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the Crusades (Original)

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Author Topic: the Crusades (Original)  (Read 5423 times)
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« Reply #165 on: December 31, 2007, 03:58:19 am »

Rachel Dearth

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   posted 04-22-2006 01:03 AM                       
Kerbogha's Attack

7. The Gesta Version

Some time before, Cassianus, Emir of Antioch, had sent a message to Curbara, chief of the Sultan of Persia, while he was still at Chorosan, to come and help him while there was yet time, because a very mighty host of Franks was besieging him shut up in Antioch. If the Emir would aid him, he (Cassianus) would give him Antioch, or would enrich him with a very great gift. Since Curbara had had a very large army of Turks collected for a long time, and had received permission from the Caliph, their Pope, to kill the Christians, he began a long march to Antioch. The Emir of Jerusalem came to his aid with an army, and the King of Damascus arrived there with a very large host. Indeed, Curbara likewise collected countless pagan folk, Turks, Arabs, Saracens, Publicani, Azimites, Kurds, Persians, Agulani and countless other peoples. The Agulani were three thousand in number and feared neither lances, arrows, nor any kind of arms, because they and all their horses were fitted with iron all around, and they refused to carry any arms except swords into battle. All of these came to the siege of Antioch to disperse the gathering of Franks.

And when they neared the city, Sensadolus, son of Cassianus, Emir of Antioch, went to meet them, and straightway rushed in tears to Curbara, beseeching him with these words: "Most invincible chief, I, a supplicant, pray thee to help me, now that the Franks are besieging me on every side in the city of Antioch; now that they hold the city in their sway and seek to alienate us from the region of Romania, or even yet from Syria and Chorosan. They have done everything that they wished; they have killed my father; now nothing else remains except to kill me, and you, and all the others of our race. For a long time now I have been waiting for your help to succor me in this danger."

To him Curbara replied: "If you want me to enter wholeheartedly into your service and to help you loyally in this danger, give that town into my hands, and then see how I will serve you and protect it with my men."

Sensadolus replied, "If you can kill all the Franks and give me their heads, I will give you the town, and I will do homage to you and guard the town in your fealty."

To this Curbara answered: "That won't do; hand over the town to me immediately." And then, willy-nilly, he handed the town over to him.

But on the third day after we had entered the town, Curbara's advance guard ran in front of the city; his army, however, encamped at the Iron Gate. They took the fortress by siege and killed all of the defenders, whom we found in iron chains after the greater battle had been fought.

On the next day, the army of the pagans moved on, and, nearing the city, they encamped between the two rivers and stayed there for two days. After they had retaken the fortress, Curbara summoned one of his emirs whom he knew to be truthful, gentle, and peaceable and said to him, "I want you to undertake to guard this fortress in fealty to me, because for the longest time I have known you to be most loyal; therefore, I pray you, keep this castle with the greatest care, for, since I know you to be the most prudent in action, I can find no one here more truthful and valiant."

To him the Emir replied: "Never would I refuse to obey you in such service, but before you persuade me by urging, I will consent, on the condition that if the Franks drive your men from the deadly field of battle and conquer, I will straightway surrender this fortress to them."

Curbara said to him: I recognize you as so honorable and wise that I will fully consent to whatever good you wish to do." And thereupon Curbara returned to his army.

Forthwith the Turks, making sport of the gatherings of Franks, brought into the presence of Curbara a certain very miserable sword covered with rust, a very worn wooden bow, and an exceedingly useless lance, which they had just recently taken from poor pilgrims, and said, "Behold the arms which the Franks carry to meet us in battle!" Then Curbara began to laugh, saying before all who were in that gathering, "These are the warlike and shining arms which the Christians have brought against us into Asia, with which they hope and expect to drive us beyond the confines of Cborosan and to wipe out our names beyond the Amazon rivers, they who have driven our relatives from Romania and the royal city of Antioch, which is the renowned capital of all Syria!" Then be summoned his scribe and said: "Write quickly several documents which are to be read in Chorosan."

"To the Caliph, our Pope, and to our King, the Lord Sultan, most valiant knight, and to all most illustrious knights of Chorosan; greeting and honor beyond measure.

Let them be glad enough and delight with joyful concord and satisfy their appetites; let them command and make known through all that region that the people give themselves entirely to exuberance and luxury, and that they rejoice to bear many children to fight stoutly against the Christians. Let them gladly receive these three weapons which we recently took from a squad of Franks, and let them now learn what arms the Frankish host bears against us; bow very fine and perfect they are to fight against our arms which are twice, thrice, or even four times welded, or purified, like the purest silver or gold. In addition, let all know, also, that I have the Franks shut up in Antioch, and that I hold the citadel at my free disposal, while they (the enemy) are below in the city. Likewise, I hold all of them now in my hand. I shall make them either undergo sentence of death, or be led into Chorosan into the harshest captivity, because they are threatening with their arms to drive us forth and to expel us from all our territory, or to cast us out beyond upper India, as they have cast out all our kinsmen from Romania or Syria. Now I swear to you by Mohammed and all the names of the gods that I will not return before your face until I shall have acquired with my strong right hand the regal city of Antioch, all Syria, Romania, and Bulgaria, even to Apulia, to the honor of the gods, and to your glory, and to that of all who are of the race of the Turks." And thus he put an end to his words.

The mother of the same Curbara, who dwelt in the city of Aleppo, came immediately to him and, weeping said: "Son are these things true which I hear?"

"What things?" he said.

"I have heard that you are going to engage in battle with the host of the Franks," she replied.

And he answered: "You know the truth fully."

She then said, "I warn you, son, in the names of all the gods and by your great kindness, not to enter into battle with the Franks, because you are an unconquered knight, and I have never at all heard of any imprudence from you or your army. No one has ever found you fleeing from the field before any victor. The fame of your army is spread abroad, and all illustrious knights tremble when your name is heard. For we know well enough, son, that you are mighty in battle, and valiant and resourceful, and that no host of Christians or pagans can have any courage before your face, but are wont to flee at the mention of your name, as sheep flee before the wrath of a lion. And so I beseech you, dearest son, to yield to my advice never to let it rest in your mind, or be found in your counsel, to wish to undertake war with the Christian host."

Then Curbara, upon hearing his mother's warning, replied with wrathful speech: "What is this, mother, that you tell me? I think that you are insane, or full of furies. For I have with me more emirs than there are Christians, whether of greater or lesser state."

His mother replied to him: "O sweetest son, the Christians cannot fight with your forces, for I know that they are not able to prevail against you; but their God is fighting for them daily and is watching over them and defending them with His protection by day and night, as a shepherd watches over his flock. He does not permit them to be hurt or disturbed by any folk, and whoever seeks to stand in their way this same God of theirs likewise puts to rout, just as He said through the mouth of the prophet David,' 'Scatter the people that delight in wars,' and in another place: 'Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not and, against the kingdoms that call not upon Thy name.' Before they are ready to begin battle, their God, all powerful and potent in battle, together with His saints, has all their enemies already conquered. How much more will He now prevail against you, who are His enemies, and who are preparing to resist them with all:, your valor! This, moreover, dearest, know in very truth: these'. Christians, called 'sons of Christ' and by the mouth of the prophets 'sons of adoption and promise,' according to the apostle are the heirs of Christ to whom He has already given the promised inheritance, saying through the prophets, 'From the rising to the setting of the sun shall be your border and no one shall stand before you.' Who can contradict or oppose these words? Certainly, if you undertake this battle against them, yours will be the very greatest loss and disgrace, and you will lose many of your faithful knights and all the spoils which you have with you, and you will turn in flight with exceeding fear. However, you shall not die now in this battle, but, nevertheless, in this year, because God does not with quick anger immediately judge him who has offended Him, but when He wills, He punishes with manifest vengeance, and so I fear He will exact of you a bitter penalty. You shall not die, now, I say, but you shall perish after all your present possessions."

Then Curbara, deeply grieved in his heart at his mother's words, replied "Dearest mother, pray, who told you such things about the Christian folk, that God loves only them, and that He restrains the mightiest host from fighting against Him, and that those Chrisians will conquer us in the battle of Antioch, and that they will capture our spoils, and will pursue us with great victory, and that I shall die in this year by a sudden death?" Then his mother answered him sadly: "Dearest son, behold the times are more than a hundred years since it was found in our book and in the volumes of the Gentiles that the Christian host would come against us, would conquer us everywhere and rule over the pagans, and that our people would be everywhere subject to them. But I do not know whether these things are to happen now or in the future. Wretched woman that I am, I have followed you from Aleppo, most beautiful city, in which, by gazing and contriving ingenious rhymes, I looked back at the stars of the skies and wisely scrutinized the planets and the twelve signs, or count less lots. In all of these I found that the Christian host would win everywhere, and so I am exceedingly sad and fear greatly lest I remain bereft of you."

Curbara said to her: "Dearest mother, explain to me all the in credible things which are in my heart."

Answering this, she said: "This, dearest, I will do freely, if I know the things which are unknown to you."

He said to her: "Are not Bohemund and Tancred gods of the Franks, and do they not free them from their enemies, and do not these men in one meal eat two thousand heifers and four thousand bogs?"

His mother answered: "Dearest son, Bohemund and Tancred are mortals, like all the rest; but their God loves them greatly above all the others and gives them valor in fighting beyond the rest. For (it is) their God, Omnipotent is His name, who made heaven and earth and established the seas and all things that in them are, whose dwelling-place is in heaven prepared for all eternity, whose might is everywhere to be feared."

Her son said "(Even) if such is the case, I will not refrain from fighting with them." Thereupon, when his mother heard that he would in no way yield to her advice, she returned, a very sad woman, to Aleppo, carrying with her all the gifts that she could take along.

But on the third day Curbara armed himself and most of the Turks with him and went toward the city from the side on which the fortress was located. Thinking that we could resist them, we prepared ourselves for battle against them, but so great was their valor that we could not withstand them, and under compulsion, therefore, we entered the city. The gate was so amazingly close and narrow for them that many died there from the pressure of the rest. Meanwhile, some fought outside the city, others within, on the fifth day of the week throughout the day until the evening.


August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 163-68

8. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

In the meantime, while our men, engaged in counting and identifying their spoils, had desisted from the siege of the upper fortress, and, while listening to the pagan dancing girls, had feasted in splendor and magnificence, not at all mindful of God who had granted them so great a blessing, they were besieged by the pagans on the third day, on the Nones of the same June. And so it was brought about that they who by the mercy of God bad so long besieged the Turks in Antioch were through His disposition in turn besieged by the Turks. And that we might be the more fearful, the upper fortress which is a kind of citadel, was in the hands of the enemy. Our men, accordingly, under the stress of fear, took up the siege of the fortress.

Corbaga [ie Kerbogha], however, lord of the Turks, expecting the battle to take place there, fixed his tents at a distance of about two miles from the city and, with ranks arrayed, came up to the bridge of the city. Our men, however, bad strengthened the fortress of the Count on the first day, fearing that if they proceeded to battle it would be seized by the enemy who were in the citadel, or, if they deserted the fortress which was before the bridge and the enemy occupied it, that the enemy would shut us off from a chance to fight and block our exit.

There was in the army a knight most distinguished and very dear to all, Roger of Barneville by name, who, while pursuing the army of the retiring enemy, was captured and deprived of his head. Fear and grief, accordingly, assailed our men, so that many were led to the desperate hope of flight. Thereupon, when the Turks had once and again suffered a repulse in fighting, they besieged the fortress on the third day; and the fighting was carried on there with such violence that the might of God alone was believed to defend the fortress and resist the adversaries. For when the Turks were already prepared to cross the moat and destroy the walls, they were taken with fright, I know not why, and rushed headlong into flight. Then, seeing no reason for their flight, they returned to the siege after they bad run a short distance, blaming their own timidity; and, as if to atone for the disgrace of the flight they bad made, they attacked more violently and again were more violently terrified by the might of God. Therefore the enemy returned to their camp on that day. On the next day, however, they returned to the fortress with a very great supply of siege machinery, but our men set fire to the fortress and thrust themselves within the walls of the city. And thus, as the fear of the Franks was increased, the boldness of the enemy grew; forsooth, we had nothing outside the city, and the fortress, which was the bead of the city, was held by our foes. The Turks, emboldened by this, arranged to enter against us by the fortress. Our men, however, relying on their favorable and lofty location, fought against the enemy and at the first attack overthrew them; but, forgetful of the threatening battle and intent upon plunder, they (in turn) were most vilely put to flight. For more than a hundred men were suffocated in the gate of the city, and even more horses. Then the Turks who had entered the fortress wanted to go down into the city. For the valley between our mountain and their fortress was not large, and in the middle of it was a certain cistern and a little level place. Nor did the enemy have a path down into the city except through our mountain; wherefore they strove with every intent and all their might to drive us out and remove us from their path. The battle was waged with such force from morning to evening that nothing like it was ever heard of. There was a certain frightful and as yet unheard of calamity befell us, for amidst the hail of arrows and rocks, and the constant charge of javelins, and the deaths of so many, our men became unconscious. If you ask for the end of this fight, it was night.


August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 168-69

The Discovery of the Holy Lance
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« Reply #166 on: December 31, 2007, 03:59:09 am »

Rachel Dearth

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   posted 04-22-2006 01:04 AM                       
9. The Gesta Version

But one day as our leaders, sad and disconsolate, were standing back before the fortress, a certain priest came to them and said: "Seignorss, if it please you, listen to a certain matter which I saw in a vision. When one night I was lying in the church St. Mary, Mother of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, appeared to me with His mother and St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and stood before me and said, 'Knowest thou me?"

I answered, 'No.' At these words, lo, a whole cross on His head.

"A second time, therefore, the Lord asked me 'Knowest thou, me?'

"To Him I replied: I do not know Thee except that I see cross on thy head like that of Our Saviour.'

"He answered, 'I am He.'

'Immediately I fell at His feet, humbly beseeching that He help us in the oppression which was upon us. The Lord responded: I have helped you in goodly manner and I will now help you. I permitted you to have the city of Nicaea, and to win all battles and I conducted you hither to this point, and I have grieved at the misery which you have suffered in the siege of Antioch. Behold with timely aid I sent you safe and unharmed into the city, and lo! (you are) working much evil pleasure with Christian and depraved pagan women, whereof a stench beyond measure arises unto heaven.'

"Then the loving Virgin and the blessed Peter fell at His feet, praying and beseeching Him to aid His people in this tribulation, and the blessed I Peter said: 'Lord, for so long a time the pagan host has held my house, and in it they have committed many unspeakable wrongs. But now, since the enemy have been driven hence, Lord, the angels rejoice in heaven.'

"The Lord then said to me: 'Go and tell my people to return to Me, and I will I return to them, and within five days I will send them great help. Let them daily chant the response Congregati sunt, all of it, including the verse.'

"Seignors, if You do not believe that this is true, let me climb up into this tower, and I will throw myself down, and if I am unharmed, believe that this is true. If, however, I shall have suffered any hurt, behead me, or cast me into the fire." Then the Bishop of Puy ordered that the Gospel and the Cross be brought, so that be might take oath that this was true.

All our leaders were counselled at that time to take oath that not one of them would flee, either for life or death, as long as they were alive. Bohemund is said to have been the first to take the oath, then the Count of St. Gilles, Robert of Normandy, Duke Godfrey, and the Count of Flanders. Tancred, indeed, swore and promised in this manner: that as long as he had forty knights with him he would not only not withdraw from that battle, but, likewise, not from the march to Jerusalem. Moreover, the Christian assemblage exulted greatly upon hearing this oath.

There was a certain pilgrim of our army, whose name was Peter, to whom before we entered the city St. Andrew, the apostle, appeared and said: "What art thou doing, good man?"

Peter answered, "Who art thou?"

The apostle said to him: "I am St. Andrew, the apostle. Know, my son, that when thou shalt enter the town, go to the church of St. Peter. There thou wilt find the Lance of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, with which He was wounded as He hung on the arm of the cross." Having said all this, the apostle straightway withdrew.

But Peter, afraid to reveal the advice of the apostle, was unwilling to make it known to the pilgrims. However, he thought that he had seen a vision, and said: "Lord, who would believe this?" But at that hour St. Andrew took him and carried him to the place where the Lance was hidden in the ground. When we were a second time situated in such (straits) as we have stated above, St. Andrew came again, saying to him: "Wherefore hast thou not yet taken the Lance from the earth as I commanded thee? Know verily, that whoever shall bear this lance in battle shall never 'be overcome by an enemy." Peter, indeed, straightway made known to our men the mystery of the apostle.

The people, however, did not believe (it), but refused, saying: "How can we believe this?" For they were utterly terrified and thought that they were to die forthwith. Thereupon, this man came forth and swore that it was all most true, since St. Andrew had twice appeared to him in a vision and had said to him: "Rise' go and tell the people of God not to fear, but to trust firmly with whole heart in the one true God and they will be everywhere victorious. Within five days the Lord will send them such a token that they will remain happy and joyful, and if they wish to fight, let them go out immediately to battle, all together, and all their enemies will be conquered, and no one will stand against them." Thereupon, when they beard that their enemies were to be overcome by them, they began straightway to revive and to encourage one another, saying: "Bestir yourselves, and be everywhere brave and alert, since the Lord will come to our aid in the next battle and will be the greatest refuge to His people whom He beholds' lingering in sorrow."

Accordingly, upon hearing the statements of that man who reported to us the revelation of Christ through the words of the apostle, we went in haste immediately to the place in the church of St. Peter which he had pointed out. Thirteen men dug there from morning until vespers. And so that man found the Lance, just as he had indicated. They received it with great gladness and fear, and a joy beyond measure arose in the whole city.


August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 174-76

10. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

And so, as we said, when our men were in a panic and while they were on the verge of despair, divine mercy was at hand for them; and that mercy which had corrected the children when they were wanton, consoled them when they were very sad, in the following way. Thus, when the city of Antioch had been captured, the Lord, employing His power and kindness, chose a certain poor peasant, Provençal by race, through whom He comforted us; and He sent these words to the Count and Bishop of Puy:

"Andrew, apostle of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, has recently admonished me a fourth time and has commanded me to come to you and to give back to you, after the city was captured, the Lance which opened the side of the Saviour. Today, moreover, when I had set out from the city with the rest to battle, and when, caught between two horsemen, I was almost suffocated on the retreat, I sat down sadly upon a certain rock, almost lifeless. When I was reeling like a woebegone from fear and grief, St. Andrew came to me with a companion, and he threatened me much unless I returned the Lance to you quickly."

And when the Count and Bishop asked him to tell in order the apostolic revelation and command, he replied: "At the first earthquake which occurred at Antioch when the army of the Franks was besieging it, such fear assailed me that I could say nothing except 'God help me.' For it was night, and I was lying down; nor was there anyone else in my hut to sustain me by his presence. When, moreover, the shaking of the earth had lasted a long time, and my fear had ever increased, two men stood before me in the brightest raiment. The one was older, with red and white hair, black eyes, and kindly face, his beard, indeed, white, wide, and thick, and his stature medium; the other was younger and taller, handsome in form beyond the children of men. And the older said to me 'What doest thou?' and I was very greatly frightened because I knew that there was no one present. And I answered, 'Who art thou?'

"He replied, 'Rise, and fear not; and heed what I say to thee. I am Andrew the Apostle. Bring together the Bishop of Puy and the Count of St. Gilles and Peter Raymond of Hautpoul, and say these words to them: "Why has the Bishop neglected to preach and admonish and daily to sign his people with the cross which he bears before them, for it would profit them much?"' And be added, 'Come and I will show thee the Lance of our father, Jesus Christ, which thou shalt give to the Count. For God has granted it to him ever since he was born.'

"I arose, therefore, and followed him into the city, dressed in nothing except a shirt. And he led me into the church of the apostle of St. Peter through the north gate, before which the Saracens had built a mosque. In the church, indeed, were two lamps, which there gave as much light as if the sun had illuminated it. And he said to me, 'Wait here.' And be commanded me to sit upon a column, which was closest to the stars by which one ascends to the altar from the south; but his companion stood at a distance before the altar steps. Then St. Andrew, going under ground, brought forth the Lance and gave it into my hands.

"And he said to me 'Behold the Lance which opened His side, whence the salvation of the whole world has come.'

"While I held it in my bands, weeping for joy, I said to him, 'Lord, if it is Thy will, I will take it and give it to the Count!'

"And be said to me 'Not now, for it will happen that the city will be taken. Then come with twelve men and seek it here whence I drew it forth and where I hide it,' And he hid it.

"After these things had been so done, he led me back over the wall to my home; and so they left me. Then I thought to myself of the condition of my poverty and your greatness, and I feared to approach you. After this, when I had set forth for food to a certain fortress which is near Edessa, on the first day of Lent at cockcrow, St. Andrew appeared to me in the same garb and with the same companion with whom he had come before, and a great brightness filled the house. And St. Andrew said 'Art thou awake?'

"Thus aroused, I replied 'No, Lord; my Lord, I am not asleep?

"And be said to me 'Hast thou told those things which I bade thee tell some time ago?'

"And I answered 'Lord, have I not prayed thee to send some one else to them, for, fearful of my poverty, I hesitated to go before them?'

"And be said 'Dost thou not know why the Lord led you hither, and how much He loves you and why He chose you especially? He made you come hither (to rebuke) contempt of Him and to avenge His people. He loves you so dearly that the saints already at rest, foreknowing the grace of Divine arrangements, wished that they were in the flesh and struggling along with you. God has chosen you from all peoples, as grains of wheat are gathered from the oats. For you excel in favor and rewards all who may come before or after you, just as gold excels silver in value.'

"After this they withdrew, and such illness oppressed me that I was about to lose the light of my eyes, and I was arranging to dispose of my very meagre belongings. Then I began to meditate that these things bad justly befallen me because of my neglect of the apostolic command. Thus, comforted, I returned to the siege. Thinking again of the handicap of my poverty, I began to fear that if I went to you, you would say that I was a serf and was telling this for the sake of food; therefore, I was silent instead. And thus in the course of time, when at the Port of St. Simeon on Palm Sunday I wa lying down in the tent with my lord, William Peter , St. Andrew appeared with a companion. Clad in the same habit in which he had come before, be spoke thus to me, 'Why hast thou not told the Count and Bishop and the others what I commanded thee,

"And I answered 'Lord, have I not prayed thee to send another in my place who would be wiser and to whom they would listen? Besides the Turks are along the way and they kill those who come and go.'

"And St. Andrew said 'Fear not that they will harm thee. Say also to the Count not to dip in the river Jordan when he comes there, but to cross in a boat; moreover when he has crossed, dressed in a linen shirt and breeches, let him be sprinkled from the river. And after his garments are dry, let him lay them away and keep them with the Lance of the Lord.' And this my lord, William Peter, heard, though he did not see, the apostle.

"Thus comforted, I returned to the army. And when I wanted to tell you this, Icould not bring you together. And so I set out to the port of Mamistra. There, indeed, when I was about to sail to the island of Cyprus for food, St. Andrew threatened me much if I did not quickly return to you and tell you what had been commanded me. And when I thought to myself how I would return to camp, for that port was three days distant from the camp, I began to weep most bitterly, since I could find no way of returning. At length, admonished by my lord and my companions, we entered the ship and began to row to Cyprus. And although we were borne along all day by oar and favoring winds up to sunset, a storm then suddenly arose, and in the space of one or two hours we returned to the port which we had left. And thus checked from crossing a second and a third time, we returned to the island at the Port of St. Simeon. There I fell seriously ill. However, when the city was taken, I came to you. And now, if it please you, test what I say."

The Bishop, however, thought it nothing except words; but the Count believed it and handed over the man that had said this to his chaplain, Raymond, to guard.

Our Lord jest; Christ appeared on the very night which followed to a certain priest named Stephen, who was weeping for the death of himself and his companions, which he expected there. For some who came down from the fortress frightened him, saying that the Turks were already descending from the mountain into the city, and that our men were fleeing and had been defeated. For this reason the priest, wishing to have God witness of his death; went into the church of the Blessed Mary in the garb of confession and, after obtaining pardon, began to sing psalms with some companions. While the rest were sleeping, and while he watched alone, after having said, "Lord, who shall dwell in tabernacle, or who shall rest in Thy holy hill?" a certain man stood before him, beautiful beyond all, and said to him, "Man, who are, these people that have entered the city?"

And the priest answered "Christians."

"Christians of what kind?"

"Christians who believe that Christ was born of a Virgin and suffered on the Cross, died, and was buried, and that He arose on the third day and ascended into heaven."

And that man said "And if they are Christians, why do they fear the multitude of pagans?" And he added, "Dost thou not know me?"

The priest replied 1 do not know thee, but I see that thou art most beautiful of all."

And the man said, "Look at me closely."

And when the priest intently scrutinized him, he saw a kind of cross much brighter than the sun proceeding from his head. And the priest said to the man who was questioning him, "Lord, we say that they are images of Jesus Christ which present a form like thine."

The Lord said to him, "Thou hast said well, since I am He. Is it not written of me that I am the Lord, strong and mighty in battle? And who is the Lord in the army?"

"Lord," replied the priest, 1here never was in the army but one Lord, for rather do they put trust in the Bishop."

And the Lord said, "Say this to the Bishop, that these people have put me afar from them by evil doing, and then let him speak to them as follows: 'The Lord says this: "Return to me, and I will return to you. And when they enter battle, let them say this 'Our enemy are assembled and glory in their own bravery; destroy their might, O Lord, and scatter them, so that they may know that there is no other who will fight for us except Thee, 0 Lord,' And say this also to them 'If ye do whatever I command you, even for five days, I will have mercy upon you!"'

I moreover, while He was saying this, a woman of countenance radiant beyond measure approached and, gazing upon the Lord, said to him, "Lord, what art thou saying to this man?'

And the Lord said to her, "I am asking him about these people who have entered the city, who they are."

Then the Lady replied, "O , my Lord, these are the people for whom I entreat thee so much."

And when the priest shook his companion who was sleeping near him, so that he might have a witness of so great a vision, they had disappeared from his eyes.

However, when morning came the priest climbed the bill opposite the castle of the Turks, where our princes were staying, all except the Duke, who was guarding the castle on the north hill. And thus, after assembling a gathering, he told these words to our princes, and, in order to show that it was true, be swore upon the Cross. Moreover, wishing to satisfy the incredulous, he was willing to pass through fire, or to jump from the top of the tower. Then the princes swore that they would neither flee from Antioch nor go out, except with the common consent of all; for the people at this time thought that the princes wanted to flee to the fort. And thus many were comforted, since in the past night there were few who stood steadfast in the faith and did not wish to flee. And bad not the Bishop and Bohemund shut the gates of the city, very few would have remained. Nevertheless, William of Grandmesnil fled, and his brother, and many others, cleric and lay. It befell many, however, that when they had escaped from the city with the greatest danger, they faced the greater danger of death at the hands of the Turks.

At this time very many things were revealed to us through our brethren; and we beheld a marvelous sign in the sky, For during the night there stood over the city a very large star, which, after a short time, divided into three parts and fell in the camp of the Turks.

Our men, somewhat comforted, accordingly, awaited the fifth day which. the priest had mentioned. On that day, moreover, after the necessary preparations, and after every one had been sent out of the Church of St. Peter, twelve men, together with that man who had spoken of the Lance, began to dig. There were, moreover among those twelve men the Bishop of Orange, and Raymond, chaplain of the Count, who has written this, and the Count himself, and Pontius of Balazun, and Feraldus of Thouars. And after we had dug from morning to evening, some began to despair of finding the Lance. The Count left, because he had to guard the castle; but in place of him and the rest who were tired out from digging, we induced others, who were fresh to continue the work sturdily. The youth who had spoken of the Lance, however, upon seeing us worn out, disrobed and, taking off his shoes, descended into the pit in his shirt, earnestly entreating us to pray to God give us His Lance for the comfort and victory of His people. At length, the Lord was minded through the grace of His mercy to show us His Lance. And I, who have written this, kissed it when the point alone had as yet appeared above ground. What great joy and exultation then filled the city I cannot describe. Moreover the Lance, was found on the eighteenth day before the Kalends of July.

On the second night, St. Andrew appeared to the youth through whom he had given the Lance to us and said to him "Behold, God has given to the Count that which he never wished to give to anyone and has made him standard-bearer of this army, as long he shall continue in His love."

When the youth asked mercy from him for the people, St. A drew replied to him that verily would the Lord show mercy to His people. And, again, when he asked the same saint about his companion, who it was he had so often seen with him, St. Andrew answered, "Draw near and kiss His foot."

And so, when he was about to draw near, he saw a wound on His foot as fresh and bloody as if it had just been made. When, however, he hesitated to draw near because of the wound and blood, St. Andrew said to him:

"Behold, the Father who was wounded on the Cross for us, whence this wound. The Lord likewise commands that you celebrate that day on which He gave you His Lance. And since it was found at vespers, and that day cannot be celebrated, celebrate the solemn festival on the eighth day in the following week , and then each year on the day of the finding of the Lance. Say, also, to them that they conduct themselves as is taught in the Epistle of my brother, Peter, which is read today." (And the Epistle was this: "Humble yourselves under the mighty band of God.") "Let the clerics sing this hymn before the Lance: Lustra sex qui jam peracta tempus inplens corporis. And when they shall have said, Agnus in cruce levatus immolandus stipite, let them finish the hymn on bended knees."

When, however, the Bishop of Orange and I, after this, asked Peter Bartholomew if he knew letters, he replied, "I do not," thinking that if he were to say I do , we would not believe him. He did know a little; but at that hour be was so ignorant that he neither knew letters nor had any remembrance of the things be had learned from letters, except the Paternoster, Credo in Deum, Magnificat, Glory in Excelsis Deo, and Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel. He had lost the others as if he had never heard them, and though he was able afterwards to recover a few, it was with the greatest effort.


August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 176-82

The Defeat of Kerbogha

11. The Gesta Version

From that hour we took counsel of battle among ourselves. Forthwith, all our leaders decided upon the plan of sending a messenger to the Turks, enemies of Christ, to ask them with assured address: "Wherefore have you most haughtily entered the land of the Christians, and why have you encamped, and why do you kill and assail servants of Christ?' When their speech was already ended, they found certain men, Peter the Hermit and Herlwin, and they told them as follows: "Go to the accursed army of the Turks and carefully tell them all this, asking them why they have boldly and haughtily entered the land of the Christians and our own?"

At these words, the messengers left and went to the profane assemblage, saying everything to Curbara and the others as follows.. "Our leaders and nobles wonder wherefore you have rashly and most haughtily entered their land, the land of the Christians? We think, forsooth, and believe that you have thus come hither because you wish to become Christians fully; or have you come hither for the purpose of harassing the Christians in every way? All our leaders together ask you, therefore, quickly to leave the land of God and the Christians, which the blessed apostle, Peter by his preaching converted long ago to the worship of Christ. But they grant, in addition, that you may take away all your belongings, horses, mules, asses, camels, sheep, and cattle; all other belongings they permit you to carry with you, wherever you may wish."

Then Curbara, chief of the army of the Sultan of Persia, with all the others full of haughtiness, answered in fierce language "Your God and your Christianity we neither seek nor desire, a we spurn you and them absolutely. We have now come even hither because we marvelled greatly why the princes and nobles who you mention call this land theirs, the land we took from an effeminate people. Now, do you want to know what we are saying to you? Go back quickly, therefore, and tell your seignors that if they desire to become Turks in everything, and wish to deny the God whom you worship with bowed heads, and to spurn your laws, we will give them this and enough more of lands, castles, and cities. In addition, moreover, (we will grant) that none of you will longer remain a foot soldier, but will all be knights, just as we are; and we will ever bold you in the highest friendship. But if not, let them know that they will all undergo capital sentence, or will be led in chains to Chorosan, to serve us and our children in perpetual captivity forever."

Our messengers speedily came back, reporting all this most cruel race had replied. Herlwin is said to have known both tongues, and to have been the interpreter for Peter the Hermit, Meanwhile, our army, frightened on both sides, did not know what to do; for on one side excruciating famine harassed them, on the other fear of the Turks constrained them.

At length, when the three days fast had been fulfilled, and a procession had been held from one church to another, they confessed their sins, were absolved, and faithfully took the communion of the body and blood of Christ; and when alms had been give they celebrated mass. Then six battle lines were formed from the forces within the city. In the first line, that is at the very head, was Hugh the Great with the Franks and the Count of Flanders; in the second, Duke Godfrey with his army; in the third was Robert the Norman with his knights; in the fourth, carrying with him the Lance of the Saviour, was the Bishop of Puy, together with his people and with the army of Raymond, Count of St. Gilles, who remained behind to watch the citadel for fear lest the Turks descend into the city; in the fifth line was Tancred, son of Marchisus, with his people, and in the sixth line was the wise man, Bohemund, with his army. Our bishops, priests, clerics, and monks, dressed in holy vestments, came out with us with crosses, praying and beseeching the Lord to make us safe, guard us, and deliver us from all evil. Some stood on the wall of the gate, holding the sacred crosses in their hands, making the sign (of the cross) and blessing us. Thus were we arrayed, and, protected with the sign of the cross, we went forth through the gate which is before the mosque.

After Curbara saw the lines of the Franks, so beautifully formed, coming out one after the other, he said: "Let them come out, that we may the better have them in our power!" But after they were outside the city and Curbara saw the huge host of the Franks, he was greatly frightened. He straightway sent word to his Emir, who had everything in charge, that if he saw a light burn at the head of the army he should have the trumpets sounded for it to retreat, knowing that the Turks had lost the battle. Curbara began immediately to retreat little by little toward the mountain, and our men followed them little by little. At length the Turks divided; one party went toward the sea and the rest halted there, expecting to enclose our men between them. As our men saw this, they did likewise. There a seventh line was formed from the lines of Duke Godfrey and the Count of Normandy, and its head was Reinald. They sent this (line) to meet the Turks, who were coming from the sea. The Turks, however, engaged them in battle and by shooting killed many of our men. Other squadrons, moreover, were drawn out from the river to the mountain, which was about two miles distant. The squadrons began to go forth from both sides and to surround our men on all sides, hurling, shooting, and wounding them. There came out from the mountains, also, countless armies with white horses, whose standards were all white. And so, when our leaders saw this army, they were entirely ignorant as to what it was, and who they were, until they recognized the aid of Christ, whose leaders were St. George, Mercurius, and Demetrius. This is to be believed, for many of our men saw it. However, when the Turks who were stationed on the side toward the sea saw that that they could hold out no longer, they set fire to the grass, so that, upon seeing it, those who were in the tents might flee. The latter, recognizing that signal, seized all the precious spoils and fled. But our men fought yet a while where their (the Turks) greatest strength was, that is, in the region of their tents. Duke Godfrey, the Count of Flanders, and Hugh the Great rode near the water, where the enemy's strength lay. These men, fortified by the sign of the cross, together attacked the enemy first. When the other lines saw this, they likewise attacked. The Turks and the Persians in their turn cried out. Thereupon, we invoked the Living and True God and charged against them, and in the name of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Sepulchre we began the battle, and, God helping, we overcame them. But the terrified Turks took to flight, and our men followed them to the tents. Thereupon, the knights of Christ chose rather to pursue them than to seek any spoils, and they pursued them even to the Iron Bridge, and then up to the fortress of Tancred. The enemy, indeed, left their pavilions there, gold, silver, and many ornaments, also sheep, cattle, horses, mules, camels, asses, grain, wine, butter, and many other things which we needed. When the Armenians and Syrians who dwelt in those regions heard that we had overcome the Turks, they ran to the mountain to meet them and killed as many of them as they could catch. We, however, returned to the city with great joy and praised and blessed God, who gave the victory to His people.

Thereupon, when the Emir who was guarding the citadel saw that Curbara and all the rest bad fled from the field before the army of the Franks, he was greatly frightened. Immediately and with great baste be sought the standards of the Franks. Accordingly, the Count of St. Gilles, who was stationed before the citadel, ordered his standard to be brought to him. The Emir took it and carefully placed it on the tower. The Longobards who were there said immediately: "This is not Bohemund's standard!" Then the Emir asked and said: "Whose is it?" They answered: "It belongs to the Count of St. Gilles." Thereupon, the Emir went and seized the standard and returned it to the Count. But at that hour the venerable man, Bohemund, came and gave him his standard. He received it with great joy and entered into an agreement with Bohemund that the pagans who wished to take up Christianity might remain with him (Bohemund), and that he should permit those who wished to go away to depart safe and without any hurt. He agreed to all that the Emir demanded and straightway sent his servants into the citadel. Not many days after this the Emir was baptized with those of his men who preferred to recognize Christ. But those who wished to adhere to their own laws Lord Bohemund bad conducted to the land of the Saracens.

This battle was fought on the fourth day before the Kalends of July, on the vigil of the apostles Peter and Paul, in the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. And after our enemies bad now been completely conquered, we gave fitting thanks to God, Three and One, and the Highest. Some of the enemy, exhausted, others, wounded in their flight hither and thither, succumbed to death in valley, forest, fields, and roads. But the people of Christ, that is, the victorious pilgrims, returned to the city, rejoicing in the happy triumph over their defeated foes.


August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 182-85

12. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

As we have said, when our men were beaten, discouraged, and in narrow straits, divine aid appeared. And the blessed Andrew taught us through the youth who had spoken of the Lance how we ought to conduct ourselves before the battle and in the battle:-

"You have all offended deeply, and you have been deeply bumbled; and you have cried out to the Lord, and the Lord has heard you. And now let each one turn himself to the Lord because of his sins, and let him give five alms because of the five wounds of the Lord. If be cannot do this, let him say the Paternoster five times. When this has been done, begin battle in the name of the Lord by day or by night, as the judgment of the princes deems best, because the hand of God will be with you. If anyone has doubt of victory, let the gates be opened for him, and let him go forth to the Turks, and he will see how their God will save him. Moreover if anyone shall refuse to fight, let him be classed with Jude the betrayer of the Lord, who deserted the apostles and sold his Lord to the Jews. Let them fight in the faith of St. Peter, holding in mind that God promised him that after the third day He would arise and appear to him, and for this reason, also, because this land is justly St. Peter's, and not the pagans'. And let your battle-cry be 'God help us!' and verily God will help you. All your brothers who died since the beginning of the expedition are present with you in this fight; you have only to storm the tenth part of the enemy, because they will assail nine parts in the might and command of God. And do not put off the battle, because (if you do), the Lord will lead as many enemies from the other sides as you have on this side, and He will keep you shut up here until you devour one another. But know certainly that those days are at hand which the Lord promised to the Blessed Mary and to His apostles, saying that He would raise up the kingdom of the Christians, after the ingdom of the pagans had been cast down and ground into dust. But do not turn to their tents in search of gold and silver."

Then the power of God was disclosed, in that He who had commanded the above words to be preached to us through His apostle so comforted the hearts of all that each one in faith and hope seemed to himself already to have triumphed over his enemy. They urged on one another, and in urging regained courage for fighting. The crowd, too, which in the past days seemed to be consume with want and fright, now reproached the princes and complain of the delay of the battle. However, when the day for battle ha been fixed, our princes sent word by Peter the Hermit to Corbara leader of the Turks, to give up the siege of the city, because it was by right the property of St. Peter and the Christians. That proud leader replied that, rightly or wrongly, he was going to rule over the Franks and the city. And be compelled Peter the Hermit, who was unwilling to bow, to kneel to him.

The question was raised at this time as to who should guard the city against those who were in the citadel, while the rest went forth to fight. They built a stone wall and ramparts on our hilt against the enemy; these they fortified with many rocks, finally leaving Count Raymond, who was deathly ill, and about two hundred men there.

The day of the fight had come. In the morning all partook of communion and gave themselves to God, to death, if He willed, or to the glory of the Roman church and the race of the Franks. Moreover, they decided about the battle as follows: that two double lines should be made of the Count's and Bishop's people, so that the foot soldiers went before the knights and halted at the command of the princes; and the knights were to follow them and guard them from the rear. Similar arrangement was made of the people of Bohemund and Tancred; the like of the people of the Count of Normandy and the Franks; likewise, of the people of the Duke and the Burgundians. Moreover, trumpeters went through the city shouting that each man should stay with the princes of his people. It was likewise ordered that Hugh the Great, the Count of Flanders, and the Count of Normandy should advance to the battle first, then the Duke, the Bishop after the Duke, and Bohemund after the Bishop. They assembled, each man to his own standard and kinfolk, within the city before the gate of the bridge.

Oh, how blessed is the people whose Lord is God! Oh, how blessed the people whom God has chosen! Oh, how unaltered His face! How changed the army from sadness to eagerness! Indeed, during the past days princes and nobles went along the. city streets calling upon the aid of God at the churches, the common people (walked) with bare feet, weeping and striking their breasts. They had been so sad that father did not greet son, nor brother brother, upon meeting, nor did they look back. But now you could see them going forth like swift horses, rattling their arms, and brandishing their spears, nor could they bear to refrain from showing their happiness in word and deed. But why do I grieve about many matters? They were given the power to go forth, and what bad been agreed upon by the princes was fulfilled in order.

Meanwhile Corbara, leader of the Turks, was playing at chess within his tent. When he received the message that the Franks were advancing to battle, he was disturbed in mind because this seemed beyond expectation, and he called to him a certain Turk who bad fled from Antioch, Mirdalin by name, a noble known to us for his military prowess. "What is this?" he said. "Didn't you tell me the Franks were few and would not fight with us?" And Mirdalin replied to him, "I did not say that they would not fight, but come, and I will look at them and tell you if you can easily overcome them."

And now the third line of our men was advancing. When he saw how the lines were arrayed, Mirdalin said to Corbara, "These men can be killed; but they cannot be put to flight."

And then Corbara said "Can none of them be driven back all?"

And Mirdalin replied, "They will not yield a footstep, even if all the people of the pagans attack them."

Then, although disturbed in mind, he drew up his many and multiple lines against us. And when at first they could have prevented our exit, they allowed us to go out in peace. Our men, however, now directed their lines toward the mountains, fearing that the Turks might surround them from the rear. However, the mountains were about two long miles from the bridge. We were advancing in open file as the clergy are wont to march in processions. And verily we had a procession! For the priests and many monks, dressed in white robes, went in front of the lines of our knights, chanting and invoking the aid of the Lord and the benediction of the saints. The enemy, on the contrary, rushed against us and shot arrows. Corbara, now ready to do what he had just recently refused, likewise sent word to our princes {proposing) that five or ten Turks should do battle with a like number Franks, and that those whose knights were conquered should peacefully yield to the others. To this our leaders replied , "You were unwilling when we wanted to do this; now that we have advanced to fight, let each fight for his right."

And when we had occupied the whole plain, as we said, a certain portion of the Turks remained behind us and attacked some of our foot soldiers. But those foot soldiers, turning about, sustained the attack of the enemy vigorously. When, indeed, the Turks could in no way drive them out, they set fire around them so that those who did not fear the swords might at all events be terrified by fire. And thus they forced them to give way, for the place had much dry hay.

And when the lines had gone forth, the priests, with bare feet and garbed in their priestly vestments, stood on the walls of the city, calling upon God to defend His people, and through the victory of the Franks in this battle to afford a testimony hallowed by His blood. Moreover, as we were advancing from the bridge up to the mountain, we met with great difficulty because the enemy wanted to surround us. In the midst of this, the lines of the enemy fell upon us who were in the squadron of the Bishop, and though their forces were greater than ours, yet, through the protection of the Holy Lance which was there, they there wounded no one; neither did they hit any of us with arrows. I beheld these things of which I speak and I bore the Lance of the Lord there. If anyone says that Viscount Herachus, the standard-bearer of the Bishop, was wounded in this battle, let him know that he handed over this standard to another and fell behind our line some distance.

When all our fighting men had left the city, five other lines appeared among us. For, as has already been said, our princes had drawn up only eight, and we were thirteen lines outside the city. In the beginning of the march out to battle the Lord sent down upon all His army a divine shower, little but full of blessing. All those touched by this were filled with all grace and fortitude and, despising the enemy, rode forth as if always nourished on the delicacies of kings. This miracle also affected our horses no less. For whose horse failed until the fight was over, even though it had tasted nothing except the bark or leaves of trees for eight days? God so multiplied our army that we, who before seemed fewer than the enemy, were in the battle more numerous than they. And when our men had thus advanced and formed in line, the enemy turned in flight without giving us a chance to engage in battle. Our men pursued them until sunset. There the Lord worked marvelously as well in the horses as in the men; forsooth, the men were not called away from battle by avarice, and those pack horses which their masters had led into battle, after a scant feeding, now very easily followed the sleekest and swiftest horses of the Turks.

But the Lord did not wish us to have this joy only. For the Turks who were guarding the citadel of the city gave up hope upon seeing the headlong flight of their people; some, on the Pledge of their lives alone, surrendered themselves to us, and the rest fled headlong. And though this battle was so terrible and frightful, yet few knights of the enemy fell there; but of their foot soldiers scarcely any escaped. Moreover, all the tents of the enemy were captured, much gold and silver, and the greatest amount of spoils - grain and cattle and camels without measure or number.

And that incident of Samaria about the measures of wheat and barley which were bought for a shekel was renewed for us Moreover, these events occurred on the vigils of St. Peter and Paul through which intercessors was granted this victory to the pilgrim church of the Franks by the Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth God through all ages. Amen.


August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 185-89


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© Paul Halsall December 1997
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« Reply #167 on: December 31, 2007, 03:59:37 am »


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   posted 05-24-2006 12:49 AM                       
Just saw "Kingdom of Heaven," the director's cut. The long version truly was one of the year's best movies, the short version does not do it justice. I highly recommend it, then I am given towards ultra-long historical epics so if your taste trends to the small, don't see it, I suppose.

What is Jerusalem worth?

The answer, after all, truly is everything.

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand fail..." - King David, Psalms 137:5

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« Reply #168 on: December 31, 2007, 04:00:02 am »

Jennifer O'Dell

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   posted 05-25-2006 12:46 AM                       
I'll be watching the long version this weekend. Looking forward to it...
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« Reply #169 on: December 31, 2007, 04:01:07 am »


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   posted 05-29-2006 03:51 AM                       
Kingdom of Heaven
From Melissa Snell,
Your Guide to Medieval History.

Historical accuracy aside, as a film, Kingdom of Heaven isn't bad. Most of the performances are strong, and the sets and costumes are very well done. The action was exciting and well worth a visit to the theater for the full force of the wide screen and sound system. Battle sequences appeared incredibly realistic. And the cinematography is awe-inspiring.

But there were some notable problems that had nothing to do with historical fact.

Orlando Bloom, while a very attractive young man with undeniable talent, didn't seem comfortable in his role as Balian of Ibelin. His speech before the climactic battle fell far short of rousing, and I sensed no real chemistry with Eva Green as Sibylla. If this had been a fantasy film, I might have bought his extraordinary fighting skill after a lifetime of blacksmithing and five minutes of training with his father. Then again, I might not.

The plot was muddled and at times difficult to follow. The surviving shipwrecked horse was unlikely on several levels. And at times the dialog was terrible:

Godfrey: I once fought for two days with an arrow through my testicle.

Guy de Lusignan: Give me a war.
Renaud de Chatillon: That is what I do.

Muslim Warrior: Why aren't they firing back?
Saladin: They're waiting.
Frustrated viewer: Well, duh, Saladin, whatcha think they're waitin' for?
And before the film was half over, I'd had quite enough of the sorrowful choir music rising over the increasingly muted sounds of graphic violence.

Still, there's enough excitement and adventure to compensate for these flaws -- as long as you don't mistake what you see for historical fact.

What Scott Got Right

To be fair, a good deal of Kingdom of Heaven is close to factual. The costumes are very good, but, since heraldry was in its infancy during the 12th century, there's a lot of leeway concerning the coats of arms -- so, who's to tell? The sets are marvelous, from the dusty walls of Jerusalem to the richly-decorated chambers of the leper king.

The weapons appeared to be accurate, too. Both the siege towers and the trebuchets were very like those used at times in the Middle Ages. Even the flaming balls flung by the trebuchets are possible (though not likely to have been used on such a scale). Documentary evidence exists to support the use of a substance similar to "Greek Fire" in the 12th century (see Medieval Siege Weapons by David Nicolle, p. 41). I wouldn't be surprised if some sharp-eyed medieval weapons experts catch some problems with swords and other hand-held weapons, but I noticed none.

And one point that amused the audience was something that was actually done in the Middle Ages: the blow given to prospective knights was a feature of dubbing. (And, just to be clear, it was not always a blow; sometimes it was an embrace or a kiss.)

But there were many, many errors, and a few serious misrepresentations.

What Scott Got Wrong

The standard practice for laying a suicide to rest is to bury him in unconsecrated ground. It's not to cut off his head and bury him under a gigantic cross.

Both Guy de Lusignan and Renaud de Chatillon were real historical figures. Guy was indeed King of Jerusalem and Renaud was an unbalanced troublemaker prone to violence. However, neither of them were Templar Knights.

The actor who portrayed Saladin (Ghassan Massoud ) was extraordinary, and to my mind, his performance was the closest representation of an actual historical figure in the film. Yet the moment when, in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem, he gently sets upright a small Christian cross clashes with the description by Terricus, eyewitness and acting commander of the Templars:

"After Jerusalem had been captured, Saladin had the Cross taken down from the Temple of the Lord and, beating it with clubs, had it carried on display for two days throughout the city."
--The New Knighthood by Malcolm Barber, p. 114.

Terricus was acting commander because the previous commander, along with a huge portion of those Templars and Hospitallers who had survived the Battle of Hattin, had been beheaded by order of Saladin, who considered the military-religious organizations "impure races" (see Barber, The New Knighthood, p. 64).
The real Balian of Ibelin did indeed knight men of Jerusalem right before the battle, but he didn't knight just anyone -- there were 30 burgesses, plus all noble boys over the age of sixteen. None of them were servants.

It is true that the battle for Jerusalem ended with terms negotiated between Balian and Saladin. But the terms that were reached in historical fact, while generous, were not quite as depicted in the film. Safe passage was guaranteed to Jerusalem's survivors for a price. And although the ransoms theoretically covered the poor, several thousand were not redeemed and may have been sold into slavery (see The Crusades article at The Encyclopedia Britannica online).

But these (among others) are just minor film flubs that you're likely to find in any historical epic. The biggest, most jarring inconsistency between fact and film lies in Scott's imposition of modern viewpoints on medieval individuals.

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand fail..." - King David, Psalms 137:5

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« Reply #170 on: December 31, 2007, 04:02:53 am »


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   posted 05-29-2006 03:54 AM                       
What Scott Got Really Wrong

Scott may not have intended it, but there is a pervasive anti-Catholic viewpoint running through the entire film. From the priest who stole a cross from a corpse he was burying, to the angelic monk shouting "To murder an infidel is not a sin -- it is the will of God!" to the sniveling bishop ready to surrender with "Convert to Islam now; repent later," not a single official of the Catholic Church was portrayed with any sympathy. I will freely admit that there were indeed bad priests, lunatic monks and self-serving bishops associated with the Crusades. But there were also priests of conscience, peace-loving monks and competent bishops. You'd never know it from Kingdom of Heaven.

Perhaps it was because there are no Templars left around to offend that Scott chose to cast them as bloodthirsty warmongers bent on violence at all costs. I hope it had nothing to do with the fact that Templars bore a great red cross on their surcoats. But whatever his motives, the depiction is extreme.

Other reviews I've read mention how the film contains both "good Christians" and "bad Christians." That's true -- as far as it goes. But the only "good" Christians are those that espouse philosophies inconsistent with medieval thought.

I don't expect Scott (or any other film director) to understand the complexity of theology as perceived by the lay medieval Christian. I'm certainly no expert in the subject myself. But the Church was an integral part of medieval man's life, and none of the "good" Christians are depicted as having a realistic relationship with it. Attitudes toward such subjects as suicide, guilt, atonement, and "religion" itself are completely misrepresented in sympathetic Christians like Tiberias (Jeremy Irons), The Hospitaller (David Thewliss), Godfrey (Liam Neeson) and, most especially, Balian.
It is entirely conceivable that a man whose child has died and whose wife killed herself from grief should suffer a crisis of faith. But Balian never came across as a Catholic undergoing such a crisis. Rather, he seemed to be an agnostic from the outset -- never having had any faith, never understanding anything about the Church in which every single Christian soul in Christendom was raised from infancy. This is not how a medieval Christian would have been likely to behave. A medieval Christian might think his god had abandoned him, or he might reject what he had once believed out of anger, sorrow, despair, grief, or any combination of these.

As Balian, Orlando Bloom never displayed any of these emotions with any conviction. I would lay the blame at the actor's feet, but for an interview with Ridley Scott I saw the night after I viewed the film. In it, he stated frankly that Balian "was an agnostic" who was searching for answers.
"Agnostic" is simply not a philosophy one is likely to find in medieval Christian Europe. It is a modern concept that sprang up after the "Age of Enlightenment," when the idea of religious freedom was made a reality in some western societies. And there are other unlikely modern viewpoints expressed.

Godfrey's description of Jerusalem as less of a "holy land" than a place of opportunity deflects the all-encompassing motive that drove historical Crusaders to make their pilgrimages. The independent views espoused by the Hospitaller would be completely alien to any medieval Christian, and would have been especially out of character for a man in that order of Knighthood. The understanding reached by Tiberias that what he thought was a war for God was actually for greed is simply not a point of view a medieval crusader would comprehend, let alone agree with (and there are several modern scholars of the Crusades who wouldn’t agree with it, either).

I can't blame Scott for shying away from casting any Muslims as villains. But by making nearly every Muslim sympathetic, he only throws the Christian villains into sharper relief. By avoiding any direct mention of the Church and its role, he allows the numerous misconceptions about its culpability to stand, and be compounded by offhand remarks, unsympathetic portrayals, and the general course of events depicted in the film.

Lest you think I am crying "Foul!" out of loyalty to my own religion, let me remind you that I am an agnostic, and when it comes to gods and religion, I question everything. So why am I defending a faith I don't personally share? Because the facts are what interest me, and anytime someone twists them in order to sell a sentiment or message, even if I agree with that sentiment or message, it tends to tick me off.

And unfortunately, though not surprisingly, twisting the facts to make his point is exactly what Ridley Scott has done here. I don't disagree with his message: tolerance is good, fanaticism is bad, war in the name of religion is absurd. It's just a shame that he has chosen such a complex and already much-misunderstood historical period to muddle up in order to do so.

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand fail..." - King David, Psalms 137:5

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« Reply #171 on: December 31, 2007, 04:03:21 am »


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Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. The movie won me over from the moment Orlando Bloom killed that obnoxious priest who had his wife's corpse beheaded for being a suicide.

Now, that is true devotion.

Thankfully (per the article), beheading suicides wasn't the norm during the Middle Ages.

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand fail..." - King David, Psalms 137:5

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« Reply #172 on: December 31, 2007, 04:03:48 am »

Jennifer O'Dell

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   posted 05-29-2006 11:54 PM                       
Yep, the long version is definitely better than the short version. Still missing the "Horns of Fattin" battle that wiped out the Crusader army in the Middle East, which would have been cool to see.

Thanks for the article, Sarah. Left out the part about Sybilla's kid not being a leper, let alone the fact that she did not kill her own kid either.
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« Reply #173 on: December 31, 2007, 04:04:18 am »

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   posted 06-06-2006 01:20 AM                       
Akko: The Maritime Capital
of the Crusader Kingdom


The port city of Akko (also known as Acre) is located on a promontory at the northern end of Haifa Bay. The earliest city was founded during the Bronze Age at Tel Akko (in Arabic Tel el-***har – mound of the potsherds), just east of the present-day city. Akko is mentioned in ancient written sources as an important city on the northern coast of the Land of Israel. The wealth of finds, including remains of fortifications uncovered in the excavations at Tel Akko, attest to the long and uninterrupted occupation of the site during biblical times.

The ancient site of Akko was abandoned during the Hellenistic period. A new city named Ptolemais, surrounded by a fortified wall, was built on the site of present-day Akko. The Romans improved and enlarged the natural harbor in the southern part of the city, and constructed a breakwater, thus making it one of the main ports on the eastern Mediterranean coast.

The importance of Akko – a well protected, fortified city with a deepwater port – is reflected in its eventful history during the period of Crusader rule in the Holy Land.

The Crusaders, who founded the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099, did not at first succeed in overcoming Akko’s fortifications. On 26 May 1104, after months of heavy siege and with the help of the Genoese fleet, the city surrendered and was handed over to King Baldwin I. Aware of the significance of the city and its port for the security of their kingdom, the Crusaders immediately began to construct a sophisticated system of fortifications composed of walls and towers, unlike any built previously. These fortifications were built along the sea to the west and south of the city, while in the east and north a mighty wall (probably a double wall) with a broad, deep moat separated the city from the mainland. The port was also rebuilt and, according to literary sources and maps, included an outer and an inner harbor (the latter now silted). A new breakwater was built, protected by a tower at its far end; it is today known as the Tower of Flies.

The fortifications of Akko, in which the Crusaders had placed their trust, fell relatively easily to the Muslims. Shortly after their victory at the Battle of the Horns of Hattin, on 9 July 1187, the city surrendered to Salah al-Din (Saladin) and its Christian inhabitants were evacuated.

The Crusaders returned and laid siege to Akko in 1188, yet did not succeed in penetrating the massive fortifications, which they themselves had built. But the Muslims surrendered to Richard the Lion Heart, King of England and Philip Augustus, King of France (leaders of the Third Crusade) on 12 July 1191. For the following 100 years, the Crusaders ruled Akko. Jerusalem remained (but for a short period) under Muslim rule, thus immeasurably increasing the importance of Akko, which, during the 13th century, served as the political and administrative capital of the Latin Kingdom. Akko was the Crusaders’ foothold in the Holy Land, a mighty fortress facing constant Muslim threat. Its port served as the Crusader Kingdom’s link with Christian Europe, and also for trans-shipment westward of valuable cargoes originating in the east.

The palace (castrum) of the Crusader kings was located in the northern part of the urban area of Akko, enclosed by massive fortifications. Near the harbor, merchant quarters known as communes were established by the Italian maritime cities of Venice, Pisa and Genoa. Each quarter had a marketplace with warehouses and shops, and dwellings for the merchant families. There were also centers for the various military orders – the Hospitalers, the Templars and others, who were responsible for defense of the Latin Kingdom. Throughout the city, a number of public buildings, such as churches and hospices, were constructed.

At the beginning of the 13th century, a new residential quarter called Montmusard founded north of the city. It was surrounded by its own wall (probably also a double wall). In the middle of the century, sponsored by Louis IX of France, Akko expanded and became prosperous. With a population of about 40,000, it was the largest city of the Crusader Kingdom.

The last battle between the Crusaders and the Muslims for control of Akko began in 1290. After a long siege by the Mamluks under al-Ashraf Khalil, a portion of the northern wall was penetrated; the city was conquered on 18 May 1291. The date marks the end of the Crusader presence in the Holy Land.

Buildings from the Crusader period, including the city walls, were partially or completely buried beneath buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries, when the city was part of the Ottoman Empire.

Remains from the Crusader Period
Significant remains from the Crusader period were first uncovered in Akko during the 1950s and 1960s when portions of building complexes, below ground level but almost completely preserved, were cleared of debris. During the 1990s, within the framework of the development of Akko, excavations were undertaken both outside and inside the present-day Old City walls, bringing to light fascinating remains of Akko’s illustrious medieval history, previously known mainly from pilgrims’ accounts.

The Hospitalers Compound

The most important of the subterranean remains of Akko of the Crusaders is located in the northern part of today’s Old City. It is the structure that was the headquarters of the Order of the Hospitalers (the Knights of St. John). It is an extensive building complex (ca. 4,500 sq. m.) with halls and many rooms built around a broad, open central courtyard. The thick walls were built of well-trimmed kurkar (local sandstone), and the complex was fortified with corner towers. When the Ottoman ruler of Akko, Ahmed al-Jazzar decided to build a citadel and a palace on the site, he had the Hospitalers’ building filled in with earth.

In recent years, the 3-4 m. high earth fill blocking the central courtyard of the Hospitalers’ compound was removed, revealing the 1200 sq. m. courtyard.

There are broad openings in the walls of the courtyard leading to the halls and rooms surrounding it. To support the upper storey, pointed arches issuing from broad pilasters that project from the walls were built. A 4.5 m. wide staircase supported by arches provided access from the eastern side of the courtyard to the second storey. An extensive network of drainage channels carried rainwater from the courtyard to a main sewer. In the southwestern corner of the courtyard was a stone-built well that guaranteed the residents’ water supply.

South of the courtyard is a hall, which was misnamed the Crypt of St. John. This is a rectangular hall in Gothic style, 30 x 15 m. with a 10 m. high groin-vaulted ceiling supported by three round central piers, each 3 m. in diameter. Chimneys indicate that it served as a kitchen and refectory (dining hall). Fleurs-de-lis (symbol of the French royal family), are carved in stone in two corners of the hall.

South of the hall lies a building complex known as al-Bosta. It is composed of a large hall with several enormous piers supporting a groin-vaulted ceiling. This subterranean building is in fact the crypt of St. John, over which the church itself was built. Portions of the church and its decorations were uncovered in the excavation.

North of the central courtyard is a row of long, parallel underground vaulted halls, 10 m. high, known as the Knights’ Halls. On one side are gates opening onto the courtyard; on the other, windows and a gate facing one of the main streets of the Crusader city. These were the barracks of the members of the Order of Hospitalers.

To the east of the courtyard, the 45 x 30 m. Hall of the Pillars was exposed, which had served as a hospital. Its 8 m. high ceiling is supported by three rows of five square piers. Above this hall of columns probably stood the four-storey Crusader palace depicted in contemporary drawings.

Most of the buildings on the western side of the courtyard remain unexcavated. Several ornate capitals, illustrative of the elaborate architecture of this wing, were found. In its northern part was a public toilet with 30 toilet cubicles on each of its two floors. A network of channels drained the toilets into the central sewer of the city.

An advanced underground sewage system was found beneath the group of buildings of the Hospitalers. This network drained rainwater and wastewater into the city’s central sewer. It was one meter in diameter and 1.8 m. high and runs from north to south.


Portions of Crusader period streets were uncovered: in the Genoese quarter in the center of the present old city of Akko, a 40 m.-long portion of a roofed street was exposed. It runs from east to west and is 5 m. wide. On both sides were buildings with courtyards and rooms facing the street serving as shops. In the Templar quarter in the southwestern part of the city, another portion of a main street leading to the harbor was uncovered. Some 200 m. of the street were exposed and along it, several Crusader buildings which had been buried beneath Ottoman structures.

The Crusader City Walls

The location of the Crusader city walls is well known from detailed contemporary maps that have survived, but few traces have been found in excavations. Parts of the walls lie beneath the Ottoman fortifications; others were damaged when modern neighborhoods were built.

Near the northeastern corner of the Ottoman fortifications, a 60 m. long segment of the northern Crusader wall was found; it is some 3 m. thick, and was built of local kurkar sandstone.

A short distance eastward, parts of the corner of a tower built of large kurkar stones were preserved to a height of 6 m. The tower was fronted by a deep moat, 13 m. wide, and protected on its other side by a counterscarp wall. This section of wall belongs to the outer, northern fortifications, which were constructed in the 13th century to protect the then new Montmusard quarter. It is probably the Venetian Tower depicted in Crusader period maps. On the seashore some 750 m. north of the Old City are remains of the foundation trenches of a circular tower with a wall extending eastward from it, today covered by seawater. In the view of researchers, this is the round corner tower that stood at the western end of the wall surrounding the Montmusard quarter.

The renewed excavations at Akko were conducted by A. Druks, M. Avissar, E. Stern, M. Hartal and D. Syon on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The excavations at the Hospitalers’compound were directed by E. Stern on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry
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   posted 06-06-2006 01:25 AM                       

The Crusaders' Lost Fort: Battle at Jacob's Ford
By Tom Asbridge

The Battle at Jacob's Ford

Reconstruction of Muslims and Crusaders fighting at Jacob's FordAt dawn on Thursday 29 August 1179, the great Muslim sultan Saladin launched a deadly assault on the Crusader castle of Jacob's Ford in the Holy Land. As his troops poured through a burning breach in the walls, the Christian garrison of elite Templar knights made a bloody, but ultimately futile, last stand.

In a final act of bravery the Templar commander mounted his warhorse and charged into the fray. One of Saladin's lieutenants later described how 'he threw himself into a hole full of fire without fear of the intense heat and, from this brazier, he was immediately thrown into another - that of Hell'.

'He threw himself into a hole full of fire without fear of the intense heat...'
On that day 800 of the garrison were butchered, and a further 700 taken captive. With the stronghold overrun, Saladin set about razing it to the ground, later claiming that he ripped the foundation stones out with his own hands. The site was then abandoned and for eight centuries it lay untouched, its story all but forgotten.

The true significance of Jacob's Ford, around 50 miles north-west of Jerusalem, is only now becoming apparent. With its location rediscovered and archaeological excavation underway, it now appears that the fall of this seemingly obscure fortress was actually a pivotal moment in the history of the Crusades as well as the wider struggle between Islam and the West.

The struggle for power

Reconstruction of King Baldwin with his Crusader knightsThe year 1174 saw two men assume power in the Near East whose careers and fortunes were inextricably entwined.

Baldwin IV ascended to the throne of the kingdom of Jerusalem aged just 13 and was already suffering from leprosy. In that same year, Saladin, more than 20 years Baldwin's senior and ruler of Egypt, seized possession of ancient Damascus, the seat of Muslim power in Syria.

'These two rulers were against one another in a bitterly fought contest for dominion over Jerusalem'
Saladin set out to forge an empire that encircled the Crusader states, promoting himself as a champion of Islamic Jihad, all with the avowed intention of recovering Jerusalem. At the same time, King Baldwin's reign was dominated by the spectre of Muslim invasion and the need to defend the Holy City at any cost.

These two rulers were against one another in a bitterly fought contest for dominion over Jerusalem, which the Crusaders had held since 1099.

In November 1177, Saladin launched his first full-scale invasion of the Latin kingdom, but in an unexpected show of courage and martial skill, King Baldwin managed to surprise and overwhelm the sultan's numerically superior force near a hill known as Mont Gisard.

This was a striking achievement - the only defeat in pitched battle that Saladin suffered before the advent of Richard the Lionheart and the Third Crusade. The sultan's troops were routed, while he himself only narrowly avoided death and was forced to limp back to Egypt, his aura of invincibility shattered.

Although the cost in manpower to Baldwin was severe - 1,100 dead and a further 750 injured - he had earned a resounding endorsement of his right to rule, the 'miracle' of his victory appearing as a sign of divine mandate. But how would the young king build upon this success?

Development of Jacob's Ford

Reconstruction of the fortress of Jacob's FordIn October 1178 Baldwin set out to construct a castle which would destabilise Saladin's nascent empire and shift the balance of power in his own favour - the fortress of Jacob's Ford.

He began fortifying a strip of raised ground on the west bank of the River Jordan, beside an ancient ford north of the Sea of Galilee. With swamps upstream and rapids to the south, this ford was the only crossing of the Jordan for 50 miles and, as such, acted as a gateway between Latin Palestine and Muslim Syria.

'It stood in a frontier zone contested by both Baldwin and Saladin - a kind of no-man's-land between their respective realms'
But Jacob's Ford did not lie on the Crusader's side of a literal border line. Instead it stood in a frontier zone contested by both Baldwin and Saladin - a kind of no-man's-land between their respective realms. Add to this the fact that Jacob's Ford was just one day's march from Damascus, and it becomes clear that Baldwin was, in 1178, adopting an audacious, even visionary, strategy.

His new castle was designed to be a defensive tool as well as an offensive weapon, to severely inhibit Saladin's ability to invade the Latin kingdom while simultaneously undermining the sultan's security in Damascus. If completed, this fortress could thwart Saladin's ambitions for an empire stretching into northern Syria and Mesopotamia.

Baldwin took his new project at Jacob's Ford exceptionally seriously, committing practically the entire resources of his realm to its construction. Between October 1178 and April 1179 he actually moved his seat of government to the building site to be on hand as supervisor and protector. He also enlisted the aid of the Templars, a military order that combined the ideals of knighthood and monasticism in the sacred pursuit of the Holy Land's defence

Saladin's response

Reconstruction of Saladin's warriors attackingHowever, Saladin did not have the manpower to launch an attack as he was fighting Muslim rebels in the north of Syria.

Instead he sought to use bribery in place of brute force. He offered Baldwin 60,000 dinars, then increased this offer to 100,000 dinars, if he halted building work and left Jacob's Ford, but the king refused, and by April, the first stage of construction was completed.

The castle now had a formidable ten metre high wall - what one Arabic contemporary later described as 'an impregnable rampart of stone and iron' – and a single tower, but it was still a work in progress.

'Jacob's Ford was described by an Arabic contemporary as 'an impregnable rampart of stone and iron''
By late August 1179 Saladin was ready to launch a full-scale attack on Jacob's Ford. On Saturday 24 August he began an assault-based siege, his intention to break into the castle as rapidly as possible. There was no time for a protracted encirclement siege, because Baldwin IV was by now stationed nearby at Tiberias, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, just a half day's march to the south west.

As soon as news of the attack reached him the king began assembling a relief army, so the siege was effectively a race - could the Muslims crack the stronghold's defences before the Latin forces arrived?

Saladin's tactics

Reconstruction of a tunnel entrance dug by Saladin's sappersThe 12th-century written records, and the archaeological evidence now being uncovered, offer a vivid picture of what happened over the next five, grim days.

Saladin began by bombarding the fortress with arrows from east and west - hundreds of arrowheads have been discovered on these fronts. At the same time, specialist miners, probably from Syrian Aleppo, were sent to tunnel under the north-eastern corner of the walls, working night and day to collapse the ramparts through the technique of sapping.

'Specialist miners, probably from Syrian Aleppo, were sent to tunnel under the north-eastern corner of the walls'
Meanwhile, Baldwin was preparing to march from Tiberias. In the half-light of dawn on Thursday 29 August the king set out with his army to save Jacob's Ford.

Unbeknownst to him, at that same moment fires were being lit within Saladin's expanded siege mine. Its wooden pit props burned and the passageway caved in, bringing down the walls above. With such a colossal breach the Latin garrison was all but beaten and a bloody sack followed.

Archaeological evidence

Excavations at Jacob's Ford CastleHuman skeletal remains unearthed within the fortress bear witness to the ferocity of the assault. One of the skulls showed evidence of three separate sword cuts, the last of which split the head and crushed the brain. Another warrior's arm was chopped off above the elbow before he was dispatched.

With much of the castle in flames, Saladin slaughtered more than half of the garrison, amassing a mountain of plunder, including 1,000 coats of armour.

'Baldwin got his first despairing glimpse of smoke on the horizon - evidence of the destruction at Jacob's Ford'
By noon, racing northwards, Baldwin got his first despairing glimpse of smoke on the horizon - evidence of the destruction at Jacob's Ford. He was just six hours too late.

In the two weeks that followed, Saladin dismantled the castle of Jacob's Ford, stone by stone. Most of the Latin dead, along with their horses and mules, were thrown into the stronghold's capacious cistern. This was a rather ill-advised policy, because soon after a 'plague' broke out, ravaging the Muslim army and claiming the life of ten of Saladin's commanders.

By mid-October, with his primary objective achieved, Saladin decided to abandon the seemingly cursed site, and Jacob's Ford became a forgotten ruin.

The excavations undertaken represent a massive breakthrough in the field of Crusader studies. This dig offers an astonishingly detailed glimpse of the crusading world - a freeze-frame image of the 12th century - because Jacob's Ford is the first castle to be discovered, as it was in 1179, with its slaughtered garrison still within its walls.

Many of the site's physical and material finds can be dated with incredible precision to the morning of Thursday, 29 August 1179, because they lay beneath buildings known to have burned and collapsed when the fortress fell. The archaeology gives us a palpable, physical sense of crusading warfare.

1179 - the turning point

Reconstruction of King Baldwin watching the destruction of Jacob's FordThe year 1179 proved to be a turning point in the struggle between Baldwin IV and Saladin. With the loss of Jacob's Ford, Baldwin's plan to stem the rising tide of Islamic Jihad foundered.

'With the kingdom of Jerusalem destabilised and his hold over Damascus secured, Saladin flourished'
Between his victory at Mont Gisard and the fortification of Jacob's Ford, the young king had seized the initiative, garnering an aura of legitimacy and daring. But, with the advent of the 1180s, Baldwin's fortunes waned. Increasingly debilitated by leprosy, his reign now stained by bitter defeat, Baldwin's grasp on the throne faltered. He died in 1185, aged just 23, his hopes of defending the Holy Land in tatters.

In contrast, with the kingdom of Jerusalem destabilised and his hold over Damascus secured, Saladin flourished, uniting the Muslim world between the Nile and the Euphrates and encircling and isolating the Crusader kingdom.

In 1187, he met one of Baldwin's successors in pitched battle, crushed the Latin army and went on to recapture Jerusalem for Islam. The Holy City was to remain in Muslim hands until the 20th century.

Find out more
A version of this article first appeared in the April 2006 issue of the BBC History Magazine.


Crusader Castles and Modern Histories by Ronnie Ellenblum (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

The Leper King and His Heirs by Bernard Hamilton (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Saladin: The Politics of the Holy War by Malcolm Lyons & DEP Jackson (Cambridge University Press, 1982)

The First Crusade: A New History by Thomas Asbridge (Free Press, 2004)

About the author

Thomas Asbridge, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Queen Mary University of London, is an internationally renowned expert in crusading history. He has written numerous books, essays and articles on the subject and his most recent work, 'The First Crusade - A New History', was published to widespread critical acclaim in 2004. He has travelled throughout the Near East and even walked from Turkey to Jerusalem along the route taken by the Crusaders. Thomas is currently writing and researching a new history of the Crusades between 1095 and 1291.


Related Links
Richard I and the Crusades 1189 -
Richard I -
King Richard the Lionheart 1189 - 99 -
Crusades and Jihads in Postcolonial Times -
Multimedia Zone
The Legend of the Holy Grail -
BBC Links
Knights Templar in Leeds -
Timewatch -
External Web Links
King Baldwin -
Saladin -
Medieval sourcebook: Crusades -


This article can be found on the Internet at:

© British Broadcasting Corporation
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   posted 11-19-2006 12:15 AM                       
Sharpest cut from nanotube sword
Carbon nanotech may have given swords of Damascus their edge.
Katharine Sanderson

Damascus sabres may get their pattern and strength from nanotubes in the steel.

Alexander Dietsch

Think carbon nanotubes are new-fangled? Think again. The Crusaders felt the might of the tube when they fought against the Muslims and their distinctive, patterned Damascus blades.

Sabres from Damascus, now in Syria, date back as far as 900 AD. Strong and sharp, they are made from a type of steel called wootz.

Their blades bear a banded pattern thought to have been created as the sword was annealed and forged. But the secret of the swords' manufacture was lost in the eighteenth century.

Materials researcher Peter Paufler and his colleagues at Dresden University, Germany, have taken electron-microscope pictures of the swords and found that wootz has a microstructure of nano-metre-sized tubes, just like carbon nanotubes used in modern technologies for their lightweight strength.

The tubes were only revealed after a piece of sword was dissolved in hydrochloric acid to remove another microstructure in the swords: nanowires of the mineral cementite.

Wootz's ingredients include iron ores from India that contain transition-metal impurities. It was thought that these impurities helped cementite wires to form, but it wasn't clear how. Paufler thinks carbon nanotubes could be the missing piece of the puzzle.

At high temperatures, the impurities in the Indian ores could have catalysed the growth of nanotubes from carbon in the burning wood and leaves used to make the wootz, Paufler suggests. These tubes could then have filled with cementite to produce the wires in the patterned blades, he says.

But his suggestion isn't necessarily rock solid. Steel expert John Verhoeven, of Iowa State University in Ames, suggests Paufler is seeing something else. Cementite can itself exist as rods, he notes, so there might not be any carbon nanotubes in the rod-like structure.

Another potential problem is that TEM equipment sometimes contains nanotubes, says physicist Alex Zettl of the University of California, Berkeley. Paufler admits it is difficult to exclude the problem but says that, having studied the swords with a range of different equipment, he is convinced that the tubes he sees are from the swords.

If Paufler is right, nanotube researchers do not mind being pre-empted by Indian steel-makers. "The important fact is that nanotubes were serving some very useful purpose even before they were discovered," says chemist Andrei Khlobystov of the University of Nottingham, UK. "This should inspire us to look for new practical applications of these remarkable nanostructures."

The next step, says Paufler, will be to take the latest carbon nanotube knowledge and work with bladesmiths to try and recreate the lost process.

"The most incomprehensible thing about our universe is that it can be comprehended." - Albert Einstein

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« Reply #176 on: December 31, 2007, 04:06:55 am »

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   posted 12-31-2006 03:25 AM                       
Timeline of the Crusades: Before the Crusades 350 - 1095
0355 After removing a Roman temple from the site (possibly the Temple of Aphrodite built by Hadrian), Constantine I has the Church of the Holy Sepulcher constructed in Jerusalem. Built around the excavated hill of the Crucifixion, legend has it that Constantine's mother Helena discovered the True Cross here.
0613 Persians capture Damascus and Antioch.
0614 Persians sack Jerusalem. damaging the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the process.
0633 Muslims conquer Syria and Iraq.
0634 - 0644 Umar (c. 0591 - 0644) reigns as the second caliph.
0635 Muslims begin the conquest of Persia and Syria.
0635 Arab Muslims capture the city of Damascus from the Byzantines.
August 20, 0636 Battle of Yarmuk (also: Yarmuq, Hieromyax): Following the Muslim capture of Damascus and Edessa, Byzantine Emperor Heraclius organizes a large army which manages to take back control of those cities. However, Byzantine commander, Baänes is soundly defeated by Muslim forces under Khalid ibn Walid in a battle in the valley of the Yarmuk River outside Damascus. This leaves all of Syria open to Arab domination.
0637 The Arabs occupy the Persian capital of Ctesiphon. By 0651, the entire Persian realm would come under the rule of Islam and continued its westward expansion.
0637 Syria is conquered by Muslim forces.
0637 Jerusalem falls to invading Muslim forces.
0638 Caliph Umar I enters Jerusalem.
0639 Muslims conquer Egypt and Persia.
0641 Islam spreads into Egypt. The Catholic Archbishop invites Muslims to help free Egypt from Roman oppressors.
0641 Under the leadership of Abd-al-Rahman, Muslims conquer southern areas of Azerbaijan, Daghestan, Georgia, and Armenia.
0641 Under the leadership of Amr ibn al-As, Muslims conquer the Byzantine city of Alexandria in Egypt. Amr forbids the looting of the city and proclaims freedom of worship for all. According to some accounts, he also has what was left of the Great Library burned the following year. Al-As creates the first Muslim city in Egypt, al-Fustat, and builds there the first mosque in Egypt.
0644 Muslim leader Umar dies and is succeeded by Caliph Uthman, a member of the Umayyad family that had rejected Muhammad's prophesies. Rallies arise to support Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, as caliph. Uthman launches invasions to the west into North Africa.
0649 Muawiya I, a member of the Umayyad family, leads a raid against Cyprus, sacking the capital Salamis-Constantia after a short siege and pillaging the rest of the island.
0652 Sicily is attacked by Muslims coming out of Tunisia (named Ifriqiya by the Muslims, a name later given to the entire continent of Africa).
0653 Muawiya I leads a raid against Rhodes, taking the remaining pieces of the Colossus of Rhodes (one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world) and shipping it back to Syria to be sold as scrap metal.
0654 Muawiya I conquers Cyprus and stations a large garrison there. The island would remain in Muslim hands until 0966.
0655 Battle of the Masts: In one of the only Muslim naval victories in the entire history of Islam, Muslim forces under the command of Uthman bin Affan defeat Byzantine forces under Emperor Constant II. The battle takes place off the coast of Lycia and is an important stage in the decline of Byzantine power.
0661 - 0680 Mu'awiya, founder of the Umayyad dynasty, becomes the caliph and moves the capital from Mecca to Damascus.
0662 Egypt fell to the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates until 868 CE. A year prior, the Fertile Crescent and Persia yielded to the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, whose rule lasted until 1258 CE and 820 CE, respectively.
0667 Sicily is attacked by Muslims coming out of Tunisia.
0668 First Siege of Constantinople: This attack lasts off and on for seven years, with the Muslim forces generally spending the winters on the island of Cyzicus, a few miles south of Constantinople, and only sailing against the city during the spring and summer months. The Greeks are able to fend off repeated attacks with a weapon desperately feared by the Arabs: Greek Fire. It burned through ships, shields, and flesh and it could not be put out once it started. Muawiyah has to send emissaries to Byzantine Emperor Constans to beg him to let the survivors return home unimpeded, a request that is granted in exchange for a yearly tribute of 3,000 pieces of gold, fifty slaves, and fifty Arab horses.
0669 The Muslim conquest reaches to Morocco in North Africa. The region would be open to the rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates until 800 CE.
0672 Muslims under Mauwiya I capture the island of Rhodes.
0674 Arab conquest reaches the Indus River.
August 23, 0676 Birth of Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer) in Herstal, Wallonia, Belgium, as the illegitimate son of Pippin II. Serving as Mayor of the Palace of the kingdom of the Franks, Charles would lead a force of Christians that turn back a Muslim raiding party near Poitiers (or Tours) which, according to many historians, would effectively halt the advance of Islam against Christianity in the West.
0677 Muslims send a large fleet against Constantinople in an effort to finally break the city, but they are defeated so badly through the Byzantine use of Greek Fire that they are forced to pay an indemnity to the Emperor.
0680 Birth of Leo III the Isaurian, Byzantine Emperor, along the Turkish-Syrian border in the Syrian province of Commagene. Leo's tactical skills would be responsible for turning back the second Arab Muslim siege of Constantinople in 0717, shortly after he is elected emperor.
0688 Emperor Justinian II and Caliph al-Malik sign a peace treaty making Cyprus neutral territory. For the next 300 years, Cyprus is ruled jointly by both the Byzantines and the Arabs despite the continuing warfare between them elsewhere.
0691 Birth of Hisham, 10th caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. It is under Hisham that Muslim forces would make their deepest incursions into Western Europe before being stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 0732.
0698 Muslims capture Carthage in North Africa.
0700 Muslims from Pamntelleria raid the island of Sicily.
0711 With the further conquest of Egypt, Spain and North Africa, Islam included all of the Persian empire and most of the old Roman world under Islamic rule. Muslims began the conquest of Sindh in Afghanistan.
April 0711 Tariq ibn Malik, a Berber officer, crosses the strait separating Africa and Europe with a group of Muslims and enters Spain (al-Andalus, as the Muslims called it, a word is etymologically linked to "Vandals"). The first stop in the Muslim conquest of Spain is at the foot of a mountain that comes to be called Jabel Tarik, the Mountain of Tarik. Today it is known as Gibraltar. At one time the Berbers had been Christians but they recently converted in large numbers to Islam after the Arab conquest of North Africa.
July 19, 0711 Battle of Guadalete: Tariq ibn Ziyad kills King Rodrigo (or Roderic), Visigoth ruler of Spain, at the Guadalete River in the south of the Iberian peninsula. Tariq ibn Ziyad had landed at Gibraltar with 7,000 Muslims at the invitation of heirs of the late Visigoth King Witica (Witiza) who wanted to get rid of Rodrigo (this group includes Oppas, the bishop of Toledo and primate of all Spain, who happens to be the brother of the late king Witica). Ziyad, however, refuses to turn control of the region back over to the heirs of Witica. Almost the entire Iberian peninsula would come under Islamic control by 0718 CE.
0712 Muslim governor of Northern Africa Musa ibn Nusayr follows Tariq ibn Ziyad with an army of 18,000 as reinforcements for the conquest of Andalusia. Musa's father had been a Catholic Yemenite studying to be a priest in Iraq when he was captured in Iraq by Khalid, the "Sword of Islam," and forced to choose between conversion or death. This invasion of Iraq had been one of the last military orders given by Muhammed before his death.
0714 Birth of Pippin III (Pippin the Short) in Jupille (Belgium). Son of Charles Martel and father of Charlemagne, in 0759 Pippin would capture Narbonne, the last Muslim stronghold in France, and thereby drive Islam out of France.
0715 By this year just about all of Spain is in Muslim hands. The Muslim conquest of Spain only took around three years but the Christian reconquest would require around 460 years (it might have gone faster had the various Christian kingdoms not been at each other' throats much of the time). Musa's son, Abd el-Aziz, is left in charge and makes his capital the city of Seville, where he married Egilona, widow of king Rodrigo. Caliph Suleiman, a paranoid ruler, would have el-Aziz assassinated and sends Musa into exile in his native Yemen village to live out his days as a beggar.
0716 Lisbon is captured by Muslims.
0717 Cordova (Qurtuba) becomes the capital of Muslim holdings in Andalusia (Spain).
0717 Leo the Isaurian, born along the Turkish-Syrian border in the Syrian province of Commagene, revolts against the usurper Theodosius III and assumes the throne of the Byzantine Empire.
August 15, 0717 Second Siege of Constantinople: Taking advantage of the civil unrest in the Byzantine Empire, Caliph Sulieman sends 120,000 Muslims under the command of his brother, Moslemah, to launch the second siege of Constantinople. Another force of around 100,000 Muslims with 1,800 galleys soon arrives from Syria and Egypt to assist. Most of these reinforcements are quickly destroyed with Greek Fire. Eventually the Muslims outside Constantinople begin to starve and, in the winter, they also begin to freeze to death. Even the Bulgarians, usually hostile to the Byzantines, send a force to destroy Muslim reinforcements marching from Adrianopolis.
August 15, 0718 Muslims abandon their second siege of Constantinople. Their failure here leads to the weakening of the Umayyad government, in part because of the heavy losses. It is estimated that of the 200,000 soldiers who besieged Constantinople, only around 30,000 made it home. Although the Byzantine Empire also sustains heavily casualties and loses most its territory south of the Taurus Mountains, by holding the line here they prevent a disorganized and militarily inferior Europe from having to confront a Muslim invasion along the shortest possible route. Instead, the Arabic invasion of Europe must proceed along the longer path across northern Africa and into Spain, a route which prevents quick reinforcement and ultimately proves ineffective.
0719 Muslims attack Septimania in southern France (so named because it was the base of operations for Rome's Seventh Legion) and become established in the region known as Languedoc, made famous several hundred years later as the center of the Cathar heresy.
July 09, 0721 A Muslim army under the command of Al-Semah and that had crossed the Pyrenees is defeated by the Franks near Toulouse. Al-Semah is killed and his remaining forces, which had previously conquered Narbonne, are forced back across the Pyrenees into Spain.
0722 Battle of Covadonga: Pelayo, (0690-0737) Visigoth noble who had been elected the first King of Asturias (0718-0737), defeats a Muslim army at Alcama near Covadonga. This is generally regarded as the first real Christian victory over the Muslims in the Reconquista.
0724 Hisham becomes the 10th caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. It is under Hisham that Muslim forces make their deepest incursions into Western Europe before being stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 0732.
0724 Under the command of Ambissa, Emir of Andalusia, Muslim forces raid southern France and capture the cities of Carcassone and Nimes. Primary targets in these and other raids are churches and monasteries where the Muslims take away holy objects and enslave or kill all the clerics.
0725 Muslim forces occupied Nimes, France.
0730 Muslim forces occupy the French cities of Narbonne and Avignon.
October 10, 0732 Battle of Tours: With perhaps 1,500 soldiers, Charles Martel halts a Muslim force of around 40,000 to 60,000 cavalry under Abd el-Rahman Al Ghafiqi from moving farther into Europe. Many regard this battle as being decisive in that it saved Europe from Muslim control. Gibbon wrote: "A victorious line of march had been prolonged above a thousand miles from the rock of Gibraltar to the banks of the Loire; the repetition of an equal space would have carried the Saracens to the confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scotland; the Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Muhammed." Others, though, argue that the battle's importance has been exaggerated. The names of Tours, Poitiers, and Charles Martel do not appear in the Arab histories. They list the battle under the name Balat al-Shuhada, the Highway of Martyrs, and is treated as a minor engagement.
0735 Muslim invaders capture the city of Arles.
0737 Charles Martel sends his brother, Childebrand, to lay siege to Avignon and drive out the Muslim occupiers. Childebrand is successful and, according to records, has all the Muslims in the city killed.
0739 Already having retaken Narbonne, Beziers, Montpellier, and Nimes during the previous couple of years, Childebrand captures Marseille, one of the largest French cities still in Muslim hands.
June 08, 0741 Death of Leo III the Isaurian, Byzantine Emperor. Leo's tactical skills were responsible for turning back the second Arab Muslim siege of Constantinople in 0717, shortly after he was elected emperor.
October 22, 0741 Death of Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer) in at Quierzy (today the Aisne county in the Picardy region of France). As Mayor of the Palace of the kingdom of the Franks, Charles had led a force of Christians that turned back a Muslim raiding party near Poitiers (or Tours) which, according to many historians, effectively halted the advance of Islam against Christianity in the West.
April 04, 0742 Birth of Charlemagne, founder of the Frankish Empire.
0743 Death of Hisham, 10th caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. It was under Hisham that Muslim forces made their deepest incursions into Western Europe before being stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 0732.
0750 The Arabian Nights, a compilation of stories written under the reign of the Abbasids, became representative of the lifestyle and administration of this Persian influenced government.
0750 - 0850 The Four Orthodox Schools of Islamic Law were established.
0750 The Abbasids assume control of the Islamic world (except Spain, which falls under the control of a descendant of the Umayyad family) and moved the capital to Baghdad in Iraq. The Abbasid Caliphate would last until 1258.
September 0755 Abd al-Rahman of the Umayyad dynasty flees to Spain to escape the Abbasids and would be responsible for creating the "Golden Caliphate" in Spain.
0756 The Emirate of Cordova is established by Umayyad refugee Abd al-Rahman I in order to revive the defeated Umayyad caliphate which had been destroyed in 0750 by the Abbasids. Cordova would become independent of the Abbasid Empire and represents the first major political division within Islam. The political and geographic isolation of the Cordova Caliphate would make it easier for Christians to decisively conquer it despite their failures elsewhere, although this would not be completed until 1492.
0759 Arabs lose the city of Narbonne, France, their furthest and last conquest into Frankish territory. In capturing this city Pippin III (Pippin the Short) ends the Muslim incursions in France.
0768 Pepin's son, Carolus Magnus (Charlemagne), succeeded his father and became one of the most important European rulers of medieval history.
September 24, 0768 Death of Pippin III (Pippin the Short) at Saint Denis. Son of Charles Martel and father of Charlemagne, in 0759 Pippin captured Narbonne, the last Muslim stronghold in France, and thereby drove Islam out of France.
0778 Charlemagne, King of the Franks and soon-to-be Holy Roman Emperor, is invited by a group of Arab leaders in northeastern Spain to attack Abd al-Rahman I, ruler of the Emirate of Cordova. Charlemagne obliges them, but is forced to retreat after only getting as far as Saragossa. It is during his march back through the Pyrenees that his forces are set upon by Basques. Among the many who die is the war leader Roland from Breton, killed in Roncevalles, whose memory has been preserved in the "Chanson de Roland," an important epic poem during the Middle Ages.
0785 The Great Mosque in Cordoba, in Muslim controlled Spain, was built.
0787 Danes invade England for the first time.
0788 Death of Abd al-Rahman I, founder of the Umayyad Emirate of Cordova. His successor is Hisham I.
0792 Hisham I, emir of Cordova, calls for a Jihad against the infidels in Andalusia and France. Tens of thousands from as far away as Syria heed his call and cross the Pyrennes to subjugate France. Cities like Narbonne are destroyed, but the invasion is ultimately hated at Carcassone.
0796 Death of Hisham I, emir of Cordova. His successor is his son, al-Hakam, who would keep up the jihad against the Christians but would also be forced to contend with rebellion at home.
0799 The Basques rise in revolt and kill the local Muslim governor of Pamplona.
0800 North Africa falls under the rule of the Aghlabi dynasty of Tunis, which would last until 0909 CE.
0800 - 1200 Jews experience a "golden age" of creativity and toleration in Spain under Moorish (Muslim) rule.
0800 Ambassadors of Caliph Harunu r-Rashid give keys to the Holy Sepulcher to the Frankish king, thus acknowledging some Frankish control over the interests of Christians in Jerusalem.
0801 Vikings begin selling slaves to Muslims.
0806 Hien Tsung becomes the Emperor of China. During his reign a shortage of copper leads to the introduction of paper money.
0813 Muslims attack the Civi Vecchia near Rome.
April 04, 0814 Death of Charlemagne, founder of the Frankish Empire.
0816 With the support of Moors, the Basques revolt against the Franks in Glascony.
0822 Death of Al-Hakam, emir of Cordova. He is succeeded by Abd al-Rahman II.
June 0827 Sicily is invaded by Muslims who, this time, are looking to take control of the island rather than simply taking away booty. They are initially aided by Euphemius, a Byzantine naval commander who is rebelling against the Emperor. Conquest of the island would require 75 years of hard fighting.
0831 Muslim invaders capture the Sicilian city of Palermo and make it their capital.
0835 Birth of Ahmad Ibn Tultun, founder of the Tulunid Dynasty in Egypt. Originally sent there as a deputy by the Abbasid Caliphate, Tultun will establish himself as an independent power in the region, extending his control as far north as Syria. It is under Tultun that the Great Mosque of Cairo is built.
0838 Muslim raiders sack Marseille.
0841 Muslim forces capture Bari, principle Byzantine base in southeastern Italy.
0846 Muslim raiders sail a fleet of ships from Africa up the Tiber river and attack outlying areas around Ostia and Rome. Some manage to enter Rome and damage the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul. Not until Pope Leo IV promises a yearly tribute of 25,000 silver coins do the raiders leave. The Leonine Wall is built in order to fend off further attacks such as this.
0849 Battle of Ostia: Aghlabid monarch Muhammad sends a fleet of ships from Sardinia to attack Rome. As the fleet prepares to land troops, the combination of a large storm and an alliance of Christian forces were able to destroy the Muslims ships.
0850 The Acropolis of Zimbabwe was built in Rhodesia.
0850 Perfectus, a Christian priest in Muslim Cordova, is executed after he refuses to retract numerous insults he made about the Prophet Muhammed. Numerous other priests, monks, and laity would follow as Christians became caught up in a zest for martyrdom.
0851 Abd al-Rahman II has eleven young Christians executed in the city of Cordova after they deliberately seek out martyrdom by insulting the Prophet Muhammed.
0852 Death of Abd al-Rahman II, emir of Cordova.
0858 Muslim raiders attack Constantinople.
0859 Muslim invaders capture the Sicilian city of Castrogiovanni (Enna), slaughtering several thousand inhabitants.
0863 Under Cyril (0826 - 0869) and Methodius (c. 0815 - 0885) the conversion of Moravia begins. The two brothers were sent by the patriarch of Constantinople to Moravia, where the ruler, Rostilav, decreed in 863 that any preaching done had to be in the language of the people. As a result, Cyril and Methodius developed the first usable alphabet for the Slavic tongue - thus, the Cyrillic alphabet.
0866 Emperor Louis II travels from Germany to southern Italy to battle the Muslim raiders causing trouble there.
0868 The Sattarid dynasty, whose rule would continue until 0930 CE, extended Muslim control throughout most of Persia. In Egypt, the Abbasid and Umayyad caliphates ended and the Egyptian-based Tulunid dynasty took over (lasting until 904 CE).
0869 Arabs capture the island of Malta.
0870 After a month-long siege, the Sicilian city of Syracuse is captured by Muslim invaders.
0871 King Alfred the Great of England created a system of government and education which allowed for the unification of smaller Anglo-Saxon states in the ninth and tenth centuries.
0874 Iceland is colonized by Vikings from Norway.
0876 Muslims pillage Campagna in Italy.
0879 The Seljuk Empire unites Mesopotamia and a large portion of Persia.
0880 Under Emperor Basil, the Byzantines recapture lands occupied by Arabs in Italy.
0884 Death of Ahmad Ibn Tultun, founder of the Tulunid Dynasty in Egypt. Originally sent there as a deputy by the Abbasid Caliphate, Tultun established himself as an independent power in the region, extending his control as far north as Syria. It is under Tultun that the Great Mosque of Cairo is built.
0884 Muslims invading Italy burn the monastery of Monte Cassino to the ground.
0898 Birth of Abd al-Rahman III, generally regarded as the greatest of the Umayyad caliphs in Andalusia. Under his rule, Cordova would become one of the most powerful centers of Islamic learning and power.
0900 The Fatimids of Egypt conquered north Africa and included the territory as an extension of Egypt until 0972 CE.
0900 Mayans emigrate to the Yucatan Peninsula.
0902 The Muslim conquest of Sicily is completed when the last Christian stronghold, the city of Taorminia, is captured. Muslim rule of Sicily would last for 264 years.
0905 The Tulunid Dynasty in Egypt is destroyed by an Abbasid army sent to reestablish control over the region of Egypt and Syria.
0909 Sicily came under the control of the Fatimids' rule of North Africa and Egypt until 1071 CE. From 0878 until 0909 CE, their rule of Sicily was uncertain.
0909 The Fatimid Dynasty assumes control of Egypt. Claiming descent from Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammed, and Ali bin Abi Talib, the Fatimids would rule Egypt until being overthrown by the Auyybids and Saladin in 1171.
0911 Muslims control all the passes in the Alps between France and Italy, cutting off passage between the two countries.
0912 Abd al-Rahman III becomes the Umayyad Caliph in Andalusia.
0916 A combined force of Greek and German emperors and Italian city-states defeat Muslim invaders at Garigliano, putting Muslim raids in Italy to an end.
0920 Muslim forces cross the Pyrenees, enter Gascony, and reach as far as the gates of Toulouse.
0929 Abd al-Rahman III transforms the Emirate of Cordova into and independent caliphate no longer under even theoretical control from Baghdad.
0935 - 0969 The rule of Egypt was under the Ikhidid dynasty.
0936 The Althing, the oldest body of representative government in Europe, is established in Iceland by the Vikings.
0939 Madrid is recaptured from Muslim forces.
0940 Hugh, count of Provence, gives his protection to Moors in St. Tropez if they agree to keep the Alpine passes closed to his rival, Berenger.
c. 0950 Catholicism becomes prevalent and dominant religion throughout Europe.
0950 According to traditional historiography, Europe enters Dark Ages.
0953 Emperor Otto I sends representatives to Cordova to ask Caliph Abd al-Rahman III to call off some Muslim raiders who had set themselves up in Alpine passes and are attacking merchant caravans going in and out of Italy.
0961 Death of Abd al-Rahman III, generally regarded as the greatest of the Umayyad caliphs in Andalusia. Under his rule, Cordova became one of the most powerful centers of Islamic learning and power. He is succeeded by Abdallah, a caliph who would kill many of his rivals (even family members) and has captured Christians decapitated if they refuse to convert to Christianity.
0961 Under the command of general Nicephorus Phokas, the Byzantines recapture Crete from Muslim rebels who had earlier fled Cordova.
0965 Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phokas reconquers Cyprus from the Muslims.
0965 Grenoble is recaptured from the Muslims.
0969 The Fatimid dynasty (Shi'ite) takes Egypt from the Ikshidids and assumes the title of caliphate in Egypt until 1171 CE.
0969 Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas reconquers Antioch (modern Antakya, capital of the province Hatay) from the Arabs.
0972 The Fatimids of Egypt conquer north Africa.
0972 The Muslims in the Sisteron district of France surrender to Christian forces and their leader asks to be baptized.
0981 Eric the Red is exiled from Iceland and settles in a new land he called Greenland in order to attract settlers.
0981 Ramiro III, king of Leon, is defeated by Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir (Almanzor) at Rueda and is forced to begin paying tribute to the Caliph of Cordova.
0985 Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir sacks Barcelona
0994 The monastery of Monte Cassino is destroyed a second time by Arabs.
0995 Japanese literary and artistic golden age begins under Emperor Fujiwara Michinaga (ruled 0995 - 1028).
July 03, 0997 Under the leadership of Almanzor, Muslim forces march out of the city of Cordova and head north to capture Christian lands.
August 11, 0997 Muslim forces under Almanzor arrive at the city of Compostela. The city had been evacuated and Almanzor burns it to the ground.
0998 Venice conquers the Adriatic port of Zara. The Venetians would eventually lose the city to the Hungarians and, in 1202, they offer a deal to soldiers of the Fourth Crusade: capture the city again for them in exchange for passage to Egypt.
c. 1000 Chinese perfect the production and use of gunpowder.
1000 The Seljuk (Saljuq) Turkish Empire is founded by an Oghuz Turkish bey (chieftain) named Seljuk. Originally from the steppe country around the Caspian Sea, the Seljuks are the ancestors of the Western Turks, present-day inhabitants of Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
August 08, 1002 Death of Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir, ruler of Al-Andalus, on the way back from raiding the Rioja region.
1004 Arab raiders sack the Italian city of Pisa.
1007 Birth of Isaac I Comnenus, Byzantine emperor. Founder of the dynasty of the Comneni, Isaac's government reforms may have helped the Byzantine Empire last longer.
1009 The Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is destroyed by Muslim armies.
1009 Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, founder of the Druze sect and sixth Fatimid Caliph in Egypt, orders the Holy Sepulcher and all Christian buildings in Jerusalem be destroyed. In Europe a rumor develops that a "Prince of Babylon" had ordered the destruction of the Holy Sepulcher at the instigation of the Jews. Attacks on Jewish communities in cities like Rouen, Orelans, and Mainz ensue and this rumor helps lay the basis for massacres of Jewish communities by Crusaders marching to the Holy Land.
1009 Sulaimann, grandson of Abd al-Rahman III, returns over 200 captured fortresses to the Castilians in return for massive shipments of food for his army.
1012 Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, founder of the Druze sect and sixth Fatimid Caliph in Egypt, orders the destruction of all Christian and Jewish houses of worship in his lands.
1012 Berber forces capture Cordova and order that half the population be executed.
1013 Jews are expelled from the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordova, then ruled by Sulaimann.
1015 Arab Muslim forces conquer Sardinia.
1016 The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is partially destroyed by earthquakes.
1020 Merchants from Amalfi and Salerno are granted permission by the Egyptian Caliph to build a hospice in Jerusalem. Out of this would eventually grow The Order of Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (also known as: Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, and most commonly as Knights Hospitaller).
1021 Caliph al-Hakim proclaimed himself to be divine and founded the Druze sect.
1022 Several Cathar heretics are discovered in Toulouse and put to death.
1023 Muslims expel the Berber rulers from Cordova and install Abd er-Rahman V as caliph.
1025 The power of the Byzantine Empire begins to decline.
1026 Richard II of Normandy leads a group of several hundred armed men on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the belief that the Day of Judgment had arrived. Turkish control of the region hampers their goals, however.
1027 The Frankish protectorate over Christian interests in Jerusalem is replaced by a Byzantine protectorate. Byzantine leaders begin the reconstruction of the Holy Sepulcher.
1029 Alp Arslan, "The Lion Hero," is born. Arslan is the son of Togrul Beg, conqueror of Baghdad who made himself ruler of the Caliphate, and great-grandson of Seljuk, founder of the Seljuk Turkish empire.
1031 The Moorish Caliphate of Córdoba falls.
1031 The emir of Aleppo has the Krak des Chevaliers contructed.
1033 Castile is retaken from the Arabs.
1035 The Byzantines make a landing in Sicily, but don't try to recapture the island from the Muslims.
1038 The Seljuk Turks become established in Persia.
1042 The rise of the Seljuk Turks begins.
1045 - 1099 1099 Life of Ruy Diaz de Vivar, known as El Cid (Arabic for "lord"), national hero of Spain. El Cid would become famous for his efforts to drive the Moors out of Spain.
May 18, 1048 Persian poet Umar Khayyam is born. His poem The Rubaiyat became popular in the West because of its use by Victorian Edward Fitzgerald.
1050 - 1200 The first agricultural revolution of Medieval Europe begins in 1050 CE with a shift to the northern lands for cultivation, a period of improved climate from 700 CE to 1200 CE in western Europe, and the widespread use and perfection of new farming devices. Technological innovations include the use of the heavy plow, the three-field system of crop rotation, the use of mills for processing cloth, brewing beer, crushing pulp for paper manufacture, and the widespread use of iron and horses. With an increase in agricultural advancements, Western towns and trade grow exponentially and Western Europe returns to a money economy.
1050 Duke Bohemond I (Bohemond Of Taranto, French Bohémond De Tarente), prince of Otranto (1089–1111) is born. One of the leaders of the First Crusade, Bohemond would be largely responsible for the capture of Antioch and he secures the title Prince of Antioch (1098 - 1101, 1103 - 04).
1050 Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachos restores the complex of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
1054 A famine in Egypt forces al Mustansir, 8th Fatimid caliph, to seek food and other commercial assistance from Italy and the Byzantine Empire.
July 16, 1054 Great Schism: The Western Christian Church, in an effort to further enhance its power, had tried to impose Latin rites on Greek churches in southern Italy in 1052; as a consequence, Latin churches in Constantinople were closed. In the end, this leads to the excommunication of Michael Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople (who in turn excommunicates Pope Leo IX). Although generally regarded as a minor event at the time, today it is treated as the final event that sealed the Great Schism between Eastern and Western Christianity.
1055 Seljuk Turks capture Baghdad.
1056 The Almoravid (al-Murabitun) Dynasty begins its rise to power. Taking the name "those who line up in defense of the faith," this is a group of fanatical Berber Muslims who would rule North Africa and Spain until 1147.
1061 Roger Guiscard lands at Sicily with a large Norman force and captures the city of Masara. The Norman reconquest of Sicily would require another 30 years.
1063 Alp Arslan succeeds his father, Togrul Beg, as ruler of the Baghdad Caliphate and the Seljuk Turks.
1064 The Seljuk Turks conquer Christian Armenia.
September 29, 1066 William the Conqueror invades England and claims the English throne at the Battle of Hastings. Because William is both the King of England and the Duke of Normandy, The Norman Conquest fuses French and English cultures. The language of England evolves into Middle English with an English syntax and grammar and a heavily French vocabulary.
1067 Romanus IV Diogenes becomes the Byzantine Emperor.
1068 Alp Arslan invades the Byzantine Empire and is repulsed by Romanus IV Diogenes over the course of three campaigns. Not until 1070, though, would the Turks be driven back across the Euphrates river.
1070 Seljuk Turks capture Jerusalem from the Fatimids. Seljuk rule is not quite as tolerant as that of the Fatimids and Christian pilgrims begin returning to Europe with tales of persecution and oppression.
1070 Brother Gerard, a leader of the Benedictine monks and nuns who run the hospices in Jerusalem. beings to organize The Order of Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (also known as: Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, and most commonly as Knights Hospitaller) as a more military force for the active protection of Christian pilgrims.
1071 Normans conquer the last Byzantine holdings in Italy.
1071 - 1085 Seljuk Turks conquer most of Syria and Palestine.
August 19, 1071 Battle of Manzikert: Alp Arslan leads an army of Seljuk Turks against the Byzantine Empire near Lake Van. Numbering perhaps as many as 100,000 men, the Turks take the fortresses of Akhlat and Manzikert before Byzantine Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes can respond. Although Diogenes is able to recapture Akhlat, the siege of Manzikert fails when a Turkish relief force arrives and Andronicus Ducas, an enemy of Romanus Diogenes, refuses to obey orders to fight. Diogenes himself is captured and released, but he would be murdered after his return to Constantinople. Partly because of the defeat at Manzikert and partly due to the civil wars following the murder of Digoenes, Asia Minor would be left open to Turkish invasion.
1072 Tancred of Hauteville is born. A grandson of Robert Guiscard and nephew of Bohemund of Taranto, Tancred would become a leader of the First Crusade and eventually regent of the Principality of Antioch.
December 15, 1072 Malik Shah I, son of Alp Arslan, succeeds his father as Seljuk Sultan.
1073 Seljuk Turks conquer Ankara.
July 1074 El Cid marries Jimena, niece of Alfonso IV of Castile and daughter of the Count of Oviedo.
1076 First recorded execution in England by the ax: the Earl of Huntingdon.
1078 Seljuk Turks capture Nicaea. It would change hands three more times, finally coming under control of the Turks again in 1086.
1079 Battle of Cabra: El Cid led his troops to a rout of Emir Abd Allah of Granada.
1080 Order of the Hospital of St. John is founded in Italy. This special order of knights was dedicated to guarding a pilgrim hospital, or hostel, in Jerusalem.
1080 An Armenian state is founded in Cilicia, a district on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor (Turkey), north of Cyprus, by refugees feeling the Seljuk invasion of their Armenian homeland. A Christian kingdom located in the midst of hostile Muslim states and lacking good relations with the Byzantine Empire, "Armenia Minor" would provide important assistance to Crusaders from Europe.
1081 - 1118 Alexius I Comnenus is Byzantine emperor.
1081 El Cid, now a mercenary because he had been exiled by Alfonso IV of Castile, enters the service of the Moorish king of the northeast Spanish city of Zaragosa, al-Mu'tamin, and would remain there for his successor, al-Mu'tamin II.
1082 Ibn Tumart, founder of the Amohad Dynasty, is born in the Atlas mountains.
1084 Seljuk Turks conquer Antioch, a strategically important city.
October 25, 1085 The Moors are expelled from Toledo, Spain, by Alfonso VI.
October 23, 1086 Battle of Zallaca (Sagrajas): Spanish forces under Alfonso VI of Castile are defeated by the Moors and their allies, the Almorivids (Berbers from Morocco and Algeria, led by Yusef I ibn Tashufin), thus preserving Muslim rule in al-Andalus. The slaughter of Spaniards was great and Yusef refused to abide by his agreement to leave Andalusia in the hands of the Moors. His intention was actually to make Andalusia an African colony ruled by the Almorivids in Morocco.
1087 After his crushing defeat at Zallaqa, Alfonso VI swallows his pride and recalls El Cid from exile.
September 13, 1087 Birth of John II Comnenus, Byzantine emperor.
1088 Patzinak Turks begin forming settlements between the Danube and the Balkans.
March 12, 1088 Urban II is elected pope. An active supporter of the Gregorian reforms, Urban would become responsible for launching the First Crusade.
1089 Byzantine forces conquer the island of Crete.
1090 Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, King of the Almoravids, captures Granada.
1091 The Normans recapture Sicily from the Muslims.
1091 Cordova (Qurtuba) is captured by the Almoravids.
1092 After the death of Seljuk Sultan (al-sultan , "the power") Malik Shah I, the capital of the Seljuks is moved from Iconjium to Smyrna and the empire itself dissolves into several smaller states.
May 1094 El Cid captures Valencia from the Moors, carving out his own kingdom along the Mediterranean that is only nominally subservient to Alfonso VI of Castile. Valencia would be both Christian and Muslim, with adherents of both religions serving in his army.
August 1094 The Almoravids from Morocco land near Cuarte and lay siege to Valencia with 50,000 men. El Cid, however, breaks the siege and forces the Amoravids to flee - the first Christian victory against the hard-fighting Africans.
November 18, 1095 Pope Urban II opens the Council of Clermont where ambassadors from the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus, asking help against the Muslims, were warmly received.
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« Reply #177 on: December 31, 2007, 04:07:23 am »

Rachel Dearth

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Timeline of the Crusades: First Crusade 1095 - 1100
November 18, 1095 Pope Urban II opens the Council of Clermont where ambassadors from the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus, asking help against the Muslims, were warmly received.
November 27, 1095 Pope Urban II calls for a Crusade (in Arabic: al-Hurub al-Salibiyya, "Wars of the Cross") in a famous speech at the Council of Clermont. Although his actual words have been lost, tradition has it that he was so persuasive that the crowd shouted out in response "Deus vult! Deus vult!" ("God wills it"). Urban had earlier arranged that Raymond, Count of Toulouse (also of St. Giles), would volunteer to take up the cross then and there and offered other participants two important concession: protection for their estates at home while they were gone and plenary indulgence for their sins. The inducements for other Europeans were just as great: serfs were allowed the leave the land they were bound to, citizens were free from taxation, debtors were given a moratorium on interest, prisoners were released, death sentences were commuted, and much more.
December 1095 Adhemar de Monteil (also: Adémar, Aimar, or Aelarz), Bishop of Le Puy, is chosen by Pope Urban II as the Papal Legate for the First Crusade. Although various secular leaders would argue amongst themselves over who led the Crusade, the pope always regards Adhemar as its true leader, reflecting the primacy of spiritual over political goals.
1096 - 1099 1099 First Crusade is carried out in an effort to aid Byzantine Christians against Muslim invaders.
April 1096 The first of the four planned Crusader armies arrives in Constantinople, at that time ruled by Alexius I Comnenus.
April 20, 1096 Peter the Hermit, a native of Amiens in France, leads 20,000 commoners out of Cologne on the Peasants' Crusade.
May 06, 1096 Crusaders moving through the Rhine Valley massacre Jews in Speyer. This is the first major slaughter of a Jewish community by Crusaders marching to the Holy Land.
May 18, 1096 Crusaders massacre Jews in Worms, Germany. The Jews in Worms had heard about the massacre in Speyer and try to hide - some in their homes and some even in the bishop's palace, but they are unsuccessful.
May 27, 1096 Crusaders massacre Jews in Mainz, Germany. The bishop hides over 1,000 in his cellars but the Crusaders learn of this and kill most of them. Men, women, and children of all ages are slaughtered indiscriminately.
May 30, 1096 Crusaders attack Jews in Cologne, Germany, but most are protected by local citizens who hide the Jews in their own houses. Archbishop Hermann would later send them to safety in neighboring villages, but the Crusaders would follow and slaughter hundreds.
June 1096 Crusaders led by Peter the Hermit sack Semin and Belgrade, forcing Byzantine troops to flee to Nish.
July 03, 1096 Peter the Hermit's Peasants' Crusade meets Byzantine forces at Nish. Although Peter is victorious and moves towards Constantinople, about a quarter of his forces are lost.
July 12, 1096 Crusaders under the leadership of Peter the Hermit reach Sofia, Hungary.
August 1096 Godfrey De Bouillon, the Margrave of Antwerp and a direct descendant of Charlemagne, sets off to join the First Crusade at the head of an army of at least 40,000 soldiers. Godfrey is the brother of Baldwin of Boulogne (the future Baldwin I of Jerusalem..
August 01, 1096 The Peasants' Crusade, which had departed from Europe that Spring, is shipped over the Bosprous by Emperor Alexius I Comnenus of Constantinople. Alexius I had welcomed these first Crusaders, but they are so decimated by hunger and disease that they cause a great deal of trouble, looting churches and houses around Constantinople. Thus, Alexius has them taken to Anatolia as quickly as possible. Made up of poorly organized groups led by Peter the Hermit and Walter the Pennyless (Gautier sans-Avoir, who had led a separate contingent from Peter, most of whom were killed by the Bulgarians), the Peasants' Crusade would proceed to pillage Asia Minor but meet with a very messy end.
September 1096 A group from the Peasants' Crusade is besieged at Xerigordon and forced to surrender. Everyone is given a choice of beheading or conversion. Those who convert in order to avoid beheading are sent into slavery and never heard from again.
October 1096 Bohemond I (Bohemond Of Otranto, French Bohémond De Tarente), prince of Otranto (1089–1111) and one of the leaders of the First Crusade, leads his troops across the Adriatic Sea. Bohemond would be largely responsible for the capture of Antioch and he was able to secure the title Prince of Antioch (1098–1101, 1103–04).
October 1096 The Peasants' Crusade is massacred at Civeot, Anatolia, by Turkish archers from Nicaea. Only small children are spared the sword so that they could be sent into slavery. Around 3,000 manage to escape back to Constantinople where Peter the Hermit had been in negotiations with Emperor Alexius I Comnenus.
October 1096 Raymond, Count of Toulouse (also of St. Giles), leaves for the Crusade in the company of Adhemar, bishop of Puy and the Papal Legate.
December 1096 The last of the four planned Crusader armies arrives at Constantinople, bringing the total numbers to approximately 50,000 knights and 500,000 footmen. Curiously there isn't a single king among the Crusade leaders, a sharp difference from later Crusades. At this time Philip I of France, William II of England, and Henry IV of Germany are all under excommunication by Pope Urban II.
December 25, 1096 Godfrey De Bouillon, the Margrave of Antwerp and a direct descendant of Charlemagne, arrives in Constantinople. Godfrey would be the primary leader of the First Crusade, thus making it a largely French war in practice and causing the inhabitants of the Holy Land to refer to Europeans generally as "Franks."
January 1097 Normans led by Bohemond I destroy a village on the way to Constantinople because it is inhabited by heretic Paulicians.
March 1097 After relations between Byzantine leaders and the European Crusaders deteriorates, Godfrey De Bouillon leads an attack on the Byzantine Imperial Palace at Blachernae.
April 26, 1097 Bohemond I joins his Crusading forces with the Lorrainers under Godfrey De Bouillon. Bohemond is not especially welcome in Constantinople because his father, Robert Guiscard, had invaded the Byzantine Empire and captured the cities of Dyrrha****m and Corfu.
May 1097 With the arrival of Duke Robert of Normandy, all of the major participants of the Crusades are together and the large force crosses into Asia Minor. Peter the Hermit and his few remaining followers join them. How many were there? Estimates vary wildly: 600,000 according to Fulcher of Chartres, 300,000 according to Ekkehard, and 100,000 according to Raymond of Aguilers. Modern scholars place their numbers at around 7,000 knights and 60,000 infantry.
May 21, 1097 Crusaders begin the siege of Nicaea, a mostly Christian city guarded by several thousand Turkish troops. Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus has a strong interest in the capture of this heavily fortified city because it lies just 50 miles from Constantinople itself. Nicaea is at this time under the control of Kilij Arslan (Dawud Kılıj Arslan ibn Süleyman ibn Kut al-Mish), sultan of the Seljuk Turkish state of Rhüm (a reference to Rome). Unfortunately for him Arslan and the bulk of his military forces are at war with a neighboring Emir when the crusaders arrive; although he quickly makes peace in order to lift the siege, he would be unable to arrive in time.
June 19, 1097 Crusaders captured Antioch after a long siege. This had delayed progress towards Jerusalem by a year.
June 19, 1097 The city of Nicaea surrenders to the Crusaders. Emperor Alexius I Comnenus of Constantinople makes a deal with the Turks that puts the city in his hands and kicks the Crusaders out. In not allowing them to pillage Nicaea, Emperor Alexius engenders a great deal of animosity towards the Byzantine Empire.
July 01, 1097 Battle of Dorylaeum: While travelling from Nicaea to Antioch, the Crusaders split their forces into two groups and Kilij Arslan seizes the opportunity to ambush some of them near Dorylaeum. In what would become known as the Battle of Dorylaeum, Bohemond I is saved by Raymond of Toulouse. This could have been a disaster for the Crusaders, but the victory frees them of both supply problems and from harassment by Turks for a while.
August 1097 Godfrey of Bouillon temporarily occupies the Seljuk city of Iconium (Konya).
September 10, 1097 Splitting off from the main Crusading force, Tancred of Hauteville captures Tarsus. Tancred is a grandson of Robert Guiscard and nephew of Bohemund of Taranto.
October 20, 1097 The first Crusaders arrived at Antioch
October 21, 1097 The Crusaders' siege of the strategically important city of Antioch begins. Located in the mountainous region of Orontes, Antioch had never been captured by any means other than treachery and is so large that the Crusader army is unable to completely surround it. During this siege Crusaders learn to chew on the reeds known to Arabs as sukkar - this is their first experience with sugar and they come to like it.
December 21, 1097 First Battle of Harenc: Because of the size of their forces, Crusaders besieging Antioch are constantly running short of food and conduct raids into the neighboring regions despite the risk of Turkish ambushes. One of the largest of these raids consists of a force of 20,000 men under the command of Bohemond and Robert of Flanders. At this same time, Duqaq of Damascus had been approaching Antioch with a large relief army. Robert is quickly surrounded, but Bohemond comes up quickly and relieves Robert. There are heavy casualties on both sides and Duqaq is forced to withdraw, abandoning his plan to relieve Antioch.
February 1098 Tancred and his forces rejoin the main body of Crusaders, only to find Peter the Hermit attempting to flee to Constantinople. Tancred makes sure that Peter returns to continue the fight.
February 09, 1098 Second Battle of Harenc: Ridwan of Aleppo, titular ruler of Antioch, raises an army to relieve the besieged city of Antioch. The Crusaders learn of his plans and launch a preemptive assault with their remaining 700 heavy cavalry. The Turks are forced into retreat to Aleppo, a city in northern Syria, and the plan to relieve Antioch is abandoned.
March 10, 1098 Christian citizens of Edessa, a powerful Armenian kingdom that controls a region from the coastal plain of Cilicia all the way to the Euphrates, surrenders to Baldwin of Boulogne. Possession of this region would provide a secure flank to the Crusaders.
June 01, 1098 Stephen of Blois takes a large contingent of Franks and abandons the siege of Antioch after he hears that Emir Kerboga of Mosul with an army of 75,000 is drawing near to relieve the besieged city.
June 03, 1098 The Crusaders under the command of Bohemond I capture Antioch, despite their numbers having been depleted by numerous defections during the previous months. The reason is treachery: Bohemond conspires with Firouz, an Aremenian convert to Islam and captain of the guard, to allow the Crusaders access to the Tower of the Two Sisters. Bohemond is named Prince of Antioch.
June 05, 1098 Emir Kerboga, Attabeg of Mosul, finally arrives at Antioch with an army of 75,000 men and lays siege to the Christians who had just captured the city themselves (although they do not have full control of it - there are still defenders barricaded in the citadel). In fact, the positions which they had occupied a couple of days before are now occupied by the Turkish forces. A relief army commanded by the Byzantine Emperor turns back after Stephen of Blois convinces them that the situation in Antioch is hopeless. For this, Alexius is never forgiven by the Crusaders and many would claim that Alexius' failure to help them released them from their vows of fealty to him.
June 10, 1098 Peter Bartholomew, a servant of a member of Count Raymond's army, experiences a vision of the Holy Lance being located at Antioch. Also known as the Spear of Destiny or the Spear of Longinus, this artifact is alleged to be the spear that pierced the side of Jesus Christ when he was on the cross.
June 14, 1098 The Holy Lance is "discovered" by Peter Bartholomew subsequent to a vision from Jesus Christ and St. Andrew that it is located in Antioch, recently captured by the Crusaders. This dramatically improves the spirits of the Crusaders now besieged in Antioch by Emir Kerboga, Attabeg of Mosul.
June 28, 1098 Battle of Orontes: Following the Holy Lance "discovery" in Antioch, the Crusaders drive back a Turkish army under the command of Emir Kerboga, Attabeg of Mosul, sent to recapture the city. This battle is generally regarded as having been decided by morale because the Muslim army, split by internal dissent, numbers 75,000 strong but is defeated by a mere 15,000 tired and poorly equipped Crusaders.
August 01, 1098 Adhemar, Bishop of Le Puy and nominal leader of the First Crusade, dies during an epidemic. With this, Rome's direct control over the Crusade effectively ends.
December 11, 1098 Crusaders capture the city of M'arrat-an-Numan, a small city east of Antioch. According to reports, Crusaders are observed eating the flesh of both adults and children; as a consequence, the Franks would be labeled "cannibals" by Turkish historians.
January 13, 1099 Raymond of Toulouse leads the first contingents of Crusaders away from Antioch and towards Jerusalem. Bohemund disagrees with Raymond's plans and remains in Antioch with his own forces.
February, 1099 Raymond of Toulouse captures the Krak des Chevaliers, but he is forced to abandon it in order to continue his march to Jerusalem.
February 14, 1099 Raymond of Toulouse begins a siege of Arqah, but he would be forced to give up in April.
April 08, 1099 Long criticized by doubters that he had truly found the Holy Lance, Peter Bartholomew agrees to the suggestion of priest Arnul Malecorne that he undergo a trial by fire in order to prove the relic's authenticity. He dies of his injuries on April 20, but because he does not die immediately Malecorne declares the trial a success and the Lance genuine.
June 06, 1099 Citizens of Bethlehem plead with Tancred of Bouillon (nephew of Bohemond) to protect them from the approaching Crusaders who had by this time acquired a reputation for vicious looting of cities they capture.
June 07, 1099 The Crusaders reach the gates of Jerusalem. then controlled by governor Iftikhar ad-Daula. Although the Crusaders had originally marched out of Europe to take Jerusalem back from the Turks, the Fatimids had already expelled the Turks the year before. The Fatimid caliph offers the Crusaders a generous peace agreement that includes protection of Christian pilgrims and worshippers in the city, but the Crusaders are uninterested in anything less than full control of the Holy City - nothing short of unconditional surrender would satisfy them.
July 08, 1099 The Crusaders attempt to take Jerusalem by storm but fail. According to reports, they originally attempt to march around the walls under the leadership of priests in the hope that the walls would simply crumble, as did the walls of Jericho in biblical stories. When that fails, unorganized attacks are launched with no effect.
July 10, 1099 Death of Ruy Diaz de Vivar, known as El Cid (Arabic for "lord").
July 13, 1099 Armies of the first Crusade launch a final assault on Muslims in Jerusalem.
July 15, 1099 Crusaders breach the walls of Jerusalem at two points: Godfrey of Bouillon and his brother Baldwin at St. Stephen's Gate on the north wall and Count Raymond at the Jaffa Gate on the west wall, thus allowing them to capture the city. Estimates place the number of casualties as high as 100,000. Tancred of Hauteville, a grandson of Robert Guiscard and nephew of Bohemund of Taranto, is the first Crusader through the walls. The day is Friday, Dies Veneris, the anniversary of when Christians believe that Jesus redeemed the world and is the first of two days of unprecedented slaughter.
July 16, 1099 Crusaders herd Jews of Jerusalem into a synagogue and set it on fire.
July 22, 1099 Raymond IV of Toulouse is offered the title King of Jerusalem but he turns it down and leaves the region. Godfrey De Bouillon is offered the same title and turns it down as well, but is willing to be named Advocatus Sancti Seplchri (Advocate of the Holy Sepulcher), the first Latin ruler of Jerusalem. This kingdom would endure in one form or another for several hundred years but it would always be in a precarious position. It is based upon a long, narrow strip of land with no natural barriers and whose population is never entirely conquered. Continual reinforcements from Europe are required but not always forthcoming.
July 29, 1099 Pope Urban II dies. Urban had followed the lead set by his predecessor, Gregory VII, by working to enhance the power of the papacy against the power of secular rulers. He also became known for having initiated the first of the Crusades against Muslim powers in the Middle East. Urban dies, though, without ever learning that the First Crusade had taken Jerusalem and was a success.
August 1099 Records indicate that Peter the Hermit, principal leader of the failed Peasants' Crusade, serves as leader of the supplicatory processions in Jerusalem which occur prior to the battle of Ascalon.
August 12, 1099 Battle of Ascalon: Crusaders successfully fight off an Egyptian army sent to relieve Jerusalem. Prior to its capture by the Crusaders, Jerusalem had been under the control of the Fatamid Caliphate of Egypt, and the vizier of Egypt, al-Afdal, raises an army of 50,000 men that outnumber the remaining Crusaders five to one, but which is inferior in quality. This is the final battle in the First Crusade.
September 13, 1099 Crusaders set fire to Mara, Syria.
1100 The Polynesian islands are first colonized.
1100 Islamic rule is weakened because of power struggles among Islamic leaders and the Christian crusades.
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« Reply #178 on: December 31, 2007, 04:14:47 am »

Rachel Dearth

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   posted 12-31-2006 03:32 AM                       
Timeline of the Crusades: First Crusade Aftermath 1100 - 1143
1100 Islamic rule is weakened because of power struggles among Islamic leaders and the Christian crusades.
1100 Bohemund of Taranto is captured by the Seljuks. His nephew, Tancred of Hauteville, becomes regent of Antioch.
1100 With the support of Pisan merchants, Daimbert, the Archbishop of Pisa forces Godfrey of Bouillon to Arnulf and make Daimbert himself the first official Patriarch of Jerusalem.
1100 Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus launches new attacks on the Seljuk Turks.
June 1100 Godfrey De Bouillon attempts to negotiate a deal with the Venetians: they could take a third of any city they help capture plus trading rights throughout the Kingdom of Jerusalem if they support him against his political rivals.
July 18, 1100 Godfrey De Bouillon dies while attempting to conquer Egypt.
December 11, 1100 Baldwin of Boulogne (also Baldwin of Edessa) is crowned King of Jerusalem (Baldwin I). The position is grander in name than in practice. The "kingdom" is divided into four feudal principalities over which Baldwin has limited control. His power is further checked by an ecclesiastical hierarchy which is subject only to the pope in Rome. Finally, several port cities are controlled by Italian city-states like Venice and Genoa as the price for the naval aid and sea trade upon which the Latin Kingdom depends for survival.
December 25, 1100 Baldwin I is actually crowned King of Jerusalem on Christmas Day.
1101 Raymond IV of Toulouse, count of Tripoli, captures Ankara from the Seljuk Turks.
March 1101 Milan archbishop Anselm of Buis and Count Albert of Biandrate arrive at Constantinople with a Lombard army in order to launch attacks on Muslims in the Holy Land.
April 1101 Baldwin I negotiates a deal with Genoese merchant similar to that attempted by Godrey de Bouillon with Venetians the previous year: they could take a third of any city they help capture plus trading rights throughout the Kingdom of Jerusalem if they support him against political rivals. With the Genoese aid, Baldwin is able to capture the cities of Arsulf and Caesarea.
May 1101 An Egyptian army marches towards Ascalon in order to drive out the Crusading invaders from the Holy Land.
August 1101 Battle of Heraclia: Turks under Kilij Arslan I are able to halt the advance of the final waves of Crusading armies from Europe travelling to reinforce the new Crusader States in Syria.
September 1101 First Battle of Ramleh: An Egyptian army under emir Sa'ad ed-Daula al-Qawasi is defeated by Baldwin I, though at the cost of nearly half his knights. The two forces had spent the entire summer facing off against each other, neither side willing to initiate action. Only after more reinforcements arrived from Egypt did Baldwin decide to act. With around 260 knights and fewer than 1000 infantry he charged Muslim positions defended by around 10,000 soldiers. Gripped by panic the Egyptians fled after they nearly won and Baldwin chased them all the way back to Ascalon
1102 Valencia is captured by the Almoravids, Berbers from the Sahara.
1102 Crusaders capture Caesarea Palaestina.
April 1102 Second Battle of Ramleh: Thinking that they would face an Egyptian scouting party, Baldwin I rides out with Stephen of Blois and Stephen of Burgundy. This time, though, they faced an Egyptian army twice the size of the previous. With a mere 500 knights or so, the Christian Crusaders are unable to achieve victory a second time. Most are killed and a few escape, including Baldwin who manages to reach Arsulf.
May 1102 Ships bearing English and German Crusaders arrive at Jaffa. With these additional forces, Baldwin I is once again able to mount effective cavalry charges against the Muslims who had been besieging the city and, once again, drove the Egyptians back as far as Ascalon.
1103 Bohemund I of Antioch is released from imprisonment among the Turks.
1103 Baldwin I lays siege to Acre, but an Egyptian fleet is able to rescue them.
1104 Battle of Harran: Baldwin II, count of Edessa, is taken captive and Tancred of Hauteville assumes control of the County of Edessa in his place. At the same time King Baldwin I of Jerusalem is able to capture Acre with the aid of a fleet from Genoa.
August 27, 1105 Third Battle of Ramleh: The Egyptians try one more time to wrest control of Jerusalem from the Crusaders but fail. This time Egyptian forces are better able to stand up to the cavalry charges of mounted knights, but an effective defense had not been perfected, allowing the smaller numbers of Crusaders to defeat much larger Muslim forces. After this, no more large invasions were launched from Egypt - raids, yes, but no concerted attempts to conquer the Crusaders states.
1107 Baldwin Le Bourg, later Baldwin II, is released by the Turks and has to fight Tancred of Hauteville to regain control of Edessa.
1107 Death of Pisa archbishop Daimbert in Messina. Daimbert had been chosen by Pope Urban II to replace Adhémar as spiritual leader of the Crusades.
September 1108 Bohemond of Taranto surrenders to the Greeks.
December 04, 1108 The armies of the First Crusade conquer Sidon.
May 05, 1109 Moors under the command of Masdali re-capture Valencia and it would not return to Christian hands for another 225 years.
July 01, 1109 Death of Alfonso VI of Castile. Alfonso was known for his attempts to drive the Moors out of Spain.
July 12, 1109 Crusaders capture the harbor city of Tripoli, located along the coast of Palestine.
July 25, 1109 Birth of Alfonso I Henriques of Portugal at Guimarães. The first king of Portugal, Alfonso would create the nation of Portugal by liberating it from Muslim invaders and attempts at dominance from Castile in Spain.
1110 Tancred of Hauteville retakes the Krak des Chevaliers.
May 1110 The Franks overrun Muslim defenses in Beirut.
February 17, 1111 The Sultan's Minbar in Baghdad is destroyed by Ibn Al-Khashshab.
March 11, 1111 Death of Bohemond I (Bohemond Of Otranto, French Bohémond De Tarente), prince of Otranto (1089–1111) in Canossa, Apulia. One of the leaders of the First Crusade, Bohemond had been largely responsible for the capture of Antioch and he had secured the title Prince of Antioch (1098–1101, 1103–04).
1112 Death of Tancred of Hauteville, a grandson of Robert Guiscard and nephew of Bohemund of Taranto, in Antioch while using the name Bohemund II.
February 15, 1113 The Knights Hospitaller receive formal papal recognition as a separate and independent monastic order. The Hospitallers.htm">Hospitallers would play an important role in the security of the Crusader states in the Middle East.
1115 A Muslim army is dispatched by Sultan Mohammed to fight European Crusaders in Syria.
1115 Baldwin I, Latin King of Jerusalem. builds the Krak de Montreal in the Negev desert. This would become one of the strongest and most heavily fortified of all the Crusader castles.
July 08, 1115 Death of Peter the Hermit. According to tradition, Peter was one of those primarily responsible for spreading the fervor which helped launch the First Crusade.
1118 Baldwin I, Latin King of Jerusalem. leads expedition against Muslim forces in Egypt. No Egyptian leader is willing to challenge Baldwin, even though his force comprises of around 200 knights and 600 soldiers. He is able to advances as far as the Nile river until he is forced to turn back due to illness.
1118 - 1143 1143 John II Comnenus serves as Byzantine emperor. Also known as Kalo Ioannes (John the Beautiful), John has a very mild reign marked by personal piety and efforts to restore the former extent of the Empire before the Turks captured so much territory through Asia Minor.
April 02, 1118 Death of Baldwin I; Baldwin Le Bourg is named his successor. King Baldwin II. Baldwin I had been the real founder of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the real force behind its expansion. Baldwin the second is his cousin and the choice of the various barons.
April 14, 1118 Baldwin II is crowned King of Jerusalem. Baldwin would support the religious military orders, expands the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. and holds firm against the attacks of Seljuk Turks.
August 15, 1118 Death of Alexius I Comnenus, Byzantine emperor.
December 19, 1118 Sargossa in Spain falls to the Crusaders.
1119 Hugues de Payens founds the Order of Knights Templar in Jerusalem. The name came from the fact that their headquarters was on the site of Solomon's Temple.
June 27, 1119 Battle of the Field of Blood (Ager Sanguinis): Muslim forces defeat Roger of Antioch and a Frankish army at Aleppo. Baldwin II comes to try to save as many as he can.
July 1119 A Muslim army is assembled under the command of Ilghazi, Turkish Emir of Mardin, and the Emir of Damascus.
August 01, 1119 Forces of the First Crusade are defeated in the battle of Sarmada.
August 14, 1119 Crusaders under Baldwin II are able to stop the advances of Turks under Tel-Danith.
1122 Balak, nephew of Ilghazi, Turkish Emir of Mardin, captures Joscelin, the cousin of King Baldwin II.
1123 Balak, nephew of Ilghazi, Turkish Emir of Mardin, takes King Baldwin II prisoner.
May 1123 A Venetian fleet defeats an Egyptian fleet at Ascalon.
February 14, 1124 Crusaders, mostly Franks and Venetians, begin a siege of Tyre.
June 1124 After the death of Balak, nephew of Ilghazi, Turkish Emir of Mardin, King Baldwin II is released by Timurtash, son of Balak.
July 07, 1124 Tyre is starved into submission with the aid of a Venetian sea blockade. This means that most of the Mediterranean coast is now in the hands of the Crusaders and under the control of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
October 1124 King Baldwin II reneges on the conditions of his release, forms alliances with Arab enemies of Timurtash, and attacks his positions around Aleppo. Baldwin is only stopped when il-Bursuqi, atabeg of Mosul, intervenes.
1125 Assassins kill Ibn Al-Khashshsab.
June 11, 1125 Battle of Azaz: Crusaders under Baldwin II, Joscelin I, and Pons of Tripoli defeat the Seljuk Turks under il-Bursuqi, atabeg of Mosul. This battle involves what might be the largest collection of Crusader knights assembled: at least 1,100.
November 1126 Il-Bursuqi, atabeg of Mosul, is assassinated.
1127 Imad ad-Din Zengi becomes the Seljuk Atabeg (Governor) of Mosul. Founder of the Zengid Dynasty, Zengi would play a key role in the launching of the Second Crusade.
January 13, 1128 At the Council of Troyes, the Templars receive the formal rules of their order, originally commissioned by St. Bernard, and are granted official recognition.
May 1129 Fulk V, Count of Anjou, marries Melisende, daughter and heir of Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem.
November 1129 Crusaders launch attacks on Damascus but Baldwin is unable to achieve his goal of capturing the city.
1130 The Almohad (al-Muwahhidun) Dynasty rises to power. Taking the name "the Unitarians," this group of Berber Muslims would supplant the Almoravid (al-Murabitun) Dynasty and is inspired by the teachings of reformist Berber scholar Ibn Tumart who dies this same year.
August 21, 1131 Death of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. Count Fulk of Anjoy is named his successor. With this, the first generation of Crusaders effectively ends.
September 1131 Count Fulk of Anjoy is crowned the third king of Jerusalem.
March 05, 1133 Birth of Henry II Plantagenet. As king of England Henry would answer the call to join the Third Crusade but he would die before being able to do anything. His son, Richard I Lionheart, would become one of the leaders of the Third Crusade.
May 13, 1133 Honen, founder of the Jodo sect of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, was born in Inaoka, Mimasaka province of Japan.
1135 The Seljuk Turk domination of Baghdad ends.
March 30, 1135 Medieval Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides was born.
1137 John II Comnenus, successor to Alexius I Comnenus as Byzantine Emperor, leads a military campaign against Armenia and Antioch.
July 1137 An army under the command of Count Fulk of Anjoy, King of Jerusalem. is ambushed by Muslim forces commanded by Imad ad-Din Zengi. Count Raymond of Tripoli is killed, but Count Fulk is able to escape to the Crusader castle of Montferrand which Zengi had been besieging. Unable to get help in time, Fulk surrenders Montferrand to Zengi in return for the freedom of all the Crusaders there.
1138 Birth of Salah-al-Din Yusuf ib-Ayyub (Salah al-Din, Saladin), one of the greatest heroes of Islamic history because of his success in stopping the European Crusaders and recapturing much of the land they had conquered from Muslims. Saladin is a Kurd who acquires a strong reputation in Europe both for his fighting skills and his honorable diplomacy.
March 1138 Conrad III (first German king of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and uncle of Frederick I Barbarossa, an early leader of the Third Crusade) is elected king of the Romans and ruler of Germany. Conrad would help lead the Second Crusade.
1139 Imad ad-Din Zengi attacks Damascus which, in turn, asks Count Fulk for aid. Fulk agrees and takes a Crusader army north, forcing Zengi to withdraw. Christian Crusaders arriving from Europe were unable to comprehend how or why a Christian leader would ally himself in this fashion with a Muslim leader. The fact of the matter was, keeping the Muslims divided served the Christian cause; moreover, the Crusader states were too weak to stand on their own and depended upon such alliances.
July 26, 1139 Battle of Ourique: Afonso I Henriques defeats a large Almoravid force and is crowned king of Portugal. Alfonso creates the nation of Portugal by liberating it from Muslim invaders and attempts at dominance from Castile in Spain.
1140 - 1125 1125 Pope Callistus II launches a Crusade against Spain and eastern regions controlled by Muslims.
1142 Raymond II, count of Tripoli, gives the Krak des Chevalier to the Knights Hospitaller. Here they establish their headquarters and make it the largest Crusader fortress in the Holy Land. It would later prove to be a significant problem for Saladin's efforts to reconquer the region.
1143 The eldest son of Fulk of Jerusalem becomes Baldwin III, king of Jerusalem (under the regency of his mother, which lasted until 1152). Baldwin III is the first king of Jerusalem actually born in Palestine.
April 08, 1143 Death of John II Comnenus, Byzantine emperor. John was evidently poisoned by accident by one of his own arrows during a hunt.
November 04, 1143 While out riding, Count Fulk's horse throws him and he strikes his head hard. The king of Jerusalem would die three days later.
November 07, 1143 Count Fulk of Anjou, king of Jerusalem and leader of the Christian Crusaders in the Holy Land, dies after having been thrown from his horse three days earlier. Fulk's wife, Melisende, becomes regent.
December 24, 1144 Muslim forces under the command of Imad ad-Din Zengi re-capture Edessa, originally taken by Crusaders under Baldwin of Boulogne in 1098. This event makes Zengi a hero among Muslims and leads to a call for a Second Crusade in Europe.
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« Reply #179 on: December 31, 2007, 04:15:05 am »

Rachel Dearth

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   posted 12-31-2006 03:36 AM                       
Timeline of the Crusades: Second Crusade 1144 - 1150
December 24, 1144 Muslim forces under the command of Imad ad-Din Zengi re-capture Edessa, originally taken by Crusaders under Baldwin of Boulogne in 1098. This event makes Zengi a hero among Muslims and leads to a call for a Second Crusade in Europe.
1145 - 1149 The Second Crusade is launched to recapture territory recently lost to Muslim forces, but in the end only a few Greek islands are actually taken.
December 01, 1145 In the Bull Quantum Praedecessores, Pope Eugene III proclaims the Second Crusade in an effort to retake territory once again coming under the control of Muslim forces. This Bull was sent directly to the French King, Louis VII, and although he had been contemplating a Crusade on his own, he chose to ignore the pope's call to action at first.
1146 The Allmohads drive the Almoravids out of Andalusia. The descendants of the Amoravids can still be found in Mauretania.
March 13, 1146 Saxon nobles meeting in Frankfurt ask Bernard of Clairvaux for permission to launch a Crusade on pagan Slavs in the east. Bernard would pass the request along to Pope Eugene III who gives his authorization for a Crusade against the Wends.
March 31, 1146 St. Bernard or Clairvaux preaches the merits and necessity of the Second Crusade at Vézelay. Bernard writes in a letter to the Templars: "The Christian who slays the unbeliever in the Holy War is sure of his reward, the more sure if he himself is slain.The Christian glories in the death of the pagan, because Christ is thereby glorified." King Louis VII of France is particularly taken by Bernard's preaching and is among the first to agree to go, along with his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine.
May 01, 1146 Conrad III (first German king of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and uncle of Frederick I Barbarossa, an early leader of the Third Crusade) personally leads German forces into the Second Crusade, but his army would be almost completely destroyed during their crossing of the plains of Anatolia.
June 01, 1146 King Louis VII announces that France will join in the Second Crusade.
September 15, 1146 Imad ad-Din Zengi, founder of the Zengid Dynasty, is assassinated by a servant he had threatened to punish. Zengi's capture of Edessa from the Crusaders in 1144 had made him a hero among Muslims and led to the launching of the Second Crusade.
December 1146 Conrad III arrives at Constantinople with the remnants of his army of German Crusaders.
1147 The Almoravid (al-Murabitun) Dynasty falls from power. Taking the name "those who line up in defense of the faith," this group of fanatical Berber Muslims had ruled North Africa and Spain since 1056.
April 13, 1147 In the bull Divina dispensatione Pope Eugene III approves of the Crusading into Spain and the beyond the northeastern frontier of Germany. Bernard Clairvaux writes "We expressly forbid that for any reason whatsoever they should make a truce with these people [the Wends] ... until such time as ... either their religion or their nation be destroyed."
June 1147 German Crusaders travel through Hungary on their way to the Holy Land. On the way they would raid and pillage widely, causing a great deal of resentment.
October 1147 Lisbon is captured by Crusaders and Portuguese forces under the command of Don Afonso Henriques, first king of Portugal, and Crusader Gilbert of Hastings, who becomes the first Bishop of Lisbon. In the same year the city of Almeria falls to the Spanish.
October 25, 1147 Second Battle of Dorylaeum: German Crusaders under Conrad III stop at Dorylaeum to rest and are destroyed by Saracens. So much treasure is capture that the market price of precious metals throughout the Muslim world drops.
1148 Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona, with the aid of an English fleet, captures the Moor city of Tortosa.
February 1148 German Crusaders under Conrad III who had survived the Second Battle of Dorylaeum the previous year are massacred by the Turks.
March 1148 French forces are left in Attalia by King Louis VII who purchases passage on ships for himself and a few nobles to Antioch. Muslims quickly descend upon Attalia and kill nearly every Frenchman there.
May 25, 1148 Crusaders set out to capture Damascus. The army consists of forces under the command of Baldwin III, survivors of Conrad III's trip across Anatolia, and the cavalry of Louis VII which had sailed directly to Jerusalem (his infantry was supposed to march to Palestine, but they were all killed along the way).
July 28, 1148 Crusaders are forced to withdraw from their siege of Damascus after only a week, partly as a result of the three leaders (Baldwin III, Conrad III, and Louis VII) being unable to agree on almost anything. The political divisions among the Crusaders stand in sharp contrast to the greater unity among the Muslims in the region - a unity that would only increase later under the dynamic and successful leadership of Saladin. With this, the Second Crusade is effectively finished.
1149 A Crusading army under Raymond of Antioch is destroyed by Nur ad-Din Mahmud bin Zengi (son of Imad ad-Din Zengi, founder of the Zengid Dynasty) near the Fountain of Murad. Raymond is among those killed, reportedly fighting until the very end. One of Nur ad-Din's lieutenants, Saladin (Kurdish nephew of Nur al-Din's best general, Shirkuh), would rise to prominence in the coming conflicts.
July 15, 1149 The Crusader Church of the Holy Sepulcher is officially dedicated.
1150 Fatimid rulers fortify the Egyptian city of Ascalon with 53 towers.
1151 The Toltec Empire in Mexico ended.
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