The Purpose Of The First Crusade

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The Normans were keen to defeat the Seljuks and establish some new kingdoms of their own. The crusader-Byzantine army then split up in September CE, with one army moving on to Edessa further to the east and another into Cilicia to the south-east.

The great city was one of the five patriarchal seats of the Christian church, once home to Saint Paul and Peter, and probable birthplace of Saint Luke. It would be a fine propaganda coup to get it back again. Although well-fortified and too big to fully encircle, Antioch was indeed the next big crusader capture on 3 June CE after an arduous 8-month siege where the attackers themselves came under siege from a Muslim force from Mosul. The Crusaders also suffered from plague, famine, and desertions. Unfortunately for Alexios, on his way to support the siege of the city he had met refugees from the area who wrongly informed him that the Crusaders were on the brink of defeat to a huge Muslim army and so the emperor returned home.

Bohemund was not best pleased to find out his army had been abandoned by the Byzantines, even if he did capture the city anyway and defeat a relief force. The relations were thus irrevocably soured between the two leaders. In December CE the crusader army marched onwards to Jerusalem, capturing several Syrian port cities on their way. They arrived, finally, at their ultimate destination on 7 June CE. Of the vast army that had left Europe there were now only around 1, knights and some 12, infantry to achieve what was supposed to be the primary goal of the Crusade.

Protected by massive walls and a combination of moat and precipices, Jerusalem was going to be a tough military nut to crack. Fortunately, a number of Genoese ships arrived at just the right moment with timber, which was used to make two siege towers, catapults, and a battering ram. Despite these weapons, the defenders resisted the siege, although the Muslim garrison was remarkably reluctant to break out and make raids on the besiegers, perhaps being content to sit and await the promised relief from Egypt.

Then, in mid-July, Godfrey of Bouillon decided to attack what he thought looked like a weaker section of the wall. Setting up their siege tower under the cover of darkness and filling a portion of the moat, the Crusaders managed to get in touching distance of the walls. With Godfrey leading from the front, the attackers scaled the defences and found themselves inside the city on 15 July CE. A mass slaughter of Muslims and Jews followed, although figures of 10, or even 75, killed are very likely an exaggeration. Within a month, a large Egyptian army arrived to take back the city, but they were defeated at Ascalon.

For some historians, Ascalon marks the end of the First Crusade. Having accomplished their mission, many crusaders now returned to Europe, some with riches, a few with holy relics, but most rather worse for wear after years of hard battles and scant reward. A fresh wave of crusaders, though, arrived in Constantinople in CE, and they were organised by Raymond of Toulouse. Ominously, though, for future crusades, the Muslims were becoming more familiar with western battle tactics and weapons.

Jerusalem captured in First Crusade

Things were only going to get more difficult for western armies over the next two centuries of warfare. Meanwhile, Alexios had not given up on Antioch, and he sent a force to attack the city or at the very least isolate it from the surrounding Crusader-held territories.

Their treacherous emperor and wayward church had to be eliminated, and so an invasion of Byzantium , the precise location being Albania, was launched in CE. It failed, largely because Alexios mobilised his best forces to meet them, and the Pope abandoned his support of the campaign. Thus, the pattern was set for a carving up of captured territories. The First Crusade was successful in that Jerusalem was recaptured, but to ensure the Holy City stayed in Christian hands, it was necessary that various western settlements were established in the Levant collectively known as the Crusader States , the Latin East or Outremer.

Orders of knights were created, too, for their better defence. Clearly, a steady supply of new crusaders would be needed in the coming decades and a wave of taxes to fund them. Initially, there were massacres of local populations, but the westerners soon realised that to hold on to their gains they needed the support of the extraordinarily diverse local populations. Consequently, there grew a toleration of non-Christian religions, albeit with some restrictions. There would be eight official crusades and several other unofficial ones throughout the 12th and 13th centuries CE, which all met with more failure than success.

There were unforeseen or negative consequences to the First Crusade, notably the rupture in western-Byzantine relations and the Byzantines horror at unruly groups of warriors causing havoc in their territory. Outbreaks of fighting between crusaders and Byzantine forces were common, and the mistrust and suspicion of their intentions grew. It was a troublesome relationship that only got worse, and the ill-feeling and mutual distrust between east and west would rumble on and culminate in the sacking of Constantinople in CE. Crusader groups, usually not knights but the urban poor, took the opportunity of Christian fervour to attack minority groups, especially Jews in northern France and the Rhineland.

The crusading movement also spread to Spain where, in the second and third decades of the 12th century CE, attacks were made against the Moors there. Prussia, the Baltic, North Africa , and Poland, amongst many other places, would also witness crusading armies up to the 16th century CE as the crusading ideal, despite the dubious military successes, continued to appeal to leaders, soldiers, and ordinary people in the west, and its target widened to include not only Muslims but also pagans, schismatics, and heretics.

Editorial Review This Article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication. We're a small non-profit organisation run by a handful of volunteers. Become a Member. Cartwright, M. First Crusade.

First Crusade - Ancient History Encyclopedia

Ancient History Encyclopedia. Do you know what God has promised To those who wish to take the cross? God help me, a very fair wage: Paradise, by firm promise. He who can gain his prize If mad if he waits until tomorrow.

HIH1505 - The First Crusade

London: Edward Arnold, Many a man imagines that he has a very healthy heart And four days later he can no longer prize Either all his goods or his knowledge When he sees that death holds him on a rein, So that neither foot nor hand Can he move to shake it off or remove it. He leaves his feather-bed and takes to the straw litter, But realizes his mistake too late. In Thomas Fuller, an English historian, published the first, modern, full-length account of the Crusades in English.

Three more editions of his four-volume History of the Holy Warre appeared within the next decade. Fuller researched his subject extensively, drew on numerous sources, and included maps and a supplemental commentary in his history. Fuller was sharply critical of the papacy for promoting the Crusades and devoted nine chapters of The History of the Holy Warre to describing their failure.

A portrait of Baldwin, King of the Crusader state of Jerusalem — , appears on the top left of the image and, to the right, a portrait of Saladin, the Muslim sultan who defeated the crusaders and captured Jerusalem in British publisher Henry George Bohn included the second image below as the frontispiece to his Chronicles of the Crusades. Bohn writes that the image is a reproduction from a fourteenth-century illuminated manuscript. Describe the various groups that are represented here. Who is taking this journey?

Describe the two men portrayed at the top of the image.

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How do you interpret the meaning of the text surrounding the portraits? Explain the symbolism of the two buckets at the top of the image. What do their clothes and postures convey? Why do you think this event—in which Muslims who appeared to embrace Christianity acted as decoys before a military assault—seemed significant to historians of the Crusades? Fuller used multiple sources in this first full-length account of the Crusades published in English. This frontispiece portrays Muslims in approaching French knights, stationed near Tunis, to request baptism. While they talked, the Muslim army launched a surprise attack against the Christians.

While anyone could join in a crusade, it became clear in later crusades that success often depended on having well-qualified personnel on the battlefield. Those best prepared came from the warrior classes: the knights, heavy cavalry armored front-line troops , and support personnel such as bowmen, foot soldiers, and siege engineers. In later crusades, sailors were crucial as the journey to the Holy Land involved sea voyages.

However, the knights were the core of the crusading forces and it was under their leadership that the armies were organized. Participating in a crusade became widely accepted as an important feature of knightly behavior.

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Deciding who would go on crusade was dictated by the social and political structure of the region. Kinship also influenced participation in a crusade. It was common for sons to accompany fathers, brothers to go with brothers, or uncles with nephews. The decision of which family members would take up the cross, and which would remain behind was often made collectively. The family members who remained behind were tasked with the maintenance and administration of the family property and position.

The Crusades, like all wars, were extremely expensive. For example, Louis IX spent an estimated 3,, livres, or 12 times his annual income, on his first crusade in until his return in Individual lords were also expected to contribute toward the costs of the crusade and ransom.

The First Crusades (Part I)

Paying for the war was a continual concern for all those involved. Though there was the opportunity for plunder, the costs of the crusade were rarely offset by the captured treasure. The following document identifies the knights who accompanied Louis IX on his first crusade — and describes their terms of agreement. Joinville was a counselor and close friend to the king. The names and terms of agreement of the knights who accompanied Louis IX of France on his first crusade — The following poems offer critical perspectives on the Crusades from writers who lived through them.

Joinville accompanied Louis IX of France on his first crusade — and was captured alongside the king when the Egyptians defeated the Christian army at al-Mansura, Egypt, in This witty minstrel flourished during the reign of Louis IX, to whom many of his works are dedicated. At the time this poem was written, people began to question the value of participating in a crusade. However, Louis had already decided to go on his second crusade — , much to the unhappiness of his wife, many of his ministers and members of the clergy, and even some of his subjects.

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. In return for food and supplies, Alexios requested that the leaders to swear fealty to him and promise to return to the Byzantine Empire any land recovered from the Turks.

Before ensuring that the various armies were shuttled across the Bosporus, Alexios advised the leaders on how best to deal with the Seljuq armies they would soon encounter. The Crusader armies crossed over into Asia Minor during the first half of , where they were joined by Peter the Hermit and the remainder of his little army. Alexios also sent two of his own generals, Manuel Boutoumites and Tatikios, to assist the Crusaders.

The first object of their campaign was Nicaea, previously a city under Byzantine rule, but which had become the capital of the Seljuq Sultanate of Rum under Kilij Arslan I. 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. He was driven back by the unexpectedly large Crusader force, with heavy losses suffered on both sides in the ensuing battle. The siege continued, but the Crusaders had little success as they found they could not blockade Lake Iznik, which the city was situated on, and from which it could be provisioned.

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The city was handed over to the Byzantine troops. At the end of June, the Crusaders marched on through Anatolia. They were accompanied by some Byzantine troops under Tatikios, and still harbored the hope that Alexios would send a full Byzantine army after them. It was the middle of summer, and the Crusaders had very little food and water; many men and horses died. 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.

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.

The other Ethiopia: Nubia and the crusade (12th-14th century)

On June 7, the Crusaders reached Jerusalem, which had been recaptured from the Seljuqs by the Fatimids only the year before. Many Crusaders wept upon seeing the city they had journeyed so long to reach. The arrival at Jerusalem revealed an arid countryside, lacking in water or food supplies.

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Here there was no prospect of relief, even as they feared an imminent attack by the local Fatimid rulers. The Crusaders resolved to take the city by assault.