By P. M. Holt
The kaleidoscopic political adjustments in the course of the years coated through this quantity comprise the increase and fall of the Crusader states, the growth of the Mongol empire, the increase of the Mamluk sultanate and of its final conquerors, the Ottomans.
To all of those Professor Holt is a transparent and skilful consultant. He mostly utilises, and to a point reinterprets, the medieval Arabic assets, to provide an image which differs in very important respects from the traditional western-orientated view.
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Additional info for The Age of the Crusades: The Near East from the Eleventh Century to 1517 (A History of the Near East)
The Frankish states were only one category of their opponents, and in their time as previously the relations ofFranks and Muslims were by no means always hostile. The conventional presentation of these three men as forming a kind of apostolic succession as liberators of Syria-Palestine from the Franks is not specifically the work of modern writers. Its origins go back to the century after Saladin's death, and it arose from the conflation of rival historiographies. Already in the months immediately following the death of Saladin, his se,cretary, 'Imad aI-Din al-Isfahani, completed a eulogistic account (begun during his master's lifetime) of the final years of Saladin's career from 583/1187 to 589/1193.
Coming from the feudal society of Western Europe, the Crusaders brought with themselves its ideas and institutions, and implanted them in their Syrian territories. Yet apart from variations between one Frankish state and another, the feudalism of Outremer was distinguished from the feudalism of Europe by characteristics resulting from the circumstances in which it developed. In the first place, the Frankish settlers were always a minority, and the feudal military resources ofthe rulers were correspondingly limited.
Tutush's two sons, Dukak and Ridwan, succeeded to Damascus and Aleppo respectively. Since they were still young, the real power in their appanages was held at first by Mamluk regents known as atabegs. The governors whom Malik-Shah had appointed to Aleppo and Edessa had lost their lives during the succession-struggle. Only Yaghisryan remained at Antioch. While Aleppo had passed to Ridwan, Edessa had been taken by an Armenian lord named Toros who was nominally a vassal of the Great Seljuk sultan.