Take Home Essay #1
How the Gregorian Reform Caused the Crusades
The Crusades have been a historical landmark on humanity since they began. In 1095, Pope Urban II delivered a speech that called for the first crusade to regain the Holy Land, which included Jerusalem, that was currently occupied by Islamic forces. This occurred at the Council of Clermont. This declaration came along following the Gregorian Reforms that occurred in the middle of the eleventh century. The reforms of the Church dealt with the moral integrity and independence of the clergy. These reforms were conducted under Pope Gregory VII who preceded Pope Urban II. There were many reforms conducted by the papacy for the church during this time but the most relevant reform for Gregory VII was investiture.
Gregory VII began as Pope in 1073 and quickly began to reform the church to his liking. After his death Urban II would follow in Gregory VII’s footsteps and push his reforms. The argument about investiture was a battle between Church and State that created a feud between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV. The dispute was based on who could appoint bishops. Gregory VII declared in a statement “Dictatus Papae”, in which he declared the papal position in charge of all other positions. He could override any decision by another leader for how he seemed fit. He had the right for investiture, could dethrone anyone, was not to be judged by any man, and more. This declaration above all other men led to the battle with Henry IV. The Pope would have to be saved on numerous occasions by the Norman’s to the South. The church would be able to take down Henry IV eventually.
Urban II began his papacy in 1088 and continued Gregory VII’s reforms. He traveled across Europe holding councils to push forward the reforms towards his subjects. These reforms all led up to Urban II declaring the first crusade in Clermont, France in 1095. The Pope officially sanctioned this war and was the first to do so for the Church. With the church united under Urban II, his preaching of fighting the Islamic people in the Holy Land for God became a must for Christians. Urban II declared that fighting w...