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The First Crusade

The First Crusade

The First Crusade, the initial of a series of at least eight, began in November of 1095 when Pope Urban II assembled churchmen in Clermont, France and urged Europeans to join in a military expedition against the emerging Muslims and retake the sacred city of Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was crucified.

Interestingly, it was the Byzantine Emperor, Alexios I Komnenos, who seemingly prompted the organization of what would become history’s major affair for 200 years.

Komnenos was terrified of the Seljuk Turks invading from Anatolia and pleased for western aid. These factors, paired with the desire to free fellow Eastern Christians from Muslim rule, stimulated morale.

After seven weeks of siege and massacring the city’s Muslim and Jewish popluation, on July 14, 1099 Christian knights succeeded in their aim.

However, preliminary efforts were met with very little success as the commencing lines of attach consisted of undisciplined French and German serfs and peasants.

Even afterward, having established small states, the area was contested by an Egyptian army. Though this army was defeated in August of the same year, the unstable armistice would not last long and Muslim resistance would once again start back up during following Crusades.

Ultimately, the First Crusade can be virtually considered a loss, regardless of which standpoint one may take.

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