It is holy for the three monotheistic religions because of religiously significant events that took place in the city. It is therefore important to set out the nature and meaning of Jewish, Christian and Muslim commitments to Jerusalem and their implications.
Most of what passes for public knowledge about it is either misleading or just plain wrong Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common.
The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general.
A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far. Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining.
So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars.
They were a direct response to Muslim aggression — an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands. Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way.
From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity — and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion — has no abode.
Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule.
But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth.
As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.
From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over. With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed's death.
They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt — once the most heavily Christian areas in the world — quickly succumbed. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece.
In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East. That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world.
At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense. The response was tremendous.
Many thousands of warriors took the vow of the cross and prepared for war. Why did they do it?
The answer to that question has been badly misunderstood. In the wake of the Enlightenment, it was usually asserted that Crusaders were merely lacklands and ne'er-do-wells who took advantage of an opportunity to rob and pillage in a faraway land.
The Crusaders' expressed sentiments of piety, self-sacrifice, and love for God were obviously not to be taken seriously. They were only a front for darker designs.In or , Alexios I Komnenos, the Byzantine emperor, sent to the pope, Urban II, and asked for aid from the west against the Seljuq Turks, who taken nearly all of Asia Minor from him.
At the council of Clermont, Urban addressed a great crowd and urged all to go to the aid of the Greeks and to recover Palestine from the rule of the Muslims. Start studying The Crusades. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.
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Jerusalem, a . caninariojana.com is an online resource of information on the history, mystery, myth and legacy of the Knights Templar that was started by Templar author Stephen Dafoe in the fall of In , when the first Frankish invaders arrived before the walls of Jerusalem, they had carved out a Christian European presence in the Islamic world that endured for centuries, bolstered by subsequent waves of new crusaders and pilgrims.
Crusades Overview. First Crusade. Third Crusade. Venetians Take Constantinople. Saladin. Saladin Takes Jerusalem: The Crusades. In an assembly of churchmen called . Real History Of The Crusades, The An historical appraisal of the Crusades which corrects the common but mistaken view that they were an unjustified assault against Islam.