The crusades are the military expedition that started in the late 11th century. This was organized by the Christians of Western Europe. They reacted to the Muslim wars of expansions that were going on for centuries. Their main aim was to check the spreading of Islam and then regain control over their Holy Land situated in the east part of the Mediterranean. They intended to capture the lands of pagans and the former territory of the Christians. It has been interpreted by many participants of the Crusades as the ways of redemption along with expiation of many sins. As the initial Crusade was launched between 1095 and 1291, the Latin Christians were ultimately expelled from the land of Syria. Many expeditions have been there to the holy land to the Spain and also the Baltic. It continued for various centuries after the year 1291. Nevertheless, it rapidly declined during the 16th century with the downfall of papal authority and Protestant reformation.
Till the end of the 11th century, the western part of Europe emerged as a notable power through its right. Nonetheless, it lagged behind various other civilizations of the Mediterranean region. This involves the Islamic Empire of North Africa and the Middle East and Byzantine Empire that was formerly the eastern part of the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, Byzantium was found to lose a considerable territory from the invasion of Seljuk Turks. General Alexius Commenus was able to seize the throne after working years of civil war and chaos during 1081. They consolidated the control over the residual kingdom as Emperor Alexius I. He sent envoys to Pope Urban II in 1095 seeking for mercenary troops to heck the treat of the Turkish army. Despite the relations between the Christians in the east and west was fractious. The request came from Alexius s the situation was developing.
In southern France to the Council of Clermont in November 1995, the Pope summoned the western Christians to consider arms in aiding the Byzantine people. It is then intended to capture the land from the control of Muslims. Thus the Crusade started. The plea of Pope Urban was to meet tremendous reactions. This has been for military elites and common people. People who joined the armed pilgrimages were found to be wearing the cross as the symbolism of Church. This set the steps for various religious, military orders that involved the Knights Templar, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights. The groups were found to defend the Holy Land and secured the pilgrims who were travelling to and from the area.
It was seen that four distinct armies of the Crusades were developed from the troops of various Western Europe. These were led by Raumon of the Saint-Gilles, Hugh of Vermandois, Bohemond of Taranto and Godfrey of Bouillon. The groups departed for Byzantium during August 1096. Further, less organized commoners and a band of knights referred to as the “People’s Crusade” was found to be setting off before the others. This was within the command of popular preacher, namely Peter the Hermit. It was seen that Alexius’s advice was ignored in waiting for the residual Crusaders. The army of Peter crossed Bosporus during August. During the important initial clash taking place between the Muslims and Crusaders, the forces of Turkey crushed the European people at Cibotus. Next, there was another team of Crusaders that was led by Count Emicho. They conducted continuous massacre of Jews at different towns. They drew broad outrages and resulted in an important crisis in the relations between Jewish-Christians.
Armies in Crusades were going battle through believing that God is under them. The sacrifices and prayers have been to keep God at their side. Here, religion was a driving force and the holy war comprised of three elements. Firstly, there was the achievement of the religious goal, authorized by the religious leaders and spiritual rewards for those who have taken part. Pope Urban II declared that it was the war-cry in combats as God provides the words. As the armed attack was made on the armies, he urged the cry to be raised by every soldier of God. He asked his men t determine on the holy pilgrimage and make the vow to God to the impact. He stated that the men should offer themselves to the living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. He must ear the sign of the cross of the Lord on the forehead and breast.
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