1098 - First Crusade: Antioch falls to the crusaders after an eight-month siege.
The First Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II to regain control of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Christian Holy Land from Muslims. What started as an appeal to the French knightly class quickly turned into a wholesale migration and conquest of territory outside of Europe. Both knights and peasants from many different nations of western Europe, with little central leadership, travelled over land and by sea towards Jerusalem and captured the city in July 1099, establishing the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the other Crusader states. Although these gains lasted for fewer than two hundred years, the Crusade was a major turning point in the expansion of Western power, and was the only crusade — in contrast to the many that followed — to achieve its stated goal, which was possession of Jerusalem.