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Later Crusader

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 5 months ago

Title: Later Crusader Amendment 1

 

Synopsis: Eliminate the Ilkhanid Ally Option

 

Author: Brendan Moyle

 

Proposal:

Eliminate the line that currently allows the Later Crusaders to use an Il-Khanid Ally

 

Justification

There are several problems with this ally option. The first is that despite Gazan Khan's victory over the Mameluks at 2nd Hims 1299, he had no intention of restoring the Holy Land to the Franks. Indeed, Gazan Khan's occupation of Syria lasted only from January to May of 1300 AD. Further, Gazan Kh an's conversion to Islam meant that it was unlikely that Jerusalen- one of Islam's holiest sites- would be given to the Latins.

 

Rumours of this intended handover were simply that, rumours (Schein, 1979), exacerbated by the fact that 1300 AD was a Jubilee year. This intensified interest in Gazan Khan's victory "...metamorphosing an ephemeral event in the Levant into an allegedly major chord in tripartite Christian-Moslem-Mongol relations." (Schein, 1979, p808). The rumours inflated the scale of the Ilkhanid victory. Egypt was also alleged to have been conquered.

 

Latin interest in the Outremer was naturally increased as a consequence of these reports. Nonetheless, this interest did not extent to despatching armies. Gazan Khan's prior request for aid to the Lusiganan's in Cyprus in October 1299 was ignored. The following year a fleet of 16 galleys and some smaller vessels commanded by Henry of Lusignan went briefly raiding. Targets included Alexandria and Acre. Clearly this had no hope of supporting Gazan Khan's army.

 

An Ilkhanid request for co-ordination in 1300, prompted the despatch of 300 men to the island of Raud, where they were joined by a similar force from the Military Orders. The Ilkhanids never arrived and the Cypriots withdrew.

 

James of Aragon tried to organise an expedition in May 1300 (note that Gazan Khan had already left Syria in Febuary). He offered the Ilkhanids ships, supplies and men for a fifth of the recovered Holy Land and free access to the Holy Places etc. This never received a reply.

 

In short, the terms of the an alliance between the Ilkhanids and Latins could never be fulfilled as this was predicated on the rumour that Gazan Khan had conquered the Holy Land and Egypt. There were no Crusader armies in the vicinity to take advantage of the situation. The timeframe available for an alliance to occur (Jan to May 1300) was far too short to be practical. Even the Cypriots could not get a force of more than 300 men to Raud Island before the Mongols had lost Syria. James of Aragon had already lost the opportunity when his letter was despatched.

 

Reference

Schein, S (1979). "Gesta Dei per Mongolos 1300: The Genesis of a Non-Event". English Historical Review, 94(373): 805-819.

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