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Crusades

Crusades (krōō´sādz), series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims.

First Crusade

Origins

In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar. Pilgrimages (see pilgrim) were not cut off at first, but early in the 11th cent. the Fatimid caliph Hakim began to persecute the Christians and despoiled the Holy Sepulcher. Persecution abated after his death (1021), but relations remained strained and became more so when Jerusalem passed (1071) from the comparatively tolerant Egyptians to the Seljuk Turks, who in the same year defeated the Byzantine emperor Romanus IV at Manzikert.

Late in the 11th cent., Byzantine Emperor Alexius I, threatened by the Seljuk Turks, appealed to the West for aid. This was not the first appeal of the kind; while it may have helped to determine the time and the route of the First Crusade, 1095–99, its precise import is difficult to estimate. Modern historians have speculated that two internal problems also helped trigger the First Crusade: an attempt, begun by Pope Gregory VII, to reform the church, and the pressing need to strengthen the weakened Papacy itself. Direct impetus was given the crusade by the famous sermon of Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont (now Clermont-Ferrand) in 1095. Exaggerating the anti-Christian acts of the Muslims, Urban exhorted Christendom to go to war for the Sepulcher, promising that the journey would count as full penance and that the homes of the absent ones would be protected by a truce. The battle cry of the Christians, he urged, should be Deus volt [God wills it]. From the crosses that were distributed at this meeting the Crusaders took their name. Bishop Ademar of Le Puy-en-Velay was designated as papal legate for the crusade, and Count Raymond IV of Toulouse was the first of the leaders of the expedition to take the cross.

Proclaimed by many wandering preachers, notably Peter the Hermit, the movement spread through Europe and even reached Scandinavia. It is estimated that between 60,000 and 100,000 heeded the call and took up the cause of the First Crusade. The chief factors that contributed to this enthusiastic response were the increase in the population and prosperity of Western Europe; the high point that religious devotion had reached; the prospect of territorial expansion and riches for the nobles, and of more freedom for the lower classes; the colonial projects of the Normans (directed against the Byzantine Empire as much as against the Muslim world); the desire, particularly of the Italian cities, to expand trade with the East; and a general awakening to the lure of travel and adventure.

Course of the Crusade

The conflict between spiritual and material aims, apparent from the first, became increasingly serious. The organized host of the crusade was preceded in the spring of 1096 by several undisciplined hordes of French and German peasants. Walter Sans Avoir (Walter the Penniless) led a French group, which passed peacefully through Germany and Hungary but sacked the district of Belgrade. The Bulgarians retaliated, but Walter reached Constantinople by midsummer. He was joined there by the followers of Peter the Hermit, whose progress had been similar. A German group started off by robbing and massacring the Jews in the Rhenish cities and later so provoked the king of Hungary that he attacked and dispersed them.

The bands that had reached Constantinople were speedily transported by Alexius I to Asia Minor, where they were defeated by the Turks. The survivors either joined later bands or returned to Europe. Alexius began to take fright at the proportions the movement was assuming. When, late in 1096, the first of the princes, Hugh of Vermandois, a brother of Philip I of France, reached Constantinople, the emperor persuaded him to take an oath of fealty. Godfrey of Bouillon and his brothers Eustace and Baldwin (later Baldwin I of Jerusalem), Raymond IV of Toulouse, Bohemond I, Tancred, Robert of Normandy, and Robert II of Flanders arrived early in 1097. At Antioch all except Tancred and Raymond (who promised only to refrain from hostilities against the Byzantines) took the oath to Alexius, which bound them to accept Alexius as overlord of their conquests. Bohemond's subsequent breach of the oath was to cause endless wrangling.

The armies crossed to Asia Minor, took Nicaea (1097), defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum, and, after a seven-month siege, took Antioch (1098) and slaughtered nearly all of its inhabitants, including its Christians. The campaign was completed in July, 1099, by the taking of Jerusalem, where they massacred the city's Muslims and Jews. The election of Godfrey of Bouillon as defender of the Holy Sepulcher marked the beginning of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (see Jerusalem, Latin Kingdom of). A Latin patriarch was elected. Other fiefs, theoretically dependent on Jerusalem, were created as the crusade's leaders moved to expand their domains. These were the counties of Edessa (Baldwin) and Tripoli (Raymond) and the principality of Antioch (Bohemond).

The First Crusade thus ended in victory. It was the only crusade that achieved more than ephemeral results. Until the ultimate fall (1291) of the Latin Kingdom, the brunt of the fighting in the Holy Land fell on the Latin princes and their followers and on the great military orders, the Knights Hospitalers and the Knights Templars, that arose out of the Crusades.

The Later Crusades

The later Crusades were for the most part only expeditions to assist those who already were in the Holy Land and defend the lands they had captured; they are a single current, and dates are given them only for convenience.

Second Crusade

The Second Crusade, 1147–49, was preached by St. Bernard of Clairvaux after the fall (1144) of Edessa to the Turks. It was led by Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III, whose army set out first, and by King Louis VII of France. Both armies passed through the Balkans and pillaged the territory of the Byzantine emperor, Manuel I, who provided them with transportation to Asia Minor in order to be rid of them. The German contingent, already decimated by the Turks, merged (1148) with the French, who had fared only slightly better, at Acre (Akko). A joint attack on Damascus failed because of jealousy and, possibly, treachery among the Latin princes of the Holy Land. Conrad returned home in 1148 and was followed (1149) by Louis. The Second Crusade thus ended in dismal failure.

Third Crusade

The Third Crusade, 1189–92, followed on the capture (1187) of Jerusalem by Saladin and the defeat of Guy of Lusignan, Reginald of Châtillon, and Raymond of Tripoli at Hattin. The crusade was preached by Pope Gregory VIII but was directed by its leaders—Richard I of England, Philip II of France, and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I. Frederick set out first, but was hindered by the Byzantine emperor, Isaac II, who had formed an alliance with Saladin. Frederick forced his way to the Bosporus, sacked Adrianople (Edirne), and compelled the Greeks to furnish transportation to Asia Minor. However, he died (1190) in Cilicia, and only part of his forces went on to the Holy Land. Richard and Philip, uneasy allies, arrived at Acre in 1191. The city had been besieged since 1189, but the siege had been prolonged by dissensions between the two chief Christian leaders, Guy of Lusignan and Conrad, marquis of Montferrat, both of whom claimed the kingship of Jerusalem.

The city was nevertheless starved out by July, 1191; shortly afterward Philip went home. Richard removed his base to Jaffa, which he fortified, and rebuilt Ascalon (Ashqelon), which the Muslims had burned down. In 1192 he made a three-year truce with Saladin; the Christians retained Jaffa with a narrow strip of coast (all that remained of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem) and the right of free access to the Holy Sepulcher. Antioch and Tripoli were still in Christian hands; Cyprus, which Richard I had wrested (1191) from the Byzantines while on his way to the Holy Land, was given to Guy of Lusignan. In Oct., 1192, Richard left the Holy Land, thus ending the crusade.

Fourth, Children's, and Fifth Crusades

Pope Innocent III launched the Fourth Crusade, 1202–1204, which was totally diverted from its original course. The Crusaders, led mostly by French and Flemish nobles and spurred on by Fulk of Neuilly, assembled (1202) near Venice. To pay some of their passage to Palestine they aided Doge Enrico Dandolo (see under Dandolo, family) and his Venetian forces in recovering the Christian city of Zara (Zadar) on the Dalmatian coast from the Hungarians. The sack of Zara (1202), for which Innocent III excommunicated the crusaders, prefaced more serious political schemes. Alexius (later Alexius IV), son of the deposed Byzantine emperor Isaac II and brother-in-law of Philip of Swabia, a sponsor of the crusade, joined the army at Zara and persuaded the leaders to help him depose his uncle, Alexius III. In exchange, he promised large sums of money, aid to the Crusaders in conquering Egypt, and the union of Roman and Eastern Christianity under the control of the Roman church. The actual decision to turn on Constantinople was largely brought about by Venetian pressure. The fleet arrived at the Bosporus in 1203; Alexius III fled, and Isaac II and Alexius IV were installed as joint emperors while the fleet remained outside the harbor. In 1204, Alexius V overthrew the emperors. As a result the Crusaders stormed the city, sacked it amid horrendous rape and murder, divided the rich spoils with the Venetians (who brought much of it back to Venice) according to a prearranged plan, and set up the Latin Empire of Constantinople (see Constantinople, Latin Empire of). The Crusader Baldwin I of Flanders was elected first Latin Emperor of Constantinople, but within a year he was captured and killed by the Bulgarians and succeeded by his brother Henry.

There followed the pathetic interlude of the Children's Crusade, 1212. Led by a visionary French peasant boy, Stephen of Cloyes, children embarked at Marseilles, hoping that they would succeed in the cause that their elders had betrayed. According to later sources, they were sold into slavery by unscrupulous skippers. Another group, made up of German children, went to Italy; most of them perished of hunger and disease.

Soon afterward Innocent III and his successor, Honorius III, began to preach the Fifth Crusade, 1217–21. King Andrew II of Hungary, Duke Leopold VI of Austria, John of Brienne, and the papal legate Pelasius were among the leaders of the expedition, which was aimed at Egypt, the center of Muslim strength. Damietta (Dumyat) was taken in 1219 but had to be evacuated again after the defeat (1221) of an expedition against Cairo.

Sixth Crusade

The Sixth Crusade, 1228–29, undertaken by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, was simply a peaceful visit, in the course of which the emperor made a truce with the Muslims, securing the partial surrender of Jerusalem and other holy places. Frederick crowned himself king of Jerusalem, but, occupied with Western affairs, he did nothing when the Muslims later reoccupied the city. Thibaut IV of Navarre and Champagne, however, reopened (1239) the wars, which were continued by Richard, earl of Cornwall. They were unable to compose the quarrels between the Knights Hospitalers and Knights Templars. In 1244 the Templars, who advocated an alliance with the sultan of Damascus rather than with Egypt, prevailed.

Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Crusades

A treaty (1244) with Damascus restored Palestine to the Christians, but in the same year the Egyptian Muslims and their Turkish allies took Jerusalem and utterly routed the Christians at Gaza. This event led to the Seventh Crusade, 1248–54, due solely to the idealistic enterprise of Louis IX of France. Egypt again was the object of attack. Damietta fell again (1249); and an expedition to Cairo miscarried (1250), Louis himself being captured. After his release from captivity, he spent four years improving the fortifications left to the Christians in the Holy Land.

The fall (1268) of Jaffa and Antioch to the Muslims caused Louis IX to undertake the Eighth Crusade, 1270, which was cut short by his death in Tunisia. The Ninth Crusade, 1271–72, was led by Prince Edward (later Edward I of England). He landed at Acre but retired after concluding a truce. In 1289 Tripoli fell to the Muslims, and in 1291 Acre, the last Christian stronghold, followed.

Aftermath and Heritage of the Crusades

After the fall of Acre no further Crusades were undertaken in the Holy Land, although several were preached. Already, however, the term crusade was also being used for other expeditions, sanctioned by the pope, against heathens and heretics. Albert the Bear and Henry the Lion led (1147) a crusade against the Wends in NE Germany; Hermann von Salza in 1226 received crusading privileges for the Teutonic Knights against the Prussians; the pope proclaimed (1228) a crusade against Emperor Frederick II; and several crusades were fought against the Albigenses and the Hussites (see Hussite Wars).

War against the Turks remained the chief problem of Eastern Europe for centuries after 1291. Campaigns akin to crusades were those of John Hunyadi, John of Austria (d. 1578), and John III of Poland. In their consequences, the crusades in Europe were as important as those in the Holy Land. However, although the Crusades in the Holy Land failed in their chief purpose, they exercised an incalculable influence on Western civilization by bringing the West into closer contact with new modes of living and thinking, by stimulating commerce, by giving fresh impetus to literature and invention, and by increasing geographical knowledge. The crusading period advanced the development of national monarchies in Europe, because secular leaders deprived the pope of the power of decision in what was to have been the highest Christian enterprise.

In the Levant the Crusades left a lasting imprint, not least on the Byzantine Empire, which was disastrously weakened. Physical reminders of the Crusades remain in the monumental castles built by the Crusaders, such as that of Al Karak. The chief material beneficiaries of the Crusades were Venice and the other great Mediterranean ports.

Bibliography

Outstanding among eyewitness acounts are those of William of Tyre, Richard of Devizes, Geoffroi de Villehardouin, Jean de Joinville, Anna Comnena, Fulcher of Chartres, and Nicetas Acominatus.

The chief collection of sources is Recueil des historiens des croisades (ed. by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belle-Lettres, 16 vol., 1841–1906). For sources in translation see E. Peters, ed., Christian Society and the Crusades (1971) and The First Crusade (1971). Treatments in English include S. Runciman, A History of the Crusades (3 vol., 1951–54, repr. 1962–66); D. Queller, The Fourth Crusade (1977); H. E. Mayer, The Crusades (2d ed. 1988); K. M. Setton, ed., The History of the Crusades (6 vol., 2d ed., 1969–89); T. Asbridge, The First Crusade: A New History (2004); J. Phillips, The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople (2004); C. Tyerman, Fighting for Christendom: Holy War and the Crusades (2004); J. N. Claster, Sacred Violence: The European Crusades to the Middle East, 1095–1396 (2009); J. Phillips, Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades (2010); J. Rubenstein, Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse (2011); P. Frankopan, The First Crusade: The Call from the East (2012); N. Paul and S. Yeager, ed., Remembering the Crusades: Myth, Image, and Identity (2012); B. A. Catlos, Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors (2014).

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"Crusades." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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crusades

crusades. The main crusades were (1) 1095–9 summoned by Pope Urban II; (2) 1145–8 by Eugenius III; (3) 1188–92 by Gregory VIII; (4) 1198–1204 by Innocent III. Subsequent crusades included the ‘Children's Crusade’ of 1212, in which the English were not involved. The crusades constituted the most popular mass movement of the later Middle Ages. They may be defined as a species of holy war, authorized by the pope and proclaimed in the name of Christ; a just war, that is a justifiable reaction to aggression towards Christian people or territory, their participants enjoying a set of privileges offered by the pope and enshrined in canon law. Such a definition, crucially, did not require a crusader to fulfil his vow in the Holy Land, nor did it postulate Muslims as the target. Crusades came to be deployed against a variety of opponents and in a number of crusading theatres at different times—against Moors in Spain, Mongols in eastern Europe, pagan Slavs in north-eastern Europe, heretics in Bosnia and in southern France, and a variety of papal political opponents within western Europe.

Many of these applications were controversial at the time and remain so today. The same is true of the very notion of crusade, from the time that Pope Urban II made his call to what we now know as the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont in November 1095. In protestant Britain, not surprisingly, the crusade was harshly judged for centuries. For Thomas Fuller, a 17th-cent. royalist Anglican, as for the 16th-cent. martyrologist John Foxe, the ‘holy war’ was fatally tainted by catholicism, while the notion of savage fanaticism was effectively developed by Edward Gibbon in the 18th cent., in a general attack on the lamentable consequences of religious frenzy. This train of thought was famously stated by David Hume in his condemnation of crusade: ‘the most signal and durable monument to human folly that has yet appeared in any age or nation.’ This tradition is still alive, found, for example, in the summing-up by Runciman, whose massive work ends in a ringing denunciation: ‘the Holy War itself was nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God, which is the sin against the Holy Ghost.’

Such a tradition has militated against serious consideration of the significance of the crusades in and for British history. Allowance must also be made for that narrowly insular outlook of many 19th- and early 20th-cent. historians. Apart from the deeds of Richard I, incongruously a source of English national pride as Richard was not English, nor even Anglo-Norman, the limited English role in the crusading movement was scarcely conducive to extensive historical study. What is more, the very wisdom of English involvement was questionable, especially that of kings. Were the crusades not a terrible distraction, deflecting the king from his primary concerns at home, and resulting in Richard I's case in disastrous consequences for his subjects as well as himself? It followed that the crusades could be seen as a deplorable squandering of resources that could have been more usefully employed in England or to England's advantage.

Times and attitudes have changed. One recent trend has been a move towards thorough investigation of the impact of the crusades upon the societies in which they were preached, and it is now apparent that the crusade affected vast areas of life. It is in these effects, on what might be termed the home front of the crusading movement, that the crusades exerted a most profound influence. The heyday of crusading was in the 12th and 13th cents., at least so far as English participation is concerned, but as an institution and as a real force in English life the crusade only finally withered and died in the later 16th cent., as a result of the reordering of values during the Reformation. Every king of England between 1154 and 1327 took the cross, though only one, Richard I, fulfilled it in person. Many of their subjects continued the tradition into the 16th cent.

S. D. Lloyd

Bibliography

Lloyd, S. D. , English Society and the Crusade 1216–1307 (Oxford, 1988);
Runciman, S. , A History of the Crusades (3 vols., Cambridge, 1954);
Tyerman, C. J. , England and the Crusades 1095–1588 (Chicago, 1988).

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Crusade

Crusade a medieval military expedition, one of a series made by Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. The First Crusade (1096–9) resulted in the capture of Jerusalem and the establishment of Crusader states in the Holy Land, but the second (1147–9) failed to stop a Muslim resurgence, and Jerusalem fell to Saladin in 1187. The third (1189–92) recaptured some lost ground but not Jerusalem, while the fourth (1202–4) was diverted against the Byzantine Empire, which was fatally weakened by the resultant sack of Constantinople. The fifth (1217–21) was delayed in Egypt, where it accomplished nothing, and although the sixth (1228–9) resulted in the return of Jerusalem to Christian hands the city was lost to the Turks in 1244. The seventh (1248–54) ended in disaster in Egypt, while the eighth and last (1270–1) petered out when its leader, Louis IX of France, died on his way east.

The transferred use of crusade to mean a vigorous movement or enterprise against poverty or a similar social evil dates from the late 18th century. However, George W. Bush's use of the word to describe the projected ‘war on terrorism’ in the aftermath of 11 September, 2001 caused considerable unease.

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crusade

cru·sade / kroōˈsād/ • n. (often Cru·sade) a medieval military expedition, one of a series made by Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. ∎  a war instigated by the Church for alleged religious ends. ∎  an organized campaign concerning a political, social, or religious issue, typically motivated by a fervent desire for change: a crusade against crime. • v. [intr.] lead or take part in an energetic and organized campaign concerning a social, political, or religious issue. DERIVATIVES: cru·sad·er n. ORIGIN: late 16th cent. (originally as croisade): from French croisade, an alteration (influenced by Spanish cruzado) of earlier croisée, literally ‘the state of being marked with the cross,’ based on Latin crux, cruc- ‘cross’; in the 17th cent. the form crusado, from Spanish cruzado, was introduced; the blending of these two forms led to the current spelling, first recorded in the early 18th cent.

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Crusades

Crusades Military expeditions from Christian Europe to recapture the Holy Land (Palestine) from the Muslims in the 11th–14th centuries. Among the motives for the Crusades were rising religious fervour, protection of pilgrims to the Holy Land and aid for the Byzantine Empire against the Seljuk Turks. Self-advancement of individual Crusaders and commercial motives were also significant. The First Crusade (1096–99), initiated by Pope Urban II, captured Jerusalem and created several Christian states. Later Crusades had the objective of supporting or regaining these states. The Third Crusade (1189–91) was a response to the victories of Saladin. Its leaders included the Holy Roman Emperor and the Kings of France and England. It had some successes, but failed to reconquer Jerusalem. Although Crusader states survived for another century, later Crusades were less successful. In the 13th century, the Church sponsored crusades against other foes, such as the Albigenses in France. See also Children's Crusades

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Crusades

Crusades (Lat., cruciata, ‘cross-marked’, i.e. cruce signati, those wearing the insignia of scarlet crosses). Military expeditions in the name of Christianity, directed chiefly against Muslim territories to recapture the Holy Land, but sometimes also against other non-Christians, and occasionally against Christian heretics. Of the crusades to reconquer the Holy Land, the traditional count lists eight.

Juridically, a crusader was one who had ‘taken the cross’, i.e. vowed to go on a crusade. Failure to fulfil the vow might entail excommunication, but in return for it the Church granted indulgences (crusade bulls by the mid-13th cent. promised full remission of temporal punishment incurred by sin) and security of a crusader's property in his absence on the crusade. These privileges came to be offered by the papacy to those engaging in almost any campaign which could be presented as a defence of the Church including, in the 13th and 14th cents., the defence of the Church's property in Italy.

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crusade

crusade military expedition for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Muslims XVI; gen. XVII. The earlier forms were (i) croisade (XVI) — F., alt. of earlier croisée by assim. to the Sp. form (see -ADE); (ii) crusado, -ada (XVI) — Sp. cruzada; (iii) croisado, -ada (XVII), blends of (i) and (ii). Cf. CROSS 1. The current form is first recorded XVIII.

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crusade

crusadeabrade, afraid, aid, aide, ambuscade, arcade, balustrade, barricade, Belgrade, blade, blockade, braid, brigade, brocade, cannonade, carronade, cascade, cavalcade, cockade, colonnade, crusade, dissuade, downgrade, enfilade, esplanade, evade, fade, fusillade, glade, grade, grenade, grillade, handmade, harlequinade, homemade, invade, jade, lade, laid, lemonade, limeade, made, maid, man-made, marinade, masquerade, newlaid, orangeade, paid, palisade, parade, pasquinade, persuade, pervade, raid, serenade, shade, Sinéad, spade, staid, stockade, stock-in-trade, suede, tailor-made, they'd, tirade, trade, Ubaid, underpaid, undismayed, unplayed, unsprayed, unswayed, upbraid, upgrade, wade •nightshade • renegade • decade •Medicaid • motorcade • switchblade •Adelaide • accolade • rollerblade •marmalade • razor blade • handmaid •barmaid • Teasmade • milkmaid •dairymaid • bridesmaid • housemaid •chambermaid •parlourmaid (US parlormaid) •mermaid • nursemaid • escapade •ram raid • centigrade • multigrade •comrade • retrograde • lampshade •eyeshade • sunshade

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