Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 4.djvu/618

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CRUSADES


548


CRUSADES


not withstand the attacks of Imad-ed-Din, the prince, or atabek, of Mosul, who forced its garrison to capitu- late 25 December, 1144. After the assassination of Imad-ed-Din, his son Nour-ed-Din continued hostili- ties against the Christian states. At news of this, Louis VII of France, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and a great number of knights, moved by the exhortations of St. Bernard, enlisted under the cross (Assembly of V^zelay, 31 March, 1146). The Abbot of Clairvaux became the apostle of the crusade and conceived the idea of urging all Europe to attack the infidels simul- taneously in Syria, in Spain, and beyond the Elbe. At first he met with strong opposition in Germany. Eventually Emperor Conrad III acceded to his wish and adopted the standard of the cross at the Diet of Spires, 25 December, 1146. However, there was no such enthusiasm as had prevailed in 1095. Just as the crusaders started on their march, King Roger of Sicily attacked the Byzantine Empire, but his expedi- tion merely checked the progress of Nour-ed-Din's invasion. The sufferings endured by the crusaders while crossing Asia Minor prevented them from ad- vancing on Edessa. They contented themselves with besieging Damascus, but were obliged to retreat at the end of a few weeks (July, 1148). This defeat caused great dissatisfaction in the West; moreover, the conflicts between the Greeks and the crusaders only confirmed the general opinion that the Byzantine Empire was the chief obstacle to the success of the Crusades. Nevertheless, Manuel Comnenus endeav- oured to strengthen the bonds that united the Byzan- tine Empire to the Italian principalities. In 1161 he married Mary of Antioch, and in 1167 gave the hand of one of his nieces to Amalric, King of Jerusalem. This alliance resulted in thwarting the progress of Nour-cd-Din, who, having become master of Damas- cus in 1154, refrained thenceforth from attacking the Christian dominions.

ICing Amalric profited by this respite to interpose in the affairs of Egypt, as the only remaining repre- sentatives of the Fatimite dynasty were children, and two rival viziera were disputing the supreme power amid conditions of absolute anarchy. One of these disputants, Shawer, being exiled from Egypt, took refuge with Nour-ed-Din, who sent his best general, Shirkiih, to reinstate him. After his conquest of Cairo, Shirkiih endeavoured to bring Shawer into dis- favour with the caliph ; Amalric, taking advantage of this, allied himself with Shawer. On two occasions, in 1164 and 1167, he forced Shirkiih to evacuate Egypt; a body of Frankish knights was stationed at one of the gates of Cairo, and Egypt paid a tribute of 100,000 dinars to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1168 Amalric made another attempt to conquer Egjrpt, but failed. After ordering the assassination of Sha- wer, Shirkiih had himself proclaimed Grand Vizier. At his death on 3 March, 1169, he was succeeded by his nephew, Salah-ed-Din (Saladin). During that year Amalric, aided by a Byzantine fleet, invaded Egypt once more, but was defeated at Damietta. Saladin retained full sway in Egypt and appointed no successor to the last Fatimite caliph, who died in 1171. Moreover, Nour-ed-Din died in 1174, and, while his sons and nephews disputed the inheritance, Saladin took possession of Damascus and conquered all Meso- potamia except Mosul. Thus, when Amalric died in 1173, leaving the royal power to Baldwin IV, "the Leprous", a child of thirteen, the kingdom of Jeru- salem was threatened on all sides. At the same time two factions, led respectively by Guy de Lusignan, brother-in-law of the king, and Raymond, Count of Tripoli, contended for the supremacy. Baldwin IV died in 1184, and was .soon followed to the grave by his nephew Baldwin V. Despite lively opposition, Guy de Lusignan was crowned king, 20 July, 1186. Though the struggle against Saladin was already under way, it was unfortunately conducted without


order or discipline. Notwithstanding the truce con- cluded with Saladin, Renaud de Chatillon, a powerful feudatory and lord of the trans-Jordanic region, which included the fief of Montreal, the great castle of Karak, and Ailet, a port on the Red Sea, sought to divert the enemy's attention by attacking the holy cities of the Mohammedans. Oarless vessels were brought to Ailet on the backs of camels in 1182, and | ;] a fleet of five galleys traversed the Red Sea for a whole year, ravaging the coasts as far as Aden; a body of knights even attempted to seize Medina. In the end this fleet was destroyed by Saladin's, and, to the great joy of the Mohammedans, the Frankish prisoners were put to death at Mecca. Attacked in his castle at Karak, Renaud twice repulsed Saladin's forces (1184-86). A truce was then signed, but, Renaud broke it again and carried off a caravan in which was the sultan's own sister. In his exaspera- tion Saladin invaded the Kingdom of Jerusalem ami. although Guy de Lusignan gathered all his forces tn repel the attack, on 4 July, 1187, Saladin's army annihilated that of the Christians on the shores of Lake Tiberias. The king, the grand master of the Temple, Renaud de Chatillon, and the most powerful men in the realm were made prisoners. After slay- j U ing Renaud with his own hand, Saladin marched on Jerusalem. The city capitulated 17 September, and Tyre, Antioch, and Tripoli were the only places in Syria that remained to the Christians.

IV. Attempts to restore the Christi.vn St.\tes

AND THE CRUS.IDE AG.IINST S.\INT-Je.\N d'AcRE.

The news of these events caused great consternation in Christendom, and Pope Gregory VIII strove to put a stop to all dissensions among the Christian princes. On 21 January, 1188, Philip Augustus, Iving of France, and Henry II, Plantagenet, became reconciled at Gisors and took the cross. On 27 March, at the


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Diet of Mainz, Frederick Barbarossa and a great num- ^ ber of German knights m.ade a vow to defend the ^ Christian cause in Palestine. In Italy, Pisa made jjjj peace with Genoa, Venice with the Iving of Hungary, ^ and William of Sicily with the Byzantine Empire. Moreover, a Scandinavian fleet consisting of 12,000 warriors sailed around the shores of Europe; when passing Portugal, it helped to capture Alvor from the Mohammedans. Enthusiasm for the crusade was again wrought up to a high pitch; but, on the other hand, diplomacy and royal and princely schemes be- came increasingly important in its organization. Fred- erick Barbarossa entered into negotiations with Isaac Angelus, Emperor of Constantinople, with the Sultan of Iconium, and even with Saladin himself. It was, moreover, the first time that all the Mohammedan forces were united under a single leader; Saladin, while the holy war was being [jreached, organized against the Christians something like a counter- crusade. Frederick Barbarossa, who was first ready for the enterprise, and to whom chroniclers attribute an army of 100,000 men. left Ratisbon, 11 May, 1189. AJfter crossing Hungary he took the Balkan passes by assault and tried to outflank the hostile movements of Isaac Angelus by attacking Con- stantinople. Finally, after the sack of Adrianople, Isaac Angelus surrendered, and between 21 and 30 March, 1190, the Germans succeeded in crossing the Strait of Gallipoli. As usual, the march across Asia Minor was most arduous. With a view to replenish- ing provisions, the army took Iconium by assault. On their arrival in the Taurus region. Frederick Barba- rossa tried to cross the Selef ( Kalykadnos) on horse- back and was drowned. Thcreiiiion many German princes returned to Europe; the others, under the emperor's son, Frederick of Swaliia, reached Antioch and proceeded thence to Saint-Jean d'Acre. It was before this city that finally all the crusading troopa| assembled. In June, 11S9, King Guy de Lusignan, who had been released from captivity, appeared there