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First Crusade

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Rachel Dearth
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« on: April 30, 2007, 03:38:29 am »



The capture of Jerusalem marked the First Crusade's success

The First Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the dual goals of liberating the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslims and freeing the Eastern Christians from Muslim rule. What started as an appeal to the French knightly class quickly turned into a wholesale migration and conquest of territory outside of Europe. Both knights and peasants from many nations of Western Europe, with little central leadership, travelled over land and by sea towards Jerusalem and captured the city in July 1099, establishing the Kingdom of Jerusalem and other Crusader states. Although these gains lasted for less than two hundred years, the First Crusade was a major turning point in the expansion of Western power, and was the only crusade to capture Jerusalem.
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2007, 03:39:21 am »

Background

The origins of the Crusades in general, and of the First Crusade in particular, stem from events earlier in the Middle Ages. The breakdown of the Carolingian Empire in previous centuries, combined with the relative stability of European borders after the Christianization of the Vikings and Magyars, gave rise to an entire class of warriors who now had little to do but fight among themselves.

By the early 8th century, the Arab Empire under the Umayyads had rapidly captured North Africa, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Spain from a predominantly Christian Byzantine Empire. During the 9th century, the Reconquista picked up an ideological potency that is considered to be the first example of a "Christian" effort to recapture territory, seen as lost to Muslims, as part of the expansion efforts of the Christian kingdoms along the Bay of Biscay. Spanish kingdoms, knightly orders and mercenaries began to mobilize from across Europe for the fight against the surviving and predominantly Moorish Umayyad caliphate at Cordoba.

Other Muslim kingdoms emerging from the collapse of the Umayyads in the 8th century, such as the Aghlabics, had entered Italy in the 9th century. The Kalbid state that arose in the region, weakened by dynastic struggles, became prey to the Normans capturing Sicily by 1091. Pisa, Genoa, and Aragon began to battle other Muslim kingdoms for control of the Mediterranean, exemplified by the Mahdia campaign and battles at Mallorca and Sardinia.

The idea of a Holy War against the Muslims seemed acceptable to medieval European secular and religious powers, as well as the public in general, for a number of reasons such as the recent military successes of European kingdoms along the Mediterranean. In addition there was the emerging political conception of Christendom, which saw the union of Christian kingdoms under Papal guidance for the first time (in the High Middle Ages) and the creation of a Christian army to fight the Muslims. Finally, Jerusalem, along with the surrounding lands including the places where Christ lived and died, was sacred to Christians.

In 1074, Pope Gregory VII called for the milites Christi ("soldiers of Christ") to go to the aid of the Byzantine Empire in the east. The Byzantines had suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert three years previously. This call, while largely ignored and even opposed, combined with the large numbers of pilgrimages to the Holy Land in the 11th century, focused a great deal of attention on the east. Exhortations by monks such as Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, which spread reports of Muslims abusing Christian pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem and other Middle Eastern holy sites, further stoked the crusading zeal. It was Pope Urban II who first disseminated to the general public the idea of a Crusade to capture the Holy Land with the famous words, Deus vult! ("God wills it!")
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2007, 03:42:04 am »



Umayyad Caliphate at its greatest extent.

East in the late eleventh century
 
Western Europe's immediate neighbour to the southeast was the Byzantine Empire, who were fellow Christians but who had long followed a separate Orthodox rite. Under Emperor Alexius I Comnenus, the empire was largely confined to Europe and the western coast of Anatolia, and faced many enemies: the Normans in the west and the Seljuks in the east. Further east, Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt were all under Muslim control, but were politically, and to some extent, culturally fragmented at the time of the First Crusade, which certainly contributed to the Crusade's success. Anatolia and Syria were controlled by the Sunni Seljuks, formerly in one large empire ("Great Seljuk") but by this point divided into many smaller states. Alp Arslan had defeated the Byzantine Empire at Manzikert in 1071 and incorporated much of Anatolia into Great Seljuk, but this empire was split apart by civil war after the death of Malik Shah I in 1092. In the Sultanate of Rüm in Anatolia, Malik Shah was succeeded by Kilij Arslan I and in Syria by his brother Tutush I, who died in 1095. Tutush's sons Radwan and Duqaq inherited Aleppo and Damascus respectively, further dividing Syria amongst emirs antagonistic towards each other, as well as towards Kerbogha, the atabeg of Mosul. These states were on the whole more concerned with consolidating their own territories and gaining control of their neighbours, than with cooperating against the crusaders.

Elsewhere in nominal Seljuk territory were the Ortoqids in northeastern Syria and northern Mesopotamia. They controlled Jerusalem until 1098. In eastern Anatolia and northern Syria, a state was founded by Danishmend, a Seljuk mercenary; the crusaders did not have significant contact with either group until after the Crusade. The Hashshashin were also becoming important in Syrian affairs.

When Palestine was under Persian and early Islamic rule, Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land were generally treated well. The early Islamic ruler, Caliph Omar, allowed Christians to perform all of their rites – minus any overt pomp. Yet beginning in the early eleventh century (1010 AD) Sultan Hakim of Egypt began to persecute the Christians of Palestine and burnt many Christian buildings. He eventually relented and instead of burning and killing, he implemented a toll tax for Christian pilgrims entering Jerusalem. The worse was yet to come. A group of Turkish Muslims, the Seljuks, very powerful, very aggressive and very stringent followers of Islam, began their rise to power. The Seljuks viewed Christian pilgrims negatively as pollutants and ‘cracked down’ on Christians in Palestine. Barbaric stories of persecution began to filter back to Latin Christendom; rather then having the effect of discouraging pilgrims, this made the pilgrimage to the Holy Land even that much more holy. Not even the changing of the pilgrimage stories of wondrous amazement to barbaric persecutions deterred Christians.

Egypt and much of Palestine were controlled by the Arab Shi'ite Fatimids, whose empire was significantly smaller since the arrival of the Seljuks; Alexius I had advised the crusaders to work with the Fatimids against their common Seljuk enemies. The Fatimids, at this time ruled by caliph al-Musta'li (although all actual power was held by the vizier al-Afdal Shahanshah), had lost Jerusalem to the Seljuks in 1076, but recaptured it from the Ortoqids in 1098 while the crusaders were on the march. The Fatimids did not, at first, consider the crusaders a threat, assuming they had been sent by the Byzantines and that they would be content with recapturing Syria, leaving Palestine alone; they did not send an army against the crusaders until they were already at Jerusalem.

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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2007, 03:45:48 am »



Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, given a late Gothic setting in this illumination from the Livre des Passages d'Outre-mer, of c 1490 (Bibliothèque National)

The Council of Clermont was a mixed synod of ecclesiastics and laymen of the Catholic Church, which was held in November 1095 at Clermont, France and triggered the First Crusade.

Background

In 1095 Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus sent envoys to the west requesting military assistance against the Seljuk Turks. The message was received by Pope Urban II at the Council of Piacenza; later that year, in November, Urban called the Council of Clermont to discuss the matter further. In convoking the council, Urban urged the bishops and abbots whom he addressed directly, to bring with them the prominent lords in their provinces.

The Council lasted from November 18 to November 28, and was attended by about 300 clerics from throughout France. Urban discussed Cluniac reforms of the Church, and also extended the excommunication of Philip I of France for his adulterous remarriage to Bertrade of Montfort. On November 27, Urban spoke for the first time about the problems in the east, as he declared bellum sacrum against the Muslims who had occupied the Holy Land and were attacking the Eastern Roman Empire.

There are six main sources of information about this portion of the council: the anonymous Gesta Francorum ("The Deeds of the Franks") influencing others: Fulcher of Chartres, Robert the Monk, Baldric, archbishop of Dol, and Guibert de Nogent, who were apparently present at the council; also a letter survives that was written by Urban himself in December of 1095.

Gesta Dei per Francos by Fulcher of Chartres presents the call to the "race of the Franks" as a peroration climaxing Urban's call for orthodoxy, reform and submission to the Church:

Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor. [1]

According to Fulcher, Urban addressed various abuses of the church such as simony and the lack of adherence to the Peace of God. He then asked western Christians, poor and rich, to come to the aid of the Greeks in the east, because "Deus vult," ("God wills it"), the rousing cry with which Urban ended his final address. Fulcher records that Urban promised remission of sins for those who went to the east, although he probably did not mean what later came to be called indulgences.

Robert the Monk, writing, about twenty years after the council, an extended version of the speech in Gesta Francorum, recorded that Urban's emphasis was on reconquering the Holy Land rather than aiding the Greeks; the intervening decades and the events of the First Crusade had certainly shifted the emphasis. According to Robert, Urban listed various gruesome offenses of the Muslims:

They circumcise the Christians, and the blood of the circumcision they either spread upon the altars or pour into the vases of the baptismal font.

and more alleged atrocities expressed in inflammatory images that were derived from hagiography, but did not mention indulgences. Perhaps with the wisdom of hindsight, Robert makes Urban advise that none but knights should go, not the old and feeble, nor priests without the permission of their bishops, "for such are more of a hindrance than aid, more of a burden than advantage... nor ought women to set out at all, without their husbands or brothers or legal guardians."

About the same time, Baldrick, archbishop of Dol, also basing his account generally on Gesta Francorum, focused on the offenses of the Muslims and the reconquest of the Holy Land in terms likely to appeal to chivalry. Like Fulcher he also recorded that Urban deplored the violence of the Christian knights of Gaul. "It is less wicked to brandish your sword against Saracens," Baldrick's Urban cries, comparing them to the Amalekites. The violence of knights he wanted to see ennobled in the service of Christ, defending the churches of the East as if defending a mother. Baldrick asserts that Urban, there on the spot, appointed the bishop of Puy to lead the crusade.

Guibert, abbot of Nogent, was an eye witness; he also recorded that Urban's emphasis was reconquest of the Holy Land, but not necessarily to help the Greeks or other Christians there; Urban's speech, in Nogent's version, emphasized the sanctity of the Holy Land, which must be in Christian possession so that prophecies about the end of the world could be fulfilled.

On the last day of the council, a general call was sent out to the knights and nobles of France. Urban apparently knew in advance of the day that Raymond IV of Toulouse, exemplary for courage and piety, was fully prepared to take up arms. Urban himself spent a few months preaching the Crusade in France, while papal legates spread the word in the south of Italy, during which time the focus presumably turned from helping Alexius to taking Jerusalem; the general population, upon hearing about the Council, probably understood this to be the point of the Crusade in the first place.

Urban's own letter, addressed to the faithful "waiting in Flanders," does not mention Jerusalem at all; he only calls for help for the Eastern Churches, and appoints Adhemar of Le Puy to lead the Crusade, to set out on the day of the Assumption of Mary, August 15.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Clermont
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2007, 03:57:21 am »

People's Crusade

The People's Crusade is part of the First Crusade and lasted roughly six months from April 1096 to October. It is also known as the Popular Crusade, Peasants' Crusade, or the Paupers' Crusade.

Background

Pope Urban II planned departure of the crusade for August 15, 1096, but months before this, a number of unexpected armies of peasants and lowly knights organized and set off for Jerusalem on their own. The peasant population had been afflicted by drought, famine, and plague for many years before 1096, and some of them seem to have envisioned the crusade as an escape from these hardships. Spurring them on had been a number of coincidental meteorological occurrences beginning in 1095 that seemed to be a divine blessing for the movement: a meteor shower, aurorae, a lunar eclipse, and a comet, among other events. An outbreak of ergotism, which usually led to mass pilgrimages anyway, had also occurred just before the Council of Clermont. Millenarianism, the belief that the end of the world was imminent, popular in the early 11th century, experienced a resurgence in popularity. The response was beyond expectations: While Urban might have expected a few thousand knights, he ended up with a migration numbering up to 100,000 of mostly unskilled fighters, including women and children.

A charismatic monk and powerful orator named Peter the Hermit of Amiens was the spiritual leader of the movement. He was known for riding a donkey and dressing in simple clothing. He had vigorously preached the crusade throughout northern France and Flanders. He claimed to have been appointed to preach by Christ himself (and supposedly had a divine letter to prove it), and it is likely that some of his followers thought he, not Urban, was the true originator of the crusading idea. It is often believed that Peter's army was a band of illiterate, incompetent peasants who had no idea where they were going, and who believed that every city of any size they encountered on their way was Jerusalem itself; this may have been true for some, but the long tradition for pilgrimages to Jerusalem ensured that the location and distance of the city were well-known. While the majority were unskilled in fighting, there were some well-trained minor knights leading them, such as the future chronicler Fulcher of Chartres, and Walter Sans-Avoir (also known as Walter the Penniless), who, as his name suggests, was an impoverished knight with no lord and no vassals, but was nonetheless experienced in warfare
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2007, 04:00:37 am »



1888 map showing proximity of Semlin, river Save and Belgrade
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2007, 04:01:18 am »

Walter and the French
 
Peter gathered his army at Cologne on April 12, 1096, planning to stop there and preach to the Germans and gather more crusaders. The French, however, were not willing to wait for Peter and the Germans and under the leadership of Walter Sans-Avoir a few thousand French crusaders left before Peter reaching Hungary on May 8, passing through Hungary without incident and arriving at the river Save at the border of Byzantine territory at Belgrade. The Belgrade commander was taken by surprise having no orders on what to do with them and refused entry, forcing the crusaders to pillage the countryside for food. This resulted in skirmishes with the Belgrade garrison and, to make matters worse, sixteen of Walter's men had tried to rob a market in Semlin across the river in Hungary and were stripped of their armor and clothing which was hung from the castle walls. Eventually the crusaders were allowed to carry on to Nish, where they were provided with food and waited to hear from Constantinople on their allowed passage. By the end of July the army arrived in Constantinople under Byzantine escort.

Cologne to Constantinople

Peter and the remaining crusaders left Cologne on about April 20. About 20,000 followers left immediately, while another group would follow soon after (see the German Crusade). When they reached the Danube, part of the army decided to continue on by boat down the Danube, while the main body continued overland and entered Hungary at Ödenburg (now Sopron). There it continued through Hungary without incident and rejoined the Danube contingent at Semlin on the Byzantine frontier.

In Semlin the crusaders became suspicious, seeing Walter's sixteen suits of armor hanging from the walls, and eventually a dispute over the price of a pair of shoes in the market led to a riot, which then turned in to an all-out assault on the city by the crusaders (probably against the desires of Peter), in which 4,000 Hungarians were killed. The crusaders then fled across the river Save to Belgrade, but only after skirmishing with Belgrade troops. The residents of Belgrade fled, and the crusaders pillaged and burned the city. Then they marched for seven days, arriving at Nish on July 3. There, the commander of Nish promised to provide escort for Peter's army to Constantinople as well as food, if he would leave right away. Peter obliged, and the next morning he set out. However, a few Germans got into a dispute with some locals along the road and set fire to a mill, which escalated out of Peter's control until Nish sent out its entire garrison against the crusaders. The crusaders were completely routed, losing about a quarter of their number, the remainder regrouping further on at Bela Palanka. When they reached Sofia on July 12, they met their Byzantine escort, which brought them safely the rest of the way to Constantinople by August 1.

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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2007, 04:04:00 am »



Humiliating defeat of the People's Crusade army (Miniature of 1490)
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2007, 04:06:08 am »

Leadership breakdown

Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus, not knowing what else to do with such an unusual and unexpected "army", quickly ferried them across the Bosporus by August 6. It has since been debated whether he sent them away without Byzantine guides knowing full well that they could be slaughtered by the Turks, or whether they insisted on continuing into Asia despite his warnings. In any case, it is known that Alexius warned Peter not to engage the Turks, whom he believed to be superior to Peter's motley army, and to wait for the main body of crusaders who were still on the way.

Peter was re-joined by the French under Walter Sans-Avoir and a number of bands of Italian crusaders who arrived at the same time. Once in Asia they began to pillage towns and reached Nicomedia where an argument broke out between the Germans and Italians on one side and the French on the other. The Germans and Italians split off and elected a new leader, an Italian named Rainald, while for the French, Geoffrey Burel took command. Peter had effectively lost control of the crusade.

Even though Alexius had urged Peter to wait for the Princes and main army, Peter had lost much of his authority and the crusaders spurred each other on, moving more boldly against nearby towns until finally the French reached the edge of Nicaea, a capital Turkish stronghold, where they pillaged the suburbs. The Germans, not to be outdone, marched with six thousand crusaders on Xerigordon and captured the city to use it as a base to raid the countryside. In response the Turks sent a sizeable army against Xerigordon and on September 29 captured the only water source, located outside the city walls, which the Germans had failed to notice. After eight days of drinking the blood of donkeys and their own urine the crusaders were forced to surrender. Those who remained true to Christianity were killed while those who converted were sent off into slavery.


Crisis
 
Back at the main crusaders' camp, Turkish spies had spread the rumor that the Germans who had taken Xerigordon had also taken Nicaea, which caused excitement to get there as soon as possible to share in the looting. Of course, the Turks had ambushed the road to Nicaea. When the real truth of what had happened at Xerigordon reached the crusaders, excitement turned to panic. Peter the Hermit had gone back to Constantinople to arrange for supplies and was due back soon, and most of the leaders argued to wait for him to return (which he never did). However Geoffrey Burel, who had popular support among the masses of the army, argued that it would be cowardly to wait, and they should move against the Turks right away. His will prevailed: On the morning of October 21 the entire army of 20,000 marched out toward Nicaea, leaving women, children, the old and the sick behind at the camp.

Three miles from the camp, where the road entered a narrow, wooded valley near the village of Dracon, the Turkish ambush was waiting. Panic set in immediately and within minutes the mass of the army was in full rout back to the camp. Most of the crusaders were defeated; children and those who surrendered were spared, however. Thousands of soldiers that attempted to fight back were all outbattled. Three thousand, including Geoffrey Burel, were lucky enough to hole up in an old abandoned castle. Eventually the Byzantines sailed over and raised the siege; these few thousand returned to Constantinople, the only survivors of the People's Crusade.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Crusade
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2007, 04:13:24 am »



1250 French Bible illustration depicts Jews (identifiable by Judenhut) being massacred by Crusaders


German Crusade, 1096

The German Crusade of 1096 is that part of the First Crusade in which peasant crusaders from France and Germany, attacked Jewish communities. Although anti-Semitism had existed in Europe for centuries, this is the first record of an organized mass pogrom. However, as Pope Urban II did not mention the Jewish people when preaching the First Crusade, and later condemned any violence perpetrated against the Jews, these attacks on Jewish communities can be considered perversions of the Crusader cause. In some cases, authorities and religious leaders attempted to shelter their Jewish subjects.

Background

The preaching of the First Crusade inspired an outbreak of anti-Semitism. It was popularly believed that the Christian conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of a Christian emperor there would instigate the End Times, during which the Jews were supposed to convert to Christianity. In parts of France and Germany, Jews were perceived as just as much of an enemy as Muslims: they were thought to be responsible for the crucifixion, and they were more immediately visible than the far-away Muslims. Many people wondered why they should travel thousands of miles to fight non-believers when there were already non-believers closer to home.
It is also likely that the crusaders were motivated by a need for money, and the Rhineland communities were relatively wealthy, both due to their isolation, and because they were not restricted as Christians were against moneylending.

There had not been a multi-nation movement against Jews by Christians since the seventh century's mass wave of expulsions and forced conversions. While there had been a number of regional persecutions of Jews by Christians, such as the one in Metz in 888, a plot against Jews in Limoges in 992, a wave of anti-Jewish persecution by Christian millenniary movements (who believed that Jesus was set to descend from Heaven) in the year 1000, and the threat of expulsion from Treves in 1066; these are all viewed “in the traditional terms of governmental outlawry rather than unbridled popular attacks.”[1] Also many movements against Jews (such as forced conversions by King Robert the Pious of France, Richard II, Duke of Normandy, and Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor around 1007-12) had been quashed by either Roman Catholicism’s Papacy or its Bishops.[1] The passions that arouse among much of the Christian populace after Urban II’s call for the first crusade moved persecution of Jews into a new chapter in history where these previous constants no longer held.

The level of anti-Semitism at the time can be seen in the comments of Godfrey of Bouillon who “swore that he would not set out on the Crusade before avenging the blood of Christ [with that of the Jews]…so that there might not remain alive a remnant among them.” Emperor Henry IV (after being notified of the pledge by Qalonymus the Jewish leader in Mainz) issued an order prohibiting such an action. Godfrey claimed he never really intended to kill Jews, but the community in Mainz and Cologne sent him a collected bribe of 500 silver marks.[2]

Sigebert of Gembloux wrote that before “a war in behalf of the Lord” could be fought it was essential that the Jews convert, those who resisted were “deprived of their goods, massacred, and expelled from the cities.”[2]

The first outbreaks of violence occurred in France. A contemporary chronicle of events written by an anonymous author in Mainz wrote “There first arose the officers, nobles, and common people who were in the land of France [Sarefat] who took counsel together and plotted…to make clear the way to go toward Jerusalem.”[2] Richard of Poitiers wrote that Jewish persecution was widespread in France at the beginning of the expeditions to the east.[2] Some Jews dispersed eastward to escape the persecution.[3]

On top of the general Christian suspicion of Jews at the time, when the thousands of French members of the People's Crusade arrived at the Rhine, they had run out of provisions.[4] To restock their supplies, they began to plunder Jewish food and property while attempting to enforce Christianity upon them.[4]

Not all crusaders who had run out of supplies resorted to murder, some like Peter the Hermit of Amiens used extortion instead. While no sources claim he preached against the Jews, he carried a letter with him from the Jews of France to the community at Trier. The letter urged them to supply provisions to Peter and his men. The Jewish chronicler Solomon b. Simson recorded that they were so terrified by Peter’s appearance at the gates that they readily agreed to supply his needs.[2] Whatever Peter's own position on the Jews was, men claiming to follow after him felt free to use their own initiative to massacre Jews and pillage their possessions.[2]

Sometimes Jews survived by being subjected to involuntary baptism, such as in Regensburg where a crusading mob rounded up the entire Jewish community, forced them into the Danube, and performed a mass baptism. After the crusaders had left the region these Jews returned to practicing Judaism.[1]


Folkmar and Gottschalk


In the spring of 1096, a number of small bands of knights and peasants, inspired by the preaching of the Crusade, set off from various parts of France and Germany. The crusade of the priest Folkmar, beginning in Saxony, persecuted Jews in Magdeburg and later, on May 30, 1096 in Prague in Bohemia. The Catholic Bishop Cosmas attempted to prevent forced conversions, and the entire Catholic hierachy in Bohemia preached against such acts.[1] Duke Bratislav was out of the country and the Catholic Church's officials' protests were unable to stop the mob of crusaders.[1]

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church as a whole condemned the persecution of the Jews in the regions affected (though their protests had little effect). Especially vocal were the parish priests (only one monk named Gottschalk is recorded as joining and encouraging the mob).[1] Chronicler Hugo of Flavigny recorded how these religious appeals were ignored, writing “It certainly seems amazing that on a single day in many different places, moved in unison by a violent inspiration, such massacres should have taken place, despite their widespread disapproval and their condemnation as contrary to religion. But we know that they could not have been avoided since they occurred in the face of excommunication imposed by numerous clergymen, and of the threat of punishment on the part of many princes.”[1] In general the crusader mobs did not fear any retribution as the local courts did not have the jurisdiction to pursue them past their locality nor the ability to identify and prosecute individuals out of the mob.[1] The pleas of the clergy were ignored on similar grounds (no cases against individuals were brought forward for excommunication) and the mob believed that anyone preaching mercy to the Jews was only doing so because they had succumbed to Jewish bribery.[1]

Gottschalk the monk went on to led a crusade from the Rhineland and Lorraine into Hungary, occasionally attacking Jewish communities along the way. In late June 1096, the crusader mob of Gottschalk was welcomed by King Coloman of Hungary but they soon began plundering the countryside and causing drunken disorder. The King then demanded they disarm. Once there weapons had been secured the enraged Hungarians fell upon them and “the whole plain was covered with corpses and blood.”[5]

The priest Folkmar and his Saxons also met a similar fate from the Hungarians when they began pillaging villages there because “sedition was incited”.[5][6]


Emicho

The largest of these crusades, and the most involved in attacking Jews, was that led by Count Emicho. Setting off in the early summer of 1096, an army of around 10,000 men, women, and children proceeded through the Rhine valley, towards the Main River and then to the Danube. Emicho was joined by William the Carpenter and Drogo of Nesle, among others from the Rhineland, eastern France, Lorraine, Flanders, and even England.

Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, absent in southern Italy, ordered the Jews to be protected when he learned of Emicho's intent. After some Jews were killed at Metz in May, Bishop John of Speyer, gave shelter to the Jewish inhabitants. Still at least 12 Jews of Speyer were slain by crusaders on May 3.[2] The Bishop of Worms also attempted to shelter Jews, but the crusaders broke in to his episcopal palace and killed the Jews inside on May 18. At least 800 Jews were massacred in Worms when they refused Christian baptism.[7][2]

News of Emicho's crusade spread quickly, and he was prevented from entering Mainz on May 25 by Bishop Ruthard. Emicho also took an offering of gold raised by the Jews of Mainz in hoped to gain his favor and their safety.[2] Bishop Ruthard tried to protect the Jews by hiding them in his lightly fortified palace. Nevertheless Emicho did not prevent his followers from entering the city[2] on May 27 and a massacre followed. Many among the Christian business class (the burghers) in Mainz, had working ties with Jews and gave them shelter from the mobs (as the burghers in Prague had done).[1] The Mainz burghers joined with the militia of the bishop and the burgrave (the town's military governor) in fighting off the first waves of crusaders. This stand had to be abandoned when crusaders continued to arrive in ever greater numbers.[1] Despite the example of the burghers, many ordinary citizens in Mainz and other the towns were caught up in the frenzy and joined in the persecution and pillaging.[1] Mainz was the site of the greatest violence, with at least 1,100 Jews and (possibly more) being killed by troops under Clarambaud and Thomas.[2] One man, named Isaac, was forcefully converted, but later, wracked with guilt, killed his family and burned himself alive in his house. Another woman, Rachel, killed her four children with her own hands so that they would not be killed by the crusaders.

Eliezer b. Nathan, a Jewish chronicler at the times paraphrased Habakkuk 1:6 and wrote of “cruel foreigners, fierce and swift, Frenchmen and Germans…[who] put crosses on their clothing and were more plentiful than locusts on the face of the earth.”[2]

On May 29 Emicho arrived at Cologne, where most Jews had already left or were hiding in Christian houses. In Cologne, other smaller bands of crusaders met Emicho, and they left with quite a lot of money taken from the Jews there. Emicho continued towards Hungary, soon joined by some Swabians. Coloman of Hungary refused to allow them through Hungary. Count Emicho and his warriors besieged Meseberg, on the Leitha. This led Caloman to prepare to flee into Russia, but the morale of the crusader mob began to fail which inspired the Hungarians and most of the mob was slaughtered or drown in the river. Count Emicho and a few of the leaders escaped into Italy or back to their own homes.[5] William the Carpenter and other survivors eventually joined Hugh of Vermandois and the main body of crusader knights.


Later attacks on Jews

Later in 1096, Godfrey of Bouillon also collected tribute from the Jews in Mainz and Cologne, but there was no slaughter in this case. After the success of the First Crusade in the Holy Land, the Jews in Jerusalem were either slaughtered along with the Muslims, or they were expelled and forbidden from living in the city.

The First Crusade ignited a long tradition of organized violence against Jews in European culture. Jewish money was also used in France for financing the Second Crusade; the Jews were also attacked in many instances, but not on the scale of the attacks of 1096. In England, the Third Crusade was the pretext for the expulsion of the Jews and the confiscation of their money. The two Shepherds' Crusades in 1251 and 1320 also saw attacks on Jews in France; the second in 1320 also attacked and killed Jews in Aragon.


Jewish reactions

News of the attacks spread quickly and reached the Jewish communities in and around Jerusalem long before the crusaders themselves arrived. However, Jews were not systematically killed in Jerusalem, despite being caught up in the general indiscriminate violence caused by the crusaders once they reached the city.

The Hebrew chronicles portray the Rhineland Jews as martyrs who willingly sacrificed themselves in order to honour God and to preserve their own honour. Faced with conversion or death, they usually chose death. On numerous occasions, the chronicles mention a prominent Jew who expresses a willingness to convert, only to speak out against Christ and Christianity when a crowd has gathered for the baptism, mocking Jesus as a product of "lust" and "menstruation"; a swift death followed. The chronicles curse Count Emicho whenever he is mentioned ("may his bones be ground into dust"), and compare the Pope to Satan.

Sigebert of Gembloux wrote that most of those Jews who converted before the crusader threat later returned to Judaism.[2]

In the years following the crusade, the Jewish communities were faced with troubling questions about murder and suicide, which were normally sins for Jews just as they were for Christians. The Rhineland Jews looked to historical precedents to justify their actions: the honourable suicide of Saul, the Maccabees revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the suicide pact at Masada, and the Bar Kochba revolt were seen as justifiable deaths in the face of a stronger enemy.

Previous to the Crusades the Jews were divided among three major areas which were largely independent of one another. These were the Jews living in Islamic nations (still the majority), those in the Byzantium, and those in the Roman Catholic West. With the persecutions that began around 1096 a new awareness of the entire people took hold across all of these groups reuniting the three separate strands.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Crusade%2C_1096
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2007, 04:19:02 am »

Princes' Crusade



Route of the leaders of the first crusade

The Princes' Crusade, also known as the Barons' Crusade, set out later in 1096 in a more orderly manner, led by various nobles with bands of knights from different regions of Europe. The four most significant of these were Raymond IV of Toulouse, who represented the knights of Provence, accompanied by the papal legate Adhemar of Le Puy; Bohemund of Taranto, representing the Normans of southern Italy with his nephew Tancred; The Lorrainers under the brothers Godfrey of Bouillon, Eustace and Baldwin of Boulogne and the Northern French led by Count Robert II of Flanders, Robert of Normandy (older brother of King William II of England), Stephen, Count of Blois, and Hugh of Vermandois the younger brother of King Philip I of France (Philip was forbidden from participating as he was under a ban of excommunication).
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2007, 04:19:58 am »

March to Jerusalem

Leaving Europe around the appointed time in August, the various armies took different paths to Constantinople and gathered outside its city walls between November 1096 and May 1097, two months after the annihilation of the People's Crusade by the Turks. Accompanying the knights were many poor men (pauperes) who could afford basic clothing and perhaps an old weapon. Peter the Hermit, who joined the Princes' Crusade at Constantinople, was considered responsible for their well-being, and they were able to organize themselves into small groups, perhaps akin to military companies, often led by an impoverished knight. One of the largest of these groups, comprising of the survivors of the People's Crusade, named itself the "Tafurs".

The Princes arrived in Constantinople with little food and expected provisions and help from Alexius I. Alexius was understandably suspicious after his experiences with the People's Crusade, and also because the knights included his old Norman enemy, Bohemund. At the same time, Alexius harbored hopes of exercising control over the crusaders, who he seems to have regarded as having the potential to function as a Byzantine proxy. Thus, in return for food and supplies, Alexius requested the leaders to swear fealty to him and promise to return to the Byzantine Empire any land recovered from the Turks. Without food or provisions, they eventually had no choice but to take the oath, though not until all sides had agreed to various compromises, and only after warfare had almost broken out in the city. Only Raymond avoided swearing the oath, instead allying with Alexius against their common enemy, Bohemond.

Alexius agreed to send out a Byzantine army under the command of Taticius to accompany the crusaders through Asia Minor. Their first objective was Nicaea, an old Byzantine city, but now the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rüm under Kilij Arslan I. The city was subjected to a lengthy siege, which was somewhat ineffectual as the crusaders could not blockade the lake on which the city was situated, and from which it could be provisioned. Arslan, from outside the city, advised the garrison to surrender if their situation became untenable. Alexius, fearing the crusaders would sack Nicaea and destroy its wealth, secretly accepted the surrender of the city; the crusaders awoke on the morning of June 19, 1097 to see Byzantine standards flying from the walls. The crusaders were forbidden to loot it, and were not allowed to enter the city except in small escorted bands. This caused a further rift between the Byzantines and the crusaders. The crusaders now began the journey to Jerusalem. Stephen of Blois wrote home, stating he believed it would take five weeks. In fact, the journey would take two years.

The crusaders, still accompanied by some Byzantine troops under Taticius, marched on towards Dorylaeum, where Bohemund was pinned down by Kilij Arslan. At the Battle of Dorylaeum on July 1, Godfrey broke through the Turkish lines, and with the help of the troops led by the legate Adhemar, defeated the Turks and looted their camp. Kilij Arslan withdrew and the crusaders marched almost unopposed through Asia Minor towards Antioch, except for a battle, in September, in which they again defeated the Turks.

The march through Asia was unpleasant. It was the middle of summer and the crusaders had very little food and water; many men died, as did many horses. Christians, in Asia as in Europe, sometimes gave them gifts of food and money, but more often the crusaders looted and pillaged whenever the opportunity presented itself. Individual leaders continued to dispute the overall leadership, although none of them were powerful enough to take command; still, Adhemar was always recognized as the spiritual leader. After passing through the Cilician Gates, Baldwin of Boulogne set off on his own towards the Armenian lands around the Euphrates. In Edessa early in 1098, he was adopted as heir by King Thoros, a Greek Orthodox ruler who was disliked by his Armenian subjects. Thoros was soon assassinated and Baldwin became the new ruler, thus creating the County of Edessa, the first of the crusader states.

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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2007, 04:21:52 am »



A mitred Adhémar de Monteil carrying the Holy Lance in one of the battles of the First Crusade

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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2007, 04:25:57 am »

Siege of Antioch



The Siege of Antioch, from a medieval miniature painting

The Siege of Antioch took place during the First Crusade in 1097 and 1098. The first siege, by the crusaders against the Muslim city, lasted from October 21, 1097, to June 2, 1098. The second siege, against the crusaders who had occupied it, lasted from June 7 to June 28, 1098.

Antioch had been captured from the Byzantine Empire by the Seljuks only very recently, in 1085. The Byzantine fortifications dated from the time of Justinian I and they had recently been rebuilt and strengthened; the Seljuks had taken the city through treachery and the walls remained intact. Since 1088, its Seljuk governor had been Yaghi-Siyan. Yaghi-Siyan was well aware of the crusader army as it marched through Anatolia in 1097, and he appealed for help from neighbouring Muslim states, but to no avail. To prepare for their arrival, he imprisoned the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, John the Oxite, and exiled the Greek and Armenian Orthodox population, although the Syrian Orthodox citizens were permitted to stay.

Arrival of the crusaders


The crusaders arrived at the Orontes River outside Antioch on October 20, 1097. The three major leaders of the crusade at this point, Godfrey of Bouillon, Bohemund of Taranto, and Raymond IV of Toulouse initially disagreed over what to do next: Raymond wanted to make a direct assault, while Godfrey and Bohemund preferred to set siege to the city. Raymond reluctantly acquiesced and the crusaders partially encircled the city on October 21. The city's Byzantine fortifications were strong enough to resist a direct attack, although Yaghi-Siyan may not have had enough men to adequately defend the city, and he was relieved and emboldened when the crusaders did not attack immediately. Bohemund encamped on the northeast corner of the city at the Gate of St. Paul, Raymond set his camp further to the west at the Gate of the Dog, and Godfrey placed his troops at the Gate of the Duke, also further to the west, where a bridge of boats was built across the Orontes to the village of Talenki. To the south was the Tower of the Two Sisters and at the northwest corner the Gate of St. George, which was not blockaded by the crusaders, and were used throughout the siege to supply Yaghi-Sian with food. On the southern and eastern side of the city was the hilly area known as Mt. Silpius, where the citadel and the Iron Gate were located.

First siege

By mid-November Bohemund's nephew Tancred had arrived with reinforcements, and a Genoese fleet had sailed into the port at St. Symeon, bringing extra food and supplies. The siege dragged on, and in December Godfrey fell ill and food supplies that had been plentiful were running out with the approaching winter. At the end of the month Bohemund and Robert of Flanders took about 20,000 men and went foraging for food to the south, but while they were gone, Yaghi-Siyan made a sortie out of the Gate of St. George on December 29 and attacked Raymond's encampment across the river at Talenki. Raymond was able to turn him back but was not able to capture the city itself. Meanwhile, Bohemund and Robert were attacked by an army under Duqaq of Damascus, which had marched north to come to Antioch's aid. Although the crusaders were victorious here as well, they were forced to retreat to Antioch with little food. The month ended inauspiciously for both sides: there was an earthquake on December 30, and the aurora borealis the next night, and the following weeks saw such unseasonably bad rain and cold weather that Duqaq had to return home without further engaging the the crusaders.




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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2007, 04:29:03 am »

Famine

Due to lack of food there was a famine in the crusader camp, killing both men and horses, one in seven men was dying of starvation and only 700 horses remained. Supposedly some of the poorer soldiers, the remnants of the People's Crusade led by Peter the Hermit and called Tafurs, turned cannibal, eating the bodies of dead Turks. Others ate horses, although some knights preferred to starve. Local Christians, as well as the exiled Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Simeon, now living on Cyprus, attempted to send food but this did not relieve the famine. Some knights and soldiers began to desert in January of 1098, including Peter the Hermit, although he was quickly found and brought back to the camp by Tancred, his prestige tarnished.


Taticius departs

In February, the Byzantine general and legate Taticius, who had remained with the crusaders as an advisor and a representative of Emperor Alexius I, suddenly left the crusader army. According to Anna Comnena, who presumably spoke with Taticius personally, the crusaders refused to listen to his advice and Bohemund had informed him that the other leaders were planning to kill him, as they believed Alexius was secretly encouraging the Turks. Bohemund, on the other hand, claimed that this was treachery or cowardice, reason enough to break any obligations to return Antioch to the Byzantines, and he too would leave unless he was allowed to keep Antioch for himself when it was captured. Knowing fully that Bohemund had designs on taking the city for himself, and that he had probably engineered Taticius' departure in order to facilitate this, Godfrey and Raymond did not give in to his blackmail, but the minor knights and soldiers wanted to recognize his demands and he gained their sympathies. During these events, Yaghi-Siyan continued to seek help from his neighbours, and an army under Ridwan arrived at Antioch from Aleppo. Like Duqaq before him, he too was defeated, at Harim outside Antioch, on February 9.


English reinforcements

In March an English fleet led by Edgar Atheling arrived at St. Simeon from Constantinople, where Edgar was living in exile. They brought with them raw materials for constructing siege engines, but these were almost lost on March 6 when Raymond and Bohemund (neither of whom trusted the other enough to deliver the material alone) were attacked on the road back to Antioch by a detachment of Yaghi-Siyan's garrison. With Godfrey's help, however, the detachment was defeated and the materials were recovered. Although Edgar had been given his fleet and the siege materials by emperor Alexius, the crusaders did not consider this to be direct Byzantine assistance. The crusaders set to work building siege engines, as well as a fort, called La Mahomerie, to block the Bridge Gate and prevent Yaghi-Siyan attacking the Crusader supply line from the ports of Saint Simon and Alexandretta, whilst also repairing the abandoned monastery to the west of the Gate of Saint George, which was still being used to deliver food to the city. Tancred garrisoned the monastery, referred to in the chronicles as Tancred's Fort, for 400 silver marks, whilst Count Raymond of Toulouse took control of La Mahomerie. Finally the crusader siege was able to have some effect on the well-defended city. Food conditions improved for the crusaders as spring approached and the city was sealed off from raiders.


Fatimid embassy

In April a Fatimid embassy from Egypt arrived at the crusader camp, hoping to establish a peace with the Christians, who were, after all, the enemy of their own enemies, the Seljuks. Peter the Hermit, who was fluent in Arabic, was sent to negotiate. These negotiations came to nothing. The Fatimids, assuming the crusaders were simply mercenary representatives of the Byzantines, were prepared to let the crusaders keep Syria if they agreed not to attack Fatimid Palestine, a state of affairs perfectly acceptable between Egypt and Byzantine before the Turkish invasions. But the crusaders could not accept any settlement that did not give them Jerusalem. Nevertheless the Fatimids were treated hospitably and were given many gifts, plundered from the Turks who had been defeated in March, and no definitive agreement was reached.

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