BOOK IX

58 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.I.

BOOK IX.

CH.I. Introduction to the ninth book - Its subject, the history of the first crusade - Former narratives.

THE Eternal Creator wisely orders the revolutions of time and of human affairs, not disposing and altering them at the pleasure of senseless mortals, but his providence preserves, and his strong hand, and stretched-out arm, fitly carries forward and dispenses all. This is plainly seen in the changes of winter and summer, and not less felt in cold and heat; we perceive this in the origin and decay of all things, and the infinite variety of the works of God. Hence arise the numerous narratives of events which are daily occurring in the world, and materials are abundantly offered for eloquent historians to dwell upon. I reflect profoundly on these things, and commit the result of my meditations to writing; because in our days we have an unexpected revolution, and a noble theme for marvellous tales is offered to the pen of the writer.

Lo! the crusade to Jerusalem is entered on by the inspiration of God; the people of the West miraculously flock together from many nations into one vast body, and are led in one united army to fight against the infidels [1] in the East. The holy Sion is delivered by her sons who have hastened to her rescue from distant lands, and have conquered the aliens, [2] who had trodden under foot the holy city, and foully polluted the sanctuary of God. The execrable Saracens [3] had, by permission of divine Providence, long since crossed the border of Christendom, seized on the holy places, murdered the Christian inhabitants, and defiled with their abominations all that is sacred; but after a long period they received the punishment they merited from the arms of the Cisalpine nations. [4]


[1] Ethnicos; Ordericus calls the Mahomedans, indifferently, Gentiles and Pagans. Sulpitius Severus also uses the word "ethnicis" to express pagan; historicis ethnicis, in opposition to sacris.

[2] Allophilis; the word occurs again towards the close of c. 15 of this book, where a note will he found respecting it.

[3] Agareni, (descendants of Hagar?) an Arabian tribe. Dion Cassius has given an account of Trajan's expedition against them.

[4] Writing at St. Evroult, this phrase, often used by our author, would include all the western nations on this side the Alps, but he generally means the French, including the Normans.

THE FIRST CRUSADE. 59

Never, I think, was a more glorious subject presented to those who are well informed in military affairs, than that which is divinely offered to the poets and writers of our age, in the triumph of a handful of Christians, drawn from their homes by the love of enterprise, over the pagans in the East. The God of Abraham renewed his ancient miracles, when, actuated only by their zeal to visit the Messiah's tomb, and without the exercise of the authority of kings, or any worldly excitement, but by the simple admonition of Pope Urban, [1] he assembled the Christians of the West, from the ends of the earth, and the isles of the sea, as he brought the Hebrews out of Egypt by the hand of Moses; and led them through strange nations until he conducted them to Palestine, and gave them victory over kings and princes, and the assembled forces of many nations, and enabled them gloriously to conquer strongly-fortified cities, and to reduce towns under subjection to their arms.

Fulcher of Chartres, chaplain to Godfrey duke of Lorraine, who partook of the toils and perils of the expedition, has published a faithful and accurate volume on the laudable enterprise of the army of Christ. [2] Likewise Baldric, archbishop of Dol, [3] wrote four books in which he has described


[1] Urban II. (March 12, 1088-July 29, 1099), born on the territory of Rheims, was first a canon of that cathedral, afterwards a monk of Cluni, and eventually bishop of Ostia. Gregory VII., just before his death, named him one of the three cardinals he thought qualified for the papacy. However, he was not raised to it until after the death of Victor III., who was also on Pope Gregory's list.

[2] Fulcher of Chartres, born in 1059, was not chaplain to Godfrey de Bouillon, but to his brother and successor, Baldwin. His history of the Crusades is entitled, Gesta peregrinorum Francorum cum armis Hierusalem pergentium. It is supposed that he died about the year 1127, the period at which his narrative ends. It will be seen hereafter that there were no less than four individuals in the first Crusade who bore the same name and surname.

[3] Baldric, or Baudri, born at Meun-sur-Loire, about the middle of the eleventh century, was made abbot of Borgueil in 1079, and archbishop of Dol in 1107. After the year 1120 he frequently resided in Normandy, particulariy at the monastery of St. Samson, standing at the mouth of the Risle, it being a dependency on his see; indeed, it was the seat of an exempt jurisdiction belonging to Dol till the time of the revolution. He consecrated the church of St. Samson the 16th of December, 1129, and that Du Marais-Vernier, in the same place, on the succeeding day, and died the 7th of January following. He wrote his history of the Holy War in 1110. Baldrici, archiepiscopi Delensis Historia Hierosolymitana.

60 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.I.

with truth of eloquence, all the details from the beginning of the journey to the first battle after the taking of Jerusalem. Many other writers also, both Greek and Latin, have given accounts of this remarkable event, and recorded in lively characters the heroic deeds of illustrious men for the benefit of posterity. I too, though the least of all the followers of the Lord in a religious rule of life, for the love I bear to the brave champions of Christ, and the desire I have to celebrate their valiant achievements, am ambitious to include in the work I have undertaken on ecclesiastical affairs some account of this Crusade. I shrink from the task of writing a complete history of the expedition, but though I cannot venture to promise that, I know not how I can pass by so grand a theme without any notice. I feel the weight of years, being now a sexagenarian, [1] and having been brought up in the strict rule of the cloister, a monk from my childhood, I am unable to undergo the severe labour of writing with my own hand, and have no penmen to take down what I wish to dictate. [2] Consequently I hasten to complete my work. I will therefore now begin the ninth book, in which I shall


[1] Our author has told us at the beginning of his fifth book (vol. ii. p. 113), that he was born the 16th of March, 1075; this part of his history was, therefore, written in 1135, a rather memorable epoch in the annals of England and Normandy, as Henry I. died on the 1st of December of that year. Ordericus, towards the close of the twenty-sixth chapter of his eighth book (see before, p. 47), incidentally furnishes us with the date in which that part of his work was written; so that it would appear the eighth and ninth books were composed consecutively.

We might be inclined to amuse ourselves with our author's remark, that his weight of years, as a sexagenarian, interfered with the prosecution of his literary avocations, if the conclusion of tbe sentence did not give rise to a very different feeling. But it may be well supposed that in the case of so conscientious a recluse, even a robust constitution may have been broken by the austerities of a long monastic life, and the rigid performance of his duties in the choir, as well by night as by day, and through the rigours of a winter in Normandy (such as he describes, vol. ii. pp. 110 and 244), without the addition of his indefatigable devotion to his voluminous work.

[2] Either this lack of qualified penmen must have been temporary, or there was a sad falling off during the last seventy or eighty years in the education and industry of the younger members of the society of St. Evroult, of which our author has given so pleasing an account in the earlier part of his history. See vol. i. pp. 406-408.

A.D.1095.] COUNCIL OF PIACENZA. 61.

endeavour to give, faithfully and in order, some account of the pilgrims to Jerusalem, if God affords me the aid I need. In the deserts of Idumea, merciful Jesus, thou King of Nazareth, lend me, I beseech thee, thy powerful succour! Grant me the ability to declare worthily thy mighty power, which was exhibited in the triumph of thy servants and the discomfiture of the rebellious. Thou art the leader and guide of the faithful, their protector in dangers, their shield in battle, and the giver of victory. Almighty God! thee I adore, thy help I now implore! To the King of kings be eternal praises, world without end! Amen.

CH. II. A general drought and famine - Remarkable appearance of "falling stars" - The council of Clermont - its decrees - Urban II. preaches the crusade - Numbers take the cross - Aimer, bishop of Puy and Raymond, count of Tholouse.

IN the year of our Lord 1094, the second indiction, tumults and wars spread desolation over the greatest part of the world, and pitiless mortals inflicted on each other enormous calamities by rapine and slaughter. Iniquity abounded on all sides, and involved those who abandoned themselves to it in endless sufferings. The grass of the earth was burnt up by excessive drought, which destroyed the corn and pulse, so that a severe famine ensued. [1] The emperor Henry attacked the Roman church, but by God's providence was compelled to yield to the numbers who undertook her defence. Pope Urban held a council at Piazenza, in which the peace of the church and other pressing affairs were carefully considered. [2]


[1] This melancholy picture appears to be somewhat overcharged. The populations of the west were habitually the prey of so many devastations, that the year 1094 does not seem to have been particularly distinguished, except by a pestilence which extended its ravages to France, but which was a greater scourge to Bavaria and the banks of the Rhine. The Chronicle of St. Stephen of Caen speaks also of a great drought and famine, but refers them to the year 1091; while that of St. Brieue, on the contrary, fixes them in 1095.

[2] The cause of the emperor, Henry IV. (October 5, 1056-August 7, 1106), was indeed little prosperous in Italy at this period. His son, Conrad, who had commenced hostilities against him, caused himself to be crowned king of the Romans in 1093. The council of Piacenza sat from the 1st to the 7th of March, 1095. There were present two hundred bishops, more than four thousand of the clergy, and thirty thousand laymen. The ambassadors of the emperor of the East attended the council to implore the succour of the Latin Christians against the Turks, who had overrun almost all Asia Minor, and threatened Constantinople itself. It was in consequence of this, and on the present occasion, that Pope Urban first proposed the Crusade.

62 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.II.

In the year of our Lord 1095, the third indiction, on Wednesday before the nones [4th] of April, on the twenty-sixth day of the moon, innumerable spectators in France witnessed such a prodigious commotion among the stars, that, but for their brightness, it might have been mistaken for a thick shower of hail. Many thought that the constellations had fallen, and that the scripture was fulfilled, which predicted when and wherefore the stars should fall from heaven.

Gilbert, bishop of Lisieux, who was now an old man and a good physician as well as deeply skilled in other sciences, [1] had long been in the habit of regularly observing the stars at night, carefully noting their courses, like an acute astrologer. The able naturalist perceiving this prodigy in the heavens, called up the watchman wbo guarded the house while the other servants were asleep, and said to him: "Do you see, Walter, this remarkable appearance?" The man replied: "I see it, my lord, but I know not what it portends". The old prelate answered: "It prefigures, I think, the emigration of people from one country to another. Many will depart never to return, until the stars come back to their places in the heavens, from which as it appears they are clearly wandering. Others will remain fixed in their high and lofty sphere, like bright stars shining in the firmament".


[1] From our author's character, in a former chapter (vol. ii. p. 121), of this prelate, Gilbert Maminet, and scattered notices throughout the history, he must have been an extraordinary person in that age, but more eminent as a man of science than as an ecclesiastic. In fact, he appears to have been raised to the episcopate by William the Conqueror as a reward for services in his medical capacity rather than as his chaplain, and he attended his sovereign as his physician in his last illness.

The author, who must have known him well, gives here a lively picture of the old bishop, who, he tells us in another place, was tall and spare in person, engaged in his nightly occupation of observing the heavens, and explaining to his astonished domestic a phenomenon with which he must himself have been familiar, but which on this occasion presented an aspect more than usually brilliant. Little did the philosophical prelate know of the modern theory of aerolites, and he treated the subject, as was natural, more as an astrologer than an astronomer.

A.D. 1095.] COUNCIL OF CLERMONT. 63

This Walter, who was of Cormeilles, related to me a long time afterwards what he had heard from the mouth of the able physician concerning the falling stars, at the very moment the phenomenon was observed.

Philip, king of France, carried off Bertrade, the wife of the count of Anjou, and having repudiated his own illustrious queen, made a shameful marriage with the adulteress. He would not abandon this dishonourable connection, notwithstanding the censures of the French bishops on the criminal pair, the one for having deserted his wife, the other her husband, and the king sunk into age and infirmities in all the corruption of his foul adultery. [1]

During King Philip's reign, Pope Urban undertook a journey to France, and consecrated the altar of St. Peter at the abbey of Cluni, and many churches dedicated to the saints; and, by his apostolical authority, granted them privileges to the honour of Christ. [2] Then a dreadful pestilence raged among the population in Normandy and France, so that numbers of houses were swept of their inhabitants, while, at the same time, a severe famine wasted the people.

The same year, the fourth indiction, in the month of November, Pope Urban assembled the bishops of France and Spain in a great council at Clermont, [3] a city of Auvergne, anciently called Arverne. [4] He reformed many things on this side the Alps, and made a variety of decrees for the reformation of manners. There were present at the council


[1] The details connected with this scandalous alliance, which drew on Philip I. the thunders of the church, are given in our author's preceding book.

[2] The pope crossed the Alps in the last fortnight of July, was at Valence in the beginning of August, at Puy the 15th, at Chaise-Dieu the 18th, at Nismes the end of the month, at Tarascon the 11th of September, at Avignon the 12th, at St. Paul-Trois Chateaux the 19th, at Macon the 17th of October, and at Cluni the 18th. The altar at Cluni was consecrated on the 25th.

[3] The pope arrived at Clermont the 14th or 15th of November, and opening the council on the 18th, closed it on the 28th of the same month. It was at first proposed to assemble it at Vezelai, then at Puy, but at last finally settled to hold it at Clermont.

[4] The Roman name of the capital of the province of Auvergne was Augustonemetium, which it exchanged for that of Arvernis about the time of Ammianus Marcellinus. It preserved the latter name until it borrowed that of Clermont, a fortress built to protect and overawe it.

ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.II.

of Clermont thirteen archbishops, and two hundred and twenty-five bishops, with a vast number of abbots and other ecclesiastical dignitaries, to whom the care of the churches was divinely committed. [1]

The decrees of the council held at Clermont were as follows:-

"The church ought to be catholic, pure, and independent; catholic in the faith and communion of the saints; pure from all contagion of sin; and independent of all secular power. Let not bishops, abbots, or others of the clergy, receive the investiture of any ecclesiastical dignity from the hands of any prince or layman whatever! Let not clerks hold any prebends or preferment in more than one city or church! Let no one be at the same time a bishop and abbot! Let no priest, deacon, subdeacon, or canon be guilty of incontinence! and let no priest, deacon, or sub-deacon perform any function after he has lapsed! Let no ecclesiastical dignities or canonries be bought or sold! Those may be pardoned who have purchased canonries in ignorance of the authority of the canons and the laws prohibiting it; but let those be deprived who hold them wittingly purchased by themselves or their relations! Let no layman eat flesh after being sprinkled with ashes on the first day of Lent until Easter! Let the first fast of the Four Times be always kept in the first week of Lent! Let holy orders be always conferred either at vespers on Saturday, or, the fast being prolonged, on Sunday morning! On Easter Saturday, let not the office be concluded till sunset! Let the second fast be always kept in the week of Whitsuntide! Let the truce of God be observed from Advent to the octave of the Epiphany, from Septuagesima until the octave of Easter, from the first Rogation day to the octave of Whitsunday, and at all seasons from sunset on Wednesday to sunrise


[1] Cotemporary writers are not agreed on these numbers, but our author has prudently adopted those which were officially stated by the pope himself in his brief in favour of the bishopric of Arras. Among the prelates we may single out Elias, archbishop ot Bari, who figured in the narrative of the translation of the relics of St. Nicholas (vol. ii. pp. 393, 394), and who now, having received a visit from Peter the Hermit as he was returning from the Holy Land, accompanied him from Bari to the council of Clermont. The number of the abbots, which is not here given, is reckoned in the documents referred to at more than ninety.

A.D. 1095.] CANONS OF THE COUNCIL OF CLERMONT. 65

on Monday! Let any one who lays violent hands on a bishop be outlawed! Let those who arrest or rob monks, clerks, or nuns, or their servants, be excommunicated! Let those who plunder the goods of bishops or clerks at their death be excommunicated! Let those who marry within the seventh degree of consanguinity be excommunicated! Let no one be made a bishop but a priest, deacon, or subdeacon, [1] and who is of honourable parentage, except in extreme cases, and with the pope's licence! The sons of priests or concubines shall not be preferred to the priesthood, unless they have before led a religious life! Those who flee to a church or cross for refuge, shall, if guilty, be given up to justice, saving only life and limbs; but if they are innocent they shall be set at liberty! Let the body of our Lord and the blood of our Lord be received separately! Let every church possess its own tithes, and not intrude on the rights of another under pretence of any gift! Let no layman either sell or hold tithes! Let no fees be demanded or paid for the burial of the dead! Let no prince have any chaplain, unless by licence from the bishop; and if he be guilty of any offence, let him be corrected by the diocesan, and another chaplain appointed in his place"! [2]

These decrees received the public sanction of Pope Urban at the council of Clermont, where he zealously inforced the observance of the divine law on all orders of men. He then laid before the council lamentable accounts of the desolation of Christianity in the East, and described the sufferings and cruel oppressions to which the faithful were exposed. [3] His eyes filled with tears as he depictured to


[1] Gregory II. was only a deacon when he was elected pope.

[2] It must not be concluded that the acts of the council of Clermont were confined to this small number of canons; on the contrary, they were so numerous that the very circumstance has occasioned the loss of the greater part, every one limiting himself to extracting only what particularly interested him. The general collection of councils contains all that have been preserved by Lambert D'Arras, Alberic de Trois-Fontaines, and others.

[3] The calamities on which the pope expatiated are those which resulted from the conquest of Jerusalem and the whole of Lower Syria, in 1076, by the lieutenants of Malek-Shah, great-nephew of Togul-Bey, and Sultan of the Turkish dynasty of the Seljucides. The Christians of the Holy Land had already undergone great sufferings from the cruelties of the Fatimite Calipl., Hakem (996-1002), to whose successors they continued subject until this invasion which restored them nominally to the government of the Abassides.

66 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.II.

the sacred synod Jerusalem prostrate, and the holy places, where Christ and his disciples walked in the flesh, profaned and trodden down. Then many of his audience were moved by sympathy and compassion for their afflicted brethren to weep with him. The eloquent preacher addressed his hearers in a long and excellent discourse, in which he exhorted the princes of the West, with their subjects and warriors, to maintain firm peace among themselves, and, assuming the badge of the holy cross on their right shoulders, give full scope to their military ardour on the renowned chiefs of the Infidels.

"The Turks and Persians", said Pope Urban, "the Arabians and Saracens, have seized Antioch, Nice, and Jerusalem itself, [1] ennobled by the tomb of Christ, with other Christian cities, and have now turned their immense power against the empire of the Greeks. They are in complete possession of Palestine and Syria, which they have already subjugated, destroying the churches, and butchering the Christians like sheep. In the churches, where the divine sacrifice was once celebrated by the faithful, the gentiles now stable their horses, introducing their superstitions and idolatries, have shamefully expelled the Christian religion from the temples dedicated to God. The domains given for the support of the saints, and the endowments of the nobles for the sustenance cf the poor, are usurped by pagan tyranny, and converted by these cruel masters to their own use. They have dragged away many captives into far distant countries, the seats of barbarism, and yoking them with thongs, set them to labour in the fields, compelled them to plough the land like oxen, and to undergo other toils befitting beasts rather than men. Worn down with the fatigue of such employments, our brethren are flogged with whips, urged with goads, and abominably subjected to innumerable sufferings. in Africa alone ninety-six bishoprics


[1] The date of the conquest of Jerusalem by the Turks has been given in the last note. Nice was ceded to Solimon, sultan of Iconium by Nicephorus Melisenes in 1080, and Antioch by the son of Philaretes 1085.

A.D. 1095.] URBAN II. PREACHES THE CRUSADE. 67

have been destroyed, as those who have come from thence inform us". [1]

No sooner had Pope Urban eloquently poured forth these complaints in the ears of Christians, [2] than, by the inspiration of God's grace, thousands were inflamed with excessive zeal for undertaking the enterprise, and resolved to sell their lands and leave all they had for the sake of Christ. Rich and poor, monks and clerks, townsmen and peasants, were all seized with wonderful ardour to march to Jerusalem or to succour those that became pilgrims. Husbands were ready to leave their beloved wives at home, and wives were equally desirous to leave their children and all their substance, and accompany their husbands on the journey. Estates of great value were sold for a trifle, and arms were purchased to inflict divine vengeance on tbe Saracens. Robbers, pirates, and other criminals, touched by the grace of God, rose from the depths of iniquity, confessed and renounced their sins, and, to make satisfaction to God for them, joined the ranks of the pilgrims. The prudent pope stirred up all who were able to bear arms, to fight against the enemies of God, absolving by his authority all penitents from the hour they should take the cross from their sins, and releasing them from all obligations of fasting and other mortifications of the flesh. For he wisely considered, like a kind and prudent physician, that those who went on the pilgrimage would be constantly harassed on the road by difficulties of all kinds, and exposed to daily chances both for good or evil, for which the worthy servants of Christ should be purified from all the corruptions of sin.


[1] Among the numerous discourses attributed by the historians of the first Crusade to Urban II. at the council of Clermont, there are three which have the character of authenticity. The first, which is rather the fragment of an allocution particularly addressed to the French than a complete discourse, is preserved by Robert of St. Remi; the second by Balderic; the third by William of Tyre. They are all to be found in the general collection of councils, as well as in the history of this pope by Dom Ruinart.- Ouvres Posthumes de Mabillon.

[2] It is said that this popular eloquence was displayed by Pope Urban from a lofty scaffold in the market place of Clermont. The city was filled with overflowing numbers, and, though the council was held, as we have seen, in the month of November, thousands sheltered themselves in tents hastily erected in the open fields round the town.

68 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.II.

While the pope was solemnly preaching in the council, and vehemently exhorting the sons of Jerusalem to hasten to deliver their holy mother, a man of high character, Adhemar, [1] bishop of Puy, rose from his place before all the assembly, and approaching the successor of the apostles with a cheerful countenance, bent his knee, and entreated permission to go, and the pope's benediction; both which he obtained to the joy of all. Thereupon the pope issued a decree enjoining all the pilgrims to obey the bishop, and constituting him apostolical vicar in the expedition; for he was a prelate of consummate ability, great courage, and singular industry.

The envoys of Raymond Berenger, count of Tholouse, [2] presently appeared, and announced to the pope that their master, with many thousands from his dukedom, would join the Crusade, and stated to the council that he had already assumed the cross. Lo! thanks be to God, two leaders voluntarily presented themselves with alacrity to take the command of the Christian pilgrims. In this case, the priestly and princely powers, the order of the clergy and that the laity, united to be the conductors of the people of God. The bishop and the count remind us of Moses and Aaron, who were also aided by the divine support. There was an eclipse of the moon on the tenth day of the month of February, which lasted from midnight to the dawn


[1] The MS. of St. Evroult, following the text of Archbishop Baudri's narrative, always calls this prelate Naimarus, which should be written N'Aimarus, the initial N being an abbreviation of Don for Dominus, used in the south of France in the middle ages. The real name of the bishop of Puy was Adhemar - and by contraction Aimar - de Monteil. He was raised to the episcopacy about the year 1080, at the latest. The composition ef the Hymn, Salve Regina, in the office of the Blessed Virgin, is attributed to Adhemar.

[2] Raymond, fourth of that name, and surnamed de St. Giles, was the second son of Pons, count of Tholouse. At first he was lord of that part of the bishopric of Nismes, which adjoins St. Giles, but his brother William, who married Emma, daughter of Robert, count de Mortain, gave him the county of Rovergue in 1066, and that of Tholouse in 1088. William went to the Holy Land in 1092, and died there the year following. Raimond was accompanied to the Crusade by his third wife, Elvira, natural daughter of Alfonzo VI., king of Leon and Castile, with a son he had by her, who was quite young, and whose name has not been preserved.

A.D. 1096.] SYNOD OF ROUEN. 69

of morning, the obscuration commencing on the north side of the planet. [1]

CH. III. A synod of the bishops of Normandy,held at Rouen, promulgates the canons of the council of Clermont - Oriqin of the Danes who conquered Normandy - State of the province - Duke Robert resolves to join the Crusade.

ODO, bishop of Bayeux, Gilbert of Evreux, and Serlo of Seez, with envoys from the other bishops of Normandy, bearing letters of apology, were present at the council of Clermont, and returning with the apostolical benediction, brought synodal letters to their brother bishops. In consequence, Archbishop William convoked a synod at Rouen, to consult with his suffragan bishops on the wants of the church. Having assembled at Rouen, in the month of February, they unanimously received the acts of the council of Clermont, and, ratifying the apostolical decrees, made a record to the following purpose for a perpetual memorial:-

"1. The holy synod has decreed that the truce of God shall be strictly observed from the Sunday before the beginning, of Lent to sunrise on Monday after the octave of Whitsuntide; also from Wednesday before Advent at sunset to the octave of the Epiphany, as well as every week in the year from sunset on Wednesday to sunrise on Monday; [2] also on all the feasts of St. Mary, and their vigils, and all feasts of the apostles, and their vigils; so that no one shall assault, or wound, or slay another, or take pledge [3] or booty.


[1] This eclipse happened in the night between the 10th and 11th of February, at half-past three in the morning.

[2] According to this canon, there remained only the three first days of the week for carrying on hostilities. This was so totally inconsistent with the military spirit of the age, that the canon, by attempting too much, became quite nugatory, as our author states in the succeeding chapter, in commenting on the decrees of this council, promulgated by the synod of Rouen. See the note in p. 125 of vol. ii. on the introduction of the "truce of God" into Normandy.

[3] Namnum. The same word is used in S.19 of the canons of the synod of Rouen in 1080. (ib. p. 128.) We have there given it the signification of a gage or pledge of battle. M. Le Prevost considers it an ordinary pledge, which generally consisted of cattle and remarks that there is street at Caen called, La rue aux Namps.

70 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.III.

"2. It is also decreed that all churches and churchyards, monks, and nuns, as well as females, pilgrims and merchants, with their servants, oxen, and horses at plough, and men driving carts, or harrowing, and horses harrowing, and men flying for refuge to carts, and all the lands of the saints, and the money of the clergy, shall be for ever unmolested, so that no one shall presume to assault, take, rob, or injure them in any manner or at any time whatever. [1]

"3. It also decreed. that all persons, from the age of twelve years and upwards, shall swear to observe faithfully this institution of the truce of God as it is here appointed, by the oath following, 'You N. hear this; I swear that henceforth I will faithfully observe this appointment of the truce of God as it is here expressed, and will aid my bishop or archdeacon against all persons who shall neglect to take this oath, or fail to observe this decree: so that if I am summoned by them against the offenders, I will neither abscond nor conceal myself, but will attend them armed, and support them in all things to the utmost of my power, in good faith, without subterfuge, and according to my conscience. So help me God, and these saints'. [2]

"4. Likewise, the holy synod hath decreed that excommunication shall be pronounced on all who refuse to take this oath, or shall violate this decree; as well as on those who have any communication with them, or sell them goods, whether workmen, or other tradesmen; and also priests who shall permit them to communicate, or perform any divine office for them. Excommunication shall also be extended to all forgers, thieves, and receivers of stolen goods, and to freebooters banded together in strongholds for the purpose of pillaging, and to all lords who shall shelter them in their castles. And we prohibit, by the apostolical authority and our own, all Christian men from so doing on the lands of their lords.


[1] This canon is remarkable, because it appears to confer on carts and waggons in the country a sort of right of asylum for those who should take refuge in them, independently of the protection granted to persons engaged in husbandry, if, by implication we may include those not actually employed in harrowing, or carting, such as reapers, etc.

[2] Isti sancti. Meaning probably the saints on whose relics the oath was sworn.

A.D. 1096.] ACTS OF THE SYNOD OF ROUEN. 71

"5. The holy synod hath also decreed that all churches shall have the same fiefs in their possession as they had in the the of King William, with the same rights and customs, and that no layman shall have any share in the third part of the tithes, or in burial fees, or in oblations at the altar, nor shall require any service or exact anything in respect of the same, save what was established in the reign of King William.

"6. It is also decreed that no layman shall institute or dismiss a priest from his church without the bishop's consent, nor sell his patronage, or receive any money for it. Also, that no man shall wear long hair, but every one shall have it cut short as becomes a Christian; [1] otherwise he shall be sequestrated from entering the doors of holy mother church, and no priest shall perform any divine office for him or assist at his burial. Let no layman assume episcopal rights, or the jurisdiction which belongs to the cure of souls. [2]

"7. Let no priest do homage to a layman, because it is not fit that hands dedicated to God, and consecrated with the sacred chrism, should be placed within those which are unhallowed, and may belong to a murderer, an adulterer, or one who has committed some other grievous sin. [3] If, however, a priest holds of a layman any fief which is not ecclesiastical, let him perform fealty for his security's sake!"

Gilbert, bishop of Evreux, who was surnamed the Crane, because he was very tall, and Fulbert, archdeacon of Rouen, [4] promulgated these decrees, which Archbishop William and the other bishops ratified by their authority; Odo of Bayeux,


[1] Not only was the hair worn short at this time, but the chin was shaved. The Crusaders having suffered their beards to grow before the battle of Antioch, either as a token of sorrow, or to disguise the emaciation cf their faces, it was very difficult to distinguish them from the Musulmans, so that the bishop of Puy was forced to recommend their wearing crosses on their garments, to avoid serious mistakes. The fashion of long beards, which was introduced into Normandy a few years later, to the great scandal, as our author has told us before, of the stricter sort, was therefore, it should seem, as yet but little in vogue in the West.

[2] This canon cannot be considered unnecessary in a country where we have seen (vol. i. p. 471) an archdeaconry held as an hereditary lay fief.

[3] We have here Gregory the Seventh's peremptory decision of the celebrated question of investitures, which for so many years convulsed Europe.

[4] For this person see before pp. 38, 39.

72 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.III.

Gilbert of Lisieux, Turgis of Avranches, [1] Serlo of Seez, and Ralph of Coutances, [2] gave their sanction to the synod, and the abbots from the whole of Normandy, with the clergy and those of the nobles who were desirous of peace, assisted at it. The bishops, indeed, with the best intentions made such statutes as the times required, but as the laws were not enforced by the prince, they little availed to secure the tranquillity of the church, and all that was now ordained in the manner we have described was nearly useless. For at that time there were extraordinary feuds among the Norman barons, and the people throughout the country engaged in enterprises of violence and robbery, so that the whole land was devastated by ravages and flames. A great number of the inhabitants were driven from their homes, and the parishes being depopulated, the priests sought safety in flight from their ruined churches.

The Normans are a turbulent race, and, unless restrained by a firm government, are always ready for mischief. In all societies wherever they are found, they struggle for the mastery, and disregarding. all the sanctions of truth and good faith, are incessantly actuated by a fiery ambition. The French, the Bretons, the Flemings, and the other neighbours of the people of Normandy, have but too often had reason to be sensible of this, and the Italians, Lombards, and Anglo-Saxons, have suffered from it even to extermination.

The origin of the Trojans may be traced, as it is reported, to the barbarous tribes of the Scythians; and after the ruin of Troy, Antenor, the Phrygian, penetrated into Illyrium, and sought for a long time a settlement for himself and his companions in exile. At last, he fixed his abode on the shore of the Northern ocean, and having with his fellow emigrants colonized the sea-coast, they left their possessions to their heirs. The race thus sprung from the Trojans, took the name of Danes, from Danus, son of Antenor. [3] They


[1] 1094-1133.

[2] 1093-1110.

[3] This fabulous account of the origin of the Danes from Trojan emigrants corresponds with that attributed by the chroniclers of the middle ages to the Britons and other nations of the West and North of Europe. Archaeologists are now pretty well agreed in assigning an eastern origin to the Scandinavian peoples, but derived through tribes which emigrated at a very early period from the vast plains of central Asia.

ORIGIN OF THE NORTHMEN. 73

were always a fierce and warlike people and governed by powerful kings; but it was long before they submitted to receive the Christian faith. Rollo, one of their bravest chiefs, with the Normans, were of this race; and being the first who subjugated Neustria, it took from them the name of Normandy, Norman signifying in English, Northman. Norman means therefore a man of the north, whose rude assaults have proved not less destructive to their dainty neighbours than the nipping blasts of the north wind to tender flowers. To this day their descendants inherit the native fierceness of the race and their ardour for war, so that they never suffer the tillers of the soil or even their own governors to have any peace in their homes.

After Rollo, a succession of valiant dukes commanded the warlike Normans; namely, William Long-sword, Richard the elder, Richard II., son of Gunnor, and his two sons, Richard the younger and Robert of Jerusalem, and then William the Bastard. This duke, the last in order of time, surpassed all his predecessors in his warlike achievements and grandeur, and at his death left the duchy of Normandy to Robert, and the kingdom of England to William. But Robert, a weak prince, degenerated from the vigour of his ancestors, and sunk in sloth and luxury, had more fear of his own subjects than they had of him, and consequently a mischievous insubordination gained ground in every part of his territories. One of his brothers, Prince Henry, had possession of Damfront, a very strong castle, from whence he held great part of Normandy in subjection either by his policy or his arms, and befriended his brother or opposed him, according to his own pleasure. The other brother, who was king of England, held more, I think, than twenty castles in Normandy, and attached to his cause either by fear or reward many of the most powerful barons and lords of castles. Robert, count d'Eu, [1] Stephen d'Albermarle, [2] Gerard de Gournai, [3] Ralph de Conches, [4] with Robert, earl of


[1] It should be Henry, not Robert, count d'Eu, Robert being Henry's grandfather, who died before the year 1093.

[2] Or Aumale, cousin-german of Duke Robert.

[3] Gerard, lord of Gournai, son of Hugh, and of Basile, daughter of Gerard Fleitel.

[4] Ralph de Conches, the second of that name, who died in 1102.

74 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IV.

Morton, [1] Walter Giffard, [2] Philip de Braiouse, [3] and Richard de Courci, [4] and many other lords submitted to the king, with all the fortresses and garrisons belonging to them, and trembling at his nod supported him with all their power. Thus Normandy was a prey to the distractions of her own children, and the unarmed people had no protector.

Roused to reflection by these calamities, and fearing still worse, as he was deserted by almost every one, duke Robert resolved, by the advice of some men of religion to leave the government of his dominions to his brother the king, and taking the cross, join the pilgrimage to Jerusalem in satisfaction of his sins. The king of England heard this determination with sincere pleasure, and approving the design received Normandy to hold it for five years, advancing his brother ten thousand silver marks to enable him to undertake the pilgrimage.

CH. IV. The crusade preached by Peter the Hermit - Vast multitudes assume the cross and set out on the pilgrimage to Jerusalem - Enumeration of the chief crusaders and their principal followers.

POPE Urban held another council at Tours in the Lent following and confirmed in it the acts of the council of Clermont. In the middle of Lent he consecrated the church of St. Nicholas at Anjou, and conferred on it apostolical privileges. He also by his influence and authority effected the liberation of Geoffrey Martel count of Anjou, who had been traitorously seized and confined in the castle of Chinon


[1] Robert, Count of Mortaine (called in England earl of Morton), surnamed Le Prud'homme, 1082-5, June, 1118.

[2] Walter Giffard, second of that name, count de Longueville, and earl of Buckingham in England, who died in 1102.

[3] Philip, lord of Briouse, department of the Orne, son of William de Briouse, who granted several charters in favour of St. Florence at Saumur, which have been preserved. William was present at the battle of Hastings. The Berkeleys, and we believe the Howards, claim ancient baronies of this name, written also Braiouse and Breouse, in England.

[4] Richard de Courci. For this person, see before, vol. ii. p. 505.

[5] The silver mark was worth in these times 160 pennies; and a pound weight of silver was coined into 240 pennies. This sum which is equal, M. Le Prevost observes, to 6,666 livres d'argent, was paid to Robert Curthose in the month of September. We shall see hereafter, from the details given by our author of the means employed to collect this sum, that its payment did not much exhaust the treasury of William Rufus.

A.D. 1096.] PETER THE HERMIT. 75

for nearty thirty years by his younger brother Fulk Richer, who in the meantime usurped his dominions. [1]

In the year of our Lord 1096, the fourth indiction, in the month of March, Peter d'Acheri, a monk [2] eminent for his learning and liberality commenced his pilgrimage from France to the Holy Land, and led with him Walter de Poissi, [3] with his nephews, Walter, surnamed Sans- Avoir, [4]


[1] Ordericus has inverted the order of events in this paragraph. It was on the 6th of February that the pope went from Poitiers to Angers, and on the 10th or 11th, he dedicated the church of St. Nicholas. If Geoffrey-le-Barbu was liberated from the prison in which he had been confined since 1068 (not as is erroneously stated, vol. i. p. 440, on the 4th of April, 1067), his brother, having relaxed his custody in the interval, it could only have been at a later period. This Geoffrey is here confounded with his nephew Geoffrey Martel, fourth of that name. From Angers the pope proceeded by way of Sable (14th of February), Mans (16th-18th of February), and Vendome (19th of February, 2nd of March) to Tours, where he held a council in the third week of Lent (16th-23rd of March).

[2] This was the famous Peter-the-Hermit. The enthusiasm for this preacher of the crusade was raised to such a pitch that, according to Guibert of Nogent, people scrambled for the hairs plucked from the tail of his mule. Our author is incorrect in describing him here as a monk; he did not embrace the religious life until after his return from the Holy Land, when he founded a priory of regular canons at Neumostier (Novum Monasterium), in the suburbs of the town of Huy, in the bishopric of Liege, where he died the 6th of June, 1115, at the age of 62 years. He was, therefore, only 43, and probably a married man, when he took so active a part in the first crusade.

Peter's surname was probably derived from Acheri, Acheux, or some other locality with a corresponding name near Amiens, of which district he was a native. Our author, like many others, was deceived by his being called the Hermit, which did not mean that he had embraced the life of an anchorite, but was his family name. His father Reginald l'Ermite had borne it before him, and it was preserved by his descendants. Several noble families in different parts of France of this name have endeavoured in consequence to establish their connection with this celebrated individual.

The foundation of Neumostier was the result of a vow made by Peter-the-Hermit and Lambart-the-Poor, count of Clermont, son of Conrad count de Montagu, and nephew of Godfrey de Bouillon, during a storm at sea which threatened their lives, while returning together from the Holy Land in 1105. The grave of Peter-the-Hermit was violated at the revolution, and his remains dispersed, but his tombstone is still preserved by the present proprietor of Neumostier.

[3] Walter de Poissi; probably the same person mentioned before (vol. ii. p. 219) as son-in-law of Peter de Maule. It appears by a succeeding paragraph that he died early in the pilgrimage.

There is a place of this name not far from Poissi, Boissi-sans-Avoir, which this soldier of the cross was perhaps a native.

76 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IV.

William, Simon, and Matthew, and other gallant French knights, with a crowd of nearly fifteen thousand persons who travelled on foot. He reached Cologne on the Saturday of Easter, [1] and rested there during the following week, but was still employed in his good work. Having preached to the Germans, fifteen thousand of them were persuaded to take part in the service of the Lord and he was joined by two powerful counts, Berthold and Hildibert, [2] and a bishop, who proceeded with him through Germany and Hungary. [3] Meanwhile, the impatient Frenchmen were unwilling to wait for Peter while he tarried at Cologne, and endeavoured to augment and strengthen his forces by preaching God's word, and they continued their journey through Hungary without him. Columban, the king of the Huns, [4] was at that time favourable to the pilgrims and supplied them with means of subsistence while they were in his territories. At length, having crossed the Danube, they passed through Bulgaria, and arriving in Cappadocia, waited there till they were joined by Peter and the Germans who were in their rear. [5]

Intelligence of the apostolical mandate having been quickly spread throughout the world, those of all nations who were predestined to enlist under the banner of the mighty Messiah, were roused to action. Its thunders echoed through England and the other islands of the ocean, nor were they drowned by the roar of the waves which, in


[1] Saturday, 12th of April.

[2] These names are not found in the narrative of Balderic nor in any other history of which we have any knowledge. The German bands who took the van in this expedition, were led, the first by Folkmar, the second by Godeschalk, and the third by Count Emichon.

[3] We have no other account of a bishop who ventured his person in company with these undisciplined hordes. Otho, indeed, bishop of Strasburg (1085-August 3, 1100), joined the first crusade, but it is believed that he attached himself to Godfrey.

[4] Coloman, son and successor of St. Ladislaus, 1095-February 3, 1114. From the time that St. Stephen, king of Hungary, 997-1038, had, with the zeal of a neophyte, treated the pilgrims who passed through his states in their way to the Holy Land with the most generous hospitality, this road was preferred to the voyage by sea, before universally adopted.

[5] It was not in Cappadocia, but under the walls of Constantinople, that the emperor Alexius stationed the Franks who preceded Peter-the-Hermit, while waiting his arrival. They reached Constantinople about the 1st of August.

A.D. 1096.] THE CROWD OF PILGRIMS. 77

their deep channels, separate those islands from the rest of the world. The report swelling with increased fervour, roused to arms the Gascons, the Bretons, and the Gallicians, the furthest of men. [1] The Venetians also, and the Pisans and Genoese, and other maritime states on the Ocean and the Mediterranean, covered the sea with ships freighted with arms and troops, engines of war, and provisions. Those who journeyed by land darkened the whole face of the earth like locusts. [2] In the month of June Walter de Poissi died at Phinoplis in Bulgaria, and the sign of the cross was discovered on his body after his death. [3] The governor and bishop of the city, hearing of this prodigy conducted Walter's corpse into the place, and buried it with reverence; they also granted free access to the other pilgrims which they refused before, allowing them to buy what they wanted.

The same year, Hugh the Great, count de Crepi, [4] entrusted his estates to his sons Ralph and Henry, [5] and giving his daughter Isabel in marriage to Robert count de Mellent, [6] undertook the pilgrimage, accompanied by a noble band of


[1] Gallicia, in the extreme N.W. of Spain.

[2] The numbers of the needy and undisciplined band of adventurers, the refuse of the people, who anticipated the advance of the organized bodies of Crusaders was estimated at 200,000 souls, only one third of whom escaped the retaliation their aggressions merited, and arrived under the walls of Constantinople. The flower of European chivalry, afterwards mustered, furnished 100,000 knights with their attendants in full armour on horseback. Archbishop Baldric estimates the whole number of pilgrims bearing arms, besides women and children, who in successive divisions set forth on the crusade, at 600,000 men.

[3] There was a city on the Bosphorus called Phinopolis above Buyukdere, but the place here spoken of is Philippopolis, which Villehardouin always calls Finepople. The miracle here spoken of by our author occurred so frequently, and in the case of persons of so questionable a character, that it entirely lost its credit.

[4] Hugh the Great, brother of Philip I., king of France, became count of Crepi and Valois by his marriage (about 1063) with Adela, daughter of Herbert IV., count of Vermandois; by which title Hugh is also known.

[5] Ralph, count of Vermandois, 1117-October 14, 1151. Henry, lord of Chaumont in the Vexin, died in 1130.

[6] Elizabeth, or Isabel, married to Robert, third of that name, count de Mellent. This union, which was attended with difficulty on account of the relationship established through Ive of Chartres between the parties, was celebrated shortly before the departure of the count of Vermandois for the crusade.

78 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IV.

Frenchmen. At the same time, Stephen, count de Blois, [1] son of Theobald, count de Chartres, who was son-in-law of William, king of England, took the cross and departed for Jerusalem. Some other earls and men of rank also joined in the expedition for the love of Christ, among whom were Guy Troussel, nephew of Guy, count of Chateau-Fort, [2] Milo de Brai, [3] Centor de Briere, [4] Ralph de Bauguenci, [5] Everard du Poiset, [6] William Carpenter, [7] Dreux de Monci, [8] with several other barons and distinguished knights.

Peter the Hermit had preceded the army, and arrived at Constantinople with a number of Germans and French.


[1] Stephen, count de Blois, "the richest and the most eloquent of the crusaders". See an account of his family and character, vol. ii. p. 182.

[2] Guy Troussel, lord of Mont Cheri nephew of Guy the Red, lord of Rochefort-in-Yveline and Chateaufort, seneschal of France, held that office himself, until he lost it after his disgraceful flight from Antioch, when it was restored to his uncle.

[3] Milo the Great, or Miles, lord of Mont Cheri and Brai-sur-Seine, father of Guy Troussel, had married about the year 1070, Litheuil, hereditary viscountess of Troyes, and founded in 1064 the priory of Longpont.

[4] Our author, who has just ranked a son before his father, now transfers one of the bravest knights of the count of Tholouse to the followers of Hugh the Great, besides mis-spelling his name.

This person is Centule, viscount of Bearn, after his father Gaston IV., whom he accompanied to the Holy Land, where we shall presently find that he acquired great distinction.

[5] Ralph, lord of Baugenci, about 1080, was one of the most distinguished warriors of his age. He was son and successor of Lancelin II., and died before 1130, having contracted a second marriage with Matilda, daughter of Hugh the Great.

[6] Everard, son of Hugh, the first of that name, and lord of Puiset, near Janvile. The hostilities of this family with Philip I. and Lewis-le-Gros are well known, and the sieges they stood against these kings in their castle of Puiset, built by Queen Constance. Everard was father-in-law of Roger de Montgomery; see before note p. 33.

[7] William, viscount de Melun, son of Ursion, was surnamed the Carpenter, on account of the extraordinary strength of his arm. He appears to have been a cousin of Hugh the Great. We shall find hereafter that he had already fought against the infidels in Spain, and that the campaign did not turn out more honourable for him than that at Antioch.

[8] This person was probably the father of Dreux de Monchi, who, in 1146, was one of the followers of Lewis the Younger to the Holy Land. At a later period Matthew de Monchi went there with St. Lewis, and Ansel de Monchi signalized himseif by a victory at the siege of Nyssa. The estate which gave its name to this illustrious family is Monchi-Cayeu near St. Pol in Artois.

A.D. 1096.] FOLLOWERS OF PETER THE HERMIT. 79

He found there a crowd of Lombards, Longobards, [1] and Germans, who had outstripped him, and received the emperor's orders to make provision for the expected army. Meanwhile, he gave them permission to traffic in the city, as was just, but he prohibited them from crossing the straits of St. George, [2] until the great body of the pilgrims for which they were waiting should come up. "If", he said, "you do otherwise, the barbarous tribes will fall upon you and destroy the unarmed crowds". And so it happened; for this multitude, which flocked together from all nations, without king or general, were under no regular discipline, but lived by plunder; stripping the lead from the roofs of churches and selling it, pillaging the palaces of the rich, and abandoning themselves to all sorts of misconduct. The emperor, learning this, was much incensed at the ingratitude with which his kindness was repaid: he therefore expelled them from the city, and compelled them to cross over the strait. Having accomplished the passage, they again committed great outrages on the Christian population, devastating their lands, as if they were an enemy's army, and setting fire to their houses and churches. At length they reached Nicomedia, where the Ligurians and other nations separated from the French, who were more fierce and unmanageable, and therefore more disposed for evil. The others, therefore, chose one Reynold their leader, and under his command entered Romania. [3] Having made four days' journey beyond Nice, they reached a place called Exerogorgan, [4] which they took possession of, intending to halt there. It was full of stores of all descriptions, but it is not known whether the inhabitants


[1] Our author frequently thus distinguishes, though rather strangely, the two branches of the Lombard nation, those of the north of Sicily, and those who made settlements in the south (in Apulia and Calabria), which afterwards fell into the hands of the Normans.

[2] The Bosphorus, anciently, called the Hellespont, was named in the middle ages the Strait of St. George, from a monastery dedicated to St. George of Mangana, situated at its entraace. There was attached to it a palace of the same name, to which the empress Mary, widow of Michael Parapenaces, retired in 1081.

[3] Romania, or the country of Roum, as it is named by the Arabs, is the part of Asia Minor lying to the south of Constantinople, which still continued to own the dominion of the Greek emperor.

[4] M. Pojoulat has discovered the ruins of this castle four leagues and a half from Civitot. It is now called Eski-Kaleh, the old castle.

80 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IV.

deserted it through fear, or intentionally. Here the Germans were surrounded by the Turks, and almost all cut off to a man, as will be shown in the sequel.

In the month of September, [1] Robert, duke of Normandy, put William king of England, in possession of his dominions, and having received from him ten thousand silver marks, set forth on the crusade at the head of large bodies of troops, both horse and foot, formidable enough to strike terror into the enemy. He was accompanied by his uncle Odo, bishop Bayeux, by Philip the Clerk, [2] son of Earl Roger, Rotro son of Geoffrey, earl of Morton, [3] and Walter, count of St. Valeri, nephew of Richard the younger, duke of Normandy, by his daughter Papia; [4] also by Gerald de Gournai, [5] Ralph de Guader, the Breton, [6] Hugh count de St. Pol, [7] Ives and Alberic, sons of Hugh de Grantmesnil, [8] and many other knights of great gallantry.


[1] It appears that the duke of Normandy did not set out on his journey until late in the month of September. At least one of his companions, William de Wasto signed a charter at Fecamp on the 9th of that month. Nor till the beginning of the month did William Rufus leave England to carry over the money he had engaged to pay his brother, and receive the dukedom of Normandy as a pledge for its repayment.

[2] Philip, fifth son of Roger de Montgomery and Mabel, countess of Alencon. This young nobleman died at the siege of Antioch. The surnames of Clerk and Grammarian, given him by the contemporary historians, prove that he had received an education above the ordinary level of the age.

[3] Rotrou, the second of that name, succeeded his father as Count de Perche.

[4] Walter, lord, not count, of St. Valeri-sur-Somme, eldest brother of Gilbert d'Aufai.

[5] Gerald de Gournai had given up his castles to William Rufus in 1089, as we find in the preceding book.

[6] Ralph de Guader, who had been earl of Norfolk in England (see vol. ii. pp. 49, and 78-82), and having forfeited his rank for treason to the Conqueror, retired to his patrimonial estates in Brittany, Gael, and Montfort-la-Caune.

[7] Hugh de Champ-d'Avene, count of St. Pol in Artois (1083-1130 or 1131), accompanied Duke Robert in the first crusade. Enguerrard his son was killed at the siege of Marrah. We are not informed what led the count of St. Pol to join the duke of Normandy in this expedition, rather than the count of Flanders, his suzerain lord.

[8] The fourth and fifth sons of Hugh de Grantmesnil and Adeliza or Alice, daughter of Ives, count of Beaumont-sur-Oise, by Judith, his first wife.

A.D. 1096.] NAMES OF THE CRUSADERS. 81

Likewise, Godfrey, duke of Lorraine, with Baldwin and Eustace, count de Boulogne, his brothers, [1] and Baldwin, count de Mons, [2] Robert, marquis of Flanders, nephew of Matilda, queen of England, [3] and Rainard, the Teutonic, [4] with many thousand men-at-arms, quitted their homes for the love of Christ, and voluntarily departed for foreign countries to crush the Infidels and succour the Christians, taking the road through Hungary. Adhemar, bishop of Puy, and Raymond de Tholouse, safely traversed Sclavonia, being favourally received by Bodin, king of the Sclaves. [5] Meanwhile, Robert the Norman, with Stephen de Blois, his brother-in-law, Hugh the Great, and Robert the Fleming,


[1] These three lords were sons of Eustace II., count of Boulogne, by Ida of Ardennes, daughter of Godfrey IV., duke of Lorraine and Brabant. After the death of his uncle, Godfrey V., surnamed the Hunchback, and the forfeiture of Conrad, eldest son of the emperor Henry IV., Godfrey of Bouillon was invested, in 1089, with their two duchies. Of all the noble soldiers who assumed the cross, he was the most prudent, moderate, and pious. The barons of France, Germany, and Lorraine, with their vassals, comprising a force of 80,000 foot and 10,000 horse, marched under his banner.

[2] Baldwin, count of Hainault, son of Baldwin de Mons and Richilde, heiress of Hainault.

[3] Robert of Jerusalem, who was cousin-german of the duke of Normandy, succeeded his father, Robert the Frisian, in 1093. He displayed during the crusade, rather the courage and daring of a man-at-arms than the capacity of a chief.

[4] It is supposed that Rainard, count de Toul, 1076-1117, and son of Frederic II., is here spoken of. This baron, as well as Peter, his brother and successor, were in the first crusade.

[5] Illyrium, occupied by Sclavonic tribes. Bodin was not king of Esclavonia, but of Servia and Dalmatia. Still he is called king of Esclavonia, Russia, and Bulgaria by the chroniclers of Bari, who relate his marriage in 1081 with Jacintha Joannaci, daughter of Argyros Joannaci, governor of that city. He even attempted, in 1074, to wrest Bulgaria from the Greek emperor, while expecting to succeed his grandfather, Michael, king of Servia. The passage through Illyria, along the coast of the Adriatic, was not effected in the peaceable manner our author represents. It became necessary to carry by assault Scodra, now the Albanian Scutari, and dense fogs, which lasted forty days, greatly impeded the movements of the army. Between Durazzo and Constantinople, the bishop of Puy was exposed to great dangers by attacks from the Petscheneyes, and on one occasion they even got possession of his person. The division under the count of Thoulouse, reached Constantinople the last but one. See the narrative of Raymond d'Agiles for the details of his march through Dalmatia, Illyrium, and Macedonia.

82 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IV. CH.IV.

and several others, crossed the Alps into Italy, and visiting Rome in peace, went and passed the winter in Apulia and Calabria. [1] The Duke Roger, surnamed Bursa, [2] received the Duke of Normandy and his companions with the honours which belonged to his natural lord, and supplied them abundantly with all that they required. Mark Bohemond [3] was then, with his uncle Roger, count of Sicily, [4] besieging a certain castle, and upon hearing the movements of so many nobles and their people, he carefully enquired into the merits of each, and scrutinized their badges. Having satisfied himself, he ordered a rich mantle to be brought, which he cut into shreds and distributed crosses among all his followers, assuming one himself. A great number of soldiers immediately flocked to his standard, so that the aged Roger was left to or carry on the siege almost alone, and being thus deserted was compelled in much mortification to return to Sicily. Meanwhile, the wise and provident Bohemond quietly made preparations for his journey and transport, and passing the sea with his nobles, and large bodies of men-at-arms, after a tranquil voyage, landed on the coast of Bulgaria. [5]

Bohemond's principal companions were:- Tancred, [6] son of Eudes, the Good Marquis, the Count of Rosinolo, [7] with his


[1] This is quite incorrect, as far as concerns Hugh the Great and the count of Flanders. The first had been detained a prisoner at Constantinople for a month before the arrival of Godfrey de Bouillon on the 23rd of December. The second did not cross the Adriatic till that time, and took up his winter quarters in Albania. Raymond count of Tholouse, a veteran warrior but haughty and obstinate, led the provincials of Auvergne and Languedoc.

[2] Roger duke of Apulia and Calabria, son of Robert Guiscard by his second wife, Sechelgaite, had succeeded his father in 1085.

[3] Bohemond, eldest son of Robert Guiscard, and prince of Tarentum, had already matched his forces with the emperor Alexius, and come off victorious.

[4] Roger, count of Sicily, the youngest of the sons of Tancred d'Hauteville. The place which these princes were besieging was Amalfi, probably on behalf of their brother and nephew Duke Roger.

[5] It was not in Bulgaria that Bohemond landed, but in Albania, near Andrinople, the ancient Phoenice. He embarked in the month of December.

[6] Tancred, son of Eudes the Good Marquis, by Emma, daughter of Tancred d'Hauteville. He was, therefore, Bohemond's cousin. In him we discover all the virtues of a perfect knight.

[7] Rosinolo; probably Roscigno, the capital of a duchy four miles from Salerno. This count of Roscigno, whose name appears to have been Geoffrey, is confounded by most of the historians with Gerard, son of the count of Roussillon, who also joiaed the first crusade, and remained in the Holy Land till 1109.

A.D. 1096.] BOHEMOND'S FOLLOWERS. 83

brother, Richard of the Principality, and Ranulf his brother, [1] Robert d'Anxa, [2] and Robert de Sourdeval, [3] Robert, son of Thurston; Herman de Cannes, [4] Umfrid, son of Ralph; Richard, son of Count Ranulf; Bartholomew Boel of Chartres, Alberede de Caniano, [5] and Umfrid-di-Monte-Scabioso; [6] all these, with their vassals, unanimously attached in themselves to Bohemond, and took a solemn oath to submit to his command devoutly and constantly in their holy enterprise.

Hugh the Great, and William, son of the marquis, embarked with ease at the port of Bari, and after a quick voyage, landed at Durazzo. The governor of the place, [7] believing them to be great barons, had them arrested, and conducted under strict guard to the emperor at Constantinople. The flattering governor sought to recommend himself to the emperor by this treachery, and to prove his devotion to his service in this manner.


[1] These two lords were sons of William, one of the sons of Tancred d'Hauteville, to whom the principality was given by Humphrey his brother, after the death of Dreux.

[2] It has been supposed that the person here spoken of was Robert the Burgundian, of the house of Nevers, lord of Sable by his marriage with Avicia, the heiress of that fief, who, though very old, took the cross when Urban II. passed through Sable, and appears to have died in the Holy Land. But it is rather thought that Anza, called Ansa in the Chronicle of Monte Cassino, should be Anzi, a place four leagues from Matera.

[3] Sourdeval, in the department of La Manche, near Mortain.

[4] This was the memorable Cannes of Roman History, now an obscure village of the territory of Bari, two leagues and a half from Barletta.

[5] Caniano, now Cagnano, in the further Abruzzo, two leagues N.E. of Aquila.

[6] The Chronicle of Monte Cassino calls this place Monte Scaioso; now Monte Scaglioso, a town in the Basilicata, in the neighbourhood of Matera, and which is said to have been built by Alexander Severus on the ruins of Metapontes. Our author has omitted in this enumeration a person of some importance - for the Chronicle of Monte Cassino names him immediately after Tancred - Robert Fitz-Gerard, who carried Bohemond's standard at the battle of Dorylaeum.

[7] Tancred's brother.

[8] The Duke John Commenus, son of Isaac Commenus, and nephew of the Emperor Alexius.

84 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.V.

CH. V. Soliman crushes the rabble of German pilgrims, in advance of the other Crusaders - The Franks also receive a check.

SOLIMAN, chief of the Turks, [1] had no sooner learnt that the Christians were on the march to attack the Infidels, than he assembled a great army, and laid siege to the castle of Exerogorgan where the Germans had halted. The Turks lost no time in throwing up entrenchments round the town, having driven off Reynold and his followers, who made a sally and lay in ambuscade as the enemy approached the place. Many of the Christians fell in this skirmish, but those who could retreated into the shelter of the fortifications. The trenches being completed on all sides, the assailants cut off the besieged from water, for the well and spring which supplied the town were outside the walls, but a body of the Turks were strongly posted round it, and kept incessant watch. The besieged had to suffer the horror of excessive thirst for eight days, being thus tormented on account of their grievous sins and hardness of heart, and not deserving aid from God. At last, their leader made terms with the Turks, agreeing, as far as it was in his power, to betray his comrades to them. In consequence, Reynold marched out of the place at the head of a large body of the Christians, pretending that he intended to give battle to the Turks, instead of which, he went over to them. The rest were forced to surrender on very dishonourable terms, most of them shamefully apostatizing from the faith of Christ. Those however who refused to renounce their religion were put to death, exposed as marks to be shot by arrows, separated from one another, sold for a trifle, or dragged into captivity with Count Berthold. The Christians suffered this first defeat on the third of the calends of October, [29th September], and in this manner the Germans and other nations were carried captives to Chorasan and Aleppo. But those who held firm their faith in Christ found rest in a glorious death.


[1] This could not be Soliman, the founder of the Turkish dynasty of the Seljucides, who killed himself in despair after the loss of a battle against tbe sultan of Aleppo in 1085, but his eldest son, Kilidge Arslan (the sacred champion), who, after a long interregnum, succeeded him in 1092.

A.D. 1096.] PETER'S MOB OF PILGRIMS DEFEATED. 85

Meanwhile the Franks [1] had marched onward as far as the town of Civitot, [2] which the emperor Alexius had lately founded, intending to place in it the English refugees after the conquest of William the Bastard, but in consequence of the assaults of the Turks he had left it unfinished. Soliman, however, elated with his victory over the Allobroges [3] and Germans, and breathing slaughter marched to Civitot, which is not far from Nice, and confident of victory, made a bold attack on the French. Peter had already returned to Constantinople, as his throng of pilgrims paid no attention to his commands. The sudden charge of the Turkish cavalry took by surprise Walter, [4] a distinguished knight, who commanded a body of troops, and he was slain with many of his followers, after a slight resistance. [5] His brother William and some others were wounded, and the Turks struck off the head of a priest while he was celebrating mass. Such of the survivors as were in a condition to make their escape fled towards the city, or concealed themselves in the marshes, woods, and mountains. Some few continued to hold the castle and killed many of their assailants. The Turks collected a vast quantity of wood in the neighbourhood, and made preparations for burning the place and the thousands who were shut up in it. But the Christians, driven to despair, boldly anticipated the manoeuvre, andsallying forth threw fire among the faggots, and thus escaped the peril of being burnt. Many fell on both sides; this happened in the month of October. A great number of the pilgrims now retraced their steps in confusion, and told their misfortunes to those who having followed


[1] Franci. Throughout this narrative, when our author speaks of the Crusaders otherwise than under their common character of "Christians", he generally sinks their several nationalities,and designates them by the term here adopted; not the French only, but all the people of the West engaged in the enterprise, just as the term Frank has long been applied in the Levant to French, English, Italians, Germans, etc. We have therefore adopted this term in the translation.

[2] On the subject of this town, see vol. ii. p. 10. The Turkish village of Ghemlik now occupies the site of the ancient Civitot.

[3] Allobroges; the author probably means the Norman masters of the Lombard provinces in the south of Italy.

[4] Walter Sans-Avoir; see before, p. 75.

[5] M. Michaud places the scene of this rencontre at six leagues to the west of Nice, between the lake Ascanius and a Turkish village called Basar-Keni.

86 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VI.

them in their advance had now pitched their camp before Constantinople. The emperor bought the arms of the fugitives, to prevent their committing outrages among the inhabitants in a country to which they were strangers. The others waited for the arrival of their allies, that having consulted together, and having the support of the chiefs embarked in the cause and of the regular troops, and having implored the favour of God with prayers and penitence, they might then enter the enemy's country.

Soliman, having defeated the Franks, killed numbers of them in battle, and dragged into captivity many more, beset the remainder, who made an obstinate resistance in the place they defended. Finding, however, the next day, that Duke Bohemond, having wrested Macedonia from the emperor, was leading a large army of Normans and Apulians against the Turks [1] to avenge the effusion of Christian blood; he was so much alarmed that he broke up from Civitot, and withdrew his troops, in all haste, for the defence of his own territories. The impetuous Franks disdained to wait for the arrival of succour from Bohemond and the rest of the faithful, but trusting too confidently in their own valour pursued the Turks to their own borders, where, as I said before, they by God's permission, suffered a severe defeat.

CH. VI. The Crusaders arrive in successive dimsions under the walls of Constantinople - Alarm of the Greek emperor - He demands an oath of fealty from the Christian chiefs - They cross the Bosphorus, and march to Nice.

DUKE GODFREY arrived at Constantinople before any of the other chiefs, and pitched his camp near it on the tenth of the calends of January [23rd December]. Meanwhile Bohemond advanced by slow marches, judiciously making his troops halt for rest every day as he waited for those who were left to follow in the rear. The emperor Alexius assigned the duke quarters in a suburb of the city, soon after his arrival, [2] and the duke's


[1] It was quite impossible that Soliman (Kilidge Arslan) could have stopped his pursuit of the Christian pilgrims in the month of October from apprehension of the advance of Bohemond, who did not cross the Adriatic till the month of December, nor arrive in the neighbourhood of Constantinople till the month of April in the following year.

[2] Quarters were assigned to Godfrey de Bouillon and his troops among the gardens on the shore of the Bosphorus.

A.D. 1096-1097.] THE CRUSADERS AT CONSTANTINOPLE. 87

squires purveyed all that was necessary for the army, passing to and fro in the neighbourhood of the city to procure fodder and whatever thev wanted in thoughtless security, but the Turkopoles and Petscheneye, [1] laid wait for them, by the emperor's order, and many were daily cut off. No one suspected any treachery on his part, as he had voluntarily offered them hospitality; but the duke was in great distress at the loss of his people by the insidious attacks of the Turcopoles. In consequence, Baldwin marched out of the camp for the protection of his followers, and discovering the enemy who laid in wait for them, attacked them suddenly and overpowering them killed some, and carried off sixty whom he delivered as prisoners to his brother. When the emperor heard this, he was much incensed, and began to contrive mischief to the pilgrims, but the wary duke was on his guard against treachery, and withdrawing from the city pitched his tents on the same spot where they stood at first. Night coming on, his camp was attacked by the emperor's order and the army exposed to serious loss. But the prudent duke, expecting a surprise, had posted the sentries for the night round the camp with great care, giving them orders to be on the alert. The assailants therefore met an instant repulse; seven of them were killed, and the duke pursued the rest with great vigour to the city gates. Returning to his camp, he remained there five days, during which the emperor was employed in devising means for annoying the Christians, while the duke was anxiously consulting with his confederates. The emperor decided on prohibiting the passage of the duke's troops through the imperial city, the duke resolved to wait the arrival of reinforcements from the chiefs who were on their march. At length the crafty and politic emperor, who left no device untried, came to terms with the duke, assuring him, that if he would cross over the strait [2] he would find him abundant supplies of provisions, and would supply money for satisfying all who were in want of their pay; he took an oath also that the duke should have nothing to fear from him. The designing prince contrived


[1] The Turcopoles were light cavalry of Turkish race, or a mixed breed, in the pay of the Greek emperors. The Petscheneyes were other auxiliary troops of Sclavonian origin.

[2] The Bosphorus.

88 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VI

this, in order to remove the duke and his troops from Constantinople, that he might not have the advantage of the counsels and aid of the princes who were expected. In consequence, the duke crossed over; after having sworn to the emperor, and received from him the same pledge of fidelity to their mutual promises.

Advancing from Adrianople, [1] Bohemond halted his troops in a valley, and eloquently addressing them recommended them to act with prudence, and, remembering that their pilgrimage was undertaken in the cause of God, to restrain themselves from laying violent hands on the houses and property of the Christians; but, having God always before their eyes, the rich among them should help the poor, and the strong the weak, supporting them for the love of God, with their strength and their money. From this valley they marched to Castoria, where they kept our Lord's nativity with great solemnity. They halted there some days, but the inhabitants would have no dealings with them, as they greatly needed, regarding them not as pilgrims, but as cut-throats and oppressors. In consequence they were reduced to such want that they were compelled to carry off oxen, horses, or asses, and everything eatable they could lay hands on. Departing from Castoria, [2] they pitched their camp in Pelagonia, [3] and finding there a strong castle belonging to the heretics [4] which was well stored with all kinds of supplies,


[1] Bohemond arrived by sea near Adrianople, in Albania, in the month of December. Our author probably mistook this city for one of the same name in Thrace, much better known.

[2] Castoria is an episcopal city in Macedonia, near the source of the Cattaro. The place stands in the middle of a lake, and is only connected with the mainland by means of an isthmus, defended by a wall flanked with towers. It was occupied by Bohemond from 1081 to 1084, while he was engaged in war with Alexius, for his father, Robert Guiscard. It should seem that in 1096 he only encamped under the walls; and it may be easily conceived that the inhabitants, remembering, the sufferings that they had undergone at his hands on the former occasion, did not give him a very hearty reception.

[3] Pelagonia, a province of Macedonia, so called from a city of the same name, which was destroyed when the Romans invaded the country. From the manner in which the troops of Bohemond conducted themselves, it would appear that his exhortations had made no great impression on their minds.

[4] The heretics were the Christians of thc Greek church.

A.D. 1097.] THE CRUSADERS ATTACKED BY THE GREEKS. 89

they assaulted it on all sides at once, and setting fire to it consumed the place and the inhabitants, leaving nothing but ruins. The pilgrims indeed held Jews, heretics, and Saracens in equal odium, calling them all the enemies of God. They then arrived on the bank of the river Vardari, [1] which Bohemond forded with part of his troops, but Count Rosinolo with the rest halted on the other side. The emperor's cavalry, who hovered in the rear of the expedition, no sooner saw the Christian army divided than they fell with great fury on Count Rosinolo and his division. Tancred however, who had not advanced far on the other side, perceiving the conflict, put spurs to his horse and fording again, or rather swimming across, the river flew like lightning to the rescue of the count. Two thousand troops quickly followed Tancred in re-crossing the river, and speedily putting the Turcopoles to rout drove them off and gained a glorious victory. Some fell in the skirmish, but many more were taken prisoners and carried bound before Bohemond. Being interrogated why they engaged in these hostilities, although he was at peace with their emperor, they replied: "We are in the emperor's pay, and do what he commands"? This battle, unprovoked by the Christians, was fought on Wednesday the first day of Lent. [2] Bohemond was extremely indignant at the emperor's perfidy, but he smothered his resentment, and dismissed his prisoners without punishment, though not without warning them by severe threats, not to molest his people again. "We are", he said to his confidential friends, "on the point of passing near the emperor's capital, and we had better restrain our anger, and strive as far as possible to give him no cause for being exasperated against us. It is an extreme folly for a man to be inflamed with passion, when there is no means of taking vengeance, while it is the part of self-possession to dissemble as long as no opportunity is afforded of obtaining satisfaction. A prudent man will postpone for a season what he cannot accomplish at once. He is doubly guilty, both of baseness and cowardice, who makes loud threats when he cannot strike, and who, when he can, passes over the insults he has received. If it is in our


[1] The Vardari, the principal river of Macedonia, runs into the gulf of Salonica, two leagues from that city,

[2] The 18th of February, 1097.

90 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VI.

power let us excel the emperor in good behaviour, but if not let us magnanimously overlook the injuries he may do us". Such were his words; and then silently repressing any angry invectives, he forwarded a message to the emperor begging a safe conduct for the pilgrims of Jesus Christ.

In the year of our Lord 1097, the fifth indiction, Robert, duke of Normandy, Hugh the Great, [1] Stephen of Blois, and Robert the Fleming, with other men of rank, who had assembled from various countries, and spent the winter in Italy with their troops, joyfully took advantage of the favourable season of spring, and crossing the Adriatic joined their forces to those of Mark Bohemond in Macedonia. [2] At the sight of so great a body of nobles united for one object, and such incomparable valour sincerely devoted to the work of the Lord, there was great exultation among all present who were his faithful servants. The emperor Alexius had already felt the weight of the Cisalpine arms, [3] and he was therefore in no little alarm when he received intelligence of the approach of so many barons. Considering, however, by what contrivance he could elude the danger, he came to the determination of betraying them under the appearance of giving them a peaceable reception. This prince was wily, plausible in speech, liberal enough, and deeply skilled in the art of deceiving. He, therefore, sent envoys to the noble pilgrims, humbly begging that the peace might not be broken, offering them a free passage through his dominions, and promising on oath to supply them with all things necessary for their subsistence. Duke Bohemond, who had already sufficient experience of the emperor's craftiness, and had twice defeated him in battle, gave no credence to his


[1] As it has been already remarked, we must detach Hugh the Great from this group, which did not cross the Adriatic till the spring. Hugh the Great arrived at Constantinople as early as the month of November, a prisoner - William of Malmesbury says in libera custodia - however, he was not released until the arrival of Godfrey of Bouillon and the count of Flanders, who had gained the start of Bohemond.

[2] The duke of Normandy and the Count de Blois did not embark at Brundusium till Easter-day, April 5, 1097; and did not join Bohemond till the siege of Nice, where they arrived the first week in June. The bishop of Bayeux had expired at Palermo in the month of February, as we have already seen.

[3] At Joannina and Arta in 1083.

A.D. 1097.] PEACE RESTORED WITH THE EMPEROR. 71

false promises, and strongly recommended his associates to lay siege to Constantinople, a measure which he showed to be most advantageous by the clearest arguments. The Franks however replied: "We have left our possessions, and have voluntarily embarked in this expedition, that, for the love of Christ, we may confound the Infidels and liberate the Christians. But the Greeks are Christians, and we are therefore for making peace with them, and even restoring to them what they have lost by the Turks". The sagacious Bohemond was therefore compelled by the counsels of the Franks to conclude a peace with the Greek emperor, [1] to the great injury, as it turned out, of the Christian cause. On being called upon, the emperor assumed the appearance of acting with great favour towards the chiefs, and sent his master of the palace, [2] who was in his entire confidence, with other envoys, to Bohemond, to conduct him safely through the country, and to provide him everywhere with the supplies he might need. In short, the Crusaders marching forward pitched their camp from place to place as circumstances required, and, passing by the city of Serra, [3] arrived at Rusa. [4] Having obtained from the Greeks, while there, all that they wanted in sufficient abundance, the pilgrims pitched their tents on Wednesday before Easter. [5] Bohemond, now leaving his troops, hastened forward with a small retinue to have an audience with the emperor. Meanwhile, Tancred


[1] It was not in a personal conference, but by his envoys, while Godfrey was treating with Alexius, that Bohemond urged him to break off the negotiation, and attempt the conquest of Constantinople. It is not, therefore, quite correct to state that Bohemond was compelled by the other chiefs to come to terms with Alexius, but only that he failed of preventing their treating with the Greek emperor.

[2] For Corpalatium, read Curopalatium. They were in the number of the principal officers of the court of Constantinople, where they filled nearly the same functions as those of the Pretorian prefects of the Roman emperors. It was not only this dignitary, but the chiefs of the Crusaders, who had already arrived at Constantinople, and Godfrey de Bouillon himself, who were sent by Alexius to Bohemond, to induce him to come himself to that capital before his troops.

[3] Seres, an archiepiscopal city of Macedonia, between Salonica, Philippi, and Amphipolis.

[4] Now Rouskoinan, near the mouth of the Hebrus. Villehardouin calls this city Rouse.

[5] The 1st of April, 1097.

92 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VI.

led the Christians, who were much exhausted by their journey, another way through a rich valley, where they obtained refreshments for their wearied bodies, and celebrated the feast of Easter. Alexius, learning the arrival of Bohemond, the great object of his alarm, as he had twice triumphed over him, gave him an honourable reception, and made abundant provision for his entertainment outside the city in a manner becoming to both parties. [1]

In the interim, Duke Godfrey, leaving his comrades on the other side of the straits, had returned to Constantinople, in consequence of the emperor's having neglected to furnish them with the supplies he had promised. The bishop of Puy and the count of Tholouse, having left behind them the mob they led, were also at Constantinople. The emperor, following the advice of the Greeks, who were in great alarm lest the Franks should make a combined movement and pillage their property, communicated with these great lords separately, requiring each of them to pay him homage and fealty. He promised, if they consented to this, to give them pay and supplies, and marching in person for their support to assist them with his whole forces. The Franks now found themselves in a very difficult position; they were unwilling to take the oath of fealty, and yet without it the Greeks would not grant them a free passage. They had no desire to war with a Christian people, but they were not permitted to march through their country peaceably. On the other hand, they shrank from retracing their steps and returning home without effecting their object. At length, driven by necessity, they guaranteed to the emperor Alexius his life and crown, swearing to make no attempt on either so long as he kept faith with them. The count of Tholouse resisted longer than the rest, and even anxiously sought how he might be avenged of the emperor. However the general opinion of the chiefs prevailed, though it was not without difficulty they diverted the angry count from his purpose. He, therefore, submitted to the oath, but he was never induced to do


[1] We are informed by a contemporary writer, that the emperor granted to Bohemond a territory in Romania, fifteen days' journey long by eight broad; probably as a position for his encampment.

A.D. 1097.] THE CRUSADERS MARCH TO NICE. 93

homage. [1] Orders were now given for embarking the army. Tancred had arrived in the interim with the troops he commanded, but hearing that Alexius had exacted an oath of fealty from the chiefs, he mingled among the common soldiers with Richard de Principatu, and having immediately set sail, passed the straits in great haste. Bohemond and the count of Tholouse remained until the emperor gave them satisfaction about the supplies. Duke Godfrey and others went to Nicomedia, and remained three days with Tancred. Then the duke, finding that there was no road over which it would be possible that so vast and mighty a multitude could travel, sent forward three thousand men to remove rocks and level the approaches to the mountains. These pioneers, armed with hatchets, axes, mattocks, and tools of all sorts for clearing away the bushes and underwood, and levelling the precipitous mountain passes, levelled a road for the main body, and fixing signals on the heights to prevent those who followed from losing their way, arrived at Nice in Bithynia.

CH. VII. The siege of Nice - After a long defence, the citizens give it up to the Greek emperor - Discontents of the Crusaders.

THE camp was marked out on the day before the nones [6th] of May, and the tents of the forces of the West being pitched, siege was laid to Nice, the capital of Bithynia, a city so strongly fortified by lofty walls and a lake [2] which washes them on one side, as to appear impregnable. At first there was so great a scarcity of bread in the camp until the emperor's supplies arrived, that if a loaf could be found, it was worth twenty or thirty pence. But God providing for his people, Bohemond soon made his appearance with a great convoy, both by sea and land. The scarcity was therefore converted into great plenty throughout the Christian army. The attack on the city was commenced on


[1] All that could be wrung from the count was a promise on oath to engage in no enterprise against the emperor's life or the integrity of his states, which was far short of the oath of fealty; and even this was yielded upon the imptied condition of the sworn promise simultaneously given by Alexius to join the crusade in person.

[2] The lake Ascanius.

94 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VII.

Ascension Day, [1] by erecting great engines of war to the height of the fortifications. This assault continued for two days, employed in endeavouring to batter down the walls. Meanwhile, the Gentiles within the place resisted the attack with great resolution, manfully defending their dwellings and households by hurling stones and darts on the assailants, while, protecting themselves with their shields, they boldly exposed themselves to the shower of missiles which were launched against them. The Franks, on their side, left nothing untried; covering themselves with their shields closely wedged, like the shell of a tortoise, from which the enemy's iron hailstorm glanced off, they wearied the besieged with incessant assaults. Meanwhile, the citizens sent messengers imploring succour from their neighbours and country men: "Hasten", they said, "to our aid! You can enter without apprehension at the south gate, which is not yet blockaded". But, by God's help, their hopes were frustrated; for the same day, the Saturday after the Ascension, the bishop of Puy and the count of Tholouse arrived in the camp, and the guard of the south gate was entrusted to them by the other chiefs. The count, therefore, fell suddenly on the Saracens as they advanced in blind security, and his whole force, in bright array, repelled the undisciplined horde of barbarians. The Saracens were routed with disgrace, having lost many of their people, and the Franks gained an easy victory. Again the citizens of Nice summoned their allies, assuring them on oath of the certainty of their being successful; and they came boldly, furnished with ropes to bind the Christians they expected to make captives. But the Franks encountered the attack of the Gentiles in a close column, and then charging them, routed and defeated them a second time with great slaughter, and returned in triumph to their camp. After this, Count Raymond and Bishop Aimar, with their troops, made great exertions, and assaulted the place in various ways, while, on their side, the besieged citizens obstinately resisted all their attacks. At length, the Christian chiefs held a meeting, and determined and agreed on a plan for carrying on the siege of Nice. On one side the attack was entrusted to Bohemond and Tancred, near whom was posted Duke Godfrey and his


[1] The 7th of May.

A.D. 1097.] THE CRUSADERS LAY SIEGE TO NICE. 95

brothers. [1] Next was Robert, count of Flanders, a brave soldier and most daring knight. [2] Near him were stationed Robert, duke of Normandy, Stephen, count of Chartres, Hugh, count of St. Pol, Conan the Breton, son of Count Geoffrey, [3] Ralph de Guader, [4] and Roger de Barneville, [5] with their respective followers. The count of Tholouse and the bishop of Puy kept guard at the south gate. The place was now so blockaded that there was no ingress or egress except by the lake which washed the walls on one side. This was securely navigated by the Gentiles in full view of the Christians, and supplies were thus constantly introduced into the place. However, the Christian army had laudably formed the siege of Nice, and had skilfully disposed against it their well-formed camps and stately tents in the name of Christ. Splendid as was their array in arms, they were still more distinguished by the lustre of their virtues. They went forth to battle pure in their conduct, strong in limb, and stout in heart. Carefully watching for the good of their souls, they refrained from all fleshly lusts and forbidden indulgences. The chiefs fought in the ranks; and, while they commanded and encouraged others, mounted guard like common sentinels. All things were had in common. The


[1] Bohemond and Tancred were stationed near the north gate of the city; the duke of Normandy and count of Flanders at the west.

[2] His father, Robert the Frisian, had formed a friendly alliance with Alexius on his return from the Holy Land, by way of Constantinople, in 1088, and after that had been solicited to come to the aid of the Greek empire. His son, therefore, the present duke, was treated as an ally, and conducted himself as such in passing through the same provinces, and following the track in which Bohemond had preceded him; arriving under the walls of Constantinople after that prince, and before the count of Tholouse.

[3] Conan, second son of Godfrey, surnamed Dotterel, count of Lamballe. He was killed at the battle of the Iron Bridge, where his grave was to be seen long afterwards, covered with a tombstone surmounted by a cross. Our author has omitted to mention a much more eminent person, Allan Fergan, duke of Brittany, and brother-in-law of Robert Curthose, who also was present in this Crusade.

[4] Ralph de Guader has been particularly noticed just before. See p. 80.

[5] Roger de Barneville-sur-Mer. See on the subject of this castle and family, Les Anciens Chateaux de la Manche, in the Memoires de la Societe des Antequaires de Normandie, t. 1, p. 259.- Our author omits to mention among the Crusaders who arrived with the duke of Normandy, the counts of Aumale and Boulogne.

96 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VI.

bishops preached daily against incontinence, and whoredom and debauchery were scouted out of the camp.

Meanwhile, the Turks laboured hard in defence of their city, and freely went to and fro on the lake in sight of the Christians. The Franks were much disturbed at this, and consulted how they might deprive the Turks of the command of the lake. In consequence they sent envoys to Constantinople, and proposed to the emperor with great ability what they had planned against the enemy. The emperor on hearing their proposition gave it his immediate approval, and ordered that everything should be done as they requested. By his command a number of oxen were hastily collected, and swift vessels sailed for the port of Civitot. The Turcopoles were also ordered to be in readiness. The boats being then placed on waggons, and drawn by the oxen, with vast toil, to the shore of the lake, were, during the night, launched into the water, and manned by the Turcopoles. At the first dawn of day, they were discovered advancing in order towards the city. The citizens were astonished at seeing from their battlements the lake covered with boats, and began to think that perhaps succour was at hand from that quarter. But when the truth appeared, they were struck with consternation, and sunk into utter despair. There was no hope of safety now that the city was beset both by land and water. They therefore despatched messengers to the emperor, earnestly beseeching him to spare them in their low estate, and, by taking possession of the city which they were ready to surrender to him, save them from the enemy, so that they might not be exposed to pillage by foreigners. On receiving this message, the emperor being secretly jealous of the success of the Christians (as the event proved), yielded to the entreaties of the besieged, and gave orders to Tatan [1] his general, who had been despatched after the Crusaders


[1] This officer was not called Tatan, but Tatius. He was the son of a Saracen, taken prisoner by John Comnenus, and brought up as a slave, but obtained his freedom by his bravery and became the chief of the officers of the imperial household. The Latin historians of the Crusades, who have represented him in the most odious colours, draw his portrait personally as well as physically deformed. "His nostrils were slit; a sign of his perverted mind: says William of Tyre. "His nose was cut off, for some reason or other, and was supplied by one of gold", adds Guibert, abbot of Nogent.

JUNE, 1097.] NICE GIVEN UP TO ALEXIUS. 97

with forty thousand troops, as well as to his other officers, to bring to Byzantium in safety those citizens of Nice who were ready to surrender themselves and their property, and to be careful that no injury was done to the city. All was done as the emperor commanded, the city was given up to him, and the Gentile people were conducted uninjured to the imperial city. The emperor treated the vanquished with great generosity, giving them their liberty, and making the poor Christians liberal presents. The city being thus surrendered, the Crusaders drew off their forces. Numbers perished there by famine and the sword, or other means, who we believe attained the glory of martyrdom, as they offered their lives on behalf of their persecuted brethren. Many of the Gentiles also fell in various ways, whose bodies lay buried on all sides. The Crusaders were detained before the place seven months and three days, [1] and after the city was given up to the emperor turned their steps sorrowfully another road. In truth they sorely repented having wasted so much time on the siege, without having reduced the city to submit to their power as a place taken by assault. If the enemy's property had fallen into their hands, the necessities of the indigent would have been alleviated, and some portion of the expense they had incurred would have been repaid. The Crusaders did not patiently bear the order of Alexius [2] that they should not take


[1] The historians of the Crusades vary considerably in their accounts of the duration of the siege of Nice. From those of the best informed it may be concluded that it lasted thirty-five days, May 16 to June 20. Peter Tudebode speaks of seven weeks. Our author, who assigns it a much longer continuance (52 days), has been guilty of two serious omissions, that of the attack of Kilidge Arslan, to force the Crusaders to raise the siege; and that of the singular intrepidity of a Norman knight, whose name is unhappily lost. Having crossed the ditch under a shower of missiles, he attempted to make a breach in the wall, but, not being supported by his comrades, he was buried under the stones and timber heaped on him by the besieged.

[2] All the historians of the Holy War echo the complaints made by the Crusaders of the capitulation which deprived them of the plunder of Nice. Our brother editor of Ordericus, with some truth and laudable humanity, is indisposed to justify their indignation, on the ground that the emperor had entitled himself by his munificence to the Crusaders (carried so far as even to take them into his regular pay), to receive from them an important city, only lately detached from his dominions, in a better condition than a heap of ruins. Then, on the score of humanity, as well as policy, the emperor's interference was justified by the fierce character of the Crusaders, and their cruel treatment of places which subsequently fell into their hands. For ourselves, we confess, with all respect for the feeling which dictated these sentiments, we do not see what end was answered by the sacrifice of so much time, so many valuable lives, and so much treasure, in the siege of Nice, if the emperor was to reap the fruits of the enterprise; nor why, if it was necessary in a military point of view to dislodge the Turks in order that this strong fortress might be the base of future operations, it ought not to have been made the seat of a principality, vested in one of the Christian chiefs, like Antioch and Edessa, instead of being entrusted to so perfidious an ally as, the Greek emperor. As to the question of humanity, it is sufficient to remark that, even in the present civilized age, the usages of war entirely justify the sack of fortified towns taken by assault, after holding out to the last extremity.

On the siege and capitulation of Nice, see a letter of Stephen de Blois to the Countess Adela, his wife, in Mabillon's Museum Italicum, t. 1, p. 237.

98 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VIII.

the spoils of Nice where they had wasted their resources and shed their blood to no purpose, and indeed had vastly diminished the means they possessed at the beginning of the siege. They had now become sensible, much to their loss, of the emperor's treacherous policy, but as there was at present no redress, they smothered their resentment. But the seeds of hatred were now sown, a hostile spirit was henceforth nourished, causes of discord burst forth, the phantoms of resentment grew portentous, and as Alexius had not acted justly towards the Crusaders, they meditated vengeance on him.

CH. VIII. The crusaders advance from Nice - Become separated into two divisions - The hard-fought battle of Dorylaemon - Continue their march by Iconium, Heraclea, and Tarsus - Cross the defiles of Mount Taurus - Engagement at the iron-bridge, near Antioch.

THE day on which the siege of Nice was raised, [1] the Christian army marched as far as a certain bridge, where they pitched their tents. [2] They remained encamped there two days, and on the third day resumed their march in great haste before day-light; but as the night was dark, they found themselves on an unknown road, uncertain if they


[1] The Crusaders did not break up their camp till June 25, some days after the capitulation.

[2] This bridge is situated at the distance of six hours' march from Nice, at the conference of the Gallus and Sungarius, now called by the Turks Sakaric.

JULY, 1097.] ADVANCE FROM NICE. 99

were in the right way. In this dilemma the troops separated from each other into two bodies, and they spent two days in their march. In one division, there were Bohemond, Robert the Norman, Stephen, count of Blois, Tancred, Hugh de St. Pol, Gerard de Gournai, Walter de St. Valleri and Bernard his son, [1] William, son of Ranulf the viscount, [2] William de Ferrers, [3] Herve, son of Dodemon, [4] Conan, son of Count Geoffrey, Ralph de Guader and his son Alan, Riou de Loheac, [5] Alan, steward of Dol, [6] and several more. In the other division were the count of Tholouse and the bishop of Puy, Duke Godfrey, Baldwin, Hugh the Great, and Robert the Fleming, with large bodies of their followers.

The same week, the Turks assembled to attack Bohemond [7] in numbers like the sand on the sea-shore, and trusting in their vast superiority of numbers, charged the Christians with spirit. They had Doliman [8] for their chief, and they were inflamed with rage against the foreigners who had dared to take Nice and ravage their territories. In their ranks were to be seen Turks and Saracens, Persians and Agulans, [9] to the number, as was computed, of three


[1] On these two persons, who were the grandson and great-grandson of Richard II., duke of Normandy, see vol. ii. p. 966.

[2] William, son of Ranulf de Briquessart, at that time viscount of Bayeux, and afterwards earl of Chester.

[3] William, baron of Ferrieres St. Hilaire, near Bernai, who had already distinguished himself at the siege of Courci.

[4] The Breton chronicles mention, instead of Herve, son of Dodemon, Herve, son of Guyomark, count de Leon. The name of Dodemon still subsists in Normandy, but it is written Dondemont, which reminds us of the Dandy Dindemont of border Scotch story.

[5] Riou de Loheac, third son of Judicael de Loheac, died in the Crusade.

[6] Probably the steward of the archbishop of Dol.

[7] On the 1st of July, at Dorylaeum, in the valley of Gorgoni. It appears thot this was one of the first battles in which the Crusaders heard the sound of the Turkish drums, which much frightened both the troops and their horses. "Their horses became unsteady under the strange shouts of the Saracens, and the braying of their trumpets, and the beating of their tambours, and refused to obey the spear. Our men, also, amidst this compound din, hardly knew what it meant".- Henry of Huntingdon's History (following William of Tyre), p. 229. Bohn's Antiq. Library.

The Christian army lost in this battle William, Tancred's brother, and Geoffrey de Monte-Scaglioso.

[8] Soliman (Kilidge Arslan).

[9] It is not known whether this appellation is given to a nation, a sect, or a particular corps of troops. The historian Balderic, however, tells us that the Angulans were covered all over with steel armour (like the Estradiots of the fifteenth century), impenetrable to arrows and spears, and that they fought sword-in-hand.

100 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VIII.

hundred and sixty thousand men, besides Arabs, whose swarms were countless. The illustrious Bohemond seeing the innumerable hosts of the enemy threatening and insulting his followers with cries of rage, and brandishing their spears, stood firm and unappalled, while he gave some short and skilful directions to his troops and cheered them on to the glorious conflict. He also despatched swift messengers to his confederates who were parted from him at some little distance, urging them to hasten with all speed to his succour. He commanded the foot soldiers to pitch their tents with rapidity and judgment, and the cavalry to follow him and, encountering the pagans, to stand, and maintain the conflict with unabated vigour. Meanwhile the Turks rushed on with horrid cries, [1] and attacked the Christians with great resolution, shooting their arrows, throwing their darts, and some of them engaging in close fight. There was no respite for the harassed crusaders, even when their bodies were reeking with blood and sweat. But the Franks stood the brunt of the attack without recoiling; sometimes prudently avoiding the assaults of their enemies, sometimes meeting them sword-in-hand, expecting the arrival of the other division, and never yielding a foot of ground. They sustained this fierce struggle from the third hour of the day to the ninth. The women rendered essential service to the combatants by running to them with pitchers of water when they were dying of thirst, and giving them encouraging words, the field of battle being the burning desert. The conflict was maintained on both sides with the utmost desperation, and the crusaders were much distressed; even their camp was assaulted several times. [2]


[1] "Atque dicentes nescio quid diabolicum in barbara lingua", naively observes Peter Tudebode.

[2] Our author's account does not give a very exact idea of the movements in the battle of Dorylaeum. He omits mentioning the attack and capture by the Turks of the Crusaders' camp, the brilliant valour of the duke of Normandy, and its recapture by Bohemond, who commanded the reserve. It was not till after their deliverance by this turn of affairs that the women carried refreshments to the combatants.

JULY, 1097.] BATTLE OF DORYLOEUM. 101

Meanwhile, the other division of the army discredited the account given by Bohemond's messengers, questioning the reality of the attack: for they thought that there was no nation which would venture to engage with even a tenth part of their force. When, however, the intelligence was spread among the troops, and one messenger followed another with news of the battle, [1] Duke Godfrey, a knight always the first in action, and Count Stephen, who was remarkable for his prudence and caution, together with Hugh the Great, and Baldwin and Stephen, all men of great intrepidity, galloped forward with their respective retainers. The bishop of Puy, and Raymond, count of Tholouse, marched in the rear. The crusaders, already engaged, and who were now exhausted with fatigue, wondered how such countless hordes could have fallen upon them so suddenly and unexpectedly, and whence they came; for the dense mass covered the hills and valleys, and where there was any level ground it was swept by their squadrons of cavalry. Still, by God's help, the Christians fought stoutly, and the affair came to mortal combat at close quarters, sword-in-hand. But now their comrades who had been called to the rescue suddenly made their appearance. The bishop of Puy, with the large body of troops under his command, threatened the enemy's rear; on one side the count of St. Giles, Baldwin and Eustace, galloped forward at full speed. Duke Godfrey charged the right flank, having with him Hugh the Great, and Robert the Fleming, a soldier always prompt in action; while Robert the Norman, Stephen Count de Blois, Tancred, and Bohemond, still held the ground on which they had long borne the brunt of the conflict. The Gentiles, finding themselves now unexpectedly attacked in the rear as well as in the front, were thrown into confusion and took to flight without offering any further resistance. The swords of the Christians swept their ranks, and multitudes perished by death in every shape. Those who were able escaped to their fortresses. Thousands of the barbarians fell, after fiercely combating the crusaders and maintaining an obstinate conflict the whole of the day.


[1] Arnold de Rouex, chaplain to the duke of Normandy, conveyed the intelligence of the enemy's attack and the demand for succour, to Godfrey de Bouillon.

102 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VIII.

William the Marquis, Tancred's brother, and Geoffrey de Monte-Scaglioso, knights of distinguished bravery, and of high rank and great merit, together with many others, both horse and foot, fell in the battle. The Turks are as dexterous in their mode of fighting as they are daring, wielding their scimitars so that there is no parrying the blow, while at other times they shower death on their enemies from a distance with their arrows and other missiles. They boast their descent from a common stock with the Franks, and have traditions that their ancestors were once Christians. They also say that no people are instinctively warriors but themselves and the Franks.

The battle was fought on the calends [the 1st] of July, and a day was set apart for offering with solemn service thanksgivings to Almighty God, who ordereth all things well.

The infidels having been thus defeated and put to flight, the Christians returned to spoil the enemy's camp, in which they found large quantities of silver and gold. They collected a great number of beasts of burden, mules, horses, oxen, camels, sheep, and asses, and stripped the tents of their various furniture, returning to their own camp laden with booty in triumph and inexpressible joy. The report of this great victory spreading among strange and distant nations deterred them from hostilities against the Christians, whose glory was thus published in the ears of remote people. All were struck with terror at their achievements, and were in alarm lest they should be attacked in return.

On his flight from Nice, Soliman fell in with a tribe of ten thousand Arabs, to whom he described in glowing colours the excessive bravery, the indomitable resolution and the vast numbers and rich equipments of the Crusaders; by which account he prevailed with them to join him in his flight. Meanwhile, as human ingenuity has many contrivances, and occupies itself with what may appear frivolous, the Turks invented a new story to amuse the simple Christians who lived among them. For Soliman and the other Gentiles, when they came to towns and places inhabited by the Syrian Christians, cunningly said to them: "We have beaten the Franks; they have all perished, or if any are left, they are burrowing in the earth". Addressing

A.D. 1097.] MARCH OF THE CRUSADERS. 103

the ignorant natives in this way, they got admission into their towns, and pillaged their dwellings and churches, carrying off whatever valuables they possessed, as well as their sons and daughters. Preceding the march of the Franks, they carried on this deception, until it came to the ears of the Crusaders, and they hastened to pursue them. [1] They now entered on an arid and uninhabitable region, in which they were reduced to the last extremity by hunger and thirst. If they chanced to light upon a spot where corn had been sown, but was yet unripe, they plucked the ears, and rubbing them out, chewed and swallowed the glutinous paste. [2] They lost a number of men in this desert, and many of their beasts of burden. Famous knights were compelled to march on foot, while those who had the means procured oxen to carry themselves and their effects instead of carriages. Not long afterwards they reached a fertile district, abounding in food and all good things, except that it did not afford a fresh supply of horses. Arriving at Iconium, [3] they filled their skins with water by the advice of the natives, and after a day's march reached the banks of a river where they halted two days to refresh themselves. The light troops, who were always in advance, to provide fodder and other necessaries for the army by pillage, arrived before the main body at the city of Heraclea, where a considerable number of Turkish troops were collected in the hope of opposing the crusaders. Some of them lay in ambush to cut off the advanced guards, but the Franks boldly charged them and dispersed them without difficulty. The Turks


[1] The Christian army resumed its march on the 5th of July, over the plain of Dorylaeum.

[2] Our author omits some details which are characteristic of the sufferings from the want of water in traversing the desert so truly called by the ancients, Phrygia the burnt. Women were taken in childbirth before their time; others, in their despair, rolled themselves naked on the sands; the falcons and hawks, which the nobles had brought with them to Asia, died of thirst on their masters' wrists, and the greyhounds at their feet.

[3] Iconium, the metropolis of Lycaonia, now called Koniah.

Our author passes over several important occurrences in the interval, and, among others, the illness of Godfrey in consequence of his struggle with a gigantic bear, and that of the count of Tholouse, which was so severe that he was lifted from his bed and laid on the ground, when his pulse was scarcely perceptible, and the office for the dead said over him, says the author of the History of the Holy War, who was himself present.

104 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VIII.

being driven out of Heraclea, [1] the place soon fell into the hands of the Christians, and they spent four days in it. Tancred and Baldwin now took a different route from the rest, and entered the valley of Bolentrot [2] with their own followers; and Tancred then separating from Baldwin also marched to Tarsus with the troops he commanded. As they approached the city, the Turks sallied forth prepared to oppose them; but Tancred, with his usual intrepidity, immediately attacked them with great spirit, and drove them back in confusion to the city, to which he laid siege. During the night following, however, the Turks made their escape, and in the dead of the night the citizens cried aloud: "Ye Franks, conquerors, and rulers of the world, the Turks have withdrawn; the city is open to you; enter the gates; hasten, ye invincible Franks, to take possession of the place; come quickly; linger not; why do ye tarry"? All this was distinctly heard by the sentinels in the camp; but as it was night, the consideration of the affair was deferred till the morning. However, at dawn of day, the elders of the city came to the camp, and surrendering themselves and their property, chose Tancred for their prince. This gave rise to a serious dispute between the Christian chiefs, Baldwin, who commanded the largest part of the troops, contending for giving up the place to plunder, or at least for requiring one half of all it contained. On the other hand, Tancred, whose character was moderate, preferred abandoning the conquest of the city to pillaging the citizens who had so readily committed themselves to his care. He, therefore, gave the signal for the march, and at the sound of the trumpets drew off his forces, somewhat annoyed, and Baldwin alone occupied Tarsus. [3] Before long, two wealthy cities, Azera [4] and


[1] Heraclea; thirty hours' march from Iconium.

[2] This valley lies at the entrance of one of the passes of Mount Taurus. Its present name Gealek-Bogaz; Albert d'Aix calls this pass "The Gate of Judas".

[3] This statement is not perfectly correct. The Turks did not privately evacuate Tarsus, but they hoisted the flag of the Christians, promising to surrender if they were not relieved. Baldwin finished driving them from the towers which they still held, when he replaced Tancred in the interior of the place.

It appears that Godfrey now separated his division from the rest of the army, and having occupied Edessa, extended his conquests in Armenia and Mesopotamia, founding the first principality of the Franks in Asia.

[4] It should be Adana, a city eight leagues from Tarsus. Tancred, finding it already in the occupation of a Burgundian knight named Guelph, passed on after having rested and provisioned his troops.

A.D. 1097.] THE CRUSADERS IN ARMENIA. 105

Malmistra, [1] and several walled towns surrendered to Tancred. Meanwhile, the rest of the chiefs advanced into the country of the Armenians with the troops they commanded. On their approach the town of Alfia [2] was given up to them, and was entrusted to a military man named Simeon, a native of the country, [3] for the defence of the neighbonrhood.

The main body of the Crusaders arrived before Caesarea in Cappadocia, [4] which they razed to the ground. The ruins still left attest the former importance of the place.

Plastencia, [5] a fine city, standing in a fertile country, which had lately been besieged by the Turks, for three weeks without being able to reduce it, opened its gates readily to the Crusaders. Peter de Alfia [6] requested to have the custody of it, and the chiefs committed it to him without hesitation for the defence of the country, to be held under fealty to the holy sepulchre and the Christian religion. Bohemond, who was always most active in military enterprises, selecting a chosen body of his own followers, went in pursuit of the Turks who had besieged Plastencia, and kept in advance of


[1] Malmistra, the ancient Mopsuestia, now called Mesisse, six hours S.E. of Adana, and three leagues from the sea on the river Djihan, the ancient Pyramus. This place is composed of two castles, one of which is called Cufr-Bina - the work of the infidels, probably because it is believed to have been built by the Crusaders.

[2] Archbishop Baudri, also, names this place Alfia. Messieurs Michaud and Poujoulat were not able to discover any trace of it in their travels in Syria. Matthew Paris, who calls it Azena, pretends that it was the duke of Normandy who took it, and gave it to this Simeon, one of his knights. The author of the History of the Holy War, who was an eye-witness, tells us, on the contrary, that Simeon was a native of the country: ortus regione.

[3] The Lesser Armenia.

[4] All the historians of the Crusades have committed the same error in placing the site of the ancient Caesarea of Cappadocia between Heraclea and Cosor, now called Kaisarieh; but it was situated far from thence in the northern part of Asia Minor.

[5] We have no account of the situation of this place by the modern historians of the Crusades.

[6] This person is called by Robert de St. Remi, Petrus ab Alpibus, and by Peter Tudebode, Petrus de Alaph. Perhaps he was the Peter d'Aulps, a Provencal gentleman, who after having accompanied Robert Guiscard to Cephalonia in 1085, enlisted in the Greek army, and founded at Constantinople the powerful family of the Petraliphes.

106 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.VIII.

the army in order to molest them, but to no purpose, as with all his diligence he was unable to find them.

The Crusaders now arrived at Coxon, [1] a stately and rich city, which the inhabitants voluntarily ceded to their brother Christians. The army halted there three days to refresh themselves after their fatigues. It was now reported to the count of Tholouse that the Turks who were in possession of Antioch, had deserted it, and fled. Consulting, therefore, his associates, he selected some officers who, being sent forward, should carefully explore the road, and obtain all necessary information. The viscount of Chatillon, [2] William de Montpelier, [3] Peter de Roas, [4] and Peter Raimond, [5] chosen for this service, advanced with a large body of troops into the valley of Antioch; but they found affairs very different from what they expected. The Turks were making great preparations for the defence of the city.

Peter de Roas, being detached from the rest of the force, penetrated into the valley of Rugia, [6] where he discovered a number of Turks whom he cut to pieces or defeated and put to flight. The Armenians, who had heard of the successes of the Crusaders and the frequent disasters of the infidels, gave up the city of Rugia to Peter, with several walled towns. The main army found the road they had to pass extremely difficult. They had to climb the passes of the mountains [7]


[1] Cosor, or Cocson, the ancient Cucusus, celebrated for being the place to which St. Chrysostom was banished in the year 404.

[2] Peter, viscount of Chatillon.

[3] William, son of Ermengard, lord of Montpellier, 1085-1121. He distinguished himself at the siege of Marrah, where he commanded the moveable towers of wood, by means of which the place was entered. His son, whose will is preserved in D'Achery's Spicilegium, was also in the holy Land.

[4] Probably Peter de Roaix, aear Vaucluse.

[5] Peter Raimond d'Hautpool.

There is another person mentioned by Peter Tudebode, whom he calls Aralium Vicecomitem, and who sent to the count of Tholouse plenans hastam, "with Turkish noses and lips".

[6] According to M. Poujoulat, the site of the town and castle of Rugia is now occupied by the village of Riha, the third resting place in the journey from Lattakia to Aleppo.

[7] The Crusaders had to cross the chain of Mount Taurus by almost impracticable passes, which they cursed in their sufferings, and called the Devil's Mountains. Peter of Tudebode is at a loss for words sufficiently to execrate them. He describes the knights as clasping their hands in despair, and selling their armour for whatever it would fetch, to be relieved of the burden; and even sometimes throwing it away from the impossibility of transporting it over such precipices.

A.D. 1097.] PASSAGE OF MOUNT TAURUS. 107

which were precipitous and rocky, and where they sustained severe losses. The troops often fell and were bruised, while struggling and faint from the difficulties of the track; and the horses rolled over a fearful precipice. Many were reduced to penury by the loss of their horses and the beasts of burden which carried their effects. Having escaped with difficulty from these dangerous passes, they reached a place called Marafi, [1] the inhabitants of which furnished them with plentiful supplies of food. They rested a short time there, until they were somewhat recruited. [2] After this the army entered the noble, rich, and extensive valley in which stands the royal and famous city of Antioch, the metropolis and capital of Syria, in which Peter, prince of the aposties, had his episcopal seat. Now, however, by the mysterious providence of God, several of the churches in that city are ruined, and irreverently applied to secular uses. [3] The light troops


[1] Maresia, now Marash; eight or ten leagues from Cosor, across the mountains. Godechilde de Toeni, daughter of Ralph de Toeni, and wife of Raymond de Boulogne, died and was buried at Maresia. It stands on the site of the ancient Germanica. The Crusaders were obliged to halt there to wait for Bohemond, who, in spite of all that our author says of his activity, had fallen into the rear of the rest of the army.

[2] Our author has omitted to mention the occupation by the Crusaders of Artesium, the ancient Chalcis, situated between Maresia and Antioch, which surrendered to Robert of Flanders. A village near this town and castle still bears the name of Ertesi. According to Matthew of Paris, the duke of Normandy assisted in its capture.

[3] William of Tyre furnishes some curious details of the outrages perpetrated by the Moslems, iconoclasts on principle, on the images of the saints painted on the walls of the churches of Antioch. "The venerable pictures of the saints, which the simple and devout people in their want of cultivation, laudably use instead of books, and which, in place of lessons, inspire them with devotion, were razed from the walls, and the infidels plucked out their eyes, and cut off their noses, and daubed them with filth from the foulest places, as if they were venting their rage against living persons".- Will. Tyr. Hist. lib. vi, We have other details, not less curious, of the transformation of the church of St. Peter into three mosques: "The Turks occupied, or rather polluted, the church of St. Peter, converting it into three chapels for the devil's worship, and covered with lime or plaster the paintings, which were richly ornamented with silver and gold, so as to be splendid objects from every part of the church. They also inscribed diabolical sentences on the face of every picture".- Belli Sacri Hist.lx.

108 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IX.

in advance having reached the Iron Bridge [1] found large bodies of Turks who were hastening to defend the city. They immediately attacked them, for the Christians were always under arms, and their onset was so sudden that they were easily routed. [2] Many were slain, and the purveyors brought back to their camp which was pitched on the river bank, the convoy of mules and beasts of burden which was being conducted to the city laden with provisions and all kinds of valuable supplies. Great joy spread through the camp, both for the victory, and the rich booty the purveyors had brought back with them. Daily praises and thanksgivings were constantly offered to God, for the especial protection he afforded to those who had become exiles from their native land, in love for Him, in the midst of heathen armies.

Bohemond, who never yielded to idleness and sloth, for he was always in action, cautiously reconnoitred the gate of Antioch at the head of four thousand troops, and kept watch, under cover, to prevent any parties from entering or leaving the city unobserved.

CH. IX. The siege of Antioch - Assaults of the enemy - Operations of the besiegers - Forts built by the crusaders - their sufferings - The city taken by escalade and sacked.

AT the first dawn of day, the army struck their tents and marched from the spot where they had encamped. It was on Wednesday the twelfth of the calends of November [the 2lst of October], [3] that they pitched their camp before the city, and they blockaded it strictly until the third of the nones [the 3rd] of June, on the side of three of the gates. The other quarter of the city [4] was not invested, because it was closed in by such projecting and inaccessible cliffs and


[1] This bridge of nine arches over the Orontes, not over the Pharpar, is situated four leagues from Antioch. M. Michaud informs us that it was laid in ruins in 1822, by an earthquake, together with the two towers, the doors of which were covered with iron plates, from whence the bridge derived its name. William of Tyre, however, finds another reason for its being so called, in the Orontes, near Antioch, having the name of the Fer.

[2] The duke of Normandy commanded the van in this battle. The standards of the Christian army were entrusted to Roger de Barneville and Everard du Puiset.

[3] According to William of Tyre, it was the 18th.

[4] The south side.

A.D. 1097.] SIEGE OF ANTIOCH. 109

mountains, that there was no level space on which the besiegers could establish themselves. The consternation into which the inhabitants of Antioch and their neighbours were thrown was such that no one dared to encounter the purveyors [1] for the Christian army; all was quiet therefore for nearly fifteen days. The country about Antioch, being a fertile valley, is very productive, being full of vineyards, abounding with corn and fruit, and shady groves, and pleasant gardens, and rich meadows. A number of Armenian and Syrian Christians who were at the beck of the Turks, pretending to make their escape from the place, went boldly to the camp, as mendicants, and having remarked what was passing returned and reported it to the Turks, to the great injury of the Crusaders. [2] For the garrison of Antioch having thus learnt the plans of their enemies, began to grow bold, straitening the pilgrims by attacks, cutting off those who were not on their guard, and molesting them by robberies and other means. They beset all the roads in the neighbourhood, and shut out the Christians from receiving any supplies by sea or over the mountains; so that those who were encamped without the place were blockaded worse than those within. There was a castle in the neighbourhood called Arech, [3] pretty well fortified, from which the Turks made irruptions on the Christians, many of whom perished by the secret attacks of the country people. The Christian chiefs, being much grieved at this, marched out of their camp, and offering battle to the Turks pretended to fly and artfully led them to the spot where Bohemond and his troops were placed in ambush. Two [thousand] [4] Christians were slain there. Then Bohemond,


[1] Cursitores, a term well rendered in a military sense by the French word Chasseurs. It is frequently used by our author in his narrative of these campaigns in the East, but not in the sense of light troops employed in opening or keeping up the communications of the army, but, as being in advance to provide what we should now call the commissariat for the main body.

[2] William of Tyre relates the cruel stratagem by which Bohemond rid the camp of these spies.

[3] The castle of Harench, built on a hill, at two hours' distance from the Iron-bridge, still bears the name of Kirliz-Kalessi, the Girl's Casile, by the translation of which Albert d'Aix. describes it. It had been conquered by Tancred, with almost all Cilicia, after his departure from Malmistra, but retaken by the Moslems.

[4] Our author has made a serious error, whioh is entirely his own, in rendering the words duo milites, which occur in Balderic's narrative, into duo millia. There were, indeed, it appears, two thousand men slain, but it was on the side of the Mahometans.

110 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IX.

the bravest of the warriors, rose from his ambuscade and falling on the Turks killed many of them, and taking some alive caused them to be beheaded before the gate of the town, as a warning to others. At length the besiegers built a fort on the summit of a hill which they called Maregard, [1] which was guarded daily by each of the chiefs taking his turn in succession. Meanwhile, provisions began to run short, as they could neither draw them from the country, nor purchase supplies, and they had carelessly consumed all they found in the valley. Every article of food therefore became very dear, and famine stared them in the face, inasmuch as their stock daily grew less; so that the enemy in the city made open demonstrations of joy.

In the year of our Lord 1097, the fifth Indiction, after the celebration of the feast of Christ's Nativity, [2] Duke Bohemond and Robert the Fleming marched out of the camp, amidst much lamentation from those who staid behind, at the head of a force of twenty thousand men, both cavalry and infantry with which they overran the settlements of the Saracens. The Arabs and Turks from Jerusalem and Damascus, and other cities of various provinces, had assembled in a body for the relief of Antioch. [3] Hearing, therefore, that the crusaders were scattered through the country, they exulted in the hope of being able to crush them, as they reckoned them to be few in number and mere adventurers. They consequently in the darkness of the night, posted two bodies of troops in ambuscade, one in front the other in the rear of the crusaders. But the warlike Count of Flanders and Bohemond made a joint attack upon them at dawn of day, and calling on the name of Jesus and crossing themselves,


[1] This mountain was called Mauregard (Mal-Regard) by the Crusaders, who were annoyed at its commanding their camp, and especially Bohemond's position.

[2] Monday, December 28, 1097.

[3] Another circumstance, which revived the courage of the Mussulmans, was the continuance of the feeble state of health of Godfrey de Bouillon, who was not yet recovered from the effects of his struggle with the bear, and of the count of Tholouse, who did not regain his health until the following spring.

A.D. 1098.] SIEGE OF ANTIOCH. 111

fought with great resolution, and slew a great number of the enemy. They were, however, able to secure but little booty, having no leisure to pursue and take the spoil. [1] Meanwhile, the Turks who garrisoned the city, learning that Bohemond was gone, boldly sallied forth and made inroads among the tents. Indeed, having thus explored the weakest points, they one day, before they heard of the defeat of their allies, assembled their whole force and made a general attack on the camp, coming to close quarters with the crusaders. On that occasion the Ishmaelites fought with great fury, and many of the Christians were slain. The standard-bearer of the bishop of Puy was among the number, [2] and had it not been for the marshes which lay between the city, and the camp and made the road almost impracticable, the enemy would have been able by a desperate effort to destroy the tents and make great havoc in the Christian army which had already been somewhat weakened. [3] Bohemond, returning from the battle he had fought with the Saracens, in which he had secured but little booty, ascended some other lofty hills. But the country was now so devastated that many returned empty. Their toil had been therefore fruitless except that they had gained a great victory over the Turks. But victory will not allay hunger, when there is nothing to eat. Joy is of short duration when it is saddened by want of bread. Bohemond returned to the camp which was suffering cruelly the horrors of famine. However the Armenians and Syrians, whose thirst for gain is insatiable, finding that the expedition was come back


[1] The battle was fought on the 31st of December. Our author is mistaken with respect to the circumstance which prevented Bohemond and the count of Flanders from reaping the fruits of their victory. It was not time they wanted, but horses. There were scarcely a thousand fit for action in the whole army.

[2] Heraclius, the standard-bearer of the bishop of Puy, and youngest brother of Pons, viscount of Polignac. The Turks carried off the standard. According to Raymond d'Agiles, that knight was not carrying it at the moment when he was shot by an arrow in the face, of which wound, it is said, he died the 9th of June following.

[3] Our author has omitted to mention the bridge of boats, which greatly facilitated the operations of the siege, and which the Crusaders established at an early period on the Orontes, above the bridge of Antioch, and nearly opposite the gate which was afterwards called the Duke's Gate. The marsh here spoken of was in front of the Dog's Gate.

112 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IX.

without supplies, searched for provisions in likely places at a great distance, and buying them up resold at an enormous profit what they had purchased at a low rate. The richer pilgrims bestowed large donations on the poor and those who went about begging; but it was impossible to maintain so many thousand souls any great length of time. Some began to think of deserting the camp. William Carpenter and Peter the Hermit crept out by stealth, but Tancred discovered and arrested them, and after a sharp rebuke compelled them to return to the army. Bohemond also, before whom they were brought, gave them bitter words and treated them with the contempt they deserved. [1] Men and horses were now in equal want of food, and despair of relief began to prevail. So many of the horses had failed that in the whole of that immense army, scarcely a thousand mounted knights and men-at-arms could be found. Tatan, the Greek, the commander of the emperor's troops, was so appalled by the prospect of perishing in the common calamity, that he undertook a mission to the emperor, and after making great promises to assist his companions as soon as he could, took his leave and never returned. [2] He faithfully reported to his master Alexius the courage and constancy, and the great privations of the besiegers, and exhorted Guy, son of Duke Guiscard, [3] and the noble chiefs of the Franks who had followed the first crusaders with numerous troops, but were honourably detained by the emperor at


[1] Every kind of reproach was heaped upon the deserters. William Carpenter, viscount of Melon, was reminded in no gentle terms of the dishonourable termination of his campaign against the Moors in Spain: "Probably, wretch, you were ready to betray these knights and soldiers of Christ, as you did before in Spain", were the words of Bohemond.

Guy Troussel was also one of the deserters, and soon afterwards succeeded in making his escape, though he had taken the most solemn oaths to remain for ever faithful to the standard of the cross. See Ralph de Caen, who calls him Guy the Red.

[2] Even the duke of Normandy was so disheartened that he retired to Laodicea, and did not return to the camp till he was thrice summoned. According to Ralph of Caen, Robert was invited to Laodicea by the garrison, which consisted of English refugees (see vol. ii. p. 357), placed there by the Greek emperor, who, weary of the Byzantine yoke, were willing to make a voluntary submission to the son of the king, to escape whose dominion they had chosen to become exiles from their native country.

[3] This young prince died on his return from the Holy Land, in 1107.

A.D. 1098.] SIEGE OF ANTIOCH. 113

Constantinople, to hasten to the relief of their friends. On hearing distinctly how matters stood, the emperor assembled a powerful force, and put himself in march with a large convoy of provisions to succour the crusaders; but evil counsels, as will appear hereafter, prevented the accomplishment of his laudable enterprise.

Meanwhile, the crusaders, reduced to extremity, deserted privately, every one going where he thought he could find the means of existence; but no one dared to make for the sea-coast, as the roads and paths on that side were strictly watched. Fresh reports were also brought that a countless host of Turks were advancing, and that the whole army was threatened with inunediate destruction. It was said that the numbers of the enemy were so great that a space measuring several furlongs square would not contain them. The crusaders trembled with alarm, and many of them drooped their fainting heads. But the nobles still dared to talk of fighting; and assembling in council mutually encouraged each other. Finding this, the wise Bohemond warmly congratulated them, and proposing judicious measures, encouraged them to resistance with much eloquence. He gave orders that the infantry should remain in the camp and narrowly watch the city gates, lest if they were opened the citizens might make sallies at pleasure. All the knights then armed themselves, invoking the name of the Lord Jesus, and having strengthened their good resolutions by receiving the holy sacrament, set forward, followed by the lamentations of all orders. No one had any assurance of his own safety, whether priest or woman, common soldier or knight. Both parties despaired of ever seeing each other again. Those who were dear to each other embraced by turns, and all were melted to tears. The knights established themselves on the bank of the river anciently called Daphne, [1] which flows between Antioch and a lake, having heard that the Turks had collected their forces at the castle of Arech, on the further side of the Iron Bridge. The watchful chiefs of the crusaders assembled before day-light, and at the first blush of dawn sent out wary horsemen to reconnoitre the


[1] The Daphne, now called the Doueir, is two hours' march from Antioch, on the road to Lattakia, to the west of the city, and on the right of the Orontes, into which it discharges its waters.

114 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IX.

enemy. They soon returned shouting that the Turks were at hand, and were formed in two strong divisions; they had seen them moving rapidly forward from the other bank of the river. The Christian chiefs then discussed the order of battle, which they determined to leave altogether to Bohemond's judgment. He therefore divided his force into six troops, five of which were to advance and bear the brunt of the enemy's onset, repelling it by a spirited charge, while Bohemond, with his own troop, was to bring up the rear at a short distance, as a reserve to support the others as occasion required, and in case the Turks should rout the foremost troops to be ready to meet the full tide of the battle. The clarions sounded the charge, and it was echoed back by the trumpets of the Christian cavalry, and with loud cries on both sides the fierce battle began. Both parties closed hand-to-hand; armour clashed against armour, and shield against shield, and swords were hacked against broken spears. The reserves of the Turks were brought up and made a desperate charge on the Christians. The Franks could not sustain such attacks from so many assembled nations, and began to stagger and give way. The cries were fearful, and the air was darkened by clouds of whizzing darts. Bohemond who saw the whole, watching it as if he was all eyes, cried with a groan, "Christ, support thy faithful ones"! He then added, "Robert (Robert Fitz-Gerard carried his pennon [1]), put spurs to your horse, and hasten undaunted to the succour of the Christians, who are giving way! Remember, I pray you, our race, and do not tarnish the glorious name of Frenchmen! Be confident that we shall speedily have aid from Heaven, but it is God's will, that like brave champions, we should merit as well as receive the reward of courage".

Robert having devoutly fortified himself with the sign of the cross, galloped forward, surrounded by an auxiliary troop, and like a brave knight fell on the fiercest of the


[1] Bohemond's pennon was red, the colour of the ensigns of Normandy and the Scandinavian nations. "In Norway, red seems to have been the national colour from an early period. Something similar was also probably the case in Denmark". Worsaac's Danes and Norwegians in England, etc., pp. 61, 62. Hence, probably, the scarlet uniforms peculiar to the Danish and English armies.

A.D. 1098.] SIEGE OE ANTIOCH. 115

Turks, closing with the infidels so near that the fringe of Bohemond's pennon floated in their faces, and they recoiled a few paces as he shouted his war cry. The Franks regained their courage at this desperate charge and the cries which accompanied it, and made a combined attack on the Turkish squadrons. Loud was the clash of arms, and sparks were struck from the brazen helmets; wounds followed wounds and the earth was dyed with purple blood. On every side were seen intestines torn out, decapitated heads and dismembered bodies. The Turks were struck with panic, and their troops at first staggered and then took to flight, pursued by the Franks beyond the Iron-bridge. The Turks lost a vast number of horsemen, but there was no infantry engaged. The crusaders returned in triumph to their camp, bringing with them a number of horses of which they had the greatest need, and much spoil which they had taken in the battle. The Turks retired, shamefully discomfited, to their castle of Arech which they dismantled and burnt, and then continued their retreat. The Armenians and Syrians, discovering this, made haste to occupy the defiles, and put many of them to the sword, but some they brought away alive. They also gave up the castle of Arech to the crusaders. The Franks brought into the camp a hundred heads of the slain, for the encouragement of their own army and to terrify the besieged. All this was seen by the envoys of the emir of Babylonia, who had been sent on a mission to Antioch, and pitched their tents near the crusaders' camp. [1] The troops who had remained in their intrenchments during the battle were engaged all day in assaulting the garrison of Antioch, and constantly watched the three gates of the city to prevent their making sallies. The battle was fought on Tuesday, the ides [2] of February [9th] being the day preceding the first day of Lent.

Though the people of Antioch had been defeated in every engagement, and they had sustained considerable losses by death, wounds or captivity, the numbers of the citizens were so great, that being now inflamed to the highest pitch of fury their attacks on the Christians were more impetuous, they


[1] The ambassadors of Aboulcassam Mostali, the sixth Fatimite Sultan of Egypt, 1094-December 11, 1101.

[2] It should be the sixth of the ides (Tuesday, the 9th) of February.

116 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IX.

never suffered the camp to be at rest, but made frequent sallies in which blood was continually shed. Besides this, the crusaders were under many disadvantages, being neither able to raise the siege nor to leave the camp for any considerable distance. The country round was become such a desert that it yielded them no means of subsistence, while the Turks who knew its resources better were able to procure supplies, and always ready to fall on the Christians by surprise. Moreover, there was not a city, castle or town, nor man nor woman, nor any living creature that was not in hostility to the crusaders. All access was obstructed, that traders might not come and traffic with them, so that they were exposed to the horrors of famine.

In consequence, the nobles anxiously consulted on the means of relieving the people, and determined to fortify a mosque in order to interdict the Turks from passing the bridge. [1] It was resolved that Duke Bohemond and Raymond, count of Tholouse, should proceed to Port St. Simeon, [2] and bring up the troops who were waiting there to join in the siege. Those who remained in the camp set to work in a body, and under arms, to begin building the fort. [3] On the other hand, the Turks equal in numbers and not less determined than the Franks attacked the workmen, and their onset was so severe that they drove them off and killed many of them. Discovering also that two of the principal chiefs had left the camp for the port of St. Simeon, they laid in wait for them on a well-chosen spot and made a fierce attack. The Saracens aimed at the Christians with arrows,


[1] The mosque, where we shall presently find the Mussulmans burying their dead who fell in battle, stood on the right bank of the river, and facing the bridge at no great distance.

[2] A description of this port (now called Soueydya) is given in vol. ii., p. 420. It takes five hours to travel from thence to Antioch, the road running on the right bank of the Orontes.

[3] Raymond, count of Tholouse, undertook to superintend the erection and defence of this fortification. The party detached to Port St. Simeon had for their principal object to procure and bring back workmen qualified to engage in it. But the author of the Holy War (ch. lvi.) informs us that all the Crusaders assisted in the operations, which consisted in throwing up an immense earthwork as well as a wall and two towers. It appears from this that it was rather an entrenched camp than a fort or castle, and the rest of the chapter proves that the intention was not only to intercept the passage of the bridge over the Orantes, but to break it down.

A.D. 1098.] SIEGE OF ANTIOCH. 117

swords, spears, darts, and all sorts of missiles, sweeping them down without mercy, and uttered loud cries, gnashing their teeth. A body of men were returning with the chiefs who were neither well armed nor used to war. The small band of crusaders were unable to withstand the fierce attack of their raving enemies, and after losing more than a thousand men, the rest took to flight. Such are the chances of war, such the vicissitudes of human affairs, as well as of seasons. No one was ever fortunate under all circumstances, no one ever has or ever will enjoy uninterrupted prosperity. In success therefore we must fear and guard against misfortunes, and in adversity we may hope for better times.

Reports that the Christians were overpowered filled with anxiety those who had remained in the camp; more especially as no certain accounts were given of the living or the dead. Many escaped by climbing the mountains, and soon found their way to the camp. Bohemond, taking the shortest road, arrived before the count of Tholouse, and gave an exact statement of the losses he had incurred. The crusaders were more exasperated than alarmed at the intelligence; and, roused to vengeance for the loss of their comrades, made a general attack on the Turks with great spirit. On both sides they fought resolutely. The Turks had crossed the bridge, when the Christians boldly met them, and, contrary to their expectations, received them with great fury, and falling upon them, forced them to seek safety in flight, but there was no possibility of escaping the swords of their pursuers. In the rear of the fugitives there was a narrow bridge, over a deep and rapid river. [1] There was no other passage; no one could ford, and few could swim across the stream in the neighbourhood of the bridge. Great numbers of the Turkish horsemen crowded together on the crown of the arch, and the Franks, eager for victory and revenge of their comrades' deaths, cut them down as if they were beasts of prey. In their insatiable fury they charged with their lances and engaged in close combat with their swords. Some they forced into the river, and others they mortally wounded. The stream was dyed with blood, and


[1] The thickest of the fight appears to have been on the bridge itself, which was not yet commanded by the works in progress, under the count of Tholouse.

118 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IX.

the bank was encumbered with corpses. The gallant Godfrey drove his sword across the back of a warrior of enormous stature, who wore golden armour, as if he had been a succulent leek. The head, and shoulders, and upper part of the body, as far as the belt, fell into the river, while the lower part remained on his spirited horse, which, no longer held by the reins, but still pricked by the spurs, galloped through the foremost of the throng of fugitives to the city gate. [1] All who were on the battlements and bulwarks witnessing this spectacle were filled with dismay, and, amid their grief, told strange tales of the wonderful exploit of the stout knight. A day of death in every form, a day in which scarce any of the assembled multitudes would escape with their lives, lowered upon the pagans. From the tops of the towers and walls, the women looked down on the disasters of their countrymen, and envied the successes of the Franks. In that battle twelve chiefs, who are called emirs, and fifteen hundred distinguished horsemen were slain, the rest were deterred by their fears from attacking the Christians. Night put an end to the conflict, and the crusaders, rejoicing in the name of Christ, returned triumphantly to their camp, bringing with them many horses and much booty. The next day the Turks collected their dead, and interred them in a mosque over the bridge, before the city gate. They buried with them their mantles and rich garments, adding, for the use of the deceased, their bows and quivers, and a large quantity of bezants. The Crusaders discovering this, dug up the bodies, and, having pillaged all the valuables, threw the mortal remains with contempt into one deep grave. They also drove to the city gate four mules' loads of the heads of the slain, to the inexpressible grief of the citizens and the Babylonish envoys.

Three days afterwards, the crusaders began to erect the fortifications which have been already mentioned, and constructed them of stones removed from the graves they had


[1] Henry of Huntingdon and Matthew Paris, who both relate this astonishing feat of strength and dexterity, performed by Godfrey de Bouillon, describe also a parallel achievement of the duke of Normandy, only, in this case, the sword-cut, instead of being horizontal, clove the Turk through helmet, head, neck, and shoulders, down to the breast.

A.D. 1098.] SIEGE OF ANTIOCH. 119

disturbed. [1] When the works were sufficiently advanced, the Franks began to restrain the enemy within narrower bounds. They also commanded free communication with the hilly country, and were able to procure more liberal supplies of forage and other provender. Still they had not as yet pitched their tents on the other side the river, and the Turks had free egress in that quarter. [2]

A fort was therefore erected by common consent on the other side of the river, [3] and the magnanimous Tancred engaged with the chiefs of the Franks to undertake to guard it, all the others declining its custody. Putting himself, therefore, at the head of his fellow soldiers and retainers, he manned the works, closely blockaded the city, and kept strict watch over the roads and approaches. One day he caught the Syrians and Armenians conveying, as they were wont, large stores of supplies into the place, and instantly attacking them, got possession of the whole convoy, which he conducted in triumph to the camp. The inhabitants of Antioch and their adherents became now much alarmed, having suffered such frequent disasters and losses. [4] The


[1] The tombstones of the Turkish cemetery furnished the materials for facing the two towers built by the Christians to flank the mosque, which Peter Tudebode calls the devil's temple. Our author omits mentioning the conflicts which took place on the bridge after these works were completed, as well as that at the same time they erected this fortification, the crusaders blocked up with timber and masses of rock, the bridge at the Dog-gate, which stood at the N.W., opposite the camp of the count of Tholouse, by which the besieged were constantly making very annoying and murderous sallies. This bridge formed a causeway over a marsh which lay between the city gate and the camp of the Crusaders.

[2] Our author here makes a serious mistake. The formation of the entrenched camp entrusted to the count of St. Giles, had for its express object to exclude the besieged from the right bank of the Orontes, in which it succeeded; and it is of that he means to speak, as Tancred's fort was erected on the other side of the river.

[3] This was another fort constructed, not as our author says, on the other side of the river, but on this side, viz., near the west gate, called the gate of St. George. It was erected on the site of an ancient monastery, and its ruins are still called the convent of St. George, which was probably the name of the monastery. Tancred engaged to build and defend it for 400 silver marks. According to William of Tyre, he would have 100 marks for the building, and 40 marks per month for the pay of the garrison.

[4] Ordericus, as well as most historians of the crusades, have neglected to notice a truce concluded with the besiegers, which was interrupted by the murder of Walon. See Robert de St. Remi, 1. v. This event is, however, one of the most interesting episodes connected with the siege of Antioch. According to Gilon's metrical narrative, the wife of this warrior must have been a daughter of Hugh the Great, named Humberge, who is not mentioned by the genealogists.

120 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IX.

Franks were of a fierce spirit, naturally daring, and well trained in the art of war, and in consequence had manfully undertaken this expedition into distant regions and among strange nations. In their difficulties they had recourse to God, invoked his aid in seasons of distress, and did frequent penitence for their human infirmities.

One Pirrus Datianus, [1] of Turkish origin, who held three towers in the city of Antioch, had formed a connection with Bohemond, of whom he had heard good reports, by means Of confidential messengers who went to and fro between them. They had even frequent conferences through faithful interpreters, and signals, which were agreed on. Bohemond on some occasions tried to convert this person to Christianity; sometimes he used all the arguments he could think of to induce him to betray the city to the besiegers, and left no means untried which would suggest themselves to a man of sagacity. At one time he impressed on him the calamities which impended on the citizens, at another he invited him to become a Christian by holding forth the rich rewards which were promised by the Divine goodness. At last Pirrus was persuaded by his noble friend to give him possession of the three towers, [2] promising also to deliver his son as an hostage, and recommending him to lose no time in completing the enterprise. The prudent Bohemond concealed the secret satisfaction he now felt, and suffered no signs of it to appear in his countenance and conversation. He discoursed with the chiefs on the difficulty of taking the


[1] Read Phirouz, and see in Ralph of Caen the motives which that author assigns for his conduct. Kemal-Eddin, historian of Aleppo, calls Phirouz Zerrad, or the armourer. It is impossible to conjecture what our author means by assigning to this person the surname of Datianus, which has nothing oriental about it.

[2] Phirouz did not put the crusaders in possession of three towers, but of one tower bearing the name of the Three Sisters, of which he had the custody, and another in the neighbourhood, where his brother commanded. These two towers, the ruins of which may still be seen, were not as lofty as those on the south ramparts, and might be escaladed without much difficulty. That of the Three Sisters is the first to the south of the gate of St. George, and the other is the second.

A.D. 1098.] SIEGE OF ANTIOCH. 121

city, the weariness of the protracted siege, and the exemplary constancy of the victorious army, and he proposed that the dominion of Antioch and its territory should be conferred, by common consent of the chiefs, on that one of their number who should obtain possession of it either for money, or by force of arms, or by fair means, or stratagem. The chiefs were far from lending a willing ear to this proposition, alleging that it should belong to them all, as they had contributed by their joint exertions to the success of the enterprise. After hearing the opinion of several of his companions, Bohemond observed a prudent silence, waiting for a favourable opportunity of accomplishing his object. Soon afterwards common report, the forerunner of evil, noised in the camp that the Turks, Publicans, [1] Azulans, Azimites, [2] and several other heathen nations, were on the march, and had leagued to make war on the crusaders. The truth of these reports of imminent peril was soon confirmed by messengers who could be depended on. Thereupon the Christian chiefs, having consulted together, made a voluntary offer to Bohemond in the following terms: "You see the critical position of affairs; if, therefore, you can get possession of the city either by fair words or for money, with all the assistance we can give you, it shall be yours by common consent, save only the fealty which, with your approbation, we swore to the emperor. If he keeps his engagements and comes to our aid, observing the terms of


[1] The text should be Populicani. They had separated from the sect of the Manichees, who took the name of Paulicians, from one Paul, who had introduced some innovations into their creed. Being favoured by the emperor Nicephorus (802-July 25, 811) they founded a small state in Armenia. But, being persecuted by his successor in 812, and the empress Theodora in 848, they placed themselves under the protection of the caliphs, who gave them settlements in Cappadocia and Armenia the Less. There is a very curious letter from Lewis the Younger to the pope (Hist. de Fr., xv. 730), which proves that the doctrines of this sect had not only reached the coast of France, which was always in communication with the East, but had penetrated into the most northern provinces of the kingdom. Several Manichean and Gnostic sects were also introduced in consequence of the crusades, and planted in various parts of the country.

[2] Azimitea, a name given by the schismatic Greeks to the Latin catholics, But it is here applied to some of the auxiliary forces of the Mussulmans. They were probably Christians who used unleavened bread for consecrating the host, according to the custom of the church of Rome.

122 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IX.

the treaty sworn between us, we will not perjure ourselves, but you must allow us to say, we will surrender the place to him; but if not it shall be for ever under your dominion".

In consequence, Bohemond had frequent communications with Pirrus, who, nothing loth, sent him his son as hostage. "Let your herald", said he, "proclaim aloud throughout your camp, that the army of the Franks shall make preparation to-day for entering the country of the Saracens tomorrow for the purpose of pillaging it; and by this means our project will be concealed from both sides. When our people understand that the main body of the enemy is gone on a distant expedition, the strictness of their night-watch will be relaxed; do you then hasten with great secrecy to fix scaling-ladders to the walls, and without making any noise, mount boldly, and take possession of the towers I have promised to deliver to you. Then take your measures for completing the enterprise; use your swords, and be not so stupid as to neglect any thing which ought to be done. I shall remain on the watch myself, alive to all that passes, and anxiously expecting your arrival".

Bohemond, therefore, ordered his herald, who was called Mala-Corona, to proclaim through the camp that all the troops were to proceed on the morrow to ravage the enemy's country. However, he entrusted the entire secret to Duke Godfrey, to the count of Flanders, and the duke of Normandy, and the count of Thoulouse, and bishop of Puy, and some of the other chiefs; Tancred and his counsellors had been privy to the whole affair from the beginning". [1] Stephen of Chartres was absent, being, as he said, detained by severe illness at Alexandretta, whither be had gone for the recovery of his health. [2] The Christian army, ignorant of


[1] This is incorrect. Tancred was not even one of the first of the crusaders who entered the city; and he severely reproached Bohemond for having kept him in the dark respecting his negociations with Phirouz. Sea Ralph of Caen, Gesta Tancredi, lxx.

[2] This knight, to whom the crusaders had entrusted the supreme command and the direction of their operations, had, indeed, the cowardice to retire to Alexandretta with four thousand men, under pretence of illness, a very few days before Antioch was stormed. According to Fulcher of Chartres, he withdrew on the very eve of this important event. But it would seem almost impossible that, in his position of commander-in-chief, he had received no intelligence up to that late period of the understanding which subsisted between Bohemond and Phirouz, and would not have remained in the camp twenty-four hours longer to wait the result.

A.D. 1098.] ANTIOCH TAKEN. 123

what was intended, marched out of the camp towards evening, and being led through some by-ways, found itself before dawn near the city, having reached it by the nearest roads. Meanwhile, Bohemond gave directions to his chosen followers to convey with great caution the scaling-ladders he had prepared to the wall, and mounting them confidently without noise, to accomplish the rest by their arms and courage as prudence should direct. A Lombard of the name of Paganus was the first to mount, though in considerable trepidation; he was followed by Fulcher of Chartres, [1] Roger de Barneville, Geoffrey Parented, de Castro Secred, [3] and others to the number of about sixty, who were cautiously admitted by Pirrus and lodged in his towers. When, however, he saw that no more followed, he was in great distress, and exclaimed, it is said, in his mother-tongue: Heu! Heu! Mikro Francos echomen; [3] that is; we have few Franks. Upon this the Lombard hastily descended the ladder, and called from above to Bohemond, who was waiting below: "What are you doing? Are you asleep? Send up instantly all you intend, for we are already in possesion of these towers without any loss; otherwise you will lose us, as well as the city, and ruin your friend, who has trusted you with his hopes and even his life". On hearing this, Bohemond and


[1] It appears that there were no less than four persons in the crusade of this name and surname:-

1. Fulcher of Chartres, the historian, who was chaplain to Baldwin of Boulogne.

2. Fulcher of Chartres, here mentioned as the second who scaled the walls of Antioch. According to Raymond d'Aigles, he was the first; and that author calls him "the brother of Budell of Chartres, not improbably the Bartholomew Boell, before-mentioned among the followers of Bohemond".

3. Fulcher of Chartres, who, according to Albert d'Aix, was slain at the same time as Walter Sans-Avoir, before Civitot.

4. Last, Fulcher of Chartres, to whom Baldwin gave the government of Balasen in Armenia.

According to Ralph of Caen, the first crusader who escaladed the walls of Antioch, was not Fulcher, but Gouel of Chartres; perhaps, by a misreading the Boell already mentioned.

[2] Castel-Sagrat, a little town near Agen, which, in the sixteenth century, belonged to a branch of the family of Gironde.

[3] Oev, oev, pixpo opayyovc exouev.

124 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.IX.

those who were with him, made for the wall as quick as thought, and a great number mounting the ladder, established themselves on the summit, and occupied, under the guidance of Pirrus, seven more towers. Cutting down every one they found within, they spread themselves along the walls, and rushed shouting through the streets, giving no quarter to all they met. The inhabitants, weary with the evils of a long siege, were roused with difficulty, and issued from their houses half asleep and unarmed. In this drowsy condition, and confused by the shouts of the assailants they rushed wildly out, unprepared for action, and, not knowing what was going on, mistook enemies for friends; so that wherever they appeared, they were struck down and butchered like sheep. Even the uterine brother of Pirrus was killed among the rest. [1] Meanwhile, so many crowded on the ladder to mount the walls, that it slipped down and was broken, so that none of the others who were waiting below at the foot of the walls could render any assistance to their comrades fighting above. But in their distress, a remedy was supplied by the mercy of God; for by his providence they found not far from the ladder, on feeling to the left, a gate [2] which they had seen some days before when reconnoitring the ground, and breaking it down forced an entrance. Then the cries grew louder, and the Christians had freer scope for fighting their way, while the Turks, overcome with sleep and wine, were plunged into the deeper sleep of death. Endeavouring to escape the perils that threatened them, they encountered the Christian troops, and when seeking to avoid their attacks, rushed on immediate death in some other quarter. By Bohemond's orders his standard was planted in the city, near the citadel which stood on the top of a hill.

The Christians got possession of Antioch on Wednesday,


[1] Most of the historians state that this brother was killed by Phirouz himself, to furnish the crusaders with a striking proof of his firmness of purpose.

[2] M. Pojoulat thinks that this might be the gate of Olives, now called Bab-Zetoun, to the south of the gate of St. George; or rather another small gate, which has a cross over it (perhaps in remembrance of this event), which stood at the foot of the first or most western of the four hillocks included in the defence of Antioch.

1098.] THE ASSAULT. 125

the third of the nones [3rd] of June, [1] having put to the sword vast numbers of the Pagans. On that night, neither age nor sex, nor condition of any sort, received quarter; in its darkness the assailants were unable to distinguish the difference of sex. When day dawned, those who remained in the camp, roused by the tumultuous shouts of the people and the clang of the trumpets, beheld the ensign of Bohemond floating over the city, and, recognizing it, rejoiced at the capture of the place. No time was lost in rushing to the gates and getting in they seconded their companions with their whole force. Wherever the Turks were found contriving to escape they were butchered on the spot; some few only got away through the gates without being discovered by the impetuous Franks.

Cassian, [2] the chief of the Turks and emir of Antioch, escaped among these fugitives, and rode at full speed to the territory occupied by Tancred, [3] but the horse he had mounted and those of his attendants were so exhausted that he was forced to take refuge in a mean hut. As soon, however, as the Syrians and Armenians, inhabitants of that district who had suffered much under Cassian, discovered his retreat, they rushed upon him, to the number of twenty, and seizing him cut off his head; and brought it to Bohemond; thus securing


[1] Tuesday, June 3, 1098; not Wednesday, as our author states. He is not the only writer who dates the capture of Antioch from the moment at which Phirouz admitted the crusaders into his tower, which was towards the close of June 2. The romance of Godfrey de Bouillon, which echoes the received traditions, says,

Antioche fut prise un Mercredi au soir.

[2] The true name of the governor of Antioch (who is called Caspian by Stephen de Blois, Darsian by Albert d'Aix, Baghitian, Gratian, etc., by other historians) appears from the oriental writers to have been Bagui-Sian. He was one of the Seljucide princes.

[3] The territory here described as belonging to Tancred was that part of Cilicia which had been conquered by that brave knight before the siege, including the cities of Malmestra, Alexandretta, Laodicea, etc. In the letter of Stephen de Blois to his wife Adela, which was dated the 29th of March, he tells her that the Christian army already held one hundred and sixty towns and castles in Syria.

[4] Albert d'Aix draws a striking likeness of this governor's head: "It was", he says; "of an extraordinary size; the ears were large and hairy; his hair was grey, as well as his beard which flowed from his chin down to his navel".

126 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.X.

his favour and their own liberty. Thus perished Cassian, misled by his ill-fortune: it is uncertain whether he fled at random, without any plan of escape, or was on his way to seek for succour among his countrymen. But it is clear that if he had retired into the citadel, he would have done better. The streets and squares were so incumbered with corpses, that no one could pass them without difficulty, and those who traversed them were struck with horror and sickened by the intolerable stench.

CH. X. The Turks hold the citadel of Antioch, after the capture of the place - A combined army of Moslems invest the city - Sufferings of the crusaders besieged in it - They gain a great victory, and the citadel surrenders.

GREAT numbers of those who had flocked to the defence of Antioch, on hearing rumours that it was on the point of being taken, were put to the sword. Some escaped by taking refuge in the citadel; others sought safety in flight, Sensadolus, [1] Cassian's son, fled to Curboran, [2] commander of the forces of Soldan king of Persia, and with tears in his eyes informed him of the sad misfortunes of his father and his country. Cassian had sent frequent messages to this chief, during the siege of Antioch by the armies of the West, to entreat him to march to the relief of the place. Three days after the city was taken, [3] Sensadolus yielded himself up to Curboran with the citadel which commanded the place and all that he possessed, and moved him with tears and prayers and promises to undertake an expedition against the


[1] For Sensadolus, we find some other historians writing the name Sensadonias or Sanzedona, a corruption, perhaps of Schems-Eddaule, the Sun-of-the-Empire, a title of honour, conformable to the usages of the court of the Seljucide sultans. It appears that this son of Bagui-Sian surrendered the city with great reluctance to Kerboga, who made it an absolute condition of his interference.

[2] Curboran. Kerboga, prince of Mossoul, and lieutenant of the Seljucide sultan Barkiarok, son of Malek Shah, who governed the East under the nominal authority of the caliph Mostadher, son of Moctadi-Bamrillah.

[3] It was on Saturday, the 5th of May, the second day after Antioch was taken, that the citadel was given in charge to an officer appointed by Kerboga. M. Pojoulat informs us that this fortress, of which the ruins are still to be seen, was rectangular, and surmounted by fourteen small towers, seven to the east and seven to the west, as the author of the History of the Holy War states.

A.D. 1098.] THE MOSLEMS INVEST ANTIOCH. 127

Christians. This emir was brave and warlike, prudent and wealthy, and ambitious of glory. He had received permission from the caliph, [1] the chief of his religion, to persecute the Christians, and he had sworn never to return until he had subdued Syria and Romania, and even Apulia. He felt great confidence in his resources, having countless multitudes of many nations under his command. The king of Damascus [2] and the emir of Jerusalem, [3] were his allies, and Turks and Agarenes, Arabs and Publicans, Azimites, Curds and Persians, with three thousand Agulans followed his standard. The Agulans wore steel armour, impenetrable by arrows or darts, and used no other arms but swords in their battles. This vast hostile army pitched their camp at the Iron-Bridge, taking by assault the fort there and putting the whole garrison to the sword, except the commander, who was bound with iron fetters and found in chains at the end of the war. [4] The Agarenes took some miserable arms from a few poor wretches, such as a rusty sword, a small lance, and a useless bow, and sent them in derision of the Franks, to Curboran, who sent them to Chorasan with insulting mockery and vain boasts, intended to rally the ignorant idolators against the Christians.

While these occurrences were taking place, Curboran's mother arrived from Aleppo on a visit to her son, and severely blamed him for engaging in his present enterprise,


[1] The caliph's commission could only be nominal, the real power having been vested, as we have already seen, in his lieutenant Barkiaroh. As for licence to kill the Christians, nothing but the ignorance of the manners of the Turks which prevailed among the authors of the middle ages, could have led them to think it necessary to be armed with it.

[2] Dekak, sultan of Damascus, son of Totousch.

[3] Sokman, son of Ortok. The western writers omit in this list Genah-Eddaule, prince of Emessa, and Vatab, son of Mahmoud, chief of some hordes of Nomade Arabs. The Mussulman army assembled towards the end of May in the neighbourhood of Aleppo. The implacable hatred which subsisted between Dekak and his brother Radonan, prince of Aleppo, appears to have been the cause of much dissension in the Mussulman camp. The intrigues of the former were particularly directed to act on the Turcomans, whose precipitate retreat at the first onset threw disorder into the ranks of the infidel army.

[4] It was on the 6th of June that the troops of Kerboga carried the two towers by assault; he then approached the city and remained two days in inaction.

128 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.X.

predicting in the clearest terms that he would be defeated by the Christians, and perish within the year, not in battle, but by sudden death. This woman was very aged, being as much as a hundred years old; she foretold future events, consulting the stars, and being skilled in generation, [1] and many other sciences. The boastful prince soothed his distressed mother by lofty promises, and three days afterwards, taking arms, led a powerful force to the citadel which had been ceded to him. The crusaders marched out to oppose the advance of the Ishmaelites, but were unable to withstand so numerous and strong an army. They were quickly forced to retire into the city, and the crush was so great at the narrow entrance of the gates, that many were suffocated, the Turks pressing on them with great impetuosity. [2] Despair spread through the ranks of the crusaders; some however consoled the rest and talked of battle on the morrow. Some few, overcome by disgraceful and unfounded apprehensions, to their eternal shame, thought of making their escape during the night. William de Grantmesnil [3] and his brother Alberic, Guy Troussel [4] and Lambert the Poor, [5] with several others, were so terrified by the battle of the preceding day, and so anxious to escape the coming conflict, that they let themselves down from the walls by


[1] Geniculorum. Our author means to say that Kerboga's mother was versed in the superstitions of the Gnostics. It is not very likely that she lived at Aleppo, while her son was prince of Mossoul. Ordericus has shown his good sense in sparing the recital of the long dialogue, embellished by quotations from the Bible, which most of the historians have put into the mouths of these two persons.

[2] This happened on Tuesday the 10th of June. The battle lasted the whole of the next day.

[3] Brother-in-law of Bohemond. Ralph of Caen positively states that Ivo de Grantmesnil also joined his brother in this disgraceful transaction.

[4] Peter de Tudebode represents that Guy Troussel did not leave the army till this period, and adds to the list of deserters two others, one named William de Bernouville, the other William, son of Richard.

[5] Lambert, surnamed the Poor, count of Clermont, near Huy, in the province of Liege, and after his father's death, of Montagu (see vol. ii p. 75). They both followed Godfrey de Bouillon, their brother and uncle, to the Holy Land, and Lambert returning in 1105 with Peter the Hermit, founded in the suburbs of Huy a monastery of regular canons of the order of St. Augustin, of which Peter became the superior. It is supposed that Lambert was the second husband of Gertrude, daughter of Theodore d'Alsace, count of Flanders, and that he died in the year 1147.

A.D. 1098.] DESERTION AMONG THE CRUSADERS. 129

ropes. In consequence of their everlasting shame, they were called the sneaking Funambulists. [1] Walking all night through a rocky country full of precipices, they arrived on foot, their hands and feet excoriated, with many companions, at the port of St. Simeon. They found a number of ships lying there, and terrified the crews, who were already in a state of great uncertainty by their alarming reports, giving out that the Turks had retaken Antioch and massacred all the Christians. On receiving this intelligence, some of the sailors cut their cables, and leaving their anchors, put out to sea, hoisting their sails obliquely to the wind; others, more slow in their movements, dissembled their intentions; but all were filled with alarm and consternation. In the midst of this, the Turks who watched the coast, suddenly made their appearance, and putting to the sword the timid sailors, unprepared for defence, pillaged the ships which remained in port, and setting them on fire, massacred the cowards without ceremony.

The brave defenders of the city stood their ground all day against the attacks of the Turks, and by a sudden thought of the chiefs, ran up a loose wall of rough stones without mortar between the town and the citadel. [2] This useful barricade afforded shelter to the Christians in their defence of the place, while it seriously checked the assaults of the Turks. The Franks manned the wall with great zeal, constantly armed for battle, and neither indulging in sleep, nor occupying themselves with any other cares. Meanwhile famine began to spread among the Christians, and they were compelled to live on horses, asses, and other unclean things. In this extremity, the faithful invoked the Lord, and he heard their prayers.

The Lord Jesus appeared surrounded by a company of saints, to a priest who was watching by night in the church of St. Mary, while engaged in prayer for the suffering people of God, and complained that the soldiers of the cross polluted themselves by fornications with both foreign and


[1] They made their escape in the night of Friday, the 11th or probably the 12th of June,

[2] According to Peter Tudebode, this wall was not built until after the fire.

130 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.X.

Christian harlots, adding severe threats on the debauched multitude. While he spoke a radiant crucifix shone over his head, by which the priest recognised the Redeemer of the world, and he fell on his face and worshipped. Then the blessed Mary, mother of mercy, and St. Peter, prince of the apostles, fell at the feet of the Lord the Saviour, and endeavoured to soften his anger by devout intercessions for the afflicted Christians, complaining of the pagans who had polluted the holy temple of God by their foul superstitions. When the holy mother and the apostle had finished their supplications, the Saint of saints yielded to them, and with a serene countenance commanded the priest to publicly rebuke the people and call them to repentance; and then, when they were truly converted, to promise in the name of God that divine help should be afforded them in their need within five days. The priest affirmed his report of this vision on oath upon the holy gospels and the crucifix, before the bishop of Puy and all the people. The multitude immediately gave way to lamentations, and exhorted one another to the confession of their sins. They were seen on all sides praying in the churches, with tears in their eyes and ashes on their heads and naked feet, imploring help and counsel from the Lord. The chiefs all swore, by a unanimous resolution, that not one of them while he lived would retire from the confederation until he had reached Jerusalem and kissed the holy sepulchre of Christ. Tancred also swore that as long as he had fifty soldiers he would never abandon the expedition to Jerusalem. This declaration much animated the Christians, restoring their courage and filling them with joy. Peter Abraham, a Provencal clerk, related the following vision to his companions. "During the siege of Antioch", he said, "when we were undergoing much suffering and severe privations, St. Andrew the apostle appeared to me, and upon my asking his name, told it, and taking me to the church of St. Peter in this city, [1] pointed to a certain spot, and said, 'I wish you to know that when you shall be in possession of Antioch, you will find here the spear which pierced the Lord the Saviour's side on the cross. This


[1] M. Pojoulat could find no vestiges of this church, nor, indeed, of any other remains of the Christian monuments in Antioch.

1098.] CITADEL OF ANTIOCH BESIEGED. 131

weapon is very holy, and the Christians ought especially to revere it'. With these words the apostle vanished, and I had not confidence enough in any one to reveal the vision. On the city being taken, the apostle again appeared to me and said, 'Faint-hearted man, why have you not removed the spear'? I replied, 'My lord, if I should tell of it, who would believe me'? 'Despair not', said the apostle, 'but know for certain that all I have said and shown you is very true. This revelation will confer great benefits on the harassed Christians, as it will inspire them with a holy confidence in this spear. Within five days the Lord will visit them, and deliver them by his power from the hands of their enemies'". Peter made known this divine revelation to his companions, but the people disbelieved him, and laughed at his assertions. However he persisted in them, and confirmed them by his oath, and the people at last placed confidence in him, and recovered courage to bear their sufferings.

Meanwhile, the Turks in the castle made frequent sallies on the Franks, which they resisted with all their might. In the first conflict Roger de Barneville was slain, [2] and buried by the Christians in the church of St. Peter, with deep sorrow, for he was a Norman of great distinction, and a handsome and gallant knight. On one occasion, the Turks blockaded three Christians in one of the towers, and the Franks, worn out with their distresses, could afford them no relief. However, two of them though severely wounded, contrived to make their escape from the tower, and Hugh de Forsennat, a brave warrior belonging to the troop of Godfrey de Monte-Scabioso, was left alone, and stoutly defended himself the whole day. He cut down two Turks with his own hand, having no one to support him, and singly withstood the attacks of his assailants. He was, indeed, a bold and resolute man, and deserved praise more than any of the combatants. But the spirit of our people must have been then broken by their severe disasters, when they saw a comrade fighting all day single-handed without attempting to succour him, and heard his cries without answering them.


[1] It was not by the Turks from the citadel, but those who were encamped outside the walls, in one of whose attacks Roger de Barneville fell as early as the 6th of May, probably in the marsh near the Dog's-gate.

132 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.X.

When the chiefs summoned the soldiers to action, they did not appear; when the trumpets sounded, they concealed themselves in the houses. Nay, helpless and fainting, they shrunk from the contest they had long desired, and were so disheartened and reckless that they desired death.

Bohemond and the other chiefs, perceiving that the courage of the troops had so entirely failed that they could not even prevail on them to man the wall between the castle and the city, set fire to the town in order to drive the skulking cowards from the houses and hiding places in which they concealed themselves. [1] The fire was lighted in that part of the city where the palace of Cassian towered over the rest, and it continued burning from the third hour of day to midnight. About two thousand houses and churches were laid in ruins. At last, the flames went out in consequence of the wind becoming calm. When the fire penetrated to the lodgings of the Christians, after hastily snatching up their booty, they were now compelled to join their chiefs, who assigned to each his station at the city gates to keep watch and ward. Then a severe conflict took place between the Franks and the Turks in the citadel; they came to close quarters and fought hand to hand, nor was the battle interrupted for a moment. The Turks being superior in numbers, better fed, and engaging by turns in successive divisions, left no means of annoyance untried, boldly rushed on the Franks, threw themselves fearlessly into the midst of the fight, and encouraged one another. The Franks, on the other hand, beyond measure distressed, could hardly stand, and no respite was allowed them either to take food or rest. They therefore commenced carrying up a lofty wall cemented with lime, as the Turks had easily thrown down the other built of loose stones.

One night a blazing light was seen hanging in the heavens in the western quarter, [2] which seemed to fall on the Turkish


[1] According to Ralph of Caen, it was the count of Flanders who set fire to the city, but Peter Tudebode, an eye-witness, asserts positively that this measure was adopted by Bohemond, as our author intimates.

[2] This phenomenon, perhaps the aurora-borealis, was also visible in Normandy; Ralph of Caen was eye-witness of it. According to Florence of Worcester, it did not appear until the 27th of September, several months after the period assigned here.

JUNE, 1098.] FAMINE AT ANTIOCH. 133

citadel and rage within it, and although it did no injury to the Gentiles, it filled them with alarm and disquietude. To the Christians it afforded comfort and joy; and both the people took it for a sign from heaven. The garrison of the citadel spent the whole day in hurling spears and darts, and inflicted wounds upon wounds. The besiegers had so closely invested the city from without that by day there was no possibility of ingress or egress; some however contrived to go out by night, but by stealth, and with much apprehension. The famine continually increased and tormented the Christians beyond all belief; many indeed died of hunger. A small cake baked on the embers, if perchance it could be procured, cost a bezant. The flesh of horses and asses was esteemed a dainty fit for an emperor, fowls were worth fifteen pence each. An egg sold for twopence, a walnut for a farthing, and the vilest commodities fetched several staters. It would be wearisome to detail the various sufferings, miseries, and torments, which the Christian soldiers endured for the thirty-six days [1] they were blockaded in the place. It was by such trials that the Almighty proved his champions, trying them in the furnace of affliction to purge them from their guilt, in order to give them a glorious triumph when purified from their sins.

Meanwhile Stephen, count of Chartres, had retired to Alexandretta for the recovery of his health, [2] and was detained there for some time, as it is said, by sickness. The crusaders impatiently waited his return, as all the chiefs looked to him as their prime leader and counsellor; [3] for he was a man of great eloquence and singular ability. Having heard that the Turks had invested the city, he cautiously ascended the


[1] This computation is much too low; the crusaders were blockaded in Antioch nearly two months.

[2] See before p. 122, where our author raises the same doubt whether the sickness was not pretended. Alexandretta is called by the Turks Scanderoun, giving its name to the gulf at the bottom of which it is built, on the opposite shore to Antioch. At any rate, it was a bad place to choose for the re-establishment of health. Its neighbourhood to pestilential marshes makes it quite uninhabitable at present during the heats of summer.

[3] Stephen, count of Chartres and Blois tells his wife Adele, in his letter to her, which is extant, that this pre-eminence was conferred on him by the chiefs with the common consent of the whole army, against his will. See note in ch. ix. p. 122, on the previous conduct of this general of the crusaders.

134 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.X.

hills above Alexandretta, which is not very far from Antioch, and saw from the heights the innumerable tents of the Turks, and their forces covering the plains like the sand on the sea shore; nor could he fail of comprehending the condition of the small body of crusaders shut up in the beleaguered city. This spectacle filled him with such consternation, that he fled with his attendants from the spot in the utmost haste, and, using great precaution, returned to his fortress, which he stripped of everything. He then retreated in the direction in which the emperor Alexius was advancing with a powerful army to the relief of the besieged, and, falling in with him at the town of Philomenes, [1] called him aside and thus addressed him: "You have received certain intelligence of the capture of Antioch by the crusaders, but the Turks retain possession of the citadel which is very strong and commands the town. They also blockade and besiege our troops who are in the occupation of the place, or I should rather say they have taken it by assault and put the Christians to the sword. Look, therefore, to your own safety and that of your troops".

Guy, Bohemond's brother, and numbers both of Franks and Greeks were hastening to the succour of the besieged, but the emperor, summoning them to his presence announced his determination. He then issued orders for the retreat of the whole army, laying waste all the country round, and making the inhabitants retire into Bulgaria, so that if the Turks should attempt to pursue them they might fail of finding subsistence in the depopulated region. The sad news too easily promulgated by the credulous count, plunged the people of God in the deepest affliction. For three days the bishops, abbots, and priests, discontinued the prayers and praises of divine worship and abandoned themselves to sighs and groans. The emperor, giving too much credence to the report of Stephen of Chartres, returned to Constantinople, and the glory of victory and triumph over the Turks was reserved for others to whom it rightfully belonged. The Franks retreated with the utmost reluctance bitterly lamenting the order, and many of the poorer pilgrims died here and there on the road.

Guy, Robert Guiscard's son, poured forth unceasing


[1] Philomelium, near Antiochetta.

JUNE, 1098.] DISCOVERY OF THE HOLY SPEAR. 135

lamentations for the fate of his brother and his friends, so as to draw tears both from his acquaintance and from strangers, while at the same time he overwhelmed Stephen of Chartres with reproaches. However, he had no choice but to return, sorrowing, with the emperor and his auxiliary forces.

And now the soldiers of God in Antioch, being reduced to the last extremity, placed all their hopes in heaven, and consulted with confidence on the means of discovering the holy spear. In consequence they assembled in the church of St. Peter, and long disputes were held respecting the place where it was to be found. At length the opinion of the majority prevailed, and thirteen strong and laborious men were employed in carefully digging. They turned up the soil from morning until evening, and at last found the spear in the presence of the same Peter to whom it had been revealed. [1] It was lifted from the spot among general acclamations, crowds of people running to see it, and covering it with kisses of devotion. Their joy was so great, that, no longer dispirited, they forgot their griefs, and from that moment took courage to think of war.

The Christians agreed in council that two enterprising men, Peter the Hermit and Herluin, who spoke the Turkish language, should proceed on a mission to Curboran, and, on the part of God and his people, enjoin him and his followers to retire peaceably with all they possessed from the city which St. Peter the apostle had converted to Christ. They added that if the Turks aspired to the sacrament of baptism, the Christians would receive them as real brothers, and would make a treaty of perpetual peace with them: if not they might arm themselves and prepare for battle, if they dared. [2] Curboran received with disdain the message of the envoys, and, utterly rejecting the proposal that he should embrace Christianity, he treated the crucified King with contempt, called St. Peter a superstitious impostor, and said that our religion was a most absurd sect. He called on the Christians


[1] The discovery was made, according to Peter Tudebode, on the 14th of June; others say the 19th. Bohemond's excellent arguments against the genuineness of the holy spear, may be seen in Ralph de Caen, ch. cii.

[2] If the Oriental writers are to be believed, this mission had no other object but to obtain an honourable capitulation; but all the Latin writers put into Peter the Hermit's mouth language similar to that employed by our author.

136 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.X.

to believe in Mahomet, and recommended them, if they contemned his faith to take to flight. The envoys, proceeding on their journey in return, hastily made their appearance, and assured the Christian army that a battle was at hand. Meanwhile the famine increased, and fear of the Turks still somewhat unmanned the courage of the timid. Having at length completed a fast of three days enjoined by the priests, and chanted litanies in processions to the churches, while every Christian man prepared himself for death by taking the host as a viaticum, the crusaders were arrayed for battle, being formed into seven divisions in the heart of the city. In the first division, Hugh the Great, with Robert earl of Flanders, took the command of thirty thousand Frenchmen and Flemings.

In the second division were stationed Duke Godfrey and Eustace his brother with Count Conon [1] and thirty thousand of the bravest warriors of Germany, Lorraine, and Boulogne.

In the third division Duke Robert was at the head of his Normans, with fifteen thousand troops from Maine, Anjou, Brittany, and England.

The fourth division included Aimar, bishop of Puy, with the rest Of the bishops and ecclesiastics, among whom was Peter Abraham, who bore the lance of our Lord; [2] the crusaders being desirous to have it carried before them, and believing that it was their great safeguard and protection.

In the fifth division was Rainald, [3] a valiant count, with four thousand men of Teutonic and Bavarian race.


[1] Conon, the first count of Montagu, mentioned in history, was son of Gozelon, count of Bohagne, who died in 1064, and Ermentrude d'Harenzey. Notwithstanding the silence of the French genealogists it seems certain that Conon was brother-in-law of Godfrey and Baldwin, by his marriage with their sister Ida of Boulogne. This nobleman, who appears to have returned from the Holy Land with his son Lambert and Peter the Hermit in 1101, died the 30th of April, 1105, at the castle of Dolhain, near Liege, and was buried at Dinant. The castle of Montagu stood on the banks of the Ourthe, between Marche and La Roche, in the province of Luxembourg.

[2] It was Raymond d'Agiles, the historian of this crusade, and canon of Puy, and Adhemar's chaplain, who carried the holy lance.

[3] This is incorrect. At first there were only six divisions, and Peter Tudebode says: "In the fifth was Tancred, son of the marquis, with Gaston of Bearn and his vassals, and the followers of the count of Poitou". Such troops as there were from Germany and the eastern part of France, composed part of Godfrey's division. Later in the day, a seventh division was hastily formed from those of Godfrey and the duke of Normandy, upon its being observed that the manoeuvres of the Mussulmans tended to cut off entirely the retreat of the crusaders, either towards Antioch, or to the port of St. Simeon, by means of a body of troops which occupied the right bank of the Orontes from the sea to the bridge of Antioch. This seventh division was commanded by the count de Toul. Our author himself gives an account of this a little further on.

JUNE, 1098.] BATTLE OF ANTIOCH. 137

The sixth, composed of four thousand men-at-arms from Apulia, was led by Tancred.

The seventh was under the command of Bohemond, duke of Apulia, and numbered thirty thousand Lombards and Italians. This division was the last to march out of the city, and was to provide against all emergencies, and be a reserve to support the other divisions in time of need.

Raymond, count of Tholouse, [1] remained with twenty thousand troops to guard the city, and prevent any assault by the Gentiles, who, to the number of many thousands, occupied the camp of St. Peter near the walls. While the Christians marched out, the bishops and priests exhorted and prayed, standing on elevated spots, from which they made the sign of the adorable cross over all the troops as they passed.

As the divisions in regular order marched out of the city- gate, which is near the Mosque, [2] imploring from their inmost souls the powerful succour of the merciful God, a gentle rain fell from the skies, its still drops moistening and refreshing the horses and riders like morning dew. The steeds gave token of their satisfaction by beginning to neigh, and the spirits of the horsemen were invigorated by the cooling moisture, while the whole army was exhilarated, and moved with increased alacrity. Yet the shower was so gentle and evanescent that it could hardly be called rain, but soft dewdrops which were felt rather than seen. This is related by many persons worthy of credit who were witnesses of it.

As soon as Curboran [3] perceived that the Christians were


[1] The count of Tholouse was detained at Antioch in consequence of a wound.

[2] The Bridge-gate. The principal contest lay on the right bank of the Orontes, between the river and the Black Mountains. Kerboga commanded in person on the left bank.

[3] Kerboga, prince of Mossoul; see note before p. 126, most of the historians assert that the general was playing chess when the near approach of the Christian army was announced to him.

138 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.X.

marching out to battle, he said: "These people are hastening rather to fly than to fight; let them approach us quite close, that we may have them in our power to devour at our leisure. Let them march out! Let them march out! We will presently surround them, and defeat and crush them"! The Christians, however, marched forward, keeping the step, no one breaking the ranks by undue haste. Curboran, seeing them approach under arms in such good order, without wavering as if they were under any alarm, but keeping the measured time and pace, did not blush to add: "These worthless curs seem as if they mean to venture on fighting". He was then struck with sudden terror, his limbs lost their powers, and his heart was frozen. In consequence, he gave secret orders to his lieutenant, who is called an emir, that if he saw the smoke from a fire lighted in front of the army, [1] he might conclude that his comrades were certainly defeated, and should immediately give the signal for retreat, and withdraw the troops under his command, that the whole body who were with him, and in the camp, might not be cut off. Then, seeing the Christians advancing in good order and in greater force than his reports had said, he began to retire by degrees towards the mountains, [2] in order that the Franks, supposing they had taken to flight, might pursue them with impetuosity, and breaking their order, might be more easily attacked. Finding that this manoeuvre failed, the Turkish army was divided into two bodies, one of which advanced on the side towards the sea, while the other stood fast, hoping thus to place the Christians between them. But the Franks detached a body of troops from the division commanded by Duke Godfrey and Robert the Norman, thus forming an eighth division,


[1] Raymond d'Agiles and William of Tyre assign a more natural cause for this setting the dry grass on fire. According to them, the Mussulmans had recourse to this expedient without premeditation, and to stop the impetuous pursuit of the crusaders.

[2] The Black Mountains, according to William of Tyre, the Mount Pierius of the ancients, now called by the Arabs Gebel-el-Hamar (the Red Mountains). Seven rivulets or torrents take their rise in them, all of which discharge their waters into the Orontes. The mountains are situate one hour distant from Antioch.

JUNE, 1098.] THE SAINT-WARRIORS. 139

which they placed under the command of one Rainald, [1] with directions to oppose the advance of the Pagans from the side towards the sea. These troops were instantly attacked by the Turks, and numbers of them fell by showers of arrows or by death cruelly inflicted in other ways. The other divisions of the Christian army extended their lines from the sea to the foot of the mountains, a space of about two miles.

The Turks charged them with vigour on both flanks, skilfully endeavouring to surround them and extend their attacks on all sides. But in this emergency, thanks be to God, there was seen to issue forth from the heart of the mountains, a countless host, mounted on white horses, and carrying white banners. This spectacle was witnessed by many of the Christians, and it is believed, of the Gentiles, who, in their first surprise, did not know what to make of it. At last, both parties became sensible that it was a manifestation from heaven, and recognized in the leaders of the celestial army the holy martyrs St. George, St. Demetrius, and St. Mercury, [2] marching at the head and carrying


[1] See just before p. 136, and the note. The Rainald here mentioned rather slightingly is the same person described in the former passage as "a valiant count"- the count de Toul. The author of the History of the Holy War has given the clearest account of this battle. He says: "The Turks were divided into two bodies; one went towards the sea, and the other stood firm, thinking to enclose our army between them. Then there was formed a seventh division from that of Duke Godfrey and the count of Normandy, and it was placed under the command of Count Rainald. This division was ordered to oppose the troops of the enemy advancing from the sea coast".

[2] These three saints belonged to the Eastern church.

St. George, of whose history there are few authentic remains, is supposed to have been a native of Lycia, and to have suffered martyrdom at Lydda, in Palestine, as we shall presently find, on the 23rd of April.

St. Demetrius is a name common to many Eastern saints; but the one here referred to was doubtless martyred at Thessalonica in the year 307 - on the 8th of October, according to the Latins, but his feast is kept on the 26th of October by the Greeks and Russians.

These two saints are not only held in great veneration among the Oriental Christians, but by the Turks also, who keep their feasts, marking by the former their season of going to reside in the country, and by the latter that of their return to the towns, and affirming that both were Mussulmans.

St. Mercury, a soldier, suffered martyrdom at Caesarea in Cappadocia, about the year 260, on the 25th of December.

Robert of St. Remi substitutes St. Maurice for St. Mercury, not very happily, for the commander of the Theban legion is, from the place of his martyrdom, altogether a saint of the Western church (22nd of September). There were, however, two other saints of the name of Maurice in the East; St. Maurice of Nicopolis, 10th of July, and St. Maurice d'Apamea, 16th and 18th of July.

In the chronicle of Monte Cassino, St. Theodore (probably Stratelates, February 7) is substituted for St. Mercury, and the miracle is referred to the battle of Doryloeum. The History of the Holy War agrees with this, and also represents the three saints as having often appeared at the head of celestial warriors in the crusaders' battles, St. Mercury most frequently; St. George, also on some occasions, and St. Theodore more rarely. The three latter are introduced by the author in his account of the battle of Antioch, to the exclusion of St. Demetrius.

140 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.X.

their banners. At this sight the Saracens were struck with mortal terror, while the Christians were filled with confident hope. The prodigy was not seen by all, but it is attested by many who were eye-witnesses. It was a sign from heaven for the confusion of one party and portending the approaching triumph of the other.

The Gentiles who fought on the side towards the sea, finding they were unable to sustain the weight of the conflict, set fire to the grass as Curboran had ordered. This preconcerted signal being seen, those who were in the tents fled hastily and in confusion, snatching up in their alarm their most valuable effects. The Christians who fought on this side had already directed their attack to the Turkish camp, where they knew that their greatest force was stationed. The Turks still made all the resistance in their power, so that some fought while the rest were intent on pillaging the tents. Meanwhile, Duke Godfrey, with Robert of Flanders and Hugh the Great, made a charge with their cavalry near the river, [1] where they found that a great body of the enemy was again collected. Their joint attack repelled the pagans, although they made a stout resistance, and the battle raged desperately on both sides. The clang on brazen helmets was like the hammering of anvils. Sparks flew from the battered swords; skulls were cloven; and the ground was bespattered with the brains of the dead. Armour was broken, and men embowelled. The weary horses were covered with sweat, but there was no repose


[1] This movement was made in support of Bohemond and his corps de reserve, which was sharply attacked by the sultan of Damascus and the emir of Jerusalem, who had, as before observed, ascended the right bank of the Orontes to cut off the retreat of the Christians.

JUNE, 1098.] THE TURKS DEFEATED. 111

either for the horses or horsemen. The troops were engaged at such close quarters, that they were scarcely separated by the length of their weapons. Some fought hand to hand, foot to foot, and body against body. Meanwhile, a terror inspired by God himself seized the Turks, and the invincible constancy of their adversaries filled them with admiration and astonishment, and compelled them to retreat. The whole body began to give way, and neither trumpets, drums, nor clarions, nor the voice of heralds, could recall them to the ranks. The routed Turks made for their tents, where they expected to find a large body of troops, whom they had left there in reserve, but they had fled, as before related, as soon as the signal-fire was lit by the troops engaged. The Christians drove the pagans before them with great slaughter to the Iron Bridge, and pursued them sword-in-hand as far as Tancred's fort; they then returned to the enemy's tents, and pillaged everything they fancied. They carried back with them to the city in great triumph wealth of all kinds, woolled sheep, innumerable beasts of burden, plentiful stores of provisions, and whatever else could supply their necessities; for it is the custom of the pagans to carry with them in their expeditions abundant supplies, horses, asses, and camels for conveying baggage, sheep, and oxen for food, with corn, and meal, and lentiles, and oil, not forgetting wine. The Christians, having obtained with the wished-for victory these abundant stores of all descriptions, blessed God with due praises, acknowledging him as their present protector, and raising to heaven hymns of thanksgiving.

The Syrians and Armenians who inhabited that country, seeing that the Turks had sustained an irretrievable defeat, closed the well-known passes of the mountains, occupying the defiles, and sword-in-hand caused the fugitives great losses. They butchered them like lost sheep who in their fear could find no means of safety. The emir also who had remained in the citadel, the custody of which was committed to him by Curboran, seeing his friends shamefully routed in every quarter, was struck with terror, and consulting his own safety, before the Franks re-entered the city, asked for a Christian standard, which being given him, he planted it on the summit of the castle, that it might secure quarter to

142 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.X.

himself and the garrison, there being no doubt as to the surrender of the citadel. The crusaders returning conquerors, when the Lombards [1] saw the pennon of the count of St. Giles, be being nearest at hand when a Christian ensign was demanded, they were much enraged, and began to utter violent threats. The emir, to allay the disturbance, sent back the count's pennon, and hoisted that of Bohemond on the tower, [2] for the peace and safety of himself and his comrades. Then the capitulation made between Bohemond and the emir was ratified by all, and the citadel was quickly surrendered to the Christians. Soon afterwards, the emir was baptized, as, according to his account, be had long desired, and received magnificent presents from the liberality of the Franks.

It was thus that the Christians, by God's help, gained the victory in the battle on the fourth of the calends of July [June 28th] [3] and possessed Antioch in freedom and tranquillity. As for the Turks of the garrison who had surrendered the citadel but rejected the Christian faith, which is the light of the soul and the way of salvation, they returned to their own country, under the protection of Bohemond, according to the terms of their capitulation.

The Franks who formed their escort according to the treaty, having left them on their own frontiers to which the Turks were approaching unsuspicious of any danger, Baldwin suddenly set on them from Rages, [4] and attacking them in the Lord's name, overthrew the barbarians and put them nearly all to the sword. Then he led his followers laden with booty to Antioch, and announced this favourable intelligence to his friends.


[1] The inhabitants of the southern provinces of Italy, Apulia, and Calabria, who marched under the standard of Bohemond.

[2] Of the citadel. We shall find in the sequel that the count of Tholouse retained possession for a considerable time of the mosque he had fortified, as well as the palace of Bagui-Syan.

[3] The 28th of June, 1098.

[4] Edessa is the place meant. William of Tyre, as well as our author, has adopted this erroneous name. Most of the historians of the crusades call Edessa Roais, Rhoa, Rhoas, in which we recognize some remains of the name of Callirhoe, given it by Pliny on account of its beautiful fountain. The Turks now call it Orfa. It is situated to the N.E. of Antioch, at the distance of fifty-six hours' journey.

A.D. 1097.] BALDWIN'S CONQUESTS. 143

Having now an opportunity of relating what refers to Baldwin, it shall, in God's name, have a succinct place in the course of my narrative; for such considerable events ought not to be passed in silence.

CH. XI. Baldwin's conquests in Armenia - Becomes duke or prince of Edessa - Elected king of Jerusalem, after his brother Godfrey's death - Succession of the crusaders, kings of Jerusalem.

WHEN Baldwin, as before related, on Tancred's departure in disgust, had taken posession of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, he left the army of his brother Godfrey and the other chiefs and marched in the direction of Edessa at the head of three hundred knights with their men-at-arms. On his arrival Baldwin offered the services of his followers to the free disposal of the govenor who commanded the Turks in that province. [1] That officer and his citizens received the Franks with great kindness, assigned them quarters in that wealthy place, furnished them with plentiful supplies of food, and good pay, and entrusted to them the defence of the whole country. Duke Godfrey and the other Christian chiefs, learning that Baldwin had the command of the duchy of Edessa, were highly pleased, and out of respect to him avoided entering on the borders of that province. Baldwin was a knight of great stature, of a noble presence, and lofty spirit, well imbued with letters, celebrated for his valour and worth, and of illustrious descent, as sprung from the race of the emperor Charlemagne. [2] This lord, with the inhabitants of Edessa, made frequent expeditions against the Turks in the neighbourhood, and defeating the pagans took much booty and many captives; thus making the duke of Edessa formidable to all his neighbours.

The city of which we are speaking is called by old writers Rages, but it was destroyed during the fierce wars waged between the ancient kings of the Assyrians and Chaldeans


[1] He was an old Greek, sent there in the reign of the emperor Romanus Diogenes (1068-1071), and who is called by Anna Commena, Thoros.

[2] See col. ii. p. 12. It may be added that Maud of Louvaine, wife of Eustace I., count de Boulogne, through whom this descent is traced, had for her mother Gerberge of Lorraine, daughter of Charles, duke of Lorraine, brother of King Lothaire.

144 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XI.

At a later age, Seleucus Nicanor, who was one of the four principal generals of Alexander the Great, after his death restored this city and called it Edessa. It is watered by the Tigris and Euphrates which are the sources of fertility and abundance to the natives. King Abgarus governed Edessa, the same to whom the Lord Jesus sent a sacred letter, and the precious napkin which had wiped the sweat from his brow and retained the Saviour's features miraculously impressed, so that the lineaments and proportions of the divine image were visible on it. Thaddeus, the disciple of Jesus Christ came to this city and baptising King Abgarus with all his people first established, by the grace of God, the worship of the divinity. [1] The community of this place was composed of Greeks, Armenians, and Syrians living together, and serving the King of heaven from the foundation of Christianity to the present day. But for their sins God had lately chastised them with the discipline of his rod, and caused the offences of the Christians to be punished by the fury of the Gentiles; so that the city, with the surrounding country was under the dominion of the Turks. They still freely attended divine worship, and were not compelled to abandon the law of God by any restriction of the pagans. The citizens of Edessa therefore were well pleased with the civilization of the Franks, who, on their part, treated them in all things as brothers.

The haughty governor of Edessa, moved by jealousy and blinded by malice, laid snares for the crusaders, commanding his officer, who was going on an expedition, to attack Baldwin and his companions, as they were returning and when they were unarmed, and to kill them without mercy. The treacherous contriver of this nefarious scheme took his measures accordingly, but the intelligence reached Baldwin's ears who was beloved by many. As they were returning from the expedition the pagans recommended the Christians, in light talk, to lay aside their armour, that they might be less incumbered; but they, aware of the plot, did not listen to the advice. At last, as they were drawing near to the city, the Franks riding in full armour, the Gentiles at a given signal suddenly threw themselves on them, and, thus assaulting their comrades, disclosed their base designs. The Christians,


[1] See vol. i. p. 263.

A.D. 1097.] AFFAIRS AT EDESSA. 145

however, in the name of the Lord, stood firm, and attacking their enemies with spirit put them to flight, killing some as they were making their escape and pursuing the rest, sword in hand, to the city gate. Baldwin then ordered his people to pitch their tents on the spot, and lay siege to the place. A great commotion was now raised in the city, and the people flocked together from all quarters.

Then Tobias, the chief of the citizens, thus addressed them: "Good citizens, I beseech you to be quiet for a short time while I go with three of my neighbours to the Franks, and inquire for what reason they have laid siege to our city". In consequence the four principal citizens went out of the town, and inquired the cause of the sudden siege. Baldwin replied: "I left my brothers and friends, and the noble army of Christians, in Cilicia, and came here with three hundred gallant knights to enter your service, and I have been a faithful protector to you and your governor on all occasions. The crusaders, out of their regard for me have left the borders of your country untouched, and have done you no injury of any kind. I and my followers have engaged in sharp hostilities with your enemies in the neighbourhood, and gained frequent triumphs over them for your peace and security. You doubtless are sensible of this, and will, I think, bear witness to the truth of my assertions. What offence then have I and my companions given this day? Why, when we were returning in security to your city, as we did yesterday and often before, did our fellow soldiers suddenly attack us with swords and spears? In this emergency we resisted, calling on God according to the Christian practice, and Christ our God, who is always ready to help his servants, promptly gave the succour from heaven which we implored. Our comrades who attacked us as enemies felt the weight of our arms in defence of our own lives, and turned their backs and fled. Some of them, as you may perceive, were left by their companions dead on the road. These things being so, we remain in our tents, expecting your aid and advice; for we still regard you not as enemies, but as our loyal hosts".

Tobias, having heard this account and other similar details, called his neighbours apart, and after a brief conference returned to the Franks. "There is no need", he said, "illustrious knights, for many words; we entreat you to

146 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XI.

wait for us here in peace, while we are employed in arranging your business satisfactorily in the city".

With these explanations, and a mutual understanding, the envoys re-entered the city, and reported to their neighbours what they had heard and said. The conduct of the four deputies was approved, and they were commissioned to present themselves at the governor's palace, while the rest of the citizens followed slowly under arms. They found the harsh governor alone in his private apartments, and saluting him in the fashion of the country, thus addressed him: "The times demand prudent counsel, for we have now reason to fear as enemies those whom we have hitherto considered as our faithful protectors. The Franks now besiege us closely, and are proceeding to assault us with the greatest vigour. They call us traitors, and summon us to judgment. They say that their fellow soldiers treacherously attacked them as they were returning from the enemy's country, and that they received more injury from their allies than from their adversaries. They, therefore, threaten us terribly that unless we render them justice they will bring upon us the whole force of the Christian army. We must, therefore, use prudent means for avoiding destruction, and take care that we do not provoke the intolerable wrath of the Christians by our injustice. The treasonable enterprise was undertaken without our knowledge, and so great a crime ought to be instantly punished. It is, therefore, the universal opinion of the citizens that the atrocious traitors should be dealt with according to the severity of our ancient laws, and that our illustrious friends, or rather protectors, should be respectfully conciliated".

While Tobias was thus speaking, a band of citizens had crept cautiously and silently into the palace. The pagan governor, however, treated with contempt the proposals of the friends, and plainly avowed himself the defender of the traitors and their fellow conspirators. Upon this, the incensed citizens rushed upon him, and, losing all respect, at once cut off his head. [1] Then Tobias took it, and said to


[1] This narrative of Baldwin's conquest of Armenia is not extracted from Balderic's history, like all the rest of our author's present book, nor even from that of Fulcher of Chartres, who, having followed the adventurous knight as far as Edessa in the capacity of chaplain, could have furnished our author with more precise information than that he has adopted. The reader will already have discovered that the account savours more of romance than of history. Unfortunately for the crusaders' fame, the governor was much more true to his engagements than Baldwin. The old prince having solemnly adopted him, with singular ceremonies, became the victim of a popular tumult, of which Baldwin was the hero, if not the contriver, and which, at least, he took no pains to repress.

A.D. 1097.] BALDWIN, PRINCE OF EDESSA. 147

the citizens his neighbours: "Guard the palace, and all that it contains from injury; and I and my companions will bring hither the Franks with joy and peace". Saying this, Tobias went forth, and saluting the Franks, thus addressed them: "The citizens of Edessa, being greatly concerned at the injury done you, demanded redress from the governor. As, however, he avowed himself the author of the treason, they have cut off his head. See here the head of the enemy of God and of you, which they have sent by us". All present being filled with joy, Tobias added: "Come, illustrious knight, and receive the hand of the governor's daughter in marriage. Be our prince, and long may you possess the dukedom of Edessa". Baldwin, therefore, and his followers, entered the city in triumph, and were received in the palace of the government by all the citizens with great joy. In due time the beautiful daughter of the wicked governor was baptized, and married Baldwin the handsome knight, on whom she had secretly set her affections during her father's life, without his knowledge'. The native Christians were highly delighted to be under the government of a Christian prince, and returned thanks to God, while the Turks were dejected at losing their dominion over the worshippers of Christ, whom they had hitherto oppressed. The magnificent church of St. Sophia had been built at Edessa in ancient times, and under the rule of Baldwin, the faithful, both natives and foreigners, dedicated to St. Saviour, the virtue and wisdom of God the Father, and restored his worship. The order of divine service was re-established with much splendour at Edessa, and divine grace displayed its influence on the people both in their hearts and actions


[1] The new prince of Edessa did not marry his predecessor's daughter, but the niece of a chief of that country, whose name, it is said, was Taphroe. He divorced her, and married again in 1102, Adelaide, widow of Roger I., king of Sicily, whom he soon afterwards also repudiated upon the pretext of consanguinity.

148 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XI.

much more wonderfully and incomparably than my pen can describe.

Baldwin, having been thus engaged in a multiplicity of affairs for the glory of Christ, [1] had not been able to assist the crusaders in the siege of Antioch. Hearing, however, reports of the extreme distress to which they were reduced, he and his companions deeply compassionated their sufferings, and as soon as it was in their power, put their affairs in order to hasten to their relief. Meanwhile, by the help of the Lord Jesus, they had gained a great victory over Curboran and his army, and Baldwin and his companions had cut off the Turks, who had retreated from the citadel of Antioch, as before mentioned, and taking their spoils, visited their brothers and friends. Then, all having mutually related their several successes, rejoiced together, and gave thanksgivings with heart and mouth to the God of victory, who ordereth all things well.

After this conference of the brothers and friends, Duke Baldwin returned to Rages, and took under his fatherly government the church of God and the people committed to his care. He defeated the Turks on his frontiers in frequent engagements, and crushing the wicked, enlarged the borders of the Christians. He also nobly increased the endowments of the clergy, furnished them with all that was necessary, and anxiously entreated them to celebrate daily service for the benefit of the faithful. He maintained himself vigorously in the dukedom five years. [2] He then succeeded his brother Godfrey in the kingdom of Jerusalem, which he governed nearly fifteen years, [3] signalizing his reign by many bold


[1] Much less for the interests of religion than of his own private ambition. So much so that the princes and prelates of the crusaders made in vain a solemn appeal to his religious professions and his oaths, in order to retain him under the banner of the cross.

[2] This calculation is evidently exaggerated. Baldwin's government at Edessa could not commence before the autumn of 1097. He was elected king of Jerusalem about the 18th of October, 1100, and crowned on Christmas Day, the same year.

[3] This reckoning is not more exact than the preceding. Baldwin did not defer urging in person his claims to the crown of Jerusalem until he heard the news of his election. He quitted Edessa, as early as the 2nd of October, 1100; "his grief for his brother's death was absorbed by his joy at being his heir", says his historian, Fulcher of Chartres. He was elected the 18th of the same month, crowned the 25th of December, as we have just remarked, and died in the beginning of April, 1118.

JULY, 1098.] COUNCIL OF CRUSADERS AT ANTIOCH. 149

actions against the pagans. He had no offspring by the Turkish wife he married. In consequence he appointed his cousin Baldwin de Burg to be his successor in his duchy and kingdom. [1] Afterwards, Fulk, count of Anjou, went in pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and received the kingdom with the hand of Melisent, daughter of the second Baldwin, whom he married. [2]

CH. XII. After the siege of Antioch, the crusaders rest during the summer - Several towns taken - The chiefs re-assemble - Description of Antioch - Bohemond and Raymond of Tholouse dispute the possession of it.

IN the month of July, after having, by the grace of God, gained the victory, and established,their authority in Antioch, the Christian chiefs held a council, and by common agreement commissioned Hugh the Great to proceed to the court of the emperor Alesius at Constantinople and offer him the immediate possession of the city which they had purchased for him at the cost of so much suffering, Calling upon him at the same time to observe the terms of the treaty which he had sworn to on his part, viz., that he would resolutely accompany them in their march to Jerusalem. Hugh the Great departed on this mission; but he was very deficient on this occasion, for, like the raven sent forth from the ark, he never fulfilled as he ought, his promise of returning again. [3]

After Hugh's departure, the chiefs held a council, in which they consulted together how they were to proceed in leading the people of God to Jerusalem. They said: "This people which has undergone great sufferings' in their


[1] Baldwin de Burg, second son of Hugh, count of Rethel, was crowned king of Jerusalem on Easter day, 14th of April, 1118, and died the 21st of August, 1131. He was cousin-german of Guy Troussel by his mother, Melisent of Monteheri.

[2] Fulk of Anjou, fifth of that name, surnamed the Young, who married Melisent, daughter of Baldwin de Burg, was crowned king of Jerusalem the 14th of September, 1131. His first wife was Eremburge, countess of Mans, 1110-1126.

[3] According to Ralph of Caen, Hugh the Great had been wounded in the thigh, and went to Tarsus for the recovery of his health. although he had hitherto conducted himself with great ability during the crusade both in the field and in council,

150 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XII.

endeavour to reach the sepulchre of the Lord their God at Jerusalem, now exhausted by many calamities, calls loudly upon us to hasten the march, and we ourselves are weary of disappointment, and join our complaints to theirs. Let us therefore take the course most convenient for them, and submit to no further delays but such as are occasioned by necessity. At the same time, everything must be calculated with prudence and discretion. The country through which we have to pass is burnt up; the summer heat is excessive; and at this season it would be impossible for us to bear the torrid atmosphere. Besides, both our strength and our supplies are exhausted by a long siege. Let us therefore be quiet and seek repose, endeavouring to restore our sick and wounded, and not forgetting the relief of the poor. Let us wait for the rains of autumn, and avoid the injurious influences of the Cancer and the Lion. In the month of November the climate will be refreshed, and we will then re-assemble, and with one accord proceed on our journey: otherwise, the whole people will be prostrated with the intolerable heat. Let this counsel be well considered by the crowd who are agitating for our immediate departure. Necessity requires that we should defer it during this intractable season: and this course seems most advisable for all parties". The determination was announced to the whole army, and in the end it met with universal approbation.

The chiefs, therefore, with their household troops, dispersed themselves throughout the neighbouring country to pass the summer; [1] and the poor followed them to obtain subsistence: for the chiefs had said, "If there be any in want, or infirm health, let them attach themselves to our families, and we will support them, allowing them pay. The disabled shall be maintained at the public expense until they recover".

Then Raymond Pilet, a brave knight, one of the


[1] The chiefs of the crusaders quitted Antioch not only to pass the intense heats of summer in the cooler climate of the neighbouring mountains, but also to escape from the pestilential atmosphere generated by the decay of so many corpses in the close and heated city, from which constitutions already shattered by privations and excesses were exposed to so much injury. The women were particularly subject to these disorders, which, according to William of Tyre, carried off fifty thousand souls.

AUTUMN, 1098.] SEVERAL TOWNS TAKEN. 151

companions of the count of St. Giles, collected a body of horse and foot-soldiers, and putting himself at their head, and boldly entering the country of the Saracens passed beyond two cities to a strong place belonging to the Syrians called Talamania. [1] The inhabitants submitted voluntarily to the Franks, who rested there nearly eight days.

Then, again buckling on their armour, they attacked a castle of the Agarenes in that neighbourhood, and having blockaded it till it surrendered, it was sacked and the natives put to the sword, except those who were willing to become Christians; those were preserved uninjured. After this, they returned to Talamania, rejoicing at their success. Three days afterwards they made another expedition against Marrah, a neighbouring town. [2] From thence many pagans who had assembled from Aleppo and other neighbouring places, issued forth to attack them. The Franks supposing that they were going to fight drew up in order like disciplined soldiers, but their hopes were disappointed. For the Turks cautiously retreated towards the city, neither flying before the enemy, nor suffering them to come to close quarters; but withdrawing a little from the conflict by a skilful manoeuvre, they turned and again made a rapid charge on the Franks and then wheeling their horses round again retreated. The Franks had to sustain repeated attacks of this kind, nor could they safely disengage themselves from the enemy. For if they attempted to retreat the gentiles pressed on their rear, as afterwards happened. They had to maintain their ground, suffering from intolerable thirst, until the evening; for the heat was excessive. At last, being no longer able to bear the fatigue, and having no means of assuaging their thirst, for no water was to be found, they resolved to draw off in a body, and by a slow march, to their own castle. But the foot-soldiers and Syrians, feeble and undisciplined troops, breaking their ranks, regardless of the commands of the knights, were seized with a panic and began to fly in utter confusion. The pagans were instantly upon them when they gave way, and cut them down without mercy, fiercer than wolves, and


[1] M. Poujoulat thinks that this place must be in the neighbourhood of Mount Amanus, as its name indicates- Tel-Amania.

[2] Marrah, between Hamath and Aleppo.

152 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XII.

giving no quarter. The prospect of victory, and the advantage they had gained supplied them with strength. Many therefore of the common people and faint-hearted were here slain, others were choked with thirst. Those who escaped alive returned with Raymond to Talamania, where they passed some days. This massacre took place in the month of July, and the insolence of the proud was thus punished by the hand of God. So we read in the sacred writings that the children of Israel were often afflicted, and defeated in battle by the Philistines, Edom, Midian, and other neighbouring nations, in order to compel them to return frequently to the Lord, and to persevere in the ways of his commandments.

At this time Aimar, bishop of Puy, fell sick at Antioch, and having comforted his sorrowing children with paternal affection went the way of all flesh, departing in the Lord on the calends of August [5th July]. His death caused deep affliction among the soldiers of the cross, for he was the counsellor of the nobles, the hope of the orphan, the protector of the weak, the companion in arms of the knights. The clergy he instructed and guided in a becoming manner; he was distinguished by his singular prudence, while his good humour and affability made him a general favourite. The whole army therefore celebrated his obsequies with much lamentation; his body was embalmed with aromatic spices and interred in the church of St. Peter the Apostle.

The count of St. Giles, who never yielded to sloth or idleness, when the Gentiles could be attacked with vigour, lost no time in making an irruption into the territory of the Saracens, and assaulted and took by storm a fine city of theirs called Albara. [1] He put to the sword almost all the inhabitants


[1] Raymond d'Agiles calls it Barra, and the oriental historians Bare or Elbarie. It was in the neighbourhood of this place and Marrah that the crusaders saw for the first time fields planted with sugar-canes. The passage of Albert d'Aix, describing their cultivation and use, is curious, and worth attempting to translate.

The inhabitants suck the sweet canes which grow freely on the level plains, and are called ZUCRA, and so much enjoy the delicious juice, that they scarcely wait till they are ripe to revel in their luscious flavour. This kind of produce is cultivated by the country people every year with great industry. At the time of harvest, the canes are bruised in mortars, and the thick syrup is collected, and suffered to stand in vessels until it coagulates and hardens like snow or white salt. When grated, it is mixed with their drink, or dissolved in water, is used to sweeten pottage, being more wholesome and pleasant to the taste than honey itself. Some say that this was the kind of honey which Jonathan, the son of King Saul, found upon the ground, and dared to eat against the king's command. 1 Sam. xiv. 25-43. The crusaders were much refreshed, after their severe sufferings from famine, by sucking these sweet canes during the sieges of Albara, Marrah, and Archas.

AUTUMN, 1098.] QUARRELS AT ANTIOCH. 153

of both sexes and took the place into his own hands. The Christians appointed a bishop there, fitted for his office, and instituted what was required for the worship of the true faith. The bishop of Albara was sent to Antioch, and there duly consecrated according to the rites of the church. [1]

As the appointed time approached for resuming the journey to Jerusalem, [2] all the chiefs assembled at Antioch to consider this urgent business, so that they might be no longer diverted from their expedition. But there was an implacable quarrel concerning the possession of the city, between Duke Bohemond, and Count Raymond which all the ability of the elder chiefs failed in settling, notwithstanding their many sensible exhortations. The one demanded the sovereignty of the whole city, as it was promised to him during the siege and before it was taken. The other alleged the oath of fealty taken to the emperor, with Bohemond's approbation, and declared that he could not be absolved from it without perjury. Bohemond put the citadel which was given up to him in a state of defence, drawing in supplies of arms and provisions, and manning it with troops and warders. In like manner the count strengthened himself in the possession of the palace of the emir Cassian, which he had before occupied, and seized the fort at the bridge towards the port of St. Simeon. Their ambition and resentment were carried to such a pitch that neither of them would yield to the other, and both under colourable pretences aspired to the possession of the city.

It was not to be wondered at either as respected the


[1] This bishop's name was Peter. He was a native of Narbonne, and was consecrated by John IV., the Greek patriarch of Antioch, who had been very ill-used by the Turks during the siege, and, who soon after the city was taken, not being able to agree with the Latin Christians, retired to Constantinople.

[2] November 1.

154 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XII.

honour or the profit of the acquisition; for Antioch is a very beautiful and strongly fortified place, and has rich and ample revenues. Within the city are inclosed four gentle hills, on the highest of which stands the citadel commanding the whole place. [1] The lower part of the town is well built, and it is surrounded by a double wall. The inner wall is broad and lofty, and formed of immense blocks of stone, squared and closely fitted. It has in its circuit four hundred and fifty towers, [2] the walls of which are of stately architecture and defended by battlements. The outer wall is not so lofty, but is a work of wonderful beauty. The city contains three hundred and forty churches, [3] and being a great primacy, is the seat of a patriarch who has one hundred and fifty three bishops under his jurisdiction. Antioch is shut in on the east by four hills, [4] and the river Farfar washes the walls on the west. [5] Its ancient name was Reblath, [6] as St. Jerome informs us in his Commentary on the Prophets, but it was afterwards augmented by Seleucus Nicanor, who called it after his father Antiochus Clarus. The place being of so much importance and dignity, as in truth the capital and metropolis of all Syria, the Franks were unwilling to part with it easily now that it was in their power, hoping by holding possession of it to extend their influence far and wide, and to reduce even distant regions to obedience to Christianity. The siege had lasted eight months and a day, [7] and


[1] This description is very exact; the four rising grounds of which our author speaks are inclosed within the walls, and the one on which the citadel is built is the last but one in going from west to east.

[2] William of Tyre only reckons three hundred and twenty. According to M. Poujoulat, there were in all one hundred and thirty, fifty-two of which are still in tolerably good preservation. The walls were all crenelled, and an Arabian writer says that 80,000 crenelles could be counted. The modern city of Antaki does not cover a sixth part of the ancient inclosure. To give an idea of its extent it is only necessary to mention that Antaki is more than an hour's walk from the gate of St. Paul.

[3] Peter of Tudebode reckons twelve hundred churches, and three hundred and sixty monasteries.

[4] These hills lie to the south rather than the east of the city.

[5] Read "the Orontes", which according to Fulcher of Chartres and William of Tyre was called at this time Fern or Fer by the natives.

[6] There seems no authority for Antioch's being identified with this ancient name, as St. Jerome supposed.

[7] Our author is not very fortunate in his chronological computations. This is much too high; from October 13 to June 3, there are only seven months and seventeen days.

NOVEMBER, 1098.] THE CRUSADERS QUIT ANTIOCH. 155

after its capture they had themselves been besieged within it three weeks. During the continuance of which siege there was so great a conflux of the Gentiles, that no one remembered having seen or heard of such an assemblage of nations. The crusaders rested at Antioch five months and nine days. [1] They were unwilling to relinquish their conquest for the many important reasons assigned, they therefore entrusted it to safe custody. Meanwhile the count and Bohemond had each their own private views regarding it. They therefore fortified the place, as before mentioned, and in the month of November, [2] proposed to undertake further enterprises, and having put things at Antioch in some sort of order, they both marched out of the place.

CH. XIII The town of Marrah taken by Count Raymond and Bohemond - The crusaders suffer from famine - The chiefs return to Antioch.

COUNT RAYMOND put himself at the head of his troops, and quitting Antioch, and passing through Rugia [3] and Albara, arrived on the fifth of the calends of December [November 27] [4] before Marrah, a wealthy and strongly fortified town, containing a numerous population of Agarenes. [5] The next day he led his troops to the assault of the place, but as the walls were strong and well defended, he could make no impression at that time. Bohemond followed the count from Antioch on Sunday [the 28th November], and


[1] This calculation is not more exact than the last. From June 13 to November 11, a period during which the crusaders appear to have partially at least retired to the country, there are only four months and thirteen days. To make up the author's reckoning there must be included in the time of rest not only the twenty-four days of the blockade, but also that of the battle of Antioch.

[2] November 11, according to some accounts.

[3] On the subject of this place, see before p. 106. M. Pojoulat was not able to obtain any information respecting the site and the present state of Albara.

[4] On Saturday, November 17. He left Antioch on the 23rd.

[5] Marrah, a town some hours to the N.E. of Apamea, has now a population of five or six thousand souls.

156 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH. XIII.

also arrived before Marrah. [1] A second attack was then made by the united forces of the two chiefs, who repeatedly assaulted the defenders of the fortifications with great spirit but little success. Scaling-ladders were raised against the walls, but the violent outcries aud threatening demonstrations of the Turks discouraged every one from venturing to mount them. The citizens indeed thought that their resistance on the present occasion would be as successful as it had been against Raymond Pilet; but Count Raymond caused a machine to be built of wood, to run on four wheels, that it might be easily moved. It was so lofty that it commanded the walls and reached to the battlements of the towers. This structure was rolled forward against one of the towers; the trumpets and clarions sounded, and the troops under arms invested the whole circuit of the walls, the cross-bowmen and archers discharged their bolts, and the party in the wooden tower hurled below immense stones, while the priests and clerks offered earnest prayers to the Lord for his people. William of Montpellier and many others fought from the machine, overwhelming the citizens beneath with stones and darts, and easily killed them by crushing their shields, helmets, and heads; [2] others made incessant attacks on the defenders of the walls with iron hooks. On the other hand, the Turks directed their arrows and missiles against the Christians from the towers, they also threw the Greek fire into the machine, and left nothing untried. The Christians lost no time in using oil to extinguish the fire; [3] and pressing forward to mount the walls, were driven back and held in check by those who manned the battlements, but still would not draw off. The


[1] Not only Bohemond, but a considerable part of the Christian army took part in the siege of Marrah.

[2] The description of this assault by Peter Tudebode is very curious; we can only quote one passage: "They so hammered the enemy on their shields that shields and pagans fell together into the city of the dead". The oriental historians assert that the count of Tholouse promised to spare the lives of the citizens, and that twenty thousand souls were victims of his breach of faith. According to the story told by the Latin writers, it must rather be imputed to Bohemond.

[3] It is manifestly impossible that so combustible a matter as oil should have been employed to extinguish the Greek fire. Our author has copied the error from his habitual guide Balderic, in whose account only it is to be found.

DEC. 1098.] MARRAH TAKEN BY STORM. 157

struggle was prolonged until the evening. The unwearied courage of the Agarenes foiled all the devices of the Christians. At length Gouffier de Tours, [1] a knight of the Limousin, of high birth and extraordinary daring, was the first to mount the scaling-ladder and reached the top of the wall. Some soldiers, few in number, ascended after him, for the ladder was broken and fell in pieces. Gouffier, however, held his footing on the battlements manfully, driving back the Pagans, and at the same time calling his comrades to his aid, both by his gestures and voice. They soon raised another scaling-ladder, by means of which so many knights and soldiers mounted to the top that they occupied a long extent of the wall, from which they entirely drove the garrison. The Pagans now rallied, and renewed the attack with so much determination, sometimes charging the Franks with such impetuosity, that some of them in their terror leaped from the wall. However, a strong body maintained their ground, and resisted the repeated attacks of the enemy, until the Christians below had undermined the wall and made a breach for the besiegers to enter. The Turks discovering this abandoned themselves to despair, and precipitately fled. Thus the wealthy town of Marrah was taken the evening of Saturday the ides [2] [the 11th] of December. The Christians spread themselves through the conquered place, and mercilessly pillaged it of all the wealth they could find in the houses and cellars, giving no quarter to the Saracens, but putting them almost all to the sword. Every place in the city was filled with corpses, and it was impossible to walk through the streets without stumbling over heaps of the dead. On the capture of the place a great number of the citizens, with their wives and children and most valuable effects, assembled in the palace over the gate, where they submitted to the Christians. Some of these were put to death, others, by Bohemond's order, were conducted to Antioch, and subjected to servitude or sold into


[1] Gouffiers de Lastours, lord of Hautefort and father of Guy de Lastours, who married Matilda, daughter of Geoffrey II., count de Perche, and widow of Raymond, viscount de Turnenne. The history of the first crusade by Gregory Buhade, a vassal of this Gouffiers de Lastours, who employed twelve years in composing it in the language of the country, is unfortunately lost.

[2] The reading should be "the third of the ides", that is, December 11.

158 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XIII.

slavery, and all were stripped of their wealth and scattered. The Franks remained at Marrah an entire month and three days.

The bishop of Orange fell sick there, and his spirit, released from the body, ascended to heaven. [1] A severe famine also affected the army, and forced some of them to devour things disgusting, unusual, disagreeable, and even forbidden. Some, indeed, partook of the flesh of the Turks, [2] which, coming to the knowledge of the elders and better sort, they were overwhelmed with shame and sorrow, but they suspended the punishment on account of the extremity of the famine. Nor did they esteem it a mortal offence that those who underwent voluntarily such excessive hunger for the cause of God should thus make war on the Turks with their teeth as well as their hands. The thing, indeed, was against all laws, but it was absolute necessity which drove them to it. When there is a famine in a camp, everything is welcome, nothing rejected. Some ripped open the bowels of the Turks to find the bezants and gold they had swallowed, and which they thus secured. Numbers perished by the prevalence of the famine.

The chiefs, while they were at Marrah, made fresh endeavours to restore amity between the duke and the count, but their efforts were fruitless. In consequence, Bohemond was so much irritated that he immediately went back to Antioch, [3] and the expedition to Jerusalem was hindered, to the great injury of the people. The private quarrels and animosities of princes disturb and afflict their subjects; for while every one is seeking his own advante, he is careless of the common good; and the people fall into ruin when their chiefs do not protect them. The army of Jerusalem


[1] William, the first of the name, bishop of Orange and vice-legate; he died December 2.

[2] These accounts are confirmed by the contemporary historians of the crusade, who supply details even more disgusting. The famine appears to have been caused by excessive rains which interrupted the communications, and caused all the provisions to rot.

[3] Not only Bohemond, but Godfrey and the count of Flanders also, returned to Antioch. After the conference at Rugia, Godfrey took advantage of this season of leisure to pay his brother Baldwin a visit at Edessa.

DEC. 1098.] THE MARCH CONTINUED, 159

was much embarrassed by the personal quarrels of their chiefs.

CH. XIV. Reconciliation of the chiefs - March of the crusaders by the sea-coast to Jerusalem - Towns captured or surrendered - Arrive under the walls of the holy city.

COUNT RAYMOND again sent envoys to the chiefs at Antioch and invited them to meet him at Rugia to have another conference. In consequence, Duke Godfrey, with Robert the Norman, and Robert of Flanders, and other chiefs who were summoned, proceeded to Rugia, taking Bohemond with them. Much was then said on the necessity of restoring concord among the principal nobles, but no means of accomplishing it was discovered. Bohemond refused to march on Jerusalem unless Antioch was entirely given up to him, and the count would not go unless Bohemond accompanied the rest. Raymond returned to Marrah where the Christian army was in danger of perishing by famine. [1] At length, in the compunction of his heart, a generous feeling prevailed, and, to serve the soldiers of Christ, he undertook to prosecute the journey to Jerusalem, preferring the cause of God to his own will and profit. To subdue themselves is the highest virtue of which princes are capable; in general, they exhibit great obstinacy, and cause their subjects extreme perils. The count ruled his own spirit that he might not injure all Christendom. However, he gave orders to his people to maintain a strong garrison in the palace of Cassian. [2]

Count Raymond came out of Marrah on the ides [13th] of January, [3] and, with bare feet, freely joined the Christian pilgrims, exhibiting by this token of humility his resumption of the pilgrimage. There was, therefore, great


[1] During the absence of the count of Tholouse, the crusaders whom he left at Marrah, exasperated at the chiefs delay in leading thom to Jerusalem, destroyed the walls of the place.

[2] This direction shows that the count's repentance was far from sincere. Not only the palace of the emir, Bagui-Syan, but also the fortified mosque at the end of the bridge of Antioch, were recommended to the vigilant care of his retainers. Bohemond seized the opportunity of Godfrey's absence to get possession of the latter, and as to the former, Tancred, in a fit of ill-humour with the count, came express from Marrah to seize it and deliver it up to Bohemond. See Ralph de Caen (xcviii).

[3] January 13, 1099.

160 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XIV.

joy among the people of God, and the duke of Normandy joined them on their march at the city of Capharda. [1] There they rested three days, and the king of Caesarea made an alliance with the chiefs. He had already sent frequent messages to Marrah, firmly promising to keep the peace towards the Christians, and furnish them gratuitously with many things they wanted, as well as to allow them free trade through all his dominions, if only the invincible Franks abstained from invading his dominions, and devastating his territories. In that case, he swore fealty to the Christians. The whole army now marched from Capharda, and encamped on this side the river Farfar, near Caesarea. [2] The king, seeing the Franks stationed so near his city, was much troubled, and immediately sent them this message: "Unless you remove your camp from the suburbs of our city at the first dawn of day, you will violate our treaty, we shall forbid the traffic for supplies, and take precautions for our own safety". Accordingly, as soon as it was morning, he sent two of his people to the christians to show them where they could ford the river, and to conduct the army into a fertile district. They entered a rich and fruitful valley, commanded by a castle which formed immediately a post of security for the chiefs. The army laid hands on as many as five thousand cattle, and great abundance of provisions of all descriptions were found; so that all the soldiers of Christ were refreshed by the gratuitous plenty. The garrison also gave them horses, and pure gold, and much money, and swore that they would never more molest the pilgrims, nor prohibit their trafficking, with the people of the country. They rested there five days. Departing from thence, they came to a camp of the Arabs, the chief of whom came forth to talk with the Christians,


[1] According to the careful Raymond d'Agiles, this place, which appeans from the researches of M. Poujoulat to be no longer in existence, was only four leagues from Marrah, probably near the Orontes. It is mentioned in the history of the wars of Antioch by Walter the chancellor. M. Poujoulat points out between Lattakia and Aleppo the fortified post of Gafar, a corresponding name; but the distance from Marrah seems to preclude its being Capharda.

[2] This could not be Caesarea in Palestine, situated between St. Jean d'Acre and Jaffa, but another town of the same name on the banks of the Oronte, between Apamea and Emessa.

FEB. 1099.] MARCH THROUGH SYRIA. 161

and made a peace with them to the satisfaction of both parties. They then journeyed to the city of Cephalia, [1] which stands in a valley, and is surrounded with stately walls, and rich in all kinds of commodities. The citizens were struck with alarm at the approach of the Franks, and deserted the place in a panic, leaving their gardens well stocked with vegetables, and their houses stored with provisions and all kinds of useful articles, without staying to look behind them. The Christians took possession of their substance in triumph, rendering grateful thanks to God, the Giver of all good. They marched forward on the third day, and, crossing a high mountain by a precipitous road, descended into another rich valley, [2] where they rested twelve days. While there they made a vigorous assault on a fortified place belonging to the Saracens, which stood in the neighbourhood of the valley, and would have stormed it if the Gentiles had not driven out to them herds of cattle and beasts of burden, which the Christians carried off, and thus returned to their camp encumbered with the spoil. The Pagans, however, had been so terrified that they retired in the night, and at dawn of day the Franks discovered that the fort was deserted and took possession of it. They found in it plentiful stores of corn and wine, meal, barley, and oil, and they spent there the feast of the Purification of St. Mary with great devotion.

While there, the chiefs received rich presents from the king of the city of Camela, [3] who offered to make peace with the Christians, promising that he would never molest them, but rather love and honour them, if the Christian army treated him in like manner.

The king of Tripoli [4] also sent ten horses and four mules with a large sum of gold to the Christians, and demanded by his envoys peace and amity with them. But the chiefs would neither make peace with him, nor receive his presents,


[1] No remains of this place now exist.

[2] The valley of Lem, or as some authors write it, Sem. Ordericus places it in the neighbourhood of Tripoli, as we shall presently see.

[3] Emessa, now Heems, on the right bank of the Orontes, on the other side Mont Lebanon, and under nearly the same latitude as Tripoli in Syria and Palmyra.

[4] Tripoli of Syria, now called Taraboles, between Botrys and Archis.

162 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XIV.

on the contrary they boldly replied, "We reject all that comes from you until you consent to become a Christian". After leaving the rich valley, they came to a castle called Archis, [1] near which they encamped on the day before the ides [the 12th] of February. [2] The place was strongly occupied by a vast number of Pagans, and frequented by hordes of Arabs and Publicans, who defended themselves bravely against the assaults of the Christians. Fourteen Christian knights sallied forth on the road to Tripoli, which was at no great distance from the camp, and fell in with sixty Turks, who were convoying a large body of men, Saracens, Arabs, and Curds, to the number of about one thousand and five hundred, with vast herds of cattle. The Christian knights charged the Turks with spirit and killing six of them took their horses, and dispersed all the rest of the convoy and brought back the cattle to the camp. Thus the invincible bravery of the Franks quelled the courage of all the people of the country both far and near, God thus working in them, who is always at hand to succour his champions. It was owing to the power of God such success attended his servants, that fourteen Christians defeated sixty Turks, and dispersed the rest of the multitude carrying off the cattle from before their faces.

Raymond Pilet, and Raymond the Viscount, [3] with a few other knights attached to the division of Raymond, count of Tholouse, went on an expedition towards the city of Tortosa, [4] where a considerable number of Pagans were collected. It being late, they chose a retired spot for passing the night in security, and lit a number of fires as if the whole army was present. At sunrise the Franks mustered to attack the city, but found it deserted, and


[1] Archis, or Arachis, between Tripoli and Tortosa.

[2] On Saturday, February 12, according to our author; but it appears that it was really on Monday the 14th.

[3] It is thought that Raymond Pilet was lord of Alais; as for the other person described as "the viscount", and who is called by other writers vicecomes de Tentoria or Centoria, seems to be a mistake of the copyists, and that the person meant is Raymond, viscount de Turenne, first husband of Matilda, daughter of Geoffrey II., count de Perche.

[4] Tortosa, the ancient Antarudos, between Tripoli and Lattakia. Since they left Caesarea, the crusaders' march had continually retrograded towards the north and Antioch.

A.D. 1099.] THE CRUSADERS AT LAODICEA. 163

quartered themselves in it while they besieged the citadel.

The emir of the city of Maraclea, [1] which was at no great distance, made peace with the Christians and planted their ensigns on the walls of the city. Meanwhile, Duke Godfrey and the count of Flanders and Bohemond came as far as Laodicea, [2] which is commonly called Licea. Bohemond however again parting from them, returned to Antioch, which he greatly desired to possess. The duke and the count were besieging the city of Gibel, [3] when Count Raymond received intelligence, [4] that the Gentiles were at hand in great force, and the Christians were threatened with a desperate battle. He therefore sent this message to his allies who were besieging Gibel: "A battle is certainly impending, the Pagan army is marching against us. We wish you therefore to make peace with the city you are besieging, and to hasten to the assistance of your brethren in arms. It is better to unite and conquer than to be divided and subdued. Battle makes short work, and the gain of the victors is great; while sieges waste much time, and fortified places are not easily reduced. Battles place


[1] Now Marakia, between Tortosa and Lattakia. The crusaders still continued their retrograde movement towards Antioch, probably to meet the chiefs who remained there, and to whom Arnold, the duke of Normandy's chaplain, had been sent on a mission to prevail on them to join the army and make a combined movement on Jerusalem.

[2] Laodicea, now Lattakia, twenty-six hours' journey to the S.W. of Antioch. Here Godfrey and the count of Flanders, who accompanied Bohemond from Antioch, parted from him to continue their route towards Jerusalem, while he retraced his steps to his capital. Laodicea had been taken and sacked by a fleet of twenty-two vessels, containing adventurers from Flanders and Boulogne, before the arrival of the crusaders under the walls of Antioch.

[3] The ancient Gabala, now Djebali, between Lattakia and Marakia.

[4] It would have been more correct if our author had, instead of audivit, written finxit se audivisse; he "pretended to have received intelligence". It is not one of the most honourable traits in the character of the count of Tholouse, but it must not be disguised that it is an established fact that this rigid stickler for good faith, who was ever ready to remind Bohemond, even unseasonably, of his engagements to the Greek emperor, was prevailed on by the gifts presented him by the inhabitants of Djebali to draw off Godfrey and the count of Flanders from attacking their city by the alarm of an imaginary danger. Albert d'Alais gives the details of this false alarm.

164 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XIV.

nations and kingdoms at our feet. Enemies conquered in war disappear like smoke. When the war is ended and the enemy defeated, a vast empire will be open to us. It is expedient therefore that we join our forces, for if we may hope to have God for our leader and guide, we shall certainly triumph over our enemies in a short time. Hasten therefore, that our adversaries on their arrival may not find us unprepared".

The duke and the count received this message with great satisfaction, as they were eager for battle. They therefore made peace with the emir of Gibel, and received from him at the conclusion of the treaty many presents. They then marched to the aid of their comrades, but did not find the Turks as they expected. They therefore established themselves on the other side of the river, and laid siege to the castle. Shortly afterwards, some of the Christian horsemen rode as far as Tripoli, looking for an opportunity of annoying the Gentiles. They found some Turks and Arabians, with some of the people of Tripoli, riding about outside the town waiting the approach of the Christians, and intending to take them by surprise. Presently the squadrons charged each other; the Saracens stood their ground fairly at the first onset, and resisted for a time; at last however they turned their backs and fled before the swords of the enemy, and lost many of their party in the retreat; several of the principal citizens fell there. The women, both mothers and virgins, watching the conflict from the battlements, poured forth imprecations on the Christians, and cries of anguish for their friends. But in the midst of their grief, some of them could not help admiring the valour of the Franks. The river which washes the city was coloured red by the blood of the Pagans who were slain, and the cisterns fed by its stream in the heart of the city were polluted by the carnage. The distress of the people of Tripoli was extreme, as well for the loss of their principal citizens, as for their cisterns, the waters of which were spoilt by the effusion of blood. Thus they suffered two disasters on the same day, and their tears flowed for a double misfortune. They were in despair that the Franks had unexpectedly triumphed, and were troubled at the pollution of the cisterns they valued very highly. The people of Tripoli were therefore utterly

A.D. 1099.] THE CRUSADERS AT TRIPOLI. 165

disheartened, and shutting themselves up within their walls before they were besieged, did not venture any longer outside the gates; their neighbours were partakers in their misfortunes. The Franks, having obtained a welcome victory, returned to their friends, giving praises to God.

Another day, a detachment of cavalry made an irruption into the valley of Sem [1] to plunder the country, and sweeping off oxen and asses, sheep and camels, to the number of nearly three thousand, they returned triumphant to the camp with this great booty. The crusaders were detained before the castle of Archis three months and a day, [2] for it was almost impregnable. They celebrated there the feast of Easter, on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of April. Meanwhile, some Christian ships had anchored in a port near the castle, which was a safe harbour, and they were freighted with corn and wine, cheese and oil, lentils and lard, and all sorts of merchandise for the use of the army. The troops also made frequent expeditions to ravage the country, and never failing of success, they returned in high spirits and eager for fresh incursions. [3] However, many of the Christians fell before the place, for the swords of the Saracens were not always in their scabbards, nor their chivalry idle, nor their arms weak. Thus they slew Anselm de Ribmont, [4] and William Picard, men of high birth and experience in military affairs, who had signalized themselves by great achievements during that crusade. Many others also fell, whose names may God record in his book of life.


[1] See before, p. 161. This valley, the name of which is differently written in the accounts of the first crusade, Lem, Sem, and Issem, is mentioned by almost all the historians.

[2] From February 14 or 15 to May 13.

[3] According to our author, the camp of the Christians must have been plentifully supplied during the siege of Archis, while so far from that being the case, they were exposed to the severest privations. He also omits the trial by hot iron to which the discoverer of the holy lance submitted on April 25, which ended in his death.

[4] Anselm, count de Ribemont (Aisne), of the family of the ancient counts of Valenciennes, and an historian of the first crusade. Unfortunately we have only one of his narratives, that which gives an account of the capture of Antioch, and the events which immediately succeeded. It is printed in d'Acheri's Spicilegium. In the sequel we shall find Agnes, the sister of this excellent nobleman, marrying Walter Giffard, earl of Buckingham, and scandalizing all Normandy by her adulterous connection with Duke Robert Curthose.

166 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XIV.

The king of Tripoli had frequent communications with the Christian chiefs by means of his envoys, and used every argument to persuade them to accept his presents and make peace with him, breaking up their camp and receiving the money agreed on. The crusaders proposed to him to embrace Christianity, and would not be diverted from their purpose by any other consideration. The prince heard of this change Of religion with extreme repugnance, for he shrunk from relinquishing the rites of his fathers and the customs of his ancestors. Meanwhile, time wearing on, the new corn began to be white for harvest, for the climate of that country is much warmer than it is on this side the mountains, and the summer being earlier, the corn sooner ripens. New beans are gathered in the middle of March, wheat is cut by the ides [the 13th] of April, and the vintage is finished before autumn.

In consequence, Duke Godfrey, and the counts of Normandy, Flanders, and Tholouse, with Tancred, held consultations respecting their departure, because the favourable season was pressing on, if not almost past. Raising therefore the siege of the castle which they had long invested, they marched to Tripoli, [1] and concluded a treaty of peace with the inhabitants. The king delivered to them fifteen thousand bezants and fifteen horses of great value, with three hundred pilgrims he had long retained in captivity. Peace being made, [2] and the markets opened, the strength of the Christians was universally re-established. The king also promised them that if they were successful in the battle which the emir of Babylon was then preparing to fight with them, he would become Christian, and, for the rest, would hold his territories under fealty to the chiefs.

The crusaders quitted Tripoli in the middle of May, [3] and marching all day through a mountainous country by narrow passages and difficult roads, arrived late in the


[1] fhey arrived there on Friday, May 13.

[2] The emir of Tripoli was defeated in a bloody battle before he consented to these conditions.

[3] Peter Tudebode aad Guibert de Nogent mention Friday, May 13, as the day of their arrival, and Monday the 16th as that of their departure. These dates are preferable to those supplied by Robert de St. Remi and others.

MAY, 1099.] ORDER OF THE MARCH. 167

evening at the castle of Betheren. [1] Thence they came to Zebari, [2] a town lying on the sea-coast. Here they suffered excessive thirst for want of water, fainting for which they hastened forward to the river Braim, [3] where men and beasts refreshed themselves with abundant draughts. On Ascension-day [4] they had to thread a narrow defile, where they were exposed to the attacks of the Gentiles during the entire march, but they were not deterred from the attempt. The standard-bearers and men-at-arms rode in the van, looking out carefully against ambuscades; next came those who had the care of the baggage and the drivers of the beasts of burden. The rear was brought up by a body of knights ready to give succour whenever it was needed. Thus the loaded attendants proceeded daily, and crowds of unarmed people were mingled with them. The trumpets sounded from time to time, and they marched slowly that the weak might not be left behind. They took it by turns to mount guard by night, and when there was especial cause of alarm, the watch was more on the alert: nothing was done indiscreetly or in disorder. Breaches of discipline were punished; the inexperienced were taught; the insubordinate were reproved; the intemperate were restrained; and all were encouraged to make charitable offerings. The practice of frugality and propriety was universal; and, in a word, the camp was a school of moral discipline. Such were the habits and dispositions of the pilgrims to Jerusalem; and as long as they observed these strict rules, and displayed their charitable feelings, God was evidently with them, and made them champions in his wars. I have given this account to compare it with the way of life, so worthy of reproach, of those disorderly persons who, full of vain-glory, followed in the track of this glorious expedition. In fact there is nothing like discipline in assemblies of men.

Having at length traversed the mountains in which they expected to be attacked, without meeting an enemy, they passed four cities on the sea-coast, Barut, [5] Sarepta,


[1] Botrys, now Batroun.

[2] Byblos, now Gebail.

[3] The Lycus, the Turkish name of which is Nahr-el-Kelb.

[4] Thursday, May 19.

[5] Berith, now Beyrout.

168 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XIV.

commonly called Sagitta, [1] Tyre, which is also called Sor, and Acharon called Acre, [2] and afterwards a fortified place called Caiphas. [3] From thence they advanced towards Caesarea, [4] to find quarters, and rested there on Whitsunday the fourth of the ides of June. [5] Afterwards they marched to Diospolis, called also Ramatha, Arimathea, and Ramula, [6] where they halted, in consequence of their fatigue; and the inhabitants, terrified by the approach of the pilgrims, deserted the town. The church formerly boasted a bishop in that place, but now the see was widowed and sunk in distress, since it was ingloriously subjected to the yoke of the Saracens. The Christians re-established a bishop in the city, and gave him the tenth of their substance that he might live by their offerings, and restore the long desolate church. It was there that the illustrious champion St. George had nobly contended for the faith, and gloriously ended his course by martyrdom. A church dedicated to his honour stands in a little suburb, where the precious remains of the confessor rest. The Christians wished to have this saint always their patron and companion, whom they had seen acting as their leader and guide in the battle of Antioch, and their mighty protector against the infidel nation. They therefore greatly honoured his church, and appointed a bishop at Ramula, as we have already related.

Inspired with religious ardour, the pilgrims set forward at day-break, and, on the signal being given, hastened onward on the road to Jerusalem, and accomplished on the


[1] Our author confounds Sarepta (now Sarphen) with Sidon (now Seide) which the crusaders actually passed. Concerning the venomous serpents they encountered in the neighbourhood of this city, and the singular remedy suggested to them by the inhabitants of the country, see Albert d'Aix, b. v. p. 40.

[2] St. John d'Acre.

[3] The ancient Caipha stood at the extremity of a promontory to the S.W. of a little town which they call Caipha-la-Neuve.

[4] Caesarea of Palestine.

[5] Instead of the fourth of the ides, it should be of the calends, of June (May 29).

[6] Our author confounds Lydda, the ancient Diospolis, celebrated for the martyrdom of St. George, with Ramla. The crusaders took both these cities successively. It was in the first they established a bishop. He was a Norman, named Robert, a native of the diocese of Rouen.

JUNE, 1099.] FIRST VIEW OF JERUSALEM. 169

same day [1] their long-cherished desire of reaching the, holy city; for Jerusalem is distant twenty-four miles from Ramula. When they arrived at a spot from whence the towers of Jerusalem could be seen, the pilgrims stopped and, weeping with excessive joy, worshipped God, falling on their knees and kissing the holy ground. All proceeded with bare feet, except those who were compelled by necessary precaution to be armed against the enemy. So they went forward bathed in tears, and those who had come to pray, having first to fight, carried arms instead of scrips.

CH. XV. The siege of Jerusalem - Stations of the chief crusaders - Several assaults - The place taken by storm - Sack of the city and massacre of the inhabitants - Devotion of the pilgrims at the holy sepulchre.

ON the eighth of the ides [6th] of June, [2] the Christians invested Jerusalem, not as stepsons approaching a mother-in-law, but as children embracing their parent; for her friends and sons surrounded her to fetter the brood of aliens and bastards, not to deprive her of freedom, but to set her free. Robert, duke of Normandy, laid siege to Jerusalem on the north side near the church of St. Stephen the proto-martyr, where, stoned by the Jews, he slept in the Lord. Near the Normans, the count of Flanders pitched his tents. Duke Godfrey and Tancred besieged the city on the west [3] Count Raymond sat down on the south side [4] on Mount Sion,


[1] This is a mistake. The crusaders passed the night between the 5th and 6th of June at the village of Anathot, which William of Tyre incorrectly calls Emmaus, where they witnessed an eclipse of the moon. This place is now called St. Jeremy. In the course of the day following, they arrived under the walls of Jerusalem.

[2] On Monday the 6th of June; but it is probable that the city was not invested till the following day, Tuesday, according to the account of William of Tyre. Peter Tudebode, does not make them arrive till that day.

[3] Godfrey encamped at first, with the two Roberts, on the terrace facing the north of the ramparts. They were stationed before the gate now called the gate of Damascus, and the little gate of Herod, now walled up. It was not till afterwards that Godfrey shifted his quarters to the east angle of the walls, near the gate of St. Stephen. Tancred occupied the north-west quarter, quite alone, having pitched his camp against a tower, now ruined, which took his name.

[4] Raymond established himself first on the west, on the hills of St. George, over against the western gate and the tower of David, from which his position was separated by the valley of Rephaim and a vast and deep fish pond; but he removed to the south, on that part of Mount Sion which is not enclosed within the walls. All that portion of the city which extends from the gate of the Maugrabins to the gate of St. Stephen was not invested.

170 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XV.

round the church of St. Mary, mother of God, where the Lord Jesus supped with his disciples. Jerusalem therefore was beset and surrounded by her sons, while within she was profaned by a bastard population.

Then Hugh Bunel, son of Robert d'Ige, [1] presented himself to the duke of Normandy in a suit of excellent armour, offering to serve him faithfully as his natural lord, and being received with favour did good service in the siege of Jerusalem both by his valour and advice. He had long before assassinated in Normandy the Countess Mabel [2] who had forcibly deprived him of his father's inheritance, and in consequence of this flagitious deed had fled to Apulia, with his brothers Ralph, Richard, and Goislin, and he then went to Sicily, and afterwards took refuge with the emperor Alexius. But he could nowhere rest long in safety, for William the Bastard, king of England, and all the family of the murdered countess sent emissaries to seek him in every part Of the world, promising honours and rewards to any one who should despatch the fugitive assassin wherever he could be found. The brave Hugh, fearing the strong hands and long arms of the powerful king, left Christendom behind him, and fearing nothing so much as the whole race of the baptized, became an exile for a long course of time among the Mahometans, whose manners and language he adopted for twenty years. [3] Being now well received by the Duke of Normandy, he was a great assistance to his countrymen, being able to detect the skilful manoeuvres and stratagems which they contrived against the faithful.

Cosan, also, a noble and powerful chief of Turkish lineage, freely came over to the Christians, and aided them in various


[1] See vol. ii. p.194. The name of Bunel is still common in Normandy.

[2] If Philip of Montgomery, surnamed the Grammarian, had not died at the siege of Antioch, one of the first persons the assassin would have seen about the duke would have been the son of his victim.

[3] The murder having been committed in December, 1082, only sixteen years and a half had intervened in June 1099, during which Hugh d'Ige had led this proscribed life. But our author often uses round numbers, and is not exact in such computations. Besides years of exile might well be counted double.

JUNE, 1099.] SIEGE OF JERUSALEM. 171

ways in the capture of the city. He had become a true believer in Christ, and his heart was set on the regeneration of holy baptism. Cosan therefore used his utmost efforts to second those of his adopted friends and brothers in securing the dominion of Palestine and the capital of the kingdom of David.

On the third day of the siege certain Christian knights went forth from the camp, namely Raymond Pilet, Raymond de Turenne, [1] and some others, for the purpose of reconnoitring the country or obtaining plunder, and falling in with two hundred Arabs, attacked, defeated, and put them to flight, They slew a great many and took thirty horses. After this exploit, they returned in triumph to the camp.

On Monday [2] the crusaders made a vigorous assault on the city, and it was believed they would have taken it if they had been sufficiently supplied scaling ladders. They made a breach in the outer wall, and raised one ladder against the inner one. The Christian knights mounted it by turns and fought with the Saracens on the battlements hand to hand with swords and lances. In these assaults many fell on both sides, but most on the side of the Gentiles. The trumpets sounding the recall, the Christians at length withdrew from the combat, and returned to their camps. Meanwhile, the provisions they brought with them began to fail, nor could bread be purchased for money, nor was any one able to succeed in foraging. The country round is entirely without water, and is moreover arid and rocky, affording no pasture for the subsistence of beasts of burden or other animals. It is also naked of trees and therefore produces but little fruit; bearing only the olive and the palm, with a few vines. The


[1] Raymond, viscount de Turenne. See before, p. 162.

[2] Monday, June 13th. All the cotemporary accounts concur in this date except the Belli Sacri Historia, which makes it Friday. Notwithstanding this mistake, the narrative will be found worthy of attention. The author, after having related, like all the others, that the only ladder they had was raised against the wall, adds that it was with the greatest difficulty Tancred was prevented from venturing to mount it. Raimbaud Creton took his place, and at the moment he got to the top and laid hold of the battlement to secure his footing, his hand was cut off. They were obliged to carry him back to the camp, and reserve the ladder for a more favourable opportunity. The posterity of this brave man still exists in the family of the counts of Creton-d'Estourmel, who have preserved for eight centuries a portion of the true cross, presented by Godfrey to their valiant ancestor.

172 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XV.

river Jordan is at the distance, it is computed, of nearly thirty stadia from Jerusalem. Connected with it, are six lakes, but they lie far away. There are cisterns within the walls which supply the city. At the foot of Mount Sion is the fountain of Siloah, but its waters could only slake the thirst of a very small number. It was, however, in great request, and a small quantity of it was sold at a high rate. They led the horses six miles to water, at considerable risk.

Meanwhile, news arrived in the camp that merchant ships belonging to Christians had arrived at Japhi, which I think was anciently called Joppa. [1] This intelligence spread great joy throughout the army, and the chiefs took counsel for providing for the safety of those who went to and fro between the camp and the ships for the transport of necessaries. Joppa is about eight miles distant from Ramula; and the people of Ascalon, and the wandering tribes of natives in the mountains or in the fastnesses of the steep defiles, sometimes sallied forth and massacred parties of travellers. Their movements, or rumours of them, harassed the convoys despatched by the merchants. To put an end to this, Raymond Pilet, Achard de Montmel, [2] and William de Sabran, [3] with one hundred men-at-arms of the division of the Count of Tholouse, sallied forth at the dawn of day, and, followed by a body of foot soldiers, began their march towards the sea-coast. They were proceeding to the port, trusting in their own valour, when their force became separated into two bodies, whether purposely or from mistaking the road, we cannot say. However, thirty of the horsemen who took a different direction from the rest fell in with a hundred Arabs, Turks, and Saracens, belonging to the emir's army, and boldly charging them closed with them and engaged in battle.


[1] Now Jaffa.

[2] Montmel in the Herault.

[3] William de Sabran (Gard) was living in 1123. He was nephew of Emenon or Amaujeu de Sabran, the first person known of this family, whose signature to a document is found in 1029. The descendants of William assumed the title of constables by the grace of God of the counts of Tholouse. He is thought to be the person who, at the siege of Antioch, surprised the wife and family of Bagui-Syan in bed, and got from them 3000 bezants of gold. The historians say it was a person of the name of William, one of the followers of the count of Tholouse.

Peter Tudebode adds to these names that of William Carpinel.

JUNE-JULY, 1099.] WATER AND PROVISIONS FAIL. 173

The enemy gave them a warm reception, and trusting in their superior numbers surrounded the small band of Christians. Such is the mode of fighting among the Saracens. They had already succeeded in this, and were talking confidently of the slaughter they looked forward to, when a messenger despatched to Raymond Pilet shouted aloud, as he called to him: "Fly with the utmost speed to the succour of your comrades, for without your aid they will all be cut off. They are surrounded by the enemy, but as yet they are doing their best to defend themselves".

On hearing this, they gave their horses the reins, and spurring onward flew quicker than thought to the spot. Each knight clasping his shield to his breast levelled his spear at a horseman in the enemy's ranks, and each brought his foe to the earth. Appearing thus unexpectedly on the scene, they turned the scale, and drawing their swords, by God's help, changed the fortune of the day. The Pagans tried to rally their forces, and forming them into two troops, prolong the conflict, but were not able. For the Franks charged them again with such impetuosity, that they released their comrades who were beset, and who lost only Achard, a brave knight and some foot soldiers. Having pursued the flying Turks four miles, cutting down many of the fugitives, they saved one hundred and three horses, and took one man alive, who was compelled to give a particular account of all that was planned against the Christians.

Meanwhile, the Christians employed in the siege were suffering the torments of constant thirst. The Pagans lay in ambush for the people who had to drive the horses six miles to water, and occasioned them great losses in the narrow defiles. Cedron and the other torrents were dried up by the excessive drought. Even barley-bread was dear in the camp. The natives, concealing themselves in dens and caverns, interrupted all convoys of provisions.

The chiefs of the army assembled in council to consider what was to be done in the midst of these calamities. They said: "We are in difficulties on all sides; bread is wanting; the water has failed. We ourselves are, in fact, closely blockaded, while we fancy we are besieging this city. We can hardly venture outside our camp, and when we do, return empty. Our long delays have produced the scarcity, and,

174 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XV.

unless we find a remedy, matters will become worse. This place can never be taken by the mere strength of our hands and arms without the aid of engines of war. We have to contend against walls, and bulwarks, and towers; we are opposed by a numerous garrison who make an obstinate defence. What, then, is your opinion? Let us undertake something which will relieve ourselves and distress the besieged. We want timber to construct machines for assaulting the walls and towers of the place. As the country is not woody, let us take the rafters of the houses and beams from the churches, and shape them to our purpose, so that we may attack the city in the most determined manner; otherwise, we waste our time to no purpose".

At length the faithful champions Of the cross discovered some timber at a great distance from the camp, [1] to which they transported it with vast labour. Carpenters were assembled from the whole army, some of whom hewed the rough surface of the trees, others squared it and bored it, while the rest fitted the beams and planks together. Duke Godfrey built oue machine at his own expense; the count of Tholouse caused another to be constructed at his proper cost. On the other hand, the Saracens used every effort to strengthen the fortifications, raising the towers higher by working in the night, and devoting themselves without respite to increase the defences.

One Saturday [2] Duke Godfrey's machine was transported in the dead of the night to the foot of the walls, and erected before sunrise, three days being employed in unremitting exertions to fit the parts together and prepare it for use. The count of Tholouse caused his machine, which might be called a castle of wood, to be placed near the wall on the south of the place, but a deep hollow prevented its being joined to the wall. Such machines cannot be guided on declivities nor carried up steep places, and can only be

[l] According to M. Michaud, this timber was procured from the forest districts of Samaria and Gabaon. Gaston, viscount of Bearn, who was very skilful in constructing engines of war had the superintendence of the works. The duke of Normandy was one of the chiefs employed to escort the convoy. See in the Belli Sacri Historia and the Gesta Tancredi, the very unpoctical circumstances which occasioned Tancred to discover beams already prepared for building the machines.

[2] Saturday, the 9th of July.

JULY 15, 1099.] JERUSALEM TAKEN BY STORM. 175

transported on level ground. Proclamation was therefore made through the camp, that whoever should cast three stones into the hole should for so doing receive a penny. In consequence all the people who were weary of delay lent a hand willingly to the proposed work.

The bishops and priests addressed the multitude in moving discourses, pointing with their fingers, while they spoke of the death of Christ, to the very spot on which he suffered; and while describing with holy eloquence the heavenly Jerusalem, taking for its type the terrestrial one before which they were assembled. In consequence, all the laity flew to arms, and made a general attack on the city during Wednesday and Thursday, which was continued by night as well as by day. Again, having been prepared by fasting and supplications, tears and alms, and strengthened by the communion of the consecrated host, they renewed their attack at the first dawn of the morning of Friday, the ides [15th] July, [1] but without success; for the besieged to whom the defence of the walls and towers was committed mutually co-operated in hurling fire and stones on the assailants. The count of Tholouse, having filled up the hollow, which took three days and nights to accomplish, brought his wooden tower up to the wall, and then permitted his troops to rest till Monday on account of the great toil they had undergone for a whole week.

After the fatigues of the morning the Franks, by their commander's order withdrew awhile from the assault, and the Pagans from the defence. The emir, Guinimond, [2] and his nephew Frigolind, the Persian, held the tower of David, and had assembled there the magistrates and principal persons of the city for a conference. Meanwhile the women of the place collected on the terraced roofs of the houses, as is the custom in Palestine, and sang by turns, answering one another with shrill voices, a song to the following effect:-

"Praise be to Mahomet our god! [3] sound the glad


[1] There had been an assault the evening before, which failed.

[2] Iftikar-Eddaule, the glory of the empire, the caliph's lieutenant in Egypt, to whose dominion Jerusalem had been subjected towards the close of the preceding year, by the exertions of the vizier Afdhal; our author is, therefore, wrong in representing the city as still belonging to the Turks at the time of the siege.

[3] The shrill chant which Ordericus puts into the mouth of the women of Jerusalem gathered on the flat roofs of their houses, would have considerable dramatic effect, were it not disfigured by entire ignorance of the fundamental doctrines and the rites of Mahometanism.

176 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XV.

timbrels and offer him victims, that our terrible enemies may be overcome and perish.

"See how they swell and strut with barbaric pride, attacking without mercy the nations of the east, and eagerly pillaging the rich produce of our land.

"The strangers are driven by want from their barren country to our fruitful soil, where they plunder fertile provinces. They curse our people, and regard them as wild beasts.

"Washed by baptism, they worship a crucified God, treating our rites, our worship and divinities, with contempt; but vengeance and destruction speedily await them.

"Valiant Turks, repel by your courage the assaults of the Franks! Be mindful of the glorious deeds of your forefathers! This very day, your enemies will either flee or perish".

While the Turkish women raised their voices in such songs as these from the flat roofs of their houses, the Christians listened in astonishment, inquiring curiously from their interpreters what these sounds meant. Then Conon, a German count, a brave knight and wise counsellor, who had married the sister of Duke Godfrey, said: "Do you hear, my lord duke, what these women say? Do you understand what they mean? When the men faint with toil and apprehension, the women rouse themselves and heap reproaches on our heads, to the shame and discredit of their warriors, daring to terrify and mock us by their empty cries; but they will suffer for it; let us be roused to manly, nay, to heavenly resolution. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered on the sixth day of the week, let us fly to arms, and making a signal assault on the city, go this very day to the sepulchre of our Lord".

Accordingly, at the third hour, being the time at which the Jews condemned the Lord in Pilate's presence, the Christians, in memory of his passion, took fresh courage, and inspired with new daring commenced the assault, as if they had suffered nothing before. Duke Godfrey and his

JULY 15, 1099.] THE FIRST TO ESCALADE. 177

brother Eustace fought bravely at the head of the troops, and the rest followed their lead. Then Letold and Rambold Croton, [1] two brave soldiers, mounted the walls, and, uttering loud cries, continued to struggle without giving way. They were followed by several others, and those who had hitherto defended the fortifications fled on all sides, and no longer thought of the defence of the city. Crowds of Christians then rushed in, and, pursuing the fugitives, gave no quarter. [2]

The Armenian, Greek, and Syrian inhabitants of Jerusalem, who had been under the Turkish yoke, and had, under great difficulties, maintained Christian worship to the


[1] Historians do not agree in the name nor even the country of the crusaders who were the first to escalade the walls of Jerusalem. Several of them endeavour to claim the distinction for their countrymen, or at least a share of it. According to the chronicle of St. Brienne, the first was a Breton followed by two Normans. Ralph de Caen gives the honour to a Norman lord, Bernard de St. Valleri, a kinsman of Duke Robert, who has been twice mentioned in the course of the narrative.

It appears, however, plain that the first who actually gained the summit of the walls of the holy city were two brothers, natives of Tournay, and belonging to Godfrey's division of the army. One was called Letalde, Letold, or Ludolfe, and the other Engelbert. As for Rambold Creton, we have already seen that his escalade took place on the assault of the 13th of June. The claims of Bernard de St. Valleri to the honours of the 15th of July appear better founded.

The author of the Belli Sancti Historia, who was an eye-witness and quite disinterested in the question of national vanity, tells us what really passed. A piece of timber having been let down from the wooden tower to the wall, so as to establish a connection between them, Bernard de St. Valleri immediately began to make his way to the battlements, astride on this beam, but while he was accomplishing this perilous and difficult exploit, the two Belgians ran to the scaling-ladders, mounted them with great rapidity, and were the first to leap from the wall into the interior of the place. The Norman was, therefore the third who reached the summit, and, perhaps annoyed at having been thus distanced, penetrated into the city, with those who followed him, by another street. There he signalized himself as the author tells us, by a sword-cut, worthy to be compared with those of Godfrey and Robert of Normandy under the walls of Antioch, already mentioned.

[2] Ordericus has not told us by what quarter the main body of the crusaders penetrated into the Holy City. According to the author of the Belli Sacri Historia, it was by the gate of the valley of Jehosaphat, after having unhung the wicket. This eye-witness paints with fearful vividness the multitude rushing in to pillage the place, while the knights were engaged in massacring all the inhabitants they met, without distinction of age or sex, and the chiefs were encouraging and directing this horrible butchery.

178 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XV.

best of their power, as soon as they saw the crusaders storming the city, fled in a body to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, and began devoutly chanting the Kyrie eleison, and other prayers suited to the exigency of the occasion, while they waited the issue of events. Meanwhile Tancred and his followers, having lost their way, by God's providence lighted on the church, and discovering by their prayers and religious ceremonies that the people were worshippers of Christ, he said to his followers: "These men are Christians, none of you presume to do them any injury: we are not come here to afflict the worshippers of Christ, but to deliver them from their cruel persecutors. They are our brothers and friends, whose worth has been proved by severe trials, like gold in the furnace". Then the illustrious champion left there Bigod d'Ige, the commander of his troops, with two hundred soldiers to guard the church, and prevent the pagans from again taking possession of it. Tancred himself, with the rest of his followers, marched to the assault of other parts of the fortifications, and to assist their comrades who were scouring the city and putting the Saracens [1] to the sword. Meanwhile the Christian natives, who remained with Bigod d'Ige in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, had private conferences with him, and


[1] Allophilos. Our author has employed this word before to designate the Mahomedan conquerors of the Holy Land. A capital letter is used for the initial both in the text of Duchesne, and of the Historical Society of France, seeming to indicate that the word represents a nation, tribe, or sect, and it has been suggested that it may be translated worshippers (or more closely) votaries of Allah. But the text of Duchesne, though in general less correct than that of the recent French edition, which follows the MS. of St. Evroult, spells it Allophylos, and it seems most probable that Ordericus used the word in the sense of allophulos (allos and phulu) of another race, not a Jew, in which sense it is employed in Acts x. 28. In the Septuagint the word is used in Isa. lxi. 5, and ib. 6, for "the stranger", and "sons of the stranger". See also 2 Maccab. x. 2, 5, and Joseph, Antiq. i. 21, and iv. 8; Diod. Sic. i. 35; Thucyd. i. 102. Allophyli is frequently employed by Sulpitius Severus (A.D. 427) to designate the Philistines or Syrians: "Israelitae subjecti Allophylis", "Uxorem habuit ex Allophylis"; and several other passages. As the word was thus used, before the time of Mahomet, to represent the inhabitants of the very district of which Ordericus speaks, Duchesne's reading of Allophyli, not Allophili, is probably correct, but without the initial capital. The other version, notwithstanding the turn this gives it, besides the sound, would make the word a strange compound.

JULY 15, 1099.] THE HOLY PLACES PROTECTED. 179

desiring to secure his protection, conducted him and his companions, with great courtesy, to the holy places, namely, the sepulchre of the Lord, and other sacred objects, showing them some things which they and their predecessors had long hidden in concealed recesses, for fear of the pagans. Amongst other holy relics, Bigod d'Ige there found, in a marble urn, deposited in a place hollowed under the altar, a little packet of the hair of St. Mary, mother of God, which he afterwards carried with him to France, and reverently distributed among the sanctuaries of the cathedrals and abbey-churches. For the mother, always a virgin, being in the deepest distress during the passion of Christ, her son and Lord, according to the custom of the nation and of those times, rent her clothes and tore her hair, and devoutly uttered lamentable cries for the death of her illustrious friend. The devout women of the neighbourhood who were present, and had long attached themselves to the service of the divine Master, affectionately supported the weeping mother of the King of heaven, and, lavished upon her all the endearing attentions which her circumstances required. They then piously gathered up and carefully preserved the hair which had been plucked, and John the Divine, [1] and other followers of Christ, afterwards deposited it in a place of security, foreseeing how many would profit by it. I have inserted this account in my work, because the before-named Bigod d'Ige gave two of these sacred hairs to a monk of Chartres, who was his cousin, which he transferred to the church of Maule, where many sick persons were healed by their virtue.

The emir, who commanded the tower of David, with the chief persons of the city, and many others assembled. there, presented themselves in the greatest terror to Count Raymond, and opened the gate to him without delay. [2] The


[1] On this title given to St. John, see vol. i., p. 238. In the printed text of Duchesne, the name of this apostle is always spelt Joannes, but the MS. of St. Evroult, and usage of the times rendered it Johannes.

[2] This small number of Mussulmans were the only persons who escaped the carnage, thanks to the vigilant protection of the count of Tholouse, who was much reproached for this act of humanity. Tancred was less fortunate, as we shall find, in his endeavour to save those who took refuge in the mosque built on the site of Solomon's Temple. The brave knight had, according to the report of his panegyrist, Ralph de Caen, to submit to another humiliation in having to refund 700 marks of silver, to compensate for the rapacity with which he had pillaged this mosque.

180 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XV.

entrance at this gate was only to be obtained before for money, it being here that the pilgrims paid the tax for admission into the city, and without it they were mercilessly driven from the gate.

The dispersed citizens again collected, and made a stand in the temple of Solomon, where they resisted stoutly the attacks of the Christians, but being at last driven to despair, they laid down their arms and submitted to their fate. No one knows the number of the slain, but the floor of the temple was knee-deep in blood, and great heaps of corpses were piled up in all quarters of the city, as the victors spared neither age, sex, rank, nor condition of any kind. They exercised this bitter vengeance upon the heathen and thus massacred them, because they had profaned the temple of the Lord and the church of the Holy Sepulchre, and had used the temple of Solomon and the other churches for their own accursed rites, and foully polluted them. Some had taken refuge on the roof of Solomon's temple and begged that Tancred's standard might be planted there, so that under its protection they might hope for a better fortune. But it profited them little or nothing, for not even these were spared by the Christians, except that they suffered some few to live that they might employ them in burying the dead; but these were afterwards buIchered or sold as slaves. Tancred was much grieved at this, but he did not quarrel with his companions about it. [1] As for the count of Tholouse, he conveyed in safety to Ascalon the emir who had surrendered to him, and given up the tower of David with the rest of his party; for he had made them a promise to that effect, and he kept his engagement. The victors did not pillage and set on fire this city like other places taken by storm, but finding the houses well supplied with all conveniences, they reserved them for their own use, and many liberally shared with the poor the stores they found. Each one quietly appropriated the first house he came to,


[1] If we mav believe Peter Tudebode, the affair was far less honourable to Tancred's character, and he himself caused it to be proclaimed by the public crier, on Saturday morning, that whoever wanted to kill Mussulmans had nothing else to do but to go to the mosque of Solomon's Temple.

JULY, 1099.] GODFREY OF BOUILLON ELECTED KING. 181

whether it was large or small, deserted by the Pagans, and taking free possession of it with all the wealth it contained, preserves it as his heritage to the present day.

The crusaders, having thus at length secured their triumph, hastened in crowds to cover with kisses the tomb of their blessed Saviour, having first cleansed their hands from the stain of blood; and many of them approaching it with bare feet and tears of joy, offered their thanksgivings and sacrifices of peace. The faithful indulged in transports of joy, now that they had gained the object of their long cherished hopes, which they had sought through so many toils and dangers. They now witnessed with delight the end of their labours, and being secure for the present formed exalted conceptions of their future recompense. However their immediate attention was called to the necessity of clearing the city of the bodies of the slain, for the spectacle was horrid and the stench insupportable. The corpses were therefore piled in heaps by the captive Gentiles and the poorer pilgrims who were paid for the service, and being burnt, the city was thus freed from impurities.

CH. XVI. Godfrey of Bouillon elected king of Jerusalem - A bishop appointed - The Mussulmans collect an army and threaten the city - The crusaders march out to attack them.

THE faithful soldiers of Christ settled themselves securely in the city of Jerusalem, rendering due thanks to God by whose free goodness they had triumphed over the heathen. They restored the churches to their former honours, and fitted them all for the work of prayer. A feast was instituted on Friday the 10th of July, to commemorate the taking of the city. They also held a council for the appointment of a king, and on the eighth day [1] after the conquest of Jerusalem, elected Duke Godfrey. He was of royal blood, and his ancestors were distinguished for their Christian profession. Eustace, count of Boulogne, who was with William at the battle of Senlac in England, married Ita, daughter of Godfrey, duke of Lorraine, by whom he had Baldwin, Godfrey, and Eustace, who were by God's grace


[1] According to some historians the election of Godfrey took place on the tenth day, Sunday the 24th of July.

182 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH. XVI.

much advanced in the world in wealth, and power, and were especially proved, strengthened, and elevated in the expedition to Jerusalem. Godfrey, being the eldest, was raised to the throne of King David, because he had triumphed in the war conducted with great ability after the French manner, being both in heart and arm a most valiant warrior, as well as generous and mild, and distinguished for his clemency.

At the same time Arnulf de Zocris, [1] a very learned man, was elected to fill the functions of bishop. Meanwhile, Tancred and Count Eustace, with their vassals and retainers, marched to Neapolis [2] on the invitation of the inhabitants, who gave up the place to them and made a treaty of peace. They remained there some days, enjoying their repose, until the king of Jerusalem sent messengers to them with great


[1] It is singular that our author has told us so little of this remarkable person. His name was not Arnulfus de Zocris, but Arnulfus de Rohes, Castello Flandriae, probably Rocuix, near Valenciennes. All the historians agree as to his learning and ability. He made his profession at Caen with great credit, Ralph de Caen, who was one of his scholars, speaks of him with veneration and enthusiasm. The princess Cecilia, who was then a nun, and afterwards abbess, of the monastery of the Holy Trinity at Caen, recommended him as chaplain to her brother, when he embarked on his pilgrimage for the Holy Land. It appears, even, that Duke Robert had engaged to take the first favourable opportunity of making him a bishop. Odo, bishop of Bayeux, on his death at Palermo, left him the greatest part of his splendid effects. If Ralph de Caen is to be believed, Bishop Adhemar also bequeathed to him his authority, so as to justify the singular title of vice-bishop which the historian gives him from the time of the death of the bishop of Puy.

But as Arnulf had been the principal opponent of the authenticity of the holy spear at Antioch, most of the historians of the crusades, and especially the fellow countrymen of Peter Barthelemi, have not spared him. They affirm that he was the natural son of a priest, and ought in that quality to have been attached as a serf to the service of the church to which his birth had occasioned scandal; that he was not even a sub-deacon, and that his irregularities during the crusade had made him the subject of the taunts and songs of the people. It is however difficult to believe that a prince, even so little scrupulous as the duke of Normandy, would have received as chaplain from his pious sister a man who was not even qualified by one of the lowest degrees of holy orders. However this may be, Arnulf, elected patriarch on St. Peter's day (August 1), was deposed before the end of the year, which seems a strong confirmation of the charges made against him. His predecessor Symon II. died in the island of Cyprus during the siege of Jerusalem by the crusaders.

[2] Naplouse.

AUG. 1099.] THE CRUSADERS AGAIN IN ARMS. 183

haste, saying: "We have heard for certain that the emir of Babylon [1] is at Ascalon, and making, great preparations for hostilities against us. Hasten therefore your return, that we may encounter him boldly before he shuts us up in the city. When once blockaded, both ingress and egress will be difficult; let us meet him therefore on a fair field, and by God's help our success will be proportionably easy and triumphant. We are more active in our movements and the use of arms than the Turks, and we should wish to meet them while they think they have nothing to apprehend". On hearing this, Tancred and Eustace marched to Ramula on the sea coast, and finding a number of Arabs, the advanced guard of the emir's army, they attacked with spirit and speedily dispersed them. Putting some to the sword they spared others to obtain from them exact accounts of the emir and his army. They therefore learnt all particulars as to who they were, their numbers, what were their intentions, and in what quarter they would make an attack.

Tancred sent to the king the account he had carefully gathered from the reports of the prisoners. "Know for certain", he said, "that they are really preparing for war against us at Ascalon, and that nearly all the world is assembling and conspiring against us, thinking to defeat and crush us. Collecting then your whole forces, come and let us lay hold of this synagogue of Satan. For, as you say, if we attack them fearlessly and unawares, we shall easily overcome them by God's help, as they are encumbered with arms and baggage, and are bringing with them engines of war to assault the city". In consequence, the king caused his heralds to proclaim that all should prepare themselves for battle, and march immediately under the royal standard. The king therefore, with the Patriarchs before-named, the count of Flanders and the bishop of Martorano, [2] marched out of Jerusalem on the third day. [3] The count of St.


[1] The vizir Afdhal, who had reduced Jerusalem under his master's dominion some months before, as lately remarked.

[2] Arnulf, bishop of Martorano, a Suffragan of Cosenza, in the Hither Calabria. Ralph de Caen does not give us a high notion of the ability of this prelate.

[3] Tuesday the 9th of August.

184 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XVI.

Giles and the Normans delayed their departure until they heard more particulars respecting the march of the emir. [1] When the king bad observed the enemy's preparations, he sent the bishop of Martorano to Jerusalem to inform the princes of the state of affairs; and after conferring with the counts of Tholouse and Normandy, he was hastening to carry back their message to the king and the patriarch, when he fell into the hands of the Pagans, and whether he was slain or carried away captive it is not known, but he was never seen afterwards. [2]

The counts of Tholouse and Normandy began their march for the scene of war with large bodies of troops, leaving Jerusalem on the fourth day of the week. [3] The clergy offered ceaseless prayers and masses. Peter the hermit and a small number of unarmed people who remained behind, together with the defenceless women, made processions from church to church, and spent their time in prayers and alms, imploring God in his mercy to be propitious to his people, and signally overthrow the enemy with his mighty arm. The chiefs with their respective followers were now assembled on the banks of the river which runs near Ascalon. They found large herds of cattle feeding there of which they secured a great number. The Franks were pursued by three hundred Arabs, but they turned upon them and drove them to the camp with the loss of two prisoners. After this excursion the Christians retired to their camp, where they rested during the night, or rather almost all were occupied in keeping watch and saying their prayers. Late in the evening, an order was issued by the patriarch forbidding any pillage by the troops until the battle which was to be fought on the morrow should be ended.


[1] It was not so much their uncertainty respecting the march of the emir which detained the count of Tholouse and the duke of Normandy at Jerusalem to the last moment, as their indifference for Godfrey's interest, which alone they affected to consider as involved in this contest. His elevation to a throne, however unstable and far from splendid, immediately occasioned much jealousy among his companions in arms.

[2] This prelate's being carried off by the Mussulmans was generally considered a punishment from heaven for the part he had taken in the election of the bishop of Jerusalem, his namesake.

[3] On Wednesday, August 10.

AUG. 14, 1099.] BATTLE OF ASCALON. 185

CH. XVII. The battle of Ascalon - Victory of the crusaders over the vastly superior forces of the infidels - Dispute between the king of Jerusalem and Godfrey count of Tholouse about the possession of the town.

AT sunrise on the day before the ides [the 12th] of August, [1] the holy army of Christ took up its position in a level and pleasant valley near the sea, being formed into six divisions. Of these the king, the counts of Normandy, Tholouse and Flanders, with Gaston, Eustace, and Tancred, each put himself at the head of his own knights and cavalry, and gave precise orders to his bowmen and foot soldiers. They were detached in advance with instructions when they should shout their war-cries and make attacks, when they should stand firm, when they should press vigorously the close ranks of the enemy; and constantly to watch the advance of their standards in the rear, fearing nothing, and never recoiling although severely handled by their adversaries. All this indeed the Christian soldiers had learnt in many well-fought fields.

On the other side, the Gentiles drew out their troops innumerable as the stars, ranging their countless legions in squadrons from flank to flank of the Christian army. The Ethiopians were placed in the van, with orders not to move. They had one knee planted on the ground, and covering the upper part of their bodies with their shields were armed with arrows and swords. They were forbidden to make the least move in retreat, or to advance more than a single pace from the ground they occupied. These trained bands held their position, according to their orders. To provide against the excessive thirst to which they were exposed by the heat, the clouds of dust, and the fatigue and length of the battle, they had gourds full of water suspended from tbeir necks that they might be able to hold their ground, or pursue the fugitives without respite. As to their flying themselves, such a thing was never thought of; animated as they were by their


[1] Friday, August 12, instead of which read Sunday, August 14. Our author having spoken of only six divisions of the army, names seven commanders. It would appear that the fifth corps was placed under the orders of Eustace, count of Boulogne, and the sixth under those of Tancred and Gaston jointly, as was the case at the battle of Antioch.

186 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH. XVII.

vast nmnbers, by the fierce courage of barbarous nations, and by the order of their commander [1] who had declared that fugitives should lose their heads.

Both armies being thus drawn up in battle array and arived on the field, the Christians halted for a short time, and raising their eyes upwards knelt on the ground and prayed devoutly; for they looked for help from heaven, from whence they had often been sensible of receiving it in their necessities. After offering a short prayer, and reverently making the sign of the blessed cross on their foreheads, they mounted their horses in great confidence, and, in the name of the Lord Jesus, undauntedly charged the enemy; for the Gentiles had now halted, and waited the attack in an immovable attitude. The count of Tholouse rode at the head of his cavalry on the right wing of the army towards the sea. The king's division hastened forward on the left. The duke of Normandy, the count of Flanders, with Tancred and others, were posted in the centre; but there were ten Mahometans in the ranks for one of our people. At the beginning of the battle, Robert duke of Normandy, perceiving at a distance the emir's standard, which exilibited an apple of gold on the point of a spear, the staff shining with silver plates, by which the duke learnt the emir's station in the line, he singled him out in the midst of the squadrons and rushing furiously at him gave him a mortal wound. [2] This greatly checked the enemy's daring. The count of Flanders now charged them, and the fearless Tancred dashed into the middle of their camp. The pagan cavalry presently turned round and fled. The Ethiopians were struck with panic but did not move. The king however, and some of the


[1] The vizir Afdhal.

[2] This is a correct account with the exception of the word mortal. "The standard", observes M. Prevost, "like that of Richard-Coeur-de-Lion in the subsequent crusade, might he a long staff fixed in a car moving on four wheels, and surmounted by a flag, or other ensign, which placed in the centre of the army served for a rallying point". We have had, however, several instances of the banners or pennons of the knights being borne in the hand, which we think was also the more usual custom with respect to the standards of the commanders, and was probably the case with the vizir's at the battle of Ascalon, as we find it was so portable as to have been afterwards placed as a trophy in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, if not in that of the Holy Trinity at Caen.

AUG. 14, 1099.] BATTLE OF ASCALON. 187

Franks, wheeled towards them and halting a moment cut them down as corn is reaped in harvest, severing their heads from their bodies with strokes of their swords. The field flowed with blood and was covered with the corpses of the pagans. The Christians pursued the fugitives, who, terrified by the Divine influence, had no opportunity of rallying. Their sight was so dimmed that, as it was afterwards related by some who escaped, although their eyes were open, they could scarcely see the Christians, and were wholly incapable of resisting them. Even numbers were unable to make a stand against a few, but tried every means of getting out of their way. Our victorious troops punished the Pagans without exception, sparing no one. It was a fatal day to them, for they found no means of escaping; for trees, rocks, and the deepest recesses of caves gave them up to tbe swords of the conquerors.

Count Raymond, whose position lay towards the coast, slew immense numbers, and pursued them vigorously towards the city which stood at a short distance. They fell on the way by fatigue, or were cut down with mortal wounds, or threw themselves into the sea, and thus rushed from one kind of death to another. The emir's fleet covered the sea waiting the issue of the battle. Seeing that a different fortune from what they expected awaited their friends, the Pagans embarked in their ships, and setting sail steered for their own country. It is reported that the emir, half fainting, groaned aloud, and thus vented his grief: "Creator of all things! how is this? How is it that so terrible a fate has fallen to our lot? Alas! what unutterable disgrace, what endless shame has involved our race? A nation of mendicants, a nation small in number, has prevailed against us. How is this? I assembled and led here two hundred thousand cavalry, and infantry without number, enough, I thought, to conquer the world. Now, to speak the truth, they have been shamefully defeated by less than a thousand cavalry, and thirty thousand infantry. Either their God is omnipotent, and fights on their side, or ours is incensed with us, and chastises and punishes us in the fierceness of his wrath. However this may be, one thing is certain; I will never again take arms against the Christians, but will return to my own countrv where my disgrace will only end with my life". These words

188 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XVII.

were mingled with sighs and groans from the depth of his heart.

The inhabitants of Ascalon, perceiving the fugitive Saracens making for the town, and entering it in crowds, while Count Raymond with his provincials was pursuing and cutting them down without respite, shut their gates to exclude both their enemies and their allies. For they feared that their invincible foes would enter the town along with their friends, and massacring the citizens completely subjugate it. Nevertheless, the undaunted Count of Tholouse halted his troops under the walls, and butchered such of the Saracens as lingered about their asylum, like a flock of sheep. The inhabitants therefore, seeing from their battlements the determined spirit of the Christians, and apprehensive that the indiscriminate slaughter they now witnessed or had heard of as the lot of their neighbours, might overtake themselves, begged the count to send them his ensign, and promised faithfully to surrender the place to him. They were more disposed to this because the count was the the nearest of the chiefs, and the danger from him was most threatening, and also because he had saved the emir Guinimund and the rest who had trusted to his word. The count sent his standard to the citizens who asked for it, and having dispersed and slain all the enemy who were under the walls, joined his comrades who were resting after the carnage, and having assembled them together, thus addressed them: "Thanks be to God, the victory is on our side, and the citizens of Ascalon are almost reduced to open their gates to us. They have already received my standard, and if you grant permission will willingly accept me for their master, and obey my commands, for the sake of saving themselves". The king replied: "Far be it from me to yield the dominion of this place to any one: I will compel it to surrender and submit to my authority. Ascalon is very near Jerusalem, and it is expedient that both should be under the rule of the same prince". Robert of Normandy and the count of Flanders, and the other chiefs remonstrated with the king, saying: "We all know well-enough that the count of St. Giles left his rich lands and well fortified towns for the service of God. During this holy enterprise, he has performed many brilliant achievements, and has excelled us all by the resolution he has shown

AUG. 1099.] QUARREL BETWEEN GODFREY AND RAYMOND. 189

in great trials and sufferings. If therefore he is determined to persevere in the duties of the pilgrimage he has undertaken and defend the holy city which he has shown so much zeal in recovering to the faith of God, you ought willingly to relinquish to him this place, which is not yet in your possession, and which he claims. When we are returned to our own states, you will doubtless have need enough of his counsels and active support. Ascalon will be a noble and useful fief of the crown of Jerusalem, and this great lord will pay you homage and perform military service for it".

The king refusing to follow the advice of the chiefs, the count departed in a rage, and sent word to the inhabitants of Ascalon to make an obstinate defence. The king wanted to besiege it, but all the chiefs abandoning him through fatigue and anger, he could do nothing by himself, and was compelled to draw off much chagrined, leaving the place uninjured. Neither Godfrey, nor the other kings who reigned after him during the course of forty years, [1] to their shame be it spoken, have ever been able to the present day to reduce this capital of the Philistines; on the contrary, it has been the cause of their losing more than a hundred thousand men, besides suffering other disasters. Such was the consequence of an insatiable ambition. If the king had possessed a true spirit of charity, and following the law of God, had loved his neighbour as himself, he might have obtained possession of the hostile city that very day, and thereby secured a free passage for the Christians even to Babylon. I acknowledge the great merits of King Godfrey, but in this, as St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "I praise him not". [2]

It is reported that the emir had in the battle two hundred thousand cavalry, and countless bodies of infantry, while the Christians had scarcely one thousand cavalry and thirty thousand infantry. After having, by God's help, defeated the enemy, they proceeded to plunder the tents of the Ishmaelites. They found there, to speak shortly,


[1] This calculation would seem to indicate, if it were not for the little confidence we can place in our author's round numbers, that the close of this ninth book was not written before the year 1139.

[2] 1 Cor. xi. 22.

190 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XVIII.

everything that can be imagined as valuable; silver and gold, corn, meal, and oil, innumerable herds of cattle, rich ornaments, piles of arms, and if it be possible things more precious. Having pillaged the camp of this booty, they returned to the holy city of Jerusalem, and offered thanksgivings to God in all the churches for their success.

Robert, duke of Normandy, bought the emir's standard, for twenty silver marks, from those who took it when he was wounded, and placed it in the church of the Holy Sepulchre in memory of this victory. [1] Some one else purchased the emir's sword for sixty bezants. All Christendom was filled with unspeakable joy on hearing the issue of the war.

Thus the crusaders delivered Jerusalem from the power of the impious Turks in the year of our Lord 1099, having often triumphed over them, under Christ their leader. The great battle of which we have last spoken was fought on the second of the ides [the 12th] of August, and in consequence thanksgivings were offered to God throughout the Christian world.

CH. XVIII. Some account of Baldric, archbishop of Dol, from whose account of the crusade the previous narrative is taken - Conclusion of the present book.

THUS far I have followed the steps of the Venerable Baldric, [2] in giving a true account of the noble army of Christ, which by God's help, fought the swarms of the Gentiles with such signal success in the countries of the East. In many places I have quoted the very words used by that writer, not daring to alter his language, as I did not think I could improve it. Some things I have curtailed, that I might not weary the reader with the length of my narrative, and others of which he was silent I have added for the benefit of posterity, from information I have carefully gathered from persons who


[1] If Wace may be trusted (t. ii. p. 322), this standard was deposited by Robert in the church of the Holy Trinity at Caen; but it is probable that with his usual want of precision he has confounded the standard of the battle of Ascalon, with some other ensign taken by the duke in a war which furnished so many spoils of this description as the first crusade did.

[2] See the note respecting Bishop Baldric at the beginning of the present book, p. 59.

BALDRIC, ARCHBISHOP OF DOL. 191

shared the toils and perils of the expedition. I ought to respect and venerate the old prelate, with whom I had an intimate acquaintance. He was a citizen of Orleans, and had been a monk, and afterwards abbot of Bourgeuil, and was well imbued with learning, as well as much respected for his virtue and piety. His religion and wisdom were the means of his election to the diginity of archbishop of Dol. [1] But when a bishop he still observed the monastic discipline, and as often as he had opportunity resided among the monks. Having the rude Bretons for his flock, whose insubordination he could not bear, he frequently escaped from their lawless insolence, and took refuge in Normandy, [2] where the church of Dol had possessed domains on the river Risle [3] from the time of St. Samson, who lived in the reign of Childebert, king of the Franks, which it still enjoyed in undisturbed tranquillity. There, not only by his writings, but by his discourses, he invited his hearers to the service of God, and paid visits to the abbeys of Fecamp, Fontenelles, Jumieges, and other monasteries in that neighbourhood, comforting the monks in the fear of the Lord, by his holy conversation. He died at length in a good old age, and was buried at Preaux, in the church of St. Peter the apostle before the crucifix.

I propose to rest here, being fatigued with writing and having to make researches concerning events which occurred at a great distance in the far countries of the East. I shall therefore bring the sixth [4] book of my ecclesiastical history to a conclusion.


[1] Our author calls Baldric archbishop of Dol, as that prelate claimed metropolitan rights for his see, in succession from St. Simon who lived at the commencement of the sixth century.

[2] The necessity under which Baldric found himself of seeking a refuge in the midst of the turbulent Normans of the twelfth century, from tbe still ruder Bretons, does not give us a very high idea of the civilization of the latter.

[3] Conteville, le Marais Vernier, and St. Samson-sur-Risle, near Pontaudemer. This monastery was given to the holy bishop whose name it took by Childebert I. about the year 550, and was shortly afterwards rendered illustrious by the residence of St. Germer in it. See the lives of these two saints in the Acta SS. ordinis Benedicti, saec. 1 and 2. It was still standing in 337, when it was not forgotten in the liberality of Ansegise, abbot of Fontenelles.

[4] This was in fact the sixth book in the author's original plan of his work, the three first books in the present arrangement having been subsequently written.

192 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XVIII.

In the seventh book, [1] if I live and am well, my Saviour, in whom I put my entire trust, being my helper, I shall give a true account of the various events, both prosperous and adverse, which happened during a period of thirty vears; endeavouring, according to the best of my ability, to hand them down to posterity in their true colours. I believe that in future times there will be men, like myself, who will eagerly search the pages of historians for the acts of this generation, that they may be able to disclose occurrences which have taken place in past ages for the instruction or amusement of their cotemporaries.


[1] The tenth, according to the arrangement which prefixed three chapters, as just remarked.

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