The Crusaders
HIST 1007
The Crusader
A Divided East
• Seljuq Empire
– Sultans of Hamadan (western Persia)
– Sultans of Kerman (southern Persia)
– Sultans of Aleppo (northern Syria)
– Sultans/Emirs of Damascus (southern Syria)
– Sultans of Rum (Anatolia)
• Fatimid Empire
• Assassins
A Divided East
• Crusaders
– Western Christians in the Levant to fulfill a crusading vow
• Franks (Franj)
– Western Christians living in the Crusader States
• Byzantines
• Eastern Christians
The Second Crusade (1145-1149)
• Imad al-Din Zengi (d. 1146): Seljuq atabeg of
Aleppo and Mosul
• 1143: Zengi takes Edessa
• 1145: Pope Eugene III calls for
new Crusade
• Kings Louis VII of France and
Conrad III of Holy Roman Empire
Counter Crusade
• Nur al-Din (r. 1146-1174): son of
Zengi, inherits rule of Aleppo
• What does it mean to be a
good Muslim ruler?
• Hires religious scholars to write
texts on jihad and the benefits of
• The righteous ruler is the one
who fights the crusaders
• Jerusalem is prioritized
Minbar of al-Aqsa Mosque
Nur al-Din
Spends most of his career fighting fellow Muslims
1154: conquers Damascus
1163-1169: conquest of Fatimid Egypt
Shirkuh (d. 1169)
– Kurdish general
– leads conquest of Egypt
– uncle of Salah al-Din
• 1171: disbands Fatimid
Nur al-Din Madrassa, Damascus
Salah al-Din (r. 1174-1193)
Known as the insolent in Nur al-Din’s court
1169: de facto ruler of Egypt
1174: Seizes control of Nur al-Din’s domains after his death
1187: Battle of Hattin
– Plays the aggressiveness
of the crusaders to Muslim
– Majority of crusader forces
– Reynald of Chatillon and
Guy of Lusingnan
• Capture of Jerusalem
Third Crusade (1187-1192)
Response to fall of Jerusalem
God’s punishment
Richard the Lionheart (England)
Phillip II (France)
Frederick Barbarossa (Holy Roman Empire)
Richard and Salah al-Din
• Models of chivalry
• Salah al-Din as the Virtuous Pagan
• Negotiated peace
– Salah al-Din retains Jerusalem
– Christians allowed
to make pilgrimage
– Crusaders hold
onto Levantine coast
Richard and Salah al-Din in 14th century
End of the Third Crusade
Ayyubid Dynasty (r. 1171-1341)
• Preserve Salah al-Din’s Sultanate
• Egypt as new economic center
• Egypt as new focus of crusade
– 1197, 1217, 1229, and 1249
• Sixth Crusade (1228-1229)
– Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II
– Ayyubid Sultan al-Kamil
– Jerusalem given to Frederick by
way of treaty
Frederick II and al-Kamil from 14th
century manuscript
Memories of the Crusade
• Crusades are formative to European history
• Muslims didn’t much care…
• Why not?
• Why do they seem
to care so much
Monument to Salah al-Din, Damascus
Crusades and Modern Middle East
• European interest in the crusades
– Sir Walter Scott, The Talisman, 1825
• Meets 19th century colonialism
• 1898: German Emperor Wilhelm II
repairs tomb of Salah al-Din
• Salah al-Din and
• Salah al-Din and Arab
Egyptian coat of arms and
tomb of Salah al-Din
Crusades aren’t a big deal compared
• The Mamluk Sultanate
– r. 1250-1517
– Ayyubid ghulams turned sultans
• The Mongols
– Steppe nomads organized under
Chingis (Genghis) Khan
– Ilkhanate (r. 1256-1335)
– Timurids (r. 1370-1507)
Mamluk Sultan Baybars and Ilkhan Hulagu Khan
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