The Art Archive/Museum Der Stadt Wien/Dagli Orti

Barbarossa (1123–1190), or Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, shown here in a stained-glass window from St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, joined his uncle Conrad III in the Second Crusade in 1147. Frederick returned to the Holy Land in the Third Crusade in 1189, gathering a massive army, the largest contingent taking part in the cursade, in order to reoccupy the Holy Land and Jerusalem which had fallen to Saladin after the Battle of the Horns of Hattin in 1187. By the time of the Third Crusade, Frederick was already 70 years old but held the devotion of his mostly German army. He arrived in Constantinople in 1189 and quickly captured Adrianople (Edirne, Turkey) and Iconium (Konya, Turkey). However, while crossing Asia Minor towards the Holy Land, fate intervened. Frederick drowned while trying to cross the Saleph River in Cilicia (then part of the Kingdom of Armenia) in June of 1190. The death of its leader dashed the army’s morale and ended its short-lived campaign.