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1251 FEUDAL ASCENDENCY-FEUDAL FRANCE.

and his northern warriors. A peace was accordingly made, on terms altogether favorable

to the Duke of Friesland. Robert stipulated

that the young king should accept in marriage

his daughter Bertha. For she was that Bertha

who has already been mentioned as the first

wife of Philip.

It was already the daybreak of the Crusades. The reader will readily recall that

part of the narrative in the Second Book

of the present Volume wherein an account

is given of the more friendly relations which

were gradually established between the Christians and Mohammedans in the East. Nor

is it likely that the old flames of animosity

would have burst out anew if the mild mannered Saracens of the East had remained in possession of the Holy Sepulcher.

It was needed that the prejudice of race

should be added to the prejudice of religion before the ancient fires could be rekindled.

But this missing condition necessary to

wrap all Europe in a conflagration was

presently supplied in the conquest of Palestine by the Seljukian Turks. In the latter

part of the eleventh century these fierce

barbarians, themselves the followers of the

Prophet, but a very different people from

the refined and philosophical Arabs who

controlled the destinies of Islam in the South

and the West, gained possession of the city

of Jerusalem, and began a career of violence

and persecution which was almost as repugnant to the Saracens as to the Christians

themselves. What should be said of the

despicable wretches who, without compunction or fear, converted the churches of the

city of David and Christ into cow houses and stables?

The news of what was done in Palestine

created the greatest indignation and rage.

The Christian pilgrims, who escaped from the

atrocities of the Infidels in Asia, returning,

spread the story of the sacrilegious crimes done

by Turks on the followers of Christ. It will

be remembered that at this juncture of affairs

the Empire of Constantinople trembled to its

base. The menacing Turks were even then

at the threshold. The Emperor Michael VII,

distrusting his own ability to save the Greek

Empire from destruction, sent a hurried embassy to Pope Gregory VII, imploring his

aid against the common enemy. The Holy Father thereupon dispatched letters to the various Christian states of Europe, calling loudly

upon them to rally to the standard of the imperiled Cross. Meanwhile a certain Peter,

a devout monk of Picardy, had made a

pilgrimage to Jerusalem. There he had

been maltreated and abused according to

the manner of the conscienceless Turks.

The monk saw with indignation and shame

his countrymen and brethren insulted and

spit upon in the same manner as himself.

Going to the Christian patriarch of Jerusalem,

he laid before him the story of his wrongs.

But the patriarch was unable to redress

his grievances. He told Peter, moreover,

that the Greek Emperor was as impotent

as himself to protect the pilgrims from the

fury of the malignant Turks. The monk

thereupon returned to Italy and flung himself

before the successor of St. Peter, beseeching him to rally all Christendom against the

defilers of the tomb of Christ.

Meanwhile the Church of the West was

rent with a violent schism. In 1088 Gregory

VII. was succeeded on the papal throne by a

Benedictine monk named Otho de Lagny,

who took the title of Urban II. But Henry, Emperor of Germany, refused to recognize him, and put up Clement III as anti-pope. The latter was presently expelled by

the Romans, and he and Henry were excommunicated by Urban. In 1091 the Emperor

marched an army to Rome, restored the anti-pope, and obliged the Pope to fly into Apulia.

Two years later, however, Urban regained the

papal crown, and in 1095 called a great council at Piacenza. There were present at the

assembly two hundred bishops, three thousand

of the inferior clergy, and thirty thousand laymen.

While this great convocation was busy

with the affairs of the Church, ambassadors

arrived from Alexius Comnenus, Emperor of

the East, who joined his voice with that of

Peter of Picardy in imploring the aid of Western Europe against the Turks. Urban lent a

willing ear to the appeal, and called upon the

Christian princes to draw their swords against

the Infidels. The agitation spread everywhere.

The council of Pacenza adjourned, and the

bishops returned to their several countries,

fired with the rising spirit of crusaders. Before the end of the same year-namely, in

November of 1095-Pope Urban II called