Battle of Artah

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Battle of Artah
Part of the First Crusade
Date 20 April 1105
Location Artah, northern Syria
Result Crusader victory
Belligerents
Coat of Arms of the House of Hauteville (according to Agostino Inveges).svg Principality of Antioch Seljuqs Eagle.svg Seljuk Turks of Aleppo
Commanders and leaders
Tancred of Galilee Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan
General Sabawa
Strength

10,000


1,000 cavalry
9,000 infantry

7,000+


Unknown cavalry
7,000 infantry
Casualties and losses
Unknown Nearly all infantrymen killed

The Battle of Artah was fought in 1105 between Crusader forces and the Seljuk Turks at the town of Artah near Antioch. The Turks were led by Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan of Aleppo, while the Crusaders were led by Tancred, Prince of Galilee, regent of the Principality of Antioch. The Crusaders were victorious and proceeded to threaten Aleppo itself.

Background[edit]

After the great Crusader defeat at the Battle of Harran in 1104, all of Antioch's strongholds east of the Orontes River were abandoned;[1] in order to raise additional Crusader reinforcements, Bohemond of Taranto embarked for Europe, leaving Tancred as regent in Antioch. The new regent began to patiently recover the lost castles and walled towns.

Battle[edit]

With a force of 1,000 cavalry and 9,000 infantry, Tancred laid siege to the castle of Artah, which is located 25 miles (40 km) east-northeast of Antioch.[2] Ridwan of Aleppo tried to interfere with the operation, gathering a host of 7,000 infantry and an unknown number of cavalry.[2] 3,000 of the Muslim infantrymen were jihad volunteers.[2] Tancred gave battle and defeated the army of Aleppo,[2] the Latin prince is supposed to have won by his "skilful use of ground."[3] The Franks may have gained a tactical advantage by using the "device of a feigned retreat."[4] The Muslim infantry entered the Crusader camp after the initial Crusader retreat and were then surprised and killed by the Crusaders, with only a small number escaping.[5]

Aftermath[edit]

After his victory, Tancred expanded his conquests east of the Orontes with only minor opposition, the next actions of consequence in northern Syria were the Battle of Shaizar in 1111 and the Battle of Sarmin in 1115.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Smail, p 28
  2. ^ a b c d Ibn al-Athir 2010, p. 92.
  3. ^ Smail, p 178
  4. ^ Smail, p 78-79
  5. ^ Ibn al-Athir 2010, pp. 92–93.

Bibliography[edit]