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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 524

Shirküh, already hard-pressed, consented to evacuate the town and return
to Syria, and his withdrawal in October was followed by that of the Franks.
 Amalric's eagerness to leave Egypt was occasioned by the disasters which
Nür-ad-DIn, profiting by the engagement of large Latin forces in Egypt,
had inflicted on the Franks during his absence. Although his first diversionary
raid towards Tripoli had ended in the all-but-total destruction of his force
at Krak des Chevaliers (Ui~n al-Akrad) in May, he had immediately called
for and received substantial reinforcements from Mosul and the Artukid princes
of Ui~n Kaifã and Mardin, and with these he renewed the attack on
Uãrim. All the available forces from Tripoli and Antioch, together
with the Armenians and Greeks from Cilicia, rallied to its defense, but were
drawn into battle and totally defeated in the plain of Artãl~ at the
beginning of August 1164. Bohemond III, Raymond III of Tripoli, the Greek
duke Coloman, and Hugh of Lusignan were among the prisoners. 
 The surrender of Uãrim followed in a few days. Nür-ad-Din, anxious
to avoid drawing the Greeks into the defense of Antioch, and hoping to utilize
the opportunity of Humphrey's absence in Egypt, with Amalric, dismissed the
Mesopotamians and made a surprise march on Banyas. The garrison, deprived
of all hope of relief, surrendered the castle on October 18, and the victory
was signalized by an agreement to divide the revenues of Tiberias.'3 In spite
of the failure of Shirkuh's expedition to Egypt, therefore, the net result
had been to consolidate Nür-ad-Din's possessions in Syria and to raise
his prestige to new heights in the Moslem world. 
 But the continued evidences of Byzantine interest in Antioch deterred him
from further military activities in the north, and led to a rapprochement
with sultan Kilij Arsian, to whom he restored Behesni, Kesoun, and Marash
in i i66 or 1167. Minor raids were probably undertaken in central Syria,
and the Damascus troops under ShIrküh captured two cave strongholds,
one near Sidon and the other east of the Jordan. But on the whole it seems
clear that Nür-ad-Din was biding his time, and watching with caution
and possibly with anxiety the course of events both as between Latins and
Greeks and in Mosul. Here his young and feckless brother Qutb-ad-DIn had
dismissed and imprisoned the vizir Jamal-adDIn in the summer of 1163. The
removal of his strong and experienced hand had created new tensions at Mosul,
which the commandant, cAll Küchük, was unable to control. In 1167/1168,
' 3 Cf. below, chapter XVII, p. 55'. 

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