Chronology of the Crusades (1095-1783) :

1095: Pope Urban II preaching tour across Gaul; he proclaims the First Crusade at Clermon on Nov. 27th. The starving, drooling peons of Europe are good to go after 600 years of feudal serfdom, illiteracy, disease and ruin. They start sharpening their pointy marshmallow sticks.

1096-1102:. The First Crusade officially underway, fueled by the driving compulsion of most sane dirt poor peons of the North to a) get some sun in the name of the Church, b) take advantage of the 'Get out of hell free' card being offered by the Papacy, c) experience the joys of starvation while getting completely lost in the Balkan region en route, and finally, d) quit working for The Man.

1096-1097: The second wave of peasant armies arrive at Constantinople, much siege ensues. Antioch also lies surrounded for a year.

1099: On Jul. 15, Jerusalem falls to the Crusaders. Things get rather 'messy' as a result.

1109: On Jul. 12, the Crusaders capture Tripoli.

1118: Pope Gelasius II declares a Spanish Crusade against the Moors and on Dec. 19 Saragossa falls to the Crusaders. Paper from fabric (as opposed to parchment from animal hide) and the astrolabe are among the confusing technologies the Europeans discover.

1120: The Knights Templar are founded, as escorts and merchants to and from the Holy Land, sort of like mercenary tour-guides. They get rich, well-connected in the Middle East and politically powerful, so much so that they later end up burnt. 'Je me souvien Jacques de Molay!' - but that's jumping ahead a bit.

1124: Crusaders capture Tyre.

1129: Crusaders attack Damascus.

1144: On Dec. 24, Edessa falls to the Muslims who, after 50 years of fighting off wave after wave of smelly, illiterate Northern people, surely come to the realization that some sort of concentrated effort must be behind all this invading. The armies of the Caliphs decide they'll have to get in the game.

1145: Pope Eugenius declares The Second Crusade in Papal Bull 'Quantum predecessors' on Dec. 1.

1147-1149: The Second Crusade begins.

1148: On Jul. 8, Crusaders withdraw from the Siege of Damascus.

1153: More Crusading underway in Spain.

1174: Salah al-Din, also known in the West as Saladin, and his armies take control of Damascus.

1187: On Oct. 2, Jerusalem is re-taken by Saladin and when news reaches Rome, Pope Gregory VIII declares The Third Crusade. With nearly a century of battle now swirling around the Holy Land, neither side is terribly interested in losing the city, which besides being a religious site also has a great deal of economic, cultural and military importance.

1189-1192: The Third Crusade now underway.

1198: Foundation of the Teutonic Order.

1202-1204: The Fourth Crusade : the European religious military-industrial complex pretty much have it down to a science by this point. The back and forth fighting has spurred enough travel, trade and cultural exchange to effectively end the stagnation in the West, bolster the growth of urban centers and has even gotten people to stop eating their neighbors in the more culturally insensitive areas of Europe (i.e. most of Germany and the Low Lands).

1209-1222: The Albigensian Crusade: "Let's Stomp Us Some Cathars!", said Pope Innocent III. (well, no, not really, but check out Gorganzola's node...)

1211: King of Hungary gives the Teutonic Order a thrashing in Transylvania.

1212: The Childrens Crusade, among the All-time Worst Ideas of History.

1217-1229: The Fifth Crusade.

1221: On Aug. 30 the crusading armies in Egypt are decimated at al-Mansura.

1227: Crusading now authorized against heretics regardless of place; Western Europeans proceed directly to Bosnia and start hacking people up, which as a traditional Western pastime seems to continue to this day.

1229: On Feb. 18, Jerusalem is restored to the Christians. Meanwhile, Teutonic order begins conquest of Prussia. Germans will continue to feel bad about Russians, and vice versa, from pretty much this point onwards. It also sets a nasty precedent (see World War I and Stalingrad).

1239-1240: Crusade to re-take Constantinople, immediately followed by Crusade declared against the Mongols. So entire peoples are now, under the official sanction of the Church, being declared Fully Crusadeable, which sets a nasty precedent. (See Inquisition and Witch trials).

1244: The Khorezmians take Jerusalem.

1248: The The Seventh Crusade.

1258: The Mongols, now being attacked by both Moslems and Christians (no one likes an angry Mongol), sack Baghdad.

1261: Greeks re-occupy Constantinople.

1268: The Mamluks take Antioch (guess no one saw those guys coming).

1309-1310: Crusade against Venice (and such a nice city too).

1312: Order of the Knights Templar banned by the King of France as wierdo-spiritualist conspiracy against God, nationhood, decency, and long skinny loaves of bread. The people of France seem to agree that's what its all about, so much lynching of folk and burning of stuff follows. Which sets a nasty precedent, as the French seem to burn and lynch stuff on a fairly regular basis after that (see the Reign of Terror, the French Revolution) up until Napoleon's surrender (but that's getting ahead of the story again.)

1327: Crusade planned against the Cathars of Hungary (and such nice people too).

1340: Crusade against the Bohemian heretics (as you can see, the Church is by this point, really starting to get kind of lame in keeping this whole thing going.) Soon after there is a Crusade for Gibraltar, Milan and North Africa.

1398: Crusade for Constantinople.

1453-1500: Fall of Constantinople (1453), Athens (1456), Lesbos (1462), Negroponte (1470), Rhodes and Otranto (1480), Lepanto (1499) and Coron and Modon (1500) to the Turks. As cities of Europe disappear into the Turkish Empire, various Powers in the West decide it may be necessary to abandon the Continent, so a massive exploration effort is undertaken to find new places for Europeans to stretch out. This sets a nasty precedent (see conquest of North America, Central America, South America.)

1516-1517: The Ottoman Empire captures Egypt.

1529: Ottoman armies lay siege to Vienna.

1540-1669: Fall of Nauplia and Monemvasia (1540), Tripoli (1551), Malta(1565), Cyprus and Nicosia (1570), Famagusta (1571), Tunis (1574) and Crete (1669) to the Turks.

1683: Ottoman armies return and lay siege to Vienna.

1783: Napoleon's armies take Malta.

  • Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades (Oxford: 1995)
  • Western warfare in the age of the Crusades, 1000-1300 / John France. (Cornell U 1999)
  • The history of the crusades, for the recovery and possession of the Holy Land Mills, Charles. (London, Longman, Hurst, Rees : 1820)

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