John, King of England
John, known as John Lackland, was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death in 1216. The baronial revolt at the end of Johns reign led to the sealing of Magna Carta, the youngest of five sons of King Henry II of England and Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, was at first not expected to inherit significant lands. Following the failed rebellion of his brothers between 1173 and 1174, John became Henrys favourite child. He was appointed the Lord of Ireland in 1177 and given lands in England, Johns elder brothers William and Geoffrey died young, by the time Richard I became king in 1189, John was a potential heir to the throne. John unsuccessfully attempted a rebellion against Richards royal administrators whilst his brother was participating in the Third Crusade, John spent much of the next decade attempting to regain these lands, raising huge revenues, reforming his armed forces and rebuilding continental alliances. Johns judicial reforms had a impact on the English common law system. An argument with Pope Innocent III led to Johns excommunication in 1209, Johns attempt to defeat Philip in 1214 failed due to the French victory over Johns allies at the battle of Bouvines.
When he returned to England, John faced a rebellion by many of his barons, although both John and the barons agreed to the Magna Carta peace treaty in 1215, neither side complied with its conditions. Civil war broke out shortly afterwards, with the barons aided by Louis of France and it soon descended into a stalemate. John was born to Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine on 24 December 1166, Henry had inherited significant territories along the Atlantic seaboard—Anjou and England—and expanded his empire by conquering Brittany. The result was the Angevin Empire, named after Henrys paternal title as Count of Anjou and, more specifically, its seat in Angers. The Empire, was fragile, although all the lands owed allegiance to Henry. As one moved south through Anjou and Aquitaine, the extent of Henrys power in the provinces diminished considerably, scarcely resembling the concept of an empire at all. Some of the ties between parts of the empire such as Normandy and England were slowly dissolving over time.
It was unclear what would happen to the empire on Henrys death, most believed that Henry would divide the empire, giving each son a substantial portion, and hoping that his children would continue to work together as allies after his death. To complicate matters, much of the Angevin empire was held by Henry only as a vassal of the King of France of the line of the House of Capet. Henry had often allied himself with the Holy Roman Emperor against France, shortly after his birth, John was passed from Eleanor into the care of a wet nurse, a traditional practice for medieval noble families. Eleanor left for Poitiers, the capital of Aquitaine, and sent John and this may have been done with the aim of steering her youngest son, with no obvious inheritance, towards a future ecclesiastical career
Temple of Castor and Pollux
The Temple of Castor and Pollux is an ancient temple in the Roman Forum, central Italy. It was originally built in gratitude for victory at the Battle of Lake Regillus and Pollux were the Dioscuri, the twins of Gemini, the twin sons of Zeus and Leda. Their cult came to Rome from Greece via Magna Graecia and the Greek culture of Southern Italy, the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and his allies, the Latins, waged war on the infant Roman Republic. Before the battle, the Roman dictator Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis vowed to build a temple to the Dioscuri if the Republic were victorious, the temple stands on the supposed spot of their appearance. One of Postumius’ sons was elected duumvir in order to dedicate the temple on 15 July 484 BC. In Republican times the temple served as a place for the Roman Senate. During the imperial period the temple housed the office for weights and measures, the archaic temple was completely reconstructed and enlarged in 117 BC by Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus after his victory over the Dalmatians.
Gaius Verres again restored this temple in 73 BC. Tiberius temple was dedicated in 6 AD, the remains visible today are from the temple of Tiberius, except the podium, which is from the time of Metellus. According to Edward Gibbon, the temple of Castor served as a meeting place for the Roman Senate. Frequent meetings of the Senate are reported by Cicero and he said the senate was roused to rebellion against Emperor Maximinus Thrax and in favor of future emperor Gordian I at the Temple of Castor in 237 AD. The temple was already falling apart in the fourth century. Nothing is known of its subsequent history, except that in the 15th century, the street running by the building was called via Trium Columnarum. In 1760, the Conservatori, finding the columns in a state of imminent collapse, today the podium survives without the facing, as do the three columns and a piece of the entablature, one of the most famous features in the Forum. The octastyle temple was peripteral, with eight Corinthian columns at the short sides, there was a single cella paved with mosaics.
The podium measures 32 m ×49.5 m and 7 m in height, the building was constructed in opus caementicium and originally covered with slabs of tuff which were removed. According to ancient sources, the temple had a central stairway to access the podium. The temple complex was excavated and studied between 1983 and 1989 by a joint archaeological mission of the Nordic academies in Rome, led by Inge Nielsen and B
Jerusalem is a city located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is considered a city in the three major Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Islam. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, the part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent, today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger, Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old Citys boundaries. These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, the sobriquet of holy city was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times. The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesuss crucifixion there, in Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina.
As a result, despite having an area of only 0, outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb. Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the captured and annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, one of Israels Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the countrys undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset, the residences of the Prime Minister and President, the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies. Jerusalem is home to some non-governmental Israeli institutions of importance, such as the Hebrew University. In 2011, Jerusalem had a population of 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000, Muslims 281,000, a city called Rušalim in the Execration texts of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt is widely, but not universally, identified as Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is called Urušalim in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba, the name Jerusalem is variously etymologized to mean foundation of the god Shalem, the god Shalem was thus the original tutelary deity of the Bronze Age city. The form Yerushalem or Yerushalayim first appears in the Bible, in the Book of Joshua, according to a Midrash, the name is a combination of Yhwh Yireh and the town Shalem. The earliest extra-biblical Hebrew writing of the word Jerusalem is dated to the sixth or seventh century BCE and was discovered in Khirbet Beit Lei near Beit Guvrin in 1961. The inscription states, I am Yahweh thy God, I will accept the cities of Judah and I will redeem Jerusalem, or as other scholars suggest, the mountains of Judah belong to him, to the God of Jerusalem
Emperor Xuanzong of Tang
His reign of 43 years was the longest during the Tang Dynasty. In the early half of his reign he was a diligent, ably assisted by capable chancellors like Yao Chong, Song Jing and Zhang Yue, he was credited with bringing Tang China to a pinnacle of culture and power. Emperor Xuanzong, was blamed for over-trusting Li Linfu, Yang Guozhong and An Lushan during his late reign and this marked the beginning of the Tang dynastys decline. Li Longji was the son of Emperor Ruizong, and his mother was Emperor Ruizongs concubine Consort Dou. In 687, as the son, he was created the Prince of Chu. It was said that he was handsome as a child, and was talented in music. He had two older brothers – Li Chengqi, born of Emperor Ruizongs wife Empress Liu, and Li Chengyi and he has two full younger sisters, Princess Jinxian and Princess Yuzhen, who become Taoism nuns. In 690, Dowager Empress Wu had Emperor Ruizong yield the throne to her, in 692, Li Longji and his brothers were allowed to have residences outside the palace and were given staffs at their mansions.
Subsequently, all of Li Dans sons were reduced in title, and Li Longjis title was reduced to Prince of Linzi. In 705, Wu Zetian was overthrown in a coup, and Li Longjis uncle Li Xiăn, who was at that time crown prince, Li Longji was made the deputy minister of military supplies. In 708, he was made the general of Lu Prefecture. In 710, he was recalled to the capital Changan to attend to Emperor Zhongzong when Emperor Zhongzong was sacrificing to heaven and earth. For the time being, Emperor Zhongzongs son by a concubine, Li Chongmao the Prince of Wen, was named emperor, but Empress Wei retained actual power as empress dowager and regent. Originally, uu, and other officials Zhao Lüwen and Ye Jingneng were advising her to take the throne, like Wu Zetian did, the official Cui Riyong leaked their plan to Li Longji. Without first informing Li Dan, the rose on 21 July, first killing Wei Bo, Gao. When Empress Dowager Wei panicked and fled to an imperial guard camp, Li Guoer, Wu Yanxiu, and Lady Helou were killed as well.
Li Longji soon slaughtered a number of officials in Empress Dowagers faction as well as her clan, at the urging of Princess Taiping, Li Longji, and Li Longjis brother Li Chengqi, Li Dan soon took the throne from Li Chongmao and again became emperor. Li Chengqi declined consideration to be crown prince—stating to his father, If the state were secure, If the state were in danger, consideration should be first given for achievement
An Lushan Rebellion
The An Lushan Rebellion was a devastating rebellion against the Tang dynasty of China. The rebellion overtly began on 16 December 755, when general An Lushan declared himself emperor in Northern China, thus establishing a rival Yan Dynasty, the rebellion and subsequent disorder resulted in a huge loss of life and large-scale destruction. It significantly weakened the Tang dynasty, and led to the loss of the Western Regions, beginning in 742, Eurasia entered a 13-year period of major political turmoil, with the regional empires generally suffering a major rebellion, revolution, or dynastic change. In this year the Türk dynasty of the eastern Eurasian Steppe was overthrown, in 747, the Abbasids began their rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate in Merv, resulting in the proclamation of a new Abbasid Caliph in about 750. This rebellion seems to have been organized by merchants and persons identifying themselves as merchants, the Arabs did not proceed any further after the battle, and the Tang retained their Central Asian territories until the An Lushan rebellion.
Further, southern expansion of the empire was limited by the ineffective, the concurrent Tang campaign against the Tibetan Empire was proceeding more successfully, with the campaign to capture the Tibetans Central Asian territories appearing near success. With the assassination of the Tibetan emperor Me Agtsom in 755 in the midst of a rebellion within the Tibetan polity, final Tang victory over the Tibetan Empire seemed all. An Lushan was a general of uncertain origin, but thought to have been adopted by a Sogdian father. Eventually he managed to become a favorite of the emperor of China. His success in this regard is shown, for example, by the luxurious house Emperor Xuanzong built for him in 751, the house was furnished with luxuries such as gold and silver objects and a pair of ten-foot-long by six-foot-wide couches appliqued with rare and expensive sandalwood. He was appointed by Emperor Xuanzong to be commander of three garrisons in the north—Pinglu and Hedong, in effect, An was given control over the entire area north of the lower reaches of the Yellow River, including garrisons about 164,000 strong.
He was a favorite in the Tang court, even calling himself the son of Yang Guifei. He was thus protected from criticism, even when her relative, Chief Minister Yang Guozhong, at the end of 755 An Lushan revolted. His army surged down from Fanyang, along the way, An Lushan treated surrendered local Tang officials with respect. As a result and more of them joined his ranks and he moved rapidly along the Grand Canal and captured the Eastern Capital city of Luoyang within the year, defeating the poorly supplied General Feng Changqing. There, An Lushan declared himself Emperor of the new Great Yan dynasty and his next steps would be to capture the Tang western capital of Changan and to attempt to continue into southern China to complete his conquest. However, the horrific Battle of Yongqiu, in the spring of 756 and this prevented the Yan forces from conquering southern China, before the Tang were able to recover. The Yan army did not take control of the Suiyang District until after the Siege of Suiyang, almost two years after their initial capture of Luoyang
Siege of Jerusalem (1099)
The Siege of Jerusalem took place from June 7 to July 15,1099, during the First Crusade. The climax of the First Crusade, the siege saw the Crusaders seize Jerusalem from the Fatimid Caliphate. After the successful siege of Antioch in June 1098, the Crusaders remained in the area for the rest of the year, the papal legate Adhemar of Le Puy had died, and Bohemond of Taranto had claimed Antioch for himself. Baldwin of Boulogne remained in Edessa, captured earlier in 1098, there was dissent among the princes over what to do next, Raymond of Toulouse, left Antioch to capture the fortress at Maarrat al-Numan in the Siege of Maarat. By the end of the year the minor knights and infantry were threatening to march to Jerusalem without them. Eventually, on January 13,1099 Raymond began the south, down the coast of the Mediterranean, followed by Robert of Normandy and Bohemonds nephew Tancred. On their way the Crusaders besieged Arqa but failed to capture it, therefore, he expelled all of Jerusalems Christian inhabitants.
Further march towards Jerusalem met no resistance, on 7 June, the crusaders reached Jerusalem, which had been recaptured from the Seljuqs by the Fatimids only the year before. Many Crusaders wept upon seeing the city they had journeyed so long to reach. As with Antioch the crusaders put the city to a siege, in which the crusaders themselves probably suffered more than the citizens of the city, due to the lack of food and water around Jerusalem. The city was well-prepared for the siege, and the Fatimid governor Iftikhar ad-Daula had expelled most of the Christians, of the estimated 5,000 knights who took part in the Princes Crusade, only about 1,500 remained, along with another 12,000 healthy foot-soldiers. Early in the siege, some low-class knights claimed to have been visited by Adhemar, the papal regate for the crusade and they claimed that this was a Battle of Jericho situation, and that he instructed them to march around the city walls barefoot. They did so for a few days, singing holy chants, after which, Peter the Hermit held religious sermons in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, in the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the Mount of Olives, sending the crusading knights lost into religious zeal.
It was at time that they were ready for a siege. A direct assault on the walls on June 13 was a failure, without water or food, both men and animals were quickly dying of thirst and starvation and the crusaders knew time was not on their side. Coincidentally, soon after the first assault, two Genoese galleys sailed into the port at Jaffa, the crusaders began to gather wood from Samaria in order to build siege engines. They were still short on food and water, and by the end of June there was news that a Fatimid army was marching north from Egypt, the prime need of the crusaders was for ladders and siege towers to scale the walls of Jerusalem. The Egyptian Fatimid garrison had cleared the area of trees
An Lushan was a general in the Tang dynasty and is primarily known for instigating the An Lushan Rebellion. An Lushan was of Sogdian and Göktürk origin, at least by adoption and he rose to military prominence by defending the northeastern Tang frontier from the Khitans and other threats. He was summoned to Changan, the Tang capital, several times and managed to gain favor with Chancellor Li Linfu and this allowed An Lushan to amass significant military power in northeast China. After the death of Li Linfu, his rivalry with General Geshu Han, in 755, An Lushan, following 8 or 9 years of preparation, instigated the An Lushan Rebellion, proclaiming himself the ruler of a new dynasty, Yan. In 757 An Lushan was assassinated by his own son, An Qingxu, the state of Yan fell into turmoil and eventually collapsed in 763. An Lushans mother was a Göktürk of the Ashide clan and served as a sorceress and his original name might have been Aluoshan or Galuoshan, which meant war in Old Turkic. His father died early, and his mother Lady Ashide married a Turkic general An Yanyan, an Lushan therefore took the name of An.
He settled in Ying Prefecture, the An are not to be confused with Anxi, which had been established as a prefecture by the Chinese in 661. His name has transcribed as Āluòshān or Yàluòshān. Serving with him was Shi Sugan, who was one day older than he was, in 732, when the general Zhang Shougui was governing You Prefecture, An was discovered to have stolen sheep. Zhang was set to execute An by caning, when An yelled out, Is it that you, why do you want to cane An Lushan to death. Zhang, seeing that he had a body and impressed by his plea, released him and had him serve as a police officer, along with Shi. Later, Zhang promoted him to be a military officer, as Zhang believed that he was obese, he did not dare to eat too much while in Zhangs presence, and this drew Zhangs favor. Zhang took him in and treated him like a son. At a time that was not recorded in history, he married a Lady Kang as his first wife, and she bore him at least one son, An Qingxu, however, was not his oldest son. By 736, An Lushan carried a title and was serving under Zhang Shougui as an officer of the Pinglu Army.
In 736, after An disobeyed Zhangs orders and made an aggressive attack against the Khitan. In 740, An became the Bingmashi of Pinglu Army, in 741, when the deputy chief imperial censor Zhang Lizhen was sent to survey the Hebei and visited Pinglu Army, An ingratiated himself with Zhang, so much so that he even bribed Zhangs servants
In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate the Mediterranean region and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and it is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern government, politics, art, architecture, warfare, religion and society. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond, its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia, the Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia and it would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the part of the empire broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of history from the pre-medieval Dark Ages of Europe. King Numitor was deposed from his throne by his brother, while Numitors daughter, Rhea Silvia, because Rhea Silvia was raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine. The new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, a she-wolf saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor. Romulus became the source of the citys name, in order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted.
This caused a problem for Rome, which had a large workforce but was bereft of women, Romulus traveled to the neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables they all refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins, after a long time in rough seas, they landed at the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, one woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent them from leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships, the Roman poet Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the Aeneid
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, a few steps away from the Muristan. The tomb is enclosed by the 18th-century shrine, called the Aedicule, within the church proper are the last four Stations of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of Jesus Passion. The main denominations sharing property over parts of the church are the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox and Roman Catholic, and to a lesser degree the Egyptian Copts and Ethiopians. According to Eusebius of Caesarea, the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD built a dedicated to the goddess Venus in order to bury the cave in which Jesus had been buried. The first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great, ordered in about 325/326 that the temple be replaced by a church, during the building of the Church, Constantines mother, Helena, is believed to have rediscovered the tomb. Socrates Scholasticus, in his Ecclesiastical History, gives a description of the discovery.
The remains are enveloped by a marble sheath placed some 500 years before to protect the ledge from Ottoman attacks. However, there are several thick window wells extending through the marble sheath and they appear to reveal an underlying limestone rock, which may be part of the original living rock of the tomb. The church was starting in 325/326, and was consecrated on 13 September 335. From pilgrim reports it seems that the housing the tomb of Jesus was freestanding at first. Each year, the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the anniversary of the consecration of the Church of the Resurrection on 13 September and this building was damaged by fire in May of 614 when the Sassanid Empire, under Khosrau II, invaded Jerusalem and captured the True Cross. In 630, the Emperor Heraclius restored it and rebuilt the church after recapturing the city, after Jerusalem came under Arab rule, it remained a Christian church, with the early Muslim rulers protecting the citys Christian sites. A story reports that the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab visited the church and stopped to pray on the balcony and he feared that future generations would misinterpret this gesture, taking it as a pretext to turn the church into a mosque.
Eutychius added that Umar wrote a decree prohibiting Muslims from praying at this location, the building suffered severe damage due to an earthquake in 746. Early in the century, another earthquake damaged the dome of the Anastasis. The damage was repaired in 810 by Patriarch Thomas, in the year 841, the church suffered a fire. In 935, the Orthodox Christians prevented the construction of a Muslim mosque adjacent the Church, in 938, a new fire damaged the inside of the basilica and came close to the rotunda. In 966, due to a defeat of Muslim armies in the region of Syria, the doors and roof were burnt, and the Patriarch John VII was murdered
Titus was Roman emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, prior to becoming Emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judea during the First Jewish–Roman War. The campaign came to a halt with the death of emperor Nero in 68. When Vespasian was declared Emperor on 1 July 69, Titus was left in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion, in 70, he besieged and captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the city and the Second Temple. For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph, the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day. Under the rule of his father, Titus gained notoriety in Rome serving as prefect of the Praetorian Guard, despite concerns over his character, Titus ruled to great acclaim following the death of Vespasian in 79, and was considered a good emperor by Suetonius and other contemporary historians. As emperor, he is best known for completing the Colosseum, after barely two years in office, Titus died of a fever on 13 September 81.
He was deified by the Roman Senate and succeeded by his younger brother Domitian, Titus was born in Rome, probably on 30 December 39 AD, as the eldest son of Titus Flavius Vespasianus—commonly known as Vespasian—and Domitilla the Elder. He had one sister, Domitilla the Younger, and one younger brother, Titus Flavius Domitianus. One such family was the gens Flavia, which rose from obscurity to prominence in just four generations, acquiring wealth. Tituss great-grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesars civil war and his military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Nevertheless, Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the extremely wealthy Tertulla, whose fortune guaranteed the upwards mobility of Petros son Titus Flavius Sabinus I, Sabinus himself amassed further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia. By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied himself to the prestigious patrician gens Vespasia, ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II.
The political career of Vespasian included the offices of quaestor and praetor, and culminated with a consulship in 51, as a military commander, he gained early renown by participating in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43. The story was told that Titus was reclining next to Britannicus, the night he was murdered. Further details on his education are scarce, but it seems he showed promise in the military arts and was a skilled poet. From c.57 to 59 he was a tribune in Germania. He served in Britannia, perhaps arriving c.60 with reinforcements needed after the revolt of Boudica, in c.63 he returned to Rome and married Arrecina Tertulla, daughter of a former Prefect of the Praetorian Guard
The First Crusade was the first of a number of crusades that attempted to capture the Holy Land, called by Pope Urban II in 1095. An additional goal became the principal objective—the Christian reconquest of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. During the crusades, knights and serfs from many regions of Western Europe travelled over land and by sea, first to Constantinople and on towards Jerusalem. The Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem, launched an assault on the city and they established the crusader states of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, and the County of Edessa. The First Crusade was followed by the Second to the Ninth Crusades and it was the first major step towards reopening international trade in the West since the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The majority view is that it had elements of both in its nature, the origin of the Crusades in general, and particularly that of the First Crusade, is widely debated among historians.
The confusion is due to the numerous armies in the first crusade. The similar ideologies held the armies to similar goals, but the connections were rarely strong, the Umayyad Caliphate had conquered Syria and North Africa from the predominantly Christian Byzantine Empire, and Hispania from the Visigothic Kingdom. In North Africa, the Umayyad empire eventually collapsed and a number of smaller Muslim kingdoms emerged, such as the Aghlabids, who attacked Italy in the 9th century. Pisa and the Principality of Catalonia began to battle various Muslim kingdoms for control of the Mediterranean Basin, exemplified by the Mahdia campaign and battles at Majorca and Sardinia. Essentially, between the years 1096 and 1101 the Byzantine Greeks experienced the crusade as it arrived at Constantinople in three separate waves, in the early summer of 1096, the first large unruly group arrived on the outskirts of Constantinople. This wave was reported to be undisciplined and ill-equipped as an army and this first group is often called the Peasants’ or People’s Crusade.
It was led by Peter the Hermit and Walter Sans Avoir and had no knowledge of or respect for the wishes of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. The second wave was not under the command of the Emperor and was made up of a number of armies with their own commanders. Together, this group and the first wave numbered an estimated 60,000, the second wave was led by Hugh I, Count of Vermandois, the brother of King Philip I of France. Also among the wave were Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse. It was this wave of crusaders which passed through Asia Minor, captured Antioch in 1098 and finally took Jerusalem 15 July 1099. ”The third wave, composed of contingents from Lombardy, France. At the western edge of Europe and of Islamic expansion, the Reconquista in the Iberian Peninsula was well underway by the 11th century and it was intermittently ideological, as evidenced by the Codex Vigilanus compiled in 881