Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Warriors in the name of the Cross

" God wants ! " The appeal launched by Pope Urban II in 1095 has a tremendous impact. Both nobles and poor people no longer endure the thought that the Holy City to be violated by infidels.

It was concord

In Europe, the tradition of pilgrimages began to work immediately after the reign of the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate (IV century). Christians wanted to go to the places where Jesus lived and went walking, trips lengthy and full of privations, without caring any time that I sacrificed nor the suffering that awaited them. It was, perhaps, a kind of listening literal words of the Savior and putting them into practice, "Who will leave his father and mother, wife and his children to come to me, you will get back a hundredfold and It will be his eternal life. "

When, in 638, the Arabs conquered Jerusalem, Christian pilgrimages are in no way affected, Bethlehem and Nazareth impanzinte continuing to be faithful arrived from overseas. 


The Burning of Jerusalem photo: realtruth.org

Except for one incident brutal (death, in 1009, the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, by Khalif El-Hakim of Egypt gesture fanatic corrected by his descendants, who allowed reconstructing the building) peaceful coexistence of Christians Western and the Eastern Muslims is not disturbed than chance.

Aspiration to eternal salvation pushes on eliminating both the noble and the peasants to grab on roads leading to the Holy Land. In 1054, for instance, could be counted some 3,000 pilgrims leave the Picardy and Flanders, who did not hesitate to brave the dangers of the journey and sporadic attacks of Bedouins


Gunthertuch photo: youtube

In 1064 hundreds of pilgrims Germans less fortunate, led by Bishop Gunther of Blamberg are destroyed by the same Bedouin. Age seems to balance close gates: August 19, 1071 Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantine armies in Malazgerd and get hold of Jerusalem, which until then under the domination of Arabs Fatimid Egypt. Pilgrimages to Holy Sepulchre are prohibited.

Dieu li volt!
Pope Urban II photo: wikipedia.org
The first crusade is launched at the urging of Pope Urban II (whose pontificate lasts from 1088 until 1099), which, in a sermon published in the November 27, 1095 - the tenth day of the Council of Clermont - call to arms breath the whole Christian faith if protection of threatened new invasions of Muslim conquest in Asia Minor and Nicaea



The cry of recognition assembly and then the fight is "Dieu li volt!" - "God wants."

Start the heap, without weapons and without skill or experience how pale in the war, with thousands marching peasants, recognizing the command of Peter the Hermit (Peter the Hermit), an "apostle" in Amiens touched fanaticism. Pilgrims have their historical consciousness time, imagines that Christ lived only a short time before them, so I'm rather tempted to they sense killers Hebrew as Savior (Rhineland massacres). Arriving in Constantinople in August 1096, are advised by the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos to wait crusade lords and knights. Bursting with enthusiasm, pilgrims did not obey and rush back on the road to Jerusalem, but become easy prey for the Turks, who destroy or put them in chains.


Portrait of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081-1118) photo: wikipedia.org
Awaiting instructions of Urban II, the real warriors are preparing thoroughly campaign, weapons and victuals, then under the command pontifical legate Adhemar of Montheil, went to the Holy City

Not a few are killed by long marches, the heat of a relentless sun, disease, sieges, battles the Turks harassment and, not least, the repercussions intestines. Some of them, forgetting the oath of vassalage did Alexius, but the true purpose of the trip, he delineates own principalities: Bohemond of Taranto proclaimed prince of Antioch, and Baudouin of Flanders attacking the city Edes (Urfa or Osroene), beyond the Euphrates.

Siege of Jerusalem (1099)
Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099" / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library photo: wikipedia.org

The Siege of Jerusalem took place from June 7 to July 15, 1099, during the First Crusade. The climax of the First Crusade, the successful siege saw the Crusaders seize Jerusalem from the Fatimid Caliphate and laid the foundations for the Kingdom of Jerusalem

In 1099 of the 150,000 Crusaders - combatants or non-combatants - get around the walls of Jerusalem only a tenth. The city, weakened by divisions between Muslims, capitulates quickly and barons francs, elated, reconstruct spot feudal system Europe, sharing the achievements and establishing a domain Christian who will be led by Godfrey of Bouillon, who, with all modesty will be proclaimed "advocatus Sancti Sepulchri" but, in fact, will be master "Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem".

In bugle struggle for the Second Crusade blow in March 1146, one of the most famous and esteemed people of Western Christianity, Bernard of Clairvaux


Bernard of Clairvaux - Gutenburg photo: wikipedia.org


Reconquest of Edessa by the Turks of Western Christianity revived anger and raised to fight thousands of adventurers. But instead of get where she had proposed, hit in Damascus (1148), which suffer a bitter defeat. Relations between the United Crusader, Byzantine and Muslim rulers neighbors surroundings become more embittered than ever.


Jamais deux sans trois ...

Crusades - if we do not count Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars, children's crusade, a crusade poor or much later crusade against Hussites - were in number 8. Large and wide as two continents. Caused by the recapture of Jerusalem by Saladin of, in 1187, the Third Crusade failed to attach than the city of Acre


The Christians of the Holy City Defiling before Saladin photo: wikipedia.org

Ten years later, the fourth crusade has not even reached the Holy Land. After the Council of Lateran, Pope Innocent III called Quia bubble Major made public
, calling to fight the Christian world. A fight, the fifth without European monarchs, almost all employees in their crusade. An absurd fight that will end without any struggle, in the Nile, which just flooded land of Egypt.


Sieges, dead, wounded and dusty roads and thirst, hunger, love God, love for Allah. Battle theaters change from Tunis back to Constantinople ... Carol Login scene of Anjou, Louis the Saint, King Edward of England, and the number is always bigger losers than the winners. An equation whose result is sanctioned and repetitive eighth and last Crusade, the majority of Christian soldiers die in Syrian border, non-potable water poisoned, killed by plague and dysentery.

A war between meanings

In Western Europe, the Crusades are considered traditionally some heroic feats. Not all historians seem but agree with this view. In the Muslim world, the Crusades are some attacks perceived as cruel, full of wild, of Christians against Islam. 

Even today, some speeches by Fundamentalist Islamic crusade use the word to describe their attacks against the West. It can be said that there are visions of orthodoxy that seem congruent with this perspective, attitude determined largely by looting Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade.


Capture of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 photo: wikipedia.org

Here ought made an aside. Not all actions were heroic crusaders, even the eye perceived Western Christian. Crusaders committed atrocities not only against Muslims but also against Jews and even other Christians. 


Conquest Of Constantinople By The Crusaders In 1204 photo: wikipedia.org 

Fourth Crusade touted never made it to Palestine. Instead destroyed Constantinople, capital of Byzantine Empire. Many relics and valuables kidnapped there are now in the collections of the Venetian or the Vatican, and the fault line between Christianity and the Catholic Oriental was then deepened enormously.

Between Crusade and jihad terms there are some interesting consistent. In the West, the word crusade has positive connotations (for example, in the area of ​​social policy is successfully use the terms crusade against poverty, the crusade against drugs and so on), while the term jihad has connotations exclusively negative, being associated with a sacred war driven by fanaticism. In the Muslim world, the term jihad have positive connotations that include the sense of spiritual struggle against oneself.

Dictionary explanation of the word crusade is: "military expeditions undertaken between XI and XIII centuries, with its initial intention to drive out the Muslim holy places in Palestine and re-impose Christianity." Formula "original intent" is more than telling.

Knights of the Temple


Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, the Order's patron photo: wikipedia.org 
Born officially in 1118 in Jerusalem, Order of the Templars was to be closely linked to the life of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Crusades, before being dissolved at the beginning of the fourteenth century by Phillipe Le Bel (Philip the Fair). Crestininilor real regular army of the Holy Land, the Order was aware of his actions not only pontiff and was exempt from taxes and tithes by the clergy or laity owners. Official history has remembered that nine knights (Hugues de payns, Geoffroy Bisol, Payen of Montdidier, André de Montbard Godfrey of St-Omer, Rosal Archambaud St-Amand, Godemar and Geoffroy) in northeastern France and Flanders They gathered in Jerusalem and created the Order of poor Knights of Christ.

Their main concern was to protect all pilgrims coming to Jerusalem. Li was given a headquarters land located on the ruins of the Temple of Solomon. In this way, they become Knights of the Temple or Templars. In 1127, Pope convenes a council at Troyes, which enshrines the existing order and, above all, ensures total independence - moral and financial. The same council proclaims a new concept: the monk-soldier. The huge capital of sympathy that will make will enjoy the richest Templar order of time. Over the Crusades, many of them will leave their lives on the altar of faith.


Templar warrior photo: pinterest
The warriors will not know how to negotiate the conversion unlike Hospitaller after overthrowing the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Watch fiercely Phillipe Le Bel, for their wealth huge but also arrogance that we instill their full autonomy, all the Templars in France will be accused of heresy, and grand master of the order, Jacques de Molay, shall be burned living in the midst of Paris, the Ile de la Cité, at December 22, 1314.



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