By Joshua Prawer
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32 Many a prisoner, despairing of his life or freedom, apostasized. Among the Jewish captives in Frankish hands was an eight-year-old boy of the Karaite Tustari family;33 the Franks tried to induce him to apostasize and bring him up as a Christian priest, but he refused. Few escaped from the capture of the Franks. As we have seen, the bulk of these were 'the men who ran away in the second and third day after the battle and came out with the who received a safeconduct 34 These lines corroborate those Crusader sources that described the massacre in the city as lasting three days, and seem to confirm that although al-Daulah, commander of the city, had capitulated at the end of the first day of fighting, on Friday 15 July, he did not leave the city until two days later, that is, Sunday 17 July.
Alas this lasted but for a short while, which did not suffice for the voyage. The Franks arrived [June–July 1099] and killed its inhabitants from among the Ishmaelites and Israel, and most of those who remained were taken prisoner. '48 The sentiments of the writer are clear. He hoped that the ruler of Egypt, whom he describes in glowing terms as the best of all kings 'who took from nobody neither a dirham nor anything else',49 would go out against the Franks and expel them. The ruler, he says, had tried several times but had not succeeded 'but we still hope that God will give his enemies into his hands and it is inevitable that the hosts will clash this — year.
42 Despite the general picture of massacre and overwhelming suffering, one is nevertheless impressed by details, by particular cases to which one can append a name in the midst of atrocities against thousands of people. The Jewish prisoners who were not killed were mostly sent as slaves to Apulia, but nearer home we also hear of prisoners sent to Norman-held Antioch to await ransom. Among the latter was the eight-year-old boy mentioned earlier, and a man by the name of son of 'the Tustari woman'.