By Peter Frankopan
According to culture, the 1st campaign begun on the instigation of Pope city II and culminated in July 1099, while millions of western eu knights liberated Jerusalem from the emerging risk of Islam. yet what if the 1st Crusade’s actual catalyst lay a ways to the east of Rome? during this groundbreaking e-book, countering approximately a millennium of scholarship, Peter Frankopan unearths the untold background of the 1st Crusade.
approximately all historians of the 1st campaign concentrate on the papacy and its prepared warriors within the West, besides innumerable renowned stories of bravery, tragedy, and resilience. In sharp distinction, Frankopan examines occasions from the East, specifically from Constantinople, seat of the Christian Byzantine Empire. the result's revelatory. the real instigator of the 1st campaign, we see, was once the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, who in 1095, along with his realm below siege from the Turks and near to cave in, begged the pope for army support.
Basing his account on long-ignored jap assets, Frankopan additionally supplies a provocative and hugely unique clarification of the world-changing occasions that the 1st campaign. The Vatican’s victory cemented papal strength, whereas Constantinople, the guts of the still-vital Byzantine Empire, by no means recovered. therefore, either Alexios and Byzantium have been consigned to the margins of heritage. From Frankopan’s innovative paintings, we achieve a extra trustworthy figuring out of ways the taking of Jerusalem set the degree for western Europe’s dominance as much as the current day and formed the fashionable world.
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Additional info for The First Crusade: The Call from the East
Please send us quickly the letter from our holy brother the Patriarch of Constantinople which you have mentioned’, referring to the instructions Basil had been sent in order to reconcile with Rome. 34 Yet if Clement did try to initiate dialogue of his own with Constantinople, it did not get far. Although he had shown an interest in building bridges with the Greek church – writing to John, the Byzantine-born metropolitan, or archbishop, of Kiev to raise the prospect of closer ties with the Greek church – his overtures came to nothing.
The reasons for this extraordinary shift lay in the struggle for control of the church as a whole in the later eleventh century and, in particular, with the weakness of Urban’s position in the west. When he became pope, Urban was keenly aware that he was being outmanoeuvred by Clement III and his protector Henry IV; he was forced to build bridges wherever he could. One of the first steps he took was to conciliate with Constantinople. Soon after his election in 1088, the Pope sent a small delegation to the imperial capital to discuss the sensitive topics that had provoked the fallingout three decades earlier.
A week later, Henry himself was crowned as emperor of Rome. ’8 The establishment of Clement as a rival pope, claiming to be the true heir to the throne of St Peter and supported by a swathe of senior clergy, threatened to split the Roman church in two. Although Gregory himself took refuge in the Lateran and eventually escaped from Rome to Salerno, where he died in exile in 1085, uncertainty and confusion continued to cloud the papacy. It took nearly a year for a 16 the first crusade successor to be named to take Gregory VII’s place, and even then the candidate chosen as pope, Victor III, had to be installed more or less by force.