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The Crusades
Introduction: Responding to a call for help from his Eastern Counterpart, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Pope Urban II, in a
speech at Clermont, France in November, 1095, called for a holy war or crusade to free Jerusalem from the Seljuk Turks. The
goal was two-fold: 1.) to take the invading Muslim pressure off the Byzantine Empire, making it harder for Islam to threaten
Europe and 2.) to stop[ the Muslims that had recently begun harassing Christian pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem. The first
Crusade by Western European Christians to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims was undertaken in 1096 and the last in
the late 13th century. The Crusades are an important early part of the story of European expansion and colonialism, as feudal
states were established in the Near East, as well as key point in the rift between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. For the first time
Western Christianity commenced a military initiative far from home, and for the first time significant numbers of people left to
carry their culture and religion abroad—the same exchange that occurred between Christianity and Islam that would lead to
education, humanism and the Renaissance and forever change Western Europe
Part I: Evolution of Crusader Privileges, 1095-1270
Go to and answer the following questions:
1. What privileges did Pope Urban grant to crusaders at the Council of Clermont in 1095?
2. In 1146, what privileges did Pope Eugenius add to those given by Pope Urban?
3. Phillip II Augustus added greatly to the financial benefits granted to a crusader. What authority did he have to grant these
privileges and how did his position as Augustus (Holy Roman Emperor) play a part in his decree?
4. The number of various privileges granted from 1095–1248 increased. As time progressed, why did it happen that that Popes
and monarchs increased the number of incentives offered to crusading pilgrims?
Part II: Ekkehard of Aurach: On the Opening of the First Crusade
Go to and answer the following questions:
5. Why is the “especial purpose” for which Ekkehard says he is writing this work?
6. Ekkehard states that although the crusaders “…were all under one king, Christ, the several peoples nevertheless were led by
their several leaders.” What did the Pope do regarding this situation? Why did he do this?
7. According to Ekkehard, why did the Franks want to travel on the crusade?
8. According to Ekkehard, why were the Germans hesitant at first to join the Crusades?
9. Give examples of some of the “signs in the sun and the wonders” that impelled individuals to join the Crusades.
Part III: Soloman bar Samsom: The Crusaders in Mainz attack the Jews
Go to and answer the following questions
10. What biblical reason do the Crusaders give for attacking the Jews?
11. What did the people promising to protect the Jews do when the Crusaders arrived? What did the Jews to when the Crusaders
12. Describe, briefly, the carnage of the slaughter. Be specific in what happened to the Jews and their children.
Part IV: Usmah Ibn Munqid: Muslim and Christian piety
Go to and
answer the following question
13. Compare and contrast the piety of the Christians and Muslims.
Part V: Annales Herbipolenses, s.a. 1147: A Hostile View of the Crusade
Go to and answer the following questions
14. What does this author accuse the “pseudo prophets” of doing?
15. According to the author, what were some of the reasons people joined the Crusades? List at least three of these reasons.
16. At the end of this piece, the author claims that “a few could, with difficulty, be found who had not bowed their knees to Baal,
who were directed by a holy and wholesome purpose, and who were kindled by love of the divine majesty to fight earnestly and
even to shed their blood for the holy of holies.” What is the point the author is trying to make here?
Final Question – 1 paragraph. Based on the five primary source documents in this lesson, did most people joined the
Crusades out of a sincere desire to “liberate” the Holy Land, or were most motivated by other desires? Be specific and support
your argument.