Cultural And Construction History Of Essay

Length: 11 pages Sources: 11 Subject: Drama - World Type: Essay Paper: #30043809 Related Topics: Crusades, Jerusalem, King Arthur, Construction
Excerpt from Essay :

Crusaders were able to implement feudal states throughout their travels during this period of warfare, many of which have been termed Crusader states and which were erected throughout the Holy Land and in parts of Asia Minor as well as Greece. The most famous of these, of course, was the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which took place in 1099 and reigned until its fall in 1291.

Kingdom of Jerusalem

It should be remembered that for the vast duration of the reign of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, European settlers were widely outnumbered by Franks and Muslims, and only comprised approximately 15 to 25% of the entire population (Kedar 148). The Europeans lived in areas which were both rural as well as urban, and despite attempts to integrate with the surrounding foreigners, they did not infiltrate areas which were predominantly Muslim and which had never had many Christian dwellers (Ellenblu 36-37). European settlers included a blend of knights, agrarians and artists, which greatly assisted in the erecting of a feudal system within the kingdom. Agriculturally, the kingdom of Jerusalem relied upon the iqta, which is mostly a Muslim equivalent to a feudal system in terms of land ownership and payments, to produce the materials for its sustenance (Prawer, 205).

One of the primary functions of the kingdom of Jerusalem, much like any other European attempt at government during this particular time period, was the generation of economic means. Italian merchants played an integral role in the fostering of the economic prosperity enjoyed in the kingdom, as they were instrumental in a wide measure of trade which included spices, sugar, cotton and other crops such as wheat, legumes, dates and olives. Interestingly enough, Italian profits in this area of development would later on inspire the Renaissance. The kingdom was also able to gain pecuniary means by the taxation of Muslim caravans passing through its region, in addition to tributary payments from areas such as Egypt, Damscus, and various coastal cities.

Knights Templars

As its name implies, the organization known as the Knights Templars was ostensibly created to provide a means of military might. However, the Knights -- which was created in 1118 several years after the founding of Jerusalem and which would continue to exist for roughly 200 years (Barber) -- left their lasting legacy in the monetary measures and reforms which they induced during this crucial period in Europe's development. Although they were able to construct a number of fortifications throughout the Holy Land and Europe itself, the Knights largely instituted the concept of banking in both of these regions (Martin 47). The Templars have been credited with introducing a system of checks and bonds which was instrumental in the establishment of capitalism which would pave the way for banking concepts such as that of the accruement of interest and other assets (Baigent and Leigh 78-81).

The Templars are said to have largely amassed the fortune which they were credited with engendering during the Crusades by the holding of assets for pilgrims who embarked upon the journey to the Holy Land. The Templars were able to establish credit by such a means which benefited crusaders by rendering them less vulnerable to pillagers (Martin 47). In such a way were the Templars able to found financial networks throughout most regions where Christianity was practiced and proffered. Hailed by some as the world's initial multinational corporation (Benson 90; Ralls 28), the Templars were responsible for owning substantial amount of land, fleets of ships, and severe interests in the regulation of commerce.

New Trade Routes

Western Europe in particular was able to advantage itself from the commencement of the Crusades. Areas of Italy engaged in pre-Crusades conflict with Muslims, which allowed for the emergence of trading and naval powers such as Sicily, Genoa and Pisa (Lewis A.). These Italian regions were largely responsible for the development of trading routes throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea, which aided in their advancements during the Renaissance (Lewis A). These trade routes would be the preferred method of commerce until Columbus's 1492 journey (Lewis A.).

4. General Management

4. General Management


In terms of government, the Crusaders employed a feudal system which was frequently overseen by vassals. In the kingdom of Jerusalem, for example, the territory was divided for loyal vassals of Godfrey of Bouillon and eventually propagated by his descendents. Following the king's leaderships there were royal officers of the state, while the king and his...


The royal domain spanned throughout several cities and while the lordships varied in significance and in number throughout the greater part of the 12th and 13th centuries.


The king's court was known as the haute cour or the high court, of which the king headed and which was primarily comprised of nobles and bishops, who had a substantial amount of influence over the former due to the fact that they lived in Jerusalem with him. The court was responsible for the administering of laws and justice throughout the kingdom, and had duties which included the regulation of currency, the raising of armies and the collection of taxes. Some scholars had claimed that canons of the Council of Nablus were utilized throughout part of the 12th century and then discarded with the emergence of the 13th (Kedar 330-333). Further dispute follows the composition and use of the Assizes of Jerusalem, a comprehensive set of laws that were created during either the 12th or the 13th centuries (Nader 45).

Other systems of cours included the Cour de la Fond and the Cour de la Mer, which were for disputes regarding commerce and admiralty, respectively. The Courdes Syriens was established for the judgment of Syrians, while the Cour des Bourgeois presided over cases involving non-Latins in criminal affairs (Nader 158-170). It should be noted that most Italians were given a degree of liberty and autonomy that left them virtually independent of legal affairs, or which allowed them to judge their own cases (Nader 170-177).

Officers of the State

The primary six officers who held tenure throughout the vast majority of Jerusalem include, in approximate order of ranking and importance, the constable, the marshal, the seneschal, the chamberlain, the butler and the chancellor. The offices were initially designed to adhere to the system of offices which was utilized in France during this time period, since France was where most of the earliest kings of Jerusalem hailed from. The constable, however, was the single most valued officer throughout the kingdom (excluding the king, of course), and was charged with leading the army, handling monetary affairs with mercenaries and also judging court cases of military involvement. Constables were responsible for determining the borders upon which the kingdom was based (Richard 77).

Marshalls were primarily charged with assisting the constable, although they did have a few independent duties of their own which included dividing up the spoils of warfare, leading mercenaries and leading the Calvary which were used in martial affairs. Seneschals were responsible for viscounts as well as for the handling of monetary affairs (Richard 76). The Chamberlain was responsible for the royal household, the butler took care of the royal table, and the chancellor was in charge of the king's diplomatic service (Richard 77).



Related to chivalry was the practice of heraldry and its elaborate rules of displaying coats of arms. When not fighting, chivalric knights typically resided in a castle or fortified house, while some knights lived in the courts of kings, dukes and other great lords. The skills of the knight carried over to peacetime activities such as the hunt and tournament. Christianity had a modifying influence on the classical concept of heroism and virtue, nowadays identified with the virtues of chivalry (Bromiley 272).

Chivalry was the most important guiding model for behaviour during the Crusades. As will be explained, the concepts underlying chivalry link directly to management. Medieval knights followed a code that had roots in earlier centuries but flourished during the Crusades. Later it dwindled except among the nobility during the Renaissance (The Chivalry Code), when wealthy merchants sent their sons for training to aristocratic courts and read guides to gentlemen's manners (Sweeny). During the Crusades, the Catholic Church's tolerance of war as a means of defending the faith was forced to increase. The Theory of Just War experienced a revival. Religious rituals developed around blessing a knight's sword, along with purifying baths (Sweeny). The notion of being a "knight of Christ" (miles Christi) vitalized the European imagination in the eleventh century, making the era of the Crusades one of specifically religious chivalry.

In his book States of Political Discourse, Constantinou sees chivalry as a symbol for authority in management. It derived from ideas about horsemanship, including the handling and training of horses (169). In other words,…

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