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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
(1969)

XIII: The Crusade of Theobald of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall, 1239-1241,   pp. 463-486 PDF (13.4 MB)


Page 481

Ch. XIII CRUSADE OF THEOBALD OF CHAMPAGNE 481 
the position of the Templars and the local lords. The Templars had received
Safad, and the lord of Sidon had possession of Belfort. They might well feel
obliged to hold to the agreement that gave them these places. The sultan
of Damascus was nearer at hand than the sultan of Egypt and hence a more
direct threat to the orders and the barons of Jerusalem. Certainly a war
with him would hamper the barons in their contest with Frederick's officials.
 The agreement between Theobald and the sultan of Egypt provided that the
lands, castles, and prisoners should be surrendered within forty days. But
Theobald and many of his fellow barons were thoroughly tired of the expedition.
The endless quarrels of the orders and the local lords would have been enough
to discourage a far more determined man than the king of Navarre. Perhaps
too there was some truth in Matthew Paris' suggestion that Theobald had no
desire to face the debates over the chief command that were bound to arise
when earl Richard of Cornwall arrived with his English crusaders. Whatever
their reasons may have been, Theo bald and Peter of Dreux did not wait to
see the agreement carried out. They made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and embarked
at Acre about the middle of September 1240. It is not clear how many of the
crusaders went with them. The duke of Burgundy and count Guigues of Nevers
stayed at Ascalon to build the castle there. There is conclusive evidence
that Theobald left some of his own followers there under the command of a
deputy.21 
 Theobald and his fellow crusaders had won no glory. Their own very moderate
efforts had accomplished nothing whatever. But the presence of their host,
while there was bitter rivalry between the Aiyubid princes, had brought great
gains to the Christian cause. Without either fighting or active diplomacy
Theobald had achieved far more than had Frederick II in 1229. One must not
dismiss the possibility that this was according to Theobald's plan. He was
no ardent lover of battle. He had arrived at Acre to find the barons of Jerusalem
and the imperial bailie in the midst of a bitter civil war. The master of
the Templars had been saying for some time that the quarrels of the Aiyubid
princes would give great opportunities to the crusaders. Very possibly Theobald
decided that his best course was to do little or nothing and wait for his
chance. 
 The master of the Templars wrote an exultant letter to his preceptor in
England announcing the truce with the sultan of 
21 Arbois de Jubainville, Histoire des ducs et des comtes de Champagne, IV,
315-316. 


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