Third Crusade

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Definition

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.

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