web counter








The city of Antioch lies on the southeastern bank of the river Orontes, some twelve miles from the sea, in a plain three miles long and a mile and a half deep, between the river and Mount Silpius. It was surrounded by great fortifications built by Justinian and repaired by the Byzantines when they reconquered the city a century before the crusaders arrived. To the northwest the walls rose oat of a marshy ground by the river, but at either end they climbed steeply up the slopes of Mount Silpius, and to the southeast they ran along the summit of the ridge to a citadel a thousand feet above the town. Four hundred towers were built along the walls, each within bowshot of its neighbors. The Gate of St. Paul, at the northeastern corner, admitted the high road from the Iron Bridge and Aleppo. At the opposite end of the city the Gate of St. George admitted the road from the suburb of Daphne and from Latakia. The third great gate opened straight on to a fortified bridge across the river, carrying the road to St Simeon, the port at the mouth of the river, and to Alexandretta (Iskenderun). Smaller gates, those of the Duke and of the Dog, between the fortified bridge and the Gate of St. Paul, led to the gardens by the river; and there was a postern, called the Iron Gate, on the edge of the gorge where a torrent broke through the rampart of Mount Silpius. Inside the fortifications there were gardens as well as houses and some pasture ground for flocks, and water was abundant.

Antioch had been captured by the Selchukids in 1085. In 1087 Malik-Shah installed as its governor a Turkoman called Yaghi-Siyan. Late in February 1095 Ridvan of Aleppo became overlord of Antioch; but Yaghi-Siyan had been a disloyal vassal, openly intriguing with Dukak of Damascus and with Kerbogha of Mosul against Ridvan. Consequently, when Yaghi-Siyan heard of the Franks’ approach and sought eagerly for allies, Ridvan would do nothing to help him. Ridvan’s rivals were more amenable. Yaghi-Siyan’s son, Shams-ad-Daulah, went to Damascus and secured a promise from Dukak that he would send an army to rescue the city; and Dukak’s regent (Turkish, atabeg), the Turkoman Tughtigin, and the emir of Horns, Janah-ad-Daulah, both promised to join the expedition. Help was also offered by Kerbogha, who had long wanted to establish himself as overlord of Antioch in order ultimately to control Aleppo.

In the meantime, as the crusade was marching across Anatolia, Yaghi-Siyan sought to clear Antioch itself of disloyal elements. The population was mainly Christian. Hitherto he had treated the Christians with tolerance. Now he felt that only the Syrian Jacobites, who hated the Greeks and the Armenians, could be trusted. The Greek patriarch, John the Oxite, who had till now been allowed to officiate in the city, was thrown into prison, and the cathedral of St. Peter was desecrated, to become a stable for the emir’s horses. Many leading Greeks and Armenians were forcibly exiled. Others fled. There was some persecution in the villages in the suburbs, which provoked massacres of the Turkish garrisons as soon as the Franks drew near.

On October 20,1097, the crusading army entered Yaghi-Slyan’s territory at the village of Maratah, whose Turkish garrison fled as they approached. Robert of Flanders led a detachment off to Artah, to the southeast, where the Christian population had massacred the garrison, while the main army attacked the Iron Bridge across the Orontes. The bridge was fortified by two towers flanking its entrance, but the Frankish onslaught, which was directed by Adhémar of Le Puy, was immediately successful. Their swift victory enabled the Franks to capture on the other side of the river a large convoy of cattle, sheep, and corn that was on its way to revictual Antioch. Next day Bohemond led the vanguard up to the walls of the city, and the whole army followed close behind.

It was through treachery that the Turks had captured Antioch in 1085; and treachery was what Yaghi-Siyan most feared. His garrison was not very large. If he was to man the walls and police the city adequately he could not afford engagements that might reduce his strength in men. He allowed the invaders to install themselves around the walls and left them for a fortnight unmolested. When they arrived, Bohemond took up his position opposite the Gate of St. Paul, with Raymond on his right, opposite the Gate of the Dog, and Godfrey beyond him, opposite the Gate of the Duke. Work was at once begun on a bridge of boats to cross the river from Godfrey’s camp. It was completed quickly, and detachments of the army moved across to camp opposite the fortified bridge and to open the road to the sea.

Yaghi-Siyan had expected an immediate assault on the city; but among the crusaders only Raymond wished to storm the walls at once. God would carry them to victory, he said. The other leaders were less hopeful. They could not afford to lose men, and they expected reinforcements. Tancred was due to arrive from Alexandretta, and there were rumors of help coming by sea. Bohemond, whose opinion carried most weight in the army, counseled delay. He had his own reasons for so doing. Almost certainly he already planned to secure Antioch for himself and intended therefore that it should be surrendered to him personally. Raymond pleaded in vain; and the one chance of capturing the city quickly was lost. Yaghi-Siyan had been thoroughly frightened and might not have been able to put up a vigorous resistance; but with the delay his confidence was restored.

It was easy for Bohemond to make friends within the city. There were local Christians in the camp who had relatives in Antioch; and as yet it was possible to pass to and fro through the Gate of St. George on the west. But, while the Franks found agents within the walls, Yaghi-Siyan equally well found agents in the camp. From them he learned of the Franks’ reluctance to attack; and he began to organize sorties. He kept in touch with his garrison at Harim, east of the Iron Bridge, and in conjunction with them he would cut off the foraging parties that were sent out from the camp. He was further cheered by the news that an army from Damascus was approaching.

The crusaders too were cheered by reinforcements. Tancred’s arrival had enabled them to control the road to the fortified bridge. In the middle of November a Genoese squadron of thirteen vessels put into the port of St. Simeon, with a useful consignment of armaments. About the same time Bohemond managed to lure out and destroy the Turkish garrison of Harim, which he occupied. Meanwhile, to protect the camp from sorties through the Iron Gate, the crusaders built a tower on the slopes of Mount Silpius, close outside the walls. It was known as Malregard; and the princes took turns to provide it with a garrison. Raymond’s troops had already moved from the low ground between the walls and the river to encamp opposite the fortified bridge.

As autumn turned to winter, a new problem arose in the Christian camp. When the Franks had arrived in the plain of Antioch they had found it well stocked with foodstuffs. They had eaten well and had made no provision for the winter. Now the stocks were falling low, and something must be done to replenish them. Just after Christmas it was arranged that Bohemond and Robert of Flanders should go on a raiding expedition up the Orontes, to gather what food they could find in the villages there. The camp was to be left in the charge of Raymond and of Adhémar. Godfrey at the time was seriously ill. Bohemond and Robert set out on December 28 with almost half the fighting force of the crusade. Yaghi-Siyan was delighted to see them go. He had recently learned that his son Shams-ad-Daulah had at last left Damascus with Dukak and Tughtigin and a considerable army. He hoped that the Damascene army would be able to surprise Bohemond, while he himself attacked the depleted besiegers.

On the night of December 29 Yaghi-Siyan made a sudden sortie across the fortified bridge. Raymond’s troops were unprepared, but Raymond was able to muster his knights and charge at the attackers. So fierce was his onslaught that the Moslems were driven back across the bridge, and many of the Christian knights followed them into the city before the great gates could be swung shut. For a moment it seemed that Raymond was to take the city by storm, when a horse of one of the foremost knights throw its rider and bolted back onto the knights on the bridge. It was very dark; and in the confusion the Christians panicked. They fled back across the bridge, pursued by the Turks, but soon rallied by their camp; and the Turks retreated again. Losses had been heavy on both sides, particularly amongst the Frankish horsemen. Adhémar’s own standard bearer was among the dead.

Bohemond and Robert were meanwhile moving southward, in ignorance of the battle by the bridge, and in ignorance, too, that the Damascene army was coming up. On December 30 the Mos­lems reached Shaizar, where they learned that the crusaders were near Albara. They marched on at once, and next morning they came on Robert's army, which was a little ahead of Bohemond’s. Robert was taken by surprise and was all but surrounded; Bohemond arrived in time to see what was happening. He kept his troops back till the Moslems thought that victory was theirs, then flung them into the battle. His attack discomfited the enemy, who retired with heavy losses to Hamah. But the crusaders, though they had been victorious, had lost too many men to follow up the victory. They sacked one or two villages, then returned to the camp before Antioch, with far less food than they had hoped to obtain.

The next weeks were gloomy for the crusaders. There had been an earthquake on December 30, and a frightening display of the aurora borealis next evening. During the following weeks rain fell incessantly, and it was bitterly cold. Stephen of Blois wrote home to say that he could not understand why people complained of too much sunshine in Syria. The weather did indeed oblige Dukak of Damascus, already depressed by his heavy losses, to retire home, leaving Antioch to its fate. But, while Yaghi-Siyan could keep his men dry and warm within the city and still had supplies of food, the chilled crusaders in their damp tents were near starvation, Adhémar ordered a three days’ fast, to avert the wrath of God; but in fact everyone was fasting all the time, and soon one man in seven was dying of hunger. Missions were sent as far as the Taurus mountains to collect food; and the local Christians brought what they could spare to the camp. But they were not philanthropists; they charged high prices. A donkey-load of provisions cost eight bezants, and few could afford to pay such sums. The horses fared even worse than the men, till only seven hundred were left in the camp.

Some help came from the island of Cyprus, where the Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, Symeon, was living in exile. Adhémar, no doubt on pope Urban’s instructions, had hastened to enter into relations with him, and treated him with a respect which belies the theory that Urban intended to bring the eastern church under his direct control. Symeon had in the past written a treatise against Latin usages; but he was ready to cooperate with the Latins. When Adhémar in October had sent a report to the west on the progress of the crusade, he had written it in Symeon’s name as well as his own; and his next appeal to the west for reinforcements was drafted as an appeal from Symeon alone; and in it Symeon was given the titles and authority of an independent pontiff. In return for this friendliness Symeon sent from Cyprus across to Antioch all the fruit, bacon, and wine that he could collect. But, generous though his gifts were, they could do little to alleviate the general hunger.

In their despair soldiers began to desert the army and seek transport back to Europe. The first deserters were humble folk; but one January morning it was found that Peter the Hermit had fled from the camp, together with an old comrade, William, viscount of Melon. William was an adventurer who had already deserted from a crusade in Spain. Presumably he persuaded Peter that it was useless to waste time on a hopeless expedition. Tancred went at once to pursue the fugitives. When they were brought back, Peter was pardoned in silence, but William was made to stand all night in Bohemond's tent. In the morning he was sternly lectured and obliged to swear to stay with the army till it reached Jerusalem, Later it broke his oath.

Early in February of 1098 the emperor’s representative, Taticius, suddenly left the army. He had recommended a closer blockade and the occupation of castles commanding the approaches to the city, but his advice was unheeded. His story, when he reached Alexius, was that Bohemond sent for him one day and warned him that the army believed the emperor to be secretly encouraging the Turks, and that there was a plot against his life. Such was the temper of the army that Taticius was convinced by the story. Besides, he may well have despaired of the crusaders' ever taking the fortress. He announced that he must go to arrange for a better system of revictualment, and took a ship from St. Simeon to Cyprus. To show that he meant to return he left most of his staff with the array. But as soon as he was gone, Bohemond’s friends put it about that he had fled from cowardice in face of the coming Turkish attack, if not from actual treachery. When the emperor's representative acted so dishonorably, surely there was no obligation to regard the emperor's claims to Antioch.

It was now known that another Turkish relieving force was on the march; so Bohemond next declared that it was time for him to return to his home. He had been away a long time, he said, and his estates needed his presence. As he expected, the army was horrified. He had proved himself its ablest commander; to lose him now would be disastrous. So he let it be understood that, if he were promised the lordship of Antioch, he would think it worth his while to remain. The other princes were not taken in; but there was much sympathy for him in the rank and file.

The Turkish army coming to relieve Antioch was led by Ridvan of Aleppo, with whom Yaghi-Siyan had made his peace when Dukak failed him. Ridvan now regretted his earlier inaction, and had brought with him his cousin, Sokman the Artukid, emir of Amida (Diyarbakir), and his father-in-law, the emir of Hamah. Early in February he reoccupied Harim. As he approached Antioch the Franks on Bohemond’s advice sent out all their cavalry to lure him to the narrow terrain where the lake of Antioch comes nearest to the Orontes. When he moved toward the Iron Bridge, the Franks attacked. They made no impression on the mass of the Turks, but succeeded in drawing them away from the bridge to the chosen battlefield. There Ridvan had no opportunity to make use of his numbers to outflank the Franks; and when the heavily armed knights charged again and again into the tightly packed Turks, the latter fell back in confusion and soon were in full flight. As they passed through Harim the garrison joined them in panic, and the town was re-occupied by the Christians.

Yaghi-Siyan had meanwhile come out in full force against the infantry defending the camp and was gaining ground when the triumphant knights returned. When he thus learned that Ridvan had been defeated, he retired into the city,

The victory raised the Franks’ morale, though it did not ease their food situation. They determined to tighten the blockade on Antioch by building towers to command the gates, Raymond had long desired to have a tower built opposite the fortified bridge; but materials were lacking. On March 4 a fleet put in at St. Simeon manned by Englishmen and carrying a number of Italian pilgrims. It had called at Constantinople, where it had taken on board a number of siege materials and mechanics and had found the exiled English prince, Edgar Atheling, who took command. On the news of its arrival both Raymond and Bohemond, neither trusting the other, went down to meet it and to escort the men and material to the camp. Two days later, as they returned heavily laden, they were ambushed by some of Yaghi-Siyan’s troops. The Franks fled in panic, leaving their loads in the enemy’s hands. A few stragglers reached the camp, and said that Raymond and Bohemond were killed, Godfrey at once planned to go to the rescue, but was attacked by Turks of the garrison, who hoped to clear the way for the raiders to return into the city. He held the attack; and suddenly Raymond and Bohemond came up, with the remnant of their forces. Their arrival enabled Godfrey to drive the Turks back into the city. The Franks then fell on the raiders and routed them, recovering all the lost material. The Turkish losses were very heavy. That night the Turks crept out to bury their dead in the Moslem cemetery across the river. They were unmolested; but next morning the Franks dug up the corpses for the sake of the ornaments that they had on them.

With their new material the princes first constructed a fortress at the mosque by the Moslem cemetery, opposite the fortified bridge. They called it “the Mosque” or La Mahomerie. It was put under Raymond’s control. Next, a tower was built close outside the Gate of St. George, and given to Tancred to garrison. Thenceforward the only access to and from the city was over the steep slopes of Mount Silpius or through the narrow Iron Gate. Food convoys could no longer easily reach the garrison.

As spring advanced the besiegers found it easier to obtain provisions, while starvation began to be felt inside the city. But Yaghi-Siyan did not despair, for he learned that Kerbogha, atabeg of Mosul and the Moslem soldier with the greatest reputation, was gathering his forces. Other Moslem powers were prepared to let the Franks have Antioch. In March an embassy reached the camp from the Fatimid caliph of Egypt. Alexius had advised the Franks to make friends with the Egyptians, who hated the Turks and would willingly work against them. But the caliph’s suggestion that Turkish Syria should be partitioned, the Franks taking the north and the Egyptians Palestine, did not meet with the crusaders’ approval. The Egyptian ambassadors were hospitably entertained and returned to Cairo accompanied by a Frankish mission; but no agreement was reached. The Egyptian vizir al-Afdal therefore sent troops to reconquer Palestine without waiting for an alliance. In August 1098 the Egyptians captured Jerusalem and by autumn they had reoccupied the country as far north as the Dog river, beyond Beirut.

Kerbogha left Mosul in the first days of May. The sultans of Iraq and Persia sent him detachments; many of the Artukid princes of northern and central Mesopotamia joined him, and Ridvan had reinforcements waiting for him at Aleppo. The crusader prince were anxious. Yaghi-Siyan was hard-pressed, but if he could hold out till Kerbogha arrived, there would be small chance of taking Antioch. The city must be captured at once. Fortunately for them Kerbogha delayed on the way to attack Edessa (Urfa). He feared the existence of a Frankish state that might cut his communications; but he overrated Baldwin’s offensive strength and underrated the defensive strength of Edessa itself. He paused for three weeks in front of Edessa but could make no impression against its walls. It was not till the last days of May that he continued his march.

During these precious three weeks Bohemond had been busy. At some time he established a connection with one of Yaghi-Slyan’s captains, a certain Firuz, who was probably a renegade Armenian. Firuz agreed to betray the city to him. Bohemond told none of his fellow princes of the negotiations. He now openly demanded Antioch for himself; and as the emperor was far away and his representative had left the army, most of the princes were prepared to promise it to him, with the exception of Raymond. Raymond was bitterly jealous of Bohemond, who was his chief rival as lay leader of the crusade. He had moreover made friends with Alexius at Constantinople and genuinely wished to be loyal to his friendship. It is probable that Adhémar agreed with him. After some discussion the princes decided that, if Bohemond’s troops were the first to enter the city and if the emperor never came in person to receive it, then it should be Bohemond’s. Even so, Raymond demurred. Meanwhile Bohemond publicly emphasized the dangers ahead, in order the better to conceal his plots.

His propaganda was highly successful. When it was known that Kerbogha had raised the siege of Edessa and was continuing his march, there was some panic in the camp. Deserters slipped away in such numbers that they could not be stopped. On June 2 a large body of northern French took the road to Alexandretta, led by Stephen of Blois. Stephen, though he had recently written an optimistic letter home to announce that he had been elected to a high administrative post in the army, had now lost his nerve. His departure was to have consequences that were unexpectedly useful for Bohemond.

Had Stephen waited only a few hours he might have changed his mind. That same day Firuz sent to Bohemond to say that he was ready to betray the city. It was later said that he had hesitated till the previous night, when he discovered that his wife had been seduced by a Turkish colleague. He now commanded the tower of the Two Sisters, opposite the tower of Tancred, with the two adjacent towers and the wall between them. He now urged Bohemond to assemble the whole crusading army and march eastward as though to intercept Kerbogha, then bring the army back after dark to his section of the wall, with scaling-ladders. The garrison’s watch would be relaxed, and he himself would be there to admit them. He would send his son that night as a hostage and a sign that he was prepared.

Now at last Bohemond revealed hid plot to his colleagues. Antioch would be theirs that night, he said. Whatever Raymond may have thought, he and the other princes gave their support to the scheme. Just before sunset the Christian army set out ostentatiously towards the Iron Bridge. In the middle of the night it wheeled back. Bohemond’s party reached the Gate of St. George and the tower of the Two Sisters just before dawn, while the bulk of the force remained outside the fortified bridge. A ladder was set against the tower, and sixty knights climbed up. Firuz asked anxiously in Greek for Bohemond himself, but he need not have worried. The knights took over the other towers under Firuz’s command, then summoned Bohemond. His ladder broke behind him, but already some of the knights had opened the Gate of St. George, while others were running through the streets arousing the Christian citizens, with whose help they flung open the gates at the bridge. Soon the whole Frankish army was pouring into the city. Greeks and Armenians joined them in massacring every Turk that they met; and many Christians died in the confusion. Yaghi-Siyan was awakened by the tumult. He thought that all was lost, and fled with his bodyguard on horseback up the gorge that led to the Iron Gate, and out to the hills. His son, Shams-ad-Daulah, kept his head. Gathering all the men that he could find, he made for the citadel. When Bohemond reached the citadel gate, he could not force an entrance; but he placed his purple banner on the highest point that he could reach, to cheer the crusaders as they rushed through the streets far below. He made a second and stronger attack on the citadel which also failed, and he himself was wounded. So, leaving men to contain it, he returned into the city. Soon he was consoled by the gift of Yaghi-Siyan’s severed head. Yaghi-Siyan had been thrown from his horse as he hurried over a mountain path. His escort left him as he lay there, and he was found, half-stunned, by some Armenian peasants who killed him and came to Bohemond, who gave them a rich reward.

By nightfall on June 3, 1098, Antioch was once more in Chris­tian hands, and not a Turk was left alive there. The streets were full of corpses; the houses, Christian as well as Moslem, had been looted, and their treasures scattered or destroyed. Only the citadel remained unconquered.

The capture of Antioch was a great achievement; but the crusaders were not very much better off in consequence. They could now protect themselves behind the great fortifications which had received no damage during the siege. Their noncombatant followers were now safely sheltered. The Turkish army defending the city had been almost annihilated. But the long line of walls now needed defense. The citadel had to be picketed, and its garrison could watch everything that took place within the city. The crusade was still short of fighting men. Moreover, they found no huge stores of food within the city, and they had wantonly destroyed most of its wealth. The Christian population, especially the Syrians, were not reliable. And two great problems lay ahead. First, the vast army of Kerbogha had to be beaten; and secondly, agreement must be reached about the future of Antioch.

The first task was to cleanse the city. Soldiers and civilians had to clear the streets and bury the corpses before an epidemic should be started. Then the defense of the walls had to be allotted among the princes. Meanwhile Adhémar of Le Puy released the patriarch John from the prison where Yaghi-Siyan had kept him and restored him to his throne, and the cathedral of St. Peter was purified and reconsecrated.

Hardly were the crusaders installed in Antioch before Kerbogha arrived. His army reached the Iron Bridge on June 5 and encamped outside the walls on June 7. His first action was to take over the citadel from Shams-ad-Daulah and to place it under his trusted lieutenant Ahmad ibn-Marwan. His first plan was to attack the city from the citadel; but the crusaders had built a rough wall isolating the fortress, and they were able to hold it against a heavy assault launched by Ahmad on June 9. Kerbogha then decided to encircle the city and starve it into surrender. A cru­sader sortie on June 10 was driven back with heavy losses.

That night a group of deserters led by Bohemond’s brother-in-law, William of Grant-Mesnil, broke through the enemy lines and reached St. Simeon. They told the Genoese ships in the harbor that the crusade was doomed and persuaded them to carry them to Tarsus. There they joined Stephen of Blois, who had thought of returning to Antioch when he heard of its capture, but had been deterred by a distant view of Kerbogha’s army. With Stephen they sailed from Tarsus to Adalia (Antalya) and began to march back across Anatolia. Their desertion and Kerbogha’s close blockade cast gloom over the besieged city. Food soon was short. A small loaf cost a bezant, an egg two, and a chicken fifteen. It seemed that the only chance of salvation would be the arrival of the emperor and the army of Byzantium.

It was known that Alexius had started out from Constantinople. His cousin, John Ducas, had already cleared western Anatolia of the enemy and opened the road to Adalia. With his rear thus secure, Alexius marched early in June as far as Philomelium (Akshehir). There he met the fugitives from Antioch, who told him, to justify their own flight, that it was too late to save the crusade. At the same time Peter of Aulps came hurrying from his post at Comana to say that a huge Turkish army was planning to fall on Alexius before he could reach Antioch. Alexius had no reason to doubt these stories. If Antioch had already fallen to the Turks, and there was another Turkish army besides Kerbogha’s in the field, then it would be madness to advance farther into hostile and difficult country. He had the welfare of his empire to consider; he could not involve his army in such a risky and unpromising adventure. Only one of his staff, Bohemond’s half-brother Guy, begged him to continue his march, to rescue the survivors of the crusade. His other advisers counseled retreat; and the great imperial army turned back northward, leaving a cordon of waste land to protect the recovered territory.

The emperor’s retreat was strategically justified; but it was a grave political mistake. The crusaders could not know what information he had received; they could not appreciate his wider responsibilities. It seemed to them that he had refused to help them when help was most needed; he was apparently indifferent to their fate and the fate of Christian Antioch. By his own action he had, they alleged, forfeited his rights over the city. Bohemond’s claim to be given Antioch was immeasurably strengthened. But it was realized that Stephen also was to blame. He returned home universally labeled as a coward, to a wife who would not rest till she had sent him out again to redeem his name.

Kerbogha meanwhile continued to press the siege. On June 12 he nearly captured one of the southwestern towers; and Bohemond was obliged to demolish many houses near the walls to allow his troops greater freedom of movement. The morale of the defenders was very low, when suddenly their faith in the supernatural came to their aid. On the morning of June 10 a poorly dressed peasant in count Raymond's army came to the count demanding to see him and the bishop of Le Puy. He was called Peter Bartholomew and he was the servant of a Provençal pilgrim called William-Peter. The story that he had to tell was of visions in which St. Andrew had appeared to him, on no less than five occasions during the last six months. The saint had bidden him to chide the bishop for neglecting his duties as a preacher and to reveal to the count the hiding-place of one of the holiest relics of Christendom, the lance that had pierced the side of Christ. This was in the southern chapel of the cathedral of St. Peter. Bishop Adhémar was not impressed. He had doubtless remarked a better authenticated lance in the relic collections of Constantinople; and he learned that Peter Bartholomew was considered to be unreliable and disreputable. But Raymond, whose piety was simpler, was at once convinced. He arranged to attend a solemn search for the lance in five days’ time; and meanwhile he confided Peter Bartholomew to the care of his chaplain.

News of the vision spread, and bred other visions. The crusader army was half-starved and desperately anxious, ripe for super­natural experiences. That evening, as the princes were meeting in council, a Provencal priest, Stephen of Valence, was shown in to them and told them of a vision that he had had of Christ and the Virgin, in which Christ told him that if the army repented of its sinful ways, it would receive a token of his favor in five days’ time. Stephen was a reputable cleric and swore on the gospel that his story was true. Adhémar therefore accepted it, and, finding the princes deeply moved, he at once made them swear not to leave the army without the consent of all the others. On Jane 14 a meteor was seen to fall into the Turkish lines. Next morning a party of twelve, including count Raymond, the bishop of Orange, and the historian Raymond of Aguilers, accompanied Peter Bartholomew to the cathedral and began to dig there in the promised spot. They dug in vain alt day, and the count left disappointed. Then Peter Bartholomew himself leapt into the hole and soon produced a piece of iron. Raymond of Aguilers tells us that he himself embraced it while it was still half-embedded. The story of its discovery was delightedly heard by the army, and the “relic” was taken in triumph to count Raymond’s quarters.

It is possible that Peter Bartholomew had buried the piece of iron himself, or that he had the diviner’s ability to detect the presence of metal. It is remarkable that, in an age when no one thought miracles to be impossible, Adhémar continued to believe him to be a charlatan, and there were others who shared that view. But the bulk of the army accepted the authenticity of the relic with enthusiasm, and no one wished openly to spoil its effect. Peter himself somewhat shook his supporters by another vision in which instructions were given for the services to be held in celebration of the discovery. The bishop of Orange was suspicious of so much liturgical detail, particularly when Peter untruthfully declared that he was illiterate. Moreover St. Andrew soon reappeared, to recommend five fast-days, after which the crusaders were to go out and attack Kerbogha. This advice conveniently coincided with Bohemond’s known wishes.

Bohemond, who was now in sole command, as Raymond had fallen ill, had learned of difficulties in Kerbogha's camp. His great army was not homogeneous. The bedouins from the desert disliked the Turks from Mesopotamia. The emir of Homs had a feud with the emir of Manbij; and none of the emirs relished being under the command of a mere atabeg. Kerbogha decided that Ridvan’s help was needed, but to court Ridvan meant to offend Dukak. There were quarrels in the Moslem camp, and desertions became more frequent.

The Christian princes were aware of this and hoped that perhaps Kerbogha could be persuaded to raise the siege on terms. On June 27 they sent an embassy to him, composed of Peter the Hermit and a Frank called Herluin, who spoke both Arabic and Persian. Peter was chosen partly as the most eminent non-military figure in the army and partly that he might redeem his reputation, damaged by his attempted flight. He fulfilled the task bravely; but Kerbogha made it clear that he would consider only unconditional surrender. The ambassadors returned empty-handed, but Herluin may have learnt something of the enemy’s difficulties.

On the failure of the embassy Bohemond easily persuaded the princes to risk a battle. Early on Monday, June 28, he drew the army up for action, in six divisions. The first, the French and Flemish, was led by Hugh of Vermandois and Robert of Flanders; the second, the Lorrainers, led by Godfrey; the third, the Normans of Normandy, under duke Robert; the fourth, Raymond's army, under bishop Adhémar, as Raymond was still ill; and the fifth and sixth of Italians and Normans of Italy under Bohemond and Tancred. Raymond, from his sickbed, was to command the two hundred men left to contain the citadel. After a service of intercession, the troops marched out across the fortified bridge and wheeled right up the river bank. Though many of the knights had to fight on foot for lack of horses, the general morale was high.

Each division bore its princes’ standards; and the historian Raymond of Aguilers had the honor of carrying the holy lance,

As the Christian divisions emerged, Kerbogha’s Arab commander, Wassab ibn-Mahmud, wished to attack them at once one by one. Bat Kerbogha preferred to wait till he could destroy them at one stroke. When he saw their full array he hesitated; they were more formidable than he had thought, and he was unsure of his own men. He sent a herald to offer to discuss a truce. But the Franks ignored his messenger and continued to advance. Kerbogha tried to lure them on, in the usual Turkish way, then poured arrows into their ranks. He also sent a detachment to take them on their left flank, where they were unprotected by the river. But Bohemond was ready for it, and had formed a seventh division, under Reginald of Toul, to hold the attack. Despite the rain of arrows the crusaders pressed on against the Turkish center, encouraged by visions of the saints fighting for them. The Turks began to waver. And many of the emirs began to desert Kerbogha’s cause, not sorry that his arrogance should be humiliated. Dukak of Damascus, who had heard disquieting news of an Egyptian advance into Palestine, was the first to draw off his men. His retirement caused a panic. Kerbogha set fire to the dry grass in front of his line, in an attempt to keep the crusaders off while he restored order. But the solid mass of their cavalry trampled out the flames. There was fierce hand-to-hand fighting with heavy losses on both sides. Again bishop Adhemar’s standard bearer was amongst those slain. Soon the whole Moslem army was in flight. Sokman the Artukid and the emir of Homs remained with Kerbogha till at last he saw that he could no longer hope to rally his men, and abandoned the battle. The crusaders, resisting the temptation to plunder Kerbogha’s camp, followed closely after the fugitives as far as the Iron Bridge. They slew great numbers of them, while the Christian peasants of the countryside finished off most of the stragglers. Kerbogha reached Mosul with a remnant of his army, with his prestige and his power ruined.

Ahmad ibn-Marwan, watching from the citadel, saw that the battle was lost and sent a herald into the town to offer his surrender. Raymond at once dispatched men with his banners to take over the fortress, but Ahmad would not admit them. It seems that he had made a secret pact to surrender to Bohemond alone, in the event of a Christian victory; and it was only when Bohemond appeared in person that he opened the gates. The garrison was allowed to march out unharmed; and Ahmad, with many of his men, became converts to Christianity and joined Bohemond’s army.

The spectacular victory ensured the Christians’ possession of Antioch, but did not decide which Christian was to hold it. By the treaty of Constantinople it should have gone to the emperor. But the emperor had no representative now with the army and had not appeared in person, Bohemond openly claimed the city. As he had organized its capture and had directed the recent battle, and the citadel had surrendered to him, most of the princes supported his claim. Only Raymond, partly from jealousy of Bohemond and partly because he thought the goodwill of Byzantium important, remembered the emperor’s rights, Adhémar of Le Puy agreed with him. Probably at Adhémar’s suggestion, Hugh of Vermandois, who wished to return to France, was deputed to go and secure the emperor's leadership. Hugh left Antioch early in July. After an arduous journey, in the course of which his comrade Baldwin of Hainault disappeared during a skirmish with the Turks, he found Alexius already back at Constantinople. There could be no question of a Byzantine expedition to Syria that year and thus the empire’s only real opportunity to regain this province was lost.

Meanwhile the crusaders decided to wait at Antioch till November 1, to rest the soldiers and wait till the summer heat was over before advancing farther. The waiting did not improve their nerves. While lesser princes rode off to visit Baldwin at Edessa or raid villages and capture forts, Bohemond established himself in the citadel and most of the city, even giving a charter to the Genoese as its ruler; and Raymond countered by occupying the palace and the fortified bridge. Soon a serious epidemic broke out, probably of typhoid; and on August 1 it claimed its first distinguished victim, Adhémar of Le Puy.

Adhémar, as the pope's legate and friend, was the one crusader whose authority was unquestionably respected; and his personal qualities, his courage, his charity, and his tact, had made him universally beloved, even by the obstreperous Normans. His death was a disaster. He had been determined to work with the eastern Christians, and to prevent any open breaches within the crusade. Only one man was delighted by his disappearance. The visionary Peter Bartholomew had not forgiven him for his skepticism, and promptly had a vision in which he was given a sentence in hell for his unbelief. At the same time St. Andrew told Peter that Antioch should be given to Bohemond, that the crusade should march off at once to Jerusalem, and that a Latin patriarch should be installed in Antioch. These revelations irritated Adhémar’s many admirers and threw discredit on Peter Bartholomew, though Bohemond’s friends approved of the political suggestions; and they embarrassed Raymond, who was proud of his possession of the lance.

As the epidemic spread, the princes took refuge in the country­side. Bohemond went to Cilicia, to reinforce the garrisons left there by Tancred. Godfrey established himself in Tell Bashir (Turbessel) and Ravendan, handed over to him by his brother Baldwin. The movements of Raymond and Robert of Flanders are unknown. Robert of Normandy went to Latakia, which had been temporarily occupied by Guynemer of Boulogne, then by Edgar Atheling in the emperor’s name. Edgar had insufficient men to garrison it, and so appealed to the crusade. Robert governed there for a few weeks, but his rule was so exorbitant and unpopular that the citizens forced him to leave, and accepted instead a Byzantine garrison from Cyprus.

In September, when the epidemic abated, the princes returned to Antioch, and on September 11 they met to draft a letter to the pope, reporting the death of his legate. They probably knew by now that Alexius was not coming to Antioch; so they suggested that Urban himself should take over this see of St. Peter. They would await his coming. It was a compromise, evolved to postpone a decision and excuse further delay; but it was ominous in its implied rejection of the claims of the Greek patriarch and in its note of hostility towards all the eastern Christians.

While they waited for an answer, the princes raided the countryside in order to secure food for the winter. They began to interfere in Moslem politics, supporting the emir of Azaz against his overlord, Ridvan of Aleppo. Godfrey even accepted the emir as a vassal, though the vassalage did not last for long. In October Raymond occupied Chastel-Rouge on the Orontes, and Albara, some miles across the river. Albara was a Moslem town, but Raymond turned its mosque into a cathedral and set up a Latin bishopric, the first in the east, under one of his priests, Peter of Narbonne. Peter went to Antioch to be consecrated by the Greek patriarch, John; but his appointment encouraged those crusaders who wished to see a Latin church in the east replacing the Orthodox Greek.

Early in November the princes rode again to Antioch to discuss plans. On November 5 they met together in the cathedral. Bohemond’s friends opened by claiming Antioch for him. Raymond retorted by reminding them of the oath sworn to the emperor. Godfrey and Robert of Flanders, who supported Bohemond, were afraid to speak up for fear of being accused of perjury. The spokesmen of the army, waiting impatiently outside, broke in to say that, unless the princes fettled the Antioch question and prepared to continue the crusade, they themselves would raze the city’s walls. The princes then met in a more intimate gathering, and at last Raymond agreed to abide by their common decision on the future of Antioch so long as Bohemond swore to march with the army to Jerusalem; and Bohemond solemnly swore not to delay or harm the crusade. Bohemond was meanwhile left in possession of the citadel and three quarters of the city; but Raymond retained the bridge and the palace of Yaghi-Siyan. The date of departure for Jerusalem was still unfixed. But to occupy the troops meanwhile it was decided to attack the fortress of Maarrat-an-Numan.

The siege of Maarrat-an-Numan lasted from November 27 to December 11, when Raymond’s mining operations opened a breach in the walls. Bohemond thereupon offered the citizens their lives if they would meet in a certain hall and surrender to him. Many accepted his offer, but they were no more spared than were the citizens who resisted. Bohemond’s action intensified his quarrel with Raymond, which grew still worse when he refused to remove his troops from the town unless Raymond retired from his portion of Antioch. He began also openly to question the authenticity of the lance.

About Christmas representatives of the army told Raymond that they would accept him as leader of the crusade if he would lead them on now to Jerusalem. He felt he must accept, and moved from Maarrat-an-Numan to Chastel-Rouge, to organize the journey. Bohemond thereupon agreed to leave Maarrat-an-Numan also, and it was placed under the bishop of Albara. Ray­mond then asked all the princes to meet him at Chastel-Rouge and attempted to bribe them to admit his leadership. He offered 10,000 solidi to Godfrey and to Robert of Normandy, 6,000 to Robert of Flanders, 5,000 to Tancred, lesser sums to the lesser lords, and nothing to Bohemond. But his offers were rejected.

While the princes conferred at Chastel-Rouge, the array at Maarrat-an-Numan took action. Disregarding the protests of the bishop of Albara the soldiers destroyed the fortifications. Raymond saw now that he could delay no longer. He went to Maarrat-an-Numan and collected his troops and any other men that would join him. On January 13, 1099, he marched out of Maarrat-an-Numan at the head of his men, going barefoot as befitted the leader of a pilgrimage. All his vassals came with him, including the garrison that he had left at Antioch. Robert of Normandy at once set out to join him, accompanied by Tancred, who doubtless came to represent Bohemond's interests. Godfrey and Robert of Flanders held back, disliking to admit Raymond's leadership; and Bohemond, in spite of his oaths, remained firmly at Antioch, of which he was now the unquestioned master.

Kerbogha’s defeat had discouraged and disorganized the Turks. The two Selchukid princes of Syria, Ridvan of Aleppo and Dukak of Damascus, were too jealous of each other for either to be able to take the lead against the Franks, and the latter was further worried by the Egyptians’ recent reconquest of Palestine from the Artukids. The lesser emirs thought only of their own interests, while the two chief Arab dynasties, the Banu-Munqidh of Shaizar and the Banu-Ammar of Tripoli, were ready to help Any enemy of the Turks. Raymond therefore met with little opposition as he moved southward. At Kafartab he was joined by Robert of Normandy and Tancred. The emir of Shaizar sent guides to take the army through his territory and across the Orontes. By mistake one of them introduced the Franks into the valley where the local peasants were hiding their herds. The Franks rounded them up, in such quantities that the knights were able to sell the surplus and buy pack-horses in Shaizar and in Hamah, whose rulers freely admitted them. Raymond’s plan was now to march straight over the Nusairi mountains (Jabal Ansariyah) to the coast, where he would be in touch with Antioch and Cyprus. But Tancred pointed out that it would be unsafe to march down the coast without capturing all the cities there, and the army was too small and ill-equipped for that. He suggested a direct route up the Orontes and down the Biqa valley to the head of the Jordan. But that would undoubtedly rouse Dukak to action, and supplies might be difficult. A compromise was reached. The army decided to march down the Buqaiah and strike the sea near Tripoli.

After leaving the Munqidh lands, the crusade passed through Masyaf, whose emir made a treaty with them, to Rafaniyah, which was deserted but full of supplies. The army stayed there for three days, then entered the Buqaiah valley, pausing to attack the fortress of Hisn al-Akrad, because of the herds that were known to be sheltering there. The garrison, after one successful skirmish, lost heart and fled, leaving the castle full of supplies. While Raymond stayed there, to celebrate the feast of the Purification, an embassy reached him from the emir of Hamah offering gifts, which was followed by one from the emir of Tripoli, who asked for a Frankish embassy to come to his capital to discuss the safe passage of the crusade through his lands. Raymond sent envoys, who returned much impressed by the riches and the unwarlikeness of the Tripolitans and their emir. They suggested that, if the crusaders attacked one of the emir’s towns, he would undoubtedly pay them a large indemnity to buy immunity for his other towns. Raymond, who was short of money, took this advice, and marched down to lay siege to Arqah, some fifteen miles from Tripoli, where the Buqaiah opened to the sea. He arrived there on February 14. Meanwhile he encouraged two of his vassals, Raymond Pilet and Raymond of Turenne, to lead an expedition to the towns on the north Syrian coast. They hurried to Tortosa, where by a ruse they induced the governor, a vassal of the Banu-Ammar, to believe that they commanded considerable forces and to evacuate the town, which opened its gates to them. The governor of Maraclea, ten miles further north, thereupon recognized Raymond's suze­rainty,

News of these successes reached Antioch; and the princes remaining there were jealous and decided to join Raymond. At the end of February Bohemond, Godfrey, and Robert of Flanders set out together down the coast; but Bohemond turned back at Latakia, reflecting that it would be dangerous to leave Antioch exposed to a possible attack from the emperor. Godfrey and Robert went on to besiege the small town of Jabala. When they were there, messengers from Raymond arrived, to beg them to join him at Arqah.

The siege of Arqah had not been going well. The town was defended with unexpected vigor, and the Franks lacked siege engines. It is possible that the soldiers made no great effort, for life was comfortable in the camp, amid the rich fields of the plain.

But Raymond could not abandon the siege lest the Moslems should recognize his weakness too clearly. In March there was a rumor that the caliph of Baghdad himself was coming with a great army to relieve Arqah. The news was false, but it alarmed Raymond into summoning Godfrey and Robert of Flanders. They made a truce with the emir of Jabala, who accepted their overlordship, and with great reluctance joined Raymond before the end of March. Raymond had been for two months the accepted leader of the crusade. Even Tancred had admitted his authority in return for 5000 solidi. But neither Godfrey nor the two Roberts were ready to regard him as their superior; and now Tancred moved over to Godfrey’s camp, saying that Raymond had not paid him enough. The men of the various armies, seeing their leaders quarreling, followed suit and would not work together. The quarrels were embittered by the arrival of a letter from the emperor early in April. Alexius announced that he was about to start out for Syria, and if they would wait till the end of June, he would be with them by St. John's Day, and would lead them on to Palestine. Raymond wished to accept the offer; and many of his men, such as Raymond of Aguilers, who disliked the Byzantines, felt that at least they would have in the emperor an undisputed leader for the expedition. But none of the other princes desired the presence of an imperial overlord; and the bulk of the army was impatient to move on. The emperor’s offer was rejected. It is probable that Alexius was not surprised. He was in touch with the Fatimid court; and it seems that before waiting for the crusaders’ reply he had written to Cairo to repudiate any connection with their advance into Fatimid territory. His obligations in Palestine were to the Orthodox community there; and he may well have thought that the Orthodox would be better off under the Fatimids, who had usually shown them great tolerance, than under the Franks, whose behavior at Antioch indicated growing hostility. But the subtleties of Byzantine diplomacy were unintelligible to the Franks, and when later they captured copies of his correspondence with Egypt they were horrified at his “treachery”.

They blamed him because the embassy that they had sent from Antioch to Cairo had been so long detained. In fact the ambassadors returned a few days after the emperor’s letter arrived. They bore the final offer of the Fatimids, who would ally with the crusaders so long as they did not advance into Palestine, and who offered every facility for Christian pilgrims bound for Jerusalem. The offer was at once rejected.

In spite of the general desire to resume the march, Raymond would not leave Arqah untaken. To speed matters up Peter Bartholomew announced on April 5 that he had just had another vision in which St. Peter and St. Andrew told him that Arqah must be stormed at once. The opposition to Raymond challenged the vision. Led by Robert of Normandy's chaplain, Arnulf of Chocques (called “Malecorne”), the Normans and northern French openly declared that Peter Bartholomew was an impostor and the holy lance a fraud, and they recalled Adhémar’s disbelief. The Provençals rallied to Peter’s support, many of them citing visions that confirmed his. Arnulf professed to be convinced, but others still doubted, till Peter in a fury demanded to be tested by the ordeal of fire. He was clearly convinced now of his own divine inspiration.

On Good Friday, April 8, two piles of logs, blessed by the bishops, were erected in a narrow passage and set alight. Peter, clad in a tunic and with the lance in his hand, leapt across the flames. He emerged horribly burned and, had he not been held by a friend, would have fallen back into the flames. He died in agony twelve days later. The Provençals loyally declared that he had been pushed back into the flames, and count Raymond still kept the lance in his chapel. But with the bulk of the army the lance was now utterly discredited; and Raymond's prestige suffered.

Nevertheless, Raymond succeeded in keeping the whole army before Arqah for another month. There was heavy fighting and many crusaders lost their lives, including Anselm of Ribemont, whose letters to the archbishop of Rheims, his liege lord, provide some of the most vivid descriptions of the crusade. At last on May 13 Raymond yielded and with tears in his eyes ordered the camp to be struck. There was some discussion about the route to be followed. The local Christians told Raymond that the easiest road ran inland, through Damascus, but though food was plentiful, water would be short. The road over Mount Lebanon and through the Biqa was well-watered but difficult for baggage-animals. But local prophecies declared that the deliverers of Jerusalem would come down the coast; and the coast road was chosen, less because of the prophets than because it might provide contact with the Genoese and English fleets cruising in Levantine waters. On the other hand it exposed the crusade to attacks from the Fatimid navy, whose presence would make it impossible for the westerners, already handicapped by a lack of siege materials, to take the cities along the coast.

When the crusade approached Tripoli, the emir hastened to release some three hundred Christian captives that were in the town and to send them with 15,000 bezants and fifteen fine horses to the Frankish camp; and he provided pack-animals and provender for the whole army. He was also believed to have undertaken to embrace Christianity, should the Christians defeat the Fatimids. His prompt action saved the rich suburbs of Tripoli from spoliation. The crusaders left Tripoli on Monday, May 14; and guides lent by the emir took them safely round the cape of Ras ash-Shaqah and past his towns of al-Batrun and Jubail. On May 19 they crossed the Dog river, just north of Beirut, and entered Fatimid territory.

The Fatimids kept no troops, apart from garrisons in the towns, in their northern province; but the Egyptian fleet was in the offing. As the crusaders were afraid of running short of food, they were anxious to pass around every city as quickly and peaceably as possible. When the citizens of Beirut offered food and an unmolested passage on condition that their orchards and gardens were unharmed, the princes accepted the offer and abided by it. The army moved on to Sidon, whose garrison was less accomodating and attacked the Christians as they were encamped by the river, an-Nahr al-Auwali. The sortie was repulsed and, in reprisal, the suburban gardens were ravaged; but the army thought it wise to hurry on to Tyre. There the garrison stayed behind its walls, and the crusaders were able to spend two days in peace in its pleasant orchards, waiting for Baldwin of Le Bourg and a party of knights who had ridden from Edessa to join the expedition. The army left Tyre on May 23, and passed unchallenged up the Ladder of Tyre and the heights of an-Naqurah arriving next day outside Acre. Its governor, like his colleague of Beirut, bought immunity for the suburbs by an ample gift of provisions. After pausing for the night the crusaders moved on past Haifa and around Mount Carmel, and reached the outskirts of Caesarea on May 26. The garrison of Caesarea ignored them; and, as it was the Whitsun weekend, they spent four days there. During their stay a pigeon killed by a hawk fell into the camp. It was found to be a carrier with a message from the governor of Acre urging the Moslems of Palestine to resist the invaders.

From Caesarea the army moved down the coast to Arsuf, then above Jaffa turned inland on the road to Jerusalem through Ramla, which it reached on June 3, without meeting any op position. Ramla was a Moslem town and had been till recently the capital of the province of Palestine. Since the Turkish invasions it had fallen into a decline and its fortifications were in disrepair. As they were too far inland to be helped by the Egyptian navy, the inhabitants abandoned the town, after first burning down the great church of St. George at Lydda, a mile away. When Robert of Flanders rode up at the head of the crusading army, the place was deserted. The crusaders were delighted at their occupation of a Moslem city in the heart of Palestine. They vowed at once to rebuild the church and to erect Ramla and Lydda into a lordship as patrimony for the saint. A Norman priest, Robert of Rouen, was appointed bishop and administrator of the fief. Public opinion amongst the crusaders still considered that territory acquired in Palestine should be given to the church.

At Ramla the princes discussed their next move. There were rumors that the Egyptians were sending an army to Palestine; and some of the princes wished to advance towards Egypt to meet it, for Egypt was the real enemy, and it would be madness to attempt to attack the fortress of Jerusalem in the height of summer when they lacked the proper machines. But the army was impatient to reach the holy city; and others of the princes, trusting in the help of God, believed that if they could install themselves in the great fortress before the Egyptians arrived, they could hold it. After some debate it was decided to continue into the hills, up the road past Emmaus. The march was resumed on June 6.

At Emmaus envoys from Bethlehem came to the camp, asking that their town, which was entirely Christian, should be liberated from the Moslems. Tancred, with Baldwin of Le Bourg and a few knights, rode off at once over the hills and reached the town after dark. The inhabitants first thought them to be the vanguard of an Egyptian army, but when dawn broke and the knights’ Christian insignia were recognized, the whole population came out in procession, with all the relics of the church of the Nativity, to welcome their rescuers and to kiss their hands. Tancred entered the town at the head of the knights, and the citizens set his banner up over the church of the Nativity.

All through the night of June 6 and the next day, while Tancred was at Bethlehem, the main army toiled up the road towards Jerusalem. During the night an eclipse of the moon presaged the defeat of the crescent. In the course of the morning a hundred knights rode back to say that Bethlehem was freed; and about noon, when the army reached the summit of the road, at the mosque of the prophet Samuel, on a hill-top that the pilgrims called Montjoic, Jerusalem itself came into sight. By nightfall on Tuesday, June 7, the Christian force was encamped before the holy city.

Strategists less certain of divine aid would have hesitated long before attempting to attack Jerusalem at that moment. The city was a renowned fortress, and its great walls were in good condition. On the east, the south, and the west they were protected by ravines, except where they cut across Mount Sion, at the southwest corner. Only there and from the north could they be approached without insuperable difficulty. The Fatimid governor, Iftikhar-ad-Daulah, had an adequate garrison of Arab and Sudanese troops. The city cisterns, built by the Romans, were amply filled with water; and Ifttkhar had rounded up flocks and herds from the neighboring countryside and driven them inside the walls. He had taken the further precaution of expelling all Christians, Orthodox and heretic alike, from the city, thus decreasing by more than one half the number of mouths to be fed and at the same time removing possible traitors. The Jews were allowed to remain. He also poisoned all the wells in the neighborhood, except for the Pool of Siloam, which he could command from the south walls. His armaments were better than the Franks’; and he had time to strengthen his towers with sacks of cotton and hay. He knew that an army was on its way from Egypt to relieve him. He could confidently hope to hold out till it came.

His optimism was reasonable. The Franks were operating in a country that they did not know. Their communications were tenuous, and they were short of arms. Even had the terrain allowed it, they were not numerous enough to invest the whole city, nor to prevent sorties from the garrison. According to Raymond of Aguilers, they numbered 12oo or 1500 knights and 12,000 infantrymen capable of bearing arms. The summer sun burned down on them, and there was little shade to be found. Water was soon a problem. Parties had to journey six miles or more to find springs that were safe, and raiders from the garrison would fall on them as they came back heavily laden. Food began to run short; and though the Christian villages in the neighborhood were friendly they had little to spare after Iftikhar’s requisitioning, The only hope for the crusade was somehow to take the city by assault as quickly as possible.

They concentrated their strength on the sectors where they could approach the walls. Robert of Normandy took up his position at the east end of the north wall, opposite the Gate of Flowers. On his right was Robert of Flanders, opposite the Gate of the Column, the modern Damascus Gate, Godfrey of Bouillon took over the west end of the north wall and the north end of the west wall aided by Tancred, who came up from Bethlehem a day later. Raymond was to the south of him, but, finding that the terrain did not let him approach the walls, he moved up after two days on to Mount Sion. But, owing to the shortage of siege machines, no general assault was attempted.

On June 12 the princes went in pilgrimage to the Mount of Olives. There they met an aged hermit, who ordered them to attack the walls on the morrow. When they protested that they lacked the necessary machines he reproved them, saying that if they had faith, God would give them the victory. They followed his advice, and next morning a general assault was ordered. So fervent was the attack that the outer defenses to the north wall were stormed; but not all their faith could provide them with enough scaling-ladders for the wall itself. After some hours of fighting they withdrew with heavy losses.

The princes had learned their lesson. At a council on June 15 they decided that many more mangonels and ladders must be con­structed before another attack could be attempted. But they did not know where to find the material, when, almost as an answer to their prayers, on June 17 a squadron of six Christian ships put into the harbor of Jaffa, which they found deserted by the Moslems. There were two Genoese galleys, under the Embriaco brothers, and four ships that probably came from the English fleet. They carried ample foodstuffs, and ropes, nails, and bolts for making siege machines and ladders. A messenger hurried up to the camp before Jerusalem, and troops were sent down to establish contact. They were ambushed on the way and were only saved by a rescuing force led by Raymond Pilet. Meanwhile, the Egyptian fleet came up and blockaded Jaffa. One of the English ships broke through and sailed back to Latakia. The other ships were abandoned by their crews as soon as the goods were landed, and the sailors marched up with Raymond Pilet and his party to Jerusalem. Their provisions and the armaments that they brought were very welcome, but it was still necessary to find wood for the ladders and other machines. The hills around Jerusalem were treeless, and expeditions had to be sent long distances to collect the quantities that were needed. At last Robert of Flanders and Tancred penetrated to the forests of Samaria. It was a Moslem district, and they made many captives there, whom they used to transport logs and planks back to the camp; and work could be started on the ladders, while both Godfrey and Raymond set about the construction of great wooden castles on wheels.

It was slow work; and meanwhile conditions worsened in the camp. Water was a perpetual problem. The local Christians pointed out the springs, but they were far away; and detachments would often travel right to the Jordan in search of sufficient supplies. The men all went short, and many of the pack-animals and the beasts collected for food died of thirst. The heat was intense, and for several days a sirocco blew, fraying everyone’s temper. The princes quarreled again. Tancred had offended them all by raising his banner over the church of the Nativity, a place too holy to be given to one secular lord. They began to bicker over the future of Jerusalem itself, many knights desiring to see a king for Palestine, while others and all the clergy declared that no man should call himself king in the city where Christ was crowned. Some of the host despaired. A company went down to the Jordan, to be rebaptized in the holy water, and then, after gathering palm leaves from its banks, made their way to Jaffa, hoping to find some transport back to Europe.

Early in July news came that the Egyptian army was really on the move. In a month at most it would be at Jerusalem. The princes saw that they could no longer delay their attack, and laid aside their quarrels. The morale of the army was low, but, as at Antioch, a vision came to its support. On the morning of July 6 a Provençal priest, Peter Desiderius, who had already reported visions in support of Peter Bartholomew, announced that he had seen bishop Adhémar during the night, and the bishop, after deploring the selfish feuds of the princes, ordered the whole army to hold a fast and then walk barefooted around the city walls. If they did so with true repentance in their hearts, then within nine days the city would fall to them. Peter Desiderius’s previous vision had not carried conviction, but now the whole crusade was hungry for a sign from God and from the beloved bishop whom they had lost. The instructions were carefully obeyed. A fast was immediately ordained and strictly kept. On the evening of the third day, Friday, July 8, the Moslems, watching in derision from the walls, saw a solemn procession winding round the path at their feet. First came the bishops and all the clergy, carrying crosses and relics, then the princes and knights, then the foot-soldiers and the pilgrims. No one who could walk was absent. After finishing the circuit the whole host ascended the Mount of Olives. There Peter the Hermit preached to them with all his old eloquence. He was followed by Raymond’s chaplain, Raymond of Aguilers, then by Arnulf Malecorne, Robert of Normandy's chaplain, who was considered the finest preacher in the army. Everyone was deeply moved, and even Raymond and Tancred forgot their enmity and swore to work together for the faith.

For the next two days, despite their sufferings, the men worked hard to complete the siege towers. Even old men and women helped, sewing ox-hides and camel-hides to nail onto the exposed parts. On July 10 the two great structures were ready. One was wheeled up to face the north wall and the other to face the wall across Mount Sion. A third, slightly smaller, was brought up opposite the northwest corner. The garrison had not seen the construction of the towers and was surprised and alarmed. Iftikhfar hastily strengthened the weaker sections of the defenses, and began a steady bombardment of the towers with stones and with Greek fire.

The attack was timed to begin on the night of July 13-14. A feint would be made on the northwest wall, but the main forces would attack simultaneously on the eastern sector of the north wall and on Mount Sion. The first task was to bring the wooden towers right up to the walls, which involved filling up the ditch outside the walls. The whole day of July 14 was spent on this work, while stones and liquid fire were poured down from the walls. By evening Raymond's tower had closed in against the wall. But Iftikhar himself was in command of the defense on the Mount Sion sector; and Raymond’s men could not establish themselves on the wall itself. Early next morning Godfrey’s tower was in place, close to the Gate of Flowers, with Godfrey and his brother Eustace commanding from the upper story. About midday their men succeeded at last in making a bridge from the tower to the top of the wall; and two Flemish knights, Letold and Gilbert of Tournai, led a party across, followed soon by Godfrey himself. Once a section of the wall was taken, it was possible to use scaling-ladders, and more and more of the Lorrainers climbed up, followed by Tancred and his men. While the Lorrainers fought their way to open the Gate of the Column to the main army. Tancred penetrated through the streets towards the Temple area, al-Haram ash-Sharif. The Moslems fled before him, hoping to use the mosque called al-Aqsa as their last defense. Tancred barely stopped to desecrate and pillage the Dome of the Rock, before he was on them. Seeing that all was lost, they surrendered to Tancred, who promised them their lives, and set his banner to wave over the mosque. Others of the crusaders rushed through the main streets, pushing the defenders in confusion to the southwest corner, where Iftikhar was with difficulty holding out against Raymond. Early in the afternoon Iftikhar gave up the struggle. He had retired to the fortress of the Tower of David, by the Jaffa Gate, and he offered to hand it over to Raymond, with all the treasure that it contained, if he and his bodyguard were allowed to leave the city. Raymond accepted his terms and occupied the Tower, and provided Iftikhar with an escort to take him through the lines and leave him free to join the Egyptian garrison at Ascalon.

Iftikhar and his bodyguard were the only Moslems to save their lives. The crusaders rushed through the streets and into the houses slaying everyone that they saw, man, woman, and child. The refugees in the Aqa mosque found Tancred’s banner no protection. Early next morning a party of crusaders broke into the mosque and killed them all. The Jews fled in a body to their chief synagogue. But the building was set on fire and they all perished within. When the carnage stopped, the streets were run­ning with blood, and round the Temple area one stepped over corpses all the way. The horror of the massacre in the holy city was never forgotten nor forgiven by Islam.

The crusade had attained its goal. The capture of the great fortress of Jerusalem had been an achievement remarkable for even so fanatically brave and confident an army. But in itself it did not assure the success of the crusade. There was still a large Egyptian army in the field; and there was the future government of the conquered land to be arranged. The first task was to establish some order in Jerusalem itself. On Sunday, July 17, the princes met to discuss their plans. First, they dealt with administrative matters on which they could all agree. The streets and buildings had to be cleared of the corpses. Quarters had to be allotted to the troops. The orderly return of the local Christians had to be arranged. Preparations must be made to meet the coming attack of the Egyptian army. Then there were delicate personal problems to be faced. Was, for instance, Tancred to be allowed to keep the eight huge silver lamps and the other loot that he had taken from the Dome of the Rock? In the midst of the discussion someone raised the question of the election of a king. The clergy at once protested. Spiritual needs came first. A patriarch must be appointed who could preside over the election. Had the Orthodox patriarch, Symeon, been in Jerusalem, his rights would probably have been respected. But he was in exile in Cyprus with all his higher clergy; and he was known to be old and very ill. In fact he had died a few days before the capture of the city. Adhémar, whom everyone would have gladly accepted and whose guidance was sorely needed, was dead. After Adhémar, William of Orange had been the most revered of the bishops; but he too had died. There was no outstanding ecclesiastic. When Arnulf, bishop of Marturana, proposed his friend Arnulf Malecorne, the Lorrainers were unenthusiastic and the southern French regarded it as a Norman plot. No other candidate came forward. The patriarchal election was postponed.

But a secular governor was essential. There were four princes from whom the choice could be made, Raymond of Toulouse, Godfrey of Bouillon, Robert of Flanders, and Robert of Normandy. Tancred did not carry enough prestige, and Eustace of Boulogne was overshadowed by his brother Godfrey. Of the four, Robert of Flanders was the ablest; but he was known to wish to return to Flanders. Robert of Normandy was popular and was respected as the head of the Norman people; but he lacked a strong personality, and he too was unwilling to remain in the east. The only serious candidates were Raymond and Godfrey. Raymond was a man of mature age and experience and great wealth. He had been the close associate of bishop Adhémar and the only prince whom pope Urban had consulted. But his colleagues resented his pretensions. His policy of cooperation with Byzantium was unpopular, even with his own men. The siege of Arqah had not added to his reputation as a skilled commander-in-chief; and he had lost prestige over the holy lance. His piety and courage were acknowledged, but neither his politics nor his generalship inspired confidence. Godfrey, on the other hand, was popular and respected. He was descended from Charlemagne, and had held the high post of duke of Lower Lorraine. He too was renowned for piety and courage, and he had been the first prince to enter Jerusalem. He had not been a very efficient duke in Lorraine, and he had shown a weak obstinacy at Constantinople. But his failings were unknown to the ordinary crusader, who respected him as a gallant and godly man.

The electoral body consisted probably of the higher clergy and the knights who were tenants-in-chief to a prince at home. The crown was first offered to Raymond, who refused it, probably because he felt that the offer did not command general support. He declared that he would not be king in Christ’s earthly kingdom, hoping no doubt thus to prevent anyone else from accepting the kingship. The electors then turned to Godfrey, whom the two Roberts were known to support. He accepted the post of prince for the purpose of fighting the “infidel”, and, while likewise refusing a royal title, he decided to be called Advocatus Sancti Sepulcri, the dedicated defender of the Holy Sepulcher, a title which gave him secular authority but did not prejudice the rights of the church. His piety was sincere. He seems to have shared the view of the average crusader that the Holy Land should be an ecclesiastical patrimony. It was only after the greater part of the crusade had gone home and left a handful of adventurers to colonize and rule the country that public opinion demanded a king.

Raymond thought that he had been tricked and took Godfrey’s election badly. He possessed the Tower of David, surrendered to him by Iftikhar, and he refused to give it up. Only after the two Roberts remonstrated with him did he agree to leave it in the hands of the bishop of Albara, till a council of the church decided on the whole case. As soon as he had moved out, the bishop handed it to Godfrey, telling Raymond, untruthfully, that he could not have defended it for lack of arms. Raymond angrily declared that he would return home, and meanwhile moved with all his troops down to Jericho, where he led them in a solemn pilgrimage to the Jordan, following a ritual that Peter Bartholomew had ordained in one of his visions. He refused to return to Jerusalem.

With the southern French away the Norman were able to control the council that now met to elect a patriarch. Arnulf Malecorne’s supporters were successful in securing his appointment. The southern French vainly pointed out that Arnulf was not even a sub-deacon and that his lack of morals was notorious. Arnulf’s elevation was generally welcomed, though his enemies remembered that it was not strictly canonical. He set about re­organizing the church of the Holy Sepulcher and starting exclusively Latin services there, to the disgust of the local Christians of every rite, whose clergy were banished from the shrine.

Godfrey’s relations with his colleagues worsened after his elevation. Somehow he offended Robert of Normandy; and Robert of Flanders seems to have grown less friendly to him. But before there was any open breach, the expected Egyptian attack had to be met. The vizir al-Afdal was himself in command of the forces which had now crossed into Palestine and were approaching Ascalon. He sent an embassy to Jerusalem to reproach the Franks for having invaded Fatimid territory unprovoked and to order them to evacuate the province. The ambassadors were dismissed at once, and Godfrey prepared to lead the crusading army down to the plain to meet the enemy. His brother Eustace had gone with Tancred a few days previously to occupy the country round Nablus. A messenger from Godfrey summoned them to descend towards Ascalon and discover the strength and the movements of the Egyptians. Meanwhile Godfrey mustered his own troops and called on his colleagues to join him. Robert of Flanders answered the call at once; but Robert of Normandy and Raymond, who was still at Jericho, hung back. They would wait, they said, till the seriousness of the invasion was confirmed.

On August 9 Godfrey and Robert set out from Jerusalem with all their men, accompanied by the patriarch Arnulf. At Ramla they met Eustace and Tancred, who reported that the enemy was in full force at Ascalon. The bishop of Marturana was sent back to impress on Robert of Normandy and on Raymond that their help was needed at once. They were convinced now, and followed with their armies, catching up with Godfrey on August 11 at Ibelin, a few miles beyond Ramla. Only a handful of soldiers were left in Jerusalem, where Peter the Hermit was instructed to hold daily services of intercession, attended by Latins and native Christians alike.

By the evening of August 11 the whole Christian army reached Ashdod, where the herds that the Egyptians had brought to feed their troops were grazing. The herdsmen were surprised and killed and the beasts rounded up. After a brief night’s rest the Christians hurried on to arrive at sunrise in the fertile plain of al-Majdal, just to the north of the fortress of Ascalon. The whole Egyptian army was encamped in the plain, completely ignorant that the enemy was so near. The Christian lines were formed with Raymond on the right, next to the sea, the two Roberts and Tancred in the center, and Godfrey on the left. Finding the Moslems unprepared, they charged at once in a curved line onto the camp. The Egyptians were barely awake before the Frankish knights were upon them. They hardly attempted to resist. Raymond on the right drove numbers of them to perish in the sea. In the center Robert of Normandy and Tancred drove right into the heart of their camp, and Robert's bodyguard captured the visits tent with his banner and many of his possessions. Farther inland other Egyptians took refuge in a tangled sycamore grove, which was set alight, and they were burned to death. Al-Afdal himself fled with his bodyguard behind the walls of Ascalon, whence a few days later he took ship for Egypt. Within a few hours the whole Egyptian host had been slaughtered or put to flight, and the Christians were masters of the field.

The booty captured at the battle was immense. Few of the soldiers did not return the richer. Robert of Normandy bought the vizir’s standard from the soldier that had taken it for twenty silver marks and presented it to the patriarch. The vizir’s sword was sold by another Norman to one of the princes for sixty bezants. A vast amount of bullion and jewelry was discovered in the camp, together with stores of armaments and numbers of horses. On Saturday, August 13, the army returned in a triumphal procession to Jerusalem, bearing the captured treasures with them. What they could not carry was burnt on the spot.

The victory at Ascalon was the complement to the capture of Jerusalem. It ensured the crusaders’ possession of Palestine, It crowned the great adventure of the First Crusade. The Holy Land had been rescued for Christendom. The problem now was howto maintain and govern it.