Friday, November 20, 2009

The Remaining Crusades

Five minor crusades followed the fourth crusade. They were the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth crusades. The Minor Crusades timeline were: fifth crusade 1217 - 1221, sixth crusade 1228 - 1229, seventh crusade 1248 - 1254, the eighth crusade 1270, and the ninth crusade 1271 - 1272. The Minor Crusades were led by many different rulers. The fifth crusade was led by King Andrew II of Hungary, Duke Leopold VI of Austria, and John of Brienne. The sixth crusade was led by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. The seventh and eighth crusades were led by King Louis IX of France. The ninth was lead by Prince Edward; who was later Edward I of England.

"The last four expeditions, the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth crusades were undertaken by the Christians of Europe against the infidels of the East, may be conveniently grouped as the Minor Crusades. The Minor Crusades were marked by a less fervid and holy enthusiasm than that which characterized the first movements, and exhibit among those taking part in them the greatest variety of objects and ambitions."

The fifth crusade started when Pope Honorius III achieved in getting more Europeans to agree to try again to conquer Jerusalem from the Ayyubids. For this crusade the Pope decided that he would be in charge and not the European king. Following the fourth crusade plan, the crusade went south to Egypt. An alliance was made with the Seljuk sultan, Kay Kaus I, in 1218. They then attacked the port of Damietta in Egypt. Following this there was a siege, in which many people on both side died. In 1219, the crusaders finally gained Damietta, however, soon after they began to fight over power of this city. Shortly after, in 1221, the crusaders went after Cairo, to try to take over more of Egypt. However, the Ayyubids flooded the roads by using the Nile river. In order for the crusaders to get out they had to make peace with the Ayyubids. They came to an agreement in which the crusaders had to give back Damietta. After the peace treaty was made the crusaders went home with little progress to show.

Soon after the failure of the Fifth crusaded, Frederick II decided to try his own crusade. Friedrich marched on Acre, in Syria. "Then Friedrich got an offer from al-Kamil, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt. Al-Kamil wanted to put his brother in power in Syria. He would hand over Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem to Friedrich in exchange for help from Friedrich's army. Friedrich agreed, and crowned himself King of Jerusalem in 1229 AD." However, a few months later Frederick II had to go home to Germany as a cause of problems there. He left Jerusalem without an army to protect it. Then the Mamluks, who were rising into power in West Asia, took Jerusalem.

The seventh crusade was started by King Louis IX of France. After the Mamluks took Jerusalem when Frederick II left it without an army to protect it, Louis announced his Crusade. He raised money from church tithes, then sailed to Cyprus; when he was 34 years old. Here he attacked and took the port of Damietta in Egypt; which was greatly involved in the fifth crusade. Using Damietta as a base, Louis then attacked Cairo. But the Mamluks arrived and defeated and captured him. France had to give back Damietta and pay a lot of gold to get him back. Louis and his army left for Acre in Syria. Louis was now forty years old and had ran out of money. Also, his mother, Blanche of Castile, died. She had been ruling France while Louis was away leading the Crusades, and with her dead Louis had to go home and take charge.

"After Louis IX of France had gotten France organized, following the death of his mother, Blanche, he wanted to try another Crusade. The Seventh Crusade, which Louis led, had ended in failure in 1254 AD, so in 1270, when he was 56 years old, Louis tried again. But he started by going to Tunis, to get a base in North Africa. Unfortunately the plague struck his camp, and Louis himself died of it. That was the end of the eighth crusade"

The ninth crusade is often combined with the eighth crusades. it is often considered to be the last Holy Crusade to get Jerusalem.

Overall the Minor Crusades were not a big success and mainly a waste of human lives.