Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Ascalon (1099)

and that's the way it was

The Battle of Ascalon is worth noting mostly insofar as it’s recognized as the “end” of the First Crusade. Of course, most Crusades historians nowadays will probably tell you that numbering the Crusades makes little sense (the flow of European soldiers to the east was not nearly that organized) and actually obscures the fact that the Crusader states along the eastern Mediterranean coast were a continuous presence there for almost two centuries, quite apart from the various calls for Crusade that went on in Europe. But still, the First Crusade is maybe more definable than some of the others in the sense that it had a clear beginning (duh, it was the first one) and a clear end (the successful conquest of Jerusalem). Ascalon is considered the final end of the campaign because it secured the conquest of Jerusalem and, perhaps more to the point, because most of…

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