Portal:Crusades

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THE CRUSADES PORTAL

Introduction

 Medieval illustration of a battle during the Second Crusade
A battle of the Second Crusade (illustration of William of Tyre's Histoire d'Outremer, 1337)

The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most commonly known Crusades were the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule, but the term "Crusades" is also applied to other church-sanctioned campaigns, such as the crusade against the Cathars and the Baltic Crusades. These were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At the time of the early Crusades the word did not exist, only becoming the leading descriptive term around 1760.

In 1095, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade in a sermon at the Council of Clermont, he encouraged military support for the Byzantine Empire and its Emperor, Alexios I, who needed reinforcements for his conflict with westward migrating Turks colonizing Anatolia. One of Urban's aims was to guarantee pilgrims access to the Eastern Mediterranean holy sites that were under Muslim control but scholars disagree as to whether this was the primary motive for Urban or those who heeded his call. Urban's strategy may have been to unite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom, which had been divided since the East–West Schism of 1054 and to establish himself as head of the unified Church, the initial success of the Crusade established the first four Crusader states in the Eastern Mediterranean: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch, the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the County of Tripoli. The enthusiastic response to Urban's preaching from all classes in Western Europe established a precedent for other Crusades. Volunteers became Crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the Church, some were hoping for a mass ascension into heaven at Jerusalem or God's forgiveness for all their sins. Others participated to satisfy feudal obligations, to obtain glory and honour or to seek economic and political gain.

The two-century attempt to recover the Holy Land ended in failure. Following the First Crusade there were six major Crusades and numerous less significant ones, after the last Catholic outposts fell in 1291 there were no more Crusades but the gains were longer lasting in Northern and Western Europe. The Wendish Crusade and those of the Archbishop of Bremen brought all the North-East Baltic and the tribes of Mecklenburg and Lusatia under Catholic control in the late 12th century. In the early 13th century the Teutonic Order created a Crusader state in Prussia and the French monarchy used the Albigensian Crusade to extend the kingdom to the Mediterranean Sea. The rise of the Ottoman Empire in the late 14th century prompted a Catholic response which led to further defeats at Nicopolis in 1396 and Varna in 1444. Catholic Europe was in chaos and the final pivot of Christian–Islamic relations was marked by two seismic events: the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 and a final conclusive victory for the Spanish over the Moors with the conquest of Granada in 1492. The idea of Crusading continued, not least in the form of the Knights Hospitaller, until the end of the 18th century but the focus of Western European interest moved to the New World.

Selected article

Battle of Covadonga
The Battle of Covadonga was the first major victory by a Christian military force in Iberia following the Muslim Moors' conquest of that region in 711. Taking place about a decade later, most likely in the summer of 722,[1] the victory at Covadonga assured the survival of a Christian stronghold in northern Iberia, and today is regarded as the beginning of the Reconquista.

From the perspective of the following seven centuries, this view of the battle has some validity - since the battle assured the independence of the Kingdom of Asturias, and it is that kingdom which eventually became the nucleus of new Christian rule over the entire peninsula. There is no reason to assume, however, that contemporaries (either Christian or Muslim) regarded it as anything more than part of local rebellion in a marginal area; in evaluating the battle, care must be taken to distinguish the actual historical facts from the meanings read into it and the myths created around it by later Spanish and Portuguese generations.

Selected picture

Battle of Lepanto (1571)
Credit: Cmmmm

The Battle of Lepanto (Greek: Ναύπακτος, Naupaktos, pron. Náfpaktos; colloquial Greek: Έπαχτος, Épahtos; Turkish: İnebahtı) took place on 7 October 1571 when a galley fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of the Republic of Venice, the Papacy (under Pope Pius V), Spain (including Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and others, decisively defeated the main fleet of Ottoman war galleys.

Did you know...

caption=Pope Eugene III

Selected biography

John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János, Romanian: Iancu de Hunedoara, Slovak: Ján Huňady, Croatian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko; c. 1387[2] – 11 August 1456), nicknamed The White Knight[3][4][5] or White Knight of Hungary[6][7]) depending on sources</ref> was a Hungarian general (1444–46) and Regent-Governor (1446–53) of the Kingdom of Hungary.[8].

He is widely celebrated in Hungarian history as its most prominent, successful and powerful generalissimo who promoted a revision of dated military doctrine, as such a recognizably outstanding and iconic military opponent of the Ottoman Empire; in a sweeping scope of European military history was undoubtedly the pre-eminent strategist and tactician of the 15th century in Christendom.[8] He was also a Voivode of Transylvania (1441–46), the patriarch of the Hunyadi family, and father of the most renowned king in Hungarian history, King Matthias Corvinus.

Hunyadi's unique personal martial genius, prowess and wherewithal to prosecute preventive and very muscular aggressive crusading warfare policies that weld together many Christian nationalities against the onslaught of the vastly numerically superior Ottoman Moslem forces achieved a state of integrity, stalemate and détente for the Hungarian Kingdom and the many European states that lay to her periphery.

John Hunyadi's aim to re-organize the military ancien régime constituents of Hungary from strictly a feudal-based aristocratic levy into an efficient, professional, formidable standing army would bring reform to European military components everywhere in a 'post-Roman' European war-making society that his successor and son, King Matthias Corvinus would bring to its ultimate culmination with its ruthless Black Army of Hungary.

John Hunyadi is often considered the bellwether of the European "post-Roman" professional "standing army". Hunyadi is mostly renowned as one of the greatest medieval field commanders of all time, his brilliant and prodigous overthrow of Mehmed II at the Siege of Belgrade in 1456 against overpowering odds is regarded as a seminal piece of European military history as "Having decided the fate of Christendom", and is as decisive a macro-significant event in European historiography as the 732 Battle of Tours and the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

To this very day worldwide, every Catholic and older Protestant churches tolling of church bells at noon means a commemoration of John Hunyadi's very historic victory over the Ottomans in 1456.

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The Crusades

Background: PilgrimageHoly LandChurch of the Holy SepulchreGreat German Pilgrimage of 1064–65Theology of sacred violenceBattle of ManzikertCouncil of PiacenzaCouncil of ClermontJihad

Realms and dynasties: Great Seljuq EmpireFatimid CaliphateKingdom of JerusalemPrincipality of AntiochCounty of TripoliCounty of EdessaKingdom of CyprusArmenian Kingdom of CiliciaVassals of the Kingdom of JerusalemOfficers of the Kingdom of JerusalemOfficers of the Kingdom of CyprusAyyubid dynastyAlmohad CaliphateLatin EmpireMonastic state of the Teutonic KnightsMamluksMongol EmpireHouse of LusignanDuchy of AthensDuchy of the ArchipelagoRise of the Ottoman EmpireLatin Patriarchate of JerusalemArchdiocese of TyreArchdiocese of NazarethLatin Patriarchate of AntiochLatin Patriarchate of Constantinople

Cities and castles: JerusalemCitadel of Salah Ed-DinConstantinopleAcreKrak des ChevaliersFamagusta

Campaigns and battles: First CrusadeSiege of JerusalemSeljuk–Crusader WarReconquistaSecond CrusadeSiege of DamascusNorthern CrusadesBattle of HattinThird CrusadeBattle of ArsufLivonian CrusadeGerman CrusadeCrusades in ItalyFourth CrusadeAlbigensian CrusadeBattle of Las Navas de TolosaChildren's CrusadeFifth CrusadeSiege of DamiettaPrussian CrusadeSixth CrusadeSeventh CrusadeBattle of Al MansurahShepherds' CrusadeEighth CrusadeNinth CrusadeAragonese CrusadeAlexandrian CrusadeBattle of NicopolisHussite WarsCrusade of VarnaFall of ConstantinopleOttoman invasion of OtrantoFall of RhodesOttoman–Venetian WarsOttoman–Habsburg warsBattle of MohácsBattle of LepantoSpanish ArmadaBattle of Vienna

People: al-Hakim bi-Amr AllahAlexios I KomnenosPope Urban IIGodfrey of BouillonBernard of ClairvauxBaldwin of ExeterSaladinRichard I of EnglandLouis IX of FranceGuy of LusignanJames I of AragonMarino Sanuto the ElderPope Clement VITimurJohn HunyadiMuhammad XII of GranadaThomas Stukleyal-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din

Military orders: Knights TemplarHistory of the Knights TemplarKnights HospitallerMilitary orders of the ReconquistaTeutonic Knights

Legacy: History of the Jews and the CrusadesSovereign Military Order of Malta

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Specific:

# Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din
# Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani
# Baha ad-Din
# Children's Crusade

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  1. ^ http://www.123exp-history.com/t/03764078673/
  2. ^ http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Janos_Hunyadi
  3. ^ White Knight Clear waters rising: a mountain walk across Europe by Nicholas Crane, Viking, 1996, p. 320)
  4. ^ White Knight of Wallachia [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of the undead, p. 67, Career Press, 2006
  7. ^ Jihad in the West: Muslim conquests from the 7th to the 21st centuries by Paul Fregosi, p. 244., Prometheus Books, 1998
  8. ^ a b "János Hunyadi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010.