|Mamluk and Mongol at Ain-Jalut|
Mamluk and Mongol at Ain-Jalut
Eibek's minor son was now raised by the Emirs to the titular Sultanate; and Kutuz a distinguished Mamluk of Khwarizm birth, persuaded to assume the uninviting post of Vicegerent. The Ayyubid prince of Kerak, in whose service many of the Bahri Mamluks still remained, attempting with their help to seize Egypt was twice repulsed by Kutuz, and thus obliged to disband the Bahri, who returned to their Egyptian allegiance. Their return was fortunate, a time of trial being at hand. For it was now that Hulagu with his Mongol hordes, having overthrown Bagdad, and slain the last of the Abbasids, launched his savage troops on the West. He fulminated a dispatch to Nasir the Ayyubid head of Syria, in which he claimed to be the scourge of the Almighty sent to execute judgment on the ungodly nations of the earth." Nasir answered it in like defiant terms ; but, not being supported by Kutuz, had to fly from Damascus which was taken possession of by the Mongol tyrant. After ravaging Syria with unheard of barbarity, Hulagu was recalled to Central Asia by the death of Mangu. Leaving his army behind under Kitbugha, he sent an embassy to Egypt with a letter as threatening as that to Nasir. Kutuz, who had by this time cast the titular Sultan aside and himself assumed the throne, summoned a council and by their advice put the embassy to death. Then awakening to the possibilities of the future, he roused the Emirs to action by a stirring address on the danger that threatened Egypt, their families and their faith. Gathering a powerful army, the Egyptians advanced to Akka where they found the Crusaders bound by a promise to the Mongols of neutrality. The two armies met at Ain-Jalut, and there, after a fiercely-contested battle, and mainly A.D. 1250. by the bravery of Baybars as well as of Kutuz himself, the Mongols were beaten and Kitbugha slain. On the news reaching Damascus, the city rose upon their barbarian tyrants, and slew not only all the Mongols, but great numbers also of the Jews and Christians who, during the interregnum, had raised their heads against Islam.
up their victory, the Egyptians drove
the Mongols out of Syria, and pursued them beyond
Emesa. Kutuz, thus master of the country, re- appointed
the former Governors throughout Syria, on receiving oath
of fealty, to their several posts. For his signal
service, Kutuz had led Baybars to expect Aleppo; but,
suspicion aroused of dangerous ambition on Baybars' part,
he gave that leading capital to another. Baybars upon
this, fearing the fate that might befall him at Cairo,
resolved to anticipate the danger. On the return journey,
while Kutuz was on the hunting-field alone, he begged for
the gift of a Mongol slave-girl, and taking his hand to
kiss for the promised favor, seized hold of it while his
accomplices stabbed him from behind to death. Baybars
was forthwith saluted Sultan, and entered Oct. 1260.
Cairo with the acclamations of the people, and with the
same festive surroundings as had been prepared for the
reception of his murdered predecessor.