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The first crusade 1096-1109 - Essay Example

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This essay analyzes Crusades, that were the religious wars that were undertaken by Western European Christians against Middle East Muslims. They took place between 1095 and 1292. The crusades were nine in number and they mainly intended to rescue the Holy Land (Jerusalem) and other Christian territories…
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The first crusade 1096-1109
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Download file to see previous pages Visiting places that were thought to be sacred was a common practice upheld by early Christians. Of particular importance was the city of Jerusalem. Since the time of Emperor Constantine, pilgrimage to Jerusalem was highly embraced by most economically able Christians. According to Khalidi, this city was thought to be holy due to the fact that it was the place where most events surrounding Jesus’ nativity, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection took place (Khalidi 82). Therefore, for Christians, visiting Jerusalem was a blessing than just a mere experience. The city of Jerusalem was under the rule of the Saracen Caliphs, a Moslem Jihad group, since 638 AD. However, up to the tenth century, Christians could still be allowed to visit the Holy city. The caliphs encouraged the Jerusalem pilgrimage and made it one of the main sources of their revenue. At the dawn of the eleventh century, everything changed. A serious Muslim group comprising the Seljukian Turks from the ancient kingdom of Persia fought the Caliphs out of the region. Unaware of the change in power, about three thousand pilgrims to Jerusalem were caught unaware and persecuted. Jerusalem was captured by the Seljukian Turks in 1065 and all its holy and important places were destroyed (Al-Athar 109). This news was sadly received by Western Europe Christians. At the same period, the Normans had permanently settled in France and conquered England and the entire Roman Empire. The next step for them now was to conquer more kingdoms in order to satisfy their insatiable desire of expanding their territories. Therefore, their leaders began to strategize on how to conquer the entire Mediterranean region and take away Jerusalem from the hands of the Islamic Fatimids and the Seljuk Turks...
This essay discusses that when the First Crusade broke out, most of the Islamic countries and the ruling powers of the time were disunited. They fought one another and they had been weakened by the time the crusade was launched. They could not combine their forces against the common western enemy. For instance, the Fatimids and the Seljuks attacked the Latin Christians separately. On the other hand, some cities under the control of Muslims had traitors who betrayed their fellow Muslims. A good example is Firouz who accepted a bribe to leave some gates of Antioch open for the enemy (Khalidi 363). The crusader armies were many in number. The army comprised of more than 35, 000 crusaders. Whenever this army was starving of hunger, good Samaritans came to their aid. For instance, Baldwin supplied them with enough food when they were planning to attack Antioch. Moreover, the revelations made by some of their priests encouraged the crusaders and gave them hope of victory against their opponents. The First Crusade is considered by many as the most successful of all the nine crusades. This is due to the fact that it enabled the West to set up a power base in the city of Jerusalem for the very first time since the collapse of the Roman Empire. The crusade was really advantageous in that apart from enhancing the Latin Christians’ grip on the Holy City-Jerusalem- it opened several international trade routes between Europe and the Middle East. The First Crusade led to the emergence of four new crusade states. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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