In the High Middle Ages, a manifestation of religious enthusiasm seized Europe in a series of crusades against the Muslims. These Crusades are important parts to the history in the middle ages. A Crusade was any of the military expeditions by the Christians in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries to recovery the Holy Land of Jerusalem from the Muslims. The Crusades were thought to be a curious mix of God and warfare, which were the two major concerns of the middle ages. Crusades were based on the idea of a holy war against the “infidel,” or a non-believer. Christians had a lot of animosity towards the Muslims; they planned to reconquer Spain from them. It was at the end of the eleventh century when the Christians of Europe discovered an opportunity to attack the Muslims. An immediate force that started the crusades was when the Byzantine emperor, Alexius I, asked Pope Urban II (1088-1099) to help fight the Seljuk Turks. The pope, of course, said yes because he saw it as an opportunity to provide papal leadership; first to rally the warrior of Europe for the liberation of Jerusalem and second the Holy Land from the Muslim infidel. Pope Urban II, at the Council of Clermont in southern France, challenged all true Christians to pick up their weapons and fight the infidel. He wanted them to join the “Holy War” to recover the Holy Land. If they fought they were promised remission for all sins. The warriors who formed the first “official” crusading army were warriors of Western Europe, mainly from France. They were motivated to fight by strong religious connections and feelings, but were also pulled in by other things. Many men sought adventure, and welcomed and opportunities to do their favorite past time, which was to fight. While many men wanted to fight, others saw fighting the Muslims as an opportunity to gain many things, such as territory, riches, hierarchical status, possibly a title (King, Duke, etc..), and even salvation since the pope had...
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