Peter the Hermit
A Brave Crusaderby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
The Muslim Turks moved rapidly across Europe between 1076 and 1095. They took possession of Jerusalem in 1076. The Turks proved cruel to the Christians and the latter could not go where they pleased because of the Turks strictness and cruelty. One day in 1095 at Clermont, France, Pope Urban II made a speech to the Christian people. He told them to drive the Turks out of the Holy Land. One of the listeners, a French Priest, by the name of Peter the Hermit, decided to spread the word to fellow Christians.
Peter pursued a crusade against the Turks after he had gathered enough men. The word Crusade means “war of the cross”, deriving from the Latin words crucifix and cross. This brave French priest left Cologne in April of 1096, with his army of peasants and journeyed to the valley of River Danube. Soon they arrived at Hungary. Some of Peter’s men began to fight with the locals because they couldn’t understand their language, thinking they were Turks. After a few days of rest, Peter, and what was left of his army made the journey to Constantinople, reaching it by July.
When Peter and his army reached Constantinople they decided to wait for trained soldiers to arrive. They received word that armored knights would come and fight the Turks, but would not arrive until months later. The Emperor did not want Peter and his men to cause more trouble and told Peter and the soldiers must press onward. Priest Hermit and his men sailed to the Holy Land. This small army was no match for Saracens (nomadic Muslims) whose forces tore through Peter and his men. The knights promised to Peter finally arrived, and after two long years of fighting, they captured Jerusalem.
French and German armies desperately traveled on their way to the Holy Land, but never made it. Muslim strongholds of Damascus (a friendly city to the crusader kingdom) were assaulted and terribly defeated. Sunni Muslims, victors over the strongholds, grew strong and became unified under Saladin, a renowned sultan of Egypt. They again attacked the Jerusalem kingdom at the battle of Hattin, in 1187 and the Latin troops that dwelled there. In October of that year, Jerusalem fell. Saladin had begun their re-conquest in Palestine.
This third conquest did not accomplish much. People became disillusioned with the idea of the crusades. Richard the Lion Heart joined his German and French armies and led them to what is known as the “Crusade of the Kings”. The fourth Crusade never made it to the Holy Land either, instead it went to Constantinople and burglarized the city.
1. History of the World
2. The Middle Ages
3. Eyewitness books-Knights-Dorling Kindersley