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

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

Page 586

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. 

Go up to Top of Page