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)
598 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES had taken refuge, and ships that had landed refugees in Cyprus came back to its aid. After a week of fruitless attack the sultan offered to let the inmates go free if the building were surrendered to him. His offer was accepted, but the Moslem soldiers who entered the building began to molest the Christian women and boys. The Templars in their fury turned them out and prepared to renew the fight. The Mamluks laid mines, and on May 28 the landward walls began to crumble. The Moslems were rushing in through the widening breach when the whole edifice collapsed killing defenders and assailants alike.95 Tyre had already fallen. When Mamluk troops appeared there on May 19, the garrison abandoned the town without a struggle, for all that it was the strongest fortress on the coast and had success fully defied Saladin. Sidon was occupied at the end of June, though its Castle of the Sea was held by the Templars till July 1 4. Beirut surrendered on July 1, after the commanders of the garrison had been tricked into placing themselves in the Mamluks' power. The Templars did not attempt to hold either of their great castles, Château Pèlerin and Tortosa. The latter was evacuated on August 3 and the former on August 14.96 All that was left to them now was the waterless island of Ruad, two miles off the coast opposite Tortosa. They held it for twelve more years. When the whole country was in his power, the sultan al-Ashraf ordered the systematic destruction of every castle on the coast, so that the Franks might never again establish a foothold in Outremer. Nor did they. The story of the siege and fall of Acre is told on the Frankish side by the Gestes des Chiprois, 489—508 (Pp. 808—817) (the author, the so-called "Templar of Tyre", who was not a Templar but the secretary of the master of the Temple, was present and gives a fairly impartial account); Marino Sanudo, Liber secretorum, pp. 229—331 (he was a contemporary but not himself present, and bases his account chiefly on the Gestes); De excidio urbis Acchonis, passim, in Martène and Durand, Veteres scriptores, V, whose anonymous author, also a con— temporary but not himself present, is very free with accusations of treachery and cowardice, in order to arouse the conscience of the west; and Thaddeus of Naples, Hystoria de desolacione Acconensis, ed. Riant, passim, which was written a little later and is equally abusive, also for propaganda purposes. Chroniclers such as Amadi and Bustron give short second-hand accounts. A short account in Greek, written by the monk Arsenius, is quoted by Bartholomew of Neocastro (ed. Paladino, RISS, XIII, iii), p. 132; it accuses the Franks of laziness and evil living but not of cowardice. Ludolf of Suchem's account (pp. 54—61) gives traditions learnt in the east a few years later. Roger de Flor's adventures were recorded by Muntaner, Cronica, ed. Coroleu, p. 378. Of the Arabic writers, the account of Abu-l-Fidã', Kitab al-mukhtasar (RHC, Or., I), pp. 163—164; is brief, but he was an eye-witness. The fullest account is that given by al-Maqrizi, Al-khitat, II, i, 120-126, which correlates all the Arab chroniclers. A letter from the sultan to the Armenian king Hetoum II, full of boastful details, is quoted in Bartholomew Cotton, Historia Anglicana (Rolls Series, XVI), p. 221. 96 Gestes des Chiprois, 504, (pp. 815, 817—818); Annales de Terre Sainte, p. 460; al-Maqrizi, Al-khitat, II, i, 126—131; AbU-l-Fida', Kitab al-mukhtasar (RHC, Or., I), p. 164; al-Jazari, Hawadith az-zaman, tr. Sauvaget, pp. 6—8.
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