Saturday, November 2, 2013

Medieval Europe Part 3: Of Kings and Killers Pt. 3-- Ignition of the First Crusade

My other blogs are:
Christians torturing Muslims and Jews by slicing open their stomachs while hanging
upside down alive
Sons of Duke Eustace II of Boulogne and Ida of Lorraine, key leaders in the First Crusade
Eustace III, Count of Boulogne
Baldwin I, 1st King of Jerusalem
Godfrey III of Boulogne, Duke of
Upper and Lower Lorraine

Of Kings and Killers Pt. 3
Ignition of the First Crusade
Medieval Europe Part 3
NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!!: 3,000 Christian pilgrims were massacred in the Holy City of Jerusalem while they tried to make the long journey to the city of their messiah Jesus Christ. This was a common tradition for Catholics, and the massacre would ensure racial and religious hatred for centuries thereafter. But it hardly ended there, for the beginning of this righteous crusade was officially ignited by one of the most famous speeches ever made in A.D. 1095 by Pope Urban II (middle picture) urging virtually all of Europe and its citizens to mobilize against the Muslim Turks (Seljuk forces of Kilij Arslan) at the request of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, since the empire itself was in serious trouble of invasion by the Muslims. Thus began one of the darkest pages in human history. In response to this massacre of their fellow Christians and due to the energizing speech by their Pope, Christian peasants and knights from all over Europe mobilized at the call of the distant emperor in the East.
RIGHTEOUS MARCH: Over 20,000 peasants began marching under Walter Sans Avoir, Fulcher of Chartres, and Peter the Hermit, slaughtering every Jew and Muslim in Europe along with a large army under Pope Urban II. The peasant half of the army was separated from all of the knights, and although they were untrained they were quite zealous. Yet as they wound their way closer and closer to Jerusalem the peasant army was too untrained to last against the Seljuk forces. Being tricked and ambushed by Turkish spies who infiltrated the Christian camps, they were practically massacred after they were taken by surpirse by a storm of arrows from above. Quickly being routed back, they were forced to flee from the seasoned warriors who stood against them. Some of the people escaped, being rescued by the Byzantine Empire's ships. But it was far from over, as this loss led to the Siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 1099 under the Pope as the other half of the army wound its way toward its bloody destination.
Just prior to the First Crusade, tensions between Muslims and Jews in their homelands in the East were escalating greatly as the Western Catholic populations continually made pilgrimages to the Holy City of Jerusalem in honor of Christ Jesus. Yet due to the Christian's perspective that the Jews were guilty of murdering their messiah, Jesus, an outright ban on the pilgrimage soon followed as both sides racial and religious hatred escalated, and thus the Jews prevented all Christians from completing their long journey to the city. From this culmination of murder and spitefulness, the First Crusade ignited like a ball of fire. Religious leaders all over the Western kingdoms in Europe spoke out against the Jews in fiery hatred and demanded the slaughter of the Jews and Muslims all over the world for killing Jesus long ago, the recent massacring of the Christians in Jerusalem, and the blockade preventing pilgrimages. It quickly became a holy war, where not being Christian in general became reason enough to slaughter the masses. By A.D. 1099, the Jews and Muslims could have sneezed and been worthy of execution by the Christians.
BEGINNING OF THE END: Finally arriving to the Holy City of Jerusalem, the army of skilled knights led by the brothers of Boulogne (pictures above) slaughtered the people in Jerusalem. And while the stories are controversial as to whether or not the people in Jerusalem were just annihilated, sources pretty much confirm that the battle was very quick and bloody, as the men were all filled with years of boiling hatred. The First Crusade had just begun and the rest of the crusades were highly successful, and European Catholics established absolute Christian rule over the inhabitants in the East for the first time in over 400 years.
Everyone had a hand to play in this war, contrary to the many opinions which attempt to stain one side as worse than another. The Jews asked for a war when they slaughtered the 3,000 Christian pilgrims, and the Muslim Turks were begging for an ass-kicking when they kept trying to invade the Byzantine Empire. Meanwhile, the Christians stained their hands with the blood of innocents during their genocidal revenge rampage. Going to war is never acceptable, but it's sometimes necessary since not everyone wants to play nicey-nice, yet I feel sad for the Christians of this time period because in their hatred they slaughtered innocent women and children, all-the-while pillaging and burning as they went along the entire European continent murdering, and spilled their violence over into the next continent in the East. I'm fairly certain that "eye for an eye" usually leaves everyone blind, and this was no exception. While it is sad how this war turned out, heaven forbid if either of the cultures had stopped butchering each other long enough to realize that their hate simply fueled more death and hatred perpetually, but I guess that's just how hate and racism goes-- it endlessly fuels itself. Revenge is never ok since humans can never be satisfied afterward.
For shame!!! For shame!!!


  1. How Did Walter Sans Avoir's coat of arms look like?

    1. I'm not sure about that one. I don't see a picture in my textbook. You could google it but it might not be accurate.