Chroniclers of the Fifth Crusade - 607 

have the duty to maintain and defend it. We command you, in the name of God and of Mohammed, who has given us the law, to cut off their heads here and now, for we do not want to listen to anything they have to say. We also warn you not to listen to them, because the law forbids giving a hearing to preachers [of another religion]. And if there should be someone who wishes to preach or speak against our law, the law commands that his head be cut off. It is for this reason that we command you, in the name of God and the law, that you have their heads cut off immediately, as the law demands.”

4 Having said this, they took their leave and departed, without wanting to hear another word. There remained only the Sultan and the two clerics. Then the Sultan said to them: “My lords, they have told me that in the name of God and of the law that I should have your heads chopped off, because it is so prescribed. But I am going to act against the law, because I am never going to condemn you to death. For that would be an evil reward for me to bestow on you, who conscientiously risked death in order to save my soul for God.” After saying this, the Sultan said that he wished they would remain with him, and that he would give them vast lands and many possessions. But they replied that they did not want to stay, from the moment they saw that he did not want to listen to them or understand their message, and that they would like to return to the Christian camp, if he would permit them.

The Sultan replied that he would gladly have them returned safe and sound to the Christian camp. Furthermore, he brought great quantities of gold, silver, and silk garments and invited them to take whatever they wanted. They said that they would not have taken anything once they saw they could not obtain his soul for the Lord God, for they considered this the most precious thing they could give to God, rather than the possession of vast treasure. They said it would be sufficient if he would give them something to eat, and then they would be on their way, since they couldn’t accomplish anything else there. The Sultan gave them plenty of food to eat, whereupon they took their leave of him, and he had them escorted safely back to the Christian army.

Bernard the Treasurer (1229/30)

Another Old French chronicle, this is highly dependent on the Chronicle of Ernoul. It was translated and edited into a more elegant Latin style about 1320 by




Chronicle of Ernoul, Biblioteca Biobibliografica della Terra Santa, p. 1213

Li soudans les manda [querre] et il vinrent à lui en se tente. Et si ot des plus haus homes et des plus saiges de se tiere, et li doi clerc i furent ensement.

Quant il furent tot asamblé, si lor dist li soudans per coi il les avoit mandes, et si lor conta çou por coi il estoient àsanlé, et çou que li clerc li avoient dit, et por coi il estoient venu. Et il li respondirent: «Sire, tu es espée de le loi, et si dois le loi maintenir et garder. Nous te commandos, de.par Diu, et de par Mahon, qui le loi nos donna, que tu lor faices les tiestes colper, car nous n'orrions cose qu'il dient; et si vous deffendons que vons n'oés cose qu'il dient, car li lois deffent que on n'en n'oie nul preechement. Et s'il est nus qui veuille preecer ne parler contre le loi, li lois commande c'on li colpe le teste. Et por çou te commandomnes, de par Dia et de par le loi, que tu lor faices les testes colper, car ensi le commande li lois».

Atant prisent congiet, si s'en alerent, ne n'en volrent plus oïr. Et li soudans demora, et li doi clerc. Lors lor dist li soudans: «Signor, il mont dit, de par Diu et de par le loi, que je vos face les testes colper, car ensi le commande li lois; mais je irai I. poi contre le commandement, ne je ne vous ferai mie les testes colper, car malvais guerredon vous renderoie de çou que vous vos estes mis en aventure de morir pour m'ame, à vos esciens, rendre à Dame Diu». Apriès si lor dist li soudans que s'il voloient demorer avoec lui, qu'il lor donroit grans tiere et grans possessions; et il li di–sent qn'i n'i demorroient mie, puis que on ne les voloit entendre, ne escouter; in s'en riroient arriere, en l'ost as Crestiens, se ses commandemens i estoit.

Atant lor dist li soudans que volontiers les feroit conduire en l'ost sauvement. Après si lor fist aporter et or et argent et dras de soie à grant plenté, et commanda qu'il presissent çou qu'il volroient. Il disent qu'il ne prenderoiont noient, puis qu'il ne pooient avoir l'ame de lui avoec Dame Diu; que plus cier [aroient l'ame de lui avec Dame Diu] qu'il n'aroient quanque il avoit valissant à lor eus; mais fesist lor doner à mangier, puis si s'en iroient, puis c'autre cose nen pooient faire. Li soudans lor fist donner à mangier assés, si prisent congie an soudan, et il les fist conduire salvement dusqu'à l'ost des Crestiens.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 607