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Crusades in the Levant

At this time, Christianity was divided into two realms, the West (Europe) and the East (Anatolia, Palestine, Syria). The pope could be likened to an emperor over Western Europe, the Holy Roman Empire.

First Crusade




Pope Urban II's Speech


Pope Urban II issued a famous speech calling for all Christians to sell their land and make a pilgrimage to start living in the Holy Land, take it back from Muslims and Eastern Christians. Pope Urban II did not want a military march of soliders, but instead a mass movement of people, of families, to settle in the Middle East and dominate it by changing the demographics. Pope Urban asserted that Christ commanded this, but still, what would motivate somebody to leave their homeland and settle in a backwater? Pope Urban issued an indulgence that granted remittance for all sins to any who died taking part in the Crusade; this was a passport to heaven. Pope Urban may have initiated the Crusades to create an enemy: the barbaric, subhuman, non-Christian easterners who had taken the Holy Land. This was a potent distraction from maladies in Europe such as the plague. Yet when the French or German Christians arrived in the Middle East, they could not differentiate between Jews, Christians and Muslims. Thus, according to sources, the Crusaders are blamed as essentially butchering indiscriminately because they could not identify who was non-Christian.

1096 - 1098

Men from modern-day France, the Franks, began to appear in the Muslim world, from the direction of Constantinople, with numbers so numerous that they could not be reckoned (ibn al-Qalanisi 41). The Crusaders picked off one harbor city after another, creating a gateway for the eventual Crusader kingdom based in Jerusalem. Also, this was economically brilliant. Trade between the West and East flowed through the northern Levantine harbors, so by controlling this area the Crusaders grew wealthy.

Jerusalem Conquered

1099 July 15

Jerusalem was conquered by Dofgrey de Boullon, who refused to wear the crown and instead gave the city over to the religious authority. There are several accounts of the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem in July 1099. They knew lots about the history of it, so they stationed the bulk of their military on the northern part of the city walls, the most vulnerable part of the city. For five or six weeks they began to undermine the northern walls and when the Crusaders finally cut out part of the northern wall they attacked the city, but could not achieve it. The suffering of the Crusaders mirroring the suffering of Christian -- a central part of the ideology of the Crusades, and which left a deep imprint on Western view on Christianity, the time of Lent, when one tries to suffer like Jesus. William of Tyre tells us of the bloodbath. The Temple of Solomon was the Dome of the Rock. Despite his inflations, it was a massive, massive massacre. The city waned to its lowest population in hundreds of years, as few as 2,000 people and that most of those were Crusaders.

King of Jerusalem


Baldwin became king of Jerusalem.