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Roger De Hoveden
The Annals vol.2., From A.D. 1180 To A.D. 1201.

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Roger De Hoveden
The Annals vol.2., From A.D. 1180 To A.D. 1201.
page 224



A.D. 1191. LETTER OF RICHARD TO THE ABBAT OF CLAIEVAL. 223 time at that place, we pursued our intended route towards Joppa. Our vanguard having gone before and pitched their tents at Assur, Saladin with a mighty host of Saracens made an attack upon our rear-guard ; on which, by the favouring grace of the Divine mercy, he was put to flight by only four battalions who faced about against him, and for a whole league was pursued in his flight by the entire troops of the Christians ; in consequence of which, such a slaughter took place of the more noble Saracens whom Saladin had with him, namely, in the vicinity of Assur, on the vigil of the Nativity of Saint Mary the Virgin, being Saturday, that Saladin had experienced none like thereto on any one day in the preceding forty years. We, however, by the grace of God, lost not one that day, with the exception of one very valiant man, Jacques de Avennes, and much endeared to the whole army by his merits, who was ever ready and devoted, like a stay and support to the army, in all holiness and in the sincerity of the faith, for many years past, to serve God in the army of the Christians. After this, by the guidance of the Lord, we arrived at Joppa, and strengthened that city with trenches and a wall, making it our purpose in every quarter to promote the interests of Christianity to the utmost possible extent. Since the day of the discomfiture of Saladin above-mentioned, he has not dared to engage with the Christians, but, like a lion in his den, has been secretly lying in ambush in the more elevated plaees for the purpose of slaying the friends of the Cross like sheep destined for slaughter. Accordingly, on hearing that we were marching towards Ascalon with hasty steps, he overthrew that place and levelled it with the ground, and has now deserted and set at nought the whole land of Syria, as though he had been utterly bereft of the benefit of all counsel and assistance ; in consequence of which, we consider it to be a ground for sanguine hopes, that in a short time, by the bounty of God, the inheritance of the Lord will be entirely regained. And as the inheritance of the Lord has already in some measure been regained, and we have in the recovery thereof endured all the heat and burden of the day, and have now exhausted all our money, and not only our money, but our strength and body as well ; we do notify unto your brotherhood that we are not able to remain in the country of Syria beyond the festival of Easter. The duke of Burgundy, with the Franks placed under his command, count Henry, with his men, and the other earls, barons, and knights, who, in the service of God have


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