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 crusades took place mostly in the 12th and 13th centuries and resulted in the conversion and baptism of indigenous peoples. Most notable campaigns were Livonian and Prussian crusades, some of these wars were called crusades during the Middle Ages, but others, including most of the Swedish ones, were first dubbed crusades by 19th-century romantic nationalist historians. And 1293, Latgallians and Estonians, Semigallians and Curonians, the campaigns started with the 1147 Wendish Crusade against the Polabian Slavs of what is now northern and eastern Germany. The crusade occurred parallel to the Second Crusade to the Holy Land, the Swedish crusades were campaigns by Sweden against Finns and Karelians during period from 1150 to 1293. The Danes are known to have made two crusades to Finland in 1191 and in 1202, the latter one was led by the Bishop of Lund Anders Sunesen with his brother. The difference in creeds was one of the reasons they had not yet been effectively converted. During a period of more than 150 years leading up to the arrival of German crusaders in the region, Estonia was attacked thirteen times by Russian principalities, Estonians for their part made raids upon Denmark and Sweden.
There were peaceful attempts by some Catholics to convert the Estonians, starting with missions dispatched by Adalbert, these peaceful efforts seem to have had only limited success. Although the crusaders won their first battle, Bishop Berthold was mortally wounded, in 1199, Albert of Buxhoeveden was appointed by the Archbishop Hartwig II of Bremen to Christianise the Baltic countries. By the time Albert died 30 years later, the conquest and formal Christianisation of present-day Estonia, although he landed in the mouth of the Daugava in 1200 with only 23 ships and 500 soldiers, the bishops efforts ensured that a constant flow of recruits followed. The first crusaders usually arrived to fight during the spring and returned to their homes in the autumn, to ensure a permanent military presence, the Livonian Brothers of the Sword were founded in 1202. The founding by Bishop Albert of the market at Riga in 1201 attracted citizens from the Empire, at Alberts request, Pope Innocent III dedicated the Baltic countries to the Virgin Mary to popularize recruitment to his army and the name Marys Land has survived up to modern times.
This is noticeable in one of the given to Livonia at the time. In 1206, the crusaders subdued the Livonian stronghold in Turaida on the bank of Gauja River. In order to control over the left bank of Gauja. By 1211, the Livonian province of Metsepole and the mixed Livonian-Latgallian inhabited county of Idumea was converted to the Roman Catholic faith, the last battle against the Livonians was the siege of Satezele hillfort near to Sigulda in 1212. The Livonians, who had been paying tribute to the East Slavic Principality of Polotsk, had at first considered the Germans as useful allies, the first prominent Livonian to be christened was their leader Caupo of Turaida. As the German grip tightened, the Livonians rebelled against the crusaders and the christened chief, Caupo of Turaida remained an ally of the crusaders until his death in the Battle of St. Matthews Day in 1217
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the Sinai Peninsula lies Saudi Arabia, although Jordan and it is the worlds only contiguous Afrasian nation. Egypt has among the longest histories of any country, emerging as one of the worlds first nation states in the tenth millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. One of the earliest centres of Christianity, Egypt was Islamised in the century and remains a predominantly Muslim country. With over 92 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, and the fifteenth-most populous in the world.
The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, the large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypts territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypts residents live in areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria. Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional and middle power, with significant cultural and military influence in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Egypts economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, Egypt is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Miṣr is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern name of Egypt. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם, the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian
The Ayyubid dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin, founded by Saladin and centered in Egypt. The dynasty ruled much of the Middle East during the 12th and 13th centuries, Saladin had been the vizier of Fatimid Egypt before toppling the Fatimids in 1171. Three years later, he proclaimed himself sultan following the death of his former master, most of the Kingdom of Jerusalem fell to Saladin after his victory at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. However, the Crusaders regained control of Palestines coastline in the 1190s, by then, local Muslim dynasties had driven out the Ayyubids from Yemen, the Hejaz, and parts of Mesopotamia. After his death in 1249, as-Salih Ayyub was succeeded in Egypt by al-Muazzam Turanshah, the latter was soon overthrown by the Mamluk generals who had repelled a Crusader invasion of the Nile Delta. This effectively ended Ayyubid power in Egypt, attempts by the emirs of Syria, led by an-Nasir Yusuf of Aleppo, in 1260, the Mongols sacked Aleppo and conquered the Ayyubids remaining territories soon after.
The Mamluks, who expelled the Mongols, maintained the Ayyubid principality of Hama until deposing its last ruler in 1341 and this period was marked by an Ayyubid process of vigorously strengthening Sunni Muslim dominance in the region by constructing numerous madrasas in their major cities. The progenitor of the Ayyubid dynasty, Najm ad-Din Ayyub ibn Shadhi, belonged to the Kurdish Rawadiya tribe, Ayyubs ancestors settled in the town of Dvin, in northern Armenia. The Rawadiya were the dominant Kurdish group in the Dvin district, circumstances became unfavorable in Dvin when Turkish generals seized the town from its Kurdish prince. Shadhi left with his two sons Ayyub and Asad ad-Din Shirkuh and his friend Mujahid ad-Din Bihruz—the military governor of northern Mesopotamia under the Seljuks—welcomed him and appointed him governor of Tikrit. After Shadhis death, Ayyub succeeded him in governance of the city with the assistance of his brother Shirkuh, together they managed the affairs of the city well, gaining them popularity from the local inhabitants.
In the meantime, Imad ad-Din Zangi, the ruler of Mosul, was defeated by the Abbasids under Caliph al-Mustarshid, in his bid to escape the battlefield to Mosul via Tikrit, Zangi took shelter with Ayyub and sought his assistance in this task. Ayyub complied and provided Zangi and his companions boats to cross the Tigris River, as a consequence for assisting Zangi, the Abbasid authorities sought punitive measures against Ayyub. Simultaneously, in an incident, Shirkuh killed a close confidant of Bihruz on charges that he had sexually assaulted a woman in Tikrit. The Abbasid court issued arrest warrants for both Ayyub and Shirkuh, but before the brothers could be arrested, they departed Tikrit for Mosul in 1138. When they arrived in Mosul, Zangi provided them all the facilities they needed. Ayyub was made commander of Baalbek and Shirkuh entered the service of Zangis son, according to historian Abdul Ali, it was under the care and patronage of Zangi that the Ayyubid family rose to prominence. In 1164, Nur al-Din dispatched Shirkuh to lead a force to prevent the Crusaders from establishing a strong presence in an increasingly anarchic Egypt
Renaud de Vichiers
Renaud de Vichiers was the 19th Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1250 to 1256. He joined the Knights Templar and was appointed Preceptor of Saint-Jean-dAcre in 1240 and Master of France from 1242 to 1249. He was a supporter and comrade-in-arms of Louis IX of France and he shortly quarrelled with Louis, over a diplomatic mission of Hugues de Jouy, the Templar Marshal, to Damascus. In 1252 Hugues was banished from the Kingdom of Jerusalem, in 1252 Renaud de Vichiers retired to a monastery where he stayed until his death on 20 January 1256
Alphonse, Count of Poitiers
Alphonse or Alfonso was the Count of Poitou from 1225 and Count of Toulouse from 1249. Born at Poissy, Alphonse was a son of Louis VIII, King of France and he was a younger brother of Louis IX of France and an older brother of Charles I of Sicily. In 1229, his mother, who was regent of France and it stipulated that a brother of King Louis was to marry Joan of Toulouse, daughter of Raymond VII of Toulouse, and so in 1237 Alphonse married her. Since she was Raymonds only child, they became rulers of Toulouse at Raymonds death in 1249, by the terms of his fathers will he received an appanage of Poitou and Auvergne. To enforce this Louis IX won the battle of Taillebourg in the Saintonge War together with Alphonse against a revolt allied with king Henry III of England, Alphonse took part in two crusades with his brother, St Louis, in 1248 and in 1270. For the first of these, he raised a large sum and he sailed for home on 10 August 1250. His father-in-law had died while he was away, and he went directly to Toulouse to take possession.
There was some resistance to his accession as count, which was suppressed with the help of his mother Blanche of Castile who was acting as regent in the absence of Louis IX, the county of Toulouse, since then, was joined to Alphonses appanage. In 1252, on the death of his mother, Blanche of Castile, aside from the crusades, Alphonse stayed primarily in Paris, governing his estates by officials, inspectors who reviewed the officials work, and a constant stream of messages. His main work was on his own estates, there he repaired the evils of the Albigensian war and made a first attempt at administrative centralization, thus preparing the way for union with the crown. The charter known as Alphonsine, granted to the town of Riom and he is noted for ordering the first recorded local expulsion of Jews, when he did so in Poitou in 1249. When Louis IX again engaged in a crusade, Alphonse again raised a sum of money. This time, however, he did not return to France, dying while on his way back, probably at Savona in Italy, Alphonses death without heirs raised some questions as to the succession to his lands.
One possibility was that they should revert to the crown, another that they should be redistributed to his family. The latter was claimed by Charles of Anjou, but in 1283 Parlement decided that the County of Toulouse should revert to the crown, Alphonses wife Joan had attempted to dispose of some of her inherited lands in her will. But, her will was invalidated by Parlement in 1274, one specific bequest in Alphonses will, giving his wifes lands in the Comtat Venaissin to the Holy See, was allowed, and it became a Papal territory, a status that it retained until 1791. Hallam, Elizabeth M. Capetian France, 987-1328, women rulers throughout the ages, an illustrated guide. The Feudal Monarchy in France and England from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Century, in R. L. Wolff, H. W. Hazard
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether combatant or non-combatant, who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the prisoner of war dates to 1660. The first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite, typically, little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more likely to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture women, a known as raptio. Typically women had no rights, and were legally as chattel. For this he was eventually canonized, during Childerics siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response. Later, Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so, many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat, in Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable.
Examples include the 13th century Albigensian Crusade and the Northern Crusades, the inhabitants of conquered cities were frequently massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed, their families would have to send to their captors large sums of wealth commensurate with the status of the captive. In feudal Japan there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, in Termez, on the Oxus, all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, and divided in accordance with their usual custom, they were all slain. The Aztecs were constantly at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, for the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, between 10,000 and 80,400 persons were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims routinely captured large number of prisoners, aside from those who converted, most were ransomed or enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom.
The freeing of prisoners was highly recommended as a charitable act, there evolved the right of parole, French for discourse, in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain better accommodations, if he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Early historical narratives of captured colonial Europeans, including perspectives of literate women captured by the peoples of North America. The writings of Mary Rowlandson, captured in the fighting of King Philips War, are an example
The lands on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea were the last corners of Europe to be Christianized. After the success of the crusade, the German- and Danish-occupied territory was divided into six feudal principalities by William of Modena, Christianity had come to Latvia with the settlement of Grobiņa by Swedes in the 7th century and the Danes in the 11th. By the time German traders began to arrive in the half of the 12th century to trade along the ancient trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. Saint Meinhard of Segeberg arrived in Ikšķile in 1184 with the mission of converting the pagan Livonians, in those days the riverside town was the center of the upcoming missionary activities in the Livonian area. The first prominent Livonian to be converted was their leader Caupo of Turaida, Pope Celestine III had called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe in 1193. When peaceful means of conversion failed to produce results, the impatient Meinhard plotted to convert Livonians forcibly and he died in 1196, having failed in his mission.
His appointed replacement, bishop Berthold of Hanover, a Cistercian abbot of Loccum arrived with a contingent of crusaders in 1198. Shortly afterward, while riding ahead of his troops in battle, Berthold was surrounded and killed, to avenge Bertholds defeat, Pope Innocent III issued a bull declaring a crusade against the Livonians. Albrecht von Buxthoeven, consecrated as bishop in 1199, arrived the year with a large force. In 1202 he formed the Livonian Brothers of the Sword to aid in the conversion of the pagans to Christianity and, more importantly, to protect German trade, as the German grip tightened, the Livonians and their christened chief rebelled against the crusaders. Caupos forces were defeated at Turaida in 1206, and the Livonians were declared to be converted, Caupo subsequently remained an ally of the crusaders until his death in the Battle of St. Matthews Day in 1217. By 1208 the important Daugava trading posts of Salaspils, Koknese, in 1209 Albert, leading the forces of the Order, captured the capital of the Latgalian Principality of Jersika, and took the wife of the ruler Visvaldis captive.
Visvaldis was forced to submit his kingdom to Albert as a grant to the Archbishopric of Riga, and received back a portion of it as a fief. Tālava, weakened in wars with Estonians and Russians, became a state of the Archbishopric of Riga in 1214. With the help of the newly converted local tribes of Livs and Latgalians, the Estonian tribes fiercely resisted the attacks from Riga and occasionally sacked territories controlled by the crusaders. Hill forts, which were the key centers of Estonian counties, were besieged, captured, a truce between the war-weary sides was established for three years. It proved generally more favourable to the Germans, who consolidated their political position and they were led by Lembitu of Lehola, the elder of Sackalia, who by 1211 had come to the attention of German chroniclers as the central figure of the Estonian resistance. The Livonian leader Caupo was killed in the Battle of St. Matthews Day near Viljandi on September 21,1217, but Lembitu was killed, the Christian kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden were eager for expansion on the eastern shores of the Baltic
The Sixth Crusade started in 1228 as an attempt to regain Jerusalem. It began seven years after the failure of the Fifth Crusade, Frederick again promised to go on a crusade after his coronation as emperor in 1220 by Pope Honorius III. In 1225 Frederick married Yolande of Jerusalem, daughter of John of Brienne, Frederick now had a claim to the truncated kingdom, and reason to attempt to restore it. In 1227, after Gregory IX became pope and his army set sail from Brindisi, for Acre, Gregory stated that the reason for the excommunication was Fredericks reluctance to go on crusade, dating back to the Fifth Crusade. Frederick attempted to negotiate with the pope, but eventually decided to ignore him, Frederick claimed that his regency was illegitimate and demanded the surrender of Johns mainland fief of Beirut to the imperial throne. Here he erred, for John pointed out that the kingdoms of Cyprus and Jerusalem were constitutionally separate and this would have important consequences for the crusade, as it alienated the powerful Ibelin faction, turning them against the emperor.
Acre, as the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Fredericks own army and the Teutonic Knights supported him, but Patriarch Gerald of Lausanne followed the papal line. Once news of Fredericks excommunication had spread, public support for him waned considerably, the native barons greeted Frederick enthusiastically at first, but were wary of the emperors history of centralization and his desire to impose imperial authority. This was largely due to Fredericks treatment of John of Ibelin in Cyprus, even with the military orders on board, Fredericks force was a mere shadow of the army that had amassed when the crusade had originally been called. He realised that his hope of success in the Holy Land was to negotiate for the surrender of Jerusalem as he lacked the manpower to engage the Ayyubid empire in battle. The Egyptian sultan, occupied with the suppression of rebellious forces in Syria, agreed to cede Jerusalem to the Franks, in addition, Frederick received Nazareth, Sidon and Bethlehem. Other lordships may have returned to Christian control, but sources disagree.
It was, however, a treaty of compromise, the Muslims retained control over the Temple Mount area of Jerusalem, the al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock. The treaty, completed on 18 February 1229, safeguarded a 10-year truce, one of the results of the treaty was that Jews were once more prohibited from living in Jerusalem. This agreement should not be confused with the 1192 Treaty of Jaffa between Saladin and Richard Lionheart, Frederick entered Jerusalem on 17 March 1229, and attended a crown-wearing ceremony the following day. It is unknown whether he intended this to be interpreted as his coronation as King of Jerusalem, in any case the absence of the patriarch, Gerald. There is evidence to suggest that the crown Frederick wore was actually the imperial one, as Frederick had matters to attend to at home, he left Jerusalem in May
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 Fourth Crusade was a Western European armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III, originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, a sequence of events culminated in the Crusaders sacking the city of Constantinople, the intention of the crusaders was to continue to the Holy Land with promised Byzantine financial and military assistance. On 23 June 1203 the main fleet reached Constantinople. In August 1203, following clashes outside Constantinople, Alexios Angelos was crowned co-Emperor with crusader support, however, in January 1204, he was deposed by a popular uprising in Constantinople. In April 1204, they captured and brutally sacked the city, Byzantine resistance based in unconquered sections of the empire such as Nicaea and Epirus ultimately recovered Constantinople in 1261. Ayyubid Sultan Saladin had conquered most of the Frankish, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the ancient city itself, the Kingdom had been established 88 years before, after the capture and sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade.
The city was sacred to Christians and Jews, Saladin led a Muslim dynasty, and his incorporation of Jerusalem into his domains shocked and dismayed the Catholic countries of Western Europe. Legend has it that Pope Urban III literally died of the shock, the crusader states had been reduced to three cities along the sea coast, Tyre and Antioch. The Third Crusade reclaimed an extensive amount of territory for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the key towns of Acre and Jaffa, but had failed to retake Jerusalem. The crusade had marked by a significant escalation in long standing tensions between the feudal states of western Europe and the Byzantine Empire, centred in Constantinople. The experiences of the first two crusades had thrown into relief the vast cultural differences between the two Christian civilisations. For their part, the educated and wealthy Byzantines maintained a sense of cultural, organizational. Constantinople had been in existence for 874 years at the time of the Fourth Crusade and was the largest and most sophisticated city in Christendom.
Almost alone amongst major medieval urban centres, it had retained the civic structures, public baths, monuments, at its height, the city held an estimated population of about half a million people behind thirteen miles of triple walls. As a result, it was both a rival and a target for the aggressive new states of the west, notably the Republic of Venice. Crusaders seized the breakaway Byzantine province of Cyprus, rather than return it to the Empire, barbarossa died on crusade, and his army quickly disintegrated, leaving the English and French, who had come by sea, to fight Saladin. There they captured Sidon and Beirut, but at the news of Henrys death in Messina along the way, many of the nobles, deserted by much of their leadership, the rank and file crusaders panicked before an Egyptian army and fled to their ships in Tyre. Also in 1195, the Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelos was deposed in favour of his brother by a palace coup, ascending as Alexios III Angelos, the new emperor had his brother blinded and exiled