First crusade Jackie, sarah, elizabeth, allison


Jackie Capalucci

In the past four decades the Crusades have become a very popular historical event. This is creating a number of growing people that are interested in these events that want to understand and interpret these interesting events. The result of the first crusade, that had ended on July 14, 1099, had been a sequence of events that had eventually led to the second crusade.

The crusaders of the First Crusade, numbering now around 20,000, captured Jerusalem, massacring its inhabitants (Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike). The first Crusade started in 1095, when armies of Christians from Western Europe responded to Pope Urban II asking to go to war against Muslim forces in the Holy Land. They captured Jerusalem by first, having the entire army march around the walls of Jerusalem. They then spent the next two days preparing the three siege towers. Once they were finished they began to attack the walls. All of the 14th was spent getting close enough to the walls to attack effectively. They eventually built a bridge from the third tower to the wall. They sent knights and Genoese in too open the gates from the inside and let the entire army in. They conquered the unexpected city and the Muslims surrendered. The crusaders had then went on a killing rampage and pulled everyone from their houses and began killing all of them. One chronicler described the streets as flowing “a river of blood one foot deep”.

The First Crusade succeeded in creating the "crusader states" of Edessa, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Tripoli in Palestine and Syria. It also achieved its main objective, capturing Jerusalem.

The commanders had a meeting that Sunday (the 17th) after they defeated Jerusalem to talk about things that need to be talked about. They gave orders for the streets cleared of corpses and for the Christians that were kicked out of the city when the Muslims came, to come back to the city. The question of who should rule in Jerusalem was talked about at this meeting, apparently for the first time. No one could agree on who should be chosen as Patriarch and they choose to decide later.

One interesting result that should be noticed of the First Crusades is the unexpected amount of historical writing that happened after the capture of Jerusalem. This amazing time period had inspired authors across the Christian West at that time to write about these events in a way that nothing in earlier medieval history had done. Scholars today are trying to figure out how and why the things that were written, what they mean and what they say. The authors back then wrote not only about the crusades, but they had a system that when someone important was saying a speech, they would try to memorize it then go home and wrote down all they could remember. “It was difficult but the ones with the Best memorization succeeded” said one of the authors.

However, the Church was not able to hold onto the territory for long, and in 1145 the Pope called the Second Crusade to reclaim the County of Edessa, lost shortly after the First Crusade

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