Ancient history

the crusades

The crusades were expeditions from religious character , economic and military that formed in Europe, between the 11th and 13th centuries, against heretics and Muslims.

Although not an exclusively religious movement, the Crusades had the religious spirit of European Christianity as an important factor in its formation.

This is explained, in the face of a society where faith surpassed reason, culture was manipulated by the church and people lived stuck to the idea of ​​sin and eternal damnation, it was natural for man to seek the salvation of the soul through acts of faith and penance.

One of the desired penances was to make at least one pilgrimage to Palestine - the Holy Land, the place where Christ was born, suffered and buried.

Objectives of the Crusades

  • Liberating the Holy Land conquered by the Seldjuk Turks (founder Seldjuk dynasty), who prohibited the pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem;
  • The papacy's attempt to unite the Western Church and the Eastern Church, separated since 1054 by the Eastern Schism.
  • The attempt of European nobles to appropriate land in the east;
  • The need for some European commercial cities, mainly Italians, interested in warehouses and advantages in search of oriental products and the possibility of opening the Mediterranean Sea to trade;
  • The European population explosion, which generated a marginal population, without jobs and without land, which combined their religious fervor with the desire for wealth.

Major Crusades

From the end of the 11th century to the second half of the 13th century, there were eight crusades, which directed their fight against the Turks in the East.

In 1095, Pope Urban II delivered an inflated speech at the Council of Clermont, urging Christians to join the Crusade expedition to the East.

First Crusade (1096-1099)

Called the Crusade of the Nobles, it even conquered Jerusalem, where they carried out a slaughter of the Muslim population. They organized in the region several kingdoms in the feudal molds. In the twelfth century, the Turks reconquered the kingdoms, including Jerusalem.

Second Crusade (1147-1149)

It was organized by kings and emperors, with the aim of retaking Jerusalem from the Turks, but they failed in their aim.

Third Crusade (1189-1192)

It was called the Crusade of the Kings, due to the participation of the monarch of England (Ricardo Coração de Leão), of France (Philip Augustus) and of the Holy Roman Empire (Frederico Barba Roxa).

It did not achieve its military objectives, but diplomatic agreements were established with the Turks that allowed the pilgrimages.

Fourth Crusade (1202-1204)

It was called the Commercial Crusade because it was led by merchants from Venice. Diverted from Jerusalem, the religious target of the onslaught, to Constantinople, which was eventually sacked.

Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Crusades (1218-1270)

Secondaries by all accounts were not successful.

Consequences of the Crusades

From a religious point of view the Crusades failed, from an economic point of view they played an important role in commercial development, with the end of Arab domination in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Crusades succeeded in re-establishing European relations with North Africa and Asia. They were responsible for reopening the Mediterranean to international trade and for developing western trade.

It is also due to the Crusades the dissemination in Western Europe of part of the knowledge of the Byzantine and Muslim civilizations, of the cultivation of new agricultural products and new techniques, in the manufacture of glass and carpet.

Read more on the topic:

  • Templars
  • King Arthur
  • Middle Ages
  • Medieval Church

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