* This material, which is presented solely for non-commercial educational/research purposes, appears as Chapter 14 in Dr. Moosa's Crusades: Conflict Between Christendom and Islam (Piscataway, NJ., 2008) pp. 477-532.
Before 1097, the East was plagued by constant warfare involving the Syrians, Armenians, Arabs, and Turks; friction among these groups was an accepted part of life, though some cities were relatively peaceful (1). The Franks' arrival and military successes added more friction to an already turbulent area. It is an oversimplification to maintain, as some modern Muslim writers do, that the Franks were imperialists who seized the lands of the East, molested their people (especially Muslims), and destroyed their way of life. The Muslim Turks, who had taken control of the Byzantine territory of Asia Minor in the eleventh century, fought against one another and against their fellow Muslims, the Kurds, for self-interest, power and domination. To maintain their political power, some Turkish rulers even allied themselves with the Franks against other Turks.
Although the Franks committed atrocities against the Muslims and treated them badly, their conduct was no worse than that of the Muslims against the Christians. The Crusaders killed many Muslims en route to Jerusalem, and when they captured it in 1099 they massacred some 30,000 more (2). They also killed many Muslims at Caesarea in 1101, at Tortosa the next year, at Acre in 1104 (where the English killed 300 Muslims in 1119), and at Tripoli in 1109, when the Genoese spared only those Muslims who were protected by the Frankish king (3). Nevertheless, the Franks' dominance in the East (Levant) was brief and precarious. They were a minority, a tiny speck in a sea of Muslims, and their numbers remained low because there  were few Frankish pilgrims coming to the East. In these circumstances they were vulnerable and had to rely on the indigenous Christians, mostly Armenians, to preserve their shaky rule. Had it not been for the deep-rooted dissension among the Muslim rulers in Syria, the Franks would have been hard pressed to maintain a stable existence for nearly 193 years, from the occupation of Antioch in 1098 to the fall of Acre in 1291. They ruled in Antioch from 1098 to 1268, in Jerusalem from 1099 to 1178 and again from 1229 to 1244, in Nabulus from 1099 to 1187, in Caesarea from 1101 to 1187, and in Tyre from 1124 to 1292 (4).
Only recently has some fragmentary evidence about the life of Muslims in the East during this period come to light, not enough to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of their life under Frankish rule (5). The Muslim chronicler Hamdan ibn Abd al-Rahim al-Atharbi (1071-1147/8), who lived in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, was perhaps the person best qualified to write about the Muslims under Frankish rule; he had a remarkable career under both Frankish and Muslim rulers. Sadly, only fragments of his chronicle survive (6). Diya al-Din ibn Abd al-Wahid al-Muqaddasi (1173-1245) wrote a short account of the flight of Muslim Hanbali peasants from Nabulus to Damascus from the 1150's on, but it pertains only to a small minority and does not offer a full picture of what happened to the Muslims in those areas (7). In the Kingdom of Jerusalem there were apparently many Muslims, mostly peasants, who lived in peace under Frankish rule. The  Frankish chronicler Ernoul says that when Thoros, lord of Armenia (Thoros II, lord of Cilicia 1152-1168), visited Jerusalem in the mid-1160's, Saracens lived in all the villages in the Frankish kingdom, and he urged Amalric I (king of Jerusalem, 1163-1174) to evict the Muslims from his kingdom and resettle it with 30,000 Armenian warriors in order to defend his realm (8). There is no evidence that King Amalric accepted this advice, and the incident is not reported by any other source. As the Franks settled the lands they had conquered and established their own principalities, their treatment of their Muslim subjects became more lenient. The evidence suggests that the condition of Muslims in the Latin state of Jerusalem was far better than that of Muslims in their own lands. Fulcher of Chartres wrote in 1125 that confidence reconciles the strangest races, perhaps referring to the peaceful condition of the diverse peoples living under the Franks' rule.
Like many of their Syrian Christian neighbors, the Muslims engaged in farming. The Spanish Muslim traveler Ibn Jubayr (1144-1217), who traveled in a caravan from Tibnin to Akka (Acre) in 1184-1185, reports that the Muslim peasants lived in peace and were very little imposed upon by the Franks. They even owned their own homes. Like the Syrian Christians, however, they paid the Frankish landowners taxes, whether in cash or in kind (mainly fruits), in return for the use of the land. Ibn Jubayr says the condition of these Muslims was so much better than that of their coreligionists in neighboring Muslim countries that he fears they might be enticed to convert to Christianity. He stresses the fact that in the coastal region of Syria, the Muslims owned the land where they lived and worked. He and the men in his caravan were invited to a banquet by the Muslim village headman, the steward of the Frankish lord, and spent a night being beautifully entertained by their host. Ibn Jubayr adds that all business operations were conducted in the divan at Akka with courtesy and gentility, with no force threatened and no surcharge imposed (9). We learn from al-Muqaddasi that some Hanbali Muslims attended the mosque of the village of Jamma'il to perform the Friday prayer and listen to the khutba (sermon) (10). The  inhabitants of the Kingdom of Jerusalem were heterogeneous, at least in religion. There were Christians of many denominations, Jews, and Muslims of diverse ethnic origin and religious affiliation. They seem to have had little religious friction or animosity. Yet these facts do not negate the fact that some Frankish leaders mistreated both Muslim and non-Muslim natives. Reginald of Chatillon's intercepting and robbing Muslim caravans and Joscelin II's looting of the Syrian Monastery of St. Barsoum are two cases in point. But the Muslims, especially the Turks, acted the same as the Franks, killing, ravaging and extorting the native Christians.
Since the Franks relied heavily on the Christian natives, especially the Armenians, who were the majority of the inhabitants of northern Syria and particularly of Edessa, the center of the Frankish principality, it is imperative to understand whether the Franks' treatment of them contributed to the weakness of their kingdom, which led ultimately to the loss of Jerusalem. How did the Franks treat the Syrians and the Armenians, who formed the bulk of the Christian population in Syria? The Franks not only were of a different race but also held differing theological views. Yet these Christians overlooked their differences, mindful that they were fighting a common enemy, the Muslims. When Baldwin of Boulogne became lord of Edessa (1098-1100), he ingratiated himself with the Armenian population by taking an Armenian wife, but he aroused their enmity when he tried to convert Edessa into a Latin city; as king of Jerusalem, however, he made the same error by trying to make his kingdom a vassal of the pope.
Faced with a population shortage, King Baldwin brought Syrian Christians from Transjordan and settled them in Jerusalem. Once they were there, they began to build churches, including those named for St. Abraham, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Jacob near the Holy Sepulcher of the Syrian Orthodox (Jacobites), St. Elias, and St. Saba, near David's tower (11). But their conditions and relations with the Franks were not always favorable. Needing their support, Baldwin showed tolerance and allowed them to restore their churches, yet as a follower of the Church of Rome he tried to establish the authority of the pope in the East. Michael Rabo says that after they captured Antioch, the Franks usurped the churches of the Greeks (Byzantines)  and expelled their clergy, then installed their own patriarch and bishops for most of the cities of Syria (12). Why should have they done this, unless they intended to establish the authority of the pope in Syria? But later Michael Rabo is more positive about the Franks' treatment of other Christians, especially those of his own communion. He compares them with the Byzantines to show how badly the latter had treated his own (Syrian) church and people. Around 1112, under Emperor Alexius Comnenus, he says, the affairs of his church were fairly peaceful because the "Chalcedonian Greeks were besieged in the Sea of Pontus (the Black Sea) by the sons of Magog (the Turks)." Thus engaged, they had no time to persecute the (Syrian) Orthodox as they had done previously, but while they were still under siege, the Byzantines kept using the Syrians of their own communion to coax the non-Chalcedonian Syrians to embrace their faith. He says the priests and shepherds of his church were kept safe from harm by the Franks, who controlled Antioch and Jerusalem. But the Franks did not oppress the Chalcedonian Syrians (or Rum Orthodox), despite their differences with them on some doctrinal issues, especially the doctrine of the filioque, and other traditions. Michael's optimism reaches a high pitch when he praises the Franks for their amicable attitude toward their fellow Christians: "To the Franks, all Christians were one although they spoke different languages. They considered every one who worshiped the Cross as a Christian without argument or disputation" (13).
Michael Rabo's apparent benevolence toward the Franks should be understood as referring to their activities when they had newly arrived on Byzantine soil. After they established a foothold and founded principalities in Antioch, Tripoli and Edessa, and a kingdom in Jerusalem, some of their princes plainly were interested in protecting their own territorial and political interests rather than the well-being of the native Syrian and Armenian Christians. They installed a Latin patriarch, one of their own, and ordained bishops for the cities of Tarsus, al-Missisa (Mopsuestia, Mamistra, Misis), Edessa, Manbij, Afamiya, Tripoli and Laodicia (Latakia). They chose bishops in Cyrrhus, Jabala, Mar'ash (Germanicia), and Harim. Their new  patriarch of Jerusalem ordained bishops for Bethlehem, Hebron, Samaria, Yafa (Jaffa, Joppa), Nazareth, Caesarea, and Beirut, and after they captured Sidon, they chose a bishop for it as well (14). The contention between Rome and Constantinople over the control of Christendom in the East is beyond this study. Still, it is clear that the Franks intended to establish their own religious tradition of "papal supremacy" and cooperate with the native Christians, especially the Armenians, whose assistance far exceeded that of the Maronites of the Mountain of Lebanon.
William of Tyre, the earliest Latin source on this point, discusses the assistance given the Crusaders by the Maronites, who he says were Monothelite heretics who were restored to the Orthodox faith, i.e., that of the Church of Rome, by Aimery (Amalric), the third Latin patriarch to preside over the Church of Antioch. He describes these people, whose number is estimated at over 40,000, as a stalwart race of valiant fighters who gave great service to the Christians in the difficult engagements they frequently had with the enemy. He joyfully reports their conversion to the Catholic faith, but says nothing about intermarriage between them and the Crusaders (15). Jacques de Vitry, the thirteenth-century bishop of Acre and later of Jerusalem, also discusses the Maronites, saying they were called by this name after their teacher, one Maro (Marun), a heretic who taught that Christ had only one will and one energy (Monothelitism). De Vitry, apparently relying on the history of William of Tyre, says these Maronites professed the Catholic faith in the presence of Amalric, Latin Patriarch of Antioch (16). The truth is that the Maronites did not become adherents to the faith of the Church of Rome until the late sixteenth century (17). They gave less support to the Franks than other Syrian and Armenian groups. They were confined to their homeland in the Mountain of Lebanon, while other Syrians and Armenians, who made up the bulk of the Christian population of Greater Syria, stretched from Edessa in the north to the farthest point of  Palestine. Thus, it is not surprising that the Muslims' main target was not Jerusalem but Edessa, the first Frankish principality in northern Syria, with the largest population of Armenians and Syrians.
The Franks were not so benevolent toward the native Christians as Michael Rabo suggests, and in some cases treated them badly. Matthew of Edessa reports such ill treatment in 1101-1102, early in the rule of Baldwin I of Boulogne (brother of Godfrey of Bouillon), and expresses utter disgust at the Franks' conduct and mistreatment of other Christians. He says they had abandoned religious righteousness and wallowed in sin. He especially berates the sinful acts of their clergy, who ministered in the holy church in Jerusalem, and is outraged because they appointed women to serve at the Holy Sepulcher and all the monasteries in Jerusalem, saying, "all these were very great sins in the eyes of God." Moreover, the Franks were so audacious as to expel the Armenians, Byzantines, Syrians and Georgians from all the monasteries. But when they saw the enormity of their deeds, they removed the women from service in the monasteries and restored these Christians to their duties (18).
Baldwin II of Le Bourg succeeded his relative Baldwin of Bolougne as the ruler of Edessa in 1100. William of Tyre, noting that he was surnamed Aculeus ("sharp" or "pointed"), praises him for his noble birth and character, but chiefly for his loyalty and great experience in military affairs (19). Matthew of Edessa extols him as one of the more illustrious of the Franks. He was valiant, a great warrior, a man of exemplary conduct who loathed sin, yet was humble and modest. Unfortunately, these excellent qualities were overshadowed by his avarice and his insatiable love of wealth, coupled with a lack of generosity. Yet he was very orthodox in his faith, and "his ethical conduct and basic character were quite solid " (20). Today one might truly call him schizophrenic.
Baldwin of Le Bourg tried to strengthen his position in Edessa by seeking the allegiance of the Armenians and offering them better treatment than his predecessor. He showed political sagacity by establishing amicable relations with the Armenian Church and its clerics (21). To show his desire to  unify the native Christians, he married Morphia, daughter of Gabriel, the Armenian governor of Melitene, a vassal to the governor of Edessa (22). The Armenians in turn joined forces with Baldwin against the Turks, and when he fought the battle of Harran (Balikh) against Shams al-Dawla Jekermish (Chokurmish), Turkish lord of Mosul, and Sukman ibn Artuk, Turkish lord of Mardin, on May 7, 1104, most of the casualties were Armenians. He also supported the Syrian Bishop Abu Ghalib Bar Sabuni, who had rebelled against the authority of his own patriarch (23).
Baldwin also was pleased to have strong support from his cousin, Joscelin I of Courtenay, who along with Harpin, viscount of Bourges, had joined the Crusades in 1101 under the banner of Stephen of Blois (24). As Joscelin had neither lands nor wealth, Baldwin in 1102 conferred upon him an extensive part of the county of Edessa west of the Euphrates, containing such cities as Coritium (Cyrrhus, Qurush), Aintab, Turbessel (Tall Bashir), Ravendan (Rawandan) and Duluk, in the hope that "he may not be compelled to turn to a stranger to earn a livelihood" (25). William of Tyre extols Joscelin for his wisdom, temperance, and most of all his sagacity and earnest care in administering the lands Baldwin granted to him (26). He became to all intents and purposes Baldwin's second in command in the county of Edessa, which was perfectly situated as a buffer between the Seljuk lords of Aleppo and Khurasan, who still threatened his principality.
No sooner had Joscelin became lord of Edessa than the Artukid Sukman, lord of Hisn Kifa, attacked the city of Saruj, some fifteen miles southwest of Edessa, which had been under the authority of Sukman's nephew Nur al-Dawla Belek. Saruj was rich and populous, with many  Muslims and Christians, including many merchants. Its rich plain was also home to many villages. While Baldwin of Boulogne still ruled Edessa, the Armenians living on the banks of the Euphrates had placed themselves at the Franks' disposal and harried Saruj. Belek, realizing that Saruj could not survive in the midst of Christian lands, sent envoys, offering to surrender the city to Baldwin if the Franks would not harass the Turks any more. Baldwin agreed and named Fulcher of Chartres (not to be confused with the historian of the same name) as governor of Saruj. But Fulcher did not honor the terms of the covenant Belek and Baldwin had made. He arrested Ubayd, the Muslim administrator of Saruj, along with his brother and members of his clan, and exacted from them enormous amounts of gold, thereby becoming rich and powerful (27).
When Mu'in al-Dawla Sukman heard that the Franks had captured Saruj, he raised a great army and besieged it, relying on some Muslims in the town. Learning of this, Baldwin of Le Bourg went out with Fulcher to fight him. In a violent battle in January 1101, the Franks were thoroughly defeated, and Fulcher was killed (according to Matthew of Edessa) or captured (according to the Anonymous Edessan). The Turks took Saruj except for the citadel, where its Latin bishop Papios and some soldiers took refuge. Baldwin and three of his men barely escaped to the citadel, and some leading citizens went there and brought him back to the city. A few days later, Baldwin went to Antioch to appeal to Tancred for help. The Turks kept attacking the citadel, forcing the city's inhabitants to reach an agreement with the Turks (28). Twenty-five days later, Baldwin returned with reinforcements, 600 horsemen and 700 infantry, and engaged the Turks in battle in early February 1101. Seeing the Franks' great force, the Turks weakened and many of them fled. Baldwin carried the day and entered Saruj, killing many Muslim inhabitants and taking others captive, including women. Antioch and all the lands under the control of the Franks were filled with captives, says Matthew, while the city of Saruj flowed with blood (29). The Anonymous Edessan says the Muslims in Saruj, sorely afraid and believing  the Christians would show them no mercy, locked the gates and manned the wall, waiting for an army of Turks to help them. The Franks urged them to stop this obstinacy and promised not to annihilate them. When they would not listen, the Franks announced that every Christian in the town should wear the badge of the cross. Then they roared like lions and jumped from the citadel into the town. Like butchers, they slaughtered thousands, even tens of thousands of people, as the Christians huddled miserably around the citadel for survival (30). Encouraged by this victory, Baldwin conducted an expedition in September-October 1103 against the Artukids of Mardin. He slaughtered the Turks and led their lord Uulgh-Salar and many other men and women to Edessa as captives, along with a great amount of booty, including flocks of sheep and thousands of horses, cattle, and camels (31). In November 1103, he invaded the towns of Ja'bar and al-Raqqa, which were under the authority of Salim ibn Malik of the Bani Uqayl, captured a great number of cattle, and took many people captive (32).
The Anonymous Edessan alone among the Eastern sources reports an attack on Edessa by Shams al-Dawla Jekermish, the Turkish lord of Mosul, before the battle of Harran. He says that when Jekermish learned the Franks had captured Saruj, he went with a great army to fight them. As the Turks approached Edessa, the Frankish garrison went out to fight them outside the city's east gate. Many foolish Edessans, grabbing their shields and swords, boldly went out to fight the Turks. Seeing them in disarray, the Turks retreated a little, giving them an opportunity to advance. As they approached the plain, the Turks cheered one another on, then eagerly leapt on them from every side. The Edessans fled but found the city gates closed; turning back, they could not reach the bridge over the moat, and many fell in. The Turks slaughtered them; the moat was filled with corpses, and the water flowed with blood. Having burned the countryside and laid it to waste, Jekermish departed (33).
Despite this incident the Franks still had the advantage, even though the Turks had greater numbers and controlled the whole region from Mosul to the gates of Edessa and Antioch. The Turks suffered from pernicious dissension. From 1098 to 1104 two brothers, Berkyaruk and Muhammad, were engaged in a struggle for control of the Seljuk state. In 1098,  Muhammad was hailed in Baghdad as Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad. Later Berkyaruk replaced him and was proclaimed sultan, receiving a precious gift from the Abbasid caliph, merely a puppet of the Seljuks. Soon Muhammad gained the upper hand, expelled Berkyaruk, and once more was proclaimed sultan in Baghdad. Ibn al-Athir laments that because of their power struggle, corruption prevailed, properties were looted, blood was shed, and the country lay in ruins (34). There was another struggle for control of Mosul. Before his death in 1102, Qiwam al-Dawla Kerbogha, the Turkish governor of Mosul, had given instructions that one of his men, Sankarja, should succeed him. But another of Kerbogha's supporters, Musa, killed Sankarja and became lord of Mosul as the deputy of Sultan Berkyaruk. He was soon challenged by Jekermish, who had already seized Nisibin and now coveted Mosul. Musa appealed to Sukman, the son of Artuk, offering the fortress of Hisn Kipha and 10,000 dinars for his help. But he was killed by Jekermish's pages at the village of Kratha as he went out to welcome Sukman. Jekermish marched against Mosul and, after a siege of several days, made peace with the inhabitants and became lord of the city (35).
Yet the Franks' situation remained precarious, especially in Edessa, and it was made worse by a horrendous defeat at Harran in 1104. Four years earlier, they had been challenged and humiliated by the Turks in a battle for the city of Melitene, then governed by the Armenian Gabriel. The citizens hated Gabriel not only because he had abandoned the "monophysite" faith, but also because he had oppressed the poor people in and around Melitene more cruelly than the Turks (36). After the Franks captured Edessa, Gabriel tried to help them take control of Melitene, where a group of Armenians had ruled some areas since the time of Pilardos (Philaretus). As the Danishmends' attacks against Melitene intensified, Gabriel asked Bohemond I of Taranto, prince of Antioch, to save him and his city. (He had already promised three times to deliver the city to the Franks.) As evidence of mutual interest between himself and the Franks, he offered his daughter Morphia in marriage to Bohemond, with Melitene as her dowry (she eventually married Baldwin of Le Bourg, count of Edessa and later king of Jerusalem) (37). Bohemond was confident he would be able to capture Melitene, but when he reached the area under the Armenians' control, they  double-crossed him and appealed to Malik Ghazi Gumushtigin ibn Danishmend (ruled 1097-1104) for help. Michael Rabo says Gabriel suspected that if Bohemond captured Melitene, his rule over the city would end. When Bohemond reached the town of Jafna, en route to Melitene, Gabriel would not let him enter. He continued to stall until the Danishmends arrived, set up ambushes against Bohemond, and in July 1100 captured him and Richard of the Principate, who was in his company (38).
Matthew of Edessa blames Bohemond's defeat and capture on negligence, saying that he and Richard went to meet the Muslims without appropriate precautions. Their troops had laid down their weapons and donned women's clothing to look like captives, but the deception failed and they were defeated by Ibn Danishmend (39). Through Gabriel's treachery the Turks established a stronger foothold in his domain. Malik Ghazi ibn Danishmend sent Bohemond to Sebastea, then laid siege to Melitene; he finally entered the city on Wednesday, September 18, 1102, and plundered it (40). He forbade the killing of any person, declaring the people were his share of the victory, and returned them to their homes. He brought bread, oxen, and other necessities from his country and offered them to the people, and they were satisfied. He appointed for them a governor named Basiligh (Basil, Vasilag in Armenian), a just and upright man. Bar Hebraeus says Ibn Danishmend transferred Bohemond from Sebastea to Melitene and sold him (he does not say to whom) for 100,000 dinars (41). Matthew of Edessa says  when Baldwin of Le Bourg and the Franks in Antioch heard of Bohemond's defeat, they pursued Ibn Danishmend, but he took Bohemond and Richard to Pontic Neocaesarea (Niksar) in chains (42). Meanwhile, the Lombards, having heard of the capture of Bohemond while they were in Constantinople, wanted to secure his release and conquer his captors, but they were dissuaded from this foolhardy venture by Stephen of Blois, Raymond of Saint-Gilles, and Emperor Alexius (43).
Ibn al-Athir says seven Frankish counts sought to save Bohemond. They came to a citadel called Angoria (present day Ankara), captured it, and killed the Muslims there. They proceeded to another citadel controlled by Isma'il ibn Danishmend and besieged it. The Franks, whose number he puts at 300,000, were ambushed and massacred, except for 3,000 who were wounded but managed to escape by night (44). Ordericus Vitalis says that Emperor Alexius was filled with joy on learning that the Danishmend Turks had captured Bohemond, who he believed had wrongfully taken Antioch from him. He sent envoys with rich gifts to Ibn Danishmend, urging him to send Bohemond to Constantinople for a ransom of 100,000 dinars. But Malik Ghazi ibn Danishmend refused to release the man the Turks called "the little God of the Christians" (45). Bohemond was eventually released in May 1103, when Kogh Vasil, Baldwin of Le Bourg, and Bernard, the Latin patriarch of Antioch, paid his ransom (46). Matthew of Edessa says that Bohemond was ransomed for 100,000 dahekans and released through the effort of Kogh Vasil, who donated 10,000 dahekans and collected the rest from throughout his territory, while Tancred contributed nothing. After Bohemond was released, Kogh Vasil received him at his palace with great honor. He gave Bohemond and those who had brought him gifts worth 20,000 dahekans, and shortly before he left for Antioch, Bohemond took a  solemn oath and became an adopted son of the Armenian prince (47). The Anonymous Edessan says that Bohemond was ransomed for a large quantity of gold and returned to Antioch. Surprisingly, although Tancred had done nothing to help secure his release, Bohemond appointed his nephew as governor of Antioch and then sailed home, where he died (48).
Ordericus Vitalis presents a rather fantastic legend about Bohemond's release not found in other sources. He says the news of Bohemond's capture by the pagans spread all over the world. All Christendom mourned for him, and even the pagans paid him honor in his prison cell. Prayers were offered by the church to deliver him from the hands of his enemies. As in the Old Testament God had delivered Abraham, Joseph, Tobias, Daniel, and others from their captors, He would deliver Bohemond. Moreover, as the apostles and preachers were persecuted and suffered injuries when they arrived as beggars in foreign lands but were protected by God, so He would miraculously save Bohemond from captivity. The miracle was performed by Melaz, the daughter of Ibn Danishmend. Beautiful, wise, and rich, she had great influence in her father's house. Melaz admired the Franks and wanted to help Bohemond. She bribed the dungeon guards and descended to talk with the captives about the Christian faith while her father, busy with other matters, paid little attention. Melaz told the captives that she had heard about the Franks' vaunted chivalry and wanted to experience it. Bohemond responded that if she would let them go with her to the battlefield, they would show her how skillfully they could handle the sword and the lance. She agreed, but only after having Bohemond swear by his Christian faith to obey her orders. She said she would summon all the guards, and the captives were to overwhelm them and cast them into the dungeon. They then went out to the battlefield to aid Ibn Danishmend, who was engaged in a ferocious battle with Sultan Kilij Arslan.
After Kilij Arslan was defeated, the Frankish captives returned to their dungeon as they had promised. Despite the victory Melaz's father, irate because she had consorted with the Christians, called her a shameless harlot. But Melaz successfully entreated her father to free the captives. Ibn Danishmend spoke with Bohemond about making peace, promised to release  the captives, and even offered his daughter in marriage. Bohemond and his companions, including Richard of the Principate, went with Melaz to Antioch, where she was baptized and converted to Christianity. Bohemond told her that he could not marry her because he was at war with Alexius, the Byzantine emperor, adding that he had endured many trials and feared that still greater trials awaited him. He told her there were many men better and more handsome than he, and she should choose one of them as a husband. He suggested Roger, the son of Richard of the Principate, and Melaz accepted his advice and married him (49). A wedding banquet was prepared, at which Bohemond served as a steward. Ordericus Vitalis closes by noting that after Bohemond and Tancred died (in 1111 and 1112, respectively), Roger became ruler of the principality of Antioch but was killed two years later by the Persian Ilghazi (50).
Far more than Antioch and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the principality of Edessa was conscious of its relations with the Seljuk Turks. Baldwin of Le Bourg realized that the very existence of his domain depended on controlling as much Turkish territory as he could. The city of Harran, fourteen miles southeast of Edessa, was of vital importance. Between Edessa and Harran flowed a river whose waters irrigated the adjacent plain, producing abundant crops. By long-standing tradition, everything that grew on one side of the river belonged to Harran, while whatever grew on the opposite side belonged to Edessa. Baldwin intended to lay claim to all the crops that belonged to Harran, to secure sufficient provisions for his own people. He constantly attacked Harran, not realizing that his attacks depleted the city's  resources. For many years he prevented its citizens from cultivating their fields, and their lack of food caused them great stress. He may have thought that a lack of provisions would make Harran a cold prey for him and the other Frankish leaders (51). Moreover, Harran suffered because several ambitious Turks, taking advantage of the city's desperate situation, were involved in a power struggle. Qaraja, one of the mamluks of Sultan Malikshah (d. 1092), had ruled Harran tyrannically since 1103, incurring the hatred of the citizens. While he was out of the city one of his men, Muhammad al-Isfahani, took it over, with popular support. But in the spring of 1104, al-Isfahani (reportedly while drunk) was killed by Chavli Saqaveh, one of Qaraja's men, who declared himself governor of Harran (52).
It was at this time that Baldwin of Le Bourg, Joscelin I of Courtenay, Bohemond, and Tancred laid siege to Harran. They were joined by three leading clerics—Bernard of Valence, the patriarch of Jerusalem, Benedict, archbishop of Edessa, and Daimbert, the former patriarch of Jerusalem, then living in Antioch under Bohemond's protection (53). The Franks' leaders brought in all the Armenian troops (most were apparently from the county of Edessa, an indication that Baldwin relied heavily on them) and thus formed a formidable army (54). Their move against Harran apparently alerted the squabbling Turkish lords in the region to the impending danger. Putting their animosity aside, two powerful Turkish lords, Shams al-Dawla Jekermish of Mosul and Mu'in al-Dawla Sukman ibn Artuk of Mardin and Hisn Kipha, agreed to discuss the rescue of Harran in order to please Allah and receive his reward. They met at Ras al-Ayn on the Khabur river, and as a result of their rapprochement they raised a substantial army. Seven thousand Turks under Sukman and 3,000 Turks, Kurds, and Arabs led by Jekermish marched against the Franks in the spring of 1104 (55).
 When the Frankish forces laid siege to Harran the inhabitants, suffering from lack of food, waited for the Muslim forces, but they were delayed. As the pressure of famine increased and hope of relief by the Muslim lords appeared futile, the townspeople held counsel and decided to surrender the city rather than have it captured and destroyed. They went forth and surrendered unconditionally to the Franks. Michael Rabo says the citizens of Harran welcomed the Franks and handed them the keys to the city, but Baldwin of Le Bourg refused to accept them, fearing his men would enter the city and devastate it. His action intensified the quarreling among the Frankish leaders (56). A dispute arose between Bohemond and Baldwin over which of them should receive the city first and whose standard should lead the way into the city. Consequently, the surrender was deferred to the next day. Meanwhile, the Muslim forces under Sukman and Jekermish, supplied with ample provisions, arrived near the city. Shrewdly, the Muslim leaders devised a plan to divide their troops into two contingents. One group was to engage the Franks and keep them busy, irrespective of the outcome, allowing the other to deliver food supplies to the beleaguered city. The Muslim leaders had little hope of achieving military success or even putting up a show of strength. Their main purpose was to rescue the townspeople from starving to death (57).
Soon after daybreak on May 7, 1104, the two sides engaged in a violent battle at Nahr al-Balikh (the Balikh river), and the Muslims carried the day. Baldwin of Le Bourg, Joscelin I of Courtenay, and Archbishop Benedict of Edessa were taken captive, and Tancred and Bohemond barely escaped with their lives to Edessa. Benedict was rescued, perhaps by his jailer, reportedly a Christian renegade (58). The Muslims built a mosque on the spot  where the battle was fought, called Bayt Ibrahim [Abraham's House] (59). It is hard to estimate the losses on both sides, since the sources do not agree on this point (60). The victory encouraged the Muslim inhabitants of Harran to vent their vengeance on the Christians of Edessa, causing them much sorrow (61). William of Tyre laments, "Never during the rule of the Latins in the East, whether before or after this event, do we read of a battle so disastrous as this one, which resulted in so terrible a massacre of brave men and so disgraceful a flight of the people of our race" (62). Ibn al-Qalanisi sees in the Franks' defeat at Harran a victory for the Muslims and Islam. He says the Franks' determination flagged, while that of the Muslims sharpened "to support religion, fight the mulhidin [heretical Christians], and spread the glad tidings of their victory" (63).
The Franks' defeat at Harran not only doomed the county of Edessa but had a profound effect on their position in the East. It destroyed the legend that they were invincible and ruined any chance they might have had to expand eastward and capture Baghdad, the seat of the caliphate. It kept Bohemond from expanding the principality of Antioch at the Muslims' expense and offered Ridwan, lord of Aleppo, a chance to exact his revenge on Antioch (64). It also revived the hopes of Emperor Alexius for the weakening of the Franks, allowing him to regain the towns they had captured which belonged to his empire (65). Bohemond and Tancred fled to Edessa and tried to reorganize their forces. But the tragedy of defeat seems to have turned into a blessing for Tancred. The knights, Archbishop Benedict, and the leading citizens of Edessa asked him to assume the regency of the city until Baldwin was released from captivity. He quickly accepted the offer, while Bohemond returned to Antioch and put the possessions of Joscelin I of Tall Bashir under his protection. Shortly afterwards Jekermish, the lord of Mosul, marched against Edessa with a great force and pitched camp outside  the city on the plain, which was covered with the Turks' tents. Tancred, now in charge of Edessa, had only a small Frankish force (66). He called on the city's Armenians to face the Turkish threat, and they rallied around him enthusiastically. He appealed to Bohemond to come quickly to his aid, since he could not face the Turks alone. Although Ridwan attacked Antioch, Bohemond marshaled an army of 300 cavalry and 500 foot soldiers. He headed for Edessa, but saw it would take him a week to get there. When Tancred learned that Bohemond's aid would be delayed, he urged the people of Edessa to fight to the death. Filled with spirit, they conducted a surprise raid against the Turks, who were tired (and perhaps had too much to drink). Tancred's mostly Armenian force took the Turks by the sword, and just then Bohemond arrived with his force and joined in the rout. Defeated, Jekermish returned to Mosul while Tancred concentrated on reinforcing Edessa (67).
But when Bohemond returned to Antioch, he faced a new threat; although Ridwan had not participated in the battle of Harran, he waited with his army near the Euphrates to see the outcome. On learning of the Franks' defeat, he hastened to rebuild the towns and fortresses near Aleppo. The Franks had treated the Armenian residents of some of the nearby towns badly, inspiring them to shake off their tyranny. In June 1104 the Armenian citizens of Artah surrendered to the Muslims, and the towns of Ma'arrat Misrin and Sarmin soon followed suit. Meanwhile Shams al-Khawas, lord of Rafaniya, rebuilt the fortress of Suran, east of Shayzar. He also conquered Latmin, Albara, Ma'arrat al-Nu'man, and Kafartab, whose inhabitants fled to Antioch, and delivered all these towns to Ridwan. Only the fortress of Hab remained in Christian hands. Thus the principality of Antioch, which once had extended almost to Aleppo, shrunk greatly (68).
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