back The Third Crusade 
A new call for another crusade went out from the Pope, to once again to take Jerusalem from the Muslims. The Pope (now Gregory VIII), and the Kings of Europe answered his plea.
        Richard the Lion heart led an English army, but he and his fellow kings failed to drive Arabs from Jerusalem. 

Saladin and Richard the Lionheart are two names that tend to dominate the Crusades. Both have gone down in Medieval history as great military leaders.

The Christians of western Europe were stunned by the success of Saladin. The pope, Gregory VIII, ordered another crusade immediately to regain the Holy City for the Christians. This was the start of the Third Crusade. It was led by King Richard I (Richard the Lionheart), Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of Germany and King Philip II of France.

   King Richard I
1. Under the heading: 'The Third Crusade', write out these sentences and them complete them:
     a) The Pope was prompted to call for another crusade after Saladin's army...
     b) The three most important Christian leaders to go on the Third Crusade were...

 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of Germany
      These were possibly the three most important men in western Europe - such was the importance of this crusade. It was to last from 1189 to 1192.

King Frederick (of Germany) was drowned on his march across Europe. He was 70 years of age and his death shocked his army and only a small part of it continued to the Middle East.

King Richard and King Philip (of France) and their men travelled by boat. They stopped their journey in modern day Sicily. In March 1191, Philip then sailed to the port of Acre which was controlled by the Muslims.

This was an important port to capture for the Christians as it would allow them to easily land their ships and it was also the nearest big port to Jerusalem. Acre was besieged. Philip's men were joined by Richard's. 

Philip II of France

c) Most of the German knights and soldiers did not continue on this crusade because...
d) King Philip II of France thought it was important to capture the Muslim port of Acre because...
 Richard had captured Cyprus first before moving on to Acre. The port could not cope against such a force and in July 1191, it fell to the Christians. However, the siege had had its impact on Philip - he was exhausted and left for France.

Richard was left by himself. While in control of Acre, the Christians massacred 2000 Muslim soldiers who they had captured. Saladin had agreed to pay a ransom for them but somehow there was a breakdown in the  process of payment and Richard ordered their execution.

Richard was determined to get to Jerusalem and he was prepared to take on Saladin. The march south to Jerusalem was very difficult.
e) King Philip returned to France because he was sick and....
f) After the crusaders captured the port of Acre, Richard had the 2000 Muslim prisoners....
       The Crusaders kept as near to the coast as possible to allow ships to supply them. It was also slightly cooler with a coastal breeze. Regardless of this, the Christians suffered badly from the heat and lack of fresh water.

At night when the Crusaders tried to rest, they were plagued by tarantulas. Their bites were poisonous and very painful. 

Both sides fought at the Battle of Arsur in September 1191. Richard won but he delayed his attack on Jerusalem as he knew that his army needed to rest. Also Richard knew that even if he continued on and captured Jerusalem, he would not have enough soldiers to hold on to it. He spent the winter of 1191 to 1192 in Jaffa where his army regained its strength.

      Richard marched towards Jerusalem in June 1192.
2. Draw several small images or cartoons to represent the problems that the crusaders faced on their march south along the coast.
3. Give two reasons for why Richard hesitated to attack Jerusalem.

     However, by now even Richard the Lionheart was suffering. He had a fever and appealed to his enemy Saladin to send him fresh water and fresh fruit. Saladin did just this - sending frozen snow to the Crusaders to be used as water and fresh fruit. Also in a later battle, when Saladin saw that Richards horse had been killed, Saladin sent him a new horse! Why would Saladin do this?

There are several reasons. First, Saladin was a strict Muslim. One of the main beliefs of Islam is that Muslims should help those in need. Secondly, Saladin admired Richards, fighting skills, courage and bravery.

The Muslim writer Baha described Richard as "....a very powerful man of great courage..." and "...a king of wisdom, courage and energy,.....brave and clever."

Perhaps Saladin wanted to send his men into Richard's camp with the supplies and spy on what he had in terms of soldiers, equipment etc.

4. Which do you think is the most likely reason for why Saladin, helped his enemy King Richard I, when Richard was in desperate need of help?
         What Saladin's men found, was that Richard only had 2,000 fit soldiers and 50 fit knights to use in battle. With such a small force, Richard could not hope to take Jerusalem even though he got near enough to see the Holy City.
5. Go to this interactive site and work you way through the battles of the Third Crusade:  

(This link is no longer active. If you can not answer the following question from your own research, go on to question 6.)
     After Richard had abandoned his attack on Jerusalem and returned to the north, why did he later rush his best knights south by boat to the port of Jaffa?

     Although Richard failed to retake Jerusalem, he organised a truce with Saladin - pilgrims from the west would once again be allowed to visit Jerusalem without being troubled by the Muslims. Neither Richard or Saladin particularly liked the truce but both sides were worn out and in October 1192, Richard sailed for western Europe never to return to the Holy Land.

6. What were the results of the Third Crusade? Did either side gain anything after this series of battles?
    The Later Crusades
      Other crusades followed, including one, which involved peasants and children from the Rhineland and Southern France.

    These Crusades or Holy wars fought between the Christians and the Muslims to get Jerusalem back, were to last nearly 200 years.
7. a) How many crusades were there in total? (see the time-line below)
b) Over how long a period of time did the crusades last?
c) Find out and write down five points about the 'children's crusade'. What happened to the children on this crusade?
(pictures right and left - artist's impressions of the Children's Crusade)


a) Draw a time-line in your book that includes the first three crusades and the 'Children's Crusade'.
           b) See how well you can score on this interactive quiz about the Crusades: