Siege of Baghdad
The siege of Baghdad latest from January 29 to February 10, 1258. The Mongol forces used Trebuchets as a siege weapon during this siege. Hulagu intended to further extend his rule into Mesopotamia. Hulagu was instructed to attack Baghdad. On January 29, the Mongol army began to siege Baghdad and constructing a ditch around the city. They used siege engines such as catapults and trebuchets, these particular siege engines were used as they are good for breaking down walls, especially if the projectile being thrown is a huge boulder. Using these weapons, the Mongols tried to break down the city’s defenses. By February 5, the Mongols had defeated a large portion of the city’s defenses. Al-Musta’sim (the leader of Baghdad at the time) realized that his city was inevitably going to be defeated so he tried to open negotiations with Hulagu. Around 3,000 of Baghdad’s people, also tried to negotiate but they were murdered 5 days later. On February 10, the city had surrendered but the Mongols didn’t enter the city until the 13th, but when they did, it began a week of massacre and destruction. The Grand Library of Baghdad was completely destroyed. The city’s citizens attempted to flee, but they were caught by Mongol soldiers, who killed them all without mercy, not sparing women nor children. There are many estimations about how many people were killed ranging from 90,000 people to one million people. Hulagu had everything in the city destroyed and he even had to move his camp upwind due to the stench of the dead bodies in the city. Baghdad was a depopulated and ruined city for many centuries and only gradually gained some of its former glory.