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 Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Hattin (1187)

Happy July 4th to US readers! I’ve been…less than flattering in past writing about the Crusaders, and the truth is Hattin was actually one of their biggest blunders. It’s a battle that didn’t need to be fought in a place where no Crusader army should have found itself. The success of the First Crusade in… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Hattin (1187)

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 as a battlefield commander by Richard the Lionheart during the Third Crusade, though Richard’s practical limitations in terms of men and… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Montgisard (1177)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Treaty of Jaffa ends the Third Crusade (1192)

While the First Crusade was the only one that could be called an unequivocal success for the Crusaders, the Third Crusade was nearly as impressive. It failed to achieve its ultimate objective, the recapture of Jerusalem, but not for lack of trying and certainly not for lack of military prowess. It produced one of the… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Treaty of Jaffa ends the Third Crusade (1192)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Hattin (1187)

This is of course the Fourth of July, so there won’t be any news updates tonight. Happy Independence Day to my American readers. But it’s also the anniversary of the epic Crusader defeat at Hattin, so if you’re looking for something to read before the fireworks start, here’s my account of that battle: I’ve been,… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Hattin (1187)

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

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
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 as a battlefield commander by Richard the Lionheart during the Third…

Today in Middle Eastern history: Saladin takes Jerusalem (1187)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
There are plenty of things wrong with Ridley Scott’s 2005 Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven. He makes a total hash out of the history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, for example — contrary to the film, Sybilla (d. 1190) and Guy of Lusignon (d. 1194)…