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The Crusades

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Source: Credo

Source: Credo

Year Event
1095

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

1096

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

1098

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

1099

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

1113

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

1120

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

1144

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

1145

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

1147

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

1148

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

1187

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

1190

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

1191

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

1202

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

1204

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

1212

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

1219

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

1228

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

1291

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

1295

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

1303

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

Source: Oxford Reference - Timeline: Crusades