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

XVI: The Crusader states, 1243-1291,   pp. 556-598 PDF (13.9 MB)

Page 598

had taken refuge, and ships that had landed refugees in Cyprus came back
to its aid. After a week of fruitless attack the sultan offered to let the
inmates go free if the building were surrendered to him. His offer was accepted,
but the Moslem soldiers who entered the building began to molest the Christian
women and boys. The Templars in their fury turned them out and prepared to
renew the fight. The Mamluks laid mines, and on May 28 the landward walls
began to crumble. The Moslems were rushing in through the widening breach
when the whole edifice collapsed killing defenders and assailants alike.95
 Tyre had already fallen. When Mamluk troops appeared there on May 19, the
garrison abandoned the town without a struggle, for all that it was the strongest
fortress on the coast and had success fully defied Saladin. Sidon was occupied
at the end of June, though its Castle of the Sea was held by the Templars
till July 1 4. Beirut surrendered on July 1, after the commanders of the
garrison had been tricked into placing themselves in the Mamluks' power.
The Templars did not attempt to hold either of their great castles, Château
Pèlerin and Tortosa. The latter was evacuated on August 3 and the
former on August 14.96 All that was left to them now was the waterless island
of Ruad, two miles off the coast opposite Tortosa. They held it for twelve
more years. 
 When the whole country was in his power, the sultan al-Ashraf ordered the
systematic destruction of every castle on the coast, so that the Franks might
never again establish a foothold in Outremer. Nor did they. 
  The story of the siege and fall of Acre is told on the Frankish side by
the Gestes des Chiprois, 489—508 (Pp. 808—817) (the author, the
so-called "Templar of Tyre", who was not a Templar but the secretary of the
master of the Temple, was present and gives a fairly impartial account);
Marino Sanudo, Liber secretorum, pp. 229—331 (he was a contemporary
but not himself present, and bases his account chiefly on the Gestes); De
excidio urbis Acchonis, passim, in Martène and Durand, Veteres scriptores,
V, whose anonymous author, also a con— temporary but not himself present,
is very free with accusations of treachery and cowardice, in order to arouse
the conscience of the west; and Thaddeus of Naples, Hystoria de desolacione
Acconensis, ed. Riant, passim, which was written a little later and is equally
abusive, also for propaganda purposes. Chroniclers such as Amadi and Bustron
give short second-hand accounts. A short account in Greek, written by the
monk Arsenius, is quoted by Bartholomew of Neocastro (ed. Paladino, RISS,
XIII, iii), p. 132; it accuses the Franks of laziness and evil living but
not of cowardice. Ludolf of Suchem's account (pp. 54—61) gives traditions
learnt in the east a few years later. Roger de Flor's adventures were recorded
by Muntaner, Cronica, ed. Coroleu, p. 378. Of the Arabic writers, the account
of Abu-l-Fidã', Kitab al-mukhtasar (RHC, Or., I), pp. 163—164;
is brief, but he was an eye-witness. The fullest account is that given by
al-Maqrizi, Al-khitat, II, i, 120-126, which correlates all the Arab chroniclers.
A letter from the sultan to the Armenian king Hetoum II, full of boastful
details, is quoted in Bartholomew Cotton, Historia Anglicana (Rolls Series,
XVI), p. 221. 
 96 Gestes des Chiprois, 504, (pp. 815, 817—818); Annales de Terre
Sainte, p. 460; al-Maqrizi, Al-khitat, II, i, 126—131; AbU-l-Fida',
Kitab al-mukhtasar (RHC, Or., I), p. 164; al-Jazari, Hawadith az-zaman, tr.
Sauvaget, pp. 6—8. 

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