Share1 Shares In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church developed the concept of a holy way in which the participants would receive pardons for their sins. Wikimedia The crusades arguably went off the rails with the crusade against Markward of Annweiler. A thoroughly anticlimactic and forgotten event, it seems to have been the first time a Pope declared a crusade with an obviously political motivation, rather than any religious justification.
Most of what passes for public knowledge about it is either misleading or just plain wrong Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common.
The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics.
They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general.
A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far.
Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining. So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars.
They were a direct response to Muslim aggression — an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.
Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them.
While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity — and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion — has no abode.
Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered.
When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth.
As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.
From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over. With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed's death.
They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt — once the most heavily Christian areas in the world — quickly succumbed.
The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece.The crusades are quite possibly the most misunderstood event in European history.
Most of what passes for public knowledge about it is either misleading or just plain wrong Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common. The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against. The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval ashio-midori.com most commonly known Crusades are the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule, but the term "Crusades" is also applied to other church-sanctioned ashio-midori.com were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and.
During the last four decades the Crusades have become one of the most dynamic areas of historical enquiry, which points to an increasing curiosity to understand and interpret these extraordinary events. The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land by Thomas Asbridge The Crusades is an authoritative, accessible single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle Ages/5(37).
The Crusades is an authoritative, accessible single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle Ages. Thomas Asbridge—a renowned historian who writes with “maximum vividness” (Joan Acocella, The New Yorker)—covers the years to in this big, ambitious, readable account of one of the most fascinating periods in /5().
It’s often said that winners dictate history. Not so for the medieval holy wars called the Crusades.