# Medieval and Middle Ages History Timelines - Background to the Crusades TimeRef - Medieval and Middle Ages History Timelines

Key Dates

1095 A.D.

The Council of Clermont

On the last day of the Council or Clemont Pope Urban II preached about the oppression being inflicted on the Christians in the Middle East by the Muslim Seljuks. Christian churches were being destroyed and Christians attacked. The Pope called for the Christians in the West to help.

1099 A.D.

Crusaders take Jerusalem

The Crusaders take Jerusalem and Godfrey of Bouillon becomes King of Jerusalem. The last battle of the First Crusade was fought between the Christians and Muslims at Ascalon. Led by Godfrey of Bouillon, the king of Jerusalem, the heavily out-numbered Christian army used their heavy armour to good affect.

1144 A.D.

Capture of Edessa

The county of Edessa, a Crusader state, was captured by Zengi, ruler of Mosul. This triggered the Second Crusade in 1148. St. Bernard's sermon at Vezelay in 1146 so moved Eleanor of Aquitaine that she vowed to go on Crusade.

1147-49 A.D.

Second Crusade

The fall of the Crusader State of Edessa led to the Second Crusade. A Crusade was called for in 1145 but it look a couple of years before the Crusaders set off, mainly consisting of Germans and French. Poor leadership led to the failure of this Crusade and Edessa being lost.

1187 A.D.

Jerusalem falls to the Muslims

Jerusalem fell to the Muslims and the al-Asqu mosque was returned to Islam. The Muslims allowed four Christian Priests to hold services in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This was in contrast to the first Crusaders who since they first captured the city in 1099 had treated Jerusalem as theirs alone. The Muslim leader was Al-Malik al-Nasir Salad ed-Din Yusuf also known as Saladin.

1187-92 A.D.

The Third Crusade

The fall of Jerusalem to the jihad (Holy War) of Saladin started the Third Crusade. The Kings of England, France and Germany took part. The Crusade had several successes but did not recapture Jerualem. A peace treaty, signed by the leaders and Saladin, was the final outcome.

1202-04 A.D.

The Fourth Crusade

This Crusade was called for by Pope Innocent III to capture Jerusalem. An agreement was signed with Venice to transport the huge number of Crusaders expected to take part to go via Egypt. The Venetians had their own plans and used the Crusader army to attack Zara, a port formerly owned by Venice that had rebelled and become independant. After the fall of Zara the Crusaders turned their attentions to the capture of Constantinople.

1212 A.D.

The Children's Crusade

A mysterious Crusade supposed to have consisted of children from Germany and possibly France. How young the children were who took part is not known and there may not have been any children at all. The Crusaders did not get very far and many of those that took part never came back.

Approximate locations of the Crusader States