The Eleventh Century was a Time of Turmoi

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Updated: Mar 27, 2021
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The Eleventh Century was a Time of Turmoi essay

The eleventh century was a time of turmoil as people constantly struggled to reconcile their notions of religion with the changing economy and their political stand points. Between the collapse of Rome in AD 476 and the rise of the high Middle Ages, Europe sustains centuries of violence and chaos. Rulers were essentially warlords whose strength secured their control. Warriors felt deep loyalty to their lords. Clan and honor were very important during that time. In time, a reform movement arose. Some wanted to repristinate the church; others, wanted to liberate it from the control of local lords. As part of this process, popes searched for knights of Christ to help defend the church against lords who tried to control it and often with armed forces.

However, soon much of Europe would be united, as the threat from the Seljuk Turks pushed forward. They send threats to the Byzantine Empire and the Roman Church’s. The threat in the East was published on 27 November 1095 when Pope Urban II spoke at the Council at Clermont. The Pope offers compensation for the crusade in the form of forgiveness for all of your sins, so long as you embark on the journey. He also offers entrance to heaven, once again putting heavy religious themes into the speech to motivate the people. He gives certain instructions to the people hoping to inspire them to go into a war frenzy in order to regain control again. With these rules given he gives out rewards to the people for their service comparing them to “shepherds” (Urban 1095) and making sure never to leave their flock that they are committed too. This speech is a call to action by Pope Urban II to the Roman Catholic People. He is persuading them to declare war against the Muslims who took control of the Holy Land. He begins his speech by telling the people the account of how the Holy Land was taken over and he asks them to stop fighting amongst each other, and begin to fighting for the common good to win back what is rightfully theirs.

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Along with ultimately scaring the people, Pope Urban appeals to the Council’s emotions by promising a reward. “Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward.” (Urban 1095) This does not necessary appeal to the earthly greed of the Council, but perhaps it appeals to a divine greed: promise of eternal life in paradise. This most certainly appeals to the emotions of the people especially because they have a lot of trust in him. A mixture of rage and determination would awaken within the souls of those listening to Pope Urban, “who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights.” (Urban 1095) This proves how much papal power the Pope has and how he can ultimately drive many naïve Christians to commit acts that would ensure eternal punishment or eternal glory. As a result, the Christians were initially beaten back, and only through the sheer force of numbers were they eventually able to make a come back. Pope Urban died in 1099 and two weeks after the fall of Jerusalem, but before news of the Christian victory made it back to Europe. This was one of the first of seven major military campaigns that was fought over the next two centuries. This is also known as the Crusades. The bloody repercussions of which are still felt today through religion violence.

Urban was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1881. In recent times there has been a huge spike in religious violence. This past Sunday there were bombings in Sri Lanka at Catholic Churches. The victims were killed as they were praying. Bloodshed and violence is no way to justify your religion. According to a New York Times article it stated that “The trafficking of hate has simply become easier.”(Cave 2019) Nowadays with technology everything has become more accessible because it’s right at our fingertips. Everyone hates on each other and shares their opinions all through a phone and it is dangerous. The Muslim concept of Jihad is defined as “The Arabic word “jihad” is often translated as “holy war,” but in a purely linguistic sense, the word ” jihad” means struggling or striving.” (Kabanni) Most people think because they are fighting over what they believe in its okay to start a war, but it’s not.

Innocent people are getting hurt because of the ongoing war with religion and beliefs. Priests have been shot and killed and abducted just for preaching in a God or a higher power that they do not believe in. In Afghanistan christianity is not even permitted to exist. Religion will always be a difficult battle until eternity. Throughout the world there are different cultural values and not everyone agrees with other people’s beliefs. Possibly in the future, as a society we can learn to appreciate and accept each other and everyone’s religious beliefs to end the violence and spread the love.

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The Eleventh Century Was a Time of Turmoi. (2021, Mar 27). Retrieved from