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The Crusades: A Successful Failure Essay

1528 words - 7 pages

Founder of Constantinople, Constantine claimed the great Byzantine Empire and in turn inherited the new Holy Roman Empire. With the Edict of Milan in 313, Constantine proclaimed religious tolerance of Christians throughout the empire and soon the religion spread. Constantine then transformed the city of Byzantium into the new capital of the Roman Empire, which then was known and proclaimed as Constantinople. The new capital would profit from its location being closer to the east frontier, having then the advantage of better trading, and a militarily sound location being protected on three sides by water.
The location of the new capital would without a doubt later be a cause of concern for ...view middle of the document...

November of 1095 Urban II consented to Alexius' request and called all to aid of their fellow Christians who had been attacked by the Turks. Perhaps having various other reasons for aiding Alexius, the sole reason that seems to stand out is that of healing relations between the Eastern and Western Church which had been severed after the Great Schism. To what extent the Crusades were successful is debatable. Ultimately, however, the Crusades did not manage to heal the split between the Eastern and Western Church, but did manage to strengthen the Roman Catholic Church and simultaneously accelerated trade and gave huge economic gains to Western Europe. In other words, the Crusades were a successful failure.
In his call at Clermont in 1095, Pope Urban II asked all fellow Christians to join in the aid of the Christians in the East that were then prone to Turkish attacks. Requesting that they all leave their lives and run to their aid, Pope Urban II explained how they would be doing all in the name of God. The Pope let all of the people know that they would all be greatly recompensed in following God's will and fighting for God and in doing so he further led the people to understand that any killing they would do would be forgiven since it was all to be in God's will. In addition, he insisted that if any were to die in this aid, they would all be forgiven for all their earthly sins. Furthermore, Pope Urban II adds the argument that they are to reclaim the Lord's land in his name. Here Urban II referred to the lands which the Muslims had taken over; most importantly the Holy City itself, Jerusalem.
The First Crusade saw great success with its capture of Antioch in 1098. Soon after Jerusalem was recovered as the Knights moved in on a divided people in Jerusalem. The Knights were few in number unlike the Turks who were many. However, the Turks and Muslims there were not unified. Taking notice of the struggle between them, the Knights worked with the Muslims and thus were able to defeat the Turks. The Knights then turned against the Muslims, betraying them and beginning a full out slaughter in Jerusalem.
Later in 1202, failure was the most evident in the Fourth Crusade. The Muslims had taken the prior loss of Jerusalem primarily as a religious blow. For this reason they sought its recovery and under Saladin in 1187, after having regained much of the land of Syria, Jerusalem fell again under Muslim rule. A Third Crusade sought to fight against these Muslim advances but in the end failed. Becoming Pope in 1198, Innocent III's main focus with respect to the Crusades was to reclaim once more the Holy City of Jerusalem. Innocent III thus assembled and mobilized the Fourth Crusade.
The goal was to liberate Jerusalem. The Crusaders were known as the Knights of Templar, the soldiers of flesh and spirit. The Knights were called upon to protect pilgrims and defend against infidels, a task they would soon ignore. The route taken this time was by way of sea...

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