The First Crusade And The Crusades

1974 Words8 Pages
As the historian John Riley Smith points out “The First Crusade was a violent and brutal episode during which the crusaders cut out a swathe of suffering through Europe and Western Asia.” In this description of the First Crusade (1095/6- 1099) Smith makes it difficult for us to see and, or uncover any elements of pilgrimage in the crusaders actions. However, there are many different ways in which the crusades have been described, the historian Christopher Tyerman on the other hand, steers towards the idea that it is reasonable to label the Frist crusade as an armed Pilgrimage as it showed “a defining commitment to the church to accommodate the spiritual aspirations of the laity” . However, it’s worth pointing out he labels other less sanctified ways in which the First Crusade could be described. The approach to answer the question for this essay will focus mainly on whether the Crusaders joined and embarked on the First Crusade with the belief of it representing an armed pilgrimage, as it seems important to focus on the origins of the crusades in order to answer why it may be perceived so, after all every pilgrimage must start from somewhere. However, in answering this question it’s also important to consider other factors such as the role of Pope Urban II, who has been labelled by some historians as playing a pivotal role in crusaders participation and therefore the creation of the First Crusade and why it could be perceived as an armed pilgrimage, or whether an

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