| June 28, 1098: The Battle of Antioch
| Saturday, June 30, 2018
BCF : In the years following the Battle of Manzikert (1071), which saw the Seljuk Turks defeat the Eastern Roman Empire and conquer that ancient bastion of Christianity, Anatolia (modern day Turkey), immense persecutions of Christians followed.
Whether an anonymous Georgian chronicler tells of how “holy churches served as stables for their horses,” the “priests were immolated during the Holy Communion itself,” the “virgins defiled, the youths circumcised, and the infants taken away,” or whether Anna Comnena, the princess at Constantinople, tells of how “cities were obliterated, lands were plundered, and the whole of Rhomaioi [Anatolia] was stained with Christian blood, ” it was the same scandalous tale of woe. Enter the First Crusade, which, as historian Peter Frankopan shows,
was first and foremost a result of the attack on Eastern Christendom.
As historian Thomas Madden, paraphrasing Pope Urban II’s famous call at
Clermont in 1095, puts it,
“The message was clear: Christ was crucified again in the persecution
of his faithful and the defilement of his sanctuaries.” Both needed
rescuing; both offered an opportunity to fulfill one of Christ’s two
greatest commandments: “Love God with all your heart” and “love your
neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).
Christians from all around
Europe, under the leadership of the Franks, hearkened to the call and
took the cross. After a long and arduous journey into Turkic-controlled
Asia Minor -- which saw the crusaders meet and defeat their Muslim foe
in at least two encounters -- by October 1097, the Europeans were at and
besieging the walls of Antioch.
Read it all here.........................
one of Christendom’s greatest cities, Antioch was now a shadow of its
former self. Its Turkic governor, Yaghi-Siyan, had long been persecuting
the resident Christians, who still made the majority, including by
increasing the amount of jizya-tribute,
launching arbitrary wholesale persecutions, forcing Christians to
convert to Islam, and converting Antioch’s ancient cathedral into a
|posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 2:37 PM