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Battle of Ager Sanguinis

The Battle of Ager Sanguinis, also known as the Battle of the Field of Blood or the Battle of Sarmada, took place between the Crusader Principality of Antioch and the Muslim ruler of Aleppo in 1119.

Ilghazi[?], the Ortoqid[?] ruler of Aleppo, invaded the Principality in June of 1119. Roger of Salerno, who was ruling Antioch as regent for Bohemund II, did not wait for reinforcements from the other Crusader States, and instead marched out with about 3700 troops (700 knights and 3000 foot soldiers) to attack Ilghazi. Ilghazi took Roger by surprise near the pass of Sarmada on June 27 and Roger's army was completely destroyed. Roger himself was killed and only two of his knights survived.

The battle proved that the Muslims could defeat a Crusader army without the help of the Seljuks. However, Ilghazi was pushed back by Baldwin II of Jerusalem on August 14, and Baldwin took over the regency of Antioch. The defeat at the Field of Blood left Antioch severely weakened, and subject to repeated attacks by the Muslims in the following decade. As a result the Principality eventually came under the control of the Byzantine Empire.



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