Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-pkshj Total loading time: 0.314 Render date: 2021-12-05T03:23:56.340Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

10 - The Treatment of Male and Female Prisoners of War during the Third Crusade

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2020

Get access

Summary

WHETHER OR NOT IMAD AL-DIN was exaggerating when he claimed that in 1187, the year of Hattin and the conquest of Jerusalem, Saladin freed 20,000 prisoners and captured 100,000, there is no doubt that the fate of prisoners of war played a considerable role in the diplomacy and political maneuvering of the period. According to Ibn al-Athir, widely acknowledged as the most impartial Muslim historian of the time, Saladin's decision to release some of Count Raymond of Tripoli's knights had materially helped to precipitate the whole dramatic sequence of events:

He held several of the Count's knights as prisoner and these he released. This made a very great impression on the Count who gave open allegiance to Saladin. Thus their unity was disrupted and their cohesion broken. This was one of the most important factors that brought about the conquest and liberation of Jerusalem.

Whether or not this particular act of Saladin's had quite as much impact as Ibn al-Athir thought, the prisoner question was undoubtedly central to the climax of the Third Crusade: the surrender of Acre on 12 July 1191 and the agreement that the garrison would be freed in return for 1,600 of Saladin's prisoners, the Holy Cross, and a ransom of 200,000 dinars; then, after the breakdown of negotiations, the brutal aftermath: the massacre of the greater part of the garrison on 20 August. No one has demonstrated more effectively than Richard Abels how the ways in which prisoners of war were dealt with can be made to reveal a great deal about a society's norms, values, institutions, and mentalities. Given that the treatment of those defeated in crusading warfare occupied a central place in his 2008 article on cultural representation and the practice of war, I hope that this chapter can serve as a counterpart to that one – especially since, like him, I too have vivid memories of the flow of that conversation between us, Bernard Bachrach and Stephen Morillo, over a sufficiency of beer and curry, to which he attributed the germ of the idea for his paper.

Type
Chapter
Information
Military Cultures and Martial Enterprises in the Middle Ages
Essays in Honour of Richard P. Abels
, pp. 192 - 210
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×