Saladin reconquers Jerusalem
Although only few Christians survived the First Crusade, they were able to conquer Jerusalem and established Crusader States. These small states were ruled by European nobles and were designed to defend the land they had conquered. The most important Crusader state was the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Saladin was a Muslim military leader who wanted to remove the Crusaders from the Middle East and regain control of Jerusalem.
In 1187, after defeating a Crusader army, Saladin marched to Jerusalem. His army surrounded the city and began to fire arrows and catapult rocks over the walls. Within a week, the city surrendered and Saladin marched in victorious. Over the next year, Saladin captured most of the Crusader castles in the region.
When the Christians in Europe heard of the defeat of the Crusaders and the loss of Jerusalem, they mounted the Third Crusade under the leadership of King Richard the Lionheart. For the first time in his military career, Saladin suffered major defeats in battle at both Acre and Arsuf. Despite their victories, the Crusaders soon wore down and realized they would not be able to take Jerusalem. Saladin and King Richard agreed to a truce. In 1192, they signed the Treaty of Jaffa which kept Jerusalem in the hands of the Muslims, but allowed for the safe passage of Christian pilgrims.