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.