By Amin Maalouf

The writer has combed the works of up to date Arab chronicles of the Crusades, eyewitnesses and infrequently individuals. He retells their tale and gives insights into the historic forces that form Arab and Islamic realization at the present time.

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Through the Arab global, the keenness initially aroused through the reconquest used to be giving solution to worry. It used to be being whispered that the vengeance of the Franj will be poor, that there will be a brand new massacre, that the holy urban will be misplaced once again, that Syria and Egypt may either fall into the palms of the invaders. once more, although, good fortune, or windfall, intervened on Saladin’s behalf. After crossing Asia Minor in triumph, within the spring of 1190 the German emperor arrived at Konya, the capital of the successors of Kilij Arslan. Frederick quickly pressured the gates open after which despatched emissaries to Antioch to announce his coming near near arrival. The Armenians of southern Anatolia have been alarmed on the information. Their clergy dispatched a messenger to Saladin begging him to guard them by contrast new Frankish invasion. within the occasion, no intervention by means of the sultan will be valuable. On 10 June, a stifling dog-day afternoon, Frederick Barbarossa went for a swim in a bit move on the foot of the Taurus Mountains. by some means, most likely because the results of a center assault, he drowned—in a spot, Ibn al-AthÐr explains, the place the water used to be slightly hip-deep. His military dispersed, and therefore did God spare the Muslims the maleficence of the Germans, who represent a very quite a few and tenacious species of Franj. The German probability used to be therefore miraculously got rid of, however it had paralysed Saladin for a number of months, fighting him from becoming a member of the decisive conflict opposed to the troops besieging Acre. the location on the Palestinian port used to be now at an deadlock. even if the sultan had bought adequate reinforcements to carry his place opposed to any counter-attack, the Franj might not be dislodged. steadily, a modus vivendi used to be tested. among skirmishes, knights and emirs could invite each other to banquets and might chat jointly really evenly, occasionally even enjoying video games, as BahÁ' al-DÐn relates. someday, the boys of the 2 camps, uninterested in struggling with, determined to arrange a conflict among young children. boys got here out of the town to compare themselves opposed to younger infidels. within the warmth of the fight, one of many Muslim boys leapt upon his rival, threw him to the floor, and seized him via the throat. after they observed that he was once threatening to kill him, the Franj approached and acknowledged: ÝStop! He has turn into your prisoner, forsooth, and we will purchase him again from you. ’ The boy took dinars and allow the opposite pass. regardless of the carnival surroundings, the belligerents have been not often residing in enviable stipulations. there have been many useless and wounded, epidemics have been raging, and it was once difficult to get provides in iciness. It was once the location of the Acre garrison that was once of maximum trouble to Saladin. As a growing number of vessels arrived from the West, the ocean blockade grew ever tighter. On events, an Egyptian fleet comprising a number of dozen ships had controlled to chop a route to the port, yet their losses have been heavy, and the sultan quickly needed to lodge to trickery to resupply the besieged infantrymen. In June 1190 he armed a big send in Beirut, filling it with grain, cheese, onions, and sheep.

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