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The Crusades


Source: Credo

Source: Credo

Year Event

Pope Urban II preaches the first crusade, urging the Christians of Europe to march east to recover Jerusalem from the Muslims


Peter the Hermit, an old monk on a donkey, leads the largest of the popular groups from Germany on the first crusade

The German crusade begins with a massacre of Jews in many of the region's cities


After a siege of seven months, the city of Antioch falls to the knights of the first crusade


Crusaders capture the holy city of Jerusalem and massacre the Muslim and Jewish inhabitants

c. 1109

The crusaders now rule the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, the principality of Antioch and the counties of Tripoli and Edessa


The Knights of St John of Jerusalem become an established order under papal protection


The Knights Templar are founded, to protect pilgrims from the Muslims on the journey to Jerusalem


The city of Edessa is captured by Zangi, a Mameluke general, in the first setback for the crusaders in the Middle East

The fall of Edessa prompts the pope, Eugenius III, to call for a second crusade to defend the Latin kingdom


A bishop in the crusader territories of the Middle East has news of a fabulously wealthy Christian king, Prester John


Alfonso I takes Lisbon from the Muslims, with the unexpected help of some passing English crusaders

The second crusade is led east by two kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany


By the time Louis VII and Conrad III reach the Holy Land they have lost more than half their joint armies to Muslim attacks

Louis VII and Conrad III do grave harm to the Latin Kingdom by a feeble attack that merely alienates the previously friendly city of Damascus


Saladin destroys the Christian army of the Latin kingdom in a battle below the Horns of Hattin

Saladin captures various Crusader fortresses and walled cities, including Acre

Saladin takes Jerusalem and treats the Christian inhabitants with a consideration unusual for the time


A year after succeeding to the throne of England, Richard I sets off east as one of the leaders of the third crusade

The third crusade suffers an early disaster when its first leader, the emperor Frederick Barbarossa, is drowned crossing the Calycadnus river


The Muslim garrison of Acre surrenders to Richard I, who orders the massacre of 2700 of its members

The Teutonic Knights are founded to run a hospital in Acre, in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem


The fleet of the fourth crusade departs from Venice - only to be diverted from its purposes by Venetian guile


The crusaders of the fourth crusade besiege, take and destroy the Christian city of Constantinople

Venice takes the useful islands of Corfu and Crete as part of the spoils of the fourth crusade

c. 1205

Many of the treasures adorning the church of San Marco in Venice are loot taken from Constantinople during the fourth crusade


Participants in the Children's Crusade suffer disaster after the waters of the Mediterranean fail to part for them


St Francis of Assisi joins a crusading army in Egypt and attempts to convert the sultan Melek-el-Kamel and his followers to Christianity


Frederick II, leader of the sixth crusade, briefly recovers Jerusalem for the Christians by negotiating with the Muslims


In the space of a few months the Muslims take the last four crusader castles, Tyre, Sidon, Acre and finally Beirut


The new Mameluke dynasty in Egypt begins a systematic campaign to drive the Crusaders out of the Middle East


The Knights Templars withdraw from the island of Arwad, the last foothold of the crusaders in the Middle East

Source: Oxford Reference - Timeline: Crusades