What was the Shepherd’s Crusade (1320)?

Introduction The Shepherds’ Crusade of 1320 was a popular crusading movement in northern France. Initially aiming to help the Reconquista of Iberia, it failed to gain support from the church or nobility and instead murdered hundreds of Jews in France and Aragon. Causes The causes are complex; however, at that time a wake of famines… Read More


What was the Crusade of the Poor (1309)?

Introduction The Crusade of the Poor was an unauthorised military expedition – one of the so-called ‘popular crusades‘ – undertaken in the spring and summer of 1309 by members of the lower classes from England, Brabant, northern France and the German Rhineland. Responding to an appeal for support for a crusade to the Holy Land,… Read More

What was the Shepherd’s Crusade (1251)?

Introduction The Shepherds’ Crusade of 1251 was a popular crusading movement in northern France aimed at rescuing King Louis IX during the Seventh Crusade. Background In 1249, Saint Louis IX of France went away on crusade, leaving his mother, Blanche of Castile, as regent during his absence. Louis was defeated and captured in Egypt. When… Read More

What was the Children’s Crusade (1212)?

Introduction The Children’s Crusade was a failed popular crusade by European Christians to regain the Holy Land from the Muslims, said to have taken place in 1212. The crusaders left areas of Northern France, led by Stephen of Cloyes, and Germany, led by Nicholas. The traditional narrative is likely conflated from some factual and mythical… Read More

What was the People’s Crusade (1096)?

Introduction The People’s Crusade was the first, largest, and most well-documented of the popular crusades. It lasted roughly six months from April to October 1096, and is categorised either as a prelude to the First Crusade, or, as a distinct part of the First Crusade to be distinguished from the “Princes’ Crusade” which was much… Read More

What was the Battle of Civetot (1096)?

Introduction The Battle of Civetot occurred in 1096, and brought an end to the People’s Crusade, which was a poorly-armed movement of lower-class pilgrims of the First Crusade, but, distinct from the subsequent and much more well-known Princes’ Crusade. Background After the disastrous defeat for the Crusaders in the Siege of Xerigordos, two Turkish spies… Read More