Pope Urban II Calls the First Crusade (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Pope Urban II calls the First Crusade, initiating the first in a series of military expeditions from western Europe to the Middle East intent on recapturing the Holy Land from the Muslims.
Summary of Event
Fought between 1096 and 1464, the Crusades, or “Wars of the Cross,” were a defining feature of the High Middle Ages in Europe. For almost four centuries, between nine and ten major military expeditions left the West for the Middle East in an effort to achieve two strategic goals. One was to prevent the conquest of the Byzantine Empire, a Christian stronghold, by the Muslim Turks. The other goal, which was more important to the Europeans, was to establish Christian control over the venerated pilgrimage sites in the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem. Ultimately, neither aim was permanently secured. The Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453, ending forever the Byzantine Empire. By 1515, all the East, including Palestine, fell under the control of the Turks. The Crusades, however, represent the West’s earliest effort to expand and create what has been rightly called “Europe’s first adventure in colonialism.”
On Tuesday, November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II preached the First Crusade before the Council of Clermont, an assembly of some two hundred bishops meeting in the south of France. Of French noble birth, Urban had been educated at Soissons and Rheims and had served as a prior in the...
(The entire section is 1412 words.)
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