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Portal:Crusades/Selected article/1

A Seal of the Knights Templar

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, commonly known as the Knights Templar or the Order of the Temple, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders. The organization existed for approximately two centuries in the Middle Ages. It was founded in the aftermath of the First Crusade of 1096 to ensure the safety of the many Europeans who made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem after its conquest.

Officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1128, the Order became a favored charity across Europe and grew rapidly in membership and power. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles each with a red cross, were among the best fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the Order managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, inventing or adapting many financial techniques that were an early form of banking, and building many fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land.

The Templars' success was tied closely to the Crusades; when the Crusaders were defeated and lost the Holy Land, support for the Order faded. Rumors about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created mistrust, and King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Order, began pressuring Pope Clement V to take action. In 1307, Pope Clement condemned the Order's members, having them arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and burned at the stake. In 1312, Pope Clement, under continuing pressure from King Philip, disbanded the Order. The abrupt disappearance of a major part of the European infrastructure gave rise to speculation and legends, which have kept the "Templar" name alive until the present.


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Alexios I Komnenos

The Treaty of Devol was an agreement made in 1108 between Bohemond I of Antioch and Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (pictured), in the wake of the First Crusade. Although the treaty was not immediately enforced, it was intended to make the Principality of Antioch a vassal state of the Byzantine Empire.

At the beginning of the First Crusade, Crusader armies assembled at Constantinople and promised to return to the Byzantine Empire any land they might conquer. However, Bohemond, the son of Alexios' former enemy Robert Guiscard, claimed the Principality of Antioch for himself. Alexios did not recognize the legitimacy of the Principality, and Bohemond went to Europe looking for reinforcements. He launched into open warfare against Alexios, but he was soon forced to surrender and negotiate with Alexios at the imperial camp at Diabolis (Devol), where the Treaty was signed.

Under the terms of the Treaty, Bohemond agreed to become a vassal of the Emperor and to defend the Empire whenever needed. He also accepted the appointment of a Greek Patriarch. In return, he was given the titles of sebastos and doux (duke) of Antioch, and he was guaranteed the right to pass on to his heirs the County of Edessa. Following this, Bohemond retreated to Apulia and died there. His nephew, Tancred, who was regent in Antioch, refused to accept the terms of the Treaty. Antioch came temporarily under Byzantine sway in 1137, but it was not until 1158 that it truly became a Byzantine vassal.

The Treaty of Devol is viewed as typical example of the Byzantine tendency to settle disputes through diplomacy rather than warfare, and was both a result of and a cause for the distrust between the Byzantines and their Western European neighbors.


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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 Children's Crusade, by Gustave Doré

The Children's Crusade is the name given to a variety of fictional and factual events in 1212 that combine some or all of these elements: visions by a French and/or German boy, an intention to peacefully convert Muslims in the Holy Land to Christianity, bands of children marching to Italy, and children being sold into slavery.

With the publication of Peter Raedt's groundbreaking scientific study in 1977, it is now generally accepted that they were not "children" but multiple bands of "wandering poor" in Germany and France, some whom tried to reach the Holy Land and others who never intended to do so. Early versions of events, of which there are many variations told over the centuries, are largely apocryphal. According to more recent research there seem to have actually been two movements of people (of all ages) in 1212 in France and Germany. The similarities of the two allowed later chroniclers to combine and embellish the tales.

In the first movement Nicholas, a shepherd from Germany, led a group across the Alps and into Italy in the early spring of 1212. About 7,000 arrived in Genoa in late August. However, their plans didn't bear fruit when the waters failed to part as promised and the band broke up. Some left for home, others may have gone to Rome, while still others may have traveled down the Rhône to Marseilles where they were probably sold into slavery. Few returned home and none reached the Holy Land.

The second movement was led by a shepherd named Stephen of Cloyes (a village of near Châteaudun) who claimed in June that he bore a letter for the king of France from Jesus. Attracting a crowd of over 30,000 he went to Saint-Denis where he was seen to work miracles. On the orders of Philip II, on the advice of the University of Paris, the crowd was sent home, and most of them went. None of the contemporary sources mentions plans of the crowd to go to Jerusalem.


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Olive Grove

The Battle of the Olive Grove of Kountouras took place in the spring of 1205, in Messenia, Peloponnese, between the Frankish Crusaders and the local Greeks, resulting in a victory of the Frankish knights and the collapse of the local resistance.[1]

In 1204, Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine Empire was taken by the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade and the Republic of Venice. This led to the collapse of the Byzantine Empire and the establishment of the Latin Empire.

Advancing into Greece, the Crusaders confronted the magnate Leo Sgouros, who withdrew to the fortresses of Nafplion and Acrocorinth. While the Crusaders besieged him there, a force of between 500-700 knights under the command of William of Champlitte and Geoffrey I of Villehardouin advanced into the western and southwestern Peloponnese. The locals submitted themselves mostly without resistance, until, in the Olive Grove of Kountouras in Messenia, the Crusaders confronted an army of around 5,000 Peloponnesian Greeks under the command of a certain Michael (sometimes identified with Michael I Komnenos Doukas). In the ensuing battle, the Crusaders emerged victorious.

The battle was decisive for the conquest of the Peloponnese by the Franks. Except for the continuing resistance of Nafplion and Acrocorinth for a few more years in the northwest, and the region of Laconia with Monemvasia, which was not subdued until the 1240s, the Franks faced no other obstacle towards consolidating their rule over the Peloponnese. William of Champlitte was able to build upon his victories by forming the Principality of Achaia, a Frankish state comprising most of the Peloponnese.


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The capture of Jerusalem marked the First Crusade's success

The First Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the dual goals of conquering the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and freeing the Eastern Christians from Muslim rule. What started as an appeal by Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus for western mercenaries to fight the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia quickly turned into a wholesale Western migration and conquest of territory outside of Europe. Both knights and peasants from many nations of Western Europe travelled over land and by sea towards Jerusalem and captured the city in July 1099, establishing the Kingdom of Jerusalem and other Crusader states. Although these gains lasted for less than two hundred years, the First Crusade was a major turning point in the expansion of Western power, as well as the first major step towards reopening international trade in the West since the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

The idea of a Holy War against the Muslims seemed acceptable to medieval European secular and religious powers, as well as the public in general, for a number of reasons, such as the recent military successes of European kingdoms along the Mediterranean. In addition there was the emerging political conception of Christendom, which saw the union of Christian kingdoms under Papal guidance for the first time (in the High Middle Ages) and the creation of a Christian army to fight the Muslims. It was also felt that many of the Muslim lands had previously been Christian prior to their conquest by the Islamic armies, namely those which had formed part of the Roman and Byzantine empires - Syria, Egypt, the rest of North Africa, Hispania (Spain), Cyprus, Judaea. Finally, Jerusalem, along with the surrounding lands including the places where Christ lived and died, was understandably sacred to Christians.

In 1074, Pope Gregory VII called for the milites Christi ("soldiers of Christ") to go to the aid of the Byzantine Empire in the east. The Byzantines had suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert three years previously. This call, while largely ignored and even opposed, combined with the large numbers of pilgrimages to the Holy Land in the 11th century, focused a great deal of attention on the east. Preaching by monks such as Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, which spread reports of Muslims abusing Christian pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem and other Middle Eastern holy sites, further stoked the crusading zeal. It was Pope Urban II who first disseminated to the general public the idea of a Crusade to capture the Holy Land. Upon hearing his dramatic and inspiring speech, the nobles and clergy in attendance began to chant the famous words, Deus vult! ("God wills it!")


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Map showing Constantinople and its walls at the time of the Crusades

The Walls of Constantinople are a series of stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople since its founding as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire by Constantine the Great. With numerous additions and modifications during their history, they are one of the greatest and most complex fortification systems ever built. The impression made by the mighty walls on the crusaders who encountered them can be seen in the 13th century Caernarfon Castle in Wales, built by Edward I of England as a royal residence, which is said to have been modelled on them.

Initially built by Constantine the Great, the walls surrounded the new city on all sides, protecting it against attack from both sea and land. As the city grew, the famous double line of the Theodosian Walls was built in the 5th century. Although the other sections of the walls were less elaborate, when well manned, they were almost impregnable for any medieval besieger, saving the city, and the Byzantine Empire with it, during sieges from the Avars, Arabs, Rus', and Bulgars, among others (see Sieges of Constantinople). With the advent of siege cannons, however, the fortifications became obsolete, but their massive size still provided effective defence, as demonstrated during the Second Ottoman Siege in 1422. In the final siege, which led to the fall of the city to the Ottomans in 1453, the defenders, severely outnumbered, still managed to repeatedly counter Turkish attempts at undermining the walls, repulse several frontal attacks, and restore the damage from the siege cannons for almost two months. Finally, on 29 May, the decisive attack was launched, and when the Genoese general Giovanni Giustiniani was wounded and withdrew, causing a panic among the defenders, the walls were taken. After the capture of the city, Mehmed had the walls repaired in short order among other massive public works projects, and they were kept in repair during the first centuries of Ottoman rule.

The walls were largely maintained intact during most of the Ottoman period, until sections began to be dismantled in the 19th century, as the city outgrew its medieval boundaries. Despite the subsequent lack of maintenance, many parts of the walls survived and are still standing today. A large-scale restoration programme has been under way in the past twenty years, which allows the visitor to appreciate their original appearance.


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Louis VII in the Holy Land

The Siege of Damascus took place over four days in July 1148, during the Second Crusade. It ended in a decisive crusader defeat and led to the disintegration of the crusade. The two main Christian forces that marched to the Holy Land in response to Pope Eugenius III and Bernard of Clairvaux's call for the Second Crusade were led by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany. Both faced disastrous marches across Anatolia in the months that followed, most of their armies were destroyed. The original focus of the crusade was Edessa, but in Jerusalem, the preferred target of King Baldwin III and the Knights Templar was Damascus. At the Council of Acre, magnates from France, Germany, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem decided to divert the crusade to Damascus.

The crusaders decided to attack Damascus from the west, where orchards would provide them with a constant food supply. Having arrived outside the walls of the city, they immediately put it to siege, using wood from the orchards. On 27 July, the crusaders decided to move to the plain on the eastern side of the city, which was less heavily fortified but had much less food and water. Nur ad-Din arrived with Muslim reinforcements and cut off the crusader's route to their previous position. The local crusader lords refused to carry on with the siege, and the three kings had no choice but to abandon the city. The entire crusader army had retreated back to Jerusalem by 28 July.

Each of the Christian forces felt betrayed by the other and mutual distrust was fostered for a generation due to the defeat. As a result of the Crusade, Damascus also no longer trusted the crusaders, and the city was formally handed over to Nur ad-Din in 1154. In Europe, Bernard of Clairvaux was humiliated by the result and he tried to disassociate himself from the events altogether.


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John II Komnenos.

The Byzantine Empire or Byzantium is the term conventionally used by historians to describe the Greek-speaking Roman Empire of the Middle Ages, centered around its capital of Constantinople. Having survived the fall of the Western Roman Empire during Late Antiquity, the Byzantine Empire continued to function until its conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. In the context of Byzantine history, the period from about 1081 to about 1185 is often known as the Komnenian or Comnenian period, after the Komnenos dynasty. Together, the five Komnenian emperors (Alexios I, John II (pictured), Manuel I, Alexios II and Andronikos I) ruled for 104 years, presiding over a sustained, though ultimately incomplete, restoration of the military, territorial, economic and political position of the Byzantine Empire. As a human institution, Byzantium under the Komnenoi played a key role in the history of the Crusades in the Holy Land, while also exerting enormous cultural and political influence in Europe, the Near East, and the lands around the Mediterranean sea. The Komnenian emperors, particularly John and Manuel, exerted great influence over the Crusader states of Outremer, whilst Alexios I played a key role in the course of the First Crusade, which he helped bring about.

Moreover, it was during the Komnenian period that contact between Byzantium and the 'Latin' Christian West, including the Crusader states, was at its most crucial stage. Venetian and other Italian traders became resident in Constantinople and the empire in large numbers (60-80,000 'Latins' in Constantinople alone) , and their presence together with the numerous Latin mercenaries who were employed by Manuel in particular helped to spread Byzantine technology, art, literature and culture throughout the Roman Catholic west. Above all, the cultural impact of Byzantine art on the west at this period was enormous and of long lasting significance.


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The Battle of Manzikert.

The Battle of Manzikert, or Malazgirt was fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuq forces led by Alp Arslan on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert, Armenia (modern Malazgirt, Turkey) in the Basprakania theme (province) of the Empire. It resulted in one of the most decisive defeats of the Byzantine Empire and the capture of the Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes.The Battle of Manzikert played an important role in breaking the Byzantine resistance and preparing the way for the Turkish settlement in Anatolia.

The battle marked the high point of the initial Turkish incursions and was followed up two years later with a large influx of Turkish settlers and soldiers, many at the request of the crumbling Byzantine Empire. However, the battle was not the slaughter that many historians, including contemporary writers, have stressed it to be — large numbers of mercenaries and Anatolian levies fled and survived the battle, thanks in part to Alp Arslan's refusal to pursue them. All the Byzantine commanders, including Romanus, survived to participate in the numerous civil conflicts that wrecked Anatolia. Nonetheless, the Byzantine Empire would never be able to muster a force as large, nor as distantly projected as that which took part in the fateful battle.


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Ottoman-Habsburg wars

The Ottoman-Habsburg wars refers to the military conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg dynasties of the Austrian Empire, Habsburg Spain and in certain times, the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. The war would be dominated by land campaigns in Hungary. Initially, Ottoman conquests in Europe proved successful with a decisive victory at Mohacs reducing the Kingdom of Hungary to the status of an Ottoman tributary. Later, the Peace of Westphalia and the Spanish War of Succession in the 17th and 18th centuries respectively left the Austrian Empire as the sole firm possession of the House of Habsburg. By then, however, European advances in guns and military tactics outweighed the skill and resources of the Ottomans and their elite Janissaries, thus ensuring Habsburg dominance on land. The wars came to an end when the Austrian Empire and the Ottoman Empire signed an alliance with the German Empire prior to World War I. Following their defeat in that war, both Empires were dissolved.


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The Reconquista (a Spanish and Portuguese word for "Reconquest") was a period of 750 years in which several Christian kingdoms expanded themselves over the Iberian Peninsula at the expense of the Muslim states of Al-Andalus (Arabic الأندلس, al-andalus).

The Christian rulers widely proclaimed that they were re-conquering Christian territory previously lost to Muslim invaders. This ensured that Christian reinforcements would continue to arrive from other Christian realms, especially because the Papacy in Rome continued to support such efforts.

In reality the situation was much more nuanced and complicated. Christian or Muslim rulers would, from time to time, fight amongst themselves and even support certain rulers of the 'other side'. Peace treaties would be signed, reinforced through marriage, and broken on occasion. Blurring the sides even further were groups of mercenaries who disregarded the religious sides on several occasions, fighting simply for whomever paid them better.

The Battle of Covadonga in 722 is considered the official beginning of the Reconquista.

The Portuguese Reconquista ended in 1249 with the conquest of the Algarve (Arabic الغرب — Al-gharb) under Afonso III, the first Portuguese monarch to claim the title "King of Portugal and the Algarve".


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Siege of Vienna

The Siege of Vienna in 1529, as distinct from the Battle of Vienna in 1683, was the first attempt of the Muslim Ottoman Empire, led by Sultan Suleiman I (the magnificent), to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. The siege signaled the Ottoman Empire's highwater mark and the end of Ottoman expansion in central Europe, though 150 years of tension and incursions followed, culminating in the Battle of Vienna in 1683.[2]

Some historians believe that Suleiman's main objective in 1529 was to re-establish Ottoman control over Hungary, and that the decision to attack Vienna so late in the season was opportunistic.[3]


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Siege of Lisbon

The Siege of Lisbon, from July 1 to October 25 of 1147, was the military action that brought the city of Lisbon under definitive Portuguese control and expelled its Moorish overlords. The Siege of Lisbon was one of the only Christian victories of the Second Crusade and is seen as a pivotal battle of the wider Reconquista.

The Fall of Edessa in 1144 led to a call for a new crusade by Pope Eugene III in 1145 and 1146. In the spring of 1147, the Pope authorized the crusade in the Iberian peninsula. He also authorized Alfonso VII of León to equate his campaigns against the Moors with the rest of the Second Crusade. In May 1147, the first contingents of crusaders left from Dartmouth in England for the Holy Land. Bad weather forced the ships to stop on the Portuguese coast, at the northern city of Porto on 16 June 1147. There they were convinced to meet with Count Afonso of Portugal.

The crusaders agreed to help the Count attack Lisbon, with a solemn agreement that offered to the crusaders the pillage of the city's goods and the ransom money for expected prisoners. The siege began on 1 July. After four months, the Moorish rulers agreed to surrender on 24 October, primarily due to hunger within the city. Most of the crusaders settled in the newly captured city, but some of the crusaders set sail and continued to the Holy Land. Lisbon eventually became capital city of the Kingdom of Portugal, in 1255.


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Battle of Covadonga

The Battle of Covadonga was the first major victory by a Christian military force in Iberia following the Muslim Moors' conquest of that region in 711. Taking place about a decade later, most likely in the summer of 722,[4] the victory at Covadonga assured the survival of a Christian stronghold in northern Iberia, and today is regarded as the beginning of the Reconquista.

From the perspective of the following seven centuries, this view of the battle has some validity - since the battle assured the independence of the Kingdom of Asturias, and it is that kingdom which eventually became the nucleus of new Christian rule over the entire peninsula. There is no reason to assume, however, that contemporaries (either Christian or Muslim) regarded it as anything more than part of local rebellion in a marginal area. In evaluating the battle, care must be taken to distinguish the actual historical facts from the meanings read into it and the myths created around it by later Spanish and Portuguese generations.


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Russo-Turkish War

Russo-Turkish War may refer to one of the following conflicts between Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire:


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Greek War of Independence

The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution (Greek: Ελληνική Επανάσταση Elliniki Epanastasi; Ottoman Turkish: يونان عصياني Yunan İsyanı) was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between 1821 and 1829, with later assistance from several European powers, against the Ottoman Empire, who were assisted by their vassals, the Egyptian Khedivate and partly the Vilayet of Tunisia.Following the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Empire, most of Greece came under Turkish rule. During this time, there were numerous revolts by Greeks attempting to gain independence. In 1814, a secret organization called the Filiki Eteria was founded with the aim of liberating Greece. The Filiki Eteria planned to launch revolts in the Peloponnese, the Danubian Principalities and Constantinople. The first of these revolts began on 6 March 1821 in the Danubian Principalities, but it was soon put down by the Ottomans. The events in the north urged the Greeks in the Peloponnese in action and on 17 March 1821 the Maniots declared war on the Ottomans. By the end of the month, the Peloponnese was in open revolt against the Turks and by October 1821 the Greeks under Theodoros Kolokotronis had captured Tripolitsa. The Peloponnesian revolt was quickly followed by revolts in Crete, Macedonia and Central Greece, which would soon be suppressed. Meanwhile, the makeshift Greek navy was achieving success against the Ottoman navy in the Aegean Sea and prevented Turkish reinforcements from arriving by sea. Tensions soon developed among different Greek factions, leading to a virtual civil war. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Sultan negotiated with Mehmet Ali of Egypt, who agreed to send his son Ibrahim Pasha to Greece with an army to suppress the revolt in return for territorial gain. Ibrahim landed in the Peloponnese in February 1825 and had immediate success: by the end of 1825, most of the Peloponnese was under Egyptian control, and the city of Messolonghi—put under siege by the Turks since April 1825—fell in April 1826. Although Ibrahim was defeated in Mani, he had succeeded in suppressing most of the revolt in the Peloponnese and Athens had been retaken.


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Muslim conquests

Muslim conquests (632–732), (Arabic: فتح‎, Fataḥ, literally opening,) also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests[5], of non-Arab peoples began after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified political polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun (The Rightly Guided Caliphs) and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.

They grew well beyond the Arabian peninsula in the form of a vast Muslim Empire with an area of influence that stretched from northwest India, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, southern Italy, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the Pyrenees. Edward Gibbon writes in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

"Under the last of the Ommiades, the Arabian empire extended two hundred days’ journey from east to west, from the confines of Tartary and India to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. And if we retrench the sleeve of the robe, as it is styled by their writers, the long and narrow province of march of a caravan. We should vainly seek the indissoluble union and easy obedience that pervaded the government of Augustus and the Antonines; but the progress of Islam diffused over this ample space a general resemblance of manners and opinions. The language and laws of the Qur'an were studied with equal devotion at Samarcand and Seville: the Moor and the Indian embraced as countrymen and brothers in the pilgrimage of Mecca; and the Arabian language was adopted as the popular idiom in all the provinces to the westward of the Tigris."

The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the Sassanid Empire and a great territorial loss for the Byzantine Empire. The reasons for the Muslim success are hard to reconstruct in hindsight, primarily because only fragmentary sources from the period have survived. Most historians agree that the Sassanid Persian and Byzantine Roman empires were militarily and economically exhausted from decades of fighting one another.


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Feel free to add Featured, or GA biographies to the above list. Other Crusade-related articles may be nominated here.

Current nominations[edit]

Choose the next "Selected article":

  1. ^ Curta, Florin (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250. Cambridge University Press. p. xxv. ISBN 0-521-81539-8. 
  2. ^ "The failure of the first [siege of Vienna] brought to a standstill the tide of Ottoman conquest which had been flooding up the Danube Valley for a century past." Toynbee, p 119; "The expedition had been successful at least politically. Suleiman had driven Ferdinand out of Hungary and installed in his place an obedient vassal. But more significant was the fact that a Turkish army had been beaten back before the walls of Vienna by a force much inferior in numbers. This may be considered the beginning of the end of Ottoman military superiority…at Vienna Suleiman discovered that western artillery was equal to his own and that Austrian and Spanish foot soldiers with their harquebuses and long pikes, were, if anything, superior to his janissaries." Stavrianos, p 77; "Sitting outside the Hapsburg capital, with his army beset by seemingly insurmountable logistical problems, Suleiman was brought to conclude that the Ottoman Empire could expand no further into Europe, that Muslim expansionism in Eurasia had reached, indeed had probably extended beyond its destined territorial limits." Sicker, p 1-2.
  3. ^ It was an "afterthought towards the end of a season of campaigning". Riley-Smith, p 256; "A last minute decision following a quick victory in Hungary". Shaw and Shaw, p 94; Other historians, for example Stephen Turnbull, regard the suppression of Hungary as the calculated prologue to an invasion further into Europe: "John Szapolya [sic] became a footnote in the next great Turkish advance against Europe in the most ambitious campaign of the great Sultan’s reign." Turnbull, p 50.
  4. ^ http://www.123exp-history.com/t/03764078673/
  5. ^ Martin Sicker (2000), The Islamic World in Ascendancy: From the Arab Conquests to the Siege of Vienna, 'Praeger.