Friday, August 04, 2006


Depiction of Richard I overlooking Jerusalem, in Punch Magazine, December 1917.The Crusades were a series of several military campaigns—usually sanctioned by the Papacy—that took place during the 11th through 13th centuries. Originally, they were Roman Catholic Holy Wars to recapture Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims, but some were directed against other Europeans, such as the Fourth Crusade against Constantinople, the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars of southern France and the Northern Crusades.

Beyond the medieval military events, the word "crusade" has evolved to have multiple meanings and connotations. For additional meanings see usage of the term "crusade" below and/or the dictionary definition.

The origins of the crusades lie in developments in Western Europe earlier in the Middle Ages, as well as the deteriorating situation of the Byzantine Empire in the east.


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