Crusades are a series of religious military campaigns in the 11th-15th centuries from Western Europe against the Muslims and for other reasons. In a narrow sense, crusades of 1096-1291 to Palestine were mainly aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem (with the Holy Sepulchre) against the Seljuk Turks. In a broader sense, crusades, proclaimed by popes, were conducted with the purposes of conversion to Christianity of Baltic Gentiles and suppression of heretical and anticlerical currents in Europe.
The name Crusaders has appeared because the Crusaders sewed crosses to their clothes. It was believed that the participants of the crusades would receive forgiveness of sins, so not only knights took part in it, but also ordinary people and even children.
The idea of the liberation of Jerusalem from the Seljuk was first accepted by Pope Gregory VII, who wished to personally lead the crusade. He was supported by 50,000 enthusiasts, but the pope’s struggle with the German Emperor left the idea hang in the air. Gregory’s successor, Pope Victor III, renewed his predecessor’s idea, promising remission of sins, but did not want to be personally involved in the crusade. The inhabitants of Pisa, Genoa, and some other Italian cities, who suffered from sea raids by Muslims, outfitted a fleet that left to the coast of Africa. Expedition burned two cities were in Tunisia, but this episode has not received wide resonance.
The true inspirer of mass crusade was a simple beggar Peter the Hermit. When visiting Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre, the sight of oppression of the Palestinian brothers aroused strong indignation in him. After having obtained from the patriarch the letters pleading for help, Peter went to Rome to Pope Urban II, and then, wearing rags, barefoot, bareheaded, and with a crucifix in his hands he went around the cities and villages of Europe, preaching about the crusade for the liberation of the Christians and the Holy Sepulchre. Thus, the idea became widely spread.
The First Crusade began shortly after passionate preaching of Pope Urban II. The Pope agreed to help the emperor, who was complaining about invasions of Muslim Turks, seeing it as a threat to Christianity. The Pope also wanted to win over public opinion in the fight with another contender for the papacy, so he set one more goal – to win Holy Land from the Seljuk.
The First crusade on a wave of public enthusiasm overall achieved its objectives. In the future, Jerusalem and the Holy Land were re-captured by Muslims and the Crusades were undertaken for their release.
Crusades are a series of religious military campaigns in the 11th-15th centuries from Western Europe against the Muslims and for other reasons. In a narrow sense, crusades of 1096-1291 to Palestine were mainly aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem (with the Holy Sepulchre) against the Seljuk Turks.