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Lecture 19: The Crusades -- “Crusade” (“cross”) was the name given to more than a dozen campaigns by Christians of Western Europe against Muslims in the Holy Lands between 1096 and 1291 -- Crusades were possible because of the creation of new kingdoms

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Lecture 19: The Crusades

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-- “Crusade” (“cross”) was the name given to more than a dozen

campaigns by Christians of Western Europe against Muslims in

the Holy Lands between 1096 and 1291

-- Crusades were possible because of the creation of new kingdoms

and empires in Europe which produced a large class of armed

warriors (knights) who squabbled amongst each other

-- 1009 the Fatimid Caliph sacked a hospice in Jerusalem and

destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

-- Unsuccessful in enforcing the Peace and Truce of God, the Church

encouraged the knights to defend Christians in the Holy Lands

-- 1074 Byzantine Emperor Michael VII asks Pope Gregory VII for

help against the invading Seljuk Turks

-- 1091 Sicily “reconquered” by Norman leader Roger Guiscard


-- First crusade requested by Pope Urban II in 1096, who asked

French to help the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I fight Seljuk

Turks after they badly beat him at Battle of Manzikert in 1071

-- Seljuk Turks were nomads from Central Asia who converted to

Islam and acted as mercenaries for ruling Arab dynasty under

Abbasid caliphate, whom they then conquered

-- Byzantine Empire had also declined because Normans conquered

formerly Byzantine areas in Sicily and southern Italy

-- Byzantines had asked for only financial aid from but Pope Urban

sees this as an opportunity to mend the rift between the Eastern

and Western Churches (1054); recruits French knights at

Clermont in southern France in 1095 to join crusade

-- Crusaders were offered immediate remission of their sins whether

or not they died in battle


-- First crusades lead by religious fanatics, Peter the Hermit who

lead “crusade of the poor,” then “Walter the Penniless”

-- Crusading mobs plundered and looted their way through Europe,

killing Jews along the way

-- First professional crusade lead by son of Robert Guiscard;

10,000 knights and soldiers reach Constantinople in 1097 and

defeat Seljuks; then Jerusalem in 1099 where they massacred

all the inhabitants – men, women and children

-- Four independent crusader states were established at Antioch,

Edessa, Tripoli and Jerusalem

-- Feudal crusader states were surrounded by hostile Muslim states,

but were supplied by Italian cities, including Genoa, Pisa and

Venice, who became rich through this trade


-- 1144 Edessa is recaptured by Turks; St. Bernard of Clairvaux

appeals to businessmen to enter into a new crusade “for profit”

if not to “rescue Christians”

-- Second crusade unsuccessful because goals of the campaign

unclear and knights fought with each other, rather than Turks

-- Third Crusade (1169): Sunni Muslims of Syria invade Egypt,

lead by famous warrior Saladin, who then invades Jerusalem

and destroys Christian forces at Battle of Hattin in 1187, but

does not massacre population

-- Germans, French and English then levy taxes to raise revenue to

recover Holy Land; Frederick Barbarossa drowns in Anatolia,

Richard the Lionhearted negotiates a settlement which allows

Christians free access to Jerusalem

-- Crusades after 1204 were mainly about the pursuit of wealth


-- In 1307 King Philip IV of France accuses Knights Templar of

impieties and after Inquisition, loots Templar treasuries in order

to continue his war against English

-- Crusades allowed the Church to consolidate its power against

other Christian sects; kings to consolidate power over nobles

-- Crusades unleashed a wave of anti-semitism and violence

against Eastern Christians and smaller sects

-- Because of crusades, Western powers expanded trade with the

East, and both goods and ideas exchanged

-- Need to raise, transport and supply large armies also created

trade within Western Europe

-- Once introduced to goods from the East, Westerners wanted the

spices, ivory, jade, diamonds, glass, gunpowder, and produce