Explain why Pope Urban II called the First crusade.

Alan Thomson
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A level The Crusades Mind Map on Explain why Pope Urban II called the First crusade., created by Alan Thomson on 02/11/2014.

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Alan Thomson
Created by Alan Thomson over 5 years ago
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Explain why Pope Urban II called the First crusade.
1 When Pope Urban II preached at Clermont in November 1095, reports suggest he raised several issues.
1.1 In a speech full of emotional rhetoric he called up the image of Jerusalem and called for a war of liberation.
1.1.1 Because all known reports of Clermont were written after the capture of Jerusalem, they may have been coloured by that achievement, making his precise motives difficult to ascertain.
2 Byzantium
2.1 the spark for Clermont was provided at the council of Piacenza in march 1095 when the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I requested military aid from the west.
2.1.1 Long-term Pope Urban’s own programme may have been to reunite the Greek and Roman churches after the schism of 1054.
2.1.1.1 This would fufill the aim of Leo IX and bringing the eastern Orthodox Church to the one fold and the one shepherd – in other words Papal supremacy throughout Christendom.
3 Western Europe
3.1 Urban may have wished to enhance papal authority in the west as part of the investiture contest with the German Emperor.
3.1.1 By harnessing Europe's military energy for Church purposes he would show himself supreme in the west – especially in comparison to Clement III, the anti-pope created by the German emperor Henry IV.
3.1.1.1 In some reports the Pope spoke of the feudal anarchy caused by knightly violence and Urban may have hoped to enhance the Peace of God movement and export such violence elsewhere.
4 Jerusalem
4.1 His speeches stressed the need to aid Eastern Christians; above all, the liberation of Jerusalem may have been uppermost in his mind.
4.1.1 He may have wished to ensure easier access for pilgrims to the holy places.
4.1.1.1 He spoke also of the suffering of the Christians in the East
4.1.1.1.1 So the crusade was to be a war of Liberation, of fellow-Christians and of a place- Jerusalem, a site sanctified by Christ, the focal point of the Christian faith, site of the Holy Sepulchre, Christ’s burial place.
4.1.1.1.1.1 The Crusade then, would also be a pilgrimage, a spiritual penance for participants.
4.1.1.1.1.1.1 However, was Jerusalem really of primary importance, or just a means to an end?
4.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 Carl Erdmann suggested Jerusalem was only a secondary goal, the real reason was to answer the request for help sent by the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus, to exert Urban’s own power and so reunite the churches under papal primacy.
5 Conclusion
5.1 Above all, in his preaching at Clermont, Pope Urban II sought a war of liberation; liberation of a place, Jerusalem, but also liberation of men’s souls, a Holy war to provide participants with salvation from sin.

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