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Battle of Hattin

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Author Topic: Battle of Hattin  (Read 3073 times)
Ceneca
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« on: September 23, 2007, 04:10:40 am »




Background

Guy of Lusignan became king of Jerusalem in 1186, in right of his wife Sibylla, after the death of Sibylla's son (and Guy's stepson) Baldwin V. The Kingdom of Jerusalem was at this time divided between the "court faction" of Guy, Sibylla, and relative newcomers to the kingdom such as Raynald of Chatillon, as well as Gerard of Ridefort and the Knights Templar; and the "nobles’ faction", led by Raymond III of Tripoli, who had been regent for the child-king Baldwin V and had opposed the succession of Guy. Raymond left Jerusalem for Tripoli. The situation was so tense that there was almost open warfare between Raymond and Guy, who wanted to besiege Tiberias, a fortress held by Raymond through his wife Eschiva, Princess of Galilee. War was avoided through the mediation of Raymond's supporter Balian of Ibelin.

Meanwhile, the Muslim states surrounding the kingdom had been united during the 1170s and 1180s by Saladin. Saladin had been appointed vizier of Egypt in 1169 and soon came to rule the country as sultan. In 1174 he imposed his rule over Damascus; his authority extended to Aleppo by 1176 and Mosul by 1183. For the first time, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was encircled by Muslim territory united under one ruler. The crusaders defeated Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard in 1177, and in the early 1180s there was an uneasy truce between the two sides, which was broken by the raids of Raynald on Muslim caravans passing through his fief of Oultrejordain. Raynald also threatened to attack Mecca itself.

When Guy became king, Raymond made a separate truce with Saladin, and in 1187 allowed the sultan to send an army into the northern part of the kingdom. At the same time, an embassy was on its way from Jerusalem to Tripoli to negotiate a settlement between Raymond and Guy. This embassy was defeated at the Battle of Cresson on May 1, by a small force under the command of Saladin's son. Raymond, wracked with guilt, reconciled with Guy, who assembled the entire army of the kingdom (essentially a levée en masse) and marched north to meet Saladin.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2007, 04:22:10 am by Ceneca » Report Spam   Logged


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