• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How important was Spiritual Motivation for the participation in the First Crusade?

Extracts from this document...


24 marks - How important was Spiritual Motivation for the participation in the First Crusade? How important was Spiritual Motivation for the participation in the First Crusade? The First Crusade offered its participants full remission of sins, which was an appealing offer to many who lead less than morale lives. The relics found, and the penitential acts done in devotion to God show that there was a large amount of religious fervour. However, at this time, owning land was also a very important thing to people, as it still is today, and many who had been disinherited by family members took up the cross for material gain. When Pope Urban II preached the First Crusade, he made it clear that it was a Holy War ? a war that God himself approved of. At this time, the life expectancy was very low, with many living into their 30s or 40s, if they were lucky, so religion played a key role in people?s lives. ...read more.


Therefore, in 1098 they decided to ?purify? the camp, by getting rid of all the Camp Followers. This penitential act was repeated in 1099 when they besieged Jerusalem, however this time they marched barefoot around Jerusalem. If their primary reason to go to the Holy Land was for material wealth, they would not have done this, emphasising the importance of Spiritual Motivation for the crusaders. This idea is enhanced by the relics found by the Crusader. In Antioch, Peter Bartholomew discovered the Holy Lance, which motivated the troops enough to leave the city in 1098 and attack Kerboga, even though they were greatly outnumbered, and following the successful capture of Jerusalem they found a piece of the ?True Cross? which motivated them enough to fight against Fatamid relief armies. However, not everybody went because of their spiritual motivation. Many of the Crusaders, like Bohemond of Taranto, had been disinherited and stood to gain no land when their father died. ...read more.


They took as much of the wealth that they could, and raped and killed its citizens. Although they had planned to reduce the number of infidel, this was by all means a massacre, which they benefitted from. If they had truly been there just for spiritual reasons alone, they may have converted Muslims into Christendom, rather than murder them outright. Although material wealth probably played a key role in why the leaders went on the Crusade, the rank and file did not stand to gain as much land. Approximately two out of every three Crusaders died or deserted on the way to Jerusalem, and paying your life for material gain was not thought highly of for peasants to be doing, even in the Middle Ages. In my opinion, Spiritual Motivation was the pivotal reason for why a majority went on Crusade, as the risks they took, they penitential acts they took a part in and their devotion to the relics and the cross all greatly outweigh the idea that they would have gone just for land or wealth. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Why People Went On Crusade

    went on crusade or not, because they accompanied their lord or employer. Where they did have a choice, the sources indicate that they went on crusade to fight for God - hoping for the reward of salvation in the next life and booty in this - and to seek glory and honour.

  2. To what extent was the first crusade a success

    failed to listen to advice, ultimately they were all massacred and achieved none of the initial objectives of the crusade, thus deeming the first wave of the crusade a failure. The third wave of the crusade was an equal failure, it was made up of three different crusading expeditions, that

  1. Why did so many people go on the first crusade

    This idea is also shown in Guibert of Nogent Gesta Dei per Francos: 'Foremost in the minds of all was only the ambition for a holy death for the love of God.' The idea of Jerusalem itself must have been a major driving point into why so many people took up the call.

  2. How important was the discovery of the Holy Lance in the Crusader success in ...

    more important than it seems on first inspection as two months after the relief arrived, a large army commanded by Kerbogha approached the city and it was essential they took the city before it arrived. The breakthrough which enabled the crusaders to finally take the city was due to the

  1. What was the short term significance of the Amritsar Massacre?

    On the other hand, it is possible to argue that the Amritsar Massacre was not so significant, because the popular support from Indians that Gandhi and the Congress received was not so much came from the nationalism induced by the Massacre, but from different groups who were motivated to support Gandhi and the Congress for their own interests.

  2. The First English Civil War

    But the real spirit of the struggle was very different. Anything which tended to prolong the struggle, or seemed like want of energy and avoidance of a decision, was bitterly resented by the men of both sides. They had their hearts in the quarrel, and had not as yet learned

  1. In calling the first crusade, Urban 2nd was primarily motivated by a desire to ...

    He found himself quickly inundated with problems, so much so that he could not even enter the holy city of Rome for a given amount of time. It seemed that the only way to reengage the power of the papacy was to unite behind a common enemy, Islam.

  2. To what extent was the military prowess of the Crusaders the main reason for ...

    But the Caliphate collapsed when there was rebellion by the army and the empire split into the Seljuk Sultanese which controlled Iran, Iraq, Syria and Asia Minor, and the Fatimid Caliphate which controlled Eygpt, there were territorial and religious rivalrys between these two factions, especially over Palestine.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work