The Crusades: The Third Crusade

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A Crusade by definition is ‘a war against a perceived injustice.’ The Crusades were a series of wars waged between the Christians and the Muslims, 1095-1204, based on the concept of Holy War – ‘Jihad,’ which the Popes’ of Latin Christendom somehow managed to justify. Although, ‘Christianity does, at a first glance appear to be an unquestionably pacifist faith.’ This is further reinforced by the fact that ‘The Gospels of the New Testament record numerous occasions when Jesus seemed to reject or prohibit violence.’ Pope Urban II was enabled to base his appeal on the ‘Just Cause’ theory and described ‘inflammatory images of Muslim atrocities,’ knowing that this would provoke the Crusaders into action. The First Crusade was launched in 1095, by Pope Urban II. ‘Both spiritual and social motives coalesced to produce a spark of spontaneous successes, as well as to light a fire that would burn for two hundred years.’ As a consequence of this, three pre-eminent Crusades followed the First,…show more content…
Firstly there is the factor of family ties. There is clear evidence for crusaders following in the footsteps of family members who participated in previous crusades. For example Frederick of Barbarossa played a major role in the Second Crusade where he was second in command to his uncle. Frederick Barbarossa was then one on the main ‘players’ at the launch of the Third Crusade until he unfortunately drowned after falling from his horse while attempting to cross a river. Additionally, Richard was the Great Grandson of Faulk of Anjou (ruler of Jerusalem 1131-1142) Linked to this is the legacy previous crusades. The legacy would have encouraged more crusaders to take the cross, as participants felt they must live up to the success of previous crusades, particularly the First Crusade, during which Jerusalem was successfully

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