Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years
XVIII: The Rise of Saladin, 1169-1189, pp. 562-589 PDF (10.8 MB)
586 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES I rea, Nablus, etc.). Then, passing Tyre by for the time being, he joined forces with al~cAdil, who had already stormed Jaffa, and besieged Ascalon, which was surrendered on September 5 on his promise to release Guy and the master of the Temple, a promise eventually fulfilled. The remaining castles in this region were captured either on the march to Ascalon or just after. Finally, reuniting his armies, Saladin marched to the goal of his ambitions, the capture of Jerusalem. After a siege of less than a fortnight the city surrendered on October 2 on terms which confirmed, if confirmation were needed, his reputation for limitless courtesy and generosity.13 The collapse of the kingdom encouraged Saladin to hope that Tyre too might be captured before the winter began, and he laid siege to it on November 13. The tenacious defense of Conrad of Montferrat disheartened the eastern contingents, who, now that winter was at hand, were eager to return home with their booty. The disastrous defeat of the Egyptian blockading fleet at the end of December strengthened their impatience, and in spite of Saladin's arguments for perseverance, supported by the commanders of the Aleppo contingent, the emirs took their men off and dispersed. On January i Saladin was compelled to relinquish the siege and retired to winter at Acre, where a succession of embassies brought him the congratulations of all the Moslem princes, including his former rivals in Azerbaijan and Persia. Leaving Acre to be refortified under the charge of his trusted mamluk Bahã~-ad-Din Karakush, Saladin returned to Damascus in the spring, halting for a short time before the still unsubdued castle of Belvoir (Kaukab). On May io he marched north with his guard to join the Mesopotamian contingents under Gökböri and ~Imãd-ad-DIn of Sinjar, while al~cAdil remained with the Egyptian regiments to guard the south and to deal with Kerak and Krak de Montreal. The Aleppo and Hamah troops were ordered to stand on guard at TIzin against any movement on Bohemond's part. The remaining forces at his disposal were too light to undertake prolonged siege operations, but adequate for the capture of the isolated towns and castles of the principality, as far as its northern frontiers at Baghras and Darbsãk. Although Antioch itself was not in any real danger, Bohemond in September asked for and was unwillingly granted an armistice of eight months, after the negotiation of which the Mesopotamian contingents returned to their homes and Saladin to Damascus. There he was rejoined by ' ~ Cf. below, chapter XIX, pp. 6i6—6i8.
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