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 599 ° Chapter XVIII, pp. 576, 581. It was in August ii8z that a combined land and seaoperation against Beirut was thwarted by the appearance of Baldwin's relief army. bound for Mecca; and Saladin left Egypt for the north in May i i8z.~ Pushing through Syria and Mesopotamia, he was able to capture Sinjar and Amida (Diyarbakir). As he turned south again, Aleppo and Uarim fell to his arms in June 1183. With Egypt, Damascus, and Aleppo in his possession, the encirclement was complete. Mosul still resisted, but Iconium (Konya) was friendly and, as we have seen, the fear of a diversion from Byzantium had been removed by Manuel's death. This triumphal campaign had been carried forward without serious hindrance on the part of the Latins. That they understood the gravity of the situation is clear, for in February 1183 an extraordinary tax for defense was decided upon in Jerusalem. Meanwhile an exceptionally large concentration of troops assembled at ~affuriyah, a village near Tiberias. In this vulnerable area on the border an attack by Saladin was expected. While the army remained in readiness at ~affuriyah, king Baldwin's illness took a sharp turn for the worse. He summoned all the barons and, in the presence of his mother and the patriarch, made Guy of Lusignan bailli. For himself he reserved only the royal dignity, the city of Jerusalem, and an annual revenue of one thousand gold pieces. Guy was further required to promise neither to seek the crown while the king lived nor to alienate any of the king's castles or cities of the public domain. Although the barons were then commanded to swear fealty to Guy, many made no attempt to conceal their resentment. William of Tyre, as might be expected, echoes the view that Guy was utterly unfit for the task thrust upon him. Moreover, his explicit mention of the presence of Agnes and Heraclius, together with his intimation that Guy had obligated himself to a number of knights by unwise promises, lends support to the conclusion that the court party, or at least its principal members, had regained their ascendancy over the king. At any rate, the renewal of dissension came at a most inopportune time. Toward the end of September Saladin, who had left Aleppo and returned to Damascus, crossed the Jordan and plundered Baisan. The main body of his army then encamped at LAin Jalut, leaving bands of skirmishers to reconnoiter elsewhere. The Christian army, numbering according to William of Tyre thirteen hundred knights and fifteen thousand foot, probably the largest ever assembled up to that time, moved from ~affurIyah to al-FUlah closer to Saladin.
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