Portal:Crusades

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THE CRUSADES PORTAL

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Crusader siege of Antioch

The Crusades were a series of military conflicts of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal threats. Crusades were fought against Muslims, pagan Slavs, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Jews, and political enemies of the popes. Crusaders took vows and were granted an indulgence for past sins.

The Crusades originally had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule and were originally launched in response to a call from the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire for help against the expansion of the Muslim Seljuk Turks into Anatolia. The term is also used to describe contemporaneous and subsequent campaigns conducted in territories outside the Levant usually against pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons. Rivalries among both Christian and Muslim powers led also to alliances between religious factions against their opponents, such as the Christian alliance with the Sultanate of Rum during the Fifth Crusade.

The Crusades had far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts, some of which have lasted into contemporary times. Because of internal conflicts among Christian kingdoms and political powers, some of the crusade expeditions were diverted from their original aim, such as the Fourth Crusade, which resulted in the sack of Christian Constantinople and the partition of the Byzantine Empire between Venice and the Crusaders.

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The fall of Edessa, seen here on the right of this map (c.1140), was the proximate cause of the Second Crusade.
The Second Crusade (1145–1149) was the second major crusade launched from Europe, called in 1145 in response to the fall of the County of Edessa the previous year. Edessa was the first of the Crusader states to have been founded during the First Crusade (1095–1099), and was the first to fall. The Second Crusade was announced by Pope Eugene III, and was the first of the crusades to be led by European kings, namely Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, with help from a number of other important European nobles. The armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe and were somewhat hindered by Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus; after crossing Byzantine territory into Anatolia, both armies were separately defeated by the Seljuk Turks. Louis and Conrad and the remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem and, in 1148, participated in an ill-advised attack on Damascus. The crusade in the east was a failure for the crusaders and a great victory for the Muslims. It would ultimately lead to the fall of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century.

The only success came outside of the Mediterranean, where Flemish, Frisian, Norman, English, Scottish, and some German crusaders, on the way by ship to the Holy Land, fortuitously stopped and helped the Portuguese in the capture of Lisbon in 1147. Some of them, who had departed earlier, helped capture Santarém earlier in the same year. Later they also helped to conquer Sintra, Almada, Palmela and Setúbal, and were allowed to stay in the conquered lands, where they had offspring. Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe, the first of the Northern Crusades began with the intent of forcibly converting pagan tribes to Christianity, and these crusades would go on for centuries.

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The Night Attack
Credit: Cmmmm

The Night Attack (Romanian: Atacul de noapte) was a skirmish fought between forces of Vlad III the Impaler (Ţepeş) of Wallachia and Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire on 17 June 1462. The conflict initially started with Ţepeş's refusal to pay tribute to the Porte and intensified when Ţepeş invaded Bulgaria and impaled over 23,000 Turks and Bulgarians. Mehmed then raised a great army with the objective to conquer Wallachia and annex it to his empire. The two leaders fought a series of skirmishes, the most notable one being the Night Attack where Ţepeş attacked the Turkish camp in the night in an attempt to kill Mehmed. The assassination attempt failed and Mehmed marched to the Wallachian capital of Târgovişte, where he discovered another 20,000 impaled Turks and Bulgarians. Demoralised, the Sultan and his troops retreated.

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Battle of Varna by Jan Matejko

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Manuscript miniature of Manuel I (part of double portrait with Maria of Antioch, Vatican Library, Rome)
Manuel I Komnenos, or Comnenus 28 November 1118 – 24 September 1180) was a Byzantine Emperor of the 12th century who reigned over a crucial turning point in the history of Byzantium and the Mediterranean. Eager to restore his empire to its past glories as the superpower of the Mediterranean world, Manuel pursued an energetic and ambitious foreign policy. In the process he made alliances with the Pope and the resurgent west, invaded Italy, successfully handled the passage of the dangerous Second Crusade through his empire, and established a Byzantine protectorate over the Crusader kingdoms of Outremer. Facing Muslim advances in the Holy Land, he made common cause with the Kingdom of Jerusalem and participated in a combined invasion of Fatimid Egypt. Manuel reshaped the political maps of the Balkans and the east Mediterranean, placing the kingdoms of Hungary and Outremer under Byzantine hegemony and campaigning aggressively against his neighbours both in the west and in the east. However, towards the end of his reign Manuel's achievements in the east were compromised by a serious defeat at Myriokephalon, which in large part resulted from his arrogance in attacking a well-defended Seljuk position.

Called Megas, translated as "the Great", by the Greeks, Manuel is known to have inspired intense loyalty in those who served him. He also appears as the hero of a history written by his secretary, John Kinnamos, in which every virtue is attributed to him. Manuel, who was influenced by his contact with western Crusaders, enjoyed the reputation of "the most blessed emperor of Constantinople" in parts of the Latin world as well. Modern historians, however, have been less enthusiastic about him. Some of them assert that the great power he wielded was not his own personal achievement, but that of the dynasty he represented; they also argue Byzantine imperial power declined so rapidly after Manuel's death that it is only natural to look for the causes of this decline in his reign.

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The Crusades

Background: PilgrimageHoly LandChurch of the Holy SepulchreGerman Pilgrimage of 1064-1065Theology 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 dynastyLatin EmpireMonastic state of the Teutonic KnightsMamluksMongol EmpireLusignan dynastyDuchy of AthensDuchy of the ArchipelagoRise of the Ottoman EmpireHoly LeagueLatin Patriarchate of JerusalemArchdiocese of TyreArchdiocese of NazarethArchdiocese of CaesareaArchdiocese of PetraLatin 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 CrusadeCrusades of the Western SchismBattle of NicopolisHussite WarsCrusade of VarnaFall of ConstantinopleSiege of BelgradeOttoman 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 FranceJames I of AragonMarino Sanuto the ElderPope Clement VITimurJohn HunyadiMuhammad XII of GranadaThomas Stukleyal-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din

Military orders: Knights TemplarsHistory of the Knights TemplarKnights HospitallerMilitary orders of the ReconquistaTeutonic Knights

Legacy: History of the Jews and the CrusadesCriticism of the CrusadesTrade and the CrusadesMedieval Christian missions to AsiaSovereign Military Order of Malta

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

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