The Crusades spanned many centuries and were a series of Holy wars! Read more about the First Crusade 1099 – Amazing Timeline and Dates >>
See 3 maps of that show the journey taken by the crusader armies during the First crusade! Read more about the First Crusade Maps >>
The Nobility of Europe were in charge of the First Crusades, not Kings Read more about the Who Took Part in the First Crusade? >>
Discover the main leaders of the First Crusades to the Holy Lands Read more about the Who were the leaders of the First Crusades >>
“The First Crusade was a uniquely powerful and transformative event, which fundamentally changed the course of European and Middle Eastern history.”Jonathan Riley-Smith, British historian and leading authority on the Crusades.
The First Crusade would be led by important Nobles from across Europe and not by Kings as was the case in many of the later crusades of the medieval period.
The 1st crusade to the Holy Land was led by Bishop Adhemar also known as Adémar or Aimar under the instruction of Pope Urban II.
Adhemar was one of the most important figures of the first crusades and was heavily involved in important crusader victories such as the Siege of Antioch and the Battle of Dorylaeum.
“The First Crusade represented a clash of civilizations between the Christian West and the Islamic East, which would shape the course of world history for centuries to come.”Christopher Tyerman, British historian and author of “God’s War: A New History of the Crusades.”
There were five main bodies of troops for the first crusade and each army was led by a nobleman. There were many wealthy noblemen across Europe that were sympathetic to the Christian cause of reclaiming the Holylands from Muslim rule.
It was therefore easy to recruit armies to fight for the Christian cause during the first crusade.
“The First Crusade was an extraordinary undertaking, in which thousands of people from across Europe risked everything to fight for their faith and their ideals.”Thomas Asbridge, British historian and author of several books on the Crusades.
Many people wanted to be soldiers in the first crusade and there were many volunteers. The Pope had told criminals and ex-communicated people that they would be given a pardon if they came back alive from fighting the Muslim armies in the first crusade.
“The First Crusade was a brutal and violent conflict that left a lasting impact on the peoples and cultures of the medieval world.”Jay Rubenstein, American historian and author of “Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse.”
The armies of the 1st crusade were truly heroic and fought against almost impossible odds. Just 30,000 crusaders troops were commanded by a warrior named Bohemond, under his direction these first crusade armies were able to keep at bay a much larger army of Muslim Turks.
The Crusader armies were very disciplined and organized and fought as one, however, the Turkish armies were disorganized and undisciplined and there was much infighting within the Muslim armies’ ranks.
During the first crusade, the Crusader armies were under immense pressure from the sheer numbers of Muslim Turk soldiers, and at one point they were struggling to hold them back.
“The First Crusade was not only a military campaign, but also a complex social and cultural movement that reflected the changing nature of medieval society.”Alan V. Murray, British historian and author of “The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Dynastic History, 1099-1125.”
Legend has it that in a particularly bad point of the battle for the crusader armies the <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Lance” data-mce-href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Lance”>holy lance </a>that pierced the body of Jesus when he was crucified was found
this was considered to be a miracle among the Christian troops and this renewed and strengthen their resolve to win the battle.
There was a lot of rivalry and infighting among the Muslim armies who throughout history have never trusted one another.
Before the Christian crusaders could even reach the walls of Jerusalem, the Muslim Turks who were in control of Jerusalem at that time had been defeated in battle by Fatimid Muslims
The 1st crusade had been started to reclaim the Holy lands from Muslim Turks, it had not been decided to fight all Muslims many of whom had very different views on the world.
In fact, the Fatimid Muslims were quite tolerant of Christian people are more willing to share the Holy city with the crusaders and give them safe passage to Jerusalem and Mount Zion Fatimid Muslims.
The battle hardened crusaders however were in no mood for negotiation and decided that they would capture the Holy lands of Jerusalem for the Christian faith against all Muslims, this would escalate the first crusades into a Holy war against all Muslims and the Islamic religion.
In 1099 the Christian crusaders were finally at the walls of Jerusalem and were in no mood to take any prisoners . The crusaders used battering Rams and Siege towers to break through and scale the walls of Jerusalem.
Once inside the walls the crusaders went on a rampage slaughtering everyone in their path, it is described as being a bloodbath with bodies knee deep and blood everywhere.
At the end of the battle over 70,000 Muslims and Jews had been killed and Jerusalem was now officially a Christian city.