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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 479

his men, who promptly welcomed as-Salih Aiyub as their new sultan. This sudden
reversal of fortune was most disturbing to sultan as-Sãlih Ismã'il
of Damascus. The man he had driven from Damascus had become master of Egypt.
Isma'il immediately decided to seek the aid of the crusading host. 
 The sultan's offer was very tempting. He would surrender at once the hinterland
of Sidon, the castle of Belfort (Shaqif ArnUn), Tiberias, and Safad. Eventually
he would turn over to the Christians more lands and fortresses. The master
of the Templars writing to the preceptor of the Templars in England stated
that all the ter ritory between the coast and the river Jordan was to be
recovered.19 Certainly the sultan promised to return all Galilee, Jerusalem
and Bethlehem with a wide corridor to the coast, Ascalon, and the district
of Gaza without the city itself. Although the lists of places mentioned in
the chronicles include several fortresses in Samaria, there is no evidence
that this district as a whole was to be ceded to the Christians.20 As all
these regions except Galilee were actually in the hands of the lord of Transjordania
and the sultan of Egypt, their return to Christian rule would have to await
the victory of the new allies. The crusaders were to be allowed to buy supplies
and arms in Damascus. They were to promise not to make any peace or truce
with the sultan of Egypt without the consent of the sultan of Damascus. The
crusading army was to go to Jaffa or Ascalon to cooperate with the sultan
in defending his lands from the Egyptians. Theobald accepted the terms and
marched his army south once more. 
 This truce between the crusading leaders and the sultan of Damascus met
with opposition in both camps. The Moslem religious leaders in Damascus protested
against it as treason to their faith. The garrison of Belfort refused to
surrender the castle, and the sultan was obliged to reduce it by siege in
order to turn it over to its Christian owner, Balian of Sidon. On the Christian
side there were two centers of opposition, the Knights Hospitaller and the
friends of the men captured at Gaza. The reasons for the Hos pitallers' attitude
are not clear. Safad was a great Templar castle, and the Hospitallers may
have felt that they had been neglected. Perhaps the mere fact that the Templars
favored the truce may have turned the rival order against it. The protests
of the other group 
19 Matthew Paris, Chronica majora, IV, 64. 
 20 This account of the lands promised by the sultan of Damascus is based
on the assumption that the chroniclers were correct in stating that the later
agreement with the sultan of Egypt conveyed the same territories as the truce
with Damascus. The longest list of places recovered is found in Matthew Paris,
Chronica majora, IV, 141—143. 

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