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the First Crusade

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Rachel Dearth
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« Reply #165 on: March 02, 2009, 05:36:56 am »

First Crusade

In 1096, Bohemond, along with his uncle Roger I of Sicily the great count of Sicily, was attacking Amalfi, which had revolted against Duke Roger, when bands of crusaders began to pass, on their way through Italy to Constantinople. The zeal of the crusader came upon Bohemond: it is possible however, that he saw in the First Crusade nothing more than a chance to carve for himself an eastern principality. Geoffrey Malaterra bluntly states that Bohemond took the Cross with the intention of plundering and conquering Greek lands.

He gathered a Norman army, perhaps one of the finest in the crusading host, at the head of which he crossed the Adriatic Sea, and penetrated to Constantinople along the route he had tried to follow in 1082–1084. He was careful to observe a "correct" attitude towards Alexius, and when he arrived at Constantinople in April 1097 he did homage to the emperor. He may have negotiated with Alexius about a principality at Antioch; if he did so, he had little encouragement. From Constantinople to Antioch, Bohemond was the real leader of the First Crusade; and it says much for his leadership that the First Crusade succeeded in crossing Asia Minor, which the Crusade of 1101, the Second Crusade in 1147, and the Third Crusade in 1189 failed to accomplish.

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