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The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (Saqi Essentials)

By Amin Maalouf

The writer has combed the works of up to date Arab chronicles of the Crusades, eyewitnesses and infrequently contributors. He retells their tale and provides insights into the historic forces that form Arab and Islamic recognition this day.

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His chance got here in October. while Godfrey used to be killed, writes Ibn al-QalÁnisi, his brother count number Baldwin, grasp of Edessa, set out for Jerusalem with knights and foot-soldiers. on the information of his passage, DuqÁq assembled his troops and marched out opposed to him. He met him close to the coastal locality of Beirut. Baldwin was once visibly striving to prevail Godfrey. He was once a knight identified for his brutality and absence of scruples, because the homicide of his Ýadoptive mom and dad’ in Edessa had proven. yet he was once additionally a brave and artful warrior whose presence in Jerusalem might represent an everlasting risk to Damascus and certainly to all of Muslim Syria. To kill or seize him at this severe second would go away the invading military leaderless and problem the very presence of the Franj within the Orient. If the date of the assault was once good selected, the positioning was once no much less excellent. Baldwin used to be relocating down from the north, alongside the Mediterranean coast, and was once anticipated to arrive Beirut round 24 October. prior to that, he must move Nahr al-Kalb, the previous Fatimid frontier. close to the mouth of the River of the puppy the course narrowed, skirting cliffs and steep hills. an incredible spot for an ambush, it used to be the following that DuqÁq had determined to attend for the Franj, deploying his males within the grottoes and wooded slopes. His scouts provided ordinary reviews of the enemy’s develop. Nahr al-Kalb have been the bane of conquerors for the reason that distant antiquity. every time certainly one of them controlled to get in the course of the move unscathed, his satisfaction will be such that he may chisel an account of his make the most into the partitions of the cliff. Vestiges of numerous of those boasts may nonetheless be well-known again in DuqÁq’s time, from the hieroglyphs of the Pharaoh Ramses II and cuneiform characters of the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar to the Latin eulogies that Septimius Severus, the Roman emperor of Syrian beginning, had addressed to his valiant Gallic legionnaires. yet except the handful of victors, what number warriors had visible their desires shattered with no hint on those rocks! The king of Damascus had without doubt no matter what that Ýthe accursed Baldwin’ might quickly be additional to that cohort of the vanquished. DuqÁq had each reason behind optimism. His troops outnumbered these of the Frankish commander via six or seven to at least one, and most vital of all, the component of shock was once on his facet. He wouldn't purely avenge the affront he had suffered, yet could resume his pre-eminent position one of the princes of Syria. once more he may workout the authority that were undermined via the irruption of the Franj. nobody used to be extra conscious of the stakes of the conflict than the hot ruler of Tripoli, the qÁÃÐ Fakhr al-Mulk, who had succeeded his brother JalÁl al-Mulk three hundred and sixty five days prior. He had a couple of cause to worry Baldwin’s defeat, for the ruler of Damascus had coveted his urban even sooner than the arriving of the Occidentals, and if DuqÁq was once in a position to painting himself because the champion of Islam and the liberator of Syrian land, it'll then be essential to realize his suzerainty and undergo his whims.

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