Top Ten Major Events of the Crusades

The 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 Top Ten
1 The Battle of the Horns of Hattin

The Battle of the Horns of Hattin was perhaps the most famous and significant battle of the Crusades. It took place on July 4th, 1187, between the Second and Third Crusades. Prior to the battle, there was peace in the Middle East. However, Raynald of Ch√Ętillon attacked a Muslim caravan, which angered Saladin, the vizier of Egypt, who swore to kill Raynald.

Saladin drew King Guy of Jerusalem out by laying siege to Tiberias. They met in an area known as the Horns of Hattin. Saladin's army surrounded the Crusaders, forcing them to 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 kept Guy alive but killed Raynald on the spot himself.

This was a significant achievement for Saladin and the Arabic cause. This battle also directly influenced the start of the Third Crusade.

2 The Battle of Arsuf

The Battle of Arsuf was the major showdown on September 7th, 1191, between the two most successful leaders of the Crusades: King Richard and Saladin. It was a very close battle. Saladin committed his entire army to the fight, while Richard maintained a defensive position until the end when he launched a counterattack.

The Christians won a decisive victory. This battle gave the Crusaders the Palestinian coast, and the victory led to a treaty to end the Third Crusade.

3 The Fall of Constantinople

Constantinople was once one of the largest, wealthiest, and most technologically advanced cities in the world. It was the last remaining piece of the Roman Empire. The Fall of Constantinople 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 further divided the East and West and led to the fall of the Byzantine Empire. I would define this as the last major moment of the Crusades.

4 The Fall of Jerusalem

Jerusalem has fallen many times, most notably 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. Historians define this as the climax of the First Crusade. The change of hands from Muslims and Jews to Christians marked the beginning of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

This battle is notable for its high amount of bloodshed. It is also known for the massacre committed by Crusaders against the Jews and Muslims. A definite dark stain in history.

5 The Call to Arms by Pope Urban II

In a historic sermon to the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II urged Europe to reclaim the Holy Land and rid it of the "pagan race." The people joyfully joined in on the appeal to reclaim the Middle East. Thus began the Crusades.

6 The Fall of Acre

The Fall of Acre in 1291 marked the end of all the Crusades. The Mamluks, Muslims, attacked the important city of Acre. They sacked, looted, and pillaged it. Acre 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 quickly and ended the chain of Crusades in the Middle East.

7 The Siege of Damascus

The Siege of Damascus took place in 1148 A.D. and was a decisive defeat for the Crusaders. It marked the end of the Second Crusade. 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 Crusaders simply could not take Damascus. They did not want the city in the first place, and it was heavily fortified.

8 The Fall of Edessa

The Fall of Edessa in 1144 sparked the Second Crusade. It was a minor battle if you don't consider its effects. Edessa was the least populated and least fortified Christian kingdom. The Muslims took it easily and slaughtered many of the Christians.

9 The Battle of Jaffa

The Battle of Jaffa resulted from the fallout from the Battle of Arsuf. Saladin attempted a series of counterattacks but failed, resulting in a loss of land for the Muslims, a period of peace, and the reformation of the Christian Kingdom.

10 The Call to Arms by Pope Innocent III

After a period of peace following the Third Crusade, Pope Innocent III called for the Fourth Crusade, the last significant Crusade. It was not prompted by the Muslims but by a split in the Byzantine church. I hope you enjoyed this list. Feel free to comment, remix, or even share. Have a good day!

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