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Image from page 184 of "The story of Cairo" (1906) | by Internet Archive Book Images
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Image from page 184 of "The story of Cairo" (1906)

Identifier: storyofcairo00stan

Title: The story of Cairo

Year: 1906 (1900s)

Authors: Stanley Lane-Poole


Publisher: J. M. Dent

Contributing Library: Gumberg Library, Duquesne University

Digitizing Sponsor: Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation



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Text Appearing Before Image:

asion of Egyptby the Crusading king of Jerusalem and the ex-pulsion of the Franks by the armies of Nur-ed-din,sultan of Damascus, would carry us far away fromour proper subject. The principal element in thepolitical situation was the partition of the Fatimid pro-vince of Syria between two new and aggressive powers,the Crusaders and the Seljuk Turks. The gradual in-filtration of Turkish officers into the Baghdad caliphatehad ended in a great invasion of this race, led by theSeljuks, who not only subdued the whole of Persia andMesopotamia in the middle of the eleventh century andmade the *Abbasid caliph their tool, but overran theFatimid dominions in Syria, which had always beenloosely held, took possession of Damascus in 1076, andwere only prevented from invading Egypt by the bribesand warlike preparations of the Armenian vezir Bedr el-Gemaly. The Seljuk empire broke up at the close ofthe century; but its Syrian fragment, under thebrilliant leadership of the Atabeg Zengy and his son164


Text Appearing After Image:

CAIRO • BEFORE • 1200 165 Saladiris Castle Nur-ed-din, was little less formidable to the Fatimidauthority than the undiminished empire of the Seljuks.Meanwhile a fresh complication was introduced intoSyrian politics by the beginning of the Crusades, therecovery of Jerusalem by the Christians in 1099, andthe establishment there of the Latin Kingdom. Stepby step the Fatimid garrisons were driven south. TheArmenian Afdal, Bedrs son, after attempting negotia-tions, fought a series of campaigns in Palestine, but theadvance of the Crusaders was not to be stayed.Tripolis fell in 1109, Tyre followed in 1124, andafter a long interval Ascalon, the last Fatimid outpost,surrendered in 1153. The Crusaders now touchedthe Egyptian frontier, and their fortresses at Karak.and Montreal, by the Dead Sea, intercepted com-munications with Syria. Of the two powers, the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalemand the Turkish Sultanate of Damascus, neither wasstrong enough to crush the other. Egypt was the keyof the s



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