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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France

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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE
Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France
page 196



The Franke took poseeeekn of these towns, and instantly fortified all the castles in the neighbourhood ef Tiberias and Ascalon. They expelled Muesuhnen from the mosque Aksa,* made a church of it, and hung bells in the minaret. Nedjm-Eddin, on his side, connected himself with the Khareamiens,t a people whose lires were passed in war and plunder. They hastened from the farthest part of the East, crossed the Euphrates, to the amount of ten thousand combatants, under the command of three generals. One division fell back upon Balbeck, and another marched to the very gates of Damascus, pillaging and destroying all that came in their way. Salih-Iinad-Eddin shut himself up in Damascus, without attempting to stop the torrent that inundated his dominions. When they had despoiled all the country near to Damascus, they advanced to Jerusalem, took it by storm, and put all the Christians to the sword. The women and girls, having suffered every insult from a brutal disorderly soldiery, were loaded with chains. They destroyed the church of the Holy Sepulchre ; and when they found nothing among the living, to glut their rage, they opened the tombs of the Christians, took out the bodies, and burnt them. After this expedition, they marched to Gaza, and deputed some of their principal officers to Nedjm-Eddin. This prince caressed them much, had them clothed in superb dresses, and presented them with rich stuffs and horses of great value. He desired that they would halt their troops at Gaza, where he proposed making a junction of the two armies, promising to march them to Damascus. The troops of the sultan were soon ready to take the field, under the command of the emir Rukneddin-Bibars, one of his favourite slaves, and in whose leagues from Gaza. It is built on a rock, but wants a harbour sad fresh water. * The name of the mosque which the Mahommedans built after the capture of Jerusalem, on the ancient foundations of the temple of Solomon, and on the stone whence Jacob was said to be have conversed with God, and which the Mussulmen affirm to be that which this patrmrch named the gate of heaven, in consequence of his vision. The Christians, when they conquered Jerusalem from the Mahommedans, erected a golden cross on the top of this temple, but Saladin, oa regaining the town, made them take it down.—D'Her belo tt Bibl. Orient. f Kharesmiens, a people of Khouaream, which country is situated on this side the Gion, or Oxus, on the side of Khorassan, and a part beyond it, bounding the Mawaralnahar, ortheTransoxane.


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