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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 45

ported by twelve piers and thirty pillars. The ceiling of the inner dome was overlaid with gold mosaics, and the interior must have been extraordinarily colorful when the brilliant Eastern sun shone through its fifty-six windows, each twelve feet high by nearly five feet across, glazed with glass of various hues. Or even at night, when the three hundred silver lamps suspended from the ceiling were all alight. The edifice was seven hundred and twenty feet around and one hundred and forty high, and could be seen from afar, making a striking picture from any of the paths over the surrounding mountains. The faithful entered through four gateways, each with a portico of marble, and in each of these were four beautiful doors. El Aksa, called by the Christians the Mosque of Omar, for which the Caliph Abd al Malik probably used the stone from Justinian's Church of St. Mary, was equally imposing, particularly in the early days when its many gates were covered with gold and silver. This mosque was thought superior in beauty to even the fine mosque at Damascus, the explanation for this being that the Caliph and his architects had ever before their eyes the magnificent Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which would necessarily be both an inspiration and an object of emulation for the Moslems. Only a comparatively small part of el Aksa was enclosed, the worshippers assembling in the great and imposing colonnades, supported by marble pillars. There was a mighty roof and over this a magnificent dome.

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