Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years
XIX: The decline and fall of Jerusalem, 1174-1189, pp. 590-621 PDF (10.8 MB)
Cli. XIX THE DECLINE AND FALL OF JERUSALEM 619 22 AbU-Shãmah (RHC, Or., IV), pp. 361—363, quoted in Grousset, Croisades, II, 827. AtAcre Saladin apparently offered to allow merchants to remain on payment of the usual in return for an exchange of prisoners. Saladin's troops were tired from long campaigning, and the month of Rama~ãn was approaching when according to Moslem tradition no fighting should occur. It was agreed that if in seven months no help came from his fellow Christians, Bohemond would surrender Antioch. Meanwhile, in the southern part of the kingdom of Jerusalem, hunger finally forced the heroic garrison of Kerak to capitulate. Al-Malik al-'Adil received the message from the nearly starved garrison and gave them free egress (November ii88). Shortly afterward (April—May 1189), Krak de Montréal and a few other smaller places surrendered, and Humphrey was given his liberty. Saladin himself had left Damascus (November 7) where he had rested a month, and joined al-Malik al-'Adil at Safad, where they besieged the fort. On December 6 the garrison capitulated and was permitted to go to Tyre. Belvoir gave in on January 5, 1189. Of the great castles in the kingdom only Belfort remained. Held by Reginald of Sidon, it commanded the route from Tyre to Damascus and was considered impregnable. Saladin arrived on May 5, 1189, but the siege was interrupted by the first Latin counterattack at Acre. (The castle was not to surrender until April 22, 1190.) The fall of Belvoir completed two years of triumphant campaigning. The kingdom of Jerusalem was entirely conquered with the exception of Belfort and Tyre. In the county of Tripoli, the city of Tripoli, one tower in Tortosa, two small Templar castles, and the great Hospitaller fortress of Krak des Chevaliers held out. Only Antioch and al-Marqab remained of the principality of Antioch. In disposing of the conquered territories Saladin was both merciful and statesmanlike. He was anxious to lay the foundations for the future and to disrupt normal economic and social life as little as possible. Above all he hoped to avoid giving occasion for another crusade. Moreover, he well understood the importance of preserving as far as possible the economic prosperity of the ports. In laying down conditions for the surrender of Acre, for example, he offered attractive terms to the merchants, evidently hoping to induce them to remain. Most of them, however, departed and the rich stocks they abandoned were left to the mercies of the conquerors. In Latakia, also, a port in the principality of Antioch, Saladin's chancellor, ' Imad-ad-DIn, describes with sorrow the deliberate destruction by "our emirs" of a once beautiful city.22 Itis permissible to suppose that Saladin shared his feelings.
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