In ancient Europe, around the 11th century, there were three major kingdoms/empires. The three major kingdoms/empires were the Catholic kingdom, the Byzantine Empire, and the Islamic Caliphates. The Catholic kingdom was located in Western Europe. In the Catholic kingdom, religion was very important and organized. First, their religion was the Catholic Christianity, and in the church hierarchy, there were different classes. The highest class was the pope, the second was the bishops, and lastly was the priests. Basically, the pope was considered to be the ruler of the Christian world (Ellis 193). Just how the Catholic religion was organized, so was the feudal system in Western Europe. The feudal systems contained social hierarchy, and the highest class was the king. After the king, the next powerful class was the lords, knights, and then finally the vassals (peasants and serfs)(Ellis 188). Although the conditions of the king’s and lords’ environments were luxuries, the vassals’ environment was really poor. They had to live in a manor, with less food, and hard labor (Ellis 190). The most beneficial advantage for the vassals was to live near the river (Class notes December 17, 2013). The reason is because they can catch fish at sometimes, and have additional food than others. Most of the vassals were serfs (slaves that were bound to the land, and can be sold and bought). Other vassals were peasants (people with rights that got paid for their work) (Ellis 189). This was basically the overall image of Western Europe, before the Crusades.
Like the Catholic Kingdoms, the Byzantine Empire had its own history. In around 330, the Byzantium Empire started when the Roman emperor of Constantine, rebuilt the Greek city of Byzantium, and named the city Constantinople (Ellis 234). As time passed, the Roman Empire became the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople was an important city, located near the shores of Bosporus that controlled major trading routes and more (Ellis 234). In the Age of Justinian, he made a certain code of laws that influenced various lands in Europe. Justinian ruled the empire as an autocrat, meaning that he was the only ruler with all the authority, and that includes even religion (Ellis 236). The Byzantine religion separated into two regions (Ellis 237). One of the differences between the two regions is that the East region took Easter more seriously than Christmas, and the West region took the East region more seriously (Ellis 237). As these different views of religion grew, the two regions separated in 1054 permanently between the Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic churches (Ellis 237). This was how the Byzantine Empire was created and developed.
The third kingdom in Europe was called the Islamic Caliphates. The Arabs lived in the Arabian Peninsula, which was a desert land, thus making the Arabs nomads (Spielvogel 191). The Islamic religion started the organized community in Arab. Muslims believed a man named Muhammad was a prophet of God(Allah). His influence of the Islamic religion had impacted a lot of Arabs, therefore converting them into Muslims. As years past, Muhammad gained a lot of followers to the point where he had authority over political and religious issues of the Islamic community (Spielvogel 196). Eventually, as Muhammad died, his sons and so on took his place expanding its territory over Arabia and more. During the Abbasid caliphate in which Abu al-Abbas, a descendant of Muhammad’s uncle ruled, a group of nomadic Muslims called the Seljuk Turks grew stronger and conquered the eastern provinces of the Abbasid Empire (Spielvogel 201). This is how the Islamic Caliphate came to be before the Crusades.
Around 1071, the Turks got challenged by the Byzantines and that was the start of the Crusades (Spielvogel 201). When the Turks invaded the Byzantine Empire, they burnt down villages, killed people, etc. As a result the Turks took...
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