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How Significant Were The Divisions Among The Latin Leaders In Bringing About The Fall Of Jerusalem?

803 words - 4 pages

How significant were the divisions among the Latin leaders in bringing about the fall of Jerusalem?

Although divisions between the devotees of Raymond of Tripoli and Guy of Lusignan caused much conflict and suspicion, there is a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that there were a series of other factors; for example Saladin’s personal qualities which proved extremely significant in the failure of Latin’s at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 and the lack of support/money received by the Latin’s.
In source 7 Ralph of Coggershall describes his concern surrounding the lack of support and money the Latin side possessed; ‘we should not move away from water, food and other necessities to ...view middle of the document...

This difference between the two sides is emphasised in Source 2 with Baha ad-Din describing the intense support for Saladin as a result of his personal qualities, describing his despair at the bloodshed; ‘the suffering involved in it weighed heavily on his heart.’ This dedication to Holy War and love for his people gained him a reputation as ‘a remarkable man’ (Barber). This image gained Saladin a great deal of support and united front from his troops, preaching the Jihad to ignite anti-Christian believers and a thirst for their defeat. This is supported in Source 4 with Pope Urban III describing the Muslims as ‘the wicked race of the pagans’ during the heat of the despair at being defeated, having written the letter in May 1187. Though this view contradicts with Malcolm Barber’s views of Christian sympathy towards Saladin, Pope Urban was not at the Crusades himself and therefore, never knew Saladin who in turn received sympathy and an element of fear from the Latin side.

In relation to the question, Source 5 supports the view that the divisions between the Latin leaders were very significant in contributing to their defeat that the Battle of Hattin. The joining of forces made Raymond and Guy’s loyalists extremely suspicious of each other, with Eraclius blaming Raymond for their defeat; ‘had the Christians kept...

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