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

XII: The Foundation of the Latin States, 1099-1118,   pp. 368-409 PDF (16.5 MB)

Page 403

Tiberias gateway, and caused the kingdom to muster its full strength which
the invaders then disastrously defeated. Both times the Franks were marooned
on a hill short of water. But there were three differences. King Baldwin's
troops were not entirely without water, he received reinforcements, and he
was astute and had the respect of his colleagues in spite of his error. King
Guy in 1187 would enjoy none of these advantages. 
 The danger to the Franks implicit in the existence of the able and energetic
Maudüd ended with the murder of that prince, October 2, 1113. He was
struck down in the presence of Tughtigin, probably by a member of the fanatical
sect of Assassins. It is hard to escape the conclusion that Tughtigin, jealous
of his autonomy and annoyed at the continued presence in his capital of the
sultan's generalissimo, was involved. For the Franks the results were wholly
fortunate. First, the murder removed a most powerful, persistent, and capable
adversary. Second, Tughtigin, though he posed as innocent, became suspect
in the court of sultan Muliammad at Baghdad. As a result Tughtigin was driven
to making a permanent truce with king Baldwin in 1114, and even to an alliance
with the Frankish princes in 1115. Thus the circumstances of Maudüd's
death bred suspicions among the Turks and destroyed much of the unity it
had been his life work to create.39 
 MaudUd's death did not, however, cause sultan Muliammad to abandon the holy
war. He named Aksungur al-Bursuki to be Maudüd's successor as governor
of Mosul and leader in the war. Aksungur made a futile attack upon Edessa,
in May of. 1114. A more positive achievement was the acceptance of an offer
of loyalty from the widow of the Armenian prince Kogh Vasil (d. i 112). Her
husband had suffered from aggression by Tancred in 1112. By her action Marash,
Kesoun, and Raban, all northwest of Edessa, were included in the Turkish
sphere of influence. 
 However, Aksungur permitted himself to be badly defeated by a Mesopotamian
rival, tl-Ghãzi ibn-Artuk of Mardin, probably late in 1114. As a result
tl-Ghãzi, fearing the vengeance of the sultan, made an alliance with
Tughtigin of Damascus. According to Ibn-al-AthIr the two princes even made
an agreement with Roger of Antioch.~° A wide breach was opened in the
ranks of the Turks. A second result of Aksungur's defeat was his replacement
as Muliammad's generalissimo by Bursuk ibn-Bursuk of Hamadan. 
 ~° On MaudUd's assassination see above, chapter IV, p. I 13. For a discussion
of Moslem politics at this period see above, chapter V. pp. 169—570.
 40 Ibn-al-Athir, p.294. 

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