The First Crusade


 


    The First Crusade was a war against the

Muslims who occupied the holy lands,

including the city of Jerusalem.  Word got

to the pope, by way of Constantinople, that

the muslims were not allowing the Christian

pilgrims to enter Jerusalem.  Pope Urban II

gave a speech at Clermont to rally the

Western Europeans into an army that would

crush the Muslim forces.

 

                                Turks In Battle
People's Crusade

    When Peter the Hermit and his army reached

Constantinople, they were kept outside the city

walls by Emperor Alexius and his army.  Peter's

army,  while being Christian Crusaders, were not

above stealing what they needed from the locals.

    Peter moved on towards Nicaea and Turkish

raiders took their toll on Peter and his army.  He

petitioned Alexius for regular troops as

reinforcements.  In the meantime, however,

Peter had trouble keeping his army from stealing

and plundering, so they moved on towards Nicaea.

On the way, they reached a wooded valley.  Turks

killed the knights' horses in the front, sending the

knights running back into the rest of the army,

causing confusion.  Then the Turks attacked.  Out

of the twenty-two thousand that went into the

valley, only about three thousand escaped.  This

victory allowed Kilij Arslan, the sultan of the

Turks, to greatly underestimate the next wave

of Frankish forces.  This led to a great disaster

for the Saracens.