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message 1: by Martin Lamb, Head Moderator (new)

Martin Lamb | 212 comments Mod
Here we will discuss the combination of War and Religion. This topic will be led by Assistant Moderator Paul.


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci The Bible is full of battles. Some of the bloodiest battles in "History" were Bible stories. I think that the actual “religious war” in Europe and the Middle East histories began with Christianity.
If you wanted to steal someone’s land, you started a Religious was to justify it. Does anyone have an opinion on this?


message 3: by Martin Lamb, Head Moderator (new)

Martin Lamb | 212 comments Mod
Like a 'Jihad' it is just an excuse to wag war. Correct?


message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci I believe so. The crusades too, the Europeans grabbed land like crazxy. That is how the Crusader States came about.


message 5: by Martin Lamb, Head Moderator (new)

Martin Lamb | 212 comments Mod
Yes but the Muslims took them back.


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci It went back and fourth for many years. In fact when the Crusaders first took Jeruselem, they killed every man, woman and child of the Muslim, Jews and Greek Orthodox.


message 7: by Martin Lamb, Head Moderator (new)

Martin Lamb | 212 comments Mod
Yes it did through the four crusades.


message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci The instigator of these crusades was the vatican. It is also interesting to compare the pope's view and the Emperor of The Holy Roman Empires view of the issues. Rome vs the Roman Empire.


message 9: by Martin Lamb, Head Moderator (new)

Martin Lamb | 212 comments Mod
So it was the pope who wanted the holy land.


message 10: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci The pope considered himself leader of the Christian world and wanted Jeruselem to be Christian but his army's leaders wanted land. The Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire believed he was leader of the Christian world and he was quite happy with the the way things were in the holy land but wanted to grab more territory in Italy.


message 11: by Matt, Assistant Moderator - Naval History (new)

Matt | 31 comments Mod
Another reason for the Crusades that has traction is that Europe was undergoing a transformation from the Dark Ages to a more "civilized" time (that is again based on the standards of the day) and Europe had all these warriors/enforcers looking for land since land transfer was based on heredity not monetary and the question was what to do with these knights who want land and who were very aggressie. Pope Urban's call for a Crusade fit the bill in many ways, it gave these knights an outlet to get land, stop any wars in Europe, unite Europe to one cause and get the Muslims out of the Holy Land. The religoin aspect was an excuse to create more European kingdoms for sons who would never inherit land, create more kingdoms loyal to the "mother kingdom" and establish trade routes that would benefit Christian kingdoms and allow for silk and spices to be more available in Europe.


message 12: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci Matt, did the pope actually come up with this as a stragegy? I know that all this happened, but I was under the impression that the pope was more interested in being master of Christendom for the sake of the Papacy.


message 13: by Matt, Assistant Moderator - Naval History (new)

Matt | 31 comments Mod
Paul,
Pope Urban was less interested in the religion aspect since at the time the Pope was a major world political leader and at the top of the Feudal Pyramid. So while the strategy isn't articulated in his call for a Crusade it was considered his right to grant new territories and kingdoms such as the Crusader states. It was accepted that this was an opportunity for third or fourth sons to get land where they would not have any. The time had as a reward instead of medals that the person with the ultimate power (say English king against a French king could grant land to knights who fought well or were say well thought of by the king, this land then became a hereditary right) would reward knights who fought well OR honorably (honorably wasn't considered a requirement) with their own piece of land depending on their birth right it could go from a manor house (a knight or third son of a lord) to a kingdom (the third son of a king or a prince. What this meant was that the Pope could get land that was loyal to him.

The main predicating event was that the Sejuk Turks were pressing the failing Byzantine Empire and the Byzantine Emperor asked for help. Urban was more than willing to help because the Eastern borders would be secure, might get the Eastern Orthodox to accept Roman Catholicism, secure trade routes for the Italian Maritime Republics (which the Papacy traded with through the Papal States. In the Council of Clermont Urban pleaded for kings and lords (kings would ask the lords for use of their knights)by saying.

"Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor."

There are five different versions of his speech at
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source...
It seems that he wanted Europe to be peaceful, the Byzantines indebted to the Pope and get some new territory that he was nominally king to. In all its one of my more favorite speeches to "dissect" with students because in all five versions its apparent Urban is about the power of his position not the religious aspect. It was a gamble he took that proved harmful to the church and the power and position of the Papacy.


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci Wow, I guess I'm going back to read more about it, thanks.


message 15: by Matt, Assistant Moderator - Naval History (new)

Matt | 31 comments Mod
Its an interesting read. I am prepping for a unit on the Crusades and I always have the students read the fiver versions. Fascinating to see what Urban was really thinking.


message 16: by Paul (last edited Apr 11, 2010 04:57PM) (new)

Paul Pellicci ] Endless War by Ralph Peters

I am putting this book in the fast lane for purchase.
From Publishers Weekly
In his latest, author and columnist Peters (Fighting for the Future) puts the contemporary conflict between Islam and the West into the context of 14 centuries of warfare, making a clear and compelling case for rethinking the U.S. approach. When Muslim armies exploded out of Arabia in the 7th century, the armies of Dark Age Europe didn't know how to stop them. While the Muslims fought as a unified, cohesive army, the Europeans were loyal only to their feudal lords, fighting in small units, or simply man-to-man; fast-forward to the present of Iraq and Afghanistan, where the U.S.-led coalition is the unified force, while Islamist fanatics work as disorganized bands, attacking each other as often as coalition targets. Contrary to what Western leaders may think, Peters insists, the war on terrorism is a war of religion-at least for militant Islamists. From this vantage, Peters takes Western leaders to task for a 60 year policy of rational negotiation; in Peters's thorough analysis, the War on Terror is an emotionally-driven endeavor, and an effective strategy for victory will only arise once political and military leaders recognize the motives, internal and historical, that drive our foes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.[book:Endless War|7840823


message 17: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci There is an interesting thing about the Roman's and how they assimilated other civilizations into the Roman fold. The Romans would adopt local gods of the conquered. Best example was the Greeks and their gods. They would build temples in the conquerd lands as well (along with theaters, baths and other great public buildings.

Although I just started learning about the Romans in the last couple years, the only time a religious theme was involved with hostilities was the Israelites. They would not accept the Emperor as a diety. This would not do as far as the Romans were concerned.

And they say the rest is history.


message 18: by Martin Lamb, Head Moderator (new)

Martin Lamb | 212 comments Mod
Interesting but that is a good method to win over the people is to keep their former dieties in place.


message 19: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci Yes and the Romans were very good at it. It was physically impossible to guard the borders of the "world" so by making the conquered peoples parteners in the Roman life style, they assimilated them and saved alot of money.


message 20: by Martin Lamb, Head Moderator (new)

Martin Lamb | 212 comments Mod
Wonderful economics and tactics.


message 21: by John (new)

John Farebrother | 3 comments This subject was illustrated in tragic fashion 25 years ago in the Balkans, where a people with three religions was successfully divided up and then set upon each other. I worked there at the time, and often wondered at why these people were fighting each other, when they were all the same - apart from their religion! Not that they were particularly devout, but rather the religious label was a distinguishing mark that allowed people to be separated. Depressing.


message 22: by Jovan (new)

Jovan Autonomašević | 2 comments John wrote: "This subject was illustrated in tragic fashion 25 years ago in the Balkans, where a people with three religions was successfully divided up and then set upon each other. I worked there at the time,..."

As they say in the Balkans, "Hodže i popovi najveći lopovi" (religion is the heroin of the masses): The Damned Balkans: A Refugee Road Trip.


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