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Questions tagged [crusades]

Questions pertaining to a series of military campaigns sanctioned by the Pope in an effort to restore Christian control of the Holy Lands. These campaigns were spread out over a period dating from around 1095 through 1290.

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39
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3answers
4k views

What was the status of Arab Christians during the crusades?

Did Arab Christians take an active role in the crusades in the Holy Land or at any point on their trip to the Holy Land. Or were they victims of the crusaders? Did the crusaders typically ...
36
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7answers
4k views

At what point was the Byzantine Empire's decline irreversible?

I've heard various arguments that the Byzantines were dealt the mortal wound at Manzikert in 1071 which allowed the Turks to claim most of Anatolia and set the stage for the later sacking of ...
35
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4answers
13k views

How did Medieval armies survive the use of mail armor in the deserts of the Middle East?

Something that has long puzzled me is the use of full mail hauberks and the like in the Crusades. How did Crusaders and their various enemies avoid cooking inside their armor? I know many of them ...
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6answers
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Did Pope Urban II issue the papal bull “terra nullius” in 1095?

Countless sources claim that the origin of the term terra nullius is from a papal bull issued by Pope Urban II in 1095 called "Terra nullius". Here are a two: Pramod K. Nayar, The Postcolonial ...
30
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3answers
31k views

Why did Saladin show kindness to Richard I?

Why did Saladin, when Richard the Lionhearted was sick with a fever, send him a gift of fruit? Or when Richard's horse was killed in battle, he sent a steed to be led to his camp?
27
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1answer
2k views

Was Richard I's imprisonment by Leopold of Austria justified?

I read in Wikipedia and Britannica about Richard I of England regarding his imprisonment and I was perplexed by the fact that a sovereign monarch, and a crusader at that, could be imprisoned by a ...
25
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2answers
3k views

Did Muslim states hire Western European knights as mercenaries before the Crusades?

In the book Hattin by John France the following claim is made: The fighting qualities of western knights were widely recognized in the Mediterranean lands, and they were often employed even by ...
22
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2answers
2k views

When did the Knights Templar dissolve and why?

The Knights Templar were a medieval chivalric organization within the Roman Catholic Church. When did they dissolve, and what ultimately led to the dissolution of the Templars?
19
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2answers
3k views

Is today's Old City of Jerusalem the Jerusalem of the Crusades' period?

In 1099 the Christian crusaders besieged the walled city of Jerusalem and took it. Here is a map of the Old City of Jerusalem today: It clearly shows the walls (I don't know when they were built) ...
18
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4answers
3k views

How did Richard I sail through the strait of Gibraltar?

Here's something that puzzles me. At the start of the third crusade, Richard I sailed to the holy land around Europe, through the strait of Gibraltar and across the Mediterranean. At the time, the ...
17
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2answers
990 views

Who gave King Richard I the title Coeur de Lion?

When King Richard I went to the Holy land during the Third Crusade, he was given the title coeur de lion (French for lion heart). Who gave him that title? I Imagine that it was a French person.
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2answers
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In medieval times, were captured nobles always ransomed?

Was watching the directors cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and one of the scenes had an actor playing what seemed to be a nobelman stating that he is according the privilege of ransom. While I remember that ...
15
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2answers
642 views

Is the “youth bulge” hypothesis an evident explanation for imperialistic/rebellious historic movements and genocides?

The "youth bulge" hypothesis says that whenever the proportion of young men in the population was very high, their unhappiness with their future prospects - i.e., their inability to get jobs and ...
13
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3answers
5k views

Are there any historians who believe that the crusades were not motivated as a distraction from internal conflicts?

I was just debating with a Catholic acquaintance. He ascribed merit to the Catholic crusades and said that many historians agreed with him. Are there any historians who believe that the crusades were ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Why did Baldwin of Boulogne proclaim Edessa a County, not a Kingdom?

[Edessa was] ruled by Thoros, who was officially a vassal of the Turks but in reality acted independently. He did not expect that situation to continue for very much longer without help, so he offered ...
13
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2answers
756 views

In England, how many Jews died during the persecutions of the crusades during 1190-1200?

As is well known Steven Runciman, a British historian known for his work on the Middle Ages, definitively clarified what the Holy War had been: "The Holy War itself was nothing more than a long act of ...
11
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4answers
8k views

Why didn't “Europe” support the Byzantine Empire against the Turks?

Why didn't Catholic Europe support the Byzantine empire against the Turks? Or did they? How? Yes, there were some differences between the Catholic and Orthodox interpretation of christianity but the ...
11
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1answer
543 views

Which Muslim factions during the Crusade used the crescent in their flags or banners?

According to NSNoob comments on Did Hungarian Army ever use Crescent banners? Crescent was used by Muslims since the Crusades. Wikipedia seems to agree. For example: the article on Star and ...
10
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4answers
925 views

Where did the Crusaders go after 1291?

With most historians saying the Crusades stopped in 1291, and the disappearance of the Crusader States/Outremer, I'm left to wonder: what happened to the Europeans who had built a life there? Did they ...
10
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1answer
304 views

Was Saladin Agnostic?

In the movie "Kingdom of Heaven", Saladin was portrayed as somewhat agnostic. He has been portrayed this way in literature as well, if I recall correctly. Is there a basis to this?
10
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4answers
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Was Frederick II of Hohenstaufen really a medieval Dr. Mengele?

According to legend, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, who was intelligent (spoke six languages) and influential, also purportedly used cold-blooded methods to further his "scientific" inquiries. ...
10
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1answer
949 views

Jerusalem 1187: How did ethnicity impact Saladin's army?

This is intended to be the first (and longest) of a series questions about the Siege of Jerusalem in 1187. It was originally one massive question, but the community rightly recommended that I break it ...
9
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2answers
615 views

Why did Stephen II of Blois (father of King Stephen of England) abandon the First Crusade in 1098 knowing how much he would lose by doing so?

Having taken the crusader’s vow and raised an army of thousands, why did Stephen II of Blois forsake the enormous prestige associated with crusading and risk shame and accusations of cowardice by ...
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5answers
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Why didn't the European Christians take back Constantinopole?

Constantinople was the focal point for the Fourth Crusade. The Christians lost and Constantinople went to the Ottoman Empire. Then, the European Christians became stronger and went about colonizing ...
8
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2answers
381 views

What were women doing at the Battle of Dorylaeum during the First Crusade?

I have just been watching The Crusades Dr Thomas Asbridge BBC 2012, in which he states that "... girls, delicate and noble...", went into their tents to put on their best clothes, in the hope of ...
8
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1answer
281 views

What are the origins of this pendant?

I'm trying to identify the origins of a metal pendant that features some engravings and red semitransparent stones or glass. The pendant appears Christian in its symbology and came into my possession ...
8
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1answer
429 views

How did the crusaders “know” that they found the Holy Blood?

The Basilica of the Holy Blood, a church in Bruges, claims they hold the Holy Blood and the main thesis is that it was brought to Bruges by the Second Crusade. Note that in 1964, Nicolas Huyghebaert ...
8
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1answer
257 views

What was the status of peasants who left to join the People's Crusade?

The 1096 People's Crusade were joined mostly by peasants, led by the priest Peter the Hermit independently of their lords. What was the status of these peasants' trip? Were they free to take trips and ...
7
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2answers
252 views

Anthropophagy perpetrated by crusaders?

King Tafur's men reportedly ate human flesh during the first crusade. The same was said of King Richard and his men during the second crusade: King Richard shall warrant There is no flesh so ...
7
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2answers
3k views

What did the Crusaders really wear?

What did those who walked the First Crusade wear? I'm not just talking about the noblemen etc. but also the poor people who allegedly went (or is that a myth?). And how did they dress according to ...
6
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1answer
422 views

Why did the later Crusades seemingly focus more on naval traversal?

I was studying some general Crusade maps and I noticed the first crusades seemed to be more land based as compared to the latter ones and I was wondering exactly why that was (besides just changing ...
6
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1answer
431 views

Jerusalem 1187: How would Saladin's army have laid siege to the walls?

BACKGROUND In fall of 1187 Saladin's "12,000 professional cavalrymen [and] 30,000 volunteers" arrived at Jerusalem and began a two week siege, assaulting the walls with towers, arrows, rocks, and ...
6
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2answers
254 views

When and why did Erasmus ask whether the Pope would govern the east better than the Turk?

Owen Chadwick says in The Reformation: The European powers were more frightened of each other than of the Turk. A certain scepticism began to appear; Erasmus asked cynically whether if a crusade ...
6
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1answer
568 views

What was Pope Innocent III's response to the Children's crusade led by Stephan of Cloyes?

In 1212, two groups involving children embarked on crusades to the Holy Land. They are generally lumped together and known as the Children's Cruade. They were not true crusades in the sense that the ...
6
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1answer
269 views

What was the military makeup of the Baltic tribes/Lithuania from 1200 to 1500 AD?

There is quite a lot written on the Teutonic Order and its military, but I'm having a harder time finding any good English sources on the military of one of its chief foes, Lithuania and the other ...
5
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1answer
531 views

Baldwin IV, the Leper King

Baldwin IV was crowned King of Jerusalem, from 1174 until his death in 1186 at the ripe old age of 24. As a child, his tutor, William of Tyre, discovered he had leprosy. Understanding that he was the ...
5
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1answer
200 views

What was the Hospitaller gonfalon like in the 12th and 13th centuries?

The Templar Order had a gonfalon (a military standard of a specific type) of black and white called the beauseant (I have come to prefer the spelling most common in the book I first took it from ...
5
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1answer
355 views

Did loot from the 4th Crusade turn up in interesting places?

The horses of St. Mark were taken to Venice. Are there any other objects that are known to have turned up elsewhere?
5
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2answers
569 views

To What Extent Were St. Augustine's Just War Principles Used In The First Crusade?

The question is mostly self-explanatory; however I want to state I have read a few books so I am aware of abuses and also some of the origins of the Crusade. So what I am really asking for is ...
4
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2answers
834 views

Do we know where in Clermont was the second Council of Clermont held?

I know that the second Council of Clermont was (of course) in Clermont, Auvergne but do we know where (in terms of venue) it was held? Which church, hall or public venue that Pope Urban II gave his ...
4
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1answer
159 views

Were there buttons in the Holy Land?

I'm looking at clothing and dress from the period during the crusades and I suspect that buttons might have been something the crusaders took back with them from the Levant. They start popping up in ...
4
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1answer
390 views

Is there any historical basis for the red/white color scheme of the Assassins?

I recently saw a documentary about the Crusades, and during the scene in which Saladin is almost assassinated by the historical order of Assassins, they are portrayed as wearing plain white clothes ...
3
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2answers
502 views

Please outline how Philip II gained Normandy from the Third Crusade

I saw a video which summarized this, but now I can't find anything close to it. I believe that Philip made some type of agreement with Richard Lionheart before they went on the Crusades. Phillip came ...
3
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1answer
284 views

Military reforms after the battle of Manzikert?

After the battle of Manzikert and during Alexius's reign was there any attempt towards military reform to go back to the theme peasant-soldier system instead of mercenaries? In John Julius Norwich's ...
3
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2answers
828 views

What specific training did members of medieval military orders get?

What were the dominant martial and clerical themes to the training of knights in medieval military orders? Were there specific fighting or training techniques, or weapons, adopted to meet religious ...
3
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2answers
555 views

Why didn't the knights of Western Europe drive the Moors out of Granada in 1212 when they invaded Iberia?

In 1212, the knights of the Holy Roman Empire, France, and Spain pushed the Moors far down the Iberian Peninsula... but why didn't they go on and drive the Muslims completely off that peninsula? Did ...
3
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0answers
132 views

Motivations of the the First Crusade [duplicate]

What sort of balance in motivation existed for the first Crusade between answering a plea for assistance from the Byzantine Empire and reclamation of Jerusalem? Obviously it would vary between ...
3
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0answers
648 views

Why did the Fourth Crusade sack Constantinople? [closed]

If the Crusade was going to help the Byzantines to drive away their enemies, as well as attack the Holy land, why did it turn on the Byzantine Empire?
2
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3answers
864 views

What does the following picture represent in historical context?

This is a picture just sent by one of my friends. He is trying to convey some message. I didn't get him, neither did I get the picture.
2
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1answer
243 views

Why is Hungary geographically important to travel between Europe and the Middle East?

In learning a little about the People's Crusade and the First Crusade, it seems Hungary is important as a sort of gateway to the east. The crusades must pass through Hungary in order to get to the ...