Due to its precarious position in Eastern Europe, the Orthodox Church in Byzantium was under constant threat of foreign invasions. Though it managed to survive countless attacks and invasions, the Orthodox Church soon found itself facing a foe it could not hope to defeat alone. Much of Eastern Europe at the time was under constant attack by Seljuk Turks who hoped to acquire new land and to spread Islam throughout most of Eastern Europe. Unable to stop the rapid Turkish Muslim advancement, Emperor Alexius I sent out proposals to the West in hopes of securing supplies and men needed to fend off such an imposing force. Little did he know, however, that his request for military assistance would soon trigger a series of conflicts between Western European Christians and Eastern Turkish Muslims that would span for many years to come. These destructive conflicts would come to be known as the Crusades.
Although Emperor Alexius I’s proposals were pertinent for causing these conflicts, these events could have only come to fruition by way of Pope Urban II. Responding to Emperor Alexius I’s proposals, he sought to inspire support by way of theology. In...
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...ng as it observed the papal authority of the Orthodox Church.
The most incredible aspect of the crusades conducted by Western Europe was that they were largely ineffective and in the end failed to achieved anything. Though some Western Europeans did manage to attain some level of riches and prestige when returning, for the most part many ended up nothing to show for their sacrifices. While the crusades where definitively a disaster, they did produce a silver lining. The crusades offered the weak Western kings the unique opportunity to obtain resources for their own kingdoms thus providing them a means to bolster up their kingdoms. The crusades also allowed some Western Europeans the rare privilege of traversing the world and experiencing new ideas, cultures, and languages. These new philosophies would make their way back home to further be traded amongst Westerners.
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