Fordham University

 

Home | Ancient History Sourcebook | Medieval SourcebookModern History Sourcebook | Byzantine Studies Page
Other History Sourcebooks: African | East Asian | Global | Indian | IslamicJewishLesbian and Gay | Science | Women's


IHSP


MainAncientMedievalModern


Subsidiary SourcebooksAfricanEastern AsianGlobalIndianJewishIslamicLesbian/GayScienceWomen


Special ResourcesByzantiumMedieval WebMedieval NYC
Medieval MusicSaints' Lives
Ancient Law
Medieval Law
Film: Ancient
Film: Medieval
Film: Modern
Film: Saints


About IHSPIJSP Credits

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


OCTOBER, 1097-JULY, 1098

The Syrian city of Antioch almost proved the undoing of the undoing of the Crusade. After having struggled through Asia Minor, the Latins became bogged down in protracted siege of the City. Once the had captured it, they faced serious Muslim resistance from Kerbogha, atabeg of Mosul. The "finding" of the Holy Lance [which had pierced the side of Christ, in June 1098 led to a revival of morale. Even after Kerbogha was repulsed, it took until November 1098 before the final push for Jerusalem could be made.

The Sufferings of the Crusaders

The Fall of Antioch

Kerbogba's Attack

The Discovery of the Holy Lance

The Defeat of Kerbogha


1. The Gesta Version

Now grain and all food began to be excessively dear before the birthday of the Lord. We did not dare to go outside; we could find absolutely nothing to eat within the land of the Christians, , and no one dared to enter the land of the Saracens without a' great army. At last holding a council, our seignors decided how they might care for so many people. They concluded in the council that one part of our force should go out diligently to collect food and to guard the army everywhere, while the other part should remain faithfully to watch the enemy. At length, Bohemund said, "Seignors, and most distinguished knights, if you wish, and it seems honorable and good to you, I will be the one to go out with, the Count of Flanders on this quest." Accordingly, when the services of the Nativity had been most gloriously celebrated on Monday, the second day of the week, they and more than twenty thousand knights and footmen went forth and entered the land of the Saracens, safe and unharmed.

There were assembled, indeed, many Turks, Arabs, and Saracens from Jerusalem, Damascus, Aleppo, and other regions, who were on their way to reinforce Antioch. So, when they heard that a Christian host was being led into their land, they made themselves ready there for battle against the Christians, and at earliest daybreak they came to the place where our people were gathered together. The barbarians divided themselves and formed two battle lines, one in front and one behind, seeking to surround us from every side. The worthy Count of Flanders, therefore, girt about on all sides with the armor of true faith and the sign of the cross, which he loyally wore daily, went against them, together with Bohemund, and our men rushed upon them all together. They immediately took to flight and hastily turned their backs; very many of them were killed, and our men took their horses and other spoils. But others, who had remained alive, fled swiftly and went away to the wrath of perdition. We, however, returning with great rejoicing, praised and magnified God, Three in One, who liveth and reigneth now and forever, Amen.

Finally, the Turks in the city of Antioch, enemies of God and Holy Christianity, bearing that Lord Bohemund and the Count of Flanders were not in the siege, came out from the city and boldly advanced to do battle with us. Knowing that those most valiant knights were away, they lay in ambush for us everywhere, more especially on that side where the siege was lagging. One Wednesday they found that they could resist and hurt us. The most iniquitous barbarians came out cautiously and, rushing violently upon us, killed many of our knights and foot soldiers who were off their guard. Even the Bishop of Puy on that bitter day lost his seneschal, who was carrying and managing his standard. And had it riot been for the stream which was between us and them, they would have attacked us more often and done the greatest hurt to our people.

At that time the famous man, Bohemund, advancing with his army from the land of the Saracens, came to the mountain of Tancred, wondering whether perchance he could find anything to carry away, for they were ransacking the whole region. Some, in truth, found something, but others went away empty-handed. Then the wise man, Bohemund, upbraided them, saying: "Oh, unhappy and most wretched people! O, most vile of all Christians! Why do you want to go away so quickly? Only stop; stop until we shall all be gathered together, and do not wander about like sheep without a shepherd. Moreover, if the enemy find you wandering, they will kill you, for they are watching by night and by day to find you alone, or ranging about in groups without a leader; and they are striving daily to kill you and lead you into captivity." When his words were finished, he returned to his camp with his men, more empty-handed than laden.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 132-34

2. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

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

The Sufferings of the Crusaders

3. The Gesta Version

When the Armenians and Syrians, however, saw that our men were returning utterly empty-handed, they counselled together and went away through the mountains and places of which they had previous knowledge, making subtle inquiry and buying grain and other bodily sustenance. This they brought to the camp, in which hunger was great beyond measure, and they sold a single assload for eight perpre, which is worth one hundred and twenty solidi of denarii. There, indeed, many of our men died because they did not have the means wherewith to buy at such a dear price.

William Carpenter and Peter the Hermit secretly left because of the great sorrow and misery. Tancred pursued and caught them,, and brought them back in disgrace. They gave him a pledge that they would return willingly to camp and render satisfaction to seignors. Then William lay all that night, like an evil thing, in the tent of Bohemund. On the next day at early dawn he came shamefacedly and stood in the presence of Bohemund, who, addressing him, said, "O, the misfortune and infamy of all France, the disgrace and villainy of Gaul! O, most evil of all whom the earth endures! Why did you so vilely flee? Was it, perchance, for the reason that you wished to betray these knights and the host of Christ, as you betrayed others in Hispania?" He was entirely silent and no speech proceeded from his mouth, Almost all those of Frankish race gathered together and humbly asked Lord Bohemund not to let anything worse befall him. He nodded, with calm countenance, and said, "To this I willingly consent for love of you, if he will swear to me with his whole heart and mind that be will never withdraw from the march to Jerusalem, whether for good or evil; and if Tancred will agree not to let anything untoward befall him, either through him or his men." When William had heard these words, he willingly agreed, and Bohemund forthwith dismissed him. Later, indeed, Carpenter, caught in the greatest villainy, slipped away by stealth without long delay. This poverty and wretchedness God meted out to us because of our sins. Thus in the whole army no one could find a thousand knights who had horses of the best kind.

Meanwhile the hostile Tetigus, upon hearing that the army of the Turks had come upon us, said that he was afraid, thinking that we would all perish and fall into the hands of the enemy. Fabricating all the falsehoods which be could industriously scatter, he said: "Seignors and most illustrious men, you see that we are here in the greatest need, and aid is coming to us from no side. So permit me now to return to my country of Romania, and I will, for certain, cause many ships to come hither by sea, laden with grain, wine, barley, meat, butter, and cheese, and all the goods which you need. I shall also cause horses to be brought for sale, and a market to be brought hither in the fealty of the Emperor.

So I will swear all this loyally to you and attend to it. Also, my servants and my tent are still in camp, from which you may believe firmly that I will return as quickly as possible." And so he concluded his speech. That foe went and left all his possessions in the camp, and he remains., and will remain, in perjury.

Therefore in this way the greatest need came upon us, because the Turks pressed us on all sides, so that none of us dared now to go out of the tents, for they constrained us on one side, and excruciating hunger on the other; but of succour and help we bad none. The lesser folk, and the very poor fled to Cyprus, Romania, and into the mountains. Through fear of the most evil Turks we dared not go to the sea, and the way was never made open to us.

Accordingly, when Lord Bohemund heard that an innumerable host of Turks was coming against us, be went cautiously to the others, saying: "Seignors, most illustrious knights, what are we going to do? For we are not so great that we can fight on two sides. But do you know what we may do? Let us make two lines of ourselves; let a portion of the foot soldiers remain together to guard the pavilions, and by feinting they will be able to resist those who are in the city. Let the other portion, however, consisting of knights, go with us to meet our enemy, who are lodged here "ear us in the fortress Aregh beyond the Iron Bridge." Moreover, when evening came the famous man, Bohemund, advanced with the other most illustrious knights and went to lie between the river and the lake. At earliest daybreak he straightway ordered scout to go out and see how many squadrons of Turks there were, where (they were) and definitely what they were doing. They went out., and began to inquire craftily where the lines of the Turks were bidden. Then they saw innumerable Turks, divided into two battle lines, coming from the side of the river, with their greatest valor marching in the rear. The scouts returned very quickly, saying, "Behold! See, they come! Be prepared, therefore, all you, for they are already near us." And the wise man, Bohemund, spoke to the others, "Seignors, most invincible knights, array you selves for battle, each one for himself." They answered: "Wise and famous man! Great and magnificent man! Brave and Victorious man! Arbiter of battles, and judge of disputes! Make arrangements for us and yourself." Thereupon, Bohemund commanded that each one of the princes should himself form his line in order. They did so, and six lines were formed. Five of them went out together to attack them (the enemy). Bohemund, accordingly, marched short distance in the rear with his line.

Thus, when our men were successfully united, one band urged on the other. The clamor resounded to the sky. All fought at the same time. Showers of weapons darkened the air. When their troops of greatest valor, who had been in their rear, came up, they attacked our forces sharply, so that our men fell back a little. As the most learned man, Bohemund, saw this, he groaned. Then he commanded his constable, that is to say Robert, son of Girard, saying: "Go as quickly as you can, like a brave man, and remember our illustrious and courageous forefathers of old. Be keen in; the service of God and the Holy Sepulchre, and bear in mind that this battle is not carnal, but spiritual. Be, therefore, the bravest athlete of Christ. Go in peace. The Lord be with you everywhere." And so that man, fortified on all sides with the sign of the cross, went into the lines of the Turks, just as a lion, famished for three or four days, goes forth from his cave raging and thirsting for the blood of beasts and, rushing unexpectedly among the herds of sheep, tears them to pieces as they flee hither and thither. So violently did he press upon them that the tips of his renowned standard flew over the heads of the Turks. Moreover, as the other lines saw that the standard of Bohemund was so gloriously borne before them, they went back to the battle again, and with one accord our men attacked the Turks, who, all amazed, took to flight. our men, therefore, pursued them even to the Iron Bridge and cut off their beads. The Turks, however, rushed hastily back to their camps and, taking everything they could find there, despoiled the whole camp, set it on fire, and fled. The Armenians and Syrians, knowing that the Turks had utterly lost the battle, went out and watched at the narrow places, where they killed and captured many of them. And so by the favor of God our enemy was overcome on that day. Moreover, our men were sufficiently rewarded with horses and many other things which they greatly needed. And they carried the heads of one hundred dead before the gate of the city, where the envoys of the Emir of Babylon, who had been sent to the princes, were encamped. During the whole day those who had remained in the tents had fought before the three gates of the city with those who were inside. This battle was fought on the Wednesday before the beginning of Lent, on the fifth day before the Ides of February, with the favor of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God forever and ever. Amen. Our men returned triumphant and joyful from the victory which, under God's guidance, they had obtained on that day over their defeated enemy. The enemy, entirely beaten, fled, ever roaming and wandering hither and thither. Some (at length) went to Chorosan, but others entered the land of the Saracens.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 136-39

4. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

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

The Fall of Antioch

5. The Gesta Version

I can not enumerate all the things which we did before the city was captured, beause there is no one in these regions, whether cleric or layman, who can at all write or tell just how things happened. Nevertheless, I will say a little.

There was a certain Emir of the race of the Turks, whose name was Pirus, who took up the greatest friendship with Bohemund. By an interchange of messengers Bohemund often pressed this man to receive him within the city in a most friendly fashion, and, after promising Christianity to him most freely, he sent word that be would make him rich with much honor. Pirus yielded to these words and promises, saying, "I guard three towers, and I freely promise them to him, and at whatever hour he wishes I will receive him within them." Accordingly, Bohemund was now secure about entering the city, and, delighted, with serene mind and joyful countenance, became to all the leaders, bearing joyful words to them in this wise: "Men, most illustrious knights, see how all of us, whether of greater or less degree, are in exceeding poverty and misery, and how utterly ignorant we are from what side we will fare better. Therefore, if it seems good and honorable to you, let one of us put himself ahead of the rest, and if he can acquire or contrive (the capture of) the city by any plan or scheme, by himself, or through the help of others, let us with one voice grant him the city as a gift." They absolutely refused and spurned (the suggestion) saying, "This city shall be given to no one, but we will bold it equally; since we have had equal effort, so let us have equal reward from it."

Bohemund, upon hearing these words, laughed a bit to himself and immediately retired. Not much later we listened to messages concerning (the approach of) an army of our enemy, Turks, Publicani, Agulani, Azimites, and very many other gentile nations that I know not how to enumerate or name. Immediately all our leaders came together, and held a council, saying: "If Bohemund can acquire the city, either by himself, or with the help of others, let us give it to him freely and with one accord, on condition that if the Emperor comes to our aid and wishes to carry out every agreement, as be swore and promised, we will return it to him by right. But if be does not do this, let Bohemund keep it in his power." Immediately, therefore, Bohemund began meekly to beseech his friend in daily petition, holding out most humbly the greatest and sweetest promises in this manner: "Behold, we have now truly a fit time to accomplish whatever good we wish; therefore, now, my friend Pirus, help me." Greatly pleased at the message, be replied that be would aid him in every way, as he ought to do. Accordingly, at the approach of night, he cautiously sent his son to Bohemund as a pledge, that he might be the more secure about his entrance to the city. He also sent word to him in this wise: "Tomorrow sound the trumpets for the Frankish host to move on, pretending that they are going to plunder the land of the Saracens, and then turn back quickly over the mountain on the right. With alert mind, indeed, I will be awaiting those forces, and I will take them into the towers which I have in my power and charge." Then Bohemund ordered a certain servant of his, Malacorona by name, to be called, and bade him, as herald, to admonish most of the Franks faithfully to prepare themselves to go into the land of the Saracens. This was so done. Thereupon Bohemund entrusted his plan to Duke Godfrey, and the Count of Flanders, also to the Count of St. Gilles and the Bishop of Puy, saying, "The grace of God favoring, Antioch will this night be surrendered to us."

All these matters were at length arranged; the knights held the level places and the foot soldiers the mountain. All the night they rode and marched until dawn, and then began to approach the towers which that person (Pirus) was watchfully guarding. Bohemund straightway dismounted and gave orders to the rest, saying, "Go with secure mind and happy accord, and climb by ladder into Antioch which, if it please God, we shall have in our power immediately." They went up the ladder, which had already been placed and firmly bound to the projections of the city wall. About sixty of our men climbed up it and were distributed among the towers which that man was watching. Pirus, upon seeing that so few of our men had ascended, began to tremble with fear for both himself and our men, lest they fall into the hands of the Turks. And be said, "Micro Francos echome There are few Franks here! Where is most fierce Bohemund, that unconquered knight?" Meanwhile a certain Longobard servant descended again, and ran as quickly (as possible) to Bohemund, saying, "Why do you stand here, illustrious man? Why have you come hither? Behold, we already hold three towers!" Bohemund was moved with the rest, and all went joyfully to the ladder. Accordingly, when those who were in the towers saw this, they began to shout with happy voices, "God wills it!" We began to shout likewise; now the men began to climb up there in wondrous fashion. Then they reached the top and ran in haste to the other towers. Those whom they found there they straightway sentenced to death; they even killed a brother of Pirus. Meantime the ladder by which we had ascended broke by chance, whereupon there arose the greatest dismay and gloom among us. However, though the ladder had been broken, there was still a certain gate near us which had been shut on the left side and had remained unknown to some of the people, for it was night. But by feeling about and inquiring we found it, and all ran to it; and, having broken it open, we entered through it.

Thereupon, the noise of a countless multitude resounded through all the city. Bohemund did not give his men any rest, but ordered his standard to be carried up in front of the castle on a certain hill. Indeed, all were shouting in the city together.

Moreover, when at earliest dawn those in the tents outside heard the most violent outcry sounding through the city, they rushed out hurriedly and saw the standard of Bohemund up on the mount, and with rapid pace all ran hastily and entered the city. They killed the Turks and Saracens whom they found there, except those who had fled into the citadel. Others of the Turks went out through the gates, and by fleeing escaped alive.

But Cassianus, their lord, fearing the race of the Franks greatly, took flight with the many others who were with him and came in flight to the land of Tancred, not far from the city. Their horses, however, were worn out, and, taking refuge in a certain villa, they dashed into a house. The inhabitants of the mountain, Syrians and Armenians, upon recognizing him (Cassianus), straightway seized him, cut off his head, and took it into the presence of Bohemund, so that they might gain their liberty. They also sold his sword-belt and scabbard for sixty besants. All this occurred on the third day of the incoming month of June, the fifth day of the week, the third day before the Nones of June. All the squares of the city were already everywhere full of the corpses of the dead, so that no one could endure it there for the excessive stench. No one could go along a street of the city except over the bodies of the dead.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 151-53

6. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

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

Kerbogha's Attack

7. The Gesta Version

Some time before, Cassianus, Emir of Antioch, had sent a message to Curbara, chief of the Sultan of Persia, while he was still at Chorosan, to come and help him while there was yet time, because a very mighty host of Franks was besieging him shut up in Antioch. If the Emir would aid him, he (Cassianus) would give him Antioch, or would enrich him with a very great gift. Since Curbara had had a very large army of Turks collected for a long time, and had received permission from the Caliph, their Pope, to kill the Christians, he began a long march to Antioch. The Emir of Jerusalem came to his aid with an army, and the King of Damascus arrived there with a very large host. Indeed, Curbara likewise collected countless pagan folk, Turks, Arabs, Saracens, Publicani, Azimites, Kurds, Persians, Agulani and countless other peoples. The Agulani were three thousand in number and feared neither lances, arrows, nor any kind of arms, because they and all their horses were fitted with iron all around, and they refused to carry any arms except swords into battle. All of these came to the siege of Antioch to disperse the gathering of Franks.

And when they neared the city, Sensadolus, son of Cassianus, Emir of Antioch, went to meet them, and straightway rushed in tears to Curbara, beseeching him with these words: "Most invincible chief, I, a supplicant, pray thee to help me, now that the Franks are besieging me on every side in the city of Antioch; now that they hold the city in their sway and seek to alienate us from the region of Romania, or even yet from Syria and Chorosan. They have done everything that they wished; they have killed my father; now nothing else remains except to kill me, and you, and all the others of our race. For a long time now I have been waiting for your help to succor me in this danger."

To him Curbara replied: "If you want me to enter wholeheartedly into your service and to help you loyally in this danger, give that town into my hands, and then see how I will serve you and protect it with my men."

Sensadolus replied, "If you can kill all the Franks and give me their heads, I will give you the town, and I will do homage to you and guard the town in your fealty."

To this Curbara answered: "That won't do; hand over the town to me immediately." And then, willy-nilly, he handed the town over to him.

But on the third day after we had entered the town, Curbara's advance guard ran in front of the city; his army, however, encamped at the Iron Gate. They took the fortress by siege and killed all of the defenders, whom we found in iron chains after the greater battle had been fought.

On the next day, the army of the pagans moved on, and, nearing the city, they encamped between the two rivers and stayed there for two days. After they had retaken the fortress, Curbara summoned one of his emirs whom he knew to be truthful, gentle, and peaceable and said to him, "I want you to undertake to guard this fortress in fealty to me, because for the longest time I have known you to be most loyal; therefore, I pray you, keep this castle with the greatest care, for, since I know you to be the most prudent in action, I can find no one here more truthful and valiant."

To him the Emir replied: "Never would I refuse to obey you in such service, but before you persuade me by urging, I will consent, on the condition that if the Franks drive your men from the deadly field of battle and conquer, I will straightway surrender this fortress to them."

Curbara said to him: I recognize you as so honorable and wise that I will fully consent to whatever good you wish to do." And thereupon Curbara returned to his army.

Forthwith the Turks, making sport of the gatherings of Franks, brought into the presence of Curbara a certain very miserable sword covered with rust, a very worn wooden bow, and an exceedingly useless lance, which they had just recently taken from poor pilgrims, and said, "Behold the arms which the Franks carry to meet us in battle!" Then Curbara began to laugh, saying before all who were in that gathering, "These are the warlike and shining arms which the Christians have brought against us into Asia, with which they hope and expect to drive us beyond the confines of Cborosan and to wipe out our names beyond the Amazon rivers, they who have driven our relatives from Romania and the royal city of Antioch, which is the renowned capital of all Syria!" Then be summoned his scribe and said: "Write quickly several documents which are to be read in Chorosan."

"To the Caliph, our Pope, and to our King, the Lord Sultan, most valiant knight, and to all most illustrious knights of Chorosan; greeting and honor beyond measure.

Let them be glad enough and delight with joyful concord and satisfy their appetites; let them command and make known through all that region that the people give themselves entirely to exuberance and luxury, and that they rejoice to bear many children to fight stoutly against the Christians. Let them gladly receive these three weapons which we recently took from a squad of Franks, and let them now learn what arms the Frankish host bears against us; bow very fine and perfect they are to fight against our arms which are twice, thrice, or even four times welded, or purified, like the purest silver or gold. In addition, let all know, also, that I have the Franks shut up in Antioch, and that I hold the citadel at my free disposal, while they (the enemy) are below in the city. Likewise, I hold all of them now in my hand. I shall make them either undergo sentence of death, or be led into Chorosan into the harshest captivity, because they are threatening with their arms to drive us forth and to expel us from all our territory, or to cast us out beyond upper India, as they have cast out all our kinsmen from Romania or Syria. Now I swear to you by Mohammed and all the names of the gods that I will not return before your face until I shall have acquired with my strong right hand the regal city of Antioch, all Syria, Romania, and Bulgaria, even to Apulia, to the honor of the gods, and to your glory, and to that of all who are of the race of the Turks." And thus he put an end to his words.

The mother of the same Curbara, who dwelt in the city of Aleppo, came immediately to him and, weeping said: "Son are these things true which I hear?"

"What things?" he said.

"I have heard that you are going to engage in battle with the host of the Franks," she replied.

And he answered: "You know the truth fully."

She then said, "I warn you, son, in the names of all the gods and by your great kindness, not to enter into battle with the Franks, because you are an unconquered knight, and I have never at all heard of any imprudence from you or your army. No one has ever found you fleeing from the field before any victor. The fame of your army is spread abroad, and all illustrious knights tremble when your name is heard. For we know well enough, son, that you are mighty in battle, and valiant and resourceful, and that no host of Christians or pagans can have any courage before your face, but are wont to flee at the mention of your name, as sheep flee before the wrath of a lion. And so I beseech you, dearest son, to yield to my advice never to let it rest in your mind, or be found in your counsel, to wish to undertake war with the Christian host."

Then Curbara, upon hearing his mother's warning, replied with wrathful speech: "What is this, mother, that you tell me? I think that you are insane, or full of furies. For I have with me more emirs than there are Christians, whether of greater or lesser state."

His mother replied to him: "O sweetest son, the Christians cannot fight with your forces, for I know that they are not able to prevail against you; but their God is fighting for them daily and is watching over them and defending them with His protection by day and night, as a shepherd watches over his flock. He does not permit them to be hurt or disturbed by any folk, and whoever seeks to stand in their way this same God of theirs likewise puts to rout, just as He said through the mouth of the prophet David,' 'Scatter the people that delight in wars,' and in another place: 'Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not and, against the kingdoms that call not upon Thy name.' Before they are ready to begin battle, their God, all powerful and potent in battle, together with His saints, has all their enemies already conquered. How much more will He now prevail against you, who are His enemies, and who are preparing to resist them with all:, your valor! This, moreover, dearest, know in very truth: these'. Christians, called 'sons of Christ' and by the mouth of the prophets 'sons of adoption and promise,' according to the apostle are the heirs of Christ to whom He has already given the promised inheritance, saying through the prophets, 'From the rising to the setting of the sun shall be your border and no one shall stand before you.' Who can contradict or oppose these words? Certainly, if you undertake this battle against them, yours will be the very greatest loss and disgrace, and you will lose many of your faithful knights and all the spoils which you have with you, and you will turn in flight with exceeding fear. However, you shall not die now in this battle, but, nevertheless, in this year, because God does not with quick anger immediately judge him who has offended Him, but when He wills, He punishes with manifest vengeance, and so I fear He will exact of you a bitter penalty. You shall not die, now, I say, but you shall perish after all your present possessions."

Then Curbara, deeply grieved in his heart at his mother's words, replied "Dearest mother, pray, who told you such things about the Christian folk, that God loves only them, and that He restrains the mightiest host from fighting against Him, and that those Chrisians will conquer us in the battle of Antioch, and that they will capture our spoils, and will pursue us with great victory, and that I shall die in this year by a sudden death?" Then his mother answered him sadly: "Dearest son, behold the times are more than a hundred years since it was found in our book and in the volumes of the Gentiles that the Christian host would come against us, would conquer us everywhere and rule over the pagans, and that our people would be everywhere subject to them. But I do not know whether these things are to happen now or in the future. Wretched woman that I am, I have followed you from Aleppo, most beautiful city, in which, by gazing and contriving ingenious rhymes, I looked back at the stars of the skies and wisely scrutinized the planets and the twelve signs, or count less lots. In all of these I found that the Christian host would win everywhere, and so I am exceedingly sad and fear greatly lest I remain bereft of you."

Curbara said to her: "Dearest mother, explain to me all the in credible things which are in my heart."

Answering this, she said: "This, dearest, I will do freely, if I know the things which are unknown to you."

He said to her: "Are not Bohemund and Tancred gods of the Franks, and do they not free them from their enemies, and do not these men in one meal eat two thousand heifers and four thousand bogs?"

His mother answered: "Dearest son, Bohemund and Tancred are mortals, like all the rest; but their God loves them greatly above all the others and gives them valor in fighting beyond the rest. For (it is) their God, Omnipotent is His name, who made heaven and earth and established the seas and all things that in them are, whose dwelling-place is in heaven prepared for all eternity, whose might is everywhere to be feared."

Her son said "(Even) if such is the case, I will not refrain from fighting with them." Thereupon, when his mother heard that he would in no way yield to her advice, she returned, a very sad woman, to Aleppo, carrying with her all the gifts that she could take along.

But on the third day Curbara armed himself and most of the Turks with him and went toward the city from the side on which the fortress was located. Thinking that we could resist them, we prepared ourselves for battle against them, but so great was their valor that we could not withstand them, and under compulsion, therefore, we entered the city. The gate was so amazingly close and narrow for them that many died there from the pressure of the rest. Meanwhile, some fought outside the city, others within, on the fifth day of the week throughout the day until the evening.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 163-68

8. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

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 [ie 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

The Discovery of the Holy Lance

9. The Gesta Version

But one day as our leaders, sad and disconsolate, were standing back before the fortress, a certain priest came to them and said: "Seignorss, if it please you, listen to a certain matter which I saw in a vision. When one night I was lying in the church St. Mary, Mother of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, appeared to me with His mother and St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and stood before me and said, 'Knowest thou me?"

I answered, 'No.' At these words, lo, a whole cross on His head.

"A second time, therefore, the Lord asked me 'Knowest thou, me?'

"To Him I replied: I do not know Thee except that I see cross on thy head like that of Our Saviour.'

"He answered, 'I am He.'

'Immediately I fell at His feet, humbly beseeching that He help us in the oppression which was upon us. The Lord responded: I have helped you in goodly manner and I will now help you. I permitted you to have the city of Nicaea, and to win all battles and I conducted you hither to this point, and I have grieved at the misery which you have suffered in the siege of Antioch. Behold with timely aid I sent you safe and unharmed into the city, and lo! (you are) working much evil pleasure with Christian and depraved pagan women, whereof a stench beyond measure arises unto heaven.'

"Then the loving Virgin and the blessed Peter fell at His feet, praying and beseeching Him to aid His people in this tribulation, and the blessed I Peter said: 'Lord, for so long a time the pagan host has held my house, and in it they have committed many unspeakable wrongs. But now, since the enemy have been driven hence, Lord, the angels rejoice in heaven.'

"The Lord then said to me: 'Go and tell my people to return to Me, and I will I return to them, and within five days I will send them great help. Let them daily chant the response Congregati sunt, all of it, including the verse.'

"Seignors, if You do not believe that this is true, let me climb up into this tower, and I will throw myself down, and if I am unharmed, believe that this is true. If, however, I shall have suffered any hurt, behead me, or cast me into the fire." Then the Bishop of Puy ordered that the Gospel and the Cross be brought, so that be might take oath that this was true.

All our leaders were counselled at that time to take oath that not one of them would flee, either for life or death, as long as they were alive. Bohemund is said to have been the first to take the oath, then the Count of St. Gilles, Robert of Normandy, Duke Godfrey, and the Count of Flanders. Tancred, indeed, swore and promised in this manner: that as long as he had forty knights with him he would not only not withdraw from that battle, but, likewise, not from the march to Jerusalem. Moreover, the Christian assemblage exulted greatly upon hearing this oath.

There was a certain pilgrim of our army, whose name was Peter, to whom before we entered the city St. Andrew, the apostle, appeared and said: "What art thou doing, good man?"

Peter answered, "Who art thou?"

The apostle said to him: "I am St. Andrew, the apostle. Know, my son, that when thou shalt enter the town, go to the church of St. Peter. There thou wilt find the Lance of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, with which He was wounded as He hung on the arm of the cross." Having said all this, the apostle straightway withdrew.

But Peter, afraid to reveal the advice of the apostle, was unwilling to make it known to the pilgrims. However, he thought that he had seen a vision, and said: "Lord, who would believe this?" But at that hour St. Andrew took him and carried him to the place where the Lance was hidden in the ground. When we were a second time situated in such (straits) as we have stated above, St. Andrew came again, saying to him: "Wherefore hast thou not yet taken the Lance from the earth as I commanded thee? Know verily, that whoever shall bear this lance in battle shall never 'be overcome by an enemy." Peter, indeed, straightway made known to our men the mystery of the apostle.

The people, however, did not believe (it), but refused, saying: "How can we believe this?" For they were utterly terrified and thought that they were to die forthwith. Thereupon, this man came forth and swore that it was all most true, since St. Andrew had twice appeared to him in a vision and had said to him: "Rise' go and tell the people of God not to fear, but to trust firmly with whole heart in the one true God and they will be everywhere victorious. Within five days the Lord will send them such a token that they will remain happy and joyful, and if they wish to fight, let them go out immediately to battle, all together, and all their enemies will be conquered, and no one will stand against them." Thereupon, when they beard that their enemies were to be overcome by them, they began straightway to revive and to encourage one another, saying: "Bestir yourselves, and be everywhere brave and alert, since the Lord will come to our aid in the next battle and will be the greatest refuge to His people whom He beholds' lingering in sorrow."

Accordingly, upon hearing the statements of that man who reported to us the revelation of Christ through the words of the apostle, we went in haste immediately to the place in the church of St. Peter which he had pointed out. Thirteen men dug there from morning until vespers. And so that man found the Lance, just as he had indicated. They received it with great gladness and fear, and a joy beyond measure arose in the whole city.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 174-76

10. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

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 1 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

The Defeat of Kerbogha

11. The Gesta Version

From that hour we took counsel of battle among ourselves. Forthwith, all our leaders decided upon the plan of sending a messenger to the Turks, enemies of Christ, to ask them with assured address: "Wherefore have you most haughtily entered the land of the Christians, and why have you encamped, and why do you kill and assail servants of Christ?' When their speech was already ended, they found certain men, Peter the Hermit and Herlwin, and they told them as follows: "Go to the accursed army of the Turks and carefully tell them all this, asking them why they have boldly and haughtily entered the land of the Christians and our own?"

At these words, the messengers left and went to the profane assemblage, saying everything to Curbara and the others as follows.. "Our leaders and nobles wonder wherefore you have rashly and most haughtily entered their land, the land of the Christians? We think, forsooth, and believe that you have thus come hither because you wish to become Christians fully; or have you come hither for the purpose of harassing the Christians in every way? All our leaders together ask you, therefore, quickly to leave the land of God and the Christians, which the blessed apostle, Peter by his preaching converted long ago to the worship of Christ. But they grant, in addition, that you may take away all your belongings, horses, mules, asses, camels, sheep, and cattle; all other belongings they permit you to carry with you, wherever you may wish."

Then Curbara, chief of the army of the Sultan of Persia, with all the others full of haughtiness, answered in fierce language "Your God and your Christianity we neither seek nor desire, a we spurn you and them absolutely. We have now come even hither because we marvelled greatly why the princes and nobles who you mention call this land theirs, the land we took from an effeminate people. Now, do you want to know what we are saying to you? Go back quickly, therefore, and tell your seignors that if they desire to become Turks in everything, and wish to deny the God whom you worship with bowed heads, and to spurn your laws, we will give them this and enough more of lands, castles, and cities. In addition, moreover, (we will grant) that none of you will longer remain a foot soldier, but will all be knights, just as we are; and we will ever bold you in the highest friendship. But if not, let them know that they will all undergo capital sentence, or will be led in chains to Chorosan, to serve us and our children in perpetual captivity forever."

Our messengers speedily came back, reporting all this most cruel race had replied. Herlwin is said to have known both tongues, and to have been the interpreter for Peter the Hermit, Meanwhile, our army, frightened on both sides, did not know what to do; for on one side excruciating famine harassed them, on the other fear of the Turks constrained them.

At length, when the three days fast had been fulfilled, and a procession had been held from one church to another, they confessed their sins, were absolved, and faithfully took the communion of the body and blood of Christ; and when alms had been give they celebrated mass. Then six battle lines were formed from the forces within the city. In the first line, that is at the very head, was Hugh the Great with the Franks and the Count of Flanders; in the second, Duke Godfrey with his army; in the third was Robert the Norman with his knights; in the fourth, carrying with him the Lance of the Saviour, was the Bishop of Puy, together with his people and with the army of Raymond, Count of St. Gilles, who remained behind to watch the citadel for fear lest the Turks descend into the city; in the fifth line was Tancred, son of Marchisus, with his people, and in the sixth line was the wise man, Bohemund, with his army. Our bishops, priests, clerics, and monks, dressed in holy vestments, came out with us with crosses, praying and beseeching the Lord to make us safe, guard us, and deliver us from all evil. Some stood on the wall of the gate, holding the sacred crosses in their hands, making the sign (of the cross) and blessing us. Thus were we arrayed, and, protected with the sign of the cross, we went forth through the gate which is before the mosque.

After Curbara saw the lines of the Franks, so beautifully formed, coming out one after the other, he said: "Let them come out, that we may the better have them in our power!" But after they were outside the city and Curbara saw the huge host of the Franks, he was greatly frightened. He straightway sent word to his Emir, who had everything in charge, that if he saw a light burn at the head of the army he should have the trumpets sounded for it to retreat, knowing that the Turks had lost the battle. Curbara began immediately to retreat little by little toward the mountain, and our men followed them little by little. At length the Turks divided; one party went toward the sea and the rest halted there, expecting to enclose our men between them. As our men saw this, they did likewise. There a seventh line was formed from the lines of Duke Godfrey and the Count of Normandy, and its head was Reinald. They sent this (line) to meet the Turks, who were coming from the sea. The Turks, however, engaged them in battle and by shooting killed many of our men. Other squadrons, moreover, were drawn out from the river to the mountain, which was about two miles distant. The squadrons began to go forth from both sides and to surround our men on all sides, hurling, shooting, and wounding them. There came out from the mountains, also, countless armies with white horses, whose standards were all white. And so, when our leaders saw this army, they were entirely ignorant as to what it was, and who they were, until they recognized the aid of Christ, whose leaders were St. George, Mercurius, and Demetrius. This is to be believed, for many of our men saw it. However, when the Turks who were stationed on the side toward the sea saw that that they could hold out no longer, they set fire to the grass, so that, upon seeing it, those who were in the tents might flee. The latter, recognizing that signal, seized all the precious spoils and fled. But our men fought yet a while where their (the Turks) greatest strength was, that is, in the region of their tents. Duke Godfrey, the Count of Flanders, and Hugh the Great rode near the water, where the enemy's strength lay. These men, fortified by the sign of the cross, together attacked the enemy first. When the other lines saw this, they likewise attacked. The Turks and the Persians in their turn cried out. Thereupon, we invoked the Living and True God and charged against them, and in the name of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Sepulchre we began the battle, and, God helping, we overcame them. But the terrified Turks took to flight, and our men followed them to the tents. Thereupon, the knights of Christ chose rather to pursue them than to seek any spoils, and they pursued them even to the Iron Bridge, and then up to the fortress of Tancred. The enemy, indeed, left their pavilions there, gold, silver, and many ornaments, also sheep, cattle, horses, mules, camels, asses, grain, wine, butter, and many other things which we needed. When the Armenians and Syrians who dwelt in those regions heard that we had overcome the Turks, they ran to the mountain to meet them and killed as many of them as they could catch. We, however, returned to the city with great joy and praised and blessed God, who gave the victory to His people.

Thereupon, when the Emir who was guarding the citadel saw that Curbara and all the rest bad fled from the field before the army of the Franks, he was greatly frightened. Immediately and with great baste be sought the standards of the Franks. Accordingly, the Count of St. Gilles, who was stationed before the citadel, ordered his standard to be brought to him. The Emir took it and carefully placed it on the tower. The Longobards who were there said immediately: "This is not Bohemund's standard!" Then the Emir asked and said: "Whose is it?" They answered: "It belongs to the Count of St. Gilles." Thereupon, the Emir went and seized the standard and returned it to the Count. But at that hour the venerable man, Bohemund, came and gave him his standard. He received it with great joy and entered into an agreement with Bohemund that the pagans who wished to take up Christianity might remain with him (Bohemund), and that he should permit those who wished to go away to depart safe and without any hurt. He agreed to all that the Emir demanded and straightway sent his servants into the citadel. Not many days after this the Emir was baptized with those of his men who preferred to recognize Christ. But those who wished to adhere to their own laws Lord Bohemund bad conducted to the land of the Saracens.

This battle was fought on the fourth day before the Kalends of July, on the vigil of the apostles Peter and Paul, in the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. And after our enemies bad now been completely conquered, we gave fitting thanks to God, Three and One, and the Highest. Some of the enemy, exhausted, others, wounded in their flight hither and thither, succumbed to death in valley, forest, fields, and roads. But the people of Christ, that is, the victorious pilgrims, returned to the city, rejoicing in the happy triumph over their defeated foes.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 182-85

12. Version of Raymond d'Aguiliers

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

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

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