Explain Why Jerusalem Was Important to Crusaders in the First Crusade? Essay

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Jerusalem was significant to the crusaders because it was an area of material opportunity. In medieval times people made pilgrimages not only to Holy places but also to Holy relics. The westerners saw Jerusalem as an opportunity to acquire such relics to sell or show off back home in Europe. A more ambitious material motivation for the noblemen and higher ranking knights could have been the position as ruler of Jerusalem, and ownership of other lands conquered. If the crusade was successful a potential power vacuum would open up in the East for the determined wishing to better themselves. There were also spiritual reasons why Jerusalem was so significant to the crusaders. It was the centre of the Christian world where Jesus was believed to have lived, died and resurrected. Furthermore it was the location of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This religious incentive was reinforced by the Popes promise of the salvation/remission of sins for all those who made the journey to Jerusalem. In some accounts of Pope Urban II’s speech at Clermont Jerusalem is specifically mentioned, suggesting it could have been a primary objective. Another and arguably most important motivation concerning Jerusalem was that according to Alexius, Christian pilgrims were being prevented from reaching Jerusalem due to ruthless attacks by the Muslims. He further claimed the Christian Holy Places were being defiled by them (although this is not true). This suggests Jerusalem was important to the crusader in the aim of the protection of both the city and fellow Christians. It could also hint that it was taking the city would be the ultimate revenge against these ‘infidels’ who had so insulted their

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