Sawirus Ibn Muqaffa`, History of the Church part 9 - MARK III —JOHN VI (A.D. 1167-1216)



(A.D. 1167-1216)







(A.D. 1167-1216)


ANTOINE KHATER                                                 O.H.E. KHS-BURMESTER


The publication of this work has been made possible by an appropriation from a grant awarded to the Society for Coptic Archaeology by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago



The present Part comprises the biographies of two patriarchs, namely, Mark III and John VI, who occupied the Throne of Saint Mark from 1167-1216 A.D. In addition to these two biographies, we have other biographies for a) Salah ad-Din, b) Al-Malik al-‘Aziz ‘Uthman, c) Al-Malik an-Nasir Yusif, d) Al-Malik al-Afdal ‘Ali, e) Al-Malik al-‘Adil Abu Bakr, f) Al-Malik al-Kamil Muhammad. Furthermore, there is a section recording the events which occurred in Egypt after the death of the Patriarch John VI.

As regards the Patriarch Mark III, little is said of him beyond an enumeration of his qualifications for the patriarchate, and that regarding his election there was no disagreement, since his predecessor, the Patriarch John V, had by premonition designated him as his successor. It is stated that at the beginning of the reign of Salah ad-Din, crosses were removed from the domes of the churches, the whitewash on the exterior of the churches was covered over with black mud, the ringing of bells was forbidden, and laws regulating the dress of Christians were enforced. However, at the prayer of Mark III these vexations and disabilities were removed by Salah ad-Din, and Coptic scribes were again employed in the financial department of the State, and, indeed, their condition became very prosperous and they were held in high esteem.

With regard to the Patriarch John VI, he was consecrated one month and five days after the decease of his predecessor. Before his elevation to the Throne of Saint Mark, John VI had been a wealthy layman possessing a sugar-factory, mills and property. He was renowned for his excellent character, his charity and his good works. In the days of his patriarchate, the Nile failed to attain its normal height in the years 1200-1201 A.D., and, consequently, a serious dearth ensued. This was followed by a terrible famine during which horrible acts were perpetrated.

Ecclesiastical regulations at this time appear to have become lax, since it is recorded that a certain priest, a widower, remarried and went to Alexandria, where he officiated in the churches. Remarriage

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of priests is forbidden by Canon Law, and when John VI learned of this, he most severely rebuked the clergy of Alexandria for allowing this to happen, interdicted the said priest, and caused the churches in the city to be closed. However, he was persuaded eventually to forgive the offending clergy, after they had set their signatures to a document in which it was stated that no priest who was a stranger to the city of Alexandria should officiate in its churches without due approval.

During the time of the patriarchate of John VI, messengers came from the king of Ethiopia to solicit him to consecrate for Ethiopia a metropolitan. This he accordingly did, and the new metropolitan returned with the messengers to Ethiopia, where he was received with the greatest honours. His prestige was furthermore enhanced when, after he had celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the first time in the country, the rains which had not come in their season, began at once to fall abundantly. All was well for five years, after which the said metropolitan suddenly arrived in Cairo in a piteous state, claiming that he had been obliged to flee from Ethiopia, since an attempt had been made on his life. John VI immediately sent a messenger to Ethiopia to ascertain the truth of the statements which the metropolitan had made. After a year the messenger returned with a letter from the king which gave the real reasons for the flight of the metropolitan. Suspecting one of his priests of having stolen a gold bar, he had him beaten so severely that the wretched man died. Consequently, his relatives wished to avenge his death by killing the metropolitan. Furthermore, the metropolitan was reproached for the luxurious manner of his life which was a cause of profound scandal for the Church. Thereupon, John VI promptly consecrated a new metropolitan whom he despatched with the messenger to Ethiopia. The former metropolitan was deprived of his office and excommunicated.

The apostasy of a monk of the Monastery of Saint Macarius in Scetis was the cause of great troubles for the monastery. He accused the monks to the government that they possessed a hidden treasure of great value. Ultimate investigation by government officials showed that his accusation was false, and that the said treasure consisted mainly of Church vessels on which were inscribed the names of the donors.

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After the death of the Patriarch John VI, efforts were made to secure the election of a certain priest named David Ibn Laklak, who had the support of Al-Malik al-‘Adil. Though this David ultimately became patriarch with the title Cyril III, this was only after almost twenty years, since he had many opponents(1).

The main part of the history recorded in the present volume is concerned with the war of Salah ad-Din against the Crusaders, and with the events which occurred in Egypt during the reigns of the successors of Salah ad-Din, down to the time of Al-Malik al-Kamil Muhammad. The account of this war and the subsequent events in Egypt is particularly valuable in that it provides information and most interesting details which are independent of the Frankish and Muslim sources.

The Arabic text which is printed in the following pages has been taken from MS. Hist. 1 of the Coptic Museum, Old Cairo, foll. 204 r°-233 v°, of which foll. 204r°-228r° have been collated 2 with the corresponding text in MS. Arabe Hist. 302 of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, foll. 261 v°-286 v°. For foll. 228 v°-233 v° there is no corresponding text in MS. Arabe Hist. 302.

In conclusion, we wish to present our sincerest thanks to those who have helped us in the production of this volume. To Professor Serge Sauneron, Director of the Institut Francais d'Archeologie Orientale du Caire, for his very kind permission to print this volume at the Printing Press of the Institute, to Mr. Basil S. Psiroukis, Master Printer at the Printing Press of the Institute, for the great care which he has taken in the arrangement and the setting-up of the printed text, and to the Staff of the Printing Press of the Institute for their helpful co-operation.

Antoine Khater
O.H.E. KHS-Burmester

l For the lengthy and detailed accounts of the various methods used to secure the election of David Ibn Laklak as patriarch, cf. Vol. IV, Parts I-II of the History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church.

2 The Collation was made from a photographic copy of this MS. which is in the National Library, Cairo, listed under number Hist. 6434.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen. We begin with the support of the power of the Highest to copy the first biography of the biographies of the fathers, the Orthodox Patriarchs of the second period, and it is the biography of the venerable father who acquired the grace of the Holy Spirit, Abba Mark Ibn Zara‘ah, and he is the seventy-third of their number — may his prayers guard us. Amen.

When we had completed with the assistance of God to us what we had transcribed concerning our predecessors, our former fathers, successor after predecessor, from among the virtuous masters and sincere chiefs and truth-loving elect, as is said in the Psalm 43: 'God, we have heard with our ears, when our fathers related to us the works which You did in their days of old', we returned to the research of the biography of the elect, praiseworthy (ones) the heads of Christianity and of the religion of God, and of the virtuous shepherds, and of (their) perfect deeds. And we began with what we witnessed in our age, and saw in our time, and it is what we inform you in this biography, and what occurred in the days of this venerable father in the way of difficulties and oppressive hardships and bloodshed and the passing away of the former State to which our origin (2) had been firmly attached through the multitude of its troops and its allies, (and) invincible through the multitude of its riches, and its means which are hidden from the eyes in its castles, and through the multitude of its soldiers and its assistants about which blessed Daniel prophesied and said (4): There shall rule over the Land of Egypt

(2) I.e. ' our country

(4) This prophecy occurs in the fourteenth chapter of the Coptic (Bohairic) Version of the Book of Daniel. For a critical study on this chapter, cf. O.F.A. Meinardus, 'A Commentary on the XIVth Vision of Daniel' in Orientalia Christiana Periodica, vol. XXXII, fasc. II, pp. 394-449, and O.F.A. Meinardus, 'New Evidence on the XIVth Vision of Daniel from the History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church' in Orientalia Christiana Periodica, vol. XXXIV, fasc. II, pp. 281-309.

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nineteen kings from the Sons of Ishmael. And. when the Shi‘ite Fatimid House was completed, (it was) fourteen Caliphs three of whom ruled Salamiyah, 3 and al-Mahdiyah 4 and Africa 5 and other than them of the lands of the West, and these are their names. Al-Mahdi, al-Kaim, al-Mansur 6, and a king from them (was) over Egypt until the end of the termination of their State. And there reigned over the State of the Persians who are the Ghuzz, eleven Caliphs and they are: Al-Mu‘izz who built Cairo (al-Kahirah), Al-‘Aziz his son, Al-Hakim, son of Al-‘Aziz, Az-Zahir, son of Al-Hakim, Al-Mustansir, son of Az-Zahir, Al-Musta‘li, son of Al-Mustansir, Al-Amir, son of Al-Musta‘li. Then, after this, from the sons of the uncles and relations, Al-Hafiz, Az-Zafir and his son Al-Faiz, son of Az-Zafir. Then Az-Zafir was killed at the hand of Nasr, son of ‘Abbas, the story of which we have already given a description. Then there reigned after him Al-‘Adid, and he was the last of the kings of them. And the duration of their rule over the West and the Land of Egypt was up to the day of the passing away of the kingdom from the hand of Al-‘Adid at the end of al-Muharram (in the) year five hundred and sixty-seven [1171 A.D.]. And it (was) that

(3)  Salamiyah is south-east of Hamah, Syria.

(4) In Tunisia, 22 kilometres south-east of al-Kayrawan.

(5)  I.e. Africa Minor, mainly Tunisia.

(6) Al-Mahdi, first Fatimid Caliph, 909-934 A.D., Al-Kaim, 934-946 A.D., Al-Mansur, 945-953.

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Al-Mahdi Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah appeared at Salamiyah and ruled it on Sunday, the seventh of (the month of) Dhu'l-Higgah (in the) year two hundred and ninety of the Higrah [902-903 A.D.], and up to the time of its passing away in the days of the government of Al-‘Adid Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah, and he was the fourteenth of them, (were) two hundred and seventy-five years, one month and twenty-seven days. Of these they ruled in the West seventy-four years, and they ruled in Egypt two hundred years and one year. And as regards their wazirs, we did not find out anything except the period of some of them, and we did not find biographies of them nor anything (which) guided us to the duration of the administration of each of them as wazir, neither how much was their equipment; however, we were informed of the names of some of them by our near forefathers who witnessed it 2, and they gave a description of them according to what they held (important) among themselves, and what they pretended was an honour to their deeds and magnifying to their rank. They 3 said that the wazir of Al-Mustansir (was) a man designated as Amir al-Guyus, and his name (was) Badr al-Gamali, (and) of Al-Musta‘li, Saif al-Islam Yanis, and of Al-Amir and Al-Hafiz, Al-Mamun and Yanis and Tag ad-Daulah Bahram and Rudwan Ibn Walkhasi, and of Az-Zafir, Nagm ad-Din Ibn Mudal W, and of Idil, Ibn as-Salar and Al-‘Abbas, and of Al-Faiz and Al-‘Adid and As-Salih Talai‘ Ibn Ruzzik and Magd al-Islam, his son,

and Amir al-Guyus Shawar as-Sa‘di and Al-Mansur Dirgham, and Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Nagm ad-Din Aiyub who is the second of the kings of the Turks in the Land of Egypt, and the last of the wazirs of the State of the Egyptians, because Asad ad-Din Shirkuh was a wazir of Al-‘Adid before him, and he ruled sixty days, and their count was neither increased by an hour

2 I.e. the period.

3 I.e. our forefathers.

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nor reduced by an hour, and he died. And this Salah ad-Din ruled after him, and we shall record and explain the news of the kingdom, and how the former State passed away, and the conquest of Jerusalem and the cities of the sea-coast, and what God wrought for him, and what God put into his possession, and the good equity of the days of his reign and his justice. And he reduced prices through the goodness of his intention and his justice among his subjects; and what was bad in it 4 in the way of taxes and the removal of injustice (will be) shewn and explained, God willing. This venerable, virtuous, pure, noble Patriarch, of distinguished descent, was called before he became patriarch Abu'l-Farag Ibn Abu As‘ad known as Ibn Zara‘ah, (and) he was related through this name to his paternal great great grandfather. And we found in what went before of the fathers, the patriarchs, a patriarch called Ibn Zara‘ah whose scribe was the father Severus Ibn al-Mukaffa‘, bishop of al-Asmunam, and if he was from his descendants, God knows. And I, the wretched scribe who arranged this biography, conversed with the son of the paternal uncle of this patriarch, and I said to him: «Where were you brought up, and (from where) is your origin?» And he said: «From the inhabitants of Syria». And I was assured that he was from the descendants of that patriarch, because he was a Syrian from the inhabitants of Syria . And I, the wretched (one) who arranged this biography, saw this father before his consecration, and I was dwelling in his vicinity in the city of Cairo (Misr). And many of the people of the Muslims and the Christians

4 I.e. the kingdom.

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(who) were in Cairo (Misr) bore witness to his chastity, his religion, his fasting, his praying, his alms-giving, and his doing good to all the people; and that he was a virgin and that he had never been married. They did not witness against him the follies of youth or a fault. He was learned in his religion, instructed in the affairs of the priesthood, and he had a care for his soul from his youth. It was reported to me that our pure father, John, the patriarch who (was) before him — may God, give rest to his soul — announced beforehand 1 concerning him that he would be patriarch after him. And it was that our father, John, the patriarch, (who was) before him, fell sick, and a company of the archons of Cairo (Misr) and its notables visited him, and he (Ibn Zara‘ah) was with them, and he said to the patriarch: «O our father, if you were to use such and such a medicine, you would find health». And the patriarch John said to him: «By the truth of your skhema, O our father, I have used it». And the people who were present were astonished and they looked at one another, and they imagined that among them one had the skhema round his throat, but they did not see anyone except him (Ibn Zara‘ah) and they knew that the speech of the patriarch was for him and his indication to him 3. And when the father John went to his rest after many years, they recalled what he had prophesied concerning him (Ibn Zara‘ah). And it was the turn for the monks 4, but the Cairenes (al-Misriyin) took him and they consecrated him, and there was no disagreement about his affair. And he was consecrated patriarch in the year eight hundred and eighty of the Martyrs [1163-1164 A.D.] which corresponds to the year five hundred and sixty-six of the Lunar (Year). And he remained on the throne twenty-five years, and he went to his rest on the sixth

1 I.e. by premonition.

3 I.e. that he should be his successor.

4 I.e. to elect a patriarch.

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of Tubah of the year nine hundred and five of the Martyrs [1188-1889 A.D.] which corresponds to the year five hundred and eighty-five of the Lunar (Year). 

The beginning of the life of Salah ad-Din designated as Amir Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din in the Kingdom of Egypt. And the Caliph at that time al-‘Adid remained as he was, and the Egyptian soldiers and the Sudanis (who were) slaves of his State were retained for his service. And when it was, Tuesday, the third of (the month of) Safar of the year five hundred and sixty-four of the Higrah [1168 A.D.], and the Caliph at that time (was) Al-‘Adid Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah and he is the fourteenth of the Caliphs of the Fatimid State — upon them (be) perfect peace — and his wazir at that time (was) Amir al-Guyus Shawar as-Sa‘adi, Amaury, king of the Franks, descended with his soldiers upon Bilbais (4) and he took it, and he slew every one whom he found in it of the Kabanis, and the Turks and the Sudanis outside it. And he slew a great multitude of the common people, Muslims and Christians, he slew them inside it. And he permitted his troops to kill and to take captive and to plunder for three days, night and day, and he gave to them (the free use of) the sword in it. And he took captive the remainder of its inhabitants, and he carried them away with him to Syria, and he pillaged it and he burned it and he departed with its possessions and its captives. The situation made it necessary for the Caliph to write a letter to Nur ad-Din Mahmud Ibn Zinki, king of the Ghuzz in the city of Damascus and its territory. And he was designated Al-Malik al-‘Adil Nur ad-Din, and he was known as Ibn Kasim ad-Daulah. And he 7 made

(4) Cf. E. Amelineau, Geographie de l'Egypte a l'Epoque Copte, p. 333.

(7)  I.e. the Caliph.

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known to him in his letter what had befallen the Muslims in the Land of Egypt, and he besought of him that he should aid him with an army with which to repulse the Franks. He complied by despatching Asad ad-Din Shirkuh. And he arrived and with him many troops of the Ghuzz in the land, and the King Amaury was descending with the Franks on Bilbais. And Nadal, master of the ships of the fleet on the River Nile, had already reached `Atf Minyat al-Fairan near Minyat Zifta with ten war-ships (Sawani) and twenty fire-ships (Harrakat). And when news came of the arrival of Shirkuh (3) in the neighbourhood of the city, King Amaury departed from Bilbais, and he returned to his country. And the Muslims overcame Nadal, and they defeated him, and he returned, as a fugitive with the ships. And Asad ad-Din Shirkuh descended with his troops on the city of Bilbais, and the Franks departed, and they retreated before him on land and on sea, and he (Shirkuh) rested for a few days. Then he departed from Bilbais, (and) he descended to al-Luk and al-Maks (al-Maksim) and the `Ard at-Tabbalah, and he encompassed Cairo (Misr) on all sides. And the Caliph bore to him a gift (7), and he took off his sword for him, — and to whoever had come with him of the eminent amirs and the chiefs of the army, and much money for expenses, and tents and a great number of many things of which it is not possible to describe their kinds and their species and their, substance. And he remained on the Caliph's hospitality, and he did not enter Cairo (al-Kahirah) until Friday, the first day of the month of Rabi`a al-Awal of the year (8) five hundred and sixty-four

(3) MS. P has 'Asad ad-Din' instead of 'Shirkuh'. 

(7) This word has also the meaning of gift of hospitality and banquet. 

(8) For 'of the year' MS. P has 'of the aforementioned year and it is the year '.

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of the Lunar (Year) [1168-1169 A.D.]. And the Caliph had sent to him the Sword of Blood through a confident of the Caliphate, Gawhar the equerry, and he ordered him to behead Shawar his wazir, and he killed him, slaying (him) with a knife on the second Saturday of Rabi`a al-Awal of the aforementioned year (3). And he (Shirkuh) remained the rest of its day (4) and Sunday, halting at his place, and in the daytime of Monday, the fourth of Rabi`a al-Awal of the aforementioned year, he entered Cairo (al-Kahirah), and the Caliph clad him with the robes of the ministry, and they are white garments with gold and wide sleeves, and a large scarf tightened like a housing loose with fringes towards the croup of a horse, and a gold neck-band on his neck encrusted with precious stones and pearls which fastened and unfastened with a silk ribbon embellished with a pearl bigger than a chick-pea. And he rode behind the Caliph from inside the Golden Hall at the Castle. And he went out, and all the soldiers and the amirs walked in his train with drawn swords. And it was for him a famous day, the like of which was not seen in all the days of the world. And he became wazir and he governed; and when he had completed a month in the government (7), he proclaimed in Cairo (al-Kahirah) that the Christians should remove the fringes from their turbans and should fasten (their waists) with their girdles, and the Jews (should attach) a piece of yellow cloth to their turbans. And he remained in it (the government) for sixty days, and he died on the fifth day of Gumada al-Awal of the aforementioned (8)

(3) MS. P has in place of 'aforementioned year' 'year five hundred and sixty-four '.

(4) I.e. Saturday. MS. P has ' the day of Saturday '.

(7) MS. P has for 'in the government' the reading 'in the night he proclaimed'.

(8) MS. P has 'of the year five hundred and sixty-four ' (= 1168-1169 A.D.).

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year. And the Caliph appointed as wazir after him, in the lifetime of the Caliph, Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din, and he was designated as Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-dunya wa'd-din, Sultan of al-Islam and the Muslims, Unifier of the Faith (1), Subduer of the adorers of Crosses, Vivifier of the State of the Amir of the Faithful. And the name of Salah ad-Din was Yusuf Ibn Nagm ad-Din Aiyub, brother of Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, and he subscribed on the day of investiture before the Caliph (his) subscription with the writing of the honourable Kadi and at his dictation. And the name of the Kadi was Al-Fadil ‘Abd al-Rahim Ibn `Ali, and he was known as al-Baisani. His father was Kadi of Baisan (5). And he was an honourable learned man, doing good to every one, praised and beloved, and every one praised him and made supplication (to God) for him, and eulogized him. However, according to the nature of Adam (Adami) (men) are not perfect for perfection (belongs) to God alone; for there was not found in him a word for him who speaks evil to blame him, except that he counselled that they should not employ Christians as overseers in the treasuries of the State, nor as inspectors, and his word was accepted and his opinion was carried out, and not one of the Christians returned to be employed as overseers and inspectors in the days of the State of Salah ad-Din, nor of those who ruled after him of his sons and his descendants. And he (Salah ad-Din) signed what (was) his model, and the model of the mark (was) 'Praise (be) to God, and through Him is my success'. The exalted order of An-Nasir went out — God the Exalted increase its execution! — to pardon the amirs, the superintendents, the patrons, the administrators, the workers,

(1)  MS. P has 'of the word of the Faith '.

(5)  A village in Syria, cf. E. Blochet, op. cit., p. 232, note 2.

(6)  'Not' is added from MS. P.

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the employees, the guarantors, the exchangers, the receivers, the payers and the rest of all the people, for abandoned remainders, outstanding debts, documents long left over, repudiated expenditure, deposits recorded by pen but not found, times officially fixed, the rent of the vehicles of the diwans, the surplus of the areas, the divisions of the separate tracks of land, that to which the diwans testified in the way of dealings with regard to their different causes and the contrary sections and their causes, and what follows that in the way of inheritances without heirs, legal waqfs and the rent of State vehicles, all of these up to the end of the year five hundred and sixty-three [1167-1168 A.D.], a pardon which includes the commander and the commanded, those who were absent and those who were present, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, without exception, with private deposits and private treasures, and expenses which are in the way of restituted succession, and it is the equipment of the holy war and provision for (its) preparation, desiring a good reward and seeking sycophancy and a good end. And let there be written lines to be read in all the affairs of the State after their registration, in order to establish the like with the help of God the Exalted. Al-Malik an-Nasir was established in the ministry, and his word and his deed were executed. And, at that time his brother Al-`Adil Abu Bakr, and Tag al-Muluk, and the illustrious and great Shams ad-Daulah assisted him. And Shams ad-Daulah died in the days of his (6) State in the city of Alexandria, after he had performed much good for the Egyptians what the tongue falls short in describing. May God have mercy upon him and accept him! And Tag al-Muluk, his brother, died on the outskirts of the city of Aleppo (Halab), while Salah was besieging it, from an arrow. It (the arrow) came out, shot from its fortress, and it struck him in his knee, and

(6) Salah ad-Din's.

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he died. He was noble, intelligent, virtuous, learned, a composer of verse, and he had a volume (diwan) of it. And the chief of the troops of the king and his counsellor was the illustrious Taki ad-Din `Umar Ibn Sahansah (3). And he was of sound opinion and good management, and he commanded the respect of the soldiers, and he obtained justice for the oppressed from the oppressor. And when he was judging between two (people), he caused both of them to be placed seated with him, and he did not show partiality for the rich and he did not deprive the poor of his rights, and he took away the right of the oppressor, even if he were his son. After what happened in the way of the conquest of the Littoral (5) which we shall explain later, he (Taki ad-Din) went to a region of mixed people of the Land of Persia, and it was in the hand of N k t m of the kings of Persia. And he fought against him and routed him and took from him the country, and he died there, and his son died after him. And when it was Gumada al-Akhar of the year five hundred and sixty-five [1169-1170 A.D.], news reached Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din concerning the confidant of the Caliphate, Gawhar the equerry of al-`Adid, that he had departed from Cairo (al-Kahirah) to al-Kharkaniah, and it was his fief. And he descended at the belvedere which belonged to him, which overlooked a garden. He proposed to stay in it until midnight and to journey with the Arabs and to go to the Franks to seek aid from them and to bring them to Cairo (al-Kahirah) to make war on Al-Malik an-Nasir, and to drive him from it; because when he (Salah ad-Din) was firmly established in the kingdom, the Caliph and the equerries feared him, and they provided

(2) MS. P adds 'An-Nasir '.

(3) A nephew of Salah ad-Dln.

(5) I.e. the stretch of coast along Palestine and Syria.

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for the confidant of the Caliphate to persuade the Franks (and) to bring them, he being of those who were attached to the Caliph, and he (the Caliph) was prone to accept his word and to carry out his opinion, because he was the greatest of all the equerries in his Castle. And the Sultan (Salah al-Din) delegated the eunuch Karakus, and he was also castrated, and he was attached to his service (1). And he sent with him a hundred horsemen, and he (Karakus) came to the confident of the Caliphate in the belvedere, and he summoned him to come down, and he did not do so, but he closed the door of the belvedere against him, and he ordered his friends to fight against him. And Karakus besieged him, and he fought against him, and he killed him and he cut off{2) his head, after he had caused the belvedere to be burned with fire, and he returned to Cairo (al-Kahirah). And the Sudanis (3) assembled and they marched to fight against the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) inside Cairo (al-Kahirah), when they heard of the killing of the confident of the Caliphate (al-Khilalat), Gawhar. And God aided the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) against them, and He caused him to overcome them. And he did not kill one of them, but he said there is no blame to them, because they fought for their master and their Caliph. And he spared them, and he ordered them that they should not remain with him (the Caliph) in Cairo (al-Kahirah), and that they should dwell wherever they wished in the Rif and the Sa`id, and other lands than them, but that they should not remain with him (the Caliph) in Cairo (al-Kahirah). And they went out from it (Cairo) to the Rifs and the Sa`id (5) and they dispersed into all the dwelling-places of Egypt from the tower of Damietta (Dumyat)(6) to the tower of Aswan. And there were

(1) The amir Karakus was majordomo at the Castle, and was entrusted by Salah ad-Din with the construction of the Citadel.

(5) I.e. Upper Egypt.

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living in the districts of the (Province of) al-Gharbiah many bands of Arabs (`Arab) of whom one tribe called Bani Shalas was more than ten thousand horsemen. They acted hypocritically and they terrorized the way(s), and the illustrious Taki ad-Din went out to them with his troops, and he crushed them and he captured them, and he took their women and their children and their possessions and their cattle, and there did not remain of them a man to be found in a tent. The lands were subjected to him, and there was great security and cheapness in the days of his State, and he showed in the way of justice what no one before him (had shown). And Safi ad-Daulah, the governor (ustadh) of the district subdued by him, gave information to Ibn Shams ad-Daulah, brother of Salah ad-Din. He entered the Castle at night, and he sought the Caliph. And when they informed the Caliph that he was seeking him, he sucked the poisoned ring which kings are prone to do in order to die in overpowering (circumstances), lest they fall into the hands of their enemies, and they contemn them and torture them, and they see death better for them than contempt and torture (7). And when he had sucked it, he died. And another than Safi ad-Daulah said that he (Ibn Shams ad-Daulah) took him alive, and he asked him about the place of his treasures and his wealth, and he did not tell him about them. Then he took his (the Caliph's) turban from off his head, and he strangled him with it until he died. A man of the inhabitants of his Castle also gave information that before they killed him (the Caliph), he had drunk wine with Salah ad-Din and Shams ad-Daulah, and singing was heard while they

(7) An identical story is told of Hasan, son of the Caliph Al-Hafiz, cf. H.P.E.C., vol. III, part I, p. 47.

— 112 —

were present with him at the interview. And when the interview came to an end, and those who were with him of the brothers of the Sultan had departed, he (the Caliph) was alone with his concubine, and he sought her for himself, and she assented to what he sought. And there was around his waist a trouser of Dabiki (cloth) of gold ornamented with jewels on both sides, and a clasp ornamented like it with jewels equal to a pile of money. She asked for it as a gift from him, and he gave it as a gift to her. Then she brought it to Salah ad-Din, (and) she boasted with it to him (Salah ad-Din). And he took it, and he brought the judge and the witnesses and the jurisconsults, and he drew up a report concerning this, and he despatched it to the `Irak and Baghdad. And he enquired of the jurisconsults: «Is it lawful for the Caliph to drink wine and to indulge in debauchery?» The jurisconsults gave the legal decision that if this, were proved against him, he should be deposed from the Caliphate (al-Khilafat). And when he was informed of the legal decision, he commanded his brother Shams ad-Daulah to ride to the Castle at night, and to use subtle means to kill the Caliph, according to what we have mentioned before. And the death of Al-`Adid li Din Allah was the completion of the fourteen Caliphs of the Fatimid (al-Fatimiyin) House in the year five hundred and sixty-seven of the Lunar (Year) [1171-1172 A.D.]. And Al-Malik an-Nasir took the Castle and what (was) in it. As regards what remained over and the furnishings, he commanded that what was suitable of it for him should be carried to his house (7) and to his women, in the way of clothing and jewels and pearls and ornaments of gold and silver and the like, and to sell that of which he had no need, in the way of books and vessels and the like.

(7) I.e. the House of the Wazir.

— 113 —

And he appointed a trustworthy person for the sale of those things, the judge, the amir Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Dhu'r-Riyasitin Ibn Binan. And as regards the persons, he placed the concubines of the Calif (al-Khalifat) and his sons in the Dar al-Muzaffar (1) in the Harat Bargawan(2) in Cairo (al-Kahirah). He appointed for them soldiers as guards to guard its gates night and day, and it was not possible for any one to come in to them nor for any one of them to come out, and he left for them victuals what were sufficient for them for some time. And when it happened that the inhabitants of Cairo (al-Kahirah) and of Cairo (Misr) of their sect brought to them any thing of their provisions, he deprived them of this. And as regards the family and the relatives and every one who was related to them of the menfolk, he collected two hundred and more men of them, and he placed them in the Maglis al-Munafikin (Council of the Hypocrites) in the Iwan at Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he placed on their legs iron fetters to prevent them from leaving. And he committed them to men who guarded them, and he left for them victuals what was sufficient for them. And when it happened that the Cairenes (al-Kahiriyin) and the Cairenes (al-Misriyin) entered to them with charitable gifts, he deprived them of these. Then they began to live from alms-giving — praise be to the great God I He exalts him whom He wills, and He humbles him whom He wills. And many of them died in fetters as they were, and they buried them thus; and praise be to the Living One Who is immortal! He abases him whom He wills and He raises up him whom He wills. And as regards the female slaves of the service and the male slaves of the service, he sold them with the rest of the heritage.

And this is a copy of a letter written by the Kadi Al-Fadil Ibn al-Baisani and his name (was) `Abd ar-Rahim Ibn `Ali, to the amirs of

(1) Cf. P. Casanova, 'Makrizi: Description Historique et Topographique de l'Egypte ' in MIFAO, t. IV, 4e partie, fasc. 1, pp. 99-100.

— 114 —

the State of the Ghuzz (al-Ghuzz) at that time concerning the death of Al-Imam al-`Adid. And he is the last of the Caliphs (Khulafa) of the State of the Fatimids (al-Fatimiyin) in the Land of Egypt (Misr), and he is the completion of the fourteen Caliphs (Khalifat). And in his days their kingdom passed away, and there reigned Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Nagm ad-Din Aiyub, the second of the kings of the State of the Turks (al-Atrak). This our letter comes to you, O Amir N., at the time of the fore-ordained judgment of God and His immutable decree, and (when) we were informed of the true news concerning him who was pre-eminent in the Castle and invested with command, and this (was that) through illness his days drew nigh for him and his sufferings grew intense for him until his strength yielded and his power failed, and there befell him by the order of God what befell him. And this (is) the way on which walk the first and the last, and a case in which the weak and the strong are equal. And it was incumbent upon us with regard to him (the Caliph) to preserve security and to uphold rank and to be faithful in the differences of the judgments of days. And we presented ourselves before his (the Caliph's) gates, and we transferred his death from being a secret affair to a manifest (one) making it known that God had ordained his death. And we fulfilled in a good manner (our) obligation with regard to his death, and we attained (our) end in acting with decorum in his affair, and in taking farewell of him up to his tomb, and the souls of his successors were comforted through settling them in his castle. And we (returned) upset to our abode, and the crowd was silent, and the world seemed to us (to be) in security, and the hearts of the leaders were in harmony, and the intention regarding agreement was not crooked. And it is incumbent on the amir that he command the preacher (al-Khatib) on Friday to name him whose word is obeyed in the countries belonging to him, and the regions agreeing to his Caliphate (al-Khilafat), the Imam Abu Muhammad bi Nur Allah (3), amir of the faithful, acknowledged by his name and his designation, and confirmed by what was agreed upon concerning

(3) I.e. the `Abbasid Caliph Al-Mustadi.

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him by the Muslims (al-Muslimin) with regard to his position, and (what) follows this on every Friday and (in every) community. And he who resists by his hand or his tongue in the affair of him who departed yesterday (1) or of him who is arisen to-day (2), by which he is led astray with regard to him (3) and by which he is turned away by reason of passion truly resembling it, let the amir deal with him through his authority, and let him continue to keep watch on him. And, first of all, what is necessary for the people is pardon, for it is a perfect gift and a protective gift, and in change of conditions (there is) a warning for him who has a heart to understand and he is a witness (to it). Let the amir know this and let him do it, if God the Exalted will. And it was written in the first decade of (the month of) Muharram (in the) year five hundred and sixty-seven of the Higrah [1171 A.D.], and this year (was) the end of their (6) State, and it was the completion of two hundred years and one year. And three of them ruled before this year in the West (al-Maghrib), Al-Mahdi and Al-Kaim and Al-Mansur seventy-four years, and the whole of their State for the fourteen Caliphs (al-Khalifat) (lasted) two hundred and seventy-five years. Al-Mu`izz [969-975 A.D.] engraved the date of the first of their kings on a tablet, and he built it into the arch of the Bab al-Kantarah, at the bottom, and he who wishes to read it, let him read it there, and peace! And when it was the month of Rabi`a al-Akhar in the year five hundred and seventy-three an order went out from Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din to

(l) I.e. Al-`Adid.

(2) I.e. Salah ad-Din.

(3) I.e. either Al-`Adid or Salah ad-Din.

(6) I.e. the Fatimids.

(11) According to Makrizi the year was five hundred and sixty-six, cf. P. Casanova, op. cit., p. 35.

— 116 —

cancel all the taxes in the habitations of Egypt (Misr), its Sa`id (1) and its Northern Part and its East and its West and its land and its sea, of every one who (was) in it of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) and the Christians (an-Nasara) (2) and the rich and the poor and the strong and the weak and the governor and the governed. And he ordered that the alms-giving (Zakat) (3) in accordance with the law of religion commanded by God, the Excellent and the Sublime, should be exacted. And the soldiers of the feoffers began to oppress the inhabitants of their lands and to take from them the taxes, and news of this reached Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din while he was in Syria (ash-Sham) making raids, and his brother Al-Malik al-`Adil Abu Bakr was the representative of him. And he (Abu Bakr) wrote to him a letter in his handwriting — this is its copy: «The Royal, Just, High Council(5) — may God render strong its victory — knows that no one of the feoffers divided a district of the districts that he might exact taxes in it, nor did he allow property (to pass) to subjects, nor did he harass in them (the districts) any one with regard to his livelihood. Let all the lands of the feoffer be revealed, and let him (the amir) remove from them all the exactions and the taxes, for they are not included in the perquisites of the feoffers; and he who is satisfied with his fief after the imposition of its taxes, (it is well for him), otherwise, let him desist (from them), if God the Exalted will».

And in (the month of) Muharram of the year five hundred and seventy-eight (7) Salah ad-Din gathered together the troops and went to Damascus (Dimask) after the death of Nur ad-Din Muhammad Ibn Kasim ad-Daulah, and he conquered it and took it by treaty and he ruled it

(1) I.e. Upper Egypt.

(2) MS. P has 'Dhimah', i.e. Christians and Jews.

(3) Zakat is one of the religious duties incumbent on Muslims. (5) I.e. Salah ad-Din.

(7) =1182 A.D., but the correct date should be 1174 A.D.

— 117 —

and all its towns (Kura) and its districts. And he went to Aleppo (Halab) and he besieged it, but he was not able to take it in those days Then he conquered Emesa (Hims) and Ba`albekk (Ba`labakk). Then he crossed the river Euphrates (Al-Furat), and he conquered Singar (Singer) and Manbig (Manbig) and Harran (Harran) and Nisibis (Nasibin) (3) and many cities in the land of Mosul (Mawsil). And he descended on the city of Mosul (Mawsil) and he besieged it and he remained before it for five months. Then he left it, and he went to Amid and Mayyafarikin and he conquered them, and he gave them to Raslan Ibn Kilig. And he returned from them, crossed the Euphrates (al-Furat), returned to Aleppo (Halab) and he descended on it. And he besieged it, and Tag al-Muluk, his brother, was killed before it. And peace was concluded between him and between the ruler of Aleppo (Halab); then he gave to him the cities which he (Salah ad-Din) had conquered in the land of Mosul (Mawsil): Singar (Singar) and Harran (Harran) and Manbig (Manbig) and Nisibis (Nasibin) and all their districts, and he gave Aleppo (Halab) to the Sultan (Salah ad-Din), and he took it, but he did not rejoice over it on account of the death of his brother, Tag al-Muluk before it. And he entered its fortress at night and he took possession of it and all its districts and its towns (Kurd) in the year five hundred and seventy-nine (12). And when he had conquered Aleppo (Halab), he returned to Damascus (Dimask) and he rested for a short while. And he went

(3) For these cities, cf. map facing, p. 197 in S. Lane-Poole, Saladin.

(12) I.e. 1183 A.D.

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out against the invaders (1) and he descended on Al-Karak (2), and he besieged it for a time, but he did not prevail against it, and he returned to Damascus (Dimask) and he stayed at it. Then he returned to Al-Karak in the year five hundred and eighty (3), and he besieged it again for a while, but he did not prevail against it. Then he returned to Damascus (Dimask), and on his return he descended on Shechem (Nablus) and he destroyed it and he took from it money and captives. Then he returned to Egypt (Misr) in the year five hundred and eighty-one of the Lunar (Year) [1185-1186 A.D.], and he wrought good things with the subjects of the habitations of Egypt (Misr) which the describer is incapable of describing. And he acted justly with them and did good to them, and he removed many wrongs, and he ordered the abolition of the authorization for places of entertainment in all the habitations of Egypt (Misr), and he disapproved of every abomination, and he established the legal religious regulations. And he used to sit for judging two days every week, and they were Monday and Thursday, and Sadr ad-Din, the kadi al-kudat, was sitting before him. And he (Sadr ad-Din) used to enter his (Salah ad-Din's) house, and he presented before him all people, and he (Salah ad-Din) would deliver the oppressed from the oppressor. And there was in his Council an assembly of jurisconsults and notables of his State for assisting in law-suits between people, and to act according to what the sentences of legal religious law require in the way of truth and justice. And when he had remained in Egypt (Misr) a whole year, he returned to Damascus (Dimask) in the year

(1) I.e. the Crusaders.

(2) I.e. Le Crac of the Crusades, cf. P.K. Hitti, History of Syria, p. 596 and Lane-Poole, Saladin, p. 177. 

(3) I.e. 1184 A.D.

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five hundred and eighty-two (1) and he stayed in it also for a whole year, and he gathered together the troops, and he went out from Damascus (Dimask) in the year five hundred and eighty-three of the Lunar (Year)(2) wishing to make raids and to descend upon Al-Karak. In that year the Franks (al-Afrang) had made king over it (Kingdom of Jerusalem) an alien man (4) (who) came from beyond the sea, and he had married the Countess (al-Kandusah)(6), daughter of the king Amaury (Muri), and she conveyed to him the kingdom, for the kingdom belonged to her after her father, and she had given it to her husband. And the Count (Kummus) of Tripolis (Tarabulis)(7) had not agreed to this, and anger and the Devil (as-Shaitan) carried him away until he entered into correspondence with Salah ad-Din, and he made friends with him, and he agreed with him against the Franks (al-Farang), and he swore to him that he would not fight him and that he would not wave a sword in his face. And Tiberias (Tabariyah) belonged to the Count (Kummus), and he sent to Salah ad-Din, saying to him: «Descend on Tiberias (Tabariyah), it is mine and I will give it to you. Be strong with it and weaken the hearts of the Franks (al-Afrang)» (9). Then the Sultan (10) came, and he stayed near Tiberias (Tabariyah), and the Count (Kummus) (11) delivered it up to him (12). And when the king of the Franks (al-Afrang) whom they made king after Amaury (Muri), and his name was Count (Kund) Godfrey (Gafri) (13), heard this, he assembled

(1) = 1186-1187 A.D. This date is incorrect, it should be 1182 A.D.

(2) = 1187-1188 A.D. This date is incorrect, it should be 1183 A.D.

(4) I.e. Guy de Lusignan, cf. S. Lane-Poole, Saladin, p. 200.

(6) I.e. Sibylla, cf. S. Lane-Poole, Saladin, p. 200. (7) I.e. Raymond III.

(10) I.e. Salah ad-Din. (11) I.e. The Count of Tripolis.

(12) I.e. Salah ad-Din. For the two versions of the capture of Tiberias, cf. E. Blochet, op. cit., p. 172. (13) I.e. Guy de Lusignan, cf. S. Lane-Poole, Saladin, p. 200.

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the common people of the lands with the troops of the Littoral and he came to him (Salah ad-Din) with a great army. Salah ad-Din arrived before him at the water, and he remained at it. And he (Godfrey) hastened with great haste, seeking to arrive before Salah ad-Din at the water. And he found that he had arrived before him and that he was remaining at it. Then he (Godfrey) and those with him of the Knights (horsemen) ascended a high mound there called the Mound of Hittin, and they remained on it. And they perished from thirst, until they began to drink wine in place of water. And they joined (battle with) the Sultan (4) and many soldiers among them were killed, and they defeated the troops of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) at the beginning of the day. Then Salah ad-Din prevailed at the end of the day. As regards the Count (Kummus) of Tripolis (Tarabulis), the wicked one, the hypocrite, who sold his people, as-Judas (Yudas) had sold his Lord, four hundred Knights (horsemen) followed him, and he charged with them, as if he were fighting, and the Muslims (al-Muslimin) opened the way for him, and he passed through with them (his knights) in the midst of the troops of the Muslims (al-Muslimin). And then, in this wise, he did not return, turning away his face, and, forthwith, he fled in disorder to Tyre (Sur), and he entered it, and he remained in it. And when the Franks (al-Farang) learned this, they thought that he had been defeated, until his wickedness and the corruption of his intention was revealed to them. And they did not cease to fight until God gave the victory to Salah ad-Din over them. And he defeated them, and he took prisoner those whom he took prisoner, and he killed those whom he killed; and there perished good

(4) I.e. Salah ad-Din.

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people, as far as what God knows about this concerning their uprightness. And when Salah ad-Din had conquered them, there was among them all the Prince Renaud (Arnat) the lord of Al-Karak, and he caused him to be brought before him, and he addressed to him a violent speech. And the assistants took hold of him and they brought him near to him, and he slew him with his hand, and he washed his hands in his blood. Then he overcame Count (Kund) Godfrey (Gafri), king of the Franks (al-Afrang), in the manner which we have mentioned before, and he caused him to be brought before him, and he was present at the slaying of the Prince Renaud (Arnat). And when he saw him struck down, swooning in his blood, he feared, and his colour became pale, and Salah ad-Din said to him: «Fear not, O King, you shall not die to-day but live, and if there remained a remnant of your people, I would make you king over them, and I would help you with my money and my men all the days of your life. And I shall relate to you the story of the prince and the reason for what I did to him. And this (is) that the way of the merchants and most of the travellers (passed) before Al-Karak, and he used to seize the caravans with injustice and violence. Nur ad-Din and others than he of the kings of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) desired peace with him so as to lessen his harm with regard to the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and he urged him to do (it) a thousand times, but he did not do (so). And when it was in my days, I sent to him and (gave to him) gifts, and I had borne to him money, goods and robes of honour. And he swore to my messenger that he would not harm any one of the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and that he would deal kindly with the merchants and would facilitate for them the way, and that he would not empower any one of his companions to harm a Muslim (Muslim) nor a merchant nor a passer-by on the way. And three days after he had sworn, a caravan passed by going towards Damascus (Dimask). And he drove it with its camels and its men and

— 122 —

its money, going up with it to Al-Karak, and he took captive its men and he took its money. News of it reached me, and for me this (was) odious, and I vowed to God that when I should overcome him, I would do to him what you have seen, so blame me not, O King». Then he called for a goblet of beverage, and the cup-bearer came with it to him. And he (Salah ad-Din) took it from his hand, and he drank of it, and he handed it to the king, and he drank of it. And he set apart for him (the King) and his companions a group of tents, and he appointed for him a body of men who should guard him. And he (the King) continued (to be) with him until he delivered up to him (Salah ad-Din) Ascalon (`Askalan), because it belonged to him. And after he (Salah ad-Din) had taken it (Ascalon), he bestowed on him (the King) a robe of honour, and he gave to him gifts and he set him free. And he (the King) journeyed to the Island of Cyprus (al-Kubrus) and he ruled it, and he continued in it until he died (4). When the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) had overcome the troops of the Franks (al-Afrang), and had begun with the conquest of the cities of the Littoral, he wrote to his son, Al-Malik al-`Aziz whom he had put in authority over the Land of Egypt (Misr), and he caused him to read a letter informing him in it of the circumstance of the affair and how it had happened. And Al-Malik al-`Aziz wrote letters to the governors (Wulat) of war informing them about this, and this is a copy of one of these letters, the one which came to the governor (wali) of Tinnis (Tinnis) concerning the conquest of Acre (`Akka) and Tiberias (Tabariyah), and describing in it this circumstance. And this is a copy of the letter. «In the Name of God the Merciful and the

(4) Guy de Lusignan bought the Island of Cyprus from Richard I of England. He died in 1194 A.D.

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Compassionate! Praise be to God Who has taken away from us grief. Verily, our Lord is forgiving (and to Him we owe) thanks. This our letter comes to the noble amir, the marshal (al-Isfahsalar) Husam ad-Din, the sword of warriors, the pillar of kings and sultans, the confident of the Amir of the Faithful — God perpetuate his loftiness and preserve his resplendence! And he wrote about the event proclaiming what came through the victory of God the Strong (One), and His conquest which endures, and what resulted from the victory which effaced the traces of the polytheists (2) and restored the hearts of the Faithful, and called for expression of thanks to God from him who praises with praise his Lord, and asked pardon of Him and magnified Him and remembered Him, and made broad the remembrance of His forbearance and His indulgence. And he laid bare (his heart) to God, the Excellent and the Sublime, Who knew the intention of the Sultan (5) to obtain victory for his religion, and He granted to him victory, and He knew the sincerity of his resolution with regard to the intention of his enemy (6), (and) He gave strength to him and He aided him and He granted victory to him, and He supported him with his soldiers against him who denied His Uniqueness through His Oneness and disbelieved in God (7), and He killed by his (8) sword the sultan of polytheism (9) and He interred him. And concerning the arrival of the letter of the Sultan on Monday the fourth of Gumada al-Awal, it was dated on Friday (10), (and) its beginning was limited to the good news concerning what God had conquered at his (Salah ad-Din's) hands, and it mentioned the victory which repulsed the enemy of God in flight,

(2) I.e. the Christians.

(5) I.e. Salah ad-Din.

(6) I.e. the Crusaders.

(7) I.e. the Christians. .

(8) Salah ad-Din's. 

(9) I.e. Renaud de Chatillon. 

(10) I.e. the preceding Friday.

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and that among all what God vouchsafed from Thursday, the twenty-third of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Akhar up to Thursday inclusive (each event) will be explained on its date. The first Thursday Tiberias (Tabiriyat) was conquered, and the Friday and the Saturday all the Franks (al-Afrangiah) were dispersed, and they were completely defeated which freed the lands from them, (and) on its vacant thrones and the fortresses captured from their hands there were raised the standards of al-lslam according to its case, and they were gathered from the godless monsters (4) and from their mother the Abyss who caused them to taste the fiery flame. And on the Sunday Tiberias (Tabiriyat) was surrendered (5), and the Prince Renaud (Arnal) was killed by the august hand of the Sultan (7). There were taken captive the king (8) and his brother, and the Master of the Templars, and Humphrey (al-Hunfari), the son of Humphrey (al-Hunfari) (9) the lord of Al-Karak (10), the lord of `Athlith (11) and the lord of Tall as-Safitha (as Safiah). And on the Monday there were killed more than two hundred knights (horsemen) of the knights (horsemen) of the Templars and the Hospitallers at the door of the pavilion of the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) (12), besides two hundred knights (horsemen). And on the Tuesday the cortege of the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) passed on to the city of Acre (`Akka) to attack it, and on the Wednesday he reached it, and there he deployed numerous troops who captured it. On the Thursday

(4) I.e. the Crusaders.

(5) I.e. the Castle of Tiberias.

(7) I.e. Salah ad-Din.

(8) I.e. Guy de Lusignan.

(9) I.e. Humphrey of Toron, cf. S. Lane-Poole, Saladin, p. 214.

(11) The MS. reads 'Atil' sic. There is a place called `Atil (Athila), cf. Die Blauern Fuhrer. Mittlerer Osten, Paris, 1966, p. 492, but it seems that the reference here is rather to the Castrum Peregrinorum, that is, Athlith.

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it capitulated, and the victorious standard was raised on its guarded fortress with shouts and al-Islam was established in it, its native land, and it returned to its dwelling-place, and its jewel to its mine. And on the Friday, the beginning of Gumada al-Awal, the sermon (Khutbat) was preached in its mosque (al-Masgid) with ceremony. And the muezzin (al-Muadhdhin) stood in the place of the bells, proclaiming the word of the Oneness (2) for which the tongue of its speaker had been tied. And in double this time there were captured Nazareth (an-Nasirah) and Safuriah (Safurfah) and Haifa (Haifa) and Al-Fulah (al-Fulah) and Maalia and Toron (at-Tur); and Scandalion (Iskandariah) and Shechem (Nablus) begged for safety. And (some) years passed from the Battle of Satan (as-Shaitan) (4). The noble letter stated that the number of the killed included the number of those present of the summer campaign of the Franks (al-Farang), excluding the Count (Kummus), for he escaped by a hair's breadth, and terror constrained and choked him, and he took refuge in Tyre (Sur) with a small number, and he shut himself up in it, (as) a captive is shut up There was indicated in the mentioned letter that the number of those killed and taken captive surpassed twenty thousand men. And this — and God be praised! — was a disaster (11) (and) the knowledge of its likeness was not known in Al-Islam, and history does not bear witness to what is comparable to its deeds, and does not compare it (to what was) before it. And among the merits of this conquest and the good news of this benefaction (was) that it was easy, and (that) there was not lost

(2) I.e. God is One.

(4) I.e. the Battle of Hittin. 

(11) I.e. disaster to the Crusaders.

— 126 —

of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) beyond a troop of ten, and the wounds of the wounded. And God be thanked (there was) security, and grace was great, and the faces of the chiefs (Wulat) in command became proud by what God had made easy for them in the way of victory. And we prostrated ourselves before God and we were determined in our resolution to depart to the victorious camp of the Sultan (1) — may God the Exalted grant him security! — at Acre (Akka) which is protected by God the Exalted. We have informed the amir of this that he may take delight in this good news, the merits of which have been extended to Al-Islam, and the grace which has embraced both the individual and the mass, as God the Exalted willed. And it was, after the defeat of the troops of the Franks (al-Afrang) and the conquest of the towns mentioned before that Al-Malik Al-`Adil Abu Bakr descended on Jaffa (Yafa), and he fought those in it for two days and the third day they sought from him a treaty, and he gave to them a treaty. Then, after this, he killed those whom he had captured of them, and he took captive those whom he willed. And its conquest was (on) Tuesday, the third of Gumada al-Akhar (in) the year five hundred and eighty-three of the Lunar (Year) [1187A.D.].

The story of Baldwin (Badwil) (5) the King. We were informed by those who were before of (our) predecessors that Jerusalem was in the hand(s) of a party of Muslims (al-Muslimin) called Az-Zadlafiah of the kings of the Turks (at-Turk). Then after them a people from them called Al-Barukiah had possession of it, and from them Baldwin (Badwil), King of the Franks (al-Afrang) took possession of it. And the cause of this (was) that, when God willed that it (Jerusalem) should be transferred from them to others, He put it into the hearts of their kings that He might thereby tempt them, to collect for themselves

(1) I.e. Salah ad-Din.

(5) As this curious tale recounts the conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, the Baldwin here mentioned can be only Baldwin I, 1110-1118 A.D.

— 127 —

taxes from those who made the pilgrimage to it (Jerusalem) from among all the Franks (al-Afrang). And Baldwin (Badwil) made the pilgrimage, and he disguised himself and he changed his dress and no one knew him. And he reached Jaffa (Yafa) (with) six transport ships, and in every transport ship there were one thousand men. The Bartikiah were wont to take the tax from those who made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem from among the Franks (al-Farang) and others. The wali of Jaffa (Yafa) wrote to the governor of Jerusalem informing him that there had arrived at Jaffa (Yafa) six thousand men wishing (to make) the pilgrimage And he wrote to him the answer, saying to him: «Divide them into halves. Let three thousand of them journey, and when they have made the pilgrimage and have returned, let the second half go to make the pilgrimage». The wali of Jaffa (Yafa) did as he commanded him, and he divided them. And Baldwin (Badwil) journeyed with those who journeyed to Jerusalem (al-Kuds) disguised. And he entered into it, and he explored it, and he went around the city, and he examined the wall and the places of fighting. He caused a messenger to journey (on) the second day of his (Baldwin's) entry into Jerusalem (Al-Kuds), to those who had remained in Jaffa (Yafa), saying to them: «Put to the sword the inhabitants of Jaffa (Yafa). If we are celebrating Sunday, then on the morning of Monday I shall put to the sword (those) in Jerusalem, and shall kill every one in it from among the soldiers and others of the Muslims (al-Muslimin). If you do this, you shall be strengthened by reason of the possessions of the inhabitants of Jaffa (Yafa) and their horses. Hasten to me, and leave in the ships those who will guard them, in each ship twenty men». And when they had done this, they conquered Jerusalem and Jaffa (Yafa) in one day,

(5) I.e. the battlements.

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and it was a Tuesday (1). Then the Muslims (al-Muslimin) conquered it from them on a Tuesday (2). As they had done, thus was it done to them, and praise (be) to God Who recompenses every one according to his works! And when it was a few days after the conquest of Acre (`Akka), Al-Malik an-Nasir departed from it on Thursday, the thirteenth of Gumada al-Akhar of the aforementioned year, and he descended on Ascalon (`Askalan) (on) Sunday, the sixteenth, after he had prayed on Friday, (as leader) of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) at Jaffa (Yafa). And the troops encompassed the city of Ascalon (`Askalan), and Count (Kund) Geoffrey (Ga`afri) the King was a captive with him (Salah ad-Din), and he caused him to be brought and he said to him: «Deliver up to me Ascalon (`Askalan) without fighting, otherwise we shall kill (you) at its gate, and I, after having hanged you, I shall take it with the sword». And the king was afraid of death, and Ascalon (`Askalan) belonged to him and his soldiers (were) in it. And when the Sultan demanded it of him, and he was afraid of death for himself, there was no expedient except to deliver it up. Then he sent to his companions, and he said to them: «Fight not, and deliver it up to them by treaty, it (will be) better for you». After they had fought for three days, and the Muslims (al-Muslimin) had not prevailed over them, the companions of the king delivered it up by treaty on Saturday, the twenty-ninth of Gumada al-Akhar of the current year. And on the same day the sun was eclipsed at midday. And when the Sultan

(1) The Crusaders came in sight of Jerusalem on a Tuesday, June 7th, 1099 A.D., but it was only on Friday, July 15th that the city was captured.

(2) Jerusalem capitulated to Salah ad-Din on Friday, October 2nd, 1187 A.D.

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(Salah ad-Din) had conquered it (Ascalon), he wrote letters concerning this to the governors (wulat) of the provinces of Egypt (al-Misriyat), and this is a copy of the letter to the Amir Nasir ad-Din Ibn Bahram, governor of the western provinces. The copy of the letter. «In the Name of God, the Merciful and the Compassionate! My Lord, assist me that I may give thanks (for) Your blessing which You have vouchsafed to me and to my father that I may do the good with which You are pleased. This our letter is despatched to the honourable, faithful Amir Nasir ad-Din, the pillar of those who fight in the holy war, the strength of the notables, the slave (mamluk) of the Amir of the Faithful, may God prolong his existence! And God was gracious to us, and He granted victory to us over the city of Ascalon (`Askalan) which was the best bride of the world, and He delivered it from the hand of the godless ones (2), and we hope by the Will of God for light in the future abode (3). And the standards of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) were raised on its towers and its walls, and it was peopled with its believers in the Oneness (4). And it had been built (5) by its polytheists and its godless (ones), and its muezzins (al-Muadhdhinun) multiplied in its districts and its lands, and the sign of the crosses was removed from its quarters and districts, and the preacher (al-Khatib) announced from its pulpit (minbar) «There is no God, except God». And from the accounts of the conquest (it is said) that, when the armies of Al-Islam of Nasir (an-Nasiriyat) and the supporters of the believers (in) the correct Oneness (8) were before it (Ascalon), the wrath of God encompassed its godless (ones) who merited that God should fulfil His promise concerning them, and that the obeyers of God among them and

(2) I.e. the Crusaders. 

(3) I.e. the next world.

(4) I.e. the Oneness of God.

(5) I.e. the fortified mediaeval city of Ascalon.

(8) I.e. the Muslims.

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His soldiers should prevail over them, (and) the polytheists (1) sought protection in flight, and they were forced to shut themselves up within the walls. Then we set up against them (the walls) military engines, and we caused them to taste the food of penetration, the violence of assault. And we took by force its large bastion and we demolished it. And when we caught sight of it with the strength of its might, then we destroyed it: our mangonels came up to the side of its walls. And its archers did not cease to bend the knee, and its stones to worship (4); and its nagum (5) with their projectiles of the devils of godlessness hurled stones and repulsed, until we demolished a small bastion beneath its wall and destroyed it. And we ruined the towers of the wall and its wing, and we destroyed them. And we captured the fortress although its fortifications were impregnable, its earthworks lofty, its extremities new, and it had survived what time and man had been unable to make a breach in it. And when they (8) became apprehensive of our strength, they sought to surrender, and we acted on the significance of the text in conformity to it. And they cast themselves down in exaggeration for surrender by treaty, and we saw (that it would be best) to accept it (the surrender). And we assured them of (our) good faith, that, indeed, they would escape from death, and that they would not be exterminated by the will of God through the swords of Al-Islam; feeling compassion for the distress of the army (and) for those in it (Ascalon) from the battalions of the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and for the protection of the dhimmi from

(1) I.e. the Crusaders.

(4) I.e. to fall down.

(5) An engine of war.

(8) I.e. the Crusaders.

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the pillage and the devastation of the pillagers. I had issued the order that the attack on it (Ascalon) should be (on) Sunday, the sixteenth of Gumada al-Akhar. The engines of war were set up (on) Tuesday, the eighteenth, and the breach of the large bastion occurred (on) Wednesday the nineteenth. The city surrendered, and the standards of Al-Islam were set up over it (on) Saturday the twenty-ninth of it (Gumada al-Akhar) (2). This (was) by a favour of my Lord to try me (whether) I were thankful or thankless, for he who is thankful will surely thank for his own sake, and he who is thankless, well, my Lord is surely rich and generous. We informed the Amir Al-Mufadal Nasir ad-Din of this, that he might receive his part in the march, and might share with those who were before him of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) by the goodness of the beacon of Al-Islam». The Sultan (Salah ad-Din) remained residing at Ascalon (`Askalan) after he had conquered it, until he had arranged its state and had delivered it to `Alm ad-Din Kaisar, (one) of his chief, private slaves (mamalikat), as a government (wilayat) and a fief. Then he departed from it, and he turned his face from it towards Jerusalem on Wednesday, the eleventh of Ragab of the aforementioned year. And he descended on Jerusalem (on) Thursday from the district of the Pool of Siloam (`Ain Silwan), so that the troops might find water close to it. And he arranged the troops around the city on all its sides. And the Muslims (al-Muslimin) prayed on the mountain which is around it (on) Friday, and they marched to battle after the prayer. Balian (Balian) of Ibelin (Ibn Barzan) was a great (and) grave knight (horseman), (one) of the knights (horsemen) of the Franks (al-Afrang) who dwelt in the city of Jerusalem and his fief was the city of Ramlah. He had entered the city of Jerusalem (al-Kuds) on that day, and it was he who conducted the war and directed the fighting with the Sultan, (and) he fought well. And the

(2) I.e. the 4th September.

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Sultan sent to him that he should surrender the city by treaty, but he did not do (so). And there was a Christian (Nasrani) man from among the Melkites (Malakiyat) (1) named Joseph (Yusif) al-Batit, and he was from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem (al-Kuds), and he had removed to Damascus (Dimask) and he dwelt in it. And he had known Salah ad-Din and his brothers, before he was Sultan and before these affairs; and he had known his father and his paternal uncle Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, while they were in Damascus (Dimask) in the service of Nur ad-Din Mahmud Ibn Zanki, before they had taken possession of Egypt (Misr). When the Sultan ruled over the Land of Egypt (Misr), he (Yusif al-Batit) came to them that they might protect him, and the king Al-`Adil Abu Bakr, the brother of Salah ad-Din, took him unto him, and he bestowed favours on him, and he caused him to dwell in the Castle of the Caliph (Khalifat) in the Hall of the Golden Gate in the Eastern Castle in Cairo (al-Kahirah). And Salah ad-Din used to send him as an intermediary to the kings of the Franks (al-Afrang) before these affairs, and he was conversant with the conditions of their lands, and he knew their chief knights (horsemen). And when the Sultan saw that the fight was severe, and that he prevailed not over the Holy City, he caused Joseph (Yusif) al-Batit to come, and he agreed with him that he should go to the Christian Melkites (an-Nasarah al-Malakiyat), promising them all good, and that he should prevent them from helping the Franks (al-Afrang) in the fight, and that they should surrender the city to Salah ad-Din on their part, and he appointed for them much money. And when the news reached Balian (Balian) Ibelin (Ibn Barzan) — and the Melkites (al-Malakiyat) in the city were more than the Franks (al-Farang) —he feared lest they should surrender it (the city), and that all the Franks (al-Afrang)

(1) I.e. the Greek Orthodox Christians.

— 133 —

would be destroyed by the sword, he yielded to reason and he fixed the ransom on all who were in the city of the Franks (al-Farang) and others. And this angered the Melchites (al-Malakiyat), because, if he had not anticipated them in fixing the ransom, they would have surrendered it (the city) and all the Franks (al-Farang) who (were) in it would have been destroyed. And the ransom which he had fixed with the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) (was) ten dinars for each man, and five dinars for each woman, and one dinar for each youth or girl, who had not reached majority. And when the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) had conquered it (Jerusalem) he wrote to the governors (wulat) of the Land of Egypt (Misriyat) informing them of this. And he wrote to the Amir Nasir ad-Din Khudr Ibn Bahrain, governor (wali) of the western province, and the aforesaid had become governor (wall) of this province in (the month of) Shawal (in) the year five hundred and eighty-one (2), and he continued in it up to the day that this biography was written in (the month) of Shawal (in) the year six hundred and three of the Lunar (Year)(3), and he continued in it(4) twenty-three years, and he was a good man, just, religious, of much alms-giving, (and he was) blind to the property of subject(s). And this is a copy of the letter of the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) to him on the conquest of Jerusalem (5). «In the Name of God the Merciful and the Compassionate! Our letter (is) to the illustrious amir, the great marshal (al-Isfahsalar), Nasir ad-Din, the boast of al-Islam, the pillar of those who fight the holy war, the confident of the Amir of the Faithful — may God continue His favour (to him), and exalt his rank and bestow generously on him from His good gifts, and sharpen his resolve. Our standards were raised on the battlements of Jerusalem — may God guard it! — and our commands are executed in it. The days of the godless enemy (6) have

(2) I.e. 1185 A.D.

(3) I.e. 1207 A.D. This date is important as it gives us the terminus ad quern for the compilation of this part of the History of the Patriarchs.

(4) I.e. the government.

(6) I.e. the Crusaders.

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departed, and our days have arrived, and its steps and our steps have been confirmed by the assistance of God. The period of besieging it was thirteen days, and the days of fighting body to body (were) seven days. The mangonels cast (their projectiles) until they they had demolished and had broken them to pieces and had brought down the walls and had destroyed them. And the word of Oneness and its power were established, and the rites of the religion of the Hanefites (al-Hanifi)(1) and their grandeur were manifested. And how can the little stone resist by yapping the great mountain, and how can falsehood endure with truth, and how can the Bedouin women (Badwat) with (their) ankle-bracelets fight against the firm resolve of valiant men? And the godless (3) did not cease to be in misery and affliction and disappointment and toil from the day of the siege up to the day of the capitulation. They were not one day without the loss of prisoners, and wounded, and slain, and cast down. And they looked, and behold, the ardour of their enthusiasm subsided, and the firm resolve of their Counts (Kamat) weakened. And the battlement of their city was broken and the wing of their bastion was violently shaken, and the summit (Tur) of their fortress was brought down and the weight of their towers by the projectiles (Kafat) of the mangonels, and the fingers of its arrows were disjointed. And (they saw) that there was no saviour for them from the claws of the lion, and (that) error would be concealed by truth and the mark of rationality; and (that) the period of their rule had passed, and (that) the decrees (of God) had accomplished their purpose. And (that) the inhabitants of the towns used to come in to them from all quarters, and that they were prisoners in the fetters of famine and blocade; and they suspected, but were sure that the city would cast them to the friends of God (6), and (that) they would execute upon them the judgment of the sword and

(1) I.e. the Muslims.

(3) I.e. the Crusaders.

(6) I.e. the Muslim rulers.

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fire. And the Mosque al-Aksa (al-Masgid al-Aksa) (1) was arrayed in the ornaments of joy and of good-tidings, and it put off this humiliation and degradation (2). The reinforcement of al-Islam (was) sufficient, and the equipment was sufficient and the favours of God were manifest and unhidden on the aspect of the conditions of the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and (there were) good things for the victorious troops in great sufficiency. And when it was Thursday, the sixth day of the fighting, and it was the twenty-sixth of the month of Ragab, there came to them (3) death from every place, and degradation and humiliation overtook them. And the Muslims (al-Muslimin) began the assault, and those who believed in the Oneness (4) went forward and they clung to the parapets of the battlements, and for them (there was) protected advance, and in their hands were the cups of decease and death. Indeed, the mountains are moving and the seas are raging, and the millstone of death is revolving upon them. In consequence, they sought protection by a treaty, and they returned in disappointment. They sent their spokesman and they delegated their leader to ask for the fixing of a ransom, and to beg the acceptance of what their reluctant souls accepted submissively and obediently, and what was granted liberally of treasures was formerly forbidden (and) inaccessible. And they accepted the judgment of the upright scale for their safety, fearing the judgment of the sword and its torture upon them. And there were established affairs which (would have) delighted the eyes of the Prophet (5) — the prayers of God be upon him in his tomb! — (and) the tongue of the correct opinion gave judgment with (that of) the tomb. The loser deserved this and accepted it for his profit. And it was ten dinars for a man and five for a woman, and one dinar for a youth who had not reached majority, and a maid who had not reached (it). And the number of those in the city (was) about one hundred thousand or more. And

(1) I.e. in the Temple area at Jerusalem.

(2) I.e. from which it had suffered when it was a Christian Church. 

(3) I.e. the Crusaders. 

(4) I.e. God is One. 

(5) I.e. Muhammad.

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they set free the double (1) (who) were unable (to pay) anything, seven thousand men (for) thirty thousand dinars, presenting it as alms before their chiefs, and as a tribute in advance on behalf of the wages of their inhabitants. And praise (be) to God Who has silenced their appeals, and has covered over their claim, and has rooted up by the swords of Al-Nasir (an-Nasiryat) their error and those who led them into error. And thanks (be) to God for delivering the Mosque Al-Aksa (al-Masgid al-Aksa) (2) whither God caused his Servant to journey at night, and for the execution of what preceded, and His promise is true. And the amir shall receive his share from this good news with the delight which overwhelmed hearts and filled hands and treasures, and announced the good tidings of the conquest of what the sun had risen upon, in the way of countries and cities, and embellished the narrative of our days with abundance of prosperity and good qualities. And he (Salah ad-Din) commands that he (the amir) announce the good news of it, and go forward with the joy of the good news, and propagate it, and decorate the city, being present on the Friday (with) its congregations (4) with this glad news, being successful, if God will. And when Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din took Jerusalem by treaty and (with) the ransom mentioned before in the month of Ragab (in) the year five hundred and eighty-three of the Lunar (Year) (6), he remained in it until he had completed the fast (7) of the month of Ramadan of the mentioned year, and he prayed in it the prayer of the feast (8) with those who were present with him of the Muslims (al-Muslimin). And he

(1) I.e. double the number of those who could pay, cf. S. Lane-Poole, Saladin, p. 229.

(2) The Mosque Al-AksA was erected by `Abd al-Malik on the site of the Church of the All-Holy Virgin Mary built by Justinian.

(4) I.e. the congregation assembled at the mosque for the prayer and sermon on Friday.

(6) I.e. 1187 A.D.

(7) I.e. the Fast of Ramadan.

(8) I.e. the Feast of the Lesser Bairam at the end of the Fast of Ramadan.

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went forth (and) besieged Al-Karak and he took it, and the fortress of Belvoir (Kaukab) and he took it, and he turned towards Sidon (Saida) and Beyrout (Beirut) and Jubeyl (Gibilah) and `Atil. And he marched through the length of the Littoral and its breadth, the plain and the mountains, and he conquered cities and fortresses and towns which are in the hands of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) up to the day of the composition of this biography. And he conquered and took possession by treaty of more than what he conquered by the sword; and he carried out his engagements and no words of his saying were broken, and he did not act treacherously. And the knights (horsemen) of the Franks (al-Farang) and their chiefs (umara) and their notables went out from their castles and their fortresses with their possessions and their cattle and their women and their children and all what they possessed in the way of wealth and horses and mules and camels and female slaves and slaves (mamalik), even the Muslim (al-Muslimin) captives. And he who consented from among them to sell to him (Salah ad-Din) a captive, he (Salah ad-Din) paid to him (the owner) for him (the captive) his value and more, and he who did not consent, he (Salah ad-Din) said to him: «Take your captive, but do good towards him even as I have done towards you». And there were many from among the knights (horsemen) (who) delivered up to him (Salah ad-Din) their captives, and they swore (that) they would not take a price. Then he (Salah ad-Din) dealt well with them, and he bestowed upon them more than they had left. And they went out from their castles dressed in their cuirass and their chain-mail and their helmet, as if they were going forth to war. And when he (Salah ad-Din) saw them, he smiled, then his eyes shed tears, and he did not hold back from them anything (even to) the value of a grain; but he caused the soldiers to journey with them that they might protect them and guard them until they entered Tyre (Sur); he who wished Tyre (Sur), and Antioch (Antakiah), who wished Antioch (Antakiah). This is a copy of the sermon

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(Khutbat) which the preacher preached in Jerusalem (on) the day of the prayer of the feast of the month of Ramadan (2) in the presence of Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din and those who were with him from among the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and it was the first sermon (Khutbat) (which) they preached in it, after the conquest of the city and the taking of it from the hands of the Franks (al-Afrang). «Praise (be) to God — God is greater (Allah Akbar)! — for the facilitation and the prospering, and for the conquest and the victory, and for the defeat and the vanquishing of the enemies, and for the bestowing upon us of the pure Mosque Al-Aksa (al-Masgid al-Aksa), and for the driving out from it godlessness and the renegades, sons of the Christians (the yellow ones) and for dispersing them and discouraging them and ruining them, and for the return to the Islamic Faith of the Holy Land, the Land of the Last Judgment and the Resurrection (5) which He blessed and changed and caused it to increase, that in this (might be) an example to him who remembers, and a grief in the heart of him apostatized and tyrannized. I praise Him for the converting of churches and belfries into prayer-houses (al-Masagid) and mosques (al-Gawamia`), and the exchanging of bells for the call of the mu`ezzin and sanctification, and for the converting of the magnifying of the Cross of the Crucified unto the glorification of the Living One Who is immortal. His benefits do not cease (to be) splendid, and His gifts to the Faithful are abundant — and peace (to you)!» He who is acquainted with this biography informed us of the quality of this sermon (Khutbat), because this is the place for recording it, lest words be prolonged by us, and we place it in other than its place or we leave it out. Our purpose thereby is that you may be acquainted with the picture of the circumstance and may understand whence disorder entered into the State of the Franks (al-Afrang), that thereby it may be an example for those who possess

(2) I.e. the Feast of the Lesser Bairam at the end of the Fast of Ramadan. 

(5) According to tradition the Last Judgment and the Resurrection of the dead will take place at Jerusalem.

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intelligence, and that they may bear it in mind with the passing of ages and centuries. Then we shall return to the explanation of what we were at, how God aided Salah ad-Din, and what He made possible for him in the way of victory and triumph and ability, and what He wrought with the enemies of his religion and his State according to the saying of the Law (Taurah): «If the ass of your enemy pass by you, while you are sitting, and its burden has slipped, arise, (go) to it and set upright its burden upon it», and the saying of the Gospel corroborates with what is greater than this, according to what you have been instructed from His (Christ's) saying: «Love your enemies, and bless those who curse you, and pray for those who revile you, and do good to him who does evil to you», with the rest of the Commandments, lest words be prolonged. And Salah ad-Din acted according to the command of these two religious laws, without knowing them, but (it was) an inspiration from God, and on account of this he died on his bed, and his end (was) praiseworthy for himself and his descendants. And we have already mentioned that Tyre (Sur) and Antioch (Antakiah) remained still in the hand of the Franks (al-Afrang) according to what God willed in His hidden mysteries. As for Tyre (Sur), God directed to it a king of the kings of the Franks (al-Afrang) from beyond the sea from the side of the West, (who) was called Marquis (Markis) (7). Some people said that he was a Roman (Rumi), son of the sister of the king of Constantinople (al-Kustantiniah) (8), because there did not remain on the Littoral a place (which) Salah ad-Din had not conquered, except Tyre (Sur) and the fortress of Safed (Safad). And as regards Safed (Safad) he (Salah ad-Din) descended

(7) I.e. the Marquis Conrad de Montferrat.

(8) Conrad had spent some time at Constantinople, and arrived in 1187 A.D. before Acre, cf. Rene Grousset, L'Epopee des Croisades, Paris, 1939, p. 254.

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upon it and he besieged it for seven months, and he took it. When those who were in it were famished, they surrendered it to him, because they had not prepared anything for the siege. And when they had surrendered it to him and they had retired to Tyre (Sur), it came about that everyone who surrendered a fortress or a castle or a city by treaty would go to Tyre (Sur) or to Antioch (Antakiah). And when he (Salah ad-Din) had prevailed over them, he would render every service to the Franks (al-Afrang). But concerning Tyre (Sur), he descended upon it three times, and he besieged it, and he straightened it, and he remained at it until he became impatient. For a space of a year the troops were (attacking) it by land, and the ships of the fleet by sea, but he (Salah ad-Din) did not prevail over it in any way. And the Marquis (Markis) continued in it protecting it and directing it by the will of God the Exalted for its safety, until the kings reached it. And they descended upon Acre (`Akka) on the outskirts of the town at the Tall al-Mashnakat (Hill of the Gallows). And when it was in Muharram (in) the year five hundred and eighty-four [1188 A.D.], Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din turned to Damascus (Dimask), after he had remained fighting the holy war and blockading the Franks (al-Afrang) in the Littoral during the year five hundred and eighty-two [1186 A.D.] and the year five hundred and eighty-three [1187 A.D.] of the Lunar (Year), until he had conquered all the Littoral. And his affairs calmed down, and he gave gifts to his soldiers and his companions and to those who had aided him from among the kings of the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and (who) had assisted him from among their amirs, in the way of possessions and cattle and

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captives and robes of honour, the number of which was incalculable. And, indeed, news reached me (1) concerning a youth of the youths of the soldiers, that he took captive a man of the Franks (al-Afrang) and (that) he sold him to a merchant of beer for a pot of beer, and afterwards it appeared that he was a great knight (horseman). I take refuge in God from the removal of graces and the coming down of vengeance. Then the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) granted as a fief to the soldiers the cities of the Littoral and the towns and the fortresses, and he remained at Damascus (Dimask) for a short time until the troops were rested. And he went out, and he descended upon the Castle of the Kurds (al-Akrad) (5), and he remained besieging it for about two months, but he did not prevail over it. And he turned from it to the province of Antioch (Antakiah), and he conquered Laodicea (al-Ladhikiah), Baghras (Baghras), and towns and fortresses and towers. And he came to the Castle of Barzuyah (Barziah), and he descended upon it, and he besieged it, and he remained at it for a short time, and God facilitated for him its conquest; and he conquered it, and he took possession of it, and he wrote letters concerning this to the walis (wulat) of the Land of Egypt (al-Misriah), each of them in his name. And this is a copy of his letter to the Amir Nasir ad-Din Khudr ibn Bahram, governor (Wali) of the western provinces. «In the Name of God the Merciful and the Compassionate! This good news was despatched to the noble amir, the marshal (al-Isfahsalar), the confident, Nasir ad-Din, the power of al-Islam, — may God prolong his power — about what God renewed in the way of great conquests and illustrious victories and constant power. And it (the good news) is the conquest of the Castle of Barzuyah (Barziah) at which tongues rejoiced and tongues voiced thanks to God.

(1) I.e. the writer of this biography.

(5) I.e. the Crac des Chevaliers.

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And the benevolent decrees (of God) accorded it in the opinion of days and the age, and the eyes of men were awakened to its brilliance. And the year passed away, and it became possible to realize what (seemed) impossible, the possible opportune moment. And this is the Castle which the age accepted (as) impregnable and the prosperity which came to it was undisputed. And the entreaty of the preacher (al-Khatib) did not assure (it) and the fire of the gatherer of fire-wood did not penetrate (it), and when we tried it we found that strategems did not work with it, and that there was not hope but God conquered it there where we considered (that it was impossible, and He made it a gain for our swords, and we conquered it by force of the sword, and this (was on) Tuesday, the twenty-seventh of (the month of) Gumada al-Akhar (in the) year five hundred and eighty-four [1188 A.D.], an hour after sunrise. What an hour after sunrise which cast darkness on the enemy, its horizon, and revealed its radiance after a night of tumult. What an hour after sunrise (which) gave delight and manifested (its) gift with love and life to al-Islam. There is no doubt but that he (the amir) knows what went before in the way of conquests and progress in the way of good things. Antioch (Antakiah) has remained with its wings clipped, (and) its arms are cast down. And we hope from God that He will make easy its conquest, and may God the Exalted make prosperous (these) hopes with success. And let him (the amir) be informed of this good news, and let him give thanks for this blessing, if God will». And this castle was the completion of the conquests of Salah ad-Din, and after it he did not conquer any thing else of the lands of the Franks (al-Afrang) at that time at which he conquered the cities of the Littoral. And the Sultan had taken Bait Gibrin (Bait Gibrail) by treaty, and its lord was in it, a man of high rank among his people, (with) much wealth, and (in) affluent circumstances. And he was named the Castellan (al-Kastalan), and I think that the interpretation of this word (is) governor (wali). And

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he had in Bait Gibrin (Bait Gibril) great possessions and much wealth and great reservoirs filled with good oil (3) and wine. And when he sought a treaty, the Sultan inflicted on him a ransom of much money, and he executed it for the Sultan with much money, and he paid it to him, and the Sultan kept his promise, and he took from him the reservoirs of oil and wine, and money for the rest of the ransom. And after this, he (the Castellan) went forth from the city with much money and possessions and cattle and people, male slaves (mamalik) and female slaves and women, and a suite. And the Sultan caused him to journey to the Land of Egypt (Misr), to the city of Alexandria. And he wrote to its governor (wali) a recommendation for him (the Castellan), and that he should guard him and entertain him during his sojourn in the city, and (that) he should pay his expenses from the money of the diwan, and that he should charter ships and provide him and those with him with money of the Sultan until he should depart with gratitude. Then the governor (wali) and the subordinates with him did all whatsoever they were commanded, and he (the Castellan) journeyed to where he willed of the lands of the Romans (ar-Rum). And Fakhr ad-Din Karaga, governor (wali) of Alexandria, used to ride to him (the Castellan) every day and to supply his needs. And there were with the Castellan (al-Kastalan) about five hundred people. The governor (wali) used to provide for them and pay their expenses from the money of the Sultan during their sojourn in the city until he chartered for him (the Castellan) ships, and caused them to depart. And this Castellan (al-Kastalan) did not remain in his (the wali's) country beyond six months, and he went to Venice (al-Banadakah) (8)

(3) I.e. olive oil.

(8) The Arabic spelling of the name of Venice comes through the German, «Venedig».

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and (to) the Genoeses (al-Ganawiyin) and (to) the Pisans (al-Bisaniyin). And he (the Castellan) caused to be constructed a hundred galleys with his (the Castellan's) money, and he paid for their crews and he (the Castellan) took them, and he came to Tyre (Sur). He assembled with the Marquis (al-Markis) and Balian (Balian) Ibelin (Ibn Barzan) and the son of the Prince Renaud (Arnat), lord of al-Karak and (with) those present of the knights (horsemen) of the Littoral. And they went forth on horses by land, and in ships by sea, and they journeyed until they descended at night at Tall Masnakah (Hill of the Gallows) opposite to Acre (`Akka). And the morning had not become light before they had dug before it (Acre) three moats. And they caused to pass into them water from the river which is there, and its water used to run out into the Salt Sea (8). They encompassed Acre in (the month of) Ragab (in the) year live hundred and eighty-five. And the governor (wali) of Acre (`Akka) was a servant of the equerries of the Sultan (Salih ad-Din), called Gurdik. And he was not able to repulse them from it. Then he wrote to the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) at Damascus (Dimask) informing him about this. And the Sultan came and the troops arrived. And the Franks (al-Afrang) descended, and they arrived from every place in which they were. And an assembly of them gathered together, and they became a great army. And when the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) arrived at Acre (`Akka), and with him al-Malik al-Muzaffar Taki ad-Din (9), he descended upon Safuriah, and after a few days there reached the Sultan Muzaffar ad-Din Ibn Zain ad-Din, lord of Singar. And the Sultan used to ride every day and

(8) I.e. the Mediterranean Sea. 

(9) A nephew of Salah ad-Din.

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come to the moat amid many troops to fight the Franks (al-Afrang). Then he returned to the camp at Safuriah, after he had made preparations against the Franks (al-Afrang), (and) had caused to descend at it (the moat) six thousand horsemen: they did not dismount from the back of their horses either by night or by day; three thousand of them during the whole day were shooting arrows at them (the Franks), and three thousand during the whole night were shooting arrows at them. And there did not pass for them (the Franks) the space of a month before they had made at the edge of the moat in the direction of the troops of the Sultan a wall of unburnt bricks, and they disposed cross-bowmen (who) remained sitting behind it with the bows of the arbalasts (which) shot an arrow the thickness of the toe of a man, its length a cubit, (and) the weight of its head was fifty dirhams, beaten out and rolled back, having four corners. On whatsoever it fell, it would penetrate it, and, may be, it would pass through a person to him who (was) behind him, and would kill both of them together. It would pass through the axes (TWRI) of both of them, and the shields of both of them, and the chain-armour of both of them, or other than it, and it would sink into the ground. Indeed, it was reported by one who saw it, that it pierced a stone of the stones of the wall up to its feathers. And when they were informed of it, none of the troops of the Sultan continued to approach the moat. And their (the Franks') position became strong, and they built a church for their prayers and places for the stables of their horses. And when they had arranged their affairs, they gathered together one night and they agreed on their going forward in the morning, and they overcame the troops of the Sultan (Salah ad-Din), and they killed a company of them, and a company of them (the Franks) were killed. And this (is) a copy of a letter of the Sultan to his brother Al-Malik al-`Adil (who) was staying at Hamah with his troops, informing

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him of the situation, (and) what happened between him and between them (the Franks). And he (Salah ad-Din) wrote it with his hand. «In the Name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate! If you aid God, He will aid you, and He will make firm your steps, and those who (are) godless (1) let Him cause them disquietude and bring to nought their works! That which I inform the High, Royal Council of al-Adil (al-`Adili) — may God prolong his State — (is) that, when it was the morrow of Wednesday, the twenty-first of (the month of) Sha`aban (in the) year five hundred and eighty-five (2), the whole body of the Franks (al-Farangiah), their infantry (men) and their knights (horsemen) came out, and they marched close to the sea towards the marsh and the river (4). And all their swords (were) in the direction of the boy Taki ad-Din (5). And the right wing received four battalions, the jurisconsult (al-Fakih) one battalion, and Muhammad Ibn al-Amir Hasirin one battalion, and the Mamluks (al-Mamalik) one battalion, and I pushed forward to join them, and the isolated shooters and the troops came together. And when we pressed them, all the Franks (al-Afrangiah) attacked us, the knights (horsemen) and the infantry (men), and they bore down upon us. And our companions met the Franks (al-Farang) (and) they resisted them. And all the infantry (men) (7) bore down (upon us) and they pressed us, and we did not cease to push the cavalry (horses) back to the infantry (men); and the infantry (men) were pressing us until the cavalry (horses) were separated from the infantry (men). Kaiman and Al-Husam entered (8), and they were not remiss; they broke the infantry (men). Then they overtook the cavalry (horses), and thus most of the infantry (men) were killed. And Al-Malik al-Muzaffar returned and broke them completely, and so also Yarkug

(1) I.e. the Crusaders.

(2) I.e. 1189 A.D.

(4)  I.e. Nahr Namain (Belus).

(5) I.e. Salah ad-Din's nephew.

(7) I.e. of the Franks.

(8) I.e. into the fight.

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and Kamashya and [A]rsalan (and) (?) Bu`a and Ayar al-Burulu and the Asadiah and the Shahabiah (1) (who) were in a single battalion, were not remiss; they killed a great number of the Franks (al-Farang), and the Franks (al-Farang) began to return from our rear; they met them, and they killed them; no one of them escaped. And to God (belongs) goodness and praise. And it was not a short day; and I do not know anyone (who) was lost except Migali — may God have mercy (upon him)! — he was a martyr for the cause of God — and Husain the Kurd (al-Kurdi) whom I saw deeply wounded, and Isma`il al-Mukalbas wounded, and Silar Ibn Hasak: these (are) all whom I knew, perhaps, twenty youths; however, the clothes of the people were plundered by one another. Sad ad-Din, brother of `Izz ad-Din, and Al-Maskur al-Husam were not remiss, and Kaimaz of the right wing, and Mizaffar ad-Din and Yarkug. And the charge was not (upon anyone), except on myself alone. And God knows, and peace (to you)!». And when the Franks (al-Farang) pressed the troops of the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) at Safuriah, and those affairs which were mentioned before happened, the Sultan departed from Safuriah (and) he descended at the valley of Kharrubah. And provisions came to them day and night, six hundred knights (horsemen), and they shot arrows at them, and they used to pay no attention to them. And the war did not cease being carried on between them, until the King of the Germans (8) assembled six hundred thousand lances, and he came to Ad-Darundan, and it is a defile from which one enters to Iconium (Kuniah) and other places than it, the land of the King Mas`ud from among the kings of the Turks (at-Turk), and most of his lands and his

(1) The Asadis were the former officers of Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, and the Salahis were the officers of Salah ad-Din. 

(8) I.e. the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

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subjects (are) Roman (Rum) (1) (who) wished to have their abode with him on account of his justice and the goodness of his conduct towards them. Then he (the King of the Germans) passed through the country of the King Mas`ud and the country of the son of Leo (Laun), King of the Armenians (al-Arman), and he crossed (the countries of) many kings by the sword, and (he had) a multitude of men and wealth, and his impedimenta and the provisions of the troops were carried in carts (which) horses and mules and oxen and other (beasts) than they drew; and he remained in his (the King of Armenia) country until he came to Antioch (Antakiah) marching for a whole year. And some of those present of his troops informed us that, when he (the King of the Germans) wished to pass over the sea to Constantinople (Kustantiniah), the King of the Romans (ar-Rum) (3) collected (his troops), and that he prevented him from crossing; and that he had found in the land in which he was a ruined city. They mentioned that it was in ancient times called Constantinople (Kustantiniah), and that when this new one was built that one was destroyed. Then he descended at it and he built it, and he remained in it for a whole year, fighting the King of the Romans (ar-Rum) until he overcame him, and he marched towards him, and he besieged him in his city of Constantinople (Kustantiniah) (6). And he collected its taxes and all the taxes of its cities and its towns. He took its products in that year, and he was strengthened by them. And he (7) journeyed towards Jerusalem seeking (to wage) a holy war. He passed through all the lands of

(1) Seljuk Sultan of Rum (Asia Minor). Of course, East Romans, i.e. Greeks.

(3) I.e. the Greek Emperor Isaac II Angelus.

(6) Probably, a confusion with Andrinopolis, cf. R. Grousset, op. cit., p. 257, unless the writer has in mind the capture of Constantinople by the Venetians in 1204 A.D.

(7) This is, of course, Frederick, Duke of Suabia. Frederick Barbarossa was drowned in the river Saleph in Cilicia.

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the kings of the Romans (ar-Rum) and the Armenians (1) and the Muslims (al-Muslimin) and the Franks (al-Farang) by force, and no one could stand before him from all the kings of the world. And when he drew near to Antioch (Antakiah), Al-Malik Muzaffar Taki ad-Din and Muzaffar ad-Din Ibn Zain ad-Din journeyed from the camp of the Sultan (Salah ad-Din) to Aleppo (Halab) to find out news about the King of the Germans (Alaman). And when it was ascertained by them that he had descended on Antioch (Antakiah), they cut the river of water on the way which he wished to follow to Aleppo (Halab), Damascus (Dimask) and other (places) than them; it is named the Dog River (4) , and it submerged all the way. And when the news reached him (5) about this, he sailed in ships from Antioch (Antakiah), and he went by sea to Acre (`Akka), and he descended at the troops of the Franks (al-Farang) at Tall al-Masnakah (6). And when SaiaTi ad-Din heard that he had come in ships, he made light of his force, and he was emboldened against him, and he marched to the trenches, and he fought the Franks (al-Farang). And after a little time there died the King of the Germans (Alaman) (7), and his son died after him and most of his companions died on account of the change of water and air. And some of his companions remained, and they mixed with the troops of the Franks (al-Farang). And his remembrance died out, and his affair became null, and he was as if he had not existed, and praised be God the Ever-living! After that the kings of the world had fled from their fear of him (7), they felt safe, and they rejoiced at his death. And his (8) arrival at the Hill (Tall) of Acre (`Akka) was in the month of Ramadan (in the) year five hundred and fifty-six(9). And the Franks (al-Afrang) in

(1) I.e. Lesser Armenia.

(4) In the Lebanon, cf. P.K. Hitti, History of Syria, p. 134, n. 1. (5) This, of course, is Frederick, Duke of Suabia. Frederick Barbarossa having being drowned in the River Saleph in Cilicia.

(7) I.e. Frederick Barbarossa.

(8) I.e. Frederick, Duke of Suabia.

(9) = 1160-1161 A.D. sic. The correct date is 1190 A.D.

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that year had constructed three towers of wood, and they advanced them for fighting and they completed them with all what is worked in them. And they advanced them until they had fastened them to the wall of Acre (`Akka). And Salah ad-Din had dismissed Gurdik the equerry from Acre (`Akka), and he had delivered it to another servant named Karakus, and his designation was Baha ad-Din. And he was an expert in constructing walls, and it was he who had constructed the wall of Cairo (al-Kahirah) and had encircled it with it, and had extended it up to Al-Maks (al-Maksim), until he made the River Nile (an-Nil) (to be) inside the wall. Then he extended it to the Mountain al-Mukattam (which) rises above Cairo (Misr), until he went beyond it (Misr) inside the wall(5). And he built a fortress at Cairo (al-Kahirah) above the spur of the mountain outside the city at its south. And he excavated in it a pit for water with an iron pickaxe from the top of the mountain to its base, until it reached water estimated (at) two hundred cubits. And he made in it a reservoir to be filled from cisterns (which) he had made outside the fortress. And in a little time he had encircled the fortress (with) a wall and towers and works; time will pass away, and they will scarcely pass away. And on account of (his) experience Salah ad-Din delivered over to him Acre (`Akka), and he was a director of it against the Franks (al-Farang). And when they (the Franks) had advanced the towers close to the wall, and the knights (horsemen) had ascended them, and they had intensified the battles against it (Acre), and had exposed it to arrows, and the Muslims (al-Muslimin) were about to yield Acre (`Akka) to them, a man known as Ibn an-Nahas from the inhabitants of Baghdad (Baghdad), came to Baha

(5) Cf. S. Lane-Poole, The Story of Cairo, p. 174. The scheme, however, was never completed.

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ad-Din Karakus. And he said to him. «I, by the well-being of the lord Salah ad-Din, I shall burn these towers». And Baha ad-Din said to him. «What will you do?» He said: «I shall make naphtha (na/fqa) according to what I know, and I shall strike with it the towers, (and) I shall burn them, and if I strike with it a mountain of iron, I shall burn it». And he said to him: «Do what you will». Then he (Karakus) paid to him two hundred dinars, and he went and he make three pots of naphtha, and he struck with them the three towers, and he burned them, and he burned in them what was estimated at six hundred (men) in cuirass (who) were on them from among the notable champions of the Franks (al-Farang). It was a hard day for the troops of the Franks (al-Farang), and (one of) rejoicing and joy for the community of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) who were present from among them, and for those who were absent, and for those who were near and for those who were at a distance, because the Franks (al-Farang) were about to take the city. Then, after the burning of the towers, the Franks (al-Afrang) made a mangonel on a very large transport-ship, and many fighting-men went up into it, and they went with it until they fastened it to the wall of Acre (`Akka) from the side of the sea, and the archers from above the wall exposed (it) (3) to arrows from it. And the mangonel which (was) on it (4) began to strike against the city. And again that naphtha-maker, Ibn an-Nahas, went out, and he burned the transport-ship, and he caused to be burned many of those who were in it from among the fighters of the Franks (al-Farang). Then, after the burning of the transport-ship, the Franks (al-Farang) made a (battering-)ram of iron mounted on a very large (log of) wood, and they overlaid it and dressed it in iron, and they made for it a head to batter the wall, estimated at twenty kantars (5) of iron. And they battered with it the wall, and they threw down a large curtain of it. And the Muslims

(3) I.e. the city.

(4) I.e. the transport-ship.

(5) A kantar = 44.928 kilograms.

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(al-Muslimin) came forth against them from Acre (`Akka); they fought them and the battle became intensified between them, and a great company of both parties was killed. Then that naphtha-maker went out again, and he burned the iron (battering-)ram; and if I undertook to explain what happened between the Muslims (al-Muslimin) and the Franks (al-Farang) at Acre (`Akka) and other places than it, every day, (at) every hour, and (in) every month, and (in) every year at that time in which Salah ad-Din conquered Jerusalem, and what was destroyed at it (3) of the nations, and what was annihilated at it of creatures, and (what) perished at it in the way of property, and (what) died on account of it in the way of people the explanation would be drawn out, and the description would be great, and expectation would be anticipated according to what may be renewed on account of it at every time. In the biographies of the former (patriarchs) (which) went before, there was what was greater than (in) this biography, and there was annihilated in them of the nations more than this number. And this state of affairs will not cease as long as the days of the world last. Every nation in it (3) (which) acts corruptly and does (what is) contrary to its conditions, God will send against it a fierce nation, merciless and pitiless, and He will expel it from it (3) with sword and captivity and famine and siege and looting of property and the sale of children and women, for God said concerning it (3) in the Law (Turah)(5): «I have chosen this House from all the world that My Name be remembered in it, and I have chosen David (Dauud) a king from among all the kings of the earth» (6). And according to this command He desires the king under whose authority the House (7) shall be, that he should possess purity and justice and uprightness of life and assiduity in prayers and

(3) I.e. Jerusalem.

(5) The quotation which follows is not from the Pentateuch, but from the Historical Books.

(6) A very free rendering of III Kings viii, 16 and II Paralipomenon vi, 5. 

(7) I.e. the Temple in Jerusalem.

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alms-giving, as it was with David (Dauud), and on account of this he (David) remained king over it and he dwelt in it (1) for forty years. And during this period there was no dearth, nor war, nor pestilence, except the case of the wife of Uriah (Auria) for one day. Then David (Dauud) repented, and God accepted him, and He took away death from the nation. And David (Dauud) lived the remainder of his days affrighted when he saw the angel of God, and in his hand a sword, and he was slaying. And this circumstance (is) explained in the book of the Books of Kings. And, therefore, we intend to abreviate, and we shall record what is easy (for us), and we shall leave what is impossible. It may be that one other than we has provided for this, and has been informed of the news and has witnessed the affairs which we have not witnessed nor been informed of, but our brethren informed us about what reached us in the way of information in the measure of what God made easy for us and vouchsafed to us. And the war did not cease between the Franks (al-Farang) and the Muslims (al-Muslimin) who (were) in Acre (`Akka), night and day without interruption, and none of them obtained respite from the war from the time of their descent upon it (Acre) in the month of Ragab (in the) year five hundred and eighty-five [1189 A.D.] until Gumada al-Akhar (in the) year five hundred and eighty-seven [1191 A.D.]. And the King of France (Faranatisis) (9) arrived with his soldiers in about a hundred boats and galleys at Acre (`Akka), and he descended with the troops of the Franks (al-Afrang), and he made an agreement with them, and the fighting was renewed at it. And Salah ad-Din had sent away the old troops from it (Acre), and he

(1) I.e. Jerusalem.

(9) I.e. Philip of France, cf. S. Lane-Poole, Saladin, p. 281.

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had brought new troops to it. Among them (was) a company of notable, celebrated amirs, among whom (was) Saif ad-Din `Ali Ibn Ahmad, chief of the Kurds (al-Akarad) and `Alam ad-Din Arsal, chief of the Mamluks (al-Mamalik), the Salahis (as-Salahiyah) and the Asadis (al-Asadiah), and Ibn Saif ad-Din al-Gawli, and Fakhr ad-Din Ya`kub al-Amri, chief of the Turkomans (at-Turgman). And when (the King of) France (Afaranatisis)(3) intensified the fight against them (4) (in) the month(s) of Gumada al-Akhar and Ragab, and he besieged the whole city, and it was not possible for anyone to enter it with provisions or relief, he conquered it, at noon, (on) Friday, the half of (the month of) Sha`ban (in the) year five hundred and eighty-nine of the Lunar (Year) (5). The whole period of the war at Acre (`Akka) (was) two years, one month and fifteen days. A man (who) was present at Acre (`Akka) informed me (that), when the Muslims (al-Muslimin) conquered it, they found that the Franks (al-Farang) had made its mosque (al-Gami`) into a church. When they (the Franks) took it from the Muslims (al-Muslimin) the first time, they painted pictures in it (the mosque). Then, when Salah ad-Din captured it from the Franks (al-Farang), the Muslims (al-Muslimin) assembled the captives who (were) with them of the Franks (al-Farang), and they brought them to the mosque (al-Gami`); they (the Franks) drew water, and they washed its walls and its doors, and they effaced from it the pictures, and they brought lime, and they whitened it, so that there did not remain any trace of the pictures or inscriptions; and they (the Muslims) prayed in it the rest of the Friday on which they conquered Acre (`Akki). And that man continued dwelling at Acre (`Akka) until the King of France (Afransis) (9) conquered

(3) I.e. Philip of France. 

(4) I.e. the Muslims.

(5) = 1193 A.D. This is incorrect, the correct date being 1191 A.D.

(9) I.e. Philip of France.

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it. And the Franks (al-Farang) took the captives of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) and they brought them to the mosque (al-Gami`); they drew water, and they washed it, and they renewed its whiteness and its pictures, as it was (before). And praise be to God by Whose hand (exists) the kingdom of all things! Who makes powerful him whom He wills, and abases him whom He wills, and recompenses every one according to his deeds. And when (the King of) France (Afransis) (1) conquered Acre (`Akka), he made captive every one who was in it of the troops and the inhabitants of the city. And Salah ad-Din sent to come to an agreement with him on the ransom for them, but no agreement (was reached) between them concerning anything for them. They took the notable amirs such as Ahmad and Baha ad-Din Karakus and Ya'kub al-Amri and others besides them of the notables, (and) he separated them and he fettered them. And as for Arsal and Ibn al-Gawli, they escaped when Acre (`Akka) was conquered, and they went out alone without anything to the troops of the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and they left their possessions and what was with them in the way of their mamluks (Mamalik) and their soldiers. As for the rest of the people, (the King of) France (Afransis) caused to be separated the Blacks (al-Kataniah) alone, and the Sudanis (Sudan) alone, and the Kurds (al-Akrad) alone, and the Ghuzz (al-Ghuzz), alone, and he did not mix one race with another, and he caused them to be killed, and the troops with Salah ad-Din beheld them. And the King of France (Afransis) took from those who fell to his share of the captives with him, and he returned by sea to his country And it was in the days in which Acre (`Akka) was conquered, (that) there reached it the King of England (al-Inkitar) and his name was Samanamid (6), and he was a courageous champion (who) did not fear an expert in war, (and) did not fear death, and was not overawed by a multitude of troops,

(1) I.e. Philip of France.

(6) Sic. The king of England is Richard I.

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to such an extent that, if there were before him thousands, and he was alone, he would bear down upon them. And there was not from among those of the kings of the Franks (al-Afrang) who came, like to him. And if he bore down, no one could stand before him. And the King of France (Fransis) delivered to him five hundred knights (horsemen) from his troops, and he left them with him, and he made him chief of the troops in his place. He delivered to him the troops, and he gave him instructions, and he departed. And after a few days from his departure, the King of England (al-Inkitar) disposed the soldiers (men) of Acre (`Akka), and he arranged in it those who should guard it, and he went out from it, and he descended on Haifa (Haifa), and he descended on Arsuf. And Salah ad-Din was staying at the fortress (Burg) of Ad-Diwiyat, and it was named Safra`am. Then he (Salah ad-Din) marched (and) he met him (the King of England). It was a plan of the King of England (al-Inkitar) to arrange archers with an arbalest (Zanburak) on carts, and he appointed for them an escort, and the carts travelled with the archers on both sides of the troops on the right and the left, and the troops were in the centre, and no one was able to approach the carts without perishing. And when Salah ad-Din met him at Arsuf, he fought against him, but he did not attain what he wished, (and) he feared that he (the King of England) would turn towards Ascalon (`Askalan) and take possession of it. So Salah ad-Din preceded him to it (Ascalon), and he destroyed it, and he burned it, and he did not leave any wall standing in it. Then Salah ad-Din turned, and he descended on Ramlah. When news reached the King of England (al-Inkitar) that he Salah ad-Din had destroyed Ascalon (`Askalan) and had burned it with fire, he found it hard to bear, and he stayed at Arsuf for a few days, and he made other plans, wishing to surprise the troops of the Sultan, Salah ad-Din. And a spy went (and) informed Salah ad-Din about this, and Salah ad-Din went out

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from Ramlah, and he ascended the mountain and he stayed at Natrun (an-Natrun) (1) and it is a high, lofty mountain (which) it is not possible to ascend except with difficulty, and there is no place on it for charges. The King of England (al-Inkitar) departed, and he stayed at Ramlah. And when he stayed at Ramlah, the Sultan departed from Natrun (an-Natrun), and set out for the city of Jerusalem (al-Kuds). And the King of England (al-Inkitar) departed, and he stayed at Natrun (an-Natrun). Then the Sultan under these circumstances entered the city of Jerusalem (al-Kuds), and he provided for the digging of ditches and the building of towers. And the King of England (al-Inkitar) remained at Natrun (an-Natrun) for a time; then he returned to Ascalon (`Askalan) and he stayed at it, and he (re-)built it, and he fortified it, and he passed over from it to Gaza (Ghazzah), and he (re-)built it and he fortified it, and he passed over from Gaza (Ghazzah) [to] Dariranas, and it is the fortress of Darum (Ad-Daraun), and it had remained in the hand of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) up to the end of Gumada al-Awal (in the) year five hundred and eighty-eight. And he conquered it (Darum) and he took it, and he killed and took captive everyone whom he found in it. Then he went to Beyrouth (Beirut) to attack it. And Salah ad-Din went out to him from Jerusalem (Al-Kuds), and he descended with the troops at Jaffa (Yafa), and he attacked it for two days, and he conquered it, and he took it, and he killed everyone whom he found in it, in the suburbs. And as for the knights (horsemen) and the warriors of the Franks (al-Farang), they entered the fortress, and they fortified themselves in it until the King of England (al-Inkitar) reached them And Salah ad-Din departed from it, and he returned, (and) he stayed at Natrun (an-Natrun), and this (was) in (the) month of Ragab (in the) year five hundred and eighty-eight [1192 A.D.]. And when the King of England (al-Inkitar) had returned from Beyrouth (Beirut) to Jaffa (Yafa) and

(1) I.e. Toron Mihtum.

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had saved the city, and Salah ad-Din had departed from it, he (the King of England) stayed at Jaffa (Yafa). And Al-Malik al-`Adil Abu Bakr had journeyed to the lands of al-`Agam and Diyar Bakr (2) and other (places) than them, and he gathered together troops. And Al-Malik Muzaffar Taki ad-Din conquered the city of Khilat (5), and he took it from Baktimur (Baktim) (6), and he died, and his son Nasir ad-Din took it after him, and he remained in it with the troops of his father. And when Al-Malik al-`Adil went to gather together the troops of the East, he (Nasir ad-Din) went to him, and he took the troops of his father. And Al-Malik al-`Adil, he and Muzaffar ad-Din lord of Arbeles (Arbil) and of the city of Mosul (al-Mawsul), and other (chiefs) of the troops of the East gathered together many people of which the number cannot be counted; and no relief came to the Franks (al-Farang) in that year, not even a single man. And the troops wished for furlough, and Salah ad-Din calmed the case with them and with the Franks (al-Farang), and he did not cease to make arrangements, and God supported him with the arrangements until his opinion was approved for the truce and the peace-treaty and the sparing of blood and the preservation of property and souls from injury for both parties, the Muslims (al-Muslimin) and the Franks (al-Afrang). He (Salah ad-Din) agreed to the peace-treaty, and the truce was arranged with the Franks (al-Farang) for forty months, its beginning (being) Sha`ban (in the) year live hundred and eighty-eight [1192 A.D.], with the King of England (al-Inkitar) and the troops of the Littoral, on the understanding that, if any of the kings of the Franks (al-Afrang) should come from beyond the sea, and was powerful (enough) to break the truce,

(2) Mesopotamia.

(5) At the north-west of Lake Van. 

(6) Saif ad-Din Baktimur, Shah of Armenia.

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the troops of the Littoral would be absolved from their engagements and their troth, and on the understanding that that which the Muslims (al-Muslimin) had conquered by their swords in the way of cities and towns and fortresses and castles should be theirs, and what remained in the hand of Franks (al-Farang) (which) the Muslims (al-Muslimin) had not conquered should remain to the Franks (al-Afrang). And (one) who was present at the signing of the truce recorded that Beyrouth (Bairut) and Sidon (Saida) and Gibalah and Gibail, and cities and fortresses, the names of which I do not know to record (them), should be shared between them. As for Jerusalem it was in the hand of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) at that time, and it remained with them as it was before. And Salah ad-Din agreed that they (the Christians) should go on pilgrimage to it on the condition that they should not take with them a sword or anything in the way of a weapon, and he stipulated for them that they (the authorities) should not take from them a tribute; and Salah ad-Din made Saif ad-Din Yarkug governor (Wali) of Jerusalem, and it is recorded (that there were) with him in it three thousand horsemen from the Asadi (al-Asadiah) mamluks (Mamalik). And Salah ad-Din himself and the Kadi Al-Fadil `Abd ar-Rahim Ibn Ali al-Baisani fasted the month of Ramadan in Jerusalem. And he despatched men and soldiers, and he demolished the wall which encircled Ascalon (`Askalan), and he left it a town without a wall. And there was an agreement regarding its demolition in the terms of the truce. And the Franks (al-Farang) and the Muslims (al-Muslimin) assembled, and all of them agreed to the demolition of Ascalon (`Askalan). And the troops of the Franks (al-Farang) and the troops of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) mixed together after the peace

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so that they became as brethren, and so also the kings with Salah ad-Din; and he caused to be borne to them wealth and gifts, and they caused to be borne to him gifts and horses and German (al-Alamaniah) shields and swords concealed in wooden boxes, and varnished staffs of lances (konta/rion). Praise (be) to God Who causes union between hearts which are separated and characters which are contradictory! And He Who is praised in the Creator of the creatures, and their Director and their Creator and their Fashioner, and there is no God except He, and none to be adored except Himself. As for the captives of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) who were with the Franks (al-Farang), and the captives of the Franks (al-Farang) who were with the Muslims (al-Muslimin), nothing was fixed about their affair, but everyone of them remained with his master as was before, to pay his ransom and to be set free. A few days after the peace, the King of England (al-Inkitar) sailed in ships by sea, and he returned to his lands with what he had won and had taken as spoil, and with him a company of his companions and his soldiers. And Salah ad-Din turned from Jerusalem to Damascus (Dimask) in (the month of) Sawwal (in the) year five hundred and eighty-eight [1192 A.D.] after he had fasted (4) in it (Jerusalem), he and all who were with him of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) the month of Ramadan. And he went to Damascus (Dimask), (and) he caused his sons to be circumcised. And he had at that time many male children (capable of) riding horses behind him, their number being fifteen sons. And these are their names and the qualifications. Al-Malik al-`Aziz `Uthman (whom) he had made ruler over the kingdom of the Land of Egypt (Misr) and Jerusalem and its provinces. And he remained a king over it, after his father Salah ad-Din, for five years and a half. Al-Malik al-A`azz Jacob (Ya`kub), (and) Al-Malik al-Mu`ayad Mas`ud, (and) Al-Malik Fath ad-Din Isaac (Ishak), (and) Al-Malik al-Gawad Job (Aiyub), (and) Al-Malik az-Zahir Ghazi, and he made him ruler

(4) I.e. the fast of the month of Ramadan.

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over Aleppo (Halab) and its provinces, (and) Al-Malik al-Afdal `Ali, and he made him ruler over Damascus (Dimask) and its provinces, (and) Al-Malik al-Mustamir Khudr, (and) Al-Malik az-Zahir David (Dauud). And the remainder of the small children (are) Turansah, Shahinsah, Malik Sha, Ahmad, Abu Bakr, and this number is not from one woman, but (from) a number of women. And there was in the hand of Salah ad-Din of the kingdoms of the world during his life, at that time, the region of the Land of Egypt (Misr) and all its provinces, and the Yemen (al-Yaman) up to Sana`a, and Aden (`Adan) and Zabid were conquered by the hand of Saif ad-Din, his brother, and in the lands of Nubia (an-Nubah) up to the city of Primus (Ibrim), and the lands of the lord of Gubail (4) and Jerusalem and the Littoral, and all what we have mentioned before of its cities and its towns and its castles and its fortresses, and what he had conquered in the lands of Antioch (Antakiah), the fortress of Burziah, and Laodicea (al-Ladikiah) and Baghras (6), and other than them, the names of which we do not know to record (them). And the city of Damascus (Dimask) which is the desire of the kingdom of the world, likened to the Paradise with its good, sweet streams and its trees and its fruits and the goodness of its air. And the city of Aleppo (Halab) and its fortress Dar Abraham (Ibrahim), the Friend (al-Khalil) — upon him (be) peace! (and) the Bridge of the kings of the Arabs (al-`Arab) and the Persians (al-`Agam) (8)

(4) For the Seigneurie de Giblet (Djoubail), cf. the map facing, p. 274 in R. Grousset, L'Empire du Levant, Paris, 1946.

(6) For these three places, cf. the map facing, p. 247 in R. Grousset, op. cit., and p. 289.

(8) Probably the bridge across the Euphrates near Al-Hirah, the site of the Battle of the Bridge between the Arabs and the Persians in 634 A.D., cf. P.K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, London, 1961, p. 155. MS. P adds: 'and in the east, Jerusalem and the Littoral, its cities and its towns, and Damascus and its provinces, and Aleppo and its provinces, and beyond the River Euphrates, large cities and its towns, and we have mentioned them before'.

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and its provinces and its villages and from beyond the River Euphrates (al-Furat), Harran (Harran) and Nisibis (Nasibin) and Singar (Singar) and Manbig and Edessa (Ruha) and Amida (Amid) and Martyropolis (Maiyafarikin), and other than them from their towns and their villages of those of which we have not been informed that we may name them. And his (Salah ad-Din's) order was executed in all the kingdoms of the Arabs (al-`Arab) and the Persians (al-`Agam) and the Rum (ar-Rum). And no one with whom we are contemporaries and whom we have seen ruled as he. And nations and kings obeyed him, and his order was executed in the lands of Ethiopia (al-Habashah), and Nubia (an-Nubah) and Baga (al-Bagah) (4), and the Yemen (al-Yaman) and the Hejaz (al-Higaz) and the provinces of the South. And he (Salah ad-Din) had often come to the city of Mosul (al-Mawsil) and had fought against it and had besieged it for a time, but God did not give it to him, and he did not conquer it. And (in) the Land of Egypt (Misr) in all the days of his State from its beginning to its end (there Was) cheapness of prices (and) abundance of good things: good wheat ten ardab for one dinar, and barley twenty ardabs for one dinar, and beans (ful) likewise, and lentils and haricot beans and clover and lupines (θέρμος) all these at one price, twenty ardabs for a dinar. And as for good honey buried in straw, a dinar the kantar locally, and drip-honey at a dinar and two karats by local kantar, and the honey of bees for one dinar and a half and a quarter a Cairene (al-Misri) kantar, and kisatah for half a dinar the Cairene (al-Misri) kantar, and red sugar candy was at different prices according to the soil, region differing from region, and pure from impure; and at times the good is

(4) A people of Nubia, cf. Lane-Poole, A History of Egypt, p. 41.

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sold at a dinar the Cairene (al-Misri) kantar, and if it is scarce, for a dinar and a quarter, and the white which is like sugar at a dinar and a half for a Cairene (al-Misri) kantar, and treacle at ten dirhams for the Cairene (al-Misri) kantar. Flax seeds at fifty dirhams for a kantar of the good kind and the inferior for thirty dirhams. White wax for three dirhams the Cairene (al-Misri) ratl. And the common sirb was plentiful, and cloth and wool and hides (were) very plentiful, and the merchants were selling and buying and making profits and blessing existed in everything. And the days of his (Salah ad-Din's) State were all of them well (and) good, and the conditions of the subject were set up, and no one was dispossessed of his subjects, and no one was wronged, as had been the custom with those before him, and the ways were safe, and affairs were good. And he (Salah ad-Din) died in the city of Damascus (Dimask) on Wednesday, the twenty-sixth (of the month) of Safar (in the) year five hundred and eighty-nine [1193 A.D.] in the fortress of Damascus (Dimask), and he was buried in the College (al-Madrasat) which he had built in it (Damascus). And the number of his troops on the day of his decease was ten thousand horsemen of which four thousand (were) eunuchs and of which six thousand (were) young male slaves. And he had completed seventy years of age, and he had ruled Egypt (Misr) and its might according to what we have mentioned before, twenty-four years and nine months and a half, for he ruled after the decease of Asad ad-Din Shirkuh in (the month) of Gumada al-Awal (in the) year five hundred and sixty-four of the Lunar (Year) and the Tax (Year) [1168-1169 A.D.], and he died at Damascus (Dimask) on the mentioned date. And some learned people have recorded that he reigned over the Land of Egypt (Misr) on a Wednesday, and (that) he died at Damascus (Dimask) on a Wednesday. By reason of his good manner of life and the virtue of his State, (it was) that, after his death, no horse raced either in Syria (ash-Sham) nor in Egypt (Misr) nor .... (4)

(4) The Cairo and Paris MSS. have a lacuna here.

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And his children and his offspring did not disagree, and not one of them sought a kingdom for himself, and his children did not disagree with one of his relatives, but they were all agreed on him whom they made king of his children. Al-Malik al-`Aziz (had) Egypt (Misr) and Jerusalem, and Al-Malik az-Zahir (had) Aleppo (Halab), and Al-Malik al-Afdal (had) Damascus (Dimask), until his brother Al-`Adil Abu Bakr prepared a plan to take the kingdom of Egypt (Misr) and Damascus (Dimask) from them, and we shall explain it in what (comes) after, and this is what reached us in the way of information; and peace (be to you!), and after what went before which we have explained from the days of the patriarchate of this pure, holy, prosperous father Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus). And what he suffered in the way of hardship, and witnessed in the way of adversities, at the beginning of the reign of Salah ad-Din, from the issuing of his order that there should be removed the crosses of wood which were on every lofty dome in every church of all the churches which were in the Land of Egypt (Misr). (If) he saw a church the exterior of which was whitened, it was plastered with black mud over the whiteness, and that a bell should not be rung in all the Land of Egypt (Misr), and that the Christians (an-Nasara) should not go in procession with olive-branches (3) in a city or a town, as was the custom before, and that the Christians (an-Nasarah) should alter their style of dress that they might be distinguished from the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and that they should gird their waists with their girdles, and that they should not put on a turban-cloth nor a cloak (Tailasan), and that they should remove the fringes of their turbans, and (that) they should not ride horses or mules, but (that) they should ride asses, and (that) they should not be seen drinking wine, and (that) they should lower their voices in their prayers. And the rabble of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) became emboldened against them at that time, and they despised them, and they rose up against some of the churches

(3) I.e. on the Feast of Palm Sunday.

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in the cities and the towns, and they destroyed them. And the people suffered from this great calamity so that a company of the Cairene (al-Misriyin) and the Cairene (al-Kahiriyin) scribes left their religion and denied their Christ (Masih). And affairs continued to be depressed in spite of the prayer of this holy Mark (Markus) the patriarch, and he was contending for his people and his flock until God set right for them (2) the heart of their Sultan through the blessing of his prayers. And he (the Sultan) caused them to draw nigh, and he favoured them, and he employed them in his diwan in the finances of his State and he was gracious towards them. And they returned to a higher (state) than they had had before. And they rode on horses and mules, and they wore light turbans and festal garments. And the scribe of his diwan and the scribes of his family and his relatives and the scribes of his soldiers journeyed with him on his campaigns. And every Christian (Nasrani) attached himself to the scribes of an amir of the amirs of his (Salah ad-Din's) State and of his family and his relatives. And every one of them (the amirs) respected the wife of his scribe, and there was for every one of them elegance and wealth and dignity and an influential word and power. And through their patience and the prayers of their patriarch and their return to God and their obedience to their head, God turned their lowliness into power, and their humiliation into honour, and abhorrence of them into love, and their weakness into strength. And they multiplied (their) alms, and they persevered (in) prayers, and they imitated one another in hastening unto the doing of good. Then their fortune increased, and their bodies became sound, and their sons and their daughters multiplied, and their treasuries were filled with good things, and their affairs improved, and their hearts were cheered, and their breasts were expanded, and their word was influential with the Sultan. And they asked for the execution of the decisions from him (Salah ad-Din) and of the letters from him to the governors (Wulat) of the provinces for repairing their churches and

(2) I.e. the Christians.

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what was destroyed of their churches and the opening of them for the carrying out of their prayers and supplication to God for the safety of their Sultan. Then they repaired what was weakened, and they built what was demolished and they repaired what was destroyed. And affairs returned to what was better than before in the way of security. And prices became cheap, and fruit became good, and the Nile (an-Nil) flowed, and the rains descended. And this saintly Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus) went to his rest, and God was gracious to His people through his prayers, and they were preserved, and not one of them perished, except the son of perdition. «O brethren, we and you cease not (to be) preserved and in real safety and sufficiency from God, protected through the prayers of this Saint. Amen».

The saintly father Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis), the second patriarch of the second series, (and he is) the seventieth-fourth of the number of the fathers the patriarchs.

And when the father Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus) Ibn Zara`ah the patriarch went to his rest — God grant to us the acceptation of the blessing of his prayers — on the sixth day (of the month) of Tubah (in the) year nine hundred and five of the Martyrs [1189 A.D.] which corresponds to (the) year five hundred and eighty-five of the Higrah, the Orthodox (ὀρθόδοξος) Christian (al-Masihi) people and the elders (as-Shiyukh) and the archons in the city of Cairo (Misr) and Cairo (al-Kahirah), and those present from the fathers, the bishops, agreed on the consecration of the learned father, the virtuous, pure, saintly virgin of the Christian (al-Masihi) Religion, Abba (Anba) John (Yuhanna). And his name before his consecration was Abu'l-Magd Ibn Abu Ghalib Ibn Suris. Then they took him by force on Sunday, the eleventh (of the month) of Amsir (in the) year nine hundred and five of the Martyrs [1189 A.D.], and it is the year (in) which Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus) went to his rest, one month and five days after his (Abba Markus) going to his rest, and they consecrated him patriarch. And there were (as) assistant(s)

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for them at his consecration, on the part of the Sultan, the two judges Al-Maridi and Ar-Radl, his brother, the two sons of Al-Gabab. And this father was, as we have said, a virgin, learned by what he had read of the Old and the New (Testaments), perfect in his body and his stature, of cheerful countenance, of good disposition, of soft words, of good speech, regular at the times of the Prayers (2), of much almsgiving. He possessed wealth and means from his childhood, (and) this came to him from his father and his grandfather. And he had a Khan (Dar Wakalat) in the city of Cairo (Misr) in which he traded, buying and selling (various) sorts of goods; and he had a sugar factory for making sugar, and mills and property. And he was perfect in (this) world and (the) next world and without need of anything of the affairs of the world. He gave much alms in spite of his occupation with the affairs of the world. He did not neglect the Prayers of the Night and Day Hours. A lover of strangers and assiduous in hospitality towards them, and in the visitation of the sick and prisoners, and paying the tax (al-Gawali) on behalf of the poor of his relatives and the needy of his people. And he was very friendly to everyone, and doing good to everyone, so that his affair became manifest and his renown became famous. And when Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus) Ibn Zara`ah, the patriarch who was before him, went to his rest, the archons did not need to go up to the Monastery of Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar) or to another than it of the monasteries, as was the custom, to seek and to search for him who would be fit for this Christian (al-Masihiyat) headship and the Heavenly Kingdom and the spiritual service and the excellent Apostolic rank, according to what was correct with them. And they knew it and they verified it, as we have mentioned before, in the way of his qualities. They needed not testimony, and they did not ask for more than what we have described. Then they

(2) I.e. the Canonical Hours.

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consecrated him through the constraint of God to them and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Who chose him and willed him for pasturing His flock, as the Lord said to Peter (Butrus) «If you love Me, pasture My flock» And, likewise, when the Master Christ (al-Masih) knew that this father loved Him, He delivered to him His flock to pasture them, as it is said in the Psalm 79: «He pastured them with the purity of His heart, and with the gentleness of His hands He tended them and led them». And the Church had peace in his days, and the state of the people was good, and peace continued. And it was for connecting the narrative and explaining what occurred in the days of the State of Salah ad-Din (which) necessarily led us to the completion of his (Salah ad-Din's) biography in the days of the patriarchate of the pure Saint Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus). And this father went to his rest four years before the decease of Salah ad-Din. And there ought to have been (mentioned) in this biography what occurred in these four additional years, but necessity led us to introduce it there, on account of his (Salah ad-Din's) conquests and affairs and wars (which) were connected with one another until it (the biography) became divided by the truce and the peace, because after it he (Salah ad-Din) journeyed to Damascus (Dimask) and died, as we have explained before.

Al-Malik al-`Aziz `Uthman, his son. And there reigned after him (Salah ad-Din) his son Al-Malik al-`Aziz `Uthman (in) the Land of Egypt (Misr)

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and its provinces and Jerusalem and its districts, in (the) month of Rabi`a al-Awal (in the) year five hundred and eighty-nine of the Lunar (Year) [1193 A.D.]. And Salah ad-Din had made a truce with the Franks (al-Farang) before his decease, and they did not act treacherously with him after his death, and they did not break the truce, and no one of them moved from his place. And when the kings of the Franks (al-Farang) (and) England (al-Inkibar) and Germany (Alaman) and France (al-Farans) and others than they, returned to their lands, they appointed as king over the Littoral the Count Henri (al-Kundahar), and he was a brave champion (who) had come with all those who had undertaken the holy war (crusade) for God from the West, from beyond the sea; and on account of this the truce of Salah ad-Din was (made) with him and with the knights (horsemen) of the Littoral And when Al-Malik al-`Aziz reigned and there was the truce between the Muslims (al-Muslimin) and the Franks (al-Farang), the soldiers were not crafty and they did not make journeys during the years of the truce, (and) they abstained from the sale of grain. And wheat was sold at one hundred and seventy dinars the hundred ardabs; and the price was not fixed for a single case, but it might increase above this total during a week, then it would return (and) become less, and so all the grains, an ardab for a dinar or less; and all leguminous plants doubled their price, and the people (who) dwelt in the Land of Egypt (Misr) suffered need for three years. Then Al-Malik al-`Aziz gathered the troops, and he journeyed from Egypt (Misr) to Damascus (Dimask) for the first time, on the twenty-fifth of (the month of) Gumada al-Awal (in the) year five hundred and ninety of the Lunar (Year) [1193-1194 A.D.] wishing to take it, but he could not prevail over it, and he returned to Cairo (al-Kahirah); and Al-Malik

(4) I.e. Henri de Champagne, titular king of Jerusalem, cf. S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., pp. 206-207.

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al-`Adil pursued him, and Al-Malik al-`Aziz closed the gates of Cairo (al-Rahirah) in his face and Al-Malik al-`Adil besieged him in it for months. Then the Kadi al-Fadl came between the two of them, and they were reconciled. And Al-Malik al-`Adil entered Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he remained in it for four months. Then he returned to Damascus (Dimask) and with him Al-Malik al-`Aziz, and they besieged it, and they took it from Al-Malik al-Afdal `Ali, and Al-Malik al-`Aziz received it. And when it was in (the month of) Muharram (in the) year five hundred and ninety-four [1197-1198 A.D.], ships of the Franks (al-Farang) reached Acre (`Akka), and they broke the truce. And Al-Malik al-`Adil hastened towards them, at the beginning of their arrival, before they should multiply and enter the castles. And he descended on Jaffa (Yafa) and fought against it for three days, and he conquered it. And he killed in it many people, and he took captive more than those he killed. Then the ships of the Franks (al-Farang) arrived, and there disembarked from them on the Littoral many people. And many troops of them went (and) they descended on the Castle of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) named Toron (Tubnin). And Al-Malik al-`Adil wrote a letter to Al-Malik al-`Aziz informing him about this, and requesting him to cause to come to him the troops of Egypt (Misr). And Al-Malik al-`Aziz journeyed to Syria (ash-Sham) with the troops in (the) month of Rabi`a al-Awal (in the) year five hundred and ninety-four [1198 A.D.], and he fought the Franks (al-Afrang) and he straitened them. And rain and many torrents from the mountain came upon them and hail-stones, and they departed from Toron (Tubnin), after there had perished of them (many) of them and of their beasts and many things of their equipment (which) the torrent carried away in the water. And they departed, and they descended in

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the surroundings of the city of Tyr (Sur) and the city of Acre (Akka) and other cities than them of the cities of the Franks (al-Farang). And Al-Malik al-`Adil and Al-Malik al-`Aziz continued fighting with the troops. And when it was in the last decade of (the month of) Gumada al-Akhar (in the) year five hundred and ninety-four [1198 A.D.], Al Malik al-`Aziz returned and with him some of the troops to Egypt (Misr). And Al-Malik al-`Adil remained fighting them (the Franks), and he remained killing them for two months. Then he made a truce with them on land, hut not on sea, for a period of six years Then he left them, and he turned to Damascus (Dimask), because Al-Malik al-`Aziz had bestowed it on him. And he entered it, and he took possession of it, and he remained in it for the rest of the year five hundred and ninety-four. And when Al-Malik al-`Aziz returned from Syria (ash-Sham) to Egypt (Misr), he dealt justly with the subject(s) in the Land of Egypt (Misr), and he was good to them, and his affair became upright. And prices were uncontrolled, and good wheat was sold at four ardabs for a dinar, and barley and beans (al-ful) and the rest of the grains at ten ardabs for a dinar. And when it was in (the month of) al-Muharram (in the) year five hundred and ninety-five [1199 A.D.], Al-Malik al-`Aziz went out to the wilderness of the Fayum to hunt, and he found a gazelle, and he pursued it, and he had with him a dog of the hounds and the horse on which he was caught up with the hound, and the gazelle was

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overtaken And the horse trod with its fore-leg on the tail of the dog, and the dog turned round under the belly of the horse and bit its testicles, and it (the horse) was startled by it, and it threw him (the rider) with itself to the ground. And Al-Malik al-`Aziz fell from the top of it (the horse), and was under it, and the horse came above him and rolled over him with the saddle, and the pommel entered his breast and his viscera, and he returned to Cairo (al-Kahirah) carried. And the physicians were treating him, but no treatment availed for him, and he died in the night (3) of Sunday, the twenty-second (of the month) of al-Muharram (in the) year five hundred and ninety-five [1189 A.D.]. And of his reign there were completed five years ten months and twenty days. And praise be to God of Whose kingdom there is no extinction, and His judgment is inscrutable, and through Him (is) assistance!

Al-Malik an-Nasir Yusif (5). And there reigned after him (Salah ad-Din) his son Yusif, and they designated him with the designation of his grandfather, Al-Malik an-Nasir, and he was the third king from the descendants of Salah ad-Din. And he was Yusif Ibn `Uthman Ibn Yusif Ibn Aiyub, king of the Land of Egypt (Misr), and the Littoral, and Jerusalem, and what was in the hand of his brother (was) other than what was in the hand of the Franks (al-Afrang), as regards Acre (`Akka) and Tyr (Sur) and other places than these. And his reign began on Sunday, the twenty-second of (the month of) al-Muharram (in the) year five hundred and ninety-five [1198 A.D.]. And the truce between the Franks (al-Farang) and

(3) I.e. Saturday evening.

(6) A son of Salah ad-Din.

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the Muslims (al-Muslimin) continued, and not one of them moved from his position, and no one also from the Land of Egypt (Misr) moved, and there was not lost to anyone in Cairo (al-Kahirah) and Cairo (Misr) anything, the value of which was a grain. And Yusif Ibn al-Malik al-`Aziz was a young man (and) could not achieve the management of the kingdom; and they made as permanent king (him who) was present and they designated him as Al-Malik az-Zahir, viceroy (naib) of him in the Sultanate. And he had not completed one month in it before Al-Malik al-Afdal Nur ad-Din `Ali, his uncle, arrived at Cairo (al-Kahirah) from the Fortress of Saint Gilles (Sangil) and he entered it (Cairo) on Thursday, the seventh of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Awal (in the) year five hundred and ninety-five [1199 A.D.].

Al-Malik al-Afdal `Ali reigned and was supreme, and he promoted and he dismissed (as he willed), and he remained to the last day (sulkh) of (the month of) Ragab of the mentioned year. Then he gathered the troops, and he journeyed to Damascus (Dimask) seeking to take it from his paternal uncle at the beginning of (the month of) Sha`ban of the mentioned year. And he found (that) his paternal uncle Al-Malik al-`Adil had preceded him, and had entered it (Damascus) two days before his arrival, and had fortified it with men and equipment, and he was not able to enter it. Then he sent to his brother, Al-Malik az-Zahir, lord of Aleppo (Halab) and son of Takl ad-Din, and to Muzaffar ad-Din Ibn Zain ad-Din. And he (Al-Afdal) gathered the troops of Syria (ash-Sham) and the troops of Egypt (Misr), and he remained besieging his paternal uncle Al-Malik al-Adil in Damascus (Dimask) from the beginning of (the month of) Sha`ban (in the) year five hundred and ninety-five [1199 A.D.] up to the last day (sulkh) of Safar (in the) year five

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hundred and ninety-six. Al-Malik al-`Adil hid in Damascus (Dimask) for the period of fifteen days, (and) no one of the people saw him, and news was spread concerning him that he had gone out to direct the Land of Egypt (Misr). Then there assembled Al-Malik al-Afdal Nur ad-Din `Ali and his brother Al-Malik az-Zahir Ghazi, lord of Aleppo (Halab), and Taki ad-Din and Muzaffar ad-Din Ibn Zain ad-Din, and they consulted as to what they should do, and they were decided that Al-Malik al-Afdal Nur ad-Din should return to the Land of Egypt (Misr) to guard it, and that if Al-`Adil came to him, the rest of them would meet him with troops from behind him, and he (Al-Afdal) with the troops in front of him, and he (Al-`Adil) would be in the midst. Then Al-Malik al-Afdal returned to the Land of Egypt (Misr), and he entered the city of Bilbais on the twentieth day of Rabi`a al-Awal (in the) year five hundred and ninety-six [1199 A.D.] and he evacuated it of the women and provisions, and there did not remain in it, except sellers and merchants. And Saif ad-Din Azkug the viceroy (naib) of him, went out to him, and he was in Cairo (Misr), and with him a company of soldiers. And after a few days, news arrived that Al-Malik al-`Adil had reached Kutaifah, and his (Al-Afdal's) opinion and the opinion of Saif ad-Din Askug was in agreement to fight him and to make war against him. And he sent back all the heavy equipment to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he met him with troops and horses devoid of heavy equipment, and they fought in a place named As Shamikh and Al-`Arabi, and they are two dwelling-places on the outskirts of Bilbais, of the dwellings of the Arabs (al-`Arab), on Tuesday at noon, (on) the eighth of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Akhar (in the) year five hundred and ninety-six [1200 A.D.]. And the troops of Al-Malik al-Adil overcame the troops of Al-Malik al-Afdal, and God gave to him the victory on that day. And

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he took as spoil their riches, and he refrained from killing them, and Al-Malik al-Afdal himself escaped, and he entered Cairo (al-Kahirah), and there followed him those of his companions whose horses were swift. And when he entered Cairo (al-Kahirah) he fortified it with men and equipment. And Al-Malik al-`Adil pursued him, and he descended with his troops at Matariah and he sent his horses to the ferries of the river. They seized them so that none of the soldiers could pass over to him (Al-Afdal) (and) succour him or enter Cairo (al-Kahirah). Then Al-Malik al-Adil surrounded Cairo (al-Kahirah) with the troops in the half of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Akhar of the same year. And he sent to the prominent amirs who were inside Cairo (al-Kahirah), who (were) of the Asadis (Asadiah) and the Salahis (Salahlah), and a number of them we knew and we have given their names, and many of them we did not know. And those who were well-known of them (were) Saif ad-Din Azkug and `Alam ad-Din Kurgi and Ghars ad-Din Yaman and Saif ad-Din Sinkar ad-Diwadar and Nasir ad-Din Khudr Ibn Bahram, and the rest of the troops which (were) inside Cairo (al-Kahirah) with Al-Malik al-Afdal. And he was kind to them and they were disposed towards him and they refrained from fighting him, and they left Al-Malik al-Afdal alone in Cairo (al-Kahirah) with a small party of his companions. And a company of them went out to Al-Malik al-Adil, and they became reconciled to him, and they opened for him the gates of Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he entered into it on Friday, the sixteenth of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Akhar (in the) year five hundred and ninety-six [1200 A.D.]. And he was present in it at the prayer of Friday in its mosque (Gami`). And when Al-Malik al-Afdal was assured (of this), he issued an order to the troops, and he commanded the government (Daulah) to go out from Cairo (al-Kahirah) (on) the morrow, Saturday, the seventeenth of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Akhar of the same year. And with him (were)

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eighty camels, wealth and vessels; and it is recorded by one who witnessed his departure, that none of his troops and his companions accompanied him, or the amirs of his State, except Daya' ad-Din, brother of the jurisconsult `Isa and his mamluks (mamalik), about fifteen horsemen, and from the mamluks (mamalik) with Al-Afdal, about fifteen horsemen, the total being thirty horsemen And he went to the Fortress of Sarkhad, and he is dwelling in it up to the day this biography was compiled, in (the) year six hundred and three of the Lunar (Year) [1206-1207 A.D.]. And he (Al-Afdal) departed, deprived of the kingdom of the Land of Egypt (Misr) and Jerusalem and the Littoral and other places beside them, between noon and the afternoon of Friday, the sixteenth of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Akhar (in) the year five hundred and ninety-six [1200 A.D.]. And this same day was the last of the days of the reign of Al-Malik al-Afdal and the first day of the reign of Al-Malik al-`Adil (in) the Land of Egypt (Misr) of the mentioned year. And praise be to God, the Eternal, the Immortal King (Who) deposes kings and sets up kings, and grants wisdom to a little child, Whose Kingdom does not perish, and to Whose might there is no end! May He be honoured, and exalted! Praise be to Him the Exalted!

Al-Malik al-`Adil abu Bakr, and his entry (into) Cairo (al-Kahirah) was according to what we have said, (on) Friday, the sixteenth of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Akhar (in the) year five hundred and ninety-six [1200 A.D.]. Some people thought that he did not enter, except (on) Monday, the nineteenth of it (Rabi`a al-Akhar)(6). And he descended at the House of the Wizarat, and the war came to an end, and the subject(s) were tranquillized, and the ways were safe. And Al-Malik al-Mustamir Khudr

(6) Makrizi says 'Saturday, the 18th of Rabi`a al-Akhar', cf. E. Blochet, op. cit., p. 259.

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went out with his brother Al-Malik al-Afdal `Ali. And Al-Malik al-`Adil gave as a fief to Al-Malik al-Mustamir Khudr the Land of Suwa from the provinces of Damascus (Dimask). And Al-Malik al-`Adil was established in the kingdom, after it had been arranged between him and the Asadis (Asadiah) and the Salahis (Salahiah) and all the troops, that the son of Al-Malik al-`Aziz should be Sultan of Egypt (Misr) and other than it from the kingdom of his father and his grandfather, and Al-Malik al-`Adil should be the administrator of the State until he (5) should attain his majority; because Al-Malik al-`Aziz had caused the amirs and the soldiers to swear, before his death, that his son should be Sultan over Egypt (Misr) after him. And his name was Yusif, and they designated him as Al-Malik an-Nasir And Al-Malik al-`Adil left him in this condition for the month of Ragab of the mentioned year. Then he journeyed with troops to Damascus (Dimask), their leader(s) (being) `Izz ad-Din Usamah and Asad ad-Din, (going) secretly to Singar (Sinkar); and with the two of them (there was) a great company of soldiers, and they brought his son Al-Kamil (10) from it to the Land of Egypt (Misr), and he made him Sultan over it. And there was borne before him the saddle-covering (11) and this is an ancient tradition of the kings of Persia (al-Furs) from the days of Chosroes (Kusra) and Sapor (Sabur) and Ardashin, kings of the dynasty of Chosroes (al-Akasirah). And he inscribed his name on the coinage of gold and

(5) I.e. the son of Al-Malik al-`Aziz.

(11) A more or less richly decorated covering placed over the saddle. It was a sign of sovereignty, and was carried before the Sultan by an equerry, cf. R. Dozy, op. cit., vol. II, p. 214.

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silver which is used in the Land of Egypt (Misr). And he ordered that none of the preachers in the Land of Egypt (al-Misriyah) should mention Salah ad-Din nor any of his children, in a pulpit (minbar); but (that they should mention the Caliph (al-Khalifat) first, and Al-Malik al-`Adil, second, and his son, the heir apparent Al-Malik al-Kamil, third. And there should not be mentioned after this anything except the completion of the sermon (Khutbah), and the invocation, then the prayer. And he made a grant to the preachers of the frontiers and (the Provinces of) al-Gharbiah and Sharkiah and Kus and the great cities, to every preacher fifty dinars, the price of a robe of honour, and he made as wazir a man from the inhabitants of Damirah of the South, named `Abd Allah Ibn `Ali. (He had been) a just judge (Kadi) from his youth, (and he was) handsome of countenance, perfect in stature, a jurisconsult, learned in the memorizing of the Koran (Kuran), possessing knowledge of the are of writing and the collecting of wealth from where it was due, and conversant in accounts and in presenting compliments to those in high positions. And he designated him as al-Kadi Safi ad-Din, and he named him as «Companion)). And he delivered to him the two States, the Egyptian (al-Misriyah) and the Syrian (as-Shamiah), and he was zealous in both of them, and he acted independently in both of them, so that he began to employ (people) and to act and to order and to command and nothing small or great was to be done without his knowledge and with the confirmation of his signature, until it came about that Al-Malik al-`Adil did not do a thing alone apart from him. And he (Al-Malik al-`Adil) did not permit or forbid or approve of anything, except with his (Safi ad-Din's) opinion and his pen, and he reached to what the Companion Ibn `Abad, wazir of the Caliph (al-Khalifat) at Baghdad (Baghdad) had not reached, that one who was named with his name (6). He (Safi

(6) I.e. «Companion».

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ad-Din) was from the people known as Bani Shukr, and his achievements and his deeds passed from mouth to mouth and were witnessed by eyes. And if we undertook to explain them, so as to understand some (of the things) which occurred in the Land of Syria (as-Shamiah), paper would be exhausted, though it is inexhaustible, and all tongues and hands would not suffice; and the nearest and the strangest of them are what occurred in the Land of Egypt (Misr) in the year five hundred and ninety-seven of the Higrah [1200-1201 A.D.]. And as regards what had belonged to the Caliphs (Khulafa) of the Egyptian (al-Misriyah) State and its kings, they gave it away (5), and they assigned it in the way of alms to indigent people and allowances to relatives and strangers, by which there was, in the days of their State, equality between the poor and the powerful and the rich and the weak, because their favour and their goodness had reached to all people, their enemies and their friends. Then this wazir (Safi ad-Din) counselled to cut all this, and he cut (it), and God forbade the Nile (an-Nil) in that year to rise upon the Land of Egypt (Misr). And all of it dried up from the tower (pu/rgoj) of Aswan up to the tower of Damietta (Dumyat). And the amount of what occurred of it (8) according to the measure in that year was thirteen cubits and eight fingers. And the country dried up and was ruined and the subjects perished and were dispersed, and people were separated and dispersed, and many people went from the Land of Egypt (Misr) to Syria (ash-Sham) with their wealth and their children, and they perished. And the Bedouins (al-`Urban) seized them on the way, and they died of cold and hunger, and from slaughter by the

(5) For the distribution of the possessions of the Fatimids by Salah ad-Din, cf. S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 193. 

(8) I.e. the water of the Nile.

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Bedouins (al-`Urban), and the taking of souls and wealth, so that if a man of them died, his son or his brother or the dearest of people to him left him fallen, and went on, and did not wait, so that he might bury him in the sand, but saved himself with the people, and did not look behind him and did not separate from his companion, lest he should perish. And he who witnessed the decaying corpses of the dead people informed me that from the gate of Bilbais to the gate of Gaza (Ghazzah) they and their beasts and their cattle (were) one beside the other. And there were three tribulations which God brought upon the Egyptians (al-Misriyin): dearness, emigration and plague, and this was (the result of) the ambition of their Sultan and his wazir. Sifted wheat reached a dinar for a waibah, and bread (was) for a half and a quarter of a dirham the Cairene (al-Misri) ratl, and two dirhams and a warka quarter for the local ratl. And barley (was) at twenty-five dirhams for a waibah and beans (al-ful) at twenty dirhams for a waibah; and as regards chick-pea and lentils and rambling vetch, they were few, and he who found any of them would buy it for two dirhams and a quarter a pot, and lupines and trefoil at two dinars an ardab. Then soaked lupines reached a dirham a pot, and people sold of (their) furniture and possessions and dwellings and female slaves and male slaves, and what (had) a value of a dinar (was sold) for a dirham. And many people sold their sons and their daughters as slaves (Mamalik) for service, and they offered the excuse, saying: «We sell them to him who will feed them with bread, so that they may live by it better than that they should die of hunger». And a son would snatch away bread and other than it from the hand of his father, so that he might live by it himself, and the father would snatch away from his son, so that he might live himself. And they ate the flesh of dead animals, asses and mules and horses and dogs and cats, and all rodents and beasts, and living and dead birds. And nursing women were unable through hunger to suckle, (and) they cast away their children in the mosque (Gami`) of the village, and in others of the cities, in all the Land of

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Egypt (Misr). They would cast away the small children, a child of one month, two months and three (months) and above this, in the mosques (Gawami`) and the prayer-houses (Masagid) and the ways and the markets at night. Other women and men would come and would take them in their swaddling-clothes, (saying): «We will foster them for the sake of God», and they would eat them, and some people fostered them. And every day there used to be in the morning in the mosque (Gimi`) of the village a great multitude of them, and the evening had not come before they took them. And the guards used to catch many women and with them pots, and they found in them the flesh of people, small and great cooked, boiled and fried. And they led them to the governors (wulat), (and) they beat them, and some whom they found had slaughtered and killed, they would kill them. And there was a band of people, male youths, who used to stand in the markets, night and day, and they used to snatch away what the people bought, and to sum up things, they ate one another, and the strong would prevail over the weak and would eat him. And there did not remain any one to bury any one in the earth. And death was held of little account, so that (the dead) were thrown down in the streets and the lanes and the ways, and (on) the mounds. And no one wept over another and no woman mourned nor lamented, and pity was uprooted from the hearts of the people, and hope was cut off from life, and despair took place. And the people perished, and the cities were ruined, and the towns were deserted, because the inhabitants of the towns left for the cities to seek a means of livelihood, because no one remained to do any work or to erect a building. And the strength of the people was weakened through hunger and death, and none remained to beg, saying: «For the sake of God a morsel or a bite!» but would say «For the sake of God a crumb!». This was the saying of those who begged. And the notables of the people in Cairo (Misr) and Cairo (al-Kahirah) of the military and the scribes and the generous people of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) and the Christians (an-Nasara) used to give alms to the poor, and everyone did according to the means of his ability. And these

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conditions continued to last (during the) year (five hundred and ninety-) seven and (five hundred and ninety-) eight [1200-1202 A.D.]. And when it was in (the) month of Rabi`a al-Awal (in the) year five hundred and ninety-nine [1202 A.D.], God beheld — His might be exalted — the ruin of the people, and He had mercy upon them, and prices became normal. And bread was sold at three ratls for a Cairene (Misri) dirham, and at the village ratl, a ratl for a dirham. And in (the month of) Rabi`a al-Akhar six (loaves) were sold for a dirham the Cairene (Misri) ratl, and at the village ratl, two ratls for a dirham. And the people returned little by little, and they began to (re)build, and the glazers and the weavers and the artisans began to work. And in (the year) (five hundred and ninety-) nine bread was sold, eleven ratls for a dirham at the Cairene (Misri) (ratl), and at the village (ratl) four ratls for a dirham. And prices diminished, and the ways became safe, and people journeyed on land and sea after the ways had been cut off, and no one had been able to journey alone, otherwise ghouls would have eaten him, who were ghouls of the sons of Adam (5). And I take refuge in God from the wrath of God! And this is what came to an end for us as regards information, and we wrote this biography. And the father, the patriarch, — may God grant to us acceptation of the blessing of his prayer! — was alive in (the month of) Shawwal (in the) year six hundred and three of the Lunar (Year) [1207 A.D.] which corresponds to the middle of (the month of) Bashuns (in the) year nine hundred and twenty-three of the Righteous Martyrs — may their prayers guard us and you! And there wrote with me Ibn Abu Makarim Ibn Barakat Ibn Abu'l-`Ula in his handwriting for himself; and he who is acquainted with the going to his rest of the father John (Yuhanna) and knows something (which) is new in his days, let him record it and complete thereby his biography. And glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God! And in the days

(4) I.e. the River Nile.

(5) I.e. human ghouls,

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of this father, it came to his knowledge that a priest from the inhabitants of Al-Bashmur dwelt in the city of Alexandria and its (2) priests used to press him to celebrate the Liturgy in its churches, and he continued on this wise for some time. Then there came a man who knew him, from the inhabitants of his town to the father, the patriarch, Abba (Anba) John (Yuhanna), and he made known to him that the wife of the mentioned priest had died, and (that) he had married a second (wife), and that he had violated the Canon of Holy Orders. And this was very difficult for him (6) to support, and he interdicted the mentioned priest, and he caused the churches to be closed in Alexandria. And he wrote to the priests a severe letter, and they came to him to Cairo (Misr). And he imposed hard conditions upon them, and this was very hard for them to support, and they besought him and importuned him through the archons of Cairo (Misr) until he forgave them. And he laid it down that no stranger should begin again to act (thus) among them; and he took their signatures for this, and this continued during all his days. And when God — His might and His greatness be magnified! — provided a calm period for your brother who concerned himself with this holy biography, he exerted himself in seeking it (the biography) from every place, and he collected it, and he wrote it with his hand for himself in his lifetime. He (your brother) was acquainted in the days of this venerable father with an affair (which) happened in the days of this patriarchate. And some of our forefathers from among the elders (as-Shiyukh) mentioned that the like of it had happened in the days of those who had preceded him from among the patriarchs. God grant to us and to you the acceptation of their

(2) I.e. of Alexandria.

(6) I.e. the patriarch.

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acceptable prayers, who were chosen by God and sustained by the Holy Spirit Who dwells in their hearts! +

And the King of Ethiopia (al-Habashah) and Nubia (an-Nubah) had sent messengers and they came to him (the patriarch) with a letter of the king, asking from him that he should consecrate for them a metropolitan (Mutran), because the metropolitan (Mutran) who was with them had gone to his rest. And (it was) a custom of the king that, if he sent messengers to the patriarch, he would send with them a splendid gift to the Sultan of Egypt (Misr) and a letter to him that he should request the patriarch to consecrate the metropolitan (Mutran). And when the messengers came to the patriarch, they stayed with him about three months. And he would send his disciples to the monasteries in Scetis (Wadi Habib) and to other than them, and he would consider whether (there was) with him in Cairo (Misr) and Cairo (al-Kahirah) one who was fit for the metropolitanate. And he did not find one, and the messengers became impatient from the length of their stay with him, and they resolved that they would make known to the Sultan the story of their condition. And the kingdom of the Land of Egypt (Misr) belonged to the kings of the Ghuzz (al-Ghuzz) (2), and the king at that time (was) Al-`Adil Abu Bakr Ibn Aiyub. And at that time there was included in the Kingdom of Egypt (Misr) Jerusalem, and all the Littoral, except Acre (`Akka) and Tyr (Sur) and some of the fortresses and towns which remained to the Franks (al-Farang), and in his kingdom there was also Damascus (Dimask) and its provinces, and from beyond the River Euphrates (al-Furat) and Harran (Harran) and Minbig and Nisibis (Nasibin) and Edessa (ar-Ruha) and a number of places and towns the names of which are not known. And he was a king just, cautious, powerful, and (he had made) many raids against the Franks (al-Farang) and the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and he conquered cities and towns. And he had about fifteen children, and the number

(2) The Ghuzz here mean «Kurds».

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of his troops was ten thousand, eunuchs and young male slaves, and mamluks (mamalik); he descended (and) he purchased them with his money. And when the letter came to him (1) from the king of Ethiopia (al-Habashah), as we have said at the beginning, that he should request the patriarch to consecrate a metropolitan (Mutran), and that he should cause him to journey with the messengers of the king, he requested him concerning this. And the stay of the messengers was prolonged with him (the patriarch), and he did not find anyone. And he perceived that, if their stay continued longer, they would complain to the Sultan. And he turned his mind to think of the bishops, when he did not find one from among the monks and the laity who complied with his intention. He agreed with those who were present with him from among the companions and the archons and the priests on a man named Kil Ibn al-Malbas from the inhabitants of Tukh Muthur from the provinces of al-Gharbiah. He had consecrated him a bishop for the city of Fuah, and he was a virgin, learned in the Old and the New (Testaments), of cheerful countenance, tall of stature, with black eyes, brown in colour with redness, very handsome in appearance, with a lisp in his speech perfect in his members and his knowledge. And he took him and he consecrated him metropolitan (Mutran), and he caused him to journey with the messengers of the king. And those who journeyed with him and returned brought news, that the king had met him (at a distance of) three days' journey from the city with robes of honour and marks of respect; and with him (were)

(1) I.e. Al-`Adil Abu Bakr Ibn Aiyub.

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priests and bishops and a great number of troops and many people. When he reached the city of the king, all who (were) in it came out to meet him, and they held over his head an umbrella woven with gold and crowned with jewels, and they rejoiced with him exceedingly. And when he celebrated the first Liturgy, they scattered over him much gold, and they burned very much aloe-wood and ambergris in the censer of the church. And they received him in the House of the Metropolitanate (al-Mutranah), and they appointed for him ten priests for his service and to guard what was in the way of supplies of the metropolitanate (al-Mutranah) in the way of gold and silver and clothing and books of the Church and other treasures, and stores in which were the kitchen utensils for food and wheat and grains. And the king and the amirs with him bore to him (the metropolitan) many horses and mules for his riding, and for his service slaves and female slaves. And the country had been deprived of rain, and when he (the metropolitan) arrived and had celebrated the Liturgy, God accepted his prayers, and He caused to descend the rain, and their joy in him increased, and they feared him and they revered him. And the king used to ride at all times to his house, and his (the metropolitan's) esteem was magnified with them, and he remained with them on this wise for four years. And when it was in the fifth year, news of him (the metropolitan) reached the father, the patriarch Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis), that he (the metropolitan) had departed from the city of the king, and (that) he had gone out from it to Egypt (Misr) to the Patriarchal Cell. And this was displeasing to the father, the patriarch, and (his) opinion continued to be divided and (his) heart was uneasy on account of it, until he (the metropolitan) came to Cairo (Misr), and was present before him. And he (the patriarch) asked him concerning the reason for his return. And he mentioned that the queen, the wife of the king, had a brother, his name (being) Khairun and that she did not cease to importune him

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and to trouble him and to intercede with him through the king, until he consecrated him bishop of the city of the king. And when he had consecrated him, he used to ride with the umbrellas as the metropolitan (al-Mutran), and he gained the priests over to him, and he began to judge among the people and to prevent the people from going to the House of the Metropolitan (al-Mutran), and they did not greet him (the metropolitan), and they did not obey him in anything. And the king had gone out from his city with his troops to war against his enemies; and Khairun made a plot to kill the metropolitan (al-Mutran). And some people from among those with him intrigued against him, and they climbed into the House of the Metropolitan (al-Mutran) at night to kill him, and he escaped from them. And there followed him about five hundred souls, companions of the metropolitan (al-Mutran), and slaves whom he had purchased, and intendants and others than them to the regions of the Cell of the metropolitan (al-Mutran), and their number according to what was mentioned, (was) about forty towns. And when he had gone out from the city of the king and had journeyed from it on the return to Egypt (Misr) for the space of three days, he commanded the priests and the people who had come to take leave of him to return, and they returned. And the company of his companions (was) about one hundred men, and they perished on the way from hunger and thirst, because, when they went out from the lands of the king, they came into lands other than his, from among the infidel kings. And they endured great hardship from them, and they used to forbid them transit through their lands, unless they took from them gold and other things beside it, and the metropolitan (al-Mutran) did not reach Egypt (Misr), except poor, and whatsoever was with him in the way of wealth and souls perished, and there arrived with him from all, two male slaves and one female slave and a civet-cat, and the rest had perished. And when the patriarch was informed of what we have mentioned before, he ordered that he (the metropolitan) should reside in some of the churches of Cairo (al-Kahirah), until he (the

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patriarch) should write to the king a letter enquiring into the truth of what he metropolitan (al-Mutran) had reported. And the metropolitan (al-Mutran) went to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he stayed at the Church of the Harat Zuwailah with some people of the archons who were called the Sons of Gamal al-Kafah. And the father, the patriarch, wrote to the king a letter and despatched it by the hand of the priest Moses (Musa) and with him (was) one of his disciples; and he was absent from him (the patriarch), going and coming, for the space of a year. Then the answer returned from the king, and it said concerning the metropolitan (al-Mutran) that he had killed a priest (who was) senior in his order (τάξις), chief of the ten priests who (was) in charge of guarding the treasury of the metropolitanate (al-Mutranah). And the reason for this (was), that he (the metropolitan) accused him that he had taken a bar of gold from the treasury of the metropolitanate (al-Mutranah). And he had him stretched out (4) and he ordered his slaves to beat him, and they beat him before him without mercy, and he continued to order them to beat him, until he (the priest) rendered his spirit. And a company of priests asked him about him (the priest), and he did not accept a question about him. And (it was) the relatives of the priest whom he had killed, who had climbed up to him to kill him in return for his killing of their companion. And as for Khairun whom the metropolitan (al-Mutran) had consecrated bishop, the messengers stated that he had died two months after the departure of the metropolitan (al-Mutran) from their lands. And in that year it had not rained in their lands, and, therefore, they had despatched the messengers with a request for a metropolitan (Mutran) other than him. And (they said) that he (the metropolitan) had built in the city which belonged to the king a dwelling-place in which he had planted trees, and caused water in it to penetrate into its court, and he expended

(4) I.e. on the ground.

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on it much money, and he whitened it, and he made for it long corridors. He who enters them becomes weary before he reaches their lowest part and their highest part. And he fortified it, and he named it «The Castle» (1). And he used to isolate himself in it from the people, and he did not go out, except from Sunday to Sunday, riding to the church (on) a high mule and the umbrella over his head and around him and behind him horsemen and his men, about five hundred men other than the priests and the people who followed him to the church. And he would change when he went up to the sanctuary, his robes for those woven with gold and ornamented with precious stones worth much money. And he (the king) mentioned many words about him with which I am not acquainted; and this is (only) something of what I heard from all the letter which reached the patriarch. And there arrived in company with the priest Moses (Musa) the messengers of the king, and there accompanied them a splendid gift and a crown of gold for the patriarch, and a splendid gift for the Sultan, including beasts, and they were an elephant, and a lion, and a giraffe and an onager; and (on) the day of their arrival there was a great rejoicing with the patriarch. And Al-Malik al-`Adil was Sultan of the Land of Egypt (Misr) in that year, and it was (the) year six hundred and six of the Lunar (Year) (2) which corresponds to (the) year nine hundred and twenty-six of the Righteous Martyrs. He (Al-Malik al-`Adil) was absent in warfare against the city of Singar (Singar) and was besieging it with his soldiers. And his son Al-Malik al-Kamil was his representative (naib) in the Land of Egypt (Misr). And the patriarch took the messengers and the gifts which arrived with them for him and for the Sultan, (and) he bore all to him (Al-Malik al-Kamil). And he admired the crown, and he said: «I did not think that with them (were) those who made (such as) this». And the messenger said to him: «O Sire King, we know the humility of the patriarch, and that he would not

(1) The large XIXth century building in the Monastery Al-Muharrak is called the 'Pachomian Castle', cf. O.F.A. Meinardus, Monks and Monasteries of the Egyptian Deserts, Cairo, 1961, p. 304.

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wear it; and if he (the King of Ethiopia) knew that he would wear it and sit with it, he would have ornamented it with jewels the value of which would be the tax: of all the Land of Egypt (Misr)». And Al-Malik al-Kamil marvelled at his speech, and he asked him concerning the king (1) and his troops and his wars. Then the messenger took out a letter for him from the king to the Sultan, and he said to him: «If you read his letter, you will know how he is and how are his troops». And when he had read the letter of the king, he found from its contents that he was asking the Sultan to go to the venerable, great, notable patriarch, describing the virtues of the patriarch and saying 'all the kings and all the world' — and saying to the Sultan, 'and your kingdom, O King, are preserved through his prayers, so guard him, and honour him, and propose to him that he should consecrate for us a metropolitan (Mutran) other than the metropolitan (al-Mutran) who was with us, and never to send him back to us'. And when Al-Malik al-Kamil learned of the contents of the letter, he proposed to the patriarch that he should consecrate for them a metropolitan (Mutran) other than him (2) speedily, and (that) he should not detain them (the messengers) with him. Then he turned to the messenger and he said to him: «I have read the letter of your king, and he is an intelligent man — hold! Inform me of your saying to me, 'When you have read his letter, you will know who he is'. And the messenger said to him: «If I began to describe to you his virtues and his troops and his wars, and the support of God to him, and (His) granting victory to him over his enemies, the description would be drawn out, but I shall abridge (it) for you a little, that you may know from it the more. (It was) that, one day before my journey, the king reviewed the troops of one of the amirs, and I was standing in his retinue, and their complement was sixty-thousand horsemen other than their followers from among their youths and their hangers-on. And Al-Malik al-Kamil smiled at his saying, and he commanded (that) the gift should be delivered up and he said to the patriarch: «Take your gift. How is it, the king sets apart for you something, (and) you

(1) I.e. the king of Ethiopia.

(2) I.e. the former metropolitan.

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bear it to us?» And be (the patriarch) swore (that) he would not take it, and he (the king) took an oath on the life of his father Al-Malik al-`Adil that he would accept it, and he accepted it. He commanded the withdrawal of the men of the messenger, and (he requested) that the patriarch should consecrate for them a metropolitan (Mutran) and not detain them (the messengers). And he (the patriarch) went out from the presence of Al-Malik al-Kamil and he returned to Cairo (Misr), and he caused to be brought the priests of Cairo (Misr) and Cairo (al-Kahirah) and their archons, and he assembled a great assembly. And the Muslims (al-Muslimin) at Cairo (al-Kahirah) overheard what had happened to the patriarch with Al-Malik al-Kamil, and that he (the patriarch) had gone up to Cairo (Misr) to consecrate a metropolitan (Mutran). And they hired every beast at the Gate Zuwailah and other than it of the gates, and they went up to Cairo (Misr); and the hire of an ass from Cairo (al-Kahirah) to Cairo (Misr) reached three dirhams, so that they might go to view (the ceremony). And when the Church al-Mu`allakah was filled with people, Christians (Nasara) and Muslims (Muslimin), he stopped it (the ceremony), and he dismissed the people of both parties (4). The patriarch caused to be brought Kiil Ibn al-Malabas, the former metropolitan (al-Mutran), and he deposed him from the metropolitanate (al-Mutranah), and he was displeased with him, and he removed him. And it was, when the messenger of the king arrived, (that) there came two brothers, monks of the Monastery of Abba (Anba) Antony (Andunah), and he (the patriarch) delivered the two of them to the disciples. And they had reached to the limit of virtue and asceticism, renunciation of the world and solitude and isolation from the monks in the monastery, and assiduity in prayer, night and day, and humility and service for their brethren without complaint or weariness. One of the two of them (was) more learned

(4) I.e. the Christians and the Muslims.

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than the other, (and) all who knew the two of them testified to their virtue. And the names of the two of them (were) Isaac (Ishak) and Joseph (Yusif), from the inhabitants of al-Bastamir And he (the patriarch) consecrated Isaac (Ishak), and he was the younger metropolitan (Mutran), and he ordained Joseph (Yusif), and he was the elder, a priest, and he caused him to journey with him. And this (was) on the second Sunday of the Holy Lent, the eleventh of (the month of) Baramhat (in the) year nine hundred and twenty-six of the Righteous Martyrs [1210 A.D.], which corresponds to the ninth of (the month of) the blessed Ramadan (in the) year six hundred and six of the Lunar (Year). As for Kiil Ibn al-Malabas, the excommunicated metropolitan, (al-Mutran), he descended from the Church al-Mu`allakah with great shame, and he was shrieking and putting dust on his head. And he went on his way thus; and he was deprived of the metropolitanate (al-Mutranah) and the episcopacy on account of the misuse of his stewardship. And as for the new metropolitan (al-Mutran) and his brother the priest, the messengers of the king took them, and they went with them with honour and peace to the city of `Arafah, the city of the king, for which he had been consecrated the metropolitan (al-Mutran), and over all Ethiopia (al-Habashat), and Joseph (Yusif), the brother of the metropolitan (al-Mutran) (was) the priest. And the name of the king at that time was Lalibala (Lalibalah) Ibn Shenouti (Shanudah), and its interpretation (is) «The Lion», and the name of his wife (was) Kebra Maskal (Masghal Kabra) of which the interpretation (is) «Great is the Cross». And the race of the king (was) the tribe called An-Nakbah, and

(1) In the Province of Dakahliah, cf. Omar Toussoun, op. cit., p. 300. 

(2) Cf. M. Chaine, La Chronologie des Temps Chretiens de l'Egypte et de l'Ethiopie, Paris, 1925, p. 268, line 2.

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he (the king) caused him the metropolitan (al-Mutran) to reside in the city of `Arafah. And he (the king) had two sons, the name of the elder was Yabarak, and the younger A..(1). And when it was the day of Monday, the fourteenth of Bashuns (in the) year nine hundred and twenty-seven of the Pure Martyrs which corresponds to the twenty-fourth of Dhu'l-Ka`dah (in the) year six hundred and seven [1211 A.D.], there arrived at Damietta (Dumyat) eighteen ships of the Franks (al-Afrang) (with) military equipment. And they descended at the Monastery of Jeremiah (Irmya) which belongs to the Melchites (al-Malakiyin), which is near to Damietta (Dumyat) the distance of a parasang (farasanh)(3), on the side of the western shore, the shore of Burah and al-Hairah. And there was among all the ships, a large transport-ship, its crew (being) one thousand sailors and warriors, and two transport-ships for carrying the horses, in each transport-ship fifty knights (horsemen), and seven warships and eight fire-ships. They had been equipped from Acre (`Akka), and they came out from it, (and) they descended at the mentioned monastery. And their leader and their commander was a man called Count Aflank (5). And there disembarked from the ships one hundred knights (horsemen) and a thousand men. They divided into two halves: fifty knights (horsemen) and five hundred men went to al-Hairah. They killed and they took captives from its inhabitants, men and women, (and) they pillaged it and they burned it with fire. And fifty knights (horsemen) and five hundred men went to Burah, (and) they killed and they took captives from it, men and women; and they pillaged from it many objects, pieces of brocaded cloth (Sharb) (6) among

(1) This name is written without the diacritical points,

(3) = between 3 and 3.5 English miles.

(5) The expedition which is described here is that which was undertaken by Gautier de Montbeliand, cf. E. Blochet, op. cit., p. 299. It cannot be that of Jean de Brienne who disembarked opposite to Damietta on May 29th, 1218 A.D., since in this expedition Damietta was not taken. Cf. R. Grousset, L'Epopee des Croisades, p. 296 sqq., et R. Grousset, L'Empire du Levant, pp. 254-255.

(6) For a description of this brocade, cf. B.T.A. Evetts, The Churches and Monasteries of Egypt, pp. 62-63.

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which many belonging to the Sultan, their value (being) five thousand dinars, and (other pieces) belonging to a man, a judge (Kadi) called `Ali. They mentioned that he had resided in it (Burah) for two years. He used to manufacture and produce turbans, they said, for ten thousand dinars, and they said more than that. And as for the inhabitants of the town, it was not possible to know what they took belonging to them in the way of turbans goods, bags filled with dinars round the waists of their women. And among all of them (was) the wife of the Judge (Kadi) `Ali, judge of Burah, and there was around her waist a bag of one thousand dinars. And when they had pillaged the town and had killed and had taken captive those they could of it, they burned some of it with fire, (and) all this (was) on the Monday. And they disembarked from the ships tents, and they pitched them before their ships on the land, (and) among them was a red tent belonging to the king who was with them. And they began to pillage and to kill and to take captive every one whom they found on the Monday, the Tuesday and the Wednesday. And during this period no troops went out to them, and no one fought against them, because the troops of Egypt (Misr) were in Syria (ash-Sham) with Al-Malik al-`Adil. And Galdak, governor (wali) of Damietta (Dumyat) dared not cross over (4) to them to fight them on account of the fewness of his soldiers, but he barred the gates of Damietta (Dumyat) and he manned the wall with the inhabitants of the town and his soldiers. And there was at Damietta (Dumyat) eight warships of the fleet with the commander Mansur. And he did not go out to them and he did not fight against them. And when they saw that no one fought against them, they became emboldened, and they knew that no one in the town would oppose them, some of them crossed over in the fire-ships to the land of Damietta (Dumyat), and they fought against it, and they did not prevail over it in any way, and they returned to their ships. And the

(4) I.e. the river Nile at Damietta.

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wind was favourable to them, and they returned to their land with their spoil. And the enemy had also invaded the Land of Egypt (Misr) in the days of this father once before from the side of Rosetta (Fum Rashid), and it did (the same) in it, and in Fuah, in Hairah, and in Burah, and both these times the enemy succeeded in them, and they took spoils from the frontiers of the land, and they returned safe; and (it was) the order of God — praised be He! what He wills He does. And after these things, the Sultan returned to the Land of Egypt (Misr) in (the) year six hundred and eight [1211-1212 A.D.], and he remained in it. And when it was in (the month of) Ragab (in the) year six hundred and nine [1212-1213 A.D.], he went out hunting in Gizah, and with him his son Al-Malik al-Kamil. And he journeyed on the paved way to Alexandria, and he entered it, and he examined its walls and arranged its affairs, and he went out from it, after he had stayed in it twenty days. He crossed over to the land of (the Province of) al-Gharbiah and passed through its towns and examined their causeways, and he crossed over from it to the eastern land (province). He went to Damietta (Dumyat) and examined its walls and its fortifications and its towers, and he bestowed robes of honour on the builders and the engineers. And he went out to Ashmun and descended at it, and his son Al-Mu`azzam came to him, and he informed him that he had sought to take the Fortress of Kaukab (11) from `Izz ad-Din Usamah, because he had bought it from the mamluk (mamluk) of Usamah who (was) in it, for ten thousand dinars, and it was settled that he should deliver it up to him. And

(11) This is the stronghold Belvoir of the Crusaders,

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the mamluk (mamluk) of Usamah who was in the fortress revealed the case to his wife, and he said to her: «We will take this large sum of money, we shall live by it, and we shall purchase with it fiefs and property. And Al-Mu`azzam has sworn to me that he will not send me out from it; and that my rule shall be over it and over other than it of his fortresses, and that he will give to me a trumpet (buk) and a standard, and I shall be with him as his equerry». And his wife said to him: «Good, do what you will», and she knew how to write, and she rose up immediately, and she wrote to Ibn Usamah, and he was staying in the fortress of Safad, making known to him the case, and she said to him: «Hasten, and go in advance to the fortress, otherwise Al-Mu`azzam will precede you to it». And he rose up, on learning the contents of the letter, and he went in advance, going to the fortress, and he took the mamluk (mamluk), and he put fetters on him, and he cast him into the dungeon which is in it. And on the morning of the next day Al-Mu`azzam came to it, and Ibn Usamah greeted him from its (3) summit, and he said to him: «Behold, our Sire has honoured us by his passing through our land». Al-Mu`azzam said to him: «I wish to hunt». Ibn Usamah said to him: «You have missed (the quarry)», and he laughed at him. And then instantly (he set out) for Egypt (Misr) until he met his father, and he informed him about the case. And when news reached `Izz ad-Din Usamah about what had occurred with Al-Mu`azzam, he took his troops, and the common people mentioned that three other amirs journeyed with him, and that he journeyed to Syria (ash-Sham) with about two thousand horsemen. And some people said that he was going to his fortresses, and some people said that he was going to Aleppo (Halab) to Al-Malik az-Zahir. And this (was) in (the) month of Sha`ban (in the) year six hundred and nine [1213 A.D.]; and they mentioned that Al-Malik al-Kamil journeyed in pursuit of him with troops and mangonels to besiege him in his fortresses. And when

(3) I.e. of the fortress.

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Al-Malik al-`Adil was assured of his journey, he went from Asmum, and he descended at Al-`Abbassah,, and he summoned the soldiers that they should make ready their baggage to journey to Syria (ash-Sham). And Usamah journeyed with the Arabs (al-`Arab), and they betrayed him, and they delivered him up to Al-Malik al-Mu`azzam, and he delivered him to his father Al-Malik al-`Adil. And Al-Malik al-Adil had journeyed to seek him, as we have said before. And when God caused him to triumph over him, he went to the Fortress of Kaukab, and he descended at it, and he besieged it, and the mamluk (mamluk) of Usamah who (was) in it delivered it up; and he carried off all what (was) in it in the way of money and grain and arms to (a place) other than it. And he demolished it, and he carried away its stones to (a place) other than it, and it was the fortress (on) the mountain of Natrun (an-Natrun) (and) he (re)built it with them. And he turned to Damascus (Dimask) in (the) year six hundred and nine [1212-1213 A.D.], after he had taken Usamah and had taken the rest of his fortresses, and they were the Fortress of Safad and the Fortress of `Aglun and others than them (of) which we do not know. And statements about the affair of Usamah differed; some people said (that) he killed him, (and) some people said (that) he was confined in the Karak, in the days of this patriarch (9). And after these calamities, a monk from the Monastery of Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar), from the Cell of Batarirkhus, his name was John (Yuhanna), professed al-Islam before Al-Malik al-Kamil, and he paid

(9) I.e. John VI. 'in the days of this patriarch' is added from MS. P.

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to him (as) his worth Minyat Ghamr. And he resided in it esteemed for three years, and he used to pray with the Muslims (al-Muslimin) in the mosque (al-Gami`) at it and the prayer houses (al-Masagid). And after this, he remembered his religion and his monkhood, and he repented. And he bought a piece of coarse cloth and a scarf (mandh/lion), and he took them and he went and he stood before Al-Malik al-Kamil, and he said to him: «These (are) my burial-clothes, whether you kill me or give back to me my religion». He signed a favourable decision for him to all the governors (al-Wulat) to give back to him his religion; and he (the monk) wore the garments of monasticism, and he manifested the religion of Christianity (an-Nasraniah), and he remained thus for a time, until it happened that a Christian (Nasrani) man from the inhabitants of Upper Egypt (as-Sa`id) professed al-Islam. Afterwards, he (the man) remembered his religion, and he repented, and he took his shroud, and he stood before Al-Malik al-`Adil, before his journey to Damascus (Dimask), and he said to him: «Give back to me my religion, as your son, Al-Malik al-Kamil, gave back to the monk his religion, and wrote for him that no one should oppose him». And when Al-Malik al-`Adil heard his speech, he commanded that he should be delivered up to the Governor (Wali) of Cairo (al-Kahirah), and that he should inflict punishment upon him until he died, or renewed his Islam. And he professed a second time al-Islam, and he did not endure the punishment. And Al-Malik al-`Adil caused to be sent immediately a mamluk (mamluk) to the Monastery of Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar), and he commanded that he should take John (Yuhanna), and if he professed al-Islam, (it was well), otherwise, he should behead him and bring it (the head) to him. And the mamluk (mamluk) went to the Monastery, and he took him and he said to him: «Choose what you will, either al-Islam or death», and he (the monk) professed al-lslam. And he went out from the Monastery with the mamluk (mamluk), and he brought him to the Sultan Al-Malik al-`Adil, and he renewed his Islam before him, and he (Al-Malik al-`Adil) returned to him (as)

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his worth Minyat Ghamr and he resided in it for a time, after the journey of the Sultan. Then he presented himself to Al-Malik al-Kamil, and he said that the monks had dug a well in the Monastery of Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar), and (that) they had found in it a treasure and vessels and much jewelry, and (that) the monks had brought a Muslim (Muslim) builder (who) built for them the well, and (that) it was he who had dug it. It was the aim of the monk John (Yuhanna) that Al-Malik al-Kamil should take all the vessels of the monasteries, when he had completed taking the vessels of the Monastery of Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar). And the Master Christ (al-Masih) manifested the virtues of the Saint Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar), and He repelled this shameless (one) from His beloved and His saints (as) despicable and vile. He did not reach his aim, and this (because) he said to Al-Malik al-Kamil that it was a treasure from the time of the Greeks (ar-Rum), and his saying thus was arranged by God to prove him a liar and for the sake of safety. And Al-Malik al-Kamil delegated with him three of his mamluks (mamalik) and with them witnesses, and they journeyed to the monastery in a great company. And the shameless (one) did not know the place of the vessels, because they (were) hidden under the ground, and (no one) knew their place, except the head of the monastery or another man of the trustworthy elders. Then John (Yuhanna) seized a group of monks in whose cell there was jealousy, and he chastised them. And when the head of the monastery knew that, if he delayed in revealing the vessels, he (John) would overcome the monks by chastisement, and would cause them to depart from their religion, he hastened and presented himself before the witnesses, (and) he said to them and to the soldiers who (were) with them that this man (John) had reported a lie to the Sultan and had altered

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the truth, thinking thereby that he (the Sultan) would agree to his oppression; and we have nothing of the vessels, except a chalice of silver or a paten of silver or a silk veil (1) to cover with it the altar (2) at the time of the Offering (al-Kurban) (3), and all of them (are) for use at the Offering (al-Kurban). The Christians (an-Nasara) provided for them and sent them, and the name of every one of them is written on what he made And the witnesses said to him: «If it be true what you have said, then Al-Malik al-Kamil is just — may God perpetuate his kingdom! — and it appertains to his justice that he will take nothing of them. Quieten your heart and the hearts of your companions, and bring them (the vessels) so that we may see them and may know that your adversary has lied with regard to what he related concerning you, when what is in the way of writing on them has been read». And this happened through the design of God. And the head of the monastery arose from before the witnesses, and he disclosed the place, and he caused to be taken out the vessels, and the witnesses recorded them all on sheets of paper, and they bore them to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and they brought them before Al-Malik al-Kamil, and he read all of them. And there was among all a fine crystal water-wheel (sakiah) of marvellous workmanship and a net of pearls. And al-Malik al-KAmil brought experts in jewelry and cloth-merchants, and they valued the jewelry and the silk veils and all the vessels. And he who was present recorded that they were valued at three thousand dinars in brief, and, perhaps, (their) worth surpassed that. And Al-Malik al-Kamil caused the patriarch Abba (Anba) John (Yuhanna) to be brought, and he delivered to him all the vessels, after he had said: «Seek a Christian (Nasrani) man who has professed al-Islam and has accepted the religion of al-Islam by consentment, and (who) is renowned in it for his trustworthiness

(1) This is the veil called «Προσφέρειν», cf. O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, The Egyptian or Coptic Church, p. 23.

(2) The term ' haikal ' is strictly applied to the sanctuary, but it is often extended to the altar.

(3) I.e. the Divine Liturgy.

(4) The donor's name is often inscribed on sacred vessels.

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and his religion and his faith, that he may read for us what is written on these vessels. And they caused to be brought a man from the inhabitants of Alexandria, his name (being) Peter (Butrus) Ibn John (Yuhanna), (who) had been a deacon in the Church of the Lady at it, and (who) had professed al-Islam. And he read to Al-Malik al-Kamil the Coptic which was on the chalices and the patens and the crosses and the spoons the name of every one who had done something on it (2). And Al-Malik al-Kamil was amazed at this, and he commanded that three elders (Shiyukh) of the monks should swore that these vessels were not found in a well, and they swore. And they caused to be brought the builder who had dug for them the well and built it, and he was a Muslim (Muslim) man. And he witnessed before the Sultan that (it was) he who had dug the well and had built it, and (that) there was nothing in it, and the Sultan believed him. And, thereupon, Al-Hakim Abu Sakir said to Al-Malik al-Kamil «O our Sire, there was a report to Al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Din — may God have mercy upon him! (4) — concerning these vessels, and he caused them to be brought, and he understood the falsehood of the reporter, and he returned them to their monastery. Thereupon, Al-Malik al-Kamil returned them, and he commanded them to be delivered to the patriarch. And he (the patriarch) took them, and he placed them on salvers on the heads of carriers, and he bought many candles, and he went round all the streets of Cairo (al-Kahirah) and its markets, and many people of the Christians (an-Nasara) surrounded them, and he went up with them to Cairo (Misr), and he went round its streets and its markets, and the Christians (an-Nasara) cried out with supplication for the Sultan, and it was a very great, celebrated day. And the procession with the Crosses in its markets and its streets was hard to bear for those

(2) The name of the donor is often inscribed on the sacred vessels in the Coptic Church.

(4) An expression which is used, when speaking of one who is deceased. 

(5) Cf. HPEC, vol. III, part I, p. 58.

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who (were) evil-disposed, but no one dared to utter a word nor stretch out his hand, on account of the fear of Al-Malik al-Kamil — may God perpetuate his days! And after this, there came a monk from the Monastery of Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar) from the Cell of Saksik, (and) he wrote to him (Al-Malik al-Kamil) a report concerning the patriarch, saying in it, that every year there was borne to the patriarch much money from the bishops; and (that it had been) the custom with the patriarchs who were before him to expend from their wealth on the ships of the fleet. And the most high judge (al-Kadi), possessor of the Diwam, took the report from him and submitted it to Al-Malik al-Kamil, and he said to the most high judge (al-Kadi): «O judge (Kadi), if another than we were oppressive, we ourselves shall not be like him. Let this monk go to his monastery until we send for him». And the most high judge (al-Kadi) went out to him, and he said to him what Al-Malik al-Kamil had said. And he (the monk) went out shamefaced, and God preserved the father, the patriarch, from his wiles. And there occurred in the days of the life of this father, in the way of difficult affairs, wars and dearness, and famine which we have mentioned before, and if we were to record what happened in the days of his leadership in all the lands of Egypt (al-Misriyah) we should not reach this, nor should we attain to it. However, we have included this biography which we took over from those who were before us, from our predecessors, and what came to our knowledge from hearing reports of our trustworthy elders (Shiyukh) (who came) to the city of Al-Mahallah, since we dwelt in it and we stayed in it. And apart from us, news was spread from our faithful brethren who resided at Cairo (al-Kahirah) and Cairo (Misr), of what they had witnessed in truth, and knew of a certainty. Then the blessed father, the mentioned Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis), went to his rest on Friday, the sixteenth of (the month of) Ramadan (in the) year six hundred and twelve which corresponds to the twelfth of

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(the month of) Tubah (in the) year nine hundred and thirty-two of the Pure Martyrs [1216 A.D.] — may his prayers protect us. Amen! And this father, the patriarch, heard, while he was alive, that Abba (Anba) Zacharias (Zakharias) the patriarch, when he went to his rest, had commanded that his (John's) holy body should be buried in Hibis below the tomb of Zacharias (Zakharias) the patriarch, and he (John) was buried in the cemetery of Hibis in Cairo (Misr), and they (are) both in it up to the day of the writing of this biography; and peace (be to you), and glory to God always, for ever, eternally. Amen!

We begin with his aid and the excellence of his assistance to explain what occurred in the region (κλῖμαξ) of Egypt (Misr), and what befell the peoples who believe in Christ (Al-Masih) and who live in it, from the tower of Damietta (Dumyat) to the tower of Aswan (Aswan), after the decease of the blessed father, the pure virgin, Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) the patriarch — may God give rest to his soul with the righteous!

I recall what reached my knowledge of it in matters which were brought to me about this biography, and the duration of the remaining of the See without a patriarch, as Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) had prophesied concerning this. And when the time was prolonged, I feared that I might die without explaining this. And God accorded to me a respite until I heard it (the news), and I learned (it), and I saw (it). And I should be as though I forbade myself to record the mercy of God, and I should be parsimonious towards others than myself with regard to it (if I did not do so). And I gave priority to the goodness of God, and I sought from Him aid to me for this, relying on His forgiveness, and trusting in His favour, for He is over all things. And I mentioned at the end of the biography of Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis), the

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patriarch, that he went to his rest on Friday, the twelfth of (the month of) Tubah (in the) year nine hundred and thirty-two of the Pure Martyrs [1216 A.D.] which corresponds to the sixteenth of (the month of) Ramadan (in the) year six hundred and twelve. And I began with the writing of this biography (on) Monday, the seventeenth of (the month of) Baramudah (in the) year nine hundred and thirty-seven [1221 A.D.] which corresponds to the eighteenth of (the month of) Safar (in the) year six hundred and eighteen. The See has remained vacant, without a patriarch, up to this date (3), five years and three months, and what will be in excess of this will be added to it at the time of the consecration of the patriarch whom the Master Christ (al-Masih) shall set up to pasture His people, as the saintly Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis), the patriarch, prophesied. Likewise, it was my father (who) was among those of the elders (as-Shiyukh) of Cairo (Misr), who were present on the day of his (4) going to his rest, (who) informed me that, one day before his death, he (5) swooned for about three hours. Then he opened his eyes, and he conversed with those who were present with him, and he asked them concerning Mansur his disciple, and he was sick. And they said to him «He died». And he said to them: «Shroud him and bury him, for to-morrow I shall be with him». Then he swooned a second time. Then he opened his eyes, and he said to those who were present with him: «There will be between you after me a great dispute concerning whom you will set up (6), and the See will be without a patriarch for a long time, until Christ (al-Masih) will set up for you a man, whence he comes, you know not, and his day will be tranquil, and the Spirit of God will be in him». Then he went to his rest the next day, and they buried him in Hibis at Cairo (Misr) beside the tomb of Zacharias (Zakharias) the patriarch. The See was, and has remained vacant without a patriarch from the day

(3) I.e. 1221 A.D. 

(4) I.e. the patriarch's. 

(5) I.e. the patriarch. 

(6) I.e. as patriarch.

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of the going to his rest up to the day of the writing of this biography, as said before. And this was by the order of God, as the father, Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) prophesied through the Holy Spirit Who spake through his pure month. And we shall explain here what occurred with regard to the dispute between the Cairenes (al-Misriyin) concerning whom they should set up as patriarch from among those who would be fit, fulfilling the qualities and conditions to which the patriarchal canon testifies. The first of them (is) that he should be a virgin, (and) that he should not have known the follies of youth, and that there should be no witness against him as regards frivolous speech, and that there should be testified for him chastity and religion and abundance of faith and learning and modesty, and that he should have read the Old and the New (Testaments). And they were assiduous in seeking one of this quality. And the Land of Egypt (Misr) was under the rule (2) of the Ghuzz (al-Ghuzz), and the king over it (was) Al-Malik al-`Adil Abu Bakr Ibn Aiyub. And there was in his kingdom the Land of Egypt (Misr) and its provinces, and Jerusalem and its provinces, and from beyond the River Euphrates (al-Furat), Harran (Harran) and Edessa (ar-Ruha) and Nisibis (Nasibin) and Minbig and Amid and Martyropolis (Maiyafarikin) and all their provinces. And he had many sons, and he gave the kingdom of the Land of Egypt (Misr) to his son Al-Kamil and his name (was) Muhammad, and he gave Damascus (Dimask) and Jerusalem to his son Al-Mu`azzam, and his name (was) `Isa al-Kuridi, and he gave Khilat (6) to his son Al-Ashraf Musa, and he distributed the cities which were in addition to them to the rest of his sons; and it is said concerning him that he had twenty sons, and he gave the Yemen (al-Yaman) to Akis, a son of his son Al-Malik al-Kamil. Then he died, after he had arranged affairs, and we shall

(2) The Ghuzz here means the Kurds.

(6) Situated at the north-west end of Lake Van, cf. R. Grousset, L'Empire du Levant, map facing p. 106.

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mention this in its place, if we reach to the end of it (the biography). And Al-Malik al-Kamil, the king of Egypt (Misr) had gone out from Cairo (al-Kahirah), wishing for recreation and hunting, and he crossed over to (the Province of) al-Gharbiah, and he journeyed in it making for Alexandria. And he crossed the river of Abiar, and he saw the hermitage of the hermit who was there. And he stood beneath it and he shouted to him, and he (the hermit) conversed with him from above it. And he (Al-Malik al-Kamil) made supplication to him and he complained to him of a pain in his viscera. And he (the hermit) prayed for him over good oil (3), and he gave it to him, and he said to him: «If you anoint the place of the pain, (you will be relieved), and God is the healer». And he (Al-Malik al-Kamil) anointed with it the painful (place), and he was relieved immediately. And he gave to him (the hermit) something as a gift from his hand, and there was affection for him in his heart. Then he returned to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he found a man of the Children of the Copts (al-Kibt), his name (being) Abu'l Fatuh, and he designated him as Nishu'l-Khilafat, known as Ibn al-Mikaz. And Al-Malik al-`Adil had employed him in the Diwan of the Army, and he drew him near to him. And he (Abu'l-Fatuh) used to give as alms all what he possessed, and he would not save anything, and he would do good to everyone who begged of him from among the Christians (an-Nasarah) and the Muslims (al-Muslimin) and all the people And he was never married, and he was perfect in every good work. And he gave hospitality to a man, a priest, his name (being) David (Dauud), known as Ibn Laklak (4) from the inhabitants of the Fayum (al-Fayum). And he was a virtuous, learned (man) (who) had read the Old and the New (Testaments), and he disputed with the opponents of his religion and he prevailed over them. And he became for Nishu'l-Khilafat Abu'l-Fatuh as a teacher, and he used to confess him. And as for Abu'l-Fatuh (he betook himself) to him, and news of him reached

(3) I.e. olive oil.

(4) He became Patriarch of Alexandria, 1235-1243 A.D.

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the father, Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) in his lifetime. He (Yu'annis) had an aversion for the priest David (Dauud) and he had an aversion for Abu'1-Fatuh because he dwelt with him, and he died without having been reconciled with them. And it was, when the metropolitan (al-Mutran) of Ethiopia (al-Habashat) died in the lifetime of Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis), and their messenger came soliciting for them the consecration of a metropolitan (Mutran), and the priest David (Dauud) heard about this, (that) he bore to Al-Malik al-`Adil two hundred dinars, that he should command the patriarch to consecrate him metropolitan (Mutran) for Ethiopia (al-Habashat). And the Sultan caused the messenger to go to the patriarch, commanding him to consecrate him (David) metropolitan (Mutran) for Ethiopia (al-Habashat). And the patriarch said to the messenger of the king: «Say to our Sire, the Sultan, that this one is not fit, because his belief in God is corrupt, because he says concerning God what the Greeks (ar-Rum) say and if he went to the Land of Ethiopia (al-Habashat), he would corrupt them, and he would make them Greek (Rum), and they would depart from my obedience and the obedience of the Sultan, and, perhaps, he would incite them to fight the Muslims (al-Muslimin) who are neighbouring to them in the country, and much blood would be shed among them, and this would be on the conscience of the Sultan; but I and my people (are) innocent of it. And the messenger returned to the Sultan, and he informed him of what the patriarch had said, and he (the Sultan) did not press him (the patriarch) and he did not compel him to consecrate him (David), and God made void his affair, and he lost what he had borne. And some people said that the Sultan returned them (the two hundred dinars) to him at the prayer of Nishu'l-Khilafat and (with) the help of Fakhr ad-Din `Uthman. And straightway the patriarch consecrated a metropolitan (Mutran) other than him for Ethiopia (al-Habashat), and he caused him to journey with the messenger of the king to them. And when the father, the patriarch, Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) went to his rest, Nishu'l-Khilafat Abu'l-Fatuh Ibn al-Mikaz wished to aid the priest David (Dauud) with the Sultan and (with) the

(1) I.e. concerning the Two Natures of Christ, it would seem.

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people that he might be consecrated patriarch. And he made plans for this, and he assembled with a company of the Cairenes (al-Misriyin) scribes and others than them to the end that they should set up the priest David (Dauud) over them as patriarch. A few of them agreed with him, and many disagreed with him, and he was not able to get together all to an agreement nor to one opinion about him (David). And he despatched his messengers to the sees of the fathers, the bishops, in Lower Egypt (al-Wagah al-Bahari) and to the bishop of Tambudi in Upper Egypt (al-Wagah al-Kibli), and he was a virtuous and leaned (man). And there assembled from them seven bishops, and he gave to them hospitality, and he honoured them, and he gave to them gifts, and he sought from them that they should write their signatures on a document (which) he had made for him (David), that he was fit (to be) a patriarch. And there were among them two poor bishops, the name of one of the two of them (being) Hadiah, bishop of Damirah and al-Baramun, and the name of the other (being) Stephen (Istafan), bishop of al-Banwan and the priest David (Dauud) paid to him something. And the two of them used to stand (in the way) of the Sultan when he rode, soliciting from him, that he should have consecrated for them David (Dauud) (as) patriarch. And they would say to the Sultan that the bishops and the assembly of the people had written their signatures that he was fit (to be) patriarch. And it was by a foreordaining of God what I mentioned before, with regard to the affair of the hermit of Abiar with Al-Malik al-Kamil. And when Al-Malik al-Kamil heard them soliciting for them a patriarch, he said to them: «I command that the hermit of Abiar be your patriarch, and I agree on him for you». And he wrote immediately a letter to Shams ad-Din........(6), and to the governor (wali) of (the Province of) al-Gharbiah that

(6) Here there is a lacuna.

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he should go to Abiar and bring down with him the hermit from his hermitage, and (that) he should cause him to journey to Cairo (al-Kahirah); and he (the governor) brought him (the hermit) down from his hermitage, and he caused him to journey to Cairo (al-Kahirah). And when Nishu'l-Khilafat Abu'l-Fatuh heard this, he agreed with the amir Fakhr ad-Din `Uthman, the wazir of Al-Malik al-Kamil, that they should say concerning him to the Sultan that he (the hermit) asked our Sire, the Sultan, that he should not trouble him, and should not cause him to descend from his hermitage. And they despatched messengers, (and) they took him back, after he had reached Kaliub And the inhabitants of Abiar rejoiced at his return to them, and they went up with him to his hermitage. A man, a Jacobite (Ya'kubini) Christian (Nasrani) from the inhabitants of Cairo (Misr) known as Al-As`ad Ibn Sadafah, a surety of the Dar at-Tufah heard news of his (David), and he was zealous for God, as Phinehas (Finhas) was zealous. And he took with him a company of the people, and he stood before the Sultan, and he resisted Nishu'l-Khilafat Ibn Fatuh with regard to the consecration of David (Dauud), and he took as his support Al-Malik al-Kamil, and he said to him concerning David (Dauud) that he had bribed with money, so that he might gain an advantage over us, and we do not accept him. And he had paid to Al-Malik al-`Adil much money, so that he should command the patriarch to make him a metropolitan (Mutran) (He said): «It is not fitting (that) God permit you that you should make him patriarch over us to corrupt our religion and to make all the Copts (Kibt) of the Land of Egypt (Misr) Greek (Rum), and he will cause it to depart from the hands of the Muslims (al-Muslimin)». Al-Malik al-Kamil despatched (a messenger) to the governor (wali) of Cairo (Misr), saying to him: «If you enable Abu'1-Fatuh and his companions to set up for them a patriarch without my order, I shall hang you». And after a few days Al-Malik al-`Adil went out to Alexandria, and Abu'l-Fatuh asked permission from him for the consecration of David (Dauud).

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And he (Al-Malik al-`Adil) said to him: «Make him a patriarch and rejoin me in Alexandria, and tarry not». And when the priest David (Dauud) heard of this, he made two staffs, (and) on one of the two of them a cross ornamented with gold, and the other ornamented with lines of silver. And he caused robes to be cut and mantles of silk, and he prepared what he needed for his consecration. And Abu'l-Fatuh took him with the bishops, and he went up to Cairo (Misr) to the (Church) al-Mu`allakah to consecrate him as patriarch. And news of him reached the governor (wali) of Cairo (Misr) and he rode, and with him a company of his soldiers and his assistants and he came up to the Church al-Mu`allakah And he treated them (2) as base fellows, and he caused them to be impaled, and David (Dauud) escaped, and the bishops departed from the church, taking to their heels from Cairo to their sees. And the affair of David (Dauud) was annulled up to the day of the writing of this biography, according to what was dated previously; and the priests of every place repulsed him, and Nishu'l-Khilafat did not resume speaking about the matter of David (Dauud) or other than him. And we return to the completing of the biography of Al-Malik al-`Adil Abu Bakr Ibn Aiyub, king of the Land of Egypt (Misr) and what (is) with it. And when it was Monday (in) the half of (the month of) Gumada al-Akhar (in the) year six hundred and fourteen [1217 A.D.], news reached him that a king from among the kings of the Franks (al-Farang) called the 'Hankar' (5) from the Island of Barsiliah (6) had arrived at Acre (`Akka) in one hundred and sixty ships and transport-ships, and that he had descended at the marsh of Acre (`Akka)(, and (that) he had reviewed his troops, and (that) their complement was

(2) I.e. those who had assembled.

(5) The king referred to, it would seem, is Andrew II, King of Hungary, who disembarked at Acre in September, 1217 A.D., cf. R. Grousset, L'Empire du Levant, p. 254.

(6) Unidentified.

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four thousand knights (horsemen) and ninety thousand foot-men. And Al-Malik al-`Adil gathered together his troops, and he journeyed through Egypt (Misr), and he descended at Shechem (Nablus), and he descended near to the Franks (al-Afrang), and he remained some days in Shechem (Nablus) until his troops were complete, and he journeyed to Acre (`Akka), and he descended at Toron (at-Tur) (1) at the beginning of (the month of) Ragab (in the) year of its date. Then there arrived a ship and other transport-ships at Acre (`Akka) from other kings, until the marsh of Acre (`Akka) was full, and they descended at it in tents, so that the marsh became narrow for them. And Al-Malik al-Adil heard that they (the Franks) wished to overcome him by night, and he departed from Toron (at-Tur) and he descended at the streams of Baisan at `Ain Galut on account of the abundance of the water there; and his troops had descended from Shechem (Nablus) to the Castle of Mu`ain ad-Din by the bridge of Asamah. And the King Hankar sent to seek a truce from the Sultan, and the king said to his messenger: «Say to him: 'If he come out from Acre (`Akka) to the outside of it, I will make a truce with him'». And his messenger repeated to him what the Sultan had said, and he journeyed on the same day. And when he drew near to the troops of the Muslims (al-Muslimin), the Sultan saw what amazed him in the way of the multitude of the knights (horsemen) and the foot-men, because the King Hankar and the King of Acre (`Akka) and the lord of Gibalah and Tripolis (Tarabulus) and those who remained in the Littoral of the kings had come to an agreement, and they had sworn the one to the other one word, that none of them would abandon his companion, and they were of one heart to fight the Muslims (al-Muslimin). And when Al-Malik al-`Adil learned this, he departed from above Baisan, and he

(1) Mt. Toron, north-west of Acre.

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descended at `Akabah Fik. And everyone followed of his troops (who was) a Muslim (Muslim). And the Franks (al-Afrang) fell upon the rear of the troops, and him whom they overtook, they plundered, and they killed many people, and they took the tents and the beasts and all what was in the place. And they descended below to `Akabah Fik, to the resting-place of the Sultan. And he who reported the news mentioned that Al-Malik al-`Adil had despatched messengers to the sons of his brother Salah ad-Din and to others than them from the kings of the Muslims (al-Muslimin), that they should come to him with their troops and aid him against the Franks (al-Afrang), and not one answered him. And he turned to Damascus (Dimask), and he descended at the meadow as-Sa`ar, and he left with his son Al-Malik al-Mu`azzam, two thousand horsemen with a company of the amirs, to go down to Jerusalem (al-Kuds) to guard it. And on Saturday (in) the half of the month of Ramadan there arrived a letter (from) Galdak, governor (wali) of Damietta (Dumyat), (and) he gave news in it that the kings of the Franks (al-Afrang) had said to the Mibaznah and the Ganubiin: «Toron (at-Tur) (is) yours, go and attack it and take it». And there went out from the Franks (al-Afrang) four thousand men, because it (is) a castle on a high mountain, (and) no knight (horseman) is able to reach it. And there were with them Arabs ('Arab) from the Sons of `Akabah (Bani `Akabah), allies of the Franks (al-Farang), and they were fighting the Muslims (al-Muslimin) with them. And Al-Malik al-Mu`azzam came to them, and with him two thousand horsemen, and they went up to Toron (at-Tur), and they penetrated into the fortress, and they were on the point of taking it, and night came upon them. And Al-Malik al-Mu`azzam sent to the Arabs (al-Arab), the Sons of `Akabah (Bani `Akabah), and he estranged them from the Franks (al-Farang), and he swore to them that he would pay to them the money (which) he had settled with them, and (that) he would give to them fiefs in the land, and he swore to them on this. And he said to them: «It is not

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permitted to you by God to shed the blood of Muslims (al-Muslimin) by the hand of the godless (the Franks) in the month of Ramadan, and they obeyed him, and they swore to his messenger that they would not fight together with the Franks (al-Farang), and that they would not be with them against the Muslims (al-Muslimin). And they said to him: «The Franks (al-Farang) sleep at night, and you can overcome them at midnight, and the signal between us and you (shall be), when we kindle a fire, then attack them». And he (al-Malik al-Mu`azzam) did as they had said to him, and he attacked them at midnight. And the Arabs (al-`Arab) deserted them, and he (Al-Malik al-Mu`azzam) conquered them, and most of them were killed or professed al-Islam, and he stayed at Toron (at-Tur), and he strengthened it with equipment and money and men. And in the beginning of (the month of) Gumada al-Awal (in the) year of its date, the people died in all the Land of Egypt (Misr) by an order of God, and they were cast out dead around their towns, and the stench from them (reached) to the borders of the land; and some people of the Bedouins (al-`Urban) and travellers mentioned that the wild cattle in the desert died and the grazing cattle died also. And I, the writer of this biography, saw the death of the cattle in the Land of Egypt (Misr) in (the) year five hundred and fifty-four of the Higrah [1159 A.D.] before this time, and ten years after that year the State of the Fatimids (al-Fatimiyin) Caliphs (al-Khulafa) passed away, and the Ghuzz (al-Ghuzz) (5) ruled the Land of Egypt (Misr) in (the) year five hundred and sixty-four of the Higrah [1168-1169 A.D.], and I lived until I saw it (7) this second time, after sixty years. And news arrived that, when the King of the Franks (al-Farang) returned from Toron (at-Tur) to Acre (`Akka),

(5) I.e. the Kurds. 

(7) I.e. the death of the cattle.

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he passed through one of the villages of Ghur (al-Ghur) (2), called Rahar an-Nasarah, in which are many people, Melkites (Malakiat) and Syrians (Surian), Christians (an-Nasara), and many Muslims (al-Muslimin). They went out to the King, and they met him with the Gospel and crosses and censers, and they stood before him And he thanked them and he said to them: «There remain among the troops four knights (horsemen) (who are) sick. Receive them among you and treat them, and when they are strong, cause them to journey to Acre (`Akka) with one who will conduct them to me», and he left them with them, and he went away. And the Muslims (al-Muslimin) of the town rose up against the Christians (an-Nasarah), and they took them (the knights) from them and they killed them; and the Christians (an-Nasarah) were unable to prevent them through fear of the Sultan. And news of them reached the king at Acre (`Akka), and he caused the troops to journey, (and) he killed all who (were) in Rahar, Christians (an-Nasarah) and Muslims (al-Muslimin), men, women and children, because he had said to them: «(Are there) with you Muslims (Muslimin)?». They said to him: «No». And when they returned, they (the Christians) excused themselves that the Muslims (al-Muslimin) had killed them (the knights), but their excuse was not accepted. And they killed the priest of the church of Rahar, and they ripped open his belly, and they inserted in it a dead dog, because he had sworn to them that there was not in the town a Muslim (Muslim). And after this affair, the King of the Franks (al-Farang) returned to Baisan, and he caused to be carried away all what was in it in the way of wheat to Acre (`Akka) on the heads of the inhabitants of the Ghur (al-Ghur): a strong lad carried half an ardab, and he who was less (strong) a third of an ardab from Baisan to Acre (`Akka) until they had carried away all what (was) in

(2) Name of the depression through which the River Jordan flows south of the Lake Tiberias, cf. B. Meistermann, op. cit., p. 619.

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Baisan in the way of wheat. And if a lad became worn out and set down his load so that he might rest, they killed him, and they caused another one of the captives to carry it. And when they had carried the wheat to Acre (`Akka), they made captive from among the inhabitants of the Ghur (al-Ghur) those who had carried it (the wheat). And the kings divided them (the captives) with the King of Acre (`Akka), and the King of Acre (`Akka) took the half, and the King 'Hankar' (took the other) half, and the number of all (was) three thousand and six hundred souls. And as for the King of Acre (`Akka) he put fetters on those whom he had made captive and he did not kill them. And as for the King Hankar, he killed a group of them, and he cut off from every Muslim (Muslim) the palm of his right hand, and he caused the rest of them who lived to journey with the palms of the slain to his country in a ship to the Pope (Baba) of Rome (Rumiah). And he wrote to him, saying: «I have conquered the Land of the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and I have caused to journey to you a few of the living together with the palms of the slain, so that you may see them. And as for their king, he does not wait for me, and if I seek a truce, he flees from me from place to place, and does not stand before me. And I am conquering what remains in the way of fortresses and castles, and I shall seek him wheresoever (he is) until I take him. As for Jerusalem, they have fortified it with men and walls, and you have said (that) not one of the kings of Christendom (an-Nasaraniah) should shoot an arrow, nor a mangonel, a stone into it. And how is it possible to take it from the Muslims (al-Muslimin) without fighting for it or marching on it. And they (the Muslims) did not take it except by vehement fighting and mangonels. And if you come to us, hasten to us, and may be God will give it (Jerusalem) to us, and we shall all celebrate the feast in it, if God wills». And this (is) the end of what reached us concerning the King Hankar. The Muslims (al-Muslimin) used to say that he was

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killed in the war, and (others) said that he was taken captive. And I did not make certain of anything concerning him, whether he was killed or made captive or returned to his country; and God knows what resulted from his affair, and He is my sufficiency and in Him I trust.

And when it was Monday, the third of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Awal (in the) year six hundred and fifteen [1218 A.D.], in the evening of the day, the watchman at Damietta (Dumyat) caught sight of many ships on the high sea. And when the morning of Tuesday, the fourth of it (Rabi`a al-Awal), dawned, the watchman looked out all that day, and the ships arrived one after the other, and they anchored at sea opposite to the towers. And the ships continued to arrive for the space of a week, until it was the tenth of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Awal. And when they were complete, they came up to the land, and all of them (the Franks) looked out from the prayer-house (al-Masgid) which was at Shat al-Birug, and it is known as the prayer-house (al-Masgid) of Ibn al-Khiar above Burali (Burah). And they dug opposite to them (the Muslims) a trench, its breadth thirty cubits and its depth fifty cubits, and its length (was) from the Nile to the Mediterranean, and they let into it the water from the Nile, and it was filled with fresh water, and it became for them a fortification and a source for drinking (7). And they erected with them a great mangonel on the mound (Kum) of al-Hairah opposite to Damietta (Dumyat). And stones used to reach inside Damietta (Dumyat) up to the house of the chief, and whatsoever it (the stone) fell upon was destroyed; if it were a man, it killed him, or a house or a wall, it demolished them, or on a roof, it caused it to collapse, and

(7) What follows is another account of the expedition of Jean de Brienne against Egypt, cf. R. Grousset, L'Epopee des Croisades, p. 296.

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it killed those who were under it, and it plunged into the earth; it demolished many houses in it (Damietta), and it destroyed a great number of people And the Muslims (al-Muslimin) made from within Damietta (Dumyat) a mangonel, and they shot with it against the mangonel of the Franks (al-Afrang), (and) it broke it, and they shouted with a great shout at the Franks (al-Afrang), and the ropes slipped from it. And they (the Franks) made a mangonel larger than the first, and with it four other mangonels; and they shot with the larger against Damietta (Dumyat) and with the smaller (ones) against the tower of the chain. And when they did not reach their aim with the mangonels, they widened the trench which has been mentioned before, which they had dug, and it was widened so that it became a large river, and ninety warships and fire-ships entered from it into the River Nile. And when they were in the River Nile, they equipped their ships with men, and they attacked the inhabitants of Damietta (Dumyat) (on) Monday, the twenty-first of (the month of) Rabi`a al-Awal (in the) year of its date [1218 A.D.]. And there was severe fighting between them, and there was slaughter among the Muslims (al-Muslimin) and among them (the Franks), and many were wounded on both sides. And they separated when night came upon them, and when they did not reach their purpose, for the Muslims (al-Muslimin) were shooting against them with arrows from the tower, and they were hurling stones at their ships with a catapult on it (the tower). Some people mentioned that the king who was conducting them and their battles had the name Count (Kund) Feather (ar-Ris) (5), because there was on his head a gold crown adorned with jewels, (and) from its sides there protruded the likeness of a gold feather inserted in it; so they named him Count (Kund) Feather (ar-Ris); and other people said that their ships in which they arrived

(2) For an account of this tower on an island in the Nile and the chains, cf. S. Lane-Poole, A History of Egypt, p. 219.

(5) Cf. R. Grousset, L'Epopee des Croisades, p. 298. The knight mentioned here was Jean d'Arcis whose helmet was adorned with a peacock feather.

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(were) three hundred ships and transport-port ships, and they said that they were more than this, and their number was not certain. And some people mentioned that in them (the ships) were seven kings (and) with every king (were) a thousand knights (horsemen) and ten thousand foot-soldiers, the total (of which) was seven thousand knights (horsemen) and seventy thousand foot-men. And this was not made certain, but reported from hearsay, because no one was able to go to them nor to come from them. And as for the mangonel which they had set up on the mound (Kum) of al-Hairah they made at its head a lead box, its weight (being) two Syrian (Shami) kantars, and they named it 'The Layer-bare', and there were six hundred men beneath it, hauling it; and it used to shoot into the midst of Damietta (Dumyat), so that it demolished the house of the chief, and it laid bare what (was) around it. And the weight of the stone which went out from it-was a Syrian (Shami) kantar, and by it they killed many people during the period of their stay before Damietta (Dumyat). And among the troops of the Franks (al-Farang) (were) many Muslim (Muslimat) women from among the inhabitants of the Ghur (al-Ghur) and Frankish (Afrangiat) women from among the inhabitants of the Littoral, to grind for them the wheat and serve them, and there were with them many young children and cows and pigs and fowls. And there were on the sea many boats of those who caught fish to sell it to the troops of the Franks (al-Farang). And when they told the king Count (Kund) Feather (ar-Ris) about them, he seized them, and he made them responsible for the fish at fifty dinars every day. And we have said that they opened a river from behind the tower, and they entered into it with warships and fire-ships to attack the Muslims (al-Muslimin); and every day they were attacking the inhabitants of Damietta (Dumyat), and there was much slaughter between them: then they would separate at night, and they

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remained on this wise (for the months of) Rabi`a al-Awal and Rabi`a al-Akhar. Then they took two large ships from their ships, and they nailed on them dry planks, and they erected in the middle of them four masts, and they joined the one to the other by their skill, so that they became one, and they called it 'The Raft'. And every nail (with which) they nailed it (had) the length of three cubits or two cubits or one cubit and a half and a span; everything of them was in its place. And they constructed on the four masts a lower roof carrying one hundred and fifty men, and a roof above it carrying one hundred and fifty men, and they were three hundred warriors. And they advanced it to the tower which was in the river, and it (the raft) did not fasten on to it (the tower), because it had a glacis on every side projecting from it. And when they were not able to fasten it (the raft) on to the tower, the current prevailed over it and drove it back by the command of God. And the masts were broken from the transport of the men with arms, and a large company of them fell into the river, (and) they were drowned without fighting or attacking; and after this raft they did not resort to advance another raft. And when this happened to them with the raft, they set up two other mangonels against the tower which was in the middle of the river. And they used to attack (it) with them and with a catapult (Zanburak). And there was to it (4) from Damietta (Dumyat) wood (6) made with boats, and planks were nailed onto them, and they (the Franks) did not cease to hit the wood until they broke its boats and its planks and cut its ropes. And when it was Friday, the fifth of (the month of) Gumada al-Akhar, the Franks (al-Afrang) multiplied against the tower with ships and men, and they took it. And there were in it one hundred and fifty Muslims (al-Muslimin), (some) of them were killed, and (some) of them were drowned, and (some) of them escaped by swimming to Damietta (Dumyat), and

(4) I.e. the tower.

(6) I.e. a pontoon-bridge, cf. S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 221.

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they saved themselves. And sixty men of them were taken captive whom the Franks (al-Afrang) caused to journey to Acre (`Akka) and to other (places) than it of their land. And from the day they took the tower they did not resort to advance a raft. And it was mentioned by him who bore the news, that Al-Malik al-`Adil died in Damascus (Dimask) on Friday, the eight of (the month of) Gumada al-Akhar (in the) year of its date, and it was the day on which the Franks (al-Afrang) took the tower of Damietta (Dumyat). And it was mentioned by him who bore the news, that spies of the Sultan informed him that many ships of the Franks (al-Farang) were leaving and were going to Syria (as-Sham), and he crossed over to them with the troops and he took them. And when it was Tuesday, the eleventh of (the month of) Ragab (in the) year six hundred and fifteen [1218 A.D.], Al-Malik al-Kamil commanded the troops to cross over, and about three thousand foot-men hastened, and they crossed over to the encampment of the Franks (al-Afrang) before the troops crossed. And the Sultan Al-Malik al-Kamil had enjoined on all the troops, the horsemen and the foot-men, that they should not advance to the attack until the standard which was his should be raised for them on the tower in which he was from Damietta (Dumyat). And a company of the foot-men was roused to action, (and) they sought in their ignorance to overcome before the troops were completed, and they fell upon the tents of the Franks (al-Farang), and they killed and they overcame, and hope of victory carried them too far. And the Franks (al-Farang) looked, and they did not see behind them troops, and they returned to them (the Muslims), and they killed them in the tents, and they hurled their heads with a mangonel into Damietta (Dumyat) and a large company of them was known. And they threw themselves into the river (5) with their arms and their dress, and the Franks (al-Farang) drew them out with boats, and they

(2) I.e. the Nile.

(5) Lit. ' sea '.

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took what was on them, they being dead. And the Sultan grieved over them, and he commanded that the troops should return, and he reviewed the men, and he found (that) those who were killed of them (were) three thousand men, slain and drowned (1). And while he was grieving over them, the news arrived of the death of his father Al-Malik al-`Adil in Damascus (Dimask) from an indigestion (2) which overtook him in the Tower of Safar, and he was borne to Damascus (Dimask), and he died in it, and they buried him beside Salah ad-Din, his brother, in the tomb, (on) Friday, the eight of (the month of) Gumada al-Akhar (in the) year six hundred and fifteen [1218 A.D.]. And he was at that time king of Egypt (Misr) and Syria (ash-Sham) and Jerusalem and the Littoral and the fortresses and Damascus (Dimask) and the Yemen (al-Yaman). And he gave Damascus (Dimask) and what (is) with it in the way of Syria (ash-Sham) and Jerusalem and the Littoral and the fortresses and what Salah ad-Din had conquered from the lands of the Franks (al-Farang) to his son Al-Malik al-Mu`azzam named `Isa, and known as the Kurd (al-Kuridi). And he gave Egypt (Misr) and its province to his son Al-Kamil Muhammad; and he gave Harran and Minbig and Akhlat and all what (is) beyond the River Euphrates (al-Furat) to his son Al-Asraf. And the duration of his reign was nineteen years and fifty-three days from the time of his entry into Egypt (Misr), and he died, and his troops (were) ten thousand eunuchs. And his son Al-Malik al-Kamil Muhammad ruled the lands of Egypt (Misr) and the Yemen (al-Yaman). And he caused to journey his son Aksis to the Yemen (al-Yaman), and he took possession of it, and he himself settled in the Kingdom of Egypt (Misr), and he executed his order alone, after

(1) It was Jean de Brienne who saved the situation for the Franks, cf. R. Grousset, L'Epopee des Croisades, pp. 297-298.

(2) According to his biographer Ibn Khallikan, he could eat a roast lamb at a meal, cf. S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 221.

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the death of his father, up to the beginning of the month of Ragab (in the) year six hundred and fifteen of the Higrah [1218 A.D.].

The biography of Al-Malik al-Kamil Muhammad son of Al-Malik al-`Adil Abu Bakr Abu Aiyub.

And a letter from Al-Malik al-`Adil, before his death, reached Al-Malik al-Kamil, (saying): «The enemy has set out from Acre (`Akka) for Egypt (Misr) with many ships. Take heed to the harbours, and do not encounter him, and evacuate the cities before him for a distance of three days, for if he invades, he will cover a distance of four days in one day, slaying and taking captives and pillaging, and he will return to his tents for the rest of the day. And Al-Malik al-Kamil evacuated (the cities) of (the Province of) al-Gharbiah before him for a distance of four days, and he evacuated Al-Mahallah and all what (was) around it, and Singer and Sanhur and Fuah. And these cities were evacuated, and their gates were bolted and no one was able to depart with more than his garments which (were) upon him and that in which he slept; and they left all what (was) in their houses in the way of wheat and grain and wine and all the leguminous plants in them; and some of them were whole, and some were reduced in part, and some were completely taken. And people went to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and some people to Cairo (Misr) and to Syria (ash-Sham) and Damascus (Dimask), and they dispersed in all the world, and some of them returned, and some of them did not return. As for Samannud, it was not evacuated, and it remained inhabited, and many people of the inhabitants of the

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land dwelt in it. And its governor (Wali) was designated Nur ad-Din `Ali, and he was prudent. All night long he used to go round it (Samannud), and the people were sleeping in the ships and on the river, and no dread affrighted them, and no one went out from them (the ships). And when it was Tuesday, the seventeenth of (the month of) Dhu'l-Ka`dah, `Imad ad-Din Ibn al-Mastub bore tales between Al-Malik al-Kamil and his brother Al-Malik al-Faiz (which) corrupted their hearts, the one against the other. And it was mentioned concerning him (`Imad ad-Din) that he allied himself with Al-Malik al-Faiz to kill Al-Malik al-Kamil, and (that) Al-Malik al-Faiz should rule. And there was one of the soldiers of Al-Malik al-Kamil present with them, and he went to him (Al-Malik al-Kamil), and he informed him of all what had occurred, and he said to him: «Save yourself». And he (Al-Malik al-Kamil) arose from his tent, and he rode by night, and he pushed forward with his companions and his courtiers and his mamluks (Mamalik), and no one recognized him up to Ashmun (5), and he descended at it. And when it was morning, the confidents sought him, and they found him not, (and) the troops were troubled. And when they heard that he had descended at Ashmun, they followed after him; and there was an uproar among the troops so that they left their tents and their possessions and their beasts. And when the morning dawned (on) Tuesday, the seventeenth of (the month of) Dhu'l-Ka`dah, a fire-ship crossed over from the Franks (al-Farang) to attack (6). And no one went out to it, and it came to the land. And they (the Franks) did not see in the tents anyone and all the tents were set up, and the carpets in them were spread out, and the horses and the mules and the camels were tied up around them, and there was no man in them. The fire-ship

(5) Ashmun (Ashmum) Tanah (al-Raman) in the Province of Dakahliah, cf. Omar Toussoun, op. cit., p. 244, and E. Amelineau, op. cit., pp. 170-171.

(6) The following is a continuation of the account of the expedition against Damietta by Jean de Brienne.

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returned and brought news to the Franks (al-Farang), and they (the Franks) said: «This is a stratagem (which) the Muslims (al-Muslimin) have prepared for us». And some people of them went up to the mosque (Gami`) of al-Hairah to see if there was there an ambush, and they did not see anyone. And they descended (and) informed the king, and he commanded that a warship should be equipped with warriors, and should cross over to the tents to find out the news. And they crossed over, and they examined the tents from the first of them to the last of them, and they did not find in them anyone, and they returned, and they informed them (the Franks). And he (the king) caused the ships and the men to proceed, and they carried off the tents, and all what (was) in them in the way of possessions and vessels and beasts, and the garners of wheat and barley and grain, all of which (was) for the Sultan and the amirs and the merchants; and they took possession of countless wealth without the sword and without fighting, by the order of God and His will. They took of the valuables and the wealth and the beasts and the supplies and the weapons, the value of which cannot be estimated nor their number be counted, and they took it to their tents. And they took many captives from the Muslims (al-Muslimin), youths and others than them, apart from the many people whom they killed. And during the rest of the day they brought up transport-ships and great ships, and they crossed over with the horses and the knights (horsemen) to the land of Damietta (Dumyat). And the Franks (al-Farang) descended in the tents of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) at al-`Adliah, and they advanced to Damietta (Dumyat) and they descended at it, and they threw it into confusion. And the inhabitants of Damietta (Dumyat) cut the bridge (5) of the Bab ar-Rais, and they waged war with the Franks (al-Farang) until Al-Malik al-Mu`azzam `Isa arrived at Ashmun on Monday, the twenty-third of (the month of)

(5) I.e. the drawbridge.

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Dhu'l-Ka`dah, (in the) year of its date, and found the Franks (al-Farang) encircling Damietta (Dumyat). And his brother Al-Malik al-Kamil asked him about the situation, and he informed him that `Imad ad-Din Ibn al-Mastub had corrupted the troops against him, and (that) he had adjured the Kurds (al-Akrad) that they should kill him and make Al-Faiz king, and that he had fled from them at night, and had left everything to him (Al-Faiz), fearing for himself. And when he (Al-Malik al-Kamil) heard his words, he made ready thirty horsemen and thirty dromedaries with thirty men from the Arabs (al-`Arab), and he caused to be brought `Imad ad-Din Ibn al-Mastub. And when he was present before him, he said to him: «What are these deeds which you have done? You have sought to kill the Sultan and to be Sultan. And if you had known the measure of the grace of God upon you, you would have known that you were more at ease than the Sultan, and did enjoy life more than he and whatever you sought was (yours)». And he commanded the soldiers who were standing before him, and they beheaded him.

[Marginal Note]. There has come to an end what was found of the news of the fathers, the patriarchs of the See of Mark (al-Markusi) — may God the Exalted grant to us the acceptation of their righteous intercessions!