Western Civilization lesson 115

What are some common misconceptions about the Crusades, and why are they incorrect?

The Crusades were Christian missions to retake Jerusalem from the Muslims, decreed necessary by Pope Uban II in 1095. Several attempts were made to recapture the holy land but every single one is affiliated with the same misconceptions.

The first and most famous of these is that the Crusades were an unprovoked terror on Muslim citizens. However, the Muslims had already seized control of the Middle East, North Africa, Asia Minor, Spain, and were busy invading France and Italy. While it is true that the Christians were not shy about ravaging the people they encountered, the Crusades were not without aggravation caused by the Muslim peoples.

The second most popular myth is that the Crusades were based off of the prospect of attaining more wealth. The very idea is laughable. The Crusades cost so much money that they financially destroyed most of the Christian soldiers. Any money that could possibly be gained along the way was nowhere near enough to reimburse their losses. They would have been better off staying at home if their aim had been to get rich quick.

The third but by no means last fallacy of the Crusades was that the Crusaders forced their religion on the Muslims. In reality, Muslims living in conquered states were allowed to keep their own religion and even outnumbered the Christians in most cases.

We can clearly see that there were many misconceptions about the Crusades that are easily corrected with just a little research.

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