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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 420

servants, he left Kharput, successfully crossed the enemy lines and the Euphrates,
and then with a friendly Armenian peasant acting as a guide at length reached
Tell Bashir. 
 J oscelin now undertook the task of rescuing his overlord. After dispatching
messengers to the Byzantine emperor and the several Armenian chieftains,
he departed in August 1123 and proceeded, by way of Kesoun and Antioch, to
Jerusalem to rally help for the release of Baldwin. His fervent appeal for
help had an instantaneous response, for the feudality rose as one man to
meet the dreadful challenge hurled at them by the exultant Belek. Joscelin
then proceeded to Tripoli. Soon a combined force of warriors from Jerusalem,
Tripoli, and Antioch advanced toward Tell Bashir. There they learned the
disquieting news that Baldwin and the fortress of Kharput had again fallen
into Belek's hands on September i6. Informed of the release of his prisoners
and Joscelin's escape on August 6, Belek abandoned the siege of Kafartäb
which he had recently begun and returned to Kharput. After fruitless dickering
with Baldwin to secure a peaceful surrender, Belek stormed and captured the
fortress and then reimprisoned Baldwin, his nephew, and Galeran at Harran.
 The Frankish rescuing force accordingly decided to abandon the project of
rescuing Baldwin and his fellows, but determined to harm the enemy at the
time of the passage of the Frankish contingents by Aleppo. Meanwhile, Joscelin,
following his appeal for help in Jerusalem, began his return trip to Tell
Bashir, but learned en route of Belek's recovery of Kharput. He then attacked
Buzã~ah, al-Bãb, and Aleppo. The main body of the Franks, upon
their arrival at Aleppo, scored some successes over the defenders, but a
dearth of food supplies forced them to depart. In consequence, they, together
with Joscelin, returned to their respective bailiwicks in October. 
 Equally indecisive results attended the ensuing Franco-Moslem warfare in
north Syria during the autumn of 1123 and the early months of 1124. Apparently
believing that the best defense of his own territories and those of the now
leaderless principality of Antioch lay in offense, Joscelin attacked Belek's
dominions. Belek retaliated shortly thereafter when, with the forces of Tughtigin
and Aksungur al-BursukI, the regent (Turkish, atabeg) of Mosul, as his allies,
he advanced upon and invested ~Azãz in the early winter of I 124,
but was defeated by a relieving force of Franks. Better luck attended his
next sally in April when he defeated a Frankish force at Mashlialã.
Yet Frankish pressure seemingly was 

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