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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Historical Tidbit--Crusade Alliances


Did you know...

That for a very brief time period during the first crusade, Muslim and Jewish resistors briefly joined forces to defend Jerusalem against Christian crusaders?

Just a random factoid, but an interesting one. Those two groups are an odd pairing, especially considering the politics and social climate of the middle ages. 

It was a short-lived alliance, though. The crusaders breached the city after a two-week siege. Most of the Muslim soldiers fought to the death. For a long time, it was believed that the Jews were gathered into a synagogue (or went there voluntarily to prepare for death) and had the synagogue burned down around them. More recently found records indicate that, while the synagogue was burnt down, it was probably empty. Jewish prisoners were forced to clear the corpses from the city.

Still, it's an interesting story. You have to wonder how such different, feuding groups came to the decision to work together. How difficult was it for them? Did they abandon one another when the city fell, or continue to fight a losing battle? This would make interesting historical fiction, don't you think?

Would you read a historical story set against the backdrop of these events?

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