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Foundations of Western Civilization Essay

Essay 1: Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade when the Byzantine emperor Alexios I asked for help to fight against the Muslims. In 1095, Pope Urban II made a speech at the council of Clermont to persuade the people and nobility who attended the council to wage war for their Holy Land against the Seljuk Turks. His speech was considered as one of the most effective speeches given in European history. Because of this speech, he was able to reconcile their fight against the Muslims by telling them that they have to fight together because it is the will of God.

In turn, the Crusaders were Christians formed to wage fights against Muslims, pagans and other political enemies of the popes. The First Crusade’s major purpose was to reclaim Jerusalem from Muslims. Major motivations for any Crusader at that time were the promise of deliverance from their sins, exemption from tax and protection from the church. Another motivation was that if any Crusader died, they will certainly go to heaven. The First Crusades was successful in getting back their Holy Land.

Four new kingdoms were established and the First Crusades were followed with more conquests to gain territories against their enemies. The First Crusades was able to help the pope expand his power and authority of the church among the people of those times. Essay 2: (Aztec, Egyptian and Mayan Civilization) One common thing about these three civilizations is that they have many gods that people worship. Religion in these civilizations influenced political life because leaders associated them closely with their gods.

In the Egyptian civilization, some pharaohs considered themselves as son of the sun-god while some leaders in the mentioned civilizations considered themselves as reincarnations of their gods. Rulers during this time were also the high priests themselves and led many religious ceremonies. Religion greatly influenced political conquests in these ancient civilizations because captives from foreign conquests were mainly used as human sacrifices for religious rituals and ceremonies.

In Mayan and Aztec civilizations, a number of their religious rituals included human sacrifices to their major gods. These rituals were used to send messages across their enemies how powerful they are.

References

The First Crusades, http://www. historylearningsite. co. uk/cru2. htm. , 2002-2008 Aztec Civilization. http://encarta. msn. com/ Egyptian Civilization. http://encarta. msn. com/ Mayan Civilization. http://encarta. msn. com/


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