Author Topic: Commoners of the crusades.  (Read 1078 times)

Genericguy

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Commoners of the crusades.
« on: May 31, 2012, 12:27:48 AM »
Historically speaking, how were the crusades justified to the commoners fighting in them?

history_geek

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 12:49:06 AM »
Pope Urban II: "Deus Vult!"

Basically. And if you went to the crusade, all of your sins would be forgiven. Those were about the only justification the common folk needed.

However, the nobility were a matter of their own, who were most likely lured in by promises of loot, land, political power and, of course, glorious conquests and honour for them.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 12:51:18 AM by history_geek »
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Genericguy

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 01:14:18 AM »
Do you think the promise of wealth was dangled like an unreachable carrot in front of the commoners eyes? It's hard for me to imagine "it's gods will" being enough.

history_geek

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2012, 02:00:58 AM »
Do you think the promise of wealth was dangled like an unreachable carrot in front of the commoners eyes? It's hard for me to imagine "it's gods will" being enough.

Well it wasn't exactly part of the "official" policy, as the first crusaders were supposed to rid themselves of their worldly possessions, only taking with them the essentials such as basic clothing and a weapon of some sort, if I remember correctly. But undoubtedly it wasn't only the upper classes  that was interested in shiny things....
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Arthur C Clarke's Third Law
"Any sufficiently advanced alien is indistinguishable from a god."
 Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace:
Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothése - I do not require that hypothesis[img]http://www.dakkadakka.com/s/i/a/4eef2cc3548cc9844a491b22ad384546.gif[/i

Crow

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 02:47:06 AM »
Back then there weren't many free folk, you were most likely a serf of some sort and once the knights and lords had been smitten by the idea of salvation the common folk were taken care of. Shit runs down hill and when you have a Lord with their own personal army its' go and fight or be killed.
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Genericguy

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 10:28:53 AM »
Todays average christian believes the laws of old testament no longer apply. It would make sense to think that the christians back then did not have that same belief. The god of the OT was violent and endorsed wars. The OT seems to fit the state of mind of the people back then. That might have made it easier for them to abide.

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 10:45:53 AM »
Todays average christian believes the laws of old testament no longer apply. It would make sense to think that the christians back then did not have that same belief. The god of the OT was violent and endorsed wars. The OT seems to fit the state of mind of the people back then. That might have made it easier for them to abide.

I think whats more obvious to why people had that mindset was they believed the bible to absolute truth (or what they were told anyway) and everything within society emphasized this. The monarchies where ordained by the church, the leaders of the church's were the only people more powerful than the monarchies, and they were usually the younger siblings of the kings of the time. The churches controlled the land, they controlled the food and water. The people of the church were the only literate and educated people, they could speak strange languages, they were very wealthy and church members were employed to run the financial affairs of the kings and lords. The church was visible and in control of every part of society back in those days. They told you it was the word of god, it was the word of god and if you challenged them well god (they) would take action against you.
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Gawen

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 09:57:14 PM »
Historically speaking, how were the crusades justified to the commoners fighting in them?
While all the posts are accurate, the simple fact is that the crusades were never really justified, so to speak. If a Pope wanted to march through the Holy Land, that was all the justification one ever needed. Excommunication, torture or death, the loss of your land (so generously given you by the lord) was the stick. Riches fame and glory along with all your sins revoked was the carrot. The problem was - the commoners that got the stick (whether they felt justified or not; they were the ones doing most of the fighting) and the nobles that got the carrot.
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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 10:17:00 AM »
One explanaition that I came across was that they didn't really know what to do with a militarised Europe after the Hundred Years War, and channeling that to an "other" (infidels) seemed the logical conclsuion.
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history_geek

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2012, 05:37:00 AM »
One explanaition that I came across was that they didn't really know what to do with a militarised Europe after the Hundred Years War, and channeling that to an "other" (infidels) seemed the logical conclsuion.

Might sound like a reasonable, but the first Crusade happened in 1095-99, where as the Hundred Years War took place in around 1337 to 1453.

If we are talking about the reasons for the crusades in a more broad sense, allow me to quote myself on a another forum:

Quote
The causes of the Crusades are multiple. Although you are correct the Pope didn't "wake up one day and decide to start a fight with Islam", neither did he have the authority to command any military action in the Middle East. Why? Because those land belonged to the Byzantine Empire, which was Orthodox and not under his sphere of influence. The division of the two major sect of Christianity was still in fresh memory, and the Empire would never have allowed European armies to enter its lands. But, as it was, soon after the battle of Manzikert in 1071 which saw the Seljuk Turks wrest the control of Asia Minor from the hands of the Empire, the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos requested the Pope Urban II for "mercenaries" or volunteers to defend his realm. What he got was a plunder force that fanatically pursued the goal of conquering Jerusalem. And in the end it ended in tears for the Empire, as the fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople itself.

Also, I must add a further reason that most likely affected the coming spirit of the so called "Holy War": the massacre of 3000 Christian pilgrims in the city by the Turks that ended the 400 years of tolerance policy of the Saracens Caliphs. The Turks had invaded the city in 1065. Until then the Saracens had ruled the city and allowed the Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem, first under Frankish and later Byzantine protection, and there were Christian communities as well as Jewish communities in the city, though the Christians had to obey strict rules and had their freedoms were quite severely restricted. That changed when the Turks took control, and more hostile stance to the two other Abrahamic religions were adapted, resulting in the incident of 3000 pilgrims being killed.
There were also the political ambitions of several European rulers, the Pope amongst them, to be considered. Not only was the Middle East a destination for thousands of pilgrims, it was also a commercially and economically hub of its day, as imports from Europe, Asia and Africa passing through there. Whoever was able to lay claim to them, could amass a considerable wealth, as many Crusaders eventually did.
The last reason however was religion itself, though that was as far as I’m concerned the reason for so many people of the lower classes to take up a cross and a sword or anything else heavy that could be considered as a weapon, as they were promised to be forgiven for all their sins in doing so. This encouraged thousands upon thousands of peasants to leave their lands and go to the “holy land” (if you ask me, they might as well dedicate it to Khorne, so much blood has been spilled over that stretch of land...), that concluded in what can only be the massacre of Jerusalem by these “warrior of faith”.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Arthur C Clarke's Third Law
"Any sufficiently advanced alien is indistinguishable from a god."
 Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace:
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2012, 11:02:28 PM »
Derp, I never paid any attention to dates ::)
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2012, 06:02:56 AM »
Also, remember that the Islamic Moors starting invading Spain in 711.  Charles Martel stopped them at Tours in 732, but the Moors stayed in Spain until the 15th Century or so.  So, if the Muslims can invade Christian Europe, you can see how it would be attractive for a Pope to invade the Holy Land.  Tit for tat.

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2012, 06:04:17 AM »
Also, remember that the Islamic Moors starting invading Spain in 711.  Charles Martel stopped them at Tours in 732, but the Moors stayed in Spain until the 15th Century or so.  So, if the Muslims can invade Christian Europe, you can see how it would be attractive for a Pope to invade the Holy Land.  Tit for tat.
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2012, 06:23:32 AM »
Also, remember that the Islamic Moors starting invading Spain in 711.  Charles Martel stopped them at Tours in 732, but the Moors stayed in Spain until the 15th Century or so.  So, if the Muslims can invade Christian Europe, you can see how it would be attractive for a Pope to invade the Holy Land.  Tit for tat.
Just how old are you?

I was born in 2611 B.C.E. in Mesopotamia.  The Islamic Invasion of Spain was one of my favorite periods of history.  I was working as a waiter in Malaga at the time. Those Moors tipped well.

Crow

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Re: Commoners of the crusades.
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2012, 06:52:39 AM »
Also, remember that the Islamic Moors starting invading Spain in 711.  Charles Martel stopped them at Tours in 732, but the Moors stayed in Spain until the 15th Century or so.  So, if the Muslims can invade Christian Europe, you can see how it would be attractive for a Pope to invade the Holy Land.  Tit for tat.

Well there is more evidence that says that the moors didn't take over via military action (well there isn't any evidence that they were aggressive at all when they first arrived) but rather by money and their culture, but later became very aggressively inclined when a change of thought happened in the Islamic world, so this might be a reason for why the Pope of the time felt the need to invade as he saw Islam as a real threat.

You may like this program Ecurb I enjoyed it - When the Moors Ruled in Europe.
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