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4. Saladin and the Third Crusade
About this Lecture
In this module, we consider the Third Crusade from Saladin's perspective, focusing in particular on: (i) Saladin's life and career: his service with Shirkuh in Egypt, his control of Egypt following Shirkuh's death, his acquisition of the cities of Damascus and Aleppo, and his victory at the Battle of Hattin; (ii) Saladin's major strengths at the beginning of the Third Crusade: his status as the general who returned Jerusalem to Islam, his knowledge of the region (unlike Richard I and Philip Augustus of France), his network of alliances with neighbouring states; (iii) Saladin's major weaknesses including the relative weakness of his naval forces and his army's warfare fatigue; (iv) Saladin's strategy for dealing with the crusading forces including his attempt to slow the crusaders down with diplomatic negotiations and his destruction of fortifications that might have been used by the crusaders; (v) the negatives of the Third Crusade for Saladin, including his military defeats at the Battles of Arsuf (7 September 1191) and Jaffa (27 July - 8 August 1192) and his loss of the cities of Jaffa and Acre; (vi) the positives of the Third Crusade for Saladin, including the fact he avoided defeat at the hands of a huge crusading force and his retention of the city of Jerusalem itself; (vii) the negatives of the Third Crusade for Richard, including his failure to regain the city of Jerusalem, his alienation of various other leaders, and his loss of the recently rebuilt city of Ascalon; (viii) the positives of the Third Crusade for Richard, including his avoidance of defeat at the hands of Saladin, and the creation of a nucleus (Jaffa, Acre, Cyprus) from which later crusading forces could rebuild; and (ix) the sense in which both Saladin and Richard were 'victors' in the Third Crusade, at least insofar as their reputations today are concerned.
In this course, Dr Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent University) explores the Third Crusade (1189-92). We start by thinking about the origins of the Third Crusade, focusing in particular on the annihilation of the Crusader forces at the Battle of Hattin (1187) and Saladin's capture of Jerusalem (1187). After that, we turn to the journey east of the various contingents of the Crusader army, especially those led by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, the French king, Philip Augustus, and Richard I of England. In the third module, we think about the progress of the Crusaders, focusing in particular on the Siege of Acre (1189-91) and the Battles of Arsuf (1191) and Jaffa (1192), as well as the Treat of Jaffa that brought the conflict to an end. In the final module, we consider the Third Crusade from Saladin's perspective, and think about which side 'won' the Third Crusade – was it the Crusaders or Saladin? or neither? or both?
Dr Nicholas Morton is a specialist in the history of crusading and the Medieval Mediterranean between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. More recently he has begun to focus specifically upon the theme of inter-faith relations between Christianity and Islam in this region. He has published extensively on topics connected to this subject area, writing a range of monographs and scholarly articles. He is also an editor for the Ashgate series Rulers of the Latin East.
Currently Dr Morton is completing a monograph exploring the First Crusaders' attitudes and behaviour towards the various non-Christian peoples they encountered during their campaign. This will be a highly revisionist work addressing many key scholarly and public orthodoxies surrounding the nature of Christian/Islamic interaction during the crusade.
Cite this Lecture
Morton, N. (2018, August 15). The Third Crusade, 1189-92 - Saladin and the Third Crusade [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-third-crusade-1189-92/saladin-and-the-third-crusade
Morton, N. "The Third Crusade, 1189-92 – Saladin and the Third Crusade." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://massolit.io/courses/the-third-crusade-1189-92/saladin-and-the-third-crusade