The Crusades and Inquisition

by Katie Dicicco

The Crusades

The Crusades were a series of war launched by the Christians against the Muslims to take back the Holy Land of Jerusalem. They took place between 1095 and 1291. Jerusalem was the place where the Holy Temple of The Jews was located and also where Jesus was crucified, dead, buried, and said to come again. For these reasons, it was vital to the Christians to control it.

The Inquisition

The Inquisition was first used to find heretics. Before 1100, the Catholic Church had tried suppressing heresy by imprisonment, but they didn't torture anyone. In the 12th century however, when Catharism was beginning to rise, prosecution of heretics became more popular. The Inquisition asked people who they believed were heretics. If someone didn't like you, they could say you were a heretic. Basically, if someone didn't like you, that was the signature on your death warrant. The church gave trials, but it didn't matter. If you said you weren't a heretic, they tortured you until you gave in and "admitted" you were a heretic. Even if you said you were a heretic, they still tortured you.

When heresy died down, the Inquisition began to lose purpose and power. That was when they decided there were witches running around. If you were seen walking around after dark, people assumed you were up to no good. If neighbors saw you picking leaves, tree bark or berries, they could say you were gathering ingredients for a potion of some kind. If you were accused of witchcraft, you were questioned by the church. If you were found guilty, you were burned at the stake by the public.