But the relation of East and West during the Crusades was not merely hostile or negative.
But in the Crusades we already see an event occupying its definite place in history and without which we cannot imagine the modern history of Europe, though to the chroniclers of the Crusades that event appeared as merely due to the will of certain people.
The Crusades of St Louis.
As such a novum salutis genus, the Crusades connect themselves with the history of the penitentiary system; as the foreign policy of the Church they belong to that clerical purification and direction of feudal society and its instincts, which appears in the institution of "God's Truce" and in chivalry itself.
As chivalry directed the layman to defend what was right, so the preaching of the Crusades directed him to attack what was wrong - the possession by "infidels" of the Sepulchre of Christ.
The Crusades are the offensive side of chivalry: chivalry is their parent - as it is also their child.
The knight who joined the Crusades might thus still indulge the bellicose side of his genius - under the aegis and at the bidding of the Church; and in so doing he would also attain what the spiritual side of his nature ardently sought - a perfect salvation and remission of sins.
One can readily understand the popularity of the Crusades, when one reflects that they permitted men to get to the other world by fighting hard on earth, and allowed them to gain the fruits of asceticism by the ways of hedonism.
From this point of view, the Crusades appear as a reaction of the West against the pressure of the East - a reaction which carried the West into the East, and founded a Latin and Christian kingdom on the shores of Asia.
The culture developed in the West during the 13th century was not only permitted to develop by the protection of the Crusades, it grew upon materials which the Crusades enabled it to import from the East.
The Norman conquest of Sicily may with justice be called a crusade before the Crusades; and it cannot but have given some impulse to that later attempt to wrest Syria from the Mahommedans, in which the virtual leader was Bohemund, a scion of the same house which had conquered Sicily.
The former was the driving force which made the First Crusade successful, where later Crusades, without its stimulus, for the most part failed; the latter was the one staunch ally which alone enabled Baldwin I.
So far as the Crusades led to permanent material results in the East, they did so in virtue of these two forces.
It is noticeable that it was on French soil that the seed had been sown.3 Preached on French soil by a pope of French descent, the Crusades began - and they continued - as essentially a French (or perhaps better Norman-French) enterprise; and the kingdom which they established in the East was essentially a French kingdom, in its speech and its customs, its virtues and its vices.
To the Normans particularly the Crusades had an intimate appeal.
They appealed to the old Norse instinct for wandering - an instinct which, as it had long before sent the Norseman eastward to find his El Dorado of Micklegarth, could now find a natural outlet in the expedition to Jerusalem: they appealed to the Norman religiosity, which had made them a people of pilgrims, the allies of the papacy, and, in England and Sicily, crusaders before the Crusades: finally, they appealed to that desire to gain fresh territory, upon which Malaterra remarks as characteristic of Norman princes.
The union of Mardin and Aleppo under the sway of these two amirs, connecting as it did Mesopotamia with Syria, marks an important stage in the revival of Mahommedan power (Stevenson, Crusades in the East, p. 109).
But the strength of the kingdom lay less perhaps in the army than in the magnificent fortresses which the nobility, and especially the two orders, had built; and the most visible relic of the crusades to-day is the towering ruins of a fortress like Krak (Kerak) des Chevaliers, the fortress of the Knights of St John in the principality of Tripoli.
In lieu of personal participation in crusades, might help; the fatal policy of razzias against the neighbouring Mahommedan powers might procure temporary resources; but what was really necessary was a wide measure of native taxation, such as was once, and once only, attempted in 1183.
The History of the Kingdom and the Crusades from the Loss of Edessa in 1144 to the Fall of Jerusalem in 1187.
Here he joined Conrad (who had come by sea from Constantinople) and Baldwin III., and after some deliberation the three 1 We speak of First, Second and Third Crusades, but, more exactly, the Crusades were one continuous process.
In 1271-1272 - all famous Crusades, which are not reckoned in the usual numbering.
Crusades appear to have been dignified by numbers when they followed some crushing disaster - the loss of Edessa in 1144, or the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 - and were led by kings and emperors; or when, like the Fourth and Fifth Crusades, they achieved some conspicuous success or failure.
But it is important to bear in mind the continuity of the Crusades - the constant flow of new forces eastward and back again westward; for this alone explains why the Crusades formed a great epoch in civilization, familiarizing, as they did, the West with the East.
The forty years from 1189 to 1229 form a period of incessant crusading, occupied by Crusades of every kind.
Greeks; lastly, there are the Crusades waged by the papacy against revolted Christians - John of England and Frederick II.
The lay basis of the Third Crusade made it, in one sense, the greatest of all Crusades, in which all the three great monarchs of western Europe participated; but it also made it a failure, for the kings of France and England, changing caelum, non animum, carried their political rivalries into the movement, in which it had been agreed that they should be sunk.
On the 1 The Crusades in their course established a number of new states or kingdoms. The First Crusade established the kingdom of Jerusalem (I too); the Third, the kingdom of Cyprus (1195); the Fourth, the Latin empire of Constantinople (1204); while the long Crusade of the Teutonic knights on the coast of the Baltic led to the rise of a new state east of the Vistula.
The history of the kingdom of Jerusalem is part of the history of the Crusades: the history of the other kingdoms or states touches the history of the Crusades less vitally.
This is one of the many facts which differentiate the Crusades of the 13th from those of the preceding century.
There was first of all the old crusading grudge against the Eastern empire, and its fatal policy of regarding the whole of the Levant as its lost provinces, to be restored as soon as conquered, or at any rate held in fee, by the Western crusaders - a policy which led the Eastern emperors either to give niggardly aid or to pursue obstructive tactics, and caused them to be blamed for the failure of the Crusades in riot, and 1149, and in 1190.
If the Third Crusade had been directed by the lay power towards the true spiritual end of all Crusades, the Fourth was directed by the lay power to its own lay ends; and the political and commercial motives, which were deeply implicit even in the First Crusade, had now become dominantly explicit.
No basis for the Crusades was ever to be found in the Latin empire of the East; and Innocent, after vainly hoping for the new Crusade which was to emerge from Constantinople, was by 1208 compelled to return to the old idea of a Crusade proceeding simply and immediately from the West to the East.
The glow and the glamour of the Crusades disappear save for the pathetic sunset splendours of St Louis, as Dandolo dies, and gallant Villehardouin drops his pen.
The Fifth Crusade is the last which is started in that pontificate of Crusades - the pontificate of Innocent III.
But for Innocent these outbursts of the revivalist element, which always accompanied the Crusades, had their moral: "the very children put us to shame," he wrote; "while we sleep 1 Already under Innocent III.
The Albigensian Crusades, however, belong to French history; and it can only be noted here that their ultimate result was the absorption of the fertile lands, and the extinction of the peculiar civilization, of southern France by the northern monarchy.
Alone of all Crusades (though the Fourth Crusade offers some analogy) it was not blessed but cursed by the papacy: alone of all the Crusades it was conducted without a single act of hostility against the Mahommedan.
CRUSADES, the name given to the series of wars for delivering the Holy Land from the Mahommedans, so-called from the cross worn as a badge by the crusaders.
In the same way the Crusades themselves may be regarded as a stage in the clerical reformation of the fighting laymen.
Nor, indeed, must it be forgotten that the search for new and more direct connexions with the routes of Oriental trade is one of the motives underlying the Crusades themselves, and leading to what may be called the 13th-century discovery of Asia.
It is indeed true that to thousands the hope of acquiring spiritual merit must have been a great motive; it is also true, as the records of crusading sermons show, that there was a strong element of "revivalism" in the Crusades, and that thousands were hurried into taking the cross by a gust of that uncontrollable enthusiasm which is excited by revivalist meetings to-day.
Is the movement of the peoples at the time of the Crusades explained by the life and activity of the Godfreys and the Louis-es and their ladies?
A monument of the Crusades with a statue of Pope Urban II.
Nowhere was the call responded to with greater zeal than in the Netherlands, and nowhere had the spirit of adventure and the stimulus to enterprise, which was one of the chief fruits of the crusades, more permanent effects for good.
To the Netherlands, as to the rest of western Europe, the result of the crusades was in the main advantageous.
With regard to the carpet manufactory, it is said locally to date from the time of the Crusades, and it is presumed that the Crusaders learnt the art from the Saracens.
The Crusades had a favourable influence on the intellectual state of the Western nations.
Crusaders in fact they were before crusades were preached.
Though crusades had not yet been preached, the strife with the Mussulman at once brought in the crusading element; to the Christian people of the island they were in many cases real deliverers; still, the actual process by which Sicily was won was not so very different from that by which Apulia had been won.
They first entered Poland from Germany during the era of the crusades, and soon spread through Lithuania, Courland, the Ukraine, and, in the 18th century, Bessarabia.
The author designates the story of the later empire at Constantinople (after Heraclius) as " a uniform tale of weakness and misery," a judgment which is entirely false; and in accordance with this doctrine, he makes the empire, which is his proper subject, merely a string for connecting great movements which affected it, such as the Saracen conquests, the Crusades, the Mongol invasions, the Turkish conquests.
The crusades subjected the Jews to this ordeal.
Economically and socially the crusades had disastrous effects upon the Jews.
Somewhat later the Crusades kept up communication with the Levant, and established there the power of the Roman Church, somewhat to the detriment of oriental Christianity, but intercourse with farther Asia was limited to the voyages of a few travellers.
She now commanded the route to the Holy Land and could supply the necessary transport, and from the Crusades her growing aristocracy reaped large profits.
The result of the first three Crusades was that Venice acquired trading rights, a Venetian quarter, church, market, bakery, &c., in many of the Levant cities, e.g.
- The Crusades may be regarded partly as the decumanus fluctus in the surge of religious revival, which had begun in western Europe during the loth, and had mounted high during the 11th century; partly as a chapter, and a most important chapter, in the history of the interaction of East and West.
Considered as holy wars the Crusades must be interpreted by the ideas of an age which was dominated by the spirit of otherworldliness, and accordingly ruled by the clerical power which represented the other world.
Yet the debt of Europe to the Crusades in this last respect has perhaps been unduly emphasized.