Assassin’s Creed Notes

The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction

Chp. 1
Propaganda of the crusades
Killer as holy man
Death is gentle and sweet, when so many foes have been defeated.
Enthusiasm for violence fixed on to an afterlife.
Crusades have both a history and a post history: modern rhetoric uses it. Pope John Paul II and Osama Bin Laden
At the time, no word existed for the crusades. Warriors were those signed by the cross.
The ambiguity helped create multiple fronts of war.
Othering is at the heart of how the crusades functioned.
Religious and violent injunction.
Pope Urban II’s speech
God wills it.

Chp. 2
Crusading was an expression of Papal power.
Reports of supernatural occurrences increased.
Took Jerusalem at great cost in 1099. out of 100,000 knights, around 14,000 were left.
Throughout the Crusades, there was Anti-Jewish violence.
The Third Crusade
New muslim powers, emphasis on war against infidels.
Kingdom of Jerusalem was in tatters, Saladin took it in 1187.
Richard got sidetracked and took Cyprus
War was left in a stalemate, eventually treaty of Jaffe was signed.
Saladin died a year later.
Third Crusade set precedent for Crusades of the future.

Derived from scripture:
Divine mandate, identification with Israelites,
Aristotle’s idea of just war.
Warriors in the Middle Ages acted as a unifying force across multiple fronts.
Literally Christ Militant in works meant to appeal to German pagans.
Crusades as a means of absolving the sin of violence.
Jihad, not the same thing!
Spiritual purity and outer struggle
Professional holy warriors
Business and sacredness of war intertwined.
Preaching as tool of recruitment (recurring trope within the game!)
Not widely spread before the third crusade.
None feudal ways of self governance
Crusaders are not exactly colonial?
Settlers and Crusaders were different people.
Apparatus of state was totally different. Vassals, often independently funded.
Impact of Crusades perhaps exaggerated?
Crusades offered up a self existing economy to some degree. Neither improvised or enriched. International trade can to exist because of the crusade.
(Interesting because ac’s view of space is heavily policed and regulated)
This did not mean that the system was corrupt, but that it was open to corruption??? Hmmm… rules Irregularly applied at the very least.
Italian commercial cities had a connection with Acre
Truces and whatnot, but no cultural synthesis.
Religious difference was the primary means of discrimination, though that does not mean there was not also racial discrimination.
Penalties for Muslim violence against Christianity and but not vice versa
Muslim slaves were common.

Crusades: The Illustrated History
Saladin took Jerusalem at terms, allowing Christians to flee at a price, some Christians were placed into Slavery.
New Crusade formed in response
King Richard, then a count, first to take the cross.
Acre, focal point of military effect for the first two years.
Maritime power played a vital room?
Richard executed muslim hostages.
Poor knights of the temple of Solomon – the Templars
Saladin killed a bunch of them “I will purify the land of these impure races.”
Robert de Sab is the bad guy,
The Assassins were a real group! based in Alamut in Iran and a group Syria, Masyaf (the base in the game).
Leader was Hassan-i Sabbah,
Assassin’s Creed lore frames it as the first time the Assassin’s order came more fully into public view, founding a state at Alamut.
Conrad of Montferrat. Assassinated before being crowned.
Eventually truce was set up. Franks and Saladin split the land. Pilgrims could travel to Jerusalem.

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Religion is a background element.
Assassins were only nominally islamic? as claimed by the game’s director.
At the very least, their separation from traditional islam lets them make a kind of distinction.

Saladin John Man
Assassins came out of Shi’ite Islam
Ismil, son of the sixth imam, represented the true line of authority from Muhammad.
Ismailis were persecuted by Turks, forming an underground cell.
Hassan i-Sabbah established group in at Alamat.
Nizar the heir to the Fatimid state who was killed, would magically reappear to rescue Islam.
Assassins were called “weed smokers” hashish, cannabis sativa.
Completely false term.
Proclaimed as free from all laws but their own.
Truth is important to them, they had a massive library.
Rashid al-Din Sinan “Old Man of the Mountain”
“swerved from Islam and vested divinity in a man” according to ibn Jubayr, Spanish traveler and poet
Assassins made an attempt on Saladin’s life 13 infiltrated his camp, but Saladin’s officers killed them.
Saladin was Sunni! An important note.
Four assassins disguised themselves as bodyguards and again failed to kill Saladin, though they wounded him.
This is before the third crusade. 1175
Saladin and the Assassins made a truce.
Dispute between Guy and Conrad over the kingship over Jerusalem.
Conrad killed by two monks, going to dinner with his wife, after trying to visit his friend Philip, the bishop of Beauvais.
One assassin was killed, the other captured.
Conrad had offended Sinan (the leader) by seizing Sinan’s cargo.
Henry of Troyes became king.
Guy became governor of Palestine.

God’s War
Murder as a political weapon, to compensate for their last of strength.
Radical Isma’ili rule over Islam.
De-christianizing of Jerusalem
Tyerman says Conrad died after dining with the Bishop.
Richard possible candidate?
Saladin or Sinan, uneasy at “Conrad’s Lebanese pretensions”