The Crusades By: Michael Bay

The Routes of the Crusades and Surrounding Countries
Pope Urban Speech on November 27, 1095

The Peoples Crusade

Pope Urban addresses Europe, urging them to help fight the Turks and protect the Byzantines/Eastern Church. But the "side quest" of getting the Holy Land turns into the main quest. He hopes that when helping the Eastern Church, they will rejoin the Western Church. Also, another quest was to conquer Jerusalem and take it ack from Muslim holders. Thousands of people joined the crusade to either wash away their sins at Jerusalem or for economical and political gain from these Crusades. He had envisioned a huge army led by nobility which left during Mid-August, but we learn soon the first wave of the crusades were nothing like this. Peter the Hermit, a saint was inspired by Pope Urban and started urging people to follow his lead. The crusade which Peter the Hermit lead has now become to be know "The People's Crusade". Many of the people who joined this crusade were peasants, as they thought it was their duty to get rid of the Muslim threat of Jerusalem. This Crusade was thought to be a group of illiterate men fighting, but it also included some minor knights and nobles. The Crusaders traveled through Germany and France to get to Byzantine. On the way, they People's Crusade killed around 2000-12000 Jews on the way, which was 1/3 of German's whole Jewish population. Many atrocities like killing Jews were committed, as people believed that they would get forgiven. After the Crusaders reached Byzantine, they stocked up and traveled across the Boroplus to fight the Turks. The king did not know what to do with these unexpected crusaders, as Pope Urban had informed him that the real army would come in 3 months. Historians don't know what Alexis Commenus, the king, did next. Two options ar debated strongly. Either Alexis told the Crusaders the dangers of fighting the Turks, and the Crusaders didn't heed his words, or the King did not inform them of the danger ahead. Either way, the Crusaders stupidly went ahead to fight. Before the fight, Peter The Hermit told the People to wait as he got supplies, and he and a handful of people left. Geoffrey Bust, one of the knights, argued waiting was cowardly and he and 20,000 people went to fight. This fight resulted in the crusaders losing 3/4 of their armies while the Seljuks only faced minimum losses. This was just the prelude to what the next 4 Crusades had in store.

The Third Crusades

(King's Crusade)

The Prelude to the Third Crusades

This was the biggest crusade, as it was between two of the biggest kings in the world. Richard the Lion Heart and Saladin. The Second Crusades were an utter failure. The Zengids, who were victorious in the previous Crusade had taken control of present-day Syria. There was a conflict between them and the Fatimid rulers of Egypt. This lasted until Saladin came over. Saladin was a Sunni Muslim in Fatimid, which was a Shia dominated group. Saladin rose to the ranks of vizier in the Fatimid ranks, which was unheard of from a Sunni Muslim ,and kept rising up the ranks. Finally, when Al-Adid, the main minister of the Fatimids died, Saladin took over completely and went against all Fatimid principles.. The first order was to forge an allegiance between Fatimid and the Sunni muslims of Baghdad. Finally, Saladin then conquered the rivals, the Zengbids, and had complete control over the middle east. But Saladin was still eluded by Jerusalem, the most sought after property in the world. While all this was happening, Henry the 2 of England and King Philllip of France were planning to recapture Jerusalem and stopped all conflict s between each other. But unfortunately, King Henry died and King Richard the Lionhearted took over. His name originated from his bravery on the battlefield. The in the Byzantine side, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick as leading a massive army to attack Jerusalem with Phillip and Richard, but drowned in the river of Asia Minor. This caused hi army to go back to Byzantine in grief, as he was one of the most loved emperors of their time.

Saladin the Great

The Capture of Jerusalem

Saladin went after Jerusalem, whose king had just died and was ruled by 15 year old King Baldwin IV. The surprising fact was Baldwin IV was a amazing general and beat Saldin in the battle of Montisgrad. But because of leprosy, Baldwin died 7 years later and left the kingdom to his cousin, Baldwin V. He died one year later at the age of 9, and his sister and her husband, King Guy, crowned themselves as king and queen. A militant by the name of Raynold III served all three of these royals, giving information on the plans of Saladin. Finally, Saladin defeated King Guy at the Battle of Horns, beheading Raynold. King Guy and his family were let go, and were one of the few who survived. Finally, Saladin laid his hands on the riches of Jerusalem. The rumor is that when Pope Urban heard this, he immediately had a heart attack and died.

The Battle Starts( King Richard, I choose you!)

The Fight Begin

Richard the Lionhearted and Phillip both bring their armies and start planning to siege the city of Acre, which can be seen in the Map below, right on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. But then Richard and Phillip start arguing on who to choose as the king of Jerusalem. King Richard wants Guy to be the person in power while Phillip and the Austrian King both want Conrad Morretefat to be in power, as he is related to both of them and that he is in power. SO finally, Richard says Guy will rule, but when he dies Conrad will come in. This is not digestible by King Phillip, so he left King Richard, but left 10,00 men for the Crusade and a parent of 5000 silver to help the Crusades on, as the fire still burnt inside of him. After Richard captured the city of Acre, slain tried negotiating the release of the muslims on Acre for the Christians he had captured. But King Richard thought Saladin was just time wasting, and killed of all 27000 slim prisoners, including women and children. Saladin responded by killing of all the Christians in captivity. After, Richard went to capture the city of Arsuf. 30 miles from Arsuf, Saladin attacked the army, trying to break down their defenses. It worked on Richard's army, but he ordered a counterattack and won the battle. This was a serious dent in Saladin's reputation , as he had never been defeated before. Richard kept advancing towards Jerusalem, crowning Conrad as the King of Jerusalem even though Richard supported Guy. 8 days after, Conrad was assassinated. King Richard then capture Escalon, which was disbanded of it's fortifications by slain, as he knew Richard would come that way. The retreat of Saladin was a tactical moves, as the cold winter and rain would trap in Richards' Crusaders. Then, in a stealthy move, Saladin attacks Jaffa, which was in control by King Richard. The same weapons which King Richard used to fight Saldin were now used by Saladin to rout Jaffa. The ferocity of the Muslim soldiers was to the brim ,as their anger for the massacre of Arsuf fed the battle. Richard was returning to England when he heard of this news. So he and 2000 men led a naval attack on Jaffa and routed the city. Saladin then tried a stealthy attack on King Richard's men, but was discovered and his armies were decimated. Because of this crusade victory, Saladin signed a treaty saying Jerusalem was still in Muslim control, but Christians were allowed to visit. At the end, Christians had not gained control of Jerusalem, but had control of the Mediterranean port and could not visit the site of Jesu's Crucifixion.

The Map of Third Crusades and main Battle Areas.

Some Extra Info

Shaver-Crandell, Annie. The Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1982. Print.

"Crusades." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

History.com Staff. "Saladin." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2012. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.

Crompton, Samuel Willard. The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionhearted vs. Saladin. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004. Print.

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