*Below is Pastor Andrew’s teaching outline from Sunday evening’s church history study, not a word for word manuscript. This is meant as aid in seeing the thought and direction of the lesson.

The Crusades (1096-1204)

Important Facts:

-Different from Byzantine wars with Islamic Forces.

-Byzantines saw nothing holy about their wars, rather seeing them as military extensions of their empires. Soldiers killed in battle were not saints or martyrs but citizens doing their duty to their rulers.

-The East did not preach sermons geared towards the destruction of the Islamic states to rally support.

-Crusades were holy wars meant to “free” the ancient Christian worlds from the evils of Islam and grant its warriors forgiveness.

-Began as a simple Military campaign which grew through sermons and Religious fervency into an ongoing endeavor

-Western Christians had been making Pilgrimages for centuries into the Promised land seeking to be near the place of Christ and to gather relics. (the Eastern Church tended to have less connection to the Holy land)

-For the Catholic church it is a holy War-Sins must be confessed before battle and every participant must receive communion. The Pope would also grant indulgencies that would cleanse the soldier of their sins should they die in battle. You could also pay the church to support a crusader and receive a similar promise.

Major Causes:

-The Spanish had begun successful campaigns pushing Islamic forces out of Spain and Norman Forces had rid Sicily of Its Muslim rulers.

-Byzantine forces had been pushed to the limits in Asia Minor losing almost the entire peninsula. they were in need of Fresh troops and allies.

-The Turks had taken over authority (1055) of the Muslim states and in doing so had begun a more ruthless attack on Christians, and a harassment of Pilgrims.

-The new stories of holy sites being destroyed, and brothers and sisters assaulted produced a spirit of anger in the West.

-Civil War over the Papacy: Urban II (A Reformer) vs Clement III established by Henry IV

-Urban used the request of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus as a pretext to formulate a new form of Warfare and set himself us as the Leading figure to bring about the restoration of God’s lands.

-He called an assembly and there preached a sermon that shaped History as we know. In this moment he called the kings and nobles to cease attacking each other and pursue their real enemy the Muslims, with the chant ‘Deus Vult”-God wills it.

-Religious fervency and the promise of eternal life was a key motivator in the desire to go to war, along with the desire of the waring nobles to exercise their swords in exercise to God.

Warrior Monks & Chivalry:

Knights- Were noble classes who were born and raised in the spirit of combat since before Christendom.

-These men were the established ruling class of Europe and had power over the people

-They fought on Horseback and were the Cavalry.

-One of the central reforms of the 10th & 11th century church was to find a means of Bringing their desire for war in line with Christs teachings on Morality and justice.

-Thus, the code of Chivalry was born. A rule by which all nights must compose themselves in battle and life

-The church would bless every noble son when he was old enough and vowed to wield his sword for the god of God and the protection of the innocent.

Knights quickly then went from ruling figures to spiritual ones enacting Gods work, like priests and monks.

Knights also began to find religious orders,

Hospitallers or the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem

-Named for the Hospitals they established during the crusades to tend to the sick and wounded

-Became a vastly wealthy organization

-By the end of the Crusades they made their home in Malta where they would continue to be a defense against Muslim invasions into the 15th century


-Named after the central location they took up in Jerusalem

-Their monastic codes were written by the great Monk Bernard of Clairvaux

-After the crusades they took their wealth and prominence back to Europe setting up shop in France.

– On Friday 13, 1307 by King Philip the fair had the members of the templar order in France arrested and tortured. Their forced confessions of blasphemy were used to seize all their lands in Europe and put many of its members to death.


First Crusade (1096-1099)

-Called by Urban II. to assist the Byzantines

  • Years earlier a failed “Peoples crusade” was led by a Mystic monk Peter the hermit. He had a vision of victory in Jerusalem and gather 20000 people to his cause and they marched from France to Palestine. Along the way he began preaching not only of ending the Arab threat but also the Jewish evils that plagued them. thus, leading to massive attacks on Jewish villages in Eastern Europe on their way to Palestine, where this rag tag team was quickly slaughtered by the Turkish armies. (Peter escaped and Joined the first Crusade)
  • Assembled the greatest houses and warriors in Europe.
  • Though they had no official leader
  • They officially gathered in the winter of 1096 with an estimated 300,000 soldiers.
  • The Turkish Kingdoms had just broken down in civil war
  • The Crusaders quickly marched through Asia minor capturing most of the lost territories. Finally, being delayed capturing Antioch a task that took a heavy toll of 8 months.
  • They captured Jerusalem 1 year later tired, broken and greatly depleted of forces. to an estimated 20,000 men.
  • The remaining soldier slaughtered everyone inside the city walls in June of 1099.
  • The Latin Church refused to give the byzantine empire any control over the newly reacquired territories and instead set up their own Latin states. This Al but sealed the schism of the Two churches. They forced the remaining eastern churches in their regions to adopt the Roman catholic model of worship expelling their bishops and priest. (Thus, at times causing the Eastern church to join with Muslim forces to expel the western soldiers.


Second Crusade (1147-1149)

-45 years after the Latin conquest in the first crusade Muslim forces attacked and conquered the Kingdom of Edessa.

-Called by Pope Eugenius II

-King Louis VII of France lead the campaign alongside Conrad II of the HRE.

-The Byzantine empire did not ask for their assistance and as such treated these crusaders as infiltrators. their harsh treatment lead many of this new army to perish without seeing battle. They made one serious attack on Damascus and were roundly defeated leading to a complete failure for the crusade and for the West.

-The West felt abandoned by their “Christian brother”

-One important Monk Bernard of Clairvaux blamed their sinfulness and pointed the west need of repentance.

-While the Crusade was less than amazing: The Figure of Bernard is key to church history

-Is hailed as the greatest preacher of the Middle ages

-reshaped the focus of the church from Christ as victor and conqueror to suffering servant.

-Martin Luther extensively read his writings and in them found a heart and passion to know and love the savor who sacrificed himself for us.

-Often men attempted to raise him up as a possible bishop or pope, but each attempt was rejected.

-His preaching helped inspire most of the crusaders to take up arms and join the fight.

-Though aside from the crusades he preached nonviolence against Heretics and peace towards Jews.


Third Crusade (1189-1192)

The Most popular and well-known Crusade (the movie Kingdom of Heaven ends with the beginning of this crusade)

-Kurdish General Saladin had conquered Egypt and by 1186 made his way to Jerusalem, and after the battle of Hattin he conquered the city in 1187.

-Unlike the earlier crusaders he offered all Christians in the city free and safe passage back to the west should they surrender.

-The fall of Jerusalem was a greater shock to the church than the failed 2nd crusade

-3 Great Generals take up Arms together

-King Philip Augustus of France

-Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa of HRE (drowned on the way leaving the HRE soldiers without a leader and useless)

-King Richard the Lionheart of England

-Key Victory was the taking of the coastal city of Acre north of Jerusalem. (Philip returned home)

-Richard stayed and fought a for another year attempting to take Jerusalem before reaching a peace treaty with him. This treaty granted the West land as far south as Ascalon and passage freely into the City of Jerusalem for all Christians.


Fourth Crusade (1202-1204)

-The vilest of all crusades (Entirely French crusaders)

-Called by Pope Innocent III

-Meant to take Egypt from Muslim forces

The Venetians refused to take the crusaders to Egypt until they helped them conquer the city of Zara (Near Croatia) a catholic city.

-The French agrees sparking the rage of the pope

-The Exiled and deposes Son of the Byzantine empire Alexius Angelus at this point reached out to the French crusaders with a promise of Gold and submission should they help him regain the throne.

-The Pope Forbade any attack be made against Byzantine force but was ignored.

-When Alexius failed with Payment, they sacked the city and established a new government under Latin Control. subject to the Pope.

-This was the end of the two churches in full. and would be the begging of the end for the Byzantine empire and Constantinople in the coming centuries.


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