Chronology

1189-92

The Third Crusade sets off for the Middle East; King Richard I of England seizes Cyprus from the Byzantine Empire; Crusaders retake Acre and defeat Saladin at the battle of Arsuf; Crusaders fail to reach Jerusalem; King Richard agrees a peace treaty with Saladin.

1193

Death of Saladin.

1197

King Aimery of Cyprus (since 1194) becomes King of Jerusalem (until 1205); German Crusade to the Middle East.

1198

Cilician Armenia becomes a kingdom; German Hospital reconstituted as the Order of Teutonic Knights.

1202-04

Fourth Crusade seizes the Byzantine Imperial capital; creation of the Latin Empire of Constantinople; beginning of the Crusader conquest of southern Greece.

1205

Hugh I becomes king of Cyprus (until 1218).

1210

John of Brienne becomes King of Jerusalem (until 1225).

1218

Henry I becomes king of Cyprus (until 1253); Fifth Crusade invades Egypt by sea.

1221

Fifth Crusade is defeated at the First Battle of Mansurah.

1225

Emperor Frederick II of Germany and Italy becomes ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (until 1243).

1229

Civil war in the Kingdom of Cyprus (until 1233).

1231-42

Commune of Acre becomes centre of resistance to Emperor Frederick II’s rule in the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The castle of Gaston (Baghras) dominated the strategic Belen Pass through the Amanus Mountains east of Antioch. It consisted of outer and inner circuit walls, both with rounded towers, perched on a very steep hill. After falling to Saladin it passed into the hands of the Armenians, before being returned to the Templars in 1216. Ironically, its most important subsequent role was to protect the Principality of Antioch against its fellow Christian neighbour in the Kingdom of Cilician Armenia.

1243

Conrad becomes King of Jerusalem (until 1254); Mongols invade Seljuk Anatolia.

1244

Kingdom of Jerusalem forms an alliance with the Ayyubid rulers of Damascus and Jordan against the Ayyubid ruler of Egypt; Khwarazian refugee army from eastern Islam (fleeing advancing Mongols) takes Jerusalem from the Crusader Kingdom; Crusader States defeated at the battle of La Forbie.

1245

Emperor Frederick II deposed.

1250

Crusade of King Louis IX of France invades Egypt; death of Sultan al-Salih Ayub of Egypt; Louis IX defeated at the Second Battle of Mansurah; effective establishment of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt.

1253

Hugh II becomes King of Cyprus (until 1267).

1254

Conraddin becomes King of Jerusalem (until 1268; note that Acre was now actual capital of the Kingdom).

1256

Civil war in Acre (until 1258).

1258

Mongols invade Iraq and sack Baghdad.

1260

Mongols invade Syria; Crusader Principality of Antioch and Kingdom of Cilician Armenia ally with the Mongols; Mamluks defeat Mongols at the battle of Ayn Jalut; Baybars becomes Mamluk Sultan of Egypt.

1261

Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII retakes Constantinople from Latin (Crusader) Empire.

1263-66

Mamluks destroy Nazareth, and take Caesarea, Arsuf and Safad.

1267

Hugh III becomes King of Cyprus (until 1284).

1268

Mamluks retake Jaffa, Belfort and Antioch.

1269

King Hugh III of Cyprus becomes ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (until 1284); Aragonese Crusade arrives in Acre.

1271

Mamluks retake Castel Blanc, Crac des Chevaliers and Montfort; Crusade of Prince Edward of England reaches Acre then attacks Caco.

1276-77

King Hugh III abandons Palestine for Cyprus; Mary of Antioch sells the Crown to King Charles of southern Italy; Kingdom of Jerusalem divided between lords who recognise or reject Charles.

1277

Civil war in the County of Tripoli (until 1283).

1284

John I becomes King of Jerusalem and Cyprus (until 1285).

1285

Henry II becomes king of Cyprus (nominal ruler until 1324); Mamluks take Margat.

1287-89

Crusade led by Alice of Blois reaches Acre; Mamluks take Latakia and Tripoli.

1290

Northern Italian Crusade to the Holy Land.

1291

Mamluks take Acre, Sidon and Beirut; Crusaders evacuate Tartus and Atlit.

1299

Mongols defeat a Mamluk army near Homs, leading to temporary revival of Crusading optimism in Europe.

1302

Mamluks retake Arwad island; probable end of Crusader rule at Jbayl.

The seemingly isolated tower of Burj al-Sabi overlooks the coastal road south of Banyas. It was strong enough to impose tolls upon travellers but the main fortress in this area was Margat, which rises a short distance inland. This tower is also said to have been linked to Marqab by a long wall.

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