The Info List - Seventh Crusade

--- Advertisement ---

15,000 men[2]

2,400-2,800 knights 5,000 crossbowmen


Casualties and losses

Almost entire army destroyed Light

v t e


In the Holy Land (1095–1291)

First 1101 Norwegian Venetian Second Third 1197 Fourth Fifth Sixth Barons' Seventh Eighth Ninth

After 1291

Smyrniote 1343–1351 Alexandrian 1365 Savoyard 1366 Barbary 1390 Nicopolis 1396 Varna 1443 Portuguese 1481

Northern Crusades

Wendish 1147 Swedish

1150 1249 1293

Livonian 1198–1290 Prussian 1217–1274 Lithuanian 1283–1410

Popular crusades

People's 1096 Children's 1212 Shepherds' 1251 Poor 1309 Shepherds' 1320

Against Christians

Bosnian 1235–1241 Albigensian 1209–1229 Aragonese 1284/5 Despenser's 1382/3 Hussite 1419–1434


Book:The Crusades Portal:Crusades

v t e

Seventh Crusade

Damietta Al Mansurah Fariskur

v t e

Crusader battles in the Levant

First Crusade

Xerigordos Civetot Nicaea 1st Dorylaeum 1st Antioch Ma'arra Arqa 1st Jerusalem 1st Ascalon

Period post First Crusade

Arsuf Melitene Mersivan 1st Heraclea 2nd Heraclea 1st Ramla 2nd Ramla 1st Tripoli Harran 3rd Ramla Artah Sidon 1st Shaizar Al-Sannabra Sarmin Ager Sanguinis Hab Jaffa
and Tyre Yibneh Azaz Marj al-Saffar Ba'rin 2nd Shaizar Edessa Bosra

Second Crusade

2nd Dorylaeum Ephesus Meander Valley Mount Cadmus Damascus

Period post Second Crusade

Inab Aintab 2nd Ascalon Lake Huleh al-Buqaia Harim 1st Bilbeis al-Babein 2nd Bilbeis 1st Damietta Montgisard Marj Ayyun Jacob's Ford Belvoir Castle Cresson Al-Fule Kerak Hattin 2nd Jerusalem Tyre

Third Crusade

1st Acre Iconium 1st Arsuf Jaffa

Fifth Crusade

2nd Damietta 3rd Jerusalem

Period post Sixth Crusade

4th Jerusalem La Forbie

End of the Crusader states
Crusader states
in the Levant

2nd Antioch 2nd Arsuf Caesarea Haifa 2nd Acre Krak des Chevaliers 2nd Tripoli 3rd Tripoli Ruad

The Seventh Crusade
was a crusade led by Louis IX of France
Louis IX of France
from 1248 to 1254. His troops were defeated by the Egyptian army led by the Ayyubid
Turanshah supported by the Bahariyya Mamluks
led by Faris ad-Din Aktai, Baibars
al-Bunduqdari, Qutuz, Aybak
and Qalawun and Louis was captured. Approximately 800,000 bezants were paid in ransom for his return.[3][4][5]


1 Background 2 Fighting 3 Aftermath 4 Literary response 5 See also 6 References

6.1 Primary sources 6.2 Secondary sources

7 External links

Background[edit] In 1244, the Khwarezmians, recently displaced by the advance of the Mongols, took Jerusalem
on their way to ally with the Egyptian Mamluks. This returned Jerusalem
to Muslim
control, but the fall of Jerusalem
was no longer an earth-shattering event to European Christians, who had seen the city pass from Christian to Muslim control numerous times in the past two centuries. This time, despite calls from the Pope, there was no popular enthusiasm for a new crusade. There were also many conflicts within Europe
that kept its leaders from embarking on the Crusade. Pope Innocent IV
Pope Innocent IV
and Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
continued the papal-imperial struggle. Frederick had captured and imprisoned clerics on their way to the First Council of Lyon, and in 1245 he was formally deposed by Innocent IV. Pope Gregory IX
Pope Gregory IX
had also earlier offered King Louis' brother, count Robert of Artois, the German throne, but Louis had refused. Thus, the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
was in no position to crusade. Béla IV of Hungary
Béla IV of Hungary
was rebuilding his kingdom from the ashes after the devastating Mongol invasion of 1241. Henry III of England was still struggling with Simon de Montfort and other problems in England. Henry and Louis were not on the best of terms, being engaged in the Capetian- Plantagenet
struggle, and while Louis was away on crusade the English king signed a truce promising not to attack French lands. Louis IX had also invited King Haakon IV of Norway
Haakon IV of Norway
to crusade, sending the English chronicler Matthew Paris
Matthew Paris
as an ambassador, but again was unsuccessful. The only king interested in beginning another crusade therefore was Louis IX, who declared his intent to go East in 1245. A much smaller force of Englishmen, led by William II Longespée, also took the cross. Fighting[edit]

representing the departure from Aigues-Mortes
of King Louis IX for the crusade (by Gustave Doré)

France was one of the strongest states in Europe
at the time, as the Albigensian Crusade
Albigensian Crusade
had brought Provence
into Parisian control. Poitou was ruled by Louis IX's brother Alphonse of Poitiers, who joined him on his crusade in 1245. Another brother, Charles I of Anjou, also joined Louis. For the next three years Louis collected an ecclesiastical tenth (mostly from church tithes), and in 1248 he and his approximately 15,000-strong army that included 3,000 knights, and 5,000 crossbowmen sailed on 36 ships from the ports of Aigues-Mortes, which had been specifically built to prepare for the crusade, and Marseille.[2] Louis IX's financial preparations for this expedition were comparatively well organized, and he was able to raise approximately 1,500,000 livres tournois. However, many nobles who joined Louis on the expedition had to borrow money from the royal treasury, and the crusade turned out to be very expensive. They sailed first to Cyprus
and spent the winter on the island, negotiating with various other powers in the east; the Latin Empire set up after the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
asked for his help against the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
of Nicaea, and the Principality of Antioch
Principality of Antioch
and the Knights Templar
Knights Templar
wanted his help in Syria, where the Muslims had recently captured Sidon. Nonetheless, Egypt
was the object of his crusade, and he landed in 1249 at Damietta
on the Nile. Egypt
would, Louis thought, provide a base from which to attack Jerusalem, and its wealth and supply of grain would keep the crusaders fed and equipped. On 6 June Damietta
was taken with little resistance from the Egyptians, who withdrew further up the Nile. The flooding of the Nile had not been taken into account, however, and it soon grounded Louis and his army at Damietta
for six months, where the knights sat back and enjoyed the spoils of war. Louis ignored the agreement made during the Fifth Crusade
Fifth Crusade
that Damietta
should be given to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, now a rump state in Acre, but he did set up an archbishopric there (under the authority of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem) and used the city as a base to direct military operations against the Muslims of Syria. The fifteenth century Muslim
historian al-Maqrizi recorded Louis IX as sending a letter to as-Salih Ayyub that said :

“ As you know that I am the ruler of the Christian nation I do know you are the ruler of the Muhammadan nation. The people of Al-Andalus
give me money and gifts while we drive them like cattle. We kill their men and we make their women widows. We take the boys and the girls as prisoners and we make houses empty. I have told you enough and I have advised you to the end, so now if you make the strongest oath to me and if you go to Christian priests and monks and if you carry kindles before my eyes as a sign of obeying the cross, all these will not persuade me from reaching you and killing you at your dearest spot on earth. If the land will be mine then it is a gift to me. If the land will be yours and you defeat me then you will have the upper hand. I have told you and I have warned you about my soldiers who obey me. They can fill open fields and mountains, their number like pebbles. They will be sent to you with swords of destruction.[6] ”

Louis IX being taken prisoner at the Battle of Fariskur
Battle of Fariskur
(Gustave Doré)

In November, Louis marched towards Cairo, and almost at the same time, the Ayyubid
sultan of Egypt, as-Salih Ayyub, died. A force led by Robert of Artois, alongside the Templars and the English contingent led by William II Longespée, attacked the Egyptian camp at Gideila and advanced to Al Mansurah
Al Mansurah
where they were defeated at the Battle of Al Mansurah. Robert and William were killed, and only a small handful survived. Meanwhile, Louis' main force was attacked by the Mameluk Baibars, the commander of the army and a future sultan himself. Louis was defeated as well, but he did not withdraw to Damietta
for months, preferring to besiege Mansourah, which ended in starvation and death for the crusaders rather than the Muslims. In showing utter agony, a Templar knight lamented :

“ Rage and sorrow are seated in my heart...so firmly that I scarce dare to stay alive. It seems that God wishes to support the Turks to our loss...ah, lord God...alas, the realm of the East has lost so much that it will never be able to rise up again. They will make a Mosque of Holy Mary's convent, and since the theft pleases her Son, who should weep at this, we are forced to comply as well...Anyone who wishes to fight the Turks is mad, for Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
does not fight them any more. They have conquered, they will conquer. For every day they drive us down, knowing that God, who was awake, sleeps now, and Muhammad
waxes powerful.[7] ”

In March 1250 Louis finally tried to return to Damietta, but he was taken captive at the Battle of Fariskur
Battle of Fariskur
where his army was annihilated. Louis fell ill with dysentery, and was cured by an Arab physician. In May he was ransomed for 800,000 bezants, half of which was to be paid before the King left Egypt, with Damietta
also being surrendered as a term in the agreement. Upon this, he immediately left Egypt
for Acre, one of few remaining crusader possessions in Syria.[8][9] Aftermath[edit] Louis made an alliance with the Mamluks, who at the time were rivals of the Sultan
of Damascus, and from his new base in Acre began to rebuild the other crusader cities, particularly Jaffa
and Saida.[10] Although the Kingdom of Cyprus
claimed authority there, Louis was the de facto ruler. In 1254 Louis' money ran out, and his presence was needed in France where his mother and regent Blanche of Castile
Blanche of Castile
had recently died. Before leaving he established a standing French garrison at Acre, the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
after the loss of Jerusalem, at the expense of the French crown; it remained there until the fall of Acre in 1291.[11] His crusade was a failure, but he was considered a saint by many, and his fame gave him an even greater authority in Europe
than the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1270 he attempted another crusade, though it too would end in failure. The history of the Seventh Crusade
was written by Jean de Joinville, who was also a participant, Matthew Paris
Matthew Paris
and many Muslim
historians. Literary response[edit] The failure of the Seventh Crusade
engendered several poetic responses from the Occitan
troubadours. Austorc d'Aorlhac, composing shortly after the Crusade, was surprised that God would allow Louis IX to be defeated, but not surprised that some Christians
would therefore convert to Islam. In a slightly later poem, D'un sirventes m'es gran voluntatz preza, Bernart de Rovenac attacks both James I of Aragon
James I of Aragon
and Henry III of England
for neglecting to defend "their fiefs" that the rei que conquer Suria ("king who conquered Syria") had possessed. The "king who conquered Syria" is a mocking reference to Louis, who was still in Syria
(1254) when Bernart was writing, probably in hopes that the English and Aragonese kings would take advantage of the French monarch's absence. Bertran d'Alamanon criticized Charles of Anjou's neglect of Provence in favor of crusading. He wrote one of his last works, which bemoans Christendom's decline overseas, between the Seventh and Eighth Crusades
(1260–1265). See also[edit]

Eighth crusade
Eighth crusade
- also launched against Egypt
in 1270 by Louis IX. Jean de Joinville
Jean de Joinville
- an account of the life of Louis IX and the logistics of the Seventh Crusade.


^ Hinson, p.393 ^ a b J. Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A History, 193 ^ Abu al-Fida ^ Al-Maqrizi ^ Ibn Taghri ^ Al-Maqrizi, p. 436/vol.1 ^ Howarth, p.223 ^ Watterson, Barbara. The Egyptians. Blackwell Publishing, 1998. page 261 ^ Al-Maqrizi ^ Joinville and Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusades, translated by M.R.B. Shaw, pages 295-316, Penguin Classics: New York, 1963 ^ Keen, p. 94

Primary sources[edit]

Abu al-Fida, The Concise History of Humanity. Al-Maqrizi, Al Selouk Leme'refatt Dewall al-Melouk, Dar al-kotob, 1997. In English: Bohn, Henry G., The Road to Knowledge of the Return of Kings, Chronicles of the Crusades, AMS Press, 1969 Ibn Taghri, al-Nujum al-Zahirah Fi Milook Misr wa al-Qahirah, al-Hay'ah al-Misreyah, 1968 Jean de Joinville, Histoire de Saint
Louis, 1309

Secondary sources[edit]

Keen, Maurice (editor). Medieval Warfare. Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-19-820639-9 Konstam, Angus (2002). Historical Atlas of The Crusades. Thalamus Publishing. 

External links[edit]

Memoirs of Jean de Joinville, from the University of Virginia Lyric allusions to the crusades and the Holy Land First-hand account of the Battle of Al Mansurah, 1250 Letter from Louis IX to Al-Salih Ayyub the Sultan
of Egypt, from History Avenue History of t