|1071: Byzantine army defeated by Seljuk turks at Manzikirt.
1081: Alexius I comnenus becomes Emperor of Byzantium
1092: Death of Seljuk ruler Malik Shah; fragmentation of the Great Seljuk Empire.
1095: Emperor Alexius I appeals to Western Europe for military support; Pope Urban II preaches what becomes the First Crusade
1095-99: First Crusade marches east, conquers Jerusalem and starts to carve out four Crusader States.
1101: Crusader army defeated by Turks in Anatolia.
1115: Crusaders defeat Saljuk attempt to retake north Syria
1128: Imad al-Din Zangi of Mosul takes Aleppo.
1144: Edessa falls to Zangi
1146: Zangi succeeded by his son Nur al-Din
1148: Second Crusade defeated outside Damascus.
1153: Fall of Ascalon to Crusaders
1154: Nur al-Din takes Damascus
1163-69: Five attempts by kingdom of Jerusalem to take control of Egypt
1169: Saladin takes control of Egypt for Nur al-Din
1174: Death of Nur al-Din; Saladin takes Damascus
1176: Byzantine army defeated by Seljuk Turks at Myriokephalon
1183: Saladin recognised as overlord of Aleppo.
1187: Saladin defeats Kingdom of Jerusalem at hattin, reconquers most of Crusader States.
1189-92: Third Crusade retakes Acre but fails to retake Jerusalem.
1193: Death of Saladin
1202-04: Fourth Crusade diverted to conquer Byzantines Constantinople; Crusader states of Greece established.
1218-21: Fifth Crusades invades Egypt; but is defeated
1220-22: Mongol invasion of Eastern Islamic lands
1243: Mongols defeat Seljuks of Rum
1250: Mamluks take control of Egypt.
1260: Mongols defeated by Mamluks at ‘Ayn Jalut.
1261: Byzantine retakes Constantinople from Latin Empire.
1263-68: Mamluks take control of much of the remaining Crusader territory.
1275-77: Mamluks defeat Seljuks and Mongols
1277: Crown of Jeruselam sold to Charles of Anjou ruler of southern Italy.
1291: Fall of acre and other Crusader enclaves to Mamluks; probable end of the Crusades
|The Crusades began as a noble idea. In about 1000, the Seljuk Turks advanced from their homeland in Central Asia, and conquered a large area of the Byzantine Empire in Asia minor. This included the city of Jerusalem and other Christian places that were important Christians holy sites.
The Byzantine Emperor had begged for help from the Pope and other Christian monarchs of Europe. The pope supported him by promising that God would forgive the sins of those who took part in the Holy war. So in 1096 the armies of the First Crusade set off to drive the Seljuk’s out of the Holy Land. At first they were successful. Jerusalem was recaptured, and a Christian army was left to guard it.
But the second Crusade of 1146 was a disaster, and by 1189 the Muslim forces, led by Saladin, had taken Jerusalem once again. Richard I of England was coronated in 1189, he swiftly gathered soldiers for the Third Crusade. The Christian army – England, French and German troops landed in Palestine in 1191. They quickly captured the town of Acre. However, they failed to retake Jerusalem. Their leaders quarreled amongst themselves, and Richard was left behind to make a treaty with Saladin. The Muslims kept Jerusalem, but allowed visits from Christian pilgrims. The fourth Crusade started with the sacking of the Byzantine Capital of Constantinople in 1204.There were to be four more crusades against the spread of Islam, most of which ended in failure. The fall of Acre and other Crusader enclaves to the Mamluks was the propable end of the Crusades.
|Turkish Cavalrymen wore much lighter armour than the Crusader knights. They had light mail coats, pointed metal helmets and small round shields. They fired volleys of arrows from the saddle.
Crusaders found the climate of Palestine unbearably hot. Many soon copied the Turks, wearing loose airy surcoats over their mail armour and protecting their heads from the strong sun.
|The Crusades took over Muslim castles or built new ones, to defend the states they had conquered. several of these castles were on ideal sites, protected on two or three sides by water or sheer rock cliffs.|