Main reference: The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf, translated by Jon Rothschild, 1984.
Al Saqi Books, 26 Wetbourne Grove, London W2. Copyright 1998-99 The Sabr Foundation
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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, killing more than a hundred thousand people and taking many prisoners." (Ibn al-Athir) "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 Abraham.


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 Damascus. 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 al-Adil.
1194-1201 The Fourth and Fifth Crusade.
1204 The Crusaders take Constantinople. Sack of the city.
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 time.

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 Mamluks.
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.

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