The Christian Crusades Essay

The Christian Crusades Essay

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The origin of the Crusades is rooted in political upheaval. The mid seventh century to the mid tenth century CE saw a gradual expansion of Islam (Riley-Smith 1). Half of the Christian world was conquered by Arab armies. This included countries in which Christianity had been established for centuries, such as Egypt, southern France, southern Italy, Sicily, Spain, Syria, and Turkey (Riley-Smith 2). By the late tenth century, Europe and the Middle East were divided into Christian and Muslim hemispheres of influence. Christian pilgrims from Europe regularly visited the Muslim-controlled Jerusalem. These pilgrimages were very popular.
The pilgrimage was believed by Christians a major act by which a person could reduce their exposure to the tortures of purgatory after death (Asbridge 21). The Islamic forces had overwhelmed the Iberian Peninsula in 711 CE. There advance was so strong that only the might of Charlemagne's grandfather Charles the hammer could turn them back from the boarders of France and the heartlands of Latin Christendom(Asbridge 17). The Muslims left the Christians with only a thin slice of territory in the north. The kingdoms of Western Europe were loosely described as “Feudal” (“Crusades”).Although the Latin states where still backwards compared to other civilizations along the Mediterranean basin, Western Europe had accumulated a significant amount of power by the eleventh century (“Crusades”).
The first crusade was preached by Pope Urban II November 27, 1095 in Clermont, France. In this sermon Pope Urban II repackaged the concept of “sanctified violence” in a devotional format that was familiar, convincing, and attractive to the population (Asbridge 37). The Pope preached a sermon of salvation to the Christians....

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...nline Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 25 Mar. 2011. .
Foster, M. "Antioch - A Brief Crusades History." Medieval Crusades Splash/Home Page. Web. 25 Mar. 2011. .
Hickman, Kennedy. "Siege of Jerusalem - Crusades Siege of Jerusalem 1099." Military History - Warfare through the Ages - Battles and Conflicts - Weapons of War - Military Leaders in History. Web. 25 Mar.2011. .
Riley-Smith J. Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 1-2, 2001.
"Siege of Nicaea, 14 May-19 June 1097 ." Military History Encyclopedia on the Web. Web. 25 Mar. 2011. .

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