In SeptemberRichard and Saladin signed a peace treaty that reestablished the Kingdom of Jerusalem though without the city of Jerusalem and ended the Third Crusade. These were not the traditional expeditions aimed at the recovery of Jerusalem but rather defensive campaigns intended to prevent further expansion to the west by the Ottoman Empire.
Norman Housely expertly relates this period in his article. These defensive expeditions could be seen as lacking the religious fervor and initiative of the First Crusade, which was entirely on the terms of the Christian armies. The treaty, and suspicions about Frederick's ambitions in the region, made him unpopular, and he was forced to return to his domains when they were attacked by Pope Gregory IX.
He cited several of the gory details sent him by Alexius Comnenus and ended by bidding them fight "for the remission of your sins, with the assurance of imperishable glory. The attempt failed, however, as the vast majority of Greek civilians and a growing part of their clergy refused to recognize and accept the short-lived near-union of the churches of East and West signed at the Council of Florence and Ferrara by the Ecumenical patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople.
The Byzantines were Greek Orthodox Christians but, sincehad been in a state of schism with the Catholic Church. His death caused tremendous grief among the German Crusaders, and most of his troops returned home. During the s Nur ad-Din, acting as the champion of Sunni orthodoxy, seized control of Shi'ite Egypt, dramatically raising the strategic pressure on the Franks and at the same time enhancing the financial resources at his disposal through the fertility of the Nile Delta and the vital port of Alexandria.
Hostility developed between the French and the Byzantines.
Whatever the truth in this, the defeat at Damascus certainly damaged crusade enthusiasm in the West and over the next three decades, in spite of increasingly elaborate and frantic appeals for help, there was no major crusade to the Holy Land.
Assured that God wanted them to participate in a holy war, masses pressed forward to take the crusaders" oath.