Were long wars in which Christians in Europe participated against Muslims in the East, the southern Mediterranean, between the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the name of Christ, Christianity and with the instigation of the popes of the Catholic Church.
These wars were in the form of military campaigns aimed at taking Christian sanctuaries and the lands of the southern Mediterranean as a personal heritage of their Church from the Christ and the Romans.
Naming the Crusades
- This name was named because the soldiers carved the cross on their chests.
- In the contemporary Arabic writings of those wars, they were called the Franks, or the Frankish, or the Roman, The crusades were called the wars of the Franks.
- In the West, the Crusaders were named several names, including the St. Peter believers, the soldiers of Christ, and those who fought for the religion were called the pilgrims, and the name “armed pilgrims” was used.
- The Crusaders who went to Jerusalem were getting a cross of cloth sewn in their clothes, and getting this cross became evidence of the journey of every crusader.
- In the Middle Ages, It was referred to these wars by the Europeans with words that correspond to the tawaaf, pilgrimages, wandering, and the road to the Holy Land.
- It is believed that the first appearance of the term crusade was in a search for the historian of Louis XVI in 1675. Also from the reasons the sign of a cross on the weapons, sailing boats, and barriers.
- The campaigns to the Arab world were saying they wanted to free Christianity.
The Motives of the Crusades
The basic Motivation
When the Seljuks defeated the Byzantines, the Byzantines sought to ask help from the Christians of France, on the basis that they were of the same religion, and the economic and social motivations were the main factors for the defense of the Byzantines.
In November 1095, Pope Urban II held a meeting of the clergy in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand to call for the Crusades. The justification for these campaigns was to implement the will of the Lord through pilgrimage to the Holy Land to atone for sins.
The false accounts of the persecution of the Islamic rule of the Christians in the Holy Land, and demands their liberation, especially after the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the 18th of October in the year 1009 by order of the Fatimid ruler Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah.
The inheritance law applied in Europe at that time stipulated that the eldest son would inherit the property of his father, and his servants after his death, while the movables will be distributed among his sons.
As a result of this law a class of nobles or masters appeared who do not have any feudalism, and titles spread among them such as: landless, and penniless, as sign that they have no land.
They saw their opportunity in the Crusades to gain land in the East, and others saw an opportunity to expand their property by acquiring new properties.
It was an opportunity for the poor to establish a new and better life and a way to get them out of the bondage they lived under the feudal system.
The Europeans wanted to control the wealth and economy of the Islamic state by controlling its trade, agriculture, its water, and land corridors, thus reviving the European economy.
Number of Crusades
The basic and known crusades are eight campaigns, but some believe that they were ten, while others believe that they exist to this day, but with an intellectual rather than a military character, as they call it (intellectual invasion).
The First Crusade (The Poor’s Campaign)
- It was a campaign that preceded the major campaign.
- The number of troops was twenty-five thousand, and the church’s promise of salvation and getting spoils was a strong incentive for the poor and the general public to participate in that campaign.
- It was called the Poor Campaign because the cavalry there were few, and this campaign was not organized, so it was defeated by the Seljuks in October of 1096.
- This campaign is considered one of the few successful campaigns, because of the state of division experienced by the Muslims at that time. The campaign started in 1096, resulting in the occupation of Jerusalem in 1099.
The Second Crusade (The King’s Campaign)
- Is the first campaign involving kings, and it began in 1147 and ended in 1192.
- The Crusaders established their four emirates (Antioch, Al-Raha, Tripoli, and Jerusalem), after they defeated the Seljuks, and in it also destroyed all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
- The Europeans were proud of these successes, where they were able to achieve the ultimate goal of controlling Jerusalem.
- Battle of Hittin: On the fourth of July of the year 1187, a decisive battle in the history of Muslims took place, led by Sultan of Egypt and the Levant (Sultan Saladin), who was able to liberate Jerusalem from the hands of the Crusaders.
The Third Crusade
- The campaign was launched after the crushing defeat of the Crusaders by the commander of Saladin in the battle of Hittin when they lost control of the city of Jerusalem.
- In 1191, this campaign surrounded the city of Acre and conquered it after it surrendered to them, the campaign ended by holding peace between Sultan Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi and the crusaders.
- Under this reconciliation, Sultan Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi allowed Christians to visit Jerusalem and perform Hajj.
The Fourth Crusade
- The Crusaders in this campaign destroyed the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine state, which sparked controversy about the religious goals and divine orders claimed by the Church.
- Ten years after that campaign, the Childish Campaign launched, a campaign by the disgruntled public of previous campaign failures, was launched. Most of the participants in these campaigns died of hunger and difficult conditions so that the campaign did not reach the Holy Land.
The Fifth Crusade
- This campaign took over the city of Damietta in Egypt in 1219.
- Ended by the signing of a peace treaty between the Muslims and the Crusaders for eight years in 1221, and the crusaders withdrew from Damietta, which led to the failure of this campaign.
The Sixth Crusade
- It began in 1228, the only campaign that the Church did not bless.
- It ended with a 10-year treaty between Muslims and the Crusaders so that the Muslims relinquish Jerusalem with the exception of the Haram, Naassera and Bet-lehem area.
The Seventh Crusade
- This campaign began in 1248 and continued until 1254.
- It was the result of the Crusaders’ total loss of Jerusalem in 1244 AD. This campaign took control of Damietta and Mansoura, but the Muslims resisted this campaign led by Sultan Salih Najmuddin Ayoub, by inflicting heavy losses on the Crusaders and captured King Louis IX.
The Eighth Crusade
- It was launched in 1270 and was not welcomed by nobles, barons, and cavalry; because of the degeneration of the reputation of previous campaigns, but King Louis IX bought the satisfaction of the nobles with money, and persuaded them to run, and campaigned towards Tunisia.
- It ended with a treaty of reconciliation between the Crusaders and the ruler of Tunisia (Mustansir), who was forced to pay tribute to the king of the Sicilians.
Many other crusades were launched, but they did not take on a major or basic character. They were small campaigns, such as the campaign of Nijia 1396, the campaign on Alexandria in 1365, and the campaign against the heretics 1209 AD.