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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years
(1969)

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


Page 517

Ch. XVI THE CAREER OF NUR-AD-DIN517 
upper Euphrates, including Gargar. But Nür-ad-Din himself was mainly
preoccupied with the affairs of Damascus. On the pretext of punishing the
Franks for their raids on the Hauran he demanded reinforcements from its
prince. The prefect, Mu'aiyid-ad-DIn Ibnas-Süfi, who had by now established
his control of the city, pleaded the treaty with Jerusalem. In the spring
of 1150 NUr-ad-Din marched south, encamped outside the city, and repeated
his demand for a thousand men to join him in an expedition to relieve Ascalon
and Gaza. Although it is evident from the language of the Damascus chronicler
that the popular sympathies lay with NUr-ad-DIn, the prefect, no doubt remembering
the former occasion when Damascus troops were sent under Sevinj to cooperate
in the "holy war" with Nür-ad-Din's father, refused the request in peremptory
terms; but in the face of Nür-ad-DIn's threats he agreed to recognize
Nür-ad-Din's suzerainty, though without admitting him into the city.
 During his absence in the south, his Turkoman troops remained actively engaged
against the territories of Tell Bashir and succeeded in capturing Joscelin.
Instantly, the county was invaded from three sides. The Artukid Timurtash
of lVtardin seized Samosata and Bira, with other fortresses; the Selchükid
sultan Mas'üd reappeared before Tell Bashir and was joined by Nür-ad-Din,
who had already captured ~Azaz. On the transfer of Tell Bashir to the Greek
emperor Manuel, the siege was raised, but the two Moslem forces vigorously
harassed the Franco-Armenian garrison and population on their evacuation
to Antioch. During his withdrawal Mas~üd seized Kesoun, Behesni, Raban,
and Marzban, while Nürad-Din occupied in the course of the same autumn
and winter Tall Khãlid, Cyrrhus, and Ravendan. Early in the next year
(i is i) his general Uassãn of Manbij renewed the siege of Tell Bashir,
and with its surrender on July 12 the former county of Edessa was extinguished.5
 Nür-ad-Din's absence in the north brought little relief/to Damascus,
where, in addition, the internal conflict was still unappeased. During the
autumn of 1150 his Turkomans were sent to detach the province of Hauran and
fought a pitched battle with a detachment of Damascene troops. In the spring
of 1151 he again encamped outside the city and though he deprccated the shedding
of Moslem blood, his forces engaged in skirmishes with the local 
 ~ For a slightly different chronology on the liquidation of the remnants
of the county of Edessa and the intervention of the emperor Manuel, see below,
chapter XVII, pp. 533—534, and above, map 12. 


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