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)

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 European history: the Council of Clermont (1095)

The title of this post is a bit misleading. The Council of Clermont actually ran from November 18 through November 28, 1095, so November 27 is the anniversary of neither its beginning nor its end. It is, however, the anniversary of the day on which Pope Urban II (d. 1099) got to the point. It… Continue reading Today in European history: the Council of Clermont (1095)

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 North African history: the Eighth Crusade ends (1270)

King Louis IX of France (d. 1270, which is a bit of a spoiler), who would later become St. Louis, would probably go somewhere on a list of the 10 greatest Crusaders of all time, particularly if you limit the list the canonical numbered Crusades. He’d be right up there alongside men like Godfrey of… Continue reading Today in North African history: the Eighth Crusade ends (1270)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the “People’s Crusade” gets depopulated (1096)

In all the wonderful absurdity of the overall Crusades project, the fact that the First Crusade wasn’t actually the first Crusade barely registers. But the truth is that there was a Crusade before the First Crusade. It doesn’t get a number because…well, I think you’ll see why by the end of this post. Source: Today… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the “People’s Crusade” gets depopulated (1096)

Today in European history: the Knights Templar order is purged (1307)

The Knights Templar are one of the two major Christian military orders that were founded during the Crusades. The other, the Knights Hospitaller, we’ve encountered with respect to the failed Ottoman siege of Malta in 1565. The Hospitallers, in fact, are still around today, although nowadays you’re more likely to see them called the “Order… Continue reading Today in European history: the Knights Templar order is purged (1307)