1095AD Holy War First Christian Crusade vs Islam Infidel Jerusalem Pope Urban II

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,282) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 125423726476 1095AD Holy War First Christian Crusade vs Islam Infidel Jerusalem Pope Urban II. The First Crusade by Steven Runciman. NOTE: We have 100,000 books in our library, over 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover: 240 pages. Publisher: Cambridge University Press; (1980). Size: 9¾ x 7¾ x 1 inch; 2 pounds. When Pope Urban II rose to his feet to address the multitudes gathered before him at the Council of Clermont in 1095 A.D., his appeal was simple: let Western Christendom march to the aid of their brethren in the East. Whether the Crusades are regarded as the most tremendous and romantic of Christian expeditions or the last of the barbarian invasions, they remain one of the most exciting and colorful adventure stories in history. The reasons for joining the Crusade varied widely; remittance from penance, a desire to see the Holy Places, or greed for the power and booty to be captured in the East. But the prize at the end of it all, be it spiritual or temporal, of the Holy City of Jerusalem. An army of mounted warriors, traveling with peasants, merchants and artisans, faced a journey over hostile terrain, meeting with unforeseen antagonism, desert heat, and the constant struggle to feed and water their troops and horses. Their journey's spectacular culmination was the long siege of Jerusalem, at the end of which the Crusaders, by a brilliant tactical maneuver, broke down its defenses and poured into the city which erupted in a bloody massacre. Steven Runciman's "History of the Crusades" is justly acclaimed as the most complete and fascinating account of the historic journey to save the Holy Lands from the Infidel. This abridgement makes accessible to a wider readership one of the most compelling historical narratives. CONDITION: NEW. New hardcover w/dustjacket. Cambridge University (1980) 240 pages. Unblemished except for mild edge and corner shelfwear to the dustjacket, principally in the form of a bit of rubbing to the spine head and the dustjacket "tips" (the open corners of the dustjacket). Beneath the dustjacket the full cloth covers are clean and without any blemish save for faint edge and corner shelfwear. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #1741b. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: 'This abridgement, first published in 1980 has kept all the essential information and ease of style which marked the larger version. Sir Steven Runciman (1903-2000) was the pre-eminent historian of the Crusades and the Byzantine Empire. His acclaimed multipart "History of the Crusades" was first published from 1951-1954. PROFESSIONAL REVIEW: REVIEW: This is one of history's most extraordinary episodes made extraordinarily real. Written by an expert blessed with lucidity and styles, it reads magnificently. As an example of sustained and intelligent narrative it could hardly be bettered, it is a story that has everything. Sir Steven's great achievement was to make a complicated subject appear simple and then to write it up beautifully. No one is likely to surpass Sir Steven's powers of synthesis or the masterly way he writes. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Steven Runciman is well noted for his three-volume 'History of the Crusades' published in 1951. This paperback edition is an abridged excerpt of that work that focuses on specifically the First Crusade. This is a much "romanticized" narration of the First Crusades, as Mr. Runciman is well known for inscribing his passion for this event into his work. But do not let that stop you from reading this account. Mr. Runciman has added detail to this volume using quotes from actual chroniclers of the time to build and augment his story. This abridged paperback gives you contemporary descriptions of the political climate, the backgrounds of the main players, overviews of many of the campaigns and battles of the event and weaves it all into an interesting story filled with zealots, nobility, passion, intrigue and fire. Reading this you can easily get swept into the spiritual fervor and single minded determination that these people must have had. You also feel the impact of the battles and massacres in his descriptions of the sieges and taking of the various cities. Mr. Runciman does a very good job of making sure the reader becomes involved in the details of events as the Crusaders storm through the Holy Land to the city of Jerusalem. For a very well written and passionate account of the First Crusade this book will provide a good read as well as an historical overview of the event. REVIEW: The First Crusade comes alive in this book by Runciman. This is a great work that offers the "high points" of the late 11th century epic conflict between West and East. Runciman's writing style is very readable. The book may be read in a short time. He tells the Crusade's story chronologically using considerable topical details. If you want the main characters' names, the dates, and places that made Crusade history, Runciman has them. This book inspired further reading about the Templars and Hospitalers. This book is a must read for Crusade reader and those interested in Middle-Eastern history. It also speaks to early Christian-Muslim military action. REVIEW: This Canto abridged version gives in nearly 200 pages a good account of the motives of the "West" to start the crusades, the reasons why the Byzantines agreed, the very individual human motives of the kings, popes, clergyman, nobles, and poor. It also spells out what it takes to get (mostly on foot) from France to Jerusalem, with a large mass of poorly prepared people. A fascinating account. If you have romantic ideas about the crusades they will have been replaced by solid facts out of the every-day's crusaders lives at the end of this book. You'll have a better grasp of this era as a whole, and the place of the crusades in it. This is a good read that offers you the flavor, the look and feel, of the past. REVIEW: For an expert or someone not well-versed in the Crusades, there might not be a better resource than Steven Runciman's history of the Crusades. This book which focuses on the First Crusade relates the origins of the Crusades. Runciman also provides very interesting overview of Christian history in the process of describing the relationship of the Church in the east to Muslims and Jews. In doing so, the reader is impressed by the complexity of relations between the three major faiths that lay claim to the Holy Land, and how the complexity of these relations is not a new phenomenon. If anything, Volume One suggests that, freed from outside pressures, the "people of the book" can coexist. Runciman also conveys the human dynamic aspect of the early Crusades that might be lost. The relationships between the hermits and clergy that spawned the first crusade, the competition (of sorts) between the Frankish and German lords, their confrontations with Byzantine authorities (both ecclesiastical and secular) and those of the Middle East were the real drivers of the Crusades. In understanding how these human interactions developed and played out, the reader can better trace the ebb and flow of the cause-effect of actions and reactions that shaped the Crusades. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. 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If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less any non-refundable fees imposed by eBay. Please note that eBay may not refund payment processing fees on returns beyond a 30-day purchase window. So except for shipping costs, we will refund all proceeds from the sale of a return item, eBay may not always follow suit. Obviously we have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Eastern Europe and Central Asia several times a year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers. 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We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: The Rationale for the Crusades: The Crusades were a series of military campaigns organized by Christian powers in order to retake Jerusalem and the Holy Land back from Muslim control. There would be eight officially sanctioned crusades between 1095 and 1270 AD. There were also many more unofficial ones. Each campaign met with varying successes and failures. Ultimately however the wider objective of keeping Jerusalem and the Holy Land in Christian hands failed. Nevertheless the appeal of the crusading ideal continued right up to the 16th century AD. Why the Crusades happened at all is a complex question with multiple answers. Crusades were arduous, disorientating, frightening, dangerous, and expensive for participants. The continuing enthusiasm for them displayed over the centuries is not easy to rationalize. An estimated 90,000 men, women, and children of all classes were persuaded by political and religious leaders to participate in the First Crusade, which lasted from 1095 to 1102 AD. Their various motivations, along with those of the political and religious leaders of the time, must each be examined to reach a satisfactory explanation. Although we can never know precisely the thoughts or motivation of individuals, the general reasons why the crusading ideal was promoted and acted upon by the key players can be summarized as: The Byzantine Emperor was motivated by the desire to regain lost territory and defeat a threatening rival state. The Pope was motivated by the desire to strengthen the papacy in Italy and achieve ascendancy as head of the Christian church. Merchants desired to take over important trading centers and routes then under Muslim control. Second to earn money shipping crusaders to the Middle East. Knights were motivated by the zealous desire to defend Christianity, its believers, and holy places. They also aspired to follow the principles of chivalry, and were motivated by the potential of gaining material wealth in this life and special divine favor in the next. Taking these players one at a time, firstly the Byzantine Empire had long been in control of Jerusalem and other sites holy to Christians. However in the latter decades of the 11th century AD the Byzantines lost them in dramatic fashion to the Seljuks. The Seljuks were a Turkish tribe that originated in the steppes. They had already successfully made a number of raids into Byzantine territory. Then shockingly they defeated a Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert in ancient Armenia in August 1071 AD. The Seljuks even captured the Byzantine emperor Romanos IV Diogenes whom ruled from 1068 to 1071 AD. Ultimately the emperor was released by the Seljuks in exchange for a massive ransom. The emperor was also forced to relinquish to the Seljuks the important cities of Edessa, Hieropolis, and Antioch. The defeat astonished Byzantium. There followed a wild scramble for the throne which even Romanos' return to Constantinople did not settle. It also meant that many of the Byzantine commanders in Asia Minor left their commands to stake their claim for the throne in Constantinople. The sword of Christendom could prove a very useful weapon in personal ambitions to gain the crown of Byzantium. The Seljuks took full advantage of this military neglect on the part of Byzantium. Around 1078 AD they established the Sultanate of Rum with their capital at Nicaea in Bithynia in northwest Asia Minor. Nicaea had been captured earlier from the Byzantines in 1081 AD. However that was not the limit of Seljuk ambitions. By 1087 AD the Seljuks were in control of Jerusalem. Several Byzantine emperors came and went but some stability was achieved during the reign of Alexios I Komnenos. Alexios was himself a veteran of Manzikert, and ruled from 1081 through 1118 AD. However Alexios was unable to stop the advance of the Seljuks. Ironically he had only himself to blame for his territorial losses. It was he who had weakened the military provinces in Asia Minor. Alexios had done this in fear of the rising power, and thus potential threat to himself, of the provincial commanders. Instead Alexios had bolstered the garrisons of Constantinople. The emperor had also been doubtful of the loyalty of his Norman mercenaries, given the Norman control of Sicily and recent attacks in Byzantine Greece. Seeing the Seljuk control of Jerusalem as a means to tempt European leaders into action, Alexios appealed to the west in the spring of 1095 AD to help kick the Seljuks out of not just the Holy Land, but also all those parts of the Byzantine Empire they had conquered. Again, the sword of Christendom could prove a very useful weapon in preserving the crown of Byzantium. Pope Urban II who reigned from 1088 through 1099 AD received Alexios' appeal in 1095 AD. However this was not the first time the Byzantine Emperor had asked for and received papal help. Just four years prior in 1091 AD the pope had sent troops to help the Byzantines against the Pecheneg steppe nomads. These nomadic tribes were invading the northern Danube area of the Byzantine Empire. Urban II was again disposed to grant Alexios's request for assistance four years later. Amongst a number of compelling reasons to aid the Byzantines was that a crusade would increase the prestige of the papacy. A crusade would also yield a combined western army. This would strengthen the papacy's position in Italy itself. Fresh in the papacy's memory were the serious threats posed by the Holy Roman Emperors in the previous century. These threats had even resulted in the necessity for the popes to relocate away from Rome. Urban II also hoped to reunite the Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) Christian churches. Urban II envisioned himself at the head of a newly reunited church, above the Patriarch of Constantinople. The two churches had been split since 1054 AD over disagreements about doctrine and liturgical practices. The Crusades could be given wider appeal by playing on the threat of Islam to Christian territories and the Christians living there. Most important of all though was the loss of Christian control of the Holy Land with its unique sites of historical significance to Christianity. These included in particular the tomb of Jesus Christ and the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. On top of all that Spain was a reminder of how precarious the Christian world's situation really was. By 1085 AD half of Spain was back in Christian hands. The Normans had wrested Sicily back into the Christian fold. However the Muslim threat in Europe nonetheless remained a potent one. A crusade would enable Urban II to remind all of Europe of the residual Muslim threat. could now remind people of. The appeal of Alexios I Komnenos possessed all sorts of political and religious advantages. The concept of sin was especially prevalent at that time. So Pope Urban II's promise of immunity from its consequences would have appealed to many. Thus on 27 November 1095 AD Pope Urban II called for a crusade in a speech during the Council of Clermont, France. The message became known as the Indulgence. Aimed specifically at knights, the message was loud and clear. Those who defended Christendom would be embarking on a pilgrimage. All their sins would be washed away and their souls would reap untold rewards in the next life. In medieval Europe Christianity permeated every aspect of daily life. Pilgrimages were common. Monasteries were full. The number of newly created saints booming. The concept of sin was especially prevalent and powerfully motivating. So Urban II's promise of immunity from its consequences would have appealed to many. Crucially as well the church could condone a campaign of violence. The campaign would be one of liberation, and not one of conquest. The Crusade would possess a just and righteous aim. Pope Urban II embarked on a preaching tour in France during 1095-6 AD to recruit crusaders. His message was spiced up with exaggerated and fanciful tales of how at that very moment Christian monuments were being defiled. How Christian believers were being persecuted and tortured with impunity. Embassies and letters were dispatched to all parts of Christendom. Major churches such as those at Limoges, Angers, and Tours acted as recruitment centers. Likewise many rural churches and especially monasteries acted in the same role. Across Europe warriors gathered throughout 1096 AD, ready to embark for Jerusalem. Merchants were not directly involved in the First Crusade. However they became much more involved from 1200 AD onward. Merchants were motivated by the prospect of opening up trade routes with the East. Equally appealing was the prospect of controlling such prosperous trade centers as Antioch and Jerusalem. Furthermore merchants could make a handsome profit from ferrying crusaders across the Mediterranean. Indeed from the time of the Second Crusade, which occurred from 1147 through 1149 AD, lucrative contracts were inked in advance to ship armies across to the Middle East. The Italian trading states of Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, as well as Marseilles in France, were particular rival maritime powers. Each was eager to gain a monopoly on east-west trade. Nonetheless the motivations of these population centers were not merely to profit from the Crusades. Of foremost importance was that these cities also provided multitudes of religious zealots keen to fight for the Christian cause. By the 11th century AD society in medieval Europe had become increasingly militarized. Central governments simply did not have the means to maintain a presence and to govern on the ground across every part of their territories. In practice those who did govern at the local level were large landowners. These were barons who had castles and a force of knights to defend them. These knights and even kings and princes as well joined the crusades for religious principles. These might include the promise of a reward in the afterlife, or perhaps even the pure ideal that Christians and Christian sites must be protected from the infidel. It is important to note that there was only a very limited racial or religious hatred specifically against those who had usurped the Holy Land. Certainly the clergy utilized the tools of propaganda available to them and delivered recruitment sermons across Europe. However the fact was that Muslims were virtually unknown to their audience. This meant that any demonization of the Muslims had little value or impact. Muslims were the enemy because they had taken Christian holy sites. They were not the enemy merely because they were Muslims and any resulting racial or religious prejudice. Popular understanding of the crusades nowadays tends to think in terms of a great conflict between faiths fueled by religious fanaticism. This perception is bound up with modern sensibilities about religious discrimination. This idea also resonates today as a reaction to current political conflicts in the Near East and elsewhere. But it is a perspective which, at least as far as the First Crusade is concerned, needs to be rejected. The motivation grew out of the desire to take back the Holy Land and its monuments of Christendom. It did not grow out of any endemic religious or racial intolerance. For willing knights there was also the chance to win booty, lands, and perhaps even a title. However the prerequisite military equipment required by the Crusader was expensive. There was certainly a major financial sacrifice to be made at the outset. Land might have to be sold. Monasteries were on hand to arrange loans for those who struggled to meet the initial costs. There was, too, the idea of chivalry. This idea embraced the belief that a knight should 'do the right thing'. That a knight had an implicit duty to protect not only the interests of their church and god, but also those of the weak and oppressed. In the 11th century AD the code of chivalry was still in its infancy. The primary emphasis was more concerned with upholding a brotherhood of arms. Thus the relevance of chivalry as motivation to join the First Crusade is perhaps more to do with the importance of being seen to do what was expected of one by one's peers. It was only in later crusades that the moral aspects would become more prominent. By the time of the later Crusades the message would be fueled by songs and poems of daring crusader deeds. Many knights were simply obliged to join their baron or lord as part of the service they performed to earn a living. Technically crusaders were volunteers. However it takes no great imagination to realize that staying at home to tend the castle fireplace while one's lord and benefactor rode off to the Middle East was not a practical option for knights in service. In addition many knights followed their fathers or brothers as ties of kinship. The duties of mutual protection were strong. As the Crusades continued traditions and expectations were established within families that at least one member of each generation would to continue to fight for the cause. In addition to appealing to knights, the idea of a crusade had wider appeal. Ordinary foot soldiers, archers, squires, and all the non-combatants were needed to support the cavalry units of knights when on campaign. That the ideal did appeal to ordinary folk, including women, is widely attested to in historical sources. This appeal is illustrated for instance by such events as the people's army led by the preacher Peter the Hermit. This army gathered and arrived in Constantinople in 1096 AD. The unruly army is sometimes referred to as the “People's Crusade”. They were promptly shipped by Alexios I Komnenos to Asia Minor. There ignoring the Byzantine's advice, they were ambushed and wiped out near Nicaea by a Seljuk army on 21 October 1096 AD. Crusading was popularly known as 'taking up the cross'. This terminology grew from the fact that crusaders wore a badge on the shoulder on their tunic or cloak in the form of a cross. Besides the intrinsic prestige and honor of so doing, by the 13th century there were some practical benefits for ordinary citizens. These benefits included a delay in feudal service. A court case might be speeded up before departure. There might be an exemption from certain taxes and tolls granted. The postponement of the repayment of debts might also be granted. Even a release from excommunication was a possible benefit for those so situated. In many ways 1095 AD was the 1914 AD (the advent of World War I) of the Middle Ages. There occurred a perfect storm of moral outrage, personal gain, institutionalized political and religious propaganda, peer pressure, societal expectations, and a thirst for adventure. All of these combined to inspire people to leave their homes and embark on a perilous journey to a destination they knew nothing about. A destination where they might meet glory and death, or just an ignoble death. The fervor did not dissipate with the passing of years. If anything the success of the First Crusade and the recapture of Jerusalem on 15 July 1099 AD only inspired more people to 'take the cross'. The idea of crusading spread to such endeavors as liberating Spain from the Moors, known tom history as the “Reconquista”. It also led to organized religious zealots attacking minority targets in Europe such as the Jews, pagans, and lastly, “heretics” in what became known as the “Northern Crusades”. Orders of knights were created to defend the territories gained in the Middle East. Taxes were continuously raised to fund the series of crusades which followed. These successive Crusades witnessed both Muslim and Christian armies enjoying both successes and failures, constantly keeping cartographers busy for the next four centuries [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Crusades: An Overview: The crusades of the 11th through 15th centuries AD have become one of the defining events of the Middle Ages in both Europe and the Middle East. The campaigns brought significant consequences wherever they occurred. They also pushed changes within the states that organized and fought them. Even when the crusades had ended their influence continued through literature and other cultural means. Resurrected as an ideal in more modern times, they continue even until the present day to color international relations. Many exaggerated claims have been made concerning the effects and consequences of the crusades on life in the Middle Ages and later. There were undoubtedly momentous changes in life, politics and religion from the 11th through 14th centuries AD. However the precise role and effects of the Crusades remain debatable. Any attempt to pinpoint the effect of this movement is fraught with difficulty. Such an attempt would demand the tracing and isolation of one single thread within the weave of history. Then it would require the hypothetical reconstruction of the world were that strand to be removed. Indeed some impacts of the Crusades are relatively clear. However many observations and hypothesized consequences must, perforce, be confined to broad generalizations. The clear impacts of the Crusades may be summarized in general terms as: ---an increased presence of Christians in the Levant during the Middle Ages; ---the development of various military orders; ---a polarization of the East and West based on religious differences; ---the specific application of religious goals to warfare in the Levant, Iberian peninsula, and Baltic region, in particular; ---the increased role and prestige of the popes and the Catholic Church in secular affairs. ---the souring of relations between the West and the Byzantine Empire leading, ultimately, to the latter's destruction; ---an increase in the power of the royal houses of Europe; ---a stronger collective cultural identity in Europe; ---an increase in xenophobia and intolerance between Christians and Muslims, and between Christians and Jews, heretics and pagans; ---an increase in international trade and exchange of ideas and technology; ---an increase in the power of such Italian states as Venice, Genoa, and Pisa; ---the appropriation of many Christian relics to Europe; ---the use of a religious historical precedent to justify colonialism, warfare and terrorism. The immediate geopolitical results of the crusades was the recapture of Jerusalem on 15 July 1099 AD. However to ensure the Holy City stayed in Christian hands it was necessary that various western settlements were established in the Levant. These became collectively known as the Latin East, the Crusader States, or “Outremer”. For their defense a steady supply of new crusaders would be needed in the coming decades. Military orders of professional knights were created there such as the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller. These in turn inspired the formation of chivalric orders like the Order of the Garter in England. This was founded in 1348 AD, and advocated to their members the benefits of crusading. Nonetheless it proved impossible to hold on to the gains of the First Crusade. This was despite the militarized presence in the Holy Land, the continued recruitment drive in Europe, and increased involvement of kings and emperors, More campaigns were required to recapture such cities as Edessa and Jerusalem itself after it fell again in 1187 AD. There would be eight official crusades and several other unofficial ones throughout the 12th and 13th centuries ad. All met with relatively more failure than success. Finally in 1291 AD the Crusader States were absorbed into the Mamluk Sultanate. Travel to the holy Land did become more common. Initially this was in the form of pilgrimages to the Holy Land. In parallel there developed a thirst to read about such journeys, accounts of which were widely published. Prior to the Crusades the Muslim world had already embarked on jihad. The term is often translated as 'holy war'. However a more accurate meaning is a 'striving' to both defend and expand Islam and Islamic territories. Despite the religious significance of Jerusalem to Muslims, the coastal Levant area was only of minor economic and political importance to the caliphates of Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia. The Muslim world was itself divided into various Muslim sects and beset by political rivalries and competition between cities and regions. The crusades did provide an opportunity for greater Muslim unity in order to face this new threat from the West. However the opportunity for greater unity was not always an opportunity taken. Some Muslim rulers did employ the propaganda of religious warfare to present themselves as the chosen leader of the Muslim world. That they were the chosen one who could lead the Muslim world to gain global supremacy. The most famous of these was Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, who ruled from 1174 through 1193 AD. The crusader movement spread to Spain during the period of the 11th through 13th centuries AD. There attacks were made against the Muslim Moors. This movement became known as the “Reconquista”, or “Reconquest”. North Africa and Poland, amongst many other places, would also witness invading (“crusading”) armies during the 12th through 15th centuries. This would even include Prussia and the Baltic in what became known to history as the “Northern Crusades”. Despite the dubious military successes the “crusading ideal” continued to appeal to leaders, soldiers, and ordinary people in the West. The crusades as an idea would have been familiar to just about everyone in Europe by the 14th century AD. The vast majority of European people would have sat through at least one sermon preaching the merits of “taking up the cross”. More than once they would have been urged to help fulfill the need for recruits and/or material support. Indeed very few people's pockets would have remained untouched by the state and church taxes which were regularly imposed to pay for the crusades. The success of the First Crusade and the image that popes directed the affairs of the whole Christian world helped the Papacy gain supremacy over the Hohenstaufen emperors. The Catholic Church had also created a new fast-track entry into heaven with the promise that crusaders would enjoy an immediate remission of their sins. Military service and penance were intermixed so that crusading became an act of devotion. However with each new failed campaign papal prestige declined. Of course these failures were in part offset by territorial successes in Spain and north-east Europe. Some of that success occurred as part of the “Northern Crusades” against Prussia and the Baltic. Those successes promoted the Papacy, but the successes were outnumbered by failures. Another negative consequence for many was the Church's official sanction of the practice of selling indulgences. This allowed those who could not or did not want to go on a crusade in person to give material and financial aid to others who did. Those who purchased such indulgences thus were said to reap the same spiritual benefits as if they had personally participated in crusading. Indulgences proved to be an immensely a profitable endeavor for the church. So much so that the concept was ultimately expanded by the Catholic Church to create a whole system of paid indulgences. This created a backlash which made a substantial contribution to the emergence of the Reformation of the 16th century AD. The crusades caused a rupture in western-Byzantine relations. First there was the Byzantine's horror at unruly groups of Western European warriors creating havoc in their territory. Outbreaks of fighting between crusaders and Byzantine forces were common. Byzantine mistrust and suspicion of the motives of the Crusaders' intentions grew. It was a troublesome relationship that only got worse. Cross-accusations against both groups included those that the opposite party was not trying very hard to defend the interests of the other. The situation culminated in the shocking Crusader sack of Constantinople in 1204 AD during the Fourth Crusade. The sack witnessed the wholesale appropriation of art and religious relics by European powers. The Byzantine Empire became so debilitated it could offer little resistance to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 AD when Constantinople finally fell for good. During the Crusades the power of the royal houses of Europe and the centralization of government increased immensely. This was thanks to an increase in taxes, the acquisition of wealth in the Middle East, and the imposition of tariffs on trade. The death of many nobles during Crusades also increased royal power. This was due in part simply to the fact that the ranks of the nobles were diminished and enfeebled. However it was also due to the fact that many nobles had mortgaged and subsequently lost their land to the crown. The land had been mortgaged by these nobles in order to pay for their part in the Crusades and to underwrite the expenses of their followers. When they failed to return or returned impoverished due to the fact that a failed campaign provided no booty, this land was sized by the crown. There was a decline in the system of feudalism, too. This was brought about by the fact that many nobles rather than mortgaging their lands, simply sold them outright to fund their travels. In the process this freed the serfs tenured to the lands. And of course upon their return from the Crusades, many nobles who failed to acquire booty and treasure were forced to sell their lands to satisfy the mortgages they had taken prior to their departure. The conquest of the Muslim-held territories in southern Italy, Sicily, and the Iberian peninsula gave access to new knowledge for the European, the so-called 'New Logic'. There was also a greater feeling of being 'European'. That despite differences between states, the people of Europe did share a common identity and cultural heritage. Of course crusading would be incorporated into ideals of chivalry. This actually widened the social gulf between those who were and those who were not members of the knightly class. The other side of the cultural coin was an increase in xenophobia. Religious intolerance manifested itself in many ways. However the most brutal manifestations were expressed in the pogroms against the Jews. These were most notably in northern France and the Rhineland in 1096 to 1097 AD. This religious xenophobia was also manifested in violent attacks on pagans, schismatics and heretics across Europe. One benefit of the Crusades was that trade between East and West increased greatly. More exotic goods entered Europe than ever before. These goods included spices, sugar, dates, pistachio nuts, watermelons, and lemons. In particular the spices included pepper and cinnamon. Trade goods also included cotton cloth, Persian carpets, and eastern-style clothing as well. The Italian states of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa grew rich through their control of the Middle East and Byzantine trade routes. This wealth was in addition to that they already raked in from transporting crusader armies and their supplies. The greater amount and range of trade goods was inevitable in any event, and a process already underway. But the crusades probably accelerated the process of international trade across the Mediterranean. As described herein above travel became more common. This was initially in the form of pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The appetite for travel was whetted by widely-published, popularized accounts of such journeys. The age of exploration had begun and would lead to the discovery of the New World. There in the Americas the European concept of a crusade against non-believers was once more applied. The conqueror of the Aztecs, Hernán Cortés, claimed his soldiers were “milites Christi” or 'Knights of Christ'. According to Cortes his force was waging a “guerra santa”, or 'Holy War'. The crusades indeed cast a very long shadow. Works of art, literature and even successive wars endlessly recalled the imagery, ideals, successes and disasters of the holy wars. These were projected even into the 21st century. Even in medieval times there was a process of hero-worship. The worship embraced such figures as Saladin and Richard the Lionhearted. These idealized heroes were praised not only for their military skills but, above all, for their chivalry. The opposite memory was retained following the Reformation. The “ideals” which sparked the Crusades were brushed under the metaphorical historical carpet as a brutal and undesirable aspect of our past that was best forgotten. However the 19th century AD saw a return of interest in the West. These was in part stimulated and popularized by novels as Sir Walter Scott's “The Talisman” published in 1825 AD. With the Allied occupation of Palestine in the First World War of the early part of the 20th century, the ghosts of the Crusaders came back to haunt the present in the form of propaganda, rhetoric, and cartoons. Conversely by the Second World War the very term 'crusade' was stripped of its religious meaning. It was instead applied to describe the campaigns against Nazi Germany. General Eisenhower who was the U.S. commander of the allied forces even gave his 1948 account of the campaign the title “Crusade in Europe”. Most recently the 21st-century fight against terrorism has frequently been couched in terms of a 'crusade'. This term was most infamously employed by U.S. President George W. Bush following the Twin Trade Towers attack in 2001. The rise of Arab nationalism, the debate over the position and validity of the state of Israel, the continued need for Western powers to intervene in the Middle East, the secular goals of territorial control and economic power, have been mixed and confused with divisions of religion. The result has included the fact that terms such as 'crusade', 'Christian', 'Muslim', and 'jihad' continue to be used with ignorance and prejudice as labels of convenience both in the East and West by those who strive to make history instead of learning from it [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The First Crusade: The First Crusade lasted from 1095 through 1102 AD. The First Crusade took the form of a military campaign by western European forces. The goals included the recapture of the city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and wresting them from Muslim control. The First Crusade was conceived by Pope Urban II. It followed an appeal from the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos. In the end the First Crusade was a success. Christian forces took control of Jerusalem on 15 July 1099 AD. Around 60,000 soldiers and at least half again as many (90,000 or more) non-combatants were involved in the First Crusade. The First Crusade was launched in 1095 AD. After campaigns in Asia Minor and the Middle East, great cities such as Nicaea and Antioch were recaptured. Following thereafter was the primary objective, the recapture of Jerusalem itself. Many more crusades would follow the first. The objectives would widen, as would the field of conflict. Ultimately even the Byzantine capital of Constantinople would come under attack in subsequent campaigns. The causes of the First Crusade include first and most important was the rise of the Muslim Seljuks. The Seljuks were a Turkish tribe of the steppe. The Seljuks won significant victories in Asia Minor against Byzantine armies. These included most notably at the Battle of Manzikert in ancient Armenia in August of 1071 AD. As a consequence the Seljuks gained control of such great cities as Edessa and Antioch. In around 1078 AD the Seljuks created the Sultanate of Rum. Their capital city was at Nicaea in Bithynia in northwest Asia Minor. By 1087AD the Seljuks had taken control of Jerusalem. The Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos who ruled from 1081 through 1118 AD realized the Seljuk expansion into the Holy Land was a chance for him to enlist the help of western armies in his battle to control Asia Minor. Consequently Alexios appealed to the west for soldiers in March 1095. The appeal was sent to Urban II who was Pope from 1088-1099. Pope Urban II proved remarkably responsive, and rallied thousands of equally enthusiastic European knights. For his part the Pope realized that a crusade would increase the prestige of the papacy as it led a combined western army. It would enable the Papacy to reassert and consolidate its power within Italy. Pope Urban II had already sent troops to help the Byzantines in 1091 AD. This action was against the Pecheneg steppe nomads who were invading the northern Danube area of the Byzantine Empire. The Pope was favorably disposed to again lend the Byzantines assistance for various reasons. A crusade to bring the Holy Land back under Christian control was an end in itself. What better way to protect such important sites as the tomb of Jesus Christ and the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Christians living there or visiting on pilgrimage also required protection. In addition there were very useful considerations advocating renewed support for the Byzantine Empire. A crusade would increase the prestige of the Papacy. The Papacy would be leading a combined forces western army. The Papacy would also consolidate its position within Italy itself. The Papacy had faced serious threats from the Holy Roman Emperors in the previous century. These events had even forced the popes flee from and to relocate away from Rome. Pope Urban II also hoped to make himself head of a united Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) Christian church. This would elevate him above the Patriarch of Constantinople. The two churches had been split since 1054 over disagreements about doctrine and liturgical practices. Furthermore a campaign of violence could be justified by references to particular passages of the Bible. These Biblical passages could be used to emphasize that this was a fight not of aggression, but rather one of liberation. The Bible could be used to portray that the objectives of the Crusades were just and righteous. Thus on 27 November 1095 Pope Urban II called for a crusade in a speech during the Council of Clermont, France. The Pope's message became known to history as “the Indulgence”. It was aimed specifically at knights. The message was loud and clear. Those who defended Christendom would be embarking on a pilgrimage. All their sins would be washed away. Their souls would reap untold rewards in the next life. Thereafter the Pope embarked on a preaching tour in France during 1095 to 1096. His intent was recruit crusaders. In his tour his speeches/sermons were spiced up with exaggerated and fanciful tales. According to the Pope at that very moment Christian monuments were being defiled. Christian believers persecuted and tortured with impunity. Embassies (ambassadorial delegations) and letters were dispatched to all parts of Christendom. Major churches such as those at Limoges, Angers, and Tours acted as recruitment centers. Likewise many rural churches and especially the monasteries filled the same roles. The call to “take the cross” was an amazing success. To “take the cross” was a figurative description of the acts whereby people swore an oath to become a crusader. They then wore a cross on their shoulder to proclaim their obligation Across Europe warriors were stirred by notions of religious fervor, personal salvation, pilgrimage, adventure and a desire for material wealth. They gathered throughout 1096 AD, ready to embark for Jerusalem. The departure date was set for 15 August of that year. Around 60,000 crusaders including some 6,000 knights, would be involved in the first waves. At that point in time the nobles and knights of Western Europe were not interested in merely harassing an enemy and carrying off portable riches, spoils of conquest. They were in the Levant to bring about permanent (re)conquest of the Holy Land. The Seljuk Muslims had taken control of most of Asia Minor and northern Syria in the latter decades of the 11th century AD. The Seljuks were suffering their own particular problems even before the crusaders arrived. The Seljuks were locked in conflict with their bitter rivals, the Shiite Fatimids. The Fatimids were based in Egypt. It was from the Shiite Fatimids that the Sunni Seljuks had wrestled Jerusalem. However a serious blow to Seljuk ambitions came with the death of the powerful Seljuk Sultan Malikshah in 1092 AD. His death produced a scramble for power on the part of various local lords. None gained absolute supremacy. Furthermore the Seljuk base was in Baghdad. This was a long way removed from the battles which would occur throughout the First Crusade. Thus there was little centralized support for or management of the war. In fact the Shiite Muslims managed to recapture control of Jerusalem from the Seljuks just a few months before the Crusaders arrived on the scene. Both groups of Muslims were most likely completely unaware of the religious nature of the Crusader's quest and that they were any different from usual Byzantine raiding parties. However the Crusaders were not present merely to raid for booty. They were in the Levant for permanent conquest. Ironically despite the Pope's deliberate intentions to appeal specifically to knights a whole lot of other people were bitten by the crusading bug. The Byzantine Emperor has specifically asked for an army composed of knights to reinforce Byzantine forces. The first major group of Crusaders to arrive was what became known to history as the “People's Army”. This was a mixed group of poor and petty knights. They were led by the preacher “Peter the Hermit” and the knight “Walter the Penniless” (aka “Sansavoir”). Ill-equipped and by necessity driven to foraging as they crossed Europe, the “People's Army” made few friends along the way. The preacher “Peter the Hermit” had earlier been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In that earlier pilgrimage he had been captured by Muslims and tortured. The “People's Army” was now his chance for revenge. Meanwhile a second group of crusaders, equally humble and ill-disciplined, made its way down the Rhine. Led by Count Emicho of Leningen, the group infamously turned their religious hatred onto Jews in Speyer, Mainz, Trier, and Cologne. Both groups of crusaders were sometimes collectively referred to as the 'People's Crusade'. This was a misnomer as the group actually did contain a significant number of knights. They arrived in Constantinople in the early summer of 1096. Their aim was to move from Constantinople on to Jerusalem to remove the Seljuks. These first-comers were described by Anna Komnena, historian and daughter of the Byzantine emperor, who lived from 1083 to 1153 AD, in her Alexiad: “...those Frankish soldiers were accompanied by an unarmed host more numerous than the sand or the stars, carrying palms and crosses on their shoulders. (These included) women and children, too, come away from their countries...” This host was promptly shipped by Alexios to Asia Minor. There the “People's Crusade”, ignoring Byzantine advice and stratagems, were ambushed and wiped out. This occurred at the hands of a Seljuk army led by Kilij Arslan I, near Nicaea, on 21 October 1096. This was not what the Byzantine Emperor Alexios or Pope Urban II had had in mind when they started off the crusade movement. The second wave of crusaders was composed of more gentlemanly knights and professional warriors. They arrived in Constantinople in the autumn and winter of 1096. The second batch was not much of an improvement as far as the Byzantine emperor was concerned. It included amongst its leaders an old enemy, the Norman Bohemund of Taranto. He and his father, Robert Guiscard (the “Crafty”), the Duke of Apulia, had attacked Byzantine Greece between 1081 and 1084 AD. In 1097 Bohemund and his knights arrived in Constantinople. Initially things went well. The Norman Bohemund swore allegiance to the emperor alongside other Crusader leaders. These other Crusader leaders include Godfrey of Bouillon, the Duke of Lower Lorraine, and Raymond IV (aka Raymond de Saint-Gilles), Count of Toulouse. There were many more nobles besides. Each commanded their own contingent of knights. Even without considering the practical problems of language barriers, it was a minor miracle the force achieved anything at all. Their success would surprise everyone. The Crusaders progress crossing through Europe and the Byzantine Empire had been accompanied by rape and pillage. This was perpetrated by the less pious members of the western armies. Nonetheless the Byzantine Emperor treated the Crusaders evenly and aptly utilized their forces. The Normans were keen to defeat the Seljuks and establish some new kingdoms of their own. Alexios may well have gone along with this plan as such kingdoms might prove a useful buffer on the Byzantine Empire's border. Together with a mixed force of crusaders Alexios' army was commanded by the Byzantine general Tatikios. Together the Byzantine and Crusader forces managed to recapture Nicaea in June 1097. In reality the Seljuks had quit the city preferring to fight elsewhere at a time and location of their choosing. The combined Byzantine and Crusader forces next swept over the Anatolian plain and won a great victory at Dorylaion on 1 July 1097. The crusader-Byzantine army then split up in September 1097. One army moved on to Edessa further to the east and another into Cilicia to the south-east. The main body headed for Antioch in Syria, the key to the Euphrates frontier. The great city of Antioch was one of the five patriarchal seats of the Christian church. Antioch was once home to Saint Paul and Peter. It was also the probable birthplace of Saint Luke. It would be a fine propaganda coup to get it back again. Although well-fortified and too big to fully encircle, Antioch was indeed the next big crusader victory. The city was captured on 3 June 1098 after an arduous 8-month siege. During the siege the attackers themselves were in turn besieged by a reinforcing Muslim force from Mosul. Aside from their losses in action, the Crusaders also suffered from plague, famine, and desertions. The Byzantine Emperor Alexios had been on his way to support the Crusader siege of Antioch. However enroute Alexios had met refugees from the area who wrongly informed him that the Crusaders were on the brink of defeat at the hands of a huge Muslim army. Rather than continue on to Antioch to support and/or rescue the Norman Crusader forces, the emperor returned home. Bohemund the Norman Crusader was not pleased to find out that his embattled forces had been abandoned by the Byzantines. Bohemund had indeed managed to capture Antioch and defeat a Muslim relief force. But the fact the Byzantine army led by Emperor Alexios abandoned him soured the Norman on the treaty. The Norman decided to renege on his vow to return all captured territory to the Byzantine Emperor. He kept the city of Antioch for himself. The relations were thus irrevocably soured between the two leaders. In December 1098 the crusader army marched onward to Jerusalem capturing several Syrian port cities on their way. They arrived at Jerusalem on 7 June 1099. Of the vast army that had left Europe there were now only around 1,300 knights and some 12,500 infantry. It was the task of this much diminished force to achieve what was supposed to be the primary goal of the Crusade, the retaking of Jerusalem. Protected by massive walls and a combination of moat and precipices, Jerusalem was going to be a tough military objective to take. Fortunately a number of Genoese ships arrived at just the right moment with timber. The timber was utilized to build two siege towers, catapults, and a battering ram. Despite these weapons the defenders resisted the siege. The Muslim garrison did prove remarkably reluctant to break out and make raids on the besiegers. Perhaps they were content to simply hold out and await the promised relief from Egypt. In mid-July Godfrey of Bouillon decided to attack what he thought looked like a weaker section of the wall. The Crusader force set up their siege tower under the cover of darkness and filled a portion of the moat. The Crusaders thus managed to get in touching distance of the walls. With Godfrey leading from the front the attackers scaled the defenses and found themselves inside the city on 15 July 1099. A mass slaughter of Muslims and Jews followed. Some historical estimates of 10,000 or even 75,000 killed are very likely an exaggeration. A contemporary Muslim source (Ibn al-Arabi) puts the figure at 3,000 of the city's probable 30,000 residents. Within a month a large Egyptian army arrived to take back the city. However this force was defeated at Ascalon. For the time being at least Jerusalem was back in Christian hands. Godfrey of Bouillon was the hero of the siege. He was made the king of Jerusalem. Back in Italy Pope Urban II had died on 29 July 1099 without knowing the success of his crusade. For many historians the Battle of Ascalon marks the end of the First Crusade. Having accomplished their mission many crusaders now returned to Europe. Some returned with riches, a few with holy relics. However most returned home to Europe with scant rewards and rather worse for wear after years of hard battles. A fresh wave of crusaders arrived in Constantinople in 1100 AD. These were organized by Raymond of Toulouse. On 17 May 1101 they captured Caesarea. On 26 May Acre fell to the forces as well. Ominously however for future crusades the Muslims were becoming more familiar with western battle tactics and weapons. In September 1101 a crusader army of Lombard, French, and German knights was defeated by the Seljuks. From that point onward things were only going to get more difficult for western armies over the next two centuries of warfare. To ensure Jerusalem stayed in Christian hands it was necessary that various western settlements were established. These are generally referred to as the Latin East. Meanwhile the Byzantine Emperor Alexios had not relinquished his ambitions toward Antioch. Alexios sent a force to attack the city with the hope of capturing it, or at the very least isolating it from the surrounding Crusader-held territories. Bohemund had left the Holy Land. Back in Italy he convinced Pope Paschall II (who reigned from 1060 to 1118 AD) and the French king Philip I (who reigned from 1060 to 1108 AD) that the real threat to the Christian world was the Byzantines. Their treacherous emperor and wayward church had to be eliminated. So an invasion of Byzantium was launched in 1107 AD against Albania. It failed largely because Alexios mobilized his best forces to meet them. The Pope then abandoned his support of the campaign. As a result Bohemund was forced to accept a subservient role to the Byzantine emperor. Bohemund was allowed to continue his rule of Antioch, but only in Alexios' name and under his authority. Thus the pattern was set for a carving up of captured Holy Land territories. The First Crusade had been quite successful in achieving the goal of recapturing Jerusalem. However to ensure the Holy City stayed in Christian hands it was necessary that various western settlements were established in the Levant. These were collectively known as the Crusader States, the Latin East or “Outremer”. Orders of knights were created to defend these Crusader territories. Clearly a steady supply of new crusaders would be needed in the coming decades. A wave of new taxes be necessary to fund them. Initially there were Crusader massacres of local populations. However the Crusaders soon realized that to hold on to their gains they needed the support of the extraordinarily diverse local populations. Consequently there grew a toleration of non-Christian religions, albeit with some restrictions. Despite the continued recruitment drive in Europe and attempts to create permanent 'colonies' and kingdoms, it proved impossible to hold on to the gains of the First Crusade. Jerusalem fell to the Muslims again in 1187 AD. More campaigns were required to recapture Jerusalem as well as other such cities as Edessa. There would be eight official crusades and several other unofficial ones throughout the 12th and 13th centuries. All of these Crusades met with more failure than success. There were unforeseen or negative consequences to the First Crusade. Most significant of these was the complete rupture in western-Byzantine relations. This was accompanied by the Byzantine horror at unruly groups of warriors causing havoc in their territory. Outbreaks of fighting between crusaders and Byzantine forces were common. The mutual mistrust and suspicion of each others intentions grew. It was a troublesome relationship that only got worse. The ill wills and mutual distrust between east and west would rumble on and culminate in the Crusader's sack of Constantinople in 1204. Crusader groups took the opportunity of Christian fervor to attack minority groups. These Crusader groups were usually not knights but rather the urban poor. Their targets included particularly the Jews in northern France and the Rhineland. The crusading movement also spread to Spain. There during the second and third decades of the 12th century attacks were made against the Moors. Prussia, the Baltic, North Africa, and Poland, amongst many other places, would also witness crusading armies up through the 16th century. Despite the dubious military successes during these centuries the crusading ideal continued to appeal to leaders, soldiers, and ordinary people in the west. The targets of these various Crusades widened to include not only Muslims but also pagans, schismatics, and heretics [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Second Crusade: The Second Crusade ran from 1147 through 1149 AD. It was a military campaign organized by the Pope and European nobles. The objective of the Second Crusade was to recapture the city of Edessa in Mesopotamia. Edessa had fallen in 1144 AD to Muslim Seljuk Turks. Despite an army of 60,000 and the presence of two western kings, the crusade was not successful in the Levant and caused further tension between the Byzantine Empire and the west. The Second Crusade also included significant campaigns in the Iberian peninsula and the Baltic against the Muslim Moors and pagan Europeans respectively. Both secondary campaigns were largely successful but the main objective, to free the Latin East from the threat of Muslim occupation, would remain unfulfilled, and so further crusades over the next two centuries would be called, all with only marginal successes. Located on the edge of the desert of Syria in Upper Mesopotamia Edessa was an important commercial and cultural center. The city had been in Christian hands since the First Crusade of 1095 to 1102 AD. However Edessa fell to Imad ad-Din Zangi on 24 December 1144 AD. He was the Muslim independent ruler of Mosul (in Iraq) and Aleppo (in Syria) from 1127 through 1146 AD. The Muslims described with capture of Edessa as "the victory of victories". Christians of the West were killed or sold into slavery. Eastern Christians were permitted to remain. A response was called for. The Christians of Edessa had appealed for help. A response was required which envisioned the rather broad aspiration of a general defense of the Latin East, as the Crusader states in the Middle East were collectively known. Pope Eugenius III who ruled from 1145 through 1153 AD formally called for a crusade on 1 December 1145 AD. That crusade became known to history as the “Second Crusade”. The goals of the campaign were announced but were somewhat vague. Neither Edessa nor the Muslim leader Zangi were specifically mentioned. Rather the Second Crusade was initiated as a broad appeal to re-achieve the accomplishments of the First Crusade. Christians and holy relics in the Levant were to be protected. This lack of a precise aim would have repercussions later in the Crusaders' choice of military targets. To boost the Crusade's appeal Christians who joined were promised a remission of their sins. This promise even if they never reached the Levant merely died on the journey thereto. In addition Crusaders were promised that their property and families would be protected while they were away. Such trivial matters as interest on loans would be suspended or canceled as well. The appeal was backed by recruitment tours across Europe. Most notable of these was by Bernard, the abbot of Clairvaux. This was accompanied by the widespread public reading of a letter from the Pope which was called the Quantum praedecessores after the first two words therein. The combined appeal was hugely successful. In the end 60,000 Crusaders made ready for departure. The Crusade was led by two European kings. The first of these was the German King Conrad III, who ruled from 1138 through 1152 AD. Conrad was joined by the French King Louis VII, who ruled from 1137 through 1180 AD. It was the first time that kings had personally led a crusader force. In the early summer of 1147 AD the army marched across Europe to Constantinople. From there they journeyed to the Levant. There the French and German troops were joined by Italians, northern Europeans, and more French crusaders who had sailed rather than traveled by land. The Crusaders were reminded of the urgency of a military response by the actions of the Muslim leader Nur ad-Din. Also spelled Nur al-Din, he ruled from 1146-1174 AD. Al-Din was the successor to Zangi after the latter's death in September 1146 CE. Al-Din had defeated the Latin leader Joscelin II's attempt to retake Edessa. Once again Edessa was sacked to celebrate Nur ad-Din's achievement in rebuffing the attack. All the Christian male citizens of the city were slaughtered,. The women and children were sold into slavery, just as had been the fate of the Western Christians two years before. Aside from the recapture of Edessa the Second Crusade had additional objectives in Iberia and the Baltic. Both campaigns enjoyed Papal backing. The crusaders who were to sail to the east were used in the interim in Iberia. It was necessary to delay their departure for the Levant in order allow the land armies the time necessary for their much slower transit to the Levant. The sea route was much quicker and so it was advantageous to put them to good use in Iberia in the meantime. A fleet of some 160-200 Genoese ships packed with crusaders sailed for Lisbon. They were to assist King Alfonso Henriques of Portugal, ruler of Portugal from 1139 to 1185 AD. The goal was to capture Lisbon from the Muslims. Upon their arrival a textbook siege began on 28 June 1147 AD. The siege was ultimately successful. Lisbon fell on 24 October 1147 AD. Some crusaders went on to successfully continued the war against the Muslims in Iberia. This effort was guided by King Alfonso VII of León and Castille, who ruled from 1126 through 1157 AD. The the campaign became known to history as “the Reconquista”. The most notable achievements of the Reconquista included the recapture of Almeria in northern Spain on 17 October 1147 AD and the recapture of Tortosa in eastern Spain on 30 December 1148 AD. A further attack attempting to recapture Jaén in southern Spain was however a failure. Another arena for the Crusades was the Baltic and those areas bordering German territories which continued to be pagan. The Northern Crusades campaign was conducted by Saxons led by German and Danish nobles. The Northern Crusades were directed against the pagan Wends, and constituted a new facet to the Crusader movement. This new feature involved the active conversion of non-Christians, as opposed to liberating territory held by infidels. Between June and September of 1147 AD Dobin and Malchow (both in modern northeast Germany) were successfully attacked. However overall the campaign generally met with little more success than the customary annual raiding parties sent into the area. The Baltic would continue to be an arena for Crusades in the following centuries. This was especially prominent with the arrival of the Teutonic Knights from the 13th century AD onward. The Byzantine emperor at the time of the Second Crusade was Manuel I Komnenos, who ruled from 1143 through 1180 AD. Unlike his predecessors Manuel seemed greatly attracted to the west. He favored the presence of Latins in Constantinople, dispensing civil awards and military titles in their direction. Generally however ever since the First Crusade there was a deep mutual reciprocal suspicion on both sides. Manuel's primary concern was that in reality the Crusaders were really only after the choice parts of the Byzantine Empire. This seemed especially so now that Jerusalem was in Christian hands. It was for this reason that Manuel insisted that upon their arrival in September and October 1147 AD the leaders of the Crusade swear allegiance to him. At the same time the Crusader powers considered the Byzantines rather too preoccupied with their own affairs. The Crusaders perceived the Byzantines unhelpful and unappreciative of the noble ambitions and opportunities the Crusaders perceived a crusade to represent. The Byzantines had been attacking Crusader-held Antioch. The old divisions between the eastern and western churches had not healed either. It was significant that despite diplomatic efforts between the Crusaders and Byzantines, the Byzantine Emperor Manuel strengthened the fortifications of Constantinople. In more practical terms the Crusader campaigns seemed to typically attract a rabble of zealots and men of dubious background. Theoretically this Crusader rabble was seeking absolution for their sins. Nonetheless as they crossed Byzantine territory on their way to the Levant they soon were engaged in pillaging, looting, and raping. The looting and pillaging was despite Manuel's insistence of the Crusader leaders that all food and supplies were to be paid for. Not simply seized. Manuel even went so far as to provide a military escort to see the Crusaders on their way through Byzantine lands as quickly as possible. However fighting between the two armed groups was not infrequent. Adrianople in Thrace suffered particularly badly. The French and German contingents of the Second Crusade arrived at the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 1147 AD. The situation worsened even moreso than before. Always suspicious of the Eastern Church, the Crusaders were now outraged to discover Manuel had signed a truce with the Turks. From the Byzantine perspective the Turks were perceived as less of a short-term threat tom Byzantium than the Crusaders. The French contingent of the Crusader army wanted to storm Constantinople itself. The German crusaders had their own problems as a large portion of their army had been wiped out by a terrible flash flood. Eventually the Crusaders were persuaded to hurry on their way east. This was prompted by reports of a large Muslim army preparing to block their path in Asia Minor. There they ignored Manuel's advice to stick to the safety of the coast and so met with disaster. The German army led by Conrad III was the first to suffer disaster due to a lack of planning and not heeding local advice. Unprepared for the harsh semi-arid steppe, the Crusaders lacked food supplies. Conrad had also seriously underestimated the time needed to reach his objective. At Dorylaion a force of Muslim Seljuk Turks composed primarily of archers wreaked havoc upon the slow-moving westerners. On 25 October 1147 AD the Seljuks forced the Crusaders to retreat to Nicaea. Conrad himself was wounded but did eventually make it back to Constantinople. Leading the French contingent Louis VII was shocked to hear of the Germans' failure. However his forces pressed on and utilizing his superior cavalry managed to defeat a Seljuk army in December 1147 AD. The French success was short-lived though. On 7 January 1148 the French were beaten badly in battle as they crossed the Cadmus Mountains. The Crusader army had become too stretched out. Some units had lost contact with each other and the Seljuks took full advantage. What remained of the westerner forces was commanded by a group of Knights Templar. There were a few minor victories as the Crusaders made their way to the southern coast of Asia Minor. However in general it was a disastrous opening to a campaign which had not even reached its target of northern Syria. Louis VII and his ravaged army were finally to arrive at Antioch in March 1148. From Antioch Louis ignored Raymond of Antioch's proposal to fight in northern Syria. Instead he marched his forces to the south. If rumors of the time were true lack of cooperation between the two rulers may have been due to Louis' discovery that his young wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and Raymond (Eleanor's uncle) had been carrying on an affair under his nose. In any case a council of western leaders was convened at Acre. The target of the Crusade was now selected. It would not be the already destroyed Edessa, but rather Muslim-held Damascus. Damascus was threat in closest proximity to Jerusalem and constituted a prestigious prize. Damascus had once been in alliance with the Crusader-led Kingdom of Jerusalem. However the shifting loyalties between the various Muslim states meant this fact held no guarantee for the future. The failures of the Second Crusade were now putting the already legendary successes of the First Crusade into some perspective. The Second Crusade did not compare favorably. The Crusaders were faced with the necessity to take at least one major city or go home as complete failures. Damascus was as good a choice as any for the Crusaders. The situation was made more urgent as there was now a very real prospect that the Muslims of Damascus would join up with those of Aleppo. The forces in Aleppo were under the command of Edessa's ambitious conqueror, Nur ad-Din. The Crusader army arrived at Damascus on 24 July 1148 AD and immediately began a siege. However after only four days the difficulties presented by the Damascus defenders and the serious lack of water for the attackers meant the siege had to be abandoned. Once again bad planning and poor logistics were to prove the Crusaders' undoing. The fighting around the city had been ferocious with heavy casualties on both sides. However the Crusaders had failed to achieve any significant advance. The failures of the Second Crusade now were in sharp contrast to the already legendary successes of the First Crusade. The collapse of the siege after such a short time led some to suspect the defenders had bribed the Christian residents into inaction. The leader of the German forces, Conrad III, was particularly suspicious. Other Crusaders suspected Byzantine interference. In reality perhaps overlooked perhaps was the zeal of the defenders to keep their prized possession. The city possessed many links to Islamic tradition. The spirit of the defenders was also bolstered by the arrival 150 kilometers away of a large Muslim relief army sent by Nur ad-Din. The Crusader leaders may have preferred the option of retreat to fight another day. They were possessed of limited numbers and supplies. They were facing a short time limit to capture the city. This had to be achieved before the Muslim relief force arrived and threatened the Crusader's own poor defensive capabilities. Thus the fighting came to an end as the German leader Conrad III returned to Europe in September 1148 AD. His departure was followed by the departure of the French leader Louis. After a sightseeing tour of the Holy Land Louise returned to Europe six months after Conrad's return. Thus despite so much early promise had disappointingly fizzled out like a water-damaged firework. The Second Crusade turned out to be a serious blow to Byzantium's carefully constructed diplomatic alliances. This was especially so with regards to the Byzantine alliance with the German Conrad III against the Normans. The Crusade and attendant absence of Conrad from Europe provided a distraction. This distraction provided a window of opportunity for the Norman king Roger II of Sicily, who ruled from 1130 to 1154 AD. Roger found himself unrestrained with the absence of Conrad from Europe. Roger was free to attack and pillage Kerkyra (Corfu), Euboea, Corinth, and Thebes in 1147 AD. The Byzantine King Manuel attempted to persuade France's Louis VII to side with him against Roger. However Manuel's efforts to so persuade Louis failed. Much to the embarrassment of Byzantium in 1149 AD they were faced with a Serbian uprising. This was accompanied by an attack on the area around Constantinople by George of Antioch's fleet. The Byzantines did manage to recapture Kerkyra. However once again a crusade had damaged east-west relations. Meanwhile as the Crusaders no doubt had feared Nur ad-Din, continued to consolidate his empire. He took Antioch on 29 June 1149 AD after the battle of Inab. Nur ad-Din beheaded its ruler Raymond of Antioch. Raymond the Count of Edessa was captured and imprisoned. The Latin state of Edessa was completely over-run and eliminated by 1150 AD. Nur ad-Din next took over Damascus in 1154 AD. He thus united Muslim Syria. Manuel would strike back with successful campaigns there from 1158 to 1176 AD. Nonetheless the signs were ominous that the Muslims would pose a permanent threat to the Byzantines and Latin East. Nur ad-Din's general Shirkuh conquered Egypt in 1168 AD. With that the way was paved for an even greater threat to Christendom. This came in the form of the great Muslim leader Saladin, Sultan of Egypt, who ruled from 1169 through 1193 AD. Saladin's victory at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 AD, in which he retook Jerusalem, would spark off the Third Crusade, which would run from 1189 through 1192 AD [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Third Crusade: The Third Crusade was launched to retake Jerusalem after its fall to the Muslim leader Saladin in 1187 AD. The Third Crusade ran from 1189 through 1192 AD. It was led by three European monarchs. It hence also became known as 'the Kings' Crusade'. The three leaders of the Third Crusade included Frederick I Barbarossa, King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor who ruled from 1152 through 1190 AD. Also included was Philip II of France, who ruled from 1180 through 1223 AD. Last was Richard I 'the Lionhearted' of England, who ruled from 1189 through 1199 AD). Despite the impressive pedigree of its leadership, the Third Crusade was a failure. The Holy City of Jerusalem was never even assaulted. There were some victories along the way. Most notable was the capture of Acre and the Battle of Arsuf. However the Third Crusade was destined to fizzle out with a whimper. It collapsed because by the time they arrived at Jerusalem the leaders of the Third Crusade found themselves without sufficient men or resources to resist the still intact armies of Saladin. A compromise was negotiated with access for pilgrims to Jerusalem permitted and a Christian foothold maintained in the Middle East. However anything beyond that negotiated settlement would have to wait for yet another attempt to take the Holy City. In short order the retaking of Jerusalem would become the original objective of the Fourth Crusade of 1202-1204 AD. The preceding Second Crusade had run from 1147 through 1149 AD. It had effectively come to an end with the complete failure to take Damascus in Syria in 1148 AD. It was then that the various Muslim states in the Middle East realized that the once-feared western knights could be defeated. It was with that realization that the precarious existence of the Crusader-held territories, the Latin East, was starkly highlighted. All that was needed now was a unification of Muslim forces. This was provided by one of the greatest of all medieval rulers. This was on the person of Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt and Syria, who ruled from 1174 through 1193 AD. Saladin was the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt. Saladin had taken control of Damascus in 1174 and Aleppo in 1183 AD. Saladin then shocked the world by defeating the army of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and its Latin allies at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 AD. Saladin thus was able to take control of such cities as Acre, Tiberias, Caesarea, Nazareth, Jaffa. Saladin even conquered the holiest of holies itself, Jerusalem. Saladin was remarkably lenient with his Christian captives. This was in contrast to the butchery which accompanied the First Crusade almost a century earlier (1095 to 1102 AD) after the recapture of Jerusalem. Saladin “beneficently” accepted ransoms from those Latin Christians who could afford to buy their freedom. Those Latin Christians who could not afford to purchase their freedom were enslaved. Eastern Christians were permitted to remain in Jerusalem as a protected minority group. The Latin East had all but collapsed. Only Tyre remained in Christian hands under the command of Conrad of Montferrat. Small as that remaining toehold was, it would prove a useful foothold to launch the forthcoming Third Crusade. In 1187 AD Pope Gregory VIII called for yet another Crusade to win back Jerusalem and recover such lost holy relics as the True Cross. Pope Gregory VIII only reigned for a few months in 1187 but in October he made a lasting impact on history by calling for the Third Crusade. Nothing less than a repeat of the remarkable feat of the First Crusade would do. As described herein above, no fewer than three monarchs took up the Pope's challenge. These were the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I Barbarossa, King of Germany; Philip II of France; and Richard I of England. With these being the three most powerful men in Western Europe, the campaign promised much. Frederick I Barbarossa was the first king to mobilize. He traveled with his army by land through Thrace in the spring of 1190 AD. The Byzantine Emperor at the time was Isaac II Angelos, who ruled from 1185-1195 AD. Isaac was understandably wary of this western army passing through his territory. On the other hand the Crusaders were deeply suspicious of Isaac's new alliance with Saladin. This suspicion was at least part based in reality as Isaac did try to impede the Crusaders' progress towards the Middle East. When Frederick occupied Adrianople in Thrace the Byzantines became more helpful to their fellow Christians. However the Byzantine Emperor was no doubt relieved once the Germans had passed on into Anatolia. Disaster struck for the Crusaders on 10 June 1190. The Holy Roman Emperor drowned in an accident while still on the way to the Holy Land. Conflicting historical accounts have him falling from his horse into, or alternatively suffering a heart attack while swimming in the River Saleph in southern Cilicia. Frederick's death was then shortly followed by a calamitous outbreak of dysentery. This resulted in most of his army being eliminated or deciding to trudge back home in grief. The Crusade would have to rely on the English and French armies. The French and English were in the most optimistic assessment temporary allies who were not very fond of each other at the best of times. Although a few German troops made it to Acre in the Middle East, the loss of Frederick's authority and experience would prove to be significant for the Crusade as a whole. Meanwhile England's Richard I took the sea route to the Middle East. Meticulous as ever the experienced campaigner had swung his entire kingdom's resources towards the campaign. Richard amassed a fleet of 100 ships and 60,000 horses. On his way Richard captured Messina on Sicily in 1190 AD. When Richard's army assembled for the first time on the island in April 1191 AD there were 17,000 soldiers ready for action. The English king knew full well that the make-or-break factor for any campaign was logistics. Richard thus set about ensuring he had a good line of supply by next capturing Cyprus. Officially still a Byzantine territory the island of Cyprus by then had a rebel leader, Isaac Komnenos. Komnenos had proclaimed himself the independent ruler of Cyprus. Richard's forces proved unstoppable. With the rather tame excuse that the locals had not treated some shipwrecked Crusaders very kindly, Cyprus was taken in May 1191 AD. The island's inhabitants were forced to pay a 50% tax on all possessions to further boost the Crusader king's campaign coffers. The Crusaders subsequently used Cyprus as a supply base for armies on their way to the Middle East. The Crusaders governed Cyprus until the Venetians took over in 1571 AD. Meanwhile in France Philip II had amassed his army of 650 knights, 1,300 squires, and an even larger number of infantry. This army also sailed to the Levant. The transport was aboard to Genoese ships who would take the French force to Acre. The Third Crusade was certainly developing into a truly pan-European military escapade. The first major battle of the campaign was at Acre itself. Acre was on the coast of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The city had already been under siege for some time by an army led by the French nobleman Guy of Lusignan. Lusignan was the titular king of what remained of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Guy ruled from 1186 through 1192 AD. However his siege was struggling as he now faced an army sent by Saladin to relieve the city. Fortunately for the Latin ruler several Crusader armies shortly arrived in support. There were the remains of Frederick's army, a German contingent led by Duke Leopold of Austria which had traveled by sea. There was a French force led by Henry of Champagne. And there were also armies of England's Richard I and France's Philip II. By early June of 1191 AD all of the Crusader forces were in place and ready to take the city of Acre. A heavy and sustained bombardment using catapults was launched but the protracted siege. However the siege was only successful when finally sappers were offered cash incentives by England's King Richard. The sappers then successfully undermined the fortification walls of the city on the land side. The English king's siege engines and reputation were additional factors in the victory. Finally divisions within Saladin's own army also played a role. Richard was by then known as the 'Lionhearted' thanks to his courage and audacity in warfare. Richard achieved in five weeks what Guy had failed to do in twenty weeks. The city was finally captured on 12 July 1191 AD. The capture of the city significantly included 70 ships, the bulk of Saladin's navy. According to legend Richard had been ill at the time. He was perhaps struck down by scurvy. So Richard had retainers carry him on a stretcher enabling him to fire at the enemy battlements with his crossbow. Richard then rather blemished his 'good king' reputation when he ordered 2,500 prisoners to be executed. This was the English king's response to a delay in paying the agreed ransom for the prisoners. Richard felt that the ransom delay merited a firm riposte. In any event to have released the captive defenders would only have meant they sooner or later would rejoin the enemy army. Meanwhile Guy of Lusignan was made the new king of Cyprus. Cyprus had been sold by Richard to the Knights Templar, raising more cash for “the cause”. Unfortunately back in the Levant the French King Philip was obliged to return home in August 1191 AD. His return was due to political problems in Flanders which threatened his throne. From the original three kings the Crusader army now had only one. Of course Richard I 'the lion-hearted' was probably the greatest general of his generation. Thus, from the original three kings, the Crusader army now had only one. Still, Richard was probably the greatest general of his generation. Despite some setbacks the Third Crusade was off to a fine start. The Crusader army next set its sights on Jaffa. Jaffa was a vital port city which supplied Jerusalem. On the way there the marching Crusader army is subjected to a few days of ineffective harassing tactics by Saladin's forces. However after a few days Saladin decided that rather than brief skirmishes the best way to deal with the invaders was a full-on field engagement. On 7 September 1191 AD on the plain of Arsuf the two armies clashed in a running battle. The Crusaders were very careful to follow the coast and so leave only one flank of their column exposed. The Muslim mounted and infantry archers, as well as infantry lance-bearers, attacked the marching Crusader infantry. As usual the Crusader infantry formed a protective block around the heavy cavalry units. After skirmishes for most of the day, the westerner's heavy cavalry was unleashed to devastating effect. It's likely the initial charge by the Knights Hospitaller heavy cavalry was perhaps an unauthorized one by. The Crusaders won the battle but the Muslim losses were not substantial as the charge had left Saladin with no choice other than withdrawing to the relative safety of the forest bordering the plain. The Crusaders then marched on to Jaffa to rest and regroup. England's King Richard preferred to first secure Egypt and so isolate the enemy's logistical base. However most of the Crusaders were intent on striking straight for Jerusalem. Jerusalem was after all the original goal of the Crusade. The English king bowed to popular demand and moved on the Holy City. However he made his move in the form of a cautious advance. Enroute strategically important castles protecting the army's supply lines were captured and fortified. Consequently by January 1192 AD the Crusader army had still not reached its goal of Jerusalem. The wet weather was not speeding up the advance. Still 19 kilometers (12 miles) from their ultimate goal and with their supply lines precarious, a fateful decision was made. Richard had marched to within sight of Jerusalem. However he knew that even if he could storm the city's formidable fortifications, his army had been so been greatly reduced by the various battles over the past two years. Richard knew that he would most likely not be able to hold Jerusalem against an inevitable counterattack. It was a decision supported by the commanders of both of the army's two most experienced fighting units: the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller. Now more than ever the loss of Frederick's German army was most keenly felt. Another march was made on Jerusalem the following year. As before however it stopped short of the objective. Crusader leaders once again decided they might be able to take the city after a long siege as they had at Acre. However they felt they would almost certainly be unable to stave off a counterattack from Saladin. Saladin meanwhile decided to attack Jaffa. Jaffa fell to Saladin's Muslim army July 1192 AD. Situated at Acre, Richard sailed and arrived at Jaffa on 1 August determined to get the city back again. Leading from the front the “Lionhearted” achieved his goal against improbable odds. Nonetheless in terms of the bigger picture not much had changed. The Muslims still controlled Jerusalem and Saladin still had his army intact. The struggle between the Crusader and Muslims was something of a stalemate. As had been the case with Phillip in France, domestic affairs in England necessitated Richard's prompt return home. His return to England in October 1192 AD was necessary to safeguard his throne. The whole Crusade project was effectively abandoned. No Crusader army would ever get as close to Jerusalem again. Richard did manage to salvage something for all the effort. He negotiated a peace deal with Saladin at Jaffa. The Crusader-held fortress of Ascalon had to be given up and dismantled. A small strip of land around Acre was to be kept by the Crusaders. The future safe treatment of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land was also made a part of the bargain. The outcome and peace settlement bargained for was not quite what the supporters of the Third Crusade had at outset hoped for. However there was the consolation that there could always be a Fourth Crusade at some point in the future. Indeed Richard noted that in any future campaign against the Arabs it would be advantageous to attack from Egypt. Egypt was in essence the weak underbelly of their empire. It was precisely this plan which the Fourth Crusaders adopted, even if they again were distracted from their original objective. The distraction of the Fourth Crusade, which would run from 1202-1204 AD, would this time be the jewel of Byzantium, Constantinople itself [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Fourth Crusade: The Fourth Crusade would run from 1202 through 1204 AD. It was called by Pope Innocent III, who reigned from 1198 through 1216 AD. Pope Innocent III called for the Fourth Crusade to retake Jerusalem from its current Muslim overlords. Instead however there occurred a bizarre combination of cock-ups, financial constraints, and Venetian trading ambitions. Ultimately the target ended up being Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople was the greatest Christian city in the world. Sacked by Crusaders on 12 April 1204 AD, Constantinople was stripped of its riches, relics, and artworks. The Byzantine Empire was divided up between Venice and its allies. The Fourth Crusade thereby gained its infamous reputation as the most cynical and profit-seeking of all the crusades. The Byzantines saw themselves as the defenders of Christendom. Byzantium was the beacon which shone out across the Mediterranean and central Asia. Byzantium was the rock which stood against the tide of Islam sweeping in from the east. In Constantinople it hosted the holiest city outside Jerusalem. The perspective of what had been the western half of the old Roman Empire was quite different. From this perspective the Byzantines were regarded as decadent, shifty, and untrustworthy. Even their religious practices were suspect. This essential division between the east and west had caused constant problems in all the previous crusades. It was to crop up again in the Fourth Crusade. There were many other sources of the division between Eastern and Western Christendom. There was the historical rivalry between popes and emperors. There was also the rising ambition of the West to wrest from Byzantium the remnants of its empire in Italy. This schism was intensified by the failures of the crusades in permanently securing the Holy Land for Christendom. Blame was apportioned to both opposing sides by the other for the lack of success. The Byzantines were considered to lack the will to fight the common Muslim enemy. From the Byzantine point of view the Crusaders were seen as opportunists out to grab the choicest parts of the Byzantine Empire. In a sense both sides were at least partially correct in their judgments of the other. The preceding Third Crusade had run from 1187 through 1192 AD. The Third Crusade had achieved some notable military successes. However it had failed completely in its original objective of recapturing Jerusalem from the Muslim Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Saladin the Great. Saladin had ruled from 1174 through 1193, but the celebrated Sultan was now dead. Nonetheless the Holy City of Jerusalem remained in Muslim hands. Obviously yet another crusade was required. The Fourth Crusade was thus called for by Pope Innocent III in August 1198 CE. As in prior Crusades the promise was made that those who went to the Holy Land and fought the infidels would receive a remission of their sins. However as an added incentive Pope Innocent III now extended the promise of this 'benefit' to those who gave the necessary money to fund a warrior to go in their stead. In October 1202 AD the Crusader army was finally ready to set sail from Venice to Egypt. As had been adjudged by England's King Richard “the Lionhearted” at the conclusion of the Third Crusade, Egypt was viewed as the soft underbelly of the enemy. The Pope's timing was not the best. This was especially true considering the Holy City had been in Muslim hands since 1187 AD. In the final years of the 12th century all four monarchs of Europe's most powerful kingdoms, England, France, Germany, and Spain, were busy with internal affairs. In the case of England and France they were also preoccupied by serious territorial squabbles with each other. Worse still in April 1199 AD the great Crusader king Richard I of England whom had ruled since 1189 died. King Richard had promised to return to the Holy Land and finish his undone work at the conclusions of the Third Crusade. Unfortunately King Richard instead died on campaign in France. Unlike the prior Third Crusade, then, the Fourth was not to be a “Kings' Crusade”. Still a goodly number of second-tier nobles were inspired to join up or 'take the cross', as it was known. This was especially evident with the number from northern France who joined the Fourth Crusade. There were the counts of Champagne and Blois, though the former would die before the expedition got underway. There was also Geoffrey of Villehardouin. Villehardouin would later write his “Conquest of Constantinople”, an important record of the Fourth Crusade. They were joined by Count Baldwin of Flanders, and Simon de Montfort. In August 1201 AD after the untimely death of Theobald of Champagne the leader of the expedition was selected. The choice was Marquis Boniface of Montferrat. Boniface was an immensely rich and chivalrous Italian with an impressive Crusader pedigree in his family. Significantly perhaps, given future events, Boniface also had family connections with the Byzantine Empire. One of his brothers had married the daughter of Byzantine Emperor Manuel I, who ruled Byzantium from 1143 through 1180 AD. Another of Boniface's brothers had married the sister of the deposed Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelos, who had ruled from 1185 through 1195 AD. In October 1202 AD the army was finally ready to set sail from Venice to Egypt. At least that was the original plan. Rapacious traders that they were the Venetians insisted that their 240 ships be paid for in advance. But the Crusaders could not meet the astonishing asking price of 85,000 silver marks. This amount at the time was double the annual income of all France. Consequently a deal was made that in return for passage the Crusaders would stop off at Zara on the Dalmatian coast and reconquer it for the Italians. Zara had recently defected to the Hungarians. The Venetians would also provide 50 warships for the Crusaders at their own cost and in turn receive half of any territory conquered. The Pope was not best pleased to hear the news that Christian Zara had been sacked on 24 November 1202 AD. The Pope promptly excommunicated both the Crusaders and the Venetians. The ban was later lifted for the Crusaders. One supposes had it not been lifted they would not have been much use as Crusaders. It is also true that many of the Crusader leaders, notably Simon of Montfort, had actually refused to attack Christian Zara. A significant number of men had even left the Crusade over the issue. Historians continue to debate the exact reason why the Crusaders then turned on Constantinople instead of Jerusalem. One crucial ingredient in the troublesome mix of mutual suspicions between the western powers and Byzantium was the Republic of Venice. Specifically this influence was focused on one man, the Doge Enrico Dandolo who ruled Venice from 1192 through 1205 AD). Dandolo was intent on achieving Venetian domination of the trade in the east. In addition Dandolo well remembered his undignified expulsion from Constantinople when he had served there as an ambassador. This seemed as good an opportunity as ever to install a new sympathetic emperor. Ultimately that proved to be in the person of Alexios IV Angelos, who eventually ruled Byzantium from 1203-1204 AD. His father was Isaac II Angelos, who had been deposed as emperor seven years earlier. Alexios had been campaigning for western support for some time. Were Alexios to regain the throne, his Venetian-engineered ascension would give Venice a “leg up” on the competition. His ascension would enable Venice to get several steps ahead of long-time trade rivals Pisa and Genoa. All three competing in the trade market within the Byzantine Empire, but Venice might be able to thereafter corner the market. It may have been the goal of Dandolo and the Crusaders to merely pass through Constantinople and install a new emperor on the throne of Byzantium. Thereafter it may have been the Crusader intent to carry on to Jerusalem with their ships resupplied and their coffers refilled. However in light of the recent history of rebellions and takeovers in Byzantium, this was perhaps a rather simplified view of possible events. Certainly things turned out to be a whole lot more difficult for everyone involved. It was thought that the riches of Constantinople could pay for the rest of the Crusade as it marched on to Jerusalem. In addition to material gains for Venice there was another possible motivation for targeting Constantinople. The Pope might finally achieve the supremacy of the western Church once and for all over the eastern Church. Meanwhile the Crusader knights would gain revenge on the duplicitous Byzantines for their unhelpful support of previous Crusades. In addition these knights would also cover themselves in glory and win handsome booty in the process. However as some conspiracy-theory historians have claimed, the entire chain of events which transpired may not have all been so cynically planned beforehand. However in the end it is exactly what happened, except that though while the Fourth Crusade ended with the fall of the Byzantine capital, the recapture of Jerusalem was left for a later date. The Crusader army arrived outside Constantinople on 24 June 1203 AD. The force consisted of around 4,500 knights and their squires, perhaps as many as 14,000 infantry, and 20,000-30,000 Venetians. The first target was the Byzantine garrison at nearby Galata on the other shore of the Golden Horn. This would enable he Crusaders to lower the massive chain which blocked the harbor of the Golden Horn. In turn this would allow the Crusader fleet to directly attack Constantinople's sea walls, if that became necessary. At the same time siege engines were built in readiness to attack the city's formidable fortifications on the land side. These fortifications took the form of the Theodosian Walls. The incumbent Byzantine Emperor Alexios III Angelos, whom had ruled since 1195 AD, was caught completely unprepared by the arrival of the Crusaders. Alexious III fled the city on 17 July 1203 AD. The Crusaders first move was an attempt to put their own supporter on the throne. This would have been Alexios IV Angelos along with his father, the former emperor Isaac II Angelos. It was now however that the westerners realized that Alexios' promises had all been false. Contrary to their contention, the father and son pair were deeply unpopular with the Byzantines. This was largely thanks to a sustained propaganda campaign against them promulgated by their successor, the now departed Alexios III. This unpopularity was exacerbated by the obvious threatening presence of the Crusader army camped outside the walls of Constantinople. Consequently with the throne now effectively empty and with the support of both the people and the army, a usurper stepped in. This was in the form of Alexios V Doukas, nicknamed 'Murtzurphlus' for his bushy eyebrows. Doukas promised to defend the city at all costs against the Crusaders. He seized the throne in January 1204 AD after executing his unfortunate predecessors, father and son together. Constantinople's walls were strengthened, towers were heightened, and several raids made against the Crusader camps. The Crusaders exhausted their diplomatic avenues with the Byzantines. Crusader supplies were dangerously low. Their ships were in dire need of vital repairs and maintenance. The Crusaders had little option remaining but to try and take the city itself. The Crusaders launched an all-out attack on the morning of 9 April 1204 AD. The Crusader attack was repelled by Byzantine forces. Then, on 12 April the Crusaders attacked the weaker sea walls of the harbor and targeted two towers in particular. This was achieved by lashing their ships together and ramming them repeatedly against the towers. Initially Constantinople's defenders held on. However eventually the Crusader attackers forced their way through on both the sea side and the land side. The Crusaders smashed through the city's gates. A slaughter of the defenders and the city's some 400,000 inhabitants followed. Citizens were raped and massacred. Buildings were torched. Churches were desecrated and stripped of their treasures. The usurper Byzantine Emperor Doukas fled to Thrace. Three days of Crusader looting followed. Artworks were destroyed, precious goods were melted down, and religious relics were sized for transport back to Europe. After the looting finally ended the Partitio Romaniae Treaty was imposed upon Byzantium. Already decided on beforehand the treaty carved up the Byzantine Empire amongst Venice and its allies. The Venetians took three-eighths of Constantinople, the Ionian islands, Crete, Euboea, Andros, Naxos, and a few strategic points along the coast of the Sea of Marmara. Venetian control of Mediterranean trade was now almost total. On 9 May 1204 AD Count Baldwin of Flanders was made the first Latin Emperor of Constantinople. He ruled from 1204 to 1205 AD and was crowned in the Hagia Sophia. The Latins received five-eighths of Constantinople and one-quarter of the Empire which included Thrace, northwest Asia Minor, and several Aegean islands. Boniface of Montferrat took over Thessalonica and formed a new kingdom there. That new kingdom included Athens and Macedonia. In 1205 AD Baldwin was captured by the Bulgars at the conclusion of a battle defending his territory in Thrace. Following his subsequent death in a Bulgarian prison, William I Champlitte and Geoffrey I Villehardouin founded a Latin principality in the Peloponnese. The latter was the nephew of the prominent historian of the same name. At the same time the French duke Othon de la Roche grabbed Attica and Boeotia. Ultimately the Byzantine Empire would be re-established almost six decades later. The Empire of Nicaea had been the center of the Byzantines-in-exile from 1208 through 1261 AD. In 1261 AD forces of the Empire of Nicaea retook Constantinople. Emperor Michael VIII who ruled from 1259 through 1282 AD was thus able to place his throne back in the palace of his Byzantine predecessors. However the revived empire was merely a shadow of its former self. Perhaps understandably the shocking siege, fall, and sack of Constantinople has garnered almost all the attention in history of the Fourth Crusade. However there was a small contingent of western Crusaders, led by Renard II of Dampierre, which did fulfill the original purpose of the expedition. Renard's forces did reach the Middle East, better late than never, in April 1203 AD. The 300 knights were far too few to ever consider attacking well-fortified Jerusalem, or any other important city for that matter. However the force was able to assist the Latin states in perpetuating their precarious existence in the Muslim-dominated Middle East. In coalition with the now tiny Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Crusaders attacked a few minor targets in Muslim-held Galilee in September of 1203 AD. A plague at Acre then wiped out half of the Crusader force. However the Muslim ruler of Damascus, Al Malik al-'Adil, seemed intent on avoiding a direct confrontation with the Crusaders. Thus certain territories were conceded to the Kingdom of Jerusalem including Nazareth, Jaffa, Ramla, and a strip of land near Sidon. Then in August 1204 AD the Crusaders twice successfully attacked forces from Hama in central Syria. However despite these minor victories these achievements in the Holy Land were rather insignificant given the original lofty ambitions of Pope Innocent III. The forthcoming Fifth Crusade of 1217 through 1221 AD would be focused on North Africa and Egypt. It would not be until the Sixth Crusade of 1228 through 1229 AD that Christian ambitions in the Middle East would be revisited [Ancient History Encyclopedia] The Fifth Crusade: The Fifth Crusade of 1217 through 1221 AD was called by Pope Innocent III who reigned from 1198 to 1216 AD, shortly before his death. Like previous crusades the official objective of the Fifth Crusade was to recapture Jerusalem and wrest it from Muslim control. This time however the strategy was to weaken the enemy by first attacking Muslim-held cities in North Africa and Egypt. These cities were at that time controlled by the Ayyubid dynasty which lasted from 1174 to 1250 AD. The idea that Egypt would be an easier target than Jerusalem proved to be mistaken, and the campaign was not successful. The Crusader army did eventually conquer Damietta. However it was beset by leadership squabbles. There was also a dearth of sufficient men, equipment, and suitable ships to deal with the local geography. The Crusaders were defeated on the banks of the Nile. Once again they returned home with very little to show for their efforts. The Fourth Crusade which ran from 1202 through 1204 AD had preceded. It too had been called by Pope Innocent III to retake Jerusalem. Instead the Crusaders sacked Constantinople in 1204 AD. The territories which had formerly been Byzantine were distributed between Venice and its allies. The objective of placing Jerusalem under Christian rule still remained an important aim of the Church. So Pope Innocent III had formed yet another crusade. This is now known as the Fifth Crusade. Pope Innocent III was called the Fifth Crusade in 1215 AD. King Richard I (the “Lionhearted) of England had been one of the three kings leading the Third (“King's”) Crusade of 1189 through 1192 AD. King Richard I had ruled England from 1189 through 1199 AD. So by this time he had died almost two decades earlier. However it was King Richard I who had promoted the idea of not attacking the Muslim states at their strongest point, their castles and city strongholds in the Levant. Rather King Richard I had advocated attacking the Muslim forces at the softer underbelly of the Muslim Ayyubid Empire: Egypt. During the Fifth Crusade that strategy would be adopted. The hope was that if Egypt fell then Jerusalem too would fall. Jerusalem would find itself without the possibility of reinforcement and supplies. The preaching of the Fifth Crusade was organized by geographical areas. There were promulgated guidelines for provincial boards and their delegates. These guidelines provided instruction on just how to persuade people to enlist for the Crusade, and whom best to target. The Ayyubid dynasty had been founded by Saladin who had ruled from 1174 through 1193 AD. The Ayyubid Dynasty would rule Egypt until its conquest by the Mamluks in 1250 AD. At the time of the Fifth Crusade the Sultan of Egypt was Sayef al-Din al-Adil. He was the brother of the late Saladin, and therefore the most senior ruler in the Muslim Middle East. He ruled from 1200 through 1218 AD. An uneasy truce had been in existence between the Ayyubids and the Crusader states in the Middle East (known as “the Latin East”). However the Ayyubid's recent fortification of Mount Tabor in Galilee threatened Crusader-held Acre and its surrounding territory. This was the move which Pope Innocent III used as the spark to ignite the flames of religious fervor amongst Western Europe's leadership. The preaching of the Crusades had always been the essential method of recruiting volunteers. For the first time in the history of the Crusades this drive was organized by geographical areas. As described hereinabove there were formal guidelines for provincial boards and their delegates on just how to persuade people and who would be most receptive to the message. There were even manuals of model sermons designed to best whip up fervor and enthusiasm for the cause. Nobles and knights with the skills and means to travel and fight were to be more intensively targeted. In this manner such unofficial popular movements as the so-called Children's Crusade of 1212 AD could be avoided. That Crusade had been characterized by the presence of large numbers of peasants and their children. Ultimately Pope Innocent III did widen the call to all males except monks. At least in theory. However those who did not possess military skills were strongly encouraged, perhaps even compelled, to 'redeem their vows'. Redeeming their vows involved the contribution of funds to the cause rather than to participate in person. Those who paid but did not actually participate would still receive the benefit of a remission of their sins. This was the same promise the Pope had made in the preceding Fourth Crusade, and was a popular appeal. In addition a tax over a three-year period of one-twentieth of their income was imposed upon the clergy to help pay for the Crusade. This tax was was by this point in time typical papal policy. Religious conviction and the promise of the remission of one's sins were incentives not to be minimized. However at least equally compelling were the prospect of adventure, financial gain from war booty, and improving social status. These as well as acquiring new honors and titles were all additional motivators. The recruitment campaign was very successful. It was especially successful in Germany, Britain, Italy, Hungary, and the Low Countries. Pope Innocent III died on 16 July 1216 AD before he had the chance to see his Crusade get off the ground. However his successor was Pope Honorius III, who reigned from 1216 through 1227 AD. The new pope had no intention of calling the campaign off. The original leader of the Crusade was to be Frederick II, the king of Germany and future Holy Roman Emperor. King Frederick II ruled from 1220 through 1250 AD). In the absence of a multiplicity of monarchs as had been the case in the Third Crusade, this selection was something of a coup. Unfortunately it turned out that Frederick was unable to lead the Fifth Crusade due to internal political problems within his own empire. As well Frederick was involved in an ongoing wrangle with the Papacy over his desire to control both German lands and Sicily. Fearing encirclement this was a situation which the Papacy strong wished to avoid. In May of 1218 AD the Crusader army landed just west of the city of Damietta in Egypt. The plan was to take the city and then march along the Nile towards Cairo. Damietta then had a population of about 60,000 and was situated about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Cairo. The Crusader Army numbered perhaps 30,000 at its peak. It consisted of the Crusader knights from Europe alongside barons from the Latin East. A significant constituent was composed of knights from the three major military orders: the Knights Hospitaller, Knights Templar, and Teutonic Knights. In the field these forces were led by John of Brienne. He was the King of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and ruled from 1210 through 1225 AD. However one of the most significant problems of the Fifth Crusade would prove to be a lack of clear leadership and decisive strategy. Damietta was the first target of the Crusade. The city possessed three rings of formidable fortification walls as well as a wide moat. The man charged with leading the Muslim army and defending Egypt was al-Kamil. He was the son of the Sultan of Egypt Sayef al-Din al-Adil. He would also be his successor and would rule as Sultan from August 1218 AD until 1238 AD. As described Damietta possessed three rings of formidable fortification walls and a moat between the first and second walls. These were 28 defensive towers built into the second wall. It would be a tough nut to crack. However as one Crusader noted the city "was the key to all Egypt". The Crusader army set up camp on the west or far bank of the river outside the city. Before the invaders even got to the city proper they were confronted with a significant obstacle. The Crusaders fist had to get past a huge chain hung between the city walls and a small but fortified island in the Nile Delta. The chain blocked access to the city's harbor. The Crusaders spent several months trying to attack the 70 foot high chain-tower. The Muslims had garrisoned the tower with a force of 300 men. These could be resupplied utilizing a bridge built of boats linking the tower to Damietta. It was the Crusaders built a siege tower atop two ships lashed together that they managed to capture the chain tower. This they achieved on 24 August, and the Crusaders were finally able to lower the chain and remove it as an impediment to siege. However taking the chain tower was not the same as taking Damietta. The city and its formidable defenses still stood across the waters of the harbor. There was also the latent threat of al-Kamil and his Egyptian forces. He kept station with a large army camped on the eastern side of the Nile. Significantly winter was now closing in. To add to the Crusader's difficulties their camp was flooded by the Nile during a storm on 29 November 1218 AD. The age-old problem of supplies for a besieging army also cropped up. For instance scurvy was rife. Naturally as one might imagine the inhabitants of Damietta were likely not faring very much better. All winter, spring, and summer of 1219 AD the two sides were at a stand-off. The Crusaders were sufficiently entrenched to make any attack on their camp very dangerous. However the Crusaders did not have the manpower for a full-scale assault on the city or on al-Kamil's forces. In fact some contingents of Crusaders had returned home to Europe. Those forces that remained hoped that the balance would be tipped in their favor when Frederick II finally arrived with his long-promised large army. When news arrived that Frederick would not be coming until the next year, the Crusaders rallied themselves. Their spirits wee boosted by the arrival of no less a figure than Francis of Assisi. Francis tried unsuccessfully to convince the Muslims that God was definitely not on their side. In the autumn of 1219 AD it became clear that lower than usual levels of the Nile that year had reduced crops. It was obvious then that now starvation was now a real possibility for both sides. In September al-Kamil may have realized that the garrison of Damietta had only a very limited amount of resources and time remaining to them. Perhaps fearing the arrival of a larger Crusader army al-Kamil offered a truce with extraordinary terms. He proposed to keep Damietta and in return he offered to give the Latins control of Jerusalem. Despite its religious significance to both sides the Holy City was of very limited economic or even strategic value. Jerusalem had long been neglected by the Ayyubids. Additionally al-Kamil offered the Crusades control over portions of Palestine. This demonstrated that al-Kamil was more interested in his wider empire. He was most particularly keen to preserve the far richer lands of Egypt and Syria. However the Crusaders rejected al-Kamil's proposals. The stated objective of the Crusade had been to take Jerusalem after capturing Egypt. It is surprising then that al-Kamil's offer of Crusader control of the Holy City was rejected by the Crusader leadership. John of Brienne and the Teutonic Knights were keen to accept al-Kamil's offer. However the Knights Templar, Knights Hospitaller, Venetians were not. Cardinal Pelagius who was the Crusader's most senior religious leader likewise was against accepting al-Kamil's proposals. Those against accepting the peace treaty were concerned that al-Kamil intended to keep the vital fortresses of Kerak and Montreal. Without those it would be difficult for the Crusaders to hold onto their gains if war with the Ayyubids followed. Most of all the arrival of Frederick, better late than never, would almost certainly mean victory for the Westerners. With that event the Crusaders could take whatever they wanted, including Egypt. So the siege went on. With his peace offering rejected al-Kamil went on the offensive. He attacked the Crusader camp, but his army was repulsed. In November 1219 AD the Crusaders attacked Damietta. After breaking through a ruined tower the city's now meager defenses were breached. Entering the city the Crusaders were shocked to see the state of the enemy forces. The streets littered were with dead bodies. Those still alive within the city were suffering from extreme malnutrition and disease. Damietta was to be the only success of the campaign for the Crusaders. There was confusion and indecisiveness within the Crusader leadership as to what to do next. As a precaution al-Kamil moved his army 25 miles (40 kilometers) south, still hugging the Nile. Meanwhile the Crusaders debated over who should control their new prize of Damietta. The Pope's representatives wanted to keep it for Frederick. John of Brienne wanted it for himself. To better bolster his claim to the city John even started minting coins. In the end a compromise was reached. John would retain custody of Damietta until Frederick arrived. Even more crucial to the Crusade was the debate over the next step of the campaign. Should they march on and take Cairo? Or should they simply use Damietta as a bargaining chip to gain territory in Palestine, including Jerusalem. Incredibly it took a year and a half for the Crusaders to decide on the former action. The decision was prompted by the arrival of a force from Germany under the command of Ludwig of Bavaria. Even with German reinforcements in the spring of 1221 AD Crusaders' advance by land and river toward their goal was extremely sluggish. Meanwhile al-Kamil had taken advantage of Crusader indecision. He had fortified his camp at Mansourah and called upon the support of his allies in Syria and Mesopotamia. In July 1221 AD the Crusaders finally moved to attack ad-Kamil's forces at Mansourah. However al-Kamil had chosen his site wisely. It was easily defended location due to its strategic position. The camp was at the junction of the Nile river itself to a tributary thereto. In addition the annual rising of the Nile would occur within a month of that point in time. The Crusaders seemed in no particular hurry. However time was on the Muslim's side, not theirs. The canny al-Kamil was eagerly awaiting a support army as well as the coming floods. He choose his moment to offer a new truce deal with the Crusaders. This was quite likely in an attempt to further delay the advance of the Crusaders. The Crusaders rejected the terms. Then after defeating a small Muslim raiding party, the Crusaders rashly moved to attack al-Kamil's fortified camp in August. The Muslim leader allowed them to move forward unchecked. His forces then sank four ships behind the Crusader army to prevent any quick withdrawal. Meanwhile reinforcing Muslim armies had arrived from the north. Taking up position to the north-east these new reinforcements blocked any possible route of retreat by land for the Crusaders. It was at this moment that the Nile waters started to rise. The Crusader ships began to flounder in the now treacherous waters. A a chaotic retreat ensued. Now al-Kamil opened the sluice gates bringing the Nile's waters into the surrounding fields. The whole area was flooded waist-deep. On 28 August 1221 AD the Crusader army surrendered and a truce was agreed upon. Al-Kamil got Damietta back and all Muslim prisoners. The Crusader army returned home unmolested. Despite all the money, effort, planning, and fervor, the Fifth Crusade was yet another spectacular flop. In the years following the Fifth Crusade there was much debate and finger-pointing as to who exactly was to blame for the disaster. Nevertheless the Crusader decision West to directly attack Egypt and not Jerusalem did concern the Ayyubids. They worried as to what might happen if a larger Crusader army made a second, more decisive attempt. This threat may well have strengthen Crusader negotiations of the Sixth Crusade which would occur in 1228 to 1229 AD. This Crusade would be led by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. His involvement would involve for the first time the personal involvement of the Pope in a Crusade. Arriving in the Middle East in September 1228 AD the Crusaders within a year ironically gained control of Jerusalem through diplomacy rather than through actual warfare [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Sixth Crusade: The Sixth Crusade ran from 1228 to 1229 AD. Many historians regard the Sixth Crusade to merely be the delayed final chapter of the unsuccessful Fifth Crusade. The Fifth Crusade had “ended” less than a decade prior, having run from 1217 to 1221 AD. The Sixth Crusade witnessed the arrival of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Frederick II reigned from 1220 through 1250 AD, and had long vowed to field his army in the Holy Land. Jerusalem had been out of Christian hands since 1187 AD. It was finally won back from Muslim control thanks to Frederick's skills at diplomacy. It was not the result of any actual fighting his army had engaged in. In February 1229 AD a treaty was agreed between Frederick II and the Sultan of Egypt and Syria. The Sultan, al-Kamil who ruled from 1218 through 1238 AD, had agreed to hand over the Holy City to Christian rule. Thus the Sixth Crusade managed to achieve by peaceful means what four bloody previous Crusades had failed to do. The Fifth Crusade had been called for in 1215 AD by Pope Innocent III. Pope Innocent III had reigned from 1198 through 1216 AD. Capturing Jerusalem for Christendom had once again been the objective of the preceding Fifth Crusade. However the strategy of the Fifth Crusade changed to attacking what was seen as the weaker underbelly of the Ayyubid dynasty (1174 to 1250 AD). The Crusader strategy involved attacking Egypt first rather than the Holy City directly. The Crusader army did eventually conquer Damietta on the Nile in November 1219 AD. However the army was was beset by leadership squabbles. There was also a lack of sufficient men, equipment and suitable ships to deal with the local geography. Consequently the Crusader army was defeated by an army led by al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt and Syria. The defeat of the Crusader army occurred in August of 1221 AD on the banks of the Nile. The Crusaders were forced to give up Damietta. They returned home to Europe once again with very little to show for their efforts. There were bitter recriminations afterwards. These were especially vehement against Frederick II Hohenstaufen, king of Germany and Sicily. He had failed to even make an appearance at a time when his army could well have tipped the balance in the favor of the Crusaders. One further detrimental consequence of the Fifth Crusade was that the decision to attack Egypt did point out to the Ayyubids their own vulnerability in the southern Mediterranean. Frederick II made no contribution to the Fifth Crusade except to be entirely absent. Nonetheless he would eventually become one of the great figures of the Middle Ages. In the thirteenth century he was lauded by supporters as “stupor mundi”, or “the wonder of the world”. On the other hand he was condemned by his enemies as “the beast of the apocalypse”. Contemporary historians continue to debate whether he was a tyrannical despot or a visionary genius, the first practitioner of Renaissance kingship. Frederick was a paunchy, balding figure with bad eyesight. Physically he was rather unprepossessing. But by the 1220s he was the Christian world's most powerful ruler. At the time of the Sixth Crusade Frederick was still negotiating the early rocky patches of his long road to greatness. Despite his promises to the contrary Frederick had not left Europe during the Fifth Crusade. Instead he had become embroiled in a power struggle with the Papacy over his right to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor. This was due to resistance on the part of first Pope Innocent III, and then his successor Pope Honorius III. Honorius III reigned as Pope from 1216 through 1227 AD. Each pope had been concerned at Frederick's control of both central Europe and Sicily. Frederick's empire effectively encircled the Papal States in Italy. Honorius II had pushed for Frederick to fulfill his original crusader vows and take back Jerusalem for Christendom. Honorius hoped that the distraction created by Frederick's participating in the Fifth Crusade might also prove advantageous to the Papacy. It might allow the Papacy some “breathing room” in Italy. The coronation of Frederick as Holy Roman Emperor finally occurred in 1220 AD. Frederick acquired a more personal connection to the Middle East when he married Isabella II in November of 1225 AD. Isabella II was the heiress to the throne of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Frederick thus determined that he would after all travel to the Levant. He would take the Kingdom of Jerusalem, throne and all, for himself. Frederick assembled a large Crusader army. His long-scheduled departure date of 15 August 1227 AD was delayed (once again) due to Frederick's illness (possibly cholera). The new pope, Honorius's successor, was Gregory IX. Gregory IX reigned as Pope from 1227 through 1241 AD. Gregory IX finally ran out of patience. He excommunicated Frederick, the dithering would-be Crusader, in September 1227 AD. This fulfilled an earlier Papal vow to do just that if the emperor's promises to lead a Crusade were not fulfilled. It was not a good start to the Crusade. Nonetheless those leaders of the Crusade who had already made it to the Middle East made good use of the delay. The took the opportunity afforded by the delay to advance some much needed construction work. They refortified key strong points such as Jaffa and Caesarea. They even constructed a brand new headquarters castle for the Teutonic Knights at Montfort. However it was indisputable that Frederick II had the best trained and equipped men when compared to any previous Crusader army. Almost all of his army was composed of paid professionals. So despite his problems with the Pope, Frederick II was undeterred. Frederick II and his army arrived in Acre in the Middle East on 7 September 1228 AD. Frederick II was determined to do what so many nobles before him had failed to do: take Jerusalem. In addition to possessing an army of full-time paid professionals, it was a large force as well. The crusader army numbered amongst its ranks some 10,000 infantry and perhaps 2,000 knights. There did remain the inconvenience of Frederick's excommunication. This had the practical result that some of the leaders of the pious military orders in the Levant felt that they could not be seen to be serving a figure outside the Church. This problem was especially vexatious for the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller. The emperor got around this problem by appointing separate and theoretically independent commanders for these knights to follow. Nonetheless the emperor's plans had also been slightly knocked out of tilt with the tragic death of Isabella. Isabella died during childbirth in May 1228 AD. Frederick decided to reign as regent for his newborn son Conrad, replacing his father-in-law John of Brienne. John had led the army of the failed Fifth Crusade . He had been regent for his daughter Isabella as ruler of Jerusalem prior to her marriage to Richard II. John was not best pleased to be ousted from his position of power as Regent. John swore revenge against Frederick. This Frederick was not without opposition in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. This opposition came not only by supporters of John of Brienne, but from others in positions of power as well. Many nobles resisted any changes to the political status quo. Frederick's plans to redistribute certain hereditary lands and his promotion of the Teutonic Knights military order were particular sticking points. Frederick and his army marched from Acre to Jaffa in early 1229 AD. The army posed the serious threat to the Muslims as had been promised ever since the Fifth Crusade. At the same time al-Kamil was faced with a dangerous coalition of rivals within the Ayyubid dynasty. In the last two years the Sultan's own brother, al-Mu'azzam had become an adversary. Emir of Damascus, al-Mu'azzam had joined forces with fierce Turkish mercenaries, the Khwarizmians. Together they threatened al-Kamil's possessions in northern Iraq. In 1227 AD al-Mu'azzam died of dysentery. However the threat from his followers especially to al-Kamil's ambitions in Damascus remained. The opposition to al-Kamil was now led by al-Kamil's rebel nephew al-Nasir Dawud. Consequently the two leaders began negotiations. Both were anxious to avoid a war which would seriously damage both side's commercial interests in the region. Frederick was without a doubt aided in his diplomatic efforts by his knowledge of Arabic and a general sympathy towards the culture. The emperor's own corps of bodyguards were Muslims. Frederick possessed a harem as well. Both the bodyguard corps and the harem were vestiges of his time in Sicily, which had a significant Arab population. On the other hand al-Kamil had already offered Jerusalem as a bargaining chip during negotiations with the Fifth Crusaders. Of course if need be he could always retake Jerusalem once any Crusader army had departed back to Europe. It seems that both leaders were keen to safeguard their own empires and their much more important assets elsewhere than to squabble over Jerusalem. At the same time the description of any gains could be maximized “for public consumption”, and the concessions minimized, when both were presenting their respective “deals” to their followers. Thus on 18 February 1229 AD the “Treaty of Jaffa” was signed by both two leaders. The treaty permitted Christians to reoccupy the holy places of Jerusalem. The exception was the Temple area. The temple area was to remain under the control of the Muslim religious authorities. Resident Muslims were to leave the city but could visit the holy sites on pilgrimage. No new construction or even artistic additions were permitted at those holy sites. Neither could any fortifications be built, although it would later be disputed that this applied to Jerusalem. Included in the deal were other important sites of great significance to Christians such as Bethlehem and Nazareth. In return for these concessions the Sultan received a 10-year truce guarantee. The Sultan also received Frederick's assurances that Frederick would defend al-Kamil's interests against all enemies, even Christians. Frederick then entered Jerusalem in triumph on 17 March 1229 AD. Frederick then crowned himself King of Jerusalem an impromptu ceremony in the Holy Sepulchre. However Jerusalem's local nobles were aggrieved at not having been consulted during the negotiation process. Jerusalem's commoners were not very appreciative either with having a foreign monarch meddling in their domestic affairs. A group of disgruntled Latins in Acre pelted the emperor with meat and offal as he left for home in May 1229 AD. However Frederick was sorely needed back in Italy. Pope Gregory IX had cynically taken the opportunity of the emperor's absence to invade southern Italy. Sicily was Pope Gregory's ultimate target. Significantly the leader of the pope's army was Frederick's own father-in-law, John of Brienne. Jerusalem would remain in Christian hands until 1244 AD. Throughout this period however it was Acre which was the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. With the departure of the emperor Frederick II, as before his arrival, the Latin nobles continued their damaging rivalry for control of the Crusader states. Furthermore Frederick's nominated regents were very unpopular, Meanwhile al-Kamil himself received criticism for his peace deal from Muslims far and wide. Even from amongst the Ayyubid princes his treaty was disparaged. However al-Kamil did eventually take control of Damascus. Muslim control of the Middle East was greatly strengthened when a large Latin army was defeated at the battle of La Forbie in October 1244 AD. This event led to the Seventh Crusade and Eighth Crusades of 1248 through 1254 AD and then 1270 AD, respectively. Both the Seventh and Eighth Crusades continued the strategy of attacking Muslim-held cities in North Africa and Egypt. Both campaigns were led by no less a figure than the French King Louis IX, who reigned from 1226 through 1270 AD. However both the Seventh and Eighth Crusades were relatively unsuccessful, even if Louis was later made a saint for his efforts [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Seventh Crusade: The Seventh Crusade ran from 1248 through 1254 AD. It was led by the French King Louis IX, who ruled from 1226 through 1270 AD. The intent for the Seventh Crusade was to conquer Egypt and take over Jerusalem. Jerusalem and Egypt were both then controlled by the Muslim Ayyubid Dynasty. Despite the initial success of capturing Damietta on the Nile, the Crusader army had been routed at Mansourah in 1250 AD. This rout was a repetition of the events of the preceding Fifth Crusade of 1217 to 1221 AD. French King Louis was captured and subsequently ransomed. He nonetheless remained determined to fulfill his Crusader vows. King Louis would eventually launch the Eighth Crusade in 1270 AD. The preceding Sixth Crusade of 1228 to 1229 AD had been led by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Frederick II had reigned from 1220 through 1250 AD. During the Sixth Crusade Frederick II skillfully managed to avoid instead relying on adroit diplomatic skills. Frederick negotiated for and obtained Christian control of Jerusalem. This Frederick was granted by the Sultan of Egypt and Syria, al-Kamil, who ruled from 1218 through 1238 AD. Some fifteen years later however trouble was brewing again. The troubles arose as al-Kamil's successors fought to maintain the Ayyubid Empire. That empire had been founded by al-Kamil's uncle, Saladin, in 1174 AD. As in the past some Muslim cities not under Ayyubid control continued to form alliances of convenience with the Latin states in the Middle East. These cities included most notably Damascus. As briefing mentioned earlier Ayyubid control of the Middle East was greatly strengthened on 17 October 1244 AD. On this date a large Latin army and its Muslim allies from Damascus and Homs was defeated at the battle of La Forbie (Harbiya) in Gaza. Over 1,000 knights were killed in the battle. This was a disaster from which time thereafter the Latin states struggled to recover from. Jerusalem had already been lost by the Christians. This time Jerusalem was lost to Ayyubid allies, the nomadic Khorezmians (Khwarismians). Jerusalem fell to them on 23 August 1244 AD. Christians in the Holy City had been murdered and sacred sites desecrated. The Latin East, as the Crusader-created states in the Levant are collectively known, appealed to the West for help. Pope Innocent IV who reigned from 1243 through 1254 AD responded. Pope Innocent IV called for yet another crusade, the campaign now known as the Seventh Crusade. The leader of the expedition was Louis IX, king of France. Church figures went on the usual preaching tours to gather recruits across Europe, although France was the primary provider. Leading European nobles on the expedition would include Henry I of Cyprus, Raymond VII of Toulouse, Duke Hugh IV of Burgundy, Count William of Flanders, and Louis' own brother, Alphonse of Poitiers. It seemed that the failures of the previous crusades had not dampened the spirits of Europe's finest fighting men. Just why in December 1244 AD King Louis 'took up the cross' and decided to leave his kingdom for the Levant is not clear. According to legend Louis IX was seriously ill and the decision to embark on a Crusade miraculously instantly restored him to health. Modern historians look for less supernatural motivations. King Louis desired to be seen as Europe's foremost ruler. He also wished to consolidate his kingdom by restructuring its administration. The restructuring could be justified as a necessity given his impending prolonged absence. In part Louis's motivation might have been simply piety for the Christian cause. What is certain is that the king decided to form the Crusade even before the Pope officially called it. This was a reversal of the procedure of previous crusades, where the campaigns were first called for by Papal decree. The French king was determined that his expedition would be well-funded. Well-funded it would be thanks to a combination of sources. Foremost amongst these was a series of tax reforms and tax hikes. This was combined with income from the church which originated from taxes upon and donations by the faithful. Then there was the requisition of 'gifts' from at least 82 towns across France. Finally all these were augmented with payments from barons and other nobles, as well as funding from the king's own pocket. King Louis was also long known for his anti-Jewish policies. In 1248 CE the king expelled all Jews from France and confiscated their property. No stone for or piggy bank of funding was left unturned. King Louis king certainly required a vast amount of money to fund such a huge undertaking. Louis even went to the expense of constructing the fortified town of Aigues Mortes in southern France. Aigues Mortes was constructed specifically for use by the Crusader army to assemble and disembark from in ships. The ships were hired by King Louis for the purpose from Genoa and Marseilles. Supplies as well were also steadily gathered there. Louis' planning was further evidenced by his stockpiling of goods on Cyprus. These included especially especially wheat, barley, and wine. All of this would be collected by the Crusaders en route to the Holy Land. Louis's armada set off on 25 August 1248 AD. His forces numbered around 10,000 men. The armada stopped off at Cyprus and for refit and resupply. They stayed on the island for eight months. The delay also allowed stragglers to join the main army. These arrived from both Europe and the Middle East cities of Acre, Tripoli, and Antioch. In addition Louis's armada would be augmented from contributions by the military orders based in the Levant. These military orders included the Knights Hospitaller, Knights Templar, and Teutonic Knights. By the summer of 1249 AD King Louis's army was finally ready to begin the Crusade. Louis wrote to the Sultan of Egypt. Louis boldly expressed his intention not just to take back Jerusalem but to conquer all of Egypt and the Levant. King Louis wrote, “I will assault your territory, and even were you to swear allegiance to the cross, my mind would not be changed. The armies that obey me cover mountains and plains, they are as numerous as the pebbles of the earth, and they march upon you grasping the swords of fate...” The Ayyubid dynasty was at this time led by al-Salih Ayyub, who ruled in 1240 and then between 1245 and 1249 AD. He was the second son of al-Kamil, his predecessor as Sultan of Egypt. Like his father al-Salih had to struggle to keep control of his territories. This was due to inter-rivalries between Muslim leaders and even Ayyubid princes. In addition the Mongol Empire was expanding ever-westwards and seemed unstoppable. Indeed Louis IX had made some diplomatic overtures towards the Mongol khan. These overtures were made in the hope that he might prove a useful ally in squeezing the Ayyubids out of Egypt and the Levant altogether. The Mongols however were interested only in pure conquest. Whether that conquest was of Christian or Muslim lands made no difference. Fortunately for the moment the Mongols were relegated as merely being a future threat. Regarding his own internal affairs al-Salih could rely on his Mamluk regiment, the Bahris, to enforce his will. His Mamluk regiment was joined by a very large number of Kipchak Turkish slave warriors taken from the Russian steppes. Thus already boosted by the victory at La Forbie the Sultan was able to take control of Damascus in 1245 AD. Thereto prior Damascus had long since been a rebel Muslim stronghold. The decline of the Latin states continued apace when al-Salih captured Ascalon in 1247 AD. Louis' Crusader army landed in Egypt two years later in June 1249 AD. However the Crusaders immediately met their first of many problems. Heavy and deep-bottomed sailing ships were common to both commercial and military European maritime forces. The nature of these ships meant that the Crusader army could not easily disembark to the sandy beaches of Egypt. Knights were forced to wade ashore through the shallows. Meanwhile al-Kamil had been busy and reinforced the fortifications and the garrison of Damietta. Damietta was the fortress city on the Nile Delta targeted by prior Crusading armies. Once all were assembled the Crusader army now numbered around 18,000 men. This force included 2,500 knights and 5,000 crossbowmen. It was a large army for a single battle, but not perhaps large enough to conquer an entire region. As it turned out the Crusaders captured Damietta in June 1249 AD with surprising ease. A combination of an amphibious attack and the superiority of western crossbows gave a remarkably quick victory. This was especially so when considering the trouble it had taken the army of the Fifth Crusade to take Damietta in 1218/9 AD. An added bonus was that because the garrison had fled in panic, the city's fortifications remained intact. The Sultan's main army however lay in wait at a safe distance from Damietta. The taking of Damietta by the Crusaders was only the opening move of what could be a very long game. A few months later in the autumn of 1249 AD al-Salih was dying at his camp at Mansourah on the Nile Delta, also known as al-Mansura. Historical indications are that the Sultan was probably afflicted with tuberculosis. The people of Cairo were in a panic. First had been the news of the loss of Damietta. Now they were faced with the possible loss of their leader, Sultan al-Salih. Perhaps if at this moment King Louis had struck for the heart of the enemy he may have achieved total victory. However instead Louis dithered as he awaited awaiting important reinforcements belonging to his brother Alphonse. Alphonse's forces however did not arrive in Egypt until October. To the favor of the Crusaders by that point in time at least the annual Nile flood was abating. Thus the way to Cairo was open and unobstructed. Louis went against the advice of most of his nobles who were in favor of over-wintering at the safety of Damietta. Instead King Louis and his forces set off for Cairo on 20 November 1249 AD. The Crusaders made painfully slow progress along the Nile. Most of the troops marched along the banks. The march was accompanied by those ships which were able to travel alongside. These carried a huge quantity of supplies and equipment. However the ships were fighting against a contrary wind. At this point in time at the end of November 1249 AD al-Salih died, finally succumbing to his illness. Led by their commander Fakhr al-Din the officers of the Mamluk regiment, known as the Bahris, stepped in to smoothly continue the war against the Crusaders. After a 32 day march the Crusader army camped opposite the Muslim camp near Mansourah. Mansourah itself was protected by extensive fortifications and it location at the junction between the Nile and one of its tributaries. Both camps used their huge catapult machines to bombard each other with artillery fire. Six weeks of sorties and relentless bombardment followed. A stalemate had been reached. Louis was offered a lifeline of hope by some Muslim defectors who informed him that the enemy camp could be approached from behind by crossing a ford further downstream. On 8 February 1250 AD the French king made his move. A large force of knights gathered at the spot on the river where the informers had indicated. Although forced to dismount and have their horses swim across, an advance force of the knights made it to the other side. Then their leader, Robert of Artois, made the stupid decision to immediately attack the enemy camp. This rash attack was made before the rest of the knights had crossed the river behind him. The Mamluk commander Fakhr al-Din was killed in the first attack. However Robert made a second rash decision to pursue the fleeing Muslim army as it made for the town of Mansourah. This proved to be his second and last stupid mistake. Once inside the city, Robert's knights were hemmed in. Separated by the narrow streets, the knights were massacred. The Muslim army managed to regather itself after the initial shock. They made a successful counterattack on Louis and his force of knights. The Muslims caught them just had they had finished fording the river. A chaotic and bloody battle followed. King Louis only just managed to hold his ground until reinforcements arrived from the main Crusader camp at day's end. The Ayyubid army retreated to the safety of Mansourah. The army remained largely intact. In addition by the end of February the new Sultan and son of al-Salih, al-Mu'azzam Turan Shah, had arrived at Mansourah. They brought vital supplies and reinforcements. The Crusaders on the other hand had no means of resupply. Their camp had been cut off from Damietta by a fleet of Muslim ships. Soon starvation and disease were rife within the Crusader camp. Finally on 5 April 1250 AD Louis ordered a a general retreat. The Crusader army was greatly reduced by disease and starvation. Weakened by constant attacks from the Ayyubid army the Crusaders were over a period of only two days virtually wiped out as an effective force. Only halfway back to Damietta the Crusaders who remained alive surrendered. Seriously ill with dysentery the French king was captured. Louis was released on 6 May but only after the payment of a large ransom for his own self. In addition he was forced to pay a ransom of 400,000 livres tournoi for what remained of his captured army. Last he was required to surrender Christian-held Damietta. Once free from his Muslim captors to his credit King Louis did not flee home in disgrace. Rather Louis remained in the Middle East for four more years. During that time he oversaw the refortification of his base at Acre. He also refortified the Christian strongholds of Sidon, Jaffe, and Caesarea. Louis is credited with an innovative new mobile force of 100 knights and a complement of crossbowmen. Unlike previous knights who were garrisoned at particular strategic cities or castles, this force was used wherever they were most needed to protect Latin interests in the Middle East. By any objective measure the Seventh Crusade was a complete military flop. Nonetheless it did contribute to the fall of the Ayyubid dynasty. This occurred in May 1250 AD in Egypt when the Ayyubids were overthrown by the Mamluks. The changeover of power occurred when the Mamluk officer group murdered Turan Shah. There followed ten years of bitter factional fighting between the Ayyubid nobles and the Mamluk military officers. Finally the Mamluks prevailed and set themselves up as the new lords of the former Ayyubid territories. However Aleppo and Damascus would remain under the control of Ayyubid princes. It has been conservatively estimated that the Seventh Crusade cost Louis IX a massive 1.5 million livres tournoi. This amount was equivalent to about six times his annual income as King of France. Despite the material costs and physical dangers, Louis IX would be back in Crusader action at the other end of his long reign. This would occur when he led the Eighth Crusade of 1270 AD. The Eighth Crusade would also attack Muslim-held cities in North Africa and Egypt. However the Eighth Crusade would also prove to be unsuccessful. King Louis would die during that Crusade, in Tunis on 25 August 1270 AD. He would later be made a saint for his crusading efforts. In 1258 AD the Mongols captured Baghdad, the seat of the Muslim Abbasid Caliphate. Two years later Aleppo and Damascus would also fall to the Mongols. Ultimately the Mongols would be defeated by the Mamluks at the battle of Ain Jalut in 1260 AD. In the same year the Mamluk leader Baibars (also known as “Baybars” became the Sultan of Egypt. He would continue to expand his territory in the Middle East throughout the 1260s. The Seventh Crusade was effectively the last large-scale crusade in the Levant. Despite all the cash spent and fine arms and armor utilized, it ended as the usual sorry tale of military lessons unlearned. It was characterized by a crucial lack of appropriate equipment for the local terrain. And it was undertaken with the hopelessly naive expectation that with God on their side, any such deficiencies would be overcome. God could be relied upon to bring the Christians victory over the infidels [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Eighth Crusade: The Eighth Crusade occurred in 1270 AD. Like the preceding Seventh Crusade of 1248 through 1254 AD, it was led by the French king Louis IX, who reigned from 1226 through 1270 AD. As before the strategy was first to attack and defeat the Muslims first in Egypt. Following that the Crusaders intended to either reconquer or negotiate for the control of key Christian sites in the Levant. These would of course include Jerusalem. It was decided that Tunis would be the first target. From there the Crusaders could then attack Egypt. The plan was dealt the fatal blow of Louis IX's death from illness in August 1270 AD. The campaign was abandoned before it had even properly begun. Louis had led the preceding Seventh Crusade. That Crusade had met with disaster at the battle of Mansourah in April 1250 AD. Louis had even been captured by Muslim forces. However Louis had been later released after payment of a ransom and agreement to relinquish control of Damietta on the Nile River. Louis had nonetheless then stayed in the Levant for four years. During this time he refortified such key Latin strongholds as Acre. Sixteen years later the French king once more turned his attention to the Middle East. This would be his second attempt at a Crusade. In the intervening years since his Seventh Crusade ended in defeat, Louis had been sending funds annually to the Latin states in the Levant. However the rest of Europe was rather preoccupied with affairs elsewhere to concern themselves with the Latin East. In England, a civil war raged from 1258 through 1265 AD. The Popes were in constant battle with the Holy Roman Empire over control of Sicily and parts of Italy. It seemed that nobody cared very much for the fate of Holy Sites in the Middle East. Knights volunteered from other countries such as England, Spain, Frisia and the Low Countries. But once again the Eighth Crusade was an expedition dominated by the French. Meanwhile in the Middle East the situation for the Christian cities looked bleak. The Mongol Empire seemed intent on total conquest everywhere. The Mongols were moving closer and closer to the Mediterranean coast. In 1258 AD Baghdad, the seat of the Abbasid Caliphate, was captured. Two years later Ayyubid-controlled Aleppo fell to the Mongols in January 1260 AD. Damascus fell just two months later in March of the same year. It looked very much like the Crusader states might be next in line. Ominously the Mongols had made raids on Ascalon, Jerusalem, and northern Egypt. The Mongols established a garrison was established at Gaza. Shortly thereafter in August of 1260 AD an attack on Sidon followed. Without outside help Bohemund VI of Antioch-Tripoli was obliged to accept subservience to the Mongols. He was forced to permit the establishment of a permanent Mongol garrison Antioch. Meanwhile in contrast the Muslims fought back against the encroaching Mongol invaders. The Egyptian-based Mamluks were led by the gifted general Baibars (or “Baybars”). The Mamluks defeated the Mongols in the Battle of Ain Jalut on 3 September 1260 AD. General Baibars then murdered the Mamluk sultan Qurtuz. Baibars took the position of Sultan for himself. Baibars reigned through 1277 AD. During these years the Mamluks continued their expansion over the following years. They succeeded in pushing the Mongols back to the Euphrates River. The Christian cities did not fare well. General Baibars not only was victorious against the Mongols, he captured the Christian cities of Caesarea and Arsuf. Baibars even managed to conquer the Knights Hospitaller castle of Krak des Chevaliers. Baibars would go on to conquer Antioch in 1268 AD. The Muslim sect the Assassins were also targeted by Muslim forces. Assassin castles in Syria were captured during the decade of the 1260s AD. Baibars was by that point master of the Levant. He declared himself to be God's instrument and the protector of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. In the complex regional politics of shifting alliances by 1263 AD the Christians of Antioch had actually joined forces with the Mongols to take Aleppo. In contrast the Christians of Acre decided to remain neutral. They sided with neither the Muslim nor the Mongols. Whatever the macro-politics there existed an undeniable geographical reality by the mid-1260s AD. That reality was that the Latin East was on the very verge of obliteration. This complicated chaos was both political in nature as well as to a lesser extent, religious. Into was into this mess that the French King Louis IX and the Eighth Crusaders were about to blindly leap. Back in Europe Louis “took up the cross” again in March of 1267 AD. The French king had the backing of Pope Clement IV, who reigned from 1265 through 1268 AD. A general call was made for nobles and knights in Europe to once again come to the aid of Christians in the Middle East. As in previous campaigns preachers toured with the Crusade message. A huge pot of cash was accumulated by any means the state could think of. Ships were again hired from Marseilles and Genoa. As before Crusaders came from other countries such as England, Spain, Frisia, and the Low Countries. But once again the Crusade was an expedition dominated by the French. Big names from the nobility who signed up included Alphonse of Poitiers, who was French King Louis' brother. Also the future King Edward I of England, who would reign from 1272 through 1307 AD. Other luminaries included King James I of Aragon, who ruled from 1213 through 1276 AD. Another of King Louis' brothers was Charles of Anjou, king of Sicily from 1266 through 1285 AD, also joined. An army of between 10,000 and 15,000 men was raised. This force was similar in size to that of Louis' first crusade. The strategy which prevailed centered around the belief that in order to defeat the Muslims and retrieve control of the Holy Land it was best to attack from Africa. However this time the first target was not Damietta in Egypt, as in the last Crusade, but Tunis. Tunis was much further west on the North African coast. The Crusaders needed a mustering point after the various fleets had sailed across the Mediterranean. This was provided by the Emir of Tunis, al-Mustansir. Al-Mustansir was an ally of James I of Aragon. The Crusader's plan was that if this region could be controlled it would provide in 1271 a solid base from which to attack the Nile. The army of the Eighth Crusade set off for the Middle East in various groups. The first of these was led by James I of Aragon in June 1269 AD. This first group unfortunately encountered a storm at sea and met with disaster. Charles of Anjou set off in July 1270 AD. England's King Edward I was even later and sailed in August 1270 AD. While the Crusaders were leisurely dithering across the Mediterranean, the situation for the Latin states was worsening. As mentioned above in a bloody siege Antioch as taken by the Mamluk General Baibars in May 1268 AD. Up through July 1270 AD the bulk of the Crusader fleet landed at Tunis. The Crusader army then moved to Carthage. At Carthage they established a semi-permanent camp and waited for stragglers to arrive. As was typical in medieval warfare the two greatest obstacles for the Crusader army were lack of provisions and disease. The disease issue was exacerbated by the high concentration of humans in the height of summer. True to form the Crusader camp was beset both by the lack of provisions and the prevalence of disease. Especially problematic was the lack of clean water. Disease and illness struck indiscriminately. Louis' son John Tristan died. And just like on his first crusade even the French king himself had a serious bout of dysentery. Unlike his recovery from the disease during that prior crusade, the king did not survive. After a month of torment Louis IX died on 25 August 1270 AD. Legend has it that the king's last words were 'Jerusalem! Jerusalem!' Curiously that final statement was not described by Louis' confessor who was with him when he died. After Louis' death his son, Charles of Anjou, too command of the Crusader forces. Charles himself had only just arrived in North Africa with his contingent of men. who had only just arrived, took command of the Crusade after Louis' death. The decision was made to withdraw. This after the conclusion of a deal negotiated with the Emir of Tunis. The Emir agreed to over Christian prisoners and to guarantee freedom of worship in the city. These promises were accompanied by the Emir donating a “golden handshake” of 210,000 ounces of gold. It was at this point that Edward I of England finally arrived in Africa. However by this late point in time the “party” was already over. The fleet sailed back to Sicily to regroup in November. However any plans to subsequently use the military force to do any good were scuppered in a violent storm. Most of the ships and over 1,000 men were lost. Only King Edward of Britain wished to continue on to the Holy Land. Everyone else abandoned the Crusade. Thus the Eighth Crusade turned out to be the most crushingly disappointing failure in a long line of crusade catastrophes. Despite the failure the Papacy did not abandon the idea of crusading. Edward I and his small force of 1,000 men was supplemented by a handful of French knights. The combined force arrived at Acre in September 1271 AD. Sometimes rather grandly referred to as the Ninth Crusade, unsurprisingly they could do little to stop Baibars' Mamluk expansionist plans. However Edward did at least gain the benefit of being lauded by poets and songwriters for his efforts. Of all of the Eighth Crusaders Edward was the only European monarch to make it to the Holy Land. French King Louis IX who died of dysentery at the outset of the crusade gained an even more spectacular boost to his image. Though posthumously the king was made a saint in 1297 AD in recognition of his services to the cross. Meanwhile back in the Levant with the fall of Acre in 1291 AD the Latin East effectively came to an end. All the advances established during the First Crusade of 1095 through 1102 AD were in the end for naught [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Condition: NEW albeit faintly shelfworn (it was published in 1980). Please see detailed condition description below (click "additional details" button on your cell phone or tablet)., Length: 240 pages, Dimensions: 10¼ x 7¾ inches; 2¼ pounds, Publisher: Cambridge University (1980), Format: Large hardcover with dustjacket

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