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)

Today in European/Middle Eastern history: Frederick Barbarossa drowns (1190) and more

Some days there are a bunch of little historical anniversaries to commemorate, but none that of themselves seem to warrant their own post. June 10 is one of those days. We’ve got four different anniversaries to note, so let’s take them in chronological order. Read the rest at my new home, Foreign Exchanges! Go to … Continue reading Today in European/Middle Eastern history: Frederick Barbarossa drowns (1190) and more

Today in Middle Eastern history: Conrad I of Jerusalem is (literally) assassinated (1192)

The leaders of the medieval Islamic spiritual order known as the Assassins were certainly not the first people to come up with the idea of murdering one's political opponents. But the reason why the murder of a political leader is known as an "assassination" today is because these guys were very, very good at it. … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Conrad I of Jerusalem is (literally) assassinated (1192)

Today in European history: the Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople (1204)

The Fourth Crusade is for me, in many ways, the Crusadiest of all the Crusades. Sure, the First Crusade actually achieved its goal, which you can’t really say about any of the others in any serious sense, and other Crusades produced quintessential Crusading heroes like Richard the Lionheart and Saint Louis. But overall the Crusades … Continue reading Today in European history: the Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople (1204)