Notícia

Tomada de Jerusalém pelos Cruzados

Tomada de Jerusalém pelos Cruzados


Fatimidas

Tendo capturado Antioquia em junho de 1098, os cruzados permaneceram na área debatendo seu curso de ação. Enquanto alguns se contentavam em se estabelecer nas terras já capturadas, outros começaram a conduzir suas próprias pequenas campanhas ou convocar uma marcha sobre Jerusalém. Em 13 de janeiro de 1099, tendo concluído o Cerco de Maarat, Raimundo de Toulouse começou a se mover para o sul em direção a Jerusalém, assistido por Tancredo e Roberto da Normandia. Este grupo foi seguido no mês seguinte por forças lideradas por Godfrey de Bouillon. Avançando pela costa do Mediterrâneo, os cruzados encontraram pouca resistência dos líderes locais.

Recentemente conquistados pelos fatímidas, esses líderes tinham amor limitado por seus novos senhores e estavam dispostos a conceder passagem livre por suas terras, bem como a negociar abertamente com os cruzados. Chegando a Arqa, Raymond sitiou a cidade. Juntamente com as forças de Godfrey em março, o exército combinado continuou o cerco, embora as tensões entre os comandantes fossem altas. Rompendo o cerco em 13 de maio, os cruzados se mudaram para o sul. Como os fatímidas ainda tentavam consolidar seu domínio na região, eles abordaram os líderes dos cruzados com ofertas de paz em troca de impedir seu avanço.

Eles foram repelidos, e o exército cristão passou por Beirute e Tiro antes de virar para o interior em Jaffa. Chegando a Ramallah em 3 de junho, eles encontraram a aldeia abandonada. Ciente das intenções do Cruzado, o governador fatímida de Jerusalém, Iftikhar ad-Daula, começou a se preparar para um cerco. Embora as paredes da cidade ainda estivessem danificadas pela captura da cidade pelos Fatímidas um ano antes, ele expulsou os cristãos de Jerusalém e envenenou vários poços da área. Enquanto Tancredo era despachado para capturar Belém (tomada em 6 de junho), o exército dos cruzados chegou antes de Jerusalém em 7 de junho.


Como funcionaram as cruzadas

Embora seus números exatos não sejam conhecidos, um exército cruzado enfraquecido apareceu na cidade murada de Jerusalém. Além da batalha, a doença e a fome afetaram os soldados, que às vezes tinham tanta sede que matavam os cavalos para beber o sangue. O governador de Jerusalém tinha a vantagem: cortou o abastecimento de água dos cruzados envenenando e bloqueando os poços externos, e teve tempo e suprimentos para fortalecer as torres da cidade.

Os cruzados assumiram posições estratégicas nas muralhas, mas as coisas pareciam desesperadoras até que um padre se apresentou e disse que tivera uma visão de como alcançar a vitória: os cruzados deveriam jejuar e marchar descalços pela cidade. Os piedosos cruzados assumiram a tarefa, marchando enquanto os muçulmanos zombavam deles por trás dos muros. Eles pararam no Monte das Oliveiras para um sermão emocionante que os animou.

Depois disso, as coisas melhoraram para os cruzados (e pioraram para os muçulmanos). Os reforços chegaram com alimentos e suprimentos - os suprimentos necessários para construir armas de cerco. O que eram armas de cerco? Torres gigantes sobre rodas, escadas de escalada, catapultas e aríetes (para abrir os portões) eram todas armas de cerco. Depois de construídas, essas torres começaram a se mover contra as muralhas da cidade.

Para não ficar para trás, os muçulmanos lançaram bombas incendiárias, conhecidas como "fogo grego", de dentro da cidade. O fogo grego foi lançado em cerâmicas que estilhaçaram o fogo por toda parte, ou em trapos com pregos que cravaram nas paredes da torre e a incendiaram. Fardos de feno embebidos em óleo e cera também apontavam para as torres, mas os cruzados pregaram peles de animais embebidas em vinagre nas torres para repelir o fogo.

Finalmente, uma das torres de cerco garantiu uma ponte para a cidade e assumiu o controle de uma parte da muralha. Com o controle do muro, escadas de escalada foram utilizadas para entrar na cidade, o que ocorreu por volta do meio-dia de uma sexta-feira. Os cruzados notaram que estavam entrando em Jerusalém na época da morte de Cristo.

Alguns dos muçulmanos se abrigaram na área do templo e se renderam às forças da Cruzada, enquanto outros continuaram a lutar na Torre de Davi, uma cidadela no meio da cidade. Finalmente, um general cruzado, preocupado por estar perdendo o saque que já havia começado em Jerusalém, se ofereceu para parar de lutar se os muçulmanos entregassem a torre a ele. Esses muçulmanos concordaram e foram autorizados a deixar a cidade, tornando-os os únicos a sobreviver ao cerco de Jerusalém.

Os cruzados passaram a noite e o dia seguinte matando muçulmanos, mesmo aqueles que haviam recebido termos de rendição. Eles cortaram os estômagos dos muçulmanos, depois que um soldado disse que os muçulmanos engoliram seu próprio ouro. Os judeus, que haviam buscado refúgio em sua sinagoga, foram queimados vivos quando os cruzados atearam fogo. Relatos de testemunhas falam de sangue correndo nas ruas e partes de corpos cobrindo a cidade - isto é, é claro, até que todas aquelas partes de corpos fossem queimadas.

Esse tipo de massacre atinge nossa sensibilidade moderna como selvagem e bárbara. Mas os cruzados achavam que gozavam das boas graças de Deus. Eles foram encarregados de limpar Jerusalém do contágio de forças não-cristãs e foram bem-sucedidos. A cidade onde Cristo finalmente morreu era, na visão dos cruzados, estritamente cristã.

A Primeira Cruzada não foi a única cruzada, e a Terra Santa não permaneceu no poder cristão para sempre. Apesar de suas diferenças de objetivos e estratégia, a Primeira Cruzada e as outras que se seguiram tiveram três coisas em comum - religião, política e guerra de sítio. Continue lendo para saber como cada um deles contribuiu para as Cruzadas posteriores.


Primeira Cruzada: Cerco de Jerusalém

& # 8216Jerusalém é o umbigo do mundo, uma terra fértil acima de todas as outras, como outro paraíso de delícias, escreveu Robert o monge em Historia Hierosolymitana. E, de fato, durante séculos Jerusalém, sagrada para judeus, cristãos e muçulmanos, foi o centro das atenções para uma sucessão de exércitos conquistadores & # 8211 que tornaram a vida qualquer coisa, menos um paraíso para sua população.

O verão de 1098 viu a muito disputada cidade-fortaleza nas mãos dos egípcios. O Emir fatímida (comandante) al-Afdal Shahinshah tomou Jerusalém dos turcos seljúcidas após um cerco de 40 dias, por ordem do vizir (ministro de estado) al-Musta & # 8217li, governante do Egito. Muitos meses de manobras políticas e diplomáticas com o Franj (Franks & # 8211o termo árabe usado para todos os cruzados da Europa Ocidental) e o Rumi (Romanos & # 8211; na verdade, os gregos do Império Bizantino) não conseguiram ao vizir as concessões que ele queria, então ele simplesmente enviou o emir al-Afdal para tomar a cidade que os Cruzados estavam vindo para capturar, apresentando assim o Franj invasores com um fato consumado.

Nos meses seguintes, os poetas muçulmanos xiitas da corte fatímida trabalhariam diligentemente para redigir grandes elogios ao homem que arrancara Jerusalém dos hereges seljúcidas sunitas. A poesia terminou em janeiro de 1099, quando o Franj partiu de Antioquia para retomar sua marcha para o sul.

Esses guerreiros europeus partiram pela primeira vez na estrada para Jerusalém depois que o Papa Urbano II fez um apelo por tropas em Clermont, França, em 27 de novembro de 1095. O papa estava respondendo em parte a rumores, a maioria falsos, de atrocidades muçulmanas cometidas contra cristãos peregrinos visitando a Terra Santa, e ele também procurou um meio de unir reis e senhores contenciosos da Europa em uma causa comum. Desde então, ondas de fanáticos haviam feito seu caminho em direção ao seu objetivo final, & # 8211Jerusalém & # 8211, mas o caminho estava longe de ser fácil. Na verdade, muitos dos sobreviventes que pisaram em seu caminho ao longo da última etapa de sua jornada consideraram os incidentes que ocorreram ao longo do caminho como uma série de provações para eliminar todos, exceto os mais dignos soldados da cruz.

Em 1096, os cruzados alemães, liderados pelo conde da Suábia Emich von Leiningen, desabafaram seu zelo religioso com judeus desarmados, assassinando milhares até entrarem em conflito com o rei Kolomon da Hungria, cujo exército matou cerca de 10.000 deles e expulsou o restante de seu país. Outros, liderados por Pedro, o Eremita, tornaram-se tão rebeldes que foram atacados pelos soldados bizantinos que supostamente deveriam tê-los escoltado até Constantinopla. Milhares de outros foram massacrados em seu primeiro encontro com os turcos seljúcidas, em Civitot em 21 de outubro de 1096 (ver História Militar, Fevereiro de 1998).

A Cruzada dos Pobres representou uma espécie de falso começo para a Primeira Cruzada. Uma segunda onda, mais profissionalmente liderada por ativistas endurecidos como Raymond IV de Toulouse, o conde de São Gilles Raymond de Flandres Robert da Normandia Godfrey de Bouillon Bohemund de Taranto e Adhémar de Monteil, bispo de Le Puy, se saiu melhor, marchando para a Síria e tomar a fortaleza de Antioquia em junho de 1098 (ver História Militar, Junho de 1998). Dificuldades, doenças e discórdia entre os cruzados & # 8217 a liderança conjunta continuaram a cobrar seu preço, no entanto. Em 1º de agosto de 1098, o bispo Adhémar, o representante do papa & # 8217s, morreu durante uma epidemia. Mais tarde naquele mês, o irmão do rei da França, o conde Hugo de Vermandois, voltou para casa, levando suas tropas com ele. Bohemund discutiu com Raymond de Toulouse sobre quem governaria Antioquia até que os cruzados mais zelosos ameaçaram arrasar os muros da cidade se a marcha sobre Jerusalém não recomeçasse. Raymond cedeu a posse de Antioquia a Bohemund e concordou em liderar os cruzados. O sobrinho normando de Bohemund & # 8217s, Tancredo, acompanhou a marcha, em parte por fé e em parte, sem dúvida, para ficar de olho em novas oportunidades para sua família.

Foi um exército menor que marchou sobre Jerusalém, mas seus soldados eram muito mais resistentes. Os cruzados raramente encontraram resistência. Muitos emires locais, guiados pelo provérbio árabe, Beije qualquer braço que você não possa quebrar & # 8211e ore a Deus para quebrá-lo, ajudaram o anfitrião cristão apenas para garantir que ele seguiria em frente. Um conflito maior continuou entre os seguidores normandos de Robert & # 8217 e Tancred & # 8217s e os cavaleiros da Provença de Raymond de Toulouse & # 8217s. Enquanto os cruzados sitiavam a resistente cidade muçulmana de Arqa, Peter Bartholemew (o camponês que ganhara celebridade ao descobrir um pedaço de ferro enferrujado em um fosso em Antioquia e convencer a todos de que foi a ponta da lança sagrada que perfurou Jesus O lado de Cristo durante a crucificação) afirmava ter um discurso com os santos, resultando em profecias que, observaram os normandos, invariavelmente pareciam favorecer os provençais. Quando os normandos denunciaram Pedro como uma fraude e questionaram a autenticidade da lança sagrada, ele se ofereceu para ser submetido a uma prova de fogo, declarando que Deus permitiria que ele passasse pelas chamas ileso. Um cálice de chamas foi devidamente preparado e abençoado pelos bispos, após o que Pedro correu pelo fogo e saiu gravemente queimado, morrendo em agonia 12 dias depois. Raymond, é claro, disse que foi a falta de fé da multidão e não o incêndio que causou as queimaduras fatais de Peter.

Depois de abandonar o cerco de Arqa, os cruzados marcharam facilmente pelas cidades mais complacentes de Trípoli, Beirute e Acre. Pouco depois de deixarem esta última cidade, no entanto, um falcão cavaleiro # 8217 pegou um pombo sobrevoando o acampamento dos Cruzados & # 8217 com uma nota amarrada à sua perna & # 8211 um apelo do governador do Acre a todos os muçulmanos para se levantarem jihad (guerra santa) contra o Franj invasores.

O vizir al-Musta & # 8217li agora lamentava se interpor entre os cruzados e os turcos. Levaria meses para formar um exército adequado para aliviar o cerco de Jerusalém, e ele enviou um emissário ao imperador Aleixo I Comneno em Constantinopla, pedindo-lhe que atrasasse os invasores. Alexius pediu aos europeus que esperassem até que ele pudesse se juntar a eles. Mas eles passaram a desconfiar do homem cujo pedido de ajuda para restaurar a Terra Santa ao domínio cristão havia levado às Cruzadas, e sua resposta foi contundente: Iremos todos nós a Jerusalém, em formação de combate, nossas lanças levantadas!

A defesa da grande fortaleza cor de mel estava agora nas mãos do governador fatímida Iftikhar al-Daula (Orgulho do Estado). As paredes estavam em boas condições e sua guarnição de cavalaria árabe e arqueiros sudaneses era forte. Iftikhar era um bom general que inspirava heroísmo, e seu exército era intensamente leal a ele. Além disso, uma coluna de ajuda egípcia estava a caminho e havia muitas provisões disponíveis até que ela chegasse. À medida que os cruzados se aproximavam de Jerusalém, o governador bloqueou ou envenenou todos os poços que ficavam fora das paredes, moveu todos os animais para dentro e expulsou todos os cristãos, independentemente da denominação. A maioria dos judeus também partiu, exceto aqueles de uma seita para a qual era obrigatório residir na Cidade Santa. Apesar das perseguições recentes, os cristãos superavam em muito os residentes de outras religiões na cidade e, no início de junho de 1099, a população de Jerusalém havia diminuído de 70.000 para menos de 30.000.

o Franj A força que se aproximou de Jerusalém contava com pouco mais de 15.000 pessoas, incluindo mulheres e crianças, e apenas cerca de 1.300 delas eram cavaleiros. A fome os tornara magros e as adversidades os tornavam fortes. Um eclipse da lua em 5 de junho foi visto como um sinal favorável de Deus, e seu moral estava alto no dia 7, quando avistaram pela primeira vez as cúpulas e paredes de Jerusalém da Mesquita do Profeta Samuel no topo da colina normalmente referida por peregrinos como Montonjoie, a Joyous Mountain.

Os cruzados eram poucos para invadir a cidade inteira, então eles concentraram suas forças onde pudessem chegar mais perto das muralhas. Robert, duque da Normandia, posicionou suas forças ao longo da parede norte no Portão das Flores, ou Portão de Herodes. Roberto de Flandres estava à sua direita no Portão da Coluna, também conhecido como Santo Estêvão & # 8217s ou Portão de Damasco. Godfrey de Lorraine posicionou-se no ângulo noroeste da cidade até o Portão de Jaffa, com Raymond de Toulouse ao sul. Tancredo mais tarde juntou-se a Godfrey, trazendo com ele rebanhos de ovelhas que ele havia levado em sua marcha de Belém. Raymond descobriu que o vale situado entre sua posição e o Portão de Jaffa o mantinham muito longe das muralhas, então, depois de dois ou três dias, ele moveu suas forças para o Monte Sião. Os acessos leste e sudeste de Jerusalém não eram protegidos de forma alguma.

A vantagem estava com Iftikhar. Ele tinha um suprimento constante de água, muito mais comida do que os invasores e armas melhores. O governador reforçou suas torres com sacos de algodão e feno, construindo-as mais altas a cada noite com pedras, enquanto esperava que a coluna egípcia em relevo aparecesse.

Os cruzados encontraram uma fonte de água imaculada, o tanque de Siloé abaixo da parede sul, mas era tão perto da cidade que tirar água era perigoso. Essa fonte jorrava água fria a cada três dias, um atributo simplesmente atribuído pelos cruzados à vontade de Deus. Soldados, enlouquecidos de sede, lutaram entre si para ter acesso a essa piscina. Raymond de Aguilers descreveu a cena: Aqueles que eram fortes empurraram e empurraram seu caminho de forma mortal através da piscina, que já estava sufocada com animais mortos e homens lutando por suas vidas, e & # 8230 alcançaram a boca rochosa da fonte, enquanto aqueles os mais fracos foram deixados para trás na água suja. Esses mais fracos esparramavam-se no chão & # 8230 com a boca escancarada, as línguas ressecadas deixando-os sem fala, enquanto estendiam as mãos para implorar água aos mais afortunados.

Água adicional teve que ser trazida de mais de seis milhas de distância, e a guarnição regularmente enviava grupos de ataque para emboscar os comboios aquáticos. Muitos europeus morreram nesses ataques surpresa. A água tornou-se tão escassa que um denário (a moeda de prata da Roma antiga que é o centavo do Novo Testamento) não compraria o suficiente para matar a sede de um homem. Eventualmente, qualquer pessoa que trouxesse um suprimento de água, mesmo que não fosse, poderia citar o preço que quisesse.

A comida também era escassa e o sol quente do deserto era insuportável para as pessoas acostumadas a um clima mais frio, especialmente para aqueles que usavam armaduras pesadas. Mesmo na Europa, cerca de metade de todas as baixas em batalha entre os cavaleiros foram devidas à prostração pelo calor no deserto escaldante do Oriente Médio, esse número deve ter sido muito maior.

Em 12 de junho, os líderes do exército fizeram uma peregrinação ao Monte das Oliveiras, onde encontraram um eremita idoso que os incitou a atacar a cidade no dia 13. Os príncipes protestaram que não tinham as máquinas adequadas para lançar um ataque de tal magnitude. Deus, disse o eremita, lhes daria a vitória se tivessem fé suficiente.

O ataque foi lançado no dia seguinte. De acordo com historiadores europeus, os cruzados tinham muito poucas escadas. Os árabes dizem que não havia nenhum, mas isso parece improvável, já que parte dos suprimentos dos Cruzados & # 8217 consistia no equipamento desmontado usado para atacar outras cidades em seu caminho pela Terra Santa. Os defensores ficaram surpresos com o fanatismo dos Cruzados e a maneira como eles se jogaram contra as paredes de 12 a 15 metros de altura. As defesas externas do norte foram invadidas, mas nada mais foi realizado. Depois de várias horas, quando os cristãos não haviam alcançado a vitória prometida por Deus, eles se retiraram. Todo mundo estava desorganizado e desanimado naquele ponto, e se o exército da cidade tivesse contra-atacado, a Primeira Cruzada quase certamente teria terminado em fracasso ali mesmo. Raymond de Aguilers, que nunca perdeu a fé em milagres ou eremitas, disse que o ataque teria sido bem-sucedido se os príncipes não o tivessem interrompido muito cedo por medo e preguiça, mas outros agora perceberam que novos ataques teriam que esperar até que melhores preparações fossem feitas. feito.

O moral desceu ao fundo do poço e muitos queriam encerrar a Cruzada e voltar para casa. Houve muita contenda sobre Tancred & # 8217s ter se juntado a seu exército com Godfrey de Bouillon, em vez de com Raymond de Toulouse, a quem ele havia jurado lealdade. Houve mais rixas sobre quem ficaria com o quê quando Jerusalém fosse tomada, embora poucos ainda acreditassem que a cidade pudesse ser tomada.

Um sacerdote, Pedro Desidério, apresentou-se então para descrever uma visão que tivera. O espírito do falecido bispo Adhémar de Le Puy apareceu e deu-lhe um plano para a vitória. Essas instruções incluíam fazer com que os cruzados dessem as costas ao pecado, jejuassem e fizessem uma procissão descalça ao redor da parede de 2 1/2 milhas de comprimento.

Eles partiram em 8 de julho, uma sexta-feira, com cerca de 15.000 peregrinos descalços e enlameados, famintos por falta de provisões e agora jejuando por opção, cambaleando em grande fila ao som de trombetas e cantos de padres. Os sacerdotes erguiam altares e relíquias no alto, incluindo a suposta lança sagrada que salvou a Cruzada em Antioquia e o osso do braço de São Jorge, roubado de um mosteiro bizantino. Enquanto isso, um cruzado notava que os muçulmanos nas paredes zombavam e profanavam muitas cruzes com golpes e atos vulgares. Após a marcha, houve conversas encorajadoras de vários clérigos, incluindo Pedro, o Eremita, que ironicamente levou dezenas de milhares à morte na Cruzada dos Pobres em 1096.

Uma ajuda mais prática já havia chegado na forma de seis navios que ancoraram em Jaffa, que havia sido abandonado pelos árabes. Duas eram galés genovesas e os outros quatro navios quase certamente ingleses. Em seus porões havia comida e armamentos, incluindo corda e hardware necessários para construir máquinas de cerco. Com a notícia de sua chegada, o conde Geldemar Carpenel, membro da equipe de Godfrey de Bouillon & # 8217s, partiu com 50 cavaleiros e 50 soldados de infantaria para garantir que os suprimentos fossem entregues com segurança. Quase imediatamente a sabedoria de enviar uma força tão pequena foi questionada, e Raymond Piletus foi enviado com 50 cavaleiros para reforçá-los. Ainda mais tarde, Guilherme de Ramleh, do exército do conde de Toulouse, cavalgou.

Iftikhar despachou 400 de seus melhores soldados árabes e 200 turcos para destruí-los. Eles esperaram em Ramleh, a alguns quilômetros de Jaffa na estrada para Jerusalém, depois atacaram Geldemar na planície de Ramleh. A força muçulmana cercou os europeus e começou a disparar flechas. Geldemar posicionou seus cavaleiros e arqueiros em sua primeira fileira, com todos os outros atrás, e avançou. Cinco cavaleiros, incluindo o jovem Achard de Montemerle, e todos os arqueiros foram mortos. Cerca de 30 europeus ainda estavam vivos quando uma nuvem de poeira foi vista no horizonte & # 8211os 50 cavaleiros adicionais liderados por Raymond Piletus estavam vindo para o resgate com carga total. Destruídos pelo choque deste ataque da cavalaria pesada, os muçulmanos fugiram. Os cruzados mataram muitos muçulmanos na perseguição que se seguiu, espalhando um total de 200 mortos no campo de batalha, e muitos saques foram feitos.

Uma frota egípcia apareceu agora ao largo de Jaffa. Um navio inglês partiu em uma expedição de saqueio e conseguiu escapar usando remos e velas. Os outros navios foram abandonados e suas tripulações se juntaram à Cruzada. Os homens e seus suprimentos foram muito bem-vindos, mas os cruzados ainda precisavam de madeira, embora tenham conseguido obtê-la desmantelando dois dos navios encalhados. Várias outras expedições de longo alcance trouxeram pouco mais de volta, até que Tancredo, Roberto de Flandres e seus seguidores viajaram até as florestas ao redor de Samaria. De acordo com Radulph de Caen, Tancredo estava sofrendo de disenteria e, depois de vagar até encontrar uma cavidade rochosa cercada por árvores onde pudesse fazer suas necessidades em privacidade, ele se viu diante de uma caverna cheia de 400 peças de madeira preparada. Às vezes, o Senhor trabalha de maneiras misteriosas.

A expedição voltou com camelos e 50 ou 60 trabalhadores muçulmanos carregados com pranchas e enormes toras. O bispo de Albara foi colocado no comando e fez os muçulmanos trabalharem como escravos. Os cristãos locais alegremente agiram como guias para essas expedições de suprimentos, algo que eles podem ter se arrependido mais tarde quando os europeus recusaram aos padres ortodoxos quaisquer direitos dentro da cidade e os torturaram para saber a localização da Verdadeira Cruz da Crucificação.

Usando sua madeira recém-adquirida, o Franj, com a ajuda de engenheiros genoveses, começou a construir duas enormes torres de cerco, catapultas e um aríete. Essas torres, ou malvoisins (maus vizinhos), eram enormes castelos com rodas com tudo o que era necessário para um ataque, incluindo catapultas e pontes que podiam ser baixadas para dar acesso ao topo da parede. Essas pontes levadiças eram articuladas ao segundo convés das torres e, antes de serem baixadas, protegiam as de dentro.

Os genoveses, sob o comando de William Embriaco, eram bastante habilidosos, e até os velhos e as mulheres se juntaram à construção. Todos, exceto os artesãos profissionais, trabalhavam de graça. O conde Raymond pagou seus artesãos com sua própria bolsa, mas aqueles que trabalharam na outra torre foram pagos com uma coleção feita entre o povo. Por vários dias eles trabalharam em meio a ventos de siroco, algo a que os cruzados não estavam acostumados. Gaston, visconde de Béarn, foi responsável pela construção do castelo móvel de Godfrey & # 8217 ao norte da cidade, enquanto William Ricou supervisionou a Raymond & # 8217s ao sul. Couros de boi e camelo frescos embebidos em vinagre foram pregados nas torres para protegê-los do fogo grego.

Em 10 de julho, as torres foram concluídas e colocadas em posição. Pela primeira vez Iftikhar ficou preocupado, emitindo ordens estritas para que ele fosse notificado se uma das torres se aproximasse da cidade.

Os defensores estavam concentrando suas forças na frente das torres, então Godfrey de Bouillon tomou uma decisão de última hora. Durante a noite, sua torre foi lentamente girada cerca de 800 metros ao longo da linha para ficar de frente para a parede norte perto do Portão de Herodes. A outra máquina de cerco foi desmontada, movida e remontada & # 8211até um trabuco, a máquina de arremesso mais usada do período, consistindo em muitos pedaços enormes de madeira, centenas de pedras que eram usadas como munição e pedras mais pesadas para o contrapeso que impulsionava os mísseis. Desmontar, mover e remontar tal máquina no escuro deve ter exigido um esforço quase sobre-humano.

O ataque final foi lançado na noite de 13 de julho. De acordo com Raymond de Aguilers, uma fonte confiável, a força efetiva do exército agora era de 12.000 guerreiros, incluindo trabalhadores, marinheiros e outros não profissionais, e de 1.200 a 1.300 cavaleiros. Ele não tentou avaliar o número de homens, mulheres e crianças idosos. Raymond de Toulouse, em posição ao longo da parede sul, lutou para preencher o fosso e manobrar uma torre de cerco contra a parede, mas os defensores o mantiveram afastado. Arautos anunciaram que qualquer homem que trouxesse três grandes pedras para atirar na vala receberia um denário. Assim foi concluído o trabalho.

Godfrey de Bouillon, Roberto da Normandia e Tancredo escolheram atacar a parede norte logo a leste do Portão de Herodes & # 8217. Seu enorme aríete abriu um buraco na parede externa e os escombros foram usados ​​para preencher o fosso. Em cotas de malha e capacetes, com um teto elevado feito de escudos, os atacantes invadiram as paredes com uma saraivada de flechas e pedras. A palha que reforça as paredes foi incendiada com flechas flamejantes.

Conforme a enorme torre de cerco se aproximava cada vez mais da parede, os egípcios responderam com cargas de catapultas de fogo grego. O composto à base de enxofre e piche (cuja composição exata era um segredo bem guardado e ainda hoje um mistério) foi o napalm da Idade Média. Cerâmica flamejante cheia de fogo grego se espatifou com o impacto, espalhando chamas sobre tudo e todos nas proximidades. Trajes embebidos na substância eram enrolados em parafusos de madeira, cravados com pregos para aderir ao que quer que batessem e arremessados ​​contra as enormes torres. Repetidamente as torres foram incendiadas, e todas as vezes as chamas foram apagadas com água e vinagre ou apagando o fogo.

Fardos de feno, embebidos em óleo e cera para queimarem muito depois de chegarem ao solo, foram atirados sobre as paredes, especialmente em torno das duas torres. Prédios estavam em chamas, havia poças de fogo fora das paredes e a fumaça permeava o ar. Duas mulheres muçulmanas foram vistas lançando um feitiço sobre a catapulta mais próxima, mas uma pedra da máquina enfeitiçada as matou e, de acordo com o relato dos Crusaders & # 8217, quebrou o feitiço.

Os cruzados lutaram durante toda a noite e o dia 14 sem estabelecer um ponto de apoio. À noite, Raymond conseguiu empurrar sua torre contra a parede. A defesa foi acirrada, com o governador pessoalmente encarregado dessa área. Raymond não conseguiu garantir um ponto de apoio e a torre foi destruída em 15 de julho. Poucos que estavam lá escaparam.

Os relatos dos Crusaders & # 8217 elogiaram de má vontade a precisão das catapultas muçulmanas, que destruíram muitas de suas máquinas. O aríete do The Crusaders & # 8217 ficou preso e bloqueou o caminho da torre norte. Mas na manhã seguinte a torre de Godfrey & # 8217, com seus três níveis de combate encimados por uma grande figura dourada de Cristo, estava contra a parede norte, perto do Portão de Herodes & # 8217s. Godfrey e seu irmão, Eustace de Boulogne, comandam da história principal. Os defensores laçaram a torre e tentaram derrubá-la, mas os cavaleiros cortaram as cordas com suas espadas.

Mais tarde, naquela mesma manhã, os cruzados começaram a se sentir exaustos com a luta contínua e se reuniram para debater se a batalha deveria ser encerrada. Antes que uma decisão fosse tomada, um cavaleiro no topo do Monte das Oliveiras sinalizou para o conde de Toulouse avançar. Godfrey de Bouillon ordenou a seus homens que renovassem o ataque de fogo contra os fardos de feno e algodão que protegiam as paredes. O vento mudou, enormes nuvens de fumaça sufocaram e cegaram os defensores, fazendo com que alguns fugissem.

Imensas madeiras foram presas às paredes para evitar que as torres se fechassem com elas. Os cruzados agarraram um deles e pregaram-no na torre, depois colocaram a ponte no lugar. o Franj agora tinha um caminho para a cidade. Dois cavaleiros flamengos, Litold e Gilbert de Tournai, lideraram a escolha do contingente lotharíngeo. O próprio Godfrey logo o seguiu. Com ele estavam seu irmão, Eustace, o conde de Flandres e Roberto da Normandia. Era por volta do meio-dia de sexta-feira, 15 de julho, e muitos estavam perfeitamente cientes de que estavam entrando em Jerusalém na hora da morte de Cristo.

De acordo com o professor Joshua Prawer, da Universidade Hebraica de Jerusalém, esta parte mais crucial da luta ocorreu ao longo de uma porção da parede de 65 metros (71 jardas) entre a segunda torre a leste do Portão de Herodes & # 8217s e a primeira praça saliente no parede além dela, do outro lado da estrada entre o atual Museu Rockefeller e a parede. O controle de uma seção da muralha permitiu que os invasores usassem escadas de escalada para despejar mais e mais homens na cidade. Godfrey permaneceu na parede, encorajando os recém-chegados e orientando os homens a abrir o Portão da Coluna para permitir que as massas dos Cruzados entrassem. Foi dito que o fantasma de Adhémar de Le Puy foi visto entre os que corriam para abrir o portão.

Tancredo e seus homens, que estavam logo atrás dos Lorrainers, penetraram profundamente na cidade. Os muçulmanos fugiram em direção à área do templo e se refugiaram na mesquita de al-Aqsa, mas Tancredo os atacou antes que pudessem estabelecer suas defesas. Eles se renderam rapidamente, ofereceram um grande resgate e Tancredo lhes deu seu estandarte para exibirem sobre a mesquita. As forças de Tancredo já haviam pilhado o Domo da Rocha, um dos lugares mais sagrados do Islã, ganhando uma grande fortuna.

O povo de Jerusalém recuou confuso, tentando desesperadamente escapar dos invasores. Quando os cruzados invadiram as muralhas do sul, Iftikhar percebeu que tudo estava perdido. Retirando-se para a Torre de Davi, ele se preparou para fazer sua última resistência.

A Torre de Davi, a parte mais forte de toda a rede defensiva, era uma cidadela octogonal cujas fundações haviam sido soldadas com chumbo. Embora fosse óbvio para eles que a cidade estava perdida, Iftikhar e seus soldados continuaram a lutar. Nas palavras de Amin Maalouf, o que mais eles poderiam fazer?

Então o Franj parou de lutar e um mensageiro trouxe uma oferta de Raymond de Toulouse. O general egípcio e seus homens teriam permissão para partir se entregassem a torre a ele.

Embora Raymond fosse respeitado por sua habilidade e valor em batalha, o sexagenário de cabelos brancos também tinha uma reputação de traição. Ao continuar a batalha contra os egípcios, no entanto, ele e seus provençais estavam perdendo o saque que estava em andamento. Os Frank estavam discutindo sobre quem ficaria com qual casa, e Raymond estava sendo deixado de fora. Iftikhar finalmente concordou em se render se Raymond garantisse pessoalmente a segurança dele e de seus homens. Raymond concordou e eles partiram naquela noite. Eles foram os únicos muçulmanos a escapar da queda de Jerusalém. A maioria dos outros foi morta, enquanto alguns foram tomados como escravos.

Os cruzados passaram pelo menos aquela noite e no dia seguinte matando muçulmanos, incluindo todos aqueles na mesquita de al-Aqsa, onde a bandeira de Tancred & # 8217 deveria tê-los protegido. Nem mesmo mulheres e crianças foram poupadas. Os judeus da cidade buscaram refúgio em sua sinagoga, apenas para serem queimados vivos nela pelos cruzados. Raymond of Aquilers reported that he saw piles of heads, hands and feet on a walk through the holy city. Men trotted across the bodies and body fragments as if they were a carpet for their convenience. The Europeans also destroyed the monuments to Orthodox Christian saints and the tomb of Abraham.

There were no recorded instances of rape. The massacre was not insanity but policy, as stated by Fulcher of Chartres: They desired that this place, so long contaminated by the superstition of the pagan inhabitants, should be cleansed from their contagion. The Crusaders intended Jerusalem to be a Christian city–and strictly a Latin Christian city. This is a day the Lord made, wrote Raymond of Aguilers. We shall rejoice and be glad in it.

The Crusaders cut open the stomachs of the dead because someone said that the Muslims sometimes swallowed their gold to hide it. Later, when the corpses were burned, Crusaders kept watch for the melted gold that they expected to see flowing onto the ground. While the slaughter was still going on, many churchmen and princes assembled for a holy procession. Barefoot, chanting and singing, they walked to the shrine of the Holy Sepulchre through the blood flowing around their feet. Reports that the blood was waist deep are believed to have come from a later misreading of a Bible passage. However, in the official letter To Lord Paschal, Pope Of The Roman Church, to all the bishops and to the whole Christian people from the Archbishop of Pisa, Duke Godfrey, now by the grace of God Defender of the Holy Sepulchre, Raymond, Count of St. Gilles, and the whole army of God, the Crusaders recorded that in Solomon’s Portico and in his Temple our men rode in the blood of the Saracens [Muslims] up to the knees of their horses.

There would still be a few battles, including one at Ascalon on August 12 in which 10,000 Crusaders led by Godfrey of Bouillon easily routed what they called the army of the Babylonians–actually, the belated Egyptian relief column under Emir al-Afdal–but the First Crusade had accomplished its ultimate purpose. The holy city of Jerusalem was in Christian hands.

This article was written by Michael D. Hull and originally published in the June 1999 issue of História Militar revista. Para mais artigos excelentes, certifique-se de se inscrever em História Militar revista hoje!


Massacre at Jerusalem -- Do The Crusades Still Matter?

On July 15, 1099, a few thousand European soldiers broke through the walls of Jerusalem and massacred its garrison. At the time, everyone involved saw this moment in apocalyptic terms, and the memory won't go away. Nine centuries later, for example, former President Clinton recalled the massacre as a way to contextualize 9/11. The crusade story, he said in November 2001, "is still being told today in the Middle East, and we are still paying for it."

Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of President Clinton's argument, without 9/11 we probably wouldn't care about 1099. Barely anyone remembered it, for example, on July 15, 1999, the 900th anniversary of the battle for Jerusalem, when there were almost no commemorations, favorable or otherwise, of the First Crusade. (The major exception was the Christian "Reconciliation Walk," from Cologne to Jerusalem, organized as an apology for the crusade.)

For better or worse, we remember the First Crusade now. But how should we do so? What did the battle of Jerusalem mean in 1099, and why should we care today?

Let's begin with the actual battle. By the time the crusaders reached Jerusalem, they were primed for a bloodletting. Most of them had been marching for almost three years, having endured unimaginable suffering and unspeakable horrors. Their very survival seemed miraculous, proof that God had endorsed their cause.

When they captured the city on July 15, they killed so many Muslims, according to eyewitnesses, that the streets ran ankle deep with blood -- perhaps a mass hallucination, but not the only one that day. Many crusaders swore that their dead companions had accompanied them into the city, joining in the battle. Other eyewitnesses claimed to have seen a rider on a white horse, as foretold in the book of Revelation, galloping from the Mount of Olives. One observer even said that the blood flowed as high as the horses' bridles.

The carnage was prodigious, but the crusaders did not in fact kill all of Jerusalem's defenders. One large contingent of Muslims took refuge in the city's main citadel, conventionally called the Tower of David, and negotiated a ransom. They left the city, apparently without incident.

Another group of Muslims had sought refuge atop al-Aqsa mosque and were likewise negotiating their release with a crusader prince. Before payment could be made, however, a contingent of Christians discovered the prisoners on July 16 and killed them all to a man, woman and child.

This second massacre led to a crisis. One Christian prince had collected his ransom another had lost his. Still other crusaders were holding more prisoners who had also escaped July 15. What to do with them? After one more day of consideration, the leadership decided to kill every surviving Muslim.

Thus began a general slaughter whose brutality traumatized even some of the executioners. In the words of one contemporary, who otherwise celebrated the crusade, "The Christians gave over their whole hearts to the slaughter, so that not a sucking little male child or female, not even an infant of one year would escape alive the hand of the murderer."

We don't know how many people died during this three-day butchery. One 12th century Arab historian put the figure at 70,000, an obvious exaggeration. The lowest estimate (coming from another Muslim observer) is 3,000, which would make the death toll roughly equal to 9/11. The actual figure is probably between these two numbers, and toward the lower end of the spectrum -- perhaps around 10,000.

And the smell of death lingered, literally. On Christmas 1099, a Christian pilgrim reported that he had to cover his nose upon reaching Jerusalem. The stench of unburied corpses turned his stomach.

One can debate the military necessity of these actions. One can even debate their morality, since they followed something like the medieval rules of war. Attackers were expected to spare a city only if it surrendered during a siege, not if it was captured due to military action. In practice, though, this rule usually led to mass ransoms and property forfeitures, not mass slaughter.

What one cannot debate is that these events lay totally outside the experience of European warriors. In the largely rural countryside of their homeland, most soldiers would have had precious little experience of urban life. None of them had ever gone into a city and killed every living inhabitant -- at least not until they joined the crusade.

It is an ugly story, making it easy to understand why the Reconciliation Walkers felt a need to apologize.

But 900 years later, is an apology really constructive? Despite the fantasies of jihadists and apocalyptic evangelicals, the crusades are not part of current events. None of the actors responsible is left to apologize (except, perhaps, for the papacy, still smarting over the whole Galileo business), and both Christian and Muslim societies have moved on. For starters, the crusaders did lose -- driven out of Jerusalem in 1187 and out of the Holy Land in 1291.

No apologies necessary, but that doesn't mean we -- not in the sense of Westerners or Christians, but in the sense of everyone -- are obligated to remember our history, and as good historians do, to search it for lessons. They are not hard to find.

As a tale of a western society that chose all-out war against a dimly understood Muslim adversary, leading to nearly two centuries of an unwinnable occupation, you can't help but wish that American policymakers had read this story ten years ago.

As a tale about the horrors of religious warfare, of what ordinary believers are capable of doing once they become convinced God is directing their cause, of what happens when militants believe themselves to be literal and not just figurative martyrs for a cause, you can't help but wish that everyone -- Christian and Muslim, Eastern and Western -- would listen to this story and learn in the telling of it not to apologize but simply to understand and reject its ideals.


#204: Crusaders Capture Jerusalem

The Crusades were, or at least they seem from a modern perspective, a nightmarish atrocity and one of the worst crimes ever committed in the name of Christ.

Just at the time that Europe was regaining its strength and confidence, the Pope received an appeal from the Eastern Emperor to come and help him liberate Jerusalem. Though it had been in Muslim hands for centuries, its latest ruler would not let Christian pilgrims enter the city. The Pope called all the rulers of Europe to take their armies East and reconquer Jerusalem and the rest for the church. By the time that they got there, Jerusalem was admitting pilgrims again, but they carried out the war anyway.

The First Crusade was a great success in taking Jerusalem, Antioch and other biblical cities. But the barbaric violence with which it was done was simply horrific. It was not too long before the cities started falling back into Muslim hands. Many more Crusades followed, but they achieved less and less. Ultimately the Crusades achieved little more than demonstrating what a gulf there is between the teachings of Jesus and the actions of his followers.

This account is by Raymond d&rsquoAguiliers, chaplain to Count Raymond of Toulouse who led one of the two French armies, and who naturally figures prominently in the account.

If such things as Raymond describes &mdash and his attitude to them &mdash seem thankfully unthinkable today, try to imagine what would have made people think and act like that then. God&rsquos Batallions by Rodney Stark is as good a defence as has been written for the Crusades.

Material de Origem

We loaded our camels and oxen, and then all our baggage animals and horses, and marched on to Jerusalem. However, we forgot what Peter Bartholomew had commanded us &mdash that we should not approach Jerusalem except with bared feet. [This is how pilgrims were supposed to travel.] Everyone ignored the instruction, out of ambition to occupy castles and villas before the rest. It was our custom that whoever got to a castle first placed his standard there with a guard, and no one else took it. Everyone got up at midnight and, without waiting for anyone, took everything along the Jordan. However, a few who respected God&rsquos command walked barefoot, sighing heavily for this contempt of God&rsquos word.

Duke Godfrey and the Counts of Flanders and Normandy besieged Jerusalem from the north side. Count Raymond and his army, besieged the city from the west, but his men could not get to the wall because of the valley in front of it. So, he wanted to move his camp. One day, while he was reconnoitering, he came to Mount Zion and saw the church there. When he heard of the miracles that God had performed there, he said to his leaders, &ldquoIf we neglect to take this holy gift which the Lord so graciously offers us, letting the Saracens occupy this place, what will become of us? What if, out of hatred for us they destroy and pollute these sacred things? Maybe God is giving us this opportunity to test our regard for him. What I know for sure is that if we do not protect this holy place carefully, the Lord will not give us the others within the city.&rdquo

And so Count Raymond, against the wishes of the leaders of his army, ordered his tents to be moved to that spot. There are sacred treasures in that church &mdash the tombs of the kings David and Solomon, as well as that of the first martyr, St. Stephen. There the Blessed Mary departed from this world the Lord supped there and, after rising from the dead, appeared there to his disciples and to Thomas. And on this spot the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit.

When the siege had been set up, some of the leaders of the army met a hermit on the Mount of Olives, who said to them, &ldquoIf you attack the city tomorrow till the ninth hour, the Lord will deliver it into your hands.&rdquo They replied, &ldquoBut we do not have the necessary machinery for storming the walls.&rdquo

The hermit said, &ldquoGod is all powerful. If he wills, we will storm the walls even with one ladder. The Lord aids those who labor for the truth.&rdquo So, with whatever machinery they could construct during the night, they attacked the city in the early morning, and it lasted till the third hour. The Saracens were forced to retreat behind the inner walls when our men broke down the outer wall, and some even climbed the inner walls. But when the city was about to be captured, in the confusion of desire and fear the attack was interrupted, and many of our men were killed. The following day no attack was attempted.

After this, the whole army scattered throughout the surrounding country to collect provisions, and no one even talked about preparing the machinery needed to capture the city. Each man was serving his own stomach. What was worse, they did not even ask the Lord to free them from such great evils, and so they were fatally afflicted.

Just before our arrival, the Saracens had filled up the springs, destroyed the cisterns, and dammed up the brooks. The Lord himself had turned rivers into wilderness and water springs into thirsty ground because of the wickedness of those who lived there. So we could only get water with great difficulty.

There is a fountain at the foot of Mount Zion, which is called the Pool of Siloam. It is a large spring, but water flows out of it only once every three days. We do not know how to explain this, except that the Lord willed it to be so. But when, on the third day the water flowed, it was consumed with such great crowding and haste that the men pushed one another into it, and many baggage animals and cattle died in it. And even when the pool was filled with the crowd and with the bodies of dead animals, the stronger forced their way to the opening in the rocks through which the water flowed, while the weak got only the water which bad already been contaminated. Many sick people fell down by the fountain, with tongues so parched that they were unable to utter a word, stretching out their hands with open mouths toward those who had water.

There were many horses, mules, cattle, and sheep in the field, most without enough strength to move. And when they had died of thirst, they rotted where they stood, and there was a sickening stench throughout the camp. But why say so much about these troubles? None, or few, were mindful of the Lord, or of the work needed to capture the city, nor did they bother to beseech the Lord&rsquos favor. We not recognize God in the midst of our affliction, nor did he show favor to the ungrateful.

The Bishop (Adhemar) appeared before Peter Desiderius, saying, &ldquoSpeak to the princes and all the people, and say to them, &ldquoYou who have come from distant lands to worship God and the Lord of hosts, purge yourselves of your uncleanness, and let each one turn from his evil ways. Then march around Jerusalem with bare feet, invoking God, and you must also fast. If you do this and then make a great attack on the city on the ninth day, it will be captured. if you do not, all the evils that you have suffered will be multiplied by the Lord.&rdquo

Although we have passed over many matters, this one we ought to record. While we marched around the city in Saracens and Turks made the circuit on the walls, procession, the ridiculing us in many ways. They placed many crosses on the walls in yokes and mocked them with blows and insulting deeds. We, in turn, hoping to obtain the aid of God in storming the city by means of these signs, pressed the work of the siege day and night.

The appointed day arrived and the attack began. There were sixty thousand fighting men in the city. We had no more than twelve thousand. I say this that you may realize that nothing, whether great or small, which is done in the name of the Lord can fail, as the following pages show.

Our men began to undermine the towers and walls. From every side stones were hurled from the catapults. Arrows fell like hail. The enemy bore this patiently, sustained by their own faith. There was no sign of the battle being won, but then the catapults got nearer to the walls, and we started to hurl burning wood and straw, dipped in pitch, wax, and sulfur. Neither swords not walls were any protection from such fiery missiles. And so the fight continued from the rising to the setting sun in such a wonderful way that it is difficult to believe anything more glorious was ever done. Then we called on Almighty God, our Leader and Guide, confident in His mercy.

The next morning, our men rushed to the walls and dragged the catapults forward, but the Saracens had constructed so many machines during the night that they had ten times our number. Thus they greatly interfered with our efforts.

This was the ninth day, on which the priest had said that we would capture the city. Our catapults were now shaken apart by the blows of their stones, and our men flagged from tiredness. However, there remained the mercy of the Lord which is never conquered, but is always a source of support in times of adversity.

Our men began to take heart. Some began to batter down the wall, while others scaled it with ladders and ropes. Our archers fired burning arrows which drove the defenders from the walls. Then the Count quickly released the long drawbridge of the wooden tower next to the wall, making a bridge over which the men began to enter Jerusalem bravely and fearlessly. The amount of blood that they shed on that day is incredible. Everyone climbed up after them, and the Saracens now began to suffer.

Now that our men had possession of the walls and towers, we saw some wonderful sights. Some of our men &mdash actually the more merciful ones &mdash cut off the heads of their enemies. Others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers. Others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands, and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. One had to pick one&rsquos way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the Temple of Solomon. You would not believe it if I told you. Suffice to say that in the Temple and porch of Solomon men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgment of God that this place should be filled with the blood of the unbelievers, since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies. The city was filled with corpses and blood.

Now that the city was taken, it was well worth all our labors and hardships to see the devotion of the pilgrims at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. How they rejoiced and sang a new song to the Lord! Their hearts offered such prayers of praise to God, victorious and triumphant, as cannot be told in words. A new day, new joy, new and perpetual gladness, the outcome of all our labor and devotion, made us all utter new words and new songs. This day, I say, will be famous in all future ages, for it turned our labors and sorrows into joy and exultation. This day, I say, marks the justification of all Christianity, the humiliation of paganism, and the renewal of our faith. &ldquoThis is the day which the Lord bath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it,&rdquo for on this day the Lord revealed Himself to His people and blessed them.

Bible Verses

Perguntas de estudo

Do you think the idea of reclaiming the Holy Land for the Christian church was basically a good one that got out of hand, or was it misconceived form the start?

&ldquoIf we neglect to take this holy gift which the Lord so graciously offers us, letting the Saracens occupy this place, what will become of us?&rsquo Does this account, as well as showing what evil was done by the Crusaders, help us to understand what motivated them? Can you explain why they believed they were right?

&ldquoIf you will attack the city tomorrow till the ninth hour, the Lord will deliver it into your hands.&rdquo Was this prophecy fulfilled? How can we judge whether such messages are genuinely from God?

According to the book of Joshua, God was happy for his people to use violence and mass killing to deliver the Holy Land from its occupants and their false religion and utter corruption. Is that any different to this crusade? If so, how? If not are they both right or both wrong? How do you know?

When, if ever, is it ever right to use violence to promote our faith? How do we decide?

&ldquoThis day will be famous in all future ages, for it turned our labors and sorrows into joy and exultation. This day, I say, marks the justification of all Christianity.&rdquo Raymond is right about it being famous, though it is not necessarily remembered with the same sentiments as his. What are the views of modern day Christians about the Crusades? What opinions does Raymond express about the venture, and about his fellow Crusaders? What do you think the Crusaders would make of modern day Christian

Some Christians these days talk of repenting, apologizing or atoning for the Crusades. Do think this is something we could or should do?


The History of the Christian Church: Period XVIII., from the Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders A. D. 1099 to the Taking of Constantinople by the Latins A. D. 1204 (Classic Reprint)

Baldwin &aposii dying in A. D. 1131, was inc ceeded by his fon in law F ulk count of Angers, and be by his fon Baldwin III in A. D. 1142.

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousan Excerpt from The History of the Christian Church: Period XVIII., From the Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders A. D. 1099 to the Taking of Constantinople by the Latins A. D. 1204

Baldwin 'ii dying in A. D. 1131, was inc ceeded by his fon in law F ulk count of Angers, and be by his fon Baldwin III in A. D. 1142.

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Crusader states are in shades of green. The Sultanate of Rum and the Emirate of Damascus are parts of Seljuk rule. (Wikipedia Commons. Altered by F. Smitha)

In early 1097 a Crusader army from western Europe and a Byzantine army from Constantinople marched into territory in Asia Minor occupied by the Seljuk Turks. The first objective of the Crusaders was the city of Nicaea, 55 miles southeast of Constantinople. After months of siege, the Seljuks surrendered. Constantinople's army entered Nicaea and the Crusaders went ahead without delay toward Jerusalem, to be delayed at the city of Antioch in northern Syria.

Antioch had been taken by the Seljuks in 1085. It had been a Christian city, and without its capture, it is said, the Crusaders would not have been able to move on to Jerusalem. The Crusaders besieged the city for 7.5 months. The Seljuks attacked twice to end the siege but were defeated both times.

While the Seljuks were busy against the Crusaders, the Fatimid caliphate in Egypt sent a force to the coastal city of Tyre, a little more than 145 miles north of Jerusalem. The Fatimids took control of Jerusalem in February 1098, three months before the Crusaders had their success at Antioch. The Fatimids, who were Shia, offered the Crusaders an alliance against their old enemy the Seljuks, who were Sunni. They offered the Crusaders control of Syria with Jerusalem to remain theirs. The offer didn't work out. The Crusaders were not going to be deterred from taking Jerusalem.

The Crusaders passed by Acre, 77 miles north of Jerusalem, the ruler there providing the Crusaders with supplies, as had some other communities. On 7 June 1099 the Crusaders began their siege of Jerusalem, with Fatimid loyalists in defense. The city fell on 15 July 1099. As already described, there was a week of slaughter. The Crusaders seized gold, silver, horses and mules and invaded houses in search of loot. They killed Muslims and Jews, believing that the Jews had killed Christ. Jews who took refuge in Jerusalem's main synagogue were burned to death. And some crusaders were sickened and shamed by the brutality.

The port town of Jaffa (today Tel Aviv) was captured by a force arriving on ships from Genoa. And in August a fleet of ships from Venice put Haifa under Crusader control. The Crusaders gained control over the entire eastern Mediterranean coastline.

Muslims Strike Back

It was decades before the Muslims initiated a substantial retaliation against Crusader gains. Rule by the Seljuk family had been fragmenting and the retaliation was organized by Imad ad-Din Atabeg Zengi, whose father had been a Seljuk governor. Zengi became the chief Turkish potentate in Syria and Iraq. He took the major Syrian city of Aleppo from squabbling local emires. He was recognized as the ruler of this territory by the Seljuk sultan, Mahmud II, whose position was nominal.

In November 1144, with his added strength through a new unity, Zengi moved militarily against the landlocked, northern-most and least populated of the Crusader possessions: Edessa. He had more strength than he needed. The city was only lightly defended. After a short siege Zengi's troops rushed into the city, killing all those who were unable to flee to the city's citadel. In a panic, thousands were suffocated or trampled to death. Zengi ordered his men to stop the massacre. Prisoners taken by his troops were executed anyway. But there were survivors, and a Christian bishop, Basil, was recognized as leader of the Christian population.

Muslims in the Seljuk empire celebrated Zenghi as a "defender of the faith." Then in 1146 he was assassinated, and like most assassinations little changed: Zengi's power passed to two sons.

Count Joscelin II, of a Crusader family, tried to retake Edessa. His force captured the city's citadel, but with no help from other Crusader states his efforts failed. In November he was driven out of Edessa. Zengi's son, Nur ad-Din, governing from Aleppo, exiled the entire Christian population, leaving the city deserted. Meanwhile, Europeans were responding to news about Edessa and were organizing a return &ndash what would be called the Second Crusade.


Why King Richard Did Not March on Jerusalem

When we look back on the Third Crusade (1189-1192) it is all but impossible not to be struck by how close King Richard and the Christian host came to decisively defeating Saladin and re-taking Jerusalem. Twice during the campaign—in January 1192 and again in July 1192—the crusaders advanced to within a dozen or so miles of the Holy City, only to withdraw without making a serious effort to besiege it. In this brief essay, I will attempt to explain the strategic decision to abandon the first advance on Jerusalem in 1191/2.

From Acre to Bayt Nuba
During the summer and autumn of 1191, the crusaders enjoyed a series of operational successes that appeared to set the stage for a decisive thrust toward Jerusalem. First, in early July they had taken the port city of Acre—despite concerted efforts on the part of Saladin to break the Christian siege and relieve the garrison—thus not only securing a strategically and politically important city, but also shattering the myth of Saladin’s invincibility. Under King Richard’s leadership (Philip of France having departed the Holy Land shortly after the fall of Acre) they had then marched south along the coast, besting Saladin once again at the battle of Arsuf (September 7), and taking Jaffa (September 10), the port that offered the best jumping-off point for an advance on Jerusalem. From there, the crusaders had begun moving cautiously inland, taking Casal des Plains and Casal Moyen (October 31), the nearest of the fortifications that had been built to protect the road to Jerusalem. As these had been destroyed by Saladin as a delaying tactic, and the crusaders had been forced to spend the following two weeks rebuilding them.

Once these fortifications were restored, Richard had advanced once again, this time taking Ramla (17 November) and forcing Saladin to withdraw to Latrun. Then the weather had broken, and Richard had halted his advance in the hope that Saladin would be forced to disband his field army (as the Sultan’s emirs were demanding, given the difficulties of maintaining forces and campaigning in the winter weather). Saladin had managed to keep his field army together until 12 December, but then had been forced to disperse the bulk of his host and withdraw with a much-diminished force to Jerusalem. After Christmas, Richard had then renewed his advance, taking Bayt Nuba, a mere 12 miles from the Holy City, on January 3 1192.

The stage now seemed set for a decisive push against Jerusalem. A large and well-provisioned crusader force, experienced in siege craft, had advanced within striking distance of the Holy City. Saladin’s field army, which had been a source of great concern to Richard on the march inland, had scattered to the four corners of his empire. Despite the weather and the appalling conditions, morale was high amongst the crusaders. Everything seemed to point in the direction of an inevitable—and inevitably successful—attack on Jerusalem sometime before the resumption of campaigning season in the Spring.

And then, on January 8 Richard ordered a retreat to Ramla, the first stage in a more general withdrawal all the way back to the coast. How can we account for this stunning reversal? How can we explain the fateful retreat when the central goal and object of the crusade seemed within Richard’s grasp?

The Conventional Wisdom Regarding the Decision to Withdraw
The conventional view is that King Richard’s decision to abandon the advance on Jerusalem in January 1192 was a more or less rational strategic response to objective military circumstances. The weather was appalling—strong winds bitterly cold temperatures rain, hail, sleet and snow—and getting worse. Armor and swords were rusting, food decaying and clothing rotting. And attrition due to disease, desertion and departure was accelerating. On January 6, a meeting of the crusade leadership was held to discuss next steps. At this meeting, two arguments were advanced. On the one hand, those crusaders from Europe who had “taken the cross” (a vow to complete a pilgrimage to the Holy Sites) advocated strongly for an attack. They were eager to fulfill their vows and believed that they were on the cusp of doing so. They argued that, given the fate of the Acre garrison (which had been slaughtered after a prolonged siege), the Jerusalem garrison would likely surrender at the first sign of an attack.

On the other hand, those with deeper roots in the Holy Land—especially the Templars and the Hospitallers—argued against attacking Jerusalem. Their logic was simple: if the crusaders laid siege to the Holy City, they would eventually be trapped between the garrison and a relieving army that would inevitably arrive once campaigning season resumed. Added to this, they argued, there was the ongoing threat posed by residual-but-powerful Saracen forces that were harassing the Christian hosts supply lines. Finally, they argued that, even if Jerusalem were taken, it could not be held. For the vast majority of pilgrims, their vows fulfilled, would depart the Holy Land for good, leaving a rump force insufficient for the defense of the Holy City.

The now-conventional account has Richard carefully weighing these contending arguments, trying to decide the future course of the crusade on the basis of military-operational considerations. At one point in the deliberations he is said to have asked for someone with local knowledge to draw a map of Jerusalem. Once he saw the extent of the city’s fortifications, or so this account would have us believe, he immediately realized that his forces could neither envelop the city in adequate depth nor (if they did envelop it thinly) prevent its garrison from successfully sallying forth to break the siege. This realization is said to have tipped the balance in favor of those who had advocated abandoning the advance on Jerusalem. The King and council then decided that, rather than press the attack, they would withdraw to the coast and rebuild the fortifications at Ascalon.

What are we to make of this explanation? Well, in my opinion at least, it simply beggars belief. Are we really to accept that Christendom’s sharpest military mind and most accomplished crusader would not have asked for a map of Jerusalem’s defenses until he was only a few miles away? Are we to believe that, had he been earnest about attacking Jerusalem, Richard would have led the crusader host to within striking distance of the Holy City and then declined to attack it because of bad weather or the prospect that a relieving Saracen army would arrive several months in the future? Given what we know of Richard’s temperament, this seems unlikely. No, if we want to understand the Lionheart’s decision to abandon the drive on Jerusalem, we need to look beyond the conventional military-strategic narrative that has become the conventional wisdom to look at Richard’s overall or grand strategic approach to the crusade.

An Alternative Explanation
In my opinion, the hermeneutical or interpretive key that unlocks this puzzle is simply not to be found in the narrow logic of operational-level military calculations. Rather, it is to be discovered in the broader logic of Richard’s strategic thought. What do I mean by this? Simply put, I mean that Richard did not decide to abandon the march on Jerusalem because at a meeting on January 6 he was persuaded that the weather, deteriorating morale, the threat of a relieving Saracen army, the extent of the city’s fortifications or any other strictly military consideration dictated a change of policy. Rather, he abandoned the advance because he had never intended to attack Jerusalem in the first place.

Widening the frame a bit, the argument I am putting forward here is that Richard never envisaged using brute military force to recapture Jerusalem and reestablish the crusader principalities. In other words, he never envisioned a straightforward war of conquest in which the Saracens were driven from the Holy Land by force of arms alone. Instead, Richard viewed the use of military force as a means of pressuring Saladin into a negotiated settlement that would allow him to realize his core strategic goals (a viable Christian presence in the Holy Land Christian access to the Holy Sites) in the shortest possible time (Richard was well aware that both King Philip and Prince John were making good use of his absence to undermine his position in France and England).

What proof can be adduced to support this argument? Well, if we look closely at Richard’s record in the Holy Land through this lens, two (closely related) patterns become visible. First, we see a consistent pattern of attempts to arrive at a negotiated settlement with Saladin. From October 1191 onward, Richard was in regular contact with the sultan’s brother al-Adil, seeking a negotiated settlement that achieved Richard’s core strategic objective whilst freeing him to return home to deal with Philip and John. Some of Richard’s proposals—such as offering to marry his sister Joan off to al-Adil as part of condominium arrangement—may have been a bit far-fetched, but there can be no denying the fact that Richard was earnestly pursuing a diplomatic strategy intended to culminate in a negotiated settlement that both Christians and Muslims could live with.

Second, we see a consistent pattern of military operations that make little sense if Richard’s strategy were one of conquest, but a great deal of sense if his strategy were one of maximizing negotiating leverage. As early as August 1191 Richard appears to have decided that a direct assault on Jerusalem—the military conquest strategy—was impractical: as the Templars and Hospitallers would counsel him endlessly, the march inland would expose him to the possibility of a Hattin-like massacre the city would be exceedingly difficult to take without a difficult and lengthy siege and even if Jerusalem did fall to the crusaders, it would be very difficult to hold. In my view, it was at this very early point in the crusade that Richard opted for an indirect, diplomatic approach. Following the fall of Acre, the Lionheart’s initial plan was to march down the coast to Ascalon, which dominated the route between Syria and Egypt (the latter being the source of Saladin’s wealth). Richard’s reasoning was that once he controlled Ascalon he could threaten Egypt, much more important to Saladin than Jerusalem, and thus create a favorable context for negotiations (which he initiated almost immediately after arriving in the Holy Land).

Bowing to the pressures of the crusade leadership, however, in September Richard grudgingly acceded to the majority’s demand that he lead an attack on Jerusalem. By October, though, even as the crusaders were beginning their advance on the Holy City, Richard had begun making preparations for a full-blown invasion of Egypt—though, again, it appears his goal was more to convince Saladin of his earnestness than to actually set in motion a major offensive. And, of course, following the decision to abandon the advance on Jerusalem in January 1192, when Richard could have led the host against any objective, he immediately led it to Ascalon. Indeed, the record indicates that each and every time Richard was able to get his way, he led the crusaders toward what can only be considered his primary strategic objective: Ascalon, the linchpin in Saladin’s empire and a bargaining chip of such enormous value that Saladin himself at one point destroyed the fortifications there lest they fall into Richard’s hands. Richard only ever led the crusader host against Jerusalem when forced to, and even then only half-heartedly and to intensify the pressure on Saladin.

Viewed in this way, the decision to “abandon” the advance on Jerusalem in January 1192 is perfectly explicable. For Richard, taking Jerusalem by force of arms was never a primary strategic objective. To be sure, he agreed to lead the advance under pressure, and probably hoped that such an advance would add to the pressure on Saladin to negotiate a settlement favorable to the crusaders. But my reading is that he never seriously intended to lay siege to the Holy City. When it became possible for him to call off the advance, he seized the opportunity, renewing both negotiations and his indirect strategy of pressuring Saladin by taking, refortifying and holding Ascalon.

Editor’s note: The image above is a detail from “The Mighty King of Chivalry Richard the Lionheart” painted by Fortunino Matania (1881-1961).


Is today's Old City of Jerusalem the Jerusalem of the Crusades' period?

In 1099 the Christian crusaders besieged the walled city of Jerusalem and took it. Here is a map of the Old City of Jerusalem today:

It clearly shows the walls (I don't know when they were built) around the Old City. I measured this on Google Maps, and it's roughly an area of 1km by 1km (1km squared). I'm very confused about this topic, because I've read through much of the Wikipedia articles on the Crusades and history of Jerusalem. From the history of Jerusalem article it says (remembering that Jerusalem was recaptured by Saladin in 1187:

In 1219 the walls of the city were razed by order of al-Mu'azzam, the Ayyubid sultan of Damascus. This rendered Jerusalem defenseless and dealt a heavy blow to the city's status. The Ayyubids destroyed the walls in expectation of ceding the city to the Crusaders as part of a peace treaty. In 1229, by treaty with Egypt's ruler al-Kamil, Jerusalem came into the hands of Frederick II of Germany. In 1239, after a ten-year truce expired, he began to rebuild the walls these were again demolished by an-Nasir Da'ud, the emir of Kerak, in the same year.

In 1243 Jerusalem came again into the power of the Christians, and the walls were repaired.
History of Jerusalem

So the walls are destroyed and repaired multiple times. Finally I see this part:

In 1517, Jerusalem was taken over by the Ottoman Empire and enjoyed a period of renewal and peace under Suleiman the Magnificent, including the construction of the walls of what is now known as the Old City of Jerusalem (although some foundations were remains of genuine antique walls).
History of Jerusalem - Early Ottoman period

I'm just trying to understand whether the walled city of Jerusalem from roughly the First Crusade is the same or roughly the same as what we now call the Old City.