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

XVI: The career of Nur-ad-Din,   pp. 513-527 PDF (20.6 MB)

Page 515

cus was abandoned July z8. There can be little doubt that their prospective
intervention was a factor in the decision to do so, yet the ultimate consequence
was to drive a still deeper wedge of suspicion between Aleppo and Damascus.
 The failure of the Second Crusade, coupled with the curious incident that
followed in September, when Raymond II of Tripoli called in the united forces
of the Zengids and Damascus to dislodge the son of Alfonso Jordan from the
castle of al~cArImah, was utilized by Nür-ad-Din to attack the Frankish
castles in central Syria. He then turned north to raid the lower reaches
of an-Nahr al-Aswad, in order to counter a raid by Raymond of Antioch into
Selchükid territory. In spite of a reverse at Yaghra, due to the jealousy
of Shirküh at the favor shown by Nür-ad-Din to his minister Ibn-ad-Dayah,
he continued his operations towards Apamea in the following spring, while
Unur, calling in the Turkomans, harassed the kingdom until an armistice was
signed in May 1149. 
 Relieved from further anxiety in the south, Unur was able to answer Nür-ad-Din's
appeal for reinforcements in the north, and the combined armies, some 6,ooo
strong, set out to besiege Inab, on the borders of the Rugia valley. Raymond
of Antioch, hastening to its defense and forced by his barons to engage the
superior Moslem forces, was disastrously defeated June 29 and himself killed
in the battle.~ 
 This, the most spectacular of Nür-ad-Din's victories over the Franks,
and coming at this early stage in his career, seems to have been the turning-point
in his own conception of his mission and in the history of Moslem Syria.
In the eyes of all Islam he had become the champion of the faith, and he
now consciously set himself to fulfil the duties of that role. His first
task was to deal with the heretics within his gates. On first occupying Aleppo
he had shown some indulgence towards the ShI~ites, but in the last months
of 1148, he had perhaps already begun to take measures against them and to
break up their leadership. The Assassins of Ma~yaf were making common cause
with the Franks; their chief, cAll ibn-Wafã', had contributed to the
reverse at Yaghra and was killed on the Frankish side at Inab. But negative
measures were not enough; the new counter-crusade was henceforth to be placed
under the banner of. orthodoxy, and Nür-ad-Din gave active encouragement
to all the elements that could contribute to the revival of the faith, by
the foundation of schools, mosques, and sufi (Arabic, ~u/i) convents, and
to the unity of popular feeling, 
~ Cf. below, chapter XVII, pp. 532—533. 

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