Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography The History of the Crusades Translated from Syriac by Ernest A. Wallis Budge

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Oxford University Press
London 1932
And in this year, which is the year fourteen hundred and eight of the GREEKS (A.D. 1097), two Frankish kings, and seven Counts, sallied forth, and they came against ANTIOCH and took it from [264] the TURKS. The reason for their expedition was as follows: When the TURCOMANS were ruling over SYRIA, and PALESTINE, and all the [other] countries, they made the Christians who were coming to pray in JERUSALEM to suffer very many serious evils, and especially those who were coming from ROME (RHOMI) and other countries of ITALY. Then the FRANKS became filled with rage, and they collected troops, and went forth first of all to SPAIN, and they took possession of the cities there and they shed much blood in them. And they cut off the ears, and noses, and lips of many of the ARABS, and they blinded their eyes. Then they came against CONSTANTINOPLE, and because ALEXIS, the king of the GREEKS (YAWNAYE), would not grant them a passage, they made war on the city for seven years. Then they went forth and came and encamped against ANTIOCH, and they made war on it for nine months, but they were unable to capture it. And they made a secret arrangement with the PERSIAN whose name was ‘RUZBAH’, who guarded the tower which was by the side of the ravine which is called ‘KASHKARUF’, and they promised [to give] him gold, and iron poles were laid across this ravine, and upon them a tower was built. And the FRANKS came by night and went in by that place, and others by means of ropes scaled the wall. And when there were many of them in number they blew blasts on the horns during the last watch of the night.
And the Turkish governor, whose name was GAISGAN, being woke up, thought that the FRANKS were in possession of the Citadel, and fear and trembling fell upon him. And he opened the gate of the city and fled along the ALEPPO road with thirty men. And when the day dawned he began to gnaw his fingers, saying, ‘How was it that I left the city, and my men, and my famlly, and my possessions, and came away?’ And he turned and looked towards ANTIOCH, weeping. And by reason of the greatness of his sorrow he fell from his horse. And those who were with him having lifted him up upon his horse several times, and he continuing to fall, they left him and departed.
And there came along a certain man who was an ARMENIAN, who was a wood-cutter in the mountain, and he cut off the head of GAISGAN and carried it to the FRANKS. And the FRANKS, having gained possession of the city, plundered the ARABS and the TURKS who were in it, and they killed many of them. And BAIMOND (BOEMUNDUS), [265] one of the Counts who were with them, ruled over it (i.e. the city). And the FRANKS remained in it for thirteen days, without finding anything to eat, and many ate their horses. And when Sultan TURKYARUK heard [of this] he sent one hundred thousand horsemen to ANTIOCH, and they came and encamped on the BAGHRAS. And one of the kings of the FRANKS saw a dream. And they opened a certain place in the church of MAR CASSIANUS, and they found there some splinters of the Cross of our Lord, and they made out of them a cross, and the head of a spear, and they took them and went forth against the TURKS. And God gave victory to the FRANKS and they filled (i.e, covered) the ground with the slain.
And they came and encamped against the city of MU’ARAH, and took possession of it. And they killed more than one hundred thousand souls, and having remained in it for forty days, they carried off a vast quantity of spoil. And from there they went to the MOUNT OF LEBANON, and they killed therein a great multitude of those who are called ‘NUSIRAYE’. And they came and encamped against ‘ARKA, which is by the side of TRIPOLI, and they fought against it four months, but were unable to capture it. And they left it and departed to SHAIZAR, and BAR MUNKED, the ARAB who was in it, submitted to them, and he gave them tribute, and they departed from him. And they went to EMESA, and JANAH AD-DAWLAH, who was there also, went out to them and became subject unto them.
And they left him and went to JERUSALEM, and they fought against it for more than forty days. And there was there a certain chief, a man from the quarter of the EGYPTIANS, whose name was ‘EFTEKHAR AD-DAWLAH. And the FRANKS set up two wooden siege towers, one on the south side at a place which is called ‘SEHYON’ (SION), and the other in the middle of the eastern gateway, that of MAR STEPHEN. And when the ARABS had set fire to the tower at SION, before the burning was finished, a cry went up, and the FRANKS rushed in from the east side, and they put the population to the sword for a Sabbath of days. And in the Temple of SOLOMON they killed more than seventy thousand ARABS, and they took from the SAKHRAH (i.e. the stone which JACOB set up at BETHEL) forty silver lamps, each lamp weighing three thousand six hundred zuze. And [they took] other small lamps, one hundred and fifty, and of these twenty were [made] of Egyptian gold. And they also took [266] a silver furnace for lamps, the weight of which was forty litre (the Syrian litra),which is equal to six BAGHDAD litre, together with other vessels, and many other things.
And the first king of the FRANKS [who began to] reign in the city was GONDOFRE (GODOFREDUS), in the year fourteen hundred and nine of the GREEKS (A.D. 1098), and he reigned two years. And after him BAGHDUIN (BALDUINUS, or BALDWIN), seventeen years. And when the EGYPTIANS in EGYPT heard what had happened, ‘AFDAL, the son of the captain of the soldiery, went forth with a numerous army, and the FRANKS came and engaged them near ASCELON, and the ARABS were defeated. And the FRANKS killed a great number of them, and the remainder fled and went to ASCELON. And the men of ASCELON having given them twelve thousand dinars, they left them and returned to JERUSALEM.
And in the year four hundred and ninety-two of the ARABS (A.D. 1098) the Turkish nobles rebelled against the Sultan TURKYAROK because the Wazir MAJD AD-DAWLAH treated them cruelly, and they killed the Wazir. And they left TURKYARUK and went to his brother MAHAMMAD, and made him king over them. And he was also accepted by the Khalifah, and a Patent of authority was written for him and he was proclaimed GHAYATH AD-DUNYA WA AD-DIN ABU SHUJA’ MAHAMMAD SULTAN. And TURKYARUK fled to BAGHDAD and Sultan MAHMMAD pursued him; and they met in battle on several occasions and broke and were broken.
At this time, namely in the year four hundred and ninety-three of the ARABS (A.D. 1099), YAHYAH, the BAGHDAD physician, the son of JAZLAH, died. He was the author of the famous book of MENHAJ, which is in the hands of the physicians of our time; it treateth of medicines and foods both simple and compound. This man was a Christian, and he learned rhetoric from an Arab rhetorician whose name was ‘ABU ALl BAR-WALID. And persuading himself sophistically that it is impossible, as the NESTORIANS assert, to understand bodily and personal unity in connexion with the Divine Nature, he fell into error and became a Muslim. It is said that he was a rich man, [267] and that it was only his friends whom he visited without demanding a fee when they were sick.
Then GABRIEL the GREEK, who was ruling over MELITENE, being oppressed by the Amir BAR-DANISHMAND, who came from SEBASTIA in the summer, and laid waste the country, and ate up the crops, and went away in the winter, sent [messages] to the FRANKS and promised them three times that he would give them MELITENE. And trustingly king BOHEMUND set out to go to MELITENE. Then the ARMENIANS, who from the days of PILARDOS had held certain places, and one Khoj (i.e. lord) BASIL, that is to say thief, who held KHISHUM and RA’BAN, and the sons of RUFIN who held places in ARMENIA, being afraid lest the FRANKS would become their masters, and expel them from their places, sent secretly to ‘ISMA’IL, the son of DANISHMAND, [asking him] to make an ambush for the FRANKS. And he also, the accursed one of GABRIEL, when the Frankish king arrived at the village of GAPNA, which is above MELITENE, began to lead him astray and made to pass day by day until the son of DANISHMAND could arrive. And he laid ambushes before the king, and he bound him in fetters and sent him to SEBASTIA. And he himself came and encamped against MELITENE, and made war upon it. And GABRIEL, the wicked one, added to his wickednesses, and robbed (or, pillaged) unmercifully those who were in the city. Then two of the soldiers became inflamed with wrath, and they surrendered the city to the TURKS, on the fourth day of the week, the eighteenth day of the month ILUL (SEPTEMBER), in the year fourteen hundred and thirteen of the GREEKS (A.D. 1102). In certain Arabic manuscripts wre have found, fourteen hundred and twelve. And when the TURKS went in to MELlTENE, the wretched (i.e. unfortunate) place, they plundered all its wealth, because BAR-DANISHMAND had [already] given to his troops all its wealth, with the exception of the inhabitants. He did not leave one soul to perish, for he took the people upon himself, and he sent them back to their houses; and he brought wheat and oxen, and other necessaries, from his own country and gave them to them. And very many blessings came to MELITENE in his days, and he appointed in it a ‘Kataban’ (i.e. Governor), a man whose name was BASIL, and who was just and God fearing.
Concerning GABRIEL, justice woke itself up, and the TURKS and also the Christians made him to suffer terribly, especially when they made him to remember the murders of the holy man and the governors who were wrongly accused. And [26i] when they had made him to suffer (?)insults, they carried him to the front of the fortress of KATI’A, wherein his wife had been placed. And though the TURKS ordered him to tell his wife to surrender the Citadel, he still with his devilishness deceived the TURKS. And he said to his wife ‘Surrender the Citadel. And this shall be to thee a sign. Some days ago I sent to thee a young man whose name is “MIDAS”, that is to say, “Thou shall not give it,” in the Aramean tongue.’ And when the TURKS knew this they killed him and cast him to the dogs.
And BAR-DANISHMAND brought BOHEMUND, the Frankish king, to MELITENE, and he sold it for one hundred thousand dinars. And BOHEMUND gave ANTIOCH to his sister’s son and he went back to his own country.
And in the year fourteen hundred and fourteen of the GREEKS (A.D. 1103) SANJEL (SAINT GILLES) was in the city of TARSOS. And the ARABS heard that the soldiers with him were few in number, and the armies of the TURKS that were in TRIPOLI, and DAMASCUS, and EMESA gathered together against him. And the Frankish king, because he only had three hundred horsemen with him, sent out one hundred against the DAMASCENES, and one hundred against the TRIPOLITANS, and fifty against the troops from EMESA, and he kept fifty with him. And when they met in battle the men of EMESA and the DAMASCENES quickly fled towards the mountains, and they were more than five thousand men. But the troops of the TRIPOLITANS, who were about three thousand in number, maintained the struggle. And when SAINT GILLES saw that the TURKS were getting the upper hand, he attacked them in person, together with the fifty FRANKS who were with him, and he broke them. And he also pursued those who had fled and killed about seven thousand ARABS. And he sallied out from CILICIA and came and encamped against TRIPOLI, and he made fierce war upon it; he captured ANTARADUS, and killed all the ARABS who were in it, and he made war on other fortresses. And another Count also came by sea and besieged ‘AKKO, and he afflicted it greatly. And they took possession of EDESSA, and they began taking and plundering the countries of SYRIA which were in the hands of the ARABS and TURKS.
And in the year four hundred and ninety-eight of the ARABS (A.D. 1104), when various diseases, phthisis, and fistulas, and other painful ailments, increased their attacks upon Sultan RUKN AD-DiN TURKYARUK, [269] and he perceived that he was going to die, the made his nobles swear fealty on behalf of his little son MALlK SHAH, and he sent him to BAGHDAD. And he was proclaimed JALAL AD-DAWLAH MALIK SHAH SULTAN when he was four ycars old. And TURKYARUK died and was buried in ‘ISFAHAN. And when MALIK SHAH, the son of TURKYARUK, was in BAGHDAD, his uncle Sultan MAHAMMAD also came there. And the people of BAGHDAD feared grcratly lest they should be dragged into the strife which would take place between the two of them. And because the Amir ‘AYAZ, unto whom was committed the management of the kingdom [of MALIK SHAH], was a man of understanding, and all the troops of TURKYARUK were under his command, and were subservient to him, he took from Sultan MAHAMMAD an oath and said, ‘This child is thy brother’s son, and it is especially right for thee to show care for him. And thou must not deprive him of the kingdom and the inheritance of his father, any more than [thou wouldst deprive me of] what is mine.’ And the Sultan said, ‘This [child] is my son’; and he promised him good treatment. And the Amir ‘AYAZ (‘ANAZ) went out to the Sultan and was received with honour.
And the day after ‘AYAZ the Amir made a great feast, and he invited the Sultan to be present thereat, and the Sultan accepted and went. And by ill luck there happened to be among the assembly of the Amir ‘AYAZ a certain scribe who was wearing a coat of mail under [his ordinary apparel], and he was standing with those who were serving, and he could only move with difficulty. And when the Sultan cast his glance upon him, he said unto one of the little slaves who were standing before him, ‘Go and search that man and see what he has on him, [and why] his going and coming is impeded in this manner’. And when the young man had gone, and according to the narrator, had searched him, he came and said to the Sultan, ‘He is wearing a coat of mail under his apparel’. And the Sultan said, ‘When scribes wear coats of mail, what will the Turkish horsemen wear?’ And he thought that there was treachery in tne heart of ‘AYAZ, and he commanded the soldier-scouts who were before him and they cut off his head. Then when the TURKS of ‘AYAZ heard this, they took what they were able to take of their own property and that of others, and they fled to SYRIA. And in the year four hundred and ninety-nine of the ARABS (A.D. 1105), which is the year fourteen hundred and seventeen of the GREEKS (A.D. 1106), in the [270] month of ‘ADHAR (MARCH) a rising of the rivers took place, and the river EUPHRATES (sic) was swollen, and it destroyed very many houses (or, quarters) of BAGHDAD. A certain rich man in BAGHDAD, when the waters reached his threshold, was afraid that the whole house would be destroyed. And he made ready two boats, and loaded them with his goods, and his wives, and his children, and his handmaidens. And he commanded the sailors to carry them to higher ground. And when they had travelled a little way one ship sank; now there were in it nine noble handmaidens, and a young woman, one of seven, whose mother had made her flee with them. And they were all drowned, and the many treasures that were with them were lost. And when those who were in the other boat saw the catastrophe, they went back to their house. And on the morrow the waters abated, and men praised the incomprehensible judgements of God, and they knew that the deliverance which is of man is an empty thing.
And in this year TANUSHMAN died in SEBASTIA, having reigned two years over MELITENE. And on the twenty-eighth day of the month of HAZIRAN (JUNE), KELEJ ‘ARSLAN came and encamped against MELITENE. And he set up battering rams against the round tower on the north-east of the city. And after very severe fighting he took it on the second day of the month of ILUL (SEPTEMBER), in the year fourteen hundred and seventeen of the GREEKS (A.D. 1106), not by the sword but by oaths. And when he had gone in and was reigning there, he harmed no man.
Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography
The History of the Crusades