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

XVI: The Crusader states, 1243-1291,   pp. 556-598 PDF (13.9 MB)

Page 594

appeal that the pope sent out after hearing John of Grailly's tale came from
a rabble of peasants and unemployed townsfolk from Lombardy and Tuscany,
men eager to find adventure and loot and the reward of spiritual merit. The
pope had little confidence in them, but he put them under the command of
Bernard, the refugee bishop of Tripoli, who, he hoped, would keep them under
restraint. These reinforcements arrived at Acre in August 1290.91 
 The truce between the sultan and king Henry had restored confidence at Acre.
There was a good harvest that year in Syria. Trade was booming, and Acre
was full of merchants from the interior. But the arrival of the Italian crusaders
at once caused trouble. They were drunken, disorderly, and irrepressible.
One day at the end of August a riot started between them and some Moslem
merchants. Soon the Italians were rushing wildly through the streets of Acre
slaughtering everyone that they saw who wore a beard or eastern dress. Many
local Christians perished along with the Moslems. The barons and the knights
of the military orders were horrified. They managed to give refuge to a few
Moslems within the castle, and eventually stilled the riot and arrested the
 When Kalavun heard of the massacre, he decided that the time had come to
eradicate the Franks. The government at Acre hastened to send him apologies.
He replied with an embassy demanding that the ringleaders should be handed
over to him. The bailie Amairic called a council, at which William of the
Temple suggested that all the criminals in the jails of Acre should be sent
to Cairo as being the guilty men. But no one else supported a proposal to
send Christians to certain death. Instead, there was an attempt to persuade
the ambassadors that Moslem merchants had started the riot. Receiving no
satisfaction from Acre, Kalavun consulted his qadis, who told him that he
would be justified in breaking the truce. He gathered together his army.
 Once again Templar agents at the Mamluk court warned William of Beaujeu,
who sent a personal envoy to Cairo. Kalavun offered to spare Acre in return
for as many Venetian sequins as the city had inhabitants. But when William
put this proposal before the high court, it was scornfully rejected, and
he himself was insulted as a traitor.92 
 91 Gestes des Chiprois, 480 (pp. 804-805); Dandolo, Chronicon wnetum, p.
402; Sanudo, Liber secretorum, p. 229; Amadi, Chronique, pp. 2 18—219.
 92 Gestes des Chiprois, 480—48 1 (pp. 805—806); Amadi, Chronique,
p. 219; Bustron, Chro nique de l'Ile de C4ypre, ed. Mas Latrie, p. 1 18;
al-Maqrizi, Al-khitat, II, i, 109; Mubi-ad-DIn, Strat al-malik az-Zãhir
(Michaud, Bibliotheque, IV), pp. 567-568; Ludoif of Suchem, Description of
the Holy Land (tr. Stewart, Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society, XII), pp. 54—56.

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