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 Ascalon (1099)

The Battle of Ascalon is worth noting mostly insofar as it’s recognized as the “end” of the First Crusade. Many Crusades historians nowadays will probably tell you that numbering the Crusades makes little sense (the flow of European soldiers to the east was not nearly that organized) and actually obscures the fact that the Crusader… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Ascalon (1099)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Crusade captures Jerusalem (1099)

For all the grief I give the warriors of the First Crusade, it would be wrong not to note that they actually did accomplish what they set out to accomplish, the capture of Jerusalem. Well, OK, what they officially set out to accomplish was to save the Byzantine Empire from the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia,… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Crusade captures Jerusalem (1099)

Today in Middle Eastern History: The Siege of Antioch Ends, kind of (1098)

Make no mistake, without that Muslim disunity it’s hard to imagine the First Crusade being any more successful than any of the others, which is to say “not at all” (unless you count that Fourth Crusade, which sure showed it to those…Greeks, I guess?), because the men leading it seem more or less to have… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern History: The Siege of Antioch Ends, kind of (1098)

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 First Crusade captures Jerusalem (1099)

For all the grief I give the Crusaders of the First Crusade, it would be wrong not to note that they actually did accomplish what they set out to accomplish, the capture of Jerusalem. Well, OK, what they officially set out to accomplish was to buy the Byzantine Empire some relief from the Turks who… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Crusade captures Jerusalem (1099)