Battle of Artah
|Battle of Artah|
|Part of the First Crusade|
|Principality of Antioch||Seljuk Turks of Aleppo|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Tancred of Galilee||Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Artah was fought in 1105 between Crusader forces and the Seljuk Turks at the town of Artah near Antioch. The Turks were led by Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan of Aleppo, while the Crusaders were led by Tancred, Prince of Galilee, regent of the Principality of Antioch. The Crusaders were victorious and proceeded to threaten Aleppo itself.
After the great Crusader defeat at the Battle of Harran in 1104, all of Antioch's strongholds east of the Orontes River were abandoned. In order to raise additional Crusader reinforcements, Bohemond of Taranto embarked for Europe, leaving Tancred as regent in Antioch. The new regent began to patiently recover the lost castles and walled towns.
Tancred laid siege to the castle of Artah, which is located 25 miles (40 km) east-northeast of Antioch. When Ridwan of Aleppo tried to interfere with the operation, Tancred gave battle and defeated the army of Aleppo. The Latin prince is supposed to have won by his "skilful use of ground." The Franks may have gained a tactical advantage by using the "device of a feigned retreat." Otherwise, little is known about the battle.
After his victory, Tancred expanded his conquests east of the Orontes with only minor opposition. The next actions of consequence in northern Syria were the Battle of Shaizar in 1111 and the Battle of Sarmin in 1115.
- Smail, R. C. Crusading Warfare 1097-1193. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, (1956) 1995. ISBN 1-56619-769-4
- Smail, p 28
- Smail, p 178
- Smail, p 78-79