The official crusader armies set off from France and Italy toward Constantinople between August and September 1096. In all, the western forces may have totaled as many as 100,000 people, counting both combatants and non-combatants. (Hindley 30) The people of these armies were not only driven by religious purpose. They were also driven by greed, searching for wealth, territory, status, possibly a title, and adventure. (Spielvog...
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...end, and no other Pope called for a Crusade.
Were these Crusades pre-emptive or a reactionary response to Islam? I believe the first crusade wasn 't either, but an opportunity for the increase of papal authority and power over the monarchs. The attempted attack on Damascus was pre-emptive and well warranted judging by Saladin 's capture of Jerusalem soon after, but all Crusades after this were reactive of the loss of the Holy Land. Though during the entire period of the Crusades the war in the name of God allowed political and religious leaders pursue their own agendas more freely. I believe the Crusades will always be of relevance as people feel the belonging to both state and religion. If a Crusade was called today there would still be those who answer the call. Whether this be for religious belief or for political opportunities leaders will answer the call.
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