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

XIV: Zengi and the Fall of Edessa,   pp. 448-462 PDF (5.7 MB)

Page 449

 the establishment of the county of Tripoli, a rough balance of power was
struck in Syria between crusaders and Moslems. Jerusalem faced Damascus,
Antioch faced Aleppo, an& Tripoli faced the group of lesser cities in
the upper Orontes valley. Although Aleppo lay between Antioch and Edessa,
they, too, lay between Aleppo and the Moslem principalities to east and north,
as Jerusalem lay between Damascus and Egypt. The dynasties in the crusading
states were, unconsciously but effectively, absorbed into the system of Syrian
politics, with its shifting play of alliances and counter-alliances, temporary
treaties, sudden realignments, and petty gains and losses. 
 The point of balance of the whole system was Aleppo. Its effective absorption
by Damascus, or Mosul, or the northern crusaders, would involve a major regrouping
of the forces on either side. But the local strength of Aleppo lay in its
alliance with the Assassins, and when, after the death of Ridvan in I I 13,
the zeal of a new governor, Lu'lu~, regent for Ridvan's son, led to a breach
with the Assassins, it became too weak to stand by itself and was forced
to seek external support. But support was one thing, in the eyes both of
its governors and of its Shi~ite population, and absorption quite another.
The main thread in the history of Moslem Syria during the next decade was
the conflict which 
 The principal contemporary sources for the history of Moslem Syria to the
death of NUr-ad-Din are the history of Damascus of Ibn-al-QalAnisi (ed. H.
F. Amedroz, Leyden, 1908; partial translation by H. A. R. Gibb, The Damascus
Chronicle o/the Crusades, London, 1932); the "memoirs" of Usamah Ibn-Munqidh
(ed. P. K. Hitti, Princeton, 1930; tr. Hitti, An Arab-Syrian Gentleman in
the Period o/ the Crusades, Columbia University, Records of Civilization,
New York, 1929); the citations from dJmãd~ad~Din and other lost Syrian
sources in abü-Shãmah, Ar-raudatain (Cairo, 1870—1871;
partial translation in RHC, Or., IV—V); the Syriac chronicle of Michael
(vol. III, ed. and tr. J. B. Chabot, Paris, 1910); and for Mesopotàrnia,
the history of Maiyafariqin by Ibn-al-Azraq al-Fariqi (partially published
in notes to Ibn-al- Qalanisi). For northern Syria the data from these and
other fragmentary sources are coordinated by C. Cahen, La Syrie du nord a
l'époque des croisades (Paris, i 9~j.0), and for Mesopotamia by C.
Cahen, "Le Diyâr Bakr au temps des premiers Urtuqides," Journal Asiatique,
CCXXVII (i~~5), 219—276. For the history of Egypt, see G. Wiet, L'Egypte
arabe (Paris, 1938). 

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