Crociati (The Crusaders) (2005)



Director:     Dominique Othenin-Girard.

Starring:     Alessandro Gassman (Peter),  Johannes Brandrup (Richard),  Thure Riefenstein (Andrew),  Barbora Bobulova (Rachel),  Karin Proia (Maria),  Antonino Iuorio (Massoud),  Uwe Ochsenknecht (Corrado),  Thomas Heinze (Prince Roland),  Flavio Insinna (Bartolomew),  Dieter Kirchlechner (Baron William),  Rodolfo Corsato (Bastiano),  Franco Nero (Ibnazul),  Armin Mueller-Stahl (Alessio).

three young men swept up in the first Crusade

a TV mini-series


Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire mini-series. 

Aurocastro. Norman Duchy of Taranto, 1079 A.D. located on the western side near the heel of the boot of Italy. "Europe was plagued with poverty and famine. Feudal lords fought each other for the control for the land. Saracens, Arabs from the Orient, raided the coast of Europe to steal food and goods. As the situation continued to worsen, the Pope called for a passage to be made free to the Holy Land. Thousands upon and thousands of lords, simple peasants and adventurers set off to clear the way over Constantinople to the birthplace of their faith Jerusalem. They carried the cross of Christ their Lord and thus were called the crusaders."

A soldier shouts to another that the Saracens are coming and to light the fire. The fellow struggles to light the fire but finally does so. The Saracens meanwhile have disembarked from their boats and run across the beach to reach the guards. The man who lit the fire is shot in the chest with an arrow. The other guard is then killed.

The people of the village are panicking. Alessio tells them to run and hide in the woods. Antonio runs to Alessio to tell him that his wife is giving birth at this very moment and sheís losing lots of blood. The two men run to Antonioís place.

The Saracens arrive and start looting and killing. The Saracens bust into Antonioís place, but just stand and watch the birth. The lead Saracen takes Alessio over to see his dying wife and their baby. Alessio asks her if she is a Christian and she says yes and that she freely went with the Saracens. She asks Alessio to save her baby. Alessio takes the baby. He tells the Saracen that his wife is beyond help but the baby can be saved. The Saracen gives the baby to Antonioís wife, tells her to save his son and take care of him, please. The Saracen leaves.

Alessio says that the child saved their lives. He says he will raise the "little child of two worlds" as his own son. The new daughter will be called Maria and the new son will be called Peter.

Peter is now a young man. He is in love with Maria, but Alessio tells him there can be no union with her. He has a purpose and he needs to feel that. Peter heads off to see Maria. She shows him a gown that the women of the town spent all winter preparing for her as the May Queen and in honor of the coming return of Lord William. Peter gives her a bottle of oil of rose perfume that he made himself.

Her fiancťe Bastiano arrives and chases Peter off calling him as baseborn bastard. He tells Maria not to associate with him. Maria says she can do what she wants until they are married. The fiancťe insists that she will not.

Bastiano takes the perfume and as he walks through a herd of sheep he sprinkles it on his clothes. Peter and Andrew, the brother of Maria, laugh at the sight. Bastiano becomes infuriated and throws a sheep at them. Andrew protests against this bit of cruelty to an animal and gets pushed to the ground by Bastiano. Peter tells Andrew to calm down. Bastiano is Corradoís man Ė his days are numbered.

A group of very exhausted Crusaders walk along the beach. Richard rides out to greet his father, Lord William. He receives a heroís welcome. Lord William has lost an arm in battle against the Saracens. With Richard is his uncle and cousin. Maria and other women dance for Lord William. She then presents Lord William with flowers and thanks him for his victories in the Holy Land and his subsequent return.

Lord William tells the crowd that Jerusalem still resides in the hands of their enemies. Fresh reinforcements will soon arrive and then leave to join up with the army in the Holy Land! Lord William then calls for volunteers to go with them to open the Holy Land to Christian pilgrims.

Lord William says he will build a cathedral. He asks Alessio to make the church bell for him. At dinner Richard tells his father that he will go with the reinforcements to fight. His father tells him as his heir it is Richardís duty to remain by his side. His uncle asks if this is really fair to Richard? The young man really wants to go.  He is hungry for glory. Lord William turns the tables on uncle saying that he will go instead of Richard. He has heard how badly uncle governed his fiefdom in his absence. He abused his authority and engaged in thievery. Uncle protests and Lord William tells him that not only will he go, but his son will go with him. He says uncle has tried to usurp him and tried to put his own son as heir instead of Richard. The uncle agrees to go. Lord William tells him that it will be done by St. Bartholomewís Feast Day.

Maria makes Peter dance with her despite the presence of Bastiano. Bastiano sees them and they run away, while Andrew blocks Bastiano. They hide in a room of Alessio's house. Peter expresses his love for Maria. They kiss. Bastiano breaks in. Peter is grabbed. Bastiano slaps him and then throws him out of the room.

Bastiano grabs Maria and pulls her outside. He tells his men to take Peter to see Lord Corrado. They drag him along the ground. Lord Corrado turns out to be none other than Richardís uncle. Bastiano shouts that the manís father was a Saracen and he bewitched his bride-to-be. He gives Corrado the bottle of perfume as proof. Corrado says he should let Bastiano avenge his honor, but in deference to the return of Lord William, he will be lenient and spare Peter. But the upstart will be punished with 30 strokes of the stick.

Peter is tied to a post and Bastiano starts caning him on the back. But Richardís cousin takes the stick from Bastiano so he can exercise his arm on this reprobate.

Andrew runs to catch Lord William. Richard tells him that his father will not see him now. Andrew persists and tells Richard that his uncle has condemned an innocent man to 30 strokes. Richard says his uncle would not dare, but Andrew insists that the punishment is taking place right now.

Maria begs for Richardís cousin to stop the caning. Peter tells her to go away. Bastiano tries to get the crowd to chant "Death to the bastard!", but many in the crowd remain silent. Richard arrives and demands that the punishment be halted. Richard has Peter freed and Peter thanks him. Uncle and cousin are not too happy about being publicly reproached. You disgraced us, says uncle. He says that he and his father will pay for this.

Alessio puts an ointment on Peterís back. Peter tells him he wants to join the crusaders. Alessio wants Peter to go only to the Holy Land as a pilgrim, not as a soldier. Maria knocks on the door. Peter asks his father not to let her in. He does not want her to see him.

Maria comes to see Peter, but Peter will not talk to her. He runs into the house and goes into the cellar below. Maria enters the cellar from another entrance. She tells him it has been weeks and he has not come to see her. So she has come to see him. He tells her heís going. She protests but he says she is going to marry Bastiano. Maria says she would rather die. He tells her he loves her, but now he knows who he is. He leaves when his father calls him to go with him to the cathedral. Maria breathes a deep sigh.

At the cathedral site Lord William tells Richard on the day of his departure uncle is not here. He worries about what this means. Uncle and cousin are busy preparing to attack Lord William and his men. The attack begins. Most of the people are without weapons. The people are being slaughtered. Alessio grabs Peter and Maria and tells them to run for it. They are followed by men on horseback. Andrew and Peter have to fight against several of Corradoís men.

Two soldiers go with Alessio who has promised to give them his silver. Maria, Peter and Andrew are hiding in the cellar. Andrew grabs a hammer to go to the defense of his father. He opens the cellar door but Alessio signals Peter not to come up. Instead, he grabs the sword-yielding arm of one of the soldiers and thrusts his mid-section onto the knife.

Corrado fights with Lord William. Lord William is winning, but he is killed by a arrow shot by this nephew. The Corrado finishes him off with a sword thrust. Richard canít believe what he sees. He shouts "traitor" to his cousin, rushes him and runs him through with his sword.

Peter tries to comfort his father. Richard now attacks his uncle. Andrew prevents a Corrado soldier from killing Richard with an arrow. Andrew grabs a horse, picks up Richard and rides away with him.

Alessio tells Peter to leave, but Peter insists on staying with him.

Richard awakens in a shepherdís shelter. He is there with other wounded men. Maria takes care of the wounded. One of the wounded is Alessio, who tells Maria to let Peter go and he will return to her. He says: "You are his only home."

Andrew and Peter arrive. Alessio asks his son if he still wants to go to the crusades. Yes, he does. He has him promise that one day he will make the cathedral bell for him. Alessio dies. At the grave site Peter gives Maria an amulet he made for her. She lies to him and says that everything has changed now. He must go to the Crusades with her brother. She says she will now marry Bastiano. She adds: "And as soon as I marry him, youíll mean nothing to me. . . . I set you free." She gives the amulet back to him. He stops her from leaving, but she breaks free from him. Maria runs to her mother and cries to her that she has broken Peterís heart and that now he hates her.

Richard tells Peter and Andrew that he will go with them. They will fight as equals. "Onward, to the Holy Land!"

The three start walking. Peter is skeptical about Richard, but Andrew tells him he has the feeling that Richard is meant to do great things. At night they prepare dinner. Of the three the only one who can read is Peter. They come upon a crusader camp. Peter is put to work as a blacksmith. This really disappoints him. He says he wants to go to the Holy Land. Peter selects the best sword for Andrew.

Peter gets to train with Andrew and Richard under Yarl, a Viking. A group of men on horses charge the volunteers and they have to stand without running and put up pikes with stuffed bag at the end.

Yarl takes on all challengers. He easily defeat Andrew, but Andrew wonít quit and wrestles wilth him. Andrew starts to get the best of Yarl so he grabs a stone and knocks out Andrew with it.

The three take a sea voyage. In a storm some of the men panic, but Yarl quiets them down saying heís a Viking and the sea is his friend.

They finally arrive in the Holy Land. Richard comes out of the hold first followed by Peter and Andrew. One of the Arab boys there to meet him notices that Peter looks like an Arab. He stares at his face. Peter shows him an amulet his biological father gave him. The boy looks at it, says "Basmala!" and runs away.

Yarl has to tell the men that there ship was delayed and the other volunteers have already left. They will use Armenian Christians as there guides through the mountains. The weather is extremely hot and the men have on a lot of clothes.

At night one of the guides takes some money from another man. The guide tells the Christians that the Saracens ahead of them attacked a Christian monastery and massacred all the monks. The men want to go after the Saracens. The guide then provides the men with drink.

In the morning they reach the fortress. Yarl takes one group and puts the other in command of Andrew. Andrew will attack the sentinels with bow and arrows and then Yarl and his men will attack the gate.

Richard says he doesnít trust the Armenians and he doesnít like the way the fortress looks. Everyone rushes for the entrance which is open. They proceed to kill everyone they find. Peter is very upset when he badly wounds a young man. Richard comes over and finishes the fellow off. Then they notice an amulet around the young manís neck. It turns out that it has a letter in Hebrew marked on it. These people re not Saracens! They are Jews! Yes, indeed, the Armenians have tricked them.

Yarl kills the Rabbi, while Richard and Peter just look on. A Jewish woman picks up the treasure and runs with it chased by one of the Armenians. Peter and Richard chase after them. The Armenian gets the chest for a little while, but is killed by Richard. The girl grabs the chest and runs with it again. Peter chases after her. He finally catches her. She tells Peter that her name is Rachel. She spits in Peterís face. He asks her whatís so important about the small chest? He opens it and Rachel tells him not to touch it. He opens the chest and finds a scroll in it. He asks what is it? She says itís the Torah, the Bible. Peter is speechless.

Peter and Rachel come in to speak with Yarl. Peter gives him the chest. Rachel tells Yarl what the chest contains. Richard asks Yarl if he now will admit that they attacked Jews and not Moors? Yarl just says it doesnít matter, Jews, Moors, theyíre all the same.

Rachel goes to retrieve other holy scrolls. She tells Peter this is a Yeshiva, a university where people came from all over to study. She dressed as a man so she could get into the school, but now itís all over. Peter says no, it isnít, because now she has her scrolls. He gives her the scroll he took out of the chest.

Rachel is amazed and says to Peter: "Youíre different." Peter responds: "Yes, like you." What about his friends? Peter say they can be trusted. (An Armenian stands behind them and listens to their conversation.) Rachel sees Peterís amulet and says they donít know all his secrets. Peter asks her if she can read it. No, she canít, but she knows someone who can.

Yarl wants to seel his prisoners to a merchant as slaves. The Armenian brings in Rachel to add to the pot. The merchant dismisses her thinking she is a young Jewish boy. But the Armenian rips open her clothes exposing her breasts and pubic hair.

Peter tries to stop the Armenian, but soldier Arnolfo holds him back on orders from Yarl. Yarl tells Andrew that Peter and Richard are traitors. They tried to hide this girl. Yarl says the two will be executed. He grabs the girl and Andrew tries to stop him. He doesnít stop him physically, but by telling everyone that Yarl made a deal with the Armenians. He and the Armenians knew all along that these people were not Saracens, but Jews. He shouts to the men that they didnít come here to steal, murder and plunder. Andrew fights with Yarl. He is able to thrust up a sword into Yarl as the giant goes in for the kill. Andrew then tells everyone to get out.

He talks alone with Rachel. She wants to know why did he save her? He says he couldnít help it. He comes over and kisses her. She tells him no and slaps him. She says: "Youíre as bad as the others." She runs to be with her own people. Peter looks at Andrew wondering what he did to Rachel.

The men capture the lead Armenian and throw him before Andrew. They tell Andrew that they selected him as their leader. They need a leader or they will die. So Andrew issues his first commands: take the Armenian who will be their guide to the crusader camp; free the slaves; and get ready to leave. Peter seems uneasy about the whole thing. Later Andrew pays to God for guidance, saying: "I am only a shepherd."

On a wagon Rachel travels with them. Rachel asks Peter to help with the wagon. He jumps onto the wagon. Suddenly the Saracens attack. Andrew says they want the supplies. The Saracens charge down the hills. Richard rides up to the top of the ridge and kills some Saracen archers. He is chased by two horsemen . Richard kills one of them. The Saracens and Christians fight hand to hand.

Rachel runs to grab some endangered children. Peter comes to her rescue when Saracens try to kill her. Crusaders arrive and chase off the Saracens. Their leader is Roland of the Normans. He wants to know who is the leader of the group? Andrew is the leader. Roland says that his people are dying of hunger, so Andrew and his men have done them a great service.

They reach the crusader camp. In it there are Provincials, Normans, Germans, Italians, Greeks, etc. They have been fighting for three years. Roland wants to know whatís happened in the camp. He is told that Bartholomew had a dream. So Roland tells Bartholomew to tell them all what he saw. He saw St. Andrew crucified. The saint told him that Jerusalem calls out to the crusaders to save Jerusalem. Duke Robert yells out that the man is possessed by the devil, not God. But many in the crowd believe him, including Richard.

In a conference, Roland tells Robert that they must move on. The men are sick of the camp and they are hungry. Richard says that Robert has no faith. To him this is just another battle, a test of his leadership. With Robert, says Richard: "Our battle has already been lost."

They put the prophet Bartholomew to a test. He will walk over hot coals. He walks through the coals, but with great pain. He falls down. His clothes catch on fire and then his hair. But he gets up and completes his task. He shouts: "For Jerusalem!" He dies in Richardís arms after Richard extinguishes the flames.

Rachel does not approve of the test of the prophet. Peter tells her that he has left his old world. And he will never be a soldier anymore. He shall be a man of peace and knowledge. Richard drags Peter away.

Peter, Richard and Andrew speak together. Peter wonders how many innocents will they kill in Jerusalem. Richard agrees that there is no honor in war. Peter says that he and Rachel are going to Jerusalem where the Jewish people will help them. Andrew tells him that deserters are sentenced to death. Peter goes to him and hugs him telling Andrew that to him Andrew will always be his brother. Richard will go with them. Andrew says Peter is a coward. Rachel says thatís not true. She asks Andrew if he will stop them from leaving. He shakes his head no.

Richard leaves behind his sword and goes with Peter and Rachel. They join in a caravan and travel to Jerusalem. Andrew has his men saddle up. Itís on to Jerusalem.

Roland asks where they are going and who gave them the order? Andrew says, that he, Roland, gave him the order. Roland smiles in agreement. Duke Robert protests, but the men start leaving the camp. Roberts says they canít leave the conquering to the Normans and the French alone. They join in with the other.

The three pilgrims reach the city of Jerusalem. Richard has to cover his face so they wonít see his white face. She will take them to a Muslim man named Ibn-Azul who will help them. A group of Christians pass by them. Peter is shocked because he was told there were no Christians in Jerusalem. Richard decides to go with the Christians, while Rachel and Peter go to Ibn-Azul.

Richard learns that the crusaders have made it worse for the Christians because now the acceptance between the groups has turned to suspicion.

Rachel tells Ibn-Azul that she comes on behalf of Rabbi Ben Yeoshua. He canít believe she is a woman. She tells him that she was the one who wrote the letters to him. And if he doesnít believe her, then she will believe the moon. There is a lunar eclipse. Rachel says she made the calculations.

Ibn-Azul asks Peter about his amulet. Peter explains. Ibn-Azul then says that the inscription is Basmala, the first verse of the Koran: "In the name of Allah, the gracious, the most merciful.". Peterís father saved these people from famine with his daring travels. Peter thanks the master. Outside, many believe that Allah is angry.

The crusaders are coming and the Christians must be out of the city before they arrive. The Muslims prepare the machine known as the Greek Fire to spreads flames onto the enemy. The builder is a Greek and he will be covered in gold if he succeeds. The Greek turns the machine on and it works. But the fuel becomes too hot and explodes killing the Greek.

Richard and the other Christians are pushed out of the city. Massoud shouts for his men to used their spears. Richard shouts for them to stop, to stop in name of the cross. The Muslim leader tells the soldiers to bring that man (Richard) to him. Richard says he was a Norman nobleman, but now he is no longer a crusader. Richard says he will negotiate with the crusaders and get them to consider peace. Ibn-Azul advises that they try to obtain a truce and then possibly peace.

The crusaders arrive. Their catapults start launching various items at the fortress. The Muslim leader tells the Christians to leave now. The Christians start heading to the gates. Andre volunteers to enter the city. He wonders if Rachel is in the city. And Rachel wonders if Andrew is still out there. Peter gets upset about this and feels she has betrayed him and what he has done for her.

Ibn-Azul tells Peter that Richard is to be executed. Peter goes to a guard and tells him he is a crusader and wants to speak with the governor. Meanwhile, Richard gains access to the city by pretending he is a shepherd. Peter says to the governor that he wants the life of his friend. Moussad laughs at him. In exchange for him making the Greek Fire machine. You are a Christian, says Moussad. Yes, his mother was, but his father was a Saracen Lord. The governor says that Peterís father was a great warrior. Moussad demands that Peter make the machine himself and test it. He will guarantee the machine with his life and those of his friends.

Andrew sees Rachel with Ibn-Azul. He climbs up a wall to get access to an interior court to talk to Rachel. She is happy to see him. She says she knew he would change his mind, but Andrew tells her know. So now she is worried about betraying the trust of Ibn-Azul. Rachel starts to walk away from him, but he grabs her. He apologizes for the day he kissed her. He says that he cannot get her out of his mind. He asks her to come with him out of the city. He goes on to tell her that he loves her. They kiss passionately. Peter sees them and calls her name. He starts insulting her and she slaps him. She says he is blinded by jealousy. Andrew tells her to look for his banners. He will find her. Andrew leaves.

Andrew works on his towers and Peter works on his Greek fire machine. Peter finds the amulet that he gave to Maria. At night Peter tests the machine. It works, but will it also explode? There is a high-pitch whistling that intensives. The crowd starts backing up. Peter then releases the gases and thereby decreases the likelihood of any explosion.

The next day the Christians get ready to attack. The signal is given to attack and away they go. They attack the weakest gate of the fortress and Moussad complains of enemy spies. Richard tells Peter not to use the machine. This is too high of a price to pay for his life, he says. Peter tells him itís not his choice. Rachel begs Andrew not to do it. Peter gets off the machine. A Saracen tries to stop him, but is killed by Andrewís arrow. A small boy operate the machine. Andrew kills him with an arrow, but he does get a blast off. Other men try to operate the machine, but it blows up. The crusaders cheer.

Peter tells Rachel and Richard the city will be taken. They must save Ibn-Azul.

The crusaders start succeeding in getting up onto the fortress walls. Peter and the others evacuate ibn-Azul to the mosque. Richard says he must find the relic. Peter warns him that he will be killed. The crusaders open the gate from the inside and in the soldiers pour. There is an explosion and some of the Arabs are killed.

The Christians start killing the Muslims as they run away. A soldier orders the door to be open. He keeps banging and warning them. Rachel tells Ibn-Azul that she will try to get to Andrew who helped her once. She goes outside the walls accompanied by Peter.

Andrew saves a woman from being raped by the crusaders. Andrew then saves Rachel and Peter.Andrew tries to get Duke Robert to stop the killing, but the Duke orders his men to kill Andrew. Andrew starts fighting for his life. Later he fights with Duke Robert. Richard tries to stop the fighting, but is killed by Arnulfo.

The mosque is set afire and Rachel and Peter get Ibn-Azul out of there. They find Richard wounded. Roland arrives to stop Andrew from killing Duke Robert. The roof caves in on the mosque.

Peter tells Rachel that he once loved, but that is over. But he says he must return the rose amulet to the person he made it for. "It is time to go where our hearts belong."

Andrew speaks with Rachel. He says he canít live without her. He asks Rachel what she feels. She says she doesnít know and asks for time.

Richard tells Peter that they should go home now. Peter says Richard canít go because he has a prize on his head. Richard is not deterred. Peter looks back at Rachel for a moment and then turns again to leave.

Richard and Peter arrive home. Richard collapses and dies near where he stood. Peter cries over his body. Peter buries Richard by the cathedral his father once started. He asks Rich why did they go to Jerusalem?

Richard sees Eloise, Mariaís mother. At first she doesnít recognize him. Then suddenly it dawns on her. She asks about her son Andrew. That last time Richard saw him was two years ago and at that time he was well. Peter gives Eloise the rose he made for Maria and then starts to leave. Eloise stops him by saying: "Maria did not marry." She takes Richard to Maria. She is singing with the children of the village.

Peter starts to panic and tries to leave but Eloise tells him to at least say goodbye to her daughter. At this moment Maria sees him. She rushes over to him. She canít believe itís him. She says: "Peter, thank God. You are alive."

He says he does not deserve her love. Peter gives her the rose and leaves. She runs after him and asks him: "Donít you love me anymore?" After a little talk they unite, hugging and kissing.

Years later. Peter and Maria have children now. He has constructed the bell for the cathedral and is taking it to the cathedral. From the bell tower he sees Rachel and Andrew arrive. He sees Maria run to greet her brother. Peter climbs down to the ground. He welcomes Andrew home. It is Andrew who is the new Lord of the village. Rachel explains that Andrew was rewarded by Prince Roland for the service he rendered in Jerusalem.

Andrew tells Peter that the cathedral will be named for the staff of Jerusalem. It was found buried next to a man that had been a pilgrim, judging buy his clothes. They have no idea how the pilgrim came to be buried next to the cathedral.

Peter kneels and says: "You are home, Richard. We are home." The church bell rings. Andrew says congratulations to Peter.


Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


Historical Background:




1095 Ė Pope Urban II called upon the knights of Christendom to push back the conquests of Islam at the Council of Clermont. Thousands of men took the vow of the cross and got ready to head for Jerusalem.   The warriors did not call themselves crusaders.  They saw themselves as pilgrims and performed acts of righteousness on their way to Jerusalem.

Goals of the Crusades:

The first goal was to rescue the Christians of the East

The second goal was the liberation of Jerusalem and other places associated with the life of Christ.


Two early leaders were Adhemar, Bishop of Le Puy, and Raymond IV of Toulouse, two of southern France's most important leaders.  There were armies of knights, but there were also a number of unplanned and unexpected armies of peasants and petty nobles.  They were led by charismatic priest Peter the Hermit of Amiens.


1095 --  a ragtag band of Crusaders led by Count Emicho of Leiningen made its way down the Rhine River.  Along the way they robbed and murdered all the Jews they could find. To these crusaders, both the Jews and the Muslims were the enemies of Christ. Indeed, they thought it a righteous way to behave.  An added benefit is that the Jewish money was then used help fund the Crusade to Jerusalem. .

1096  --  Urban recruited other leaders representing France, Germany and southern Italy:  1)  Bohemond of Taranto of southern Italy;  Bohemond's nephew Tancred;  Godfrey of Bouillon and his brother Baldwin of Boulogne;  Hugh of Vermandois, brother of excommunicated French King Philip I;  Robert of Normandy, brother of English of King William II of England; and his relatives Stephen of Blois and Robert of Flanders.   

Of the four crusader armies Hugh of Vermandois arrived first in Constantinople, followed by Godfrey, Raymond, and Bohemond.  All the armies together may have come to as many as 35,000 crusaders and 5,000 cavalry. 

By 1098 Ė the Crusaders had restored Nicaea and Antioch to Christian rule.

1098  --  Jerusalem recaptured from the Seljuks by the Fatimids of Egypt.

1099 (June 7)  --   the crusaders reached Jerusalem.

1099 (July) Ė they conquered Jerusalem and began to build a Christian state in Palestine. The joy in Europe was unbridled. It seemed that the tide of history, which had lifted the Muslims to such heights, was now turning.

In five centuries of crusading, it was only the First Crusade that significantly rolled back Islamic military progress. It was basically all downhill from there.


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