The Impact of War, Famine, and Disease on Insecurity in Northern Sham From 488 to 521 / 1095 to 1127 - A Statistical Survey

Document Type: Original Article


1 PhD, Assistant Professor of Department of History of Islam, Ahl Al-Bayt International University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD, Associate Professor, Department of History, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


The battle of Muslims with the Crusaders took place when disturbances in the region of Sham, especially in the north, prevented their confrontation with European forces; as a result, the circumstances were brought about for the establishment of European rule in Edessa, Antioch, Jerusalem and Tripoli.  Internal conflicts in the northern cities of Sham and prolonged encounters with the Turkmens, Crusaders, and rulers of Mosul and southern Sham caused insecurity in these areas.  This insecurity was intensified by factors, such as epidemics, consecutive famines and the maladministration of governors. In this paper, the researcher attempts to use statistical data to evaluate the impact of war, famine and disease on insecurity in Northern Sham on the verge of the Crusaders’ attack.  For this purpose, primary sources such as “al-Kāmil fī al-tārīkh”, Ibn al-Qalanisi’s “Mudhayyal Ta’rikh Dimashq”, and “Zubdat al-halab min tarikh Halab” were examined; cases of insecurity were extracted and the severity of their impact was analyzed based on the words these sources used to describe the “insecurity” and its underlying factors.