Skip to comments.Crusaders and Jerusalem
Posted on 01/17/2010 6:52:18 PM PST by Ryde
Freepers: I happened to be reading my grandson's college text on the Middle East. Now I know that the crusades were a bloody affair--but all wars are bloody. In an age where there were no firearms, warriors often ended up fighting nose-to-nose and covered in each other's gore. Now according to the text, no more than 12,000 crusaders made it to Jerusalem in total--1,500 men in armor. Then they fought their way over the walls--were repulsed once--and then had to fight their way uphill to take the city. So, when the capture occurred, there could not have been a whole lot of crusaders left uninjured. Yet, the language used is that the crusaders massacred the entire city. I am skeptical. What say you?
Which crusade are you referring to?
It’s a lot more complicated than one battle.
I would be very skeptical, the barbarians weren’t exactly unarmed peaceniks. Remember Christendom was fighting a defensive war, thats what the Crusades were.
Apparently we’re still fighting them.
It would appear that many accounts of the Crusades include accounts of great massacres of Jews and Moslems.
Given the brutal nature of the hand-to-hand kind of combat of that time it no doubt was bloody to the extent one side stood and fought. My uneducated guess is that after some initial contact and fighting, both side probably withdrew and might have waited to see what the other side might do. Given the rather cowardly way Muslims fight my guess is they high-tailed at the first oppurtunity so there might not have been a lot of Crusaders dead and wounded. As to slaughtering a whole city? Why do that when there might have been loot to go after.
Couldn’t be. There were simply not enough Crusaders even to set up a seige. There is no possible way for them to have sealed off the city and conducted a general massacre. Maybe all that remained to fight would have been put to the sword, but even that seems unlikely. The general rule was to keep captives for slaves and ransom/
When the crusaders took Jerusalem there was wide-scale carnage. The crusaders’ own accounts talk about “blood up to the horses bridles,” but I’ve never heard it claimed that they wiped out the entire city.
The fighting was indeed desperate and It was only with difficulty that Godfrey de Boullion's troops gained the city.
Most of the inhabitants (moslem and jew) were butchered in the streets or tortured to reveal their money, gold, jewels etc. Many corpses were cut open to retrieve jewels that had been swallowed.
Only a few of the defenders under the Fathimad governor held up in David's tower and were able to negotiate their safe passage from the city.
All in all it's estimated about 30K men wonmen and children were killed
This is not a comment on Christianity. Just typical war in the 11th century. Neither the crusaders nor their Islamic counterparts thought what occured particularly unusual. A city under seige had disdained an offer to surrender under reasonable terms. If such a city was taken by storm with great loss to the attackers, little mercy could be expected.
This I know for a fact is not true. I have read a great deal about the Hundred Years War and the rule was kill all but the knights who might pay ransom. Since I posted to you I have checked 3 on line encyclopedia sources about the First Crusade and they all agree that there was a massacre of some size and that it was common practice in that day.
You can read the sources for yourself here (in English):
When the religious Christians leaders from Europe made their annual treks to visit the Holy Land, the Muslims charged a tariff or refused their entrance entirely.
Upon returning home, Christian leaders in England, Italy and other countries decided to "defend" their most holy of holy sites by evicting Muslims (who had first "evicted" the Jews and Christians living there).
That the "evictions" were by force, is undoubtedly true but the "victims" were not only the Muslims, as they would have you believe, especially in today's world.
Where are the Templars, now that we need them?
Are you sure you aren't talking about the Turks taking Constantinople?
Even WackyPedia acknowledges the slaughter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_Constantinople
I've seen that phrase before, but always in conjunction with the sack of Constantinople.
That is obviously not true. There are still over a million Christians in Egypt and still quite a few in Iraq and Lebanon.
I want Constantinople back.
Here's wikipedia's description:
"...in the Temple and porch of Solomon men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins."
They go on to say
"The slaughter of large numbers of Muslims on the Temple Mount is sometimes dubiously projected into the entire city, with some modern commentators claiming that all or almost all of the inhabitants of the city were killed. There is no eyewitness evidence for such a wholesale slaughter outside the Temple Mount area.
That’s different. Egypt isn’t at war with the copts.
Well, I screwed up the hyperlink...
Not everyone who now lives anywhere has spent generations in the same place.
Christians continued to be able to visit the holy places...I believe the first problems were centuries later with certain fanatical Muslim leaders who caused problems for Christian pilgrims. Then the Byzantines were defeated by the Turks at Manzikert in 1071 and the Byzantine emperor looked to the West for help. Pope Urban II made the recovery of Jerusalem rather than aiding the Byzantine emperor the main goal.
Thank you, this was a very interesting exchange. So much for my applying logic to military matters!
The record is a bit confused but there is no indication that every Jew and Muslim was killed.
“There the Saracens assembled and resisted fiercely all day, so that the whole temple flowed with their blood. At last the pagans were overcome and our men seized many men and women in the temple, killing them or keeping them alive as they saw fit. On the roof of the temple there was a great crowd of pagans of both sexes, to whom Tancred and Gaston de Beert gave their banners [to provide them with protection] .
The prisoners taken in that battle were forced to help build the Leonine Walls which stand around the Vatican today.
I was merely commenting on an absolute statement which was simply not true, the millions of Christians in the Islamic world (many practicing in ancient churches) still attest to that.
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