The Middle East
The crusades were an integral part of medieval history. Overall, there were eight total, major Crusades in the Middle East. That isn’t counting the many crusades that took place elsewhere in Europe. The First Crusade began about 1095, when ambassadors from Byzantine asked for help in eliminating the local Turkish armies. Pope Urban II, in response to the plea for help, demanded that a Holy War be fought against the non-Christians. This decree was made during the Council of Clermont. The first to respond to the call was King Sigurd I of Norway. He had two major wins at Dorylaeum and Antioch. Together, the Jews and Muslims (this really surprised me, based on current events) to defend Jerusalem, but failed and on May 15 1099, Jerusalem fell to the invading North.
The Second Crusade began in 1147 when French and South German armies, under the Kings Louis VII and Conrad III, marched to Jerusalem. In the end, it failed miserably. They feebly attempted to take Damascus, but failed in that as well. Due to their failure, their main enemy, Nur ad-Din, accomplished in taking over Damascus. Aside from their failure, it was a success in the North. The main Crusader force from Europe stopped by Portugal. With the help from the Portuguese king, King Afonso I, the force retook Lisbon in 1147, which the Muslims had captured earlier.
In July of 1187, at Galilee, Saladin defeated the Crusader armies at the Battle of Hattin. The Knights Templar were easily the highest killed order at this battle, suffering far greater losses than any other unit. On October 2, 1187, Saladin seized Jerusalem. He allowed most Christians to live, only killing the dangerous ones. He did, however, do some very provocative things. In one instance, he dragged the very holy cross from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher through the muddy streets for three days. In the end, more than 50 Crusader castles were captured by Saladin. Many...