Lebanon in History from the Earliest Times to the Present

By Philip K. Hitti | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI THE PRINCES OF THE MOUNTAIN: THE SHIHĀBS

THE removal of Fakhr-al-Dīn from the political scene ushered in a period of unrest and instability. Dormant feuds, the most widely spread of which was the Qaysi-Yamani,1 were reactivated; incapacitated feudal families, like the Sayfas in ʿAkkār and the Ḥarfūshes in Baʿlabakk, were resuscitated. Kūchūk Aḥmad's choice for the amīrate of southern Lebanon fell upon ʿAli ʿAlam-al-Dīn. A branch of the Tanūkhs,2 the ʿAlam-al- Dīns, headed the Yamani faction, in opposition to their Qaysi kinsmen and their Maʿni predecessors, and never ceased to intrigue and bid for power.3ʿAlī, who had distinguished himself by appropriating the possessions of the Maʿns and tracking down their followers and sympathizers, followed a repressive partisan policy. Using in reverse a technique adopted by the first ʿAbbāsids at a banquet for the Umayyads,4 he had his men fall upon his hosts, the Tanūkhs, at a dinner in their mansion at ʿAbayh and slaughter them. The rest of the family were pursued until exterminated.5 The opposition, nevertheless, continued under the leadership of Mulḥim,6 son of Yūnus and

____________________
2
Anṭūniyūs abu-Khaṭṭār (al-ʿAynṭūrīni), "Mukhtaṣar Taʾrīkh Jabal Lubnān", al-Mashriq, vol. xlvi ( 1952), p. 333. A source of al-Shidyāq, abu-Khaṭṭār was one of the earliest writers on the history of the Lebanese aristocratic families.
3
Shidyāq, p. 114 (this page number is given to another page in copy used).
5
Shidyāq, p. 114-15; cf. Ḥaydar, Ghurar, p. 719.
6
Genealogical tree of the Maʿn family:

-386-

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