Edessa Crusades Map Assignment

The Second Crusade (1147–1149) was the second major crusade launched from Europe. The Second Crusade was started in response to the fall of the County of Edessa in 1144 to the forces of Zengi. The county had been founded during the First Crusade (1096–1099) by King Baldwin of Boulogne in 1098. While it was the first Crusader state to be founded, it was also the first to fall.

The Second Crusade was announced by Pope Eugene III, and was the first of the crusades to be led by European kings, namely Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, with help from a number of other European nobles. The armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe. After crossing Byzantine territory into Anatolia, both armies were separately defeated by the Seljuk Turks. The main Western Christian source, Odo of Deuil, and Syriac Christian sources claim that the Byzantine EmperorManuel I Komnenos secretly hindered the crusaders' progress particularly in Anatolia, where he is alleged to have deliberately ordered Turks to attack them. Louis and Conrad and the remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem and participated in 1148 in an ill-advised attack on Damascus. The crusade in the east was a failure for the crusaders and a great victory for the Muslims. It would ultimately have a key influence on the fall of Jerusalem and give rise to the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century.

The only significant Christian success of the Second Crusade came to a combined force of 13,000 Flemish, Frisian, Norman, English, Scottish, and German crusaders in 1147. Travelling from England, by ship, to the Holy Land, the army stopped and helped the smaller (7,000) Portuguese army in the capture of Lisbon, expelling its Moorish occupants.

Background: the fall of Edessa[edit]

Main article: Siege of Edessa

After the First Crusade and the minor Crusade of 1101, there were three crusader states established in the east: the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Principality of Antioch and the County of Edessa. A fourth, the County of Tripoli, was established in 1109. Edessa was the most northerly of these, and also the weakest and least populated; as such, it was subject to frequent attacks from the surrounding Muslim states ruled by the Ortoqids, Danishmends and Seljuq Turks. Count Baldwin II and future count Joscelin of Courtenay were taken captive after their defeat at the Battle of Harran in 1104. Baldwin and Joscelin were both captured a second time in 1122, and although Edessa recovered somewhat after the Battle of Azaz in 1125, Joscelin was killed in battle in 1131. His successor Joscelin II was forced into an alliance with the Byzantine Empire, but in 1143 both the Byzantine emperorJohn II Comnenus and the King of JerusalemFulk of Anjou died. Joscelin had also quarreled with the Count of Tripoli and the Prince of Antioch, leaving Edessa with no powerful allies.

Meanwhile, the Seljuq Zengi, Atabeg of Mosul, had added to his rule in 1128 Aleppo, the key to power in Syria, contested between the rulers of Mosul and Damascus. Both Zengi and King Baldwin II turned their attention towards Damascus; Baldwin was defeated outside the great city in 1129. Damascus, ruled by the Burid Dynasty, later allied with King Fulk when Zengi besieged the city in 1139 and 1140; the alliance was negotiated by the chronicler Usamah ibn Munqidh.[6]

In late 1144, Joscelin II allied with the Ortoqids and marched out of Edessa with almost his entire army to support the Ortoqid army against Aleppo. Zengi, already seeking to take advantage of Fulk's death in 1143, hurried north to besiege Edessa, which fell to him after a month on 24 December 1144. Manasses of Hierges, Philip of Milly and others were sent from Jerusalem to assist, but arrived too late. Joscelin II continued to rule the remnants of the county from Turbessel, but little by little the rest of the territory was captured by Muslims or sold to the Byzantines. Zengi himself was praised throughout Islam as "defender of the faith" and al-Malik al-Mansur, "the victorious king". He did not pursue an attack on the remaining territory of Edessa, or the Principality of Antioch, as was feared. Events in Mosul compelled him to return home, and he once again set his sights on Damascus. However, he was assassinated by a slave in 1146 and was succeeded in Aleppo by his son Nur ad-Din.

Quantum praedecessores[edit]

Main article: Quantum praedecessores

The news of the fall of Edessa was brought back to Europe first by pilgrims early in 1145, and then by embassies from Antioch, Jerusalem and Armenia. Bishop Hugh of Jabala reported the news to Pope Eugene III, who issued the bullQuantum praedecessores on 1 December of that year, calling for a second crusade. Hugh also told the Pope of an eastern Christian king, who, it was hoped, would bring relief to the crusader states: this is the first documented mention of Prester John. Eugene did not control Rome and lived instead at Viterbo, but nevertheless the Second Crusade was meant to be more organized and centrally controlled than the First: the armies would be led by the strongest kings of Europe and a route would be planned beforehand.

The initial response to the new crusade bull was poor, and it in fact had to be reissued when it was clear that Louis VII of France would be taking part in the expedition. Louis VII had also been considering a new expedition independently of the Pope, which he announced to his Christmas court at Bourges in 1145. It is debatable whether Louis was planning a crusade of his own or in fact a pilgrimage, as he wanted to fulfil a vow made by his dead brother Philip to go to the Holy Land. It is probable that Louis had made this decision independently of hearing about Quantum Praedecessores. In any case, Abbot Suger and other nobles were not in favour of Louis' plans, as he would be gone from the kingdom for several years. Louis consulted Bernard of Clairvaux, who referred him back to Eugene. By now Louis would have definitely heard about the papal bull, and Eugene enthusiastically supported Louis' crusade. The bull was reissued on 1 March 1146, and Eugene authorized Bernard to preach the news throughout France.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux[edit]

The Pope commissioned French abbot Bernard of Clairvaux to preach the Second Crusade, and granted the same indulgences for it which Pope Urban II had accorded to the First Crusade. A parliament was convoked at Vezelay in Burgundy in 1146, and Bernard preached before the assembly on March 31. Louis VII of France, his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the princes and lords present prostrated themselves at the feet of Bernard to receive the pilgrims' cross. Bernard then passed into Germany, and the reported miracles which multiplied almost at his every step undoubtedly contributed to the success of his mission. At Speyer, Conrad III of Germany and his nephew, later Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, received the cross from the hand of Bernard. Pope Eugene came in person to France to encourage the enterprise.

For all his overmastering zeal, Bernard was by nature neither a bigot nor a persecutor. As in the First Crusade, the preaching inadvertently led to attacks on Jews; a fanatical French monk named Rudolf was apparently inspiring massacres of Jews in the Rhineland, Cologne, Mainz, Worms and Speyer, with Rudolf claiming Jews were not contributing financially to the rescue of the Holy Land. Bernard, the Archbishop of Cologne and the Archbishop of Mainz were vehemently opposed to these attacks, and so Bernard traveled from Flanders to Germany to deal with the problem and quiet the mobs. Bernard then found Rudolf in Mainz and was able to silence him, returning him to his monastery.

Wendish Crusade[edit]

Main article: Wendish Crusade

When the Second Crusade was called, many south Germans volunteered to crusade in the Holy Land. The north German Saxons were reluctant. They told St Bernard of their desire to campaign against pagan Slavs at an Imperial Diet meeting in Frankfurt on 13 March 1147. Approving of the Saxons' plan, Eugenius issued a papal bull known as the Divina dispensatione on 13 April. This bull stated that there was to be no difference between the spiritual rewards of the different crusaders. Those who volunteered to crusade against the pagan Slavs were primarily Danes, Saxons and Poles, although there were also some Bohemians. The Papal legate, Anselm of Havelberg, was placed in overall command. The campaign itself was led by Saxon families such as the Ascanians, Wettin and Schauenburgers.

Upset by German participation in the crusade, the Obotrites preemptively invaded Wagria in Holstein in June 1147, leading to the march of the crusaders in late summer 1147. After expelling the Obodrites from Christian territory, the crusaders targeted the Obodrite fort at Dobin and the Liutizian fort at Demmin. The forces attacking Dobin included those of the Danes Canute V and Sweyn III, Adalbert II, Archbishop of Bremen and Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony. When some crusaders advocated ravaging the countryside, others objected by asking, "Is not the land we are devastating our land, and the people we are fighting our people?" The Saxon army under Henry the Lion withdrew after the pagan chief, Niklot, agreed to have Dobin's garrison undergo baptism.

After an unsuccessful siege of Demmin, a contingent of crusaders was diverted by the margraves to attack Pomerania instead. They reached the already Christian city Stettin, whereupon the crusaders dispersed after meeting with Bishop Adalbert of Pomerania and Prince Ratibor I of Pomerania. According to Bernard of Clairvaux, the goal of the crusade was to battle the pagan Slavs "until such a time as, by God's help, they shall either be converted or deleted".

However, the crusade failed to achieve the conversion of most of the Wends. The Saxons achieved largely token conversions at Dobin, as the Slavs resorted to their pagan beliefs once the Christian armies dispersed. Albert of Pomerania explained, "If they had come to strengthen the Christian faith ... they should do so by preaching, not by arms".

By the end of the crusade, the countryside of Mecklenburg and Pomerania was plundered and depopulated with much bloodshed, especially by the troops of Henry the Lion. This was to help bring about more Christian victories in the future decades. The Slavic inhabitants also lost much of their methods of production, limiting their resistance in the future.

Reconquista and the fall of Lisbon[edit]

Main articles: Siege of Lisbon and Siege of Tortosa (1148)

In the spring of 1147, the Pope authorized the expansion of the crusade into the Iberian peninsula, in the context of the Reconquista. He also authorized Alfonso VII of León and Castile to equate his campaigns against the Moors with the rest of the Second Crusade. In May 1147, the first contingents of crusaders left from Dartmouth in England for the Holy Land. Bad weather forced the ships to stop on the Portuguese coast, at the northern city of Porto on 16 June 1147. There they were convinced to meet with KingAfonso I of Portugal.

The crusaders agreed to help the King attack Lisbon, with a solemn agreement that offered to them the pillage of the city's goods and the ransom money for expected prisoners. The Siege of Lisbon lasted from 1 July to 25 October 1147 when, after four months, the Moorish rulers agreed to surrender, primarily due to hunger within the city. Most of the crusaders settled in the newly captured city, but some of them set sail and continued to the Holy Land. Some of them, who had departed earlier, helped capture Santarém earlier in the same year. Later they also helped to conquer Sintra, Almada, Palmela and Setúbal, and they were allowed to stay in the conquered lands, where they settled down and had offspring.

Elsewhere on the Iberian peninsula, almost at the same time, Alfonso VII of León, Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona, and others led a mixed army of Catalans, Leonese, Castilians and French crusaders against the rich port city of Almería. With support from a Genoese–Pisan navy, the city was occupied in October 1147.

Ramon Berenger then invaded the lands of the Almoravidtaifa kingdom of Valencia and Murcia. In December 1148, he captured Tortosa after a five-month siege again with the help of French, Anglo-Normans and Genoese crusaders. The next year, Fraga, Lleida and Mequinenza in the confluence of the Segre and Ebro rivers fell to his army.



Muslim forces in this period comprised small bodies of professional troops, which were augmented by volunteers and conscripts in times of war. The largest of the Muslim states at the time, the Turkish Great Seljuk Sultanate, which ruled most of what is modern Iran and Iraq had about 10,000 full-term soldiers. The number of troops available to the Syrian states was much smaller. The core of the professional troops were the ghulam or mamluk, who were trained for war since childhood. The cost of raising and training a mamluk was about 30 dinars (by contrast, a good horse in Syria went for about 100 dinars).

To compensate for their quantitative weaknesses, the Muslim states sought qualitative superiority. The professional soldiers of the Muslim states, who were usually ethnic Turks, tended to be very well-trained and equipped. The basis of the military system in the Islamic Middle East was the iqta' system of fiefs, which supported a certain number of troops in every district. In the event of war, the ahdath militias, based in the cities under the command of the ra’is (chief), and who were usually ethnic Arabs, were called upon to increase the number of troops. The ahdath militia, though less well trained than the Turkish professional troops, were often very strongly motivated by religion, especially the concept of jihad. Further support came from Turkoman and Kurdish auxiliaries, who could be called upon in times of war, though these forces were prone to indiscipline.

The principal Islamic commander was Mu'in al-Din Anur, the atabeg of Damascus from 1138 to 1149. Damascus was supposedly ruled by the Burid amirs of Damascus, but Anur, who commanded the military, was the real ruler of the city. The historian David Nicolle described Anur as an able general and diplomat, also well known as a patron of the arts. Because the Burid dynasty was displaced in 1154 by the Zangid dynasty, Anur's role in repulsing the Second Crusade has been largely erased with historians and chroniclers loyal to the Zangids giving the credit to Anur's rival, Nur ad-Din Zangi, the amir of Aleppo.

Christian Crusaders[edit]

The German contingent comprised about 20,000 knights; the French contingent had about 700 knights from the king’s lands while the nobility raised smaller numbers of knights; and the Kingdom of Jerusalem had about 950 knights and 6,000 infantrymen.

Both the French and German contingents had huge numbers of camp followers, most of whom did not survive the Crusade. As the monk, Odo of Deuil, noted "the weak and helpless are always a burden to their commanders and a source of prey to their enemies".

The French knights preferred to fight on horseback, while the German knights liked to fight on foot. The Roman chronicler John Kinnamos wrote "the French are particularly capable of riding horseback in good order and attacking with the spear, and their cavalry surpasses that of the Germans in speed. The Germans, however, are able to fight on foot better than the French and excel in using the great sword".

Conrad III was considered to be a brave knight, though often described as indecisive in moments of crisis. Louis VII was a devout Christian with a sensitive side who was often attacked by contemporaries like Bernard of Clairvaux for being more in love with his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, than being interested in war or politics.

Crusade in the East[edit]

Joscelin tried to take back Edessa following Zengi's murder, but Nur ad-Din defeated him in November 1146. On 16 February 1147, the French crusaders met at Étampes to discuss their route. The Germans had already decided to travel overland through Hungary, as the sea route was politically impractical because Roger II of Sicily was an enemy of Conrad. Many of the French nobles distrusted the land route, which would take them through the Byzantine Empire, the reputation of which still suffered from the accounts of the First Crusaders. Nevertheless, it was decided to follow Conrad, and to set out on 15 June. Roger II was offended and refused to participate any longer. In France, Abbot Suger and Count William II of Nevers were elected as regents while the king would be on crusade. In Germany, further preaching was done by Adam of Ebrach, and Otto of Freising also took the cross. The Germans planned to set out at Easter, but did not leave until May.

German route[edit]

The German crusaders, accompanied by the papal legate and cardinalTheodwin, intended to meet the French in Constantinople. Ottokar III of Styria joined Conrad at Vienna, and Conrad's enemy Géza II of Hungary allowed them to pass through unharmed. When the German army of 20,000 men arrived in Byzantine territory, Emperor Manuel I Komnenos feared they were going to attack him, and Byzantine troops were posted to ensure that there was no trouble. There was a brief skirmish with some of the more unruly Germans near Philippopolis and in Adrianople, where the Byzantine general Prosouch fought with Conrad's nephew, the future emperor Frederick. To make matters worse, some of the German soldiers were killed in a flood at the beginning of September. On 10 September, however, they arrived at Constantinople, where relations with Manuel were poor, resulting in a battle, after which the Germans were convinced that they should cross into Asia Minor as quickly as possible. Manuel wanted Conrad to leave some of his troops behind, to assist in defending against attacks from Roger II, who had taken the opportunity to plunder the cities of Greece, but Conrad did not agree, despite being a fellow enemy of Roger.

In Asia Minor, Conrad decided not to wait for the French, and marched towards Iconium, capital of the SeljuqSultanate of Rûm. Conrad split his army into two divisions. Much of the authority of the Byzantine Empire in the western provinces of Asia Minor was more nominal than real, with much of the provinces being a no-man's land controlled by Turkish nomads. Conrad underestimated the length of the march against Anatolia, and anyhow assumed that the authority of Emperor Manuel was greater in Anatolia than was in fact the case. Conrad took the knights and the best troops with himself to march overland while sending the camp followers with Otto of Freising to follow the coastal road. The king led one of these, which was almost totally destroyed by the Seljuqs on 25 October 1147 at the second battle of Dorylaeum.

In battle, the Turks used their typical tactic of pretending to retreat, and then returning to attack the small force of German cavalry which had separated from the main army to chase them. Conrad began a slow retreat back to Constantinople, and his army was harassed daily by the Turks, who attacked stragglers and defeated the rearguard. Even Conrad was wounded in a skirmish with them. The other division, led by the King's half-brother, Bishop Otto of Freising, had marched south to the Mediterranean coast and was similarly defeated early in 1148. The force led by Otto ran out of food while crossing inhospitable countryside and was ambushed by the Seljuq Turks near Laodicea on 16 November 1147. The majority of Otto's force were either killed in battle or captured and sold into slavery.

French route[edit]

The French crusaders had departed from Metz in June 1147, led by Louis, Thierry of Alsace, Renaut I of Bar, Amadeus III, Count of Savoy and his half-brother William V of Montferrat, William VII of Auvergne, and others, along with armies from Lorraine, Brittany, Burgundy and Aquitaine. A force from Provence, led by Alphonse of Toulouse, chose to wait until August, and to cross by sea. At Worms, Louis joined with crusaders from Normandy and England.

They followed Conrad's route fairly peacefully, although Louis came into conflict with king Geza of Hungary when Geza discovered Louis had allowed an attempted Hungarian usurper, Boris Kalamanos to join his army. Relations within Byzantine territory were also grim, and the Lorrainers, who had marched ahead of the rest of the French, also came into conflict with the slower Germans whom they met on the way.

Since the original negotiations between Louis and Manuel I, Manuel had broken off his military campaign against the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm, signing a truce with his enemy Sultan Mesud I. This was done so that Manuel would be free to concentrate on defending his empire from the Crusaders, who had gained a reputation for theft and treachery since the First Crusade and were widely suspected of harbouring sinister designs on Constantinople. Nevertheless, Manuel's relations with the French army were somewhat better than with the Germans, and Louis was entertained lavishly in Constantinople. Some of the French were outraged by Manuel's truce with the Seljuqs and called for an alliance with Roger II and an attack on Constantinople, but they were restrained by Louis.

When the armies from Savoy, Auvergne and Montferrat joined Louis in Constantinople, having taken the land route through Italy and crossing from Brindisi to Durazzo, the entire army was shipped across the Bosporus to Asia Minor. The Greeks were encouraged by rumours that the Germans had captured Iconium (Konya), but Manuel refused to give Louis any Byzantine troops. Byzantium had just been invaded by Roger II of Sicily, and all of Manuel's army was needed in the Peloponnese. Both the Germans and French therefore entered Asia without any Byzantine assistance, unlike the armies of the First Crusade. In the tradition set by his grandfather Alexios I, Manuel also had the French swear to return to the Empire any territory they captured.

The French met the remnants of Conrad's army at Lopadion, and Conrad joined Louis' force. They followed Otto of Freising's route, moving closer to the Mediterranean coast, and they arrived at Ephesus in December, where they learned that the Turks were preparing to attack them. Manuel also sent ambassadors complaining about the pillaging and plundering that Louis had done along the way, and there was no guarantee that the Byzantines would assist them against the Turks. Meanwhile, Conrad fell sick and returned to Constantinople, where Manuel attended to him personally, and Louis, paying no attention to the warnings of a Turkish attack, marched out from Ephesus with the French and German survivors. The Turks were indeed waiting to attack, but in a small battle outside Ephesus, the French were victorious. The French fended off another Turkish ambush at the Meander River.

They reached Laodicea on the Lycus early in January 1148, around the same time Otto of Freising's army had been destroyed in the same area. Resuming the march, the vanguard under Amadeus of Savoy became separated from the rest of the army at Mount Cadmus, and Louis’ troops suffered heavy losses from the Turks. Louis himself, according to Odo of Deuil, climbed a rock and was ignored by the Turks, who did not recognize him. The Turks did not bother to attack further and the French marched on to Adalia, continually harassed from afar by the Turks, who had also burned the land to prevent the French from replenishing their food, both for themselves and their horses. Louis no longer wanted to continue by land, and it was decided to gather a fleet at Adalia and sail for Antioch. After being delayed for a month by storms, most of the promised ships did not arrive at all. Louis and his associates claimed the ships for themselves, while the rest of the army had to resume the long march to Antioch. The army was almost entirely destroyed, either by the Turks or by sickness.

Journey to Jerusalem[edit]

Louis eventually arrived in Antioch on March 19 after being delayed by storms; Amadeus of Savoy had died on Cyprus along the way. Louis was welcomed by Eleanor's uncle Raymond of Poitiers. Raymond expected him to help defend against the Turks and to accompany him on an expedition against Aleppo, the Muslim city that was the gateway to Edessa, but Louis refused, preferring instead to finish his pilgrimage to Jerusalem rather than focus on the military aspect of the crusade. Eleanor enjoyed her stay, but her uncle implored her to remain to enlarge family lands and divorce Louis if the king refused to help what was assuredly the military cause of the Crusade. During this period, there were rumours of an affair between Raymond and Eleanor, which caused tensions in the marriage between Louis and Eleanor. Louis quickly left Antioch for Tripoli with Eleanor in arrest.

Meanwhile, Otto of Freising and the remnant of his troops arrived in Jerusalem early in April, and Conrad soon after.Fulk, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, was sent to invite Louis to join them. The fleet that had stopped at Lisbon arrived around this time, as well as the Provençals who had left Europe under the command of Alfonso Jordan, Count of Toulouse. Alfonso himself did not make it to Jerusalem as he died at Caesarea. He was supposedly poisoned by Raymond II of Tripoli, the nephew who feared his political aspirations in the county. The claim that Raymond had poisoned Alfonso caused much of the Provençal force to turn back and go home. The original focus of the crusade was Edessa, but the preferred target of King Baldwin III and the Knights Templar was Damascus.

In response to the arrival of the Crusaders, the regent of Damascus, Mu'in ad-Din Unur, started making feverish preparations for war, strengthening the fortifications of Damascus, ordering troops to his city and having the water sources along the road to Damascus destroyed or diverted. Anur sought help from the Zangid rulers of Aleppo and Mosul (who were normally his rivals), though forces from these states did not arrive in time to see combat outside of Damascus. It is almost certain that the Zangid rulers delayed sending troops to Damascus out of the hope that their rival Anur might lose his city to the Crusaders.

Council of Acre[edit]

St Bernard in stained glass, from the Upper Rhine, c. 1450
The Siege of Lisbon by D. Afonso Henriques by Joaquim Rodrigues Braga (1840)
The Near East in 1135. Crusader states are marked with a red cross.
Map of the Second Crusade in the Levant
Raymond of Poitiers welcoming Louis VII in Antioch



Syria during the period of the crusades, 1096-1291.

Syria during the period of the crusades, 1096-1291.

The principality of Antioch. The crusades.

OF the four leading states founded by the Crusaders in Syria, the principality of Antioch was the most northerly and the kingdom of Jerusalem the most southerly. The county of Tripoli lay between these two extremes, while to the northeast, on either side of the Euphrates, lay the county of Edessa.

Godfrey of Bouillon

The county of Edessa

The county of Edessa, founded by Baldwin of Boulogne (1058-1118), the brother of Godfrey de Bouillon (French: Godefroy de Bouillon; also Godefroid de Bouillon; 1060-1100, after the conquest of Jerusalem, he became the first ruler of the newly established Kingdom of Jerusalem, but rejected the kingship.), dates from 1098. Originally it was not a fief of the kingdom of Jerusalem, since it was established before the taking of the Holy City. On Godfrey’s death Baldwin was elected king, and endowed his cousin Baldwin du Bourg with Edessa and its dependencies.
Thus Edessa became a vassal state to the kingdom of Jerusalem. On BALDWIN I’s death BALDWIN II became King of Jerusalem, and in his turn handed over Edessa to his kinsman Joscelin de Courtney, from whom it passed to his son Joscelin II. In 1144, at Christmas, the town of Edessa was taken by Imad ad-Din Zengi, and, though recaptured by Joscelin for a few months towards the end of 1146, almost immediately fell back into Muslim hands. The rest of the county, ‘ground’ (in William of Tyre’s words)’between the two millstones,’ Masud, Sultan of Iconium, towards the north, and the Atabegs of Aleppo and Mosil towards the south, was finally abandoned by the Crusaders in or about the year 1152. Nominally the deserted cities were handed over to the Greek Emperor, whose power however in these parts was very feeble, and they soon drifted into other lordship.

Kingdom of Armenia and the principality of Antioch.

The principality of Antioch

The principality of Antioch was founded by Bohemond I in 1098-99. From the earliest times it was a bone of contention between the Greek Emperors and the Kings of Jerusalem. Twice at least (1137 and 1142) did John Comnenus (Byzantine Emperor from 1118 to 1143) come south to enforce his claim; and once Manuel Comnenus, his son, led an army to Antioch for the same purpose. The principality extended northwards as far as the river Gaihun (Aras or Araxes River), and southwards to the river that flows ‘between Margat and Valenia,’ perhaps the modern Burğ es -Sabī, or, according to Ray, the modern Wady Mehica, where the county of Tripoli commenced. Eastward its boundaries were vague and fluctuating. In the twelfth century the Armenians began to show signs of activity in the neighbourhood of Cilicia, and conquered Tarsus from the Greeks for a time in 1132. At first they were more or less dependent on the Princes of Antioch; but at last, about the year II93, they established their independence and fixed the limits of their state, towards the south, at Portella. Leo of Armenia was now definitely set free from his homage to the Prince of Antioch, and in 1198 or 1199 was crowned King of Armenia by the Archbishop of Mentz acting in the name of the German Emperor. Baibars the Sultan of Egypt took Antioch, May 27, 1268, and immediately after this the Templars abandoned their two fortresses to the north of this city and ‘all the land of Port Bonnell at the entering in of Armenia.’

The county of Tripoli

Damascus. Syria during the period of the crusades.

Kingdom of Cyprus. Syria during the period of the crusades.

The county of Tripoli

The county of Tripoli was bounded, on the north, by the principality of Antioch; and, on the south, by the Nahr Ibrahim, or Adonis. It was practically established by Raymond of St. Gilles (who died in 1105); but Tripoli itself was not taken till 1109. On its east lay the territories of the Assassins. Raymond III (otherwise known as Raymond II), dying in 1189 without issue, left his lordship to his godson Raymond, eldest son of Boamund III of Antioch.
After a somewhat confusing tangle of events the county of Tripoli and the principality of Antioch were both united in the person of Boamund IV (ob. 1232), and remained in the hands of his descendants till the final fall of both cities, Antioch in 1268 and Tripoli in 1289.

The kingdom of Jerusalem

The kingdom of Jerusalem

The kingdom of Jerusalem properly so called extended, at the time of its fullest development, from the Nahr Ibrahim to El-Arish on the confines of Egypt (beyond the limits of the map). According to the traditions of the thirteenth century, it was subdivided into some twenty-one greater fiefs, each owing a specified number of knights and sergeants to their overlord the king. These fiefs are: (I) Jaffa and Ascalon; (2) Ramla or Rames; (3) Ibelin; (4) the’principality’ of Tiberias, including the city of Tiberias and the stronghold of Safed (Saphet); (5) the lordship of Sidon and Beaufort; (6) of Caesarea; (7) of Beisan; (8) of Kerak and Montréal beyond the Jordan and Dead Sea; (9) of St. Abraham or Hebron; (10) of Blanchegarde, i.e. Tell es-Safi; (11) the bishopric of Lydda; (12) the lordship of Arsuf; (13) of Haifa; (14) and of Caymont; (15) the archbishopric of Nazareth; (16) the’fief of Count Joscelin’ (probably between Tiberias and Acre or Sidon); (17) the lordship of Scandelion; (18) of Tyre; (19) of Toron or Tubnin; (20) of Belinas or Caesarea Philippi; (21) of Beirut. It is obvious however that this list is made up of heterogeneous elements, and it is hardly possible that all these fiefs can have existed at one and the same time (In the map the name Dera, east of Adratum, should be omitted.).

List of places and names

In the following list of places alternative names have been placed side by side for the convenience of those using the contemporary narratives.

Accaron, Acre, Ptolemais.
Accaron, Ak’-a-ron, Ekron, now the small village Akir, 4 miles east of Ibelin.
Adratum, Adrach, sive Hadrach, alias Adra, Adraon, 23 miles north-west of Bostra.
Alba Specula, or Blanch-garde. Alba Specula for “White view” is a Crusader fortress in Israel today. The castle lies on the Tell es-Safi, the ancient Gath, about halfway between Jerusalem and Ashkelon. The settlement mound called themselves the Crusaders Mons Clarus (“bright mountain”).
Arnoldi Castrum, probably El-Burg, between Jaffa and Jerusalem. (On July 10th of the year 1192, Richard the Lionheart breaks from Ashkelon, and comes to the castle Arnoldi at Yalu, who erected in 1132 the Crusaders. There he spends a night. The next day, he set up his camp near Beit Nuba. Here the Crusaders are supplied for the next three weeks with provision and supply of weapons. In the meantime, Richard the Lionheart undertakes a series of raids in the direction of Jerusalem. One of the eyewitnesses of the events is the Cistercian Rudolf of Coggehale. He describes how the King Richard arrives with his army to Castrum Arnoldi and after Bethonople at Emmaus. “Cumque rex cum exercitu suo devenisset ad castellum Ernoldi et ad Bethonople juxta Emmaus”.)
Barin, Mons Ferrandus, Montferrand, east of Tripoli near the place Barin (بعرين). The castle was built in the 1100s by Raymond of St. Gilles.
Beauvoir Castle, modern Kaukab al-Hawa, 6 miles north of Baisan. It was built within the ruins of the Crusader fortress of Belvoir, from which it expanded. The Crusader names for the Frankish settlement were Beauvoir, Belvoir, Bellum videre, Coquet, Cuschet and Coket.
Betenuble, Bayt Nūbā, modern Bayt Nuba (Arabic, بيت نوبا..) The biblical city of Nob mentioned in the Book of Samuel.
Bochée, La, valley eastward of Crac des Chevaliers.
Bombrac, Al-Khayriyya, 4,5 miles east of Jaffa. Mentioned in 1191 in the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi of King Richard I of England.
Caco, modern Kakan, south-east of Caesarea.
Camolla, Camela, Emesa, Hims.
Casal Imbert, the modern Khurbet Hamsin, some 9 miles north of Acre and 2 miles from coast near the village Az-Zeeb or al-Zib. Mentioned in the Bible by its ancient name Achzib. Casal Imbert also Casale Huberti de Paci, Casale Lamberti, is the ruins of a Crusader fortress, in Israel. Casal Humberti, after Hubert of Pacy which held the casale and is documented in 1108.
Casella de Planis et Casella Maen, identified by Bishop Stubbs with Beit-Degan (6 miles south-east of Jaffa) and Safirlya (7 miles south. east of the same place). Others would identify ‘Casal of the Plains’ with Kalansuwa.
Casellum Balneorum near Ramla, according to Bishop Stubbs Amwas or Emmaus.
Cavea Roob, cave-fortress, obviously between the Jordan and Adratum, Gadara and Adraat. L. Oliphant states that the upper valley of the Wady Shellaleh, in his belief, still bears the name of Wädi er-Rahüb. If this be so, Cavea Roob lies a few miles to the south or south-east of Mezarib.
Caymont, modern Tell Keimun, 12 miles south-east of Acre, 11 miles from coast.
Cisterna Rotunda, Khuwailija, southeast of Gaza.
Crac des Hospitaliers, Crac des Chevaliers, south-east of Tortosa.
Crac de Montréal, Shobek or Mons Regalis,- see the inset map.
Crac de la Pierre, Kerak, east of the Dead Sea.
Destrictum, Les Destroits, or the modern Dustrey, about 1 mile east of Athlit.
Emmaus, Ammaum, Emmaous, modern Amwas, Roman-Byzantine city of Nicopolis and perhaps medieval Castellum Balneorum.
Fémie, Apamea or Afamiya. Frontier fortress of the Principality of Antioch to the north of Hamah.
Forbelet,le, probably the Arabic Aferbela. Afrabalā-Forbelet et L‘Ophra de Gédéon (Joshua 18.11-28). Rey would make it the modern Kalat Maleh close to Baisan, Forbia, modern Herbiya, 8 miles northeast of Gaza and about 2 miles from the coast.
Gadara, 7 miles east of the Jordan and 25 miles west of Adratum,
Galatia, Galatie, according to Bishop Stubbs Karatiya, 10 miles east of Ascalon; others make it Gelediya, about 3 miles north of Karatayya.
Gaston, a castle to the north or northwest of Antioch; according to Rey it is Capt. Marmier’s ‘Chateau du Fils’; it clearly lay between Antioch and Portella.
Gaudii Mons, Nebi Samwil, 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.
Gerasa: see Jerras or Jerash.
Gistrum, according to Riant and Hagenmeyer Hisn-el-Gisr, the fortress which commands the bridge across the Orontes at Caesarea.
Hatab, Ain-Tab, north of Aleppo.
Hrom-gla, Qal’at ar-Rum, Forteresse de roum: see Ranculat, Rum-Kalah.
Imbert, Casal, Casale Huberti de Paci, Casale Lamberti: see Casal Imbert.
Jacob Vadum, the modern Bridge or Ford of Jacob’s Daughters (sir Banat Yakub), just to the south of the spot where the Jordan issues from the Waters of Meron.
Jerras (Jerash, Gerasa, Dscharasch), 36 miles northeast of where the Jordan leaves the Dead Sea and 30 miles south-west of Adratum.
Kharput, or Kharpet “rocky fortress”, south of the Murad Su or Upper Euphrates, about 50 miles north-east of Melitone.
Kharrouba, El, probably the modern Kharraibie, about 10 miles south-east of Acre, and 7,5 east of Haifa.
La Liche, Laliche, Laodicea, Ladakia, al-Ladhqiye.
Lubieh, 6,5 miles west of Tiberias.
Markab castrum = Margat, north of Tortosa.
Medan (Campestria, or plain of) is apparently the plain or table-land adjoining Mezarib, In the map it has accidentally been marked as a town. L. Oliphant would identify it with the district south or south-west of Mezarib. There is a Wady el-Medan marked on the Palestine Exploration Fund’s maps, at about 2 miles south-west of this town.
Mergesaphar, Mergzsafar, or Marcisophar vallis. The eastern Merg-es-Suffar lies, according to Wetzstein, near the northwest border of the Hauran in Gaulan. It was plainly between Salome and Damascus.
Messaara, probably the modern Meshghurah, about 17 miles east of Sidon to the west of the river Litany. (The delineation of the Lower Buka’a rests upon Maundrell’s route from Saida by Meshghurah, el-Kur’iln, and Jubb Jenin and Aithy to Damascus; Burckhardt’s route from Zahleh to ‘Anjar and Hasbeiya, the notices of which are not very accurate; and that of the same traveller from Bartik by Kefareiya, Jubb Jenin and Aithy to Damascus. Berghaus’ Memoir, p. 26. Also: Robinson, Edward. (2013). pp. 543-4. Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea (Vol. 3). London
Mirabel, Mejdel Yâbâ, crusader castle Migdal Tsedek. The ruins of a hilltop castle is located about 17 km east of Jaffa on the hills pass by Afek. and 3 miles north-west of Megdel Yaba, (Mesteh, el-Megdel) which has sometimes itself been identified with Mirabel.
Monethera Castle, al-Munaitira about 26 miles south of Tripoli.
Montana Nigra, or La Noire Montagne, the mountains to the north-west of Antioch, the modern Gebel Musa,or Jebel Musa.
Montgisart, the modern Tell Gezar, 10 miles east of Ibelin, 5 km southeast of Ramla. The Battle of Montgisard 1177 between the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Saladin.
Mont Parlier, the ancient Mons Casius and the modern Gebel-el-Akra, lying south of the Orontes at its mouth. Province of Antioch – Hatay.
Natron, Latrsn;
Nebi Samwil, or Mar Salmwil, north of Jerusalem.
Nigronis Mons, according to Rey the middle part of the Ansariya Mountains, to the west of the middle Orontes.
Passe-Poulain, or Polain, a hill to the north of Casal Imbert.
Portella, on the coast about 5 miles north-east of Alexandria Minor.
Ptolemais, Acre.
Puy du Connestable, according to Rey the modern Obreh, between Nefin and Botrun,
Rages or Rohas, Edessa.
Rames, Ramla.
Raʾs al-ʿAin, latin Resaina. Ras al-Ayn is located in the northeast of the country on the Turkish-Syrian border. Ras al-Ayn was conquered in the year 640 of the Islamic Arabs. In the 10th century the Byzantines occupied the city briefly and ransacked it. During the Crusades in the 12th century it was conquered by Joscelin I.
Ranculat, the modern Rum Kalah on the Euphrates.
Rohas, Edessa.
Roob, Cavea: see Caoea Roob.
Rugia, Rusia, Rusa, Russa, Rodia, Rursa, &c., a city lying to the south or south-east of Albara, most probably to be identified with the modern Riha. Hagenmeyer would identify Walter the Chancellor’s Rubea with the modern Ruwiha.
Rugia, Vallis de, the modern canton or valley of Er-Rug.
Safforie, Sepphoris, the modern Sif-furiya, near Nazareth.
Salome, the modern Sinamein, 30 miles south of Damascus.
Sarmit, the modern Sermin,
Senesfil, according to Rey the modern Sin-el-fil on the Nahr Beirut.
Shobek, Crac de Montreal.
Soudin, Le, Portus Sancti Simeonis, the seaport of Antioch.
Subeibe, Banias, Caesarea Philippi.
Suet, terra Suet, Sueth regio Suhite, &c. a vaguely defined distric, seemingly, situated to the south of Nawa, and probably extending beyond the Yarmuk to the south and south-west of Mezarib. William of Tyre seems to make it extend as far east as Bostra. At the present day, according to L. Oliphant, the name has a more limited application, being confined to a district south of Mezarib. On the latest maps Ez-Zuweit is marked some 17 miles south of Adratum and somewhat less than this distance north-east of Gerasa (Jerras). Rey identifies it with the Gaulan.
Thil, or Til, or Tell Hamdun, or Turo Militum, south of the river Gaihun.
Toron des Chevaliers, Latran.
Trepessac Castle, Derbesak, north of Antioch.
Turbessel, Tell Bashir.
Turo Mons, or Mont Toron, the modern Tell el Fokhkhar, east of Acre.
Zora, about 40 miles south of Damascus and 10 miles east of Nawa.


Source: Historical atlas of modern Europe from the decline of the Roman empire: comprising also maps of parts of Asia and of the New world connected with European. Author: Poole, Reginald Lane. Edited by Reginald Lane Poole. Publisher: Oxford: Clarendon Press; London; New York: H. Frowde. 1902.

Topics to the crusades:

  1. The Knights of the Teutonic Order of Knighthood.
  2. The First Crusade. The Knights Hospitallers.
  3. The Crusades. The Knights Templar.
  4. The Crusaders in the 12th and 13 Century.
  5. The influence of the Crusaders to the French clothing.
  6. Knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece 16th century.
  7. Middle Ages fashion history in Germany. 11th to 13th century.
  8. Offensive and defensive armor and weapons.
  9. Armor in England from the 10th to the 18th century
  10. Life-size warrior figures in full armor and equipment.
  11. 16th Century – German armor art.


  1. Les Modes du Moyen Age de l’an 1037 à l’an 1461.
  2. Fashion and costumes from Ancient times until 19th century. Gallery
  3. German fashion in the 15th century. Men’s Dress. Medieval, Burgundy, Gothic,
  4. German medieval clothing in the 14th century. Medieval, Burgundy, Gothic,
  5. Italian 14th, 15th century fashion history. Medieval, Burgundy, Gothic,
  6. German fashion in the 14th century. Women`s & men`s dress. Medieval, Burgundy, Gothic,
  7. Medieval fashion history in Germany. 11th to 13th century.
  8. Fashion under the Reigns Charles VI., and Charles VII. 1380 to 1461
  9. Fashion under the Reigns of Louis XI., 1461 to 1515. Late medieval, Renaissance
  10. French Fashion History 12th to 14th century. Medieval, Burgundy, Gothic,
  11. Medieval Caps and Hoods fashion. 11th to 15th century.
  12. The Reticulated Headdress. Headdresses history, 15th century.
  13. Medieval shoes 10th to 15th century.
  14. Costumes and Fashion during the 15th century.
  15. The Corset and the Crinolin fashion history
  16. The Romance of the Rose. The Art of courtly love.
  17. The Lady of Tournament delivering the Price. Medieval, Burgundy, Gothic,
  18. King Henry VI. and his court. Medieval, Burgundy, Gothic,
  19. Margaret of Anjou Queen of Henry VI. and her court.
  20. The Limerick Mitre. Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages.
  21. The influence of the Crusaders to the French clothing. Medieval, Burgundy, Gothic,
  22. The First Crusade. The Knights Hospitallers. Medieval, Burgundy, Gothic,
  23. The Crusades. The Knights Templar.
  24. The Crusaders in the 12th and 13 Century.
  25. Troubadour and page in the 13th century.
  26. Costumes and Fashion from ancient times until 19th century. Gallery.
  27. Gabrielle d’Estrées, mistress of the French King Henry IV. Renaissance fashion era.
  28. Costumes and Fashion during the 15th century. 
  29. The Hennin. Headdresses of the 15th century.
  30. The Lady of Tournament.
  31. The Romance of the Rose. 15th century courtly love poem.
  32. Christine de Pizan and Queen Isabeau of Bavaria.
  33. Margaret of Anjou Queen of Henry VI. and her court.
  34. The Limerick Mitre.
  35. Pyrrhus Receiving the Honor of Knighthood.
This entry was posted in 11th Century, 12th Century, 13th Century, Middle Ages, Middle East, Syria and tagged Crusaders, Gothic costumes, Historical atlas, Maps, Medieval costume on by world4.

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