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Christopher Tyerman The Crusades A Very Short Introduction

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  • #16
    Western Christianity held no monopoly on holy war. The Byzantine Empire retained the Roman unity of Church and State that allowed all State conflicts to attract ecclesiastical blessing. Greek emperors portrayed themselves as champions of the Church, especially when fighting pagan Slavs in Bulgaria or Muslims in the Near East. While never interfering with practical diplomacy, Byzantine holy war rhetoric could adopt motifs familiar in the west, as in 975 when John I Tzimisces (969–76) invaded Syria and northern Palestine and may have dangled the prospect, if only in his propaganda, of the reconquest of the holy sites of Jerusalem. Byzantine holy war asserted an integral dimension of public policy, while never attracting the association of violence as penance. It lacked the novelty or the political and spiritual autonomous dynamism of its western counterpart, hence the slightly jaded, condescending superiority expressed by Greek observers, such as Anna Comnena (1083–1153), daughter and biographer of Emperor Alexius I, at the enthusiasm of the early crusaders.

    By contrast, the Muslim jihad has regularly and lazily been compared with western Christian holy war and the crusade. Unlike the crusade, under Islamic law derived from the Koran, jihad, struggle, is enjoined on all members of the Muslim community. Unlike the crusade, according to classical Islamic theory traditionally dating from the 7th and 8th centuries but possibly later, the jihad takes two forms: the greater (al-jihad al-akbar), the internal struggle to achieve personal purity, a concept not too far removed from St Paul’s martial metaphors for the spiritual life; and the lesser (al-jihad al-asghar), the military struggle against infidels. Both were obligatory on able-bodied Muslims, but while the former existed as a permanent individual obligation, the lesser jihad could be interpreted as a communal activity. Unlike the crusade and Christian holy war, to which the Islamic jihad appears to have owed nothing (and vice versa), jihad was fundamental to the Muslim faith, a sixth pillar. The essence of jihad remained as a spiritual exercise. Its operation depended on context. In the Muslim lands, the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam), a grudging religious tolerance was guaranteed by early Islamic texts, at least for the People of the Book, Jews and Christians; instead of persecution or enforced conversion they more profitably paid a special poll tax, the jizya. Pace modern sentimentalists and apologists, there existed little generosity in such tolerance, merely pragmatism. By contrast, beyond Islamic rule, in the Dar al-harb (House of War), non-Muslim political structures and individuals were open to attack as, in Koranic theory, the whole world must recognize or embrace Islam (which means surrender, that is to God) through conversion or subjugation. As with Christian holy war, circumstances determined themujahiddin nature and conduct of jihad as much as theory. In frontier areas, such as in Spain or Anatolia, groups of ghazi or mujahiddin holy warriors, flourished as mercenaries, in tribal groups or, as in the military ribats of Muslim Spain, in quasi-monastic communities. With the zeal of new converts, the Seljuk Turks gave the jihad a new impetus along the border with Byzantium, but for generations before the spiritual revival of the 12th century there was little attention paid within the Muslim Near East to martial as opposed to spiritual jihad. It remains a moot point whether the advent of the crusaders or fundamentalist revivalism originating further east excited the new military fanaticism espoused by the 12th-century Zengids and Ayyubids. In later periods, the dominance of the Ottomans and an uncertainty, which persists, about the existence of a genuine Dar al-Islam, complicated attitudes to jihad. However, the genesis, nature, and implementation of jihad cannot be equated directly with those of the crusade; it operated and operates in a very different ideological and religious value system, with different inspirations and justifications, even if its power to inspire and its physical consequences can be equally bloody for its victims and obsessive for its initiates.


    • #17
      Holy war, crusade, and Christian society after 1095
      In medieval Christendom the malleable contingency of the crusade in concept and practice ensured its popularity and longevity. The defined uniqueness of the Jerusalem journey allowed its essentials – the vow, the cross, plenary indulgence, and temporal privileges – to be transferred to other theatres of religious and ecclesiastical conflict on the principle of equivalence: Spain, the Baltic, internal enemies of the papacy, and heretics. The success of 1099 silenced most critics as well as establishing later conduct. Holy war, commanded by God, earning spiritual reward, continued to provide an important weapon in the papacy’s armoury. To signal especial gravity (or papal favour), a comparison with the Jerusalem war could be drawn. However, the Jerusalem model exerted only limited influence on canon law and in no sense became the universal or exclusive form of Christian holy war. Its most profound and lasting innovation came with the 12th- and 13th-century creations of military religious orders, embodiments of the oxymoronic nature of Christian holy war, whose members became, uniquely in Christian society, permanent, professional holy warriors. As a holy war, the crusade fell outside the categories for just war explored in detail in the Decretum (first redaction c.1139, enlarged edition by 1158) traditionally ascribed to Gratian of Bologna, its legal implications deriving from its associated privileges standing apart from both the academic attempts to define and limit warfare and the experience of battles of the cross. Away from the Curia, especially in frontier regions on Christendom’s northern and southern borders, where traditions of intercommunal and inter-faith conflicts readily merged, holy war offered a natural recourse, its acceptability parallel to that of crusading, deriving from similar cultural impulses, but not necessarily narrowly determined by the Jerusalem war. The Danish writer Saxo Grammaticus (c.1200) carefully cast his heroes in the Danish wars against their neighbours in terms both specifically of crusade and more generally of holy war. For his employer Archbishop Absalom of Lund (d.1202), it was ‘no less religious to repulse the enemies of public faith than to uphold its ceremonies’; he was content to make ‘an offering to God not of prayers but of arms’. Similarly in Spain, the granting of formal crusading privileges acted within a context of growing identification of the Reconquista with holy war; as early as c.1115, the patron saint, the Apostle St James, was described in a northern Spanish chronicle as ‘the knight of Christ’.

      While the long tradition of holy war continued to supply the emotional intensity for a range of Christian warfare, the Jerusalem war and its derivatives did not escape the scrutiny of lawyers and academics who increasingly sought to integrate the crusade into a comprehensive canonical justification for violence, rather than, as the appeals for the First and Second Crusades implied, rely simply on Divine mandate and the individual devotional standards of participants. Until the 13th century, and arguably beyond, the crusade remained an ill-defined legal concept. Where Christian war coincided with classical just war categories, as with the defence of Outremer (‘the heritage of Christ’), national defence, or the suppression of heretics, fusion with classical and Augustinian just war appeared obvious. In the temporal sphere, it also became necessary, in clerical eyes, to produce a detailed set of legal conditions determining the validity of warfare as crusade targets diversified around 1200, at the same time as secular attitudes to violence coalesced into social norms manifested in the cult of ‘chivalry’. The more respectable war became, the more urgent the need for the Church to define what was and what was not sinful about it, especially as Innocent III and his successors transformed crusading into a universal Christian obligation involving all society. Thus, as an aspect of the pastoral reformation within the western church, holy war, not specifically crusading, became tempered by theories of the just war, so much so that the mid-13th-century canonist Hostiensis came close to defining a crusade simply as a papally authorized just war. By the end of the 14th century, Honoré Bonet (or Bouvet) in the Tree of Battles (1387) answered the question ‘By what law or on what ground can war be made against the Saracens?’ with wholly traditional arguments based solely on a just cause – occupation of Christian land or rebellion against Christian rule, and papal authority. In this fashion, the crusade had become reintegrated into a characteristic western European concept of legitimate violence, catching its inspiration from holy war and its legality, rules, and restraints, if any, from classical just war theory. As such the language, motifs, and institutions of crusading penetrated into conflicts where no formal apparatus of crusading existed, for example the adoption of crosses by national armies, such as the Danes c.1200 or the English in the 14th century. So pervasive were the symbols and habits of crusading that they could be turned to any political conflict that boasted an ideological tinge, even in the most contradictory of circumstances. Crosses were offered enemies of papal crusaders in southern Germany in 1240. During his rising against what he saw as the misgovernment of Henry III of England in 1263–5, Simon de Montfort’s rebels donned the white crusader crosses of the English kings, traditional since the Third Crusade, to fight royalist crusaders. The prominence lent holy war by the Crusades contributed to the familiar western European habit of warring parties of more or less whatever description invoking self-righteous religiosity in support of their cause, a habit, exported to European settlements around the world from the 17th century, that remains current in the 21st century.

      Whatever its legal frame, crusading operated as the ultimate manifestation of conviction politics in medieval western Europe, entrenching a narrow cultural and religious exclusivity. When crusaders sacked Lisbon in October 1147, they murdered the local Mozarab Christian bishop alongside his fellow Arabic-speaking Muslim neighbours before happily installing an Englishman, Gilbert of Hastings, as the new bishop. The failure of the Latin Church hierarchy easily to cooperate or combine with higher ranks of the eastern churches in Outremer or, later, Greece was notorious. Although inherent in all holy wars, demonization of opponents reached extreme levels in crusading rhetoric, reflecting both a literary genre and a worldview conducive to a siege mentality, a form of cultural paranoia so often the underbelly of cultural assertiveness. Racism and intolerance of minorities were not caused by the Crusades. Indeed, both in the Baltic and Spain, legal, linguistic, cultural, and blood racism deepened in the centuries after the main conquest by warriors of the cross. Yet, in anti-Jewish pogroms and wars against heretics and dissent, crusading helped define a rancid aspect of a persecuting mentality that came as the almost inevitable concomitant of a Church bent on supremacy and uniformity to secure its pastoral ends and secular rulers eager for ideological sanction for their wars.

      14. The medieval ideal of the crusader knight. An English illustration from a mid-13th-century psalter: piety and power.

      As holy war addressed fundamental issues of Christian identity and, it was frequently proclaimed, Christian survival, its elements remained embedded in European society as well as providing a cutting edge in the expansion of Latin Christendom southwards, eastwards, and northwards. The habit of crusading died hard; in the 15th century crusading formulae were natural appendages for the expansion of European power down the west coast of Africa and into the eastern Atlantic, as they were in the religious wars in Bohemia as well as in defence against the Turks. In the 16th century and beyond, the Ottomans kept the images and occasionally the reality of the war of the cross alive, while the internal religious divisions in Europe ushered in a period of religious wars no less vicious in commitment and butchery than anything witnessed in previous centuries. Some historians would argue that the period of the Crusades defined Christianity’s affection for holy war – far from it. The Crusades formed only one articulation of Christian holy war, whose origins long pre-dated 1095 and whose legacy refused to fade. Even in a supposedly more secular age, self-righteous, ideologically justified warfare persists. The modern world has embraced, variously with horror and energy, ideological, religious, and pseudo-religious violence as well as racist, nationalist, and anti-Semitic pogroms on an industrial scale, all in the context of justifying moralities. The moral high ground of the 21st century, whether shaded by the banners of religion, reason, capitalism, or freedom, still lies pitted with the rank shell-holes of holy war.


      • #18
        Chapter 6 The business of the cross
        Crusading was not a spontaneous act. An individual rush of conviction or the sudden collective convulsion of a crowd might provoke the initial act of commitment, the adoption of the cross. However, the translation of that obligation into action depended on personal, political, social, financial, and economic preparation and planning and generated widely diffused legal and fiscal institutions. No cross, no crusade, but equally no money, no crusade; no group, no crusade; no leadership, no crusade; no transport, no crusade. If this sounds reductive, it is. Piety and what may pass for religious energy contribute to an explanation of motive and campaign morale. Armies may march on their stomachs, but it is difficult to make them fight and die without a cause, without some internal dynamic that acts beyond reason to send warriors over the top or stand their ground. But all the passion in the universe could not, cannot, create war, crusading or not, without the organization and manipulation of recruitment, finance, logistics, military structure – and ideas.

        Preaching demonstrates this, providing some of crusading’s most familiar images. A preacher, arriving in a town or village bearing a tale of disaster, a call to battle, a promise of salvation, and a knapsack of crosses, converts his audience by his fervour and eloquence alone. Urban II at Clermont provided the prototype, Christ and John the Baptist the imagined models. Such scenes punctuate crusade history: the inspirational Bernard of Clairvaux on the hillside at Vézelay in 1146; the prosaic Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury stomping around Wales in 1188; the charismatic Fulk of Neuilly stirring up northern France around 1200; the sophisticated James of Vitry beguiling the rich women of Genoa in 1216. Yet preaching worked within tightly organized programmes of information and recruitment in which the sermon provided only a focus. Chroniclers and the preachers themselves idealized the process into a perfect system of evangelism which engaged the faithful directly with the orthodox teaching of the Church, as well as supplying a useful starting point for a didactic narrative. In a semi-literate society, ceremonial rituals, of which the crusade sermon was one of the most conspicuous, provided a powerful medium for conveying public messages. However, to achieve any effect, the significance of such rituals needed to be understood beforehand, either by long use, as with the Latin Mass, prior publicity, or rehearsal. The crusade preacher expected to preach, if not to the converted, then to the prepared whose interest needed confirmation through a series of formulaic responses, most obviously the taking of the cross. Along with their supply of cloth crosses to be given to the crucesignati, crusade preachers armed themselves with rolls of parchment on which to write the names of the recruits. Without good preparation, the whole procedure could fall flat; in 1267, when Louis IX took the cross for the second time, apparently many refused to follow his example because they had not been warned what was afoot.

        15. Bernard of Clairvaux preaching the Second Crusade at Vézelay, Easter 1146. This romantic vision, by E. Signol, was displayed in the Salles des Croisades at Versailles in 1838 and owes everything to imagination rather than fact.

        Evidence for crusade sermons before the late 12th century remains dependent on chronicle accounts. From these it appears such sermons were neither regular nor widespread before the Third Crusade. With the rise in the use of crusading as a military weapon and its integration into the wider devotional life of the Christian west, the frequency of crusade preaching increased and its organization by the papacy became more systematic. Innocent III used Cistercians for the Fourth Crusade and a corps of Paris trained reformers such as James of Vitry for the Albigensian and Fifth Crusades. From the 1230s his successors employed the Friars as the main crusade proselytizers. Paradoxically, after Innocent III’s bull Quia Maior (1213) for the Fifth Crusade, the frequency of sermons operated in inverse proportion to their role in recruitment as the offer of the uniquely redemptive plenary crusade indulgence was extended to non-combatants. Crusade preaching increasingly acted as part of more general evangelizing. Still promoting a particular spiritual endeavour and commitment, the function of sermons broadened to include fundraising as well as recruitment.

        Crusade sermons followed patterns of form and presentation to ensure the outcome peculiar to this particular ritual, the physical commitment of taking the cross. As at modern evangelical and revivalist meetings, the congregation could not remain passive. They had to ‘come on down’ and, therefore, needed to be primed by example and expectation. All rituals need careful stage-management if they are to convey meaning and avoid absurdity and the disbelief of the audience – crusade sermons, with their layers of intent and lack of regularity, more than most. At Clermont, Urban II was careful to ensure that, once he had finished speaking, Adhemar, bishop of Le Puy, immediately came forward to show the rest of the congregation how to take the cross, while a cardinal in the back row set up the chant of ‘God wills it!’ as a means of inspiring a sense of group involvement. Neither Clermont nor any of the other assemblies that witnessed the great arias of crusade rhetoric over the next five centuries gathered by chance, but by careful arrangement. In 1146, no accident had brought together the nobility of France to hear Bernard of Clairvaux at Vézelay; he had brought with him ‘a parcel of crosses which had been prepared beforehand’. Louis VII, sitting on the platform beside Bernard, had voiced his interest in the Holy Land campaign months before, and was already wearing a cross sent him by the pope, leaving no doubt as to the purpose of the occasion. Bernard’s task was to publicize the papal bull, explaining the need for war and the spiritual and temporal privileges, and to confirm recruits. His sermons in 1146–7 merely highlighted the issues and secured previously agreed responses. This became the usual form. When Archbishop Baldwin toured Wales in Lent 1188, his audiences knew in advance exactly when and where to meet him and what to do. At Basel in 1201, the crowds flocking to hear Abbot Martin of Pairis’s formulaic, if apparently moving, address had been ‘stimulated by rumours’ of crusade preaching and arrived ‘prepared in their hearts to enlist in Christ’s camp . . . hungrily anticipating an exhortation of this sort’. Yet the author of this account went out his way, despite his own testimony, to portray Martin’s sermon as autonomously inspirational.

        A whole gallery of manipulative techniques was employed to support the rhetoric. Props included relics of the True Cross, crucifixes, and visual aids. A Muslim contemporary described how preachers of the Third Crusade in 1188 travelled around with a large illustrated canvas. On it, a Muslim cavalryman was depicted trampling the Holy Sepulchre, on which his horse had urinated. While, by the 13th century, congregations had grown familiar with special prayers and processions dedicated to the Holy Land as well as ceremonies for taking the cross, there were still no liturgical formularies for responses to sermons. In this ritual of penance and commitment, the congregation needed direction. One aid was provided by the seasons of the church calendar, crusade sermons often being delivered during the penitential seasons of Lent or Advent, or at the great Christocentric festivals of Easter and Christmas, or on 14 September, Holy Cross Day. Another came from a telling liturgical setting, frequently the Mass with its concentration on the physicality of the Body and Blood of Christ. Audiences were softened up and involved by the use of chants and slogans – football crowds meet Billy Graham in religious circus. When Cardinal Henry of Albano preached in Germany in 1188, the clergy and laity sang hymns about Jerusalem to get everyone into the mood. Once signed up, crucesignati sang songs or chants to encourage corporate identity, or recited together the General Confession from the Mass to underline the penitential nature of their undertaking. Getting audiences to that point was not left to chance or oratory alone. James of Vitry observed that to encourage others it helped to have a member of the audience come forward promptly to take the cross at the end of the sermon, to break the ice, and, like Adhemar of Le Puy at Clermont, show how it was done. At Radnor in March 1188, Gerald of Wales, having been told by Archbishop Baldwin, the Chief Justiciar of England, and King Henry II himself to set the requisite example (the primate not being the world’s most inspirational evangelist), stood up first to take the cross: ‘In doing so I gave strong encouragement to the others and an added incentive to what they had just been told.’ According to admiring written accounts, crusade preaching campaigns were accompanied by sightings of miracles, sometimes as simple as clouds shaped in the beholders’ eye as crosses or other celestial portents, natural accompaniment to such overt religious exercises. The whole operation rested on calculation, planning, and showmanship.

        The content of sermons functioned within this highly artificial, ritualized staging. Often using the relevant papal bull, preachers rehearsed past events and explained the justification for war both on the grounds of atrocities to be avenged and of moral duty. A common literary and possibly genuine experience described how the emotions not the actual words preached were understood, the message reaching the uncomprehending audience by divine rather than oral or aural mediation. The preacher and his words, especially if delivered in Latin to large crowds, were distant, inaudible, or unintelligible as means of direct communication, rather like William Gladstone at his mass meetings in the late 19th century. The occasion was as important as any words. Medieval sermons provided witnesses to divine mystery, settings for spiritual, political, or social dialogue. In the 13th century, to signal this religious ceremonial function, those attending sermons were offered indulgences of their own whether or not they took the cross. Such sermons ritualized enthusiasm rather than rousing rabbles.

        Repeated references to interpreters, the survival of morally edifying vernacular anecdotes (exempla), and the advice contained in increasingly popular 13th-century preaching manuals suggest that attempts were made to communicate in audiences’ own languages as well as Latin. While the sermons that have been preserved tend towards the elaborate and the academic, some preaching veterans emphasized the need for simplicity; others indicated the importance of oratorical tricks, including repetition of almost mantra-like phrases or the inclusion of arresting moral stories variously to illustrate duty, adventure, or salvation.

        In combining symbolic spiritual commitment with public church evangelism, crusade sermons represented much of the new reformist idealism associated with the pontificate of Innocent III. Preachers began to think of taking the cross as a form of conversion, a complete amendment of spiritual life similar, if less permanent, to becoming a monk. The crusade sermon’s mixture of direct appeal to the laity, penance, confession, and duty to Christ touched most of the key elements of the reformers’ programme. Yet these ceremonies also served as key moments in political processes such as the pacification of kingdoms. Monarchs could find in them occasions to confirm their status and elicit open demonstrations of support from their nobles, as did Louis VII of France at Vézelay, Easter 1146; Conrad III of Germany at Speyer, Christmas 1146; and Frederick I of Germany at the so-called ‘Court of Christ’ at Mainz, where he took the cross in March 1188. At the conference between Philip II of France and Henry II of England at Gisors in January 1188, the need to unite to recover the Holy Land eased the reconciliation of suspicious rivals. Diplomatic compromise could both be sealed and disguised under the banner of the cross. However, whether as an expression of evangelism or diplomacy, or simply a means of raising men and money, the crusade sermon, for all its prominence, performed a series of roles largely subsidiary to the wider organization of crusading. Recruitment followed patterns established beyond the preachers’ congregations; locally, ceremonies for taking the cross existed independently. Nonetheless, sermons orchestrated a measure of discipline, of people, responses, and ideas, increasingly attractive to a Church ever more intent on uniformity of belief and devotional practice.


        • #19
          Recruitment and finance
          Crusading armies, like any other, were assembled through a mixture of loyalty, incentive, and cash, and maintained and run through ties of lordship, clientage, sworn association, or, for defaulters, legal coercion. In the absence of kings as clear overlords, for example on the First and Fourth Crusades, these mechanisms proved vital in producing coherence and order. Recruitment revolved around the households and affinities of princes, lords, knights, and urban elites. The misnamed Peasants’ Crusade of Peter the Hermit in 1096 differed from other major expeditions only in the social standing of its leaders and the ratio of knights to infantry and, perhaps, non-combatants. In a society in which in many regions the bulk of the population were bound to landlords by servile tenure, only freemen could legitimately take the cross; serfs who did so were ipso facto manumitted. On campaign, if no previous bond of allegiance existed, crusaders made their own. Peter the Hermit’s expedition in 1096 possessed a common treasury. By the time the Christian host reached Antioch in 1097–8, a joint command had been formed by the leaders of the different contingents with a common fund that channelled money through a sworn confraternity towards essential construction work for the siege. Loyalties could be bought, knights and lords transferring allegiance when they or their own lords died, deserted, or went bust. Even with the involvement of kings, as in the Second and Third Crusades, individual lords remained responsible for their own followers, whether subsidized by monarchs or not.

          When lordship threatened to collapse or no clear order of precedence existed, crusaders, like their contemporaries in towns across Europe, resorted to sworn associations known as communes. These established procedures for making decisions, settling disputes, dividing spoils, and imposing discipline. This decidedly non-feudal system of self-government became a crusade commonplace, from the disparate North Sea fleet that assembled at Dartmouth in May 1147 and later helped capture Lisbon, to individual ships’ companies from northern European cities in the Third Crusade, to the leadership of the Fourth Crusade. One of the failures of the Fifth Crusade at Damietta lay in its inability to establish either an agreed leader or a sworn commune. Such associations also operated, at least in some corners of France in 1147, at the level of local seigneurial bands coming together to embark on the Lord’s business. Sometimes these arrangements failed. The rules sworn by Louis VII and his captains before leaving France in 1147 on the Second Crusade were ignored. Months later, to save the French army from annihilation in Asia Minor, another sworn commune was formed, this time to accept the leadership and discipline of the Templars. Communal leadership did not preclude the military requirement for a clear command structure. The election of Simon de Montfort as commander of the Albigensian Crusade in 1209 saved it from degenerating into a brief foray of rampage and pillage.

          The importance of access to finance cannot be overestimated. The commonest reason given by backsliders in England around 1200 for non-fulfilment of the vow was poverty. It is no accident that rules for borrowing money figure prominently in the earliest crusade bull, Quantum praedecessores (1145/6) and its most important successors, Audita Tremendi (1187) and Quia Maior (1213). Much of the evidence for the identity and circumstances of individual crusaders derives from their land deals to raise cash from their landed estates and property, usually from the Church. The cost of crusading represented many times a landowner’s annual income. The need for money determined the agreement of the First Crusade leadership in 1097 to swear fealty to the Byzantine emperor. It provided the impetus for the diversion of the Fourth Crusade to Zara (1202) and Constantinople (1203–4). Money allowed Richard I to dominate the Palestine war of 1191–2 on the Third Crusade, and Cardinal Pelagius, through his control of the funds raised by taxation of the church in the west, to influence decisions at Damietta during the Fifth Crusade in 1219–21. Although foraging allowed land armies to subsist, chroniclers repeatedly exclaimed at the iniquities of local markets and exorbitant prices from the Balkans to Syria. For sea transport, the capital outlay could be huge. During the Third Crusade, Philip II’s promise to the Genoese of 5,850 silver marks to ship his army to the Holy Land in 1190 appears extremely modest compared with Richard I’s expenditure – in advance – of £14,000 (c.21,000 marks) on his large fleet alone. Small wonder Richard felt the need to extort 40,000 gold ounces from Tancred of Sicily in the winter of 1190–1. The Fourth Crusade leadership’s massive commitment of 85,000 marks to Venice constituted almost literally a king’s ransom (Richard I’s came to 100,000 marks in 1194) but paled before Louis IX’s estimated expenditure on his first crusade of 1.5 million livres tournois, six times his annual income.

          16. Preparations for the crusade. From the Statutes of the 14th-century French chivalric Order of the Holy Spirit enjoining on members the obligation to enlist in any crusade to the Holy Land, illustrations emphasizing the essential material dimensions of such enterprises.

          Talk of money throws up the two old chestnuts of profit and younger sons. Crusading was very expensive. Without royal or ecclesiastical subsidies, money had to be raised through selling or mortgaging property, often at high hidden rates of interest. One cliché of medieval history insists that people sought to increase their property at any opportunity, except, it seems, crusaders who condemned their families at the very least to a short-term and possibly permanent loss. Given that most crusaders desired, if not expected, to return, having little interest in permanent emigration, it is hard to identify where crude material profit in the modern sense featured in their motives, contenting themselves with the seemingly no less real rewards of relics, salvation, and social status.

          This distinction between crusaders and settlers operates even more sharply when considering the idea that crusading appealed especially to younger sons on the make, forced out of the west by the spread of patrilinear inheritance rules that left only the eldest holding the inheritance. While it is feasible that settlers, in Syria but perhaps especially in the Baltic regions, were encouraged to migrate by lack of prospects at home, this cannot be shown for crusaders. The need for finance meant that armies were manned by those in possession or expectation of patrimonies or those, such as the large number of artisans recorded in crusade forces, who had marketable skills. The foot soldiers were legally but not necessarily economically free. The sources show that crusading ran in propertied families without distinction of inheritance claims, eldest sons, great lords as well as younger siblings and dependent relatives. Emigration, at least amongst aristocrats, may show a tendency to favour those lacking great expectations at home, but this must remain no more than a plausible guess given the inadequate statistical base available of known individual immigrants to Syria, Iberia, or the Baltic. The idea that western inheritance customs, either by excessive partibility of estates or the exclusion of younger sons, explain the 12th- and 13th-century diaspora from the central regions of early medieval Europe – Italy, France, Germany, England – to the Celtic, Slavic, Finno-Ugrian, Greek, or Arabic peripheries may be attractive as a mechanistic model of causation. But evidence suggests it cannot explain the particular phenomenon of crusading where the crusaders were not settlers by intent or even accident. The assumption prevalent until recently that most of the immigration into Frankish Outremer came from the crusade armies no longer looks either credible or accurate; it was never advanced for settlement in Iberia or the Baltic when civilian settlement followed military conquest. Although they individually existed, as general defining types, the mercenary crusader and the younger son must ride into the sunset of serious historical debate together.


          • #20
            In any case, changes in crusade funding in the 13th century transformed the whole basis of participation and organization. Increasingly configured as an obligation on all Christendom, in theory the business of the cross could demand contributions from all the faithful. However, this principle only translated into reality with the development of secular and ecclesiastical political control and fiscal exploitation. Taxation for crusading was introduced only fitfully. To pay for Duke Robert of Normandy’s crusade in 1096, his brother King William II Rufus of England levied a heavy land tax in England to pay the 10,000 marks to mortgage the duchy for three years. In 1146–7, Louis VII of France raised money from the church and perhaps from towns in the royal demesne. In response to diplomatic pressure, in 1166 and 1185 the kings of England and France imposed general but modest taxes (of between 1 and 0.4 per cent) on revenues, property, and movables (that is, profits). The defeat at Hattin and loss of Jerusalem in 1187 prompted the radical innovation of the Saladin tithe of 1188 in England and France, a tenth on movables payable by non-crucesignati. Once again left to secular rulers to collect, Henry II, always keen to try new forms of financial exaction, met with some success, while opposition forced Philip II to cancel collection in 1189. In Germany, where no tradition of direct royal taxation survived, no such levy was instituted. Although it is unclear how much money Henry II raised from the Saladin tithe, still less how much was actually spent on the crusade, the form of the tax provided a model for consensual and parliamentary grants in the following century. However, taxation operated by secular powers was subject to the vagaries of secular politics and custom. In France, the obligation to pay for a lord’s crusade joined the three traditional feudal aids of ransom, knighting of the eldest son, and marriage of the eldest daughter. In England, government crusade taxation only surfaced when the holy business became central royal policies, as in the years leading to the Lord Edward’s crusade of 1271–2, which elicited a parliamentary grant in 1270. In France in the 1240s, Louis IX similarly channelled large sums from royal revenues towards the crusade.

            However, Louis IX did not have to rely on his own resources; two-thirds of his estimated expenses came from a grant of church taxation. The raising of money directly from ecclesiastical revenues by the church authorities themselves revolutionized crusade funding. First instituted, unsuccessfully, by Innocent III in 1199, after the decree Ad Liberandam of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 approving a grant of one-twentieth of church income for three years for the Fifth Crusade, all subsequent major crusade enterprises sought similar ecclesiastical taxes, often to the dismay of local church leaders. Such institutionalized fiscal incorporation of the church into crusading operations matched the newly articulated ideology of universal involvement of Christendom in the Lord’s War. Beside ecclesiastical taxation, mechanisms were developed between 1187 and 1215 that allowed pious laymen to donate funds for the crusade on a more or less permanent basis through charitable giving (gifts and alms), legacies, and, from 1213, vow redemptions. Far from signalling mercenary exploitation of a corrupt ideal, as some historians have argued, the offer of cash redemption of crusade vows in return for crusade indulgences mirrored the Church’s attempts to evangelize the laity through a wider range of penitential exercises, on a par with the adoption of compulsory aural confession in 1215. Chests designated for crusade donations appeared in parish churches across Christendom and preachers increasingly sought to promote cash vow redemptions, a move that aroused healthy cynicism among some observers when the task became the preserve of the supposedly mendicant Friars. By the 14th century, crusade indulgences were beginning to be sold outright, without the need to take the cross. Such moves widened the social embrace of crusading and its indulgence to include the old, the infirm, the less well-to-do, and women. The funds from taxation, donations, legacies, and redemptions were gathered by local collectors and administered by the Church, creating a series of cash deposits eagerly sought by aspiring crusaders. Much of the practical business of the cross after 1215 revolved around the management and disposal of these ecclesiastically generated or held funds that directly affected how crusades to the east in particular were recruited.

            Sea transport and independent Church funding prompted a more professional approach in assembling armies, with written contracts and cash retainers playing a more evident role. Thus, in 1221, Cardinal Ugolino of Ostia, later Pope Gregory IX (1227–41), toured northern Italy signing onto the Church’s payroll crusade recruits who had not taken the cross. Contracts between crusaders specifying payment for a set number of soldiers survive from the 1240s. Richard of Cornwall hoped to pay for much of his crusade in 1240–1 from the proceeds of vow redemptions. Edward of England’s crusade of 1271–2, paid for from lay and clerical subsidies, has been described as ‘perhaps the first English military force to be systematically organised by the use of written contracts, with standard terms available for service’. The cohesion central funding could provide can be illustrated by the contrasting fates of two of the best-equipped expeditions to the east, Frederick of Germany’s of 1189 and Louis IX’s of 1249. Frederick’s followers had to pay for themselves; after he drowned in 1190 the force disintegrated. Louis IX spent much time both before leaving France in 1248 and throughout the campaign of 1249–50 trying to entice nobles who were not his vassals, like the chronicler John of Joinville, into his paid service. Even after the debacle in the Nile Delta in 1250, Louis’s resources held his shattered army together. Ironically, more efficient exploitation of resources reflected increased central control in many kingdoms of the west, which ultimately impeded the crusade by elevating national or dynastic self-interest above international stability. It also altered perceptions of how crusading should best be conducted. The early 14th-century Venetian Marino Sanudo, in advice never actually implemented, argued that any initial attacks of Mamluk Egypt should be undertaken by forces paid from central church funds and manned by professionals, and explicitly not by crucesignati. This, he felt, would ensure a more efficient military outcome.

            An alternative institutional method of funding and recruitment reached its apogee and nadir in the century after 1215. The Military Orders had long offered a source of permanent manpower, with a constant pool of money from their estates in the west. From the 1130s, the Orders had received lavish donations of land and property from pious donors, the profits of which subsidized their activities in the Holy Land and elsewhere. Increasingly, they took over the defence of the Latin states of Outremer and acted as bankers for visiting crusaders. In Spain, strategic frontier defences were entrusted to local as well as international orders. In the Baltic, Military Orders offered the solution to the sporadic, transient, and underfunded lay crusading, with the Teutonic Knights creating their own states in Prussia and Livonia. However, the evacuation of the Holy Land in 1291 led to a widespread soul-searching about the Orders’ role and use of their extensive wealth. This debate contributed directly to the persecution and suppression of the Templars between 1307 and 1314 on trumped-up charges of heresy, corruption, and sodomy, as well as to the relocation of the headquarters of the Teutonic Knights at Marienberg in 1309 and the Hospitallers’ conquest of Rhodes the same year. Yet many still regarded a combination of general church subsidy with the model of a Military Order, with its channels of funding and structures of command, commitment, and discipline, as potentially the most effective way of organizing a new eastern crusade. However, the very techniques that made such theories possible militated against their fulfilment. Church taxes or the lands of discredited Military Orders were far too lucrative for national governments to leave for the business of the cross that had inspired them.


            • #21
              The crusade and Christian society
              Crusading was a function of western European society. Assessment of its impact must distinguish between the distinctive and the contingent. The wars of the cross did not create the expansion of Latin Christendom or the internationalization of saints’ cults. Nor did they create Christianity’s embrace of holy war, a more sophisticated penitential system, the birth of purgatory, the militancy of the papal monarchy, the rise in anti-Semitism, or the exclusion or persecution of minorities and Christian dissidents. Unlike the campaigns in the eastern Mediterranean, the conquests and colonization in Spain or the Baltic and the papal wars against its enemies did not owe their inception to crusading formulae. Most people did not go on crusade. Only occasionally could crusading enterprises be regarded as ‘popular’ in the sense of being initiated primarily by groups below the rural and urban elites, such as the Children’s Crusade of 1212 and the Shepherds’ Crusades of 1251 and 1320. The wider social involvement came from large-scale recruitment by the nobility in limited areas for specific campaigns and, increasingly, through taxation, the legal implications of the taking of the cross and the extension of access to the indulgence via contributions and vow redemptions after 1200. The concept of ‘Crusading Europe’ misleads. Nevertheless, these wars added a particular quality to society in their rhetorical definition of a pathology of respectable violence, the unique attraction of the associated privileges, and the disruption to public and private life.

              The peculiar fashioning of a vocabulary and practice of penitential violence that developed in the century and a half after 1095 provided the Church with a powerful weapon to aim at its opponents and a means to cement its importance in the politics of its allies and the lives of the faithful. As an activity that justified the social mores of the ruling military elites of the west, crusading became the context for a wide range of unconnected social and political rituals. Landowners dated their charters from their crusading deeds. Diplomatic alliances were agreed under the cloak of aiding the Holy Land. Taking the cross acted as a symbol of reconciliation between parties in dispute or a demonstration of loyalty and allegiance in which no side lost face. Politicians at a low ebb sought help in the language of the cross; King John of England took the cross in 1215 shortly before being forced to agree to the Magna Carta. By the mid-13th century, commitment to the business of the cross had become a requisite in diplomatic exchanges, rulers, such as Henry III of England, who left their vows unfulfilled cutting morally ambiguous figures. Those refusing to go on crusade were popularly known as ‘ashy’, tied to their home fires. The familiar literary stereotype of the descroisié, content to enjoy his crusade privileges through vow redemptions, frightened of the sea, and anxious to protect his position at home, indicated how far crusading institutions had penetrated beyond the recruiting hall.

              The social and economic disruption of active crusading varied. The expeditions east of Theobald of Champagne or Richard of Cornwall in 1239–41 did not compare with the great efforts of 1146–8, 1189–92, or 1248–50, while crusades in Spain and the Baltic added only marginal lustre and perhaps some recruits to the habitual campaigning of the Iberian, Danish, or German princes. Yet even small-scale enterprises could influence local land markets and regional balances of wealth and power as crusaders mortgaged or sold their property. For families, the cost of crusading and the absence of property owners for very long periods could be highly damaging, leading to disparagement of estates and widows, or worse, some wives being murdered by impatient claimants to the crusaders’ lands. Casualty rates, especially on the land-based expeditions, could be extreme; perhaps over 80% of those who set out in 1096–7 did not survive. Enhanced social standing for returning crusaders may have been little compensation. More generally, the liberation of church-held bullion to subsidize crusaders may have encouraged the circulation of wealth and thus stimulated local economies. Regionally, prices of war commodities, such as horse shoes, arrows, sides of bacon, and cheese could rise, as they did in England in the early 1190s. Suppliers of transport, from mules and carts to the great transmarine fleets, benefited. However, a fair proportion of the wealth collected in the west was dissipated unproductively on war materials and campaign expenses far from home. Crusade taxation, like any other in the Middle Ages, tended to be regressive, falling on those at the base of the economy. That helped to ensure the popularity among aristocratic crusaders of the new financing arrangements in the 13th century. Vow redemptions cost less than active crusading but acted as a hidden tax on the faithful. Yet, without crusading, it cannot be clear that this wealth would have been redirected to more ostensibly productive ends or even circulated at all. International trade between the eastern and western Mediterranean piggy-backed on the Crusades and vice versa; they were manifestations of a single, if diverse, process of commercial expansion of markets and trade routes. An overall financial balance sheet is impossible to determine, but the Crusades, however wasteful of lives and effort, of themselves neither significantly ruined nor enriched the economy of western Europe.

              The legal privileges granted crusaders reached as far as finance into the interstices of social life. Church protection and immunity from interest, debts, and law suits were enforced by secular as well as ecclesiastical courts from the Papal Curia downwards. Away from the high-profile cases of infringement of the rules, as when Richard I’s lands were threatened in his absence, the operation of the privileges and church protection was conducted in local courts across Christendom, whose decisions defined and determined much of the effect of the crusade on the home front, from whether or not a crusader could participate in a trial by battle in Normandy, to illegal wine-sellers avoiding fines in Worcestershire by citing their crusader status, to whether crucesignati could literally get away with murder. The civil attractions of the crusader privileges made abuse inevitable, a problem recognized by the decree Ad Liberandam (1215). There were regular complaints that crusaders were using their status as licence to commit theft, murder, and rape; criminals or those facing awkward litigation regularly cited crusade privileges to delay or avoid the day of reckoning. This did not mean the system was corrupt, merely open to corruption. References to the operation of crusading immunities in the records of secular courts allow a glimpse of the extent of the Crusades’ reach. They also point to a high level of cooperation between civil and ecclesiastical jurisdictions, not least because there were so few detailed rules, the practical implications and extent of privileges being worked out over many generations on a national, regional, local, or even individual basis.

              With the institution of vow redemptions and spiritual rewards for contributing as well as participating in crusading, and the paraphernalia of alms-giving, special prayers, liturgies, processions, and bell-ringing that developed after 1187, the spiritual privilegesentered the habitual devotional life of the west. Church reformers saw in the dissemination of its indulgence the opportunity to use the crusade as a model as well as a metaphor for spiritual and penitential amendment of life. Taking the cross became depicted as part of a regenerative cycle of confession, penance, good works, and redemption, a sort of conversion, its votaries described by James of Vitry as a religio, a religious order. Some argued that taking the cross could end demonic possession, secure time off purgatory for relatives, even dead ones, cure the sick, and console the dying. Sermons de Cruce, on the Cross, were used almost interchangeably for preaching the crusade or moral reform. For devout 13th-century puritans such as Louis IX or Simon de Montfort, the crusade formed part of their private religious life as well as their public career. Thus as a religious habit as much as a martial endeavour, crusading survived its defeats on the battlefields of the later Middle Ages.

              This does not imply universal or consistent commitment. The myriad sermons and devotional works reminding the faithful of some basic tenets of Christianity, among other evidence, suggest that the Middle Ages were no more or less a period of faith or scepticism than the 21st century. Contemporaries were as keen to delineate contrasting crusade motives as modern historians. Much of the typology was equally crude. After the fiasco of the Second Crusade, one bitter observer in Würzburg accused the crusaders of lack of sincere love of God; most ‘lusted after novelties and went in order to learn about new lands’ or out of a mercenary desire to escape poverty, debts, harsh landlords, or justice. Such brickbats are the price of failure and the small change of moral rearmers. The idea that crusaders to the east were driven by greed is considerably less convincing than that they were fired by anger and intolerance. Anti-Jewish attacks had been known in northern Europe before 1096, most notably after 1009, but the repeated ferocity of attacks by crusaders indicates that the wars of the cross lent spurious justification to such communal barbarism. Yet the attacks on the Jews signal a piety of sorts, however underpinned by ignorance, larceny, and criminality. To suggest mixed motives for many crusaders does not convict them of hypocrisy, merely complexity.

              It has become fashionable to ascribe purely mercenary inspiration to the citizens of the Italian maritime cities, in a peculiar modern historiographical combination of retrospective snobbery and a belief that commerce is ‘modern’ and so immune from ‘naïve’ or ‘medieval’ religious sincerity. Material advantage and genuine religious commitment have never been mutually exclusive; nor were they among crusaders. The Venetian crusade of 1122–5, in a sort of foreshadowing of the Fourth Crusade, raided Byzantine territory to force a restoration of preferential trade rules. Yet it also fought a hard sea battle against the Egyptians and helped capture the port of Tyre, again in return for trading privileges and property. On return to the Adriatic further raiding carried off booty and relics. Modern disapproval misses the essence. The Italian trading cities’ contributions to crusading of men, blood, treasure, and materials were second to none. Crusading enthusiasm did not stop at the gates of commercial ports, nor did the desire for profit or, at least, an avoidance of loss contradict the spirituality as well as the material risks inherent in taking the cross, any more than did a knight’s desire to fight to earn salvation and to survive. While elements of duty, fear, devotion, repentance, excitement, adventure, material profit, and escapism feature in the sources as contributory spurs to action, one overwhelming urge, with secular and spiritual dimensions, may have been what could inadequately be described as status – with church, peers, neighbours, relatives, God. The most typical trophies of this status were relics which the returning crusader bestowed on local churches, further enhancing both social reputation and godly credit; the lure of the unique richness of treasure houses of Christian relics at Constantinople acted as a spur to its destruction in 1204. The discredit afforded those who failed to fulfil their vows, or those who deserted or refused to enlist, alone reflected the continuing social admiration that clung to veterans of the cross.

              It is often argued that the crusade declined as a political, religious, and social force from the mid-13th century. This has been attributed to a growth in the wealth of western Europe, which is supposed to have begun a process of ‘modernization’ in which crusading appeared old hat as a cause inspired by God not Mammon. The decadence of crusading has been attributed variously to the corruption of money in the professionalization of the business of the cross and to the rise of national self-interest over the demands of Christendom in general. The diversion of holy war to internal enemies of the papacy has been taken as a barometer of this decay. Many of these arguments refer to the Holy Land crusade and make little sense applied elsewhere. It is undeniable that papal crusades in Italy aroused the anger of clerics who had to pay taxes for them or political opponents; successive popes trod carefully to avoid inciting opposition. Preaching for internal crusades tended to be far more restricted geographically than that for eastern expeditions, and there persisted a nervous sensitivity to local feeling if internal crusades were to be preached in parallel or in competition with eastern campaigns. Yet much of the hostility to the anti-Hohenstaufen or Italian crusades in the 13th and 14th centuries, beyond the overtly partisan, revolved around anxieties lest they diverted attention from the plight of the Holy Land. The business of the cross retained its popularity, even if its adherents were more discriminating than papal apologists hoped or imagined. The rise of stronger national regimes delivered a more damaging blow. By appropriating political energy, material resources, and even holy war mentalities, the Hundred Years’ War between England and France (1337–1453) sealed the loss of the Holy Land as decisively as the military system of the Mamluk Empire. Fighting for God remained an ideal and practice throughout the later Middle Ages and beyond, its legal implications absorbed into secular as well as canon law codes. Libraries were full of crusade histories and romances; veterans’ artefacts became cherished heirlooms; illuminated manuscripts, theatrical re-enactments, paintings, tiles, and tapestries in palaces, houses, and town halls kept the images fresh. However quixotic it may seem to blinkered modern eyes peering at the past for the origins of our own world, the Christian holy war we call the Crusades, partly because of its lack of rigid definition and protean adaptability, had seeped into the bedrock of western public consciousness through social and religious as well as political and military channels, embodying many of the human qualities and inspiring martial actions that remained highly regarded for centuries after Outremer had faded into a golden memory.


              • #22
                Chapter 7 Holy lands
                Crusading sacralized the lands it attacked or conquered. These were seen in terms of recovery of the heritage of Christ (Palestine), His Mother (Livonia), or His disciples, such as James (Spain) and Peter (any region placed under papal protection or lordship). Less obviously, crusading also tended to sacralize the lands from which the holy warriors had been drawn. The numinous distinction bestowed by participation in crusading merged with concepts of just wars fought for the patria, the homeland. These consecrations provoked a series of anomalies between image and reality. Crusade frontiers, in Spain, Syria, Prussia, or Livonia, were at once ideologically rigid while physically, culturally, or politically porous. Promoters and chroniclers of conquest proclaimed sharp religious and ethnic divisions when economic contact and the mechanics of lordship required social exchange leading to cultural transmission. The universal homeland of these New Israelites, Christendom (Christianitas), became fragmented into distinctpatria, kingdoms or cities, appropriating to themselves the concept of a ‘Holy Land’ where, for the political elite, involvement in the crusade stood as a touchstone of identity, respect, and authority. Crusading stood as an objective of national policy and an analogy for national war. No less than the holy lands of crusader conquest, these patria were bolstered by images derived from the Israel of the Old Testament and egregious apocalyptic political propaganda and thought, in which any successful crusader king could lay claim to the prophecies of the Last Emperor at the End of Time. The consequent habit of equating national aggression with transcendent universal good and vice versa constitutes a lasting inheritance. ‘One nation under God’ has a complex ancestry but it includes the medieval holy wars of the cross.

                The holy land overseas: Outremer and colonial myths
                Shortly after the First Crusade, the northern French writer and abbot Guibert of Nogent coined the phrase ‘Holy Christendom’s new colonies’ for the Christian conquests in Syria and Palestine. The question of whether the Christian settlements in the east can be described as colonies in any modern sense has exercised historians for two centuries. If a colony can be understood as, in some fashion, deliberately created to act as a subordinate in a larger commercial, economic, or strategic system operated by a distant colonial power in its own interests, then Outremer, despite its name, hardly fits the model. If, however, a colony implies a plantation of an alien population of rulers and settlers who retain their cultural identity and association with their regions of origin, then Outremer displays colonial characteristics. However, Outremer formed part of no secular or ecclesiastical western empire except as provinces of the Latin Church. Unlike Prussia, the kingdom of Jerusalem, while paying Peter’s Pence to the papacy, was not a papal fief, and in the 13th century fiercely resisted attempts to incorporate it into the Hohenstaufen empire. Despite intimate dynastic links with western aristocracies, no trans-Mediterranean lordships were created. Despite a constant flow of pilgrims and, in the 12th century, settlers in both directions, contacts between immigrants and their countries of origin quickly faded, Franks tending to adopt local places as surnames. No reigning Frankish monarch of Jerusalem ever visited western Europe.

                While the constant need for western reinforcement and an increasing reliance on the international networks of Italian commercial cities and of the Military Orders never permitted relations between Outremer and the west to lose their umbilical quality, the polity of Outremer (12th-century Byzantine claims to Antioch excepted) remained socially and institutionally autonomous. Westerners and easterners increasingly traded mocking insults about each other. Outremer’s distinctive characteristic of a garrison society did not guard vital sea lanes, trade routes, markets, or sources of raw materials but what many regarded as a huge religious relic, ‘Christ’s heritage’. Direct material profit had not driven the conquest of Outremer, although this did not impede subsequent economic exploitation. The most self-evidently colonial element in Outremer were the representatives of the Italian commercial cities who established quarters in ports such as Acre and Tyre to house a transient population of merchants and sailors from their home ports. Most of these agents did not become permanent settlers in the east. While Outremer conformed to the medieval pattern of foreign settlements in replicating home societies rather than to the modern colonial model of voluntary or enforced dependency, it did not compare in emulation with the 13th-century Frankish establishment in Greece – ‘new France’ as one pope called it – in emulating the old country. In contrast with Spain and Prussia, where land frontiers with Latin Christendom ensured heavy potential immigration, or with Prussia, Livonia, and Estonia, where religious conversion of the conquered allowed a measure of acculturation of the natives with the intruders, there was no melting pot shared by immigrant and native in 12th-century Outremer. Instead, Outremer presented a mosaic of faith and ethnic communities, pieces of social tesserae wedged tightly together to form a single pattern.

                Although cast in a holy land and founded by crusaders, Christian Outremer was not a ‘crusader society’. While permanent peace with Muslim neighbours was, for both sides, conceptually impossible, during much of the period of Frankish occupation 1098 to 1291, truces and alliances flourished. Parts of the kingdom of Jerusalem in the mid-12th century were more peaceful than contemporary England, France, or Italy. Most castles and fortified houses lay far from the frontiers and played the same administrative rather than military role in the organization of lordships as their counterparts did in England. The rulers and settlers were neither technically nor actually crusaders. Unlike 13th-century Prussia or Livonia, Outremer was not ruled by crusading Military Orders, however significant their role in its defence and aggression. Although the rulers’ rhetoric spoke differently, with popes, politicians, and chroniclers presenting a particular frontier myth of heroic conquest and battle to justify the Franks’ presence and excite western support, Outremer society, while sustained by this cohesive ideology of ‘exiles’ for the faith, reflected a far more humdrum diversity of experience than such crude caricatures allow.

                H. The castles of Outremer

                The task of occupation fell far below the epic vision, still less did it fit either of the alternative modern interpretations of Outremer as a conduit of inter-cultural exchange and cooperation or as a bleak, arid, and doomed system of apartheid. Demographic imperatives ensured diversity in Outremer, as in its Muslim-ruled neighbours, but no deep cultural synthesis. The Franks’ clothes (such as the fashionable turban or the prudent loose garments and surcoats), food, domestic architecture (even the rugged Hospitallers seem to have installed bathrooms at their castle of Belvoir), personal hygiene, and medicine were adapted to the environment. Franks learnt Arabic, a process accelerated by commerce, lordship, and the unfortunately frequent habit of their leaders getting captured and spending long years in Muslim custody. In some ways, the Frankish ruling elite resembled in status and relationship to the indigenous population the Turkish atabegs who ruled elsewhere in Syria, foreigners sustained by military strength and the extraction of revenues from an alien local labour force.

                In Outremer, religion not race formed the technical test of civil rights and citizenship. Intermarriage occurred between Franks and local Christians and converted Muslims. The idea that the Franks faced an exclusively Muslim native population seems far from the case; in parts of Outremer, Muslims were not even a majority. Where necessary, Frankish rulers occasionally extended patronage to Muslim settlers, doctors, and merchants, while at the same time showing no qualms about using Muslim slave labour. A few shared sites of religious worship survived, such as in the suburbs of Acre in the 12th century, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in the 13th century, or the remarkable Greek Orthodox shrine of Our Lady of Saidnaya, north of Damascus. After the initial stage of conquest, Muslim resistance to Frankish rule, in the absence of political leadership, which had fled, rarely reached beyond the level of localized banditry. The new rulers’ and settlers’ enjoyment of resources did not entail systematic persecution of other faith communities. Overt aggression to non-Christians seemed the preserve of zealous, boorish newcomers. In market courts at the port of Acre, jurors were drawn from both Latin and Syrian Christians and witnesses were permitted to swear oaths on their holy books – Christians on the Gospels, Jews and Samaritans on the Torah, and Muslims on the Koran – ‘because’, the Jerusalem law code insisted, ‘be they Syrians or Greeks or Jews or Samaritans or Nestorians or Saracens, they are also men like the Franks’. The Hospitallers, who ran the great hospital in Jerusalem that could accommodate hundreds of patients at a time, agreed. They treated anyone regardless of race or religion. Only lepers were excluded, for obvious reasons.

                17. Crac des Chevaliers in Syria (in Arabic Hisn al-Akrad), one of the strongest and most aesthetically satisfying of the castles built by the Christian rulers of Outremer. Given to the Hospitallers in 1144, it fell to the Mamluks in 1271. In fact most Frankish forts were built away from exposed frontiers and acted as centres of administration and lordship.

                This does not imply that Christian Outremer operated as a haven of tolerance. Medieval racism was largely cultural, revolving around external differences in customs, law, and language, more than the distinctions of blood inheritance preferred by some modern racists. In that sense, discrimination on the grounds of religion was inherently racist. This extended to the de facto religious discrimination against native Christian communities – Armenians, Greeks, and Arabic- or Syriac-speaking Melkites, Nestorians, Jacobites, and Maronites – not in terms of civil but ecclesiastical rights. The Franks Latinized the Church in Outremer, occupying all the top jobs and monopolizing much of the endowment and income. However, local Christians, at least in chroniclers’ descriptive language, charters, and the law courts, were not confused with the Muslim settled population, the Bedouin on the borders, or the Turci beyond the frontiers. The Jewish population of Palestine declined sharply after 1099, although the remaining communities avoided direct persecution, many working in the dyeing business. Local Christians lived within the ambit of Frankish society and law, owning property, intermarrying, and in some rural areas actually sharing villages with immigrants, who tended to be attracted to regions already occupied by co-religionists. Muslims and Jews dwelt apart, except in towns and cities, where trade, agriculture, tax collecting, or revenue gathering brought the communities into contact. As a special distinction, all Franks were,ipso facto, free. Political and social barriers precluded multiculturalism just as firmly as differences of religion, race, and ethnicity. Occasionally, more general cultural hostility erupted, as in 1152 in Tripoli after the assassination of Count Raymond II, when ‘all those who were found to differ either in language or dress from the Latins’ were massacred. Such racial rather than religious discrimination was grounded on certain mundane but inescapable differences in language and manners: Syrians shaved their pubic hair not their beards; Franks did the reverse or neither. Yet at the non-threatening margins of civility, transmission of customs could flourish.

                Although, unlike in Sicily after its 11th-century conquest by the Normans, there were few anti-Muslim riots, Outremer presented a picture of recognized diversity and enforced inequality. In 1120 laws were promulgated forbidding sexual congress between Christians and Muslims and imposing dress discrimination. The Jerusalem law code listed severe penalties for Muslim violence on Christians, but none vice versa. Taxation fell more heavily on the peasantry and most severely on Muslims, who had to pay a poll tax (as Christians had under Muslim rule). In Galilee in the 1180s, local Muslims referred to King Baldwin IV as ‘the pig’ and his mother, Agnes of Courtenay, as ‘the sow’. One settler, encountering black Africans for the first time, ‘despised them as if they were no more than seaweed’. At either end of the 12th century some Muslim communities aided invaders. In Antioch, treatment of Muslims veered from economic encouragement to extortion, prompting sporadic uprisings. Although in Muslim rural areas, and even in cities such as Tyre, public Islamic worship was permitted, Muslim shrines and cemeteries fell into disrepair and in the 1180s old men recounted tall stories of the heroic defence of the coastal cities against the invading infidel. Muslim slaves, including women in shackles, were a common sight. Without a Muslim social or intellectual elite, either in exile or denied status, their popular cultures inevitably stagnated.


                • #23
                  Always a minority, especially in the 13th century when effectively penned in to the narrow coastal strip, the Frankish peasantry and artisans adapted to local methods of agriculture which would have been familiar, if tougher, to settlers from southern France, Italy, and Spain. Perhaps the most distinctive feature imported by westerners were pigs. The Franks lived in villages of their own, or beside local Christians, but mixed with all other groups in towns and cities. The experience of Nablus, north of Jerusalem, illustrated the tensions and accommodations of inter-communal relations. A Frankish wineshop stood opposite a Muslim guesthouse. A local Muslim woman who had married a Frank murdered him and took to a life of crime, ambushing and killing passing Franks, while the Frankish wife of a local draper became the expensive mistress of the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Not all was conflict. The Frankish viscount invited an Arab emir from northern Syria to witness a trial by battle between two Franks over allegations that one of them had set Muslim thieves onto the other’s property. A bullying local Frankish landlord forced a community of devout Muslims to emigrate to Damascus while at the same time the local Samaritan sect was allowed to continue with its annual Passover ritual that attracted worshippers from across the Near East. Such practical coexistence punctuated by extremes of faith or criminality undermines neat generalizations about the colonial experience.

                  At the top of society, the Frankish aristocracy created a world as much like the west as possible, in law, landholding, military organization, religion, and language. However, the setting inevitably impinged. Slavery, dying out in western Christendom, formed a staple of Near Eastern society which the Franks adopted. Proximity bred contact, especially where non-Franks, even non-Christians, possessed useful talents. King Baldwin I of Jerusalem (1100–1118) took a Muslim convert as an intimate servant, probably lover, giving him his name as well as religion. The royal court of Jerusalem in the 12th century was almost as cosmopolitan as those of Norman-Graeco-Arabic Sicily or the Arab-Turkish-Kurdish-Armenian-Jewish courts of the Near East.

                  King Amalric (1163–74), who campaigned in Egypt and visited Constantinople, was married to a Greek, employed as family doctors and riding masters Syrian Christians who had worked for the Fatimids of Egypt and later served Saladin, and a tutor, William of Tyre (c.1130–86), steeped in the finest state of the art learning from Paris and Bologna. Some Frankish knights and nobles seemed to have forged amicable relations with Muslim counterparts across the frontiers during times of truce; a number regularly sought service with Turkish armies. Alliances between Franks and Muslim powers were commonplace, even if former allies happily slaughtered each other when the diplomatic and military wheel turned. ‘Apartheid’ seems an inappropriately narrow and monochrome description of such a society.

                  Yet Outremer did own a unique status that made integration with native non-Christians impossible. The western settlement only occurred because of the religious aspiration of the conquerors. Although the motives of immigrants remain hidden, one element in persuading non-noble settlers to try their luck in such a relatively inhospitable and distant region was the desire to live in the land where Christ and His saints had lived. The pious rhetoric of exile on one level matched the reality. With a largely immigrant higher clergy and a constant influx of lords from the west, the sense of mission kept on being renewed. The holiness of the Holy Land exerted an important influence in Outremer society. The conquests of 1098–9 opened Palestine to a flood of pilgrims from Christendom with expectations fuelled by Biblical and crusading stories. At any one time, there could be 70 pilgrim ships docked at Acre, some capable of carrying hundreds of passengers. Travelling on one of the two annual ‘passages’, when the currents and winds in spring and autumn allowed for easier journeys, these tourists found eager hosts. The Jerusalem kings exacted tolls on them (just as their Muslim predecessors had done). The two great Military Orders of the Temple (1120) and Hospital (1113, militarized probably by 1126) were founded to protect and heal them. The catering trade grew rich on them. Residents in Outremer gave them places to visit, by sprucing up old sites, excavating others, such as the relics of the Patriarchs at Hebron in 1119, and imaginatively recreating the Biblical landscape, ‘New Holy Places newly built’ according to John of Würzburg in the 1160s. In re-mapping the sacred landscape, the Latin Christians were following a process familiar from the Roman emperors Titus and Hadrian in the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Greek Christians in the 4th century, the Muslims after 638, 1187, and 1291, and the Zionists and Israelis in the 20th century.

                  18. A formalized map of Jerusalem c.1170 typical of the period. The circular design reflects the image of the Holy City as the centre of the world. The Holy Sepulchre is shown in the bottom left quarter, with the Temple Mount occupying the top half. Note the crusaders fighting the Muslims in the bottom margin.

                  This habit of importing or annexing a new sacred landscape was common to conversion, colonization, and crusading. As on the Spanish and Baltic frontiers, in Outremer it served to reinforce a particularly strong sense of exceptionalism, at least amongst the articulate, and was of a piece with the ‘fractured colonialism’, as it has been described, of Frankish society. How far settlers and rulers felt the pull of divine immanence in their material surroundings can only partly be reconstructed from the opinions of their interpreters, such as William of Tyre, or from their behaviour. Those modern historians such as Joshua Prawer who have accused the Franks of cultural myopia in regard to other communities miss the point. By definition, the Frankish settlement could not overtly compromise with other ethnic models. Yet neither could – or did – they ignore them. It has become modish to condemn the western settlements in the east as a brutish intrusion into a more civilized and sophisticated Islamic world. Yet the Turkish invasion of the mid-11th century was more disruptive. The warring political and religious factions within the Islamic polity – Arab, Turkish, Kurdish, Mamluk, Sunni, Shia, Ishmaeli Assassins – created violent contest and instability only resolved by greater violence practised by unscrupulous warlords such as Zengi, Saladin, or Baibars, none of whom flinched from barbaric atrocities to further their material ends. Like the Franks, they promoted a self-serving ideology of legitimate force. Western Christians held no monopoly on intolerance, any more than they did on sanctity. Islamic lawyers warned against inter-faith fraternization; an 11th-century Baghdad legist proposed discriminatory dress for Christians and Jews. The fate of non-Christian communities in Outremer was little different to that of Christian communities under Islam. It appeared harsher because the social configuration of the remaining Muslim population, largely peasant or artisan, lacked a skilled or wealthy elite, in contrast to Muslims in Christian Spain or Christian communities in the Islamic world. This is not to deny the exclusive and discriminatory nature of Frankish rule in Outremer. However, to romanticize those whom they discriminated against is to rewrite the past to suit present sentimentality.


                  • #24
                    The holy lands on the frontiers

                    In Spain, as in the Baltic, crusading was secondary or complementary to secular considerations and wider association of Christian conquest and holy war. A decade before the First Crusade, Alphonso VI of Castile had characterized his capture of Toledo from the Moors in 1085 ‘with Christ as my leader’ as a restoration of Christian territory and the recreation of ‘a holy place’. It is not entirely clear how far the explicit religiosity of 12th-century accounts of earlier campaigns against the Moors in Spain reflected the assimilation of crusading formulae, an older tradition of holy war or a separate local development. While defence and restoration of Christian lands matched the new rhetoric of the Jerusalem war, indigenous writers and religious leaders transformed the Iberian patronal saint, the Apostle James the Great, Santiago, into a ‘knight of Christ’ and heavenly intercessor for the success of Christian warfare. Such promotion of a distinctive pan-Iberian war cult helped local rulers retain ownership of their campaigns even when enjoying papal crusade privileges, while at the same time reinforcing Christian solidarity. St James, an international saint through his shrine at Compostella, did not become the exclusive preserve of any one Iberian kingdom, his cult sustaining the political ideologies of all of them. The same was generally true of the half dozen Iberian Military Orders founded in the second half of the 12th century, including one dedicated to St James.

                    Crusading in Spain adopted a local flavour. The great warrior kings of the 13th century, Ferdinand III of Castile (1217–52) and James I of Aragon (1213–76), rolled back the Muslim frontier selfconsciously in the name of God and each flirted with carrying the fight beyond Iberia, to Africa or Palestine. Yet neither found the commitment that led their contemporary Louis IX of France to the Nile. Although some conquests, such as the capture of Cordoba by Ferdinand III in 1236, were accompanied by religious gestures of restoration and purification familiar from the eastern crusades, and in places, as at Seville (captured 1248), foreign Christian settlers were recruited, much of the Reconquista involved negotiation and accommodation of the religious and civil liberties of the conquered: James I ‘the Conqueror’ of Aragon’s annexation of Mallorca (1229) and Valencia (1238), and Ferdinand III’s conquest of Murcia (1243). Christian complaints about the calls of the muezzin persisted in some areas for centuries. Although suffering from the problems of being ruled by an elite with separate laws and religion, Muslims under Christian rule, the mudejars, and Jews and converts – conversos (Jewish converts to Christianity) and Moriscos (Muslim converts) – were a feature of Spanish life until the late 15th and 16th centuries, when a recrudescence of a manufactured neocrusading religious militancy led to the imposition of intolerant Christian uniformity under the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon (1479–1516) and Isabella of Castile (1474–1504), coinciding with the final expulsion of the Moorish rulers from Granada (1492). This new identification of a crusading mission, which persisted under Charles V and Philip II, depended as heavily on recasting Castile, in particular, as itself a new holy land with a providential world mission as it did on genuine Aragonese crusading traditions. In turn, this spawned a myth of the crusading Reconquista and the providential identity and destiny of Catholic Spain later insidiously expropriated by General Franco and his fascist apologists, academic as well as political.

                    19. The Apostle of Christ and Holy War. A painting attributed to the Circle of Juan de Flandes (c.1510–20) of Saint James fighting the Moors. He is shown carrying the banner of the Spanish military order bearing his name, the Order of Santiago. The incongruity of this transformation of one of Jesus’s disciples into a warrior saint escaped most medieval observers.

                    The fate of Peter II of Aragon (1196–1213), father of James the Conqueror, reveals the nuances and contradictions in the Iberian experience. The 12th-century invasion of Spain by the Almohads, Muslim puritans from North Africa, had placed the Christian advances of the previous century in jeopardy. In 1212, a large international crusader host combined with Iberian kings to resist. Before confronting the Almohad forces at Las Navas de Tolosa, most of the French contingents abandoned Peter and the kings of Castile and Navarre, partly over disagreements with the local rulers’ leniency towards defeated Muslim garrisons, a frontier pragmatism that, as in Palestine, struck the French as scandalous. They also did not care for the heat. The subsequent Christian victory became, as a result, almost wholly a Spanish triumph, a useful detail in the later projection of Spanish destiny. Fourteen months later Peter was defeated and killed at the battle of Muret in Languedoc by an army of French crusaders led by the church’s champion, Simon de Montfort, testimony to the political cross-currents upon the surface of which crusading bobbed, and the impossibility of divorcing ‘crusade’ history from its secular context.

                    After the conquests, new (or in propaganda terms restored) sacred and secular landscapes were created, from converting mosques to churches to changing Arabic place names. In some areas, notably in Castile, immigrant settlement from further north was encouraged.

                    Elsewhere, the pre-conquest social and religious structures felt only modest immediate impact. It may be significant of a decline in frontier militarism that after 1300, the cult of Santiago faded before that of the Virgin Mary. Nonetheless, the holy war tradition, in its crusading wrapping, persisted amongst the knightly and noble classes, available to those engaged in wars against infidels, Muslim or heathen, a living cultural force as well as a stereotype. While his captains were observing West Africans outside the straitjacket of crusading aesthetics, the Portuguese prince Henry the Navigator (1394–1460) fervently embraced crusading aspirations and campaigned in North Africa. As late as 1578, a Portuguese king, Sebastian, at the head of an international force armed with indulgences and papal legates, fought and died in battle against the Muslims of Morocco. The penetration of Latin Christendom into the islands of the eastern Atlantic in the 14th and 15th centuries attracted crusading grants for the dilatio, or extension, of Christendom. The Iberian tradition ensured a sympathetic hearing for the Genoese crusade enthusiast Christopher Columbus. It formed one strand in the conceptual justification for the conquest of the Americas and, more tenuously, in the mentality of the slave trade which some saw as a vehicle for expanding Christianity. This was made possible by the idea, popular by c.1500, that Spain itself (however imagined) was a holy land, its Christian inhabitants new Israelites, tempered and proved in the fire of the Reconquista, championing God’s cause whether against infidels outside Christendom or heretics within.


                    • #25
                      The Baltic
                      On the face of it, the idea that the crusades in the Baltic were directed to conquer holy lands appears fanciful, given that the regions attacked had no Christian pre-history. Yet perhaps precisely because of its extreme incongruity, this concept gained credence: alone of the regimes established in the wake of crusader conquest, Prussia and Livonia were ecclesiastical states. The association came early. A propagandist exhortation to attack the Wends east of the Elbe in 1108 described the campaign as being to liberate ‘ourJerusalem’. This challenging analogy operated in ways that remained central to the early association of crusading with German expansion eastwards; cashing in on the new impetus to holy war provided by the Jerusalem wars; the need to defend Christendom; and the implication that the wars were aimed at recovering lost Christian land. Some lands beyond the Elbe targeted by German crusaders in the 12th century had been occupied by the Ottonian emperors before the great Slav revolt of 983 drove them back. Other areas had experienced more recent missionizing of fluctuating success. On the shifting German-Slav frontier, areas that had been conquered, even as far back as the 10th century, and then lost could attract accusations of apostasy. This confusion could work the other way; one contingent of the 1147 crusaders found themselves besieging recently Christianized Stettin.

                      The distinctive character of the Baltic crusades lay in the explicit alliance of crusade and conversion, or, as saintly Bernard of Clairvaux put it, conversion or extermination. Innocent III freely employed the language of compulsion to ‘drag the barbarians into the net of orthodoxy’. This unsound doctrine acknowledged the religious component in ethnicity, cultural identity, and racial awareness. In contrast with Spain or the Near East, in the Baltic, conversion came as the inevitable corollary and recognition of conquest. Paradoxically, this allowed for greater cultural accommodation and transmission from Slav to German and vice versa. Descendants of the pagan Wendish prince Niklot, victim of the first crusader attack in 1147 and killed by Christians in 1160, became the Germanized princes and dukes of Mecklenberg, one of whom joined a crusade to Livonia in 1218. However repellent to the religiously fastidious, enforced conversion worked; by 1400 the Baltic had become a Latin Christian lake, even if elements of pagan culture swam freely beneath the surface. Conversion not backed by coercion would have had a harder struggle, as the successful resistance of pagan Lithuania showed, only accepting conversion undefeated on its own terms in 1386. The application of crusading incentives from the mid-12th century did not manufacture this link between force and faith, it merely recognized a process of cultural and political imperialism already well established.

                      Crusading in the Baltic contributed to the 12th-century German expansion into territory between the Elbe and Oder and western Pomerania; 13th-century German penetration into the southern Baltic lands between the Vistula and Niemen, Prussia, Courland, and later, in the 14th century, Pomerelia west of the Vistula; the transmarine colonization of Livonia by a combination of churchmen and merchants from German trading centres such as Lübeck and Bremen; the aggressive expansionism of the Danish crown, especially in northern Estonia; and the advance of the Swedes into Finland. Until the 13th century crusading, as opposed to more general associations of war with Divine favour, played only an intermittent role. The application of crusade privileges to the summer raids on the western Wends during the Second Crusade in 1147 had more to do with buying Saxon support and internal peace within the empire in Conrad III’s absence in the Holy Land than the institution of a new sustained crusade front. One of the protagonists in the 1147 expeditions, Albert the Bear, did not need crusade privileges to carve out a principality of Brandenberg beyond the Elbe; his territorial acquisitiveness was in any case portrayed by apologists as attracting God’s approval. Such conquests went together with the implanting of bishoprics and monasteries and so earned clerical plaudits. The secular reality was brutal for the conquered, harsh for the German and Flemish settlers, and, as one pious frontier priest lamented, encouraged the avarice rather than the piety of another 1147 crusader, Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony. Between 1147 and 1193 only one papal crusade grant was directed towards the Baltic, in 1171. However, the often savage wars of conquest and conversion conducted against the Slavs by the German princes and kings of Denmark were recognized by the papacy as ‘inspired with the heavenly flame, strengthened by the arms of Christ, armed with the shield of faith and protected by divine favour’, as Alexander III put it in 1169. Nonetheless, to ascribe responsibility for medieval German imperialism on the crusade would be misleading; one might as well accuse the Christian Church. It might also be added that the Baltic pagans were no less keen on massacring opponents and eradicating symbols of an alien faith. Although, except in Lithuania, the pagan holy wars ended in defeat, this does not mean they did not happen.

                      The real impetus towards affixing technical apparatus of crusading – vow, cross, indulgence, and so on – to Christian conquest in the Baltic came when attention shifted from the western Slavs of the southern Baltic to the heathen tribes further east, in Livonia, Estonia, Finland, and Prussia, the theatres of crusading operations that dominated the period from the 1190s. While defence of the missionary churches established in Livonia or Estonia around 1200 were relatively easily justified, support for extensive conquests in either region, still less in Prussia, demanded these areas acquire a new holy status. Each answered this need in different ways. The campaigns of the kings of Denmark along the southern Baltic coast and the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland in northern Estonia attracted sporadic papal grants of crusade privileges familiar elsewhere, while the monarchs surrounded themselves with the useful aura of Christian warriors, ‘active knights of Christ’, to justify foreign conquest and internal authority. The pagans were to be rooted out by force and Christendom expanded. Here the conquerors were performing holy tasks and thus their conquests, by incorporation into Christendom, became ipso facto holy.

                      Away from the muddled but powerful religiosity of Christian monarchy, the consecration of crusade targets followed more precise lines. From c.1202, the missionary bishop of Riga recruited a religious order of knights, the Militia of Christ or Sword Brothers, to defend and extend his diocese in Livonia centred on the River Dvina. A few years later his colleague on the Polish-Prussian frontier assembled a similar body, the Militia of Christ of Livonia against the Prussians, also known as the Knights of Dobrin (or Dobryzin) after their original headquarters on the Vistula. Again, the status of the conquests was defined by that of the conquerors, bishops, and sworn professed, as well as professional, knights of Christ. The dedication of the Christian settlement created at Riga by the missionaries and merchants to the Virgin Mary allowed Livonia to be depicted as the land of the Mother of God, her dowry, allowing crusade apologists in the region to describe crusaders there as pilgrims or ‘the militia of pilgrims’. This brought them further into line with crusaders elsewhere; even crusaders against the Albigensians were called pilgrims by some, almost as a sine qua non of legitimacy. The first two churches built in the new town of Riga before 1209 were dedicated to Mary, the patroness, and Peter, the guarantor of ecclesiastical privileges. When the Teutonic Knights took over war and government in both Prussia and Livonia in the 1230s, absorbing the other military orders in the process, and from 1245 the direction of a permanent crusade in the region, the identification with the Virgin Mary was complete, as she was the patroness of the German order. In Livonia the knights bore her image as a war banner. With the papacy designating Prussia a papal fief (as part of its anti-imperial policy) in 1234, the Teutonic Knights’ territory was doubly sanctified. In the absence of a historic justification for war, a late 13th-century rhyming chronicle from Livonia, probably by a Teutonic Knight, insinuated a transcendent context. Beginning his work with accounts of the Creation, Pentecost, and the missions of the Early Church, the author admitted that no apostle reached Livonia, unlike the myth of James converting Spain. Instead, a higher mission was being pursued in the wastes of the eastern Baltic, the holy task begun by the Apostles of proselytizing the world now carried forward through service and death in the armies of the Mother of God in defence of Her land.

                      Such literary devices could reassure participants and attract recruits while not fully reflecting the nature of war in Prussia, Livonia, and Estonia. Not all enemies were pagan. In Estonia, the Teutonic Knights competed for power with fellow crusaders, the Danes. In 1242 an attack on the Orthodox Christians of Russian Pskov ended in the famous defeat on Lake Peipus/Chud by Alexander Nevsky, evocatively imagined in Eisenstein’s memorable propagandist film. In Prussia, especially in the west, German and Flemish settlement appeared substantial; in Livonia and Estonia, only accessible by a tricky and expensive sea voyage when the water was free of ice, negligible and almost exclusively limited to the fortified religious trading posts on the main rivers. Prussia witnessed a slow process of acculturation similar to that between the Elbe and the Oder. Slavs became Germans, an uncomfortable thought for later racial nationalists on both sides of the linguistic divide. The judicial pluralism and segregation familiar from other crusading fronts did not prevent the Prussians adopting elements of German inheritance laws. Over generations, the brutality of forced conversion, occupation, alien settlement, and discrimination against natives transformed Prussia into a distinctively German province. By contrast, only a small military, clerical, and commercial elite survived in Estonia and Livonia, where the Teutonic Knights remained until 1562, 37 years after the order’s secularization in Prussia. In the shadow of this past, Hitler, with his obscenely warped historical squint, rejected the loss of any part of Prussia from the Reich, demanding Memel, established by the German invaders in 1252, from the Lithuanians in March 1939, an act that provoked Britain’s guarantee to protect Poland. Yet a few months later, he consigned the Baltic states to the lot of the Russians as if they were less ‘German’.

                      However, the link from the Teutonic Knights to the SS and the nationalized racism of the Third Reich, lovingly traced by Himmler and his historically illiterate ghouls, relied on rancid imagination not fact. The crusades did not drive the expansion of German power, nor the expansion of Spain. Wider cultural, economic, demographic, social, and technological forces did that. In so far as these impulses were articulated in religious terms, crusading offered a particular vocabulary, both practical and inspirational, that could service self-referential ideologies and self-righteous policies of domination. Holy symbols achieved cultural and political significance, the Catholic churches and churchmen transmitted a distinctive western culture, yet, for all their importance, in the expansion of Latin Christendom across its frontiers, the grammar and syntax remained resolutely secular.


                      • #26
                        The holy lands within fortress Christendom
                        The image of Christendom as a beleaguered fortress, with bastions or antemurales opposing the advance of the infidel, had a long history. In 1089, Urban II so described the projected rebuilding of Tarragona on the Spanish coast south of Barcelona. From the 14th century, the whole concept of antemurales gained wide currency along the frontier with the Ottomans from Poland, through Hungary to the Adriatic. As defence of these bastions clearly formed one aspect of holy war, rulers along these frontiers themselves adopted holy war rhetoric and promoted the sacralization of their individual territories, thereby engendering a strong sense of national exceptionalism.

                        Away from the front line, participation in crusading also became a central feature of emergent myths and rituals of corporate or national identity. Pisa, Genoa, and especially Venice proudly proclaimed their civic involvement in the eastern crusades in art, literature, and civic ceremony. In Florence, where the cross acted as a sign both for the crusade and the city’s popolo, or populace, participation in crusading provided opportunities to reinforce civic exceptionalism; the banner borne at Damietta in 1219 became a revered relic in the Church of San Giovanni. Similar attention to their role in crusading, especially in the east, came from the cities of northern Europe, such as Cologne and London. The Danish kings adopted the cross as their symbol around 1200. The canonization of royal holy warriors and crusaders became widespread: Charlemagne, regarded as a proto-crusader (canonized in 1166); St Eric IX of Sweden (d.1160, canonized 1167), scourge of the Finnish ‘enemies of the faith’; Ferdinand III of Castile (d.1252, a recognized cult figure from the 13th century, officially canonized 1671); and Louis IX of France (d.1270, canonized 1297). Some of the legends circulated after the canonization of King Ladislas of Hungary (d.1095, canonized 1192) portrayed him as the lost leader of the First Crusade, in fact evoking the career of Bela III (d.1196) who had sponsored Ladislas’ sanctification. Politically and diplomatically having pulled Hungary, like Denmark and later Poland, towards Latin Christendom, the crusades were then recruited to sanctify local royal dynasticism.

                        This association was most evident in France. The French kings’ habit of crusading helped create what has been called the ‘religion of monarchy’ with its elevation of the kingdom by royal propagandists from c.1300 into a Holy Land, and the French as God’s Chosen People. A striking illuminated manuscript produced at Acre c.1280 depicted Louis IX at Damietta in 1249 emblazoned with fleurs de lis; there is not a cross in sight. The crusade and the providential destiny of France and its ruling dynasty merged in the later Middle Ages into a form of apocalyptic royal or national messianism. One contemporary prophesied that Joan of Arc’s victories over the English in 1429 would result in her leading King Charles VII (1422–61) to conquer the Holy Land, a theme recalled in 1494 when Charles VIII of France (1483–98) launched his invasion of Italy by declaring his intention to recover Jerusalem. Even after the French religious polity had been shattered by the Reformation and the destructive Wars of Religion in the second half of the 16th century, the image of crusading as the special preserve and responsibility of ‘the Most Christian Kings’ of France (a 12th-century courtesy title) survived among both Catholic and Huguenot apologists of Henry IV (1589–1610). This French experience found a close parallel in late medieval Spain, in particular Castile, where a prophetic tradition nurtured by the Reconquista inspired a sense that the Iberian holy wars required ultimate fulfilment in the recovery of Jerusalem. The expulsion of the Moors from Granada led to North African forays by Ferdinand and his grandson Charles V (1516–55) which were cast by royal polemicists as preludes to the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre. For Charles’s son, Philip II (1555–98), the synergy of God’s war and Spain’s war occupied the centre of his worldview.

                        20. Louis IX of France attacks Damietta in Egypt, June 1249, from a manuscript written and drawn at Acre in the Holy Land c.1280. It is notable that there is not a cross in sight; instead the crusaders are shown bearing the fleur de lis, royal emblem of France.

                        This transformation of lands of crusaders into crusading kingdoms and thus into holy lands went one step further by harnessing the model of the Old Testament Israelites and the Maccabees defending God’s heritage, which had occupied a prominent place in traditional crusade semiotics. If the Holy Land or Christendom were patria, why not the crusaders’ own kingdoms or city states? Pope Clement V’s answer in 1311 was clear: ‘Just as the Israelites are known to have been granted the Lord’s inheritance by the election of Heaven, to perform the hidden wishes of God, so the kingdom of France has been chosen as the Lord’s special people.’ Others could play the same game. Reflecting on English victories in the Hundred Years’ War to parliament in 1377, Chancellor Haughton, bishop of St David’s, commented that ‘God would never have honoured this land in the same way as he did Israel . . . if it were not that He had chosen it as his heritage’. One popular verse of the time even suggested that ‘the pope had become French, but Jesus had become English’. God’s career as an Englishman had many centuries to run.

                        These Scriptural borrowings operated within a pre-crusading tradition of finding Old Testament precedents for the defence of homelands, and cannot necessarily be linked directly with crusading. However, the language employed by those attempting to sacralize national warfare was so congruent to current crusade rhetoric as to make neat distinctions impossible; propagandists probably deliberately elided the two. Of course, not all national holy wars were associated with crusading. The Hussites in 15th-century Bohemia self-consciously created their own holy land, renaming cult sites after places in Palestine, such as Mount Tabor or Mount Horeb, while rejecting utterly the crusade tradition that fuelled the campaigns launched against them. By contrast, within Catholic Christendom, from the 14th century crusading motifs were increasingly recruited to national causes, such as the conflicts between France and Flanders, England and Scotland, and, most pervasively, England and France. Occasionally, as in 1383 or 1386, actual crusade grants were applied to campaigns in the Hundred Years’ War. More frequently, language and images of holy war made familiar by crusading were inserted into descriptions or justifications of events. Henry V’s chaplain presented the English at Agincourt (1415) as ‘God’s people’, dressed ‘in the armour of penitence’, encouraged by their king to follow the example of Judas Maccabeus. Such transference was eased by the ubiquitous appropriation of the cross as national uniform across Europe in the later Middle Ages (for example, the red cross of the English), a symbol that spoke more loudly than legal or canonical logic-chopping. There were many influences on the creation of national holy lands and the sacralizing of political rule and identity in the later Middle Ages. In so far as self-defining civic, dynastic, or national conflicts adopted some ideological and rhetorical features derived from the most charismatic expression of medieval holy war, the crusade was one of them.


                        • #27

                          Crusading our contemporary

                          Long before the last Roman Catholic took the cross, perhaps in the early 18th century for the Habsburgs against the Ottomans in central Europe or the kings of Spain against Muslim pirates in the Mediterranean, the history and legends of the Crusades had entered the mythic memory of Christian Europe.

                          From the First Crusade, the wars of the cross had been sustained, developed, and refined by concurrent description and interpretation, popular and academic. By the 15th century, appreciation of what passed for crusade history underpinned all serious discussion of future projects. Provoked by immediate political concerns, such studies tended to polemic and self-interest, blind to the distinction between legend and evidence. From humanist scholarship and theological hostility in the 16th century emerged a more independent historiography. The academic study of crusading – or holy war as it was generally called – was encouraged and distorted by the two great crises that threatened to tear Christendom apart: the advance of the Ottomans and the Protestant reformations.

                          The 16th and early 17th centuries secured the continued cultural prominence of the Crusades. Much of the responsibility for this lay with Protestant scholars in Germany and France. Despite Roman Catholics seeking crusading privileges when fighting Protestants,admiration for the faith and heroism of the crusaders crossed confessional divides, as did fear of the Ottoman Turks. The refusal of certain Protestant scholars to dismiss crusading simply as a papal corruption provided a bridge between the Roman Catholic past and what they imagined as the Protestant future. The Crusades were rendered as national achievements, ecumenical even, at a time when religious passions still burned violently. Elevating the Crusades away from partisan religious ownership allowed the past to be reconciled with the present through inherited national identities, a process that contributed to the creation of a secular concept of Europe.

                          As long as the Catholic Church attached crusading apparatus to wars against the Turks and confessional enemies, and political and social radicalism were articulated in religious terms, some still found it controversial. For others, crusading slipped into the quiet reaches of history, settling into channels of moral and religious disapproval or admiration for distant heroism, often tinged with nationalism. With the evaporation of the Ottoman threat in the 18th century, past wars against Islam could be viewed with detached rather than engaged prejudice. Observers of the apparently defeated culture could indulge their tastes for the exotic and the alien with the frisson of danger replaced by a thrill of superiority lent intellectual respectability by emerging concepts of change and progress. Fear of the Turks gave way to contempt, fascination, and a sort of cultural and historical tourism. Muslims in the Near East, increasingly accessible as the sea-lanes became passable, were transformed from demons to curiosities. Such concerns produced an inevitable narrowing of focus onto crusades to the Holy Land and Christian Outremer. They also made the emotions behind crusading seem even more remote.

                          The prevalent 18th-century intellectual attitude, lit by anti-clericalism, was set in a disdainful grimace at what was caricatured as the ignorance, fanaticism, and violence of earlier times. Yet Gibbon’s ‘World’s Debate’ appeared to have been won by the west, with European successes in Mogul India supplying further consolation and confirmation of superiority. External stimulus to shifting perceptions came from the elite fashion for Oriental and Near Eastern artefacts and the direct contact with the Levant following Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign in Egypt and Syria in 1798–9 and the opening up of the region to upper-class tourists, from Châteaubriand to Benjamin Disraeli, whose romantic instincts were stirred by what they saw or imagined. The past required re-arrangement to suit these new enthusiasms and assumptions. Thus discussion of the Crusades to the east had to dwell more on the motives and behaviour of the crusaders rather than the dismal outcome of their exertions, on cultural values and potential rather than undoubted failure. The Crusades were refashioned into a symbol of western valour and cultural endeavour, a process encouraged by the growing popularity of another form of ‘otherness’ to contrast with the self-perceived modernity of Enlightenment Europe – medievalism. The early 19th century saw the combination of Orientalism and medievalism revive crusading as a set of literary references. As an example of passion over pragmatism, the Crusade became an analogy for romantic or escapist policies of those troubled by creeping capitalism and industrialization. The political exploitation of the history of the Crusades possessed a sharper edge in continental Europe, where it became a tool of reaction against the ideals and practices both of the French Revolution and liberalism. The new cult of neo-chivalry supplied moral, religious, and cultural as well as actual architectural buttresses for an aristocratic ancien régime losing much of its exclusivity if not power.

                          From the late 18th century, the word ‘crusade’ was applied metaphorically or analogously to any vigorous good cause. More precisely, in the absence of devastating general conflicts after 1815, 19th-century Europe spawned a cult of war which could be projected back onto the Crusades. The association of just causes and sanctified violence, sealed with the confused sentimentality of Romantic neo-chivalry, found stark concrete form in war memorials across western Europe after the First World War, a conflict regularly described by clergy as well as by politicians as ‘a great crusade’; bishops might have been expected to know better. More scrupulous observers cavilled at such meretricious rhetoric, yet the imagery persisted even when the idealism had drowned in Flanders mud; General Eisenhower’s Order for the Day of 6 June 1944 described the D-Day offensive as ‘a great crusade’. The connection with spiritually redemptive holy warfare had become drained of much meaning. Any conflict promoted as transcending territorial or other material aims could attract the crusade epithet, increasingly a lazy synonym for ideological conflict or, worse, a sloppy but highly charged metaphor for political conflicts between protagonists from contrasting cultures and faiths. In ways unimaginable when Runciman denounced the morality of crusading in the mid-20th century, the Crusades no longer just haunt the memory but stalk the streets of 21st-century international politics, in particular in the Near East. In an irony often lost on protagonists, these public perceptions of the Crusades that underpin confrontational rhetoric derive from a common source. The Near Eastern radical or terrorist who rails against ‘western’ neo-crusaders is operating in exactly the same conceptual and academic tradition as those in the west who continue to insinuate the language of the crusade into their approach to the problems of the region. This is by no means a universal set of mentalities, as demonstrated from the literary and academic cliché of a civilized medieval Islamic world brutalized by western barbarians, to the almost studiously anti-crusading rhetoric and policies of NATO and others in the Balkan wars of the 1990s, to opposition to the crude caricaturing of Islam after September 2001. The re-entry of the Crusades into the politics of the Near East is baleful and intellectually bogus.

                          President Bush II and Usama bin Laden are co-heirs to the legacy of a 19th-century European construct. Here, one of the most influential historians of the Crusades was Joseph François Michaud (1767–1839). A publishing entrepreneur, Michaud combineduncritical antiquarianism with a keen sense of the market and prevailing popular sentiment. A monarchist, nationalist, and anti-Revolutionary Christian, Michaud allied admiration for the Crusades’ ideals with a supremacist triumphalism over Islam. He helped provide apparent historical legitimacy for colonialism and cultural imperialism, increasingly the litmus test of European hegemony and national status. Thus crusading could be transmuted into a precursor of Christian European superiority and ascendancy, taking its place in what was proclaimed as the march of western progress. Michaud’s convenient and seductive vision left an indelible stain.

                          Yet Arab, Arabist, and Islamic outrage ignored the uncomfortable fact that Michaud’s construct played its part in setting their own agenda too. In rallying opinion against European intrusion, the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876–1909) labelled their imperialism as a crusade, his remark that ‘Europe is now carrying out a Crusade against us in the form of a political campaign’. Much subsequent Islamic discourse on western attitudes to the Crusades and the Near East has been coloured by a negative acceptance of the Michaud version of history as if this were the immutable western response or historically accurate. No continuity exists in Arabic responses to western aggression between medieval crusading and modern political hostility, any more than there is between medieval and modern jihad, except in rhetoric and an ahistorical appeal to the past. Assumptions of an inherent conflict of power and victimization that elevates a wholly unhistorical link between modern colonialism and medieval crusading. It is Michaud in a mirror. Occidentalism and Orientalism share the same western frame. The idea that the modern political conflicts in the Near East or elsewhere derive from the legacy of the Crusades or are being conducted as neo-crusades in anything except extremist diatribe is deceitful.

                          All sides seem reluctant to accept that the images of crusade and jihad introduced into late 20th- and 21st-century conflicts are not time-venerated traditions of action or abuse, but modern imports. It has been observed that no Islamic state has formally launched ajihad against a non-Muslim opponent since the demise of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War. Even that Islamic holy war had been sponsored and encouraged by the Turks’ German allies. Most African and Near Eastern jihads proclaimed in the 19th century and since were not against infidel imperialists but Islamic rivals, oppressors, and heretics or for religious reform. This is not to deny the presence of jihad language and theory, as in the propaganda of states at war with the State of Israel in 1948, 1967, or 1973. However, there is nothing old-fashioned, still less ‘medieval’, about the techniques, recruitment, or ideology of al-Qaeda. The devious polemical association between ‘crusaders’ and ‘Jews’ is historical nonsense. Al-Qaeda’s international reach is a creation of modernity and globalization as surely as the World Wide Web. Many states most disliked by those who claim to be fearful of Islam are explicitly secular. Yet fanciful analogies with crusading have accompanied most major conflicts in the eastern Mediterranean from the First World War onwards, including unlikely associations such as the siege of Beirut in 1982 with the siege of Acre in 1189–91. The Arabic propaganda transmuting Israelis into crusaders is a direct consequence of this. Whilst on their side some Israeli extremists hark back to an older tradition of almost Maccabean revivalism, others are content to re-fashion their landscape to exclude, in place names or archaeological designation, Arabic traces, seeing the State of Israel as a liberation not an occupation. There are obvious historic parallels with Christian Outremer, but also with Umayyad Palestine or Roman Syria – conquerors imposing their own space. However, Israelis are not the new crusaders, any more than the Americans. Saddam Hussein was not the new Saladin, even though they shared a birthplace.

                          21. Punch lampoons Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany’s vainglorious trip to the Holy Land in 1898 by referring to the travel company that booked his package tour. In fact, at the time the Germans were more interested in recruiting Turkish and Muslim support against Britain and France.

                          To imagine otherwise goes beyond fraudulence. It plays on a cheap historicism that at once inflames, debases, and confuses current conflicts, draining them of rational meaning or legitimate solution.

                          22. A propaganda poster showing Saladin and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Both were born in Tikrit, northern Iraq. Ironically, Saladin was a Kurd, people Saddam Hussein persecuted and massacred.

                          The Crusades reflected central human concerns of belief and identity that can only be understood on their own terms, in their own time; so, too, their adoption and adaptation by later generations. While it is tempting to draw conclusions derived from geographical congruity or superficial political similarities, the land in which Jakelin de Mailly fell over 800 years ago and the cause for which he died held truths for his time, not ours.


                          • #28
                            Further Reading
                            Historically, the study of the Crusades has usually been marked by prejudice, bias, and judgementalism. Very little surviving primary evidence is without inherent distortion. Later interpretations have consistently reflected the concerns of the historians rather than objective assessment of the phenomenon. Medieval observers represented the Crusades in a scriptural context as signifiers of divine providence. Since the 16th century, shifting religious, political, and intellectual fashions have determined very different presentations: confessional or philosophical disdain, romantic exoticism, assumptions of cultural conflict, colonial apologetics, imperialism, and nationalism. Some have always sought to frame the Crusades as a mirror of the modern age, reassuring or troubling in similarities or contrasts. Modern scholarship, while embracing a far wider range of sources, from canon law to archaeology, is no less prone to factionalism, the influence of politics, as in the Israeli school led by Joshua Prawer, or of conflicting metaphysical constructs of the past. On the contentious issue of definition, the ecclesiastical historian Giles Constable has characterized the competing interpreters as generalists, who locate the origins and nature of crusading in the long development of Christian holy war before 1095; popularists, who favour the idea that crusading emerged as an expression of popular piety; traditionalists who insist on the centrality of Jerusalem and the Holy Land to legitimate crusading; and pluralists, who concentrate on pious motivation, canon law, and papal authorization to include all conflicts enjoying the privileges of wars of the cross regardless of destination or purpose. Such academic disputes may appear arcane. Yet they matter if understanding of the past is to be liberated from oversimplified and misleading public history and the maw of modern polemic. Having previously wreaked so much havoc, the Crusades should not be recruited to the battlegrounds of the 21st century nor yet condescendingly condemned as one of Christianity’s legion of aberrations.

                            M. Barber, The New Knighthood (Cambridge, 1994)

                            C. Erdmann, The Origins of the Idea of Crusading, tr. Marshall W. Baldwin and Walter Goffart (Princeton, 1977) (the classic generalist text)

                            A. Forey, The Military Orders (London, 1992)

                            C. Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (Edinburgh, 1999)

                            N. Housley, The Later Crusades (Oxford, 1992) (pluralist)

                            H. E. Mayer, The Crusades, 2nd edn. (Oxford, 1988) (traditionalist)

                            J. Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A Short History (London, 1987) (pluralist)

                            J. Riley-Smith (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades (Oxford, 1995) J. Riley-Smith, What Were the Crusades?, 3rd edn. (London, 2002) (pluralist)

                            S. Runciman, A History of the Crusades (Cambridge, 1951–4) (traditionalist, once described as ‘the last great medieval chronicle’)

                            C. Tyerman, The Invention of the Crusades (London, 1998)

                            Holy war
                            N. Housley, Religious Warfare in Europe 1400–1536 (Oxford, 2002)

                            J. Muldoon, Popes, Lawyers and Infidels (Liverpool, 1979)

                            F. H. Russell, The Just War in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1975)

                            Holy lands
                            R. Barlett, The Making of Europe (London, 1993)

                            E. Christiansen, The Northern Crusades, 2nd edn. (London, 1997)

                            D. Lomax, The Reconquest of Spain (London, 1978)

                            J. Prawer, The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (London, 1972)

                            R. C. Smail, Crusading Warfare (Cambridge, 1956)

                            The business of the cross
                            J. Brundage, Canon Law and the Crusader (Madison, 1969)

                            P. Cole, The Preaching of the Cross to the Holy Land 1095–1270 (Cambridge, Mass., 1991)

                            S. Lloyd, English Society and the Crusade 1216–1307 (Oxford, 1988)

                            C. Tyerman, England and the Crusades 1095–1588 (Chicago, 1988)

                            Introduction and conclusion
                            M. Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land since 1948 (London, 2000)

                            P. Partner, God of Battles: Holy Wars of Christianity and Islam (London, 1997)

                            E. Said, Orientalism (London, 1979)

                            E. Siberry, The New Crusaders (Aldershot, 2000)


                            • #29
                              c.400 Augustine of Hippo outlines a Christian theory of just war
                              638 Jerusalem is captured by the Arabs under Caliph Umar
                              800 Charlemagne the Frank is crowned Roman Emperor of the West
                              9th century Holy wars proclaimed against Muslim invaders of Italy
                              11th century Peace and Truce of God movements in parts of France mobilize arms bearers to protect the Church
                              1053 Leo IX offers remission of sins to his troops fighting the Normans of southern Italy
                              1050s–70s Seljuk Turks invade Near East
                              1071 Seljuk Turks defeat Byzantines at Manzikert; they overrun Asia Minor and establish a capital at Nicaea
                              1074 Pope Gregory VII proposes a campaign from the west to help Byzantium and liberate the Holy Sepulchre
                              1095 Byzantine appeal to Pope Urban II for military aid against the Turks; Urban II’s preaching tour of France (ends 1096); Council of Clermont proclaims Crusade
                              1096–9 First Crusade
                              1101 onwards Smaller crusades to Holy Land
                              1104 Acre captured
                              1107–8 Crusade of Bohemund of Taranto against Byzantium
                              1109 Tripoli captured
                              c.1113 Order of the Hospital of St John in Jerusalem recognized; militarized by c.1130
                              1114 onwards Crusades in Spain
                              1120 Order of the Temple founded in Jerusalem to protect pilgrims
                              1123 First Lateran Council extends Jerusalem privileges to Spanish Crusades
                              1144 Edessa captured by Zengi of Aleppo
                              1145–9 Second Crusade
                              1149 onwards Further crusades in Spain and the Baltic; a few to the Holy Land
                              1154 Nur al-Din of Aleppo captures Damascus
                              1163–9 Franks of Jerusalem contest control of Egypt
                              1169 Saladin succeeds as ruler of Egypt
                              1174 Death of Nur al-Din; Saladin begins to unify Syria with Egypt
                              1187 Battle of Hattin; Saladin destroys army of Kingdom of Jerusalem; Jerusalem falls to Saladin
                              1188–92 Third Crusade
                              1193 Saladin dies
                              1193–1230 Crusades to Livonia in the Baltic
                              1198 Foundation of Teutonic Knights in Acre; Pope Innocent III proclaims Fourth Crusade
                              1199 Church taxation instituted for the Crusade; Crusade against Markward of Anweiler in Sicily
                              1201–4 Fourth Crusade
                              13th century Crusades in the Baltic by Teutonic Knights (Prussia), Sword Brothers (Livonia), Danes (Prussia, Livonia, Estonia), and Swedes (Estonia and Finland); Crusades against German peasants and Bosnians
                              1208–29 Albigensian Crusade
                              1212 Children’s Crusade; Almohads defeated by Spanish Christian coalition at Las Navas de Tolosa
                              1213 Innocent III proclaims Fifth Crusade and extends crusade privileges to those who contribute but do not go on crusade
                              1215 Fourth Lateran Council authorizes regular crusade taxation
                              1217–29 Fifth Crusade
                              1231 onwards Crusades against the Byzantines to defend western conquests in Greece
                              1239–68 Crusades against Hohenstaufen rulers of Germany and Sicily
                              1239–41 Crusades to Holy Land of Theobald, Count of Champagne, and Richard, Earl of Cornwall; crusaders defeated at Gaza (1239)
                              1242 Teutonic Knights defeated by Alexander Nevsky at Lake Chud
                              1244 Jerusalem lost to Muslims; Louis IX of France takes the cross
                              1248–54 First Crusade of Louis IX of France
                              1250 Mamluks take rule in Egypt (to 1517)
                              1251 First Shepherds’ Crusade
                              1260 Mamluks repulse Mongols at Ain Jalut; Baibars becomes sultan of Egypt (to 1277)
                              1261 Greeks recover Constantinople
                              1267 Louis IX takes cross again
                              1268 Fall of Antioch to Baibars of Egypt
                              1269 Aragonese Crusade to Holy Land
                              1270 Louis IX’s Crusade ends at Tunis, where he dies
                              1271–2 Crusade to Holy Land of Lord Edward, later Edward I of England
                              1272–91 Small expeditions to Holy Land
                              1282–1302 Wars of the Sicilian Vespers; include French crusade to Aragon (1285)
                              1289 Fall of Tripoli
                              1291 Fall of Acre to al-Ashraf Khalil of Egypt and evacuation of mainland Outremer
                              1306–1522 Hospitallers rule island of Rhodes
                              1307–14 Trial and suppression of Templars
                              14th century Papal crusades in Italy; crusading continues against heretics in Italy; Moors in Spain; pagans in the Baltic (to 1410)
                              1309 Popular Crusade; Teutonic Knights move headquarters from Venice to Prussia
                              1320 Second Shepherds’ Crusade
                              1330s onwards Naval leagues against Turks in Aegean
                              1350s onwards Ottoman Turks established in Balkans; soon establish overlordship over Byzantine emperors
                              1365–6 Crusade of Peter of Cyprus; Alexandria sacked (1365)
                              1366 Crusade of Count Amadeus of Savoy to Dardanelles
                              1383 Crusade of Bishop Despenser of Norwich against supporters of Pope Clement VII in Flanders
                              1390 Christian expedition to Mahdia in Tunisia
                              1396 Christian expedition against the Ottomans defeated at Nicopolis on the Danube (September)
                              15th century Numerous small crusading forays against the Ottomans in eastern Mediterranean and east/central Europe
                              1420–71 Crusades against the Hussite heretics in Bohemia
                              1444 Crusaders defeated at Varna in Bulgaria (November)
                              1453 Fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Turks under Mehmed II
                              1456 Belgrade successfully defended from Ottoman Turks with help of crusaders under John of Capistrano
                              1460–4 Abortive crusade of Pope Pius II
                              1480 Turks besiege Rhodes
                              1492 Granada falls to Spanish monarchs
                              16th century More crusades against Turks in Mediterranean and central Europe; from 1530s crusades threatened against heretics (Protestants)
                              1522 Rhodes falls to Turks
                              1525 Secularization of Teutonic Order in Prussia
                              1529 Turks besiege Vienna
                              1530–1798 Hospitallers rule Malta
                              1560s–90s French Wars of Religion; some Catholics receive crusade privileges
                              1561–2 Secularization of Teutonic Order in Livonia
                              1565 Turks fail to conquer Malta
                              1571 Holy League wins a naval battle against the Turks at Lepanto; Cyprus falls to Turks
                              1578 King Sebastian of Portugal defeated and killed at Alcazar on crusade in Morocco
                              1588 Spanish Armada attracts crusade privileges for Spanish
                              1669 Crete falls to Turks
                              1683 Turks besiege Vienna
                              1684–97 Holy League begins to reconquer Balkans from Turks
                              1798 Hospitallers surrender Malta to Napoleon Bonaparte
                              1898 Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany visits Jerusalem and Damascus
                              1914–18 First World War; Ottoman Turkey allies with Germany which encourages proclamation of jihad against the Turks’ enemies
                              1917 British under General Allenby take Jerusalem
                              1919 Versailles Peace Treaty negotiations confirm mandates for Britain and France in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and the Lebanon
                              1948 Creation of the State of Israel (defended in wars 1948, 1967, 1973)
                              1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon
                              1990 Gulf War
                              2001 Al-Qaeda attack on United States
                              2003–4 Iraq War