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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 338



the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem had Amaury held to his agreement ; but the favourable terms which had been accorded him inspired him with an undue confidence in his own strength, and, blind alike to his interests and his honour, he determined upon a fresh invasion. Accordingly, in the latter end of the year 1168, he led an army into Egypt, took possession of Bilbeis, and marched upon Cairo. The greatest consternation prevailed in the capitfil at the treacherous conduct of the Christian monarch, and the savage cruelty of his troops. Cairo was hastily surrounded with a wall and fortifications, and the old city was set on fire at the approach of the invaders, the conflagration raging for fifty-four days. In this extremity the Egyptian caliph piteôusly besought Nured-din to lend him his aid ; and, in order still further to excite his compassion, and depict the miserable plight to which they were reduced, and the danger to which they were exposed from the unbridled licentiousness of the invaders, EB'Adhid enclosed locks of his women's hair in the letter which contained his appeal: Shawer, in the meantime, endeavoured to avert the immediate calamity by making terms with Amaury, and the latter, dreading the arrival of the Damascene reinforcements, consented to raise the siege on receiving an indemnity of a million dinars; a hundred thousand were paid down in ready money, and the Crusaders retired, in order to give the vizier time to collect the remainder. Nûr-ed-din, on receipt of Er'Adhid's letter, at once despatched Shirkoh to the relief of Cairo, with an army of eight thousand men, six thousand of whom were Syrians, and the remainder Turks, and a sum of two hundred' thousand dinars, as well as a large supply of clothes, arms, horses, and provisions. Shirkoh requested his nephew Yusuf Salah-ed-din (Saladin) to accompany him upon this expedition ; but the latter, remembering the difficulties and dangers he had experienced at Alexandria, begged to be


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