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The First Crusade

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.9 
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In The middle of the Eleventh Century The tranquillity of the eastern Mediterranean seemed assured for many years to come, but little did the people know what was ahead . This, thus embark us on a journey back into the First Crusade.   In this paper I will be discussing the events that lead up to the first in a long line of crusades.   I will also be mentioning the lives of some of the crusaders through letters that they wrote.   The crusades were a time of confusion for most people, yet today we look back at them as a turning point.


The Crusades were Christian military expeditions undertaken between the 11th and the 14th century to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims.   The word crusade, which is derived from the Latin crux ("cross") , is a reference to the biblical injunction that Christians carry their cross . Crusaders wore a red cloth cross sewn on their tunics to indicate that they had assumed the cross and were soldiers of Christ .


The causes of the Crusades were many and complex, but prevailing religious beliefs were clearly of major importance. The Crusaders continued an older tradition of the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which was often imposed as a penance .   Now, however, they assumed a two roles as pilgrims and warriors. Such an armed pilgrimage was regarded as a justifiable war, because it was fought to recapture the places sacred to that of the Christians .


Jerusalem had been under Muslim rule since the 7th century, but pilgrimages were not cut off until the 11th century, when the Seljuk Turks began to interfere with Christian pilgrims.   For Christians, the very name of Jerusalem evoked visions of the end of time and of the heavenly city.   To help rescue the Holy Land fulfilled the ideal of the Christian knight.   Papal encouragement, the hope of eternal merit, and the offer of indulgences motivated thousands to enroll in the cause .


Political considerations were also important.   The Crusades were a response to...

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