The Crusades were military campaigns in the Middle East against the Muslims, who captured the most holy Christian city in 1076 - Jerusalem, where Jesus spent the majority of his life and was crucified.
Jerusalem was very important to Muslims too as the founder of their faith, Muhammad had also been there - the Muslim community was filled with joy when Jerusalem got captured. A stunning dome known as the Dome of the Rock was built on top of the rock which Muhammad was meant to have sat and prayed on. This was so holy that no Muslims were allowed to step on or even touch it when they visited the Dome.
So the Christians were fighting to take Jerusalem back and Muslims were fighting for the ownership of Jerusalem, and in total the wars would last for almost 200 years.
History books differ with dates of the beginning of the Crusades, and the issue appears to be debating whether the date a crusade was called for is in fact it’s starting date, or if the start date was actually the date troops left to begin a crusade.
|The First Crusade: 1096 to 1099|
|The Second Crusade: 1147 to 1149|
|The Third Crusade: 1189 to 1192|
|The Fourth Crusade: 1201 to 1204|
|The Fifth Crusade: 1217 to 1221|
|The Sixth Crusade: 1228 to 1229|
|The Seventh Crusade: 1248 to 1254|
|The Eighth Crusade: 1270|
The first crusaders called themselves pilgrims once they had set off and wore large red cloth crosses where they acquired the name ‘crusade’ which originally came from the latin word ‘crux’. Crusades never came up as a phrase until a historic French text (L'Histoire des Croisades) was first published in the 17th century.
The initial crusaders viewed themselves as going on an armed mission or a pilgrimage and the ‘taking of the crux’ to Jerusalem was a symbol of their vows which would be completed only upon reaching their destination.
"The Crusades". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.