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The Crusades

Discussion in 'World History' started by Japanrocks12, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. Japanrocks12

    Japanrocks12 tired of being a man

    Apr 28, 2003
    From Prophet Muhammud's death in 632, the religion of Islam grew strong. By the 1100's, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as parts of West Africa, were strictly Muslim. However, there are some who didn't accept the religion, and believers were thought to be infidels...

    In 1075, the Seljuk Turks annexed Jerusalem, a holy city to Christians, Jews, and Muslims. This shocked the Catholic Church, who belived that they rightfully owned Jerusalem. In 1095, Pope Urban II preached a crusade, or Holy War against the Turkish Muslims. This was his speech:

    The noble race of Franks must come to the aid their fellow Christians in the East. The infidel Turks are advancing into the heart of Eastern Christendom; Christians are being oppressed and attacked; churches and holy places are being defiled. Jerusalem is groaning under the Saracen yoke. The Holy Sepulchre is in Moslem hands and has been turned into a mosque. Pilgrims are harassed and even prevented from access to the Holy Land

    The West must march to the defense of the East. All should go, rich and poor alike. The Franks must stop their internal wars and squabbles. Let them go instead against the infidel and fight a righteous war.

    God himself would lead them, for they would be doing His work. There will be absolution and remission of sins for all who die in the service of Christ. Here they are poor and miserable sinners; there they will be rich and happy. Let none hesitate; they must march next summer. God wills it!

    Deus lo volt! (God wills it) became the battle cry of the Crusaders.

    At that time, there were 3 major powers in England: The English, the Franks, and the Holy Roman Empire. Each sent their share of knights to recapture Jerusalem. As they passed Byzantium, they caught they eye of many people who described them as "noble, powerful, and ready to fight for the right cause"

    After crossing the Bosphorus, their first target was Nicaea, which had fallen to the Turks 10 years previously and was now the capital of Kilij Arslan, sultan of the Seljuk Turkish state of Rhüm. Arslan was in the east of his country fighting the neighbouring Danishmend Emir when the crusaders attacked. A two-month siege ensued, during which the crusaders were assisted by Byzantine troops under the command of Tatikios, and a Byzantine naval blockade commanded by Boutoumites. Arslan made peace with the Danishmend and attempted to lift the siege, but in the end Nicaea surrendered to agents of the Emperor. Alexius distributed the spoils, including food and money, but he would not allow the crusaders to pillage the city – a move that was later to be the cause of a lot of bitterness.

    After capturing Nicaea, the Crusaders took other other cities along the Holy Land, which they later renamed the "Outremer" However, their victory would not last long... Little did the Crusaders know that the Muslims were regrouping. The Zangi, a separate group of Crusaders took the city of Edessa, it was said that Pope Urban II died of grief.

    Pope Eugenius III issued a crusading bull (Quantum praedecessors) to Louis VII of France. A Cistercian abbot, Bernard of Clairvaux, convinced Conrad III of Germany to go on crusade as well. Louis VII and Conrad III arrived in Constantinople in 1147. The crusaders then attacked Damascus, a Muslim city that had been allied to the Christians until the attack. Upon the arrival of Nur al-Din (Nureddin) and his forces, the crusaders gave up their siege, ending the Second Crusade. It is important to note that the majority of the crusaders during this period crusaded either in Iberia (where they seized Lisbon) or (more unsuccessfully) on the eastern border of Germany against the Slavs and Wends.

    While the Second Crusade didn't directly help the Christian presence in the Mideast, from 1153 to 1169 the Franks were again on the offensive. However, the attack on Damascus probably also helped Nur al-Din gain control of Damascus in 1154. Nur al-Din was the son of Zangi and inherited Aleppo (but not Mosul) from his father. Nur al-Din continued to increase his power; by 1155, he had united Muslim Syria. From 1163-69, Shirkuh, one of his generals, struggled for control of Egypt. Two months after Shirkuh gained control of Egypt for Nur al-Din, leaving Shirkuh's nephew Saladin in charge of Egypt. In 1170, Nur al-Din finally gained Mosul.

    At the time of his death on May 15, 1174, Nur al-Din controlled Syria and Egypt. A power struggle for control of his son ensued upon his death, ending for the moment Muslim unity. Saladin, who already had control of Egypt, now fought for control of Syria: he took Damascus in October 1174, Aleppo in June 1183, and Mosul in Febuary 1186. While Saladin did occasionally attack the Christian forces, he focused more of his attention on consolidating power in Syria and Jazira. By 1187, however, he had control of Syria and Egypt and his attention turned toward the Latin settlements. In attacking a Muslim caravan (which was protected by virtue of a peace treaty), Reynald of Transjordan provided Saladin with a reason to end this treaty and start his attack.

    The Christians had been on the defensive since 1169. Baldwin V of Jerusalem died in August 1186, and his mother and aunt fought for control of Jerusalem, leaving the Christians with a crisis of leadership. Saladin invaded the Frankish territory in 1187 and in July of that year defeated the combined armies of the crusader states at the Battle of Hattin. The destruction of the army left the territories vulnerable and Saladin was able to retake Jerusalem and most of the territory of the Crusaders, leaving only Tyre, Tripoli and Antioch. These were, however, enough of a foothold for reinforcement and the Third Crusade to enter the Mideast.

    The Third Crusade was perhaps the most well-known throughout history. Between the terrible loss at Hattin and the loss of the great cities, especially Jerusalem, the news electrified Europe. The news was brought by Genoese merchants to Rome in October, followed closely by the Archbishop of Tyre, come to plead for aid. King William II of Sicily was one of the first monarchs to hear the news and he immediately sent a fleet to the Holy Land. Its timely arrival helped save Tripoli and Tyre.

    The archbishop went north, to gain the help of the English and French, who were at war at the time, but were in the midst of negotiating a truce (January 1188). Henry II and Philip II patched up their quarrel and made peace on the very battlefield, and a number of nobles took the cross on the spot. The two monarchs also agreed to levy a special tax to finance the crusade, a tax that became known as the Saladin Tithe.

    Instead of marching off to save Jerusalem, however, the two nations became embroiled again in war. Henry's son, Richard of Poitou, went to war with the Count of Toulouse. Both men appealed to their overlords, and then in a fit of anger Richard switched sides to the French and made war on his own father, Henry of England. On July 6, 1188, the old king died and Richard of Poitou was now Richard I of England (September 3).

    The delays because of rebellion and war were widely and loudly condemned. Once Richard was made king, he had no further excuse for delay (for he had taken the crusading vow even before Henry had). In fact, Richard did not depart for the Holy Land until July 1190, almost three years after the fall of Jerusalem.

    When the news arrived in October 1187, it was received, in a nice irony of names, by Pope Urban III. Already an old man, the chroniclers say that he died of grief. Within ten days, the new pope, Gregory VIII, had issued a crusading bull. The papacy, at least, was ready to spring into action immediately.

    The new pope did not, however, try to have the Church lead the crusade. His appeal was to the lay rulers of Europe, and he had Archbishop Joscius of Tyre go directly to France to appeal to the kings. The magnitude of the disasters was such that it would take the combined might of Christendom to redress the balance.

    But eloquent words and promises of indulgences were scarcely needed this time. The shock of the loss of Jerusalem was more than enough motivation to start armies in motion, or at least enough to make monarchs claim that they would go.

    William of Sicily was the first to respond, when he sent a fleet to Tripoli. But the first army actually to depart was led by the Emperor of the Romans, Frederick I, whom the Italians had nicknamed "Barbarossa" (Redbeard).

    Frederick had been a monarch for three decades. He had fought and exiled his Welf rival, Henry the Lion, had won and lost in Italy, and had been crowned Emperor of the Romans. As a teen-aged boy, he had gone on the Second Crusade, but now he had a chance to lead one himself. With Germany quiet and Italy arranged as best he could manage, Frederick answered the crusading call eagerly.

    Frederick took the cross publicly in March 1188. There was the usual long process of actually assembling an army and departing, so he did not set out until May 1189. His was probably the largest single crusading army ever to march. Medieval estimates are always exaggerated, but the force was certainly in the tens of thousands.

    The army took the traditional overland route down the Danube River and across the Balkans to Constantinople. The passage was complicated by the fact that the Byzantine emperor, Isaac Angelus, had a secret arrangement with Saladin to delay Barbarossa. Saladin had heard wild stories about the German emperor who was supposedly marching with a million men. His own men were skittish at the threat and Saladin wished to delay the day of reckoning as long as possible.

    Isaac Angelus did not slow up the Germans by much, but he did succeed in irritating Frederick to no end. There were squabble and skirmishes and even hostages taken. Frederick wintered at Edirne and in the spring of 1189 succeeded in obtaining a crossing into Asia Minor. The two emperors did not part on good terms. Over the entire two hundred years of crusading, this was the only occasion on which the Greek and Roman emperors ever met face to face.
  2. Japanrocks12

    Japanrocks12 tired of being a man

    Apr 28, 2003
    The Germans continued to follow the traditional route, moving down through the interior of Asia Minor. They captured Konya (Iconium) on 18 May. Although it was still a difficult passage, the Turks were reluctant to engage so large a host, and except at Iconium no real battles were fought along the route.

    The army moved into Cilicia at the end of May. They were in Christian (Armenian) territory now, and could travel in safety until Syria. On the 10th of June, 1190, Frederick attempted to swim the River Saleph. It was late afternoon; everyone was hot and tired. Perhaps Frederick was showing off a bit, perhaps he was merely being impetuous; perhaps being nearly seventy years old, he should have been more cautious. In any event, while crossing the river on his horse, Frederick I drowned there in a Cilician river.

    He was perhaps the best hope of Outremer; certainly he brought the largest army. Saladin was deeply worried about the Emperor and counted it a miracle of Allah when he heard of the drowning. Without the strong hand of the emperor, the German army almost immediately began to break up: some returned to Europe on the spot, some took ship and sailed to Antioch, and some went overland to Antioch. Those who went through Syria suffered heavy losses from small battles and from the heat. There were more losses due to an epidemic in Antioch. By the time the Germans joined the siege at Acre, they were drastically reduced in numbers and even more reduced in spirit. Even more abandoned the siege after the death of Frederick's son, the Duke of Swabia, on 20 January 1191.

    Effectively, Barbarossa's death spelled the end of a significant German presence on the Third Crusade. Leadership now fell to France and England. Those two kings made it to the Holy Land by sea, but they did not arrive as allies.

    Richard Coeur-de-Lion (the Lion-Hearted) was one of the great knights of the Middle Ages, fulfilling every requirement. He was strong and courageous, physically well-suited for warfare. He rode well, fought well, and proved himself to be a good field commander. He was tall and handsome. He had a taste for poetry and song, and he generally lived up to the chivalric code. He had little patience with politics, however, or administration or the other routine chores of a king. He was thirty-three years old, newly-made King of England. While it may be true that he was a better knight than king, his contemporaries did not fault him for it.

    Philip Augustus was Richard's match but was also his opposite. He was an excellent administrator, at home with diplomacy and court intrigue. He disliked glamor and romance, and disliked warfare even more. He was well-built, but not particularly handsome, and was blind in one eye. Although he was only twenty-five, he had been king for ten years already and had a firm grasp of the duties of royalty. Where Richard's court was splendid, Philip's was dull. Even so, Philip had proven himself a match for the old lion, Henry II, and was not unfraid to take on the young lion, either.

    The French and English assembled in July 1190 at Vezelay, the starting-point for Louis' crusade almost fifty years earlier. They travelled together as far as Lyons, but there the French went to Genoa while the English went to Marseilles. Both kings arrived at Messina, Sicily, in September.

    King William II of Sicily had offered to supply a fleet to accompany the Crusaders. But William had died in November 1189 and the succession was disputed. When the kings arrived, Sicily was held by Tancred of Lecce, who had placed Queen Joanna under a sort of courteous house arrest, had confiscated the treasure William had left to finance the Crusade, and was anxiously awaiting an expected invasion by the Germans, for his aunt Constance was now married to King Henry VI of Germany and he was claiming the throne on behalf of his wife. Tancred, therefore, was looking for allies.

    Richard managed to make enemies almost immediately. His English soldiers quarreled with the locals. He raided a small island and evicted the Greek monks there to make room for his soldiers. Tancred was so fearful of Richard that he made sure the English were housed outside Messina. When the citizens rioted against the English, Richard replied by building a fortress next to the city (October 1190).

    Tancred anxiously patched things up with Richard. In a treaty signed by all three kings on October 8th, Richard received twenty thousand ounces of gold. At this same meeting, Richard and Philip agreed on terms regulating the progress of their Crusade, including the point that any conquests should be divided evenly between them.

    They also discussed Richard's marriage plans. Philip's sister, Alice, was supposed to have been married to Richard. But he disliked the girl; his father was rumored to have slept with her, and his mother Eleanor had in any case picked out a different match. Always closest to his mother, Richard declared that Alice's reputation was such that he could not marry her. He would wait for the arrival of a princess of Navarre, Berengaria, who would be accompanied by Eleanor. This did not endear him to Philip.

    The kings had delayed so long that the weather now prevented their leaving and they wintered at Messina. Relations were cordial enough. Richard still got into fights on occasion, but nothing that couldn't be smoothed over. Philip finally set sail on March 30, 1191. Richard left on April 10.

    While Philip sailed directly to Tyre, Richard's fleet was plagued by storms. He himself stopped first at Crete and then at Rhodes. Three ships, one of which was carrying Queen Joanna of Sicily and Berengaria, Richard's bride-to-be. Two of the ships were wrecked off Cyprus, but the ship bearing the Queen and Berengaria made it safely to Limassol.

    They were not well-received. The island was ruled by one Isaac Ducas Comnenus who had rebelled against Constantinople and was now independent. He hated all Franks, regardless of where they were really from, and he treated Joanna with rudeness. The Queen refused to come ashore, fearing she would be captured and held hostage, so her ship sat at anchor for a full week before Richard finally arrived on May 8.

    He had been through multiple storms, had suffered from sea-sickness, and now his sister and his future bride were being kept from dry land by some arrogant Greek. Richard Lion-heart had gone to war for more trivial causes than this, and he invaded immediately. Isaac fled Limassol, but took up a position nearby. On May 11, the two men parleyed. On the same day, a great number of knights arrived from Palestine, including King Guy, Geoffrey of Lusignan (one of Richard's more important vassals), Bohemond of Antioch, and a number of Templars. They arrived to seek Richard's help, for Philip of France had immediately taken the side of Conrad in their quarrel over the Kingdom of Jerusalem. With these unexpected reinforcements, Richard now decided he would conquer Cyprus for himself.

    The next day, May 12, Richard married Berengaria at Limassol. The rest of the English fleet arrived on the 13th, and Richard began his conquest. The people of Cyprus didn't much care for Isaac; he lost a couple of brief battles, and by the end of May he had surrendered. Richard made some quick arrangements, made a great haul of booty, and set out with the English fleet on June 5.

    Cyprus had more or less fallen into Richard's lap. He gave it away again soon enough, but its wealth helped finance his Crusade, and Cyprus now became part of Latin Outremer and would remain Latin long after Syria and Palestine had been lost.

    Before Richard ever arrived on Cyprus, King Philip had landed at Tyre, where he was met by Conrad of Montferrat, who was now calling himself King of Jerusalem. The two men were cousins, so it was natural that Philip should support Conrad in his dispute with Guy. The two went together on April 20 to the siege at Acre.

    Philip ordered the building of some siege towers, and otherwise took general control of the effort, but nothing else was done. It was agreed that they should wait for the English before attempting to storm the city. Richard arrived on June 8, so Philip did not have to wait very long.

    Almost from the moment of his arrival, Richard took command of the siege. Although technically both kings merely commanded their own troops, it was Richard who was clearly the more energetic. For example, when both kings fell ill, even though Richard was much more sick, he was back in action more quickly than was Philip, and was visiting the lines almost as soon as he could stand. This was the sort of dynamic leadership that the besiegers needed.

    Even so, little progress was made at first, for Saladin was still near by with his army. Whenever the besiegers pressed the city too closely, Saladin would attack the Christian camps. He was not strong enough to risk a pitched battle against so large a Frankish army, but he was strong enough to keep them from being able to concentrate solely on Acre.

    And so the city held out for a little longer, but as June wore on, it became plain that Saladin was not going to be able to rescue the city. The walls were breached early in July, and on the 11th the garrison offered terms. They agreed to surrender the city, to give over two thousand prisoners, to pay two hundred thousand gold pieces, and to return the True Cross. The Latins accepted, and the garrison sent a swimmer to carry the news to Saladin.

    The city itself could not fulfill the terms. It did not have the prisoners, Saladin did. It did not have the True Cross. And it did not have the money. Unfortunately, neither did Saladin.

    Saladin could not possibly agree to the terms, but the garrison had made the agreement in his name and he was bound by honor to accept it. The garrison left Acre on the 12th of July, 1191 and the Crusaders moved in immediately. As they occupied the city, quarrels broke out, including one that would have consequences later. Duke Leopold of Austria was now the commander of the German contingent. He set up his banners on an equal footing with the two kings, for he was representing the German king (now Henry VI). The English took offense at this and threw the German banner into a ditch. Duke Leopold would have occasion to remember this insult.

    After the city was secured, the leaders met and decided formally that Guy was indeed the King of Jerusalem, but that after he died, Conrad and Isabella would succeed, and that their heirs would inherit. King Philip now declared his intention to go home. He was chronically ill and pleaded health. He returned to Tyre with Conrad on July 31st, and sailed for France on August 2nd, though he did leave a large portion of his army behind.

    Richard was now in sole command of the Third Crusade. One of his first acts was something that has earned him condemnation from modern historians. He was still holding a large number of Muslim prisoners as hostage against Saladin's fulfillment of the terms of capitulation. When Saladin sent the first installment, he did not free all the prisoners that had been agreed to.

    A week later, Richard ordered the execution of his Muslim prisoners, declaring that Saladin had broken the terms of the agreement. Two thousand seven hundred prisoners were killed--men, women and children. They were executed outside the city walls; Saladin's soldiers could see the butchery, which took all day, and tried to rescue them. Even as the prisoners were being slaughtered, a battle was fought, but the Muslims were driven back and all the prisoners died.

    The next day, August 22, Richard led his army out of Acre. He killed the prisoners mainly because he could not possible take nearly three thousand prisoners with him, and they no longer were useful in negotiating with Saladin. He could have freed them, but Richard was rarely generous in that way. It is significant that the Christian chroniclers all relate this story with great satisfaction, viewing it as vengeance for the losses suffered at Acre. Moreover, Saladin himself continued to treat cordially with Richard. Muslim chroniclers at the time talk about those killed as martyrs for the faith.
  3. Japanrocks12

    Japanrocks12 tired of being a man

    Apr 28, 2003
    Richard's objective was to recover Jerusalem and naturally Saladin understood this. The Sultan's main goal, therefore, was to keep Richard away from the city. Saladin had his own problems, however. His army consisted of many emirs that bound to him by varying degrees of loyalty. Some of them had been on campaign now for four years; they were glutted with victory and were tired. Already they had shown themselves unwilling to risk enough to save Acre; he could not afford to be too agressive with Richard. Besides, the English king's reputation as a warrior was well known to Saladin. A foolish mistake in the field, and the Latins might regain all that they had lost.

    His strategy, therefore, was to follow Richard closely, to harass him at every opportunity, and to hope that the King might be goaded into a mistake. For his part, Richard understood the situation as well as Saladin. His first order of business was to avoid the trap Saladin hoped to spring.

    So, the Crusaders marched south under very strict orders. Richard kept them right next to the sea, with the infantry and supplies marching along the beaches and the cavalry protecting it on the flank. The fleet kept pace with the army, protecting it from the seaward side and keeping it supplied. Despite skirmishing, the Crusaders avoided being provoked into battle or being drawn away from the main body of the army.

    In this manner, the army marched southward. This is usually regarded as Richard's finest moment, as he led the army through the August heat under terrible circumstances, keeping discipline through the sheer force of his personality and tactical abilities. During the last few days of the march, there was fighting every day, but still Saladin could not force the army to break.

    At last, Saladin had to risk a pitched battle. On September 7, 1191, Saladin attacked near Arsuf. He tried the classic Turkish tactic of attacking with light cavalry, trying to lure the Frankish cavalry into a rash attack, but Richard refused to rise to the bait. Eventually, despite Richard's orders, two Templars charged out against the enemy. Their comrades followed. Within moments, the entire line of the knights moved to the attack. Richard charged after them and took the lead.

    The fury of the Christian charge was too much for the emirs. One after another, they broke and ran. Saladin himself went into the battle and was able to save his camp, at least, and to keep the retreat from turning into a rout. But the Christians had won the field of battle and on the next day continued their journey south. It was plain that Saladin could not stop them.

    The army was tired and needed rest, and Richard needed some sort of base from which to launch his attack on Jerusalem, so the next few months were spent fortifying Jaffa. It was during these months that Richard sold the island of Cyprus to the Templars. His representatives there had been plagued by revolts. He had drained the island of money and it was of no further interest to him. Templar gold, however, was of immediate interest.

    In November, Saladin disbanded about half his army and retired to winter quarters. Richard tried to take advantage of this and moved his army forward. The weather, however, was terrible. He got as close as twelve miles from the city early in January 1192, but then had to pull back. Not only was Saladin in the field against him, but a second army had come up from Egypt, and the city itself had been fortified.

    Richard then moved down to Ascalon. Saladin had torn down the fortifications there, so the English set about rebuilding them and Richard spent the next four months there. During this time, disputes that had been festering among the Crusaders came into the open. Many of the French knights left Richard and went to Acre or back to France, mainly because Philip had left them little money and Richard was no longer able to pay them. Conrad was still openly defiant of Richard and was supported in this by many of the Palestinian barons who refused to accept Guy as their king. The Pisans and Genoese at Acre quarreled so badly that Richard had to go to Acre in person to settle it.

    Worse yet, the King was receiving bad news from home. His brother, John, was usurping power shamelessly. And Philip seemed on the verge of breaking his oath not to attack any of Richard's lands while he was still on Crusade. The King became convinced that he would have to make some sort of treaty with Saladin and return home as soon as possible.

    With so many troubles besetting him, Richard knew that he would have to settle the dispute over the Kingdom once and for all. He went back to Acre in April of 1192, summoned the barons of the kingdom, and asked for advice. All the barons now spoke for Conrad; only Guy's own kin would side with him. Given the precarious situation, Richard now reversed his support and agreed that Conrad should be made king. Not least in Richard's calculations must have been the knowledge that once Conrad was king, he would bring his forces and join in the Crusade.

    Conrad was at Tyre when the news was brought to him and there was general celebration, for Guy was still widely blamed for the disaster at Hattin. He announced he would leave for Acre in a few days.

    On April 28, Conrad decided to go dine with the Bishop of Beauvais. On his way back home again, two men approached him. One handed him a letter to read. When he took it, the other man pulled out a knife and stabbed Conrad to death. One murderer was killed on the spot. The other confessed that he had been sent by the Old Man of the Mountain. The Assassins had struck again.

    Isabella was fearful of her safety and shut herself up in her castle. Henry of Champagne, Richard's nephew, hurried up to Tyre. The people of the city at once declared that he should marry Isabella and be made the new king. He was young, handsome, courageous, and widely popular. It was obvious that Guy could not be chosen and equally obvious that the kingdom could not be without a king in the face of Saladin. Henry was hesitant, for he wanted to return to Champagne, but he felt it was his duty to agree.

    So, only two days after Conrad's assassination, Henry and Isabella were betrothed. They went down to Acre where Richard gave his approval, and within a week they were married. Henry of Champagne was now King of Jerusalem.

    And what of Guy of Lusignan? Richard made an excellent arrangement. The Templars had had no more success in governing Cyprus than had the English, and they now wanted Richard to take it back. Instead, he proposed that Guy buy the island from the Templars. This suited everyone and Cyprus was taken over by the Lusignans, who would rule it for almost two hundred years.
  4. Japanrocks12

    Japanrocks12 tired of being a man

    Apr 28, 2003
    Richard was now anxious to go home, but again events conspired to delay him. Rebellion had broken out in Saladin's family and he was busy dealing with that. In May, then, Richard went south to Daron and easily captured it. The Crusaders had now re-captured every coastal fortification that had been lost. The time seemed right to make another attempt on Jerusalem.

    So, on June 7, 1192, Richard again set out to free the Holy City. He again drew close, within a few miles, but Saladin was there waiting for him. The two armies skirmished occasionally throughout the month, but no serious fighting developed. Richard could not risk a siege, for his army was not large enough. For his part, Saladin did not want to risk a pitched battle; all he had to do was defend Jerusalem and eventually the English king would have to retire.

    It worked. On July 4, Richard ordered a retreat. Many in his army were deeply disappointed, but the experienced commander was convinced that to attack Jerusalem would be to risk the entire army. He returned to Jaffa and again entered into negotiations with Saladin for a truce. While negotiations were proceeding, Richard moved up to Acre, to be ready to sail as soon as the treaty was signed.

    On July 27, Saladin took advantage of Richard's absence to make a sudden assault on Jaffa. The city fought for three days, but was badly outnumbered. Saladin's troops plundered and slaughtered, and the garrison retreated to the city's fortress. The Muslims were glutting themselves on the town's supplies and it took Saladin some time to bring them back to order.
  5. Japanrocks12

    Japanrocks12 tired of being a man

    Apr 28, 2003
    As soon as Richard heard about the attack on Jaffa, he sent his army to save the city. He knew, however, that it might take too many days for it to march to Jaffa, so he gathered eighty knights, four hundred bowmen, and about two thousand Italian soldiers, and headed to the rescue.

    He arrived on July 31, barely in time. Representatives from the garrison were actually in Saladin's tent to sign for the surrender. Richard hesitated to land, not knowing the situation, but as soon as the garrison saw the sails, they sallied out to attack. A priest swam out to the flotilla to beg Richard to attack immediately. The King landed straightaway and charged into the city. The Muslims were completely dispersed, thinking the city safe, and were taken by surprise. Richard secured the city at once. Saladin's troops were in full panic and were miles away from Jaffa before he could bring them to order again.

    For a couple of days, the two sides parleyed, for neither really wanted to continue the war, but both sides were still demanding too much.The action at Jaffa had thrown everything out of balance again. Saladin attacked again on August 5, trying to destroy Richard's tiny force before his main army, already past Caesarea, should arrive. He attacked at dawn and nearly caught the English by surprise; they had enough time to form up, but not enough time to equip themselves fully.

    For this second battle, Richard had only fifty-four knights still fit to fight and only fifteen horses among them, so most fought on foot. He drew up his knights and his two thousand foot soldiers in a line outside the city. He set a field of tent stakes out front, to try to break up the cavalry charge. Behind that he had his men plant their shields in the ground to act as a make-shift wall. They also drove their lances into the ground, points outward. He placed an archer between every two men.

    The Muslims attacked in seven waves of a thousand men each. They charged again and again, but were driven back each time. In the afternoon, Richard felt strong enough to order a counter-charge. Saladin was amazed to see so few mounted knights attack so many. When Richard's horse was killed out from under him, Saladin sent two to replace it, saying that it was not fit for so gallant a foe not to have a mount.

    By the end of the day, the Crusaders still held Jaffa, and the fight was gone out of Saladin's army. The Sultan retreated to Jerusalem. Richard was unable to follow up his victory, remarkable as it was. His force was too small; moreover, he immediately fell ill again with a fever. Saladin sent him snow from the mountains, and fresh fruit, but he would not budge in his terms for peace.

    The final treaty was signed on September 2, 1192. By its terms, Jerusalem would remain in Muslim hands, but Christian pilgrims were to be allowed to visit it, and all the holy places, freely and safely. The towns along the coast that the Christians had recovered would remain in their hands, except for Ascalon. It was to be returned to Saladin, but with all its fortifications demolished. There would be peace in Palestine for five years.

    It was not what had been hoped for, when the three greatest European monarchs had set out, three years previously. But the loss of Barbarossa had been a grievous blow, and Philip's disinterest had allowed the French to withdraw at every convenient excuse. The English alone were not enough to win back the City on the Hill.

    Richard recovered from his fever and he quickly returned to Acre. His sister and his wife left the city on September 29, and Richard followed on October 9.

    It's generally believed that Richard suffered from sea-sickness. The Mediterranean certainly didn't agree with him, for once again he was plagued by storms. He had to put in at Corfu. There, he donned the disguise of a Templar knight, for his was now in waters controlled by the Emperor of Byzantium, an enemy. He then sailed up the Adriatic and was shipwrecked near Aquilaea.

    That was enough sea travel for Richard. Keeping his disguise, he and four companions went over the Alps and into Germany, trying to sneak into Saxony, which was ruled by his brother-in-law. On December 11, though, at an inn near Vienna, he was recognized and taken prisoner.

    He was in the lands of Duke Leopold of Austria--the same man whose standard Richard's troops had thrown into the mud at Acre. Leopold was delighted to have Richard as a prisoner, and he only reluctantly yielded the king up to Emperor Henry VI. The Emperor, for his part, was glad to keep Richard a prisoner, for the English king was friend to some of the Emperor's worst enemies.

    Richard Lionheart was finally ransomed in March 1194 for a huge amount of money. He arrived in England in April and soon brought his wayward brother to heel. This is the famous return of Richard that figures so largely in the legends of Robin Hood and the story of Ivanhoe.

    The Third Crusade failed in its main objective: Jerusalem remained in Muslim hands. That it was regarded as a failure can be seen in the actions of Europeans: Henry VI was soon planning a new Crusade set for 1196. Henry died on the very eve of his crusade and Germany fell into civil war, but the leadership was taken up almost immediately by the new pope, Innocent III.

    The English and the French were too preoccupied with their struggle against one another to try again right away, so there was no new efforts from that quarter, either. Yet, the Third Crusade did succeed in a very important way: it preserved Outremer. The valiant defense of Tyre by Conrad of Montferrat could not have been kept without reinforcements from the West. And Guy's mad assault on Acre would never have succeeded without those same armies. Because of the Third Crusade, Outremer still clung to a narrow strip of cities along the coast of Lebanon and Palestine, and those cities could serve as the basis for future efforts to reclaim Jerusalem. Moreover, the victories had served as a significant counter-balance to Saladin's early victories, and he emerged from the Third Crusade not quite as invincible as he had at first appeared.

    The Third Crusade also led to the acquisition of Cyprus by the Latins. This was a major addition to Outremer and one that outlasted the mainland. Its acquisition was important not only because it created a new crusader state, but also because it had been taken away from the Greeks. With Cyprus in Latin hands, the Byzantine Empire could no longer threaten Antioch from the sea.

    The Third Crusade also gave birth to the Teutonic Knights. This military order was formed at Acre by survivors of the German Crusade. They were never as important in the Holy Land as either the Templars or the Hospitallers, but they always maintained a contingent and were there at the end in 1291. The Teutonic Knights played an extremely important role, however, in the conquest of the Baltic Slavs and the history of Poland, Livonia, and Lithuania.

    Finally, in failing to regain Jerusalem, the Third Crusade marks the beginning of forty years of almost continuous crusading from Europe. None enjoyed very great success, and certainly none could claim even the modest victories on the field of battle that Richard had won.
  6. Japanrocks12

    Japanrocks12 tired of being a man

    Apr 28, 2003
    The Fourth Crusade is one of the most important of all the major crusades. It is also one of the most complex and certainly one that is easily misunderstood, or at least is often understood in much too simplistic a manner.

    The general outline is this: the Third Crusade having failed in its essential objective of recovering Jerusalem, the popes almost immediately began preaching a new crusade. This turned out to take longer than anyone wanted, for a variety of reasons. By the time a new crusade was really under way, soon after the turn of the century, events were afoot in Constantinople that would cause the Fourth Crusade to take a dramatic turn away from Palestine. The Fourth Crusade did not recover Jerusalem--in fact, it never even made it to Outremer; rather, the Crusaders ended by attacking Constantinople, driving out the Byzantine Emperor, and installing one of their own in the ancient capital of Constantine.

    Conquering Constantinople was hardly on the agenda when the Fourth Crusade began. How could things have gone so wrong? Was it a case of severe muddle-headedness? Or was it cynical opportunism from start to finish? Or (hush) was it a conspiracy?

    The options are many, the players in the drama myriad. There is really nothing for it except to dive into the politics of Byzantium in the 1190s, as well as looking at the pontificate of Innocent III, the mess the Holy Roman Empire was in after the death of Henry VI, and the role of Venice as the actor on the center stage. If you come out the other end shaking your head and still a bit befuddled, rest assured you won't be the only one feeling that way!

    The Comnenus family was ruling Byzantium in 1095, when the First Crusade began, and they were still ruling ninety years later. The last of the Comneni was Andronicus Comnenus, a fellow with a most remarkable history behind him before he ever ascended the throne, in 1182. He ruled with a heavy hand, was widely hated, and when the provinces rebelled, the people of Constantinople rioted and killed Andronicus in 1185. He was succeeded by Isaac II Angelus.

    Isaac had his hands full. Bulgaria rebelled successfully, as did Serbia. A few years later, Frederick Hohenstaufen marched through his lands with a huge army; Isaac was unable to prevent the Emperor from temporarily capturing both Adrianople and Philippopolis. In the end, Frederick continued on, but only after Isaac pretty much granted him everything he wanted. He managed to recover a bit of lost ground in the ensuing years, but at the same time he lost control within the palace itself. In April of 1195, his brother Alexius III usurped the throne and had Isaac blinded.

    Alexius III Angelus was no more effective than his brother and was rather more corrupt. When Emperor Henry VI pressured him, he levied a special tax to buy him off. When the Bulgars rebelled again, Alexius was unable to control them. When Serbia threw its allegiance to Hungary, Alexius could do nothing. And all the while, he continued to drain the treasury. And when the Fourth Crusade drew near, he put up a token resistance, then grabbed all the money he could find and ran.

    Not long after Alexius made himself emperor, Philip of Swabia married Irene Angelus. Philip was the brother of Emperor Henry VI. Irene was the daughter of the deposed emperor Isaac II. Henry, as King of Sicily, was heir to all the old Norman claims to Greek territories they had once conquered. So now the Hohenstaufen had a direct interest through Irene in the claims of Isaac II over against his brother. Confused yet? Keep reading!

    Henry VI was in fact on the verge of asking for a new crusade, to be directed against Constantinople, after which he would command the combined strengths of the empires against Jerusalem. This scheme never got off the ground because Henry died in 1197. But the idea of somehow taking over the Greek Empire and using its resources in support of the liberation of Jerusalem was an attractive one to Westerners. They would pick it up again.

    In 1197, however, the Holy Roman Empire was in no position to do much of anything. Henry VI had been Holy Roman Emperor, King of Sicily, King of Burgundy, King of the Romans, and King of Italy. His son, however, was only an infant and was in no position to rule. In Germany there promptly rose two rivals: Philip of Swabia and Otto of Brunswick. Both, of course, had been elected by a faction of German princes. Neither were able to make their presence felt even in Italy, much less in Sicily, and even less could either of them contemplate going on Crusade. They might lend support but not much more.

    Otto was supported by the third factor in our equation: Pope Innocent III.

    Almost immediately upon being elected pope, Innocent III decided that the papacy itself should assume the leadership of the next Crusade. He issued his crusading letter in August of 1198, sending it to all the archbishops of the West. He directed the call to arms not to kings and emperors, but to counts and barons and even to cities. The archbishops and bishops of the Church were likewise to contribute soldiers, or an equivalent amount in money.

    The tone of the encyclical makes it clear that Innocent believed the Church itself was the true leader of the Crusades. Even so, he wrote separately to the kings of France and England, ordering them to cease their war. Not, you will note, that they should go on crusade themselves, but only that their quarrel should not interfere with the raising of troops and money for the Crusade. He likewise sent a papal legate to try to persuade Genoa and Pisa to make a truce between them, for much the same reasons, except that he wanted the Pisans and Genoese to participate in the Crusade.

    The original date set by Innocent for the departure of the Crusade was March 1199, but no one left. Richard and Philip declared a truce, but Richard died soon after, and the war between England and France was on again. Preachers preached, Innocent wrote more letters and tried to raise money, but still nothing much happened. Only in November 1199 did the first significant lords take the cross and formally commit enough men to the enterprise for it to be called an army.

    Almost immediately, Innocent began to lose control of the Crusade. He had intended for the Crusaders from all over Europe to assemble at Venice, where that city would agree to provide the ships to transport the hosts to the Holy Land. This service would not be free, of course; but only Venice could even contemplate building enough ships to carry an entire Crusader army. Innocent had asked Venice to participate in the Crusade, but this matter of being the primary provider of transportation was something arranged between Venice and the lay lords. From that moment on, the course of events were affected far more by Venice than by the pope.
  7. Japanrocks12

    Japanrocks12 tired of being a man

    Apr 28, 2003
    Venice in 1200 was the richest city in the West, and one that had a direct interest in developments in the eastern Mediterranean. The city was ruled by a tightly-knit upper class of merchants and property owners, who were represented by the Doge, an executive who was elected for life by a small ruling council. The city's wealth came almost entirely from its role as an entrepôt, moving goods from the eastern Mediterranean to Lombardy and over the Alps to northern Europe. She ruled much of the Adriatic and had outposts on the Dalmatian coast and in Greece. She also had significant trading interests in Outremer. She even had a major colony of merchants in Alexandria, even though that was a Muslim city.

    Relations with Constantinople were not good. Venice had long enjoyed special trading rights in the city, but lately she had seen her privileges erode. Emperor Manuel had ordered a mass arrest of Venetians throughout the Empire in 1171, and all Latins in Constantinople were massacred in a paroxysm of anti-Western sentiment in 1182. Isaac II had renewed their privileges, and so had Alexius III, but the latter did so only for form's sake. In practice, he had been harassing the Venetians and favoring Genoa and Pisa.

    This was the situation in 1201, when six representatives of French lords arrived in the city to negotiate a deal. They wanted Venice to contract with them to carry the Crusader army over the sea, and they named a price. The city council thought about it for a few days, then made an even more generous offer in return, offering to become an equal partner in the enterprise. The city agreed to provide ships for 4,500 knights and their horses, 9,000 squires, and 20,000 foot soldiers. There was a formula for calculating the price for each type of soldier, and the whole price came to 94,000 marks. This was to be paid in installments, and the fleet was to be at the service of the army for one year and was to be ready by June 29, 1202 (the following year). In addition, Venice would supply fifty warships, and would share equally in any conquests.

    Clearly Venice wanted to do more than just provide transport, which was all the original offer contemplated. She saw an opportunity to win territory. Since the French and Venice agreed secretly that the object of the Crusade would be Egypt, the city was probably thinking of the great wealth of that country and what a prize it would be should Venice be able to win half of Alexandria or Damietta or even Cairo.

    The first Crusader army formed in a gallant, chivalric manner, as a by-product of a tournament help in Champagne in November 1199. The count of that land, Theobald, hosted a grand event that was attended by knights from all over northern France. As part of the festivities, Count Theobald and Count Louis of Blois took the cross. Champagne and Blois both had a long crusading tradition, and the preachers had been active in northern France, so they were likely inspired to exert their leadership. As word spread of their deed, other lords likewise too the cross: Count Baldwin of Flanders, Theobald's brother-in-law; Count Hugh of St. Pol, Counts Geoffrey and Stephen of Perche, and many others besides. Theobald's older brother, Henry, had participated in the Third Crusade and had become the King of Jerusalem, so Theobald had very close ties with the Holy Land.

    Before the Crusade ever left, however, Count Theobald died (May 1201). The Crusaders then chose Boniface of Montferrat (a marquisate in northwestern Italy) as their leader. Boniface, too, had close ties wtih the Holy Land. He was descended from crusaders. His oldest brother (now dead) was the father of King Baldwin V of Jerusalem. Another brother was the same Conrad of Montferrat who had saved Tyre from Saladin and who had been assassinated in 1192. Boniface brought in yet another Byzantine tie, as well. Another of his brothers, Renier, had married a daughter of Manuel Comnenus. Although he was killed in 1183, Renier may have been given rulership over Thessalonica by Emperor Manuel, and Boniface may have from the beginning had his eye on recovering what he regarded as a family estate. One other connection was made with Boniface: he was a close friend to Philip of Swabia, who was married to Irene, the deposed Isaac Angelus' sister. So, Boniface brought to the leadership of the Crusade an interest in championing the cause of Isaac against Alexius III.

    The Crusaders assembled first at Soissons, then moved south to Cîteaux in September, where they were joined by a large number of Burgundians. They then moved on to Italy, not in a single organized army, but in separate parties, trickling in to Venice over the course of that summer, thereby delaying the agreed departure date. Moreover, a number of leaders decided to set sail from Marseilles rather than from Venice. The number of soldiers who actually made it to Venice was far less than had been originally estimated.

    The result was that by autumn of 1201, the Crusaders were late and were behind in their payments, for those who did show up could not possibly pay the fee that had been set for a much larger army. The original agreement had calculated 33,500 men, whereas perhaps only 11,000 or so actually showed up in Venice. The Crusaders had assembled, but Venice was not about to transport them until it had received the amount stipulated in the contract. Crusades were crusades, but business was business.

    The Venetians were practical businessmen, and no one of them was more pragmatic than their doge, Enrico Dandolo. There the Crusaders sat, unable to pay for their passage, unwilling to go home, and in the meantime running up bills with all the locals and equally unable to pay those. He could not play it too tough, however, for Pope Innocent III was already angry with how matters were proceeding and would not hesitate to place the city under interdict.

    So, the Venetians offered a new arrangement to replace the old one. Venice had for some time ruled much of the Dalmatian coast, mainly as a way to secure control of the Adriatic and its shipping lanes. Recently, however, the King of Hungary had been inciting rebellion in the Dalmatian towns, offering them his protection. One town that had defected was Zara, which for fifteen years Venice had been trying to recover.

    The doge offered to delay the payment of the contract (cancelling it was out of the question). In return, the Crusaders would help Venice recover Zara. The Crusade leaders had little choice, since the alternative was to abandon the Crusade, violate their crusading vow, and return home broke and humiliated. Even so, many in the army objected vigorously, and some even refused to go. But the Doge himself took the cross, and many Venetians followed his example.

    Some time around now, a fortuitous concidence happened. Isaac II Angelus was blind and in prison in Constantinople, but his son Alexius IV had managed recently to escape and flee to the West. Early in 1202, as the Crusaders were preparing at last to depart (to attack Zara), young Alexius was in Italy and appealed to the Crusaders to help him drive out the usurper Alexius III and to him (the prince) on the throne. If they should do so, the young prince promised an extravagant amount of help for the Crusade--men, money, weapons, ships.

    This appeal fits so neatly with the agenda of the principal leaders of the Crusade that many historians have smelled a plot. We won't enter here into that controversy. Whether through chance or through careful planning, it so happened that Bonficace of Montferrat would be glad to participate because he might recover Thessalonica; and Venice would be glad because the prince promised to restore all their old privileges and more besides; and the rest of the Crusaders could look forward to that great pooling of resources of East and West that had been repeatedly touted in crusading thought.

    So the agenda was set before the fleet ever sailed on October 1, 1202. The Crusaders would capture Zara for Venice, then would capture Constantinople for the young prince Alexius, and then would proceed on to Outremer. By this time, it was not at all clear whether the ultimate objective was still Egypt, for most of the leaders were no longer thinking much past Constantinople

    So, off went the Crusaders, a huge fleet of over 200 ships. Zara was not a Muslim city, but was a Christian one. Pope Innocent thundered angrily in letters, specifically forbidding the Crusaders from attacking Zara. But the papal threats were ignored, and the Crusaders landed at Zara on 10 November.

    Not all the Crusaders thought it was a great idea to be attacking Christians as part of a Crusade. As the siege of the city began, these people finally spoke up openly. Most were eventually persuaded at a general council that they had to do this in order to pay Venice, and they took comfort in shifting the blame to the Venetians. A few, however, flatly refused to participate in the siege. Nevertheless, the city surrendered after only two weeks.

    The Crusade spent the winter at Zara. It was here that the army in general learned of Alexius' offer. Again, many in the army objected and some among them refused to go any further. But most of the army stayed. By attacking Zara they had automatically been excommunicated according to Innocent's threats, so going on to Constantinople could scarcely to any more damage. They sent emissaries to Innocent to try to be reconciled. There ensued an exchange of letters, but Innocent would bend only a little and he still forbade the Crusaders from attacking Constantinople.

    To no avail. The army sailed in April 1203. After capturing the island of Corfù in May, and making a few other stops, it arrived at Constantinople June 24 1203. Emperor Alexius III demanded to know what the Crusaders intended, and they replied that they intended to drive him out as a traitor. The Crusaders then appealed directly to the people of Constantinople, but the Greeks would not accept anyone who was being supported by the hated Latins. If the Crusaders were going to put their young prince on the throne, they would have to do it by force.

    So, off went the Crusaders, a huge fleet of over 200 ships. Zara was not a Muslim city, but was a Christian one. Pope Innocent thundered angrily in letters, specifically forbidding the Crusaders from attacking Zara. But the papal threats were ignored, and the Crusaders landed at Zara on 10 November.

    Not all the Crusaders thought it was a great idea to be attacking Christians as part of a Crusade. As the siege of the city began, these people finally spoke up openly. Most were eventually persuaded at a general council that they had to do this in order to pay Venice, and they took comfort in shifting the blame to the Venetians. A few, however, flatly refused to participate in the siege. Nevertheless, the city surrendered after only two weeks.

    The Crusade spent the winter at Zara. It was here that the army in general learned of Alexius' offer. Again, many in the army objected and some among them refused to go any further. But most of the army stayed. By attacking Zara they had automatically been excommunicated according to Innocent's threats, so going on to Constantinople could scarcely to any more damage. They sent emissaries to Innocent to try to be reconciled. There ensued an exchange of letters, but Innocent would bend only a little and he still forbade the Crusaders from attacking Constantinople.

    To no avail. The army sailed in April 1203. After capturing the island of Corfù in May, and making a few other stops, it arrived at Constantinople June 24 1203. Emperor Alexius III demanded to know what the Crusaders intended, and they replied that they intended to drive him out as a traitor. The Crusaders then appealed directly to the people of Constantinople, but the Greeks would not accept anyone who was being supported by the hated Latins. If the Crusaders were going to put their young prince on the throne, they would have to do it by force.

    On July 5, 1203, the Venetians were able to break the great chain that blocked the harbor, enabling the Crusaders to attack the city from both land and sea. The Franks drew up near the Blachernae palace, which lies close to the Golden Horn, while the Venetians prepared to attack from the harbor side. They built platforms in the spars of ships and put catapults on the decks.

    On July 17 the Crusaders attacked in force. Defending the land side was the Varangian Guard, the Imperial palace guard that was made up of English and Danish mercenaries, and they were able to repulse the Franks. But the Venetians, led by Enrico Dandolo himself (who was at least in his 80s) were able to land on the narrow beaches and reached the top with scaling ladders. They took possession of a number of towers, descended into the city and set fire to part of it.

    Meantime, Alexius had a assembled a large army for a counter-attack against the Franks. For some reason, however, his nerve failed him and he never made the attack. The Venetians in the meantime withdrew from the section of wall they had held, for they could not keep it without a victory on the Frankish side as well. Despite the fact that the Crusader assault had only partially succeeded, that night Alexius grabbed what wealth he could and fled the city with his daughter.

    Those who remained in the palace thought quickly, then brought Isaac II Angelus out from his prison cell. They then turned to the Latins and declared that since Isaac was the rightful ruler, there was no need for anyone to fight on behalf of the young prince. The Crusaders countered that they would accept Isaac if his son were named co-Emperor. It was agreed, and Alexius was crowned August 1, 1203.
  8. HighlandWarrior

    HighlandWarrior Mr Political Analyser

    Feb 10, 2003
    what sources did you use to write that?
  9. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

    Jun 25, 2001
    Good work! :thumbsup:
  10. test_specimen

    test_specimen hope lost

    May 20, 2002
    I don't want to be nitpicking, but having recently read a summary on the crusades, the similarities between your article (which IS very good) and the ones I read are just too striking. It seems you copy+pasted a lot (if not all) of it from articles on


    Mentioning the sites as a source would not be the worst idea.
  11. ss3goku

    ss3goku Praetor

    Dec 23, 2002
    good ol Kansas
    It might have killed his hands to type it all up.
  12. Squonk

    Squonk Chieftain

    Apr 6, 2002
    They were owned by Muslims, but I'm not at all sure if Chritians still weren't majority in Egypt and Syria by that time

    Not at all

    Weren't they compared to locust?

    Something wrong here. Zangi was a Muslim ruler who took Edessa - in 1144

    Slavs = Wends
  13. Ozz

    Ozz Chieftain

    Jan 15, 2002
    I am NOT proof reading yer homework for you

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