The Norman conquest of Sicily may with justice be called a crusade before the Crusades; and it cannot but have given some impulse to that later attempt to wrest Syria from the Mahommedans, in which the virtual leader was Bohemund, a scion of the same house which had conquered Sicily.
It is not too much to suppose that the executive in Pretoria had calculated that the occupation of Durban would inspire the entire Dutch nation with a spirit of unanimity which would eventually wrest South Africa' from the British.
When his son Louis wished to wrest the English crown from John, now crushed by his barons, Philip intervened without seeming to do so, first with the barons, then with Innocent III., supporting and disowning his son by turns; until the latter, held in.
It seemed an easy task for such a coalition to wrest the coveted spoil from the young Charles XII.; yet Peter was the only one of the three conspirators who survived the Twenty-one Years' War in which they so confidently embarked during the summer of 1701.
It was like holding an enemy's sharp two-edged sword by the blade, and that enemy all the time striving to wrest it out of your clutch.
He determined to take holy orders, in the expectation that he would become cardinal, and then pope, when he would wrest from the Venetians his principality of Verona, of which the republic had despoiled his ancestors.
Peter the Great cast an envious eye on Finland and tried to wrest it from Sweden; in 1710 he managed to obtain possession of the towns of Kexholm and Villmanstrand; and by 1716 all the country was in his power.
Master of Babylonia, Seleucus at once proceeded to wrest the neighbouring provinces of Persis, Susiana and Media from the nominees of Antigonus.
The ministers of Arcadius desired to annex Dalmatia to his portion, while the general Stilicho, who was supreme in the west, wished to wrest from the eastern realm the prefecture of Illyricum or a considerable part of it.
Happily for the kingdom whose king was a child and a leper, the attention of Saladin was distracted for several years by an attempt to wrest from the sons of Nureddin the inheritance of their father - an attempt partially successful in 1174, but only finally realized in 1183.