What were the Crusades?
However, Jerusalem was also extremely important for the Muslims as Muhammad, the founder of the Muslim faith, had been there and there was great joy in the Muslim world when Jerusalem was captured. A beautiful dome – called the Dome of the Rock – was built on the rock where Muhammad was said to have sat and prayed. The rock was so holy that no Muslim was allowed to tread on it or touch it when visiting the Dome.
Thus the Christians fought to get Jerusalem back while the Muslims fought to keep Jerusalem. These wars were to last nearly 200 years.
A Timeline of the Crusades
Some history books do slightly vary with their dates of when the Crusades started. The problem seems to be on deciding whether the date a crusade was called for is the date it started – or whether the start date was the date the troops actually left for a crusade.
|The First Crusade : 1096 to 1099|
|The Second Crusade : 1147 to 1149|
|The Third Crusade : 1189 to 1192|
|The Fourth Crusade : 1201 to 1204|
|The Fifth Crusade : 1217 to 1221|
|The Sixth Crusade : 1228 to 1229|
|The Seventh Crusade : 1248 to 1254|
|The Eighth Crusade : 1270|
When the first crusaders set off (calling themselves ‘pilgrims’), they wore large red cloth crosses, hence the subsequent naming of ‘crusade’, originally derived from the latin word ‘crux’. The term ‘crusades’ never surfaced until a French historic text (L’Histoire des Croisades) was published in the 17th Century.