University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe
(1989)

I: The Legal and Political Theory of the Crusade,   pp. 3-38 PDF (14.2 MB)


Page 5

Ch. I THE LEGAL AND POLITICAL THEORY OF THE CRUSADE 5 
lems as "the sons of fornication" (though this may represent one of the usual
propaganda criticisms of Islamic sexual moral law), together with those who,
"under the name of Christians", kill "the sheep of the Lord", some by the
sword, some by famine, while carrying others off as booty into captivity.6
John did little more than support a policy of expelling the invaders with
the strongest religious reasons he could think of. The alternative fates
that he referred to, death and captivity (devastation was a by-product),
reflect some part of the Islamic law of jihãd, as applied to conquered
Christians. He did not mention that the Christians were also offered conversion
to Islam, though this, of course, can be assumed to have happened. Whether
only those who refused conversion were enslaved we do not know; the slave-labor
market seems to have flourished. 
 This period was formative of later law but produced nothing clear or unambiguous.
The same is true of the years immediately preceding Urban Il's 1095 initiative,
when the reconquest of Sicily was already complete and the war in Spain reasonably
successful; a tradition had grown up which gave ecclesiastical encouragement
to any effort to recover European territory. Churches in Spain and Sicily
were already described as "recovered" or "restored".7 Europe was the last
region to have come (in part) under Arab domination, and it was taken for
granted that it should be recovered first, until the idea of the crusade
supervened.8 In Sicily and Spain the Christians fought campaigns blessed
by the church, but not dominated by religious purpose. Harald Hardráde,
count Roger of Hauteville, and Rodrigo DIaz of Vivar were probably all believing
Christians in their different ways, but none was a crusader. Europe approached
the proclamation of the First Crusade with some idea of holy war but also
with a papal diplomatic tradition which would be suspended by, but would
survive, the crusades. Even when the idea of a Levantine crusade was in the
air, Gregory VII expected to have a working relationship with the HammAdid
an-Nä~ir (1062-1088), to whom he wrote about the surviving local Latin
hierarchy in North Africa, wishing him honor in this world and life in the
next, in the bosom of Abraham. This was a wish which, though it may have
been inspired by an acquaintance with Jewish belief, was equally appropriate
for Moslems. He urged the Christian population to 
 6. Ibid., col. 721 (ep. 67, ad Wigbodum); col. 716 (ep. 62, ad episcopos
in regno Caroliimp. constitutos). 
 7. Erich Caspar, ed., Das Register Gregors VIL (MGH, Epistolae selectae,
II; Berlin, 
1920—1923), IV, 28 (pp. 343—347); and see note 12 below. 
8. Denys Hay, Europe, the Emergence of an Idea, 2nd ed. (Edinburgh, 1968).


Go up to Top of Page