Post-classical history

§ One Frankish Knight Routs Four Muslim Horsemen

At Apamea, there was one of the greatest Frankish knights, called Badrahu.99 He was always asking, ‘I wonder, will I never get to meet Jum’a in battle?’ And Jum’a was always asking, ‘I wonder, will I never get to meet Badrahu in battle?’

The army of Antioch now camped against us and pitched their tents at the spot where they used to do so, with the water100between us. We had a detachment posted at an elevated spot across from them. One of their knights rode out from their tents and stopped below our detachment, with the river between them, and shouted at them, ‘Is Jum’a with you?’

‘No,’ they replied.

And, by God, he was not present among them. That knight was Badrahu. Looking around, he spotted four of our horsemen on his side of the river: Yahya ibn Safi Left-Hand,101 Sahl ibn Abi Ghanim the Kurd and Haritha al-Numayri, along with another horseman. [68] Badrahu attacked them, put them to flight and caught up with one of them, at whom he thrust his spear. But it was a useless blow as his horse had not caught up enough to allow him a decent thrust. So he returned to camp.

That group of our horsemen went back into town, where their shame was made public. The people hurled abuse at them and cast aspersions on them and disparaged them, saying, ‘Four horsemen routed by one knight! You should have split up in front of him, so that, with him attacking one of you with his spear, the other three could have killed him and you would not have been put to such shame.’ Their severest critic was Jum’a al-Numayri.

But it was as if that defeat had granted to these men hearts other than their own and a sense of bravery to which they had never before aspired. For after that defeat, they grew in self-worth – fighting and distinguishing themselves in warfare, becoming some of our most noteworthy horsemen.

As for Badrahu, after that encounter he went off on some errand from Apamea, headed for Antioch. But on his way there, a lion came out at him from a thicket in al-Ruj,102 tore him from his mule and brought him back to the thicket and ate him (may Godnothave mercy upon him).

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