crusades

#crusades

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During the Albigensian Crusade in 1209, a French army under the guidance of Pope Innocent III took the town of Beziers near the Mediterranean coast. When the town was sacked, a question arose over how its upstanding Christian inhabitants might be distinguished from the damned heretics. Fortunately Simon de Montfort had a solution. "Kill them all," he ordered. "The Lord will know his own." Consequently, tens of thousands of men, women, and children were indiscriminately slaughtered. [Also attributed to Arnold Amaury (the Abbot of C?teux).]
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A Crusader Receives A Blow To His Head
An Anecdote attributed to De Joinville: A Crusader met a Saracen in battle. The Saracen struck the Crusader's neck, a blow which the good knight believed must have missed, since he felt none the worse in the immediate sequel. What was his surprise a few hours later, therefore, when he tugged at his forelock and his head came off.
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Eleanor Of Aquitaine - By The Wrath Of God
At age 15, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII, King of France. Her subsequent petition for divorce from Louis was based on the claim that they were too closely related for the marriage to have been legal in the eyes of God (and the church). In 1154, just two years after the marriage was annulled, Eleanor married Henry II of England. "I am Queen of England," she drily remarked, "by the wrath of God." [At age 19, she knelt in the cathedral of Vezelay (before the celebrated Abbe Bernard of Clairvaux) and offered him thousands of her vassals for the Second Crusade. Dressed like an Amazon, Eleanor galloped through the crowds on a white horse, urging them to join the ...
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Jewish Crusader
While lunching at the Algonquin Hotel one afternoon, George S. Kaufman was subjected by a certain notorious bore to a lengthy monologue on the great antiquity and eminence of his family—which, the man claimed, could trace its origins back to the Crusades. "I had a famous ancestor, too," Kaufman deadpanned, "Sir Roderick Kaufman. He also went off to the Crusades." Here Kaufman paused for a moment, before adding: "As a spy, of course."
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Philip the Fair?
After the Knights Templar were defeated by the Muslims and expelled from the Holy Land, Jacques DeMolay, elected Master of the order, moved its headquarters to Cyprus while he sought European support for another Crusade. In 1306, he was summoned to France by Pope Clement V (installed in French "captivity" by Philip IV, "the Fair") to discuss combining the Templars with the Knights Hospitaller. DeMolay was soon dismayed to learn that Philip, who coveted the order's extensive property, had made spurious allegations of Templar homosexuality, heresy, and theft. Infuriated, DeMolay challenged the king to make the charges public. After weeks of plotting, Philip called DeMolay's bluff and arrested some 5,000 Templars, himself included. For seven years, Templars were tortured and ...
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Westminster Abbey, UK
How Henry IV Died in Jerusalem
After Richard II had appropriated his inheritance and banished him from England, Henry IV recruited an army, deposed his nefarious cousin, and seized the throne. Thereafter, his most ardent wish was to lead a crusade to the Holy Land and "free Jerusalem from the infidel" (partly as expiation for his cousin's deposition). Although civil strife made it unlikely that he would realize his ambition, the king was encouraged by a soothsayer who prophesied that he would "die only in Jerusalem." Early in 1413, however, while praying in Westminster Abbey, Henry was felled by a sword and carried, mortally wounded, to the abbot's home. The name of the room in which he died? The Jerusalem Chamber.
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How A Woman Won The Battle Of Fariskur
"The Battle of Fariskur," Wikipedia notes, "was the last major battle of the Seventh Crusade. The battle was fought on 6 April 1250, between the Crusaders led by King Louis IX of France (later Saint Louis) and Egyptian forces led by Turanshah of the Ayyubid dynasty. Following an earlier Crusader defeat at the Battle of Al Mansurah, Fariskur resulted in the complete defeat of the crusader army and the capture of Louis IX."  What Wikipedia fails to mention is that when the Egyptian Sultan died during the battle, his wife, Shajar-al-Durr, kept his death a secret. Pretending that he was merely ill in the palace, she devised a strategy to cut the Crusaders' supply lines and issued the orders (in his name) ...