University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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 404

Bursuk was ordered to punish tl-Ghazi and Tughtigin as well as carry on the
holy war against the Franks. 
 In the spring of i i 15 Bursuk gathered a large army of Iraqian contingents,
threatened Edessa briefly, and then moved on, in— tending to make Aleppo
his base of operations. But the eunuch Lu'lu', atabeg in that city for the
child Alp Arsian, son of Ridvan (d. 1113), was as unwilling to open his gates
to the army of the sultan as had been Ridvan in 1113. Lu'lu' called upon
tl-Ghãzi and Tughtigin for aid, and they in turn called upon Roger
of Antioch. As a result the troops of these strange allies took position
in two camps, one Turkish and one Frankish, near Apamea, to watch Bursuk.
Roger in turn called upon the other Frankish princes for support. King Baldwin,
Pons of Tripoli, and Baldwin II of Edessa all gathered at Apamea by August.
The stage was now set for a great battle between the sultan's army under
the command of Bursuk, and the coalition of Latin princes and Turkish rebels.
But there was no battle, the Latin-Turkish allies being very cautious. After
eight days Bursuk slyly retreated into the desert and his enemies scattered
to their homes. The whole affair is excellent evidence that the Franks and
Syrian Turks though given to fighting each other could close ranks against
others from outside Syria. 
 Bursuk's withdrawal was a ruse, however. He slipped back to capture Kafartãb,
a mountain fortress of Roger's, and to menace the lands of Antioch and Aleppo.
Roger took the field and succeeded in ambushing Bursuk at Dãnith half
way between Apamea and Aleppo, September 14. The rout was complete and appalling.
Bursuk himself escaped but the Franks slaughtered three thousand male camp
followers, enslaved the women, and committed the children and old men to
the flames. The prisoners who remained, other than those held for ransom,
were sent to Tughtigin, Itl-Ghãzi, and Lu~lu'. It took the Franks
two or three days to divide the spoils, which were worth three hundred thousand
bezants according to Fulcher of Chartres. 
 The battle of Dãnith made a deep impression upon the Moslems. According
to Grousset, Roger, as "Sirojal" (Sire Roger), became a legendary figure
among them something like Richard the Lionhearted after the Third Crusade.4'
Tughtigin of Damascus broke with his dangerous ally at once and made his
peace with sultan 
 41 Fuicher of Chartres, p. 589; Grousset, Histoire des croisades, I, 510.
In addition to the usual chronicle sources see Walter the Chancellor, Bella
Antiochena (ed. Hagenmeyer, Innsbruck, 5896), pp. 65—76. For a discussion
of the importance of this battle see Cahen, La ~Syrie du nord, p. 274. 

Go up to Top of Page