THE CRUSADES PORTAL
The Crusades were a series of military conflicts of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal threats. Crusades were fought against Muslims, pagan Slavs, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Jews, and political enemies of the popes. Crusaders took vows and were granted an indulgence for past sins.
The Crusades originally had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule and were originally launched in response to a call from the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire for help against the expansion of the Muslim Seljuk Turks into Anatolia. The term is also used to describe contemporaneous and subsequent campaigns conducted in territories outside the Levant usually against pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons. Rivalries among both Christian and Muslim powers led also to alliances between religious factions against their opponents, such as the Christian alliance with the Sultanate of Rum during the Fifth Crusade.
The Crusades had far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts, some of which have lasted into contemporary times. Because of internal conflicts among Christian kingdoms and political powers, some of the crusade expeditions were diverted from their original aim, such as the Fourth Crusade, which resulted in the sack of Christian Constantinople and the partition of the Byzantine Empire between Venice and the Crusaders.
The Siege of Lisbon
, from July 1
to October 25
, was the military action that brought the city of Lisbon
under definitive Portuguese
control and expelled its Moorish
overlords. The Siege of Lisbon was one of the only Christian victories of the Second Crusade
and is seen as a pivotal battle of the wider Reconquista
The Fall of Edessa in 1144 led to a call for a new crusade by Pope Eugene III in 1145 and 1146. In the spring of 1147, the Pope authorized the crusade in the Iberian peninsula. He also authorized Alfonso VII of León to equate his campaigns against the Moors with the rest of the Second Crusade. In May 1147, the first contingents of crusaders left from Dartmouth in England for the Holy Land. Bad weather forced the ships to stop on the Portuguese coast, at the northern city of Porto on 16 June 1147. There they were convinced to meet with Count Afonso of Portugal.
The crusaders agreed to help the Count attack Lisbon, with a solemn agreement that offered to the crusaders the pillage of the city's goods and the ransom money for expected prisoners. The siege began on 1 July. After four months, the Moorish rulers agreed to surrender on 24 October, primarily due to hunger within the city. Most of the crusaders settled in the newly captured city, but some of the crusaders set sail and continued to the Holy Land. Lisbon eventually became capital city of the Kingdom of Portugal, in 1255.
Did you know...
Joshua Prawer November 22, 1917–April 30, 1990) was a notable Israeli historian and a scholar of the Crusades and Kingdom of Jerusalem. Prawer was part of a cadre of historians, including Claude Cahen and Jean Richard, who freed crusader studies from the old conception of crusader society as an exemplar of pure, unchanging feudalism that spontaneously emerged from the conquest. This view, which originated with feudal jurists in the thirteenth century, was held to by modern historians since the early thirties. Through the work of Prawer, particularly his two papers from the fifties, and his colleagues, crusader society began to be seen as dynamic, with the nobility gradually putting checks on the monarchy. The combined efforts of these historians led to a surge of new research into crusader society. Prawer's research extended to a wide variety of other aspects of the crusader states. Among the topics he addressed were land development projects and urban settlement, agriculture, the Italian quarters of port cities, the types of landed property, and legal issues in the Assises des Bourgeois.
One of Prawer's best known works is the Histoire du Royaume Latin de Jérusalem, which won
him the Prix Gustave Schlumberger of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. The two-volume work presents the crusader states as a working immigrant society, and shows the importance of immigration and labor shortages. Another book by Prawer, The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages, which was intended for a larger audience, was more controversial. The 1980 book Crusader Institutions collected a number of his earlier publications and expanded upon them with revisions and new chapters. In his last years, he published a book on a topic of especial interest to him, The History of the Jews in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, which examined the tightly-knit isolated Jewish communities of the Levant, the Jewish philosophical feuds they engaged in, and their dreams of restoring Israel.
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