A Muslim Who Never Forgot Baldwin IV, the Leper King

August 20, 2015

marketJohn the Armenian, who was artilleryman to the king [Saint Louis IX], went at that time to Damascus, to buy horn and glue for the making of crossbows; and he saw an old man, very aged, seated in the bazaar of Damascus. This aged man, called to him and asked if he were a Christian; and he said “Yes.” And the aged man said to him: “Much must you Christians hate one another; for once upon a time I saw King Baldwin of Jerusalem, who was a leper, discomfiting Saladin, and Baldwin had with him but three hundred men-at-arms, whereas Saladin had three thousand; but now you have been brought to so low estate by your sins that we take you in the fields as if you were wild beasts.”

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Geoffroy de Villehardouin and Jean de Joinville, Memoirs of the Crusades, trans. Sir Frank Marzials (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., n.d.), 246.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 488

 

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