The crusade of Urban II
Pope Urban II was the key figure behind promoting the idea of Crusades. His appeal played key role in initiating the series of famous religious war historically known as the Crusades. Pope’s famous plea led to the formation of the very first group that marched towards Jerusalem to fight against the Muslim forces. Pope Urban II appeal was made in November, 1095 (Asbridge 1) calling for a Holy War against the Muslims and to liberate Jerusalem. The Crusade thus initiated continued for a few centuries involving almost the entire continents of Europe and Asia. Primarily, the appeal was made to provoke the French Knights to fight a war for the sake of Christian religion. In return, the Pope gave them a hope of “an unprecedented spiritual reward – the remission of all their sins – and thereby escape the torments of Hell, their likely destination after lives of violence and greed” (Phillips). Later the holy procession was joined by religious fanatics from Italy and Germany – some of them seeking religious and spiritual rewards while others were driven by monetary gains.
The first Crusade known as the People's Crusade left in 1096. More than 60, 000 Christians led by Count Raymond IV of Toulouse went marching towards the holy land to fight Muslim forces (Phillips). A large number of preachers and monks carried on a vigorous campaign calling for participation of masses in the holy war. The holy war thus started lasted till 1099 brought a victory for Christians knights. Four years of war resulted in large number of killings from both sides. Once the city was captured, the crusaders mercilessly slaughtered their opponents. The bloodshed continuing for seven days hardly left any Muslim alive. “The Christians took possession of the houses and property of the infidels, each soldier having a right to that which he had first seized and placed his mark upon” (The First Crusade).
Pope Urban’s idea of holy war became part of the...
Cited: Asbridge, Thomas. The First Crusade: The Roots of Conflict Between Christianity and Islam. Oxford University Press US, 2005
Phillips, Jonathan. The Call of the Crusades. History Today Volume: 59 Issue: 11. Accessed November 13, 2012 http://www.historytoday.com/jonathan-phillips/call-crusades
The Christian Crusades. Accessed November 13, 2012 http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/bible/crusades.stm
The First Crusade. Accessed November 13, 2012 http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/the-first-crusade.htm
The Second Crusade. Accessed November 13, 2012 http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/the-second-crusade.htm
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