normans, the other by the French. [83] The two groups intended to meet again at Dorylaeum, but on 1 July the Normans, who had marched ahead of the French, were attacked by Kilij Arslan. [84] Arslan had gathered a much larger army than he previously had after his defeat at Nicaea, and now surrounded the Normans with his fast-moving mounted archers. The Normans "deployed in a tight-knit defensive formation", [85] surrounding all their equipment and the non-combatants who had followed them along the journey, and sent for help from the other group. When the French arrived, Godfrey broke through the Turkish lines and the legate Adhemar outflanked the Turks from the rear thus the Turks, who had expected to destroy the Normans and did not anticipate the quick arrival of the French, fled rather than face the combined crusader army. [86]

The crusaders' march through Anatolia was thereafter unopposed, but the journey was unpleasant, as Arslan had burned and destroyed everything he left behind in his army's flight. It was the middle of summer, and the crusaders had very little food and water many men and horses died. [87] Fellow Christians sometimes gave them gifts of food and money, but more often than not, the crusaders simply looted and pillaged whenever the opportunity presented itself. Individual leaders continued to dispute the overall leadership, although none of them were powerful enough to take command on their own, as Adhemar was always recognized as the spiritual leader. After passing through the Cilician Gates, Baldwin of Boulogne set off on his own towards the Armenian lands around the Euphrates his wife, his only claim to European lands and wealth, had died after the battle, giving Baldwin no incentive to return to Europe. Thus, he resolved to seize a fiefdom for himself in the Holy Land. Early in 1098, he was adopted as heir by Thoros of Edessa, a ruler who was disliked by his Armenian subjects for his Greek Orthodox religion. Thoros was later killed, during an uprising that Baldwin may have instigated. [88] Then, in March 1098, Baldwin became the new ruler, thus creating the County of Edessa, the first of the crusader states. [88]

Siege of Antioch

The crusader army, meanwhile, marched on to Antioch, which lay about halfway between Constantinople and Jerusalem. Described by Stephen of Blois as "a city great beyond belief, very strong and unassailable", the idea of taking the city by assault was a discouraging one to the crusaders. [89] Hoping rather to force a capitulation, or find a traitor inside the city—a tactic that had previously seen Antioch change to the control of the Byzantines and then the Seljuk Turks—the crusader army set Antioch to siege on 20 October 1097. [90] Antioch was so large that the crusaders did not have enough troops to fully surround it, and as a result it was able to stay partially supplied. [91]

By January the attritional eight-month siege led to hundreds, or possibly thousands, of crusaders dying of starvation. Adhemar considered this was caused by their sinful nature women were expelled from the camp, fasting, prayer, alms giving and procession undertaken. Many, such as Stephen of Blois, deserted. Foraging systems eased the situation, as did supplies from Cicilia, Edessa, through the recently captured ports of Latakia and Port Saint Symeon and in March a small English fleet. [92] The Franks benefited from disunity in the Muslim world and the possible misunderstanding that they were thought to be Byzantine mercenaries. The Seljuk brothers, Duqaq of Syria and Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan of Aleppo dispatched separate relief armies in December and February that if they had been combined would probably have been victorious. [93]

After these failures the Atabeg of Mosul raised a coalition from southern Syria, northern Iraq and Anatolia with the ambition of extending his power from Syria to the Mediterranean sea. Bohemond persuaded the other leaders that if Antioch fell he would keep it for himself and that an Armenian commander of a section of the cities walls had agreed to enable the crusaders to enter. Stephen of Blois had been his only competitor and while deserting his message to Alexius that the cause was lost persuaded the Emperor to halt his advance through Anatolia at Philomelium before returning to Constantinople. Alexius failure to reach the siege was used by Bohemond to rationalise his refusal to return the city to the Empire as promised. [94] The Armenian, Firouz, helped Bohemond and a small party enter the city on the 2nd June and open a gate at which point horns were sounded, the city's Christian majority opened the other gates and the crusaders entered. In the sack they killed most of the Muslim inhabitants and many Christian Greeks, Syrians and Armenians in the confusion.

On 4 June the vanguard of Kerbogha's 40,000 strong army arrived surrounding the Franks. From 10 June for 4 days waves of Kerbogha's men assailed the city walls from dawn until dusk. Bohemond and Adhemar barred the city gates to prevent mass desertions and managed to hold out. Kerbogha then changed tactics to trying to starve the crusaders out. Morale inside the city was low and defeat looked imminent but a peasant visionary called Peter Bartholomew claimed the apostle St Andrew came to him to show the location of the Holy Lance that had pierced Christ on the cross. This supposedly encouraged the crusaders but the accounts are misleading as it was two weeks before the final battle for the city. On 24 June the Franks sought terms for surrender that were refused. On 28 June 1098 at dawn the Franks marched out of the city in four battle groups to engage the enemy. Kerbogha allowed them to deploy with the aim of destroying them in the open. However the discipline of the Muslim army did not hold and a disorderly attack was launched. Unable to overrun a bedraggled force they outnumbered two to one Muslims attacking the Bridge Gate fled through the advancing main body of the Muslim army. With very few casualties the Muslim army broke and fled the battle. [95]

Stephen of Blois, a Crusade leader, was in Alexandretta when he learned of the situation in Antioch. It seemed like their situation was hopeless so he left the Middle East, warning Alexios and his army on his way back to France. [96] Because of what looked like a massive betrayal, the leaders at Antioch, most notably Bohemond, argued that Alexios had deserted the Crusade and thus invalidated all of their oaths to him. While Bohemond asserted his claim to Antioch, not everyone agreed (most notably Raymond of Toulouse), so the crusade was delayed for the rest of the year while the nobles argued amongst themselves. When discussing this period, a common historiographical viewpoint advanced by some scholars is that the Franks of northern France, the Provençals of southern France, and the Normans of southern Italy considered themselves separate "nations", creating turmoil as each tried to increase its individual status. Others argue that while this may have had something to do with the disputes, personal ambition among the Crusader leaders might just be as easily blamed. [73]

Meanwhile, a plague broke out, killing many among the army, including the legate Adhemar, who died on 1 August. [97] There were now even fewer horses than before, and worse, the Muslim peasants in the area refused to supply the crusaders with food. Thus, in December, after the Arab town of Ma'arrat al-Numan was captured following a siege, history describes the first occurrence of cannibalism among the crusaders. [98] Radulph of Caen wrote, "In Ma'arrat our troops boiled pagan adults in cooking pots they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled." [99] At the same time, the minor knights and soldiers had become increasingly restless and threatened to continue to Jerusalem without their squabbling leaders. Finally, at the beginning of 1099, the march restarted, leaving Bohemond behind as the first Prince of Antioch. [73]

Continued march to Jerusalem

Proceeding down the Mediterranean coast, the crusaders encountered little resistance, as local rulers preferred to make peace with them and furnish them with supplies rather than fight, with a notable exception of the abandoned siege of Arqa. [100] Iftikhar al-Dawla, the Fatimid governor of Jerusalem, was aware of the arrival of the Crusaders. He expelled all of Jerusalem's Christian inhabitants before the Crusaders' arrival, to avoid the possibility of the city falling due to treason from the inside, and he poisoned most of the wells in the area. [101] The crusaders reached Jerusalem, which had been recaptured from the Seljuks by the Fatimids only the year before, on 7 June. Many Crusaders wept upon seeing the city they had journeyed so long to reach. [102]

Siege of Jerusalem

Crusaders' 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. There was no hope of trying to blockade the city as they had at Antioch the crusaders had insufficient troops, supplies, and time. Rather, they resolved to take the city by assault. [102] They might have been left with little choice, as by the time the Crusader army reached Jerusalem, it has been estimated that only about 12,000 men including 1,500 cavalry remained. [103] These contingents, composed of men with differing origins and varying allegiances, were also approaching another low ebb in their camaraderie e.g., while Godfrey and Tancred made camp to the north of the city, Raymond made his to the south. In addition, the Provençal contingent did not take part in the initial assault on 13 June. This first assault was perhaps more speculative than determined, and after scaling the outer wall the Crusaders were repulsed from the inner one. [102]

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. On 17 June, 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 (stripped from the ships) to build siege engines. [102] The Crusaders' morale was raised when a priest, Peter Desiderius, claimed to have had a divine vision, of Bishop Adhemar, instructing them to fast and then march in a barefoot procession around the city walls, after which the city would fall, following the Biblical story of Joshua at the siege of Jericho. [102] After a three-day fast, on 8 July the crusaders performed the procession as they had been instructed by Desiderius, ending on the Mount of Olives where Peter the Hermit preached to them, [104] and shortly afterward the various bickering factions arrived at a public rapprochement. News arrived shortly after that a Fatimid relief army had set off from Egypt, giving the Crusaders a very strong incentive to make another assault on the city. [102]

The final assault on Jerusalem began on 13 July Raymond's troops attacked the south gate while the other contingents attacked the northern wall. Initially the Provençals at the southern gate made little headway, but the contingents at the northern wall fared better, with a slow but steady attrition of the defence. On 15 July, 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. [105]

The massacre that followed the capture of Jerusalem has attained particular notoriety, as a "juxtaposition of extreme violence and anguished faith". [106] The eyewitness accounts from the crusaders themselves leave little doubt that there was great slaughter in the aftermath of the siege. Nevertheless, some historians propose that the scale of the massacre has been exaggerated in later medieval sources. [105] [107]

After the successful assault on the northern wall, the defenders fled to the Temple Mount, pursued by Tancred and his men. Arriving before the defenders could secure the area, Tancred's men assaulted the precinct, butchering many of the defenders, with the remainder taking refuge in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Tancred then called a halt to the slaughter, offering those in the mosque his protection. [105] When the defenders on the southern wall heard of the fall of the northern wall, they fled to the citadel, allowing Raymond and the Provençals to enter the city. Iftikhar al-Dawla, the commander of the garrison, struck a deal with Raymond, surrendering the citadel in return for being granted safe passage to Ascalon. [105]

The slaughter continued for the rest of the day Muslims were indiscriminately killed, and Jews who had taken refuge in their synagogue died when it was burnt down by the Crusaders. The following day, Tancred's prisoners in the mosque were slaughtered. Nevertheless, it is clear that some Muslims and Jews of the city survived the massacre, either escaping or being taken prisoner to be ransomed. [105] The Letter of the Karaite elders of Ascalon provides details of Ascalon Jews making great efforts to ransom such Jewish captives and send them to safety in Alexandria. The Eastern Christian population of the city had been expelled before the siege by the governor, and thus escaped the massacre. [105]

Establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

On 22 July, a council was held in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to establish governance for Jerusalem. The death of the Greek Patriarch meant there was no obvious ecclesiastical candidate to establish a religious lordship, as a body of opinion maintained. Although Raymond of Toulouse could claim to be the pre-eminent crusade leader from 1098 his support had waned since his failed attempts to besiege Arqa and create his own realm. This may have been why he piously refused the crown on the grounds that it could only be worn by Christ. It may also have been an attempt to persuade others to reject the title, however Godfrey was already familiar with such a position and more persuasive was probably the large army of troops from Lorraine in Jerusalem, led by him and his brothers, Eustace and Baldwin, who were vassals of the Ardennes-Bouillion dynasty. [108] Therefore, Godfrey was elected, accepting the title Defender of the Holy Sepulchre and took secular power. Raymond was incensed at this development, attempted to seize the Tower of David before leaving the city. [109]

Battle of Ascalon

In August vizier al-Afdal Shahanshah landed a force of 20,000 North Africans at Ascalon. Geoffrey and Raymond marched out to meet this force on 9 August to prevent being besieged with a force of only 1,200 knights and 9,000 foot soldiers. Outnumbered two to one the Franks launched a surprise dawn attack and routed the over confident and unprepared Muslim force. The opportunity was wasted though, as squabbling between Raymond and Godfrey prevented an attempt by the city's garrison to surrender to the more trusted Raymond. The city remained in Muslim hands and a military threat to the nascent kingdom. [110]

The majority of crusaders now considered their pilgrimage complete and returned home. Only 300 knights and 2,000 infantry remained to defend Palestine. It was the support of the knights from Lorraine that enabled Godfrey to take secular leadership of Jerusalem, over the claims of Raymond. When he dies a year later these same Lorrainers thwarted the papal legate, Dagobert of Pisa's plans for Jerusalem becoming a theocracy and instead made Baldwin the first Latin king of Jerusalem. [111] Bohemond returned to Europe to fight the Byzantines from Italy but he was defeated in 1108 at Dyrrhachium. After Raymond's death, his heirs captured Tripoli with the Genoese support. [112] Relations between the newly created Crusader states of the county of Edessa and the principality of Antioch were variable: they fought together in the crusader defeat at the Battle of Harran but the Antiocheans claimed suzerainty and blocked the return of Baldwin after his capture at the battle. [113] The Franks became fully engaged in Near East politics with the result that Muslims and Christians often fought on opposing sides. The expansion of Antioch's territorial expansion ended in 1119 with the major defeat to the Turks at the Battle of Ager Sanguinis, known as the Battle of the Field of Blood. [114]

However, there were many who had gone home before reaching Jerusalem, and many who had never left Europe at all. When the success of the crusade became known, these people were mocked and scorned by their families and threatened with excommunication by the Pope. [115] Back at home in Western Europe, those who had survived to reach Jerusalem were treated as heroes. Robert of Flanders was nicknamed "Hierosolymitanus" (Robert of Jerusalem) thanks to his exploits. [116] Among the crusaders in the Crusade of 1101 were Stephen II, Count of Blois and Hugh of Vermandois, both of whom had returned home before reaching Jerusalem. This crusade was almost annihilated in Asia Minor by the Seljuks, but the survivors helped to reinforce the kingdom upon their arrival in Jerusalem. [117]

There is limited written evidence of the Islamic reaction dating from before 1160, but what there is indicates the crusade was barely noticed. This may be the result of a cultural misunderstanding in that the Turks and Arabs did not recognise the crusaders as religiously motivated warriors with motivations of conquest and settlement. The assumption was the crusaders were just the latest in a long line of Byzantine mercenaries. Also the Islamic world remained divided between rival rulers in Cairo, Damascus, Aleppo and Baghdad. There was no pan-Islamic counter-attack, giving the crusaders the opportunity to consolidate.

Latin Christendom was amazed by the success of the First Crusade for which the only credible explanation was it was the work of God. If the crusade had failed it is likely that the paradigm of crusading would have become obsolete. Instead, this form of religious warfare was popular for centuries and the crusade itself became one of the most written about historic events of the medieval period. [118] [119] The histories of the First Crusade and the Crusades in general, as expected, reflect the views of the authors and the times that they lived in. Critical analyses of these works can be found in studies by Jonathan Riley-Smith [120] and Christopher Tyerman. [121] [122]

Original sources

The 19th-century French work Recueil des historiens des croisades (RHC) documents the original narrative sources of the First Crusade from Latin, Arabic, Greek, Armenian and Syriac authors. The documents are presented in their original language with French translations. The work built on the 17th century work Gesta Dei per Francos, compiled by Jacques Bongars. Several Hebrew sources on the First Crusade also exist. A complete bibliography can be found in The Routledge Companion to the Crusades. [123] See also Crusade Texts in Translation and Selected Sources: The Crusades, [124] in Fordham University's Internet Medieval Sourcebook.

The Latin narrative sources for the First Crusade are: (1) the anonymous Gesta Francorum (2) Peter Tudebode's Historia de Hierosolymitano itinere (3) the Monte Cassino chronicle Historia belli sacri (4) Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem by Raymond of Aguilers (5) Gesta Francorum Iherusalem Perefrinantium by Fulcher of Chartres (6) Albert of Aachen's Historia Hierosolymitanae expeditionis (7) Ekkehard of Aura's Hierosolymita (8) Robert the Monk's Historia Hierosolymitana (9) Baldric of Dol's Historiae Hierosolymitanae libri IV (10) Radulph of Caen's Gesta Tancredi in expeditione Hierosolymitana and (11) Dei gesta per Francos by Guibert of Nogent. These include multiple first-hand accounts of the Council of Clermont and the crusade itself. [125]

Important related works include the Greek perspective offered in the Alexiad by Byzantine princess Anna Komnene, daughter of the emperor. The view of the Crusades from the Islamic perspective is found in two major sources The first, The Chronicle of Damascus, is by Arab historian Ibn al-Qalanisi. The second is The Complete History (Kamil fi at-Tarikh) by the Arab (or Kurdish) historian Ali ibn al-Athir. Minor but important works from the Armenian and Syriac are Matthew of Edessa's Chronicle and the Chronicle of Michael the Syrian. The three Hebrew chronicles include the Solomon bar Simson Chronicle discussing the Rhineland massacres. [126]

The anonymous author of the Gesta, Fulcher of Chartres and Raymond of Aguilers were all participants in the Crusade, accompanied a different contingents, and their works are regarded as foundational. Fulcher and Raymond both utilized Gesta to some extent, as did Peter Tudebode and the Historia Belli Sacri, with some variations. The Gesta was reworked (some with other eyewitness accounts) by Guibert of Nogent, Baldric of Dol, and Robert the Monk, whose work was the most widely read. Albert's account appears to be written independently of the Gesta, relying on other eyewitness reports. Derivative accounts of the Crusade include Bartolf of Nangis' Gesta Francorum Iherusalem expugnatium, [127] Henry of Huntingdon's De Captione Antiochiae, [128] Sigebert of Gembloux's Chronicon sive Chronographia, [129] and Benedetto Accolti's De Bello a Christianis contra Barbaros. [130]

A 19th-century perspective of these works can be found in Heinrich von Sybel's History and Literature of the Crusades. [132] Von Sybel also discusses some of the more important letters and correspondence from the First Crusade that provide some historical insight. [133] See also the works Die Kreuzzugsbriefe aus den Jahren, 1088-1100, [134] by Heinrich Hagenmeyer and Letters of the Crusaders, [135] by Dana Carleton Munro.

Later works through the 18th century

The popularity of these works shaped how crusading was viewed in the medieval mind. Numerous poems and songs sprung from the First Crusade, including Gilo of Toucy's Historia de via Hierosolymitana. [136] The well-known chanson de geste, Chanson d’Antioche, describes the First Crusade from the original preaching through the taking of Antioch in 1098 and into 1099. Based on Robert's work, Chanson d’Antioche was a valuable resource in helping catalog participants in the early Crusades and shaped how crusading was viewed in the medieval mind. [137] A later poem was Torquato Tasso’s 16th century Gerusalemme liberata, was based on Accolti's work and popular for nearly two centuries. [138]

Later histories include English chronicler Orderic Vitalis' Historia Ecclesiastica. [139] The work was a general social history of medieval England that includes a section on the First Crusade based on Baldric's account, with added details from oral sources and biographical details. The Gesta and the more detailed account of Albert of Aachen were used as the basis of the work of William of Tyre, Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum and its extensions. [140] The archbishop of Tyre's work was major primary source for the history of the First Crusade and is regarded as their first analytical history. Later histories, through the 17th century, relied heavily on his writings. These histories used primary source materials, but they used them selectively to talk of Holy War (bellum sacrum), and their emphasis was upon prominent individuals and upon battles and the intrigues of high politics. [141]

Other works included by Bongars are Historia Hierosolymitana written by theologian and historian Jacques de Vitry, a participant in a later crusade, and Liber Secretorum Fidelium Crucis by Venetian statesman and geographer Marino Sanuto, whose work on geography was invaluable to later historians. The first biography of Godfrey of Bouillon, Historia et Gesta Ducis Gotfridi seu historia de desidione Terræ sanctæ, was written by anonymous German authors in 1141, relying on the original narratives and later histories, appears in the RHC.

The first use of the term crusades was by 17th century French Jesuit and historian Louis Maimbourg in his Histoire des Croisades pour la délivrance de la Terre Sainte, [142] a populist and royalist history of the Crusades from 1195–1220. [143] An earlier work by Thomas Fuller, [144] The Historie of the Holy Warre [145] refers to the entire enterprise as the Holy War, with individual campaigns called voyages. Fuller's account was more anecdotal than historical, and was very popular until the Restoration. The work used original sources from Gesta Dei per Francos, and includes a chronology that is surprisingly complete for such an early work.

Notable works of the 18th century include Histoire des Croisades, [146] a history of the Crusades from the rise of the Seljuks until 1195 by French philosopher Voltaire. Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume did not write directly of the First Crusade, but his The History of England [147] described the Crusades as the "nadir of Western civilization." This view was continued by Edward Gibbon in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, excerpted as The Crusades, A.D. 1095–1261. [148] This edition also includes an essay on chivalry by Sir Walter Scott, whose works helped popularize the Crusades.

The 19th and 20th centuries

Early in the 19th century, the monumental Histoire des Croisades [149] was published by the French historian Joseph François Michaud. [150] under the editorship of Jean Poujoulat. This provided a major new narrative based on original sources and was translated into English as The History of the Crusades. [151] The work covers the First Crusade and its causes, and the crusades through 1481. French historian Jean-François-Aimé Peyré expanded Michaud's work on the First Crusade with his Histoire de la Première Croisade, [152] a 900-page, two-volume set with extensive sourcing.

The English school of Crusader historians included Charles Mills [153] who wrote History of the Crusades for the Recovery and Possession of the Holy Land, [154] a complete history of nine Crusades, disparaging Gibbon's work as superficial. Henry Stebbings [155] wrote his History of Chivalry and the Crusades [156] discussion of chivalry and history of the first seven Crusades. Thomas Archer and Charles Kingsford wrote The Crusades: The Story of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, [157] rejecting the idea that the Fourth Crusade and the Albigensian Crusade should be designated as crusades.

The German school of Crusaders was led by Friederich Wilken, [158] whose Geschichte der Kreuzzüge [159] was a complete history of the Crusades, based on Western, Arabic, Greek and Armenian sources. Later, Heinrich von Sybel, [160] who studied under Leopold von Ranke (the father of modern source-based history) challenged the work of William of Tyre as being secondary. His Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges [161] was a history of the First Crusade and contains a full study of the authorities for the First Crusade, and was translated to History and Literature of the Crusades [132] by English author Lucie, Lady Duff-Gordon. [162]

The greatest German historian of the Crusades was then Reinhold Röhricht. His histories of the First Crusade, Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges, [163] and of the kings of Jerusalem, Geschichte des Königreichs Jerusalem [164] laid the foundation of all modern crusade research. [165] His Bibliotheca geographica Palaestinae [166] summarizes over 3500 books on the geography of the Holy Land, providing a valuable resource for historians. Röhricht's colleague Heinrich Hagenmeyer wrote Peter der Eremite, [167] a critical contribution to the history of the First Crusade and the role of Peter the Hermit.

Two encyclopedia articles appeared in the early 20th century that are frequently called out by Crusader historians. [168] The first of these is Crusades, [169] [118] by French historian Louis R. Bréhier, appearing in the Catholic Encyclopedia, based on his L'Église et l'Orient au Moyen Âge: Les Croisades. [170] The second is The Crusades, [171] by English historian Ernest Barker, in the Encyclopædia Britannica (11th edition). Collectively, Bréhier and Barker wrote more than 50 articles for these two publications. [172] [173] Barker's work was later revised as The Crusades [174] and Bréhier published Histoire anonyme de la première croisade. [175] According to the Routledge Companion, these articles are evidence that "not all old things are useless." [168]

According to the Routledge Companion, [176] the three works that rank as being monumental by 20th century standards are: René Grousset's Histoire des croisades et du royaume franc de Jérusalem Steven Runciman's 3-volume set of A History of the Crusades, and the Wisconsin Collaborative History of the Crusades (Wisconsin History). Grousset's volume on the First Crusade was L'anarchie musulmane, 1095-1130, [177] a standard reference in the mid-twentieth century. The next two are still enjoying widespread use today. Runciman's first volume The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem [178] has been criticized for being out-of-date and biased, but remains one of the most widely read accounts of the crusade. The first volume of the Wisconsin History, Volume 1: The First One Hundred Years, [179] first appeared in 1969 and was edited by Marshall W. Baldwin. The chapters on the First Crusade were written by Runciman and Frederic Duncalf and again are dated, but still well-used references. Additional background chapters on related events of the 11th century are: Western Europe, by Sidney Painter the Byzantine Empire, by Peter Charanis the Islamic world by H. A. B. Gibb the Seljuk invasion, by Claude Cahen and the Assassins, by Bernard Lewis.

Modern histories of the First Crusade

Since the 1970s, the Crusades have attracted hundreds of scholars to their study, many of which are identified in the on-line database Historians of the Crusades, [180] part of the Resources for Studying the Crusades created at Queen Mary University of London in 2007–2008. Some of the more notable historians of the First Crusade include Jonathan Riley-Smith (1938–2016), the leading historian of the Crusades of his generation. His work includes The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (1993) [181] and The First Crusaders, 1095-1131 (1998). [182] His doctoral students are among the most renown in the world. [183] Carole Hillenbrand (born 1943) is an Islamic scholar whose work The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (2000) [184] discusses themes that highlight how Muslims reacted to the presence of the Crusaders in the heart of traditionally Islamic territory and is regarded as one of the most influential works on the First Crusade. Other current researchers include Christopher Tyerman (born 1953) whose God's War: A New History of the Crusades (2006) [185] [186] is regarded as the definitive account of all the crusades. In his An Eyewitness History of the Crusades (2004), [187] Tyerman provides the history of the crusades told from original eyewitness sources, both Christian and Muslim. Thomas Asbridge (born 1969) has written The First Crusade: A New History: The Roots of Conflict between Christianity and Islam (2004) [188] and the more expansive The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land (2012). [189] Thomas Madden (born 1960) has written The New Concise History of the Crusades (2005) [190] and The Real History of the Crusades (2011). [191] The Crusades—An Encyclopedia (2006) [192] edited by historian Alan V. Murray [193] provides comprehensive treatment of the Crusades with over 1000 entries written by 120 authors from 25 countries. The list of other historians is extensive and excellent bibliographies include that by Asbridge [194] and in The Routledge Companion to the Crusades. [123]


The Crusades: A Brief History of the Medieval Religious Wars

This video will give you a brief, yet detailed history of the Medieval religious wars known as the Crusades, beginning at the first crusade with the people's crusade led by Peter the Hermit, and working our way to the final official crusade. Want to know why people participated in these holy wars? Want to know why they started in the first place and the effects the wars had after they concluded? Well, we answer all these questions and more!

The Crusades were a number of military campaigns organised by the pope and Western European Christians in order to take back land in the Near East, considered holy by Christians, which had fallen under the control of Muslims. To participate in a crusade was considered a sacred act, since the violence which ensued was done in the name of God.

Nobles and peasants alike took up arms in order to protect Christian values, and the participants were promised salvation in the afterlife and wealth on earth in return. The crusades were viewed more like a pilgrimage, and by participating, all the participants’ sins would be wiped away. People joined the crusades for a number of reasons including the hope of remission of their sins, peer and family pressure, for the chance to gain material wealth and maybe even lands or titles, the desire to travel to holy sites, to escape debt, or even just to have a decent living with meals included. There were a total of 8 official crusades between 1095 and 1270 CE, along with many unofficial ones.

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What Were The Crusades? - History

The Real History of the Crusades

The crusades are quite possibly the most misunderstood event in European history. Most of what passes for public knowledge about it is either misleading or just plain wrong

By Prof. Thomas F. Madden

Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common. The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far. See, for example, Steven Runciman's famous three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, or the BBC/A&E documentary, The Crusades, hosted by Terry Jones. Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining.

So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.

From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over.
Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed , the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity — and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion—has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.

With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed's death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt—once the most heavily Christian areas in the world — quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.

That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.

Pope Urban II called upon the knights of Christendom to push back the conquests of Islam at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The response was tremendous. Many thousands of warriors took the vow of the cross and prepared for war. Why did they do it? The answer to that question has been badly misunderstood. In the wake of the Enlightenment, it was usually asserted that Crusaders were merely lacklands and ne'er-do-wells who took advantage of an opportunity to rob and pillage in a faraway land. The Crusaders' expressed sentiments of piety, self-sacrifice, and love for God were obviously not to be taken seriously. They were only a front for darker designs.

At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.
During the past two decades, computer-assisted charter studies have demolished that contrivance. Scholars have discovered that crusading knights were generally wealthy men with plenty of their own land in Europe. Nevertheless, they willingly gave up everything to undertake the holy mission. Crusading was not cheap. Even wealthy lords could easily impoverish themselves and their families by joining a Crusade. They did so not because they expected material wealth (which many of them had already) but because they hoped to store up treasure where rust and moth could not corrupt. They were keenly aware of their sinfulness and eager to undertake the hardships of the Crusade as a penitential act of charity and love. Europe is littered with thousands of medieval charters attesting to these sentiments, charters in which these men still speak to us today if we will listen. Of course, they were not opposed to capturing booty if it could be had. But the truth is that the Crusades were notoriously bad for plunder. A few people got rich, but the vast majority returned with nothing.

Urban II gave the Crusaders two goals, both of which would remain central to the eastern Crusades for centuries. The first was to rescue the Christians of the East. As his successor, Pope Innocent III, later wrote:

How does a man love according to divine precept his neighbor as himself when, knowing that his Christian brothers in faith and in name are held by the perfidious Muslims in strict confinement and weighed down by the yoke of heaviest servitude, he does not devote himself to the task of freeing them? . Is it by chance that you do not know that many thousands of Christians are bound in slavery and imprisoned by the Muslims, tortured with innumerable torments?

"Crusading," Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith has rightly argued, was understood as an "an act of love" — in this case, the love of one's neighbor. The Crusade was seen as an errand of mercy to right a terrible wrong. As Pope Innocent III wrote to the Knights Templar, "You carry out in deeds the words of the Gospel, 'Greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends.'"

The second goal was the liberation of Jerusalem and the other places made holy by the life of Christ. The word crusade is modern. Medieval Crusaders saw themselves as pilgrims, performing acts of righteousness on their way to the Holy Sepulcher. The Crusade indulgence they received was canonically related to the pilgrimage indulgence. This goal was frequently described in feudal terms. When calling the Fifth Crusade in 1215, Innocent III wrote:

Consider most dear sons, consider carefully that if any temporal king was thrown out of his domain and perhaps captured, would he not, when he was restored to his pristine liberty and the time had come for dispensing justice look on his vassals as unfaithful and traitors. unless they had committed not only their property but also their persons to the task of freeing him? . And similarly will not Jesus Christ, the king of kings and lord of lords, whose servant you cannot deny being, who joined your soul to your body, who redeemed you with the Precious Blood. condemn you for the vice of ingratitude and the crime of infidelity if you neglect to help Him?

The reconquest of Jerusalem, therefore, was not colonialism but an act of restoration and an open declaration of one's love of God. Medieval men knew, of course, that God had the power to restore Jerusalem Himself — indeed, He had the power to restore the whole world to His rule. Yet as St. Bernard of Clairvaux preached, His refusal to do so was a blessing to His people:

Again I say, consider the Almighty's goodness and pay heed to His plans of mercy. He puts Himself under obligation to you, or rather feigns to do so, that He can help you to satisfy your obligations toward Himself. I call blessed the generation that can seize an opportunity of such rich indulgence as this.

It is often assumed that the central goal of the Crusades was forced conversion of the Muslim world. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the perspective of medieval Christians, Muslims were the enemies of Christ and His Church. It was the Crusaders' task to defeat and defend against them. That was all. Muslims who lived in Crusader-won territories were generally allowed to retain their property and livelihood, and always their religion. Indeed, throughout the history of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, Muslim inhabitants far outnumbered the Catholics. It was not until the 13th century that the Franciscans began conversion efforts among Muslims. But these were mostly unsuccessful and finally abandoned. In any case, such efforts were by peaceful persuasion, not the threat of violence.

Like all warfare, the violence was brutal (although not as brutal as modern wars). There were mishaps, blunders, and crimes.
The Crusades were wars, so it would be a mistake to characterize them as nothing but piety and good intentions. Like all warfare, the violence was brutal (although not as brutal as modern wars). There were mishaps, blunders, and crimes. These are usually well-remembered today. During the early days of the First Crusade in 1095, a ragtag band of Crusaders led by Count Emicho of Leiningen made its way down the Rhine, robbing and murdering all the Jews they could find. Without success, the local bishops attempted to stop the carnage. In the eyes of these warriors, the Jews, like the Muslims, were the enemies of Christ. Plundering and killing them, then, was no vice. Indeed, they believed it was a righteous deed, since the Jews' money could be used to fund the Crusade to Jerusalem. But they were wrong, and the Church strongly condemned the anti-Jewish attacks.

Fifty years later, when the Second Crusade was gearing up, St. Bernard frequently preached that the Jews were not to be persecuted:

Ask anyone who knows the Sacred Scriptures what he finds foretold of the Jews in the Psalm. "Not for their destruction do I pray," it says. The Jews are for us the living words of Scripture, for they remind us always of what our Lord suffered. Under Christian princes they endure a hard captivity, but "they only wait for the time of their deliverance."

Nevertheless, a fellow Cistercian monk named Radulf stirred up people against the Rhineland Jews, despite numerous letters from Bernard demanding that he stop. At last Bernard was forced to travel to Germany himself, where he caught up with Radulf, sent him back to his convent, and ended the massacres.

It is often said that the roots of the Holocaust can be seen in these medieval pogroms. That may be. But if so, those roots are far deeper and more widespread than the Crusades. Jews perished during the Crusades, but the purpose of the Crusades was not to kill Jews. Quite the contrary: Popes, bishops, and preachers made it clear that the Jews of Europe were to be left unmolested. In a modern war, we call tragic deaths like these "collateral damage." Even with smart technologies, the United States has killed far more innocents in our wars than the Crusaders ever could. But no one would seriously argue that the purpose of American wars is to kill women and children.

By any reckoning, the First Crusade was a long shot. There was no leader, no chain of command, no supply lines, no detailed strategy. It was simply thousands of warriors marching deep into enemy territory, committed to a common cause. Many of them died, either in battle or through disease or starvation. It was a rough campaign, one that seemed always on the brink of disaster. Yet it was miraculously successful. By 1098, the Crusaders had restored Nicaea and Antioch to Christian rule. In July 1099, they conquered Jerusalem and began to build a Christian state in Palestine. The joy in Europe was unbridled. It seemed that the tide of history, which had lifted the Muslims to such heights, was now turning.

But it was not. When we think about the Middle Ages, it is easy to view Europe in light of what it became rather than what it was. The colossus of the medieval world was Islam, not Christendom. The Crusades are interesting largely because they were an attempt to counter that trend. But in five centuries of crusading, it was only the First Crusade that significantly rolled back the military progress of Islam. It was downhill from there.

When the Crusader County of Edessa fell to the Turks and Kurds in 1144, there was an enormous groundswell of support for a new Crusade in Europe. It was led by two kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, and preached by St. Bernard himself. It failed miserably. Most of the Crusaders were killed along the way. Those who made it to Jerusalem only made things worse by attacking Muslim Damascus, which formerly had been a strong ally of the Christians. In the wake of such a disaster, Christians across Europe were forced to accept not only the continued growth of Muslim power but the certainty that God was punishing the West for its sins. Lay piety movements sprouted up throughout Europe, all rooted in the desire to purify Christian society so that it might be worthy of victory in the East.

Crusading in the late twelfth century, therefore, became a total war effort. Every person, no matter how weak or poor, was called to help. Warriors were asked to sacrifice their wealth and, if need be, their lives for the defense of the Christian East. On the home front, all Christians were called to support the Crusades through prayer, fasting, and alms. Yet still the Muslims grew in strength. Saladin, the great unifier, had forged the Muslim Near East into a single entity, all the while preaching jihad against the Christians. In 1187 at the Battle of Hattin, his forces wiped out the combined armies of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem and captured the precious relic of the True Cross. Defenseless, the Christian cities began surrendering one by one, culminating in the surrender of Jerusalem on October 2. Only a tiny handful of ports held out.

The response was the Third Crusade. It was led by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa of the German Empire, King Philip II Augustus of France, and King Richard I Lionheart of England. By any measure it was a grand affair, although not quite as grand as the Christians had hoped. The aged Frederick drowned while crossing a river on horseback, so his army returned home before reaching the Holy Land. Philip and Richard came by boat, but their incessant bickering only added to an already divisive situation on the ground in Palestine. After recapturing Acre, the king of France went home, where he busied himself carving up Richard's French holdings. The Crusade, therefore, fell into Richard's lap. A skilled warrior, gifted leader, and superb tactician, Richard led the Christian forces to victory after victory, eventually reconquering the entire coast. But Jerusalem was not on the coast, and after two abortive attempts to secure supply lines to the Holy City, Richard at last gave up. Promising to return one day, he struck a truce with Saladin that ensured peace in the region and free access to Jerusalem for unarmed pilgrims. But it was a bitter pill to swallow. The desire to restore Jerusalem to Christian rule and regain the True Cross remained intense throughout Europe.

The Crusades of the 13th century were larger, better funded, and better organized. But they too failed. The Fourth Crusade (1201-1204) ran aground when it was seduced into a web of Byzantine politics, which the Westerners never fully understood. They had made a detour to Constantinople to support an imperial claimant who promised great rewards and support for the Holy Land. Yet once he was on the throne of the Caesars, their benefactor found that he could not pay what he had promised. Thus betrayed by their Greek friends, in 1204 the Crusaders attacked, captured, and brutally sacked Constantinople, the greatest Christian city in the world. Pope Innocent III, who had previously excommunicated the entire Crusade, strongly denounced the Crusaders. But there was little else he could do. The tragic events of 1204 closed an iron door between Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox, a door that even today Pope John Paul II has been unable to reopen. It is a terrible irony that the Crusades, which were a direct result of the Catholic desire to rescue the Orthodox people, drove the two further—and perhaps irrevocably—apart.

The remainder of the 13th century's Crusades did little better. The Fifth Crusade (1217-1221) managed briefly to capture Damietta in Egypt, but the Muslims eventually defeated the army and reoccupied the city. St. Louis IX of France led two Crusades in his life. The first also captured Damietta, but Louis was quickly outwitted by the Egyptians and forced to abandon the city. Although Louis was in the Holy Land for several years, spending freely on defensive works, he never achieved his fondest wish: to free Jerusalem. He was a much older man in 1270 when he led another Crusade to Tunis, where he died of a disease that ravaged the camp. After St. Louis's death, the ruthless Muslim leaders, Baybars andKalavun, waged a brutal jihad against the Christians in Palestine. By 1291, the Muslim forces had succeeded in killing or ejecting the last of the Crusaders, thus erasing the Crusader kingdom from the map. Despite numerous attempts and many more plans, Christian forces were never again able to gain a foothold in the region until the 19th century.

Whether we admire the Crusaders or not, it is a fact that the world we know today would not exist without their efforts.
One might think that three centuries of Christian defeats would have soured Europeans on the idea of Crusade. Not at all. In one sense, they had little alternative. Muslim kingdoms were becoming more, not less, powerful in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The Ottoman Turks conquered not only their fellow Muslims, thus further unifying Islam, but also continued to press westward, capturing Constantinople and plunging deep into Europe itself. By the 15th century, the Crusades were no longer errands of mercy for a distant people but desperate attempts of one of the last remnants of Christendom to survive. Europeans began to ponder the real possibility that Islam would finally achieve its aim of conquering the entire Christian world. One of the great best-sellers of the time, Sebastian Brant's The Ship of Fools , gave voice to this sentiment in a chapter titled "Of the Decline of the Faith":

Our faith was strong in th' Orient,
It ruled in all of Asia,
In Moorish lands and Africa.
But now for us these lands are gone
'Twould even grieve the hardest stone.
Four sisters of our Church you find,
They're of the patriarchic kind:
Constantinople, Alexandria,
Jerusalem, Antiochia.
But they've been forfeited and sacked
And soon the head will be attacked.

Of course, that is not what happened. But it very nearly did. In 1480, Sultan Mehmed II captured Otranto as a beachhead for his invasion of Italy. Rome was evacuated. Yet the sultan died shortly thereafter, and his plan died with him. In 1529, Suleiman the Magnificent laid siege to Vienna. If not for a run of freak rainstorms that delayed his progress and forced him to leave behind much of his artillery, it is virtually certain that the Turks would have taken the city. Germany, then, would have been at their mercy. [At that point crusades were no longer waged to rescue Jerusalem, but Europe itself.]

Yet, even while these close shaves were taking place, something else was brewing in Europe—something unprecedented in human history. The Renaissance, born from a strange mixture of Roman values, medieval piety, and a unique respect for commerce and entrepreneurialism, had led to other movements like humanism, the Scientific Revolution, and the Age of Exploration. Even while fighting for its life, Europe was preparing to expand on a global scale. The Protestant Reformation, which rejected the papacy and the doctrine of indulgence, made Crusades unthinkable for many Europeans, thus leaving the fighting to the Catholics. In 1571, a Holy League, which was itself a Crusade, defeated the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto . Yet military victories like that remained rare. The Muslim threat was neutralized economically. As Europe grew in wealth and power, the once awesome and sophisticated Turks began to seem backward and pathetic—no longer worth a Crusade. The "Sick Man of Europe" limped along until the 20th century, when he finally expired, leaving behind the present mess of the modern Middle East.

From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over. But we should be mindful that our medieval ancestors would have been equally disgusted by our infinitely more destructive wars fought in the name of political ideologies. And yet, both the medieval and the modern soldier fight ultimately for their own world and all that makes it up. Both are willing to suffer enormous sacrifice, provided that it is in the service of something they hold dear, something greater than themselves. Whether we admire the Crusaders or not, it is a fact that the world we know today would not exist without their efforts. The ancient faith of Christianity, with its respect for women and antipathy toward slavery, not only survived but flourished. Without the Crusades, it might well have followed Zoroastrianism, another of Islam's rivals, into extinction.


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