1. Second Crusade – The Second Crusade was the second major crusade launched from Europe as a Catholic holy war against Islam. The Second Crusade was started in response to the fall of the County of Edessa the previous year to the forces of Zengi, the county had been founded during the First Crusade by King Baldwin of Boulogne in 1098. While it was the first Crusader state to be founded, it was also the first to fall, the armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe. After crossing Byzantine territory into Anatolia, both armies were defeated by the Seljuk Turks. Louis and Conrad and the remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem, the crusade in the east was a failure for the crusaders and a great victory for the Muslims. It would ultimately have a key influence on the fall of Jerusalem, the only Christian success of the Second Crusade came to a combined force of 13,000 Flemish, Frisian, Norman, English, Scottish, and German crusaders in 1147. Travelling from England, by ship, to the Holy Land, after the First Crusade and the minor Crusade of 1101 there were three crusader states established in the east, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Principality of Antioch and the County of Edessa. A fourth, the County of Tripoli, was established in 1109, Count Baldwin II and future count Joscelin of Courtenay were taken captive after their defeat at the Battle of Harran in 1104. Baldwin and Joscelin were both captured a second time in 1122, and although Edessa recovered somewhat after the Battle of Azaz in 1125, Joscelin was killed in battle in 1131. His successor Joscelin II was forced into an alliance with the Byzantine Empire, Joscelin had also quarreled with the Count of Tripoli and the Prince of Antioch, leaving Edessa with no powerful allies. Meanwhile, the Seljuq Zengi, Atabeg of Mosul, had added to his rule in 1128 Aleppo, both Zengi and King Baldwin II turned their attention towards Damascus, Baldwin was defeated outside the great city in 1129. Damascus, ruled by the Burid Dynasty, later allied with King Fulk when Zengi besieged the city in 1139 and 1140, in late 1144, Joscelin II allied with the Ortoqids and marched out of Edessa with almost his entire army to support the Ortoqid army against Aleppo. Zengi, already seeking to take advantage of Fulks death in 1143, hurried north to besiege Edessa, manasses of Hierges, Philip of Milly and others were sent from Jerusalem to assist, but arrived too late. Joscelin II continued to rule the remnants of the county from Turbessel, Zengi himself was praised throughout Islam as defender of the faith and al-Malik al-Mansur, the victorious king. He did not pursue an attack on the territory of Edessa, or the Principality of Antioch. Events in Mosul compelled him to home, and he once again set his sights on Damascus. However, he was assassinated by a slave in 1146 and was succeeded in Aleppo by his son Nur ad-Din, the news of the fall of Edessa was brought back to Europe first by pilgrims early in 1145, and then by embassies from Antioch, Jerusalem and Armenia. Bishop Hugh of Jabala reported the news to Pope Eugene III, Hugh also told the Pope of an eastern Christian king, who, it was hoped, would bring relief to the crusader states, this is the first documented mention of Prester JohnSecond Crusade – Edessa, seen here on the right of this map (c. 1140), was recaptured by the Turks. This was the primary cause of the Second Crusade.
2. Siege of Lisbon – The Siege of Lisbon, from July 1 to October 25,1147, was the military action that brought the city of Lisbon under definitive Portuguese control and expelled its Moorish overlords. It is seen as a battle of the wider Reconquista. The Fall of Edessa in 1144 led to a call for a new crusade by Pope Eugene III in 1145 and 1146, in the spring of 1147, the Pope authorized the crusade in the Iberian peninsula. He also authorized Alfonso VII of León and Castile to equate his campaigns against the Moors with the rest of the Second Crusade, in May 1147, a contingent of crusaders left from Dartmouth in England. They had intended to directly to the Holy Land, but weather forced the ships to stop on the Portuguese coast. There they were convinced to meet with King Afonso I of Portugal, the crusaders agreed to help the King attack Lisbon, with a solemn agreement that offered to the crusaders the pillage of the citys goods and the ransom money for expected prisoners. The siege began on July 1, after four months, the Moorish rulers agreed to surrender on October 24, primarily because of hunger within the city. Most of the crusaders settled in the captured city, but some of the crusaders set sail. Lisbon eventually became the city of the Kingdom of Portugal. The traditional start of the Reconquista is identified with the defeat of the Muslims in the Battle of Covadonga in 722. After the First Crusade in 1095-1099, Pope Paschal II urged Iberian crusaders to remain at home, the Fall of Edessa in 1144 led to a call for a new crusade by Pope Eugene III in 1145 and 1146. In the spring of 1147, the Pope also authorized a crusade in the Iberian peninsula, Pope Eugene encouraged Marseilles, Pisa, Genoa, and other Mediterranean cities to fight in Iberia. He also authorized Alfonso VII of León and Castile to equate his campaigns against the Moors with the rest of the Second Crusade. No prince or king was in charge of the expedition, and its participants seem to have largely made up of townsmen. Leadership was provided by Hervey de Glanvill, Constable of Suffolk, important decisions were made collectively by the commanders. According to Odo of Deuil there were 164 ships bound for the Holy Land, bad weather forced the ships to stop on the Portuguese coast, at the northern city of Porto on June 16,1147. There they were convinced by the bishop, Pedro II Pitões, the king, who had reached the Tagus River and conquered Santarém on 15 March, had also been negotiating with the pope for the recognition of his title of King. He was notified of the arrival of a first party and hastened to meet them, the undisciplined multi-national group agreed to help him there, with a solemn agreement that offered to the crusaders the pillage of the citys goods and the ransom money for expected prisonersSiege of Lisbon – The Conquest of Lisbon painting by Alfredo Roque Gameiro (1917)
3. Battle of Constantinople (1147) – The Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos was deeply concerned by the presence of a large and unruly army in the immediate vicinity of his capital and of the unfriendly attitude of its leaders. A similarly sized French crusader army was also approaching Constantinople, following earlier armed clashes with the crusaders, and perceived insults from Conrad, Manuel arrayed some of his forces outside the walls of Constantinople. A part of the German army then attacked and was heavily defeated, following this defeat the crusaders agreed to be quickly ferried across the Bosporus to Asia Minor. Though limited in its importance, the battle is significant in being a rare instance where Byzantine tactical dispositions are described in detail in the primary sources of the period. The Second Crusade was instigated by Pope Eugenius III in response to the fall of the County of Edessa to the forces of the Muslim leader Zengi, the county had been founded during the First Crusade. This crusade was the first to be led by kings, namely Conrad III of Germany, the armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe. After crossing into Byzantine territory in the Balkans, both made their way towards the Byzantine capital, Constantinople. The crusader armies intended to take the overland route across Asia Minor to reach the Holy Land. A Byzantine force under the experienced general Prosouch, who was of Turkish origin, a minor clash between the Byzantine force and the crusaders occurred near Adrianople, with the Byzantines repulsing an attack by Conrads nephew, the future emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The crusaders also suffered a disaster, when part of their encampment was swept away by a flash flood with considerable loss of life. Manuel wished to induce the crusaders to cross to Asia Minor by the Hellespont, however, they ignored the advice of Manuels ambassador and pushed towards Constantinople, arriving on 10 September. Manuel had extensively repaired and strengthened the walls of his capital as a safeguard against any crusader aggression, the Germans encamped around the suburban palace of Philopation, but so pillaged it that it became quickly uninhabitable. They then moved to another palace, Pikridion. The crusader force, which may have been suffering from a lack of food, made depredations on, and acts of violence against, Manuel was determined to get the Germans across the Bosporus as quickly as possible and mobilised part of his military forces to induce them to move. The Byzantine force was placed under the command of two generals, Prosouch and Basil Tzikandyles and they were instructed to make a stand confronting the Germans, and by their presence provoke an attack. The Byzantine army was smaller than that of the crusaders but, as the contemporary Byzantine historian John Kinnamos states, Prosouch and Tzikandyles had earlier been sent to observe the German army at a place called Longoi. They had reported to the emperor Manuel that, although the Germans were individually impressive and well armoured, their cavalry was not swift, the array of the Byzantine army, unusually, is described in some detail by Kinnamos. To the fore, far forward, were four units of the most unwarlike, common part of the army, behind these were drawn up the heaviest and most well-armoured cavalry, the kataphraktoi, the elite of the armyBattle of Constantinople (1147) – Arrival of the Second Crusade before Constantinople, portrayed in Jean Fouquet 's painting from around 1455–1460, Arrivée des croisés à Constantinople
4. Siege of Damascus (1148) – The Siege of Damascus took place between 24 July and 29 July 1148, during the Second Crusade. It ended in a decisive defeat and led to the disintegration of the crusade. Both faced disastrous marches across Anatolia in the months that followed, the original focus of the crusade was Edessa, but in Jerusalem, the preferred target of King Baldwin III and the Knights Templar was Damascus. At the Council of Acre, magnates from France, Germany, the crusaders decided to attack Damascus from the west, where orchards would provide them with a constant food supply. Having arrived outside the walls of the city, they put it to siege. On 27 July, the decided to move to the plain on the eastern side of the city. Nur ad-Din Zangi arrived with Muslim reinforcements and cut off the route to their previous position. The local crusader lords refused to carry on with the siege, the entire crusader army retreated back to Jerusalem by 28 July. Conrads force included Bolesław IV the Curly and Vladislaus II of Bohemia, as well as Frederick of Swabia, the crusade had been called after the fall of the County of Edessa on 24 December 1144. The crusaders marched across Europe and arrived at Constantinople in September and October 1147, both faced disastrous marches across Anatolia in the months that followed, and most of their armies were destroyed. Louis abandoned his troops and travelled by ship to the Principality of Antioch, Raymond expected him to offer military assistance against the Seljuk Turks threatening the principality, but Louis refused and went to Jerusalem to fulfil his crusader vow. Conrad, stricken by illness, had returned to Constantinople. The original focus of the crusade was Edessa, but in Jerusalem, the target of King Baldwin III. The Council of Acre was called with the Haute Cour of Jerusalem at Acre on 24 June, Louis, Thierry of Alsace, and various other ecclesiastical and secular lords represented the French. Notably, no one from Antioch, Tripoli, or the former County of Edessa attended, both Louis and Conrad were persuaded to attack Damascus. Some of the native to Jerusalem pointed out that it would be unwise to attack Damascus, as the Burid dynasty. Conrad, Louis, and Baldwin insisted, Damascus was a city for Christianity. Like Jerusalem and Antioch, it would be a prize in the eyes of European ChristiansSiege of Damascus (1148) – Crusaders intended for Edessa, seen here on the right of this map (c.1140), were diverted by King Baldwin III of Jerusalem to Damascus.