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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)

Page 620

6zo A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES I Moslem tribute. This privilege seems to have
been offered elsewhere only to non-LatinChristians. 
 In most cases, as has been pointed out, Saladin was content to allow the
inhabitants of captured cities free egress with their movable property, and
loyally kept his word. Often a payment of ransom was demanded. But his emirs
were usually less farsighted as well as less merciful, and Saladin either
would not or could not curb them. Therefore, some thousands of the former
inhabitants were either killed or enslaved. We can only suggest Saladin's
attitude toward such occurrences by recalling that it was not his own usual
 In the agricultural districts there seems to have been less disruption of
normal life. Probably most of the peasants were Moslems or native Christians
living in casalia as tributaries to the western military aristocracy. The
former certainly welcomed their new masters and, as in Nablus, hastened to
loot the abandoned dwellings of the Franks. The native Christians were as
a rule permitted to stay. Significant religious changes also resulted from
the reconquest. Everywhere, of course, Islam was officially restored; and
many churches were converted (or reconverted) into mosques. Latin Christianity
lost its predominant position. On the other hand, the native Greek and Syrian
Christians whose establishments antedated the crusades were apparently unmolested,
although the usual Moslem tribute was exacted. 
 The attitude of the Greek Orthodox and other native Christian sects presents
an interesting problem upon which evidence is disappointingly scanty. In
the main they seem rather to have welcomed the Moslem reconquest than otherwise.
This was particularly true of the Greeks, whose dislike of Rome was of long
standing. Moreover, as we have seen, the attitude of the Byzantine emperors
after Manuel's death had become increasingly hostile toward the crusaders
and had apparently led Andronicus Comnenus toward a sort of alliance with
the Moslems. Isaac Angelus sent his official congratulations to Saladin after
the capture of Jerusalem, asked for a renewal of the alliance against the
Latins, and requested that the holy places be returned to Orthodox priests.
Certainly Greek and Syrian Christians remained in the city. 
 One or two isolated references indicate a similar situation elsewhere. When
Nablus was taken over by one of Saladin's nephews, the native Greek and Syrian
Christians were apparently allowed to stay. Similarly, in Latakia, the native
Christians preferred to remain in the captured city and pay the customary
Moslem tax. 

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