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)
Ch. XIII CRUSADE OF THEOBALD OF CHAMPAGNE 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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