Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years
XVII: The Latin states under Baldwin III and Amalric I, 1143-1174, pp. 528-561 PDF (5.9 MB)
532 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES I With losses sustained in the north, the security of the Latin Levant depended more than ever on the relations between Jerusalem and those Moslem states, notably Damascus, which still resisted the southward advance of the Aleppans. Earlier chapters have described Frankish relations with Damascus; and it will be recalled that Mu~in-ad-DIn Unur (or Onor), the governor, had allied with king Fulk. On Zengi's death, Unur had quickly occupied Baalbek and entered into negotiations with the governors of Homs and Hamah. At the same time his astute sense of diplomacy had prompted him to appease Zengi's successor. In March 1147 Unur's daughter married Nflr-ad-DIn. But he had ample reason to continue his friendly dispositions toward Jerusalem, which a characteristic loyalty to treaty obligations dictated. It seems obvious too that the most elementary diplomatic and strategic considerations should have led the Latins to avoid any actions which might endanger this Levantine balance of power. Yet this was precisely the error committed by the leaders of the Second Crusade.2 Our fifteenth chapter has described in detail the Second Crusade of I 147—I 149. To Christian Europe the failure represented a tragic shattering of high hopes. To the Latin east it was more than a military defeat. Christian prestige in the orient had been dangerously weakened. The one thing the Moslems feared most, a powerful expedition from Europe, had arrived and been repulsed. Further, the breach with Damascus, so long well disposed toward Jerusalem, upset the Levantine equilibrium and paved the way for the eventual union of Aleppo and Damascus. After the Second Crusade, the Moslems, emboldened by success and assisted by continued quarrels in Christian ranks, pressed their advantage and made new gains in northern Syria. Count Raymond II of Tripoli actually sought Moslem assistance in dislodging Bertram, grandson of Raymond of St. Gilles, from al~.cArImah, the citadel of which was destroyed, and Bertram, along with others, was captured.3 When Raymond of Antioch advanced to thwart NUr-ad-Din's moves east of the Orontes, a bold attack with a small force won him an initial advantage. But on the night of 2 Even before the Second Crusade, the bellicose elements in the king's council forced a similar error. In the spring of I 147 the authorities in Jerusalem accepted the tempting offer of a rebellious emir in the Hauran. The campaign proved to be a dismal failure redeemed only by the courageous conduct of Baldwin III and a well disciplin~ed retreat. Cf. Runciman, History of the Crusades, II, 241—243. ~ Bertram with Languedocian troops from the Second Crusade had besieged the castle. Raymond had then asked the assistance of Unur, who came with Nür-ad-Din. Apparently Unur signed a truce with the kingdom in May 1149. Cf. Runciman, Crusades, II, 287—288.
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