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

XVII: The Latin states under Baldwin III and Amalric I, 1143-1174,   pp. 528-561 PDF (5.9 MB)

Page 561

 King Amalric's reign was drawing to a close. In the summer of 1173, despite
the Byzantine alliance, the king once again sought assistance from the west.
Sometime in the fall of 1173 or early in 1174 Raymond III of Tripoli was
released from captivity. The king, who had helped procure the ransom money,
welcomed him and restored the county over which he had acted as baiii. On
May 15, 1174, Nür-ad-Din died and Amairic immediately tried to take
advantage of the discord which followed by attacking Ban yas. After a short
campaign he agreed to a truce. On his return he complained of illness. Neither
oriental nor Latin physicians were able to give more than temporary relief
and the king died on July II, 1174, at the age of thirty-eight. 
 The death of Amalric came at a most unfortunate time for the Latins. It
is impossible to say whether, had he lived, he could have averted the eventual
union of Damascus and Cairo. In any event the Latins derived no advantage
from the death of Nür-ad-Din. Amairic's own death caused the Franco-Byzantine
alliance to lapse, and the field was left free for Saladin. Although the
historian may thus reproach Amalric for the inopportuneness of his death,
he was one of the best kings of Jerusalem, the last man of genuine capacity
to hold the reins of government. In the years to come men were to see the
resources of the kingdom — and they were still great — wasted
through want of adequate leadership. 
discipline the guilty member. B. Lewis (above, chapter IV, p. 123) suggests
that this episode may reflect an actual rapprochement between the Assassins
and Jerusalem. 
24 For the immediate consequences of Nür-ad-Din's death, see below,
chapter XVIII, 
pp. 566—567. 

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