Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 1: Creating a Viking Empire: The Campaigns of Cnut the Great

Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 1: Creating a Viking Empire: The Campaigns of Cnut the Great

Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 1: Creating a Viking Empire: The Campaigns of Cnut the Great

The issue of Medieval Warfare Magazine is split roughly half-and-half between its theme on Cnut and the Vikings and more general articles. We start with a brief history of the Viking campaigns in Britain, Ireland and France. The theme is then directly covered by articles on Cnut's conquest of Norway, his bodyguards and the Danish conquest of England. Articles on warfare in Anglo-Saxon poetry and on the berserker are less directly connected, but still relevant. This is a good selection of topics, covering the main points of Cnut's career but also some less familiar subjects.

Away from the theme there are two articles on late medieval armour, the first looking at the industries that produced it, the second at the agility of a knight in plate armour. The increasing scale of the armour industry was of particular interest to me.

Finally there are two unrelated articles, one on the Battle of Tewkesbury of 1471, the battle that saw Edward IV regain the throne after being temporarily overthrown by his former ally Warwick the Kingmaker and one looking at Hunedoara Castle, the stronghold of John Hunyadi, regent of Hungary. The Tewkesbury article actually looks at the entire campaign, and is a good account of this penultimate phase of the War of the Roses.

Chainmail's terror song: Warfare in Anglo-Saxon poetry
Embracing the North Sea: Cnut's conquest of Norway
The housecarls: The bodyguards of Cnut the Great
Going Berserk: The psychology of Berserkers
Mercenaries, warlords and kings: The Danish conquest of England
John Hunyadi's stronghold: The castle of Hunedoara
The industry of defence: A look at the armour industry of the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth century
Victory of York: The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471
Killing the myth: The slow knight in clumsy armour

What badhistory have your teachers deliberately headed off?

So I was reading /u/Vladith's thread and thinking, damn, I was so lucky to have Mr. V. as an English teacher back in grade 10. See, grade 10 was when we did To Kill a Mockingbird. And this was in a tiny town of white people whose only exposure to black people was that one girl who was adopted, mission trips, and reruns of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. By all rights, this should have been a shitshow.

But. Before we even touched the book, Mr. V. assigned each of us topics in U. S. black history to research and present on. Not, like, just "slavery". Stuff like Harper's Ferry, Ruben Carter, the Buffalo Soldiers. In some cases the relation wasn't evident—one topic was just Elvis Presley, and it was up to the student to find out about how rock'n'roll came from black music. As you can probably figure out, most of the topics had some pop culture connection we might have been familiar with.

As a result the class got a surprisingly decent crash course in black history and U. S. race relations. Now, an English class can't fix racism or turn kids into history experts. But it gave us vital bits of historical context that made the power dynamics in this novel's particular time and place comprehensible. It stuck with me, and hopefully it stuck with some of my classmates too.

Discuss: have you ever had a teacher who anticipated students' likely misconceptions and went out of their way to address them?


The First Crusade inspired a movement that became one of the most significant defining elements and attributes of late medieval western culture. [1] This movement touched every country in Europe and almost every aspect of life including the Church, religious thought, politics, the economy, and society. It created its own literature and had an enduring impact on the history of the western Islamic world and the Baltic region. [2] A distinct ideology is evident in the texts that described, regulated, and promoted crusades. These were defined in legal and theological terms based on the theory of Holy War and the concept of pilgrimage. Theologically there was a merging of Old Testament parallels to Jewish wars instigated and assisted by God with New Testament Christocentric views on forming individual relationships with Christ. Holy war was based on bellum iustum, the ancient idea of just war. Augustine of Hippo Christianised this, and canon lawyers developed it from the 11th century into bellum sacrum, the paradigm of Christian holy. The criteria were holy war must be initiated by a legitimate authority such as a pope or emperor considered as acting on divine authority that there was causa iusta, a just cause such as serious offence, overt aggression or injurious action a threat to Christian religion and intentio recta waged with pure intentions like the good of religion or co-religionists. In the 12th century, Gratian and the Decretists elaborated on this, and Thomas Aquinas refined it in the 13th century. The idea that holy war against pagans could be justified simply by their opposition to Christianity, suggested by Henry of Segusio, was never universally accepted. Crusades were considered special pilgrimages, a physical and spiritual journey under ecclesiastical jurisdiction and the protection of the church. Pilgrimage and crusade were penitential acts popes considered crusaders earned a plenary indulgence giving remission of all God-imposed temporal penalties. [3]

Crusades were described in terms of Old Testament history analogous to the Israelites' conquest of Canaan and the wars of the Maccabees. This presented wars against the enemies of Israel waged by God's people, under divine leadership against the enemies of a true religion. The Crusades were believed to be sacred warfare conducted under God's authority and support. Old Testament figures such as Joshua and Judas Maccabaeus were presented as role models. Crusaders were viewed as milites Christi Christ's soldiers forming the militia Christi or Christ's army. This was only metaphorical up to the first crusade, when the concept transferred from the clerical to secular. From the end of the 12th century the terms <<|crucesignatus>> or crucesignata meaning "one signed by the cross" were adopted. Crusaders attached crosses of cloth to their clothing marking them as a follower devotee of Christ, responding to the biblical passage in Luke 9:23 "to carry one's cross and follow [Christ]". The cross symbolised devotion to Christ in addition to the penitential exercise. This created a personal relationship between crusader and God that marked the crusader's spirituality. It was believed that anyone could become a crusader, irrespective of gender, wealth, or social standing. Sometimes this was seen as an imitatio Christi or imitation of Christ, a sacrifice motivated by charity for fellow Christians. Those who died campaigning were seen as martyrs. The Holy Land was seen as the patrimony of Christ its recovery was on the behalf of God. The Albigensian Crusade was a defence of the French church, the Baltic Crusades were campaigns conquering lands beloved of Christ's mother Mary for Christianity. [4]

From the beginning, crusading was strongly associated with the recovery of Jerusalem and the Palestinian holy places. The historic Christian significance of Jerusalem as the setting for Christ's act of redemption was fundamental for the First Crusade and the successful establishment of the institution of crusading. Crusades to the Holy Land were always met with the greatest enthusiasm and support, but crusading was not tied exclusively to the Holy Land. By the first half of the 12th century, crusading was transferred to other theatres on the periphery of Christian Europe: the Iberian Peninsula north-eastern Europe against the Wends by the 13th century, the missionary crusades into the Baltic region wars against heretics in France, Germany, and Hungary and mainly Italian campaigns against the papacy's political enemies. Common to all were Papal sanction and the medieval concept of one Christian community, one church, ruled by the papacy separate from gentiles or non-believers. Christendom was a geopolitical reference, and this was underpinned by the penitential practice of the medieval church. These ideas rose with the encouragement of the Gregorian Reformers of the 11th century and declined after the Reformation. The ideology of crusading was continued after the 16th century mainly by the military orders, but dwindled in competition with other forms of religious war and new ideologies. [5]

Crusades were the fighting of Christian religious wars, the authorisation and objectives of which derived from the pope through his legitimate authority as Vicar of Christ. Combatants received forgiveness for confessed sin, legal immunity, freedom from debt interest and both their family and property was protected by the church. They swore vows like those of a pilgrimage, the duration of which was determined by completion, by absolution or by death. Those who died in battle or completed the vow were considered martyrs with eternal salvation. The first, original and best-known crusade was the expedition to recover Jerusalem from Muslim rule in 1095. For centuries, the Holy Land was the most significant factor in terms of rhetoric, imagination, and ideology. [6]

At first, the term crusade used in modern historiography referred to the wars in the Holy Land beginning in 1095. The range of events to which the term has been applied has been extended, so its use can create a misleading impression of coherence, particularly regarding the early crusades. The Latin terms used for the campaign of the First Crusade were iter, "journey", and peregrinatio, "pilgrimage". [7] The terminology of crusading remained largely indistinguishable from that of Christian pilgrimage during the 12th century. This reflected the reality of the first century of crusading, when not all armed pilgrims fought and not all who fought had taken religious vows. It was not until the late 12th and early 13th centuries that a more specific "language of crusading" emerged. [8] Pope Innocent III used the term negotium crucis or "affair of the cross". Sinibaldo Fieschi, the future Pope Innocent IV, used the terms crux transmarina—"the cross overseas"—for crusades in the Outremer (crusader states) against Muslims and crux cismarina—"the cross this side of the sea"—for crusades in Europe against other enemies of the church. [9] The modern English "crusade" dates to the early 1700s. [10] [A] The term used in modern Arabic, ḥamalāt ṣalībiyya حملات صليبية ‎, lit. "campaigns of the cross", is a loan translation of the term "crusade" as used in western historiography. [11]

French Catholic lawyer Étienne Pasquier, who lived from 1529 to 1615, is thought to be the first historian to attempt the numbering of each crusade in the Holy Land. He suggested there were six. [12] In 1820 Charles Mills wrote History of the Crusades for the Recovery and Possession of the Holy Land in which he counted nine distinct crusades from the First Crusade of 1095–1099 to the Ninth Crusade of 1271–72. This convention is often retained for convenience and tradition, even though it is a somewhat arbitrary system for what some historians now consider to be seven major and numerous lesser campaigns. [13]

The term "Crusade" may differ in usage depending on the author. In an influential article published in 2001, Giles Constable attempted to define four categories of contemporary crusade study:

  • Traditionalists such as Hans Eberhard Mayer restrict their definition of the Crusades to the Christian campaigns in the Holy Land, "either to assist the Christians there or to liberate Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulcher", during 1095–1291. [14]
  • Pluralists such as Jonathan Riley-Smith use the term Crusade of any campaign explicitly sanctioned by the reigning Pope. [15] This reflects the view of the Roman Catholic Church (including medieval contemporaries such as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux) that every military campaign given Papal sanction is equally valid as a Crusade, regardless of its cause, justification or geographic location. This broad definition includes attacks on paganism and heresy such as the Albigensian Crusade the Northern Crusades and the Hussite Wars and wars for political or territorial advantage such as the Aragonese Crusade in Sicily, a Crusade declared by Pope Innocent III against Markward of Anweiler in 1202 [16] one against the Stedingers several (declared by different popes) against Emperor Frederick II and his sons [17] two Crusades against opponents of King Henry III of England[18] and the Christian re-conquest of Iberia. [19]
  • Generalists such as Ernst-Dieter Hehl see Crusades as any holy war connected with the Latin Church and fought in defence of the faith.
  • Popularists including Paul Alphandery and Etienne Delaruelle limit the Crusades only to those characterised by popular groundswells of religious fervour—that is, only the First Crusade and perhaps the People's Crusade. [20][21]

Crusades in the Holy Land Edit

In 1095, Pope Urban called for what is now recognised as the first crusade. There was a widespread response by thousands of predominantly poor Christians in the People's Crusade and a force led by Western European nobles may have numbered 100,000. The result was the successful capture of Antioch and Jerusalem. Many crusaders now considered their pilgrimage complete and returned to Europe but Godfrey of Bouillon took the position of Defender of the Holy Sepulchre. When he died his brother, Baldwin became the first King of JerusalemLatin king. [22] Pope Eugenius III raised the unsuccessful Second Crusade in response to the conquest of the crusader state of Edessa. [23] Pope Gregory VIII proposed the Third Crusade after the Crusader states were largely overrun following the Battle of Hattin in 1187. [24] Jaffa was recaptured and the force twice advanced to within a day's march of Jerusalem but recognised they lacked the resources to capture and hold the city. Instead, a three-year truce gained pilgrim access to the city. [25] Pope Innocent III called the Fourth Crusade in 1198, but the army diverted instead and captured Christian Constantinople. The result was that the Fourth Crusade never came within 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of its objective of Jerusalem. [26] The unsuccessful Fifth Crusade largely in Hungary, Germany, Flanders with the strategic intent to attack the isolated, easier to defend and self-sufficient Egypt. [27] In 1228, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II led the Sixth Crusade that gained most of Jerusalem and a strip of territory that linked the city to Acre through diplomacy, negotiation, and force. [28] In 1249, Louis IX led the Seventh Crusade's attack on Egypt that was defeated at Mansura. [29] [30] His 1270 Eighth Crusade was diverted by his brother Charles to Tunis where Louis and much of his army died through disease. [31]

Crusading to the Holy Land Jerusalem declined for multi-faceted reasons. Historians have attempted to explain this in terms of Muslim reunification and jihadi enthusiasm. But Muslim unity was sporadic and the desire for jihad ephemeral and the nature of crusading was unsuited to the conquest and defence of the Holy Land. Crusaders were on a personal pilgrimage and usually returned when it was completed. Although the philosophy of crusading changed over time, the crusades continued to be conducted by short-lived armies led by independently minded potentates, rather than centralised leadership. Religious fervour enabled significant feats of military endeavour but proved difficult to direct and control. Succession disputes and dynastic rivalries in Europe, failed harvests, and heretical outbreaks, all contributed to reducing Latin Europe's concerns for Jerusalem. Ultimately, even though the fighting was also at the edge of the Islamic world, the vast distances made the mounting of crusades and the maintenance of communications insurmountably difficult. [32]

Reconquista Edit

The Christian conquest of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim control has been called the reconquista or "reconquest" since the 19th century. The memory of the vanished Visigothic kingdom, destroyed in the 8th century, was an important foundation for the Christian expansion of the 10th and 11th centuries. Few early sources exist that justify it religiously before the end of the 11th century. The Reconquista was not incessant religious war, but long peaceful periods interspersed with short crises only the borders were marked by conflict. Between the 8th and 11th centuries five Christian realms developed in the mountainous, inaccessible border zones in the extreme north of the peninsula: the kingdoms of Asturias, Castile, Navarre, Aragon and the County of Barcelona. [33] In 1137, Barcelona and Aragon were united dynastically and in 1143 Portugal became independent. Castile and Leon were united for the second and final time in 1230. At the beginning of the 11th century, Muslim Spain collapsed into a number of petty Muslim realms called Taifa kingdoms. The Christians expanded south and captured Toledo in 1085. [34]

The Roman church's influence was limited until the second half of the 11th century, beginning with Pope Alexander II offering indulgences and papal justification to a contingent of French knights who took part in the conquest of Barbastro. First Aragon, quickly followed by the other kingdoms, adopted the Roman liturgy. In response, the Iberian Muslims sought support from the Almoravid dynasty in North Africa, who conquered much of Iberia, and the predominantly secular conflict became religious. The papacy's commitment increased, and the number of foreign warriors joined the fight against the Muslims. The situation influenced the papacy's attitude toward the use of force against Islam short of making it a crusade. It lacked the crusading vow, cross taking, or the plenary indulgence. But by 1121 the Christian warriors were given identical indulgences to those of the Holy Land. The First Lateran Council of 1123 regulated that those who took the cross could campaign for Jerusalem or Spain. Crusade bulls were issued for recruitment and simultaneously with the establishment of military orders in Outremer military confraternities were founded in Aragon. 12th century literature contributed to promoting the Reconquista as a crusade through The Song of Roland and Historia Karoli Magni et Rotholandi representing Iberian campaign of the Emperor Charlemagne as a crusade as well as Christian praising chansons de geste. Like in the Outremer, the struggle became domestic border warfare with few objections to Muslin-Christian alliances which often antagonised foreign crusaders. [35]

At the same time as the Second Crusade in 1147 and 1148, and the campaign against the pagan Wends beyond the Elbe, the Iberians attacked with foreign assistance. [36] Lisbon was taken. The Castilians conquered Almeria and Tortosa, and Lleida surrendered to Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona. It was the high point of international support and, in contrast to the Outremer, the Iberians reduced reliance on external force. Although foreign rulers undertook crusading in Spain, they were unsuccessful without native support. The Iberian military orders kept alive the crusading ideal and included foreigners but became Iberian in nature. In the late 12th century, the Almoravids were displaced by the Almohad Caliphate, who defeated Castile at Alarcos in 1195. This prompted a united Christian response with support from Pope Innocent III and in a 1212 victory at Las Navas de Tolosa. The expansion gathered momentum with papal support in the 1230s. Castille conquered Cordoba and Seville Aragon, the Valencia and the Balearic Islands and Portugal the Algarve, nearly completing the conquest of Al-Andalus. The Muslim Emirate of Granada, in the mountainous area of the Sierra Nevada in the south, remained for over two centuries. Foreign crusaders gained crusading indulgences through participation in the 1309 capture of Gibraltar and the 1340 Christian victory at the Battle of Río Salado. Chivalrous and courtly ideals marked these expeditions for many, honour and adventure counted equally with the welfare of their souls. The unity under the joint rule of Aragon and Castile led to a ten-year campaign and in 1492, the conquest of Granada which ended the Reconquista, concluded. It remained a justification for Spanish expansion into America. [37]

The Reconquista included colonisation named repoblacion by Mozarabs from Al-Andalus or Catholic northern Iberia. Predominantly French foreigners inhabited the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. Settlers were granted liberal privileges (called fueros) to move to densely inhabited Muslim and Jewish areas. The treatment of the natives was pragmatic rather than tolerant. [38] Jews and Muslims were called Mudejars, paid a poll tax, could not carry weapons and limited to special quarters. They were mostly allowed their religious practices, personal safety, and were permitted limited self-governance. These restrictions and pressure resulted in gradual acculturation and syncretism. Those Jews who would not convert were expelled in 1492, and Mudejar baptism was required shortly after. In 1609, the Morisco Christian descendants of Muslims were expelled from Spain. [39] [40] [41]

Crusades against Christians Edit

Christian holy war had a long history pre-dating the 11th century when papal reformers began equating the universal church with the papacy. This resulted in the Peace and Truce of God movement supporting military defence of the church, clergy and its property. In 1053 Pope Leo IX attacked the Italo-Normans granting troops sin remission in return for a holy war. Later, Pope Gregory VII and his militia Sancti Petri considered fighting for the papacy as penitential death brought salvation. This was less about an Augustinian just war than militant Christianity fighting in defence of the church from the 8th century. Late 11th century works by Anselm of Lucca and Bonizo of Sutri focused on heretics and schismatics rather than infidels. The First Crusade encouraged further holy wars, peacekeeping in northern France, papal fighting with King Roger II of Sicily in the 1120s and 1130s, and against various heretics, their protectors, and mercenary bands in the 1130s and 1170s. Although there is little evidence of crusade preaching, Pope Innocent III is said to have waged the first "political" crusade from November 1199 for Sicily against Markward of Anweiler. Full crusading apparatus was first deployed against Christians in the conflict with the Cathar heretics of southern France and their Christian protectors in 1208. In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council gave the Albigensian Crusade, between 1209 and 1229, equivalence with the Eastern crusades. This crusade was supported by developments such as the creation of the Papal States, the aim to make the crusade indulgence available to the laity, the reconfiguration of Christian society, and ecclesiastical taxation. [42]

The Papacy's drive for homogenous Christianity encouraged crusades against any group with which there were differences such as:

  • the Dutch Drenther peasants from 1228 to 1232
  • Bosnians fighting the Hungarians from 1227
  • the Stedinger peasants from 1232 to 1234
  • English rebels in 1216, 1217 and 1265
  • Greek Orthodox Byzantines fighting to reclaim territory lost to the Fourth Crusade in 1231, 1239 and the 14th century until the Ottomans provided a greater threat. [42]

Various Popes used crusading for securing the papacy's political position:

  • Against the Hohenstaufen's of Germany and Sicily from 1239 to 1269 preventing encirclement by their German, Italian and Sicilian territories, reasserting papal feudal claims over Sicily and to defend the March of Ancona and the duchy of Spoleto. Church taxation funded John of Brienne's campaigns of 1228 to 1230, but it was in 1239 that Gregory IX first called a formal crusade when Frederick threatened Rome after defeating the Lombard League. Following the emperor's death, crusading continued against his sons, the legitimate Conrad IV of Germany and the illegitimate Manfred, King of Sicily. Pope Clement IV recruited Charles I of Anjou, the younger brother of Louis IX of France, who in February 1266 defeated and killed Manfred at the Benevento, in August 1268 defeated Conradin, Conrad IV's son, at Tagliacozzo and ended the Staufen dynasty male line in October with Conradin's execution in October.
  • Against Ezzelino III da Romano and his brother Alberic in 1255.
  • Against Sardinia in 1263
  • The Sicilian Vespers, the wars for Angevin control of Sicily from 1282 to 1302. In 1282 the Sicilians rebelled against Charles I of Anjou and Frederick's son-in-law, Peter III of Aragon, annexed the island. A 1283 crusade invading Aragon and a 1285 crusade invading the island by Philip III of France failed. Crusading against Aragonese rulers continued when Frederick III of Sicily refused to return the island to the Angevins. This ended in 1302 with the treaty of Caltabellota.
  • Maintaining papal interests during the Avignon Papacy from 1309 to 1377.
  • During the Western Schism between 1378 and 1417.
  • Against Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor reasserting imperial claims from 1310 to1313. conflict with the Colonna family in 1297.
  • The 1306 suppression of the heresies of Fra Dolcino in Piedmont.
  • Against Venice over Ferrara in 1309/1310
  • Crusades organised by cardinal-legates such as Bertrand du Pouget and Gil Albornoz against Milan and Ferrara in 1321 against Milan, Mantua, and rebels in Ancona in 1324 against Cesena and Faenza in 1354 against Milan again in 1360, 1363, and 1368 against mercenary companies such as that of Konrad von Landau In 1357, 1361 and 1369/1370.
  • During the Great Schism between 1378 and 1417, Roman Pope Urban VI launched crusades against his Avignon rival Pope Clement VII in 1378. Clement VII gave crusade privileges to competitors in the Neapolitan succession, as did Antipope John XXIII in 1411 and 1414.
  • In 1383, Pope Urban VI gave Henry le Despenser's English campaign against Flanders the status of crusade as was John of Gaunt's attempt on the throne of Castile in 1386. [43]

After 1417, the papacy became reluctant to use crusading for political ends, perhaps recognising the lack of adequate church funds to sponsor large armies, the futility, and the damage they caused to the standing of both papacy and crusade. Only Pope Julius II continued crusading in Italy. However, religious crusades continued against the Hussites of Bohemia in 1420, 1421, 1422, 1427, 1431 and between 1465–1471. [44]

Another was planned between 1428 and 1429. The Reformation prompted a revival with several schemes, including against Henry VIII of England and Elizabeth I of England. [45]

Crusades against the Ottoman Empire Edit

The Papacy regularly offered crusade privileges from the 1360s generating no significant military response against Muslims in the Mediterranean. The first revival of activity was a 1390 Genoese plan to seize the Tunisian port of Al-Mahdiya. Both the Roman and Avignon popes awarded indulgences and the French king's uncle, Louis II, Duke of Bourbon, was the leader. There is little evidence of cross taking, and the exercise was more of a chivalric promenade by a small force. After a disease-ridden, nine-week siege, the Tunis crusade agreed to withdraw. [46] After their victory at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, the Ottomans had conquered most of the Balkans and had reduced Byzantine influence to the area immediately surrounding Constantinople, which they later besieged. In 1393, the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Shishman lost Nicopolis to the Ottomans. In 1394 Pope Boniface IX proclaimed a new Crusade against the Turks, although the Western Schism had split the papacy. [47] Sigismund of Luxemburg, King of Hungary, led this Crusade which involved several French nobles including John the Fearless, the son of the Duke of Burgundy, who became the Crusade's military leader. Sigismund advised the Crusaders to focus on defence when they reached the Danube, but they besieged the city of Nicopolis. The Ottomans defeated them in the Battle of Nicopolis on 25 September, capturing 3,000 prisoners. [48]

As the Ottomans pressed westward, Sultan Murad II destroyed the last Papal-funded Crusade at Varna on the Black Sea in 1444 and four years later crushed the last Hungarian expedition. [47] John Hunyadi and Giovanni da Capistrano organised a 1456 Crusade to lift the Siege of Belgrade. [49] Æneas Sylvius and John of Capistrano preached the Crusade, the princes of the Holy Roman Empire in the Diets of Ratisbon and Frankfurt promised assistance, and a league was formed between Venice, Florence and Milan, but nothing came of it. Venice was the only polity to continue to pose a significant threat to the Ottomans in the Mediterranean, but it pursued the "Crusade" mostly for its commercial interests, leading to the protracted Ottoman–Venetian Wars, which continued, with interruptions, until 1718. The end of the Crusades, in at least a nominal effort of Catholic Europe against Muslim incursion, came in the 16th century, when the Franco-Imperial wars assumed continental proportions. Francis I of France sought allies from all quarters, including from German Protestant princes and Muslims. Amongst these, he entered into one of the capitulations of the Ottoman Empire with Suleiman the Magnificent while making common cause with Hayreddin Barbarossa and a number of the Sultan's North African vassals. [50]

Baltic Crusades Edit

The campaigns for the conquest and conversion of the lands on the southern and eastern coast of the Baltic Sea from the late 12th century to the Reformation have become known as the Baltic or Northern Crusades. Attempts by Scandinavian, German, Polish, and Bohemian missionaries of pagan conversion to Latin Christianity failed before the late twelfth century, when crusaders from Sweden, Gotland and Saxony conquered most of Latvia and Estonia. The Livonian Brothers of the Sword military order provided a permanent occupation force while the crusaders wintered at home. Defeats at Saule in 1236 and at Lake Peipus in 1242 halted the order's expansion into Lithuania and Russia. From 1237, Pope Gregory IX began absorbing the Sword Brothers into the Teutonic Order. Founded in Palestine as a hospital order after the Siege of Acre in the 1190s, the Teutonic Knights were reorganised as a military order. Historian Robert Bartlett defines the conquest and organisation of power in the Baltic as part of a general movement for 'the expansion of Latin Christendom'. It was made possible by the crusading ideology placing the full machinery of the Church behind superior military technology. It enabled the recruitment of troops by preaching the offer of spiritual rewards for combatants and the administrative machinery to establish a government in the conquered territories. [51] [52]

The Teutonic Order first responded to a request from Konrad I of Masovia for assistance against pagan Prussians in 1228. Over the following decades, with the assistance of regular crusades, they conquered the Prussians and attacked the Lithuanians. The Order purchased Brandenburg from Władysław I Łokietek in compensation for the military services they had provided Poland, and in 1309 the grand master transferred his headquarters to Prussia creating a unique state. The state's chief rivals were the Kingdom of Poland and the Archbishopric of Riga. The order refused cooperation with the local papal legates and concentrated on influence at the papal court. The grand masters looked for alliances, including with John of Bohemia, and recruited French, Burgundian, Dutch, English, and Scottish knights for raids called reysen. [53] These were exemplars of chivalric values and nobility. Historians see the battle of Tannenberg in 1410 as the turning point. The Order’s defeat was surprising and catastrophic it was only by systematically destroying all available food in the 1414 Hunger War that the Poles and Lithuanians were repulsed. In 1435 the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order suffered defeat at the battle of the Swienta River but in 1502 invaded Russia gaining half a century of peace. During the Reformation, Prussia became Protestant and in 1560, after defeat by the Russians at the Ermes, the order secularised. Its territories were divided. Changing priorities caused the failure of the Baltic Crusades. Crusading was no longer seen as a method of earning salvation or effective in the wars waged in the Baltic. [54]

Popular Crusades Edit

There were regular outbreaks of popular crusading enthusiasm from 1096 until 1514 and the Hungarian Peasants' Crusade. These Popular crusades were untypical, and their participants were unconventional crusaders. Historians describe these variously as people’s crusades, peasants’ crusades, shepherds' crusades, and crusades of the poor. With research into social memory, prophecy, crowd psychology, charismatic leadership, social dislocation, religious enthusiasm, and the place of preaching, processions, and visual culture in conveying religious ideology within medieval society, it is difficult for historians to identify common features. There is evidence of charismatic leadership up to the 14th century. Eschatology can be seen in antisemitic Judaic violence, and after 1250 a sense of election in the involuntary poor. Instead, popular crusades were diverse but shared historical circumstances with official crusades. These events demonstrate the power of crusading ideas that non-noble believers were engaged with the great events of Latin Christendom. Focusing on clerics and warrior knights underestimates the movement's significance. Early crusades such as the First, Second and Albigensian included peasants and non-combatants until the high costs of journeying by sea made participation in the Third and Fourth Crusade impossible for the general populace. The 1212 Children's Crusade was the first popular crusade beginning amongst the preaching for the Albigensian Crusade and parades seeking God's assistance for Iberian crusades. Afterwards, the professional and popular crusades diverged such as in 1309 when the Crusade of the Poor and one by the Hospitallers occurred almost simultaneously, both responding to Pope Clement V's crusading summons of the previous year. All crusades that were not preached officially were illicit and unaccompanied by papal representation. But it was not until the 1320 pastores of the Second Shepherds' Crusade that the papacy criticised a popular crusade. Frequently the language of crusading was used to describe these incidents such as iter, expeditionis and crucesignatio. The objectives were traditional, such as regaining Jerusalem or the 1251 First Shepherds' Crusade aiming to liberate Louis IX. Those who took part perceived themselves as authentic crusaders, evident in the use of pilgrimage and crusade emblems, including the cross. Victories in the Smyrniote crusades of 1344 aroused mass enthusiasm in Tuscany and Lombardy but also papal approbation. The Hungarian Peasants Crusade began as an official holy war against the Turks but became an uprising against the Hungarian nobility. [55]

Ideological development Edit

The use of violence for communal purposes was not alien to early Christians. The evolution of a Christian theology of war was inevitable when Roman citizenship became linked to Christianity and citizens were required to fight against the Empire's enemies. This was supported by the development of a doctrine of holy war dating from the works of the 4th-century theologian Augustine. Augustine maintained that an aggressive war was sinful, but acknowledged a "just war" could be rationalised if it was proclaimed by a legitimate authority such as a king or bishop, was defensive or for the recovery of lands, and without an excessive degree of violence. [56] [57] Violent acts were commonly used for dispute resolution in Western Europe, and the papacy attempted to mitigate it. [58] Historians, such as Carl Erdmann, thought the Peace and Truce of God movements restricted conflict between Christians from the 10th century the influence is apparent in Pope Urban II's speeches. Later historians, such as Marcus Bull, assert that the effectiveness was limited and it had died out by the time of the crusades. [59]

Pope Alexander II developed a system of recruitment via oaths for military resourcing that Gregory VII extended across Europe. [60] Christian conflict with Muslims on the southern peripheries of Christendom was sponsored by the Church in the 11th century, including the siege of Barbastro and fighting in Sicily [61] In 1074 Gregory VII planned a display of military power to reinforce the principle of papal sovereignty. His vision of a holy war supporting Byzantium against the Seljuks was the first crusade prototype, but lacked support. [62] Theologian Anselm of Lucca took the decisive step towards an authentic crusader ideology, stating that fighting for legitimate purposes could result in the remission of sins. [63]

Elected pope in 1198, Innocent III reshaped the ideology and practice of crusading. He emphasised crusader oaths and penitence, and clarified that the absolution of sins was a gift from God, rather than a reward for the crusaders' sufferings. Taxation to fund crusading was introduced and donation encouraged. [64] [65] In 1199 he was the first pope to deploy the conceptual and legal apparatus developed for crusading to enforce papal rights. With his 1213 bull Quia maior he appealled to all Christians, not just the nobility, offering the possibility of vow redemption without crusading. This set a precedent for trading in spiritual rewards, a practice that scandalised devout Christians and later became one of the causes of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. [66] [67] From the 1220s crusader privileges were regularly granted to those who fought against heretics, schismatics or Christians the papacy considered non-conformist. [68] When Frederick II's army threatened Rome, Gregory IX used crusading terminology. Rome was seen as the Patrimony of Saint Peter, and canon law regarded crusades as defensive wars to protect theoretical Christian territory. [69]

Innocent IV rationalised crusading ideology on the basis of the Christians' right to ownership. He acknowledged Muslims' land ownership, but emphasised that this was subject to Christ's authority. [70] In the 16th century the rivalry between Catholic monarchs prevented anti-Protestant crusades but individual military actions were rewarded with crusader privileges, including Irish Catholic rebellions against English Protestant rule and the Spanish Armada's attack on Queen Elizabeth I and England. [71]

The crusaders' propensity to follow the customs of their Western European homelands meant that there were very few innovations developed from the culture in the crusader states. Three notable exceptions to this are the military orders, warfare and fortifications. [72] The Knights Hospitaller, formally the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, were founded in Jerusalem before the First Crusade but added a martial element to their ongoing medical functions to become a much larger military order. [73] In this way, the knighthood entered the previously monastic and ecclesiastical sphere. [74]

Military orders like the Knights Hospitaller and Knights Templar provided Latin Christendom's first professional armies to support the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the other crusader states. The Templars, formally the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, and their Temple of Solomon were founded around 1119 by a small band of knights who dedicated themselves to protecting pilgrims en route to Jerusalem. [75] The Hospitallers and the Templars became supranational organisations as papal support led to rich donations of land and revenue across Europe. This led to a steady flow of recruits and the wealth to maintain multiple fortifications in the crusader states. In time, they developed into autonomous powers in the region. [76] After the fall of Acre, the Hospitallers relocated to Cyprus, then conquered and ruled Rhodes (1309–1522) and Malta (1530–1798), and continue in existence to the present-day. King Philip IV of France probably had financial and political reasons to oppose the Knights Templar, which led to him exerting pressure on Pope Clement V. The pope responded in 1312, with a series of papal bulls including Vox in excelso and Ad providam that dissolved the order on the alleged and probably false grounds of sodomy, magic and heresy. [77]

At first, crusaders self-funded the arms and supplies required for their campaigns. Non-combatants probably hoped to join the retinues of the lords and knights augmenting their resources with forage and plunder. Leaders seeking to maintain armies employed many fighters as virtual mercenaries. Fleets and contingents would organise communally to share financial risk. When the nature of crusading changed with transportation shifting from land to sea, there were fewer non-combatants and systems of finance developed. Tallage was imposed on Jews, townsmen and peasants and levies on secular and ecclesiastical vassals. This developed into formal taxation, including the Saladin Tithe in 1188. By the 13th century, the papacy's taxation of the church dwarfed secular contributions. There were serious protests when this revenue was transferred to theatres other than the Holy Land, or to secular rulers for other purposes. While actual methods varied, significant improvements were made in accounting and administration, although this did not prevent resistance, delay, and diversion of funds. In time, the military orders and Italian banks replaced the Curia in the crusade banking system. Secular taxation developed from this, and with the crusades becoming entwined with dynastic politics, led to resentment. Gifts, legacies, confiscations from heretics, donations deposited in chests placed in local churches, alms, and the redemption of crusading vows provided funding. Some of these caused significant criticism, and Innocent III warned bishops to avoid extortion and bribery. Full plenary indulgences became confused with partial ones when the practice of commuting vows to crusade into monetary donations developed. [78]

Women accompanied crusade armies, supported society in the crusader states, and guarded crusaders' interests in the west. Margaret of Beverley's brother Thomas of Froidmont wrote a first-person account of her adventures, including fighting at the siege of Jerusalem in 1187, and two incidents of capture and ransom. However, women rarely feature in the surviving sources, because of the legal and social restrictions on them. Crusading was defined as a military activity, and warfare was considered a male pursuit. Women were discouraged from taking part but could not be banned from what was a form of pilgrimage. Most women in the sources are noble spouses of crusaders. [79] [80]

Sources that refer to the motivation of women indicate the same spiritual incentives, church patronage, and involvement in monastic reform and heretical movements. Female pilgrimage was popular and crusading enabled this for some women. Medieval literature illustrates unlikely romantic stereotypes of armed female warriors, while eyewitness Muslim sources recount tales of female Frankish warriors, but these are likely mocking the perceived weakness or barbarity of the enemy. Women probably fought, but chroniclers emphasised only in the absence of male warriors. Noblewomen were considered feudal lords if they had retinues of their own knights. They were often victims and regarded as booty. Lower-class women performed mundane duties such as bringing provision, encouragement, washing clothes, lice picking, grinding corn, maintaining markets for fish and vegetables, and tending the sick. They were associated with prostitution, causing concern of the perceived link between sin and military failure. Sexual relations with indigenous Muslims and Jews were regarded as a sin that would lead to divine retribution. Medieval historians emphasised the crusaders purified the Holy Places through widespread slaughter of men, women, and children. Sexual activity naturally led to pregnancy and its associated risks. Noblewomen were seldom criticised for their dutiful provision of heirs, but in the lower ranks pregnancy attracted criticism of the unmarried leading to punishment. Even the harshest of critics recognised woman were essential for a permanent Christian population, but apparently most female crusaders returned home after fulfilling their pilgrimage vows. Frankish rulers in the Levant intermarried with western European nobility, the local Armenian, and the Byzantine Christian population for political reasons. Continual warfare created a constant lack of manpower, and lands and titles were often inherited by widows and daughters who were offered in the West as favourable marriages. Bridegrooms brought entourages to secure their new domain, often causing friction with the established baronage. [81]

The women left behind were impacted in several ways. The church pledged protection of property and families, but crusaders left charters including provision for their female relatives, money, or endowments to religious houses. There were concerns regarding adultery, which meant a wife could theoretically prevent her husband from crusading. Wives were described as inhibiting crusaders, but there is little hard evidence. Patterns of intermarriage in France suggest that certain marriage alliances transmitted traditions of crusading between families, encouraging the crusade ideal through the early religious education of children and employing supportive chaplains. Popes encouraged women to donate money or sponsorship instead of crusading, in return for the same spiritual benefits. This addressed the issue of non-combatants and raised funds directly or through monastic houses, including the military orders. Charters demonstrate crusaders sold or mortgaged land to female relatives or engaged in transactions where their consent was required. Without evidence it was impossible to know whether crusaders were alive or dead, so woman in the West could not remarry for between five to 100 years. [82]

There is evidence of criticism of crusading and the behaviour of crusaders from the beginning of the movement. Although few challenged the concept in the 12th and 13th centuries, there were vociferous objections to crusades against heretics and Christian lay powers. The Fourth Crusade's attack on Constantinople and the use of resources against enemies of the church in Europe, the Albigensian heretics and Hohenstaufen, were all denounced. Troubadours ctiticised expeditions in southern France regretting the neglect of the Holy Land. The behaviour of combatants was seen as inconsistent with that expected of soldiers in a holy war. Chroniclers and preachers complained of sexual promiscuity, avarice, and overconfidence. Failures in the First Crusade, the Hattin and of entire campaigns was blamed on human sin. Gerhoh of Reichersberg connected that of the Second Crusade to the coming of the Antichrist. Remediation included penitential marches, reformation requests, prohibitions of gambling and luxuries, and limits on the number of women were attempted in. The Wurzburg Annals criticised the behaviour of the crusaders and suggested it was the devil's work. Louis IX of France’s defeat at the battle of Mansurah provoked doubt and challenge to crusading in sermons and treatises, such as Humbert of Romans's De praedicatione crucis (The preaching of the cross). The cost of armies led to taxation, an idea attacked as an unwelcome precedent by Roger Wendover, Matthew Paris and Walther von der Vogelweide. Concern was expressed of the Franciscan and Dominican friars abusing the system of vow redemption for financial gain. Some saw the peaceful conversion of Muslims as the best option, but there is no evidence that this represented public opinion and the continuation of crusading indicates the opposite. At the Second Council of Lyons in 1274, Bruno von Schauenburg, Humbert, Gilbert of Tournai and William of Tripoli produced treatises articulating the change required for success. Despite criticism, crusading appears to have maintained popular appeal with recruits continuing to take the cross from a wide geographical area. [83]

There exists greater than fifty texts in Middle English and Middle Scots from around 1225 to 1500 with Crusading themes. These were usually performed to an audience, as opposed to read, for entertainment and as propaganda for a political and religious identity, differentiating the Christian “us” and the non-Christian “other.” The works include romances, travelogues such as Mandeville’s Travels, poems such as William Langland’s Piers Plowman and John Gower’s Confessio Amantis, the Hereford Map and the works of by Geoffrey Chaucer. Many were written after crusading fervour had diminished demonstrating a continuing interest. Chivalric Christendom is depicted as victorious and superior, holding the spiritual and moral high ground. They mainly originating from translated French originals and adaptations. Some, like Guy of Warwick used the portrayal of Muslim leaders as analogies to criticise contemporary politics. Popular motifs include chivalrous Christian knights seeking adventure and fighting Muslim giants or a king traveling in disguise such as Charlemagne in the Scots Taill of Rauf Coilyear. In crusading literature legendary figures are endowed with military and moral authority with Charlemagne portrayed as a role model, famed for his victories over the pagan Saxons and Vikings, his religious fervour marked by forced conversion. The entertainment aspect plays a vital role encouraging an element of “Saracen bashing”. The literature demonstrates populist religious hatred and bigotry, in part because Muslims and Christians were economic, political, military, and religious rivals while exhibiting a popular curiosity about and fascination with the "Saracens". [84]

For recruitment purposes, Popes marked the initiation of each crusade by public preaching of its aims, spiritual values and justifications. Preaching could be authorised and unofficial. The news cascaded through the church hierarchy in writing in a Papal bull, although this system was not always reliable because of conflicts among clerics, local political concerns and lack of education. From the 12th century, the Cistercian Order was used for propaganda campaigns the Dominicans and Franciscans followed in the 13th century. Mendicant friars and papal legates targeted geographies. After 1200, this sophisticated propaganda system was a prerequisite for the success of multiple concurrent crusades. The message varied, but the aims of papal control of the toll of crusading remained. Holy Land crusades were preached across Europe, but smaller ventures such as the Northern and Italian crusades were preached only locally to avoid conflict in recruitment. Papal authority was critical for the effectiveness of the indulgence and the validity of vow redemptions. Aristocratic culture, family networks and feudal hierarchies spread informal propaganda, often by word of mouth. Courts and tournaments were arenas where stories, songs, poems, news, and information about crusades were spread. Songs of the crusades became increasingly popular, although some troubadours were hostile after the Albigensian Crusade. Chivalric virtues of heroism, leadership, martial prowess, and religious fervour were exemplars. Visual representations in books, churches and palaces served the same purpose. Themes were expanded in church art and architecture in the form of murals, stained glass windows, and sculptures. This can be seen in the windows at the abbey of Saint-Denis, many churches modelled on the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, or murals commissioned by Henry III of England. [85]

The Kingdom of Jerusalem was the first experiment in European colonialism, setting up the Outremer as a "Europe Overseas". The raising, transportation, and supply of large armies led to a flourishing trade between Europe and the Outremer. The Italian city-states of Genoa and Venice flourished, planting profitable trading colonies in the eastern Mediterranean. [86] The crusades consolidated the papal leadership of the Latin Church, reinforcing the link between Western Christendom, feudalism, and militarism, and increased the tolerance of the clergy for violence. [77] Muslim libraries contained classical Greek and Roman texts that allowed Europe to rediscover pre-Christian philosophy, science and medicine. [87] The growth of the system of indulgences became a catalyst for the Reformation in the early 16th century. [88] The crusades also had a role in the formation and institutionalisation of the military and the Dominican orders as well as of the Medieval Inquisition. [89]

The behaviour of the crusaders in the eastern Mediterranean area appalled the Greeks and Muslims, creating a lasting barrier between the Latin world and the Islamic and Orthodox religions. This became an obstacle to the reunification of the Christian church and fostered a perception of Westerners as defeated aggressors. [77] Many historians argue that the interaction between the western Christian and Islamic cultures played a significant, ultimately positive, part in the development of European civilisation and the Renaissance. [90] Relations between Europeans and the Islamic world stretched across the entire length of the Mediterranean Sea, leading to an improved perception of Islamic culture in the West. But this broad area of interaction also makes it difficult for historians to identify the specific sources of cultural cross-fertilisation. [91]

Historical parallelism and the tradition of drawing inspiration from the Middle Ages, have become keystones of political Islam encouraging ideas of a modern jihad and long struggle, while secular Arab nationalism highlights the role of Western imperialism. [92] Muslim thinkers, politicians and historians have drawn parallels between the crusades and modern political developments such as the mandates given to govern Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel by the United Nations. [93] Right-wing circles in the Western world have drawn opposing parallels, considering Christianity to be under an Islamic religious and demographic threat that is analogous to the situation at the time of the crusades. Crusader symbols and anti-Islamic rhetoric are presented as an appropriate response, even if only for propaganda. These symbols and rhetoric are used to provide a religious justification and inspiration for a struggle against a religious enemy. [94] Some historians, like Thomas F. Madden, argue that modern tensions result from a constructed view of the crusades created by colonial powers in the 19th century and transmitted into Arab nationalism. For him, the crusades are a medieval phenomenon in which the crusaders were engaged in a defensive war on behalf of their co-religionists. [95]

Accounts of the First Crusade and the decade following the taking of Jerusalem in 1099 began the description and interpretation of crusading. From the early 12th century, the image and morality of earlier expeditions propagandised new campaigns. [96] The initial understanding of the crusades was based on a limited set of interrelated texts. Possibly dating from 1099, the most notable is Gesta Francorum ("exploits of the Franks") that created a papalist, northern French and Benedictine template for later works. These had a degree of martial advocacy that attributed both success and failure to God's will. [97] Vernacular adventure stories based on the work of Albert of Aachen challenged the clerical view. By 1200, the historian William of Tyre completed his Historia through which he expanded on Albert's writing describing the warrior state the Outremer became as a result of the tension between the providential and secular. [98] The main interest of medieval crusade historiography remained in presenting moralistic lessons rather than information, extolling the crusades as moral exemplars and cultural norms. [99]

By the 15th century, political concerns provoked self-interested polemics that mixed the legendary and evidential past. It was through humanist scholarship and theological hostility that an independent historiography emerged. The rise of the Ottoman Turks, the French Wars of Religion, and the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century encouraged the study of the crusades. Traditionalist wars of the cross presented military, spiritually penitent and redemptive solutions while also being examples of papist superstition and corruption of religion. The crusades provided evidence for the English martyrologist John Foxe in his 1566 History of the Turks of papal idolatry and profanation. He blamed the sins of the Roman church for the failure of the crusades. War against the infidel was laudable, but crusading based on doctrines of papal power and indulgences was not. This was true when directed against Christian religious dissidents, such as the Albigensian and Waldensians. Some Roman Catholic writers considered the crusades gave precedents for dealing with heretics. Both strands thought the crusaders were sincere and were increasingly uneasy in considering war a religious exercise instead of for territory. This secularisation was based on juristic ideas of just war that Lutherans, Calvinists and Roman Catholics could all subscribe. Roman Catholics diminished the role of Indulgences in tracts on the wars against the Turks. Alberico Gentili and Hugo Grotius developed secular international laws of war that discounted religion as a legitimate cause in contrast to popes, who persisted in issuing crusade bulls for generations. [100]

Lutheran scholar Matthaus Dresser developed Foxe's work. The crusaders were credulous, misled by popes and profane monks, with conflicting temporal and spiritual motivation. Papal policy mixed with self-interest and the ecclesiastical manipulation of popular piety. He emphasised the great deeds by those who could be considered as German such as Godfrey of Bouillon. [101] Crusaders were lauded for their faith, but Urban II's motivation was associated with conflict with German Emperor Henry IV. Crusading was flawed, and ideas of restoring the physical Holy Places "detestable superstition". [102] Pasquier highlighted the failures of the crusades and the damage that religious conflict had inflicted on France and the church. He lists victims of papal aggression, sale of indulgences, church abuses, corruption, and conflicts at home. [103] Dresser's nationalist view enabled the creation by non–Roman Catholic scholars of a wider cultural bridge between the papist past and Protestant future. This formed a sense of national identity for secular Europeans across the confessional divide. Dresser's colleague Reinier Reineck worked at editing crusade texts, especially of Albert of Aachen. More importantly, the French Calvinist diplomat Jacques Bongars's Gesta Dei per Francos ("Deeds of God through the Franks") included all the main narrative sources for the First and the Fifth Crusades, the chronicle of William of Tyre, Marino Sanudo Torsello's Secreta Fidelium Crucis ("secrets of the faithful cross") and Pierre Dubois's De recuperatione Terrae Sanctae ("recovery of the Holy Land"). These textual scholars established two dominant themes for crusade historiography which were intellectual or religious disdain and national or cultural admiration. Crusading now had only a technical impact on contemporary wars but provided imagery of noble and lost causes such as William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II and Torquato Tasso's reinvention of Godfrey of Bouillon and the First Crusade in Gerusalemme liberate as a romance of love, magic, valour, loyalty, honour, and chivalry. In the 17th century Thomas Fuller maintained moral and religious disapproval in his History of the Holy Warre, and Louis Maimbourg's Histoire des Croisades (history of the Crusades) embodied national pride. Both took crusading beyond the judgment of religion, and this secularised vision increasingly depicted crusades in good stories or as edifying or repulsive models of the distant past. [104]

18th century Age of Enlightenment philosopher historians narrowed the chronological and geographical scope to the Levant and the Outremer between 1095 and 1291. Some attempted to number crusades at eight while others such as Georg Christoph Muller counted five large expeditions that reached the eastern Mediterranean—1096–1099, 1147–1149,1189–1192, 1217–1229 and 1248–1254. In the absence of an Ottoman threat, foremost influential writers such as Denis Diderot, Voltaire, David Hume and Edward Gibbon considered crusading in terms of anticlericalism with disdain for the apparent ignorance, fanaticism, and violence. [105] They used crusading as a conceptual tool to critique religion, civilisation and cultural mores. For them, the positive effects of crusading, such as the increasing liberty that municipalities could purchase from feudal lords, were only by-products. 19th century crusade enthusiasts then criticised this view as being unnecessarily hostile to, and ignorant of, the crusades. [106] No orthodoxy developed. Voltaire in Essai sur les mœurs et l'esprit des nations (Essay on the Manners and Spirit of Nations) showed admiration for individual action. Gibbon presented heroism as a cultural norm that if freed of religion would offer advantage to the West, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He also contrasted Byzantium's cultural decadence with the vigorous brutality of the crusaders and Muslims. Following Joseph de Guignes's Histoire des Huns ("history of the Huns") the ideas developed that crusading opened new markets for Western trade, manufacture, and technology. This foreshadowed the later ideas of the conflict between Christianity and Islam being in terms of "the World's Debate". Gibbon's contemporaries considered the West won the debate, not Christianity. As fear of the Ottomans subsided, a patronising orientalism developed. Interest was now on the cultural values, motives and behaviour of the crusaders as opposed to their failure. Napoleon's Egypt and Syria campaign from 1798 to –1799 increased the predominately French view that the prime concern of the crusades was the Holy Land. . [107] Alternatively, Claude Fleury and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz proposed the crusades were one stage in the improvement of European Civilisation that paradigm was further developed by Rationalists. [108] In France, the idea that the crusades were an important part of national history and identity continued to evolve. In academic circles the phrase "Holy War" was the main descriptor, but the more neutral terms kreuzzug from German and the French croisade became established. The word "crusade" entered the English language in the 18th century as a hybrid from Spanish, French and Latin. [109] Gibbon followed Thomas Fuller in dismissing the concept that the crusades were a legitimate defence as they were disproportionate to the threat presented. Palestine was an objective, not because of reason but because of fanaticism and superstition. [110]

Increasingly positive views of the Middle Ages developed in the 19th century. One example was Frederick Wilken's History of the Crusades, written between 1807 to 1832, which pioneered the use of Eastern sources. A fascination in chivalry developed to support the moral, religious, and cultural mores of the establishment. William Robertson expanded on Fleury in a new, empirical, objective approach placing crusading in a narrative of progress towards modernity. His work elaborates the cultural consequences of the growth in trade, the rise of the Italian cities and progress. In this he influenced his student Walter Scott, [111] whose novels Ivanhoe, in 1819 and The Talisman, in 1825, along with Charles Mills' 1820 work History of the Crusades demonstrated admiration of crusading ideology and violence. Protestant writers such as Henry Stebbings remained critical, but in a world of unsettling change and rapid industrialisation nostalgics, escapist apologists and popular historians developed a positive view of crusading. [107]

Heinrich von Syble revolutionised academic study of the crusades with his 1837 Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges <"history of the first crusade">developing the ideas of his tutor Leopold von Ranke that William of Tyre's accounts were a secondary source. He used close textual analysis to reveal different narratives and argued that sources were transmitters of varied stories and legends, not objective fact. Between 1841 and 1906 in France, the main Western texts, as well as Arabic and Armenian texts, were edited in the Recueil des historiens des croisades (Collection of the Historians of the Crusades). New areas of research were explored:

    on the Hospitallers on Latin Cyprus
  • Paul Riant on narrative sources for the Fourth and Fifth Crusades
  • Gustave Schlumberger on coins and seals of the Latin East
  • Camille Enlart on crusader castles. [112]

After 1815 and in the absence of widespread warfare, 19th century Europe created a cult of war based on the crusades, linked to political polemic and national identities. After World War I crusading no longer received the same positive responses war was now sometimes necessary but not good, sanctified, or redemptive. [112] Michaud's viewpoint provoked Muslim attitudes. The crusades had aroused little interest among Islamic and Arabic scholars until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the penetration of European power. The first modern Muslim account using medieval Islamic sources was the Egyptian Sayyid 'Ali al-Hariri's 1899 Splendid Accounts in the Crusading Wars. The first modern Islamic biography of Saladin was by the Turkish Namik Kemal in 1872. This directly challenged the Michaud view. This began a theme in Islamic discourse based on an acceptance of Michaud representing a typical Western opinion. [113] In the late 19th century, Arabic-speaking Syrian Christians began translating French histories into Arabic, leading to the replacement of the term "wars of the Ifranj"—Franks—with al-hurub al Salabiyya—wars of the Cross. Namık Kemal published the first modern Saladin biography in 1872. The Jerusalem visit in 1898 of Kaiser Wilhelm prompted further interest, with Sayyid Ali al-Hariri producing the first Arabic history of the crusades. [92]

Originally planned in the early 1950s, the Wisconsin project under the general editorship of Kenneth Setton has suffered from doubt on coherence grounds after an explosion of new research. Israeli Joshua Prawer and Frenchman Jean Richard reshaped the historiography of the Latin East by re-examining legal practices and institutions. This created a new constitutional history that replaced ideas of the Latin East being a model feudal world. The 1969 to 1970 Histoire du royaume Latin de Jerusalem ("history of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem") revisited the views of the Latin settlements in the East being proto colonies. In 1972's The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages Prawer argued that, unlike the state of Israel, Frankish settlement was too limited to be permanent and the Franks did not engage with the local culture or environment. R.C. Smail supported this in an influential 1956 work on crusader warfare. This model directly challenged Madelin and Grousset. In turn Ronnie Ellenblum's 1998 Frankish Rural Settlement in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem modifies Prawar's model with more extensive rural Latin settlement. [114]

Claude Cahen in 1940's La Syrie du Nord a l'epoque des croisades ("Northern Syria at the time of the Crusades") established the study of the Latin settlements as features of Near Eastern history detached from the West. However, Hans Eberhard Mayer in 1965's Geschichte der Kreuzzuge ("history of the Crusades") questioned the definition of crusading. Jonathan Riley-Smith straddles the two schools on the actions and motives of early crusaders. The definition of the crusade remains contentious. Riley-Smith's view that "everyone accepted that the crusades to the East were the most prestigious and provided the scale against which the others were measured" is largely accepted. There is disagreement whether it is only those campaigns launched to recover or protect Jerusalem that are proper crusades e.g. Mayer and Jean Flori. or whether all those wars to which popes applied equivalent temporal and spiritual were equally legitimate e.g. Riley-Smith and Norman Housley. These arguments do not place what was only a coherent paradigm around 1200 in the context of Medieval Christian holy war, as argued by John Gilchrist that Crusading was result an ecclesiastical initiative but a submission by the church to secular militarism and militancy completed only in the early 13th century. Today, Crusade historians study the Baltic, the Mediterranean, the Near East, even the Atlantic, and crusading's position in, and derivation, from host and victim societies. Chronological horizons have crusades existing into the early modern world e.g. the survival of the Order of St. John on Malta until 1798. [115]

Academic study of crusading in the West has integrated into mainstream study of theology, the Church, law, popular religion, aristocratic society and values, and politics. The Muslim context now receives attention from Islamicists such as Peter M. Holt, Robert Irwin, and Carole Hillenbrand. The disdain of Runciman has been replaced by attempts to locate crusading within its social, cultural, intellectual, economic, and political context. Crusader historians employ wider ranges of evidence, including charters, archaeology, and the visual arts, to supplement chronicles and letters. Local studies have lent precision as well as diversity. [115]

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