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

3. The Intensifying Conflict, 1186

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About this Lecture


In this module, we take stock of the situation in the Near East in 1186, on the eve of Saladin's major campaign against the Kingdom of Jerusalem, focusing in particular on: (i) Saladin's limited success against the Franks up until this point; (ii) the ways in which Saladin improved his fighting capability: his reform of the army, including the introduction of heavy cavalry, and the importance of the concept of jihad in raising morale; (iii) the power of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at this point; (iv) the problems faced by the Kingdom of Jerusalem, including: the lack of support from the Byzantine Empire following the Byzantine defeat at the Battle of Myriocephalum (1176) and the death of the Byzantine Emperor, Manuel Komnenos (1180); the reduction in the number of crusaders making their way to the Crusader States from Western Europe, and the reasons for this drop; the in-fighting within the Frankish forces, particularly in relation to the regency and succession of Baldwin IV, and particularly between Raymond, Count of Tripoli and Guy of Lusignan.


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 Intensifying Conflict, 1186 [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Morton, N. "The Crusader States and the Fall of Jerusalem, c.1160-87 – The Intensifying Conflict, 1186." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

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