Deus Vult: A Tale of an Armed Pilgrimage

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Introduction: What is a Crusade? How did a Crusader crusade? What caused him to seek “holy war?” Is a Crusade a Holy War or a Pilgrimage? Did a crusader only leave to find his own economic benefits? What caused the success of the first crusaders? These are some of the many questions that laid before me when I started my research. The crusading movements are such widely debated among the modern historian that they leave many readers confused about what actually caused the crusades, and what a crusade actually entails. In the coming pages I hope to give my reader something to ponder, understand, and acknowledge about it’s origins, and eventually lead my reader into the first crusading movement. Thus, the argument I intend to make examines the events in previous centuries, and the culmination of political and moral changes, as well as economic ones that occurred before Urban’s call for crusade. We will explore Feudalism, it’s war-centric society and how this caused Urban (as well as some Popes and religious figures before him) to seek a peaceable solution that would ensure safety for the clergy, the peasant, and the non-violent. Furthermore, Pope Urban sought to continue Pope Gregory's (and Cluniac) reform to solidify Papal authority over Christendom, and respond to years of Muslim raids along the Mediterranean and upper Italian Coastlines that threatened Italian unity. In effect, the first crusading movement represented and embodied the European culture, society, and ideologies of the time. The rise of feudalism in Europe has also been debated about by historians. A feudal society may have formed in the later Merovingian dynasty where a variety of capitularies slowly made the peasant more reliant, and subservient to his lord. Tho... ... middle of paper ... ...ry reason to rid himself of temporal goods, and his secular desires. Cluniacs would develop Williams theory by addressing their most needy issues, lay involvement in ecclesiastical appointments. In 1073, a cluniac monk named Hildebrand took the name Gregory VII and was ordained pope. He quickly set out to reform corruption in Europe. He was an intense advocate of Clergy supremacy over secular authority, thus it became quite apparent during his reign that he aimed to end caesaropapism and announce the true power and authority of the church. A conflict arose between him and the Holy Roman Emperor over Lay Investiture. Pope Gregory VII saw that simony, and secular allegiance were two aspects of Emperor Henry IV’s appointments. In an initial address to Henry, Gregory adamantly professed Ecclesiastical authority over Henry’s appointments, and consequently they should end.

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