The Crusades The Quest For Holy Land

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The Crusades: The Quest For Holy Land Essay, Research Paper The Crusades: The Quest for Holy Land Of course you have heard of the crusades, who hasn t. The crusades were military expeditions launched against the Muslims by the Christians in an attempt to regain the Holy Land. They took place between 1095 A.D. and 1270 A.D. It was one of the most violent periods in the history of mankind. The start of the great crusades was on November 18, 1095 A.D., when Pope Urban II opened the Council of Clermont. On November 27, outside the French city of Clermont, the Pope made an important speech. He called upon everyone to help the Christians in the east to regain peace. The crowd’s response was very positive and pro peace. The original object of the First Crusade was to help out the

Christian churches in the east (Mayer 41). The new goal, became to free the Holy Land from Muslim control, especially Jerusalem. Pope Urban II stayed in France until September 1096, to provide leadership and guidance for the members of the First Crusade(42). He urged churchmen to preach the cross in France. Urban wanted the crusading army to be mostly made up of knights and other military personnel. Since the news of his speech at Clermont spread through the west, people from all social classes and occupations joined the Crusade. As a result of Urban losing control of personnel, violence was launched against the Jews of northern France. This violence was mostly instigated by bands of the urban and rural men led by men like Peter the Hermit and Walter Sans-Avoir(43). These groups

lacked supplies and discipline. They attempted to reach Constantinople but most of them never got that far. The leaders in lands which they passed through were frightened and killed many of the crusading groups. Some did get to Constantinople and traveled across the Bosphorus in August 1096(Encarta Online). There, they split into two groups. One tried to overtake Nicaea and was unsuccessful. The other was ambushed and slaughtered near Civetot, in October. The remaining crusaders retreated to Constantinople and joined the second wave of the Crusade. The crusaders were eager to start the journey to Jerusalem but they needed to capture the Anatolian Turkish capital of Nicaea first because it blocked the road that would be their main supply route(Permoud 33). It was held by Seljuk

Turks. In May 1097, the crusaders attacked Nicaea. The Turks realized that they were defeated and agreed to give the city to the Byzantines in exchange for the lives of their men. The Byzantines agreed to this and on June 18, Nicaea was under Byzantine control (Runciman 116). The leaders of the crusade disagreed and wanted to slaughter the Turks because they were enemies of Christ. On June 30, 1097, the crusaders were ambushed at the city of Dorylaeum by Seljuk Turks led by Kilij Arslam, the Seljuk Sultan(Mayer 50). The fight continued until July 1. The crusaders won a big victory and nearly wiped out the Turkish force. This victory opened up the way to Anatolia. The crusaders attacked Anitoch in northern Syria on October 21, 1097(Encarta Online). This was the main obstacle on

the road to Jerusalem. In a long and gruesome battle, the city finally fell on June 2, 1098 (Encarta Online). The crusaders were quickly attacked by a new Turkish army from Al Mawsil. They arrived too late to revive Anitoch’s Turkish defenders and they were forced to retreat on June 28 (The Crusades). The starting date for the march to Jerusalem was set for November 1, 1098, but was delayed by an epidemic, and also because of fighting to the south of Anitoch. On January 13, 1099 the commander-in-chief, Count Raymond IV of Toulouse, led the crusaders’ march to Jerusalem. They avoided attacks on cities to conserve forces. In May 1099 they reached the northern border of Palestine. On June 7 they camped on the top of a hill where they could see Jerusalem. Many soldiers were so