And, indeed, for centuries Jerusalem, sacred to Jew, Christian and Muslim alike, had been the center of attention for a succession of conquering armies—which made life anything but a paradise for its populace. The summer of saw the much-fought-over fortress city in Egyptian hands. Many months of political and diplomatic maneuvering with the Franj Franks—the Arabic term used for all Western European Crusaders and the Rumi Romans—actually the Greeks of the Byzantine Empire had not gotten the vizier the concessions he wanted, so he simply had sent Emir al-Afdal to seize the city the Crusaders were coming to capture, thereby presenting the Franj invaders with a fait accompli.
Historical context[ edit ] The causes of the Crusades in general, and particularly of the First Crusade, is widely debated among historians.
While the relative weight or importance of the various factors may be the subject of ongoing disputes, it is clear that the First Crusade came about from a combination of factors in both Europe and the Near East. Its origin is linked both with the political situation in Catholic Christendom, including the political and social situation in 11th-century Europe, the rise of a reform movement within the papacy as well as the military's and religious confrontation of Christianity and Islam in the East.
PisaGenoaand the Principality of Catalonia began to battle various Muslim kingdoms for control of the Mediterranean Basinexemplified by the Mahdia campaign of and battles at Majorca and Sardinia.
In the early summer ofthe first large unruly group arrived on the outskirts of Constantinople. This wave was reported to be undisciplined and ill-equipped as an army. This first group is often called the Peasants' Crusade or the People's Crusade.
The second wave was also not under the command of the Emperor and was made up of a number of armies with their own commanders.
Together, this group and the first wave numbered an estimated 60, It was intermittently ideological, as evidenced by the Codex Vigilanus compiled in However, the breakdown of the Carolingian Empire gave rise to an entire class of warriors who now had little to do but fight among themselves.
At the same time, the reform-minded papacy came into conflict with the Holy Roman Emperorsresulting in the Investiture Controversy.
Popes such as Gregory VII justified the subsequent warfare against the Emperor's partisans in theological terms. It became acceptable for the Pope to utilize knights in the name of Christendomnot only against political enemies of the Papacy, but also against Al-Andalusor, theoretically, against the Seljuq dynasty in the east.
Historians have argued that the desire to impose Roman church authority in the east may have been one of the goals of the crusade,  although Urban II, who launched the First Crusade, never refers to such a goal in his letters on crusading.
The Seljuq Turks had taken over almost all of Anatolia after the Byzantine defeat at the Battle of Manzikert in ; however, their conquests were piecemeal and led by semi-independent warlords, rather than by the sultan.
A dramatic collapse of the empire's position on the eve of the Council of Clermont brought Byzantium to the brink of disaster. This call was largely ignored and even opposed. Byzantine—Seljuq wars The Byzantine empire had lost control over most of Anatolia in the decade following the disastrous Battle of Manzikert.
Until the Crusaders' arrival, the Byzantines had continually fought the Seljuqs and other Turkish dynasties for control of Anatolia and Syria. The Seljuqs, who were orthodox Sunni Muslims, had formerly ruled the Great Seljuq Empirebut by the time of the First Crusade it had divided into several smaller states after the death of Malik-Shah I in Tutush's sons Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan and Duqaq inherited Aleppo and Damascus respectively, further dividing Syria amongst emirs antagonistic towards each other, as well as Kerboghathe atabeg of Mosul.
Warfare between the Fatimids and Seljuqs caused great disruption for the local Christians and for western pilgrims. The Fatimids, under the nominal rule of caliph al-Musta'li but actually controlled by vizier al-Afdal Shahanshahhad lost Jerusalem to the Seljuqs in although some older accounts say ;  they recaptured it in from the Artuqidsa smaller Turkish tribe associated with the Seljuqs, just before the arrival of the crusaders.
Urban responded favourably, perhaps hoping to heal the Great Schism of forty years earlier, and to reunite the Church under papal primacy by helping the Eastern churches in their time of need. There were signs of considerable co-operation between Rome and Constantinople in the years immediately before the crusade.Beginning in and lasting for three years, the First Crusade involved the march of four armies from Western Europe against Muslims in the Holy Land.
According to timberdesignmag.com, the Crusade began after Pope Urban II made a plea to go to war. ‘Jerusalem is the navel of the world, a land which is fruitful above all others, like another paradise of delights, wrote Robert the Monk in Historia Hierosolymitana. And, indeed, for centuries Jerusalem, sacred to Jew, Christian and Muslim alike, had been the center of attention for a succession.
During the First Crusade, Christian knights from Europe capture Jerusalem after seven weeks of siege and begin massacring the city’s Muslim and Jewish timberdesignmag.coming in the 11th century.
The Siege of Jerusalem took place from June 7 to July 15, during the First Crusade. During it, the Crusaders stormed and captured the city from Fatimid Egypt.
The Siege is notable for the massacre that followed, during which . These European warriors had first set out on the road to Jerusalem after Pope Urban II made an appeal for troops at Clermont, France, on November 27, The pope was responding in part to rumors, mostly false, of Muslim atrocities committed against Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land, and he also sought a means of uniting Europe’s contentious kings and lords in a common cause.
The Siege of Jerusalem was conducted June 7-July 15, , during the First Crusade. Learn more here.