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Battle of the Horns of Hama

The Battle of the Horns of Hama or Hammah[1] (Arabic: Qurun Hama‎;[1] 13 April AD 1175; 19 Ramadan AH 570)[2] was an Ayyubid victory over the Zengids, which left Saladin in control of Damascus, Baalbek, and Homs. Gökböri commanded the right wing of the Zengid army, which broke Saladin's left flank before being routed by a charge from Saladin's personal guard.[3] Despite around 20 000 men being involved on both sides, Saladin gained a nearly bloodless victory owing to the psychological effect of the arrival of his Egyptian reinforcements.[1]

Following the battle, Saladin initially placed the rightful Zengid heirs over these territories: Muhammad ibn Shirkuh in Homs, Palmyra, and al-Rahba; Shihab al-Din al-Harimi over Hama; and Ibn al-Muqaddam in Baalbek.[4] Gökböri himself defected in 1182.[5] Once his power was further consolidated, however, they were deposed in favor of members of his own dynasty.

On 6 May 1175, Saladin's opponents agreed to a treaty recognizing his rule over Syria, apart from Aleppo.[1] Saladin requested that the Abbasid caliph acknowledge his right to the entirety of Nur ad-Din's empire, but he was simply recognized as lord over what he already held and encouraged to attack the Crusaders in Jerusalem.[1]




  • Behâ ed-Din (Baha' ad-Din Yusuf ibn Shaddad; 12th century), The Life of Saladin, translated at London in 1897 by C.W. Wilson for the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society.
  • Lock, Peter (2013), The Routledge Companion to the Crusades, Routledge Companions to History, Routledge, ISBN 9781135131371.
  • Nicholson, H.; et al. (2006), God's Warriors: Knights Templar, Saracens and the Battle for Jerusalem, Osprey Publishing.