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the Crusades

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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2007, 03:08:56 am »



Cecil B. DeMille's The Crusades (1935)

Gender analysis

While traditional historiography conceptualizes the crusades as a masculine movement symbolic of honour and male courage, the roles of women either direct or indirect should not be neglected.

Women at home were intricately connected whether aware of it or not in the recruitment of crusading men. Their encouragement and familial ties would present men friendly connections which made the prospect of taking the cross more appealing for those risking their lives. Arguably the most significant role that women played in the West during the crusades was their preservation of the home. While many men were gone to the East, women were needed to take care of the home. The most popular example is of Adele of Blois, wife of Stephen of Blois who corresponded with her husband while he was fighting and she was at home managing his fief. Men could journey to The Holy Land without having to worry about their home because their wives were in charge of their estates and families. [9]

Even though most women showed their support for the crusades at home, some women took the cross themselves to go on the crusade. Aristocratic women who joined the movement often found that they had new positions of authority they did not have in the West. Eleanor of Aquitaine the wealthy queen of France and the wife of king Louis IX took the cross from St. Bernard of Clairvaux on Easter Sunday 1145 to join her husband.[10] Another woman who had ultimate political power in the East was Melisende of Jerusalem, who under law gained hereditary rights to the crown upon her husband’s death. Like Eleanor, Melisende never lead troops into battle, but she did participate in acts of political diplomacy. While most women were there to help and care for the crusading men by bringing them water or raising their spirits by offering emotional support, there were women who had specific tasks which defined their feminine characteristics like the washerwoman. [11]

The most controversial role that women had in the crusades was of course the role which threatened their femininity, actual militancy. When analyzing the primary documentation of female militancy, one must be cautious. The accounts of women fighting come mostly from Muslim historians whose aim was to portray Christian women as barbaric and ungodly because of their acts of killing. The contrasting view from Christian accounts portray women fighting only in emergency situations for the preservation of the camps and their own lives. In these cases women are seen as more feminine while behaving like ‘proper women’. [12] It is essential to note that all writings of crusades came from men, and women no matter what role they played would have been interpreted objectively either way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

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« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2007, 03:10:33 am »

Legacy

Europe


The crusades have been remembered relatively favourably in western Europe (countries which were, at the time of the Crusades, Roman Catholic countries). Nonetheless, there have certainly been many vocal critics of the Crusades in Western Europe since the Renaissance.


Politics and culture

The Crusades had an enormous influence on the European Middle Ages. At times, much of the continent was united under a powerful Papacy, but by the 14th century, the development of centralized bureaucracies (the foundation of the modern nation-state) was well on its way in France, England, Burgundy, Portugal, Castile, and Aragon partly because of the dominance of the church at the beginning of the crusading era.

Although Europe had been exposed to Islamic culture for centuries through contacts in Iberian Peninsula and Sicily, much knowledge in areas such as science, medicine, and architecture was transferred from the Islamic to the western world during the crusade era.

The military experiences of the crusades also had their effects in Europe; for example, European castles became massive stone structures as they were in the east, rather than smaller wooden buildings as they had typically been in the past.

In addition, the Crusades are seen as having opened up European culture to the world, especially Asia:

“ The Crusades brought about results of which the popes had never dreamed, and which were perhaps the most, important of all. They re-established traffic between the East and West, which, after having been suspended for several centuries, was then resumed with even greater energy; they were the means of bringing from the depths of their respective provinces and introducing into the most civilized Asiatic countries Western knights, to whom a new world was thus revealed, and who returned to their native land filled with novel ideas... If, indeed, the Christian civilization of Europe has become universal culture, in the highest sense, the glory redounds, in no small measure, to the Crusades."
[Catholic Encyclopedia [13]]
 ”


Along with trade, new scientific discoveries and inventions made their way east or west. Arabic advances (including the development of algebra, optics, and refinement of engineering) made their way west and sped the course of advancement in European universities that led to the Renaissance in later centuries

The invasions of German crusaders prevented formation of the large Lithuanian state incorporating all Baltic nations and tribes. Lithuania was destined to become small country and forced to expand to the East looking for resources for wars with crusaders. [14]

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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2007, 03:11:19 am »

Trade

The need to raise, transport and supply large armies led to a flourishing of trade throughout Europe. Roads largely unused since the days of Rome saw significant increases in traffic as local merchants began to expand their horizons. This was not only because the Crusades prepared Europe for travel, but also because many wanted to travel after being reacquainted with the products of the Middle East. This also aided in the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy, as various Italian city-states from the very beginning had important and profitable trading colonies in the crusader states, both in the Holy Land and later in captured Byzantine territory.

Increased trade brought many things to Europeans that were once unknown or extremely rare and costly. These goods included a variety of spices, ivory, jade, diamonds, improved glass-manufacturing techniques, early forms of gun powder, oranges, apples, and other Asian crops, and many other products.


The achievement of preserving Christian Europe must not, however, ignore the eventual fall of the Christian Byzantine Empire, which was mostly caused by Fourth Crusade's extreme aggression against Eastern Orthodox Christianity, largely at the instigation of the infamous Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice and financial backer of the Fourth Crusade. The Byzantine lands had been a stable Christian state since the 4th century. After the Crusaders took Constantinople in 1204, the Byzantines never again had as large or strong a state and finally fell in 1453.

Taking into account the fall of the Byzantines, the Crusades could be portrayed as the defence of Roman Catholicism against the violent expansion of Islam, rather than the defence of Christianity as a whole against Islamic expansion. On the other hand, the Fourth Crusade could be presented as an anomaly. It is also possible to find a compromise between these two points of view, specifically that the Crusades were Roman Catholic campaigns which primarily sought to fight Islam to preserve Catholicism, and secondarily sought to thereby protect the rest of Christianity; in this context, the Fourth Crusade's crusaders could have felt compelled to abandon the secondary aim in order to retain Dandolo's logistical support in achieving the primary aim. Even so, the Fourth Crusade was condemned by the Pope of the time and is now generally remembered throughout Europe as a disgraceful failure.

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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2007, 03:12:08 am »

Islamic world

The crusades had profound but localized effects upon the Islamic world, where the equivalents of "Franks" and "Crusaders" remained expressions of disdain. Muslims traditionally celebrate Saladin, the Kurdish warrior, as a hero against the Crusaders. In the 21st century, some in the Arab world, such as the Arab independence movement and Pan-Islamism movement, continue to call Western involvement in the Middle East a "crusade". The Crusades were regarded by the Islamic world as cruel and savage onslaughts by European Christians.

The most devastating long term consequence of the crusades, according to historian Peter Mansfield, was the creation of an Islamic mentality that sought a retreat into isolation. He says "Assaulted from all quarters, the Muslim world turned in on itself. It became oversensitive [and] defensive… attitudes that grew steadily worse as world-wide evolution, a process from which the Muslim world felt excluded, continued." [15].

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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2007, 03:14:28 am »



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

History of the Jews and the Crusades

1250 French Bible illustration depicts Jews (identifiable by Judenhut) being massacred by CrusadersThe history of the Jews and the Crusades is one of Crusader atrocities against Jews and has become a part of the history of anti-Semitism for the Jews in the Middle Ages.


Events

In the First Crusade (1096) flourishing communities on the Rhine and the Danube were utterly destroyed by some crusaders (see German Crusade, 1096). In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in France suffered especially. Philip Augustus treated them with exceptional severity during the Third Crusade (1188). The Jews were also subjected to attacks by the Shepherds' Crusades of 1251 and 1320.

The atrocities were opposed by the local bishops and widely condemned at the time as a violation of the Crusades' aim, which was not directed against the Jews. However, the perpetrators mostly escaped legal punishment. Also, the social position of the Jews in western Europe was distinctly worsened, and legal restrictions increased during and after the Crusades. They prepared the way for anti-Jewish legislation of Pope Innocent III. The crusades resulted in centuries of strong feelings of ill will on both sides and hence constitute a turning point in the relationship between Jews and Christians.


Defending in the Land of Israel

Jews fought side-by-side with Muslim soldiers to defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders.[1] When the city later fell, the Jews were burnt inside of their synagogue while the Crusaders "[circled] the screaming, flame-tortured humanity singing 'Christ We Adore Thee!' with their Crusader crosses held high."[2] The event of the Jewish massacre comes from various muslim records written decades after 1099.

The chronicle of al-Azimi briefly states the Crusaders "turned to Jerusalem and conquered it from the hands of the Egyptians. Godfrey took it. They burned the Church of the Jews (Kanisat al-Yahud)."[3] One book comments the "'church' was presumably the principal Jewish synagogue."[3] The chronicle of Ibn al-Qalanisi adds a few more details to the event, "The Franks stormed the town and gained possession of it ... The Jews assembled in their synagogue, and the Franks burned it over their heads."[3][4]

On the April 22, 2002 episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Saint Louis University Professor Thomas Madden, author of A Concise History of the Crusades, stated “this was not a situation in which the Crusaders would have rounded up all the Jews and put them in the synagogue and said now we're burning it down because you are Jews in a synagogue. Rather, the Jews who were the Jewish defenders, and there weren't that many, but those Jewish defenders of the city in 1099, knew the rules of the game. They knew that their lives were forfeit now, and so they wanted to go to their synagogue and were allowed to go to their synagogue...to prepare for death."[5] Robert Payne asserts "The massacre at Jerusalem was carried out deliberately; it was the result of settled policy. Jerusalem was to become a Christian city ... The Crusaders hungry for simple solutions, burned down the synagogue with the Jews inside."[6]

The Jews almost single-handedly defended Haifa against the Crusaders, holding out in the besieged town for a whole month (June-July 1099) in fierce battles. At this time, a full thousand years after the fall of the Jewish state, there were Jewish communities all over the country. Fifty of them are known and include Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza. [7][8]


Jewish crusade literature

The end of the Crusades brought with it many narratives coming from both Jewish and Christian sources. Among the better known Jewish narratives are the chronicles of Solomon Bar Simson and Rabbi Eliezer bar Nathan, The Narrative of the Old Persecutions by Mainz Anonymous, and Sefer Zekhirah, or The Book of Remembrance, by Rabbi Ephraim of Bonn.

The Chronicle of Solomon Bar Simson (1140) is mostly a record of what happened during the period of the First Crusade. There is a definite personal bias seen within the writing, as he discusses the martyrdom of resistant communities far more so than the conversion of others. It is not yet proven that Bar Simson really existed, and therefore it is hard to be sure who wrote this and for what purpose.

The Chronicle of Rabbi Eliezer bar Nathan (mid 1100s), as Robert Chazan proves, is known to be written by a person named Rabbi Eliezer bar Nathan, who was very popular in his time due to his writings. He is thought to have borrowed much of his information from Bar Simson, seeing as much of the information is the same. His writing here is extremely emotional, taking on a more apocalyptic tone in a sense. There is a definite sense of personal experience coming out of this chronicle, experience with death and suffering within his community and others. This chronicle was extremely popular at the time, as several manuscripts were written about it in a myriad of places.

The Narrative of the Old Persecutions (1300s), as the lack of the author's name implies, is from an unknown author. The main focus of this narrative is on Mainz, and takes a very realistic stance on the Crusades. It tells of the complacency of Rhenish Jews, of the reactions that Mainz Jews had to news of other communities falling to the Crusaders, and of their turn towards the Church to protect them, only to be find more despair there. It also brings in some information coming from the late Middle Ages, of Jews being associated with well poisoning.

Sefer Zekhirah (late 1160s, early to mid 1170s) has a very well known writer, Rabbi Ephraim, who was a well known liturgist of his time. He was 13 during the Second Crusade, and is considered to be an eyewitness to many of the events that occurred during that time. This writing was rather popular itself, and consists of a series of poems, all expressing grief over the suffering of the Jews through metaphors and references to fables. His accounts, despite their very emotional appeal, are corroborated by other writings from the time and tend not to be so skewed as the two chronicles.

The details behind these narratives can all be found in several secondary historical sources, including Robert Chazan's God, Humanity, and History and Shlomo Eidelberg's The Jews and the Crusades, each of which gives background to the narratives and discusses their effects on European Jewry and Christianity.

Robert Chazan's In the Year 1096: The First Crusade and the Jews provides details as to the changes made in Jewish/Christian relations as a result of the First Crusade. He focuses on whether or not the Crusades really had a salient impact on the Jews of the time and in the future, pointing out that persecution was nothing new to them, yet also talking about the importance of their being made extremely distinct within the European community by the Crusades. They were no longer part of it to any great extent, but rather were made out to be part of the “others” as many in Europe already had been, such as atheists and pagans.

Christian sources for information on general feelings after the First Crusade all focus on their acquisition of Jerusalem. William of Tyre, Fulcher of Chartres, the Venetian Treaty, the Travels of Saewulf, and John of Wurzburg's Pilgrim Guide all detail Jerusalem but have little, if anything, to say of Europe and the Jews. However, in the midst of the First Crusade there were several Christian documents on the Crusaders attacks of Jewish communities and the basis of those attacks. One such document is Albert of Aachen on the Peasant's Crusade, which focuses on the disorganized peasant Crusades that occurred along with the organized Crusades that went on to take Jerusalem. It provides the personal experiences of Aachen, who was in one of these peasant Crusades, and provides accounts of the slaughter of several groups of Jews. He describes it as being either “judgement of the Lord” or “some error of mind,” and the killings as not only being indiscriminatory, but also with no exception. His account also shows the Church being able to achieve little in its attempts to prevent these massacres.

Much of the focus of Christian writings of the time, however, was on the efforts to get to Jerusalem, though some accounts talk of the Crusaders' distrust of the Byzantine Empire, accounts that show some of the reasoning for the Fourth Crusade and the sack of Constantinople. The Deeds of the Franks, which has an unknown author, is such an account, and has a clear bias against the Byzantines. Many of the writings on later Crusades continue to focus on Jerusalem as well, until near the end of the Crusades when Jerusalem stops being their focus and the return to stability in Europe does.

Many of the secondary sources on this time period question how important the impact of the Crusades was on both the Jewish and Christian communities. Robert Chazan's belief is that the effect was minimal in the end – both cultures were, in many ways, used to the persecution that was being enacted, and that this was just another step. R. I. Moore, within his novel The Formation of a Persecuting Society, argues that the effect on Christians was huge, with their entire society gaining feelings of the need for separation from their Jewish neighbors, which allowed them to persecute further in the Future. Ivan G. Marcus in his article The Culture of the Early Ashkenaz argues that the Jews pulled away from the Christians community physically, mentally, and spiritually due to the sheer ferocity and shocking nature of the Crusades. All of these and more provide differing opinions on the results of the Crusades, but all agree that the Crusades caused a separation to occur between the two religions.
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2007, 03:15:26 am »

Caucasus

In the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, in the remote highland region of Khevsureti, a tribe called the Khevsurs are thought to possibly be direct descendants of a party of crusaders who got separated from a larger army and have remained in isolation with some of the crusader culture intact. Into the 20th century, relics of armor, weaponry and chain mail were still being used and passed down in such communities. Russian serviceman and ethnographer Arnold Zisserman who spent 25 years (1842–67) in the Caucasus, believed the exotic group of Georgian highlanders were descendants of the last Crusaders based on their customs, language, art and other evidence.[16] American traveler Richard Halliburton saw and recorded the customs of the tribe in 1935[17].


Legacy

Despite the failure of the Ninth Crusade to leave a permanent Western civilization of states controlling the region, over 600 years later, the European powers returned in a war against the Ottoman Empire. This time however, it was not a religious war that was the subject of the conflict but instead the interests of the individual nation-states in World War I.

With the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, Lebanon and Syria ended up under the control of France. The French also occupied Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, at various times during the early part of the 20th century. Italy took control of the areas that made up Libya. The British took control of the areas that became Iraq, Palestine, and Trans-Jordan.

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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2007, 03:17:39 am »

Etymology and use of the term "crusade"

Crusades were never referred to as such by their participants. The original crusaders were known by various terms, including fideles Sancti Petri (the faithful of Saint Peter) or milites Christi (knights of Christ). They saw themselves as undertaking an iter, a journey, or a peregrinatio, a pilgrimage, though pilgrims were usually forbidden from carrying arms. Like pilgrims, each crusader swore a vow (a votus), to be fulfilled on successfully reaching Jerusalem, and they were granted a cloth cross (crux) to be sewn into their clothes. This "taking of the cross", the crux, eventually became associated with the entire journey; the word "crusade" (coming into English from the French croisade, the Italian crociata, the Portuguese cruzada, or the German Kreuzzug) developed from this.

Since the 17th century, the term "crusade" has carried a connotation in the West of being a righteous campaign, usually to "root out evil", or to fight for a just cause. In a non-historical common or theological use, "crusade" has come to have a much broader emphatic or religious meaning—substantially removed from "armed struggle."

In a broader sense, "crusade" can be used, always in a rhetorical and metaphorical sense, to identify as righteous any war that is given a religious or moral justification.

Ardent activists may also refer to their causes as "crusades," as in the "Crusade against Adult Illiteracy," or a "Crusade against Littering." In recent years, however, the use of "crusade" as a positive term has become less frequent in order to avoid giving offense to Muslims or others offended by the term. The term may also sarcastically or pejoratively characterize the zealotry of agenda promoters, for example with the monicker "Public Crusader" or the campaigns "Crusade against abortion," and the "Crusade for prayer in public schools."

http://forums.atlantisrising.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=15;t=000352;p=0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_and_the_Crusades
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