Crusading in the Fifteenth Century: Message and Impact by N. Housley

By N. Housley

This number of essays through eu and American students addresses the altering nature and charm of crusading in the course of the interval which prolonged from the conflict of Nicopolis in 1396 to the conflict of Mohács in 1526. members specialize in key features of the topic. One is advancements within the crusading message and the language within which it was once framed. those have been led to partially via the looks of latest enemies, especially the Ottoman Turks, and partially via moving non secular values and leading edge currents of notion inside of Catholic Europe. the opposite element is the wide variety of responses which the papacy's repeated calls to holy conflict encountered in a Christian group which used to be more and more heterogeneous in personality. This assortment represents a considerable contribution to the examine of the Later Crusades and of Renaissance Europe.

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Who will stand in his way … the Italians? The enemy looms over them, brandishes and threatens slaughter, massacre, slavery, and exile. 50 Worse still, he suspected, their neglect of the problem was deliberate. Scornfully, Bessarion imagined the Italian states responding to news of Venice’s recent misfortune: What does it have to do with us? Let Venice take care of it. It’s right that they should handle it – in fact it will be quite useful for the rest of us, if matters get even worse for them.

The duty of the popes, then, was nothing less than to defend the old imperial frontiers of Rome against aggression from the East. Biondo’s secular, political interpretation of the issue achieved its fullest articulation later in the Decades, in his account of the Council of Clermont and his rendition of Urban II’s famous sermon launching the First Crusade. 24 Although the liberation of Jerusalem is an important goal, Biondo’s Urban declares that the crusade is also necessary to re-establish throughout the East the imperial authority of ancient Rome, to which the papacy is the rightful heir.

Pope Pius II and the Crusade 43 Unlike the earlier speech, the Mantua oration contains almost no references to the Turks as barbaric threats to learning and Western culture. Nor does he go into detail about the ancient Scythians, the Turks’ supposed ancestors. 21 Pius’s focus, it seems, has shifted to religious matters. He describes how Christendom is increasingly hemmed in by the forces of Islam, who conquered Jerusalem and now threaten to overrun Europe. The atrocities at Constantinople are also listed, as well as the Turks’ continuing destruction of churches and blasphemy against Christ.

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