MARITIME CITIES OF PALESTINE. i35
and after supper and some talk with the sheikh we walked for a little time on the star-lit
terrace, where our servants, rolled up in their heavy cloaks and wadded quilts, were already in
We rested for a few hours in the great guest-chamber, and when the mueddin (see page
385, vol. i.) chanted the call to prayer from the little minaret close by, " Awake, sleepers,
it is better to pray than to sleep," we answered to the call and then went on to the terrace.
The day was just beginning to dawn. It was three o'clock, and the loud shrill voice
echoing from the courtyard below reminded us that it was the hour of the "first cock-
crowing:" the "second cock-crowing" is at sunrise, about two hours later. At four o'clock
we were ready to pursue our journey, and we rode away, grateful for the shelter which had
been given to us in this ancient sanctuary.
At a very short distance from this place, towards the north, are the ruins of the Crusading
fortress of Arsuf (see map). It is alluded to by Josephus under the name of Apollonia, but
of its early history scarcely anything appears to be known, except that it was in ruins in the
year 57 B.C., and subsequently rebuilt by the Romans.
Arsuf must have been a strong fortress in the eleventh century, for it is recorded that
Godfrey of Bouillon, King of Jerusalem, besieged it unsuccessfully ; but it shared the fate of
Caesarea, and was taken by Godfrey's brother and successor, Baldwin I., and, like Caesarea,
was recaptured by the Mohammedans.
During Richard Coeur de Lion's famous march of a hundred miles from Acre (see p
73) to Ascalon (see page 169), in 1191, for the recovery of the Crusading fortresses on tin- sea
coast, it was in the neighbourhood of Arsuf that the most important encounter took place,
when Saladin's troops were defeated and the fortress of Arsuf regained. The Arab
historian, Boha-ed-din, admits that it was the forest of Arsuf alone that saved Saladin's
army from destruction, since without its shelter they would have been pursued and dispersed.
Arsuf was refortified by Louis IX. in 1251, but in 1265 this fortress was successfully
besieged by the Sultan Melek ed Daher Bibars. The inhabitants were massacred and the
place destroyed : it has remained in ruins ever since. Lieutenant Kitchener, R.E., in his
"Journal of the Survey" (1877), says: "The Castle of Arsuf is very like Ascalon (see
Page I73) m the style of its masonry and the excellence of the cement employed. In places
where the stones are weathered away, the cement remains. In other places the pointing
remains as fresh as when the masons left it. The castle was built on a bad foundation of
very soft rock, on the seaside : this has been worn away, and the walls have slid down bodily.
They are naturally cracked and broken, but immense portions of the walls have rolled dou n
from a great height without breaking up. In some parts the walls look as if they had been
built on sloping scarps, so perfectly have they slid from their high position. A quantity of
green sulphate of copper is scattered about, attached to the rocks in crystals." The harbour
was well constructed, and "measured three hundred feet from north to south, and one hundred
and twenty from east to west," with an entrance barely thirty feet wide.