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The Battle of Marj Ayyun was a military confrontation fought near the Litani River (modern-day Lebanon) in June 1179 CE between the Christian Crusaders under the leadership of the king of Jerusalem Baldwin IV (r. 1174-1185 CE) and the Muslim armies under the leadership of Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria (r. 1174-1193 CE). It ended in a decisive victory for the Muslims and is considered the first in the long series of Islamic victories under Saladin against the Christians.
In 1096 CE, after an arduous march across Europe, vanguards of Christian zealots led by a French priest named Peter the Hermit had reached Byzantium in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) but failed to achieve any military gains. This campaign, known as the People's Crusade, was followed by a better-organized, more centralized campaign in the same year, the First Crusade (1096-1102 CE), sponsored by the medieval Church.
With the fall of Jerusalem in 1099 CE, the Crusaders established a strong foothold along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
The leaders of the First Crusade – Godfrey of Bouillon, Bohemond of Taranto, Raymond of Toulouse, and others – captured Antioch in June 1098 CE, Tripoli, Beirut, and Tyre in May 1099 CE, and finally managed to reach Jerusalem in June 1099 CE. Following a month-long siege, they entered the city on 15 July 1099 CE. With the fall of Jerusalem, the Crusaders succeeded in establishing a strong foothold along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
The Crusader presence in the region consolidated further with the establishment of four Crusader States, starting with the County of Edessa in 1098 CE, then the Principality of Antioch in 1098 CE, the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099 CE, and lastly the County of Tripoli in 1109 CE. While capturing Jerusalem embodied the utmost goal of the Christian campaigns, afterwards, the Crusaders tried to expand their grip over Egypt, Damascus, Aleppo, and other Muslim dominions. However, as historian Thomas Asbridge writes:
The Muslims didn't recognize the crusaders as a religiously-motivated movement intent on conquest and settlement, they assumed this was the latest in a long line of attacks by Byzantine mercenaries. (41)
At that time, the Muslim world was divided, with rival rulers in Cairo, Damascus, Aleppo, and Mosul, and the Christians exploited this situation. However, the political strife within the Muslim world would soon be settled, when the Zengids of Oghuz Turkic origin, came to power and established a very centralized Islamic dynasty in both Aleppo and Mosul that posed a real threat to the northern dominions of the Latin Christian kingdoms for the first time since the beginning of the Crusades.
The Zengids Turn the Tide
After a short power vacuum, Imad al-Din Zengi (r. 1127-1146 CE) became Atabegh or ruler of Mosul and Aleppo. Allied with the ruler of Damascus, he entered in minor skirmishes against the Crusaders and the Byzantine Empire, and in 1144 CE, he lay a 4-month-long siege to Edessa. He captured the city in December 1144 CE but died soon afterwards, before he could make further advances.
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News of the fall of Edessa reached Europe and, alarmed by the Muslim victory, the Holy See under Pope Eugene III (r. 1145-1153 CE) renewed the call for a crusade. The western European kings especially Louis VII of France (r. 1137-1180 CE) and Conrad II of Germany (r. 1138-1152 CE) answered the call and launched the Second Crusade (1147-1150 CE). This campaign was not a success at all; Edessa was never reclaimed, and the siege of Damascus in 1148 CE failed.
The Rise of Saladin
Meanwhile, Nur al-Din Zengi (r. 1146-1174 CE), Imad's brother who had succeeded him in 1146 CE, united Aleppo and Damascus for the first time in 1156 CE, putting more pressure on the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which was struck by a civil war between Baldwin III (r. 1143-1163 CE) and his co-sovereign mother Melisende (r. 1131-1153). Baldwin managed to capture Ascalon in 1153 CE but died after being poisoned and was succeeded by his brother Amalric I in 1163 CE.
In the Western part of the Islamic world, the Fatimid Ismaili rule in Cairo was stricken with internal strife. In the middle of the 12th century CE, power struggles erupted, and these eventually led to the collapse of the Fatimid Caliphate when Yussuf Ibn Ayyub, better known as An-Nassir Salah ad-Din or Saladin, ascended to the post of vizier in Egypt in 1171 CE after his uncle Shirkuh died.
Saladin, the newly appointed Vizier of Egypt, after receiving the death news of Nur al-Din in Damascus proclaimed himself the sole ruler of Egypt in May 1174 CE. Two months later, King Amalric of Jerusalem died in July 1174 CE in Beirut, leaving the kingdom to his son Baldwin IV. Saladin, wasting no time, entered Damascus and continued to seize Homs and Hama; he became the ruler of Egypt and Syria with no rival, and thus united the Islamic realm of Egypt and Syria. In this political turmoil, the leper, ill-fated, inexperienced 13-year-old King Baldwin IV, inherited a kingdom stricken with uncertainty and surrounded for the first time by a powerful dynasty under the leadership of a shrewd, fully-experienced, fully-prepared, 37-year-old sultan.
Baldwin vs. Saladin
Since 1169 CE, the Crusader States in the Latin East had been on the defensive. Saladin captured the southernmost port city of Eilat in 1170 CE, cutting off Jerusalem from the Red Sea, but despite the events unfolding in the neighboring Muslim states, the Christians failed to unite.
As the king of Jerusalem, hideously deformed by leprosy, sank into impotence, two rival clans embarked on power-struggle. The first, which favored coming to some arrangements with Saladin, was led by Raymond III the count of Tripoli, while the second extremist faction was Reynald of Chatillon, the former prince of Antioch. (Maalouf, 255)
Despite the ongoing quarrels that threatened to undermine the Crusader States, skirmishes broke out between Muslim and Christian armies, and Baldwin IV (r. 1174-1185 CE), although outnumbered, won a major military confrontation and was able to deliver a blow to Saladin's armies at the Battle of Montgisard, a short distance from Ramlah in November 1177 CE.
Battle of Marj Ayyun
The Kingdom of Jerusalem still hoped for an opportunity to attack Egypt, but they were not strong enough. In 1178 CE, a fortress at Jacob's Ford - a border crossing outpost north of Lake Tiberias, called by the Arab scholars Beit el-Ahzan - was built as a post of defense and a base from which attacks in the future might be made. On the borders, the castles and posts were now under the command of the fierce religious military orders. During the summer of 1179 CE, severe drought gripped the Levant, while minor skirmishes erupted. Saladin offered to pay the Crusaders 100,000 dinars in exchange for halting incursions and dismantling the castle at Jacob's Ford but the Crusaders refused, and hostilities resumed.
The Franks spent their cavalry charge on Saladin's advance guard & thus were overtaken by the main body of Saladin's troops.
Islamic armies commanded by Saladin himself, aided by Farukh, invaded in every direction to despoil villages, crops, and round up livestock to replenish herds that had died in the drought. They penetrated westward as far as Sidon and other coastal cities in the Lordship of Beirut. To stop Saladin's advance, Baldwin's forces combined with those of the Knights Templar under Odo of St. Amand and the forces of the County of Tripoli under Raymond III (r. 1152-1187 CE) and Baldwin II Lord of Ramla. They charged from Safad in Palestine to the north, reaching Toron castle in Tibnin (modern-day Lebanon) c. 13 miles (21 km) east of Tyre, and then heading toward Marj Ayyun to the south of the Litani River.
At the beginning of the confrontation, King Baldwin's forces attacked what they thought was the Islamic main force but, in fact, was only the advance guard. The Templars, who were in the vanguard, surprised the Islamic forces, driving them back across the Litani and possibly taking Farukh Shah himself temporarily captive. However, rather than falling back to regroup with the rest of the Crusader army or waiting for the arrival of reinforcements, the Templar Grand Master, Odo de St. Amand, ordered an attack against the numerically superior Islamic forces. The Islamic advance guards scattered and, believing they had won the battle, some of the Crusader forces gave pursuit, while others started plundering the dead.
Saladin, hearing of the attack of his vanguard, hastened forward with the bulk of his army and overwhelmed the disintegrated Crusader forces. The most effective weapon of medieval warfare was a mass cavalry charge, but that was only possible once per engagement. The Franks spent their power of charge on Saladin's advance guard and thus they were overtaken by the main body of Saladin's troops.
During the battle, Baldwin was unhorsed and had to be carried off the field on the back of a medieval knight. The king only escaped capture because his men rallied around him with the help of reinforcements from Reynald of Sidon (r. 1171-1202 CE). The Crusaders were routed and dispersed.
Several important Franks were captured, including Hugh of Saint-Omer Prince of Galilee and Tiberias, who was ransomed by his mother, Odo de St Amand, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, who was kept prisoner until he died in captivity in 1180 CE, Raymond of Tripoli's stepson Hugh of Tiberias, and Baldwin II of Ibelin Lord of Ramla, who was ransomed by Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos. At that time, Baldwin II Lord of Ramla was a leading candidate to marry Sibylla, the widowed sister of Baldwin IV. As she was Baldwin IV's heir-presumptive, her future husband was expected to become king on Baldwin's death. Baldwin II's untimely capture appears to have made it easier for the more hawkish, staunch anti-Islamic Guy de Lusignan to gain Sibylla's favor.
The battle of Marj Ayyun - provoked by raiding of cattle and crops in the lordships of Beirut and Sidon - has not received much attention in the history of the Crusader States. It is often completely ignored as it was a minor setback; it did not lead to the loss of any territory, a city, or a castle. However, the battle was a major factor in the capture and destruction of the unfinished Castle of Jacob's Ford by Saladin, which can be considered as a major turning point for the Crusaders and an indirect cause for the loss of border war.
One account suggests, the Templars attacked Saladin's larger force on their own, rather than falling back, warning the king, and fighting with him. William, Archbishop of Tyre, blamed the reckless actions of the Templars for the defeat, as he stated. However, the Templars were not subjects of the king and followed their own policies and strategies.
For the king himself, the battle revealed the deterioration of his physical condition; he could no longer command his armies from horseback. Saladin was able to exploit his victory, laying siege to the new Frankish fortress at Jacob's Ford and destroying it in August 1179 CE.
In 1180 CE an agreement between Damascus and Jerusalem guaranteed the free movement of goods and caravans in the region as well as the freedom of worship for the Muslims in the Holy Lands. The peace would not last long, though. Upon the death of Baldwin IV in 1185 CE a power struggle erupted in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and Saladin, provoked by the transgressions of Reynald of Chatillon and the military blunders committed by Guy of Lusignan, took advantage of the situation. He defeated the Kingdom of Jerusalem in a landslide victory at the Battle of Hattin on 3 July 1187 CE and captured Jerusalem the same year.
Battle of Marj Ayyun
The Battle of Marj Ayyun was a military confrontation fought at Marj Ayyoun near the Litani River (modern-day Lebanon) in June 1179 between the Kingdom of Jerusalem under Baldwin IV and the Ayyubid armies under the leadership of Saladin. It ended in a decisive victory for the Muslims and is considered the first in the long series of Islamic victories under Saladin against the Christians.  However, the Christian king, Baldwin IV, who was crippled by leprosy, narrowly escaped being captured in the rout.
Marjayoun - History
On June 10, 1179, during the Battle of Marj Ayyun, an Ayyubid army commanded by Saladin defeated a Crusader army led by King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem on June 10, 1179. The Christian king narrowly escaped being captured in the rout.
During the Lebanese civil war the town was shelled by Palestinian militias.
It also was the headquarters of the South Lebanon Army, the Israel-affiliated militia that controlled southern Lebanon during Israel's occupation of the region after the 1982 Lebanon War until Israel's withdrawal from the region in 2000. It has a population of about 3,000 people.
After cease-fire negotiations stalled on August 10, 2006, Israeli forces took control of Marjayoun. Next day, a convoy of 3,000 people fled from the town. The convoy was attacked by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) at Joub Jannine. The attack on the convoy of approximately 759 vehicles containing Lebanese police, army, civilians, and one Associated Press journalist is known as the Marjayoun convoy incident.
Read more about this topic: Marjayoun
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Saladin immediately took advantage of his victory by destroying the newly built Le Chastellet stronghold at the Battle of Jacob's Ford. In the years after Marj Ayyun, the Frankish leaders became more cautious and the next two campaigns of note, the Battle of Belvoir Castle (1182) and the Battle of Al-Fule (1183) were strictly defensive in nature.
Soleim Al-Razi was a Muslim physician who compassionately treated wounded crusaders captured by the Muslim forces. [ citation needed ]
The Ayyubid dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin, founded by Saladin and centered in Egypt. The dynasty ruled much of the Middle East during the 12th and 13th centuries CE. The Ayyubid family, under the brothers Ayyub and Shirkuh, originally served as soldiers for the Zengids until they supplanted them under Saladin, Ayyub’s son. In 1174, Saladin proclaimed himself Sultan following the death of Nur al-Din. The Ayyubids spent the next decade launching conquests throughout the region and by 1183, the territories under their control included Egypt, Syria, northern Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and the North African coast up to the borders of modern-day Tunisia. Most of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and beyond Jordan River fell to Saladin after his victory at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. However, the Crusaders regained control of Palestine’s coastline in the 1190s.
After the death of Saladin, his sons contested control over the sultanate, but Saladin’s brother al-Adil eventually established himself as Sultan in 1200. In the 1230s, the Ayyubid rulers of Syria attempted to assert their independence from Egypt and remained divided until Egyptian Sultan as-Salih Ayyub restored Ayyubid unity by taking over most of Syria, excluding Aleppo, by 1247. By then, local Muslim dynasties had driven out the Ayyubids from Yemen, the Hejaz, and parts of Mesopotamia. After repelling a Crusader invasion of the Nile Delta, as-Salih Ayyub’s Mamluk generals overthrew al-Mu’azzam Turanshah who succeeded Ayyub as Sultan after his death in 1250. This effectively ended Ayyubid power in Egypt and a number of attempts by the rulers of Syria, led by an-Nasir Yusuf of Aleppo, to recover it failed. In 1260, the Mongols sacked Aleppo and wrested control of what remained of the Ayyubid territories soon after. The Mamluks, who forced out the Mongols after the destruction of the Ayyubid dynasty, maintained the Ayyubid principality of Hama until deposing its last ruler in 1341.
During their relatively short tenure, the Ayyubids ushered in an era of economic prosperity in the lands they ruled and the facilities and patronage provided by the Ayyubids led to a resurgence in intellectual activity in the Islamic world. This period was also marked by an Ayyubid process of vigorously strengthening Sunni Muslim dominance in the region by constructing numerous madrasas (schools) in their major cities.
By <a href=”//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Ro4444&ampaction=edit&ampredlink=1″ title=”User:Ro4444 (page does not exist)”>Ro4444</a> – <span lang=”en”>Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
The progenitor of the Ayyubid dynasty was Najm ad-Din Ayyub bin Shadhi. He belonged to a Kurdish tribe whose ancestors settled in the town of Dvin, in northern Armenia. He belonged to the tribe of Rawadiya, itself a branch of the Hadhabani tribe. The Rawadids were originally from Arab ancestry (Azd tribe), and arrived in the region in 758 CE, but they had become Kurdicized by the early 10th century and began to use Kurdish forms like Mamlan for Muhammad and Ahmadil for Ahmad as their names. The Rawadiya were the dominant Kurdish group in the Dvin district. They were a member of the sedentary political-military elite of the town.
Circumstances became unfavorable in Dvin when Turkish generals seized the town from its Kurdish prince. Shadhi left for Iraq with his two sons Najm al-Din Ayyub and Asad al-Din Shirkuh. He was welcomed by his friend Mujahed al-Din Bihruz—the military governor of northern Mesopotamia under the Seljuks—who appointed Shadhi as the governor of Tikrit. After Shadhi’s death, Ayyub succeeded him in governance of the city with the assistance of his brother Asad ad-Din Shirkuh. Together they managed the affairs of the city well, gaining them popularity from the local inhabitants. In the meantime, Imad ad-Din Zangi, the ruler of Mosul, was defeated by the forces of the Abbasids under al-Mustarshid and the forces of Bihruz. In his bid to escape the battlefield to Mosul via Tikrit, Zangi took shelter with Ayyub and sought his assistance in this task. Ayyub complied and provided Zangi and his companions boats to cross the Tigris to safely reach Mosul.
As a consequence for assisting Zangi, Ayyub was put to task by the Abbasid authorities, and simultaneously, in another incident, Shirkuh killed a close confidant of Bihruz on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman in Tikrit. Both Ayyub and Shirkuh were issued arrest warrants by the Abbasid court, but before they could be arrested they left Tikrit for Mosul in 1138. When they arrived there, Zangi provided them with all the facilities they needed and he recruited the brothers into his service. Ayyub was made commander of Ba’albek and Shirkuh entered the service of Zangi’s son, Nur ad-Din. According to historian Abdul Ali, it was under the care and patronage of Zangi, that the Ayyubid family rose into prominence.
Establishment in Egypt
In 1164, Nur al-Din sent Shirkuh to head an expeditionary force to prevent Crusader dominance of an increasingly anarchic Egypt. Shirkuh, enlisted Ayyub’s son, Saladin, as an officer under his command. They successfully drove out Dirgham, the vizier of Egypt, and reinstated his predecessor Shawar. After being reinstated, Shawar ordered Shirkuh to withdraw his forces from Egypt, but Shirkuh refused, claiming it was Nur al-Din’s will. For several years, the Shirkuh and Saladin would defeat the combined forces of the Crusaders and Shawar’s troops, first at Bilbais, then a site near Giza, and Alexandria where Saladin would stay to protect while Shirkuh pursued Crusader forces in Lower Egypt.
Shawar died in 1169 and Shirkuh became vizier, but he too died later that year. After Shirkuh’s death, Saladin was appointed vizier by the Fatimid caliph al-Adid because there was “no one weaker or younger” than he was, and “not one of the emirs obeyed him or served him” according to chronicler Ibn al-Athir. Saladin soon found himself being more independent than ever before in his career, much to the dismay of Nur al-Din who attempted to influence events in Egypt. He allowed for Saladin’s elder brother Turan-Shah to supervise Saladin in order to cause dissension within the Ayyubid family, undermining its position in Egypt. Nur al-Din satisfied Saladin’s request that he be joined by his father Ayyub. However, he was sent primarily to ensure that Abbasid suzerainty was proclaimed in Egypt which Saladin was reluctant to undertake since he was the vizier of the Fatimids. Although Nur al-Din failed to provoke the Ayyubids into rivalry, the extended Ayyubid family was not entirely behind Saladin, particularly a number of local governors in Syria.
Saladin consolidated his control in Egypt after ordering Turan-Shah to put down a revolt in Cairo staged by the Fatimid army’s 50,000-strong Sudanese regiments. After this success, Saladin began granting his family members high-ranking positions in the country and increased Sunni influence in Cairo by ordering the construction of a college for the Maliki branch of Sunni Islam in the city, as well as one for the Shafi’i denomination to which he belonged in al-Fustat. In 1171, al-Adid died and Saladin took advantage of this power vacuum, effectively taking control of the country. Upon seizing power, he switched Egypt’s allegiance to the Baghdad-based Abbasid Caliphate which adhered to Sunni Islam.
Conquest of North Africa and Nubia
Saladin went to Alexandria in 1171-72 and was troubled by having many followers in the city, but little money. A family council was held there by the Ayyubid emirs of Egypt where it was decided that al-Muzaffar Taqi al-Din Umar, Saladin’s nephew, would launch an expedition to the coastal region of Barqa (Cyrenaica) with a force of 500 cavalry. In order to justify the raid, a letter was sent to the Bedouin tribes of Barqa, rebuking them for the robberies of travelers and requiring them to pay the alms-tax (zakat). The latter was to be collected from their livestock.
In late 1172, Aswan was besieged by former Fatimid soldiers from Nubia and the governor of the city, Kanz al-Dawla—himself a former Fatimid loyalist—requested reinforcements from Saladin who complied with the request. The reinforcements had come after the Nubians already departed, but under Turan-Shah the Ayyubid forces advanced and conquered northern Nubia after capturing the town of Ibrim. Turan-Shah and his Kurdish soldiers temporarily resided there. From Ibrim, they raided the surrounding region, halting their operations after being presented with an armistice from the king of Nubia based in Dongola. Although Turan-Shah’s initial response was hawkish, he later sent an envoy to Dongola who upon returning described the poverty of the city as well as Nubia in general. Thus, the Ayyubids required Nubia to guarantee the protection of Aswan and Upper Egypt, but like their Fatimid predecessors, were discouraged from further expansion by the poverty of the region. In 1174, Sharaf al-Din Qaraqush, a commander under Taqi al-Din Umar, conquered Tripoli from the Normans with an army of Turks and Bedouins.
Conquest of Arabia
In 1173, Saladin sent Turan-Shah to conquer Yemen and the Hejaz. Muslim writers Ibn al-Athir and later al-Maqrizi wrote that the reasoning behind the conquest of Yemen was an Ayyubid fear, that should Egypt fall to Nur al-Din, they could seek refuge in a faraway territory. In May 1174, Turan-Shah first conquered Zabid from a Kharijite dynasty and executed its leader Mahdi Abd al-Nabi and later that year Aden was taken from the Shia Banu Karam tribe. Aden became the principal maritime port of the dynasty in the Indian Ocean and the principal city of Yemen, although the official capital of Ayyubid Yemen was Ta’izz. The advent of the Ayyubids marked the beginning of a period of renewed prosperity in the city which saw the improvement of its commercial infrastructure, the establishment of new institutions, and the minting of its own coins. Following this prosperity, the Ayyubids implemented a new tax which was collected by galleys.
Turan-Shah drove out the Hamdanid rulers of Sana’a, conquering the mountainous city in 1175. With the conquest of Yemen, the Ayyubids developed a coastal fleet, al-asakir al-bahriyya, which they used to guard the sea coasts under their control and protect them from pirate raids. The conquest held great significance for Yemen because the Ayyubids managed to unite the previous three independent states (Zabid, Aden, and Sana’a) under their rule. However, when Turan-Shah was transferred from his governor post in Yemen in 1176, uprisings broke out in the territory and were not quelled until 1182 when Saladin assigned his other brother Tughtekin Sayf al-Islam as governor of Yemen.
From Yemen, as from Egypt, the Ayyubids aimed to dominate the Red Sea trade routes which Egypt depended on and so sought to tighten their grip on the Hejaz, where an important trade stop, Yanbu, was located. To favor trade in the direction of the Red Sea, the Ayyubids built facilities along the Red Sea-Indian Ocean trade routes to accompany merchants. The Ayyubids also aspired to back their claims of legitimacy within the Caliphate by holding sovereignty over Mecca and Medina. The conquests and economic advancements undertaken by Saladin effectively established Egypt’s hegemony in the region.
Conquest of Syria and Mesopotamia
Saladin founded the Ayyubid dynasty which reached its height under his reign
Although still officially serving as a vassal for Nur al-Din, Saladin took on an increasingly independent foreign policy. This became openly so after the death of Nur al-Din in 1174. Saladin set out to conquer Syria from the Zengids and on November 23, he was welcomed in Damascus by the governor of the city. By 1175, he had taken control of Hama and Homs, but failed to take Aleppo in a siege. Control of Homs was handed to the descendants of Shirkuh in 1179 and Hama was given to Saladin’s nephew, Taqi al-Din Umar. Saladin’s successes alarmed Saif al-Din of Mosul, the current head of the Zengids at the time, who regarded Syria as his family’s estate and was angered that it was being usurped by a former servant of Nur al-Din. He mustered an army to face Saladin near Hama. Although heavily outnumbered, Saladin and his veteran soldiers decisively defeated the Zengids. After his victory, he proclaimed himself king and suppressed the name of as-Salih Ismail al-Malik (Nur al-Din’s adolescent son) in Friday prayers and Islamic coinage, replacing it with his own name. The Abbasid caliph, al-Mustadi, graciously welcomed Saladin’s assumption of power and gave him the title of “Sultan of Egypt and Syria”.
In the spring of 1176, another major confrontation occurred between the Zengids and the Ayyubids, this time at the Sultan’s Mound, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Aleppo. Saladin again emerged victorious, but Saif al-Din managed to narrowly escape. The Ayyubids proceeded to take other Syrian cities in the north, namely Ma’arat al-Numan, A’zaz, Buza’a, and Manbij, but failed to capture Aleppo after a second siege. An agreement was laid out, however, whereby Gumushtigin, the governor of Aleppo, and his Muslim allies at Hisn Kayfa and Mardin would recognize Saladin as the sovereign of his dominions in Syria while Saladin allowed for Gumushtigin and as-Salih al-Malik to continue their rule of Aleppo.
While Saladin was in Syria, his brother al-Adil ruled Egypt, and in 1174-75, Kanz al-Dawla of Aswan revolted against the Ayyubids with the intention of restoring Fatimid rule. His main backers were the local Bedouins and Nubians, but he also enjoyed the support of a multitude of other groups, including the Armenian Christians. Coincidental or possibly in coordination, was an uprising by Abbas ibn Shadi who overran Qus along the Nile River in central Egypt. Both rebellions were crushed by al-Adil. For the rest of that year and in throughout early 1176, Qaraqush continued his raids in western North Africa, bringing the Ayyubids into conflict with the Almohads who ruled the Maghreb.
In 1177, Saladin led a force of some 26,000 soldiers according to William of Tyre into southern Palestine after hearing that most of the Kingdom of Jerusalem’s soldiers were besieging Harim north of Aleppo. Suddenly attacked by the Templars under Baldwin IV of Jerusalem near Ramla, the Ayyubid army was defeated at the Battle of Montgisard, with the majority its troops being killed. Saladin encamped at Homs the following year and a few skirmishes between his forces under Farrukh-Shah and the Crusaders occurred. Undeterred, Saladin invaded the Crusader states from the west and won a victory over Baldwin at the Battle of Marj Ayyun in 1179. The following year, he destroyed the newly built Crusader castle of Chastellet at the Battle of Jacob’s Ford. In the campaign of 1182, he sparred with Baldwin again in the inconclusive Battle of Belvoir Castle in Kawkab al-Hawa. The na’ib (“deputy governor”) of Yemen, Uthman al-Zandjili, conquered the greater part of Hadramaut in 1180, upon Turan-Shah’s departure to Yemen.
In May 1182, Saladin finally captured Aleppo after a brief siege the new governor of the city, Imad al-Din Zangi II, was unpopular with his subjects and surrendered Aleppo after Saladin agreed to restore his previous control over Sinjar, ar-Raqqah, and Nusaybin—which would act as vassal territories under the Ayyubids. Aleppo formally entered Ayyubid hands on June 12. The day after, Saladin marched to Harim, near the Crusader-held Antioch and took hold of the city when its garrison forced out their leader, Surhak, who was then briefly detained and released by Taqi al-Din Umar. The surrender of Aleppo and Saladin’s allegiance with Zangi had left Izz al-Din al-Mas’ud of Mosul the only major Muslim rival of the Ayyubids in the Middle East. Mosul had been subjected to a short siege in the autumn of 1182, but after mediation by the Abbasid caliph an-Nasir, Saladin withdrew his forces. Mas’ud attempted to align himself with the Artuqids of Mardin, but they became allies of Saladin instead. In 1183, Irbil too switched allegiance to the Ayyubids. Mas’ud then sought the support of Pahlawan bin Muhammad, the governor of Azerbaijan, and although he did not usually intervene in the region, the possibility of it induced Saladin to be cautious about attacking Mosul.
An arrangement was made where al-Adil was to administer Aleppo in the name of Saladin’s son al-Afdal, while Egypt was given to Taqi al-Din Umar who would hold it in the name of Saladin’s other son Uthman. When the two sons were to come of age they would assume power in the two territories, but if any died, one of Saladin’s brothers would take their place. In the summer of 1183, after ravaging the eastern Galilee, Saladin’s raids there culminated in the Battle of al-Fule in the Jezreel Valley between him and the Crusaders under Guy of Lusignan. The mostly hand-to-hand fighting ended indecisively. The two armies withdrew to a mile from each other and while the Crusaders discussed internal matters, Saladin captured the Golan Heights, cutting the Crusaders off from their main supplies source. In October 1183 and then on August 13, 1184, Saladin and al-Adil besieged Karak, but to no avail. Afterward, the Ayyubids raided Samaria, burning down Nablus. Saladin returned to Damascus in September 1184 and a generally peaceful environment between the Crusader states and the Ayyubid empire subsequently ensued in 1184-85.
Saladin launched his last offensive against Mosul in late 1185, hoping for an easy victory over a presumably demoralized Mas’ud, but failed due to the city’s unexpectedly tough resistance and a serious illness which caused him to withdraw to Harran. Upon Abbasid encouragement, Saladin and Mas’ud negotiated a treaty in March 1186 that left the Zengids in control of Mosul, but they would be obligated to supply the Ayyubids with military aid when demanded.
Conquest of Palestine and Transjordan
Virtually the entire Kingdom of Jerusalem passed into Ayyubid hands after their victory against the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin in 1187
Saladin besieged Tiberias in the eastern Galilee on July 3, 1187 and the Crusader army attempted to attack the Ayyubids by way of Kafr Kanna. After hearing of the Crusader march, Saladin led his guard back to their main camp at Kafr Sabt, leaving a small detachment at Tiberias. Saladin with a clear view of the Crusader army ordered Taqi al-Din Umar to block them from entering Hattin by taking a position near Lubya, while Gokbori and his troops were stationed at the hill near al-Shajara. On July 4, the Crusaders advanced toward the Horns of Hattin and charged against the Muslim forces, but were overwhelmed and defeated decisively. Four days after the battle, Saladin invited al-Adil to join him in the reconquest of Palestine. On July 8, Acre was captured by Saladin, while his brigades seized Nazareth and Saffuriya others took Haifa and Caesarea, and another Ayyubid detachment took Sebastia and Nablus, while al-Adil conquered Mirabel and Jaffa. On July 26, Saladin returned to the coast, and next received the surrender of Sarepta, Sidon, Beirut, and Jableh. In August, the Ayyubids conquered Ramla, Darum, Gaza, Bayt Jibrin, and Latrun. Ascalon was taken on September 4. In September–October 1187, the Ayyubids besieged Jerusalem, taking possession of it on October 2 after negotiations with Balian of Ibelin.
Karak and Mont Real in Oultrejordain soon fell, followed by Safad in the Galilee. By the end of that year the Ayyubids were in control of virtually the entire Crusader kingdom in the Levant with the exception of Tyre, which held out under Conrad of Montferrat. In December, an Ayyubid army consisting of the garrisons of Saladin and his brothers from Aleppo, Hama, and Egypt besieged Tyre. Half of the Muslim naval fleet was seized by Conrad’s forces on December 29, followed by an Ayyubid defeat on the shoreline of the city. On January 1, 1188, Saladin held a war council afterward where a withdrawal was agreed. While they fought the Crusaders in the Levant, the Ayyubids under Sharaf al-Din wrested control of Kairouan from the Hafsids in North Africa.
Pope Gregory VIII called for a Third Crusade against the Muslims in early 1189. Frederick Barbarossa of the Holy Roman Empire, Philip Augustus of France, and Richard the Lionhearted of England allied themselves to reconquer Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the Crusaders and the Ayyubids fought near Acre that year and were joined by the reinforcements in Europe. From 1189 to 1191, Acre was besieged by the Crusaders, and despite initial Muslim successes, it fell to Richard’s forces. A massacre of 2,700 Turkish inhabitants ensued and the Crusaders then planned to take Ascalon in the south.
The Crusaders, now under the unified command of Richard, defeated Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf, allowing for the Crusader conquest of Jaffa and much of coastal Palestine, but nonetheless, they were unable to recover the interior. Instead, Richard signed a treaty with Saladin in 1192, restoring the Kingdom of Jerusalem to a coastal strip between Jaffa and Beirut. It was the last major effort of Saladin’s career, as he died the next year, in 1193.
Quarrels over the sultanate
The state of the Ayyubid dynasty and its neighbors after the death of Saladin
Rather than establishing a centralized empire, Saladin had established hereditary ownership throughout his lands, dividing his empire among kinsmen, with family members receiving semi-autonomous fiefs and principalities. Although these princes owed allegiance to the Ayyubid sultan, with their own territories, they were relatively independent. Upon Saladin’s death, az-Zahir took Aleppo from al-Adil per the arrangement and al-Aziz Uthman held Cairo, while his eldest son, al-Afdal retained Damascus— which also included Palestine and much of Lebanon. Al-Adil then acquired northern Mesopotamia, known as al-Jazira, where he held the Zengids of Mosul at bay. In 1193, Mas’ud of Mosul joined forces with Zangi of Sinjar and together the Zengid coalition moved to occupy as much of al-Jazira as possible. However, before any major results could be achieved, Mas’ud fell ill and returned to Mosul, and al-Adil then compelled Zangi to make a quick peace before the Zengids suffered territorial losses at the hands of the Ayyubids. Al-Adil’s son al-Mu’azzam took possession of Karak and Transjordan.
Soon, however, Saladin’s sons fell to squabbling over the division of the empire. Saladin had appointed al-Afdal the governorship of Damascus with the intention that his son should continue to see the city as his principal place of residence in order to emphasize the primacy of the jihad (“holy struggle”) against the Crusader states. Al-Afdal, however, found that his attachment to Damascus contributed to his undoing. Several of his fathers subordinate emirs left the city for Cairo to lobby al-Aziz Uthman to oust him on claims he was inexperienced and had the intent to sweep out the old Ayyubid guard. Thus, in 1194, he openly demanded the sultanate—al-Adil encouraged him to act before al-Afdal’s perceived incompetence put the Ayyubid empire in jeopardy. Al-Aziz Uthman’s claim to the throne was settled in a series of assaults on Damascus in 1196, forcing al-Afdal to leave for a less high-profile post at Salkhad. Al-Adil established himself in Damascus as a lieutenant of al-Aziz Uthman, but wielded much influence in the empire.
When al-Aziz Uthman died in a hunting accident near Cairo, al-Afdal was again made sultan (although al-Aziz Uthman’s son al-Mansur was the nominal ruler of Egypt), al-Adil having been absent in a campaign in the northeast. He returned and managed to occupy the Citadel of Damascus, but then faced a strong assault from the forces grouped under al-Afdal and his brother az-Zahir. These forces disintegrated under al-Afdal’s leadership and in 1200, al-Adil returned to the offensive. Upon Uthman’s death, two clans within the empire opposed each other the mamluks whom Shirkuh and Saladin had enlisted—the Asadiyya and Salahiyya. The latter backed al-Adil in his struggles against al-Afdal. With their support, al-Adil conquered Cairo in 1200, and forced al-Afdal to accept internal banishment. He proclaimed himself Sultan of Egypt and Syria afterward and entrusted the governance of Damascus to al-Mu’azzam and al-Jazira to his other son al-Kamil. Around 1200, a sharif (“tribal head”) Qatada ibn Idris seized power in Mecca and was recognized as the emir of the city by al-Adil.
Al-Afdal strove to retrieve Damascus one last time, but failed in doing so. Al-Adil entered the city in triumph in 1201. Az-Zahir still held Aleppo and al-Afdal was given Samosata in Anatolia. Now age 60, al-Adil’s line rather than Saladin’s would dominate the next 50 years of Ayyubid rule. He redistributed his possessions between his sons: al-Kamil was to succeed him in Egypt, al-Ashraf received al-Jazira, and Awhad was given Diyar Bakr, but the latter territory shifted to al-Ashraf’s domain after Awhad died.
Crusader ships attacking the tower of Damietta in 1218
Al-Adil aroused open hostility from the Hanbali “lobby” in Damascus for largely ignoring the Crusaders, having launched only one campaign against them. He felt that the Crusader army was invincible in a straight fight. Prolonged campaigns also involved the difficulties of maintaining a coherent Arab coalition. The trend under al-Adil was steady growth of the empire, mainly through the expansion of Ayyubid authority in al-Jazira and Armenia. The Abbasids eventually recognized al-Adil’s role as sultan in 1207. A Crusader military campaign was launched on November 3, 1217, beginning with an offensive towards Transjordan. Al-Mu’azzam urged al-Adil to launch a counter-attack, but he refused his son’s proposal. In 1218, the fortress of Damietta in the Nile Delta was besieged by the Crusaders. After two failed attempts, the fortress eventually capitulated on August 25. Six days later al-Adil died, reportedly of shock.
Al-Kamil proclaimed himself sultan in Cairo, while his brother al-Mu’azzam claimed the throne in Damascus. Al-Kamil attempted to retake the fortress, but was forced back by John of Brienne. After learning of a conspiracy against him, he fled, leaving the Egyptian army leaderless. Panic ensued, but with the help of al-Mu’azzam, al-Kamil regrouped his forces. By then, however, the Crusaders had seized his camp. The Ayyubids offered to negotiate for the withdrawal from Damietta, offering the restoration of Palestine to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, with the exception of the forts of Mont Real and Karak. This was refused by the leader of the Fifth Crusade, Pelagius of Albano and in 1221, they were driven out of the Nile Delta after the Ayyubid victory at Mansura.
Loss of territories and ceding of Jerusalem
Al-Kamil (right) and Frederick II signed a treaty restoring Jerusalem to the Crusaders for ten years
In the east, the Khwarezemids under Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu captured the town of Khilat from al-Ashraf, while the Rasulids, who were loyalists to the Ayyubids, began to influence their holdings in Arabia. In 1222, the Ayyubids appointed Ali Bin Rasul as governor of Mecca. Ayyubid rule in Yemen and the Hejaz was declining and the governor of Yemen, Mas’ud bin Kamil was forced to leave for Egypt in 1223. He appointed Nur ad-Din Umar as his deputy governor when he was absent. In 1224, a local dynasty, al-Yamani, gained control of Hadramaut from the Ayyubids who held it loosely due the troubled situation of their administration in Yemen proper. Following Mas’ud’s death in 1229, Nur ad-Din Umar declared himself the independent ruler of Yemen and discontinued payment of the annual tribute to the Ayyubids in Egypt.
Under Frederick II, a Sixth Crusade was launched, capitalizing on an ongoing internal strife between al-Kamil and the Ayyubids of Syria and Palestine led by al-Mu’azzam. Al-Kamil, therefore, offered Jerusalem to Frederick to avoid a Syrian invasion of Egypt, but the emperor refused. His position was strengthened when al-Mu’azzam died in 1227 and was succeeded by his son an-Nasir Dawud. He continued negotiations with Frederick in Acre in 1228 leading to the establishment of a limited truce, signed in February 1229. It gave the Crusaders control over an unfortified Jerusalem for over ten years, although the Muslims would hold control over Islamic holy places in the city. Although the treaty was virtually meaningless in military terms, an-Nasir Dawud used it to provoke the sentiments of Syria’s citizens and a Friday sermon by a popular preacher at the Umayyad Mosque “reduced the crowd to violent sobbing and tears.”
The settlement with the Crusaders was accompanied by a proposed new division of the Ayyubid principalities Damascus and its territories would go to al-Ashraf, but clearly recognizing al-Kamil’s sovereignty. An-Nasir Dawud resisted the settlement, incensed by the Ayyubid-Crusader truce. Al-Kamil’s forces reached Damascus to enforce the proposed agreement in May 1229. The siege put great pressure on the city, but the inhabitants rallied to an-Nasir Dawud, conscious of al-Mu’azzam’s stable rule and shocked at the treaty with Frederick. After one month, however, an-Nasir Dawud sued for a peaceful outcome and was given a new principality centered around Karak, while al-Ashraf, the governor of Diyarbakir, assumed governorship of Damascus.
Meanwhile, the Seljuks were advancing towards al-Jazira, and the descendants of Qatada ibn Idris quarreled with their Ayyubid overlords over control of Mecca. The latter was taken advantage of by the Rasulids of Yemen who attempted to end the Ayyubid suzerainty in the Hejaz and bring the region under their control which they did in 1238 when Nur al-Din Umar captured Mecca.
Al-Ashraf’s rule in Damascus was stable, but he and the other emirs of Syria sought to assert their independence from Cairo. In the midst of these tensions, al-Ashraf died in August 1237 after a four-month illness and was succeeded by his brother as-Salih Ismail. Two months later, al-Kamil’s Egyptian army arrived and besieged Damascus, but as-Salih Ismail had laid waste the suburbs of the city to deny al-Kamil’s forces shelter. In 1232, al-Kamil installed his eldest son as-Salih Ayyub to govern Hisn Kayfa, but on al-Kamil’s death in 1238, as-Salih Ayyub disputed control of Egypt with his younger brother al-Adil II who had been proclaimed sultan in Cairo. As-Salih Ayyub eventually occupied Damascus in December 1238, but his uncle as-Salih Ismail took back the city in September 1239, although he himself was detained by his cousin an-Nasir Dawud in Karak in order to prevent his arrest by al-Adil. He allied with Dawud who released him the following year, allowing him to proclaim himself sultan in place of al-Adil in May 1240.
Throughout the early 1240s, as-Salih Ayyub carried out reprisals against those who supported al-Adil, and he then quarreled with an-Nasir Dawud who was reconciling with as-Salih Ismail of Damascus. The rival sultans as-Salih Ayyub and as-Salih Ismail attempted to ally with the Crusaders against the other. In 1244, the breakaway Ayyubids of Syria allied with the Crusaders and confronted the allied forces of as-Salih Ayyub and the Khwarizmids at Hirbiya, near Gaza. A large battle ensued, resulting in a major victory for as-Salih Ayyub and the virtual collapse of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Restoration of unity
In 1244-45, as-Salih Ayyub had seized Judea and Samaria from an-Nasir Dawud he took possession of Jerusalem then marched on to take Damascus which fell with relative ease in October 1245. Shortly afterward, Sayf al-Din Ali surrendered his exposed principality, Ajlun and its fortress, to as-Salih Ayyub. The rupture of the alliance between the Khwarizmids and as-Salih Ayyub ended with the virtual destruction of the former by al-Mansur Ibrahim, the Ayyubid emir of Homs, in October 1246. With the Khwarizimid defeat, as-Salih Ayyub was able to complete the subjugation of southern Syria. His general Fakhr ad-Din went on to subdue an-Nasir Dawud’s territories. He sacked the lower town of Karak, then besieged its fortress. Although he did not have the means to take it, an-Nasir Dawud was not strong enough to drive him away. A settlement was eventually reached whereby the latter would retain the fortress, but cede the remainder of his principality to as-Salih Ayyub. Having settled the situation in Palestine and Transjordan, Fakhr ad-Din moved north and marched to Bosra, the last place still held by as-Salih Ismail. During the siege, Fakhr ad-Din fell ill, but his commanders continued the assault against the city which fell in December 1246.
By May 1247, as-Salih Ayyub was master of Syria south of Lake Homs, having gained Banyas and Salkhad. With his fellow Ayyubid opponents subdued, except for Aleppo under an-Nasir Yusuf, as-Salih Ayyub undertook a limited offensive against the Crusaders, sending Fakhr ad-Din to move against their holdings in the Galilee. Tiberias fell on June 16, followed by Mount Tabor and Kawkab al-Hawa soon thereafter. Safad with its Templar fortress seemed out of reach, so the Ayyubids marched south to Ascalon. Facing stubborn resistance from the Crusader garrison, an Egyptian flotilla was sent by as-Salih Ayyub to aid in the siege and on October 24, Fakhr ad-Din’s troops stormed through a breach in the walls and killed or captured the entire garrison. The city was razed and left deserted.
He returned to Damascus to keep watch on developments in northern Syria. Al-Ashraf Musa of Homs had ceded the important stronghold of Salamiyyah to as-Salih Ayyub the previous winter, perhaps to underline the patron-client relationship. This troubled the Ayyubids of Aleppo who feared it would be used as a base for a military take-over of their city. An-Nasir Yusuf found this intolerable and decided to annex Homs which he did in the winter of 1248. The city surrendered in August and an-Nasir Yusuf’s terms forced al-Ashraf Musa to hand over Homs, but he was allowed to retain nearby Palmyra and Tell Bashir in the Syrian Desert. As-Salih Ayyub sent Fakhr ad-Din to recapture Homs, but Aleppo countered by sending an army to Kafr Tab, just outside of the city. An-Nasir Dawud left Karak for Aleppo to guarantee protection from an-Nasir Yusuf, but in his absence, his brothers al-Amjad Hasan and az-Zahir Shadhi detained his heir al-Mu’azzam Isa and then personally went to as-Salih Ayyub’s camp at al-Mansourah in Egypt to offer him control of the Karak in return for holdings in Egypt. As-Salih Ayyub sent the eunuch Badr al-Din Sawabi to act as his governor in the city.
Rise of the Mamluks and fall of Egypt
In 1248, a Crusader fleet of 1,800 boats and ships arrived in Cyprus with the intent of launching a Seventh Crusade against the Muslims by conquering Egypt. Their commander, Louis IX, attempted to enlist the Mongols to launch a coordinated attack on Egypt, but when this failed to materialize, the Crusader force sailed to Damietta and the Muslims there fled as soon as they landed. When Ayyub, who was in Syria at the time, heard of this, he rushed back to Egypt, avoiding Damietta, instead reaching Mansurah. Here he organized an army and raised a commando force which harassed the Crusaders.
Ayyub was ill and his health deteriorated more due to the mounting pressure from the Crusaders. His wife Shajar al-Durr called a meeting of all the war generals and thus became commander-in-chief of the Egyptian forces. She ordered Mansurah fortified and then stored large quantities of provisions and concentrated her forces there. She also organized a fleet of war galleys and got them scattered at various strategic points along the Nile. Crusader attempts to capture Mansurah were thwarted and King Louis found himself in a critical position. He managed to cross the Nile to launch a surprise attack against Mansurah. Meanwhile, Ayyub died, but Shajar al-Durr and Ayyub’s Bahri Mamluk generals, including Baibars and Aibek, countered the assault and inflicted heavy losses to the Crusaders. Simultaneously, the Muslim galleys cut off the Crusader’s line of supply from Damietta, preventing the arrival of reinforcements. Ayyub’s son and the newly proclaimed Ayyubid sultan Al-Mu’azzam Turan-Shah reached Mansurah at this point and intensified the battle against the Crusaders. The latter ultimately surrendered and King Louis and his companions were arrested.
Al-Mu’azzam Turan-Shah alienated the Mamluks soon after their victory at Mansurah and constantly threatened them and Shajar al-Durr. Fearing for their positions of power, the Bahri Mamluks revolted against the sultan and killed him in April 1250. Aibek married Shajar al-Durr and subsequently took over the government in Egypt in the name of al-Ashraf II who was now the nominal sultan.
Dominance of Aleppo
Intent on restoring supremacy to the branch of the Ayyubid family that descended from Saladin, an-Nasir Yusuf was eventually able to enlist all of the Syria-based Ayyubid princes in a common cause against as-Salih Ayyub’s Egypt. By 1250, he took Damascus with relative ease and except for Hama and Transjordan, an-Nasir Yusuf’s direct authority stood unbroken from the Khabur River in northern Mesopotamia to the Sinai Peninsula. In December 1250, he attacked Egypt after hearing of al-Mu’azzam Turan-Shah’s death and the ascension of Shajar al-Durr. An-Nasir Yusuf’s army was much larger and better-equipped than that of the Egyptian army, consisting of the forces of Aleppo, Homs, Hama, and those of Saladin’s only surviving sons, Nusrat ad-Din and Turan-Shah ibn Salah ad-Din. Nonetheless, it suffered a major defeat by Aibek. He subsequently returned to Syria which was slowly slipping out of his control.
The Mamluks forged an alliance with the Crusaders in March 1252 and agreed to jointly launch a campaign against an-Nasir Yusuf. King Louis, who had been released after al-Mu’azzam Turan-Shah’s murder, led his army to Jaffa, while Aibek intended to send his forces to Gaza. Upon hearing of the alliance, an-Nasir Yusuf immediately dispatched an advanced force to Tell al-Ajjul, just outside Gaza, in order to prevent the junction of the Mamluk and Crusader armies. Meanwhile, the rest of the Ayyubid army was stationed in the Jordan Valley. Realizing that a war between them would greatly benefit the Crusaders, Aibek and an-Nasir Yusuf accepted mediation by Najm ad-Din al-Badhirai on behalf of the Abbasids. In April 1253, a treaty was signed whereby the Mamluks would retain all of Egypt and Palestine up to (but not including) Nablus, while an-Nasir Yusuf would be confirmed as the ruler of Muslim Syria. Thus, Ayybid rule was officially ended in Egypt. After conflict arose between the Mamluks and the Ayyubids again, al-Badhirai again arranged a treaty, this time giving an-Nasir Yusuf control of the previous Mamluk territories in Palestine. Instead of placing Ayyubids in charge, however, an-Nasir Yusuf handed Jerusalem to a Mamluk named Kutuk while Nablus and Jenin were given to Rukn al-Din Baybars.
For over a year after the settlement with Mamluks, calm settled over an-Nasir Yusuf’s reign, but on December 11, 1256 he sent two envoys to the Abbasids in Baghdad seeking formal investiture from the caliph, al-Musta’sim, for his role as “Sultan”. This request was connected to an-Nasir’s rivalry with Aibek, as the title would be useful in future disputes with the Mamluks. However, the Mamluks had sent their envoys to Baghdad previously to precisely ensure that an-Nasir Yusuf would not gain the title, putting al-Musta’sim in a difficult position.
In early 1257, Aibek was killed in a conspiracy, and was succeeded by his 15-year-old son, al-Mansur Ali, while Saif ad-Din Qutuz held an influential position. Soon after al-Mansur Ali’s ascendancy rumors of another conspiracy to which an-Nasir Yusuf had an alleged connection emerged. The accused conspirator, al-Mansur Ali’s vizier Sharaf ad-Din al-Fa’izi, was strangled by Egyptian authorities. The Bahri Mamluks in Syria led by Baibars pressured an-Nasir Yusuf to intervene by invading Egypt, but he would not act, fearing the Bahri dyansty would usurp his throne if they gained Egypt.
Karak asserts independence
Ayyubid territories in 1257. Area in bright red controlled by an-Nasir Yusuf, while the area under dark red was under the nominal control of al-Mughith Umar of Kerak
Relations between an-Nasir Yusuf and the Bahri grew tense after the former refused to invade Egypt. In October 1257, Baibars and his fellow Mamluks left Damascus or were expelled from the city and together they moved south to Jerusalem. When the governor Kutuk refused to aid them against an-Nasir Yusuf, Baibars deposed him and had al-Mugith Umar, the emir of Karak, pronounced in the khutba at the al-Aqsa Mosque al-Mugith Umar had allowed the political dissidents of Cairo and Damascus, who sought protection from the Mamluk and Ayyubid authorities, a safehaven within his territories.
Soon after gaining Jerusalem, Baibars conquered Gaza and an-Nasir Yusuf sent his army to Nablus in response. A battle ensued and the Mamluks ultimately fled across the Jordan River to the Balqa area. From there they reached Zughar at the southern tip of the Dead Sea where they sent their submission to Karak. Al-Mughith Umar’s new relationship with Baibars solidified his independence from an-Nasir Yusuf’s Syria. To ensure his independence, al-Mughith Umar began to distribute the territories of Palestine and Transjordan among the Mamluks.
The new allies assembled a small army and headed for Egypt. In spite of initial gains in Palestine and al-Arish, they withdrew after seeing how overwhelmingly outnumbered they were by the Egyptian army. Al-Mughith Umar and Baibars were not discouraged, however, and launched an army 1,500 regular cavalry to Sinai at the beginning of 1258, but again were defeated by the Mamluks of Egypt.
Mongol invasion and fall of the empire
The Mongol conquest of Ayyubid Syria
The Ayyubids had been under the nominal sovereignty of the Mongol Empire after a Mongol force targeted Ayyubid territories in Anatolia in 1244. An-Nasir Yusuf sent an embassy to the Mongol capital Karakorum in 1250, shortly after assuming power. These understandings did not last, however, and the Mongol Great Khan, Mongke, issued a directive to his brother Hulegu to extend the realms of the empire to the Nile River. The latter raised an army of 120,000 and in 1258, sacked Baghdad and slaughtered its inhabitants, including the Abbasid caliph and most of his family after the Ayyubids failed to assemble an army to protect the city. That same year the Ayyubids lost Diyar Bakr to the Mongols.
An-Nasir Yusuf sent a delegation to Hulegu afterward, repeating his protestations to submission. Hulegu refused to accept the terms and so an-Nasir Yusuf called on Cairo for aid. This plea coincided with a successful coup by the Cairo-based Mamluks against the remaining symbolic Ayyubid leadership in Egypt, with strongman Qutuz officially taking power. Meanwhile, an Ayyubid army was assembled at Birze, just north of Damascus to defend the city against the Mongols who were now marching towards northern Syria. Aleppo was soon besieged by and within a week, in January 1260, it fell in Mongol hands. The Great Mosque and the Citadel of Aleppo were razed and most of the inhabitants were killed or sold into slavery. The sack of Aleppo caused panic in Muslim Syria The Ayyubid emir of Homs, al-Ashraf Musa, offered to ally with Mongols at the approach of their army and was allowed to continue governance of the city by Hulegu. Hama also capitulated without resisting, but did not join forces with the Mongols. An-Nasir Yusuf opted to flee Damascus to seek protection in Gaza.
Hulegu had decided to leave the front for Karakorum and left Kitbugha, a Nestorian Christian general, to continue the conquest. Damascus capitulated after the arrival of the Mongol army, but was not sacked like other captured Muslim cities. However, from Gaza, an-Nasir Yusuf managed to induce the small garrison he left in the Citadel of Damascus to rebel against the Mongol occupation. The Mongols retaliated by launching a massive artillery assault on the citadel and when it became apparent that an-Nasir Yusuf was unable to relieve the city with a newly assembled army, the garrison surrendered.
The Mongols proceeded by conquering Samaria, killing most of the Ayyubid garrison in Nablus, and then advanced south, as far as Gaza, unhindered. An-Nasir Yusuf was soon captured by the Mongols and used to persuade the garrison at Ajlun to capitulate. Afterward, the junior Ayyubid governor of Banias allied with the Mongols, who had now gained control of most of Syria and al-Jazira, effectively ending Ayyubid power in the region. On September 3, 1260, the Egypt-based Mamluk army led by Qutuz and Baibars challenged Mongol authority and decisively defeated their forces in the Battle of Ain Jalut, outside of Zir’in in the Jezreel Valley. Five days later, the Mamluks took Damascus and within a month, most of Syria was in Mamluk hands. Meanwhile, an-Nasir Yusuf was killed under captivity.
Remnants of the dynasty
Many of the Ayyubid emirs of Syria were discredited by Qutuz for collaborating with the Mongols, but since al-Ashraf Musa defected to the Mamluks at Ain Jalut, he was allowed to continue his rule over Homs. Al-Mansur of Hama had fought alongside the Mamluks from the start of their conquest and because of this, Hama continued to be ruled by the Ayyubid descendants of Muzaffar ad-Din Umar. After al-Ashraf Musa’s death in 1262, the new Mamluk sultan, Baibars, annexed Homs. The next year, al-Mughith Umar was tricked into surrendering Karak to Baibars and was executed soon after for having previously sided with the Mongols.
The last Ayyubid ruler of Hama died in 1299 and Hama briefly passed through direct Mamluk suzerainty. However, in 1310, under the patronage of the Mamluk sultan al-Nasir Muhammad, Hama again came under Ayyubid governance in the person of the well-known geographer and author Abu al-Fida. The latter died in 1331 and was succeeded by his son Al-Afdal Muhammad who eventually lost the favor of his Mamluk overlords. He was removed from his post in 1341 and Hama was formally placed under Mamluk rule.
In southeastern Anatolia, the Ayyubids continued to rule the principality of Hisn Kayfa and managed to remain an autonomous entity, independent of the Mongol Ilkhanate which ruled northern Mesopotamia until the 1330s. After the breakup of the Ilkhanate, their former vassals in the area, the Artukids waged war against the Ayyubids of Hisn Kayfa in 1334, but were decisively defeated, with the Ayyubids gaining their possessions on the left bank of the Tigris River. In the 14th century, the Ayyubids rebuilt the castle of Hisn Kayfa which served as their stronghold until they were supplanted by the Ottoman Empire in the early 16th century.
In 1177, Saladin's Ayyubid army invaded the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem from Egypt. In that year King Baldwin surprised and defeated the Saracen host at the Battle of Montgisard.
In 1179, Saladin again invaded the Crusader states, from the direction of Damascus. He based his army at Banias and sent raiding forces to despoil villages and crops near Sidon and the coastal areas. Farmers and townpeople impoverished by Saracen raiders would be unable to pay rent to their Frankish overlords. Unless stopped, Saladin's destructive policy would weaken the Crusader kingdom.
In response, Baldwin moved his army to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. From there he marched north-northwest to the stronghold of Safed. Continuing in the same direction, he reached Toron castle (Tebnine), about 13 miles (21 km) east-southeast of Tyre. Together with the Knights Templar led by Odo of St Amand and a force from the County of Tripoli led by Count Raymond III, Baldwin moved northeast. Β]
Aftermath [ edit | edit source ]
Baldwin memorialized his victory by erecting a Benedictine monastery on the battlefield, dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, whose feast day fell on the day of the battle. However, it was a difficult victory Roger des Moulins, master of the Knights Hospitaller, reported that 1,100 men had been killed and 750 returned home wounded. Saladin, fearing the tenuousness of both his hold on Egypt and the alliance with his Syrian vassals, spread propaganda that the Christians had in fact lost the battle. [ citation needed ]
Meanwhile, Raymond III of Tripoli and Bohemund III of Antioch joined with Philip of Alsace in a separate expedition against Harim in Syria the siege of Harim lasted into 1178, and Saladin's defeat at Montgisard prevented him from relieving his Syrian vassals. Despite an intervening year of relative peace, by 1179 Saladin was able to renew his attacks on the kingdom, including his victory at the Battle of Marj Ayyun that year. This led to almost another decade of warfare which culminated in Saladin's victory over the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin in 1187.
After his withdrawal, Saladin reorganized his armies in Egypt with the assistance of his brother Turan-Shah Α] and received the ambassador of the powerful Kilij Arslan.
A Story About One of History’s First P3 Projects
In this modern era of advanced project delivery methods, one might think that public-private partnerships (P3s) are a new thing. Currently it is the favored delivery method for many large-scale public works projects. And with the spate of new P3 legislation proliferating all over the country, and a cottage industry of consultants, law firms and organizations now hosting conferences on this seemingly novel approach for building, reaching the conclusion that P3 is innovative, cutting-edge, is understandable.
The reality is, in fact, P3 is not new. It has been used throughout history, modern and ancient, by the public sector to carry out major public works projects with private sector assistance.
This article is about the design-build-finance-operation-maintenance of Chastellet Castle during one of the greatest clashes in human history: the Crusades, the battle between the Christian and Muslim world in the late 11th century. The story involves the mysterious Knights Templar, a holy order of Christian Knights that ultimately became an international financial powerhouse, offering an array of financial services from lending, collections, letters of credit, and management, to basic banking. The Knights Templar, ironically enough, were among other things, P3 concessionaires.
The Clash Between King Baldwin and Salah ad-Din
In 1177 AD, Baldwin IV, King of Jerusalem, achieved a mighty victory against the military genius, Sultan Salah ad-Din, at the battle of Montgisard. King Baldwin &ndash the leper - was only 16. And untested. Yet he routed Salah ad-Din handily, destroying about 90% of the Muslim army, forcing the survivors to flee back to Egypt.
It was a glorious victory for the Jerusalem Christians, but left them severely weakened financially and in a defensive military position. King Baldwin and his advisors concluded that Salah ad-Din would be back. The war for primacy of faith was not over.
King Baldwin and the Knights Templar thereafter devised a strategic plan both offensive and defensive to build major fortifications and a castle on a hill overlooking Jacob&rsquos Ford, a key river crossing on the main road from Acre to Damascus, approximately 100 miles from Jerusalem. The thought was that such a fortification could protect Jerusalem from a northern invasion by Salah adDin and put pressure on the Sultan&rsquos stronghold at Damascus. The Ford was the principal intersection of the two cultures, both geographically and spiritually.
The City of Jerusalem, however, could not afford this major public works project. That is where the Knights Templar stepped in.
The Knights Templar
The Knights Templar was formed in 1119 as a holy order of Christian Knights whose main purpose was to protect Christians making their pilgrimage to sacred sites throughout the Holy Land. Their beginnings were humble, known as the Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici &ndash poor fellow soldiers of Christ of the Temple of Salomon. Very quickly the Knights Templar grew into a vast military order with a network throughout Christendom and the Holy Land, and eventually established a complex financial business network as well. Many scholars refer to the Knights Templar as history&rsquos first multinational corporation. Warfare was not their only business.
The Knights Templar loaned considerable monies to various countries and rulers, such as King Philip IV of France, to finance their wars against other nations. Apropos to this story, the Knights Templar also partnered with some kings to finance and build key military strongholds and other public works projects.
Chastellet Castle, a Historical P3 Project
Historian and medieval fiction author KM Ashman, in his novel, Templar Stone &ndash admittedly weaving historical fact and taking some artistic license &mdash described the partnering between King Baldwin and the Knights Templar, written in parchment, as follows:
Firstly, the castle will be fully built and paid for by the Order of the Knights Templar, with such cost being reimbursed by the administering of a toll upon all those who cross the ford, excluding those who cross on the king&rsquos business.
Secondly, the castle must be built with all haste, with the outer defensive walls to be finished no later than twenty-four months from the date of this decree.
Thirdly, the castle will be fully garrisoned by the Order of the Knights Templar, or their subordinates, at their own expensive, for the term of five years from the date of completion.
And finally, upon repayment of the building cost, tolls will be forfeit to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, less one-tenth, which will be paid to the Order of the Knights Templar, in perpetuity, in return for maintenance of a garrison there controlling the ford and serving the king
History documents that construction of the castle did in fact commence under the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar also fully garrisoned the site during the construction, as King Baldwin was concerned that Salah ad-Din might launch an attack to derail the construction. Understanding the tactical significance of this location, Salah ad-Din initially offered King Baldwin 60,000 gold dinars to stop construction and tear down the fortifications &ndash a king&rsquos ransom for the financially strapped Jerusalem - and after King Baldwin declined the offer, returned with an offer of 100,000 gold dinars. King Baldwin rejected that offer, too, and accelerated construction, recognizing the elevated risk of attack by Salah ad-Din.
By mid-1179, the Knights Templar had constructed the castle&rsquos massive stone wall 10m high and one of the planned towers. Salah ad-Din was on the march by then. In June of 1179, he decimated King Baldwin&rsquos army at Marj Ayyun. The King barely escaped the battle, retreating to Tiberias to recover. Salah ad-Din laid siege to the nearly-completed Castle Chastellet several months later, attacking with traditional weaponry and the siege strategy of &ldquosapping&rdquo. Sapping involved tunneling under the castle walls, reinforcing the tunnel with wood structural members, and then when it reached a key tower or wall structure, lighting the tunnel on fire, causing the castle structure&rsquos collapse. Within six days, Castle Chastellet fell in a fiery inferno, stormed by the overwhelming forces of Salah ad-Din. The weakened King Baldwin, for reasons still debated, was not able to arrive in time with a reformed army to rescue the besieged. Over 700 construction workers, architects and knights were slaughtered, and over 800 enslaved. Salah ad-Din ordered the castle to be torn down, but some remains exist today.
The battles at Marj Ayyun and Jacob&rsquos Ford were the turning point, with the momentum fully in favor of the Muslim army. King Baldwin&rsquos efforts from that point were primarily defensive, and he ultimately succumbed to his disease in 1185. Salad ah-Din finally captured Jerusalem in 1187, expelling all Christians. Some readers may recall the chilling scene from Ridley Scott&rsquos 2005 movie, Kingdom of Heaven, with its drawn-out siege finale, ending with Baron Balian of Ibelin walking across the shattered fortifications and a field of the massacred, asking Salah ad-Din what was Jerusalem worth. Salah ad-Din says &ldquonothing,&rdquo turns and walks away, only to turn back with fists clinched together, saying &ldquoeverything&rdquo. The Third Crusade to regain Jerusalem shortly followed.
Putting aside the romance of the Crusades, and the mysterious shroud of the Knights Templar, practically speaking, King Baldwin hired the Knights Templar on a P3-basis to develop Castle Chastellet. As he did not have the financial resources to undertake this important public works project, he contracted with an entity capable of handling all aspects of the building, financing and operation of the project. The Knights Templar not only fulfilled their mission to protect pilgrims and the Holy Land, but hoped to recoup the cost of the building through tolls and provide some profits in perpetuity in exchange for a long-term garrison (i.e. maintenance). The remainder of the profits would revert to the king after the castle was completed.
This historical partnering is the archetype of a P3: a private entity undertook the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance (DBFOM) of a public works project on behalf of a public entity, repaid its capital costs through the exercise of tolls, and profited to some degree in the process. This arrangement between King Baldwin and the Knights Templar is the equivalent of a modern-day toll road project, with a P3 concessionaire undertaking the DBFOM of a highway system, and being repaid and profiting from the revenue serviced by tolls. The public gets its road, the private entity makes a profit.
So while P3's natural association with cutting-edge projects such as automated people movers, toll road projects, power grid modernization, space infrastructure, and so forth, could seem like a product of modern finance, P3-like structures have been employed throughout history, where the public and private sectors collaborated to deliver important infrastructure to the public -- including a medieval fortress with toll facilities at a transportation crossroad for Christian pilgrims.
The Knights Templar may be long gone, but their financial lessons &ndash whether that be lending, letters of credit, financial services or even P3 &ndash enlighten us to the continued possibilities of public-private collaborations. Castle Chastellet ultimately could not stand up to Saladin&rsquos onslaught, but the publicprivate partnering was valid. P3 remains a key tool for government entities to consider in their delivery of public works projects.
Faculty Of Literature, Humanities & Social Sciences
يُعتبرُ "الخوارزمي" عالمَ الجبرِ والمعادلاتِ، حيثُ إنَّ بعضَها "لا يزالُ يرِدُ في الكتبِ إلى يومِنا هذا"(2). ولمـَّا كانَ للماءِ معادلتهُ الكيميائيّة الخاصّة، اكتشفْنا أنَّ هذهِ المعادلاتِ وُجدَتْ لتُقيمَ التوازنَ والاتزانَ بينَ عنصرَيْ الأوكسيجينِ والهيدروجين، إذْ تَتِمُّ موازنةُ هذهِ المعادلاتِ عنْ طريقِ التأكُّدِ منَ المعاملاتِ وإضافةِ H، +H2O، إلكترون سالب e- (3) . لذلكَ فالتوازنُ أوِ الاتزانُ جزءٌ مهمٌّ في العلمِ لأنَّهُ الأساسُ الذي تقومُ عليهِ النظرياتُ.
وقدْ أثارَ موضوعُ الماءِ العديدَ منَ النقّادِ والكتّابِ المعاصرينَ مثل Gaston Bachelard وBaudelaire، وغيرهما، فهذا "باشلار" يقولُ في كتابِهِ "l’eau et les rêves" "أمَّا في ما يلامسُ حلم يقظتي، فليستِ اللاّنهاية التي أراها في المياهِ، بلِ العمق".(4) فتكونُ بذلكَ خوارزميّةُ الماءِ أيْ معادلتُهُ خارجَ الإطارِ الكيميائيّ لها، تُوازِنُ بينَ عالمِ القصيدةِ الإبداعيّ وعالمِ الشاعرِ، لتأخذَ البُعْدَ الشعريَّ الأدبيَّ الذي سنحاوِلُ إثباتَهُ في قصيدةِ "مشهد البئر"، لأنَّ ما يجمعُ بينَ الصورةِ (الماء) والدّلالةِ معادلةً عميقةً وعمقيَّةً خاصةً بالشاعرِ "جوزف حرب"، تُخرجُ الكلمةَ منْ إطارِها المعجميّ إلى عالمٍ حلميّ جديدٍ، يودُّ الشاعرُ الوصولَ بنَا إليْهِ، لتنتجَ عنْ هذهِ المعدلةِ إشكاليّةٌ جديدةٌ في الدراساتِ النقديَّةِ، نغوصُ عليْها وندرسُها استنادًا إلى منهجٍ نقديّ هوَ المنهجُ الأسلوبيُّ "Stylistique"، الذي يعينُنا في الدراسةِ الشعريَّةِ والجماليَّةِ.
يتألّفُ البحثُ منْ ثلاثةِ أقسامٍ كبيرةٍ ندرسُ في القسمِ الأوَّلِ الإيقاعَ الجهريَّ ودلالاتِهِ في القصيدةِ، وينقسمُ بدورِهِ إلى ثلاثةِ أجزاءٍ مخصّصةٍ لهندسَةِ القصيدةِ، والبحرِ، والرويّ ودلالاتِها. إضافةً إلى القسمِ الأوَّلِ، نُفْرِدُ قسْمًا ثانيًا مخصّصًا للإيقاعِ الداخليّ فندرسُ التكرارَ ودلالاتِهِ، والتوازي ودلالاتِهِ، والتنسيقاتِ الصوتيّةَ ودلالاتِها. أمّا في القسمِ الثالثِ فنعالجُ التركيبَ الصرفيَّ والنحويَّ للقصيدَةِ، ضمنَ ثلاثةِ أجزاءٍ مخصّصةٍ للبنيةِ السطحيَّةِ والبنيةِ العمقيَّةِ ودلالاتِها، والانزياحِ ودلالاتِه، والبنى التوليديَّةِ التحويليَّةِ ودلالاتِها.
وهكذا، نكشفُ في هذا البحثِ الخوارزميَّةَ الخاصَّةَ بالشاعرِ "جوزف حرب" ومعادلتَهُ الفريدةِ في قصيدتِهِ "مشهد البئر"، لنعلنَ عنْ أدبيَّةِ النصّ، ونظهرَ أسلوبَ الشاعرِ المميَّزَ، في تقنيَّاتٍ علميّةٍ وعمليَّةٍ، لنضيفَ إلى عنصرِ الماءِ صبغةً جديدةً وشكلاً آخرَ منْ أشكالِ الدراساتِ الدقيقةِ (Macrostructure)، ونبني وجهًا ولو بسيطًا بينَ الإنسانِ وعلومِهِ المتعدّدةِ.
الكلمات الدالّة: خوارزميّة، أسلوب، أسلوبيّة، شعريّة، إيقاع، تركيب، انزياح، أصوات، بنية سطحيّة وبنية عمقيّة.
圣殿骑士团创立于第一次十字军东征（1096-1099）之後，主要由信奉天主教法国骑士组成。其首领最初駐紮在阿克萨清真寺的一角，該寺位於耶路撒冷圣殿山，传说是建在所罗门王的聖殿之上，因此得其團名。1129年，圣殿骑士团得到罗马教廷正式支持，擁有诸多特权，遂迅速增长其规模、勢力和财富，甚至发展出最早的银行业   。圣殿骑士团和十字军的命運密切相关。1291年，圣地陷落，他們失去根据地，天主教的支援也渐渐变少  。同时法国国王腓力四世欠下了骑士团大量钱财，為解決財政問題，圣殿骑士团沦为了牺牲品。1307年，其众多成员在法国被捕，残酷审讯後以異端罪名处以火刑  。
1098年，十字军攻占圣地耶路撒冷，众多基督徒遂长途跋涉前来朝圣，但朝圣的路途却充满凶险，他們經常被屠杀  。約1119年，两位當年參戰的法国贵族雨果·德·帕英和格弗雷·德·圣欧莫  ，提議成立一个修士会，以保卫朝圣者的安全  。耶路撒冷国王鲍德温二世同意，并允许他们以圣殿山的阿克萨清真寺作为根据地。传说該寺建於昔日所罗门圣殿的废墟之上，修士会因此得名“基督和所罗门圣殿的贫苦骑士团”。他們最初只有9名成员，依靠捐助维持。其徽章的双人骑单马图像，象徵着他们的贫困。这种穷困状态很快改變了，基督教世界影响力很大的圣伯尔纳铎決定支持圣殿骑士团。1129年，主教会议在法国特鲁瓦举行，教宗正式承认他們的地位。1139年，教宗依诺增爵二世以教宗诏书授與他們特权地位。圣殿骑士团只对教宗负责，不受国王和地方主教指挥；具有免税特权，還能在其领地收取十一税。他們因此快速发展为教宗的重要力量，成员最多超過2万名。圣殿骑士团守衛聖地的重要堡壘，是保衛耶路撒冷王國的決定性角色。
1241年，蒙古拔都西征入侵波蘭。在列格尼卡戰役中，聖殿騎士團的參戰部隊幾乎滅絕。其大首領 阿爾芒 （ 英语 ： Armand de Périgord ） 寫信給法國國王路易說，中歐已無任何軍事力量可以阻擋蒙古鐵騎直抵法國。1291年，十字軍於黎凡特地區最後的領土阿卡城遭馬木留克鐵騎攻陷，耶路撒冷王國正式宣告灭亡。圣殿骑士团和医院骑士团撤退到賽普勒斯，再返回法国。他們是法国国王的大债主，拥有几千座城堡和巨额财富，因此受到国王和主教的嫉恨。法国国王腓力四世羅織“異端”罪名剷除他們。
1312年，法王腓力四世提出要求，克勉五世宣布解散圣殿骑士团。西班牙和葡萄牙的骑士团改組成两个新的骑士团：西班牙 蒙特薩騎士團 （ 英语 ： Order of Montesa ） 和葡萄牙 基督騎士團 （ 英语 ： Order of Christ (Portugal) ） 。
2001年，一名意大利女學者 Barbara Frale （ 英语 ： Barbara Frale ） 在梵蒂冈找到秘密资料 奇农羊皮纸 （ 英语 ： Chinon Parchment ） ，這份拷贝中清晰的发现騎士團其實是被裁定「可能悖德，未至異端」，而且克勉五世早在1308年就赦免了德·莫莱的罪行，还包括其他所有被审判的领袖，但德·莫莱没有见到這份赦免，並不知道克勉五世早已从基督教的本质以及内心深处赦免了他们，然而克勉五世因受制於法王腓力四世而不敢在生前公布。 
圣殿骑士团的标志衣装是白色制服外加白色长袍。1147年第二次十字军东征後，白色长袍的左肩再绣上红色十字，开始是等边十字，後来為八角十字。徽章是两名持盾和矛的骑士共骑一匹马，盾上绘有红色十字。它象徵其成员是贫穷的骑士，后来演繹为成员的袍泽情谊。法王腓力四世則將該騎士團的徽章擴大解釋，認為聖殿騎士團的團員們有同性戀的傾向，以此網羅罪狀，加以定罪。圣殿骑士团的口号是“God wills it.（神的旨意）”，还有拉丁語： Non Nobis, Domine, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam. 。翻译成英語： Not to us, o' Lord, but to your name give glory. （非为了我们，上主啊，是为歸榮耀予祢的名）。
圣殿骑士团的首领称为宗师、大团长或总团长（The Grand Master），是以选举产生的终生職位。大团长直接对教宗负责，不受国王和各地主教控制。团员分三阶层：