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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 169



SIEGE OF ΝΙΟ ZEA. touring sea a number of light craft, which he launched on the lake, and succeeded in accomplishing a perfect blockade of the town. The Nieseans, terrified at the success of this manoeuvre, and by the fate of their most important town, were ready to surrender at discretion, when the cunning of Alexis Comnenus—who had despatched a small force, nominally for the assistance of the Crusaders, but really for the purpose of watching after his own interests—succeeded in inducing the town to surrender to him alone ; and the Christians, after all their labour, had the mortification of seeing the Greek flag flying over the citadel, instead of their own. From his own point of view, the Emperor was evidently right. The Crusaders had sworn to protect his empire ; he claimed sovereignty over all these lands ; his object was neither to revenge the death of a horde of invaders, nor to devastate the towns," nor to destroy the country—but to recover and preserve. Niceeaj at least, was almost within his reach ; and though he could not expect that his authority would be recognised in the south of Asia Minor, or in Syria, he had reason to hope that here at any rate, so near to Constantinople, and so recently after the oaths of the princes, it would be recognised. So, certainly, thought the princes ; for, in spite of the unrepressed indignation of the army, they refrained from pillaging the town and murdering the infidels, and gave the word to march. It was now early summer ; the soldiers had not yet experienced the power of an Asiatic sun ; no provision was made against the dangers of famine and thirst, and their way led through a land parched with heat, devastated by wars, over rocky passes, across pathless plains. The Crusaders neither knew the country, nor made any preparations, beyond carrying provisions for two or three days. They were, moreover, encumbered with their camp-followers, their baggage, and the weight of their arms. They were divided, principally for convenience of forage,


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