The Great Crusades (1095-1291)

The following is a list of events that occurred during the Great Crusades and covers the years 1095-1291.

To see a list of events that happened before 1095, click here.

March 1095

Byzantium delegation asks for Urban's help against the Turks

November 27, 1095

Pope Urban II preaches the First Crusade


Fatimids retake Jerusalem from Seldjuks

spring,summer 1096

massacres of Jews

spring 1096

first wave (People's Crusade) leaves; 3 armies don't make it past Hungary

August 1, 1096

Peter the Hermit and Walter Sansavoir reach Constantinople

August 15, 1096

official start of First Crusade as set by Pope Urban II

October 6, 1096

armies under Peter and Walter destroyed at Nicaea by Kilij Arslan

Fall 1096

leaders (and armies) of the second wave (official First Crusade) arrive at staggered times at Constantinople. Alexius I Comnenus asks for and receives oaths of fealty and promises to return lands formerly under Byzantine control

April 1097

crusaders cross the Bosporus

early June 1097

crusaders arrive at Nicaea, Kilij Arslan is absent, fighting Danishmend

June 19, 1097

Nicaea surrenders to Byzantium (not the crusaders)

June 26-28, 1097

crusaders head into Asia Minor

July 1, 1097

Turks under Kilij Arslan unsuccessfully attack the crusaders at Dorlyaeum

October 21, 1097

crusaders reach Antioch, which is ruled by Yaghi-Suyan

early February 1098

Muslim relief force under Kerbogha (Karbuqa) of Mosul heading to Antioch

February 6, 1098

Baldwin reaches Edessa (al-Ruha to Arabs) whose prince is Thoros

March 9, 1098

Thoros killed in riot

March 10, 1098

Baldwin takes control of Edessa. Start of the first Latin settlement in the East

June 2-3, 1098

Firuz, a garrison captain of Edessa, lets crusaders into city; Yaghi-Suyan flees; crusaders take city

June 5, 1098

Muslim army under Kerbogha arrives and besieges the crusaders in Antioch

June 14, 1098

crusaders believe they have found the Holy Lance

June 28, 1098

crusaders attack besiegers and win; they then decide to wait out the summer before continuing

August 1, 1098

Adhémar of Le Puy dies, exacerbating crusaders' leadership problems

mid-November 1098

armies of Raymond of St. Gilles and Robert of Flanders arrive at Ma'arat en Nu'man (rank-and-file force the march)

December 11-2, 1098

Ma'arat en Nu'man falls to the crusaders

1098 (sometime)

crusaders practice cannibalism at Ma'arra

January 13, 1099

rank-and-file force Raymond to continue to Jerusalem

February/March 1099

rank-and-file at Antioch force continuance to Jerusalem

February 14, 1099

crusaders start to besiege 'Arqah

May 13, 1099

crusaders give up on siege of 'Arqah and continue to Jerusalem

June 6, 1099

Tancred seizes Bethelham

June 7, 1099

most of the crusaders arrive at Jerusalem

July 8, 1099

penitential procession of crusaders around Jerusalem

July 15, 1099

crusaders seize and sack Jerusalem

July 22, 1099

Godfrey elected ruler of settlement at Jerusalem

July 19, 1099

Pope Urban II dies, never hearing news of capture of Jerusalem

August 11-12, 1099

crusaders defeat Egyptian army at Ashdod


al-Harawi of Damascus leads group of refugees to Baghdad to protest lack of action by leaders


Baldwin becomes the first king of Jerusalem

summer 1100

Danishmend captures Bohemund

November 15, 1100

Pope Paschal II preaches crusade; threatens deserters and those with unfulfilled crusade vows with excommunication


next wave of crusaders defeated in Asia Minor


Baldwin takes Acre


Muslims defeat Franks at Harran, stopping (momentarily at least) their eastward drive


two coalitions, both of Franks and Muslims, fight near Tel Bashir


Tripoli falls to the crusaders after 2000 days of siege


Beirut and Saida seized by crusaders


riot in Baghdad organized by Ibn al-Khashab (Aleppo's qadi) to try to get help against the Franks


Muslims prevent Franks from seizing Tyre


Order of St. John (the Hospitallers) starts

spring 1115

Muslims and Franks in Syria together fight Muhammad Ibn Malikshah, Seldjuk sultan


Franks defeated at Sarmada by Ilghazi of Aleppo


Order of the Knights Templar begins

July 1124

Franks seize Tyre and so occupy the coast to Ascalon


in Beirut, peasants revolt


Ibn al-Khashab killed by member(s) of the Assassins


Zangi becomes ruler of Mosul


Frankish attempt to seize Damascus fails


Zangi gets control of Aleppo


nobles revolt in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem (the first such revolt)


Zangi unsuccessful in attempt to take Damascus


King Fulk of Jerusalem captured by Zangi and released


Zangi besieges Damascus


Damascus and Jerusalem ally against Zangi


Zangi seizes Edessa, ending the first (of four) crusader states in the mideast


Zangi murdered (reportedly by a slave), his son Nur al-Din inherits Aleppo


the Second Crusade, includes crusades in Spain, the eastern border of Germany as well as the middle east


crusaders in Spain take Lisbon


crusaders under Conrad of Germany and Louis VII of France besiege Damascus, giving up after Nur al-Din arrives at the request of Damascus


Nur al-Din gets Damascus, unifying the parts of Syria that are Muslim


Nur al-Din's general Shirkuh fights for control of Egypt for Nur al-Din


Shirkuh gets control of Egypt, becomes vizier, then dies within two months; he is succeeded by Saladin, his nephew


Nur al-Din gets control of Mosul upon brother's death


Saladin declares Fatimid control of Egypt is over and becomes sole ruler; start of Ayyubid dynasty; increasing tension between Nur al-Din and Saladin


Nur al-Din dies, power struggle ensues for control of his son


Saladin seizes Damascus


Saladin seizes Aleppo, reuniting Egypt and Syria


Saladin officially controls Egypt and Damascus, Aleppo and Mosul

July 4, 1187

Saladin defeats armies of the Frankish states at the Battle of Hattin

October 2, 1187

Saladin retakes Jerusalem and (about the same time) most of the land the Franks had controlled, leaving the Franks only Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch


Third Crusade, major Franks were Richard I of England, Philip II of France, and Frederick I (the Holy Roman Emperor)

June 1190

Frederick I dies crossing the river Goksu

summer 1191

Richard and Philip arrive in the mideast, besiege Acre

July 1191

Acre falls to Richard and Philip, who then decide who will rule Jerusalem (between Guy and Conrad), Philip then leaves and Richard seizes Arsuf and Jaffa, refortifies Ascalon

September 2, 1192

Richard and Saladin sign a treaty, ending their fighting

October 9, 1192

Richard leaves the mideast


Saladin dies, several years of civil war follow, until his brother al-Adil, takes control

spring 1197

Frederick I's son, Henry VI goes on crusade

September 28, 1197

Henry VI dies

July 1, 1198

Henry VI's nobles reach a treaty with Muslims and leave


Order of Teutonic Knights begins (Acre is their main base)


Fourth Crusade


some of the crusaders seize Zara from the king of Hungary, a fellow crusader, for the Venetians to earn fare

July 17, 1203

crusaders take Constantinople, put Alexius IV on the throne

late January 1204

Murzuphlus seizes throne and tries to expel crusaders

April 12, 1204

crusaders seize and sack Constantinople, found Latin Empire out of Byzantine lands; a government-in-exile formed


Albigensian crusade in southern France against Cathar heretics


Children's Crusade


Pope Innocent III begins planning the Fifth Crusade


imposition of a crusade tax (on Church estates)

July 16, 1216

Innocent III dies, planning continued by successor, Pope Honorius III


Fifth Crusade, consists of various attacks on Egypt


Andrew II of Hungary tries for Acre


crusade in Egypt led by Cardinal Pelagius; he seized Damietta and tried to take Cairo but was defeated by al-Kamil, Egypt's sultan


Genghis Khan dies; ensuing wars for succession lessen Mongol threat for a time


Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, while under papal interdict, crusades in Egypt; al-Kamil gives him Jerusalem under a treaty; Jerusalem then under interdict


Francis of Assisi fails to convert al-Kamil, sultan of Egypt


Teutonic Knights start attacking Prussia


Byzantines have retaken Asia Minor


Ferdinand III of Castile begins attack on Cordova


army of Aragon takes Valencia


Theobald of Champage and Richard of Cornwall lead a small crusade


Franks lose Jerusalem for the final time


Pope Innocent IV sends missionaries to Mongols; other negotiations follow


Louis IX plans crusade; Frederick keeps al-Kamil's son, Ayyub, informed of plans


Sixth Crusade


Louis IX of France invades Egypt; he seizes Damietta, but is defeated and captured at the Mansurah; released for ransom (and Damietta)


end of Ayyubid dynasty, Mamluks now control Egypt

by 1251

Möngke, grandson of Genghis Khan, controls Mongols

February 1258

Mongols under Hülegü (Genghis Khan's grandson) take Baghdad, kill the last 'Abbasid caliph; the population is massacred

December 1259

Qutuz becomes leader of Egypt in coup

January 1260

Mongols under Hülegü take Aleppo

March 1, 1260

Mongols under Hülegü take Damascus


Möngke dies; Hülegü returns to fight for succession

September 3, 1260

battle of 'Ayn Jalut: Mamluks under Qutuz defeat Mongols

September 8, 1260

Mamluks take Damascus

October 23, 1260

Baybars kills Qutuz and becomes sultan; he controls Cairo without a fight but there is some conflict

July 25, 1261

Byzantines recapture Constantinople, end of Latin Empire


Hülegü dies

May 18, 1268

Baybars seizes Antioch (formerly allied to Mongols)


Baybars seizes Jaffa


Seventh Crusade: Louis IX attacks Tunis

August 25, 1270

Louis IX dies near Tunis


Baybars is poisoned and dies; Qalawun becomes sultan

April 26 or 27, 1289

Qalawun, the Mamluk sultan, retakes Tripoli from Franks

November 1290

Qalawun dies; his son Khalil assumes power

June 17, 1291

Khalil retakes Acre, ending what we are defining as the Great Crusades; crusaders fall back to Cyprus



To see a list of events that happened after 1291, click here.

References: Erbstösser, Hallam [2], Riley-Smith [1]