The First Crusade

"The First Crusade was a military expedition from 1096 to 1099 by Western Christianity to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem. It was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the primary goal of responding to an appeal from Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, who requested that western volunteers come to his aid and help to repel the invading Seljuq Turks from Anatolia. An additional goal soon became the principal objective—the Christian reconquest of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and the freeing of the Eastern Christians from Islamic rule.
During the crusade, knights and peasants from many nations of Western Europe travelled over land and by sea, first to Constantinople and then on towards Jerusalem, as crusaders; the peasants greatly outnumbered the knights. Peasants and knights were split into separate armies; however, because the peasants were not as well-trained in combat as the knights, their army failed to reach Jerusalem. Once the knights arrived at Jerusalem, they launched an assault on the city, capturing it in July 1099 and establishing the crusader states of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, and the County of Edessa.
Because the First Crusade was largely concerned with Jerusalem, a city which had not been under Christian dominion for 461 years, and the crusader army refused to return the land to the control of the Byzantine Empire, the status of the First Crusade as defensive or as aggressive in nature remains controversial.
The First Crusade was part of the Christian response to the Muslim conquests, and was followed by the Second Crusade to the Ninth Crusade, but the gains made lasted for less than 200 years. It was also the first major step towards reopening international trade in the West since the fall of the Western Roman Empire."

Also see The Council of Claremont

The Emperor Alexius I Comnenus portrayed in a mosaic in the church of Agia Sophia, Constantinople.
The Emperor Alexius I Comnenus portrayed in a mosaic in the church of Agia Sophia, Constantinople.

Pope Urban II speaking at Claremont
Pope Urban II speaking at Claremont

Pope Urban II arriving and speaking at Claremont
Pope Urban II arriving and speaking at Claremont


external image 22px-Seljuks.gif Great Seljuq Empire
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jihad.svg.png Danishmends
external image 22px-Fatimid_flag.svg.png Fatimids
external image 22px-Flag_of_Almohad_Dynasty.svg.png Almoravids
external image 22px-Flag_of_Afghanistan_pre-1901.svg.png Abbasids
external image 15px-Holy_Roman_Empire_Arms-single_head.svg.png Holy Roman Empire
external image 15px-France_Ancient.svg.png Kingdom of France
external image 15px-Henry_II_Arms.svg.png Kingdom of England
external image 15px-Blason_sicile_famille_Hauteville.svg.png Duchy of Apulia
external image 15px-Komnenos-Isaac-Arms.svg.png Byzantine Empire
external image 15px-Armoiries_H%C3%A9thoumides.svg.png Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia

Commanders and Leaders

external image 22px-Seljuks.gifKilij Arslan I
external image 22px-Seljuks.gif Yaghi-Siyan
external image 22px-Seljuks.gif Kerbogha
external image 22px-Seljuks.gif Duqaq
external image 22px-Seljuks.gif Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jihad.svg.png Ghazi ibn Danishmend
external image 22px-Fatimid_flag.svg.png Iftikhar ad-Daula
external image 22px-Fatimid_flag.svg.png Al-Afdal Shahanshah
external image 15px-Blason_Lorraine.svg.pngGodfrey of Bouillon
external image 15px-Armoiries_Languedoc.png Raymond IV
external image 15px-Blason_Blois_Ancien.png Stephen II
external image 15px-Blason_Courtenay.svg.png Baldwin of Boulogne
external image 15px-Blason_Courtenay.svg.png Eustace III of Boulogne
external image 15px-Blason_Nord-Pas-De-Calais.svg.png Robert II of Flanders
external image 15px-Blason_ville_fr_PuyVelay_%28HauteLoire%29.png Adhemar of Le Puy
external image 15px-Blason_Vermandois.png Hugh of Vermandois
external image 15px-Blason_duche_fr_Normandie.svg.png Robert II of Normandy
external image 15px-Blason_sicile_famille_Hauteville.svg.png Bohemond of Taranto
external image 15px-Blason_sicile_famille_Hauteville.svg.png Tancred of Taranto
external image 15px-Komnenos-Isaac-Arms.svg.png Alexios I Komnenos
external image 15px-Komnenos-Isaac-Arms.svg.png Tatikios
external image 15px-Komnenos-Isaac-Arms.svg.png Manuel Boutoumites
external image 15px-Blason_ville_it_Milan_%28Lombardia%29.svg.png Guglielmo Embriaco
external image 15px-Armoiries_H%C3%A9thoumides.svg.png Constantine I