Thomas Asbridge – The Crusades: “The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land“

Filed under: FRAGMENTE DIN CARTI SI BLOGURI — afractalus @ 12:09
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  “Notably, Pope Urban II did not invent the term ‘crusade’. The expedition he launched at Clermont was so novel, and in some ways still so embryonic in its conception, that there was no word with which it could be described. Contemporaries generally termed this ‘crusade’ simply an iter (journey) or peregrinatio (pilgrimage). It was not until the close of the twelfth century that more specific terminology developed, in the form of the word crucesignatus (one signed with the cross) for a ‘crusader’, and the eventual adoption of the French term croisade, which roughly translates as ‘the way of the cross’. For the sake of convention and clarity, historians have adopted the term ‘crusade’ for the Christian holy wars launched from 1095 onwards, but we should be aware that this lends a somewhat misleading aura of coherence and conformity to the early ‘crusades’”.

“Historians continue to dispute the numbers involved, primarily because of the unreliability of wildly inflated contemporary estimates (some of which exceed half a million people). Our best guess is that somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 Latin Christians set off on the First Crusade, of which 7,000 to 10,000 were knights, perhaps 35,000 to 50,000 infantry troops and the remaining tens of thousands non-combatants, women and children”.

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