The Crusades Then & Now
Dr. Robert B. Ashmore Writes:
Around 1074 AD the old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East. By the 2nd crusade the very same Byzantium emperor, who called for help from European Christians, allied himself with the Muslims against the crusades. What could have caused the Eastern Christians, who were beset by “barbarous Muslims”, to seek help from their civilized Christian brothers in Europe to suddenly change allegiance? Urban II gave the Crusaders two goals, both of which would remain central to the eastern Crusades for centuries. The first was to rescue the Christians of the East. The second goal was the liberation of Jerusalem and the other places made holy by the life of Christ.
But as history shows, the very Eastern Christians-- that according to goal 1 the crusades were meant to liberate -- actually turned against them and by the 2nd crusade, were on the side of the Muslims fighting against the crusades. Well what did the crusaders actually do to bring about such a drastic change in the hearts of those who asked them for help as well as to the people they came in contact with? After all helping to liberate their fellow Christians from barbarous Muslims was the main goal of the crusades and the reason for it getting started. Here are just a few things pointing to why the Eastern Christians decided to side with the Muslims against the Crusades.
The Crusaders killed the women, also, and with their swords pierced tender children of whatever age and sex. The Jews, seeing that their Christian enemies were attacking them and their children, and that they were sparing no age, likewise fell upon one another, brother, children, wives, and sisters, and thus they perished at each other’s hands … preferring them to perish thus by their own hands rather than to be killed by the weapons of the uncircumcised.
“Franj” as they (the crusaders) were called in the East) distinguished themselves in the way they vanquished the Syrian city of Ma’arra in November, 1098. The chronicler Radulph of Caen wrote, “In Ma’arra our troops boiled pagan adults in cooking-pots; they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled.”
Reaching Jerusalem in June, 1099, the Crusaders lay siege to the city. Successfully defeating its defenders, the Crusaders flooded into Jerusalem on July 15. “Men, women, and children were put to the sword until the streets were littered with corpses. Even Jewish inhabitants were killed.”
“The population of the holy city was put to the sword, and the Franj spent a week massacring Muslims.” Ibn al-Qalanisi adds, “The Jews had gathered in their synagogue and the Franj burned them alive.” Maalouf writes, [b]“Not even their coreligionists were spared. One of the first measures taken by the Franj was to expel from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre all the priests of Oriental rites. They arrested the priests who had been entrusted with custody of the Cross and tortured them to make them reveal the secret [of its whereabouts].
Please see the following video as well as the excellent work by Dr. Robert B. Ashmore in PDF format below for more about "The Crusades Then & Now"
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