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the First Crusade

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Rachel Dearth
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« Reply #90 on: March 01, 2009, 09:20:01 pm »

4. The Gesta Version

At length, our leaders decided to beleaguer the city with siege machines, so that we might enter and worship the Saviour at the Holy Sepulchre. They constructed wooden towers and many other siege machines. Duke Godfrey made a wooden tower and other siege devices, and Count Raymond did the same, although it was necessary to bring wood from a considerable distance. However, when the Saracens saw our men engaged in this work, they greatly strengthened the fortifications of the city and increased the height of the turrets at night. On a certain Sabbath night, the leaders, after having decided which parts of the wall were weakest, dragged the tower and the machines to the eastern side of the city. Moreover, we set up the tower at earliest dawn and equipped and covered it on the first, second, and third days of the week. The Count of St. Gilles erected his tower on the plain to the south of the city.

While all this was going on, our water supply was so limited that no one could buy enough water for one denarius to satisfy or quench his thirst. Both day and night, on the fourth and fifth days of the week, we made a determined attack on the city from all sides. However, before we made this assault on the city, the bishops and priests persuaded all, by exhorting and preaching, to honor the Lord by marching around Jerusalem in a great procession, and to prepare for battle by prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Early on the sixth day of the week we again attacked the city on all sides, but as the assault was unsuccessful, we were all astounded and fearful. However, when the hour approached on which our Lord Jesus Christ deigned to suffer on the Cross for us, our knights began to fight bravely in one of the towers - namely, the party with Duke Godfrey and his brother, Count Eustace. One of our knights, named Lethold, clambered up the wall of the city, and no sooner had he ascended than the defenders fled from the walls and through the city. Our men followed, killing and slaying even to the Temple of Solomon, where the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles....

Count Raymond brought his army and his tower up near the wall from the south, but between the tower and the wall there was a very deep ditch. Then our men took counsel how they might fill it, and had it proclaimed by heralds that anyone who carried three stones to the ditch would receive one denarius. The work of filling it required three days and three nights, and when at length the ditch was filled, they moved the tower up to the wall, but the men defending this portion of the wall fought desperately with stones and fire. When the Count heard that the Franks were already in the city, he said to his men, "Why do you loiter? Lo, the Franks are even now within the city." The Emir who commanded the Tower of St. David surrendered to the Count and opened that gate at which the pilgrims had always been accustomed to pay tribute. But this time the pilgrims entered the city, pursuing and killing the Saracens up to the Temple of Solomon, where the enemy gathered in force. The battle raged throughout the day, so that the Temple was covered with their blood. 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. On the roof of the Temple a great number of pagans of both sexes had assembled, and these were taken under the protection of Tancred and Gaston of Beert. Afterward, the army scattered throughout the city and took possession of the gold and silver, the horses and mules, and the houses filled with goods of all kinds.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 256-57
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« Reply #91 on: March 01, 2009, 09:20:30 pm »

The Frankish Victory

5. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers


Later, all of our people went to the Sepulchre of our Lord rejoicing and weeping for joy, and they rendered up the offering that they owed. In the morning, some of our men cautiously, ascended to the roof of the Temple and attacked the Saracens both men and women, beheading them with naked swords:, the remainder sought death by jumping down into the temple. When Tancred heard of this, he was filled with anger.

The Duke and the Counts of Normandy and Flanders placed Gaston of Beert in charge of the workmen who constructed machines. They built mantlets and towers with which to attack the wall. The direction of this work was assigned to Gaston by the princes because he was a most noble lord, respected by all for his skill and reputation. He very cleverly hastened matters by dividing the work. The princes busied themselves with obtaining the material, while Gaston supervised the construction. Likewise, Count Raymond made William Ricau superintendent of the work on Mount Zion and placed the Bishop of Albara in charge of the Saracens and others who brought in the timber. The Count's men had taken many Saracen castles and villages and forced the Saracens to work, as though they were their serfs. Thus for the construction of machines at Jerusalem fifty or sixty men carried on their shoulders a great beam that could not have been dragged by four pair of oxen. What more shall I say? All worked with a singleness of purpose, no one was slothful, and no bands were idle. All worked without wages, except the artisans, who were paid from a collection taken from the people. However, Count Raymond paid his workmen from his own treasury. Surely the band of the Lord was with us and aided those who were working!

When our efforts were ended and the machines completed, the princes held a council and announced: "Let all prepare themselves for a battle on Thursday; in the meantime, let us pray, fast, and give alms. Hand over your animals and your boys to the artisans and carpenters, that they may bring in beams, poles, stakes, and branches to make mantlets. Two knights should make one mantlet and one scaling ladder. Do not hesitate to work for the Lord, for your labors will soon be ended." This was willingly done by all. Then it was decided what part of the city each leader should attack and where his machines should be located.

Meanwhile, the Saracens in the city, noting the great number of machines that we had constructed, strengthened the weaker parts of the wall, so that it seemed that they could be taken only by the most desperate efforts. Because the Saracens bad made so many and such strong fortifications to oppose our machines, the Duke, the Count of Flanders, and the Count of Normandy spent the night before the day set for the attack moving their machines, mantlets, and platforms to that side of the city which is between the church of St. Stephen and the valley of Josaphat. You who read this must not think that this was a light undertaking, for the machines were carried in parts almost a mile to the place where they were to be set up. When morning came and the Saracens saw that all the machinery and tents had been moved during the night, they were amazed. Not only the Saracens were astonished, but our people as well, for they recognized that the band of the Lord was with us. The change was made because the new point chosen for attack was more level, and thus suitable for moving the machines up to the walls, which cannot be done unless the ground is level; and also because that part of the city seemed to be weaker having remained unfortified, as it was some distance from our camp. This part of the city is on the north.

Count Raymond and his men worked equally bard on Mount Zion, but they bad much assistance from William Embriaco, and the Genoese sailors, who, although they bad lost their ships at Joppa, as we have already related, had been able, nevertheless, to save ropes, mallets, spikes, axes, and hatchets, which were very necessary to us. But why delay the story? The appointed day arrived and the attack began. However, I want to say this first, that, according to our estimate and that of many others, there were sixty thousand fighting men within the city, not counting the women and those unable to bear arms, and there were not many of these. At the most we did not have more than twelve thousand able to bear arms, for there were many poor people and many sick. There were twelve or thirteen hundred knights in our army, as I reckon it, not more. I say this that you may realize that nothing, whether great or small, which is undertaken in the name of the Lord can fail, as the following pages show.

Our men began to undermine the towers and walls. From every side stones were hurled from the tormenti and the petrahae, and so many arrows that they fell like hail. The servants of CA bore this patiently, sustained by the premises of their faith, whether they should be killed or should presently prevail over their enemies. The battle showed no indication of victory, but when the machines were drawn nearer to the walls, they hurled not only stones and arrows, but also burning wood and straw. The wood was dipped in pitch, wax, and sulphur; then straw and tow were fastened on by an iron band, and, when lighted, these firebrands were shot from the machines. (They were) all bound together by an iron band, I say, so that wherever they fell, the whole mass held together and continued to burn. Such missiles, burning as they shot upward, could not be resisted by swords or by high walls; it was not even possible for the defenders to find safety down behind the walls. Thus the fight continued from the rising to the setting sun in such splendid fashion that it is difficult to believe anything more glorious was ever done. Then we called on Almighty God, our Leader and Guide, confident in His mercy. Night brought fear to both sides. The Saracens feared that we would take the city during the night or on the next day for the outer works were broken through and the ditch was filled so that it was possible to make an entrance through the wall very quickly. On our part, we feared only that the Saracens would set fire to the machines that were moved close to the walls, and thus improve their situation. So on both sides it was a night of watchfulness, labor, and sleepless caution: on one side, most cert4n hope, on the other doubtful fear. We gladly labored to capture the city for the glory of God, they less willingly strove to resist our efforts for the sake of the laws of Mohammed. It is hard to believe how great were the efforts made on both sides during the night.

When the morning came, our men eagerly rushed to be walls and dragged the machines forward, but the Saracens had constructed so many machines that for each one of ours they now had nine or ten. Thus they greatly interfered with our efforts. This was the ninth day, on which the priest had said that we would capture the city. But why do I delay so long? Our machines were now shaken apart by the blows of many stones, and our men lagged because they were very weary. However, there remained the mercy of the Lord which is never overcome nor conquered, but is always a source of support in times of adversity. One incident must not be omitted. Two women tried to bewitch one of the hurling machines, but a stone struck and crushed them, as well as three slaves, so that their lives were extinguished and the evil incantations averted.

By noon our men were greatly discouraged. They were weary and at the end of their resources. There were still many of the enemy opposing each one of our men; the walls were very high and strong, and the great resources and skill that the enemy exhibited in repairing their defenses seemed too great for us to overcome. But, while we hesitated, irresolute, and the enemy exulted in our discomfiture, the healing mercy of God inspired us and turned our sorrow into joy, for the Lord did not forsake us. While a council was being held to decide whether or not our machines should be withdrawn, for some were burned and the rest badly shaken to pieces, a knight on the Mount of Olives began to wave his shield to those who were with the Count and others, signalling them to advance. Who this knight was we have been unable to find out. At this signal our men began to take heart, and some began to batter down the wall, while others began to ascend by means of scaling ladders and ropes. Our archers shot burning firebrands, and in this way checked the attack that the Saracens were making upon the wooden towers of the Duke and the two Counts. These firebrands, moreover, were wrapped in cotton. This shower of fire drove the defenders from the walls. Then the Count quickly released the long drawbridge which had protected the side of the wooden tower next to the wall, and it swung down from the top, being fastened to the middle of the tower, making a bridge over which the men began to enter Jerusalem bravely and fearlessly. Among those who entered first were Tancred and the Duke of Lorraine, and the amount of blood that they shed on that day is incredible. All ascended after them, and the Saracens now began to suffer.

Strange to relate, however, at this very time when the city was practically captured by the Franks, the Saracens were still fighting on the other side, where the Count was attacking the wall as though the city should never be captured. But now that our men had possession of the walls and towers, wonderful sights were to be seen. Some of our men (and this was more merciful) cut off the heads of their enemies; others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers; others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands, and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. It was necessary to pick one's way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the Temple of Solomon, a place where religious services are ordinarily chanted. What happened there? If I tell the truth, it will exceed your powers of belief. So let it suffice to say this much, at least, that in the Temple and porch of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgment of God that this place should be filled with the blood of the unbelievers, since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies. The city was filled with corpses and blood. Some of the enemy took refuge in the Tower of David, and, petitioning Count Raymond for protection, surrendered the Tower into his hands.

Now that the city was taken, it was well worth all our previous labors and hardships to see the devotion of the pilgrims at the Holy Sepulchre. How they rejoiced and exulted and sang a new song to the Lord! For their hearts offered prayers of praise to God, victorious and triumphant, which cannot be told in words. A new day, new joy, new and perpetual gladness, the consummation of our labor and devotion, drew forth from all new words and new songs. This day, I say, will be famous in all future ages, for it turned our labors and sorrows into joy and exultation; this day, I say, marks the justification of all Christianity, the humiliation of paganism, and the renewal of our faith. "This is the day which the Lord bath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it," for on this day the Lord revealed Himself to His people and blessed them.

On this day, the Ides of July, Lord Adhemar, Bishop of Puy, was seen in the city by many people. Many also testified that he was the first to scale the wall, and that he summoned the knights and people to follow him. On this day, moreover, the apostles were cast forth from Jerusalem and scattered over the whole world. On this same day, the children of the apostles regained the city and fatherland for God and the fathers. This day, the Ides of July, shall be celebrated to the praise and glory of the name of God, who, answering the prayers of His Church, gave in trust and benediction to His children the city and fatherland which He bad promised to the fathers. On this day we chanted the Office of the Resurrection, since on that day He, who by His virtue arose from the dead, revived us through His grace. So much is to be said of this.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 257-62

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« Reply #92 on: March 01, 2009, 09:21:26 pm »

6. Version of Fulcher of Chartres


Chapter 27: The Siege of the City of Jerusalem
On the seventh of June the Franks besieged Jerusalem. The city is located in a mountainous region, which is lacking in rivers, woods, and springs, except the Fountain of Siloam, where there is plenty of water, but it empties forth only at certain intervals. This fountain empties into the valley, at the foot of Mount Zion, and flows into the course of the brook of Kedron, which, during the winter, flows through the valley of Jehosaphat. There are many cisterns, which furnish abundant water within the city. When filled by the winter rains and well cared for, they offer both men and beasts an unfailing supply at all times. Moreover, the city is laid out most beautifully, and cannot be criticized. for too great length or as being disproportionately narrow. On the west is the. tower of David,. which is flanked on both sides by the broad wall of the city. The lower half of the wall is solid masonry, of square stones and mortar, sealed with molten lead. So strong is this wall that, if fifteen or twenty men should be well supplied with provisions, they would never be taken by any army. . . .

When the Franks saw how difficult it would be to take the city, the leaders ordered scaling ladders to be made, hoping that by a brave assault it might be possible to surmount the walls by means 'of ladders and thus take the city, God helping. So the ladders were made, and on the day following the seventh, in the early morning, the leaders ordered the attack, and, with the trumpets sounding, a splendid assault was made on the city from all sides. The attack lasted till the sixth hour, but it was discovered that the city could not be entered by the use of ladders, which were few in number, and sadly we ceased the attack.

Then a council was held, and it was ordered that siege machines should be constructed by the artisans, so that by moving them close to the wall we might accomplish our purpose, with the aid of God. This was done.......

. . .When the tower had been put together and bad been covered with hides, it was moved nearer to the wall. Then knights, few in number, but brave, at the sound of the trumpet, took their places in the tower and began to shoot stones and arrows. The Saracens defended themselves vigorously, and, with slings, very skilfully hurled back burning firebrands, which had been dipped in oil and fresh fat. Many on both sides, fighting in this manner, often found themselves in the presence of death.

. . . On the following day the work again began at the sound of the trumpet, and to such purpose that the rams, by continual pounding, made a hole through one part of the wall. The Saracens suspended two beams before the opening, supporting them by ropes, so that by piling stones behind them they would make an obstacle to the rams. However, what they did for their own protection became, through the providence of God, the cause of their own destruction. For, when the tower was moved nearer to the wall, the ropes that supported the beams were cut; from these same beams the Franks constructed a bridge, which they cleverly extended from the tower to the wall. About this time one of the towers in the stone wall began to burn, for the men who worked our machines had been hurling firebrands upon it until the wooden beams within it caught fire. The flames and smoke soon became so bad that none of the defenders of this part of the wall were able to remain near this place. At the noon hour on Friday, with trumpets sounding, amid great commotion and sbouting "God help us," the Franks entered the city. When the pagans saw one standard planted on the wall, they were completely demoralized, and all their former boldness vanished, and they turned to flee through the narrow streets of the city. Those who were already in rapid flight began to flee more rapidly.

Count Raymond and his men, who were attacking the wall on the other side, did not yet know of all this, until they saw the Saracens leap from the wall in front of them. Forthwith, they joyfully rushed into the city to pursue and kill the nefarious enemies, as their comrades were already doing. Some Saracens, Arabs, and Ethiopians took refuge in the tower of David, others fled to the temples of the Lord and of Solomon. A great fight took place in the court and porch of the temples, where they were unable to escape from our gladiators. Many fled to the roof of the temple of Solomon, and were shot with arrows, so that they fell to the ground dead. In this temple almost ten thousand were killed. Indeed, if you had been there you would have seen our feet colored to our ankles with the blood of the slain. But what more shall I relate? None of them were left alive; neither women nor children were spared.


Chapter 28: The Spoils Taken By the Christians
This may seem strange to you. Our squires and poorer footmen discovered a trick of the Saracens, for they learned that they could find byzants [note: a gold coin] in the stomachs and intestines of the dead Saracens, who had swallowed them. Thus, after several days they burned a great heap of dead bodies, that they might more easily get the precious metal from the ashes. Moreover, Tancred broke into the temple of the Lord and most wrongfully stole much gold and silver, also precious stones, but later, repenting of his action, after everything had been accounted for, be restored all to its former place of sanctity.

The carnage over, the crusaders entered the houses and took whatever they found in them. However, this was all done in such a sensible manner that whoever entered a house first received no injury from any one else, whether he was rich or poor. Even though the house was a palace, whatever he found there was his property. Thus many poor men became rich.

Afterward, all, clergy and laymen, went to the Sepulcher of the Lord and His glorious temple, singing the ninth chant. With fitting humility, they repeated prayers and made their offering at the holy places that they had long desired to visit. . . .

It was the eleven hundredth year of our Lord, if you subtract one, when the people of Gaul took the city. It was the 15th day of July when the Franks in their might captured the city. It was the eleven hundredth year minus one after the birth of our Lord, the 15th day of July in the two hundred and eighty-fifth year after the death of Charles the Great and the twelfth year after the death of William I of England.

Source:

Fulk (or Fulcher) of Chartres, Gesta Francorum Jerusalem Expugnantium [The Deeds of the Franks Who Attacked Jerusalem], in Frederick Duncan and August C. Krey, eds., Parallel Source Problems in Medieval History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1912), pp. 109-115. [Chapter headings added for the etext version to match the more modern translation - Fulk of Chartres, A History of the Expedition to Jerusalem, trans. Frances Rita Ryan, (Nashville: University of Tennesee Press, 1969)]
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« Reply #93 on: March 01, 2009, 09:21:44 pm »

"The Vision of Peace"

7. The Gesta Version


Then our leaders in council decided that each one should offer alms with prayers, that the Lord might choose for Himself whom He wanted to reign over the others and rule the city. They 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. But Raymond caused the Emir and the others who were with him to be conducted to Ascalon, whole and unhurt. However, on the eighth day after the city was captured, they chose Godfrey as head of the city to fight the pagans and guard the Christians. On the day of St. Peter ad Vincula they likewise chose as Patriarch a certain very wise and honorable man, Arnulf by name. This city was captured by God's Christians on the fifteenth day of July, the sixth day of the week.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 262

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« Reply #94 on: March 01, 2009, 09:22:13 pm »

8. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

Accordingly, after six or seven days the princes solemnly began to consider the matter of choosing a ruler, who, assuming charge of all matters, should collect the tributes of the region, to whom the peasants of the land could turn, and who would see to it that the land was not further devastated. While this was taking place, some of the clergy assembled and said to the princes, "We approve your election, but if you proceed rightly and properly, you will first choose a spiritual vicar, as eternal matters come before temporal; after this, a ruler to preside over secular matters. Otherwise, we shall hold invalid whatever you do." The princes were exceedingly angered when they heard this and proceeded the more quickly with the election. The clergy had been weakened by the departure of Lord Adhemar, Pontiff of Puy, who, in his life had held our army together with holy deeds and words, like a second Moses. After him, however, William, Bishop of Orange, a man of good repute, wished to minister to our strength, but he rested in peace at Marra within a short time. Accordingly, therefore, the good men having been taken off, the clergy conducted themselves humbly, all except the Bishop of Albara and some others. However, the Bishop of Martirano, advancing by other than the right road, since he had obtained the church of Bethlehem by fraud, was captured by the Saracens on the third or fourth day and never again appeared among us. The princes, disregarding admonition and opposition, urged the Count of St. Gilles to accept the kingdom. But he said that lie abhorred the name of king in that city, though he would consent to have others accept it. For this reason they together chose the Duke and placed him in charge of the Sepulchre of the Lord.

After this, however, the Duke required the Tower of David from the Count. But the latter refused, saying that he wished to stay in that region until Easter, and meanwhile be wanted to keep himself and his men in honorable state. But the Duke said that he would give up other places rather than the Tower. And so the disputes were multiplied. The Counts of Flanders and Normandy favored the Duke. Almost all from the land of Count Raymond did likewise in the belief that if the Tower were surrendered he would thereupon return home. Not alone did the Provençals oppose their lord, the Count, in this matter, but they also made up many vile statements about him so that he would not be chosen King. And so the Count, without the help of companions or friends, handed over the Tower to the Bishop of Albara for the sake of avoiding judgment. But the latter, without waiting for judgment, handed it over to the Duke, and when he was called traitor for having done this, he said that he had been compelled (to do so) and had suffered violence. I found this out, in truth, that very many arms were brought into the house of the Patriarch where the Bishop was staying near the Holy Sepulchre. But he spoke, also, of violence done himself and often secretly charged the friends of the Count with this affair.

So when the Tower had been surrendered, the Count blazed forth into great anger against his people, saying that he could not remain disgraced in that country. Accordingly, we set out from Jerusalem to Jericho, took palms and went to the Jordan. There, as Peter Bartholomew had commanded, a raft was constructed from twigs, and with the Count on it we pulled it across the river; since, forsooth, we had no ship, this plan seemed better to us. When after this the multitude had been called together, we commanded that they pray God for the life of the Count and the other princes. Therefore we proceeded to dress only in a shirt and new breeches, as we had been commanded about baptism; but why the man of God so commanded, we still do not know. When these matters had been accomplished, we returned to Jerusalem.

At this time, Arnulf, chaplain of the Count of Normandy, was chosen Patriarch by some, the good (clergy) opposing it not only because be was not a subdeacon, but especially because he was of priestly birth and was accused of incontinence on our expedition, so much so that they shamelessly composed vulgar songs about him. But, led on by such ambition, and disregarding the decrees of the canons and the infamy of his birth and conscience, be stirred up the people against the good (clergy) and had himself raised upon the patriarchal seat with hymns and chants and the great applause of the people. The divine vengeance exacted from the Bishop of Martirano, who had been the instigator and executor of this affair, not only did not terrify Arnulf, but, furthermore, did not prevent him from depriving of their benefices the clergy who had altars in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, or those in whose custody indulgence funds bad been established.

And thus Arnulf, increasing his power, began to inquire from the inhabitants of the city where the Cross was which pilgrims had been accustomed to adore before Jerusalem was taken. Although they denied (this knowledge), and by oath and other signs were willing to show that they did not know, they were at length compelled (to yield) and said this: "It is manifest that God has chosen you, has delivered you from all tribulation, and has given you figs and many other cities, not by the strength of your valor, but by blinding the impious in His wrath. Your Lord and Guide has opened to you the most strongly fortified cities and has won fearful battles for you. Therefore, why should we stubbornly conceal from you His good gifts, since we see that God is with you?" After this, they led them to a certain hall in the church, and, unearthing the Cross, they gave it up. Thereupon, all our men rejoiced, and we returned praise and thanks to Almighty God, who not only gave us the city in which He bad suffered, but likewise the symbols of His Passion and victory, that we might the more closely embrace Him with the arms of faith, the more certain the signs of our salvation that we beheld.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 262-64

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« Reply #95 on: March 01, 2009, 09:24:49 pm »

The News Spreads

9. The Letter of Manasses II, Archbishop of Reims


Manasses, by grace of God Archbishop of Reims, to Lambert, his brother, Bishop of Arras; greeting in Jesus Christ.

Be it known to you, dearest brother, that a true and joyful rumor has recently come to our ears, which we believe to have come down not from human knowledge, but from the Divine Majesty- to wit: Jerusalem stands on high with joy and gladness which it has so gloriously received from God in our times. Jerusalem, the city of our redemption and glory, delights with inconceivable joy, because through the effort and incomparable might f of the sons of God it has been liberated from most cruel pagan servitude. And let us also be joyful, whose Christian faith in such times as these has been placed in a mirror of eternal clarity.

We, therefore, admonished, summoned, and compelled, not only through the letters of Lord Pope Paschal, but, also, through the most humble prayers of Duke Godfrey, whom the army of Christ by divine direction elevated as King, as well as through the mellifluous entreaties of Lord Arnulf, whom they have unanimously chosen as Patriarch of the see of Jerusalem - we command with equal affection that you have every one of your parish churches, without fail, pray with fasts and almsgiving that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords crown the King of the Christians with victory against the enemy, and the Patriarch with religion and wisdom against the sects and deceptions of heretics. We command, likewise, and admonish, through your obedience, that you constrain by threat all who vowed to go on the expedition and took the sign of the cross upon themselves to set out for Jerusalem, if they are vigorous of body and have the means to accomplish the journey. As for the others, however, do not cease skilfully and most devoutly to admonish them not to neglect aiding the people of God, so that not only the first, but likewise the last, may receive the shilling which is promised to those laboring in the vineyard. Farewell.

Pray for the Bishop of Puy, for the Bishop of Orange, for Anselm, of Ribemont, and for all the others who lie at rest, crowned with so glorious a martyrdom.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 264-65

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« Reply #96 on: March 01, 2009, 09:25:21 pm »

10. The Letter of Pope Paschal II

Paschal, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all archbishops, bishops, and abbots throughout Gaul; greeting and apostolic blessing.

We owe boundless gratitude to the compassion of Almighty God, since in our time He has deigned to wrest the Church in Asia from the bands of the Turks and to open to Christian soldiers the very city of the Lord's suffering and burial. However, we ought to follow Divine grace with what means He has given us, and effectively aid our brethren who have remained in those districts which were once the lands of the people of Palestine or Canaan. Urge, therefore, all the soldiers of your region to strive for remission and forgiveness of their sins by hastening to our Mother Church of the East; especially compel those who have assumed the sign of the cross in pledge of this journey to hasten thither, unless they are prevented by the hindrance of poverty. Moreover, we decree that those be held in disgrace who left the siege of Antioch through weak or questionable faith; let them remain in excommunication, unless they affirm with certain pledges that they will return. We furthermore command that all their possessions be restored to those brethren who are returning after the victory of the Lord, just as you recall was ordained in a synodal decree by Urban, our predecessor of blessed memory. Do thus in all matters, being so zealous in your duty that by common zeal our Mother Church of the East may be restored to her due state, the Lord granting it.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 279


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© Paul Halsall December 1997
halsall@murray.fordham.edu
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/cde-jlem.html
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« Reply #97 on: March 01, 2009, 09:28:02 pm »

Battle of Ascalon

The Battle of Ascalon took place on August 12, 1099, and is often considered the last action of the First Crusade.

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« Reply #98 on: March 01, 2009, 09:29:01 pm »



1881 (1881)
 
Author Engraving by C.W. Sharpe, based on a painting of the same title by Gustav Dore. Copyright held by Frank Hunter Potter.
 
Battle of Ascalon
Part of the First Crusade

 
Date August 12, 1099
Location Ashkelon, Israel
Result Crusader victory
 
Belligerents
Crusaders Fatimids
Commanders
Godfrey of Bouillon

Robert II, Count of Flanders
 al-Afdal Shahanshah
Strength
Possibly 10 000 Possibly 50 000
Casualties and losses
Unknown Possibly 10-12 000
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« Reply #99 on: March 01, 2009, 09:29:24 pm »

The crusaders had negotiated with the Fatimids of Egypt during their march to Jerusalem, but no satisfactory compromise could be reached — the Fatimids were willing to give up control of Syria but not Palestine, but this was unacceptable to the crusaders, whose goal was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was captured from the Fatimids on July 15, 1099, after a long siege, and immediately the crusaders learned that a Fatimid army was on its way to besiege them.

The crusaders acted quickly. Godfrey of Bouillon was named Defender of the Holy Sepulchre on July 22, and Arnulf of Chocques, named patriarch of Jerusalem on August 1, discovered a relic of the True Cross on August 5. Fatimid ambassadors arrived to order the crusaders to leave Jerusalem, but they were ignored. On August 10 Godfrey led the remaining crusaders out of Jerusalem towards Ascalon, a day's march away, while Peter the Hermit led both the Catholic and Greek Orthodox clergy in prayers and a procession from the Holy Sepulchre to the Temple. Robert II of Flanders and Arnulf accompanied Godfrey, but Raymond IV of Toulouse and Robert of Normandy stayed behind, either out of a quarrel with Godfrey or because they preferred to hear about the Egyptian army from their own scouts. When the Egyptian presence was confirmed, they marched out as well the next day. Near Ramla, they met Tancred and Godfrey's brother Eustace, who had left to capture Nablus earlier in the month. At the head of the army, Arnulf carried the relic of the Cross, while Raymond of Aguilers carried the relic of the Holy Lance that had been discovered at Antioch the previous year.

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« Reply #100 on: March 01, 2009, 09:29:57 pm »

The battle

The Fatimids were led by vizier al-Afdal Shahanshah, who commanded perhaps as many as 50,000 troops (other estimates range from 20–30,000 to the exaggerated 200,000 of the Gesta Francorum). His army consisted of Seljuk Turks, Arabs, Persians, Armenians, Kurds, and Ethiopians. He was intending to besiege the crusaders in Jerusalem, although he had brought no siege machinery with him; he did however have a fleet, also assembling in the port of Ascalon. The precise number of crusaders is unknown, but the number given by Raymond of Aguilers is 1,200 knights and 9,000 infantry. The highest estimate is 20,000 men but this is surely impossible at this stage of the crusade. Al-Afdal camped in the plain of al-Majdal in a valley outside Ascalon, preparing to continue on to Jerusalem and besiege the crusaders there, apparently unaware that the crusaders had already left to meet him. On August 11 the crusaders found oxen, sheep, camels, and goats, gathered there to feed the Fatimid camp, grazing outside the city. According to captives taken by Tancred in a skirmish near Ramla, the animals were there to encourage the crusaders to disperse and pillage the land, making it easier for the Fatimids to attack. However, al-Afdal did not yet know the crusaders were in the area and was apparently not expecting them. In any case, these animals marched with them the next morning, making their army appear much larger than it actually was.

On the morning of the 12th, crusader scouts reported the location of the Fatimid camp and the army marched towards it. During the march the crusaders had been organized into nine divisions: Godfrey led the left wing, Raymond the right, and Tancred, Eustace, Robert of Normandy and Gaston IV of Béarn made up the centre; they were further divided into two smaller divisions, and a division of foot-soldiers marched ahead of each. This arrangement was also used as the line of battle outside Ascalon, with the center of the army between the Jerusalem and Jaffa Gates, the right aligned with the Mediterranean coast, and the left facing the Jaffa Gate.

According to most accounts (both crusader and Muslim), the Fatimids were caught unprepared and the battle was short, but Albert of Aix states that the battle went on for some time with a fairly well-prepared Egyptian army. The two main lines of battle fought each other with arrows until they were close enough to fight hand-to-hand with lances. The Ethiopians attacked the centre of the crusader line, and the Fatimid vanguard was able to outflank the crusaders and surround their rearguard, until Godfrey arrived to rescue them. Despite his numerical superiority, al-Afdal's army was hardly as strong or dangerous as the Seljuk armies that the crusaders had encountered previously. The battle seems to have been over before the Fatimid heavy cavalry was prepared to join it. Al-Afdal and his panicked troops fled back to the safety of the heavily fortified city; Raymond chased some of them into the sea, others climbed trees and were killed with arrows, while others were crushed in the retreat back into the gates of Ascalon. Al-Afdal left behind his camp and its treasures, which were captured by Robert and Tancred. Crusader losses are unknown, but the Egyptians lost about 10–12,000 men.

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« Reply #101 on: March 01, 2009, 09:30:24 pm »

Aftermath

The crusaders spent the night in the abandoned camp, preparing for another attack, but in the morning they learned that the Fatimids were retreating to Egypt. Al-Afdal fled by ship. They took as much plunder as they could, including the Standard and al-Afdal's personal tent and burned the rest. They returned to Jerusalem on August 13, and after much celebration Godfrey and Raymond both claimed Ascalon. When the garrison learned of the dispute they refused to surrender. After the battle, almost all of the remaining crusaders returned to their homes in Europe, their vows of pilgrimage having been fulfilled. There were perhaps only a few hundred knights left in Jerusalem by the end of the year, but they were gradually reinforced by new crusaders, inspired by the success of the original crusade.

Ascalon remained under Fatimid control and was soon re-garrisoned. It became the base of operations for invasions of the Kingdom of Jerusalem every year afterwards, and numerous battles were fought there in the following years, until 1153 when it was finally captured by the crusaders in the Siege of Ascalon.

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« Reply #102 on: March 01, 2009, 09:32:54 pm »

Letter of the Karaite elders of Ascalon

The Letter of the Karaite elders of Ascalon was a communication written by six elders of the Karaite Jewish community of Ascalon and sent to their coreligionists in Alexandria nine months after the fall of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. The contents describe how the Ascalon elders pooled money together to pay the initial ransom for pockets of Jews and holy relics being held captive in Jerusalem by the Crusaders, the fate of some of these refugees after their release (including their transport to Alexandria, contraction of the plague, or death at sea), and the need for additional funds for the rescuing of further captives.[1] It was written in Judeo-Arabic, Arabic using the Hebrew alphabet.[2]

This and other such letters related to the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem were discovered by noted historian S.D. Goitein in 1952 among the papers of the Cairo Geniza. Goitein first published his findings in Zion, a Hebrew journal, and then presented a partial English translation of the letter in the Journal of Jewish Studies that same year. Since then, it has been retranslated in several other books pertaining to the Crusades. Goitein's final and most complete English translation appeared in his final book posthumously published in 1988.[2]

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« Reply #103 on: March 01, 2009, 09:33:23 pm »

Crusade of 1101 and the establishment of the kingdom

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Crusade
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« Reply #104 on: March 02, 2009, 04:23:08 am »




A map showing the movements of Christian armies in Anatolia during the Crusade of 1101.

This map uses Image:Anatolia 1097.svg as a base map. The star at Ancyra indicates that the city was taken by the Crusaders. A circle around a city, as at Konya and Gangra, indicates that the city was placed under siege but was not taken.


Crusade of 1101
Part of the Crusades

A map of western Anatolia, showing the routes taken by Christian armies
Date Summer of 1101
Location Anatolia
Result Decisive Seljuk Muslim victory
 
Belligerents
Christendom, Catholicism
and West European Christians Seljuks,
and other Muslims
Commanders
Anselm IV (Archbishop of Milan)
William II of Nevers
William IX of Aquitaine
Hugh of Vermandois
Welf I, Duke of Bavaria Kilij Arslan
Ridwan of Aleppo
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