The Crusades were battles launched and blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church. When the enemies of Christendom took opposition against them, a Crusade was launched by the Pope calling all Christians to act. The crusades took place from the 12th Century to the 16th Century.
Faith was one of the most strongest elements in a person's life. Because of this, Catholic Kings could easily persuade thousands of their people to assist them in their plight. Some of the greatest crusaders were very pious, thus being able to persuade thousands upon thousands of people to join their cause, such as Saint Louis IX.
Although taking place all over the known world, battles against Muslims were occurred most often. Antioch, Damascus, Cordoba, Toulouse, and Jerusalem were some of the most important cities. Therefore, they were the key targets during the Crusades. Famous people, kings, generals, and commanders such as Louis IX, Richard the Lionhearted, Simon De Montfort, Saladin and many more were in the Crusades. These battles effected the whole of Europe, making The Crusades truly an example of the faith of the Christian people.
The First Crusade
The First Crusade was issued by Pope Urban II in the year 1095 in response to a plead for help from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I. After the Battle of Manzikert, the Byzantines lost much land in the Middle-East, including Jerusalem, thus denying Christians the privilege of visiting the Holy Places in the Middle-East. Pledging to return lost lands to the Byzantine Empire, many French and Normans left on August took up the call, the main army being led under baronial leadership - Godfrey of Bouillon, Baldwin of Flanders, Robert of Normandy, Raymond of Toulouse, and Bohemond of Taranto. After marching South through Anatolia, they took Antioch on June 3, 1098, and finally Jerusalem on July 15, 1099. They were able to establish 4 Crusader States as well.
The Third Crusade
The Third Crusade took place from 1189 - 1192. Also called "The Kings' Crusade" the Crusade was led by Henry II of England, Frederick Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, and Philip II of France. The Crusade was declared by Pope Gregory VIII in 1189.
After the failure of the Second Crusade, the Zengid Dynasty controlled unified Syria, and was at war with...
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The Second Crusade
The Second Crusade was the Second Major Crusade that happened in the world. It lasted from 1145 to 1149. It was a respose to the loss of The County of Edessa to the forces of the Muslim Leader, Zengi.
The Crusade was called by Pope Eugene II, and was the First Crusade to be led by European Kings. Their names were Louis VII, of France, and Conrad III, of Germany. with assistance from many other European Nobles. The armies of the two monarchs went on different routes through Europe. After crossing Byzantine Territory, through Anatolia, both armies were separately defeated by the Seljuk Turks. The main Western Christian source, Odo of Deuil, and Syriac Christian sources say that the Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnenus I secretly commanded the Seljuk's to attack in Anatolia. The Kings and their Armies reached Jerusalem, and in 1148 attacked Damascus in a weak-advised attack that was decided at the Council of Acre. This Crusade in the East was a failure for Christendom, and a great Victory for the Muslims. This would have key influence on the Fall of Jerusalem and the end of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
The Albigensian Crusade
The Albigensians were heretics in Southern France, who had destroyed the sense of Christendom, Government, and Order. Starting in the small town of Albi, they had grown in number and acted against the government and state making Southern France their area. When Pope Innocent III was made Pope, he resolved to deal with the Albigensians. He then sent preachers to them but, unfortunately peaceful ways met with little success, even as many bishops failed to convert the heretics. The Holy St. Dominic using the rosary, met with more success than them. The Pope then appointed Papal Legates to act in his name when some bishops, resentful of papal authority, were not hostile toward the Albigensian's belief, and after the Pope suspended them of their authority, he also excommunicated any noblemen who supported the heretics. He then asked Count Raymond VI to act, and after he refused, was excommunicated. King Philip, whom the Holy Father also asked, failed to act. When the Pope Innocent III sent as an ambassador to the Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, Peter of Castelnau, and after he was murdered the following day, the Pope then called a Crusade against the Albigensians, offering to anyone who would fight the lands of the heretics. This offer attracted many Northern French noblemen to fight against the Southern Noblemen.
My mid 1209 around 10,000 Crusaders had gathered in Lyon before marching south. In June, Count Raymond, seeing what lay ahead, promised to act against the heretics, and his excommunication was lifted. The army then turned to Montpellier and the lands of Raymond-Roger de Trencavel, aiming for the Albigensians around Albi and Carcassonne. Like Count Raymond, Raymond-Roger sought to negotiate with the crusaders, but was denied. He then hurried back to Carcassonne to ready his defenses. In May or June 1209, they captured the village of Servian and headed for Beziers, arriving in mid-July. Under the command of the Papal legate, Arnaud-Armaury, they start to invest the city, called the Catholics to come out, and the heretics to surrender immediately. Both groups refused, leading to the slaughter of the entire city. The news spread quickly, and from then on out most settlements surrendered without a battle.
They then readied for Carcassonne. It was well fortified, but vulnerable. The army arrived on August 1, 1209. The siege was swift. While under a truce Raymond-Roger was taken prisoner. The city surrendered on August 15, and Simon De Montfort assumed command, and was granted authority of the area around Albi, Carcassonne, and Beziers. Following the fall of Carcassone, other towns surrendered without fighting. Albi, Castelnaudary, Castres, Fanjeaux, Limoux, Lombers and MontrÃ©al all were taken quickly during the season of Fall. Some of these towns, however, later revolted. Victory after Victory for the crusaders until 1229. They established the Inquisition and the remnant of the heretics were either converted or burnt at the stake.
Before battle the Crusaders usually went to Holy Mass to prepare for battle, and in the case of their death, they could still obtain eternal happiness in Heaven. Read more here.
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