The engine driving the Crusades began with Pope Urban II (1042-1099) in 1095 at the Council of Clermont, when he called for Christendom to rise in defense of the Holy Land.
The engine driving the Crusades began with Pope
Crusaders under English king Richard I reach the holy city of Jerusalem.
The First Crusade did not succeed, at least in part because of a lack of planning and experience. Participants and their motives varied and the prospective glories were exaggerated in order to gain general support for the ventures. Seven Crusades between 1096 and 1254 marked Crusader-Islamic relations and left a negative imprint on relations between the Islamic world and Christian Europe. Also, internal problems plagued the Crusader force; while some wanted to conquer Jerusalem, other Crusaders wished to create a fiefdom for themselves. In time, the disorganization dissipated, but distance and supplies made short shrift of any gains. Many small
As the Crusades were waged over numerous centuries, the types of weaponry used by both sides were vast. Often, the weaponry used was haphazard and makeshift. Crusaders who were not of high social rank used whatever weapons they could get their hands on, from pikes to rudimentary clubs, which could be fashioned easily from nearly any piece of wood. The
Those Crusaders who were of higher birth had access to better weaponry. Their blunt weapon of choice was the
The swords and knives used by the Muslims had many different types of blades, most of them curved, giving them greater speed in their use.
Large-scale weapons were used to lay siege to cities. Many of them were too large to transport over long distances and thus were often built of local materials very close to the cities they were used to attack. A
Only wealthy soldiers would have been able to afford any type of
The reasons for joining a crusading army involved the
Kings, nobles, and knights controlled the workings of society but had a responsibility to provide soldiers when called upon. Feudal nobility and royalty hired
Europe and the Byzantine Empire During the Crusades
Despite the tenuous relations between Rome and Constantinople, the
The Crusades, and the ideology behind them, flowed from the
In time, the Crusaders, through the assistance of these orders, learned how to prolong the conflict between themselves and Islam. They allowed the creation of soldier-monks to protect the Christians on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Since they were involved in a
After capturing the city from the Muslims, the Jewish and Muslim populations were massacred. The Crusaders then established four major kingdoms, the Kingdom of
Eventually a Kurd,
As interest in the Crusades has been nearly constant over the centuries, there is no dearth of published sources written by the Crusaders themselves. Mostly written by those of nobility, among the most accessible are those of William, archbishop of Tyre (c. 1130-c. 1190), who wrote Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum (History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea, New York: Da Capo Press, 1973). Philippe de Mezières (c. 1327-1405) wrote Le Songe du vieil Pelerin (the dream of old Pelerin; London: Cambridge University Press, 1969). John M. Sharp edited and Frances Hernandez translated The Catalan Chronicle of Francisco de Moncada (El Paso: Texas Western University Press, 1975). The nine thousand lines of verse that constitute The Chronicle of Morea tell the tale of Frankish Crusaders during the Fourth Crusade. Edited collections include Elizabeth Hallam’s Chronicles of the Crusades: Eye-Witness Accounts of the Wars Between Christianity and Islam (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1989) and D. C. Munro’s 1902 Letters of the Crusaders. Primary sources looking at the Crusades from the Muslim side include Ibn Kalanisi’s The Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades and Amin Maalouf’s The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (London: Al Saqi Books, 1984).
Cowdrey, Herbert E. J. Popes, Monks, and Crusaders. London: Hambledon Press, 1984. Kedar, B. Z. Crusade and Mission: European Approaches Toward the Muslims. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984. Nicholson, Helen, and David Nicolle. Crusaders, Saracens, and the Battle for Jerusalem. New York: Osprey, 2005. Nicolle, David. The Crusades. New York: Osprey, 2001. _______. Knights of Jerusalem: The Crusading Order of Hospitallers, 1100-1565. New York: Osprey, 2008. _______. Teutonic Knight: 1190-1561. New York: Osprey, 2007. Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Wise, Terence. Armies of the Crusades. New York: Osprey, 1978. The Crusades. Feature film. Paramount Pictures, 1935. The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross. Documentary. History Channel, 2005. Crusades: Quest for Power. Documentary. History Channel, 2003. Kingdom of Heaven. Feature film. Twentieth Century-Fox, 2005. Soldier of God. Feature film. Anthem Pictures, 2005.
Armies and Infantry: Ancient and Medieval
The Franks and the Holy Roman Empire
Armies of Christendom and the Age of Chivalry
Knights to Cavalry