Today in Middle Eastern history: the Treaty of Jaffa ends the Third Crusade (1192)

and that's the way it was

(Reminder: I’m on a break this week)

While the First Crusade was the only one that could be called an unequivocal success for the Crusaders, the Third Crusade was nearly as impressive. It failed to achieve its ultimate objective, the recapture of Jerusalem, but not for lack of trying and certainly not for lack of military prowess. It produced one of the most celebrated Crusader figures in history, Richard I of England, whose battles with the Egyptian ruler Saladin became legendary in medieval Europe. I’ve already written some about the Third Crusade and I don’t want to be repetitive, so let’s just talk about the Treaty of Jaffa and why it represented both a sign of the Third Crusade’s success and the acknowledgement of its ultimate failure.

By September 1192, Richard had helped return the city of Acre to Crusader control (in July 1191), then defeated Saladin in pitched battle…

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