Top Ten Major Events of the CrusadesThe Crusades were a chain of religious, political, and economic wars from 1095-1291. The Crusades had many consequences in many different areas and it would have many major events that would shake the world. Here are the biggest events of the Crusades. Let me just say before starting this list, I am not condoning the actions of either side. I am simply telling the history behind the events. Feel free to add any item worthy of being on this list. I hope you enjoy.
The Battle of the Horns of Hattin was perhaps the most famous and biggest battle of the Crusades. The battle took place on July 4th, 1187, between the 2nd and 3rd Crusades. Prior to the battle, there was peace in the Middle East, but Raynald of Châtillon attacked a Muslim caravan which angered Saladin, the vizier of Egypt. Saladin swore to kill Raynald. Saladin drew King Guy of Jerusalem out by laying siege to Tiberas. They met in an area known as The Horns of Hattin. Saladin's army basically surrounded the Crusaders and choked them out by making them pack together and burning the fields around them. How did they get surrounded? The utter stupidity of the Crusaders' generals. They were slaughtered before eventually surrendering. Saladin would keep Guy alive, but he would kill Raynald on the spot himself. This would be a big achievement for Saladin and the Arabic cause. This battle would also directly influence the start of the 3rd Crusade.
The Battle of Arsuf was the big showdown on September 7th, 1191. The two most successful leaders of the Crusades finally showed down. King Richard vs. Saladin. It was a very close battle between the two sides. Saladin committed his whole army to the fight, while Richard maintained a defensive position until the end when he launched a counterattack. The Christians would win a decisive victory as a result. The battle gave the Crusaders the Palestinian coast and the victory would propel the two sides to a treaty to end the 3rd Crusade.
Constantinople was, at one time, one of the biggest, wealthiest, and most technologically advanced city in the world. It was the last remaining piece of the Roman Empire. It was the climax of the Fourth Crusade, which was more of a political war. The goal of the Fourth Crusade was to take Jerusalem, but they ended up doing something much bigger. The Fall of Constantinople would further divide the East and West part of the world and would lead to the fall of the Byzantine Empire. I would define this as the last major moment of the Crusades.
Now Jerusalem has fallen many many times. Most notable was its fall in 70 A.D. as prophesied in the Bible, but that's beside the point. I am referring to the 1099 siege during the First Crusade. This is, defined by historians, as the climax of the First Crusade. The change of hand from Muslims and Jews to Christians was the beginning of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. This battle is notable for his high amount of bloodshed. It is also known for the massacre by Crusaders committed on the Jews and Muslims. A definite dark stain in history.
In a historic sermon to the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II urged Europe to reclaim the Holy Land and to rid the land of the "pagan race". The people would joyfully join in on the appeal to reclaim the Middle East. So began the Crusades.
The Fall of Acre in 1291 the end of all the Crusades. The Mamluks, Muslims, attacked the important city of Acre. They sacked, looted, and pillaged it. It was the last stronghold to fall to the Muslims. The Mamluks were very savage compared to the early Muslims in the earlier Crusades. Another tragedy in the Crusades. The fall happened quite fast and would end the chain of Crusades in the Middle East.
The Siege of Damascus took place in 1148 A.D. The Siege of Damascus would be a decisive defeat for the Crusaders. It would mark the end of the 2nd Crusades. The original intent of the Crusaders was to attack Edessa, but that quickly changed to an attack on Damascus due to King Baldwin of Jerusalem. The bad part was the Crusaders simply could not take Damascus. They didn't want the city in the first place and it was heavily fortified.
The Fall of Edessa in 1144 would be the spark that lights the 2nd Crusade. It was a minor battle if you don't include the effects of it. Edessa was the least populated and least fortified Christian kingdom. The Muslims took it easily and slaughtered many of the Christians.
The Battle of Jaffa would be the result of the fallout from the Battle of Arsuf. Saladin attempted to launch a series of counterattacks, but failed which resulted in a loss of land for the Muslims, a period of peace, and the reformation of the Christian Kingdom.
Again, after a period of peace in after the 3rd Crusade, Pope Innocent decides to call for the 4th Crusade and the last important Crusade. It was actually not because of the Muslims, but instead because of a split in the Byzantine church. I hoped you enjoyed this list. Feel free to comment, remix, or even share. Have a good day!