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

II: The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionhearted and Philip Augustus,   pp. 44-85 PDF (16.5 MB)

Page 77

was Jerusalem or Ascalon, he concentrated all the forces he could muster
at Jaffa. Many crusaders had quietly wandered back to the fleshpots of Acre.
Early in October king Guy was sent to bring them back to the host. When he
failed, Richard himself went to Acre. He was more successful, and brought
some of them back to Jaffa. He also moved Berengaria and Joan from Acre to
Jaffa. As soon as Richard returned from Acre, he entered into active negotiations
with Saladin. Apparently he started with a proposition he had made earlier,
and one that there was little or no chance that Saladin would accept, the
cession to the Christians of all territory west of the Jordan. Then, if we
are to believe Bahã'-ad-Din, Richard advanced a most extraordinary
proposal. Queen Joan was to marry Saladin's brother, al-'Adil Saif-ad-Din
("Saphadin"), and they were to rule all the land west of the Jordan,
the True Cross was to be returned, and all prisoners were to be freed. Saladin
did not take this proposition seriously, but authorized his brother to continue
negotiations. Soon Richard said that Joan refused to accept the idea, but
might be persuaded if her future husband turned Christian.52 While it seems
almost certain that these negotiations took place, it is difficult to believe
that anyone took them very seriously. Yet it is equally difficult to see
why Richard should make such a proposition if he had no intention of carrying
it out. The only reasonable explanation seems to be that the king was caught
for a while in a fog of romantic optimism. 
 In the last days of October Richard moved his army to the vicinity of Yäzur
a few miles southeast of Jaffa. There he restored two castles, which Saladin
had dismantled and which were needed to protect the road to Jerusalem. On
November 15 he marched farther southeast along the same road to a place near
Ramla, where he remained until December 23, when he moved on to Latrun. This
placed the crusading host a little more than halfway along the route from
Jaffa to Jerusalem. During these operations there were no major engagements.
As the crusaders advanced, Saladin withdrew his main forces. There were many
pleasant skirmishes in which the dashing English king and his knights could
earn military renown. Sometimes a crusading scouting party on the flanks
or in front of the host would meet a detachment of Turks. Other encounters
were apparently Turkish attempts to interfere with Richard's supply line
to Jaffa. These skirmishes did nothing to alter the conviction of the Turkish
emirs that they did not want to fight pitched battles with the crusaders.
They must also have 
 52 Baha'-ad-Din, pp. 307-313; Estoire, pp. 277-291. 

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