The Crusades : The Most Signal And Most Durable Monument Of Human Folly

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“The Crusades - the most signal and most durable monument of human folly that has yet appeared in any age or nation.” (David Hume) Typically, historians question the events of history, how they happened, when they happened, or even if they happened. In the case of the Holy Crusades, however, the events, and how they occurred are not the source of contention amongst historians. Instead, the motivating factors that initiated the Holy Crusades are under scrutiny. Religion and its involvement in the initiation of the Crusades is in question. Were the Crusades motivated primarily by religious factors? Potentially, there are numerous commentaries and personal opinions regarding this subject, but I read only two of those. First, the “yes” side; Hans Eberhard Mayer argued, rather feebly, that the Crusades were indeed motivated primarily by religious factors. Next, the “no” side; Ronald C. Finucane asserted that religious factors were not the primary motivation behind the Crusades; he maintains this was merely a front for a war with the Muslims. I was already leaning towards the “yes” side prior to reading the historians’ views, but I did keep an open mind through the entire commentary. Ronald Finucane’s argument was clearer and the more convincing of the two. Hans Mayer’s argument, at times, was counterproductive and actually strengthened Finucane’s points occasionally. Therefore, I would concede that the primary motivation behind the Crusades was not religious.…

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