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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 520

520 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES I 
Din, plus the regiments of his district commanders and vassals. The combined
forces of Aleppo and Damascus at Inab amounted, as already noted, to 6,ooo
horse; and it is probable that the regular armies under Nür-ad-Din's
direct command never much exceeded this figure. When reinforced by the Artukid
princes or from Mosul, or by auxiliary bodies of Turkomans or Arab tribesmen,
his armies may well have reached 10,000 or even 15,000, exclusive of footsoldiers
anj volunteers. 
 In one feature Nür-ad-Din's regular forces differed from most of the
Selchükid armies, namely in the enrolment of large numbers of Kurds
alongside the Turkish mamlüks. The brothers Aiyüb and Shirküh
were, though the most prominent, by no means the only Kurdish officers who
attained high rank under him; and these in turn naturally attracted large
numbers of their fellow-countrymen, both as regulars and as auxiliary troops.
The local Arab sedentaries and militia, on the other hand, who had played
so large a part in Syria during the preceding century, seem to have been
suppressed or discouraged, no doubt as potential elements of insubordination.
They are scarcely mentioned in the annals of Nürad-Din's campaigns,
and reappear under Saladin only as auxiliary infantry and siege troops. 
 Shortly after the capture of Baalbek, Nür-ad-DIn returned to the north
to intervene in the complicated struggle betweenthe Selchükid and Danishmendid
princes in Anatolia that followed the death of sultan Mas~Ud Tin ii55. While
his successor Kilij Arsian II engaged and defeated the Dãnishmendid
Yaghi-Basan of Sebastia (Sivas) at Aqserai in September, Nür-ad-DIn
seized the opportunity to annex Aintab, Duluk, and Marzban. The indignant
sultan retaliated by attempting to organize a coalition against him with
Toros of Cilicia and Reginald of Antioch, but the only immediate action taken
was a raid toward Aleppo by Reginald, who was overtaken and defeated near
Uãrim by Ibn-adDayah in the following spring. In the autumn amicable
relations were restored between the two Moslem princes. 
 The next five years were filled with anxieties, external and internal, for
the preservation of the newly unified kingdom of Syria. In September ii~6
began a series of severe earthquakes which repeatedly destroyed cities and
fortifications in the northern half of his territories. In spite of the renewal
of the truce with Jerusalem on the payment of a tribute of 8,ooo Tyrian dinars,
it was broken again and again by attempts on the part of the Latins to take
advantage of the disordered conditions in the country. Nür 


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