1192 (The People's Chronology)
Venice's doge Orio Mastropiero retires to a monastery and is succeeded June 1 by Enrico Dandolo, 85, who wins election despite his age and poor eyesight. He swears the "ducal promise" that spells out the rights and duties of his office; concludes treaties with Verona and Treviso; and will reign until his death in 1205, revising the city-state's penal code, publishing its first collection of civil statutes, setting its customary law on a firm juridical basis, and minting a silver coin called the grosso, or matapan, as he revises Venice's coinage and works to promote trade with the East.
The Third Crusade follows treacherous guides into the desert beyond Antioch, where famine, plague, and desertions reduce its numbers from 100,000 to 5,000 (see 1191). Saladin makes a surprise assault on Jaffa August 5 with 7,000 Turkish cavalrymen. Richard the Lion-Hearted can field only 2,000 men and 15 horses; he nevertheless gallops to the front with his sword slashing right and left, but his horse falls under him and Saladin sends his two best horses to Richard's rescue. Richard makes a truce whose terms permit the Christians to keep the coastal towns they have taken and receive free access to the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. Richard leaves for home October 9, traveling in flimsy disguise and is captured December 20 at Vienna, where Leopold, duke of Austria, imprisons him in Durenstein castle on the Danube (see 1193).
The Ismaelite Shiite leader of the Syrian branch of the Assassins Rashid ad-Din (as-Sinan) dies after a career in which he has become known to Crusaders as the Old Man of the Mountain, a translation from the Arabic Shaykh al-jabal (see 1094). From his fortress at Masyaf he has sent out agents to murder his enemies and made several attempts on the life of the Ayyubid leader Saladin. Rashid's successors will continue his practices (see 1256).
Muizz-ud-Din of Ghur crushes Rajput forces in a second Battle of Tarain (Taraori), killing Prthviraja III of Ajmer and Delhi, who this time has failed to gain support from Jai Chand of Kanauj and Varnasi (Benares) (see 1191). The Ghurid cavalry tactics bewilder the Rajputs, whose defeat opens all of northern India to Muslim control; the Muslim emperor Muhammad Ghuri's general Outb-un-Din Aybak captures Hansi in northwestern India, Delhi will be in Muslim hands by next year, and within 20 years all the rest of northern India will be Muslim territory.
The former Japanese emperor Goshirakawa dies at his native Kyoto April 26 at age 54; Yoritomo Minamoto is appointed shun by the emperor Tsuchi and continues his efforts to crush the Fujiwara clan in the north.