Historical Note: In 1095 Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade encouraging military support for the Byzantine Empire. One of its aims was to guarantee pilgrims access to Eastern Mediterranean holy sites that were under Muslim control. Some scholars say, however, that Urban's strategy may have been to unite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom and establish himself as head of the unified Church. In any event, the response to his preachings was enthusiastic among all classes in Western Europe. Volunteers became Crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary (full) indulgences from the Church. Some even hoped for a mass ascension into heaven at Jerusalem or God's forgiveness for their sins. On a more elemental level, others participated to satisfy feudal obligations, obtain glory and honor, or to seek economic and political gain. And there were some, no doubt, who simply enjoyed a good fight...the bloodier the better. The two-century endeavor ended in failure. Following the First (1096-1099), there were six additional major Crusades and numerous less significant ones. Because no records were kept of non-combatants, i.e. family members, servants, etc., who traveled with the Crusader soldiers, there is no real estimate of how many actually lost their lives during those horrendously dark and tumultuous years. Whatever the number, even one would have been too many for such an ignoble cause. What more shameful oxymoron: a holy war. (Wikipedia...and me.)
and post notes and photos about your poem like Jim Slaughter.