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Thursday, October 11

Crusade (Voltaire)

Known as Richard the Lionheart (because he was a fierce warrior),King Richard I is commonly considered a brave king who stood beside his soldiers when standing up to enemies.  A deeply religious man, when he became king, he swore to recapture Jerusalem - a city that had fallen to the Muslims two years prior under Saladin - as a holy crusade.  This became known as the "Third Crusade."  After three years of fighting, a peace treaty was signed in 1192.  It left Jerusalem under Muslim control, but allowed Christians to have access to the land.

Jerusalem was sacred to all three of the major religious groups because :
  • Christians saw it as the place where Jesus was crucified and ascended to heaven
  • Jews saw it as the site of Solomon's ancient temple
  • Muslims saw it as the site where Muhammad met Abraham, Moses, and Jesus
The city has been passed back and forth, captured and recaptured, several times over the course of history.  The crusades began in 1095, when a group of Arabs took over the city and refused to allow Jews or Christians to enter the city.  The Pope called for a battle to recapture the city, and hence began a series of crusades lasting nearly a century, and even included the tragic Children's Crusade.

As the fourth child, Richard never should have been crowned king; nevertheless, due to disease and death, he was crowned in 1189 upon the death of his father Henry II.  Though one of the best-known British monarchs, he did not speak English and during his ten-year reign, he only spent about six months in the British Isles.  Upon his death, he was succeeded by John (the villain from Robin Hood).
Richard I & the Crusades unit :
  Read
Make / Do
Listen
Define / Identify
  • Crusades
  • Jihad
  • Richard the Lionheart
  • Saladin
  • Fontevraud Abbey, France
  • Rouen Cathedral, France
  • Westminster Palace, London
  • Jaffa and Acre, Israel
  • Jerusalem
Think
  • Why were Christians and Muslims fighting over the city of Jerusalem?
  • Why would non-soldiers, such as farmers and artisans join Knights and fight in the Crusades?
  • Is there a difference between “crusade” and “jihad”?
  • Were the Crusades successful for Christians or Muslims?  Why or why not?
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