A description of the aftermath of battle. The author was probably an eyewitness but is unfortunately renowned for 'hiding concrete details under a mass of verbiage'. Nevertheless it gives a shocking catalogue of carnage.
The piece describes the battlefield after the battle of the Horns of Hattin in 1187AD , where the largest Frankish army assembled during the Crusades was demolished by the the Ayyubids.
'The plain was covered with prisoners and corpses, disclosed by the dust as it settled and victory became clear. The prisoners, with beating hearts, were bound in chains. The dead were scattered over the mountains and valleys, lying immobile on their sides. Hattin shrugged off their carcasses and the perfume of victory was thick with the stench of them. I passed by them and saw the limbs of the fallen cast naked on the field of battle, scattered in pieces over the site of the encounter, lacerated and disjointed, with heads cracked open, throats split, spines broken, necks shattered, feet in pieces, noses mutilated, extremeities torn-off, members dismembered, parts shredded, eyes gouged out, stomachs disembowelled, hair coloured with blood, chests slashed open, fingers sliced off, thorax shattered, the ribs broken, the joints dislocated, the chests smashed, throats slit, bodies cut in half, arms pulverized, lips shrivelled, foreheads pierced, forelocks dyed scarlet, breasts covered with blood, ribs pierced, elbows disjointed, bones broken, tunics torn off, faces lifeless, wounds gaping, skin flayed, fragments chopped off, hair lopped, backs skinless, bodies dismembered, teeth knocked out, blood spilt, life's last breath exhaled, necks lolling, joints slackened, pupils liquefied, heads hanging, livers crushed, ribs staved in, heads shattered, breasts flayed, spirits flown their very ghosts crushed; like stones among stones, a lesson to the wise.'
IMAD AD DIN AL ISFAHANI Secretary to Saladin
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