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the First Crusade

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Rachel Dearth
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« Reply #75 on: March 01, 2009, 09:01:32 pm »



Bohemond of Taranto alone mounts the rampart of Antioch, in an engraving by Gustave Doré.
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« Reply #76 on: March 01, 2009, 09:02:49 pm »



Path of the First Crusade
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« Reply #77 on: March 01, 2009, 09:04:58 pm »

Siege of Jerusalem (1099)

The Siege of Jerusalem took place from June 7 to July 15, 1099 during the First Crusade. The Crusaders stormed and captured the city from Fatimid Egypt.

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« Reply #78 on: March 01, 2009, 09:06:08 pm »



Siege of Jerusalem
Part of the First Crusade

Capture of Jerusalem, 1099
Date June 7-July 15, 1099
Location Jerusalem
Result Decisive Crusader victory
 
Belligerents
Crusaders Fatimids
Commanders
Raymond of Toulouse
Godfrey of Bouillon Iftikhar ad-Dawla
Strength
12,000 infantry
1,500 knights 1,000 garrison
Casualties and losses
Unknown At least 40,000 military and civilian dead
 
 
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« Reply #79 on: March 01, 2009, 09:06:48 pm »

After the successful siege of Antioch in June of 1098, the crusaders remained in the area for the rest of the year. The papal legate Adhemar of Le Puy had died, and Bohemund of Taranto had claimed Antioch for himself. Baldwin of Boulogne remained in Edessa, captured earlier in 1098. There was dissent among the princes over what to do next; Raymond of Toulouse, frustrated, left Antioch to capture the fortress at Ma'arrat al-Numan in the Siege of Maarat. By the end of the year the minor knights and infantry were threatening to march to Jerusalem without them.

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« Reply #80 on: March 01, 2009, 09:07:06 pm »

The siege of Arqa

At the end of December or early in January, Robert of Normandy and Bohemond's nephew Tancred agreed to become vassals of Raymond, who was wealthy enough to compensate them for their service. Godfrey of Bouillon, however, who now had revenue from his brother's territory in Edessa, refused to do the same. On January 5, Raymond dismantled the walls of Ma'arrat, and on January 13 began the march south, barefoot and dressed as a pilgrim, followed by Robert and Tancred. Proceeding down the coast of the Mediterranean, they encountered little resistance, as local Muslim rulers preferred to make peace and give supplies rather than fight. The local Sunnis may have also preferred Crusader control to Shi'ite Fatimid rule.

Raymond planned to take Tripoli for himself to set up a state equivalent to Bohemund's Antioch. First however, he besieged nearby Arqa. Meanwhile, Godfrey, along with Robert of Flanders, who had also refused to become Raymond's vassal, joined together with the remaining crusaders at Latakia and marched south in February. Bohemond marched out with them but quickly returned to Antioch. At this time Tancred left Raymond's service and joined with Godfrey, due to some unknown quarrel. Another separate force, though linked to Godfrey's, was led by Gaston IV of Béarn.

Godfrey, Robert, Tancred, and Gaston arrived at Arqa in March, but the siege continued. The situation was tense not only among the military leaders, but also among the clergy; since Adhemar's death there had been no real leader, and ever since the discovery of the Holy Lance by Peter Bartholomew in Antioch, there had been accusations of fraud among different clerical factions. Finally, in April, Arnulf of Chocques challenged Peter to an ordeal by fire. Peter underwent the ordeal and died of his wounds, thus discrediting the holy lance as a fake and one of Raymonds holds on his ultimate authority over the Crusade.

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« Reply #81 on: March 01, 2009, 09:07:55 pm »

Arrival at the Holy City

The siege of Arqa lasted until May 13 when the crusaders left having captured nothing. The Fatimids had attempted to make peace, on the condition that the crusaders not continue towards Jerusalem, but this was of course ignored; Iftikhar ad-Daula, the Fatimid governor of Jerusalem, was aware of the Crusaders' intentions. Therefore, he expelled all of Jerusalem's Christian inhabitants. [1] He also poisoned most of the wells in the area.[2] On the 13th the Crusaders came to Tripoli where the ruler of the city gave them money and horses. According to the anonymous chronicle Gesta Francorum, he also vowed to convert to Christianity if the crusaders succeeded in capturing Jerusalem from his Fatimid enemies. Continuing south along the coast, the crusaders passed Beirut on May 19, Tyre on May 23, and turning inland at Jaffa, reached Ramlah on June 3, which had already been abandoned by its inhabitants. The bishopric of Ramlah-Lydda was established there at the church of St. George (a popular crusader hero) before they continued on to Jerusalem. On June 6, Godfrey sent Tancred and Gaston to capture Bethlehem, where Tancred flew his banner from the Church of the Nativity. On June 7 the crusaders reached Jerusalem itself. Many cried upon seeing the city they had journeyed so long to reach.

As with Antioch the crusaders put the city to a siege, in which the crusaders themselves probably suffered more than the citizens of the city, due to the lack of food and water around Jerusalem. The city was well-prepared for the siege, and the Fatimid governor Iftikhar ad-Daula had expelled most of the Christians. Of the estimated 5,000 knights who took part in the Princes' Crusade, only about 1,500 remained, along with another 12,000 healthy foot-soldiers (out of perhaps as many as 30,000). Godfrey, Robert of Flanders, and Robert of Normandy (who had now also left Raymond to join Godfrey) besieged the north walls as far south as the Tower of David, while Raymond set up his camp on the western side, from the Tower of David to Mount Zion. A direct assault on the walls on June 13 was a failure. Without water or food, both men and animals were quickly dying of thirst and starvation and the crusaders knew time was not on their side. Coincidentally, soon after the first assault, 2 Genoese galleys[3] sailed into the port at Jaffa, and the crusaders were able to re-supply themselves for a short time. The crusaders also began to gather wood from Samaria in order to build siege engines. They were still short on food and water, and by the end of June there was news that a Fatimid army was marching north from Egypt.

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« Reply #82 on: March 01, 2009, 09:12:57 pm »



Jerusalem during the Crusades, from Muir's Historical Atlas (1911)
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« Reply #83 on: March 01, 2009, 09:13:42 pm »

The barefoot procession

Faced with a seemingly impossible task, their spirits were raised when a priest by the name of Peter Desiderius claimed to have a divine vision in which the ghost of Adhemar instructed them to fast for three days and then march in a barefoot procession around the city walls, after which the city would fall in nine days, following the Biblical example of Joshua at the siege of Jericho. Although they were already starving, they fasted, and on July 8 they made the procession, with the clergy blowing trumpets and singing psalms, being mocked by the defenders of Jerusalem all the while. The procession stopped on the Mount of Olives and sermons were delivered by Peter the Hermit, Arnulf of Chocques, and Raymond of Aguilers.

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« Reply #84 on: March 01, 2009, 09:15:15 pm »

The final assault and massacre

Throughout the siege, attacks were made on the walls, but each one was repulsed. The Genoese troops, led by commander Guglielmo Embriaco, had previously dismantled the ships in which the Genoeses came to the Holy Land; Embriaco, using the ship's wood, made some siege towers. These were rolled up to the walls on the night of July 14 much to the surprise and concern of the garrison. On the morning of July 15, Godfrey's tower reached his section of the walls near the northeast corner gate, and according to the Gesta two Flemish knights from Tournai named Lethalde and Engelbert were the first to cross into the city, followed by Godfrey, his brother Eustace, Tancred, and their men. Raymond's tower was at first stopped by a ditch, but as the other crusaders had already entered, the Muslim guarding the gate surrendered to Raymond.

Once the Crusaders had breached the outer walls and entered they killed many of the citizens about 40,000 to some accounts, the killing was for the most part indiscriminate both of Muslims and Jews. [4] Although many inhabitants were killed many were also allowed to live by either paying a tax or being expelled from Jerusalem.[5]

Many Muslims sought shelter in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where, according to one account in Gesta, "...the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles..." According to Raymond of Aguilers "men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins." However, scholars John and Laurita Hill discovered in 1969 that this line was taken directly from biblical passage Apocalypse 14:20.[6] The chronicle of Ibn al-Qalanisi states the Jewish defenders sought refuge in their synagogue, but the "Franks burned it over their heads", killing everyone inside.[7] The Crusaders circled the flaming building while singing "Christ, We Adore Thee!".[8] Tancred claimed the Temple quarter for himself and offered protection to some of the Muslims there, but he could not prevent their deaths at the hands of his fellow crusaders. The Fatimid governor Iftikhar ad-Daula withdrew to the Tower of David, which he soon surrendered to Raymond in return for safe passage for himself and bodyguards to Ascalon. [9]

The Gesta Francorum states some people managed to escape the siege unharmed. Its anonymous author wrote, "When the pagans had been overcome, our men seized great numbers, both men and women, either killing them or keeping them captive, as they wished."[10] Later it is written, "[Our leaders] also ordered all the Saracen dead to be cast outside because of the great stench, since the whole city was filled with their corpses; and so the living Saracens dragged the dead before the exits of the gates and arranged them in heaps, as if they were houses. No one ever saw or heard of such slaughter of pagan people, for funeral pyres were formed from them like pyramids, and no one knows their number except God alone." [11]

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« Reply #85 on: March 01, 2009, 09:15:50 pm »

Aftermath

Following the massacre, Godfrey of Bouillon was made Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri (Protector of the Holy Sepulchre) on July 22, refusing to be named king in the city where Christ had died, saying that he refused to wear a crown of gold in the city where Christ wore a crown of thorns. Raymond had refused any title at all, and Godfrey convinced him to give up the Tower of David as well. Raymond then went on a pilgrimage, and in his absence Arnulf of Chocques, whom Raymond had opposed due to his own support for Peter Bartholomew, was elected the first Latin Patriarch on August 1 (the claims of the Greek Patriarch were ignored). On August 5, Arnulf, after consulting the surviving inhabitants of the city, discovered the relic of the True Cross.

On August 12, Godfrey led an army, with the True Cross carried in the vanguard, against the Fatimid army at the Battle of Ascalon on August 12. The crusaders were successful, but following the victory, the majority of them considered their crusading vows to have been fulfilled, and all but a few hundred knights returned home. Nevertheless, their victory paved the way for the establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The siege quickly became legendary and in the 12th century it was the subject of the Chanson de Jérusalem, a major chanson de geste in the Crusade cycle.

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« Reply #86 on: March 01, 2009, 09:17:09 pm »

Medieval Sourcebook:
The Siege and Capture of Jerusalem:
Collected Accounts


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JUNE-JULY, 1099


The March to Jerusalem

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« Reply #87 on: March 01, 2009, 09:17:37 pm »

The March to Jerusalem

1. The Gesta Version


Accordingly, we left the fortified town and came to Tripoli on the sixth day of the week on the thirteenth day of incoming May, and we stayed there for three days. At length, the King of Tripoli made an agreement with the leaders, and he straightway loosed to them more than three hundred pilgrims who had been captured there and gave fifteen thousand besants and fifteen horses of great value; he likewise gave us a great market of horses, asses and all goods, whence the whole army of Christ was greatly enriched. But he made an agreement with them that if they could win the war which the Emir of Babylon was getting ready against them and could take Jerusalem, he would become a Christian and would recognize his land as (a gift) from them. In such manner it was settled.

We left the city on the second day of the week in the month of May and, passing along a narrow and difficult road all day and night, we came to a fortress, the name of which was Botroun. Then we came to a city called Gibilet near the sea, in which we suffered very great thirst, and, thus worn out, we reached a river named Ibrahim. Then on the eve of the day of the Ascension of the Lord we crossed a mountain in which the way was exceedingly narrow, and there we expected to find the enemy lying in ambush for us. But God favoring us, none of them dared to appear in our way. Then our knights went ahead of us and cleared the way before us, and we arrived at a city by the sea which called Beirut, and thence we went to another city called Sidon, thence to another called Tyre, and from Tyre to the city of Acre. But from Acre we came to a fortified place the name of which was Cayphas, and then we came near Caesarea. There was celebrated Pentecost on the third day of outgoing May. Then we came to Ramlah, which through fear of the Franks the Saracens had left empty. Near it was the famous church in which rested the most precious body of St. George, since for the name of Christ he there happily received martyrdom from the treacherous pagans. There our leaders held a council to choose a bishop who should have charge of this place and erect a church. They gave tithes to him and enriched him with gold and silver, and with horses and other animals, that be might live the more devoutly and honorably with those who were with him. He remained there with joy.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 242-243

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« Reply #88 on: March 01, 2009, 09:18:40 pm »

2. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

Meanwhile the Count and the other princes inquired of the inhabitants of that region how the march to Jerusalem might be better and more easily made. For there are the mountains of Lebanon, in which almost sixty thousand Christian men dwell. The Christians who are near the city of Tyre (now commonly called Sur, whence they are called Surians) have possessed that land and mountains for a long time. But when the Saracens and Turks arose through the judgment of God, those Surians were in such great oppression for four hundred and more years that many of them were forced to abandon their fatherland and the Christian law. If, however, any of them through the grace of God refused, they were compelled to give up their beautiful children to be circumcised, or converted to Mohammedanism; or they were snatched from the lap of their mothers, after the father had been killed and the mother mocked. Forsooth, that race of men were inflamed to such malice that they overturned the churches of God and His saints, or destroyed the images; and they tore out the eyes of those images which, for lack of time, they could not destroy, and shot them with arrows; all the altars, too, they undermined. Moreover, they made mosques of the great churches. But if any of those distressed Christians wished to have an image God or any saint at his home, he either redeemed it month by month, or, year by year, or it was thrown down into the dirt and broken be, fore his eyes. In addition, too harsh to relate, they placed youths in brothels, and, to do yet more vilely, exchanged their sisters for wine. And their mothers dared not weep openly at these or other sorrows. Why do we say much about them? Surely that people had conspired against the Holy of Holies and His inheritance! Except by the command and direction of God, the people of the Franks would have encountered these ills, had not God straightway armed brute animals against their enemies, as He did once in our presence. And so much for this.

When those Surians who, as we said above, came to the Count, were asked about the better route, they replied: "The way through: Damascus is level and full of vituals; but you will not find water for two days. The other way through the mountains of Lebanon is safe enough and well watered, but it is very bard for the pack animals and camels. There is another way along the sea, where there are so many and such narrow passes that if fifty or a hundred, Saracens want to hold them, they can do so against all mankind. And yet it is contained in the Gospel of St. Peter, which we have, that if you are the people who are to take Jerusalem, you will pass, along the seacoast, though because of the difficulty it seems impossible to us. Moreover, there is written in that Gospel among us not only what you have done, but also what you ought to do about. this march and many other things."

While some were urging in this and other ways, and others were contradicting, William Hugo of Monteil returned with the, Cross of which we spoke above. Moreover, when the friends of the Count likewise beheld this Cross, they became so eager for the march that, except for the counsel of the Count and the other princes, the servants of the Count would have burned their buts and been the first to leave the siege of Arebas. Thereupon, the Count was disturbed to tears and even to hatred of himself and his people. But the Duke of Lorraine especially wished this journey and admonished the people to it. Accordingly, having set forth from that detestable and hateful siege of Archas, we came before Tripoli. Even then Count Raymond with prayers and gifts urged all the nobles to besiege the city of Tripoli, but all opposed him.

At this time, St. Andrew appeared to Peter Desiderius, of whom we have made mention above, and said to him, "Go and speak to the Count, saying: 'Do not molest thyself or others, for unless Jerusalem shall first have been taken, thou shalt have no help. Do not trouble thyself about the unfinished siege of Archas; let it not weigh upon thee that this city, or others which are on the journey, are not taken at present, because a fight will soon come upon thee in which these and many other cities shall be captured. Furthermore, do not trouble thyself or thy men, but distribute freely in His name whatever God shall grant to thee, and be a companion and loyal friend to thy vassals. If thou shalt do this, God will grant thee Jerusalem and Alexandria and Babylon. But if thou dost not do this, thou shalt neither acquire the things promised by God nor have a message, until thou art placed in such straits that thou knowest not how to escape!"' So the Count accepted the words of the priest; he accepted them, truly, in words, but be refused them in deeds. For when he had received great wealth from the King of Tripoli, he was never willing to give anyone any of it, but be even daily afflicted his people with blows and insults. Not only this, however, did that priest tell us, but also many other things, some of which we have added to this work.

For once, when we wanted to set out from Antioch, that priest came to me, Raymond, and said to me that a certain person bad appeared to him in a vision who said to him, "Go into the church of St. Leontius, and thou wilt find there the relics of four saints; take them with thee and carry them to Jerusalem." And be showed him in that vision the relics and locations of the relics, and he taught him the names of the saints. When that priest had awakened, not fully believing in his vision, he began to urge God with prayers and entreaties to make known to him a second time if this vision was from Him. Several days later the same saint stood before him in a vision and threatened him much because he had neglected the command of God, and (said that) unless he had taken those relics away by the fifth day of the week, it would be a great hurt to him and his lord, Count Ysoard. Ysoard, Count of Die, was a man loyal to God as far as he knew, and helpful to all of us for his wisdom and uprightness.

When the priest had narrated this to me, Raymond, I told it to the Bishop of Orange and to the Count of St. Gilles and to some others. We took candles and went to the church of St. Leontius. We offered the candles and vows to God and to the saints of the same church, (praying) that Almighty God, who had sanctified them, might give them to us as companions and helpers; and that those saints might not spurn the company of pilgrims and exiles for God, but, rather, out of charity might join us and link us with God. When it became morning, we went with the priest to the places where the relics were kept, and we found everything just as it had been foretold. Moreover, these are the names of saints: Cyprian, Omechios, Leontius, John Chrysostom . And, furthermore, at the place where the relics were kept we found a little chest filled with relics. When he asked a priest about these, of which saint they were the relics, he replied that he did not know. But when we inquired of the inhabitants if they knew of which saint these were the relics, some said of St. Mercurius, others, however, of other saints. But the priest wished to take them up and put them with the collection of other relics. To him, I, Raymond, said angrily in the presence of all who were there, "If this saint wishes to come with us to Jerusalem, let him make known his name and wish; otherwise let him remain here. Why should we weight ourselves with unknown bones and carry them along?" Therefore on that day those relics were left behind. But when the priest had collected the other relics and had rolled them up in cloths and a covering, on the night which followed, as he lay awake, there appeared to him a youth of about fifteen years, exceedingly beautiful, who said to him, "Why didst thou this day not take any relics with the rest?"

The priest replied to this "Who art thou?"

"Dost thou not know who is the standard bearer of this army?" he replied.

The priest answered, "I do not, Sire."

When the priest had made the same reply to the same question a second time, the youth threatened the priest terribly, saying, "Tell me the truth."

And then the priest said, "Sire, it is said of St. George that is the standard bearer of this army."

He replied, "Thou hast said well. I am be. Take therefore, relics and put them with the others."

When, however, the priest bad deferred doing this for several days, the same George came to him and commanded the priest sternly, saying, "Do not delay longer than the morning to take up my relics; and near by in a little ampule thou wilt find some of the blood of the virgin and martyr St. Tecla, which likewise take; and after this chant mass." And the priest found all this, and did it.

But before we go on to the remainder, we ought not to pass over these men who did not hesitate, for love of the most holy expedition, to sail through the unknown and very long water of the Mediterranean and the Ocean. For when the Angles beard the name of the Lord's vengeance against those who unworthily occupied the birthplace of Jesus Christ and His apostles, they embarked upon the Anglican Sea. Rounding Spain, crossing the ocean and thus ploughing through the Mediterranean Sea, with great labor they gained the port of Antioch and the city of Laodicaea, before our army came thither by land. Their ships, as well as those of the Genoese were of advantage to us at this time, for during the siege we had trade with the island of Cyprus and the remaining islands because of these ships and the security which they offered. Forsooth, these ships passed daily over the sea, and for this reason the ships of the Greeks were safe, since the Saracens feared to encounter them. But when the Angles saw the army setting forth for Jerusalem, and that the strength of their own ships was impaired by the long wait (for though they had thirty ships in the beginning, they now bad scarcely nine or ten), some abandoned their ships and exposed them; others, however, burned theirs and hastened with us on the journey.

When our princes were entangled in delay before Tripoli, the Lord sent such great desire of going to Jerusalem that no one could there restrain himself, or another, but, setting out at evening against the decrees of the princes and the custom of our army, we walked along all that night and came on the following day to Beirut. After this, when the narrow passages which are called The Twisted Mouth had been suddenly seized in advance, we came in a few days and without baggage to Acre. The King of Acre, however, afraid that we would besiege his city, and hoping that we Would withdraw, took oath to the Count that if we captured Jerusalem, or were in the region of Judaea for twenty days, and the King of Babylon did not meet us in battle, or if we were able to overcome that king, he would surrender himself and his city to us, but that in the meanwhile he would be our friend.

Setting forth from Acre one day it vespers, we pitched camp by the swamps which are near Caesarea. And while, according to custom, some ran here and there below the camp, as need demanded, and while others were inquiring from acquaintences where their companions were lodged, a dove, mortally wounded by a hawk, fell down in the midst of those running about. When the Bishop of Agde took it up, he found a letter which it was carrying. And the sense of the letter was as follows:

"The King of Acre to the Duke of Caesarea: A canine breed, a foolish and troublesome host without order, passed me. As you love your law, try by yourselves and through others to hurt them: this you can easily do, if you wish. Send this likewise to other cities and fortresses."

In the morning, when we were commanding the army to rest, the letter was shown to the princes and to all the people, and was (it was manifest) how God had been kind to us, so that not even the birds could cross through the air to harm us, and that He likewise disclosed to us the secrets of our foes. Wherefore, we, rendered praise and thanks to Almighty God. And thence setting forth securely and willingly, we went forward, frequently in the front rank of the army, and also at the end.

But when the Saracens who lived in Ramlah heard that we had crossed the river near by, they left their fortifications and arms, and much grain in the fields, and crops, which we gathered. And when we came to it on the next day we found out that God was truly fighting for us. So we offered vows to St. George because he had confessed himself our guide. The leaders and all the people agreed that we should there chose a bishop, since that was the first church which we found in the land of Israel, and, also in order that St. George might entreat God in our behalf, and might lead us faithfully through the land in which He was not worshipped. Moreover, Ramlah is about fifteen miles from Jerusalem. Therefore, we there held a conference.

Some said, "Let us not go to Jerusalem at present, but towards Egypt; we will obtain not only Jerustlem, but likewise Alexandria and Babylon and very many kingdoms. If we go to Jerusalem and, failing of sufficient water, give up the siege, we will accomplish neither this nor the other afterward."

But others said in opposition, "There are scarcely fifteen hundred knights in the army, and the number of armed men is not great; and yet it is now suggested that we go to very distant and unknown regions, where we will be able neither to get help from our people nor to place a garrison in a city, if we capture one; nor, even if it should be necessary, would we be able to return thence. But none of this: let us hold to our way, and let God provide for His servants for the siege, for thirst, for hunger, and for other things!"

Accordingly, after leaving a garrison in the fortress of Ramlah with the new Bishop, we loaded our camels and oxen, and then all our baggage animals and horses, and turned our march to Jerusalem. However, the word which Peter Bartholomew had commanded us - that we should not approach Jerusalem except with bared feet - we forgot and held in low regard, each one, from ambition to occupy castles and villas, wishing to go ahead of the next. For it was a custom among us that if any one came to a castle or villa first and placed his standard there with a guard, it was touched by no one else afterward. Therefore, because of this ambition they arose at midnight and, without waiting for companions, gained all those mountains and villas which are in the meadows of the Jordan. A few, however, to whom the command of God was more precious, walked with naked feet and sighed heavily for the contempt of the Divine word; and yet no one recalled a companion or friend from that ambitious chase. Moreover, when by such arrogant procedure we had come near Jerusalem, the people of Jerusalem came forth to meet the first of our men and wounded the horses severely. Of those men three or four fell on that day, and many were wounded.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 243-48
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« Reply #89 on: March 01, 2009, 09:19:32 pm »

The Fall of Jerusalem

3. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers


Duke Godfrey and the Count of Flanders and the Count of Normandy besieged the city from the north side, that is from the church of St. Stephen, located in the center of the city, southward to the angular tower next to the tower of David. Count Raymond and his army, however, settled down on the West and besieged Jerusalem from the camp of the Duke to the foot of Mount Zion. But since his men could not come close to besiege the wall because of a gully which intervened, the Count wished to move his camp and change his position. One day, while he was reconnoitering, he came to Mount Zion and saw the church which is located on the Mount. When he heard of the miracles that God had performed there, he said to his leaders and companions, 'If we neglect to take this sacred offering, which the Lord has so graciously offered us, and the Saracens there occupy this place what will become of us? What if through hatred of us they should destroy and pollute these sacred things? Who knows that God may not be giving us this opportunity to test our regard for Him? I know this one thing for certain: unless we carefully protect this sacred spot, the Lord will not give us the others within the city."

And so Count Raymond, against the wishes of the leaders of his army, ordered his tents to be moved to that spot. As a result of this he incurred such great hatred from his men that they were neither willing to encamp with him nor to do guard duty during the night; each stayed where be bad first pitched his tent, with the exception of a few who accompanied the Count. However, by great rewards the Count daily induced knights and footmen to guard his camp. There are in that church these sacred treasures - the tombs of the kings, David and Solomon, as well as that of the first martyr, St. Stephen. There the Blessed Mary departed from this world; the Lord supped there and, after rising from the dead, appeared there to His disciples and to Thomas, On this spot, also, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Thereupon, when the siege had been set, it happened one day that some of the leaders of the army met a hermit on the mount of Olives, who said to them, 'If you will attack the city tomorrow till the ninth hour, the Lord will deliver it into your hands." They replied, "But we do not have the necessary machinery for storming the walls." The hermit replied: "God is all powerful. If he wills, He will storm the walls even with one ladder. The Lord aids those who labor for the Truth." So, with such machinery as could be constructed during the night an attack was made on the city in the early morning, and it lasted till the third hour. The Saracens were compelled to retreat behind the inner walls, for the outer, wall was broken down by our men, some of whom even climbed to the top of the inner walls. Now when the city was about to be captured, in the confusion of desire and fear the attack was interrupted, and we then lost many men. On the next day no attack was attempted.

After this, the whole army scattered throughout the surrounding country to collect provisions, and nothing was even said of the necessity of preparing the machines that were needed to capture the city. Each man was serving his mouth and stomach; what was worse, they did not even ask the Lord to free them from such great and manifold evils, and they were afflicted even unto death. just before our arrival, the Saracens bad filled up the springs, destroyed the cisterns, and dammed up the brooks from the springs. And the Lord Himself had turned rivers into wilderness and water springs into thirsty ground for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. Therefore water was obtained with great difficulty. There is a fountain at the foot of Mount Zion, which is called the Pool of Siloam. Indeed, it is a large spring, but the water flows forth only once in three days, and the natives say that formerly it emptied itself only on Saturdays; the rest of the week it remained stagnant. We do not know how to explain this, except that the Lord willed it to be so. But when, as we have said, the water did flow forth on the third day, it was consumed with such great crowding and haste that the men pushed one another into it, and many baggage animals and cattle perished in it. And so when the pool was filled with the crowd and with the bodies of dead animals, the stronger, even at the price of death, forced their way to the very opening in the rocks through which the water flowed, while the weak got only the water which bad already been contaminated. Many sick people fell down by the fountain, with tongues so parched that they were unable to utter a word; with open mouths they stretched forth their hands toward those who had water. In the field were many horses, mules, cattle, and sheep, Most of the animals without strength enough to move. And when they had become parched and died because of extreme thirst, they rotted where they had long stood, and there was a most sickening stench throughout the camp. Because of such affliction it was necessary to fetch water a distance of two or three leagues, also to drive the cattle to distant watering places. When the Saracens noticed that our people were going unarmed to the watering places through the dangerous passes in the hills, they lay in wait for them in ambush. They killed many of them and drove away the flocks and herds. The situation was so bad that when anyone brought foul water to camp in vessels, he was able to get any price that be cared to ask, and if any one wished to get clear water, for five or six nummi he could not obtain enough to satisfy his thirst for a single day. Wine, moreover, was never, or very rarely, even mentioned. In addition, the heat, the dust, and the wind increased their thirst, as though this was not bad enough in itself. But why say so much about these troubles? None, or few, were mindful of the Lord, or of such work as was needed to capture the city; nor did they take heed to beseech the Lord's favor. And thus we not recognize God in the midst of our affliction, nor did He show favor to the ungrateful.

Meanwhile, messengers came to camp, announcing that our ships had arrived at Joppa and that the sailors demanded that a guard be sent to hold the tower of Joppa and to give them protection at the port; for the town of Joppa had been destroyed except the castle, and that was nearly in ruins, with the exception of one tower. However, there is a harbor there, and it is the one nearest to Jerusalem, being about one day's journey distant. All of our people rejoiced when they heard the news of the ships, and they sent out Count Galdemar, surnamed Carpinellus, accompanid by twenty knights and about fifty footmen. Later, they sent Raymond Piletus with fifty knights and William of Sabran with his followers.

As Galdemar and his contingent approached the plains that on this side of Ramlah, they encountered a force of four hundred chosen Arabs and about two hundred Turks. Galdemar, because of the small number of his men, arranged his knights and bowmen in the front ranks and, trusting in the Lord, advanced upon the enemy without hesitation. The enemy, however, thought that they would be able to crush this band, and, rushing upon them and shooting arrows, they encircled them. Three or four of Galdemar's knights were killed, including Achard of Montemerle, a noble youth and renowned knight; others were wounded, and all our bowmen fell. However, many of the enemy were also killed. Nevertheless, the attack of the enemy did not slacken on account of all this, nor did the courage of our knights, nay God's knights" falter; though oppressed by wounds and death itself, they stood up to their enemies all the more fiercely, the more they suffered from them. But when our leaders, rather from weariness than from fear, were about to withdraw, a cloud of dust was seen approaching. Raymond Piletus was rushing headlong into the fight with his men. Moreover, his men raised so much dust that the enemy thought there were very many knights with him. Thus, by the grace of God, our men were delivered. The enemy scattered and fled, about two hundred of them were killed, and much plunder was taken. It is the custom of this people, when they flee and are hard pressed by the enemy, first to throw away their arms, then their clothes, and lastly their saddle bags. Thus it happened in this fight that our few knights continued killing the enemy until they were worn out, and they kept the spoils obtained from the rest, even of those whom they did not kill.

After the pursuit was over our men assembled, divided the spoils, and then marched to Joppa. The sailors received them with great joy and felt so secure after their arrival that they forgot their ships and neglected to place watches on the sea, but entertained the crusaders with a feast of bread, wine, and fish from their ships. The sailors, careless of their security, failed to post lookouts for the night, and in the darkness they were suddenly surrounded by enemies from the sea. When dawn came, they realized that the enemy was too strong to be resisted, and they abandoned their ships, carrying only the spoils. Thus our knights returned to Jerusalem after winning one battle and losing another. However, one of our ships which had gone on a plundering expedition was not captured. It was returning to port with the greatest plunder when it saw the rest of our ships surrounded by so great a fleet of the enemy. By the use of oars and sail it made its escape to Laodicaea and told our friends and companions at that port what had been happening at Jerusalem. We knew that we had deserved this misfortune, for we had refused to place faith in the words sent to us by the Lord. Despairing of God's mercy, the men went to the plain of the river Jordan, collected palms, and were baptized in its waters. They did so chiefly with the intention of abandoning the siege, having seen Jerusalem, and of going to Joppa, thence to return home by whatever means they could. But the Lord looked after the ships for His unfaithful.

About this time a public assembly was held, for the leaders of the army were quarreling with each other. There was dissatisfaction because Tancred had occupied Bethlehem and had placed his standard over the church of the Nativity, as though it was an ordinary house. An effort was also made to elect one of the princes king to have custody of the city, lest what had been achieved in common should be destroyed in common for want of anyone to take care of the city, if God should give it to us. The bishops and clergy replied (to this suggestion), "You ought not to choose a king where the Lord suffered and was crowned. For if a David, degenerate in faith and virtue, should say in his heart, 'I sit upon the throne of David and hold his kingdom,' the Lord would probably destroy him and be angry with place and people. Besides, the prophet proclaims, saying, 'When the Holy of Holies shall come, unction shall cease, because it will be manifest to all peoples that He has come.' But there should be an advocate to guard the city and divide the tributes and rents of the region among the guardians of the city." For this and many other reasons the election was stopped and put off until the eighth day after the capture of Jerusalem. Not in this matter alone, but in other ways, our affairs did not prosper, and the troubles of the people increased every day. Nevertheless, the merciful and propitious Lord , both for His name's sake and lest our enemies should insult His law and say, "Where is their God?" sent word to us through the Bishop of Puy, Lord Adhemar, how we could placate His anger and obtain His mercy. We, however, preached that this be done without mentioning the command of God, lest if the people transgressed this command of the Lord, they should be especially afflicted, as they would then be the more culpable. For the Lord was so kind to us that He bad sent His messengers to us often, but because they were our brothers we bad not heeded them.

The Bishop (Adhemar) appeared before Peter Desiderius, saying: "Speak to the princes and all the people, and say to them: 'You who have come from distant lands to worship God and the Lord of hosts, purge yourselves of your uncleanliness, and let each one turn from his evil ways. Then with bare feet march around Jerusalem invoking God, and you must also fast. If you do this and then make a great attack on the city on the ninth day, it will be captured. if you do not, all the evils that you have suffered will be multiplied by the Lord."'

When the priest had said this to William Hugo, the brother of the Bishop, to his lord, Count Ysoard, and to certain of the clergy, they assembled the princes and the people and addressed them "Brothers, you know why we undertook this expedition, and what we have suffered, and that we are acting negligently in that we are not constructing the machines that are needed to capture the city Likewise, we are not careful to reconcile tie Lord to us, for we offend Him in many ways and through our evil deeds have driven Him from us. Now, if it seems right to you let each one become reconciled to his brother whom he has offended, and let brother graciously forgive brother. After this, let us humble ourselves be fore God; let us march around Jerusalem in bare feet and, through the patronage of the saints, invoke the mercy of the Lord, so that Almighty God, who for us, His servants, laid aside the form of His Godhead, assumed the flesh, and humbly rode into the city on an ass to suffer death on the Cross for our sins, may come to our aid. If we make this procession around the walls, for the honor and glory of His name, He will open the city to us and give us judgment upon His enemies and ours, who now with unjust possession contaminate the place of His suffering and burial, the enemy who seek to deny us the great blessing of the place of God's humiliation and our redemption."

These words were pleasing to both princes and people, and it was publicly commanded that on the next Friday the clergy should lead the procession with crosses and relics of the saints, while the knights and all able-bodied men, with trumpets, standards, and arms, should follow them, barefooted. All this we did according to the commands of God and the princes. When we reached the spot on the Mount of Olives whence the Lord had ascended into heaven after the resurrection, the following exhortation was made to the people: "Now that we are on the wry spot from which the Lord made His ascension and we can do nothing more to purify ourselves, let each one of us forgive his brother whom he has injured, that the Lord may forgive us." What more? All were reconciled to each other, and with generous offerings we besought the mercy of God, that he should not now desert His people, whom He had led so gloriously and miraculously to this goal. Thus the mercy of God was obtained, since every thing that had been against us was now favorable.

Although we have passed over many matters, this one we ought to record. While we marched around the city in Saracens and Turks made the circuit on the walls, procession, the ridiculing us in many ways. They placed many crosses on the walls in yokes and mocked them with blows and insulting deeds. We, in turn, hoping to obtain the aid of God in storming the city by means of these signs, pressed the work of the siege day and night.


Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 250-56

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