The Byzantine Empire Essay

1510 Words Nov 11th, 2015 7 Pages
The First Crusade started in 1096 and ended in 1099. It began when the Byzantine Emperor Alexio I Komneos sought after military assistance from Pope Urban II because they were losing the battle against the Muslims in Turkey. The Western Church and the Byzantines were not on the best terms, and the church had no reason to help them. So, the Byzantines persuaded the church with zealous letters, and after some considerations, the church decided to assist the Byzantine Emperor in defeating the Muslims. The church used many tactics to validate their violent actions, thus gaining support from the general public. The church’s intentions were far from chaste; they were eager to participate in the war, as many profits could be gained from victory.
Initially the church had no reasons to give assistance to the Byzantine Emperor, as they are of a different religion. However, the Byzantine Empire was desperate. The Turkish forces grew significantly stronger, and the Byzantines did not have a chance to survive on their own (Medievalwarfare.info, 2015; Usu.edu, 2015). So, in order to gain the church’s support despite their unfavourable relationship, Byzantine patriarchs spread propaganda of Muslim atrocities towards their fellow Christians to incense them, and to give them a reason to defeat the Muslims (Medievalwarfare.info, 2015). Their plans can be seen in the letter between Peter the Hermit and the Byzantine patriarch: he replied
“You may be assured, Holy Father, that if the…

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