The Mamluk Conquest of the Coast 1263–91


Map Code: Ax01027

In Baibars, the Mamluk Sultan, the Levantine crusader kingdoms found their nemesis. After first consolidating his rule over the encircling Islamic territory, he began to pick off crusader strongholds. Arsuf and Safad were taken, and their respective garrisons of Knights Hospitallers and Templars were both massacred after being promised safe passage. He also sacked Nazareth and Haifa. Seeking an alternative Christian quarry, he invaded and laid waste to Armenia, razing the cities of Mamistra and Tarsus. The remaining crusader strongholds were now surrounded, and from 1268, he captured Damascus (with a wholesale slaughter of its inhabitants), then Jaffa, Ascalon, Caesarea and the Krak des Chevaliers. Baibars then turned his attention elsewhere before being assassinated in 1277. The Sultan Qalawun would mop up most of the straggling remnants of crusader rule, taking Latakia, Margat, and Tripoli before his son, Khalil effected the coup de grâce by taking Acre (1291).

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