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Book Chapter

The impact of the 1157 and 1170 Syrian earthquakes on Crusader–Muslim politics and military affairs

By
Kate Raphael
Kate Raphael
Institute of Earth and Sciences, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904, Israel
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Published:
October 01, 2010

This paper examines the development of a crisis over a critical military-security issue raised by the severe earthquakes that destroyed defensive structures throughout Nur al-Din's Sultanate of Syria, the Crusader Principality of Antioch, and the County of Tripoli. The earthquakes that struck Syria in 1157 and 1170 are well documented by contemporary historians. The accounts of destruction concentrate on the collapse of many fortresses and town walls. This circumstance strongly influenced regional politics and military affairs. While the first earthquake led to an increase in tension and a rise in violence between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Muslim Sultanate in Syria, the destruction wrought by the 1170 earthquake forced the two sides to accept a formal peace treaty. The two case studies presented here examine the impact of earthquake destruction on decision makers in the complex international arena of medieval Syria.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Ancient Earthquakes

Manuel Sintubin
Manuel Sintubin
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan, Leuven, Belgium
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Iain S. Stewart
Iain S. Stewart
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Fitzroy, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon, UK
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Tina M. Niemi
Tina M. Niemi
Department of Geosciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
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Erhan Altunel
Erhan Altunel
Department of Geological Engineering, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Eskisehir, Turkey
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Geological Society of America
Volume
471
ISBN print:
9780813724713
Publication date:
October 01, 2010

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