The First Crusade

1096 Kilij Arslan, sultan of Nicaea, crushes a
crusaders invasion led by Peter the Hermit.
1097 First great expedition by the Crusaders, known as
Franj in Arabia.
1098 The Crusaders take Edessa and then Antioch, and
triumph over a Muslim rescue army commanded by Karbuqa, ruler of Mosul. The incident of
cannibalism by the crusaders in Maarra.

"For three days they put people to the
sword, killig more than a hundred thousand people and taking many prisoners." (Ibn

"In Maarra our troops boiled pagan adults in cooking pots; they impaled children on
spits and devoured them grilled." (Radulph of Caen)

1099 Fall of Jerusalem, followed by massacres and
plunder by the crusaders.

The population of the holy city was put to the sword, and the
crusaders spent a week massacring Muslims. They killed more than seventy thousand people
in Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jews had gathered in their synagogue and the crusaders burned them
alive. They also destroyed the monuments of saints, the mosque of Umar and the tomb of




Baldwin, count of Edessa, escapes an ambush
near Beirut and proclaims himself king of Jerusalem.

1104 Muslim victory at Harran, which checks the
Crusaders' eastward advance.
1108 Two coalitions made up of Crusaders and Muslims
confront one another near Tel Bashir.
1109 Fall of Tripoli after a 2000-day siege.
1110 Fall of Beirut and Saida.
1111 Ibn al-Khashab, the qadi of Aleppo, organizes a
riot against the caliph of Baghdad to demand intervention against the Frankish occupation.
1112 Victorious resistance at Tyre.
1115 Alliance of Muslim and Frankish princes of Syria
against an army dispatched by the sultan.
1119 Ilghazi, ruler of Aleppo, crushes the Crusaders
at Sarmada.
1124 The Crusaders take Tyre. They now occupy the
entire coast, except for Ascalon.
1125 Ibn al-Khashab is murdered by the Assassins sect.
1128 Failure of crusaders thrust at Damscus. Zangi the
ruler of Aleppo.
1135 Zangi fails to take Damascus.
1137 Zangi captures Fulk, king of Jerusalem, then
releases him.
1140 Alliance of Damascus and Jerusalem against Zangi.
1144-1155 The Second Crusade
1144 Zangi takes Edessa, destroying the first of the
four Frankish states of the Orient.
1146 Murder of Zangi. His son Nur al-Din replaces him
in Aleppo.




Debacle at damascus for a new Frankish
expedition led by Conrad, emperor of Germany, and Louis VII, king of France.

1154 Nur al-Din takes control of Damascus, unifying
Muslim Syria under his authority.
1163-69 The struggle for Egypt. Shirkuh, lieutenant of
Nur al-Din, finally wins. Proclaimed vizier, he dies two months later. He is succeeded by
his nephew Saladin (Salahuddin).
1171 Saladin proclaims the overthrow of the Fatimid
caliphate. Sole master of Egypt, he finds himself in conflict with Nur al-Din.
1174 Death of Nur al-Din. Saladin takes Damascus.
1183 Saladin takes Aleppo. Egypt and Syria now
reunited under his aegis.
1187-1192 The Third Crusade
1187 The year of victory.  Saladin crushes the
crusaders armies at Hittin, near Lake Tiberias. He reconquers Jerusalem and the greater
part of the crusaders territories. The crusaders now hold only Tyre, Tripoli and Antioch.
1190-92 Setback for Saladin at Acre. Intervention of
Richard the Lionheart, king of England, enables the crusaders to recover several cities
from the sultan, but not Jerusalem.
1193 Saladin dies in Damascus at the age of 55. After
several years of civil war, his empire is reunited under the authority of his brother
1194-1201 The Fourth and Fifth Crusade
1204 The crusaders take Constantinople. Sack of the
1216-1218 The Sixth Crusade
1218-21 Invasion of Egypt by the crusaders. They take
Damietta and head for Cairo, but the sultan al-Kamil, son of al-Adil, finally repels them.
1227-1229 The Seventh Crusade
1229 Al-Kamil delivers Jerusalem to the emperor
Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, arousing a storm of indignation in the Arab world.




The crusaders lose Jerusalem for the last

1245-1247 The Eighth Crusade
1248-50 Invasion of Egypt by Louis IX, King of France,
who is defeated and captured. Fall of the Ayyubid dynasty; replaced by the rule of the
1258 The Mongol chief Hulegu, grandson of Genghis
Khan, sacks Baghdad, massacring the population and killing the last Abbasid caliph.
1260 The Mongol army, after occupying first Aleppo and
then damascus, is defeated at the battle of Ayn Jalut in palestine. Baybars at the head of
the Mamluk sultanate.
1268 Baybars takes Antioch, which had been allied with
the Mongols.
1270 Louis IX dies near Tunis in the course of a
failed invasion.
1289 The mamluk sultan Qalawun takes Tripoli.
1291 The sultan Khalil, son of Qalawun, takes Acre,
putting an end to two centuries of crusaders presence in the Orient.


Main reference: The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf, translated by Jon Rothschild, 1984. Al Saqi Books, 26 Wetbourne Grove, London W2.