Friday, January 14, 2011

Crusaders massacre of Jerusalem was done in cold-blood, not religious frenzy, historian argues

A leading historian of the Crusades believes that 1099 massacre of Jerusalem’s inhabitants by the army of the First Crusade was not the result of religious fervour, but rather, “the cold-blooded implementation of…’ethnic cleansing’.”

In his recent article, “The Demographics of Urban Space in Crusade Period Jerusalem (1099-1187), Alan V. Murray of the University of Leeds examines what happened when the Crusaders stormed into the Holy City on July 15th after a long siege. Many of the chronicles graphically describe the violence as the Crusaders slaughtered the Muslim and Jewish inhabitants. For example, Raymond of Aguilers wrote, “Some of the pagans were mercifully beheaded, others pierced by arrows plunged from towers, and yet others, tortured for a long time, were burned to death in searing flames.”

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