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Thursday, July 27, 2017

2ND CRUSADE, 1147-48

A Muslim soldier fighting Crusaders.

The loss of Edessa to Zangi Imad al-Din, ruler of Mosul and Aleppo in 1144 led to the 2nd Crusade. As early as 1445, the Pope and King Conrad III of Germany were urging for a crusade but received poor response. It was two later that King Louis VII of France, with his Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and King Conrade III of Germany, the main leaders marched for the Crusade. Eleanor was considered the most beautiful lady in Europe.

The main party of Crusaders from France and Germany comprising of about 20,000 soldiers passed through Hungary to Constantinople then by land/sea routes to Antioch and finally Tyre. 

A smaller contingent from England led by lesser barons took the long sea route round Britanny, made a diversion at the Iberian Peninsula to capture Lisbon from its Moorish Emir. Afterwards they sailed the Mediterranean to Tyre. 

The crusaders were in disagreement to attack Aleppo or Damascus. It was a fatal mistake whey they decided to attack the latter even though its Emir wanted to befriend the crusaders as an ally against Zangi.

The defence of Damascus almost collapsed but Zangi came in time to annihilate the crusaders. Louis, Conrad, other leaders and the crusaders gradually made their way via Constantinople (capital of the Orthodox Christians Byzantine Empire or Eastern Roman Empire) or other routes back to their homelands after an absence  of more than two years.

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