The Eighth Crusade - Medieval History - The Crusades
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The Eighth Crusade

two boats with men in them
Louis IX sailing to Tunis
with the Eighth Crusade (1270 AD)

June 2016 - When Blanche of Castile died, her son Louis IX of France had to spend some time at home in France getting things organized, but then Louis' youngest brother Charles encouraged him to try another Crusade. The Seventh Crusade, which Louis led, had ended in failure in 1254 AD, so in 1270, when he was 56 years old, Louis tried again. This time, the Crusaders attacked the Hafsid kingdom in Tunis. They said they wanted a base in North Africa from which to attack Jerusalem. But also the Hafsids had been paying tribute to the old king of Sicily, and now that Charles was the new king of Sicily, they had stopped. Charles (and Louis) wanted them to start paying up again.

sandy beach and white houses
Bay of Tunis

Unfortunately when dysentery struck his camp, Louis himself died of it. Charles arrived in Tunis later that same day. He led a few small battles, and the Hafsid sultan Mustansir agreed to start paying tribute again. Then there was a storm, and more Crusaders caught dysentery. So the Crusaders went home. That was the end of the eighth and last Crusade. Charles was the only winner: he got to have a lot of power over his nephew Philip III, and therefore over France.

Learn by doing: take a sailboat ride
The next king of France: Philip III
(NOT Philip II - scroll down) Late Medieval Italy

Bibliography and further reading about the Crusades:

The next king of France: Philip III
More about the Hafsids in North Africa
Medieval Europe
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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