Portal:Crusades

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THE CRUSADES PORTAL

Introduction

 Medieval illustration of a battle during the Second Crusade
A battle of the Second Crusade (illustration of William of Tyre's Histoire d'Outremer, 1337)

The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most commonly known Crusades were 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 campaigns, such as the crusade against the Cathars and the Baltic Crusades. These were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At the time of the early Crusades the word did not exist, only becoming the leading descriptive term around 1760.

In 1095, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade in a sermon at the Council of Clermont. He encouraged military support for the Byzantine Empire and its Emperor, Alexios I, who needed reinforcements for his conflict with westward migrating Turks colonizing Anatolia. One of Urban's aims was to guarantee pilgrims access to the Eastern Mediterranean holy sites that were under Muslim control but scholars disagree as to whether this was the primary motive for Urban or those who heeded his call. Urban's strategy may have been to unite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom, which had been divided since the East–West Schism of 1054 and to establish himself as head of the unified Church. The initial success of the Crusade established the first four Crusader states in the Eastern Mediterranean: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch, the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the County of Tripoli. The enthusiastic response to Urban's preaching from all classes in Western Europe established a precedent for other Crusades. Volunteers became Crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the Church. Some were hoping for a mass ascension into heaven at Jerusalem or God's forgiveness for all their sins. Others participated to satisfy feudal obligations, to obtain glory and honour or to seek economic and political gain.

The two-century attempt to recover the Holy Land ended in failure. Following the First Crusade there were six major Crusades and numerous less significant ones. After the last Catholic outposts fell in 1291 there were no more Crusades but the gains were longer lasting in Northern and Western Europe. The Wendish Crusade and those of the Archbishop of Bremen brought all the North-East Baltic and the tribes of Mecklenburg and Lusatia under Catholic control in the late 12th century. In the early 13th century the Teutonic Order created a Crusader state in Prussia and the French monarchy used the Albigensian Crusade to extend the kingdom to the Mediterranean Sea. The rise of the Ottoman Empire in the late 14th century prompted a Catholic response which led to further defeats at Nicopolis in 1396 and Varna in 1444. Catholic Europe was in chaos and the final pivot of Christian–Islamic relations was marked by two seismic events: the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 and a final conclusive victory for the Spanish over the Moors with the conquest of Granada in 1492. The idea of Crusading continued, not least in the form of the Knights Hospitaller, until the end of the 18th century but the focus of Western European interest moved to the New World.

Selected article

Siege of Vienna
The Siege of Vienna in 1529, as distinct from the Battle of Vienna in 1683, was the first attempt of the Muslim Ottoman Empire, led by Sultan Suleiman I (the magnificent), to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. The siege signaled the Ottoman Empire's highwater mark and the end of Ottoman expansion in central Europe, though 150 years of tension and incursions followed, culminating in the Battle of Vienna in 1683.[1]

Some historians believe that Suleiman's main objective in 1529 was to re-establish Ottoman control over Hungary, and that the decision to attack Vienna so late in the season was opportunistic.[2]

Selected picture

Polish–Ottoman War (1683–1699)
Credit: Cmmmm

Polish–Ottoman War (1683-1699), the Third Polish–Ottoman War or the War of the Holy League refers to the Polish side of the conflict otherwise known as the Great Turkish War. The conflict begun with a great Polish victory at the battle of Vienna in 1683, and ended with the Treaty of Karlowitz, restoring to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth lands lost in the previous Polish-Otoman War (the Polish–Ottoman War (1672–1676)). It was the last conflict between the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire, and despite the Polish victory, it marked the decline of power of not only the Ottoman Empire, but also of the Commonwealth, which would never again interfere in affairs outside of its declining borders.

Did you know...

Battle of Varna by Jan Matejko

Selected biography

John of Austria
John of Austria (24 February[3], 1547 - 1 October 1578), in English traditionally known as Don John of Austria, and in Spanish as Don Juan de Austria

[4], was an illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He became a military leader in the service of his half-brother, Philip of Spain and is best known for his naval victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

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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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Specific:

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

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  1. ^ "The failure of the first [siege of Vienna] brought to a standstill the tide of Ottoman conquest which had been flooding up the Danube Valley for a century past." Toynbee, p 119; "The expedition had been successful at least politically. Suleiman had driven Ferdinand out of Hungary and installed in his place an obedient vassal. But more significant was the fact that a Turkish army had been beaten back before the walls of Vienna by a force much inferior in numbers. This may be considered the beginning of the end of Ottoman military superiority…at Vienna Suleiman discovered that western artillery was equal to his own and that Austrian and Spanish foot soldiers with their harquebuses and long pikes, were, if anything, superior to his janissaries." Stavrianos, p 77; "Sitting outside the Hapsburg capital, with his army beset by seemingly insurmountable logistical problems, Suleiman was brought to conclude that the Ottoman Empire could expand no further into Europe, that Muslim expansionism in Eurasia had reached, indeed had probably extended beyond its destined territorial limits." Sicker, p 1-2.
  2. ^ It was an "afterthought towards the end of a season of campaigning". Riley-Smith, p 256; "A last minute decision following a quick victory in Hungary". Shaw and Shaw, p 94; Other historians, for example Stephen Turnbull, regard the suppression of Hungary as the calculated prologue to an invasion further into Europe: "John Szapolya [sic] became a footnote in the next great Turkish advance against Europe in the most ambitious campaign of the great Sultan’s reign." Turnbull, p 50.
  3. ^ The date assigned, 24 February, was actually his father Charles's birthday.
  4. ^ "Don" is a Spanish honorific, equivalent to English Sir, not a name. "Austria" refers not to the country but to the Habsburg dynasty then commonly known as "Casa de Austria".
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