Cathedrals• From the Greek καθέδρα – seat – indicating the building is the seat of the resident bishop or archbishop• The grand churches of Europe.• Often very large, very ornate, very beautiful, and very amazing. • Meant to reflect the glory of God and inspire awe in the observer• Usually funded by wealthy merchants and nobles who wanted to leave their mark and maybe improve their chances with God.
• The two big innovations were ribbed vaults and flying buttresses.• Vaults • A vault is the arched shaped that helps hold up the roof. The Romanesque cathedrals used barrel vaults. These were simple arch-type structures.
• The ribbed vault provides what literally looks like a rib. This is more efficient and does a better job of distributing the weight to the wall.
• Here’s a comparison of the barrel vault of the Romanesque Saint-Sernin Cathedral in Toulouse with the ribbed vault of the Gothic Amiens Cathedral
• Flying buttress • The flying buttress was an external structure – a bit like an external half-arch. The weight of the roof and walls was distribute outwards to these buttresses. This took the weight-bearing responsibility away from the walls themselves and allowed for the big open spaces for windows.
• Here’s the difference it makes to the interior lighting:
• And finally, here’s a comparison of the exteriors.
• Cathedrals were usually oriented along an east-west axis. The main entrance was on the west end while the liturgical stuff (altar, bishop’s throne, etc.) was located in the east end. They had the shape of a Latin cross.Narthex Apse Nave Choir
• Here’s an assortment of pictures of the most well- known Gothic cathedral: Notre Dame de Paris
The Crusades!• 200 years• A “Holy War”• First called for by Pope Urban II• *Goal* Use the military to recover Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslim Turks
Motives/Reasons for the Crusades• Economic $$$ – Knights (Crusaders) could gain land, wealth, and position in society (if he survived) – Merchants loaned $ to finance Crusades and made profits from the interest – Victory meant control over new trade routes
Motives/Reasons for Crusades• Spiritual – Crusaders were promised a place in Heaven if they died in battle – Belief in the Christian cause!• Also a way to get rid of knights who had nothing better to do and often fought with one another (foreign invasions had pretty much stopped by this time).
“’The bearer of this ticket will go to heaven if you getslaughtered on a Crusade!’ Awesome! I’m gonna be a knight!”
First Crusade (1096-1099)• Was a complete disorganized mess.• Crusaders-Mostly French-Also German, Scottish, English, Spanish• There was also no centralized leadership, no organized supply chain (they thought host cities, like Constantinople would give them food or sell it at reasonable prices – the cities thought otherwise), and several different large groups of Crusaders.• Eventually capture Jerusalem
• Eventually the Crusaders (less than a fourth of the original number) get to Antioch (the first Christian city in Palestine) and then Jerusalem. They lay siege to both and take the cities. • The siege wasn’t healthy for them either. Many soldiers died during the siege. There wasn’t a lot of food or water the city, especially since the besieged had poisoned wells outside the city walls. • The knights enter the city and proceed to kill nearly everyone in it. Men, women, children, Muslim, Jew, eastern orthodox Christian.
• One of the Crusader leaders said: • Now that our men had possession of the walls and towers, wonderful sights were to be seen. Some of our men (and this was merciful) cut off the heads of their enemies; others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers; others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. It was necessary to pick ones way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared with what happened in the Temple of Solomon, a place where religious services are normally chanted. What happened there? If I tell the truth, you would not believe it. Suffice to say that, in the Temple and Porch of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgment of God that this place should be filled with the blood of the unbelievers, since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies. The city was filled with corpses and blood.
• Some Crusaders cut open the stomachs of the Muslims because they were told they had swallowed their gold. They even kept watch over the burning body piles, waiting for the molten gold to stream out.• The massacre was as much policy as bloodthirstiness. • In the Crusaders’ minds, the city had to be purged of all pagan and heretical influences and recreated as a Latin Christian city. • As far as the Crusaders were concerned, “Deus vult,” – “God wills it.”
• The aftermath is that the Crusaders succeed in capturing and controlling a strip of land along the Mediterranean in Palestine. They divide it up into four separate feudal kingdoms.
Second Crusade (1147-1149) Goal: Recapture Edessa• Unfortunately for the Crusaders, they were surrounded on every side but the sea by hostile forces.• The Turks conquer the Crusader city of Edessa and the second Crusade is launched in 1144.• Crusaders defeated!• 1187-Jerusalem falls to the Muslims under SALADIN
Third Crusade (1189-1191)• Jerusalem is captured in 1187 by the Muslim leader Saladin. • As inaccurately depicted in Kingdom of Heaven. The political intrigue was different and far more complicated, and Saladin didn’t just let all the Christians leave the city. • He was actually quite content to kill ‘em all, but Balian (Orlando Bloom’s character, who was actually considerably older than Orlando at the time) threatened to kill all 3,000 to 5,000 Muslims in the city and destroy all Islam’s holy places unless quarter was given. The compromise was that anybody who could pay the ransom could go. The 7,000 to 8,000 people who couldn’t were put into slavery.
Ummm…. There’s nobody home! You might as well leave! Bye bye now and thanks for the siege. Come on out!
• So a new Crusade is launched to retake Jerusalem and the holy land.• This time, it’s led by King Phillip of France, King Richard the Lionhearted of England, and HREmperor Frederick I (Barbarossa).
• Frederick’s army was massive. So big it had to go through Asia Minor instead of by sea. • The Byzantine emperor made a side deal with Saladin to impede Fred’s progress in exchange for safety of Byzantine’s lands. • Fred drowns crossing a river, his army falls into disorder, fares poorly against the Muslim armies, and then a lot of them die from the plague while encamped in Antioch.• As for Richard and Philip, they squabble over spoils, honor, who should rule the holy land, and over European power politics. So Philip took his ball and went home, leaving Richard to fight.
• Richard does rather well and he and Saladin go back and forth (with the usual atrocities on both sides, of course).• Eventually, Richard and Saladin agree to terms that Jerusalem will remain under Muslim control but that unarmed Christian pilgrims will still be able to visit.• Saladin (Salah al-Din) was well-respected by the Europeans both for his honor and his war skills. They thought him chivalrous. • Side-note: Saddam Hussein thought of himself as a new Saladin, i.e. protector of Islam and the Middle- East. Ironically, though, Saladin was Kurdish, a people who Hussein oppressed during his tyranny.
Fourth Crusade (1198-1204)• Gets underway in 1198 and was poorly organized and financed.• Due to European and Byzantine politics as well as the actions of the Italian merchants, the Crusaders wind up sacking Constantinople in 1204. They never even got to the holy land. • It was the call for help from the Byzantines in 1093 that helped spur the Crusades and it wound up biting them in the Byzantine butt 111 years later. • RESULTS-A split between the Church in the east and the Church in the west-remains permanent!There were other minor Crusades that didn’t accomplish much and/or were complete fiascos.
Reconquista Crusade• The retaking of Spain by Christians.• The Iberian Peninsula was conquered by the Muslims around 711 and had all of it had been under their control from the to the 1100’s when it started being taken back.• The reconquering was completed in 1492 when the last Muslim outpost in the south was overrun and expelled by the combined forces of King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile (the same ones who send Christopher Columbus on his way).
• A feature of the Reconquista was the Spanish Inquisition • There was a general Inquisition movement in Europe, but the Spanish version was especially ugly. • It was motivated by anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim feelings. • The goal was to search out fake Christians, i.e. those who had converted but weren’t sincere. • People were given a grace period to come forward and confess. If they did, they had to implicate others. The others would be imprisoned, property confiscated and put on trial. They would be tortured for a confession. If confessing, they could be released, punished, or burnt at the stake.
• The estimates of the executed range anywhere from 2,000 to 35,000.• It winds up being a secret police fear weapon since anybody could anonymously accuse anyone else. Things got ugly.
Crusade aftermath• All this interaction with the Muslims brought back some technology and mathematics, e.g. algebra, they had lacked.• Opened up trade routes with the east (money knows no religion)• Weakened the power of the pope since he had called for these failed expedition.• Strengthened the kings. All these nobles and knights had gone off and gotten killed which meant the power went to the monarchs. By extension, it weakened the feudal system.• The Byzantines are weakened.• Down to modern-day, Muslims are a little irked about the Crusades.
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