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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 77



living, which but ill accorded with their previously conceived ideas of the great monarch who had conquered the whole of Arabia and Syria, and made even the Emperors of Greece and Persia to tremble on their thrones. The meeting between the caliph and his victorious general was still further calculated to impress them. 'Omar was mounted on a camel, and attired in simple Bedawi costume—a sheepskin cloak, and coarse cotton shirt ; Abu 'Obeidah was mounted on a small she-camel, an f abba ' or mantle of haircloth, folded over the saddle, and a rude halter of twisted hair forming her only trappings ; he wore his armour, and carried his bow slung across his shoulder. Abu 'Obeidah, dismounting from his beast, approached the caliph in a respectful attitude ; but the latter dismounting almost at the same moment, stooped to kiss his general's feet, whereupon there ensued a contest of humility, which was only put an end to by the two great men mutually consenting to embrace after the usual fashion of Arab sheikhs when meeting upon equal terms. A story of 'Omar's compensating a man for some grapes which his followers had heedlessly plucked as they came in from their thirsty ride, and several other instances of his great integrity and unassuming manners, are related by the Arab historians. No doubt these incidents were, to some extent, the offspring of " the pride that apes humility ;" yet the Muslim sovereign really seems to have possessed some good and amiable qualities. 'Omar pitched his camp upon the Mount of Olives, where he was immediately visited by a messenger from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who sent to welcome him and renew the offers of capitulation. This patriarch was named Sophronius, and was a native of Damascus. He was as remarkable for his zeal and erudition as for the purity of his life, which presented a striking contrast to the prevailing immorality of the age. The patriarch's


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