“Another event had excited the imagination of Christian Europe then. Many devout Christians believed that the world would come to a sudden end just 1000 years after Christ. The word millennium means a thousand years. It comes from two Latin words: mille meaning thousand, and annus, year. As the end of the world was expected then, the millennium came to mean a sudden change to a better world. As I have told you, there was great misery then in Europe, and this prospect of the ” millennium ” brought relief to many a weary person. Many sold up their lands and journeyed to Palestine to be present in their Holy Land when the end of the world came. But the end of the world did not come, and the thousands of pilgrims who had journeyed to Jerusalem were ill-treated and harassed by the Turks”
Whoa! Just imagine that it’s just one superstition at the root cause of much of the complications of the world in terms of the warring attitudes of the nations.
This all fits in so nicely as to the cause of the start of the fight for the Holy Crusade. Just because of one basic superstition – that the world would come to an end of the ‘mille’nnia or thousand years. Obviously, the pilgrimage was made by the most poor as he was the one most wearied by the feudal system and it was he who wanted the salvation from his misery in the holy lands. But this reverse gentrification must have irked a lot of people in Jerusalem – even today the flight of immigrants from Bihar to Mumbai has been exploited for political clout by the Shiv Sena and others in Maharashtra, stoking the fumes of Maratha pride – leading them to treat the pilgrims badly. This ill treatment at the hands of the muslim Turks became the seed of resentment and anger that pilgrims went about telling everyone back home i.e. negative word of mouth. Peter, the Hermit, went about with his staff generating political clout to take action against the muslims lest their Holy land be completely lost to them. When enough public outcry came the kings and nobles listened and the crusades began. The wounds from the thousand cuts still ooze slimy poison in the heads of millions. As if the innumerous wars in Europe including two World Wars were not enough!
PS – Alfred from Hungary was one of the leaders at one such Crusade.
PPS – What goes up, eventually comes down and vice-versa. If people across India including Mumbai and Delhi don’t understand this and continue to ill-treat Biharis it will have serious consequences.