This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.
This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.
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 John
2. Byzantine army (Komnenian era) – Alexios constructed a new army from the ground up, completely replacing previous forms of the Byzantine army. At the beginning of the Komnenian period in 1081, the Byzantine Empire had been reduced to the smallest territorial extent in its history, surrounded by enemies, and financially ruined by a long period of civil war, the empires prospects had looked grim. The state lay defenseless before internal and external threats, as the Byzantine army had reduced to a shadow of its former self. At Manzikert, units tracing their lineage for centuries back to the Roman Empire were wiped out, the Byzantine armys nadir was reached in 1091, when Alexios I could manage to field only 500 soldiers from the Empires professional forces. This process should not, however, at least in its earlier phases, the new force had a core of units which were both professional and disciplined. These provincial troops included kataphraktoi cavalry from Macedonia, Thessaly, Thrace, alongside troops raised and paid for directly by the state the Komnenian army included the armed followers of members of the wider imperial family and its extensive connections. In this can be seen the beginnings of the feudalisation of the Byzantine military, the granting of pronoia was beginning to become a notable element in the military infrastructure towards the end of the Komnenian period, though it became much more important subsequently. So, unlike in earlier periods, there are no detailed descriptions of Byzantine tactics, information on military matters in the Komnenian era must be gleaned from passing comments in contemporary historical and biographical literature, court panegyrics and from pictorial evidence. Other historians have, however, made attempts to estimate overall army size, during the reign of Alexios I, the field army may have numbered around 20,000 men. By 1143, the entire Byzantine army has been estimated to have numbered about 50,000 men and continued to remain about this size until the end of Manuels reign. During this period, the European provinces in the Balkans were able to more than 6,000 cavalry in total while the Eastern provinces of Asia Minor provided about the same number. This amounted to more than 12,000 cavalry for the entire Empire, Constantinople had a permanent garrison of 10,000 troops not including the 5,000 Varangians garrisoned in the two Imperial palaces. Modern historians have estimated the size of Komnenian armies on campaign at about 15,000 to 20,000 men and his military resources stretched to putting another, smaller, army in the field simultaneously. After the death of Manuel I, the Byzantine army seemed to have declined in numbers and this force of 2, 500+ managed to defeat Alexius Branas rebellion. The rebel army which could not have numbered more than 3-4,000 men had been the field force sent against the Bulgarians. Another force of about 3-4,000 was stationed at the city of Serres, under the emperor, the commander-in-chief of the army was the megas domestikos. The commander of the navy was the megas doux, who was also the commander for Crete, the Aegean Islands. A commander entrusted with an independent field force or one of the divisions of a large expeditionary army was termed a stratēgos