Why did Pope Urban II call the First Crusade?


A Level HISTORY (CRUSADES) Mind Map on Why did Pope Urban II call the First Crusade?, created by anadavies.x on 05/06/2014.
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Why did Pope Urban II call the First Crusade?
    1. Urban called for a Crusade due to the oppression of Christians under Muslim rule in the East. The Crusade was promoted as a spiritual penance and through saving the Christian brothers you would be rewarded with a place in heaven.
      1. Not only did Urban want to rescue the oppressed Christians, he wanted to rescue Jerusalem as well. In the medieval era Jerusalem was referred to as "the navel of the world" and the point of greatest connection between man and God. Urban used Jerusalem as the focal point for the launching of the First Crusade, everything in the city was sacred and had to be saved from the Turks who were living sinful lives.
        1. Pope Urban wanted to be seen as a powerful influence within Christendom and wanted to use the Crusade to enhance his papal authority as part of the investiture contest with the German Emperor. Urban saw the Crusade as not only necessary to support fellow Christians but a chance to demonstrate his position within the Church and establish his own papal supremacy.
        2. AID BYZANTIUM:
          1. The Byzantine Emperor, Alexius Comnenus, had requested for help at the council of Piacenza in March 1095. He needed help to defend his lands against his Arab and Turkish enemies who had been advancing on the Roman Empire from all sides. Alexius wanted to regain the land lost at the battle of Manzikert in 1071, Anatolia, but needed much more support so called upon his fellow Christians. Furthermore, the Byzantines were being faced with the option of converting or be killed. Urban felt it was his responsibility as Pope to call a Crusade to stop Christians in the East being massacred.
            1. In 1054 there was the largest split within the Church that had ever occurred in the history of Christendom, The Great Schism, where the East (Greek) had broken away from the West (Latin) due to ecclesiastical differences and who had true claim to Christian supremacy. Through deciding to launch a crusade following the request for help from the Byzantine emperor we can see that Pope Urban may have been trying to reunite the two branches of Christianity, Urban also referred to those in the East in need of help as “brothers in Christ”.
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