Everything on Crusades

  • Created by: lucy2024
  • Created on: 19-01-23 12:15

Crusades 1st & 2nd

Muslim Sunni Faith - 11th Century

  • Largest denomination in Islam.
  • Historical roots in the majority group who followed Abu Bakr, an effective leader, as Muhammad's successor.
  • Believe they follow the 'sunnah' or 'custom' of the Prophet.
  • 940 million.
  • 90% of total Muslims.
  • Located in most Muslim countries.
  • Leaders’ 'imams'.
  • Holy sites include Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.
  • Seljuk Turks were Sunni.
  • Dominant apart from in Egypt.
  • Leadership in Baghdad.

Muslim Shia Faith - 11th Century

  • Followed Ali, the closest relative of Muhammed.
  • 120 million.
  • 10% of total Muslims.
  • Dominant in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt.
  • Leaders 'mujahids'.
  • Holy sites include Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Majaf, Karbala.

Islam Before the Crusades - Battle of Manzikert, 1

  • Acts of aggression by Seljuks made the Byzantine Emperor respond: the Battle of Manzikert.
  • Disastrous failure for the Byzantines.
  • Seljuks took lands that included almost all of Asia Minor from the Byzantines, showed no sign of slowing towards the Byzantine capital Constantinople.
  • Seljuks began to obstruct Christians on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

The threat posed by the Seljuks caused Emperor Alexius to ask for help from the Pope; this resulted in the call to crusade in 1095.

A Bitter Rivalry...


  • Dominant apart from in Egypt.
  • BUT - Not just Sunni Muslims living in those territories. Often there were some Shi’as and also some Christians.


  • Controlled several areas later taken by the Crusaders such as Tyre and Acre.
  • Had controlled Jerusalem until 1071 when it was taken by a Turkish general.
  • Took it back in 1098 when the Turks were preoccupied with the arrival of the First Crusade.


  • Prepared to ally with the Crusaders against each other rather than form a united front against the Christians.

Crusader Advantage

  • The situation in the East was of advantage to the Crusaders. They faced a disunited region where individual local elders could be overcome and were more concerned with fighting each other.
  • Sunni leadership was distracted by troubles closer to home.
  • Muslim leaders didn't recognise the Crusader army as one of conquest + consolidation - thought it was just another Byzantine raid.

Byzantium Before 1095

  • Byzantium dominated the Mediterranean world in the early Middle Ages.
  • Resisted rapid expansion of Islam from 630s onwards.
  • Held off two determined and prolonged attempts to capture Constantinople by Muslim forces.

What was Byzantium?

  • Greek-speaking Roman Empire.
  • Capital - Constantinople.
  • Was a continuation of the Roman Empire; Rome was capital of the West and fell to the barbarians. East survived as Byzantium.
  • Greatest extent during 500s AD, although it revived in power and influence during the 10th-11th century.
  • At death of Emperor Basil II in 1025 it was the premier poer of Europe + the Middle East.

But Half a Century Later...

  • Byzantium lost control of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks (after Manzikert, 1071).
  • Empire had to fight desperately to resist invasion from the Normans based in Southern Italy.

Why the Dramatic Reversal?

  • Periods of misrule.
  • Military breakdown.
  • Nature of Turkish settlement in Asia Minor.
  • Structural


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