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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 60



river Melas swept over the encampment between Adrianople and the Greek capital, drowning thousands. Manuel, the Byzantine Emperor, was incensed at them and did what he could underhandedly to ruin the enterprise. It is alleged he had chalk mixed with the flour he sold them and cheated them with bad money. Worse still, he gave them guides who misled them and stirred up the Turks to attack them when they were least prepared to fight. Barely a tenth survived to retreat to Nicaea. Louis had better fortune at the outset. He contrived to join forces with the remnant of Conrad's army at Nicaea and the combined host, proceeding southward along the coast of Asia Minor, got as far as Ephesus. There they learned the Turks were gathered in force to oppose further progress, and Conrad decided to return to Constantinople and stay there for the winter. Louis kept on and was encouraged by his success in crossing the Maeander, but two days later, after passing through Laodicea, he found himself faced by a range of hills " whose summit appeared to touch the heavens, whilst the torrent at its base reached down into hell." Unwisely a part of the army descended the slope and went into camp where they were exposed to the arrows of the enemy, who commanded the heights. Apparently the Turks were aided by Greeks, who could almost always be counted upon for obstruction to the Crusaders. While Louis vainly sought to extricate his men the onslaught turned into a massacre. Trunks of trees and great stones rolled down


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