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Europe As the Realm of Latin Christendom

Christianity religion first emerged in Rome, Italy, which is part of the European continent. Consequently, different versions of the faith arose, upholding distinctively divergent sets of beliefs and religious practices. Some were centered around the cities of Rome: the western community dubbed western/Latin Christendom, and the Constantinople on the eastern parts dubbed the Eastern Christendom. Latin Christendom refers to the European territorial realm in the central, southern, and western regions where Roman Catholicism was practiced. Their leaders ruled on religious matters before the protestant reformation (Catlos). This essay aims at explaining how the crusades contributed to the definition of Europe as the realm of Latin Christendom.

In the late 11th century, crusades and military expeditions were organized to respond to the centuries of Islamic wars. The objectives of the expeditions were aimed at checking the spread of Islamic influence and deploying strategies to retake control of the holy land in the eastern Mediterranean (Claster). Furthermore, they also planned to absorb the pagan areas into their religion and recapture the formally Christian territories. The first crusade, 1095-1291, managed to make numerous expeditions to the Holy Land, the Baltic, and Spain from its inception. Later onwards, the movements would progress for several more centuries up to the 16th century. During this period, the crusades helped spread the Latin Christendom across major parts of the European continent, exerting so much Christian religious influence into the majority of the continent. Therefore, it is also evident that the crusades also played an integral part in the expansion of medieval Europe and hence becoming the realm of Latin Christendom.

Crusades helped change the entire European social and religious structure, especially in the 12th and 13th centuries. For a fact, they were among the most defining events in the European continent. Christianity gained its ground as the primary religion practiced in the majority part of the continent, supported by political and religious leaders. Crusades remained powerful movements headed by the pope, “the head of the Catholicism.” In his capacity, the pope launched campaigns/crusades against the opponents and heretics of papal authority and sanctioned military orders (France). Therefore, the crusades were an indication of the widespread devotion to its paramount leader, the pope. This made the pope amerce a lot of religious and political influence as he held authority over the political and military leaders. This way, the Latin Christendom grew both in power and influence as the crusades helped reclaim former Christian territories, capture new pagan areas and diminish the Islamic impact into some parts of the continent.

In a nutshell, the late 11th century marked the beginning of the crusade and military expedition across Europe, intending to respond against the emerging Islamic influence. The reason behind these crusades was to begin a revolution that would help the Christian religion take control over its lost territories and the pagan areas. The move proved successful as, after a few centuries, Christianity took control over most parts of the European continent. Under its leader, the pope, the religion established its ground as a universal religious movement. The pope amerced a lot of political and religious influence, which overly influenced the entire religion. Therefore, the continent became the realm of Latin Christendom.

Work Cited

Catlos, Brian A. Muslims of medieval Latin Christendom, c. 1050–1614. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Claster, Jill N. Sacred Violence: The European Crusades to the Middle East, 1095-1396. University of Toronto Press, 2009.

France, John. The Crusades and the Expansion of Catholic Christendom, 1000-1714. Routledge, 2006.


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