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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 425

the enemy by a determined pursuit, Aksungur retired to Aleppo. As the new
ruler of that city, he retained the hostages surrendered by Baldwin at the
time of his release. Meanwhile, the Frankish forces reached Antioch, where
they separated. Baldwin returned to Jerusalem, reaching it on April 3, 1125,
following an absence of nearly three years. Dubais contented himself with
ravaging Mosul and Aksungur's other territories. 
 Pursuing his recent victory over the Franks, Aksungur, having formed an
alliance with Tughtigin, advanced into Syria and besieged and captured the
Frankish stronghold of Kafariãb. His next intended prize, Zardana,
succeeded in repelling his attacks. Then, together with Tughtigin, he advanced
on Joscelin's fortress of cAzãz with a picked force and invested it
fiercely. Capitulation seemed certain. Help was soon forthcoming, however,
for Baldwin, having learned that Aksungur had returned to Aleppo, repaired
at once to Antioch and assembled a large force with the active assistance
of Joscelin, Pons, and Mahuis, the count of Duluk. The united force then
proceeded by way of Cyrrhus to cAzaz. Learning of the Frankish advance, Aksungur
returned to ~Azãz and reestablished the investment. 
 The ensuing battle of June II, 1125, ended with a signal Frankish victory,
despite initial setbacks. Baldwin shrewdly resorted to the strategy of withdrawal
toward al-Athãrib in order to cause the investing Moslem forces to
abandon their siege and to pursue the retreating Franks into an ambush. Aksungur
fell into the trap. The Franks halted their retreat, and, falling on their
pursuers, annihilated them, harrying the survivors as far as the gates of
 Baldwin, who now apparently sought a modus vivendi with the Saracens, paid
his ransom to Aksungur and the latter, in turn, released Yvette and Joscelin
[II]. A truce agreement providing for the division of the revenues of Jabal
as-Summaq and other contested areas between the Franks and the Moslems was
also made. Aksungur then departed for Aleppo and, having left his son there,
repaired to Mosul to assemble a new army and renew the war. 
 This favorable turn in Frankish fortunes was further marked in the autumn
of I 125 by new and successful assaults on the economic resources and military
bastions of the Moslems. In October Baldwin constructed a castle on a mountain
six miles distant from Beirut as a means of extracting tribute from the local
Saracens. Then, following the expiration of his recent truce with 

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