Posted by: asianshock | March 2, 2011

The Crusades

Today we had a guest lecturer present the topic of Crusader Jerusalem. This period extended from 1099-1187. Several factors contributed to the Crusades. One was the rise of the Roman Empire in Western Europe along with the division of Christianity into different sects. Another factor was revenge for the persecution of the Christian population in Jerusalem. The Holy Sepulcher was even set on fire in 965 by Al0Hakim and killed the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Christians also had a difficult time making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem because they would be shot and killed along the way.
The Crusades started rolling when Pope Urban II made a speech in 1095 urging Christians to take action and liberate Jerusalem. Christians began planning and gathering resources over the next few years. Then on July 15th, 1099, the northern walls of Jerusalem were breached. Jerusalem was conquered by Godfrey de Bouillon and Jerusalem was divided into four quarters.
These four quarters were the Patriarch’s quarter near the holy sepulcher, the Templar’s quarter on the Temple Mount, the Syrian quarter where the city was initially breached, and the Armenian quarter in the southwest. The Crusaders modified the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and rebuilt many of the ruined Byzantine churches.
The Crusaders met their match in 1187 against Saladin, the Muslim leader that trapped the Crusaders on the Horns of Hattin. Saladin gave the Holy Sepulcher to the Greeks. There was a 3rd Crusade in 1187 led by Richard “the Lionheart” which was quite successful. Although he failed to recapture Jerusalem, he made a truce with Saladin to allow Christians to return to the city.

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