Christian Cyclopedia

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1. Military expeditions initiated by the ch. against Muslim and others. They are variously numbered. Their purpose was to recover the Holy Land for Christianity. Ca. 1074 Gregory VII (see Popes, 7) gathered an army for war against the infidels, but his plans were not carried out, first because of the hostility of R. Guiscard,* later because of the investiture* controversy. At the end of the c. the time seemed more propitious; Urban* II preached a crusade against Islam* 1095, stirring the Council of Clermont* to a frenzy of enthusiasm further fanned by the fanaticism of Peter* the Hermit. Peasants, lower clergy, runaway monks, women, and children joined the movement and gave the advance guard of the crusading army the character of a mob; it came to a miserable end in Hungary and across the Bosporus.

2. The armies that set out 1096 on the 1 st Crusade lacked unity in motives, but were successful in this, that Nicaea* was taken 1097; the sultan of Iconium (now Konya, or Konia), another city in Asia Minor, was defeated soon thereafter; Antioch in Syria was captured June 1098; Jerusalem fell July 15, 1099. But increasing prosperity of the armies of occupation and of the It. merchants who settled in Syrian ports led to debility and internal strife, with disastrous consequences. The frontier fortress of Edessa (now Urfa, SE Turkey) was captured by Zangi, atabeg of Mosul, December 25, 1144, and the spirit of battle and conquest on the part of the Christians was decidedly quenched. See also Anna Comnena; Godfrey of Bouillon.

3. The 2d Crusade was organized 1147; its leaders were Louis* VII of France and Conrad* III of Ger.; it failed; by 1149 its armies returned to Eur.

4. When Saladin (1138–93) came to power in Egypt, he made it his object to drive the Christians out of Palestine. He took Jerusalem 1187 and restricted Christian power to Antioch in Syria, Tripoli, Tyre, and the Hospitalers'* fortress at Margat by 1189. News of the fall of Jerusalem led immediately to the organization of the 3d Crusade, with Frederick* I of Ger., Richard* I of Eng., and Philip* II of Fr. as its leaders. But Frederick drowned 1190 in the Calycadnus (now Göksu) river near Selefke (Seleucia); after Acre was taken in 1191 by Richard and Philip, they quarreled; Philip left for Fr. immediately; Richard left for Eng. 1192. The Crusade failed in its object, but ended in a 3-yr. peace with Saladin, saved Antioch, Tripoli, and a coastal strip for the Christians, and secured permission for small groups of Christians to visit Jerusalem.

5. The following Crusades came to be marked by profoundly different aims and methods. The 4th Crusade (1202–04) was first promoted by Innocent III (see Popes, 10) along the old lines. But Philip* of Swabia and the Venetians under leadership of their doge, Enrico Dandolo (ca. 1108–1205), turned the Crusade to their own purposes; Zadar (It. Zara), an Adriatic port that had been taken by the Hungarians, was conquered 1202; Constantinople was taken and sacked 1204, the empire being divided bet. Venice and the Crusaders.

6. In 1212 an outburst of fanatical enthusiasm led to the Children's Crusade, an ill-conceived and disastrously executed venture led by Stephen, a 12-yr.old Fr. shepherd, and Nicolas, an 8-yr.-old Ger. Hardship, death, and moral and literal shipwreck took their toll; many Fr. children fell into the hands of slavers.

7. Sporadic attempts were made in the next yrs. to rouse the original spirit of the Crusades, but defeat and ignominy resulted. The 5th Crusade (1218–21) was the last begun under Innocent III. Frederick* II of Ger. led the 6th Crusade 1228–29. His diplomacy achieved unexpected success. Bethlehem, Nazareth, and most of Jerusalem, as well as the pilgrim route from Acre to Jerusalem, were given to the Christians for a treaty period of 10 yrs. On expiration of the treaty, Thibaut IV (1201–53), count of Champagne and king of Navarre, led an expedition to Acre 1239 in an attempt to retain Jerusalem. He was joined 1240–41 by forces of Richard of Cornwall (1209 to 1272), king of the Romans. But the Christians were defeated and lost Jerusalem 1244.

8. The last efforts of Christian monarchs to gain control of the Holy Land were the 7th and 8th Crusades, undertaken by Louis* IX of Fr. On the 7th Crusade (1248–54) he reached Egypt 1249 via Cyprus; was defeated, captured, and released on ransom; went thence to Acre 1250; tried to strengthen Christian holdings in the Holy Land; returned to Fr. 1254 on the death of his mother. On the 8th Crusade (1270) Louis IX went with his brother, Charles of Anjou, to Tunis; Louis died there of the plague; Charles ended the Crusade by successful negotiation. But with the fall of Caesarea and Arsuf 1265, Antioch and Joppa 1268, Tripoli 1289, and Acre 1291, Christians lost all ground they had gained in the Crusades.

9. Two results of the Crusades were increase of papal power because of the leading role played by popes in inaugurating these expeditions, and growth of the spirit of religious intolerance. This latter spirit found expression in the Inquisition.* Other crusades were against Poland, the Utraquists,* Taborites, Cathari* (e.g., Albigenses,* Bogomiles*). Stedingers,* and others (see also Hussites; Bohemian Brethren). The force of the crusader spirit in connection with inquisitorial measures abated only gradually.

T. A. Archer and C. L. Kingsford, The Crusades: The Story of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (New York, 1894); The Cambridge Medieval History, planned by J. B. Bury, ed. J. R. Tanner, C. W. Previtè-Orton, and Z. N. Brooke, V (New York, 1926; reprinted with corrections 1929), 265–333; D. C. Munro, The Kingdom of the Crusaders (New York, 1935); S. Runciman, A History of the Crusades, 3 vols. (Cambridge, Eng., 1951–54); A History of the Crusades, ed.-in-chief K. M. Setton, 2 vols., I ed. M. W. Baldwin, II ed. R. L. Wolff and H. W. Hazard (Philadelphia 1955, 1962); R. Pernoud, The Crusaders, tr. E. Grant (Philadelphia, 1964). HTM

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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