The First Crusade And The Crusade

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In deciding the course of history in medieval Europe, one of the most influential events was the First Crusade. The events that occurred set in motion a fundamental change in European society, religion, and politics, and the ramifications have been thoroughly examined. In spite of the significant body of scholarship on this crusade, and the extensive documentation from medieval sources, many elements of the First Crusade still are debated or remain uncertain. One such aspect is the role that religion and sincere piety played in the motivations of the crusaders and in the call for crusade itself. From a modern perspective, it is not difficult to see the crusade as being the product of opportunistic politics, and for the crusaders…show more content…
The actions of Pope Urban II in calling for a military pilgrimage were deeply political, but he was also informed by religious concerns and worries over the moral integrity of Latin Christendom in his decision. A major political dimension that manifests with Urban II preaching the First Crusade is a unification of the Eastern and Western churches.1 While Urban II 's address at Clermont does not specifically address this aim, there is some body of evidence to support this as a political aspiration-- such as how Urban II had been contacted by envoys of the emperor Alexius, who requested military aid.2 While accounts of the address made at Clermont vary, most address the recent loss of territory the Byzantine Empire had experienced, and the depredations made against Eastern Christians. The account made by Baldric of Dol has Urban II address that "your own blood-brothers, your companions, your associates (for you are sons of the same Christ and the same church) are either subjected in their inherited homes to other masters, or are driven from them, or they come as beggars among us".3 ' With the focus on the plight of Eastern Christians, however, there is still a spiritual element present-- the crusade becomes a moral imperative, to stop the depredations of infidels in the holy spaces of Christianity. While the support of the Byzantine Empire
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