Why was the First Crusade a success?

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  • Why was the First Crusade a success?
    • Muslim Disunity
      • death of Malik Shah and his chief advisor
        • Nov 1092
        • Seljuk Empire fell into chaos
          • wars over who was the rightful heir to the empire
          • disputes amongst the family over who should control the different areas of the empire
            • Sultanate of Rum
            • Syria
            • Palestine
          • local warlords built power bases in the areas subject to dispute
      • Ridwan and Duqaq's civil war
        • both responded to Yahgi Siyan's request for men
        • sent separate uncoordinated armies
          • weak army, easily broken up
        • Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan of Aleppo
        • Abu Nasr Shams al-Muluk Duqaq of Damascus
      • Kilji Arslan assumed the crusaders posed no threat
        • due to failure of the first wave (Peoples Crusade)
      • semi-independent Muslim rulers
        • allowed crusaders to pass through
          • dissuaded to fight the crusaders due to their known cannibalism at Ma'arat
        • traded food and supplies for the cash given to the crusaders by Alexios
      • Kerbogha's army at Antioch
        • made up of men from many different groups of Muslims
          • very uncontrollable
          • different groups were controlled by people who didn't trust Kerbogha
          • most group leaders didn't want Kerbogha to have more power than he did already
          • unreliable and would be quick to abandon Kerbogha
        • a traitor inside the walls of Antioch helped the crusaders gain access
      • Jerusalem
        • power struggles amongst Muslims over who should control Jerusalem
        • controlled by Fatimid Egyptians
          • lead by      al-Afdal Shahanshah
        • Jerusalem had just been the site of a Muslim civil war
        • under Muslim control since 639
    • Byzantine Support
      • Alexios gave crusades invaluable intelligence
        • informed crusaders on the likely military formations o the Seljuks
        • told crusaders how to ambush the Seljuks
      • Alexios rewarded his allies with cash after the capture of Nicaea
      • gave the crusaders guides and supplies until Antioch
      • provided men to aid the defeat of Kilji Arslan at Nicaea
      • transported crusaders across the Bosphorus
      • Tacticus accompanied the crusade as Alexio's representative
    • Leadership and Tactics
      • Bohemond made contact with an Armenian tower commander
        • Firuz was prepared to betray the city to the Christians
      • Siege of Antioch
        • Needed strategic planning
        • Oct 1097
        • seized satellite settlements for logistical supply
        • crusader armies positioned in front of the city's 5 gates
        • Godfrey dismantled a siege tower and moved east to threaten a new section of the wall
      • Defeating Kerbogha
        • rapid deployment of crusaders
        • archers advanced first to break down the Seljuk line
        • closely ordered battle groups
      • Jerusalem
        • food had been brought from Rama
        • rapidly reached Jerusalem from Antioch
          • prevented al-Afdal from forming an army against the crusaders
        • crusaders sent foraging parties into Samaria to obtain wood and other materials
          • built siege towers around the walls of Jerusalem
        • Genoese ships arrived in support of the crusaders
    • Religious Fervour
      • at Dorylaeum the crusaders shouted 'stand fast together, trusting in Christ and the Holy Cross'
      • religious sigificance
        • Antioch was known as 'the cradle of Christianity'
        • Jerusalem
          • city built around the Holy Sepulchre
          • Holy Sepulchre was the site at which Jesus rose from his tomb after his crucifixion
      • stormed Antioch screaming 'God wills it!'
      • discovery of the Holy Lance
        • indication of God's renewed support
        • spurred crusaders to confront Kerbogha
        • June 1098
        • Peter Bartholomew had visions of the lance then later uncovered it in the Cathedral of St. Peter
      • Adhemar of Le Puy
        • Papal Legate
        • carried out purgative rituals to combat sinners
        • well respected
        • would have become ruler of Jerusalem

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