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Crusader siege of Antioch

The Crusades were a series of military conflicts of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal threats. Crusades were fought against Muslims, pagan Slavs, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Jews, and political enemies of the popes. Crusaders took vows and were granted an indulgence for past sins.

The Crusades originally had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule and were originally launched in response to a call from the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire for help against the expansion of the Muslim Seljuk Turks into Anatolia. The term is also used to describe contemporaneous and subsequent campaigns conducted in territories outside the Levant usually against pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons. Rivalries among both Christian and Muslim powers led also to alliances between religious factions against their opponents, such as the Christian alliance with the Sultanate of Rum during the Fifth Crusade.

The Crusades had far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts, some of which have lasted into contemporary times. Because of internal conflicts among Christian kingdoms and political powers, some of the crusade expeditions were diverted from their original aim, such as the Fourth Crusade, which resulted in the sack of Christian Constantinople and the partition of the Byzantine Empire between Venice and the Crusaders.

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The capture of Jerusalem marked the First Crusade's success
The First Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the dual goals of conquering the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and freeing the Eastern Christians from Muslim rule. What started as an appeal by Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus for western mercenaries to fight the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia quickly turned into a wholesale Western migration and conquest of territory outside of Europe. Both knights and peasants from many nations of Western Europe travelled over land and by sea towards Jerusalem and captured the city in July 1099, establishing the Kingdom of Jerusalem and other Crusader states. Although these gains lasted for less than two hundred years, the First Crusade was a major turning point in the expansion of Western power, as well as the first major step towards reopening international trade in the West since the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

The idea of a Holy War against the Muslims seemed acceptable to medieval European secular and religious powers, as well as the public in general, for a number of reasons, such as the recent military successes of European kingdoms along the Mediterranean. In addition there was the emerging political conception of Christendom, which saw the union of Christian kingdoms under Papal guidance for the first time (in the High Middle Ages) and the creation of a Christian army to fight the Muslims. It was also felt that many of the Muslim lands had previously been Christian prior to their conquest by the Islamic armies, namely those which had formed part of the Roman and Byzantine empires - Syria, Egypt, the rest of North Africa, Hispania (Spain), Cyprus, Judaea. Finally, Jerusalem, along with the surrounding lands including the places where Christ lived and died, was understandably sacred to Christians.

In 1074, Pope Gregory VII called for the milites Christi ("soldiers of Christ") to go to the aid of the Byzantine Empire in the east. The Byzantines had suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert three years previously. This call, while largely ignored and even opposed, combined with the large numbers of pilgrimages to the Holy Land in the 11th century, focused a great deal of attention on the east. Preaching by monks such as Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, which spread reports of Muslims abusing Christian pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem and other Middle Eastern holy sites, further stoked the crusading zeal. It was Pope Urban II who first disseminated to the general public the idea of a Crusade to capture the Holy Land. Upon hearing his dramatic and inspiring speech, the nobles and clergy in attendance began to chant the famous words, Deus vult! ("God wills it!")

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Battle of Vienna
Credit: Cmmmm

The Battle of Vienna (German: Schlacht am Kahlenberg, Polish: Bitwa pod Wiedniem or Odsiecz Wiedeńska, Turkish: İkinci Viyana Kuşatması), Ukrainian: Віденська відсіч (Viděns'ka Vidsič) took place on September 12, 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. The battle broke the advance of the Ottoman Empire into Europe, and marked the political hegemony of the Habsburg dynasty in central Europe.

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Peirol from a 14th-century chansonnier.

Selected biography

Charles Martel
Charles "The Hammer" Martel (Latin: Carolus Martellus, English: Charles "the Hammer") (ca. 688 – 22 October 741) was proclaimed Mayor of the Palace and ruled the Franks in the name of a titular King. Late in his reign he proclaimed himself Duke of the Franks (the last four years of his reign he did not even bother with the façade of a King) and by any name was de facto ruler of the Frankish Realms. In 739 he was offered an office of Roman consul by the Pope, which he rejected [1] possibly not to conflict with Theodatus Ursus who already occupied the office by appointment of the Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian. He expanded his rule over all three of the Frankish kingdoms: Austrasia, Neustria and Burgundy. Martel was born in Herstal, in present-day Belgium, the illegitimate son of Pippin the Middle and his concubine Alpaida (or Chalpaida).[2] He was described by Louis Gustave and Charles Strauss in their book "Moslem and Frank; or, Charles Martel and the rescue of Europe" as a tall, powerfully built man, who was more agile than his size would lead men to believe.




The Crusades

Background: PilgrimageHoly LandChurch of the Holy SepulchreGreat German Pilgrimage of 1064–65Theology of sacred violenceBattle of ManzikertCouncil of PiacenzaCouncil of ClermontJihad

Realms and dynasties: Great Seljuq EmpireFatimid CaliphateKingdom of JerusalemPrincipality of AntiochCounty of TripoliCounty of EdessaKingdom of CyprusArmenian Kingdom of CiliciaVassals of the Kingdom of JerusalemOfficers of the Kingdom of JerusalemOfficers of the Kingdom of CyprusAyyubid dynastyAlmohad CaliphateLatin EmpireMonastic state of the Teutonic KnightsMamluksMongol EmpireHouse of LusignanDuchy of AthensDuchy of the ArchipelagoRise of the Ottoman EmpireLatin Patriarchate of JerusalemArchdiocese of TyreArchdiocese of NazarethLatin Patriarchate of AntiochLatin Patriarchate of Constantinople

Cities and castles: JerusalemCitadel of Salah Ed-DinConstantinopleAcreKrak des ChevaliersFamagusta

Campaigns and battles: First CrusadeSiege of JerusalemSeljuk–Crusader WarReconquistaSecond CrusadeSiege of DamascusNorthern CrusadesBattle of HattinThird CrusadeBattle of ArsufLivonian CrusadeGerman CrusadeCrusades in ItalyFourth CrusadeAlbigensian CrusadeBattle of Las Navas de TolosaChildren's CrusadeFifth CrusadeSiege of DamiettaPrussian CrusadeSixth CrusadeSeventh CrusadeBattle of Al MansurahShepherds' CrusadeEighth CrusadeNinth CrusadeAragonese CrusadeAlexandrian CrusadeBattle of NicopolisHussite WarsCrusade of VarnaFall of ConstantinopleOttoman invasion of OtrantoFall of RhodesOttoman–Venetian WarsOttoman–Habsburg warsBattle of MohácsBattle of LepantoSpanish ArmadaBattle of Vienna

People: al-Hakim bi-Amr AllahAlexios I KomnenosPope Urban IIGodfrey of BouillonBernard of ClairvauxBaldwin of ExeterSaladinRichard I of EnglandLouis IX of FranceGuy of LusignanJames I of AragonMarino Sanuto the ElderPope Clement VITimurJohn HunyadiMuhammad XII of GranadaThomas Stukleyal-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din

Military orders: Knights TemplarHistory of the Knights TemplarKnights HospitallerMilitary orders of the ReconquistaTeutonic Knights

Legacy: History of the Jews and the CrusadesSovereign Military Order of Malta

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# Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din
# Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani
# Baha ad-Din
# Children's Crusade

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  1. ^ e. the Fat so. 2001. The Encyclopedia of World History
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Charles Martel". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
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