University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

XI: The Fifth Crusade,   pp. 376-428 PDF (20.5 MB)

Page 428

fleet but also entrusted him with diplomatic missions of the utmost delicacy.
 On August 30, 122 1, the fateful terms were drawn up. A peace and armistice
of eight years' duration was agreed upon. The Christians agreed to evacuate
Damietta, together with all other places in Egypt conquered by them. Mutual
surrender of prisoners was to be undertaken without obligation of ransom.
The Moslems agreed also to restore that part of the True Cross which had
been captured by them at Hattin on July 4, 1 187. In earnest of this agreement,
hostages were to be exchanged, including king John on the side of the Christians,
and al-Kämil's son as-Salih Aiyub on the side of the Moslems. These
hostages were to be released when Damietta had been evacuated and restored.
 The Fifth Crusade had ended in colossal and irremediable failure. Yet, up
to the very moment of its catastrophic end, it had held within its easy reach
the realization of its goal — the restora tion of the Holy Land. The
extent to which it failed is perhaps best expressed in the language of the
Moslem historian Ibn-al-Athir, who says: "God gave to the Moslems an unexpected
victory, for the acme of their hopes was the recovery of Damietta through
restoring to the Franks the cities in Syria which had been taken from them.
But God not only gratified them with the restitution of Damietta, but left
in their possession also the cities of Syria."182 
181 Rkhard of San Germano (MGH, SS., XIX), pp. 341, 348. 
182 Ibn-al-Athir, Al-kamil (RHC, Or., II, I), p. 125. 

Go up to Top of Page