View Poll Results: Were the Crusades justified?

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  • Yes

    45 21.63%
  • Yes, but many of the acts committed during the Crusades were not

    71 34.13%
  • No

    92 44.23%
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Thread: The Crusades

  1. #16
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    I think people lose sight here that Christiandom was not united. The original call was by the Byzantium Emperor, the head of the Greek Othadox Church to Roman Catholic Europe. The way the Roman Catholic Europeans behaved in Constinople, the Greek Othadox Church must have wondered would the Muslims be any worst.

  2. #17
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I truly wonder sometimes what the world would be like today if the Crusaders in the 4th Crusade had chosen not to conquer Constantinople.

    For it's entire history, the Byzantine Empire served as a buffer between East and West holding off Arabs and Turks over the successive centuries.

    The Byzantine Empire may have very well survived, and even expanded into some of it's old dominions had not the Crusaders taken Constantinople.

    Also, though, the Renaissance, sparked by arrival of Byzantine refugees in Italy in the 15th century, might have been delayed considerably.

    There was a saying in Gibbon's book, that in the mid-15th century, the population of Constantinople would have rather seen a turban in the city than whatever the Roman Catholic headress was.

  3. #18
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    Runciman

    Sir!
    I respectfully submit a paragraph from "A History of the Crusades" by Sir Steven Runciman.

    By nightfall on 3 June there was no Turk left alive in Antioch;
    and even from nieghbouring villages to which the Franks had never penetratted the Turkish population had fled, to seek refuge with Kerbogha. The houses of the citizens of Antioch,
    of Christians as well as of Moslems, were pillaged. The treasures and the arms found there were scattered or wantonly destroyed. You could not walk on the streets without treading on corpses, all of them rotting rapidly in the summer heat.
    But Antioch was Christian once more.

    Sir.
    Yes sir, very much so sir. Obviously insane.

  4. #19
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    Crusades

    Not a fair question as phrased. Were they justified? Depends really. What are the criteria? I'd love something more specific !

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.C
    The crusades were begun with very noble and justified reasons. But as with anything that human hands touch, the methods used to make the idea come to life were less then noble.
    BOLLOCKS. Urban II was up for a srap partially due to loss of trade income and then green Venitian eyes turning to the decadently defended Constantinople and with her near incomprehensible wealth. Also a politically astute move to - at least temporarilly - unite an increasingly fractious Cristendom. Don't forget that even in the period from the first to the fifth Crusades most of european Christendom was more buisilly engaged killing each other. The French, ever keen to make money out of the Middle East, were only hampered in their efforts by the fact that the English and her allies, (no Act of Union yet; ~ 1602?) the Welsh (longbowtastic), the Scots ("Braveheart" is bs) and Irish mercs kept wiping out their dynastic lines in every single battle that is legend: Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt. This guaranteed infighting. I'm not even going to start on Germanic europe.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooth
    My point is that whatever your interpretation. People of the time felt that the only way to achieve a proper society was to ensure that only their morality and culture was pre-eminant. They took their justifcation for this from their teachings and proceeded to debate the matter at length using swords.
    Plus ca change eh?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatock
    Off the top of my head. Probably the biggest screw up was when Jerusalem was taken the first time. English Knights, maybe also French Knights.

    They tried three times to get over the wall, into the city. Figuring God was mad at them. They decided to atone for any sins. By walking around the city barefoot. Once each time for all three times they were kept out.

    As soon as they made the third trip around. They rushed to put thier shoes back on. And attacked Jerusalem in a frenzy.

    This time, they managed to breach the wall. Then proceeded to start killing Muslims and Christians alike. The Jews in Jerusalem tried to bribe the Knights. And were instead locked in a Synagogue, and it was burned down.

    The same book I read that from, said that in some places the blood was knee deep. And that is where the saying, "The streets shall flow with the blood of the non-believers", originated from.
    I believe it was the French under the command - if such a thing can be said - of someone I frankly (ha, ha) can't recall.

  8. #23
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    The sad thing is that the europeans claimed to fight against "barbarians", while the enemy culture was actually totally superior and more advanced than their own, as they still knew many things that the europes lost after the fall of the ancient greek and roman empires (thus the Dark Age) and were worlds behind their enemies in their science and education

  9. #24
    Regular Patrick Brazil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watcher
    The sad thing is that the europeans claimed to fight against "barbarians", while the enemy culture was actually totally superior and more advanced than their own, as they still knew many things that the europes lost after the fall of the ancient greek and roman empires (thus the Dark Age) and were worlds behind their enemies in their science and education
    What about Muslim culture was 'totally superior and more advanced' to European cultures during the crusades?
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Brazil
    What about Muslim culture was 'totally superior and more advanced' to European cultures during the crusades?
    At the time the Arabs had were more cultured and technolgicaly advanced then the crusaders. The arabs made great contributions to science and mathematics as well as other technoligies and arts. Cities controled by arabs at the time were actually much more comfortable then their european counterparts. You'd never know it today eh?
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  11. #26
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    I wonder, if the Pope was the one that led the Crusades, how come the Bible says that killing poeple is wrong, even if they are "infidels"? Was the world back then so ignorant that they could not see with their eyes the massacre they were comitting? i consider the crusades the first Holocaust

  12. #27
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    The Colonel was right you make more out of the start of the Crusades than what it was and you dont ponder what it became. Alexius asked for help period. Rome did not envisio the huge turn out that spread outside the nobility and into laeity. Chances are great that the nobles, werent very happy about it. It is true that many of the nobility had indeed made pilgrimages to the Holy Land prior to the call of the first Crusade. Stephen of Blois is an easy example. It is correct to assume then that the nobles knew some of the hardships that they would face just provisionng there own army, and could never have envisioned the logistical nightmare that would result from the huge turn out of laeity. The reasons for that are disputable, the second son syndrome, monastic reform and the changes in personal accountability for ones sin. There may have even been some wishing to die in the Holy Land considering the Apocolypse was surely at hand. Best to be found doing Gods bidding when He came back. Pick a reason anyone will work and all are valid to a point. But what became of the Crusades was not planned. It was plain and simple proprietarial warfare on a large scale. Land was conquered and land was givin back. It was more about economies than about religion among the mainstream nobility. Remember that the original plan was to liberate Jerusalem. Well Jerusalem did get liberated and the Crusades continued for hundreds of years. In fact Saladin negotiated to give Jerusalem back to the Crusaders in exchange for Acre but the Crusaders refused it. It was about proprietarial warfare pure and simple. With the exception of Stephen of Blois who went back to Jerusalem after returning to Europe, most nobles that were threatened with excommunication for not completing the pilgrimage didnt care. If they stayed to fight they faced loosing a kingdom in Europe to rivals. If they left and were excommunicated they could simply buy their way back in. On the level of the laeity I believe you would find more concern with religion. Again most peasants had never traveled to the Holy Land and only knew that it was a land of milk and honey. Thousands rallied to the preaching of Peter the Hermit who told them what a glory it would be. They never expected what they found on the road to Damascus. And as the Colonel said it was never a clearly defined set of sides. Saladin conquered Damascus and helped develop the concept of JIHAD from a strictly personel spiritual battle to an outward expression of spirituality. He conquered Muslims himself. Christians fought Christians true. Usually because they deserved it, like the Byzantines that asked for help but refused to feed the masses that came to help them. They deserved to get beaten by their own allies, but regardless evryone did fight everyone. The Crusades should never be looked at as a strictly Christian versus Islamic confrontation.
    That is just an opinion didnt mean to ramble.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    I think people got alot of things mixed up here. There were over 5 major Crusades and about 11 minor ones. Not all of them and in fact, not one can be attributed to any one single goal.

    To state that Europe was responding to Islamic invasions ignore the fact that Europe wasn't united. The English couldn't care less about the Spaniards and their Crusades against the Moors. The French were allied with the Turks to check the Russians. In fact, the Europeans were fighting more amongst themselves than against Islam. Even Richard the Lionhearted was kidnapped for ransom in Europe.

    About the only thing that gave the Crusades some sort of historical unity was the call by the various Popes to embark on liberating the Holy Lands.

    On the other side of the coin, the Arabs were far from being united. Salidin was not a military leader by any stretch of the imagination. He managed to negotiate a truce between the various factions and even then, it wasn't wholly united. You've had various tribes that were actually bribed by Constinople to stand aside.

    About the only thing that can be said about the Crusades was that it was a mess from beginning to end.

    That is very true, but I would like to add on that a lot of the impetus driving the crusades was the fact that Europe was so very splintered. You had a caste devoted to warfare, and much of what they did was war upon one another. Over a long period of time, this ravaged much of Europe (look into the companies in France during the Hundred year war, and their impact on society... a bit late for the crusades, but still a good example). Solution? Send the knights (often a very polite term for well equipped brigand) over to ravage someone else. The muslims were far away, but reachable, and heathens to boot, so sending all your excess fighting men there was a good idea.

    This is referring to the crusades to the Middle East. The Crusades in Spain had a very different driving force behind them, and was more of a Spanish endeavour.

  14. #29
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    Would need some more information about the Crusades. First thoughts, it didn't seem like self defense, rather murder. We are suppose to preach the word, not chop people up. Now, if it's in a valid defense of your nation, that is a different story, but it doesn't appear so.

  15. #30
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    It's ironic that the most successful Crusade (the First) was commanded by mid level nobles. The one I remember most was Robert Guiscard's son Bohemund. The other thing is although the Crusade was foisted upon Alexius, he played it well have the crusaders pledge oaths of allegiance and restoration to him.

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