THE CRUSADES PORTAL
The Crusades were a series of military conflicts of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal threats. Crusades were fought against Muslims, pagan Slavs, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Jews, and political enemies of the popes. Crusaders took vows and were granted an indulgence for past sins.
The Crusades originally had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule and were originally launched in response to a call from the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire for help against the expansion of the Muslim Seljuk Turks into Anatolia. The term is also used to describe contemporaneous and subsequent campaigns conducted in territories outside the Levant usually against pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons. Rivalries among both Christian and Muslim powers led also to alliances between religious factions against their opponents, such as the Christian alliance with the Sultanate of Rum during the Fifth Crusade.
The Crusades had far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts, some of which have lasted into contemporary times. Because of internal conflicts among Christian kingdoms and political powers, some of the crusade expeditions were diverted from their original aim, such as the Fourth Crusade, which resulted in the sack of Christian Constantinople and the partition of the Byzantine Empire between Venice and the Crusaders.
The Siege of Damascus
took place over four days in July 1148, during the Second Crusade
. It ended in a decisive crusader
defeat and led to the disintegration of the crusade. The two main Christian
forces that marched to the Holy Land
in response to Pope Eugenius III
and Bernard of Clairvaux
's call for the Second Crusade
were led by Louis VII of France
and Conrad III of Germany
. Both faced disastrous marches across Anatolia
in the months that followed, most of their armies were destroyed. The original focus of the crusade was Edessa
, but in Jerusalem, the preferred target of King Baldwin III
and the Knights Templar
. At the Council of Acre
, magnates from France
, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem
decided to divert the crusade to Damascus.
The crusaders decided to attack Damascus from the west, where orchards would provide them with a constant food supply. Having arrived outside the walls of the city, they immediately put it to siege, using wood from the orchards. On 27 July, the crusaders decided to move to the plain on the eastern side of the city, which was less heavily fortified but had much less food and water. Nur ad-Din arrived with Muslim reinforcements and cut off the crusader's route to their previous position. The local crusader lords refused to carry on with the siege, and the three kings had no choice but to abandon the city. The entire crusader army had retreated back to Jerusalem by 28 July.
Each of the Christian forces felt betrayed by the other and mutual distrust was fostered for a generation due to the defeat. As a result of the Crusade, Damascus also no longer trusted the crusaders, and the city was formally handed over to Nur ad-Din in 1154. In Europe, Bernard of Clairvaux was humiliated by the result and he tried to disassociate himself from the events altogether.
The Battle of Lepanto (Greek: Ναύπακτος, Naupaktos, pron. Náfpaktos; colloquial Greek: Έπαχτος, Épahtos; Turkish: İnebahtı) took place on 7 October 1571 when a galley fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of the Republic of Venice, the Papacy (under Pope Pius V), Spain (including Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and others, decisively defeated the main fleet of Ottoman war galleys.
John III Sobieski
: Jan III Sobieski
) (17 August 1629 - 17 June 1696) was one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
, from 1674 until his death King of Poland
and Grand Duke of Lithuania
. Sobieski's 22-year-reign was marked by a period of the Commonwealth's stabilisation, much needed after the turmoil of the Deluge
and Chmielnicki's Uprising
. Popular among his subjects, he was also a brilliant military commander, most famous for the victory over the Turks in the 1683 Battle of Vienna
. For his victories over the Ottoman Empire
, he was dubbed by the Turks the "Lion of Lechistan
."Jan Sobieski was born 1629 in Olesko
, a small town near Lwów
), to a notable noble
family de Sobieszyn Sobieski
of Clan Janina
. His father, Jakub Sobieski
, was the Palatine of Ruthenia
; his mother, Zofia Teofillia Daniłowicz
was a granddaughter of Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski
. After graduating from the Nowodworski College in Kraków
, young Jan Sobieski graduated from the philosophical faculty of the Jagiellonian University
. After finishing his studies, together with his brother Marek Sobieski (1628-1652)
, Jan left for western Europe, where he spent more than two years travelling. During that time he learned French
, in addition to Latin
. This proved to be vital during his later military career.
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- # Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din
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- # Children's Crusade