Crusades Essay

1324 words - 6 pages

The term we use to name these series of battles was coined until after the twelfth century. The origin of the word crusades can be traced to the back to the word Crucesignati meaning “those signed by the cross (Madden 1). Since the Crusades begun over religious controversy between the Christians and the Muslims, the term crusade has fit the series quite well. As is customary with every war, prisoners were taken into custody, and each side had their own way of dealing with their captives.
The Christians attempted to lay siege to the city of Antioch, but after six long months they were unsuccessful. This resulted in the catapulting of heads into the city in order to frighten the villagers. When they, the Muslims, sent a spy into the Christian, the Christians caught him roasted him over the spit and ate him. The Christians were living in poor conditions and often ransacked other towns and so they were happy that the Muslims had been so kind as to send them a meal (Sindi.)
In 1098, the Christians finally captured Antioch. A Muslim traitor had opened one of the gates giving them their opening. He decided to get revenge because he had received heavy black market charges, and the Christians were paying him a hefty fee to let them in (Sindi.) They took it upon themselves to end the inhabitants’ lives earlier than expected. They were ruthless during this process, as is to be expected. The Muslims were forced to fight them, later fleeing, and the Christians ended up capturing their women. Nothing “evil” was said to happen between the Christians and Muslim women on this specific date. The women did, however, succumb to heavy internal bleeding from lance stab wounds through their stomachs. The Christians kept this same tactic, when Muslims surrendered they were killed or sold into slavery. This continued until the entire town was barren. Another tactic used by the Christians was promising the Muslims freedom and their lives if they stored everyone in their village into one building. Later when they had finished ransacking the village, the Christians didn’t have to waste time searching for anyone, could kill the men, and sell their wives and children into slavery. Muslims were often cut open to reveal hidden treasures or to eat (Crusades and Crusaders).
Later in Jerusalem, when it was captured on July 14th, 1099, Muslims and Jews were equally slaughtered. The killing continued over many hours, and even those that thought it safe to seek refuge in their Synagogue were burned alive by the Christians. Other Muslim inhabitants decided that they would be safe under the Christian banner in the al-Aqsa mosque. The Christians still managed to gain entry and murder all, it was reported that from that one isolated incident the temple “was so full of blood that it came up to the horses’ bridles” ( Crusades and Crusaders.) Muslim prisoners were often tortured before being sent to their doom, popular options were burning, an arrow through their chest, being forced to...

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