Last Updated 12 Aug 2020

Holy Wars: The Crusades

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The crusades were referred to as Holy Wars, and they were said to be at least nine of them. They were consisted of military campaigns of the Roman Church during the Middle Ages. The Crusades were a series of non-secular and political wars fought between 1096-1291 for control of the Holy Land which is the state in Israel. The primary Crusade was initiated by Pope Urban II so as to assist the Christian Byzantium, which was under attack by Muslin Seljuk Turks.

They battled a heresy with the church. The crusades were organized by western European Christians after centuries of Muslim wars of expansion. Their primary objectives were to 1) stop the expansion of Muslim states, 2) to reclaim for Christianity the Holy Land in the Middle East, and 3) to recapture territories that had formerly been Christian. The crusaders of the primary Crusade managed to recapture the Celestial city of Jerusalem in 1099.

But after almost 50 years of peace, fighting broke out again, with the Muslims the winners. The Third Crusade was a Muslim world division. It made heroes out of the Muslim leader Saladin and therefore the English king, who became referred to as Richard the Lionhearted. Serfs, peasants who belonged to their lord, joined the crusades because the Pope promised them their freedom if they went, to achieve wealth. Kings encouraged troublesome knights to travel on Crusade because it got them out of the country. The fourth crusade, initiated by Pope Innocent III, approached its peak in 1209.

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The pope managed to excommunicate Otto IV and King John of England. In 1261, the Latin ruler captured the Byzantine Empire and proclaimed a bill which created a uniform of a white tunic and a black cross to the Teutonic knights. The Fifth crusade captured the tower at Damietta in August under the leadership of King Andrew; Frisian, German, and Italian forces joined King Andrew. The sixth crusade was initiated by Frederick II. He decided to first sail to Cyprus to obtain a strong base. On March 17, 1229, Frederick and his army accomplished the four previous crusades have failed to do, he entered Jerusalem under the terms of the peace treaty.

Louis IV initiated both the seventh and the eighth crusade. The seventh crusade was initiated on December in 1244. Several times, Louis and his crew attempted to construct a pontoon bridge but failed. Eventually they were able to arrive at the citadel, where the battle was fought on February 8, 1250. Louis IV’s brother, Robert of Artois died, declaring Louis IV the victor. But after 2.5 month later, a plague was stirred on the way to Damietta, making the strong men to become severely ill, the Egyptians captured the weak men and the king and many of his barons. The eighth crusade wasn’t any better.

Because of the lack of clean water, much of Louis army was ailing and due to this, Louis’s son, John Tristan died. On August 25, 1270 Louis dies from a plague. Without a leader, the crusaders tried to make their way towards Syria but was soon forced to go back to France because of a storm wiping away their supplies. The ninth crusade was led by Prince Edward of England. Edward landed in Acre and attempted to win support for his cause but failed because nobody was interested of his father\'s illness, making Edward return home. After that, there were no more attempts to capture the Holy land.

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