Template:Campaignbox Crusades Battles
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1. Crusades – The First Crusade arose after a call to arms in a 1095 sermon by Pope Urban II. Urban urged military support for the Byzantine Empire and its Emperor, Alexios I, the response to Urbans preaching by people of many different classes across Western Europe established the precedent for later Crusades. Volunteers became Crusaders by taking a vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the church. Some were hoping for apotheosis at Jerusalem, or forgiveness from God for all their sins, others participated to satisfy feudal obligations, gain glory and honour, or find opportunities for economic and political gain. Many modern Historians have polarised opinions of the Crusaders behaviour under Papal sanction, to some it was incongruous with the stated aims and implied moral authority of the papacy and the Crusades, to the extent that on occasions that the Pope excommunicated Crusaders. Crusaders often pillaged as they travelled, while their leaders retained control of captured territory rather than returning it to the Byzantines. During the Peoples Crusade thousands of Jews were murdered in what is now called the Rhineland massacres, Constantinople was sacked during the Fourth Crusade rendering the reunification of Christendom impossible. These tales consequently galvanised medieval romance, philosophy and literature, but the Crusades also reinforced the connection between Western Christendom, feudalism, and militarism. Crusade is not a term, instead the terms iter for journey or peregrinatio for pilgrimage were used. Not until the word crucesignatus for one who was signed with the cross was adopted at the close of the century was specific terminology developed. The Middle English equivalents were derived from old French, croiserie in the 13th–15th centuries, croisade appeared in English c1575, and continued to be the leading form till c1760. By convention historians adopt the term for the Christian holy wars from 1095, the Crusades in the Holy Land are traditionally counted as nine distinct campaigns, numbered from the First Crusade of 1095–99 to the Ninth Crusade of 1271/2. Usage of the term Crusade may differ depending on the author, pluralists use the term Crusade of any campaign explicitly sanctioned by the reigning Pope. This reflects the view of the Roman Catholic Church that every military campaign given Papal sanction is equally valid as a Crusade, regardless of its cause, justification, generalists see Crusades as any and all holy wars connected with the Latin Church and fought in defence of their faith. Popularists limit the Crusades to only those that were characterised by popular groundswells of religious fervour – that is, only the First Crusade, Medieval Muslim historiographers such as Ali ibn al-Athir refer to the Crusades as the Frankish Wars. The term used in modern Arabic, ḥamalāt ṣalībiyya حملات صليبية, campaigns of the cross, is a loan translation of the term Crusade as used in Western historiography. The Islamic prophet Muhammad founded Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, the resulting unified polity in the seventh and eighth centuries led to a rapid expansion of Arab power. This influence stretched from the northwest Indian subcontinent, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, southern Italy, tolerance, trade, and political relationships between the Arabs and the Christian states of Europe waxed and wanedCrusades – Madrid Skylitzes illuminated manuscript depicting Byzantine Greeks punishing ninth-century Cretan Saracens
2. Levant – The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French and it derives from the Italian Levante, meaning rising, implying the rising of the sun in the east. As such, it is equivalent to the Arabic term Mashriq. Eventually the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine, in 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire. The name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and this is probably the reason why the term Levant has come to be used synonymously with Syria-Palestine. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking that it derives from the name of Lebanon, today the term is typically used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper, the Sinai Peninsula is sometimes included. The Levant has been described as the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa, the populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, and a very long history. They are often referred to as Levantines, the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497, originally meant the East in general or Mediterranean lands east of Italy. It is borrowed from the French levant rising, referring to the rising of the sun in the east, the phrase is ultimately from the Latin word levare, meaning lift, raise. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, most notably, Orient and its Latin source oriens meaning east, is literally rising, deriving from Latin orior rise. The notion of the Levant has undergone a process of historical evolution in usage, meaning. While the term Levantine originally referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional native. The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, at this time, the Far East was known as the Upper Levant. In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, in 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture. The French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states, today, Levant is the term typically used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a wider, yet relevant, archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation that is neither biblical nor national have used terms such as Levantine archaeology and archaeology of the Southern Levant. Two academic journals were launched, Journal of Levantine Studies, published by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and The Levantine ReviewLevant – The Levantine Sea, the eastern portion of the Mediterranean.
3. First Crusade – 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, nobility, knights, peasants and serfs from many regions of Western Europe travelled over land and by sea, first to Constantinople and then on towards Jerusalem. The Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem, launched an assault on the city and they also 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 also 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, Egypt, 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, Genoa, 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 later 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 881First Crusade – The Capture of Jerusalem marked the First Crusade's success
4. Siege of Nicaea – The Siege of Nicaea took place from May 14 to June 19,1097, during the First Crusade. Nicaea, located on the shore of Lake İznik, had been captured from the Byzantine Empire by the Seljuk Turks in 1081. In 1096, the Peoples Crusade, the first stage of the First Crusade, had plundered the surrounding the city. As a result, Sultan Kilij Arslan I initially felt that the wave of crusaders were not a threat. He left his family and his treasury behind in Nicaea and went east to fight the Danishmends for control of the Melitene, the crusaders began to leave Constantinople at the end of April 1097. They arrived on May 6, severely short on food, but Bohemond arranged for food to be brought by land and they put the city to siege beginning on May 14, assigning their forces to different sections of the walls, which were well-defended with 200 towers. Bohemond camped on the side of the city, Godfrey on the south. On May 16, the Turkish defenders sallied out to attack the crusaders, the Turks sent messages to Kilij Arslan begging him to return, and when he realized the strength of the crusaders he quickly turned back. An advance party was defeated by troops under Raymond and Robert of Flanders on May 20, and on May 21, losses were heavy on both sides but in the end the Sultan retreated, despite the pleas of the Nicaean Turks. The rest of the crusaders arrived throughout the rest of May, with Robert Curthose, meanwhile Raymond and Adhemar built a large siege engine, which was rolled up to the Gonatas Tower in order to engage the defenders on the walls while miners mined the tower from below. The tower was damaged but no progress was made. Byzantine emperor Alexios I chose not to accompany the crusaders, but marched out behind them and made his camp at nearby Pelecanum. From there, he sent boats, rolled over the land, to help the crusaders blockade Lake Ascanius, the boats arrived on June 17, under the command of Manuel Boutoumites. The general Tatikios was also sent, with 2,000 foot soldiers, Alexios had instructed Boutoumites to secretly negotiate the surrender of the city without the crusaders knowledge. This was done, and on June 19 the Turks surrendered to Boutoumites, when the crusaders discovered what Alexios had done, they were quite angry, as they had hoped to plunder the city for money and supplies. Boutoumites, however, was named dux of Nicaea and forbade the crusaders from entering in groups larger than 10 men at a time, Boutoumites also expelled the Turkish generals, whom he considered just as untrustworthy. Kilij Arslans family went to Constantinople and were released without ransom. Alexios gave the money, horses, and other giftsSiege of Nicaea – 13th-century miniature (BNF Fr. 779)
5. Battle of Dorylaeum (1097) – The Battle of Dorylaeum took place during the First Crusade on July 1,1097, between the crusaders and the Seljuk Turks, near the city of Dorylaeum in Anatolia. The crusaders had left Nicaea on June 26, with a deep distrust of the Byzantines, on June 29, they learnt that the Turks were planning an ambush near Dorylaeum. Contemporary figures place this number between 25, 000-30,000, more recent estimates are between 6,000 and 8,000 men, fulcher of Chartres gives the exaggerated number of 360,000. In addition to numbers of noncombatants, Bohemonds force probably numbered about 10,000. Military figures of the time often imply perhaps several men-at-arms per knight, on the evening of June 30, after a three-day march, Bohemonds army made camp in a meadow on the north bank of the river Thymbres, near the ruined town of Dorylaeum. On July 1, Bohemonds force was surrounded outside Dorylaeum by Kilij Arslan, Godfrey and Raymond had separated from the vanguard at Leuce, and the Turkish army attacked at dawn, taking Bohemonds army entirely by surprise, shooting arrows into the camp. Bohemonds knights had quickly mounted but their sporadic counterattacks were unable to deter the Turks, while this formed a battle line and sheltered the more vulnerable men-at-arms and noncombatants, it also gave the Turks free rein to maneuver on the battlefield. The Turkish mounted archers attacked in their usual style - charging in, shooting their arrows, the archers did little damage to the heavily armoured knights, but they inflicted heavy casualties on the horses and unarmoured foot soldiers. Bohemond had sent messengers to the other Crusader army and now struggled to hold on until help arrived, just after midday, Godfrey arrived with a force of 50 knights, fighting through the Turkish lines to reinforce Bohemond. Through the day small groups of reinforcements arrived, some killed by the Turks, as the Crusader losses mounted, the Turks became more aggressive and the Crusader army found itself forced from the marshy banks of the river into the shallows. Adhemars force fell on the Turkish camp, and attacked the Turks from the rear, the crusaders did indeed become rich, at least for a short time, after capturing Kilij Arslans treasury. The Turks fled and Arslan turned to other concerns in his eastern territory and they also took the male Greek children from the region extending from Dorylaeum to Iconium, some of whom were sent as slaves to Persia. On the other hand, the crusaders were allowed to march virtually unopposed through Anatolia on their way to Antioch and it took almost three months to cross Anatolia in the heat of the summer, and in October they began the siege of Antioch. John Doukas re-established Byzantine rule in Chios, Rhodes, Smyrna, Ephesus, Sardis and this success is ascribed by Alexios daughter Anna to his policy and diplomacy, but by the Latin historians of the crusade to his treachery and falsenessBattle of Dorylaeum (1097) – The Battle of Dorylaeum
6. Siege of Antioch – The Siege of Antioch took place during the First Crusade in 1097 and 1098. The first siege, by the crusaders against the Muslim-held city, Antioch lay in a strategic location on the crusaders route to Palestine. Supplies, reinforcements and retreat could all be controlled by the city, anticipating that it would be attacked, the Muslim governor of the city, Yaghi-Siyan, began stockpilling food and sending requests for help. The Byzantine walls surrounding the city presented an obstacle to its capture. The crusaders arrived outside the city on 21 October and began the siege, the garrison sortied unsuccessfully on 29 December. After stripping the area of food, the crusaders were forced to look farther afield for supplies, opening themselves to ambush. On the 31 December, a force of 20,000 crusaders encountered an army led by Duqaq of Damascus heading to Antioch. As the siege went on, supplies dwindled and in early 1098 one in seven of the crusaders was dying from starvation, a second relief force, this time under the command of Ridwan of Aleppo, advanced towards Antioch, arriving on 9 February. Like the army of Duqaq before, it was defeated, Antioch was captured on 3 June, although the citadel remained in the hands of the Muslim defenders. Kerbogha began the siege, against the crusaders who had occupied Antioch. The second siege ended when the crusaders exited the city to engage Kerboghas army in battle, on seeing the Muslim army routed, the defenders remaining in the citadel surrendered. There are a number of sources relating to the Siege of Antioch. There are four accounts, those of Fulcher of Chartres, Peter Tudebode, and Raymond of Aguilers. Nine letters survive relating to or from the army, five of them were written while the siege was underway and another in September. While there are many sources the number of people on crusade is unclear because they fluctuated regularly, lying on the slopes of the Orontes Valley, in 1097 Antioch covered more than 3.5 square miles and was encircled by walls studded by 400 towers. The river ran along the northern wall before entering Antioch from the northwest. Mount Silpius, crested by a citadel, was the Antiochs highest point, there were six gates through which the city could be entered, three along the northern wall, and one on each of the south, east, and west sides. The valley slopes made approaching from the south, east, or west difficult, the citys defences dated from the reign of the Emperor Justinian I in the 6th centurySiege of Antioch – The Siege of Antioch, from a 15th-century miniature painting
7. Siege of Jerusalem (1099) – The Siege of Jerusalem took place from June 7 to July 15,1099, during the First Crusade. The climax of the First Crusade, the siege saw the Crusaders seize Jerusalem from the Fatimid Caliphate. After the successful siege of Antioch in June 1098, the Crusaders remained in the area for the rest of the year, the papal legate Adhemar of Le Puy had died, and Bohemond of Taranto had claimed Antioch for himself. Baldwin of Boulogne remained in Edessa, captured earlier in 1098, there was dissent among the princes over what to do next, Raymond of Toulouse, frustrated, left Antioch to capture the fortress at Maarrat al-Numan in the Siege of Maarat. By the end of the year the minor knights and infantry were threatening to march to Jerusalem without them. Eventually, on January 13,1099 Raymond began the south, down the coast of the Mediterranean, followed by Robert of Normandy and Bohemonds nephew Tancred. On their way the Crusaders besieged Arqa but failed to capture it, therefore, he expelled all of Jerusalems Christian inhabitants. Further march towards Jerusalem met no resistance, on 7 June, the crusaders reached Jerusalem, which had been recaptured from the Seljuqs by the Fatimids only the year before. Many Crusaders wept upon seeing the city they had journeyed so long to reach. As with Antioch the crusaders put the city to a siege, in which the crusaders themselves probably suffered more than the citizens of the city, due to the lack of food and water around Jerusalem. The city was well-prepared for the siege, and the Fatimid governor Iftikhar ad-Daula had expelled most of the Christians, of the estimated 5,000 knights who took part in the Princes Crusade, only about 1,500 remained, along with another 12,000 healthy foot-soldiers. Early in the siege, some low-class knights claimed to have been visited by Adhemar, the papal regate for the crusade and they claimed that this was a Battle of Jericho situation, and that he instructed them to march around the city walls barefoot. They did so for a few days, singing holy chants, after which, Peter the Hermit held religious sermons in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, in the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the Mount of Olives, sending the crusading knights lost into religious zeal. It was at time that they were ready for a siege. A direct assault on the walls on June 13 was a failure, without water or food, both men and animals were quickly dying of thirst and starvation and the crusaders knew time was not on their side. Coincidentally, soon after the first assault, two Genoese galleys sailed into the port at Jaffa, the crusaders also began to gather wood from Samaria in order to build siege engines. They were still short on food and water, and by the end of June there was news that a Fatimid army was marching north from Egypt, the prime need of the crusaders was for ladders and siege towers to scale the walls of Jerusalem. The Egyptian Fatimid garrison had cleared the area of treesSiege of Jerusalem (1099) – Capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders (19th-century artist impression)
8. Battle of Ascalon – The Battle of Ascalon took place on August 12,1099 shortly after the capture of Jerusalem, and is often considered the last action of the First Crusade. The crusader army led by Godfrey of Bouillon defeated and drove off the numerically-superior Fatimid army, Jerusalem was captured from the Fatimids on July 15,1099, after a long siege, and immediately the crusaders learned that a Fatimid army was on its way to besiege them. Godfrey of Bouillon was named Defender of the Holy Sepulchre on July 22, Fatimid ambassadors arrived to order the crusaders to leave Jerusalem, but they were ignored. When the Egyptian presence was confirmed, they marched out as well the next day, near Ramla, they met Tancred and Godfreys brother Eustace, who had left to capture Nablus earlier in the month. At the head of the army, Arnulf carried the relic of the Cross, the Fatimids were led by vizier al-Afdal Shahanshah, who commanded perhaps as many as 50,000 troops. His army consisted of Seljuk Turks, Arabs, Persians, Armenians, Kurds and he was intending to besiege the crusaders in Jerusalem, although he had brought no siege machinery with him, he did however have a fleet, also assembling in the port of Ascalon. The precise number of crusaders is unknown, but the number given by Raymond of Aguilers is 1,200 knights and 9,000 infantry, the highest estimate is 20,000 men but this is surely impossible at this stage of the crusade. On August 11 the crusaders found oxen, sheep, camels, according to captives taken by Tancred in a skirmish near Ramla, the animals were there to encourage the crusaders to disperse and pillage the land, making it easier for the Fatimids to attack. However, al-Afdal did not yet know the crusaders were in the area and was not expecting them. In any case, these animals marched with them the next morning exaggerating the appearance of their army, on the morning of the 12th, crusader scouts reported the location of the Fatimid camp and the army marched towards it. According to most accounts, the Fatimids were caught unprepared and the battle was short, the two main lines of battle fought each other with arrows until they were close enough to fight hand-to-hand with spears and other hand weapons. The Ethiopians attacked the centre of the line, and the Fatimid vanguard was able to outflank the crusaders and surround their rearguard. Despite his numerical superiority, al-Afdals army was hardly as strong or dangerous as the Seljuk armies that the crusaders had encountered previously, the battle seems to have been over before the Fatimid heavy cavalry was prepared to join it. Al-Afdal left behind his camp and its treasures, which were captured by Robert, crusader losses are unknown, but the Egyptians lost about 10–12,000 men. The crusaders spent the night in the camp, preparing for another attack. They took as much plunder as they could, including the Standard and al-Afdals personal tent and they returned to Jerusalem on August 13, and after much celebration Godfrey and Raymond both claimed Ascalon. When the garrison learned of the dispute they refused to surrender, after the battle, almost all of the remaining crusaders returned to their homes in Europe, their vows of pilgrimage having been fulfilled. There were perhaps only a few hundred left in Jerusalem by the end of the yearBattle of Ascalon – Battle of Ascalon
9. Crusade of 1101 – The Crusade of 1101 was a minor crusade of three separate movements, organized in 1100 and 1101 in the successful aftermath of the First Crusade. It is also called the Crusade of the Faint-Hearted due to the number of participants who joined this crusade after having turned back from the First Crusade. Calls for reinforcements from the newly established Kingdom of Jerusalem, and Pope Paschal II, successor to Pope Urban II and he especially urged those who had taken the crusade vow but had never departed, and those who had turned back while on the march. As in the first crusade, the pilgrims and soldiers did not leave as a part of one large army, in September 1100, a large group of Lombards left from Milan. These were mostly untrained peasants, led by Anselm IV, Archbishop of Milan, when they reached the territory of the Byzantine Empire, they pillaged it recklessly, and Byzantine emperor Alexios I escorted them to a camp outside Constantinople. This did not satisfy them, and they made their way inside the city where they pillaged the Blachernae palace, the Lombards were quickly ferried across the Bosporus and made their camp at Nicomedia, to wait for reinforcements. Joining them at Nicomedia was Raymond IV of Toulouse, one of the leaders of the First Crusade who was now in the service of the emperor. He was appointed leader, and a Byzantine force of Pecheneg mercenaries was sent out with them under the command of General Tzitas. This group marched out at the end of May, towards Dorylaeum, following the route taken by Raymond, after capturing Ancyra on June 23,1101, and returning it to Alexios, the crusaders turned north. They briefly besieged the heavily garrisoned city of Gangra, and then continued north to attempt to capture the Turkish-controlled city of Kastamonu, however, they came under attack from the Seljuq Turks who harassed them for weeks, and a foraging party was destroyed in July. However, the Seljuqs, under Kilij Arslan I, realizing that disunity was the cause of their inability to stop the First Crusade, had now allied with both the Danishmends and Ridwan of Aleppo, in early August the crusaders met this combined Muslim army at Mersivan. The crusaders organized into five divisions, the Burgundians, Raymond and the Byzantines, the Germans, the French, the Turks nearly destroyed the crusaders’ army near the mountains of Paphlagonia at Mersivan. The land was well-suited to the Turks—dry and inhospitable for their enemy, it was open, the battle took place over several days. On the first day, the Turks cut off the crusading armies’ advances, the next day, Duke Conrad led his Germans in a raid that failed miserably. Not only did fail to open the Turkish lines, they were unable to return to the main crusader army and had to take refuge in a nearby stronghold. This meant that they were cut off supplies, aid. The third day was quiet, with little or no serious fighting taking place, but on the fourth day. The crusaders inflicted heavy losses on the Turks, but the attack was a failure by the end of the day, Kilij Arslan was joined by Ridwan of Aleppo and other powerful Danishmend princesCrusade of 1101 – Lombard-Tuscan man-at-arms from c. 1100, Vita Mathildis.
10. Battle of Ramla (1105) – The third Battle of Ramla took place on 27 August 1105 between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Fatimids of Egypt. The town of Ramla lay on the road from Jerusalem to Ascalon, from Ascalon the Fatimid vizier, Al-Afdal Shahanshah, launched almost annual attacks into the newly founded Crusader kingdom from 1099 to 1107. Of the three battles the Crusaders fought at Ramla early in the century, the third was the most bloody. Egyptian armies of the period relied on masses of Sudanese bowmen supported by Arab, whereas the Crusaders developed a healthy respect for the harass and surround tactics of the Turkish horse archers, they tended to discount the effectiveness of the Egyptian armies. While overconfidence led to a Crusader disaster at the battle of Ramla. The Franks never, until the reign of Saladin, feared the Egyptian as they did the armies from Muslim Syria and Mesopotamia, as at Ramla in 1101, in 1105 the Crusaders had both cavalry and infantry under the leadership of Baldwin I. At the third battle, however, the Egyptians were reinforced by a Seljuk Turkish force from Damascus, including mounted archery, after they withstood the initial Frankish cavalry charge the battle raged for most of the day. He vanquished the Turks when they were becoming a threat to his rear. Despite the victory the Egyptians continued to make raids into the Kingdom of Jeruselum with some reaching the walls of Jerusalem itself before being pushed back. The next major engagement between Fatimids and Crusaders was the Battle of Yibneh in 1123, Dupuy, R. E. and T. N. Dupuy, eds. New York, Harper & Row,1977, new York, Barnes & Noble Books,1995Battle of Ramla (1105) – Battles of Ramla
11. Siege of Sidon – The Siege of Sidon was an event in the aftermath of the First Crusade. The coastal city of Sidon was captured by the forces of Baldwin I of Jerusalem and Sigurd I of Norway, with assistance from the Ordelafo Faliero, in the summer of 1110 a Norwegian fleet of 60 ships arrived in the Levant under the command of King Sigurd. Arriving in Acre he was received by Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem, together they made a journey to the river Jordan, after which Baldwin asked for help in capturing Muslim-held ports on the coast. Baldwins army besieged the city by land, while the Norwegian came by sea, a naval force was needed to prevent assistance from the Fatimid fleet at Tyre. Repelling it was only made possible with the fortunate arrival of a Venetian fleet. The city fell after 47 days, the Icelandic skald Einarr Skúlason gives the following account. By order of Baldwin and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Ghibbelin of Arles, the Lordship of Sidon was created and given to Eustace Grenier, later a constable of the Kingdom of JerusalemSiege of Sidon – King Sigurd and King Baldwin ride from Jerusalem to the river Jordan by Gerhard Munthe.
12. Battle of Ager Sanguinis – Antioch and the other Crusader States were constantly at war with the Muslim states of Northern Syria and the Jazeerah, principally Aleppo and Mosul. When Ridwan of Aleppo died in 1113, there was a period of peace, in 1115, Roger defeated a Seljuk Turkish invasion force led by Bursuq bin Bursuq at the Battle of Sarmin. In 1117 Aleppo came under the rule of the Artuqid atabeg Ilghazi, in 1118 Roger captured Azaz, which left Aleppo open to attack from the Crusaders, in response, Ilghazi invaded the Principality in 1119. Roger marched out from Artah with Bernard of Valence, the Latin Patriarch of Antioch, Bernard suggested they remain there, as Artah was a well-defended fortress only a short distance away from Antioch, and Ilghazi would not be able to pass if they were stationed there. The Patriarch also advised Roger to call for help from Baldwin, now king of Jerusalem, and Pons, Roger camped in the pass of Sarmada, while Ilghazi besieged the fort of al-Atharib. A force under Robert of Vieux-Pont set out to break the siege, Ilghazi was also waiting for reinforcements from Toghtekin, the Burid emir of Damascus, but he too was tired of waiting. Using little-used paths, his army quickly surrounded Rogers camp during the night of June 27, the prince had recklessly chosen a campsite in a wooded valley with steep sides and few avenues of escape. Rogers army of 700 knights and 3,000 foot soldiers, including turcopoles and these drew up in a V-shaped line with the tip farthest from the Muslim battle array. From left to right, the divisions were commanded by Robert of St. Lo, Prince Roger, Guy de Frenelle, Geoffrey the Monk, meanwhile, Roger told off a sixth division under Renaud Mansoer to protect the Antiochene rear. As the Muslim army waited, the qadi Abu al-Fadl ibn al-Khashshab, wearing his lawyers turban but brandishing a lance, rode out in front of the troopers. That morning, June 28, the battle was begun by a duel between the Antiochene infantry, posted in front of the knights, and the Turkish bowmen. The crusader army was at first successful when the divisions of Peter. Guy de Frenelles center division had some success also, but the battle was decided on the left flank. Robert of St. Lo and the Turcopoles were driven back into Rogers division, a north wind blew dust in the faces of the Antioch knights and footmen, confusing them further. Soon, Artuqid flanking forces enveloped the crusaders, during the fighting, Roger was killed by a sword in the face at the foot of the great jewelled cross which had served as his standard. The rest of the army was killed or captured, only two knights survived, Renaud Mansoer, took refuge in the fort of Sarmada to wait for King Baldwin, but was later taken captive by Ilghazi. Among the other prisoners was likely Walter the Chancellor, who wrote an account of the battle. The massacre led to the name of the battle, ager sanguinis, the battle proved that the Muslims could defeat a Crusader army without the help of the SeljuksBattle of Ager Sanguinis – Battle of Ager-Sanguinis, 1337 miniature
13. Venetian Crusade – The Venetian Crusade of 1122–24 was an expedition to the Holy Land launched by the Republic of Venice that succeeded in capturing Tyre. It was an important victory at the start of a period when the Kingdom of Jerusalem would expand to its greatest extent under King Baldwin II, the Venetians gained valuable trading concessions in Tyre. Baldwin de Burg was a nephew of Baldwin I of Jerusalem, in 1118 his uncle died and he became King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. In the Battle of Ager Sanguinis, fought near Sarmada on 28 June 1119, the Franks suffered a defeat by the forces of Ilghazi. Later that year Baldwin regained some territory, but the Franks were seriously weakened, Baldwin asked for help from Pope Callixtus II. The pope forwarded the request to Venice, the terms of the crusade were agreed through negotiations between the envoys of Baldwin II and the doge of Venice. The church also extended its protection to the families and property of the crusaders, in 1122 the Doge of Venice, Domenico Michiel, launched the seaborne crusade. The Venetian fleet of more than 120 ships carrying over 15,000 men left the Venetian Lagoon on 8 August 1122 and this seems to have been the first crusade in which the knights brought their horses with them. They invested Corfu, then a possession of the Byzantine Empire, in 1123 Baldwin II was captured by Balak of Mardin, emir of Aleppo, and imprisoned in Kharput. Eustace Graverius became regent of Jerusalem, the Venetians abandoned the siege of Corfu when they heard this news, and reached the Palestinian coast in May 1123. The Venetian fleet arrived at Acre at the end of May and was informed about a Fatimid fleet, of around a hundred sail, sailing towards Ascalon. in order to assist the Emir Balak at his siege. Thus the Venetian fleet sailed south in order to meet it, with the intend to divert the fleet off Ascalon. The Egyptians fell into the trap assuming an easy victory they were now caught between two Venetian squadrons and outnumbered. Some 4,000 Saracens were killed including the Fatimid admiral and 9 vessels captured with the Venetians adding to their triumph the capture of 10 merchant vessels on rout back to Acre, both Fulcher of Chartres and William of Tyre recorded the event. On this the ships followed in haste and fell almost all the other enemy ships around. But the shores, they say, were so covered with the corpses that were ejected from the sea, that the air was tainted. At lengths the fight continued man against man, and most heatedly one side was trying to advance while the side tried to resist. Finally, however, the Venetians were with Gods help victorious On 15 February 1124 the Venetians, the seaport of Tyre, now in Lebanon, was part of the territory of Toghtekin, the Atabeg of DamascusVenetian Crusade – Outremer around 1100
14. Siege of Shaizar – The Siege of Shaizar took place from April 28 to May 21,1138. The allied forces of the Byzantine Empire, Principality of Antioch and County of Edessa besieged Shaizar in Syria, the siege resulted in the Emir of Shaizar paying an indemnity and becoming the vassal of the Byzantine emperor. The campaign underlined the limited nature of Byzantine suzerainty over the northern Crusader states and these rights dated back to the Treaty of Devol of 1108, though Byzantium had not been in a position to enforce them. The necessary preparation for a descent on Antioch was the recovery of Byzantine control over Cilicia, control of Cilicia opened the route to the Principality of Antioch for the Byzantines. Faced with the approach of the formidable Byzantine army Raymond of Poitiers, Prince of Antioch, John demanded the unconditional surrender of Antioch and, after asking the permission of Fulk, King of Jerusalem, Raymond of Antioch agreed to surrender the city to John. Then, Raymond would rule the new conquests and Antioch would revert to imperial rule. In March, the army crossed from Cilicia to Antioch. They crossed into enemy territory and occupied Balat, on April 3 they arrived before Bizaa which held out for five days. It had been hoped that Aleppo could be surprised, however, the most powerful Muslim leader in Syria, Zengi, was besieging nearby Hama and he had enough warning of the emperors operations to quickly reinforce Aleppo. On April 20, the Christian army launched an attack on the city, the emperor then moved the army southward taking the fortresses of Athereb, Maarat al-Numan, and Kafartab by assault, with the ultimate goal of capturing the city of Shaizar. The Crusader princes were suspicious of other and of John. With the lukewarm interest his allies had in the prosecution of the siege, the emperors reproaches could only goad the two princes into perfunctory and fitful action. Latin and Muslim sources describe Johns energy and personal courage in prosecuting the siege, conspicuous in his golden helmet, John was active in encouraging his troops, supervising the siege engines and consoling the wounded. The walls of Shaizar were battered by the trebuchets of the impressive Byzantine siege train, the emirs nephew, the poet, writer and diplomat Usama ibn Munqidh, recorded the devastation wreaked by the Byzantine artillery which could smash a whole house with a single missile. The city was taken, but the citadel, protected by its cliffs, tardily, Zengi had assembled a relief army and it moved towards Shaizar. The relief army was smaller than the Christian army but John was reluctant to leave his siege engines in order to out to meet it. John, disgusted by the behaviour of his allies, reluctantly accepted the offer, on May 21, the siege was raised. Zengis troops skirmished with the retreating Christians, but did not dare actively to impede the armys march, returning to Antioch, John made a ceremonial entry into the citySiege of Shaizar – John II Komnenos negotiating with the Emir of Shaizar, 13th-century French manuscript
15. Siege of Edessa – The Siege of Edessa took place from November 28 to December 24,1144, resulting in the fall of the capital of the crusader County of Edessa to Zengi, the atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo. The County of Edessa was the first of the states to be established during. Count Baldwin II and future count Joscelin of Courtenay were taken captive after their defeat at the Battle of Harran in 1104. Joscelin was 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 Raymond II of Tripoli and Raymond of Antioch, leaving Edessa with no powerful allies. In 1144, Joscelin was able to make an alliance with Kara Arslan, Joscelin marched out of Edessa with almost his entire army to support Kara Aslan against Aleppo. Zengi, already seeking to take advantage of Fulks death in 1143, hurried north to besiege Edessa, the city had been warned of his arrival and was prepared for a siege, but there was little they could do while Joscelin and the army were elsewhere. The defense of the city was led by the Latin Archbishop Hugh, the Armenian Bishop John, John and Basil ensured that none of the native Christians would desert to Zengi. When Joscelin heard of the siege he took the army to Turbessel, in Jerusalem, Queen Melisende responded to Joscelins appeal by sending an army led by Manasses of Hierges, Philip of Milly, and Elinand of Bures. Raymond of Antioch ignored the call for help, as his army was occupied against the Byzantine Empire in Cilicia. Zengi surrounded the city, realizing that there was no army defending it. He built siege engines and began to mine the walls, while his forces were joined by Kurdish, the inhabitants of Edessa resisted as much as they could, but had no experience in siege warfare, the city’s numerous towers remained unmanned. They also had no knowledge of counter-mining, and part of the wall near the Gate of the Hours collapsed on December 24, Zengis troops rushed into the city, killing all those who were unable to flee to the Citadel of Maniaces. Thousands more were suffocated or trampled to death in the panic, Zengi ordered his men to stop the massacre, although all the Latin prisoners that he had taken were executed, the native Christians were allowed to live freely. The citadel was handed over on December 26, in January 1145 Zengi captured Saruj and besieged Birejik, but the army of Jerusalem had finally arrived and joined with Joscelin. Zengi also heard of trouble in Mosul, and rushed back to take control, there, he 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. Zengi was assassinated by a slave in 1146 while besieging Qalat Jabar, Joscelin attempted to take back Edessa following Zengis murder, and recaptured all but the citadel in October 1146Siege of Edessa – Map of the Second Crusade
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Battle of Inab – The Battle of Inab, also called Battle of Ard al-Hâtim or Fons Muratus, was fought on 29 June 1149, during the Second Crusade. The Zengid army of Atabeg Nur ad-Din Zangi destroyed the army of Prince Raymond of Antioch. The Principality of Antioch was subsequently pillaged and reduced in size as its border was pushed west. After the death of Nur ad-Dins father Zengi in 1146, Raymond of Antioch invaded the province of Aleppo. After establishing his own authority in Aleppo and successfully defending Edessa in 1147, Nur ad-Din invaded Antioch in late 1148, Raymond beat him off and captured his baggage train. When he returned a few months later to attack Yaghra, Raymond, at the head of a small force, in June 1149, Nur ad-Din invaded Antioch and besieged the fortress of Inab, with aid from Unur of Damascus and a force of Turcomans. Nur ad-Din had about 6,000 troops, mostly cavalry, Raymond and his Christian neighbor, Count Joscelin II of Edessa, had been enemies since Raymond had refused to send a relief army to Edessa in 1146. Joscelin even made a treaty of alliance with Nur ad-Din against Raymond, for their part, Raymond II of Tripoli and the regent, Melisende of Jerusalem refused to aid the Prince of Antioch. Feeling confident because he had twice defeated Nur ad-Din previously, Prince Raymond struck out on his own with an army of 400 knights and 1,000 foot soldiers, Prince Raymond allied himself with Ali ibn-Wafa, leader of the Hashshashin and an enemy of Nur ad-Din. Before he had collected all his forces, Raymond and his ally mounted a relief expedition. Amazed at the weakness of Prince Raymonds army, the atabeg at first suspected that it was only an advance guard, upon the approach of the combined force, Nur ad-Din raised the siege of Inab and withdrew. Rather than staying close to the stronghold, Raymond and ibn-Wafa camped with their forces in open country, after Nur ad-Dins scouts noted that the allies camped in an exposed location and did not receive reinforcements, the atabeg swiftly surrounded the enemy camp during the night. On June 29, Nur ad-Din attacked and destroyed the army of Antioch, presented with an opportunity to escape, the Prince of Antioch refused to abandon his soldiers. Raymond was a man of stature and fought back, cutting down all who came near him. Nevertheless, both Raymond and ibn-Wafa were killed, along with Reynald of Marash, a few Franks escaped the disaster. Much of the territory of Antioch was now open to Nur ad-Din, Nur ad-Din rode out to the coast and bathed in the sea as a symbol of his conquest. The contemporary historian William of Tyre blamed the Antiochenes defeat on Raymonds rashness, one modern historian says the Crusader defeat at Inab was as disastrous at that of the Ager Sanguinis a generation earlier. Yet another remarks that it was not part of a watershed moment, after his victory, Nur ad-Din went on to capture the fortresses of Artah, Harim and ‘Imm, which defended the approach to Antioch itselfBattle of Inab – The battle of Inab
19. Siege of Bilbeis – The Crusader invasion of Egypt was a series of campaigns undertaken by the Kingdom of Jerusalem to strengthen its position in the Levant by taking advantage of the weakness of Fatimid Egypt. The war began as part of a crisis in the Fatimid Caliphate, which began to crumble under the pressure of Syria. While one side called for help from Nur ad-Din Zangi, the called for Crusader assistance. As the war progressed however it became a war of conquest, a number of Syrian campaigns into Egypt were stopped short of total victory by the aggressive campaigning of Amalric I of Jerusalem. Even so, the Crusaders generally speaking did not have things go their way, a combined Byzantine-Crusader siege of Damietta failed in 1169, the same year that Salah ad-Din, also known as Saladin in the West, took power in Egypt as vizier. Later crusades tried to support the Kingdom of Jerusalem by targeting the danger that was Egypt, the Second Crusade aimed to reverse the gains of Zengi, ironically with an assault on Damascus, Zengis most powerful rival. The siege failed and forced the Kingdom to turn south for better fortunes, the Fatimid Caliphate in the 12th century was riddled with internal squabbles. In the 1160s, Power lay not in the hands of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Āḍid, the situation in Egypt made it ripe for conquest, either by Crusaders or by the forces of Zengis successor, Nur ad-Din Zangi. The Crusader capture of Ascalon in 1154 meant that now the Kingdom was at war in two fronts, but Egypt now had a supply base close at hand. In 1163, Shawar, the ousted Vizier of Egypt called Zengi for support in reinstating him to his position as the de facto ruler of Egypt. Nur ad-Din agreed to support his cause - an alliance between Syria and Egypt would ensure the demise of the Crusaders, little did Nur ad-Din realize that, while his plan would succeed, it would not be he who would enjoy such unity. On May 1164 Shawar became vizier of Egypt and he was however a mere figurehead to Nur ad-Din who had installed his general Shirkuh as ruler of Egypt. Shawar became unsatisfied with this and called upon the enemy of the Sunni Muslims, Amalric I, Amalric I had his own designs on Egypt. Therefore, when Shawar invited him into Egypt, he could not turn down such an offer, at Bilbeis, Amalric together with Shawar his Shiite ally, besieged Shirkuh. Amalric immediately raced north to rescue his vassal, even so, Shirkuh evacuated Egypt too so it was a victory for Shawar who retained Egypt. Shawars rule in Egypt did not last long before Shirkuh returned in 1166 to take back Egypt, Shawar played his Crusader card again and this time Amalric believed an open battle would be able to settle the scores. Unlike Shirkuh, Amalric had naval supremacy in the Mediterranean and took a quick route to Egypt. At Cairo, the combined Fatimid-Crusader army contemplated the move while ShirkuhSiege of Bilbeis – Crusader invasion of Egypt
20. Capture of Bilbeis – The Crusader invasion of Egypt was a series of campaigns undertaken by the Kingdom of Jerusalem to strengthen its position in the Levant by taking advantage of the weakness of Fatimid Egypt. The war began as part of a crisis in the Fatimid Caliphate, which began to crumble under the pressure of Syria. While one side called for help from Nur ad-Din Zangi, the called for Crusader assistance. As the war progressed however it became a war of conquest, a number of Syrian campaigns into Egypt were stopped short of total victory by the aggressive campaigning of Amalric I of Jerusalem. Even so, the Crusaders generally speaking did not have things go their way, a combined Byzantine-Crusader siege of Damietta failed in 1169, the same year that Salah ad-Din, also known as Saladin in the West, took power in Egypt as vizier. Later crusades tried to support the Kingdom of Jerusalem by targeting the danger that was Egypt, the Second Crusade aimed to reverse the gains of Zengi, ironically with an assault on Damascus, Zengis most powerful rival. The siege failed and forced the Kingdom to turn south for better fortunes, the Fatimid Caliphate in the 12th century was riddled with internal squabbles. In the 1160s, Power lay not in the hands of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Āḍid, the situation in Egypt made it ripe for conquest, either by Crusaders or by the forces of Zengis successor, Nur ad-Din Zangi. The Crusader capture of Ascalon in 1154 meant that now the Kingdom was at war in two fronts, but Egypt now had a supply base close at hand. In 1163, Shawar, the ousted Vizier of Egypt called Zengi for support in reinstating him to his position as the de facto ruler of Egypt. Nur ad-Din agreed to support his cause - an alliance between Syria and Egypt would ensure the demise of the Crusaders, little did Nur ad-Din realize that, while his plan would succeed, it would not be he who would enjoy such unity. On May 1164 Shawar became vizier of Egypt and he was however a mere figurehead to Nur ad-Din who had installed his general Shirkuh as ruler of Egypt. Shawar became unsatisfied with this and called upon the enemy of the Sunni Muslims, Amalric I, Amalric I had his own designs on Egypt. Therefore, when Shawar invited him into Egypt, he could not turn down such an offer, at Bilbeis, Amalric together with Shawar his Shiite ally, besieged Shirkuh. Amalric immediately raced north to rescue his vassal, even so, Shirkuh evacuated Egypt too so it was a victory for Shawar who retained Egypt. Shawars rule in Egypt did not last long before Shirkuh returned in 1166 to take back Egypt, Shawar played his Crusader card again and this time Amalric believed an open battle would be able to settle the scores. Unlike Shirkuh, Amalric had naval supremacy in the Mediterranean and took a quick route to Egypt. At Cairo, the combined Fatimid-Crusader army contemplated the move while ShirkuhCapture of Bilbeis – Crusader invasion of Egypt
21. Siege of Damietta (1169) – The Crusader invasion of Egypt was a series of campaigns undertaken by the Kingdom of Jerusalem to strengthen its position in the Levant by taking advantage of the weakness of Fatimid Egypt. The war began as part of a crisis in the Fatimid Caliphate, which began to crumble under the pressure of Syria. While one side called for help from Nur ad-Din Zangi, the called for Crusader assistance. As the war progressed however it became a war of conquest, a number of Syrian campaigns into Egypt were stopped short of total victory by the aggressive campaigning of Amalric I of Jerusalem. Even so, the Crusaders generally speaking did not have things go their way, a combined Byzantine-Crusader siege of Damietta failed in 1169, the same year that Salah ad-Din, also known as Saladin in the West, took power in Egypt as vizier. Later crusades tried to support the Kingdom of Jerusalem by targeting the danger that was Egypt, the Second Crusade aimed to reverse the gains of Zengi, ironically with an assault on Damascus, Zengis most powerful rival. The siege failed and forced the Kingdom to turn south for better fortunes, the Fatimid Caliphate in the 12th century was riddled with internal squabbles. In the 1160s, Power lay not in the hands of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Āḍid, the situation in Egypt made it ripe for conquest, either by Crusaders or by the forces of Zengis successor, Nur ad-Din Zangi. The Crusader capture of Ascalon in 1154 meant that now the Kingdom was at war in two fronts, but Egypt now had a supply base close at hand. In 1163, Shawar, the ousted Vizier of Egypt called Zengi for support in reinstating him to his position as the de facto ruler of Egypt. Nur ad-Din agreed to support his cause - an alliance between Syria and Egypt would ensure the demise of the Crusaders, little did Nur ad-Din realize that, while his plan would succeed, it would not be he who would enjoy such unity. On May 1164 Shawar became vizier of Egypt and he was however a mere figurehead to Nur ad-Din who had installed his general Shirkuh as ruler of Egypt. Shawar became unsatisfied with this and called upon the enemy of the Sunni Muslims, Amalric I, Amalric I had his own designs on Egypt. Therefore, when Shawar invited him into Egypt, he could not turn down such an offer, at Bilbeis, Amalric together with Shawar his Shiite ally, besieged Shirkuh. Amalric immediately raced north to rescue his vassal, even so, Shirkuh evacuated Egypt too so it was a victory for Shawar who retained Egypt. Shawars rule in Egypt did not last long before Shirkuh returned in 1166 to take back Egypt, Shawar played his Crusader card again and this time Amalric believed an open battle would be able to settle the scores. Unlike Shirkuh, Amalric had naval supremacy in the Mediterranean and took a quick route to Egypt. At Cairo, the combined Fatimid-Crusader army contemplated the move while ShirkuhSiege of Damietta (1169) – Crusader invasion of Egypt
22. Battle of Montgisard – The Battle of Montgisard was fought between the Ayyubids and the Kingdom of Jerusalem on November 25,1177. The 16-year-old King Baldwin IV, seriously afflicted by leprosy, led an out-numbered Christian force against the army of Saladin, the Arab force was routed and their casualties were massive, and only a fraction managed to flee to safety. Meanwhile, Saladin planned his own invasion of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from Egypt and it is also uncertain whether the so-called knights included mounted sergeants or squires, or whether they were true knights. Just as uncertain are the numbers of their opponents, an 1181 review listed Saladins Mamluk forces at 6,976 Ghulams and 1,553 Qaraghulams. However, there would have been additional soldiers available in Syria and elsewhere, whether these would have added up to a total of 26,000 reported by William of Tyre is impossible to say. Saladin left part of his army to besiege Gaza and a force at Ascalon. Accompanying Baldwin was Raynald of Châtillon, lord of Oultrejordain, who had just been released from captivity in Aleppo in 1176, Raynald was a fierce enemy of Saladin and was King Baldwins second-in-command. Also with the army were Baldwin of Ibelin, his brother Balian, Reginald of Sidon, odo de St Amand, Master of the Knights Templar, came with 84 Templar knights. Another Templar force attempted to meet Baldwin at Ascalon, but they remained besieged at Gaza, Saladin continued his march towards Jerusalem, thinking that Baldwin would not dare to follow him with so few men. He attacked Ramla, Lydda and Arsuf, but because Baldwin was supposedly not a danger, he allowed his army to be spread out over a large area, pillaging and foraging. However, unknown to Saladin, the forces he had left to subdue the King had been insufficient, the Christians, led by the King, pursued the Muslims along the coast, finally catching their enemies at Mons Gisardi, near Ramla. The location is disputed, as Ramla was a region that included the town under the same name. Malcolm Barber equates Mons Gisardi with the mound of al-Safiya, al-Safiya means white and, indeed, the Es-Safi hill is white with the foundations of a Crusader castle recently found at the top, called Blanchegarde. Ibn Al-Athīr, one of the Arab chroniclers, mentions that Saladin intended to lay siege to a Crusader castle in the area, but Saladins baggage train had been apparently mired. There is a small north of Tell es-Safi bordering farmland that in November might have been plowed up. The Egyptian chroniclers agree that the baggage had been delayed at a river crossing, Saladin was taken totally by surprise. His army was in disarray, part had been held up by the baggage train while another part of his force had scattered into raiding parties across the countryside. The horses were tired from the long march, some men had to hurry to collect their weapons from the baggage trainBattle of Montgisard – The Battle of Montgisard, 1177, by Charles Philippe Larivière
23. Battle of Cresson – The Battle of Cresson was a small battle, fought on 1 May 1187 at the springs of Cresson, or Ain Gozeh, near Nazareth. It was a prelude to the defeat of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hattin two months later. The political situation in Jerusalem was tense because of rivalries between two branches of the royal house. Raymond III of Tripoli, who had previously been regent for the kingdom, refused to accept Guy of Lusignan as king, following the death of the child king, Baldwin V the previous year. Meanwhile, Saladin had sent a force towards Tiberias led by Muzaffar ad-Din Gökböri. Raymond III hoped Saladin would ally with him against Guy, and allowed this force to pass through Tiberias on 30 April, a second probably larger Ayyubid force, led by Saladins son Al Afdal, was at Al Qahwani and did not participate in the battle. Gerard reached Cresson on 1 May, as the Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, a chronicle of the Third Crusade, records it, So Saladin assembled armed forces and marched violently on Palestine. He sent the emir of Edessa, Manafaradin, on ahead with 7,000 Turks to ravage the Holy Land. Now, when this Manafaradin advanced into the Tiberias region, he happened to encounter the master of the Temple, Gerard de Ridefort, in the unexpected battle which followed, he put the former to flight and killed the latter. The Muslims feigned a retreat, a tactic which should not have fooled Gerard, nevertheless, he ordered a charge, against Rogers advice. The Muslims easily repulsed a direct Christian attack, killing both the knights, and, later, the foot-soldiers. Gerard was wounded, but survived, however, almost all the others were killed, according to the Itinerarium, however, Gerard did not rashly engage the enemy, but was actually caught unaware and was the victim of an attack himself. Balian was still a day behind, and had stopped at Sebastea to celebrate a feast day. After reaching the castle of La Fève, where the Templars and Hospitallers had camped and he sent his squire Ernoul ahead to learn what had happened, and news of the disastrous battle soon arrived from the few survivors. Raymond heard about the battle as well and met the embassy at Tiberias, Raymond was finally willing to acknowledge Guy as king, but the damage to the kingdom was severe, and both Gerard and Raynald considered Raymond a traitor. However Guy, knowing that Saladins army was forming for a renewed assault on the kingdom, could not afford to let this internecine quarrel continue. Saladin gathered a larger army of 20,000 men, invaded the kingdom in June. The battle is mentioned in a number of contemporary chronicles and these accounts differ considerably, and have never been fully reconciled by historiansBattle of Cresson – The Battle of Cresson, miniature by Jean Colombe, ca. 1474