Third Crusade


The Third Crusade (1189-1192 CE) was launched to retake Jerusalem after its fall to the Muslim leader Saladin in 1187 CE. The Crusade was led by three European monarchs, hence its other name of 'the Kings' Crusade'. The three leaders were: Frederick I Barbarossa, King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor (r. 1152-1190 CE), Philip II of France (r. 1180-1223 CE) and Richard I 'the Lionhearted' of England (r. 1189-1199 CE). Despite this pedigree, the campaign was a failure, the Holy City never even being attacked. Along the way, there were some victories, notably the capture of Acre and the battle of Arsuf. Fizzling out with a whimper, the Crusade collapsed because, by the time they arrived at their objective, the western leaders found themselves without sufficient men or resources to resist the still intact armies of Saladin. Although a compromise was negotiated with access for pilgrims to Jerusalem permitted and a Christian foothold maintained in the Middle East, another attempt to take the Holy City would shortly be made the original objective of the Fourth Crusade of 1202-1204 CE.

More about: Third Crusade


  • 1174 - 1193
    Reign of Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founder of the Ayyubid dynasty.
  • 3 Jul 1187 - 4 Jul 1187
    Saladin defeats the Franks army at the Battle of Hattin.
  • Sep 1187
    Saladin captures Jerusalem.
  • Oct 1187
    Pope Gregory VIII calls for the Third Crusade to recapture Jerusalem.
  • 1189 - 1192
    The Third Crusade is formed with the aim of recapturing Jerusalem for Christendom. Although some cities were recaptured, Jerusalem was not one of them.
  • Aug 1189 - Jul 1191
    The siege of Acre during the Third Crusade.
  • Aug 1189
    Guy of Lusignan leads a force from Tyre to attack Acre.
  • Sep 1189
    A small force of Crusaders is the first army to arrive from Europe at the siege of Acre.
  • c. 1190
    Teutonic knights establish a field hospital at Acre during the Third Crusade.
  • 1190
    Richard I of England captures Messina on Sicily during the Third Crusade.
  • 10 Jun 1190
    Frederick I Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, drowns in the Seraph River in Cilicia on his way to the Middle East during the Third Crusade.
  • 28 Jul 1190
    A force of Crusaders under the command of Henry of Champagne arrives at the siege of Acre.
  • 7 Oct 1190
    A force of German crusaders under the command of Duke Leopold of Austria arrives at the siege of Acre.
  • May 1191
    Richard I of England captures Cyprus during the Third Crusade.
  • Jun 1191
    The Crusader armies of Philip II of France and Richard I of England arrive at the siege of Acre.
  • 12 Jul 1191
    Richard I of England captures Acre during the Third Crusade.
  • Aug 1191
    Philip II leaves Acre and returns to France during the Third Crusade.
  • 20 Aug 1191
    Richard I of England orders the execution of 2,500 Muslim prisoners after the siege of Acre during the Third Crusade.
  • 7 Sep 1191
    Richard I of England defeats Saladin's army at Arsuf during the Third Crusade.
  • Jan 1192
    The Crusader army led by Richard I of England arrives within sight of Jerusalem but decides not to attack for fear of a counter-attack by Saladin.
  • Jul 1192
    Saladin takes Jaffa during the Third Crusade.
  • Aug 1192
    Richard I of England retakes Jaffa from Saladin during the Third Crusade.
  • Oct 1192
    Richard I of England, returning home from the Third Crusade is shipwrecked and eventually imprisoned by the German emperor Henry VI.
  • 4 Mar 1193
    Death of Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria.