THE CRUSDES:Prespective from the past of Europeans
By: Jolisa Robles
The Crusades were military campaigns sanctioned by the Latin Catholic Church during the high middle ages through to the end of the late middle ages. The first Crusade called by Pope Urban II began 1095. The Second Crusade was announced by Pope Eugene III, and was the first of the crusades to be led by European kings, namely Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, with help from a number of other European nobles. The armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe. Most of the Europeans were Christian and Jerusalem was the Holy City where Jesus had preached, where he was crucified and where his empty tomb was located, a place of pilgrimage for Christians. Jerusalem was very important to the Europeans.
The Crusades had began when the Christians wanted the land that belonged to Jesus. When Pope Urban II annoced the first crusade, the Christians were successful and the Muslims had lost. The second crusade was lead by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, both Christians against the Seljuk Turks (Muslim) and Damascus (Muslim). The crusade is seen as a failure for Christian forces. The third crusade took place between 1189-1192 and it involved two medieval Muslim and Christian leaders, namely Saladin and King Richard (the Lionheart of England). The aim of the Crusades was to take back the holy land of Jerusalem from Saladin. It was another failure for the Christians.
Foremost among the effects of the Crusades was the final fatal weakening of the Byzantine Empire. The Crusades failed to recover Anatolia from the Turks, and the sack of Constantinople in 1204 destroyed Byzantium as a first rate power. For every European who went on a Crusade (let alone the minuscule fraction who returned) there were hundreds who knew someone who had gone, or who had seen the Crusaders march by. If the combatants in the Crusades came mostly from France, Germany and England, the middlemen tended to be merchants from northern Italy. The Crusades launched the economic dominance of cities like Genoa and Venice. The financial burdens of the Crusades, coupled with the need to borrow money to finance them, weakened the power of the nobility and strengthened the merchant classes and the independence of cities. A number of cultural institutions we think of as characteristically medieval came into being during the Crusades. Crusader knights, almost all of them illiterate, soon began using emblems and geometric designs to identify themselves. This practice later evolved into a complex code of heraldic emblems and coats of arms. Romantic and imaginative literature also blossomed during the Crusades.
The medieval European view of the Byzantine Empire by saying "Ever since our rough crusading forefathers first saw Constantinople and met, to their contemptuous disgust, a society where everyone read and wrote, ate food with forks and preferred diplomacy to war, it has been fashionable to pass the Byzantines by with scorn and to use their name as synonymous with decadence". The European also disliked the Jewish but the Jewish wante to live in harmony unlike the Europeans. The Muslims were the Europeans and Christians enimes and were always at war with each othter.
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