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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 253



and careless had sprung from the first Crusaders.* Their mothers had been Armenians, Greeks, or Syrians. They sucôeeded to the possessions, but not to the manners of their fathers ; all the world knows, says the historian, how they were lapped in delights, soft, effeminate, more accustomed to baths than to fighting, given over to debauchery and impurity, going dressed as softly as women, cowardly, lazy, and pusillanimous before the enemies of Christ, despised by the Saracens, and preferring rather to have peace at any price than to defend their own possessions. No doubt the climate of Syria rapidly produced a degeneracy in the courage and strength of the Latin race, but the writer's style is too full of adjectives. He screams like an angry woman when he declaims against the age, which was probably no worse than its predecessors, and the heat of his invective deprives it of most of its force. It was in Baldwin's reign that the Knights Templars were founded, and the Hospitallers became a military order. From very'early times an order, known as that of St. Lazarus, had existed, dedicated to the service of lepers and of pilgrims. They had a hospital, at first, in Acre ; they were protected by the late emperors, their brethren accompanied the army of Heraclius as a sort of ambulance corps ; they obtained permission to establish themselves in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Nazareth, and they had a settlement at Cyprus. After the first Crusade they divided into three classes, the knights, or fighting brothers ; the physicians, or medical brothers ; and the priests, who administered the last rites of the church to dying, men. These establishments spread over France, Italy,' and Germany; they became rich. The knights appear to have disappeared gradually ; they spent their money in sending pilgrims out in ships, and in paying the ransoms of those who were taken prisoner. The origin of the Knights Hospitallers, originally only * They were called Pullara, see p. 200.


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