Monday, January 4, 2010

Crusades Cont.

Ah, they were at that, Kate, but they were so much more. When one considers the immediate history surrounding the Crusades, one will discover that 'cities back' are key words.

You see, the Roman Empire split into two, leaving the Roman and Byzantine sections. The Byzantine Empire became stronger while Rome was weakened by war, poor rulers and corruption, as well as barbarians. Eventually, Rome fell, leaving the Byzantine Empire as a remaining power with a plethora of Arabic enemies. Throughout its history, it had perpatually been fending off Islam and Arabic people. In the Byzantine-Arab wars (starting at 634 AD), the Christian Byzantium lost a excessive territory to the Arabs.

Under the rulers Rashidan and Umuyyad, the Islamic faction consumed (by warfare) what had previously been Christian or peaceful African land. Any defence that could be thrown together fell easily before the rampaging Moslems. North Africa, Persia, Sindh (India) all were lost by 736AD.

In all of this time, Constantinople held out, which, naturally, aggravated the aggressive Moslem Armies.

However, the Moslems weren't finished. No, from there, they proceeded into Christian Europe. They took Italy, the Caucauses, the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), the Pyrenees and even parts of the Bulgarian Empire. The Moslems, in fact, advanced into what was then France and the German States. Only Charles Martel had an army large enough to prevent them from proceeding, and, miraculously, he did prevent the Islams from consuming all of Continental Europe, earning the nickname, 'The Hammer'.

This is all wrapped up by 950. Only small heros and forces stood to face the triumphant Muslims in those conquered countries, as can be seen by the Spanish folklore hero 'El Cid', and his small guerrila army of which bravely fought the Moor despots.

Maybe, once realizing the surrounding conquests, one can see why the Christians finally united into one army in order to gain back what had been theirs and to protect the Holy Land.

There is one last item that must be mentioned of the background of the first Crusade. Jerusalem fell from the Byzantine Empire. 3,000 Christian Pilgrims were slaughtered, and the Christian churches were desecrated.

Are the Christian forces not justified in taking back that of which is rightfully theirs? When people state the the Crusades were a bloodbath "Instigated by Christianity". or a 'Foolhardy religious conflict', it irritates me to no extent. That person obviously does not realize how close Europe came to being completely subjugated.

It is true that the Armies of Europe, once running rampant, committed many deeds they should not have while flying the Christian standard. However, as a whole, the Christians were justified and thus not 'religious fanatics fought by religious fanatics against comparatively peaceful Moslems. ' Thus, if you ever hear this, remember who actually instigated the fight. Remember that there hasn't been 'more evil in the world instigated in religion', which is then immediately drawn to the Crusades as an attempt at an argument.

And also remember, that, while our soldiers performed some deeds they were often later ashamed of, brutal and cruel warfare was regular in the Medievil Ages - consider what the Moslems did to the People's Crusade.

That's all for now. Cheers


Glandias the Fox said...

What are your thought on the Childrens Crusade? Were they called by God, or did they just have a overly large imagination?

Kate said...

Which one? There was one in 1212 and another in 1963. :P (Although, the second one was for civil rights.)

Glandias the Fox said...

There were two that were closer together than that. I forget the dates. Both ended up all the children being sold as slaves.

Agent said...

There are only two Crusades that could possibly meet your specifications, Foxler. Hannah, the "Children's Crusade" of 1963 hardly counts.... It was a simple march down Birmingham, Alabama. the worst the children faced there was dogbite. The name is highlky inaccurate and misleading, from the knowledge I possess of the event.
The Children's Crusade and People's Crusade were in the Crusader era (1212 and 1096, respectively). Regardless of the fact that both were extremely foolhardly, I find it difficult to believe that God would call them to arms when they haven't the knowledge or armoury to fulfill a campaign. He wouldn't lead them to slaughter. Good question, though. Maybe I'll look into it.

Glandias the Fox said...

One French shepherd boy, went to the pope of France (Or king, I'm not sure) and said he heard God calling him to lead a crusade of children to the holy lands, the Pope said: "Go back to your sheep boy!" I would agree

Kate said...

Never heard of it...I've heard of a shepherd who was supposedly picked out from a whole bunch of other shepherds by a bunch of goddesses who were arguing about who was more beautifuler...He got a golden apple for choosing one of them. Can't remember who. That's the only other thing that I've heard of that has to do with shepherds.