Fourth Crusade

Knightly Orders protecting pilgrims in the Holy Land. ©Osprey Publishing
1197 Jan 1


Jerusalem, Israel

Between 1176 and 1187, the Ayyubid sultan Saladin conquered most of the Crusader states in the Levant. Jerusalem was lost to the Ayyubids following the siege of Jerusalem in 1187. The Third Crusade (1189–1192) was launched in response to the fall of Jerusalem, with the goal of recovering the city. It successfully reclaimed an extensive territory, effectively reestablishing the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Although Jerusalem itself was not recovered, the important coastal towns of Acre and Jaffa were. On 2 September 1192, the Treaty of Jaffa was signed with Saladin, bringing the crusade to an end. The truce would last for three years and eight months.

Saladin died on 4 March 1193, before the expiration of the truce, and his empire was contested and divided between three of his sons and two of his brothers. The new ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Henry II of Champagne, signed an extension of the truce with Egyptian Sultan al-Aziz Uthman. In 1197, Henry died and was succeeded by Aimery of Cyprus, who signed a truce with al-Adil of five years and eight months on 1 July 1198.