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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 424

Moslem hostages. He prepared, however, for any eventuality by a visit to
Mardin, where he requested the assistance of his brother Sulaimãn
and recruited troops. 
 The Franco-Aleppan agreements were definitely sundered in late September
when Baldwin marched to Artãli and threatened Aleppo, arriving before
the latter city on October 6. Meanwhile, Joscelin and Dubais, proceeding
from Tell Bashir, invaded the valley of Buzãcah and conducted widespread
devastations of the crops. They soon effected a junction with Baldwin before
Aleppo. The Frankish chieftains and their followers, together with their
Moslem allies, namely Dubais and his son ~adaqah and lesser leaders with
their forces, numbering no less than two hundred Frankish and one hundred
Moslem tents, now established a close investment of Aleppo. The ensuing siege
was marked by a bitter struggle. The besieged leaders, failing in their negotiations
to end hostilities, sorely pressed because of the paucity of their forces,
and suffering together with the citizens from famine, decided at length to
send envoys to Timurtash, who was at Mardin, to obtain his assistance. Intent
on the occupation of Maiyafariqin, the bequest of his recently deceased brother,
Sulaimän, who was the former ruler of that city, and preoccupied with
negotiations with Aksungur al-Bursuki of Mosul for an anti-Frankish coalition,
Timurtash ignored the envoys' pleas for assistance and continually temporized
with them. At length, angered by their complaints and by the receipt of a
letter from Aleppo which seemed to him to disguise the seriousness of the
situation to the end of causing him to succor Aleppo with too small a rescuing
force, he ordered them to be imprisoned. But they escaped and presently sought
Aksungur's aid. He complied with the appeal, and having urged the rulers
of Damascus and Horns to aid him, raised an army and advanced on Aleppo,
arriving after nightfall on January 29, 1125. Dubais urged his Frankish allies
to give him an army to prevent Aksungur from crossing the Euphrates until
the Franks had captured Aleppo. This sensible advice went unheeded, and,
as a result, Aksungur succeeded in raising the siege when the inhabitants
were on the point of surrender. On his approach Baldwin and his several allies
retired from Aleppo, deeming it wiser to retreat than to risk battle with
the numerically superior enemy.1° Aksungur pursued the retreating Franks
as far as al-Athãrib and cut off stragglers and plundered their baggage.
The Franks, however, succeeded in withdrawing without great loss. Loath to
risk a defeat at the hands of 
10 For a discussion of Aksungur al-Bursuki and Aleppo, see chapter XIV, p.

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