Talk:Franco-Mongol alliance/Archive 2

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Archive 1 | Archive 2 | Archive 3


I have re-added the {{disputed}} tag to the article. I am extremely disappointed that PHG has been doing major reverts on information that I spent quite a bit of time working on,[1] and I am also concerned that, after I added a completely new paragraph from a completely new source, PHG then came along and deleted it within hours, without any attempts at discussion.[2] It is my opinion that Schein's new book is completely relevant here, as she is the same author that we are relying on for other statements in the article, from earlier in her career. And I would advise PHG that edit wars are completely ineffective in terms of promoting a particular point of view in an article. The proper way to proceed is to identify areas of dispute, and then discuss them at the talkpage and check for consensus of other editors -- not simply to delete sourced paragraphs that you disagree with because they don't support your position. --Elonka 04:47, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Well Elonka, you deleted pages of my own work in the first place (as you did yesterday when I had to spend 2 hours to put sources back in), so do not be surprised if I put it back in place. Respect others' work, and yours will be respected. However, if you look again closely at the edit you are mentionning [3] you will see I almost did not touch the content you added (appart from one unreferenced phrase), but just reinstated my original contribution (pages, which you had deleted) to that paragraph, side-by-side with yours.
  • Contrary to your second claim, I retrieved your small paragraph on Schein's book above, moved the text on the Talk Page, and explained my reason for doing it (i.e. obvious over-interpretation of sources).
  • You will have to be more specific for your "Dispute" tag: what exactly do you dispute in terms of factual accuracy? Regards PHG 04:55, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I did not delete your work, I *changed* several paragraphs, as is encouraged on Wikipedia. Each time you edit the page, it clearly says at the bottom, "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly... do not submit it."
As for disputes, I dispute several things, but let's start with these. For reference, here's my version,[4] and your version.[5]
  • I dispute the sentence "Various modern historians state that there is evidence to indicate that the Mongols controlled [Jerusalem] for some time." I also disagree with how this information is presented. In my version, we just lay out what each historian says, and where they got their information from, so that our readers can decide for themselves. In yours, I feel that this leading sentence is pushing a POV, and by the quantity of "ref" links after each phrase (some of which refs are misquotes, as I discussed above), that you're trying to make a case that the majority of historians agree that the city was occupied "for some time." I dispute this portrayal.
  • I dispute the sentence, "According to Schein in her article "Gesta Deis per Mongolos", the Mongols did rule over the Holy Land between February and May 1300, but the recovery of the Holy Land by the Christians did not take place." I feel that this is a mis-interpretation of what she said. Plus your revert has re-inserted a misspelling of her article title.
  • I dispute that the title of the article, "Franco-Mongol alliance" is appropriate, since I maintain that there was never a major alliance. I have offered several possible compromises for a different title, every single one of which you have rejected. I have asked you to supply some other alternative, and you have simply declined. I am open to compromise on this issue, but you have to suggest an alternative.
  • I dispute the use of Jotischky's statement about Ghazan's "symbolic occupation", since he lists Schein as his source for that information, and he obviously misinterpreted her research. Schein never stated as a fact that Ghazan was in Jerusalem, but instead listed that claim as one of the potential rumors that was flying around Europe in 1300. I had added a qualifier to Jotischky's quote, you removed it.
  • I also dispute the removal of this paragraph from Schein's book, which I added and you immediately removed.[6] There is also some muddling between what she said in 1979, and what she said in 1991, but I think it's essential that if we include her statements from 1979 and 1991, that we also include what she said (posthumously) in 2005.
  • And as we discussed above, I dispute your revert where you included a biased interpretation of the quote from Angus Donal Stewart's book. (Your revert also re-inserting a misspelling of his name)
I also still have concerns about other sections of the article, but if we can get the above addressed, I'll be willing to remove the {{disputed}} tag. --Elonka 07:31, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Hi Elonka :):):) So, you lament and cry "edit war" when I remove 2 unreferenced POV phrase, but when you take away pages of my referenced material, it is just "normal Wikipedia editing"? Isn't it a little bit inconsistent and unfair? And no, it is not normal to delete someone else's references to introduce your own story instead.
  • Overall, it seems your comments refer to a few rather small editorial points, in one part of this article. Therefore I am afraid your umbrella "Factual accurary disputed" tag is inapropriate.
  • 1) I am OK to adopt your presentation where each source would be discussed in detail. But it will have to incorporate both sides of the story, and avoid magnifying the sources you favour and discrediting the sources you don't. For example, your following statement tries to discredit the source with your own Original Research: this is not acceptable...
However, in The Crusaders and the Crusader States, Andrew Jotischky used Schein's 1979 and 1991 research to state, "after a brief and largely symbolic occupation of Jerusalem, Ghazan withdrew to Persia."[131] Though, this is a possible misinterpretation, since Schein never stated as a fact that Ghazan was in Jerusalem, but instead listed that claim as one of the potential rumors that was flying around Europe in 1300.
We are not supposed to second-guess and try to discredit published authors, except if you have a reference for the second-guessing and the discrediting.
  • 2) If you dispute the portrayal of Schein I am making, there is a very simple solution: we will just quote was she says. I.e. she says that it is a fact that the Mongols ruled over the Holy Land in 1300, and she says that it did not happen that the Mongols captured the Holy Land and remitted it to the Christians.
  • 3) "Franco-Mongol alliance" is a scholarly expression which is fully referenced (Grousset, Demurger etc...). This is enough of a justification to have an article with that name. On the contrary, you propose "Franco-Mongol alliances", but the plural is visibly an original research neologism of yours, and does not even have a single hit on Google. And if you wish to have an article entitled "Diplomatic relations of the Mongols with Europe", be my guest, create one, as it will be very different in content.
  • 4) As discussed in point 1), you cannot try to dismiss Jotischky's statement with your own suppositions on his reasoning. This is pure OR on your parts. We'll just quote him, and that's it.
  • 5) Your interpretation of the Schein quote is pure Original Research ("she seems to put the matter to rest..."), and not acceptable (except possibly if it comes at the end of a long argument against the subject of Mongol occupation, which visibly is not the case since you would have quoted it already):
"In Schein's 2005 book, Gateway to the Heavenly City: Crusader Jerusalem and the Catholic West (1099-1187) published shortly after her death in 2004, she seems to have put the matter to rest, by stating clearly that after Saladin recaptured the city in 1187, except for the period from 1229-1244, Jerusalem remained under Muslim control throughout the rest of the Middle Ages." quoting Schein, 2005, p. 157. "Earthly Jerusalem, ruled by the Moslems (except for the short period of 1229-1244), was to loom large in all types of medieval apocalypticism."
  • 6) As already explained the Angus Donal Stewart reference was given by a great editor (User:Aldux). Please give him time to respond to your querry, and let's move from that.
Best regards. PHG 13:00, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

This is probably the most polite edit war ever. Nevertheless you are in conflict. Please try to resolve or otherwise engage in a conflict resolution system. Arnoutf 22:38, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Heh, well, thanks for noting that we're being polite about it.  ;) But I agree that there is a conflict. My recommendation is that we try a few more rounds of talkpage discussions and edits to the actual article, but if we get to the point where there are just reverts being done every day (even if they're being done in a polite and articulate manner), we should probably proceed to the next step of dispute resolution. What I'd prefer is if we could get comments from enough other editors, to check an actual consensus on how to proceed. I've tried asking for comments from multiple other sources, but it appears that our topic here is so obscure, that most people don't want to weigh in. We could potentially go for a more Wikipedia-wide RfC, if we can nail down the specific issues. For example, we could potentially create a section on the talkpage with a very clear question (like, "What should this page be titled?" "Should the following sentence be included?" and see if we can get any opinions that way. If we can't get any other editors offering actual opinions though, and this continues to just be an impasse between the two most active editors (myself and PHG), we may have to proceed to mediation. --Elonka 23:38, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I still edited a few Pov and unsourced blanket phrases (However, modern historians agree that there was no 1299 battle for Jerusalem, and that the Templars were nowhere near Jerusalem around that time), but overall it seems the Jerusalem paragraph is starting to be pretty balanced, well-informed, and stable. Again, I am glad that we moved from a "this DID NOT happen", to a proper presentation of facts and sources, both ancient and modern.
To me, the article title issue is simply a non-issue, as the term "Franco-Mongol alliance" is well referenced among scholarly sources (Grousset, Demurger... among those I have), and the alternative being proposed are either original research neologisms ("Franco-Mongol alliances"), describe a different content ("Relations between the Mongols and Europe"), or are downright misleading ("Christian-Mongol alliances"... as so many of the Mongols were Christians).
Thank you to all for your great contributions and collaborative efforts. This article is probably now one of the best sources available on this subject matter.PHG 04:02, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
(note) I am continuing this thread in the next section, "Article title", where I have laid out my concerns about POV-pushing in more detail. --Elonka 20:13, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Article title

The disagreement boils down to this: PHG likes "Franco-Mongol alliance". I don't. He says that it's what the majority of sources use. I disagree. He says it's the only possible title we can use. I disagree. I've offered to compromise. He has rejected all compromises. I have offered alternatives. He has rejected all alternatives. I have asked him to suggest alternatives. He has declined, and calls it a "non-issue."[7] I don't feel that PHG is being particularly sporting about this, but let me try and lay things out in a more clear fashion, so that we can see who is using what:

  • Grousset. "Franco-Mongol alliance", or at least that's the title of one minor section heading (in French). Though I would point out that even Adam Bishop says that Grousset is "quaint and outdated."[8]
  • 1911 Brittanica: "The alliance with the Mongols remained, from the first to the last, something of a chimera"[9] (added 23:46, 15 September 2007 (UTC))
  • (1979) Encyclopedia Brittanica. Under the "Mongols" heading, uses the index entry of "Crusaders military relations"
  • Maalouf. Called the alliance a "dream"
  • Barber. Called the alliance a "project" and "the possibility of an alliance"
  • Schein. "plans for an alliance"
  • Martin. "A combined force"
  • Nicolle. "Potential allies", but that overall the major players were the Mamluks and the Mongols, and that the Christans were just "pawns in a greater game."
  • Tyerman. "pursuing the will of the wisps of a Mongol alliance" (added 20:20, 15 September 2007 (UTC))

I think it's also illustrative to see how other historians are titling their books and chapters:

  • "The Crusade and the Mongols"
  • "The Franks and the Mongols"
  • "The Mongols and the Near East"
  • "The Mongols and the West"

Now, I do agree that there was an alliance between at least the Armenians and the Mongols, but I'll also point out that the Armenians weren't really "Franks." The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia eventually became a part of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and they were Christian, but they weren't really "Frankish" or "European". I also think that the Armenian king had his back against the wall when it came to the Mongols, and when they arrived, his choice was "become an ally, or be annihilated." In modern terms, he was "absorbed by the Borg" of the Mongols.  :) Antioch was more of a Crusader state than Armenia, but its main purpose for allying with the Mongols was close ties with Armenia (father-in-law). No one else appears to have engaged in any kind of successful military collaboration. Accordingly, my current favorite titles, in order of preference, are:

  1. Crusader-Mongol relations
  2. Mongol-Crusader relations
  3. Christian-Mongol relations
  4. Mongol-Christian relations
  5. Franco-Mongol alliances (plural)
  6. Christian-Mongol alliances
  7. Mongol relations with Europe (currently a redirect)
  8. Franco-Mongol joint military campaigns
  9. Franco-Mongol military operations

I am also open to other alternatives, if anyone would like to make suggestions? To anyone reading, even if you're not participating in the editing of the article, I would still be interested in your opinion. --Elonka 05:27, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

For the record, Cilician Armenia is considered as a Frank state ("There are five Frank states(...): the Kingdom of Jerusalem, (...) the County of Edessa, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, but also the Kingdom of Little Armenia", Les Croisades, Origines et consequences, p.77-78, 2004). PHG 07:53, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi Elonka, now that you seem to have finally accepted that there were indeed many instances of cooperation between the Franks and the Mongols, it is hard to see why you are so hard against the title itself. Just to state my reasons again: the term "Franco-Mongol alliance" is well referenced among scholarly sources (Grousset, Demurger (2002)... among those I have), and the alternative being proposed are either original research neologisms of yours ("Franco-Mongol alliances"), describe a different content ("Relations between the Mongols and Europe"), or are downright misleading ("Christian-Mongol alliances"... as so many of the Mongols were Christians). "Relations" is also much to minimalist, as the thruth is that alliances were sought for, formally agreed to by Western and Mongol rulers, and applied on numerous instances over long period of time. Regards. PHG 05:44, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Grousset is outdated, and plenty of historians (as mentioned above) strongly disagree with him. And I strongly disagree that there was "formal agreement" on alliances that were "applied on numerous instances." The idea of alliance was talked about a lot, but never really happened. Now, I really wish you would simply suggest an alternative title, rather than being completely inflexible on this. --Elonka 05:52, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Grousset is old (1930's), but not outdated: he is a classic of Crusades history and is constantly re-printed (my edition is 2006). Demurger is neither old nor outdated (2002) and is one of the foremost authorities on the subject. I am afraid that your claim there was no alliance is groundless, contradicted by facts and scholarly sources. Relax Elonka, accept that this is a great article with a great title on a great subject (and lots of great references!) :) Regards PHG 06:14, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I think it's a very good article, that will make a great FA some day, after we deal with a few sections that are trying to push a POV. I think that there are mainly three inappropriate POVs that are being pushed: (1) The claim that Jerusalem was conquered by the Mongols in 1299/1300; (2) The claim that there was a major alliance between the Franks and the Mongols; and (3) The claim that the Templars were one of the leading forces in both promoting a Mongol alliance, and fighting alongside the Mongols. Of the claim that Jerusalem was conquered by the Mongols in 1299/1300, I believe that this claim is incorrect, that Jerusalem was not conquered by the Mongols, and that the vast majority of reliable historians say that no such conquering took place. I believe that you think it did take place, and you're trying to bend certain sections of the article into pretzels, in order to try and make your case. I also believe that you're pushing a POV via the article title, by trying to make a case that there was this grand alliance between the Franks and the Mongols, when the majority of reliable sources say that despite numerous attempts, that there really wasn't such an alliance. I also protest the Templar-centric views in some parts of the article, but that's a lesser concern. The top 2 are my main focus right now. So let me be very clear here, on just the title issue: I think it is inappropriate to title the article "Franco-Mongol alliance", because there was no formal alliance. I think we should pick a different title. PHG, I am trying to respect your own views here, since you created this article, but you and I are currently the two primary editors here, and we do not have consensus that the current title is appropriate. So, I am asking you again, to please choose an alternative, or suggest an alternative, so that we can discuss it and try to reach consensus. If you still refuse, I'll probably just pick the alternate title that I like best, and file an RM, or an RfC, and then we'll see how things go from there. I would really rather not go that route, as I would rather that you and I could discuss things in good faith, and reach a mutually-agreeable compromise, but you seem completely opposed to any type of compromise, so you are limiting my options here.  :/ --Elonka 07:27, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi Elonka. I am afraid you are mistaken: this is not your opinion against mine, this is really not a matter of opinion at all. Opinions are irrelevant on Wikipedia, only sources and references matter. "Franco-Mongol alliance" is a scholarly expression which is fully referenced (by Grousset (1936/2006) or Demurger (2002) as a factual event, and by many others as something that was attempted and achieved in limited ways). This is enough of a justification to have an article with that name. End of the discussion: there is no need to argue endlessly about your own opinions here. You may well create other articles with other titles if you wish, but the subject discussed here is the Franco-Mongol alliance. Best regards. PHG 07:50, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Just because Grousset has been recently reprinted doesn't mean you should use him as your major source. It was still written in 1936 and crusade studies are far more advanced now. As another example, my copy of Runciman is a reprint from 1994 but it still reflects 1951 scholarship. All that means is that it is an old book in a shiny new cover. Adam Bishop 08:02, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough, but Grousset it still highly relevant in many instances, as is Runciman. Demurger (2002) also is a major modern source. Regards PHG 08:15, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
In this occasion, I have to stand with PHG: at the cost ov being obvious, remember that historiography isn't physics, and in historical debate seminal works (as are here without doubt Grousset's and Runciman's works) continue to be upholded and used as references and discussed.--Aldux 23:27, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Georgia question

I question this section of the article:

The Mongols first invaded Persian territory in 1220, destroying the Kwarizmian kingdom of Jelel-ad-Din, and then conquering the kingdom of Georgia. Genghis Khan then returned to Mongolia, and Persia was reconquered by Muslim forces.

In 1231, a huge Mongol army again came in 1231 under the general Chormaqan. He ruled over Persia and Azerbaijan from 1231 to 1241. In 1242, Baichu further invaded the Seldjuk kingdom, ruled by Kaikhosrau, in modern Turkey, again eliminating an enemy of Christendom. The Christian Georgian king George IV submitted to the Mongols in 1243, and became a regular ally in their military conquests.

George IV can't have allied with the Mongols in 1243, since he died in 1223. Plus, we're already saying that Georgia was conquered in 1220, so an "alliance" of a vassal state doesn't make a lot of sense. Can we please double-check sources here? Thanks, Elonka 23:54, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for catching this. It was Queen Rusudan of Georgia. "In 1243 the Queen herself became vassal on the understanding that the whole Georgian kingdom was to be given to her son under Mongol suzerainty." Runciman, p.250. The Mongols came once in the 1220's, and a second time in the 1240's. Best regards PHG 04:41, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Original research and deletion of sources

I corrected a few of Elonka's edit which are evidently original research, or amount the deletion of refererenced material:

  • OR: "His statement is curious, considering that Schein never confirmed that Ghazan was in Jerusalem, but instead listed that as one of the rumors at the time."
  • In the introduction, efforts to favor a single point-of-view rather than a abalanced view between the various the different authors: "Many attempts[1] were made towards a Franco-Mongol alliance". Reinstated a more neutral "A Franco-Mongol alliance,[1][2][3] or attempts towards such an alliance,[4][5] occurred between the mid-1200s and the early 1300s, starting around the time of the Seventh Crusade."
  • The whole new paragraph "Disagreements on the existence of an alliance" is essentially OR and an essay by Elonka. All these sources are already quoted elsewhere in the article. Unnecessary and not recommended on Wikipedia.
  • Deletion of reference about the Armenians being considered as a Frank kingdom: "There are five Frank states(...): the Kingdom of Jerusalem, (...) the County of Edessa, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, but also the Kingdom of Little Armenia", Les Croisades, Origines et consequences, p.77-78
  • Deletion of referenced material on the Templars: "The Knights Templar and their leader Jacques de Molay strongly advocated, and entered into, a collaboration with the Mongols under Ghazan and fought against the Mamluks." Referenced from Demurger, p.139 "During four years, Jacques de Molay and his order were totally committed, with other Christian forces of Cyprus and Armenia, to an enterprise of reconquest of the Holy Land, in liaison with the offensives of Ghazan, the Mongol Khan of Persia". Also p.283: "But especially, from 1299 to 1303, he [Molay] plays the Mongol card to the utmost. With his Order, and the other Christian forces of the kingdoms of Cyprus and Little Armenia, he tries to coordinate some operations with the Ilkha Khanate."

By the way Elonka, Runciman is not French, but British. And I am afraid that your categorizations "French historians say..." are untrue and OR. By the way, do not be surprised if some French historians are some of the most reliable on this period, as it is essentially a French subject matter, with most of the ancient material in French or Latin.:)

Best regards to all. PHG 05:40, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry about the Runciman thing, that was a typo on my part (I know he's not French). As for much of the rest of your comments, it seems we have vastly different views on what "original research" is. In my opinion, you're engaging in original research by excessive reliance on ancient sources to make your point. I also strongly disagree with your edit here,[10], where you deleted an hour and a half of my own extensively sourced work, by accusing me of OR. It's my strong opinion that when we have multiple historians saying different things, that instead of edit-warring back and forth about which version to use, that we should just lay out all the (reliable secondary source) comments side by side and let our readers make up their own minds. As for your statement that French historians might be the most reliable on this matter, I think that we've pretty well established quite the opposite, at least as far as 19th century sources go.  ;) ( /me points at that big painting hanging in the Versailles, about the 1299 battle that never happened.) --Elonka 06:17, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I rephrased to "some French historians are some of the most reliable on this period", which is actually what I meant. I am afraid your treatment of French sources is partial and seemingly prejudiced (are we going to say, "American historians say...", "British historians say..." ?). By the way, you are conveniently omitting the non-French sources describing the Mongol alliance (some already otherwise quoted in this article). And I do not see any answer to your deletion of referenced material described above... PHG 11:30, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I just want to make two quick points...extensive examination of numerous and possibly contradictory primary sources is the very definition of "original research". It's great if you're an historian, but that's not what we are supposed to do on Wikipedia. Secondly, the most reliable sources on "this period" (assuming you mean the crusades in general) are currently in English; that's no slight against the French, who of course contribute extensively to crusade historiography. But the most prolific and important of them, Jean Richard, who even writes on this particular topic, hasn't been used in this article... Adam Bishop 07:45, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I slightly rephrased what I actually meant (i.e. French historians are some of the most knowledgeable on the period, not denying the value of English-language historians whatsoever), in reaction to Elonka's seemingly partial treatment of them. Scholars are known by themselves, and attempting to make an amalgam and to form a national stereotype is normally quite prejudiced and OR. Regarding Jacques de Molay (and the subject in which Elonka is particularly interested: the alliance of the Templars with the Mongols in 1298-1303), Demurger is probably is one of the first, if not the No1, world expert. To your second point, primary sources in this article are only shown as long as they are presented by modern secondary sources, a practice which exactly parallels what is generally done in articles or books on the period, including Wikipedia articles. Regards. PHG 11:30, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
PHG, I think you're degenerating into personal attacks here, and I really have to ask you to get back to discussing the article, instead of any character flaws which you think I may or may not have. But to try and answer your specific points: First, I'm not aware of any case of where I've been deleting reliably sourced information from the article. I have been moving a lot of things around. If I accidentally lost something in the middle (especially considering that you were reverting me every few minutes), I apologize, it was probably an accident. Unlike some of your own actions such as this one, where you deleted my work as "OR".[11] As for your comments about any seeming bias I have towards French historians, I assure you, I have no such thing.  :) I've lived in France, I like France, I have great respect for France, and if I've done anything to imply that I don't have respect for French history, again, I apologize, as that was not my intent. However, it does seem to me that we do have some different versions of history that have been forking out, with the French historians saying one thing (especially about the Knights Templar and their relative importance in the scheme of things), and non-French historians saying something different. If this is actually the case, then instead of us yanking the article back and forth to try and argue about which version is "truth," I think it would be better if we just laid out both versions, and let our readers decide. To the point of primary sources, I agree with Adam Bishop, and have to add that just because a primary source is mentioned in a secondary source, does not then mean that it's alright to use that primary source to try and draw some other conclusion. In other words, just because Grousset (or Runciman, or whoever), says "According to Joinville, X," and "According to the Templar of Tyre, Y", doesn't mean that we can put in the Wikipedia article, "X and Y are true and accepted, and therefore mean Z." As for your claim about Demurger being the #1 world expert on the Knights Templar, I am unaware of any sources which state that Demurger is more highly respected than Malcolm Barber. Indeed, I've been seeing sources that criticize Demurger for a bit too much of "jumping to conclusions". But if you have a source that says that Demurger is now more highly regarded than Barber, I'm happy to review it. And lastly, can I please advise you to read WP:OWN? Best, --Elonka 16:30, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Although I think in general Elonka's case is the stronger (ie better supported by argument); I would advise Elonka to reconsider an important issue. Your repeated reference to you being important in getting Templar to FA; and open doubts in accepted academics that do not support your view on this issue, seems to indicate (to me at least) that you are claiming all Templar related articles as your own (ie be careful about the WP:OWN guideline yourself as well). Arnoutf 16:38, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Point taken, but actually I'm trying to decrease the emphasis on the Knights Templar.  :) My point in bringing up the FA issue, is simply to say that I have read many works about the Knights Templar, and I feel I am extremely familiar with research about them. I'm not trying to say I demand the right to "pre-approve" all Templar-related information on Wikipedia, as I agree that would be a violation of WP:OWN. However, I've definitely been on the front lines in terms of battling the constant flow of pseudohistory that tries to work its way into Wikipedia. The problem is that the Templars have been extremely high-profile in popular culture for hundreds of years, and so they routinely get credit for things that in reality, they really didn't have that much to do with. Another problem is that Jacques de Molay, by his name being closely associated with Freemasonry these days, has become something of a personal hero for many people. I give regular talks about the Knights Templar, and I see unusual assumptions in my audience members about what De Molay did and didn't do (sometimes they even associate him with the building of the Temple of Solomon!). In the 1800s, Freemasonic writers were regularly embellishing the history of the Templars, and increasing the legends and folklore about them. I can't say as a fact that this may be the reason for the erroneous painting that's hanging in Versailles, but it wouldn't surprise me to find out that the embellished information came from the Freemasons. But getting back to the original issue: My concern here at the Franco-Mongol alliance article, is that there appear to be some similar attempts to declare Jacques de Molay as a central figure in the communications with the Mongols, and I'm afraid that this just isn't supported by the facts. It's true that De Molay was involved in correspondence with them, but this was just one small part of many communications between the Mongols and many other European leaders. I understand that we do have a source (Demurger) who did phrase some things like that, but I'll also point out that Demurger's book The Last Templar is entirely about De Molay, so of course things are going to be phrased in that book in a De Molay-centric fashion. But that doesn't mean that the Wikipedia article should phrase things in a similar manner, just because that's how Demurger said it. I'm sure that if there were a book about the leader of the Knights Hospitaller' leader, Guillaume de Villaret, that it too could say, "De Villaret was in correspondence with the Mongols." But De Villaret just isn't as "sexy" a figure as De Molay, and so there aren't as many books about him. Ultimately though, when we say that the Mongol leader Ghazan was seeking Crusader assistance in Syria, we need to be aware that he wrote to many people, not just the Templars. So it's a bit biased to say, "He wrote to De Molay and asked for Templar help," instead of, "He wrote to the leaders of the military orders (plural) and asked for help." Lastly, just to be clear on my intentions: My own attention was drawn to this alliance article, not simply because it has info about the Templars, but because PHG was trying to insert false information into the Knights Templar article about how De Molay allied with the Mongols to launch a surprise attack on Jerusalem.[12] So I initially came here to get the Templar information straightened out, and then when I encountered resistance, I stuck around to try and get other misinformation taken care of as well. I still firmly believe that this "alliance" article is a fine article that's going to be a great FA someday. But if we're going to do it, let's get it right. --Elonka 17:47, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Elonka. Let me take exception to your "PHG was trying to insert false information into the Knights Templar article about how De Molay allied with the Mongols to launch a surprise attack on Jerusalem". You are refering to a lot of information on Templar sites which did state that Molay took Jerusalem, confirmed by the paintings etc... which I referenced in good faith. We agreed that we should better drop such sites as unreliable. And actually we learnt that Molay's participation was "probably false" (rather than just outright "false": sources are not totally conclusive, and it turned out that Molay was in the Levant before and after the fact, contrary to your initial claim), and that the Mongol conquest of Jerusalem may well have happened, given both ancient and modern sources (also contrary to your initial claim: "this DID NOT happen"). So, thank you not to make abusive portrayings of your fellow editors here. Best regards. PHG 19:00, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree that templar topics have a high likelihood to attract pseudohistory. Especially the centuries of myths that have been accepted as truth by many; and have been taken up in other works, make this a muddled topic. In this context I am pretty sure we should only use recent secondary sources of academic historians for any statement that maybe contested. Even if we do; we might not be able to exclude mysticism altogehter as academics are only human.
A suggestion that may help to defuse this conflict a little bit. Elonka please accept Demurger. PHG please accept that Demurger does not explicitly state that the 1299 conquest happened (whatever maybe read in his rethoric question) and hence cannot be used as a source for that 1299 conquest (in whatever form). Arnoutf 21:22, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I am quoting Demurger as saying that Jacques de Molay probably did not take Jerusalem in 1299/1300 (although he remains ambivalent on the question of the Mongols taking it). Best regards PHG 21:52, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
In other words: Demurger says that de Molay probably did not take Jerusalem (we all agree there). And Demurger also does not confirm Jerusalem was actually taken by anyone. So I don't see the problem. Arnoutf 10:30, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I do have to admit some suspicion about the Demurger book, because it is not being picked up here by any of the sources I trust. The French version came out in 2002, and the English in 2005. Yet not a single library in St. Louis is carrying either version, and it's not being sold in any of the bookstores (and I've checked them all). It's also not available on Google Books. I went ahead and bought a copy online, which has been shipped, but hasn't arrived yet. I would like to trust it, I really would, but I can't shake the feeling that it's a "summer reading" book rather than a serious reference. However, I'm willing to still accept it as a source in the article for now, as long as, when Demurger says something that is grossly different from what most other historians are saying, that we point out the differences. Also, I'd like to point out that PHG sourced some information in the article to the Demurger book, but not to the text -- he sourced it to the back cover. I strongly object to this, as the marketing copy is usually about as reliable as the art on the bookjacket (meaning, not very). :/ --Elonka 02:40, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
It's in the University of Toronto library, but have you been able to find any scholarly reviews of it? I haven't and that makes me suspcious too. Adam Bishop 02:44, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
The closest libraries to me that have it are in Chicago and in Indiana. As for reviews, I've checked and a complete "world newspaper" search, but nothing. I did find one buried mention that Helen Nicholson had reviewed "Jacques de Molay: Le crepuscule des templiers" in the 2005 issue of "Speculum". There appear to be online versions available to universities but I can't get at them unless I actually drive out there. Do you by any chance have access? The cite is "Speculum, Mediaeval Academy of America, Cambridge, Mass. 80, no. 1, (2005): 210. --Elonka 03:40, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Sure, I'll look that up tomorrow. Adam Bishop 05:50, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

OK, according to Nicholson's review, it's a good book, Demurger is the best authority in French but unfortunately is not really well known in English (as I can attest, I suppose!). Adam Bishop 21:11, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Alain Demurger

If Alain Demurger is not in your US libraries (so much for European sources, and so much for US-centric research!!), you can try Amazon: [13]. Alain Demurger is honorary Master of Conference at Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Here is his French Wikipedia article: [14]. He is published in French, English, Spanish, and German. Alain Demurger published extensively on the subject of the Templars [15], he is quoted by Barber in The New Knighthood : A History of the Order of the Temple as one of the references for a modern introduction to the Templars (p.397): "There are good general surveys, by Marie-Louise Bust-Theile, 'Sacrae Domus Militiae Templi Hierosolymitani Magistri (1974), and Alain Demurger, Vie et mort de l'ordre du Temple" [16]. I don't think anybody wrote more extensively than him on Jacques de Molay and the period of 1298-1303 covering the alliance with the Mongols. Best regards. PHG 04:48, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Extent of the Franco-Mongol alliance

I think this paragraph was essentially an original research essay by Elonka (original combination of existing sources as per OR), but OK, it has the advantage of describing the various points of view on the question. I modified Elonka's characterization that only French historians speak about the existence of an alliance. I balanced, ordered and structured, and NPOVed it. Hope everybody likes it! I tend to think however that this paragraph should go to the end of the article, after the description of the various historical facts. Best regards PHG 18:52, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Too many primary sources

I am extremely concerned by the excessive quantity of primary source quotes that being used (and are continuing to be being added) in the article. We already have plenty of secondary sources about this time period, we really shouldn't be quoting so many primary sources, especially because all historians are agreeing that many of the primary sources from the time were wrong. Per WP:QUOTE, an excessive number of quotes also tend to be distracting, and break up the flow of the encyclopedia article. And per WP:NOT, we're not trying to provide a comprehensive list here of every single quote about the topic, we're trying to provide a readable encyclopedia article.

In my opinion, the only primary sources we should be quoting on this topic, are direct extracts from correspondence between the leaders of the time, and only if such correspondence is being referred to in the text of the article, and has been confirmed by some other reliable secondary source as accurate. See WP:PSTS. For example, if we're saying, "There was communication between the Pope and the Mongol leader", it makes sense to quote an extract of that communication.

It is not, however, wise to be quoting all kinds of bits and pieces from the 1300s accounts of the Templar of Tyre and Hayton of Corycus and others from that era. I feel we're running afoul of WP:NOR, and we've already agreed that rumors were running rampant in the 1300s, so there's no need for us to continue spreading misinformation now, 700 years later. These extra primary source quotes should either be removed entirely, or moved down to the "Notes" section. Though considering that the Notes section is getting absurdly long as it is (over 200 notes, last I checked), I'm leaning towards deletion. Or, let's move them all over to Wikisource or Wikiquote, and then we can link to the page there. That way the collected information can still be maintained, but in a more appropriate venue. --Elonka 20:48, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Ancient sources are most of the time quoted here when they are also quoted by modern secondary sources, so you do not have to worry for OR (I am much more concerned by many of your OR statements in preceding discussions :)). Books on the periods have plenty such quotes, so there is no reason why Wikipedia should be an exception. Also, I am not sure that it is fair to qualify 13th century historians as "Primary sources" (Templar of Tyre or Hayton of Corycus for example): I would think they are actually secondary sources (historians, writing about a period), with the particularity that they are quite ancient. Lastly, ancient sources have an amazing capability to moderate modern fancy theories, i.e. they give us an objective window into what people actually heard, said and thought. What kind of historian would want to do away with ancient sources? As it stands, the article has a fine balance of ancient sources and modern theories, and I think it is fair not to privilege one over the other. PS: I do not see anything absurd in having 200 notes, and actually you are the one who initially complained this article was not referenced enough. Best regards PHG 21:14, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
They may have been historians, but they were generally writing their firsthand views on the situation. They were not writing in peer-reviewed publications, and should not be used as reliable sources, especially when we have much more recent research from modern and reliable historians. Our job at Wikipedia isn't to read the primary sources and then draw our own conclusions, our job is to summarize the modern perspective on the situation. The comments from the 1300s folks may be interesting, and worthy of including at Wikisource or Wikiquote, but I think we're getting much too cluttered here at the Wikipedia article, and that we're losing focus on what it is that we're trying to be doing here. We're not trying to write a comprehensive book or doctoral thesis here, we're trying to provide a readable encyclopedia article. PHG, I'm not faulting your ability to research -- you're obviously highly-motivated on this topic, and spending a lot of time researching. But I don't think that Wikipedia is the place for what you're trying to do. If you want to write a full out article where you quote everything in sight and lay out your opinions on what did or didn't happen in 1299/1300, fine, then write and publish an article in an academic history journal somewhere. But I think you're trying to bend Wikipedia to a purpose here, for which it's really not intended. Or in other words, a few sparing and rare quotes from the 1300s historians may be appropriate, but right now we have way too many, and they're not being used effectively. It seems like you're trying to transcribe every footnote from the French history books, here into the Wikipedia article. And that's just not appropriate. --Elonka 21:38, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Elonka. Do you always exagerate that much??? Only the most essential quotes have been included in this article, and they are quotes which have been put forward and validated in the publications of modern historians. Best regards PHG 21:52, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I am very sorry that we seem to have reached yet another impasse. PHG, I do have great respect for much of the work that you have done on Wikipedia, and for your great attention to detail. It is just on this issue about the Mongols (and especially the Templars, a subject with which I am very familiar), that I feel we disagree. Since it seems that we are losing the ability to communicate in good faith towards mutually-agreeable compromises, may I suggest that we proceed to another stage of dispute resolution, and seek a neutral mediator? Perhaps with a third party in this discussion, we might be able to find a better way to communicate? Truly, I would rather find a way to work with you than against you, PHG. We obviously have many overlapping areas of interest, and I think that if we could figure out how to work through disagreements, it would be an overall advantage for Wikipedia. Please, join me in mediation? --Elonka 22:37, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I personally tend to think that there may be an excess of quotes of primary sources, and I'm always a bit uncomfortable with presenting primary sources without mediation; also I'm a bit scared by the length this article is assuming. That said, I feel Elonka is not fully understanding the importance of the rumours that spread in 1300, as they are of great importance to understand the hopes and expectations the West had towards the Mongols; for this, quite a lot of books from a research I made through Google Books cover these rumors, making them clearly notable.--Aldux 23:11, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
To the contrary, Aldux, I am extremely aware of the importance of the rumors, I'm the main person that's been presenting the case that there were rumors, and I'm even the one that created the "rumors" section in the article.[17] However, my concern is that PHG is presenting some of these rumors as though they were reliable sources. I am completely okay on presenting a couple quotes about rumors, as long as we clearly present them as what they were, examples of speculation from the time period, that were later proven to be false. I'm also concerned with edits like this one,[18] where PHG added an image (which is fine), but then he used the opportunity to place what I felt was a POV statement in the caption, saying that "Contemporary sources, whether Western, Armenian, or Arab, consistently describe the capture of Jerusalem by the Mongols in early 1300". I feel that that kind of statement is misleading, and is again being used to push a biased POV that Jerusalem was captured in 1300, when the majority of modern sources agree that it wasn't. --Elonka 23:33, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi Elonka, I am afraid you are denying the obvious. It is the reality that "Contemporary sources, whether Western, Armenian, or Arab, consistently describe the capture of Jerusalem by the Mongols in early 1300". It sums up the situation and can be referenced by several authors. And it does not even attempt to substitute itself to the judgement of modern authors, who by the way are simply divided on the subject, and are amply (too amply?) treated in the article. Ancient sources constitute an indisputable statement about what was actually said and thought during the covered period, and therefore are highly historic and encyclopedic in nature. I am amazed that you are trying to erase from this article the mention of what ancient sources have to say, especially when they are endorsed, referenced and quoted by a quantity of modern authors. Regards. PHG 04:32, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


I already mentioned this a couple times, but it seems to be getting buried in the discussion, so I'd like to start a new section to ensure that my offer is seen. We obviously have an impasse here, where dedicated editors (primarily myself and PHG) have a difference of opinion, and have been having trouble reaching consensus on how to proceed. Since we are at an impasse, I therefore propose that we seek the assistance of a third-party mediator, per WP:RFM, to try and assist us through this process. PHG, will you please join me in mediation? It is a voluntary process, and it is non-binding. Nothing is going to be forced on us by a mediator, but it is my hope that through the assistance of a mediator, that we may be able to find better ways to communicate, and find a mutually-agreeable way to proceed. --Elonka 07:30, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi Elonka. I am afraid it just seems that you are loosing ground on this page, and that now you would like to bring your battle somewhere else. Your proposal to change the article title is going nowhere near what you wished, quite the contrary. Your wish to eradicate ancient sources from the face of history articles cannot go very far either. You introduced many original research statements in your presentation of various historians, which you had to take away. You would like to go to Mediation now? But you don't even have a good reason to go to mediation. A few quotes too many? This is such a minor issue... An article title that you don't like? It is actually referenced in multiple publications. Elonka, I do appreciate your contribution, but I do not want to spend my life endlessly arguing with you on minor and pointless issues. Let's relax and have a good time. Be tolerant of others' contributions. Best regards. PHG 08:15, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Original research and deletion of sources (continued)

The saga continues...

  • The referenced statement (from Demurger) that Le Templier de Tyr called "Molay" one of the generals of Ghazan also disapearred. I reinstated it.
  • Deletion of the following quote:

"In Jerusalem, in Jabal al-Salihiyya, in Naplouse, in Daraya and other places, they killed a number of people, and made a number a number of captives only known to God."

— Ibn Taymiyya, Textes Spirituels, Chap XI.[1]
  • Misrepresentation of sources. Elonka wrote "After the Mamluk forces retreated south to Egypt, and the Mongol forces retreated north, with promises to return in the winter of 1300-1301 to attack Egypt..." [155] quoting Demurger, when he actually described that "After the Mamluk forces retreated south to Egypt, the main Mongol forces retreated north in February, Ghazan leaving his general Mulay to rule in Syria".
  • Repeated deletion of the statement that "Ghazan left his general Mulay to rule in Syria with an army of 10,000." although it is referenced in Demurger (p.146) and others. PHG 21:03, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Tampering of quote (Demurger, p.142): the "There Ghazan was rallied by the Armenians, as well as Hospitallers and Templars from the territory of Armenia, who participated to the rest of the campaign" which I had originally put in (direct from Demurger) becomes "There, according to one source, Ghazan was joined by King Hethoum II of Armenia and some of his own forces, some Armenian Hospitallers and Templars"![19] Quite unbelievable attempt to transform Templars and Hospitallers into ethnic Armenians! At one point it said even more explicity "Templar and Hospitallers from the garrissons of Armenia", but that also disappeared. I am dreaming? PHG 21:03, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to bed, I've had enough of this for today. PHG 21:08, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

PHG, perhaps you need to review WP:AGF?
  • Regarding item #1, I removed it because it wasn't reliably sourced. The Templar of Tyre is an important medieval historian, but he is not a reliable source. He is considered a primary source, who should be quoted only in conjunction with some verification from a modern reliable historian that the quote is particularly important in some way.
  • Same as above, this was yet another quote from a primary source.
  • Misrepresentation of sources? I copyedited to say "bulk of" instead of "main".
  • I only deleted that because it was duplicated. The information was still left in the article somewhere else.[20] Here's what the article looked like when you woke up: (search on "Mulai")[21]
  • Tampering? Try typo. I left out the word "including". It should have been "forces, including some" instead of "forces, some". My apologies for the error, I wasn't trying to make a case that Hethoum was in charge of those forces. C'mon, I know better.  :) --Elonka 02:18, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Hi Elonka. Thanks for your answer. It is not an issue about Good Faith, but an objective issue about your deleting and corrupting referenced sources.
  • The statement that Le Templir de Tyr called one of Ghazan's general Molay is 100% true, and is sourced from Demurger (2002). You cannot erase an important secondary source because you personnaly have issues about it.
  • Statement 2 is mentionned and quoted from the modern secondary source Michaud Yahia. You cannot erase it just because you dislike it.
  • No, I am the one who had to put the bulk back in (several times, which you again erased). You are visibly trying to misrepresent the presence of Mulay with 10,000 horsemen ruling over the whole of the Holy Land between February and May 1300 as original research, although it is actually mentionned by the modern and authoritative secondary source Demurger.
  • The information was indeed present once elsewere, but my point is that you removed this key statement about Mulay from a paragraph which was objectively describing the invasion.
  • The point is that you modified "Templars and Hospitallers from the territory of Armenia", and "Templars and Hospitallers from the garissons of Armenia" to "Armenian Templars and Hospitallers" [22]. It is not a typo, it is a corruption of meaning. PHG 04:25, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I object to your characterization that I am "corrupting referenced sources", please try to be more civil.
  • I had been under the impression that you were sourcing that information strictly to the Templar of Tyre, and not to an actual modern historian. Now that I have seen the Demurger book, I agree that he was drawing the link between Molay and Mulay. So I'm okay on that part remaining in the article.
  • I dispute that quotes from Michaud Yahia's book are reliable. The book is entitled "The spiritual texts". My impression is that it is a collection of transcripts, but it is not any kind of a verification that the information in those transcripts is true. If you have more information about the author or the reputation of the book, I am open to reviewing the information.
  • The statement about "Mulay being in command of a force of 10,000 troops" was in the article three times, all within a span of a few paragraphs (I think there were even two mentions in the same paragraph). I deleted two of the statements, leaving one in the article. This is not "deleting sources", this is "removing duplication."
  • Yes, because that was my interpretation of that source. "Templars from Armenia" == "Armenian Templars". I don't see what's a big deal about that kind of copyediting. --Elonka 17:00, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move the page at this time, per the discussion below. To clarify, this close is based upon my reading of the talk page in full. There are clearly relevant objections to the current title, but there is no consensus that the objections should overrule the literature that does agree with the current title, or that the proposed title is ideal. Dekimasuよ! 06:24, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Franco-Mongol allianceCrusader-Mongol relations — Move is being requested to a more appropriate title, since there was never really a formal alliance between the Crusaders and the Mongols. —Elonka 08:37, 15 September 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support (as nominator). I've done extensive research on this topic, in a variety of reliable sources in multiple languages. Though there is a book from the 1930s by Rene Grousset, written in French, that refers to a "Franco-Mongol alliance", the vast majority of modern sources agree that though there were many attempts at an alliance, that no such thing really existed on a large scale. The topic is still worth a Wikipedia article, but it would be better served by an article title of "Crusader-Mongol relations". --Elonka 08:40, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose (as creator of this article) "Franco-Mongol alliance" is a scholarly expression which is fully referenced by Grousset (1936/2006) or a leading expert of the period such as Demurger (2002) as a factual event, and by many others as something that was attempted and achieved in limited ways (Barber, Schein). Although it may have been more or less successfull (5-6 coordinated campaings over a period of 50 years) and ended in defeat, this alliance was nonetheless founded on written agreements between Western kings and Mongol rulers, coordinated strategic actions (attacks from the West by Western rulers, synchronized with attacks from the East by Mongol rulers), and even battles in the same ranks, although Western powers could rarely muster more than a few hundred knights. This alliance was also the main focus of the last efforts of the Templars to reconquer the Holy Land in 1298-1303. On the other hand, "Crusader-Mongol relations" is a neologism, which does not even obtain a single hit on Google, and would have to cover a much broader subject-matter (relations of the Crusaders and the Mongols in the Eastern Europe theater, cultural interactions, respective perceptions etc...). PHG 08:45, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment While the accusation of favouring a neologism is pretty correct, and so the proposed title may not be the best, I'd generally tend to accept the idea of a change, not because because it's obvious that PHG is wrong, but because it can't be honestly said that there is a full historical consensus behind such a strong title as the current. A softer title would have the advantage IMO of not opting in a direction or the other.--Aldux 23:20, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, because the exact phrase "Franco-Mongol alliance" appears in reputable publications by more than one author and I am therefore inclined to regard it as more than merely a descriptive pharse and as a piece of scholarly currency. A phrase that has been used before of the thing under discussion must be preferred to a merely descriptive phrase invented for our purposes at Wikipeida, in my opinion. Srnec 03:54, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, I know I suggested some of the other titles, but if this one has been used in the literature, then we are kind of obliged to go along with it. Adam Bishop 23:03, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


I still don't have the book, but I'm able to view a few limited pages through the AmazonOnlineReader. It looks pretty good, but I'm not getting the same interpretation from it that PHG seemed to. For example, in terms of an alliance, even Demurger seems to refer to it as "combined operation" and something that was promised or hoped for, but never came together. Here's an excerpt from p. 94:

The two letters [Ghazan] sent in late 1299 were now, however totally ineffectual. Seigneurs from Cyprus left the island to join him possibly as early as the end of the 1299, but definitely by January 1300. Two knights of the realm, Guy d'Ibelin, Count of Jaffa, and Jean de Gibelet, landed with their entourages on the Syrian coast at Gibelet and settled in the castle of Nefin with the intention to reach Armenia and join Ghazan. But after a few days they learned that the khan had terminated his campaign and gone back to his capital, Tabriz. This episode with the knights is a minor one, but it signifies none the less the Christians' willingness to become involved. For even though the favourable conditions at the end of 1299 were not likely to happen again soon, the following year would see a better prepared attempt at common action between Mongol, Armenian and Cypriot forces. To which Jacques de Molay was to commit himself totally. The idea of a combined operation by the Mongols of Persia and the Latins was not a new one, and its aims were fairly straightforward: land taken from the Mamluks were to be divided between Mongols and Christians, the latter retrieving the territories of the former Latin States in the East and Jerusalem. This is reiterated in a letter sent by Thomas Gras from Cyprus on 4 March 1300: "And the said Kasan [sic] sent his messengers to the king of Jerusalem and Cyprus and to the communes and military-religious Orders who supported him in Damascus or Jerusalem, saying that he would give them all the land which the Christians had formerly held in the time of Godefroy de Bolloin [sic]." Gras is referring to Ghazan's offensive in the autumn of 1299, on the strength of which an optimistic rumour spread in the West early in 1300 that Jerusalem was once more in Christian hands. It was even said that King Hethum of Armenia had celebrated Mass at the Holy Sepulchre on the Feast of the Epiphany. Ghazan's attack and victories also raised great hopes in Cyprus, according to a letter from a Franciscan from Nicosia, dated 14 February 1300. He, too, says that Hethum prayed at the Holy Sepulchre; he further announces that 'our Minister and many of our brethren (of the Franciscan province) are preparing to go to Syria with the Knights, footsoldiers and all the other monks. But the news of Ghazan's retreat in the same month deferred such fine resolutions until later. Which brings us back to the problem of the Mongols' weak point -- the difficult of keeping such a vast army of horsemen mobilized, not because the men could not be kept, but because their mounts could not be fed. Breaking off his pursuit of the Mamluk army after his victory at Homs, Ghazan had not been able to destroy totally the sultan of Cairo's army. The Templar of Tyre considers his pursuit 'feeble' and explains why: 'He began to follow the defeated army, but not very forcefully, for his horses were worn out from the long journey they had made, and the battle, and the shortage of fodder. Returning to Tabriz, Ghazan left Syria under the control of the emir Mulay, who the Templar of Tyre refers to as Molay, thereby leading to confusion with our Grand Master. Perhaps this is what lies at the root of the legend about Jacques de Molay entering Jerusalem -- a legend I will return to at the end of the book. In reality, general command was exercised by Kutlushah, Mulay being only the head of the army which got as far as Gaza and may have penetrated Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Ghazan had announced that he would return the following November, this time to attack Egypt. While he waited, during 1300, the khan stepped up his diplomatic initiatives with Cyprus and the West...."

--Elonka 04:36, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Demurger on the forces in Ruad. Even he agrees it wasn't just a Templar thing:

p.98 "It may appear that the occupation and defense of Ruad became the exclusive affair of the Templars, but the reality was rather different. Preparation for the landing at Ruad back in November 1300 had taken all year to organise by the whole of the Christian forces based in Cyprus, in the hope that all the promises made by the Mongol alliance would finally be realised."

--Elonka 04:46, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I am relieved you finally found something on Demurger :), and recommend that you read the whole book. Nobody denies that the alliance was a difficult one, and that, ultimately it ended with defeat against the Mamluks, but it is described by the "Mongol alliance" nonetheless (including by Demurger). Nobody denies that other forces than the Templars were involved in this 1298-1303 alliance, but the Templars were highly dedicated to it (your own quote "the following year would see a better prepared attempt at common action between Mongol, Armenian and Cypriot forces. To which Jacques de Molay was to commit himself totally."), and they played the central role in implementing the alliance (please see the article where Demurger is already quoted extensively). Are we moving forward? Best regards. PHG 04:59, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
See my comments below. Though I'll also add that I'm not seeing the "central role of the Templars" in Demurger's book. I agree that De Molay was passionate about a new Crusade to capture Jerusalem, but I see that all of the Cypriots, which included many groups including multiple religious orders and the remnants of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, not to mention the native Cyprus folks, shared that passion. The (small) fleet of ships that was put together was equipped more by King Henry of Cyprus than by the Templars. The invasion force sent to Ruad had about 600 knights, of whom about 150 were Templars. De Molay and the Templars were definitely part of the action, but they weren't the driving force. --Elonka 05:53, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Here's the quote from Demurger about the Templars being the driving force: "The order of the Templars, and its last Grand-Master Jacques de Molay, were the artisans of the alliance with the Mongols against the Mameluks in 1299-1303, in order to regain a foothold in the Holy Land" ("L’ordre du Temple et son dernier grand maître, Jacques de Molay, ont été les artisans de l’alliance avec les Mongols de Perse contre les Mamelouks en 1299-1303, afin de reprendre pied en Terre sainte.") Alain Demurger, Master of Conference at Université Paris-I, in an interview with Le Point, "La Chute du Temple", Aug 11, 2005. Also: OnlinePHG 08:05, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
PHG, that is a quote from an interview with the author, while he was promoting his book. That is a primary source, not a "peer-reviewed secondary source." I also still dispute the places where you sourced information from the back cover of Demurger's book, since marketing copy should not be used as a reliable source. Are you next going to want to use quotes from Dan Brown's interviews? --Elonka 17:48, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

More Demurger quotes

Demurger on the rumors about De Molay in the 1800s:

p.202: It was only at the end of the eighteenth century, and above all in the nineteenth, that [Jacques de Molay] was to become a hero. This he owed not so much to the wild imaginings of Fabre-Pellaprat and his friends, founders of the neo-templarism movement in the early nineteenth century (the so-called chart of succession of Larmenius, for example, is a crude forgery), as to the development from the mid-eighteenth century onwards of a 'national theatre' always in search of patriotic themes. Jacques de Molay became one of the heroes of this national theatre, thanks to Raynouard, whose tragedy The Templars was staged with considerable success at the Theatre-Francais in 1805-1806 (the celebrated tragedian Talma played one of the protagonists). After the first performance, the Courrier des spectacles wrote: 'The theater has long called for this national subject.' The drama was distinguished by the confrontation with the king, who believed the Tempars guilty but was prepared to pardon them if the Grand Master acknowledge this guilt.... The play was staged throughout the nineteenth century and was re-edited in the popular series 'Good books'.... in which Raynouard's The Templars figured among the four titles representing French subjects (Joan of Arc, Charles IX and The Siege of Calais, alongside Racine and Corneille). This popularity in the nineteenth century, which the reservations of historians such as Michelet did nothing to weaken, was also made evident by Molay's entry into the crusade rooms in the palace of Versaille, a collection built up by Louis-Philippe. Jacques de Molay is represented in a bust by Amaury Duval in an 1840 painting, and figures in an action scene on a large picture by Claude Jacquand, dated 1842, which shows him at the head of his troops entering the reconquered Jerusalem in 1299. It is, of course, a legendary representation, but one founded on a rumour that made the rounds of Christendom in 1300 and was connected with the offensives of the Mongol khan Ghazan in 1299-1303. According to this rumour, khan Ghazan, victor over the Mamluks in December 1299 at the time of the battle of Homs, aided by the Christians of Armenia and the Masters of the Temple and Hospital Orders and their troops, was supposed to have handed Jerusalem back to the Christians. Laurent Dailliez (who has taken mischievous pleasure in muddying the waters) affirms that at that date Jacques de Molay was one of the three generals in the Mongol army, and would have had the honour of victoriously entering the Holy City. Were it not for the text of the Templar of Tyre, who was well known, if not by his contemporaries, at least by later historians, it is possible that this assertion by the usually reliable Dailliez would be taken more seriously. On the basis of the correctly dated text by Hayton of Corycos, I have shown that Jacques de Molay was in Armenia in 1298 or 1299, therefore prior to Ghazan's victorious battle against the Mamluks. The Templar of Tyre states: 'After Cazan had beaten the Saracens, he returned to his country leaving in his place at Damascus one of his admirals who had the name Molay...' In fact, this was a Mongol general by the name of Mulay, easily confused with Molay, and thus with the Templar Grand Master." The contemporary western sources used by S. Schein in his [sic] study on the origin of the rumour current in the West, according to which the Holy City was handed back to the Christians by Ghazan, never associate Jacques de Molay with this episode. Might there be a text which, at some time or another, made the connection between Molay and the supposed recapture of Jerusalem, perhaps based on the confusion caused by the Templar or Tyre's text? The painter Jacquand was not the only one to take the tradition at face value. This is what the article on Molay in the Nouvelle Biographie universelle of 1861, edited by Rapetti, has to say...."

And gee PHG, I was going to give you props for digging up that encyclopedia quote. Now I see you're just going paragraph by paragraph through Demurger's book. Except, you seem to have left off this part that Demurger said, about the Jacquand painting (emphasis added): the Versailles rooms, he is not shown in a portrait like Hugues de Payns, the founder of the Temple, or Foulques de Villaret, his alter ego in the Order of the Hospital. But it is appropriate that he is depicted in action, even if the action is one in which he did not really engage.

Summary: Demurger says that there were hopes for an alliance, but they didn't really come together, though there were attempts at combined military operations. Demurger says that the Templars were not at the center of the push to build a garrison at Ruad. Demurger says that Jacques de Molay was not involved in the capture of Jerusalem. Demurger says that the story of the capture of Jerusalem is a legend. Demurger says that the painting in Versailles is not based on fact. Let's see, anything else we need to cover? --Elonka 05:08, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Again, nobody denies that the alliance was a difficult one, and that, ultimately it ended with defeat against the Mamluks, but it is described by the "Mongol alliance" nonetheless (including by Demurger). Nobody denies that other forces than the Templars were involved in this 1298-1303 alliance, but the Templars were highly dedicated to it (your own quote "the following year would see a better prepared attempt at common action between Mongol, Armenian and Cypriot forces. To which Jacques de Molay was to commit himself totally."), and they played the central role in implementing the alliance (please see the article where Demurger is already quoted extensively). And indeed Demurger is already quoted in the article as saying that de Molay probably did not take Jerusalem. Your point that there was not alliance, that it was it was just a dream just doesn't stand Elonka. PHG 05:22, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I'm just not getting the same thing out of the Demurger book that you are, PHG. By my read, Demurger is referring to the alliance as a strategy, but not something concrete. "The Cypriot Christians tried to form a strategic alliance with the Mongols" (p. 91) "in the hope that all the promises made by the Mongol alliance would finally be realised" (p. 98) "the strategy of a Mongol alliance was not yet quite dead" (p. 102) "Thus ended the strategy of a Mongol alliance" (p. 105) "...idea of a rapid reconquest of the Holy Land and Jerusalem was widely shared, all the more so because an alliance with the Mongols looked possible" (p. 207) "the idea of forging a Mongol alliance was a good one" (p. 216). "in the late thirteenth and fourteenth century there was still an opportunity to be seized: the Mongol alliance" (p. 217). So yes, he says the phrase "Mongol alliance" quite often, but that doesn't mean he's saying that it really existed. The closest he comes to saying it, is when he talks about the Crusaders setting up their expedition to Ruad. "Above all, the expedition made manifest the unity of the Cypriot Franks and, through a material act, put the seal on the Mongol alliance." But then the Mongols didn't show up, and everything floundered. I feel like this is grasping at straws, though we can definitely quote Demurger in the article. But even if we do, then that confirms that there hadn't been a Mongol alliance up through 1300. Either way, it's a very weak argument. Demurger's ambivalence aside, I still think that the consensus of modern historians is that there were many attempts at forming an alliance, but the attempts bore little fruit. So I stand by my opinion that the Wikipedia article would be best titled as "Crusader-Mongol relations" or "Franco-Mongol alliances" (plural). --Elonka 05:43, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Elonka, I am afraid you are just playing on words now. Throughout the period, Western rulers and Mongol rulers expressed their intent to fight together against the Mamluks, Western rulers and Mongol rulers actually agreed in writing to combined actions, they actually strategically combined their operations, moving their troops in a coordinated way, and in the end Franks (including Templars and Hospitallers) fought together with the Mongols either in the same ranks in several instances, or separated by some distance (as all armies coordinating movements). If that's not an alliance, I don't know what an alliance is. Would you kindly check again the definition of the word "alliance"?:

"An alliance is an agreement between two or more parties, made in order to advance common goals and to secure common interests."

  • But of course this alliance did not concretize in a major way, to the dismay of all parties involved. Of course there were attempts at creating something bigger. You rightfully say that the alliance bore little fruit, but that surely doesn't not mean no fruits at all, and it still means that there was an alliance nonetheless. Many sizable fruits actually came out of this huge strategic alliance.
  • Very simply, an "ineffective alliance" is not the same thing as "no alliance": an ineffective alliance is an alliance nonetheless. By the same token, I guess you could wish to argue that there was no alliance between Japan and Germany during WWII: despite its strategic scope it was largely ineffective (except for the fact that Japan did divert a lot of US ressources, just as the Mongols with the Mamluks), only a few combined operation finally occured, and both parties probably attempted to make it much bigger.

Best regards, PHG 06:14, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

PHG, that's original research. It's not about what you think the definition is, or what I think the definition is, it's about how most historians define it, n'est-ce pas? And most historians clearly say that there was no alliance. It was a chimera, a dream, an attempt, a project, a hope, a strategy, an intention, a will-o-the-wisp, but never something concrete. Though I'll give you that there was an alliance with the Armenians. Maybe that would be a good sub-article? "Armenian-Mongol alliance"? --Elonka 06:48, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Elonka, this definition of "alliance" is from Wikipedia. Please check a dictionary anytime. The reality is that some historians say there was an alliance, some say there were attempts toward an alliance, and some say the alliance was just a chimera. And a detailed and referenced presentation of the events does show "an alliance that bore little fruit" in your own words, but an alliance nonetheless. I think you just have to accept the multiplicity of the opinions here, which nicely reflects into the beginning of this article "An alliance, or attempts towards an alliance", with reference. What more balanced and npov stance could we take? I really don't think there should be an issue with that. Best regards PHG 06:57, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I think that a better first sentence to the article would be: "Many attempts were made towards forming a Franco-Mongol alliance, between the mid-1200s and the early 1300s, starting around the time of the Seventh Crusade." I think that's a better reflection of the general consensus of modern historians. Anyone else got an opinion? --Elonka 17:05, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually I disagree. Technically, the name of the article is "Franco-Mongol alliance", and therefore it is better to start with "The Franco-Mongol alliance...". But my main point concerns the meaning being conveyed: Many attempts were made towards forming a Franco-Mongol alliance..." expresses only one point of view (yours), and only a part of the sources (those you favour). There is an obvious better choice which expresses both point of views: "A Franco-Mongol alliance,[1][2][3] or attempts towards such an alliance,[4][5] occurred between...". I don't see how we could better represent a neutral point of view, and maintain a good balance between the arguments.PHG 17:54, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Note: This thread has been continued in the below section #Introduction sentence. --Elonka 20:04, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

New sources

Today, I bought two standard books in my neighbourhood, one on the Crusades, and one on the Mongols, and, guess what, both mention various aspects of the alliance between the Franks and the Mongols matter-of-factly:

  • "In 1258 they [the Mongols] sacked Baghdad and two years later Aleppo. Bohemond VI of Antioch-Tripoli (1252-1275) became their ally." p.136 The Oxford History of the Crusades", Joanthan Riley-Smith
  • "The fact that they [the Mongols] were anti-Muslim was good enough reason for the king [of Armenia] to place his entire army at their disposal. This unholy alliance took the field in 1259" in p.8 The Mongols, Stephen Turnbull.

Let me remind here that Little Armenia was considered also as a Frank kingdom (quotes in the article). So, that's 2 more sources describing the alliance between the Franks and the Mongols as facts. I don't see any reason now not to maintain a balanced point-of-view between authors speaking about an alliance, other speaking about attempts towards an alliance etc... To me, this discussion is over. PHG 17:54, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe I have already stated that (1) I am in agreement that the Armenians were allied with the Mongols; and (2) The Armenians weren't really "Franks". Their kingdom was briefly part of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and in certain very broad interpretations they could be referred to as Frankish, but I don't believe it is correct to say that just because the Mongols allied with the Armenians, that they therefore had a "Franco-Mongol alliance." In fact, I saw one source that talked about how the Armenian king was debating whether to ally "with the Europeans" or "with the Mongols." They were really more of an independent body. --Elonka 19:01, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
(1) Agree (2) Disagree: I think I see what you mean, but Little Armenia was considered as one of the five Frank states, and was a very composite state with a mixture of Franks and Armenians (Riley-Smith). Also "There are five Frank states(...): the Kingdom of Jerusalem, (...) the County of Edessa, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, but also the Kingdom of Little Armenia", in Les Croisades, Origines et consequences, p.77-78. Anyway, even by your definition (which I do not follow), many "true Franks" allied with the Mongols as well, so the Little Armenia issue is only marginal.PHG 19:58, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I spent quite a bit of time yesterday in a large library (bet you wondered why I was so quiet, heh), reading through a couple dozen books. Based on what I was reading, I think it would probably be worth making a separate article, Armenian-Mongol relations, and then linking to it, summary style. There definitely was an Armenian-Mongol alliance early on, but it was clearly an Armenian thing, not a leading advance for Rome. It also dissolved very unpleasantly, the Armenians were allied with (or at least paying tribute to) the Mamluks for awhile, and Hethoum II was eventually assassinated by the Mongols. There's a really interesting story there that deserves attention, but more later. In the meantime, books that I particularly recommend include:
  • Mongols and the West - Peter Jackson (already recommended by Adam Bishop, and definitely "on-point" for this topic). In fact, Jackson goes into several pages about why the Mongol alliance project never worked out, so we should probably add a section like "Reasons for failure" or something.
  • Armenian Kingdom and the Mamluks - Angus Donal Stewart (this very decisively answers the question on the separation between the Armenians and the Franks)
Another tantalizingly relevant source that I haven't been able to track down yet, but am very much looking forward to reading:
  • Amitai, "Mongol Raids into Palestine", JRAS, 1987, 236-255
FYI, Elonka 19:50, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Very interesting stuff indeed. Amazing how so much happened back then... PHG 20:51, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Mongol raids into Palestine

The "Mongol Raids" article is a little tough to find, so I figured I'd give a quick summary here. Basically, the author (Amitai) went into an extremely detailed analysis of every primary source from that time period. He looked at every account, from every historian of every side: Mamluk, Armenian, Hebrew, Christian, Persian, etc., and he even looked at all the different versions of the sources to see which ones matched up, and which ones seemed to vary wildly from the story that everyone else was telling. What he found was that there was a fair amount of nationalism, so the Armenian writers would build up the actions of the Armenian royalty, the Georgians would build up the actions of the Georgian royalty, etc. He would also look at the kind of writing that each historian did, when writing about other very well-known situations, to see how accurate their information was, and what that could tell about that historian's views of other events for which there are fewer corroborating sources. He also compared the type of raids that the Mongols did in 1260, vs. the raids they did in 1300. The summary is..."Both of them were executed by a relatively small part of the Mongol army, most of which remained further north... In both cases the Mongol forces did not meet any serious opposition, except for the incident at Nablus in 1260, and they covered approximately the same extent of territory, i.e. up to Gaza. The raiders had a free hand to loot, kill and destroy, while keeping an eye on the enemy army in Egypt. It seems that at this point the Mongols had no intention of integrating Palestine into the Mongol administrative system and on both occasions the extent of Mongol control over the country was quite loose. There remain, however, several differences between these two raids. First of all, in 1300, it seems that a number of fortified points throughout Syria, and possibly also in Palestine, were not subjugated during the Mongol occupation. Secondly, there is no record of Mongol raids in this latter instance into Transjordan .... Only in 1260 did the Mongols leave forces in the country, at Gaza, to act as an advance guard..."

In terms of Jerusalem itself, Amitai says that all of the sources agreed that Mongol troops had come in from northern Syria to raid the country, though accounts differ on how quickly this happened and where exactly they raided. Some writers say that there was a delay in ordering a pursuit of the Mamluk sultan and his troops. Though Mamluk writers tend to say that their soldiers were pursued. In any case, Ghazan eventually ordered one of his senior officers, Mulay (also called Bulay) to lead a raid through Palestine. Ghazan then took the "lion's share" of the army and went on to Damascus. In terms of the raid(s):

  • One source said that Bulay was sent with 10,000 horsemen, who caught up with the muslims, and "fell upon the region of Gaza, the Jordan River Valley, and Jerusalem"...
  • A second Mamluk source, Baybars al-Mansuri, considered very credible, said Ghazan sent 20,000 soldiers with Mulay, Esenbuqa, Hujaq and Hulechu, who fell upon the Jordan River Valley and Baysan, and their raids reached Jerusalem, Hebron, and Gaza, but that the raids didn't last long.
  • Al-Mansuri's info was then quoted by a Christian writer, who listed al-Mansuri as his source, but also embellished, saying that the raiders had killed Muslims and Christians, drank wine on the Temple Mount, and done other "despicable deeds" such as taking young women and children as captives.
  • A Persian historian just said that Mulay came back to Damascus after chasing the Mamluk troops as far as Gaza.
  • Another Persian said Mulay was sent with 10,000 troops "to govern the country".
  • A Hebrew source said that the Mongol army had come to Jerusalem.
  • Then there were two Armenian writers, one of whom said that Ghazan himself had pursued the fleeing Mamluks, and then sent Het'um and Mulay with 40,000 Mongols in pursuit, with orders to bring under his command the country up to Gaza. But Ghazan called back Het'um after 3 days, and ordered Mulay to continue on. Mulay couldn't catch up with the Sultan, and then returned to Damascus via Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.
  • The other Armenian source (the one we're most interested in) had multiple errors in his work, didn't even get the year of the battle right, and said nothing about Mulay or the Mongols, but credited King Het'um with the pursuit of the Sultan, with 4,000 troops. They rode hard for 11 days, only 10-12 miles behind the Sultan, arriving near Cairo at a place called Doli (which Amitai could not identify). Then on his way back north, Het'um entered Jerusalem, stayed there 15 days, performed Christian ceremonies, and was awarded a patent by Ghazan, granting him the city and its surroundings, after which Het'um left Jerusalem and returned to Damascus
  • A Georgian account emphasizes the role of the Georgian king Wakhtang III at the Battle of Wadi al-Khazindar, then describes that the Egyptians took flight, the Mongols raided into Palestine, and reached as far as Jerusalem, where Christians and Muslims were massacred. No mention whatsoever is made of any Armenians in the Georgian account. Just as the Armenians made no mention of the Georgians.

So that second Armenian source just doesn't sound credible. Amitai's conclusion of what actually happened: "It seems most likely then that the Mongols raided Palestine by themselves in [1299-1300]. The Mongol forces rode as far as Gaza, looting and killing as they went, and they entered several towns, including Jerusalem. In the end, all the raiders returned to the Damascus area, according to the Mamluk sources by the end of Jumada II/middle of March 1300. Upon their return they found out that Ghazan and the majority of his army had already set off for their country, apparently in the aftermath of reports of an invasion into Ilkhanid territory from Central Asia, although other explanations have been offered. After a few days Mulay also left Damascus and crossed the Euphrates. Soon the Mamluk army returned to Syria, bringing it back into their kingdom."

FYI, Elonka 08:20, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Battle question

While checking one of the Demurger sources, I saw that he talked about how the Mongols and the Armenians were fighting against the Mamluks at the Second Battle of Homs. However, though we're using Demurger as a source, we're linking to the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar. Did Demurger make a mistake here? And, can we get another source to verify which battle that it really was? Thanks, --Elonka 19:05, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Ready to help, but could you detail which reference you are talking about?? PHG 20:27, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure what the official name is for each of these battles, but there may be some issue with the Wikipedia nomenclature as well. The First Battle of Homs is a small battle, and does not seem so notable. It is not linked from any article appart from a disambiguation page. It is also a very recent article (created 2 weeks ago). I confirm Demurger calls Second Battle of Homs the December 1299 battle (p.278). In Wikipedia, this December 1299 battle is named Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar, (Wadi al-Khazandar being apparently near Homs anyway), but I don't know if that is a standard English nomenclature, and cannot find it otherwise in the books I have access to. Maybe it should be renamed "Second Battle of Homs", and the first 1260 Hulagu encounter renamed something else...PHG 05:49, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Demurger evidently got it wrong, and referred to the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar as the Second Battle of Homs. I think there's some case to say that Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar was the "Third Battle of Homs", but I haven't seen anyone refer to it that way. In any case, I agree that we should just link to the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar, and perhaps point out in the note that Demurger seems to have a typo. --Elonka 21:12, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Checking sources: Tyerman, God's War

  • I bought Christopher Tyerman, God's War: A New History of the Crusades today (my budget is shrinking daily ;). I think he deserves to be quoted more faithfully. Actually, he DOES describe the existence of the Mongol alliance as fact, even if he says that in the end it led nowhere, which I think is quite true: "The Mongol alliance, despite six further embassies to the west between 1276 and 1291, led nowhere" (p.816). This is quite different from saying that there was NO alliance: Tyerman says there was an alliance, but that it was ultimately fruitless...
  • The article says that Tyerman "described it as "an attempt to capture the chimera of a Franco-Mongol anti-Islamic alliance", but actually he only refers to the early frustrated attempts of Louis IX. Here the full quote: "The mission [of William of Rubruk] was regarded by some on all sides as another attempt to capture the chimera of a Franco-Mongol anti-Islamic alliance" (p.798) It is not quite proper therefore to describe this as Tyerman's own qualification of the alliance in general. I will modify the claim accordingly in the article.
  • The article also says "He also described it as "pursuing the will of the wisps of a Mongol alliance with the Il-khan of Persia". Not quite. In the quoted phrase, he does not refer to the Mongol alliance in general, but to Edward's efforts towards making an alliance. What he actually says is: "Edward contented himself with pursuing the will of the wisps of a Mongol alliance with the il-khan of Persia and internal harmony within Frankish Outremer".
  • Elsewhere Tyerman DOES mention concrete occurences of the Mongol alliance, as when he mentions that "Bohemond VI, briefly one of Outremer's most important power broker, had already accepted Mongol overlordship, with a Mongol resident and battalion stationed in Antioch itself, where they stayed until the fall of the city to the Mamluks in 1268", or "The Frankish Antiochenes assisted in the Mongols' capture of Aleppo" etc...
  • Conclusion: Tyerman does indeed ackowledge the existence of a Mongol alliance, even if he stresses that ultimately it ended nowhere, and that some attempts were frustrated, and that some worked out. We cannot portray Tyerman as someone denying the existence of an alliance, and saying it was only attempts, dreams and chimeras. I will incorporate these more exact elements into the article, and also add some more details from Tyerman. PHG 20:04, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Just because Tyerman uses the phrase "Mongol alliance", does not mean that he is confirming that there was one. He was very clear that there were attempts at an alliance, but they were unsuccessful: "an attempt to capture the chimera of a Franco-Mongol alliance....[turned out to be] a false hope for Outremer as for the rest of Christendom" (pp. 798-799) "The Mongol alliance, despite six further embassies to the west between 1276 and 1291, led nowhere" (p. 816) --Elonka 21:41, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Let's respect what sources actually say (same issue with the other mis-interpretations of Tyerman mentionned above). "An alliance that leads nowhere" cannot never be interpreted as meaning that "there was no alliance". Tyerman simply says succintly that there was an alliance, in which many embassies were exchanged over a period of 15 years, and that it ended without effective results. But an alliance doesn't have to have results to exist, and Tyerman actually describes a few cases where there were results anyway (Bohemond VI). To me, there's no debate to have on this. And we're only talking about being fair and precise in handling Tyerman here, as many other historians do mention the Mongol alliance as fact (extensively quoted in the article).PHG 05:23, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Acutally, per Wikipedia's policies, it's not up to me to prove that an alliance didn't exist, it's up to who ever wants to include the information to prove that it did exist. Or look at it this way. Normally when there's an alliance, we have history books that say things like, "Group A and Group B formed an alliance in 1767. It lasted for 10 years, and they renewed it in 1777." Alliances are these kinds of formal "signatures on paper" "beginning on such and such a date" kind of affairs. Is that maybe where we're having a dispute here? I understand, PHG, that English is not your first language, correct? So perhaps you're looking at an alliance as an informal "working together" thing, and the rest of us are looking at it as more formal, like an actual signed treaty? --Elonka 07:18, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Please just stick with sources and do not corrupt them as you are doing with Christopher Tyerman, God's War (details above). Let me give a simple example: "Research on nuclear fusion led nowhere": this means that there was indeed "Research on nuclear fusion", but that in the end it was fruitless. This is language-independent: just a matter of what is being said or not said, and you have no right to corrupt it to fit your point-of-view. Besides, there are plenty of sources specifically describing the Mongol alliance, already quoted in the article. PHG 07:38, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry PHG, but I'm afraid that you're the one that is mistaken. The fact is that though the term "alliance" was used in several books, doesn't mean that there was an actual alliance. There were attempts at an alliance. They led nowhere. That's not my opinion, that's a word-for-word description of what the source said. "The Mongol alliance, despite six further embassies to the west between 1276 and 1291, led nowhere." (Tyerman, p. 816) You appear to have a bias that (1) an alliance existed between Europe and the Mongols; and (2) That the Mongols "ruled" Jerusalem in 1300. I'm afraid that both of these are false. If you wish to argue, please don't just argue from your opinion, please provide actual reliable modern history books which say differently, and I'll be happy to review them. For now though, I think it would be helpful if you reviewed the comments in the above RfC. Or think of it this way -- if you're so sure that you're right, then other editors would agree with you. But we're not agreeing with you. You appear to be POV-pushing. You are also refusing all attempts at dispute resolution. You're ignoring the results of the RfC, you're edit-warring at the page, and you have refused to even accept mediation. Granted, mediation is an entirely voluntary process, but it's making it difficult to find a way through this dispute. In fact, I would recommend that you review Wikipedia:Tendentious editing. Now please, can we stop arguing about this, and can we please move on to something else? You're obviously a hard worker, a detailed researcher, and I am genuinely impressed by the way that you are able to write articulately in English, considering that it's not your first language. But really, it's time to drop this and move on. We've got a very good article here, which I think will make a great Featured article once we can get these disagreements put away. So can we please get past this impasse? --Elonka 16:24, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Elonka, quantities of reputable sources are describing the Mongol alliance as fact (Grousset, Demurger, Jonathan Riley-Smith, Seven Turnbull, Angus Stewart, Claude Lebédel, and, yes, Christopher Tyerma) so you have no right to deny that in favour of your opinion that these were only "attempts towards an alliance". Why do you just keep denying the obvious and only accept your own point of view? And you are (again!) misrepresenting reality when you claim you have a concensus: 2:1 has never been a consensus. We should just stick with the facts and the principle of NPOV: some author describe the Mongol alliance as fact, some as just an attempt, and we should express both views. And how about your mis-representations of Tyerman's God's War (above)? That's honestly quite unacceptable. PHG 17:16, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

PHG, to say that all of those sources are describing the alliance as fact, is absurd. Can you please point to a single one that says clearly, "An alliance was formed on such-and-such a date"? Again, just because they used the word alliance, doesn't mean that there was an alliance. There were attempts at an alliance. But they led nowhere. Even the Encyclopedia Brittanica called it a chimera. A fantasy, something that didn't exist. --Elonka 06:50, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Detailed response hereafter. Your Encyclopedia Brittanica quote is from 1911 (!!) PHG 16:25, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Historians treating the alliance with the Mongols as fact:

What is really "absurd" Elonka, if I may use your own words, is your obstinate denial of the tens of reputable sources which describe the Mongol alliance as fact (even if they haven't been prescient enough to use your exact own sentence above :), and your POV efforts to characterize them as only "attempts towards an alliance" (although of course a few sources to describe "attempts only", and I am totally ready to ackowledge them as well). Just open your mind and accept that scholars may have various interpretations:

The French historian Grousset, writing in the 1930s, used the terms "L'Alliance Franco-Mongole" and "La coalition Franco-Mongole", mentioning especially "Louis IX and the Franco-Mongol alliance" (Grousset, p521: "Louis IX et l'Alliance Franco-Mongole", p.653 "Only Edward I understood the value of the Mongol alliance, p.686 "the Franco-Mongol alliance, examplified by the Hospitallers"). The modern French historian Demurger, in the Jacques de Molay biography The Last Templar, refers to it as the "Mongol alliance", which came to fruition through such events as the 1300 combined offensives between the Templars and the Mongols, further describing that in 1298-1303 Jacques de Molay fought to reconquer Jerusalem, by relying on an alliance with the Mongols.(Demurger, p.147 "This expedition sealed, by a concrete act, the Mongol alliance", Demurger p.145 "The strategy of the Mongol alliance in action", "De Molay led the fight for the reconquest of Jerusalem, by relying on an alliance with the Mongols" (Demurger, back cover). Demurger in "Croisades et croises au Moyen-Age" describes "The concretization of this alliance met with three obstacles etc...", "The renewed offensives of the Mongol khan the Il Khan Ghazan in the years 1299-1302, in coordination with the Christian forces of Cyprus" (p.287), "These are the only Frank forces, located in Armenia and Cyprus, which cooperated with the Mongols" (p.287), "This ended the promisses of the Mongol alliance" (p.287)). Jonathan Riley-Smith in The Oxford History of the Crusades (2002) mentions that the Frank ruler Bohemond VI became an ally of the Mongols ("In 1258 they [the Mongols] sacked Baghdad and two years later Aleppo. Bohemond VI of Antioch-Tripoli (1252-1275) became their ally." p.136 The Oxford History of the Crusades", Joanthan Riley-Smith.) He further mentionned in his Atlas of the Crusades that in 1285 the Hospitallers of the north agreed to ally to the Mongols.("En 1285, Qalawun, nouveau sultan mamelouk, reprend l'offensive, qu'il dirige contre les Hospitaliers du nord, qui s'etaient montres prets a s'allier aux Mongols", Jonathan Riley-Smith, "Atlas des Croisades", p.114). Angus Stewart called it "Franco-Mongole entente." ([23]). Stephen Turnbull, in The Mongols (1980) describes the "unholy alliance" between the kingdom of Little Armenia and the Mongols, and how the Mongols and "their Christian allies" entered Damas triumphaly ("The fact that they [the Mongols] were anti-Muslim was good enough reason for the king [of Armenia] to place his entire army at their disposal. This unholy alliance took the field in 1259", also: "Their Christian allies joined them [the Mongols] in a triumphal entry, forcing the defeated Muslims to carry the cross before them, and later turned one of the city's mosques into a Christian church" in p.8 The Mongols, Stephen Turnbull). Sean Martin referred to it as a "combined force."(Martin, p. 114.) Claude Lebédel states that during the 1260 offensive "the Barons of the Holy Land refused an alliance with the Mongols, except for the king of Armenia and Bohemond VI, prince of Antioch and Count of Tripoli".(Claude Lebédel, p.75) Christopher Tyerman, in God's War: A New History of the Crusades, does mention the existence of "The Mongol alliance", but specifies that in the end it led nowhere ("The Mongol alliance, despite six further embassies to the west between 1276 and 1291, led nowhere" (p.816) and turned out to be a "false hope for Outremer as for the rest of Christendom." (Tyerman, pp. 798-799) He further describes successes and failures of this alliance from 1248 to 1291, especially Bohemond VI's alliance with the Mongols and their joint victories ("Bohemond VI, briefly one of Outremer's most important power broker, had already accepted Mongol overlordship, with a Mongol resident and battalion stationed in Antioch itself, where they stayed until the fall of the city to the Mamluks in 1268. The Frankish Antiochenes assisted in the Mongols' capture of Aleppo, thus in part achieving a very traditional Frankish target, and had received lands in reward." (p.806). Amin Maalouf in "Les croisades vues par les Arabes" mentions the Franks of Antioch "guilty of having made common cause with the Mongol invaders" (p.267), "Once more the allies of the Mongols [the Northern Franks] were chastized without the latter being able to intervene" (p.271).PHG 15:07, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Wow PHG, that's some pretty impressive mis-quoting. You're even bolding the words "Mongol alliance", in sentences where historians were saying that there wasn't an alliance. I'll give you that Demurger was a bit wishy-washy on the subject, in that in most cases he said that there wasn't an alliance, but then he had one (1) sentence where he used that "seal" language, but I'll also point out (again) that that attack meant nothing, because the Mongols didn't show up, and an alliance needs a "seal" from both sides to be official. Now, the Armenians definitely had a (forced) alliance with the Mongols, but they weren't Franks. The Armenian King Bohemond, as I've listed elsewhere, chose "subjection" to the Mongols over annihilation. But that doesn't mean a Franco-Mongol alliance, because the "Franks" were the Western Europeans, not the Armenian natives in the Outremer. So just because the Mongols had an alliance with Armenia, doesn't mean that they had an alliance with the Papacy and Western Europe. Your quote from Lebedel is accurate, but it proves that there wasn't a Franco-Mongol alliance: "the Barons of the Holy Land refused an alliance with the Mongols, except for the king of Armenia and Bohemond VI, prince of Antioch and Count of Tripoli." Armenia/Antioch were part of the Holy Land. They were also Christian (as were many Mongols). But they weren't Franks. --Elonka 18:59, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Elonka, maybe you could argue that Armenia was not Frank (inspite of the scholarly references I have put forward to the contrary), but how can you say that the Principality of Antioch was not Frank?? Are you joking? Or is it just ignorance? I am starting to have real doubts about your competence here.
  • Since you're still in denial... how about Jean Richard, the leading French expert on the Mongols (ask Adam Bishop if in doubt):

"The Franco-Mongol alliance (...) seems to have been rich with missed opportunities"

— in "Histoire des Croisades", p.469

Or if you wish to have a statement connecting the Franco-Mongol alliance and chronology:

"In 1297 Ghazan resumes his projects against Egypt (...) the Franco-Mongol cooperation had thus survived, to the loss of Acre by the Franks, and to the conversion of the khan to Islam. It was to remain one of the political factors of the policy of the Crusades, until the peace treaty with the Mamluks, which was concluded in 1322 by khan Abu Said.

— in "Histoire des Croisades", p.468


"The sustained attacks of Baibar (...) rallied the Occidentals to this alliance, to which the Mongols also convinced the Byzantines to adhere

— in "Histoire des Croisades", p.453

Elonka, face it: your argument really doens't stand at all. The reality of the alliance with the Mongols is indeed recognized by quantities of highly reputable scholars. They is absolutely no justification for you to deny it. PHG 20:35, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

PHG, accusing me of "ignorance" and saying that you doubt my competence, is really not the way to be strengthening your case. Please try to be more civil, and please try to focus your arguments on the article, and not the editors. --Elonka 21:33, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Elonka. I am just amazed at your claim that the Principality of Antioch was not Frank. You may claim a "typo" again, but fundamentally it suggests a total misunderstanding of the situation of the Middle East during the Crusades. Would you either confirm or retract your statement, and provide sources if you wish to confirm it? PHG 14:18, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Antioch was a Crusader State, that was effectively a sub-state of Cilician Armenia. Both states had (sometimes) close ties with the Franks, and close ties with each other, and (at times) close ties with the Mongols As I've mentioned elsewhere, the term "Frankish" is usually referring to the Franks from Western Europe, but in certain broad connotations can be used to apply to other states (such as Armenia). And the Muslims definitely referred to the entire lot as "Franks" or "Franj", regardless of where they were from. But let's be careful what we're using our definitions for. To say that the Armenians were Franks, and then to say that that proved that there was a "Franco-Mongol alliance", is I think putting undue weight on the Frankish definition. Armenia, when under immediate threat of Mongol invasion, chose to ally with the Mongols. However other Franks flat out refused to ally. I think it's definitely fair to say that there was an Armenian-Mongol alliance, and to say that Antioch was also an ally, but in terms of the article, let's just keep things simple and say precisely what they were. In other words, we can say "The Armenians allied with the Mongols," yes, but to say "The Frank state of Armenia allied with the Mongols" is starting to get a bit misleading. As far as Antioch, it too was in this class of "different things to different points of view." Yes they were a Frankish state, but they were also more autonomous. Antioch had, as Tyerman described it, "A vigorous independent identity" (p. 189) and "autonomy from Jerusalem" (p. 190). As far as the Antioch-Mongol relationship, we could phrase it multiple ways, and they would all be correct. All three of these would work: "The Frankish state of Antioch allied with the Mongols," but also "King Bohemond VI of Antioch-Tripoli accepted Mongol overlordship" (so more of a vassal than an ally). Or we could just quote Stewart directly: "The principality of Antioch was dominated by its Armenian neighbour -- it was through the will of the Armenian king that the Antiochenes came to aid Hulegu in 1259-60." ("The Logic of Conquest" Al-Masaq, v. 14, No.1, March 2002, p. 8) So, in the Wikipedia article, let's be careful how we word things. I recommend that we stick to the most basic facts, in a very neutral manner, rather than trying to infer that "because A is true, therefore B is true." In other words: Yes, we could say that Antioch allied with the Mongols, and that it was a Frankish state. But no we should not say, that because Antioch allied with the Mongols, that there was a Franco-Mongol alliance. I think that latter sentence would be too misleading. --Elonka 21:05, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Elonka. Antioch WAS a Frankish state, Tripoli WAS a Frankish state: there is no going around that. Please ackowledge this. You may have a point with Little Armenia, although it is also considered a Frankish state in general. And I am not the one infering from that the expression "Franco-Mongol alliance": reputable sources such as Grousset, Richard, Demurger etc... are. There is nothing to argue about this: it is just the way these historians have chosen to call it. Best regards. PHG 16:23, 23 September 2007 (UTC)


I took the liberty to correct a phrase referencing Weatherman, as the phrase claims that all allies were "Vassals", whether he can only be speaking about the Georgians since he mentions the conquests of Subodei. The phrase was, after a phrase describing the alliance between Franks, Armenians, Georgians and Mongols: "Though some historians refer to this not as an alliance, so much as the Mongols acting in concert with their own conquered vassal states." Weatherford, p. 138: "Subodei made the country a vassal state, the first in Europe, and it proved to be one of the most loyal"".

As Weatherman clearly speaks about Georgia only, I modified the phrase to: "In the case of Georgia, Weatherford refers to this not as an alliance, but as a vassal relationship. Weatherford, p. 138. "Subodei made the country a vassal state, the first in Europe, and it proved to be one of the most loyal and supportive Mongol vassals in the generations ahead."" Please correct me if I'm wrong here. PHG 20:35, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe that Georgia should be regarded as a vassal state, and that Armenia can really be described as either way. Armenia (specifically the Kingdom of Cilician Armenia) was really scrambling to survive, and so went through several different phases, depending on which way the political wind was blowing. They allied with the Mongols, but also allied with the Muslims, and allied with the Europeans. They were vassals of the Mongols, and also allies of the Mongols. They had strong elements of Frankish culture, but were also an independent Christian state that joined the Kingdom of Jerusalem for a time, and were considered a Crusader state. Every one of those statements can be considered true to some degree, depending on context. Which is why I don't think that we should take what Armenia did or didn't do, as proof of any major actions on the part of anyone else. Mostly Armenia was just along for the ride, whatever was happening. Don't get me wrong, their troops fought hard, and they suffered amazing tragedies and amazing victories -- but this was usually in conjunction with what other larger powers were doing, and Armenia really wasn't that much in control of its own destiny at the time. --Elonka 22:39, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Let's be more precise. Hethoum I and Bohemond VI are most of the time described as allies of the Mongols (rather than vassals) because they spontaneously went to the Mongols, rather than being conquered by them. They could have resisted, fought battles (I'm not saying that would have been easy), but instead they chose to cooperate, and entered into a relationship in which they fought side-by-side with the Mongols, received presents, territories and cities. In the case of these two, it is not either vassal or ally, as most modern historians do favour the "ally" qualification.
For Georgia, it is a bit different, as the Georgian army was destroyed several times by the Mongols, their territory was invaded, and they only reached a vassal relationship under the Mongols a a vanquished people, in which the Georgian king could remain, in exchange for providing his army. PHG 05:07, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that the word "spontaneous" is accurate at all. The Mongols were invading, and Armenia was directly in their path. Armenia had the choice to ally, surrender, or try to fight back. If they would have tried to fight, the Mongols would have not only overwhelmed them, but probably slaughtered tens of thousands of innocents (or more), because that's exactly what the Mongols had done in countless other locaitons. That's how the Mongol empire expanded so fast -- they were ruthless. They'd arrive in a location, say "surrender or be slaughtered," and they killed hundreds of thousands of people. When word got out about how nasty they were, many communities in their path didn't even try to fight, they just surrendered immediately as soon as the Mongols arrived. Then once an area had been taken over, the Mongols incorporated those people into their army. So the Mongol army grew, and it wasn't just a bunch of Chinese guys, it was Turks and Russians and whoever else had already been conquered and "assimilated". The Armenians were assimilated too, but they were assimilated more as voluntary "allies" than conquered "vassals". But the end result was pretty much the same, they did what the Mongols wanted. --Elonka 07:28, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Fine with me. But that's precisely why the Frank Antiochans and Armenians are usually considered as allies rather than vassals, and Georgians considered as vassals rather than allies. PHG 07:33, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Which I mostly agree with, except that it's not accurate to say that the Armenians were Franks. They were Christian (as were many Mongols), but they weren't European. Real "Franks" on the other hand, were really those from Western Europe. The Armenians were closer to Turkish, but that doesn't hit it either. Heck, just look at the Armenian script, which is completely unlike any other language. Even at the Recueil des Historiens des Croisades, they separate out the Armenian category. There are historians from the "West", and historians from the "East", and then there are the Armenians. If we want to make an article about their alliance with the Mongols, the correct title would be Armenian-Mongol alliance, or maybe Cilician-Mongol alliance, but not Franco-Mongol. --Elonka 16:36, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
The "Armenians" at this time are not necessarily "pure" Armenians...of course the vast majority of them are, but the ruling class was half-Frankish. I'm sure they mixed heavily with the Turks too but they are far older than the Turks, they have been in that general area since prehistory, and their language is Indo-European, likely related to Greek. Their alphabet is pretty funny looking but it's basically derived from Greek too. Note that the RHC also separates the Greek historians from the "West" and "East". Adam Bishop 16:43, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I hope everyone will understand that instead of Elonka's original research and disputable interpretations, I would just like to stick with what reputable sources say:

"There are five Frank states(...): the Kingdom of Jerusalem, (...) the County of Edessa, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, but also the Kingdom of Little Armenia"

— Les Croisades, Origines et consequences, p.77-78

PHG 17:03, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Also, Elonka, don't forget that the Il-Khanate was usually quite protective of the Christians (remember Damas 1258?) and did profess a liking for them (the numerous letters from the Khans). So I am not sure it is exact to deny any kind of affinity or good relations between the two parties. I am afraid you are just expressing a stereotype here that the Mongols were just brutes seeking total domination. PHG 17:19, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I recommend reading, "The Logic of Conquest" by Angus Stewart: Al-Masaq, Vol. 14, No. 1, March 2002. It does a very good job of showing the differences between the Armenians and the Franks: "The relationship between the Armenians and the Franks is worthy of some consideration here." "While the Armenian kingdom and its Frankish neighbours to the south may have had close relations, and may have even been seen in similar terms by the Mamluks, there were significant differences. First, the Armenian kingdom was a kingdom inhabited by Armenians: the Crusader States were only ever partially inhabited by Crusaders. While the Frankish population of the Syrian coast, was, especially by the end, confined largely to the port-cities, the settlement pattern of the Armenians in Cilicia was very different...." "The Armenian kingdom [was seen] as being part of the Christian communtiy of realms. In many ways, the kingdom can be viewed as an 'honorary Crusader state.'" "The Armenian king saw alliance with the Mongols - or, more accurately, swift and peaceful subjection to them - as his best course of action. He could thereby save his kingdom from assault, and could even make territorial gains, as happened during Hulegu's expeditions." "In response to [the 1281] raids, and with no prospect of aid from either the Mongols or the Franks, King Lewon II arranged a truce with the new Mamluk sultan, Qalawun, in 1285." --Elonka 06:41, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Elonka, as far as I know, you are abusively claiming that Little Armenia was not Frank. This goes against reputable sources, and your original research on whether the Armenians were "pure Franks" or not, has absolutely no place here. Please find hereafter a quote from a reputable source. Should you wish to contradict it, please give a reference, instead of just spreading unhealthy OR:

"There are five Frank states(...): the Kingdom of Jerusalem, (...) the County of Edessa, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, but also the Kingdom of Little Armenia"

— Les Croisades, Origines et consequences, p.77-78

PHG 14:46, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

  • PHG, your accusations are not very civil, please try to show more respect for your fellow editors. As for your questions, I think they are addressed in my reply here:[24] --Elonka 21:16, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Elonka, I am being perfectly civil. Your claim that Little Armenia was not a Frank state is just mistaken and contradicted by reputable sources (above), although I agree that Armenia may not be as clear-cut as the other Crusader states. Best regards. PHG 16:18, 23 September 2007 (UTC)


Thank you both for the clarification. I propose we resolve these factual disputes one at a time, using the method of each side presenting their preferred version of a specific paragraph (or as close to that as makes sense) with references, each side agreeing or disagreeing with the sources and interpretations (I must trust you two to agree on acceptable sources, I am not qualified; but if you can't agree maybe you can agree on the facts you rely on to make that decision and others like myself can help weigh those facts in a judgement of which sources are acceptable for what claims) and we'll see if all of us together can agree on a wording that fairly represents reliable relevant published sources. WAS 4.250 10:06, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Judging by activity since I posted this, the two combatants prefer to revert each other on the article page and taunt each other on this talk page. Go for it. I'm outta here. WAS 4.250 18:34, 24 September 2007 (UTC)


PHG has said several times that Grousset said that there was a Franco-Mongol alliance, but I challenge this interpretation. As I've been digging into Grousset's book myself, it would appear the term "Franco-Mongol alliance" even when used by Grousset was being presented not as a "fait accompli", but as a description of something that was attempted around 1259. See Grousset's book The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia, p. 363: "Kitbuqa, now in control of Mongol Syria and Mongol Palestine, was well-disposed toward the Christians there, not only because he himself was a Nestorian, but also, it seems because he appreciated the advantage to both parties of the Franco-Mongol alliance. Unfortunately, though Bohemund VI, prince of Antioch-Tripoli, might share his views on the subject, the barons of Acre continued to see in the Mongols mere barbarians to whom even the Muslims were to be preferred. One of these barons, Count Julien of Sidon, attacked a Mongol patrol and killed Kitbuqa's nephew. The enraged Mongols replied by sacking Sidon. This was the end of the alliance, explicit or tacit, between Franks and Mongols."[25] And even in Histoire des croisades, p. 871, it was called "l'alliance folle: The false, or crazy alliance. --Elonka 21:23, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

  • First quote: Grousset is only speaking about the barons of Acre, who refused the alliance, and the 1260 events, which ended with the defeat of Kitbuqa. Here again "This was the end of the alliance" just confirms his understanding that there indeed was an alliance... simple logic. According to Grousset, the Mongol alliance soon resumes, with the Crusade of Edward I: "Edouard I and the Mongol alliance" (p.653), etc...
  • Second quote... I will not question your French as you did my English... but l'alliance folle does not mean the "false alliance" (never), but just the "crazy alliance", and clearly means an alliance nonetheless. And, actually, you get the context wrong: when Grousset speaks about "l'alliance folle", he refers to the (passive) alliance of the Franks of Acre with the Mamluks against the Mongols in 1260. Full quote: "L'alliance folle: accord des Francs d'Acre avec les Mameluks contre les Mongols", p.598.
  • Other quotes: p521: "Louis IX et l'Alliance Franco-Mongole", p.653 "Seul Edward I comprit la valeur de l'Alliance Mongole", p.686 "la coalition Franco-Mongole dont les Hospitaliers donnaient l'exemple". I will bring more quotes from Grousset if you wish. PHG 05:31, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
  • It looks to me like even Grousset is saying that there was not a clear formal alliance. The language "explicit or tacit" means that he's saying that it was ambiguous as to whether a formal alliance existed or not. Aside from just using the language of "understanding the importance of an alliance," can you supply any quotes from Grousset which clearly say, "An alliance was formed on such and such a date"? For example, that's what we have with the Armenians. In A Concise History of the Armenian People, we have "Smbat met Kublai's brother, Mongke Khan and in 1247, made an alliance against the Muslims... In 1254, Hetum visited Karakorum himself and renewed the alliance.... In 1269 Hetum abdicated in favor of Levon II, who was forced to pay a large annual tribute to the Mamluks... Hetum II sought a closer union with Rome. His efforts did not materialize.... Hetum, now a Franciscan monk [after his abdication], made one more attempt at a Mongol alliance agsinst the Mamluks. Upon their arrival at the Ilkhan's headquarters in northern Syria, all forty-two were put to death." (p. 101) See, there we have precise language on when an alliance was made, and when it was renewed, and how each monarch needed to formally sign off on it with their own administration, and how some of the communications clearly showed that there was not an active alliance (like putting the entire delegation to death, is pretty unfriendly). And that's just the Armenian side of things. In terms of the Western Europeans, we just don't have anything concrete like, "An alliance was formed in year ####". There was lots of flirtation with the Mongols, but never a formal alliance. --Elonka 20:34, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
not being anything like an expert in this part of history, it does seem to me that Elonka is correctly interpreting her reference that whatever alliance was tried didn't last more than a few months at most. --Rocksanddirt 22:06, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


Elonka, I am afraid you are effectively trying to defend your point of view with your own original research about what an alliance is or not. What is important is what scholarly sources say. If they say there was an alliance, then you have no ground to argue differently (except if this itself is referenced). In any case both views would have the right to cohexist.
As a matter of fact, Jean Richard (among others), the leading French expert on the Mongols (in his 1996 History of the Crusades) does clearly speak about an alliance: "The Franco-Mongol alliance (...) seems to have been rich with missed opportunities" in "Histoire des Croisades", p.469, "In 1297 Ghazan resumes his projects against Egypt (...) the Franco-Mongol cooperation had thus survived, to the loss of Acre by the Franks, and to the conversion of the khan to Islam. It was to remain one of the political factors of the policy of the Crusades, until the peace treaty with the Mamluks, which was concluded in 1322 by khan Abu Said." in "Histoire des Croisades", p.468, "The sustained attacks of Baibar (...) rallied the Occidentals to this alliance, to which the Mongols also convinced the Byzantines to adhere", in "Histoire des Croisades", p.453. Both views ("an alliance", and "attempts towards an alliance") need to be handled in this article. This is the basic principle of balance and NPOV.PHG 14:40, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Let's not get off-topic here. The subject is what Grousset said, not Jean Richard. --Elonka 21:19, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Elonka, your argument against Grousset does not make sense and is pure original research. An “Alliance, explicit or tacit”, is an alliance nonetheless. PHG 12:41, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure how my quoting Grousset can be construed "original research". My point is, that Grousset was ambiguous on the subject. In terms of how we phrase it in the article, instead of saying "Grousset confirmed there was an alliance" or "Grousset said there wasn't an alliance," the most neutral way to say it, is that he was ambiguous on whether the alliance was "explicit or tacit". --Elonka 20:46, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Copyright worries

Elonka, it seems you have been pasting pages and pages of copyrighted material on this Talk Page and in the Article. May I recommend some cautionness? An author can usually be quoted for 4-5 lines at a time. As far as I know, beyond that, it is usually considered as copyright infringement. PHG 20:38, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Um, no, I have not been copy/pasting "pages and pages". I've definitely been including lots of different quotes from lots of different sources though.  :) I'm also frequently combining multiple smaller quotes into one larger quote, by using "..." marks. So the quote may be lengthy, but is actually just a collation of several different sections. The information is also clearly being used for educational purposes. If you still think that something is overly long though, you are welcome to point it out, and we can redact it to history. --Elonka 21:18, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Just asking you to be carefull. It seems you have been well beyond the 4-5 lines of quotes in several instance (even just looking at this page). PHG 14:32, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Also look at your huge quote #229: this is probably copyright infringement. Just trying to help. PHG 07:34, 25 September 2007 (UTC)


"Those who are not with us are against us" implies that either the Mongols were enemies or allies. If not the former, then the latter. Now, everybody does not believe the old adage, but it illustrates why determining whether or not an actual alliance ever existed is secondary: it all depends on what is meant by alliance. I was reading Bisson's The Medieval Crown of Aragon today and I came upon this: "Even so, in 1267 James [the Conqueror] was inspired by an invitation from the Mongol Khan ... to mobilize a major crusade that set sail for the East two years later." Is a Mongol invitation an alliance? Note that James' bastard sons did arrive at Acre with troops. Was that, however modest, part of a Mongol alliance? Do alliances have to engage in joint action to be real? Do they need assurances on paper? Or treaties? Also, picking up volume III of the excellent A History of the Crusades and turning to Denis Sinor's chapter "The Mongols and Western Europe", we find that "as soon as [Edward of England] disembarked at Acre on May 9, 1271, [he] sought to obtain Abagha's help ... As a result of these negotiations an army of about ten thousand horsemen, part of the Mongol force stationed in Anatolia, invaded Syria, where it achieved some local success but withdrew before engaging Baybars's principal army." And what is Sinor's evaluation of this? "Although of limited importance, this first case of effective coöperation between Mongol and western forces justified, in Abagha's view, further efforts to strengthen his alliance with England." I leave it up to all of you to judge this as you see fit. Srnec 05:08, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Srnec, extra opinions (and sources!) are always welcome. And you have as much a say in this as anyone else, so definitely stick around.  :) --Elonka 05:37, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Snerc. It seems that your new quotes do support the view that an alliance actually existed: "effective cooperation", "strengthening of his alliance with England" etc...
Jean Richard, the leading French expert on the Mongols does clearly speak about an alliance: "The Franco-Mongol alliance (...) seems to have been rich with missed opportunities" in "Histoire des Croisades", p.469, "In 1297 Ghazan resumes his projects against Egypt (...) the Franco-Mongol cooperation had thus survived, to the loss of Acre by the Franks, and to the conversion of the khan to Islam. It was to remain one of the political factors of the policy of the Crusades, until the peace treaty with the Mamluks, which was concluded in 1322 by khan Abu Said." in "Histoire des Croisades", p.468, "The sustained attacks of Baibar (...) rallied the Occidentals to this alliance, to which the Mongols also convinced the Byzantines to adhere", in "Histoire des Croisades", p.453.
Now we may have our own opinions about the actual extent of this alliance, bu the bottom lie is that reputable sources are divided on subject: some just speak about the alliance as fact (as Jean Richard and the others), and some speak about it as an attempt towards an alliance. Both views need to be handled in this article. This is the basic principle of balance and NPOV. PHG 14:27, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Srnec's new quotes do not say "that an alliance actually existed," they say, "Srnec has supplied us with some more quotes." But yes, I agree that multiple views can and should be represented in the article. --Elonka 21:22, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Wow, that's news! So you agree that both these of "Alliance" and "attempts towards an alliance" should be represented in the article. Let's move forward with that. PHG 12:43, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
I have always said that both views should be represented in the article. But please do not take my statement as an excuse to edit-war on the lead paragraph. In terms of the lead sentence, I still feel that the correct wording is "Many attempts were made towards forming a Franco-Mongol alliance," as that's the best representation of the consensus of modern historians. --Elonka 20:49, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi Elonka, you seem to have a strange understanding of what a consensus is: as many modern historians do describe the Franco-Mongol as fact, you logically cannot claim a consensus that the alliance didn't exist and was only attempted at. Both views should be represented, including in the lead sentence. PHG 14:09, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
PHG, I go not by the dictionary definition of consensus, but the Wikipedia definition. See Wikipedia:Consensus. I can also point you to plenty of ArbCom rulings that reinforce the concept that "consensus does not require unanimity". In the case of the introduction sentence, we clearly have a consensus, now let's please move on. --Elonka 17:53, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
You claim a consensus of historians where there is obviously none at all, so please be honest and just say that their opinions are divided on the subject. PHG 18:21, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Historical untruths and denial of reputables sources

I am afraid Elonka's stubborn opposition to the idea of the alliance between the Franks and the Mongols has led her to defend several major historical untruths, and deny major reputable sources in favour of her own point of view.

Little Armenia, Principality of Antioch and County Tripoli.
  • 1) Elonka is insisting that Little Armenia and Antioch/ Tripoli, the strongest allies of the Mongols according to virtually all sources, were not Frankish states. For Armenia, there may be some discussions, but for Antioch/Tripoli this is total historical nonsense. I'll just give one reputable source, but everyone who has a minimum knowledge of the Middle East during the crusades knows that the Principality of Antioch and the County of Tripoli, were Frank states:
"There are five Frank states(...): the Kingdom of Jerusalem, (...) the County of Edessa, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, but also the Kingdom of Little Armenia", Les Croisades, Origines et consequences, p.77-78
  • 2) Elonka is denying that numerous reputable sources consider the alliance with the Mongols as fact. I have given tens of such sources already (above). I have never seen such brazen denial of referenced sources on Wikipedia yet. I am just asking her to accept that sources are divided on the subject, and that some sources consider the alliance as fact, and some as "attempts towards an alliance".
Among all these sources presenting the alliance as fact, I will quote again Jean Richard, the leading French expert on the Crusades: "The Franco-Mongol alliance (...) seems to have been rich with missed opportunities" in "Histoire des Croisades", p.469, "In 1297 Ghazan resumes his projects against Egypt (...) the Franco-Mongol cooperation had thus survived, to the loss of Acre by the Franks, and to the conversion of the khan to Islam. It was to remain one of the political factors of the policy of the Crusades, until the peace treaty with the Mamluks, which was concluded in 1322 by khan Abu Said." in "Histoire des Croisades", p.468, "The sustained attacks of Baibar (...) rallied the Occidentals to this alliance, to which the Mongols also convinced the Byzantines to adhere", in "Histoire des Croisades", p.453.
I am not trying to defend one view against the other, I am just saying that reputable sources are divided on subject: some just speak about the alliance as fact (as Jean Richard and the others), and some speak about it as an attempt towards an alliance. Both views need to be handled in this article. This is the basic principle of balance and NPOV. PHG 15:15, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
PHG, you seem to be overly-personalizing this dispute, with "Elonka is stubborn," "Elonka is lying," "Elonka is incompetent," etc. etc. Can you please try to get away from the personal attacks, and return to a discussion of the article? If you and I disagree about whether or not an alliance actually existed, fine, then let's disagree. You believe what you want, I'll believe what I want. But the point of this talkpage is not to try and decide "what is truth," especially on points where major historians point out that there is ambiguity. The purpose of the talkpage here, is to discuss the Wikipedia article. Our goal is to make the article neutral, to ensure that all major points of view are properly represented, to ensure that we're not giving undue weight to certain theories, and that we're accurately summarizing what is said in reliable sources. I think the article is currently making good progress towards that goal, though there are still a few sections that need some work. Ultimately, I think we can at least agree on the following, yes?
  • This is a remarkable article, that is going to be an excellent Featured article someday
  • The article is currently too long, and needs to be split up, summary style
  • We need to decide where the most appropriate split points should be
Can we agree on this much? --Elonka 19:32, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Elonka. I did not say you lied, but I did say your opposition to the idea that the "Franco-Mongol alliance" existed was stubborn (inspite of all the references from scholarly sources I have been laying out... I have never seen such obstinate denial from any Wikipedia editor so far!), and that I was starting to have doubts on your competence, which, as a matter of fact, is true. These are not intended as personal attacks, but just refer to your edit methods and your apparent misunderstading of Middle Eastern history. Please understand: Little Armenia aside, denying that Antioch and Tripoli were Frank states is quite something!! (or writing that Antioch was part of Armenia as one of your recent edits!) I hope you can soon ackowledge these little lapses, so that we can resume our good editorial relationship. By the way you have your own record of incivility, such as saying some of my referencing was "absurd". Best regards PHG 16:10, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
While agree with those points, Elonka, I think the most important thing right now is getting that disputed tag off the top of the article. If there is still a dispute over accuracy, we should wrap it up, if not, the tag should be removed. An article with such a tag at top may be ignored by others who do not know what to trust and what not to. Srnec 03:34, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm currently working on a major copyedit of the article, to try and get it to a point where I can say, "I'm happy with this wording." If PHG will be happy with it too, then we can remove the tag. If not, then hopefully we can identify specific points of disagreement, and try to work through them. --Elonka 05:59, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Elonka, would you kindly answer to the question instead of evading it? You are making a huge historical mistake "Antiochians were not Franks", so please be honest enough to recognize it. And please also kindly recognize that Jean Richard considers the Mongol alliance as fact. PHG 12:45, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
My dear Elonka, for your benefit, I have attached above a map showing exactly the various territories in question. Please kindly stop writing that Antioch is part of Armenia (one of your last edits), or that Antioch or Tripoli were not Frank :) Best regards. PHG 15:42, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
(to Srnec) Well, I spent several hours trying to edit the article yesterday. I got about halfway through, and then went to sleep around 6 a.m. my time. I logged on today intending to finish, but it looks like PHG has already reverted most of my changes.[26] So it looks like this article is going to stay "disputed" for quite awhile. I have to admit I'm finding it discouraging to spend so much time on something, and then just get reverted. We could try going section by section, but so far PHG won't even acknowledge consensus on the lead sentence, so this is going to be slow going if we have to fight this way through every line of the article.  :/ --Elonka 20:36, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Elonka, not exactly. This is untrue, and you know it. Besides one or two minor corrections (and masses of additions) I only reinstated the former text which you had essentially deleted (Modern interpretations of the Franco-Mongol diplomatic relations), and you had replaced by a much more basic, POV paragraph (this is called "Deletion of referenced material", exactly 2,700 bites of it [27]). For example you deleted all the quotes from Jean Richard, the leading French specialist on the Crusades. So I will reinstate it. Please respect the contributions of others, as I am respecting yours. Best regards. PHG 05:19, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Elonka, can you at last enlighten us on your understanding of Antioch and Tripoli as not being Frank? Best regards PHG 05:48, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
For the third time: I have already answered this question in the above section Historians treating the alliance with the Mongols as fact. Let's please try and keep discussions focused, instead of making multiple threads about the same issue. --Elonka 09:40, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I did read again. You still do not seem to recognize that the Principality of Antioch and the County of Tripoli were Frankish realms: that really doesn't make sense. And please do not write that Antioch was part of Armenia. PHG 17:14, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I have answered this question in the thread that I mentioned: Historians treating the alliance with the Mongols as fact. Let's please keep discussions focused there. --Elonka 17:54, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
You are just evading the question. Were the Principality of Antioch and the County of Tripoli Frankish realms, yes or no? PHG 18:23, 24 September 2007 (UTC)


There are currently a couple statements in the article referenced to "Muncinis, p. 259", but with no further info. I did searches at and, but came up with nada. Anyone know what the expanded citation on this might be? --Elonka 07:54, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I tried to find it on (ie the broadest possible search) and also on, and and indeed.... nothing. I doubt whether this reference exists. Please provide more Arnoutf 10:53, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Good catch. Muncinis is apparently a typo for Runciman, as the page number for the reference is the same. Thanks!! PHG 16:29, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

New sources

I have added references, sources and quotes from three new works:

  • "History of the Crusades", by Jean Richard, the leading French specialist.
  • "Crusades in the Middle Age", by Alain Demurger, the leading French specialist of the Templars.
  • "Crusades, seen through Arab eyes", by Amin Maalouf

In particular, Jean Richard is very clear about the existence and duration of the Franco-Mongol alliance: he has it start in earnest around 1264 (after the first approximations of Saint Louis), and end around 1303, with prolongation as a major political factor until 1322. Hopefully this will now be sufficient for everyone to accept both scholarly views that there was "An alliance", or just "attempts at an alliance".

I hope everyone will enjoy these new additions. Best regards.PHG 16:12, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Remember though that Maalouf is not an historian and that book often reads like a novel. Better translations of Arab works are in "Arab Historians of the Crusades" by Francesco Gabrieli. Adam Bishop 16:15, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
And thanks for directing me to Jean Richard in the first place! PHG 16:38, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Maalouf isn't new, we were already using him as a source. PHG appears to have just added the French version of the book. And in any case, Maalouf does not confirm an alliance, but instead called it a "cherished dream".(p. 254) --Elonka 20:41, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Existence and timing of the Franco-Mongol alliance

I believe the leading French scholar on the Crusades Jean Richard (in his 1996 book "History of the Crusades") is answering perfectly to Elonka's request for a proper quote and chronological definition of the Franco-Mongol alliance:

"The History of the Crusades", by the leading French historian Jean Richard, describes the occurence of the Franco-Mongol alliance from the early 1260s to around 1303.
  • Jean Richard has the Franco-Mongol alliance start in earnest in the 1260s during the attacks of Baibars, and after the aborted experiments of Louis IX during his first Crusade: "The sustained attacks of Baibar (...) rallied the Occidentals to this alliance, to which the Mongols also convinced the Byzantines to adhere", in "Histoire des Croisades", p.453.
  • The alliance continued on-and-off (I am not putting the details here) but was strongly revived by Ghazan, to continue to have an influence until 1322: "In 1297 Ghazan resumed his projects against Egypt (...) the Franco-Mongol cooperation had thus survived, to the loss of Acre by the Franks, and to the conversion of the khan to Islam. It was to remain one of the political factors of the policy of the Crusades, until the peace treaty with the Mamluks, which was concluded in 1322 by khan Abu Said." in "Histoire des Croisades", p.468.
  • He finishes by concluding on the many missed opportunities the alliance has presented: "The Franco-Mongol alliance (...) seems to have been rich with missed opportunities" in "Histoire des Croisades", 1996, Jean Richard, p.469

Best regards PHG 17:02, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

  • By my read, Richard seems to be referring to "cooperation" more than "alliance," but sure, I have no problem with representing Richard's views. It's still my feeling that the majority of historians say that there wasn't a clear alliance, but towards our goal of neutral reporting, it makes sense to also include Richard's opinion on the subject. Let's just be careful not to give it undue weight. --Elonka 20:54, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Please read again. Jean Richard speaks factually about Alliance, Franco-Mongol cooperation, and Franco-Mongol alliance. Actually, the majority of the sources we have speak about the "Mongol alliance", rather than "Attempts towards an alliance" (just look at the paragraph about "Modern historians", before you deleted most of its content). I am not arguing for one against the other, I am just saying that both have to be represented fairly. In particular, there is no justification for the introduction sentence to speak about "attempts towards an alliance" only. PHG 05:45, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
According to what you added to the article, Richard also said that the alliance was confirmed at the Second Council of Lyon in 1263. But there was no Council of Lyon in 1263. This isn't a minor typo, this is a major issue, since Richard is trying to claim other events in the 1260s based on that non-existent Council. And we also now have two sections in the Wikipedia article that are now talking about the same Council, but from entirely different decades. It's embarrassing. --Elonka 17:59, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Off subject I guess, but Jean Richard just says Council of Lyon, so he probably means the 1274 one, where the facts were recorded by Richaldus. PHG 18:41, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Need help?

Help was asked for. I have the time and the interest, but I don't know the subject (which is why I have the interest, I like to learn). My bias is inclusion-ism and I am fond of actual quotes from recognized unbiased experts whose positions have not been repudiated by later better informed experts. Original research is unacceptable but quoting experts is not in and of itself original research. Can I be useful here? WAS 4.250 06:50, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi WAS 4.250! I am trying to have User:Elonka ackowledge that experts are divided on the subject, some supporting as fact that there was an alliance with the Mongol, some saying these were just attempts at an alliance. Probably seems like a minor issue, but according to Wikipedia NPOV/ Balance policy, it seems that both point of view should be represented, especially from the introduction sentence. Actually more sources speak about "an alliance" than about "attempts towards an alliance". PHG 07:23, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me, based on reading this article that there were attempts at an alliance based on common interests resulting in a de facto alliance consisting in confidence building exchanges of compliments, information, and resources building up to poorly coordinated shared joint military operations but due to Mongol internal problems and other things never resulted in an actual treaty and so was never a formal alliance. Therefore, depending on one's definition of "alliance" there either was one or wasn't one. Do I have this right? If I have this right then the article can't be too bad cause its my only source. On the other hand, I would like to note that saying there were attempts towards an alliance does not preclude the existence of an alliance. Would making a distinction in the article between a formal alliance and a de facto alliance help anything? WAS 4.250 08:32, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks WAS, you're coming up to speed pretty fast. And yes, you seem to have it right. We do have a section where we're trying to distinguish between what the different historians said. I'm not sure why PHG is claiming that I refuse to acknowledge that experts are divided on the subject, considering I'm the one that added the section on differing opinions.[28] A section which then PHG tried to out-and-out delete, claiming it was "Original research."[29] We've defiitely been edit-warring a bit about how best to present this information, so additional opinions are very welcome.  :) My own opinion is that we should definitely include the opinions of many different reliable historians, in as neutral fashion a possible. --Elonka 08:57, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I think you are both doing a fantastic job and together are creating an article better than either one of would have created alone. Consider each other to be a spur in your side making wikipedia better for all of us, even if at the moment you experience the other as a pain. WAS 4.250 09:06, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Yup, I agree that we're going to end up with an amazing article. I've definitely been spending many hours in libraries over the last couple weeks, and I'm looking forward to using this knowledge to expand several articles at Wikipedia, not just this one.  :) --Elonka 09:28, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
As the creator of this article, contributor of most of its content, and staunch defender, I do appreciate your comment WAS 4.250. Thank you. PHG 11:36, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Heh. PHG, And you say "I" am vain?[30] :) --Elonka 18:08, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. But I don't claim around that I have 8 FAs against the single one you seem so proud of... Best regards :) PHG 18:18, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Without doubt, this article is simply fantastic: I'm only sorry that such tension has arised between two so good editors, with uch a long history of good contributions. Maybe taking a couple of weeks pause, for both of you, would help creating a better atmosphere on your return. As for the case advanced of OR, I'm sorryb but I think PHG is right; even if good sense through a scrutiny of sources points that the "attempt" point has a majority support, airing such an opinion in the article text is OR (unless scholars state its a majority position).--Aldux 18:01, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Aldux, and I agree that I'm sorry that there's so much tension here. As for "original research", I don't just think that it's a case of a "majority" of historians disagreeing, I think it's all historians disagreeing. I know this is a strong claim, but I think that PHG has been misquoting sources, and deliberately using unreliable sources, to try and promote his biased POV. For more info, please see the #NPOV violations section below. --Elonka 20:02, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:HistoiredesCroisadesJeanRichard.JPG

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  1. ^ Quoted in Michaud Yahia, p.66-67 Transl. Blochet t.XIV, p.667, quotes in Ibn Taymiyya, Textes Spirituels, Chap XI