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Chronology of the Crusades

Fifth Crusade 1215 - 1221

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Called in 1217, only Leopold VI of Austria and Andrew II of Hungary participated in the Fifth Crusade. They captured the city of Damietta, but after their devastating loss at the Battle of al-Mansura they were forced to return it. Ironically, before their defeat they were offered control of Jerusalem and other Christian sites in Palestine in exchange for the return of Damietta, but Cardinal Pelagius refused and turned a potential victory into a stunning defeat.

There are several different types of color-coded dates in this timeline of the Crusades, explained in a color key at the bottom of the timeline.

Timeline of the Crusades: Fifth Crusade 1215 - 1221
1215 - 1221 The Fifth Crusade is launched as an attack on Egypt but it ultimately ends in failure.
April 1215 The Fifth Crusade is proclaimed by Pope Innocent III in the bull Quia maior. Innocent does not want European leaders to go off on the Crusade because in the past they had managed to mess things up by looking out for their own interests more than those of the church. Instead, Innocent hopes that individual Christians will answer his call and gather under his own command. Every crusader is promised an indulgence for their sins, even if they simply help fund the expedition and don't enter into any danger themselves.
December 14, 1215 The Fourth Lateran Council accepts the Constitution Ad Liberandum in order to help fund the Fifth Crusade.
1216 Italian Crusaders arrive at Acre.
1216 Frederick is crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome by Pope Honorius III.
April 1216 Raymond of Toulouse and his son, both Cathar heretics, return to southern France, raise a large force from the various Cathar towns that had been captured by the Crusaders, and begin to strike back.
1217 The Swordbrothers, a Christian army first organized in 1202, invades the region which today makes up Estonia for the purpose of wiping out local pagan beliefs.
1217 Leopold VI of Austria and Andrew II of Hungary leave for Acre to mount a Crusade against the Muslims. In the Holy Land they are joined by John of Brienne, nominal king of Jerusalem. Hugh I of Cyprus, and Prince Bohemund IV of Antioch. Andrew II ends up leaving without accomplishing anything. German Emperor Frederick II wants to join, but he is barred by Pope Honorius III because he is already powerful enough to challenge the position of the papacy and Honorius doesn't want his power or popularity to grow.
1217 Birth of Baldwin II, last Latin Emperor of Constantinople.
April 09, 1217 Peter of Courtenay is crowned Latin Emperor of Constantinople at Rome by Pope Honorius III.
September 1217 Raymond of Toulouse recaptures the city of Toulouse from the Crusaders.
December 1217 Armies of the Fifth Crusade attack Mount Tabor.
1218 Newgate Prison, London's infamous debtor prison, is completed.
1218 Al-Adil, Saladin's brother, is succeeded as Sutan of Egypt by his son Malik Al-Kamil.
1218 The Swordbrothers begin their conquest of Estonia.
May 27, 1218 Crusaders under the command of John of Brienne, king of Jerusalem. lay siege to the city of Damietta with the aid of a Frisian fleet. Even after they are reinforced and their numbers reach 35,000, they are outnumbered by 70,000 Muslims. In an interesting twist, the Crusaders form an alliance with Kay Kaus I, Seljuk Sultan of Rum in Anatolia. Kaus attacks the Ayyubids in Syria so that the Crusaders won't have to fight on two fronts.
June 25, 1218 Death of Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester and leader of the Crusade against the Cathars in southern France. Montfort had been attacking the city of Toulouse in order to recapture it from Raymond.
August 25, 1218 Crusaders laying siege to Damietta take one of the towers outside the city.
1219 Mongol armies led by Genghis Khan invade Muslim territories, reaching Persia by 1221 and are only stopped in Syria in 1260.
1219 Pope Honorius III sends Cardinal Pelagius of Albano to the Holy Land to lead the Fifth Crusade.
June 03, 1219 The French town of Marmande falls to the Crusaders.
November 05, 1219 The Crusaders' siege of Damietta finally succeeds.
1220 Muslim lands in central Asia begin to be overrun by the Mongols under Genghis Khan. The first places captures are Bukhara and Samarkand.
1220 During the Baltic Crusade, Conrad of Masovia drives the pagan Prussians out of Chelmno Land.
November 22, 1220 Pope Honorius III crowns Holy Roman Emperor Frederick in the expectation that Frederick would support the Church and participate in the Fifth Crusade.
09, 1221 Crusaders are driven out of the city of Damietta by Malik Al-Kamil.
July 1221 Crusaders under the command of Cardinal Pelagius set out for Cairo.
August 30, 1221 Battle of al-Mansura: Crusaders under the command of Cardinal Pelagius, Papal Legate, are defeated in the Nile Delta and are forced to surrender. The Crusaders had been offered control of Jerusalem and other Christian sites in Palestine in exchange for the return of Damietta, but Cardinal Pelagius refuses and turns a potential victory into a stunning defeat that effectively ends the Fifth Crusade.


Color Key: This chart explains which sorts of topics are given which colors in the chronologies.

Color Topic
Blue Christian victories, advances, and actions.
Yellow Other events: births, deaths, marriages, peace treaties, etc.
Green Muslim victories, advances, and actions.
Orange Other conflicts: Christians fighting Christians, Christians fighting heretics, Muslims fighting Mongols, Christians fighting Jews, etc.
Grey Miscellaneous events to provide historical context and comparison

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