The Second Crusade
(1147–1149) was the second major crusade
launched by the Roman Catholic Church
, called in 1145 in response to the fall of the County of Edessa
the previous year. The Second Crusade was announced by Pope Eugene III
, and was the first of the crusades to be led by European kings. The armies of the French and the German kings marched separately across Europe and were somewhat hindered by Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus
. Prior to the arrival of the Crusaders, Manuel had broken off his military campaign against the Sultanate of Rüm
and signed a truce with his enemy Sultan Mesud I
. This was done so that Manuel would be free to concentrate on defending his empire from the Crusaders, who had gained a reputation for theft and treachery since the First Crusade
and were widely suspected of harbouring designs on Constantinople
. Some of the French were outraged by Manuel's truce with the Seljuks and called for an alliance with Roger II of Sicily
and an attack on Constantinople, but they were restrained by their King.
After crossing the Byzantine Empire into Anatolia, both the French and German armies were separately defeated by the Seljuk Turks. The remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem and, in 1148, participated in an ill-advised attack on Damascus. The crusade in the east was a failure for the Crusaders and a great victory for the Muslims. It would ultimately lead to the fall of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century.