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1. Why did Pope Urban II launch the First Crusade?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about why Urban II decided to launch the First Crusade, focusing in particular on: (i) the view that Christianity was riven with in-fighting at this point in time, and the Pope wanted to export to fighting to somewhere else; (ii) the view that the Pope wanted to build bridges with the Greeks, especially given the Great Schism of 1054; (iii) the view that the Pope was interested in the expansion of Christendom; (iv) the view that the Pope was responding to the attack by the Seljuk Turks on the Byzantine Empire; (v) the view the Pope wanted to secure the city of Jerusalem, the perceived (spiritual) importance of which had grown rapidly in recent decades; (vi) the key sources that we might use to answer this question: the letters written by Urban II when launching the Crusade, Urban II's sermon at Clermont, the crusade chronicles, and other contemporary histories focused on European politics at this time.
– Tomaz Mastnak, Crusading Peace (2002)
– Peter Frankopan, The First Crusade: Call from the East (2012)
– Jonathan Harris, Byzantium and the Crusades (Second Ed.) (2003)
In this course, Dr Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent University) considers three questions related to the First Crusade, 1095-99: (i) Why did Pope Urban II launch the First Crusade?; (ii) What motivated warriors and pilgrims from across Christendom to participate in the First Crusade?; and (iii) Why did the First Crusade succeed? In each module, we outline some potential approaches to the question, as well as considering the sources that are available that might help us answer the question.
Dr Nicholas Morton is a specialist in the history of crusading and the Medieval Mediterranean between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. More recently he has begun to focus specifically upon the theme of inter-faith relations between Christianity and Islam in this region. He has published extensively on topics connected to this subject area, writing a range of monographs and scholarly articles. He is also an editor for the Ashgate series Rulers of the Latin East.
Currently Dr Morton is completing a monograph exploring the First Crusaders' attitudes and behaviour towards the various non-Christian peoples they encountered during their campaign. This will be a highly revisionist work addressing many key scholarly and public orthodoxies surrounding the nature of Christian/Islamic interaction during the crusade.
Cite this Lecture
Morton, N. (2018, August 21). The First Crusade, 1095-99: Essay Questions - Why did Pope Urban II launch the First Crusade? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-first-crusade-1095-99-essay-questions/why-did-pope-urban-ii-launch-the-first-crusade
Morton, N. "The First Crusade, 1095-99: Essay Questions – Why did Pope Urban II launch the First Crusade?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-first-crusade-1095-99-essay-questions/why-did-pope-urban-ii-launch-the-first-crusade