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The meaning of the word Crusade comes from the Latin word for cross. It refers to the cross that Jesus Christ was crucified on. Going on a crusade meant that you were going to fight for Christ. In 1100 this meant going to fight the Muslims in the Holy Land around Jerusalem, the place where Jesus had lived and where he was crucified. Muhammad and the Muslims Muhammad was born in the city of Mecca in the year 570. He discovered a new faith and his followers came to be known as Muslims. Many of his followers were warlike and over the centuries that followed, they went forward to conquer land around the Mediterranean Sea. Jerusalem Jerusalem was a holy city for the Christians, as Christ had lived here and was crucified here. But, the city was also important for the followers of the Muslim religion ac their leader Muhammad had entered heaven from Jerusalem. The problem then was that the Christian and the Muslims wanted to control Jerusalem. In 637, a group of Muslims occupied the city of Jerusalem but they allowed the Christians to visit the city regularly. The Christians, for a long time, had been allowed to go pilgrimages to the city so that they would be able to see all of the holy sites. But, in 1071, a group of fanatical Muslims occupied the city and they did not like the Christians and they would ill-treat them and even kill them. Pope Urban II In 1095, Pope Urban II, head of the Roman Catholic Church called for a crusade to rid the Muslims from Jerusalem. He said that God would reward them if they tried to re-conquer the city. It was an opportunity for many to gain a great victory and to become rich. So, many decided to join. First Crusade (1097) The First Crusade started in 1096. Around 30,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 knights on horseback had decided to take the cross and went to fight. In their midst was Robert, the eldest son of William the Conqueror. They went on their travels across Europe and into Turkey and reaching Jerusalem in 1099, three years after setting off. With a lot of fighting, the Christians managed to conquer the city and they held it for the next 87 years, which included land around Jerusalem. Even though they had conquered the Holy Land, many Crusaders decided to stay there, and built castles to defend themselves. The Knights Templar was also there to ensure that Christians and Jerusalem were defended. Despite this, there was no peace to be had from the Muslims and they fought back many times during the Crusaders occupation of Jerusalem. Second Crusade (1147) Even though the city of Jerusalem stayed in the hands of the Crusaders until 1187, the Muslims had started to win back some of the land around the Holy Land. When the city of Edessa fell in 1147, some European leaders decided to go on a Second Crusade. Emperor Conrad of Germany and King Louis VII of France were responsible for this crusade. They took their soldiers towards the east in order to try and reclaim Edessa. Unfortunately for the crusaders, they were destroyed in Damascus and as a result, the Christians decided to abandon the crusade and the Muslims kept their control on all of the lands. Third Crusade (1189) In 1187, a new leader appeared. His name was Saladin. He was an experienced soldier and a fierce leader. The crusaders built strong castles to defend themselves, but the Muslims, under Saladin, managed to conquer the city in 1187. This led to the start of the Third Crusade. Many European Kings led this attack, which included, Richard I of England, Philip II of France and Frederick Barbarossa, the Emperor of Germany. On the way to Jerusalem, Frederick drowned when trying to cross a river, and Richard and Philip spent most of their time arguing. Obviously, Richard was in charge of the English army, but he failed along with other attacks. Richard never managed to get close to Jerusalem, so he and Saladin agreed a truce. Richard agreed that he would leave the Holy Land while Saladin agreed that he would allow the Christians to go on pilgrimages to the city to visit the holy places. During the years that followed there were four other Crusades on Jerusalem, but none managed to re-take the city. The Crusades caused a lot of suffering and deaths and it failed in its mission of uniting the Christians of the east with those of the west. The Crusaders used the word ‘Saracen’ to describe all Muslims in the Holy Land. Muslims used the word ‘Franks’ to describe all Crusaders. The crusades were known as a ‘holy war’ because each side was fighting for what they believed their God wanted. So, what did the Franks and the Saracens think of each other? Some of the following sources have been written by Christians with others from the Muslims. The sources explain what kind of people they saw each other as. Source A Source B If they thought that a Christian had eaten the gold or silver to hide it then they forced them to vomit or tear open their stomachs with a blade. Saladin thought of nothing but the holy war. He did not spend a single gold coin on anything else. He made sure his men were fed and cared for. He never said bad things about people. Count Robert was captured near Damascus. His head was cut off and his body fed to the dogs. His skull was used as a drinking cup and was covered in jewels. A man accused of a crime was dropped into water. If he was innocent he would sink, but he would float if he was guilty. He tried his best to sink, he was found guilty and his eyes were pierced with a red-hot metal – may Allah’s curse be upon them. Source C Source D Richard the Lionheart Richard I was King of England from 1189 until 1199, even though his favourite lands were in France. He spoke very little English and spent very little time in England. But he is regarded as an English hero. There is a statue dedicated to him outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Richard twice led his army towards Jerusalem in 1192, but he decided not to attack. He knew his army was not strong enough to hold the city for long. Finally he agreed a truce with Saladin and sailed home. This King was courageous, energetic and daring in combat. When he arrived in Acre the Franks let out cries of joy. The Muslims filled with fear. . . The English king broke his word to the Muslim prisoners who had surrendered the city in return for their lives. If Saladin paid their ransom they were freed. If he did not they were to become slaves. When he saw that Saladin delayed payment he secretly changed his mind. Even after he received the money he ordered the cold-blooded slaughter of more than 3,000 men. Saladin Saladin re-conquered large areas of the Crusader kingdom. His greatest victory came in the Battle of Hattin in 1187. Among the prisoners was King Guy of Jerusalem. A few months later Saladin re-captured the city of Jerusalem. The Muslims took Christian crosses down from the mosques but there was no other looting or destruction in the city. There was no revenge for the way that the Crusaders had treated the Muslim holy places in 1099. Rich prisoners were released after paying ransoms. Some of the poor were released without ransoms, but others were made slaves. Christians were not forced to leave Jerusalem. The native people who were Christians were allowed to stay and worship in their churches. Saladin also invited the Jews to return to the city of Jerusalem. Once, when i was walking with Saladin, a woman came towards us. She said that a Muslim thief had taken her daughter. She said that she had been crying all night and that one of the men told her to visit Saladin, as he was a merciful person and to ask if she could have her daughter back. Saladin was touched and tears came to his eyes. He sent someone to the slave market to look for the girl, and later a horseman arrived with the child on his shoulders. All those that were present wept. The Crusaders and the Saracens did not fight all the time. There were long periods when they held a truce and were able to mix and learn from each other. Without a doubt, the Crusaders learned the most: Summary Christians and Muslims fought during the Crusades for control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. After nearly 200 years of fighting, the Muslims kept the Holy Land. Some of the things the Crusaders learned in the Holy Land were very important. Your task is to work with a partner to create an A3 sheet that will help people understand the Crusades. You should include information on the following topics: What were the Crusades and why was Jerusalem important? Who fought and why? What kind of relationship did the Christians and the Muslims have? King Richard and Saladin What were the consequences of the Crusades?