Medieval Crusades

(6001 words)

Historical Context Essay

“The Crusades” is a name which is usually taken to denote four major and several minor Christian military expeditions between 1095 and 1205 (or until 1310) ostensibly intending either to recover Jerusalem or to protect Christians in the eastern Mediterranean from Muslim domination. It also designates a new mentality of militant Christianity which it is the purpose of this essay to describe.

According to Pope Gregory VII (1025-1085; pontificate 1073-1085), writing to King Henry IV of Germany in December 1074, Christians beyond the sea were “daily being slaughtered” by pagans, and had implored him to bring help by whatever means he could. Their message was apocalyptic, for there was a danger that “the Christian …

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Barber, Malcolm C.. "Medieval Crusades". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 August 2008
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]