Re: Crusades

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Wed Nov 09 2005 - 23:56:39 EST wrote:

> We are at two different levels of an argument. What you say is true.
> We can easily impugn the motives of individual Christians coming from
> separate countries because of their bad behavior during the Crusades
> but the pope's initial call to a crusade was reactionary in the face
> of Islam's violent expansion and conquest and came after requests from
> the Byzantine emperor and discussion at the council of Piacenza.

As I understand it the Pope made some allegations of killings of
Christians that were plainly untrue. Was the expansion violent? Was this
the motivation of the pope for getting involved?
Or was it the fear for Christian faith which brought the first crusade?
But the motivations are not as relevant as the facts of the first
crusade and the bloodshed.

As for the 60-year-old Urban's motives, there is little debate among
serious historians. He saw an opportunity to subjugate the Greek Church
to the sovereignty of Rome.[5] "The wealth of our enemies," he said in
calling the First Crusade, "will be yours, and you will despoil them of
their treasures."[6] And he tantalized his audience with the words, "the
land is fruitful above others, like another paradise of delights."[7]
Urban also described atrocities the Turks visited on the Greek
Christians, which was a calculated lie. Since hardly anyone but priests
could read, there was no way to verify the Pope's charges. And the
Christian knights, who until this time killed each other with great
relish, could now pursue their favorite hobby in the service of God

> The pope's call to crusade WAS preceded by a violent expansion and
> conquest with all that entails. Spain alone would be conquered for 7
> hundred years before the indigenous Spaniards manage to throw off the
> Muslim yoke.
> At your level of the argument, as to how the crusades were
> implemented, you might consider: is there a conflict in which some
> combatants have NOT broken the rules, even combatants whose people or
> nation were acting in self defense or doing what they thought even
> appears to any impartial observer to have been "right?" No, of course
> not. But no one answered my question. If history was skewed by a TV
> production of the Crusades so that Christianity itself was presented
> unfavorably in contrast to other religions, who benefits? Why would
> that happen? TV productions are not supposed to alienate the religious
> majority. They are supposed to attract the majority of viewers to
> their channel/time slot.

But I do not believe that history was skewed by a TV production. Of
course, in an ideal world TV productions would not worry about
alienatining the religious majority or any other 'majority'.

I believe that there is more to these matters. When the first crusade
conquered Jerusalem, reportedly tens of thousands of people were killed,
women, children, Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike.
Received on Wed Nov 9 23:57:27 2005

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