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.”


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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