Today in Middle Eastern history: the Sixth Crusade ends (1229)

Taken as a whole, the Crusades had, as most large-scale human endeavors throughout history have had, their peaks and their valleys. OK, in this case they had, like, one peak and innumerable valleys, but you get the idea. The truth is that, while I give the Crusades a lot of crap around here, the modern … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Sixth Crusade ends (1229)

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Today in Middle Eastern history: Maʿarrat al-Nuʿman (1098)

The successful siege of the city of Maʿarrat al-Nuʿman was the first step along the First Crusade’s coastal march on the way from Antioch to Jerusalem, but that’s not why it’s memorable. Even more important than its strategic position, for the Crusaders, Maʿarra was (or at least they thought it was) a potential source of … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Maʿarrat al-Nuʿman (1098)

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

Today in European history: the Siege of Lisbon ends (1147)

Irony abounds when you’re talking about the Crusades, but it especially abounds on those occasions when our intrepid armed pilgrims to the Holy Land wound up making their mark somewhere else. Obviously the best example here is the Fourth Crusade, when instead of marching off to once again “liberate” Jerusalem from its Muslim overlords the Crusaders … Continue reading Today in European history: the Siege of Lisbon ends (1147)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Arsuf (1191)

As we’ve noted elsewhere, the Third Crusade is harder to assess than most of the other Crusades. The First Crusade was a pretty clear success. The Second Crusade was an unmitigated failure. The Fourth Crusade was completely absurd. And so forth. But the outcome of the Third Crusade is mixed. On the one hand, the … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Arsuf (1191)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Siege of Acre ends (1191)

When it concluded in 1191, after Philip II of France and Richard I of England had arrived and assumed leadership of the Christian army, the Crusader siege of Acre had become the first major engagement of the Third Crusade. But at its start, in 1189, the siege was really the end of the campaign that … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Siege of Acre ends (1191)