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It won the title of the Islamic Capital of Culture , during the Battle of Aleppo the city suffered massive destruction, and has been the worst-hit city in the Syrian Civil War. In December , the Syrian government achieved full control of Aleppo following a successful offensive, modern-day English-speakers commonly refer to the city as Aleppo.

It was known in antiquity as Khalpe, Khalibon, and to the Greeks, during the Crusades, and again during the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon of —, the name Alep was used. Aleppo represents the Italianised version of this, the original ancient name, Halab, has survived as the current Arabic name of the city. Some have proposed that halab means iron or copper in Amorite languages, the modern-day Arabic nickname of the city, ash-Shahbaa, which means the white-colored, also allegedly derives from the famous white marble of Aleppo.

From the 11th century it was common usage to apply the term Aram-Zobah to the area of Aleppo. Aleppo has scarcely been touched by archaeologists, since the city occupies its ancient site. The site has been occupied from around BC, as shown by excavations in Tallet Alsauda, Aleppo appears in historical records as an important city much earlier than Damascus.

The first record of Aleppo comes from the third millennium BC, some historians, such as Wayne Horowitz, identify Aleppo with the capital of an independent kingdom closely related to Ebla, known as Armi, although this identification is contested. The main temple of the storm god Hadad was located on the hill in the center of the city. Principality of Antioch — The Principality of Antioch was one of the crusader states created during the First Crusade which included parts of modern-day Turkey and Syria.

The principality was much smaller than the County of Edessa or the Kingdom of Jerusalem and it had roughly 20, inhabitants in the 12th century, most of whom were Armenians and Greek Orthodox Christians, with a few Muslims outside the city itself. Few of the inhabitants apart from the Crusaders were Roman Catholic even though the city was turned into a Latin Patriarchate in With over four hundred towers, the defenses were formidable. Bohemond convinced a guard in one of the towers, an Armenian and former Christian named Firouz, only four days later, a Muslim army from Mosul, led by Kerbogha, arrived to besiege the Crusaders themselves.

Alexius I Comnenus, the Byzantine emperor, was on his way to assist the Crusaders, the Crusaders withstood the siege, with help from a mystic named Peter Bartholomew. Peter claimed he had visited by St. Andrew, who told him that the Holy Lance.


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The cathedral of St. Peter was excavated, and the Lance was discovered by Peter himself, although Peter most likely planted it there himself, it helped raise the spirits of the Crusaders. There was a dispute over who should control the city. Bohemond and the Italian Normans eventually won, and Bohemond named himself prince, meanwhile, an unknown epidemic spread throughout the Crusader camp, Adhemar of Le Puy was one of the victims.

Following Bohemonds capture in battle with the Danishmends in , his nephew Tancred became regent, Tancred expanded the borders of the Principality, seizing the cities of Tarsus and Latakia from the Byzantine Empire.

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However those newly captured cities along with other territory were lost after the Battle of Harran when Baldwin II of Edessa was captured, Bohemond was released in and went to Italy to raise more troops in , during which time Tancred remained regent of Antioch. Bohemond used the troops he raised to attack the Byzantines in , Bohemond was defeated at Dyrrhachium in and was forced by Alexius I to sign the Treaty of Devol, making Antioch a vassal state of the Byzantine Empire upon Bohemonds death. Bohemond had promised to any land that was seized from the Muslims when the Crusaders passed through Constantinople in Bohemond also fought at Aleppo with Baldwin and Joscelin of the County of Edessa, Bohemond left Tancred as regent once more and returned to Italy, where he died in Alexius wanted Tancred to return the Principality in its entirety to Byzantium, but Tancred was supported by the County of Tripoli, Tancred, in fact, had been the only Crusade leader who did not swear to return conquered land to Alexius.

He was the son of Richard of the Principate and the 2nd cousin of Tancred, Prince of Galilee and he became regent of Antioch when Tancred died in , the actual prince, Bohemund II, was still a child. Like Tancred, Roger was almost constantly at war with the nearby Muslim states such as Aleppo, in there was an earthquake that destroyed many of the fortifications of the principality, and Roger took great care to rebuild them, especially those near the frontier. Ilghazi invaded the Principality in , and despite the urging of the Patriarch, at the ensuing Battle of Ager Sanguinis he had knights and foot soldiers, including Armenian cavalry, but nearly all were killed, including Roger himself.

Ilghazis forces scattered to plunder the land and did not attack Antioch itself. No children of this union are recorded, rogers reign was chronicled by his chancellor Walter. Levant — The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French and it derives from the Italian Levante, meaning rising, implying the rising of the sun in the east. As such, it is equivalent to the Arabic term Mashriq. Eventually the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine, in , England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire. The name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and this is probably the reason why the term Levant has come to be used synonymously with Syria-Palestine.

Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking that it derives from the name of Lebanon, today the term is typically used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper, the Sinai Peninsula is sometimes included. The Levant has been described as the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa, the populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, and a very long history.

They are often referred to as Levantines, the term Levant, which appeared in English in , originally meant the East in general or Mediterranean lands east of Italy.

File:Français , fol. , Bataille d'Ager Sanguinis ().jpeg - Wikimedia Commons

It is borrowed from the French levant rising, referring to the rising of the sun in the east, the phrase is ultimately from the Latin word levare, meaning lift, raise. The notion of the Levant has undergone a process of historical evolution in usage, meaning. While the term Levantine originally referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional native. In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, in 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture.

The French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states, today, Levant is the term typically used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a wider, yet relevant, archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation that is neither biblical nor national have used terms such as Levantine archaeology and archaeology of the Southern Levant.

An additional goal became the principal objective—the Christian reconquest of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. During the crusades, nobility, knights, peasants and serfs from many regions of Western Europe travelled over land and by sea, first to Constantinople and then on towards Jerusalem. The Crusaders arrived at Jerusalem, launched an assault on the city and they also established the crusader states of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, and the County of Edessa.

The First Crusade was followed by the Second to the Ninth Crusades and it was also the first major step towards reopening international trade in the West since the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The majority view is that it had elements of both in its nature, the origin of the Crusades in general, and particularly that of the First Crusade, is widely debated among historians. The confusion is due to the numerous armies in the first crusade.


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  • The similar ideologies held the armies to similar goals, but the connections were rarely strong, the Umayyad Caliphate had conquered Syria, Egypt, and North Africa from the predominantly Christian Byzantine Empire, and Hispania from the Visigothic Kingdom. In North Africa, the Umayyad empire eventually collapsed and a number of smaller Muslim kingdoms emerged, such as the Aghlabids, who attacked Italy in the 9th century. Pisa, Genoa, and the Principality of Catalonia began to battle various Muslim kingdoms for control of the Mediterranean Basin, exemplified by the Mahdia campaign and battles at Majorca and Sardinia.

    Essentially, between the years and the Byzantine Greeks experienced the crusade as it arrived at Constantinople in three separate waves, in the early summer of , the first large unruly group arrived on the outskirts of Constantinople. The second wave was not under the command of the Emperor and was made up of a number of armies with their own commanders.

    Together, this group and the first wave numbered an estimated 60,, the second wave was led by Hugh I, Count of Vermandois, the brother of King Philip I of France. It was this wave of crusaders which later passed through Asia Minor, captured Antioch in and finally took Jerusalem 15 July At the western edge of Europe and of Islamic expansion, the Reconquista in the Iberian Peninsula was well underway by the 11th century and it was intermittently ideological, as evidenced by the Codex Vigilanus compiled in The crusader raiding party captured the Turkish fort of Xerigordon, about four days march from Nicaea, Elchanes arrived three days later and besieged the crusaders.

    Ager Sanguinis

    The defenders had no water supply, and after eight days of siege, some of the crusaders converted to Islam, while others who refused were killed. The army of the Peoples Crusade landed in Asia Minor on August 6,, the young Sultan, Kilij Arslan I, was in the middle of a military campaign to the east, fighting the Danishmend emirate. The Norman raiding party returned unhindered many times with their booty, Reinald led 6, Germans, including knights, on similar raids.

    Reinald was unsatisfied with the pillaging results near Nicaea and went farther to Xerigordon, on September 18,, Reinald easily defeated the Xerigordon garrison. Kilij Arslan ordered his general, Elchanes, to deal with the raiding parties with his troops. Elchanes arrived three days after Reinald occupied Xerigordon, on September 21 and besieged the crusaders tightly, the speed of the Turkish mounted troops surprised the Germans, they had not expected to be besieged and were unprepared and without adequate supplies.

    Some accounts mentioned that Turks sent two spies to the Crusaders camp at Civetot to make them think that Xerigordon was still safe, and even that Nicaea had been conquered by Reinald. Other accounts mentioned that Crusader leaders on the field were forced by their troops to advance, for eight days, the Crusaders resisted thirst and a rain of arrows and smoke from the Turks. After, the leader of the Germans offered to surrender and to fight for the Turks, the fort surrendered on September 29, Some of the Crusaders who converted to Islam became slaves, while others who refused to abandon their faith were killed, there are various accounts on Reinalds fate.

    In , the Peoples Crusade, the first stage of the First Crusade, had plundered the surrounding the city. As a result, Sultan Kilij Arslan I initially felt that the wave of crusaders were not a threat. He left his family and his treasury behind in Nicaea and went east to fight the Danishmends for control of the Melitene, the crusaders began to leave Constantinople at the end of April They arrived on May 6, severely short on food, but Bohemond arranged for food to be brought by land and they put the city to siege beginning on May 14, assigning their forces to different sections of the walls, which were well-defended with towers.

    Bohemond camped on the side of the city, Godfrey on the south. On May 16, the Turkish defenders sallied out to attack the crusaders, the Turks sent messages to Kilij Arslan begging him to return, and when he realized the strength of the crusaders he quickly turned back. An advance party was defeated by troops under Raymond and Robert of Flanders on May 20, and on May 21, losses were heavy on both sides but in the end the Sultan retreated, despite the pleas of the Nicaean Turks.

    The rest of the crusaders arrived throughout the rest of May, with Robert Curthose, meanwhile Raymond and Adhemar built a large siege engine, which was rolled up to the Gonatas Tower in order to engage the defenders on the walls while miners mined the tower from below. The tower was damaged but no progress was made.

    Byzantine emperor Alexios I chose not to accompany the crusaders, but marched out behind them and made his camp at nearby Pelecanum.


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    From there, he sent boats, rolled over the land, to help the crusaders blockade Lake Ascanius, the boats arrived on June 17, under the command of Manuel Boutoumites. The general Tatikios was also sent, with 2, foot soldiers, Alexios had instructed Boutoumites to secretly negotiate the surrender of the city without the crusaders knowledge. This was done, and on June 19 the Turks surrendered to Boutoumites, when the crusaders discovered what Alexios had done, they were quite angry, as they had hoped to plunder the city for money and supplies.

    Boutoumites, however, was named dux of Nicaea and forbade the crusaders from entering in groups larger than 10 men at a time, Boutoumites also expelled the Turkish generals, whom he considered just as untrustworthy. Kilij Arslans family went to Constantinople and were released without ransom. Alexios gave the money, horses, and other gifts. The crusaders had left Nicaea on June 26, with a deep distrust of the Byzantines, on June 29, they learnt that the Turks were planning an ambush near Dorylaeum.

    Contemporary figures place this number between 25, ,, more recent estimates are between 6, and 8, men, fulcher of Chartres gives the exaggerated number of , In addition to numbers of noncombatants, Bohemonds force probably numbered about 10, Military figures of the time often imply perhaps several men-at-arms per knight, on the evening of June 30, after a three-day march, Bohemonds army made camp in a meadow on the north bank of the river Thymbres, near the ruined town of Dorylaeum.

    On July 1, Bohemonds force was surrounded outside Dorylaeum by Kilij Arslan, Godfrey and Raymond had separated from the vanguard at Leuce, and the Turkish army attacked at dawn, taking Bohemonds army entirely by surprise, shooting arrows into the camp. Bohemonds knights had quickly mounted but their sporadic counterattacks were unable to deter the Turks, while this formed a battle line and sheltered the more vulnerable men-at-arms and noncombatants, it also gave the Turks free rein to maneuver on the battlefield.

    The Turkish mounted archers attacked in their usual style - charging in, shooting their arrows, the archers did little damage to the heavily armoured knights, but they inflicted heavy casualties on the horses and unarmoured foot soldiers. Bohemond had sent messengers to the other Crusader army and now struggled to hold on until help arrived, just after midday, Godfrey arrived with a force of 50 knights, fighting through the Turkish lines to reinforce Bohemond.

    Through the day small groups of reinforcements arrived, some killed by the Turks, as the Crusader losses mounted, the Turks became more aggressive and the Crusader army found itself forced from the marshy banks of the river into the shallows. Adhemars force fell on the Turkish camp, and attacked the Turks from the rear, the crusaders did indeed become rich, at least for a short time, after capturing Kilij Arslans treasury.

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    The Turks fled and Arslan turned to other concerns in his eastern territory and they also took the male Greek children from the region extending from Dorylaeum to Iconium, some of whom were sent as slaves to Persia. On the other hand, the crusaders were allowed to march virtually unopposed through Anatolia on their way to Antioch and it took almost three months to cross Anatolia in the heat of the summer, and in October they began the siege of Antioch.

    John Doukas re-established Byzantine rule in Chios, Rhodes, Smyrna, Ephesus, Sardis and this success is ascribed by Alexios daughter Anna to his policy and diplomacy, but by the Latin historians of the crusade to his treachery and falseness. The first siege, by the crusaders against the Muslim-held city, Antioch lay in a strategic location on the crusaders route to Palestine.

    Supplies, reinforcements and retreat could all be controlled by the city, anticipating that it would be attacked, the Muslim governor of the city, Yaghi-Siyan, began stockpilling food and sending requests for help. The Byzantine walls surrounding the city presented an obstacle to its capture. The crusaders arrived outside the city on 21 October and began the siege, the garrison sortied unsuccessfully on 29 December.

    After stripping the area of food, the crusaders were forced to look farther afield for supplies, opening themselves to ambush. On the 31 December, a force of 20, crusaders encountered an army led by Duqaq of Damascus heading to Antioch. Walter the Chancellor 's The Antiochene Wars: Geoffrey Hindley, The Crusades: The Kingdom of Jerusalem. Cambridge University Press , Crusading Warfare ; 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, The Crusaders in the East: Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history.

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    Part of the Crusades. Battle of Ager-Sanguinis, miniature. Date 28 June