The slaughter unleashed by the crusaders during the capture of Jerusalem left it a virtual ghost town. Most of the crusaders then returned home, but a nucleus remained, and began the re-population with an influx of eastern Christians, Armenians from Cilicia and Syrians from Oultrejordain. The economy was rebuilt by the imposition of heavy taxes on caravan routes, tribute from coastal cities and participation in the lucrative cotton, silk and spice trades. Additionally, increasing income was derived from pilgrims journeying to the Holy City, their focus being the Way of the Cross. The High Court of the nobility, which elected the king, was based in the city, as were the Knights Templar and Hospitaller. These knights were founded to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, but were rapidly becoming powerful economic and military entities. The Order of St Lazarus founded a leper hospital outside the city walls.
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