The Crusader Period – part B

1191 – In the spring, the Third Crusade reaches Acre. King Philip II Augustus of France heads the armies that include remnants of the army of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, led by Leopold Duke of Austria. They are later joined by King Richard I (the Lion-Heart) of England and Henry II, Count of Champagne, France. On July 12, Acre is re-conquered from the hands of the Moslems. Philip Augustus settles into the Templar fortress in the southwest of the city.

12th Century – At the end of the century the Hospitallers build the Montmusard quarter outside the northern walls of the city. Priests from the Church of St. George in Lod move to Acre’s Montmusard quarter.

1192 – Guy of Lusignan is king of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, with Acre as its capital. In this same year Frankish Crusaders establish the Assizes of Jerusalem; in this collection of laws, non-Frankish minorities living in Acre are restricted to residing in the Monmizar quarter and are further limited to using separate markets in the city. 53

1193 – Henry I of Jerusalem—formerly Henry II Count of Champagne—is king of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and grants the Hospitallers additional construction rights. Over a period of ten years they build the large Crusader Citadel. Theobald is the Bishop of Acre. 54

1194 – The first Patriarch appointed in Acre is the Italian monk Amalric. 55

1193/5 – According to a letter later found in the Cairo genizah, the son of the court physician to the Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt Al-Malik Al-Aziz Osman bin Salah al-din Yusuf, the son of Salah al-Din and heir to his Egyptian kingdom, dies in Acre. 56

1197 – During his stay in Acre in September, Henry of Champagne, now Henry I, king of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (reigning 1192–1197), falls through a window to his death.

1198 – Jews and Samaritans in Acre are made subject to the “Jurisprudence of the market”. 57

Beginning of the 13th Century – A scriptorium for the copying of manuscripts is established in Acre. The majority of the work there is dedicated to producing books in French.

1202 – John II is the Bishop of Acre. On May 20, an earthquake and tsunami wreaks destruction in the city and its walls. Following the earthquake, a severe epidemic breaks out, with many fatalities.

1203 – At the time of the conquest of Constantinople, the Crusaders send to Acre a chain to close the harbor entrance. 58

1204 – A dispute, one of many, breaks out between the Pisans and Genoans.

1205 – èãàìãåñ is the Bishop of Acre.

1206 – A Dominican monastery is erected north of the Templars’ quarter. After approximately 30 years, the Dominican monastery establishes a school of homiletics that teaches languages such as Arabic and the principles of preacher-candidates’ religion. 59 The Carmelites establish a monastery in the Montmusard quarter.

1209–1213 – “The Ascent of 300 Rabbis.” A large group of immigrants (in Hebrew: olim – those ascending to the Land of Israel) from the district of Montpellier in southern France settle in Acre. Among them is Rabbi Yehonatan ben David Hacohen from Lunel in France, head of the Council of Torah Sages of southern France (Provence), whom the Rambam called the “Flower of the Sages.” The majority of the immigrants settle in Acre’s Montmusard quarter 60 and establish a Jewish spiritual center there.

1210 – John I (Jean de Brienne), king of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, comes to Acre and is welcomed by the Jews.

1211–1214 – Rabbi Shimson ben Rabbi Avraham (born ca. 1150) from Sens in France immigrates with the “300.” He arrives in the Land of Israel in 1211 and settles in Jerusalem, and becomes known as the “Jerusalemite” or “Rabbi Shimson of the Land of Israel.” 61 Later he moves to Acre where he dies ca. 1225. He was one of the most important Tosafists,* authoring commentaries on the Mishnah (written redaction of Jewish Oral Law) and the Talmudic tracts Zeraim and Teharot. *(The Tosafists – 12th-13th C. – wrote commentaries on the tractates of the Talmud and on Rashi’s Talmudic commentaries).

1211 – Rabbi Isaiah di Trani ben Mali (the Elder) arrives in Acre from Italy. In August Wilbrand of Oldenburg arrives along with a group of Teutonic pilgrims. 24a

1212 – The Bishop of Acre is âåàìèøåñ I. Wilbrand, a pilgrim from Oldenburg, Germany, visits Acre and describes in detail its appearance and walls, while noting the presence of Jewish residents.

1214-1216 – Radolfo (Ralph of Merencourt) is the Bishop of Acre.

1215 – Menahem of Hebron comes to Acre. 62

1216 – Yehuda ben Shlomo Alharizi, thought to be one of the greatest poets of Spanish Jewry visits a great number of Jewish communities in Europe and the Land of Israel. It’s possible that he visited Acre in 1216 and in its honor wrote a makama (a Hebrew literary piece in an Arabic style with rhymed prose and poetic passages) included in his book Tahkemoni, Gate 47. He died in 1235. Some claim that he never visited Acre.

1217 – The Franciscan Father Elias of Cortona resides in Acre. Leopold VI, Duke of Austria, comes to Acre.

1216–1225 (1228) – French theologian Jacques (Jacobus) de Vitry (1180–1240) is appointed Bishop of Acre and engages in missionary exhortations. While here he writes his book, “History of the Orient.” He also describes the debaucheries and corruption, crime throughout the city and especially among the Crusader nobility.

1218 – Oliver from the German city of Cologne (Köln) is one of the leaders of the Fifth Crusade and is also an historian of that period. A significant number of this Crusade’s participants, and a majority of its leaders, arrive in Acre, and according to an agreement with the Turkish sultan, they depart from Acre to conquer Egypt. In his book, “A History of Dimyat”, Oliver notes that the fortress at Atlit was erected with the goal “…to make possible for the Templars to escape from the sin and foulness that fill the city of Acre.” 62a

1219 – The Franciscan monastery is founded by Francis of Assisi.

1220 – The Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi visits Acre. He writes about the importance of the Ein al-Bakr spring for people of all religions. He also points out the memorial inscription to the architect Abu Bakr who built the port of Accon in the 9th century, which is still displayed at the entrance to the port.

1222 – There is war between the autonomous communes of Pisa and Genoa in Acre. The Pisan quarter is destroyed. Additional battles between the communes are waged in 1248, 1249, 1258, and 1287.

1222–1263 – Anastasias is the Jacobite Bishop of Acre. 63

1223 – Citizens of Marseilles in the South of France are awarded the right to open their own inn in Acre. 64

1224 – Acre appears on a world map as a city encircled by a wall, bearing the name Accaron. 65

1226 – Rabbi Shem-Tov son of Rabbi Yitzhak of Tortosa in Spain comes to Acre for commercial interests and decides to settle in Acre. 66

1228 – John III is the Bishop of Acre. The German poet Freidank, travelling with Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, visits Acre. Freidank describes the inhabitants of Acre as hostile towards the Emperor and Christians. Likewise, he describes the severe poverty, the low morals, and the perils of the cit. 67 He adds: “…this is a city lacking faith and lacking heart. Its residents mourn for a donkey more than for thousands of dead soldiers.” 45a The Dominican Order’s center is established in this year.

1229 – Merchants from the city of Montpellier in the South of France are granted commercial rights in Acre. 68 Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor sails from the port of Acre. 69

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