What was the significance of the Crusades?
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In addition to the points above, we must also understand that the crusades had the following significance
(a) also had economic dimensions, as the West in addition to the religious 'conflict' also wished to seek out trade routes to the Far East, which were monopolised by Islam/Muslim kingdoms.
(b) Not only the 'memories' and mindsets of the crusades, but many physical aspects too, still affect the politics of the Middle East and how especially the West perceives Islam, and vice versa.
(c) Apart from the 'revival' of 'Greek learning' in the West, to some extent, which in due course led to the Renaissance, a lot of other knowledge and technology--Islamic/Arabic, Indian/Asian etc, also came to the West via cultural exchanges at this time.
There are a few relevant online links (given below) but I would seriously recommend that if you have access to a good library in your area, please do consult these books which are classics and do proper justice to this topic:
1. Runciman, S "History of the Crusades'
2. Hitti, P "A History of the Arabs''
3. Montgomery-Watt, W ''The Influence of Islam on Medieval Europe'
4. Malhouf, A ''The Crusades through Muslim eyes''
The Crusades were historically significant for several reasons. First, they mark the first direct conflicts between Western European powers and the Islamic kingdoms of the Middle East. The memories and cultural heritage of the Crusades still affect Middle Eastern politics and the relationship between Christianity and Islam. Second, although the Crusades initially were meant to help the Byzantine Empire, they were ineffective at that and may have contributed to its destruction. The Crusades also served to strengthen the Papacy, and give it military power. Finally, the Crusades and fall of Byzantium brought about a revival of Greek learning in the Latin West.
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