Professor Jennifer Moore-Ambrosia
World Civilizations 1
March 22, 2014
The success and failures of the crusades “was closely related to the fortunes of the high-medieval papal monarchy” (454). The first crusade started when Pope Urban II called a plea of military aide to “free Jerusalem from Islamic control”. The first crusade was a “great early victory for the papal monarchy” (454-455). However, the crusades were not all victories for the papacy, the failures of the crusades ignited the decline of the papacy control. The crusades began when the Pope appealed to the people “to rescue the Holy Land from the infidels.”
Furthermore, the first crusade began when Byzantine Emperor, Alexius Comnenus summoned military help from Pope Urban II. The Pope turned Alexius Comnenus plea for help into a crusade. “Without question, Urban called the First Crusade to help further the policies of the Gregorian papacy” (455). There were four reasons why the Pope wanted to start the crusades, instead of lending only aide. First, “was to bring the Greek Orthodox Church back into the fold” (455). Second, the Pope wanted to embarrass the German Emperor, which was the Pope’s greatest enemy. Third, the appeal for the crusades was a call for peace at home. Fourth, “the goal of Jerusalem itself must have genuinely inspired Urban” (456). The First Crusade was a great success for the papal monarchy.
In addition, the main motive for the European crusaders to volunteer for the crusades was religious. “For centuries pilgrimages had been the most popular type of Christian penance, and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem was considered to be the most sacred and efficacious one of all” (457). Urban II, “promised that Crusaders would be freed from all other penances imposed by the Church” (457). The plenary indulgence was promised that if Crusaders died on the Crusade, their souls would go straight to heaven. A terrible consequence of the Crusades was the slaughter of European Jews. The Crusaders felt...