The cause and effect of the first crusade

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An Examination of the Causes and Success of The First CrusadeReligion has served mankind for thousands of years in our search for meaning and direction. Religion serves as a way of defining our lives and providing a sense of meaning or direction, having done so since the beginning of time. While religion may appear to be a peaceful endeavor, it is an endless source of violence and bloodshed. The duality of religion is accurately portrayed in the Christian crusades. The crusades of the late antiquity exemplified this duality of religion and the horror religion can bring. Thousands upon thousands fought and died, not for king or country, but under God. The kingdoms of Christendom united under the common goal of retaking the holy land and driving the Muslims from Jerusalem. The crusades were by no means a small affair; it was the first time since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire that Europe became organized against a common threat. This holy war served not only as a way to guarantee relative peace throughout Europe but also provided opportunity to acquire wealth and land. The crusades provided an outlet for aggression and greed without fear of excommunication of religious backlash. Thus the crusades were not a simple mission of aid to the Byzantine Empire; rather it was an opportunity to satisfy the needs of Christendom at the expense of Muslims, a people to which little was known in the western world. According to Palmer Throop, there lie three reasons for a crusade: the first is the honor and fame received by any leader who presents a great army against the enemies of the cross. Secondly, it provides merits and indulgences, which in turn help to attain salvation amongst its participants. And thirdly, the cleansing of the holy land from the filth of Muslims it would result in a purification of true faith. Thus, the aim of this paper is two fold; first, to determine the factors leading to the beginning of the first crusade, as well as determining to what


Bibliography: ull, Marcus. Knightly piety and the lay response to the First Crusade : the Limousin and Gascony, c. 970-c. 1130 / Oxford : Clarendon Press ; Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1993. Asbridge, Thomas S., The first crusade : a new history. 1st Oxford University Press paperback, 2005Krey, August. C, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 257-62 http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/cde-jlem.html#raymond3Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The first crusade and the idea of crusading. London [England] : Athlone, c1986. Richard, Jean. The Crusades c.1071-c.1290 ,Cambridge, U.K.; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, c1999. Runciman, Steven, The First Crusade. Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2005. Throop, Palmer A. Criticism of the crusade : a study of public opinion and crusade propaganda /. Philadelphia : Porcupine Press, 1975

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