Crusades, series of wars by Western European Christians to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims. The Crusades began in 1095 and ended in the mid- or late 13th century. The term Crusade was originally applied solely to European efforts to retake from the Muslims the city of Jerusalem, which was sacred to Christians as the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It was later used to designate any military effort by Europeans against non-Christians.
The Crusaders carved out feudal states in the Near East. Thus the Crusades are an important early part of the story of European expansion and colonialism. They mark the first time Western Christendom undertook a military initiative far from home, the first time significant numbers left to carry their culture and religion abroad.
In addition to the campaigns in the East, the Crusading movement includes other wars against Muslims, pagans, and dissident Christians and the general expansion of Christian Europe. In a broad sense the Crusades were an expression of militant Christianity and European expansion. They combined religious interests with secular and military enterprises. Christians learned to live in different cultures, which they learned and absorbed; they also imposed something of their own characteristics on these cultures. The Crusades strongly affected the imagination and aspirations of people at the time, and to this day they are among the most famous chapters of medieval history.
Exerpt from "Crusades," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. The following ancestors were crusaders.
Amadeus III Count of Savoy
Aymer I de Valence Count of Angoulême
King Edward I "Longshanks" Plantagenet of England
Eustace III Count of Boulogne
Gaucher I de Châtillon
Gaucher II de Châtillon Seigneur de Châtillon-sur-Marne, de Troiny et de Montjay
Gaucher III de Châtillon Comte de Blois & de Saint-Pol
Hugues X de Lusignan
James de Audley of Heleigh, Staffordshire
Jean de Brienne Count De Brienne King of Jerusalem
Louis VI Capet "le Gros" King of France 1108-1137
Pierre I "Peter Capet" de France Lord of Courtenay
Rasse V Seigneur de Gavre, Liedekerke & Chièvres Sir Robert II de Beaumont 3rd Earl of Leicester
Robert de Quincey Lord of Buckley
Robert de Quincey
Saire IV de Quincey 1st Earl of Winchester
Stephen II Count of Blois, Champagne, Brie & Chartres
William d'Aubigny Earl of Arundel & Sussex
William de Ferrers 3rd Earl of Derby
William de Ferrers 4th Earl of Derby
Sir William de Huntingfield of Frampton
Sir William de Longespee Earl of Salisbury
Sir William de Longespee of Salisbury
William III de Warenne 3rd Earl of Warren & Surrey b 1118
Sir William de Valence Lord of Pembroke