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Mongol raids into Palestine (A.D. 1260 and 1300)*

  • Reuven Amitai


The year 1260 marks the beginning of a sixty year conflict between the Mongols of Persia and the Mamlūks of Egypt and Syria. Over this period several large-scale battles were fought in north and central Syria in the course of Mongol invasions of that country. In addition, throughout most of this period, a more or less continuous border war raged on both sides of the Euphrates River, in north Syria and south-west Anatolia. Twice the Mongols were successful in occupying most of Syria: in 658/1260 and 699/1299–1300. In both cases the Mongol conquest lasted for only a few months, but in each instance this was more than enough time to launch raids into what was then south-west Syria, also variously known as the Holy Land, Palestine and the Land of Israel. In the absence of any other central authority over the ma jority of this territory, it can be said that in a sense Palestine twice also enjoyed the “benefits,” again temporary, of Mongol occupation.



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1 For the Mongol activities in the pre-Hülegu period and their relations with the Ayyūbids, see: Boyle, J. A., “Dynastic and political history of the Il-khāns,” in Cambridge History of Iran, V, ed. Boyle, J. A. (Cambridge, 1968), pp. 303–40. On the Mongol threat to the Ayyūbids before Hülegü, see: Humphreys, R. S., From Saladin to the Mongols: The Ayyubids of Damascus, 1193–1260 (Albany, 1977), index, s.v. “Mongols,” esp. pp. 333–5; cf. Gottschalk, H., Al–Malik al-Kāmil von Ägypten und seine Zeit (Wiesbaden, 1958), pp. 106–7, 182–3.

2 Boyle, , pp. 340–50.

3 For these events, see Shāma, Abū, Tarājim rijāl al-qamayn al-sādis wa‘l-sābi‘ al-ma‘rūf bi-dhayl al-rawdatayn, ed. Kawtharī, M. (Cairo, 1947), p. 203;al-‘Amīd, Ibn, Kitāb al-majmū al-mubārak, in “La Chronique des Ayyoubides,” ed. Cahen, Cl., Bulletin d'Études Orientates (Damascus), 15 (19551957), pp. 171–2 (cf. for different dates); Wāsil, Ibn, Mufarrij al-kurūb, MS. Bib. Nat. (Paris) ar. 1703, fol. 149a-150a; Yūnīnī, , Dhaylmir’atal-zamān (Hyderabad, 19541961) I, p. 349;l-Fidā, Abū’, al-Mukhtasar fi ta 'rikh al-bashar (Istanbul, 1286/18691870), III, pp. 209–11;al-Furāt, Ibn, Kitāb al-duwal wa' l-mulūk, MS. Vatican ar. 726, fols. 226b227a, 231a (cf. for different dates); Maqrīzī, , Kitāb al-sulūk li-ma‘rifat duwal al-mutūk, I, ed. Ziyāda, M. M. (Cairo, 19341939), pp. 422–3. For a view from the Mongol side, see al-Dīn, Rashīd, Jāmi‘ al-tawārīkh, III, ed. Alīzādah, A. (Baku, 1957), pp. 67–9; cf. idem, Histoire des Mongols de la Perse, ed. and tr. Quatremère, E. (Paris, 1836), pp.326–38.

4 For Hülegü's withdrawal from Aleppo and the underlying reasons, see Jackson, P., “The dissolution of the Mongol Empire,” Central Asiatic Journal, 22 (1978), p. 320;Morgan, D. O., “The Mongols in Syria, 12601300, ” in Crusade and Settlement, ed. Edbury, P. W. (Cardiff, 1985), p.232.

5 Rashīd al-Dīn, ed. ‘Alīzādah, p.70; ed. Quatremère, p. 340.

6 Abū Shāma, pp. 203–4; Ibn al-‘Amīd, p. 173; Ibn Wāṣil, fol. 151b; Kathīr, Ibn, al-Bidāya wa'l-nihāya (rpt. Beruit, 1977), XIII, p. 219; Ibn al-Furāt, fols. 234b–235a; Maqrīzī, I, p. 424; Taghrī Birdī, Ibn, al-Manhal al-sāfī, MS. Bib. Nat. ar. 2072, fol. 40a-b; Rashīd al-Dīn, ed. ‘Alīzādah, p. 70; ibid., ed. Quatremère, p. 338. There is some confusion about the date of Kitbuqa's arrival. Maqrīzī states that he came on 16 Rabī‘ I/I March along with nuwwāb (representatives) of Hülegü; see also Humphreys, p. 353. However, Abū Shāma (p. 203) and Ibn al-Furāt (fol. 234a), write that on 17 Rabī' I only nuwwāb of Hülegü arrived. There is no mention of Kitbuqa at this time. This is a clear example of how Maqrīzī's abridgements of Ibn al-Furāt confuse the issue and misconvey information.

7 Ibn Wāṣil, fol. 150a-b; Abū 'l-Fidā’, III, 210; Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 232b.

8 Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 235a; Ibn al-‘Amīd, p. 174; cf. Humphreys, pp. 353–4.

9 It seems most likely that this commander can be identified with the leader of the Khwārizmiyya with this name who joined the Mongols after their defeat by the Ayyūbid princes in 644/1246; Wāsil, Ibn, Mufarrij al-kurūb, V, ed. Rabī, H. M.‘ and Ashūr, F.‘A.-S. (Cairo, 1977), p. 359. Interestingly enough, another ex-Khwārizmī leader, Nāsir al-Dīn Kushlūkhān b. Il-Arslān is named among the refugees who joined Qutuz in 658/1260; Rashīd al-Dīn, ed. ‘Alīzādah, pp. 71–2; ed. Quatremère, p. 342. (I would like to thank Dr. P. Jackson for these references). This is an indication that at least part of the “Mongol” army was composed of Turks, both of Central Asia and Middle Eastern origin.

10 Ibn al-‘Amīd, p. 174. His chronology is confusing, in that he places this event, undated, after the suppression of the rebellion in the Damascus citadel (this was on 15 Jumādā 1/28 April). However, from the following passage quoted from Abū Shāma, it is clear that this reconnaissance raid took place earlier. See also n. 14 below.

11 This pool, also called al-Zayzā’, is two days march north of Karak; Ibn Wāsil, fol. 144b. Yāqūt, , Kitāb mu‘jam al-buldān (Jacut's geographisches Wörierbuch), Wüstenfeld, F. (Leipzig, 18671870), II, p. 966, writes that Zayzā’ was one of the villages of the Balqā’ region (in central Trans Jordan), was on the hajj route, boasted a market and contained a large pool.

12 This can be identified with Wādī Mawjib, which is the Nahal Arnčn of the Bible, some 40 km north of Karak; see Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1971), III, pp. 486–7. I am grateful to Prof. M. Sharon for this suggestion. For the city of Karak itself, see below.

13 Abū Shāma, p. 204. This account appears, with slight changes, in Yūnīnī, I, pp. 250–1; Kutubī, , ‘Uyūn al-tawārīkh, XX, ed. Sāmir, F. and ‘Dāwūd, A.-M. (Baghdad, 1980), p. 224. The report in Maqrīzī, I, p. 425, which is the one usually cited by modern scholars, is a shortened version of Abū Shāma: the former has the above list of locations which the Mongols attacked, except for Mawjib al-Karak. It is most probable that Maqrizi derived his passage from Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 234a, who has the exact list, i.e. minus Mawjib al-Karak. Whether Ibn al-Furāt is responsible for this editing or took it from another, earlier writer is unknown. See also Taghrī Birdī, Ibn, al-Nujūm al-zāhira fi mulūk misr wa'l-qāhira (Cairo, 19301950), VII, p. 77 for an even terser redaction of the passage.

14 Abū Shāma, p. 204; Abū 'l-Fidā', III, 210; Yūnīnī, I,350; Shaddād, Ibn, al-A‘laq al-khatīra fi dhikr al-shām wa-jazīra, ta'rīkh lubnān wa'l-urdunn wa-ftlastīn, ed. Dahhān, S. (Damascus, 1963), pp. 248–9; Kutubī, XX, p. 223; Ibn al-‘Amīd, p. 174; Dhahabī, Ta'rīkh al-islām, MS. Bodleian Laud Or. 305, fols. 252a, 309a; Ibn al-Furāt, fols. 235b–236b, 259a. The last three writers add that after the battle the Mongols entered the city and slaughtered many of its inhabitants. For a different view, cf. Prawer, J., in the Hebrew version of The Crusaders: Portrait of a Colonial Society (Jerusalem, 1975), p. 316.

15 See Sharon, M., “The Ayyūbid Walls of Jerusalem: A New Inscription from the Time of al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa,” in Studies in Memory of Gaston Wiet, ed. Rosen-Ayalon, M. (Jerusalem, 1977), pp.179–95.

16 “The Jews of Jerusalem, 1187–1267, and the Role of Naljmanides in the Reestablishment of their community, ” [in Hebrew] in Jerusalem in the Middle Ages, ed. Kedar, B. Z. (Jerusalem, 1979), pp. 122–36, esp. pp. 127–31. On p. 130, Kedar also refers to some European and Armenian accounts which, while either very general and/or full of fanciful exaggeration, also mention the Mongol presence in Jerusalem. See also Jackson, P., “The crisis in the Holy Land in 1260,” English Historical Review, 95 (07 1980), p. 485, n.6.

17 While only the preposition is used in this passage, it is part of a chapter on Jerusalem.

18 Pp. 236–7. This passage was copied, with slight changes, by al-Furāt, Ibn, Ayyubids, Mamlukes and Crusaders: Selections from the Tārīkh al-Duwal wa’l-Mulūk of Ibn al-Furāt, ed. and tr. U., and Lyons, M. C., U., and Lyons, M. C. notes and intro. J.S.C. Riley-Smith (Cambridge, 1971), I, p. 78; tr., II, p. 63. This passage is found in the Vienna MS. of Ibn al-Furāt's work, which I have not yetexamined.

19 The letter has been re-edited by Kedar in the above mentioned article (n. 16), pp. 134–66. In the past there has been some question of the authenticity of the letter or whether the “Tartars” referred to here were actually the Khwārizmiyya of 642/1244. See Prawer, J., Histoire du Royaume Latin de Jérusalem, tr. Nahon, G. (Paris, 1970), II, p. 411, n. 48; Dinur, B. S., Yisra‘el ba-golah [Israel in the Diaspora], II, pt. 1 (Jerusalem-Tel Aviv, 1965), p. 451, n. 46, Lately, however, there is a tendency to give this letter much more credence and to attribute it to the Mongol raid of 1260: Prawer, , Crusaders (Hebrew), p. 316; Kedar, pp. 127–9.

The decision to send the Torah scrolls to Nablus seems inexplicable, since that is the direction from where the expected Mongol attack would come. It would have made more sense to send them south, or even to Egypt.

20 Ibn Wāsil, fol. 152b; the author had previously (fol. 150b) mentioned the Mongol attack on Nablus itself.

21 He had previously reached as far as Qatyā in Egypt, but becoming afraid of Sultan Qutuz's wrath he turned back into the desert until he reached Birkat al-Zayzā’; Ibn Wāsil, fol. 154b; cf. Ibn al-Furāt, fols. 237a–238b. See also Humphreys, pp. 356–7.

22 Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 238b; Ibn Wāsil, fol. 154b.

23 Abū ’1-Fidā’, III, p. 213; Abū Shāma, p. 205. No dates are provided here, but Ibn Shaddād, pp. 89–90, gives the date for the taking of ‘Ajlūn as Rajab 658/June-July 1260. Al-Nāsir Yūsuf was taken to Hülegü on 14 Rajab/25 June; Abu Shāma, p. 206; Yūnīnī, I, pp. 358–9.

24 Abū Shāma, p. 206; Yūnīnī, I, p. 358. The bedouin did not take this attack lying down and in Sha‘bān (July-August 1260) they successfully raided the Mongol horses grazing near Damascus; ibid., p. 360.

25 Ibn Wāsil, fol. 152b.

26 Yūnīnī, I, p. 358; Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 238a, tells the same story, although without any mention of Mughīth's subterfuge. Ibn Shaddād, pp. 76, 242, states simply that this ruler joined the Mongols when called to do so and was given control over Hebron in return.

27 Nuwayrī, Nihāyat al-'arab, MS. Leiden Or. 2m, fols. 107a, 132b. See also Hambis, L., “La lettre mongole du gouverneur de Karak, ” Ada Orientalia Academiae Scientaram Hungaricae, 15 (1962), pp. 143–6. Cf. Ibn Shaddād, p. 76, who implies that the governor reached Karak.

28 Dhahabī, MS. Bodleian, fol. 252a. Dhahabī's (d. 748/1348) source is unclear.

29 Al-Sa’īd was executed after the Mamlūk victory at ‘Ayn Jālūt, because he had served the Mongols too loyally, and there were reports that he had even been converted to Christianity; Ibn al-‘Amīd, p. 175; Ibn Shaddād, p. 143; Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 250a.

30 Ibn Wāsil, fol. 154a. The forts destroyed were in all probability the ones referred to above (see n. 24). This passage was copied, with changes, by Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 236a, and then in turn summarized by Maqrīzī, I, p. 426. Ibn al-Furāt replaces qasada ilā with hasara (to blockade or surround), emphasizing the Mongols’ less than friendly intentions towards the Crusaders, which resulted in the Mongol attack on Sidon in the summer of 1260. The second part of this passage shows the Mongol fear of Mamlūk-Frankish cooperation against them, a feeling justified by later events. For the tense relations between the Franks and the Mongols at this time, see Jackson, “Crisis,”passim, esp. pp. 4%, 499–500.

31 Ed. Quatremère, pp. 346–7; cf. ed. ‘ Alīzādah pp. 73–4. This is the only reference in Rashīd al-Dīn to a Mongol presence in Palestine at this time, which does not prevent him from writing, upon completing the description of the Mongol occupation of Damascus: “In this way, and in this period, Baghdad, Diyār Bakr, Diyār Rabī’a and all of Syria were conquered and placed under the control of the officers of Hülegü Khan.” Ed. ‘Alīzādah, p. 70; ed. Quatremère, p. 340. Humphreys, p. 358, placed this force under Kushlūkhān, but as seen above, Kushlūkhān's force had previously returned to Damascus.

32 The Mamlūk chronicles refer to this figure as Baydarā. Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 246a, says that at the time of the entrance of the Mamlūk army into Syria, Baydarā was with Kitbuqa near Damascus. For more on Baydarā, see below, no. 41 and 62. Cf. also, the source cited in n. 52.

33 Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 245a (=ed. Riley-Smith and Lyons, I, p. 51); Maqrīzī, I, pp. 429–30. Both the Mamlūk and Mongol forces are called here talī‘a, i.e. “advance forces.”

34 Jackson, “Crisis,” pp. 501–2.

35 La Chronique attribuèe au Connètable Smbat, tr. Dedeyan, G. (Paris, 1980), p. 105;Der Nersessian, S., “The Armenian Chronicle of Constable Smpad or of the Royal Historian,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 13 (1959), p. 160.

36 This account was preserved for posterity by Ibn al-Furāt, fols. 227a–231a, 241b–242b, 246b–247b, who took it from Qirtāy al-Khazandārī. These passages were extracted and edited by Vida, G.Levi della, “L'invasione dei Tartari in Siria nel 1260 nei ricordi di un testimone oculare,” Orientalia, NS.,4 (1935), pp.358–66, esp. pp. 365–6.

37 This point was made by Jackson, “Crisis,” p. 502.

38 Ibn Wāsil, fol. 151a; Ibn al-‘Amīd, pp. 172–3; Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 233a, 235a; Maqrīzī, I, p. 423; Abū ’l-Fidā’, III, p. 211. See Jackson, , “Crisis,” p. 502, for other details in this report which present difficulties. There is, however, a grain of truth in Özbeg's account. In the list of the few people found with al-Nāsir Yūsuf upon his capture, there is given the son of al-Malik al-Ashraf; Ibn al:Furāt, fols. 237b–238a.

39 Ozbeg's description of the battle has been analyzed and given much credence by Thorau, P., “The battle of ‘Ayn Jālūt: A re-evaluation,” in Edbury (see n. 4), pp. 238–9. See also Prawer, , Histoire, II, p. 434, n. 28.

40 Ibn Wāsil, fol. 161a, writes that al-Ashraf, who was with the Mongols at ‘Ayn Jālūt, left them during the battle. Only then, however, did he send to Qutuz to ask for an amān.

41 See the chapter heading on fol. 239b: “The Chapter about King Hülegü's departure from Halab and his return to the Land of the East (bitād al-mashriq), and his order to Kitbughā and Baydarā to fight the people of Egypt and to subjugate it.” He also tells (fol. 241a–b) of how Hülegü decided to send Kitbuqa and Baydarā to attack Egypt on the basis of his astrologers' recommendation that only they would be permitted to rule it. The apocryphal and anachronistic nature of this story is indicated by the author's remark that the astrologers were in reality referring to two other individuals named Kitbughā and Baydarā, important Mamlūk amirs of the 1290's who became sultans (Baydarā, however, for less than a day). Ibn Kathīr, XIII, p. 339, citing Jazarī (d. 739/1338), transmits a shorter version of this story. See also al-Dawādārī, Ibn, Kanz al-durar wa-jāmi‘ al-ghurar, VIII, ed. Haarmann, U. (Cairo, 1971), p. 368 and n. Finally, in another passage (fol. 239b), Ibn al-Furāt contradicts himself by stating that Hülegü sent Kitbuqa and ordered him to remain in Syria. This passage was evidently taken from Baybars al-Mansūrī, cited below, n. 44.

42 Noyan was an honorific given to Mongol generals.

43 Rashīd al-Dīn, ed. ‘Alīzādah, p. 70; ed. Quatremère, p. 340.

44 al-Mansūrī, Baybars, Zubdatal-fikra fi ta'rīkh al-hijra, MS. Br. Lib. Add. 23,325, fol. 37b. But see the parallel passage from his epitome, al-Tutifa al-mulūkiyya; cited n. 47 below. Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 239b, quotes the former passage without naming his source.

45 Meyvaert, P., “An unknown letter of Hülegü, Il-Khan of Persia, to King Louis IX of France, “Viator, 11 (1980), p. 258. lam grateful to Dr. P. Jackson for bringing this passage to my attention and providing me with a draft translation of the complete letter. These Ismā‘īlīs were the Syrian branch of the sect, whose main body had earlier been destroyed by Hülegü. Hülegü's claim is the only evidence we have of this particular mission of Kitbuqa's force, and should thus be accepted with some reserve.

46 Cf. the somewhat cryptic remarks of Grigor of Akner, “History of the Nation of Archers,” ed. and tr. R. P. Blake and R. N. Frye, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 12 (1949), p. 349: “Then K‘it‘buya [who was in Jerusalem, R. A.]… became overweening and went out to a place ten days journey from Jerusalem.” Der Nersessian, S., “Armenian Chronicle,” p. 106, n. 68, takes this as a confirmation of Smpad. This interpretation can be re jected, since Kitbuqa was never in Jerusalem and had he been, would have gone north (to ‘Ayn Jālūt) and not towards Egypt. However, this passage, confused and inaccurate as it is, does hint at Kitbuqa's having contravened HülegǼ's orders. See the discussion below.

47 Baybars al-Mansūrī, al-Tulffa al-mulūkiyya fi al-dawla al-turkiyya, MS. Austrian National Library, Fliigel no. 904, fol. 8b:… wa-sāra qāsid al-diyār al-misriyya. The wording is virtually identical in the first part of this sentence with that of the parallel passage from the author's larger Zubda, cited above in n. 44. For some unknown reason Baybars saw fit to make a change in this passage. It is tempting to try to see these two parallel passages as complementing each other: Hülegü gives Kitbuqa 12,000 men and sends him to take up position in Syria. [He disregards his orders] and advances towards Egypt. However, see below in the discussion. For the relationship between this author's two chronicles, see Little, D. P., An Introduction to Mamlūk Historiography (Wiesbaden, 1970), pp. 910.

Dr. Jackson informs me that there is a similar reference to Kitbuqa going towards Egypt in al-Khazandārī, Qirtāy, Ta'rīkh al-nawādir, MS. Gotha 1655, fol. 66b. I have not yet been able to examine this work.

48 E.g., the extensive passages of Sārim al-Dīn Özbeg mentioned above.

49 Ibn al-Furāt, fols. 244a–b, 255a. The author continues and tells how Sultan Qutuz cajoled the recalcitrant amirs into moving on to Syria.

50 Op. cit., fol. 252a.

51 Op. cit., fol. 246a.

52 Yūnīnī, I, p. 360; Dhahabī, MS. Bodleian, fol. 254a. Kitbuqa of course picked the former course. According to Rashīd al-DIn (ed. Quatremére, p. 346; cf. ed. ‘Alīzādah, pp. 73–4), Kitbuqa was near Ba'labakk, which is in the Biqā', when he heard from Baydar in Gaza that the Mamlūks had moved into Syria.

53 Frankish attitudes vis-à-vis the Mongols and Mamlīks on the eve of ‘Ayn Jālūt are discussed in Jackson, “Crisis,” p. 503. It is reasonable to suppose that Quṭuz had some inkling of his reception from the Franks of Acre before leaving Egypt.

54 Jackson, , “Crisis,” p. 502, referring only to Smpad's account taken by itself, i.e. without Üzbeg's report, which we have rejected above.

55 Rashīd al-Dīn, ed. ‘Alīzādah, p. 71; ed. Quatremére, p. 342.

56 Rashād al-Dīn, ed. ‘Alīzādah, pp. 22, 27, 68; ed. Quatremére, pp. 138, 166, 328. In the last instance, he had led the Mongol van into Syria itself.

57 It should be mentioned that in some of the following cases, the numbers given are those of those left with Kitbuqa after Hülegü returned to the east and not specifically those sent with him when he was first dispatched south towards Damascus. We are assuming that the size of Kitbuqa's army did not change after Hülegü's departure. It would seem that given the weight of evidence, the first number quoted most likely represents the true figure.

58 Hebraeus, Bar, The Chronography of Gregory Abu'l Faraj, ed. and tr. Budge, E. A. W. (London, 1932), I, p. 436; cf. the Arabic version, Ibn al-'lbrī, , Ta'rīkh mukhtaṣar al-duwal, ed. Salihani, A., 2nd ed., (Beirut, 1958), p. 280;Hayton, (Hethoum), “La Flor des estoires de la Terre d'Orient,” in Recueil des historiens des Croisades, Documents Arméniens [henceforth RHC, Ar], II (Paris, 1906), p. 173;“Alī al-Kātib, Shāfi' b., al-Faḍlal-ma'thūr min sīrat al-sulṭān al-malik al-manṣūr, MS. Bodleian Marsh 424, fol. 55a. The last mentioned writer states that Kitbuqa commanded one tümen, and that a tümen equals 10,000. See also Vardan, in Dulaurier, E., “Les Mongols d'apres les historiens armeniens,” Journal Asiatique, 5 Ser., 16 (1860), p. 294; cf. Jackson, , “Crisis,” p. 492, n. 8.

59 Baybars al-Manṣūrī, Zubda, fol. 37b; idem., Tuhfa, fol. 8b. It is an interesting coincidence that when Kitbuqa was given command of the Mongol van in ca. 1253, before even entering Iran, he had 12,000 men under his command; Rashīd al-Dīn, ed. 'Alīzādah, p. 22; ed. Quatremére, p. 138.

60 Kirakos of Ganjak, in Dulaurier, E., “Les Mongols d'aprés les historiens arméniens,” Journal Asiatique, 5 Ser., 11 (1858), p. 498.

61 Waṣṣāf, Tajziyat al-amṣār wa-tazjiyat al-a'7ṣār (rpt. Teheran, A. S. 1338/1959–60), p. 46, actually writes 3 tümens (each of which should contain 10,000 soldiers). See also Jackson, , “Crisis,” p. 492, n.8.

62 In a recent article, Prof. Smith, J. M. (“r'Ayn Jālūt: Mamlāk victory or Mongol failure,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 44 [1984], pp. 309–11) has sought to reconcile these figures, seeing Kitbuqa and Baydar each as commanding a tümen, the former of Mongol troops, the latter of local Syrian troops who joined the Mongols.

63 At least in the early months of the Mongol occupation, i.e. when the raiders were in Palestine, because Kitbuqa still had to subjugate several castles in its environs. According to the evidence cited in n. 51 above, at the time of Qutuz's advance into Palestine, the Mongol troops were scattered throughout the country, probably in order to graze their horses.

64 Although all the Arabic sources were not available to him, Prawer, (Royaume Latin, II, p. 431) already observed the transitory nature of these raids.

65 Abū ‘1-Fidā', III, p. 211. Shahāyin (properly shahā'in, singular shihynd) were Mongol representatives appointed to occupied cities in order to keep an eye on local affairs, especially to make sure taxes were collected and no seditious activities (towards the Mongols) were afoot.

66 Runciman, S., The History of the Crusades, III (Cambridge, 1954), p. 308, has stated that the Mongol detachments never reached Jerusalem itself. Likewise, Humphreys, p. 355, has written:

With Baalbek and Nablus taken, the Mongol occupation of Lebanon and Palestine was effectively completed (although, oddly enough, they seem never to have entered Jerusalem)… By late summer of 658/1260, therefore, the Mongols had gained direct control of all Muslim south Syria except for the Jabal al-Duruz and Transjordan.

However, it has been shown in the above pages that the Mongol conquest of Palestine was never really completed, but was quite tenuous at best. Secondly, to the same extent, the Mongols conquered most of Transjordan. Finally, it is quite clear that the Mongols did enter, and terrorize, Jerusalem.

67 See Thorau, pp. 236–9; Smith, pp. 311–14, 326–8; Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed., s.v. “Ayn Djālūt” (B. Lewis); Irwin, R., The Middle East in the Middle Ages: The Early Mamluk Sultanate, 1250–1382 (London, 1986), pp. 33–4.

68 For more details on the battle, see: Lane-Poole, S., A History of Egypt in the Middle Ages, 4th ed. (rpt. London, 1968), pp. 295–6;Weil, G., Geschichte des Abbasidenchalifats in Egypten (Stuttgart, 1860), I, p. 226; Boyle, pp. 386–8; Irwin, pp. 99–101.

69 Nuwayrī, Nihāyatal-'arabfifunūn al-adab, MS. Leiden University ar. 2n [=voh XXIX], fol. 100a. See also: Ḥajar, Ibn, al-Durar al-kāmina ft a'yān al-mi'a al-thāmina (Hyderabad, 1348–50/19291932), III, p. 214; Maqrīzī, I, p. 888.

70 Dhahabī, , Ta'rikh al-islām, MS. British Library Or. 1540, fol. 124a. Certainly, were this piece of evidence to be read by itself, it would have to be taken with a large pinch of salt, because this was only one of several rumours, some of which were quite outrageous, then circulating in Damascus. These were perhaps an attempt by the Damascenes to rationalize their imminent submission to Ghazan. The author himself expresses his doubts about the veracity of these rumours.

71 al-Dawādārī, Ibn, Kanz al-durar wa-jāmi' al-ghurar (Die Chronik des Ibn al-Dawādārī), IX, ed. Roemer, H. R. (Cairo, 1960), p. 17.

72 Abū ‘1–Fidā', IV, p. 44;Khaldūn, Ibn, Kitāb al-'ibar (Cairo, 1289/18671968), V, p. 414; Dhahabī, MS. Br. Lib., fol. 126b (cf. tr. in Somogyi, J., “Adh-Dhahabi's record of the destruction of Damascus by the Mongols in 699–700/1299–1301,” in Ignace Goldziher Memorial Volume, ed. Lowinger, S. and Somogyi, J., I [Budapest, 1948], p. 368; this translation is often inaccurate and should be used with caution). The last writer mentions a letter which reached the commander of the citadel in Damascus, who succeeded in holding out against the Mongols during the entire period of their occupation of the city. This message told how the Mamlūks in Gaza fell upon the pursuing Mongols and defeated them. See also Zetterstéen, K. V., ed., Beiträge zur Geschichte der Mamlūkensultane (Leiden, 1919), p. 62;Kutubī, , ‘Uyun al-tawārīkh, MS. Chester Beatty Library (Dublin) Ar. 4257, fol. 143a. The last source reports how the commander of the citadel tried to use this letter to arouse support in the city for his opposition to the Mongols, but to no avail. This “letter” appears to have been a ploy, invented by either the Mamluk authorities in the yet unconquered south or by the commander himself, in order to raise the morale of his beleaguered troops. Confirmation of this incident in Gaza is not found anywhere else. For non-Mamluk sources indicating a pursuit of some sort, see below.

73 On the various forms of his name, see the editor's comments in Mufaḍḍal ibn Abī ‘1-Faḍā'il, al-Nahj al-sadid wa'l-durr al-farīd fī mā ba'd ta'rīkh Ibn al-'Amid (Histoire des Sultans Mamlouks), ed. and tr. E. Blochet (Patrologia Orientalis, vol. XII, XIV, XX), (Paris, 19191928), p. 583, n. 4.

74 The notables of Damascus surrendered to Ghazan before he arrived in the city and he granted them an amān (letter of protection). Even so, the inhabitants of the city suffered greatly during the Mongol occupation. See Dhahabī, MS. Br. Lib., fols. 124a–129b (tr. Somogyi, pp. 362–73); Zettersteen, pp. 64–6;Ibn Kathīr, XIV, pp. 79.

75 Kutubī, MS. Ch. Beatty, fol. 144b.

76 Ibid., fol. 148a. It is unclear what was Kutubī's source, but it was most probably one of the earlier Syrian writers, i.e. Yūnīnī (d. 726/1326), Jazarī (d. 739/1338) or Birzālī (d. 739/1339), the relevant parts of whose works are either not extant (in Jazarī's case) or still in manuscript and I have yet to examine them. It seems that Abū ‘I-Fidā’, IV, 44, must also have used the same source, directly or indirectly, that Kutubī used, since he mentions both Ramla and how the Mongols fell upon refugees (juffāl).

77 During the actual campaign itself, when the vast majority of the Mamlīk army went off to defeat at Wādī al-Khāzindār, he had been left behind with 200 troops to guard the citadel of Cairo; Baybars al-Manṣūrī, Zubda, fol. 217a; idem, Tuhfa, fols. 73b–74a; Ibn Abī ‘1–Faḍā'il, p. 523, cites Baybars, but with some changes. According to him, Baybars left Cairo sometime during the last days of Rabī' II 699 (January 1300) and reached Sāliljiyya the same day that Mūlāy and forces arrived in Gaza. But cf. the date found in Rashīd al-Dīn below.

78 In the shortened version of this account in his Tuhfa, Baybars says that a “tümen (i.e. 10,000 soldiers), from among the tümens,” was sent in this raid. He only names Mūlāy and not the other three commanders. Dhahabī, MS. Br. Lib., fol. 126b (tr. p. 368), also has 10,000 soldiers in this raid. These numbers, like all numbers in Mamlūk sources, should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

79 The mentioning of these four officers, along with the number of 20,000, seems to mitigate somewhat against Smith's argument (pp. 310–11) that in general the names given for Mongol commanders can be taken to be commanders of tümens. The names are quite unclear in the MS., but are more legible in the MS. of Nuwayrī, fol. 104a–b, whose account is taken from Baybars al-Manṣūrī. The reading of Esenbuqa was suggested by Dr. P. Jackson from the letters in the MS. ‘SH–B-Q-'; another possible reading was Abishqa. Hülechü was found in the MS.: Hūlajū.

80 Cf. Nuwayrī, loc. cit., who writes that 15 Muslims were killed in the Mosque. Maqrīzī, I, 896, evidently derived his account from Nuwayrī, possibly indirectly.

81 Baybars al-Manṣūrī, Zubda, fol. 217a; cf. Tuhfa, fol. 73b.

82 Baybars al-Manṣūrī, Zubda, fol. 218a; this was cited in Ibn Abī'-Faḍā'il, p. 523.

83 Ibid., pp. 502–3. Little, p. 35, has pointed out this writer's tendency to cite his sources in a flexible manner and to embellish these passages with additional information derived from other sources, without explicitly mentioning that these constitute additions to the original citation.

84 Dhahabī, MS. Br. Lib., fol. 226a (obituary of ‘Alī b. al-Shaykh Shams al-Dīn al-Muqaddasī).

85 Rashīd al-Dīn, ed. ‘Alīzādah,, p. 338; idem., Ta'rikh-i mubārak-i ghāzānī(Geschichte Ġāzān-Hān's), ed. Jahn, K. (London, 1940), p. 130; summary tr., p. xxxvii. This writer gives the date of Mūlāy's return as 29 Rabī' II, while the Mamlūk writers report that Mūlāy returned at the end of Jumādā II. See n. 98.

86 Waṣṣaf, p.381.

87 Ḥazanī, I., “A Hebrew source on the Mongol incursion into Eretz Israel and Jerusalem in 1299,” [in Hebrew] Zion, 47/3, pp. 343–6.

88 Der Nersessian, S., “The Kingdom of Cilician Armenia,” in A History of the Crusades, II, Wolff, R. P. and Hazard, H. W., eds., 2nd ed. (Madison, 1969), p. 657.

89 Hayton, , RHC, Ar, II, pp. 194–8.

90 Chronique du Royaume de la Petite Arménie,” in RHC, Ar, I (1869), pp. 657–60. I have gone to some length to analyse this passage because of the credence given to it by Schein, S., “Gesta Dei per Mongolos 1300. The genesis of a non-event,” English Historical Review, 94 (1979), p. 810 and nn. See also HazanI, p. 345 and n. 12.

91 “Chronique du Royaume de la Petite Arme'nie,” p. 659, n. 1. M. van Berchem also saw little historical value in this account; Matériaux pour un Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum, Deuxieme Partie: Syrie du Sud. Vol. II, Jérusalem “Ḥaram” (Cairo, 1927), p. 115, n. 1.

92 See, e.g.: Dhahabī, MS. Br. Lib., fol. 129a (tr.,'p. 376); Ibn Kathīr, XIV, p. 8; Maqrīzī, I, p. 892; Baybars, Zubda, fol. 207b.

93 Appendix to Maqrīzī, I, p. 1019; Baybars al-Manṣūrī, Zubda, fol. 226b; Translated in Weil, I, p. 246. Parallel passages are found in the second version of this letter: Ibn al-Dawādārī, IX, p. 68; Ibn Abī” 1-Faḍā'il, pp. 576–7 (with translation). In the second version there are reports of the parvenu misdeeds of the Mongols in Jerusalem and Hebron without any specific mentioning of the Christians. This passage was adduced by Schein, p. 810, n. 5, to prove the veracity of Smpad's Continuator.

94 A most interesting piece of disinformation in this letter is al-Nasir Muhammad's claim that he came to the battle of Wādī al-Khāzindār without all of his army, because the Mongol invasion just happened to catch him visiting in Syria with only part of his forces; Maqrīzī, I, p. 1020.

One of the key elements of this polemic, as seen here, was the doubt cast by both the Mamlūks and the writers of the Arabic sources (who were almost unanimously pro-Mamlūk) upon the quality of the Islam professed by their recently converted enemies. See, e.g., Ibn Taymiyya's justification for the continued fighting against the parvenu Muslim Mongols, as cited and discussed by Sivan, E., Radical Islam: Medieval Theology and Modern Politics (New Haven, 1985), pp. 97–8.

95 Brosset, M., tr., Histoire de la Georgie, I (St. Petersburg, 18491851), pp. 630–31.

96 Zetterstöen, p. 76; Dhahabī, MS. Br. Lib., fol. 130b (tr. Somogyi, p. 380); Baybars al-Manṣūrī, Zubda, fol. 218a; Ibn Kathīr, XIV, p. 11; Maqrīzī, I, p. 900.

97 Hayton, p. 196;Grousset, R., L'EmpiredesSteppes, rpt. (Paris, 1949), p.458. Cf. Boyle, p. 388; Morgan, pp. 231–5; Smith, pp. 329ff.

98 It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the long-term plans of the Mongols for Palestine. Briefly, however, it appears that in both 1260 and 1300 the Mongols had intended to continue their conquests into Egypt in the near future, and as a result, Palestine would have been more firmly integrated into the Ilkhānid state. For indications of Mongol intentions, see Ibn al-Furāt, fol. 252a (for Hülegü); Zetterstéen, p. 75 (for Ghazan).

99 For contacts between Ghazan and the Latin West around the time of this campaign, and half-hearted attempts at Mongol-Frankish cooperation, see Schein, pp. 811–12.

* Earlier versions of this paper were read at the Yad Ben-Tzvi Institute, Jerusalem (April 1985) and the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London (May 1986). I would like to thank the following with whom I discussed some of the questions raised here and/or who were kind enough to read drafts of this paper and to make suggestions accordingly: Prof. D. Ayalon, Prof. J. S. C. Riley-Smith, Dr. P. Jackson, Dr. D. O. Morgan, Dr. Y. Drori, Dr. P. Cowe and Dr. A. Elad.

In this paper, the name “Syria” refers to geographical Syria, i.e. the western Fertile Crescent. South Syria indicates Palestine and Trans-Jordan, central Syria the area delineated roughly by Damascus and Ḥimṣ, and northern Syria the area north of Ḥimṣ.


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