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German Crusade 1197-8 CE Timeline

German Crusade 1197-8 CE Timeline



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  • 1197 - 1198

    The German Crusade led by Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI.

  • Sep 1197

    A Crusade army captures Beirut.

  • 28 Nov 1197

    A Crusade army begins the siege of Toron.

  • 2 Feb 1198

    A Crusade army abandons the siege of Toron on hearing of the death of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI.


Madrid Skylitzes illuminated manuscript depicting Byzantine Greeks punishing ninth-century Cretan Saracens.

By modern standards, medieval Europe was a terrifyingly violent place. Physical force was used to achieve all sorts of ends. Lords used violence to exert their influence over their subjects and to pursue feuds with each other for political and financial gain. Issues of international politics were frequently resolved on the battlefield. When they occurred, wars affected everyone in a region through pillage and slaughter. Banditry was rife.

In such a context, men were already primed for violence. Its use was excusable in any cause they deemed right.


Europe 1215 CE

The previous centuries have seen the rise of feudalism in western Europe. The ad-hoc arrangements by which rulers have won the support of the feudal nobility have been underpinned by a quasi-religious code of chivalry. This has been promoted by the Church and seeks to direct the warlike activities of nobles and knights towards more humane ends than might otherwise have been the case.

These centuries have also seen the western Church, headed by the popes in Rome, reach the height of its power.

Church against state

Few kingdoms in western Europe have escaped its impact. In some places (for example, France) the Church’s influence has strengthened royal power by providing religious sanctions against those who oppose it in other places (notably Germany and Italy, both of which are wholly or partly within the Holy Roman Empire) it has gravely weakened central authority by offering religious support for rebellious nobles. In yet others (England) the clash between royal and church power has been dramatic but indecisive.

The Crusades

Despite these tensions, Christendom has continued to expand in northern, central and eastern Europe. In Spain, too, the Christian kingdoms have won considerable territory from the Muslims.

Another field for expansion for western (Catholic) Christendom has been in the Middle East. A succession of great military expeditions, called into action by the popes and known as the Crusades, initially succeeded in taking the holy city of Jerusalem from the Muslims and creating a number of Crusader states in Syria and Palestine. However, Muslim forces have now driven the Crusaders back to small coastal enclaves. In fact the Crusaders have recently turned against the historic Christian city of Constantinople, and the Byzantine empire is now under occupation by Crusader rulers and their forces.

Commercial expansion

One by-product of the Crusades, however, has been that Christian (mainly Italian) shipping has come to dominate much of the trade of the Mediterranean, and this has helped lift European commerce. So too has an increase in trade in the Baltic and North Sea.

These developments are but part of a general upswing in Europe’s economic fortunes in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Much new land had been brought under the plough (much heavier than any before, developed especially for the heavy soil of northern climates) and populations have expanded strongly. The feudal system has succeeded in enforcing a certain degree of order on an unruly society, and this has allowed local as well as international trade to increase. A new class of prosperous merchants are helping to turn the growing towns and cities into centres of power in their own right.

New wealth has been devoted to the construction of magnificent cathedrals and churches across Europe. Some of it is also going into the foundation of new schools and universities. Learning is returning to the region. Much of this – especially in science, mathematics and medicine – is coming into Christendom from the Muslim world.


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18th Century Timeline: 1701 to 1800

1701 In England, the mark of a gentleman has become restraint &ndash a response to the passions of war and religious conflict. Good manners are valued as a barrier against more conflict. Passionate preaching is seen by many as vulgar. There is a decline in demand for religious uniformity &ndash a step away from the belief prevalent in the Middle Ages that those with views different from one's own are evil.

1701 By now, an explosive growth in global commerce was underway, created by the advances in economic organization that had been taking place in the West. But the transport of goods is slow, slow, slow compared to what it would be in the late 1800s and the 1900s. And manufacturing remained undeveloped.

1701 In London, Captain William Kidd is hanged.

1701 The last Habsburg king of Spain dies childless and without an heir. The War of Spanish Succession follows. England, the Dutch Republic and the Holy Roman Emperor oppose the king of France also becoming the king of Spain, and they form an anti-French alliance.

1701 The Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Bohemia and Archduke of Austria, Joseph I, gives permission to the Elector of Brandenburg to be crowned Frederick I, King of Prussia. A new and powerful state under Hohenzollern kings is in the making.

1702 The recent death of Sweden's king has encouraged Denmark, Russia and Poland to challenge Sweden's hegemony in the Baltic Sea area. The Great Northern War begins. Sweden's young new king, Charles XII, demonstrates his power by leading an army into Poland, routing a combined German and Polish force and putting onto the throne in Poland a king of his choosing: Stanislaus Leszczynski, who becomes Stanislaus I.

1702 The French and English battle at St. Augustine in Florida, the War of Spanish Succession in the Americas to be called Queen Anne's War &ndash Anne being the Queen of England. In the Americas both sides use Indians as allies. An Anglo-Dutch fleet destroys a Spanish treasure fleet off the coast of Spain, capturing a fortune in silver.

1703 Tsar Peter (to be known as Peter the Great) would like a port at Riga in order to supplant his port at Archangel in the frozen far north. Riga is still held by the Swedes, so he starts building on marshland that will eventually become the city of St. Petersburg.

1705 Hardship, increased taxation and misconception provoke rebellion by Russians in Astrakhan by the Caspian Sea.

1705 An intrusion into Tibet by China's Manchu ruler is blocked by resistance from Mongol people called Dzungars.

1706 In Boston, Benjamin Franklin is born, the tenth son of a candle and soap maker.

1706 The English drive the French out of most of the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium).

1707 Scotland and England become the United Kingdom of Great Britain on May 1, shortly after the parliaments of Scotland and England ratified the Treaty of Union of 1706.

1707 More Europeans are learning to read, especially in Scotland and England. More are becoming interested in reason and science. In Berlin a science academy is created.

1707 By now Cape Town has 1,780 colonists of European descent, predominately Dutch and pursuing farming. Many are using slaves, who number about 1,100, imported from the Spice Islands (Indonesia) Mozambique and Madagascar.

1707 Mount Fuji erupts. Ash floats down on the city of Edo sixty miles to the north.

1708 Charles of Sweden leads his army into Russia, heading for Moscow, for a showdown against Tsar Peter. Charles considers the Russians poor fighters and is optimistic. Peter orders the destruction of all in front of the advancing Swedes that can be of use to them.

1709 The Swedes winter in the warmer Ukraine. In a summer showdown at Poltava the poor quality of the gunpowder used by the Swedes causes their shots to fall short. Russia's artillery cuts the Swedes down. The Swedes flee and many surrender.

1710 Along the Zambezi River in Eastern Africa, the Rozvi emperor allows the Portuguese to maintain a trading post at Zumbo. The Rozvi want to maintain trade with the Europeans and acquire chinaware, beads, umbrellas, brass bells, brandy and other goods.


Main Article

Later Medieval Germany

Summary of Medieval Germany
Early Middle Ages
ca. 500-1000
High Middle Ages
ca. 1000-1300
Late Middle Ages
ca. 1300-1500
France Frankish kingdom > France/Germany rise of France Hundred Years' War > French unification
Germany Holy Roman Empire
Summary of the Holy Roman Empire > Austrian Empire
ca. 950-1300 Holy Roman Empire initial flourishing
ca. 1300-1500 decline
ca. 1500-WWI Austrian Empire Habsburg rule

For the period ca. 950-1300, the Holy Roman Empire flourished as a strong, relatively unified state. The Late Medieval period was an age of decline, however, as unity was fractured by strife between rival dynasties. In particular, imperial control over Germany steadily weakened, as the region splintered into small, semi-independent states. 1,21

Ca. 1500, the Austria-based Habsburg dynasty achieved permanent control of the Holy Roman Empire. Consequently, while the Holy Roman Empire officially lasted until ca. 1800, from ca. 1500 onward it may as well be termed the Austrian Empire. 1,21 (Note that while the Austrian Empire lasted until WWI, it only held the title of "Holy Roman Empire" until ca. 1800.)

The core territory of the Holy Roman Empire was Germany/Austria/Bohemia. The core territory of the Austrian Empire was Austria/Bohemia (and eventually Hungary).

Throughout the High Middle Ages, the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy warred constantly for control of Italy. Italians were polarized in their support for the two powers, spurring extensive conflict between and within the Italian kingdoms and city-states. 21 The struggle was ultimately a stalemate Italy remained a fractured region (largely independent of both the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire), and from the Late Middle Ages onward, the Holy Roman Empire focused its imperial efforts elsewhere. 95

Italian cities were (along with the cities of the Low Countries) medieval Europe's most prosperous centres of manufacturing (especially textiles) and trade. Another major economic activity was banking, which emerged in its modern form among the medieval Italian city-states (along with other financial innovations, such as accounting and insurance). The wealthiest medieval city-state was Venice, which dominated Mediterranean trade and even governed territories in the eastern Mediterranean. Also prosperous was Florence, which came to dominate the region of Tuscany. A176,K208-09

Meanwhile, the later Middle Ages witnessed the conquest of a region known as Prussia (centred on present-day northeast Poland) by the Teutonic Knights . The Teutonic Knights were a German monastic military order that formed during the Crusades upon returning to Europe, they conquered and governed Prussia. Following this conquest, Prussia was heavily settled by Germans. A238,47

Prussia was then conquered by Poland, though the Knights were allowed to retain much of the region as a Polish duchy. During the Reformation, this duchy was inherited by the prince of Brandenburg (one of the semi-independent German states under the Holy Roman Empire).

In time, Prussia grew to be much stronger than Brandenburg (or any other German state). It broke free during the Enlightenment as an independent kingdom, then expanded westward to join up with Brandenburg, thereby forming one vast state. The unification of Germany in the nineteenth century was achieved under the leadership of Prussia. 83

Low Countries

The region known as the Low Countries spans roughly present-day Belgium and the Netherlands. Following the splintering of the Frankish kingdom, this region remained largely independent throughout the later medieval period, despite being officially added to the territory of external powers on several occasions (most famously Burgundy, toward the end of the Middle Ages).

The medieval Low Countries featured several small, prosperous states, with economies based on manufacturing (chiefly textiles) and trade. The greatest was Flanders others included Brabant and Luxembourg. Low Countries independence finally ended ca. 1500, when the region was firmly acquired by the Holy Roman Empire. 127,133

Later Medieval France and England

Summary of Medieval France and England
Early Middle Ages
ca. 500-1000
High Middle Ages
ca. 1000-1300
Late Middle Ages
ca. 1300-1500
France Frankish kingdom > France/Germany rise of France Hundred Years' War > French unification
Germany Holy Roman Empire
England Anglo-Saxon kingdoms Anglo-Norman age Hundred Years' War > War of the Roses

The characteristic economic system of the Middle Ages was feudalism, in which nobles grant tracts of land to lesser nobles in exchange for political and/or military service (see Feudalism and Serfdom). Toward the end of the Middle Ages, feudalism (in which a king's power is largely delegated to local lords) began to decline in favour of centralized kingdoms (in which a king's power is largely retained in himself, allowing him to directly rule the entire kingdom). France and England were the first two kingdoms to make this transition. A241

The High Middle Ages witnessed the gradual strengthening of the French king's rule over France, which had been weak since the beginning of the nation's history (ca. 900). Like other medieval kingdoms, France was a patchwork of territories corresponding with various levels of the feudal system, such as duchies (ruled by dukes) and counties (ruled by counts). Though these territories (e.g. Normandy, Burgundy, Aquitaine, Anjou) were nominally subject to the French king, many exercised significant de facto independence. The later medieval period witnessed the steady accumulation of genuine royal authority over these lands. 94

Meanwhile, following incorporation into the brief Viking empire assembled by Canute (see map), England was conquered in 1066 by the Duke of Normandy, William the Conqueror . Under William, a more efficient, centralized English government was established. The English ruling class adopted much French culture, including the Norman language (Old French), which developed into a unique dialect in England termed "Anglo-Norman". A226,1,108

Anglo-Norman language and culture persisted throughout the High Middle Ages, after which the English language and culture were reasserted (though many elements of French culture were retained, including French-derived words in the English language). The High Middle Ages in England may therefore be termed the Anglo-Norman age. Two important English innovations of this age were common law and Parliament (see History of Democracy). A226,96,108

The Norman conquest united Normandy and England as a single power (even though the Duchy of Normandy officially belonged to the French king). 120 The remainder of France loomed as a tempting target for invasion, which the French monarchy was ill-equipped to face, having not yet achieved the strong, centralized rule of England. The defining struggle of Late Medieval French and English history is the Hundred Years War , in which England attempted to conquer France. The most blatant instance of French disunity during this conflict was the alliance of Burgundy (a duchy in eastern France) with the English. 1

England and Burgundy were largely successful for most of the war toward the end, they controlled the northern half of France. 94 But thanks to the spiritual leadership of Joan of Arc , combined with growing resentment throughout French lands toward English brutality and taxes, a vibrant French national unity finally emerged (which eventually included even Burgundy) England was at last driven from the Continent, leaving both nations exhausted. 94 The medieval period concluded in England with the War of the Roses , a civil war of succession that brought the Tudor dynasty to power. 2

Later Medieval Iberia

Summary of Medieval Iberia
Early Middle Ages
ca. 500-1000
High Middle Ages
ca. 1000-1300
Late Middle Ages
ca. 1300-1500
Iberia Visigothic rule > Islamic rule Reconquista rise of Portugal and Spain

The High Middle Ages witnessed the Christian Reconquista (re-conquest) of the Iberian peninsula. Three main Christian kingdoms formed: Portugal , Castile-Leon (western Spain) and Aragon (northeast Spain). Between their efforts, most of Iberia was recovered by the end of the High Middle Ages. In the Late Middle Ages, Castile-León and Aragon were united via the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella , thus founding Spain. 1,23,84

The Late Middle Ages also featured the Age of Discovery (ca. 1420-1520), the opening phase of the colonial era (see European Colonialism). Portugal and Spain were its two participants only after the Age of Discovery (with the exception of John Cabot's voyage to Newfoundland) did England, France, and the Netherlands embark on voyages of global trade and conquest. 130

In the Early Modern age, Portugal and Spain ascended together as the world's first global empires. Only Spain, however, would become a primary power in Europe.


Modern Glassmaking

The 11th century saw the emergence in Germany of new ways of making sheet glass by blowing spheres. The spheres were then formed into cylinders and then cut while still hot, after which the sheets were flattened. This technique was perfected in 13th century Venice around 1295. What made Venetian Murano glass significantly different was that the local quartz pebbles were almost pure silica, which made the clearest and purest glass. The Venetian ability to produce this superior form of glass resulted in a trade advantage over other glass producing lands.


German Crusade 1197-8 CE Timeline - History

The following "timeline" is divided into periods that make sense from an internal Christian perspective. For a comparative timeline (between Jews, Christians, and Muslims) click here

significant terms are in small caps/bold

I. THE MINISTRY OF JESUS (circa 30 CE)
Continuing for anywhere from one to three years, a Galilean Jew named Jesus preached a message of redemption and atonement (firmly in the context of other Jewish religious revivals), gathered followers in his native Galilee , preached in Jerusalem and was executed (around 30 CE). At some point after his death by public crucifixion , his disciples came to believe that a) he rose bodily from the dead ( resurrection ) and b) he was the messiah (anointed one) promised by God for human salvation. Our only sources for the life and message of Jesus are the writings of the new testament .

II. THE APOSTOLIC PERIOD (circa 30-60 CE)
Both original disciples of Jesus and those who came to believe his messiahship after his crucifixion (such as Paul ) began to spread his message around Jerusalem and the Greek-speaking eastern part of the Roman empire . Paul's letters suggest an original plurality and diversity of the beliefs and practices of these early communities. Most of our sources suggest that the movement was largely apocalyptic at this point, anticipating an imminent end to the present world order. By the 60s, there were small communities of followers all the way from Jerusalem to the city of Rome .

III. "CHURCH OF THE MARTYRS" (circa 100-300 CE)
Some time in the second century, factions of the followers of Jesus deliberately broke from their Jewish origins. At this point we can beginning considering a new, distinct religion, "Christianity." Christian communities became prominent enough to draw the disapproving attention of the Roman officials: Nero blamed the Christians for the great fire of Rome, in the 60s CE a governor in Bithynia (modern Turkey) executed individuals simply for the crime of being Christian, considered a subversive and potentially seditious movement.

persecution of Christians was neither systematic nor widespread until two brief attempts in the third century. The undercurrent of suspicion against Christians was internalized by many Christian communities who began to conceive of themselves as a holy church of " martyrs ," facing off on the side of God against the evil and corrupt Roman empire.

During this period, the original multiplicity and diversity of Christian movements in matters of belief and practice began to harden into a discourse of heresy and orthodoxy .

IV. "THE CHURCH TRIUMPHANT" (circa 300-600 CE)
In the year 313 CE the new emperor Constantine (later known as "the great") legalized Christianity, and began to give money and benefits to Christian churches around the empire. Following Constantine, all of the emperors of the Roman empire were Christian (with one exception: Julian , who reigned from 361-363 CE), and the next centuries witnessed an increasing fusion between the interests of the Roman empire and the Christian church . By the fifth century CE, Christianity was considered the "official" religion of the empire. During this time, most apocalyptic expectations began to fade from mainstream Christianity.

This merging of " church " and " state " continued as the Roman empire disintegrated: by 600 CE, most of the western half of the Roman empire was in the hands of non-Roman " barbarians ," all of whom (eventually) converted to mainstream (Catholic) Christianity. In the east, the Roman empire continued in various forms throughout the middle ages (known to historians as the Byzantine empire ).

During this period, a canon of Christian Scriptures ( old and new testaments ) came to be regularized, as did clerical offices ( priest , bishop ) and non-clerical forms of religious vocation ( monks , nuns , hermits ). Theological sophistication developed complex notions of religious rituals, definitions of divinity, and modes of Christian salvation and damnation.

V. MEDIEVAL CHRISTENDOM (circa 600-1500 CE)
The rise of "Christendom" (circa 600-1000 CE)
Christians in western Europe simultaneous created distinct nation-state kingdoms, such as France , England , Spain , and so forth, while also understanding a theoretical unity: all Christians under the spiritual leadership of the bishop of Rome ( the pope ).

Political rulers and church leaders consolidated their power during this period. From around 600 onward, the bishop of Rome (the pope ) solidified his spiritual and earthly authority, often in tandem with political rulers (such as Charlemagne , who crafted a Roman-style empire in western and central Europe, and his later self-styled successors, the " holy Roman emperors , " who formed politico-religious treaties with the pope ).

The pope often sent priests and monks as missionaries to neighboring, non-Christian states in an attempt to convert them and increase the scope of the Christian world. The Russians , Scandinavians , various central and northern European ethnic groups were converted in the centuries leading up to the millennium (1000 CE).

Christendom challenged, and affirmed (circa 1000-1300 CE)
Two events challenged, and affirmed, this notion of a unified, singular European Christendom :

1. The rise of Islam , which quickly gained a foothold in Europe in the eighth century, and remained solidly entrenched in Spain (as well as Africa and the near east ) throughout this period.
2. Increasing tension with the eastern churches (who styled themselves orthodox instead of catholic ), who refused to submit to the primacy of the bishop of Rome. By 1100, a rift had formed between the eastern Orthodox churches and the Roman Catholic church.

The awareness of these "others" on the borders of Christendom (as well as a prominent population of "others" within Europe, the Jews ) led to various intellectual, cultural, and political attempts to bolster the unity and strength of European Christian identity.

Theological sophistication incorporated philosophical ideas to illuminate increasingly complex notions of sin , atonement , salvation , and theology (definitions of god ) often in the new scholasticism in the catholic university (a notion adopted from Islam ). Spiritual innovations were often undertaken by powerful popes, and new monastic orders.

During this period both internal and external attempts to bolster catholic unity were launched: the reconquista , an attempt to rechristianize the Iberian peninsula (eventually successful in 1492 CE) the inquisition , an attempt to root out heretics and the crusades , a military-religious effort to seize the sites of biblical history from "the unfaithful" (i.e., the Muslims ).

In the Byzantine east , conflict and contact with Islamic thinkers hardened the political and religious boundaries of the old Roman empire , and led to particular religious conflicts and developments, such as the debate of the sanctity of images ( iconoclasm ). by the end of this period, the Byzantine empire had all but vanished under the military expansion of the Muslims ( ottoman Turks ).

VI. REFORMATION/COUNTER-REFORMATION (circa 1500-1700 CE)
Protestant origins and Catholic response (1500-1600 CE)
By the end of the middle ages, some Christians resisted the hardened control of the pope and the theological rigidity of scholastic theology . From the fourteenth century on, attempts at reformation of the catholic church resulted in the splintering of unified European Catholicism into distinct forms of Christianity.

Martin Luther , John Calvin , Ulrich Zwingli , and other reformers emphasized the centrality of scripture , faith (as opposed to ritual works ), and individual salvation and damnation. Their movements developed into various branches of Protestantism (a collective term for Lutheran evangelical , Calvinist/reformed , and radical reforming Christianities) with footholds in particular geographic locations.

The catholic church also launched a reformation , emphasizing renewed spirituality and mysticism , and affirming the authority and power of the papacy.

Technological and political innovation also changed Christian perspective: the printing press allowed for the circulation of Bibles and religious tracts, and increased literacy and early colonization of the "new world" (North America and the Pacific East) increased contacts with non-Christian populations.

W ars of religion (1600-1700 CE)
Religious conflict in Europe erupted into open warfare: economic revolts, rival political leaders with backing from different Catholic and Protestant groups. By the 1700s CE uneasy peace had developed under the motto cuius regio, eius religio ("to each region its own religion"), cementing the religious fragmentation of Europe. Individual nations developed particular religious character: protestant Germany, catholic France, Anglican England, and so forth.

VII. MODERN AND GLOBAL CHRISTIANITIES (circa 1700 CE-present)
The age of empire (1700-1900 CE)
The "age of exploration" evolved into the age of imperialism : Christian missionaries often traveled with imperial functionaries (from France, England, Holland, Spain) in an effort to spread Christianity to "natives." the diversity and fractiousness of European Christianity spread across the globe. One result was the creation of a deliberately multireligious political nation in North America (the united states ), which attempted to craft an uneasy balance between freedom of religion and its European Christian origins.

Massive empires spreading from western Europe, especially in the eastern hemisphere, led to the weakening of local states and cultures under European rule and influence ( India , turkey , Egypt , Africa ) . Religious and political forms of resistance emerged towards the end of the imperial period, emphasizing local religious and political autonomy. The first world war (1914-1919) resulted in a new understanding of the link between culture, religion, and nationalism as the old empires disintegrated..

Technological and philosophical advancements also challenged Christian world-views: the industrial revolution and the rise of philosophical rationalism both emphasized human progress over divine providence , weakening the hold of organized religion over daily life. Religious revivals and new Christian movements ( Methodists , Quakers , Mormons , Baptists ) emerged in response to this new secularization.

M odernity and globalism (1900s CE-present)
Continuing multiplicity and diversity of Christianity, linked to the emergence of cultural and political entities independent of European control, created a complex set of concerns for global Christianities:

Tension between Christian and native cultures has resulted into the (eventual) modernization of religious traditions, such as the second Vatican council (1962-65 CE) that allowed for recitation of ritual services in local languages and the incorporation of local customs. Other forms of Christianity likewise struggle with the tension between Christian tradition and recognizing the value of non-European custom.

In the wake of World War II , Christians (in Europe and elsewhere) also started making efforts to connect better with other religious faith traditions, aware of the role played by religious prejudice in the violent wars of the 20th century CE. Movements emphasizing ecumenism (unity between different branches of Christianity) and interfaith (dialogue between Christians and non-Christians) have emerged.

Christian identity, however, continues to serve as a flashpoint for political and cultural conflict, and modernized nation-states struggle with values of unifying traditional identities (religious, cultural) and the global values of diversity and multiculturalism .


Mariner’s Compass

Image source: subspaceboise.com

A Chinese traveler Zheng He basically used this compass. He’d carried out 7 sea voyages in the time period between 1405 and 1433 AD. The specific year of the creation of the compass isn’t identified.

On the other hand, it is claimed to have been created throughout the Qin Empire between 221 and 206 BC. Lodestone was the material which was used to create the compass. This particular ore of metal comes in the magnetized form. Most of these lodestones directed southwards, and for that reason, people started using them as a compass.

In the past, the lodestones were created in the shape of a spoon. Magnetic tiny needles substituted them in the Eighth century, after which these were used as devices on warships. At some point, European people also came to know about the compass.


Impact on the Muslims and Jews

So far, we have talked about the impact the crusades had on the people on the side of the church. So what about the ones who are not on the churches’ side?

The Muslims

The crusades affected the people in Jerusalem greatly, of which a large number were Muslims. A great unknown number lost their lives in battles and massacres. An anonymous writer connected with Bohemund of Antioch wrote the Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolymytanorum (The Deeds of the Franks). This text was used by the later writers as one of the most important primary sources of the First crusade. It states that, “…the slaughter (which happened when the Muslims were seeking shelter in the Temple Mount inside Al-Aqsa Mosque) was so great that [their] men waded in blood up to their ankles….”.

The Crusaders also “destroyed shrines, killed nearly all the city’s inhabitants, burned copies of the Qur’an”, says historian Ibn Muyassar (cited in Hillenbrand’s The Crusades – Islamic Perspectives, p66). Many historians agree that the succession of crusades deteriorated Muslim-Christian relations and disrupted the region’s peace.

However, not all impacts were harmful. For instance, there was an exposure to new weapons and military ideas. These, which they began to adopt after the first crusades, aided them in the subsequent ones. Furthermore, Muslim merchants earned wealth from trade with Europe, which helped them to fund new mosques and religious schools.

The Jews

The Jews are, although a minority group in the big picture of the crusades, an important community to take note of in the crusades due to their significant long relationship with Jerusalem, their spiritual capital (it held many Great Temples such as The Temple of Solomon) until they were forced to leave. Although the Jews were not directly involved in the crusades, they were still heavily affected by them.

During their pilgrimage, the crusaders passed a few Jewish communities. These communities existed along Germany of Speyer, Worms, Mainz, Rhine and Cologne (pp 9-10). The crusaders decided to force the Jews to join the Crusades or be killed, probably thinking the Jews would willingly join them because of their strong identity with Jerusalem. However, the Jews disagreed as they couldn’t justify attacking Muslims in Jerusalem while they were tolerant of Muslims living among them undisturbed. To solve their predicament, most of the Jews chose an honorable suicide, “Kiddush HaShem” (sanctification in the name of God by being holy). They killed their own family members with their own hands before taking their own lives. The ones who did not choose this were branded as traitors and killed by the crusaders.

Conclusion

Clearly, the crusades impacted the lives of all populations mentioned earlier – where lives were either ended, made worse or made better. It may not seem important to us now, but it was a huge event that we cannot be ignorant of. War fueled by a religion – or any war – brings out the best and worst in people. People brought up with strict pacifist morals were suddenly looting, assaulting, and killing. Ideas and technology were shared, but at the cost of many lives. From a strategic perspective, the crusades were messy mostly failures. Parallels can be drawn to current world events, so as not to repeat the past.


Watch the video: Timeline of the Rulers of Germany 843 - 2020 (August 2022).