Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Montgisard (1177)

Although he’s well-regarded as a military leader for having retaken Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, Saladin’s military career was certainly not without its setbacks. He appears, for example, to have been mostly outclassed by Richard the Lionheart during the Third Crusade, whose ultimate failure was caused by the expedition’s own limitations and Richard’s problems back home. And then there’s the 1177 Battle of Montgisard, in which Saladin’s first attempt at capturing Jerusalem was decisively ended in what is now central Israel by an outnumbered Crusader army under King Baldwin IV. Baldwin is one of the most remarkable of all the Crusaders in my humble opinion–they didn’t call him the “Leper King” just for a laugh. That he survived long enough to rule Jerusalem at all is pretty incredible. That he not only ruled, but was able to lead (successful) armies in the field is really astounding.

Source: Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Montgisard (1177)

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