Centurio Epistula - Crusades History
Thomas Madden, Chair of the Department of History at St Louis University, offers here a brief history of the Crusades
Recently we have paused to remember several "centurions" who fought in the Crusades including Hugo and Gerard. It is helpful to understand the nature of these events in looking at these Christians who distinguished themselves.
That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense
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