Ibn Warraq: Walter Scott, The Talisman, the Crusades, Richard I of England and Saladin: Myths, Legends and History (Part 41)
Posted by Robert on January 16, 2013 5:31 AM
When Saladin heard this request he was happy to do what he could to comply. He immediately sent word to Balian, who was governor in Jerusalem, telling him to send him his nephew Thomassin, the son of his brother Baldwin, and Guillemin, the son of Raymond. As soon as Balian received this message he sent them to him most gladly. When the children came before Saladin, he received then honourably as the children of free men, and had them taken off and given robes and jewels and ordered them to be given something to eat.” 
Again at the siege of Jerusalem, the Lyon Eracles gives further evidence for Saladin’s honorable comportment: “I shall now tell you how Saladin had the city of Jerusalem protected so that the Saracens would do harm to the Christians there. He placed two knights and ten sergeants in each street to guard the city, and they guarded it so well that I never heard of any wrong being done to a Christian. When the Christians came out of Jerusalem they camped less than a bow-shot away from the Saracen host. Saladin had his troops guard the Christians day and night so that no one could do them any harm and no robbers could fall on them”. 
Saladin is also praised by our text for his acts of charity in releasing hundreds of poor people of Jerusalem who could not pay the ransom to free themselves.  He was equally generous towards the ladies of Jerusalem: “Now I shall tell you of a great act of courtesy that Saladin did for the ladies of Jerusalem. The women and daughters of the knights who had been killed or taken in the battle had fled to Jerusalem. After they had been ransomed and had left the city, they came before Saladin and craved mercy. …[The ladies told him who they were]. ..They explained that he had their husbands and fathers in prison and that they had lost their lands, and they called on him for the sake of God to have mercy on them and give them counsel and aid. When Saladin saw them weeping, he had great pity on them and said they would be informed as to which of their husbands were alive and he would have them all freed. They made enquiries and found some of them, and they freed all those who were in Saladin’s custody. Then he ordered that the ladies and maidens whose fathers and lords had been killed in the battle should be provided for generously from his goods, more to some and less to others according to who they were. He gave them so much that they praised God and man for the kindness and honour Saladin had shown them”. 
Then the Lyon Eracles contrasts the generosity of Saladin with the rapaciousness of the Christians of Nephin and Tripoli who robbed their fellow Christians leaving Jerusalem, “[The Christians] of Nephin and Tripoli treated [the Christians of Jerusalem] worse than the Saracens, For the Saracens, …escorted them to safety and provided them with food in plenty, but they robbed them and refused to let them find refuge.”
 Ibid., p. 57.
 Peter W. Edbury, op.cit., p.62.
 Ibid., p.63.
 Ibid., p.64.
To be continued.
Article printed from Jihad Watch: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/01/ibn-warraq-walter-scott-the-talisman-the-crusades-richard-i-of-england-and-saladin-myths-legends-and-41.htmlURLs in this post: