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Medieval Sourcebook:
Crusader Letters



1.Anselm of Ribemont to Manasses II, Archbishop of Reims

(Antioch, about February 10, 1098. During siege of Antioch)

TO his reverend lord M., by God's grace archbishop of Reims, A. of Ribemont, his vassal and humble servant - greeting.

Inasmuch as you are our lord and as the kingdom of France is especially dependent upon your care, we tell to you, our father, the events which have happened to us and the condition of the army of the Lord. Yet, in the first place, although we are not ignorant that the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord, we advise and beseech you in the name of our Lord Jesus to consider what you are and what the duty of a priest and bishop is. Provide therefore for our land, so that the lords may keep peace among themselves, the vassals may in safety work on their property, and the ministers of Christ may serve the Lord, leading quiet and tranquil lives. I also pray you and the canons of the holy mother church of Reims, my fathers and lords, to be mindful of us, not only of me and of those who are now sweating in the service of God, but also of the members of the army of the Lord who have fallen in arms or died in peace.

But passing over these things, let us return to what we promised. Accordingly after the army had reached Nicomedia, which is situated at the entrance to the land of the Turks, we all, lords and vassals, cleansed by confession, fortified ourselves by partaking of the body and blood of our Lord, and proceeding thence beset Nicaea on the second day before the Nones of May. After we bad for some days besieged the city with many machines and various engines of war, the craft of the Turks, as often before, deceived us greatly. For on the very day on which they bad promised that they would surrender, Soliman and all the Turks, collected from neighboring and distant regions, suddenly fell upon us and attempted to capture our camp. However the count of St. Gilles, with the remaining Franks, made an attack upon them and killed an innumerable multitude. All the others fled in confusion. Our men, moreover, returning in victory and bearing many heads fixed upon pikes and spears, furnished a joyful spectacle for the people of God. This was on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of June.

Beset moreover and routed in attacks by night and day, they surrendered unwillingly on the thirteenth day before the Kalends Of July. Then the Christians entering the walls with their crosses and imperial standards, reconciled the city to God, and both within the city and outside the gates cried out in Greek and Latin, "Glory to Thee, O God." Having accomplished this, the princes of the army met the emperor who had come to offer them his thanks, and having received from him gifts of inestimable value, some withdrew, with kindly feelings, others with different emotions.

We moved our camp from Nicaea on the fourth day before the Kalends of July and proceeded on our journey for three days. On the fourth day the Turks, having collected their forces from all sides, again attacked the smaller portion of our army, killed many of our men and drove all the remainder back to their camps. Bohemond, count of the Romans, [Should be "Normans"] count Stephen, and the count of Flanders commanded this section. When these were thus terrified by fear, the standards of the larger army suddenly appeared. Hugh the Great and the duke of Lorraine were riding at the head, the count of St. Gilles and the venerable bishop of Puy followed. For they had beard of the battle and were hastening to our aid. The number of the Turks was estimated at 260,000. All of our army attacked them, killed many and routed the rest. On that day I returned from the emperor, to whom the princes bad sent me on public business.

After that day our princes remained together and were not separated from one another. Therefore, in traversing the countries of Romania and Armenia we found no obstacle, except that after passing Iconium, we, who formed the advance guard, saw a few Turks. After routing these, on the twelfth day before the Kalends of November, we laid siege to Antioch, and now we captured the neighboring places, the cities of Tarsus and Laodicea and many others, by force. On a certain day, moreover, before we besieged the city, at the "Iron Bridge" we routed the Turks, who bad set out to devastate the surrounding country, and we rescued many Christians. Moreover, we led back the horses and camels with very great booty.

While we were besieging the city, the Turks from the nearest redoubt daily killed those entering and leaving the army. The princes of our army seeing this, killed 400 of the Turks who were lying in wait, drove others into a certain river and led back some as captives. You may be assured that we are now besieging Antioch with all diligence, and hope soon to capture it. The city is supplied to an incredible extent with grain, wine, oil and all kinds of food.

I ask, moreover, that you and all whom this letter reaches Pray for us and for our departed brethren. Those who have fallen in battle are: at Nicaea, Baldwin of Ghent, Baldwin Chalderuns, who was the first to make an attack upon the Turks and who fell in battle on the Kalends of July, Robert of Paris, Lisiard of Flanders, Hilduin of Mansgarbio [Mazingarbe], Ansellus of Caium [Anseau of Caien], Manasses of Claromonte [Clerr"t], Lauclunensis.

Those who died from sickness: at Nicaea, Guy of Vitreio, Odo of Vernolio [Verneuil (?)], Hugh of Reims; at the fortress of Sparnum, the venerable abbot Roger, my chaplain; at Antioch, Alard of Spiniaeco, Hugh of Calniaco.

Again and again I beseech you, readers of this letter, to pray for us, and you, my lord archbishop, to order this to be done by your bishops. And know for certain that we have captured for the Lord 200 cities and fortresses. May our mother, the western church, rejoice that she has begotten such men, who are aspiring for her so glorious a name and who are so wonderfully aiding the eastern church. And in order that you may believe this, know that you have sent to me a tapestry by Raymond "de Castello""

Farewell.

Source:

Dana C. Munro, "Letters of the Crusaders", Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, Vol 1:4, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1896), 2-5

2. Stephen, Count of Blois and Chartres, To his Wife Adele

(Antioch, March 29 )

Count Stephen to Adele, his sweetest and most amiable wife, to his dear children, and to all his vassals of all ranks - his greeting and blessing,

You may be very sure, dearest, that the messenger whom I sent to give you pleasure, left me before Antioch safe and unharmed and through God's grace in the greatest prosperity. And already at that time, together with all the chosen army of Christ, endowed with great valor by Him, we had been continuously advancing for twenty-three weeks toward the home of our Lord Jesus. You may know for certain, my beloved, that of gold, silver and many other kind of riches I now have twice as much as your love had assigned to me when I left you. For all our princes, with the common consent of the whole army, against my own wishes, have made me up to the present time the leader, chief and director of their whole expedition.

You have certainly heard that after the capture of the city of Nicaea we fought a great battle with the perfidious Turks and by God's aid conquered them. Next we conquered for the Lord all Romania and afterwards Cappadocia. And we learned that there was a certain Turkish prince Assam, dwelling in Cappadocia; thither we directed our course. All his castles we conquered by force and compelled him to flee to a certain very strong castle situated on a high rock. We also gave the land of that Assam to one of our chiefs and in order that he might conquer the above-mentioned Assam, we left there with him many soldiers of Christ. Thence, continually following the wicked Turks, we drove them through the midst of Armenia, as far as the great river Euphrates. Having left all their baggage and beasts of burden on the bank, they fled across the river into Arabia.

The bolder of the Turkish soldiers, indeed, entering Syria, hastened by forced marches night and day, in order to be able to enter the royal city of Antioch before our approach. The whole army of God learning this gave due praise and thanks to the omnipotent Lord. Hastening with great joy to the aforesaid chief city of Antioch, we besieged it and very often had many conflicts there with the Turks; and seven times with the citizens of Antioch and with the innumerable troops coming to its aid, whom we rushed to meet, we fought with the fiercest courage, under the leadership of Christ. And in all these seven battles, by the aid of the Lord God, we conquered and most assuredly killed an innumerable host of them. In those battles, indeed, and in very many attacks made upon the city, many of our brethren and followers were killed and their souls were borne to the joys of paradise.

We found the city of Antioch very extensive, fortified with incredible strength and almost impregnable. In addition, more than 5,000 bold Turkish soldiers had entered the city, not counting the Saracens, Publicans, Arabs, Turcopolitans, Syrians, Armenians and other different races of whom an infinite multitude had gathered together there. In fighting against these enemies of God and of our own we have, by God's grace, endured many sufferings and innumerable evils up to the present time. Many also have already exhausted all their resources in this very holy passion. Very many of our Franks, indeed, would have met a temporal death from starvation, if the clemency of God and our money had not succoured them. Before the abovementioned city of Antioch indeed, throughout the whole winter we suffered for our Lord Christ from excessive cold and enormous torrents of rain. What some say about the impossibility of bearing the beat of the sun throughout Syria is untrue, for the winter there is very similar to our winter in the West.

When truly Caspian [Bagi Seian], the emir of Antioch - that is, prince and lord - perceived that he was hard pressed by us, he sent his son Sensodolo [Chems Eddaulab] by name, to the prince who holds Jerusalem, and to the prince of Calep, Rodoarn [Rodoanus], and to Docap [Deccacus Ibn Toutousch], prince of Damascus. He also sent into Arabia to Bolianuth and to Carathania to Hamelnuth. These five emirs with 12,000 picked Turkish horsemen suddenly came to aid the inhabitants of Antioch. We, indeed, ignorant of all this, had sent many of our soldiers away to the cities and fortresses. For there are one hundred and sixty-five cities and fortresses throughout Syria which are in our power. But a little before they reached the city, we attacked them at three leagues' distance with 700 soldiers, on a certain plain near the "Iron Bridge." God, however, fought for us, His faithful, against them. For on that day, fighting in the strength that God gives, we conquered them and killed an innumerable multitude - God continually fighting for us - and we also carried back to the army more than two hundred of their heads, in order that the people might rejoice on that account. The emperor of Babylon also sent Saracen messengers to our army with letters, and through these he established peace and concord with us.

I love to tell you, dearest, what happened to us during Lent. Our princes had caused a fortress to be built which was between our camp and the sea. For the Turks daily issuing from this gate, killed some of our men on their way to the sea. The city of Antioch is about five leagues' distance from the sea. For this reason they sent the excellent Bohemond and Raymond, count of St. Gilles, to the sea with only sixty horsemen, in order that they might bring mariners to aid in this work. When, however, they were returning to us with those mariners, the Turks collected an army, fell suddenly upon our two leaders and forced them to a perilous flight. In that unexpected flight we lost more than 500 of our foot soldiersto the glory of God. Of our horsemen, however, we lost only two, for certain.

Source:

Dana C. Munro, "Letters of the Crusaders", Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, Vol 1:4, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1896), 5-8

3. The Patriarch of Jerusalem to the Church in the West

(Antioch, January 1098)

The Patriarch of Jerusalem and the bishops, Greek as well as Latin, and the whole army of God and the Church to the Church of the West; fellowship in celestial Jerusalem, and a portion of the reward of their labor.

Since we are not unaware that you delight in the increase of the Church, and we believe that you are concerned to hear matters adverse as well as prosperous, we hereby notify you of the success of our undertaking. Therefore, be it known to your delight that God has triumphed in forty important cities and in two hundred fortresses of His Church in Romania, as well as in Syria, and that we still have one hundred thousand men in armor, besides the common throng, though many were lost in the first battles. But what is this? What is one man in a thousand? Where we have a count, the enemy have forty kings; where we have a company, the enemy have a legion; where we have a knight, they have a duke; where we have a foot soldier, they have a count; where we have a camp, they have a kingdom. However, confiding not in numbers, nor in bravery, nor in any presumption, but protected by justice and the shield of Christ, and with St. George, Theodore, Demetrius, and Basil, soldiers of Christ, truly supporting us, we have pierced, and in security are piercing, the ranks of the enemy. On five general battlefields, God conquering, we have conquered.

But what more? In behalf of God and ourselves, I, apostolic Patriarch, the bishops and the whole order of the Lord, urgently pray, and our spiritual Mother Church calls out: "Come, my most beloved sons, come to me, retake the crown from the bands of the sons of idolatry, who rise against me - the crown from the beginning of the world predestined for you." Come, therefore, we pray, to fight in the army of the Lord at the same place in which the Lord fought, in which Christ suffered for us, leaving to you an example that you should follow his footsteps. Did not God, innocent, die for us? Let us therefore also die, if it be our lot, not for Him, but for ourselves, that by dying on earth we may live for God. Yet it is (now) not necessary that we should die,' nor fight much, for we have (already) sustained the more serious trials, but the task of holding the fortresses and cities has been heavily reducing our army. Come, therefore, hasten to be repaid with the twofold reward - namely, the land of the living and the land flowing with milk and honey and abounding in all good things. Behold, men, by the shedding of our blood the way is open everywhere. Bring nothing with you except only what may be of use to us. Let only the men come; let the women, as yet, be left. From the home in which there are two, let one, the one more ready for battle come. But those, especially, who have made the vow (let them come). Unless they come and discharge their vow, I apostolic Patriarch, the bishops, and the whole order of the orthodox, do excommunicate them and remove them utterly from the communion of the Church. And do you likewise, that they may not have burial among Christians, unless they are staying for suitable reasons. Come, and receive the twofold glory! This, therefore, also write.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 142-44

4. Anselm of Ribemont to Manasses II, Archbishop of Reims

(Antioch, July 1098)

In the name of the Lord!

To his lord and father, Manasses, by grace of God venerable Archbishop of Reims, Anselm of Ribemont, his loyal vass; and humble servant; greeting.

Let your Eminence, reverend father and lord, know that, even though absent and not present, we are daily asking aid . our hearts from you- not only from you, but, also, from all the sons of the Holy Mother Church of Reims, in whom we have the greatest faith. Likewise, inasmuch as you are our lord, and the counsel of the whole kingdom of France is especially dependent upon you, we are keeping you, father, informed of whatever happy and adverse events have happened to us. Let the others, moreover, be informed through you, that you may share equally in our sufferings, and rejoice with us in our success.

We have informed you how we fared in the siege and capture of Nicaea, in our departure thence and our journey through all Romania and Armenia. It now remains for us to tell you a little about the siege of Antioch, the many kinds of danger we there tasted, and the innumerable battles which we fought against the King of Aleppo, the King of Damascus, and against the adulterous King of Jerusalem.

Antioch has been besieged by the army of the Lord since the thirteenth day before the Kalends of November with exceeding valor and courage beyond words. What unheard of battles you might have perceived there at a certain gateway to the west! How marvelous it would seem to you, were you present, to see them daily rushing forth through six gates - both they and ourselves fighting for safety and life! At that time our princes, seeking to enclose the city more and more closely, first besieged the eastern gate, and Bohemund, having built a fort there, stationed a part of his army in it. However, since our princes then felt somewhat elated, God, who chasteneth every son whom he loveth, so chastened us that hardly seven hundred horses could be found in our army; and thus, not because we lacked proven and valiant men, but from lack of horses, or food, or through excessive cold, almost all were dying. The Turks, moreover, supplied with horses and all necessities in abundance, were wont daily to ride around our camp, a certain stream which lay between serving as a wall. There Was likewise a castle of the Turks almost eight miles away; and these Turks were daily killing many of our men, who were going back and forth from our army. Our princes went out against them and with God's help put them to flight and killed many of them. Therefore the ruler of Antioch, seeing himself afflicted, called the King of Damascus to his aid. By God's providence, this King met Bohemund and the Count of Flanders, who bad gone to find food with a part of our army, and, God's help prevailing, he was defeated and routed by them. The ruler of Antioch, still concerned about his safety, sent to the King of Aleppo and aroused him with promises of very great wealth, to the end that be should come with all his forces. Upon his arrival, our princes went forth from camp, and that day, God being their helper, with seven hundred knights and a few foot soldiers they defeated twelve thousand Turks with their King, put them to flight, and killed many of them. Our men regained not a few horses from that battle, and returned rejoicing with victory. Growing stronger and stronger, therefore, from that day our men took counsel with renewed courage as to bow they might besiege the western gate which cut off access to the sea, wood, and fodder. By common agreement, therefore, Bohemund and the Count of St. Gilles went to the coast to fetch those who were staying there. Meanwhile , those who had remained to look after the possessions, seeking to acquire a name for themselves, went out incautiously one day after breakfast, near that western gate from which they were ingloriously repulsed and put to flight. On the third day after this, Bohemund and the Count of St. Gilles, on their way back, sent word to the princes of the army to meet them, (intending) together to besiege the gate. However, since the latter delayed for a short time, Bohemund and the Count of St. Gilles were beaten and put to flight. Therefore all our men, grieving and bewailing their disgrace, as well, for a thousand of our men fell that day, formed their lines and defeated and put to flight the Turks, who offered great resistance. On this day, moreover, almost fourteen hundred of the enemy perished both by weapons and in the river, which was swollen with winter rains.

And so, when this had been accomplished, our men began to build the fortress, which they strengthened, also, with a double moat and a very strong wall, as well as with two towers. In it they placed the Count of St. Gilles with machine men and bowmen. Oh, with what great labor we established the fortress! One part of our army served the eastern front, another looked after the camp, while all the rest worked on this fortress. Of the latter, the machine men and bowmen kept watch on the gate; the rest, including the princes themselves, did not stop in the work of carrying stones, and building the wall. Why recount the trials of many kinds, which, even if passed over in silence, are sufficiently evident in themselves - hunger, intemperate weather, and the desertion of fainthearted soldiers? The more bitter they were, the more ready our men were in enduring them. Yet, indeed, we think that we should by no means pass in silence the fact that on a certain day the Turks pretended that they would surrender the city and carried the deception so far as to receive some of our men among them, and several of their men came out to us. While this was going on in this manner, they, like the faithless people that they were, set a trap for us in which Walo, the Constable, and others of them as well as of us were destroyed. A few days after this, moreover, it was announced to us that Corbara, chief of the army of the king of the Persians, had sworn to our death, and had almoreover, it was announced to us that Corbana, chief of the army God, however, who does not desert those who place their trust in Him, did not abandon His people, but on the Nones of June compassionately gave to us the city of Antioch, which three of its citizens betrayed. We, however, devastated the city, and on that same day killed all the pagans in it, except some who were holding out in the castle of the city.

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 157-60

5. The People of Lucca on Crusade. To all Faithful Christians

(Antioch, October 1098)

To the primates, archbishops, bishops, and other rectors, and to all the faithful of the lands of Christ anywhere; the clergy and people of Lucca (send) greeting full of peace and gladness in the Lord.

To the praise and glory of the Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ, we are truly and faithfully making known to all (the news) which we received truly and faithfully from participants in the affairs tbemselves - at what time, with what great triumph, the most mighty right band of Christ gave complete victory over the pagans to our brethren, His champions, after trial and perils. A certain citizen of ours, Bruno by name, known and very dear to all of us, in the year preceding this, went with the ships of the Angles even to Antioch itself. There, as a partner in work and danger, sharer of triumph and joy, be fought along with the fighters, starved with the starving and conquered, also, with the conquering; and when the complete victory had already been achieved, and he had rejoiced three weeks there with all, be returned to us, after a happy voyage. Placing him in our midst, we received from him the pure and simple truth of the matter - lo! in his own account, as follows:

"When we who were voyaging by sea bad come to Antioch, the army, which bad gathered together from everywhere by land, bad already surrounded the city in siege, though not very well. On the following day, our princes proceeded to the sea, for the sake of visiting us. They urged us to get together an abundant supply of wood for the construction of war engines, which we did at great expense. On the third day, moreover, before the Nones of March, that is the first Friday, our princes decided to erect a fortress at the western gate of the city. This fortress, a very short ballista-shot away (from the city), is now called by the name of the Blessed Mary. There, on that same day, in an attack of the Turks, in which they killed 2,055 of our men, we killed 800 of the enemy. From the third day, moreover, when the fortress had been erected, until the third day before the Nones of June, our men endured many hardships, and, weakened by hunger and the sword, they toiled there at great cost. However, on this day the city was captured in the following manner: Four brothers, noble men of Antioch, on the second day of June promise to surrender the city to Bohemund, Robert Curtose, and Robert, Count of Flanders. These, however, with the common assent of all our princes, at nightfall conduct the whole army to the wall of the city, without the knowledge of the Turks. And in the morning, when the citizens of Antioclio open the gates to receive the three named princes alone, according to promise, all of our men suddenly rush in together. There is the greatest clamor: our men obtain all the fortified places, except the very high citadel; the Turksthese they kill, those they hurl to destruction over the precipice."

Source:

August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 161-67

6. Godfrey, Raymond and Daimbert to the Pope

(Laodicea, Spetember 1099)

To Lord Paschal, pope of the Roman church, to all the bishops and to the whole Christian people, from the archbishop of Pisa, duke Godfrey, now, by the grace of God, defender of of the Holy Se ulchre, Raymond, count of St. Gilles, and the whole army of God, which is in the land of Israel, greeting.

Multiply your supplications and prayers in the sight of God with joy and thanksgiving, since God has manifested His mercy in fulfilling by our bands what He bad promised in ancient times. For after the capture of Nicaea, the whole army, made up of more than three hundred thousand soldiers, departed thence. And, although this army was so great that it could have in a single day covered all Romania and drunk up all the rivers and eaten up all the growing things, yet the Lord conducted them amid so great abundance that a ram was sold for a penny and an ox for twelve pennies or less. Moreover, although the princes and kings of the Saracens rose up against us, yet, by God's will, they were easily conquered and overcome. Because, indeed, some were, puffed up by these successes, God opposed to us Antioch, impregnable to human strength. And there He detained us for nine months and so humbled us in the siege that there were scarcely a hundred good horses in our whole army. God opened to us the abundance of His blessing and mercy and led us into the city, and delivered the Turks and all of their possessions into our power.

Inasmuch as we thought that these had been acquired by our own strength and did not worthily magnify God who bad done this, we were beset by so great a multitude of Turks that no one dared to venture forth at any point from the city. Moreover, hunger so weakened us that some could scarcely refrain from eating human flesh. It would be tedious to narrate all the miseries which we suffered in that city. But God looked down upon His people whom He had so long chastised and mercifully consoled them. Therefore, He at first revealed to us, as a recompense for our tribulation and as a pledge of victory, His lance which had laid hidden since the days of the apostles. Next, He so fortified the hearts of the men, that they who from sickness or hunger had been unable to walk, now were enbued with strength to seize their weapons and manfully to fight against the enemy.

After we had triumphed over the enemy, as our army was wasting away at Antioch from sickness and weariness and was especially hindered by the dissensions among the leaders, we proceeded into Syria, stormed Barra and Marra, cities of the Saracens, and captured the fortresses in that country. And while we were delaying there, there was so great a famine in the army that the Christian people now ate the putrid bodies of the Saracens. Finally, by the divine admonition, we entered into the interior of Hispania, and the most bountiful, merciful and victorious hand of the omnipotent Father was with us. For the cities and fortresses of the country through which we were proceeding sent ambassadors to us with many gifts and offered to aid us and to surrender their walled places. But because our army was not large and it was the unanimous wish to hasten to Jerusalem, we accepted their pledges and made them tributaries. One of the cities forsooth, which was on the seacoast, bad more men than there were in our whole army. And when those at Antioch and Laodicea and Archas heard bow the hand of the Lord was with us, many from the army who had remained in those cities followed us to Tyre. Therefore, with the Lord's companionship and aid, we proceeded thus as far as Jerusalem.

And after the army had suffered greatly in the siege, especially on account of the lack of water, a council was held and the bishops and princes ordered that all with bare feet should march around the walls of the city, in order that He who entered it humbly in our behalf might be moved by our humility to open it to us and to exercise judgment upon His enemies. God was appeased by this humility and on the eighth day after the humiliation He delivered the city and His enemies to us. It was the day indeed on which the primitive church was driven thence, and on which the festival of the dispersion of the apostles is celebrated. And if you desire to know what was done with the enemy who were found there, know that in Solomon's Porch and in his temple our men rode in the blood of the Saracens up to the knees of their horses.

Then, when we were considering who ought to hold the city, and some moved by love for their country and kinsmen wished to return home, it was announced to us that the king of Babylon bad come to Ascalon with an innumerable multitude of soldiers. His purpose was, as be said, to lead the Franks, who were in Jerusalem, into captivity, and to take Antioch by storm. But God had determined otherwise in regard to us.

Therefore, when we learned that the army of the Babylonians was at Ascalon, we went down to meet them, leaving our baggage and the sick in Jerusalem with a garrison. When our army was in sight of the enemy, upon our knees we invoked the aid of the Lord, that He who in our other adversities had strengthened the Christian faith, might in the present battle break the strength of the Saracens and of the devil and extend the kingdom of the church of Christ from sea to sea, over the whole world. There was no delay; God was present when we cried for His aid, and furnished us with so great boldness, that one who saw us rush upon the enemy would have taken us for a herd of deer hastening to quench their thirst in running water. It was wonderful, indeed, since there were in our army not more than 5,000 horsemen: j and 15,000 foot soldiers, and there were probably in the enemy's army 100,000 horsemen and 400,000 foot soldiers. Then God appeared wonderful to His servants. For before we engaged in fighting, by our very onset alone, He turned this multitude in flight and scattered all their weapons, so that if they wished afterwards to attack us, they did not have the weapons in which they trusted. There can be no question how great the spoils were, since the treasures of the king of Babylon were captured. More than 100,000 Moors perished there by the sword. Moreover, their panic was so great that about 2,000 were suffocated at the gate of the city. Those who perished in the sea were innumerable. Many were entangled in the thickets. The whole world was certainly fighting for us, and if many of ours had not been detained in plundering the camp, few of the great multitude of the enemy would have been able to escape from the battle. And although it may be tedious, the following must not be omitted: On the day preceding the battle the army captured many thousands of camels, oxen and sheep. By the command of the princes these were divided among the people. When we advanced to battle, wonderful to relate, the camels formed in many squadrons and the sheep and oxen did the same. Moreover, these animals accompanied us, halting when we halted, advancing when we advanced, and charging when we charged. The clouds protected us from the beat of the sun and cooled us.

Accordingly, after celebrating the victory, the army returned to Jerusalem. Duke Godfrey remained there; the count of St. Gilles, Robert, count of Normandy, and Robert, count of Flanders, returned to Laodicea. There they found the fleet belonging to the Pisans and to Bohemond. After the archbishop of Pisa had established peace between Bohemond and our leaders, Raymond prepared to return to Jerusalem for the sake of God and his brethren.

Therefore, we call upon you of the catholic church of Christ and of the whole Latin church to exult in the so admirable bravery and devotion of your brethren, in the so glorious and very desirable retribution of the omnipotent God, and in the so devoutedly hoped - for remission of all our sins through the grace of God. And we pray that He may make you - namely, all bishops, clerks and monks who are leading devout lives, and all the laity - to sit down at the right hand of God, who liveth and reigneth God for ever and ever. And we ask and beseech you in the name of our Lord Jesus, who has ever been with us and aided us and freed us from all our tribulations, to be mindful of your brethren who return to you, by doing them kindnesses and by paying their debts, in order that God may recompense you and absolve you from all your sins and grant you a share in all the blessings which either we or they have deserved in the sight of the Lord. Amen.

Source:

Dana C. Munro, "Letters of the Crusaders", Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, Vol 1:4, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1896), 8-11

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