Today in Middle Eastern History: the Second Crusade craps out (1148)

I know some of you were around when these re-blogs were originally posted, but the thing about “this date in history” is that each date comes around again once a year.

Well, leap year…but anyway.

The audience around here these days is about double, or maybe even more, what it was last year, so that means lots of new people who didn’t see these posts the first time, and I think they’re pretty good, so that’s why I keep reposting them. Enjoy!

and that's the way it was

Apart from the Fourth Crusade, which was really unmatched from a pure irony perspective, the Second Crusade (caveat that the whole Crusade numbering thing is really a modern historian’s conceit and not an actual historical phenomenon) can make a serious claim to being the Crusadiest Crusade of them all. It started off with noble goals, completely fell apart in the planning stage, failed entirely in its intended mission, and then fizzled out for good in a battle it had no real business fighting. Called by Pope Eugenius III (d. 1153) in December 1145 (and then again in March 1146), it was supposed to amass an army to head off and relieve the Crusader states from the pressure they were feeling from a Turkic dynasty called the Zengi. Imad al-Din (“Pillar of the Faith”) Zengi (d. 1146) founded this dynasty by getting himself appointed governor of the cities of Aleppo…

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