The First Crusade (1095–1099) was the first of a number of crusades that attempted to capture the Holy Land, called for by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The First Crusade came about from a political climate of reform movements within the papacy of Catholic Christendom[1] as well as military and religious confrontations between Christianity and Islam in the East. During the conquests of the First Crusade, the Crusaders established the Latin Rite crusader states of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, and the County of Edessa. This left the crusader kingdoms vulnerable from Muslim reconquests during the Second and Third Crusades.

Papacy politics[edit | edit source]

The heart of Western Europe had been stabilized after the Christianization of the Saxon, Viking, and Hungarian peoples by the end of the 10th century. However, the breakdown of the Carolingian Empire gave rise to an entire class of warriors who now had little to do but fight among themselves.[2] The random violence of the knightly class was regularly condemned by the church, and in response it established the Peace and Truce of God to prohibit fighting on certain days of the year. At the same time, the reform-minded papacy came into conflict with the Holy Roman Emperors, resulting in the Investiture Controversy. Popes such as Gregory VII justified the subsequent warfare against the Emperor's partisans. It became acceptable for the Pope to utilize knights in the name of Christendom, not only against political enemies of the Papacy, but also against Al-Andalus, or, theoretically, against the Seljuq dynasty in the east.[3]

Prelude to the First Crusade[edit | edit source]

Princes' Crusade[edit | edit source]

Timeline of events during the Princes' Crusade were:

Post First Crusade[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. France, John (2005). The Crusades and the expansion of Catholic Christendom. New York: Routledge. pp. 64. 
  2. Asbridge 2004, pp. 3–4.
  3. Riley-Smith 1991, pp. 5–8.
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