The Crusades were a series of religious wars fought by European Christians in the 11th to 13th centuries. There were nine major Crusades, the first in 1096 and the last in 1272.
The purpose of the Crusades was to recapture the Holy Land, which included Jerusalem and other parts of the Middle East, from Muslim control. The leaders of the Crusades were European kings, nobles, and religious figures. However, the Crusades were not successful in achieving their main goal of recapturing the Holy Land and establishing a Christian state there.
The lasting results of the Crusades included the emergence of powerful military orders such as the Knights Templar, who played a significant role in the Crusades. After the ninth Holy Crusade, they no longer took place because the religious and political climate in Europe and the Middle East changed, leading to the end of the medieval era.
The Knights Templar was a Christian military order founded during the First Crusade. They were known for their distinctive white mantles adorned with a red cross. They were originally formed to protect Christian pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land, but they became a powerful military force and played a major role in the Crusades.
Image: Richard Cœur de Lion, Carlo Marochetti‘s 1856 statue of Richard I outside the Palace of Westminster, London
Attribution: Mattbuck (talk · contribs), CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Richard_the_first.jpg
In modern historiography, the word “crusade” first referred to military expeditions undertaken by European Christians in the 11th to 13th centuries to the Holy Land. The conflicts to which the word is applied has been extended to include other campaigns initiated, supported and sometimes directed by the Roman Catholic Church against pagans, heretics or for alleged religious ends. These differed from other Christian religious wars because they were considered a penitential exercise and earned participants forgiveness for all confessed sins.
What constituted a “crusade” has been understood in diverse ways, particularly regarding the early Crusades, and the definition remains a matter of debate among contemporary historians. The meaning of a “crusade” is generally viewed in several ways:
- Traditionalists view Crusades as only those to the Holy Land from 1095–1291 – which is the focus of this paper.
- Pluralists view Crusades are military expeditions that enjoyed papal endorsement, including those to the Holy Land before and after 1291, to Northern Europe and Iberia, and against Christians.
- Popularists focus on the popular groundswells of religious fervour. Generalists focus on the basic phenomenon of Latin holy wars. Most modern Crusades historians consider a combination of pluralism and popularism.
At the time of the First Crusade, iter, “journey”, and peregrinatio, “pilgrimage”, were used for the campaign. Crusader terminology remained largely indistinguishable from that of Christian pilgrimage during the 12th century. The use of croiserie, “crusade”, in Middle English can be dated to c.1300, but the modern English “crusade” dates to the early 1700s.
The Arabic word for struggle or contest, particularly one for the propagation of Islam—jihād—was used for a religious war of Muslims against unbelievers, and some Muslims considered that the Quran and Hadith made this a duty. “Franks” and “Latins” were used by the peoples of the Near East during the crusades for western Europeans, distinguishing them from the Byzantine Christians who were known as “Greeks”. The name “Saracen” was used for an Arab Muslim, derived from a Greek and Roman word for the nomadic peoples of the Syro-Arabian desert. Crusader sources used the term “Syrians” to describe Arabic- speaking Christians who were members of the Greek Orthodox Church and “Jacobites” for those who were members of the Syrian Orthodox Church. The Crusader states of Syria and Palestine were known as the “Outremer” from the French outre-mer, or “the land beyond the sea”.
Crusades and the Holy Land, 1095–1291
The Crusades to the Holy Land are the best known of the religious wars associated with the term, beginning in 1095 and lasting some two centuries. These Crusades began with the fervent desire to wrest the Holy Land from the Muslims and ran through nine ‘full’ crusades and dozens of minor ones over the period.
The Arab-Byzantine wars from 629 to the 1050s resulted in the conquest of the Levant and Egypt by the Muslim Rashidun Caliphate. Jerusalem was captured after a half-year siege in 637. In 1025, the Byzantine emperor Basil II was able to extend the empire‘s territorial recovery to its furthest extent in 1025, with frontiers stretching east to Iran. The empire’s relationships with its Islamic neighbours were no more quarrelsome than those with Western Christians after the East-West Schism of 1054.
The political situation in the Middle East was changed by waves of Turkic migration, particularly the arrival of the Seljuk Turks in the 10th century. Previously a minor ruling clan from Transoxiana, they were recent converts to Islam who migrated to Persia. They conquered Iran, Iraq and the Near East to the Seljuk Empire.
Byzantium’s attempted confrontation in 1071 to suppress the Seljuks’ sporadic raiding led to the defeat at the Battle of Manzikert, eventually the occupation of most of the Anatolian peninsula. In the same year, Jerusalem was taken from the Fatimids by the Turkish warlord Atsiz, who seized most of Syria and Palestine throughout the Middle East. The Seljuk’s hold on the city resulted in pilgrims reporting difficulties and the oppression of Christians.
There’s a good blow-by-blow account of the battles in the crusades on Wikipedia at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades
Pope Urban II and the start of the Crusades
In 1074, just three years after Manzikert and the Seljuk takeover of Jerusalem, Pope Gregory VII began planning to launch a military campaign for the liberation of the Holy Land. Twenty-one years later, his successor, Pope Urban II, started initiating those plans and encouraged military support for Byzantine emperor Alexios I against the Seljuk Turks when he called for an armed pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Across all social strata in western Europe, there was an enthusiastic response.
The first Crusaders had many motivations, including religious salvation, satisfying feudal obligations, opportunities for renown, and economic or political advantage. Later crusades were conducted by generally more organised armies, sometimes led by a king. All were granted papal indulgences. Initial successes established four Crusader states: the County of Edessa; the Principality of Antioch; the Kingdom of Jerusalem; and the County of Tripoli.
Image: Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont. Illustration from a copy of Sébastien Mamerot‘s Livre des Passages d’Outremer (Jean Colombe, c. 1472–75, BNF Fr. 5594)
Attribution: Jean Colombe, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CouncilofClermont.jpg
The Crusades were a series of religious wars fought during the medieval period between Christians and Muslims, primarily in the Holy Land. Later in this paper, I have provided details of each of the nine Crusades. The Crusades profoundly impacted the history of Europe and the Middle East and continue to shape the world today. The Crusades continued for several centuries, with several more expeditions launched by European Christians to reclaim the Holy Land from Muslim control. The Crusaders established several Latin Christian states in the Holy Land, such as the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Principality of Antioch and the County of Edessa, but they were eventually defeated by Muslim armies. In the Middle East, the Crusades resulted in the decline of the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate and the rise of the Islamic Mamluk Sultanate.
The Crusader’s presence remained in the region in some form until the fall of Acre in 1291. After this, there were no further crusades to recover the Holy Land.
Today, the Crusades are remembered not only for their violence and religious intolerance, but also for the cultural exchange and advancements in art, architecture, and technology that occurred during this period.
The Crusades were primarily fought between European Christians and Muslim forces in the Middle East, specifically in the area known as the Holy Land. The main countries involved in the Crusades from Europe were France, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Low Countries (modern-day Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). Byzantine Empire also played a role in some of the crusades as an ally of the Christians.
The number of Crusaders involved in each Crusade varied greatly. The First Crusade, which was the most successful for the Christians, is believed to have had around 30,000 to 35,000 participants. The Second Crusade, which was less successful, is believed to have had about 100,000 participants. The Third Crusade, led by European leaders such as Richard the Lionheart, is estimated to have had around 100,000 participants. The Fourth Crusade, which resulted in the sack of Constantinople, is estimated to have had some 12,000 to 15,000 participants.
The death toll from the Crusades was significant, and although exact numbers are unknown, it is estimated that several hundred thousand people were killed during the First Crusade alone.
The Second Crusade resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims. The Third Crusade, although considered a military stalemate, still resulted in significant loss of life on both sides. The Fourth Crusade resulted in the deaths of many Byzantine citizens and the destruction of much of Constantinople. Additionally, the crusaders also spread plagues and diseases, resulting in many deaths among the local population.
The crusaders were organised into military orders, such as the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar, and were led by feudal lords known as “Princes of Outremer.” They used various weapons, including swords, lances, bows, and siege engines, to capture fortified cities. Sometimes prisoners were taken, often sold afterwards into slavery or using them as bargaining chips in negotiations. However, there were also mass killings of Muslim and Jewish populations during their campaigns. Overall, the Crusades were a complex and bloody period in history, marked by religious fervour, political ambition, and military conflict. They had a significant impact on the history of Europe and the Middle East, shaping the political and cultural landscape of the region for centuries to come.
Image: The Knights Hospitaller in the 13th Century
Attribution: © Ralph Hammann – Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Soultz_Commanderie_09.JPG
The Nine Crusades
There were a total of nine crusades that took place between the 11th and 13th centuries:
- The First Crusade was called by Pope Urban II in 1095 at the Council of Clermont and resulted in the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. The aim was to recapture the Holy Land (Jerusalem and the surrounding areas) from Muslim control. The crusade was composed of various European noblemen and their armies, who set out for the Holy Land in 1096. The Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, establishing a Christian Kingdom in the region that lasted for several centuries. The crusade was considered a success from the perspective of the European Christians, but it resulted in significant loss of life and displacement for the Muslim and Jewish populations of the Middle East.
- The Second Crusade was called by Pope Eugene III in 1145 and was led by European kings Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany. The main goal of the crusade was to recapture the city of Edessa in modern-day Turkey, which had been taken by the Muslim leader Zengi in 1144, but two years later, he was assassinated. The crusaders also hoped to push further into Muslim-controlled territories in the Near East. The crusade began in 1147 and initially met with some success, with the crusaders capturing the city of Lisbon on their way to the Holy Land. However, the crusaders faced many setbacks on arrival in the Near East. They were defeated by the Muslim army at the Battle of Dorylaeum and could not capture Edessa. The crusaders decided to split into two separate armies, with one led by Louis VII and the other by Conrad III. Louis’ army was defeated by the Muslim army at the Battle of Mount Cadmus, while Conrad’s army was defeated at the Battle of Durazzo. Ultimately, the Second Crusade failed, with the crusaders achieving none of their main goals and suffering heavy losses. The failure of the crusade led to a weakening of the position of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the rise of Muslim leaders such as Saladin, who would go on to play a major role in the Third Crusade.
- The Third Crusade, also known as the Kings’ crusade, was called in 1189 by Pope Gregory VIII in response to the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187. The main leaders of the crusade were King Richard I of England, King Philip II of France, and Emperor Frederick I of the Holy Roman Empire.
Image: Richard the Lionheart on his way to Jerusalem in the Third Crusade , James William Glass (1850)
Attribution: James William Glass, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Richard-Coeur-de-Lion-on-his-way-to-Jerusalem.JPG
The crusade began with a series of setbacks for the Christian forces, including the loss of the port city of Acre. However, King Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, turned the tide of the crusade with several victories against Saladin’s army, including the battle of Arsuf. Despite these victories, the crusade ultimately failed to retake Jerusalem. A truce was signed in 1192 between Richard and Saladin, which allowed Christian pilgrims to visit the city but did not return control of this city to the Christians. The third crusade marked the high point of mediaeval Christian-Muslim relations and ended with a compromise with no victory for either side.
- The Fourth Crusade was called by Pope Innocent III in 1202 and lasted until 1204. Originally intended to retake Jerusalem from Muslim control, the Crusade ended up attacking and sacking the Christian city of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. It led to the establishment of the Latin Empire, a Catholic state in the Byzantine territories, and the weakening of the Byzantine Empire, which had previously been a major power in the region.
- The Fifth Crusade was called by Pope Innocent III in 1213 and lasted until 1221. The Crusade was initially successful, with crusaders capturing the Egyptian city of Damietta in 1219. However, the Crusade ultimately failed to achieve its goal of retaking Jerusalem, and the crusaders were forced to retreat and eventually make peace with the Egyptians.
- The Sixth Crusade was called by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1228. He achieved a negotiated settlement with the Muslim leader al-Kamil, by which Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and a strip of territory along the coast were returned to Christian control for a period of 10 years without a military campaign.
- The Seventh Crusade was led by King Louis IX of France, and took place between 1248 and 1254. The Egyptian sultan, al-Mu’azzam Turanshah, defeated Louis and his army, and Louis himself was captured. He later ransomed himself and returned to France. The Crusade did not achieve any of its goals and resulted in significant losses for the European crusaders.
- The Eighth Crusade was led by King Louis IX of France in 1270. Louis sailed to Tunisia with an army, but the campaign was plagued by disease, and Louis died soon after landing. The Crusade was ultimately a failure and achieved no significant territorial gains.
- The Ninth and last Crusade was led by Prince Edward of England (later King Edward I) in 1271-1272. The Crusade was also a failure and achieved no significant territorial gains. The Crusade was marked by negotiations and truces with the Muslim leaders, with no major battles fought.
After the ninth crusade, the crusaders could not mount significant or effective campaigns in the holy land, and the crusades ended. One of the main reasons was the weakening of the European feudal states that had launched the Crusades. The monarchies of Europe began to centralize their power, and the feudal lords could no longer organise and finance large-scale expeditions. Additionally, the Papacy, which had been a major driving force behind the Crusades, began to focus more on internal issues within the Catholic Church.
Another reason for the end of the Crusades was the failure of the crusaders to maintain control of the territories they had conquered. Despite initial successes, the crusaders were ultimately unable to hold onto their gains in the Holy Land due to the superior tactics and organization of the Muslim armies. The Islamic states in the region, such as the Ayyubid and Mamluk Sultanates, were able to retake much of the territory that had been conquered by the crusaders. Finally, the Crusaders themselves began to lose interest in the cause. The constant warfare and the lack of tangible results made it difficult to maintain the support of the European population.
Moreover, the Crusades became less popular as the European economy and society started to change. The rise of trade and commerce and the growth of towns and cities drew people’s attention away from the Holy War. As a result, the later Crusades were less successful than the earlier ones, and eventually, the European states stopped launching Crusades to the Holy land.
Although there were some further attempts to mount further Crusades, none of these expeditions had the same level of participation or success as the earlier ones.
Image: The Siege of Acre depicted in Matthieu de Clermont défend Ptolémaïs en 1291, by Dominique Papety at Salles des Croisades in Versailles
Attribution: Louis-Dominique Papety, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1291_si%C3%A8ge_d%27Acre.jpg
Women and Children in the Crusades
One interesting and lesser-known aspect of the Crusades is the role of women during the time, both as fighters and as non-combatants. The women were often accompanied by their children. The women provided support services and helped establish settlements in the conquered territories. The crusaders also had a complex relationship with the Byzantine Empire and the local Christian communities in the Middle East, which sometimes aligned with and sometimes opposed their goals. The crusader states established in the wake of the First Crusade were relatively short-lived, with the last falling to the Muslim armies in 1291. The crusades had a profound impact on the history of the Middle East and Europe and left a lasting legacy in the form of cultural exchanges, artistic influences, and political developments.
Some women, such as the legendary warrior Joan of Arc, fought on the battlefield alongside the men. Other women, known as “camp followers,” accompanied their husbands or fathers on the Crusade and provided essential support services such as nursing the sick and wounded, cooking, and laundering. Many women also played a key role in organising and financing the Crusades. Queen Melisende of Jerusalem and her daughter Queen Sibylla, for example, were powerful rulers in their own right and played a significant role in the politics of the crusader states. Rich widows, such as Ermengarde of Narbonne, used their wealth to support the crusaders and to fund the building of churches and castles.
It’s also important to note that not only women from the west went to the Crusades, but also many local women in the middle east, who were affected by the crusaders’ actions, joined the resistance, sometimes fighting with arms but also, in many cases, providing support services to their communities. While the Crusades are often thought of as a purely male endeavour, the contributions and participation of women were significant.
Some notable works provide a detailed analysis of the role of women during the Crusades and include information on specific women who played a significant role in the events of that time. The works include:
- Jerusalem the Golden: The Origins and Impact of the First Crusade (Outremer. Studies in the Crusades and the Latin East), by Susan B Edgington (7 October 2014), available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jerusalem-Golden-Outremer-Edgington-2014-10-07/dp/B01FGNUUYG/
- Warrior Women: An Archaeologist’s Search for History’s Hidden Heroines, by Jeannine Davis-Kimball and Mona Behan (1 February 2003), available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Warrior-Women-Archaeologists-Davis-Kimball-2003-02-01/dp/B01FIX3GFY/
- Gendering the Crusades (Hardcover – Illustrated), by Susan Edgington (published 13 December 2001 by the University of Wales Press), available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gendering-Crusades-S-B-Edgington/dp/0708316980/
Economic, Cultural and Other Effects of the Crusades
The Crusades had a significant economic impact on both the Eastern and Western worlds, leading to an increase in trade, the movement of goods between Europe and the Middle East, and the introduction of new technologies and luxury items to Europe. The crusaders also established several feudal states in the Holy Land, which led to the growth of towns and cities and the development of new industries such as textiles and metalworking. However, the Crusades also had a negative economic impact, as their prosecution was costly for the participating kingdoms and led to the displacement and enslavement of many people. Inadvertently, crusaders brought new diseases and pests that decimated local populations.
- Food: The crusaders introduced new foods to the Eastern world, such as sugar, rice, and citrus fruits. They also brought back to Europe spices and herbs such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, which had been previously unknown in Europe.
- Drink: Wine and beer were commonly consumed by the crusaders. They also introduced new beverages to the Eastern world, such as coffee and tea.
- Transport: The crusaders used horses and camels as transport during the Crusades. They also introduced new shipbuilding techniques to the Eastern Mediterranean, improving sea transport efficiency.
- Farming: The crusaders introduced new farming techniques to the Eastern world, such as irrigation systems and using ploughs pulled by horses. They also brought back new crops, such as cotton, previously unknown in Europe.
- Games: The crusaders introduced new games to the Eastern world, such as chess which was derived from the Indian game chaturanga. They also brought back Eastern games to Europe, such as backgammon.
- Architecture: The crusaders introduced new architectural styles, such as Gothic architecture, to the Eastern world. On returning to Europe, they brought back Eastern luxury goods, such as silk, to Europe. Additionally, the crusaders returned home with new ‘technologies’, such as the crossbow, which was more powerful than the longbow.
The Crusades significantly impacted art in the Eastern and Western worlds by introducing new artistic styles and techniques, blending Eastern and Western elements and bringing new artistic influences to Europe. In the East, the crusaders brought with them a new form of art known as the “Crusader style“, which blended Western European and Byzantine art elements. This style was characterised by a dash of greater realism and attention to detail, as well as the use of new techniques such as linear perspective. This style was particularly evident in the art of the Crusader states, such as the Kingdom of Jerusalem, where churches and other buildings were decorated with frescoes and mosaics incorporating Western and Eastern elements.
In the West, the Crusades also had an impact on art. The Church commissioned many works of art to commemorate the Crusades, such as illuminated manuscripts, frescoes, and statues. These works of art often depicted the crusaders and their battles and served as a propaganda tool to encourage people to join the Crusades. Additionally, the crusaders brought new artistic influences to Europe, such as Islamic and Byzantine art, which helped inspire new forms of art and architecture.
Science and Medicine
The Crusades significantly impacted the mathematical and numbering system in Europe.
- Science: The crusaders did not make significant contributions to science during the Crusades, but they did bring back to Europe new scientific knowledge from the East, such as the works of Arabic scholars. These works introduced European scholars to new scientific concepts such as algebra, trigonometry, and optics. The crusaders also brought new technologies back to Europe, such as the astrolabe and the quadrant, which were used in navigation.
- Medicine: The crusaders did not make significant contributions to medicine during the Crusades, but they did bring back new medical knowledge from the East, such as the works of Arabic and Persian scholars. These works introduced European doctors to new medical concepts, including anaesthesia and surgical techniques.
- Mathematics: The crusaders significantly impacted mathematics, particularly in the field of algebra, which Arabic mathematicians developed during the Islamic Golden Age. The crusaders brought back to Europe new mathematical concepts, such as algebra and trigonometry, which were unknown in Europe before the Crusades.
- Numbering system: The crusaders also had a significant impact on the numbering system, as they brought back to Europe the Arabic numeral system, which was more efficient and better to use than the Roman numeral system in use in Europe at the time. The Arabic numeral system was eventually adopted in Europe and became the standard numbering system in use today.
The Crusades had a significant impact on farming and botany, both in the Eastern and Western worlds, leading to an expansion of agricultural productivity and diversity of food crops.
- Farming: In the East, the crusaders introduced new farming techniques to the Holy Land and the surrounding areas. They brought with them new crops such as wheat, barley, and peas, which were well-suited to the Mediterranean climate. They also introduced new farming methods, such as irrigation systems and using ploughs pulled by horses, which improved agricultural productivity. They also brought back to Europe new crops and farming techniques from the East, such as cotton, sugarcane and citrus fruits.
- Botany: In the East, the crusaders introduced new plants and fruits to the Holy Land and surrounding areas. They brought with them new fruits and vegetables, such as apples, pears, and onions, previously unknown in the Eastern Mediterranean before the Crusades. They also brought new plants and fruits from the East to Europe, such as lemons, oranges, figs, and dates.
Literacy and Language
The Crusades had only a limited impact on literacy and language.
- Literacy: The literacy of the combatants was already relatively high before the Crusades, and the crusaders themselves were generally literate. However, the crusaders brought new forms of literature, such as chansons de geste (epic poems) and romances, which celebrated the deeds of the crusaders and helped to popularise the idea of the Crusades.
- Language: The crusaders brought their own languages, such as Old French, Old English, and Old German, which were spoken in the crusader states. Arabic was the dominant language in the East, but the crusaders also met other languages, such as Greek and Aramaic. As a result, many of the crusaders learned to speak Arabic and other Eastern languages, which helped to facilitate trade and communication with the local population.
Religion and Beliefs
The Crusades had a significant impact on religion and beliefs, as they were motivated by religious beliefs and led to the strengthening of Christianity and the Catholic Church in Europe and the rise of Muslim resistance in the Middle East, but also led to the persecution and destruction of Jewish and other non-Catholic communities.
- Christianity: The crusaders were motivated by religious beliefs, and their goal was to reclaim the Holy Land from Muslim control and to defend Christianity. The Crusade contributed to the strengthening of the Catholic Church in Europe and the Papacy as the leader of the Catholic faith. The crusaders established new religious orders, such as the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar, which were dedicated to protecting Christian pilgrims and defending the crusader states.
- Islam: The crusaders were seen as invaders by the Muslim population of the Middle East, and the Crusades contributed to the strengthening of Muslim resistance to European expansion. The crusaders’ violence and destruction of Muslim holy sites further enflamed the religious tensions. The Crusades also led to the rise of new Muslim leaders and military leaders, who emerged to defend Islam from the crusaders.
- Judaism: The crusaders targeted Jewish communities during the Crusades, and many Jewish communities were massacred or forced to convert to Christianity. The Crusades had a negative impact on Jewish communities in the Holy Land and Europe, many of which were destroyed or forced to flee.
- Other religions: The crusaders also encountered other faiths, such as Eastern Christianity and Zoroastrianism. The crusaders’ violence and destruction of religious sites also affected these communities, and many were forced to convert to Christianity or flee.
The End of the Crusades
Pope Clement V (died in 1314) was succeeded by Pope John XXII. Pope John had no interest in continuing the Crusades. By the time of his papacy, the European nations that had participated in the Crusades were focused on internal politics and conflicts. The papacy and the Catholic Church had shifted their focus to other issues, such as the Avignon Papacy. Pope John XXII was more interested in strengthening the power and authority of the Papacy in Europe. The end of the Crusades was a complex and multifaceted event, with many factors contributing to it. The weakening military and financial position of the European kingdoms and the shift in focus of the Catholic Church and the Papacy are important factors that brought the chapter of the Crusades to a closure, but other factors also contributed to the end of the Crusades. One of them is the rise of the Ottoman Empire, which by the late 13th century had become a major power in the region and posed a significant threat to the remaining Christian states in the Holy Land. Another factor was the loss of support and interest among the European population for the Crusades, as they became less of a priority and more of a burden on the population. Furthermore, the increasing cost of the Crusades and the lack of success in achieving their objectives also contributed to their end.
Another important point is that the crusades were not a monolithic movement but a series of different campaigns and expeditions with different objectives and leaders. The First Crusade (1096-1099) was the most successful, but subsequent crusades were largely ineffective. The crusaders were also not always united, and there were often conflicts and rivalries between different crusader states and leaders. It should not be forgotten that the Crusades significantly impacted the relations between Europe and the Islamic world, and the legacy of the Crusades has been felt for centuries. The Crusades profoundly affected how each side perceived the other. They also had a major impact on the development of Western warfare and feudalism and the growth of nationalism and religious identity in Europe.
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- The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land by Thomas Asbridge (Ecco, 2011)
- The First Crusade: The Call from the East by Peter Frankopan (Penguin, 2012)
- The Crusader States by Joshua Prawer (Yale University Press, 2012)
- The Crusader Army of the Late Twelfth Century by Christopher Marshall (Boydell Press, 2002)
- The Second Crusade: Extending the Frontiers of Christendom by Jonathan Phillips (Penguin, 2007)
- The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionheart, Saladin and the Struggle for Jerusalem by Jonathan Phillips (Penguin, 2008)
- The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople by Jonathan Phillips (Penguin, 2004)
- The Children’s Crusade: The Untold Story by Jeremy Seal (Overlook Press, 2008)
- The Fifth Crusade in Context: The Crusade of Fredrick II by David Abulafia (Boydell Press, 2008)
- The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction by Christopher Tyerman (Oxford University Press, 2005)
- The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades edited by Jonathan Riley-Smith (Oxford University Press, 1995)
- The Crusade of Frederick Barbarossa: The History of the Expedition of the Emperor Frederick and Related Texts translated by G.A. Loud and Thomas Wiedemann (Ashgate, 2010)
- The Crusades: An Introduction by CrashCourse (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTZwq3KQYH0)
- The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem by History Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJjKnoj7VuM)
- The Second Crusade: The Failure of the Christian Armies by History Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2Q2lNcLzEo)
- The Third Crusade: The Battle of Hattin by History Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rzT0T-Fw5E)
- The Fourth Crusade: The Siege of Constantinople by History Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5d5U6x9FvM)
- The Children’s Crusade: The True Story by History Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU8W6F5NlE4)
- History of the Crusades: All Facts You Need To Know (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2hqa3AX5kY)
Caption: “Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099” / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library
Attribution: Émile Signol, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taking_of_Jerusalem_by_the_Crusaders,_15th_July_1099.jpg
End Notes and Explanations
- Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades and machine-based artificial intelligence at: https://chat.openai.com/ ↑
- Explanation: Further information about the Knights Templar – The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), also known as the Order of Solomon’s Temple, the Knights Templar, or simply the Templars, was a Catholic military order, one of the most wealthy and popular military orders in Western Christianity. They were founded in 1119, headquartered on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and existed for nearly two centuries during the Middle Ages. Officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew rapidly in membership and power. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were amongst the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. They developed innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking. Cited at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Templar ↑
- Source: “crusades”. Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.) ↑
- Source: Tyerman, Christopher (2019). The World of the Crusades, p.1. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-21739-1. ↑
- Sources: (1) Asbridge, Thomas (2012). The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781849836883 p.40., and (2) Tyerman, Christopher (2011). The Debate on the Crusades, 1099–2010, pp.225-6. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-7320-5. ↑
- Sources: (1) The Debate on the Crusades, 1099–2010, pp.225-6. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-7320-5., and (2) Constable, Giles (2001). “The Historiography of the Crusades”. In Angeliki E. Laiou and Roy P. Mottahedeh (ed.). The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World. Dumbarton Oaks. pp. 1–22. ISBN 978-0-88402-277-0. ↑
- Sources: (1) The Metrical Chronicle of Robert of Gloucester”, ed. W. A. Wright, Rolls Series (Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores) 86 (1887), line 10332., and (2) Tyerman, Christopher (2011). The Debate on the Crusades, 1099–2010, p.77. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-7320-5. ↑
- Source: “jihad”. Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.) ↑
- Sources: (1) “Frank”. Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.), and (2) “Latin”. Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.) ↑
- Source: “Saracen”. Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press (Subscription or participating institution membership required.) ↑
- Source: Jotischky, Andrew (2004). Crusading and the Crusader States. p. 141. Pearson Longman. ISBN 9781351983921. ↑
- Source: Tyerman, Christopher (2019). The World of the Crusades. p. 105. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-21739-1. ↑
- Source: Barker, Ernest (1911). “Crusades” . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 526. ↑
- Sources: (1) Timeline: Crusades, 1095–1303. Oxford Reference (2012)., and (2) Christie 2014, Chronology of the Crusades (1055–1291). ↑
- Source: Papayianni, Aphrodite (2006). “Byzantine Empire“. In The Crusades: An Encyclopedia. pp. 188–196. ↑
- Source: : Jotischky, Andrew (2004). Crusading and the Crusader States. pp. 41-43. Pearson Longman. ISBN 9781351983921. ↑
- Source: Cahen, Claude (1969). “The Turkish Invasion: The Selchükids“. In Setton, K., A History of the Crusades: Volume I. pp. 99–132. ↑
- Source: Oman, Charles (1924). A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages. Metheun, pp. 218–228, Chapter IV. ↑
- Source: Asbridge, Thomas (2012). The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land. pp. 26-29 Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781849836883 ↑
- Explanation: The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive popes resided in Avignon – at the time within the Kingdom of Arles, part of the Holy Roman Empire; now part of France – rather than in Rome. The situation arose from the conflict between the papacy and the French crown, culminating in the death of Pope Boniface VIII after his arrest and maltreatment by Philip IV of France. ↑