The First Crusade<quoted text>
speaking of dodging...
The First Crusade played a very important part in Medieval England. The First Crusade was an attempt to re-capture Jerusalem. After the capture of Jerusalem by the Muslims in 1076, any Christian who wanted to pay a pilgrimage to the city faced a very hard time. Muslim soldiers made life very difficult for the Christians and trying to get to Jerusalem was filled with danger for a Christian. This greatly angered all Christians.
One Christian - called Alexius I of Constantinople - feared that his country might also fall to the Muslims as it was very close to the territory captured by the Muslims. Constantinople is in modern day Turkey. Alexius called on the pope - Urban II - to give him help.
In 1095, Urban spoke to a great crowd at Clermont in France. He called for a war against the Muslims so that Jerusalem was regained for the Christian faith. In his speech he said:
"Christians, hasten to help your brothers in the East, for they are being attacked. Arm for the rescue of Jerusalem under your captain Christ. Wear his cross as your badge. If you are killed your sins will be pardoned."
Those who volunteered to go to fight the Muslims cut out red crosses and sewed them on their tunics. The French word "croix" means cross and the word changed to "croisades" or crusades. The fight against the Muslims became a Holy War.
Many people did volunteer to fight on the First Crusade.