20+ Eye-Opening Facts That Illuminate The Crusades

The Crusades encompassed some of history’s most monumental clashes. Surprisingly, though, the general knowledge surrounding this violent era remains limited. What was the true nature of the Crusades?

Delve into these peculiar facts, ranging from symbolism to acts of cannibalism, to gain a deeper understanding of this intriguing period.

1. The Knights Hospitaller, who were related to the Templars, defended sick and poor pilgrims during the Crusades and wore a white cross on their clothes instead, and are still in existence today. -u/bawledannephat https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/search/?q=the%20crusades&restrict_sr=1&sr_nsfw=&include_over_18=1

2. The “heart burial” coincided with the Crusades where, rather than sending a whole body back for burial, they just transported the deceased’s heart preserved in lead or ivory boxes, often with spices to keep it from smelling too much. -u/SingLikeTinaTurner

3. When Richard the Lionheart got married, he was busy with the Crusades, so his bride came to Cyprus for the wedding. Richard then deposed the ruler of Cyprus, claiming the island for England. Richard wrapped the ruler in gold and silver chains, and presented him to the new queen as a wedding gift. -u/malalatargaryen

4. Western European powers, especially Venice and the Crusades, contributed significantly to the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire. -u/outerspaceshack

5. Poland’s official reason for not participating in the crusades was that there was no beer or mead in the Holy Land. -u/spark8000

6. There’s no accurate death estimates for The Crusades. Historians believe the number is somewhere between 1 million and 9 million. -u/phillycheeseguy

7. Saladin, the fabled hero of the Islamic world who repelled the attacks of European invaders during the Crusades and left a monumental mark on the history of the Middle East was, in fact, a Kurd. -u/12-Volt

8. The Assassin’s Brotherhood was based on a real-life group, the Hassassin, who existed during the Crusades, and used covert executions and strikes to eliminate high profile targets. -u/EquivalentInflation

9. Knighthood in Normandy had little social status prior to the crusades. Knights were poor and “land-hungry”. The title only represented professional warriors who were able to own a war horse. -u/anubis_of_q

10. The Thoroughbred horse breed was created by English knights bringing Arabian stallions back with them following the crusades, to be bred with English mares. -u/LikeARollingRock

11. At one point, the Mongols joined the Crusades. After, the Khan learned some of his generals had massacred the Muslims and destroyed mosques. He had them executed. The rumor was that the Crusaders gave them the idea. The Khan also forced the return of some territory to the Armenians. -deleted user

12. During the Crusades, knights cooked and ate citizens of one city they attacked after a long siege. -u/franktrainjr

13. The title of Emperor of Austria also included the title of King of Jerusalem, even in the Austrian Empire’s final years, despite the region not falling under Austria’s domain. This was a result of the crusades many centuries earlier. -u/packy21

14. Pope John Paul II formally apologized on behalf of the Catholic Church to Jews, victims of the Spanish Inquisition, Muslims killed during the Crusades and Galileo, among other things. -u/HandsomeDynamite

15. The Crusades were to hasten Apocalypse by fulfilling Revelations and capturing Jerusalem. -u/rhkennerly

16. The Teutonic Order, a monastic military order formed during the Crusades, still exists today and acquired anew leader as recently as 2001. -deleted user

17. The smallest sovereign entity (1 acre) is SMOM, a Catholic organization founded during the Crusades to protect pilgrims that today helps those in need worldwide. -deleted user

18. The King of Spain still holds the nominal title of King of Jerusalem, dating back to the Crusades. -deleted user

19. After the Crusades King Louis VII refused to shave his beard, setting in motion a series of events that led to a war between England and France. -u/sketchesofxochi

20. During the Crusades, there was a battle called “Battle on the Ice” fought largely on a frozen lake. -u/Nakovalskii

21. As Genghis Khan reached Muslim lands at the time of the Crusades, many Christians believed him to be a lost Christian king helping fight for the Holy Land. -u/PeopleOfVictory

22. There existed Order of the Dragon in the 15th century Europe. Formed after military orders from the Crusades, their main purpose was to defend Europe from Ottoman Turks. -u/maremp

23. After the Crusades in Holy Land had failed, the German crusaders attempted to conquer the pagan Baltic tribes instead, and these Baltic Crusades lasted for some 200 additional years. -u/Reost

24. The Templars (Knights Templar) really did fight The Assassins (Nizari Ismallis) during the crusades. -u/ZapMannigan

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