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Siege of Alinja

Siege of Alinja
Part of Timurid invasions of Georgia
Date1399[1]
Location
Result Timurid victory[2][3][4]
Belligerents
Jalayirid Sultanate Timurid Empire
Commanders and leaders
Jalayirids
George VII
Sayyid Ali of Shaki 

The siege of Alinja (Georgian: ალინჯას ბრძოლა) occurred between the armies of the Jalayirid Sultanate and Timurid Empire starting in 1388. King George VII of Georgia attacked the Timurid besiegers of the Alinja castle in 1399, releasing those who had been imprisoned.[1] In retaliation, Tamerlane ravaged southern Georgia and northern Armenia, killing, destroying, and enslaving people.[1] The fortress managed to withstand the continued siege, but faced with starvation, surrendered in 1401.[2][5]

Siege

While Tamerlane was campaigning in India in 1399, King George VII gathered the Georgian, North Caucasians (Simsim), and Shaki's army and attacked the Timurid besiegers of Alinja fortress. George rescued Tahir the daughter of Ahmad Jalayir, the ruler of Jalayirid Sultanate, temporarily freeing those inside from the thirteen-year siege.[1]

Aftermath

In retaliation, Tamerlane ravaged southern Georgia and northern Armenia, killing, destroying, and enslaving people.[1]

This bloody campaign lasted for several months, with Timur's armies systematically moving from province to province. Virtually all major cities and towns were destroyed and their populations decimated; the countryside (with its villages and food sources) was burnt; monasteries and churches were systematically razed to the ground. Of those who survived the fighting and reprisals, many thousands died of hunger and disease, and 60,000 survivors were enslaved and carried away by Timur's troops.[6]

The fortress of Alinja managed to withstand the continued siege, but faced with starvation, surrendered in 1401.[2][5]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Bedrosian 1997, p. 268.
  2. ^ a b c Bedrosian 1997, p. 267-268.
  3. ^ History of the Caucasus, Volume 2: In the Shadow of Great Powers p.75; "In the war against the conqueror Timur-e Lang, the fortress resisted a thirteen-year siege and only capitulated in 1401..."
  4. ^ Rayfield 2012, p. 149.
  5. ^ a b Rayfield 2012, p. 150.
  6. ^ Minorsky, Vladimir, "Tiflis", in: M. Th. Houtsma, E. van Donzel (1993), E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936, p. 757. Brill, ISBN 90-04-08265-4.

Sources

  • Bedrosian, Robert (1997). "Armenian during the Seljuk and Mongol Periods". In Hovannisian, Richard G. (ed.). The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times. Vol. I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century. St. Martin's Press.
  • Rayfield, Donald (2012). Edge of Empires (Kindle ed.). Reaktion Books.
  • Baumer, Christoph (2023). History of the Caucasus. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9780755636303.

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Siege of Alinja
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