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Call To Arms
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  Home >> The Crusades >> The First Crusade >> A Call To Arms


The day after Urban's speech, the Council formally granted all the privileges and protections Urban had promised. The red cross was taken as the official sign of the pilgrims, and Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy was chosen as papal legate and the spiritual leader of the expedition.

The pope spent several months in France, staying in the southern regions, but bishops and other preachers brought word of the crusade into northern France as well. Count Raymond of Toulouse sent his request to join, arriving in Clermont on December 5th. He hoped to be made the secular leader, but this was officially a pilgrimage and it was to be led by the Church in the person of Bishop Adhemar.

The Church quickly lost control of the movement. The call to the cross was taken up by all manner of people, including poor preachers. There was already a movement afoot in northern France that sought to imitate the life of Christ and to lead a life of pure poverty. When Urban said that rich and poor alike should go, he probably only meant that knights should not plead poverty as an excuse--he never intended that penniless rabble should swarm eastward into the teeth of trained Turkish armies.

But that is exactly what happened.

The People's Crusade -->

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Rampart of red and yellow shields


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Rampart of black and yellow shields