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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years
(1969)

XVI: The Career of Nur-ad-Din,   pp. 513-527 PDF (5.9 MB)


Page 513

 5,3xv' 
THE CAREER OF NUR-AD-DIN 
when Nür-ad-Din Malimüd succeeded his father Zengi at Aleppo in
mid-September of 1146, he was a young and hitherto, apparently, inexperienced
man, who was now faced with the task of establishing himself. He was surrounded
by actual or potential enemies and rivals, and there were jealousies between
his ernirs. The division of Zengi's principality seemed to dissipate at one
stroke all the gains made in the past twenty years, except for the capture
of Edessa. Unur at Damascus had lost no time in compelling Zengi's governor,
Najm-ad-Din AiyUb, to surrender Baalbek, in detaching Horns from Aleppo,
and even in gaining over al-YaghislyanI at Harnah. After the repulse by Shirküh,
who had also accompanied Nflr-ad-Din to Aleppo, of a raid by Raymond, a more
serious threat presented itself in Joscelin's attempt to recapture Edessa.
In this crisis, Nür-ad-Din showed for the first time what he was made
of; he raced to its defense, not only to counter the crusaders, but also
to forestall his brother Saif-ad-Din of Mosul, and prevented any future attempts
of the kind by destroying its Armenian. and Jacobite population.' 
 This striking success over the Franks had in all probability a considerable
effect in consolidating Nih-ad-Din's position. For he had still to reach
a direct settlement with his brother at Mosul, whose liberty of action was
hampered for the time being by the rising of the Artukid princes Timurtash
and Alp Arslan, and their recovery of their former possessions in the north.
That there were some tensions between Aleppo and Mosul seems to be indicated
by a number of small details, such as Nür-ad-DIn's refortification of
Qal~at Najm, guarding the bridge over the Euphrates on the Harran-Aleppo
road; and it would appear that one of the main stabilizing factors in the
situation was the friendship between the Mosul vizir Jamal-ad-DIn and the
Kurdish emir Shirküh, who made it their aim to maintain the two principalities
separate but in close alliance. Whether, as Ibn-al-AthIr asserts, the two
brothers, 
'  For the second siege of Edessa and Frankish policies at this time, see
below, chapter 
XVII, p. 53!. 


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