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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

I: The Norman Kingdom of Sicily and the Crusades,   pp. 2-43 PDF (16.9 MB)

Page 38

allowing their forces to disperse and loot, and if complete cooperation between
navy and army could have been achieved, they might well have conquered Constantinople.
It remained for the Venetians, however, watchful neutrals during the Sicilian-Byzantine
war, to draw the appropriate conclusions, and only nineteen years later to
put them into effect. 
 In 1187, when Jerusalem fell to Saladin, an urgent appeal went out for help
to hold Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch. The archbishop of Tyre, Joscius, told
William at Palermo of the courageous stand made by the Christians in Tyre
under the energetic leadership of Conrad of Montferrat. He probably reproached
the king for his un-Christian attitude in imposing an embargo on ships in
Sicilian ports early in 1185 which, he claimed, had kept pilgrims from getting
to Palestine in time to fight. He also chided William for having pressed
pilgrims into his army to fight Christians in the Byzantine empire. William
admitted his sins, and in a great display of repentance and mourning he donned
a hair-shirt and secluded himself for four days. Then he promised the archbishop
that he would appease God by helping the Christians in the east. After all,
here was a new occasion to assert himself as the protector of Outremer and
to blot out the disgrace of the defeat of 1174. He hastily made his peace
with Isaac Angelus and called Margarit home from the eastern theater of war.
 Without waiting for the organization of a new crusade, William sent Margarit
with some fifty or sixty vessels and two hundred knights to Tyre, where Conrad
of Montferrat assigned him the task of defending Tripoli and other places
of northern Syria against Saladin who, at the time (the early summer of 1188),
was moving his army from Damascus for the conquest of the Syrian cities still
held by the Franks.45 Margarit succeeded in reorganizing and strengthening
the defenses of Tripoli so efficiently as to discourage Saladin from besieging
it. But the admiral was unable to prevent 
 45 On William's contributions to the Third Crusade, see Estoire d'Eracles,
XXIV, 5, 7, 11 (RHC, 0cc., II), pp. 111-113, 114-115, 119, 120; 'Imãd-ad-Din
al-Isfahani, Al-fath al-qussi (Amari, BAS, I), pp. 339-344; Ibn-al-Athir,
Al-kamil (Amari, BAS, I), pp. 499-501; Abü-Shamah, Ar-raudatain (Amari,
BAS, I), pp. 541-543; Gesta regis Henrici secundi. . (ed. W. Stubbs, 2 vols.,
Rolls Series, XLIX), II, 54, 132-133; Richard of London, Itinerarium (ed.
W. Stubbs, 2 vols., Rolls Series, XXXVIII), I, 27 ff.; Robert of Auxerre,
Chronica (MGH, SS., XXVI), p. 253; Breve chronicon de rebus Siculus (ed.
J. L. A. Huillard-Bréholles, Historia diplomatica Friderici II, I,
part II), pp. 890-891; Ottoboni annales Januenses (MGH, SS., VIII), p. 102;
Sicard of Cremona, Chronicon, ad ann. 1188, and Bernardi Thesaurarii chronicon,
169, 170 (both in RISS, VII); and Francesco Pipino, Chronicon, I, 41 (RISS,
IX). See La Lumia, Storia della Sicilia, pp. 333-336; Chalandon, Domination
normande, II, 416- 417; Amari, Storia dei musulmani, III, 532-540; Röhricht,
Konigreich Jerusalem, pp. 474, 490; Runciman, Crusades, II, 470; III, 4-9;
Monti, Espansione mediterranea, p. 163; and volume I of the present work,
chapter XVIII, p. 588, and chapter XIX, p. 618. 

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