University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years
(1969)

XVIII: The Rise of Saladin, 1169-1189,   pp. 562-589 PDF (10.8 MB)


Page 582

582 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES I10 Cf. below, chapter XIX, p. 6o4. 
down villages," Saladin is reported as saying on the news of Baldwin's raids
into the Hauran, "we are taking cities." Much more serious was the news of
Reginald's commerce-raiding in the Red Sea and penetration into the Hejaz
in February I 183. Sala din's admiral, Ijusam-ad-DIn Lu~lu', taught the raiders
a drastic lessOn, but not before the report of the exploit sent a thrill
of coflsternation and horror round the Moslem world. This episode probably
did as much as any other single event to enhance Saladin's reputation and
strengthen his position. 
 The expeditions in the latter half of 1183, already mentioned, though inconclusive,
served to throw the Franks back on the defensive. The equally unsuccessful
siege of Kerak in August I 184 and subsequent raid on Palestine served nevertheless
one useful purpose, in that they brought together for the first time most
of the diverse contingents of Saladin's army and gave them some practice
in joint operations. The Egyptian fleet also continued its activities in
both of these years, although in less spectacular ways. Raymond of Tripoli
and the barons were therefore ready enough to ask for the armistice which,
in the spring of 1185, freed Saladin for his final campaign against Mosul.b0
 Saladin's military forces, though organized on the same lines as those of
Nür-ad-Din, differed in one important respect. The proportion of Kurds
in his regiments was much greater, and the mamluk element less prominent.
A common loyalty to him kept in check the rivalries that might otherwise
have issued in conflicts between them, and in his selection of fiefholders
and the lesser governors he seems to have held the balance fairly evenly.
In the disposal of provinces, however, his own family had first claim. His
viceroys and governors enjoyed uncontrolled authority, on condition of equitable
treatment of their subjects, a contribution tothe war-chest of the jihad,
and maintenance of their regiments in good order and discipline, in readiness
to take the field when they were called for. To all of them he gave his complete
confidence, and expected of them equal loyalty in return. Himself indifferent
to the material rewards of power, he seems to have been unaware of the corrupting
influence of power and wealth on others, and only in flagrant cases of disregard
of these conditions did he intervene. He had little patience with the perpetual
and petty but necessary details of daily administration, and the lack of
his personal supervision made itself felt in the provinces. With this weakness
in the field of administration went also an imprudent gener 


Go up to Top of Page