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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 197



bravery be wholly confided. Bibars joined the Kharesmiens at Gaxa.* Imad-Eddin, on hie part, raised troops in Damascus : they marched under the orders of Melik-Mansour, prince of Hemeese.t The Franks were likewise ready to take the field ; and the two bodies met at Acre, when they formed but one army. Nasir-Daoud, prince of Karak,£ and Zahir, son o f Songour, also brought some soldiers to the prince of Damascus. This was the first time the standards of the Christians, on which was a cross, were seen intermixed with those of Mussulmen. The Christians formed the right wing, the troops of Nasir-Daoud the left, and the emir Mansour formed the centre with the Syrians. Th e two armies met near to Gaza. The Kharesmiens made the first onset, which was but faintly opposed by the Syrians, wh o instantly fled. Zahir, who commanded the left wing, being made prisoner, there only remained the Franks, who for some time defended themselves, but were soon surrounded by the Kharesmiens : the greater part perished on this occasion, except a few that had the good fortune to escape. Eight hundred prisoners were made ; and there lay on the field of battle upwards of thirty thousand dead, as well Christians as Syrian Mussulmen. Mansour returned to Damascus with a few soldiers. The Khareemiens made an immense booty. The news of this complete victory arrived at Cairo on the 15th of the moon Gémazilewel, in the year of the Hegira 642 (Oct 9, A.D. 1244). Nedjm-Eddin was so delighted with it that he ordered public rejoicings to be made, and they were announced to the people by sound of drums and trumpets. The town and the castle of the sultan § were illuminated for several nights. The heads of the enemies that had * Gaza, a town in Palestine near the sea. Its territory is very fertile, particularly in palm-trees. -Γ Hemesse or Hems, an ancient town, and one of the principal in Syria. It is situated on a plain, a mile distant from the river Orontes. It is the most fertile country of tbe whole province. % Kerek or Karak, a celebrated town on the confines of Syria, where it joins Arabia Petra». This town formerly possessed an impregnable fortress, and was one of tbe keys to Syria. § It was the castle of Cairo built by the sultan Saladin, with stones taken from many small pyramids destroyed near ancient Memphis, opposite to old Cairo. The bashaws, governors of Egypt, make this castle their residence. It is situated at the foot of the Mountain of St. Joseph.


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