In 1268, crusader principality of Antioch fell into the hands of Mamluk Sultan, Baibars. Crusaders now found themselves in a critical situation facing a Muslim power fully mobilised against them. The ruler of Acre sought truce with Baibars because he was determined to bring them down.
Baibars responded positively and dispatched the well-known historian, Ibn Abd Az Zaher. The king wanted to demonstrate the power of the crusaders to Ibn Abd Az Zaher and the Muslims, even though that power was a fiction. The king of Acre asked, “Don’t you see what’s behind you?”. Ibn Abd Az Zaher looked behind and saw crusader armies ready for battle.
He replied, “I’ve seen what’s behind me. Don’t you know these armies are hardly a tenth of the crusaders confined in Mamluk prisons in Egypt?”.
This caused the King to relax his defiant attitude and he realized the man sitting in front of him represented a tough and strong sultan.