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so they manage, while starving to capture a city with more than 20.000 inhabitants. Kind of many for that time, slay 20.000 of them, again not a likely number and find out that this people where starving themselves (no food for them in the city???). Not even the link below to Indymedia, not a really believable source, really believes in this. Highly unlikely.--Tresckow 10:12, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
During the Siege of Jerusalem after this event, 1,500 knights and 12,000 infantry captured Jerusalem and killed most of the inhabitants 40,000. Durning the Siege of Antioch the "starving" crusaders managed to capture Antioch a city much larger than Ma'arrat al-Numan. After capturing the city, the crusaders faught a larger turkish army in the Battle of Antioch. Ma'arrat is nearby, so it would make sense anyone defending the city would have been killed at the battle or retreated with the army. I agree some of the things need to be cited (like the 20,000 number) but since both contempory sources on both sides speak of the event, there seems no reason to think it didn't happen. --ChristopherM 18:29, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
It seems very silly to stick a factual accuracy tag up there. Of course it's extremely unlikely to have happened exactly that way, but that's what the sources say, so that is what we report. That's history for you. Adam Bishop 07:34, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
This is another legendary episode with absolutely no reputable academic citation or evidence. The article's only citations are from private websites. Ma'arrat al-Numan was not a city of 20,000 people, but a fortress, and the idea that the crusaders then started lunching on the inhabitants of this mythical "city" is risible. Xandar 11:43, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Ma'arrat was a city of 100 000 people if you believe Ibn al-Athir (although he apparently doesn't mention any cannibalism). I don't have Albert of Aix handy but I will see if I can sort this out. Adam Bishop 23:02, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I have The Crusades Through Arab Eyes handy and it claims that it was included in works of several European Historians. Michaud's l'historie des croisades vol 1 page 357, 577 for example. Xander where is YOUR academic citation that it was not a city but a fortress. --ChristopherM 02:58, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Crusaders are referred as "cannibals" in many in many Southwest Asian and north African languages???
Ok the writer probably means Arabic as far as i know since there is no other major language spoken in these areas. I've I have in the middle east for over twenty years and i speak Arabic fluently. there is absolutely no Arabic dialect in which crusaders "الصليبيين" are to referred as cannibals "اكلي لحوم البشر". Actually there is no talk about any massacre nonetheless cannibalism at the Arabic language article. I will just remove this for now. Ravi84m 17:33, 18 July 2009 (UTC)