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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years

XIII: The Growth of the Latin States, 1118-1144,   pp. 410-447 PDF (15.6 MB)

Page 421

not without effect, for, perhaps as a precautionary measure, he transferred
Baldwin and the other captives from Harran to Aleppo during late February
or early March 1 124. 
 Meanwhile, important events had occured in the kingdom of Jerusalem during
Baldwin's captivity. Upon learning of the king's imprisonment, the feudality
together with the patriarch Gormond of Picquigny, who had succeeded Arnuif
of Chocques in 1 1 18, and the prelates agreed unanimously that the constable
of the kingdom, Eustace Gamier, should act as regent until Baldwin's release.
Foreign affairs soon came to occupy the constable's atten tion, for the Ascalon
Moslems, having heard of Baldwin's captivity, attacked the kingdom by land
and sea in mid-May 1123. The Franks effectively repulsed the Moslem land
forces near Jaffa on May 29, whereupon the Moslem naval squadron which was
closely investing Jaffa returned to Ascalon. This victory, together with
the selection of the able William of Bures, the lord of Tiberias, to replace
Eustace Gamier after his death on June 15, augured well for the kingdom,
but still the danger of new and perhaps more menacing attacks had not been
averted. Fortunately for William of Bures, help was near at hand. A strong
Venetian naval force under the command of the doge of Venice, which had set
out for the Holy Land in the late autumn of I 122 in response to an appeal
from Baldwin and which was now at Corfu, learned of the threat to the kingdom
through messengers and now proceeded post-haste towards Ascalon. The ensuing
naval battle between the Venetians and the Moslems ended in a smashing Moslem
 The fresh accretions of strength from Europe inspired hope in the ranks
of the leaders of the kingdom that additional prizes might be wrested from
the Moslems. Accordingly, William of Bures and the other chieftains initiated
conferences with the Vene tians in late December I 123. The bitter quarrel
which followed between the advocates of an attack upon Tyre and the proponents
of an assault upon Ascalon was at length resolved by a resort to lots. Tyre
was chosen. Thereupon, a treaty was drawn up provid ing for grants to the
Venetians of one third of the city of Tyre, if it were captured, a quarter
in Jerusalem, various judicial priv ileges in Tyre, and freedom of trade
without tolls in all parts of the kingdom. Preparations for the siege were
now undertaken, and the allies began their investment by land and sea on
February i6, 1124. 
 Utilizing to the utmost their strategic location, massive forti fications,
and abundant food supplies, the Tyrians for a time suc 

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