46 votes
Accepted

Did Pope Urban II issue the papal bull "terra nullius" in 1095?

It seems likely this is a historical myth. According to WikiPedia's list of Papal Bulls*, Urban II did issue a bull that year, but it had to do with who was allowed to excommunicate the ruler of the ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
39 votes
Accepted

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

The Middle Ages was not particularly known for being a civil and orderly period. Leopold V had no authority of any kind to arrest Richard I. He did it simply because he wanted to, and could. The ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
35 votes

Why was the knitting needle or the distaff a symbol to show contempt in the Middle Ages?

Knitting needles and distaves are tools stereotypically associated with women, specifically being tools used for kitting and making yarn. The term "distaff" as well has a secondary meaning ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
  • 3,728
34 votes

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

Yes, there were -- and vice versa. There were European (Christian knights) operating as mercenaries for Muslim rulers as well as Muslim knights/mercenaries in Christian courts. Farfanes - Christian ...
J Asia's user avatar
  • 6,323
32 votes
Accepted

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

Short Answer Yes. Christian knights fought for Muslim rulers as mercenaries, the best known example being El Cid. They also fought with Muslim rulers as allies. This happened both before the crusades ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Did Saladin speak any European languages?

Short Answer Saladin is believed to have spoken Kurdish, Turkish and Arabic. When communicating with crusaders, he needed an interpreter unless he was speaking to a crusader who knew Arabic (and there ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Why was the knitting needle or the distaff a symbol to show contempt in the Middle Ages?

Basically, they were perceived as representing women's work. This reason is clearly stated clear the main surviving Third Crusade narrative in Latin, Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi. ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
28 votes

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

Yes. Quite closely resembling: See that structure in the South-East? The temple mount? That's were the Knights Templar took their name from. This is almost a fixed point in time. ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

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

Politics, collaboration and trust dictated the routes of the armies to the Holy Land during the crusades. Each crusade is different from the others, with different participants, different nations, ...
Viralk's user avatar
  • 1,411
12 votes

Did Pope Urban II issue the papal bull "terra nullius" in 1095?

Short answer Pope Urban II issued no such bull for the First Crusade. The source which first made this claim, possibly Pramod K. Nayar, in 'The Postcolonial Studies Dictionary', appears to have ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

What would have kept Clement V from instigating a popular revolt against Philip V?

Then it is very difficult for me to understand why the pope was not able to or would not consider the possibility to instigate a popular uprising against the King himself. A popular revolt was not an ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,757
10 votes

What does the following picture represent in historical context?

The original painting is apparently depicting the fall of Constantinople in the 4th crusade in 1204 AD. I'm pretty certain that this is what the meme image is using it for (haven't been able to find ...
PhillS's user avatar
  • 3,204
10 votes
Accepted

What are the origins of this pendant?

Might be a more recent origin. Lot 485: Antique Turkmenistan Silver Ornaments Tribal Jewelry. (3) Sold: Log in to view, Palmyra Heritage Gallery, December 9, 2018, New York, NY, US Description: ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

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

SHORT ANSWERS The Presence of Noble Ladies: The First Crusade included a large number of pilgrims, many of whom were women (including female relatives of nobles). Concerning their presence at the ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
10 votes

Were there any rewards for going on a crusade aside from being forgiven for one's biblical sins?

There were indeed other incentives offered by both Church and State to individuals joining the crusades. What was offered was more often in the form of assurances of protection for the status and ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.7k
9 votes
Accepted

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

(original image by Wikimedia Commons user San Jose) If you look at a topographic map of Europe, the reason should be self-evident: the easiest land route from northern/western Europe passes through ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 8,564
9 votes
Accepted

Please outline how Philip II gained Normandy from the Third Crusade

TL; DR The Short Version There were two agreements: Richard's lands were under the protection of the church until he returned from Crusade. (Standard operating procedure while kings and lords were ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
9 votes

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

A contemporary account of the siege states: The cruelest of tyrants [Saladin] also arrayed up to ten thousand armed knights with bows and lances on horseback, so that if the men of the city ...
Danila Smirnov's user avatar
8 votes

Was there the idea of "peaceful Crusades"?

Christendom had got too many bad news for centuries. Muslim conquest, dhimmitude, lost territories, persecuted churches. Arabia Petra, Levant, Jerusalem, Syria, North Africa, Sicily, Crete, Spain, all ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,448
7 votes
Accepted

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?

Stephen of Bloch "deserted" the First Crusade at a critical time in the Siege of Antioch. It's true that the Crusaders had beaten off two relief expeditions and were about to capture the city. But ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 105k
7 votes

How did the crusaders "know" that they found the Holy Blood?

Well, if it was found in Constantinople being venerated as a relic of the Holy Blood, that would have been quite good enough. The events of Christ's life and the legends surrounding it were very ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 31.6k
7 votes
Accepted

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

Introduction I'm going to split the time period you asked about into two (1200 to 1385 and 1385 to 1500 with the latter having more English sources available). This is, perhaps, not a very clever way ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
7 votes

What is the origin of the name of Kondofrej, Bulgaria?

In fact, I am deeply convinced that the most probable candidate is Guigues IV, Count of Forez (Comte de Forez): (there are two numbering schemes for the Forez Counts with the most exact name being ...
Criminal_Affair_At_SO's user avatar
6 votes

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

The crusade may have been incited by the testimonies of Peter the Hermit, but it was endorsed by Pope Urban the Second: ... Pope Urban the Second who presided at the assembly seconded the ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.7k
6 votes

Was Frederick II of Hohenstaufen really a medieval Dr. Mengele?

Frederick II was not a monster. One must consider when he lived, for one. They had NO idea that keeping children in that way would mess them up psychologically, as it surely would, if they even lived, ...
James Payne's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

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

Jaroslav Folda of the University of North Carolina described the gonfalons of several military orders as follows: The Templar battle standard is well known to have been a long narrow vertical ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Military reforms after the battle of Manzikert?

Emperor Alexios was the first (out of four) members of the Komnenos Dynasty, who instituted the Komnenos reforms. Because it was (initially) a "faction" of the Byzantine Empire, rather than ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 105k
6 votes
Accepted

How did the Crusades change medieval Islamic culture?

There is so much to unpack here that I don't really know where to start... Islam in it's first several centuries, with the exception of very early period, expanded almost exclusively by conquest. ...
AcePL's user avatar
  • 924
5 votes

What did the Crusaders really wear?

I'll cover just the peasants. Peasants participated in the First Crusade in three ways. First, in the very poorly organized People's Crusade preceding the First Crusader armies by a few months. Second,...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 55.2k

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