Battle of Ba'rin

Coordinates: 34°53′05″N 36°26′17″E / 34.884628°N 36.438192°E / 34.884628; 36.438192

In the Battle of Ba'rin, also known as Battle of Montferrand) in 1137, a Crusader force commanded by King Fulk of Jerusalem was scattered and defeated by Zengi, the atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo. This setback resulted in the permanent loss of the Crusader castle of Montferrand in Baarin.[1]

Battle of Ba'rin
Part of the Crusades
Result Zengid victory
Kingdom of Jerusalem Zengids
Commanders and leaders
King Fulk of Jerusalem Zengi of Mosul and Aleppo
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown, loss of castle Unknown


When Zengi became ruler of Mosul in 1127 and Aleppo in 1128, the Crusaders were faced with a dangerous opponent. For several years afterward, Zengi gained power at the expense of neighboring Muslim states. By occasionally allying itself with the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Muslim emirate of Damascus successfully resisted Zengi's efforts to conquer that city.


In early 1137, Zengi invested the castle of Ba'rin, about 10 miles northwest of Homs. When King Fulk marched with his host to raise the siege, his army was attacked and scattered by Zengi's forces. Nothing is known about the battle. The Christian chronicler William of Tyre "gave no tactical information, and neither did the Arab historians."[2]

After their defeat, Fulk and some of the survivors took refuge in Montferrand castle, which Zengi surrounded again. "When they ran out of food they ate their horses, and then they were forced to ask for terms."[3] Meanwhile, large numbers of Christian pilgrims had rallied to the army of Byzantine Emperor John II Comnenus, Raymond of Antioch and Joscelin II of Edessa.

With this host approaching the castle, Zengi suddenly granted Fulk and the other besieged Franks terms. In return for their freedom and evacuation of the castle, a ransom was set at 50000 dinar. The Franks, unaware of the imminent arrival of the large relieving army, accepted Zengi's offer.[3]


In April 1137, John Comnenus laid siege to Shaizar but his efforts came to nothing when Zengi relieved the city in May. Ba'rin was never recovered by the Franks.

Muhammad ibn Nasr ibn al-Qaysarani wrote a rhyming poem praising Zengi for his victory at Ba'rin.[4]


  • Gabrieli, Francesco. Arab Historians of the Crusades. University of California Press, 1969. ISBN 0-520-05224-2
  • Hermes, Nizar F. "The Poet(ry) of Frankish Enchantment: The Ifranjiyyāt of Ibn Qaysarānī". Middle Eastern Literatures. 20.3 (2017): 267–287. doi:10.1080/1475262x.2017.1385695
  • Smail, R. C. Crusading Warfare, 1097–1193. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, (1956) 1995. ISBN 1-56619-769-4


  1. ^ Smail, p 33
  2. ^ Smail, p 182
  3. ^ a b Gabrieli, p 43
  4. ^ Hermes, p 272