chapter  4
14 Pages

Massacre or mutual benefi t: the military orders’ relations with their Muslim neighbours in the Latin East (1100–1300) BETTY BINYSH (CARDIFF UNIVERSITY)

The shock of Saladin’s massacre of Templar and Hospitaller prisoners after the battle of Hattin (Ḥiṭṭīn) has deeply coloured historians’ views of relations between the Muslims and the military orders. Traditionally crusade historians have regarded Saladin’s secretary, ʿImād al-Dīn al-Iṣfahānī as typifying Muslim views, combining hatred of ‘these two impure races’ with a wary respect of an enemy so dangerous that the land must be ‘purified’ of them. 2 Yet does this exaggerate the impact the military orders had on the Muslims and overlook changes in the discourse over the 200 years of contact in the Levant?