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Forum LockedWhy did Knights Go on the Crusades?

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jedimindtricks View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17-Apr-2009 at 16:37
I understand that they went on crusades to gain wealth, title, or territory. Also going as in a Holy Mission, etc.

But why did Knights specifically go on the first, second, third or fourth crusade?

How did the Knights motivations change from the first crusade to the second and fourth?

I have always wondered this, for example, Knights going to reclaim Jeurasalem in first crusade, but then wanting to recapture Odessa in second? Of all places? Odessa? Wheres the motivation in that? Same goes for fourth and third crusades.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2009 at 19:58
The first part of the question is ambiguous. It is hard to answer with a definite statement as to why knights joined the various movements that are categorized as Crusades. The perspective changes in generalities from class to class, but then again gets more complicated with various personal ideologies, and or ideas. The second part is a good question. Certainly even in the "First Crusade," we had a variety of motivational factors. For one - Antioch, the lesser coastal cities, Edessa, and finally Jerusalem. Edessa came by chance. The parameters of taking up the cross, or the holy pilgrimage changed within those first months. If you read Flulcher you can get a good understanding of the fragmentation of goals. Not only that, but of movements. The First Crusade encompasses several movements. I certainly will follow up with a better bibliography and perhaps some examples, too. Right now I am in the office without access to that material.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 03:45
Fulcher of Chartres. In. Peters, Edward. Ed. The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and Other Source Materials. Second Edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, USA; 1998

 

Geoffrey Villehardouin. “The Conquest of Constantinople.” In. Joinville and Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusaders. Transl. Shaw, M. R. B. Penguin Classics, London: 1963.

 

Jean of Joinville. The Life of Saint Louis. In Joinville  and Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusades. Transl. Shaw, M. R. B. Penguin Classics, London: 1963.

 

Odo of Deuil. The Journey to of Louis to the East. Transl. Barry, Virginia Gingerick.W.W. Norton and Co, New York, USA: 1948.

 

Robert of Clari. The Conquest of Constantinople. Transl. McNeal, Edgar Holmes. W.W. Norton and Co, New York, USA: 1969.



Edited by es_bih - 18-Apr-2009 at 03:46

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 16:39
lol Odessa Evil Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 07:35

For some reason I'm on All Empires when i have an exam on the Crusades in two hours. Anyway.

I would say (And I hope I'm right, considering I'm answering a question on this in the exam!) that the primary motivation for a secular knight to take the cross was the papal promise for the remission of sins. Factors such as the adventure, gallantry, chivalry and family prestige which follows are all important but subservient to that essential point.
 
For poor knights especially (Such as second or third born sons) the motivations are self evident - the opportunity to forge fiefs in the Holy Land should they decide to stay. A good marriage would mean an enduring legacy - just look at the Ibelins. Their descendants in Europe were of humble roots but they grew to become one of the most important families in the Levant, helped no doubt by the gallant brothers Baldwin and Balian. Reynald of Chattilon is the quintessential example of what the Holy land can offer an inconsequential knight in Europe if he wants some mischief in the Holy Land.
 
Then of course there is Baldwin I, who before securing the county of Edessa for himself went on to become King of Jerusalem. In Europe he was the brother of the Duke of Lotharangia (?) In the Levant he became the greatest of the Crusading Kings, consolidating the Kingdom, conquerer of the coastal cities and forced his institutions authority over both the church and Antioch and Tripoli.
 
Then there are others like the pit bull Tancred, nephew of the great Bohemond (Another example of a middle ranking Italian Norman finding it big in the Holy Land) who picked fights with just about anyone he could. Ended up as Regent in Antioch and single handedly getting the grand title of 'Prince of Galilee'.
 
Thanks for listening. Now wish me luck on this blooming exam!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 14:39
Don't forget that the "Crusades" were a good way to enforce the "peace of Christ" among the ever squabbling minor nobility of Europe. The shifting of juvenile exhuberance East in the "defense" of Christendom certainly gave the victimized peasantry a breather.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JRScotia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 15:37
A crusade was also sometimes given as a penance. There is a widely held belief, for example, that when Robert Bruce, King of the Scots, had one of his highest ranking nobles take his heart on Crusade it was a penance imposed for a murder. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 17:53
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Don't forget that the "Crusades" were a good way to enforce the "peace of Christ" among the ever squabbling minor nobility of Europe. The shifting of juvenile exhuberance East in the "defense" of Christendom certainly gave the victimized peasantry a breather.


I hadn't forgot that at all, the motivations of the secular knights and the church were two very different matters.
"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 17:53
There was wars for the "true faith" in entirely different places, far away from "Holy Land"!
Especially in the Baltics, against wends, prussian tribes, Estonians and Finns, Latvians, Lithuanians and even "heretic" orthodox russians.
Southeast Europe, the "Reconquest" of Spain - and Portugal. often treaten much in same way as the fight for the areas round Jerusalem, with call from chrurch for the fighting against "infidels". It may be somewhat overlooked, that those Baltic and Spanish ventures were in a way more succesfull than the fighting for the "Holy lands", and made much more sense from a logistic, economic, strategic perspective. Probably the "Crusading spirit" had a lot to do with the iberian overseas exploration, especially the initial phases. In that way it may have had an impact on how our "modern" global world come into being!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 19:41
There were a lot of reasons for the First Crusade. Good readings actually come from Wiki. Give the links a look and become your own Historiographer:
 
 
Translations of primary sources are helpful too. A writer during the times of Bohemund had this to say in the Gesta Francorum (The Deeds of the Franks):  
Here's an excerpt -
 

When now that time was at hand which the Lord Jesus daily points out to His faithful, especially in the Gospel, saying, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me," a mighty agitation was carried on throughout all the region of Gaul. (Its tenor was) that if anyone desired to follow the Lord zealously, with a pure heart and mind, and wished faithfully to bear the cross after Him, he would no longer hesitate to take up the way to the Holy Sepulchre.

And so Urban, Pope of the Roman see, with his archbishops, bishops, abbots, and priests, set out as quickly as possible beyond the mountains and began to deliver sermons and to preach eloquently, saying: "Whoever wishes to save his soul should not hesitate humbly to take up the way of the Lord, and if he lacks sufficient money, divine mercy will give him enough." Then the apostolic lord continued, "Brethren, we ought to endure much suffering for the name of Christ - misery, poverty, nakedness, persecution, want, illness, hunger, thirst, and other (ills) of this kind, just as the Lord saith to His disciples: 'Ye must suffer much in My name,' and 'Be not ashamed to confess Me before the faces of men; verily I will give you mouth and wisdom,' and finally, 'Great is your reward in Heaven."' And when this speech had already begun to be noised abroad, little by little, through all the regions and countries of Gaul, the Franks, upon hearing such reports, forthwith caused crosses to be sewed on their right shoulders, saying that they followed with one accord the footsteps of Christ, by which they had been redeemed from the hand of hell.

Copyright © 2004 Seko
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2009 at 14:32
There was a number of motives in play among the various crusades and crusaders; political conquest, personal glory, plunder, pilgrimage, a remission of sins and improving papal relations, none of which excluded each other. Not all were directed at the Holy Land itself, but they were construed as if serving the protection or reconquest of the Holy Land in some way, or simply the greater good of Christendom.
Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum,
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wulfstan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2009 at 20:05
It was a passion, almost an obsession, of Edward I of England to organise a crusade to the Holy Land. He conducted a lot of diplomatic activity amongst the warring kings of Europe in order to create the necessary conditions of peace needed to bring about a crusade. Indeed, he was often in communications with the Il-Khans of Persia with a view to launching with them a joint crusade.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2009 at 20:19
Originally posted by Wulfstan

It was a passion, almost an obsession, of Edward I of England to organise a crusade to the Holy Land. He conducted a lot of diplomatic activity amongst the warring kings of Europe in order to create the necessary conditions of peace needed to bring about a crusade. Indeed, he was often in communications with the Il-Khans of Persia with a view to launching with them a joint crusade.


Edward I did go on crusade when he was a mere Prince though, did he not?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wulfstan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2009 at 20:39
Parnell:
 
He most ceratainly did, although it was a small scale affair with the young prince having fewer than a thousand followers. It was at Acre on this crusade where an assasin stabbed Edward with a poisoned dagger. Legend has it that his faithful wife, Eleanor of Castille devotedly sucked the poison from the wound, thus saving his life. That version of what happened, however, only appeared in a work of Ptolemy of Lucca over a century later. It was probably surgery that actually saved the life of the future king.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2009 at 20:47
Edward's obsession with the east was probably modeled on the exploits of Richard the Lionheart in the Third Crusade. He was a superb general and who knows, he may well have retaken Jerusalem Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JRScotia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2009 at 02:50
Yes, he did go as a prince and the idea of Edward I working for peace is just plain *ahem* inaccurate. I'm sorry. He brokered one peace treaty--between France and Aragon. Other than that his entire history was one of war. Or was it working for peace invading Wales? Scotland? Gascony? Or when he was fighting his own English Barons?

Oh, yes, and after swearing fealty to King Philip IV of France-- amazingly enough he rebelled against his French overlord and refused to appear in Paris to answer charges against himself--hardly likely to bring about peace.  (Interesting behavior, wouldn't you say, any fellow Scots out there? Sounds amazingly like a story I've heard elsewhere)

It's fine if you're an anglophile to admire the man. But let's let's be realistic. He was one of the least peaceable kings in England's rather less than peaceable history.

But he did go on a Crusade.

Originally posted by Parnell

Originally posted by Wulfstan

It was a passion, almost an obsession, of Edward I of England to organise a crusade to the Holy Land. He conducted a lot of diplomatic activity amongst the warring kings of Europe in order to create the necessary conditions of peace needed to bring about a crusade. Indeed, he was often in communications with the Il-Khans of Persia with a view to launching with them a joint crusade.


Edward I did go on crusade when he was a mere Prince though, did he not?


Edited by JRScotia - 29-May-2009 at 07:50
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2009 at 11:08
What! A Scot who doesn't like Edward the Longshanks! Never!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2009 at 11:47
Edward I's crusade was far too small to have any impact on the beleaguered state of Acre and did nothing to postpone its eventual demise in 1291. He did manage to defend Cyprus from a Mamluk attack, conduct some moderately successful raids and secure an alliance with the Mongols, but it was all for nothing.

His motivation? My best guess in his case is a mixture of prestige and piety. Financially it was a deficit undertaking, like most crusades.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JRScotia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2009 at 15:02
Originally posted by Parnell

What! A Scot who doesn't like Edward the Longshanks! Never!


I dislike him less than you might think. He had certain virtues and did some good things in England -- but anyone who says that PEACE was one of his virtues isn't being realistic.

Edit: LOL Ok. I DON'T dislike him less than you might think. I admit that I despise Edward Longshanks with a passion but I make an ATTEMPT to be fair about it and see the good that he did (which did exist) along with the purely evil. (The massacre of Berwick-on-Tweed and the execution of most of the leadership of Scotland and Wales, the destruction of... Yeah, it's a long list but you get the idea)

But it's VERY difficult to see the man as a promoter of peace.


Edited by JRScotia - 29-May-2009 at 15:09
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2009 at 15:37
Originally posted by JRScotia

Originally posted by Parnell

What! A Scot who doesn't like Edward the Longshanks! Never!


I dislike him less than you might think. He had certain virtues and did some good things in England -- but anyone who says that PEACE was one of his virtues isn't being realistic.

Edit: LOL Ok. I DON'T dislike him less than you might think. I admit that I despise Edward Longshanks with a passion but I make an ATTEMPT to be fair about it and see the good that he did (which did exist) along with the purely evil. (The massacre of Berwick-on-Tweed and the execution of most of the leadership of Scotland and Wales, the destruction of... Yeah, it's a long list but you get the idea)

But it's VERY difficult to see the man as a promoter of peace.


I'd regard Edward as one of the greatest medieval kings of England. Still a bastard though.
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