Beginning in 1096 and lasting for three years, the First Crusade involved the march of four armies from Western Europe against Muslims in the Holy Land. According to History.com, the Crusade began after Pope Urban II made a plea to go to war. During the Crusades, the Christian forces set up several Latin Christian states while the Muslims fought in retaliation to regain control of the land.Continue Reading
Violence, bloodshed and a sense of religious fervor were the earmarks of the First Crusade. A common cry among the Christian Crusaders was "God wills it!" Consisting of several groups of Crusaders, the First Crusade was poorly organized, which resulted in the death of many on the front lines, according to LordsAndLadies.org.
The Crusade swept through much of the Byzantine Empire, leaving destruction and death in its wake. In 1096, numerous Jews were slaughtered in several towns of the Rhineland. The armies marched on to overtake Antioch in 1098. The final siege took place at Jerusalem in 1099. While the first push for the city was deflected, the armies finally overtook the city in July. Once they gained access to the city, countless Muslims were killed as were scores of women and children. After the battle, the Muslim population of the city was almost nonexistent.Learn more about Middle Ages