15 July 2010

Nine Hundred and Eleven Years Ago

On July 15, 1099, the Crusaders captured Jerusalem during the First Crusade. Duke Godfrey of Bouillon was made Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri (Protector of the Holy Sepulchre), refusing the title of King, saying he would not wear a crown of gold in the city where Christ wore a crown of thorns.

Godfrey's army started its journey from Lorraine in August 1096. Over the course of three years, his and other armies of crusaders suffered many hardships and loss, and fought many battles and conducted several sieges. It is something of a miracle that the crusaders ever made it into the Holy Land as a fighting force capable of success.

Godfrey died in 1100, and his brother Baldwin was crowned the first Latin King of Jerusalem on December 25, 1100.

Though there were other Crusades, none were as successful as the First, which gained its principal aim of liberating the holy sites from infidel control, and of protecting Christians from their sufferings under Seljuk Turk rule.

The holy city would fall to the Mohammedans in 1187, but the Kingdom itself endured for nearly 200 years, until the fall of Acre in 1291.

2 comments:

ATW said...

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

ATW

Athelstane said...

"It is something of a miracle that the crusaders ever made it into the Holy Land as a fighting force capable of success."

I drew that conclusion a long time ago - so many points where the Crusade ought to have disintegrated, and yet did not.