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

XIII: The Growth of the Latin States, 1118-1144,   pp. 410-447 PDF (15.6 MB)

Page 413

prised of his impending danger, Roger appealed to Joscelin, Pons, the count
of Tripoli, and Baldwin for help. Baldwin hastily mustered an army and joined
forces with Pons. Meanwhile, Roger, chafing under the delay, left Antioch
and encamped before the stronghold of Artãli. Then, after waiting
several days for the arrival of the king and the count, he spurned the views
of the patriarch, followed the advice of some of the local nobles, who were
anxious to have his army protect their lands, and ordered his army to advance.
At length on June 20 he took up an untenable position at a1-B.alã~
between two mountains located near Darb Sarmada north of alAthãrib
in the mistaken belief that the difficulty of the terrain would thwart the
enemy. tl-Ghazi, meantime, was awaiting the arrival of Tughtigin at Buzã~ah,
a town situated northeast of Aleppo, to draw up a plan of campaign, but his
emirs, weary of delays, demanded immediate action. tl-Ghãzi consented.
The Moslem forces broke camp on June 27 and took up a position under cover
of darkness near the unsuspecting Franks, who believed that the attack would
be launched by way of al-Athãrib or Zardana. When dawn broke, the
Moslems closed in on the Latins from three sides. A rout and butchery of
the Franks ensued, which came to be known as the "field of blood" (ager sanguinis).
Roger himself was slain, seventy of his knights were captured, and their
leaders were taken to Aleppo for ransom. This annihilation of the Norman
chivalry effected a permanent decrease of Norman influence in Syria as against
Provençal and east-central French. 
 Fortunately for the Franks, tl-Ghãzi did not clinch his triumph over
them, but contented himself with plundering operations in the principality
of Antioch. Instead of striking at the now wellnigh defenseless city of Antioch,
manned by the Frankish clergy and citizens under the direction of the patriarch
Bernard of Valence, tI-Ghazi advanced on the far lesser prizes of al-Athãrib
and Zardanã and captured them. Then, after reorganizing the administration
of Aleppo, he returned to Mardin. Meanwhile, Baldwin had hastened on to Antioch,
and, establishing his domination over it, had repaired its shattered defenses
with the help of Roger's widow. The cavalry and infantry forces were reconstituted,
and the widows of the fallen were married to the survivors. Baldwin also
called upon the Edessan Franks for aid in the coming battles with the foe.
 tl-Ghazi's capture of Zardana aroused Baldwin and Pons. Accordingly, they
immediately departed from Antioch to search out the enemy. Directing their
march toward the Rugia valley, they pres 

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