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“Damascus, 1183 – 1186” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole, Part III, Chapter XII


Excerpt from Chapter XII: “…Nevertheless, whatever the amity of Saladin and Raymond (de Chatillon), the truce was like the troubled sleep of a soldier, which might be broken in an instant by the call to arms. It was no real peace whilst the Patriarch Heraclius scoured Europe to beat up recruits, whilst English knights from the Cheviots to the Pyrenees took up the Cross, whilst the two great Military Orders were burning to strike a blow for the faith. The Holy War was sleeping, but it was sure to awake.”

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“The Conquest of Mesopotamia, 1181-1183” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole, Part III, Chapter XI


Excerpt from Chapter XI: “…The possession of Aleppo made Saladin the most powerful ruler of Islam. From the Tigris to the Nile, and along the African coast as far as Tripoli, many great cities and different peoples owned his sway. His name was prayed for in the mosques from Mekka to Mesopotamia. When he wrote to the Pope, he even used the style, “Rex omnium regum orientalium,” and of all the eastern princes within his reach he was undoubtedly King. But to be incontestably supreme over this wide dominion he must still take another step…”

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Illustration: Silver Coin of Saladin, struck at Aleppo in A.H. 582 (1186-7)

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“Truces and Treaties, 1176-1181” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole, Part III, Chapter X


Excerpt from Chapter X: “…How it happened is not clear, but this much is certain, that on the 25th of November, 1177, in the absence of the greater part of his army, Saladin’s men were surprised at Tell Jezer, near Ramla, and before they could form up, the knights were hacking them down. At first the Sultan retired fighting, and tried to get his men into order of battle; but his bodyguard was cut to pieces around him, and he was himself all but taken prisoner. Seeing that the day was lost, he turned at last, and mounting a swift camel rode for his life. A remnant of his troops escaped with him, and throwing away armour and weapons, and leaving the wounded to their fate, fled under cover of night pell-mell to Egypt, where they arrived after great privations.  Of the rest of the army that had marched so gleefully to the despoiling of the Holy Lands, few survived. Famine, cold, and heavy rains completed what the sword began. Never had Saladin’s arms known such disaster…”

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“The Conquest of Syria, 1174-1176” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole, Part III, Chapter IX


Excerpt from Chapter IX: “…Now, for the first time, Saladin asserted his independence, proclaimed himself King, and suppressed the name of es-Salih in the prayer and coinage. This year (1175) he was prayed for in all the mosques of Syria and Egypt as sovereign lord, and he issued at the Cairo mint gold coins in his own name: “el-Melik en-Nasir Yusuf ibn Ayyub, ala ghaya,” “The King Strong to Aid, Joseph son of Job; exalted be the Standard!”

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