Post-classical history

Alexandretta

Alexandretta (mod. Iskenderun, Turkey) was a minor port in Syria. Tancred, nephew of Bohemund of Taranto, captured the town with the aid of the ships of Guiynemer of Boulogne in 1097. By 1099, however, a Byzantine garrison had seized the town, basing its authority on Byzantine control of the area in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Tancred retook it in the course of his conquest of Cilicia in 1101, and it remained under Antiochene rule, apart from brief periods under the control of the Byzantines (1137-1143) and the Armenian Rupenid dynasty (1152-1155), until it was assigned to the Templars.

In 1188 Saladin captured Alexandretta, but it was soon seized by Leon II, prince of Cilicia, along with the important castle of Baghras. The city’s thirteenth-century history is obscure. Baghras returned to Templar control around 1212, and it is likely that Alexandretta did, too. The town was probably conquered by the Mamlūks in 1268.

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