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Hello everyone, on the 26th of August 1071, in a small dusty town, at the edge of the Christian world, everything changed.

A great Christian Emperor, laid bloodied on the ground.

His clothes torn, his army defeated.

His enemy, a brave Islamic warrior, could hardly believe what he saw.

How could this defeated man, be the Emperor of anywhere? Let alone the biggest Christian state in the known world? He put his boot on the man's neck, and forced him to kiss the ground.

The town was Manzikert.

And after this, everything changed.

Okay, hi everyone.

My name's Mr.Wallace, and I'm going to be your teacher, as we go through this unit on the crusades.

Now you might not know much about the crusades just yet.

You might never have even heard of them.

Don't worry.

We're going to go through everything from the start.

And today we're going to start looking at all the background, who was involved, where they took place, when they took place and so on.

And using all of that, we're going to eventually answer a question.

Why did Europeans join the crusades? Now to do today's lesson, to do all of these lessons, you're going to need to make sure, that you've got a pen, that you've got something to write on.

So some paper or a book, and hopefully you've got, a distraction free environment as well.

So if there's a phone, make sure that's put away somewhere.

Ideally you'll be in a room, where you won't get interrupted.

Once you're sure you're ready, and you have all those things to hand, then we'll get started.

Ready to go? Perfect.

Alright then.

So I'm just going to give you a quick overview, of what we're going to do today.

And that means we're going to need to learn a little bit, about the crusades, before we can actually go into why, so many people went on them.

Now for some of you, that might lead to this question in your mind.

What on earth are the crusades? You've never even heard of them.

That's fine.

Don't worry.

Today we're going to be looking at the who, the where and the when.

And that's going to involve a specific dive, into these two groups; the Byzantines and the Seljuks.

Once we understand the relationship between these two opposing groups, and this has a little bit to do with the story I just told you.

Then we can explain what the crusades are, and how they began.

Now to begin with, I want you to have a quick look at this picture.

Okay? Portraits paintings is a really good way, of trying to understand some of the things, that we learned about in the past.

And a way to have a look, at some of the clues in this picture.

What are the crusades about? First of all, let's have a look at this.

We've got a cross.

Now some of you might look at that and say, " Well that looks like an England flag." Trust me, that's going to come up at some point in a future lesson.

But you've got this cross.

And if you look at this fellow in the corner here, you can also see that around his shoulders, there are crosses too.

So what religious group seems to be involved here? Who is represented in this picture? You've also got a different individual.

He's not wearing ordinary, let's say ordinary clothing, He is dressed up for a particular activity.

What might that be? And compare those two people in the bottom corners.

One of them looks like he has a particular role.

Crosses around the particular clothing, of a religious figure.

Whereas in the bottom right, you're looking at someone, who looks a little bit more like a fighter or a soldier.

You've got a few clues here already.

Now once you've looked at that, what about the background? What about the area they're moving into? All of these different things, can help you understand where we are and why we might be there.

From this picture already, what are the sort of things, that we can we can guess that, that we can suggest? First of all, what does the cross symbolise? What religious group? We're looking at Christians.

And who is on this crusade? We don't just have soldiers, like we can see in the bottom right.

But we also have religious figures like monks or priests, people who are more spiritual.

And you can see them entering a castle, automatically we can see one element of the crusades.

Now what about this picture? We can also see in the middle and to the side, some people wearing crosses.

You can see someone who looks like a monk, with the shaved part of his head.

But this is also getting across, who the other group in the crusades are going to be.

If you look at these individuals here, they don't wear crosses, they aren't from the same part of the world.

Where might they be from? And another clue comes with this here, what language is that? Now again, some of you may already be aware, of who the two main opposing groups are in the crusades.

Who is fighting who? Again are there any good guesses here? What might come to mind? What would be a good point here, is to maybe pause the video, and jot down your idea before we move on.

Just to make sure you've got a chance, to get your thoughts out of your head.

I'm going to give you a few seconds.

We've got Christians on one side, and who is on the other side? Okay.

Well the main clue here is in the language that's written in that top circle, that's Arabic.

And that gives us a really clear picture that, we're looking at the Arabic world, and that means the Islamic world.

You've got Christians and Muslims. Christians, and the world of Islam.

Now that's the who.

As for the where, we need to look at here.

This is Jerusalem and of course this is a much more modern picture of Jerusalem.

You can see a golden dome.

You can see all of these ancient looking buildings in the front but in the background, you can see various modern buildings.

Jerusalem is a Holy city, not just to Christians and Muslims. Though it is incredibly important to both, but it's Holy to Jews as well.

Three different world religions converge in Jerusalem.

They join together in Jerusalem.

And they all have different parts of the city, that they see as incredibly sacred.

For Jewish people, you have the Western wall.

For Christians, it's the site of the crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.

And for Muslims, you have the dome of the rock, which is that golden dome building, and the Al-Aqsa mosque.

These are incredibly important places, in the story of the Prophet Muhammad.

We have different religious groups, battling over control of religious places, in what we would call the Holy land.

Now I'm just going to remove myself, coz a couple of things are going to come up here.

So let's take myself off the screen.

Here is a map of Europe or part of Europe anyway.

Now there's no Britain in this map.

And if we're trying to figure out where we are, it's always best to try and look for certain shapes, places that we recognise, and I've done this deliberately.

So there's no lines, there's no mountains, there's no rivers, there's no names.

And I'm just wondering, let's have a quick test, of what we know about European geography.

Because all of these places are going to be important, when we look through the crusades.

If we know where they are, then when they come up in the things that we talk about, or read about it's easier to picture.

First of all where's Italy? Now when we say looking at a map, and start looking for certain shapes that you recognise, Italy has one of the most distinctive, memorable shapes around.

Can you see it? Just point to it on the map if you can, you got it.

It's the boot.

Where's Greece? Again some of you may be lucky enough, to have even visited Greece.

It's an incredibly historic place.

It's close by.

Try and point that on the map as well.

Did you get it right? I'm sure you did.

Now what about Turkey? Anyone want to hazard a guess where Turkey is? There we go.

Italy, Greece, and Turkey, these are the names that we now have for these places.

But back at the time that we're studying, during the crusades, no one called them those things.

They were part of different empires or different regions.

These are the modern names.

But one name that was used for a part of the world, is the Holy land.

Where on this map might the Holy land be? This is the real focus of our unit here.

Give it a guess.

Just point out on the map, where you think the Holy land is.

Did you get it right? Now where the arrow is, is roughly where Jerusalem is.

So the town that we just looked at, with that wonderful golden dome of the rock, that's about there.

And that's largely where our stories are going to take place.

But not today.

That's the who and the where.

Now's the when.

We're looking at the late 11th century.

So this isn't too far actually, after the Norman invasion of England.

If you are doing some work on the crusades, I'm going to assume, I might be wrong and we're not going to dwell on it.

But I'm going to assume, you've probably done the Norman conquest, you know a little bit about William the Conqueror, and the battle of Hastings in 1066.

The crusades began really not long after that.

You know, later on in the 11th century, they'd go on for quite a while.

They'd take part on and off, over the next couple of hundred years.

But they begin in the late 11th century.

Let's just make sure, we know what we're talking about here.

First of all, who is involved in the crusade? There's a couple of questions and for each of these, I'm just going to give you a few seconds to think of it, and either point to the one on the screen, or say it out loud.

So we know exactly who it is we're talking about, and when we are and where we are and everything.

So who is involved in the crusades? Christians, Buddhists, Muslims. I going to give you five seconds.

Five, four, three, two, and one.

Let's point to them on the screen or say it out loud.

It's Christians and Muslims. And I know you got that right.

Where do they take place? Do they take place in Britain, in Italy or the Holy land? Again, you've got five seconds.

Three, two, one.

Point where we are, where our answer is.

There we go.

The Holy land where Jerusalem is.

Jerusalem is sacred to who? Is it just to Christians? Is it to both? Or is it just to Muslims? Five seconds.

Three, two, one.

There we go.

It's sacred to both.

And in fact, if we had another answer here, we'd know it's sacred to more than just that, cause it's sacred to Jewish people too.

Which of these statements is false? Think about some of the points we've just talked about, those pictures we looked through.

The crusades were fought in the 20th century.

People were motivated by religion.

And knights and priests both took part.

Which of those isn't true? Give you a few more seconds on this one, just to make sure you re-read them again.

Which is not true? Okay.

Get ready to point at the screen, or to say it out loud.

Five, four, three, two, one.

You know it.

The 20th century, that's way too soon.

We know that the crusades took place a long long time ago, back in the 11th century, at least they started in the 11th century.

So these are our four.

Let's just kind of bring myself back here.

These are our four key icons that helps summarise, what the crusades are all about.


We've got a crucifix, a cross for Christianity.

We've got a Crescent for Islam.

We've got a knight for the soldiers that took place.

And we've got someone praying, for the importance of religion, to all of these conflicts, these wars.

So with all of this in mind, just to kind of get a really good definition and show you really understand what we're talking about here, I want you to answer this, okay? Start the sentence, pause the video and finish.

The crusades were what? And in your answer, I want you to try and include three things; who was involved, where they took place and when they took place.

Finish that sentence, pause the video here, finish the sentence, and we'll see how well you did in a second.

Okay? Pause.


If you're back, I assume you've finished your sentence.

So how well did you do? The crusades were a series of Wars, fought between Christian and Muslim armies, in the Holy land during the mediaeval period.

Don't worry if you didn't get every single part of that, yours might be phrased differently.

You might say there were a series of wars fought in the Holy land between.

It's fine.

Okay? As long as we know the two different sides, where they took place, and that they were in mediaeval conflict.

That's great.

But I'll tell you now, some of this is going to get a little bit more complex.

Okay? The Christian and Muslim armies start the crusades, but there are going to be some events, that aren't between Christian and Muslim armies.

And there are going to be some crusades, that aren't in the Holy land either.

Okay? So whilst this is a good starting point, by the time you finish this unit, you'll know that there are some, added details that we can put in here.

For the rest of this, I'm going to remove myself again.

Because we're going to start going through a little bit of background to why these all begun.

Have a look at this map here.

This is a map of Europe.

And again we just looked at a different map, look for the shapes.

Where can we see countries that we recognise? If you look for the boot, you can see where Italy is.

But like I said it wasn't called Italy at the time.

You can also see Britain in the top left hand corner in the Northwest corner of Europe.

Everyone who lives in one of those coloured areas, the lime green or the purple, is a Christian.

They're not exactly the same type of Christian, but they're still Christians.

You may already know a little bit about this, if you've done some of the work on Oak under the unit, "How powerful was the Pope?" You'll know that there are some splits amongst Christians, They all believe in Jesus, and that he was the son of God, and his crucifixion, but there are some slight differences.

Now the lime green sections are the Catholic Christians, who are led by the Pope, and the purple sections are the Orthodox Christians.

And that's really where we're going to be focused today.

And they're not led by the Pope.

Instead, one of their most important figures is an Emperor.

An emperor in fact, of the largest Christian state in Europe at the time, and one of the most powerful, the Byzantine Empire.

Just south of the Byzantine Empire,.

you can see the Holy land.

This is where Jerusalem is.

But our story isn't going to start here today, we'll get there in the next couple of lessons.

We're going to move direction and look at here.

Here is the Byzantine empire, all the area in red or pink.

That's what they control in the year 1025.

This is about 70 years before the crusades begin.

So you can see quite a large empire.

They've got parts of what we would now call, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and their capital city is Constantinople.

This was the biggest Christian city in the world.

Okay? Huge numbers of people lived here, it was extremely wealthy and this was an extremely powerful city.

They called themselves Romans.

They didn't call themselves Byzantines.

Back when the Roman Empire had most of Europe, at one point it split in two, and this was the Eastern part of the Roman Empire.

And even though the rest of the Romans fell apart and their empire crumbled, this section continued, and they still considered themselves Romans even hundreds of years later.

But we don't really call them that.

We refer to them now, historians refer to them as the Byzantine Empire.

This is one of the most powerful groups in the region.

And as you can see, part of that is in Europe, and part of that is in Asia or the middle East.

The other dominant power in the region, is the Islamic world, the Islamic Empire.

Which had been growing ever since the 7th century, from the sixth hundreds.

You can see that on this map here, in the way that the colours gradually get darker, it shows how it expanded.

It started where there's that light green, the number one with the Prophet Muhammad, based around the cities of Mecca and Medina, and gradually it spread to the Middle East, to places like Syria to Egypt, and then even further.

It stretched all the way from Spain to India at its height.

The group that we're looking at is called the Seljuk Turks.

You can see on the map where they come from.

And to begin with, they weren't Muslim.

They were actually outside the Muslim world, but they were a strong group and they began to migrate.

They began to move and settle in the Islamic world, and they converted to Islam as well.

And as they got stronger and more powerful, eventually they grew to be the strongest group, in the Islamic world.

That doesn't mean they didn't have enemies, but they were the ones who were the most powerful.

And as you can see, they've gone a little bit closer to the Byzantine world.

They're about to reach the borders of the Byzantine Empire.

These two hugely powerful groups, are on the verge of clashing.

The Christian Byzantine world, and the Islamic Seljuk Turk world.

And this is where we get to The Battle of Manzikert.

This is the part of the story, that I told you at the start of this lesson.

This is a clash between the Byzantine Empire, and the Seljuk Turks.

And it's at this point I'm going to ask you to pause the video in a moment, and read through the information on this battle.

There are going to be some questions to answer.

In a second, I want you to pause this video, move forward in the lesson, read through the different slides in the worksheet, answer these questions, and when you're done, come back here and we can finish off.

Okay? Perfect.

Pause the video here, move forward and return when you're finished.


If you're back then that to me, suggests that you've gone through the lesson, and you're ready to check your answers.

When we go through these answers, I'm going to give you what the right answers are.

But we're also going to do a little bit of practise, just to make sure that the answers that you're writing, are in full sentences, that they are well expressed, that they have the right amount of detail and so on.

Number one, what was the capital of the Byzantine Empire? Now the acceptable answer here, the correct answer is Constantinople, but we want to do better than that.

The capital city of the Byzantine Empire was Constantinople, which he used to be called by his auntie.

And this was the largest Christian city in the world.

You can also see that's exactly why, we call it the Byzantine Empire.

Number two, what religions did the Byzantines and Seljuk Turks follow? The acceptable answer here is Christianity and Islam, but we don't want to just be acceptable.

We want to be good.

The Byzantine Empire followed Christianity, whereas the Seljuk Turks followed Islam.

If you didn't phrase it exactly that way, that's absolutely fine.

But as long as we're getting the correct answers here, we're on track.

Why were the Seljuk Turks a threat to the Byzantine Empire? The straightforward acceptable answer, is that they were aggressive and taking more land.

But if you want to add a little bit more detail to this, we could say something like the Seljuk Turks were a threat, because they were an aggressive, expanding new rival.

They were settling very close to the Byzantine Empire, and had a huge army, that was ready to fight and continue taking more land.

So it's not just that they are taking land in general, but it's that they are taking land, closer and closer to Byzantine areas.

Four, what happened to the Byzantine army, before the battle of Manzikert? Now the straightforward answer, the acceptable answer is half of them were split off, and defeated.

But there's more to it than that.

The good answer would be along the lines of; before the battle of Manzikert, the Byzantine Emperor split his army of 40,000 in two, and send one half in a different direction.

This half was never seen again.

And according to Islamic sources, was destroyed by the Seljuk army.

This weakened the Byzantines from the very start.

What makes this answer a little bit more precise is that we don't know a hundred percent, that they were defeated.

Saying they were just split off and defeated, that's what some people think happened, but we don't know a hundred percent.

We're saying here that according to Islamic sources, they were destroyed.

Just to make sure that we realise, what we are a hundred percent sure of, and what we just think we know based on the evidence.

Number five, this is a little bit trickier.

Why was the outcome of the battle, such a disaster for the Byzantine empire? And the answer here is yes, because they lost land to the Seljuks.

But again, it's a little bit more than that.

A good answer, a detailed answer, would say something like; the defeat at the battle of Manzikert, meant that the Byzantine Empire, lost lots of land in Anatolia, which was settled by the Seljuk Turks.

This brought the Seljuk Turks, closer and closer to the capital of Constantinople, which threatened them even further, as they risked losing, the biggest Christian city in the world.

So it's not just that the Seljuks were taking land, it's just that they were taking land closer and closer to the Capital city, to Constantinople.

And suddenly this powerful, rich historic city was under threat.

And I'll show you how in a second.

Let's have a look at a quick couple of maps, to make sure we know where we're talking about.

The arrow that you can see.

, that's where the battle of Manzikert took place, right on the edge of the Byzantine land.

As a result of that, the Seljuks were able to start filling in that gap.

And if you remember, the Seljuks are called the Seljuk Turks.

The land that they filled in is now known as Turkey, after they migrated there.

This is a map more about the battle of Manzikert itself.

In the green line, you can see the route taken by the Seljuk Turks, and the purple line, the route taken by the Byzantine army led by its Emperor, who if you remember was captured at this battle.

And this shows you a bit of the consequence, you can see bit by bit, the Seljuk Turks took more and more towns and cities, across Anatolia , across what we now call Turkey, even up to Nicaea.

Now they're just a matter of a few a dozen kilometres, from the walls of Constantinople.

All of a sudden the biggest Christian state, incredibly powerful Christian Empire, was threatened on its doorstep.

The Turks had moved inwards and they were causing concern.

They were worrying the Emperor of the Byzantines.

And so where did he look for support? To Europe, to these Christian friends, these Christian brothers and sisters, in the cities and States of Europe, places like Rome, places like France and asking for help.

So next week, we're going to begin looking at exactly , how the Europeans responded.

Before we get to the end of this lesson.

Let's have a quick couple of reminders, about what we what we've learned today.

First of all, who won the battle of Manzikert? Again I want you to either say this out loud, or point to the screen.

who on the battle of Manzikert? Was it the Romans, the Byzantines or the Seljuks? Five, four, three, two, one.

That's it, You know it, it's the Seljuks.

Which of these statements is false? A, the Seljuk Turks took over Byzantine land.

B, the Byzantine empire was Orthodox Christian.

Or C, half the Seljuk army was defeated before the battle.

I'll give you a few more seconds here, just to read through them again.

But which one isn't true? A, B or C? Five, four, three, two, one.

You know it's C.

It's not the Seljuk army that was split in half, it was the Byzantine army.

That's why they were so weak going into the battle.

And the last question here is, what is the capital of the Byzantine empire? Was it Rome? Was it Jerusalem? Or was it Constantinople? There we go.

You know it, Constantinople, I'm pretty sure I heard that from here, from those of you that shouted it out loud.


And we're there.

This has been a really good start.

And through this lesson, you'll understand what the crusades are, who's on each side, where they took place, and the real key battle, which helped spark them, and a response from Europe.

In our next lesson, we're going to look at how they reacted to this growing, threat from the Seljuks.

In the meantime, I would really like to see some of the work you've done.

So if you're able to share it, if you'd like to please ask your parent or carer, to share the work on either, Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, tagging Oak National, and using the #LearnwithOak.

I would love to see some of the answers you've put together.

And as we go through this unit, you'll build up your knowledge.

You'll become experts on this really great period, of mediaeval history.

Well done and getting through today.

I can't wait to see you on our next lesson, have a really great rest of the day.