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

XIII: The Crusade of Theobald of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall, 1239-1241,   pp. 463-486 PDF (13.4 MB)

Page 478

with provisions. When an-Nasir offered them safe passage to the coast in
return for the surrender of the fortress, they felt obliged to accept. The
Moslems then razed the Tower to the ground. The holy city was once more in
the hands of the Saracen. 
 While Theobald and his followers were sitting in Acre for two months, marching
down the coast to Ascalon, and retiring ingloriously to their starting point,
fortune was at work paving the way for them to achieve an entirely undeserved
success. During these months the confusion in the Aiyubid states had been
steadily increasing. About the time the crusaders arrived at Acre, as-Salib
Isma'il, brother of the late sultan al-Kãmil, had driven his nephew,
as-Salih Aiyub, from Damascus. Late in October the unfortunate Aiyub had
been captured and imprisoned by his cousin, an-Nasir Da'ud of Transjordania.
Isma'il had promptly set to work to con solidate his position as sultan of
Damascus. This led to a fierce civil war between his supporters and those
of Aiyub. From this quarrel came the crusaders' first promising opportunity.
 Al-Muzaffar Taqi—ad-Din, lord of Harnah, who had been a loyal supporter
of Aiyub, found himself attacked by the lord of Horns, al-Mujãhid
Shirküh, who had joined the new sultan of Damascus. Al-Muzaffar looked
around for aid and decided to deal with the crusaders. He sent a Tripolitan
clerk named William to Acre to ask Theobald to march towards his lands. When
the crusaders arrived, he would turn his fortresses over to them and turn
Christian. If Theobald was still seriously thinking of attacking Damascus,
this offer deserved investigation. Otherwise the lord of Hamah was not important
enough to waste time on. In any event, Theobald led his forces northwards
and camped before Pilgrim Mountain just below Tripoli. From there he sent
messengers to al-Muzaffar. As the crusaders' advance into Tripoli had diverted
the attention of al Mujãhid of Homs, al-Muzaffar of Hamah felt no
further need for aid and refused to carry out his promises. Annoyed and discouraged,
the crusaders stayed a while at Tripoli as guests of its count, Bohemond
V, prince of Antioch, and then returned to Acre. The sources supply no dates
for this period. All one can say is that Theobald was back in Acre by early
May 1 240. 
 About this time, an-Nasir Dã'üd of Transjordania and his prisoner
Aiyub came to an agreement. An-Näsir was to back Aiyub in an attempt
to conquer Egypt. Their project met with immediate success. The sultan of
Egypt, al-'Adil Abü-Bakr, was deposed by 
18 See below, chapter XX, pp. 706—707. 

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