Home > History Of Lebanon: Index > THE CRUSADERS AND MAMELOUKS




The first Crusader kingdom is established. In the following two centuries, Lebanon is divided between two crusader kingdoms, the one of Tripoli, and the one of Jerusalem. This period gives strength to the Maronite Christians, who enters a union with the Church of Rome. 
During their occupation they gave Lebanon monuments like the Saint John Citadel in Jbeil, the Castle of Saint Gilles in Tripoli, the Castle of the Sea in Saida, the fortress of Belmont in Balamand and the Castle of Smar in Jbeil. 

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The Crusaders were better known as the Franks or Franjs as the Arab called them. They re-conquered Jerusalem, and founded the Kingdom of Jerusalem which also included Beirut, Sayda and Sur.

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A slow Muslim reconquest started, directed by the Ayyubids of Egypt.

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After the departure of the Crusaders, the Maronites came under attack from the Mamlouks. They suffered every humiliation, while their Churches were set of fire, their villages plundered, and their vineyards destroyed. 
Patriarch Daniel of Hadshit in person led his men in their defence against the Mamluk soldiery, after the latter had assaulted the Jubbeh of Bsharri. He succeeded in checking their advance before Ehden for forty days, and the Mamluks captured Ehden only after they had seized the Patriarch by a ruse. 

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5. 1289

In 1289 Tripoli, and 1291, the other Lebanese cities and regions are controlled by the Egyptian rulers, the Mamluks, who governed the region for two centuries and a half.

The Lebanese, Christian and Shiite, became the object of several repressive military expeditions, in the end of the XIIIth century and the beginning of the XIVth century. The Mamluks attacked the Mountain, especially the Kesrouan and Metn; they destroyed the villages and pulled down the Kesrouan. 
After a century of military administration, the country gained back its commercial activities; Beirut's harbor flourished again and became the meeting point of several commercial nations of the Mediterranean.

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6. 1367

Patriarch Gabriel was conveyed from Hjoula, his home district where he had taken refuge during the persecutions, down to Tripoli, where he was burnt alive at the stake by muslims. His tomb still stands in Bab el Ramel, at the gates of Tripoli. [S10].  

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7. 1402

There was great hardship. Many of the dead remained without burial, many of which died of hunger. It was a tragedy without parallel. [S10] 

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8. 1439

An emissary of the pope, sent to the Maronites, was arrested by Muslims in Tripoli. This one was released when the patriarch sent them money. But the Moslems changed their mind and came back in Meifouk and arrested all those which they was doors guarantors for the Vatican's envoy. The army rabble entered in action, setting fire to and plundering all on its passage. [B2, p142]

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9. 1440

Following these events, the patriarch moved his patriarchal residence to Qannoubin located in Quadicha's valley. The Maronites at that time were always under the threat of famine through failure of the crops. They were also under the threat of attack on their persons whenever they went out to their fields. 

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