What are the main events and key figures in the religious crusades to the Holy Land?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Among the more important names are Pope Urban II, who preached the First Crusade at Cluny, France; Peter the Hermit, who led the Peasants Crusade before the First Crusade was launched, Frederick Barbarossa and Richard I (Coeur de Lion) who participated in the Second Crusade, and the Arabic commander, Saladin.

Among the more important events:  The First Crusade was the only one to succeed. The Crusaders set up a Crusader state in Palestine, but were later overrun by the Muslims under Saladin. The Second Crusade, under Frederick and Richard failed when Frederick died en route, and Richard plundered other areas. The Fourth Crusade was diverted en route and never reached the Holy Land, but instead attacked and sacked Constantinople. The city was so weakened by the attack that it never recovered; and ultimately fell to the Turks in 1453.

Among the other oddities of the Crusades was the Children's Crusade, preached by two young boys in Cologne and Paris. The children expected the Mediterranean to part for them, as Moses had parted the Red Sea, but were disappointed when it did not happen. Two apparently well meaning gentlemen offered to help them, but they were misled. One ship carrying the children was lost at sea; the rest were sold to the Muslims as slaves.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial