So, the Third Crusade. While the First Crusade was undoubtedly the most successful of the numbered Crusades, this is the one I assume most of us envision when we hear the word “Crusades.” After all, it produced probably the two most enduringly famous Crusader figures in history—Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, whose rivalry became legendary in medieval Europe and has maintained much of that stature into modern times. But in terms of outcomes the Third Crusade was kind of a mixed bag, from the Crusaders’ perspective. It failed to achieve its ultimate objective, the recapture of Jerusalem, but it also derailed Saladin’s military momentum and arguably saved the Crusader states from destruction—for the time being, anyway. We’ve talked about the Third Crusade’s beginnings, at Acre, so today let’s talk about its conclusion, with the Treaty of Jaffa.
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