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The Real History of the Crusades
Christianity Today ^ | 5/6/2005 | Thomas F. Madden

Posted on 08/16/2013 12:04:25 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

With the possible exception of Umberto Eco, medieval scholars are not used to getting much media attention. We tend to be a quiet lot (except during the annual bacchanalia we call the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, of all places), poring over musty chronicles and writing dull yet meticulous studies that few will read. Imagine, then, my surprise when within days of the September 11 attacks, the Middle Ages suddenly became relevant.

As a Crusade historian, I found the tranquil solitude of the ivory tower shattered by journalists, editors, and talk-show hosts on tight deadlines eager to get the real scoop. What were the Crusades?, they asked. When were they? Just how insensitive was President George W. Bush for using the word crusade in his remarks? With a few of my callers I had the distinct impression that they already knew the answers to their questions, or at least thought they did. What they really wanted was an expert to say it all back to them. For example, I was frequently asked to comment on the fact that Islamic world has a just grievance against the West. Doesn't present violence, they persisted, have its roots in the Crusades' brutal, unprovoked attacks against a sophisticated and tolerant Muslim world? In other words, aren't the Crusades really to blame?

Osama bin Laden certainly thinks so. In his various video performances, he never fails to describe the American war against terrorism as a new Crusade against Islam. Ex-president Bill Clinton has also fingered the Crusades as the root cause of the present conflict. In a speech at Georgetown University, he recounted (and embellished) a massacre of Jews after the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 and informed his audience that the episode was still bitterly remembered in the Middle East.

(Excerpt) Read more at christianitytoday.com ...


TOPICS: History; Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: alreadyposted; crusades; history; islam; thecrusades; thomasfmadden; thomasmadden
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1 posted on 08/16/2013 12:04:26 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Here’s a helpful article describing the real history of the Crusades.

For those who feel that the article is too long, Here are some key facts:

* They were a defensive response to centuries of Muslim aggression.

* Attacking Jews was condemned by the Pope and never the purpose of a Crusade

* Crusaders for the most part were pious men who sacrificed a great deal to go on a crusade

* The real history of the crusades isn’t clean, and it’s a lot more complicated than the common misconception.

Historian Thomas Madden summarizes:

“So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.”


2 posted on 08/16/2013 12:06:17 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I also found Bruce Shelley's article on the Crusades an interesting examination of the motivations behind the Crusades: the Crusades were defensive to start, the papacy was aggressive militarily, and Europe was entering an era of self-conscious unity. Shelley examines the historical context, but also raises some questions worth asking in any era.

"The Crusades raise deep questions about the human heart. What is the nature of a "good" society? How do we restrain evil? Can "good" be defined by Christian doctrine? If so, how shall destructive ideas (called "heresy") be eliminated from society? Such questions are not buried in the twelfth century. Thoughtful Christians today, concerned about the moral decline in our own society, are asking essentially the same questions."


3 posted on 08/16/2013 12:08:47 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: warsaw44

read


4 posted on 08/16/2013 12:08:55 PM PDT by warsaw44
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To: SeekAndFind

Without the Crusades Europe would’ve been a Caliphate. Period.


5 posted on 08/16/2013 12:10:33 PM PDT by MeganC (A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don't have one, you'll never need one again.)
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To: SeekAndFind; SunkenCiv

I have a copy of Desmond Sewards “Monks of War”


6 posted on 08/16/2013 12:11:12 PM PDT by Perdogg (Cruz-Paul 2016)
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To: SeekAndFind

bookmark


7 posted on 08/16/2013 12:12:03 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: MeganC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Qpy0mXg8Y

Also covers what really helped contribute to the fall of the Roman Empire..


8 posted on 08/16/2013 12:12:28 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: SeekAndFind
Islam's Sack of Rome of 846 AD was launched from Southern Italy and Sicily which was occupied by Islam until 1091 AD with help from the Vikings drove Islam out. The first crusade was launched on 1096 AD as a counter attack to help the Byzantine's fight Islam.

Three years after Italy removed the last Islamic base out of Sicily ending the +450 year Islamic reign the first crusade started. Similar with Spain in 1492 the year celebrated as the last year of the 781-year Islamic law in Spain.

9 posted on 08/16/2013 12:12:44 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: SeekAndFind
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
(Edgar A Poe - The Raven)

Instead of an obnoxious black bird, in this writer's case, it even more obnoxious and presumptive 'journalists' mining and minting guilt for daring to disrupt those halcyon days of Islamic Conquest and rule.

10 posted on 08/16/2013 12:13:53 PM PDT by SES1066 (Government governs best when it governs least!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Crusaders ransacked and slaughtered non-Moslems all the way to Jerusalem and back..

especially the Jews and locals in Germany and other low country areas they passed through..

sometimes it was the strange new language, or a misunderstanding or just plain ruthlessness..

many “crusaders” never reached Jerusalem but decided they had already arrived when they got to an area somewhat different from their own...

and in Jerusalem anyone dressed starngly were identified as Sarasans and attacked accordingly...

and then there was that “Christ killers” thingy..


11 posted on 08/16/2013 12:16:48 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: SeekAndFind
I subscribed to Real Crusades History on Youtube. This guy is fantastic here is an example:
Vlad the Impaler: Crusader Vampire?
12 posted on 08/16/2013 12:20:08 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: Tennessee Nana

OTOH, knights were a pretty brutal bunch. Their attacks on the locals in Hungary and elsewhere weren’t greatly different from how they behaved at home.

“Private war,” which consisted mostly of ravaging the neighbor’s lands, was endemic in the feudal areas. Ravaging, in this case, being a euphemism for destroying the enemy’s resources by raping and killing his serfs and burning his buildings and crops.


13 posted on 08/16/2013 12:30:07 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Steve Van Doorn
Islam's Sack of Rome of 846 AD was launched from Southern Italy and Sicily which was occupied by Islam until 1091 AD with help from the Vikings drove Islam out.

The Muslim Sack of Rome never actually got into the city. They raided outlying churches, mostly.

The guys who finally reconquered S. Italy and Sicily weren't Vikings. Their ancestors had been, but in the previous century or so they'd intermarried extensively with the pre-Viking inhabitants of Normandy and become the Normans, a peculiarly aggressive sub-species of French nobility.

14 posted on 08/16/2013 12:35:43 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: SeekAndFind

My wife made extensive use of this book researching a paper for her Church History class last year. It is a really good read!


15 posted on 08/16/2013 12:39:08 PM PDT by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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To: SeekAndFind

bump for later


16 posted on 08/16/2013 12:42:27 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: SeekAndFind
Return to Mecca
17 posted on 08/16/2013 12:43:30 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
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To: Tennessee Nana
said, "The Crusaders ransacked and slaughtered non-Moslems all *on* the way to Jerusalem and back.."

That did happen one time there is no record of Richard the lionheart giving those orders and the men were punished for their acts.

18 posted on 08/16/2013 12:49:18 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: SeekAndFind

The Muslims had attempted a conquest of Europe long before the launching of the Crusades. Charles Martel defeated them at Tours in 732 AD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tours

Tours is just barely in the northern half of France and just barely in the western half of France. So the Muslims had advanced well into the heart of Europe at the time.


19 posted on 08/16/2013 12:51:38 PM PDT by the_Watchman
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To: SeekAndFind
The Fourth Crusade (1201-1204) ran aground when it was seduced into a web of Byzantine politics, which the Westerners never fully understood. They had made a detour to Constantinople to support an imperial claimant who promised great rewards and support for the Holy Land. Yet once he was on the throne of the Caesars, their benefactor found that he could not pay what he had promised. Thus betrayed by their Greek friends, in 1204 the Crusaders attacked, captured, and brutally sacked Constantinople, the greatest Christian city in the world. Pope Innocent III, who had previously excommunicated the entire Crusade, strongly denounced the Crusaders. But there was little else he could do. The tragic events of 1204 closed an iron door between Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox, a door that even today Pope John Paul II has been unable to reopen. It is a terrible irony that the Crusades, which were a direct result of the Catholic desire to rescue the Orthodox people, drove the two further—and perhaps irrevocably—apart.

Ping for later.

20 posted on 08/16/2013 12:53:15 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Thus, my opponent's argument falls.")
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To: Sherman Logan
said, "The Muslim Sack of Rome never actually got into the city."

Makes no difference the attack came from Italy it didn't come from a far away base. The vikings were loyal to Italy as proven when those same troops that removed Islam from Sicily joined the first crusade.

21 posted on 08/16/2013 12:53:50 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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About once a year since 2002 (or perhaps before):
Thomas F. Madden crusades site:freerepublic.com
Google

22 posted on 08/16/2013 12:55:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: Tennessee Nana; betty boop; marron; Alamo-Girl; CottShop; metmom; xzins; GodGunsGuts; Fichori; ...

Oh, boy! Here we go.


23 posted on 08/16/2013 12:55:51 PM PDT by YHAOS
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To: SeekAndFind
We will be fighting islam with one hand tied behind our backs until the real truth of islam (politically incorrect for some reason...) is finally understood by the masses.

Why are The Crusades considered an unprovoked attack on islam? Why aren't the mooselimbs 4 centuries of attacks on Christendom not discussed? Why is it OK for the mooselimbs to assume any land conquered by them will always belong to them even if re-conquered by an opposing force (say the people who originally lived there)? Why don't people understand that islam is not a live-and-let-live "religion"?

Why is it called the religion of peace, when it is really the religion of submission?

24 posted on 08/16/2013 12:56:23 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: Alex Murphy
said, "Thus betrayed by their Greek friends, in 1204 the Crusaders attacked, captured, and brutally sacked Constantinople"

The rightful king was forced out of power the crusaders attempted to put him back into power that is why they attacked.

25 posted on 08/16/2013 12:59:16 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: Tennessee Nana
I re-read your post you write as an Islamic historian.
Jerusalem was never a choice to take.
26 posted on 08/16/2013 1:02:02 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: jeffc
Why is it called the religion of peace, when it is really the religion of submission?

It would be more accurate to call it the religion of domination. All must submit to Islam, which will then dominate the world.

27 posted on 08/16/2013 1:04:39 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Alex Murphy
I would suggest watching this:
Why the Fourth Crusade Attacked Constantinople
28 posted on 08/16/2013 1:10:25 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: Steve Van Doorn
The rightful king was forced out of power the crusaders attempted to put him back into power that is why they attacked.

Well, that's one way of looking at it.

The Byzantines, like the Romans before them, never established a solid rule for succession to the throne. So it was always an open question who was the "rightful emperor."

The Angelos dynasty overthrew the Komnenoi dynasty in 1186. The first Angelos emperor (Isaac) was dethroned and blinded by his own brother, who became the second Angelos emperor.

The son of the first emperor (Alexios) fled to the west and cut a deal with the Crusaders. They'd put him back on the throne and he'd pay off their debts to the Venetians and help them retake Jerusalem.

The Crusaders captured Constantinople for him, whereupon he discovered he didn't have the resources to fulfill his pledges. Trying to do so anyway just pissed off his own people by excessive taxation, who dethroned and killed him and put an anti-crusader noble up as the new emperor.

The Crusaders attacked and took the City again, and this time divided it and as much of the Empire as they could grab between themselves and the Venetians.

IOW, the story of the Fourth Crusade is much more complex and interesting than the normal version of evil westerners attacking innocent and peaceful Byzantines.

29 posted on 08/16/2013 1:22:21 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: SeekAndFind
Madden is one of the better Crusades scholars. In my opinion, the key to understanding them is to read the primary sources like this one:


30 posted on 08/16/2013 1:24:08 PM PDT by Antoninus (Sorry, gone rogue.)
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To: SeekAndFind

bkmk


31 posted on 08/16/2013 1:34:48 PM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: GraceG
Bill Warner does a very good overview of the crusades.
He also shows it was Islam that destroyed the Roman Empire.
32 posted on 08/16/2013 1:36:02 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: Steve Van Doorn

Ping


33 posted on 08/16/2013 1:36:41 PM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Steve Van Doorn

Nice video. Leaves out the whole bit about the attack on Zara, which was a key phase in the turning of the Crusade away from the East.

What people tend to forget is how poverty-stricken, by modern standards, Europe was at the time. Getting an army of tens of thousands to the other end of the Med in a condition to fight and win was an astonishingly difficult and expensive endeavor at the time. It is quite amazing that the Crusades were as successful as they were.


34 posted on 08/16/2013 1:37:14 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: SeekAndFind

Will read all later.


35 posted on 08/16/2013 1:39:44 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
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To: Steve Van Doorn

More than a bump .. I urge myself to read this with deliberation


36 posted on 08/16/2013 1:40:55 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: Sherman Logan

Very well said. The post just before yours I posted a video of the same story.


37 posted on 08/16/2013 1:41:10 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: Steve Van Doorn
Islam ... destroyed the Roman Empire.

Depends on how you define the Empire.

The western half was of course long-gone before Mo was born. The Eastern Roman Empire was severely damaged by Islam, but still managed to hang on for another 800 years or so.

Much of the rapid spread of Islam in North Africa and the Levant was due to Byzantine political and especially religious persecution of dissenters in those areas. Many of the inhabitants saw Muslim conquest as less oppressive than continued Byzantine rule. So they didn't resist very hard, or even joined the invaders.

And for a while they might very well have been right. But Islam in the long run sucks the life out of everything it touches.

38 posted on 08/16/2013 1:41:22 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Tennessee Nana

“...and in Jerusalem anyone dressed strangely were identified as Saracens and attacked accordingly...”

True as it went, but the reason Jews & Christians were indistinguishable from Muslims in Jerusalem was the Muslim overlords’ forcing people of all faiths to dress according to Islamic fashions.

The Crusaders breached the walls & found (all men at least) wearing caftans & turbans & they assumed (wrongly) that all were Muslim. The slaughter that ensued was inexcusable, but war is h*** sometimes.


39 posted on 08/16/2013 2:07:48 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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To: Sherman Logan
said, "The Eastern Roman Empire was severely damaged by Islam"

Very true and Bill Warner's video shows how Islam attacked the Byzantine empire economy. They didn't just attack the Byzantine's. All of Europe's trade became nearly none existent which created such a dismal life for people in Europe and why we call it the dark ages.

Islam still uses the same tactic today because that was Mo's mode of Operation as a bandit and chief.

40 posted on 08/16/2013 2:16:06 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: Steve Van Doorn
All of Europe's trade became nearly none existent

Islam and its raiders/pirates basically destroyed trade in the Med. But to claim that this in and of itself destroyed all trade across Europe seems a bit of a stretch. Riverborne and land routes were still available, if a lot more expensive.

During the period in question, the Vikings were ravaging north and west Europe, the Saracens were attacking from the South, and the Magyars were attacking from the East.

Each of these groups penetrated so far into the Continent that it brings up the possibility of their actually bumping into each other. In fact, it's probable, since we know some of the Viking raids penetrated into the Med.

Magyar raids penetrated into central Spain, western France, and southern Italy. They really got around. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kalandozasok.jpg

IOW, the decline of trade and civilization was not due solely or even necessarily to Islamic aggression.

41 posted on 08/16/2013 2:34:23 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Steve Van Doorn

The narrator’s voice really puts me off. Sorry.


42 posted on 08/16/2013 2:49:16 PM PDT by jodyel
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To: Berlin_Freeper

Really, the Jews in Arabia??

Never heard of such.


43 posted on 08/16/2013 2:54:40 PM PDT by jodyel
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To: SunkenCiv

Very popular topic.


44 posted on 08/16/2013 2:55:51 PM PDT by jodyel
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To: Sherman Logan
I agree there were other raiders. This all boils down to these raiders made the roads and the seas unsafe and trade nearly stopped. This is what created the dark ages.

I have to point out Islam was the worst of these groups and they controlled the seas raiding at will.

When Rome controlled the seas and roads they were relatively safe for trade.

45 posted on 08/16/2013 3:22:21 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: jodyel

yeah in the last year he has been over acting. he is a little pompous but he present very interesting information


46 posted on 08/16/2013 3:28:04 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: SeekAndFind

From my reading of history, wasn’t the LAST CRUSADE the Spanish attack on England in 1588? The Spanish tried again a few years later and again failed to conquer England.


47 posted on 08/16/2013 3:28:07 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need 7+ more ammo. LOTS MORE.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The commonly misunderstood Crusades were used as a cudgel against Catholicism here until 9/11.

Then they disappeared, to be replaced by the commonly misunderstood Galileo affair.

This is progress.


48 posted on 08/16/2013 3:47:43 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: Steve Van Doorn

You may be right. And Islam got started a good deal earlier than the Vikings and Magyars, whose attacks may very well have been made easier by the general decline of Europe.


49 posted on 08/16/2013 3:48:59 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Tennessee Nana

And without the Crusades, Europe would have succumbed to Islam.

History can be complicated.


50 posted on 08/16/2013 3:53:50 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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