Battle of Nicopolis
It is often referred to as the Crusade of Nicopolis as it was one of the last large-scale Crusades of the Middle Ages, together with the Crusade of Varna in 1443–1444. There were many minor crusades in the 14th century, undertaken by individual kings or knights, most recently there had been a failed crusade against Tunisia in 1390, and there was ongoing warfare in northern Europe along the Baltic coast. In 1393 the Bulgarian tsar Ivan Shishman had lost Nicopolis — his temporary capital — to the Ottomans, while his brother, Ivan Stratsimir, still held Vidin but had been reduced to an Ottoman vassal. In the eyes of the Bulgarian boyars and other independent Balkan rulers, in addition, the frontline between Islam and Christianity had been moving slowly towards the Kingdom of Hungary. The Kingdom of Hungary was now the frontier between the two religions in Eastern Europe, and the Hungarians were in danger of being attacked themselves. The Genoese owned the citadel of Galata, located at the north of the Golden Horn in Constantinople, to which Bayezid had laid siege in 1395.
The two decisive factors in the formation of the last crusade were the ongoing Hundred Years War between Richard IIs England and Charles VIs France and the support of Philip II, Duke of Burgundy, in 1389, the war had ground to one of its periodic truces. The support of Burgundy, among the most powerful of the French nobles was vital, in 1391, trying to decide between sending a crusade to either Prussia or Hungary, sent his envoy Guy de La Trémoille to Venice and Hungary to evaluate the situation. Burgundy originally envisioned a crusade led by himself and the Dukes of Orléans and Lancaster and it was very unlikely that defense against the Turks was considered a particularly important goal of the crusade. Charles VI, having secured a peace with England through the marriage of his daughter, was able to reply that it was his responsibility to protect Christianity, the number of combatants is heavily contested in historical accounts. The oft-given figure of 100,000 crusaders is dismissed by Tuchman, next in importance were the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes, who were the standard bearers of Christianity in the Levant since the decline of Constantinople and Cyprus.
Venice supplied a fleet for supporting action, while Hungarian envoys encouraged German princes of the Rhineland, Saxony. French heralds had proclaimed the crusade in Poland, Bohemia and Spain, the Italian city-states were too much engaged in their customary violent rivalries to participate, and the widely reported and acclaimed English participation never actually occurred. The report of 1,000 English knights comes from contemporary Antonio Fiorentino, a thousand knights would have actually amounted to four to six thousand men and at least twice as many horses, counting foot-soldiers and other retainers. However, there are no records of financial arrangements being made in England to send a force abroad, nor of any royal preparation needed to organize and dispatch such a force. Atiya thought that the invocation of St. Furthermore, there was no collection of money in England to pay for captives. Nevertheless, obviously inflated figures continue to be repeated, the strength of the Ottoman forces is estimated at about 20-25,000, but inflated figures continue to be repeated.
The Ottoman force included 1,500 Serbian heavy cavalry knights under the command of Prince Stefan Lazarević, Burgundy retained control of the enterprise he was funding by naming 24-year-old John, Count of Nevers, the Dukes eldest son, for nominal command
The Fifth Crusade was an attempt by Western Europeans to reacquire Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land by first conquering the powerful Ayyubid state in Egypt. Later in 1218, a German army led by Oliver of Cologne, in order to attack Damietta in Egypt, they allied in Anatolia with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm which attacked the Ayyubids in Syria in an attempt to free the Crusaders from fighting on two fronts. After occupying the port of Damietta, the Crusaders marched south towards Cairo in July 1221, a nighttime attack by Sultan Al-Kamil resulted in a great number of crusader losses, and eventually in the surrender of the army. Al-Kamil agreed to a peace agreement with Europe. Pope Innocent III had already planned since 1208 a crusade to recapture Jerusalem, in April 1213 he issued the papal bull Quia maior, calling all of Christendom to join a new crusade. This was followed by another bull, the Ad Liberandam in 1215. Pope Innocent wanted it to be led by the papacy, as the First Crusade should have been, to avoid the mistakes of the Fourth Crusade, which had been taken over by the Venetians.
Pope Innocent planned for the crusaders to meet at Brindisi in 1216, every crusader would receive an indulgence, including those who simply helped pay the expenses of a crusader, but did not go on crusade themselves. Oliver of Cologne had preached the crusade in Germany, and Emperor Frederick II attempted to join in 1215, Frederick was the last monarch Innocent wanted to join, as he had challenged the Papacy. Innocent died in 1216 and was succeeded by Pope Honorius III, who barred Frederick from participating, Andrew had the largest royal army in the history of the crusades. The first to take up the cross in the Fifth Crusade was King Andrew II of Hungary and his troops embarked on 23 August 1217, in Split. They were transported by the Venetian fleet, which was the largest European fleet in the era, until his return to Hungary, king Andrew remained the leader of Christian forces in the Fifth Crusade. In Jerusalem, the walls and fortifications were demolished to prevent the Christians from being able to defend the city, if they did manage to reach it, Muslims fled the city, afraid that there would be a repeat of the bloodbath of the First Crusade in 1099.
King Andrews well-mounted army defeated sultan Al-Adil I at Bethsaida on the Jordan River on 10 November 1217, muslim forces retreated in their fortresses and towns. The crusaders catapults and trebuchets did not arrive in time, so they had fruitless assaults on the fortresses of the Lebanon and on Mount Tabor, Andrew spent his time collecting alleged relics. At the beginning of 1218 Andrew, who was very sick and his army departed to Hungary in February 1218, and Bohemund and Hugh returned home. Later in 1218 Oliver of Cologne arrived with a new German army, with Leopold and John they discussed attacking Damietta in Egypt. To accomplish this, they allied with Keykavus I, the leader in Anatolia, in July 1218 the crusaders began their siege of Damietta, and despite resistance from the unprepared sultan Al-Adil, the tower outside the city was taken on August 25
The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in the south of France. The reforms were a reaction against the scandalous and dissolute lifestyles of the Catholic clergy in southern France. They became known as the Albigensians, because there were many adherents in the city of Albi, Innocent IIIs diplomatic attempts to roll back Catharism met with little success. After the murder of his legate, Pierre de Castelnau, in 1208 and he offered the lands of the Cathar heretics to any French nobleman willing to take up arms. After initial successes, the French barons faced an uprising in Languedoc which led to the intervention of the French royal army. The Albigensian Crusade had a role in the creation and institutionalization of both the Dominican Order and the medieval inquisition. By the 12th century, organized groups of dissidents, such as the Waldensians and Cathars, were beginning to appear in the towns and cities of newly urbanized areas.
In western Mediterranean France, one of the most urbanized areas of Europe at the time, the Cathars grew to represent a mass movement. Relatively few believers took the consolamentum to become full Cathars, the theology of the Cathars was dualistic, a belief in two equal and comparable transcendental principles, the force of good, and Satan, or the demiurge, the force of evil. They held that the world was evil and created by this demiurge. Rex Mundi encompassed all that was corporeal and powerful, the Cathar understanding of God was entirely disincarnate, they viewed God as a being or principle of pure spirit and completely unsullied by the taint of matter. He was the God of love and peace, jesus was an angel with only a phantom body, and the accounts of him in the New Testament were to be understood allegorically. As the physical world and the body were the creation of the evil principle. Civil authority had no claim on a Cathar, since this was the rule of the physical world, deriving from earlier varieties of gnosticism, Cathar theology found its greatest success in the Languedoc.
The Cathars were known as Albigensians because of their association with the city of Albi, in Languedoc, political control was divided among many local lords and town councils. Before the crusade there was fighting in the area and it had a fairly sophisticated polity. Western Mediterranean France itself was at that time divided between the Crown of Aragon and the county of Toulouse, on becoming Pope in 1198, Innocent III resolved to deal with the Cathars and sent a delegation of friars to the province of Languedoc to assess the situation. One of the most powerful, Count Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse, openly supported the Cathars and he refused to assist the delegation
Charles I of Anjou
Thereafter, he claimed the island, though his power was restricted to the peninsular possessions of the kingdom, with his capital at Naples. Charles was the child and youngest son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile. He conquered the Kingdom of Sicily from the Hohenstaufen and acquired lands in the eastern Mediterranean, the War of the Sicilian Vespers forced him to abandon his plans to reassemble the Latin Empire. By marriage to Beatrice of Provence, heiress of Raymond Berengar IV of Provence, he was Count of Provence, in 1247, his brother Louis IX made him Count of Anjou and Maine, as appanages of the French crown. By conquest and self-proclamation, he became King of Albania in 1272, by the testament of William II of Villehardouin, he inherited the Principality of Achaea in 1278. Charles was born in March 1227, four months after the death of his father, like his immediate older brother, Philip Dagobert, he did not receive a county as appanage, as had their older brothers. In 1232, his brothers Philip Dagobert and John, Count of Anjou and Maine, Charles became the next in line to receive the Counties, but was formally invested only in 1247.
The affection of his mother Blanche seems largely to have bestowed upon his brother Louis. The self-reliance this engendered in Charles may account for the drive, upon his accession as Count of Provence and Forcalquier in 1246, Charles rapidly found himself in difficulties. Furthermore, while Provence was technically a part of the Burgundy and hence of the Holy Roman Empire, recent counts had governed with a light hand, and the nobilities and cities had enjoyed great liberties. Three cities, Marseille and Avignon were Imperial cities technically separate from the county. In 1247, while Charles was in France to receive the counties of Anjou and Maine, the local nobility joined with Beatrice, unfortunately for Charles, he had promised to join his brother on the Seventh Crusade. For the time being, Charles compromised with Beatrice, allowing her to have Forcalquier, rich Provence provided the funds that supported his wider career. His rights as landlord were, on the whole, of recent establishment, from the Church, unlike his brothers in the north, he received virtually nothing.
Charles agents were efficient, the towns were prosperous, the peasants were buying up the duties of corvée and establishing self-governing consulats in the villages, Charles sailed with the rest of the Crusaders from Aigues-Mortes in 1248 and fought at Damietta and in the struggle around Mansourah, Egypt. However, his piety does not seem to have matched that of his brother, during his absence, open rebellion had broken out in Provence. Charles moved to suppress it, and Arles, Marseille held out until July 1252, but sued for peace. Charles imposed a lenient peace, but insisted on the recognition of his full rights, in November 1252, the death of his mother Blanche of Castile caused him to go north to Paris and assume the joint regency of the kingdom with his brother Alphonse
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and it was an early colonial power, with possessions around the world. France originated as West Francia, the half of the Carolingian Empire. A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, the territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France was Philip II, France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution. France in the Middle Ages was a de-centralised, feudal monarchy, in Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the French king was barely felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France, during the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years War.
Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars, religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion. France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France, Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America, the Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the great powers in 1814. During the years of the elderly Charlemagnes rule, the Vikings made advances along the northern and western perimeters of the Kingdom of the Franks, after Charlemagnes death in 814 his heirs were incapable of maintaining political unity and the empire began to crumble.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided the Carolingian Empire into three parts, with Charles the Bald ruling over West Francia, the nucleus of what would develop into the kingdom of France. Viking advances were allowed to increase, and their dreaded longboats were sailing up the Loire and Seine rivers and other waterways, wreaking havoc. During the reign of Charles the Simple, Normans under Rollo from Norway, were settled in an area on either side of the River Seine, downstream from Paris, that was to become Normandy. With its offshoots, the houses of Valois and Bourbon, it was to rule France for more than 800 years. Henry II inherited the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Anjou, and married Frances newly divorced ex-queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, after the French victory at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, the English monarchs maintained power only in southwestern Duchy of Guyenne. The death of Charles IV of France in 1328 without male heirs ended the main Capetian line, under Salic law the crown could not pass through a woman, so the throne passed to Philip VI, son of Charles of Valois
The crusaders did not lose a single battle during the Norwegian Crusade. Sigurd and his men sailed from Norway in the autumn of 1107 with sixty ships and perhaps around 5,000 men, in the autumn he arrived in England, where Henry I was king. Sigurd and his men stayed there the entire winter, until the spring of 1108, after several months they came to the town of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia where they were allowed by a local lord to stay for the winter. However, when the winter there was a shortage of food. Sigurd gathered his army, attacked the castle and looted what they could there. During the journey, the Norwegians encountered a pirate fleet of galleys which were seeking peaceful trading ships to rob. However, Sigurd set his course straight for the pirates and stormed their ships, after a short time all the pirates had been either slain or escaped, and Sigurd acquired eight ships from them. After this they came to a castle in Muslim Al-Andalus called Sintra and they took the castle, and killed every man there, as they had refused to be christened.
They sailed to Lisbon, a half Christian and half heathen city, there they won their third battle, and acquired great treasures. Their fourth battle was won in the town of Alkasse, where they killed such a number of people. After another victorious battle against pirates when sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar they sailed further along the Saracen land into the Mediterranean, the Balearics were at the time perceived by Christians to be nothing more than a pirate haven and slaving center. The Norwegian raids are the first recorded Christian attacks on the Islamic Balearic Islands, the first place they arrived at was Formentera, where they encountered a great number of Blåmenn and Serkir who had taken up their dwelling in a cave. The course of the fight is the most detailed of the entire crusade through written sources, after this battle, the Norwegians supposedly acquired the greatest treasures they had ever acquired. They went on to successfully attack Ibiza and Minorca, tales of their success may have inspired the Catalan–Pisan conquest of the Balearics in 1113–1115.
In the spring of 1109, they arrived at Sicily, where they were welcomed by the ruling Count Roger II, in the summer of 1110, they finally arrived at the port of Acre, and went to Jerusalem, where they met the ruling crusader king Baldwin I. They were warmly welcomed, and Baldwin rode together with Sigurd to the river Jordan, the Norwegians were given many treasures and relics, including a splinter off the True Cross that Jesus had allegedly been crucified on. This was given on the condition that they would continue to promote Christianity, Sigurd returned to his ships at Acre, and when Baldwin was going to the Muslim town of Sidon in Syria and his men accompanied him in the siege. The town was taken and subsequently the Lordship of Sidon was established
The Ninth Crusade, which is sometimes grouped with the Eighth Crusade, is commonly considered to be the last major medieval Crusade to the Holy Land. Louis IX of Frances failure to capture Tunis in the Eighth Crusade led Henry III of Englands son Edward to sail to Acre in what is known as the Ninth Crusade, the Ninth Crusade saw several impressive victories for Edward over Baibars. Ultimately the Crusaders were forced to withdraw, since Edward had pressing concerns at home and it is arguable that the Crusading spirit was nearly extinct, by this period as well. It foreshadowed the imminent collapse of the last remaining crusader strongholds along the Mediterranean coast, following the Mamluk victory over the Mongols in 1260 at the Battle of Ain Jalut by Qutuz and his general Baibars, Qutuz was assassinated, leaving Baibars to claim the sultanate for himself. As Sultan, Baibars proceeded to attack the Christian crusaders at Arsuf, Haifa, Jaffa, Ascalon, as the Crusader fortress cities fell one by one, the Christians sought help from Europe, but assistance was slow in coming.
In 1268 Baibars captured Antioch, thereby destroying the last remnant of the Principality of Antioch, securing the Mamluk northern front and threatening the small Crusader County of Tripoli. Louis IX of France, having organized a large crusader army with the intent of attacking Egypt, was diverted instead to Tunis. Prince Edward of England arrived in Tunis too late to contribute to the remainder of the crusade in Tunis. Instead, he continued on his way to the Holy Land to assist Bohemund VI, Prince of Antioch and Count of Tripoli, against the Mamluk threat to Tripoli, on May 9,1271, Edward finally arrived at Acre. He brought a small but not insignificant contingent of no more than 1,000 men, Edward arrived at Acre while it was still under siege. His arrival caused Baibars to change his plans and turn away from Acre, the forces under Edwards command were much too small to take on the Mamluks in a straight battle, being unable to even stop the Mamluks from seizing the nearby Teutonic Montfort Castle.
They settled for launching a series of raids, the arrival of additional forces from England and Hugh III of Cyprus, under the command of Edwards younger brother Edmund, emboldened Edward. He launched a raid with the support of the Templar, Hospitaller. The Crusaders surprised a force of Turcomans, reportedly killing 1,500 of them. Muslim sources list one emir as killed and one as wounded during this raid, on top of that, the Muslim commander of the castle was forced to abandon his command. However, Edward did not take the castle itself, and retreated before Baibars could respond in kind, in December 1271, Edward and his troops saw some action when they repelled an attack by Baibars on the city of Acre. Baibars eventually abandoned his siege of Tripoli, but the reason is not known. Contemporary accounts state that Edwards attacks on Baibars interior lines forced him to abandon the siege, some modern observers reject this interpretation, saying he instead abandoned it to avoid overcommitting himself in one direction due to a lack of intelligence on the Crusaders true capabilities
Mongol invasion of Europe
The Mongol invasion of Europe in the 13th century was the military effort by an Asian power, the Mongol Empire, to invade and conquer parts of Europe. It involved the severe and rampant destruction of East Slavic principalities and major cities, such as Kiev, Mongol invasions affected Central Europe, leading to conflict with the Kingdom of Hungary and fragmented Poland. The operations were masterminded by General Subutai and commanded by Batu Khan and Kadan, as a result of the invasions, many of the conquered territories would become part of the Golden Horde empire. Historians regard the Mongol raids and invasions as among the deadliest conflicts in history up through that period. Ögedei Khan ordered Batu Khan to conquer Rus in 1235, the main force, headed by Jochis sons, and their cousins, Möngke Khan and Güyük Khan, arrived at Ryazan in December 1237. Ryazan refused to surrender, and the Mongols sacked it and stormed Suzdalia, many Rus armies were defeated, Grand Prince Yuri was killed on the Sit River.
Major cities such as Vladimir and Kozelsk were captured, the Mongols turned their attention to the steppe, crushing the Kypchaks and the Alans and sacking Crimea. Batu appeared in Ukraine in 1239, sacking Pereiaslav and Chernihiv, most of the Rus princes fled when it became clear resistance was futile. The Mongols sacked Kiev on December 6,1240 and conquered Galich, Batu sent a small detachment to probe the Poles before passing on to Central Europe. One column was routed by the Poles while the defeated the Polish army. The Mongols had acquired Chinese gunpowder, which deployed in battle during the invasion of Europe to great success. The attack on Europe was planned and executed by Subutai, who achieved perhaps his most lasting fame with his victories there. Having devastated the various Rus principalities, he sent spies into Poland and Hungary, having a clear picture of the European kingdoms, he prepared an attack nominally commanded by Batu Khan and two other familial-related princes. He commanded the column that moved against Hungary.
While Kadans northern force won the Battle of Legnica and Güyüks army triumphed in Transylvania, the newly reunited army withdrew to the Sajo River where they inflicted a decisive defeat on King Béla IV of Hungary at the Battle of Mohi. Again, Subutai masterminded the operation, and it would one of his greatest victories. The Mongols invaded Central Europe with three armies, one army defeated an alliance which included forces from fragmented Poland and members of various Christian military orders, led by Henry II the Pious, Duke of Silesia in the battle of Legnica. A second army crossed the Carpathian mountains and a third followed the Danube, the armies re-grouped and crushed Hungary in 1241, defeating the Hungarian army at the Battle of Mohi on April 11,1241
The First Crusade was the first of a number of crusades that attempted to capture the Holy Land, called by Pope Urban II in 1095. An additional goal became the principal objective—the Christian reconquest of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. During the crusades, knights and serfs from many regions of Western Europe travelled over land and by sea, first to Constantinople and on towards Jerusalem. The Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem, launched an assault on the city and they established the crusader states of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, and the County of Edessa. The First Crusade was followed by the Second to the Ninth Crusades and it was the first major step towards reopening international trade in the West since the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The majority view is that it had elements of both in its nature, the origin of the Crusades in general, and particularly that of the First Crusade, is widely debated among historians.
The confusion is due to the numerous armies in the first crusade. The similar ideologies held the armies to similar goals, but the connections were rarely strong, the Umayyad Caliphate had conquered Syria and North Africa from the predominantly Christian Byzantine Empire, and Hispania from the Visigothic Kingdom. In North Africa, the Umayyad empire eventually collapsed and a number of smaller Muslim kingdoms emerged, such as the Aghlabids, who attacked Italy in the 9th century. Pisa and the Principality of Catalonia began to battle various Muslim kingdoms for control of the Mediterranean Basin, exemplified by the Mahdia campaign and battles at Majorca and Sardinia. Essentially, between the years 1096 and 1101 the Byzantine Greeks experienced the crusade as it arrived at Constantinople in three separate waves, in the early summer of 1096, the first large unruly group arrived on the outskirts of Constantinople. This wave was reported to be undisciplined and ill-equipped as an army and this first group is often called the Peasants’ or People’s Crusade.
It was led by Peter the Hermit and Walter Sans Avoir and had no knowledge of or respect for the wishes of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. The second wave was not under the command of the Emperor and was made up of a number of armies with their own commanders. Together, this group and the first wave numbered an estimated 60,000, the second wave was led by Hugh I, Count of Vermandois, the brother of King Philip I of France. Also among the wave were Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse. It was this wave of crusaders which passed through Asia Minor, captured Antioch in 1098 and finally took Jerusalem 15 July 1099. ”The third wave, composed of contingents from Lombardy, France. At the western edge of Europe and of Islamic expansion, the Reconquista in the Iberian Peninsula was well underway by the 11th century and it was intermittently ideological, as evidenced by the Codex Vigilanus compiled in 881
The Third Crusade, known as The Kings Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin. After the failure of the Second Crusade, the Zengid dynasty controlled a unified Syria, the Egyptian and Syrian forces were ultimately unified under Saladin, who employed them to reduce the Christian states and recapture Jerusalem in 1187. Spurred by religious zeal, King Henry II of England and King Philip II of France ended their conflict with other to lead a new crusade. The death of Henry in 1189, meant the English contingent came under the command of his successor and his death caused tremendous grief among the German Crusaders, and most of his troops returned home. After the Crusaders had driven the Muslims from Acre, Philip in company with Fredericks successor, Leopold V, Duke of Austria, on 2 September 1192, Richard and Saladin finalized a treaty granting Muslim control over Jerusalem but allowing unarmed Christian pilgrims and merchants to visit the city. Richard departed the Holy Land on 2 October, the successes of the Third Crusade allowed the Crusaders to maintain considerable states in Cyprus and on the Syrian coast.
However, the failure to recapture Jerusalem would lead to the Fourth Crusade, after the failure of the Second Crusade, Nur ad-Din Zangi had control of Damascus and a unified Syria. Eager to expand his power, Nur ad-Din set his sights on the Fatimid dynasty of Egypt, in 1163, Nur ad-Din sent his most trusted general, Shirkuh, on a military expedition to the Nile. Accompanying the general was his nephew, Saladin. With Shirkuhs troops camped outside of Cairo, Egypts sultan Shawar called on King Amalric I of Jerusalem for assistance, in response, Amalric sent an army into Egypt and attacked Shirkuhs troops at Bilbeis in 1164. Nur ad-Din sent the scalps of the Christian defenders to Egypt for Shirkuh to proudly display at Bilbeis for Amalrics soldiers to see and this action prompted both Amalric and Shirkuh to lead their armies out of Egypt. In 1167, Nur ad-Din again sent Shirkuh to conquer the Fatimids in Egypt, Shawar again opted to call upon Amalric to defend his territory. The combined Egyptian-Christian forces pursued Shirkuh until he retreated to Alexandria, Amalric breached his alliance with Shawar by turning his forces on Egypt and besieging the city of Bilbeis.
Shawar pleaded with his enemy, Nur ad-Din, to save him from Amalrics treachery. Lacking the resources to maintain a siege of Cairo against the combined forces of Nur ad-Din and Shawar. This new alliance gave Nur ad-Din rule over all of Syria. Shawar was executed for his alliances with the Christian forces, in 1169, Shirkuh died unexpectedly after only weeks of rule. Shirkuhs successor was his nephew, Salah ad-Din Yusuf, commonly known as Saladin, Nur ad-Din died in 1174, leaving the new empire to his 11-year-old son, As-Salih
The Hafsids were a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Berber descent who ruled Ifriqiya from 1229 to 1574. The dynasty was named after Muhammad bin Abu Hafs a Berber from the Masmuda tribe of Morocco and he was appointed governor of Ifriqiya by Muhammad an-Nasir, Caliph of the Almohad empire between 1198-1213. The Banu Hafs, were a powerful group amongst the Almohads, their ancestor is Omar Abu Hafs al-Hentati, a member of the council of ten and a close companion of Ibn Tumart. The Hafsids as governors on behalf of the Almohads faced constant threats from Banu Ghaniya who were descendants of Almoravid princes which the Almohads had defeated and replaced as a ruling dynasty, the Hafsids were Ifriqiya governors of the Almohads until 1229, when they declared independence. After the split of the Hafsids from the Almohads under Abu Zakariya, Abu Zakariya organised the administration in Ifriqiya and built Tunis up as the economic, at the same time, many Muslims from Al-Andalus fleeing the Spanish Reconquista of Castile and Aragon were absorbed.
He conquered the Kingdom of Tlemcen in 1242 and made the Abdalwadids his vassals and his successor Muhammad I al-Mustansir took the title of Caliph. In the 14th century the empire underwent a temporary decline, although the Hafsids succeeded for a time in subjugating the empire of the Abdalwadids of Tlemcen, between 1347 and 1357 they were twice conquered by the Merinids of Morocco. The Abdalwadids however could not defeat the Bedouin, the Hafsids were able to regain their empire, during the same period plague epidemics caused a considerable fall in population, further weakening the empire. Under the Hafsids, commerce with Christian Europe grew significantly, however piracy against Christian shipping grew as well, in 1429, the Hafsids attacked the island of Malta, and took 3000 slaves although they did not conquer the island. The profits were used for a building programme and to support art. However, piracy provoked retaliation from Aragon and Venice, which several times attacked Tunisian coastal cities, under Utman the Hafsids reached their zenith, as the caravan trade through the Sahara and with Egypt was developed, as well as sea trade with Venice and Aragon.
The Bedouins and the cities of the empire became independent, leaving the Hafsids in control of only Tunis. In the 16th century the Hafsids became increasingly caught up in the struggle between Spain and the Ottoman Empire-supported Corsairs. The Ottomans conquered Tunis in 1534 and held it for one year, a year the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor seized Tunis, drove the Ottomans out and restored Muley Hassan as a Hapsburg tributary. Due to the Ottoman threat, the Hafsids were vassals of Spain after 1535, the Ottomans again conquered Tunis in 1569 and held it for four years. Don Juan of Austria recaptured it in 1573, the Hafsid lineage survived the Ottoman massacre by a branch of the family being taken to the Canary Island of Tenerife by the Spanish