1st Crusade

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People's Crusade


  • Standard of living wasnt high, much of Europe was overpopulated and life exepectancy was just 30 years
  • God was very present in the lives of most of the population. They aimed to always impress him so as they would get into Heaven after they died. So, when Pope Urban II said that the Crusade would be a form of penance, this probably inspired a lot of people.
  • Also other preachers (eg Peter the Hermit) extended these promises, and said that all sins would be remitted. As well as this they spread the message in places the Pope had tried to avoid.


  • On their way to Constantinople many of the Crusader armies pillaged towns. Some of the pogroms were anti-semitic. There were several pogroms, for example in Speyer, Mainz and Trier.
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People's Crusade (2)

What happenened?

  • Reached Byzantium in August 1096
  • After crossing the Bosphorus they made a base camp at Cibitos- there was hostility between the French and German contingencies.
  • French tried to attack Nicaea but failed, so they attacked surrounding villages instead (many of the victims were Christian)
  • Germans took a castle beyond Nicaea but were surrounded by the Turks. After a week they surrendered, and a message was sent to the French camp that the Germans had succeeded but were keeping it for them selves. This caused the French to march to the castle, where they fell into the trap.
  • The People's Crusade was wiped out.  
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The Pope's Crusade


  • The promise made by Urban II that their family and land would be protected (although this rarely happened)
  • If a Crusader conquered a state, they could keep it to themselves- this encouraged a lot of younger sons to go
  • Spiritual reward- much like the People's Crusade

At Constantinople

  • Armies were kept on different routes so that supplies weren't exhausted, and also so that they didn't join together to attack Constantinople. Alexius tried to keep the Crusading armies apart by shipping each over the Bosphorus before the next arrived. He also tried to get them to swear an oath of loyalty.
  • Eventually, all of the Crusading leaders took an oath, except Raymond of Toulouse who argued that he already had a Lord, so just swore not to attack Alexius.
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The Pope's Crusade (2)

Crossed the Bosphorus

  • Islamic power was failing due to a rivalry between Sunni and Shia Islam
  • There were petty fights over leadership, which meant most of the time the leaders of the Islamic cities were too busy fighting with eachother to worry about the Crusade

Fall of Nicaea

  • Leader- Kilig Arslan- was away at the time of the siege.
  • Alexius' army negotiated with they city without telling the Crusaders, so when the armies arrived it had already surrendered to Alexius' men
  • Some sources imply that this started the breakdown of the relationship between the Crusaders and Byzantium

Battle of Dorylaeum 1097

  • Bohemond's vanguard was attacked by Kilig Arslan, at first the Muslims were in a much better position
  • However, the other Crusading armies surrounded the Turks causing them to flee
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The Pope's Crusade (3)

City of Edessa

  • Baldwin of Bolougne's wife died whilst on Crusade, and with her all of his claim to riches and land.
  • He left the Crusade and headed to Edessa, an Armenian Christian city.
  • He was adopted as heir, and very soon after he arrived the leader died
  • The city was fertile and prosperous, and Baldwin went on to supply the Crusade further south.


  • October 1097- Crusaders arrived (siege lasted 8 months)
  • Struggled to surround the walls, and people started to leave due to starvation.
  • Ridwan of Aleppo's army was defeated
  • Jan 1098- Taticus, Alexius' general, left leaving his army to Bohemond
  • An Armenian Christian within the walls made a deal to let the Christians in.
  • 2nd June- Stephen of Blois left, on his way home he convinced Alexius that the Crusade was over so not to go and help.
  • 3 June- Antioch was taken
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The Pope's Crusade (4)

After Antioch

  • 4 June- Kerbogha arrived with an army, Robert of Normandy fled
  • 12 June- gates closed to stop more people fleeing
  • 14 June- Peter Bartholomew discovered the Holy Lance, this gave the Crusaders new hope, they defeated Kerbogha's army
  • July -Sept- Alexius was invited to take control of Antioch but ignored it. Bohemond took over instead, much to the annoyance of Raymond of Toulouse
  • 3 July- Adhemar of Le Puy dies, the Pope is invited to lead them on but he is too ill. His influence was slowly fading

Journey to Jerusalem

  • Crusaders captured Marrat and massacred everyone, there were rumours of cannibalism
  • Town of Shaizar, Homs and Tripoli payed to keep the army away
  • In Ramleh the whole popluation fled
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The Pope's Crusade (5)


  • The Crusaders faced a lack of supplies and a lack of wood. However, Tancred found piles of chopped timber in a cave. And Genoese boats arrived, which were used to built siege towers.
  • Muslim Defences were strong, Iftikar ad-Dawla (leader) made walls higher at weak spots, burned trees and tried to rid the surroundings of any wood that could be used, he also attacked the Crusaders on their way to collect supplies/water
  • 7 June- arrival of Crusaders
  • 13 June- failed attempt
  • 15 July: tried to get over walls, Godfrey moved his tower to a weak spot and managed to breach the walls. Jerusalem had fallen
  • Godfrey of Bouillon was appointed as Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre
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