Iftikhar al-Dawla

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Iftikhar al-Dawla (Arabic: إفتخار الدولة‎‎; meaning "pride of the dynasty") was the Fatimid governor of Jerusalem during the siege of 1099. On 15 July he surrendered Jerusalem to Raymond of Saint-Gilles[1] in the Tower of David and was escorted out of the city with his bodyguard.[2]

Little is known about Iftikhar al-Dawla, although he is mentioned as governor of Ascalon following the fall of Jerusalem, which suggests he was Fatimid governor of the whole of Palestine.[3] The Syrian chronicler Bar-Hebraeus refers to him as "a man from the quarter of the Egyptians," which could indicate that he was of Nubian or Sudanese origin as men of Arab or Turkish origin were generally specified as such.[3] Usamah ibn Munqidh's autobiography mentions an emir of the local castles of Abu Qubays Qadmus and al-Kaf (Syria) called Iftikhar al-Dawla whose sister was married to Usamah's uncle, the ruler of Shayzar.[3]

Defence of Jerusalem[edit]

Iftikhar al-Dawla had a strong garrison of Arab and Sudanese troops. Hearing of the advance of the Franks he poisoned the wells outside Jerusalem; moved livestock from the pastures inside the city walls and sent urgently to Egypt for reinforcements.[4] He then ordered all Christians, then the majority of the population, to evacuate the city, but allowed Jews to remain within.[4] Although the garrison was well-supplied it was insufficient to man all the walls and was overwhelmed after a siege lasting six weeks.[2]


  1. ^ Count of Toulouse (1093–1105) and marquis of Provence (1066–1105).
  2. ^ a b Crusades. (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 25, 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  3. ^ a b c Nicolle, 2003, p. 19.
  4. ^ a b Runciman, 1992, pp. 181-184.