First Crusade

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In November 1095, Pope Urban II preached a Crusade to the east in Clermont after receiving a plea for aid from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I. It resulted in a mass movement of people from France, Italy and Germany towards the Holy Land. Their journey would bring them down through the Balkans, towards Constantinople, a perilous journey across Anatolia and a sequence of savage encounters with Islamic forces. Attrition was devastating, and estimations of the size of the Crusader forces at the siege of Jerusalem were as low 1,200-1,300 knights and 12,000 foot. The First Crusade resulted in the establishment of a string of Christian states along the eastern coast – The Principality of Antioch, The County of Edessa, The County of Tripoli and the Kingdom of Jerusalem.[1]

Origins

In 1071, the Seljuk Turks fought and defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert. This set in motion a chain of events leading to a plea from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I seeking aid from the Christians of the west. He was expecting a compact and professional group of soldiers to come to his aid, but instead he received a mass movement of people overcome with religious zeal aimed at liberating Jerusalem.

At the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II preached the idea of the crusade to the gathered bishops and ecclesiastics of France. The enthusiasm was startling and the idea spread. Urban had in mind a military expedition to the east, and acquired beforehand the support of Raymond of Toulouse, a powerful and wealthy secular leader, and the great ecclesiastical magnate Adhemar of Le Puy.[2] In the meantime, the idea had caught the fascination of the poor, helped to no end by the charismatic Peter the Hermit, who went on to organise and lead the People’s Crusade.

In his effort to organise a highly efficient military expedition, many important magnate were persuaded to join. Raymond of Toulouse, Robert of Normandy, Robert of Flanders, Stephen of Blois, Hugh of Vermandois, Godfrey of Bouillon (Later to become secular ruler of Jerusalem) and Bohemond of Taranto were all very important, powerful men. They were the ‘Princes’ of the so named ‘Princes Crusade’. They were followed by many of their vassals and others of equivalent rank. It has often been asserted that these men were moved by the prospect of material gain, but scholars have since the 1980’s moved to squash this idea. For example, the possibility of gain in the east was a gamble, leading to the conclusion that It is hard to believe that most crusaders were motivated by crude materialism... It makes much more sense to suppose, in so far as one can generalise about them, that they were moved by idealism.[3]

To the lower class of nobles, the Crusade offered the chance of adventure and social mobility. Baldwin of Boulogne, for example, was the younger brother of Godfrey of Bouillon. His experience on the Crusade lead to him becoming Prince of Edessa and later King of Jerusalem. Land was an important factor in motivating military men to go on Crusade. After the victory at Ascalon following the conquest of Jerusalem, only around 300 knights and 2,000 foot soldiers remained with Godfrey as ruler of Jerusalem. This cadre of Europeans forged wealthy and powerful domains for themselves in the east. For Bohemond, who was to become Prince of Antioch, his social status was elevated substantially. He was amongst the lesser nobles in terms of wealth and status before the departure of the Crusade but his military triumphs and growing reputation as a fierce soldier, especially over Ridwan of Aleppo and Kerbogha during the Siege of Antioch cemented his new status and reputation. For the Italian city states, the allure of new trade routes, which would threaten the dominance of The Fatimid cities of Egypt and Constantinople became a huge motivation. They provided naval supremacy along with the Byzantines during the Crusades, often helping with reinforcements, provisions and siege expertise (Particularly at the siege of Jerusalem).

Urban phrased his appeal for Holy War in 1095 in the context of remission of sin. The growing religious intensity of the age, signified by the Investiture Contest, along with the Christianising evolution of the knighted, military class, meant that the promise of the remission of sin was extremely appealing to a religious, warrior aristocracy.[4] It is easy to overemphasise the religious motivation of Crusaders, but it was common for the Christian knight to seek both genuine religious redemption and wealth in the form of captured booty from the enemy and all these factors helped in the process of preaching and organising the great expedition to the east.

The People's Crusade

The widespread religious zeal that the preaching of the crusade whipped up lead to a pogrom against the Jews in Germany. For many, the prospect of a long and terrible march over Europe and Asia Minor to fight the infidel seemed remote when there were infidels living amongst them in their own towns and cities. The massacres of the Jews as the crusaders departed from Western Germany was a result of the religious frenzy the Crusades inspired.[5] More generally, it displayed the popular support the Crusaders now enjoyed, as the masses were quickly caught up in the general enthusiasm to take the cross.

The charismatic wandering preacher – Peter the Hermit – quickly became a symbol of the lower orders devotion to the taking of the cross. The preaching of crusade was most intense amongst the humbler clergy. Although Urban asked his bishops to preach the crusade, by far the most effective preaching was taken by men such as Robert of Arbrissel and Peter. Peter was an oldish man, born near Amiens, who had tried to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem years earlier but had been maltreated by the Turks and forced to turn back. His clothes were filthy, he rode a humble donkey barefooted and his appeal to the peasantry was overwhelming. Throughout February and March 1095 he traversed through Orleannais, Champagne, Lorainne, Meuse, Aachen, and to Cologne, where he spent Easter. As he went he gathered disciples, most notable of which being Walter Sans Avoir[6], Rainald of Breis, Geoffrey Burel and Walter of Breteuil, and the Germans Orel and Gottschalk. By the time he reached Cologne his following numbered around 15,000 men, women and children, and many more joined him in Germany.[7]

Realising the immense logistical challenge of maintaining and feeding such a vast array of peasants and lesser nobles, Peter decided to halt in Cologne for some time in order to continue preaching the cross and persuade some of the German nobility to join him. In Flanders and France the local nobility preferred to travel with the expedition of their Lord who was to go on Crusade, but no great German Prince was going to the Holy Land. Among the many Germans he persuaded to take the cross were several of the lesser nobility, such as Count Henry of Schwarzenberg, Walter of Teck and the three counts of Zimmern.[8]

From Cologne, the People’s Crusade marched overland through Hungary and crossed the Byzantine border around June 11. There were some clashes and disturbances, such as the sixty pilgrims killed in Belgrade because the market refused to trade with them, but Walter Sans Avoirs was well received by the Imperial authorities and was hastened on their way to Constantinople, where they arrived in mid July 1096.[9]

The army travelled separately, but were eventually ferried over the Bosporus by the Emperor Alexius after they had pillaged the area surrounding Constantinople. Here they pillaged the lands around the city of Nicea, and were eventually massacred by the Turks at Civetot. Peter, who had stayed behind in Constantinople, later joined the Prince’s Crusade along with the remaining survivors of the Peoples Crusade.

The Princes' Crusade

Europe to Constantinople

Hugh of Vermandois

The western princes that had taken the cross were in less of a hurry to depart for the Holy Land than the common people of the People’s Crusade. Following the Pope’s Timetable for departure, they organised their properties and prepared the governance of their lands in their absence. The first to leave was the brother of King Philip, Hugh of Vermandois. He brought with him a small contingent of his own vassals and some of the men in his brother’s service. It is unknown what his motives would have been for taking the cross but it is likely that he felt some pressure from his brother, who had been excommunicated and therefore barred from taking the cross by Urban II. It is also likely that he saw in the east an opportunity to pursue the power and riches due to his high birth which he lacked in the west. Before he left he sent a special messenger to the Emperor to arrange for his reception with the honours due to a prince of royal blood.

Hugh and his company passed by Rome and arrived at Bari in early October. In southern Italy they found the Norman princes themselves preparing for the Crusade; and Bohemund’s nephew William decided not to wait for his relatives but to travel with Hugh. From Bari he sent an embassy to Dyrrhachium to inform the governor of his imminent arrival and to demand a suitable reception for a man of his high birth. Hugh’s arrival was not as dignified as he may have planned. His flotilla was wrecked by a story and some of the ships foundered with the excess of passengers they carried. Hugh was cast ashore on Cape Palli, a few miles north of Dyrrhachium. The governor’s men found him there in great distress and bewilderment and escorted him to the town, but kept him under supervision. He was met with the greatest courtesy but to many of his followers he was kept a prisoner. Here he was escorted to Constantinople where he was greeted warmly by the Emperor and showered with gifts but continued to restrict his freedom.

Hugh’s arrival forced Alexius to declare his policy towards the western princes. As it soon became more and more apparent, whatever the official reasons for the crusades, the real object of the Franks seemed to be a desire to secure themselves principalities in the east. He did not object to this, so long as the Byzantine Empire recovered the lands it lost to the Turks, and it is possible he liked the possible formation of a friendly Christian buffer state along the Byzantine frontier. Instead he would ensure that the Byzantine Empire become overlord of any future Christian state established. He decided to demand an oath of allegiance from all the western leaders to cover their future conquests. To win their compliance he made grand gestures of wealth and glory, in order that they would not feel their dignity lowered in swearing allegiance to the Empire. Hugh, who had been carefully courted and dazzled by the Emperor, readily fell in with his plans though the other princes were not to be so easily persuaded.

Godfrey of Bouillon

Godfrey of Bouillon, the Duke of Lower Lorraine was the second son of Count Eustace II of Boulogne and of Ida, daughter of Godfrey II, Duke of Lower Lorraine. He had been designated as the heir to the possessions of his mothers’ family; but on her father’s death the emperor Henry IV confiscated the duchy, leaving Godfrey only the county of Antwerp and the lordship of Bouillon in the Ardennes. Godfrey came to favour however, when he served the Emperor loyally in his German and Italian campaigns that he was rewarded the duchy as an office (But not as an hereditary fief). Lorraine was heavily influenced by Cluny and the papal reform movement, and though Godfrey remained loyal to the Emperor during the Investiture Contest, it is possible that Cluniac teachings, with its strong papal sympathies began to trouble his and his vassal’s consciences. His administration of Lorraine was inefficient and under scrutiny of the Emperor, and therefore it was a combination of fears of his future in Lorraine, partly from his uneasiness over his religious loyalties, and partly from genuine enthusiasm that he answered the call to the Crusade. He made thorough preparations. After raising money from blackmailing the Jews, he sold some of his estates and was thus able to equip a considerable army. His large force and his former high office gave Godfrey a prestige throughout the crusade. Also on crusade were his two brothers, the elder Eustace III, Count of Boulogne and the younger Baldwin. Eustace was an unenthusiastic crusader, always anxious to return to his rich European lands, but Baldwin would later become the first King of Jerusalem and would consolidate the Frankish grip on the Levant. In Europe Baldwin was not destined either wealth or power of any gravity so the crusade offered him the chance to cement his place in the east as a powerful man. Godfrey’s army decided not to travel through Italy by the route the other crusaders were planning to take. Instead they would travel through Hungary. He left Lorraine in late August, and arrived at the Hungarian frontier at the beginning of October. Crossing Hungary was a difficulty, as the popular crusades had caused some disturbances when they passed through that land. Coming to terms with King Coloman, Godfrey agreed to provide his brother Baldwin as a hostage until his army had passed through the kingdom, and the king further agreed to provide provisions at reasonable rates so long as the crusaders created no disturbances. As the army reached Semlin at the end of November and crossed the Save to Belgrade, Baldwin and the hostages were returned to Godfrey.

On about 12 December Godfrey’s army halted at Selymbria, on the Sea of Marmora. There its discipline, which had hitherto being excellent, suddenly broke down, and for eight days it ravaged the countryside. Godfrey claimed the rumoured imprisonment of Hugh of Vermandois was the reason his army went on pillage. The Emperor quickly sent two Frenchmen under his service to persuade Godfrey to restore order to his army and bid them to come to Constantinople, where they camped outside the city along the upper waters of the Golden Horn on 23 December.

Alexius required an oath of allegiance from Godfrey and sent Hugh to secure this from the Duke. However, Godfrey, who already had sworn an oath to the German Emperor Henry IV refused to swear an oath to the Eastern Emperor. More importantly, he was unwilling to take any important actions until the other princes arrived. Alexius responded to this angrily, shutting off supplies that he had promised to his troops. Baldwin responded by raiding the Constantinople suburbs until Alexius decided to lift the blockade. At the same time Godfrey agreed to move his camp down the Golden Horn to Pera, where it would be better sheltered from the winter winds, and where the Imperial police could watch it closely. Here both sides sat in stalemate, with the Emperor continuing to provide provisions and Godfrey maintaining discipline in his army. Again, in late January Alexius invited Godfrey to see him, but Godfrey was unwilling to commit himself until the other crusaders could join him. He sent his cousin, Baldwin of Le Bourg (Another future King of Jerusalem), Conan of Montaigu and Geoffrey of Esch to the Palace to hear the Emperor’s proposals, but on their return gave no answer. Again both sides decided to wait it out.

At the end of March Alexius learnt that the other Crusading armies would soon arrive at Constantinople. He felt obliged to bring matters to a head, and began to reduce the supplies sent to the Crusader’s camp. The Crusaders responded by making daily raids on the neighbouring villages and eventually came into conflict with the Petcheneg troops that acted as police in the district. In revenge Baldwin set an ambush for the policy, capturing around sixty of them. Encouraged by these small successes, Godfrey decided to move the camp and attack the city itself. After plunder the houses in Pera, he led them across a bridge outside the city walls and began to attack the gate that led to the palace quarter. It is doubtful whether he intended to do more than place pressure on the Emperor, but the Greeks believed that he intended to seize the Empire. It was Holy Thursday in the Easter Holy week and Constantinople was unprepared for the attack. Alexius ordered his men to make a demonstration outside the gates and the archers on the walls were ordered to fire overhead. The Crusaders did not press their attack and retired, after having slain only a handful of Byzantines. The next day Hugh again went out to talk with Godfrey, who taunted him for so readily accepting vassaldom. Envoys from the Emperor suggested that they cross into Asia Minor; Godfrey responded by attacking them without waiting to hear what they might say. Thereafter Alexius decided to bring the affair to an end, and brought men forward to meet the attack. After a brief encounter the Crusaders turned and fled. This brought Godfrey to recognise his weakness; he consented to the oath of allegiance and to have his army transported across the Bosporus.

Bohemond of Taranto

On 9 April Bohemond of Taranto arrived at Constantinople. The Normans of southern Italy had not at first taken much notice of Urban’s preaching of the Crusade. Intermittent civil war was a constant ever since Robert Guiscard’s death. Robert had divorced his first wife, Bohemond’s mother, and left his duchy of Apulia to his son by Sigelgaita, Roger Borsa. Bohemond revolted against his brother and managed to secure Taranto and the Terra d’Otranto in the heel of the peninsula before their uncle, Roger of Sicily, could patch up an uneasy truce between them. Bohemond never accepted the truce as final and continued to embarrass Roger Borsa. But in the summer of 1096 the whole family had come together to punish the rebel city of Amalfi. The papal decrees about the Crusade had already been published; and small bands of southern Italians had already crossed the sea for the east. It was only the arrival in Italy of enthusiastic armies of crusaders from France that made Bohemond realise the scale of the movement. It is likely he saw the benefits of becoming a prince in the east, as his uncle would never allow him to annex the duchy of Apulia. He announced that he would join the crusade and summoned all good Christians to join him. His vassals followed his lead along with some of the vassals of his uncle of Sicily.

Leaving his lands under his brother’s care, he raised sufficient money for the expenses of all that came with him. The expedition sailed from Bari in October. With Bohemond were his nephew Tancred, his cousins Richard and Rainulf of Salerno and Rainulf’s son Richard; Geoffrey, Count of Rossignuolo, and his brothers, Albered of Cagnano and Bishop Girard of Ariona. His army was smaller than Godfrey’s but it was well equipped and well trained, with much of the Norman aristocracy of southern Italy in tow. The expedition arrived in Epirus and reassembled at Dropoli. The arrangements for landing had probably being made in consultation with the Byzantines at Dyrrhachium, but the choice of the route was Bohemond’s alone. His campaigns against the Byzantines fifteen years before had given him some knowledge of the country to the south of the main road, and he may have hoped by taking a less well known road to avoid the supervision of the Byzantines. The army passed with good discipline and no pillaging, except for an attack against Paulician heretics close to their road, and by February it had taken them seven weeks to cover a distance little more than a hundred miles, since they travelled a long and twisty route, high into the mountains. Bohemond finally reached Constantinople on 9 April. He was lodged outside the walls, and the next day was admitted to see the Emperor.

To Alexius Bohemond was the most dangerous of the crusaders. The Byzantines had past experience of the Normans in battle and were naturally wary of them. Joining in discussion with Godfrey and Baldwin, Bohemond and the Emperor discussed the future of the crusade. Bohemond realised more than the other leaders the importance of the Byzantines to the success of the crusade. He wished to lead the crusade, but had no authority from the Pope to do so and he would have to contend with the rivalry of the other princes. He looked for an official charge from the Emperor which would leave him in a position to direct operations. Without hesitation he took the oath of allegiance and requested that he might be appointed the Grand Domestic of the East, in other words, the commander in chief of all Imperial forces in Asia. This request embarrassed Alexius, who still feared and distrusted Bohemond. He decided against appointing Bohemond to this powerful position, stating that he would doubtlessly earn it anyway with his energy and loyalty. Bohemond would have to be content with this vague promise. Meanwhile, Alexius promised to accompany the Crusading armies, to repay them for their expenses and to ensure their provisioning and their communications.

Bohemond’s army was then summoned to Constantinople and on 26 April it was ferried across the Bosphorus to join Godfrey at Pelecanum. Tancred, who disliked and did not understand his uncle’s policy, passed through the city by night with cousin in order to avoid taking the oath.

Raymond of Toulouse

Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, was approaching sixty years of age when he took the cross. His country (Saint-Gilles) was one of the richest in France, and he had recently inherited the equally rich province of Toulouse. His marriage to the princess Elvira of Aragon connected him with the royal houses of Spain; and he had taken part in several holy wars against the Spanish Muslims. He was the only great noble with whom Urban had personally discussed the crusade, and was the first to announce his intention to go. He therefore considered himself to be entitled to command the enterprise. The Pope however, anxious to keep the movement under spiritual control, never admitted this claim. In the meantime he planned to set out for the East in the company of its spiritual leader, Adhemar of Le Puy.

Raymond had taken the cross at the Council of Clermont, November 1095, but it was not until next October that he was ready to leave his lands. He vowed to spend the rest of his life in the Holy Land, leaving his lands in the care of his son Bertrand, though was careful not to fully abdicate his rights. His wife and legitimate heir, Alfonso, accompanied him. Raymond was ferociously wealthy, and showed great economy in the assembling of his army. His considerable resources would aid his position later in the campaign. Several nobles from southern France joined Raymond on crusade, such as Rambald, Count of Orange, Gaston of Béarn, Gerard of Roussilon, William of Montpellier and Raymond of Le Forez. After Adhemar, the chief ecclesiastic to come was William, Bishop of Orange.

The expedition crossed the Alps by the Col de Genévre and travelled through northern Italy to the head of the Adriatic, and from there down the Dalmatian coastline. This journey was rough, and the army were harassed by Slavic tribes as they went. Food was scarce and the roads were very rocky and rough. By early February his hungry army reached the Imperial frontier north of Dyrrhachium.

John Comnenus welcomed the crusaders at Dyrrhachium, where Imperial envoys and a Petcheneg escourt were waiting to convey them along the Via Egnatia. Raymond sent an embassy ahead to Constantinople to announce his arrival, and after a few days rest they set out again. Raymond’s men were unruly and ill disciplined, and came into conflict with the Petcheneg police set to watch them on every side. Before long, two Provencal barons were killed in one of these frequent skirmishes. Similarly, Adhemar of Le Puy had strayed from the road and had been wounded by the Petchenegs before they realised who it was. Raymond himself was attacked in similar circumstances near Edessa.

At Thessalonica Adhemar left the army to recover from his wounds. He remained there until his brother joined him from Dyrrhachium. Without his restraining influence the discipline of the army worsened; but there was no serious incident until it reached Roussa in Thrace. Bohemond’s men had been well provisioned here a fortnight earlier but there was little food left to sale. His men attacked and pillaged all the houses in the town. At Rodosto a few days later they were with an envoy from the Emperor and cordial messages urged Raymond to hasten to the capital and added that Godfrey and Bohemond were eager for his presence. Perhaps worried that important decisions would be made without him, he accepted the invitation and hurried ahead to Constantinople where he arrived on 21 April.

With his departure there was no one to keep the army in order, and so they began to raid the countryside. However, detachments of Byzantine soldiers, stationed nearby, moved up to attack the raiders. In the battle that followed Raymond’s men were defeated and fled, leaving their arms in the hands of the Byzantines.

Raymond had been well received at Constantinople. He was housed in a palace outside the walls but was asked to come as soon as possible to the palace, where it was suggested he take the oath of allegiance. He was puzzled and displeased by the circumstances around him. His everlasting aim was to be the military commander of the whole expedition; but his authority as it was, came from the Pope and from his connection with Adhemar, the papal representative. The bishop was absent and lacked both the support and advice his presence would have given. Without him he was unwilling to commit himself; the more so, as to take the oath of allegiance like the other crusaders had done would mean the abandonment of his special relationship with the papacy. He would reduce himself to a common footing with the others. He faced another danger; Bohemond was his most dangerous rival and it was known that he seemed to be enjoying the favour of the Emperor and rumoured that he had been appointed to an important Imperial command. To take the oath might mean that he would find himself under Bohemonds jurisdiction as the Emperor’s representative. He declared to the Emperor that he was on crusade to do God’s work and that God was his only suzerain, implying that he was the lay delegate of the Pope. He added that if the Emperor were himself to lead the expedition he would serve under him. The Emperor would not accept this and pleaded with the other leaders to bring him round. After much arm twisting and haggling, and an incident where Bohemond assured the Emperor he would back him against Raymond, Raymond decided to change his mind and on 26 April took a modified oath, promising to respect the life and honour of the Emperor and to not do anything that would harm him. This type of oath was not unusual in southern France and it pleased the Emperor.

It was when these negotiations were over that Bohemond and his army crossed into Asia. Raymond’s army had assembled at Rodosto, where it awaited the arrival of Adhemar who was to lead it on to Constantinople. Nothing is known of Adhemar’s activities in the capital. It is probably he met with the Emperor and may have helped improve relations with Raymond and Alexius. However, now that Bohemond had gone, Alexius assured Raymond he would not be receiving an Imperial command and that he shared his dislike for the Norman. When Raymond left his view of the Emperor was altered, now seeing he had a powerful ally against Bohemond.

The Northern French: Robert of Flanders, Robert of Normandy and Stephen of Blois

The fourth great western army to set out on crusade was from northern France in October 1096, shortly after Raymond’s departure. It was under the joint leadership of Robert, Duke of Normandy, his brother in law Stephen, Count of Blois, and his cousin Robert II, Count of Flanders. Robert of Normandy was the eldest son of William the Conqueror. He was around forty years old and a charming though mild mannered individual. Ever since his father’s death he fought an on/off war with his brother William Rufus of England, who had invaded his duchy several times. He was immediately attracted to the Crusade. The Pope helped bring about reconciliation with his brother – Robert eventually financed the crusade by pledging his duchy to William. The pledge occurred in September 1096. A few days later Robert set out with his army from Pontarlier, where he was joined by Stephen of Blois and Robert of Flanders. With him were Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, Walter, Count of Saint-Valery, the heirs of the Counts of Montgomery and Mortagne, Girard of Gournay, Hugh of Saint-Pol and the sons of Hugh of Grant-Mesnil, and a number of knights and infantry from Normandy, England, Scotland and Brittany.

Stephen of Blois had no desire to join the crusade, but he had married Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror, and in their household she was a powerful, dominative woman. With him were his chief vassals, Everard of Le Puits, Guerin Gueronat, Caro Asini, Geoffrey Guerin and his chaplain Alexander. Also amongst the party was the cleric Fulcher of Chartres, the future historian and chaplain to King Baldwin I. Stephen, as one of the wealthiest men in France raised money for the crusade rather easily. He left his lands in the safe keeping of his wife.

Robert of Flanders was a younger man but was more formidable in temperament. His father, Robert I, had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1086 and on his return journey had taken service for a while under the Emperor Alexius, with whom he remained in touch with until his death. His army was slightly smaller than Raymond’s or Godfrey’s but was of high quality. He was accompanied by troops from Brabant, under Baldwin of Alost, Count of Ghent. His lands were to be administered in his absence by his countess, Clementia of Burgundy.

From Pontarlier the united army moved southward across the Alps into Italy. Passing through Lucca in November it met Pope Urban, who gave them a special blessing. The army went on to Rome, refusing to interfere with the struggle between Urban’s followers and those of the anti-pope Guibert which was troubling the city. From there it passed through Monte Cassino into the Norman domain in the south. Robert of Normandy and Stephen of Blois decided to spend the winter in comfort in Calabria but Robert of Flanders moved at once to Bari, where he crossed into Epirus in early December. He reached Constantinople without any incident around the same time as Bohemond.

Robert of Normandy and Stephen of Blois lingered in southern Italy until the spring. Their lack of enthusiasm affected their followers, some of whom began to wander back towards their homes. In March the army moved to Brindisi and prepared to embark on 5 April. The first ship capsized, losing around four hundred passengers, with their horses and mules and many chests of money. The bulk of the army safely embarked and after a rough sea voyage of four days landed at Dyrrhachium. The Byzantine authorities received them well and provided an escourt to take them along the Via Egnatia to Constantinople. Apart from a minor incident, the journey passed without much fuss. They reached Constantinople in early May.

The other leaders had already crossed the Bosphorus and the army were allowed in small numbers to tour the city and worship at its shrines. They were treated well by the Emperor and the leaders readily agreed to an oath of allegiance. The army spent a fortnight at Constantinople before crossing into Asia. They marched along the Gulf of Nicomedia to join the main crusading armies, who were already beginning the Siege of Nicea.[10]

Siege of Nicea

On 6 May 1097, elements of the Crusader army appeared before the city of Nicea held by Kilij I Arslan, the Seljuk Sultan of Rhum. The city was formidable, lying in a fertile basin surrounded to the west by the Ascanian Lake, from the south by a 800 metre high hill and from the north by a rise into the much higher Naldokan range. The fortifications were Roman built, though tinkered with and strengthened under Byzantine stewardship. The city was surrounded by a great wall, around ten metres high and studded with 114 round and square towers rising to seventeen metres, and its circuit measured around 4,900 metres. There was a double ditch around the outside. These fortifications were made more formidable by the fact that the garrison only needed to defend half the circuit, since the western wall of the city followed the Ascanian Lake, whose huge size, some forty kilometres long, made it impossible to blockade without boats.[11]

Alexius didn’t come in person but it is clear that he and the Empire held the city in great esteem. The Turks were in the process of converting it from an outpost to a capital, and it was becoming more and more important for the Empire for the city to be under Byzantine control. Alexius himself had previously twice attacked the city unsuccessfully. Amongst the Crusader contingents arriving for the siege was a force of troops under the command of Tatikios. They were later reinforced by more soldiers and some boats under Boutoumites who blockaded the Ascanian Lake on the western perimeter of the city.

Bohemond and the Normans took up a position along the north wall of the city, with Robert of Flanders and Godfrey to the east. The south was left for Raymond of Toulouse, who was delayed in Constantinople. The northern French had not even reached Constantinople at this stage. The piecemeal nature of the siege underlines the lack of unity in the crusader army, the force seems to have fanned out from the north around the city based around each major prince’s army. Kilij Arslan arrived in the general area of his capital shortly before 16 May and set about attacking the crusader army.

According to Raymond of Aguilers the attack was two-pronged: one force fell upon the Germans on the east side of the city, while the other attempted to enter the city through the vacant south gate, with the intention of sallying out against Godfrey while he was distracted. According to this version, the Provencals happened to come before the south gate and were pitching camp when the enemy arrived; they fought off the southern attack, thereby enabling the Germans to fight off the other force. This account gives the southern French an important role in the successful outcome of the battle. Albert of Aachen states that it was a savage and closely fought battle with heavy losses on both sides. The sheer numbers of the crusaders proved decisive in the narrow area between the wooded hills and the city walls because the Turks had little room for manoeuvre. The defeat forced Kilij Arslan to retreat and leave the crusaders to resume the siege.[12]

Most of the accounts on the siege of Nicea are quite brief. The Gesta Francorum says that when the crusaders first arrived they had built siege machinery such as siege towers and had attempted to undermine the wall, but this had been interrupted by the attack. They had attempted to undermine a tower, which actually had fell, but it was too late in the evening to organise an attack and the defenders refortified it during the night. Eventually it would be the Imperial boats which would force the surrender. Albert of Aachen doesn’t mention the early assaults on the walls but claims that it was only after seven weeks of siege that the leaders began to construct catapults and assault equipment. The primary element in the assaults was the penthouse, a wooden structure with an armoured sloping roof within which attackers could undermine the wall in relative safety. A number of minor attacks aimed at undermining certain towers were undertaken, the biggest of which being that of the Count of Toulouse whose forces, covered by the fire of mangonels, crossed the ditch and assaulted a tower. However the enemy built a wall of stone within the tower, frustrating the attack and leading to it being called off. All these assaults were causing heavy losses which frustrated the leaders, especially since the catapults were having little effect on the walls. Then a Lombard engineer offered to build a machine in exchange for a considerable fee. A sturdier penthouse was constructed and pushed across the ditch to the wall which was undermined and propped with wood. These props were fired and in the middle of the night the upper part of the tower fell. Kilij Arslan’s wife attempted to flee across the lake but was captured, while the garrison in Nicea decided to surrender. The Byzantines herein implemented their secretly agreed surrender arrangements with the Turks. The Byzantines assumed control of the city, and prevented the crusaders from looting or even entering the city except in small numbers.

The success of the siege can arguably be attributed to a number of factors, not least the persistent innovation with siege machinery, but also the fact that the Byzantines blockaded the half of the wall which bordered the lake; This effectively doubled the length of wall the garrison had to guard and isolated the garrison.[13]

Dorylaeum

After the capture of Nicea it is clear from Stephen of Blois’s correspondence with his wife that the leaders had decided to march on to Antioch, and they decided to take the inland route. On 26 June the first contingents left Nicea, amongst them the south Italians. Various groups soon followed. Some crusaders remained behind in the service of the Empire, but the rest departed from the inland road which would take them through Dorylaeum, an old Byzantine fortress and the gateway to the Anatolian plateau. The sources are clear that following the first couple of days march, the armies broke up into two forces; the vanguard and a main force which lagged behind. At the time of the battle this would reveal a striking weakness amongst the crusaders as the two parts of the army were over five kilometres apart.[14]

Kilij Arslan had patched up a quarrel with the Danishmend Emir and was now prepared to launch a fresh attack on the crusading host. His aim was to take on the vanguard and attack from high ground, and maximise the natural Turkish advantages of manoeuvrability with their mounted bowmen against the Christians. Warfare in the east was conducted on different lines than in the west and was especially revolutionised with the coming of the Turks into Asia Minor. Their stratagem was to launch arrows from highly mobile mounted archers in order to demoralise and weaken the enemy; then they would charge and attack whilst in their strongest position. If a successful counter attack from the enemy should be made, the Turks would feign retreat and repeat the process over again. It was a strategy which frustrated the Byzantines and ensured that western style melees were avoided when possible, except of course when possessing greater numbers.

The battle of Dorylaeum was fought in four distinct phases. In the first phase, Bohemond was roughly five kilometres ahead of the main army in the company of Robert of Normandy, Stephen of Blois and Robert of Flanders together with the Byzantines. Having taken the northwest road from Nicea they entered the main valley leading to Dorylaeum and saw the Turks ahead of them. Bohemond ordered his infantry to make camp quickly and ordered his knights in front to protect them. In phase two the Franco-Norman cavalry was driven back on the camp, rallied by its leaders, and formed the outer shell of resistance in a drawn out struggle with the Turks. The crusader army was surrounded, though partially protected by a marsh. They linger on, hoping in their compact mass of soldiers to fight until the main force should come to their aid. In the third phase of the battle, Godfrey and the Provencals of the main army arrive forcing the Turks to break off their attack and turn to meet the new threat to their left. The new arrivals form up to the right of Bohemonds exhausted force. In the fourth phase, the Count of Toulouse enters the main valley through the western drumlins, and attacks the Turks at the rear and left flank, forcing them to flee, giving victory to the crusaders. Following the battle the enemy was pursued and a running fight took place. The enemy’s camp was sacked and the Turks were pursued far down the road.[15]

Dorylaeum was a tough experience for the crusaders who although had already fought the Turks at Nicea it was the first time they had faced the Turks at a position which allowed them to make use of their standard tactics. However, the crusaders had refused to break formation under heavy missile attack from the Turks, and this drew them into close quarter fighting which gave the Europeans a significant advantage. The more heavily armoured European knight proved a tough enemy for the Turks in both missile and hand to hand fighting, and this undoubtedly led to the crusader triumph. It was a tough loss for the Turks as it signified a heavy loss for their ruling house at Dorylaeum and the loss of their capital at Nicea. This opened up western Asia Minor for a Byzantine reconquest, but it also cleared the road to Antioch for the crusading army, and no other military engagement of this magnitude would occur until they reached that city.

Siege of Antioch

The Armenian strategy pursued by the Franks created a large friendly area to the north and west of Antioch. During the siege they would be provisioned both by this friendly area and from the Byzantines in Cyprus and Baldwin from Edessa. Nevertheless, food was very scarce and this made the siege one of massive attrition, both for the besieged and the besieger. The siege itself would last seven and a half months, from October 20, 1097, to June 3, 1098. Then the Crusaders were in turn besieged in Antioch for three weeks by a relieving Islamic force before they defeated this army as well. The actual march on Jerusalem would not happen until January 1099.

From the outset it was clear that the siege was a massive undertaking. It was impossible to completely encircle the city, despite the size of the crusading force. Not only did Antioch have fresh food and water, it could constantly be supplied with weapons, food and soldiers from the outside. The crusading armies camped at the principle bridges and gates outside the city but could not patrol the mountainous district behind the citadel. The crusaders did build siege equipment, but the attempts on the massive Antiochene walls proved highly ineffective. The countryside around the city was rich, but within two months the crusaders had taken it for all it was worth. Provisions were hard to come by and food was scarce.[16] The winter was particularly severe and the harsh climate caused floods and torrential rainfall, piling misery on the besiegers. Their tents and shelters where wholly inadequate and they found themselves in a near constant state of misery. Undernourished, the mortality rate was high during the winter months.

The governor of Antioch, Yaghi-Siyan, set about organising the defences of the city. The lord of Antioch sent for fresh soldiers and ejected some Christians from the city. He appealed for help from his overlords, Kerbogha, the atabeg of Mosul and Duqaq, ruler of Damascus. Both lords agreed to send armies to relieve the siege. Antioch was no danger of being stormed by the besiegers and both sides settled in for a long siege.

Shortage of supplies forced the barons to send out detachments to scour the countryside for food. The Turks had a firm hold on the country and the Crusaders dared not venture far afield except in groups of hundreds of men. A large section of the army, under Bohemond and Robert of Flanders, set off along the Orontes in the direction of the sea, pillaging the rich countryside and the coastal plain, but it was surprised by the Syrian Turks and returned to Antioch after a battle where it met serious losses and lost most of its plunder, plunging the crusading army into deeper misery.

The Greek general Tatikios left the army under confusing circumstances. Apparently Bohemond had warned him that the other barons were plotting against him. Tatikios took his small detachment of troops and fled the army in the middle of the night. Once he had left, Bohemond proclaimed Tatikios to be a traitor, leading to greater repercussions in the years to come as the Principality of Antioch would become an independent state from Byzantium.

The siege dragged on for several months in these terrible conditions, and the crusaders had no alternative other than to sit and wait for the relieving Islamic armies. Abandoning the siege was unthinkable, though this began to happen in small numbers, most prominent of which being Stephen of Blois. Bohemond displayed shrewd leadership throughout the siege, his boundless energy leading to him becoming de facto leader of the siege. His success in fighting off a relieving force from Ridwan of Aleppo earned him a defining reputation as a ferocious and cunning military commander.

Gradually, by attaining supplied from the sea, the crusaders managed to fully encircle the city and were strong enough to repel sorties from the city. At around the same time that news of Kerbogha’s march on Antioch had reached both besieged and besieger, providence struck for the crusaders. Firouz, a commander of the Tower of the Two sisters, communicated with Bohemond, informing him that he would allow the Franks to seize his tower and so take the city by treachery. Firouz was an Armenian Christian, who most likely sympathised with the Crusading army more than his Muslim Lords. This information was vital for Bohemond, leading to him to suggest to the other leaders that the possession of the city should pass into the hands of the person who succeeded in taking it. Realising something was afoot and wary of Kerbogha’s approach, the barons eventually agreed to all his demands, with the exception of Raymond of Toulouse. Bohemond made contact with Firouz and on the night of June 2-3 succeeded in scaling the tower, which immediately surrendered to him. The Franks then opened the gates to the rest of the army, and the crusaders poured in. Taken by surprise, the garrison had no time to react. The indigenous population went over to the Franks by and large (Though Christians were killed along with Muslims in the madness of the melee) and the Turks fled to the citadel. Many did not make it in time before they were massacred by the crusaders. Yaghi-Siyan fled the city, but his head returned a few days later, chopped off by Armenian woodcutters. The Turkish garrison remained in the citadel, which the crusaders couldn’t capture. The day after the capture of the city, Kerbogha was already at the gates. Had he arrived a couple of days earlier he could have attacked the crusaders in the rear, trapping them between the Antiochene garrison and his army, leaving them with little chance.

In the weeks following the capture of the city provisions began to run out, and Kerbogha maintained the siege at the walls. Desertion was widespread, the most prominent attempt being that of Peter the Hermit. He was later forgiven and sent as an ambassador to Kerbogha. More serious was the defection of Stephen of Blois, who on the road back to Constantinople when he encountered Alexius who was marching towards Antioch with a relieving army. Convincing him of the hopelessness of the Crusader’s cause, Alexius duly setback for Constantinople, leaving the crusaders to their fate. Morale was at an all time low in the crusader camp and Kerbogha’s army was ecstatic. It now seemed only a matter of time before they would crush the crusaders entirely.[17]

The Holy Lance

In the hour of need for the crusading army it seemed that only a miracle could save the crusade. That miracle duly came in the form of a little known servant called Peter Bartholomew. Peter had several dreams in which he sometimes saw Saint Andrew and sometimes saw Jesus Christ himself. He became obsessed with these dreams and finally went to his superiors and Raymond of Toulouse about them. This revelation contained mainly denunciations of a rather unzealous crusading lifestyle but more was to follow later: God was prepared to forgive their sins and in exchange sent them a clear sign of his forgiveness. He revealed to them that the Holy Lance which had pierced Christ’s side lay buried under the pavement of one of the churches in Antioch.

There was already an authenticated version of the Holy Lance in Constantinople where the crusading leaders had seen it along with the other relics there. This probably explains why Adhemar of Le Puy and the other crusaders (Apart from Raymond of Toulouse) didn’t take it that seriously. However, for the ordinary soldier and knight whose body’s had been tested to their limit, the possibility of the holy lance being in their possession as a grace of God was too great an excitement. The excitement was fueled by the admission of a highly respected priest that he too had heard voices and saw visions loosely connected with the relic. In the end, the crusading leaders decided to get to the bottom of the matter. Adhemar remained sceptical, but authorised Peter Bartholomew and priests in the entourage of Raymond of Toulouse to excavate under the Church of St. Peter.

After a long search, a piece of rusty iron emerged under the pavement of the ancient church. When Peter Bartholomew displayed the spearhead in his arms, all doubts were quickly forgotten and everyone present fell to their knee’s and smothered the relic with kisses. The news spread like wildfire through the city and even those who remained sceptical, such as Adhemar, remained silent. It seemed that the leaders of the Crusade, even if they did not believe the lance to be genuine found it advantageous to exploit the relic for all it was worth. Morale in the camp was ecstatic and their poor position and lack of provisions soon faded to irrelevancy. Bohemond of Taranto took over both the relic and its visionary. In the words of the historian Zoe Oldenbourg, Peter Bartholomews revalations were henceforth dictated by saints exceedingly well informed on the military necessities of the time and extremely well disposed toward Bohemond.[18]

The army organised a mass sortie against Kerbogha, leaving a small garrison under Raymond to protect their rear against the garrison in the citadel. Kerbogha made a huge mistake in allowing the army to organise itself on the battle plain, rather than attack them one by one as they emerged from the drawbridge. He perhaps perceived his enemy to be so weakened as to crush them in one single battle and end the crusade there and then. Moreover, as ever in this fractured part of the Islamic world, his emirs were split in internal disagreements and prevented any prompt action. In the battle the Turks were completely routed, surrounded and driven back to the river. Kerbogha himself fled, leaving his camp and all its riches to the crusaders. The army was pursued down the plain of the Orontes, scattering and cutting down the straggling Turks. Kerbogha returned to Mosul disgraced, his army almost completely annihilated.

Antioch became the turning point of the crusade. Kerbogha’s defeat gave the Crusaders a terrible and ferocious reputation. Only a little while before they were completely unheard of to the Muslims of the East, but now the fighting ability of the iron clad soldiers of the crusade provoked terror in the hearts of the Islamic warriors.

The victory opened the road to Jerusalem, but instead of pressing on the army took a well earned six month rest. They were the undisputed masters of Antioch and the surrounding countryside, and castles garrisoned by the Turks slowly capitulated due to a lack of soldiers to supply them. The Turkish garrisons remained unpopular with the largely Christian population of the Levant, and were ousted just like the Christians of Anatolia had ousted their overlords as this new power entered their region. In the meantime, politics dominated the agenda in Antioch, as the leaders quarrelled over who should take control of the city.[19] Bohemond had won the conditional support of the leadership before the capture of Antioch, and despite the citadel capitulating to Raymond of Toulouse it was the south Italian who assumed control of the city. This division caused a sour end to what was a total victory.[20]

Road to Jerusalem

The army’s numbers were greatly diminished after Antioch and many soldiers were needed to garrison their new possessions in the Antiochene hinterland. The road to Jerusalem involved many perils, with numerous potential enemies. Fleets from the west, such as those from Genoa and Pisa reached the Syrian coast and provided soldiers and siege experts, which would prove invaluable at the siege of Jerusalem. There was also the possibility of a large army from the east or from Egypt coming to meet the Crusading force.

The Princes of the principalities on the road to Jerusalem did their best to avoid conflict with the Crusaders, either paying them money or offering them safe passage so as to allow them to pass their lands without attacking them. The emirs of Shaizar, for example, provided guides who would lead them through the valley of Sarout. The Lords of Tripoli similarly hoped to bribe the Franks away with money, but this only tempted Raymond of Toulouse to conquer Tripoli, taking Tortosa by force and laying siege to Arqa. Had he been left to his own devices by the other leaders, he probably would have went on to lay siege to Tripoli itself. Godfrey of Bouillon, whose brother Baldwin had now established himself as Lord of Edessa, intended to carve a principality for himself also, laying siege to Jabala, a fief of Tripoli. The Lord of Tripoli, hoping to dislodge the crusaders, sent spies to tell them that a powerful army was approaching from the east. Raymond pleaded with Godfrey and Robert of Flanders to come to his aid, and Godfrey decided to abandon his siege to help Raymond, only to learn that the onslaught was untrue. Suspicions were rife that Raymond had engineered the invasion as a ploy to prevent Godfrey from gaining a claim on Tripoli; After this Godfrey emerged as the champion of the Holy war and insisted on a march on Jerusalem. Raymond however wanted to continue the siege of Arqa, and another vision from Peter Bartholomew informed the crusaders that God wished them to continue the siege.

To the leaders of the crusade, the will of God was becoming an ambiguous novelty, which seemed to rest on whom Peter Bartholomew could earn the most favour from. Godfrey and Robert of Flander’s camp were beginning to openly say that the Peter Bartholomew was an imposter and that he himself had buried the spearhead under the church in Antioch. Raymond of Toulouse saw the lance through patriotic Provencal eyes – it was after all one of his own countrymen who discovered it. A sort of regional divide emerged not for the first time in the crusade, where soldiers from the north and south of France sat outside the walls of a Muslim town which they were supposed to be besieging and debated the authenticity of the relic.

The affair ended in a tragic tone. Robert of Normandy’s chaplain, Arnulf Malecorne, demanded that Bartholomew be made to submit to a trial by fire to test its authenticity. To prove it, he was compelled to run the gauntlet of two lines of burning fires. Peter Bartholomew accepted without hesitation and died, twelve days later with terrible injuries. This discredited the lance to all except the hardy Provencal contingent, and Raymond continued to venerate the lance and carried it with him wherever he went. However, the leadership decided against wasting any more time and got ready to set off for Jerusalem. Raymond had effectively been replaced as the de facto leader by Godfrey.

They set out in May 1099, and it was in early April that they received a letter from Alexius Comnenus. Alexius urged them to remain in the vicinity of Tripoli, where the Emperor and his army would meet with the crusading army along with his siege engines. The offer was refused from all with the exception of Raymond, who had desired Tripoli for himself and felt his chances served better with the Emperors approval. The proposal was rejected, and furnished with fresh provisions from Tripoli, with whom the leaders had signed a treaty, their guides began to lead them through the paths of the Lebanese littoral. The Syrian muslims actually welcomed this new force. The appearance of a third power would, they believed, hold the twin threats of Fatimid Egypt and the Seljuk Turks at bay.

The Fatimids of Egypt, under the control of the Vizier Al-Afdal, were a considerable military power. Already they had attempted to form an alliance with the crusaders, seeing their presence in Antioch as a check against their great rivals, the Seljuks. They intended to take Jerusalem for themselves and allow Christian pilgrimages. Unsurprisingly, this proposal was rejected outright by the Crusaders and led to a declaration of war against the Fatimids.[21]

On June 7, 1099, the Crusading army appeared before the walls of Jerusalem. The campaign of biblical proportions now neared completion.

Siege of Jerusalem

The siege of Jerusalem never had an overall commander, and essentially fought as two separate armies, with Raymond of Toulouse encamped on one side of the wall and the remainder of the army on the other side. These divisions in the camp make the eventual victory all the more remarkable. On the 13 June the army made an ill thought out attack on the city, which ended rather quickly. Visions once again came to determine the course of action, as Peter the Hermit led the army in procession around the city and the Mount of Olives in response to a vision, barefooted. This echoed the biblical march of Joshua before Jericho in preparation for that great assault. Historians have often wondered why the garrison did not sally forth at the army whilst engaged in this rather unusual and generally unarmed procession.

The crusaders faced a race against time as a relieving force from Egypt was prepared to march north. Jerusalem was a formidable city to lay siege on. It defences had been strengthened the previous year, and its garrison included around 400 cavalry, capable of moving quickly in the city in the chance of a breach. Many of the Christians had been driven out of the city, while the Jews stayed and suffered horribly with the Crusader attack. The garrison had attempted to drive off animals and destroy food in the vicinity of the city, but Gaston of Bearn and Tancred captured a lot of stock as they raided ahead of the main army. Provisions were not a major problem until late into the siege.

The arrival of a fleet in Jaffa on 17 June provided fresh provisions, as well as soldiers and siege experts. What plagued the army worst was the lack of water; The enemy had poisoned wells around the city, forcing the crusaders to travel three kilometres or more for water. The threat of enemy ambushes forced them to form convoys; as a result the price of water in the camp was extremely high, causing much distress.

There was also a lack of wood in the vicinity, which made the construction of siege machinery rather difficult. Again, the arrival of the fleet was the key event in providing wood and the skilled labour needed to construct the siege weapons. The army decided to construct heavy siege machinery, siege towers, rams and projectile throwers. This had the effect of narrowing the ground of their attack to such points along the wall as were level. On the southern defences this meant the area of Mt. Zion alone while to the north attacking positions would have to be chosen carefully for a tower perilously balanced could be easily cast down by the enemy. Effort was centred on two great wooden towers which were to crush the defences. But this once again brought the army face to face with the problem of a lack of wood. In the end, it was the Provencal forces which brought back the equipment from the Italians and Count Raymond employed one of the Genoese, William Ricau, to construct his tower. The tower of the northerners which was built was less technical, and sagged badly in an attack. Raymonds tower held up well until it was finally burnt. This more than anything displayed the fact that the armies fought in two separate ways in a singular siege. By 8 July, following the procession and the sermons at the mount of Olives, the way was clear for the assault on Jerusalem.

On the night of 9-10 July, the north French moved their siege equipment to a northeastern corner of the city, which was relatively undefended.

Notes

  1. Circa 50,000-60,000 soldiers took the cross, according to John France, though estimations vary from the hundreds of thousands downwards. Large numbers of men were obliged to garrison captured castles, cities and forts, such as Antioch. John France, “Victory in the East: A military history of the First Crusade” (Cambridge, 1996) p.2.
  2. R. Somerville, The Councils of Urban II. Vol. 1 (London, 1972) pp. 9-41.
  3. Jonathon Riley Smith, The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (London 1986) p. 47.
  4. Riley Smith, Idea of Crusading (pp. 27-29.)
  5. H. Liebeschutz, The Crusading Movement and its bearing on the Christian attitude to Jewry, Journal of Jewish Studies, 10 (1959), pp. 97-99.
  6. Also known as Walter the Penniless
  7. Stephen Runciman, A History of the Crusades, Vol. 1 (Cambridge, 1965) p.113/114.
  8. Ibid, p. 122.
  9. France, Victory in the East p. 91.
  10. All the narrative of this section is largely based on Runciman, A History of the Crusades Vol.1 pp. 142-171
  11. France, Victory in the East, p. 143.
  12. France, Victory in the East, pp. 160-163
  13. France, Victory in the East, pp. 162-164
  14. France, Victory in the East p. 170.
  15. The battle is studied and marked in detail with illustrations in France, Victory in the East, pp. 176-179.
  16. Zoé Oldenbourg, “The Crusades” (London, 1998) p. 102.
  17. Oldenbourg, “The Crusades” pp. 104-106.
  18. Ibid, p. 110.
  19. Ibid, pp. 108-111
  20. France, “Victory in the East” p. 297
  21. Oldenbourg, pp. 128-134.