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Biblical researches in Palestine, and in the adjacent regions: a ..., Volume 2 online

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upon Tabor, or Carmel, or Gerizim, or they came in sight of el-MughAr on the
the hill above Nazareth, or the tower of side of a high hiU on the left. Lower down
Bamleh, or any other important pcdnt of the hill is a copious fountain, and near
view in all Palestine. Pococke*s account by it the village el-Mansilrah. Richard-
is more modest, but exhibits a strange ton's Travels IL p. 442.
jumble of names; VoL IL i. p. 67. * Brocardus o. 4. p. 178. So too Brey-

' Other places in sight from Tell Hattb, denbach in Reissb. pi 122. Anselmi Descr.

bore as follows: Safed N. IV E. Aid el- Terr. S. p. 784. B. de Salignaco Tom. IX.

Haroma S. S. £. Bess6m S. 15° E. Da- c 8. Cotovk. p. 857. A&chooi. p. IIL

meh S. 5** £. Kefr Sabt S. 21" W. L6- Quaresmios IL p^ 850.
lkiehS.57'W. Wely by Nanrath S. 71*

iii. 239,240



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372 FBOM MOUNT TABOB TO TIBEBIAa [Ssa XY.

shown, as it is also now, on the broad ridge about an hour south-
east of the mount, towards Tiberias. ' But all earlier writers, both
Latin and Greek, although they speak of the miracle of the five
loaves, are wholly silent as to the Sermon on the Mount.* Hence,
while the concurrence of the two churches, in their tradition as
to the place of the former miracle, certainly cannot establish its
identity, inasmuch as the earliest trace does not reach back be-
yond the fourth century ; still more is the total silence of the
Greek church as to the Sermon on the Mount, fatal to the Latiu
hypothesis, which connects that discourse with the mountain in
question.



On the high uneven plain, extending southwards betwe«i
the Tell or Edrtln Hattin and el-Lfibieh, took place on the fifdi
of July, A. D. 1187, the celebrated and fatal battle of Hattin.'
This was the great and decisive conflict of the crusades ; between
the flower of the Christian strength and chivalry on the one side,
with the sovereign at their head ; and on the other, the eager
gathering of the Muhammedan might, led on by the Sultan
Saladin in person. It resulted in the almost total annihilatioii
of the Christian host ; and was followed by the immediate sub-
jugation of nearly all Palestine, including Jerusalem, to the
Muslim yoke. The power of the Pranks in the Holy Land was
thus broken ; and although the monarchs and princes of Europe
undertook expeditions thither for more than seventy years after
this event, yet the Christians were never able to regain in Pal-
estine the footing, which they had held before this memorable
catastrophe.

The usurpation of the crown of Jerusalem in August of the
preceding year, by the weak-minded Guy of Lusignan, had em-
bittered against him a powerful rival. Count Raymond of Tripolis,
and many other barons ; and Raymond, who was now lord also
of Tiberias and Galilee, had even entered into negotiations with
Saladin and received from him aid.* Yet a trace had been con-

> Here are four or five large blocks of A. D. 697; 2. 24. Seewalf A. D. 1108,

black stone, caUed by the Arabs Hejlr en- p. 271. Greek writers : Phocas in 1 ISft,

N:i8&ra, * Stones of the Christians,' and by § 11. Epipbanins HagiopoL in 18th cent,

the Latins * Mensa Christi ;* which an eariy in L. AUatU Syminikta, CoL Agr. 1653. p.

tradition marks as ^e site of the miracle 62. — Jerome may also not improbabljr

of the five thousand. Qnaresmius IL p. allode to the same spot ; Kp. 44^ ad Mar-

856. Bnrckhardt p. 886. Bei^gren Reise oelL T. IV. ii. p. 552. ed. Mart

n. p. 256. See the next Note.— It is * The battle occurred on Saturday;

hardly necessary to remaric, that the tr»- which Wilken reckons as the 5th of July,

dition attached to this spot can only be while Reinaud oountsitasthe4tfa. Wilken

legendary ; since the feeding of the *^five Gesch. der Kr. III. ii. p. 282. Reinaud

thousand took place on the east side of Kztr. p. 194.

the lake ; and probably also that of the ^ See generally Wilken Gesch. der Ki:

four thousand. IIL IL p. 250-258, and the Bothoritiat

' So among Latin writers : Adamnanus there cited.
liL 240-242



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Jinnil9.] BATTLE OF HATTIN. 373

eluded with the Sultan, and the Christians now hoped for repose ;
when suddenly, the compact was broken by the reckless Baynald
of Chatillon, then lord of Kerak, who faithlessly fell upon and
plundered a caravan of merchants, passing from Damascus to
Arabia. He not only laid his prisoners in chains ; but refused
to deliver up both them and the booty, when demanded by
Saladin according to the terms of the truce. The enraged Sul-
tan swore a solemn oath, to put Raynald to death with his own
hand, should he ever fall into his power. The Christians were
soon alarmed by the dire intelligence of immense preparations on
the part of Saladin, to avenge their breach of faith. Hosts of
well-appointed warriors were rapidly assembled at Damascus,
not only from the Syrian provinces, but also from Mesopotamia,
Egypt, and Arabia.'

Tins dreadful note of preparation induced the Christian
princes to lay aside their strife ; and after an apparent reconcili-
ation, they formed a rendezvous and encampment at the fountain
of Seffftrieh.' Here was assembled the most stately host, which
had ever fought against the Saracens in the Holy Land. The
Hospitalers and Templars came with many troops from their
various castles ; Count Raymond with his forces appeared from
Tiberias and Tripolis ; and also Baynald with a train of knights
from the fortresses of Kerak and Shobek. Other barons with
their knights and followers flocked to the camp from Neapolis,
Caesarea, Sidon, and Antioch ; the king too was present with a
host of knights and hired troops. The army thus collected
amounted to two thousand knights and eight thousand foot
soldiers ; besides large bodies of light-armed troops or archers.
The holy cross also was brought from Jerusalem into the camp,
by the bishops of Ptolemai's and Lydda.'

For five weeks the Christian army waited at the fountain of
Seffiirieh ; when at length the hosts of Saladin broke in like a
flood upon the land. They advanced by the northern end of
the lake of Tiberias. Light detachments preceded the main
army ; these penetrated to the neighbourhood of Nazareth, and
also to Jezreel and Mount Gilboa, laying waste the land with
fire and sword, and desolating Mount Tabor. The Sultan en-
camped upon the heights north of Tiberias, in the hope of being
attacked by the Christian army. They did not appear ; and he
therefore sent his light troops to take possession of Tiberias.
They easily became masters of the city ; and the wife of Count
Baymond with her children retired to the castle.*

» Wnken ibid. p. 264 sq.— The Arabian ' Wilken ibid. p. 265, 273, 27a Sm

hiilorian *EvakT ed-Din gives a different abore, p. 845.
account of the occasion of Saladin's oath * Ibid. pp. 274, 275,
against Kaynald ; Beinand Extraits p. * n>id. pp. 275, 276. , '

19S. n.

Vol, n.— 32 ill. 24* 248



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374 FKOM HOUKT TABOR TO fIBKRIAS. fSw^. XV.

Intelligence of this event reached the Christian camp on the
third of July ; and the king immediately called a council of war
to decide upon the measures to be pursued. The general voice
at first was, to march in close array for the deliverance of Tibe-
rias ; it being well understood, that this movement would involve
a general battle vdth the Saracenic army. Count Raymond^
although of all others personally the most interested, gave
different advice. Experience had taught him, that the Fabian
policy was most successful against S^adin ; and he therefore
counselled to avoid a battle, to fortify the camp, and to await
the attack of the Sultan at Seff&rieh. Here they had water and
other resources in abundance, and might hope for success ; if
they abandoned this position and marched towards Tiberias, they
exposed themselves at once to the constant attacks of the Sara***
cenic army, in a r^on without water, under the fierce summer
heat ; where, exhausted and harassed on every side, their retreat
might easily be cut oS, This advice was so judicious, and rested
on grounds so strong, that it was unanimously approved by the
king and barons ; with the single exception of the rash and in-
solent Grand Master of the Templars. The council broke up at
midnight.^

The barons had scarcely laid themselves down to rest, when
the trumpets sounded ; and heralds proclaimed, throughout the
camp, the orders of the king, that all should arm immediately.
After the council broke up, the Grand Master of the Templars
had gone to the king, and overwhelmed him with reproaches,
£>r listening to what he called the traitorous advice of the Count
of Tripolis ; conjuring him not to suffer such a stain of coward-
ice to rest upon the Christian name. The fickle-minded sover-
eign yielded to his impetuosity ; and gave orders to arm. The
barons now repaired to his tent to warn him against so fatal a
step ; but he was putting on his armour, and gave them no
audience. They followed his example with indignation ; the
army was drawn up, find the march began towards Tiberias
without delay.*

This movement of the Christian army fell in completely
¥rith the ardent wishes and plans of Saladin ; who was confi-
dent of victory, could he but draw the Franks fivm their
position, and bring on a general battle. On receiving the
intelligence from his scouts, he. immediately despatched his
light troops to harass the Christians upon the march ; and
posted his main army, as it would seem, along the high ground
above the lake, between Tiberias and Tell Hattin. In the
afternoon of the same day (Friday), the Christian army reached
the open ground around el-L^bieh, where the most violent onset

» Wilken ibid. pp. 277, 278. • Wilkeii ibid. pp. 278, 279.

iiL243-24a



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JusBl9.] BATTLE OF HATTIN. 375

of thig day took place, cm the part of the light troops.* But
the Frank warriors were already so exhausted by the burning
heat of the day, coupled with tormenting thirst and want of
water, as well as by the continual attacks of the enemy, that
they were scarcely able longer to bear up against the assaults.
Fear and dismay spread throughout their ranks, and various
omens of direful import were recognised. Instead of pressing
on to attack at once the main army of Saladin, and at least
break through to the lake of Tiberias, so as to obtain a supply
of water, the feeble Guy gave orders to encamp on the high
rocky plain, without water, in sight of the enemy ; and thus-
defer the conflict till the following morning. This fatal step is
said to have been counselled by Count Raymond ; from treach-
ery, as some aver ; and to it the Franks with one voice ascribe
the disasters of the following day.'

The night was dreadful. The Christians, already tormented
with thirst, stood in continual fear of a night . attack. The
Saracens approached close to their camp, and set on Are the
dry shrubs and herbage round about ; the heat and smoke of
which served to increase still more the distress of the Franks.
The latter passed the whole night under arms, anxiously wait-
ing for the dawn. But the morning brought them no consola-
tion. They saw themselves upon this rocky plain, surrounded
by the hostile hosts of Saladin ; from whom there was now no
escape except in the chances of battle. How different the
auspices under which the two armies entered upon the conflict !
On the side of the Christians, a feeble leader, divisions, despond-
ency, exhaustion from thirst and watching, and the feeling
that they were forsaken of God ; on the other side, Saladin, the
most renowned of all the champions of Isldm, and his hosts
flushed with confidence, and eager to rush upon the foe. The
result could hardly be doubtful for a moment.

This is not the place to enter upon the details of the battle ;
nor do they seem indeed to be preserved with enough of exact-
ness, to enable us to trace them fully. Suflice it to say, that
wherever the Christian warriors pressed forward in solid masses,
there the Saracens gave way at once ; yet hovered everywhere
around, and harassed the Franks by continual onseu upon their
more exposed parts. It was the policy of Saladin, to let the
Christians weary themselves out by a series of fruitless charges ;
well knowing, that heat and thirst would not fail to do their
work, and prepare for him an easy prey. The Hospitalers and

^ So Bohaeddin exprewly, Yite SaL no other tnoe seems to vemmin ; Wllkea

p 6S. Frmnk writers mention somewhere ibid. p. 280.

here a piece called MArrscallia, half wav * Wilken ibid. pp. 280-282. Beinand

between Sell&rieh and Tiberias^ of which Extraito pp. 191, 192.

ill 245, 246



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376 FROM MOUNT TABOR TO TIBERIAS. [SbcXV.

Templars, and also the archers, fought with their wonted valour,
80 long as their strength held out. The foot soldiers at length,
exhausted and pining with thirst, hroke their ranks ; some
threw down their arms and surrendered at discretion ; another
party fled and were pursued and cut to pieces ; while the great
body withdrew in confusion to the summit of Tell Hattin.
Hence they were summoned by the king, to return to the
combat and support the knights in protecting the holy cross ;
but to this order they gave no heed.

The king then directed the conflict to cease, and the knights
to encamp around the cross. This they attempted in great
disorder ; but the Saracens now pressed upon them, and let fly
showers of arrows ; by one of winch the bishop of Ptolemaifs,
who bore the cross, was slain. In this extremity, Guy gave
command to renew the fight ; but it was too late. Surrounded
by the foe, the knights of Count Raymond, when ordered to ad-
vance, raised the cry of " Sauve qui pent 1 " and put their horses
to full speed over the bodies of their &llen brethren. The
Count himself, and several other chiefs, followed their example ;
and rushing through the ranks of the enemy, which opened to
let them pass, escaped by a shameful flight in the direction of
Tyre. All now was lost. The king withdrew to the height of
Tell Hattin, and with his brave followers drove back the Sara-
cens a:* they attempted to ascend. Three times did the latter
storm the height ; at length they got possession of it ; and the
Christians were either made prisoners, or driven headlong down
the steep precipice on the northern side. Among those who sur-
rendered were king Guy himself, the Grand Master of the Tem-
plars, Baynald of Chatillon, Honfroy of Toron, and the bishop
of Lydda, the last bearer of the holy cross. The cross itsetf
had already fallen into the hands of the enemy.*

Such was the terrific overthrow of the Christian army and
the Christian power. After the conflict had ceased for want of
victims, the captive princes were led before the Sultan, in the
antechamber of his pavilion, as yet hardly pitched. Saladin
received them, as became a brave and noble warrior, with mild-
ness and respect. On Raynald alone his eye fell fiercely ; for
he remembered his oath against him. He ordered sherbet cooled.

' Reinaiid Extraits pp. 194-196. Wil- tie, in order to prMerve it fVom the infidels ;
ken ibid. pp. 282-288. The captare of though he was not able afterwards to find
the cross by the Saracens is asserted by it again; Wilkcn ibid. p. 288. a. Bat in
Rad. Cojcgeshale, p. 557 ; and also by the ^' Extraits " of Reinand, first published
Gaufr. Vinisauf, 1. 5. Wilken, writing in 1822, and again in 1829, the circum-
in A. D. 1819, remarks, that no Arabian stances of the capture of the cross are
writer then known mentions the ciroum- narrated by 'Emiid ed-Din, as having hap-
stance ; and he relates from Hugo Plagon pened before the last oonflict upon Tell
the story of a Templar, who professed to Hatttn ; p. 195. No writer, however, ex-
have buried the cross on the field of bat- plains what became of it afterwards
iii. 246-248



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^innl9.] BATTLE OF HATTIN. 377

witii ice to be pies^ited to the king of Jerusalem ; and when
the latter pas^ it to Raynald, Saladin bade the interpreter
declare to the king: "Thou givest him drink, not I;" in
allufdon to the well known Arab custom, that whoever gives
food or drink to another, is bound to protect him at all hazards.
The prisoners were then removed ; and all except Baynald
having been refreshed with food, they were reconducted to the
presence of Saladin in his tent. The Sultan had determined
on his course. Addressing himself to Baynald with looks of
wrath, he reminded him of his cruelty and insolence against
the Muhammedans and their religion, and invited him now to
embrace the doctrines of the prophet. As Baynald declared
that he would Uve and die only in the Christian faith, Saladin
rose from his seat, drew his scimetar, and with a single blow
struck through the shoulder of the prisoner. The attendants
rushed upon him and despatched him. The terrified king and
ether prisoners expected to share the same fieite ; but Saladin
reassured them, declaring the massacre of Baynald to be only
the punishment due to his atrocities. — All the captive knights^
both of the Hospital and of the Temple, were beheaded without
mercy and in cold blood, to the number of two hundred. The
king and captive princes were transferred to Damascus.'

Saladin was not slow to profit by his victory. The fortresses
of the Christians throughout the country, had been weakened
by drawing off their garrisons to the camp at SeflPftrieh ; and
the stately host which there assembled, had now perished, or
been made prisoners at Hattin. The castle of Tiberias surren-
dered the next day ; two days afterwards the Sultan marched
against 'Akka, to which he laid siege ; parties of troops spread
themselves through the land in various directions, subduing the
smaller places ; and before the end of September, 'Akka, Csb-
sarea, T&£Bt, Askelon, and all the cities of the northern coast,
except Tyre, as far as to Beirtlt, were in the hands of the con-
queror. The grand catastrophe was completed ; and the power
of the Christians in Palestine fully broken, by the capitulation
of tiie Holy City ; which took place on the tiiird day of Octo-
ber, three months after the battle of Hattin.'



> This aooonnt of Raynald*8 death is sq. — Arabian cotemporary writers are:

drawn chiefly from Bohaeddin, pp. 70, 71. Bohaeddin the seoretaty and friend of

Comp. Wtlken tb. p. 2S9. Keinaud Extraits Sabidin, Vit SaL p. 67 sq. Ibn el-Athir

p. 198.— The Frank writers who give the m Reinand Extraits pp. 190-199. 'Emdd

details of the battle of Hatttn are : Ber- ed-D!n, ibtd. The latter writer, and per-

aardos HieMnr. ni Mnratori Scriptores haps also the two others, wefce present

Rer. ItaL Tom. VII. 6.152 sq. Radnlph daring the battle.

Cof^iale in Martene et Dnrand Tom. * Wilken !b. pp. 291-811.
V. p. 558 sq. Hugo Plagon, ibid. p. 600

VOL-II.-32* lii.248,349



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378 FBOM MOUNT TABOR TO TIBEBIAS. [Sbc. XV.

We descended from Tell Hattin, the scene of the last
straggle in the memorahle conflict above described ;^ and at
12.25 bent our course westwards to regain the road we had left.
As however this lay at some distance, we preferred to turn down
a cattle-track nearer at hand, though still circuitous ; a steep
and stony path, through a narrow and very rugged side Wady.
This brought us down at 12.50 to a fine fountain, bursting out
just under the western end of the Tell, still in the ravine. A
few paces before coming to the fountain, are the remains of a
large stone building. All the cattle of the village seemed
collected around the water; so that at first we could hardly
approach it.

The village of Hattin lies close at hand, at the mouth of
the ravine, which here opens out northwards into the lower
plain. It is an ordinary village of no great size ; the houses
are of stone, meanly built. The plain is narrow, hardly twenty
minutes in breadth, running from N. W. to S. E., and forming
the middle step of descent from the high plain south of Tell
Hattin, to that of Mejdel and the lake itself. On the southwest
it is skirted by the ridge or offset, of which the long Tell forms
a part; the latter rising on this side nearly or quite four
hundred feet.* On the northeast it is bordered by what, as here
seen, is a slight swelling ridge, but on the other side descends
steeply some three hundred feet to the plain of Mejdel and the
lake.

Through this plain, called Sahil Hattin, passes down the
bed of a mountain torrent, now dry, which has its rise in the
hills east of 'Arrfibeh and Deir Hanna. At a point about forty
minutes N. 75® E. from the village of Hattin, this torrent
breaks down abraptly through the ridge to the plain of Mejdel,
Toy a steep, narrow valley, called Wady el-Hamftm. In the
precipitous sides, are the singular rains and caverns of the
castle KtlVat Ibn Ma'&n, of which I shall speak iurther on.
Just at the upper end of this gap, on the south side, are the
rains of what appears to have been an ancient town. It bears
N. 80° E. from Hattin, about three quarters of an hour dis-
tant ; and the people said, that among the ruins were columns
and the remains of churches. It is called Irbid, and is unques-
tionably the spot, which Pococke describes under the name of
'^ Baitsida ; '' where were columns and the rains of a large
church, with a sculptured door-case of white marble.*

That traveller held it to be the Bethsaida of Galilee ; and

' So Ibn el-Aihir expressly, Beinaod say there are here *' a few Roman mins ;"

Extr. pp. 195, 196. p. 299. [91.1 — See an account of onr visit

* See above, p. 870. in 1852, in Vol IIL Sect VIII, under May

* Pococke Vol U. i. p. 68.— Irby and 18th.
Hangles write the name **£rbedj" and

iii. 249-251



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JiniBl9.] HATTIN. IRBID. 379

granting his report of the name to be correct, there would be
little room for doubt in the case. But here, as in many other
instances, I must question the accuracy of Pococke's informa-
tion. We inquired of old- and young ; but no one knew of any
other ruins in the vicinity, nor of any other name than Irbid.
We repeated particularly the names of Bethsaida and Chora-
ein; but no one had ever heard them. And afterwards, we
made similar inquiries at Tiberias and all along the lake, but
with no better success. I must therefore believe that Pococke
was mistaken in the name ; or heard it perhaps from the
monks, or from Arabs in some way connected with them ; or
not impossibly inquired of his Arab guide, if that were not
Bethsaida, and received an affirmative reply. ^ That this name
is not now known among the common people, is very certain ;
and there is also good reason to suppose, that this place is no
other than the ancient Arbela of Josephus ; the form Irbid
being probably a corruption for Irbil. I shall recur to this
Jopic again when I come to speak further of the Ktsrat Ibn
Ma'&n ; with which these ruins are said to be connected.

We left Hattin at 1 o'clock for Tiberias, keeping near the
foot of the Tell on a general course about 8. E. by E. along the
plain. In this direction were numerous threshing-floors belong-
ing to the village ; and the people were yet engaged in gather-
ing the harvest on the plain. As we passed on, the opening of
Wady el-Ham4m and the site of Irbid lay about twenty
minutes distant on our left ; but the ruins are so nearly levelled
to the ground, that we could not distinctly make them out,
even at this short distance. Not far beyond is a low water-shed
in the plain, dividing it into two basins ; that which we had
passed is drained by the Wady el-HamStm ; while the waters of
that to which we now came, run off through another small
Wady, which in like manner breaks down through to the lake,
a little more than half an hour north of Tiberias.

Across this latter basin ran a small dry water-course, coming
down from the higher plain on our right, from near the reputed
place of the miracle of the five loaves and five thousand. Down
the same Wady passes the main Damascus road, as it comes
from Mount Tabor ; leaving Tiberias at some distance on the
right. We kept on our course, in the direction of Tiberias,
towards the top of the intervening ridge, to which the plain
here runs up by a gradual ascent. As we rode along, many
flocks of the Semermer or locust bird flew up around us ; and

* See tbe remariu on p. 112 of Vol. I. iU name was KbAn '* Bat Szaida ; ** Zach't
In tbe Mune way, perhaps, Seetien, at the MonatL Coir. XVIIL p. 848. Keisen L p.
wen known Khan Minyefai, was told that 844, 84fi.

iii. 251, 252



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Online LibraryEli Smith Edward RobinsonBiblical researches in Palestine, and in the adjacent regions: a ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 48 of 75)