Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years
XVI: The career of Nur-ad-Din, pp. 513-527 PDF (20.6 MB)
Ch. XVI THE CAREER OF NTJR-AD-DIN 527 or pulpit destined for the Aq~â mosque in Jerusalem after its recovery. The work wasfinished only after his death, but was duly installed in Jerusalem by Saladin. For already, although he had built up a powerful war machine to be used against the crusaders, his ambitions had implicated him in a series of operations in the north which were to lead him into conflict with the Moslems of Anatolia instead. On the death of Toros of Cilicia in ii68, his brother Mleh, who held Cyrrhus as a fief from NUr-ad-DIn, invaded Cilicia with the support of a contingent from Aleppo, which remained in his service and assisted him to drive out the Templars and Greeks from the fortresses and, in 1173, the cities which they held in Cilicia. An expedition organized by Amalric after his return from Constantinople in 1171 was interrupted by NUr-ad-Din's attack on Kerak, and Mleh remained master of Cilicia until Nür-ad-Din's death. During these events in Cilicia the Selchükid Kilij Arslan had been actively breaking up the Dãnishmendid principalities and annexing their territories, Albistan, Caesarea (Kayseri), and Ankara. In 1170 or 1171 he attacked Melitene (Malatya), but was repulsed, owing to the intervention of the Artukid Nür-ad-Din of Ui~n Kaifã. He then attacked the last Dãnishmendid stronghold, Sebastia, whose prince appealed to Nür-ad-Din. In the spring of 1173 he set out from Damascus, and after capturing Marash and Behesni, joined forces in August or September with Mleh and the troops of Melitene, and marched on Qalcat ar-Rum, on the Euphrates north of Bira. At this point Kilij Arsian sent overtures for peace. The precise terms of the agreement are uncertain; according to some sources Kilij Arsian consented to restore Ankara and Sebastia to their princes, and Nür-ad-Din sent the former vizir of Mosul, ~Abd-al-MassIh, with a contingent of his own troops to garrison Sebastia, but these returned to Aleppo on the news of his death. On his return, Nür-ad-DIn made a leisurely journey to Damascus, where shortly afterwards he fell seriously ill, and died on May 15, 1174, leaving only a minor son as his heir. Almost instantaneously the territorial and military organization which he had built up with so much labor fell to pieces. But, in contrast to his father Zengi, he had by his life and conduct laid the foundations for that moral unification of Moslem forces on which alone a real political and military unity could be reared. It is ironical that the great name and reputation which he left was to prove one of the major obstacles to the efforts of his true successor, Saladin, to resume his task and bring it to fruition.
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