Essay Defending ChristendomThroughout History

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Though the beginning of the crusade can be directly traced to the speech Pope Urban II gave at the Council of Clermont in 1095, its’ roots can be established much earlier. The death of the prophet Muhammad in 632 marked the start of nearly a thousand years of military expansion and religious conversion. The timing of this assault on the Christendom was impeccable, with the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476 left a huge power vacuum in its’ previously stable boarder provinces, notably those in Spain, North Africa, Egypt, and the near-east. Though the eastern half of the Roman Empire would survive and became the Byzantine Empire, which would last, in one form or another last for a thousand years, the fall of the western half marked the…show more content…
This, though plausible, is a vague statement that could be easily said of any Muslim incursion into Christian territory. The point of this statement is that Urban II is concerned about the Muslim conquest of Christian lands and is trying to rectify the situation. It is also clear from this statement that the religion of the enemy, though a cause for concern, is not the focus of the speech, nor the armed endeavor he is planning. Pope Urban II is not rallying support to wage a holy war against Islam, he is asking that the lands of Christians that have been taken be restored to their original status. This message is reinforced by another quote form Urban, this one from Fulcher of Chartes, “the Turks, a race of Persians, who have penetrated within the boundaries of Romania... in occupying more and more of the lands of the Christians, have overcome them... and have laid waste God’s kingdom.” (Peter, 53) Here in this quote the message is the same. Arabs have invaded Christian lands and should be expelled from them forthright. He also makes reference to “God’s Kingdom,” reinforcing the Christian belief that God’s kingdom is both in Heaven and on Earth. Urban is calling upon the faithful to defend God’s earthly territories and the people that reside in them. As chronicled by Fulcher, Urban also urged the people in his speech by saying, “the Lord exhort you... to strive to help expel that wicked race from our Christian lands before it is too late.”

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