The Crusades began formally on Tuesday, November 27, 1095, in a field just outside the walls of the French city of Clermont-Ferrand.

The Crusades began formally on Tuesday, November 27, 1095, in a field just outside the walls of the French city of Clermont-Ferrand.

The Crusades began formally on Tuesday, November 27, 1095, in a field just outside the walls of the French city of Clermont-Ferrand. On that day Pope Urban II preached a speech to crowds of laypeople attending a Church council at Clermont. In his speech, the pope outlined a plan for a Crusade and called on his listeners to join. Pope Urban then commissioned the bishops at the council to return to their homes and to gather others in the Crusade. He also outlined a basic strategy in which individual groups of Crusaders would begin the journey in August 1096. The groups would make their separate ways to the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, where they would meet. From there, they would launch a counter-attack against the Seljuk conquerors of Anatolia together with the Byzantine emperor and his army. Once that region was under Christian control, the Crusaders would campaign against the Muslims in Syria and Palestine, with Jerusalem as their ultimate goal. The Crusaders set out on the final leg of their journey in late November 1098. They avoided attacks on cities in order to conserve their forces. In May 1099 they reached the northern borders of Palestine and on the evening of June 7 camped within sight of Jerusalem’s walls. The Crusaders attacked, with the aid of reinforcements from Genoa and newly constructed siege machines, taking Jerusalem by storm on July 15; they then massacred virtually every living thing. In the Crusaders’ view, the city was purified in the blood of the defeated. Under Godfrey of Bouillon’s leadership the army then fought its last campaign, defeating an Egyptian army at Ascalon on August 12. Soon afterwards most of the Crusaders returned to Europe, leaving Godfrey and a small remnant of the original force to organize a government and to establish Latin control over the conquered territories. The crusaders were as shown in the information above a very powerful and threatening army. Defeating several armies w…


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