A crusader was a soldier, usually a knight, of Christian religion, participating in one of the Crusades: the name derives from the custom of carrying a cross sewn or painted on his clothes.
Between the ninth century and the beginning of the XI it is common in Europe, following the dissolving of the Carolingian imperial authority, the succession of clashes between the holders of the bannali seigniories, and the relative armies. Some bishops representing the Church, soon joined by aristocrats and soldiers, started a pacification movement through the truce Dei, first, trying to limit war and violence, then channeling it towards objectives external to the European context and functional to the needs of the Church itself. It was Pope Gregory VII who elaborated the concept of Miles sancti Petri, soldiers willing to challenge the sword in the service of the Church.
In the eleventh century the West went through a period of growth, while in the territories invaded by Muslims, after the flowering occurred between the seventh and tenth centuries, there was a decline in Islam. In Spain, the so-called Reconquista, for centuries had called knights, especially French, looking for loot and adventure, fueled by the epic tradition that led to the formation of Chanson de geste, permeated both war and spiritual values, less and less divisible.
The West thus experienced a political, cultural and commercial development, on the basis of which, among other things, there was also a demographic increase, begun already in the previous century: all this resulted in an increase in population in population centers, in the foundation of new settlements, the expansion of cultivated lands, and the growth of trade. Through frequented and secure communication routes, thanks to a single faith permeated with idealism, the practice of pilgrimage to the great centers of Christianity, such as Rome, Santiago de Compostela, and of course Jerusalem, also took effect.
May 26th, 2020
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