Assignment: The Crusades
The Crusader movement “stretched” over 200 years.
  • The First Crusade was called in 1095 by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, to, among other things, redirect the energies of warring barons from warring against each other to reclaiming the Holy Land (the Peace of God movement and Deus le volt! – God wills it!). The First Crusade captured Jerusalem in July 1099 (aided by divisions in the Islamic world) and established the Crusader states.
  • Called by the eloquent propagandist Cistercian monk, Bernard of Clairvaux, the Second Crusade ended in disaster, crushed outside the walls of Damascus.
  • The Third Crusade went up against a united Egyptian and Syrian Arab empire led by Saladin (who had recaptured Jerusalem in 1187 and remains the preeminent hero of the Islamic World). Although the largest military endeavor of the Middle Ages, the Third Crusade failed to recapture Jerusalem.
  • The Fourth Crusade captured and sacked Constantinople in 1204, and the Fifth Crusade resulted in Frederick negotiating for temporary occupation of Jerusalem. All others failed as well.
  • The Mamluk capture of Acre in 1291 brought the end of Outremer (lands “across the sea”).
Though some cite the Crusades as the origins of modern Middle East and West conflict and strained relations, this is an overly simplistic view. What did the Crusaders and the Muslims think of each other at the time? What does a look at the primary evidence tell us?

Part 1
Select one of the three below activities (your choice). Visit all sites, read and answer questions in a two page typed essay. Be prepared for class discussion
Part 2
Based on a close reading of the primary documents write a position paper 1-2 that represents either the Crusader or Muslim point of view (p.o.v.). Why were the Crusades important? Was there a winner?
  • You will be expected to make full use of the primary sources you have read, even if we have not discussed them in class in order to build a strong evidence based argument.
  • Evidence from primary sources will make a stronger support for your argument than will evidence drawn from secondary sources. use suggested materials.
  • Make sure your position paper is written in your own words.
  • DO NOT copy and paste from web sources or "edit" phrases without credit.
  • Material on the Crusades on the Web is extensive - avoid **plagiarism.**

Activity and Discussion Questions (Choose from 1):
Activity 1:
Read Urban II: Speech at Council of Clermont, 1095, Fulcher of Chartres version and the Robert the Monk version.
1. What, according to Pope Urban, has happened to the world as a result of God's servants not keeping his laws? (include evidence)
2. What is the purpose of his exhortation to all "to carry aid promptly " to the Greek Christians
3. What are those who die doing so, promised?
Read Fulcher of Chartres: The Capture of Jerusalem, 1099, and The Fall of Jerusalem, The Gesta Version.
4. Describe briefly what happened when the city fell to the Franks. How do the Franks view the Muslims?
5. What did the Crusaders do once the city was captured?
Activity 2:
Go to [[http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/islam/islamsbook.html#Interaction with the West|Internet Islamic History Sourcebook]]the Interaction with the West section (you may read others items but this section is required). Read the second item, Usmah Ibn Munqidh (1095-1188): //Autobiography: Excerpts on the Franks//, c.1175 CE. Next, read to //T////he Second Crusade: The Siege of Damascus//**,**1148, by the Syrian chronicler Ibn Al-Qalanisi, d. 1160.
1. How does the Muslim warrior, Usmah, react to his friend, a Frankish knight's proposal to send his son to Europe, "where he can see the knights and learn wisdom and chivalry"?
2. How does he regard Frankish Medicine (give examples)?
3. Describe some of his other views on the Franks he encounters.
4. How does Ibn Al-Qalanisi portray the Frankish knights at the siege of Damascus?
5. How did contact with Christians encourage Muslims to define themselves?
Activity 3
Go to The Crusader States and The Empire of Sultan Salah Al-Dinand study the map. View the map page 313 in your textbook (note the detail of the Crusader states). View additional maps Europe during the Age of the Crusades(scroll for full view) and Crusade States
1. How many States are there?
2. Describe their location and borderlands. Why do you think the Crusaders were unable to hold the region?
3. Describe the Krak des Chevaliersas an archetype of a medieval castle, also called the Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din ~ a World Heritage site, see three interior images at the Gallery tab. What does its construction and history suggest about the Crusaders and Muslims?
4. Look at a map of the Middle East today.
5. Identify (list) the modern states that occupy the land of the Crusaders and Ottomans.
6. Describe the differences you note.
7. Why does the region remain a contested landscape?