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The Crusader States and the Fall of Jerusalem, c.1160-87

4. The Battle of Hattin, 1187

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About this Lecture


In this module, we trace the events leading up the Battle of Hattin (1187), focusing in particular on: (i) Saladin's movements in May and June 1187, culminating in his siege of the city of Tiberias; (ii) the council in Jerusalem as to what should be done about Tiberias, including the advice of Raymond, Count of Tripoli to not risk a confrontation with Saladin, and that of Gerard of Ridefort, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, to send out a relief army; (iii) Guy of Lusignan's initial decision to not risk a confrontation with Saladin, and the conclusion of the council; (iv) the private visit of Gerard of Ridefort and Raynald of Châtillon to Guy of Lusignan after the council had concluded, and Guy's decision to change his mind and send out a relief army after all; (v) some of the arguments that may have been used to persuade Guy of Lusignan to change his mind; (vi) the march of the Frankish army towards Tiberias on 3 July 1187, their slow progress, and the decision to make camp near the Horns of Hattin; (vii) the annihilation of the Frankish forces on 4 July 1187; and (viii) the aftermath of the Battle of Hattin, including: Saladin's capture of most Frankish fortresses in the region (e.g. Belvoir, Kerak, etc.); his capture of the territories of the County of Tripoli and the Principality of Antioch; the arrival of the news of Saladin's victory in Western Europe, the death of Urban III, and the launch of the Third Crusade to recapture Jerusalem.


In this course, Dr Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent University) explores events in the Holy Land between the end of the Second Crusade and the fall of Jerusalem in 1187. In the first module, we focus on the Turkish commander Nur al-Din, one of the most brilliant generals the Crusaders will ever face, and the struggle for Fatimid Egypt. After that, we think about the rise of Saladin, his conflict with Nur al-Din, and his capture of almost all of Nur al-Din's territories in the 1170s and 1180s. In the third module, we set the stage for the major confrontation between Saladin and the Kingdom of Jerusalem by thinking about the various factors that made Jerusalem particularly weak in this period, before turning in the fourth module to the Battle of Hattin, the fall of Jerusalem, and the launch of the Third Crusade.


Dr Nicholas Morton is a specialist in the history of crusading and the Medieval Mediterranean between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. More recently he has begun to focus specifically upon the theme of inter-faith relations between Christianity and Islam in this region. He has published extensively on topics connected to this subject area, writing a range of monographs and scholarly articles. He is also an editor for the Ashgate series Rulers of the Latin East.

Currently Dr Morton is completing a monograph exploring the First Crusaders' attitudes and behaviour towards the various non-Christian peoples they encountered during their campaign. This will be a highly revisionist work addressing many key scholarly and public orthodoxies surrounding the nature of Christian/Islamic interaction during the crusade.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Morton, N. (2018, August 15). The Crusader States and the Fall of Jerusalem, c.1160-87 - The Battle of Hattin, 1187 [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Morton, N. "The Crusader States and the Fall of Jerusalem, c.1160-87 – The Battle of Hattin, 1187." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

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