THE CAPTURE OF JERUSALEM WAS THE RESULT OF THE

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THE CAPTURE OF JERUSALEM WAS THE RESULT OF THE

MILITARY SKILLS OF THE CRUSADERS [70]

 

A number of the sources support the interpretation that it was the military experience of the crusading army and their leaders, most notably A and E. However, some of the sources disagree with the statement; these include sources B, C and some parts of A and D, which suggest that the weakness of the opposition and divine intervention resulted in the capture of Jerusalem.

 

Some sources argue that the weakness and disunity of the Muslim Leaders was the cause for the victory at Jerusalem. Source A supports this, stating that ‘those who held the gate ‘surrendered’ and this can be corroborated with the information in sources D and E. Source D directly expresses the opinion that ‘it was the divisions between the Muslim princess that enabled the franks’ and source E implies that the lack of the supporting Egyptian army lead to Jerusalem's downfall.

 

Own knowledge suggests that both the disunity between the Muslims and religious trust had an important role to play in the capture of Jerusalem. The Shiite Muslims, whose base was in Egypt, nearly 500 miles away, were in control of the holy city before the crusaders. They were enemies of the Sonny Muslims, (whose territory the crusaders had to travel through to reach Jerusalem from Antioch), and they mostly let the crusaders pass through their land. This meant that the crusaders had an unhindered and relatively fast journey, resulting in the absence of a defending army, who were still on the way from Egypt. If the Muslim leaders had been allies, the crusading army that reached Jerusalem would have been significantly smaller, due to battle losses and the relieving Shiite army would have been there to face them.

 

It is also important to consider the similarities between the Muslim and crusader forces. Among the leadership on both sides there were strong disagreements. Many crusading nobles had already split from the army before the attack on Jerusalem, Bohemond had settled in Antioch and Baldwin of Boulogne had carved out his own lands in Edessa. Even though these important leaders had departed from the crusade, the remaining army still managed to overthrow the heavily fortified city of Jerusalem.

 

Another viewpoint that the sources suggest, is that it was the concepts of religious belief and divine intervention that lead to the capture of the city, rather than military prowess. Four sources, A, B, C and E have sections in them that support this notion. C claims that ‘god has instigated holy wars’, E states that crusaders battled ‘for their faith’ and B says that the Franks were people that ‘god has honoured by miracles’. These quotes testify the importance of ‘gods’ intervention’ and

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