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Posted: 11/4/2001 6:18:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/4/2001 6:22:05 AM EDT by EricTheHun]
We've often heard remarks on this Board about how the 'Crusades' were just one more example of Christendom's 'crimes against humanity' and indicative of the Christian propensity of violence toward the non-Christian world. But is that the truth of the matter? Consider this: the entirety of the several campaigns launched by the Christian West from 1095 AD, until the Fall Of Acre in 1291 AD, were simply to recover the formerly Christian lands seized by the Moslems since the latter's rise to power in the Seventh Century AD. Jonathan Riley-Smith, a leading modern scholar of the Crusades, provides this definition, "A crusade was a holy war fought against those perceived to be external or internal foes of Christendom for the [u]recovery of Christian property or in defense of the Church or Christian people[/u]" (The Crusades: A Short History, xxviii). From Robert F. Madden, another leading expert in the history of the Crusades: "The crusades are quite possibly the most misunderstood event in European history. Ask a random American about them and you are likely to see a face wrinkle in disgust, or just the blank stare that is usually evoked by events older than six weeks. After all, weren't the crusaders just a bunch of religious nuts carrying fire and sword to the land of the Prince of Peace? Weren't they cynical imperialists seeking to carve out colonies for themselves in faraway lands with the blessings of the Catholic Church? A couch potato watching the BBC/A&E documentary on the crusades (hosted by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame no less) would learn in roughly four hours of frivolous tsk-tsk-ing that the peaceful Muslim world actually learned to be warlike from the barbaric western crusaders. No wonder, then, that Pope John Paul II was excoriated for his refusal to apologize for the crusades in 1999. "Now put this down in your notebook, because it will be on the test: The crusades were in every way a defensive war. They were the West's belated response to the Muslim conquest of fully two-thirds of the Christian world. While the Arabs were busy in the seventh through the tenth centuries winning an opulent and sophisticated empire, Europe was defending itself against outside invaders and then digging out from the mess they left behind. Only in the eleventh century were Europeans able to take much notice of the East. The event that led to the crusades was the Turkish conquest of most of Christian Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The Christian emperor in Constantinople, faced with the loss of half of his empire, appealed for help to the rude but energetic Europeans." See Madden's article 'Crusade Propaganda' in NationalReviewOnline at: [url]http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-madden110201.shtml[/url] Also see Paul Crawford's article on the 'Military and Political Background' of the Crusades, which provides a very good sketch of the history of the Christian vs. Moslem conflict, at:[url]http://orb.rhodes.edu/encyclop/religion/crusades/Crusade_Back.html[/url] So were the Crusades justifiable? Eric The(YouKnowWhichSideI'llTake,Hehehe)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:21:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:59:23 AM EDT
I just did, [b]raf[/b], and I found it very interesting. I also left a post as well. [>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:04:28 AM EDT
The Crusades are to Christianity what Jihad is to the Muslims. War is Hell. Doesn't matter who is right or wrong. "....rude but energetic Europeans." I like it. [:D] That pretty well describes them.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:40:45 AM EDT
Men of Iron was a pretty good book on the crusades. I wouldn't want to be on a boat that got hit with "greek fire" (Olde Time napalm) wearing iron armor.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 8:48:52 AM EDT
Here's more from Professor Madden - "It is easy for moderns to dismiss the crusades as morally repugnant, cynically evil, or as Runciman summed them up, 'nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God.' Yet such judgements tell us more about the observer than the observed. They are based on uniquely modern (and, therefore, western) values. If from the safety of our desk we are quick to condemn the medieval crusader, we should be mindful that he would be just as quick to condemn us. Our infinitely more destructive wars waged for the sake of political and social ideologies would, in his opinion, be lamentable wastes of human life. In both societies, the medieval and the modern, men fight for what is most dear to them. That is a fact of human nature that is not so changeable." * * * "There can be little doubt that the crusades slowed the advance of Islam, although how much is an open question. The presence of the crusader states in the Near East for almost two centuries certainly destabilized Muslim power, and therefore hindered unification into a single Islamic state. Even the crusades that failed or did not materialize forced Muslim powers to divert resources from conquest to their own defense. At the very least, then, the crusades bought western Europe some time. Judging by the number of occasions it narrowly escaped Turkish invasion in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, Europe had need of that time." See remainder of article at: [url]http://orb.rhodes.edu/encyclop/religion/crusades/crumadden.html[/url] Eric The(Crusading)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 11:12:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/4/2001 11:13:46 AM EDT by Alacrity]
Think much of the bad press for the Crusades come about from the historical accounts of bad actors such as Reynald de Chatillon, Raymond of Tripoli, and Guy de Lusignan. Historically, Saladin comes off pretty well. Neither side was particularly well behaved, from a modern perspective. Probably because we expected better of them, the Christians in Outremer just dont come off all that noble. Plus you have the "winners weight". The west, the Romans, the Brits and the US are all pretty poorly treated by historical commentary in general. It becomes a rhetorical tool one can pick up if they are interested in weilding it. In specific instances the criticism is justified, but generally I think its unfounded. Guess someone has to be the bad guy. Overall there was nothing more intrinsically evil about the Crusades then there was the Umayyad occupation of Spain or the Ottoman occupation of SE Europe. If you could take it, you did; If you could keep it even better. Most Crusader leaders (and their Moslem counterparts) were motivated for the same reasons any man seeks power; less about principle than personal wealth, stature, security. No different than most real estate changing hands -the religious overtones added a different flavor. Makes you appreciate the old dead white guys who formed this country. Luck Alac This is nothing new. The Assassins were Shiites. Edited to say nice links ErictheHun and which side are you taking? Missed the Crusader threads previous, Ill need to search.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 11:34:19 AM EDT
"It is easy for moderns to dismiss the crusades as morally repugnant, cynically evil, or as Runciman summed them up, 'nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God.' Yet such judgements tell us more about the observer than the observed." Very good point! So called Christian crimes are no better than Bin Laden calling this new war a Crusade,he dose not speek for Muslims and people that kill in the name of God don't speek for God. Like I said in another post,this is the same as the anti-gun nuts. Christans like guns owners have nuts in there ranks,it is foolish to damn the hole buch for the act of the one. Anyway the 'Crusades' where an Army vs. Army fight untill the muzzies had to hide in towns and homes(just like now) and it was to take back land NOT just to kill as many people as could be done. If you want to talk about the propensity of violence to anybody don't look at Christans,unless you are just anti and will say anything to try and make a point.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 11:41:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JonnieGTyler: ... War is Hell. Doesn't matter who is right or wrong.
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[i]... It not right or wrong, it's who's left![/i]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 12:15:34 PM EDT
Okay, so what about the Spanish Inquisition? The Catholic Church is responsible for a litany of crimes against humaity. All religions are suspect, even secular worhsip of the state, which is the dominant religion in America, Canada, and European countries today.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 12:21:35 PM EDT
EVERY war is all about religion....not just politics....examine each one.....separation of church-state was official, not realistic.....when it comes to humans getting to the point of killing one another, religion is a top issue..either as a reason or as a result.............[argue]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 12:31:20 PM EDT
I wholeheartedly agree with BlackandGreen on this point. Tyler
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 1:10:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:
Originally Posted By JonnieGTyler: ... War is Hell. Doesn't matter who is right or wrong.
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[i]... It not right or wrong, it's who's left![/i]
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hehe...I almost added that, then decided not too. Great minds think alike. [:D]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 1:14:31 PM EDT
Religion might be the vehicle, and certainly is a contributor, but there have been very few purely religious wars, especially in relatively secular modern times. Since the church was the state (or at least performed the functions of the state) in medieval and renaissance Europe, obviously religion figured heavily. The Reformation wars and the Crusades stand out as the most notable exception. The splits in the Moslem world, focusing on the line of succession is surely another. The Arab/Israeli conflicts sure seem to be religious based, but the Arabs had no real beef with Jews until the formation of Israel. It’s a real estate issue. In these cases religion played a primary role, but also masked some purely secular causes. I’m sure Pope Urban II and the older sons of nobility throughout Europe sure didn’t miss any of the petty nobles/younger brothers off to Outremer to find their fortune or glory. Nationalism, Religion, Economics, History and others all play a part. But it always seemed to me to be a primary actor involved in precipitating hostile action by harnessing these factors. Theres always somebody who wants something pushing the buttons. In the last 100 years religion has been a poor lever. Until now. The wars in Europe in the 19th century were based in part on historical religious divisions. But by then these were only loosely associated and had grown far beyond mere squabbles over orthodoxy. More of a grudge match than anything, with historical alliances, enemies, nationalism and individual lust for power playing more of a role than religion. By the 20th century even those religious divisions, as well as historical ones, lasting hundreds of years came to an end, as France, England, Russia and the US formed up during WWI and II. Not what anyone would have forecast if they had lived in 1865, merely 50 years prior. Religion goes out the window when your ass is getting handed to you. The worst butcher of all time resulted. I know y’all are thinking Hitler, but he’s a distant second, not that he didn’t try his damndest. The Steelman himself, Stalin, had probably 20 million on him, though admittedly less through direct action. If you’d claim this resulted from worship of the state, then we are perverting the definition of religion to the point were Im not even sure what the claim is. Religion the banner under which plenty of atrocities are performed. You bet. But its just one of many, and much more readily identifiable then avarice, or ambition, or plain old fear. Not real sure where the Mongols religious angle is, or the Romans, who were pretty cosmopolitan. Xerxes didn’t give a crap if the Greeks, or anyone else under him, worshipped donkeys or trees. Just keep the money rolling in. Its about power, normally vested in a single man, and the urge is as old as time itself. Whatever I got it aint enough, get me more. Luck Alac Never thought Id be reduced to defending religion
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:08:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/4/2001 6:04:06 PM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:19:00 PM EDT
When Edward Longshanks was busy trying to put down the rebellious Scots following William Wallace, it surely didn't hurt his cause that the Scottish thanes were all owners of estates in England given them by Edward. Even Robert The Bruce had his own English estates! Moral? In dealing with the great masses of humanity, you can never count on their loyalty, you cannot count on their honesty, you cannot be certain of their integrity, you cannot count on their patriotism, but you may always be able to count of their [b]greed![/b] There are exceptions, of course, but these are few and far between! Eric The(Cynical)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:25:01 PM EDT
if ALL wars are rooted in religious conflict, what religion was it that started the War Between the States? would that be the religion of slavery? or perhaps the religion of a united nation? and while we're on the subject, what religion was it that brought about the Revolutionary War?
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:30:56 PM EDT
have any of you read the books by Lawerence Gardner i think is his name the books are Bloodline of the Holy Grail and Holy Blood Holy Grail i think. they will open your eyes to alot about religion in lots of ways.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:53:55 PM EDT
Yes, [b]Holy Blood and Holy Grail[/b], and the idea that Queen Elizabeth II is the direct descendant of Jesus and Mary Magdelene! Eric The(NowThat'sSomethingYou'reUnlikelyToReadInT­heBible)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 8:07:41 PM EDT
Yes, the land the Crusaders tried to take was originally Christian land, taken from the Christian Byzantine Empire. But the reason the Byzantine's LOST those territories, and was unable to regain them, and the reason the European states were unable to gain a perminent hold in the Holy Land, was that they treated the locals like shit. It wasnt just how they treated Muslims, it was how they treated the Orthadox Christians (the Crusaders sacked Constantinople- their ally- in 1204), Coptic Christians, Syrian Christians, and Jews. These people, who had helped them in the First Crusade quickly had to turn to the MUSLIMS to escape persecution. These same groups had embraced the Arabs 400 years earlier and helped the relatively small armies of Arab horsemen throw out the larger and far more sophisticated Imperial Armies. The reasons were more or less the same, overtaxation, over consctiption for armies to fight endless series of wars (including numerous civil wars), and the use of force to enforce the religious decisions of the Byzantine Church over the indiginous- and OLDER- Christian traditions.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 8:50:15 PM EDT
Also, so many times religion is used as an excuse or attempt to add legitimacy to a particular action. "We're here to rape and plunder (but since we are doing it in the name of our god it is okay)."
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 12:11:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/5/2001 12:06:51 AM EDT by a2carbine]
I have big news for you that will really piss some people off. Catholics and Christians are not the same! After Christians amde there way out of the Holy land and in to European towns and cities people that whet over to Christanty could not worhsip the King only God. So the big wigs came up with the Catholic religion so the Kings and Dukes,ect could be in the loop and Holy so they could still have power over all the new Christians. After a time they needed everbody to be a Christian,by this time Christianity was ther power and they would kill you if they had to to keep things the way they wanted them. So once again we have no Christian crimes just misuses.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 12:39:27 AM EDT
Holy cow!!!!!!!!!! Boom Stock GETS IT! I need to sit down,what a shock. High marks! PC is never as good as the truth.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 4:29:45 AM EDT
[b]*sniff* *sniff* Do I smell trolls?[/b] Somebody(ies)is(are) full of more shit than a bad fruitcake! Either they are under evil influence or they really DON'T understand history OR human nature.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 11:17:14 AM EDT
Inclined to agree with raf and ErictheHun above. As I noted briefly above, ErictheHun's exception I’d pointed out are the Old Dead White Guys who founded this country. GW was principled enough to disdain a Kingdom. For the most part they acted without regard to personal aggrandizement. The lot of them were astute men of letters; understood human nature and tried their best to put into place a fool proof system. Well, the Fools may have been more foolish than they’d feared. Anyone who enjoyed Bloodlines would enjoy The Hiram Key. General premise is that Modern Masonic traditions (the fraternal organization not bricklayers) are a continuation of Templar teachings. Which Im sure is no major shock to anyone as the DeMolay societies are commonly seen as introductions to Freemasonry. (Get it? Jaques DeMolay was the last Grandmaster of the Knights Templar) It’s a good read that outruns its evidence fairly quickly. Entertaining nonetheless. The interesting thing about Bloodlines is not whether it is true or not but whether European nobility believe and have acted as if it is true. If there was some documentation to that effect it would explain quite a bit. Luck Alac
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 11:37:03 AM EDT
You may wish to read Umberto Eco's [b][i]'Foucault's Pendulum'[/i][/b] if you wish to get the real lowdown on the Templars and their history. It's by the same author as [b][i]'The Name of The Rose'[/i][/b]. See his webpage at: [url]http://www.themodernword.com/eco/[/url] Good quote from book: "If two things don’t fit, but you believe both of them, thinking that somewhere, hidden, there must be a third thing that connects them, that’s credulity." - Umberto Eco (1929-), [i]Foucault's Pendulum [/i] The Hun says 'Reading is fundamental.' Eric The(ReadFasterDammit!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 5:39:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/5/2001 5:34:11 PM EDT by CIB]
I have Jonathan Riley-Smiths book "The Crusades", excellent I might add. But if you want to read up on the Templars I suggest "Dungeon, Fire and Sword, The Knights Templar in the Crusades" By John J. Robinson. Eco's books while based on historical events really don't do the Templars justice, though I will agree they are a good read. If you really like Eco then I would also suggest "Lempriere's Dictionary", by Lawrence Norfolk same kind of flavor.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 6:52:16 PM EDT
This old line, resurrected above, that religion is history's greatest killer is patently false. The biggest killer in absolute terms is communism. And you would have to look pretty hard to find any religous component to WWI or II, the bloodiest wars in history.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 7:14:15 PM EDT
I’m with alacrity on this one. History has its own set of complexities which, I’ve found, are too hard to segregate into complete neat little boxes ready for all of us to understand. To say that the Crusades were simply “defensive wars” is too dismissive of the Times and the personalities involved. All the histories of the Crusades that I know of start from the standpoint that there was a impenetrable barrier between the Christians and the Moslems. In no way was this true then, just like it’s not true, now. Spain represented the largest degree of merging between Christians and Moslems. Moslems and Christians allied themselves to fight other allied Christians and Moslems. Rodrigo diaz de Bivar, “el Cid,” fought for Moslems a bunch of times. In the Turkish controlled Barbary Coast many of the pirates were European. A black flag meant that you sailed for the Turks. A skull meant that you sailed out of Algiers. Crossed bones meant that you were English. Barbarossa, the lead Admiral of the Turkish Navy, was Greek. Kings and Princes sent their daughters to Kings and Princes of other faiths as a matter of routine to create or shore up alliances. Many histories dismiss these people as “renegades and heretics.” That’s always been a white-washing of History. The Kingdoms, Princedoms, City-States, etc. all acted in what they perceived their best interests to be. People, non-serfs that is, also acted in accordance of what they perceived their best interests to be, albeit, when they could get away with it. This didn’t happen to just the few individuals that I meagerly listed here. It happened on a bigger scale that doesn’t lend itself to be neatly packaged for our consumption. Another point I’d like to make is what formerly Christian lands were they liberating? With control of Jerusalem the obvious focus, the Byzantine Emperors played Jews against Christians for their own political purposes. Specifically mentioning just the Emperors that were Christian, one of their goals was to eradicate Jews and Judaism (e.g. they turned the Temple Mount in the City Dump) from Jerusalem. They never succeeded in making Jerusalem a “Christian” city. They never christianized Palestine. For the most part, most of the other ethnic groups under the control of the Byzantines were glad to see them replaced by anybody. To say the Crusades were “in every way a defensive war” is to say ,IMHO, that Nazi Germany fought a defensive war when Poland “invaded.” The evidence just ain’t there. As Byzantium decayed through its own moral corruption, Mamluk, then Seljuk and, finally, Ottoman Turks rose to fill the power vacuum. Well, fighting off the Mongols didn’t help matters much. But then again, everybody had to fight the Mongols.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 7:15:04 PM EDT
In Europe (excluding Spain), the Feudal system was causing moral decay and what must’ve seemed like unending civil strife and war. So when the request from the Byzantine Emperor for help came to Pope Urban II, he jumped on it. He’d organized and send a second crusade before the first one had ran its course. “What a great way to clear out Europe,” he must have thought. To me, the personalities involved were the root cause of the Crusades. Religion was just the window dressing, just like many other ideologies have been used to “justify” decisions. (Does any body really believe that Josef Stalin was such a good communist that he would’ve accepted the State “withering away” as Marx and Engels predicted that it [the State] would?) Were the Crusades justified? The Crusades were certainly rationalized. But were they Just? One of the principles of fighting a “Just War” is to conduct War in such a manner as to do more good than harm in its aftermath. That was never the case with the Crusades.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 9:32:19 PM EDT
Zoinks, They Byzantines had spent the better part of three centuires immediately prior to Manzikert in 1071 kicking the Islamic nations ass (though they failed to regain the Holy Land). There was no "Moral Decay" in the "Gibbsonian" sense. There was a economic decline in the 11th Century that left the Imperial coffers dangerously low. Low financial resources, and the loss of virtually all their land and people in Asia Minor within a year of Manzikert prevented them from replacing their army as they had done after much greater defeats in the preceeding centuries. The Crusaders arrived literally 20 years too late to help the Byzantines- by the time they had actually shown up Byzantium was finally begining to recover economically by trading with the Turks for silks and spices they then resold to the west. When the Crusades failed to bring a final victory, even with the capture of Jerusalem, this trade was severly afflicted. They still were struggling back upward when the Crusaders sacked Constantinople in 1204 on behalf of trading rivals Venice and Genoa, who wanted to take over the Asian trade. Had this not happened, Byzantium would have probably repaired itself yet again, as they had done after their defeats at the hands of the Arabs and Magyars in the 7th/8th Centuries. Instead the state struggled on, a shadow of its former self untill finally being put out of its misery 1453. Even then they were betrayed by their fellow Christians, the Genoese gave the Turks a path to haul ships overland into the harbor of Constantinople and the giant cannon used to breach the triple walls were made and crewed by Hungarian and German mercinaries. Of course the rest of Europe paid dearly for this treachery, when Ottoman armies marched all the way into Europe and twice laid siege to Vienna.
Link Posted: 11/6/2001 6:20:12 PM EDT
ErictheHun, I tend to prefer my history a little more straightforward. I injured myself fairly badly trying to scale one of Eco's neologisms and get a nose bleed if even his name is mentioned anymore. Maybe I should try him again but Im fairly sure Ill bruise myself once again. He aint light reading. Luck Alac
Link Posted: 11/6/2001 6:37:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ARlady: if ALL wars are rooted in religious conflict, what religion was it that started the War Between the States? would that be the religion of slavery? or perhaps the religion of a united nation?
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Wasn't the creation of the "Southern Baptist" (like ex-Prez Clinton) A FACTOR OF THE WAR?? The "Southern Baptist" approved of slavery.. Isn't that why they came out with the apology a couple years back?
and while we're on the subject, what religion was it that brought about the Revolutionary War?
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dunno...but Wasn't the "Church of England" more powerful back then in gov't affairs than it is now? Leading to the Colony's need for "separation of church and State" ? No_Expert
Link Posted: 11/6/2001 7:50:48 PM EDT
Post from Alacrity -
ErictheHun, I tend to prefer my history a little more straightforward. I injured myself fairly badly trying to scale one of Eco's neologisms and get a nose bleed if even his name is mentioned anymore.{/quote] [i][b]Entendu![/b][/i] Eco does take a little time getting used to, but even in the 'real' world of Eco, it's kinda hard to tell where Templar history ends and Templar legends begin. Add a dash of [i][b]Illuminati[/b][/i] and some Rosicrucians and stir vigorously. I just relished the idea that Eco put forward that brought all of that history together, but then deconstructed it all apart again, leaving you with the subtle notion that the author might himself just be part of some grand conspiratorial design! Where do beliefs begin and do they end in madness? Or is it doubts that always end in madness? Insofar as neologisms are concerned, it's quite amazing to remember that his works are written in Italian and then translated by very able translators into English. As a matter of fact, [i][b]The Name of The Rose[/b][/i], was a bestseller in more than 30 countries! What of his family name? His grandfather claimed to be a foundling. He was given the last name 'Eco' by the Order of Nuns that raised him. The name is thought to have been derived from [i][b]ex caelis oblatus[/b][/i], 'offered from the heavens'! Here's a bit of something interesting - "Gentlemen, I will now show you this text. Forgive me for using a photocopy. It's not distrust. I don't want to subject the original to further wear." "But Ingolf's copy wasn't the original," I said. "The parchment was the original." "Casaubon, when originals no longer exist, the last copy is the original." -- Foucault's Pendulum, Chapter 18 Are you certain that you don't care for such dialogue as that? Eric The([i][b]'Ma gavte la nata'[/b][/i])Hun[>]:)]
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