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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

XX: The Aiyubids,   pp. 693-714 PDF (8.7 MB)

Page 695

Damascus, he stabilized the situation in the eastern provinces, although
the Zengids regained for a time their independence in their own territories.
 During the next six years al-'Adil extended and consolidated his power in
Syria and Egypt. Averse to warfare, he used as his chief weapons diplomacy
and intrigue, for the exercise of which the rivalries of Saladin's sons gave
him ample scope. Al-Afdal ' Ali at Damascus, as the eldest, was regarded
as head of the Aiyubid house, but his misgovernment and weakness turned Saladin's
troops against him and led to an expedition against Damascus by al-'Aziz
of Egypt in May 1 194. Al-'Adil joined the coalition of Syrian princes against
al-'Aziz, and on his withdrawal remained with al Afdal in Damascus. A second
attempt was made by al-'Aziz in 11 95, this time in concert with az-Zahir
of Aleppo; after breaking up the coalition by intrigue, al-'Adil followed
al-'Aziz to Egypt and stayed with him until the next year, when they combined
to drive al-Afdal out of Damascus (June 1196); al-'Adil remained in Damascus
as viceroy of al-'Aziz. When the war with the crusaders was renewed in 1
197, therefore, he was able to take the field at once, to capture Jaffa (September
5), and to send troops to reinforce Egypt against an invasion. After the
surrender of Beirut by its commander to the German crusaders and their investment
of Toron at the end of November, he obtained reinforcements from Egypt and
all the Syrian princes, forced the raising of the siege (February 2, 1198),
and negotiated a fresh truce in June for five and a half years.3 Then, leaving
his son al-Mu'azzam ' Isa as his deputy in Damascus, he returned to the Jazira
to complete the restoration of Aiyubid control in the east. 
 On the death of al-'Aziz (November 29, 1198), leaving only a minor son,
al-Mansür Mubammad, there was a split in the Aiyubid forces. The Asadi
regiment called in al-Afdal as regent; the Salahi emirs in the meantime summoned
his uncle al-'Adil from Mesopo tamia, while al-Afdal, at the instigation
and with the support of his brother az-Zahir, marched on Damascus. Al-'Adil
had barely time to throw himself into the city before it was invested by
al-Afdal, and was besieged for six months until the arrival of his son al
Kãmil Muhammad with the Mesopotamian troops; he then pursued al-Afdal
to Egypt, defeated him at Bilbais, and entered Cairo (February 6, 1 200).
  A report of al-Maqrizi states that in the same year the fortifications
of Ascalon were razed by agreement between al-'Adil and al-'AzIz. On this
truce see above, chapter XV, pp. 

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