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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Crusades
    Posted: 25-Feb-2005 at 11:28

I was surprised to learn that there had yet to be a forum opened on the crusades, which I feel is a very important topic. What are your thoughts on it? Was it a benevolent venture or an act of aggression by the Catholic church? Would you say it was successful? What were the main causes of the crusades and were they justicied?

Suggested reading on the topic:

The Crusades: Christianity and Islam in the Struggle for World Supremacy by Geoffrey Hindley



Edited by Winterhaze13
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2005 at 12:35
Which crusade do you deem to be the most successful? Least?
Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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  Quote Frederick Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2005 at 14:20
Originally posted by Winterhaze13

Was it a benevolent venture or an act of aggression by the Catholic church? Would you say it was successful? What were the main causes of the crusades and were they justicied?

The church most certainly did had other interests than the simple protection of pilgrimage routes. The call from Alexis I of Byzantium seemed to Pope Urban II a great chance to reunite all of european christiandom under him, ending the Ortodox schism.

Also, warfare between catholic sides was really tightly controled by the church at this time, so it represented an escape for the beligereous warlords of the time, a way of getting fortune without risking excommunication, and even more, gaining salvation. At the time, th "pilgrimage in arms" could be seen as a really benevolent movement, but as soon as one reached the Holy Land, the truth was rather different. Turks and Jews were randomly massacred, as well as some greeks, who were theirselfs responsible for a lot of catholic killings. I'm not sure about the "act of aggression by the Catholic church" thing, since according to sources they were only protecting their interests and rights in the region. But of course no one actually can be sure about the veracity of the acusations.

 

As for more and less successful crusades, one can only admire the success of the 1st Crusade, mostly due to its quick advance, caughting everyone by surprise. But a true victory, although undervaluated, was the 6th Crusade by Frederick II, where the christian side got all they wanted by diplomacy, without a single sword drawn.

As for failures, despite the mess of the 2nd, 4th and 5th crusades, old King Louis IX, the Saint, still has loser written all over his face.

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  Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2005 at 21:01
A really great primary source about the fourth crusade is:
"Chronicles of the Crusades" by Joinville and Villehardouin
Penguin books 1963
translated by M.R.B. Shaw
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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2005 at 21:07
I think the Crusades were successful because it transferred vast amounts of knowlege into Europe. The Crusades were the primary factor in getting math and science back to its feet again in Western Europe. Without it, the Rennaissance would not have been possible.

On the other hand, it was not successful in fighting Islam.
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2005 at 06:57
You took the cross upon your shoulders, and on that Cross and on the Holy Gospels you swore that you pass over Christian lands without violence, turning neither right nor to left. You assured us that your only enemy was the Saracen, and that his blood only would be shed

Nicetas Choniates (in Alexios Dukas,IV,4) about the Latin Crusaders who in March 1204 plundered and pillaged Constantinople, by then the most cultured, the most populous and the most Christian city in Europe.

If there is one defining moment in the, on the whole rather disconcerting, history of the Crusades of the 11th,12th and 13th centuries, a moment that defines the moral bankruptcy of Western-European societies, a moment that strips away all the religious and altruistic pretenses and reveals the true nature of the Crusades, that moment is the conquest of Constantinople in 1204.
The Crusaders slaughtered devout Christians, not Muslims as they had proclaimed to intend, they befouled Christian Churches, not Mosques, they stole Christian relics, artifacts and ikons, not heathen treasures, in 1204. (Just count the loot , next time you go to Venice)
But then, the Crusades were not about Religion, not about the recovery of the Holy Land from the infidels or the safe passage for pilgrims to Jerusalem.
Here the Crusades are shown what they really were: the profane and unashamed battle for political domination, for land and for the riches of countries, far more civilized and cultured than the backward kingdoms of Central-Europe that were still struggling to drag themselves out of the swamps.
For the landless second sons of French Dukes and Barons, it was the only chance to grab some glory and some land, for the Popes it was the opportunity to establish supremacy over their hated rivals in Constantinople, for the Venetian and Genoese merchant republics it was all about dominance over the trade routes in the Levant and so on.
It can not be denied that many of those who went on the crusades, peasants, foot soldiers, even Knights or the odd Count and King, really believed they would fight for the greater glory of God, but their religious fervour was manipulated and abused by those who were only interested in worldly power ,and couldnt care less in any case about the beliefs of friends or foes.
Off all the unpleasant chapters in the history of Christianity, of which there are quite a few, the attempted fratricide of the Orthodox-Christian Empire by their Catholic brothers in 1204, remains one of the most shameful.
For the Byzantine Empire, it was another nail in the coffin, a tragedy from which they never recovered, for the Latin Crusaders, it was a spectacular own goal, then without the support of Byzantium, their forlorn outposts in the Holy Land, far away from Western Europe and with forbiddingly long supply lines, didnt have the slightest chance to survive and less than a hundred years later in 1291 the last Crusader was deservedly chased out of Palestine.

I wrote that for some other purpose, but it expresses my thoughts on the crusades anyway.


Edited by Komnenos
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  Quote Degredado Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2005 at 15:12

Originally posted by Imperator Invictus

I think the Crusades were successful because it transferred vast amounts of knowlege into Europe. The Crusades were the primary factor in getting math and science back to its feet again in Western Europe. Without it, the Rennaissance would not have been possible.

 

Hardly. The Franks and the Saracens kept apart. Whatever knowledge the Arab world had to transmit was transmitted before, via Sicily and Spain. 

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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Mar-2005 at 13:01

Louis IX was probably the most devoted crusader, but Richard the Lionheart was probably the most successful, although he never acquired the Holy land. But I think Godfrey of Bouillon, who is widely considered the leader of the first crusades is probably the greatest crusader. Frederick II got back the holy land through mostly negociations with Egypt, but with little military activity.

In the end, I think that the main consequences of the crusades was the enduring distrust and hostility between the Christian world and the Muslim world. This continues today in the form of the conflict in the middle east.



Edited by Maharbbal - 02-May-2007 at 19:04
Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Mar-2005 at 17:13
Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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  Quote Roughneck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Mar-2005 at 01:15
Louis XIV was the Sun King, 1600s.  The Crusades were not essential to the Renniasance.  All these cultures had been interacting for centuries.  Charlamagne had been sending gold and silver to the Arabs to buy good.  The largest source of transmission of ideas to western Europe was probably through the Reconquista of Spain.  And the Crusaders and Arabs did indeed interact.  Once the wars ended a mutual respect set in, and at times generals would side members of the opposing faith to fight their like faihted enemies.  This mutual respect was usually ruined by newcomers who had the idea in their head of kill all Muslims, which caused them to have to start the process all over again.
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  Quote Gazi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2005 at 13:44

I think the first crusade was the most successful while second was the least successful  

P.S. does Nicopolis count?

Freedom is the recognition of necessity.-Friedrich Engels
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2005 at 14:51
Originally posted by Gazi

I think the first crusade was the most successful while second was the least successful  

P.S. does Nicopolis count?

Yes, the book I read dealt with it. Most historians cannot really pinpoint when the crusading interprise ended. So, we are free to assume.

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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  Quote Gazi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2005 at 05:53
Then Nicopolis could be the least successful.The huge army was annihilated,only a few survived.(Bayezid did not execute anyone under 20 or over 50)
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  Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2005 at 13:21
I would agree that under the direction of the Popes the Catholic Church did some terrible things in the name of god during the crusades. But, there is always two sides to a tale!

Should the Vatican apologize?


pencer: A Vatican Apology for the Crusades?

A consideration of the recent request from Al-Azhar that the Vatican apologize for the Crusades, from Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer at FP:

    Ever mindful of keeping the West on the defensive and portraying it as the guilty party in todays global jihad, Al-Azhar (the highest ranking religious authority in Egypt and most respected Sunni Muslim authority in the world), has asked the Vatican for an official apology for the Crusades. Sheikh Fawzi Zafzaf, President of the Interfaith Dialogue Committee of Al-Azhar, explained that Al-Azhar is only asking for a similar treatment following Vatican apologies to other groups. According to the Vatican ambassador to Egypt, the Holy See is thinking it over.

    This is just the latest indication that the Crusades have grown into a myth that little resembles reality, and remain politically charged over three years after President Bush was roundly criticized for labeling the war on terror a Crusade. Bill Clinton even explained 9/11 as fallout from the Crusades: Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound. I can tell you that that story is still being told to today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it.[1]

    The West has questioned the Crusades something probably not possible if the shoe were on the Islamic foot almost since they took place. Virtually all Westerners have learned to apologize for the Crusades, but less noted is the fact that the Crusades have an Islamic counterpart for which no one is apologizing and of which few are even aware. Over a hundred years ago, Mark Twain spoke for many Westerners in Tom Sawyer Abroad when he has Tom explain to Huck Finn that he wants to go to the Holy Land to liberate it from the Muslims.

    How, Huck asks, did we come to let them git holt of it?

    We didnt come to let them git hold of it, Tom explains. They always had it.

    Why, Tom, then it must belong to them, dont it?

    Why of course it does. Who said it didnt?[2]

    Historical fact says it didnt. As it happens, I am these days working on a new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, which will out from Regnery Publishing in a few months. In it, I am clearing away propaganda and telling what really happened. Islam originated in Arabia in the seventh century. At that time Egypt, Libya, and all of North Africa were Christian, and had been so for hundreds of years. So were Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Asia Minor. The churches that St. Paul addressed in his letters collected in the New Testament are located in Asia Minor, modern Turkey, as well as modern Greece. North of Greece, in a buffer zone between Eastern and Western Europe, were lands that would become the Christian domains of the Slavs. Antioch and Constantinople (Istanbul), in modern Turkey, and Alexandria, in modern Egypt, were three of the most important Christian centers of the first millennium.

    But then Muhammad and his Muslim armies arose out of the desert, and as most modern textbooks would put it these lands became Muslim. But in fact the transition was cataclysmic. Muslims won these lands by conquest and, in obedience to the words of the Quran and the Prophet, put to the sword the infidels therein who refused to submit to the new Islamic regime. Those who remained alive lived in humiliating second-class status. Conversion to Islam became the only way to live a decent life. And lo and behold, the Christian populations of these areas steadily diminished.

Continue reading "Spencer: A Vatican Apology for the Crusades?"

www.jihadwatch.org
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2007 at 18:03
Originally posted by eaglecap

A really great primary source about the fourth crusade is:
"Chronicles of the Crusades" by Joinville and Villehardouin
Penguin books 1963
translated by M.R.B. Shaw
 
While expectedly full of Latin European biases it is a great primary source, I have read it, and it provides a great amount of detail that can be picked out of it.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2007 at 18:17
Originally posted by eaglecap

I would agree that under the direction of the Popes the Catholic Church did some terrible things in the name of god during the crusades. But, there is always two sides to a tale!

Should the Vatican apologize?


pencer: A Vatican Apology for the Crusades?

A consideration of the recent request from Al-Azhar that the Vatican apologize for the Crusades, from Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer at FP:

    Ever mindful of keeping the West on the defensive and portraying it as the guilty party in todays global jihad, Al-Azhar (the highest ranking religious authority in Egypt and most respected Sunni Muslim authority in the world), has asked the Vatican for an official apology for the Crusades. Sheikh Fawzi Zafzaf, President of the Interfaith Dialogue Committee of Al-Azhar, explained that Al-Azhar is only asking for a similar treatment following Vatican apologies to other groups. According to the Vatican ambassador to Egypt, the Holy See is thinking it over.

    This is just the latest indication that the Crusades have grown into a myth that little resembles reality, and remain politically charged over three years after President Bush was roundly criticized for labeling the war on terror a Crusade. Bill Clinton even explained 9/11 as fallout from the Crusades: Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound. I can tell you that that story is still being told to today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it.[1]

    The West has questioned the Crusades something probably not possible if the shoe were on the Islamic foot almost since they took place. Virtually all Westerners have learned to apologize for the Crusades, but less noted is the fact that the Crusades have an Islamic counterpart for which no one is apologizing and of which few are even aware. Over a hundred years ago, Mark Twain spoke for many Westerners in Tom Sawyer Abroad when he has Tom explain to Huck Finn that he wants to go to the Holy Land to liberate it from the Muslims.

    How, Huck asks, did we come to let them git holt of it?

    We didnt come to let them git hold of it, Tom explains. They always had it.

    Why, Tom, then it must belong to them, dont it?

    Why of course it does. Who said it didnt?[2]

    Historical fact says it didnt. As it happens, I am these days working on a new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, which will out from Regnery Publishing in a few months. In it, I am clearing away propaganda and telling what really happened. Islam originated in Arabia in the seventh century. At that time Egypt, Libya, and all of North Africa were Christian, and had been so for hundreds of years. So were Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Asia Minor. The churches that St. Paul addressed in his letters collected in the New Testament are located in Asia Minor, modern Turkey, as well as modern Greece. North of Greece, in a buffer zone between Eastern and Western Europe, were lands that would become the Christian domains of the Slavs. Antioch and Constantinople (Istanbul), in modern Turkey, and Alexandria, in modern Egypt, were three of the most important Christian centers of the first millennium.

    But then Muhammad and his Muslim armies arose out of the desert, and as most modern textbooks would put it these lands became Muslim. But in fact the transition was cataclysmic. Muslims won these lands by conquest and, in obedience to the words of the Quran and the Prophet, put to the sword the infidels therein who refused to submit to the new Islamic regime. Those who remained alive lived in humiliating second-class status. Conversion to Islam became the only way to live a decent life. And lo and behold, the Christian populations of these areas steadily diminished.

Continue reading "Spencer: A Vatican Apology for the Crusades?"

www.jihadwatch.org
 
jihadwatch.org Confused might as well cite from al-quaeda.org
 
The reality is that the majority of inhabitants of the lands the Caliphate conquered were Christian, and still have substantial Christian populations, however, the Crusaders were not native to that region, so they have no rights to that region, the natives of that region accepted the Muslim armies widely, and at the time of the Crusades were still the majority of the Middle East, Muslims did not become the majority generations after the Crusades began. The natives of the Middle East gradually converted, and now are majority Muslim, they have right to that land, not anyone else, the Spanish Christians defeated the Spanish Muslims, and drove out Muslims and Jews out of the country. While that as well was a terrible even as were the Crusades, Muslims from any other place have no right to a second "reconquista" such as in that silly article you posted earlier about al-quada, they simply do not have right to territory re-taken by natives. So the Crusades as well have no justificiction in that respect.
 
 
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  Quote Jagiello Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2007 at 08:56
From a religius point of view the crusades are the biggest shame upon the Catholic Church.They simply have nothing to do with Cristianity and what Jesus preached and the sole idea of killing in the name of God is ridiculous.

From a political point of view i support them fully.From 500 years the muslims have been expanding agrresively,fighting united most of the time and achieving great succes.It was time that the europeans also united in some form and counterattacked.I only regrret most of the crusaders were idiots,fanatics or barbarians and did horrible things to the population both christian and muslim.However,i find them a succesful because they brought the two cultures european and arab closer (although trough war) and were serious blow to the muslims.
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  Quote Timotheus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2007 at 11:11
I find apologizing for history to be ridiculous. If the Roman Church is to apologize for the Crusades, the Turkish government should apologize to Greece for conquering Constantinople -- not saying I would favour that at all, just showing how ludicrous the proposition is.
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  Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2007 at 11:24
Ehm, all please note that that post dates from two years back. Bit late to get worked up about it now...

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