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The Crusades
One of the best known events of the Middle Ages.
A. Definition: Crusade
From the Latin word CRUX, meaning “cross”. Thus a military effort
during the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries undertaken by
Christians to win the Holy Lands from the Muslims.
B. Reasons for the Crusades
1. Regain the Holy Lands for Christianity from the Muslims
2. Enable Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem
3. To reunite the Eastern and Western Christian world into one
4. Economic gain
5. Enable knights to use their skills in God’s service
C. The Seven Crusades
1. First Crusade 1096-1099
a. 1095 Pope Urban II called for a crusade against the infidels
b. Pope promised a plenary indulgence
c. 5,000-10,000 knights and 50,000infantry enlisted
d. Peter the Hermit, a French monk, led a peasants crusade
e. Conquered Jerusalem in summer of 1099
f. Slaughtered Muslim men, women and children
g. Church declared it a success
2. Second Crusade 1147-1149
a. Led by kings of France and Germany
b. Was a total disaster
3. Third Crusade 1189-1193
a. In 1187 the Muslim leader Saladin recaptured Jerusalem
from the infidels (Christians)
b. Crusade led by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of Germany,
King Philip Augustus of France, and King Richard the LionHearted of England.
c. Richard failed to take Jerusalem but negotiated the right for
Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem
d. The time period of the legendary Robin Hood
4. Fourth Crusade 1202-1204
a. Pope Innocent III called for a fourth crusade
b. Short on money they sailed from Venice to Constantinople
c. They looted and massacred Costantinople for three days
taking relics from the Byzantine churches
d. They never reached the Holy Lands
e. One of the reasons for the bitter divisions today between the
Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church.
5. Children’s Crusade 1212
a. Boys and girls throughout Europe marched to the ports of
southern Europe, gripped by religious fervor
b. They were convinced the Mediterranean Sea would dry up to
provide they a pathway to the Holy Lands
c. Some returned home, others were sold into Muslim slavery
6. Crusades five, six and seven
a. They accomplished very little
b. 1291 Acre fell to the Muslims
c. Thus the Crusade spirit came to a close
D. Consequences
1. Except for the first Crusade, failed to take control of Holy Lands
2. Thousands of Jews and Muslims were massacred
3. Trade between East and West was established
4. Architectural designs of the Muslims influenced designs of
European castles and Gothic Cathedrals