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Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont of 1095. Illumination c. 1490.

November 27, 1095: Pope Urban II Orders First Crusade On this day in 1095, Pope Urban II gave rise to the Crusades by calling all Christians in Europe to wage war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land. Pope Urban’s brutal and bloody war was the first of seven major military campaigns, known as the Crusades, fought over the next two centuries.

Tudor sword of Henry VIII @ Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 1500-1600, rock crystal and gilt silver. Said to be given to him by the Pope.