Chronology

Before the Invasion

622

The emigration—or hijra—of the Prophet MuÎammad from Mecca to Medina. Beginning of the Muslim calendar.

 

638

The caliph ÝUmar takes Jerusalem.

 

Seventh

and Eighth Centuries: the Arabs build an enormous empire, from the Indus River in the east to the Pyrenees in the west.

 

809

Death of the caliph HÁrÙn al-RashÐd: the Arab empire at its apogee.

 

Tenth Century: Although their civilzation is still flourishing,

 

political decline among the Arabs begins. The caliphs lose their power to Turkish and Persian military officers.

 

1055

The Seljuk Turks are rulers of Baghdad.

 

1071

The Seljuks crush the Byzantines at Malazgerd and seize Asia Minor. They soon control the entire Muslim East except for Egypt.

Invasion

1096

Kilij Arslan, sultan of Nicaea, crushes a Frankish invasion army led by Peter the Hermit.

 

1097

First great Frankish expedition. Nicaea is taken; Kilij Arslan is defeated at Dorylaeum.

 

1098

The Franj take Edessa and then Antioch, and triumph over a Muslim rescue army commanded by KarbÙqa, ruler of Mosul. The incident of cannibalism in MaÝarra.

 

1099

Fall of Jerusalem, followed by massacres and plunder. Debacle of the Egyptian rescue army. The qÁÃÐ of Damascus, al-Íarwi, leads a delegation of refugees to Baghdad to denounce the lack of action by Muslim leaders in face of the invasion.

Occupation

1100

Baldwin, count of Edessa, escapes an ambush near Beirut and proclaims himself king of Jerusalem.

 

1104

Muslim victory at ÍarrÁn, which checks the Frankish eastward advance.

 

1108

Curious battle near Tel BÁshir: two Islamo-Frankish coalitions confront one another.

 

1109

Fall of Tripoli after a 2000-day siege.

 

1110

Fall of Beirut and Saida.

 

1111

Ibn al-KhashÁb, the qÁÃÐ of Aleppo, organizes a riot against the caliph of Baghdad to demand intervention against the Frankish occupation.

 

1112

Victorious resistance at Tyre.

 

1115

Alliance of Muslim and Frankish princes of Syria against an army dispatched by the sultan.

 

1119

Ilghazi, ruler of Aleppo, crushes the Franj at Sarmada.

 

1124

The Franj take Tyre: they now occupy the entire coast, except for Ascalon.

 

1125

Ibn al-KhashÁb is murdered by the Assassins sect.

Riposte

1128

Failure of a Franj thrust at Damascus. ZangÐ the ruler of Aleppo.

 

1135

ZangÐ tries, unsuccessfully, to take Damascus.

 

1137

ZangÐ captures Fulk, king of Jerusalem, then releases him.

 

1140

Alliance of Damascus and Jerusalem against ZangÐ.

 

1144

ZangÐ takes Edessa, destroying the first of the four Frankish states of the Orient.

 

1146

Murder of ZangÐ. His son NÙr al-DÐn replaces him in Aleppo.

Victory

1148

Debacle at Damascus for a new Frankish expedition led by Conrad, emperor of Germany, and Louis VII, king of France.

 

1154

NÙr al-DÐn takes control of Damascus, unifying Muslim Syria under his authority.

 

1163–69

The struggle for Egypt. ShÐrkÙh, lieutenant of NÙr al-DÐn, finally wins. Proclaimed vizier, he dies two months later. He is succeeded by his nephew Saladin.

 

1171

Saladin proclaims the overthrow of the Fatimid caliphate. Sole master of Egypt, he finds himself in conflict with NÙr al-DÐn.

 

1174

Death of NÙr al-DÐn. Saladin takes Damascus.

 

1183

Saladin takes Aleppo. Egypt and Syria now reunited under his aegis.

 

1187

The year of victory. Saladin crushes the Frankish armies at ÍiÔÔÐn, near Lake Tiberias. He reconquers Jerusalem and the greater part of the Frankish territories. The occupiers now hold only Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch.

Reprieve

1190–92

Setback for Saladin at Acre. Intervention of Richard the Lionheart, king of England, enables the Franj to recover several cities from the sultan, but not Jerusalem.

 

1193

Saladin dies in Damascus at the age of 55. After several years of civil war, his empire is reunited under the authority of his brother al-ÝÀdil.

 

1204

The Franj take Constantinople. Sack of the city.

 

1218–21

Invasion of Egypt by the Franj. They take Damietta and head for Cairo, but the sultan al-KÁmil, son of al-ÝÀdil, finally repels them.

 

1229

Al-KÁmil delivers Jerusalem to the emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, arousing a storm of indignation in the Arab world.

Expulsion

1244

The Franj lose Jerusalem for the last time.

 

1248–50

Invasion of Egypt by Louis IX, king of France, who is defeated and captured. Fall of the Ayyubid dynasty; replaced by the rule of the Mamluks.

 

1258

The Mongol chief Hülegü, grandson of Genghis Khan, sacks Baghdad, massacring the population and killing the last ÝAbbasid caliph.

 

1260

The Mongol army, after occupying first Aleppo and then Damascus, is defeated at the battle of ÝAyn JÁlÙt in Palestine. Baybars at the head of the Mamluk sultanate.

 

1268

Baybars takes Antioch, which had been allied with the Mongols.

 

1270

Louis IX dies near Tunis in the course of a failed invasion.

 

1289

The Mamluk sultan QalÁwÙn takes Tripoli.

 

1291

The sultan KhalÐl, son of QalÁwÙn, takes Acre, putting an end to two centuries of Frankish presence in the Orient.

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