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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 412

kingdom in the summer of ii i8 and encamped before Ascalon. Tughtigin thereupon
repaired to Ascalon, assumed command of. the Egyptian forces, and received
from the garrison's commander a promise of complete cooperation, in accordance
with the instructions of his government. The kingdom, now threatened by Damascus
and Ascalon on the northeast and southwest respectively, presently had to
meet a new danger on the northwest, for a number of the enemy's warfieet
had sailed from Ascalon to the important naval base at Tyre, apparently with
the consent and approval of the Moslem commanders there. 
 Baldwin, foreseeing these moves, had summoned troops from the principality
of Antioch and the county of Tripoli and had assembled his own warriors in
the plain of the Philistines. He now camped very close to the Egyptian lines.
A military stalemate of two or three months ensued with neither side daring
to attack, whereupon Tughtigin elected to withdraw and return to Damascus,
and the remainder of his forces retired to Egypt. Similarly the Frankish
forces departed and returned to their respective lands. 
 Apparently in retaliation for Tughtigin's invasion of the kingdom, the Franks
now invaded and pillaged the Damascus country. Tughtigin dispatched his son
Tãj-al-Mulük Böri against them, whereupon the invaders retired
to a neighboring mountain. In defiance of his father's order, Tãj-al-Mulük
BOri met them in battle and suffered a crushing defeat. Pursuing the policy
of the offensive, the Franks then struck at Aleppo and ravaged the surrounding
country. Tughtigin promised aid to the Aleppans, but was defeated by Joscelin.
 Despite the Frankish counter-attack, Tughtigin pursued his plans, and, having
joined forces with tl-Ghãzi, the sultan of Aleppo, successfully sought
the latter's help against the southern Franks, who continued to ravage the
Hauran. But these plans were soon shelved in favor of agreements that tl-GhãzI
should marshal his troops at Mardin and join Tughtigin in a campaign against
Antioch in the summer of 1119. The change of plans resulted from the threat
to Aleppo arising from the capture of ~Azãz, an important stronghold
belonging to tl-GhãzI, in late i I 18 by the united efforts of Roger,
the ruler of Antioch, and Leon, an Armenian chieftain in Cilicia, and also
from the seizure of Buzãcah by the Franks. 
 In accordance with these agreements, Itl-Ghãzi, after a pause before
Edessa (Urfa), crossed the Euphrates at the beginning of June I I 19 and
invaded the Tell Bashir (Turbessel) country. Ap 

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