The Crusades

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The Crusades were a series of wars in which the Christian rulers of Europe invaded the Muslim-ruled Middle East (The Holy Land, as Christians referred to it), in an attempt to drive out the Muslims and re-establish Christian-ruled kingdoms in the region. The first of these wars of religion began in 1096, and the wars concluded nearly 200 years later with the fall of the Christian Kingdoms in the Holy Land.

First Crusade (1096-1099)--Christian Powers in the First Crusade included:

The Holy Roman Empire , France , England, the Byzantine Empire , and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia . The Muslim Seljuk Turks, and the Arab Shi'ite Fatimid Empire were the targets of the Christian forces. The European Crusaders assembled as a result of the plea by Pope Urban II to aid the the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I, who had asked the Pope to help against the Seljuk Turks. Emperor Alexis asked that volunteers soldiers from Western Europe join with his Greek-speaking Byzantines to help to push back the invading Seljuk Turks, who were at war with the Byzantines. The Christian forces also held to an additional goal of reconquering the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land , thereby freeing the Eastern Christians from Islamic rule. In ealier wars between the Muslim Arabs and the Byzantines, the Muslims had captured Jerusalem, which is a holy city to Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

The First Crusade resulted in the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem by the Crusader forces. This was the first of several "Latin Kingdoms" established by the invading European forces in the Middle East.

Second Crusade (1147-1149)

Third Crusade (1189-1192)

Fourth Crusade (1201-1204)

Fifth Crusade (1218-1221)

Sixth Crusade (1228-1229)

Seventh Crusade (1248 -1254)

Eighth Crusade (1270)

Ninth Crusade (1271–1272)


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