Post-classical history

Chronology of Events in the Life of Usama ibn Munqidh

1095 4 July Usama born at Shayzar; 27 November Pope Urban II calls for the First Crusade at Clermont.

1098 Usama’s uncle Nasr dies; his uncle Sultan rules as lord of Shayzar; 9 March County of Edessa founded by Baldwin of Boulogne; 3 June Antioch taken by First Crusade.

1099 15 July Jerusalem taken by First Crusade.

1101 Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem; Bohemund I of Antioch taken prisoner; Tancred regent at Antioch.

1103–5 Second reign of Bohemund at Antioch; he then departs for Europe.

1104 Muslim offensive against the Franks in northern Syria; May Franks capture Acre.

1105–8 Second regency of Tancred at Antioch.

1105 Frankish counter-offensive in northern Syria led by Tancred.

1108–12 Tancred, Prince of Antioch.

1109 12 July Franks capture Tripoli.

1110 May Edessa besieged by Mawdud of Mosul; 5 December Baldwin I captures Sidon.

1112 12 December death of Tancred; Roger of Salerno succeeds him at Antioch.

1113 June failed Frankish attempt on Damascus.

1114 March Nizari assault on Shayzar.

1115 June Frankish offensive in northern Syria thwarted;15 September Frankish victory at Danith; Muslim counter-offensive led by Bursuq of Hamadhan thwarted.

1118 Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem.

1119 28 June Muslim victory under Il-Ghazi at al-Balat, ‘The Field of Blood’; death of Roger of Salerno; Baldwin II of Jerusalem rules as regent in Antioch; 14 August victory of Baldwin II over Il-Ghazi at Danith; September Joscelin I Count of Edessa.

1119/20 Templars founded.

1123 Baldwin II taken captive in Aleppo.

1124 19 June Baldwin II a hostage at Shayzar; 7 July Franks capture Tyre; 30 August Baldwin II is released.

1126 October Bohemund II arrives from Italy and takes over as Prince of Antioch.

1127 September Zangi made atabeg of Mosul.

1128 January Zangi captures Aleppo.

1129 November failed Damascus Crusade of Baldwin II.

1130 February Bohemund II killed in Cilicia; Baldwin II regent again at Antioch.

1131 Joscelin II Count of Edessa; 6 June Usama exiled from Shayzar; 31 August Fulk V of Anjou, King of Jerusalem; 3 September Zangi attacks Hama and Homs; Usama enters his service; November Usama in Mosul.

1132 Zangi (with Usama) at Tikrit; Zangi (with Usama) campaigns against the caliph al-Mustarshid near Baghdad.

1134 Usama with Zangi on campaign against Artuqids near Amid.

1135 Failed campaign against Damascus by Zangi, followed by raids on Antioch.

1136 Raymond of Poitiers Prince of Antioch.

1137 Campaign of Zangi against Homs; 11 July Usama with Zangi against the Franks at Ba’rin/Rafaniya; Raymond II Count of Tripoli; 30 May death of Usama’s father.

1138 Zangi (with Usama) in battle against the Franks near Qinnasrin; April-May Byzantine-Frankish siege of Shayzar; Usama arrives at Burid court in Damascus; 8 September Usama on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

1139 Usama meets Ridwan, exiled vizier of Egypt; Ridwan imprisoned in Egypt; 10 October Zangi conquers Baalbek.

1140–43 Voyages of Usama and Mu’in al-Din to Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1143 10 November death of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem.

1144 Edessa recaptured by Zangi; 30 November Usama arrives in Cairo.

1146 14 September death of Zangi; succeeded by Nur al-Din at Aleppo; Joscelin II’s failed attempt to retake Edessa; Nur al-Din sacks the city.

1147–8 Nur al-Din campaigns against Antioch.

1148 Ridwan escapes from prison and attempts to seize power in Cairo; he is killed; July armies of the Second Crusade fail at Damascus.

1149 30 August death of Mu’in al-Din in Damascus; renewed campaigns by Nur al-Din against Antioch; 29 June defeat and death of Raymond of Poitiers; 10 October death of Fatimid caliph al-Hafiz in Egypt; al-Zafir succeeds him; Cairo seethes.

1150 January failed assassination plot on Ibn al-Sallar; May Usama, on a mission from Cairo, meets with Nur al-Din outside Damascus; end of year Usama in Ascalon, raids Franks in the vicinity.

1152 Usama returns to Cairo; Raymond II, Count of Tripoli, assassinated; Raymond III succeeds him.

1153 Usama with the Fatimid army defending Bilbays; 3 April Ibn al-Sallar assassinated; 22 August Ascalon captured by Franks; Reynald of Châtillon regent at Antioch.

1154 15 April al-Zafir, Fatimid caliph, assassinated in Cairo; al-Fa’iz succeeds him; military revolt in Cairo; 26 April Nur al-Din captures Damascus; 30 May Usama flees Egypt; 19 June he arrives at Damascus.

1155 Usama on campaign with Nur al-Din in Anatolia.

1157 August massive earthquake in Syria; Shayzar destroyed; brief Frankish occupation.

1158 February Franks besiege Harim; April Egyptian campaigns against Ascalon.

1160 23 July death of Fatimid caliph al-Fa’iz; al-’Adid succeeds him; December Usama visits Aleppo and Mosul, then proceeds on pilgrimage to Mecca.

1163 10 February death of Baldwin III; Amalric I, King of Jerusalem, campaigns against Egypt; Nur al-Din (with Usama) on campaign against Antioch; Nur al-Din thwarted against Tripoli.

1164 12 August Nur al-Din recaptures Harim; Bohemund III and Raymond III are captured; end of the year Usama moves to Hisn Kayfa in service to Qara Arslan.

1166–7 Residence and travels of Usama in Upper Mesopotamia.

1169 26 March Saladin named vizier in Egypt.

1170 Usama visits Mosul.

1171 13 September Fatimid caliph al-’Adid dies; end of Fatimid dynasty; Saladin seizes power in Egypt for Nur al-Din.

1171/2 Usama composes his Book of the Staff and (about this time) his Dwellings and Abodes.

1174 15 May Nur al-Din dies at Damascus; 11 July death of Amalric; Baldwin IV, King of Jerusalem; 28 October Saladin enters Damascus; Usama arrives shortly thereafter; he completes his Creator of High Style (about this time).

1176 Saladin (possibly with Usama) on campaign in north Syria.

1183 Saladin captures Aleppo; Usama completes his Kernels of Refinement and (about this time) his Book of Contemplation.

1185 Death of Baldwin IV, King of Jerusalem; Baldwin V succeeds him, with Raymond III of Tripoli as regent.

1186 Death of Baldwin V; Saladin lord of Mosul.

1187 Death of Raymond III of Tripoli; 2 October Saladin recaptures Jerusalem.

1188 Saladin captures Latakia; 15 November death of Usama in Damascus.

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