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

XII: The Foundation of the Latin States, 1099-1118,   pp. 368-409 PDF (16.5 MB)


Page 405

Ch. XII THE FOUNDATION OF THE LATIN STATES 405 
Muli.ammad the next spring. Nor do we hear more of tl-Ghãzi as an
ally of Roger. This catastrophe broke the offensive spirit of the Selchükids
for some time. Maudüd was dead and there was none to take his place.
The Frankish states now, until Roger's defeat by Il-Ghazi at Darb Sarmada
in 1119, enjoyed more security than they had ever known before. 
 The safety enjoyed by the Latin states permitted them to go their separate
ways. They could unite in danger but not in victory. Pons of Tripoli, possibly
in the summer of i i i6, began to plunder the Biqa~ valley, the country around
Baalbek. As a result he was badly defeated by Tughtigin of Damascus and Aksungur
alBursuki of Rahba. The latter, probably to regain the laurels lost in 1114,
had come down to cooperate with Tughtigin in a holy war of their own. The
two years following DãnIth were spent by Baldwin II of Edessa in a
war upon the neighboring Armenian principalities. It will be remembered that
one at least, Kesoun, antagonized by Tancred's brutality, had sympathized
with Aksungur in 1114. Baldwin acquired the territory of Dgha Vasil, son
of Kogh Vasil, by torturing Dgha ~asil; that of abü-l-Gharib of Bira
after a year-long siege of the latter's capital; and that of Pakrad of Cyrrhus
and Constantine of Gargar also by violence. Baldwin of Le Bourg thus rounded
out his territories in the Euphrates valley to the west and north, and in
a measure recovered the strength he had lost in i i 10. His county was secure
when he left it in i I i8 to become king of Jerusalem. 
 Roger of Antioch, strange as it may seem, apparently was not actively aggressive
for two years after his great victory. Probably his chief concern was Aleppo.
As long as the weak and incompetent Lu'lu' was alive Roger seems to have
been satisfied. But when Lu~lu was murdered in i I 17 there began a confused
struggle for the control of the city. It was Roger's role to combine with
each successive faction dominant in Aleppo to keep out powerful candidates
such as tl-GhãzI of Mardin, active probably in iii8 or early 1119.
This able prince purchased an expensive truce from Roger, made plans with
Tughtigin, went home, proclaimed a holy war, and raised a large army. He
then returned to defeat and kill Roger at Darb S armada near al-Athãrib,
west of Aleppo, June 28, I I 19. This disaster, called the "field of blood"
(ager sanguinis), will be discussed more fully in the following chapter.
But the Franks of the north lost in I I 19 much of the security that they
had gained in 1115. They now faced a powerful and active prince in Aleppo,
where there had always been a weak ruler. But this is 


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