The Ninth Crusade, sometimes paired with the Eighth Crusade, is widely regarded as a major medieval campaign to the Holy Land led by the military expedition of Lord Edward, who was later crowned King Edward I of England.

It occurred in an extremely short period from 1271 to 1272 and left an indelible mark in world history. The Crusades were a series of religious battles in the medieval period that were initiated and occasionally commanded by the Roman Church.

They were unprovoked conflicts against countries that fought battles in the Holy Land, which lasted for centuries. With the series of events embroiled in these movements, you could probably imagine the hostility that emerged and has been occurring between Christians and Muslims since then.

Aiming at liberating the Holy Land from the control of the Muslims, the Crusades commenced with a burning desire to free the entire country and set a campaign for the propagation of Christianity throughout the world.

You should also consider these noble people’s desire to abate the Islamic power, set command over pagan regions, and recover former Christian territories during the campaign.

Can you fathom the impact made by the crusades for centuries? Eventually, the Crusaders bravely pioneered eight major crusades and dozens of minor crusades, leaving many lessons learned in history. With the support of the Knights Templar, the movements thrived in medieval times. They came out as valiant and gifted warriors who defended the advocacy of the church and the crusaders.

How Did the 9th Crusade Begin?

The Crusades were a progression of conflicts between Christians and Muslims, which were initiated by the Roman Church primarily to gain control of sacred places, specifically the Holy Land. Strategically located at the stronghold of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith, the Holy Land or the Promised Land is a major pilgrimage site for people with diverse religious denominations.

This sacred place in Israel welcomes all pilgrims, regardless of their religion. Nevertheless, its geographic location in the middle of a Muslim stronghold has caused a dilemma for others who would like to worship, including the Christians and the Jews.

With this territorial conflict came the campaign of Christian crusaders to regain possession of the Holy Land, mainly from the Muslim people. You should be reminded that these significant events in European history and the Middle East emanated from the adamant voice of the European nobles, the holy roman emperor, and the religious leaders who vowed to retrieve the Holy Land after the fall of Jerusalem.

While these crusades played a crucial role in the history of Christians and Muslims, they also helped in the expansion of religious presence in Europe. Unfortunately, the crusades paved the way toward a long-lasting resentment between these two major religious players in the world.

The last crusade is recorded as the last medieval battle led by Lord Edward of England against Baibars, the fourth Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. According to records, the crusaders championed by Lord Edward were inspired by their immense hope to secure the Promised Land and end the escalation of Muslim control.

You can recount that the early crusaders were interrupted by the forces of Baibars, a fierce sultan from the Bahri Dynasty. It was a battle worth knowing in history because the crusaders reached the Holy Land, yet they ended up withdrawing from the battle when Lord Edward realized the immense damage it could have brought to the entire state. Both sides secured limited triumphs in this crusade.

Lord Edward also had his concerns at home, including the death of his father, King Henry III. You could say that the last Christian crusade culminated in the inevitable collapse of the final crusaders on the Mediterranean coast.

In addition, the final crusade was tantamount to a means of redemption and atonement for sins. The opponents of the Holy Wars were seasoned warriors who were ready to attack the Christian crusaders with all their strength.

Would you believe that the crusader fortress towns were defeated one after the other? They even called for reinforcement from Europe, but their allies could not send advance troops promptly. It was disheartening to know that the Christians were outnumbered in the middle of the battle zone.

The Ninth Crusade Timeline

The timeline of the Ninth Crusade emanated from the fall of the Eighth Crusade (1267–1270). You know that in 1270, King Louis IX of France was convinced by his brother, Charles of Anjou, to attack Tunis, an enormous city northeast of Tunisia on the Mediterranean Sea. The Hafsid Dynasty was in control of Tunis at that time, and they successfully defended the state against the European crusaders.

Count it as an ill-fated battle, but you could sense the defeat of the Europeans when King Louis IX died of flux in his stomach on August 25, 1270.

However, the celebration of the Muslims was short-lived when the Ninth Crusade (1271–1272), led by Lord Edward of England in collaboration with Charles d’Anjou of Sicily, took their forces to Acre, the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, in 1271.

You need to be concerned about the fierce Baibars, who was already besetting the city of Tripoli at that time, but the Christians boldly advanced their forces to face the Muslims. It should be noted here that Tripoli was a Christian territory with thousands of Christian refugees when the attack commenced.

In the beginning, the concerted effort of Lord Edward and Charles was effective in making advances against Baibars. You could discern that they were equally fierce when they broke the interior lines of the Muslim opponents, which was the first triumph made by the crusaders in many years of their battles.

Establishing Mongolian Allies

The bold military strategies of Edward of England and Charles of Sicily appeared effective in their campaign against the Muslim forces. Lord Edward arrived in Acre in May 1271 with only 1000 knights. His first successful move was to ally with the Mongols, who were the enemies of the Muslims. The Mongols, led by Abaqa Khan (1234–1282), confirmed their alliance with the Europeans on September 4, 1271.

They were able to secure the Saracen town of Qaqun. Also, Edward’s support from King Hugues III of Cyprus, the king of Jerusalem, gave courage to the European prince and his men. However, would you believe that Abaqa Khan only sent 10,000 Mongol horsemen under the leadership of General Samagar because his other forces were occupied in their campaigns in Turkestan?

The Crusaders fought valiantly with faith; albeit having a small number, they were able to conquer the Muslims, who were pushed to retreat to Cairo. Filled with gratitude, Edward acknowledged the Mongols because they were fierce and ruthless during the battle. Nonetheless, they couldn’t stay longer with the Europeans because of their other military campaigns.

Meanwhile, Baibars, the Mamluk chief, established a counteroffensive attack when the Mongols had retreated. He miscalculated his strategies and routed the Europeans into the sea. The naval attack did not favor the Muslims, and it gave courage to Edward to pursue the Muslims or the Saracens as they were called during the crusades.

The Truce Between the Muslims and the Christians

How did Lord Edward perceive the fight? You could understand that the continuous victory for the Europeans was temporary because Edward of England also realized that his forces were smaller compared with the growing number of Muslims and that his victory in the naval campaign was only deemed divine.

In retrospect, he concluded that his forces were not equal to the Muslims in number and artillery support. Hence, he thought it was inevitable to make a truce with Sultan Baibars of Egypt instead of losing more lives in the battle.

What happened next was not surprising because the unanticipated end of the rivalry between crusading states was more favorable. Thus, a mediation was made between Lord Edward of England and Sultan Baibars of Egypt in 1271. You may have thought that the ceasefire was honored, but Baibars formulated a mean plan to assassinate Edward.

He sent some men who posed as new Christians looking for baptism, but Edward intercepted the assassins personally. He planned to retaliate, but he received news that his father, King Henry III, died in England. Without much ado, he concluded his campaign and immediately embarked on a trip back home, where he was crowned King Edward I of England.

The Aftermath of the Crusades

Considering that Lord Edward was the main authority of the Ninth Crusade, many people called it “Lord Edward’s Crusade.” It was the final era of the two-century battles involving the Saracens and the Christians. You must know that the Christian forces traveled thousands of miles to the Holy Land to establish their power amid the Muslim-controlled region.

While the goals of the Ninth Crusade were not realized, and you know that they also lost their power over the Holy Land, one could reiterate that they expanded their presence across Europe because of these crusades.

In 1291, the Saracens finally won a siege in Acre, the last Christian state in Israel. It was the end of the Christian power in the Holy Land, as well as the defeat of its supporters in the Middle East.

As a result, you could understand that it was the final campaign of the Christians against the Muslims, which is deemed significant in our modern times due to its historical value.

The Mamluks, on the other side, escalated their reign, but the Mongol troops were proven to be indestructible. Ghazan Khan, a Mongol army leader, had succeeded in launching his attacks against the Mamluks in 1299.

History unfolded raids against the Muslims and more attacks against the Mongol soldiers. Similar to a survival of the fittest, in the end, the Mamluks dismantled the Christian supporters and the Mongol soldiers.

The Ninth Crusade paved the way to a crucial point in history when the efforts of Christians were proven weaker than those of the Muslim invaders. While the Christians would like to keep their power over Jerusalem, they demonstrated that they could not be equal to the strength and domination of the Muslims due to their lack of military power.

What followed the Ninth Crusade was disappointment for Europe in 1291. Even the efforts of Pope Nicholas IV to organize aid were unsuccessful. In addition, as an important bulwark against the Muslim invaders, France couldn’t fight because of its pressing dispute with England.

You could now perceive that after the fall of the crusades, the pope’s authority declined. In contrast, the royal power gained more popularity, which led to the initiation of smaller crusade campaigns with insubstantial aims. This scenario changed the century because European counterparts knew that calls for crusades were futile, such that they didn’t pursue the papal calls for more military explorations.

To this effect, historians considered that the crusades only served as crucial components of the development of Europe. You could understand others who got disappointed because they invested time, effort, and even money to church foundations to aid crusades. Lost time and money could have been replaced, but lost lives caused considerable discouragement for the soldiers and their families.

Conclusion

Armed with their ambitious goal of regaining the Holy Land, the Ninth Crusade, which commenced in 1271, unveiled the concerted effort of the Europeans against the Muslims. You can attest to the courage of these Christian soldiers who were willing to fight for their faith.

Led by Lord Edward of England, the gallant Christian soldiers of Europe marched with boldness to bring back the honor of controlling the Holy Land to the Christians. It was a hard-fought period for both parties, which ended in the withdrawal of Lord Edward, knowing that his campaign could not subdue the Muslims.

He proposed a truce in May 1272. When he returned home, he was ascended to the throne as King Edward I of England upon the death of his father.

You might want to know what happened to the goals of the crusades? Probably, it was safe to say that the Ninth Crusade was able to further its development and influence in Europe, but it did not realize its goals, most particularly the redemption of the Holy Land.

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