1146–86 Defence of Latin East


Map Code: Ax00209

The Latin East was formed after the First Crusade (1095–99), when Christian settlers occupied territories in the Levant, including Jerusalem. Further north, they settled in Tripoli, Edessa and Antioch. Despite Edessa falling to Muslim warlord Zengi in 1146 and a failed Second Crusade (1147–49), the settlers stayed entrenched. Their kingdom was virtually ignored by western Europe until the siege of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187, when Richard the Lionheart led the Third Crusade. Between 1167–70 the Muslim warlord, Nur ad-Din, attacked Antioch and drove the Christian Europeans out of Egypt, but it was in 1186 that the substantial defences of the Latin East were placed under extreme threat. Saladin, sultan of Egypt, had captured Muslim Syria and was ready to conquer the Latin East, beginning with the County of Tripoli. Saladin had taken nearly the entire Latin kingdom by the time the third crusaders arrived several years later.

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