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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 519

ad-Din himself arrived, and after brushing aside a show of resistance forced
an entrance on April 25 "to the joy of the people, troops, and militiamen"
(Arabic singular, ' askari). Abak surrendered and was recompensed with fiefs
at Horns, and ShirkUh was invested with the governorship of the city. Baalbek
still resisted, Aiyub having been replaced as governor of the citadel before
the fall of Damascus by another officer, ~aIiIiak; but in June 1155, after
concluding an armistice with the kingdom of Jerusalem for one year, NUr-ad-Din
forced its surrender.° Aiyub rejoined NUrad-Din's service either before
or after this event, and was appointed governor of Damascus with ShirkUh
as military commandant. 
 Immediately after the occupation of Damascus Nür-ad-Din, in addition
to reorganizing its defenses, began to apply there also his program of religious
revival by the foundation of colleges and convents. Two other institutions
of his deserve special note. One was the hospital (Mãristãn)
, which long remained one of the most famous of medieval infirmaries. The
other was the dãr al-~adl or palace of justice, whose counterpart
he had already instituted in Aleppo, where he himself, during his periods
of residence in the city, sat in audience twice a week to deal with complaints,
especially against the officers of the army and the administration. The stress
which he laid on this part of a ruler's duties is recognized in the title
conferred on him by the caliph, apparently in this same year 1154, of al-malik
al-~ãdil "the just king". 
With the unification of all Moslem Syria, as well as the former county of
Edessa, under his rule, NUr-ad-DIn's military power was now consolidated.
Although little direct or detailed information on his military organization
is preserved in the sources, it certainly followed the Selchflkid feudal
system, in which the officers and a number of the regular troops were assigned
estates in lieu of pay, on condition of presenting themselves with adequate
equipment and provisions for active service when called upon. The officers
received estates graduated in size according to their rank, and were required
to maintain a corresponding number of troops from their revenues; in the
case of general officers placed in command of districts or provinces, these
numbered several hundreds.7 The feudal army thus consisted of the ruler's
own regiments of guards, numbering perhaps some 2,000 under Nür-ad6
Cf. below, chapter XVII, pp. 538—539. 
~ For example, ShirkUh as governor of Horns maintained a regiment of 500
regular troopers. 

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