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April 12, 2018

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The First Crusade – 1099

        From the late eleventh century (1096) until 1291 a continuing influx of pilgrims, armies, peasants and religious orders from Europe entered the Holy Land. Originally, their intent was recapturing Jerusalem from the Mohammedans. Later, armed intervention preserved those territories from further Moslem occupation (Bradford 1973). This northern and western insurgence into the Near East consisted of seven crusades (marked with the Cross) or religious campaigns.[1] Religious conviction drove many to take the Cross (a pledge to join the military campaign). More mundane principles motivated others, being land-hungry nobles or knights seeking fame and fortune.


Although a Code of Chivalry had previously evolved in Norman England and France, often these countries' inhabitants were still semi-barbaric. Knights and nobles reveled in doing battle, seizing castles and procuring land. Therefore, they perceived the crusades as a glorious way of releasing heroic spirit while providing a sound distinction between themselves (the gallant heroic noble) and the inferior serf. This first campaign (as well as others to follow) was also a conflict sanctioned and even blessed by the pope and Mother Church.

The Church enjoined knights and nobles to secure the Holy Land and protect Christian pilgrim routes to Jerusalem. This papal foreign policy provided three benefits: first, it removed many warring factions from their homelands, restoring peace; second, the campaigns forged a temporary union between the various northern and western kingdoms; and third, the pope hoped that this "expedition of the Cross" (expeditio crucis) could extend papal influence while increasing both the Church and warring kingdom's land and territorial possessions. Priests, to insure full participation, directed parish confessors to pay penance by engaging in this Just War (bellum justum). This act of atoning for sins through travail and discomfort guaranteed their entry into Heaven. Concerning remission of sin,[2] Riley-Smith (1977, 31) states "in the eleventh century there had come the concept of the remission of the sins of warriors in a good cause and the idea of the soldier of Christ at the special disposal of the papacy."


Although captured by the Romans, Persians and later the Moslems under Caliph Omar (638 A.D.), Jerusalem remained the heart of Christian pilgrimages. However, because of this subjugation, travel to the city was fraught with peril. Those wishing to see the place where the beloved Master, Jesus Christ, had lived and died were, nevertheless, willing to suffer all.

Traditionally, since the Arab occupation of the seventh century, Moslems had tolerated Christian pilgrimages. In the early eleventh century Caliph Hakim[3] ascended to power. As his authority increased, he became more fanatical. Finally, travel to Jerusalem became impossible. Within the Holy Lands, Hakim undertook a destructive rampage against all that was Christian, destroying many holy places and persecuting all Christians in his kingdom. In 1021 Hakim, after proclaiming himself Allah, disappeared (Sire 1994, 3). Historians have little information about what may have happened however, some speculate his enemies may have murdered him. Others believe he went insane and traveled into the desert. Despite the cause of Hakim's disappearance, relative calm returned to the region. The Moslems again allowed pilgrims, travelers and traders access to the Holy Land.


One of the most devastating blows to Christendom came in the later eleventh century. The Seljukian (Seldjuks) Turks had by 1070 gained control over much of the Holy Land. Unlike the Arabs, the Turks were less tolerant of Latin Christianity. Steadily, travel for pilgrims became unbearable; often resulting in injury and death. In 1071, the Turks seized Jerusalem.

Over the years, the Byzantine Empire weakened. Now, the emperor feared that left unchecked, Moslem influence would continue spreading north and westward. After defeating Byzantine forces at Manzikert in 1071,[4] Emperor Michael VII petitioned the pope and all Christendom to assistance in reclaiming Palestine. Three years later, in 1074, Pope Gregory VII (Cardinal Hildebrand) appealed to the western nations (especially Germany) to capture the Holy Land. Through this campaign the pope wished to curb the growth of Moslem influence and to aid the Byzantine Empire. Additionally, the pope maintained the secret desire that with the eastern empire in decline, the Catholic Church in Rome could perhaps expand its control into Jerusalem, ultimately uniting Christendom. The pope, although urging a campaign against the Turks, was unsuccessful in gaining much needed support and enthusiasm. It would be twenty-two years before a crusade would be mounted.

In March 1095 French, German and Italian bishops gathered at the Council of Piacenza.[5]  Attending this assembly was an envoy from Emperor Alexius I Comnenus (Michael's successor).

        It was this representative's intent to appeal to Pope Urban II for military assistance in defending the Byzantine Church. According to the envoy, the horde of Turkish infidels had already captured Asia Minor and was in reach of Constantinople. If left unchecked the Turks would sweep into the lands of Latin Christendom, burning and plundering. Pope Urban had, perhaps for some time, entertained the possibility of raising an army to slow the Turkish advance. He (as had Pope Gregory VII) envisioned recapturing Christian lands and uniting Christendom. Urban also feared that Moslems might later advance into Western Europe. There is some indication that he envisioned military action (French volunteers) to aid Central Europe as early as 1089 (Riley-Smith 1987, 2-3). With appeals from the Byzantine emperor, Robert the Monk (a chronicler) and the well-liked "evangelist" Peter of Amiens (1050c.-1115), the pope felt this was an opportune time to call for a Holy War (guerre sainte or bellum sacrum).


Peter (also known as Peter the Hermit or Little Peter) while on a sojourn to the Holy Sepulcher, had witnessed Moslem cruelty against Christian pilgrims. Peter, as a former French military officer and servant of God, felt that only a Holy War could save Christendom.

On 27 November of that year, Urban delivered a speech at the Council of Clermont calling for a crusade.[6]  In this speech, Urban stated,  

2. . . . [Y]ou, O sons of God . . . must help your brothers living in the Orient, who need your aid for which they have already cried out many times.

3. For, as most of you have been told, the Turks, a race of Persians, who have penetrated within the boundaries of Romania [meaning Anatolian] even to the Mediterranean to that point which they call the Arm of Saint George, [Brache de Saint George = Hellespont = Bosporus] in occupying more and more of the lands of the Christians, have overcome them, already victims of seven battles, and have killed and captured them, have over-thrown churches, and have laid waste God's kingdom. If you permit this supinely for very long, God's faithful ones will be still further subjected.
4. Concerning this affair, I, will suppliant prayer--not I, but the Lord--exhort you, heralds of Christ, to persuade all of whatever class, both knights and footmen, both rich and poor, in numerous edicts, to strive to help expel that wicked race from our Christian lands before it is too late (Fulcher 1941, 15-16).[7]

            In this stirring address, the pope called for all believers to aid their Christian brethren. Further, he emphasized that if Christendom allowed Moslems to continue unchecked, their next objective would be Europe. With thoughts of the hereafter, Urban also stressed the importance of dying for one's faith.

Unlike a previous call by Pope Sylvester II (993-1003),[8] that they generally ignored, listeners greeted Urban's appeal, prompted by a stirring speech by Peter, with hysterical cries of  "Deus le volt! Deus le volt!" ("God wills it! God wills it!"). In a spiritually led or earthly arranged gesture, Adhémar of Monteil, Bishop of Le Puy advanced as the first to take the Cross and was named the pope's envoy (legate) in the Christian army.


            This council, which ambassadors from all northern and western nations attended, sent forth the battle cry to noble and serf alike (spreading the pope's message throughout the Loire Valley). Riding a mule and carrying a large wooden cross, Peter continued, after the Council of Clermont, to preach the crusade in central and northern France. The people responded to his message with cheers and religious frenzy. Urban also proceeded to pontificate the crusade at Limoges (Christmas 1095), Angers and LeMans (February 1096) and Nîmes (July 1096) (Riley-Smith 1987, 4).


Anyone could be a crusader! Man, woman, rich, and poor took up the Cross. All that was required of a crusader was the taking of a vow. Those volunteers meeting the call were asked to sew crosses on their garments signifying devotion and obligation.[9]  The reader is reminded that although much is written about the princes and nobles of the crusades, the crusade was also one of common men -- clerks, tailors, clerics, smiths, butchers, potters and many others. The strategy envisioned by Pope Urban was that armed forces would set out in separate detachments on the Feast of the Assumption (15 August 1096). Christian troops would travel to Constantinople, where Emperor Alexius Comnenus would provide transportation (ship) across to Asia Minor.


Inspired by "evangelists" such as Peter of Amiens and Walter Sans-Avoir, "an unenlisted ragtag army" of about 30,000 serfs and Europe's landless poor (pauperes) was rapidly developing. [10] Meanwhile a more orderly, professional army was forming under the spiritual leadership of Adhémar, the People's Crusade (as it would soon be know) was swelling in number. These men and women were driven forth by intolerable conditions imposed upon them by their feudal lords in France, England and Germany. A major crop failure,[11] constant warring at home and an almost fanatical assurance of improvement in the East were also determining factors in the crusade's appeal. This force, however, lacked military training,[12] discipline and adequate rations.

This first wave of crusaders was divided into several groups. Leaving in spring (1096), these men and women with high expectation had after weeks of travel became hungry, tired and malevolent. Ignoring the orders of their leaders, they began burning, sacking and destroying everything in their path. One German section under Emich of Leisingen was known to have massacred Jews at Speyer, Worms, Mainz and Cologne.[13] Other crusaders had decimated Jewish communities at Trier, Xanten, Neuss and Prague.[14] While yet another group of "pilgrims"[15] moving from the north, although not producing the bloodbath of some other groups, were demanding that the Jews undergo conversion and baptism (an act prohibited in canon law).[16] It seemed the "army of Christ" was determined to reap vengeance on all who were not Christian. According to some scholars, retribution against the Jewish population was due in part to the ignorance of many crusaders who perceived all Jews as being murderers of Christ. However, the true reason for this murderous rampage was greed (Mayer 1988, 41).

The crusaders also managed to make enemies of fellow eastern Christians including the communities of Zemun, whose citadel they stormed; Niš, which they tried to burn; and Belgrade, which they plundered. Due to greed, brutality and simple stupidity Emich's troops and those of several other detachments, never reached Constantinople, being slain themselves along the way. However, Peter of Amiens and Walter Sans-Avoir's tattered (and one would have hoped wiser) forces finally reached Constantinople in August.[17]

Emperor Comnenus, needing a professional legion, was presented riffraff. Sick, wounded, angry, hungry, and filthy, the long awaited "crusaders" descended upon Constantinople like a pack of wolves. Unable to control the horde Peter "allowed" the army, as he had previously, to plunder, burn and destroy.


Disillusioned and eager to remove their presence from the Empire, Comnenus consented to transport them to Asia Minor. On 6 August 1096, the multitude was transported across the Bosporus (Bosphorus). This act led to their eventual confrontation and destruction by the Seljukian Turks. The People's Crusade ended in tragic failure. Many who had survived fell into servitude or accepted the role of harem concubines. The conflict maimed, both mentally and physically, the scant few managing to escape. According to Gesta Francorum (1962, 4),

 . . . those who would not renounce God [Jesus Christ] were killed; others, whom the Turks captured alive, were divided among their captors like sheep, some were put up as targets and shot with arrows, others sold and given away as if they were brute beasts. Some of the Turks took their prisoners home to Khorasan, Antioch or Aleppo or wherever they happened to live.

By mid-August 1096, the more organized forces of nobles and knights were ready to depart accompanied by a contingent of 100,000 troops. The army contained the best of European nobility. Adhémar, Bishop of Le Puy; Bohemund I of Otranto, son of Robert Guiscard; Godfrey of Bouillon, duke of Lower Lorraine; Hugh of Vermandois, brother of King Philip of France; Raymond of St. Gilles, the count of Toulouse; Robert II of Flanders; and Robert of Normandy, brother of King William II of England led their knights and men-at-war into battle against the Moslem infidels.


On 23 December 1096 the "soldiers of the Lord" reached Constantinople. Having faced the previous crusaders' disruptive and undisciplined onslaught, Emperor Comnenus requested assurance that this new force be more adept at facing and destroying the Muhammadans. Comnenus also required, before providing transport to Asia Minor, that the crusaders pledge to become faithful vassals to the Emperor. He further required an oath that upon recapturing the Holy Land the knights would return to the Byzantine Empire any lands that had previously belonged to Roman Empire. Although initially refusing such an absurd request the crusade leaders, tired of the continuing delay, finally capitulated to Comnenus' demands.

Through April and May 1097 the “knights of Christ”, in separate groups, crossed the Bosporus. Their army, by now, consisted of nearly 150,000 troops.[18] Combining forces in Asia Minor, their first encounter with Moslems was at the town of Nicaea, which was defeated on 19 June.[19] The crusaders encountered little resistance at Tarsus and by 1 July, had also met and defeated the Turkish army at Dorylaeum (Eskisehir). Over the next several months they continued marching toward Antioch (arriving on 20-22 October), which fell to them on 3 June 1098. Although the city surrendered, the citadel housing the local Turkish garrison was not so easily defeated.


The crusaders, weakened by depleted rations, failing health and exhaustion, continued fighting for three more weeks. While the Moslems encircled the town, the crusaders' morale became ever more dismal and many longed to be back home, while others began questioning their motives for fighting. At a time when all seemed lost a miracle occurred.[20] Legend tells that a servant discovered what many believed to be the Holy Lance that pierced Christ Jesus' side. Evidence and information was sketchy. This was, however, enough to convince the crusaders that God was indeed on their side. On 28 June, the crusaders marched out against the Turks. The battle was a forgone conclusion. Bolstered by renewed spiritual strength, and several Muslim blunders, the crusaders defeated the Muhammadans. The army remained near Antioch for several months. During this time they received additional provisions and planned their forthcoming tactics. Motivated by recent victory, holy relics, visions, and supplies taken from the defeated Turks, the Christians edged ever closer to Jerusalem.[21]

On the morning of 7 June, they observed the "Citadel of Faith"(Jerusalem) from Montjoie (Mount Joy). Although the beauty and splendor of this sight brought tears to the eyes of many crusaders, many lives would be lost in capturing the city.

Jerusalem had been noted for its strategic location since Roman times and centuries of fortification had made the city nearly impregnable. Again, the soldiers became apprehensive and disenchanted. The priests among them, however, continued calling for prayer, fasting and abiding faith. Perhaps they were also reminded of the valor and courage of Adhémar, the pope's vicar, who had died on 1 August 1098, never seeing the walls of Jerusalem. Aided by the occasional vision, miracle and additional supplies and workers (to build siege machinery) from Jaffa, Jerusalem fell to the Christians on 15 July. Urban II, designer, motivator and spiritual guide of the First Crusade would never hear the great tidings. Although dying on the 29th of July, the news of Jerusalem's capture never reached him.

When the crusaders entered the city they must have forgotten, in the heat of battle, for whom the campaign was fought. They, the servants of the Blessed Lamb, whose blood was shed so long ago, savagely murdered thousands of Moslem soldiers, women and children. Buildings were burned. Mosques, homes and shrines were sacked. Even the Moslem's Dome of the Rock (Kubbet es-Sakhra) was looted. No one was safe, as even those who the crusaders had agreed to save were slain. Jews, too, felt the northern Christians vengeance. Fleeing to the safety of their synagogue, they were burned within its walls. Although some nobles such as Godfrey of  Bouillon called for sanity, the destructive blood lust continued for more than six hours. Fulcher of Chartres (1941, xxvii, 68-9) states:

12. Then some, both Arabs and Ethiopians, fled into the Tower of David; others shut themselves in the Temple of the Lord and of Solomon, where in the halls a very great attack was made on them. Nowhere was there a place where the Saracens could escape the swordsmen.

13. On the top of Solomon's Temple, to which they had climbed in fleeing, many were shot to death with arrows and cast down headlong from the roof. Within this Temple about ten thousand were beheaded [Albert of Aix says 300, and Hagenmeyer agrees]. If you had been there, your feet would have been stained up to the ankles with the blood of the slain. . . . Not one of them was allowed to live. They did not spare the women and children.


         Finally, the quest was over. Christendom had reclaimed Jerusalem and now Christians of the north and west could view their conquest. Although rubble, bodies and destruction were everywhere the nobles and soldiers alike were awed by the mystique of this Holy and Majestic Place. Many glorious sights befell the crusaders including the Via Dolorosa, the Mount of Olives, the Pool of Bethesda, the Vale of Hinnom and the Benedictine abbey of St. Mary of the Latins.

Jerusalem and the Hospitaller


         St. Mary’s was built in the mid-eleventh century.[22] Constructed some years later (about 1071 or 1080),[23] within the penumbra of its walls, was the Hospital of St. John (named for St. John the Baptist)[24] The Hospitallers (a lay fraternity separate yet dependent upon the abbey) of this hostel, struggled daily to eliminate the pain and suffering of the poor pilgrim. They, unlike their medical colleagues in northern Europe, were well acquainted with the works of Galen and other legendary physicians of Greece, Rome and the Near East. However, the Hospital's primary aim was to provide a place of rest where the pilgrim could sleep and get food. As Lamb (1930, 302) stated,  [this] order met the pilgrims within Jerusalem’s gates. They wore plain black robes with a white cross, and they weeded out the sick among the newcomers, leading them to the hospital by the Church of Mary. They washed them and gave them wine with bread, and beds of straw and cotton covers, and silver for their empty wallets.


Founded by merchants from Amalfi ((Till (1834, 17) states “some merchants of Melphi, in Naples”)), the hospice’s first Administrator was Peter Gerard the Blessed. According to most accounts Brother Gerard had remained in Jerusalem during the siege and although no evidence exists as to why he was allowed to tarry behind, there are two plausible hypotheses. First, due to its benefit in aiding the sick and wounded, the hospice was too significant to close. Second, evidence shows that the Moslems simply did not expect such European's brutality. For months, the governor of Jerusalem was aware of the advancing troops through Asia Minor and Syria. Even while crusaders camped outside the city walls, he had taken no harsh action against the Christians remaining within his city. In most cases, Christians were simply evicted from the city and permitted to unite with their Christian brethren. Some accounts state that Brother Gerard stood on the wall and threw bread to the crusaders outside the wall.[25]


This gesture was not only an attempt to feed the crusaders, but also to show them that they had friends within the walls. It is quite doubtful, however, that this actually occurred. Runciman (1965, II, 156) states Gerard had been expelled from Jerusalem with the other Christians. Riley-Smith (1967, I, 38) takes issue with Runciman in that he believed Gerard was arrested for helping the Christians and thrown into prison. In prison he was tortured and beaten.

Whether Brother Gerard remained behind, or came back later, is not as important as the role which the hospice served during Jerusalem’s occupation by the crusaders. Almost immediately, the Hospital became a center for those crusaders who after the long siege required rest, food and healing. The work of the Hospitallers was already legendary as the pilgrims returning home spoke of their great deeds of mercy and kindness. 


        Within a relatively short period, the Hospital began to grow. Godfrey, who had been selected as King of Jerusalem (a crown and title which he declined since Jesus our Lord, was forced to wear a crown of thorns within its very walls) gave the Order land holdings[26] and praised them for their valor and mercy. Godfrey, the “Defender of the Holy Sepulchre”, through this act set a precedent which was then followed by future protectors of Jerusalem and other nobles throughout Christendom.


When Godfrey died on 15 July 1100, his successor, Baldwin of Boulogna (Baldwin I, King of Latin Jerusalem) became the Hospital’s protector. After his triumph over Egyptian forces at Rama (1101), Baldwin allocated 10 per cent of his plunder to the Order (Riley-Smith 1967, I, 39). In 1113 the Hospital was recognized by Pope Paschal II as a separate order (Papal bull Pie postulatio voluntatis) and officially identified as the Hosptiallers of St. John. Before Brother Gerard’s death in 1120, the Order held lands and possessions in France, Spain, Italy and the Holy Land. These included hospices in Asti, Bari, Messina, Otranto, Pisa, Saint Gilles and Taranto. In Jerusalem, the Hospital grew to such an extent that it enveloped St. Mary of the Latins and was forced to seek new dwellings.


            At Gerard’s death Raymond de Puy [27] became the Hospitallier's leader. De Puy was a Frankish knight who, after the First Crusade, remained behind to join and assist the Order. Over the next thirty-eight years, de Puy had a tremendous effect on the Order’s function and expansion.


During this expansion, the Order was divided into seven divisions or Langues (Tongues) originally consisting of Aragon, Auvergne, England,[28] France, Germany, Italy and Provence. Later the kingdom of Aragon was divided forming two branches. By the mid-12th century the Order, under Premier Grand Master[29] de Puy, began to take on a more military appearance.[30] The Order (dressed in simple black robes, with an eight pointed linen cross on the left breast) continued in its first objective of providing aid to the weary pilgrims with food, lodging and medical services. Now, however, many felt the next logical step for the Hospitallers was to assume a military stance (note Riley-Smith 1967, I, 52-59; Munro 1966, 100). This role would be similar to the recently formed Knights Templar (Order of Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon),[31] the protection and defense of the pilgrim against the Moslem infidels (note letter from Innocent II; Le Roulx I. 107 doc 130). This is military stance is evident from the Hospitaller’s campaign with Baldwin II at Ascalon and their later introduction into Spain.[32]


Pope Alexander III, as Pope Honorius II before him, did not want the Hospitallers to become a military order. The papacy although initially not realizing the subtle changes of the order, (Nicholson 1993, 23) later half-heartily denounced its new military stance (Riley-Smith 1967, vol I, 59). The papacy felt that the Hospitallers, founded as a religious order based on mercy, caring and love should continue in the honorable steps of their predecessors.[33] According to Nicholson (1993, 40), Alexander felt that “spiritual knighthood is greater in the Lord’s eyes than bodily knighthood.” (Also note Guiot of Provins, lines 1709-1818).

The Second Crusade[34]


Unlike the crusade of the 1090s, the campaign of 1147[35] proved a miserable failure. Three years earlier, on Christmas Eve 1144, the Saracens had retaken Edessa (“The Eye of  Mesopotamia”). Christendom once again feared the Holy Land would fall into the hands of the Moslem infidels. Nearly one year later on 1 December, Pope Eugenius III issued the Quantum predecessores (Riley-Smith 1977, 35). This encyclical was addressed primarily to King Louis VII of France. This papal approval, although not sought, encouraged Louis VII as he announced in Bourges his plans of leading a campaign to the Holy Land. This announcement, however, was not greeted with approval, rather little enthusiasm was shown and several of his lay nobility advised him to abandon any planned expedition. It would be Easter (1146), before Louis officially approached St. Bernard of Clairvaux requesting an opinion regarding the proposed campaign. St. Bernard, in turn, refused to commit himself without first conferring with Pope Eugenius. At the pope’s request, and a reissuing on 1 March of the Quantum predecessores, St. Bernard began preaching a Holy War. Led by Emperor Conrad III of Germany (Conrad of Hohenstaufen) and King Louis VII of France, the force boasted nearly 140,000 men.


As with the First Crusade the German army under Conrad became unruly, pillaging and burning the Byzantium countryside. Jews also fell under the German sword at Cologne, Mainz, Worms, Spier and Strassburg (Runciman 1965, II, 254).

After a devastating loss (about ninety percent of his force) on 25 October near Dorylaeum, Conrad’s remaining forces joined with Louis’ at Nicaea. The crusaders, hindered by the loss of many men and internal disputes, soon realized recapturing Edessa was impossible. Moving southward the remaining soldiers decided to attack Damascus.[36] Once again they failed in their objective and were turned back and finally, in 1149, they returned to Europe. The Knights of St. John, although defeated, were recognized for their military defense of Jerusalem.

During the 1140s, aside from attempting to defend the Faith, de Puy was busy seeking to expand the territorial size of the Order’s holdings and strengthening their fortifications. In Acre, he built a large hospital that nearly rivaled its Jerusalem counterpart. This hospital would, as the others, serve as a refuge for the weary pilgrims who traveled the Holy Land. European expansion of the Order was also occurring. During the mid-1100s, de Puy traveled in Western Europe, expanding and organizing the knight’s holdings. Shortly before his death in 1160, he saw his Order in Europe grow into seven national priories.[37] 

 Unifying the Moslem World


         With de Puy’s death, Auger de Balben was selected as the Hospitaller’s Grand Master. His role as Master of the Order was cut short some two years later when he was killed. In 1163, Gilbert d’ Assailly was appointed as new Master. One of Assailly’s first acts was to urge an invasion of Egypt (1168). Such a decision, besides breaking a long-standing treaty with Egypt proved disastrous for the Christian forces and Gilbert in particular. The Caliph, having allied himself with the Emir of Damascus, easily pushed the Christian army back into retreat. With defeat in one of his first battles and severe opposition from fellow knights,[38] d’ Assailly abdicated his position as Grand Master (about 1170). After a series of disputes over how Gilbert handled his resignation,[39] Cast de Murols was elected the new Grand Master. Although a humble, kindly leader, this rule was cut short as he died some two years later on 20 June 1172. Shortly thereafter Joubert was elected the new Grand Master and ruled for the next five years.


Amalric, king of Jerusalem, died in 1174. After Amalric’s death, King Baldwin IV (age 13) came to power. However, Baldwin (being a leper) grew increasingly feeble. Although trying to retain control of the kingdom, Baldwin's rule was weak and ineffective. Shortly after becoming king his cousin Raymond, Count of Tripoli, was installed as Regent. By 1177, Baldwin's condition had steadily worsened. Since Baldwin had reached manhood (age 16) Raymond stepped down as Regent. Raymond would, however, remain friends with Baldwin for the remainder of the king's short and tragic life. Baldwin for the next eight years would linger on, sometimes bed-ridden, until his death on 15 April 1185.


Earlier, he announced that his nephew (age 7) would succeed him as the next king. Attempting to retain his dwindling power and make certain that his wishes regarding an heir be fulfilled he had his nephew, Baldwin V, crowned on 20 November 1183. He also requested that Count Raymond be returned as Regent.


This arrangement, although not acceptable to the nobles, was sworn to by them in the dying king’s presence. Baldwin V’s (the child king) fate was also a tragic one. Frail, even from birth, Baldwin would not live to see his ninth birthday. It was at his death that a series of events unfolded which hastened the end of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. Baldwin IV had foreseen the possible death of the boy king and had requested that the nobles swear if the child was to die, Raymond would remain as Regent until the pope, the kings of England and France and the German Emperor should choose a new successor. The right of succession was between King Amalric's daughters Sibylla and her half- sister Isabella.


At the death of the boy king, Raymond was away at Tiberias. This journey had in part been a ploy by Joscelin III of Courtenay, Baldwin V's great-uncle, to distract Raymond so the forces close to Sibylla could conduct a coup d' état. Through this act of trickery by Templar Grand Master Gerald de Ridefort, Patriarch Eracliur and Reynald (Reginald) de Châtillon, they, at Raymond’s absence, bestowed the crown of Jerusalem on Sibylla[40] (Lane-Poole 1901, 200).

What followed next was a series of events that were both intriguing and near comical. Although a percentage of the court desired Sibylla to be crowned queen, many interested in their own aims, desires and wealth distrusted the ambitions of Guy of Lusignan. This distrust was so strong that before Sibylla could be crowned she was forced to first divorce Guy. Giving way to the demands of court, she requested a guarantee be given regarding the legitimacy of her daughters and the securing of Guy's continued livelihood. Further, she requested that upon ascending the throne she would be allowed to choose a new husband - a husband who would then be crowned king. These concessions were rather foolishly agreed to by her uneasy supporters. Immediately, after her coronation, she chose to re-marry Guy who she crowned king (note description by Mayer 1988, 133 and Kedar 1984).


Grand Master Roger des Moulins of the Hospitallers refused to be a part of the noble’s conspiracy and denied them his key in opening the coffer to the royal insignia. Gerald’s treachery was more personal than political as he had, since 1173 resented and hated Count Raymond (note Runciman 1965, II, 406 regarding the reason for their personal feud).


The Kingdom Crumbles from Within and Without


By the late 1180s political and military conditions in the kingdom of Jerusalem were so bad that rival factions were on the verge of civil war. Constant bickering, resentment and jealousy were making the once strong, united kingdom more divided. Adding to internal problems and poor military decisions, four Christian expeditions sent to Egypt had all ended in defeat. Christian forces, during these years, continued to lose ground as one community after another fell to the superior forces of Saladin (Al-Malik al-Nasir Salah ed-Din Yusuf), a young Moslem leader of exceptional political and military genius.

Saladin was not only a brilliant leader, he was also honest, faithful, brave and above all chivalrous. With these traits, he had united small factions of Moslems into an almost unbeatable force. This union was something that many Christian visionaries had feared since the First Crusade.

Originally, Nur ed-Din, Turkish ruler of Syria, had sent his lieutenant Shirguh to aid in the acquisition of Egypt. Shirguh became vizier of Egypt in 1169. This territory was added to Nur ed-Din's domain with the death of the last Fatimite Caliph in 1171. At his uncle's death, Saladin succeeded him as vizier. For the next few years there existed between Nur ed-Din and Saladin, jealousy and distrust. This distrust between Egypt and Syria kept Jerusalem relatively safe and unaffected. Upon Nur ed-Din death in 1174, Saladin, in his attempt to unite the Moslem world, captured Damascus. His goal was to drive all Christians from the Holy Land. Due to Saladin’s religious zealous and military insight, the Moslem world was united.

By 1185, the Saracens had surrounded the kingdom of Jerusalem. Through a series of negotiations between Saladin’s empire and Christian forces, a four-year treaty was arranged. Few of the new arrivals, from the west, however; felt bound by this treaty. They perceived any agreement made with the infidel Moslems was like a pact with the devil and should never have been made. They, burning with the desire to do war with the non-believers (Islam), believed God would bring them victory. They also perceived the inhabitants of Jerusalem as having grown weak, lazy and greedy under association with their Moslem neighbors.

Reynald de Châtillon, in an ill-fated act of absurd proportions, attacked a Saracen caravan. Within the caravan was Saladin's sister (Barker 1939, 59). This act by de Châtillon violated the treaty that Raymond of Tripoli had worked on so hard.[41]


Even till the present, this act of aggression and treachery is remembered and re-told in Arab films and stories. Reynald was not only arrogant and cruel he was also greedy. These traits, as well as a tendency to be rather stupid were slowly leading the kingdom toward eventual destruction.


            Saladin, still trying to respect the treaty, requested that Guy demand de Châtillon to return the loot he had plundered. Reynald declined Guy’s feeble request for the return of his spoils. Saladin realized that due to divided allegiances and near uncontrollable greed of the Latin Christians they would require military force. In 1 July 1187, Saladin with 20,000 soldiers (nearly 12,000 of which were cavalry) began an invasion against the Latin kingdom. In their first conflict, the town of Tiberias fell, leaving only its castle. The castle’s forces under the command of Eschiva, the Countess of Tripoli (Raymond's wife), continued battling the Moslems. Meanwhile, Christian forces from Antioch and Tripoli, including Hospitallers and Templars, began marching against Saladin’s forces. The Christian army camped at Sephoria and made ready for their attack on the Moslems. Much dissension existed between the commanders over what strategy should be used. Some wished to rush headlong across the hot and barren plateau that extended between the two forces.


This tactic was founded more on valor and chivalry than common sense. Others, including the Hospitallers, felt they should wait for the Saracens to come to them. Roger des Moulin, Grand Master of the Hospitallers, hoped that Guy would listen to reason and wait. Reynald and Grand Master Ridfort once again acted hastily convincing the king to attack. Guy’s fatal mistake was that he heeded his heart instead of his head. On 3 July 1187, the Christians began their long march across the plateau. Tormented by the blazing summer sun, thirsty, exhausted and tortured by small yet constant skirmishes and sniper attacks,[42] many of the Christian forces broke rank and ran.[43] Saladin was merciful to some of the Christian soldiers, including the Latin king, whom he allowed to purchase their freedom. He knew, however, that others such as Reginald and the knights of the Hospitallers and Templars[44] would continue to battle again and again. These solders of Christ he had put to death.


For the next three months, Saladin moved unopposed from city to city occupying and expelling it’s Christian citizens. Acre fell in mid-summer, by early autumn Ascalon was captured. All that remained was Jerusalem. As Saladin's forces came closer, Queen Sibylla prepared for battle. The clergy preached penitence and requested residents of the Holy City to confess and turn from their evil. Only then, stated the clergy, could Jerusalem be saved. However,  “[e]ven the most extraordinary rituals of penitence … [were] to no avail. It was in vain that ladies had shaved the heads of their daughters and made them undress to take cold baths in public on the hill of Calvary. What the city lacked was fighting men. . . “ (Mayer 1988, 135). On 2 October Jerusalem, which had remained in the hands of Christians for eighty-eight years, fell to the Moslem world.[45]


After the defeat of the Christian at Jerusalem, the remaining knights of the Hospital scattered. The majority of these knights sought refuge at Castle Belvoir where they assumed they would be safe from Saracen attack. However, after an eighteen-month siege, the knights were forced to surrender, fleeing to Tripoli (Sire 1994, 12).

Moulins did not live to see the defeat and death of his beloved knights as he and many of his knights had already fallen in battle nearly two months before the Christian defeat at Hattin. For nearly three years the Hospitallers were without a master, relying on the abilities of Grand Commander Borrell and Provisor Ermengard d'Asp. Finally in 1190, Garnier de Naplous, former Prior of England and Grand Commander of France was elected master (perhaps in part due to his friendship with the English monarch) (Sire 1994, 12).


The Third Crusade and Failure


After Guy’s defeat and the fall of Jerusalem, Pope Gregory VIII began the call for another crusade. This campaign would lead Christian forces once more into a Moslem dominated world -  a world in which Christians only occupied Antioch and Tripoli and the small Mediterranean city of Tyre.[46] Emperor Frederick I of Germany, King Philip II of France and King Richard I of Englandoffered to “take the Cross” and command their legions in person against the Saracens. The preaching once more of a holy war, the collection of funds, troops and arms; and the constant bickering between forces caused the campaign to be nearly two years in reaching the Holy Land.


Frederick's army defeated a large Turkish army at Philomelion in 7 May 1190. This victory allowed Frederick’s entry into the Holy Land. It also increased the morale of his troops. This boost in morale was only short-lived as Frederick shortly thereafter drowned in the Calycadnus (Güksu) River of Lesser Armenia. Frederick, the emperor’s son, led the crusaders to the siege of Acre. He too, however, met his death in January 1191. It was after Frederick’s death that most of the German force, disillusioned, tired and lacking spirit abandoned the campaign.

Richard and Philip’s forces, instead of going overland, had chosen the sea-route.

Reaching Sicily in late 1190 they remained there until the following spring. As with the First Crusade these crusaders became entangled in local conflicts and personal competition. Finally, putting differences aside, the two forces of Philip and Richard set sail for Acre. While sailing toward the coast of Galilee, Richard captured Cyprus from it Byzantium governor. This act was more personal than military as the governor had some time prior insulted Richard's betrothed wife Berengaria (Barker 1939, 63).


While these two armies were formulating final strategies, two other events had taken place that would greatly increase the Christians possibility of success. These included the reorganized defenses of Tyre by Conrad of Montferrat (an Italian adventurer) and the assembling of a remnant crusader force under the guidance of Guy of Lusignan. This former king of Jerusalem, having broken his oath to Saladen (given shortly after the battle of Hattin), had by 1189 taken up a position facing Acre. Little progress had been made by early 1191 and many of the crusaders were exhausted and near starvation. Philip’s forces arrived in April with supplies and new enthusiasm. Two months later Richard had also reached the city.


By summer 1191, Acre was encircled by crusaders both by land and sea. A blockade prevented the city from receiving much needed supplies, while the crusader army grew larger in number. Capitulating on 12 July the city became the crusaders’ first victory. At a time when the crusaders could have moved forward toward Jerusalem, much of the army departed for home (note also that Philip had taken ill). This migration from the region left only Richard’s forces to contend with the ever-increasing menace of Saladin. Richard’s army, however, in most of the battles (i.e., Arsuf, Jaffa, etc.), proved far superior to those of Saladin. As the battle drew closer and closer to Jerusalem, both sides were feeling the enormous expenditure of life and resources. The Hospitallers had warned against trying to capture Jerusalem as they felt that if the crusaders were able to take the city, it would be extremely difficult to retain control of it. In an act of common sense by both sides, Richard and Saladin in September 1192 signed a peace accord granting to the crusaders a small strip of land from Beirut to Jaffa on the Mediterranean coastline.[47] The prize of Jerusalem, for which so many Christians had died, remained in the hands of the Moslems. However, within the framework of this five-year truce (Barker, 1939 states 3 years, p. 65), pilgrims were allowed to visit the Holy City (Finucane 1983, 26; Benvenisti 1972, 46).


 The Fourth Crusade

             Saladin died in March 1193. At his death, much of his empire crumbled under internal rivalries. Once again the crusaders and papacy pressed for another crusade -- a crusade which many felt would once again return Jerusalem to the true believers. Baldwin of Flanders, Boniface of Montferrat, Philip of Swabia and Theobald of Champagne, with backing from Innocence III, mounted a crusade to strike what they hoped would be a final blow to the Moslem kingdom of Egypt. Pope Innocence (Lothario dei Conti di Segni), was a young impetuous man in his late thirties. In issuing the crusade in 1198, the pope had hoped to invade Egypt and further reclaim the kingdom of Jerusalem. This dream, however, was not to materialize. Instead, through a series of mistakes, greed and cunning the campaign would strike in 1202 against the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. Although the events leading up to the capture of Constantinople are clear the motives are still in dispute. Historians blame the events on greed, the German Guelfs and Venice 


                As the army was being raised in France, leaders of the various factions made a treaty with Venice for the construction of ships to carry the forming army. This treaty was initially unknown to the pope who, after its completion felt compiled to accept its terms. Due to the death of Thibald of Champagne, the leadership of the main force was offered to the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat who accepted command in summer of 1201.


The treaty with the Venetian government was to prove a disaster to the crusaders who had been led into a near fanciful world by Enrico Dandolo, the blind eighty-year old doge (chief magistrate) of Venice. Though aged and blind his mind and wits proved far superior to the leaders of the crusade and the doge managed to reduce the crusaders into near bankruptcy before they ever left Venice. Through poor planning, the leaders of the ill-fated crusade had expected an army of nearly 33,500 troops.[48] These forces they felt were more than enough to pay for the 500 ships which the crusaders had commissioned to be built by the Venetians. The doge had talked the leaders of Christendom into committing themselves to a force three times that of Richard and Philip's crusade, at six times its cost.


Upon arriving in Venice in the fall of 1201, it soon became apparent that only 10,000 of the expected 33,500 force would arrive. Some who had vowed to take the cross broke their oaths. Others decided to by-pass Venice and travel directly to Palestine. Finally, there was the problem of over exaggeration by some local leaders whose boasts of large forces never materialized. For whatever the reason, the crusaders simply didn’t have the additional 34,000 silver marks[49] to pay for the already constructed ships. Some historians believe that the doge, who was doing a profitable business with the Moslems had previously promised the Egyptians that the crusaders would never arrive (note Peter 1971, 5 regarding Compact of the Venetians and Sultan of Babylon regard Egypt also Louis de Mas-Latrie, 1861- not in reference listing).


            The Venetians, however, were still agreeable to render their services for a cost. The cost, as suggested by the doge, was their assistance in capturing the Christian seaport of Zadar (Zara) in Dalmatia. This seaport had previously rebelled against Venetian domination (i.e., taken by the King of Hungary in 1186). Although skeptical of the doge's request the crusaders had little choice as the Venetians had threatened to cut of supplies and aid to the Christian forces.

            Therefore, on October 1202, 200 ships left Venice and set-sail for Zadar. Sighting Zadar on 10 November the crusaders and Venetians besieged the city for the next fourteen days. With the fall of the city on 24 November, the city was plundered. Although requested by the pope not to wage war against a Christian force, the crusaders had blatantly disregarded the pope's request. For this act of disobedience and blatant disregard for Christian ethics and morals, the crusaders and Venetians who had waged this attack were excommunicated (note Riley Smith 1987, 121-30 and Mayer 1988, ch. 9 for addition information regarding the preparation and siege of Zadar). With winter approaching, the crusaders decided to remain in Zadar. Feeling a need to redeem themselves, achieve their goal of  securing Jerusalem and receiving addition funds, the crusaders at the urging of Philip of Swabia (younger brother of Emperor Henty VI) began contemplating a radical departure from their initial goal.


Philip's envoys, expressing the desire of Alexius IV Angelus[50] (Philip's brother-in-law), had suggested to the crusaders a scheme to dethrone Alexius IV’s uncle, who was the current ruler of Constantinople. According to Philip this new ruler, Alexius III, had blinded and dethroned his brother Isaac II Angelus and imprisoned Alexius IV. Alexius IV, who had only recently escaped, had requested assistance from Pope Innocence. Receiving no aid from the pope, Alexius next appealed to his brother-in-law who in turn approached the crusaders. In return for their services, the crusaders would receive 10,000 Byzantine troops, 100,000 silver marks (with an equal amount going to the Venetians) and the pope would gain the Patriarchate of Constantinople (Riley Smith 1987, 126; Mayer 1988, 200).


After considerable deliberation most of the crusaders, with the exception of many of the clergy, decided that they would follow through on Philip's suggestion. On 24 June 1203 the crusader's fleet landed at Chalcedon near Constantinople. By July the city was under attack. It was saved only by the brave and valiant efforts of the Danish and English Varangian Guard. Alexius III, however, fearing the fall of Constantinople had fled the city. Because of Alexius' desertion, Isaac II was released from prison and with Alexius IV became co-emperors. Their rule, however, was short lived. Disliked and mistrusted by Constantinople residents the co-emperors were murdered in 1204. At the death of these co-emperors Alexius V Ducas Murzuphlus, great-great-grand son of Alexius I, ascended to the imperial throne. Due to his anti-Latin and European sympathies the crusaders remaining in the city knew that he must be removed. In April 1204, the crusaders laid siege once more to the city of Constantinople. Within one day the battle was won. For the next four days the crusaders murdered, plundered and destroyed. On 9 May, Baldwin of Flanders was crowned emperor. The leaders of these atrocity were left punished. Pope Innocent even lifted his earlier excommunication of the crusaders. Once more, these defenders of the Cross had waged destruction, murder and abominations in the name of Christ (Note Geffroi de Villehardouin’s (1160 c. - 1213 c.) chronicle of the Fourth Crusade and the conquest of Constantinople, also Jean Sire de Joinville’s (1224-1317) chronicle of the Crusade of St. Lewis (Louis IX)).[51] For nearly fifty years European Christians would continue their attacks against the Moslems. With crusades in 1212, [52] 1218, 1229, and 1248 the battles continued.


 The Crusades Continue 


After the calling of the Children's Crusade[53] in 1212, the next crusade occurred in 1218. This taking up of the Cross was, however, "hinted at" in 1213 (Powell 1986, 1) with Pope Innocent III’s announcement of a forthcoming council in 1215. Pope Innocent III, during the opening of the Fourth Lateran Council, preached a sermon advocating a crusade. A year later, in central Italy, he preached the Cross. Beginning in 1218 this Christian endeavor, like so many previous ones ended in defeat. Once again the crusaders were slaughtered, enslaved or driven back northward. Defeated by Sultan al-Kalim this attempt at regaining the Holy Land marked the last papal called crusade. This disaster had had its inception by popes Honorius II and Gregory IX. Preached through all of Europe (i.e., Ireland, Scandinavia, England and southward, the crusaders felt well prepared. Confident at their victory, they rejected an offer by al-Kamil for the exchange of Damietta for Jerusalem (Powell 1986, 1). Pestilence, however, had marked the crusade's beginning and surrender was to mark its conclusion.


Finally, in an attempt to gain some degree of peace, the Moslems even agreed to return Jerusalem. This plea for sanity and peace fell on deaf ears as, the Christians truly believed that the only good Moslem was a dead Moslem. It was also during this period, as in other crusades, that there was near constant bickering between nobles, princes, clergy and the military orders. As Dubois (1956, 81 fn) stated:

 In 1241 the Templars subjected the Hospitallers to a series of insults. Hostilities ensued, and the Templars cut off the Hospitallers’ food supplies. The Templars also quarreled with the Teutonic Knights. … In 1259 dissension arose among the Genoese, Pisans, and several military orders. On this occasion, the Hospitallers attacked the Templars, slaying numbers of them. The Templars sent posthaste to their strongholds in Western Europe summoning their brethren to come at once to the Holy Land. 


It therefore came as no surprise that when a new sect of Moslems came to power in Egypt in 1250, they were finally determined to put an end to the menace of the Christian stronghold. Consolidating Egypt, Sultan an-Nasir Rukn-ad-Din Baybars (Baybars), leader of the Mamluks  (slave soldiers of Egypt),[54] considered it his responsibility and goal to destroy all Christians. His first target was Antioch (1268). In the battle which ensued, he murdered every man, woman and child. The city was utterly destroyed and the land along the coast destroyed of all life (including vegetation). Acre also met with the wrath of Baybars who had the citizens butchered. Only the death of Baybars in 1277 brought some relief from the Moslem onslaught. Bickering, resentment and rivalry continued between the princes, merchants, military orders and clergy. Finally in 1289 the Egyptians conquered Tripoli.

In 1291 Sultan Mansour expelled the Christians from Syria. This action was provoked by certain atrocities against the Moslems. As in prior situations the military orders (i.e., Hospitallers, Templars and Teutonics) asked for a granting of restitution to the Moslems involved. This act on the part of the orders was an attempt to calm an already dangerous situation. Their advice, however, was rejected with contempt. With a defiant and hostile attitude, the citizens of Acre succeeded in bringing down upon them the entire force of the Egyptian Empire.


Mansour died from poisoning before reaching Acre. Khaled, his son, vowed to carry forth Mansour's holy war. Arab historians estimated that his forces consisted of over 160,000 foot and 60,000 horse soldiers (Smith 1894, 13). Facing this combined force of over 200,000 were several hundred knights and a modest force of 200 horse and 500 foot soldiers brought by King Henry de Lussignan of Cyprus (Smith 1894, 13). The siege of the city began on 5 April. The knights led by John de Villiers (Grand Master of the Order of St. John) and Wiliam de Beaujeu (Grand Master Knights Templar) valiantly defended Acre. King Henry deserted his allies once the battle seemed lost. The knights continued to fight on, outnumbered and alone against a far superior Saracen force. With the death of Beaujeu, de Villiers’ only remaining hope was to withdraw to Cyprus. Upon reaching Cyprus, the remaining Templars and Teutonics returned to the European outposts. The Hospitallers, however remained in Cyprus for the next nineteen years (1291-1310). Acre was lost, along with 60,000 citizens who were either slaughtered or enslaved (Smith 1894, 14).


             And so the battles would continue According to Barber (1995: 263):

The idea of a crusade remained, even if the dream was never accomplished. They were not the work of isolated eccentrics, but of men with sound knowledge of affairs, and who well understood the difficulties involved. However, the schemes were not always quite what they purported to be.


[1] Note Carl Erdmann's excellent work, on tracing the origins of the "idea of crusade" and Riley-Smith's (1986) "The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading."

 [2] Note differences between remission of sins and remission of penance as found in Riley-Smith (1973, 59-62). Mayer (1988, 31) states that according to Urban's speech at Clermont, a remission of Church imposed penance was offered to the religions crusader (not those seeking fame or wealth). However, individuals like Peter the Hermit (note Grousset 1970, 9-11) and other preachers may have gone forth from Clermont preaching remissio peccatorum (remission of sins). Note Mayer 1988, 30-37 for explanation of remission of sins and remission of all imposed earthly or Church penance.

 [3] Hakim (or Hakem), although raised Christian, spawned a reign of terror against Christianity and Judaism between 1004-1014. During this period, he plundered or burned some 30,000 churches including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. He also confiscated Church property, Christian belongings and murdered many who would not apostate.  However, after proclaiming himself God in 1016, a drastic change came over the caliph in that he stopped his oppression of Christians and began a policy of favoritism toward Christians and Jews. He returned confiscated property, provided religious tolerance and struck out harshly against certain current Islamic customs. (Runciman 1964, 36). It is believed by some that he was murdered by members of his own Islamic sect or by his ambitious sister, Sitt al-Mulk (p. 36).

 [4] William of Tyre (I, 2, vol. I, 29) believed that the fall of Manzikert was justification for calling a crusade. Note (Runciman 1964, I, 64 fn).

 [5] Additional information concerning the Council of Piacenza may be obtained from the chronicler Bernold of Constance.

 [6] Mayer (1988, 5-6), however, simply doesn't believe the Christians to have been in as much danger as Pope Urban's speech indicated. As Mayer notes no appeal was directly sent by the Eastern Christians. As in all wars or conflicts, there are many political, economic and social ramifications. In this conflict, there were "hidden agendas" including Alexius' appeal (perhaps an attempt to re-conquer Anatolia), Urban's interest and the nobles' participation.

 [7] The full speech is recorded in the writings of Fulcher of Chartres, Robert the Monk, Baudri of Dol, Guibert of Nogent and William of Malmesbury

 [8] There is some question as to the authenticity of Pope Sylvester's (Gerbert of Aurillac) letters. There is also the question of whether he was actually calling for military intervention in Jerusalem or merely for alms. Also note that Pope Sergius IV's (1009-1012) encyclical which shows intent to call a Holy War, was proven to be forgery, actually being written during the First Crusade. There is evidence that many forgeries were written in an attempt to give support to the "taking up of the Cross." Supposedly written in earlier times by great secular and papal leaders, many works were actually composed during the conflict itself, as a propaganda tool.

 [9] "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:38). Further, Pope Urban II stated, "Fratres uos [nos] oportet multa pati pro nomine Christi, uidelicet miserias, paupertates, nuditates, persecutiones, egestates, infirmitates, fames, sites et alia huiusmodi, sicuti Dominus ait suis discipulis: 'Oportet uos pati multa pro nomine meo', et: 'Nolite erubescere loqui ante facies hominum; ego uero dabo uobis os et eloquium', ac deinceps: 'Persequetur uos larga retributio.' " (Gesta Francorum edited by R. Hill 1962, pp. 1-2). Mills (1828, I, 55) states that Pope Urban requested in his speech , "Let every one mark on his breast or back the sign of our Lord's cross, in order that the saying may be fulfilled, ‘he who takes up the cross and follows me is worthy of me.' " This Cross, is in remembrance of he who first gave his life for us. It was worn on the right shoulder, or the upper portion of the crusader's back. The Cross was also worn by some on the top of the arm. Although the pilgrims wore many different colors of crosses, the most often color was that of red, signifying his holy and spilt blood. "[K]nowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold . . . but with precious blood as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ" (I Peter 1:18-19). According to Mills (1828, I, 55 fn) some over-zealous crusaders even cut the sign of the Cross into their own flesh.

 [10] It should be remembered that most people of the medieval period were uneducated, superstitious, and easily misunderstood even the simplest direction. When the word Jerusalem was mentioned by the clergy or nobles, many of the paupers perceived this to mean New Jerusalem. Of course they understood that Jesus had lived, suffered, died and rose within it boundaries but even more they envisioned – 

10. And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, … (Revelations 21: 10-21)

[11] Bridge (1982, 18) states that during the century preceding the First Crusade, there had been forty-eight years of famine.

[12] It should, however, be noted that some (a small percentage) were trained. These soldiers included Walter Sans-Avior (not the penniless) and his small band of knights. Wal