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Military Orders of the Latin Kingdom



    A standout amongst the most huge products of the primary campaign was the creation and development of the military orders — the Hospitallers, or Knights of St. John, the Templars, and the Teutonic Knights.



Teutonic Knights



    The Order of Teutonic Knights of St. Mary's Hospital at Jerusalem was established in 1128. Amid its prior history its individuals restricted their attempts to religious and beneficent work. It was not until 1190, amid a later campaign than that we have been portraying, that it gained military association. From that time, as a simply German request, it imparted to the Hospitallers and Templars the sanctions offered by the Pope and heads, and challenged with them the palm of chivalry and power. Its particular.

The Templars



    In the year 1114, four years before the Hospitallers had broadened their capacity to
incorporate military obligations, a Burgundian knight, Hugh de Payen, and eight confidants bound themselves by pledge to monitor general society streets about Jerusalem, which were persistently menaced by Moslems and freebooters. Ruler Baldwin II. allocated these great men quarters on the sanctuary site of Mount Moriah, whence their title, "Pauperes Commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici." At first the Templars appear to have gloried in their destitution, as shown by the first seal of the request, which speaks to two knights mounted on a solitary steed. Their individuals expanded until they imparted to the Hospitallers the brilliance of being the central guards of the new kingdom of Jerusalem.

    Hugh de Payen was sent by Baldwin II. as one of his ministers to secure assistance from European forces. Th Grand Master, showing up before the Council of Noyes, January, 1128, acquired for his request the formal endorsement of the congregation. He came back to Palestine with three hundred knights, speaking to the noblest groups of Europe. Among them was Foulque of Anjou, a short time later the King of Jerusalem. Fellowships of Templars were established in Spain by 1129, in France by 1131, and in Rome by 1 38. The mantle of the Knight Templar was white with a plain red cross on the left bosom. The administrative individuals wore dark. Their flag bore the engraving, " Not unto us, O Lord, but unto Thy name be glory !" .

­    The history of the Hospitallers and the Templars until the fall of the sacred city is that of the kingdom itself. In all battles these knights of the white and the red cross were conspicuous for bravery, and by the unity and discipline of their organizations gave steadiness to the progress of the cause, or at least retarded other disasters which finally befell it.

The Hospitallers

    The Hospitallers, or Knights of St. John - this popular association, which was for a considerable length of time a defense of Christendom which still exists, began sooner than the campaigns, yet first achieved power and notoriety in those energizing days. In the year 1023 the Egyptian caliph, who held ownership of Jerusalem, was initiated by the plea of the shippers of Amalfi to enable them to establish in the sacrosanct city a clinic for the care of poor and debilitated Latin pioneers. A working close to the Holy Sepulcher was secured for the reason and committed to the Virgin, with the title of " Santa Maria de Latina." As the huge number of explorers and their needs expanded, a more comfortable hospitium was raised. This was named after the sainted Patriarch of Alexandria, John Elcemon (the Compassionate). St. John the Baptist appears to be, be that as it may, to have secured the respect of turning into a definitive main benefactor of this request of medical attendants and almoners.

    At the point when Jerusalem fell into the ownership of the crusaders in 1099, Gerard, the healing facility Master, charmed himself and his little band of assistants to the large number of injured. Godfrey de Bouillon invested them With the incomes of his homes in Brabant. His case was trailed by others. Numerous with spirits berated by their own sufferings gave themselves actually to the work of the Hospitallers. Gerard, the Master, sorted out the brethren into a religious request, demanding from them the triple pledge of neediness, dutifulness, and celibacy. Every part wore a dark robe, and upon his bosom an eight-pointed white cross. Suspecting our history, in 1113 the request was honorable by the unique authorize of Pope Paschal II. Raymond du Puy, a honorable knight of Dauphine, progressed toward becoming Master in 1118, and developed the capacity of individuals by requiring of them, notwithstanding the triple promise, a vow of military administration. The request was then separated into:

(1) knights, whose special work was in the camp and field.

(2) clergy.

(3) serving brethren, or hospital attendants.

    Later it was important to subdivide its various followers into seven classes, as per the dialect they talked. The request was a republic, whose officers were chosen by the suffrage of all, yet who, once introduced, employed a totalitarian power. Its popularity spread all through all nations. Hoards enrolled under its protection for administration in the Holy Land; it ended up plainly had of colossal property all through Europe ; its specialists were at all courts, and its Briarean hands were felt at each focal point of energy all through Christendom.

Growth of the Pilgrimage

    The enthusiasm for pilgrimage could be checked neither by the voice of saint nor by common sense. From the depths of the German forests, from the banks of the Seine and the bleak shores of Britain, as well as from the cities of southern Europe, poured the incessant streams of humanity, to bathe in the waters of the Jordan where their Lord was baptized, or perchance to die at the tomb which witnessed his resurrection.

    As early as the fourth century itineraries were published to guide the feet of the pious across the countries of Europe and Asia Minor; hospitals were also established along the road, the support of which by those who stayed at home was regarded as specially meritorious in the sight of Heaven.

    In 611 Chosroes the Persian and Zoroastrian captured Jerusalem, slaughtered ninety thousand Christian residents and pilgrims, and, more lamentable in the estimate of that age, carried off the wood of the true cross. But Heraclius, the Greek emperor, after a ten years' war triumphed over the Persian power. Neither conquered lands nor the spoils of princely tents compared in stirring enthusiasm with the recapture of this relic. With great pomp the emperor left a part of the cross to glorify his capital, Constantinople. On September 14, 629, Heraclius entered Jerusalem, bearing, like Simon the Cyrenian, the remainder of the sacred beams upon his back. With bare feet and in ragged garments he traversed the city and reerected the symbol of the world's faith upon the assumed site of Calvary. This event is still commemorated throughout the Roman Catholic world by the annual festival of the " exaltation of the holy cross."

    Marvellous stories, the innocent exaggerations of weak minds or the designed invention of less conscionable shrewdness, fed the credulity of the people. Bishop Arculf told of having seen the three tabernacles still standing upon the Mount of Transfiguration. Bernard of Brittany as an eye-witness described the angel who came from heaven each Easter morn to light the lamp above the Holy Sepulchre.

    At the opening of the ninth century the friendship of Haroun-al-Raschid, King of Persia, for Charlemagne extended the privileges of pilgrims. The keys of the sepulchre of Jesus were sent by him as a royal gift to the Emperor of the West. Charle magne's capitularies contain references to " alms sent to Jerusalem to repair the churches of God," and to provide lodging, with fire and water, to pilgrims en route.

    The cruel persecution by Mad Hakem, the caliph of Egypt , made scarcely an eddy in the current of humanity moving eastward. Counts and dukes vied with prelates in the multitude of their companions. In 1054 the Bishop of Cambray started with a band of three thousand fellow-pilgrims. In 1064 the Archbishop of Mayence followed with ten thousand, nearly half of whom perished by the way.

    In the latter part of the eleventh century, as has been related, the strong hand of the Turk first effectually checked the pilgrims. The horrors of the atrocities perpetrated by this new Mohammedan power afflicted Europe less than the cessation of the popular movement. The evil was twofold, secular and spiritual.

    Pilgrimage was often a lucrative business as well as a pious performance. In the intervals of his visits to the sacred places the European sojourner plied his calling as a tradesman ; the Franks held a market before the Church of St. Mary ; the Venetians, Genoese, and Pisans had stores in Jerusalem and the coast cities of Phenicia. The courtiers of Europe dressed in the rich stuffs sent from Asia, and drank the wine of Gaza. A great traffic was done in relics. The pilgrim returned having in his wallet the credited bones of martyrs, bits of stone from sacred sites, splinters from furniture and shreds of garments made holy by association with the saints. These were sold to the wealthy and to churches, and their value augmented from year to year by reason of the fables which grew about them.

    In more generous minds the passion for pilgrimage was fed by the desire for increased knowledge. Travel was the only compensation for the lack of books. One became measurably learned by visiting, while going to and returning from Palestine, such cities as Constantinople or Alexandria, to say nothing of the enlightening intercourse with one's fellow- Europeans while passing through their lands.

    Mere love of change and adventure also led many to take the staff. If in our advanced civilization men cannot entirely divest themselves of the nomadic habit, but tramp and tourist are everywhere, we need not be surprised at the numbers of those who indulged this passion in days when home life was exceedingly monotonous and its entertainment as meagre.

    But the chief incentive to pilgrimage was doubtless the supposed merit of treading the very footprints of our Lord. Not only was forgiveness of sins secured by kneeling on the site of Calvary, but to die en route was to fall in the open gateway of heaven, one's travel- soiled shirt becoming a shroud which would honor the hands of angels convoying the redeemed soul to the blissful abodes. Great criminals thus penanced their crimes. Frotmonde, the murderer, his brow marked with ashes and his clothes cut after the fashion of a winding-sheet, tramped the streets of Jerusalem, the desert of Arabia, and homeward along the North African coast, only to be commanded by Pope Benedict III. to repeat his penance on even a larger scale, after which he was received as a saint. Foulques of Anjou, who had brought his brother to death in a dungeon, found that three such journeys were necessary to wear away the guilt-mark from his conscience. Robert of Normandy, the father of William the Conqueror, as penance for crime walked barefoot the entire distance, accompanied by many knights and barons. When Cencius assaulted Pope Hildebrand, the pontiff uttered these words : " Thy injuries against myself I freely pardon. Thy sins against God, against His mother, His apostles, and His whole church, must be expiated. Go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem."

    We are thus prepared to appreciate the incentive to the crusades which men of all classes found in the speech of Pope Urban at Clermont, in inaugurating the movement : " Take ye, then, the road to Jerusalem for the remission of sins, and depart assured of the imperishable glory which awaits you in the kingdom of heaven."

Origin of the Pilgrim

    There is no decisive evidence as to the exact date when the custom of pilgrimages to the Holy Land first obtained in the Christian Church. To the early Christians Jerusalem may well have seemed the city of the wrath rather than of the love of God. To them it was rather the scene of the death than of the resurrection of Christ, and its sacred associations were perhaps obliterated in horror at its profanation with heathen worship under the Roman name of Aelia Capitolina.


­    But when Christianity found a champion in Constantine the Great, Jerusalem began to raise its head among the cities of the world. The piety of this Emperor or his mother, Helena, built churches on the traditional scenes of Our Lord's birth and burial ; traditional only, since the almost coeval legend of the Invention of the Cross shows clearly that all exact knowledge had been . lost. Constantine himself is credited with the intention of a visit to the Holy Land, and from this time we can trace the history of the sacred pilgrimages from century to century. That emperor was yet alive when a pilgrim from Bordeaux made the journey by land to Jerusalem, and left a record which still survives. In the Holy City he saw the pool of Solomon, the pinnacle whence Satan tempted Christ to throw Himself, and the little hill of Golgotha, which was the scene of the Crucifixion. At other places, too, he notes with care whatever events in Scripture history had made them famous. Clearly men were already seeking to identify the chief scenes of the sacred narrative, although in their credulity they were ready to accept whatever absurdities invention might offer ; such, for instance, as the sycamore tree into which Zacchaeus had climbed.

­    By the end of the fourth century the practice pilgrimages had so much increased as to give rise to the custom of collecting alms for the relief of the poor at Jerusalem. It was well, contended St. Jerome, that men should reverence holy shrines and relics. That saint himself, when forced to leave Rome, made his home in the Holy Land, and there his noble patroness, Paula, came to see him, and visit in his company Elijah's tower at Sarepta, the house of Cornelius at Caesarea, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron. Paula herself wrote afterwards to her friend Marcella : " We do not doubt that there are holy men elsewhere than here, but it is here that the foremost of the whole world are gathered together. Here are Gauls and Britons, Persians and Armenians, Indians and ^Ethiopians, all dwelling in love and harmony." In Jerome's time Jerusalem already possessed so many sacred places that the stranger could not visit them in a single day. A hundred and fifty years later, after the city had been adorned by the splendid buildings of Justinian, they cannot have been less in number.

Europe on the Eve of the Crusades


    The once luxuriant civilization of Rome had been swept away by the Northern invaders as completely as a freshet despoils the fields when it not only destroys standing vegetation, but carries with the debris the soil itself. The most primitive arts, those associated with agriculture, were forgotten, and the rudiments of modern industries were not thought of. Much of the once cultivated land had, as has elsewhere been noted, reverted to native forest and marsh, and in places was still being purchased by strangers on titles secured by occupancy and first improvement, as now in the new territories of America. But even nature's pity for man was outraged; the bounty she gave from half-tilled acres was despoiled by men themselves, as hungry children snatch the morsels of charity from one another's hands. What was hoarded for personal possession became the spoil of petty robbers, and what was left by the neighborhood marauder was destroyed in the incessant baronial strife. To these devouring forces must be added the desolating wars between the papal and imperial powers, the conquest and reconquest of Spain by Moors and Christians, and the despoiling of Saxon England by the Normans. Throughout Europe, fields, cottages, castles, oftentimes churches, were stripped by the vandalism which had seemingly become a racial disposition. To this ordinary impoverished condition was added the especial misery, about 1195, of several years' failure of crops. Famine stalked through France and middle Europe; villages were depopulated. Cruel as they were, men grew weary of raiding one another's possessions when there was nothing to bring back but wounds. Even hatred palled when unsupported by envy and cupidity.

­    The crusades gave promise of opening a new world to greed. The stories that were told of Eastern riches grew, as repeated from tongue to tongue, until fable seemed poor in comparison with what was believed to be fact. All the wealth of antiquity was presumed to be still stored in treasure-vaults, which the magic key of the cross would unlock. The impoverished baron might exchange his half-ruined castle for some splendid estate beyond the iEgean, and the vulgar crowd, if they did not find Jerusalem paved with gold like the heavenly city, would assuredly tread the veins of rich mines or rest among the flowers of an earthly paradise. The Mohammedan's expectation of a sensual heaven after death was matched by the Christian's anticipation of what awaited him while still in life.

­    They who were uninfluenced by this prospect may have seized the more warrantable hope of opening profitable traffic with the Orient. The maritime cities of Italy had for a long time harvested great gains in the eastern Mediterranean, in spite of the Moslem interruptions of commerce. Would not a tide of wealth pour westward if only the swords of the Christians could hew down its barriers ?

    The church piously, but none the less shrewdly, stimulated the sense of economy or greed by securing exemption from taxation to all who should enlist, and putting a corresponding burden of excise upon those who remained at home, whose estates were assessed to pay the expenses of the absent. The householder who found it difficult to save his possessions while keeping personal guard over them was assured that m all his family and effects would be under the watchful protection of the church, with anathemas already forged against any who should molest them. If one were without means he might borrow to the limit of his zeal, with exemption from interest. It was understood that the Jews were still under necessity of paying back the thirty pieces of silver with which they had bought the Christians' Lord, the interest on which, compounded through the centuries, was now equal in amount to all there might be in the vaults of this accursed race.

    When we remember the wars of modern times which have originated in the cupidity of men, we are not surprised that the same disposition, inflamed by the sense of dire need at home and the vision of untold treasures outre mer % with heavenly rewards beyond the sky, should have led to the same result in an age that knew almost nothing of the arts of peace.

The Feudal System and the Crusade

In accounting for the crusades we must consider the governmental condition of Europe at the time. Under no other system than that of feudalism would it have been possible to unify and mobilize the masses for the great adventure. Had Europe then been dominated by several great rulers, each with a nation at his control, as the case has been in subsequent times, even the popes would have been unable to combine the various forces in any enterprise that was not purely spiritual. Just to the extent in which the separate nationalities have developed their autonomy has the secular influence of the Roman see been lessened. Kings and emperors, whenever they have felt themselves strong enough to do so, have resented the leadership of Rome in matters having temporal bearings.

¬Nor would the mutual jealousies of the rulers themselves have allowed them to unite in any movement for the common glory, since the most urgent calls have never been sufficient to unite them even for the common defense, as is shown by the supineness of Catholic Europe when, in the fifteenth century, the Turks crossed the Marmora and assailed Constantinople.

But in the eleventh century there was no strong national government in Europe ; kingship and imperialism existed rather in name than in such power as we are accustomed to associate with the words. At the opening of the tenth century France was parcelled out into twenty- nine petty states, each controlled by its feudal lord. Hugh Capet (987-996) succeeded in temporarily combining under his sceptre these fragments of Charlemagne's estate; but his successors were unable to perpetuate the common dominion. In the year 1000 there were fifty-five great Frankish lords who were independent of the nominal sovereign. Indeed, some of these nobles exercised authority more weighty than that of the throne. Louis VI. (1108) first succeeded in making his lordly vassals respect his kingship, but his domain was small. " fie de France, properly so called, and a part of Orliannais, pretty nearly the five departments of the Seine, French Vexin, half the count ship of Sens, and the countship of Bourges — such was the whole of it. But this limited state was as liable to agitation, and often as troublous and toilsome to govern, as the very greatest of modern states. It was full of petty lords, almost sovereign in their own estates, and sufficiently strong to struggle against their kingly suzerain, who had, besides, all around his domains several neighbors more powerful than himself in the extent and population of their states " (Guizot).

In Spain much of the land was still held by the Moors. That which had been wrested from them was divided among the Christian heroes who conquered it, and who, though Feudal System rules were not formally recognized, held it with an aristocratic pretension commensurate with the leagues they shadowed with their swords.

¬In Germany, though imperialism had been established firmly by Otho the Great, the throne was forced to continual compromise with the ambition of its chief vassals, like the dukes of Saxony, Bavaria, Swabia, and Franconia. A papal appeal to such magnates was sufficient at any time to paralyze, or at least to neutralize, the imperial authority.

¬The Norman holdings in the south of Italy, the independence of the cities of Lombardy in the north, the claims of the German emperor and of the popes to landed control, were typical of the divisions of that unhappy peninsula.

¬Later than the age we are studying, Frederick Barbarossa (1152-90) enjoined that "in every oath of fealty to an inferior lord the vassal's duty to the emperor should be expressly reserved." But it was not so elsewhere. When Henry II. (1154-89) and Richard I. (1189-99) claimed lands in France, their French vassals never hesitated to adhere to these Knglish lords, nor " do they appear to have incurred any blame on that account. St. Louis (1226-70) declared in his laws that if 'justice be refused by the king to one of his vassals, the vassal may summon his own tenants, under penalty of forfeiting their fiefs, to assist him in obtaining redress by arms ' " (Hallam).

The extent to which the French barons were independent of the throne will be evident from a glance at their privileges. They possessed unchallenged :

(1) The right of coining money. In Hugh Capet's time there were one hundred and fifty independent mints in the realm.

¬(2) The right of waging private war. Every castle was a fortress, always equipped as in a state of siege.

¬(3) Immunity from taxation. Except that the king was provided with entertainment on his journeys, the crown had no revenue beyond that coming from the personal estates of its occupant.

¬(4) Freedom from all legislative control. Law-making ceased with the capitularies of Carloman in 882. The first renewal of the attempt at general legislation was not until the time of Louis VIII. in 1223. Even St. Louis declared in his establishments that the king could make no laws for the territories of the barons without their consent.

¬(5) Exclusive right of original judicature.

¬But if such was the independence of the feud-holder in his relations to the sovereign, those beneath him were in absolute dependence upon their lord. This is seen in the following obligations of feudal tenants to their superior :

¬(1) Reliefs: sums of money due from every one coming of age and taking a fief by inheritance ; fines upon alienation or change of tenant ownership.

¬(2) Escheats : reversion to the lord of all property upon a tenant's dying without natural heirs, or upon any delinquency of service.

¬(3) Aids : contributions levied in special emergency, as the lord's expedition to the Holy Land, the marriage of his sister, eldest son, or daughter, his paying a " relief " to his overlord, making his son a knight, or redeeming his own person from captivity.

(4) Wardship of tenant during minority. This involved on the part of the lord the right to select a husband for a female dependent, which alliance could be declined only on payment of a fine equal to that which any one desiring the woman could be induced to offer for her.

If the feudal system pressed so harshly upon those who were themselves of high rank, it need not be said that the common people were utterly crushed by this accumulation of graded despotisms, whose whole weight rested ultimately on the lowest stratum. The mass of the lowly was divided into three orders :

(1) Freemen possessing small tracts of allodial land, so called because held by original occupancy and not yet merged in the larger holdings. There were many freemen in the fifth and sixth centuries, but in the tenth century nearly all the land of Europe had become feudal. The freemen, whose possessions were small, soon found it necessary to surrender land and liberty for the sake of protection by some neighboring lord.

¬(2) Villains or serfs, who were attached to the land and transferable with it on change of owners.

¬(3) Slaves. The degradation of the servile class was limitless, the master having the right of life and death, entire use of the property and wages of his people, and absolute disposal of them in marriage. Slavery was abolished in France by Louis the Gross (1 108-37) so f ar as respected the inhabitants of cities ; but it took nearly two centuries more to accomplish the abolition of servitude throughout the kingdom.

The cities were, indeed, rising to assert their communal, if not manhood, rights. The communes, as they were called, demanded and received privilege in certain places of electing any persons to membership as citizens who were guaranteed absolute ownership of property. But the communes were far from even suggesting anything like the modern democratic systems, and were opposed by clergy and nobility. " So that," says Guizot, " security could hardly be purchased, save at the price of liberty. Liberty was then so stormy and so fearful that people conceived, if not a disgust for it, at any rate a horror of it." Men had not evolved the morality which could make a commonwealth. Law was bound on men only by forcq. The wall of the castle, grand and impressive as wealth could build it, or only a rude addition to the natural rock, was the sole earthly object of reverence. To the strong man came the weak, saying, " Let me be yours ; protect me and I will fight for you."

It will be evident that under the feudal system patriotism, in the modern sense of attachment to one's national domain, can scarcely be said to have existed. While we may not believe recent French writers who assert that the love of their country as such was born with the Revolution a hundred years ago, it is certain that the mediaeval attachment was no wider than to one's immediate neighborhood. The crusading Count of Flanders, on viewing the desolate hills about Jerusalem, exclaimed, " I am astonished that Jesus Christ could have lived in such a desert. I prefer my big castle in my district of Arras/' The love of the peasant seems to have been only for his familiar hills and vineyards, and his loyalty was limited by the protecting hand of his lord.

Yet generous spirits could not remain forever so narrowly bounded in their interests. Men were ready to hear the call to a wider range of sympathies and actions. The summons for the crusades thus furnished the lacking sentiment of patriotism; but it was a patriotism that could not be bounded by the Rhine or the Danube, by the Channel or the Pyrenees. Europe was country ; Christendom was fatherland.

¬At the same time the compactness of each feud, the close interdependence of lord and vassal, furnished the condition for the organization of bands of fighting men, ready to move at once, and to continue the enterprise so long as the means of the superior should hold out. There was needed to start the crusading armies no council of parliament or alliance of nations, hazarded and delayed by the variant policies of different courts. If the baron was inclined to obey the call of his ghostly superior, the successor of St. Peter, his retainers were ready to march. And the most brawling of the barons was superstitious enough to think that the voice of the Pope might be the voice of God. If he did not, his retainers did, and disobedience to the papal will might cost him the obedience of those subject to him. Besides, many of the feudal lords were themselves in clerical orders, with their oath of fealty lying at the feet of the Holy Father.

Thus Europe, though divided into many factions, and, indeed, because the factions were so many, was in a condition to be readily united. We shall see in a subsequent chapter that it was in the interest of the holy see to apply the spring which should combine and set in motion these various communities as but parts of that gigantic piece of ecclesiastical and military mechanism invented by Hildebrand.

The Grave of Saladin



They buried him that day in the garden house in the Citadel of Damascus, at the hour of the "asr العصر" prayer. The sword which he had helped through the Holy War was laid adjacent to him : " he brought it with him to Paradise." He had given away everything, and the cash for the internment must be acquired, even to the straw for the blocks that made the grave. The service was as basic as a poor person's burial service. A striped material secured the undistinguished coffin. No artist was permitted to sing a lament, no evangelist to make speech. At the point when the huge number, who thronged about the gate, saw the bier, a great wailing went up, and so distraught were the people that they could not form the words of prayer, but only cried and groaned. All eyes were wet, and there were few that did not weep aloud. Then every man went home and shut his door, and the empty silent streets bore witness to a great sorrow. Only the weeping secretary and those of the household went to pray over the grave and indulge their grief. The next day the people thronged to the tomb, praying, lamenting, reciting the Koran, and invoking the blessing of God upon him who slept beneath.

It was not till the close of a second year that the body of the Sultan was interred by a son's loving care in the oratory on the northern side of the Kellasa, beside the great Omayyad mosque, where it lies now. Over it the faithful chancellor, who was soon to follow his master, wrote the epitaph: “O God, accept this soul, and open to him the gates of heaven, that last victory for which he hoped.

“ I entered into this oratory,” says a later biographer, “ by the door which gives on the Kellasa, and after reciting a portion of the Koran over the grave, I invoked God’s mercy on its dweller. The warden showed me a packet containing Saladin's clothes, and I saw among them a short yellow vest with black cuffs, and I prayed that the sight might be blessed to me."

The savvy doctor Abd el Latif composed, to some degree pessimistically, that as far as anyone is concerned this was the main occurrence of a King's demise that was genuinely grieved by the general population. The mystery of Saladin's energy lay in the affection for his subjects. What others tried to accomplish by dread, by seriousness, by magnificence, he accom plished by generosity. In the paramount words which he talked, not well before his demise, to his best dearest child, ez Zahir, on rejecting him to his common government, he uncovered the wellspring of his own quality.

“My son,” he said, “ I commend thee to the most high God, the fountain of all goodness. Do His will, for that way lieth peace. Abstain from the shedding of blood; trust not to that; for blood that is spilt never slumbers. Seek I0 ruin I/ze luarts of tlzy people, and watch over their prosperity ; for it is to secure their happiness that thou art appointed by God and by me. Try to gain the hearts of thy emirs and ministers and nobles. I have become great as I am because I have won men's hearts by gentleness and kindness”.

Death of Saladin



At the point when Saladin was guaranteed that King Richard of England had truly taken ship and left the nation to Europe, Saladin started an advance through the land which had been won and held at so incredible cost. He went by every one of the fortresses "and boss urban areas, looking at their guards, giving requests for fortications, and putting in each a solid army of stallion and foot. At Beyrut, on the Ist of November, he got the Prince of Antioch, Bohemond the Stammerer, who taken an interest in the arrangement of peace; the meeting was heartfelt, and the Prince was given terrains in the plain of Antioch to the estimation of 15,000 gold pieces a year. At Kaukab—at no time in the future to be called Belvoir—he discovered his antiquated worker of early days, Karakush the developer of the dividers of Cairo, who had grieved in jail at Acre as far back as the surrender. There were no censures, yet just the welcome because of old and attempted commitment. On the fourth of November Damascus yet again acclaimed its Sultan. He had not been inside its doors for a long time, and his open levee the following day was thronged with old companions and glad subjects. The artists had no words uncommon and sufficiently rich for the considerable event.

Once more Saladin was at home among his child ren. We see him sitting in his summer house in the castle grounds, with his younger children about him. Envoys from the Franks were announced, but when they came into his presence, their shaven chins, cropped hair, and strange clothes frightened little Abu Bekr, who began to cry. The father, thinking only of the child, dismissed the ambassadors with an excuse, before they had even delivered their message. Older sons were there, grown men who had fought in his battles, and with these and his brother, el Adil, he went day after day hunting the gazelle in the spacious plains about Damascus. He had thoughts of going to Mekka on pilgrimage, the supreme duty of the pious Moslem; he wished to visit again that Egypt which had been_ his stepping stone to power; but the time passed, and the pilgrims came back from Arabia, and Saladin was still at Damascus, revelling in the delights of a peaceful home.

On Friday the 20th of February, he rode out with Baha d din to meet the caravan of the Hajj. He had not been well of late, and it was the wet season; the roads were streaming after heavy rains, and he had imprudently forgotten to wear his usual quilted gambeson. That night he had fever. The next day he could not join his friends at dinner, and the sight of the son sitting in the father's seat brought tears to many eyes—they took it as an omen. Each day the Sultan grew worse, his head was racked with pain, and he suffered internally. On the fourth day the doctors bled him; and from that time he grew steadily worse. The fever parched his skin, and he became weaker and weaker. On the ninth day his mind wandered; he fell into a stupor and could no longer take his draught. Every night Baha ed din and the chancellor el Fadil would go to see him, or at least to hear the doctors’ report; and sometimes they would come out streaming with tears, which they strove to command, for there was always a multitude outside the gates waiting to learn from their faces how the Master was. On Sunday, the tenth day of the illness, medicine gave some relief, the sick man drank a good draught of barley water, and broke into a profuse perspiration. “We gave thanks to God . . . and came out with lightened hearts." It was but the last effort. On Tuesday night the faithful secretary and chancellor were summoned to the castle, but they did not see the Sultan, who was sinking fast. There was a divine with him, repeating the confession of faith and reading the Holy Word; and when he came to the passage “He is God, than whom there is no other God,—who knoweth the unseen and the seen,—the Compassionate, the Merciful," the Sultan murmured, “True "; and when the words came, “ In Him do I trust," the dying man smiled, his face lighted up, and he rendered his soul to his Lord.

Saladin died on Wednesday, the 4th of March, 1193, at the age of fty ve.

Battle of Tiberias (Hattin, 4 July 1187)



Meanwhile Saladin had assembled into his hand the reins of Egypt and western Asia. In 1 185 the Christians of Palestine sent an interest for help to every one of the courts of Europe. The approach and extent of the peril drove them to choose the most critical dignitaries as their delivery people : Heraclius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, together with the Grand Masters of the Hospitallers and Templars. The ministers offered the crown of Jerusalem to King Henry II. of England, giving him the keys of the Holy Sepulcher an*, of the tower of David. The interest of the East was supported by Pope Lucius, whose letter to Henry demonstrates that Europe feared as much as it put on a show to detest the new Moslem pioneer. The letter read : " For Saladin, the most barbaric persecutor, has emerged to such a contribute his rage that, unless the passionate onset of his underhandedness is checked, he may engage a guaranteed trust that all the Jordan will stream into his mouth, and the land be contaminated by his most loathsome superstitions, and the nation yet again be subjected to the damned territory of the most detestable dictator By the distresses accordingly approaching, we beseech your Mightiness with a palpitating heart," and so on. In any case, neither King Henry's inner voice nor his expectation of picking up a brighter crown in paradise was adequate to draw him from activities closer home.

Saladin quickly verified the Pope's estimate of his ability. In May, 1187, he overthrew the Templars in a battle at Nazareth. With eighty thousand horse he then invested and crushed Tiberias on Galilee. The citadel of this place alone remained untaken. The Christians massed fifty thousand men on the plain of Hattin, above the city, for one supreme endeavor. The boldest feared the result. The sight of the wood of the True Cross gave a martyr courage rather than hope of success. Raymond, whose bravery no man questioned, made an address to the assembled barons, counselling retreat. He said : " In this army is the only hope left to the Christians of the East. Here are gathered all the soldiers of Christ, all the defenders of Jerusalem. The archers of Saladin are more skilful than ours, his cavalry more numerous and better trained. Let us abandon Tiberias and save the army." To lose that battle in the open plain would be, as Raymond foresaw, to lose everything. To retreat might force the enemy to fight against strongholds, when the advantage would be on the Christians side.

This discreet counsel of the veteran was derided by the Master of the Templars, who openly taunted Raymond with some secret alliance with Saladin. Raymond rejoined, " I will submit to the punishment of death if these things do not fall out as I have said." The barons were for following the advice of the veteran, but King Guy, after various changes of mind, gave the fatal order for battle.

The day (July 4, 1 187) was excessively hot The Christians, worn out with the march, advanced to the fight, sustained chiefly by the desperation of their resolve. The Mussulmans occupied the vantage-ground on the hills which make the western shore of the Lake of Tiberias, and welcomed their adversaries' approach with a furious discharge of arrows. Then suddenly, as lightning through a pelting storm, the white turbans and cimeters of the Saracen cavalry, led by Saladin in person, flashed across the field. In the language of the Arabic chronicler : " Then the sons of paradise and the children of fire settled their terrible quarrel. Arrows hurtled in the air like a noisy flight of sparrows, and the blood of warriors dripped upon the ground like rain." .

The True Cross, which had enlivened the Christians' strength, was an event of their shortcoming ; for, giving up on triumph through their own valor, they looked for the assurance of the symbol of their religion. Saladin said thereafter that the Franks flew round the cross like moths cycle a light. Over and over the sultan drove his squadrons through the thickest positions of his adversaries, and would that day have fixed the Christians' destiny had not night offered break to the fight. Amid the haziness the Christians moved their in thick cluster. The Saracens, having unrivaled numbers, embraced the inverse arrangement and expanded their lines, so that when morning broke they encompassed their foes on each side. The Christians futile attempted to break the cordon, which was consistently moving closer and closer, restricting the space inside it as one by one the destined knights fell. The Saracens let go the grass of the plain. Swords flashed through the offensive smoke, and the boldest, whom arms couldn't dismay, dropped from suffocation. The Templars and Hospitallers kept up the fight throughout the day, mobilizing about the cross; however that image was at last taken. It was being borne by Rufinus, Bishop of Acre, when he fell, punctured with a bolt. Says a contemporary author: " This was done through the exemplary judgment of God ; for, as opposed to the use of his forerunners, having more noteworthy confidence in common arms than in glorious ones, he went forward to fight prepared in a layer of mail."

Guy was a captive, together with the Master of the Templars and many of the most celebrated knights, who had failed to find death, though they sought it. Raymond cut his way through the line of Saracens, who praised his amazing valor as they witnessed his exploit, while the Christians denounced him for connivance with the foe.

­A scene followed which showed the temper of Saladin. The conqueror received King Guy and his surviving nobles in a manner to lessen, if possible, their chagrin for the disaster. He presented to the king a great goblet filled with drink, which had been cooled in the snows from the Lebanons. Having drunk from it, Guy passed the cup to Renaud, the man who had violated the truce in former years. Saladin could be magnanimous to a worthy antagonist So great was his selfcommand that he observed the most punctilious etiquette even in the rage of a hand-to-hand fight. But to the false and treacherous he could show no mercy. The sight of the truce-breaker fired him with uncontrollable frenzy ; he exclaimed, "That traitor shall not drink in my presence. He gave Renaud the instant choice of death or acceptance of the religion of Mohammed. Renaud refused to subscribe the Koran. Saladin smote him with the side of his sabre, a mark of his contempt. At a signal a common soldier swirled his cimeter, and the head of Renaud fell at King Guy's feet.

Towards the Templars and Hospitallers the sultan had conceived similar hatred from the conviction that they regarded their covenants with their enemies too lightly. As these knights of the white and the red cross were led past him Saladin remarked, " I will deliver the earth of these two unclean races." He bade his emirs each slay a knight with his own hand. Neither the defenceless condition of the captives nor the protestation of his warriors against this cruelty produced any compunction in the breast of the res- olute conqueror.

Magnanimity of Saladin



The attack was irate and met with equivalent valor. Inside and without, the dividers were genuinely buttressed with the groups of the fallen. It was not until the key door was undermined, the bulwarks tottering, and the warriors of Saladin possessing a portion of the towers, that Balian d'Iselin, the commandant, proposed to acknowledge the conditions the Christians had dismisses before the battle. " It is past the point of no return," answered Saladin, indicating his yellow pennants, which announced his inhabitance of many places along the dividers. "Exceptionally all around," answered Balian; "we will obliterate the city. The mosque of Omar, and the puzzling Stone of Jacob which you love, might be beat into tidy Five thousand Moslems whom we hold should be slaughtered. We will then kill with our own hands our spouses and kids, and walk out to you with flame and sword. Not one of us will go to heaven until he has sent ten Mussulmans to damnation." Saladin again bowed to the boldness which he may have rebuffed, and acknowledged the capitulation (October 2, 1187).

The Christian warriors were permitted to retire to Tripoli or Tyre, cities as yet unconquered by Saladin. The inhabitants were to be ransomed at a nominal sum of money for each. Many, however, in their poverty could not produce the required amount The fact, reported to the victor, led to a deed on his part which showed his natural kindliness, together with the exactness of his rule. The ransom money could not be remitted ; it belonged of right to the men whose heroism had been blessed of Allah in taking the city. Saladin and his brother, Malek-Ahdel, paid from their own purses the redemption money for several thousand Christians, who otherwise, according to the usages of war, would have become the slaves of their conquerors.

­On the day for the evacuation of the city Saladin erected his throne at the Gate of David to review the wretched army of the vanquished as it passed out. First came the patriarch and priests, carrying the sacred vessels and treasures of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Next followed Queen Sibylla with the remnant of her court. Saladin saluted her with great courtesy, and added words of seemingly genuine consolation as he noted her grief. Mothers carried their children, and strong men bore the aged and sick in their arms. Some paused to address the sultan, asking that members of their families from whom they were separated might be restored to them. Saladin instantly ordered that in no case should children be separated from their mothers, nor husbands from their wives. He permitted the Hospitallers to remain in the city on condition of their resuming those duties which their order was originally instituted to perform, and committed to them the care of the sick who could not endure being removed. Many writers are disposed to analyze the motives of Saladin and to attribute his clemency to politic foresight in subduing the hatred as well as the arms of his enemies. But surely the annals of war are too barren of such acts of humanity to allow us to mar the beauty of the simple narration ; and the virtues of Christians in such circumstances have not been so resplendent that they may not emulate the spirit of one who was their noblest foe.

The new Lord of Jerusalem cleansed the holy city of what to him was the corrupt of excessive admiration, the love of Jesus. The mosque of Omar on the sanctuary site was washed inside and without with rose-water. The platform which Nourredin had made with his own hands was raised by the side of the mihrab, towards which the general population asked as demonstrating the heading of Mecca. The central imam lectured from it on the glories of Saladin, " the shining star of Allah," on the recovery of Jerusalem, from which Mohammed had made his supernatural night excursion to Mecca, and on the sacred war, which must be proceeded until "all the branches of scandalousness ought to be cut " from the tree of life.

­The joy of the Moslem world had its refrain in the wails of Europe. It is said that Pope Urban III., on hearing the news, died of a broken heart. The minstrels composed lamentations as the captives did by the rivers of Babylon. Courts and churches were draped in mourning. The superstitious saw tears fall from the eyes of the wooden and stone saints that ornamented the churches. The general gloom was described by one who felt it as " like the darkness over the earth from the sixth to the ninth hour, when Christ was crucified."

Saladin Vezir of Egypt 1169-1171



The Moslem world was ostensibly partitioned between the Syrian caliph of Bagdad and the Egyptian caliph of Cairo. Egypt was wretchedly administered. The caliph of Cairo was yet an animal of his viziers. Amaury, seeing the likelihood of extending his spaces to the Nile, took arms against him. In 1163 he sent an armed force which may have held the nation, had it not been driven out by the adversary's flooding the valley of the Nile. One gathering in Egypt conjured the help of Nourredin, who sent as his general Shirkuh the Kurd, uncle of Saladin. Amaury fulfilled against him the catch of Pelusium in 1164. In 1167 he took Alexandria, instructed at the time by youthful Saladin. He later entered to Cairo and laid El Fostat in fiery remains. In 11 68 Shirkuh recharged the war. Amaury, walking from Egypt to meet his opponent in the abandon, was flanked by that general, who all of a sudden possessed the land left undefended. Amaury, who had hitched a niece of the Emperor Manuel, made with the Greeks an unsuccessful assault upon Damietta. Here the Christians felt the hand of one who was ordained at last to topple all their energy in the East. Saladin was in order. On the demise of Shirkuh he had been selected vizier by the caliph of Cairo. The caliph, wearied of being controlled by outlining and competent men who assimilated to their greatest advantage the power they protected, chose Saladin, suspecting that the young fellow's inability would be to a lesser degree a threat to the caliphate.

Nourredin, but, divined the genius of the younger vizier and assigned to him the preferrred command in egypt. he then deposed the caliph, and with his reign delivered to an end the dynasty of the fatimites, which for 2 hundred years had held the land of the nile. therefore nourredin ruled supreme from babylonia to the wilderness of libya. simplest the dominion of jerusalem marred the map of his dominion. to reconquer this for islam become his incessant motive. along with his personal hands he made a pulpit, from which he promised the faithful at some point to preach within the mosque of omar at the temple web page.

But the Moslem world was already attached to one destined to be greater than Nourredin. The youth of Saladin had been one of apparent indolence and dissipation, but he veiled beneath his indifference the finest genius and most unbounded ambition. As soon as he felt the possession of power he assumed a corresponding dignity, and men recognized him as one appointed of Heaven. Turbulent emirs, who had ignored him as a chance holder of position, now sat reverently before him. Even the priests were struck with the sincere austerity of his devotion. The caliph of Bagdad bestowed upon him the distinguished dignity of the vest of honor. Poets began to mingle his name with those of heroes as the rising star. The pious included it in their prayers as the hope of Islam. 

­
Knowing that experience is often wiser than genius, Saladin judiciously guarded himself from the errors of youth by associating his father, Ayoub, with him in the government of Egypt. Nourredin, whose successful career had allowed him no jealousy of ordinary men, showed that he was restless at the popularity and ability displayed by his young subaltern, and was preparing to take Egypt under his own immediate government when death, his first vanquisher, came upon the veteran (May, 1 1 74). Saladin immediately proclaimed himself Sultan of Egypt, and hastened to secure the succession of Nourredin's power as Sultan of Damascus.

Saladin Youth Period 1138-1164

Ayyub, father of Saladin,sadly departing from the castle of Tekrit  in I138 , with his brother, on the very night of Saladin’s birth. They betook themselves to Zengy at Mosul, and were not disappointed of their welcome. The great Atabeg had not forgotten the ferry on the Tigris, and was never the man to turn away a good sword. The two brothers served in his armies in many wars, and when Baalbekk fell, in October, I139, Ayyub became the governor of the conquered city. Baalbekk, or Heliopolis, the old “ city of the Sun," was celebrated not only for its antiquity and its temples, but for its lofty situation. It stood between Lebanon and Antilibanus, overhanging the valley of the Litany, at a height of four thousand feet above the sea, and was said to be the coldest town in Syria. A legend tells how men asked the Cold, “ Where shall we ¿nd thee?" and it answered, “ My home is Baalbekk." Though far from being the magnificent city that it was in the days when Antoninus Pius built the great temple of which a part still stands, Baalbekk in the time of Ayyub was yet an important town, surrounded by fertile fields, orchards, and gardens, and defended by a strong wall, with a citadel, or acropolis, on the west. It had not yet suffered the vandal touch of the Mongols, or the ¿nal upheaval of earthquake, which reduced it to its present ruined state. Its “ presses over Àowed with grapes,” sweet water ran through the town, and mills and water wheels all around bore witness to fertility. To be placed in command of so great and prosperous a city was a convincing proof of Zengy's con¿dence, especially when it happened to be the southernmost outpost over against the hostile city of Damascus, distant only thirty-five miles.

Here the governor's son Saladin spent some years of his childhood ; and, according to the saying, they ought to have been happy years, because they have no history. We know absolutely nothing of the family of Ayyub between 1139 and I I46, the period of their residence at Baalbekk. No doubt Saladin received the usual education of a Moslem boy; probably as the son of the commandant he had the best teaching within reach. Ayyub was particularly devout, and even founded a convent for Sufy recluses at Baalbekk. His son was doubtless drilled for years in the Koran, in Arabic grammar, and the elements of rhetoric, poetry, and theology; for, whatever the race of the Saracen rulers of those days, their educational standard was Arabian; and to instil the Koran and traditions, to teach a pure Arabic style and the niceties of Arabic syntax, formed the chief aim of the learned but limited men who were entrusted with the training of distinguished youth.

Whatever schooling Saladin had at Baalbekk must have been meagre compared with his later opportunities. He was not yet nine years old when his father's patron was murdered, and the death of the great Atabeg was of course the signal for the recovery of Baalbekk by its old Damascus owner. Ayyub made no effort to defend the town. He was ever a diplomatic, prudent sort of man, keenly alive to his own interests. He saw that the two sons of Zengy, who shared their father's dominions, were occupied in watching each other, and had no time to look after Baalbekk. Mosil was distant, and Aleppo timid. On the other hand, Damascus was near, and was resolved to get back her own. When her troops entered Baalbekk, Ayyub made terms from the citadel, and before he surrendered he had arranged to receive a handsome ¿ef, including ten villages near Damascus, a good sum down, and a house in the capital. Here his statecraft and sagacity soon procured him a high position at the court of Abak, the grandson of Tughtigin, and in a few years he rose to be commander-in-chief of the Damascus army.

Ayyub held this exalted post when Zengy's son, the King of Aleppo, Nur-ed-din Mahmud, marched against Damascus in April, 1154. The name of Nur-ed-din (Noradin) is second only to Saladin among the great defenders of Islam. After the catastrophe at Jaabar, the Atabeg’s kingdom had fallen into two been brought to a successful issue,’ says William of Tyre, ‘ had it not been for the greed of the great princes, who commenced negotiations with the citizens.’ At the advice of traitors, the camp was shifted to the south-west, where, so ran the rumor, the wall was too weak to with stand the feeblest onslaught. But here the Crusaders found a more deadly enemy than strong fortifications; for in their new position they were cut off from the river and deprived of the orchard fruits ; and through lack of food and leadership despair fell upon the host, until men began to talk of retreat. There was jealousy, likewise, between the Syrian Franks and their Western allies, and out of this too fertile source of evil, Anar, the Vezir of Damascus, was not slow to reap pro¿t for himself. He pointed out to the former the folly of helping their brethren to seize Damascus, the capture of which would be but the prelude to the seizing of Jerusalem also. His arguments, supported as they doubtless were by bribes, brought about the abandonment of the siege. By Easter, I149, this valiant Crusade was on its way home.

In such a crisis no man who could bear a sword could have been idle in Damascus. Ayyub, though he probably did not attain the rank of commander-in-chief until after Anar's death in the August following the siege, must have played a prominent part in the defense. Saladin was of course too young to be more than an absorbed spectator. It is true that Western legend tells how Eleanor of France carried on her amours with the future “ Soldan ”; but as he was then but eleven years old, King Louis’s jealousy found a more probable accomplice for the divorce, which afterwards took place, than a good little boy at school.

Five years later, Ayyub was the chief agent in changing the dynasty and admitting the son of his old patron to the capital of Syria. It happened that whilst the elder brother had made terms with Damascus and had there risen to high power, the younger, Asad-ed-din Shirkuh, the “ Mountain Lion,” had taken service with Nur-ed-din, and such was the valor he showed in every engagement, that his master not only gave him valuable cities in fief—such as Emesa and Rahba,—but placed him in command of the army which was destined for the conquest of Damascus.

The great opportunity seemed at last to have come. The Franks were discredited and dismayed after the miserable collapse of the Second Crusade; Mesopotamia was quiet under the magnanimous rule of Zengy's eldest son ; the indomitable Anar, who had repeatedly withstood the great Atabeg himself, was dead, and in his stead had risen Ayyub, whose brother was Nur-ed-din’s trusted marshal; and already the Prince of Damascus had humbly paid homage to the King of Aleppo. If ever the hour had struck for the realizing of Zengy's dream of a Syrian empire, centered at Damascus, it was now.

In April, I154, Nur-ed-din’s army appeared on some pretext before the unconquered city. Shirkuh opened negotiations with his politic brother within the walls. In six days all was arranged ; Ayyub did justice to his old devotion to the house of Zengy, and espoused the side of the strongest battalions. The people of Damascus, like sheep astray, now that Anar was dead, abandoned their hereditary lord, and following Ayyub's advice opened their gates to the powerfulest sovereign of the age. Nur-ed-din entered Damascus without a blow, and the brothers were duly rewarded. Ayyub alone of all the court was granted the right to be seated in the presence of the king, and was made governor of Damascus; Shirkuh was established at Emesa, with the viceroyalty over the whole Damascene province. The ferry on the Tigris had proved a sovereign talisman ; but if they owed their ¿rst advance to a stroke of fortune, both brothers evidently possessed the talent and courage to use their opportunities.

From 1154 to 1164, Saladin lived at Damascus, at the Court of Nur-ed-din, with the consideration that belonged to the son of the commandant. As to what he did, what he studied, how he passed his time, and with whom, the Arab chroniclers maintain an exasperating silence. We are informed that he showed himself a youth of “ excellent qualities,” that he learned from Nur-ed-din how “ to walk in the path of righteousness, to act virtuously, and to be zealous in fighting the infidels." As the favored governor's son, he naturally enjoyed a privileged position, but, far from exhibiting any symptoms of future greatness, he was evidently a shining example of that tranquil virtue which shuns “the last infirmity of noble minds.” This is all we are told of Saladin up to the age of twenty-five. The Syrian nobles and Saladin’s rank was now high—spent their youth in study, and their manhood in war and hunting and the cultivation of letters. Stalking the lion was the king of sports, but coursing and hawking were practiced with unflagging energy. We read of setters and falcons imported regularly from Constantinople, where they were bred with great care and science. But we are not told a word to favor the supposition that Saladin as a youth was a mighty hunter; all we know tends to the belief that he preferred a quiet seclusion, and like his sagacious father, rather than his impetuous uncle, governed his life on principles of prudence and placidity. When it came to a choice of ways, the one arduous but leading to honour and renown, the other to peaceful insignificance, Saladin, as we shall see, endeavoured to choose the latter; nor was it a case of a formal noli episcopari, but rather the protest of a retired nature against the rush and press of an ambitious career. He was one of those who have greatness thrust upon them; and though, when once fairly launched, he missed no opportunity of 'extending his power, it may well be doubted whether he would ever have started at all but for the urgency of his friends. An uneventful youth might have gently passed into a tranquil old age, and Saladin might have remained plain Salah-ed-din of Damascus with a name too obscure to be European.

Nor is it likely that he would have distinguished himself as a scholar or poet. To judge by later years, his literary tastes tended to the theological; he loved poetry indeed, but less than keen dialectic; and to hear holy traditions traced and verified, canon law formulated, passages in the Koran explained, and sound orthodoxy vindicated, inspired him with a strange delight. Like his father Ayyub, he was above all things a devout Moslem; and at Damascus he had ample opportunities for cultivating divinity. Learning in those days meant theological armory more than anything else, and wise men came in throngs from the East and from the West, from Samarkand and from Cordova, to teach and be taught in the mosques and medresa: of Damascus. They must have brought with them the knowledge of other lands and other customs and arts. Perhaps Saladin sat and listened in the west corner of the Great Omayyad Mosque, when Ibn-Aby-Usrun was holding his lectures there. He could have no better master than one who was styled a “leader of his age in talents and legal learning," and whom Nur-ed-din not only brought with him to Damascus, but even built colleges in most of the great cities of Syria for him to lecture in, that his wonderful gifts might be known of all. He became a judge in Mesopotamia, and it speaks well for Saladin’s faithfulness to early ties that, when the old man lost his sight, the Damascus youth who had become the greatest of Sultans refused to let him be deprived of his honorable office.

A negative proof of the retired life led by Saladin in youth and early manhood is found in the fact that Osama, who spent nearly the whole of the ten years, 1154-1164, at Damascus in intimate relations with the court (when it happened to be there), does not once mention him, and when at last he met him in 1174 it seems that a formal introduction had to be made.* Had Saladin been constantly at court, Osama must have known him. At the same time it must be remembered that the Arab chief was between sixty and seventy at the period of his earlier Damascus residence, and would hardly have paid much attention to a mere youngster; and further, that the old poet's impulsive Bohemian nature could have had little in common with the staid young man who preferred the society of divines. Saladin possibly thought Osama a sad warning, and the wild old Arab perhaps retorted with the opinion that the governor's discreet son was no better than a prig.

The fact that Saladin, who was afterwards the most renowned leader of his time, was apparently a completely obscure individual up to the age of twenty-five, is the more curious when it is remembered that his uncle Shirkuh, who afterwards brought him into public life, was Nur-ed-din’s right-hand man, a conspicuously able and ambitious general, and was even spoken of as almost his colleague in sovereignty.1' When in 1159 Nur-ed-din was apparently dying of a malady which kept him stretched for months on a bed of sickness at Aleppo, Shirkuh, then unquestionably the premier noble of Syria, was on the point of seizing the crown itself, and was only deterred by the ever prudent counsels of Ayyub, who suggested that it might be wise to wait and see whether their master was really going to die or not In 1160 Shirkuh acted as leader of the Damascus caravan of pilgrims to Mekka, and displayed extraordinary pomp on the occasion; yet we do not hear of Saladin among his brilliant staff, nor did the latter, despite his religious instinct, ever perform that journey which to Moslems is the crowning act of grace. Shirkuh of course took a prominent part in the wars of Nur-ed-din, in the conquest of Harim (Harenc) from the Franks in 1162, and the ensuing capture of fifty Syrian fortresses, whereby the kingdom of Zengy's cautious son was extended to Marash on the border of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum on the north, and southward to Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon, and to Bozra in the Hauran.

In all this Saladin had no share: if he had taken the smallest part in any warlike operation we may be sure his admiring biographers would have recorded it. It was not until Shirkuh made his memorable expeditions to Egypt that the future “ Sultan of the Moslems” emerged from his voluntary retirement and stepped boldly into his uncle's place as the true successor of Zengy in the role of Champion of Islam.

Letters of the Crusaders

1- Letters of the Crusaders of the First Crusade:

- Letters of the First Crusade: Anselme of Ribemont to Manasses II in February 10, 1098

- Letters of the First Crusade: Stephen, Count of Blois to his wife, Adele, 1098,

- Letters of the First Crusade: From Daimbert, Godfrey and Raymond to the Pope Urban II in 1099

2- Letters of the Crusaders of the Second Crusade:

- letter from Conrad III to Wibald, Abbot of Corvey in 1148.

- Another letter from Conrad III to Wibald, Abbot of Corvey in 1148.

3- Letters of the Crusaders: Letter from Aymeric, Patriarch of Antioch, to Louis VII, King of France in 1164.

4- Letters of the Crusaders: Letter from the East to Master of the Hospitalers in I187.

5- Letters of the Third Crusade:

- Letter from Frederic I to Leopold of Austria in 1189.

- Letter from Sibylla, Ex queen of Jerusalem, to Frederic 1 in 1189.


6- Letters of the Crusaders: Letter from Duke of Lorraine to the Archbishop of Cologne in 1197.

7- Letters of the Sixth Crusade:

- Letters of the Sixth Crusade: Letter from Frederic II to Henry III of England in I229.

- Letters of the Sixth Crusade: Letter from Gerold, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to all the Faithful in 1229.

- Letter from the Master of the Hospitalers at Jerusalem to Lord de Melaye in I244.

- Letter from Guy, a crusader Knight, to B. of Chartres in I249.

8- Other Letters from the Crusaders.

Other Letters from the Crusaders

This is a list of other Letters from the Crusaders:

- 1098. (July.) Letter from Bohemond, Godfrey, Raymond, and Hugh the Great to all Christians.


- 1098. (Sept. ix.) Letter of the principal Crusaders to Pope Urban II.


- 1187. Letter of Terricius, Master of the Temple, to all Commanders and Brethren of the Temple.


- 1188. Letter of Conrad, son of the Marquis of Mont-Ferrat, to Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury.


- 1088. Letter of Patriarch of Antioch to Henry II., King of England.


- 1188. Letter of Terricius to Henry II., King of England.


- 1188. Letter of Frederic I. to Saladin.


- 1190. (Oct. 21.) Letter from Archbishop Baldwin's Chaplain to his Consent at Canterbury


- 1191. (Oct. 1.) Letter of Richard I. from Joppa to N., his subject.


- 1191. (Oct. 1.) Letter of Richard I. from Joppa to Abbot of Clairvaux.


- 1191. (About Oct. 17.) Letter of Richard I. to Saladin.


- 1191. Letter of Richard I. to Walter, Archbishop of Rouen.


- 1201. Letter of Master of the Hospital at Jerusalem to the Prior and his Brethren throughout England.


- 1220. Letter of Peter de Montacute, Master of the Temple, to A. Martel, Preceptor in England.


- 1221. Letter of Peter de Montacute to the Bishop of Elimenum.


- 1222. Letter of P. de Albeney to the Earl of Chester and Lincoln.


- 1227. Letter of Qerald, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Others, to all Christians.


- 1237. Letter of Philip, Prior of the Brotherhood of Preachers, to Pope Gregory IX.


- 1240. Letter of Hermann of Perigord, Master of the Knights of the Temple, to Master Robert Sanford, Preceptor of the House of the said Knights in England.


- 1244. Letter of Same to Same.


- 1244. Letter of Brother Q. of Newcastle to M. de Merlaye.


- 1244. Letter of Robert, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to all Christians.


- 1249. Letter of Robert, Count of Arras [d'Artois] to Blanche, Queen of France.


- 1249. Letter of William de Sonnac, Master of the Soldiery of the Temple, to Master Robert Sanford.


- 1250. Letter to Earl Richard.


- 1250. Letter of John, his Chancellor, to Richard, Earl of Cornwall.


- 1250. (August.) Letter of St. Louis to his Subjects.


- 1252. (May 2.) Letter of Joseph of Cancy, Treasurer of the House of the Hospital of Jerusalem, at Acre, to Walter of St. Martin's.


- 1252. Letter of William of Orleans to Richard, Bishop of Chichester.


- 1281. Letter from Sir Joseph de Cancy, Knight of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, to King Edward I.

References:

Dana C. Munro, "Letters of the Crusaders", Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, Vol 1:4, University of Pennsylvania, 1896.

Medieval Sourcebook: Letters from The Crusaders.

Letters of the Sixth Crusade

These are the most valuable sources for the crusade of Frederic II. Each of the contestants tells the story from his own standpoint. We have comparatively little data for controlling their statements and determining their motives.

- Letters of the Sixth Crusade: Letter from Frederic II to Henry III of England in I229.

- Letters of the Sixth Crusade: Letter from Gerold, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to all the Faithful in 1229.

- Letter from the Master of the Hospitalers at Jerusalem to Lord de Melaye in I244.

- Letter from Guy, a crusader Knight, to B. of Chartres in I249.

Letters of the Sixth Crusade: Letter from Guy, a crusader Knight, to B. of Chartres in I249

To his dear half-brother and well-beloved friend, master B. of Chartres, student at Paris, Guy, a knight of the household of the viscount of Melun, greeting and a ready will to do his pleasure.

Because we know that you are uneasy about the state of the Holy Land and our lord, the king of France, and that you are interested in the general welfare of the church as well as the fate of many relatives and friends who are fighting for Christ under the king's orders, therefore, we think we ought to give you exact information as to the events of which a report has doubtless already reached you.

After a council held for that purpose, we departed from Cyprus for the East. The plan was to attack Alexandria, but after a few days a sudden tempest drove us over a wide expanse of the sea. Many of our vessels were driven apart and scattered. The sultan of Cairo and other Saracen princes, informed by spies that we intended to attack Alexandria, had assembled an infinite multitude of armed men from Cairo, Babylon, Damietta and Alexandria, and awaited us in order to put us, while exhausted, to the sword. One night we were borne over the waves by a violent tempest. Toward morning the sky cleared, the storm abated, and our scattered vessels came together safely. An experienced pilot who knew all the coast in this part of the sea and many idioms, and who was a faithful guide, was sent to the masthead, in order that he might tell us if he saw land and knew where we were. After he had carefully and sorrowfully examined all the surrounding country, he cried out terrified, "God help us, God help us, who alone is able ; we are before Damietta.' '

Indeed all of us could see the land. Other pilots on other vessels had already made the same observation, and they began to approach each other. Our lord, the king, assured of our position, with undaunted spirit, endeavored to reanimate and console his men. "My friends and faithful soldiers," said he to them, "we shall be invincible if we are inseparable in our love of one another. It is not without the divine permission that we have been brought here so quickly. I am neither the king of France nor the holy church, you are both. I am only a man whose life will end like other men's when it shall please God. Everything is in our favor, whatever may happen to us. If we are conquered, we shall be martyrs; if we triumph, the glory of God will be exalted thereby — that of all France, yea, even of Christianity, will be exalted thereby. Certainly it would be foolish to believe that God, who foresees all, has incited me in vain. This is His cause, we shall conquer for Christ, He will triumph in us, He will give the glory, the honor and the blessing not unto us, but unto His name."

In the meantime our assembled vessels approached the land. The inhabitants of Damietta and of the neighboring shores could view our fleet of 1500 vessels, without counting those still at a distance and which numbered 150. In our times no one, we believe, had ever seen such a numerous fleet of vessels. The inhabitants of Damietta, astonished and frightened beyond expression, sent four good galleys, with well-skilled sailors, to examine and ascertain who we were and what we wanted. The latter having approached near enough to distinguish our vessels, hesitated, stopped, and, as if certain of what they had to report, made ready to return to their own party; but our galleys with the fast boats got behind them and hemmed them in, so that they were compelled, in spite of their unwillingness, to approach our ships.

Our men, seeing the firmness of the king and his immovable resolution, prepared, according to his orders, for a naval combat. The king commanded to seize these mariners and all whom they met, and ordered us afterward to land and take possession of the country. We then, by means of our mangonels which hurled from a distance five or six stones at once, began to discharge at them fire-darts, stones, and bottles filled with lime, made to be shot from a bow, or small sticks like arrows. The darts pierced the mariners and their vessels, the stones crushed them, the lime flying out of the broken bottles blinded them. Accordingly, three hostile galleys were soon sunk. We saved, however, a few enemies. The fourth galley got away very much damaged. By exquisite tortures we extracted the truth from the sailors who fell alive into our hands, and learned that the citizens of Damietta had left the city and awaited us at Alexandria. The enemies who succeeded in escaping and whose galley was put to flight, some mortally wounded, uttering frightful cries, went to tell the multitude of Saracens who were waiting on the shore, that the sea was covered with a fleet which was drawing near, that the king of France was coming in hostile guise with an infinite number of barons, that the Christians were 10,000 to one, and that they caused fire, stones, and clouds of dust to rain down. " However," they added 1 ' while they are still fatigued from the labor of the sea, if your lives and your homes are dear to you, hasten to kill them, or at least to repulse them vigorously until our soldiers return. We alone have escaped with difficulty to warn you. We have recognized the ensigns of the enemy. See how furiously they rush upon us, equally ready to fight on land or sea."

In consequence of this speech, fear and distrust seized the enemy. All of our men, assured of the truth, conceived the greatest hopes. In emulation of one another they leaped from their vessels into the barks ; the water was too shallow along the shore, the barks and the small vessels could not reach the land. Several warriors, by the express order of the king, cast themselves into the sea. The water was up to their waists. Immediately began a very cruel combat. The first crusaders were promptly followed by others and the whole force of infidels was scattered. We lost only a single man by the enemy's fire. Two or three others, too eager for the combat, threw themselves into the water too quickly and owed their deaths to themselves rather than to others. The Saracens giving way, retired into their city, fleeing shamefully and with great loss. Great numbers of them were mutilated or mortally wounded.

We would have followed them closely, but our chiefs, fearing an ambuscade, held us back. While we were fighting some slaves and captives broke their chains, for the gaolers had also gone out to fight us. Only the women, children and the sick had remained in the city. These slaves and captives, full of joy, rushed to meet us, applauding our king and his army, and crying " Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord." These events happened on Friday the day of our Lord's Passion ; we drew from it a favorable augury. The king disembarked joyfully and safely, as well as the rest of the Christian army. We rested until the next day, when, with the aid and under the guidance of slaves who knew the country and the roads, we got possession of what remained to be captured of the land and shore. But during the night the Saracens, who had discovered that the captives had escaped, had killed those who remained. They thus made of them glorious martyrs of Christ, to their own damnation.

In the darkness of the following night and on Sunday morning, as they lacked weapons and troops, the Saracens seeing the multitude of the Christians who were landing, their courage and firmness, and the sudden desolation of their own city, lacking leaders, superiors and persons to incite them, as well as destitute of strength and weapons for fighting, departed, taking their women and children and carrying off everything movable. They fled from the other side of the city by little gates which they had made long before. Some escaped by land, others by sea, abandoning their city filled with supplies of all kinds. That same day at nine o'clock, two captives who escaped by chance from the hands of the Saracens, came to tell us what had happened. The king, no longer fearing an ambuscade, entered the city before three o'clock without hindrance and without shedding blood. Of all who entered only Hugo Brun, earl of March, was severely wounded. He lost too much blood from his wounds to survive, for he was careless of his life, because of the reproaches which had been inflicted upon him, and rashly rushed into the midst of the enemy. He had been stationed in the front rank, at his own request, because he knew that he was an object of suspicion.

I must not forget to say that the Saracens, after having determined to flee, hurled at us a great quantity of Greek fire, which was very injurious to us, becuase it was carried by a wind which blew from the city. But this wind, suddenly changing, carried the fire back upon Damietta, where it burned several persons and fortresses. It would have consumed more property, if the slaves who had been left had not extinguished it by a process which they knew, and by the will of God, who did not wish that we should take possession of a city which had been burnt to the ground.

The king, having then entered the city in the midst of cries of joy, went immediately into the temple of the Saracens to pray and thank God, whom he regarded as the author of what had taken place. Before eating, all the Christians, weeping sweet and sacred tears of joy, and led by the legate, solemnly sang that hymn of the angels, the Te Deum Laudamus. Then the mass of the blessed Virgin was celebrated in the place where the Christians in ancient times had been wont to celebrate mass and to ring the bells, and which they had now cleansed and sprinkled with holy water. In this place, four days before, as the captives told us, the foul Mohammed had been worshiped with abominable sacrifices, loud shouts and the noise of trumpets. We found in the city an infinite quantity of food, arms, engines, precious clothing, vases, golden and silver utensils and other things. In addition we had our provisions, of which we had plenty, and other dear and necessary objects brought from our vessels.

By the divine goodness, the Christian army, like a pond which is greatly swollen by the torrents pouring in, was added to each day by some soldiers from the lands of lord Ville-Hardouin and some Templars and Hospitalers, besides pilgrims newly arrived, so that we were, by God's grace, largely reinforced. The Templars and Hospitalers did not want to believe in such a triumph. In fact, nothing that had happened was credible. All seemed miraculous, especially the Greek fire which the wind carried back onto the heads of those who hurled it against us. A similar miracle formerly took place at Antioch. A few infidels were converted to Jesus Christ and up to the present time have remained with us.

We, instructed by the past, will in the future exercise much prudence and circumspection in our actions. We have with us faithful Orientals upon whom we can count. They know all the country and the dangers which it offers; they have been baptized with true devotion. While we write, our chiefs are considering what it is necessary to do. The question is whether to proceed to Alexandria or Babylon and Cairo. We do not know what will be decided. We shall inform you of the result, if our lives are spared. The sultan of Babylon, having learned what has taken place, has proposed to us a general engagement for the morrow of St. John the Baptist's day, and in a place which the two armies shall choose, in order, as he says, that fortune may decide for the men of the East or the men of the West, that is between the Christians and themselves, and that the party to whom fate shall give the victory, may glory in it, and the conquered may humbly yield. The king replied that he did not fear the enemy of Christ one day more than another and that he offered no time for rest, but that he defied him to-morrow and every day of his life, until he should take pity on his own soul and should turn to the rd who wishes the whole world to be saved, and who opens the bosom of His mercy to all those who turn to Him.

We tell you these things in this letter through our kinsman Guiscard. He seeks nothing else than that he may, at our expense, prepare himself for a professorship and have a fit lodging for at least two years.

We have learned nothing certain worth reporting about the Tartars. We can expect neither good faith from the perfidious, nor humanity from the inhuman, nor charity from dogs, unless God, to whom nothing is impossible, works this miracle. It is He who has purged the Holy Land from the wicked Charismians. He has destroyed them and caused them to disappear entirely from under heaven. When we learn anything certain or remarkable of the Tartars, or others, we will send you word either by letter or by Roger de Montefagi, who is to return to France in the spring, to the lands of our lord the viscount, to collect money for us.

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