Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years
XIX: The Decline and Fall of Jerusalem, 1174-1189, pp. 590-621 PDF (13.0 MB)
Ch. XIX THE DECLINE AND FALL OF JERUSALEM 595 Rivalry over Antioch, it is true, was now ended, but the strong Byzantine power in Asia Minor, so long a deterrent against Moslem expansion, was also removed. In the following year (ii~~'), at the time of Philip of Flanders' visit to the Holy Land, a splendid opportunity for separating Egypt from Syria was lost. Emperor Manuel, whose fleet was still formidable, offered to fulfil arrangements made previously with Amalric to renew the project of a joint Latin-Byzantine expedition against Egypt. Unfortunately for the Christian cause, Philip, after offering all sorts of excuses and causing interminable delays, flatly refused to participate, and the project was abandoned. Since Manuel died in i~8o and since, after the death of young Alexius II (I i8o—i 183), the empire was ruled by the violent Andronicus Comnenus (i 183—I i8~) and the incompetent Isaac Angelus (i i85-.~ 195), both unfriendly to the crusaders, this was in fact the last opportunity to renew the Byzantine alliance. A remarkable victory of the royal army under king Baldwin IV at Mont Gisard temporarily restored Latin morale. Saladin was badly worsted (November 25, 1177)., But the crusaders were not able permanently to follow up their victory; and Saladin, who had lost a battle, had by no means exhausted his resources as the succeeding months were to show. Therefore, despite the victory of Mont Gisard, the Christians were far from secure. The campaigns of these years have been described in the preceding chapter.4 But it may be well to recall here that they cost the Latins heavily. The eminent constable, Humphrey of Toron, was mortally wounded, and many distinguished knights, including Odo of St. Amand, master of the Temple, Hugh of Tiberias, Raymond of Tripoli's stepson, and Baldwin of Ramla, were captured. Saladin also captured and destroyed a newly built castle at Jacob's Ford in August 1179. Further, he had, with a reorganized Egyptian fleet, menaced the Frankish coastal possessions. Ruad, an island off Tortosa in the county of Tripoli, was seized, and in May ~ i 8o king Baldwin proposed a truce which, because of the threat of a famine in the Damascus region, Saladin was willing to accept. Somewhat later in the summer, after sea and land raids, Saladin also concluded a truce with count Raymond of Tripoli and returned once again to Egypt where he remained until I 182. The breathing spell was welcome, but it only postponed the issue. Indeed, it is important to remember that Frankish security still depended on Moslem disunion. So long as the Aleppans and ~ Cf. above, chapter XVIII, pp. 567—572.
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