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The Third Crusade, 1189-92

1. The Launch of the Third Crusade

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the events that led to the launch of the Third Crusade, as well as the initial fortunes of the crusaders arriving in the Near East, focusing in particular on: (i) the annihilation of the Frankish army at the Battle of Hattin (1187), and Saladin's acquisition of the territories of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (except for the city of Tyre), the Principality of Antioch (except for the city of Antioch itself) and the County of Tripoli (except for the city of Tripoli itself); (ii) the arrival of the news back in Western Europe, the death of Pope Urban III (some say from shock), and the launch of the Third Crusade by Urban's successor, Pope Gregory VIII; (iii) the importance of Guy of Lusignan: his release from captivity in May 1188; his journey to Tyre to reclaim his position as King of Jerusalem; his rejection by Conrad of Montferrat; his assembly of a small crusading force and his attempt to regain the city of Acre; and (iv) Guy's success in holding his position, and the swelling of his forces with new arrivals from Western Europe.


In this course, Dr Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent University) explores the Third Crusade (1189-92). We start by thinking about the origins of the Third Crusade, focusing in particular on the annihilation of the Crusader forces at the Battle of Hattin (1187) and Saladin's capture of Jerusalem (1187). After that, we turn to the journey east of the various contingents of the Crusader army, especially those led by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, the French king, Philip Augustus, and Richard I of England. In the third module, we think about the progress of the Crusaders, focusing in particular on the Siege of Acre (1189-91) and the Battles of Arsuf (1191) and Jaffa (1192), as well as the Treat of Jaffa that brought the conflict to an end. In the final module, we consider the Third Crusade from Saladin's perspective, and think about which side 'won' the Third Crusade – was it the Crusaders or Saladin? or neither? or both?


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 Third Crusade, 1189-92 - The Launch of the Third Crusade [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Morton, N. "The Third Crusade, 1189-92 – The Launch of the Third Crusade." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

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