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Medieval Sourcebook:
Raymond d'Aguiliers:
Historia francorum qui ceperint Jerusalem

Raymond d'Aguiliers Historia francorum qui ceperint Jerusalem represents the experiences of chaplain of Raymond de Saint Gilles, Count of Toulouse, who lead the Southen French army of the First Crusade.

The text can be found in RHC OCC III.

Selections

See also:

John H, and Laurita L. Hill, Raymond d'Aguiliers: Historia francorum qui ceperint Jerusalem, (Philadelphia, 1968)

1. Raymond of Toulouse and Adhémar of Le Puy

While advancing into the land of Slavonia they suffered many losses on the way, especially because it was then winter. For Slavonia was such a desert and so pathless and mountainous that we saw in it neither wild animals, nor birds for three weeks. The inhabitants of the region were so boorish and rude that they were unwilling to trade with us, or to furnish us guidance, but instead fled from their villages and their castles. Indeed, they even butchered like cattle, or, as if they had done much harm, the feeble aged and the weak poor, who, because of their weakness, followed our army at a distance. Nor was it easy amidst steep mountains and thick woods for our armed knights to pursue the unarmed brigands who were acquainted with the country. But they suffered them constantly, unable either to fight or to keep from fighting. Let us not pass over a certain illustrious act of the Count. When the Count with some of his knights had been hedged about for some little time by the Slavonians, he made a charge upon them and captured as many as six of them. And when, on this account, the Slavonians pressed upon him the more violently, and the Count was compelled to follow the army, he ordered the eyes of some of them (the prisoners) to be torn out, the feet of others cut off, and the nose and hands of still others to be slashed, so that while the pursuers were thus moved at the sight and preoccupied with their sorrow, the Count could safety escape with his companions. And thus, by the grace of God he was delivered from the straits of death and this difficult situation.

Indeed, what courage and wisdom the Count displayed in this region is not easy to relate! For we were in Slavonia for almost forty days, during which time we encountered clouds so dense that we could feel them and push them before us with a slight movement. Amidst all this, the Count was fighting constantly at the rear and ever defending his people. He was never the first, but always the last, to encamp, and though the others went to rest at midday, or at evening, the Count often did so at midnight, or at cockcrow. At length, through the compassion of God, the labor of the Count, and the advice of the Bishop, the army so crossed (Slavonia) that we lost no one there from hunger, and no one in open battle. On that account, I bear witness, God wanted his army to cross Slavonia, in order that the boorish men who did not know God, upon recognizing the valor and patience of His knights, might either lose something of their wildness or be brought without excuse to God's judgment. And then, after many labors, we came to the king of the Slavonians at Scutari, The Count swore friendship with him and gave him a large tribute, so that the army might buy or seek necessaries in security. But this was a (vain) expectation, for we did penance enough for the peace we had sought when thereafter the Slavonians, raging in their usual manner, killed our men and took from the unarmed what they could. We sought not vengeance, but a place of refuge. So much about Slavonia.

We came to Durazzo. We believed we were in our own country, thinking that the Emperor and his satellites were our brothers and helpmates. They, indeed, raging in the manner of lions, attacked a peaceful people who thought of nothing less than arms. They, butchered them in secret places; they stole what they could by night, in the woods, and in villages remote from the camp. Although they raged thus, their leader promised peace. But during the intervals of peace, they killed Pontius Reinald and mortally wounded his brother, Peter, and these were most noble princes. However, when an opportunity was presented to us for revenge, we chose to continue the journey, not to avenge our wrongs. On the way, we had letters from the Emperor about peace, brotherhood, and, as I may also say, about alliance; this, however, was a snare in words. For in front and behind, to right and to left, Turks and Cumans, Uzi, Tanaces, Patzinaks, and Bulgarians were lying in ambush for us.

On a certain day, moreover, when we were in the valley of Pelagonia, the Bishop of Puy, who, in order to find a comfortable resting place, had withdrawn a little distance from the camp, was captured by the Patzinaks. They knocked him down from his mule, robbed him, and beat him severely on the head. But since so great a pontiff was still necessary to the people of God, through God's mercy he was saved to life. For one of the Patzinaks, in order to obtain gold from him, protected him from the others. Meanwhile, the noise was heard in the camp; and so, between the delay of the enemy and the attack of his friends, he was rescued.

When we had come amidst treachery of this fashion to a certain fortress called Bucinat, the Count learned that the Patzinaks intended to attack our army in the passes of a certain mountain. Staying in hiding with some of his knights, he came upon the Patzinaks, and, after killing several of them, he turned the rest to flight. Meanwhile, pacifying letters from the Emperor reached us, (and yet) by his evil design the enemy surrounded us on all sides. When we came to Thessalonica, the Bishop was ill and remained in the city with a few men.

After this, we came to a certain city, Rusa by name, where, since its citizens were plainly disposed to do us evil, our usual patience was somewhat disturbed. So, taking up arms, we destroyed the outer walls, seized great plunder, and forced the city to surrender; then, having taken our standards into the city and shouted "Toulouse!" which was the battle cry of the Count, we departed.

We came to another city, called Rodosto. When knights in the pay of the Emperor there sought to carry out his vengeance upon us, many of them were killed and a quantity of plunder taken. There, also, the envoys whom we had sent ahead to the Emperor came to us and, having received money from him, promised that everything boded well for us with the Emperor. What more? The message (brought) by our envoys and those of the Emperor was that the Count, leaving his army behind, should hasten unarmed and with a few men to the Emperor. For they said that Bohemund, the Duke of Lorraine, the Count of Flanders, and other princes made this prayer: that the Count should hasten to agree with the Emperor about the march to Jerusalem; that the Emperor, having taken the cross, should also become leader in the army of God. In addition to this, they reported that the Emperor had said that he would make all arrangements with the Count, both about themselves and whatever else should be necessary for the journey. They announced, furthermore, that a battle was imminent, and that without the support of so great a man it would probably be unfavorable; that the Count should therefore go ahead with a few men, so that when his army should arrive, everything would have been arranged with the Emperor, and there would be no delay for anyone. At length, the Count was persuaded to go ahead of his army, in this instance, alone, leaving his guard behind him in the camp. And thus he went unarmed to Constantinople.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 64-67
2. Raymond and Adhémar in Constantinople

Although events have lightly accompanied the writer so far with happy and favorable step, they now follow with so great a weight of bitterness and sorrow that it grieves me to have begun what I have vowed to finish. What, indeed; is the most important and first matter that I shall proceed to mention? The most false and detestable deceit of the Emperor's admonition? Or the most base flight and unthinkable desperation of our army? Or shall I leave a monument of perpetual sorrow by enumerating the deaths of such great princes? Let any one who desires to know this, however, seek it rather from others than from me. This one very memorable event I consider to merit excuse from silence. When our men thought of abandoning the camp, taking flight, deserting their fellows, and leaving everything that they had brought along from such distant regions, they were brought back by the saving deeds of penance and fast to such staunch fortitude that only shame at their former desperate condition and flight most deeply affected them. So much may be said about this.

Accordingly, when the Count had been received most honorably by the Emperor and his princes, the Emperor demanded of the Count homage and the oath which the other princes had made to him. The Count replied that he had not come hither to make another his lord or to fight for any other than the One for whom be bad left his country and his possessions. Nevertheless, if the Emperor would go to Jerusalem with the army, he would commit himself and his men and all his goods to him. But the Emperor excused himself from the journey by saying that he greatly feared lest the Germans, Hungarians, Cumans, and other wild peoples would devastate his empire, if he made the journey with the pilgrims. Meanwhile the Count, upon bearing of the flight and death of his men, believed that he had been betrayed, and through certain of our princes he vehemently charged the Emperor with having committed treason. But Alexius said that he did not know that our men had devastated his kingdom, and that be and his men had suffered many injuries; that there was nothing of which the Count could complain, except that while the army of the Count in its usual manner was devastating the villages and towns, it took to flight upon seeing his (the Emperor's) army. Nevertheless, he promised that he would give satisfaction to the Count and offered Bohemund as a hostage for the satisfaction. They went to trial; the Count, according to law, was compelled to give up his hostage.

Meanwhile, our army came to Constantinople; and after this the Bishop, whom the army had left ill at Durazzo, followed us with his brother. Alexius asked (homage) again and again and promised that he would give much to the Count if he would do him the desired homage as the other princes had done. The Count, however, was constantly meditating how he might avenge the injury to his men, and drive away from himself and his followers the disgrace of such great infamy. But the Duke of Lorraine, the Count of Flanders, and the other princes deprecated such action , saying that it would be very foolish to fight with Christians when the Turks were threatening. Bohemund, indeed, promised that he would aid the Emperor, if the Count made any attempt against the Emperor, or if he no longer refused homage and oath. Thereupon, the Count took counsel with his men and swore that neither in person nor through another would be sully the life or honor of Alexius. And when asked about homage, he replied that he would not do it at the risk of his head, wherefore the Emperor gave him few gifts.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 97-98
3. Victory at Nicea

Thereupon, we crossed the sea and went up to Nicaea. For the Duke, Bohemund, and the other princes had preceded the Count and were engaged in the labors of the siege. The city of Nicaea is very strongly fortified by nature, as well as by art. It has on the west a very large lake flowing up to the wall; on the remaining three sides is a moat filled with the overflow of certain little streams; in addition, it is encircled by walls so high that neither the assaults of men nor the attacks of any machine are feared. Indeed, the ballistae of the neighboring towers are so turned with reference to one another that no one can approach without danger; however, if anyone wants to approach nearer, he is easily overwhelmed from the top of the towers without being able to retaliate.

Accordingly, this city, such as we have described, was besieged by Bohemund from the north, by the Duke and the Alemanni from the east, by the Count and Bishop of Puy from the middle, for the Count of Normandy was not yet with us. But we believe this one incident should not be passed over - that when the Count was about to encamp there with his men, the Turks, descending from the mountains in two squadrons, attacked our army. Their plan, indeed, was that while one party of the Turks assailed the Duke and the Alemanni who were on the east, the other party, entering the middle gate of the city and passing out through another, would easily drive our men from the camp at a time when they were not expecting such an attack. But God, who is wont to reverse the plan of the impious, so altered their preparations that, as if it had been arranged, He sent the Count, who was preparing to encamp with his men, upon the squadron of Turks which was now about to enter the city. He put them to flight at the first charge and, after killing several, pursued the rest to the top of the mountain. The other party of Turks which wanted to attack the Alemanni was put to flight in the same way and destroyed. After this, machines were constructed and the wall attacked in vain, for it was very firm against us and was valiantly defended by arrows and machines. So we fought five weeks with no result. At length, through God's will, some men of the household of the Bishop and the Count dangerously enough approached the comer tower which faced the east, and having made a testudo, they began, after a struggle., to undermine one of the towers and by digging threw it to the ground. Thus the city would have been taken, had not the shadows of night prevented. However, the wall was rebuilt during the night, and this rendered our former labor vain. At length the city, terrified with fear, was compelled to surrender. One reason was that the ships of the Emperor which had been dragged over the land were let down into the lake. They therefore gave themselves up to the Emperor, since they now expected no further aid and saw the army of the Franks increasing daily, while they were cut off from their forces. The Count of Normandy had come. Alexius had promised the princes and the people of the Franks that be would give them all the gold, silver, horses, and goods within (the city), and that be would establish there a Latin monastery and hospice for the poor Franks; besides, that be would give to each one of the army so much of his own possessions that they would always want to fight for him. Accordingly, the Franks, placing faith in these promises, approved the surrender. And so, when Alexius had received the city, be afforded the army such an example of gratitude that as long as they live the people will curse him and proclaim him a traitor.

We recognized, then, that the Emperor had betrayed Peter the Hermit, who had long before come to Constantinople with a great multitude. For he compelled him, ignorant of the locality and of all military matters, to cross the Strait with his men and exposed them to the Turks. Moreover, when the Turks from Nicea saw that unwarlike multitude, they cut them down without effort and delay to the number of sixty thousand. The rest, indeed, fled to a certain fortified place and escaped the swords of the Turks. The Turks, made bold and haughty by this, sent the arms and the captives which they had taken there to the Saracens and the nobles of their own race, and they wrote to the peoples and cities far off that the Franks were of no account in battle.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 103-105
4. The Siege of Antioch

And since already in the third month of the siege food was bought too dearly, Bohemund and the Count of Flanders were chosen to lead an army into Hispania for food, the Count and the Bishop of Puy being left as a guard in the camp. For the Count of Normandy was away at the time, and the Duke was very ill. However, when the enemy learned this, they repeated their customary assaults. The Count, moreover, was compelled to attack them in his usual manner, and, after forming the ranks of the foot soldiers, he, with some knights, pursued the assailants. He captured and killed two of them on the slope of the little mountain and forced all the enemy to enter by the bridge. As our foot soldiers saw this, they left their posts and their standards and ran in a mob up to their bridges. And when there, as if already in safety, they cast stones and weapons upon those who were defending the bridge. The Turks, after forming a line, began to rush against our men by the bridge and by a path which was lower down. Meanwhile, our knights chased toward our bridge a certain horse whose master they had overthrown. When our people saw this, thinking our knights in flight, they showed their backs to the attack of the enemy without delay. Then the Turks killed without ceasing those who fled. Even if the knights of the Franks wished to resist and fight for their people, they were caught by the crowd of fleeing footmen, by their arms, and by the manes and tails of the horses, and were either thrown from their horses, or, out of compassion and regard for the safety of their people, were brought to flight. The enemy, indeed, without delay, without pity, slaughtered and pursued the living and despoiled the bodies of the dead. Moreover, it was not enough for our men to leave their arms, take flight, despise shame, but they rushed into the river to be overwhelmed with stones or arrows of the enemy, or to remain under water. If skill and strength in swimming bore anyone across the river, he reached the camp of his companions. However, our flight extended from their bridge to our bridge. They there killed about fifteen of our knights and about twenty foot soldiers. The standard bearer of the Bishop was killed there, and his standard was captured. A certain very noble youth, Bernard Raymond of Beziers, died there.

Let the servants of God neither complain nor be angry with us, if our men bequeathed such open shame to the memory of our army; since God, who in this way desired to drive to penance the minds of adulterers and robbers, at the same time gladdened our army in Hispania. For a rumor, going forth from our camp, announced to Bohemund and his fellows that all was prosperous, and that the Count had gained a most noble victory. Moreover, this report aroused their spirits no little. After Bohemund had besieged a certain village, be heard some of his peasants suddenly fleeing and shouting, and when he had sent knights to meet them, they saw an army of Turks and Arabs close at hand. Moreover, among those who had set out to determine the cause of the flight and outcry was the Count of Flanders, and with him certain Provençals. For all from Burgundy, Auvergne, Gascony, and all Goths are called Provçencals, while the others are called of the Frankish race: that is, in the army; among the enemy, however, all are spoken of as Frankish. This Count of Flanders, as we have said, however, thinking it a disgrace to report about the enemy before attacking them, rushed impetuously against the phalanxes of the Turks. The Turks, indeed, unaccustomed to conduct battles with swords, took to flight for refuge. Nor did the Count sheathe his sword until he had removed a hundred of the enemy from life. When he was now returning to Bohemund as victor, he saw twelve thousand Turks coming behind him, and rising up on the nearest hill toward the left he saw a countless multitude of foot soldiers. Then, after communicating his plan to the rest of the army, be took a number of men back with him and violently attacked the Turks. Bohemund, indeed, followed at a distance with the rest and guarded the rear lines. For the Turks have this custom in fighting: even though they are fewer in number, they always strive to encircle their enemy. This they attempted to do in this battle also, but by the foresight of Bohemund the wiles of the enemy were prevented. When, however, the Turks, and the Arabs, coming against the Count of Flanders, saw that the affair was not to be conducted at a distance with arrows, but at close quarters with swords, they turned in flight. The Count followed them for two miles, and in this space be saw the bodies of the killed lying like bundles of grain reaped in the field. The ambushes which Bohemund had encountered were scattered and put to flight in the same way. But the countless horde of foot soldiers, of which we spoke above, slipped away in flight through places impassable to horses. I would dare, I say, were it not arrogant to judge, to place this battle ahead of the fights of the Maccabees, since if Maccabaeus with three thousand felled forty-eight thousand of the enemy, more than sixty thousand of the enemy were here turned in flight by a force of forty knights. I do not, indeed, belittle the valor of the Maccabees, nor exalt the valor of our knights, but I say that God, then marvelous in Maccabaeus, was now more marvelous in our troops.

A (strange) result of this achievement was that after the enemy had been put to flight the courage of our men decreased, so that they did not dare to pursue those whom they saw headlong in flight. Accordingly, when the army returned victorious and empty-handed, there was such famine in the camp that two solidi were scarcely enough to keep one man in bread for a day, nor were other things to be obtained less dearly.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 134-36

5. Sufferings of Crusaders at Antioch

And so the poor began to leave, and many rich who feared poverty. If any for love of valor remained in camp, they suffered their horses to waste away by daily hunger. Indeed, straw did not abound; and fodder was so dear that seven or eight solidi were not sufficient to buy one night's food for a horse. Another calamity also befell the army, for Bohemund, who had become most distinguished in Hispania said that be would leave; that be bad come for honor, and (now) beheld his men and horses perishing for want; and he (further) said that he was not a rich man, I whose private resources would suffice for so long a siege. We found out afterwards that he had said this for the reason that he was ambitiously longing to become head of the city of Antioch.

Meanwhile, there was a great earthquake on the third day before the Kalends of January, and we beheld a very marvelous sign in the sky. For in the first watch of the night the sky was so red in the north that it seemed as if dawn had arisen to announce the day. And though in this way God chastised His army, so that we were intent upon the light which was rising in the darkness, yet the minds of some were so blind and abandoned that they were recalled neither from luxury nor robbery. At this time the Bishop prescribed a fast of three days and urged prayers and alms, together with a procession, upon the people; moreover, he commanded the priests to devote themselves to masses and prayers, the clerics to psalms. Thereupon, the merciful Lord, remembering His compassion, put off the punishment of His children, lest the arrogance of their adversaries increase.

There was, besides, in our army a certain member of the Emperor's household whom he had given to us in his place, Tatius by name, mangled in nose and all virtue. I had almost forgotten him, since be deserved to be abandoned to oblivion forever. This man, however, was daily whispering in the ears of the princes that they should scatter to the neighboring camp, and then assail the people of Antioch by frequent assaults and ambush. However, as all this was made clear to the Count (for he had been sick since the day when he was forced to flee at the bridge), be called his princes and the Bishop of Puy together. After holding a council, he gave them fifty marks of silver on this condition, truly, that if any of his knights lost a horse, it should be restored to him out of those fifty marks and other (resources) which had been given to the brotherhood. Moreover, this kind of cooperation was of great profit at that time, since the poor of our army, who wanted to cross the river to gather herbs, feared the frequent assaults of the enemy, and since very rarely did any care to go against the enemy, because their horses were starved and weak, and, in addition, so few that scarcely one hundred could be found in the whole army of the Count and Bishop. A similar lot bad befallen Bohemund and the other princes. Accordingly, for this reason our knights were not afraid to meet the enemy, especially those who had had or weak horses, since they knew that if they lost their horses they would obtain better ones. Moreover, something else occurred, namely that all the princes except the Count promised the city to Bohemund, provided it was taken. So Bohemund and the other princes swore to this agreement, that they would not withdraw from the siege of Antioch for seven years, unless the city was taken.

While these matters were happening in the camp, rumor also announced that the army of the Emperor was coming. It was reported to have been assembled from many peoples; namely, Slavs and Patzinaks and Cumans and Turcopoles. For they are called Turcopoles who either were reared among the Turks, or were born of a Turkish father and a Christian mother. These peoples, moreover, because they had hurt us on the march confessed that they were afraid to meet us. All this, however, that mangled Tatius had made up, and he had made such comments in order to be able to get away. This man, after heaping up not only (these) statements, but even the very greatest insults, betrayal of his companions, and perjury, slipped away in flight, after having granted to Bohemund two or three cities, Turso, Mamistra, Adana. Accordingly, after acquiring everlasting shame for himself and his people in this way, be feigned a journey to the army of the Emperor, and, leaving his tents and his servants, he set out with the curse of God.

It was announced to us at this time that the chief of the Caliph was coming to the help of Antioch with a large army, which he was leading from Chorosan. On this account, after a council had been held in the house of the Bishop, it was decided that the foot soldiers should guard the camp and the knights should go out of the camp against the enemy; for they said that if the many unwarlike and fearful in our army saw a multitude of Turks, they would afford examples of fright, rather than of boldness. Our men, therefore, set forth at night, lest those in the city should notice (their departure) and report it to those who were coming to aid them, and hid themselves among the little mountains about two leagues distant from our camp.

However, when it became morning, the enemy appeared with the sun. Let them hearken, let them hearken, I beg, who have at one time and another tried to hurt the army, so that, when they recognize that God enlarges His compassion among us, they may hasten to make restitution by lamenations of penance. Accordingly, after the knights had been formed in six squadrons, God multiplied them so much that they who had scarcely seemed to number seventy before the formation, after it were sworn to number more than two thousand in each squadron. What, indeed, shall I say of their boldness, when the knights even sang the military songs so festively that they regarded the coming battle as if it were a game? Moreover, the battle happened to be fought in this place where the swamp and river are a mile apart. This, however, prevented the enemy from spreading out, so that they could not encircle us in their usual manner. For God, who had given us other things, afforded us six successive valleys for advancing to battle. In one hour after going forth the field was taken, and while the sun shone brightly, the battle was committed to arms and shields. Our men, moreover, at first advanced a little, while the Turks, though they scattered to shoot with their bows, yet made a move to retreat. But our men suffered very much until the first ranks of the Turks were pushed into the rear, for as we learned from their deserters, there were said to be not less than twenty-eight thousand horsemen in this battle. And when the first line of the Turks was sufficiently mixed up with the following lines, the Franks called upon the Lord and charged. Nor was there delay; the Lord, strong and mighty in battle, was present. He protected His children, and hurled down the enemy. So the Franks pursued them even to their very strongly fortified camp, which was about ten miles from the place of battle. But the custodians of the camp, upon seeing this, set fire to it and fled. We were, however, so rejoiced and exultant at this, that we hailed as a second victory the burning of the camp.

And thus on that same day the light in the camp was so great that there was no place toward the city where fighting was not going on. For the enemy had arranged that, while we were most fiercely engaged by the besieged, we should be overwhelmed by their unexpected aid from the rear. But God, who granted victory to our knights, fought among our foot soldiers (also). And on that day we obtained no less a triumph over the besieged than our knights reported over the helpers. Accordingly, after the victory and the spoils had been won, the several heads of the dead were brought to the camp. And that we might cause fear among the enemy by the evidence of the (fate of) their scattered allies, the heads that had been brought along were suspended on stakes. This we believed later to have been done by the disposition of God. For when the standard of the Blessed Mary had been captured, they put it point downward in the ground, as if to shame us. And thus it happened hat they were restrained from taunting us by the sight of the uplifted heads of their men.

At this time there were in our camp envoys from the King of Babylon, who, upon seeing the wonders which God was working through His servents, glorified Jesus, the son of the Virgin Mary, who through His poor had ground to dust their mightiest tyrants. These envoys, moreover, promised us favor and good will with their king; besides, they told of very many good deeds of their king toward the Egyptian Christians and our pilgrims. Thereupon, our envoys were sent back with them to enter upon a treaty and friendship with the King.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 139-42
6. The Fall of Antioch

Meanwhile, messengers began to come very frequently, saying that aid was coming to the enemy. Moreover, this report came to us not only from the Armenians and the Greeks, but was also announced to us by those who were in the city. When the Turks had obtained Antioch fourteen years before, they had converted Armenians and Greek youths, as if for want of servants, and had given them wives. When such men as these had a chance to escape, they came to us with horses and arms. And when this report became frequent, many of our men and the Armenian merchants began to flee in terror. Meanwhile, good knights who were scattered among the fortresses came and brought arms, fitted, and repaired them. And when the gradually lessening swelling (of pride) had flowed from our army, and courage, ever ready to undergo dangers with brothers and for brothers, had come (in its place), one of the converted who was in the city sent word to our princes through Bohemund that be would surrender the city to us.

Accordingly, when the plan had been communicated, the princes sent Bohemund and the Duke of Lorraine and the Count of Flanders to try it out. And when they had come to the hill of the city at midnight, an intermediary sent back by him who was surrendering the city said, "Wait until the light passes." For three or four men went along the walls of the city with lamps all night, arousing and admonishing the watchers. After this, however, our men approached the wall, raised a ladder, and began to ascend it. A certain Frank, Fulger by name, brother of Budellus of Chartres, was the first boldly to ascend the wall; the Count of Flanders, following, sent word to Bohemund and the Duke to ascend; and since all hurried, each to go ahead of the other, the ladder was broken. But those who had climbed up went down into the city and opened a certain little postern. Thus our men went in, and they did not take captive any of those whom they found. When the dawn of day appeared, they shouted out. The whole city was disturbed at this shout, and the women and small children began to weep. Those who were in the castle of the Count, aroused at this outcry since they were nearer (it), began to say to one another, "Their aid has come!" Others, however, replied, "That does not sound like the voice of joyful people." And when the day whitened, our standards appeared on the southern hill of the city. When the disturbed citizens saw our men on the mountain above them, some fled through the gate, others hurled themselves headlong. No one resisted; in truth, the Lord had confounded them. Then after a long time, a joyful spectacle was made for us, in that those who had so long defended Antioch against us were now unable to flee from Antioch. Even if some of them had dared to take flight, yet they could not escape death. A certain incident occurred there, joyful and delightful enough for us. For when some Turks strove to flee among the cliffs which divide the bill in two from the north, they encountered some of our men, and when the Turks were forced to go back, the repulsed fugitives went with such rapidity that they all fell over the precipice together. Our joy over the fallen enemy was great, but we grieved over the more than thirty horses who had their necks broken there.

How great were the spoils captured in Antioch it is impossible for us to say, except that you may believe as much as you wish, and then add to it. Moreover, we cannot say how many Turks and Saracens then perished; it is, furthermore, cruel to explain by what diverse and various deaths they died. When those foes who guarded the castle on the middle hill saw the destruction of their men and that our men were refraining from besieging them, they kept their castle. Gracianus, however, who had gone out by a certain postern, was captured and beheaded by some Armenian peasants, and his head was brought to us. This, I believe, was done by the ineffable disposition of God, that he who had caused many men of this same race to be beheaded should be deprived of his head by them. The city of Antioch was captured on the third day before the Nones of June; it had been besie ed, however, since about the eleventh day before the Kalends of November.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 153-55

7. Kerbogha's Attack

In the meantime, while our men, engaged in counting and identifying their spoils, had desisted from the siege of the upper fortress, and, while listening to the pagan dancing girls, had feasted in splendor and magnificence, not at all mindful of God who had granted them so great a blessing, they were besieged by the pagans on the third day, on the Nones of the same June. And so it was brought about that they who by the mercy of God bad so long besieged the Turks in Antioch were through His disposition in turn besieged by the Turks. And that we might be the more fearful, the upper fortress which is a kind of citadel, was in the hands of the enemy. Our men, accordingly, under the stress of fear, took up the siege of the fortress.

Corbaga [i.e. Kerbogha], however, lord of the Turks, expecting the battle to take place there, fixed his tents at a distance of about two miles from the city and, with ranks arrayed, came up to the bridge of the city. Our men, however, bad strengthened the fortress of the Count on the first day, fearing that if they proceeded to battle it would be seized by the enemy who were in the citadel, or, if they deserted the fortress which was before the bridge and the enemy occupied it, that the enemy would shut us off from a chance to fight and block our exit.

There was in the army a knight most distinguished and very dear to all, Roger of Barneville by name, who, while pursuing the army of the retiring enemy, was captured and deprived of his head. Fear and grief, accordingly, assailed our men, so that many were led to the desperate hope of flight. Thereupon, when the Turks had once and again suffered a repulse in fighting, they besieged the fortress on the third day; and the fighting was carried on there with such violence that the might of God alone was believed to defend the fortress and resist the adversaries. For when the Turks were already prepared to cross the moat and destroy the walls, they were taken with fright, I know not why, and rushed headlong into flight. Then, seeing no reason for their flight, they returned to the siege after they bad run a short distance, blaming their own timidity; and, as if to atone for the disgrace of the flight they bad made, they attacked more violently and again were more violently terrified by the might of God. Therefore the enemy returned to their camp on that day. On the next day, however, they returned to the fortress with a very great supply of siege machinery, but our men set fire to the fortress and thrust themselves within the walls of the city. And thus, as the fear of the Franks was increased, the boldness of the enemy grew; forsooth, we had nothing outside the city, and the fortress, which was the bead of the city, was held by our foes. The Turks, emboldened by this, arranged to enter against us by the fortress. Our men, however, relying on their favorable and lofty location, fought against the enemy and at the first attack overthrew them; but, forgetful of the threatening battle and intent upon plunder, they (in turn) were most vilely put to flight. For more than a hundred men were suffocated in the gate of the city, and even more horses. Then the Turks who had entered the fortress wanted to go down into the city. For the valley between our mountain and their fortress was not large, and in the middle of it was a certain cistern and a little level place. Nor did the enemy have a path down into the city except through our mountain; wherefore they strove with every intent and all their might to drive us out and remove us from their path. The battle was waged with such force from morning to evening that nothing like it was ever heard of. There was a certain frightful and as yet unheard of calamity befell us, for amidst the hail of arrows and rocks, and the constant charge of javelins, and the deaths of so many, our men became unconscious. If you ask for the end of this fight, it was night.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 168-69

8. The Discovery of the Holy Lance

And so, as we said, when our men were in a panic and while they were on the verge of despair, divine mercy was at hand for them; and that mercy which had corrected the children when they were wanton, consoled them when they were very sad, in the following way. Thus, when the city of Antioch had been captured, the Lord, employing His power and kindness, chose a certain poor peasant, Provençal by race, through whom He comforted us; and He sent these words to the Count and Bishop of Puy:

"Andrew, apostle of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, has recently admonished me a fourth time and has commanded me to come to you and to give back to you, after the city was captured, the Lance which opened the side of the Saviour. Today, moreover, when I had set out from the city with the rest to battle, and when, caught between two horsemen, I was almost suffocated on the retreat, I sat down sadly upon a certain rock, almost lifeless. When I was reeling like a woebegone from fear and grief, St. Andrew came to me with a companion, and he threatened me much unless I returned the Lance to you quickly."

And when the Count and Bishop asked him to tell in order the apostolic revelation and command, he replied: "At the first earthquake which occurred at Antioch when the army of the Franks was besieging it, such fear assailed me that I could say nothing except 'God help me.' For it was night, and I was lying down; nor was there anyone else in my hut to sustain me by his presence. When, moreover, the shaking of the earth had lasted a long time, and my fear had ever increased, two men stood before me in the brightest raiment. The one was older, with red and white hair, black eyes, and kindly face, his beard, indeed, white, wide, and thick, and his stature medium; the other was younger and taller, handsome in form beyond the children of men. And the older said to me 'What doest thou?' and I was very greatly frightened because I knew that there was no one present. And I answered, 'Who art thou?'

"He replied, 'Rise, and fear not; and heed what I say to thee. I am Andrew the Apostle. Bring together the Bishop of Puy and the Count of St. Gilles and Peter Raymond of Hautpoul, and say these words to them: "Why has the Bishop neglected to preach and admonish and daily to sign his people with the cross which he bears before them, for it would profit them much?"' And be added, 'Come and I will show thee the Lance of our father, Jesus Christ, which thou shalt give to the Count. For God has granted it to him ever since he was born.'

"I arose, therefore, and followed him into the city, dressed in nothing except a shirt. And he led me into the church of the apostle of St. Peter through the north gate, before which the Saracens had built a mosque. In the church, indeed, were two lamps, which there gave as much light as if the sun had illuminated it. And he said to me, 'Wait here.' And be commanded me to sit upon a column, which was closest to the stars by which one ascends to the altar from the south; but his companion stood at a distance before the altar steps. Then St. Andrew, going under ground, brought forth the Lance and gave it into my hands.

"And he said to me 'Behold the Lance which opened His side, whence the salvation of the whole world has come.'

"While I held it in my bands, weeping for joy, I said to him, 'Lord, if it is Thy will, I will take it and give it to the Count!'

"And be said to me 'Not now, for it will happen that the city will be taken. Then come with twelve men and seek it here whence I drew it forth and where I hide it,' And he hid it.

"After these things had been so done, he led me back over the wall to my home; and so they left me. Then I thought to myself of the condition of my poverty and your greatness, and I feared to approach you. After this, when I had set forth for food to a certain fortress which is near Edessa, on the first day of Lent at cockcrow, St. Andrew appeared to me in the same garb and with the same companion with whom he had come before, and a great brightness filled the house. And St. Andrew said 'Art thou awake?'

"Thus aroused, I replied 'No, Lord; my Lord, I am not asleep?

"And be said to me 'Hast thou told those things which I bade thee tell some time ago?'

"And I answered 'Lord, have I not prayed thee to send some one else to them, for, fearful of my poverty, I hesitated to go before them?'

"And be said 'Dost thou not know why the Lord led you hither, and how much He loves you and why He chose you especially? He made you come hither (to rebuke) contempt of Him and to avenge His people. He loves you so dearly that the saints already at rest, foreknowing the grace of Divine arrangements, wished that they were in the flesh and struggling along with you. God has chosen you from all peoples, as grains of wheat are gathered from the oats. For you excel in favor and rewards all who may come before or after you, just as gold excels silver in value.'

"After this they withdrew, and such illness oppressed me that I was about to lose the light of my eyes, and I was arranging to dispose of my very meagre belongings. Then I began to meditate that these things bad justly befallen me because of my neglect of the apostolic command. Thus, comforted, I returned to the siege. Thinking again of the handicap of my poverty, I began to fear that if I went to you, you would say that I was a serf and was telling this for the sake of food; therefore, I was silent instead. And thus in the course of time, when at the Port of St. Simeon on Palm Sunday I wa lying down in the tent with my lord, William Peter , St. Andrew appeared with a companion. Clad in the same habit in which he had come before, be spoke thus to me, 'Why hast thou not told the Count and Bishop and the others what I commanded thee,

"And I answered 'Lord, have I not prayed thee to send another in my place who would be wiser and to whom they would listen? Besides the Turks are along the way and they kill those who come and go.'

"And St. Andrew said 'Fear not that they will harm thee. Say also to the Count not to dip in the river Jordan when he comes there, but to cross in a boat; moreover when he has crossed, dressed in a linen shirt and breeches, let him be sprinkled from the river. And after his garments are dry, let him lay them away and keep them with the Lance of the Lord.' And this my lord, William Peter, heard, though he did not see, the apostle.

"Thus comforted, I returned to the army. And when I wanted to tell you this, Icould not bring you together. And so I set out to the port of Mamistra. There, indeed, when I was about to sail to the island of Cyprus for food, St. Andrew threatened me much if I did not quickly return to you and tell you what had been commanded me. And when I thought to myself how I would return to camp, for that port was three days distant from the camp, I began to weep most bitterly, since I could find no way of returning. At length, admonished by my lord and my companions, we entered the ship and began to row to Cyprus. And although we were borne along all day by oar and favoring winds up to sunset, a storm then suddenly arose, and in the space of one or two hours we returned to the port which we had left. And thus checked from crossing a second and a third time, we returned to the island at the Port of St. Simeon. There I fell seriously ill. However, when the city was taken, I came to you. And now, if it please you, test what I say."

The Bishop, however, thought it nothing except words; but the Count believed it and handed over the man that had said this to his chaplain, Raymond, to guard.

Our Lord jest; Christ appeared on the very night which followed to a certain priest named Stephen, who was weeping for the death of himself and his companions, which he expected there. For some who came down from the fortress frightened him, saying that the Turks were already descending from the mountain into the city, and that our men were fleeing and had been defeated. For this reason the priest, wishing to have God witness of his death; went into the church of the Blessed Mary in the garb of confession and, after obtaining pardon, began to sing psalms with some companions. While the rest were sleeping, and while he watched alone, after having said, "Lord, who shall dwell in tabernacle, or who shall rest in Thy holy hill?" a certain man stood before him, beautiful beyond all, and said to him, "Man, who are, these people that have entered the city?"

And the priest answered "Christians."

"Christians of what kind?"

"Christians who believe that Christ was born of a Virgin and suffered on the Cross, died, and was buried, and that He arose on the third day and ascended into heaven."

And that man said "And if they are Christians, why do they fear the multitude of pagans?" And he added, "Dost thou not know me?"

The priest replied "I do not know thee, but I see that thou art most beautiful of all."

And the man said, "Look at me closely."

And when the priest intently scrutinized him, he saw a kind of cross much brighter than the sun proceeding from his head. And the priest said to the man who was questioning him, "Lord, we say that they are images of Jesus Christ which present a form like thine."

The Lord said to him, "Thou hast said well, since I am He. Is it not written of me that I am the Lord, strong and mighty in battle? And who is the Lord in the army?"

"Lord," replied the priest, 1here never was in the army but one Lord, for rather do they put trust in the Bishop."

And the Lord said, "Say this to the Bishop, that these people have put me afar from them by evil doing, and then let him speak to them as follows: 'The Lord says this: "Return to me, and I will return to you. And when they enter battle, let them say this 'Our enemy are assembled and glory in their own bravery; destroy their might, O Lord, and scatter them, so that they may know that there is no other who will fight for us except Thee, 0 Lord,' And say this also to them 'If ye do whatever I command you, even for five days, I will have mercy upon you!"'

I moreover, while He was saying this, a woman of countenance radiant beyond measure approached and, gazing upon the Lord, said to him, "Lord, what art thou saying to this man?'

And the Lord said to her, "I am asking him about these people who have entered the city, who they are."

Then the Lady replied, "O , my Lord, these are the people for whom I entreat thee so much."

And when the priest shook his companion who was sleeping near him, so that he might have a witness of so great a vision, they had disappeared from his eyes.

However, when morning came the priest climbed the bill opposite the castle of the Turks, where our princes were staying, all except the Duke, who was guarding the castle on the north hill. And thus, after assembling a gathering, he told these words to our princes, and, in order to show that it was true, be swore upon the Cross. Moreover, wishing to satisfy the incredulous, he was willing to pass through fire, or to jump from the top of the tower. Then the princes swore that they would neither flee from Antioch nor go out, except with the common consent of all; for the people at this time thought that the princes wanted to flee to the fort. And thus many were comforted, since in the past night there were few who stood steadfast in the faith and did not wish to flee. And bad not the Bishop and Bohemund shut the gates of the city, very few would have remained. Nevertheless, William of Grandmesnil fled, and his brother, and many others, cleric and lay. It befell many, however, that when they had escaped from the city with the greatest danger, they faced the greater danger of death at the hands of the Turks.

At this time very many things were revealed to us through our brethren; and we beheld a marvelous sign in the sky, For during the night there stood over the city a very large star, which, after a short time, divided into three parts and fell in the camp of the Turks.

Our men, somewhat comforted, accordingly, awaited the fifth day which. the priest had mentioned. On that day, moreover, after the necessary preparations, and after every one had been sent out of the Church of St. Peter, twelve men, together with that man who had spoken of the Lance, began to dig. There were, moreover among those twelve men the Bishop of Orange, and Raymond, chaplain of the Count, who has written this, and the Count himself, and Pontius of Balazun, and Feraldus of Thouars. And after we had dug from morning to evening, some began to despair of finding the Lance. The Count left, because he had to guard the castle; but in place of him and the rest who were tired out from digging, we induced others, who were fresh to continue the work sturdily. The youth who had spoken of the Lance, however, upon seeing us worn out, disrobed and, taking off his shoes, descended into the pit in his shirt, earnestly entreating us to pray to God give us His Lance for the comfort and victory of His people. At length, the Lord was minded through the grace of His mercy to show us His Lance. And I, who have written this, kissed it when the point alone had as yet appeared above ground. What great joy and exultation then filled the city I cannot describe. Moreover the Lance, was found on the eighteenth day before the Kalends of July.

On the second night, St. Andrew appeared to the youth through whom he had given the Lance to us and said to him "Behold, God has given to the Count that which he never wished to give to anyone and has made him standard-bearer of this army, as long he shall continue in His love."

When the youth asked mercy from him for the people, St. A drew replied to him that verily would the Lord show mercy to His people. And, again, when he asked the same saint about his companion, who it was he had so often seen with him, St. Andrew answered, "Draw near and kiss His foot."

And so, when he was about to draw near, he saw a wound on His foot as fresh and bloody as if it had just been made. When, however, he hesitated to draw near because of the wound and blood, St. Andrew said to him:

"Behold, the Father who was wounded on the Cross for us, whence this wound. The Lord likewise commands that you celebrate that day on which He gave you His Lance. And since it was found at vespers, and that day cannot be celebrated, celebrate the solemn festival on the eighth day in the following week , and then each year on the day of the finding of the Lance. Say, also, to them that they conduct themselves as is taught in the Epistle of my brother, Peter, which is read today." (And the Epistle was this: "Humble yourselves under the mighty band of God.") "Let the clerics sing this hymn before the Lance: Lustra sex qui jam peracta tempus inplens corporis. And when they shall have said, Agnus in cruce levatus immolandus stipite, let them finish the hymn on bended knees."

When, however, the Bishop of Orange and I, after this, asked Peter Bartholomew if he knew letters, he replied, "I do not," thinking that if he were to say I do , we would not believe him. He did know a little; but at that hour be was so ignorant that he neither knew letters nor had any remembrance of the things be had learned from letters, except the Paternoster, Credo in Deum, Magnificat, Glory in Excelsis Deo, and Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel. He had lost the others as if he had never heard them, and though he was able afterwards to recover a few, it was with the greatest effort.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 176-82
9. The Defeat of Kerbogha

As we have said, when our men were beaten, discouraged, and in narrow straits, divine aid appeared. And the blessed Andrew taught us through the youth who had spoken of the Lance how we ought to conduct ourselves before the battle and in the battle:-

"You have all offended deeply, and you have been deeply bumbled; and you have cried out to the Lord, and the Lord has heard you. And now let each one turn himself to the Lord because of his sins, and let him give five alms because of the five wounds of the Lord. If be cannot do this, let him say the Paternoster five times. When this has been done, begin battle in the name of the Lord by day or by night, as the judgment of the princes deems best, because the hand of God will be with you. If anyone has doubt of victory, let the gates be opened for him, and let him go forth to the Turks, and he will see how their God will save him. Moreover if anyone shall refuse to fight, let him be classed with Jude the betrayer of the Lord, who deserted the apostles and sold his Lord to the Jews. Let them fight in the faith of St. Peter, holding in mind that God promised him that after the third day He would arise and appear to him, and for this reason, also, because this land is justly St. Peter's, and not the pagans'. And let your battle-cry be 'God help us!' and verily God will help you. All your brothers who died since the beginning of the expedition are present with you in this fight; you have only to storm the tenth part of the enemy, because they will assail nine parts in the might and command of God. And do not put off the battle, because (if you do), the Lord will lead as many enemies from the other sides as you have on this side, and He will keep you shut up here until you devour one another. But know certainly that those days are at hand which the Lord promised to the Blessed Mary and to His apostles, saying that He would raise up the kingdom of the Christians, after the ingdom of the pagans had been cast down and ground into dust. But do not turn to their tents in search of gold and silver."

Then the power of God was disclosed, in that He who had commanded the above words to be preached to us through His apostle so comforted the hearts of all that each one in faith and hope seemed to himself already to have triumphed over his enemy. They urged on one another, and in urging regained courage for fighting. The crowd, too, which in the past days seemed to be consume with want and fright, now reproached the princes and complain of the delay of the battle. However, when the day for battle ha been fixed, our princes sent word by Peter the Hermit to Corbara leader of the Turks, to give up the siege of the city, because it was by right the property of St. Peter and the Christians. That proud leader replied that, rightly or wrongly, he was going to rule over the Franks and the city. And be compelled Peter the Hermit, who was unwilling to bow, to kneel to him.

The question was raised at this time as to who should guard the city against those who were in the citadel, while the rest went forth to fight. They built a stone wall and ramparts on our hilt against the enemy; these they fortified with many rocks, finally leaving Count Raymond, who was deathly ill, and about two hundred men there.

The day of the fight had come. In the morning all partook of communion and gave themselves to God, to death, if He willed, or to the glory of the Roman church and the race of the Franks. Moreover, they decided about the battle as follows: that two double lines should be made of the Count's and Bishop's people, so that the foot soldiers went before the knights and halted at the command of the princes; and the knights were to follow them and guard them from the rear. Similar arrangement was made of the people of Bohemund and Tancred; the like of the people of the Count of Normandy and the Franks; likewise, of the people of the Duke and the Burgundians. Moreover, trumpeters went through the city shouting that each man should stay with the princes of his people. It was likewise ordered that Hugh the Great, the Count of Flanders, and the Count of Normandy should advance to the battle first, then the Duke, the Bishop after the Duke, and Bohemund after the Bishop. They assembled, each man to his own standard and kinfolk, within the city before the gate of the bridge.

Oh, how blessed is the people whose Lord is God! Oh, how blessed the people whom God has chosen! Oh, how unaltered His face! How changed the army from sadness to eagerness! Indeed, during the past days princes and nobles went along the. city streets calling upon the aid of God at the churches, the common people (walked) with bare feet, weeping and striking their breasts. They had been so sad that father did not greet son, nor brother brother, upon meeting, nor did they look back. But now you could see them going forth like swift horses, rattling their arms, and brandishing their spears, nor could they bear to refrain from showing their happiness in word and deed. But why do I grieve about many matters? They were given the power to go forth, and what bad been agreed upon by the princes was fulfilled in order.

Meanwhile Corbara, leader of the Turks, was playing at chess within his tent. When he received the message that the Franks were advancing to battle, he was disturbed in mind because this seemed beyond expectation, and he called to him a certain Turk who bad fled from Antioch, Mirdalin by name, a noble known to us for his military prowess. "What is this?" he said. "Didn't you tell me the Franks were few and would not fight with us?" And Mirdalin replied to him, "I did not say that they would not fight, but come, and I will look at them and tell you if you can easily overcome them."

And now the third line of our men was advancing. When he saw how the lines were arrayed, Mirdalin said to Corbara, "These men can be killed; but they cannot be put to flight."

And then Corbara said "Can none of them be driven back all?"

And Mirdalin replied, "They will not yield a footstep, even if all the people of the pagans attack them."

Then, although disturbed in mind, he drew up his many and multiple lines against us. And when at first they could have prevented our exit, they allowed us to go out in peace. Our men, however, now directed their lines toward the mountains, fearing that the Turks might surround them from the rear. However, the mountains were about two long miles from the bridge. We were advancing in open file as the clergy are wont to march in processions. And verily we had a procession! For the priests and many monks, dressed in white robes, went in front of the lines of our knights, chanting and invoking the aid of the Lord and the benediction of the saints. The enemy, on the contrary, rushed against us and shot arrows. Corbara, now ready to do what he had just recently refused, likewise sent word to our princes {proposing) that five or ten Turks should do battle with a like number Franks, and that those whose knights were conquered should peacefully yield to the others. To this our leaders replied , "You were unwilling when we wanted to do this; now that we have advanced to fight, let each fight for his right."

And when we had occupied the whole plain, as we said, a certain portion of the Turks remained behind us and attacked some of our foot soldiers. But those foot soldiers, turning about, sustained the attack of the enemy vigorously. When, indeed, the Turks could in no way drive them out, they set fire around them so that those who did not fear the swords might at all events be terrified by fire. And thus they forced them to give way, for the place had much dry hay.

And when the lines had gone forth, the priests, with bare feet and garbed in their priestly vestments, stood on the walls of the city, calling upon God to defend His people, and through the victory of the Franks in this battle to afford a testimony hallowed by His blood. Moreover, as we were advancing from the bridge up to the mountain, we met with great difficulty because the enemy wanted to surround us. In the midst of this, the lines of the enemy fell upon us who were in the squadron of the Bishop, and though their forces were greater than ours, yet, through the protection of the Holy Lance which was there, they there wounded no one; neither did they hit any of us with arrows. I beheld these things of which I speak and I bore the Lance of the Lord there. If anyone says that Viscount Herachus, the standard-bearer of the Bishop, was wounded in this battle, let him know that he handed over this standard to another and fell behind our line some distance.

When all our fighting men had left the city, five other lines appeared among us. For, as has already been said, our princes had drawn up only eight, and we were thirteen lines outside the city. In the beginning of the march out to battle the Lord sent down upon all His army a divine shower, little but full of blessing. All those touched by this were filled with all grace and fortitude and, despising the enemy, rode forth as if always nourished on the delicacies of kings. This miracle also affected our horses no less. For whose horse failed until the fight was over, even though it had tasted nothing except the bark or leaves of trees for eight days? God so multiplied our army that we, who before seemed fewer than the enemy, were in the battle more numerous than they. And when our men had thus advanced and formed in line, the enemy turned in flight without giving us a chance to engage in battle. Our men pursued them until sunset. There the Lord worked marvelously as well in the horses as in the men; forsooth, the men were not called away from battle by avarice, and those pack horses which their masters had led into battle, after a scant feeding, now very easily followed the sleekest and swiftest horses of the Turks.

But the Lord did not wish us to have this joy only. For the Turks who were guarding the citadel of the city gave up hope upon seeing the headlong flight of their people; some, on the Pledge of their lives alone, surrendered themselves to us, and the rest fled headlong. And though this battle was so terrible and frightful, yet few knights of the enemy fell there; but of their foot soldiers scarcely any escaped. Moreover, all the tents of the enemy were captured, much gold and silver, and the greatest amount of spoils - grain and cattle and camels without measure or number.

And that incident of Samaria about the measures of wheat and barley which were bought for a shekel was renewed for us Moreover, these events occurred on the vigils of St. Peter and Paul through which intercessors was granted this victory to the pilgrim church of the Franks by the Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth God through all ages. Amen.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 185-89
10. The March to Jerusalem

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

11. The Fall of Jerusalem

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

12. The Frankish Victory

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

13. "The Vision of Peace"

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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© Paul Halsall December 1997
halsall@murray.fordham.edu