Crusades were created to recapture the Holy Land, which was taken over by the Muslims. The pope led a series of campaigns against the Muslims and urged the rulers in Europe to send men to fight. In a time dominated by men, ruled by kings and pope, where do women stand? Could they find power and equality?
A patriarchal society was embodied during the 11th to 13th centuries. During the crusades, women were left behind to rule the land left by their husbands. Some had to fight to replace the dead and wounded soldiers. Legal transactions, farming, collected money for ransom, and raising the children were all left to the hands of the women (“Women and the Crusades”). Despite the decree of Pope Urban II to prohibit women of any age from joining the crusade, many still participated with their husbands. An exceptional example was Eleanor of Aquitaine, who joined her husband in the crusades and led the 300 female crusaders in the battle. Blanche of Castile was also a prominent figure during the crusade; she managed to make her son Louis IX crowned king of France, became her regent as he went on the crusade and ruled with him after his return (“The Great Crusades: A Woman’s Role”). Whereas, because of their gender, women are not allowed to be a priest and directed to be spiritual advisors.
During the crusades, women became an important figure. These women showed that they were able to do things that men can do. Having power and passion in times of crisis gave new hope to the people. They were proof that women, even in times of war, were a great asset to the world.
“The Great Crusades: A Woman’s Role.” Umich, 8 Dec. 1997, www.umich.edu/~marcons/Crusades/topics/women/women-article.html.
“The Role of Women During Crusades.” UKessays, 26 May 2017, www.ukessays.com/essays/history/the-effects-the-crusades-had-on-women-history-essay.php.
Reese, Lyn. “Women and the Crusades.” Women in the World History Curriculum, 1996, www.womeninworldhistory.com/heroine3.html.
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