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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 380



dynasty. The news was hailed with great demonstrations of joy in Baghdad, and 'Emad-ed-din Sandal, a confidential servant of Saladin's, was despatched to Cairo with dresses of honour for the emir, bearing also the black flag, the famous standard of the house of Abbas. But Saladin was flying at higher game; and when news reached him of the death of Nûr-ed-din, in August 1174, he at once set out for Damascus. El Melik es Sàlih Ismail, who had succeeded his father upon the throne, was absent at Aleppo when Saladin arrived, and the latter established himself without opposition in the government of the town. Hums and Hamah (the Hamath of the Bible) next yielded to his authority, but Aleppo still held out, and warmly supported the cause of El Melik es Salili the legitimate heir to the kingdom. After an unsuccessful attempt to reduce the place by blockade, Saladin made terms with his rival, and each agreed to leave the other in quiet possession of the districts of Syria which he then actually held. Having concluded this arrangement, he returned to Egypt. El Melik es Salih died in 1181, and was succeeded by his uncle, 'Ezz-ed-din Masud, who, however, exchanged by mutual consent the throne of Aleppo with Maudud, lord of Sanjâr. In May, 1182, Saladin once more set out for Damascus, ravaging the country of the Crusaders by the way, and obtaining a large amount of booty. He never afterwards returned to Egypt, but from that moment devoted himself to the task of reconquering the Holy Land for the Mussulmans. In the following month he began his campaign, and, pitching at Tiberias, harassed the neighbourhood of Beisân, Jaibin, and the Ghor, causing much loss, to the Christians, both of property and life. Beirut and the sea coast were next attacked, and, even where the towns themselves held out, the country around suffered severely


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