09 May 2005

The Fall of Jerusalem

The film “Kingdom of Heaven” ends with the surrender of Jerusalem during the Second Crusade. Although this fact – the surrender – is greatly mourned by the Papacy (which had supported the Crusades) and the people of Christian faith, what – or how it – really happened, no one seems to know for sure.

Although the surrender seems to be an undisputed fact, historians and chroniclers point out discrepancies in documents available on the subject. After seeing the film (and the film has discrepancies too), I turned to a copy of Erik Durschmied’s “The Hinge Factor”, in which the second chapter, The Loss of The True Cross, addresses this very subject.

Then, on the Internet, amongst various documents of value, I found two which caught my attention: first, “The Battle of Hattin from a Muslim source” – a short account of the same story dealt by Mr Durschmied in his book; and “The Fall of Jerusalem, 1187” – a fairly detailed account by Roger of Hoveden, from Fordham University. These articles provide interesting perspectives.

If you have an interest in medieval European history, or war, or religion for that matter, you will find the Crusades to be undeniably a period of excitement. Holy wars have a tendency to attract both attention and participation – and the Crusades exhort a fair share. Of course, the Crusades have a greater significance to the Christians and the Moslems – as they have always been upkeepers of the True Faith, and contenders for Jerusalem. I believe this dispute is unresolved even today.


pH said...

thoughtful and thought provoking, must say. you're going great guns!

pH said...

had read this sometime ago, check it out http://numerus.ling.uu.se/~kamalk/language/saladin.html