The hitchhikers guide to time travel

greetings from alrack, leader of the tocks, for those that are unfamiliar of who i am, let me begin. or should i say end.

in the first order of the house, began the great stuggle of power, what decendants, and from what household shall wield the flaming sword of power. as i am the last of my order, and bear the burden alone, i seek my fellow brothers and sisters of the houses of old for the still exsist.

if you know of what i speak of, please me a message at this site, i will return in 2 weeks to the date. dont try to trick me, mortals. your friend in time, alrack.


The origins of the crusades lie in Western developments earlier in the Middle Ages, as well as the deteriorating situation of the Byzantine Empire. The breakdown of the Carolingian Empire in the later 9th century, combined with the relative stabilization of local European borders after the Christianization of the Vikings, Slavs, and Magyars, meant that there was an entire class of warriors who now had very little to do but fight amongst themselves and terrorize the peasant population. The Church tried to stem this violence with the Peace and Truce of God movements, forbidding violence against certain people at certain times of the year. This was somewhat successful, but trained warriors always sought an outlet for their violence. A plea for help from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I in opposing Muslim attacks thus fell on ready ears.

One later outlet was the Reconquista in Spain and Portugal, which at times occupied Iberian knights and some mercenaries from elsewhere in Europe in the fight against the Islamic Moors. In 1063, Pope Alexander II had given papal blessing to Iberian Christians in their wars against the Muslims, granting both a papal standard (the vexillum sancti Petri) and an indulgence to those who were killed in battle.

The Crusades were in part an outlet for an intense religious piety which rose up in the late 11th century among the lay public. This was due in part to the Investiture Controversy, which had started around 1075 and was still on-going during the First Crusade. Christendom had been greatly affected by the Investiture Controversy, as both sides tried to marshal public opinion in their favor, people became personally engaged in a dramatic religious controversy. The result was an awakening of intense Christian piety and public interest in religious affairs, which would manifest in the overwhelming popular support for the First Crusade, and the religious vitality of the 12th century.

This background in the Christian West must be matched with that in the Muslim East. Muslim presence in the Holy Land goes back to the initial Arab conquest of Palestine in the 7th century. This did not interfere much with pilgrimage to Christian holy sites or the security of monasteries and Christian communities in the Holy Land of Christendom, and western Europeans were not much concerned with the loss of far-away Jerusalem when, in the ensuing decades and centuries, they were themselves faced with invasions by Muslims and other hostile non-Christians such as the Vikings and Magyars. However, the Muslim armies’ successes were putting strong pressure on the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire.

A turning point in western attitudes towards the east came in the year 1009, when the Fatimid caliph of Cairo, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, had the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem destroyed. His successor permitted the Byzantine Empire to rebuild it under stringent circumstances, and pilgrimage was again permitted, but many stories began to be circulated in the West about the cruelty of Muslims toward Christian pilgrims; these stories then played an important role in the development of the crusades later in the century.

The trigger for the First Crusade was Emperor Alexius I’s appeal to Pope Urban II for mercenaries to help him resist Muslim advances into territory of the Byzantine Empire. Although the East-West Schism was brewing between the Catholic Western church and the Greek Orthodox Eastern church, Alexius I expected some help from a fellow Christian. However, the response was much larger, and less helpful, than Alexius I desired, as the Pope called for a large invasion force to not merely defend the Byzantine Empire but also retake Jerusalem.

When the First Crusade was preached in 1095, the Christian princes of northern Iberia had been fighting their way out of the mountains of Galicia and Asturias, the Basque Country and Navarre, with increasing success, for about a hundred years. The fall of Moorish Toledo to the Kingdom of León in 1085 was a major victory, but the turning points of the Reconquista still lay in the future. The disunity of the Muslim emirs was an essential factor, and the Christians, whose wives remained safely behind, were hard to beat: they knew nothing except fighting, they had no gardens or libraries to defend, and they worked their way forward through alien territory populated by infidels, where the Christian fighters felt they could afford to wreak havoc. All these factors were soon to be replayed in the fighting grounds of the East. Spanish historians have traditionally seen the Reconquista as the molding force in the Castilian character, with its sense that the highest good was to die fighting for the Christian cause of one’s country.

While the Reconquista was the most prominent example of Christian war against Muslim conquests, it is not the only such example. The Norman adventurer Robert Guiscard had conquered the “toe of Italy,” Calabria, in 1057 and was holding what had traditionally been Byzantine territory against the Muslims of Sicily. The maritime states of Pisa, Genoa and Catalonia were all actively fighting Islamic strongholds in Majorca and Sardinia, freeing the coasts of Italy and Catalonia from Muslim raids. Much earlier, of course, the Christian homelands of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, and so on had been conquered by Muslim armies. This long history of losing territories to a religious enemy, as well as a powerful pincer movement on all of Western Europe, created a powerful motive to respond to Byzantine emperor Alexius I’s call for holy war to defend Christendom, and to recapture the lost lands, starting at the most important one of all, Jerusalem itself.

The papacy of Pope Gregory VII had struggled with reservations about the doctrinal validity of a holy war and the shedding of blood for the Lord and had resolved the question in favor of justified violence. More importantly to the Pope, the Christians who made pilgramages to the Holy Land were being persecuted. Actions against Arians and other heretics offered historical precedents in a society where violence against unbelievers, and indeed against other Christians, was acceptable and common. Saint Augustine of Hippo, Gregory’s intellectual model, had justified the use of force in the service of Christ in The City of God, and a Christian “just war” might enhance the wider standing of an aggressively ambitious leader of Europe, as Gregory saw himself. The northerners would be cemented to Rome and their troublesome knights could see the only kind of action that suited them. Previous attempts by the church to stem such violence, such as the concept of the “Peace of God”, were not as successful as hoped. To the south of Rome, Normans were showing how such energies might be unleashed against both Arabs (in Sicily) and Byzantines (on the mainland). A Latin hegemony in the Levant would provide leverage in resolving the Papacy’s claims of supremacy over the Patriarch of Constantinople, which had resulted in the Great Schism of 1054, a rift that might yet be resolved through the force of Frankish arms.

In the Byzantine homelands the Eastern Emperor’s weakness was revealed by the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, which reduced the Empire’s Asian territory to a region in western Anatolia and around Constantinople. A sure sign of Byzantine desperation was the appeal of Alexius I Comnenus to his enemy the Pope for aid. But Gregory was occupied with the Investiture Controversy and could not call on the German emperor and the crusade never took shape.

For Gregory’s more moderate successor Pope Urban II, a crusade would serve to reunite Christendom, bolster the Papacy, and perhaps bring the East under his control. The disaffected Germans and the Normans were not to be counted on, but the heart and backbone of a crusade could be found in Urban’s own homeland among the northern French.

On a popular level, the first crusades unleashed a wave of impassioned, personally felt pious fury that was expressed in the massacres of Jews that accompanied the movement of mobs through Europe, as well as the violent treatment of “schismatic” Orthodox Christians of the east. The violence against the Orthodox Christians culminated in the “sack of Constantinople” in 1204, in which most of the Crusading armies took part. The fact that Western Christians had been mistreated in the past (by Constantinople) has never justified this sack in the eyes of the Church. Indeed, as soon as the Pope learned of the sack of Constantinople, all who took part were immediately excommunicated. In modern times, John Paul II has also apologized for this massacre.

The 13th century crusades never expressed such a popular fever, and after Acre fell for the last time in 1291, and after the extermination of the Occitan Cathars in the Albigensian Crusade, the crusading ideal became devalued by Papal justifications of political and territorial aggressions within Catholic Europe.

The last crusading order of knights to hold territory were the Knights Hospitaller. After the final fall of Acre they took control of the island of Rhodes, and in the sixteenth century were driven to Malta. These last crusaders were finally unseated by Napoleon in 1798.

[font=Arial Black][size=7][color=Red]DON’T PANIC!


A friend in time saves I hate you.

ooh, are we in for more bad, angsty, whiny, attention-whoring poetry and literature? Preferrably involving some chick being a demon king’s slave, but not wanting to leave his side?

WHY CAN’T WE HAVE A STORY ABOUT A MAGICAL TURTLE THAT GRANTS WISHES. :crying: :crying: :crying: :crying: :crying:

8======D -8)

8==1111D V8)

8==1111D- - - - - _|8)

8==1111D- - - - - - ->8)

This is truly literature at its finest, folks!

I know you don’t speak of grammar, am I right?

[color=Lime][i]Hello I am Timmy the magic turtle and I am here to make your dreams come true!

I come from the deep, deep ocean where they’re other magical creatures such as singing whales and some kind of mermaid creatures I am not too sure of specifics but they are very beautiful and will make you a nice pearl necklace if you ask them politely and they are not too busy.

I can only do one wish per century, it is supposed to be every 100 years but it takes me a very long time to get from my hometown to the land of you humans, I hope you enjoyed your wish as much as I did granting it, it has been tough going but I feel it was worth it!

These new fangled computering machines are very tough to type with but a turtle has to do what a turtle has to do, here is a picture of me pretending to be a box, I think I did a good job of it and certainly tricked the human I borrowed this computer from.

Well time for me to head back home!
[color=YellowGreen] /[/color]

I like it.

I remember when newcomers would come to this forum and say “Greetings everyone I am captain Moofstick” and we’d just say “hi”.

Or at least call them a dirty faggot.

I never got that, all I got was a “JOHN TEH BAPTIZT IN DA HOUSE”.

Oblivion wanted to rape and kill me when I joined.

He still does. (8L

I don’t hear you complaining.

I am full of jealousy.


It’s been two weeks! Where is redstar1969??!?!??!??!?!?

You’d think if you were able to time travel you would at least be able to keep good time.

(And bring us plans on how to build futuristic hover boards!)


[SIZE=0]doo dah, doo dah[/SIZE]

Blivy keeps pulling me down…whatever I say

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