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The Fatimid Failure against the Crusaders at the End of the First Crusade

The Fatimid Failure against the Crusaders at the End of the First Crusade

By Jan Vandeburie

Carnival, Vol.12 (2010)

Introduction: This paper was presented at the ISHA conference 2010 in Helsinki. The theme of the conference, integration throughout history, gave me the opportunity to look at some important events at the end of the First Crusade from another point of view and to discuss the results of this research within the workshop on globalisation and political integration. With this paper, I hope to show how an overconfident large-scale – one could say global – strategy of the Egyptian command together with the failure of the political integration of different ethnic groups in the Egyptian army, was one of the main causes for the Frankish victory at the end of the First Crusade.

I see my people slow to raise the lance against the enemy, I see the Faith resting on feeble pillars. For fear of death the Muslims are evading the fire of battle, refusing to believe that death will surely strike them. Must the Arab champions then suffer with resignation, while the gallant Persians shut their eyes to their dishonour?

- Abul-Muzaffar al-Abiwardi (Iraqi poet, 11th-12th century)

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