1152-1155 CE: Duke Frederick of the Hohenstaufen Dynasty is crowned king of Germany and Italy. He is then crowned emperor of the Roman-German Empire by Pope Adrian IV.
1157 CE: Frederick comes into a land conflict with the Papacy. Wanting to overshadow the religious prestige of Italy and the Papacy, he renames the Roman-German Empire as the Holy Empire.
Raids of Italy
1158-1162 CE: Emperor Frederick claims his divine right to rule according to Roman law. He raids and subdues towns in Northern Italy. Italians call him Barbarossa, which means Red Beard.
1163 CE: Bishop Maurice de Sully decides to build a new and larger church in Paris in the Gothic Style. King Louis VII and Pope Alexander III observe the laying of its cornerstone.
Barbarossa founded what will become the Holy Roman Empire. Its rulers were never given the title of holy, but English historians often use the title to distinguish between a Roman Emperor and a Roman-German Emperor.
The construction of Notre-Dame Cathedral takes nearly 100 years.
1189 CE: Pope Gregory VIII decrees another crusade. Rulers of England, France, and the Holy Empire join forces and assemble a massive army to reconquer the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Death of Barbarossa
An aging Emperor Frederick I leads the Holy Empire’s forces in the Crusade. However, he drowns while traversing a river in Anatolia and most of the grief stricken Holy Roman army returns home.
King Conrad of Jerusalem
1190 CE: Many members of the royal family of Jerusalem die from an epidemic. Conrad of Montferrat marries Isabella, a surviving princess, and becomes the heir to the kingdom of Jerusalem.
Kingdom of Acre
King Richard of England leads the Crusaders in many victories against Saladin, but falls ill before laying siege to Jerusalem. The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem becomes centered around the port-city Acre.
1217 CE: King Andrew II of Hungary invades The Holy Land to recapture Jerusalem. Despite some success, his army is unable to break Muslim defenses in Lebanon. He soon falls ill and returns home.
Invasion of Egypt
1218-1219 CE: Crusaders from the Holy Empire invade Egypt to attack the Ayyubid dynasty directly. They proceed to conquer the city of Damietta and gain a foothold over the Nile river.
Francis of Assisi travels to Egypt in an attempt to convert Sultan Al-Kamil, the nephew of Saladin, and bring an end to the Crusade. Although the monk is welcomed, he fails to convert the Muslim ruler.
The Great Flood
The Crusaders reject peace attempts from Sultan Al-Kamil and march on Cairo. However, the Sultan opens a dam on the Nile River and floods the invaders. They suffer many losses in their exodus.
The Fifth Crusade is considered the last major crusade. Subsequent Crusades become increasingly smaller.
1220 CE: Frederick II, grandson of Frederick I Barbarossa, becomes Roman-German Emperor. He is an avid learner and speaks six languages: Latin, Sicilian, German, French, Greek, and Arabic.
The First Nativity Scene
1223 CE: Francis of Assisi creates a nativity scene in Italy. It is in an attempt to place the emphasis of Christmas upon the worship of Christ rather than upon secular materialism and gift giving.
University of Naples
1224 CE: Emperor Frederick founds the University of Naples in Italy. A state-supported school, it is the first public university in history. Thomas Aquinus soon becomes a pupil at the school.
Death of Saint Francis
1226 CE: Francis of Assisi dies at the age of 44 in Italy. He had written several influential works. His Canticle of the Sun, written in a Central Italian dialect, is one of the first Italian-language poems.
1244 CE: Turkish Muslims are displaced by the expanding Mongol Empire. They overrun and ransack Crusader-held Jerusalem. Christian and Jewish populations are either killed or expelled.
1252 CE: Inquisitor Peter of Verona is murdered by a Cathar assassin. In response, Pope Innocent IV issues a public decree that authorizes limited use of torture during Inquisition interrogations.
1248–1254 CE: King Louis IX of France desires to convert Muslims to Christianity and initiates a Crusade in Egypt. He manages to recapture Damietta and gain a foothold of the Nile.
The Ransom of King Louis
The French Crusader force is crushed by a Mamluk counter-attack and King Louis is captured. Damietta is abandoned and about 800,000 bezants are paid in ransom for the King’s release.
Jerusalem will remain under Muslim control until it is captured by the British in 1917 during World War I. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times.
European populations have been increasing in the stable warm climate and flourishing economy. Europe reaches a population of about 100 million. The world population is about 400 million.
The Byzantine-based Nicene Empire and Epirus Despotate continue to battle over territory. The Greek Epirus forms an alliance against Nicea with vassal states of the Latin Empire of Constantinople.
Battle of Pelagonia
1259 CE: Noble Michael Palaiologos succeeds as emperor and goes on an offensive against Epirus. When the Epirus-Latin alliance unravels, the Nicean armies crush their forces and conquer their territory.
Reconquest of Constantinople
1261 CE: Having conquered Epirus and weakened Latin armies, Emperor Palaiologos proceeds to reconquer Constantinople. The Byzantine Empire is restored to Greek control.
The Palaiologos Dynasty rules over Constantinople until the city is conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453 CE.
Muslim slave soldiers gradually unite and form their own military orders. A faction becomes especially powerful in Egypt and establishes their own Mamluk Sultanate. Mamluk means property in Arabic.
The War of Saint Sabas
1256-1270 CE: A war breaks out between Venice and Genoa over the port-city of Acre. The Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar also get involved in the war, which weakens the Crusader States.
Fall of Antioch
1268 CE: The Mamluk Sultanate captures the city of Antioch with little resistance and soon conquers Northern Syria. The Crusader State known as the Principality of Antioch comes to an end.
1270 CE: King Louis IX of France leads a Crusade in North Africa and captures the city of Tunis. However, an outbreak of dysentery kills the king and many soldiers. The campaign comes to an abrupt end.
King Louis becomes sainted and many places are subsequently named after him, including Saint Louis, Missouri.
1271–1272 CE: Prince Edward I of England leads a Crusade into the Holy Land. While achieving some success, Edward’s father dies and he is forced to return home to be crowned king.
King Philip the Fair
1285 CE: Philip IV succeeds as king of France. He tightens French rule over the subordinate County of Flanders. Philip, a rigid and handsome ruler, is given the nicknames of The Iron King and The Fair.
Fall of Tripoli
1289 CE: The Mamluks capture the County of Tripoli after a month-long siege and the remaining Crusaders are massacred. The last remaining Crusader State falls.
Fall of Acre
1291 CE: The Mamluks capture the port-city of Acre. Losing their last major outpost in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the few remaining Crusaders retreat to the small island of Ruad.
The Ninth Crusade was the last of the Medieval Crusades.