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)
XIX 590 THE DECLINE AND FALL OF JERUSALEM, 1174—1189 The history of the Latin orient following king Amairic's death is overshadowed by the disaster of 1187, the loss of Jerusalem. And yet, if this tragic conclusion may be for a moment forgotten, these same years brought continued prosperity to the three Latin colonies remaining in the Levant. Despite losses and the costly failures in Egypt, the combined resources of Antioch, Tripoli, and Jerusalem were still formidable. Even in I 187 when Saladin controlled the Moslem world from the Nile to Mesopotamia, the crusaders sent out an army the equal of his. Those who maintain that Saladin's conquest was "inevitable" too often forget this. Indeed, to attribute the crusaders' failure in I 187 solely to Saladin's power is to oversimplify a complex problem. The defeat of that year stunned Europe. The problem of the "fall of Jerusalem" has fascinated historians ever since. The modern historian cannot be content merely to relate the story. He must attempt an explanation. Most of the works cited in the bibliographical note to chapter XVII are pertinent to the period from 1174 to i 189. William of Tyre's Historia remains the principal Latin source up to the year 1183. He was appointed chancellor of the kingdom in 1174 and made archbishop of Tyre in the following year. Except for an absence of two years (i 178—I i8o), he was always in a position to obtain first-hand information. The section of his work which deals with the period after i 174 was written after i8o. The so-called Continuation of William of Tyre or L'Estoire de Eracles empereur, carries the narrative forward. This is cited below as Eracles (referring to the edition in RHC, 0cc., II) or as Ernoul (referring to the edition by L. de Mas Latrie, Chronique d'Ernoul et de Bernard le trésorier, Société de l'histoire de France, XXXV, Paris, 1871). There is also a Latin continuation edited by M. Salloch, Die lateinische Fortsezzung Wilhelms von Tyrus (Greifswald, 1934), which was written by an unknown but well informed author. It is apparently independent of the Old French version. Bahã'-ad-Din, An-nawadir as-sultaniyah ... (extracts ed. and tr. as "Anecdotes et beaux traits de la vie du sultan Youssof," RHC, Or., III, 1—370), is important for the career of Saladin. See also H. A. R. Gibb, "The Arabic Sources for the Life of Saladin," Speculum, XXV (1950), 58—72; S. Lane-Poole, Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of 7erusalem (New York, 1898; new ed. 1926); and especially chapter XVIII above. For the internal politics of the kingdom of Jerusalem before .1187 and for the battle of Hattin, see M. W. Baldwin, Raymond 111 of Tripolis and the Fall of Jerusalem (114o—1r87) (Princeton, 1936), and S. Runciman, History of the Crusades, vol. II, The Kingdom of Jerusalem (Cambridge, 1952). On the period after i 187 see F. Groh, Der Zusaminenbruch des Reiches Jerusalem (Jena, 1909). For Reginald of Kerak, see G. Schiumberger, Renaud de Chdtillon (Paris, 1898).
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