1190 (The People's Chronology)
The Byzantine emperor Isaac Angelus II achieves a temporary restoration of imperial prestige by defeating Serbia's Stefan Nemanja in battle (but see 1195).
The Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa drowns June 10 at age 67 while crossing (or bathing in) the river Calycadnus (Geuksu) near Selucia (Selefke) in Cilicia. He is succeeded by his son Heinrich, now 25, who 4 years ago married Constance d'Hauteville, now 36 but childless (she is the aunt and heiress of Sicily's William II). Heinrich has been serving as regent, but while he will be crowned next year and reign until 1197 as Heinrich VI, his father's death leaves the Third Crusade temporarily without a leader.
England's Richard the Lion-Hearted takes desperate measures to raise and equip a force of 4,000 men-at-arms and 4,000 foot soldiers for the Third Crusade. He rescues his 25-year-old sister Joanna, queen of Sicily, while en route to the Holy Land. She has been held hostage by the usurper Tancred of Lecce since the death of her husband, William II of Sicily, to whom she was married at age 11.
France's Philippe II Augustus prepares to join the Third Crusade by making arrangements to rule France from the Holy Land.
Norway's new archbishop Eric Ivarsson flees to Denmark with many of the country's bishops after refusing to crown Sverrir Sigurdsson (see 1184; 1194).
A massacre of some 500 Jewish men, women, and children in York Castle March 17 ends a 3-day siege by young men about to leave on the Third Crusade (see 1189). Jews have been attacked since last year from Durham south to Winchester, and people indebted to Jewish money lenders have egged the young men on (see "blood libel," 1191).
The Order of the Teutonic Knights confirmed November 19 is a military order that began with a hospital founded at Acre by merchants of Lübeck and Bremen between 1120 and 1128; the original hospital was destroyed following the fall of Jerusalem 3 years ago, the new one built outside Acre to succor those wounded in the siege will soon become attached to the German church of Mary the Virgin at Jerusalem (see 1198).
Nonfiction: Guide of the Perplexed by Cairo rabbi-physician Maimonides (Moshe ben Maimon, or Abu Imran al-Kufuni), now 55, who has held that conversion was no sin so long as one remained secretly faithful to Israel (see Maimon, 1770).
Poetry: French poet Chrétien de Troyes dies at age 60, having written works that include Perceval, ou Le Conte du Graal, earliest known version of the Holy Grail legend. His works have been translated into English and German and are highly popular (see 1203).