The second crusade (1147) was caused by the conquest of Edessa by the Mohammedans,1 and their advance against Jerusalem. The religious enthusiasm of the West was rekindled. Eugene III. placed himself at the head of the movement; and Bernard of Clairveaux preached the crusade in France and Germany, promising certain victory, promising even that God would smite the hosts of the infidels by a miraculous interference. Two brilliant armies, led by Conrad III. of Germany and Lewis VII. of France, moved toward the East. But the Byzantine emperor was more afraid of the crusaders than of the Turks. He made peace secretly with them; and chiefly by his treachery the German army was wasted in the defiles of Asia Minor. The French army also suffered severely; and, when the remnants of the magnificent army joined King Baldwin III. before the walls of Damascus, famine, disease, dissensions, and the treachery of the Pallanes (the Christian inhabitants of the besieged city, descendants of the first crusaders), soon brought the whole undertaking to a sorry end. Consternation, anger, and de-spair filled the whole of Germany and France; and Bernard added what he could to the misery. He saved his fame as an inspired prophet by declaring the crusading armies unworthy of victory, and the defeat a divine punishment of their sins.
1 An inaccurate, offensive and obsolete name for Muslims. It should not be used by modern writers.
|Michael Gervers, ed., The Second Crusade and the Cistercians. New York: Palgrave, 1992. Hbk. ISBN: 0312056079. pp.272.|
|Thomas F. Madden, A Concise History of the Crusades. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2000. Hbk. ISBN: 0847694291. pp.39-63.|
|Jonathan Phillips & Martin Hoch, eds. The Second Crusade. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001. Pbk. ISBN: 0719057116. pp.256.|