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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry


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

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

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Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 283

instalments. The first was met promptly, but when it came to the second certain of the prisoners named by the Franks had not yet been found, at which Richard's agents protested. Saladin, after explaining his difficulty, proposed two solutions. Either the Moslem prisoners were to be released, whereupon the instalment of money then due would be paid and hostages furnished for the fulfilment of the conditions not yet acquitted, or the instalment would be paid provided the Franks gave hostages for the carrying out of their part of the bargain. Considering the number of times the Franks had violated their promises this seemed fair enough, but no reply was made to these propositions. A week later three thousand of the Moslem prisoners at Acre were marched out on the plain and massacred in cold blood, only those of position, who might be ransomed later, being excepted. " According to some," wrote the Cadi, " the prisoners were killed to avenge the deaths of those slain previously by the Moslems ; others say that the King of England, having made up his mind to try and take Ascalon, did not think it prudent to leave so many prisoners behind in Acre. God knows what his reason really was." Perhaps it is not surprising that for some time thereafter Saladin displayed an unwonted harshness in dealing with Christian captives, and that not a few of these were summarily decapitated.

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