Crusades

The Crusades were a series of religious and political wars fought between 1096 and 1291 for control of the Holy Land. Pope Urban II initiated the First Crusade(1096–1102) in order to aid the Christian Byzantine Empire, which was under attack by Muslim Seljuk Turks.

The Crusades lasted almost 200 years, from 1095 to 1291. The initial spark came from Pope Urban II, who urged Christians to recapture the Holy Land (and especially the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem) from Muslim rule. Like the promise of eternal life given to Muslim martyrs, Crusaders were promised absolution from sin and eternal glory.

Militarily, the Crusades were at first successful, capturing Jerusalem in 1099, but eventually a disaster; Jersualem fell in 1187. Successive Crusades set far more modest goals, but eventually failed to achieve even them. The last Crusader-ruled city in the Holy Land, Acre, fell in 1291.