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The History of the Church 98 The Third Crusade The capture of Jerusalem in 1099 had not fully guaranteed security for the crusaders in the Holy Land. The Second Crusade, preached in Vezelay by Saint Bernard in 1145, had come to a sudden end in two years’ time without any notable events other than the pillaging of some Greek villages by the crusaders. Thefall of Jerusalem in 1187 was the occasion for the ThirdCrusade, in which three prestigious rulers took part: Frederick I Barbarossa of Germany; Richard I, the Lionheart, of England; and Philip II of France. To finance the enterprise, a new tax was levied in Christian lands called the “Saladin Tithe,” after the Muslim leader who had seized Jerusalem. In May 1190, Barbarossa won a resounding victory over the Turks in Iconium, Asia Minor, but he subsequently drowned while crossing the Saleph River. Philip returned to France one year later, to attend to the affairs of his realm. As for Richard the Lionheart, after two years of indecisive fighting, he concluded a truce with Saladin with mutual guarantees for Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem and Muslims on their way to Mecca. The Third Crusade gave rise to a wide variety of legends and epics, the French, English, and Germans each naturally favoring their respective sovereigns. This nationalistic perspective is also reflected in artistic renderings of the crusade. Karl Friedrich Lessing (1808–1880) Barbarossa in the Battle of Iconium Volmer Collection, Wuppertal, Germany ...


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