Part 4 The Holy Wars , God Gain and Glory : Crusades

This article is the part of series about the conflicts between Europe and Asia since antiquity

  • Part 1 Greco-Roman world against Persia
  • Part 2 Arab Invasion of Europe ;  Al Andalus
  • Part 3 Christendom Strikes Back ; Reconquista
  • Part 4 The Holy wars ; Crusades
  • Part 5 The Mongol Horde
  • Part 6 Ottoman Intrusion
  • Part 7 Colonialism

Crusades were the military campaigns / migration of Eastern European nations to regain the control of “Holy Lands” motivated by the christian zeal and were sanctioned by the Catholic Church.Crusades spanned over a period of five centuries during the early middle ages.This was the revival of Eastern European powers after the the times of Roman Empire in which they wer e able to extend their dominion in  Middle East . The long lost Byzantine empire was the last Remanent of the glory of Rome . Byzantine guarded the western door of Europe for a Millennia first against the Persian empire and then against the Arab invasions of Rashidun and Omayyad period. During the late 900s Byzantine empire was unable to defend itself against the Muslim Seljuk Empire in Anatolin region , situated in modern day Turkey and looked towards their distant Catholic Brethren for help.

English: Byzantine empire before the Crusades ...

English: Byzantine empire before the Crusades Français : Empire byzantin à la veille des croisades (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Catholic Church at Vatican wanted to end the schism between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity.The “pilgrim politics” for holy land also affected the clergy’s decision.Another factor was the new emerging “merchandise class ” of Europe which was looking for the new markets  The previous conquests of Iberian Peninsula by the Muslim forces left Europe vulnerable.But most importantly the spirit of expansion and adventurism fueled by  hatred and religious zeal were responsible for these military campaigns. The near east at the end of first thousand years was a battlefield in which sectarian schism of Muslim world played a major role. The central Abbasid dynasty was a mere puppet by now and switched sides depending on who was in power at that time.The ethnic divide in Muslim between Arabs , Persians ,Turks and Berbers of North Africa were involved in intermittent warfare for the supremacy in Islamic World  The Muslim world at that time was gradually moving towards decentralized state in which warlord one after another were able to carve out a dynasty which left the populace destitute weak and vulnerable to foreign invasions. Crusades was the name later given by historians to these wars .Muslim called their enemies as Franks whereas Christians called their enemies as Saracens. The First Crusade

  •  Council of Clermont

Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus called upon the help of Catholic world in war against the Seljuk Empire .Pope Urban II urged the masses to raise arms against the “unjustly” occupation of “Holy Lands” and free them from the clutches of Saracens in “Council of Clermont “. 620px-Passages_d'outremer_Fr5594,_fol._19r,_Concile_de_Clermont An excerpt from the speech of Pope Urban 2 ‘s speech a the Council of Clermont ; source Wikipedia

“Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor.”

  • People’s Crusade

Peter the Hermit was a saint who gathered a large sum of people to fight and took his army of peasants for Holy lands through Byzantine territory.The people were pillaged the cities in their way but were in the end permitted through the byzantine territory. People’s crusade was an epic failure their army after the first pitched battle was brutally defeated by the Seljuk army .

409px-PeoplesCrusadeMassacre

  • Princes’ Crusades

The main army composed of four main factions led by the legendary leaders Hugh of Vermandois, Godfrey, Raymond, and Bohemond approached Byzantium capitol Conatantinole in 1607. They vowed that they will restore the Holy Lands

740px-First.Crusade.MapThese army were provided military assistance by the Alexios and were reinforced by the remaining forces of people’s crusade.

  • Siege of Nicaea
  • Battle of Dorylaeum
  • Siege of Antioch

Antioch was an important city which surrendered to crusaders and was important in gaing control of Jerusalem

  • Siege of Jerusalem

The newly found long lost holy relics were great morale boosters in European camps .The Muslims in the city were unable to defend themselves against the foreign invasion and found no help of the Fatimid of Egypt.According to Muslim sources after the conquest of  Jerusalem Muslim population in the city was massacred in the process of ethnic cleansing to establish the new Christian State of Jerusalem .

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  • Crusade of 1101

A few dukes of Christendom of who left crusade after the early difficulties and some who were inspired by the success of crusading campaigns in middle east left Europe for the nascent state of Jerusalem but were annihilated in Asia Minor by Seljuks .

The first crusade was probably the most successful campaign in all of the crusades.Crusaders were able to maintain few duchies in heart of Muslim land for next several centuries

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The Second Crusade

Pope Eugene 3 announced second crusade after the fall county of Edessa. Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany marched towards east separately.

548px-SecondCrusade_EnThe combined German and Frankish army gathered in Antioch to attack Damascus a Syrian stronghold.Zangi’s two sons Saif ud Din Ghazi , the governor of Mosul and Noor ud Dim Muhammad , the overner of Aleppo hurried to reach Damascus to defend it against crusaders.The crusading army was unable to gain any materiel gains  in Middle East .

800px-Siege_of_Damascus

The only success of this crusade was the fall of Lisbon on western front after the three centuries of Muslim rule in 1147.

Siege_of_Lisbon_-_Muslim_surrender

The Third Crusade ; The Kings Crusades

After the second crusade Zengi dynasty was able consolidate its power in Syria.Muslims were now able  to reconqure the Acre, Jaffa and most importantly the Jerusalem. After this came the staunch response of Christendom in the form of great army led by the stalwarts of Europe.

Saladin ; Sultan Salah ud Din Ayyubi 1174-93

Saladin has two aims one to unite the Islamic world  of Sunnite of Abbasids dynasty in Mesopotamia  and Shiite of Fatimid dynasty in Egypt and the second to drive out crusaders from Syria and Palestine.First he achieved with little difficulty and second he did by engulfing crusading states from Stria in north and Egypt from south.

The battle of Hittin was a turning point in crusades christian forces were defeated and Muslims recaptured Jerusalem on October 9, 1187 after a hundred year of christian rule.

Aged emperor of Germany Fredrick Barbarossa , the king of France , Philip Augutus , Richard the lion Hearted , King of England and Duke of Austria gathered the largest number of forces to attack the Muslim world.Although crusaders were able to reverse most of Saladin’s conquests but were unable to capture Jerusalem the most precious prize of  all.

\Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa was drowned while crossing the Saleph river the king drowned and most army went back disheartened at the death their liege

441px-Crusader_States_1190.svgRichard was able to capture the city of Acre even after a staunch resistance from Saladin.Richard was fairly successful in his campaign against Saladin’s forces .But the failure to capture Jerusalem caused another crusade.Both sides felt the results as unsatisfactory.But now the fate was sealed for christian middle east although the coastal states were able to maintain their presence for next few centuries  but were now no more threats to the Muslim world.

The_Crusader_States_(1200)

Fourth Crusade and Sack of Constantinople

This time a new route through Egypt was employed by the crusaders to attack Jerusalem now in Muslim hands but the goal of conquering Jerusalem turned into sack of Constantinople. The fourth crusade was the high point of eastern and western schism .The Byzantium capitol was although regained by the  Greeks after a half century but the they were never able to fully recover.

800px-Crusaders_attack_Constantinople

The Fifth Crusade

The goal was the same as always to acquire the holy lands.This time the army consisted of mostly German and Hungarian forces .Crusaders were able to acquire the guarantee of safe passage through Anatolian region controlled by Sultanate of Rum by allying them on their side.A two pronged war against Ayubids had a few successes in earlier period of the campaign but the march in Egypt was disastrous as the crusading force was decimated by the flood and surrendered to Muslims forces of Egypt.Capturing_Damiate

The Sixth Crusade

Frederick II,  the holy Roman Emperor and monarch Germany lay his claim to Kingdom of Jerusalem because of his marriage to its princess.Despite not being officially sanctioned by the Holy Roman Catholic Church Fredrick took his army Jerusalem and was able to capture the holy city . But the crusading army was not able to maintain control of the city for more than 15 years.This war showed European princely elite that individual nations can conquer orient .

Al-Kamil_Muhammad_al-Malik_and_Frederick_II_Holy_Roman_Emperor

The Seventh Crusade

Louis IX of France from 1248 to 1254 crusaded against the Islamic world though he was later proclaimed as saint by few but was utterly defeated by Ayyubid Sultanate in Egypt.1024px-Seventh_crusade

The Eighth Crusade

The French monarch  Louis IX attacked the Muslim possessions in Africa but the attack was a failure mainly due to the pandemic that left the French camp without its fighters . A truce was signed between the Muslim Ruler of Tunis and French monarch  Louis IX .

SmrtLudvika91270

The Ninth Crusade

Muslim world was in a precarious situation in the middle of thierteenth century .The Mongol horde was able to capture  Baghdad and Egypt faced a challenge of both crusaders and mongols whereas the reconquista in Iberian peninsula was virtually completed.If Baibars the general of the slave dynasty of Mamluks would not have defeated the Mongols and Crusaders , the whole Muslim world from east to west would have been overrun by the non believers.

640px-EdwardICrusadeMap

The last major crusade was actually the part of eighth crusade the English prince Edward I despite his few success was unable to have a lasting impact and ended in a truce .

Aftermath 

The crusades were a gory episode of religious fanaticism in middle ages .Eastern Europe motivated by the “Papal Bulls” attacked Muslim middle east  .The Seljuk were in a constant war against the Byzantium and the crusading forces.Byzantium was unable to recover from the Muslim advance into Anatolia and the aid of their fellow Christian brothers turned into their ultimate doom.The Kingdom of Castille , Aragon ,Leon and Navarre were able to drive out the Moorish occupants from Iberia.the crusades saw feudal Europe eventually transforming into a amalgam of nation states.The papal authority saw it high point in crusades and commanded the hearts and swords of Eastern Europe.The minor sects in Europe were now finally finished as part of western crusades, but at the end of crusades its become evident that the Christendom is becoming more secular.Some might argue that the crusades were the precursors of modern day colonialism.

608px-Last_Crusader

The Muslim world soon forgot the crusades and their memories faded away.Crusades were a result of the weakening of Arab hegemony in Islamic world . Arab world was unable to recover from the crusades and mongol invasion. This was the first low point of Islamic history as the second came during the colonialist era . But Muslims soon recover and the three great dynasties rose far away from the earlier power center  and these were Ottoman Empire of Anatolia and Eastern Europe , Mughal Empire in India and Safavid Empire in Persia.

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A Few Good Seasons Based On Historical Fiction

Rome

IMDb rating   8.9

Year              2005-2007

seasons        2

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The Black Adder Series

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Black-Adder 1       IMDb  rating    8.3       year     1983

Black-Adder 2       IMDb  rating     8.8      year    1986

Black-Adder 3       IMDb  rating     8.8      year    1988

Black-Adder 4       IMDb rating     8.8       year    1989

The Tudors

IMDb Rating    8.2

Year                2007-2010

Seasons          4

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Borgia

IMDb Rating       7.9

Years                 2011–

Seasons             3–

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The White Queen

IMDb        7.8

Year         2013

Seasons   TV mini-series

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Spartacus: War of the Damned

IMDb                    8.7

Year                     2010-2013

Seasons              3

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Philosophy of life by an ordinary man

Every man was once a student and every student once  had to go through the ordeal to prepare for SAT to get into a professional college.After college one has to give GMAT or GRE to get into post grad and  PhD and so on.Ahh life is a constant marathon!!!

And when you one gets out of the college one has to look for a job , again not an easy job.After getting a job the next thing to do is to get a better job and so on.

And then the next task is to look for a romantic partner if one is not already with  one’s college sweetheart which is rare and often is of fleeting nature.aha Luck comes in handy.Some cultures have the trial period which comes in the form of girlfriend/boyfriend and gives you  the option to choose your partner by hit and trial method and in some you have mostly pre-decided mate for life .

And then the children give birth to them educate and raise them and then let them go to do all of this all over again. ahh the circle of life!!!!

get old , be miserable and then die . What about afterlife ???

disclaimer : the blog is not …….

5 “Must Not “” Never Ever To” watch films of Nicolas Cage

“Wishlist of Things that I Could Undo”

God forbids that you have watched any of these films and  if you have not heard the names of these films then you were doing fine and  I must apologize for bringing this up to you.

I somewhere read in  a review of one of these films that “another stain on once proud career of Nicolas Cage “, and now I would add that the whole shirt is stained and unwearable .

What I hate about  these shitty low budget films and Nicolas Cage is that once he had acted superbly in his now gone youth and now…… . I don’t know when did his career got cursed but now all the fine A class actors should beware of the consequences of doing a film with “——“.

Knowing

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IMDb   6.2

Year    2009

Left Behind

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Almost the same plot behind a new HBO television series  “The Leftovers ” which  is ten times better than this film.

IMDb   3.1

Year     2014

Season of the Witch

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IMDb   5.4

Year    2011

The Wicker Man

fortunately I haven’t watched this film.

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IMDb  3.6

Year    2006

Trespass

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IMDb   5.3

Year   2011

Part 3 The Ballad of East and West : Christendom Strikes Back ; Reconquista

350px-Taifas770px-Taifas2

This article is the part of series about the conflicts between Europe and Asia since antiquity

  • Part 1 Greco-Roman world against Persia
  • Part 2 Arab Invasion of Europe ;  Al Andalus
  • Part 3 Christendom Strikes Back ; Reconquista
  • Part 4 The Holy wars ; Crusades
  • Part 5 The Mongol Horde
  • Part 6 Ottoman Intrusion
  • Part 7 Colonialism

The split mandate ;The rise and fall of first Taifa Spain 

1031 -1095

By the end of 1031 Spain was divide into the petty kingdoms of both Muslims and Christians origins who were always in a constant state of warfare with each other

The Muslim Taifa States were

  • Banu Hammud of Malaga and Algeciras
  • Banu Ziri of Granada
  • Slav rulers of south eastern Spain
  • Banu hud of Sargossa
  • Banu Dhu;l –Nun of Toledo
  • Banu jahwar of cordova
  • Banu abbad of Seville

Christian kingdoms ; West to east

  • Kingdom of Galacia,
  • Kingdom of Leon,
  •  Kingdom ofCastile,
  • Kingdom ofNavarre,
  • Kingdom of Aragon
  • Kingdom of Barcelona

First round of Reconquista

Fernando  1 , the Count of Castile and king of Leon

Ferda1Leon_Sancha

  • War with Zaragoza 
  • War with Toledo
  • Reconquests in Portugal

Pope Gregory 6

Alfonso 6

Alfonso 6 and the fall of Toledo 1085

The African aid

The petty kingdoms of Spain were unable to defend themselves against their christian compatriots.They called for the help of Muslim kingdoms of North Africa.Almohad and Al Murabitun tried to halt the inevitable downfall of Muslim Spain But the northern Christendom was consistent to regain the whole peninsula in which they succeeded few centuries later.

Al-Murabitun / Almoravids Dynasty 1090-1145 and Al Mohad Dynasty 1145-1223

Battle of Sagarajas was a great success for the Muslim Spain it halted the process or reconquista for several generations

Almoravids dynasty

491px-Empire_almoravide

Another wave of North African Conquerors of

Al Mohad Dynasty 1145-1223

800px-Empire_almohade

Christian Reconquista begins again

Fall of Lisbon

Pope Eugene III authorized the crusade in the Iberian peninsula. army of the second crusade was aided the  King Afonso I of Portugal to capture Lisbon after 350 years of Muslim rule 1147

Siege_of_Lisbon_-_Muslim_surrender

Christian conquest in Eastern Spain

Conquest of Almeria,Lerida,fraga and the whole valley of Ebro.

The battle of Al Arcos

the battle was fought between Castile kingdoms and Al Mohads and resulted in Al Mohad victory and sent Shock waves through entire Spain (July 18, 1195)

Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa ; Almohad defeat at al- Uqab

This was an important milestone for conquistadors as after this Andalusian Muslims were unable to call for the foreign support of their Muslim brethren. the battle was fought between the Al Mohad army  under the command of The Caliph al-Nasir (Miramamolí )Christian forces of King Alfonso VIII of Castile were joined by the armies of his rivals, Sancho VII of Navarre, Peter II of Aragon and Afonso II of Portugal in battle. the battle was decisive victory for the Christian Alkalies  forces

Battle_of_Las_Navas_de_Tolosa

African conquers were unable to manage both African territories and Spain against Christians as well as Muslim rulers of Spain.Al Mohad  rulers eventually were driven out of Spain back into their African realm.

Almohads_after_1212

The third Taifa Spain

Now Christian zealot armies were invulnerable by the remaining Muslim duchies.

Reconquista completes

  • The treaty of Cazola 1179
  • The treaty of Almizra 1244

The Spanish Christians divide amongst themselves the noble ordeal of reconquering the Spain form the hand heathen moors

Portuguese Reconquest

  • Conquests of James 1

320px-Jaume_I_Palma

  • Conquest of Balearics
  • Conquest of Valencia
  • The expulsion of Muslims

Ferdinand 3 and the conquest of Al-Andalus

Fernando_III_de_Castilla_02

  • Conquest of Cordova
  • Conquest of jean
  • Conquest of Seville

During the mid of thirteen century virtually the whole Iberian Peninsula was reconquered except the Nasrid kingdom of Granada

Nasrid kingdom of Granada 1232-1492

The Nasrid kingdom was the last refuge of the Muslim masses being expelled from the other parts of Spain. The rulers of Nasrid  duchy were actually the client or fiefs of the Christian neighbors. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 by the Muslim Ottoman Empire this situation got worsened for them.

800px-Reino_de_Granada.svg

Ferdinand and Isabella were joint in the wholly matrimony which also combine the two states and resulted in the modern Spain. The last of Muslim principalities surrendered in 1492,In the same year Columbus was commissioned to discover Americas .The final phase of reconquista was now completed .A new era of prosperity and riches for Spain and Portugal started after this.

CastillaLeon_1360

Finally the era of Muslim Spain was come to an end .the Muslim population was put through the notorious Spanish inquisition .The Moriscos or the tamed Muslims eventually died out in the new most Catholic Spain.

800px-La_rendición_de_Granada