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Joseph Francois Michaud. 




VOL. I. 


714 Broadway. 

OCT 2 4 1949 


The publication of a new edition of this standard 
work finds its justification in the wide-spread interest 
in historical study and in the importance of the events 
which it describes with such fullness and accuracy. 
The popular demand for histories of the best class is 
unprecedented in the annals of book-making, and is 
substantial evidence of a growing taste for the most 
important literature. The standard historians have 
one after another been published in attractive editions, 
and are rapidly filling the libraries of English-speaking 
people everywhere. In this remarkable development of 
popular interest in historical literature, so striking an 
episode as that of the Crusades could not be left with- 
out its record, and the story is nowhere told so enter- 
tainingly and comprehensively as in the pages of 
Michaud. It is a story worthy of careful study, not 
only on account of its intrinsic interest, but because of 
its significance in that larger history of Europe of which 
it forms, in many respects, the most dramatic and pic- 
turesque chapter. 

There has been of late an immense advance in the 
methods of historical investigation, and the contem- 
poraneous historian studies the events which he under- 
takes to portray from a new standpoint. It would be 
difficult to find in any other department of literary 
work a wider difference of method and aim than that 
which separates Robertson's Charles V. from Free- 


man's Norman Conquest of England. The c/ue is no 
longer sought in the hands of trained diplomatists, but 
in the broad, though less obvious, unfolding of the 
popular life. To the most advanced school of his- 
torians Eobin Hood is almost as important as Ki chard 
I. The historical writer of the last age worked with 
a pictorial imagination, weaving his story about the 
striking characters and episodes of an age ; the same 
writer to-day, with an imagination trained in philosoph- 
ical methods, discerns the dimly outlined movement 
of national life behind the pageantry of courts, the 
struggles of parties, and the rush of events. It is 
doubtless this very deepening of historical study and 
broadening of historical effect which has made the his- 
tory the rival of the romance in popular interest. The 
studied narrative of Hume repels in spite of its trust- 
worthiness, while Green's portrayal of the national 
development against a background of equally trust- 
worthy fact charms a host of readers into repeated 

The epoch of the Crusades is important from the 
standpoint of either school. Prescott and Professor 
Seeley would each find in it material to his fancy. 
Studied with an eye to pictorial effect, what series of 
events could be more impressive than that which 
chronicles the successive campaigns to capture and 
hold Jerusalem ? If chivalry was ever anything more 
than an aftergrowth of fancy and sentiment, it was in 
the fierce struggles which centered around the Holy 
City. The virtues of Feudalism were never more strik- 
ingly illustrated than during the brief period in which 
a handful of knights held Jerusalem against a circle 
of hostile nations. Separated by long and perilous 
marches from Europe, hemmed in by enemies whose 


multitude made their own scanty ranks insignificant, 
sustained by a courage that nothing could daunt, a 
purpose that nothing could defeat, a skill" in arms which 
made their skeleton armies a host, they long maintained 
the hopeless struggle of a Christian colony against Asia 
in arms to destroy it. 

Tancred, Godfred de Bouillon, Eichard and Saladin, 
are names which haye made knighthood synonymous 
with honor, loyalty, and courage. Their personal ex- 
ploits, no less than the larger achievements in which 
they bore their part, make the age of the Crusades a 
field from which literature has been enriched with heroic 
characters and dramatic incidents from the days of 
Eaoul de Caen and Tasso to the present. These expe- 
ditions furnish the most striking episode in European 
history, inspired as they were by religious emotion, 
prosecuted under the most perilous conditions, dis- 
playing in the most effective contrasts the loftiest 
and the basest passions of men, and foreordained from 
the beginning to a disastrous failure, which hangs over 
the narrative as invisibly, but as inevitably, as the doom 
which overshadows a Greek tragedy. If they had no 
deeper interest than that which attaches to wide and 
varied disclosures of character, to vast and varied 
achievements, these warlike pilgrimages would be 
worthy the most thoughtful study. 

The Crusades have, however, a deeper significance 
than any isolated personages or events, however pictur- 
esque or imposing, ever possess. They brought two 
civilizations into conflict, and no events are more im- 
portant than those which secure the contact of different 
civilizations. In contemporaneous history nothing is 
so suggestive of change as the wonderful return of 
Western upon Eastern civilization in Egypt, Syria, 




India, and Japan. The contact of Western with East- 
ern knowledge and thought in the Crusades was by no 
means so fruitful as that which came about through 
the conquests of Alexander and, later, of Eome, but 
it was not without great results. The Crusades es- 
tablished an intercourse between the East and the 
West, which if often hostile, has neyertheless kept an 
open channel for that interchange of thought and in- 
dustry, which in the single department of comparatiye 
philology has made possible a marvelous adyance into 
an unsuspected region of knowledge. The study of 
Sanskrit has opened an epoch in historical and literary 
inyestigation, which Professor Eiske declares will be 
not less fruitful in the intellectual progress of the 
world than was the age of the Renaissance. 

The Crusades united for the first time the warring 
States of Europe in a common purpose and a common 
enterprise. It accustomed the overburdened people to 
the thought of a higher authority than that of thf 
special tyranny under which they happened to be born, 
and so prepared the way for the growth of larger ideas 
of authority and citizenship. The power of Feudalism 
was measurably weakened by the disasters which over- 
took successive expeditions led by the flower of chivalry, 
and this result made possible the unfolding of the 
monarchical princi23lo which was to play so important a 
part in the political development of Europe. In short, 
the wide disturbance which tliese successive expeditions 
to the East introduced, loosened perceptibly tlie iron 
framework of feudal tyranny which held European 
society bound and helpless, and by gradual disintegra- 
tion prepared the soil for the seeds of popular institu- 
tions. H. W. M. 


"We are not of those who think that readers are without 
curiosity as to the position in life, actions, and fortunes of 
4he authors who afford them instruction or pleasure ; the 
eagerness with which the birthplaces of men of genius are 
sought for and commemorated ; the fondness with which 
their most trifling actions are dwelt upon ; and the endless 
collections that are made of their conversations and sayings> 
prove that this cannot be the case. 

In a prefatory memoir, we can scarcely go into so many 
details of the life of Michaud, as, perhaps, the subject de- 
serves. Michaud was not a mere author, whose history 
may be read in his works. He lived at a momentous 
period, and was no idle spectator of passing events ; a com- 
plete life of Michaud would, indeed, swell to a history of 
Prance from 1790 to 1839. 

Joseph rran9ois Michaud, born at Albens, in Savoy, on 
the 19th of June, in the year 1767, was descended from a 
family that traced its nobility beyond the tenth century. 
One of his ancestors, Hugh Michaud de Corcelles, was 
deservedly distinguished by the emperor Charles Y. The 
father of Joseph was obliged to leave his country, in conse- 
quence of what is termed by his biographer, a piece of boyish 
rashness, but which we prefer relating to any of the warlike 
deeds of the abovenamed Hugh. "Whilst on a shooting 
party, he sought refreshment in a cottage, and found the 
mistress of it in the greatest distress ; for, at the moment of 


his entrance, officers were bearing away hei humble fur- 
niture, for the paltry sum of sixty francs. He offered to 
pay the amount if they would come with him to his home ; 
but they refused, and continued their operations in his pre- 
sence. This irritated him to such a degree, that he threat- 
ened to make use of his gun ; and, at length, struck one of 
them so severe a blow with the stock of it, that the fellow 
died immediately. He retired to a place near Bourg, in 
Bresse, where he married ; and he afterwards estabUshed 
himself as a notary and commissary at Terrier, in that 
province. An early death left his widow burdened with a 
numerous family, of which Joseph was the eldest. Notwith- 
standing this calamity, he received an excellent education at 
the college of Bourg, and acquired great credit as a rhe- 
torician and a composer of French verses. His studies and 
some juvenile travels completed, it became necessary for him 
to fix upon a mode of getting a living ; and the narrowness 
of his mother's resources confining his efforts to trade, he 
went into the house of a bookseller at Lyon, attracted, no 
doubt, by the affinity between the bookseller and the man of 
letters. He remained here till 1790, when the passage of 
the rich, influential, and intellectual Countess Fanny de 
Beauharnais through that city, aroused all the provincial 
muses to make their offerings to the great lady. Amonp 
the poets, Michaud was so successful, that he thought him- 
self warranted in following her to Paris, with the view ot 
pursuing a literary career under her auspices. Immediately 
on his arrival, he laid the contents of his poetical portfolip 
before the public, and soon became the associate of Cerisier, 
in the Gazette Universelle, and with Esmenard, in the PoA- 
tillon de la Guerre. His opinions and early associations led 
him towards the Boyalist party, to which the accession oA 
his talents was very acceptable. He may be said to have 
been faithful to his colours, through all the disasters of thr 
unhappy cause he had embraced ; for, in spite of imprison 
ment, banishment, and repeated concealments, we find hinik, 
in 1799, publishing two satirical pamphlets against Buona- 
parte, by the orders of Louis XYIII. One of his escape« 
was so well managed^ and so opportunely effected, that we 
will offer an account of it to our readers. He had been sent 
prisoner to Paris^ walking between two mounted gendarmes, 


who were directed not to spare him, and if fatigue relaxed 
his speed, they were to refresh him with the flat sides of 
their sabres. As he entered Paris in this fbrlorn condition, 
he was met by his zealous friend Giguet, whose sorrow only 
set his fertile brain to work to devise means for his escape. 
As Michaud was, during many days, conducted from his 
prison to the Tuileries, to undergo examination, Giguet at 
first thought that the best way would be to blow out the 
brains of the two gendarmes that escorted him ; but this he 
rejected as unworthy of a man of genius. Choosing a point 
in Midland's passage that would answer his purpose, he 
stopped the party, and aflfecting to know nothing of the 
matter, and not to have seen his friend since his arrival in 
Paris, was eager in his inquiries as to how his health was, 
what he was doing, where he was going, and insisted upon 
his breakfasting with him. "No, no," answered Michaud, 
" I have a little affair yonder, at the Tuileries, just a few 
words of explanation to give — only the business of a minute 
or two. — Begin breakfast without me, I shall be back pre- 
sently." "That won't do; that won't do; they do not 
despatch people so quickly as all that. Perhaps they won't 
begin with you ; let us have oiu* breakfast first. I dare say 
these gentlemen (pointing to the gendarmes) have not 
breakfasted, and will have no objection to a cutlet and a 
glass of Bourdeaux wine ! and here's the best house in Paris, 
close at hand." The gendarmes, after a little faint hesita- 
tion, suffered themselves to be seduced; and prisoner, guards, 
and friends were soon comfortably seated at table. They 
eat, they drink, they pass bumper toasts, and talk a little 
about everything ; but most particularly about Bresse and 
the good cheer that was there always to be met with — but 
the pullets of Bresse ! never was such eating as the pullets 
of Bresse ! The mouths of the gendarmes watered at the 
bare description of them. " Parbleu, gentlemen," cried 
Giguet, " since you have never partaken of our country pul- 
lets, I will undertake to convince you that there are none 
such in the eighty-three departments. We have plenty of 
time ; you can eat a httle bit more, and appetite comes with 

drinking (and he filled the glasses). Waiter, here! a 

Bresse pullet ! no tricks, mind ; it must be from Bresse — 
Qot from Mans. But, stop ; Michaud, you understand these 


things better than anybody ; have an eye to these fellows . 
go down into the kitchen, and see that they don't cheat us. 
Good health to you, gentlemen." "Whilst they are drinking, 
Michaud rises, and is soon out of the house. Giguet had 
the art to keep the guards another half-hour at table, by 
saying his friend was only watching the cooking, for a Bresse 
pullet was worth nothing if not roasted a la Bresse ; and 
when they discovered Michaud was not in the kitchen, he 
asserted it must either be a joke, or else he was ill, and gone 
home ; and contrived to lead them a long useless search in a 
way directly opposite to that which he knew the late prisoner 
had taken. Michaud's escape was a happy one; for that very 
day, the council had condemned him to death. Poor Giguet's 
friendly zeal cost him nearly a month's imprisonment, and 
placed his life even in jeopardy. 

The career of Buonaparte was so successful, that, at length, 
further resistance seemed useless, and Michaud even wrote 
complimentary verses on the marriage of Napoleon with 
Maria Louisa, and upon the birth of the young king of 
Home. But this submission to circumstances was no volun- 
tary homage ; he was still at heart faithfully attached to the 
Bourbons. For a length of time he resisted the tempting 
offers of the emperor, and one of his refusals, for its wit, if 
not for its patriotism, almost deserves to be placed by the 
side of Andrew Marvel's. Eontaines, Buonaparte's emissary, 
said to him : " There must be an end to all resistance ; it is 
diminishing every day. Come, do as other men do. Look 
at Delille, for instance, he has just accepted a pension of six 
thousand francs." "Oh! as to that," replied Michaud, 
" he is so frightened, that he would accept a pension of a 
hundred thousand francs, if you were to offer it to him." 
Posterity, perhaps, may be thauKful that he was driven from 
politics to literature. During one of his necessary exiles, he 
had written his beautiful poem of "Le Printemps d'un 
Proscrit :" h* afterwards became associated with his brother 
as a bookseller, and planned and executed the works of 
which we will furnish a list. Whatever opinion migm; be 
entertained of his talents, it is more than probable that 
without his implied submission to Buonaparte, he never 
would have obtained that object of the hopes of all French 
authors, the immortal fauteuil in the Academy. This honour 


he attained in 1818, and, upon tliu publication of his fourth 
volume of the "History of the Crusades," had the gratifica- 
tion of signing himself " Knight of the Order of St. John 
of Jerusalem," and " Knight of the Holy Sepulchre :" titles 
bestowed upon him, unasked, by the commanders represent- 
ing the order of St. John of Jerusalem in Prance. 

He watched with intense anxiety the madly ambitious 
career of Buonaparte, and hailed with unfeigned delight the 
return of his patrons, the Bourbons. He had no cause to 
complain of their ingratitude, and occupied as good a posi- 
tion as a literary man could expect, when the escape from 
Elba, during a hundred days, disturbed his occupations, and 
placed him in considerable danger. He left Paris ; returned 
again, and put himself forward for a struggle : but finding 
resistance daugerous and useless, he retired to the depart- 
ment of the Ain, where he concealed himself till the tempest 
had blown over ; his celebrated journal, the Quotidienne, in 
the mean time, degenerating into the Feuille du Jour, or 
rather, as a wit said, " La Peuille de la veille (last night's 
journal) ; for it was only edited by scissors, and contained 
nothing but scraps from the Moniteur and other inoffensive 
journals." The JS'ain Jaune (yellow dwarf) took unfair ad- 
vantage of an enemy, who, he knew, could not answer him, 
and bestowed upon Michaud tho- sobriquet of " Grrand Master 
of the Order of the Extinguishers," which stuck to him with 
the burlike pertinacity of sobriquets, for many years after 
the second restoration of the Bourbons. He welcomed this 
last event by the publication of a pamphlet entitled " Tho 
History of the Eifteen Weeks, or the Last Eeign of Buona- 
parte," which had a great sale, twenty-seven editions of it 
appearing in a very short period. Having, since his success 
as an author, separated from his brother as a bookseller, and 
Bold his share in the printing office, he, after 1815, gave 
himself up to the prosecution of his great work on the cru- 
sades, and even parted with his portion of *' La Bi igraphie 
Universelle." His love of politics led him, at this .ime, to 
gei returned as deputy for the department of the Ain : but 
alas ! he found it a very different thing fcjr a man with a 
weak voice, and totally " unaccustomed to public speaking," 
to sit and write uncontrolled and unobserved in his closet, — • 
and to be subject to the "retort courteous' of an enemy 


who watches for your mistakes, corrects your errors, and 
mercilessly refutes all your favourite arguments : after the 
trial of one sessions, he retired from his deputyship, and 
gave up all hopes of fame as an orator. 

During the celebrity of his journal, the Quotidienne, he 
was made reader to .the king, with a salary of 3,000 francs ; 
to which appointment was attached the somewhat strange 
stipulation, that he should never be called upon to perform 
its duties. After 1819, when a plan was devised of buying 
up the influential journals, Michaud and his fellow-proprie- 
tors were offered 500,000 francs for theirs, which our author 
declined. " Monseigneur," said he to the excellency who 
solicited him, " there is but one thing for which I could be 
tempted to sell the Quotidienne, and that would be a little 
health. If you could give me that, I might allow myself to 
be corrupted." The minister, YiUele, returned repeatedly to 
the charge, but when, in consequence of the increasing 
weakness of his health, the sexagenarian Michaud parted 
with the greater part of his shares of the journal, it was 
only to pass them over to another self, his friend Laurentie. 

Whilst carrying on his great work, he had been surprised 
to meet with a vast quantity of matter which he had not 
dreamt of when he began it ; and he conceived the idea of 
not only reconstructing his h^tory, but of going to the 
Holy Land, in search of more information. Although it 
was too late for such an attempt, his fame procured him 
encouragement ; and the king, Charles X., so far favoured it 
as to give him 25,000 francs to defray his expenses. He 
set out at the beginning of 1830. "Whatever gratification 
he derived from his voyage, it must have been sadly damped 
by the news he received from France during that eventftu 
year. To complete his griefs, he likewise at this period lost 
200,000 francs, the greater part of his fortune, which he 
had imprudently placed in unsafe hands. He still, however, 
had a moderate competence, and might ha\e passed the re- 
mainder of his days in ease, but for that mismanagement to 
which the families of literary men are so frequently subject. 
On his return from the Holy Land he sojourned for a tima 
in Italy, where he was kindly welcomed by his natural 
sovereign, Charles Albert. In 1837 he was named membi^r 
of the Academic des Inscriptions ; but honours jfrom mon- 


urchs and academies could not put off the fatal hour, and 
he died at the elegant village of Passy on the 30th of Sep- 
tember, 1839. On this occasion was exhibited an instance 
of what our poet calls " the ruling passion, strong in death." 
Few authors had reccLv^ed more adulation, and no one could 
be more covetous of it. Extraordinary instances are told 
of the copious draughts of this intoxicating beverage that 
were offered to him, and of the greediness with which he 
swallowed them. " Never," says his biographer, " although 
he loved to be called the La Fontaine of journalis^n, did he 
think of the second fable of the good man." * One of the 
most extravagant of his flatterers said to a friend, admitted 
for a last interview, — " With all his weakness, not the least 
trace of decline of intellect ; still the same facility of expres- 
sion, still the same lucidity." — This aroused Michaud, upon 
whom the affectionate words of a sincere friend had just 
before produced no effect. He started, and sitting upright 
in his bed, exclaimed, in a tremulous voice, — " Yes ! yes ! 

still the same ! still " and he sunk exhausted and dying 

on his pillow : these were his last words ! 

To criticise the works of Michaud properly would require 
a volume ; we can therefore only lay before our readers a list 
of such as from their merit and celebrity are ever likely to 
fall under the eye of English readers. His greatest claim to 
the attention of posterity is doubtless the one before us, "The 
History of the Crusades," of which his biographer, who is 
certainly less of an eulogist than any one we ever saw assume 
a similar task, very justly says, — " It may be said, without 
exaggeration, that it is one of the most valuable historical 
works that our age has produced. To its completion he sacri- 
ficed almost every moment of twenty of the best years of his 
life." No reader requires to be told that it was a labour of 
love. — He was the founder of, and a considerable contributor 
to, *' La Biographic Universelle," a work which England may 
envy Erance the conception and execution of ; and if to these 
we add his beautiful poem of " Le Printemps d'un Proscrit," 
we think we name all that he wrote that would be interesting 
at the present day : the other historical works are feeble, 
and the political squibs of a journalist after a lapse of half 

* Le Corbeau et le Retiard. 


a conturj, are only acceptable to him who may be writing 
the history of the time. In this latter vein we may, how- 
ever, suppose him to have excelled ; mixed up from an early 
age with politics and journalism ; possessed of a lively ima- 
gination and great facility of expression ; constantly in the 
world, and deeply interested in its movements ; we can fancy 
his vers de societe, of which so much is said, to have beec 
piquant and sparkling. We subjoin a specimen, written 
upon Buonaparte's expedition to Egypt : — 

Que de lauriers tombis dans I'eau, 
Et que de fortunes perdues ! 
Que d'hommes courent au tombeau, 
Pour porter Bonaparte aux nues I 
Ce heros vaut son pesant d'or ; 
En France, personne n'en doute ; 
Mais il vaudrait bien plus encore, 
S'il valoit tout ce qu'il nous coute. 

What laurels in the waters fall, 
What fortunes sink no more to rise ! 
What men lie shrouded in death's pall, 
That Bonaparte may gain the skies ! 
This hero 's worth his weight in gold ; 
In France of that there's no one doubts ; 
But greater far his worth, if sold 
At what he costs — or thereabouts ! 

As a conversationalist his reputation stands even higher 
than that of our Coleridge ; for the stream was quite aa 
constant and abundant, and at the same time much more 
pellucid. One of our English biographical dictionaries says 
he was censor of the press under Louis XVIII,, but this we 
believe is not correct ; indeed it was an office scarcely suit- 
able for the editor and proprietor of such a journal as the 
Quotidienne. He was a member of the Academy and of the 
Institute, a knight of St. John of Jerusalem and of the 
Holy Sepulchre, and for a short time yq\ resentative of the 
department of the Ain. These were his temporary honours 
— much more durable and brilliant ones belong to him aa 
the author of the work before us. 

W. K. 


The history of the middle ages presents no spectacle 
more imposing than the Crusades, in which are fo be seen 
the nations of Asia and of Europe armed against tjach other, 
two religions contenduig for superiority, and diisputing the 
empire of the world. After having been several times 
threatened by the Mussulmans, and a long time exposed to 
their invasions, all at once the West arouses itself, and 
appears, according to the expression of a Greek historian,* 
to tear itself from its foundation, in order to precipitate 
itself upon Asia. AU nations abandon their interests and 
their rivalries, and see upon the face of the earth but one 
single country worthy of the ambition of conquerors. One 
would believe that there no longer exists in the universe any 
other city but Jerusalem, or any other habitable spot of 
earth but that which contains the tomb of Jesus Christ. All 
the roads which lead to the holy city are deluged with blood, 
and present nothing but the scattered spoils and wrecks of 

In this general confusion we may contemplate the sub- 
limest virtues mixed with all the disorders of the wildest 
passions. The Christian soldiers have at the same time to 
contend against famine, the influence of climate, and enemies 
the most formidable ; in the greatest dangers, in the midst 
'>f their successes and their constant discords, nothing can 

• Aniia Comnena, History of the Emperor AleuciuM, 


exhaust either their perseverance or their resignation. After 
four years of fatigue, of miseries, and of victories, Jeru- 
salem is taken by the Crusaders ; but as their conquests are 
not the work of wisdom and prudence, but the fruit of blind 
enthusiasm and ill-directed heroism, they create nothing but 
a transient power. 

The banner of the cross soon passes from the hands of 
Godfrey de Bouillon into those of his weak and imbecile 
successors. Jerusalem, now a Christian city, is obliged 
again to apply for succour to the West. At the voice of 
St. Bernard, the Christians take arms. Conducted by an 
emperor of Grermany and a king of Erance, they fly to the 
defence of the Holy Land ; but they have no longer great 
c&ptains among them ; they have none of the magnanimity 
or heroic resignation of their fathers. Asia, which beholds 
their coming without terror, already presents a new spec- 
tacle. The disciples of Mahomet awaken from their apathy ; 
they are at once seized with a frenzy equal to that which 
had armed their enemies ; they oppose enthusiasm to enthu- 
siasm, fanaticism to fanaticism, and in their turn burn with 
a desire to shed their blood in a religious war. 

The spirit of discord which had destroyed their power is 
no longer felt but among the Christians. Luxury and the 
manners of the East weaken the courage of the defenders 
of the cross, and make them forget the object even of the 
holy war. Jerusalem, which had cost the Crusaders so 
much blood, falls again into the power of the infidels, and 
becomes the conquest of a wise and warlike prince, who had 
united under his banner the forces of Sjria and Egypt. 

The genius and fortune of Saladin inflict a mortal blow 
upon the ill-assured power of the Christians in the East. 
In vain an emperor of the West, and two kings celebrated 
for their bravery, place themselves at the head of the whole 
powers of their states to deliver Palestine ; these new armies 
of Crusaders meet everywhere with brave enemies and 
invincible barriers, and all their united efforts produce 
nothing but illustrious disasters. The kingdom of Jeru- 
salem, for whose ruins they contend, is no longer anything 
but a vaii> name ; soon even the captivity and the miseries 
of the holy city cease to inspire the sentiments of piety and 
enthusiasm that they had given birtii to among ilie Christ 


tians. The Crusaders who had taken up arms for ita 
deliverance, suffer themselves to be seduced by the wealth 
of Greece, and stop short to undertake the conquest of 

From that time the spirit of the Crusaders begins to 
change ; whilst a small number of Christians still shed their 
blood for the deliverance of the tomb of Jesus Christ, the 
princes and the knights are deaf to everything but the 
voice of ambition. The popes complete the corruption of 
the true spirit of the Crusaders, by urging them on, by 
their preaching, against other Christian people, and against 
their own personal enemies. The holy wars then degenerate 
into civil wars, in which both religion and humanity are 

These abuses of the crusades, and the dire passions which 
had mixed themselves with them, plunge Europe in disorder 
and anarchy ; when a pious king undertakes once more to 
arm the powers of the West against the infidels, and to 
revive among the Crusaders the spirit which had animated 
the companions of Godfrey. The two wars directed by this 
pious chief, are more unfortunate than all the others. In 
the first, the world is presented with the spectacle of a cap- 
tive army and a king in fetters ; in the second, that of a 
powerful monarch dying in its ashes. Then it is that the 
illusion disappears, and Jerusalem ceases to attract all the 
attention of the West. 

Soon after, the face of Europe is changed ; intelligence 
dissipates barbarism ; the crusades no longer excite the same 
degree of enthusiasm, and the first effect of the civilization 
it begins to spread is to weaken the spirit of the fanaticism 
which had given them birth. Some few useless efforts are 
at times made to rekindle the fire which had burnt so 
fiercely in Europe and Asia. The nations are so completely 
recovered from the pious delirium of the Crusades, that 
when Germany finds itself menaced by the Mussulmans 
who are masters of Constantinople, the banner of the cross 
can with difficulty gather an army around it ; and Europe, 
which had risen in a mass to attack the infidels in Asia, 
opposes but a feeble resistance to them on its own ter- 

Such is, in a few words, the picture of the events and 


revolutions which the historian of the crusades has to 
describe. A writer who has preceded us by two centuries^ 
and who calls the history of the Crusades a right royal his- 
tory, is surprised at the silence preserved to his time.* " ] 
esteem it," says he, " a deplorable thing that such persons 
inferior in no way to those who have been so much cele* 
brated by the Gi-reeks and the Romans, should have falliu 
into such obscurity, that we search in vain to discovei 
who they were and what they did ; and they appear to m« 
highly culpable, who, possessing learning and the skill to 
write, have left these histories neglected." Everybody 
ought now to be of this opinion, and regret that our great 
writers have not entertained the noble subject of the Cru- 
sades. When I undertake to supply the want created by 
their silence, I am duly impressed with the difficulty of the 

They who, among us, have written ancient history, had 
for guides the historians of Rome and Athens. The bril- 
liant colours of Livy, of Tacitus, of Thucydides presented 
themselves naturally to their pencils ; but I have no models 
to follow, and am compelled to make those historians of the 
middle ages speak whom our times despise. They have 
rarely sustained me in my labour by the charm of their style, 
or the elegance of their narrations ; but if they have afforded 
me no lessons in the art of writing, they transmit to me at 
least events whose interest will make up for the deficiency 
of their talent or mine. Perhaps it will be found, in the 
perusal of this history, that a period in which everything is 
astonishing loses nothing by being presented in a simple and 
faithful picture. The unaffected style of our old historians, 
in my view, appears to reanimate the persons and the cha- 
racters they describe ; and if I have profited by that which 
they have taught me, the age in which they lived will not be 
ill represented in my pages. It would have been easy for 
me to have censured with severity, as has usually been done, 
tneir ignorance and their credulity, but I respect in them 
the frankness and the candour of the periods of which thjy 

* History of the Holy War made by the French and other Christiatig 
for the deliverance of Judea and the Holy Sepulchre, composed in Greek 
and French, by Yves Duchat, a Trojan. This history is translated almost 
literally from the History of Accolti, entitled De Bello Sacro, 


are fhe interpreters. "Witliout yielding faith to all thsy 
say, I have not disdained the fables they relate to us, and 
which were believed by their contemporaries '; for that which 
was thought worthy of credit then serves to picture to us 
the manners of our ancestors, and forms an essential part of 
the history of past ages. 

AYe do not now require much sagacity to discover m our 
ancient chronicles what is fabulous and what is not. A far 
more difficult thing is to reconcile, upon Bome points, the 
frequent contradictory assertions of the Latins, the G-reeks, 
and the Saracens, and to separate, in the history of the cru- 
sades, that which belongs to religious fanaticism, to policy, 
or to human passions. I do not pretend to resolve more 
skilfully than others these difficult problems, or to elevate 
myself above my subject, by offering positive judgments 
upon the nations and ages which will present themselves 
before me. Without giving myself up to digressions in 
which it is always easy to make a display of learning, after 
having scrupulously examined the historical monuments 
which remain to us, I will tell honestly what I believe to be 
the truth, and will leave dissertations to the erudite, and 
conjectures to philosophers. 

In an age in which some value is set upon an opinion of 
the crusades, it will be first asked, if the wars of the Cru- 
sades were just. Upon this head we have but little to an- 
swer : whilst the Crusaders believed that they were obeying 
God himself, by attacking the Saracens in the East, the lat- 
ter, who had invaded a part of Asia possessed by Christian 
people, who had got possession of Spain, who threatened 
Constantinople, the coasts of Italy, and several countries ot 
the West, did not reproach their enemies with making an 
unjust war, and left to fortune and victory the care of de- 
ciding a question almost always useless. 

We shall think it of more importance in this history to 
examine what was the cause and the nature c f these remote 
wars, and what has proved to be their influence on civiliza-* 
tion. The crusades were produced by the religious and 
military spirit which prevailed in Europe during the middle 
ages. The love of arms and religious fervour were two 
dominant passions, which, mingling in some way, lent each 
other a mutual energy. These two great principles united 


and acting together, gave birth to the holy war ; and car* 
ried, among the Crusaders, valour, resignation, and heroism 
of character to the highest degree of eminence. 

The part which the union of these two principles neces- 
sarily had in the undertaking of the holy wars will be plainly 
perceived in our narration. It will be much less easy for us 
to make all the results of the crusades appreciated. Some 
writers have seen nothing in these great expeditions but the 
most deplorable excesses, without any advantage to the ages 
that succeeded them ; others, on the contrary, maintain that 
we owe to them all the benefits of civilization. It is not, at 
present, my business to examine these two conflicting opi- 
nions. Without believing that the holy wars have done 
either all the good or all the harm that is attributed to them, 
it must be admitted that they were a source of bitter sorrow 
to the generations that saw them or took part in them ; but, 
like the ills and tempests of human life, which render man 
better, and often assist the progress of his reason, they have 
forwarded the experiences of nations ; and it may be said, 
that after having for a time seriously agitated and shaken 
society, they have, in the end, much strengthened the foun- 
dations of it. This opinion, when stripped of all spirit 
of exaggeration or system, will, perhaps, appear the most 
reasonable ; I, besides, experience some pleasure in adopting 
it, from its being consolatory to the age in which we live. 
The present generation which has witnessed the outbreak of 
so many passions on the political scene, which has passed 
through so many calamities, will not see without interest 
that Providence sometimes employs great revolutions to 
enlighten mankind, and to ensure the future prosperity of 


Biographical Notices of the Author .. .. .. Pfl^«vii 

Introduction to the History of the Crusades .. xv 

BOOK I.— A.D. 300-1095. 

Early pilgrimages to the Holy Land — Veneration for the Holy Sepul- 
chre — Palestine visited by the early Christians — Jerusalem their peaceful 
asylum — Profaned by Fire Worshippers — Recaptured by Heraclius — 
Spread of the religion of Mahomet — Worship of the Magi annihilated 
by Mohammedanism — Empire of Persia torn by intestine wars — Anarchy 
of the East — Fanaticism and bravery of the Saracens — Their conquests 
— Paganism annihilated by Mohammedanism — Monarchy of the Goths 
overturned — Charles Martel — The caliph Omar captures Jerusalem — 
Christians persecuted by the Mussulmans — Pilgrimages of Peter the 
Hermit, &c. — Haroun-al-Raschid — Charlemagne — Siege of Constanti- 
nople — Bagdad — Conquest of the Arabians — St. Bernard — Commerce of 
the East— Caliphs of Bagdad — The Fatimites — The Greeks — Antioch — 
Zimisces, emperor of the Greeks — Fatimite caliphs capture Jerusalem- 
Caliphs of Cairo — William of Tyre — -Persecutions of the Jews — Pilgrims 
welcomed everywhere — King Robert — Memphis — Bethlehem — Monas- 
teries for the pilgrims — Hospitals at Jerusalem — Mystery of the Re- 
demption — Pilgrimages of distinguished persons the forerunner of the 
Crusades — The Turks — The Sultan Mamouh — Togrul-Beg — Victorious 
career of the Turks — Malek-Scha — Jerusalem captured — Nicea — The 
Greeks — The Seldjouc tribes — Eleven emperors of Constantinople 
put to death — Death of Zimisces — Military ardour of the Franks — 
Michael Ducas — Pope Gregory VII. — Power of the popes — Rome — 
Pope Hildebrand — Pope Victor III. incites the Christians to take arms 
against the infidels — Conquests of the Genoese and Pisans — Peter the 
Hermit — His interviews with the patriarch of Jerusalem and Pope 
Urban II. — The crusades instigated by Peter — First determined on at 
the council of Clermont, convoked by Urban II. — Enthusiasm in their 
fayour pp. 1-60. 


BOOK II.— A.D. 1096-1097. 

Immense armies collected in various parts of Europe — Peter the 
Hermit chosen general of the crusade — Opposed by the Hungarians and 
Bulgarians — Semlin — Nissa — The Crusaders reach Constantinople — 
Alexius Comnenus — Rapacity and cruelties of the Crusaders — Their 
defeat and slaughter — Fresh armies sent from Europe — Their distin- 
gxiisheii leaders — They wage war against the Greeks — Alliance of Godfrey 
de Bouillon with Alexius of Constantinople — Wretched situation of the 
remains of Peter's army in Bithynia — The Turkish power — Kingdom of 
Ezeroum — Siege of Nice — Battle of Gorgoni — The Turks defeated by 
the Crusaders — Sultan of Nice desolates the country — Antiochetta — 
Iconium — Tarsus captured by Baldwin — His conflicts with Tancred— 
Capture of Alexandretta and Edessa by the Crusaders — They arrive iu 
Mesopotamia pp. 61—125. 

BOOK III.— A.D. 1097-1099. 

The Crusaders everywhere triumphant — Their sufferings in passing 
Mount Taurus — Enter Syria — Damascus — Aleppo — Capture of Chalcis 
and Artesia — Siege of Antioch — Sweno, king of Denmark — Barbarous 
treatment of the Turks — Ambassadors from Egypt — City of Harem— 
The Crusaders relieved by the Pisans and Genoese — -Baldwin, prince of 
Edessa — Antioch captured — Quarrel of Godfrey de Bouillon and Bohe- 
mond — Kerbogha, sultan of Mossoul — Sultan of Persia sends an im- 
mense arpay against the Crusaders — Contests before Antioch — Sufferings 
of the Crusaders — Subtle policy of Alexius — Kerbogha besieges Antioch 
—Pretended miracles — The sacred lance — Speech of Peter the Hermit to 
the Saracen leaders, and Kerbogha's haughty reply — Saracens defeated by 
the Crusaders — Instances of heroic bravery — Magnificent encampment 
of Kerbogha — The miraculous influence of the holy lance doubted- 
Death of Baldwin count of Hainault — Fatal epidemic at Antioch — Death 
of Bijshop Puy — Docility of a lion — Geoffrey de la Tour — Foulque and 
his widow — Hezas, the emir, allies himself with the Crusaders, and 
defeats the sultan of Aleppo — Letters conveyed by pigeons — Miracu- 
lous prodigies — Capture of Maarah — Conquests in Syria by the Cru- 
saders pp. 126-186. 

BOOK IV.— A.D. 1099-1103. 

The Crusaders take their departure from Antioch. and march for 
Palestine — Siege of Archas — Pons de Balasu — Arnold de Rohes, and 
his disbelief in prodigies — Fanatacism of Barthelemi — The holy lance — 
Ordeal by fire — Hatred of the Latins towards the Greeks — Caliph of 

CONTENTS. xxiii 

Cairo — Etrir of Tripoli defeated — Palestine — PhoeniCi* — Plain of Berytui 
— Serpents — Ptoleraai's— Emmaus and Bethlehem — Alarm from an eclipse 
— The city of Jerusalem — Enthusiasm of the Crusaders on first beholcing 
it — Siege of Jerusalem — Indignities heaped upon the Christians — Foun- 
tain of Siloe — The Genoese fleet enter the port of Jaffa — Gaston dt 
Beam — Mount of Olives — Address of Arnold de Rohes — Speech of Petei 
the Hermit to the Crusaders — Tower ofTancred — Machines used at the 
siege of Jerusalem — The Saracen magicians — Miraculous appearance ot 
St. George — The Crusaders enter Jerusalem by storm — Creton Rheim* 
hault — Everard de Puysaie — Mosque of Omar — Slaughter of the Mus- 
sulma^is, and pious fervour of the Christians — Destruction of the Jews — 
Wealth formd in Jerusalem — Discovery of the " true cross" — Speech ol 
the count of Flanders — Prophetic visions — Godfrey elected king of Jeru- 
salem — Rejoicings among the Christians, and despair of the Mussulmans 
— Elegy of ModhafFer Abyverdy — Afdhal, the Mussulman commander — 
Signal defeat of the Saracens at Ascalon — Tasso — Godfrey's quarrel with 
Raymond — Siege of Ascalon — Riou de Loheac — Stephen de Salviac— 
Peter de Salviac — Death of Gaston de Beam — Peter the Hermit and 
many of tiie Christian leaders return to Europe — William IX., count 
of Flandeis, sets out for the East — William, count de Nevers, defeated 
by the Turks — Eude, duke of Burgundy, slain — Conrad, marshal of 
Henry I. >f Germany — Wolf IX., duke of Bavaria — Humbert II., count 
of Savoy, departs for the Holy Land — Alexius, emperor of Constan- 
tinople, Ojf poses the Crusaders— City of Ancyra captured — The Crusaders 
defeated l y the Turks — Capture of Tortosa — Invasions of the Tar- 
tars — Ta^jo's "Jerusalem Delivered" — Ordinances of Gaston de 
Beam pp. 187-264. 

BOOK v.— A.D. 1099-1148. 

Kingdom founded by the victories of the Crusaders — State of Palestine 
at that p(;riod — Political measures of Godfrey — Tiberias captured by 
Tancred — Siege of Arsur — Jerusalem visited by numerous pilgrims and 
distinguished Crusaders — Archbishop Daimbert elected patriarch of Jeru- 
salem — " Assizes of Jerusalem" — Death of Godfrey — His brother Bald- 
win elected king — Carries on successful hostilities against the Infidels of 
Palestine, Egypt, &c. — Caesarea and Arsur besieged and captured — City 
of Ramla taken by the Saracens — Hospitallers of St. John — Insidious 
policy of Alexius — Josselin de Courtenay — Baldwin taken prisoner — • 
Bohemond, prince of Antioch, visits Italy, and returns with a large army 
against Alexius — His death — Release of Baldwin — Distresses of Antioch 
— Quarrels between Baldwin and the patriarch of Jerusalem — The 
Genoese and Pisan fleets assist the Crusaders — Siege and capture of 
Ptolemais — Armies of Egypt defeated— Tripoli, Biblies, Sarepta, Berytus, 
and Sidon, taken by the Crusaders — Sigur, prince of Norway — The 
"true cross" — Death ofTancred — The Christians defeated — Palestine 
devastated — Death of Baldwin — Baldwin du Bourg elected king of 
Jerusalem — Taken prisoner — Eustache Grenier, regent — The Venetians 


destroy the fleet of the Saracens, and conquer Tyre- -Release of Baldwin 
— Several cities of Egypt captured — The Ismaelians — Zengui, prince of 
Mossoul — Dynasty of the Atabecks — Flourishing state of Antioch, 
Edessa, Tripoli, &c. — Knights of St. John fvud of the Holy Sepulchre — 
The Templars — Death of Baldwin du Bourg — Foulque of Anjou crowned 
king of Jerusalem — Raymond of Poictiers appointed governor of Antioch 
— The emperor of Constantinople attacks Antioch — Melisende, queen of 
Jerusalem — Baldwin III. ascends the throne — Disastrous retreat from 
Bosra — The country of Traconite — Conquests of Zengui — Death of Jos- 
lelin de Courtenay — Noureddia, son of Zengui, captures Edessa, and 
threatens Jerusalem pp. 265-328. 

BOOK VI.— A.D. 1142—1148. 

Europe aroused to a second crusade by the impending dangers of Jeru- 
salem and the Holy Land — The Abbot St. Bernard — Louis VII. of 
France — He destroys Vitri, repents, and determines on a crusade against the 
infidels — Pope Eugenius III. invokes the assistance of the faithful — Pons, 
abbot of Vezelai — Preaching of St. Bernard — State of the Germanic 
empire — Conrad III. invokes a general diet at Spires, and engages in the 
crusade — Many distinguished personages take the cross — Enthusiasm of 
the Germans — Conrad and Louis VII. arrive at Constantinople — Hypo- 
critical policy of the emperor, and treachery of the Greeks — Alarm 
created by an eclipse of the sun — The Crusaders defeated by the Turks-— 
The oriflamme — Fatal blunder of Geoftrey de Ran9on — Reported death 
of Louis VII. — Everard des Barres, grand master of the Templars — 
Perfidious policy of the Greeks — Sufferings of the Crusaders — Louis VII. 
arrives at Antioch with a small portion of his army — Eleanor of Guienne 
repudiated by her husband, Louis VII. — He proceeds to the Holy Land 
— Conrad arrives at Jerusalem — Baldwin III. urges on the war — The 
Crusaders besiege Damascus, and are repulsed — Ayoub, the father of 
Saladin — The Sclaves — Crusaders in Spain and Portugal — Suger, 
minister of France — Unfortunate results of this crusade — The con- 
quests of Noureddin — The deaths of Raymond, Josselin, Suger, and 
St. Bernard pp. 329-381, 

BOOK VII.— A.D. 1148-1188. 


The religion of Mahomet — State of the East at the time of the third 
crusade— Dynasties of the Saracens and the Turks almost annihilated— 
Caliphs of Bagdad, the chiefs of Islamism — Heroic character of Nour- 


eddin — Capture of Ascalon by Baldwin III. — Baldwin's death — His 
brother Amaury elected his successor — Distracted state of Egypt — War- 
like preparations against — Capture of Bilbeis by Baldwin — The Syrians 
invade Egypt — Baldwin marries the daughter of the emperor Manuel — 
Makes war on Egypt — Deposition and death of the caliph. The Fatimite 
dynasty extinguished — Extensive power of Noureddin, the sultan of 
Aleppo and Damascus — Saladin, the vizier of Egypt— Death of Nour- 
eddin — Empire of the Atabecks declines — Death of Amaury — The vic- 
tories of Saladin in Syria — Baldwin IV., king of Jerusalem, — The Mame- 
lukes—Guy of Lusignan— Renaud de Chatillon — Raised to the throne of 
Antioch — His various military adventures — Rebellion of Guy de Lusig- 
nan — Distracted state of Jerusalem — Interview between Henry II. of Eng- 
land and Heraclius, patriarch of Constantinople — Philip Augustus, king 
of France — Deaths of Baldwin IV. and V. — Guy de Lusignan, the sove- 
reign of Jerusalem — Sybilla, daughter of Amaury — The Templars defeated 
with great slaughter — Tiberias taken by Saladin — Disastrous defeat of the 
Christians — Capture of the "true cross" — Guy de Lusignan and many 
distinguished knights taken prisoners or slain — Saladin captures Ptole- 
mai's, Ascalon, Gaza, and numerous other cities in Palestine — He takes 
possession of Jerusalem — Sufferings of the Christians — The archbishop 
of Tyre preaches in support of the holy war — Henry II. of England, 
Richard I. and Philip of France determine on renewing the holy war — 
Persecution and massacre of the Jews — Archbishop Baldwin preaches 
the crusade in England — Frederick Barbarossa engages in the crusade- 
Miraculous vision — Contentions between the Greeks and the Latins — 
Andronicus of Constantinople dethroned — The Greeks defeated by Bar- 
barossa — His victorious career — His death pp. 382—450. 

, BOOK VIIL— A.D. 1188-1192. 

The conquests of Saladin — Conrad of Montferrat — Srege of Tyre — 
Marquis of Montferrat— The " Green Knight"— Siege of Tripoli— Wil- 
liam, king of Sicily, engages in the holy war — Admiral Margaritt defends 
Tripoli — Capture of Tortosa — Heroic defence of Carac — Release of Guy 
de Lusignan — His siege of Ptolemais, and his numerous conflicts with 
Saladin — Description of Ptolemais — Karacoush, minister of Saladin — 
Conrad, marquis of Tyre, fits out a fleet for the H ly Land — Bravery of 
the Mamelukes — Death of Andia de Brienne — Defeat of the Crusaders at 
Ptolemais by Saladin — Death of Frederick, duke of Swabia, and of 
Sybilla, wife of Guy de Lusignan — Disputes k' out the succession to the 
kingdom of Jerusalem — Humphrey de T.'.o/jne — Conrad — Eleanor of 
Guienne — Philip of France arrives at lalestino — Cyprus captured by 
Richard I. — His marriage to Berengaria of Navarre — Jane, queen of 
Sicily — Isaac Comnenus — Disputes respecting the sovereignty of Jeru- 
salem — Arrival of Richard I. before the walls of Ptolemaiis — His quarrels 
with Philip of France — Conflicts with Saladin — Ptolemais taken by the 
Christians — Guy de Chatillon, Josselin de Montmorency, and some of 


the bravest nobility of Europe, slain — The Mohammedans — Leopold, 
duke of Austria — Philip of France quits Palestine, and returns to 
France — Battle of Arsur — ^^Ascalon destroyed by Saladin, and rebuilt by 
Richard I. — Richard marches on Jerusalem — Conrad assassinated — 
Treaty of peace between Richard and Saladin — Guy de Lusignan obtains 
the sovereignty of Cyprus — Palestine ceded to Henry, count of Cham- 
pagne — Characters of Richard I. and of Saladin — Leopold of Austria 
detains Richard as a prisoner — Death of Saladin — Malek-Adel tak«« 
possession of .Egypt pp. 451--509. 





A.D. 300—1095. 

Peom the earliest ages of the Church, a custom had been 
practised of making pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Judea, 
ftdl of religious remembrances, was still the promised land 
of the faithful ; the blessings of heaven appeared to be in 
store for those who visited Calvary, the tomb of Jesus 
Christ, and renewed their baptism in the waters of the 
Jordan. Under the reign of Constantino, the ardour for 
pilgrimages increased among the faithful ; they flocked from 
all the provinces of the empire to worship Jesus Christ upon 
his own tomb, and to trace the steps of their Grod in that 
city which had but just resumed its name, and which the 
piety of an emperor had caused to issue from its ruins. The 
Holy Sepulchre presented itself to the eyes of the pilgrims 
surrounded by a magnificence which redoubled their vene- 
ration. An obscure cavern had become a marble temple, 
paved with precious stones and decorated with splendid 
colonnades. To the east of the Holy Sepulchre appeared 
the church of the Hesurrection, in which they could admire 
the riches of Asia, mingled with the arts of Grreece and 
E-ome. Constantino celebrated the thirty-first year of his 
reign by the inauguration of this church, and thousands of 
Christians came, on occasion of this solemnity, to listen to 
the panegyric of Christ from the lips of the learned and holj 
bishop Eusebius. 


St. Helena, the mother of the emperor, repaired to Jeru- 
salem, at a very advanced age, and caused churches and 
chapels to be built upon Mount Tabor, in the city of 
Nazareth, and in the greater part of the places which Christ 
had sanctified by bis presence and his miracles. Erom this 
period, pilgrimages to the Holy Land became much more 
frequent. The pilgrims, no longer in dread of the persecu- 
tions of the Pagans, could now give themselves up, without 
fear, to the fervour of their devotion ; the Roman eagles, 
ornamented with the cross of Jesus Christ, protected them 
on their march ; they everywhere trampled under-foot the 
fragments of idols, and they travelled amidst the abodes of 
their fellow-Christians. 

"WTien the emperor Jub'an, in order to weaken the autho- 
rity of the prophecies, undertook to rebuild the temple of 
the Jews, numerous were the prodigies related by which 
God confounded his designs, and Jerusalem, for that attempt 
even, became more dear to the disciples of Jesus Christ, 
The Christians did not cease to visit Palestine. St. Jerome, 
who, towards the end of the fourth century, had retired to 
Bethlehem, informs us in one of his letters that pilgrims 
arrived in crowds in Judea, and that around the holy tomb 
the praises of the Son of Grod were to be heard, uttered in 
many languages. Prom this period, pilgrimages to the 
Holy Land were so numerous, that several doctors and 
fathers of the Church thought it their duty to point out the 
abuses and danger of the practice. They to d Christians 
that long voyages might turn them aside frorc the path of 
salvation ; that their Grod was not confined to one city ; that 
Jesus Christ was everywhere where faith and good works 
were to be found ; but such was the blind zeal which then 
drew the Christians towards Jerusalem, that the voice of the 
holy doctors was scarcely heard.* The counsels of en- 
lightened piety were not able to abate the ardour of the 
pilgrims, wlio believed they should be wanting in faith and 
zeal, if the\ did not adore Jesus Christ in the very places 

* See the letter of St. Gregory of Nyssen, translated into Latin and 
commented on by Casaubon. St. Augustin, and St. Jerome himself, raised 
their voices against the abuses of pilgrimages. (See the first of the 
Appendix, in which is an abridgment of the pilgrimage of St. Jeroma 
and St. Eusebius of Cremona.' 


^here, according to the expression of St. Jerome, the light 
of the gospel first shone from the top of the lioly cross. 

As soon as the people of the West became converted to 
Christianity, they turned their eyes to the East. From the 
depths of Graui, from the forests of Germany, from all tLe 
countries of Europe, new Christians were to be seen hasren- 
iiig to visit the cradle of the faith tliey had embraced. An 
itinerary for the use of pilgrims served tliem as a guide 
from the banks of the Rhone and the Dordogne to the shores 
of the Jordan, and conducted them, on their return, from 
Jarusalem to the principal cities of Italy.* 

When the world was ravaged by the Goths, the Huns, 
and the Yandals, the pilgrimages to the Holy Land were 
not at all interrupted. Pious travellers w^ere protected by 
the hospitable virtues of the barbarians, who began to 
respect the cross of Christ, and sometimes even followed 
the pilgrims to Jerusalem. In these times of trouble and 
desolation, a poor pilgrim, who bore his scrip and staff, often 
passed through fields of carnage, and travelled without fear 
amidst armies which threatened the empires of the East and 
the West. 

Illustrious families of Home came to seek an asylum at 
Jerusalem, and upon the tomb of Jesus Christ. Christians 
then found, on the banks of the Jordan, that peace which 
seemed to be banished from the rest of the world. This 
peace, which lasted several centuries, was not troubled before 
the reign of Heraclius. Under this reign, the armies of 
Cosroes, king of Persia, invaded ^jrm, Palestine, and Egypt; 
the holy city fell into the hands of the worshippers of fire ; 
the conquerors bore away into captivity vast numbers of 
Christians, and profaned the churches of Jesus Christ. All 
the faithful deplored the misfortunes of Jerusalem, and shed 
tears when they learned that the king of Persia had carried 
off, among the spoils of the vanquished, the cross of the 
Saviour, which had been preserved in the church of the 

* See, in the Appendix at the end of the volume, a hibliographical, 
historical, and geograi)hical analysis of " The Itinerary from Bordeaux to 
Jerusalem," by M. Walcknaer : this piece throws great light upon 
aacient geography, and that of the middle ages. 



Heaven, at length, touched by the prayers and afflio 
tion of the Christians, blessed the arms of Heraclius, who, 
ifter ten years of reverses, triumphed over the enemies of 
Christianity and the empire, and brought back to Jerusa- 
lem the Christians whose chains he had broken. Then was 
to be seen an emperor of tlie East, walking barefooted in 
the streets of the holy city, carrying on his shoulders to the 
summit of Calvary, the wood of the true cross, which lie 
considered the most glorious trophy of his victories. This 
imposing ceremony was a festival for the people of Jerusalem 
and the Christian church, which, latter still, every year 
celebrates the memory of it.* Wlien Heraclius re-entered 
Constantinople, he was received as the liberator of the 
Cliristians, and the kings of the West sent ambassadors to 
congratulate him. 

But the joy of the faithful was not of long duration. 
Towards tlie beginning of the seventh cenlury there had 
arisen, in an obscure corner of Asia, v new religion, opposed 
to all others, which preached dominion and war. Mahomet 
had promised the conquest of the world to his disciples, who 
had issued almost naked from the deserts of Arabia. 
By his passionate doctrine he was able to inflame the 
imagination of the Arabs, and on the field of battle knew how 
to inspire them with his own impetuous courage. His first 
successes, which must have greatly exceeded his hopes, were 
like so many miracles, increasing the confidence of his par- 
tisans, and carrying conviction to the minds of the weak 
and wavering. The political state of the East seemed to 
ofier no obstacle to the progress of a sect, which, from its 
birth, showed itself everywhere with fire and sword. The 
worship of the Magi was sinking into contempt ; the Jews 
scattered throughout Asia were opposed to the Sabeans, and 
divided amongst themselves ; and the Christians, under the 
names of Eutychians, Nestorians, Maronites, and Jacobites, 
were engaged in heaping, reciprocally, anathemas upon one 
another. The empire of Persia, torn by intestine wars, and 
attacked by the barbarous races of Tartary, had lost both 
its power and splendour; that of the Greeks, weakened 

* This festival is known under the name of the Exaltation of the Holj 
Cross, and is celebrated on the 14th of September. 


both wnthin and witliout, was hastening to its fall ; " every 
thing was perishing in the East," says Bossuet. A new 
religion, a new empire, sprang up easily in the* midst of ruins. 
The armed doctrine of Mahomet invaded, within a very 
short period, the three Arabias, a part of Syria, and a large 
division of Persia. 

After the death of the Prophet of Mecca, his lieutenants 
and the companions of his first exploits carried on his great 
work. The sight of conquered provinces only increased the 
fanaticism and the bravery of the Saracens. They had no 
fear of death in the field of battle, for, according to the 
w^ords of their prophet, paradise, with all its voliiptuouc 
pleasures, awaited those who precipitated themselves upoji 
the enemy, and behind them hell opened its abysses. Their 
conquests were so much the more rapid, from their uniting, 
in their military and religious government, the prompt deci- 
sion of despotism with all the passions that are met with in 
a republic. Masters of Persia and Syria, they soon took 
possession of Egypt ; their victorious battalions flowed on 
into Africa, planted the standard of the Prophet upon the 
nuns of Carthage, and carried the terror of their arms to 
the shores of the Atlantic. Erom India to the Straits of 
Cadiz, and from the Caspian Sea to the ocean, language, 
manners, religion, everything was changed ; what had 
remained of Paganism was annihilated, together with the 
worship of the Magi ; Christianity scarcely subsisted, and 
Europe itself was threatened with a simdar destruction. 
Constantinople, which was the bulwark of the West, saw 
before its walls innumerable hordes of Saracens : several 
times besieged both by sea and land, the city of Constan- 
tino only owed its safety to the Grreek fire, to the assistance 
of the Bulgarians, and to the inexperience of the Arabs in 
the art of navigation. 

During the first age of the Hegira, the conquests of the 
Mussulmans were only bounded by the sea which separated 
them from Europe ; but when they had constructed vessels, 
no nation was safe from their invasion ; they ravaged 
the isles of the Mediterranean, the coasts of Italy and 
Grreece ; fortune or treason made them masters of Spain, 
where they overturned the monarchy of the Goths ; they 
toqk advantage of the weakness of the children of Clovis tc 


penetrate into tlie southern provinces of Gaul, and were 
only stopped in their invasions by the victories of Charles 

Amidst the first conquests of the Saracens, they had 
turned tlieir eyes towards Jerusalem. According to the 
faith of tlie Mussulmans, Maliomet had been in the city of 
David and Solomon ; it was from Jerusalem that he sei 
out to ascend into heaven in his nocturnal voyage. The 
Saracens considered Jerusalem as the house of Grod, as the 
city of saints and miracles. A short time after the death 
of the Prophet, the soldiers of Omar besieged it. The 
Christians, animated by despair, swore to defend the city. 
The siege lasted four months, each day being marked by 
sorties or attacks ; the Saracens approaching the walls 
repeating the words of the Koran — " Let us enter into the 
holy land which Grod has promised us." After enduring all 
the miseries of a long siege, the inhabitants of Jerusalem 
at length surrendered to the caliph Omar, who himself 
came into Palestine to receive the keys and the submission 
of the conquered city. 

The Cliristians had the grief of seeing the church of the 
Holy Sepulchre profaned by the presence of the chief of the 
mfidels. The patriarch Sophronius, who accompanied the 
caliph, could not refrain from repeating these words of 
Daniel, — " 'J^he abomination of desolation is in the holv 
place." Jerusalem was filled with mourning, a gloomy 
silence reigned in the churches, and in all the places in 
which the hymns of the Christians had so long resounded. 
Although Omar had left them the exercise of their worship, 
they were obliged to conceal their crosses and their sacred 
books. The bell no longer summoned the faithful to prayer; 
the pomp of ceremonies was interdicted, and religion 
appeared but as a desolate widow. The caliph ordered a 
mosque to be erected on the spot whereon the temple 
of Solomon had been built. The aspect of this edifice, 
consecrated to tlie worship of the infidels, still further 
increased the afiliction of the Christians. History relates 
that the patriarch Sophronius was mable to support 
the sight of so many profanations, and died in despair^ 
deploring the misfortunes and captivity of the holy city. 

In the mean time, tlie presence of Omar, of whose 


moderation tlie East boasts, restrained the jealous fanaticism 
of tlie Mussulmans. After his death the faithful had much 
more to suffer ; they were driven from their houses, insulted 
in their churches ; the tribute which they had to pay to the 
new masters of Palestine was increased, and they were for- 
bidden to carry arms or to mount on horseback. A leathern 
girdle, which tliey were never allowed to be without, was the 
badge of their servitude ; the conquerors would not permit 
the Christians to s]:)eak the Arab tongue, sacred to the 
disciples of the Koran ; and the people who remained 
faithful to Jesus Christ had not liberty even to pronounce 
the name of the patriarch of Jerusalem without the per- 
mission of the Saracens. 

All these persecutions could not stop the crowd of 
Christians who repaired to Jerusalem ; the sight of the 
holy city sustaining their courage as it heightened their 
devotion. There were no evils, no outrages, that they could 
not support with resignation, when they remembered that 
Christ had been loaded with chains, and had died upon the 
cross in the places they were about to visit. Among the 
faithful of the West who arrived in Asia in the midst of the 
early conquests of the Mussulmans, history has preserved 
the names of St. Arculphus and St. Antoninus of Piaisance.* 
The latter had borne arms with distinction, when he deter- 
mined to follow the pilgrims who were setting out for 
Jerusalem. He traversed Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. On 
his arrival on the banks of the Jordan, Judea had not yet 
fallen into the hands of the infidels ; but the fame of their 
victories already filled the East, and their armies were 
threatening the holy city. Several years after the pilgrimage 
of St. Antoninus, Arculplms, accompanied by Peter, a 
French hermit, set out from the coast of England in a vessel 
bound for Syria. He remained nine months at Jerusalem, 
then under the dominion of the enemies of Christ. On 
his return to Europe, he related what he had seen in Pales- 

* The voyage of St. Antony is found in three very ancient manuscripts, 
which may be consulted in the Imperial Library. It has been printed 
also in a small volume in 4to. (See the Appendix.) The relation of the 
pilgrimage of St. Arculphus, arranged by Adaman in 690, was published 
Dy Gretzer of Ingoldstadt, 1619, in 4lo., under this title, " De Locii 
Verrse Sanctae." It has since Deen published by Mabillon. 


fcine, and in all the sacred spots visited by the pilgrims of 
the West. The account of his pilgrimage was drawn up by 
a Iwlj monk of the Hebrides, for the information and 
edification of the faithful. 

The Christians of Palestine, however, enjoyed some short 
intervals of security during the civil wars of the Mussul- 
mans.* If they were not freed from their bondage, they 
could at least weep in peace upon the tomb of Christ. The 
dynasty of the Ommiades, winch had established the seat of 
the Mussulman empire at Damascus, was always odious to the 
ever-formidable party of the Alides, and employed itself less 
in persecuting the Christians than in preserving its own 
precarious power. Merwan II., the last caliph of this 
house, was the most cruel towards the disciples of Christ ; 
and when he, with all his family, sunk under the power 
of his enemies, the Christians and the infidels united in 
thanks to heaven for having delivered the East from his 

The Abassides, established in the city of Bagdad, which 
they had founded, persecuted and tolerated the Christians 
by turns. The Christians, always living between the fear 
of persecution and the hope of a transient security, saw at 
last the prospect of happier days dawn upon them with the 
reign of Haroun al Raschid, the greatest caliph of the race 
of Abbas. Under this reign the glory of Charlemagne, 
which had reached Asia, protected the churches of the East.f 
His pious liberality relieved the indigence of the Christians 
of Alexandria, of Carthage, and Jerusalem. The two greatest 
princes of their age testified their mutual esteem by frequent 
embassies : they sent each other magnificent presents ; and, 
in the friendly intercourse of two powerful monarchs, the 
East and the West exchanged the richest productions of 
fcheir soil and their industry. The presents of Haroun 
created a lively surprise in the court of Charlemagne, and 

* Lucida plerumque recepit intervalla. — ^\Villiam of Tyre. 

f A ca[)itulary of Charlemagne, of the year 810, is conceived in these 
terms: *' De eleemosyna mittenda ad Hyerusalem propter ecclesias Dei 
restaurandas." Ob hoc maxime (says Eginard) transmarinorum rer/um 
amicitias eayetens, ut ChristiMin sub eorum dominatu degentibua 
refugeriicm aliquod ac relevatio provernret. — Vita Caroli Magni, cap. 27/ 
p. 101, edit, of Bredow, 12mo. Helmstadt, 1806. 


j^ave a high idea of the arts and riches of Asia. Tho 
tronarch of the Franks took pleasure in showing to tht) 
envoys of the cahph the magnificence of the religious cctc- 
monies of the Christians. Witnesses, at Aix-la-Chapelle, of 
several processions, in which the clergy had exhibited all 
their most precious ornaments, the ambassadors, on their 
return to Bagdad, reported that they had seen men of gold. 

There was no doubt policy in the marks of esteem which 
Haroun lavished upon the most powerful of the princes of 
the West. He was making war against the emperors of 
Constantinople, and might justly fear that they would 
interest the bravest among Christian people in their cause. 
The popular traditions of Byzantium foretold that the Latins 
would some day be the liberators of Glreece ; and in one of 
the first sieges of Constantinople by the Saracens, the 
report only of the arrival of the Eranks had re-animated, 
the courage of the besieged, and carried terror into the 
ranks of the Mussulmans. In the time of Haroun, the 
name of Jerusalem already exercised so powerful an influence 
over the Christians of the West, that it was sufiicient to 
rouse their warlike enthusiasm, and raise armies to serve 
against the infidels. To take from the Franks every pretext 
for a religious war, w^hich might make them embrace the 
cause of the Greeks, and draw them into Asia, the caliph 
neglected no opportunity of obtaining the friendship of 
Charlemagne ; and caused the keys of the holy city and of 
the holy sepulchre* to be presented to him. This homage, 
rendered to the greatest of the Christian monarchs, was cele- 
brated with enthusiasm in contemporary legends, which 
afterwards caused it to be believed that this prince had made 
the voyage and completed the conquest of Jerusalem.f 

Haroun treated the Christians of the Latin Church as his 
own subjects ; and the children of the caliph imitated his 
moderation. Under their sway, Bagdad was the abode of 
the sciences and the arts. The caliph Almamon, says an 
Arabian historian, was not ignorant that they who labour 

* Claves sepulcri Domini, cloves etiani civitatis et moniis cum vexilU 
detulerunt. — William of Tyrf:. 

t A relation of this pretended voyage may be found in the old 
chronicles. Sanuti and Robert Gaguin have mentioned it, without doubt 
from traditions existing in their time. 


in the advancement of reason are the elect of God. Intel- 
ligence polished the manners of the chiefs of Islamism, and 
inspired them with a toleration till that time unkno\\Ti to 
Mussulmans. Whilst the Arabians of Africa were pursuing 
their conquests towards the West, whilst they took posses- 
sion of Sicily, and Home itself saw its suburbs and its 
churches of St. Peter and St. Paid invaded and pillaged by 
infidels, the servants of Jesus Christ prayed in peace within 
the walls of Jerusalem.* The pilgrims of the West, who 
arrived there without danger, w^ere received in an hospital, 
the foundation of which was attributed to Charlemagne. 
Accordmg to the report of the monk Bemard,t who himself 
performed the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, about the 
middle of the ninth century, the hospital for the pilgrims of 
the Latin Chiu'ch was composed of twelve houses or hos- 
telries. To this pious establishment were attached fields, 
ATJieyards,and a garden, situated in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. 
This hospital, like those which the emperor of the West 
founded in the north of Europe, had a library always open 
to Christians and travellers. Prom the tenth century there 
existed in the neighbourhood of the Pountain of Siloe, a 
cemetery, in which were interred the pilgrims who died at 
Jerusalem. Among the tombs of the faithful dwelt the 
servants of God. This place, sa^^s the relation of St. 
Antoninus, covered with fruit-trees, dotted with sepulchres 
and humble cells, brings together the dead and the living, 
and presents at once a cheerful and a melancholy picture. 

* At the commencement of the ninth century, pilgrims ficclted thither 
quite from the extremities of Europe. Dicuil, who wrote m Ireland in 
the year 825, gives several details : — Fide/is f rater. . . . narravii coram 
me .... qtwd adorationis causa in urbe Jerlm. [Hierusalern) clerici et 
laid a Britannia usque ad Nilum velificaverunt. — Dicuil, De Mensura 
Orbis, edit. Walcknaer, p. 17. 

t Ibi hahetur hospitale, in quo suscipiuntur omnes qui causa devotionis 
ilium adeunt locum, lingua loquentes Romand, cui adjacet ecclesia in 
konore SanctcB Marice ; nobilissimam habent hibliothecam studio pradicti 
imperatoris Caroli Magni. — This passage is taken from the Voyage of 
the monk Bernard to the Holy Land. This monk was a Frenchman by 
birth ; he set out for Palestine in 870 with two other monks, one of whom 
was of the monastery of St. Innocent, in the country of Benevento, and 
the other a Spanish monk. (See an account of this pilgrimage in the 


To the desire of visiting the tomb of Jerusalem was joined 
Ihe earnest wish to procure relics, which were then sought 
for with eagerness by the devotion of the faithful. All who 
retiu-ned from the East made it their glory to bring back to 
then* country some precious remains of Cnristian antiquity, 
and above all the bones of holy martyrs, which constituted 
the ornament and the riches of their churches, and upon 
which princes and kings swore to respect truth and justice. 
The productions of Asia likewise attracted the attention of 
the people of Europe. We read in* Gregory of Tours, that 
the wine of Gaza was celebrated in Erance in the reign of 
Gontran ;t that the silk and precious stones of the East 
added to the splendour of the dresses of the great and the 
noble ; and that St. Eloi, at the court of Dagobert, did not 
disdain to clothe himself in the rich stuffs of Asia. Com- 
merce attracted a great number of Europeans to Egypt, 
Syria, and Palestine. The Yenetians, the Genoese, the 
Pisans, — the merchants of Amalfi and Marseilles, — had all 
stores at Alexandria, in the maritime cities of Phenicia, and 
in the city of Jerusalem. Before the church of St. Marie- 
la-Latine, says the monk Bernard, already quoted, extended 
a large place or square, which was called the Market of the 
Eranks. Every year, on the 15th of September, a fair was 
opened on Mount Calvary, in which were exchanged the 
productions of Europe for those of the East. 

Greek and Syrian Christians were estabhshed even in the 
city of Bagdad, where they devoted themselves to trade, 
exercised the art of medicine, and cultivated the sciences. 
They attained by their learning the most considerable em- 
ployments, and sometimes even obtained the command of 

* Alii causa negotiationis acti, alii causa devotionis et peregrinationis. 
•—J. DE ViTRY. Quod Latini devotionis gratia aut negotiationis adve- 
nientes. — Sanuti. Non defuerunt de occidentalibus multi qui loca 
mncta, licet in hostium potestate redacta, aut devotionis, aui commer- 
ciorum, aut utriusgue gratia, visitarent aliquoties. — William jf Tyrk, 
Diversarum gentium undique prope innumera multitudo, 15 die Sep* 
tembris anniversario more, in Hierosolymam convenire solet ad com- 
mercia mutuis conditionibus et emptionibus peragenda. — Voyap-e of St. 

f There is an excellent dissertation, by M. de Guegnes, upon the com- 
merce of the French in the Levant before the Crusades, in the 37th vol» 
of the " M^moires de 1' Academic des Inscriptions." 


cities and tlie government of provinces. One of the 
ealiplis of the race of AbLas* declared that the disciples ot 
Christ were the most worthy to be trusted with the admi- 
nistration of Persia. In short, the Christians of Palestine 
and the Mussulman provinces, the pilgrims and travellers 
who returned from the East, seemed no longer to have any 
persecutijns to dread, when all at once new storms broke 
out in the East. The children of Haroun soon shared the 
fate of the posterity of Charlemagne, and Asia, Hke the 
West, was plunged into the horrors of anarchy and ci\'il 

As the empire founded by Mahomet had for its principle 
the spirit of conquest ; as the state was not defended by any 
provident institution ; and as all depended upon the personal 
character of the prince, it might easily be perceived that 
symptoms of decay began to appear as soon as there 
remained nothing else to conquer, and the chiefs ceased 
either to make themselves feared or to inspire respect. The 
caliphs of Bagdad, rendered effeminate by luxury, and cor- 
rupted by long prosperity, abandoned the cares of empire, 
buried themselves in their seraglios, and appeared to reserve 
to themselves no other right than that of being named in 
the public prayers. The Arabians were no longer governed 
by that blind zeal, and that ardent fanaticism which they 
had brought from the desert. Degenerated, like their chiefs, 
they no longer resembled their warlike ancestors, who would 
weep at not having been present at a battle. The authority 
of the caliphs had lost its true defenders ; and when des- 
potism surrounded itself with slaves purchased on the 
banks of the Oxus, tliis foreign militia, called in to defend 
the throne, ftnly precipitated its fall. New sectaries, 
seduced by the example of Mahomet, and persuaded that 
the world would obey those who should change its manners 
or opinions, added the danger of religious dissensions to 
t hat of political troubles. In the midst of the general con- 
fiision, the emirs or lieutenants, of whom several governed 
vast kmgdoms, no longer offered anythirg beyond a vain 
homage to the successor of the Prophet, and refused to send 
aim either money or troops. The gigantic empire of the 

* Mohamed. 


Abassides crumbled away on all sides, and tbe w,)rld, 
according to the expression of an Arabian writer, was 
within the reach of him who would take possession of it. 
The spiritual power was itself divided ; Islamism beheld at 
one time five caliphs, each of whom assumed the title of 
commander of the faithful, and vicar of Mahomet. 

The numerous dynasties which sprung up amidst the 
troubles of Asia, shared amongst them the spoils of the 
sovereigns of Bagdad ; those which ruled over Persia and 
upon the banks of the Tigris, under the pretence of defend- 
ing the Mussulman religion, subjected their spiritual chiefs 
to the most humiliating subserviency. At the same time 
the Eatimites, who pretended to be descended from Aly, 
and who had usurped the title of caliph, raised armies, and 
launched anathemas against the Abassides ; they had taken 
possession of Egypt, and they threatened to invade Syria, 
and to march to Bagdad, and dethrone the vicars of the 

The Grreeks then appeared to rouse themselves from their 
long supineness, and sought to take advantage of the divisions 
and the humiliation of the Saracens. Kicephorus Phocas 
took the field at the head of a powerful army, and recaptured 
Antioch from the Mussulmans. Already the people of Con- 
stantinople celebrated his triumphs, and styled him " the 
star of the East, the death and the scourge of the infidels.''^ 
He might, perhaps, have merited these titles, if the Greek 
clergy had seconded his efibrts. Nicephorus w^as desirous 
of giving to tliis war* a religious character, and to place in the 
rank of martyrs all who should fall in prosecuting it. The 
prelates of his empire condemned his design as sacrilegious, 

* Lebeau, in his " History of the Lower Empire," relates, after con- 
temporary historians, an incident which plainly shows what was the spirit 
of the Greeks at that time. " A small town of Silicia being invaded by 
the Saracens, the cure of the place, named Themal, was saying mass at 
the time. At the noise which he hears he descends briskly from the 
altar, without taking off his pontificals, arms himself with a hammer 
which served for a bell in many eastern churches, goes straight to meet 
the enemy, wounds, knocks down, crushes all that he nreets, and puts 
the rest to flight. Although he had delivered his town from an invasion 
of the Saracens, the cure Themal was censured and suspended by his 
bishop. He was so ill treated that he sought refuge with the Saraceu, 
»nd embraced the religion of Mahomet." 


and opposed to liim a canon of St. Basil, the text of wliici. 
recommended to him who had killed an enemy to abstain 
during three years from a participation in the holy mys- 
teries. Deprived of the powerful stimulus of fanaticism, 
Nicephorus found among the Greeks more panegyrists than 
soldiers, and could not pursue his advantages against the 
Saracens, to whom, even in their decline, religion prescribed 
resistance and promised victory. His triumphs, w^hich were 
celebrated at Constantinople with enthusiasm, were confined 
to the taking of Antioch, and only served to create a perse- 
cution against the Christians of Palestine. The patriarch of 
Jerusalem, accused of keeping up an understanding with the 
Greeks, expired at the stake, and several churches of the 
holy city were consigned to the flames. 

A Greek army, under the command of Temelicus, had 
advanced to the gates of Amida, a city situated on the banks 
of the Tigris. This army w^as attacked, in the midst of a 
hurricane, by the Saracens, who routed it, and made a great 
number of prisoners. The Christian soldiers who fall into 
the hands of the infidels, heard, in the prisons of Eagdad, 
of the death of Nicephorus ; and as Zimisces, his successor, 
gave no attention to their deliverance, their chief wrote to 
him in these terms : — " You who leave us to perish in an 
accursed land, and who do not deem us w^orthy to be buried, 
according to Christian usages, in the tombs of our fathers, 
we cannot recognize you as the legitimate chief of the holy 
Greek empire. If you do not avenge those who fell before 
Amida, and those w^ho now sigh in foreign lands, God will 
demand a strict account of them of you, at the terrible day 
of judgment." When Zimisces received this letter at Con- 
stantinople, says an Armenian historian,* he was penetrated 
iqc-ith grief, and resolved to avenge the outrage inflicted upon 
relig^Lon and the empire. On all sides preparations were set. 

* We owe a great portion of these details to an ancient Armenian 
manuscript, composed in the twelfth century by Matthew of Edessa, 
several fragments cf which have been translated into French by Messrs. 
Martin and Chahan de Cirbier. These fragments were printed under the 
title, " Historical Details of the First Expeditiou of the Christians into 
P.alestine, under the Emperor Zimisces." In th*^ Appendix of thi* 
history is an interesting letter from Zimisces to the king of Armenia. 


.n foot for a fresh war against the Saracens. The nations 
of the West were no strangers to this enterprize, which 
preceded, by more than a year, the first of the Crusades. 
Venice, which then enjoyed the commerce of the East, 
forbade her people, under pain ©f death, to convey to the 
Mussuhnans of Africa and Asia, either iron, wood, or any 
species of arms. The Christians of Syria and several 
Armenian princes repaired to the standard of Zimisces, who 
took the field, and carried war into the territories of tlie 
Saracens. So great was the confusion which then prevailed 
among the Mussulman powers, and with such rapidity did one 
dynasty succeed to another, that history can scarcely distin- 
guish what prince,* or what people ruled over Palestine 
and Jerusalem. After ha^ defeated the Mussulmans on 
the banks of the Tigris, and forced the caliph of Bagdad to 
pay a tribute to the successors of Constantino, Zimisces 
penetrated, almost without resistance, into Judea, took pos- 
session of Cesarea, of Ptolemais, of Tiberias, N^azareth, and 
several other- cities of the Holy Laud. He was encamped 
upon Tabor when he received a deputation of the inhabitants 
of Ramala and Jerusalem, who promised him obedience, and 
required of him troops to defend their cities. Zimisces 
received their submission and their request favourably, f and 
pursued the wreck of the Saracen army, which had sought 
refuge in some cities of Phenicia and in the mountains of 

After this first campaign, the Holy Land appeared to be 
on the eve of being delivered entirely from the yoke of the 
infidels, when the emperor died poisoned. His death at 

* The second tnemoir of the Abb6 Guenee upon Palestine may be read 
here. This estimable scholar speaks of the different dynasties which, at 
this period, had by turns conquered Jerusalem. We have felt that all 
these details, though quite in their place in a memoir, would only inter- 
rupt the course of our narration, without furnishing the reader with any 
Mseful information, 

f Whilst reading the letter of Zimisces, which gives an account of 
these events, we feel astonished that he does not show more eagerness to 
see Jerusalem ; but such was the character of the Greeks^ that they set 
more value on the acquisition of relics, which were borne m triumph to 
Constantinople, than in delivering the holy city and the tomb of Christ. 
It is thence apj)arent th;it this expedition was aot at all directed by the 
same spirit as the crusades. 


once put a stop to the execution of an enterprize of wLiich 
he was the soul and the leader. The Cliristian nations had 
scarcely time to rejoice at the delivery of Jerusalem, when 
they learnt that the holy city had again fallen into the handa 
of the Eatimite caliphs, who, after the death of Zimisces, 
had invaded Syria and Palestine. 

The caliphs of Cairo, who had taken advantage of the 
transient conquests of the Q-reeks to extend their empire, 
at first treated the Christians as allies and auxiUaries. In 
the hope of enriching their new dominions and repairing 
the evils of war, they favoured the commerce of the Euro- 
peans, and tolerated the devotion of pilgrimages to the Holy 
Land. The markets of the Franks were re-established in 
the city of Jerusalem ; the Christians rebuJlt the hospitals 
of the pilgrims, and the churches which were falling to 
decay. They began to forget the peaceful domination of 
the Abassides, and felicitated themselves upon li\'ing under 
the laws of the sovereigns of Cairo ; and still greater right 
had they to hope that all their troubles were about to be at 
an end, when they saw the caliph Hakim, whose mother 
was a Christian, ascend the throne. But God, who, according 
to the expression of contemporary authors, wished to try 
the virtues of the faithful, did not long delay to confound 
their hopes and raise new persecutions agamst them. 

Hakim, the third of the Eatimite caliphs, signalized his 
reign by all the excesses of fanaticism and outrage. Unfixed 
in his own projects, and wavering between two religions, 
hQ by turns protected and persecuted Christianity. He 
respected neither the policy of his predecessors nor the laws 
which he himself had established. He changed, on the 
morrow, that which he had ordained the preceding day, and 
spread disorder and confusion throughout his dominions. 
In the extravagance of his mind and the intoxication of 
power, he carried his madness so far as to believe himself a 
god. The terror which he inspired procured him worship- 
pers, and altars were raised to him in the neighbour ood of 
Eostat, which he had given up to the flames. Sixteen 
thousand of his subjects prostrated themselves before him, 
and adored him as sovereign of the livins^ and the dead. 

Hakim despised Mahomet, but the Mussulmans were too 
numerous in his states to allow him to think of persecuting 


fcliem. The god trembled for the authority of the prince, 
and allowed all his anger to fall upon the Christians, whom 
he gave up to the fury of their enemies. The places which 
the Christians held in the administration, and the abuses in- 
troduced into the mode of levying the imposts, with which 
duty they were charged, had drawn upon them the hatred 
of all the Mussidmans. When the caliph Hakim had once 
given the signal for persecution, he found himself at no loss 
for executioners. At first, they who had abused their power 
were the objects of pursuit ; the Christian religion became 
the next crime, and the most pious among the faithful w^ere 
deemed the most guilty. The blood of the Christians flowed 
in all the cities of Egypt and Syria, their courage in the 
midst of torments only adding to the hatred of their per- 
secutors. The complaints which escaped them in their 
sufferings, the praj^ers, even, which they addressed to Jesus 
Christ to put an end to their evils, were considered as a 
revolt, and punished as the most guilty treasons. 

It is probable that motives of policy joined with those of 
fanaticism in the persecution of the Christians. Grerbert, 
archbishop of Ravenna, who had become pope, under the 
name of Sylvester II., had witnessed the ills to which the 
faithful were subjected in their pilgrimages to Jerusalem. 
On his return he excited the nations of the West to take 
up arms against the Saracens. In his exhortations, he made 
Jerusalem herself speak, made her deplore her misfortunes, 
and conjure her Christian children to hasten and break her 
chains. The people w^ere deeply moved with the complaints 
and groans of Sion. The Pisans, the Grenoese, with Boson, 
king of Aries, undertook a maritime expedition against 
the Saracens, and made an incursion upon the coasts of 
Syria. These hostilities, and the number of the pilgrims, 
which increased every day, might well create distrust in the 
masters of the East. The Saracens, alarmed by sinister 
predictions, and by the imprudent menaces of the Christians, 
saw nothing but enemies in the disciples of Christ ; from 
that time terror and death guarded the gates of Jerusalem. 

It is impossible, says AYilliam of Tyre, to describe all the 
species of persecutions to which the Christians were then 
exposed. Among the instances of barbarity cited by the 
historians, there is one which gave to Tasso the idea of his 


affecting episode of Olindus and Sophronia. One of the 
bitterest enemies of the Christians, in order to increase the 
hatred of their persecutors, threw, in the night, a dead dog 
into one of the principal mosques of the city. The first 
who repaired thitlier to morning prayer were seized with 
horror at the sight of this profanatio]i, and proclaimed their 
anger aloud. Threatening clamoiu*s soon resounded in every 
part of the city ; the crowd assembled in a state of tumul- 
tuous excitement around the mosque ; the Christians were 
at once accused of this act of sacrUege, and all swore to 
wash out the outrage to their prophet in the blood of the 
perpetrators. All Christians were about to be immolated 
to the revenge of the Mussulmans, and already were they 
prepared for death, when a young man, whose name history 
has not preserved, presented himself in the midst of them. 
" The greatest misfortune that could happen," said he, 
" would be that the church of Jerusalem shoidd perish. 
"When a people is threatened with debtruction, it is just that 
a single man should sacrifice himself for the salvation of 
all; I here and now offer myself as a \'ictim to die for 
you; to you I leave the charge of doing justice to my 
memory, and I recommend myself to your prayers." After 
pronouncing these words, which dissolved the assembly in 
tears, he quitted them, and repaired to the chiefs of the 
Mussulmans ; he declared himself alone to be the author of 
the crime imputed to the Christians, and invoked upon 
himself the death with which his brethren were menaced. 
The Mussulmans, without being in the least touched by his 
generous devotion, were satisfied with the victim who offered 
himself to their vengeance : the sword was no longer sus- 
pended over the heads of the Christians, and he who had 
immolated himself for their safety, went, accorduig to the 
expression of William of Tyre,* to receive in heaven the 
reward reserved for those whose vninds burn with a love of 
pf^ffect charity. 

* Et ita pro fratribus animamponens, cumpietate dormitioriL'n accepit 
optimam, habens positam gratlam. — William of Tyre. The translator 
of the Latin historian Du Preau thus renders the thought of the original : 
— " Thus, giving up his life lor his brothers, exchanged the misery of this 
world for a happy eternal repose, and received the high reward pj«p»red 
for all lovers of perfect chai-ity." 


Nevertheless, other niisfortunesi awaited the Christiana of 
Palestine ; all religious ceremonies were inttTdicted ; the 
greater part of the churches were converted into stables ; 
that of the Holy Septilchre was completely destroyed. The 
Christians, driven from Jerusalem, were scattered throughout 
the countries of the East. Old historians relate, tliat the 
world took part in the mourning of the holy city, and was 
seized with trouble and consternation. Winter, with its 
frosts and storms, showed itself in regions where, till that 
time, it had been unknown. The Bosphorus and the Nile 
bore sheets of ice upon their bosoms. Earthquakes were 
felt in Syria and Asia Minor ; and their shocks, which were 
repeated during two months, destroyed several large cities. 
When the account of the destruction of the holy places 
arrived in the West, it drew tears from all true Christians. 
We read in the chronicle of the monk Glaber, that Europe 
had Hkewise been presented with signs w^hich foreboded 
great calamities : a shower of stones had fallen in Burgundy, 
and a comet and threatenmg meteors had appeared in the 
heavens. The agitation was extreme among all Christian 
nations ; nevertheless, they did not take up arms against the 
Mussidmans, but the whole of their vengeance fell upon 
the Jews, whom all Europe accused of having provoked the 
fury of the infidels. 

The calamities of the holy city rendered it still more 
venerable in the eyes of the faithftd ; persecution redoubled 
the pious deliriiun of those who went into Asia to contem- 
plate a city covered with ruins, and to behold an empty 
sepulchre. It was in Jerusalem, filled with mourning, that 
G od most manifestly distributed his blessings and delighted 
to point out his will. Impostors constantly took advantage 
of this opinion of the Christian people, to mislead the cre- 
dulity of the multitude. To gain credit for their words, it 
was quite sufficient to exhibit letters which, they said, had 
fallen from heaven into J» rusalem. At this period, a pre- 
diction, which annoimced* the end of the world and the 
approaching coming of Jesus Christ into Palestme, very 

* It was pretended that the thousand years of which the Scripture 
speaks, were about to be accomplished, and that the end of the world 
was appi-oachiug. In an act of donation made by St. Geraud, Baron 
d'Aurillac. are these words, " Appropinquante mundi ter iin/o.** 

Vol. I.— 3 


mucTi increased the veneration of the people for tlie holy 
places. The Christians of the "West arrived in crowds at 
Jerusalem, with the design of dying there, or there awaiting 
the coming of the sovereign judge. The monk Glaber 
informs us, that the affluence of pilgrims surpassed all 
tjiat could be expected from the devotion of these remote 
times. Eirst were seen on the holy march the poor and the 
lower classes, then counts, barons, and princes, all reckoning 
as nothing the grandeurs of the earth. 

The inconstancy of Hakim had, in a degree, mitigated the 
misfortunes of Jerusalem, and he had just granted liberty to 
the Christians to rebuild their churches, when he died by 
the hand of the assassin. His successor, guided by a wiser 
policy, tolerated both pilgrimages and the exercise of the 
Christian religion. The church of the Holy Sepulchre was 
not entirely rebuilt till thirty years after its destruction ; 
but the spectacle of its ruins still inflamed the zeal and the 
devotion of the Christians. 

In the eleventh century the Latin Church allowed pil- 
grimages to suffice instead of canonical penitences ; sinners 
were condemned to quit their country for a time, and to lead 
a wandering life, after the example of Cain. This mode of 
performing penance agreed better with the active and restless 
character of the people of the West. It ought to be added, 
that the devotion of pilgrimages, whatever may be the 
opinion of an enlightened philosophy, has been received, 
and even encouraged, in all religions. It belongs, too, to a 
sentiment natural to man. If the sight of a land once 
inhabited by heroes and sages awakens in us touching and 
noble remembrances ; if the soul of the philosopher finds 
itself agitated at the sight of the ruins of Palmyra, Babylon, 
or Athens ; what lively emotions must not the Christians have 
felt on beholding places which Grod had sanctified by his 
presence and his blessings ? 

The Christians of the West, almost all unhappy in their 
own countries, and who often lost the sense of their evils in 
long voyages, appeared to be only employed in seeking upon 
earth the traces of a consoling and helpful divinity, or of 
some holy personage. There existed no province without 
its martyr or its apostle, whose support they went to 
.mplore; ^ere was no city or secluded spot whicl did act 


preserve tlie tradition of a miracle, or had not a cliapel open 
to pilgri'ns. Tlie most guilty of sinners, or the most fervent 
of the faithful, exposed themselves to the greatest perils, 
and repaired to the most distant places. Sometimes they 
directed their steps to Apiiha and Calahria, they visited 
Mount Grargan, celebrated by the apparition of St. Michael, 
or Mount Cassin, rendered famous by the miracles of St. 
Benedict ; sometimes they traversed the Pyrenees, and, in a 
country given up to the Saracens, esteemed themselves happy 
in praying before the relics of St. Jago, the patron saint of 
Galicia. Some, like King Eobert, went to Rome, and 
prostrated themselves on the tombs of the apostles St. Peter 
and St. Paul ; others travelled as far as Egypt, where Christ 
had passed his infancy, and penetrated to the solitudes of 
Scete and Memphis, inhabited by the disciples of Anthony 
and Paul. 

A great number of pilgrims undertook the voyage to 
Palestine ; they entered Jerusalem by the gate of Ephraimj 
where they paid a tribate to the Saracens. After having 
prepared themselves by fasting and prayer, they presented 
themselves in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, covered 
with a funeral cloth or robe, which they preserved vtdth care 
during the remainder of their lives, and in which they were 
buried after their death. They viewed with holy respect 
Mount Sion, the Mount of Olives, and the Valley of Jehosha- 
phat ; they quitted Jerusalem to visit Bethlehem, where the 
Saviour of the world was born; Mount Tabor, rendered 
sacred bj the transfiguration ; and all the places memorable 
for his nrracles. The pilgrims next bathed in the waters of 
the Jordan,* and gathered in the territory of Jericho palms 
which they bore back as evidences and relics to the West. 

Such were the devotion and spirit of the tenth and 
eleventh centiu'ies, that the greater part of the Christians 
would have thought themselves wanting in the duties of 
religion if they had not performed some pilgrimage. He 
who had escaped from a danger, or triumphed over his 
enemies, assumed the pilgrim's staff, and took the road to 
the holy ylaces ; he who had obtained by his prayers the 

* These and the following details have been drawn from the accountg 
of several pilgrimages, in Mabillon, in the " Recueil des Bollandistes." 
•nd the chronicles of the times. 


preservation of a fiither or of a son, went to return hia 
thanks to heaven far from his domestic hearth, in places 
rendered holy by religions traditions. A father often 
devoted his child in the cradle to a pilgrimage, and the 
first duty of an affectionate and obedient son, when past the 
age of childhood, was to accomplish the vow of his parents. 
More than once a dream, a vision in the midst of sleep, 
imposed upon a Christian the obligation of performing a 
pilgrimage. Thus, the idea of these pious journeys mixed 
jtself up with all the affections of the heart, and with all 
the prejudices of the human mind. 

Pilgrims were welcomed everywhere, and in return for 
the hospitality they received, they were only asked for their 
prayers ; often, indeed, the only treasure they carried with 
them. One of them, desirous to embark at Alexandria for 
Palestine, presented himself with his scrip and staff on 
board a ship, and offered a book of the holy Evangelists m 
payment for his passage. Pilgrims, on their route, had no 
other defence against the attacks of the wicked but the 
cross of Christ, and no other guides but those angels whom 
God has told " to watch over Ids children, and to direct them 
in all their ways^ 

The greatest merit in the eyes of the faithful, next to 
that of pilgrimage, was to devote themselves to the service 
of the pilgrims. Hospitals were built upon the banks of 
rivers, upon the heights of mountains, in the midst of cities, 
and in desert places, for the reception of these travellers. In 
the ninth century, the pilgrims who left Burgimdy to repair 
to Italy, were received in a monastery built upon Mount 
Cenis. In the following century, two monasteries, in 
which were received travellers who had strayed from 
their way, occupied the places of the temples of idolatry 
on Montes Jovis,* and thence lost the name they had 
received from Paganism, and took that of their pious 
founder, St. Bernard de Menton. Christians who travelled 
to Judea, found on the frontiers of Hungary, and in the 

^ These mountains, called Monts de Joux (Montes Jovis), now bear 
the names of the Great and Little St. Bernard, When St. Bernard 
founded these two hospitals, the inhabitants of tlie Alps were still idola« 
ters, and the Saracens had penetrated into Le Valais, where they coa« 
BtaT\tly annoyed the march of the pilgrims. 


provinces of Asia Minor, a great number of asylui^js raised 
By charity. 

Christians established at Jerusalem went to meet the 
pilgrims, and often exposed themselves to a thousand dangers 
whilst conducting them on their route. The holy city con* 
tained hospit^^s for th( reception of all travellers. In one 
of these hospitals the women who performed the pilgrimage 
to Palestine, were received by religious females devoted to 
the offices of charity. The merchants of Amalfi, Venice, 
and Grenoa, the richest among the pilgrims, and several 
princes of the West, furnished, by their benevolence, the 
means of keeping these houses open for all poor travellers.* 
Every year monks from the East came into Europe to collect 
the self-imposed tribute of the piety of the Christians. A 
pilgrim was a privileged being among the faithful. When 
he had completed his journey, he acquired the reputatioji of 
particular sanctity, and his departure and his retiu'n "were 
celebrated by religious ceremonies. When about to set out, 
a priest presented to him his scrip and staff, together ■witli a 
gown marked with a cross ; he sprinkled holy Avater over his 
vestments, and accompanied him, at the head of a j)roces- 
sion, as far as the boundaries of the next parish. On his 
return to his country, the pilgrim gave thanks to Grod, and 
presented to the priest a palm-branch, to be deposited on 
the altar of the chm^ch, as an evidence of his undertaking 
being happily terminated. 

The poor, in their pilgrimages, found certain resources 
against misery ; when coming back to their country, they 
received abundant alms. Vanity sometimes induced the 
rich to undertake these long voyages, which made the monk 
Grlaber say, that r^any Christians went to Jerusalem to make 
themselves admired, and to be enabled, on their return, to 
relate the wonders they had seen. Many were influenced 
by the love of idleness and change, others by curiosity and 
an inclination to see various countries. It was by no means 
rare to meet with Christians who had spent their lives in 
holy pilgrimages, and had visited Jerusalem several times. 

Every pilgrim was obliged to carry with him a letter from 

* William, duke of Normandy (917), Richard I. (943), and Richard II 
Bent considerable sums into Syria. — See Glaber, I'ib. i. cap. 4 ; Dv 
CB&NS, vol. iv. 


his prince or his bishop, a precaution which must have pre- 
vented many disorders. History does not record a single 
act of violence committed by one of the travellers who 
absolutely covered the rout-? to the East. A Mussulman 
governor, who had seen a vast number of them pass to 
Emessa, said : " They have not left their homes with any 
bad design; they only seek to fulfil their law."* 

Every year, at the period of the festivals of Easter, number- 
less troops of pilgrims arrived in Judea to celebrate the 
mystery of the liedemptiou, and to behold the miracle of the 
sacied fire, which a superstitious multitude believed they saw 
descend from heaven upon the lamps of the holy sepulchre. 
There existed no crune that might not be expiated by the pil- 
grimage to Jerusalem, and acts of devotion at the tomb of 
Christ. "We find in the "Acts of the Saints," that, in the time 
of Lothaire, this opinion was established among the Eranks. 
An old relation, preserved by a monk of E-edon, informs us 
that a powerful lord of the duchy of Brttany, named Erot- 
monde, the murderer of his uncle and his brother, presented 
himself in the habit of a penitent before the king of Erance 
and an assembly of bishops. The monarch and the prelates, 
as an expiation for the blood he had shed, caused him to be 
tightly bound with chains of iron, and ordered him to visit 
the holy places, his brow marked with ashes, and his body 
clothed in a winding-sheet. Erotmonde, accompanied by 
his servants and the accomplices of his crime, set out for 
Palestine ; after having for some time sojourned at Jeru- 
salem, he crossed the desert, went to the banks of the Nile, 
traversed a part of Africa, proceeded as far as Carthage, and 
came back to Eome, where Pope Benedict III. advised him 
to commence a new pilgrimage, to complete his penance 
and obtain an entire remission of his sins. Erotmonde saw 
Palestine a second time, penetrated as far as the shores of 
the Eed Sea, remained three years on Mount Sinai, and 
went into Armenia, to visit the mountain on which the 
ark of Noah had rested after the deluge. On his return 
to his country he was received as a saint ; he shut himself 

* Non qncBrunt mala, sed legem eorum adimplere cvptunt. — Guille- 
BARD. The account of the pilgrimage of St. Guillebard (Villibaldus), 
drawn up by a nun of Heindenheim, at his relation, is to be found in the 
*• Acta Sanctorum Ord. Sanct. Ben." ssecuU 3, part. 2. 


Up in the monastery of Eedon,* and died regretted by the 
3enobites whom he had edified by the relation of his pil- 

Many years after the death of Erotmonde, Centius, 
prefect of Rome, who had used violence to the Pope in the 
church of St. Mary the Grreat, who had dragged him from 
the altar, and placed him in a dungeon, needed nothing more 
to expiate this sacrilege than to perform the pilgrimage to 
the Holy Land. Eoulque-Nerra, count of Anjou, charged 
with crimes, and stained with blood, thought to efface all his 
cruelties by a voyage to Jerusalem. His brother, whom he 
had caused to perish in a dungeon, presented himself 
wherever he went, before his eyes ; it appeared to him that 
the numerous victims sacrificed to his ambition in unjust 
wars issued from their tombs to disturb his sleep, and 
reproach him for his barbarity. Pursued everywhere by 
these frightful images, Poulque left his states, and repaired 
to Palestine, in the gaib of a pilgrim. When he arrived at 
Jerusalem, he passed through the streets of the holy city 
with a cord aboa.t his neck, beaten with rods by his domes- 
tics, repeating in a loud voice these words : " Lord, have 
pity on a perjured and fugitive Christian." During his 
abode in Palestine,t he bestowed numerous benefactions, 
comforted the miseries of the pilgrims, and left everywhere 
testimonials of his devotion and charity. He returned to 
his duchy, bringing with him a portion of the true cross, and 

* The account of tlie pilgrimage of Frotraonde, drawn up by an 
anonymous monk of Radon, is inserted in the "Acta Sanctorum Ordin. 
Sanct. Ben." sseculi 4, part. 2. 

f The aggregated history of the annals and chronicles of Anjou, which 
desciibes the pilgrimages of Foulque, relates an incident which appears 
to d3serve to be known, for the full relation of which we refer to the 

A Latin chronicle, entitled " Gesta. Consulum Andegav. Spicilegium,'* 
torn. X. p. 465, relates the same fact, with more brevity and some circum- 
stantial differences : — 

Dixerunt, nuUo modo ad sepulcrum optatum pervenire posset nisi 
super illud et crucem Dominicam mingeret ; quod vir prudens licet 
invitus annuit. Quaesita igitur arietis vesic^, purgata atque mundata, et 
optimo vino repleta, quae etiam apte inter ejus femora posita est, et 
comes discalciatus ad sepulcrum Domini accessit, vinumque super sepul- 
crum fudit, et sic ad libitum cum sociis omnibus intravit, et fusts multjg 
lacrymis peroravit. 


khe sfcon3 npon wMcli he had knelt when he prayed before 
the tomb of Christ. 

Foulque, on returning to his dominions, was desirous of 
Having always under his ejes an image of the places he had 
risited, and caused to be built, near the castle of Loches, a 
monastery and a church, which bore the name of the Holy 
(Sepulchre. In the midst of the remembrances of his pil- 
)ejrimage, he still heard the voice of remorse, and set off a 
second time for Jerusalem. He once more edified the 
Ohristians of the holy city by the expressions of his repent- 
ance and the austerities of his penance. As he was returning 
to his duchy, in passing through Italy, he delivered the 
Roman state from a brigand Mdio plundered the towns and 
villages, and made war upon all merchants and pilgrims. 
The pope praised his zeal and his bravery, gave him absolu- 
tion for his sins, and permitted him to bear about with him 
the rehcs of two Iwly martyrs. When he left Eome, he 
was conducted in triumph by the people and the clergy, who 
proclaimed him their liberator. On his arrival in Anjou, he 
re-established peace in his dominions, which had been in 
great confusion during his absence. Eestored to his countrj^ 
his family, and his subjects, who had forgotten his criielties ; 
reconciled with the Church, which declared him its benefactor, 
he appeared to have no more crimes to expiate, or wishes to 
form for his old age ; but neither the absolution of the pope, 
nor the peace of his states, nor the blessings of the people 
• — ^nothing could calm his soul, for ever torn with remorse. 
He could not escape from the image of his brother, which 
pursued him still, and recalled to his mind the crimes with 
which he had stained himself. Without cessation he was 
before him, pale, disfigured, dragging his chains, and invoking 
heaven to take vengeance on the fratricide. Eoulque resolved 
to make a third pilgrimage to Jerusalem ; he returned uito 
Palestine, watered anew the tomb of Christ with his tears, 
and made the holy places resound with his groans. After 
having \isited the Holy Land, and recommended his soul to 
the prayers of the anchorites charged to receive and console 
pilgrims, he quitted Jerusalem to return to his country, 
which he was doomed never to see again. He fell sick, 
and died at Metz. His body was transpoi'ted to Loches, 
and buried in the monastery of the Holy Sepulchre, which 


te had caused to be built. His heart was deposited in a 
cburcli at Metz, where was shown, for many ages after his 
death, a mausoleum, which was called the tomb of Eoulque, 
count of Anjou. 

At the same period, towards the middle of the eleventh 
century, Bobert-le-Erison, count of Flanders, and Beren- 
ge? II., count of Barcelona, resolved likewise to expiate 
fch i/ir sins by the voyage to the Holy Land. The latter died 
in Asia, not being able to support the rigorous penances he 
had imposed upon himself. ^Robert came back to his domi- 
nions, where his pilgrimage caused him to find grace in the 
eyes of the clergy, whom he had wished to plunder. These 
two princes had been preceded in their pilgrimage by 
Frederick, count cf Yerdun,* Frederick was of the illus- 
trious family wliich was one day to reckon among its heroes 
Godfrey de Bouillon. On setting out for Asia, he renounced 
earthly grandeur, and gave up /his county to the bishop of 
Verdim. Eeturned into Europe, he resolved to terminate 
his days in a monastery, and died prior of the abbey of St. 
"Wast, near Arras. 

The weak and timid sex was not deterred by the difficulties 
and the perils of a long voyage. Helena, born of a noble 
family of Sweden, quitted her country, which was buried in 
idolatry, and travelled on foot into the East. When, after 
having visited the holy places, she returned to her country, 
she was sacrificed to the resentment of her relations and her 
compatriots, and gathered, says an old legend, the palm of 
martyrdom. t A few of the faithful, touched with her piety, 
raised a chapel to her memory in the isle of Zealand, near 
a fountain, which is still called the Fountain of St. Helena. 
The Christians of the North for a long time went in pilgrimage 
to this island, where they contemplated a grotto which 
Helena had inhabited before her departure for Jerusalem. 

Among the celebrated pilgrims of this age, we observe the 
name of Eobert II., duke of Normandy, father of AYilliam 
the Conqueror. History accuses him of having caused his 

* The pilgrimage of Frederick is related by Dom Calmet, vol. i. p. 1072, 
of the *' Civil History of Lorraine." It is to he found also in the '* His- 
tory of the Bishops of Lorraine," vol. 1. pp. 203 — 205. 

f See the Life of St. Helena, in the seventh volume of the mnath o:f 
July, pp. 332, 333, of the Bollandists. 


28 HISTORY or 7:he ceusades. , 

brotlier Eicliard to be poisoned. Remorse urged him to 
make the pilgrimage to Palestine ; and he set out accom- 
panied by a great number of knights and barons, bearing 
the scrip and staff, walking barefoot, and clothed in the sack 
of penitence. He attached, he said, more value to the pains 
he suffered for Christ's sake than to the richest city of his 
*^Likedom. On his arrival at Constantinople, he despised 
the luxury and the presents of the emperor, and appeared at 
court in the guise of the humblest of the pilgrims. Having 
fallen sick in Asia Minor, he refused the services of the 
Christians of his suite, and caused himself to be carried in a 
litter by Saracens. Meeting a pilgrim from Normandy, the 
latter asked him if he had any message that he could deliver 
for him to his country. " Go and tell my people," said the 
duke, " that you have seen a Christian prince being carried 
to Paradise by devils." When he arrived at Jerusalem, he 
found a crowd of pilgrims, who, not having the means of 
paying the tribute to the infidels, awai^^ed the arrival of some 
rich lord who might deign, by his charity, to open for them 
the gates of the holy city. Robert paid a piece of gold for 
each of them, and followed them into Jerusalem amidst the 
acclamations of the Christians. During his sojourn here he 
caused himself to be remarked for his devotion, and still 
more for his charity, which he extended even to the infidels. 
As he was returning into Europe, he died at Nicea, in 
Bithynia, regarding only the relics he had brought with him 
from Palestine, and regretting that he had not finished his 
days in the holy city. 

The greatest blessing for the pilgrims, and that which 
they demanded of Heaven as a reward for their labours and 
fatigues, was to die, like Jesus Christ, in the holy city. 
When they presented themselves before the holy sepulchre, 
they were accustomed to offer up this prayer : — " Thou who 
died for us, and wast buried in this holy spot, take pity of 
our misery, and withdraw us at once from this valley of 
tears." History tells of a Christian, born in the territory 
of Autun, who, on his arrival at Jerusalem, sought death in 
the excess of his fastings and mortifications. One day he 
femained a long time in prayer on the Mount of Ohves, with 
his eyes and his hands raised towards heaven, whither Grod 
aeemed ":o call him. On his return to the hospital of the 


pilgrims, lie cried three times, " Glory to tliee, oTi God!'"* 
and died suddenly in the sight of his companions, who 
envied him his fate, and believed themselves witnesses of a 

The inclination to acquire holiness bj the journey to 
Jerusalem became at length so general, that the troops of 
pilgrims alarmed by their numbers the countries through 
which they passed, and although they came not as soldiers, 
tliey were designated " the armies of the Lardy In tlie 
year 1054, Litbert, bishop of Cambrai, set out for the Holy 
Land, followed by more than three thousand pilgrims from 
the provinces of Picardy and Flanders-f "When he began 
his march, the people and the clergy accompanied him three 
leagues from the city, and with eyes bathed in tears, im- 
plored of Grod the happy return of their bishop and their 
brethren. The pilgrims traversed Germany without en- 
countering any enemies, but on reaching Bidgaria, they 
found none but men who inhabited the forests and subsisted 
upon plunder. Many were massacred by these barbarous 
people, and some perished with hunger in the midst of the 
deserts. Litbert arrived with much difficulty at Laodicea, 
embarked with those who followed him, and was cast upon 
the coast of Cyprus by a tempest. He had seen the greater 
part of his companions perish, and the remainder were 
nearly sinking imder their various miseries. Returned to 
Laodicea, they learnt that still greater dangers awaited 
them on the route to Jerusalem. The bishop of Cambrai 
felt his courage abandon him, and believed that Grod himself 
was opposed to his pilgrimage. He returned through a 
thousand dangers to his diocese, where he built a church in 
lionoiu' of the holy sepulchre, which he had never seen. 

Ten years after the voyage of Litbert, seven thousand 
Christians, among whom were the archbishop of Mayence, 
and the bishops of Spires, Cologne, Bamberg, and Utrecht, 
set out together from the banks of the E-hine, to repair 

* Raoul Glaber bestows great praise on this pilgrim, named Lethal, 
'* who," says he, " was not one of those who go to Jerusalem to court 
admiration, — ut solummodo mirahiles habeanturJ' 

t This pilgrimage of Litbert, or Liebert, is described in his life, written 
by Raoul (Radulfus), his contemporary. See vol. iv. month of June, 
pp. 595—605, of the Bollandists. 


to Palestine. This numerous caravan, wliieli was the 
forerunner of the Crusades,* crossed Germany, Hungary, 
Bulgaria, and Thrace, and was welcomed at Constantinople 
by the emperor Constantine Ducas. After having visited 
the churches of Byzantium, and the numerous relics which 
were the objects of the veneration of the Greeks, the pilgrims 
of tlie West traversed Asia Minor and Syria without danger; 
but when they approached Jerusalem, the sight of their 
riches aroused the cupidity of the Bedouin Arabs, undisci- 
plined hordes, who had neither country nor settled abode, 
and who had rendered themselves formidable in the civil 
wars of the East. The Arabs attacked the pilgrims of the 
West, and compelled them to sustain a siege in an aban- 
doned village ; and this was on a Good Friday. On such a 
sacred day, the pilgrims even who had arms employed them 
with much hesitation and scruple. Enclosed within the 
ruins of an old castle, they resisted for a time, but on the 
third day fomine compelled them to capitulate. When they 
came to the arrangement of the conditions of the peace, 
there arose a violent quarrel, w'hich was near leading to the 
massacre of all the Christians by the Arabs. The emir of 
Bamala, informed by some fugitives, came happily to their 
rescue, delivered them from the death with which they were 
threatened, and permitted them to continue their journey. 
As the report of their combats and their perils had preceded 
them, their arrival created a great sensation in Jerusalem. 
They were received in triumph by the patriarch, and con- 
ducted, to the sound of timbrels and by the light of torches, 
to the chiu-ch of the Holy Sepulchre. During their abode 
at Jerusalem, tlie misery into which they were fallen excited 
the pity of the Christians. They could not visit the banks 
of the Jordan, or the places most renowned in Judea, as 
these were all now infested by the Arabs and exposed to 
their incursions. After having lost more than three thou- 
sand of their companions, they returned to Europe, tv.> relate 

* Ingulfus, a Norman monk, who had accompanied the pilgrims who 
left Normandy, has made the i-elation of this pilgrimage. The account of 
Ingulfus has been copied almost literally by Baronius. An account of 
the same pilgrimage is likewise to b-e found in the chronicle of Maiianus 
Scotus pp. 429 430. 


tlieir tragical adventures, and the dangers of a pilgrimage to 
1;lie Holy Land.* 

New perils and the most violent persecutions at thii* 
period threatened both the pilgrims of the West and the 
Christians of Palestine. Asia was about once again to change 
masters, and tremble beneath a fresh tjrsimij. During 
several centuries, the rich countries of the East had been 
subject to continual invasions from the wild hordes of Tar- 
tary. As fast as the victorious tribes became effeminated 
by luxury and prosperity, they were replaced by others 
retaining all the barbarism of the deserts. The Turks 
issuing from countries situated beyond the Oxus, hac 
rendered themselves masters of Persia, where the uncal- 
culating policy of Mamouh had received and encouraged 
their wandering tribes. The son of Mamouh fought a 
battle with them, in which he performed prodigies of valour; 
"but fortune," says Peristha, "had declared herself unpro- 
pitious to his arms ; he looked around durmg the fight, and 
except the body which he immediately commanded, his whole 
army had devoured the yatlis of flight.''^ Upon the very 
theatre of their victory the Turks proceeded to the election 
of a king. A large number of arrows were collected into a 
bundle. Upon each of these arrows was inscribed the name 
of a tribe, of a family, and of a warrior. A child drew three 
of the arrows in the presence of the whole army, and chance 
assigned the throne to Togrul-Beg, grandson of Seldjouc. 
Togrul-Beg, whose ambition equalled his courage, embraced, 
together with his soldiers, the faith of Mahomet, and soon 
joined to the title of conqueror that of protector of the 
Mussulman religion. 

The banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates were then 
troubled by the revolt of the emirs, who shared the spoils of 
the caliphs of Bagdad : the caliph Cayem implored the 
assistance of Togrul, and promised the conquest of Asia to 
the new master of Persia. Togrul, whom he had named his 
temporal vicar, marched at the head of an army, dispersed 
the :^ctious and the rebellious, ravaged the provinces, and 

* It would have been easy for me to have spoken of a great number oi 
other pilgrimages undertaken before the Crusades. An abridgment of 
the most inter^^tiag a^^soiAnts will be found in the Appendix at the end of 


entered Bagdad, to prostrate himself at the feet of th« 
caliph, who proclaimed the triumph of his liberators anU 
their sacred claims to the empire. In the midst of an 
imposing ceremony, Togrul was successively clothed with 
seven robes of honoiu* : and seven slaves born in the seven 
climates of Arabia were presejited to him. Two crowns 
were placed upon his head, and, as an emblem of his domi- 
nion over the East and the West, they girded him with two 
scimitars. Tliis ceremony rendered the usurpation of the 
Tiu'ks legitimate in the eyes of the Mussulmans. The 
empire which the vicar of Mahomet pointed out to their 
ambition was speedily conquered by their arms. Under the 
reign of Alp-Arsland, and that of Malek-Scha, the successors 
of Togrul, the seven branches of the dynasty of Seldjouc 
shared amongst them the largest kingdoms of Asia. Thirty 
years had scarcely passed away since the Tartars conquered 
Persia, and already their military and pastoral colonies ex- 
tended from the Oxus to the Euphrates, and from the Indus 
to the Hellespont. 

One of the lieutenants of Malek-Scha carried the terror 
of his arms to the banks of the Nile, and wrested Syria 
from the hands of the Eatimite caliphs. Palestine yielded 
to the power of the Turks, and the black flag of the Abassides 
floated triumphantly over the walls of Jerusalem. The con- 
querors spared neither the Christians nor the children of 
Aly, whom the caliph of Bagdad represented to be the 
enemies of God. The Egyptian garrison was massacred, 
and the mosques and the churches were delivered up to 
pillage. The holy city was flooded with the blood of Chris- 
tians and Mussulmans. 

The possession of Jerusalem in no degree arrested the 
barbarous fury of the Turks. As their empire was recent 
and ill -established, as they were threatened with the armies 
of Cairo, and even with those of the West, their tyranny 
became restless, jealous, and violent. The Christians trem- 
bled under the hardest and most humiliating subjugation ; 
they were despoiled of their property, and reduced to the 
most frightful degree of misery. They underwent much 
greater evils than they had suffered during the reign of 

A great number of those who had quitted their familiea 


and their country to visit the tomb of Christ, lost their Jves 
before they were able to enjoy the felicity of saluting the 
holy city ; and they v/ho arrived at Jerusalem after having 
escaped a thousand dangers, found themselves exposed to 
the insults and cruelties of the new masters of Judea. The 
pilgrims of the Latin Church w^ho returned into Europe, 
related all that they had suffered in their voyage, and told, 
with groans, of the outrages committed upon the religion of 
Christ. They had seen the holy sepulchre profaned, and 
the ceremonies of the Christians become the sport of the 
infidels ; they had seen the patriarchs of Jerusalem and the 
venerable guardians of the holy places dragged from their 
sanctuary and cast ignominiously into dungeons. These 
recitals, exaggerated by repetition, flew from mouth to 
mouth, and drew tears from the eyes of the faithful. 

Whilst the Turks, under the command of Toutousch and 
Ortock, were desolating Syria and Palestine, other tribes of 
that nation, led by Soliman, nephew of Malek-Scha, had 
penetrated into Asia Minor. They took possession of all 
the provinces through which pilgrims were accustomed to 
pass on their way to Jerusalem. These countries, in which 
the Christian religion had first shone forth, and the greater 
part of the Greek cities w^hose names were conspicuous in 
the annals of the primitive church, sunk under the yoke of 
the infidels. The standard of the prophet floated over the 
walls of Edessa, Iconium, Tarsus, and Antioch. Nicea had 
become the seat of a Mussulman empire, and the divinity of 
Christ was insulted in that city wherein the first oecumenic 
council had declared it to be an article of faith. The 
modesty of the virgins had been sacrificed to the brutal lust 
of the conquerors. Thousands of children had been circum- 
cised.* Everywhere the laws of the Koran took place of 
those of the Evangelists and of Grreece. The black or white 
tents of the Turks covered the plains and the mountains of 

* A picture of the excesses and shameless debaucheries committed by 
the Turks after the conquest of Asia Minor, may be found in a letter of 
Alexis, quoted by the Abbe Guibert, lib. i., cap. 4 : — " Dicit eos quem- 
dam abusione sodomitica intervenisse episcopum ; matres correptse in 
conspectu filiarum multipliciter repetitis diversorum coitibus vexabantur. 
Filiae existentise terminum praecinere saltando cogebantur,--mox eadem 
jpassio ad filias," &c. 


Bithyiiia and Cappadocia, and their Hocks pastured amoiig 
the ruins of tlie monasteries and cliurches. 

The Grreeks had never had to contend against more cruel 
and terrible enemies than tlie Turks. Whilst the court of 
Alp-Arslan and JMalelv-Scha blazed with, magnilicence and 
cultivated the knowledge and intelligence of the ancient Per- 
sians, the rest of the people remained in a state of barbarism, 
and preserved, amidst the conquered nations, all the ferocious 
and savage manners of Tartary. The children of Seldjoiic 
loved better to abide mider their tents than in the walls of 
cities ; they lived upon the milk of their flocks, disdaining 
both agriculture and commerce, in the conviction that war 
would supply all their wants. For themselves, their home 
was every region in which their arms could prevail and 
their flocks find rich pastm^es. When they passed from one 
country into another, all the members of the same family 
marched together ; they took with them all that they loved, 
ind all that they possessed. A constantly wandering life, 
and frequent quarrels among themselves and with their 
neighbours, kept up their military spuit. Every warrior 
carried his name inscribed upon his javelin, and swore to 
make it respected by his enemies. So eager were the Turks 
for battle, that it was quite sufficient if a chief sent his bow 
or his arrows among his tribe, to make them all instantly 
fly to arms. 

The patience with which they supported hunger, thirst, 
and fatigue, rendered them invincible. 'No nation of the 
East surpassed them in horsemanship, or in skill with the 
bow ; nothing could exceed the impetuosity of their attack, 
and they were at the same time redoubtable in flight, and 
implacable in victory. They were not guided in their expe- 
ditions by a desii'e for glory or a sense of honour, but simply 
by a love of destruction and pillage. 

The re])ort of their invasions had spread among the na- 
tions of Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, and new migrations 
appeared to arrive every day to strengthen their armies. As 
they were docile in war, and turbulent and rebellious in 
peace, it was the policy of their chiefs to lead them con- 
stantly on to new conquests. Malek-Scha, with a view to 
get rid of his lieutenants rather than to reward them, had 
given them permission to attempt the conquest of the lands 


of the Greeks and Egyptians. It was an easy matter to 
raise armies, to which were promised the spoils of the 
enemies of the prophet and his legitimate vicar. All who 
had not shared in the booty of preceding w^ars flocked to 
tlie standards, and the wealth of Greece soon became the 
prey of Turkish horsemen, who had but recently issued from 
tlieir deserts with woollen caps and stirrups of wood. 01 
all the hordes subject to the dynasty of Seldjouc, the troops 
that invaded Syria and Asia Minor were the poorest, the 
most wild, and tlie most intrepid. 

In the depth of their misery, the Greeks of the conquered 
provinces scarcely dared to lift their eyes to the sovereigns 
of Byzantium, who had not had the courage to defend them, 
and therefore left them no hope that they would assist them 
in their troubles. In the midst of revolutions and civil 
wars, the Greek empire was hasteniag to its fall. Since 
the reign of Ileraclius, Constantinople had seen eleven of 
its emperors put to death in their own palace. Six of these 
masters of the world had terminated their days in the 
obscurity of cloisters ; several had been mutilated, deprived 
of sight, and sent into exile ; the purple, stained and degraded 
by so many revolutions, decorated only wicked and con- 
temptible princes, or men without character or virtue. 
Their whole employment was their o^vn personal safety; 
and they were compelled to share their power with the 
accomplices of their crimes, of whom they lived in a constant 
state of dread. They frequently sacrificed cities and pro- 
vinces, to purchase from their enemies a few moments of 
security, and appeared to have nothmg to ask of fortune 
beyond the existence of the empire during their own worth- 
less lives. 

The Greeks still cherished great names and great remem- 
brances, of which they were proud, but which only served 
to show their present weakness and degradation. In the 
midst of the luxury of Asia and the monuments of Greece 
and Eome, they were scarcely less barbarous than other 
nations. In their theological disputes they had lost the 
true spirit of the Evangelists ; among them everything 
was corrupted, even religion. A universal bigotry, says 
Montesquieu, depressed tlieir courage and paralyzed the 
whole empire. They uegleAttcd the dangers of their coun- 


try, and became zealots for a relic or for a sect, lu vvar, 
superstition pointed out to the Greeks lucky and unl;icky 
days, in ayIiIcIi a general ought or ought not to give battle ; 
and as religion inspired in them nothing beyond an apathetic 
resignation in reverses, they consoled themselves for tho 
loss of provinces by accusing their inhabitants of heresy. 

Among the Greeks, stratagem and perfidy were decorated 
with the name of policy, and received the same encomiums 
as valour; they esteemed it as glorious to deceive their 
enemies as to conquer them. Their soldiers were followed to 
the seat of war by light chariots, which carried their arms; and 
they had perfected every machine which could supply the place 
of courage in either sieges or battles. Their armies displayed 
great military pomp, but were deficient in soldiers. The 
only thing they inherited from their ancestors was a turbu- 
lent and ' seditious spirit, which mixed itself with their 
effeminated manners, and was sure to break out when their 
country was threatened with danger. Discord unceasingly 
reigned among both the army and the people ; and they 
continued madly to dispute the right to an empire wliose 
very existence was menaced, and blindly gave up its defence 
to barbarians and strangers. In short, the corruption of the 
Greeks was so great, that they could neither have endured 
a good prince nor good laws. Nicephorus Phocas, who had 
formed the project of re-establishing discipline, died assas- 
sinated. Zimisces had also paid with his life for his efforts 
to rouse the Greeks from their pusillanimous degradation. 
When the emperor Bomanus-Diogenes was made prisoner by 
the Turks, his misfortunes were the signal for a fresh revolt 
against his person. Sent back with honours by the sultan 
of Persia, he met with nothing but executioners in an empire 
he had endeavoured to defend, and died with misery and 
despair in a desert island of the Propontis. 

"Whilst the empire of the East approached near to its fall, 
and appeared sapped by time and corruption, the institutions 
of the West were in their infancy. The empH-e and the 
laws of Charlemagne no longer existed. Nations had no 
relations with each otlier, and mistaking their political 
interests, made wars without considering their consequences 
or their dangers, and concluded peace, witnout being at all 
aware whether it was advantageous or not. E-oyal authority 


w&s nowhere sufficiently strong to arrest the progress of 
anarchy and the abuses of feudalism. At the same time 
that Europe was full of soldiers, and covered with stron* 
castles, the states themselves were without support against 
their enemies, and had not an army to defend them. In the 
midst of general confusion, there was no security but in 
camps and fortresses, by turns the safeguards and the terror 
of the towns and the country. The largest cities held out no 
asylum to liberty, and the life of man was reckoned so trifling 
an object, that impunity for murder could be purchased with a 
few pieces of money. Frequently, to detect crime, the judges 
had recourse to water, fire, and iron ; upon the blind and 
dumb evidence of the elements, victims were condemned to 
death ; it was sword in hand that justice was invoked ; it was 
by the sword that the reparation of wrongs and injuries was 
to be obtained. No one would then have been understood 
who would have spoken of the rights of nature, or the rights 
of man ; the language of the barons and the lords comprised 
only such words as treated of war ; w^ar was the only science, 
the only policy of either princes or states. 

Nevertheless, this barbarism of the nations of the West 
did not at all resemble that of the Turks, whose religion 
and manners repelled every species of civilization or cultiva- 
tion, nor that of the Grreeks, who were nothing but a cor- 
rupted and degenerated people. Whilst the one exhibited 
all the vices of a state almost savage, and the other all the 
corruption of decay ; something heroical and generous was 
mingled with the barbarous manners of the Franks, which 
resembled the passions of youth, and gave promise of a 
better future. The Turks were governed by a gross bar- 
barism, which made them despise all that was noble or great; 
the Greeks were possessed by a learned and polished bar- 
barism, which filled them with disdain for heroism or the 
military virtues. The Franks M^ere as brave as the Turks, 
and set a higher value on glory than any other people. The 
principle of ho?iou7% which gave birth to chivalry in Europe, 
directed their bravery, and sometimes assumed the guise oi 
justice and virtue. 

The Christian religion, which the Greeks had reduced to 
little formula? and the vain practices of superstition, was, 
with them, incapable of inspiring either great designs or 


noble tbouglits. Among tlio nations of the West, as tliey 
were yet unacquainted with the disputed dogmas of Chris- 
tianit}^, it had more empire over their minds, it disposed 
then' hearts more to enthusiasm, and formed amongst them, 
at once, both saints and heroes. 

Although religion might not always preach its doctrines 
with success, and its influence was subject to abuse, it 
had a tendency to soften the manners -ji the barbarous 
people that had invaded Europe ; it aiforded a holy au- 
thority to the weak ; it inspired a salLitary fear in the 
strong, and frequently corrected the injustice of human 

In the midst of the darkness which covered Europe, the 
Cln'istian religion alone preserved the memory of times past, 
and kept up some degree of emulation among men. It 
preserved, also, for happier days, the language of the royal 
people, the only one capable of expressing the grand and 
noble ideas of moral virtue, in which the genius of legis- 
lation had elevated its most splendid monuments. Whilst 
despotism and anarchy pervaded the cities and the kingdoms 
of the West, the people invoked religion against tyranny, 
and the princes called in its aid against license and revolt. 
Often, mid the troubles of states, the title of Christian 
inspired more respect, and awakened more enthusiasm than 
did the name of citizen in ancient Home. As the Christian 
religion had preceded all the then existing institutions, it natu- 
rally remained for a long time surrounded by the veneration 
and love of the people. Under more than one relation the 
nations appeared to recognise no other legislators than the 
fathers of the councils, no other code than that of the gospel 
and the holy Scriptures. Europe might be considered as a 
religious society, wherein the preservation of the faith was 
the principal interest, and in which men belonged more to 
the church than to the country. In such a state of things 
it was easy to inflame the minds of the people, by showing 
them that the cause of religion and of Christians stood in 
need of defence. 

Ten years before the invasion of Asia Minor by the Turks, 
Michael Ducas, the successor of Eomanus-Diogenes, had im- 
plored the assistance of the pope and the princes of the 
West. He had promised to remo\'e all tho barriers which 


separated tHe Grreek from the E,omau Churcli, if the Latins 
would take up arms against the infidels. Grregory YII. then 
filled the chair of St. Peter, and his talents, his knowledge, 
his activity, his boldness, together with the inflexibility of 
his character, rendered him capable of the greatest under- 
takings. The hope of extending the religion and the empire 
of the Holy See into the East, made him receive kindly the 
humble supplications of Michael Ducas. He exhorted the 
faithfid to take up arms against the Mussulmans, and 
engaged to lead them himself into Asia. The misfortunes 
of the Christians of the East, said he, in his letters, had 
moved him even to feel a contempt for death ; he would 
rather expose his life to deliver the holy places, than live to 
command the entire universe. Excited by his discourses, 
fifty thousand pilgrims agreed to follow Grregory to Con- 
stantuiople, and thence to Syria; but he kept not the 
promise he had made, and the affairs of Europe, in which 
the ambition of the pontiff" was more interested than in 
those of Asia, suspended the execution of his projects. 

Every day the power of the popes was augmented by the 
progress of Christianity, and by the ever-increasing influence 
of the Latin clergy. E-ome was become a second time the 
capital of the world, and appeared to have resumed, under 
the monk Hildebrand, the empire it had enjoyed under the 
Caesars. Armed with the two-edged sword of Peter, Grregory 
loudly proclaimed that all the kingdoms of the earth were 
under the dominion of the Holy See, and that his authority 
ought to be as imiversal as the church of which he was the 
head. These dangerous pretensions, fostered by the opinions 
of his age, engaged him immediately in violent disputes wdth 
the emperor of Grermany. He desired also to dictate laws to 
France, Spain, Sweden, Poland, and England ; and thinking 
of nothing but making himself acknowledged as the great 
arbiter of states, he launched his anathemas even against 
the throne of Constantinople, which he had undertaken to 
defend, and gave no more attention to the deliverance of 

After the death of Grregory, Victor III., although he 
pursued the policy of his predecessor, and had at the same 
time to contend against the emperor of Germany and the 
party of the anti-pope Guibert, did not neglect the oppor* 


jTunity of making war against tlie Mussulmans. Tlie Sara- 
cens, inliabitbig Africa,* disturbed the navigatioii of the 
Mediterranean, and threatened the coast of Italy. Victor 
invited the Christians to take arms, and promised them the 
remission of all their sins if they went to fight against the 
infidels. The inhabitants of Pisa, Grenoa, and several other 
cities, urged by their zeal for religion, and their desire to 
defend their commerce, equipped fleets, levied troops, and 
made a descent upon the coasts of Africa, where, if we are 
to believe the chronicles of the time, they cut in pieces an 
army of one hundred thousand Saracens. That we may not 
doubt, says Baronius, that God interested himself in the 
cause of the Christians, on the very day on which the Italians 
triumphed over the enemies of Christ, the news of the 
victory was carried miraculously beyond the seas. After 
having given up to the flames two cities, ^U-Mahadia and 
Sibila,t built within the territories of ancient Carthage, and 
forced a king of Mauritania to pay a tribute to the Holy 
See, the Grenoese and the Pisans returned to Italy, where the 
s J) oils of the conquered were employed in ornamenting the 

The pope Victor, however, died without realizing his 
promise of attacking the infidels in Asia. The glory of 
delivering Jerusalem belonged to a simple pilgrim, possessed 
of no other power than the influence of his character and 
his genius. Some assign an obscure origin to Peter the 
Hermit ; others say he was descended from a noble family 
of Picardy ; but all agree that he had an ignoble and vulgar 
exterior. Born with a restless, active spirit, he sought, 
m all conditions of life, for an object which he could meet 
with in none. The study of letters, bearing arms, celibacy, 
marriage, the ecclesiastical state, offered nothing to him that 

* This expedition, which was a true crusade, a^ pears to have been 
forgotten by all the historians of the crusades. 

If Al-Mahadia, the chief of the cities conquered by the Christians, 
according to Oriental geographers, was founded in the year 303 of the 
Hegira, by Obeidallah, or Abdallah. It was still considerable in the 
fifteenth century. Shaw, who saw it in 1730, calls it El-Medea. It is 
situated thirty marine leagues south of Tunis. Sibila, which is the other 
city conquered in this expedition, and which Shaw takes for the ancient 
Turris Annibalis, is two leagues more to the south, on the same coast of 
the Mediterranean. 


foiild fill his heart or satisfy his ardent mind. Disgusted 
with the world and mankind, he retired amongpt the most 
austere cenobites. Easting, prayer, meditation, the silence 
of solitude, exalted his imagination. In his visions he kept 
up an habitual commerce with heaven, and believed himself 
the mstrument of its designs, and the depositary of its will. 
He possessed the ferv^our of an apostle, with the courage of a 
martyr. His zeal gave way to no obstacle, and all that he 
desired seemed easy of attainment. When he spoke, the 
passions with which he was agitated animated his gestures 
and his words, and communicated themselves to his audi- 
tors.* Such was the extraordmary man who gave the 
signal to the Crusaders, and who, without fortune and 
without name, by the ascendancy of his tears and prayers 
alone, succeeded in moving the West to precipitate itself in 
a mass upon Asia. 

The fame of the pilgrimages to the East drew Peter from 
his retreat, and he followed into Palestine the crowd of 
Christians who went to visit the holy places. The sight of 
Jerusalem excited him much more than any of the other 
pilgrims, for it created in his ardent mind a thousand con- 
flicting sentiments. In the city, which exhibited every- 
where marks of the mercy and the anger of Grod, aR objects 
inflamed his piety, irritated his devotion and his zeal, and 
filled hinpL by turns with respect, terror, and indignation. 
After having followed his bretlu-en to Calvary and the tomb 
of Christ, he repaired to the patriarch of Jerusalem. The 

* Anna Comnena calls Peter the Kermit Cucupiettdre, which appears 
to be taken from the Picard word Mokio, little, and from the word Petrus, 
Peter, little Peter. If we are to believe Oderic -Vital, the hermit had 
still another name, and was called Peter of Achiris. He is styled in this 
manner in the chronicle of the counts of Anjou : " Heremita quidam 
Petrus Achiriensis." William of Tyre informs us that he was a hermit 
in name and in fact ; *^ Heremita nomine et effectu.^' Adrian Barland, 
in his book De Gestis Ducum Brabantice, expresses himself thus : — 
" Petrus Heremita, Ambianensis, vir nobilis, prima set'te rei militari 
deditus, tametsi litteris optime iinbutus, sed corpore deformis ac brevis 
stature," &c. The life of Peter the Hermit has been written by Andre 
Thevet, in his " History of the most Illustrious and Learned Men of 
their Ages," and by Father Outtreman, a Jesuit. Several families have 
pretended to be descended from Peter the Hermit. The most rational 
and best supported claim is that of the family of Souliers, which still exists 
in the Limousin. 


white hairs of Simeon, his venerable figure, and, above all, 
the persecution which he had undergone, bespoke the full 
confidence of Peter, and they wept together over the ills oi 
the Christians. The hermit, his heart torn, his face bathoQ 
in tears, asked if there was no termination to be looked for, 
no remedy to be devised, for so many calamities ? " Oh, 
most faithful of Christians!" replied the patriarch, "is it 
not plam that our iniquities have shut us out from all access 
to the mercy of the Lord ? All Asia is in the power of the 
Mussulmans, all the East is sunk into a state of slavery ; no 
power on earth can assist us." At these words Peter inter- 
rupted Simeon, and pointed out to him the hope that the 
warriors of the West might one day be the liberators of 
Jerusalem. " Yes, Avithout doubt," replied the patriarch, 
" when the measure of oiu* afilictions shall be full, when Grod 
will be moved by our miseries, he will soften the hearts of 
the princes of the West, and will send them to the succour 
of the holy city." At these words Peter and Simeon felt 
their hearts expand with hope, and embraced each other, 
shedding tears of joy. The patriarch resolved to implore, 
by his letters, the help of the pope and the princes of 
Europe, and the hermit swore to be the interpreter of the 
Christians of the East, and to rouse the West to take arms 
for their deliverance. 

After this interview, the enthusiasm of Peter knew no 
bounds ; he was persuaded that Heaven itself called upon 
him to avenge its cause. One day, whilst prostrated before 
the holy sepulchre, he believed that he heard the voice of 
Christ, which said to him, — "Peter, arise ! hasten to proclaim 
the tribulations of my people ; it is time that my servants 
should receive help, and that the holy places should be deli- 
vered." Pull of the spirit of these words, which sounded 
unceasingly in his ears, and charged with letters from the 
patriarch, he quitted Palestine, crossed the seas, landed on 
the coast of Italy, and hastened to cast himself at the feet 
of the pope. The chair of St. Peter was then occupied by 
"^^rban II., who had been the disciple and confidant of 
both Grregory and Victor. Urban embraced with ardcur a 
project which had been entertained by his predecessors ; he 
received Peter as a prophet, applauded his design, and bade 
nim go forth and announce the approaching deliverance of 


Peter tlie Hermit traversed Italy, crossed the Alps, -visited 
all parts of Erauce, and tlie greatest portion of Europe, 
inflaming all hearts with the same zeal that Consumed his 
own. He travelled mounted on a mule, with a crucifix in 
his hand, his feet bare, his head uncovered, his body girded 
with a thick cord, covered with a long frock, and a hermit's 
hood of the coarsest stuff. The singularity of his appear- 
ance was a spectacle for the people, whilst the austerity of 
his manners, his charity, and the moral doctrines that he 
preached, caused him to be revered as a saint wherever he 

He went from city to city, from province to province, 
working upon the courage of some, and upon the piety of 
others ; sometimes haranguing from the pulpits of the 
chiu'ches, sometimes preaching in the high roads or public 
places. His eloquence was animated and impressive, and 
filled with those vehement apostrophes which produce such 
effects upon an uncultivated multitude. He described the 
profanation of the holy places, and the blood of the Chris- 
tians shed in torrents in the streets of Jerusalem. He 
invoked, by turns, Eleaven, the saints, the angels, whom he 
called u])on to bear witness to the truth of what he told 
them. He apostrophized Mount Sion, the rock of Calvary, 
and the Mount of Olives, which he made to resound with sobs 
and groans. When he had exhausted speech in painting the 
miseries of the faithful, he showed the spectators the crucifix 
which he carried with him ; sometimes strikiag his breast 
and wounding his flesh, sometimes shedding torrents of 

The people followed the steps of Peter in crowds. The 
preacher of the holy war was received everywhere as a 
messenger from Grod. They who could touch his vestments 
esteemed themselves happy, and a portion of hair pulled 
from the mule he rode was preserved as a holy relic. At 
the sound of his voice, differences in families were reconciled, 
the poor were comforted, the debauched blushed at their 
errors , nothmg was talked of but the virtues of the eloquent 
eenobite ; his austerities and his miracles were described, 
and his discourses were repeated to those who had not heard 
him, and been edified by his j)resence. 

He often met, ii his jour^ieys, with Christians from the 

Vol. I.— 4 


East, ^Yllo liad been banished from tbeir coxntrj, and warir 
dered over Europe, subsisting on charity. Peter the Hermit 
presented them to the people, as Kving evider.ces of the 
barbarity of the infidels ; and pc "aiting to the rags with 
v.liich they were clothed, he ':;urst into torrents of invectives 
against tlieir oppressors and persecutors. At the sight oi 
these miserable wretches, the faithful felt, hj turns, the 
most dvely emotions of pity, and tlie fury of vengeance ; all 
deploring in their hearts the miseries and the disgrace of 
flerusalem. The people raised their voices towards heaven, 
to entreat Grod to deign to cast a look of pity upon his 
beloved city ; some oifering their riches, others their prayers, 
but all promising to lay down their lives for the deliverance 
of the holy places. 

In the midst of this general excitement, Alexius Comnena, 
who was threatened by the Turks, sent ambassadors to the 
pope, to solicit the assistance of the Latins. Some time 
before this embassy he had addressed letters to the princes 
of the West, in which he had described to them, in a most 
lamentable manner, the conquests of the Turks in Asia 
Minor. These savage hordes, in their debauches and in the 
intoxication of victory, had outraged both nature and 
humanity.* They were now at the gates of Byzantium, 
and, without the prompt assistance of all the Christian 
states, Constantmople must fall under the most frightful 
domination of the Turks. Alexius reminded the princes of 

* This letter of Alexius, quoted in extract by the Abbe Guibert, and 
tlse whole of it by Robert the Monk. M. Heeren, in his learned Latin 
commentary on the Greek historians, doubts its authenticity. The 
principal reason he gives for his opinion is, that this letter differs too 
strongly from the known character of the Greek emperors. This reason 
does not appear to me sufficient ; we know very well that the Greek 
emperors affected great haughtiness in their correspondence, but we know 
also that they spared no prayers when they were in any danger, oi 
wanted assistance : nothing suits better with vanity than servility. Somt 
critics cannot believe that Alexius should have spoken in his letters of th« 
beautiful women of Greece ; the thing may. however, well be believed 
when we recollect that the Turks, who were invading the empire oJ 
Byzantium, sought with great eagerness to obtiin Greek women. Mon- 
tesquieu remarks it, when speaking of the decline of the empire. It 
seems then very natural that Alexius should speak of the beautiful women 
of Byzantium, when addressing the Franks, whom the Greeks considered 
barbarians, and governed by the same tastes as the Turks. 


C^yA'is*':.%KXj oi- tlie lioly relics preserved in Constat -jmopie, 
r-Dd coaiured tliera to save so sacred an assemblage of 
venerated oLjects from the profanation of the infidels. After 
having set Ibrth the splendour and the riches of his capital, 
l;e exhorted the knights and barons to come and defend 
them ; he offered them his treasures as the reward of their 
valour, and painted in glov^'ing colours the beauty of the 
Greek women, whose love would repay the exploits of his 
liberators. Thus, nothing was spared that could flatter the 
passions, or arouse the enthusiasm of the warriors of the 
West. The invasion of the Turks was, in the eyes of 
Alexius, the greatest misfortune that the chief of a Christian 
kingdom had to dread ; and to avert such a danger, every- 
thing appeared to him just and allowable. He could support 
the idea of losing his crown, but not the shame of seeing 
his states subjected to the laws of Mahomet : if he was 
doomed one day to lose his empire, he could console himself 
for that loss, provided Grreece escaped the Mussulman yoke, 
and became the prize of the Latins. 

In compliance with the prayers of Alexius and the wishes of 
the faithful, the sovereign pontiff convoked a council at Plai- 
sance, in order there to expose the dangers of the Grreek and 
Latin Churches in the East. The preachings of Peter had so 
prepared the minds and animated the zeal of the faithful, 
that more than two hundred bishops and archbishops, four 
thousand ecclesiastics, and thirty thousand of the laity obeyed 
the invitation of the Holy See. The council was so numerous 
that it was obHged to be held in a plain in the neighbourhood 
of the citv. 

At this assembly all eyes were turned upon the ambas- 
sadors of Alexius ; their presence in the midst of a Latin 
council, announced sufficiently plainly the disastrous con- 
dition of the East. When they had exhorted the princes 
and the warriors to save Constantinople and Jerusalem, Urban 
supported their discourse and their prayers with all the 
reasons ^ hich the interests of Christianity and the cause of 
religion o )uld fnrnish. The council of Plaisance, however, 
came to no determination upon the war against the infidels. 
The deliverance of the Holy Land was far from bemg the 
oidy object of this council : the declarations of the empress 
Adelaide, who came to reveal hor own shame, and that of 


her liusbaiid, anatliemas against tlie emperor of German;^ 
and the ajiti-pope, Guibert, occupied, during several days, 
the attention of Urban and the assembled fathers. 

It must be added, too, that among the states of Itah^, in 
which country this council was held, the spirit of commerce 
and liberty began to weaken the enthusiasm of religion. The 
greater part of the cities only thought of the advantages 
that might accrue to them from the troubles ; some enter- 
taining hopes they W'Ould increase their wealth, others 
looking to them as a means of securing their independence, 
and none yielding so freely as other nations to the influence 
of the popes. Whilst the Christian world revered in Urban 
the formidable successor of Gregory, the Italians, whose 
charity he had frequently implored, were best acquainted 
witli liis disgraces and misfortunes : his presence did not in 
any degTee warm their zeal, and his decrees were not always 
laws for them, who had seen him, from the depths of misery 
and in exile, launch his thunders against the thrones of the 

The prudent Urban avoided trying to arouse the ardour 
of tlie Italians ; he did not think tlieir example at all likely 
to lead on other nations. In order to take a decided part 
in the civil w^ar, and to interest all Eiu'ope in its success, he 
resolved to assemble a second synod, in the bosom of a 
warlike nation, which, from the most distant times, had been 
accustomed to give impulsion to Europe. The new council 
assembled at Clermont, in Auvergne, was neither less 
numerous nor respectable than that of Plaisance ; the most 
renowned holy men and learned doctors came to honour it 
with their presence, and enlighten it with their counsels. 
The city of Clermont was scarcely able to contain withiu 
its walls all the princes, ambassadors, and prelates who had 
repaired to the council; "so that," says an ancient chro- 
nicle,* " towards the middle of the month of November, the 
cities and villages of the neighbourhood were so filled with 
people, that they were compelled to erect tents and pavilions 
hi the fields and meadoTNS, although tlie season and the 
country were extremely cold." 

Before it gave up its attention to the holy war, the council 

* See William Aabert's '* History of the Conquest of Jerusalem.'* 


6t first cousidered the reform of the clergy and ecclesiasticm 
discipline ; and it then occupied itself in placing a restraint 
upon the license of wars among individuals. ' In these bar- 
barous times even simple knights never thought of redressiug 
their injuries by any other means than arms. It was not 
an uncommon thing to see families, for the slightest causes, 
commence a ^^'ar against each other that would last during 
several generations : Europe was distracted with troubles 
occasioned by these hostilities. In the im^potence of the 
laws and the governments, the Church often exerted its 
salutary influence to restore tranquillity : several councils 
had placed their interdict upon privata wars during four 
days of the week, and their decrees had invoked the ven- 
geance of Heaven against disturbers of the public peace. The 
council of Clermont renewed the truce of God, and threatened 
all who refused " to accept peace and justice''' with the 
thunders of the Church. One of its decrees placed widows, 
orphans, merchants, and labourers under the safeguard of 
religion. They declared, as they had already done in other 
councils, that the churches should be so many inviolable 
sanctuaries, and that crosses, even, placed upon the high 
roads should become points of refuge against violence. 

H umanity and reason must applaud such salutary decrees ; 
but the sovereign pontiff, although he presented himself as 
the defender of the sanctity of marriage, did not merit the 
same praises when he pronounced in this council an anathema 
against Philip I. : but such was then the general infatuation, 
that no one was astonished that a king of France should be 
excommunicated in the very bosom of his own. kingdom. 
The sentence of Urban could not divert attention from an 
object that seemed much more imposing, and the excom- 
munication of Philip scarcely holds a place in the history of 
the council of Clermont. The faithfid, gathered from all the 
provinces, had but one single thought ; they spoke of nothing 
but the evils the Christians endured in Palestine, and saw 
nothing but the war which was about to be declared against 
the i]ifidels. Enthusiasm and fanaticism, which always 
increase in large assemblies, were carried to their full height. 
Urban at length satisfied the impatience of the faithful, 
impatience which he, perhaps, had adroitly excited, and 
which was the sirest guarantee of success. 


The council lield its tenth sitting in the great sqi.are or 
place of Clermont, which was soon hlled by an immense 
crowd. Followed by his cardinals, the pope ascended a 
species of throne which had been prepared for him ; at his 
side was Peter the Hermit, clad in that whimsical and uncouth 
garb which had everywhere drawn upon him the attention 
and the respect of the multitude. The apostle of the holy 
war spolce first of the outrages committed against the religion 
of Christ ; he reverted to the profanations and the sacrilege-s 
of which he had been a witness ; he pictured the torments 
and persecutions which a people, enemies to God and man, 
had caused those to suffer who had been led by religion to 
visit the holy places. He had seen, he said. Christians 
loaded with irons, dragged into slavery, or harnessed to the 
yoke, like the vilest animals ; he had seen the oppressors 
of Jerusalem sell to the children of Christ permission to 
salute the temple of their God, tear from them even the 
bread of their misery, and torment their poverty itself to 
obtain their tribute ; he had seen the ministers of God 
dragged from their sanctuaries, beaten with rods, and con- 
demned to an ignominious death. Whilst describing the 
misfortimes and degradation of the Christians, the coun- 
tenance of Peter was cast down, and exhibited feelings of 
consternation and horror ; his voice was choked with sobs : 
his lively emotion penetrated every heart. 

Urban, who spoke after Peter, represented, as he had 
done, the holy places as profaned by the domination of the 
infidels. That land, consecrated by the presence of the 
Saviour, that moinitain whereon he expiated our sins by his 
sufferings, — tliat tomb in which he deigned to be enclosed 
as a victim to death, had all become the heritage of the 
impious. The altars of false prophets w^ere raised within 
those walls which had contained the august assembly of the 
apostles. God had no longer a sanctuary in his own city ; 
th.e East, the cradle of the Christian religion, now witnessed 
nothing but sacrilegious pomps ; impiety had spread its 
darkness over all the richest countries of Asia. Antioch, 
Ephesus jSTicea, had become Mussulman cities ; the Tiu-ka 
had cprried their ravages and their odious dominion evei) U"» 
the Straits cf the Hellespont, to the very gates of Consl ",',«• 
uinople, and from thence they threatened the ^ie^it^ 


The sovereign pontiff* addressed himself to aJ. the na- 
tions that were represented at the council, ai;d particularly 
to the French, who formed the majority : — " Nation beloved 
by Grod," said he, " it is in your courage that the Chris- 
tian church has placed its hope ; it is because I am well 
acquainted with your piety and your bravery, that I have 
crossed the Alps, and am come to preach the word of 
Grod in these countries. You have not forgotten that ilie 
J and you inhabit has been invaded by the Saracens, and that 
but for the exploits of Charles Martel and Charlemagne, 
France would have received the laws of Mahomet. Kecall, 
without ceasing, to your minds the danger and the glory of 
your fathers ; led by heroes whose names should never die, 
they delivered your country, they saved the "West from 
shameful slavery. More noble triumphs await you, under 
the guidance of the Grod of armies ; you will deliver 
Europe and Asia ; you will save the city of Jesus Christ, — ■ 
that Jerusalem which was chosen by the Lord, and from 
whence the law is come to us," 

As Urban proceeded, the sentiments by which he was 
animated penetrated to the very souls of liis auditors. When 
he spoke of the captivity and the misfortunes of Jerusa- 
lem, the whole assembly was dissolved in tears ; when he 
described the tyranny and the perfidy of the infidels, the 
warriors who listened to him clutched their swords, and 
swore in their hearts to avenge the cause of the Chris- 
tians. Urban redoubled their enthusiasm by announcing 
that God had chosen them to accomplish his designs, and 
exhorted them to turn those arms against the Mussulmans 
which they now bore in conflict against their brothers. They 

* We have at command several historians who report the speech of 
Urban ; they are agreed as to the principal points, but differ in the 
ietails. The monk Robert, who was present at the council, says : Hcpc 
et id genus plurima ubi Papa Urbanus urbano sermone peroravit. 
Baldric or Boudri expresses himself thus : His vel hvjuscemodi aliis, &c. 
Everything leads us to believe that the pope pronounced his discourse in 
the language of the country. That which renders this opinion more pro- 
bable, is that Urban was a Frenchman, and that otherwise it was of con- 
sequence to make himself well understood by the barons and the knigbrs. 
who were not acquainted with Latin. If he had not pronounced Lit 
discourse in the vulgar tongue, he would not have produced that extra- 
ordinary enthusiasm which contemporary history says so much of. 


were not now called upon to revenge the injuries of men, 
but Liijuries offered to divinity; it was now not the conquest 
of a town or a castle tliat was offered to tliem as the reward 
of tlieir valour, but the riches of Asia, the possession of a 
hnid in which, according to the promises of the Scriptures, 
flowed streams of milk and honey. 

The pontiff sought to awaken in their minds, by turns, 
ambition, the love of glory, religious enthusiasm, and pity 
for their Christian brethren. " There scarcely exists," said 
he, " a Christian family into which the Mussulmans have 
not brought mourning and despair. How Inany Christians 
every year leave the West, to find in Asia nothing but 
slavery or death ! Bishops have been delivered over to the 
executioner ; the virgins of the Lord have been outraged ; 
holy places have been despoiled of their ornaments ; the 
offerings of piety have become the booty of the enemies of 
God ; the children of the faitliful have forgotten in bondage 
the faith of their fathers, and bear upon their bodies the 
impression of their opprobrium. Witnesses of so many 
calamities, the Christians of Jerusalem would long since 
have left the holy city, if they had not imposed upon them- 
selves the obligation of succouring and consoling pilgrims, 
if they had not feared to leave without priests, without altars, 
without worshippers, a land where still smokes the blood of 
Jesus Christ. 

" I will not seek to dry the tears which images so painful 
for a Christian, for a minister of religion, for the common 
father of the faithful, must draw from you. Let us weep, 
my brethren, let us weep over the errors which have armed 
the anger of Grod against us : let us weep over the captivity 
of the holy city ! But evil be to us, if, in our sterile pity, 
we longer leave the heritage of the Lord in the hands of the 
impious ! Why should we taste here a moment's repose 
whilst the children of Jesus Christ live in the midst of 
torments, and the queen of cities groans in chains ? 

" Christian warriors, who seek without end for vain pre- 
texts for war, rejoice, for you have to-day foimd true ones. 
You, who have been so often the terror of your fellow- 
citizens, go and fight against the barbarians, go and fight lor 
the deliverance oi the holy places ; you who sell for vno pas' 
the strength of your arms to the fury of others^ armed w itj 


the sword of tlie Macliabees, go and merit an eternal reward. 
If YOU triumph over your enemies, the kingdoms of the 
East will be your heritage ; if you are conquered, you mL 
have the glory of dying in the very same place as J«;sus 
Christ, and Grod will not forget that he shall have found you 
in his holy ranks. This is the moment to prove that you 
are animated by a true courage ; this is the moment in which 
you may expiate so many violences committed in the bosom 
of peace, so many victories purchased at the expense of 
justice and humanity. If you must have blood, bathe your 
hands in the blood of the infidels. I speak to you with harsh- 
ness, because my ministry obliges me to do so: soldiers of 


Chi'ist summons you to his defence, let no base aflections 
detain you in your homes ; see nothing but the shame and 
the evils of the Christians ; listen to nothing but the groans 
of Jerusalem, and remember well what the Lord has said to 
you : ' He who loves his father and his mother more than me, 
is not worthy of me ; whoever will abandon his house, or his 
father, or his mother, or his wife, or his children, or his 
inheritance, for the sake of my name, shall he recompensed a 
hundredfold, and possess life eternal.'' " 

At these words the auditors of Urban displayed an 
enthusiasm that human eloquence had never before inspired. 
The assembly arose in one mass as one man, and answered 
him with a unanimous cry, — " It is the ivill of Ood ! It is 
the ivill of God !''* " Yes, mthout doubt, it is the will of 
God," continued the eloquent Urban ; " you to-day see the 
accomplishment of the word of our Saviour, who promised 
to be in the midst of the faithful, when assembled in his 
name ; it is He who has dictated to you the words that I 
have heard. Let them be your war-cry, and let them 
announce everywhere the presence of the God of armies." 
On finishing these words, the pontifi" exhibited to the assem- 
bled Christians, the sign of their redemption. " It is Christ 
himself," said he to them, "who issues from his tomb, and 
presents to you his cross : it will be the sign raised among 
the nations, which is to gather together again the dispersed 

* Dieu le veut was pronounced in the language of the times Dieu is 
voli, or Diex le volt. 



children of Israel. Wear it upon your shoulders and upon 
your breasts ; let it shine upon your arms and upon your 
standards ; it will be to you the surety of victory or the palra 
of martyrdom ; it will uuceasmgly remind you that Christ 
died for you, and that it is your duty to die for him." 

"When Urban had ceased to speak, loud acclamations 
burst from the multitude. Pity, indignation, despair, at the 
same time agitated the tumultuous assembly of the faithful: 
some shed tears over Jerusalem and the fate of the Chris- 
tians ; others swore to exterminate the race of the Mussul- 
mans ; but, all at once, at a signal from the sovereign pontiff, 
the most profound silence prevailed. Cardinal Grregory, 
who afterwards occupied the chair of St. Peter under the 
name of Innocent II., pronounced, in a loud voice, a form 
of general confession, the assembly all fell upon their knees, 
beat their breasts, and received absolution for their sins. 

Adhemar de Monteil, bishop of Puy, demanded to be first 
allowed to enter into the ivay of God, and took the cross 
from the hands of the pope ; several other bishops following 
his example. Baymond, count of Thoulouse, excused him- 
self by his ambassadors for not being able to be present at 
the council of Clermont ; he had already, he said, fought 
against the Saracens in Spain, and he promised to go and 
fight against them in Asia, followed by the bravest and most 
faithful of his warriors. The barons and knights who had 
heard the exhortations of Urban, all took a solemn oath to 
revenge the cause of Jesus Christ ; they forgot their private 
quarrels, and even they who were at actual war had no 
longer any enemies than the Mussulmans. All the faithful 
promised to respect the decrees of the council, and decorated 
their garments with a red cross. Prom that time, all who 
engaged to combat the infidels were termed " Bearers of the 
Gross,"" ^ and the holy war took the name of Crusade. The 

* The cross which the faithful wore in this crusade was of cloth, and 
BOmetimes even of red -coloured silk. Afterwards they wore crosses of differ- 
ent colours. The cross, a little in relief, was sewed upon the right shoulder 
of the coat or mantle, or else fastened on the front "of the helmet, after 
having been blessed by the pope or some bishop. The prayers and cere- 
monies used on this occasion are still to be found in the Romish rituaL 
On returning from the Holy Land, they removed this mark from tha 
Bhoulder and placed it on the back, or else wore it at the Heck. (See Le Perb 
MoNTFAUcoN, DucANGE, Mailly, and Le Perk d'Outremant.) 


faitlifiil solicited Urban to place himself at tlieir head ; but 
the pontiff, who had not yet triumphed over the anti-pope 
Gruibert, who was dealing out at the sanie time his 
anathemas against the king of Erance and the emperor ol 
Grermany, could not quit Europe without compromising the 
power and the policy of the Holy See. He refused to be 
chief of the crusade, and named the bishop of Puy apostolic 
legate with the army of the Christians. 

He promised to all who assumed the cross, the entire 
remission of their sins. Their persons, their families, their 
property, were all placed under the protection of the Church, 
au^l of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. The council 
declared that every violence exercised upon the soldiers of 
Christ should be punished by anathema, and recommended 
its decrees in favour of the bearers of the cross to the 
watchful care of all bishops and priests. It regulated the 
discipline and the departure of those who had enrolled 
themselves in the holy ranks, and for fear reflection might 
deter any from leaving their homes, it threatened with 
excommunication all those who did not fulfil their vows. 

Pame soon spread everywhere the war that had just been 
declared against the infidels. Whe: the bishops returned 
to their dioceses, they still continued to bestow their bless- 
ings upon the crosses of the crowds of Christians that 
required to be led to the conquest of the Holy Land. Urban 
went through several provinces of Prance, to finish the work 
he had so happily begun. In the cities of Pouen, Tours, 
and Mmes he held councils, in which he deplored the fate 
of the Christians of the East : everywhere the people and 
the great, the nobles and the clergy, obeyed the pressing 
exhortations of the pontiff, and promised to take arms 
against the Mussulmans. 

It might be said that the Prench had no longer any other 
country than the Holy Land, and that to it they were bound 
Iro sacrifice their ease, their property, and their lives. This 
enthusiasm, which had no bounds, was not long in extend- 
ing itself to the other Christian nations ; the flame which 
consumed Prance was communicated to England, still dis- 
turbed by the recent conquest of the Normans ; to Ger- 
many, troubled by the anathemas of Grregory and Urban ; 
Ir Italy, agitated by its factions ; to Spain even, although it 


liad to combat tlie Saracens on its own territory. Such was 
the ascendancy of tlie religion outraged by the infidels, such 
was tlie intluence of the example given by the French, that 
all Christian nations seemed to forget, at once, the objects of 
their ambition or their fears, and furnished, for the crusade, 
soldiers that they absolutely required to defend themselves. 
The entire West resounded with these words : " He who 
will not take up Ms cross and come with me, is not worthy 
of me.'''' 

The devotion for pilgrimages, which had been increasing 
during several centuries, became a passion and an imperative 
want for most Christians ; every one was eager to march to 
J erusalem, and to take part in the crusade, which was, in all 
respects, an armed pilgrimage. The situation in which 
Europe was then placed, no doubt contributed to increase 
the number of pilgrims : " all things were in such disorder," 
says Wdliam of Tyre, "that the world appeared to be 
approachitig to its end, and was read)' to foil again into the 
confusion of chaos." Everywhere the people, as I have 
already said, groaned under a horrible servitude ; a frightful 
scarcity of provisions, which had, during several years, deso- 
lated Erance and the greater part of the kingdoms of the 
"W est, had given birth to all sorts of brigandage and violence ; 
and these proving the destruction of agriculture and com- 
merce, increased still further the horrors of the famine. 
Villages, towns even, became void of inhabitants, and sank 
into ruins. The people abandoned a land which no longer 
nourished them, or coidd offer them either repose or security: 
the standard of the cross appeared to them a certain asylum 
against misery and oppression. According to the decrees oi 
the councd of Clermont, the Crusaders were freed from all 
imposts, and could not be pursued for debts during their 
voyage. Ai the name of the cross, the very laws suspended 
their menaces, tyranny coidd not seek its victims, nor justice 
even the guilty, amidst those whom the Church adopted for 
its defenders. The assurance of impunity, the hope of a 
better fate, the love of license, and a desire to shake off the 
most sacred ties, actuated a vast proportion of the multitude 
which flocked to the banners of the crusade. 

Many nobles wlio had not at first taken the cross, and 
who saw their vassals set o^it, \^ithout having the power to 


■prevent them, determined to follow tliem as miJitaiy chiefs, 
in order to preserve some portion of their authority. The 
greater part of the counts and barons had no hesitation in 
quitting Europe, which the council had declared to be in a 
state of peace, as it no longer afforded them an opportunity 
of distinguishing themselves by their valour ; they had all 
many crimes to expiate; "they were promised," says 
Montesquieu, " expiation in the indulgence of their 
dominant passion, — they took up, therefore, the cross and 

The clergy themselves set the example. Many of the 
bishops, who bore the titles of counts and barons, and who 
were accustomed to make war in defence of the rights of 
their bishoprics, thought it their duty to arm for the cause 
of Jesus Christ. The priests, to give greater weight to 
their exhortations, them^elve^ assumed the cross ; a great 
number of pastors resolved to follow their flocks to Jeru- 
salem ; not a few of them, as we shall see hereafter, having 
in their minds the rich bishoprics of Asia, and allowing 
themselves to be led by the hope of some day occupying the 
most celebrated sees of tlie Eastern church. 

In the midst of the anarchy and troubles which had deso- 
lated Europe since the reign of Charlemagne, there had 
arisen an association of noble knights, who w^andered over 
the world in search of adventures ; they had taken an oath 
to protect innocence, to fight against infidels, and, by a 
singular contrast, called themselves tlie Champions of God 
and of Beauty. The religion which had consecrated their 
institution and blessed theii* sword, called them to its defence, 
and the order of chivalry, which owes a great part of its 
splendour and progress to the holy wars, saw its warriors 
hasten to range themselves under the banners of the cross. 

Ambition was, perhaps, not foreign to the devotion for 
the cause of Christ. If religion promised its rewards to 
thoso who were going to fight for it, fortune promised them, 
likewise, riches and the thrones of the earth. AH who 
returned from the East, spoke with enthusiasm of the wonders 
they hid seen, and of the rich provinces they had traversed. 
It was known that two or three h luidred Norman pilgrims 
bad conquerei". Apulia and Sicily from the Saracens. The 
4wida occupied by the infidels appeared to be heritages p^'o- 


mised to kniglits whose whole wealtli consisted in their birth, 
their valour, and their sword.* 

We shoidd nevertheless deceive ourselves if we did not 
believe that religion was the principle which, acted most 
powerfully upon the greater number of the Crusaders. In 
ordinary times men foUow tlieir natural inclinations, and 
only obey the voice of their own interest ; but in the times 
of the Crusades, religious fever was a blind passion, which 
spoke louder than all others, lleligion permitted not any 
other glory, any other felicity to be seen by its ardent 
defenders, but those which she presented to their heated 
imagination. Love of country, family ties, the most tender 
aftections of the heart, were all sacrificed to the ideas and 
the opinions which then possessed the whole of Europe. 
Moderation was cowardice, indifference treason, opposition 
a sacrilegious interference. The power of the laws was 
reckoned as nothing amongst men who believed they were 
figliting in the cause of God. Subjects scarcely acknow- 
ledged the autliority of princes or lords in anything which 
coricemed the holy war ; the master and the slave had no 
other title than that of Christian, no other duty to perform 
than that of defending his religion, sword in hand. 

They whom age or condition appeared to detain in Europe, 
and whom the council had exempted from the labours and 
perils of the crusade, caused the heaven which called them 
to the holy war to speak aloud. f Women and children im- 
printed crosses upon their delicate and weak limbs, to show 
the will of Grod.;{; Monks deserted the cloisters in which 
they had sworn to die, believing themselves led by a divine 

* Robert le Frisin, second son of the count of Flanders, not being 
allowed a share of the wealth of his house, said to his father, " Give me 
men and vessels, and I will go and conquer a state among the Saracens of 

t The archbishop of Dol could not refrain from showing his surprise 
by words very remarkable for the time : Excesait tamen medicina moJMm, 
quia plus quam debuit in quibusdam eundi voluntas surrepsit. — IIaldric, 
Archiep. lib. i. 

X The Abl>e Guibert quotes the example of a monk who made a largj 
incision on his forehead in the form of a cross, and preserved it with pre- 
pared juices. He took care to report that an angel had made this 
incision, which procured for him, during both the voyage and the war, 
all the help he could desire. He became archbishop of Csesarea. FoulquCi 


'nspiration ; hermits and anchorites issued from forests and 
deserts, and mingled with the crowd of Crusaders. What is 
still more difficult to believe, thieves and robbers, quitting 
their secret retreats, came to conl'ess their crimes, and pro- 
mised, whilst receiving the cross, to go and expiate them in 

Europe appeared to be a land of exile, w^hich every one was 
eager to quit. Artisans, traders, labourers, abandoned the 
occupations by which they subsisted ; barons and lords even 
renounced the domains of their fathers. The lands, the 
cities, the castles for which they had but of late been at 
war, all at once lost their value in the eyes of then' pos- 
sessors, and were given up, for small sums, to those whom the 
grace of God had not touched, and who were not called to 
the happiness of visiting the holy places and conquering the 

Contemporary authors relate several miracles which 
assisted in heating the minds of tlie multitude. Stars fell 
from the firmament ; traces of blood w^ere seen in the 
heavens ; cities, armies, and knights decorated with the 
cross, were pictured in the clouds. The monk E-obert 
asserts that on the very day on which the council of 
Clermont determined on the holy war, that decision was 
proclaimed beyond the seas. "^ This news," adds he, 
"raised the courage of the Christians in the East, and 
caused despair among the nations of Arabia." As the most 
effective of prodigies, saints and kings of preceding ages 
vrere said to have issued from their tombs, and many 
Frenchmen declared they had seen the shade of Charle- 
magne exhorting the Christians to fight against the Mus- 

We will not relate all the other miracles reported by his- 
torians, which were believed in an age in which nothing was 
more common than prodigies, in which, according to the 
remark of Fleury, the taste for the wonderful prevailed 
greatly over that for ^ % true. The readers of this history 
wtU find quite enough of extraordinary things in the descrip- 

of Chartres, relates that a vessel ] iden with Crusaders having been 
wrecked on the coast of Brundusium, all the shipwrecked bodies appeared 
with a kind of cross imprinted on their flesh, and on the very part oa 
irhich it had been worn on their clothes when they were alive. 


tion of so many great events, for which the moral world, 
and even nature herself seemed to have interrupted their 
laws. -What prodigy, in fact, can more astonish the philo- 
sopher, than to see Europe, which may he said to have been 
agitated to its very foundations, move all at once, and like a 
single man, march in arms towards the East ? 

The council of Clermont, which was held in the month of 
Novi^mber, 1095, had fixed the departure of the Crusaders 
for the festival of the Assumption of the following year. 
Duriiig the winter nothing was thought of but preparations 
for the voyage to the Holy Land ; every other care, every 
other labour was suspended in the cities and the plains. 
In the midst of the general excitement, the religion, which 
animated all liearts, watclied over public order. AU at once 
there was no more robbery or brigandage heard of* The 
West was silent, to employ an expression from the Scripture, 
and Europe enjoyed dui^mg several months a peace that it 
had never before known. 

They who had taken the cross encouraged each other, 
and addressed letters and sent ambassadors to hasten their 
departure. The benedictions of the heavens appeared to be 
promised to those who should be first ready to march to 
Jerusalem. Men even, who at the first had found fault 
with the delirium of the crusade, accused themselves of 
indifiference for the cause of religion, and showed no less 
fervour than those who had given the example. AU were 
eager to sell their possessions, but could find no purchasers. 
The Crusaders despised everything they could not carry 
with them ; the productions of the earth were sold at a low 
price, which ah. at once brought back abundance even in the 
midst of scarcity. 

As soon as the spring appeared, nothiag could restrain 

* Erat eo tempore antequam gentium fieret tanta prqfectio, maxima 
ad invicem hostilitatibus totius Francorum, regni facta iurhatio ; crebra 
ubique latrocinia, viar^im obsessio, passim audiebantur, immo fiebant 
incendia infinita. — Mox ergo et mird et incredibili, ob insperabilitate'*^, 
animorum immutatione commoti, signum pontificis praceptione indictHm, 
cruces videlicet, ab episcopis et presbyteris sibi precantur imponi, ii 
sicuii rapidissinii venti impetus solet non magna pluvice undd restr-.', . , 
ita ill'' CO contigit ad invicem simultates universarnm et bella sopir*. ^ ■>,• 
iuditam sibi a&virationem, haud dubium quin Christi. — GuiMK&r; .^ ,; \ 
Ub. i. ch. 7, 


fcne impatience of the Crusaders, and they set forward on 
theii' march to the places at which they were to assemble. 
The greater number went on foot ; some horsemen appeared 
amongst the multitude ; a great many travelled in cars ; 
fchey were clothed in a variety of manners, and armed, in 
the same way, with lances, swords, javelins, iron clubs, 
fee. &c. The crowd of Crusaders presented a whimsical and 
confused mixture of all ranks and all conditions ; women 
appeared in arms in the midst of warriors, prostitution not 
being forgotten among the austerities of penitence. Old 
age was to be seen with infancy, opulence next to misery ; 
the helmet was confounded with the frock, the mitre with 
the sword. Around cities, around fortresses, in the plains, 
upon the mountains, were raised tents and pavilions ; every- 
where was displayed a preparation for war and festivity. 
Here was heard the sound of arms or the braying of trum- 
pets ; whilst at a short distance the air was filled with psalms 
and spiritual songs. From the Tiber to the ocean, and from 
the Khine to the other side of the Pyi-enees, nothing was to 
be seen but troops of men marked with the cross, who swore 
to exterminate tlie Saracens, and were chanting their songs 
of conquest beforehand. On all parts resounded the war- 
cry of the Crusaders — " It is the will of God ! It is the will 

Fathers themselves conducted their children, and made 
them swear to conquer or die for Jesus Christ. Warriors 
tore themselves from the arms of their wives and from their 
families, promising to return victorious. Women or old 
men, whose weakness was left without support, accompanied 
their sons or their husbands to the nearest city, and there, 
not being able to separate themselves from the objects of 
their affections, determined to follow them to Jerusalem. 
They who remained in Europe envied the fate of the 
Crusaders, and could not restrain their tears ; they who 
went to seek death in Asia were full of hope and joy.* 
Families, whole villages set out for Palestine, and drew into 
their ranks all they met with on their passage. They 
marched on without forethought, and would not believe that 

* TristUia remanentibus, gaudium autem euniibus erat, — FuLa 


he who nourishes the sparrow would leave pilgrims clothed 
with the holy cross to perish with want. Their ignorance 
added to their illusion, and lent an air of enchantment to 
everything they saw ; they believed at every moment they 
were approaching the end of their pilgrimage. The children 
of the villagers, when they saw a city or a castle, asked if 
that was Jerusalem?* Many of the great lords, who had 
passed their lives in their rustic donjons, knc w very little 
more on this head than their vassals ; they too_t vdth them 
their hunting and fishing appointments, and marched mth 
tlieir falcons on their wrists, preceded by their hounds. 
They expected to reach Jerusalem, enjopng themselves on 
the road, and to exhibit to Asia the rude luxury of their 

In the midst of the general delirium, no sage caused the 
voice of reason to be heard; nobody was then astonished 
at that which now creates so much surprise. These scenes 
so strange, in which every one was an actor, could only be a 
spectacle for posterity. 

* Videres tnirum quiddam . ipsos infantulos, dum obviam habeni 
qudPlibet castella vel urbes, si hac esset Jerusalem, ad quam ienSereni^ 
rogitare. — Guibert, Abb. 

BOOK 11. 

A.D. 1096—1097. 

The number of Christians who had taken the cross in the 
greater part of the countries of Europe were quite sufficient 
to form many large armies. As 'these armies might exhaust 
the countries through which they had to pass, the princes 
and captains who were to conduct them agreed among them- 
selves that they should not all set out at one time, but 
should pursue different routes, and meet again at Constan- 

Whilst they were engaged in preparations for departure, 
the multitude who followed Peter the Hermit in his preach- 
ings, became impatient to advance before the other Cru- 
saders ; and being without a chief, they cast their eyes upon 
him whom they considered as an envoy from heaven. They 
chose Peter for their general ; the cenobite, deceived by the 
excess of his zeal, believed that enthusiasm could alone 
answer for all the successes of war, and that it would be 
easy to conduct an undisciplined troop which had taken up 
arms at the sound of his voice. He yielded to the prayers 
of the multitude, and, clothed in his woollen mantle, a hood 
over his head, sandals on his feet, and only mounted on the 
mule upon which he had traversed Europe, he took upon 
himself the command. His troop, which set out from the 
banks of the Mouse and Moselle, proceeded towards Grer- 
many, and was increased upon the road by a vast number of 
pilgrims hastening from Champagne, Burgundy, and other 
parts of Prance. Peter soon saw from eighty to i hundred 
thousand men luider his standard. These first Crusaders, 
dragging in their train women, children, old men, and 
numerous sick, began their march upon the faith of the 
miraculous promises made them by their general ; in th« 
persuasion they were filled with, that Grod himself called 
upon them to defend his cause, they hoped that rivers 
would open before their battalions, and that manna would 
fall from heaven to feed them. The army of Peter tlie 
Hermit was divided into two bodies ; tlie ■vanguard marcJ^ed 


under the orders of Walter tlie Penniless,* whose surname, 
preserved by history, proves that the chiefs were as miserable 
as the soldiers. This vanguard only reckoned eight horse- 
men ; all the rest went to the conquest of the East a&king 
charity by the way. As long as the Crusaders were upon 
the French territory, the charity of the faithful who were 
on their route provided for their wants. They warmed the 
zeal of the Grermans, amongst whom the crusade had not 
been preached. Their troop, which was considered erery- 
where as the people of God, met with no enemies on the 
banks of the llhine ; but new Amalekites, the Hungarians 
and the Bulgarians, awaited them on the shores of the 
Morava and the Danube. 

The Hungarians, who had issued from Tartary, had a 
common origin with the Tuiks, and, like them, had ren- 
dered themselves formidable to tlie Christians. In the tentlj 
century they had invaded Painionia, and carried the ravages 
of war into the richest countries of Europe. Nations ter- 
rified at the progress of their arms, considered them as 
a scourge which was sent as a forerunner of the end of the 
world. Towards the iniddle of the eleventh century they 
embraced the Christianity they had persecuted. Once 
obedient to the faith of the Gospel, they began to build 
cities and cultivate their land ; they felt what it was to have 
a country, and ceased to be the terror of their neighbours. 
At the period of the first crusade, the Hungarians boasted 
of having a saint among their kings,t but, still separated 
from the Christian republic by their position, they did not 
at all pai'take of the fervour of the Crusaders, and looked on 
with indifference at the preparations of Europe for the 
ccnqu<3st of Asia. 

The Bulgarians, who were descended from the ancient 

* William of Tyre tells us that Walter had exchanged his fortune for 
the name by which he is known. Latin historians designate him sine 
habere, sinepecunid; the old French chronicles call him, se^iz avehor, 
senz-aveir ; the English writers term him the penniless. Walter was a 
Burgundian gentleman. Some historians say that an uncle of Walter the 
Penniless was first named lieutenant to Peter, and that the latter had not 
the command till after the death of his uncle, who died just as the 
pilgrims entered the territories of the Bulgarians. 

t St. Stephen had been king of Hungary before Coloman, who reigned 
at the time of the rirst crusade. 


people of the Sclaves, had by turns protected and ravaged 
thiO empire of Constantinople. Their warriors had killed 
Nicephorus in battle, and the skull of an emp(5ror, enchased 
in g;o(d, served for a long time as a cup for tlieir chiefs in 
the orgies of victory. They were afterwards conquered by 
Basil, who put out the eyes of fifteen thousand of his 
prisoners, and by this act of barbarity roused the whole 
nation against G-reece. At the time of the crusade, Bul- 
garia was under the power of the G-reek empire, but it 
despised the laws and the power of its masters. The Bul- 
garian people spread along the southern banks of the 
Danube, in the midst of inaccessible forests, preserved their 
savage independeiice, and on!)' recognized the emperors ot 
the East when they saw their armies. Although they had 
embraced Christianity, the Bulgarians did not consider the 
Christians as their brothers ; they neither respected the 
laws of nations nor the rights of hospitality, and during the 
eleventh century they were the terror of the pilgrims of the 
West who journeyed to Jerusalem, 

Such were the people whose territories the Crusaders 
were about to cross, and among whom want of discipline 
must necessarily expose them to the most direful reverses. 
AVhen the vanguard entered Hungary, they were only dis- 
turbed in their march but by a few insults, which Walter 
had the prudence not to avenge ; but the resignation of the 
pilgrims could not hold out long against the misery which 
every day increased. Want and its attendant evils soon 
dispersed all the sentiments of moderation to which reli- 
gion had for a moment given birth in the hearts of its 
defenders. The governor of Bulgaria not having been able 
to furnish provisions, they spread themselves about over the 
country, carried off the flocks, burnt the houses, and mas- 
sacred several of the inhabitants who opposed their violences. 
The irritated Bulgarians ran to arms, and feU upon the 
soldiers of Walter loaded with their booty. A hundred and 
forty Crusaders perished in the midst of flames, in a church 
in which they had taken refuge ; the rest sought safety in 
flight. After this defeat, which he did not endeavour to 
repair, Walter continued his march through the forests of 
Bidgaria, pursued by famine, and dragging along the vsreck 
of his army. He presented himself aa a supplicant before 


tlie governor of Nissa, wlio was touched with the liisery 
of the Crusaders, and gave them provisions, arms, and 

The sokliers of Walter, tried by merited reverses, con- 
ducted by a chief who was wantuig in neither skill nor 
courage, became again attentive to the voice of religion, 
and passed through Thrace witliout committing any dis- 
orders. After two months of fatigue and misery, they 
arrived under the- walls of Constantinople, where the em- 
peror Alexis permitted them to wait for the army of Peter 
the Hermit. 

This army, which was then passing through Germany, 
was about to be treated worse than its vanguard had been. 
The cenobite Peter, more enthusiastic than his soldiers, 
was more skilful in exciting their zeal than in directing it. 
He showed neither the moderation nor the prudence of his 
lieutenant, and had no idea how to avoid the dangers which 
awaited him on his route. On arriA^ng on the frontiers of 
Hungary, he learnt the ill-fortune that his companions had 
met with,* and the projects of hostilities formed, as he was 
told, against the army of the pilgrims. The bodies of seve- 
ral of the Crusaders hung at the gates of Semlin, which the 
historians of the crusades call 3IaUevilh,f attracted his 
regard and drew forth his indignation. At this sight, he 
gave the signal for vengeance and war. The trumpets 
sounded, the soldiers seized their arms, and hastened to the 
carnage. Terror preceded them into the city. On their 
first attack the people took to flight, and sought refuge 
upon a hill, one side of which was defended by woods and 
rocks, and the other by the Danube. They were pursued 
and forced into this last asylum by the furious multitude of 
the Crusaders. More than four thousand of tlie inhabitants 
^f Semlin fell under the swords of the ronquerors. The 

* Among the small number of knights in the army of Peter, were 
Renaud de Bre'is, Gauthier de Breteuil, Fealcher d' Orleans, and Godfrey 
Burel d'Etampes. 

t William of Tyre and other Latin historians call this city Malle Villa 
in the first place because they were ignorant of its proper name, and in 
the second because it was fatal to the Crusaders. All the French his- 
torians who have spoken of the crusades have translated Malle Villa bj 
Malleville. — See Marsigli, Danubius Pannonico, Mysictcf. 


Oodies carried down by the river borp tlic tidings of this 
horrible victory as far as Belgrade. 

At this intelligence the Bulgarians and Hungarians were 
seized ■v\'ith grief and indignation, and in all parts flew to 
arms. The Crusaders still remained in Semlin, and were 
glorifying themselves upon their triumph, when all at once 
an army, assembled in haste by Coloman, king of Hungary, 
presented itself to tlieir view. Peter had nothing to oppose 
to liis enemies but the soldiers whose blind fury he had 
liimself excited, and with wliom it was impossible to make 
any military disposition. He did not dare to wait for the 
army of Coloman, and hastened to cross the Morava. 

On gaining the territories of the Bulgarians, the Cru- 
saders found the \allages and cities abandoned ; even Bel- 
grade, the capital, was without inhabitants ; they had fled 
into the forests and mountains. Peter's soldiers, after a 
painful march, in want of provisions, and with difficulty 
finding guides to conduct them, arrived at last at the gates 
of Nissa, a place sufficiently well fortified to be secure from 
a first attack. The Bulgarians showing themselves upon 
their ramparts, and the Crusaders leaning on their arms, 
inspired each other mth a mutual fear. This fear at first 
prevented hostilities ; but harmony could not last long 
between an army without discipline and a people that had 
been irritated by violence. 

The pilgrims, after having obtained provisions, had just 
set forward on their march, wtieii a quarrel between the 
inhabitants and some of the soldiers caused war to break 
forth with inveteracy.* A hundred Grerman Crusaders, 
whom William of T)Te styles children of Belial, and who 
fancied they had cause of complaint against some merchants, 
wishing to avenge themselves, set fire to seven mills placed 
upon the jVissava. At the sight of this fire, the inhabitants 
of Nissa rushed from their ramparts, and falling upon Peter's 
rear-guard, massacred all who fell in their way, bore ofi* two 
thousand carriages, and made a great number of prisoners. 
Peter, who had already quitted the territory of Nissa, warned 
pr the disaster of his companions, returned immediately 

* Consult "William of Tyre, or still better, Albert d'Aix, who, of all 
ttie historians of the crusades, enlarges most upon these first expeditions 


vdth the bulk of his armj. The eyes of the Crusaders^ 
on approaching the city, were shocked everywhere by be* 
holding the most sorrowful spectacle. They recognized 
among the dead friends and brothers, and burned to revenge 

The cenobite, hoAvever, who feared fresh reverses, had 
recourse to negotiations and praj^ers. Deputies were sent 
into Nissa, to demand the prisoners and the baggage of his 
army, which had been taken by the Bulgarians. These 
deputies reminded the governor that they had taken up the 
cross, and that they were going to tight in the East for the 
cause of Jesus Christ. They appealed to the religion and 
humanity of the inhabitants of Nissa, whom they called 
their brethren. 

The governor, Avho saw nothing in tliese peaceful words 
but the language of fear, showed himself inflexible to their 
prayers. He sternly sent them back to their general, telling 
tliem that the Crusaders had themselves given the signal 
for the war, and that he could see in them nothing but 
enemies. When this answer was reported to the army of 
Peter, every soldier was fired with indignation. In vain the 
cenobite endeavoured to calm their spirits and attempt fresh 
negotiations ; they accused his fidelity, they suspected his 
courage. The most ardent flew to arms ; nothing was heard 
but complaints and menaces ; and no Crusader would submit 
to any directions but those of his own angry will. Whilst 
Peter was conferring with the governor of Nissa, two thou- 
sand soldiers approached the ramparts, and endeavoured to 
scale them. They were repulsed by the Bidgarians, and 
supported by a great number of their companions. The 
fight became general, and the fire of carnage blazed on aU 
parts around the chiefs, wno were still speaking of conditions 
of peace. In vain the hermit had recourse to supplications, 
to stop the mad progress of his soldiers, in vain he placed 
himself between the combatants ; his voice, so well known 
to the Crusaders, was lost in the din of arms. They braved 
his authority ; they despised his prayers. His army, which 
fought without order and without leaders, was routed and 
cut to pieces. The women, the children, rrho followed the 
Crusaders, their horses, their camp equipages, the chest of 
the army, which contained the numerous offerings of the 


faithful, all became tlie prey of an enemy whcee fury and 
vengeance nothing could stop. 

The hermit Peter, with the wreck of his troop, tooll 
refuge on a hill in the neighbourhood of the city. Ho 
passed the night in alarms, deploring his defeat, and the sad 
effects of the violences of which he had himself given the 
signal and the example among the Hungarians. He had 
around him no more than five hundred men. The trumpets 
and the clarions were sounded without ceasing, to recall 
those who had escaped tlie carnage, and had lost themselves 
in their flight. 

Whether it was that the Crusaders could find no safety 
but under their own standards, or whether they were still 
nnndful of their oath, none turned back from the crusade. 
On the day following their defeat, seven thousand fugitives 
came to rejoin their general. A few days after, Peter 
mustered beneath his command thirty thousand combatants. 
All the rest had perished in the battle fought under the walls 
of Nissa. The army of the Crusaders, reduced to a deplora- 
ble condition, sought no opportunity of avenging their 
defeat, but marched vdth melancholy steps towards the 
frontiers of Thrace. They were without the means either of 
subsisting or fighting. They had to fear a fresh defeat if 
they encountered the Bulgarians, and all the horrors of 
famine if they came to a desert country. Misfortune ren- 
dered them more docile, and inspired them with sentiments 
of moderation. The pity which their misery excited was 
more serviceable to them than the terror which they had 
wished to create. When they ceased to be an object of 
dread, assistance was afforded them. AVhen they entered 
the territories of Thrace, the Creek emperor sent deputies 
to complain of their disorders, but at the same time to 
announce his clemency. Peter, who dreaded new disasters, 
wept with joy when he learnt that he had found favour with 
Alexis. Full of confidence and hope, he pursued his marcli, 
and the Crusaders, carrying palms in their hands, arrived 
wichout further obstacles under the walls of Constantinople. 

The Creeks, who entertained no love for the Latins, were 
more prodigal and kind in the assistance they afforded them 
from finding them less formidable. They secretly applauded 
the courage of tlie Bulgarians, and contemplated with com- 

VoL. I.— 5 


placency tlie warriors of the West covered A^itli the rags of 
indigence. The emperor was desirous of seeing tke extni- 
ordinary man who had roused the western world ht liia 
eloquence, and Peter was admitted to an audience of Alexis. 
In the presence of all lids court, the emperor extolled the 
zeal of tlie preacher of the crusade ; and as he had nothing 
to fear from the ambition of a hermit, he loaded him with 
presents, caused arms, money, and provisions to be distri- 
buted among his armij, and advised iiim to defer the com- 
mencement of the war to the arrival of the princes and 
illustrious captains who had assumed the cross. 

This advice was salutary, but the most renowned heroes 
of the crusade were not yet ready to leave Europe ; they 
were to be preceded by fresh troops of Crusaders, who, 
marching without forethought and without discipline in the 
steps of the army of Peter, should commit the same excesses, 
and be exposed to the same reverses. A priest of the Pala- 
tinate had preached the crusade in several provinces of 
Germany. At his voice fifteen or twenty thousand men had 
taken the oath to fight the infidels, and had assembled in an 
armed body. As the preachers of the holy war passed for 
men inspired by Grod, the people believed they were obeying 
the will of heaven in taking them for chiefs of the crusade. 
Grotschalk obtained the same honom* that had been conferred 
on Peter the Hermit, and was elected general by the men 
he had prevailed upon to take arms. This army arrived 
in Hungary towards the end of summer. The harvest, which 
was abundant, furnished the Germans with a ready oppor- 
tunity of giving themselves up to intemperance. In the 
enjoyment of tumultuous scenes of debauchery, they forgot 
Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Christ himself, whose worship 
and laws they were marching to defend. Pillage, violation, 
and murder were everywhere left as the traces of their,^ 
passage. Coloman assembled troops to chastise their license, 
and to recall them to a sense of the maxims Ox* justice and 
the laws of hospitality. The soldiers of Gotschalk were full 
of courage, and, at first, defended themselves with advantage. 
Their resistance even inspired serious alarm among the 
Hungarians, who resolved to employ stratagem to reduce 
them. The general of Coloman feigned to be desirous of 
peace. The chiefs of the Hungarians presented them&elvea 


in the camp of the Crusaders, no longer as enemies, but as 
brothers. By dint of protestations and caresses, they per- 
suaded them to allow themselves to be disarmed. The 
Grermans, slaves of the most brutal passions, but simp'.e and 
credulous, yielded to the promises of a Christian people, and 
abandoned themselves to a blind confidence, of which they 
very shortly became the victims. Scarcely had they laid 
down their arms when the chief of the Hungarians gave the 
signal for the carnage. The prayers, the tears of the Cru- 
saders, the sacred sign w^hich they bore upon their breasts, 
could not divert the blows of a perfidious and barbarous 
enemy. Their fate was Avorthy of pity, and history might 
have shed tears over it if they had themselves respected the 
laws of humanity. 

We are doubtless the less astonished at the excesses of 
the first Crusaders, when we reflect that they belonged to 
the lowest class of the people, always blind, and always 
ready to abuse names and things the most holy, when not 
restrained by laws or leaders. The civil wars, Avhich had so 
long disturbed Eui'ope, had greatly increased the number of 
vagabonds and adventurers. Germany, more troubled than 
the other countries of the West, was filled with men trained 
in brigandage, and became the scourge of society. They 
almost all enrolled themselves under the banners of the 
cross, afid carried with them into a new expedition the spirit 
of license and revolt with which they were animated. 

There assembled on the banks of the E^hine and the Moselle 
a new troop of Crusaders, more seditious, more undisciplined, 
even, than those of Peter au d Gotschalk. They had been told 
that the crusade procured the forgiveness of all sins ; and 
in this persuasion they committed the greatest crimes with 
security. Animated by a fanatical pride, they beheved 
themselves entitled to despise and ill-treat ail who did not 
join in the holy expedition. The war they were about to 
wage appeared to them so agreeable to God, and they thought 
by it to render such a signal service to the Church, that all 
the wealth of the earth would be scarcely sufficient to pay 
them, for their devotion. Everything which fell into their 
hands appeared a conquest over the infidels, and became the 
just reward of their labours. 

No captaui durst place himself at the head of this fero* 


fious troop ;* they wandered on in disorder, and obeyed none 
but tbose who partoolv their wild delirium. A priest named 
Volkmar, and a Count Emicio, who thought to expiate the 
wildness of his youth by the excess of his fanaticism, at- 
tracted, by their declamations, the attention and confidence 
of the new Crusaders. These two chiefs were astonished 
that people should go so far to make war upon the Mussul- 
mans, who kept up uuder their own law the tomb of Jesus 
Christ, whilst they left in peace a nation which had crucified 
its God. To inflame men's passions still more, they took care 
to make heaven speak, and to support their opinions by mira- 
culous visions. The people, for whom the Jews were every- 
where an object of hatred and horror, had already shown 
themselves but too ready to persecute them. Commerce, 
which they almost alone carried on, had placed in their hands 
a great part of the gold then circulating in Europe. The 
sight of their wealth necessarily irritated the Crusaders, who 
were, for the most part, reduced to implore charity of 
the faithful to procure the means for undertaking their 
voyage. It is probable, likewise, that the Jews, by their 
railleries, insulted the enthusiasm of the Christians for the 

All these motives, joined to the thirst for pillage, lit up 
the fires of persecution. Emicio and Yolkmar gave both 
the signal and the example. At their voice a furi(^us mul- 
titude spread themselves through the cities of the Rhine 
and the Moselle, massacring pitilessly all the Jews that they 
met with in their passage. In their despair, a great number 
of these victims preferred being their own destroyers, to 
awaiting certain death at the hands of their enemies. Several 
shut themselves up in their houses, and perished amidst flames 
which they themselves had kindled ; some fastened large 
stones to their garments, and precipitated themselves and 
their treasures into the E-hine or the Moselle. Mothers 
stifled their children at the breast, saying that they preferred 
sending them thus to the bosom of Abraham, to seeing them 
given up to the fury of the Christians. "Women and 
old men implored pity to assist them to die ; all these 

* Amongst this confused multitude were Thomas de Feii, CleremhauU 
de Vaudeuil, Guillaume Charpentier, Count Hermaii, !k,c 


wretched creatures calling upon death as earnestly jis other 
men a«k for life. In the midst of these scenes of desolation, 
history takes pleasure in doing justice to the enlightened 
zeal 01 the bishops of Worms, Treves, Mayence, and Spiers, 
wlio raised the voice of religion and humanity, and opened 
their palaces as so many asylums for the Jews against the 
pursuit of murderers and villains. 

The soldiers of Emicio prided themselves upon their 
exploits, and scenes of carnage filled them with exultation. 
As proud as if they had conquered the Saracens, they set 
out on their march, loaded with booty, invoking the heaven 
they had so cruelly outraged. They were slaves to the most 
brutal superstition, and caused themselves to be preceded by 
a goat and a goose, to which they attributed something 
divine.* These mean animals at the head of the battalions 
were as their chiefs, and shared the respect and confidence 
of the multitude^ with all those who furnished examples of 
the most horrible excesses. All people fled at the approach 
of these dreaded champions of the cross. Christians who 
met them on their route were forced to applaud their zeal, 
whilst trembling for fear of becoming victims to it. This 
unrestrained multitude, without being acquainted Avith the 
people or the countries through which they had to pass, 
ignorant even of the disasters of those who had preceded 
them in this perilous career, advanced like a hurricane 
towards the plains of Hungary. Mersbourg shut its gates 
upon them, and refused them provisions. They were indig- 
nant that so little respect should be shown to the soldiers of 
Christ, and deemed it their duty to treat the Hungarians as 
they had treated the Jews. Mersbourg,t situated on the 

* Fuit et aliud scelus detestabiie . tr. hdc congregaiione pedestris 
vopuli stulfi, et vesance levitatis, anserem quemdam divino spiritu assere- 
bant afflatttm, et capellam non minus eodem repletam, et has sibi duces 
secundoe vice fecerant in Jerusalem, quos et nimium vcnerebantur et 
bestiali more his intendebant ex totd animi intentione. — Alb. Aq. lib. i. 
cap. 31. 

t The Mersbourg of the Crusaders is now called Ovar ; in German 
Ungarisch-Altenburgh ; in Sclavonic Stare-Hrady. It is situated in tlie 
marshes that the Leytha forms on its embouchure into the Danube. Its 
position is such that it is impossible to go from Austria into Hungary on 
that side without passing by it. (See Busching, Geog.) The name of 
Mersbourg, which Albert d'Aix gi^es to this place, is no longer in use; 


Lovfha, a river which floAvs into the Danube, was defende''] 
Dv marshes. The; Crusaders crossed the river, cut down a 
forest, a? id formed a causeway, which conducted them close 
under the Avails of the place. After some preparation the 
signal was given, the ladders were raised against the ram- 
parts, and the general assault was begun. The besieged 
opposed a spirited resistance, and showered upon their 
enemies a tempest of darts and arrows, with torrents 
of boiling oil. The besiegers, encouraging each other, 
redoubled their efforts. Victory appeared to be about to 
declare for them, when suddenly several ladders yielded to 
the weight of t])e assailants, and dragged down with them 
in their fall the parapets and the fragments of the towers 
that the rams had shaken. The cries of the wounded, and 
the rattling of the falling ruins, spread a panic among the 
Crusaders. They abandoned the half-destroyed ramparts, 
behind which their enemies trembled, and retired in the 
greatest disorder. 

" Crod himself," says William of Tyre, " spread terror 
through their ranks, to punish their crimes, and to accom- 
plish that word of the wise man : ' The impious man fliea 
without being pursued.' " The inhabitants of Mersbourg, 
astonished at their victory, at length quitted the shelter of 
their ramparts, and found the plain covered with the fliers, 
who had cast away their arms. A vast number of these 
furious beings, whom, recently, nothing could resist, allowed 
themselves to be slaughtered without resistance. Many 
perished, swallowed up in the marshes. The waters of the 
Danube and the Leytha were reddened vdth their blood, and 
covered with their bodies. 

The vanguard of this army met with the same fate among 
tlie Bulgarians, whose territories they had gained. In the 
cities and the plains, these unworthy Crusaders found every* 
■R'here men as ferocious and implacable as themselves, who 
appeared — to employ the words of the historians of the times 

but that of Altenburgh, which has succeeded it, and which signifies old 
city, indicates sufficiently clearly a more ancient name ; and the name of 
Moisson, whicli other historians of the crusades give to the same place, is 
still found in the Latin and Hungarian name of the county of Wiesel- 
bourg, upon which this city depends ; Mesony wanrngytf Mesoniensig 


—to have been placed upon tlie passage of the pilgrims as 
instruments of divine wrath. A very small nimiber escaped 
the carnage. Among the few who found safety in flight, 
some returned into their own country, where they were 
welcomed by the scorn and jeers of their compatriots • the 
rest arrived at Constantinople, where the Grreeks learnt the 
new disasters of the Latins, with so much the more joy, 
from having suifered greatly from the excesses committed by 
the army of Peter the Hermit. 

This army, united to that of "Walter, had received undei* 
its standard an accession of Pisans, Venetians, and Genoese, 
and might amount to about a hundred thousand combatants. 
The remembrance of their misery caused them for a time to 
respect the commands of the emperor and the laws of hos- 
pitality ; but abmidance, idleness, and the sight of the riches 
of Constantinople, brought back to their camp, license, 
insubordination, and a thirst for plunder. Impatient to 
receive the signal for war, they pillaged the houses, the 
palaces, and even the churches, of the suburbs of Byzantium. 
To deliver his capital from these destructive guests, Alexis 
furnished them with vessels, and transported them to the 
other side of the Bosphorus. 

JSTothing could be expected from a band composed of a 
coufused mixture of all nations, and the wrecks of several 
undisciplined armies. A great number of the Crusaders, on 
quitting their country, had thought of nothing but accom- 
plishing their vow, and only sighed for the happiness of 
beholding Jerusalem ; but these pious dispositions had all 
vanished on their route. Wliatever may be the motive that 
brings them together, when men are not confined by any 
restraint, the most corrupted gain the ascendancy, and bad 
examples constitute the law. As soon as the soldiers of 
Peter had passed the straits, they considered all they met 
their enemies, and the subjects of the Greek emperor suffered 
much more than the Turks from their first exploits. In 
their blindness, they allied superstition with license, and 
under the banners of the cross, committed crimes which 
make nature shudder.* But discord soon l)roke out amongst 

* There were in the army of Peter the Hermit, says Anna Comnena; 
ten thousand Normans, who committed horrible excesses in the neigh- 
bourhood of Nicea. They chopped children in pieces, stuck others upoB 


them, and retaliated upon them all the evils they had inf *cted 
upon Christians. 

They had established their camp in the fertile plains which 
border the Grulf of jSTicomedia. Every day parties strayed 
into the neighbourliood, and returned loaded with booty. 
The partition of the spoil excited frequent quarrels among 
them. The French, of an assuming and bantering character, 
attributed to themselves all the success of this commence- 
ment of the war, and treated the Italians and Grermans with 
co-ntempt. The latter separated themselves from the army, 
and under the conduct of a chief named Mnaldo,* a Ivanced 
towards the mountains whicli border upon Nicea. There 
they rendered themselves masters of a fort, whose garrison 
they massacred, and although their troop was not numerous, 
and stood in great want of pro^dsions, they were bold enough 
to await the army which was approaching to besiege them. 
They were not able to resist even the first attacks of the 
Turks, and were almost all put to the sword ; their general, 
and some few of his soldiers, only saved their lives by 
embracing the faith of Mahomet, and by taking a disgraceful 
oath to fight against the Christians. 

"Wn^^in the news of this disaster reached the camp of the 
Cyusaders, it brought with it agitation and trouble. The 
French, who, a few days before, could not endiu'e the Grer- 
mans and the Italians, wept over theii* tragical fate, and were 
eager to march to avenge them. In vain Walter, who com- 
TQanded them, represented to them that the Crusaders whose 
OSS they deplored had fallen victims to their own imprudence, 
and that their principal duty was to avoid their example ; 
nothing coidd restrain the impatience and the blind ardour 
of his soldiers. The latter believed that they already saw 
the Turks fl^^ng before them, and feared they should not be 
able to overtake them. Murmurs rae in the Christian 

spits, and exercised all sorts of cruelties against aged persons. (See the 
Alexiad, book x.) We have no need to repeat our caution against the 
exaggeration of Anna Comnena, who is always pleased with an oppor- 
tunity of accusing the Crusaders. 

* This Rinaldo, of whom nothing else is known, except that he was an 
Italian, is the only personage so called who has any event of importance 
in the first crusade attached to his name. Tasso, who has taken most of 
his characters from history, has borrowed the person and character of 
Rinaldo, in the " Jerusalem Delivered," entirely from nis imagination. 


flltny against a general whom they accused of want of 
courage, because he foresaw reverses. From mnrnmrs they 
pai^sed to revolt, and the order for departure an'd attack wsls 
forced from him by violence. Walter, groaning, followed a 
headstrong m altitude, who marched in disorder towards 
Wicea, and whom the Turks would soon punish for the 
contempt with which they had treated the advice of their 

The sultan of Nicea, foreseeing their imprudence, had 
concealed a part of his army in a forest, and waited for them 
with the rest of his troops in a plain at the foot of the 
mountain. After a march of some hours, in a country 
which was imknown to them, the Christians were unex- 
pectedly attacked by the Turks, whom they believed to be 
in flight. They formed in haste, and at first defended them- 
selves valiantly. But the enemy had the advantages of 
position and numbers, and they were soon siu'rounded on all 
sides, and completely routed. The carnage was horrible : 
AYalter, who was worthy of commanding better soldiers, fell 
pierced by seven arrows. "With the exception of three 
thousand men, who took refuge in a castle close to the sea, 
the whole army perished in a single battle, and there soon 
remained no more of them than a confused heap of bones, 
piled up in the plains of Nicea, as a deplorable monument 
to point out to other Crusaders the road to the Holy Land. • 

Such was the fate of that multitude of pilgrims who 
threatened Asia, and yet never beheld the places they went 
to conquer. By their excesses they had prejudiced the 
whole of Greece against the enterprize of the crusades, and 
by their manner cf fighting had taught the Turks to despise 
the arms of the Christians of the West. 

Peter, who had returned to Constantinople before the 
battle, and who had long lost all authority among the Cru- 
saders, declaimed against their indocility and their pride, 
and beheld in them nothing but brigands,* whom Grod had 
deemed unworthy to contemplate or adore the tomb of hia 

* Instead of acknowledging his fault, says Anna Comnena, he laid it 
upon those who had disobeyed his orders and insisted upon doing as they 
pleased, calling them robbers and brigands, whom God had deemed 
unworthy of seeing and adoring the tomb of his Son. — Alexiad, lib. x« 
ch. 8. 



Son. From that time it was quite evident that the apostle 
of the holy war possessed no quality to enable him to act as 
its chief. Coolness, prudence, inflexible firmness, alone could 
conduct a multitude whom so many passions impelled, and 
who listened to nothing but enthusiasm. The cenobite 
Peter, after having prepared the great events of the crusade 
by his eloquence, lost in the crowd of pilgrims, played 
nothing but an ordinary part, and was in the end scarcely 
to be perceived in a war that was his work. 

Europe, mthout doubt, learnt with terror and astonish- 
ment the unhappy end of three hundred thousand Crusaders, 
whom she had seen depart ; but they who were to follow 
were not at all discouraged, and resolved to profit by the 
lessons which the disasters of their companions had given 
them. The West soon saw on foot armies more regular and 
more formidable than those which had been destroyed on 
the banks of the Danube, and in the plains of Bithynia. 

When describing their march and their exploits, we are 
about to trace much nobler pictures. Here the heroic spirit 
of chivalry will display itself in all its splendour, and the 
brilliant period of the holy war will commence. 

The leaders of the Christian armies which now quitted the 
West were already celebrated by their valoiu* and their 
deeds. At the head of the great captains who commanded 
in this crusade, history, as well as poetry, must place 
Godfrey de Bouillon,* duke of the Lower Lorraine. He 
was of the illustrious race of the counts of Boulogne, and 
descended on the female side from Charlemagne. From his 
earliest youth he had distinguished himself in the open war 
carried on between the Holy See and the emperor of Ger- 
many. On the field of battle he had killed Eodolphe de 
Ehenfield, duke of Suabia, to whom Gregory had sent the 
imperial crown, Wlien the war broke out in Italy for the 
cause of the anti-pope Anaclet, Godfrey was the first to 
enter the city of liome, besieged and taken by the troops of 
Henry. He afterwards repented of having embraced a party 

* Godfrey of Bouillon was born at Baysy, a village of Wallon Brabant, 
now in the department of La Dyle, two leagues south-east of Nevilles, 
and not far from Fleurus Aubert le Mire, and the Baron Leroy, in the 
geography of Brabant, report that in their time the remains of the castlf 
in. which Godfrey was brought up were to be seen. 


whicli victory itself could not make triumphant, and which 
tlie greater part of Christendom considered sacrilegious. 
To expiate exploits condemned as useless by the spirit of 
his age, he made a vow to go to Jerusalem, not as a simple 
pil|;'rim, but as a hberator. 

Contemporary history, which has transmitted his portrait 
to us, infomis us that he joined the bravery and virtues of a 
nero to the simplicity of a cenobite.* His prowess in fight 
and his extraordinary strength of body made him the pride 
of camps. Prudence and moderation tempered his valour ; 
his devotion was sincere and disinterested; and in no 
instance during the holy war did he employ his courage or 
inflict his vengeance but upon the enemies of Christ. Faith- 
ful to his word, liberal, affable, full of humanity, the princes 
aiid knights looked upon him as their model, the soldiers as 
their father — all were eager to fight under his standard. If 
he was not the leader of the crusade, as some writers pre- 
tend, he at least obtained that empire which virtue bestows. 
Amidst their quarrels and divisions, the princes and barons 
constantly appealed to the wisdom of Grodfrey, and in the 
dangers of war, his counsels became absolute orders. 

At the signal of the duke of Lorraine, the nobility of 
.France and the borders of the Rhine were prodigal of their 
treasures in preparing for the crusades. AU things service- 
able in war mounted to so exorbitant a price, that the pro- 
duce of an estate was scarcely sufiicient to defray the eqidp- 
ment of a single knight- The women despoiled themselves 
of their most precious ornaments to furnish forth their sons 
and their husbands for the expedition. Men even, say the 
historians, who in other times would have suftered a thousand 
deaths rather than give up their hereditary domains, either 
sold them for a low price or exchanged them for arms. Gold 
and steel appeared to be the only desirable objects in 

Now appeared the stores of riches which had been con- 
cealed by fear or avarice. Ingots oi gold, coined pieces, 

* An anonymous historian of the crusades, when speaking of Godfrey, 
expresses himself thus -. Tantum lenia, ut mayis in se monachum quam 
miliiem jigurarct. Gtiibert further says : Cujns mira humilitas et 
'tionachu jam inrianda modestia. — See Bongars, p. 548. 


Fays the Abbe Guibert, were to be seen in heaps in tlie 
tents of the principal Crusaders, like the most common fruita 
in the cottages of villagers. 

Many barons, having neither lands nor castles to seD, 
implored the charity of the faithful who did not take up the 
cross, and might hope to participate in the merits of the 
lioly var by assisting ni the equipment of the Crusaders, 
Some ruined their vassals ; others, like William, viscoimt de 
Melun,* pillaged the burghs and villages to place themselves 
in a condition to combat the infidels. Godfrey de Bouillon, 
guided by a more enlightened piety, was content with 
alienating his domains. We read in Kobert Gaguin that he 
permitted the inhabitants of Metz to redeem their city, of 
which he was suzerain. He sold the principality of Stenai 
to the bishop of Verdun, and ceded his rights over the duchy 
of Bouillon to the bishop of Liege for the small sum of four 
thousand silver marks and a pound of gold, which makes an 
historian of the Crusaders sayt that the secular princes 
ruined themselves for the cause of Jesus Christ, whilst the 
princes of the Church took advantage of the fervour of the 
Christians to enrich themselves. 

The duke de Bouillon had gathered under his standard 
eighty thousand foot-soldiers and ten thousand horsemen. 
He began his march eight months after the council of 
Clermont, accompanied by a great number of German and 
Prench nobles. He took with him his brother Eustace de 
Boulogne, his other brother Baldwin, and his cousin Baldwin 
de Bourg. These two last, who were destined one day, like 
Godfrey de Bouillon, to become kings of Jerusalem, held 
then the rank of simple knights in the Christian army. 
They were all less animated by sincere piety than by the 
hope of achieving a great fortune in Asia, and quitted with- 
out regret the mean possessions that they held in Europe. 
Still further were to be remarked in the train of the duke 
de Lorraine, Baldwin, count de Haiuaut ; Garnier, count de 
Grai; Conon de Montaigu, Dudon de lontz, so celebrated 

* Abbot Guibert speaks thus of William, viscount de Melun : Cum 
Jerosolymitanum esset agrefssurus, iter direptis contiguorum nbi pou* 
perum fiubstantiolis, prnfanum viaticum prceparavit. — Lib. iv. c. 7. 

f Le Pere Maimbourg. 


m the " Jerusalem Delivered;" the two brothers Henri and 
Godfrey de Hache, Gerard de Cherisi, Rinaldo and Peter de 
Toul, Hugh de St. Paul, and his son Engelran. These 
chiefs brought with them a crowd of other knights, less 
known, but not less formidable by their valour. 

The army commanded by the duke of Lorraine, composed 
of soldiers formed by discipline and tried in battle, offered to 
the Germans a very different spectacle from the troop of 
Peter the Hermit, and re-established the honour of the 
Crusaders in all the countries they passed through. They 
met with assistance and allies where the first champions of 
the cross had found nothing but obstacles and enemies. 
Godfrey deplored the fate of those who had preceded him, 
without seeking to avenge their cause. The Hungarians 
and the Bulgarians, on theii* part, forgot the violences com- 
mitted by the soldiers of Peter, Gotschalk, and Emicio ; 
they admired the moderation of Godfrey, and offered up 
vows for the success of his arms. 

Whilst the duke de Lorraine was advancing towards Con- 
stantinople, Prance was raising other armies for the holy 
war. A few months after the council of Clermont, the nobles 
of the kingdom assembled to deliberate upon the affairs of 
the crusade. In this assembly, held in the presence of 
Philip I., who had just been excommunicated, no one was 
opposed to the war preached under the auspices of the Holy 
See ; no one even thought of invoking policy either to mode- 
rate or direct the passions which agitated Europe. The 
cabinets of princes were as much infatuated as the mtdti- 
tude, and it may be said that the fortune of Prance took 
charge alone of these great events, which, though unfor- 
tunate at first, afterwards concurred to raise the monarcliy 
which had fallen into ruins under the feeble successors of 

Towards the middle of the tenth century, the chief of the 
third dynasty had consecrated tlie usurpation of the nobles, 
and to obtain the title of king, had almost abandoned the 
little that remained of the rights of the crown. Phhip I., 
grandson of Hugh Caj^et, found that his dominions extended 
but little beyond Paris and Orleans ; the rest of Prance was 
governed by the great vassal^, of wliom several surpassed 
th*^ ntouarch in power. Eoyalty, the only hope of the 


people against the oppressions of the nobles and jhe clei>";:v, 
was so feeble, that we are at the present time astonisLf i 
tliat it did not fall, so numerous were the difficulties and tl^ 
enemies that surrounded it on all sides. As the monarcn 
was exposed to the censures of the Church, it was an easy 
matter to lead his subjects to disobedience, and to legiti- 
matize any sort of revolt, by giving it the colour of a sacred 

The crusade removed far from Europe all who could have 
taken advantage of the unhappy situation in which the 
kingdom was placed ; it saved the country from a civil war, 
and prevented such sanguinary discords as had broken out 
in Germany under the reign of Henry and the pontificate of 

Such were the considerations which might present them- 
selves to the most enlightened men, and which must strike 
us more strongly than they would the contemporaries of 
Philip.* It woid-d be difficult to believe that any one of the 
counsellors of the king of France perceived, in all their 
extent, these salutary results of the crusade, which were 
recognized long after, and which have only been properly 
appreciated in the age in which we live. On the other hand, 
they had no conception that a war in which all the most 
dangerous passions should be brought into action would be 
accompanied by great misfortunes and calamitous disorders. 
Ambition, license, the spirit of enthusiasm, aU so much to 
be dreaded by the country, might also bring about the ruin 
of armies. Not one of the enemies of Philip, not one cf 
those who remained at home, made this reflection. Every- 
body, as we have already said, they who were of the party of 
the Holy See and they who adhered to royalty, allowed them- 
selves to be carried along by the current of events, without 

* Nothing is more common than to attribute the cotnbinations of a 
jjrofound policy to remote ages. If certain persons are to be believed, 
the rren of the eleventh century were sages, and we are barbarians, i 
feel it just to report the opinion of Montesquieu on this subject : " To 
transport all the ideas of the age in which we live into remote periods is 
the most abundant source of error. To those people who wish to render 
all ancient ages mod^n, I will repeat what the priests of Egypt said to 
Solon, * Oh ithenians . you are but children.' " — Esprit des Lois, liv 
XXX. c. 18. 


either perceiving the causes of them or foreseeing their con- 
sequences. The most wise blindly followed that invisible 
destiny which orders the world as it pleases, and makes usG 
of the passions of men as of an instrument to accompli-sh its 

In a superstitious age the sight of a prodigy or of an 
extraordinary phenomenon had more influence over the 
minds of men than the oracles of wisdom or reason.* His- 
torians uiform us, that whilst the barons were assembled, 
the moon, which was in eclipse, appeared of the colour of 
blood. When the eclipse was over, its disc was surrounded 
by an uivprecedented splendour. Some weeks after, says the 
Abbe Gviibert, the northern horizon was seen to be all on 
fire, and the terrified people rushed from the houses and 
cities, believing that the enemy was advancing, fire and 
sword in hand. These phenomena, with several others, 
were regarded as signs of the will of God, and presages of 
the terrible war about to be made in his name. They every- 
where redoubled the enthusiasm for the crusade. Men who 
had hitherto remained indifferent now partook of the general 
delirium. AH Frenchmen called to the profession of arms, 
aiid w^ho had not yet taken the oath to fight against the 
infidels, hastened now to take the cross. 

The men of the Yermandois marched with the subjects of 
Philip under the colours of their count Hugh, a young 
prince whose brilliant qualities had been much admired by 
the court. Proud of being a brother of the king of Prance 
and the first of the Prench knights, he distinguished him- 
self by his bravery and the ostentation of his manners. He 
displayed invincible courage in the field of battle, but 
allowed liimself to be too easily overcome by flattery, and 
was wanting in perseverance in reverses. Although fortune 

* Eo tempore cum inter regni primates super hdc expeditione res 
fieret, et colloquium ah eis cum Hvgone Magna , sub Philippi regis pr es- 
sentia, Parisiis haberetur, mense Februario, tertio idus ejusdem, luna, 
eclipsim patiens, ante noctis medium, sanguineo patlatim ccepit colore 
velari, donee in cruentissimum iota horribiliter est conversa ruborem ; et 
ubi aurora crejmsctdo natures rediit, circa ipsum, lunarem circnlum 
insolitus splendor emicuit. Quidam autem cestivi diei vespertind irruente 
hord, tanta aquilonis plag(B eJjUagratio apparvit, ut plurimi e domibui 
suis sese proriperent, qtuerentes quinam hastes provincias iuas adeb gravi 
ambusiiont vastareat. — Guibert, Abb. lib. i. eh. 17. 


was not too kind to him, not one of the heroes of the crusade 
exhibited more honourable and disinterested intentions. If 
be had not merited by liis exploits the surname of Great 
which history has given him, he would have obtained it foi 
having only listened to his zeal, and for having sought 
nothing but glory in a war which offered kingdoms to the 
ambition of princes and simple knights. 

Itobert, surnamed Courtc-heuse, didie ol Normandy, who 
led his vassals to the holy war, was the eldest son of Wil- 
liam the Conqueror. He joined to noble qualities some of 
the faults the most reprehensible in a prince. He could not, 
even in his early youth, endLU*e paternal authority; but, drawn 
away more by a desire for independence than by a real 
ambition, after having made war against his father for the 
sake of reigning in INormandy, he neglected the opportunity 
of ascending the throne of England on the death of William. 
His levity, his inconstancy, and his weakness, caused him to 
be despised both by his subjects and his enemies. His pro- 
fusion ruined his people, and reduced him, if we may credit 
the monk Oderic Vital, to a condition bordering upon 
absolute poverty. The historian I have just quoted relates 
a trait, w^hich, although difficult to be believed, at the same 
time describes both liobert and the age he lived in. " He 
was often compelled to remain in bed for want of clothes, 
and frequently was absent from mass because his nudity 
prevented him from assisting at it." li; was not an ambition 
for conquering kingdoms in Asia, but his inconstant, chivalric 
disposition, that made him assume the cross, and take up 
arms. The Normans, a wandering and warlike people, who 
had made themselves remarkable among all the nations of 
Europe for their devotion to pilgrimages, hastened in crowds 
to his banner. As Duke Robert had not the means of pro- 
viding for the expenses of an army, he pledged Normandy 
with his brotlier Williaui E,ufus. William, whom his ago 
accused of impiety, and who laughed at the knight errantri 
of the Crusaders, seized with joy the opportunity of governing 
a proAince which he hoped one day to unite to his kingdom. 
He levied taxes upon the clergy, whom he did not like, and 
caused the silver plate of the churches to be melted to pay the 
Bum of ten thousand silver marks to liobert, who set out for 
the Holy Land, Ibllowed b; almost all the nobility of his duchy. 


Anotlicr Eobert, count of Flanders, placed himself at the 
head of the Trisons and the riemings. He was son of 
Kobert, surnamed the Frison, who had usurped the prin- 
cipality of Flanders from his own nephews, and who, to 
expiate his victories, had performed, some time before the 
crusade, the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The yoimg Robert 
easily found soldiers for his enterprize in a country where 
everybody had borne arms during the civil wars, and where 
the people were animated by the tales of a great number of 
pilgrims returned from the Holy Land. He exhausted the 
freasures of his father, to embark in an expedition which 
procm-ed him the reputation of a bold knight, together with 
the surname of " The Lance and Sworcf'' of the Christians. 
Five hundred horsemen sent by Hobert the Frison to the 
emperor Alexis had already preceded him to Constantinople. 

Stephen, count of Blois and Chartres, had also taken up 
the cross. He passed for the richest noble of his times. 
The number of his castles was said to be equal to that of 
the days of the year. What might be really considered a 
phenomenon in the eleventh century, this prince loved and 
cultivated letters. He proved to be the soul of the councils 
by his eloquence and his intelligence ; but he could not long 
together support the fatigues of war, and he sometimes was 
but timid in the field of battle. 

These four chiefs were accompanied by a crowd of knights 
and nobles, among whom history names Hobert of Paris, 
Evrard of Prusaic, Achard de Montmerle, Isouard de Muson, 
Stephen, count d'Albermarle, Walter de St. Yalery, Eoger 
de Barneville, Fergant and Conan, two illustrious Bretons, 
Guis de Trusselle, Miles de Braies, Eaoul de Baugency, 
Rotrou, son of the count de Perche; Odo, bishop of Bayeux, 
imcle of the duke of Normandy ; Baoul de Gader, Tve and 
Alberic, sons of Hugh de Grandmenil. The greater part of 
the counts and barons took wth them their wives and 
children, and all their war equipages. They crossed tlie 
Alps, and directed their march towards the cities of Italy, 
with the intention of embarking for Greece. They found 
in the neighbourhood of Lucca Pope L^rl an, who gave them 
his benediction, praised then' zeal, and oftered up prayers 
for the success of their enterprize. The count de Verman 
doisj after having received the standard of the Church frouj 


the hands of the sovereign pontiff, repaired to Kome, v^^th 
the other princes, to visit the tombs of St. Peter and St. 
Paul. The capital of the Christian world was then the 
theatre of a civil war. The soldiers of Urban, and ^hose of 
the anti-pope Guibert, disputed, arms in hand, for the chiurch 
of St. Peter, and by turns carried off the offerings of the 
faithfol. Wliatever some modern historians may say, the 
Crusaders took no part in the troubles which divided the 
eitj of E/Ome ; and what is still more astonishing. Urban did 
not call to the defence of his own cause one of the warriors 
whom his appeal had induced to take up arms. Eor the rest, 
the spectacle which presented itself in the city of St. Peter 
must have been a subject of scandal to the greater part of 
the French knights. Some, satisfied with having saluted 
the tomb of the apostles, and perhaps cured of their holy 
enthusiasm by the sight of the violences which profaned the 
sanctuarv, abandoned the standard of the cross, and returned 
into their own country. Others piu'sued their march towards 
ApuHa ; but when they arrived at Bari, the winter beginning 
to render the navigation dangerous, they were forced to wait 
during several months for a favourable moment to embark. 

The passage of the French Crusaders, however, had 
awakened the zeal of the Italians. Bohemond, prince of 
Tarentum, was the first who resolved to associate himself 
with their fortunes, and to partake of the glory of the holy 
expedition. He was of the family of those knights who had 
founded the kingdom of Naples and Sicily. Fifty years 
before the crusade, his father, Kobert Gruiscard (the subtle) 
had quitted the castle of Hauteville, in Normandy, with thirty 
foot-soldiers and five horsemen. Seconded by some of his 
relations and compatriots, who had preceded him into Italy, 
lie fought with advantage against the Greeks, the Lombards, 
and the Saracens, who disputed Apulia and Calabria with 
him. He soon became sufficiently powerful to be by tiu'ns 
the enemy and the protector of the popes. He beat the 
armies of the emperors of the East and the West, and when 
he died he was engaged in the conquest of Greece. 

Bohemond had neither less cuiniing nor less talents than 
his father, Eobert Guiscard. Contemporary authors, who 
'lever fail to describe the physical qualities of their heroes, 
iDf>')rm us that his height was so great that it exceeded by a 


cubit tliat of the tallest man in his army ; his eyes wer* 
blue, and appeared fiill of passion and haughty pride. Hig 
presence, says Anna Comnena, was as astonishing to the 
eyes as his reputation was to the mind. When he spoke, liis 
hearers believed that eloquence had been his only study ; 
when he appeared under arms, he might be supposed to have 
done nothing but wield the lance and the sword. Brought 
up in the school of the Norman heroes, he concealed the 
combinations of policy beneath an exterior of violence ; and 
although of a proud and haughty character, he could put up 
with an injiu*y when vengeance would not have been profit- 
able to him. Everything that could contribute to the success 
of his designs appeared to him to be just. He had learnt 
from his father to consider every man whose wealth or states 
he coveted as his enemy ; he was neither restrained by the 
fear of Grod, the opinion of men, nor his own oaths. He 
had followed E-obert in the war against the emperor Alexis, 
and had distinguished himself in the battles of Durazzo and 
Larissa ; but, disinherited by a v^dll, he had nothing at his 
father's death but the memory of his exploits, and the 
example of his family. He had declared war against his 
brother Eoger, and had recently compelled him to cede to 
him the principality of Tarentum, when the expedition to 
the East began to be talked of in Europe. The deliverance 
of the tomb of Christ was not the object that kindled his 
zeal, or induced him to assume the cross. As he had sworn 
an eternal hatred to the Greek emperors, he smiled at the 
idea of traversing their empire at the head of an army ; and, 
full of confidence in his own fortunes, he hoped to win a 
kingdom before he should arrive at Jerusalem. 

The little principality of Tarentum could not supply hiip 
with an army ; but in the name of religion, a leader had then, 
the power of raising troops in all the states. Enthusiasm 
for the crusade soon seconded his projects, and brought a 
great number of warriors to hi*s standard. 

He had accompanied his brother and his uncle Eoger to 
the siege of Amalfi, a flourishing city which refused with 
contempt the protection of the new masters of Apulia and 
Sicily. Bohemond, who knew well how to speak in proper sea- 
son the language of enthusiasm, and to conceal his ambition 
beneath the colours of religious fanaticism, preached himself 


the cTusade in tlie army of the besiegers. He went among 
the soldiers, tallcinp; of the princes and the great captains 
who had taken the cross. He spoke to the most pious war- 
riors of the religion which was to be defended, and exalted 
before others the glory and fortunes which would crown 
their exploits. The army was won over by his discourses, 
and the camp soon resounded with the cry of " It is the wi. 
of God ! It is the ivill of God f^ Bohemond congratulate c. 
himself in secret on the success of his eloquence, and tore 
his coat of arms into strips, of which he made crosses, and 
ordered his officers to distribute them among the soldiers. 
There now only wanted a chief to command the holy expe- 
dition, and the new Crusaders came to solicit the prince of 
Tarentum to place himself at their head. Bohemond 
appeared at first to hesitate ; he refused that which he 
ardently desired; and the soldiers assembled around him 
redoubled their solicitations. At length he seemed to yield 
to their importunities, and obey their will. Instantly the 
eagerness and enthusiasm became more animated and more 
general. In an incredibly short space of time the whole 
army swore to follow him into Palestine. E/Oger was obliged 
to raise the siege of Amalfi, and the happy Bohemond gave 
himself up entirely to the preparations for his voyage. 

A short time after he embarked for the coasts of Greece 
with ten thousand horsemen and twenty thousand foot. 
Every illustrious knight of Apulia and Sicily followed the 
prince of Tarentum. With him marched Richard, prince of 
Salerno, and Eandulf, his brother ; Herman de Cani, Eobert 
de Hanse, Eobert de Sourdeval, Eobert the son of Tristan, 
Boile de Chartres, and Humphrey de Montaigu. All these 
warriors were celebrated for their exploits, but no one 
amongst them was more worthy to attract the attention of 
posterity than the brave Tancred.* Although he belonged 
to a family in which ambition was hereditary, he was fired 
by no other passion than a desire to 'ight against the infidels. 
Piety, glory, and perhaps his friendship for Bohemond alone, 
led him into Asia. His contemporaries admired his romantic 

* Raoul de Caen has written, half in prose and half in verse, the " Gestes 
de Tancrede." (See " Thesaurus Novus Anecdotorum" of D. Marteime, 
vol. i., or the ** Recueil de Muratori," torn, iii.) 


pride and his haughty austerity. lie yielded to no supe- 
riority but that of virtue, with the exception of occasional 
submission to the power of beauty. A stranger to all the 
motives and interests of policy, he acknowledged no other 
law but religion and honour, and was always ready to die in 
their cause. The annals of chivalry present no model more 
accomplished ; poetry and history have united to celebrate 
him, and both have heaped upon him the same praises. 

The Crusaders from the southern provinces of France had 
marched under the command of Adhemar de Monteil and 
Kaymond, count de St. Gilles and Thoulouse. Bishop 
Adhemar acted as the spiritual chief jf the crusade ; his 
title of apostolic legate, and his personal quahties, earned 
for him in the holy war the confidence and respect of the 
pilgrims. His exhortations and his counsels contributed 
greatly to the maintaining of order and discipline. He con- 
soled the Crusaders in their reverses, he animated them 
amidst dangers : clothed at the same time with the insignia 
of a pontiff and the armour of a knight, he exhibited in the 
tent a model of the Christian virtues, and in the field often 
gave proofs of undaunted valour. 

Raymond, who marched with Adhemar, had had the glory 
of fighting in Spam by the side of the Cid ; and of con- 
quering several times the Moors under Alphonso the Great, 
who had bestowed his daughter Elvira upon him in marriage. 
His vast possessions on the banks of the E-hone and the 
Dordogne, and still more his exploits against the Saracens, 
rendered him one of the most remarkable among the great 
leaders of the crusade. Age had not extinguished in the 
count of Thoulouse either the ardoiu* or the passions of 
youth. Hasty and impetuous, of a character haughty and 
inflexible, he had less ambition to conquer kingdoms than to 
make every tvtU bend beneath his own. Both Greeks and 
Saracens have acknowledged his bravery. His subjects and 
his companions in arms hated him for his obstinacy and 
violence. Unhappy prince, he bade eternal farewell to his 
country, which was one day to be the theatre of a terrible 
crusade preached against his own family !, 

All the nobihty of Gascory, Languedoc, Provence, the 
Limousin, and Auvergne, ace /mpanied Baymond and Adl e- 
Biar. Contemporary historijius name among the krightsi 


and lords who had taken the cross, Heracle, count de I'olig- 
nac, Pons de Balazan, Guillaume de Sabran, Eleazar de 
Castrie, Eleazar de Montredon, Pierre Bernard de Mon- 
tagnac, Eaymoud de Lille, Pierre Eaymond de Hautpool, 
Gouflier de Lasiours, Gruillaume Y., lord of Montpellier, 
jRoger, count de Foix, Haymond Pelet, Seigneur d'Alais, 
Isard, count de Die, Raimbaud, count d' Orange, Gudlaume, 
count de Perez, Gruillaume, count de Clermont, Gerard, son of 
Guillabert, count de Eoussillon, Gaston, viscount de Beam, 
Guillaume Amanjeu d'Albret, Eaymond, viscount de Tu- 
renne, Eaymond, viscount de Castillon, Guillaume d'Urgal, 
and the count de Portcalquier. After the example of Adhemar, 
the bishops of Apt, Lodeve, and Orange, and the archbishop 
of Toledo, had taken up the cross, and led a part of their 
vassals to the holy war. 

Eaymond, count of Thoulouse, followed by his wife Elvira 
and his sons, placed himself at the head of a hundred thou- 
sand Crusaders, advanced to Lyons, where he crossed the 
Ehone, traversed the Alps, Lombardy, and Prioul, and 
directed his march towards the territory of the Greek empire, 
over the savage mountains and through the equally savage 
nations of Dalmatia.* 

Alexis, who had implored the assistance of the Latins, 
was terrified when he learnt the numbers of his liberators. 
The leaders of the crusade were only princes of the second 
order, but they drew with them all the forces of the West. 
Anna Comnena compares the multitude of the Crusaders to 
the sands of the sea or the stars of the heavens, and their 
innumerable bands to torrents which unite to form a great 
river. t Alexis had learnt to dread Bohemonti on the plains 
of Diu-azzo and Larissa. Although he was less acquainted 
with the courage and ability of the other Latin princes, he 
repented of having imparted to them the secret of his weak- 
ness by asking their aid. His alarms, wh'ch were increased 

* Consult the history of Raymond d'Agiles, chaplain of the count de 
Thoulousfc, for the description of this march of the Qrusaders of the 
south across a country till that time unknown. 

f An Armenian historian says of the preparations for this crusade, 
" The gates of the Latins were opened, and the inhabitants of the West 
saw issuing from their countries armies and soldiers numerous as locusts 
or the sands of the sea." 


by the predictions of astrologers and the opinions spread 
among his people, became more serious as the Crusadera 
advanced towards his capital.* 

Seated on a throne from which he had hurled his master 
and benefactor, he could have no faith in \drtue, and was 
better aware than another what ambition might dictate. He 
had displayed some courage in gaining the piu-ple, but only 
governed by dissimulation, — the ordinary policy of the 
Greeks and all weak states. If Anna Comnena has made 
an accomjlished prince of him, the Latins have represented 
him as a perfidious and cruel monarch. Impartial history, 
which alike rejects the exaggerations of eulogy or satire, 
can see nothing in Alexis but a weak ruler, of a superstitious 
character, led away much more by a love of vain splendour 
and display than by any passion for glory. He had it in his 
power to put himself at the head of the Crusaders, and 
reconquer Asia JMinor, by marching with the Latins to 
Jerusalem. This great enterprize alarmed his weakness. 
His timid prudence made him believe that it would be suffi- 
cient to deceive the Crusaders to have nothing to fear from 
them, and to receive a vain homage from them in order to 
profit by their victories. Everything appeared good and just 
to him which woidd assist in extricating him from a position 
of which his policy increased the dangers, and which the 
unsteadiness of his projects made every day more embar- 
rassing. The more earnestly he endeavoured to inspire 
confidence, the more suspicious he rendered his good faith 
By seeking to inspire fear, he discovered all the alarms which 
he himself experienced. As soon as he had notice of the 
march of the princes of the crusade, he sent them ambas- 
sadors to compliment them, and to penetrate their intentions. 
In the meanwhile, he placed troops everywhere to harass 
them on their passage. 

The count de Yermandois, cast by a tempest on the shores 
of Epirus, received the greatest honours from the governor 
of Durazzo, and was led a prisoner to Constantinople by the 
orders of Alexis. The Greek emperor hoped that the brother 

* Nothing can be more diffuse than historians upon the march of the 
different princes of the crusade ; each body of the Christian army has ita 
particular historian, which is very injurious to perspicuity: it is exceed- 
ingly difficult to follow so many different relations. 


of the king of France would become, in liis hands, a hostage 
that might protect him from the enterprizes of the Latins ; 
but he only awakened suspicion, and provoked the hatred oi 
the leaders of the crusade. Godfrey de Bouillon had arrived 
at Philippopoli, when he heard of the captivity of the count 
de Vermandois. He sent to the emperor to demand instant 
reparation for this outrage ; and as the deputies reported 
but an unfavourable answer, he restrained neither his own 
indignation nor the fury of his army. The lands through 
which they passed were treated as an enemy's country, and 
during eight days the fertile plains of Tlu'ace became the 
theatre of war. The crowd of Grreeks who fled towards the 
capital soon informed the emperor of the terrible vengeance 
of the Latins. Alexis, terrified at the fruits of his ouii 
policy, implored the pardon of his prisoner, and promised to 
restore him his liberty when the Trench should have arrived 
at the gates of Constantinople. This promise appeased 
Godfrey, who caused the war to cease, and resumed his 
march, treating the Greeks everywhere as friends and 

In the meanwhile, Alexis employed every effort to obtain 
from tli-e count de Vermandois the oath of obedience and 
fidehty, hoping that his submission would lead to that of the 
other princes of the crusade, and that he should have less to 
fear from then' ambition if he could reckon them in the 
number of his vassals. The brother of the king of France, 
who, on arri\Tng in the territories of the empire, had \NTitten 
letters filled with pride and ostentation, could not resist the 
caresses and presents of the emperor, and took all the oaths 
that were required of him. On the arrival of Godfrey, he 
appeared in the camp of the Crusaders, who rejoiced at his 
deliverance, but could not pardon him for having yielded 
submission to a foreign monarch. Cries of indignation arose 
around him when he endeavoured to persuade Godfrey to 
follow his example. The more ^-entle and submissive he'had 
shown himself in his captivity, the more strong became the 
opposition and resistance to the will of the emperor of his 
companions, who had drawn then" swords to avenge the insult 
offered to him. 

Ahxis refused them provisions, and thought to reduce 
then by famine ; but the Latins were accustomed to obtain 


all they wanted by violence and victory. At tlie signal of 
their leader, they dispersed themselves over the suirounding 
country, pillaged the villages and the palaces near the) 
capital, and, by force, brought abundance to their camp, 'I'liia 
disorder lasted several days ; but the festival of Cln-istmaa 
was approaching, and the epoch of the birth of Christ 
revived generous sentiments in the breasts of the Christian 
soldiers and the pious Godfrey. Advantage was taken of 
these feehngs to bring about peace. The emperor granted 
provisions, and the Crusaders sheathed their swords. 

But it was impossible for harmony to subsist long between 
the Greeks and the Latins. The Latins haughtily boasted 
of having come to the rescue of the empire. On all occa- 
sions they spoke and acted as masters. The Greeks despised 
the barbarous courage of the Latins, and placing all their 
glory in the refinement of their manners, believed that they 
disgraced the language of Greece when pronouncing tlue 
names of the warriors of the West. The rupture which 
had for a long time subsisted between the churches of liome 
and Constantinople, increased the antipathy which the 
difference of manners and customs had given birth to. On 
both sides anathemas were launched, and the theologians of 
Greece and Italj detested each other more than they detested 
the Saracens. The Greeks, who employed themselves in 
nothing but vain subtleties, had never been willing to place 
in the list of martyrs those who had died fighting against 
the infidels. They abhorred the martial character of the 
Latin clergy, boasted that they possessed in their capital all 
the relics of the East, and could not understand what they 
could be going to seek at Jerusalem. On their side, the 
Franks could not pardon the subjects of Alexis for not par- 
taking in their enthusiasm for the crusade, and reproached 
them with a culpable indifference for the cause of God. All 
these motives of discord and hatred provoked frequent scenes 
of violence, in which the Greeks displayed more perfidy than 
courage, and the Latins more valour than moderation. 

Throughout all these divisions Alexis constantly sought to 
obtain from Godfrey the oath of obedience and fidelity ; 
sometimes he employed protestations of friendship, some- 
times he threatened to exercise powers that he did not 
possess. Godfrey braced his menaces, and placed nc faith in 

Vol. L— 6 


his promises. The imperial and the Latin troops were twice 
enlled to arms, and Constantinople, badly defended by its 
soldiers, had canse to fear beholding the standard of tho 
Crusaders floating over its walls. 

The report of tliese serious quarrels conveyed joy to the 
heai-t of Boliemond, who had just landed at Durazzo. He 
believed the time was come to attack the Greek empire, and 
to di\dde the spoils. He sent envoys to Grodfrey, to invite 
him to take possession of Byzantium, promising to join him 
with all his forces, for the prosecution of this great enter- 
|)rize. But Godfrey did not forget that he had taken up 
arms for tlie defence of the holy se23ulchre, and rejected the 
proposal of Bohemond, reminding him of the oath he had 
jaken to fight against the infidels. 

This embassy to Bohemond, the object of which could not 
be concealed, redoubled the alarm of Alexis, and made him 
employ every means to subdue the firmness of Godfrey de 
Bouillon. He sent his own son as a hostage to the army of 
the Crusaders. From that time all mistrust was dissipated. 
The princes of the W est swore to respect the laws of hos- 
pitality, and repaired to the palace of Alexis. They found 
the emperor surrounded by a splendid court, and entirely 
occupied in endeavouring to conceal his weakness under an 
exterior of vain magnificence. The chief of the Crusaders, 
and the princes and knights who accompanied him, in an 
apparel on which shone the martial luxury of the West, 
bowed before the throne of the emperor, and bent the knee 
to a mute and motionless majesty. After this ceremony, 
during which the Greeks and the Latins must have afforded 
each other a strange spectacle, Alexis adopted Godfrey for 
his son, and placed the empire under the protection of his 
arms. The Crusaders engaged to replace the cities they had 
taken belonging to the empire in the hands of the emperor, 
and to pay him homage for the other conquests they might 
snake. Alexis, on his part, promised to aid them by land 
and by sea, to furnish them with provisions, and to share 
the perils and the glory of their expedition. 

Alexis considered this homage of the Latin princes as a 
victory. The leaders of the Crusaders returned beneath their 
tents, where his gratitude loaded them with presents. Whilst 
Godfrey caused it to be proclaimed in his army by SDund of 


trun yet, that the most profound respect for the emperor 
and the laws of Constantinople should be preserved, Alexis 
ordered all his subjects to carry provisions to the Franks, 
and to observe the laws of hospitality. The alliance they 
had just made appeared to have been sworn to in good faith 
jn both sides ; but Alexis could not destroy the prejudices 
ihe Grreeks entertained against the Latins, nor could Godfrey 
restrain the turbulent multitude of his soldiers. Besides, 
the emperor of Byzantium, although he might feel re-assured 
as to the intentions of the duke of Lorraine, still dreaded 
the arrival of Bohemond, and the union of several large armies 
in the neighbourhood of his capital. He engaged Grodfrey 
crv pass with his troops over to the Asiatic shore of the Bos- 
{^norus, and turned his attention to whatever means his policy 
could suggest to abate the pride, and even to diminish the 
powers of the other Latin princes who were marching 
towards Constantinople. 

The prince of Tarentum was advancing through Mace- 
donia, now listening to the harangues of the deputies from 
Alexis, and now contending with the troops which opposed 
his passage. Several provinces and several cities had been 
ravaged by the Italian and Crusaders, when their 
chief received an invitation from the emperor to precede his 
army, and come to Constantinople. Alexis made Bohemond 
protestations of friendship, in which the latter placed no 
faith, but from which he hoped to reap some advantage. He, 
on his part, declared his good feeling, and went to meet 
Alexis. The emperor received him with a magnificence 
proportionate to the fear he entertained of his arrival. 
These two princes were equally skilled in the arts of seducing 
and deceiving. The greater cause they had to complain of 
each other, the warmer were their protestations of friend- 
ship. They complimented each other publicly on the'ir 
victories, and concealed their suspicions, and perhaps their 
contempt, under an exterior of reciprocal admiration. Both 
unscrupidous on the subject of o;iths, Alexis promised vast 
domains to Bohemond, and the Norman hero swore without 
hesitation to be the most faithful of the vassals of the emperor. 

Eobert, count of Flanders, the duke of Normandy, and Ste- 
phen, count of Chartres and Blo's, as they arrived at Constan- 
tinople, rendered their homage in their turn, to the Greek 


emperor, and received, as others had done, the reward of 
their submission. The count of Thoulouse, who arrived the 
last, at iirst answered the messengers of Alexis, that he wa^i 
not come into the East to seek a master. The emperor, to 
bend the pride of Raymond and his Proven9als, was obliged 
to stoop to t]iem.* He flattered by turns their avarice and 
their vanity, and took more pains to show them his treasures 
than his armies. In states in their decay it is not uncommon 
for wealth to be mistaken for power, and the prince believes 
he reigns over all hearts as long as he possesses the means 
of corrupting them. Ceremonial was, besides, at the court 
of Constantinople, the most serious and the most import- 
ant of all things ; but whatever value may be attached to 
vain formulae, we cannot but be astonished to see warriors 
so haughty, who went to conquer empires, on their knees 
before a prince who trembled "with the fear of losing his own. 
They made him pay dearly for an uncertain and transient 
submission, and not unfrequently contempt was apparent 
through their outward marks of respect. 

During a ceremony in which Alexis received the homage 
of several French princes. Count E-obert of Paris advanced 
to seat himself by the side of the emperor. Baldwin of 
Hainaut pidled him by the arm, and said, " You should 
remember, when yC'U are in a foreign country, you ought to 
respect its customs." " Truly !" replied Robert, " this is a 
pleasant clown who is seated, whilst so many illustrious 
captains are standing!" Alexis was desirous of having his 
words explained to him, and when the counts were gone, he 
retained Robert, and asked him what were his birth and 
country. "I am a Frenchman," replied Robert, "and of 
the most illustrious rank of nobles. I only know one thing, 
and that is, that in my country there is a place near a church 
to which all repair who burn with a desire to signalize their 
valour. I have often been there without anybody yet having 
dared to present h'mself before me." The emperor took 
care not to accept this kind of challenge, and endeavoured 
to conceal his surprise and vexation by giving some usefu) 

* The Crusaders who followed Raymond are designated hy historians 
Proven^alex. This comes from the ancient denomination of Provinciik 
'Romana, or Provencia Narbonemis, which comprised Languedoc, 
Dauphine, and Provence. 


advice to tlie daring warrior. " If you waited then," said 
he, " without meeting enemies, you are now going where 
vou will find enough to satisfy you. But do not put yourself 
either at the head or the tail of the army ; remain in the 
centre. I have learnt how to fight with the Turks ; and 
that is the best place you can choose." 

The pohcy of the emperor, however, was not without 
effect. The pride of a great number of the counts and 
barons was not proof against his caresses and his presents. 
There still exists a letter which Stephen of Blois addressed 
to Adela his wife, in which he felicitates himself on the 
welcome he had received at the court of Byzantium. After 
having described all the honoiu*s with which he had been 
received, he exclaims, whilst speaking of Alexis, " Truly, 
there is not at this time such a man beneath the heavens 1" 
Bohemond could not have been less struck with the liberality 
of the emperor. At the sight of an apartment filled with 
riches, " There is here," said he, " enough to conquer king- 
doms with." Alexis immediately ordered these treasures to 
be conveyed to the tent of the ambitious Bohemond, who at 
first refused them with a kind of modesty, and finished by 
accepting them with joy. He went so far as to demand the 
title of grand domestic or of general of the empire of the 
East. Alexis, who had himself held that dignity, and who 
knew that it was the road to the throne, had the coiu-age to 
refuse him, and contented himself with promising the office 
to the future services of the prince of Tarentum. 

Thus the promises of the emperor retained for a short 
period the Latin princes under his laws. By his skilfully-distri- 
buted favours and flatteries he created a spirit of jealousy 
among the leaders of the crusade. E-aymond de St. Grilles 
declared himself against Bohemond, whose projects he 
revealed to Alexis ; and whilst this prince debased himself 
thus before a foreign monarch, the courtiers of Byzantium 
repeated with warmth, that he excelled aU the other chiefs 
of the crusade, as the sun excels the stars. 

The Franks, so dreaded in the field of battle, were power- 
less against the skill and address of Alexis, and could not 
sustain their advantage amidst the intrigues of a dissolute 
court. An abode at Byzantium might become otherwise 
dangerous for the Crusaders ; the spectacle of the luxury ol 


the East, whicli they beheld for the first time, .vas calculated 
to corrupt them. The Christian knights, according to the 
report of the historians of the times, were never weary of 
admiring the palaces, the splendid edifices, the riches, and 
perhaps the beautiful Greek women, of whom Alexis had 
spoken in his letters addressed to the princes of the West. 
Tancred alone, inflexible to all solicitations, would not expose 
his virtue to the seductions of Byzantium. He deplored 
the weakness of his companions, and, followed by a small 
number of knights, hastened to quit Constantinople, without 
having taken the oath of fidelity to the emperor. 

The departure and resistance of Tancred disturbed the 
joy which the success of his policy had given Alexis. He 
applauded himself for having softened, by his presents, the 
principal leaders of the crusade ; but he did not so entirely 
depend upon his means of corruption as to be perfectly free 
from apprehension. Every day brought new Crusaders, 
whom he must seduce and load with presents ; the very riches 
he displayed to them might, in the end, awaken their 
ambition, and inspire them with most fatal designs. He 
felt by no means secure against their enterprizes until all 
the armies of the West were on the other side of the Bos- 
phorus. There, without the power of insulting the capital 
of the empire, they turned all their attention to their 
preparations for the war against the Saracens. 

As the Crusaders advanced across the plains of Bithynia, 
they saw, seeking refuge in their tents, several soldiers of 
Peter's army, who having escaped from the sword of the 
Saracens, had lived concealed in the mountarus and forests. 
They were clothed in the rags of misery, and with lamenta- 
tions and tears related the disasters of the first army of the 
Christians. On the east they pointed to the fortress in 
which the companions of Sinaldo, pressed by hunger and 
thirst, had surrendered to the Turks, who had massacred 
thein all. Near to that they showed them the mountains, 
at the foot of which had perished Walter and his whole 
army. Everywhere the Crusaders encountered the remains 
of their brethren ; everj^vhere they found reason to deplore 
the imprudence and disasters of the first soldiers of the 
cross ; but nothing aftected them so deeply as the sight of 
the camp iu which Walter had left the women and the sick, 

niSTOEY or THE CRrSADES. • 97 

wlieii he was forced by his soldiers to advance to the city of 
Nicea. There the Christians had been surprised by the 
Mussulmans, at the moment their priests were celebrating 
the sacrifice of the mass. Women, children, old men, all 
whom weakness or sickness detained in the camp, pursued 
to the foot of their altars, had been either borne away into 
slavery, or slaughtered by a pitiless enemy. The remem- 
brance of so great a calamity stified discord, silenced ambi- 
tion, and rekindled zeal for the deliverance of the holy places. 
The leaders profited by this terrible lesson, and laid down 
usefid regulations for the maintenance of discipline. The 
formidable army of the Crusaders advanced in the best order 
^through the country of the infidels, and commenced the 
war with the first days of the spring. 

Although the empire of the Seljoucide Turks, at the period 
of the arrival of the Crusaders in Asia, already inclined 
towards its fall, it nevertheless presented a formidable 
barrier to the warriors of the West. The kingdom of 
Ezeroum, or Eoum, extended from the Orontes and the 
Euphrates to the neighbourhood of the Bosphorus, and 
comprised the richest provinces of Asia Minor. The Turks 
were animated by the double enthusiasm of religion and 
victory. Abandoning the cares of agriculture and commerce 
to the Greelf s, their slaves, they knew no profession but that 
of arms, or desired other wealth but the booty obtained from 
their enemies. Their present chief was the son of Soliman, 
whose victories over the Christians had procured him the 
name of tlie Sacred Champion. David, surnamed Kihdge- 
Arslan, or the Sword of the Lion, brought up amidst the 
troubles of civil war, and for a long time detained a pri- 
soner in the fortress of Kora9an by the orders of Malek- 
Scha, had ascended the throne of his father, and main- 
tained his position by his valour. He possessed a genius 
rich in resources, and a character not to be subdued by 
reverses. On the approach of the Crusaders, he summoned 
his subjects and his allies to his defence. From all the 
provinces of Asia Minor, and even from Persia, the bravest 
dofenders of Islamism hastened to range themselves beneath 
his banner. 

Not content with assembling an army, he at first gftro all 
his attention to the fortifying of the city of Nice, to whinh 


the earliest attempts of the Christians would be directed. 
This city, the capital of Bithynia, and celebrated by the 
holding of two councils, was the seat of the empire of 
Koum ; and it was there that the Turks, as in an advanced 
post, awaited an opportunity to attack Constantinople, and 
precipitate themselves upon Europe. High mountains 
defended the approach to it. Towards the west and the 
Boutli the Lake of Ascanius bathed its ramparts, and pre- 
served to the inhabitants an easy communication with the 
sea. Large ditches, filled with water, surrounded the place. 
Three hundred and seventy towers of brick or stone protected 
the double enclosure of its walls, which were wide enough 
for the passage of a chariot. The chosen of the Turkish 
warriors composed its garrison, and the sultan of E-oum, 
ready to defend it, was encamped upon the neighbouring 
mountains, at the head of an army of a hundred thousand 

EuU of just confidence in their own strength, and ignorant 
of that which could be opposed to them, the Crusaders 
advanced towards Nice. Never had the plains of Bithynia 
presented a more magnificent or a more terrible spectacle. 
The numbers of the Crusaders exceeded the population of 
many great cities of the West, and were sufficient to cover 
the largest plains. The Turks, from their encampments on 
the summits of the mountains, must have beheld, with terror, 
an army composed of more than a hundred thousand horse 
and five hundred thousand foot,* the picked men of the 
warlike nations of Europe, who were come to dispute with 
them the possession of Asia.f 

* The contemporary historians who have spoken of the crusades, arwl 
who have made this enumeration, had doubtless in their minds the num- 
bering which is found in Scripture, which makes the number of the 
soldiers of Israel amount to six hundred and thirty-three thousand Svfc 
hundred and fifty. I believe I ought to add some passages from the 
historians : Siomnes qui de domibus suis egressi votum jam iter ceperant, 
airnnl illuc adessent, procul dubio se'Kayies centum miilia bellatorurrk 
adesisent. — Foulcher de Chartres. Opinionem hominum vincebat numerus, 
qumnvis testimarentur sexagies centum miilia itinerantium. — Malmesbury. 
book iv. 

+ Such might be the character of the hundred thousand horse ; but the 
five hundred thousand foot by no means merited such a description.-* 



When it had been determined to besiege Nice, tbe posts 
fv^ere distributed to the various bodies of the Christian army. 
The camp of the Crusaders extended over a vast plain, inter- 
sected by rivulets which fell from the mountains. Elects 
from Greece and Italy transported provisions, and kept the 
besiegers in a state of abundance. Foulcher de Chartres 
reckons in the camp of the Christians nineteen nations, 
diftering in manners and language. Each nation had its 
quarters, which they surrounded with walls and palisades, 
and as they were without wood or stone for the divisions, 
they employed the bones of the Crusaders lying unbiu'ied in 
the country round Nice ; " by which,'* Anna Comnena says, 
" they at once constructed a tomb for the dead and an abode 
for the li^dng." In each quarter they quickly raised magnifi- 
cent tents, which served as churches, in which the chiefs and 
the soldiers assembled to perform the ceremonies of religion. 
Different Mar-cries, drums, the use of which had been intro- 
duced into Europe by the Saracens, and sonorous horns, 
pierced with several holes, summonded the Crusaders to 
their military exercises. 

The barons and knights wore a hauberk, or coat of mail, a 
sort of tunic, composed of small rings of iron or steel. fVer 
the coat of arms of every squire floated a blue, red, green, 
or white scarf. Every warrior wore a casque, covered with 
silver for the princes, of steel for the knights and nobles, 
and of iron for the common men. The knights bore round 
or square bucklers, and long shields covered the foot-soldiers. 
The arms employed in fight by the Crusaders were the lance, 
the sword, a species of knife, a poniard, called misericorde^ 
the club, the masse d'' armes, with which x warrior could, at a 
single blow, strike an enemy to the earth ; the sling, from 
which wove thrown stones and balls of lead ; the bow, and 
the cross-bow, a murderous weapon, till that time unknown 
to the Orientals. The warriors of the West did not then 
cover then^selves with that heavy iron armour described by 
the historians of the middle ages, which they afterwards 
borrowed from the Saracens. 

The princes and knights bore upon their shields figures or 
signs of different colours, wliicli served as rallying-poiats for 
tlieir soldiers. Here might be seen, paijited on the bucklers 
and stajidards, leopards and lions ; there, stars, towers, 



crosses, Asiatic trees, and European trees. Several caused 
to be represented on their shields the birds ol' passage which 
they had met with on their route, which bird.s, by changing 
their climate annually, presented to the Crusaders a symbol 
of their own pilgrimage. These distinctive marks at the 
time served to animate their valour in the field of battle, and 
w ere destined, at a future day, to be one of the attributes of 
rank among the nations of the West. 

In the immense crowd of Crusaders, no count, no prince, 
deigned to receive orders from any one.* The Christians 
presented the image of a republic under arms. This republic, 
ill which ever/thing appeared to be in common, recognised 
no other law but that of honour, no other tie but that of 
religion. So great was their zeal, that chiefs performed the 
duties of common men, and the latter required no signal to 
rush to victory or encounter death. Tlie priests passed 
contmually amongst the ranks, to recall to the Crusaders 
the maxims of scriptural morality. Their discourses were 
not tlirown away; for, if we may credit contemporary^ authors, 
who seldom spare the champions of the cross, the conduct of 
the Christians during the siege of Nice offered nothing but 
examples of warlike virtue and subjects of edification. 

lu the first days of the siege the Christians made several 
assaults, in which they uselessly displayed prodigies of 
valour. Kilidge-Arslan, who had placed both his family and 
his treasures in Nice, animated the garrison by his letters, 
and resolved to spare no efforts to succour the besieged. 
He called together the chiefs of his army ; he reminded them 
of the advantages they had gained over the Christians, and 
predicted still more brilliant trophies to their valour. " The 
greatest disorder," he told them, "reigned in the Christian 
army, and the numbers of their enemies assured them the 
victory. They were going to fight for their wives, their 
children, and the country which they owed to the conqaests 

* Quis tot principes, tot duces, tot equites, tot pedites, sine rege, sine 
imperatore dimicante hacteniis audivit, neque siquidem in isto exercitu 
nlt^ alteri prsefuit, alius aliis imperavit. — Baldric, ch. 13. 

The reader may keep his attention tixed upon this, as the source oi 
most of their disasters ; and in all the history of the Crusaders there is no 
miracle gruater than thj^tiftii llllim"^u ilUlubit^ted. could achieve anything. 


of tlieir fathers ; the religion of the prophet implored their 
help, and the richest booty woidd be the reward of theit 
exploits." The Mussulmans, animated by the speeches and 
the example of their chief, prepared for battle, and descended 
the mountains. Their army, divided into two bodies, attacked 
with impetuosity the quarter of G-odfrey de Bouillon and 
that of Eaymond de Thoulouse, who had just arrived before 
Nice. The Provencals were not able to resist the first 
shock, but they rallied soon at the voices of E-aymond and 
Adhemar, " Then the two armies," says Matthew of Edessa,* 
who speaks of this battle, "joined, mingled, and attacked 
each other, with equal fury. Everyw^here glittered casques 
and shields ; lances rung against cuirasses ; the air resounded 
with piercing cries ; the terrified horses recoiled at the 
din of arms and the hissing of arrows ; the earth trembled 
beneath the tread of the combatants, and the plain was for 
a vast space bristling with javelins." Godfrey, Tancred, and 
the two E/oberts, appeared to be everywhere at once, and 
carried death and terror into the ranks of the infidels. The 
Turks could not long withstand the impetuous valour of the 
Crusaders ; they were put to the rout, and pursued by the 
conquerors even to the mountains which served them as a 
place of refuge. 

The sultan, instead of deploring his defeat, only thought 
of avenging the disgrace of his arms, and on the very mor- 
row, at break of day, led back his troops to the combat. The 
Turks attacked the Christians, uttering loud cries. Some- 
times they rushed with fury into the ranks of the Crusaders, 
sometimes they fought at a distance, pouring- in showers of 
arrows. Then they feigned to fl.y, only to return to the 
charge with greater fury. This second battle, in which the 
Turks showed the courage of despah' seconded by all the 
stratagems of war, lasted from morning till night. The 
victory, which was for a Ions: time doubtful, cost the Chris- 
tians two thousand lives. The Crusaders made a great many 

* The Armenian history of Matthew of Edessa is among the manu- 
scripts of the Imperial Library, " Ancien Fonds," No. 99. We quote it 
from a translation which M. de St. Martin has been so kind as to com- 
municate to us, and likewise the translation which M. Cerbeid, Armenian 
professor at the Imperial Library, has made for the purpose of elucidating 
BOme manuscripts. 


prisoners ; four thousand Mussulmans fell on the field of 
battle ; the heads of a thousand were sent to Alexius ; and 
the rest, by the aid of machines, were cast into the city, to 
inform the garrison of this fresh defeat of the Turks. 

Kilidge-Arslan, despairing to save Nice, retired with the 
WTeck of his army, and hastened to gather together in the 
provinces new forces, with which to oppose the Christians. 
The Crusaders, having no longer to dread the neighbourhood 
of an enemy's army, puslied on the siege with vigour. 
Sometimes they made approaches by galleries covered by a 
double roof of boards and hurdles ; sometimes they dragged 
towards the walls towers mounted on a number of M^heels, 
constructed with several stages, and loaded with arms and 
soldiers. Here the rams beat against the walls with re- 
doubled shocks ; at a short distance bahstas vomited, without 
ceasing, beams of wood and showers of arrows ; and cata- 
])ultas cast into the air combustible matters and enormous 
stones, wdiich fell with a crash into the city. 

The Christians employed in this siege all the machines* 
known to the Romans. The Grreeks were better acquainted 
with the construction of them than the Latins, and directed 
tlieir operations. It is likewise probable that the Greeks 
who were in Nice, and subject to the power of the Mussul- 
mans, instructed the latter in the means of defending the 

The Christians allowed the besieged no respite, and they 
defended themselves with obstinate fury. All the inhabitants 
of Nice had taken arms. Their ramparts were covered 
with formidable machines, which hurled destruction among 
the assailants. Eiery darts, beams, enormous pieces of stone, 
launched from the height of the walls, destroyed, day after 
day, the labours of the Crusaders. When the Christians 
had made a breach in the ramparts, another wall arose from 
the bosom of the ruins, and presented a new barrier to the 

As the Crusaders attacked without order or precaution, 
their imprudence and their rashness were often very fatal to 

* The Pisans, the Genoese, ind the greater part of the nations of Italy, 
after the Greeks, showed themielves most skilful in the construction oJ 
machines for war. 


fchem. Some were crushed beneath the fragments of their 
own machines ; others fell pierced M'ith poisoned darts ; 
sometimes, even, says an historian, the besiegers sported 
with tlieir efforts, catching them with iron hands* or hooks, 
which, falling upon them, seized them, and lifted them alive 
into the city. After having stripped them, the Turks hung 
them upon their ramparts, and then launched them, by 
means of their machines, stark naked into the camp of tho 

A Saracen, t whom history describes to us as a giant, 
performed during this siege exploits which surpass those 
related of fabulous antiquity. He was not less remarkable 
for his skill than for the strength of his arm ; he never cast 
a javelin in vain, and all whom he hit were sure to sink 
beneath the blow. When he had exhausted his arrows, and 
could make no more use of his bow, he seized masses of 
rock, and rolled them down upon the assailants. One day, 
when he was standing on the platform of a tower attacked 
by Raymond, he alone defied the efforts of the enemies. At 
on 3 time he hurled a shower of stones upon the besiegers ; 
then, raising his voice, he defied the bravest of the Chris- 
tians to the combat, loading them with the most violent 
abuse. All eyes were turned towards him, and a thousand 
arrows flew at once from the Christian army to punish his 
audacity. Eor a moment all the efforts of the besiegers 
were directed against a single man. His body was covered 
with wounds and bristling with arrows ; but he defended 
himself skilfully, and was still braving the crowd of his 
enemies, when Godfrey, attracted by the noise of this general 
attack, seized a cross-bow, and taking aim at the redoubt- 
able Saracen, shot him through the heart, and his immense 
body rolled from the piatform into the ditch.' 

This victory, which appears rather to belong to the heroes 
of the epopea than to those of history, was celebrated by the 
acclamations of the Christian army. The Crusaders, who 
gained several other advantages, redoubled their zeal and 

* These iron hands were nothing more than the machine called the 
razjew by the Romans, which they employed in grap} ling vessels : thet 
likewise made use of it in sieges. 

f See William of Tyre, lib. iii. 


fcheir valorous efforts, anl the besieged began to offer a less 
animated resistance. As the Saracens received provisions 
and reinforcements by the Lake Ascanius, it was resolved 
to cut off tl'is last resource. A large number of boats, 
furnished by the Greeks, were transported by land, and 
launched into the water in the night-time. When day 
appeared, the lake was covered with barks, each bearing 
filly combatants ; the flags were displayed, and floated over 
the waters, and the lake and its shores resounded with the 
v^arious war-cries and the noise of" the trumpets and drums. 
At this sight the besieged were struck with surprise and 
terror ; and the Christians renewed tlieir attacks with greater 
success. The soldiers of Raymond had undermined the 
foundations of one of the principal towers of Nice. This 
tower sank down in the middle of the night, and its fall 
was accompanied by so frightful a noise, that both the 
Christians and the Mussulmans were aroused from iieir 
sleep, and believed that an earthquake had taken place. On 
tlie foUowiug day the wife of the sultan, vdth two infant 
children, endeavoured to escape by the lake, and fell into 
the hands of the Christians. When the news of this reached 
the city, it greatly increased the general consternation. 
After a siege of seven weeks, the Mussulmans had lost all 
hopes of defending Nice, and the Christians were expecting 
every day to be able to take it by assault, when the policy 
of Alexius intervened to deprive their arms of the honour of 
a complete conquest^ 

This prince, who has been compared to the bird who seeks 
his food in tlie tracks of the lion, had advanced as far as 
Pelecania. He had sent to the army of the Crusaders a 
weak eletachment of Grreek troops, and two generals intrusted 
with his confidence, less for the purpose of fighting than to 
negotiate, and seize an opportunity to get possession of 
Njco by stratagem. One of these officers, named Butu- 
initus, having got into the city, created in the inhabitants 
n dread of the inexorable vengeance of the Latins, and 
advised them to surrender to the emperor oi Constantinople. 
His propositions were listened to, and when the Crusaders 
were preparing to begin a last assault, the standards of 
Alexius all at once appeared upon the ramparts and towers 
of Nice 


Tliis siglit created the most lively surprise in the Cliristiau 
ftrmy. The greater part of the leaders could not restrain 
their indignation, and the soldiers who were preparing for 
the assault returned to their tents trembling with rage. 
Their fury was increased when they found they were pro- 
hibited from entering more than ten at a time into a city 
which they had conquered at the price of their blood, and 
which contained riches which had been promised to them. 
In vain tho Greeks alleged the treaties made with Alexius, 
and the services they had rendered the Latins during the 
siege ; the murmurs were never silenced for a moment, 
except by the largesses of the emperor. 

This prince received the greater part of the chiefs at 
Pelecania, where he duly praised their bravery and loaded 
them with presents. After having taken possession of Nice, 
he gained a new victory, perhaps not less flattering to his 
vanity ; he at length triumphed over the pride of Tancred, 
who took the oath of fidelity and obedience to him. Never- 
theless, he did not stifle the suspicions they had conceived of 
his perfidy. The liberty to which he restored the wife and 
children of the sultan, and the kind manner in which he 
treated the Turkish prisoners, gave the Latins good reason 
to believe that he sought to conciliate the enemies of the 
Christians. Nothing more was necessary to renew former 
hatreds, and from this period war was almost declared 
between the Greeks and the Crusaders. 

A year had passed away since the Crusaders had quitted 
the West. After having reposed some time in the neigh- 
bourhood of Nice, they prepared to set forward on their 
march towards Syria and Palestine. The provinces of Asia 
Minor which they were about to cross were still occupied by 
the Turks, who were animated by fanaticism and despair, 
and who formed less a nation than an army, always ready to 
fight and to pass from one place to another. In a country 
so long ravaged by war, the roads were scarcely to be seen, 
and all communication between cities was stopped. In the 
mountains, defiles, torrents, precipices, must constantly 
create impediments to the march of a numerous army ; in 
the plains, mostly uncultivated and barren, famine, the want 
of water, the burning heat of the climate, were inevitable 
evds. The Crusaders fimcied they had conquered all tljeir 


enemies at Xice, and without taking any precaution, with* 
out any other guides than the Greeks, of whom they had sd 
much reason to complain, they advanced into a country with 
which they were totally unacquainted. They had no idea of 
the obstacles they should encounter in their march, and 
their ignorance created their security. 

They had divided their army into two bodies, which 
inarched at some distance the one from the other, across 
the mountains of Lesser Phrygia. By marching thus sepa- 
rately they could more easily procure provisions ; but they 
ran the risk of being surprised by an active and vigilant 
enemy. Kilidge-Arslan, twice conquered by the Christians, 
had gathered together new forces. At the head of an army, 
which the Latin historians say amounted to two hundred 
thousand men, he followed the Crusaders, watching for an 
opportunity to surprise them, and to make them pay dearly 
for the conquest of Nice. 

Whilst the main army, commanded by Grodfrey, Raymond, 
Adliemar, Hugh the Great, and the count of Inlanders, was 
crossing the plain of Doryl.Tum, the other body, which was 
commanded by Bohemond, Tancred, and the duke of Nor- 
mandy, directed its march to the left. It was following the 
banks of a little river, and was advancing into a valley to 
which the Latin historians have given the name of Gorgoni 
or OzeUis.* Some intimations had been given by the 
Greeks that the enemy was nigh, but the Crusaders believed 
they had nothing to fear. After a day's march, on the evening 
of the 30th of June, they arrived at a place which offered them 
abundant pastiu'age, and they resolved to encamp. The 
Christian army passed the night in the most prof^iund secu- 

* This valley, formed on the north by the mountain in-Eengni, and 
watered by a river which runs from west to east, and which is perhaps the 
Bathis of the ancients, having the villages of Taochanlu and Gourmen on 
the east, and that of Yen-Euglu on the west ;^ this last is but three 
marine leagues, or nine miles, from Dorylseum. Albert d'Aix calls this 
valley Dogorganhi, which appears to be the Oriental name, from which 
the Latin historians have made that of Gorgoni, which paints in some 
sort the horrors of this fatal day. Ozellis is apparently the name which 
the Greeks gave it. We owe these particulars to the learned inquiries of 

See Arrowsmith's Map of Constantinople and its fuviroK^. 


Hty ; but on the morrow, at daybreak, the scents and clouds 
of dust on the heights announced to them the presence of 
the enemy. Immediately the camp was roused, and all flew 
to arms. Bohemond, thus become the leader of the army in 
the midst of peril, hastened to make the necessary dispo- 
sitions for receiving the Turks. The camp of the Christians 
was defended on one side by the river, and on the other by 
a marsh covered with reeds. The prince of Tarentum caused 
it to be surrounded with chariots, and with palisade,s made 
of the stakes empl )yed in erecting the tents. He next 
assigned the posts to the infantry, and placed the women, 
the children, and the sick in the centre of them. The 
cavalry, divided into three bodies, advanced to the head of 
the camp, and prepared to dispute the passage of the river. 
One of these bodies was commanded by Tancred, and Wil- 
liam his brother, and another by the duke of Normandy and 
the count de Chartres. Bohemond, who commanded the 
centre, placed himself with his horsemen upon a height, 
whence he might observe everything, and follow the order 
of the battle. 

Scarcely had the prince of Tarentum finished his pre- 
parations, when the Saracens, uttering loud cries, descended 
from the mountains, and, when within bow-shot, discharged 
a shower of arrows upon the Christians. This did very 
little harm to the horsemen, who were defended by their 
shields and their armour, but it wounded a great many 
of the horses, which threw the ranks into disorder. The 
archers, the slingers, the crossbow-men, scattered here and 
there upon the flanks of the Christian army, were not able 
to return to the Turks all the arrows that were launched at 
them. The horsemen becoming imxpatient to make use of 
the lance and the sword, the most eager of them impru- 
dently crossed the river and fell upon the Saracens. But 
the latter avoided the melee; as fast as the Crusaders pre- 
sented themselves before them, they opened their ranks, 
dispersed, rallied at some distance, and darkened the air 
with a fresh cloud of arrows. The speed of their horses 
seconded them in these evolutions, and secured them from 
the pursuit of the Crusadt^s, whom they fought whilst 
appearing to fly, 

Tiiia manner of fighting was quite in favour of the 


Turks, aiad rendered the disposition the Christian army made 
before the battle, entirely useless. Every leader, every 
horseman, took counsel only of his own courage, and aban- 
doned himself to its dictates. The Christians fought in dis- 
oi'der upon ground with which they were quite unacquainted, 
and the bravest ran the greatest risks, llohert of Paris, 
the same who had seated himself on the imperial throA.e by 
the side of Alexius, was mortally w^ounded, after having &den 
forty of his companions foil around him. William, the 
brother of Tancred, fell pierced with arrows. Tancred him- 
self, whose lance was broken, and who had no w^eapon left 
but his sword, only owed his safety to Bohemond, who came 
to his succoiu*, and extricated him from the hands of the 
infidels. Whilst the victory between strength and agility 
remained uncertain, new troops of Saracens descended from 
the mountains and joined the fight. The sultan of Nice 
took advantage of the moment at which the cavalry of the 
Crusaders could scarcely resist the shock of the Turkish 
armv, to attack their camp. He ordered a body of his 
choicest soldiers to draw their swords and follow him. He 
crossed the river, and overcame every obstacle that was 
placed in his way. In an instant the camp of the Christians 
was invaded and filled by the Turks. The Saracens massa- 
cred all who came within reach of their swords ; sparing 
none but young and beautiful women, whom they destined 
for theii* seraglios. If we are to believe Albert of Aix, the 
vlaughters and the wives of the barons and knights preferred 
on this occasion slavery to death ; for tliey were seen, in the 
midst of the timiult, decking themselves in their most beau- 
tiful vestments, and presenting themselves thus before the 
Saracens, seeking by the display of their charms to soften 
the hearts of a pitiless enemy.* In the meanwhile Bohe- 
mond, rendered aware of the attack upon the camp, came 
promptly to its succour, and forced the sidtan to rejoin the 
body of his army. Then the conflict recommenced on the 
banks of the river with increased fury. The duke of ]S[or- 
mandy, who had remained alone with some of his knights 

^ Hdc crudelitate atrocissima mortis stv.pofactce tenerce puelloe et 
noh-^i^simcB, vestibns ornari festinabant, se offerenles Turcis, ut saltern 
amore honestarum forrnarum accensi et placati, discant capiPi'xrum 
Wiit^ari. — Alb. Aq. lib. iii. cap. 4. 


&n the field of battle, snatclied his white peimon embroi 
dered with gold from the baud of him wIjo bore it, and 
rushed into the thickest of the fight, cryiiig aloud, " It u 
tJia will of God! It is tlie will of God!'' He cut down 
with his sword all who were in his path ; among the victims 
to his valour being one of the principal Turkish emirs. 
Tancred, Richard prince of Salerno, Stephen count of Blois, 
and other chiefs, followed Robert's example and seconded his 
valour. Bohemond, w'ho was pmsuing the sultan of Nice, 
met a troop of soldiers who were flying, and stopped them, 
saying, " Whither are you flying, Christian soldiers ? Do 
you not see that their horses have more speed than curs ? 
Pollow me, I will show^ you a safer road than flight I" 
Scarcely had he spoken these words, than he rushed with 
them mto the midst of the Saracens, and renewed the fight. 
In the disorder of the melee, the women, who had been 
liberated from the hands of the Saracens, and who were 
eager to revenge their outraged modesty, went through the 
ranks bearing refreshment to the soldiers, and exhorting 
them to redouble their courage to save them from slavery. 

But so many generous efforts were nearly proving useless. 
The Crusaders were exhausted with fatigue, and could not 
long resist an enemy whose force was being constantly 
renewed, and who overwheln.ed them with numbers. The 
Christian army, surrounded on all sides, was compelled to 
retreat fighting and to retire to the camp, into which the 
Tm^ks were upon the point of entering with them. It is 
impossible to paint the confusion and the despair which 
reigned at that moment among the Crusaders. Priests 
were seen imploring, by their groans and their prayers, the 
assistance of the God of armies ; women filled the air with 
lamentations for the dead and the wounded ; whilst soldiers 
fell on their knees to the priests to obtain absolution for 
their sins. Amid this frightful tumult the voices of the 
leaders w^ere but little attended to ; the most intrepid were 
covered with w^ounds, burning with thirst and heat, and 
could ilght no longer. They despaired of seeing Jerusalem, 
and w«3re in momentary expectation of death, when all at 
- once a thousand voices proclaimed the approach of Raymond 
and Godfrey, who were advancing with the other division 
of the Christian army. 


Before tlie commencement of the battle, Bolaemond had 
sent messengers to inform them of the attack of the Turks. 
On learning tins, the duke of Lorraine, the count de Yer- 
mandois, and the count of Flanders, at the head of the mam 
body of their army, had directed their march towards the 
valley of Grorgoni, followed by Raymond and Adhemar, who 
brought up the baggage, at the head of the rear-guard. 
When they appeared upon the ridge of the mountains on 
the eastern side, the sun was in the midst of his course, and 
his light shone full upon their shields, their helmets, and 
their naked swords ; the ensigns were displayed ; the noise 
of their drums and clarions resounded afar ; and fifty thou- 
sand horsemen, fully armed and eager for the fight, advanced 
in good order. This splendid sight revived the hopes of the 
Crusaders, and cast fear and dread among the infidel ranks. 

Scarcely had Godfrey, who, followed by fifty knights, had 
preceded his army, mixed with the combatants, when the 
sultan sounded a retreat and retired to the heights, where 
he hoped the Crusaders would not dare to follow him. The 
second body of the Christian army soon arrived on the plain 
smoking with the blood of the Christians. The Crusaders, 
recognising their brothers and companions stretched^ in the 
dust, became impatient to revenge their death, and with 
loud cries demanded to be led to the fight. Even the com- 
batants who had been fighting from morning, now would not 
hear of repose. The Cliristian army immediately formed in 
order of battle. Bohemond, Tancred, and Robert of Nor- 
mandy, placed themselves on the left ; Grodfrey, the count 
of Flanders, and the count of Blois led on the right wing. 
Raymond commanded the centre, and the rear-guard, or body 
of reserve, was placed under the orders of Adhemar. Before 
the leaders gave the word, the priests passed among the 
ranka, exhorting the Crusaders to fight manfully, and giving 
them their benedictions. The soldiers and the leaders, 
drawing their swords, and threatening the enemy, cried with 
one voice, ^^ It is the will of God! It is the will of God!^^ 
and this animating war-cry was repeated by the echoes of 
the mountains and the valleys At length the Christian 
army advanced, marching full of confidence against the 
Turks, for whom the rocks and the hills appeared to be a 
BiiTO place of refuge. 


The Saracens remained motionless on the monntains, and 
had apparently exhausted their arrows. The nature of the 
ground did not allow them to perform their rapid evolutions 
or pursue their usual tactics. Neither were they animated 
by the hopes of victory ; but, in an attitude which expressed 
fear, they awaited their enemies in silence. The count of 
Thoulouse, who attacked them in front, broke through their 
ranks at the first charge. Tancred, Grodfrey, Hugh, and the 
two Roberts, attacked them on their flanks with the same 
advantage. Adhemar, who had gone round the mountains, 
directed his attack upon the rear of the enemies, and com- 
pleted the disorder. The Saracens found themselves sur- 
rounded by a forest of lances, and became only solicitous 
to seciu'e safety by escaping over the rocks and through the 
woods. A great number of emirs, three thousand officers, 
and more than twenty thousand soldiers, lost their lives in 
the battle and the flight. 

The camp of the enemy, which was at two leagues' dis- 
tance, fell into the hands of the Crusaders. The conquerors 
there found abundance of provisions, magnificently orna- 
mented tents, immense treasures, all sorts of beasts of 
burthen, and above all, a great number of camels. The 
sight of these animals, which were then unknown in the 
West, caused them as much surprise as joy. They mounted 
the horses of the Saracens, to pui'sue the remains of the 
conquered army. Towards nightfall they retiu*ned to their 
camp loaded with booty, preceded by their priests, smging 
hymns and canticles of thanksgiving. Both leaders and sol- 
diers had covered themselves wdth glory in this great conflict. 
"We have named the principal leaders of the army; historians 
point out many more, such as Baldwin of Beauvais, Gralon 
de Calmon, Graston de Beam, Grerard de Cherisi, all of whom 
signalized themselves by exploits, says William of Tyre, the 
remembrance of which will never perish. 

The day after the victory the Crusaders repaired to the 
field of battle for the purpose of burying the dead. They 
had lovst four thousand of their companions, and they 
paid them the last duties in tears ; the clergy oflered up 
their prayers for them, and the army honoured them as 
martyrs. Tliey soon, however, passed from funcal cere- 
monies to transports of the wildest joy. On strippuig the 


Saracens, they quarrelled for their blood-stained liabits. In 
the excess of tlieir delight, some of the soldiers would Dut 
on the armour of their enemies, and clothing themselves in 
the flowing robes of the Mussulmans, would seat themselves 
in the tents of the conquered, and, with imitative gestures, 
ridicule the luxury and customs of Asia. Such as wero 
without arms took possession of the swords and crooked 
sabres of the Saracens, and the archers filled their quivers 
w^ith the arrows which had been shot at them, during the 

The intoxication of victory, however, did not prevent 
their doing justice to the bravery of the Turks, who, from 
that time, boasted of having a common origin with the 
Franks. Contemporary historians, who praise the valour of 
the Turks, add, that they only wanted to be Christians to 
make them quite comparable to the Crusaders. That which, 
otherwise, proves the high idea the Crusaders entertained of 
their enemies, is, that they attributed their victory to a 
miracle. Two days after the battle, says Albert of Aix, 
although no one was pursuing them, the infidels continued 
flying, exclaiming as they went, " It is the will of God ! It 
is the will of God!''^ After the victory, the Christian army 
invoked the names of St. Greorge and St. Demetrius, who 
had been seen, as they said, fighting in the ranks of the 
Christians. This pious fable w^as accredited among both 
the Latins and Grreeks. A long time subsequent to the 
victory, the Arm^enians erected a church in the neighbour- 
hood of Dorylifium, where the people were accustomed to 
assemble on the first Friday of March, and believed that 
they saw St. Greorge appear on horseback, lance in hand. 

"Whilst the Crusaders were felicitating themselves on 
their victory, the sidtan of Nice, who did not dare again to 
encounter the Christians in the field, undertook to deso- 
late the country which he could not defend. At the head 
of the wreck of his army, and ten thousand Arabs who had 
joined him, he preceded the march of the Christians, and 
laid waste his own provinces. The Tm^ks burnt the harvests, 
pillaged the cities, the bourgs, and the houses cf the Chris- 
tians, and carried away in their train the wives and children 
of the Grreeks, whom they detained as hostages. The banks 
of the Meander and the Caister, Cappadocia, Pisidia, 


Isauria, and all the country as far as Mount Taurus, were 
given up to pillage, and entirely laid waste. 

When the Crusaders resumed their inarch, they deter- 
mined not to separate again, as they had done on enterin'g 
Phrygia. This resolution certainly rendered them safe from 
surprise or hostile attack, but it exposed so numerous an 
army to the rislt of perishing by famine and misery in a 
country devastated by the Turks.* The Christians, who 
marched without forethought, and were never provisioned 
for more than a few days, were not long before they felt the 
want of food. They found nothing on their route but 
deserted fields, and soon had no other subsistence but the 
roots of wild plants and the ears of corn which had escaped 
the ravages of the Saracens. By far the greater number of 
the horses of the army perished for want of water and 

Most of the knights, who were accustomed to look with 
contempt on foot-soldiers, were obliged, like them, to march 
on foot, and carry their arms, the weight of which was 
enough to exhaust them. The Christian army presented a 
strange spectacle — knights were seen mounted on asses and 
oxen, advancing at the head of their companies ; rams, 
goats, pigs, dogs, every animal they could meet with, was 
loaded with baggage, which, for the most part, was left 
abandoned on the roads.f 

The Crusaders then traversed that part of Phrygia which 
the ancients called " burning Phrygia." When their army 
arrived in the country of Sauria,J they endured all the hor- 
rors of thirst, of which the most robust soldiers could not 
resist the terrible power. We read in William of Tyre, 
that five hundred perished in one day. Historians say that 
women were seen giving premature birth to their offspring 
in the midst of burning and open fields ; whilst others, in 

* I have made earnest researches to discover by what means the CI is- 
tian army was provisioned, and I can learn nothing beyond the fact that 
the Crusaders carried hand-mills with them. 

f Ti'?/" autem vere vel riderefJs, vel J'orsitan pietaie lachrymaremini, 
cum multis nostrum jumentis effentes, verveces, capras, tttst, canes, dt 
rebus suis overabant. Equites etiam supra boves cum arniis sui$ 
mterdum scandebaut. — Ful. Carn. apud Bougais, p. 589. 

X The laauria trachea of tlje ancients. 


despair, with cliildreii tliey could no longer nourisli, in;plored 
death with loud cries, and, in the excess of their agony, 
rolled naked on the earth in the sight of the whole army,^ 
Tlie authors of the time do not forget to mention the falcons 
and birds of prey which the knights had brought with them 
into Asia, and which almost all perished under the burning 
sun. In vain the Crusaders called for a repetition of the 
miracles which Grod had formerly wrought for his chosen 
people in the desert. The sterile valleys of Pisidia resounded 
during several days with their prayers, with their complaints, 
and perhaps, likewise, with their blasphemies. 

In the midst of these burning countries they at length 
made a discovery which saved the army, but which was very 
near becoming as fatal to them as the horrors of thirst. 

The dogs which had followed the Crusaders had abandoned 
their masters, and wandered over the plains and into the 
mountains in search of a spring. f One day several of them 
were seen returning to the camp with their paws and their 
hides covered with moist sand, and it was judged that they 
had found water. Several soldiers observed their track, and 
discovered a river. The whole army rushed towards it in a 
mass. The Crusaders, famishing with heat and thirst, cast 
themselves headlong into the water, and quenched the inward 
heat without moderation or precaution. More than three 
hundred of them died almost immediately, and many fell 
seriously ill, and could not continue their march. 

At length the Christian army arrived before Antiochetta, 
which opened its gates to them. This city, the capital of 
Pisidia, was situated in the midst of a territory interspersed 
with fields, rivers, and forests. The sight of a smiling and 
fertile country invited the Christians to repose for a few 
days, and made them soon forget all the evils they had 

As the fame of their victories and their march had spre: d 
throughout the neighbouring countries, the greater part of 

* Qucnnpiurtm<B namque fopJa muheres exsiccatis fancibv,^, arefactii 

visceribus media plated in omnium asp ectu foetus suos enixce relinque' 

bant ; alicB miserce juxta fvetus suos in via commtmi volutabantur, omnem 
pudorem et secreta sua oblitoe. — Alb. Aquem. lib. iii. cap. 2. 

•f- This reiimrkable circu instance is taken fiom the Life of Godfrey, by 
Jean de Launel, ecuyer seigneur de Chantreau, and Du Chaubert. 


fcKe cities of Asia Minor, some from fear, and others from 
aifection to the Christians, sent deputies to offer them 
supplies and to swear obedience to them. Thus they 
found themselves masters of several countries of whos4> 
names or geographical position they were perfectly ignorant. 
Most of the Crusaders were far from being aware that 
the provinces they had just subdued seen the pha- 
lanx of Alexander and the armies of Rome, or that the 
Greeks, the inhabitants of these countries, were descended 
from the Grauls, who, in the time of the second Brennus, 
had left lUyria and the shores of the Danube, had crossed 
the Bosphorus,* pillaged the city of Heraclea, and founded 
a colony on the banks of the Halys. Without troubling 
themselves with traces of antiquity, the new conquerors 
ordered the Christian churches to be rebuilt, and scoured 
the country to collect provisions. 

During their abode at Antiochetta, the joy of their con- 
quests was, for a moment, disturbed by the fear of losing 
two of their most renowned chiefs. Raymond, count of 
Thoulouse, fell dangerously ill. As his life was despaired 
of, they had already laid him upon ashes, and the bishop 
of Orange was repeating the litanies of the dead, when a 
Saxon count came to announce that Raymond would not die 
of this disease, and that the prayers of St. Gilles had obtained 
for him a truce with death. These words, says William of 
Tyre, restored hope to all the bystanders, and soon Raymond 
showed himself to the whole army, which celebrated his cure 
as a miracle. 

About the same time, Godfrey, who had one day wandered 
into a forest, was in great danger from defending a soldier 
who was attacked by a bear. He conquered the bear, but 
being wounded in the thigh, and the blood flowing copiously, 
he was carried in an apparently dying state into the camp of 
the Crusaders. The loss of a battle would have spread less 
consternation than the sad spectacle which now presented 
itself to the eyes of the Christians. All the Crusaders shed 
tears, and put up prayers for the life of Godfrey. The 
wound did not prove dangerous, but w^eakene I by the loss 
of blood, the duke de Bouillon was a length of time before 

* Consult, for this expedition, Pelloutier, Histoire des Cetiet. 
Vol. L— 7 


\i9, regained lis strength. The count de Tlionlouse had 
likewise a long convalescence, and both were obliged during 
several weeks to be borne in a litter in the rear of the army. 

Grreater evils threateni^d the Crusaders. Hitherto peace 
li^d reigned amongst them, and their union constituted their 
strength. All at once, discord broke out amongst some of 
the leaders, and was on the point of extending to the whole 
army. Tancred and Baldwin, the brother of Godfrey, were 
sent out on a scouring party, either to disperse the scattered 
bands of Turks, or to protect the Christians, and obtain from 
them assistance and provisions. They advanced at first into 
Lycaonia as far as the city of Iconium ;* but having met 
with no enemy, and finding the country abandoned, they 
directed their march towards the sta-coast, through the 
mountains of Cilicia. Tancred, who marched first, arrived 
without obstacle under the walls of Tarsus, a celebrated city 
of antiquity, M'hich takes great pride from having been the 
birthplace of St. Paul. The Turks who defended the place 
consented to display the flag of the Christians on their walls, 
and promised to surrender if they were not speedily relieved. 
Tancred, whom the inhabitants, for the most part Christians, 
already considered as their deliverer, was encamping without 
the walls, when he saw the detachment commanded by 
Baldwin approach. The leaders and the soldiers congra- 
tulated each other on their reunion, and expressed the 
greater joy from having, reciprocally, taken each other for 

But this harmony was soon troubled by the pretensions 
of Baldwin. The brother of Grodfrey was indignant at 
seeing the colours of Tancred and Bohemond flying on the 
walls of Tarsus. He declared that as his troop was the 
more numerous, the city ought to belong to hun. He de- 
manded, at least, that the two parties should enter together 
into the place, and should share the spoils of the garrison 
and the inhabitants. Tancred rejected this proposition with 
scorn, and said that he had not tal^en arms for the purpose 
of pillaging Christian cities. At these words Baldwin broke 
into a rage, and bestowed the grossest abuse upon Tancred, 
Bohemond, and the whole race of Norman adventurers, 

* Now Konieh, in Caramania. 


Ailer long d ibates, it was agreed on both sides, that the 
affair should be decided by the inhabitants, and that the city 
shoidd belong to whichever they should choose for master. 
The assembled people at first appeared inclined towards 
Tancred, to whom they thought they owed their deliverance ; 
but Baldwin made the Turks and the inhabitants sensible of 
the superiority of his numbers, and threatened them with 
his anger and his vengeance. The fear which he inspired 
decided the suffrages in his favour ; and the flag of Tancred 
was cast into the ditches of the town, and replaced by that 
of Baldwin.* 

Blood was about to flow to avenge this outrage, but the 
Italians and Normans, appeased by their chief, listened to 
the voice of moderation, and quitted the disputed city to 
seek other conquests elsewhere. Baldwin entered in triumph 
into the place, of which the fortress and several towers were 
still in possession of the Turks. He so much feared that 
his new conquest would be disputed, that he refused to open 
the gates to three hundred Crusaders whom Bohemond had 
sent to the assistance of Tancred, and who demanded an 
asylum for the night. These latter, being obliged to pass 
the night in the open field, were siu*prised and massacred by 
the Turks. The following morning, at the sight of their 
brethren stretched lifeless, and stripped of their arms and 
vestments, the Christians could not restrain their indigna- 
tion. The city of Tarsus resounded with their groans and 
complaints. The soldiers of Baldwin flew to arms, they 
threatened the Tmrks who still remained in the place, and 
vowed vengeance upon their own leader, whom they accused 
of the death of their companions. At the first outbreak of 
this danger Baldwin was obliged to fly, and take refuge in 
one of the towers. A short time after he appeared sur- 
rounded by his own people, mom-ning with them the death 

* Ancient history presents us with something exceedingly like that 
wnich is related here. During the civil wars that divided the Romau 
empire under the triumvirate, Cassius and Dolabella disputed the posses- 
sion of the town of Tarsus. Some, says Appian, had crowned Cassius, 
who had arrived first in the city ; others had crowned Dolabella, who 
came after him. Each of the two parties had given a character of public 
authority to their proceedings; and in conferring honours, first to one and 
then to the other, they each contributed to the misfortunes of a city so 
versatile in its likings. — Appian, Hist, of the Civil Wars, b. iv c. 8. 


of the Cmsaders, and excused himself by saying, rhat he 
hnd bound himself by an oath that none but his o A'n soldiera 
should enter the town. Thus speaking, he pointed to several 
towers which were still occupied by the Turks. In the midst 
«)f the tumult, some Christian women, whose noses and ears 
the Turks had cut off, by their presence added to the fury of 
the soldiers of Baldwin, and they immediately fell upon the 
Turkb who remained in the city, and massacred them all 
without pity. 

In the midst of these scenes of violence, Baldwin received 
an unexpected reinforcement. A fleet was seen approaching 
the coast full sail. The soldiers of Baldwin, who expected 
to have to deal with more infidels, hastened fully armed to 
the shore. As the fleet drew near, they interrogated the 
srew of the first ship. The crew replied in the Frank lan- 
guage. Soon they learnt that these, whom they had taken 
to be Mussulmans, were pirates from the ports of Elanders 
and Holland. These corsairs had for ten years cruised in 
the Mediterranean, where they had made themselves re- 
markable by their exploits, and still more frequently by 
their piracies. Upoix hearing of the expedition of the 
Christians of the West, they had made sail for Syria and 
Palestine. On the invitation of the Crusaders, they joyfully 
entered the port of Tarsus. Their chief, Guymer, who was 
a Boulonnais, recognised Baldwin, the son of his ancient 
master, and promised with his companious to serve under 
him. They all took the cross, and with it the oath to share 
the glory and the labours of the holy war. 

Aided by this new reinforcement, and lea^dng a strong 
garrison in the city of Tarsus, Baldwin resumed his march, 
following the route of Tancred, and soon came in sigtt of 
Malmistra,* of which the Italians had just taken possession. 
The latter, on seeing Baldwin, were persuaded that he was 
come to dispute their new conquest, and prepared to repulse 
force by force. When Tancred endeavoured to appease his 
ii Stated soldiers, murmurs arose against him. They accused 
him of having forgotten the honour of chivalry, his modera- 
tion being in their eyes nothing but a shameful weakness. 

* This is the Messis of Aboulfeda. See an article upon this city io 
Manr^rt, torn. vi. p. 2, p. 101, which is very learned and very well done 


The effect tliat sucli reproaches must have had upon a spirit 
like that of Taucred, may be easily imagined. The monieDt 
they suspected his courage, he no longer made an eliort to 
restrain his anger, and swore to avenge his wrongs in the 
blood of his rival. He himself led the soldiers, and rushed 
out of the town at their head to encounter the troops Oi 
Baldwin. They at once came to blows. On both sides 
courage w^as equal; but the fury of revenge doubled the 
efforts of the Italians. The soldiers of Baldwin had the 
advantage in numbers. They fought wdth the animosity 
peculiar to civil wars ; but at length the troops of Tancred 
w^ere forced to give way; they left many of their companions 
in the hands of their adversaries and upon the field of battle, 
and re-entered the tow^n deploring their defeat in silence. 

Night restored calm to their excited spirits. The soldiers 
of Tancred had acknowledged the superiority of the Flemings, 
and believed, as blood had flowed, they had no longer auy 
outrage to avenge, whilst the followers of Baldwin remem- 
bered that the men whom they had conquered were Chris- 
tians. On the morrow nothing was heard on either side but 
the voice of humanity and religion. The two chiefs at the 
same time. sent deputies, and in order to avoid an appearance 
of asking for peace, both attributed their overtiu-es to the 
inspii'ation of Heaven. They swore to forget their quarrels, 
and embraced in sight of the soldiers, who reproached them- 
selves with the sad effects of their animosity, and longed to 
expiate the blood of their brothers by new exploits against 
the Turks. 

Tancred with his troop departing from Malmistra, passed 
in triumph along the coasts of Cilicia, and penetrated as far 
as Alexandretta, of which he easily took possession. In 
proportion as he made himseU' dreaded by his enemies, he 
made himself the more beloved by his companions. When 
he rejoined the Christian army covered with glory and loaded 
with booty, he heard all around him nothing but praises of 
his moderation and valour. The presence of Baldwin, who 
had preceded him, on the contrary, only excited murmurs, 
as they attributed to him the death of so macf Christian 
soldiers. Godfrey loudly blamed the ambition and avarice 
of his brother. But caring little for these reproaclies, Bald- 
win yielded to his rival, without pain, the suffrages of the 


army, and preferred a principality to the love and esteem of 
the Crusaders ; and fortune soon offered him an opportunity 
of realizing his ambitious projects. 

During the siege of Nice, an Armenian prince named 
Pancratius had come to join the Christian army. In his 
youth he had been king of northern Iberia. Driven from 
his kingdom by his own subjects, and for a length of time a 
prisoner at Constantinople, he had followed the Crusaders in 
the hope of re-conquering his states. He had particularly 
attached liimself to the fortunes of Baldwin, whose aspiring 
character he understood, and whom he hoped to associate in 
his designs. He spoke to him continually of the rich pro- 
vinces which extended along the two shores of the Euphrates. 
These provinces, he said, were inhabited by a great number 
of Christians, and the Crusaders had but to present them- 
selves there to make themselves masters of them. These 
discourses inflamed the ambition of Baldwin, who resolved a 
second time to quit the main army of the Christians, and to 
go to the banks of the Euphrates, to conquer a country of 
such boasted wealth. 

He had just lost his wife, Gundechilde, who had accom- 
panied him to the .crusade, and who was buried with great 
pomp by the Christians. This loss did not stop him in the 
execution of his projects. As he was not beloved in the 
Christian army, when he was ready to set out no leader was 
willing to join him, and several even of his own soldiers 
refused to accompany him. He could only take with him 
from a thousand to fifteen hundred foot-soldiers, a troop 
despised in the army, and two hundred horsemen, seduced 
by the hopes of pillage. But nothing could abate his ar- 
dour, and as the chiefs of the crusade had decided in a 
council that nobody should be allowed to withdraw from the 
standard of the army, he set out the day before ihis decision 
was published in the camp of the Christians.* At the head 
of his little army he advanced into Armenia, finding no 
energy able to impede his march. Consternation reigned 
among the Turks, and the Christians, everywhere eager tc 
throw off" the yoke of the Mussulmans, became pow^erful 
auxiliaries to the Crusaders. 

* When Baldwin quitted the Christian army, it had arrived at Marrasht 


Tiirbessel and Ravendel were the first cities that opened 
fcheir gates to the fortunate conqueror. This conquest soon 
produced a separation between Baldwin and Pancratius, who 
both entertained the same projects of ambition ; but this 
difference did not at all delay the march of the brother ot 
(.Todfrey. The Crusader prince opposed violence to cun- 
ning ; he threatened to treat his rival as an enemy, and thus 
drove him away from the theatre of his victories, Baldwin 
wanted neither guide nor assistance in a country of which 
the inhabitants aU flocked out to meet him. As he pursued 
his march, fame carried his exploits into the most distant 
places ; the intelligence of his conquests preceded him be- 
youd the Euphrates, and reached even the city of Edessa. 

This city, so celebrated in the times of the primitive 
church, was the metropolis of Mesopotamia. As it had 
escaped the invasion of the Turks, all the Christians of that 
neighbourhood had, with their riches, taken refuge within 
its w^alls. A Grreek prince, named Theodore,* deputed by 
the emperor of Constantinople, was the governor of it, and 
maintained his power by paying tribute to the Baraeens. 
The approach and the victories of the Crusaders produced 
the most lively sensations in the city of Edessa. The people 
and the governor joined in soliciting the aid of Baldwin- 
The bishop and twelve of the principal inhabitants were 
deputed to meet the Crusader prince. They described to 
him the wealth of Mesopotamia, the devotion of their fellow- 
citizens to the cause of Jesus Christ, and conjured him to 
rescue a Christian city from the domination of the infidels. 
Baldwin readily yielded to their prayers, and immediately 
prepared to cross the Euphrates. 

He had the good fortune to escape th^ T^irks, who were 
waitino; for him on his passage, and without drawing a 
sword _.e arrived in the territories of Edessa. As he had 
placed garrisons in the cities which had fallen into his 
power, he had no greater force with him than one hundred 
horsemen. As soon as b^ 4rew near to the city, the whole 

* None of the Latin )>i§tQrians have given us the name of the governor 
of Edessa. The n^me of Theodore is found in the History of Matthew of 
Edessa, from wl^ich we iiave taken, according to the translation of 
M. Corbied, several curious 4etails, which would be sought for in vain 


population came out to meet Mm, bearing branches of olivo 
and singing hymns. It must have been a curious spectacle 
to behold so small a number of warriors, surrounded by an 
immense multitude, Avhe implored their support and pro- 
claimed them their libeiators. They were welcomed with 
so much enthusiasm, that the prince or governor of Edessa, 
who was not beloved by the people, took umbrage, and began 
to see in them enemies more to be dreaded by him than the 
Saracens. In order to attach their chief to himself, and 
engage him to support his authority, he offered him great 
riches. But the ambitious Baldwin, whether because he 
expected to obtain more from the affections of the people 
and the fortune of his arms, or that he considered it dis- 
graceful to place himself in the pay of a foreign prince, 
refused with contempt the offers of the governor of Edessa, 
and even threatened to retire and abandon the city. The 
inhabitants, who dreaded his departure, assembled in a 
tumultuous manner, and implored him with loud cries to 
remain among them ; the governor himself made new efforts 
to detain the Crusaders, and to interest them in his cause. 
As Baldwin had made it pretty clearly understood t*hat he 
woidd never defend states that were not his own, the prince 
of Edessa, who was old and childless, determined to adopt 
him for his son and nominate him his successor. The cere- 
mony of the adoption was performed in the presence of the 
Crusaders and the inhabitants. According to the custom of 
the Orientals,* the Greek prince made Baldwin pass be- 
tween his shirt and his naked skin, and kissed him as a sign 
of alliance and paternity. The aged wife of the governor 
repeated the same ceremony, and from that time Baldwin, 
considered as their son and heir, neglected nothing for the 
defence of a city which was to belong to him. 

An Armenian prince, named Constantino, who governed 
a province in the neighboui'hood of Mount Taurrs, had also 
come to the assistance of Edessa. Baldwin, seconded by 
this useful auxiliary, and followed by his own horsemen and 
the troops of Theodore, took the field, in order to attack 

* Intra lineam inferulam, quarn nos vocamus comisiam, nudum intran 
rum faciens, sibi adstrinxit ; et dehide omnia osculo libata firmavitj 
idem et nrnlier post modum fecit. — Guib. Abb. lib. iii. ad finem. 


the nearest Turkish cities. He defeated the troops of the 
emir Baldoukh in several encounters, and forced them to 
retire into the city of Samosata. The Christians approached 
the place, pillaged the sub^nhs, and the houses of the neigh- 
bourhood, without meeting -with the least resistance ; but as 
thej were engaged in dividing their booty, they were attacked 
unexpectedly by the infidels and routed. After having lost 
two thousand lighting men, they returned to Edessa, where 
the news of their defeat spread the greatest consternation. 

Misunderstandings soon broke out between Theodore and 
Baldwin, who mutually reproached each other with theh^ 
reverses. The Edessenians, who had declared for the Cru- 
sader prince, would not hear of any other master, and were 
not long in satisfying liis impatience to reign. They forgot 
that Theodore, by his courage and skill, had maintained their 
independence in the centre of a country constantly exposed 
to the invasions of the Mussuhnans. They accused him of 
having burdened his subjects with imposts, to satisfy the 
avidity of the Turlis, and with having employed the power 
of infidels to oppress a Christian people. They formed, says 
Matthew of Edessa, a plot against his life, of which Baldwin 
was not ignorant. Warned of the danger which threatened 
him, Theodore retired into the citadel, which commanded 
the city, and placed no reliance on anything but force to 
defend himself against the seditious. 

Upon this a most furious tumult was created among the 
people. The enraged multitude flew to arms, and pillaged 
the houses of the inhabitants who were suspected of being 
the partisans of Theodore. They swore to treat him as a 
declared enemy. They attacked the citadel, some beating in 
the gates, and others scaling the walls. Theodore seeing 
that his enemies were masters of one part of the ramparts, 
no longer endeavoured to defend himself, but proposed to 
capitulate. He agreed to abandon the place, and to renounce 
the government of Edessa, requesting permission to retire, 
with his family, to the city of MeHtene. This proposition 
was accepted with joy ; the peace was signed, and the inha- 
bitants of Edessa swore upon the cross and the Evangelists 
to respect the conditions of it. 

On the following day, whilst the governor was preparing 
for his departure, a fresh sedition broke out in the city. The 



fact] 3US repented of having allowed a prince whom they had 
BO cruelly outraged, to live. New accusations were brought 
against him. It was said that he had only signed the peace 
with perfidious intentions. The fury of the people soon 
rose above aR bounds, and a thousand voices demanded the 
death of Theodore. They penetrated, tumultuously, into the 
citadel, seized the aged governor in the midst of his family, 
and precipitated him from the heights of the ramparts. 
His bleeding body was dragged through the streets by the 
multitude, who prided themselves upon having murdered an 
old man as much as if they had gained a victory over the 

Baldwin, who may, at least, be accused of not ha\ing 
defended his adoptive father, was soon surrounded by all the 
people of Edessa, who offered him the government of the 
city. He refused it at first, "but in the end," says an old 
historian, " they combated his objections with so many 
reasons, that they forced him to consent, and established him 
instead of the other." Baldwin was proclaimed liberator 
and master of Edessa. Seated on a blood-fctained throne, 
and in constant dread of the fickle nature of the people, he 
soon inspired his subjects with as much fear as his enemies. 
"Whilst the seditious trembled before him, he extended the 
limits of his territories. He purchased the city of Samosata 
with the treasures of his predecessor, and obtained posses- 
sion of several other cities by force of arms. As fortune 
favoured him in everything, the loss even, which he had 
lately experienced, of his wife, Gundechilde, promoted his 
projects of aggrandizement. He espoused the niece of an 
Armenian prince, and by that new alliance he extended his 
possessions as far as Mount Taurus. All Mesopotamia, with 
both shores of the Euphrates, acknowledged his authority, 
and Asia then beheld a French knight reigning without dis- 
pute over the richest provinces of the ancient kingdom of 

Baldwin thought no more of the deliverance of Jerusalem, 
but gave all his attention to the defence and aggrandizement 
of his states.* Many knights, dazzled by such a rapid for- 

* In the first book of the Jerusalem Delivered, when the EtemaJ 
turns his eyes on the Crusaders, he sees in Edessa the ambitious Baldwin, 
who only aspires to human grandeurs, with which he is solely occupied. 


tune, hastened to Edessa, to increase the army and the coui't 
of the new monarch. The advantages which resulted to the 
Crusaders from the foundation of this new state, have made 
their historians forget that they were %he fruit of injustice 
and violence. The principality of Edessa served as a check 
upon the Turks and tiie Saracens, and was, to the period of 
the second crusade, the principal bulwark of the power of 
the Christians in the East. 


A.D. 1097—1099. 

Th:b great army of the Crusaders had traversed the stateg 
of the sultan of Nice and Iconium ; throughout its passage 
the mosques were given up to the flames or converted into 
churches ; but the Christians had neglected to fortify the 
cities of which they had rendered themselves masters, or to 
found a military colony in a country wherein the Turks were 
always able to rally and re-establish their formidable power. 
This fault, which must be attributed to a too great confidence 
in victory, became fatal to the Crusaders, who, in the midst 
of their triumphs, lost the means of communication with 
Europe, and thus deprived themselves of the assistance they 
might have received from Greece and the West. 

Terror opened to the pilgrims all the passages of Mount 
Taurus. Throughout their triumphant march the Christians 
had nothing to dread but famine, the heat of the climate, 
and the badness of the roads. They had, particularly, much 
to suffer in crossing a mountain situated between Coxonand 
Marash, which their historians denominate " The Mountain 
of tlie JJeviir This mountain was very steep, and offered 
only one narrow path, in which the foot-soldiers marched 
with difficulty ; the horses, which could not keep their 
footing, dragged each other down the abysses ; and the 
army lost a great part of its baggage. In the course of this 
disastrous march, says an historian who was an eye-witness, 
the soldiers gave themselves up to despair, and refused to 
proceed. Being encumbered with their arms, they either 
sold them at a low price or cast them down the precipices. On 
all sides were to be seen warriors wounded by their frequent 
falls, and pilgrims exhausted with fatigue, who could not con- 
tinue their route, and filled the air and mountains with their 
cries and groans. The passage of the Christian army across 
this mountain occupied several days ; but when they had at 
length passed the chains of Mount Taurus and IMouni; 
Amanus, the sight of Syria revived their courage, and made 


them quickly forget all their fatigues. That country into 
which they were about to enter embraced within its terri- 
tories Palestine, the object of all their wishes, prayers, and 
labours. In all ages Syria has attracted conquerors, by the 
fertility of its soil and its wealth. In the time of David and 
Solomon, it already boasted several flourishing cities. At 
the period of the Crusades it had undergone a great many 
resolutions, but its flelds, though covered wdth celebrated 
ruins, still preserved some portion of their fecundity. 

The first of the Syrian provinces that presented itself to 
the eyes of the Christians was the territory of Antioch. 
Towards the east extended the states of the sultans of 
A-leppo and Mousoul. Further, at the foot of Mount 
Libanus, was seen the principality of Damascus ; on the 
coast stood Laodicea, Tripoli, and the cities of Sidon and 
Tyre, so celebrated in both sacred and profane antiquity. 
All these cities, which scarcely maintained a shadow of their 
former splendour, were governed by emirs who had shaken 
ofii" the yoke of the sultans of Persia, and reigned as sovereign 
princes over the ruins of the empire of Malek-Scha. 

The Crusaders advanced as far as the ancient Chalcis, 
then called Artesia, of which they made themselves masters. 
To arrive before Antioch they had to pass over a bridge 
built over the Orontes, and defended by two towers masked 
with iron. Nothing could resist the van, commanded by the 
duke of Normandy. The Normans soon got possession of 
the bridge, and passed the river. Terror seized upon the 
Mussulman ranks, and they sought shelter, with the greatest 
haste, within the walls of the city. The whole Christian 
army, drawn up in battle array, with trumpets sounding 
and flags flying, marched towards Antioch and encamped 
within a mile of its walls. 

The sight of this city, so celebrated in the annals of 
Christianity, revived the enthusiasm of the Crusaders. It 
was within the walls of Antioch that the disciples of Jesus 
Christ first assumed the title of Christians, and the apostle 
Peter was named the first pastor of the young church. No 
city had contained within its bosom a greater number of 
martyrs, saints, and doctors ; no city had beheld more 
miracles worked for the faith. During many centuries, the 
Caithfid had been accustomed to come into one of its 


suburbs to pray at the tomb of St. Babylas, wbO; during 
the reign of Julian, had silenced the oracles of Apollo. For 
a long time Antioch was considered in Christendom as the 
eldest daughter of 8ion ; it bore the name of Theopolis (the 
city of God), and pilgrims visited it with no less respect 
than Jerusalem. 

Antioch was as much celebrated in the annals of Rome as 
in those of the Church. The magnificence of its edifices and 
the residence of several emperors had obtained it the na-me 
of the Queen of the East. Its situation, amidst a smilmg 
and fertile country, attracted strangers to it at all times. 
At two leagues eastward was a lake abounding in fish, 
which communicated with the Orontes ; whilst on the south, 
were the suburbs and the fountain of Daphne, so renowned 
in paganism. Not far from this arose the mountain of 
Orontes, covered with gardens and country houses ; on the 
north was another mountain, sometimes called the Black 
Mountain, on account of its forests, and sometimes the 
Water Mountain, on account of its numerous springs. The 
river Orontes* flowed at the foot of the ramparts of Antioch 
towards the west, and fell into the sea at a distance of three 
or four leagues from the city. 

Within the walls were four hdls separated by a torrent, 
which cast itself into the river. Upon the western hill was 
built a very strong citadel, which dominated over the city. 
The ramparts of Antioch, whose solidity equalled that of a 
rock, were three leagues in extent. " This place," says an 
old author, " was an object of terror to those who looked 
upon it, for the number of its strong and vast towers, which 
amounted to three hundred and sixty." Wide ditches, the 
river Orontes and marshes, still further protected the inha- 
bitants of Antioch, and cut ofii" an approach to the city. 

In spite of all these fortifications of nature and art,t 
Antioch had been several times taken. It fell at once into 

* At the present day named Aassy (the Rebel), or el Mactoub, the 
Reversed, because it flows from south to north, an opposite direction to 
that of the other rivers of the same country. 

t Ancient Antioch is not to be recognised in the straggling village 
that the Turks call Antakie; it is even sufficiently difficult to ascertain its 
ancient extent. We may consult the description of it g ven by Pococke 
and Drummond, and compare it with that which is said by Raymond 
d'Agiles. Albert d'Aix, William of Tj "e, and the ancient historians. 


the power of the Saracens, in the first age of the Hegira ; 
it was afterwa 'ds retaken by the Grreeks, under Nicep horns 
Phocas ; and, fourteen years before, the Turks had rendered 
themselves masters of i . At the approach of the Christians, 
the greater part of the Saracens of the neighbouring cities 
and provinces had sought seciu*ity in Antioch for them- 
selves, their wives, and treasures. Baghisian,* or Accien, 
grandson of Malek-Scha, who had obtained the sovereignty 
of the city, had shut himself up in it, with seven thousand 
horse and twenty thousand foot-soldiers. 

The siege of Antioch presented many difficulties and 
dangers. The chiefs of the Crusaders deliberated upon the 
propriety of undertaking it ; and the first who spoke in the 
council thought that it would be imprudent to commence a 
siege at the beginning of whiter. They did not dread the 
arms of the Saracens, but the rains, the tempests, and the 
horrors of famine. They advised the Crusaders to await in 
the provinces and neighbouring cities the arrival of the aid 
promised by Alexius, and the return of spring, by which time 
the army would have repaired its losses, and received beneath 
its standards fresh reinforcements from the West. This 
counsel was listened to with much impatience by the greater 
part of the leaders, among whom were conspicuous the 
legate Adhemar and the duke of Lorraine. " Ought we 
not, at once," said they, "to take advantage of the terror 
spread among the enemy ? Is it right to leave them time 
to rally and recover from then' alarm ? Is it not well known 
that they have implored the succoin* of the caliph of Bagdad 
and the sultan of Persia? Every moment of delay may 
strengthen the armies of the Mussulmans, and rob the 
Christians of the fruits of their victories. You talk of the 
arrival of the Grreeks ; but do we stand in need of the Greeks 
to attack enemies already many times conquered ? AVas it 
necessary to await for new Crusaders from the West, who 

* The name of this Seljoucide prince has been disfigured by the greater 
part of the Latin historians. Tudebode and the monk Robert call him 
Cassianns: Foucher de Chartres, Gratianus ; William of Tyre, Acxiauus; 
Albert d'Aix, Darsiantts ; M. de Guignes, and the greater part of the 
Orientalists, call him, after Abulfeda, Bayhistan; but in other Oriental 
historians he is named Akhy Syran (brother of the black), which is more 
conformable to the corrupt name of Accien, which he bears in oux 
** History of the Crusades." 


would come to share the glories and the ccnqiiests of the 
Clii'stian army, without having shared its dangers and its 
labours ? As to the rigours of winter, which they appeared 
so much to dread, it was an insult to the soldiers of Jesus 
Christ to think them incapable of endming cold and ram- 
It Avas, in some sort, to compare them to those birds of 
passage which fly away and hide themselves in secret places, 
when they see the bad season approach.* It was, besides, 
impossible to think that a siege could be protracted to any 
length with an army full of ardour and courage. The Cru- 
saders had only to remember the siege of Nice, the battle 
of Dorylaeum, and a thousand other exploits. AVhy should 
they be restrained by the fear of want and famine ? Had 
they not hitherto found in war all the resources of war ? 
They must know that victory had always supplied the wants 
of the Crusaders, and that abundance awaited them in that 
city of Antioch, which would not be long in opening its 
gates to them." 

This discourse won over the most ardent and the most 
brave. Such as entertained a contrary opinion dreaded to 
be accused of timidity, and remained silent. The council 
decided that the siege of Antioch should at once be com- 
menced ; and on that very day the whole Christian army 
advanced under the walls of the city. Bohemond and Tan- 
cred took their posts on the east, opposite the gate of St. 
Paul ; to the right of the Italians were the Normans, the 
Bretons, the Elemings, and the French, commanded by the 
two E-oberts ; the count de Vermaudois and the count de 
Chartres encamped towards the north, opposite the gate of 
the Dog ; the count of Thoulouse, the bisliop of Buy, and 
the duke of Lorraine, with the troops they commanded, 
occupied the space which extended from the gate of the 
Dog to the spot where the Orontes turning towards the west 
approaches the walls of Antioch. The Crusaders left open 
the southern part, defended by the mountain of Orontes, and 
likewise neglected to invest the western side of the city, 

* Plurimum quoque interest ad Jisciplinam militise, insuescere milites 
nostros, non solum parta victoria frui, sed si etiam res sit lentior, pati 
tsedium, et quamvis serse spei exitum exspectare, nee sicut cestivas aves, 
instante hyenie, tecta ac recessum circumspicere. — Accolti, de Bello 
contra Turcas, lib. ii. 


which the river protected, and thus gave the besieged liberty 
to make sorties or receive succours. 

The Turks had shut themselves up witbin their walls ; not 
a soul appeared upon the ramparts, and not the least noise 
was heard in th 3 city. The Crusaders fancied that they saw 
in this appearance of inaction and this profound silence the 
discouragement and terror which had taken possession of 
their enemies. Blinded by the hope of an easy conquest, they 
took no precautions, and spread themselves about over the 
neighbouring country. The abundance of provisions, the 
beautiful sky of Syria, the fountain and the shades of 
Daphne, and the banks of the Orontes, famous in Pagan 
antiquity for the worship of Venus and Adonis, made them 
lose sight of the holy war, and spread license and corruption 
among the soldiers of Christ. 

"Whilst they thus neglected, amongst scenes of intem- 
perance and debauchery, the laws of discipline and the 
precepts of the Scriptures, they were attacked by the gar- 
rison of Antioch, which surprised them, some scarcely 
guarding the camp, and the rest scattered about in the 
neighbouring country. All whom the hopes of pillage or 
the attractions of pleasure had drawn into the villages and 
orchards bordering upon the Orontes, met with either slavery 
or death. Young Alberon, archdeacon of Metz, and son of 
Conrad, count of Lunebourg, paid with his life for the enjoy- 
ment of amusements which accorded but very little mth the 
austerity of his profession. ' He was surprised by the Turks* 
at the moment when, stretched upon the grass, he was 
playing at dice with a Syrian courtezan. His head was 
struck off with one blow of a sabre. The courtezan was 
not killed till she had satisfied the brutal passion of their 
conqueror. Their heads, with those of a great number of 
Christians, were cast into the camp of the Crusaders, who 
now deplored their disorders, and swore to take revenge for 
their defeat. 

The desire to repair one fault made them commit another. 

* Alearum Indo pariter recreari et occupari cum matroua quadam, quae 
magnse erat ingenuitatis et formositatis. Matronam vero vivam, et intac- 
1am armis, rapientes traxerunt in urbem, per totam noctrm immoderataa 
libidinis snaj incesto concubitu eam vexantes, uihilque Kumanitatis iu 
earn exhibentes. — Alb. Ag. lib. iii. p. 46. 


They resolved upon scaling the walls of Antioch, without 
having either ladders or machines of war. The signal was 
given for a general assault. Vengeance and fanaticism 
animated both soldiers and leaders ; but their efforts could 
neither shake the walls of the cit}^ nor disturb the security 
of the besieged. Their attacks, though renewed several 
times and at several points, were always imsuccessful. 
Experience, for whose lessons they always paid so dearly, at 
length taught them, that if they wished to make themselves 
masters of the place, no other means was left them but to 
invest it completely, and prevent the arrival of any succoui' 
from without. 

They established a bridge of boats upon the Orontes, and 
passed some troops over towards the western side of the 
city. All the means in their power were employed to stop 
the sorties of the enemy — sometimes they erected wooden 
fortresses near the ramparts, whilst at others they prepared 
balistas, which launched large stones upon the besieged. The 
Crusaders, in order to close the gate of the Dog upon the 
Turks, were obliged to heap up against it enormous beams 
and fragments of rock. At the same time they intrenched 
their camp, and redoubled their efforts to seciu-e themselves 
against surprise on the part of the Saracens. 

The Christian army was now solely occupied with the 
blockade of the city. Although this determination was 
dictated by imperious necessity,^ the slowness of a siege did 
not at all agree with the impatience of the warriors of the 
West. On their arrival before Antioch, the Christian sol- 
diers had dissipated in a few days the provisions of several 
months ; they had only thought of fighting the enemy in 
the field of battle, and, ever full of confidence in victory, 
they had neither sought to protect themselves against the 
rigours of winter, nor to prevent the approaches of the 
famine with which they were threatened. 

The want of pro\isions w^as not long before it was felt. 
As soon as winter had set in, they found themselves a prey 
to every species of calamity. Torrents of rain fell daily, 
and the plains, an abode upon which had rendered the soldiers 
of Clnist efteminate, were almost all biu'ied beneath the 
waters. The Christian camp, particularly in the valley, was 
submerged sevei'al times ; tempests and inundations carried 


away tlie pavilions and tents ; moisture relaxed the bows j 
and rust gnawed into both lances and swords. The greater 
part of the soldiers were without clothes ; and contagious 
diseases carried off both men and animals. Eains, cold, 
famine, epidemic diseases, made such ravages, that, according 
to the report of William of Tyre, the Crusaders had not 
either time or space to bury their dead.* 

In the midst of the general distress, Bohemond and 
the duke of Normandy were commissioned to go and scour 
the country in search of provisions. In the course of 
their incursion they defeated several detachments of Sara- 
cens, and returned to the camp with a considerable booty. 
But the provisions they brought could not be sufficient to 
support a large army for any length of time ; every day they 
made fresh incursions, and every day were less successful. 
All the country of Upper Syria had been ravaged by the 
Turks and Christians. The Crusaders who were sent on 
these foraging parties often put the infidels to flight; but vic- 
tory, which was almost always their only resource in moments 
of want, could not bring back abundance to their camp. 

To fill up the measure of their miseries, all communication 
was stopped with Constantinople ; the fleets of the Pisans 
and Genoese no longer coasted the countries occupied by 
the Crusaders. The port of St. Simeon, situated at three 
leagues from Antioch, saw no vessel now arrive from either 
Greece or the West. The Flemish pirates, who had taken 
\ip the cross at Tarsus, after possessing themselves of Lao- 
dicea, had been surprised by the Greeks, and were detained 
prisoners during several weeks. The darkest future lay 
before the Christians ; they no longer talked of anything but 
of the losses they had sustained, and of the evils with which 
they were threatened ; each day the most afflicting intel- 
ligence was spread through the army. 

It was said that the son of Sweno, king of Denmark, 
who had assumed the cross, and was leading fifteen hundred 
horsemicn to the holy war, had been surprised by the Turks 

* We have taken the details of the siege of Antioch from the followingj 
authors: William of Tyre, Albert d'Aix, Baudry, Robert, Tudebode; 
Raymond d'Agiles, Guibert, Raoul de Caen, Foucher de Chartres, 
Oderic-Vital, Paul Emile, BcM'nard Thesaurius, Accolti, Duchat, Mailly, 
De Guignes, Albufaradge, &c. &c. 


whilst advancing rapidly across the defiles of Cappadocia 
Attacked by an enemy superior in numbers, he had defended 
himself during a whole day, without being able to repulse 
the infidels, with all the efforts of his courage or the battle- 
axes of his warriors. Plorine, daughter of Eudes I., duke of 
Burgundy, who accompanied the Danish hero, and to whom 
he was to be married after the taking of Jerusalem, had 
valiantly fought by his side. Pierced by seven arrows, but 
still fighting, she sought with Sweno to open a passage 
towards the mountains, when they were overwhelmed by 
their enemies. They fell together on the field of battle, after 
having seen all their knights and their most faithful servants 
perish around them. " Such were the news that came to 
the camp of the Christians," says "William of Tyre, "and so 
full were they of sadness and grief, that more than ever were 
their hearts depressed with the increase of their calamities."* 
Each succeeding day famine and disease made greater 
ravages. The provisions f brought to the camp by a few 
Syrians were at so high a price that the soldiers could not 
obtain any ; the multitude filled the camp with lamentations, 
and there was not a Crusader who had not to weep for the 
death of several of his companions. Desertion was soon 
added to the other scourges. The greater part of the Cru- 
saders had lost ail hope of taking Antioch, or of ever reaching 

* The historian of Burgundy, Urbain Plancher, without alleging any 
reason, and without quoting any authority, treats this event as a fable, 
although it is attested by William of Tyre, Albert d'Aix, and several other 
nearly contemporary historians. Mallet says nothing of it in his " His- 
tory of Denmark;" nevertheless Langbeck, in his collection of the Danish 
historians, says he has seen a basso-relievo, in bronze, in which the Sweno, 
of whom this history speaks, is represented with the attributes of a 
Crusader. This basso-relievo was executed by the order of Christian V. \ 
at the bottom of the portrait of Sweno are several Latin verses which 
describe his glorious and tragical death. The " Scriptores Rerum Dani- 
carum" may be consulted for the dissertation in which Langbeck dis- 
cusses the passages of the ancient historians, and clearly demonstrates the 
truth of their accounts. T^iis dissertation is entitled, " Infelix Suenonis 
Danici adversus Turcas." 

f According to William of Tyre, the bread which sufficed for the daily 
*ood of one man cost two sous instead of a denier ; an ox two marks of 
silver, instead of five sous ; a kid or a lamb live or six sous, instead of 
three or four deniers ; the expense of a horse for a single night arose as 
high as eisiht sous, whilst it had only been two or three deniers at the 
commencement ot the siege. 


the Holj Larrd. Some sought refuge from misery in Meso- 
potamia., now governed bj Baldwin; whilst others repaired 
to the cities of Cilicia which had fallen into the hands of the 

The dukt of Normandy withdrew to Laodicea, and did 
not return until he had received three summonses from the 
army in the name of religion and of Jesus Christ. Tatius, 
the general of Alexius, quitted the camp of the Crusaders 
with the troops he commanded, promising to return with 
reinforcements and provisions. His departure caused little 
regret, and his promises, in which they had no confidence, 
did not at all alleviate the despair of the sufferers. This 
despair was carried to its height among the defenders of the 
cross when they saAv those who ought to have set them an 
example of patience and courage desert them. William, 
viscount de Mekm, whose extraordinary exploits with the 
battle-axe had procured him the name of the Carpenter, 
could not Support the miseries of the siege, and deserted the 
standard of Christ.* The preacher of the crusade, Peter 
the Hermit, whom the Christians, doubtless, blamed for all 
the miseries of the siege, was unable to bear their complaints 
or share their misfortunes ; and despairing of the success of 
the expedition, he fled secretly from the camp.f His deser- 
tion caused a great scandal among the pilgrims, " and did 
not astonish them less," says Abbot Gruibert, "than if the 
stars had fallen from the heavens." Pursued and overtaken 
by Tancred, he and William the Carpenter were brought 
back disgraced to the camp. The army reproached Peter 
with his base desertion, and made him swear upon the Scrip- 
tures that he would never again abandon a cause which he 
had preached. They threatened with the punishment usually 
inflicted upon homicides all who should follow the example 
he had given to his companions and brothers. 

But in the midst of the corruption which reigned in the 
Christian army, virtue itself might have thought of flight, 
and have excused desertion. If contemporary accounts are 

* Sed non hoc metu praeliorura, ut spe:*amus fecerat ; sed tantum famJe 
injuriam pati nunquam didicerat. — Tlob. Mon. iib. iv. 

•f* This great faster, says Maimbourg, who by a voluntary austerit;^ 
which had acquired him such a great reputation of sanctity, made profes* 
elon to eat neither bread nor meat, could not endure a uecessai'y I'aat 


to be credited, all the vices of the infamous Balyl n pre» 
railed among the liberators of Sion. Strange and unheard-of 
fj-pectacle ! Beneath the tents of the Crusaders famine and 
voluptuousness formed a hideous union; impure love, an 
unbounded passion for play, with all the excesses of 
debauch, were mingled with images of death.* In their 
misfortunes, the greater part of the pilgrims seemed to 
disdain the consolations that might have been derived from 
piety and virtue. 

And yet the bishop of Puy, and the more virtuous portion 
of the clergy used every effort to reform the manners of the 
Crusaders. They caused the voice of religion to hurl its 
thunders against the excesses of libertinism and licentious- 
ness. They recalled to their minds all the evils that the 
Christian army had suffered, and attributed them entirely to 
the vices and debaucheries of the defenders of the cross. 
An earthquake which was felt at this time, an aurora borealis, 
which was a new phenomenon to great part of the pilgrims, 
were pointed out to them as an announcement of the anger 
of Heaven. Pasts and prayers were ordered, to avert the 
celestial indignation. The Crusaders made processions 
round the camp, and hymns of penitence resounded from all 
parts. The priests invoked the wrath of the Church against 
all who should betray the cause of Christ by their sins. To 
add to the terrors which the threats of religion inspired, a 
tribunal, composed of the principal leaders of the army and 
the clergy, was charged with the pursuit and punishment of 
ihe g'Jjlty. Men surprised in a state of intoxication had 
their hair cut off; whilst blasphemers, or such as gave them- 
selves up to a passion for play, were branded with a hot iron, 
A monk accused of adultery, and convicted by the ordeal 
of fire, was beaten wdth rods, and led naked through the 
camp. As the judges became aware of the guilty, they must 
have been terrified at their numbers. The severest punish- 
ments coidd not entirely stop the prostitution which had 
become almost general. They determined upon shutting 
up all the women in a separate camp — an extreme and im- 
prudent measure, which confounded vice and virtue, and 

* Et quis esse poterat aditus voluptatis, ubi erat indesinens suspicio 
mortis ! — Guib. lib. vi. cap. 15. 


jwoduced crimes more disgraceful than those they desired ta 

Among all these calamities, the camp of the Crusadera 
was filled with Syrian spies, who daily bore into the city 
accounts of the plans, the distress, and the despair of the 
besiegers. Bohemond, in order to deliver the army, employed 
a means of a nature to disgust even barbarians. My pen 
refuses to trace such pictures, and I leave William of Tyre, 
or rather his old translator, to speak. " Bohemond," saya 
he, " commanded that several Turks, whom he held in close 
confinement, should be brought before him. These he 
caused instantly to be executed by the hands of the officers 
of justice, and then ordering a great fire to be lighted, he 
had them spitted and roasted, as flesh prepared for the 
supper of himself and his troops ; at the same time com- 
manding, that if any one made inquiries about what was 
going on, that they should be answered in this fashion : 
* The princes and riders of the camp have this day decreed 
in council, that all Turks or spies that shall henceforward he 
found in their camipj, shall he, in this manner, forced to mahe 
meat with their own hodies, as toell for the princes as the 
whole army^ " 

The servants of Bohemond executed exactly the orders 
and instructions which he had given them. The strangers 
who were in the camp soon flocked to the quarters of the 
prince of Tarentum, and when they saw what was going on, 
adds our ancient author, were marvellously terrified, fearing 
to share the fate of the ^dctims. They made haste to quit 
the camp of the Christians, and everywhere on their road 
spread an account of that which they had seen. Their story 
flew from mouth to mouth, even to the most distant countries : 
the inhabitants of Antioch, and all the Mussulmans of the 
Syrian cities, were seized with terror, and no more ventured 
to approach the camp of the Crusaders. " By these means," 
says the historian we have above quoted, " it ensued from 
the cunning and conduct of the seigneur Bohemond, that 
the pest of spies was banished from the camp, and the 
enterprises of the Christians were not divulged to the 

The bishop of Puy, at the same time, employed a strata- 
gem much more imiocent and conformable with the spirit of 


his ministry and Lis profession. He caused tlie lands in the 
neighbourhood of Antioch to be ploughed and sowed, in 
order to protect the Christian army from the attacks of 
famine, and, at the same time to lead the Sariicens to believe 
that nothing could exhaust the perseverance of the besiegers. 

In the meanwhile the winter was stealing away ; the con- 
tagious diseases committed fewer ravages ; and the princes 
and the monasteries of Armenia sent provisions to the 
Christians."* The famine began to be less felt. The ameli- 
oration in the condition of the pilgrims was attributed to 
their penitence and their conversion ; and they returned 
thanks to Heaven for having made them better and more 
worthy of its protection and mercy. 

It was at this period that ambassadors from the caliph of 
Egypt arrived in the camp of the Crusaders. In the pre- 
sence of the infidels the Christian soldiers endeavoured to 
conceal the traces and remembrances of the lengthened 
miseries they had undergone. They clothed themselves in 
their most precious vestments, and displayed their most 
brilliant arms. Knights and barons contended for the glory 
of strength and skill in tournaments. Nothing was seen 
but dancing and festivity, amidst which abundance and joy 
appeared to reign. The Egyptian ambassadors were received 
in a magnificent tent, in which were assembled all the prin- 
cipal leaders of the army. They did not disguise, in their 
address, the extreme aversion that their master had always 
entertained for an alliance with the Christians ; but tae 
victories which the Crusaders had gained over the Turks, 
those eternal enemies of the race of Ali, had led him to 
beHeve that Grod himself had sent them into Asia, as the 
instruments of his vengeance and justice. The Egyptian 
caliph was disposed to ally himself with the victorious 
Christians, and was preparing to enter Palestine and Syria. 
As he had learnt that the wishes of the Crusaders were 
confined to an ardent desire to behold Jerusalem, he pro- 
mised to restore the Christian churches, to prot6;t their 
worship, and open the gates of the Holy City to all the 

* This circumstance is taken from an Armenian manuscript o( Matthew 
of Edessa. It is surprising that the Latin historians have madv no men- 
tion of it ; but they never speak of any means of providing provisioni 
employed by the Crusaders. 


pilgrins, upon condition that tliey would re], lir thither 
without arms, and would remain there no longer than one 
month. If the Crusaders submitted to these conditions, 
the caliph promised to become their most generous supporter; 
if they declined the blessing of his friendship, the nations 
of Egypt and Ethiopia, with all those that inhabit Asia 
and Alrica, from the Straits of Grades to the gates of Bagdad, 
Vt'ould arise at the voice of the legitimate vicar of the pro- 
phet, and would show the warriors of the West the power 
of their arms. 

This discourse excited violent munnurs in the assembly 
of the Christians : one of the chiefs arose to answer it, and 
addressing himself to the deputies of the caliph : " The 
religion that w6 follow," said he to them, " has inspired us 
with the design of re-establishing its empire in the places in 
which it was born ; and we stand in no need of the concur- 
rence of the powers of the earth to accomplish our vows. 
"VYe do not come into Asia to receive laws or benefits from 
Mussulmans, nor have we forgotten, besides, the outrages 
committed by Egyptians upon the pilgrims of the West ; we 
still remember that Christians, under the reign of the caliph 
Hakem, w^ere delivered over to executioners, and that their 
churches, particularly that of the Holy Sepulchre, were razed 
to the ground. Yes, without doubt, we have the intention 
of visiting Jerusalem, but we have also taken an oath to 
deliver it from the yoke of the infidels. God, who has 
honoured it by his sufferings, wills that he shall be there 
served by his people. The Christians resolve to be both its 
guardians and its masters. Go and tell him who sent you 
to make choice of peace or war ; tell him that the Christiana 
encamped before Antioch fear neither the nations of Egypt, 
nor those of Asia, nor those of Bagdad, and that they only 
ally themselves with powers which respect the laws of justice 
and the standards of Jesus Christ." 

The orator who spoke thus expressed the opinion and 
sentiments of the assembly; nevertheless, they did not 
entirely reject the alliance with the Egyptians. Deputies 
were chosen from the Christian army to acccsnpany the 
ambassadors of Cairo on their return, and to bear to the 
*aliph the definitive propositions of peace of the Crusaders. 

Scarcely had the deputies left the camp of the Christiars, 

Vol. I.--8 


wlien the latter obtained a fresli victory over the Turks. 
The sultans of Aleppo and Damascus, with the emirs of 
Csesarea, Emessa, and Hieropolis, had raised an army of 
twenty thousand horse to succour Antioch ; and this army 
was already on its march towards the city, when it was sur- 
prised and cut to pieces by the prince of Tarentum and the 
count de St. Gilles, who had gone out to meet it. The 
T'urks lost in this battle two thousand men and one thousand 
horses ; and the city of Harem, in which they in vain sought 
an asylum after their defeat, fell into the hands of the Chris- 
tians. At the moment the ambassadors from Egypt were 
about to embark at the port of St. Simeon, the heads and 
H])oiL-? of two hundred Mussulmans were brought to them 
upon four camels. The conquerors cast two hundred other 
h(Mids into the city of Antioch, whose garrison was still in 
cxp(!ctation of succour; and they stuck a great number upon 
})ik(>,s round the walls. They exhibited thus these horrible 
tropliies, to avenge themselves of the insults the Saracens 
had, on their ramparts, heaped upon an image of the Virgin 
which had fallen into their hands. 

But the Crusaders were soon to signalize themselves in a 
Hiuch more perilous and murderous battle. A fleet of 
Grenoese and Pisans had entered the port of St. Simeon, and 
the news of then" arrival causing the greatest joy in the 
army, a great number of soldiers left the camp and hastened 
towards the port, some to learn news from Europe, and 
others to huj the provisions of which they stood so much in 
need. As they were returning loaded with provisions, and 
for the greater part unarmed, they were unexpectedly 
attacked and dispersed by a body of four thousand Tiu-ks, 
who laid wait for them on their passage. In vain the prince 
of Tarentum, the count de St. Gilles, and Bishop Adhemar, 
flew to their aid with their troops ; the Christians could not 
resist the shock of the infidels, and retreated in disorder. 

The account of this defeat soon spread alarm among the 
Crusaders who had remained before the city. Immediately 
Godfrev, to whom danger gave supreme authority, ordered 
the leaders and soldiers to fly to arms.* Accompanied by 

* A chronicle printed at Paris in 1517, which bears for title, *' Grand 
T-2yage d'Outre-Mer," places the following speech in the mouth of God* 


Lis brother Eustace, the two Bobc^rts, and the count de Yer- 
mandois, he crossed the Orontes, and hastened to seek the 
enemy, still engaged in following up their first advantage. 
As soon as he came in presence of the Saracens, he com* 
manded the other chiefs to follow his example, and rushed, 
sword in hand, into the thickest of the enemy's ranks. The 
latter, accustomed to fight at a distance, and principally to 
employ' the bow and arrow, could not resist the sword and 
lance of the Crusaders. They took to flight, some towards 
the mountains, and others towards the city. Accien, who, 
from the towers of his palace, had witnessed the victorious 
attack of the Crusaders, immediately sent a numerous de- 
tachment to renew the fight. He accompanied his soldiers 
as far as the gate of the Bridge, which he caused to be shut 
after them, telling them it should only be opened to them 
when they returned victorious. 

This new body of Saracens were soon beaten and dis- 
persed ; and there remained no hope to them but to endeavour 
to regain the city. But Godfrey, who had foreseen every- 
thing, had posted himself upon an eminence between the 
fugitives and the gates of Antioch. It was there that the 
carnage was renewed ; the Christians were animated by their 
\'ictory, and the Saracens by their despair and the cries of 
the inhabitants of the city, who were assembled on the ram- 
parts. Nothing can paint the frightful tumult of this fresh 
conflict. The clashing of arms and the cries of the com- 
batants would not permit the soldiers to hear the orders of 
-their leaders. They fought man to man, and wiuhout order, 
whilst clouds of dust covered the field of battle. Chance 
directed the blows of both the conquerors and the con- 
quered, and the Saracens, heaped as it were together by 
their terror, impeded their own flight. The confusion was 
so great that several of the Crusaders were killed by their 

frey : — '* Brave seigneurs, my brothers and companions in Jesus Christ ; 
if the news we hear be true, that for our sins these cruel dogs have thus 
killed these valiant men, and of great consideration, I only perceive two 
things, that we shall die with them as good and loyal Christians, assured 
of receiving our guerdon from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for 
whose service we came liere and have quitted our native lands and our 
kindred; or if it should jdease him, that he allow us to take vengeance 
and obtain victory over these vile dogs who have thus degraded «nd 
weakened Christianity in its valiant men." 


companions and brothers in arms, A great nimiber of 
Saracens fell almost without resistance under the swords of 
the Christians, and more than two thousand, who sought 
safety in flight, Avere drowned in the Orontes. " The old 
men of Antioch," says William of Tyre, " whilst contem- 
plating this bloody catastrophe from the height of their 
walls, grieved that they had lived so long, whilst the women 
who witnessed the death of their children, lamented their 
owii fecundity." The canifige continued during the whole 
day ; and it was not till night-fall that Accien allowed the 
gates to be opened for the reception of the miserable remains 
of his troopa still hotly ])ursued by the Crusaders. 

The leaders and soldiers of the army had performed pro- 
digies of valour. Bohemond, Tancred, Adhemar, Baldwin 
du Bourg, and Eustace had appeared everywhere^ leading 
their warriors in the paths of danger. The whole army 
spoke of the lance-thrusts and marvellous feats of arms of 
the count de Yermandois and the two Koberts. The duke 
of Normandy sustained a single combat with a leader of 
the infidels, who advanced towards him surrounded by his 
troop. With one blow of his sword he split his head to 
the shoulder, and, as the Saracen fell dead at his feet, ex- 
claimed, " I devote thy impure soul to the powers of helV^ 
Tancred, says Kaoul de Caen, distinguisbed himself amongst 
the most intrepid of the knights. In the heat of the melee^ 
the Christian hero, as modest as h© was brave, made his 
squire swear to preserve silence upon the exploits of which 
he was a witness.* " Grodfrey, who, in this memorable day, 
had displayed the skiH of a great captain, signalized his 
bravery and vast strength by actions which both history and 
poetry have celebrated. No armour seemed proof against 

* Sed est quod stupeam, nee satis valeam stupere : cum homo tarn 
pretiosus laudis emptor mox preesentis ora armigeri silentio concluserit 
adjurato. — Gest. Tanc. cap. 52 ; Muratori, vol. iii. The historian whom 
we have just quoted endeavours to explain the fact which he relates. He 
asks himself whether it was from modesty or a religious spirit, or whether 
Tancred might fear not to be believed, either upon his own word or that 
of his squire, that the Christian hero desired silence to be preserved. In 
all these cases the fact appears to him to be a prodigy. He adds that the 
squire was faithful to his oath, and that it was not till a long time after- 
wards that the feats of Tancred on that day became known. We haY9 
Irit to compare this with what old Horace says of his heroes. 


his trenchant blade ; lances, helmets, and cuirasses flew^ in 
shivers beneath its strokes. A Saracen of surpassing strength 
and stature offered him single combat in the midst of the 
melee, and with his first blow dashed the shield of Grodfrey 
in pieces. Indignant at such audacity, the Christian hero 
raised himself iu his stirrups, and rushing on his antagonist, 
dealt him so terrible a blow on the shoulder, that he divided 
his body into two parts.* The one, say the historians, fell 
to the gronind, whilst the other remained on the horse, which 
returned t the city, where this spectacle redoubled the con- 
sternation of the besieged. In spite of these astonishing 
exploits, the Christians sustained a considerable loss. Whilst 
celebrating the heroic valour of the Crusaders, contemporary 
history is astonished at the multitude of martyrs which the 
Saracens sent to heaven, and who, on arriving in the abodes 
of the elect, with crowns upon their heads, and palm branches 
in their hands, addressed God in these words : " Why have 
vou not spared olu' blood which has flowed for you this 


The infidels passed the night in burying such as had 
been killed under the walls of the city. They interred them 
near a mosque built on the outer side of the bridge of 
the Orontes. After the funeral ceremonies, they returned into 
Antioch. As, accordicg to the custom of the Mussulmans, 
these bodies had been buried with their arms, their orna- 
ments, and their vestments, this plunder held out too strong 
a temptation for the gross multitude that followed the army 
of the Crusaders. They crossed the Orontes, precipitated 
themselves in a crowd upon the graves of the Saracens, 
exhumed the dead bodies, and tore off the arms and habili- 
ments with which they were covered. They quickly returned 

* Sic lubricus ensis super crus dextrum integer exigit, sicque caput 
integrum cum dextra parte corporis immersit gurgite, partemque quae 
equo praesidebat remisit civitad. — Rob. Mon. Cujus ense trajectus 
Turcus duo factus est Turci; ut inferior alter in urbem equitaret, alter 
arcitenens in flumiiie nataret. — Rad. Cad, 

f Feruntque in ilia die martyrisati ex nostris militibus seu peditibus 
plusquam mille, qui in coelum Isetantes ascendebant, atque candidati 
ferentes stolam recepti martyrii, glorificantes et magnifieantes Dominuta 
Deum nostrum trinum et uiiuin, in quo felicitt/triumphabant ; et dicebant 
concordabili voce : Qaare non dtj'endis sanguinem, noitrum, qui hodie pra 
tuo nornine effuaus ',st ? — Gesta Fraucorum, lib. xviii cap. 18, p. 13. 


to exhibit in tlie camp the silk stuffs, bucklers, lattces, jave- 
lius, and rich swords found in the coifins ; nor did this 
spectacle at all disgust the knights and barons. On the dn,y 
following the battle, among the spoils of tlie vanquished. 
they contemplated with joy tifteon hundred heads separated 
from their trunks, which were paraded in triumph through 
the army, recalling to them their own victory, and the loss 
they had inflicted on the infidels. All these heads were cast 
into the Orontes, and, together with the bodies of the Mus- 
sidmans drowned in the conflict of the preceding day, carried 
the news of the victory to the Grenoese and Pisans disem- 
barked at the port of St. Simeon. The Crusaders, w^ho, at 
the commencement of the battle, had fled towards the sea 
or the mountains, and who had been lamented as dead, 
returned to the camp, and joined their brethren in the 
thanks offered to heaven for the triumphs of the Christian 
army. From this time the chiefs thought of nothing but 
taking advantage of the terror with which they had inspired 
the Saracens. Masters of the cemetery of the Mussulman;?, 
the Crusaders destroyed the mosque which had been built 
outside the walls of the city, and employed the stones of the 
tombs even in erecting a fortress before the gate of the 
bridge, by which the besieged made their sorties. Eay- 
mond, who had been accused of w^ant of zeal for the holy 
war, caused the fort to be constructed, and charged himseJi 
with the defence of this dangerous post. It w^as proposed 
to raise another fortress near the first, and as no other of 
the leaders presented himself to forward the construction of 
it, Tancred offered his services to the Crusaders. But, 
generous and loyal knight as he was, he possessed nothing 
but his sword and his renown. He asked the necessary 
money of his companions, and himself undertook the dangers 
of the enterprise. All were eager to second his courageous 
devotedness ; the labours which he directed were soon 
finished, and from that period the besieged found themselves 
completely enclosed within the circle of their walls. 

The Crusaders, after having thus finished the blockade of 
the place, surprised the Syrians who had been accustomed 
to bring provisions into Antioch, and only gave them liberty 
and life upon their swearing to supply the Christian army. 
Having learnt that Accien had sent a great part of the 


horses of his garrison into a valley at a few leagues fro:n th(? 
city, they repaired thither by circuitous routes, and got pos- 
session of this rich booty. Two thousand horses, and as 
many mules, were led in triumph into the camp of the 

As the fleet of the Pisans and Grenoese had brought w^ith 
them a great number of labourers and engineers, they were 
employed in directing and carrying on the works of the 
siege. Machines of war were constructed, and the city of 
Antioch was pressed more vigorously, and threatened on all 
sides. Whilst despair supplied the place of courage among 
the Saracens, the zeal and emulation of the Crusaders were 
redoubled. Many whom misery or fear had driven from the 
Christian army rejoined their standards, and sought by their 
exertions to obliterate the remembrance of their desertion. 
The besiegers allowed themselves no repose, and only seemed 
to live to fight. The women seconded the valour of the 
warriors. Some mingled with them in the ranks, whilst 
others bore them food and ammunition to the battle-field. 
Children even formed themselves into troops, exercised 
themselves in military evolutions, and took up arms against 
the Saracens. The inhabitants of Antioch opposed their 
children to those of the Christians, and several times these 
young combatants came to blows in the presence of the 
besiegers and the besieged, who animated them with voice 
and gesture, and joined the combat even to support such of 
their party as seemed to yield. 

There was formed at the same time another military force 
still more formidable to the Saracens.* The mendicants 
and vagabonds who followed the Christian army were em- 
ployed in the labours of the siege, and work ?d under the 
orders of a captain, who took the title of " Moi truant, ^^ or 
king of the beggars. They received pay from the general 
treasury of the Crusaders, and as soon as they were in a 
condition to purchase arms and clothes, the king renounced 
them as his subjects, and forced them to enter into one of 
the troops of the army. This measure, whilst forcing the 
vagabonds to abandon a life of dangerous idleness, changed 

* These particulars are related by Abbot Guibert, lib. iv. In tKJi 
uistorian will be found most particulars regarding morals. 


tliem into useful auxiliaries. As they were accused »f 
violating tombs and feeding on human flesh,* they inspii-ed 
great terror among the infidels, and the sight of them alone 
put to fliglit the defenders of Antioch, who trembled at the 
thoughts of falling into their hands. " 

Antioch was so closely pressed, and the garrison had so 
little means of defence left, that the Crusaders expected 
every day to become masters of it. Accien demanded a 
truce of them, and promised to surrender if he were not soon 
relieved. The Crusaders, ever full of blind confidence, had 
the imprudence to accept the proposals of the governor. As 
soon as they had concluded a truce with the Saracens, the 
leaders of the army, who scarcely ever agreed, except upon 
the field of battle, and whom the presence of danger did not 
always unite, were upon the point of declaring war against 
one another. 

Baldwin, prince of Edessa, had sent magnificent presents 
to Godfrey, the two Roberts, the count de Yermandois, and 
the counts of Blois and of Chartres, but in the distribution 
of his favours had, designedly, omitted Bohemond and his 
soldiers. JSTothing more was necessary to create division. 
Whilst the rest of the army were celebrating the liberality 
of Baldwin, the prince of Tarentum and his warriors breathed 
nothing but complaints and murmurs. 

At this time a richly-ornamented tent, which an Armenian 
prince destined for Godfrey, and which, falling into the hands 
of Pancracius, was sent to Bohemond, became a fresh sub- 
ject of trouble and discord. Godfrey haughtily claimed the 
present which had been intended for him, and Bohemond 
refused to give it up. On each side they proceeded to inju- 
rious terms and threats ; they were even ready to have 
recourse to arms, and the blood of the Christians was about 
to flow for a miserable quarrel ; but at length the prince of 
Tarentum, abandoned by the greater part of the army, and 
overcome by the prayers of his friends, gave up the tent to 
his rival, consoling himself in his vexation, with the hope 
that war would soon put him in possession cf a richer booty. 

Wdliam of T\Te, who has transmitted to as this account, 

* Et si Sarracenvira noviter interfectum invenerunt, illius carnes, acsi 
e^sent pecudis, avidissime devorabant. — Gesta Fraucorum. 


ia astonislied to see the wise Godfrey claim such a frivolous 
object \>'itli so much heat , and in his surprise he compares 
the weakness of the hero to the slumbers of the good Homer. 
His thought would have been more just if he had compared 
the discords and quarrels of the leaders of the crusade to 
those which troubled the camp of the Grreeks, and so long 
retarded the taking of Troy. Whilst these quarrels engaged 
the attention of the whole Christian army, the inhabitanti 
of Antioch were introducing reinforcements into the city, 
and preparing for a fresh resistance. When they had 
received the succours and provisions necessary to defend 
themselves and prolong the siege, they broke the truce, and 
again began the war, with all the advantages that a peace 
too easily granted them had procured. 

Antioch, after a siege of seven months, would have 
escaped from the hands of the Christians, if stratagem, 
policy, and ambition had not effected for them that which 
patience and bravery had been unable to achieve. Bohemond, 
whose sole motive for undertaking the crusade had been a 
desire to improve his fortunes, was constantly on the watch 
for an opportunity of realizing his projects. Baldwin's 
great success had awakened his jealousy, and haunted him 
even in his sleep. He dared to direct his views to the pos- 
session of Antioch, and was so far favoured by circumstances, 
as to meet with a man who might be able to place this city 
in his power. This man, whose name was Phirous, was, 
whatever some historians who give him a noble origin may 
say, the son of an Armenian, who was by trade a maker of 
cuirasses. *= Of a restless and busy character, he was con- 
stantly anxious to change and improve his condition, He 
had abjured the Christian religion from a spirit of incon- 

* Matthew of Edessa does not name the Mussulman who gave up 
Antioch to the Christians. Abulfaradge calls him Ruzebach, and says 
that he was a Persian by origin. Anna Comnena p,» etends that he was an 
Armenian. Most historians call him Pyrrus, or Phirous. William of 
Tyre gives him the name of Emir Feir, and Sanuti calls him Hermuferus. 
It may most probably be said that he had abjured Christianity. If authors 
are not agreed as to his name, it may be believed that some have called 
him by his proper name, and that others have designated him by a name 
which expressed his profession. William of Tyre says that he was born 
of a family called in Armeni 9n Beni Zerra, that is, the Jamil]/ of the maker* 
of cuirasses. 


Btancy, and in the hope of advancing his fortune ; he was 
endowed with admirable self-possession, and with audacity 
proof against any accident ; and was at all times ready to 
perform that for money which could only have been expected 
from the most ardent fanaticism. Nothing appeared unjust 
or impossible to him that promised to gratijpy his ambition 
or his avarice. Being active, adroit, and insinuating, he had 
wormed himself into the confidence of Accien, and was 
admitted into his council. The prince of Antioch had in- 
trusted him with the command of three of the principal 
towers of the place. He defended them at first with zeal, 
but without any advantage to his fortune, and he grew weary 
of a barren fidelity the moment his busy brain suggested 
that treason might be more profitable. In the intervals of 
the various conflicts he had liad many opportunities of seeing 
the prince of Tarentum. These two men divined each other's 
character at the first glance, and it was not long before this 
sympathy produced mutual confidence. In their first meet- 
ings Phirous complained of the outrages he had experienced 
from the Mussulmans ; he deeply regretted having abandoned 
the religion of Christ, and wept over the persecutions the 
Christians had sufiered in Antioch. No more than this was 
required to place the prince of Tarentum in possession of 
the secret thoughts of Phirous. He commended both his 
remorse and his good feeling, and made him the most mag- 
nificent promises. Then the renegado opened his heart to 
him. They swore an inviolable friendship to each other, 
and planned an active correspondence. They met several 
times afterwards, but always with the greatest secrecy. At 
every interview Bohemond told Phirous that the fate of the 
Christians was in his hands, and that it only rested with 
himself to merit their gratitude, and receive from them vast 
recompenses. On his side, Phirous protested that he was 
anxious to serve the Christians, whom he considered as his 
brothers, and, in order to assure the prince of Tarentum of 
his fidelity, or else to excuse his treason, hv said that Jesus 
Christ had appeared to him, and had advised him to give up 
Antioch to the Christians.* Bohemond required no such 

* Apparuit enim ei Dominus Jesus Christus per visum, et ait ; Vade et 
redde civitatem Christianis. — Gesta Francorum, lib. v. cap > 12. 


protestation. He had no difficulty in believing what lie sa 
ardently desired, and as soon as he had agreed with Phiroua 
upon the means of executing the projects they had so long 
meditated, he called an assembly of the principal leaders of 
the Christian army. He began by laying before them with 
much earnestness both the evils with which the Crusaders 
had hitherto been afflicted, and the still greater evils with 
which they were threatened. He added, that a powerful 
army was advancing to the assistance of Antioch ; that a 
retreat could not be effected without disgrace and danger ; 
and that there remained no safety for the Christians but in 
the capture of the city. It was true, the place was defended 
by impregnable ramparts ; but they should recollect that all 
victories were not obtained by force of arms or in the field 
of battle ; and that such as were won by address were 
neither the least important nor the least glorious. They, 
then, who could not be conquered must be deceived, and the 
enemy must be overcome by a great but skilful enterprise. 
Among the inhabitants of Antioch, so diverse in their man- 
ners and religions, so opposed in their interests, there must 
be some to be found who would be accessible to the bait of 
gold, or the allurements of brilliant promises. The question 
of a service so important to the Christian army, was of such 
magnitude that it was right to promote every kind of under- 
taking. The possession of Antioch itself did not appear to 
him to be too high a reward for the zeal of him who should 
be sufficiently adroit, or sufficiently fortunate, as to throw 
open the gates of the city to the Crusaders. 

Bohemond Avas careful not to explain himself more clearly, 
but his purpose was easily divined by the jealous ambition 
of some of the leaders, who perhaps entertained the same 
views as himself. E-aymond, particularly, warmly refuted 
the artful insinuations of the prince of Tarentum. "We 
are all," said he, " brothers and companions, and it would be 
unjust, after all have run the same risks, that one alone 
should gather the fruits of our joint labours. For myseilf," 
added he, casting a look of anger and contempt upon Bohe- 
mond, " I have not traversed so many countries, braved so 
many perils, lavished so much blood and treasure, or sacri- 
ficed so many of my soldiers, to repay with the price of our 
conquests some gross artifice or shameful stratagem worthy 


only of women." These vehement words had all the success to 
be expected among warriors accustomed to prevail by force 
of arms, and who esteemed no conquest that was not the 
reward of valour. The greater number of the leaders 
rejected the proposition of tlie prince of Tarentum, and 
added their railleries to those of E-aymond. Bohemond, 
whom history has surnamed the Ulysses of the Latins, did 
all in his power to restrain himself and conceal his vexation. 
He went out from the council smiling, persuaded that 
necessity would soon bring the Crusaders to his opinion. 

As soon as he had regained his tent, he sent emissaries 
through all the quarters of the camp to spread secretly the 
most alarming intelligence. As he foresaw, consternation 
seized the Christians. Some of the l^^aders were sent to 
ascertain the truth of the reports prevalent in the camp ; 
and soon returned with an account that Kerbogha, sultan of 
Mossoul, was advancing towards Antioch with an army of 
twc hundred thousand men, collected on the banks of 
the Euphrates and the Tigris. This army, which had 
threatened the city of Edessa and ravaged Mesopotamia, 
was at a distance of oidy seven days' march. At this 
recital the fears of the Crusaders were redoubled. Bohe- 
mond passed through the ranks, exaggerating the danger, 
and affecting to show more depression and terror than all 
the rest ; but in his heart he was delighted, and smiled at 
the idea of soon seeing all his hopes accomplished. The 
leaders again assembled to deliberate upon the means neces- 
sary to be taken in such perilous circumstances. Two 
opinions divided the council. Some wished that the siege 
should be raised, and that they should march to meet the 
Saracens ; whilst others were of opinion that the army 
should be formed into two bodies, one of which should act 
against Kerbogha, whilst the other should remain to guard 
the camp. This last opinion appeared likely to prevail, 
when Bohemond demanded permission to speak. He had 
not much difficulty in making them sensible of the imprac- 
ticability of both the plans proposed. If they raised the 
siege, they would be placed between the garrison of Antioch 
vind a formidable army. If they continued the blockade of 
the city, and half of tht army only went to meet Kerbogha, 
they wej ^ ulKiost certain of a defeat. " The greatest perils," 


added the prince of Tarentum, " surround us. Time presses ; 
to-morrow, perhaps, it will be too late to act ; by to-morrow 
we may have lost the fruits of all our labours and all our 
victories ; but no, I cannot think so ; Grod, who has led us 
hitherto by the hand, will not allow that we shall have 
fought for his cause in vain. He will save the Christian 
army, he will conduct us to the tomb of his Son. If you 
will accept the proposal I have made to you, to-morrow the 
standard of the, cross shall float over the walls of Antioch, 
and we will march in triumph to Jerusalem." 

When he had finished these words, Bohemond showed 
the letters of Phirous, who promised to give up the three 
towers which he commanded. Phirous said that he 
was ready to perform this promise, but he declared he 
would have nothing to do with any one but the prince of 
Tarentum. He required, as the price of his services, that 
Bohemond should remain master of Antioch. The Itahan 
prince added that he had already given considerable sums to 
Phirous ; that he alone had obtained his confidence, and 
that a reciprocal confidence was the surest guarantee of the 
success of so difficult an enterprise. "As for the rest," 
continued he, " if a better means of saving the army can be 
found, I am ready to approve of it, and willingly renounce 
my share in a conquest upon which the safety of all the 
Crusaders depends." 

The danger became every day more pressing; it was 
shameful to fly, imprudent to fight, and dangerous to tem- 
porize. Fear silenced all interests and all rivalry. The 
more opposition the leaders had shown at first to the pro- 
ject of Bohemond, the more eagerly did they now produce 
cogent reasons for adopting it. A divided conquest became no 
longer a conquest. To divide or share Antioch might give 
birth to a crowd of divisions in the army, and lead to its 
ruin. They only gave that which was really not yet their 
own ; and they gave it to secure the lives of the Christians. 
It were better that one man should profit by the labours ot 
all, than that all should perish for opposing tl.e good fortunes 
of that one. Moreover, the tak'ng of Antioch was not the 
object of the crusade — they had taken up arms to deliver 
Jerusalem. Every delay was opposed to that which religion 
looked for from its soldiers, to that which the West expected 


from its bra"vest knights. All the leaders, with the exception 
of the inflexible Saymond, united in according the princi- 
pality of Antioch to Bohemond, and conjured him to hasten 
the execution of his project. 

Upon leaving the council, the prince of Tarentum sent 
information of the vesolution of the leaders to Phirous, who 
placed his own son in the prince's hands as a hostage. The 
execution of the plan was fixed for the next day. To liiU 
the garrison of Antioch in the greatest security, it waa 
agreed that the Christian army should quit the camp, and 
direct its march at first towards the route by which the 
prince of Mossoul was expected to arrive, and that at night- 
fall it should meet under the ^\'alls of Ascalon. On the 
following day, early in the morning, the troops received 
orders to prepare for fcheir de[)artm'e. At some hours before 
night the Crusaders issued from their camp, and marched 
away, trumpets sounding and standards flying. After a 
inarch of a short distance, they retraced their steps, and 
returned in silence under the walls of Antioch. At a signal 
given by the prince of Tarentum, they halted in a vaUey on 
the west, and near to the tower of the Three Sisters, in 
which Phirous commanded. It was there that the leaders 
revealed to the army the secret of the great expedition which 
was to open to them the gates of the city. 

The projects of Phirous and Bohemond, however, were 
very near failing. At the moment that the Christian army 
quitted their camp, and all was prepared for carrying out 
the plot, a report of treason all at once was spread through- 
out Antioch. The Christians and newly-converted Mussul- 
mans were suspected ; the name of Phirous even was whis- 
pered, and he was accused of keep'ug up an intelligence 
with the Crusaders. He was oblged to appear before 
Accien, who interrogated him closely, and fixed his eyes 
intently upon him in order to penetrato his thoughts ; but 
Phirous dispersed all his suspicions by his firm countenance. 
He himself proposed the proper measures to be taken 
against the traitors, and ad^dsed his master to change the 
commanders of the principal towers. This advice was 
approved of, and Accien determined to follow it on the 
morrow. In the mean time orders were given to load with 
chains and put to death, during the darkness of the mgiiti 


all tlie Christians that should be found in the city. The 
renegade was then sent back to his post, loaded with 
praises for his carefulness and fidelity. At the approach 
of night everything appeared tranquil in Antioch, and 
Phirous, escaped from such threatening danger, awaited the 
Crusaders in the tower which he had agreed to surrender to 

As his brother commanded a tower near his own, Phirous 
went to find him, and sought to engage him in the plot. 
"Brother," said he to him. "you know that the Crusaders 
have quitted their camp, and that they are gone to meet the 
army of Kerbogha. Wlien I think of the miseries they 
have endured, and on the death which threatens them, I 
cannot help feeling a sort of pity for them. You are not 
ignorant, likewise, that this night all the Christian inhabi- 
tants of Antioch, after having undergone so many outrages, 
are going to be massacred by the orders of Accien. I can- 
not help pitying them ; I cannot forget that we were born 
in the same religion, and that we were formerly brothers." 
These words did not produce the effect he expected. " I am 
surprised," replied his brother, " that you should pity men 
who ought to be objects of horror to us. Before the Chris- 
tians appeared under the walls of Antioch, we were loaded 
with benefits. Since they have besieged the city, we have 
passed oiu' lives in dangers and alarms. May all the evils 
they have brought upon us recoil upon them ! As to the 
Christians who live amongst us, do you not know that the 
greater part of them are traitors, and that they think of 
nothing but delivering us up to the sword of oiu' enemies ?" 
()n finishing these words, he cast a threatening look upon 
Phirous. The renegade saw that he was suspected. He 
could not acknowledge a brother in the man who refused to 
be his accomplice, and as his only answer, plunged his 
dagger into his heart. 

At length the decisive moment arrived. The night waa 
dark, and a rising storm increased the deptli of the obscurity. 
The wind, which rattled among the roofs of the buildings, 
and the peals of thunder, prevented the sentinels from hcar- 
jig any noise around the ramparts. The heavens seemed 
inflamed towards the west, and the sight of a comet which 
then appeared in the hori/on, seemed to announce to the 


Buperstitious minds of the Crusaders tlie destined moment 
for the ruin and destruction of the infidels.* 

They awaited the signal with impatience. The garrison 
of Antioeh was plunged in sleep ; Phirous alone watched, 
and meditated his conspiracy. A Lombard named Payen^ 
sent by Bohemond, mounted the tower by a ladder of leather. 
Phirous received him, telling him all was ready ; and as an 
evidence of his fidelity, pointed to the dead body of his 
brother, whom he had just slain. Whilst they were con- 
versing, an officer of the garrison came to visit the posts. 
He presented himself, with a lantern in his hand, before 
the tower Phirous commanded. The latter, without ap- 
pearing the least disturbed, made the emissary of Bohemond 
conceal himself, and went forward to meet the officer. 
After receiving praise for his vigilance, he hastened to send 
Pay en back with instructions for the prince of Tarentum. 
The Lombard, on his return to the army, related what he 
had seen, and, on the part of Phirous, conjured Bohemond 
not to lose another moment. 

But all at once fear took possession of the soldiers ; at the 
moment of execut "on all saw the whole extent of the dan- 
ger, and not one ol them put himself forward to mount the 
rampart. In vain Grodfrey and the prince of Tarentum em- 
ployed by turns promises and threats ; both leaders and 
soldiers remained motionless. t Bohemond himself ascended 
by a ladder of ropes, m the hope that he should be seconded 
by the most brave ; but nobody felt it his duty to follow in 
his footsteps. He reached the tower alone, where Phirous 
reproached him warmly for his delay. Bohemond hastily 

* A comet appeared on the very night of the taking of Antioeh, June 3, 
1098. — See Robert. Monach. lib. v. ad finem ; Chronicon Fossa Novae, in 
Muratori, torn. vii. ; Chronica Mailross. ab anno 733 ad 1270, per 
diversos auctores in Rerum Anglicarum Script, torn. 1. ; Annates Waver 
lienses. ibid. torn. ii. ; Pingie, Come tograp hie, torn. i. p. 382. 

t The anonymous author of a chronicle entitled Passages d' Outre - 
Mer, eji presses him.self thus, p. 46 : — " But there was not one among 
them who did not refuse to mount except Bohemond, whom jEmiscriui 
received with great joy, and showed hxin his brother lying in his bed, whom 

be had ju?,t killed because he would not join the enterprise cunctij 

vero, qui cum Bohemondo erant, diffidentibus ad ascensum, solus Bohe- 
mondus foederis lide fultus, per funem ascendit. — Bemardns Thesauriiu, 
cap. 36 ; Muratori, torn. iii. 


descended to Ms soldiers, and repeated to tliem tliat all was 
ready to receive them^ His discourse, and still more, his 
example, at length reanimated their courage, and sixty of 
them commenced the escalade. They ascended by the ladder 
of leather, led on by one Foulcher de Chartres, whom the 
historian of Tancred compares to an eagle conducting her 
young ones, and flying at their head.* Among these sixty 
brave men was the count of Flanders, together with several 
of the principal chiefs. Yery soon sixty more Crusaders 
quickly pressed upon the heels of the first,t and these again 
were followed by such numbers and with such precipitation, 
that the parapet to which the ladder was fixed tottered, and 
at length fell with a loud crash into the ditch. Such as 
were nearly attaining tlie summit of the tower fell upon the 
lances and swords of their companions who were following 
them. Disorder and confusion prevailed among the assail- 
ants, nevertheless the leaders of the plot viewed everything 
with a tranquil eye. Phirous embraced his new companions 
over the bloody corpse of his brother ; he even yielded to 
their swords another brother who happened to be with him, 
and then surrendered to the Crusaders the three towers 
intrusted to his command. Seven other towers soon fell 
into their hands, and Phirous loudly summoned the whole 
Christian army to his aid. He fixed a new ladder to the 
rampart, by which the most impatient ascended, and he 
pointed out to others a gate which they might easily burst 
open, and by it crowds rushed into the city. 

Grodfrey, Baymond, and the duke of Normandy were 
soon in the streets of Antioch at the head of their batta- 

* Sicut aquila provocans pullos suos ad volandum, et super eos volitans. 
— Rad. Cair. torn. iii. p. 66. 

t All these details of the siege and he taking of Antioch, which appear 
to belong to the epopea, are taken liberally from the ancient historians of 
the crusades. See Albert d'Aix, lib. iii. and iv. ; William of Tyre, lib. v.; 
Robert the Monk, lib. v. and vi. ; and the authors of the Collection oj 
Bongars. All these historians agree in the principal circumstances. The 
monk Robert, in the recital that he makes of it, expresses his surprise in 
these words : " Non est lingua carnis quse satis valeat enarrare, quid 
Francorum manus valuit persundare." Foulcher de Chartres, who, 
according to common opinion, was the first to mount the adder of ropes, 
never speaks of himself in his narration, which fact is Ui^e consistent 
r.iih the spirit of the Christian knights. 


lions. All the trumpets were sounded, and from the foul 
hills the city resounded with the terrible cry of " It is the 
will of God! It is the loill of God! " At the first report 
of the tumult, the Christians dwelling in Antioch all believed 
that their last hour was come, and that the Mussulmans 
were about to sacrifice them. The latter, half asleep, poured 
out of their houses to ascertain the cause of the noise they 
heard, and died without knowing who were the traitors, or 
by whose hands they were slain. Some, M^hen aware of the 
danger, fled towards the mountain upon which the citadel 
was built, whilst others rushed out at the gates of the city. 
All who could not fly fell beneath the swords of the con- 

In the midst of this bloody victory, Bohemond did 
not neglect taking formal possession of Antioch, and at 
dawn his red standard was seen floating over one of the 
highest towers of the city. At the sight of this the Cru- 
saders who were left in charge of the camp broke into loud 
acclamations of joy, and hastened to take a part in this fresh 
conquest of the Christians. The slaughter of the Mussul- 
mans was continued with unabated fury. The greater part 
of the Christians of Antioch, who, during the siege, had 
suffered much from the tyranny of the infidels, joined their 
liberators, several exhibiting the fetters by which they had 
been loaded by the Turks, and thus further provoking the 
vindictive spirit of the victorious army. The public places 
were covered with dead bodies, and blood flowed in torrents 
in the streets. The soldiers penetrated into the houses; 
religious emblems pointed out such as were Christians, 
sacred hymns indicated their brethren ; but everything that 
was not marked with a cross became the object of vengeance, 
and all w^ho pronounced not the name of Christ were 
massacred without mercy. 

In a single night more than six thousand of the inhabi- 
tants of Antioch perished. Many of those who had fled 
into the neighbouring fields were pursued and brought back 
into the city, where they found either slavery or death. In 
tlie first moments of the confusion, Accien, seeing that he 
was betrayed, and no longer daring to trust any of his 
officers, resolved to fly towards Mesopotamia, and go to meet 
the army of Kcrboglia. Escaping through one of the gates, 


he proceeded without an escort over mountains and through 
forests, till he fell in with some Armenian woodcutters. 
These men at once recognised the prince of Antioch, and as 
he bore upon his countenance marks of depression and grief, 
they judged that the city must be taken. One of them, 
drawing near to him, snatched his sword from him, and 
plunged it into his body. His head was carried to the new 
masters of Antioch, and Phirous had an opportunity of con- 
templatmg without fear the features of him who, the day 
before, might have sentenced him to death. After having 
received great riches as the reward of his treachery, this 
renegade embraced the Christianity he had abandoned, and 
followed the Crusaders to Jerusalem. Two j^ears after- 
wards, his ambition not being satisfied, he returned to the 
religion of Mahomet, and died abhorred by both Mussulmans 
and Christians, whose cause he had by turns embraced and 

When the Christians were tired of slaughter, they pre- 
pared to attack the citadel ; but as it was built upon a 
mountain, inaccessible on most sides, all tneir eiforts were 
useless. They contented themselves with surrounding it 
with soldiers and machines of war, m order to confine the 
garrison, and then spread themselves throughout the city, 
giving way to all the intoxication which their victory inspired. 
The pillage of Antioch had yielded them immense riches ; 
and although they had found but a small stock of provisions, 
they abandoned themselves to the most extravagant excesses 
of intemperance and debauchery. 

These events passed in the early days of June, 1098 ; the 
giege of Antioch had been begun in the month of October 
of the preceding year. After this victory, three days passed 
quickly away in the midst of rejoicings, but the fourth was 
a day of fear and mourning. 

A formidable army of Saracens was drawing near to An- 
tioch. From the earliest period of the siege, Accien, and the 
sultan of jN^ice, whom the Christians had despoiled of his do- 
minions, had applied to all the Mussulman powers to procure 
assistance against the warriors of the West. The supreme 
head of the Seljoucides, the sultan of Persia, had promised 
to aid them ; and at his voice all Corassan. says Matthew of 
Edessa, Media, Babylon, a part of Asia Minor, and all the 


East, from Damascus and the sea-coast to Jerusalem and 
Arabia, had arisen at once to attack the Christians.* Ker- 
bogha, sultan of Mossoul, commanded this army of the 
Mussulmans. This warrior had fought for a length of time, 
at one period for the sultan of Persia (Barkiarok), at others 
for the various princes of the family of Malek-Scha, who 
contended for the empire. Often defeated, and twice a 
prisoner, he had grown old amidst the tumults of civil war. 
As full of contempt for the Christians as of confidence in 
himself, a true model of the fierce Circassian celebrated by 
Tasso, he considered himself the liberator of Asia, and tra- 
versed Mesopotamia wdth all the pomp and splendour of a 
conqueror. The sultans of Nice, Aleppo, and Damascus, 
with the governor of Jerusalem and twenty-eight emirs from 
Persia, Palestine, and Syria, marched under his command. 
The Mussulman soldiers were animated by a thirst for ven- 
geance, and swore by their prophet to exterminate all the 
Christians. On the third day after the taking of Antioch, 
the army of Kerbogha pitched its tents on the banks of the 

The Cliristians were made aware of its arrival by a 
detachment ol three hundred horsemen, who came to 
reconnoitre the place, and advanced even under the walls. 
Inquietude and alarm succeeded immediately to festivity 
and rejoicing. They found that they had not stores to sus- 
tain a siege ; and several of their leaders were sent with 
their troops towards the port of St. Simeon, and into the 
neighbouring country, to collect all the provisions they could 
find ; but the territory of Antioch had been so completely 
ravaged during many months, that they could not procure 
anything like enough for the maintenance of a numerous 
army. Tlie return of all who had been sent in quest of 
provisions completed the terror of the Christians. At the 
very moment of their arrival the infidels attacked the ad- 
vanced posts of the Crusaders ; and, even in these early 
contests, the Christian army had to lament the loss of 
several of its bravest warriors. Bohemond was wounded in 

* Matthew of Edessa estimates this army at a hundred thousand horse 
and three hundred thousand foot. Abulfaradge speaks of *' mille mille " 
horse. The Latin historians do not exaggerate so much, but do not at all 
agree in their accounts. 


a sortie; in vain Tancred and Godfrey performs v prodigies 
of valour ; the Mussulmans forced the ChristiaLs to shut, 
themselves up in a place of which the latter had but just 
made themselves masters, and in which they were soon 
■^•losely besieged in their turn. 

Placed between the garrison of the citadel and a besieging 
army, the Crusaders found themselves in a most critical 
position. To prevent their being relieved by any supplies 
by sea, two thousand Mussulmans were sent by Kerbogha 
to take possession of the port of St. Simeon, and of all 
vessels which brought provisions to the Christian army. 
Famine was not long in making its appearance, and soon 
exercised cruel ravages among the besieged. 

Erom the earliest period of the siege the Crusaders could 
scarcely procure the common necessaries of life at theii 
weight in gold. A loaf of moderate size sold at a bezant, 
an egg was w^orth six Lucquese deniers, whilst a poimd of 
silver was given for the head of an ox, a horse, or an ass. 
Godfrey bought for fifteen silver marks a half-starved camel, 
and gave three marks for a goat, which at other times 
would have been rejected by the poorest soldiers of his 
army. Surrounded by the vast riches conquered from the 
Saracens, the Crusaders were thus condemned to all the 
horrors and miseries of famine. After having killed most 
of their horses, they were compelled to make war upon 
unclean animals. The soldiers and the poor who followed 
the army supported themselves on roots and leaves ; some 
went so far as to devour the leather of their bucklers and 
shoes, whilst the most wretched exhumed the bodies of the 
Saracens, and, to support their miserable existence, disputed 
with death for his prey. In this frightful distress, discon- 
solate mothers could no longer nourish their babes, and 
died with famine and despair. Princes and knights, whose 
pride and haughtiness had been the most conspicuous, were 
brought to the necessity of asking alms. The count of 
Manders went begging to the houses and in the streets of 
Antioch for the commonest and coarsest orts, and oiten 
obtained none. More than one leader sold his arms and aU 
his appointments for food to support him a single day. As 
long as the duke of Lorraine had any provisions he shared 
them with his companions ; but at length he made the sacri- 


fice of his last war-liorse, and found liimse If, as were all the 
, other Crusaders, reduced to the most cruel necessities. 

Many of the Crusaders endeavoured to fly from a cit;^ 
w^ich presented to them nothing but the image and the 
pil3spect of death ; some fled by sea, through a thousand 
gangers, whilst others cast themselves amongst the Mussul- 
mans, where they purchased a little bread by the abant on- 
ment of Christ and his religion. The soldiers necessarily 
lost courage when they saw that count de Melun, who so 
often defied death in the field, a second time fly from famine 
and misery. His desertion was preceded by that of the 
count de Blois, who bore the standard of the Crusaders, and 
presided at their councils. He had quitted the army two 
days before the taking of Antioch, and when he learned the 
arrival of Kerbogha, he, with his troops, immediately 
marched towards Constantinople. 

Deserters made their escape during the darkness of night. 
Sometimes they precipitated themselves into the ditches of 
the city, at the risk of their lives ; sometimes they descended 
from the ramparts by means of a cord. Every day the 
Christians found themselves abandoned by an increasing 
number of their companions ; and these desertions added to 
their despair. Heaven was invoked against the dastards ; 
God was implored that they might, in another life, share the 
fate of the traitor Judas. The ignominious epithet of ro^e- 
dancers (sauteurs de corde) was attached to their names, 
and devoted them to the contempt of their companions. 
William of Tyi^e refuses to name the crowd of knights who 
then deserted the cause of Jesus Christ, because he considers 
them as blotted out from the book of life for ever.* The 
wishes of the Christians against those who fled were but too 
completely fulfilled ; the greater part perished from want, 
and others were killed by the Saracens. Stephen, count of 
Chartres, more fortunate than his companions, succeeded in 
reaching the camp of Alexius, who was advancing with an 
army towards Antioch. To excuse lis desertion, he clid not 
fail to paint, in the darkest colours, [ill the misfortunes and 
dangers of the Christians, and to make it appear by his 

* Alii multi, quorum nomina non tenemus, quia delecta de libro vitW; 
prsesenti operi non sunt inserenda. — Will, of Tyre, lib. iv. 


ftccoimts that Grod had abandoned the cause of the Crusa- 
ders. The despair of several Latin pilgrims who followed 
the aa-my of the Greeks was so violent, that it urged them 
to horrible blasphemies.* They, groaning, asked why the 
true G-od had permitted the destruction of his people ? why 
he had allowed them, who were going to deliver the tomb of 
Ids Son, to fall into the hands of his enemies ? Nothing 
was heard among the Latin Crusaders but such strange 
speeches, and Guy, the brother of Bohemond, exceeded all 
the rest in his despair. In the excess of his grief, he blas- 
phemed more than any, and could not understand the mys- 
teries of Providence, which betrayed the cause of the Chris- 
tians. " O God," cried he, " what is become of thy power ? 
If thou art still an all-powerful God, what is become of thy 
justice ? Are we not thy children, are we not thy soldiers ? 
Who is the father of a family, who is the king who thus 
suffers his own to perish when he has the power to save 
them ? If you abandon those who fight for you, who will 
d.are, henceforward, to range themselves under your sacred 
banner?" In their blind grief, all the Crusaders repeated 
these impious words. Such was the frenzy of despair 
in which sorrow had plunged them, that, according to the 
report of contemporary historians, all ceremonies of religion 

* These speeches and the complaints of the Crusaders are almost all 
translated from contemporary historians. We feel it our duty to report 
the text of them here. 

O Deus verus, trinus et unus, quam ob rem hsec fieri permisisti } 
cur populum sequentem te in manibus inimicorum incidere permisisti .' 
et viam tui itineris, tuique sancti sepulchri liberantem tarn cito mori 
concessisti ? Frofecto, si hoc verum est, quod nos ab istis nequissimis 
audivimus, nobis referentibus, nos et alii Christiani derelinquemus te, nee 
te amplius remorabimur, et unus ex nobis non audebit ulterius nomen 
tuum invocare. Et fuit is sermo moestissimus valor in tota militia ; ita 
quod nullus nostrorum audebat, neque archiepiscopus, neque episcopus, 
neque abbas, neque presbyter, neque clericus, neque quisque laicus Christi 
invocare nomen per plures dies. Nemo poterat consolari Guidonem. — ■ 
De Hierosolymitano itinere, Duchene's Collection, tom. iv. p. 799. 

The following is the speech which Robert the Monk puts into the mouth 
of Guy, the brother of Bohemond : — 

O Deus omnipotens, ubi est virtus tua ? Si omnipotens es, cur hsec 
fieri eonsensisti ? Nonne erant milites tui et peregrini t Quis unquani 
rex aut imperator aut ])otens dominus familiam suam ita perinisit occidi, 
Bi ullo modo potuit adjuvare ? Quis erit unquam miles tuus aut pere» 
grinus ' \,c. &c. — Robert. Monach. lib. v. 


were suspended, and no priest or layman during many dayi 
pronounced the name of Jesus Christ. 

The emperor Alexius, who had advanced as far as Philo* 
melium, wai so terrified by all he heard, that he did not dare 
to continue his march towards Antioch. He thought, says 
Anna Comnena, it was rash to attempt to succour a city 
whose fortifications had been ruined by a long siege, and 
whose only defenders were soldiers reduced to the lowest 
state of misery. Alexius further reflected, says the same 
historian, upon the indiscretion and the inconstancy of the 
Franks, upon their manner of making war without art or 
rules, and upon the imprudence with which, after having 
conquered their enemies, they allowed themselves to be 
surprised by the very same people whom they had con- 
quered. He likewise thought of the difficulty he should 
have in making his arrival known to the Crusaders, and of 
the still greater difficulty of making their leaders agree 
wiA him upon the best means to save them. All these 
motives appeared reasonable ; but it is easy to believe 
that Alexius was not sorry to see a war going on which de- 
stroyed at the same time botli Turks and Latins. However it 
may be, the resolution which he took of returning to Con- 
stantinople threw all the Christians of Phrygia and Bithynia 
into the greatest alarm. The report then current was (and 
if we may believe Anna Comnena, it was from the insinua- 
tions of Alexius) that the Mussulmans were approaching with 
numerous armies. They were constantly believed to be 
coming, and the soldiers of the emperor themselves laid 
waste all the country round Phdomelium, which, they said, 
the Saracens were about to invade. Women, children, all 
the Christian families followed the army of Alexius, as it 
returned to Constantinople. They bade an eternal adieu to 
their native country, and deplored the loss of their property 
of all kinds. Nothing was heard in the army but lamenta- 
tions and groans ; but they who evinced the greatest grief 
were the Latins, whose wishes were all centred in Syria, and 
who lost all hope of assisting their brethren besieged in the 
city of Antioch. *" 

When the news of this retreat reached Antioch, it greatly 
augmented the depression of tiie Crusaders. JSTot a hope 
remained to them; famine carried off every day a great 


number of soldiers ; tlieir weakened a-rms could scarcely lift 
the iance or the sword ; they had neither fetrength to defend 
their own lives nor to bury their dead. In the midst of such 
frightful misery, not a tear was seen, not a sob was heard ; 
the silence was as complete in Antioch as if the city had 
been buried in the most profound night, as if not one living 
person was left in it. The Crusaders had not even the 
courage of despair left. The last feeling of nature, the love 
of life, was becoming daily extinct in their hearts ; they 
feared to meet each other in the public places, and concealed 
themselves in the interior of the houses, which they looked 
upon as their tombs. 

The towers and the ramparts remained almost without 
defence. Bohemond, who had taken the command of the 
place, sought in vain by his speeches to raise the courage of 
the Crusaders ; in vain the trumpets and the serjeants-at- 
arms called them to the combat. Whilst the Mussulmans 
shut up in the citadel, and those who besieged the city, every 
day renewed their attacks, the Christian warriors remained 
immovable in their dwellings. In order to drive them from 
their retreats, Bohemond was obliged to give several quarters 
of the city up to the flames. E-aoul de Caen deplores, in 
pompous verses, the conflagration and the ruia of churches 
and palaces, huilt with the cedars of Mount Lehanon, and in 
which shone the marhle of Mount Atlas, the crystal of Tyre, 
the brass of Cyprus, the lead of Amathontis, and the iron of 
England. The barons who could no longer enforce the 
obedience of their soldiers, had not strength to offer them an 
example. Then they bitterly remembered their families, 
their castles, their wealth, all which they had quitted for this 
unfortunate war ; they could not comprehend the reverses 
of the Christian army, and little was wanting, says William 
of Tyre, to make them accuse God of ingratitude, for having 
refused so many sacrifices ^i^ade to the glory of his name. 

Matthew of Edessa relates that the Christian leaders 
offered to give up the city to Kerbogha, upon the single 
condition that he would allow them and their soldiers to 
return to their own countries, taking with them their bag- 
gage. As the Saracen general rejected tlieir proposal, 
eeveral of them, actuated by despai«r, formed the project of 
abandouing the army, and flying by night towards the coast, 
Vol. 1.— 9 


but were prevented by the exliortations of Godfrey and 
Bishop Adhemar, who pointed out to them the disgrace 
which such a step would briug upon them in the eyes of 
both Europe and Asia. 

The famine had continued its ravages for more than two 
weeks, and the Mussuhnans pressed on the siege with the 
grt;ater ardour, from the conviction that they should soon be 
masters of the city. Eauaticism and superstition, which 
had precipitated the Crusaders into the abyss in which they 
were now plunged, alone had the power to re-animate their 
courage, and extricate them from such fearful perils. Pro- 
phecies, revelations, and miracles became every day the more 
frequent subjects of report in the Christian army. St. 
Ambrose had appeared to a venerable priest, and had told 
him that the Christians, after overcoming all their enemies, 
would enter Jerusalem as conquerors, and that Grod would 
there reward their exploits and their labours.* A Lombard 
ecclesiastic had passed the night in one of the churches of 
Antioch, and had there seen Jesus Christ, accompanied by 
the Virgin and the prince of the apostles. The Son of Grod, 
irritated by the conduct of the Crusaders, rejected their 
prayers, and abandoned them to the fate they had too richly 
merited ; but the Virgin fell at the knees of her son, and 
by her tears and lamentations appeased the anger of the 
Saviour. "Arise," then said the Son of God to the priest, 
" go and inform my people of the return of my commisera- 
tion ; hasten and announce to the Christians, that if they 
come back to me, the hour of their dehverance is at hand." 

They whom God had thus made the depositaries of his 
secrets and his will, offered, in attestation of the truth of 
their visions, to precipitate themselves from a lofty tower, 
to pass through flames, or to submit their heads to the 
executioner; but these proofs were not necessary to persuade 
the Crusaders, always ready to believe in prodigies, and who 
had become more credulous than ever in the moment of 
danger and in the excess of their misfortunes. The ima- 

* We have thought it our duty to report all these miraculous visions as 
they are found in contemporary historians, because they produced a great 
effect upon the mind of the Christians, and that in becoming the origin 
and the cause of the greatest events, they are in themselves important 
events for history. 


gination of both leaders and soldiers was easily led away 
by the promises which were made to them iii the name of 
Heaven. The hopes of a more prosperous future began to 
re-animate their courage. Tancred, as a good and. loyal 
knight, swore, that as long as he had sixty companions left, 
he A\ould never abandon the project of delivering Jerusalem 
Godfrey, Hugh, Baymond, and the two E-oberts took the 
same oath. The whole army, after the example of their 
leaders, promised to light and to suffer until the day 
appointed for the deliverance of the holy places. 

In the midst of this reviving enthusiasm, two deserters 
came before the Christian army, and related that, when 
endeavouring to escape from Antioch, they had been stopped, 
the one by his brother, who had been killed in fight, the 
other by Jesus Christ himself. The Saviour of mankind 
had promised to deliver Antioch. The warrior who had 
fallen under the sword of the Saracens had sworn to issue 
from the grave with all his companions, equally dead as him- 
self, to fight with the Christians. In order to crown all 
these heavenly promises, a priest of the diocese of Mar- 
seilles, named Peter Barthelemi, came before the council of 
the leaders, to reveal an apparition of St. Andrew, which 
liad been repeated three times during his sleep. The holy 
apostle had said to him : " Gro to the church of my brother 
Peter at Antioch. Near the principal altar you will find, 
by digging up the earth, the iron head of the lance which 
pierced the side of our Redeemer. Within three days tliia 
instrument of eternal salvation shall be manifested to his 
disciples. This mystical iron, borne at the head of the 
army, shall eftect the deliverance of the Christians, and 
shall pierce the hearts of the infidels." * Adhemar, Eay- 

* The discovery of this lance and the- prodigies that it operated are 
related b^- all the historians of the Crusades. The Arabian historian 
Aboul-Maja9en agrees, in the principal circumstances, with the Latin 
historians. The most credulous oi the latter, and he who gives the 
greatest number of details, is Raymond d'Agiles. Albert d'Aix, William 
of Tyre, Guibert, and Robert, raise not the least doubt about the authen- 
ticity of the lance. Foucher de Chartres, less credulous, says, when 
relating the diacoverj, Audi Jraudem et non fraudem. He afterwardc 
\dds, whilst speaking of the lance, that it had been concealed in the place 
from which it was taken : Invenit lancemn, fallaciter occullaUimforsitan. 
The historian Paulus Euiilius, who relults the same fact, accompanies it 


moiid, and the other leaders believed, or feigned to believ(i, 
in this apparition, an account of which soon spread through- 
out the army. The soldiers said among themselves that 
notliing was impossible to the Grod of the Christians ; they 
further believed that Jesus Christ was interested in their 
welfare, and that God ought to perform miracles to save his 
disciples and defenders. During three days the Christian 
army prepared itself by fasting and prayer for the discovery 
of the holy lance. 

On the morning of the third day, twelve Crusaders chosen 
from amongst the most respected of the clergy and the 
knights, repaired to the church of Antioch with a great 
number of workmen provided with the necessary instru- 
ments. They began by digging up the earth under the 
principal altar. The greatest silence prevailed in the 
church ; the spectators expecting every instant to see the 
glitter of the miraculous lance. The whole army, assembled 
round the doors, which they had had the precaution to shut, 
awaited Avith impatience the results of the search. The 
diggers worked durmg several hours, and had gone to the 
depth of twelve feet without any appearance of the lance. 
They continued their operations till evening without dis- 
covering anything. The impatience of the Christians stiU 
increased. In the middle of the night another attempt was 
made. Whilst the twelve witnesses were at prayers round 
the sides of the hole, Barthelemi precipitated himself into it, 
and in a short time re-appeared, holding the sacred iron in 
his hands. A cry of joy arose among the spectators, which 
was repeated by the soldiers who waited at the doors, and 
which soon resounded through all quarters of the city. The 
iron on which all the hopes of the Christians w^ere centred, was 
exhibited in triumph to the Crusaders, to whom it appeared 
a celestial weapon with which Grod himself would disperse 

with highly philosophical reflections. Yves Duchat says, on commencing 
the relation — "Then there happened a marvellous affair, of which some 
have left a written account, which I would not affirm to be entirely true, 
nor would I oppugn it as false." Anna Comnena says nothing about 
the lance, but speaks of the nails which had been used to nail Christ to 
the cross. Albu-faradge commits the same error. In general the 
accounts of both the Grt^eks and the Arabians of this war must be read 
with much precaution ; they furnish us with very few positive ideas. 


his enemies. Every mind became excited, and doubts were 
no longer entertained of the protection of Heaven. Enthu- 
siasm gave new life to the army, and restored strength and 
vigour to the Crusaders. All the horrors of famine, and 
even tlie numbers of their enemies were forgotten. The 
most pusillanimo is thirsted for the blood of the Saracens, 
and all demanded with loud cries to be led forth to battle. 

The leaders of tlie Christian army who had prepared 
the enthusiasm of the soldiers, now employed themselves in 
taking advantage of it. They sent deputies to the general 
of the Saracens, to offer him either a single combat or a 
general battle. Peter the Hermit, who had evinced more 
exaltation than any other person, was chosen for this em- 
bassy. Although received with contempt in the camp of 
the infidels, he delivered himself no less haughtdy or 
boldly. " The princes assembled in Antioch," said Peter, 
addressing the Saracen leaders, " have sent me to de- 
mand justice of you. These provinces, stained with the 
blood of martjTTS, have belonged to Christian nations, and as 
all Christian people are brothers, we are come into Asia to 
avenge the injuries of those who have been persecuted, and 
to defend the heritage of Christ and his disciples. Heaven 
has allowed the cities of Syria to fall for a time into the 
power of infidels, in order to chastise the ofiences of his 
people ; but learn that the vengeance of the Most High is 
appeased ; learn that the tears and penitence of the Chris- 
tians have turned aside the sword of divine justice, and that 
the Grod of armies has arisen to fight on our side. Never- 
theless we still consent to speak of peace. I conjure you, 
in the name of the all-powerful God, to abandon the terri- 
tory of Antioch and retiu-n to your own country. The 
Christians promise you, by my voice, not to molest you in 
your retreat. We will even put up prayers for you that 
the true Grod may touch your hearts, and permit you to see 
the trutli of our faith. If Heaven deigns to listen to us, 
how delightful it will be to us to give you the name of 
brethren, and to conclude with you a lasting peace ! But 
if you are not willuig to accept either the blessings of peace 
or the benefits of the Christian religion, let the fate of 
battle at length decide the justice of our cause. As the 
Christians will not be taken by surprise, and as they are 


not accustomed to steal victories, they offer you the choice 
ofcorabat."* When finishing his discourse, Peter fixed his 
eyes upon the leader of the Saracens, and said, " Choose 
from amongst the bravest of thy army, and let them do 
battle with an equal number of the Crusaders ; fight thyself 
with one of our Christian princes ; or give the signal for a 
general battle.f Whatever may be thy choice, thou shalt 
soon learn what thy enemies are, and thou shalt know what 
the great God is whom we serve !" 

Kerbogha, who knew the situation of the Christians, and 
who was not aware of the kind of succour they had received 
m their distress, was much surprised at such language. He 
remained for some time mute with astonishment and rage, 
but at length said, " E-eturn to them who sent you, and tell 
them it is the part of the conquered to receive conditions, 
and not to dictate them. Miserable vagabonds, extenuated 
men, phantoms may terrify women ; but the warriors of 
Asia are not intimidated by vain words. The Christians 
shall soon learn that the land we tread upon belongs to us. 
Nevertheless I am willing to entertain some pity for them, 
and if they will acknowledge Mahomet, I may forget that 
this city, a prey to famine, is already in my power ; I may 
leave it in their hands, and give them arms, clothes, bread, 
women, in short, all that they have not ; for the Koran bids 
us pardon all who submit to its laws. Bid thy companions 
hasten, and on this very day take advantage of my clemency ; 
to-morrow they shall only leave Antioch by the sword. 
They will then see if their crucified God, who could not 
save himself from the cross, can save them from the fate 
which is prepared for them." 

This speech was loudly applauded by the Saracens, whose 
fanaticism it rekindled. Peter wished to reply, but the 
sultan of Mossoul, placing his hand upon his sword, com- 
manded that these miserable mendicants, who united blind- 
ness with insolence, should be driven away. The Christian 
deputies retired in haste, and were in danger of losing their 

* This speech is reported by most of the Latin historians of the cru- 
sades. We have preserved the spirit of it, with the most scrupulous 

f Anna Comnena speaks of a pretended single combat between thi 
tount of Flanders and the general of the Saracens. 


lives several times whilst passing through the army of the 
infidels. Peter rendered an account of his mission to the 
assembled princes and barons ; and all immediately prepared 
for battle The heralds-at-arms proceeded through tke 
different quarters of the city, and battle was promised for 
the next day to the impatient valour of the Crusaders. 

The priests and bishops exhorted the Christians "^o render 
themselves w^orthy of fighting for the cause of Jesus Christ ; 
and the whole army passed the night in prayer and acts of 
devotion. Injuries were forgiven, alms were bestowed, and 
all the churches were filled with warriors, who humbled 
themselves before God, and implored a remission of their 
sins. The preceding evening some provisions had been 
found, and this unexpected abundance was considered as a 
species of miracle. The Crusaders repaired their strength 
by a frugal meal ; and towards the end of the night, that 
which remained of bread and meal in Antioch served for the 
sacrifice of the mass. A hundred thousand warriors ap- 
proached the tribunal of penitence, and received, with all 
the evidences of piety, the Grod for whom they had taken 
up arms.* 

At length day appeared ; it w^as the festival of St. Peter 
and St. Paul. The gates of Antioch were thrown open, and 
the whole Christian army marched out in twelve divisions, 
symbolical of the twelve apostles. Hugh the Great, though 
weakened by a long illness, appeared in the foremost ranks, 
and bore the standard of tlie Church. All the princes, 
knights, and barons were at the head of their men-at-arms. 
The only one of all the leaders that did not appear in the 
ranks was the count de Thoulouse ; detained in Antioch by 
the consequences of a wound, he was charged with the duty 
of watching the garrison of the citadel, whilst his companions 
went to give battle to the arm^ of the Saracens. 

Baymond d' Agiles,t one of the historians of the crusade, 

* Letanias supplices, ab ecclesia in ecclesiam, explicant ; confessione 
peccatorum sincere se mundant, et episcopal! vel sacerdotali consequenter 
absolutione promerita, corporis ac sanguinis Domkii Sacramento, plena 
fide communicant, &c. — Guibert, lib. vi. 

Missse per ecclesias celebratae sunt ; omnesque sancta dominici corporia 
communione communicati sunt. — Robert. Mon. lib. vii. 

t Vidi ego hsec quae loquor, et dominicam lanceam ibi ferebam.— 
Uavm. d'A^ 7e«, p. 155, apud Beng. 


bore the lioly lance, and directed the attention of tbe soldieri 
to it. Adhemar marched by the side of Haymond, an- 
nouncing to the Crusaders the help of the celestial legions 
which Grod had promised them. A part of the clergy ad- 
vanced in procession at the head of the army, singing the 
martial psalm, " Let the Lord arise, and let Ms enemies he 
dispersed.''^ The bishops and priests who had remained in 
Antioch, surrounded by the women and children, from the 
top of the ramparts blessed the arms of the Crusaders, pray- 
ing the Lord to preserve his people and confound the pride 
of his enemies. The banks of the Orontes and the neigh- 
bouring mountains appeared to answer to these invocations, 
and resounded with the war-cry of the Crusaders, " It is the 
will of God! It is the will of God!''^ 

Amidst this concert of acclamations and prayers, the 
Christian army advanced into the plain. To judge only by 
the state of misery to which they had been reduced, they 
had rather the appearance of a conquered army than of an 
army of men marching to victory. A great number of the 
Crusaders were without clothes. The greater part of the 
knights and barons marched on foot. Some were mounted on 
asses and camels, and, what is not an indifferent circumstance 
on this day, Grodfrey de Bouillon had been obliged to bor- 
row a horse of the count de Thoulouse. In the ranks were 
sick and attenuated soldiers, weakened by famine, and march- 
ing with difficulty, who were only supported by the hope of 
conquering or of dying for the cause of Jesus Christ. 

The whole country round Antioch was covered with the 
Mussulman battalions. The Saracens had divided their 
army into fifteen bodies arranged in echelons. In the midst 
of all these, the division of Kerbogha, says the Armenian 
historian, appeared like an inaccessible mountain. The Sara- 
cen general, who had no expectation of a battle, at first 
believed that the Christians were come to implore his 
clemency. A black flag flying over the citadel of Antioch, 
which was the signal agreed upon to announce the resolution 
of the Crusaders, soon informed him that he had not to deal 
with supplicants. Two thousand men of his army, who 
guarded the passage of the bridge of Antioch, were cut in 
pieces by the count de Yermandois. The fugitives carried 
terror to the ten/" of their general, who was playing at chess, 


Aroused from his false security, the sultan of Mossoui or- 
dered the head of a deserter to be cut off who had announced 
to him the speedy surrender of the Christians, and then set 
himself seriously to the task of fighting an enemy whose 
auxiliaries were fanaticism and despair. 

On marching out of Antioch* the Christians advanced 
westwards towards the spot where the mountains draw near 
to the Orontes. Ranged in order of battle, in a vast space 
vs here the mountains formed a semicircle around them and 
secured them from surprise, they extended across the plain 
a league from the city. Hugh, the two E^oberts, the count 
de Belesme, and the count of Hainaut placed themselves at 
the head of the left wing ; Godfrey was on the right, sup- 
ported by Eustace, Baldwin du Bourg, Tancred, E-inaldo de 
Toul, and Erard de Puyset. Adhemar was in the centre, 
with Gaston de Beam, the count de Die, E-aimbaut of 
Orange, William of Montpellier, and Amanjeu d'Albret. 
Bohemond commanded a body of reserve, ready to act upon 
all points where the Christians might require assistance. 
Kerbogha, who saw the disposition of the Crusaders, ordered 
the sultans of Nice, Damascus, and Aleppo, to make the 
tour of the mountain and then reascend the Orontes, so as 
to place themselves between the Christian army and the 
city. He at the same time drew his army up in line of 
battle to receive the Christians and repulse their attack. 
He placed his troops partly on the heights and partly on the 
plain. His right wing was commanded by the emir of 
Jerusalem, and his left wing by one of the sons of Accien. 
Eor himself he remained upon a high hill, to give his orders 
and watch the movements of the two armies. 

At the moment of the commencement of the battle, Ker- 
bogha was seized with fear, and sent to propose to the 

* Pierre Angelli, author of a Latin poem on the first crusade, which 
has for title, Syriados Libri XII., describes this battle at great length, and 
reports one part of the miraculous circumstances by which it was accom- 
panied ; but his recital is too diffuse to excite much interest. The Syriade 
begins with the first voyage of Peter the Hermit to Jerusalem, and is 
nothing but a copy in verse of the histories of Williaioc of Tyre, Albert 
d'Aix, and others. After having described the marcn and. the early 
labours of the Crusaders, the Latin poet arrives, towards the end of th« 
last canto, at t/ie siege of Jerusalem, to which he only consecrates 
hundssd vei'ses. 


Christian princes, that in order to spare the effusion oi 
blood, they should select some of bheir knights to fight 
against an equal number of Saracens. This proposal, which 
had been rejected the day before, could not be adopted by 
the leaders of an army full of ardour and confident of vie- 
t( ry. The Christians entertained no doubt that Heaven 
had declared itself in their favour, and this persuasion must 
render them invincible. In their enthusiasm, they looked 
upon the most natural events as prodigies announcing to 
them the triumph of their arms. A globe of fire, which on 
the preceding evening had passed across the horizon and 
burst over the camp of the Saracens, appeared to them a 
sign foretelling their victory. As they left Antioch a light 
rain refreshed the burning air of the climate and the season, 
and was in their eyes a fresh proof of the favour of Heaven. 
A strong wind, which assisted the flight of their javelins 
and impeded that of the arrows of the Tiu'ks, was for them 
as the wind of heavenly anger raised to disperse the infidels. 
Animated by this persuasion, the Christian army showed 
the greatest impatience to begin the fight. They marched 
towards the enemy in perfect order. A profound silence 
reigned over the plain, on all parts of which shone the arms 
of the Christians. No sound was heard in their ranks but 
the voices of the leaders, the hymns of the priests, and the 
exhortations of Adhemar. 

All at once the Saracens commenced the attack by dis- 
charging a cloud of arrows and then rushing on the Crusa- 
ders, uttering barbarous cries. In spite of their impetuous 
shock, their right wing was soon repulsed and penetrated by 
the Christians. Godfrey met with greater resistance in 
their left wing ; lio succeeded, however, in breaking it and 
carrying disorder among their ranks. At the moment that 
the troops of Kerbogha began to give way, the sultan of 
Nice, who had made the tour of the mountain and returned 
along the banks of the Orontes, fell with impetuosity upon 
the rear of tlie Christian army, and threatened destruction 
to the body of reserve commanded by Bohemond. The 
Crusaders, who fought on foot, could not resist the first 
charge of the Saracen cavalry. Hugh the Great, warned of 
the danger of Bohemond, abandoned the pursuit of the fugi- 
tives, and hastened to the succour of the body of reserve, 


Theu the battle was renewed with redoubled f ary. Kilidj 
Arslan, who had to avenge the shame of several defeats as 
well as the loss of his states, fought like a lion at the head 
of his troops. A squadron of three thousand Saracen horse, 
clothed in steel and armed with clubs, carried disorder and 
tert'or throusfh the ranks of the Christians. The standard 
of the count de Yermandois was carried away, and retaken, 
covered with the blood of Crusaders and infidels. Godfrey 
and Tancred, who flew to the assistance of Hugh and Bohe- 
mond, signalized their strength and valour by the death of a 
great many Mussulmans. The sultan of Nice, whom no 
reverse could overcome, firmly withstood the shock of the 
Christians. In the heat of the combat, he ordered lighted 
flax to be thrown amongst the low bushes and dried grass 
which covered the plain. Immediately a blaze arose which 
enveloped the Christians in masses of flame and smoke. 
Their ranks were for a moment broken ; they could no longer 
either see or hear their leaders. The sultan of Nice was 
about to gather the fruits of his stratagem, and victory was 
on the point of escaping from the hands of the Crusaders. 

At this moment, say the historians, a squadron was seen 
to descend from the summit of the mountains, preceded by 
three horsemen clothed in white and covered with shining 
armour. " Behold !" cried Bishop Adhemar,* " the heavenly 
succour which was promised to you. Heaven declares for 
the Christians ; the holy martyrs Greorge, Demetrius, and 
Theodore come to fight for you." Immediately all eyes 
were turned towards the celestial legion. A new ardour 

* It is surprising that Raoul de Caen, who describes this battle, and in 
epic verse too, has related no marvellous circumstance. Raymond d'Agiles 
makes no mention of the heavenly legion, but he says : Multiplicavit 
insuper adeo Dominus exercitum nostrum, ut qui ante pugnam pauciores 
eramus quam hostes, in bello plures eis fuimus. Oderic Vital speaks 
thus of the legion which appeared to descend from heaven : Ecce, Deo 
gratias, ab ipsis montanis visus est exire exercitus innumerabiiis, albis 
equis insidentes, et in manibus Candida vexilla prseferentes. Hoc multi 
viderunt Christianorum, et sicut putant, gentilium, et haesitantes, mira- 
bantur quidnam esset. Tandem utrique cognoverunt signum de coelo 
factum, et duces illius agminis, sanctos martyres Georgium, Demetrium, 
et Theodorum sua signa ferentes prsecedere cognoverunt. Sarracenis 
multustimor inheesit, et Christianis spes melior crevit. — Od. Vital, lib. ix. 
Robert the Monk and Baldric relate the same circumstance and the same 


inspired the Christians, who were persuaded that God him* 
self was coming to their aid, and the war-cry " It is the ivill 
of Godr^ was heard as at the beginning of the battle. The 
women and children who had remained in Antioch, and 
were coUocted on the walls, animated the courage of the 
Crusaders by their cries and acclamations, whilst the priests 
continued to raise their hands towards heaven, and returned 
thanks to God by songs of praise and thanksgiving for the 
Buccour he had sent to the Christians. Of the Crusaderjij 
themselves each man became a hero, and nothing could 
stand before their impetuous charge. In a moment the 
ranks of the Saracens were everywhere broken, and they 
only fought in confusion and disorder. They endeavoured 
to rally on the other side of a torrent and upon an elevated 
point whence their trumpets and clarions resounded; but 
the count de Vermandois attacked them in this last post 
and completely routed them. They had now no safety but 
in flight, and the banks of the Orontes, the woods, the 
plains, the mountains were covered with the fugitives, who 
abandoned both their arms and their baggage. 

Kerbogha, w^ho had been so certain of victory as to have 
announced the defeat of the Christians to the caliph of 
Bagdad and the sultan of Persia, fled towards the Euphrates, 
escorted by a small body of his most faithful soldiers. 
Several of the emirs had taken to flight before the end of 
the battle. Tancred and some others, mounted on the 
horses of the conquered enemy, pursued tiU night-fall the 
sultans of Aleppo and Damascus, the emir of Jerusalem, 
and the scattered wreck of the Saracen army. The con- 
querors set fire to the intrenchments behind which the 
enemy's infantry had sought refuge, and a vast number of 
Mussulmans perished in the flames. 

According to the account of several contemporary his- 
torians, the infidels left a hundred thousand dead on the 
field of battle. Pour thousand Crusaders lost their lives on 
this glorious day, and were placed among the ranks of the 

The Christians found abundance beneath the tents of 
their enemies ; fifteen thousand camels and a great number 
of horses fell into their hands. As they passed the night 
in the camp of the Saracens, they had leisure to admire the 


luxury of the Orientals, aud they examined with the 
greatest surprise the tent of the king of Mossoul,* re- 
splendent with gold and precious stones, which, divided 
into long streets flanked by high towers, resembled a for- 
tified city. They employed several days in carrying the 
spoils into Antioch. The booty was immense, and every 
Crusader, according to the remark of Albert d'Ais, found 
himself much richer than he was when he quitted Europe. 

The sight of the Saracen camp after the battle proved 
plainly that they had displayed much more splendour and 
magnificence than true courage. The veteran warriors, the 
companions of Malek-Scha, had almost all perished in the 
civil wars which had for so many years desolated the empire 
of the Seljoucides. The army that came to the succour of 
Antioch w^as composed of raw troops, levied in haste, and 
reckoned under its standards several rival nations, always 
ready to take up arms against each other. f It is the duty 
of the historian to admit that the twenty-eight emirs who 
accompanied Kerbogha were almost all at variance with one 
another, and scarcely acknowledged the authority of a chief. 
On the contrary, the greatest union prevailed on this day 
among the Christians. The difierent bodies of their army 
fought upon one single point, and afibrded each other mutual 
support, whereas Kerbogha had divided his forces. In this 
battle, but more particularly in the circumstances which 
preceded it, the sultan of Mossoul showed more presumption 
than skill ; by the slowness of his march he lost the oppor- 
tunity of assisting Accien or of surprising the Crusaders. 
Afterwards, too certain of victory, he never dreamt of what 
despair and fanaticism are able to effect. These two power- 
ful principles greatly increased the natural bravery of the 
Pranks. The horrible distress to which they had been re- 
duced only tended to make them invincible, and in that we 
shall find the miracle of the day. 

* T''is tent was able to contain more than two thousand persons. 
B^hemond sent it into Italy, where it was preserved for a length of time. 

"f Gemaleddin, who of all the Oriental historians gives the greatest 
ru'^:iber of details upon the taking and the battle of Antioch, reports that 
? violent quarrel had broken out between the Turks and the Arabs ; he 
fofcii a'ids that the Aral)s liad retired before the battle, and that io tha 
r'ourse of it the Turks turned thei' urnis against their allietj. 


When the danger was past, the holy lance which had given 
so much confidence to the Crusaders during the battle, no 
longer excited their veneration, and lost all its marvellous 
influence. As it remamed in the hands of the count oi 
Thoulouse and his Provencals, to whom it brought a great 
number of oiferings, the other nations were not willing to 
leave them the sole advantage of a miracle which augmented 
their consideration and their wealth ; and, as we shall soon 
see, it was not long before doubts were raised upon the 
authenticity of the lance which had effected such wonders, 
and the spirit of rivalry did that which reason might have 
done in a more enlightened age. 

The victory of Antioch appeared to the Saracens to be s-j 
extraordinary an event that many of them dbandoned the reU- 
gion of their prophet. Those who defended the citadel were so 
struck with terror and surprise, that they surrendered to 
Kaymond the very day of the battle. Three hundred of 
them embraced the faith of the holy Gospel, and many 
went among the cities of Syria declaring that the God of the 
Christians must be the true God. 

After this memorable day the Turks made scarcely any 
effort to impede the march of the Christians. This last 
triumph of the Franks appeared to them like a decision of 
heaven that men ought not to contend against. Most of 
the emirs of Syria who had shared the spoils of the sultan 
of Persia, considered the invasion of the Christians as a 
passing calamity, without thinking of the consequences it 
might leave behind, and only sought to take advantage of it 
to assure their own domination and independence. The 
dynasty of the Seljoucides was every day losing its strength 
and its splendour. The vast empire of Togrul, Alp-Arslan, 
and Malek-Scha was crumbling away on all sides amidst 
civil and foreign wars. This empire, created towards the 
middle of the eleventh century, whose sudden increase had 
alarmed Constantinople and carried terror even among the 
nations of the West, was soon doomed to see other states 
elevate themselves upon its ruins ; for, according to the 
remark of an historian, it miglit be said that God waa 
pleased to show how insignificant the earth is in his eyes?, 
by thus causing to pass from hand to hand, like a child'e 
toy, a power so monst'\)us as to threaten the univers*?. 


The first care of the Crusaders after their victory was tc 
put, if we may say so, Jesus Christ in possession of the 
countries they had just conquered, by re-establishing hia 
worship in Antioch. The capital of Syria had all at once a 
new religion, and was inhabited by a new people. A con- 
siderable part of the spoils of the Saracens was employed 
in repairing and ornamenting the churches which had been 
converted into mosques. The Greeks and the Latins min- 
gled their vows and their hymns, and prayed together to tho 
God of the Christians to conduct them to Jerusalem. The 
leaders of the army then joined in addressing a letter to the 
princes and nations of the West, in which they made a 
relation of their labours and their exploits. Tha.t they 
might not trouble the joy that the news of their victories 
must create, they took care to conceal the losses they had 
sustained ;* but they must have made them apparent by call- 
ing new warriors to their aid. They solicited by prayers, 
and even by threats, the immediate departure of all who had 
assumed the cross, and yet still remained in the West. 

The Crusaders sent at the same time an embassy to Con- 
stantinople, composed of Hugh, count of Yermandois, and 
Baldwin, count of Hainault, The object of this embassy 
was to remind the emperor Alexius of the promise he had 
made to accompany the Christians with an army to Jeru- 
salem. The count of Hainault perished, with all his train, 
in Asia Minor. The count of Vermandois, who took a 
different route, arrived safely at Constantinople ; but could 
obtain nothing from Alexius. Hereupon, whether he was 
ashamed of having failed in his mission, or whether he 
feared to rejoin aii army in which he could not maintain 
the splendour of his rank, he determined to return to 
Europe, where his desertion caused him to be compared to 
the raven of the ark.f 

Some days after the battle of Antioch, the greater part of 
the pilgrims entreated the leaders to conduct them towards 
tlie Holy City, the principal object of their expedition. The 
council of the princes and barons being assembled, tlie 

* The leaders of the Crusades declared that the siege and the battle of 
Antioch had scarcely cost them ten tliousaiul men. 

■f Corvini generis legatus. pnstea non rediit. — Bald. lib. iv. 


opinions were at first divided. Some of the leaders tlxugli* 
that they ought to take advantage of the terror which the 
victory of .Ajitioch had created in the Saracens. " Both the 
East and the West," said they, " have their eyes upon us ; 
Christ calls us to the deliverance of his tomh ; the Christians 
who still groan in the chains of the infidels implg^e the 
assistance of our arms ; we have seen the emir of Jerusalem, 
and the soldiers who ought to defend the approach to the 
Holy Sepulchre, fly before us ; all the routes are open to us; 
let us hasten then to comply with the impatience of the 
Crusaders, an impatience which was always so fatal to our 
enemies ; let us depart from an abode whose pleasures have 
several times corrupted the soldiers of Christ ; let us not 
wait till discord shall disturb our peace and rob us of the 
fruits of our labours." 

This advice seemed to be dictated by wisdom and pru- 
dence, but the majority of the leaders were full of bhnd 
security ; they could not resolve still to dread enemies they 
had so often conquered, and the hopes of extending their 
conquests in SjTia made them forget Jerusalem. Specious 
reasons were not wanting wherewith to combat the opinions 
they had heard. The Christian army was deficient in horses ; 
it was exhausted by fatigue, by long miseries, and even by 
its own victories. As it was now the height of summer, 
though the Crusaders might have no enemies, they had to 
dread during a long march the want of water, and the heat 
of both the season and the climate. It was well known 
that new warriors from the "West were expected in Asia, 
and prudence commanded them to wait for them. By the 
beginning of winter everything would be prepared for the 
conquest of Jerusalem, and the united Crusaders would then 
inarch without obstacles or dangers towards Palestine. This 
opinion obtained a majority of the suflrages. 

The Crusaders had soon cause to repent of their determi- 
nation. An epidemic disease made fearful ravages in their 
army. Nothing was to be seen in Antioch, says an ancient 
chronicle, but buryings and funerals, and death there 
reigned, neither more nor less, than in some great battle 
or defeat. Most of the women and the poor who followed 
the army were the first victims to this calamity. A gr*at 
number of Crusaders who came from Germany and otheJ 


parts of Europe met witli deatb. immediately on tlieir arrival 
at Antioch. W^itliin one month, more than fifty thousand 
pilgrims perished by this epidemic* The Christians had to 
regret among their leaders Henry d' Asques, E-enaud d' Amer- 
bach, and several other knights renowned for their exploits. 
In the midst of the general mourning, the bishop of Puy, 
who comforted the Crusaders in their misery, himself gave 
way under his fatigue and died,t like the leader of the 
Hebrews, without having seen the promised land. His re- 
mains were buried in the church of St. Peter of Antioch, in 
the very spot where the miraculous lance had been disco- 
vered. All the pilgrims, whose spiritual father he had been, 
honoured his funeral with their presence and their tears. 
The leaders, who sincerely regretted him, wrote to the pope 
to inform him of the death of his apostolic legate. They at 
the same time solicited Urban to come and place himself at 
their head, to sanctify the standards of the crusade, and to 
promote union and peace in the army of Jesus Christ. 

But neither the respect they entertained for the memory 
of Adhemar, nor the spectacle of the scourge which was 
devouring the Christian army, could close their hearts 
against ambition and discord. The count of Thoulouse, 
who still maintained his claims to the possession of Antioch, 
refused to deliver up to Bohemond the citadel of which he 
had become master on the day the Christians had defeated 
the army of Kerbogha. These two haughty rivals were 
several times on the point of coming to blows, ^Raymond 
accusing the new prince of Antioch of having usurped that 
which belonged to his companions, whilst Bohemond threat- 
ened to bathe his sword, red with the blood of infideli«l, in 
blood which he said he had too long spared. One day that 
the princes and leaders were assembled in the basilica of the 
church of St. Peter, engaged in regulating the affairs of the 
crusade, their deliberations were disturbed by the most 

* Albert d'Aix says a hundred thousand. 

f Tasso makes Adhemar die at the siege of Jerusalem, and makes him 
die by the hands of a woman. Some historians attribute the canticle 
" Salve Regina" to Bishop Adhemar. The bishops of Puy, his succes- 
sors, bear in their coat of arms the sword on one side and thf. pastoral 
staff on the other. It is added that th^ canons of the same city wori 
every year, at Easter, a cloak in the form of a cuirass. 


violent quarrels. Notwithstanding the sanctity of the place, 
Raymond, in the midst of the council, gave way to his pas- 
sion and resentment. Ev^en at the foot of the altar of Christ, 
Bohemond hesitated not to make false promises in order to 
draw the other chiefs to his party, and repeated several 
times an oath which he never meant to keep, that of follow- 
ing them to Jerusalem. 

Every day trouble and disorder increased in the Christian 
army, some only thinking of aggrandising the states which 
victory had given them, w^hilst others wandered about Syria 
in search of cities over which they might unfurl their stan- 
dards. Bands were seen dispersed in all parts where thero 
was a chance of a rich booty, fighting among themselves for 
then* conquests when they were victorious, and a. prey to all 
sorts of horrors and miseries w^hen they met with unfore- 
seen resistance. The jealousy which prevailed among the 
chiefs extended to the soldiers ; the latter quarrelling for the 
booty gained from the enem}^, iu the same manner that the 
princes and barons contended for the possession of cities 
and provinces. Those whom fortune had not favoured com- 
plained of their companions, until some lucky chance allowed 
them in their turn to take advantage of all the rights of vic- 
tory. On all sides the Crusaders accused each other reci- 
procally of having enriched themselves by injustice and 
violence, although everybody envied the most guilty. 

And yet, amidst their conflicts or their misfortunes, the 
Christians continued to show the most heroic bravery and 
resignation ; they endured hunger, thirst, and fatigue with- 
out a complaint, and neither deserts, rivers, precipices, the 
heat* of the climate, nor any other obstacle, could stop them 
in their incursions. In every kind of peril they sought all 
;)pportunities of proving their strength and skill, or of sig- 
nalizing their valour. Sometimes in the forests or moun- 
tains they encountered savage animals. A Erench knight, 
named Gruicher, rendered himself celebrated in the army by 
overcoming a lion. Another knight, Gi-eoffrey de la Tour, 
gamed great renown by an action w^hich doubtless will 
appear incredible. He one day saw in a forest a lion which 
a serpent held within its monstrous folds, and which made 
the air resound with his roaring. Geoffrey flew to the 
assistance of the animal, which appeared to implore his pity, 


and with on 3 blow of his sword killed the serpent, which was 
intent upon its prey. If we may believe an old chronicle^ 
the lion thus delivered attached himself to his liberator as 
to a master ; he accompanied him during the war, and when, 
after the taking of Jerusalem, the Crusaders embarked to 
return into Europe, he was drowned in the sea whilst fol? 
lowing the vessel in which Greoffrey was.* 

Several Crusaders, whilst waiting for the signal of de- 
parture for Jerusalem, went to visit their brethren who had 
established themselves in the conquered cities. Many of 
them repaired to Baldwin, and joined with him in contending 
against the Saracens of Mesopotamia. A knight, named 
Foulque, who went with several of his companions to seek 
adventures on the banks of the Euphrates, was surprised 
and massacred by the Tui-ks. His wife, whom he had taken 
with him, was brought before the emir of Hazart or Hezas. 
Being of rare beauty, one of the principal officers of the 
emir fell in love with her,t and asked her of his master in 
marriage, who yielded her to him, and permitted him to 
espouse her. This officer, deeply in love with a Christian 
woman, avoided all occasions of fighting against the Crusa- 
ders, and yet, zealous in the service of his master the ertiir, 
made incursions into the territories of the sultan of Aleppo. 
Kedowan, wishing to avenge himself, marched with an army 
of forty thousand men to attack the city of Hezas. Then 
the officer who had married the widow of Eoulque advised 
the emir to implore the assistance of the Christians. 

* This anecdote, which is here quoted without giving it any more im- 
portance than it merits, is related in the Magnum Chronicon Belgicuntf 
which is found in the collection of the historians of Germany of Pistorius. 
The author says the lion followed Geoffrey like a hare: — Eum sequitur, 
fticut lepus ; et quamdiii fuit in terra, nunquam recedens, multa ei com- 
moda contulit tam in venationibus quam in hello; qui carnes venaticas 
abundanter dabat. Leo vero qusecunque domino suo adversari videbat, 
prostemabat, quem, ut dicunt, in navi positum ciim domum rediret, 
derelirquere noluit, sed nolentibus eum, ut crudele animal, in navem 
recipere nautis, secutus est dominum suum, natando per mare, usque quo 
labore deficit. 

The same fact is related by le Pere Maimbourg, who adds to his recital 
this singular reflection. " Strange instruction of nature, which casts 
shame upon men by giving them, as she has done more than once, liont 
for masters." 

f Albert d'Aixis the only historian who relates this and the following fact* 


The emir proposed an alliance to Godfrey de Bouillon. 
Godfrey at first hesitated, but the Mussulman returned to 
the charge, and to disperse all the suspicions of the Chris- 
tian princes, sent them his son Mahomet as an hostage. The 
treaty was then signed, and two pigeons, says a Latin his- 
torian, charged with a letter, brought the news to the emir, 
at the same time announcing to him the early arrival of the 
Christians.* The army of the sultan of Aleppo was beaten 
in several encounters by Godfrey, and forced to abandon the 
territory of Hezas, that it had begun to pillage. A short 
time after this expedition the son of the emir died at 
Antioch of the epidemic so fatal to the pilgrims of the West. 
Godfrey, according to the custom of the Mussulmans, had 
the body of the young prince enveloped in rich purple stuff, 
and sent it to his father. The deputies who accompanied 
this funeral convoy were ordered to express to the emir the 
regrets of Godfrey, and to tell him that their leader had 
been as much afflicted by the death of the young prince 
Mahomet, as he could have been by that of his brother 
Baldwin. The emir of Hezas wept for the death of his son, 
and never ceased to be the faithful ally of the Christians. 

The leaders of the crusades still thought no more about 
setting forward on their march to Jerusalem, and the 
autumn advanced without their being engaged in any expe- 
dition of importance. In the midst of the idleness of the 
camps, a celestial phenomenon offered itself to the eyes of 
the Crusaders, and made a lively impression upon the minds 

* Some learned writers cannot trace messages by pigeons further back 
than the reign of Saladin. It is true that it was in the reigns of Nouradin 
and Saladin that regular posts, served by pigeons, were organized ia 
Egypt ; but this means of communication was very ancient in the East. 
The recital of Albert d'Aix cannot be doubted. The historian speaks of 
'he surprise that this sort of messengers produced among the Crusaders; 
and as the fact appeared remarkable to him, he has not neglected the 
smallest details of it : — Legati sine mora columbas dua?, aves gratas et 
domitas, secum allatas eduxerunt e sinu suo, ac charta, ducis responsis 
promissisque fidelibus inscripta, caudis illarum filo innodata, e manibua 
suis has ad ferenda Iseta nuncia emiserunt. . . .Jam cum chartis sibi com- 
missis aves advolaverunt, in solium et mensam ducis Hasart fidelitei 
reversse. . . .Princeps autem ex more solito aves domesticaspie suscipiens, 
chartas intitulatas a caudis earum solvit, secreta ducis Godfredi perlegit. 
We shall see in the fourth book of this history another example of thil 
means of communication employed by the Saracens. 


of the multitude. The soldiers who guarded the ramparta 
of Antioch saw during the night a luminous mass, which 
appeared to be fixed in an elevated point of the heavens. It 
seemed as if all the stars, according to the expression oi 
Albert d'Aix, were united in a space scarcely more extensive 
than a garden of three acres. " These stars," says the same 
historian, " shed the most brilliant light,* and shone like 
coals in a furnace.'''' They appeared for a long time as if 
suspended over the city of Antioch ; but the circle which 
seemed to contain them being broken, they dispersed in the 
air. At the sight of this prodigy, the guards and sentinela 
uttered loud cries, and ran to awaken the citizens of Antioch. 
All the pilgrims issued from their houses, and found in this 
phenomenon a manifest sign of the will of Heaven. Some 
believed they saw in the united stars an image of the Sara- 
cens, who were assembled at Jerusalem, and who would be 
dispersed at the approach of the Christians ; others, equally 
full of hope, saw in them the Christian warriors uniting 
their victorious forces, and then spreading themselves over 
the earth to conquer the cities ravished from the empire of 
Christ ; but many of the pilgrims did not abandon them.- 
selves to these consolatory illusions. In a city where the 
people had much to suffer, and had dwelt during many 
months amidst death and its funeral rites, the future natu- 
rally presented itself under the most sad and disheartening 
colours. All who suffered, and had lost the hope of ever seeing 
Jerusalem, saw nothing in the phenomenon presented to 
their eyes but an alarming symbol of the multitude of pil- 
grims, which was every day diminishing, and which promised 
soon to be entirely dispersed, like the luminous clouds which 
they had seen in the heavens. " Thmgs, t -wever," says 
Albert d'Aix, " turned out much better than was expected ; 
Ibr, a short time afterwards, the princes, on their return to 
Antioch, took the field, and brought under their dominion 
several cities of Upper S3rria." 

The most important of their expeditions was the siege 
and capture of Maarah, situated between Hamath and 
Aleppo. Raymond was the first to sit himself down before 

* Globes of fire, or ignited globes, as naturalists call them, might have 
produced this appearance. 


this city, where lie was soon joined by the duke of Nor- 
mandy and the count of Elanders and their troops. The 
Christians met with the most obstinate resistance from the 
besieged during several days. The infidels poured arrows 
and stones upon them in clouds, together with floods of an 
inflammable matter, which several historians pretend to have 
been the Grreek fire. William of Tyre says that they hurled 
from the summits of the towers upon the assailants quick 
lime and hives filled with bees.* Want of provisions soon 
began to be felt, and the Crusaders at length experienced 
such distress, tliat many among them subsisted upon the 
dead bodies of their enemies.t History ought, however, to 
relate with hesitation the extremes to which famine is said 
to have carried them, and to throw greit doubt upon the 
account of the public sale of human flesh in the camp of 
the Christians. J 

The Crusaders endured all their misfortunes with patience, 
but they could not support the outrages committed by the 
inhabitants of Maarah upon the rehgion of Jesus Christ. 
The infidels raised crosses upon the ramparts, covered 
them with ordure, and heaped all sorts of insults upon them. 
Tliis sight so irritated the Christians, that they resolved to 
redouble their efforts to get possession of the city. They 
constructed machines which shook the walls, whilst the 
soldiers mounted to the assault ; and they succeeded, after 
a lengthened resistance, in making themselves masters of the 

* Lapides, ignem, et plena apibus alvearia, calcem quoque vivam, 
quanta poterant jaculabantur instantia, ut eos a muro propellerent. — 
Will. Tyr. lib. vii. cap. 9. 

t Audivi namque, qui dicerent cibi se coactos inopia ad humanse 
carnis edulium transiisse, adultos gentilium cacabo immersisse, pueros 
infixisse verubus, et vorasse adustos; vorando seraulati suntferas, torrendo 
homines, sed caninos. Hunc ipsum finem membris propriis minabantur, 
cum aliena deficerent ; nisi aut captse urbis, aut cereris advenae intercessio 
esuiiem lenisset. — Rad. Cadom. cap. 27. We cannot forbear adding to 
this quotation the words of Albert d'Aix, who is astonished to see Chris- 
tians eat the bodies of Mussulmans, but still more so \t seeing them 
devour dogs. Mirabile dictu et auribus horrendum, quod nefas est 
dicere, nefas facere. Nam Christiani non solum Turcos «ed Sarracenos 
occisos, verum etiam canes arreptos et igni coctos comedere non abhorrue- 
runt prse inopia, quam audistis. — Ab. Aq. lib. v. cap. 29. 

X This circumstance is related by Mailly, but he does not say upon 
Vfhat authority 


towers and tlie ramparts. As they were overtaken by nigh. 
in the midst of their victory, they did not venture to pene- 
trate into the place ; and when, with the break of day, they 
spread themselves through the streets, not a sound was to 
b'^- heard, — every part of the city was deserted. The army 
pillaged the uninhabited houses, but soon discovered, to 
their great surprise, that the whole population of Maarah 
had taken refuge in subterranean places. A large quantity 
of straw, set on fire at the mouths of the caverns in which 
the infidels were concealed, soon forced them to issue from 
their retreats, and such was the animosity of the conquerors, 
that the bewildered and trembling multitude implored their 
pity in vain. All the inhabitants of Maarah were either 
put to the sword or led into slavery ; the city was completely 
razed to the ground, " which so terrified the neighbouring 
cities," says an historian, "that of their own free will, and 
without force, they surrendered to the Crusaders." 

This conquest became the subject of fresh discord. Bohe- 
mond, who had come to the siege, was desirous of keeping 
a portion of the city, Avhilst Kaymond pretended to reign 
over Maarah as its sovereign. The debate grew warm ; the 
camp of the Christians was filled with confusion and fac- 
tions, and the Crusaders were very near shedding their own 
blood to ascertain who should be master of a city which they 
had just entirely deprived of inhabitants, and given up to 
pillage. " But God, who was the leader of this great enter- 
prise," says le Pere Maimbourg, " repaired by the zeal of 
the weak and the lowly that which the ])assions of the great 
and the wise of this world had destroyed." The soldiers 
at length became indignant at the thoughts of shedding, for 
miserable quarrels, the blood which they had sworn to de- 
dicate to a sacred cause. Whilst they were most loud in 
their complaints and murmurs, the report reached them that 
Jerusalem had fallen into the hands of the Egyptians : they 
had taken advantage of the defeat of the Turks, and of the 
unfortunate delay of the Christian army in their invasion of 
Palestine. This news redoubled the discontent of the Cru- 
saders, and they loudly accused E-aymond and their other 
leaders of having betrayed the cause of Q-od. They an- 
nounced their intention of choosing fresh leaders, who 
should have no other ambition but that of accomplishing 


fcheir vows, and would conduct the CkristiaL army to tbd 
Holy Land. 

The count of St. Grilles and the prince of Anfc och, the lattef 
of whom was, perhaps, no stranger to the general movement, 
went through the ranks, and addressed the soldiers, the ono 
upon the necessity of obedience, the other upon the glory 
which awaited them at Jerusalem. The tumult soon became 
more violent. The clergy menaced Kaymond with the anger 
of Heaven, whilst his soldiers threatened to abandon his stan- 
dard. The Proven9als themselves at length refused to obey 
the inflexible count of Thoulouse, and the army set seriously 
to work to demolish the ramparts of Maarah, the possession 
of wliich was the object of contention. 

Whilst this was going on, Tancred had, by either force or 
address, got possession of the citadel of Antioch, and planted 
the standard of Bohemond in place of that of the count of 
St. Gilles. ^Raymond, thus left alone, and without any hopes 
of realizing his pretensions, was obliged to yield to the 
wishes of the arn^y, and appeared to listen to the voice 
of Grod. After having set fire to the city of Maarah, he 
marched out of it by the light of the flames, barefooted, and 
shedding tears of repentance. Followed by the clergy, who 
sang the psalms of penitence, he abjured his ambition, and 
renewed the oath he had so often made, and so often for* 
gotten, of delivering the tomb of Jesus Christ. 


A.D. 1099—1103. 

MoEE tlian six months had passed away since the taking 
of Antioch, and several of the leaders of the crusade still 
thought nothing of commencing their march to Jerusalem. 
As soon as E-aymond gave the signal for departure, his sol- 
diers, and the knights who accompanied him, broke into loud 
demonstrations of joy and a revived enthusiasm. The count 
of Thoulouse was followed by Tancred and the duke of Nor- 
mandy, who were both impatient to accomplish their vow 
and conquer Palestine. Conducted by these three leaders, 
a great part of the Christian army traversed the territories 
of Csesarea in Syria, Hamath, and Edessa. Prom all parts 
both Christians and Mussulmans came eagerly to meet them, 
the former to beg their assistance, the latter to implore their 
clemency. Many emirs came to conjure Eaymond to plant 
his standard on their cities' walls, to protect them, from 
pillage, and render them safe from the enterprises of the 
other Crusaders. The pilgrims everywhere on their passage 
received provisions and rich tributes without the trouble 
and risk of fighting for them. In the course of their tri- 
umphant march, the sweetest fruit of their labours and the 
terror that their arms inspired was the return of a vast 
number of Christian prisoners, whose death they had 
mourned, who were sent to them from the neighbouring 
cities by the Mussulman chiefs. 

They drew near to the sea-coast, and advanced, almost 
without obstacle, as far as the vicinity of Archas. This city 
was situated at the foot of Libanus, two leagues from the 
sea, in a territory covered with olive-trees, and rich with 
corn. The count of Thoulouse, either from a desire to 
conquer so rich a country, or from being provoked by the 
insults and threats of the infidels, resolved to besiege 

Vol. I.--10 


Archas.* In order to inflame the courage of his soldiers^ 
and associate them with him in his project, he promised 
them as a reward for their Labours, the pihage of the city 
and the dehverance of two hundred Ciiristian prisoners 
confined in the citadeL 

In the mean time Grodfrey, Eustace, and E^obert, count of 
Flanders, had not yet set out from Antioch. They did not 
begin their march before the early days of spring. Bohe- 
mond accompanied them as far as Laodicea,t and then 
returned to his capital, after having promised his compa- 
nions to rejoin tliem before Jerusalem. At Laodioea the 
Crusaders liberated the Flemish pirates who had taken the 
cross at Tarsus, and who, for more than a year, had been 
detained prisoners by the Grreeks, the masters of that city. 
At the same place the Christian army received a reinforce- 
ment of new Crusaders from the ports of Holland and 
Flanders, and the British isles. Among these new de- 
fenders of the cross was Edgar Atheling, who, after the 
death of Harold, had disputed the crown of England with 
"William the Conqueror. He came to endeavour to forget 
the misfortunes of his country under the banners of the 
holy war, and at the same time to seek a refuge from the 
tyranny of the conqueror. The English and the new Cru- 
saders from other countries were received with great joy 
into the ranks of the Christian army, which, however, 
piu'sued its march towards Palestine very slowly. 

It grieved the greater part of the leaders to be obliged 
to traverse such rich provinces without establishing their 
domination in them. There was not a city in their route 
upon the walls of which one of them had not a strong 
secret inclination to plant his standard. These pretensions 
gave birth to rivalries which weakened the army, and pre- 
vented it from making useful conquests. Haymond still 

* Archas is mentioned by Strabo, Ptolemy, Josephus, and the Itine- 
rary of Antonine, which latter places this city at sixteen miles from 
Tripoli. Pococke (torn. ii. p. 299) and Maundrell (vol. i. p. 41) speak of 
a river which still bears this name. Abulfeda speaks of it under the name 
of Aarkat. The Itinerary from Bordeaux to Jerusalem also mentions 

t Laodioea still exists under the name of Lakikieh. It has been long 
famous for its trade in tobacco. 


obstinately prosecuted the siege of Arclias, whiel opposed 
to him the firmest resistance. Grodfrey went to lay siege 
to Gribel or Gibelet,* a maritime city, situated some leagues 
from Laodicea. The leaders of the army never consented 
to unite their efforts against the Saracens, but sold to the 
emirs, by turns, their inaction and their neutrality. 

The only expedition in which success cro^oied their bra- 
very was the attack of Tortosa.f Raymond, viscount do 
Turenne, the viscount de Castellane, the seigneur d'Albret, 
and some others of the principal leaders of the Grascons and 
Provencals, with a hundred horse and two hundred foot, 
presented themselves before this city. The inhabitants 
closed their gates, manned their ramparts, and forced the 
Christians to retreat. The leader of this expedition, Ray- 
mond de Turenne, who had not a sufficient number of troops 
to undertake a siege or force a city to surrender, had recourse 
to a stratagem, which succeeded. At night he caused to be 
lighted in a neighbouring wood such a number of fires, that 
the inhabitants of Tortosa were persuaded that the whole 
Christian army was come to attack them, and before the 
break of day they all fled to the mountains, taking with 
them their most valuable effects. On the morrow the 
Christians approached the city, the ramparts of which they 
found deserted, and entered it without resistance. After 
having pillaged the houses, and given up to the flames a city 
they could not keep, they returned to the camp loaded with 

The Mussulmans shut up in Archas still held out against 
the Christians. Although the army w^as encamped in a 
fertile country, they soon began to experience the want of 
provisions. The poorest of the pilgrims were reduced, as at 
Antioch, to feed upon roots, and dispute with animals the 
leaves of the trees and the grass of the fields. The nume- 
rous clergy which followed the army sunk into the deepest 
distress. Such as coidd light went to ravage the surrounding 

* Gibel. This word signifies mountain, in Arabic. Gibel is the 
Gabala of Strabo and Pliny ; the Gavala of the table of Peutinger. It 
still subsists under its ancient name of Djebil, and the remains of an am- 
phitheatre are still to be seen tliere. It is, I believe, the Giblim of the 
Bible, whence was embarked the wood of Lebanon sent to Solomon. 

f Tortosa is the Antaradus of Ptolemy and the Itinerary of Bordeaux, 


country, and lived on pillage ; but those whom age, sex, oi 
infirmities woiild not permit to carry arms, had no hope but 
in the charity of the Christian soldiers. The army freely 
assisted them, and gave up to them the tenth part of the 
booty obtained from the infidels. 

A great number of the Crusaders yielded to the fatigues 
of the siege, and perished -with misery and disease, whilst 
many fell by the hands of the enemy, who defended them- 
selves with obstinate valour. Among those whose loss was 
most regretted, history has preserved the name of Pons de 
Balasu ; he was highly esteemed in the army for his intel- 
ligence, and up to his death had written the history of the 
crusade, in conjunction with Raymond d'Agiles. The Cru- 
saders also gave their tears to the memory of Anselme de 
Ribemont, count de Bouchain, whose piety and courage are 
much praised in the chronicles of the times. Contemporary 
authors relate his death as attended with such wonderful 
circumstances as deserve to be preserved, because they affbrd 
a strong idea of the spirit which animated the Crusaders. 

One day (we follow the relation of Eaymond d'Agiles) 
Anselm saw enter into his tent young Angelram, son of the 
count de St. Paul, who had been killed at the siege of 
Maarah.* " How is it," said he, " that I see you still living 
whom I saw dead on the field of battle ?" " Know," replied 
Angelram, " that they who fight for Jesus Christ do not die." 
" But whence comes that strange splendour with which I see 
you surrounded?" Then Angelram pointed out to him in 
the heavens a palace of crystal and diamonds. " It is 
thence," he added, " that I derive the beauty which surprises 
you ; that is my abode, and there is a much more beautiful 
one being prepared for you, which you vdll soon inhabit. 
Farewell ; we shall meet again to-morrow." At these words, 
adds the historian, Angelram returned to heaven. Anselm, 
struck with this apparition, the next morning sent for several 
ei^clesiastics, and received the sacraments ; and, although in 
fu'l health, took leave of his friends, telling them he was 

* Raymond d'Agiles, before relating this and several other similar 
facts, expresses himself thus : — Quod si quicquam ego prseter credita et 
visa studeo referre, vel odio alicujus apposui, apponat mihi Deus omnes 
inferni plagas, et deleat me de libro vitae. The same fact is reported in 
Raoul de Caen. 


about to quit the world in which they had known him. A 
few hours afterwards, the enemy having made a sortie, 
Anselm flew, sword in hand, to meet them, and was struck 
on the forehead by a stone, which, say the historians, sent 
him to the beautiful palace in heaven that was prepared 
for him. This marvellous recital, which was credited by the 
Crusaders, is not the only one of the kind that history has 
collected. It is useless to remind oiir readers that extreme 
misery always rendered the Crusaders more superstitious 
and credulous. Although the siege of Archas had no reli- 
gious aim, and even turned the pilgrims aside from the prin- 
cipal object of the holy war, it was not thence less abundant, 
according to Raymond d'Agiles, in miracles and prodigies of 
all sorts. The belief of the people was frequently supported 
by the most enlightened of the leaders, who found it neces- 
sary to warm the imaginations of the soldiers to preserve 
their authority. Every day fresh parties were formed in the 
Christian army, and the most powerful were always those 
who circulated a belief in the greatest number of miracles 
It was during the siege of Archas that doubts arose among 
the pilgrims about the discovery of the lance which had had 
such an eftect upon the courage of the Crusaders at the 
battle of Antioch, and the camp of the besiegers became ail 
at once divided into two great factions, strongly opposed 
to each other. Arnold de E-ohes, according to William of 
T3n:'e, a man of dissolute manners, but well versed in history 
and letters, was the first who dared openly to deny the truth 
of the prodigy. This ecclesiastic, who was chaplain to the 
duke of Normandy, drew into his party all the Normans and 
the Crusaders from the north of Erance ; whilst those of the 
south ranged themselves on the side of Barthelemi, who was 
attached to the count de St. Gilles. The priest of Mar- 
seilles, a simple man, who himself believed that which he 
wished others to believe, had a new revelation, and related 
in the camp that he had seen Jesus Christ attached to the 
cross, cursing the incredulous, and devoting to the death 
and punishment of Judas the impious sceptics who dared to 
isearch into the mysterious ways of Grod. This apparition, 
and the menaces of Christ, highly excited the imagination* 
of the Proven9als, who had no less faith, according to Kay- 
mond d'Agiles, in the tales of Barthelemi, than in the 


evidence of the saints and apostles. But Arnold was aston 
islied that Grod should only reveal himself to a simple priest, 
whilst so many virtuous prelates were in the army ; and, 
without denying the intervention of the divine power, be 
was not willing to admit any other prodigies than those 
performed by the valour and heroism of the Christian 

As the produce of the offerings made to the depositaries 
oi the holy lance were distributed to the poor, the latter, 
who were in vast numbers in the army, were not sparing in 
murmurs against the chaplain of the duke of Normandy^ 
and they attributed to his incredulity, and that of his par- 
tisans, all the evils that the Crusaders had suffered during 
the siege of Archas. Arnold and his party, which increased 
every day, on the contrary attributed the misfortunes of the 
Christians to their divisions, and to the turbulent spirit of a 
set of visionaries. Amongst these debates the Crusaders of 
the northern provinces reproached those of the south with 
want of bravery in fight, with being less anxious for glory 
than pillage, and with passing their time in ornamenting their 
horses and mules.* The latter, on their side, did not cease 
to reproach the partisans of Arnold with their want of faith, 
and their sacrilegious railleries, and, without ceasing, op- 
posed new visions to the reasonings of the incredulous. One 
had seen St. Mark the evangehst, another the holy Virgin, 
and both had attested the veracity of the priest of Mar- 
seilles. Bishop Adhemar had appeared to a third, informing 
him that he had been kept several days in hell for having 
entertained some doubts of the truth of the holy lance. 

These recitals only served still more to inflame the minds 
of the army, and violence often came to the support of trickery 
and credulity. At length Barthelemi, seduced by the im- 
portance of the part he was made to play, and perhaps, also, 
by the miraculous tales of his partisans, which might 
strengthen his own illusions, resolved to terminate all de- 
bates by submitting to the ordeal by fire. This resolution 
restored calm to the Christian army, and all the pilgrims 

* Raoul de Caen, who was not a partisan of the lance, and who cries 
out, whilst speaking of this pretended discovery, " O fatmtas rustica ! 
O rusticitas credula!" does not at all spare the Provencals, and ha% 
transmitted to us the reproaches made to ttem in the Christian army. 


were convoked to be witnesses of the judgment of God. On 
the day fixed (it was Grood Friday), a funeral pile, made of 
branches of olive, was erected in the middle of a vast plain. 
Most of the Crusaders were assembled, and everything was 
prepared for the terrible ordeal. The flames had already 
mounted to a height of twenty cubits, when Earth elemi 
was seen advancing, accompanied by the priests, who walked 
in silence, barefooted, and clotlied in their sacerdotal habits. 
Covered by a simple tunic, the priest of Marseilles bore the 
holy lance, surrounded with floating streamers. When ho 
arrived within a few paces of the pile, one of the principal 
of the clergy pronounced in a loud voice the following 
words : — " If this man has seen Jesus Christ face to face, 
and if the apostle Andrew did reveal the divine lance to 
him, may he pass safe and sound through the flames ; but if, 
on the contrary, he is guilty of falsehood, may he be burnt, 
together with the lance which he bears in his hands." At 
these words all the spectators bowed, and answered as with 
one voice, " Be the will of God accomplished." Barthelemi 
threw himself on his knees, took Heaven to witness the 
truth of all that he had said, and, after recommending him- 
self to the prayers of the bishops and priests, rushed through 
the fimeral pile at a part where an opening of two feet wide 
had been made for his passage. 

The numerous spectators lost sight of him for a moment, 
and many pilgrims, says E,aymond d'Agiles, were beginning 
to lament him, when they saw him appear on the side opposite 
to that by which he had entered. He was immediately sur- 
rounded and pressed upon by an inniunerable crowd, who 
cried out " miracle," and were eager to touch his vestments. 
But Barthelemi was covered with mortal wounds. He was 
carried in a dying state to the tent of the count of Thou- 
louse, where he expired a few days after, still protesting his 
iimocence and veracity. He was buried beneath the spot 
where the funeral pile had been erected. Baymond of St. 
Gilles and the Proven9als persisted in regarding him as an 
apostle and a martyr. The greater number of the pilgrims 
Allowed themselves to be satisfied with the judgment of God* 

* Videns quid actum est, populus, calliditate verbos& seductum M 
fatetur, errasse poenitet. — Rad. Cad. cap. 109. 


and tlie miraculous lance from that time ceased to xiorli 
miracles.* In vain the Crusaders from the southern pro- 
vinces endeavoured to substitute for it the ring and cross of 
of Adhemar ; they attracted neither the devotion nor the 
offerings of the pilgrims. 

"Wliiist the Crusaders were detamed before the fortress of 
Archas, they received an embassy from Alexius. The G-reek 
emperor wished to impose upon the Latins, by promising 
to foUow them into Palestine with an army, if they would 
allow him time to make the necessary preparations. Alexius 
in his letters complained of the non-performance of the 
treaties by which he was to be made master of the cities of 
Syria and Asia Minor that had fallen into the hands of 
the Christians ; but he complained without bitterness, and 
showed so much circumspection in his reproaches as proved 
that he likewise had some wrongs to repair. This embassy 
was but ill received in the Christian army. The leaders 
accused the Grreeks of the death of the count of Hainault, 
and reproached the emperor with his shameful flight during 
the siege of Antioch. They despised his complaints, and 
gave no faith to his so often broken promises. 

The Latins hated Alexius ever since the siege of Nice. 
Hatred guided them on this occasion better than the most 
clear-sighted policy could have done ; for in the end, if we 
are to believe their historians, they learned that the emperor 
of Constantinople maintained a secret understanding wita 
the caUph of Egypt, and that his design was to retard the 
march and the progress of the Christian army. 

The caliph of Cairo, who was governed by the same policy 
as Alexius, kept up relations with the Crusaders which cir- 
cumstances rendered more or less sincere, and which were 
subordinate to the fear which their arms inspired. -Although 
he neofotiated at the same time with the Christians and the 
Turks, he hated the former because they were the enemies 
of the prophet, and the latter because they had deprived 
him of Syria. His oliject was but to profit by the war, so 
as to regain his possessions and extend the limits of his 
empire. ¥or several months he had been master of Jeru- 

* Accounts of this event may be read in William of Tyre, Robert 
d'Aix, and above all in Raymond d'Agiles, who does not omit the least 


talem, and as he trembled for liis new conquest, lie sent 
ambassadors to tbe Christian army. This embassy arrived 
in the camp a short time after the departure of the deputies 
of Alexius. 

It was accompanied by the deputies whom the Christians 
had sent into Egypt during the siege of Antioch. On their 
arrival at Cairo they had at first been well received by the 
caliph ; but as soon as he learned that the Christian army 
wa". in a desperate situation, they were thro^\TL into dun- 
geons, and only owed their liberation to the triumphant 
march of the Christian army, which filled the East with the 
fame of its victories. Their unexpected return gave the 
greatest delight to their brothers and companions. They 
listened with emotion to the account of their captivity, and 
loud cries of indignation arose tlnoughout the army against 
the caliph of Cairo. 

The Egyptian ambassadors did aU in their power to justify 
their master and appease the anger of the Christians. They 
had brought with them magnificent presents, destined by 
the caliph for the principal leaders of the army. They were 
ko present to Godfrey of Bouillon forty thousand pieces of 
gold, thirty mantles, and several vases of gold and silver ; to 
Bohemond they were to offer sixty thousand pieces of gold, 
fid'ty purple mantles, several precious vases, rich carpets, and 
an Arabian horse whose harness was covered with plates of 
gold. Each leader was to receive a present proportioned to 
his military reputation, and to the idea that was entertained 
of his importance in the Christian army. When the am- 
bassadors had distributed the presents of the caliph accor- 
ding to his instructions, they demanded permission to speak 
in the council of the leaders. They announced that their 
master had delivered Jerusalem from the domination of the 
Turks, arui that he anxiously desired to maintain peace with 
the Christians. After having declared the benevolent and 
friendly dispositions of the caliph, and after having repeated 
that it was his intention to protect pilgrimages and the 
exercise of the Christian religion, they finished by declaring 
that the gates of Jerusalem should only be opened to un- 
armed Christians. Upon hearing this proposition, wdiich 
they had already rejected amidst the miseries of the siege of 
Antioch, the leaders of the Christian army could not restraia 



their indignation. As their only answer, they came to the 
resolution U hasten their march to\\'arcls the Holy Land, 
and threatened the ambassadors of Egypt to carry their 
arms even to the banks of the Nile. 

The Crusaders were drawing together their troops, which 
had so long been dispersed, to march together towards Jeru- 
salem, w^hen they were attacked by the emir of Tripoli. A 
prompt and bloody defeat was the reward of the temerity of 
the Mussulman prince. After having lost a great nun.ber 
of his soldiers, he was obliged to purchase peace and the 
safety of his capital by the payment of a considerable tribute 
to the Crusaders. He furnished them w^ith provisions in 
abundance, sent back three hundred Christian prisoners to 
the camp, and, to leave no pretext for future hostilities, he 
engaged to surrender the places he possessed when their 
standards should float over the walls of Jerusalem. 

The Crusaders, satisfied with this promise extracted from 
fear, had no more enemies to combat, and now only thought 
of that one conquest which was to assure them all others. 
Kavmond alone did not partake of the new ardtDur of the 
Christian army; he was fixed in his determination to remain 
before Archas, and only gave up the siege when his soldiers 
had a second time threatened to abandon his colours. 

The Crusaders commenced their march towards Palestine 
at the end of the month of May.* The inhabitants of Phoe- 
nicia had finished their harvest. The Christians found pro- 
visions everywhere, and admired on their passage the rich 
productions of Asia, which they already looked upon as the 
reward of their labours. On their left rose the mountains 
of Libanus, so often celebrated by the prophets ; between 
the mountains and the sea, the fields they traversed were 
covered with olive-trees, which grew to the height of elms 
and oaks ; in the plains and on the hills were oranges, pome- 
granates, and many other sorts of trees unknown in the 
"West. Among these new productions one plant, the juice 
of which was sweeter than honey, above all attracted the 
attention of the pilgrims : this plant was the sugar-cane. 

* The picture of the march and the impatience of the Christians is to 
be found in Tasso, in the same colours and almost the same circumstancei 
fts in the historians. 

HISTORY or THE ciiusa:i)es. 197 

It was cultivated in several of the provinces of Syria, and 
particularly in the territory of Tripoli, where they had 
found means of extracting from it the substance which the 
inhabitants called zucra* According to Albert d'Aix, this 
plant had afforded great assistance to the Christians when 
assailed by famine at the sieges of Maarah and Archas, 
This plant, now become of such importance in commerce, 
had been till this time unknown in the West. The pilgrims 
made it known in Europe, and towards the end of the 
crusades it w^as transported into Italy and Sicily, whilst the 
Saracens introduced it mto the kingdom of Grrenada, whence 
the Spaniards afterwards conveyed it to Madeira and the 
American colonies. f 

"When the pilgrims were all united to continue their 
march to Palestine, they must doubtless have been struck 
with terror as they contemplated the losses they had ex- 
perienced. More than two hundred thousand Crusaders 
had been cut off by battles, famine, misery, and disease. A 
great number of them, unable to support the fatigues of the 
holy pilgrimage, and losing all hope of seeing Palestine, had 
returned to the West. Many had taken up their abode in 
Antioch, Edessa, and other cities from which they had 
driven the inhabitants, and which they were obliged to 
defend against the infidels. With all these deductions, the 
army which was to achieve the conquest of the Holy Land 

* We think it right here to give the account of Albert d'Aix : — Cala- 
mellos mellitas per camporum planiciem abundanter repertos, quasvocant 
ZOCRA, suxit populus, illarum salubri succo lijetatus et vix ad saturitatem 
prse dulcedine expleri hoc gustato valebant. Hoc enim genus herbse 
sutnmo labore agricolarum, per singulos excolitur annos. Deinde, tem- 
pore messis maturum mortariolis indigense contundunt, succum collatum in 
vasis suis reponentes quousque coagulatum indurescat sub specie nivis 
vel salis albi. Quern rasum cum pane miscentes aut cum aqua terentes, 
pro pulmento sumunt, et supra favum mellis gustantibus dulce ac salubre 

videtur His ergo ralamellis melliti saporis populus in obsidione 

Albariai, Marrse et Archas, multum horrenda fame vexatus, est refocilla- 
tus, — Alb. Aq. lib. v cap. 3. 

f Sanuti proposed to plant the sugar-cane in Sicily and Apulia. This 
idea was not carried into execution before the end of the fourteenth cen- 
tury. The sugar-cane did not pass, as has been said, from Sicily to 
America; it was transported to Madeira from the coast of Spain, whither 
it had been brought by the Saracens. The sugar-cane is sti2J found in 
iome par^s of the kingdom of Gretuidti. 


scarcely numbered fifty thousand fighting men under .to 

The leaders, however, did not hesitate to pursue their 
enterprise. They who did remain in the ranks had borne 
every trial ; they did not drag in their train a useless, em- 
barrassing multitude ; and it was much more easy to supply 
them with provisions and establish order and discipline 
amongst them. Strengthened in some sort by their losses, 
they were perhaps more fonnidable than they were at the 
siege of Nice. The remembrance of their exploits increased 
their confidence and courage, and the terror which their 
arms inspired might well make the Saracens believe that 
their army was still mnumerable. 

Most of the princes whom the war had ruined were in 
the pay of the count of Thoulouse. This species of degra- 
dation was doubtless painful to their pride ; but as they 
approached the holy city it might be said that they lost 
some of their indomitable arrogance, and that they forgot 
both their pretensions and their quarrels. The most perfect 
union now prevailed among the Crusaders. In their impa- 
tience to see Jerusalem, neither mountains, defiles, rivers, 
nor any other impedimxcnts at all damped their ardour ; the 
soldiers would not even consent to take repose, and often, 
contrary to the wishes of their leaders, marched during the 

The Christian army followed the coasts of the sea, where 
they might be provisioned by the Pisan, Grenoese, and 
Plemish fleets. A crowd of Christians and pious solitaries 
who inhabited the neighbouring mountains, hastened to meet 
their brethren of the West, brought them fresh provisions, 
and guided tliem on their way. After a painful march over 
rocks and along the declivities of precipices, they descended 
into the plain of Berytus, and traversed the territory of 
Sidon and Tyre. 

Whilst they remained three days on the banks of the 
river Eleuctera, they were assailed by serpents called tarenta^ 
whose bite produced death,- attended by violent pain and 
unquenchable thirst. The sight of these reptiles, which 
they attempted to frighten away by striking stones one 
against another, or by the clashing of their bvicklers, filled 
the pdgrims with fear and surprise ; but that which must 


have much more astonished them was the strange remedy 
for their bite which the inhabitants pointed out to them, 
and which without doubt must have seemed to them far more 
a subject of scandal than a means of cure.* 

The Christians, having still continued to march along the 
coast, arrived before the walls of Accon, the ancient Ptole- 
mais, at the present day St. Jean d'Acre. The emir who 
commanded in this city for the caliph of Egjrpt sent them 
provisions, and promised to surrender as soon as they should 
become masters of Jerusalem. The Crusaders, who had no 
idea of attacking Ptolemais, received with joy the submission 
and promises of the Egyptian emir ; but chance soon made 
them aware that he had no other intention but that of 
gettmg them out of his territories, and raising up enemies 
against them in the countries they were about to pass 
through. The Christian army, after having quitted the 
country of Ptolemais, had advanced between the sea and 
Mount Carmel, and were encamped near the port of Csesarea, 
when a dove, which had escaped from the talons of a bird of 
prey, fell lifeless among the soldiers. The bishop of Apt, 
who chanced to pick up this bird, found under its wing a 

* I at first thought that these serpents could be only the dipsada, or 
fire-serpent. I communicated this opinion to M. Walckenaer, who with 
reason had seen nothing in the reptiles of which Albert d'Aix speaks, but 
the common gecko of Egypt {Lacerta gecko of Linnseus), which Belon an<? 
Hasselquits have found in great numbers in Syria, Judea, and Egypt. 
This species is very venomous ; it resembles other species of the same 
genus and of the genus stellion, which appear to be harmless, and are 
found in France, Italy, Sardinia, and on all the coasts of the Mediter- 
ranean Sea, where it is called tarenle, tarenta, tarentula, &c. The opinion 
Df M. Walckenaer appears the more reasonable, from the two species of 
serpents and vipers to which naturalists have given the name dipsada , 
the one, the Coluber dipsas of Linnseus, which is the dipsada, properly 
speaking, being only found in America ; the other, the black viper, 
Coluber praster of Linnseus, appears peculiar to Europe, and is more 
common in the north than in the south. We may venture to quote the 
passage of Albert d'Aix in Latin, which speaks of the remedy advised by 
♦he inhabitants of the country against the bite of the tarenta : — Similiter 
et aliam edocti sunt mediciuam, ut vir percussus sine mora coiret cum 
muhere, cum viro mulier, et sic ab omni tumore veneni liberaretur uter- 
(jue. — Alb. Aq. lib. iv. cap. 40. The same historian speaks of another 
remedy, which consisted in pressing strongly the place of the bite, to 
prevent the communication of the venom with the other parts of tb« 

200 HiSTORi or the crusades. 

letter written by tlie emir of Ptolemais to the emir of 
Csesarea. " The cursed race of the Christians," wrote the 
emir, " have just passed through my territories, and will 
soon cross yours ; let the chiefs of all the Mussulman cities 
be warned of their march, and let them take measures to 
crush our enemies." This letter was read in the council of 
the princes, and before all the army. The Crusaders, ac- 
cording to the account of Raymond d'Agdes, an eye-witness, 
broke out into loud expressions of surprise and joy, no 
longer doubting that God protected their enterprise, since 
he sent the birds of heaven to reveal to them the secrets of 
the infidels. Filled with new enthusiasm, they continued 
their route, drawing away from the sea, and leaving Anti- 
patride and Jaffa on their right. They saluted in the east 
the heights of Ephraim, and took possession of Lydda (the 
ancient Diospolis), celebrated by the martyrdom of St. 
Greorge, and of Ramla, famous for the birth and tomb of 

"When arrived at this last-named city, the Christians had 
only a march of sixteen miles to be before Jerusalem. The 
leaders held a council, in which some of them proposed to 
go and attack the infidels in Egypt, instead of undertaking 
the siege of the holy city.* " When," said they, "we shall 
have conquered the sultan of Egypt, the cities of Alexandria 
and Cairo, with Palestuie and most of the kingdoms of the 
East, will Ml under our power. If we go straight to Jeru- 
salem, we shall want both water and provisions, and we shall 
be obliged to raise the siege, without having the power to 
undertake anything else." Such of the leaders as did not 
agree with this opinion, answered, " That the Christian army 
amounted to no more than fifty thousand combatants, and 
that it would be madness to begin a march to distant, and, 
to them, unknown regions, and where they could look for no 
assistance. On aU. sides they must expect dangers and 
obstacles ; nowhere should they be free from the dread of 

* It is Raymond d'Agiles alone who speaks of this strange deliberation 
of the leaders ; if this liistorian had not been present, we could give no 
credit to it. — See Raym. d'Agiles, in the Collection of Bongars, p. 173. 
Albert d'Aix contents himself with saying that the leaders, after having 
traversed the territory of Ptolemai's, deliberated whether they she old not 
go to Damascus. 


want of provisions ; but tlie route to Jerusalem was mucli 
more easy than tbat to Alexandria or Cairo. The Crusaderg 
could pursue no wiser plan than to continue their march, 
and prosecute the enterprise they had begun, leaving it tc 
Providence to provide for their wants, and protect them 
from tliirst and famine." 

This latter opinion was adopted, and the army received 
the signal for departui-e. The cities which lay in the route 
of the Crusaders were all abandoned by the infidels. The 
greater part of the pilgrims endeavoured to get in advance 
of each other, that they might be the first to obtain pos- 
session of the places and castles that were thus left without 
inhabitants. The Crusaders, says Eajnnond d'Agiles, had 
agreed among themselves, that when one of the leaders had 
planted his standard upon a city, or had placed any mark 
whatever on the door of a house, he should become the 
legitimate possessor of it. This imprudent agreement had 
given birth to ambition and covetousness in the soldiers as 
well as the barons. Many, in the hope of obtaining rich 
possessions, abandoned their colours, wandered about the 
country, and spread themselves even as far as the banks of 
the Jordan. In the mean time, those to whom, according 
to the expression of the historians, nothing was more dear 
than the commandments of God, advanced, barefooted, under 
the standard of the cross, laDienting the error of their bre- 
thren. "When they arrived at Emmaus, a considerable city 
in tlie times of the Maccabees, and which was then no more 
than a large \Tllage, known under the name of Nicopolis, 
some Christians of Bethlehem came to implore their assist- 
ance. Touched with their prayers, Tancred set out in the 
middle of the night with a detachment of three hundred 
men, and planted the flag of the Crusaders upon the walls of 
the city, at the same hour in which Christ was born and was 
announced to the shepherds of Judea. 

During this same night a phenomenon appeared in the 
lieaven, which powerfully affected the imagination of the 
pilgrims. An eclipse of the moon produced all at once the 
most profound darkness, and when she at length re-appeared 
ehe was covered with a blood-red veil. Many of the Cru- 
saders were seized with terror at this spectacle ; but those 
^\\c) were acquainted with the march and movemeuts of the 


stars, says Albert d'Aix, reassured their companions by 
telling them that the sight of such a phenomenon announced 
the triumph of the Christians and the destruction of the 

By the break of day, on the 10th of June, 1099, the 
Crusaders ascended the heights of Emmaus. All at once 
the holy city presented itself to their eyes.* The first who 
perceived it exclaimed together, " Jerusalem ! Jerusalem ! " 
The rear ranks rushed forward to behold the city that was 
the object of all their wishes, and the words, " It is the mil 
of God ! It is the will of God ! " were shouted by the whole 
army, and resounded over Mount Sion and the Mount of 
Olives, which offered themselves to the eager gaze of the 
Crusaders. The horsemen dismounted from their horses, 
and marched barefooted. Some cast themselves upon their 
knees at beholding the holy places, whilst others kissed with 
respect the earth honoured by the presence of the Saviour. 
In their transports they passed by turns from joy to sad- 
ness, and from sadness to joy. At one moment they feli- 
citated themselves with touching the last term of their 
labours ; and then wept over their sins, over the death of 
Christ, and over his profaned tomb ; but all renewed the 
oath they had so often made to deliver the holy city from 
the sacrilegious yoke of the Mussulmans. 

History furnishes very few positive notions of the foun- 

* Tasso has spoken of the enthusiasm of the Crusaders at the sight ot 
Jerusalem. The historians of the crusades, Albert d'Aix, the author of 
the Gesta Francorum, Robert the Monk, Baldric or Baudry, and Wilham 
of Tyre, present us with the same picture that Tasso does. We will 
content ourselves with quoting here a passage from the " History of 
Jerusalem and Hebron," which proves that the sight of that city likewise 
awakens the enthusiasm of Mussulmans : " The coup d' ceil of Jerusalem," 
says this history, " is very fine, particularly when seen from the Mount 
of Olives. When the pilgrim arrives there, and sees the buildings nearer, 
his heart is filled with an inexpressible joy, and he easily forgets all the 
fatigues of his voyage." Haliiz, the son of Hadjar, improvised on his 
arrival at Jerusalem four verses, of which this is the translation : *' When 
we approached the holy city, the Lord show^ed us Jerusalem ; we had 
suffered much during our voyage, but we beUeved ourselves then entering 
into heaven." We have heard several modern travellers, of different man- 
ners, religions, and opinions, say that they all felt a lively emotion at 
seeing Jerusalem for the first time. See the beautiful description that 
M de Chateaubriand has given of it in his Itinerary. 


dation and origin of Jerusalem. The common opinion is, 
that Melchisedec, who is called king of Salem in Scripture, 
made his residence there. It was afterwards the capital of the 
Jebusees, which procured it the name of the city of Jehus. 
It is probable that from the name of Jehus and that of 
Salem, which signifies vision, or abode of peace, was formed 
the name of Jerusalem,* which it bore 'under the kings of 

From the highest antiquity Jerusalem yielded in magnifi- 
cence to none of the cities of Asia. Jeremiah names it 
admiraile city, on account of its beauty ; and David calls it 
the most glorious and most illustrious city of the East. From 
the nature of its entirely religious legislation, it always 
showed an invincible attachment for its laws ; but it was 
often a prey to the fanaticism of its enemies as well as that 
of its own citizens. . Its foimders, says Tacitus, having fore- 
seen that the opposition of their manners to those of other 
nations would be a source of war, had given their attention 
to its fortifications, and in the early times of the Roman 
empire it was one of the strongest places in Asia. After 
having undergone a great many revolutions, it was at length 
completely destroyed by Titus, and in accordance with the 
denunciations of the prophets, presented no more than a 
horrible confusion of stones. The emperor Adrian after- 
wards destroyed even its ruins, and caused another city to 
be built, giving it the name of Aelia, so that there should 
remain nothing of the ancient Jerusalem. The Christians, 
but more particularly the Jews, were banished from it. 
Paganism there exalted its idols, and Jupiter and Yenus liad 
altars upon the tomb of Jesus Christ. In the midst of so many 
profanations and vicissitudes, the people of the East and the 
"West scarcely preserved the memory of the city of David, 
wdien Constantino restored it its name, recalled the faithful, 
and made it a Christian city. Conquered afterwards by the 
Persians, and retaken by the Grreeks, it had fallen a bloody 
prey into the hands of the Mussulmans, who disputed the 
possession of it, and subjected it by turns to the double 
scourge of persecution and war.f 

* The name of Solyma was formed from that of Hierosolyma. 
t The Mussulmans call Jerusalem El Cods (the holy), Beit-ul' 
Mocaddh (the holy house), and scmetimes El Cherif (the noble). A 


At the time of the crusades, Jerusalem formed, as it doea 
at present, a square, rather longer than wide, of about a 
league in circumference. It extends over four hills ; on 
the east the Moriali, upon which the mosque of Omar was 
built in the place of the temple of Solomon ; on the south 
and west the Acra, which occupied the whole width of the 
city ; on the north the JBezetha, or the new city ; and on the 
north-west the Golgotlia, or Calvary, which the Greeks con- 
sidered to be the centre of the world, and upon which was 
built the church of the Resurrection. In the state in which 
Jerusalem then was it had lost much of its strength and ex- 
tent. Mount Sion no longer arose within its enclosure and 
dominated over its walls between the south and west. The 
three valleys which surrounded the ramparts had been in 
many places filled up by Adrian, and the access to the place 
was much less difficidt, particularly on the northern side. 
Nevertheless, as Jerusalem under the Saracens had had to 
sustain several sieges, and as it was at all times exposed to 
fresh attacks, its fortifications had not been neglected. The 
Egyptians, who had had possession of it for several months, 
took advantage of the tardiness of the Christian army to put 
it in a state of defence. 

"Wliilst the Crusaders were advancing slowly towards the 
city, the lieutenant of the caliph, Iftikhar-Eddaulah, ravaged 
the neighbouring plains, burnt the villages, filled up or poi- 
soned the cisterns, and surrounded himself with a desert in 
which the Christians must find themselves a prey to all kinds 
of misery. He caused provisions for a long siege to bo 
transported into the place ; he called upon all Mussulmans 
to come to the defence of Jerusalem, and employed a great 
number of workmen, day and night, to construct machines 
of war, to raise the walls, and repair the towers. The gar- 
rison of the city amounted to forty thousand men, and 
twenty thousand of the inhabitants took up arms. 

At the approach of the Christians, some detachments of 
^ufidels had come out from Jerusalem to observe the march 
and proceedings of the enemy, but were repulsed by Baldwin 

description of Jerusalem may be seen in the extracts from the Arabian 
history of Jerusalem and Hebron, transkted into French and inserted in 
tiie German J ournal, entitled " The Mines of the East." 


du BoLirg and Tancred. The latter had hastened from Beth- 
lehem, of whicli he had taken possession. After having pur- 
sued the fugitives up to the gates of the holy city, he left 
his companions and repaired alone to the Mount of Olives, 
from whence he contemplated at leisure the city promised 
to the arms and devotion of the pilgrims.* He was dis* 
turhed in his pious contemplations by five Mussulmans who 
came from the city, and finding him alone attacked him.f 
Tancred made no effort to avoid the combat ; three of the 
Saracens fell beneath his arm, whilst the other two took to 
flight. Without eitlier hastening or retarding his speed, 
Tancred rejoined the army, which, in its enthusiasm, was 
advancing without order, and descended the heights of 
Emmaus,:j; singing these words from Isaiah, " Jerusalem, lift 
up tJiine eyes, and behold the liberator who comes to break thy 
chains r 

On the day after their arrival the Crusaders employed 
themselves in regularly laying siege to the place. The duke 
of Normandy, the count of Flanders, and Tancred encamped 
tov/ards the north, from the gate of Herod to the gate of 
Cedar or of St. Stephen. Near to the Flemings, the Nor- 
mans, and the Italians, were placed the English, commanded 
by Edgar Atheling, and the Bretons, conducted by their 
duke, Alain Fergent, the sire de Chateau- Giron, and the 
viscount de Dinan. Godfrey, Eustace, and Baldwin du 
Bourg established thejr quarters between the west and the 
north, around the enclosure of Calvary, from the gate of 
Damascus to the gate of Jaffa. The count of Thoulouse 
placed his camp to the right of Godfrey between the south 
and the west; he had near to him Baimbaud of Orange, 
William of Montpellier, and Gaston of Beam. His troops 
at first extended to the declivity of Sion, and a few days 

* Tasso here makes Tancred contend with Clorinda. The personages 
of Clorinda and Herminia are the invention of the poet. 

f This fact, which Tasso has mixed with some fictions, is related by 
Raoul de Caen, Gesta Tancredi, cap. 112. The same historian adds that 
Tancred met upon the Mount of Olives a hermit who was born in Nor- 
mandy, and who hal been the enemy of Robert Guiscard and his family. 
This hermit welcomed the Italian hero with respect, and showed him the 
places around Jerusalem the most venerated by pilgrims. 

X See, for this arrival of the Christians, William of Tyre, lib. viL 
cap. 25. 


afterwards lie pitched liis tents upon the very summit of the 
mountain, at the place where Christ celebrated Easter. Bj 
these dispositions the Crusaders left free the sides of the 
city which were defended on the south by the valley of 
Gihon or Siloe, and towards the east by the \ alley vtf Jeho- 

Every step that the pilgrims took around Jerusalem 
brought to their minds some remembrance dear to their 
religion. In this territory, so revered by the Christians, 
there was not a valley, not a rock which had not a name in 
sacred history. All that they saw awakened or warmed 
their enthusiasm. They could not withdraw their eyes 
from the holy city, or cease to lament over the state of 
debasement into which it had fallen. This city, once so 
superb, looked as if buried in its own ruins, and they then 
might, to employ the expression of Josephus, have asked in 
Jerusalem itself where was Jerusalem ? With its square 
houses without windows, surmounted by flat terraces, it 
appeared to the Crusaders like an enormous mass of stones 
heaped up between rocks. They could only perceive here 
and there in its bovsom a few cypresses and some clumps of 
aloes and terebinthi, among which arose steeples in the 
quarter of the Christians, and mosques in that of the 
infidels. In the valleys and the fields adjacent to the city, 
which ancient traditions describe as covered with gardens 
and groves, there struggled into growth a few scattered 
olives and thorny shrubs. The sight of these sterile plains, 
and of the mountains burnt up by an ardent sun, offered to 
the pilgrims nothing but images of mourning, and mingled 
a melancholy sadness with their religious sentiments. They 
seemed to hear the voices of the prophets which had an- 
flounced the servitude and the misfortunes of the city of 
Gi)d, and, in the excess of their devotion, they thought 
themselves called upon to restore it to its ancient greatness 
and splendour. 

That which still further inflamed the zeal of the Crusaders 

* In comparing the description of the siege ef Jerusalem by the Cru- 
saders with tliat of the siege which th^ Romans carried on under Vespasian, 
we tind that the quarters of Godfrey were in the same place as those of 
Titus, wnen he directed his first attacks against the city. See the History 
of Josephus. 


for the deliverance of the holy city, Avas the arrival among&t 
them of a great number of Christians who had come out of 
Jerusalem, and being deprived of tlieir property and driven 
from their homes, had sought assistance and an asylum 
among their brethren from the West. These Christians 
described the miseries which the Mussidmans had inflicted 
upon all the worshippers of Christ. The women, children, 
and old men were detained as hostages, whilst sTch as were 
of an age to bear arms were condemned to labours which 
surpassed their strength. The head of the principal hos- 
pital for pilgrims had, with a great many other Christians, 
been cast into prison, and the clnurches had been pillaged to 
furnish support for the Mussulman soldiers. The patriarch 
Simeon was gone to the isle of Cyprus to implore the 
charity of the faithfid, and save his flock, which was me- 
naced with destruction if he did not pay the enormous 
tribute imposed by the oppressors of the holy city. Every 
day new outrages were heaped upon the Christians of Jeru- 
salem, and several times the infidels had formed the project 
of giving up to the flames and utterly destroying both the 
Holy Sepidchre and the church of the Eesurrection. 

The Christian fugitives, whilst making these melancholy 
recitals to the pilgrims, exhorted them to hasten their attack 
upon Jerusalem. In the very first days of the siege, a 
solitary, who had fixed his retreat on the Mount of Olives, 
came to join his prayers with those of the Christians driven 
from Jerusalem, and conjured the Crusaders, in the name 
of Christ, whose interpreter he declared himself, at once to 
proceed to a general assault. Although destitute of either 
ladders or machines of war, the Crusaders yielded to the 
counsels of the pious hermit, believing that their cowcage 
and their swords were suflicient to destroy the ramparts of 
the Saracens. The leaders, who had seen so many prodigies 
performed by the valour and enthusiasm of the Christian 
soldiers, and who had not forgotten the lengthened miseries 
of the siege of Antioch, yielded without difficulty to the 
impatience of the army ; besides, the sight of Jerusalem had 
exalted the minds of the Crusaders, and disposed even the 
least credulous to hope that God himself would second their 
bravery by miracles. 

At the first signal, the Christian army advanced in f^od 


order towards tlie ramparts. Never, say the historians, did 
the sokliers of the cross evince so much ardour; some, 
joined in close battahons, covered themselves witli their 
bucklers, which formed an impenetrable vault over their 
heads, and endeavoured with pikes and hammers to destroy 
the ^A•all ; whilst others, ranged in long files, remained at 
some distance, and plied their slings and cross-bows in driving 
the enemy from the ramparts. Oil, boiling pitch, large 
stones, and enormous beams were cast upon the front ranks 
of the Christians without putting the least stop to their 
labours. The outer wall began to fall beneath their strokes, 
but the inner wall presented an insuperable obstacle, and 
nothing was left to them but escalade. This bold method 
was attempted, although only one ladder long enough to 
reach the top of the walls could be found. The bravest 
mounted, and fought hand to hand with the Saracens, who 
were confounded with such rash coiu*age. It is probable 
that the Crusaders would have entered Jerusalem that very 
day if they had had the necessary instruments and machines; 
but so small a number of them could gain the top of the 
walls, that they could not maintain themselves there. Bra- 
very was useless ; Heaven did not perform the miracles 
which the solitary had promised, and the Saracens at length 
forced the assailants to retreat. 

The Christians returned to their camp deploring their 
imprudence and creduhty. This first reverse taught them 
that they must not always expect prodigies, and that before 
they proceeded further they must construct machines of 
war. But it was very difiicult to procure the necessary 
wood in a coimtry of barren sands and arid rocks. Several 
detachments were sent to search for materials ; and chance 
discovered to one of them some large beams, wk'ch Tancred 
caused to be transported to the camp. They demolished 
the houses, and even the churches in the vicinity of the city 
v/hich had not been given up to the flames, and every avail- 
able bit of wood that had escaped the ravages of the 
Saracens was employed in the construction of machines. 

In spite of their discoveries and exertions, the progress of 
the siege did not answer to the impatience of the Crusaders, 
nor did they appear likely t;. be able to avert the evils that 
threatened them. The mo.^t intense heats of the summer 


set in at the very time the pilgrims arrived before Jerusalem. 
A seorcbing sun and soutliern winds, loaded with the sands 
of tlie desert, inflamed the horizon. Plants and animals 
eriisbecl ; the torrent of Kedron was dry, and all the cisterns 
ad been filled up or poisoned.* Under a sun of fire, and 
amidst burning and arid plains, the Christian army soon 
became a prey to all the horrors of thirst. 

The fountain of Siloe, which only Howled at intervals, 
could not suffice for such a multitude. A skinful of fetid 
water, brought from a distance of three leagues, cost aa 
much as three silver deniers. Overcome by thirst and heat, 
the soldiers turned up the soil with their swords, and bury- 
ing themselves in the freshly-moved earth, eagerly carried 
to their lips every moist clod that presented itself. During 
the day they looked anxiously for the night, and at night 
longed for the break of day, in the constantly disappointed 
hope that the return of either the one or the other would 
bring some little freshness, or a few drops of rain. Every 
morning they were seen to glue their parched lips to the 
marbles covered with dew. During the heat of the day the 
most robust languished beneath their tents, seeming not to 
have even strength left to implore the assistance of Heaven. 
The knights and barons were not at all exempt from the 
scourge which devoured the army, and many of them ex- 
changed for the water of which they stood in daily need, the 
treasures they had won from the infidels. " Pity, on account 
of this extreme thirst," says the old translator of William 
of Tyre, " was not so much due to the foot-soldiers as the 
horsemen ; the foot-soldiers could be contented with a little, 
but the horsemen could only supply their horses Tvith drink 
at great expense. As to the beasts of burthen," adds the 
same historian, " there was no more account taken of them 
than of things already dead; they were allowed to stray 
away in the fields, where they died for want of water." 

In this general misery the women and children dragged 
their exhausted bodies across fields and plains, seeking 
8ometimes a spring and sometimes shade, neither of which 

* An admirable picture is to be found in Tasso of this drought, which 
is also described by Robert the Monk, Baldric, Raymond d'Agile;;, Albert 
d' Aix, "William of Tyre, and by Gilles or Gilou, in his Latin poem upon ih4 
ftrst crusade. 


existed. Many "^lio strayed from tlie army fell into the 
ambushes of the Saracens, and lost either their lives or their 
liberty. When some fortunate pilgrims discovered a spring 
or a cistern in a remote or obscure place, they concealed it 
from their companions, and prevented their approach to it. 
Quarrels of a violent nature broke out on this account daily ; 
and not unfrequently the Crusaders drew their swords for 
the sake of a little muddy water ; in short, the want of water 
was so insupportable an evil, that they hardly noticed the 
scarcity of food. The intensity of thirst and the heat of the 
climate made them forget the horrors of the famine which 
seemed to piu'sue the Christians everywhere. 

If the besieged had at this period made a sortie, they 
would have easily triumphed over the Crusaders, but the 
latter were defended by the remembrance of their exploits ; 
and in the distress to which they were now reduced, their 
name alone still inspired the Saracens with dread. The Mus- 
sulmans likewise might entertain the behef that their enemies 
could not long resist the joint calamities of famine and 
thirst. The old historians here employ the most pathetic 
expressions to paint the frightful misery of the pilgrims. 
Abbot Gruibert even goes so far as to say that men never 
suffered so many evils to obtain benefits which were not of 
this earth. Amidst such calamities, says Raymond d'Agiles, 
who was himself at the siege of Jerusalem, many forgot their 
God, and thought no longer of either gaining the city, or 
obtaining the divine mercy. The remembrance of then" own 
country increased their sufferings ; and so great was their 
discouragement, that some deserted the standards of the 
crusade entirely, and fled to the ports of Palestine and Syria 
to wait for an opportunity of returning to Europe. 

The leaders clearly saw there was no other remedy for the 
evils the army endured but the taking of Jerusalem ; and yet 
the labours of the siege went on very slowly, for they had 
neither wood enough for the construction of machines, nor 
workmen with necessary implements. In addition, a report 
was current that a formidable army had left Egypt for the 
purpose of relieving the city. The wisest and the bravest 
were beginning, in such a critical situation, to despair (€ the 
success of the enterprise, when assistance was afforded them 
of an une »pected kind. 


They learned that a Genoese fleet had entered the port of 
Jaffa, laden with provisions and ammunition of all sorts. 
This news spread the j^-reatest joy through the Christian 
i,/my, and a body of throe hundred men, commanded by 
Raymond Pelet, set out from the camp to meet the convoy, 
which Heaven appeared to have sent the Crusaders in theif 
misery. This detachment, after having beaten and dispersed 
tlie Saracens they met on their passage, entered the city ol 
Jaffa, which, being abandoned by its inhabitants, was occu- 
pied by the Genoese. On their arrival, the Crusaders learnt 
that the Christian fleet had been surprised and burnt by 
that of the infidels, but they had had time to get out the 
pro\dsions and a great quantity of instruments for the con- 
struction of machines of war. All they had been able to 
save was transported to the camp of the Christians. This 
convoy arrived under the walls of Jerusalem, followed by a 
great number of Genoese engineers and carpenters, whose 
presence greatly revived the emulation and courage of the 

As they still had not sufiicient wood for the construction 
of the machines, a Syrian conducted the duke of Normandy 
and the count of Flanders to a mountain situated at a dis- 
tance of thirty miles from Jerusalem, between the Valley of 
Samaria and the Valley of Sechem. There the Christians 
found the forest of which Tasso speaks in the " Jerusalem 
Delivered."* The trees of this forest were neither protected 
from the axe of the Crusaders by the enchantments of 
Ismen nor the arms of the Saracens. Oxen shod with iron 
transported them in triumph before Jerusalem. 

None of the leaders, except E,aymond of Thoulouse, had 

* Maimbourg does not seem to credit the existence of this forest, and 
says that it is an invention of Tasso's. He. might have read in William 
of Tyre this sentence, which is not at all equivocal : — Casu affuit quidam 
fidelis indigena natione Syrus, qui in valles quasdam secretiores, sex aut 
scptem a'l urbe distantes milliaribus, quosdam de principibus direxit, ubi 
arbores, etsi non ad conceptum opus aptas penitus, tamen ad aliquem 
tnodum proceras invenerunt plures. Raoul de Caen is much more 
positive and explicit than William of Tyre ; this is the way in which he 
expresses himself: — Lucus erat in montibus et montes ad Hyerusalem 
remoti ei ; quae modo Neapolis, olim Sebasta, ante Sychar dictus est, 
propriores, adhuc ignota nostratibus via, nunc Celebris et ferme peregre 
oantium unica. — Rad. Cad. cap. 121. 

Vol 1— U 


sufficient money to pay for the labours they had com- 
manded, but the zeal and charity of the pilgrims came to 
their assistance. Many oflbred the remains of the spoil 
taken from the enemy ; the knights and barons themselves 
became laborious workmen ; and every arm was employed, 
and everything in motion throughout the army. The women, 
the children, even the sick, shared the toils of the soldiers. 
Whilst the more robust were engaged in the construction of 
rams, catapultas, and covered galleries, others fetched water 
in skins from the fountain of Elpira, on the road to Damas- 
cus, or from a rivulet which flowed beyond Bethlehem, 
towards the desert of St. John. Some prepared the skins 
that were to be stretched over the machines to render them 
fire-proof, whilst others traversed the plains and neigh- 
bouring mountains to collect branches of the olive, the fig,* 
and some other trees of the country, to make hurdles and 

Although the Christians had still much to suffer from 
thirst and the heat of the climate, the hope of soon seeing 
the end of their troubles gave them strength to support 
them. The preparations for the attack were pressed on with 
incredible activity ; every day formidable machines appeared, 
threatening the ramparts of the Saracens. The construction 
of them was directed by Graston of Beam, of whose skill 
and bravery historians make great boast.f Among these 
machines were three enormous towers of a new structure, 
each of which had three stages, the first for the workmen 
who directed the movements of it, and the second and third 
for the warriors who were to make the assault. These three 
rolling fortresses were higher than the walls of the besieged 
city.J At the top was fixed a kind of drawbridge, which 

* A sufficiently remarkable circumstance is, that the shrub which grows 
most freely in the territory of Jerusalem, and which the Crusaders must 
have used, was the rhamnus^ a thorny siH-ub, of which, if we give faith ta 
the opinion of Pierre Belon, was formed the crown of thorns of Christ. 
Christopher Hasselquoit, it is true, is not of this opinion, and pretends 
that the crown of thorns was of the shrub nakba. 

•\ Quemdam egregium et magnificum virum, dominum videlicet Gas- 
tonem de Bean», operi prefecerunt. — Will. Tyren. lib. viii. cap. 10, 
Raymond d'AgiUs and Abbot Guibert speak also of Gaston de Beam. 

% The chevaliei le Felart, in his treaty on The Attack of Places, sA 
the end of his commentary upon Poiybius, speaks of the tower of Godfrey, 


could be let down on the ramparts, and present a road by 
which to penetrate into the place. 

But these powerful means of attack were not the only 
ones which were to second the efforts of the Crusaders. The 
religious enthusiasm which had already performed so many 
prodigies was again to augment their ardour and confidence 
in victory. The clergy spread themselves through all the 
quarters of the army, exhorting the pilgrims to penitence 
and concord. Misery, which almost always engenders com- 
plaints and mm'murs, had soured their hearts, and produced 
division among the leaders and the soldiers, who at other 
times had disputed for cities and treasures, but for whom then 
the most common things had become objects of jealousy and 
quarrels. The solitary from the Mount of Olives added his 
exhortations to those of the clergy, and addressing himself 
to the princes and people : " You who are come," said he, 
" from the regions of the West to worship the Grod of 
armies, love one another as brothers, and sanctify yourselves 
by repentance and good works. If you obey the laws of 
God, he will, render you masters of the holy city ; if you 
resist him, all his anger will fall upon you." The solitary 
advised the Crusaders to march roiuid Jerusalem, invoking 
the mercy and protection of Heaven. 

The pilgrims, persuaded that the gates of the city were 
not less hkely to be opened by devotion than bravery, lis- 
tened with docility to the exhortations of the solitary, and 
were all eager to follow; his counsel, which they regarded as 
the language of God himself. After a rigorous fast of three 
days, they issued from their quarters armed, and marched 
barefooted and bareheaded around the walls of the holy city. 
They were preceded by their priests clothed in white, carry- 
ing images of the saints, and singing psalms and holy songs. 
The ensigns were displayed, and the C3Tnbals and trumpets 
sounded afar. It was thus that the Hebrews had formerly 
marched round Jericho, whose walls had crumbled away at 
the sound of their instruments. 

The Crusaders set out from the Valley of Bephraim, which 

which he imprcperij calls the tower of Frederick the First of Jerusalem, 
He gives a detailed and very exact description of this tower, which is like* 
wise well described by contemporary historians. 


faces Calyary ; they advanced towards the north, and saluted, 
on entering into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the tombs of 
Mary, St. Stephen, and the first elect of God. On con- 
tinuing their march towards the Mount of Ohves, they con- 
templated with much respect the grotto in which Christ 
sweated blood, and the spot where the Saviour wept over 
Jerusalem. When they arrived at the summit of the moun- 
tain, the most imposing spectacle presented itself to their 
eyes. Towards the east were the plains of Jericho, the 
shores of the Dead Sea and the Jordan ; and to the west 
they saw at their feet the holy city and its territory, covered 
with sacred ruins. Assembled on the very spot whence 
Christ ascended into heaven, and where they stiU sought for 
the vestiges of his steps, they listened to the exhortations of 
tlie priests and biphops. 

Arnold de Hohes, chaplain to the duke of Normandy, 
addressed them in a pathetic discourse, conjiu-ing them to 
redouble their zeal and perseverance. AVhen terminating 
his discourse, he turned towards Jerusalem : " Tou see," 
said he to them, " the heritage of Christ trampled under- 
foot by the impious ; here is, at last, the worthy reward of 
all your labours ; here are the places in which Grod will 
pardon all your sins, and will bless all your victories." At 
the voice of the orator, who pointed out to them the church 
of the B-esurrection and the rocks of Calvary, ready to 
receive them, the defenders of the cross humbled themselves 
before Grod, and kept their eyes fixed upon Jerusalem. 

As Arnold exhorted them, in the name of Christ, to forget 
all injuries, and to love one another, Tancred and E-aymond, 
who had had long and serious disputes, embraced each other 
in the presence of the whole Christian army. The soldiers 
and leaders followed their example. The most rich promised 
to comfort the poor by their alms, and to support the 
orphans of the bearers of the cross. All forgot their fatal 
discords, and swore to remain faithful to the precepts of 
evangelical charity. 

Whilst the Crusaders were thus giving themselves up to 
transports of devotion and piety, the Saracens assembled on 
the ramparts of Jerusalem, raised crosses high in the air, 
and treated them with all kinds of outrages, at the same 
time insulting the ceremonies of the Christians by their 


gestures and their clamours.* "You hear them," said Peter the 
Hermit ; " you hear the menaces and the blasphemies against 
the true God ; swear to defend Jesus Christ, a prisoner, and 
cruciiied a second time by the infidels. Tou see him who 
expires afresh upon Calvary for the redemption of your 
sins."t At these words the cenobite was interrupted by 
the groans and cries of indignation which arose on all parta 
against the infidels. " Yes, I swear by your piety," con- 
tinued the orator, " I swear by your arms, that the reign of 
the impious is near its end. The army of the Lord has 
only to appear, and all that vain mass of Mussulmans w^ill 
disperse like a shadow. To-day they are full of pride and 
insolence, to-morrow they shall l3e frozen with fear, and shall 
fall motionless before you, like the guardians of the sepul- 
chre, who felt their arms escape from their hands, and fell 
dead vdth fright, when an earthquake announced the pre- 
sence of a God on that Calvary on which you are going 
to mount the breach. Still a few moments, and these 
towers, the last bulwark of the infidels, shall be the asylum 
of the Christians ; these mosques, which stand upon Chris- 
tian ruins, shall serve as temples for the true God, and 
Jerusalem shall only henceforward hear the praises of the 

At these last words of Peter the most lively transports 
broke forth among the Christians ; they embraced, shedding 
tears, and exhorting each other to support the evils and the 
fatigues of which they should so soon receive the glorious 
rew^ard. The Christians at length descended the Mount of 
OHves to return to their camp, and, taking their route 
southward, they saluted on their right the tomb of David, and 
passed close to the pool of Siloe, where Christ restored sight 
to the man born blind. They perceived, further on, the 

* Cruces fixerunt, super quas aut spu'^bant, aut in oculis omnium 
mingere non abhorrebant. — Ab. Aq. lib, vi. 

t See, for this procession, Baldric, bishop of Dol. lib. iv. ; Accolte^ 
lib, iv. ; Albert d'Aix, lib, vi. ; William of Tyre, lib. vii. It cannot 
be doubted that the leaders caused this procession to be made round 
Jerusalem, in order that the sight of so many places should arouse the 
enthusiasm of the Crusaders, We must regret that Tasso, who speaks 
of this procession, has scarcely said anything of ths places the Christian! 
visited ; these details would have furnished poetical beauties, without in 
anything departing from the exactitude of history. 

216 HISTORY OF rnE cresades. 

ruins of the palaces of Judali, and marched along the de- 
clivity of Mount Sion, where other remembrances arose 
before them to add to their enthusiasm. Towards evening, 
the Christian army returned to their quarters, repeating these 
words of the prophet : The nations of the West shall fear 
the Lord ; and the nations of the East shall see his glory. 
"VYhen tliey had regained their camp, the greater part of the 
pilgrims passed the night in prayer ; the leaders and the 
soldiers confessed their sins at the feet of their priests, 
and received their God, whose promises filled them with 
confidence and hope. 

Whilst these things were passing in the Christian camp, 
the most profound silence reigned over the walls of Jerusa- 
lem ; nothing was heard but the voices of the men who, 
from hour to hour, from the tops of the mosques of the city, 
called the Mussulmans to prayer. The infidels came in 
crowds to their temples to implore the protection of their 
prophet, and swore by the mysterious stone of Jacob to 
defend a city which they called the House of God. The 
besieged and the besiegers were stimulated by an equal 
ardour to fight and to shed their blood, the former to pre- 
serve, and the latter to conquer a city which both held 
sacred. The hatred which animated them was so violent, 
that diu^ing the whole siege no Mussulman deputy came 
into the Christian camp, nor did the Christians deign 
to summon the garrison to suiTender. Between such 
enemies the shock must necessarily be terrible, and the 
rictory implacable. 

The leaders of the Christian army being assembled to 
decide upon the day for attacking the city, it was resolved 
to take advantage of the enthusiasm of the pilgrims, which 
was at its height, and to press forward the assault, the pre- 
parations for which were rapidly going on. As the Saracens 
had raised a great number of machines on the sides of the 
city most tlu*eatened by the Christians, it was agreed that 
they should change the dispositions of the siege, and that 
the principal attack should be directed towards the points 
where the enemy had made the least preparations for 

During the night Godfrey removed his quarters eastward. 
near to the gate of Cedar, and not far from the valley in 


wliicli Titiis was encamped when liis soldiers penetrated into 
the galleries of the temple. The rolling tower, and the 
other machines of war which tbe duke of Lorraine liad 
caused to be constructed, were transported with incredible 
diffici.dty in face of the walls he intended to attack. Tan- 
cred and the two Roberts got readj their machines, between 
the gate of Damascus and the angular tower, which waa 
afterwards called the tower of Tancred* 

When the Saracens, at daybreak, saw these new disposi- 
tions, they were seized with astonishment and affright. The 
Crusaders might have taken profitable advantage of the 
alarm which this change created in the enemy, but upon 
steep ground it was difficult to bring the towers up close to 
the walls. Kaymond in particular, who was charged with 
the attack on the south, found himself separated from the 
rampart by a ravine, which it was necessary to have filled 
up. He immediately made it known, by a herald-at-arms, 
that he would pay a denier to every person who should cast 
three stones into it. A crowd of people instantly flew to 
second the efforts of his soldiers ; nor could the darts and 
arrows, which were hurled like hail fi'om the ramparts, at all 
relax the ardour and zeal of the assailants. At length, at 
the end of the third day, all was finished, and the leaders 
gave the signal for a general attack. 

On Thursday, the 14th of July, 1099, as soon as day ap- 
peared, the clarions sounded in the camp of the Christians ; 
all the Crusaders flew to arms ; all the machines were in 
motion at once ; the stone-machines and mangonels vomited 
showers of flints, whilst under the cover of tortoises and 
galleries, the rams were brought close to the walls. The 
archers and cross-bowmen kept up a continual discharge 
against the rampart ; whilst the most brave planted their 
ladders in places where the wall seemed to offer least resist- 

* Raymand d'Agiles says that Godfrey's tower was transplanted by 
night a mile from the spot where it had been constructed ; which leads ua 
to believe thtit the principal attack was directed near the gate of Cedar, 
towards the entrance of the Valley of Jehoshaphat. For the rest, we must 
regret that M. de Chateaubriand, who has written a very interesting 
dissertation upon the military positions of Tasso, has not thrown light 
upon the obscurities of the historians which present themselves in thii 
portion of their accounts of the siege. 


ance. On the north, east, and south of the city, the thre« 
towers advanced towards the ramparts, amidst the tumult 
and shouts of the soldiers and the workmen. Godfrey 
appeared on the highest platform of his wooden fortress, 
accompanied by his brother Eustace and Baldwin du Bourg, 
He animated his people by his example ; and every javelm 
that he cast, say the historians of the times, carried death 
among the Saracen host. Kaymond, Tancred, the duke of 
Normandy, and the count of Flanders fought amidst their 
soldiers ; whilst the knights and men-at-arms, animated by 
the same zeal as their principal chiefs, flew from place to 
place where danger called them. 

Nothing coidd equal the impetuosity of the first shock of 
the Christians ; but they were everyv^'here met by an obsti- 
nate resistance. Arrows, javehns, boiling oil, Grreek fire, 
fourteen machines which the besieged had now time to 
oppose to those of their enemies, repulsed on all sides the 
attacks and the efibrts of the assailants. The infidels 
issuing through a breach made in their rampart, attempted 
to burn the machines of the besiegers, and carried disorder 
among the Christian ranks. Towards the end of the day, 
the towers of Godfrey and Tancred could no longer be 
moved, whilst that of Eaymond fell to pieces. The combat 
had lasted twelve hours, without victory having inclined to 
the side of the Crusaders, when night came to put a tem- 
porary end to the efforts of both parties. The Christians 
returned to their camp trembling with rage and grief; the 
leaders, but particularly the two Eoberts, lamenting that 
God Jiad not yet thought them worthy of entering into his 
holy city, and adoring the tomh of his Son.* 

The night was spent anxiously on both sides, each deplor- 
ing their losses, and trembling at the idea of others they 
were likely to sustain. The Saracens dreaded a surprise ; 
the Christians were afraid that the Saracens would burn the 
machines they had left under the w ills. The besieged were 

* This circumstance is thus related by Abbot Guibert : — Est etiam 
mihi non inferiori relatione comperturn, Robertum Normandise comiteaa 
Robertumque alterura Flandriarum principera, junctis pariter convenisse 
moeroribus, et se cum fletibus uberrimis conclamasse miserrimos, qnos 
suae adoratione cruets, et visione, iramo veneratione sepulchri, tantoj>er« 
Jesus Dominus judicaret indignos. — Lib. vii. cap. 6, 


employed without intermission in repairing the breached 
made in the walls ; whilst the besiegers were equally active 
in putting their machines in a state of service against a 
fresh attack. The following day brought a renewal of the 
same dangers and the same combats that the preceding one 
had witnessed. The chiefs endeavoured by their speeches 
to raise the courage of the Crusaders ; whilst the priests 
and bishops indefatigably visited the tents of the soldiers, 
promising them the assistance of Heaven. The Christian 
army, filled with renewed confidence in victory, appeared 
under arms, and marched in profound silence towards the 
points of attack, whilst the clergy walked ia procession round 
the city. 

The first shock was impetuous and terrible. The Chris- 
tians were indignant at the resistance they had met with the 
day before, and fought with fiu'y. The besieged, who had 
learnt the approach of an Egyptian army, were animated by 
the hope of victory, and their ramparts were protected by 
machines of a formidable description. The mutually dis- 
charged javelins hissed on all sides ; whilst stones and beams 
launched by both Christians and infidels were dashed against 
each other in the air with a frightful noise, and fell upon the 
assailants. Erom the height of the towers, the Mussulmans 
unceasingly hurled lighted torches and fire-pots. The wooden 
fortresses of the Christians approached the walls amidst a 
conflagration which was increasing on all parts around them. 
The infidels directed their attacks particularly against the 
tower of Godfrey, upon the summit of which shone a cross 
of gold, the sight of which provoked their utmost fury. 
The duke of Lorraine saw one of his esquires and many of 
his soldiers fall by his side ; but although himself a mark 
for all the arrows of the enemy, he fought on amidst the 
dead and the wounded, and never ceased to exhort his com- 
panions to redouble their courage and ardour. The count 
of Thoulouse, who attacked the city on the south side, 
brought up all his machines to bear against those of the 
Mussulmans : he had to contend against the emir of Jeru- 
salem, who animated his people by his words, and appeared 
upon the walls surrounded by the elite of the Egyptian sol- 
diery. Towards the north, Tancred and tlie two Koberta 
stood motionless at the he?d of their battahons, on their 



rolling fortress, impatient to employ the lance and sword. 
Already their rams had, upon several points, shaken the 
walls, behind which the Saracens in close ranks presented 
themselves as a last rampart against the attacks of the 

In the midst of the conflict two female magicians appeared 
upon the ramparts of the city, calling, as the historians say, 
upon the elements and the infernal powers. They could 
not, however, themselves avoid the death which they invoked 
upon the Christians, and fell dead beneath a shower of arrows 
and stones.* Two Egyptian emissaries, sent from Ascalon 
to exhort the besieged to persist in their defence, were sur- 
prised by the Crusaders as they were endeavouring to enter 
the city. One of them fell covered with wounds, and the 
other, having revealed the secret of his mission, was, by 
means of a machine, hurled upon the ramparts where the 
Saracens were fighting. But the combat had now lasted 
half the day, witliout affording the Crusaders any hope of 
carrying the place. All tlieir machines were on fire, and 
they wanted water, but more particularly vinegar,t which 
alone will extinguish the species of fire employed by the 

* As Tasso often employs magic, we have sought with care for ajl that 
relates to this species of the marvellous in the contemporary historians. 
That which we have just quoted from William of Tyre, is the only- 
instance we have been able to find. Some historians likewise have said 
that the mother of Kerboghawas a sorceress, and that she had foretold to 
her son the defeat of Antioch. It is in vain to seek for similar incidents 
\n the history of the first crusade. We ought to add that magic was 
much less in vogue in the twelfth century than in that in which Tasso 
lived. The Crusaders were no doubt very superstitious, but their super- 
stitions were not attached to little things ; they were struck by the phe- 
nomena they saw in the heavens ; they believed in the appearance of 
saints, and in revelations made by God himself, but not in magicians. 
Ideas of magic came to us a long time afterwards, in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries. The chroniclers of that period, who speak of anterior 
facts, fill their recitals with whimsical and ridiculous fables, such as are 
not to be found in more ancient authors. We must not judge of the 
middle ages by the chronicles of Robert Gaguin, or by those of Arch- 
bishop Turpin, the work of a monk of the twelfth century ; still less by 
the romances of the same period. 

f We report this circumstance here, in order to give an idea of the fire 
which was launched against the Christians. Albert d'ALx expresses him- 
self thus : — Qualiter ignis, aqua inextinguibilis solo aceti liquore restingui 
valeat, — Alb. Aq. lib. vi. cap. 18. 


besieged. In vain the bravest exposed themselves to tha 
greatest dangers to prevent the destruction of the wooden 
towers and the rams ; tliey fell, buried under the ruins, and 
the flames consumed even their bucklers and vestments. 
Many of the most intrepid warriors had met with death at 
the foot of the ramparts ; a great number of those who were 
upon the towers had been disabled ; whilst the rest, covered 
with sweat and dust, fatigued by the w^eight of their arms 
and the heat, began to lose courage. Ttie Saracens, who 
perceived this, uttered loud cries of joy. Among their 
blasphemies they reproached the Christians with worshipping 
a Grod who was not able to defend them. The assailants 
ieplored their fate, and, believing themselves abandoned by 
Fesus Christ, remained motionless on the field of battle. 

But the combat was destined soon to change its appear- 
ance. All at once the Crusaders saw a knight appear upon 
the Mount of Olives, waving his buckler, and giving the 
Christian army the signal for entering the city.* Grodfre}'' 
and E,aymond, who perceived him first and at the same time, 
cried out aloud that St. Greorge was come to the help of the 
Christians ! The tumult of the fight allowed neither reflec- 
tion nor examination, the sight of the celestial horseman 
fired the besiegers with new ardour ; and they retiu-ned to 
the charge. Women, even children and the sick, mingled in 
the melee, bringing water, food, and arms, and joined their 
efforts to those of the soldiers to move the rolling towers, 
the terror of the enemy, nearer the ramparts. f That of 
Godfrey, in spite of a terrible discharge of stones, arrows, 
and Greek fire, advanced near enough to have its draw- 
bridge lowered upon the walls. Flaming darts flew, at the 
same time, in showers against the machines of the besieged, 
and against the sacks of straw and hay, and bags of wool 
which protected the last walls of the city. The wind assisted 
the fire, and drove the flames upon the Saracens, who, enve- 
loped in masses of flame and smoke, retreated before the lances 

* This is repeated by William of Tyre and some other writers, 
Raymond d'Agiles very naively says : Quis autera miles ille fuerit cog- 
noscere non potuimus. — Raym. d Ag. p. 171, Bongars. 

t Matthew of Edessa says that Godfrey used in this assault the sword 
of Vespasian, which thus assisted, for the third time, in the destruction ot 
Jerusalem No Latin historian mentions it. 


and swords of the Crusaders. Grodfrey, preceded by the 
two brothers Lethalde and Engelbert of Tournai, and fol- 
lowed by Baldwin dn Bourg, Eustace, Eeimbault Creton,* 
Grunher, Bernard de St. Vallier, and Amenjou d'Albret, 
rushes upon the enemy, pursues them, and upon the track 
of their footsteps enters Jerusalem. All the brave men 
who fought with him on the platform of the tower, followed 
their intrepid chief, penetrated with him into the streets, 
and massacred all they met in their passage. At the same 
time a report was spread in the Christian army that the 
holy pontilF Adhemar, and several Crusaders who had fallen 
during the siege, had appeared at the head of the assailants, 
and had unfurled the standard of the Cross upon the towers 
of Jerusalem. Tancred and the two Hoberts, animated by 
this account, made fresh eiforts, and at last threw them- 
selves into the place, accompanied by Hugh de St. Paul, 
Grerard de Koussillon, Louis de Mouson, Conon and Lam- 
bert de Montaigu, and Graston de Beam. A crowd of heroes 
followed them closely ; some entering by a half-opened 
breach ; others scaluig the walls with ladders ; and many 

* Oderic Vital attributes to Reirabault Creton of Cambresis the glory 
of having first entered Jerusalem. Other historians only name him among 
those who followed most closely the steps of the brothers Lethalde and 
Engelbert of Tournai. This is the text of Orderic Vital : — Reimboldus 
Creton qui primus in expugnatione Jerusalem ingressus est, &c. The 
descendants of Reimbolt Creton bore indifferently up to the sixteenth 
century the names of Creton and Estourmel. This family preserved as 
its device these words, '■'■Vaillant sur la crete;^^ and La Morliere, the 
historian of Picardy under Louis XIIL, speaks of them in these terms : 
" It adds not a little to the lustre of this family, that it is acknowledged 
that they owe the origin of their arms to the first crusade which the 
Christians made for the recovery of the Holy Land, bestowed by the hand 
of Godfrey of Bouillon, king of Jerusalem, who, to do honour to the 
valour of the sieur d'Estourmel, whom he had seen bear himself so 
valiantly at the taking of that city, made him a present of a crenated 
cross of silver, in which was enchased a piece of the true cross." This 
precious reliquary was passed down from generation to generation to the 
eldest sons of this house. In the reign of Louis XIIL the marquis 
d'Hautefort having espoused the only daughter of Antoine d'Estourmel, 
cordon bleu, and first equerry to madame la duchesse d'Orleans, pre- 
tended that this piece of the true cross made a part of the inheritance. 
This discussion was submitted to the arbitration of the president of 
Mesmes, who decided that the cross was to revert to the branch of the 
house of Estourmel, which possesses it to this daj. 


leaping from the tops of the wooden towers. The Mussul- 
mans fled on alt sides, and Jerusalem resounded with the 
cry of victory of the Crusaders, — " It is the will of God ! It 
is the will of God / " * 

The companions of Godfrey and Tancred beat the gate of 
St. Stephen to pieces with axes, and the city was at once 
thrown open to the crowd of Crusaders, who pressed for- 
w"ard and contended for the honour of dealing the last blow 
to the conquered infidels. 

Baymond alone still experienced some resistance. "Warned 
of the success of the Christians, by the clashing of arms, 
and the tumult he heard in the city, he endeavoured stiU 
further to animate his soldiers. The latter, impatient to 
loin their companions, abandoned their tower and machines, 
which they could no longer move. They planted ladders 
and swords, by the means of which they mounted the ram- 
part, whither they were preceded by the count of Thoulouse, 
Kaymond Pelet, the bishop of Bira, the comit de Die, and 
William de Sabran. Nothing now could stop their progress ; 
they dispersed the Saracens, who with their emir had taken 
refuge in the fortress of David,t and soon all the Crusaders 
united in Jerusalem embraced, wept for joy, and gave all 
their attention to the completion of their victory. 

Despair, however, for a moment forced the bravest of the 
Saracens to rally, and they charged with impetuosity the 

* The details of this assault are repeated by all contemporary historians j 
several describe it at length. Foulcher de Chartres, who without doubt 
distinguished himself there, is the one who says the least. Anna Com- 
nena says that the Christians took Jerusalem in fifteen days, but gives no 

t The Oriental authors give no details of the siege of Jerusalem. The 
manuscript history of Jerusalem and Hebron, which is in the Imperial 
Library, and of which M. Jourdain has been kind enough to translate 
several fragments for me, contains nothing but vague notices. The author 
contents himself with saying that the siege lasted more than forty days, 
and that the Christians killed a great number of Mussulmans. We may 
here make a general remark : when the Mussulmans experience reverses, 
the Arabian authors are very sparing of details, and satisfy themselves 
with telling things in a vague manner, adding, " So God has willed it, 
may God curse Ihe Christians y Aboul-Feda gives very few more details 
than the rest. He says that the massacre of the Mussulmans lasted 
during seven consecutive days, and that seventy thousand persons werf 
killed in the mosque of Omar, which is evidently an exaggeration. 


Christians, who, in the security of victory, were proceeding 
to the pillage.* The latter were even beginning to give 
way before the enemy they had so recently conquered, when 
Everard de Puysaie, of whom Eaoul de Caen has celebrated 
the bravery, revived the coiiTage of his companions, placed 
himself at their head, and once more spread terror among 
the infidels. From that moment tlie Crusaders had no more 
enemies to contend with. History has remarked that the 
Christians entered Jerusalem on a Friday, at the hour of 
three in the afternoon ; exactly the same day and hour at 
which Christ expired for the salvation of the human race. 
It might have been expected that this memorable epoch 
would have awakened sentiments of mercy in their hearts ; 
but, irritated by the threats and protracted insults of the 
Saracens, incensed by the sufferings they had undergone 
during the siege, and by the resistance they had met with 
even in the city, they filled with blood and mourning that 
Jerusalem which they came to deliver, and which they con- 
sidered as their own future country. The carnage soon 
became general, for all who escaped from the swords of 
Godfrey and Taucred, fell into the hands of the Proven9als, 
equally thirsting for blood. The Saracens were massacred 
in the streets and in the houses ; Jerusalem contained no 
place of refuge for the vanquished. Some sought to escape 
death by throwing themselves from the ramparts ; others 
flocked in crowds to the palaces, the towers, but particularly 
to the mosques, — but nowhere could they escape the pur- 
suit of the Christians. 

When the Crusaders made themselves masters of the 
mosque of Omar, in which the Saracens defended them- 
selves for some time, a frightful repetition ensued of the 
scenes of carnage which attended the conquest of Titus. 
Horse and foot entered the mosque pele-mele with the van- 
quished. In the midst of the most horrible tumult nothing 
w^as heard but groans, screams, and cries of death ; the con- 
querors trampliiig over heaps of bodies in pursuit of all who 
endeavoured to escape. Haymond d'Agiles, an ocular wit- 
ness, says that 'inder the portico, and in the porch of the 
mosque, the blood rose up to tlie knees and the bridles of 

* Raoul de Caen, cap. \32 et 133. 


the horses.* To paint the terrible spectacle which was pre- 
sented at two periods in the same place, it will suffice to 
eay, borrowing the words of the historian Josephus, that the 
number of the slain by far surpassed that of the soldiers 
who immolated them to their vengeance, and that the moun- 
tains near the Jordan in moans reechoed the frightful sounds 
that issued from the temple. 

The imagination turns with disgust from these horrible 
pictures, and can scarcely, am.idst the carnage, contemplate 
the touching image of the Christians of Jerusalem, whose 
chains the Crusaders had broken. They flocked from all 
parts to meet the conquerors ; they shared with them all 
the provisions they had been able to steal from the Saracens; 
and with them offered up thanks to God for having granted 
such a triumph to the arms of the Christians. Peter the 
Hermit, who, five years before, had promised to arm the West 
for the deliverance of the Christians of Jerusalem, must have 
profoundly enjoyed the spectacle of their gratitude and 
exultation. Amidst all the Crusaders, they appeared only 
to see him ; they recalled his words and his promises ; it was 
to him they addressed their songs of praise; it was him they 
proclaimed their liberator. They related to him the evils 
they had suffered during his absence ; they could scarcely 

* We shall content ourselves with repeating here the words of Ray- 
mond d'Agiles, Foulcher de Cbartres, and Robert the Monk : — In eodem 
tetnplo decern millia decoUati sunt ; pedites nostri usque ad bases cruore 
peremptorum tingebantur ; nee foeminis nee parvulis pepercerunt. — 
Ful. Caen. ap. Bong. p. 398. Tantum enira ibi humani sanguinis 
efFusum est, ut caesorum corpora, unda sanguinis impellente, volverentur 
per pavimentum, et brachia sive truncatse manus super cruorem fluita- 
bant. — Rob. Mon. lib. 9. In templo et porticu Solomonis equitabatur 
in sanguine usque ad genua et usque ad frsenos equorum. — Rapm. d'Ag/, 
Bong. p. 179. These words of Raymond d'Agiles are evidently an 
hyperbole, and prove that the Latin historians exaggerated things they 
ought to have extenuated or concealed. . . . . In a letter written to the 
pope, the bishops, and the faithful, by Daimbert, archbishop of Pisa, 
Godfrey of Bouillon, and Raymond de St. Gilles, is this remarkable 
passage: ** If you desire to know," say they, "what became of the 
enemies we found in Jerusalem, know that in the portico of Solomon and 
in the temple, our soldiers had the vile blood of the Saracens up to the 
knees of their horses." — Si scire desideratis quid de hostibus ibi 
repertis ^'actum fuerit, scitote quia in porticu Salomonis, et in templo 
nostri equitabant in sanguine foedo Sarracenorum usque ad genua 
^quorum. — See Novus T/iesaurf;^ Anecdotorum, torn. i. p, 282. 


believe what wiis passing before them ; and, in their enti./U- 
siasm, they expressed astonishment that God should thua 
nave employed only a single man to stir up so many nations, 
and to effect such prodigies. 

The sight of the brethre^n they had delivered, no doubt 
recalled to the minds of the pilgrims that they were come 
for the purpose of adoring the tomb of Christ ; and the pioua 
Godfrey, who had abstained from carnage after the victory, 
quitted his companions, and, followed by three attendants, 
repaired without arms and barefooted to the church of the 
Holy Sepulchre.* The news of this act of devotion was 
soon spread through .the Christian army, and immediately 
all vengeajice and all fury were at an end ; the Crusaders, 
casting away their bloody vestments, made the city resound 
wdth their groans and their sobs, and, conducted by the 
clergy, marched together, with their feet bare and their 
heads uncovered, towards the church of the Resurrection. 

When the Christian army was thus assembled on Calvary, 
night began to fall ; silence reigned over the public places 
and aroimd the ramparts ;t nothing was heard in the holy 
city but hymns of penitence and these words of Isaiah, 
" Tbu who love Jerusalem, rejoice with her^ The Crusaders 
exhibited a devotion so animated and so tender, that it 
might have been said, according to the remark of a modern 
historian, J that these men who had just taken a city by 
assault, and had committed a horrible carnage, had come 
forth from a long retirement and a profound meditation 
upon our mysteries. These inexplicable contrasts are often 
to be observed in the history of the crusades. Some writers 
have believed that they found in them a pretext to accuse 
the Christian religion itself, whilst others, not les« blind or 
passionate, have endeavoured to paUiate the deplorable 
excesses of fanaticism ; the impartial historian contents 
himself vdth relating them, a.i/i mourns in silence over the 
weaknesses of human nature. 

* Albert d'Aix names these three attendants Baldric, Adelborde, and 

t Some historians say that the Christians did not go to the Holy 
Sepulchre until the day after the conquest. We here adopt the opinion 
of Albert d'Aix, which appears U us the most probable. 

J Le P. Maimbourg, Histoire des Croisades. 


The pious fervour of the Christians only suspended the 
scenes of carnage. The policy of some of the leaders might 
make them believe that it was necessary to inspire the 
Saracens with as much dread as possible ; they thought, 
perhaps also, that if they released the men who had defended 
Jerusalem, they should have to fight them over again, and 
that it was not prudent for them, in a distant country and 
surrounded by enemies, to undertake the charge of prisoners 
whose number by far surpassed that of their own soldiers. 
The approach of the Egyptian army hkewise was announced, 
and the dread of a new danger closed their hearts against 
pity. In their council, a sentence of death was decreed 
.ugahist all the Mussulmans that remained in the city.* 

i^'anaticism but too well seconded this barbarous policy. 
All the enemies whom humanity or the fatigue of carnage 
had at first spared, and even such as had been saved in 
hopes of a rich ransom, were slaughtered. They compelled 
the Saracens to cast themselves from the tops of the towers 
and the houses ; they made them perish in the midst of 
flames ; they dragged them from their subterranean con- 
cealments to the public places, and there immolated them 
upon heaps of dead. Neither the tears of women nor the 
cries of infants, not even the sight of the very place where 
Christ had pardoned his executioners, 'lould soften the 
hearts of the angry conquerors. The carnage was so great 
that, according to the report of Albert d' Aix, bodies were 
seen heaped up, not only in the palaces, the temples, and 
the streets, but even in the most retired and sohtary places. 
Such was the delirium of vengeance and fanaticism, that 
these scenes appear not to have been revolting to the eyes 
of those woo beheld them. The contemporary historians 
describe them without thinking of excusing them, and 
amidst recitals of the most disgusting details, never allow 
a single expression of horror or pity to escape them.f 

* Albert d'Aix gives the sentence which emanated from the council of 
the leaders. This sentence is supported by the motives we have pointed 

t We have already quoted some of these historians ; others relate 
neaily the same details, and with the same sang froid. We will quote no 
other but Raymond d'Agiles, who expresses himself thus : — Alii namque 
Ulorum, auoD levius erat, obtruucabantur capitibus ; alii autem 


Tlie few Crusaders who had preserved any feelings ol 
humanity had not the power to check the fury of an army 
who thought they were avenging outraged rehgion. Three 
hundred Saracens, who had taken refuge on the platform of 
the mosque of Omar, were immolated on the day after the 
conquest, in spite of the prayers of Tancred, who had sent 
tliem his standard as a safeguard, and was indignant to find 
tliat so little respect was paid to the laws of honour and 
chivalry.* The Saracens who had retreated to the fortress 
of David were almost the only persons that escaped death. 
Kaymond accepted their capitulation, and had the good 
fortune and the glory to have it executed ; but this act of 
humanity appeared so strange to the greater part of the 
Crusaders, that they expressed leps, admiration for the 
generosity of the count de St. Gilles than contempt for his 

The carnage did not cease until the end of a week. Such 
of the Saracens as had been able to elude pursuit during 
this period were reserved for the service of the army. The 
Oriental and Latin historians agree in stating the number 
of the Mussuhnans slain in Jerusalem to have been more 
than seventy thousand. The Jews met with no more mercy 
than the Saracens. The soldiers set fire to the synagogue 
in which they had taken refuge, and all perished in the 

But it began to be feared that the bodies heaped up in 
the public places, and the blood which had flooded the 
mosques and the streets might give rise to pestilential 
diseases, and the leaders gave orders that the streets should 
be cleansed, and that a spectacle which, now fury and fana- 
ticism were satisfied, must have been odious to them, should 
be removed from before their eyes. Some Mussulman pri- 
Boners, who had only escaped the sword of the conquerors 

sagittati, de turribus saltare cogebantur ; alii vero diutissime torti et 
ignious adusti flarameriebantur (sic). Videbantur per vicos et plateas 
civitatis aggeres capitum et manuum atque pedum. — Raym. de Ag, 
p. 178. 

* Tankredus miles gloriosus stiper hac blbi illata injuria, vehementi 
Ira succensus est. — Alb. Aq. lib. Y»i. cap. 29. 

t Comes Raymundus, avaritia corruptus, Sarracenos milites quos in 
turrim David elapsos obsederat, ai^cepta ingenti pecuuia, illaesos abire 
permisit. — Alb. Aq. lib. vi. cap. 28 


to fall into a horrible state of slavery, were ordered to bury 
the disfigured bodies of their friends and brothers. " They 
wept," says "Robert the Monk,* " and transpoi'ted the car- 
cases out of Jerusalem." They were assisted in this melan- 
choly duty by the soldiers of Raymond, who, having entered 
last into the city, had not had a large share of the plunder, 
and sought to increase it by a close search of the bodies of 
the Saracens. 

The city of Jerusalem soon presented a new spectacle. 
In the course of a few days only it had changed its inhabi- 
tants, laws, and religion. Before the last assault it had 
been agreed, according to the custom of the Crusaders in 
their conquests, that every warrior should remain master 
and possessor of the house or edifice in which he should 
present himself first. A cross, a buckler, or any other 
mark placed upon a door, was, for every one of the con- 
querors, a good title of possession. This right of property 
was respected by every soldier, however greedy of plunder, 
and the greatest order soon reigned in a city but recently 
given up to all the horrors of war. The victory enriched 
the greater part of the Crusaders. The conquerors shared 
the provisions and the riches they had found, and such 
as had not been fortunate in the pillage had no cause to 
complain of their companions. A part of the treasures 
was employed in assisting the poor, in supporting orphans, 
md in decorating the altars they had freed from the Mus- 

Tancred had as his share all the wealth fonnd in the mosque 
of Omar. Among these riches were twenty candelabra of 
gold, a hundred and twenty of silver, a large lamp,t and 
many other ornaments of the same metals. This booty was 
so considerable, that it would have been enough, say the 
historians, to load six chariots, and employed Tancred two 
days in removing it from the mosque. The Italian hero 
gave up a portion of this to his soldiers and another to 
Grodfrey, to whose service he had attached himself. He 
distributed abundance of alms, and placed fifty gold marks 

* Robert the Monk expresses himself thus : " Flebant et extrahebant." 
•f" Properly speaking, this was a kind of lustre which the Arabians call 
tfidour. The Mussulmans have them of so large a size that it is necessarj 
\Ai enlarge the doors of tli > mosques by a breach, in order to admit them 


m tlie hands of the Latin clergy for the reestablishment 
and the decoration of the churches. 

But the Crusaders soon turned their eyes from the trea- 
sures which victory had bestowed upon them to admire a 
conquest mucli more precious in their estimation ; this was 
the true cross, which had had been borne away from Jeru- 
salem by Cosroes and brought back again by Herachus 
The Christians shut up in the city had concealed it from 
the Saracens during the siege. The sight of it excited the 
most lively emotions in the pilgrims. " OftJds thing ^'' saya 
an old chronicle, " tlie Christians were as much delighted as 
if they had seen the hody of Christ hung thereupon ^ It was 
borne in triumph through tlie streets of Jerusalem, and then 
replaced in the church of the E-esurrection. 

Ten davs after their victory the Crusaders employed 
themselves in restoring the throne of David and Solomon, 
and in placing upon it a leader who might preserve and 
maintain a conquest that the Christians had made at the 
expense of so much blood. The council of the princes being 
assembled, one of the leaders (liistory names the count of 
Flanders) arose in the midst of them, and spoke in these 
terms :* " Brothers and companions ; we are met to treat of 
an affair of the greatest importance ; never did we stand in 
greater need of the counsels of wisdom and the inspirations 
of heaven. In ordinary times it is desirable that authority 
should be in the hands of the most able ; with how much 
greater reason then ought we to seek for the man most 
worthy to govern this kingdom, still in a great measure in 
the power of the barbarians. Already we are told that the 
Egj^tians threaten this city, for which we are about to 
choose a master. The greater part of the Christian warriors 
are impatient to return to their country, and to abandon to 
others the care of defending their conquests. The new 
people then who are going to inhabit this land will have in 
their neighbourhood no other Christian nations to assist 
them in their need or console them in their disgraces. 
Their enemies are near them, their allies are beyond the 
seas. The king we shall give them ^•ill be their only sup- 
port amidst the perils which will surround them. He thee 

* See, for this deliberation and this speech, the History of Accolti 
IH). iv., and that of Yves Duchat. 


who is called upon to govern this country must liave all the 
qualities necessary to maintain his position with glory ; he 
must unite with the bravery natural to the Franks, tem- 
perance, good faith, and humanity ; for you know by such 
virtues great principalities are acquired and kept as well as 
by arms. Let us not forget, brothers and companions, that 
our object to-day is not so much to elect a kiag for Jerusa- 
lem, as to bestow upon it a faithful guardian. He whom 
we shall choose as leader must be as a father to all those 
who have quitted their country and their families for the 
service of Jesus Christ and the defence of the holy places. 
He must make virtue flourish in this land where God him- 
self has given the model of it ; he must win the infidels to 
the Christian religion, accustom them to our manners, and 
teach them to bless our laws. If you elect one who is not 
worthy, you will destroy your o^\ti work, and will bring ruin 
on the Christian nam.e in this country. I have no need to 
recall to your minds the exploits or the labours which have 
placed us in possession of this territory ; I will not remind 
you of the dearest wishes of our brothers who have remained 
in the West. What would be their sorrow, what would be 
ours, if, on our return to Europe, we should hear that the 
public good had been neglected and betrayed, or religion 
abolished in these places where we have restored its altars ? 
Many would then not fail to attribute to fortune, and not to 
virtue, the great things we have done, whilst the evils which 
this kiQgdom would undergo would pass in the eyes of men 
as the fruit of our imprudence. 

" Do not believe, however, brothers and companions, that I 
speak thus because I am ambitious of royalty, and that I am 
seeking your favour or suifrages. No ; I have not sufficient 
presumption to aspire to such an honour; I take Heaven 
and men to witness, that even if you should offer me the 
crown, I would not accept it, being resolved to return to 
my own country. That which I have said to you is but for 
the good and glory of aU. For the rest, I supplicate you to 
receive this advice as I give it to you, with affection, frank- 
ness, and loyalty, and to elect for king him who by his vir- 
tue shall be most capable of preserving and extending this 
kingdom, to which are attached both the honour of joul 
arns and the cause of Jesus Christ." 

2d^ niSTOEY or the crusades. 

Scarcely had the count of Elanders ceased speaking, tlian 
all the other leaders gave him the warmest praise for his 
prudence and good feelings. Most of them even thought of 
oiFering him the honour he had declined, for he who in such 
circumstances refuses a crown, always appears to be the 
most wortiiy of it ; but Itobert had expressed himself with 
frankness and good faith ; he longed to return to Europe, 
and was satisfied with the honour of bearing tlie title of 
"the Son of St. George," which his exploits in the holy war 
had obtained for him. 

Among the leaders who could be called upon to reign 
over Jerusalem, we must place in the first rank Godfrey, 
Raymond, the duke of Normandy, and Tancred. The only 
object of Tancred was glory in arms, nnd he placed the title 
of knight far above that of king. The duke of Normandy, 
likewise, had evinced more bravery than ambition ; after 
having disdained the kingdom of England, he was not likely 
to be anxious to gain that of Jerusalem. If we may believe 
an English historian,* he might have obtained the sufirages 
v»f his companions ; but he refused the throne of David from 
indolence, which so irritated God against him, says the same 
author, that nothing afterwards prospered with him during 
the remainder of his life. The count of Thoulouse had 
taken an oath never to return to Europe, but his companions 
dreaded his obstinate and ambitious character ; and although 
several authors have said that he refused to ascend the 
throne on account of his great age, everything leads us to 
believe that the Christians feared to have him for king. 

The opinions of the leaders and the army were various 
and uncertain. The clergy insisted that a patriarch should 
be named before they elected a king ; the princes were not 
at all agreed among themselves, and of the body of the 
Crusaders, some would have wished to choose him whom 

* The English historian Brompton expresses himself thus whilst re- 
lating the misfortunes that Robert afterwards experienced : — Sic reddidit 
Dominus vicem pro vice duci Roberto, quia cum gloriosum in actibus 
Jerosolimitantis eum Dominus redderet, regnum Jerosolimitantum sibi 
oblatum renuit, magis eligens quieti et desidiae in Normania deservire 
quam regi regum in sancta civitate militare. Damnavit igitur eum Deus 
desidia. perenni et carcere sempiterno. — See tte HistoricB Anglican 
ScriptortSf torn. i. f 1002. 


tliey had followed througli the holy war, whilst others, like 
tlie Proven9als, who had no attachment for the count ol 
St. Grilles, and were not desirous of remaining in Asia, gave 
all their efforts to keep the crown of Jerusalem from the 
prince under whose colours they served. 

To terminate the debate, it was decided that the choice 
should be made by a special council of ten of the most 
highly respected men of the army. Prayers, fasts, and alms 
were commanded, in order to propitiate Heaven to guido 
them in the nomination they were about to make. They 
who were called upon to choose the king swore, in the pre- 
sence of the whole Christian army, not to listen to any 
interest or any private affection, but to decree the crown to 
wisdom and virtue. These electors, whose names history 
has not preserved, gave the utmost attention to ascertain 
the opinion of the army upon the merits of each of the 
leaders. William of Tyre relates that they went so far as 
even to interrogate the familiar associates and servants of 
all who had any pretensions to the crown, and that they 
made them take an oath to reveal all they knew of the 
manners, characters, and secret propensities of their mas- 
ters. The servants of Godfrey of Bouillon gave the most 
striking evidence of his mildness and humanity, but above 
all of his exemplary devotion. 

To add to this honourable testimony, the exploits of the 
duke of Lorraine during the holy war were dwelt upon. They 
remembered that at the siege of Nice he had killed the most 
redoubtable of the Saracens ; that he had split from shoulder 
to haunch a giant on the bridge of Antioch, and that in 
Asia Minor he had exposed his life to save that of a soldier 
who was overpowered by a bear. Many other feats of bravery 
were related of him, which in the minds of the Crusaders 
placed him above all the other competitors.* 

Godfrey was the leader decidedly in possession of the suf- 
frages of the majority of the army and the people ; and that 
he might not want anything in the expression of their wishes 
for his success, revelations were announced that God himseli 
declared in his favour. " Many years before the crusade," 
*ay8 Albert d'Aix, " a soldier named Hezelon d© Kintz- 

* See Abbot Guibert, lib. vii. cap. 12. 


yeiler, had fallen asleep in a forest, and, being »onveyed in 
a dream to the summit of Sinai, he had seen. Godfrey, 
covered with glory, and accompanied by two celestial mes-« 
sengers, who announced to him that Grod had chosen him, 
as he had done Moses, to be the conductor and chief of hia 
people." A clerk, Giselbert (a canon of St. Mary, of Aix 
la Chapelle), related a vision not less miraculous. The duke 
of Lorraine had appeared to him seated upon the throne 
even of the sun. The birds of heaven from all climates and 
all points of the horizon, flew around him in numberlesa 
troops. The recital of this apparition was accompanied by 
many other circumstances which we have not space to re* 
peat ; but the Crusaders, who were much struck with them 
did not fail to see in the throne of the sun a faithful image 
of that of Jerusalem, and in the birds of heaven the mul- 
titude of pilgrims who would come from all countries to do 
honoiu' to the glorious reign of Godfrey.* 

These visions, which are despised in an enlightened age, 
had great power over the Christian army, and did not 
contribute less than the personal merit of the prince of 
Bouillon to draw upon him the attention of all. In this 
disposition of the general mind, the Crusaders looked with 
impatience for the decision of the council which was to give 
a king to Jerusalem. 

At length the electors, after mature deliberations, and an 
anxious inquiry for all necessary information, proclaimed the 
name of Godfrey. This nomination caused the most lively 
joy throughout the Christian army, and was considered as 
an inspiration of heaven. By the authority given to him, 
Godfrey became the depositary of the dearest interests of 
the Crusaders. Every one among them had in somo sort 
confided his own glory to him, by leaving him the care of 
watching over and guiding their conquests. They conducted 
him in triumph to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, where 
he took the oath ^d respect the laws of honour and justice. 
He refused the amdem and the insignia of royalty, saying 
that he would never accept a crown of gold in a city in 
which the Saviour of the world had been crowned with 

* Albert d'Aix, who relates these two visions at length, terminates 
thus : — Horum somniorum prsesignatione ex Dei ordinatione, populi 
Christiani benevolentia, Godefrido in solio regni Jerusalem exaltato. 


thorns. He contented himself with the modest title of 
defender and baron of the Holy Sepulchre. It has been 
pretended that in this he only acted in obedience to the in- 
3inuations of the clergy, who were afraid of seeing pride 
seated upon a throne over which the spirit of Christ ought 
to reign. However this may be, Grodfrey richly merited by 
Lis v^irtues the title of king which history has given him, 
and which was far more due to him than the name of king- 
dom was to the feeble states he had to govern. 

As the war had the triumph of religion for its object, the 
clergy employed themselves in naming bishops, consecrating 
churches, and sending pastors to all the cities that had sub- 
mitted to the power of the Christians. Piety and disinter- 
estedness ought to have presided in the choice of the ministers 
of Christ ; but since the death of the virtuous Adhemar, the 
greater part of the Latin ecclesiastics, no longer restrained 
by his example, had forgotten the humility and simplicity of 
tneir profession. If William of Tyre may be believed, ad- 
dress and intrigue openly obtained the suffrages, and the 
spirit of the religion which had just given Jerusalem a good 
king, could not succeed in bestowing upon it prelates re- 
spectable either for their wisdom or their virtues. The 
clergy, who had ventured to disturb the election of the king 
by their intrigues, carried their pretensions as high as the 
sovereignty of the city, and claimed with arrogance the 
greatest part in the division of the booty won from the 
infidels.* The Greek priests, in spite of their rights, were 
sacrificed to the ambition of the Roman clergy, as they had 
been in the city of Antioch, The chaplain of the duke of 
Normandy caused himself to be proposed as patriarch of 
Jerusalem, in the place of Simeon, who had summoned the 
warriors from the West. Simeon was still in. the isle of 
Cyprus, from whence he had continually sent provisions to 
the Crusaders during the siege. He died at the moment in 
which the Latin ecclesiastics were quarrelling for his spoils, 
and his death came very opportunely to excuse their injus- 
tice and ingratitude. Arnold, whose morals were more than 
s:"5'ipected, and whose conduct has merited the censure of 

* We may see in Raoul de Caen the debates which arose on this sub- 
ject, and particularly the accusation directed against Tancred by Arnold 
de Rohes, in the name of the Latin clergy. 

Vol. 1—12 


the gra^ est liistorians, was nominated pastor of fhe chuKh 
of Jerusalem. 

In the meanwhile fame had proclaimed the conquest of 
the holy city throughout all the neighbouring countries. 
In all the churches founded by the Crusaders in their pas- 
sage, thanks were offered up to Grod for a victory which must 
necessarily cause the triumph of the worship and the laws of 
Christ in the East. The Christians of Antioch, Edessa, and 
Tarsus, with those who inhabited Cilicia, Cappadocia, Syria, 
and Mesopotamia, came in crowds to Jerusalem, some for thfc 
piu'pose of fixing their abode there, others to visit the holy 

Whilst the faithful were rejoicing over their conquest, the 
Mussulmans gave themselves up to despair. The few who 
had escaped from the swords of the Crusaders spread con- 
sternation wherever they went. The historians Abul-Ma- 
hacam, Elmacin, and Aboul-Eeda have described the desola- 
tion which reigned at Bagdad. Zeimeddin,cadhi of Damascus, 
tore out his own beard in the presence of the Caliph The 
whole divan shed tears whilst listening to the recital of the 
misfortunes of Jerusalem. Fasts and prayers were ordered 
to mitigate the anger of hea?v^en. The Imans and poets de- 
plored in pathetic verses and discourses the fate of the Mus- 
sulmans who had become slaves of the Christians. " What 
blood," said they, " has not flowed ? What disasters* have 
not befallen the true believers ? Women have been obliged 

* We here give the translation of some passages of an elegy of the poet 
ModhafFer Abyverdy upon the taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 
inserted by Aboul-Feda in his Annates, torn. iii. p. 319. This translation 
3s by M. Jourdain. 

** Our blood is mingled with our tears, and no part of our being itxiois 
to us that can be the object of the blows of our enemies. 

** O misfortune ! if tears take the place of true arms, when the fires of 
war break forth ! 

** How can the eye close its lids, when catastrophes such as ours would 
awaken even those who slept in the most profound repose ! 

" Your brethren have no other resting-places in Syria but the backs of 
their camels and the entrails of vultures ! 

" The Franks treat them like vile slaves, whilst you allow yourselves to 
be drawn carelessly along by the skirt of the robe of effeminacy, as people 
would do in perfect security ! 

** What blood has not flowed ! how many women have been forced by 
modcfity to conceal their beauty with their bracelets ! 


to fly, concealing their faces ; cliildren have fallen nnder the 
swords of the conquerors ; and there remains no other asyluiQ 
for our brothers, so lately masters of Syria, but the backs oi 
their camels, or the entrails of the vultures." 

The caliph of Bagdad, deprived of his authority, had no- 
thing to offer but his prayers and tears for the cause of the 
Mussulmans. The victories of the Christians had inflicted a 
mortal blow upon the dynasty of the Seldjoucides. The sultan 
of Persia, retired to the extremity of Cora9an, was occupied 
in appeasing civil wars, and scarcely gave a thought to the 
emirs of Syria, who had shaken off his authority, and shared 
his spoils amongst them. The greater part of the emirs were 
quarrelling among themselves for the cities and provinces 
threatened by the warriors of the West. The discords which 
accompany the fall of empires had everywhere sown trouble 
and division among the infidels ; but such was their grief 
when they learnt the conquest of Jerusalem by the Chris- 
tians, that they united in weeping together over the Outrages 
committed upon the religion of Mahomet. The Turks of 
Syria, and the inhabitants of Damascus and Bagdad placed 
their last hop6 in the caliph of Cairo, whom they had so long 
considered an enemj^ to the prophet, and came in crowds to 
join the Egyptian army which was advancing towards Ascalon. 

At Jerusalem they soon learnt that this army had reached 
Gaza, in the ancient country of the Philistuies, Godfrey 
immediately caused his brother Eustace and Tancred, who 
had quitted the city to go and take possession of Naplouse, 
to be informed of this. He pressed the other leaders of the 
crusade to unite with him and march to meet the Saracens. 
The duke of Norn^andy at first refused to follow him, alleg- 
ing that his vo\^ was accomplished ; and the count of 
Thoulouse, who had been forced to give up to the king 
th; fortress of David, which he pretended belonged to 
him b} right of conquest, rejected with haughtiness the 
prayers of Godfrey, and treated the news of the approach of 
the Saracens as a fable. 

** Will the chiefs of the Arabs, the heroes of the Persians, submit to 
such degradation ? 

'* Ah ! at least, if they do not defend themselfes, from attadihment to 
their rehgion, let tliem be animated on account of their own honovr, tnA 
by the love of all that is dear to them !" 

238 HISTORY or the ceusades. 

Tlie refusal of the duke of Normandy and Haymond di i 
not prevent Grodfrey from commencing his march, followed 
by Tancred, the count of Flanders, and several other leaders. 
They learnt on their route that the emir Afdhal, the same 
that had taken Jerusalem from the Turks, commanded the 
army of the infidels. This general had under his standard 
an almost countless multitude of Mussulmans, from the 
banks of the Tigris and the Nile, the shores of the Bed Sea, 
and the extremities of Ethiopia. A fleet had sailed from the 
ports of Alexandria and Damietta, laden with all sorts of pro- 
visions, and the machines necessaryfor the siege of Jerusalem. 

Afdhal had taken a solemn oath before the caliph to ainii- 
hilate for ever the power of the Crusaders in Asia, and to 
entirely destroy Calvary, the tomb of Christ, and all the 
monuments revered by the Christians. 

The march and the intentions of Afdhal soon conveyed 
terror to Jerusalem. E-aymond and the duke of Normandy 
were again pressed to join the Christian army. Women, 
old men, and priests with tears conjured the two princes to 
have pity on the holy city they had deUvered. They repre- 
sented to them the fatal consequences of their inaction, 
which rendered all the labours of the Crusaders useless, and 
closed for ever the doors of the East against pilgrims. The 
voices of all the nations of the "West, they told them, would 
be raised against them, and the blood of the Christians would 
be on their heads. At last Bobert and Raymond allowed 
themselves to be prevailed upon, and marched with their 
troops to join Godfrey. The new patriarch desired to fol- 
low them, bearing with him the wood of the true cross, the 
sight of which, like that of the holy lance, would redouble 
the enthusiasm and the bravery of the Crusaders. 

All the Christians in a condition to bear arms quitted 
Jerusalem to go and fight the Mussulmans. There only 
remained in the holy city the women, the sick, and a part ol 
the clergy, who, having Peter the Hermit at their head, 
addressed night and day prayers to Heaven to obtain the 
triumph of the defenders of the holy places, and the last 
defeat of the enemies of Christ. 

The Christian army, which had at first assembled at 
Eamla, advanced across a sandy country, and encamped on 
the banks of the torrent of Sorex, in the plain of Saphoea, 


or Serfend, situated between Jaffa and Ascalon. The day 
after tke Cliristians arrived on this plain, they perceived at 
a distance, towards seven o'clock in the evening, a vast mul- 
titude, which they took for the army of the enemy. Two 
hundred horsemen, who were sent out to reconnoitre, soon 
returned, however, with the agreeable intelligence that the 
multitude they had taken for the Egyptian army was nothing 
but a drove of oxen and camels. So rich a booty at first 
awakened the avidity of the soldiers, but the prudent God- 
frey, who saw nothing in this circumstance but a stratagem 
of the enemy to throw the Christian army in disorder, for- 
bade his soldiers to leave their ranks. The other leaders, 
after his example, endeavoured to restrain the men under 
their command, and all remained firm beneath their standards. 

The Crusaders learned from some prisoners they had made, 
that the enemy were encamped at three leagues from them, 
and that they were preparing to come and attack the Chris- 
tian army. Upon receiving this advice, the leaders made 
their dispositions to receive the infidels. The army was 
drawn up in nine divisions, and formed a sort of square 
battalion, so as to be able at need, to face the enemy at all 
points. The Crusaders passed the night under arms. On 
the following morning (it was the eve of the Assumption) 
the heralds announced by sound of trumpet that they were 
about to give battle to the infidels. At break of day the 
Crusaders received the benediction of the patriarch of Jeru- 
salem. The wood of the true cross was carried through the 
ranks, and shown to the soldiers as a certain pledge of vic- 
tory. The leaders then gave the signal, all the ensigns were 
unfurled, and the army marched to meet the Saracens. 

The nearer the Christians approached the army of Egypt, 
the more were they filled with confidence and hope. Their 
drums, cymbals, hymns, and war-songs animated them to 
the fight. They marched towards the enemy, says Albert 
d'Aix, as to a joyous feast. An emir of Palestine, who 
followed the army as an auxiliary, could not sufiiciently 
admire, if we may believe historians, this joy of the soldiers 
of the cross at the approach of danger. He came to express 
his surprise to the king of Jerusalem, and swore before him 
to embrace a religion which could give so much strength and 
bravery to its defenders. 


The Christiaus soon arrived in the plain of Ascalon. This 
immense plain is bounded on the east and south by moun- 
tains, and extends on the west to tlie sea. On the coast 
was situated the city of Ascalon, over which the Mussulman 
standards floated. At the extremity of the plain the army 
of Egypt was drawn up, with the sea and the mountains 
behind it. The Crusaders advanced in two lines ; the count 
of Tlioulouse commanded the right wiug, the two E-oberts 
and Tancred were placed at the left. Grodfrey commanded 
a body of reserve, which was at the same time to keep the 
garrison of Ascalon in check and fight with the army of 

Whilst the Christian army was thus marching in battle 
array, the drove of oxen and camels t^iat they had met on 
their route came to their rear, and followed all their move- 
ments. The confused noise of these animals, mingled with 
the sound of the drums and trumpets, and the clouds of 
dust which arose under their steps, caused them to be taken 
for squadrons of horse, and the Mussulmans were persuaded 
that the Christian army w^as more numerous than their own. 
They were d-rawn up in two lines, as the Crusaders were. 
The Turks from Syria and Bagdad were on the right ; the 
Moors and Egyptians on the left ; the emir Afdhal occupied 
the centre with the main body of the Egyptian forces. This 
army covered an immense space, and, says Foulcher de 
Chartres, like a stag who projects his branching horns, it 
extended its wings to envelop the Christians ; but a sudden 
terror rendered it motionless. 

In vain the emir endeavoured to rouse the courage of his 
soldiers. They fancied that millions of Crusaders had 
arrived from the West ; they forgot both their oaths and 
their threats, and only remembered the fate of the Mussul- 
mans immolated after the conquest of Jerusalem. 

Before engaging, all the Crusaders, fully armed, fell on 
their knees to nnplore the protection of Heaven ; and rising 
full of ardour and hope, marched against the Saracens. If 
the most truthful historians are to be believed, they had not 
more than fifteen thousand foot and five thousand horse. 
When they had arrived within bow-shot, the foot-soldiers 
made several discharges of javelins, at the same time the 
cavalry, increasing theii* speed, precipitated themselves upon 


the enemy's ranks. At this first charge the duko of 'Nov* 
mandy, the count of Elanders, and Tancred broke through 
the centre of the Egyptians. Duke Eobert, followed by his 
bravest knights, penetrated to the place where Afdhal 
fought, and got possession of the great standard of the 
infideld. The foot-soldiers followed the horse into the 
melee, and cast away their bows and javelins to make 
use of sword and lance, arms much more terrible to the 

On all sides the Saracens were thrown into disorder. 
Towards the end of the battle Godfrey had had to contend 
with a troop of Ethiopians, who bent one knee to the groimd 
to laiuich their javelins, and then, springmg up, rushed upon 
the Crusaders with long flails armed with balls of u'on. This 
redoubtable battalion could not alone resist the lances of the 
Christians, and were soon dispersed. An invincible terror 
seemed to paralyze the arms of the Mussulmans. Whilst 
the king of Jerusalem was pursuing the Ethiopians and 
Moors who fled towards the mountains in the vicinity of the 
field of battle, the Syrians and the Arabs, who fought in the 
left wing, were broken by the count of Thoulouse. Hotly 
pressed by the conquerors, a great number of them preci- 
pitated themselves into the sea, and perished in the waves ; 
others sought an asylum in the city of Ascalon, and such 
was their eagerness, and so numerous were they, that two 
thousand were crushed to death upon the drawbridge. 
Amidst the general rout, Afdhal was on the point of falling 
into the hands of the conquerors ; and, leaving his sword 
upon the field of battle, had great difficulty in gaining As- 
calon. Historians add, that when, from the walls of that 
city, he contemplated the destruction of his army, he shed a 
torrent of tears. In his despair, he cursed Jerusalem, the 
cause of all his evils, and blasphemed Mahomet, whom he 
accused of having abandoned his servants and disciples. 

This was a day of terror and death for the Mussulmans. 
Erom the beginnmg of the battle, the infidels, who had 
previously burned with a thirst of vengeance, appeared to 
have no purpose but to escape by flight from an enemy who 
granted no mercy to the conquered. In their mortal fear, 
they let fall their arms, and suffered themselves to b^ 
slaughtered without olFering the least resistance. Thoii 

242 HiSTOKY or the cetjsades. 

tenilied crowd stood moticmless on tlie field of battle, and 
tlie sword, to employ the expression of a ccntemporary,* 
mowed them down like the grass of the field. Some cast 
themselves on the ground, and concealed themselves among 
lieaps of slain ; whilst others plunged into caverns, or scram- 
bled up rocks or trees, where they were shot down with 
arrows, like birds. f Afdhal, who did not believe himself to 
be in safety in Ascalon, embarked on board a fleet which had 
arrived from Egypt. Tow^ards the middle of the contest, all 
the Egyptian vessels which were near the shore spread their 
sails, and gained tlie open sea. From that moment no hope 
of safety remained for the scattered army of these infidels, 
who were, as they had said, to deliver the East, and whose 
multitude was so great, tliat, according to the expression of 
old historians, God alone knew the number of them. J 

Such was this battle, whose prodigies poetry has taken 
delight in celebrating, but which was, in reality, nothing but 
an easy victory for the Christians, in which fanaticism even 
had not the least share. On this day the presence of celes- 
tial legions did not animate the battalions of the Crusaders, 
and the martyrs St. George and St. Demetrius, W'hom they 
always believed they saw in great perils, had no occasion to 
be present in this fight. The Christians must have learnt 
from this rencontre that their new adversaries were much 
less to be dreaded than the Turks. The Egyptian army was 
composed of many difterent nations, which were divided 
among themselves ; the greater part of the Mussulman 
troops had been levied in haste, and fought for the first time. 
The army of the Crusaders, on the contrary, had beeA proved 
by many victories, and their leaders were as skilful as they 
were brave. The bold resolution that Godfrey had taken of 

* Eos tanquam segetem in transverse gladu secabant. — Bald. lib. iv. 

f Subito sagitta transfigebant, et quasi aves volatili telo percussas, ab 
ipsis arborum ramis moribundos humi procumbere cogebant. — Alb. Aq. 
lib. V. cap. 49. 

% Anna Comnena, who speaks of the battle of Ascalon, says that the 
Franks were at first conquerors, and that they were afterwarcs attacked 
and beaten near Ramla. She mentions Baldwin, who was not then in 
Palestine, and did not come thither till after the death of Godfrey, It is 
easy to see that she confounds, as often happens with her, tvj •> different 
periods, that of the battle of Ascalon and that of the battle of Ramla. 
which was fought three years after, iu the reign of Baldwin I. 


going to meet the enemy, raised the confidence of the sol- 
diers, and assisted in creating fear and disorder amimg the 

if William of Tyre and Eobert the Monk may be believed, 
the Christians did not lose a single horseman. They might 
have made themselves masters of Ascalon, but want of union 
among the leaders prevented their taking due advantage of 
their victory.f 

After the defeat of the enemy, Eaymond had sent a mes- 
senger into the place to summon the garrison to surrender. ;|I 
He wished to plant his standard on the walls of the city, 
and retain the conquest for himself. On the other hand, 
Godfrey claimed the possession of it and maintained that 
Ascalon ought to form part of the kingdom of Jerusalem. 
The debates became very warm. The count of Thoulouse, 
who found all the leaders of the Christian army against him, 
listened to nothing but the dictates of his blind anger ; he 
recommended the garrison to defend themselves, and set 
forward with his troops to return to Jerusalem. Grodfrey, 
after the desertion of Raymond, in vain attempted to besiege 
the city. The greater part of the Crusaders, impatient to 
return to their own country, abandoned his colours ; and, 
after making the inhabitants and garrison of Antioch pay 

* It is commonly believed that this battle of Ascalon served Tasso as a 
model for the great battle which terminates the Jerusalem Delivered. It 
is easy to see that the poet had also in view the battle of Antioch, which 
was fought at the gates of the city, of which the Christians were the mas- 
ters. Raymond could not be present, because he held the citadel of 
Antioch in check, still in the power of the enemy. These circumstances, 
and several others, are found equally in the battle of the Jerusalem 
Delivered and in the historians who have described the battle of Antioch. 

"}• There is in the Arabian history of , erusalem and Hebron, a quatrain 
tddressed to the count of St. Gilles, upon the defeat of Afdhal-Ben^Bedr- 
«l-Djemaly, general of the army of Egypt, before Ascalon : — 

Tu as fait triompher par ton epee la religion du Messie, 

Dieu nous preserve d'un homme tel que Saint Gilles ! 

Jamais les hommes n'avaient entendu. rien de pareil a ce qu'il a fait ; 

II a mis dans la plus honteuse fuite Afdhul. 

We quote this quatrain less for any idea that it contains, than to show 
that Raymond enjoyed great fame among the Mussulmans. 

X This emissary is called Bohemond by Raymond d'Agiles. It it 
believed that it was Phirous who gave up Antioch to the Cliristians, tha: 
had taken the name of Bohemond. 



him a considerable sum, lie was obliged to follow tbem to 

The quarrel w^hich was begun between E-aymond and 
Godfrey before Ascalon was renewed a few days after before 
the city of Arsouf, situated near the sea, twelve miles to the 
north of Hamla. The count of St. Grilles, who marched first 
with his troops, undertook to besiege this place, but as he 
met with an obstinate resistance, he abandoned the siege, 
and continued his march, after having warned the garrison 
that they had nothing to fear from the king of Jerusalem. 
A short time after, Grodfrey having besieged the city, found 
the Saracens determined to defend themselves, and as he 
learnt that their resistance was the fruit of the counsels of 
Raymond, he could not restrain his anger, but resolved to 
avenge this affront in the blood of his rival. He marched 
with his ensigns displayed, against the count de St. Gilles, 
who, on his part, was willing to meet him, and prepared for 
the conflict. The Christians were on the point of pro- 
ceeding to extremities, when the two E-oberts and Tancred 
threw themselves between Raymond and Godfrey, and used 
their utmost exertions to appease them. After a long alter- 
cation, the two rivals, overcome by the prayers of the other 
chiefs, embraced in the presence of their soldiers, who had 
taken part in their animosity. 

The reconciliation was sincere on both sides. The pious 
Godfrey, says Albert d'Aix, conjured his companions to 
forget the dissension that had broken out among the Chris- 
tian warriors, and implored them, with tears in. his eyes, to 
remember that they had together delivered the holy tomb, 
that they were all brothers in Christ, and that concord was 
still necessary to defend Jerusalem. Wlien the inhabitants 
of Arsouf learnt that the leaders of the Christian army were 
reconciled, they repented of their resistance, and engaged 
to pay a tribute to Godfrey.* 

After having received and given hostages as a guarantee 
of the treaty, Godfrey, followed by all the other chiefs, 
quitted the territory of Arsouf, to retmm to Jerusalem. Tlie 
Christian army was loaded with an immense booty. It 

* For this quarrel between Godfrey and Raymond, see Albert (t Aw, 
lib. yi. cap. 41, 42, and 43. 


marclied, followed by tlie droves of cattle it had met on the 
banks of the Sorec, and brought back all the riches found 
in the camp of the infidels. As they approached Jerusalem^ 
all the trumpets were sounded, and their victorious flags 
were unfurled. A crowd of pilgrims, who came out to meet 
them, filled the air with their songs of gladness ; these lively 
expressions of joy mingled with the hymns of the priests ; 
the echoes, says Eobert the Monk, repeated the sounds of 
the warlike instruments and the acclamations of the Chris- 
tians, and appeared to offer an application of these words 
of Isaiah : " The mountains and the hills shall sing hefore 
you the praises of the LordP The Crusaders entered the 
holy city in triumph. The great standard and the sword of 
the sultan were suspended on the columns of the church of 
the Holy Sepulchre. All the pilgrims, assembled in the 
very places which the emir Afdhal had sworn utterly to 
destroy, returned thanks to Heaven for a victory which 
crowned all their labours. 

The victory of Ascalon w^as the last of this crusade. At 
length, liberated from their vows, after four years of toils 
and dangers, the princes of the crusade quitted Jerusalem, 
whose sole means of defence now were three hundred 
knights, the wisdom of Godfrey, and the sword of Tancred, 
who had resolved to end his days in Asia. Some embarked 
on the Mediterranean, whilst others marched across Syria 
and Asia Minor. They arrived in the West bearing palm 
branches in tlieir hands, and singing hymns of triumph on 
their way. Their return was considered as a miracle, a sort 
of resurrection, and their presence was everywhere looked 
upon as a subject of edification and enthusiasm. Most ot 
them had been ruined by the holy war ; but they brought 
back from the East precious relics, which were in the eyes 
of the faithful a veritable treasure.* Their hearers were 

* In the genealogical history of several houses of Brittany, is the foU 
lowing rather curious passage : " Rion de Loheac acquired in this voyage 
beautiful and rich spoils from the enemies of Christianity, the Saracens; 
and above all things he was curious to seek for and collect heaps of the 
sacred and precious relics which were in those regions, in the number of 
which was a part and portion of the true cross upon which our Saviour 
Jesus Christ suffered death for the salvation of the human race, and of 
the stone of the sepulchre in which the said Saviour was buried. These 
relics he intended to bring into his own country ; but being prevented by 


never tired of listening to the recital of their labours and 
exploits. Tears, doubtless, mingled with the transports ot 
admiration and joy when they spoke of their numerous com- 
panions whom death had swept away in Asia. There wait 
not a family that had not to weep a defender of the cross, or 
did not glorify itself with having a martyr in heaven. An- 
cient chronicles have celebrated the heroic devotion of Ida, 
countess of Hainault, who made the voyage to the East, and 
braved all dangers in search of her husband. Sent by the 
Crusaders to Alexius, the count of Hainault, with all the 
persons of his suite, had disappeared, without any one being 
able to say what had been their fate. Some said they were 
still prisoners among the Turks, others that they were killed. 
Ida sought through many countries of Asia, but returned to 
Prance without having obtained any tidings of her husband.* 
The count of Thoulouse, who had sworn never to return 
to the West, went to Constantinople, where the emperor 
received him with distinction, and gave him the city of Lao- 
dicea. Raymond of Orange determined to share the destiny 
of the count of Thoulouse, and finish his days in the East. 
Among the knights, companions of Raymond de St. Gilles, 
who returned to their own country, we must not forget 
' Stephen and Peter de Salviac de Yiel Castel, whom their age 
holds up as models of brotherly love. Stephen and Peter 
de Salviac were twins, and the tenderest affection united 
them from their infancy. Peter assumed the cross at the 
council of Clermont, and Stephen, although married, and the 
father of several children, determined to follow his brother 
into Asia, and share with him the perils of so long a voyage. 
In all battles they were seen fighting side by side, and 
they together were present at the sieges of Nice, Antioch, 

a disease of which he died in the said country of Syria, he sent them to 
his brother Gauthier de Loheac, by his squire called Simon de Ludron, 
who had accompanied him in this voyage." We might quote many other 
similar facts which prove that the Christians of the West set the greatest 
value uj on relics brought from the East. 

* This circumstance is related in the Chronicle of Hainault {Gisle- 
berti Chronica Hannonice ;) — Tacendura non est, says this chronicle, 
quod uxor ejus Yda comitissa domini sui occasum ut audivit, sed incerta 
si occisus fuerit, vel captus teneretur, Deum et virum suum diligens, 
partes illas sum labore magno et gravibus expensis adire :»on dubitavit: 
jinde ipsa ^rius de viro suo incerta, incertior rediit. — P. 37. 


tnd Jerusalem. A short time after their return to Le 
Quercy, thev both died in the same week, and were buried 
in the same tomb. On their tomb may still be read an 
epitaph which has transmitted to us the remembrance of 
their exploits and of then' touching affection. Graston de 
Beam returned with them into Europe ; but some years after, 
having re-entered upon his estates, he again took up arnis 
against the infidels, and died in Spain, fighting against the 

Peter the Hermit, on his return to his country, concealed 
himself from the eager curiosity of the faithful, and shut 
himself up in a monastery he had founded at Huy.* He 
lived there in humility and penitence, and was buried among 
the cenobites he had edified by his virtues. Eustace, the 
brother of Glodfrey and Baldwin, returned to take possession 
of the moderate inheritance of the family, and gave no fur- 
ther trouble to fame by his exploits. Alain Eergent, duke 
of Brittany, and Bobert, count of Elanders, returned to their 
states, repau*ed the evils caused by their absence, and died 
regretted by their subjects.f 

The duke of Normandy was less fortunate than his com- 
panions. The sight of the holy places, or the long series of 
labours and evils he had endured in the cause of religion, 
had had no effect upon his indolent, undecided character. 
"On his return from the Holy. Land, he passed through Italy, 
where he fell in love with Sibylla, the daughter of the count 
of Conversana, and allowed his passion to detain him from 

* See the Life of Peter the Hermit, by le P. d'Oultremont. Peter 
the Hermit was returning from the Holy Land in 1102, with a nobleman 
of the country of Liege, named the count de Montaign, when he was 
assailed by a violent tempest, during which he made a vow to build an 
abbey. It was in performance of this vow that he founded the abbey 
of Neufmontier at Huy, in Le Condrez, on the right bank of the 
Meuse, in honour of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Alexander, 
bishop of Liege, dedicated it in 1130. Peter died there at an advanced 
age, and desired, from humility, to be buried outside the church. It was 
not till a hundred and thirty years after his death that the abbot and 
the chapter caused his relics to be removed to a coffin covered with marble 
before the altar of the twelve apostles, in the year 1242, with a sufficiently 
long epitaph, which M Morard, of the Academy of Sciences, read oa 
passing through Huy in 1761, wh^ch is reported in the 3rd vol. of the 
MSS. of the Library of Lyon, by M. Delandine, p. 481. 

t Robert, count of Flanders, was killed by a fall from his hone. 


his ducTiy more than a year. By this delay he lost the 
opportunity of ascending the throne of England, to which, 
after the death of his brother "William l^ufus, his birth, and 
the great renown he had acquired in the crusade, gave him 
undoubted right. When at length he returned to Nor- 
mandy, he was received with transports of admiration and 
joy ; but upon resuming the reins of government, he showed 
nothing but weakness ; he gave himself up entirely to de- 
bauchery, and surroimded himself by none but dissipated, 
greedy courtiers, who drew upon him the hatred of his sub- 
j'^cts. His brother, Henry I., who had succeeded William 
Kufus, took advantage of the degraded condition of Robert, 
and the contempt into which he was fallen, to take posses- 
sion of Normandy. At the end of a battle this unfortunate 
prince was made prisoner by his brother, who led him in 
triumph to England, and caused him to be confined in the 
castle of Cardiff, in the province of Griamorgan. The remem- 
brance of his exploits in the Holy Land had no effect in 
mitigating his misfortunes. After twenty-eight years of 
captivity, he died forgotten by his subjects, his allies, and 
the ancient companions of his glory. 

The return of the Crusaders, and the account of their 
conquests, excited great enthusiasm, and renewed the eager- 
ness for crusades and pilgrimages among the nations of the 
West. They were not now affected by the passion for de- 
livering the holy places, but by that of visiting and defending 
them. Europe exhibited a second time the scenes which 
had followed the council of Clermont ; new discourses were 
heard, and fresh miracles related. Cities, lands, and castles 
were again offered for sale. He who preferred repose and 
his country to the glory of the holy pilgrimage passed for a 
very lukewarm Christian ; whilst all who had quittc-d the 
standard of the crusade were objects of contempt in the 
eyes of the faithful, and were threatened with the thunders 
of the Church. 

A general cry was raised against the brother of the king 
of Erance, who could not be pardoned for having abandoned 
the Christian army in a cowardly manner, and returned to 
Europe without seeing Jerusalem. Stephen, count of 
Chartros and Blois, was not allowed to remain in peace ib 
his states and family ; his people were astonished at his 


shameful desertion, and his wife Adela reproached hira with 
having shrunk from the duties of rehgion and chivaby. 
These unfortunate princes, and all who had deserted the 
standards of the holy war, were obliged to quit France, and 
again take the route for Asia. 

Many of the princes and barons who had not partaken of 
the enthusiasm of the first Crusaders, accused themselves of 
culpable indiiference, and were drawn into the general move- 
ment. Among these latter was William IX,, count of Poic- 
tiers, a relation of the emperor of Grermany, and the most 
powerful vassal of the king of France. An amiable and 
intelligent prince, of not at all a warlike character, he left, 
to take up the pilgrim's staff, a voluptuous and gallant coui't, 
which he had often delighted with his songs. He took upon 
him the cross at Limoges, and set out for the East, accom- 
panied by a great number of his vassals, among whom were 
a vast many women and young girls.* His example was 
followed by "William, count of JSTevers, Orpin, count of 
Bourges, and Eude, duke of Burgundy. This last prince, 
perhaps, was influenced less by a desire of visiting Jerusalem 
than by his anxiety to recover the remains of his daughter 
Florine, who had been killed with Sweno in Asia Minor. 

In Italy, Albert, count of Blandras, and Anselm, arch- 
bishop of Milan, placed themselves at the head of a 
countless multitude of pilgrims. Germany witnessed the 
departure of Conrad, marshal of the emperor Henry, Wolf 
IX., duke of Bavaria, the princess Ida, margravine of Austria; 
and a great number of lords and knights. 

In this new expedition, as in the first, many of the Cru- 
saders were led away by a desire for seeking adventures and 
visiting foreign countries. The brilliant success of Baldwin, 
Bohemond, and Godfrey aroused the am«bition of the barons 
who had remained in Europe. Humbert II., count of 

* William IX. is the first troubadour known. He was a valorous and 
courteous knight, but a great deceiver of ladies. He bade adieu in a 
song to the Limousin, to Poitou, to chivalry, which he had loved so much, 
and to mundane vanities, which he describes as coloured habits and 
beautiful hose. On his return he sang the fatigues, the dangers, and the 
misfortunes of this expedition, in a poem which is lost. His usual gaietj 
pervaded it, according to Oderic Vital, in spite of the sadness of the sub 
ject. — See the History of the Troubadours, by Millet, torn. i. 


Savoy, who set out for the Holy Land with Hugh the Great, 
made a donation to the monks of the Bourget, in order to 
obtain by their prayers, a fortunate establishment (consulat) 
in his foreign voyage.* Many lords and knights made similar 
donations, whilst others fooided monasteries and churches, 
setting out with the hope that God would bless their 
arms, and enable them to acquire rich principalities in the 

The Crusaders assembled in several troops, and crossing 
the territories of the Hungarians and Bulgarians, united 
under the walls of Constantinople to the amount of two 
hundred thousand. These new pilgrims repeated the scenes 
of violence which had so seriously alarmed Alexius in the 
first expedition. The Greek emperor, faithful to his policy, 
opposed force by cunning ; he flattered the vanity or the 
avarice of men he could not subdue, and paid very dearly 
for the insincere homage of the leaders of the crusade. He 
called Eaj^mond to his assistance, who was then in his 
government of Laodicea. The presence and the persuasive 
discourses of the count of Thoiilouse calmed the perturbed 
spirits of the Crusaders for a few days ; and when they set 

* Guichenon, in his History of the House of Savoy, expresses himself 
thus : " William Paradin relates that this prince (Humbert, second count 
of Savoy) went to the Holy Land in the crusade which was determined on 
at the council of Clermont, under Godfrey of Bouillon," which the greater 
part of the historians have confirmed after him (such as Pingon, Vanderb. 
Dogliani, Chiesa, Balderan, Buttel, and Henning). Papyrus Masson has 
rejected this, because neither the manuscript chronicle, nor the authors 
of the crusades, who name many lords of less consequence, have men- 
tioned him. Botero has said nothing of him. " Nevertheless we cannot 
doubt this voyage ; for about that time this prince gave the monks of the 
Bourget in Savoy a property called Gutin, for the health of his soul, of 
that of count Ame, his father, and of his ancestors. This donation, dated 
at d'Yenne in Savoy (and not Jena in Thuringia, as is said in the Art of 
Verifying Dates), imports that the count bestowed this liberality to 
obtain from God a fortunate establishment {consulat) in his voyage 
beyond sea. Now this word consulat then signified a principality, 
government, or sovereignty. Oderic Vital gives to Roger, count of 
Sicily, the title of consul of Sicily." Guichenon adds here many other 
examples of the same kind. That which created doubts of the voyage of 
Humbert is the silence of the historians of the first crusade, as well as all 
the acts of this prince that have been preserved, and which prove that he 
was in Europe in the year 1100 ; but all these doubts vauish, when wa 
know that he went in the second expedition. 


forward on. their marcli to Palestine, he was charged with 
conducting them across Asia Minor. 

Among this confused mass of pilgrims* was a crowd of 
monks, old men, w^omen, and young girls. They were with- 
out discipline, and marched without either precaution or 
order ; but they had such perfect confidence in their arms, 
that they boasted, on leaving Constantinople, that they would 
go to Bagdad, and wrest Asia from the hands of the infidels. 
Thek" troop was divided into tliree bodies. At the head of 
the first were the duke of Burgundy, the count of Chartres, 
the archbishop of Milan, the count de Blandras, and Ray- 
mond de St. Gilles. " The archbishop of Milan," says 
Albert d'Aix, "had brought into Asia an arm of St. Am- 
brose, with which he gave his benediction to the Crusaders. 
Kaymond carried wdth him the lance that had been found at 
Antioch, to which he looked for new miracles." 

This first body, advancing towards Paphlagonia, took the 
city of Ancyra by assault, and laid siege to the fortress of 
Gangras. The garrison made a strong resistance, and forced 
the Christians to retire. They were in want of provisions, 
and entertained but little hopes of obtaining any in an 
enemy's country ; and whilst sinking into despondency 
they quite unexpectedly found themselves confronted by a 
Turkish army. 

Kdidge Arslan, who had retired to Iconium, which became 
the capital of his states, after the taking of Nice, had got 
together the remains of his army, and recruited his strength. 
The sultan of Mossoul, that same Kerbogha who, three years 
before, had lost the battle of Antioch, had joined the son of 
Soliman, and burned to meet the Christians again. 

Although they both had a considerable number of troops, 
they contented themselves, at first, with harassing the Cru- 
saders in their march. Sometimes the infidels got before 
the Christians, and ravaged the coimtry and filled up the 
wells and the cisterns ; whilst at others, they laid ambushes 
for them, and massacred all who strayed away from the main 
body. The Christian army had suffered much in crossing the 

* The details of this last expedition are found scattered in the wori<g 
of several historians. They who afford the most information are Albert 
d'Aix, Oderic Vital, Foulcher de Chartres, Chronicon Uspergensigf 
Alberiei Chronicon^ &c. ^p. 

262 HISTORY or the crusades. 

defiles of PapHagonia ; and fatigue, hunger, and thirst had 
greatly weakened the strength of the pilgrims, when the 
sultans of Mossoul and Iconium determined upon givdng 
them battle on the banks of the Halys. 

Eaymond, before the engagement, caused the roiraculous 
lance to be carried through the Christian ranks ; whilst the 
archbishop of Milan, followed by his clergy, exhibited the 
arm of St. Ambrose, and offered up prayers for victory ; but 
neither the prayers of the clergy, nor the sight of the holy 
lance, nor even the prodigies of valour displayed by the 
Crusaders, could secure them a triumph. After a sangui- 
nary conflict, they retired to their camp in great disorder. 
The Turks, who had met with a determined resistance, did 
not at first dare to follow up their victory, and satisfied 
themselves with remaining masters of the field of battle, and 
plundering the dead. During the night the Crusaders became 
aware of the extent of their loss. Raymond and the other 
terrified leaders sought safety in flight. As soon as their 
absence w^as discovered, terror and despair pervaded the 
camp of the Christians ; every one attempted to fly, aban- 
doning the baggage, the sick and the wounded. The roads 
were soon covered with soldiers, women, and children, who 
embarrassed each other in their confusion, and were igno- 
rant where they might meet with the enemy, or where they 
should look for the Christian army. The Turks, rendered 
aware of their victory by the cries and groans which re- 
sounded from the neighbourmg mountains, hastened to the 
camp of the Crusaders, massacring or making prisoners all 
they met. They then hotly pursued the fugitives, slaugh- 
tering them without mercy. The darkness of the night 
added to the horrors of this scene of carnage. The pilgrims 
lost themselves in their confusion, and seemed to seek 
the swords they wished to avoid; others stopped ex- 
hausted by fatigue, and awaited death as an end of their 

When day appeared, the country was covered mth the 
bloody, plundered bodies of the Christians. Raymond de 
St. Grilles, the duke of Burgundy, the count of Chartres, 
the count of Blandras, and some other leaders who had fled 
by different routes, met at Sinope, where they could scarcely 
gather around them a few thousand men, the remains of Wi 


army whicli had counted under its standards more than a 
hundred thousand pilgrims. 

A second army of Crusaders, led by the count de x^evers 
and the count de Bourges, advanced as far as Ancyra, aiid 
directed its course towards Heraclea.* This army looked 
for traces of that which had preceded it ; but instead of 
finding the Christians, they soon met with the victorious 
army of the Turks, which came to meet them, attacked them, 
and routed them. The count de Nevers with great difficulty 
found refuge in Germanicopolis. Taking for guides some 
Grreek soldiers, he was pillaged and abandoned by them in a 
desert. He went through the greatest dangers for several 
days ; and, exhausted with fatigue and covered w4th rags, he 
at length arrived at Antioch, whither the news of his defeat 
had preceded him. 

A third troop, composed, according to the authors of the 
time, of more than a hundred and fifty thousand pilgrims, 
set out from Constantinople under the orders of the count 
of Poictiers, the duke of Bavaria, and Hugh de Yermandois. 
They took possession of Philomelium and Samalia, and 
marched across devastated provinces towards the city of 
Stankon, where they expected to unite themselves with the 
army of the count de Nevers. It was before this city that 
the pilgrims heard of the disasters and defeat of the Chris- 
tian armies that had preceded them. They advanced towards 
Heraclea, and were not long in meeting with the army of 
Kilidge Arslan, which was waiting for them in an advan- 
tageous position. As they had no longer anything to hope 
for except from their courage, they did not seek to avoid the 
enemy. A rivulet which separated the Christians from the 
infidels, w^as the signal and the theatre of battle. The Cru- 
eaders, pressed by thirst, rushed towards it in crowds. The 
Turks immediately discharged upon them a shower of jave- 
lins and arrows. The two armies were soon completely 
engaged; but the Christians fighting in a confined and 
marshy place, could neither draw up their forces nor make 
use of the lance or the sword. Their bravery and theii- 
3ffbrts were of no avail against the skilful manoeuvres ot 
Kerbogha and Kilidge Arslan. The Turks penetrated thp 

* For these various positions, see the Map and the explanatory Memoir. 


Christian army every where ; the carnage was horrible j 
scarcely a thousand of the Crusaders escaped from either 
death or slavery. The margravine of Austria disappeared 
amidst the tumult of the battle. Some say that she was 
crushed under the feet of the horses ; whilst others assert 
that she fell into the hands of the enemy, and went to live 
and die in tlie harem of the sultan of Mossoul. The greater 
part of the women and young girls that followed the Chris- 
tian army met with the same fate. The count of Yer- 
mandois, pierced by two arrows, fled across Lycaonia, and 
arrived with a feeble escort at the city of Tarsus, where he 
died of his wounds. 

The duke of Bavaria and the count of Poictiers, after 
having wandered a long time in deserts and forests, arrived 
almost naked at Antioch, in which city were assembled all 
the Crusaders that had escaped after their defeat. The 
leaders, by gathering together the wrecks of their troops, 
were able to form an army of ten thousand men, with which 
they marched to Jerusalem. Whilst coasting the Sea of 
Syria, they took the city of Tortosa. w^hich they gave up to 
Kaymond, although they had accused him, only a few days 
before, of having been the cause of all their disasters. 
Upon their arrival in Palestine, they found new enemies to 
contend with. The duke of Burgundy* and the count of 
Blois were killed in a battle fought near Ramla. Arpin, 
count de Berri,t fell alive into the hands of the Saracens, 
and died in slavery. The count de Blandras, the count of 
Savoy, William, count of Poictiers, the count de Nevers, and 
the duke of Bavaria only led a small number of their soldiers 
back to Europe. J 

* The body of the duke of Burgundy was brought back to France, and 
buried at Citeaux. Urban Planchier says in his history, that they ob- 
served the anniversary of the death of this prince on the Friday before 
Passion Sunday. After the death of her husband, Mahaul, the wife of 
Eude, and mother of Florine, retired to the abbey of Fontevrault. 

f It has been said that Arpin, on setting out for the crusade, sold the 
county of Berri to Philip, king of France, for the sum of 60,000 crowns. 
This is the way in which the fact is related in the History of Berri : *' King 
Philip redeemed his city of Bourges, which Henry his father had engaged 
for 60,000 crowns, from Arpin. Thus Bourges returned to its natural 
prince." — Hiatory of Berri, by Chaumeau, p. 97. 

X Ancient historians contain many other details concerning this expe- 
dition that we have not thought it necessary to notice. Thia expediUox) 


Suci are tlie principal events of the first crusade, the 
commencement and the end of which "were marked by the 
greatest disasters, and which deprived Europe of more than 
a million of men. When we reflect on the energies dis' 
played and the forces employed in this expedition by the 
West, we are at first astonished that it did not succeed. 

It has often been repeated, when speaking of this holy 
war, in which the East beheld an army of six hundred thou- 
sand men brought against it, " that Alexander conquered 
Asia with thirty thousand men." It is more than probable 
that the Greeks who wrote the life of Alexander have dimi- 
nished the number of his forces in order to heighten the 
splendour of his victories ;* but, be that as it may, it must 
be admitted that the expedition of the Macedonian con- 
queror did not present the same dangers, or the same obsta- 
cles that the Crusaders had to encounter. The armies 
which left Greece for Asia had less to sufl^er from change of 
climate, or the length and difficulties of the voyage than 
those who came from the extremities of the West. The 
Macedonians, in their invasion of the East, had scarcely any 
nation to contend with but the Persians, an efieminate peo- 
ple, previously several times vanquished by the Greeks ; 
whilst the Crusaders had to pass through a crowd of un- 
known, barbarous hordes, and when arrived in Asia, found, 
as enemies, several nations of conquerors. 

The Greeks of Alexander's expedition did not go into Asia 
to introduce new laws, or change the manners and religion 
of the people ; they even adopted something of the costumes 
and usages of the Persians, which very much facilitated their 
conquests.f In the crusades, on the contrary, we behold two 

presents nothing but scenes of carnage and reverses, without glory or 
results. We shall be obliged to return to it hereafter. 

* Alexander, say the Greek historians, had thirty thousand infantry 
and five thousand horse. A single historian, Anaximenes, makes the 
Macedonian army amount to forty-eight thousand men. 

t The Turks, thirty years before the taking of Jerusalem by the Chris- 
tians, had scarcely met with any resistance to their invasions of some of 
the richest provinces of Asia, because the Mussulman religion, which 
they had recently embraced, was that of the countries against which they 
directed their arms. If the Tartars at different epochs have invaded 
several countries of the globe, and have maintained themselves in them, 
it was because on issuing from their deserts they had almost no religioci, 


religions armed one against tlie other, which redoubled the 
hatred of the combatants, and forbade all approximation. 
As soon as the standard of Mahomet floated over a city, the 
Christians fled from it ; whilst the cross of the Christiana 
had the same effect npon the Mussidmans. As the greater 
part of the Mussulman cities which fell into the hands of 
the Christians were deserted, the latter were obliged to 
people the provinces they conquered, and exhaust their 
armies, to found, in some sort, colonies wherever their arms 
triumplied. If it be allowed that no wars are more san- 
guinary than religious wars, there are certainly none in 
which it is more difficult for a conqueror to extend or preserve 
his conquests. This is a very important observation, if we 
would appreciate the residts of this crusade. 

On all occasions where bravery alone was required, nothing 
can be comparable to the exploits of the Crusaders. When 
reduced to a small number of combatants, they triumphed no 
less over their enemies than when they consisted of vast armies. 
Forty thousand Christians obtained possession of Jarusalem, 
defended by a garrison of sixty thousand Saracens. There re- 
mained scarcely twenty thousand men under their standards, 
when they had to contend with all the forces of the East in 
the plains of Ascalon. ' If Alexander performed greater 
things, and particularly if he conquered a greater number of 
nations, it was because he commanded a disciplined army, of 
which he was the absolute leader. All his mihtary and 
political operations were directed by one same mind and one 
same will. It was not thus in the army of the Crusaders, 
which was composed of many nations, and held within itself 
the fatal germs of license and disorder. The feudal anarchy 
with which Europe was then distracted followed the defenders 
of the cross into Asia, and that turbulent spirit of the 
knights, which constantly led them to have recourse to 

and were thus disposed to adopt any advantageous faith they might meet 
with in their passage. It will be objected to me that the Arabians, in the 
first ages of the Hegira, invaded a great part of Asia and Africa, where 
they found other religions than their own long established ; but it may be 
answered that these rehgions were sinking to decay. When the Mussul- 
mans presented themselves in Europe, where the Chr «tian religion was 
better established than in the East, this religion offered an insurmountablo 
barrier to their progress. 


arms, was precisely that which checked and bounded their 

When we think of their ever reviving discords, of the 
calamities which were the consequences of them, of that 
excess of bravery that made them commit so many faults, 
of that want of foresight which they almost always evinced 
on the eve of great dangers, one thing alone surprises 
us, and that is, that they did not entirely fail in their enter- 

Philosophy may, with some justice, oppose its reasonings 
to the marvels of this war ; but she will find in it an abun- 
dant source of profound and new observations. In it she 
will see man with his inexplicable contrasts ; in it she will 
meet with the passions, with all that characterizes them, with 
all they possess that most plainly exhibits the human heart 
and mind. Reason, without doubt, must deplore the dis- 
orders, the excesses, and the delirium of the Crusaders ; but 
such is human weakness, that we always interest ourselves 
in great events wherein man is fully developed. 

The imagination of the most indifferent must be struck 
with the instances of heroism which the history of the cru- 
sades abounds in. If many of the scenes of this great 
epoch excite oiu? indignation or our pity, how many of the 
events fill us with admiration and surprise ! How many 
names, rendered illustrious by this war, are still the pride of 
families and nations ! That which is perhaps most posi- 
tive in the results of the first crusade, is the glory of our 
fathers, — that glory which is also a real good for a country ; 
for great remembrances found the existence of nations as 
well as families, and are the most noble sources of patriotism. 

In remotest antiquity, one of those passions which some- 
times act upon a whole people, precipitated Grreece upon 
Asia. This war, famous and rich in exploits, inflamed the 
imagination of the Greeks, and was for a great length o( 
time celebrated in their temples and upon their stage. If 
great national remembrances inspire us with the same enthu- 
siasm, if we entertain as strong a respect as the ancients for 
the memory of our ancestors, the conquest of the Holy Land 
must be for us as glorious and memorable an epoch as the 
war of Troy was for the people of Greece. These two wars, 
however different in their motives, present almost the same 

258 niSTOEY OF the CEraADES. 

results to the enlightened observer ; both offer gitind lessons 
to policy and illustrious models to valour; both founded 
new states, new colonies, and established relations between 
distant nations. Both had a marked influence upon the 
civilization of the ages that followed them : both, in short, 
developed great passions and tine characters, and thus 
furnished the happiest subjects for the epic muse, who 
delights only in celebrating prodigies and wonders. 

When comparing these two memorable wars, and the 
poetical masterpieces that have celebrated them, we cannot 
but think that the subject of the " Jerusalem Delivered" is 
more wonderful than that of the " Iliad." We may still 
further say, that the heroes of Tasso are more interesting 
than those of Homer, and their exploits less fabulous. The 
cause which armed the Grreeks was much less important 
than that which actuated the Christians. The latter, in 
some sort, took up arms for the assistance of misfortune and 
oppressed weakness. They went to defend a religion able 
to make them sensible of ills that were endured far from 
them, and to make them find brothers in regions unknown 
to them. This character of sociability is not to be found in 
any belief of the ancients. 

The Crusaders exhibited another spectacle with which 
antiquity was unacquainted — the union of religious humility 
with the love of glory. History shows us constantly these 
haughty heroes, the terror of Asia and the Mussulmans, 
bending their victorious brows to the dust, and marching 
from conquest to conquest, covered with the sack of peni- 
tence. The priests, who exhorted them in battle, only raised 
their courage by reproaching them with their sins. When 
the} met with reverses, a thousand voices were raised among 
them to accuse their own misconduct ; and when they were 
victorious, it was Grod alone that gave them the victory, and 
religion forbade their claiming glory from it,* 

The historian may be permitted to think that this difier- 
ence between the heroes of the " IHad" and those of the 

* Daimbert, Godfrey of Bouillon, and Raymond de St. Gilles, when 
writing to the pope ancl the faithful of the West, say that the victory of 
Dory iseum had filled the pilgrims with pride, and that God, to punish theiUy 
opposed Antioch to them, which delayed them nine months. 


floly war is not sufficiently marked in tliv5 poem of " Jeru- 
salem Delivered."* Another reproach may likewise be 
addressed to the bard of liinaldo and Godfrey ; the ideas o{ 
magic and gallantry which he has too freely lavished upon hi* 
poem are not in accordance with the truth of history. 
Magic, which is nothing but a sort of degenerated super- 
stition, and which only deals with small things, was but 
little known to the Crusaders. Their superstition, however 
gross, had something noble and grand in it, which associated 
them sufficiently with the spirit of the epopee, without the 
poet having anythmg to alter ; their character and manners 
were grave and austere, and exceedingly weR suited to the 
dignity of a religious epic. It was not till long after 
the first crusade that magic formed any part of the super- 
stition of the Franks, or that their warlike manners aban- 
doned the prominently epic character which distinguished 
them, to adopt the romantic cliaracter which they have pre- 
served in all books of chivalry. It appears to us that we 
discover in Tasso much more of the manners of the times 
in which he lived than of those of the end of the eleventh 
century, the period of the events wliich form the subject of 
his poem. 

But it does not enter into the plan or the object of this 
work to carry such observations further.f After having 
spoken of the heroic deeds and of all that was wonderful 
in the first crusade, I will turn my attention to the imme- 
diate eft'ects it produced upon Europe and Asia. We are 
sufficiently well acquainted with the evils by which it was 
followed ; great disasters are the familiar subjects of history, 
but the slow and ahnost insensible progress of the good 
that may result from a great revolution, is much less easily 

The first result of this crusade was to carry terror among 

* Tasso himself was of this opinion, as may be seen in an interesting 
letter addressed to us by M. Bureau Delaraalle. The admiration which 
I entertain for the Poet of the Crusades, makes me exceedingly anxious 
that M. Baour Lormian should finish the undertaking he has begun, so 
worthy of his rare talent, a translation in verse of the Jerusalem Delivered. 

t M. Guinguene, in his Histoire Litter aire d'ltalie, has deigned to 
adopt, with some modification, several of these observations, which is th« 
most worthy reward of my labours and researches. 

Vol. I.— lU 


the Mussulman nations, and to place it out of their power 
to undertake for a length of time any warhke enterprises 
against the West. Thanks to the victories of the Crusaders, 
the Grreek empire extended its limits, and Constantinople, 
which was the road to the West for the Saracens, was ren- 
dered safe from their attacks. In this distant expedition 
Europe lost the flower of its population, but it was not, as 
x^Lsia was, the theatre of a bloody and disastrous war ; of a 
war in which nothing was respected, in which provinces and 
cities were, by turns, ravaged by the conquerors and the 
conquered. Whilst the warriors of Europe were shedding 
their blood on the plains of the East, the West remained in 
profound peace. Among Christian nations it was then con- 
sidered a crime to take up arms for any other cause than 
that of Jesus Christ. This opinion contributed greatly to 
check the frightful brigandage that had prevailed, and to 
increase respect for the truce of God, which was, in the 
middle ages, the germ or the sigual of the best institutions. 
Whatever were the reverses of the crusades, they were less 
deplorable than the civil wars and the scourges of feudal 
anarchy that had so long ravaged all the countries of the 

This first crusade produced other advantages to Europe.* 
The East, by the holy war, was in some sort laid open to the 
West, which, before, was but little acquainted with it ; tlie 
Mediterranean became more frequented by European vessels, 
navigation made some progress, and commerce, particularly 
that of the Pisans and Genoese, must have been increased 
and enriched by the foundation of the kingdom of Jerusa- 
lem. A great part, it is true, of the gold and silver of 
Europe was carried into Asia by the Crusaders ; but these 
treasures, heaped up and concealed by avarice and fear, had 
been long abstracted from circulation ; the gold which was 
not carried away by the Crusaders circulated more freely, 
and Europe, with a less quantity )f money, appeared all at 
once more rich than it had ever been. 

We cannot perceive, whatever may have been asserted, 
that in the first crusade Europe received any great quantity 

* In our general conclusions, we shall often have to quote the works 
01 M. Heeren and M. Choiseuil d'Aillecourt upon the influence J)f the 


of knowledge from the East. During the eleventh century, 
Asia had been the theatre of tlie most sanguinary revolu- 
tions. At this period the Saracens, but more particularly 
the Turks, cultivated neither the arts nor the sciences. The 
Crusaders had no other relation with them but a war of ex- 
termination. On another side, the Eranks held the Greeks^ 
among whom, besides, the arts and sciences were declining, 
in too much contempt to borrow any kind of instruction 
from them ; nevertheless, as the events of the crusade had 
strongly affected the imagination of nations, this great and 
imposing spectacle was sufficient to give an impetus to the 
human mind in the West. Several writers undertook to 
trace the history of this memorable period. Raymond 
d'Agiles, E-obert the monk of St. E^emy, Tudebode, Foulcher 
de Chartres, Abbot Guibert, Baudry, the bishop of Dol, and 
Albert d'Aix were contemporary historians, and most ot 
them ocular witnesses of the conquests and exploits they 
have described. The histories they have left us are not desti- 
tute of merit, and some of them are even better than that 
which was written of the same kind among either the Greeks 
or the Arabs. These writers were animated in their labours 
by the same spirit of piety which governed the heroes of the 
cross. This spirit of piety caused them to take up the per - 
and persuaded them that they wrote for the cause of Goc 
They would have thought themselves wanting in their dut) 
as Christians, if they had not employed their abilities in 
transmitting the events of the holy war to posterity. In 
whatever manner we judge of their motives, we cannot avoid 
being convinced that they have rendered great services to 
history, and that without them the heroic times of our 
annals would have remained without monuments. 
' The wonderful portion of the character of this first cru- 
sade likewise awakened the epic muse. Baoul de Caen,* 
who, in his history, sometimes sounds the epic trumpet in 
order worthily to celebrate the " gestes" of Tancred, is not 
deficient in either warmth or fancy. The conquest of Jeru- 
salem was during- the twelfth century the subject of several 
works in verse. A. Limousin knight, Geofirey de la Tour, 

* The verse of this writer is much better than his prose, which is ^er^ 
fticorrect, and sometimes unintelligible. 

262 ~ HISTORY or the crusades. 

called the prior or abbot of the Yigeois, described very tole- 
rably the events of these wars in a large volume all v^^ritten 
in his maternal tongue, and in vulgar rhyme, in order that the 
people might understand it the better. This poem, written 
in verse, whicli was the fruit of the labour of twelve years, is 
lost. Many other similar works have doubtless shared the 
same fate ; but that which remains suffices to prove that 
human intelligence began to expand at the commencement 
of the twelfth century. 

Before this period, the science of legislation, which is the 
first and most important of all, had made but very little 
progress. Some cities of Italy and the provinces near the 
Pyrenees, where the Groths had encouraged the Roman laws, 
alone exhibited glimmerings of civilization. Among the 
rules and ordinances that Gaston de Beam laid down before 
his departure for the Holy Land, are to be found many points 
and particulars which deserve to be preserved by history, 
because they exhibit the feeble beginnings of a legislation 
which time and fortunate circumstances would perfect. 
Peace, says this legislator of the eleventh century, sTiall he 
observed at all times towards clerks, monhs, travellers, and 
ladies and their suite. — If any one takes refuge in the abode 
of a lady, he shall enjoy security of person, on paying all loss 
or consequent injury. Let the peasant live in peace ; let his 
cattle and agricultural instruments be exempt from seizm^e.* 
These benevolent dispositions were inspired by the spirit of 
chivalry, which had made some progress in the wars against 
the Saracens of Spain ; they were particularly the works of 
the councils t which undertook to put a stop to private wars 

* Wc have obtained these details from a manuscript history of Beam, 
which has been kindly communicated to us by one of our most distin- 
guished magistrates, who consecrates his leisure to the cultivation of 
letters. This history, remarkable for a wise erudition and sound criti- 
cism, is likely to throw a great light upon the remote times of which we 

f All the ordinances of Gaston de Beam are to be found 'o the decrees 
of the synod or council held in the diocese of Elne, in Roussillon, the 
iCth of May, 1027. These dispositions had for object the Truce of God. 
The council decreed that no unarmed clerk or monk should be attacked, 
%or any man who was going to church or coming from it, or was walking 
with women. At the council of Bourges in 1031, and in several others, 
hese regulations were renewed ; labourers, their cattle and mills, wew 


and tlie excess of feudal anarchy. The holy wars beyond 
the seas finished that which chivalry had begun, they per- 
fected chivalry itself. The council of Clermont and the 
crusade that followed it only developed and consolidated ai^ 
which preceding councils, all that the wisest lords an(3 
princes, had done for the cause of humanity. 

Many of the princes of the crusades, such as the duke o. 
Brittany and Eobert count of Flanders, signalized tbeii* 
return by establishuig wise regulations. A few salutary in- 
stitutions began to displace the violent abuses of feudalism, 
and there might be seen, at least in some provinces, what a 
regime founded by the sword could exhibit of a moderate 
kind in its legislation. 

It was in Erance that these changes were most obvious, 
because France had taken the greatest part in the crusade. 
Many nobles emancipated theii' serfs upon their following 
them in this expedition. Giraud and Giraudet Adhemar de 
Monthiel, who followed their brother, the bishop of Puy, to 
the holy war, to encourage and reward some of their vassals, 
by whom they were accompanied, granted them several fiefs 
by an act drawn up in the same year as the taking of Jeru- 
salem. We might quote many similar acts made during 
the crusade and m the first year that followed it. Liberty 
awaited in the West the small number that returned from 
the holy war, who seemed to acknowledge no other master 
but Jesus Christ. 

In this crusade the nobility lost some portion of a power 
which they had abused, but they had more splendour and were 
held in greater honour. The king of France, although for a 
long time obnoxious to the censures of the Church, and 
although he did not distinguish himself by any great per- 
sonal qualities, had a more tranquil and prosperous reign than 
his predecessors ; he began to shake ofi" the yoke of the great 
vassals of the crown, of whom several were ruined or perished 
in the holy war. We have often repeated that the crusade 
placed great wealth in the hands of the clergy ; but we must 
likewise add, that the clergy composed the most enlightened 

placed under the safeguard of religion. — See the Collection of the Councils 
by le P. Labbe. It is not useless to remark that these regulations were 
at first received in Aquitaine. The council of Clermont caused them to bf 
adopted throughout the greater part of Europe. 


part of the nation, and that this increase of prospenly was in 
the nature of things. After the first crusade, was seen that 
which is always to be observed in all nations that are pro- 
gressing in civilization. Power had a tendency to centralize 
itself in the hands of him who protected liberty. Glory 
became the reward of all who were called upon to defend 
their country; consideration and riches took a direction to- 
wards that class from which intelligence was to be expected. 

It is certain that knowledge arose in Europe among the 
clergy, and that they alone were able to consecrate in some 
way many of the salutary results of the crusades. As long 
as the clergy powerfully assisted the progress of civilization, 
they preserved their wealth ; as soon as they went beyond 
civilization, they lost it. This is the course of things on 
earth. As long as institutions are favourable to society, 
society reveres them;* when under some relations they are 
esteemed less useful, they lose their importance. Without 
any necessity for declamation, we must leave the ingratitude 
natural to nations to take its course, as we must their in- 
constancy, and to time ; which are but too powerful in destroy- 
ing instruments which society has employed with some 

Many cities of Italy had arrived at a certain degree of 
civilization before the first crusade ; but this civilization, 
bom in the midst of a barbarous age, and spread amongst 
some isolated nations divided among themselves, had no 
power to attain maturity. For civili2^ation to produce the 
salutary effects it is capable of, everything must at the same 
time, have a tendency to the same perfection. Knowledge, 
laws, morals, power, all must proceed together. This is what 
has happened in France ;t therefore must France one day 
become the model and centre of civilization in Europe. The 
holy wars contributed much to this happy revolution, which 
may be seen even in the first crusade. 

* I only here speak of the clergy with regard to its knowledge. The 
jpinion I express is not only applicable to France, but to all the states of 

f What a comment upon man's assumption is the history of France 
lince this was written ! — Trans. 


A.D. 1099—1148. 

I HATE related the disasters, the labours, and the eon- 
quests of the first Crusaders ; I now direct my attention to 
the kingdom which was founded by their victories, the perila 
of which several times summoned the nations of the West 
to arms. If the recital of a war fiUed with adventures and 
prodigies has excited the curiosity and surprise of my readers, 
I trust they will not refuse to follow with me the progress 
of that distant kingdom, which was the fruit of so many 
exploits and so much glory, which cost so much blood and 
so many tears. After having beheld the countless crowds 
of pilgrims setting out for the deliverance of the Holy 
Land, who will not be astonished to see two or three hun- 
dred brave knights, the glorious remains of the Christian 
armies, suffice for the defence of the provinces and cities 
conquered by the united powers of the West? What 
spectacle can create more profound reflection in the minds 
of thinking and enlightened men, than that of a new 
people, cast, as it were by a tempest, on a foreign shore, in 
the midst of a country from which the arms, religion, and 
customs of numerous nations are unceasingly employed to 
expel them r" 

The country in which the Crusaders had just established 
themselves, and which the monuments of religion and his- 
tory rendered so dear to the nations of the West, constituted 
the kingdoms of Judah and Israel of antiquity. When the 
llomans carried their arras into this country, its new masters 
added to the name which the Jews had giv*.n it that of 
Palestine, or the country of the Palestinians. It was 
bounded on the south and east by the deserts of Arabia and 
Idiimea, on the west by tlie Mediterranean, and on the north 
by the mountains Libanus 

At the period of the crusades, as at the present time, a 
great part of the soil of Palestine, upon which rise the 


barren mouutains of Sion, Hebron, Hebal, and Gelboei, 
presented the aspect of a land upon which the curses of 
Heaven had fallen. This land, formerly promised to the 
elect people of God, had several times changed inhabitants. 
All the sects, all the dynasties of the Mussulmans, had dis- 
puted the possession of it sword in hand, and revolutions 
and wars had left numerous memorable ruins in its capital, 
and in the greater part of its provinces. The religious ideas 
of the Mussulmans and the Christians seemed alone to give 
ijiiportance to the conquest of Judea ; history must, however, 
guard against the exaggeration with which certain travellers 
have spoken of the sterility of this unfortunate country'.* 
Amidst the calamities which, during many ages, desolated 
the provinces of Palestine, some traces of its ancient splen- 
dour may still be perceived. The shores of the Lake of 
Galilee and of the Jordan, some valleys watered by the 
Besor, the Amou, and the Jaboc, and the plains contiguous 
to the sea which war had not ravaged, still recalled by their 
fertility the promises of Scripture. Palestine yet boasted 
some flourishing cities, and several of its ports offered a 
commodious asylum to the vessels of Asia and Europe. 

In the condition of Palestine at that time, if the territory 
had been entirely subject to Godfrey, the new king might 
have equalled in power the greater part of the Mussulman 
princes of Asia ; but the young kingdom of Jerusalem con- 
sisted but of the capital and about twenty cities or towns in 
its neighbourhood. Several of these cities were separated 
by places still occupied by the infidels. A fortress in the 
hands of the Christians was near to a fortress over which 
floated the standard of Mahomet. In the surroimding 
country dwelt Turks, Arabs, and Egyptians, who all united 
to make war upon the subjects of Godfrey. The latter were 
not free from alarm even in their Cities, which were almost 
all badly garrisoned, and found themselves constantly exposed 
to the terrors and evils of war. The lands remained uncul- 
tivated, and all communications were interrupted. Amidst 
so many perils, several of the Latins abandoned the pos- 
sessions which victory had bestowed upon them ; and that 

* An excellent dissertation on the Holy Land, by the Abbe Guenee, 
in Les Memoires de V Academic des Inscriptions, may be consulted with 


tlie conquered country miglit not be left without inliabitants, 
the interest of property, or proprietorship, was called in to 
strengthen the wavering love for the new abode. Every 
man who had remained a year and a day in a house, or upon 
cultivated land, was recognised as the legitimate proprietor 
of it. All rights of possession were annulled by an absence 
of the same duration. 

The first care of Grodfrey was to repel the hostilities of 
the Sai»acens, and to extend the frontiers of the kingdom 
intrusted to his defence. By his orders Tancred entered 
into Galilee, took possession of Tiberias, and several other 
cities situated in the neighbourhood of the Lake of Genesa- 
reth. As the reward of his labours, he obtained possession 
of the country he conquered, which in the end became a 

Tancred, master of a rich province, advanced into the 
territories of Damascus, whilst Godfrey, in a fortunate ex- 
cursion, imposed tributes upon the emirs of Caesarea, Ptole- 
mais, and Ascalon, and brought to submission the Arabs 
dwelling on the left shores of the Jordan. He was returning 
victorious to Jerusalem, when the city of Asiu*, which had 
surrendered after the battle of Ascalon, refused to pay 
tribute, and shook off the yoke of the Christians. Godfrey 
resolved to lay siege to this rebel city ;* he collected his 
troops, marched them towards Asur, and proceeded to attack 

* We have been guided principally in the history of Jerusalem, by 
the chronicle of Foulcher de Chartres, that of Albert d'Aix, the anony- 
mous author of the Gesta Francorum expugnantium Hierusalem, and 
the history of William of Tyre. There is nothing in French upon the 
kingdom of Jerusalem. Being ignorant of the German language, we 
regret our inability to avail ourselves of the second volume of the History 
of the Crusades, by M. Walken, to the extent we could have wished. 
We may say the same of the history by M. Hacken, and several other 
German works upon the establishment of the Christians in the East. 

Among the Arabian historians from whom the learned D. Bertheraud 
has made extracts, we have consulted — 1. The Mussulman Annals of 
Aboulfeda. 2. The History of Tabari, or rather the continuation of that 
historian, who is called the Livy of the Arabians. 3. The History of 
Jerusalem, by Moudgireddin. 4. The History of Aleppo, by Kemaleddin. 
5. The History of the Attabecs, by Ben Latir. The«e historians and 
Bome others have furnished us with some points of comparison, and 
some document frequently incomplete, generally useless. The Oriental 
historians only become an abundant source of information at the epoch of 
She reigns of Noureddin and Saladin. 



the town. Already had the rolling towers approached the 
ramparts, the rams had shaken the walls to their founda- 
tions, and the city was about to be carried, when the besieged 
employed a mode of defence worthy only of barbarians- 
Gerard of Avesnes, who had been left with them as an 
hostage by Grodfrey, was fastened to the top of a very high 
mast which was attached to the very wall against which the 
efforts of the besiegers were principally directed. At the 
prospect of an inevitable and inglorious death, the unfortunate 
Christian knight uttered loud and painful cries, and conjured 
his friend Godfrey to save his life by a voluntary retreat. 
This cruel spectacle pierced the heart of Godfrey, but did 
not shake either his firmness or his courage. As he was 
sufficiently near to Gerard of Avesnes to make himself heard 
by him, he exhorted him to merit the crown of martyrdom 
by his resignation. " It is not in my power to save you," 
said he ; "if my brother Eustace were in your place, I could 
not deliver him from death. Die, then, illustrious and brave 
knight, with the courage of a Christian hero ; die for the 
safety of your brethren, and for the glory of Jesus Christ.'* 
These words of Godfrey gave Gerard of Avesnes the 
courage to die. He begged his old companions to offer at the 
holy sepulchre his horse and his arms, that prayers might be 
put up for the health of his soul.* A short time after he 
died under a shower of darts and arrows launched by the 
hands of the Christians. 

The soldiers of Godfrey, on witnessing the death of 
Gerard, burned with rage to revenge him, and redoubled 
their efforts to render themselves masters of the city. On 
their side, the besieged reproached the Christians with their 
barbarity, and defended themselves with vigour. The Greek 
fire consumed the towers and the machines of the besiegers ; 
Godfrey had lost a great number of his soldiers, and de- 
spaired of reducing the city, v/hich received succours by sea. 
As winter was approaching, he resolved at last to raise the 
siege and return to Jerusalem, deeply affected at having 
caused the death of Gerard of Avesnes without any advantage 
to the cause of the Christians. 

Dui'ing the siege of Asur several emirs from the mouu- 

* This account is found entire in Albert d'Aix, book vii. chaps. 8, 9, 


tains of Samaria came to visit Grodfrey. They were struck 
with the greatest surprise when they found the king of the 
Christians without a guard, without splendour, sleeping on 
a straw pallet like the meanest of his soldiers. They were 
not less astonished when, at their request, he exhibited 
before them his extraordinary strength by cutting olF tho 
head of a camel at a single blow with his s "^ord. The emirs, 
after having offered presents to Godfrey, returned to theif 
own country, and related the wonders they had seen. Their 
recitals, which history has not disdained, contributed greatly 
to increase the fame of the king of Jerusalem. 

When Godfrey reached his capital, he learnt the approach 
of a great number of pilgrims, the greater part of whom 
were Pisans and Genoese, led by the bishop of Ariana, and 
Daimbert, archbishop of Pisa. To the Christians arrived 
from the West were added Bohemond, prince of Antioch, 
Baldwin, count of Edessa, and Eaymond, count of Thoulouse. 
These latter had come to visit the holy places, and to 
celebrate the epoch of the birth of Christ at Jerusalem. 

Godfrey went out to meet the pilgrims as far as Beth- 
lehem, with his knights and the clergy. " After they were 
come into the holy city," says an old chronicle, "the king 
received them and feasted them magnificently ; and detained 
them in Judea during the winter, being much gratified with 
the presence of his brother Baldwin." Daimbert, archbishop 
of Pisa, had come into Palestine as legate from the Holy See. 
By means of presents and promises he got himself to be 
named patriarch of Jerusalem, in the place of Arnoul de 
liohes. This prelate, brought up in the school of Gre- 
gory VII., maintained with warmth the pretensions of the 
Holy See, and it was not long before his ambition introduced 
trouble among the Clu?istians. In the places even where 
Christ had said that his kingdom was not of this world, he 
who called himself his vicar desired to reign with Godfrey, 
and demanded the sovereignty of a part of Jaffa, and of a 
quarter of Jerusalem in which the church of the Hesurrec- 
tion was built. After some debates, the pious Godfrey 
yielded to the imperious demands of Daimbert ; and such 
was then the ascendancy of the Church and the clergy, that 
the new king was obliged to consent to a treaty by which 
the kingdom should belong to the patriarch, it' Godfrey 


should iie without children. Grodfrey thus ack lowledged 
himself the vassal of the sovereign pontiff, and received 
from the pope and his legate permission to reign over a 
country conquered hy his arms. Bohemond and Baldwin 
consented at the same time to receive from the pope the 
investiture of their principalities. The prince of Antioch 
had refused to render homage to the king of Jerusalem, but 
he did not hesitate to acknowledge himself the vassal of a 
power which bestowed empires, and was able to send fresh 
armies into the East. 

In the mean time the wise Grodfrey, after having freed his 
territory from the incursions of the Mussuhnans, and carried 
the terror of his arms beyond the Jordan, reflected that 
idctory was not all that was required to found a state. His 
capital had been depopulated by the sword of the Crusaders ; 
several other cities, like Jaffa, had lost the greater part of 
their inhabitants ; and this new king reckoned among hia 
subjects Armenians, Grreeks, Jews, Arabs, renegades from 
all religions, and adventurers from all countries. The state 
confided to his care was like a place of passage, and had no 
other supporters or defenders but travellers and strangers. 
It was the rendezvous and the asylum of notorious sinners, 
who came thither to mitigate the anger of Grod, and of 
criminals, who thus eluded the justice of men. Both of 
these were equally dangerous when circumstances awakened 
their passions, or when fear and repentance gave way before 
new tempta-tions. Godfrey, according to the spirit of feudal 
customs and the laws of war, had divided the conquered 
lands among the companions of his victories. The new lords 
of Jaffa, Tiberias, Bamla, and Naplouse, scarcely acknow- 
ledged the authority of a king. The clergy, encouraged by 
the patriarch, assumed the tone of masters, and the bishops 
exercised a temporal power equal to that of the barons. 
Some attributed the conquest of the kingdom to their valour, 
others to their prayers ; every one claimed the reward of 
either his piety or his labours ; and whilst the greater part 
aimed at domination, all insisted upon independence. 

Godfrey undertook to rule so many conflicting preten- 
sions, and to bring a tumultuous government into some 
^gular form. In order that the execution of his project 
might have the greater '^'^lemnity, he chose the circumstance 


wliicb liad conducted the Latin princes to Jerusalem. After 
liaving accompanied them as far as Jericho, to celebrate with 
tliem the festival of the Epiphany, he returned to his capital, 
where he assembled the enlightened and pious men of the 
cit}:^ of whom he formed the states, or the assizes, of his 
kingdom. In this solemn assembly the first care was to 
regulate and determine the duties of the barons, the loids, 
and the common subjects, towards the king, and the duties 
of the kin-P: towards the lords and subjects. The king was 
to undertake to maintain the laws, to defend the Church, to 
protect widows and orphans, to watch over the safety of both 
people and lords, and to lead in war. The lord, who was the 
lieutenant of the prince, as regarded his vassals, was to 
guarantee them from insult, and to protect their property, 
their honour, and their rights. The first duty of the counts 
and barons towards the king was to serve him in council and 
fight. The first obligation of a subject or a vassal towards 
his prince or his lord, was to defend him or avenge him in 
every case of outrage, and to protect the honour of his wife, 
his daughter, or his sister ; to follow him in all perils, and to 
surrender himself as hostage for him, if he fell into the 
hands of his enemies.* 

The king and his subjects, the great and the small vassals, 
mutually engaged their faith to each other. In the feudal 
hierarchy, every class had its privileges maintained by 
honour. Honour, that grand principle among knights, com- 
manded all to repulse an injury inflicted upon a single one, 
and thus became, restrained within just limits, the security 
of public liberty. 

War was the great aifair in a kingdom founded by knights 
and barons ; every one capable of bearing arms was reckoned 
as something in the state, and protected by the new legisla- 
tion ; all the rest, with the exception of the clergy, whose 
existence and privileges were held by divine right, were 

* The Assizes of Jerusalem, transported into the kingdom 4f Cyprus, 
were collected in the thirteenth century, by John d'Ibelin, count of Jaffa 
and Ascalon. They were printed by Baumancir, and commented upon 
by Thomas de la Thaumasiere. It is to be lamented that the French 
publicists, and Montesquieu himself, have studied so superficially this 
monument of modern legislation, which is able to throw great light upon 
the Listory, laws, and manners of the middle ages. 

272 nisTOEi OF the ceusades. 

reckoned as a ^tiling, and scarcely merited any attention fr*>ni 
the legislators^. The Assizes of Jerusalem did, indeed, deign 
to take notice of villains, slaves, peasants or cidtivators, or 
captives taken in war ; but they were only considered in the 
light of property, of which they wished to assure the enjoy- 
Qient to its legitimate possessors. Those who had lost them 
could reclaim them as they could a falcon or a hound ; the 
value of a falcon and a slave was the same ; a war-horse was 
estimated at more than double the value of a peasant or a 
captive. The laws did not f^ondescend to notice these un- 
happy classes, and left it to religion alone to protect them. 

To watch over the execution of the constitutional laws of 
the state, and to decide in all disputes, two courts were in- 
stituted ; the one presided over by the king, and composed 
of the nobles, was to pronounce judgment upon differences 
among the great vassals ; the other, presided over by the 
viscount of Jerusalem, and formed of the principal inha- 
bitants of each city, was to regulate the interests and the 
rights of the citizens and the common people. A third 
court was instituted, which Avas reserved for Oriental Chris- 
tians ; the judges of it were born in Syria, spoke its lan- 
guage, and decided according to the laws and usages of the 
country. Thus all the citizens of the kingdom were judged 
by their peers, and enjoyed the benefits of an institution 
which has not been despised in ages much more enlightened. 

The Franks, with their warlike character, were certain to 
evince disdain for the slow, and often uncertain, forms of 
justice ; they adopted, in their legislation made for the East, 
the ordeal by iron or fire, which had taken its birth among 
the nations of the North. Judicial combat was also ad- 
mitted in criminal causes, and sometimes even in civil ones. 
Among a warlike people everything must present the image 
of war ; every action commenced against a baron or a knight 
was, in his eyes, an injury — an affront — that he ought to 
repulse sword in hand ; Christian knights were likewise 
persuaded that God would not allow innocence to succumb 
in an unequal combat, and victory appeared to them at once 
the triumph of human law^s and divine justice. 

Such dispositions still bespeak the barbarity of the most re- 
mote ages; but a great number of other laws attest the wisdom 
of the legislators of the Holy Land : their code contained 


every institution that was reasonable in the feudal system. 
Palestine was then blessed by the revival of wise laws created 
for Europe, but which Europe had forgotten amidst the 
anarchy of civil A^ars ; many ameliorations made in feudal 
legislation in some of the states of the West, particularly 
m the cities of Italy, were consecrated in the new laws of 

It must be believed that in this circumstance religion 
sometimes mingled her useful inspirations with those of 
human sagacity ; justice and humanity assumed a more 
sacred character in the presence of the holy tomb. As all 
the subjects of Godfrey were called upon to defend the cause 
of God, the quality of a soldier of Jesus Christ might make 
the dignity of man respected. If it be true that the esta- 
blishment of the commons, or a second court, was the work 
of the Crusaders, we cannot, with truth, assert that these 
wars contributed nothing towards the progress of civilization. 
The laws which they made, and in which may be plainly seen 
the first glimpses of regulated liberty, were a new spectacle 
for Asia ; they must likewise have been a subject of surprise 
and a means of instruction for Europe itself, where pilgrims 
related, on their return, the usages and customs established 
by the Franks in the Holy Land. This code of legislation, 
the best, or rather the least imperfect that had existed pre- 
vious to that time, and which increased or was modified 
under other reigns, was deposited with great pomp in the 
church of the Resurrection, and took the name of the Assizes 
of Jerusalem, or Letters of the Holy Sepulchre. 

After this ceremony, which was performed in the presence 
of all the pilgrims, the Latin princes then at Jerusalem 
returned to their own states ; Baldwin to Edessa, Bohemond 
to his principality of Antioch, and Eaymond to Laodicea, of 
which he had rendered himself master, and which he governed 
in the name of the emperor of Constantinople. Scarcely 
had Tancred returned to his principality when he was 
attacked by all the forces of the sultan of Damascus. God- 
frey, accompanied by his faithful knights and a great number 
of pilgrims eager to fight under his command, repaired im- 
mediately into Galilee, defeated the Saracens, and pursued 
them to the mountains of Libanus. 

As he wsis returning frrm this expedition, the emir of 


Csesarea came out to meet liim, aaid presented to liim an 
oftering of some of the fruits of Palestine. Godfrey only 
accepted a single cedar-apple, and almost directly fell ill. 
This malady, which they did not hesitate to attribute to 
poison, created the most serious alarm among his followers. 
Godfrey with great difficulty reached Jaffa, whence he was 
conveyed to his capital, where he died, committing to the 
companions of his victories the charge of the glory of reli- 
gion and of the kingdom of Jerusalem. His mortal remains 
were deposited within the enclosure of Calvary, near to the 
tomb of Christ, which he had delivered by his valour. His 
death was mourned by the Christians, of whom he was the 
father and the support, and by the Mussulmans, who had 
often experienced his justice and his clemency. History 
may say of him what the holy Scripture says of Judas 
Maccabeus : " It was he who increased the glory of his 
people, when, like a giant, he put on his arms in the fight, 
and his sword was the protection of the whole camp." 
Godfrey of Bouillon surpassed all the captains of his age in 
his skill in war ; and if he had lived some time longer, would 
have merited a name among great kings. In the kingdom 
he founded he was constantly held up as a model for princes 
as well as warriors. His name still recalls the virtues of 
heroic times, and wiU live honoured amongst men as long as 
the remembrance of the crusades. 

After the death of Godfrey great disputes arose upon the 
choice of his successor. The patriarch Daimbert endea- 
voured to avail himself of the rights conveyed by the pro- 
mises of Godfrey, and claimed the throne of Jerusalem ; but 
the barons would submit to no chief but one of their com- 
panions in arms. Gamier, count de Gray, took possession 
of the Tower of David, and of the other fortresses of Jeru- 
salem, in the name of Baldwin, comit of Edessa. The 
patriarch invoked the authority of the Church to the assist- 
ance of his cause ; and as Count Garnier died suddenly, the 
clergy of Jerusalem attributed his death to divine justice, 
which the im])ious projects of the barons and knights had 
offended. Daind^ert wrote to Bohemond, priuce of Antioch, 
and conjured him to come and defend what he called the 
rights of the Church and the cause of G. 1. Jerusalem was 
filled with agitation and trouble ; but whilst they wera 


tuinultuously deliberating, deputies from Autioch. came to 
announce that their prince had been surprised in an expe- 
dition against the Turks, and was held prisoner by the 
infidels. This news spread consternation and grief among 
the Christians, and made them more sensible of the necessity 
for calling Baldwin to the throne, with whose valour they 
were so well acquainted. 

Baldwin,* to whom deputies had been sent, shed tears on 
learning the death c Godfrey, but soon consoled himself 
with the hope of obtaining a crown. The county of Edessa 
had become richer and more extensive than the mean king- 
dom of Jerusalem, several cities of which still belonged to 
the Saracens ; but such was the active and enterprising 
spirit of Baldwin, that the prospect of a kingdom to be 
conquered appeared to him preferable to a country of which 
he was in peaceful possession. After having given up the 
county of Edessa to his cousin Baldwin du Bourg, he began 
his march with four hundred horsemen and a thousand foot. 
The emirs of Emessa and Damascus, informed of his intended 
march, laid wait for him in the narrow and difficult roads 
near the coast of the Sea of Phoenicia. Baldwin feigned to 
fly before the army of the infidels, and having drawn them 
into an open country, routed them, making a great many 
prisoners, whom he carried to Jerusalem. f The knights, 
the barons, and a portion of the clergy came out to meet 
the conqueror. Baldwin made his triumphant entrance into 
the city in the midst of the acclamations of the whole Chris- 
tian population, who flocked eagerly to see the brother of 
Godfrey. But whilst the inhabitants thus manifested their 
joy, the patriarch, with some of his partisans, protested 
against the election of the new king, and, feigung to believe 
that he was in safety nowhere but close to the tomb of 
Christ, retired in silence to Mount Sion, as if to seek an 
asylum there. Baldwin did not think it worth while to 
disturb the retreat of the patriarch, and, satisfied with having 

* Dolens aliquantulum de fratris morte et plus gaudens de hsereditate. 
-^Fulch. Cam. lib. x. cap. 22. 

"t The Christians were in so much danger in this expedition, that 
Foulcher de Chartres exclaims in his history, *' I would rather have beep 
at Chartres or Orleans," — "Ego quidem vel Carnoti vel Aureliania 
mallem esse quam ibi." — Lib. x. cap. 22. 


obtained the suiFrages of the barons and knights, wifc.hed tc 
assfee to himself new titles to the crown, by gaining more 
victories over the Saracens. He marched from Jerusalem, 
followed by his bravest knights, and presented himself before 

The season being too far advanced to lay regular siege to 
the city, he ravaged the enemy's country, penetrated into 
the mountains of Engaddi, surprised Segor, and seized a 
troop of brigands in a cavern which they had chosen as a 
place of retreat. In this campaign, which was little more 
than a pilgrimage, the soldiers of Baldwin passed along the 
shores of the Dead Sea, the sight of which recalled the 
memory of the punishment of Sodom ; they visited the 
vaUey famous as the burial-place of the ancestors of Israel, 
and that in which it is believed Moses caused a stream 
of living water to spring from the side of a barren rock. 
The Christian soldiers were never weary of admiring these 
places, rendered sacred by scriptural remembrances. The 
historian Poulcher de Chartres, who accompanied Baldwin, 
displays in his recital the greatest enthusiasm, and tells us 
with lively joy, that he watered his horses at the miraculous 
fountain of the legislator of the Hebrews.* 

The little army of the Christians came back to Jerusalem 
loaded with booty. After Baldwin's return, the patriarch 
did not venture to say anything more about his pretensions, 
and consented to crown the successor of Godfrey with his 
own hands. The ceremony was performed with great solem- 
nity at Bethlehem, in the presence of the barons, the 
bishops, and the principal people of the kingdom. 

Tancred was not present at the coronation of the new 
king, for the two companions of Godfrey had not forgotten 
their ancient quarrel. Tancred had protested against the 
election of Baldwin, and refused to pay him homage. Bald- 
win, on his part, disputed Tancred' s right to the principality 
of Galilee, and summoned him to appear before him as 
a CDnttmiacious vassal. The reply of Tancred was laconic, 

* " Ubi ego ipse Fulcherius adaquavi meos." — In Bongars, p. 405. 
The same historian speaks in the same chapter of the Dead Sea, and of tha 
phenomena he had remarked. Foulcher de Chartres seldom neglects an 
opportunity of speaking of himself; these words, ** Ego Fulcherius," 
rery frequently appear in his narration. 


and full of proud contempt for his rival. " I do not know," 
said he, addressing the messengers of Baldwin, "that youl 
master is king of Jerusalem." He did not deign to make 
any reply to a second summons. At length their mutual 
friends employed prayers and entreaties, to which Tancred 
reluctantly gave way. The two princes agreed to have an inter- 
view between Jerusalem and Jaffa, in which interview Tancred 
consented to forget past injuries, but would not renounce a 
principality which he held from Grodfrey. The debates 
between the prince of Galilee and the king of Jerusalem 
were not terminated when messengers arrived from Antioch, 
conjuring Tancred to repair immediately to their city, to 
govern a state which had been without a head since the cap- 
tivity of Bohemond. Tancred yielded to their entreaties, 
and immediately set out for Antioch, abandoning to Hugh de 
Saint Omer the city of Tiberias and the principality of Galilee. 
These differences with Tancred did not impede Baldwin's 
wars against the infidels, or his endeavoiu's to extend his 
young kingdom. Whilst Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Mesopo- 
tamia could bring numberless armies against the Christians, 
Baldwin could only muster under his standard a small body 
of warriors, to whom were added a few pilgrims from the 
"West, the greater part without horses and very badly armed. 
His bravery and activity surmounted all obstacles, and car- 
ried him through all dangers. Prom the beginning of his 
reign, we see with surprise the kingdom of Jerusalem, dis- 
turbed in its infancy by discord, and only defended by a few 
knights, rise in the midst of formidable enemies, and carry 
terror amongst neighbours much more powerful than itself. 
The king of Jerusalem took advantage of the arrival of a 
Genoese fleet, to punish the rebellion of the inhabitants of 
Arsur, and to lay siege to their city both by sea and land. 
On the third day the city fell into the hands of the Christians. 
A short time after, Baldwin besieged Csesarea, a city bidlt 
by Herod in honour of Csesar. The siege was carried on 
with vigour ; on the fifteenth day everything was ready for a 
general assault, and as soon as the trumpet had jTiven the 
first signal, all the soldiers confessed and received aosolution 
for their sins. The patriarch, clothed in white vestments, 
with a crucifix in his hand, led them to th(3 foot of the ram- 
parts ; — the city was soon taken, and the inhabitants put to 


tlie sword. The Christians, particularly the Grenoese, car- 
ried away by a thirst for pillage, and still more by ven« 
geance and the fury of battle, stained their t itorj by hor- 
rible cruelties.* The Mussulmans who escaped from the 
massacre of Caesarea, carried terror into the cities of Ptole- 
mais and Ascalon, and all the countries still under the domi- 
nation of the Egyptians. 

The calinh of Egypt, to revenge tbe deatli of his warriors, 
assembled an army, which advanced as fcr as the country 
round Eamla. Baldwin got together, in haste, a troop of 
three hundred knights and a thousand foot-soldiers, and 
marched to meet him. When he perceived the standards of 
the Egyptian army, ten times more numerous than that of 
the Christians, he represented to his soldiers that they were 
going to fight for the glory of Christianity ; " if they fell, 
beaven would be open to them ; if they triumphed, the fame 
of their victory would be spread throughout the Christian 
world. There could be no safety in flight ; their home was 
beyond the seas ; in the East there was no asylum for the 
conquered." After having thus animated his soldiers, Bald- 
win divided his troops into six battalions. The two first, on 
charging the enemy, were overwhelmed by numbers ; two 
others, which followed, shared the same fate. Two bishops, 
who were with Baldwin, then advised him to implore the 
mercy of Heaven ; and, at their desire, the king of Jerusalem 
alighted from his horse, fell on his knees, confessed, and re- 
ceived absolution. Springing to his feet, he resumed his 
arms, and rushed upon the enemy at the head of his two 
remaining battalions. The Christian warriors fought like 
lions, animated by tbeir war-cry " Victory or I)eath ! " 
Baldwin had attached a white kerchief to the point of his 
lance, and thus pointed out the road to carnage. The vic- 

* William of Tyre, in his account of the taking of Caesarea, speaks of a 
precious vase which fell to the share of the Genoese. " At this time," 
says he, " was found a vase in the shape of a dish, of a bright green 
colour, which the Genoese, believing it to be an emerald, were desirous of 
having, at the valuation of a large sum of money, to make an offering oi 
to their church as an excellent ornament, and which they are accustomed 
to exhibit to the great lords who pass through their city." This vasa 
found at Caesarea, and preserved at Genoa till the end of the last century, 
is now in the Cabinet of Antiques in the Imperial Library at Paris, 
[Qy. whether restored to the Genoese in 1815 1 — Trans.J 


torj was for a lengtli of time uncertain ; but at last, says an 
historian, the will of Grod was declared in favour of the sol 
diers of Christ. The Egyptian army had lost its leader, and 
was entirely routed ; five thousand infidels remaining on the 
field of battle. 

The enemy fled in such complete disorder that they aban* 
doned their tents and their baggage. As Baldwin was pur- 
suing them, his ear was struck by the plaintive cry of a 
woman. He checked his war-horse, and perceived a female 
Mussulman in the pains of childbirth. He threw his mantle 
to her to cover her, and ordered her to be placed on carpets 
laid upon the ground. By his commands, fruits and a skin 
of water were brought to this bed of pain, and a female 
camel furnished milk for the nourishment of the newly-born 
child. The mother was confided to the care of a slave, with 
orders to conduct her to her husband. The latter, who held 
I distinguished rank among the Mussulmans, shed tears of 
,oy on beholding a wife whose death he was lamenting, and 
vowed never to forget the generous action of Baldwin. 

Conqueror of the Saracens, the king of Jerusalem had 
sent back his troops, and was reposing at Jafia, after the 
fatigues of the war, when he learnt that the Mussulman 
army had rallied, and was in full march to attack the Chris- 
tians. Baldwin, whom victory had rendered rash, without 
assembling all his troops, went immediately to meet the 
enemy, at the head of two hundred knights, and a few pil- 
grims lately arrived from the West. Not at all dismayed 
by the number of the Saracens, he gave battle ; but, at the 
first charge, the Christians were surrounded, and only sought 
a glorious death, fighting by the side of their leader. The 
king of Jerusalem, obliged to fly, concealed himself among 
the long dried grass and bushes which covered the plain.. 
As the Saracens set fire to these, Baldwin with difiiculi y 
escaped being burnt alive ; and, after many perils, was glad 
to take refuge in Ramla. 

Night checked the pursuit of his enemiea but on the fol- 
lowing day, the place which served him as an asylum was 
threatened with an immediate siege, and had no means of 
defence. Baldwin was a prey to the most distressing anxiety, 
when a stranger, who had by some means got into the city, 
demanded to speak instantly with the king of Jerusalem. — 


""It is gratitude," said he to him, "which brings me here. 
Thou hast been generous towards a wife who is most dear to 
me — thou hast restored her to me and her fam'Jy, after 
having saved her life. I brave a thousand dangers .o acquit 
myself of so sacred a debt. The Saracens surround the 
city of thy retreat on all sides ; to-morrow it will be taken, 
and not one of its inhabitants will escape death. I come to 
offer thee means of safety. I am acquainted with a path 
which is not guarded ;* hasten then, for time presses. Thou 
hast but to follow me ; before the dawn of day thou wilt be 
among thy people." 

Baldwin hesitated — he shed tears at the idea of what 
must be the fate of his companions in misfortune ; but, at 
length, he yielded to the generosity of the Mussulman emir, 
and, accompanied by a weak escort, they both departed from 
the city, in the middle of a stormy night. On gaining the 
distance of a few leagues from Ramla, they separated with 
tears in their eyes ; the emir rejoined the Mussulman army 
and Baldwin succeeded in getting to the city of Arsur. 

At break of day the Saracens advanced towards the ram- 
parts of Bamla. They quickly gained possession of the 
city, and all they met with in the place were massacred. 
Some soldiers who escaped the Saracens' swords, carried the 
sad news to the neighbouring cities. It was the first defeat 
the Christians had experienced since their arrival in Pales- 
tine. As it was confidently said that Baldwin had been 
slain at the taking of Bamla, this loss added greatly to the 
general consternation. The great bell of Jerusalem an- 
nounced the approach and invasion of the Saracens. The 
priests, the monks, the pilgrims, clothed in sackcloth and 
barefooted, went in procession through the streets of the 
holy city ; women and children filled the churches, and with 
tears in their eyes and uplifted hands implored the mercy of 
Heaven. The bravest were beginning to despair of the safety 
of the kingdom, when Baldwin suddenly appeared among 
Ilia people, says WilUam of Tyre, like the morning star, and 
revived their hopes by his presence. 

The king of Jerusalem assembled at Jaffa the wreck of his 
army; and the Christian cities sent him all their inhabitants 

* This singular fact is related by William of Tyre with all its detail*.— 


capable of bearing arms. Several princes and knights, 
arrived from the West, like'^\^se joined him. The Christians 
mai'ched boldly forth to meet the Mussulmans, the patriarch 
of Jerusalem carrying through the ranks the vrood of the 
holy cross. The war-cry of the Christian soldiers was : — 
" Christ lives, Christ reigns, Christ commands y* The two 
arrfties were soon in sight of each other on the plains of 
.Taffa, and instantly the trumpets sounded, and gave the 
signal of battle. Both sides fought with fury ; the infidels 
surrounded the Christians, and pressed them so closely that 
they had scarcely room to wield their arms, and victory was 
on the point of being determined in favour of the Mussul- 
mans, when Baldwin snatching the white flag from the hands 
of his squire, and followed by a hundred and sixty knights, 
rushed into the very thickest ranks of the enemy. This 
act of bravery decided the fate of the battle, and the Chris- 
tians regained their courage. The fight lasted during the 
whole day, but towards the approach of night, the Mussul- 
mans fled in disorder, leaving dead upon the field the emir 
of Ascalon and four thousand of their bravest soldiers. 

Baldwin, who, some few days before, had been believed to 
be dead, reentered Jerusalem in triumph. He gave a great 
part of the booty to the hospitallers of St. John, whose 
office it was to entertain the poor and all pilgrims ; and, to 
employ the expression of an old chronicle, he thus shared 
with Grod the spods of the Saracens. 

The Christians assembled in the churches rendered thanks 
to Grod for the deHverance of the kingdom ; but this last 
victory could not dry all the tears which a first reverse had 
caused to flow, and funereal hymns were mingled with the 
songs of joy. In this campaign perished many of the 
princes and knights who had left Europe after the first cr^i- 

* We here follow the version of Foulcher de Chartres, who makes use 
of the word vivit instead of vincit, which appears to have prevailed after- 
wards. The device Christus regnat, vincit, imperat, forms the leejend of 
the reverse of all the gold coins struck in France from the time of John to 
that of Louis XVI., under the different names of Francs a pied el a cheval, 
of Agnelets, or Ecus d'or, or Louis. In the most ancient, the Francs, 
the verb vincit is the first : X. P. C. vincit ; X. P. C. regnat ; 
X. P. C. imperat; Christ conquers, Christ reigns, and Christ governs ; 
which proves that this device or war-cry may be traced l>ack to the tim« 
of the crusades 


sade. Stephen, count of Chartres and Blois, and Stephenj 
duke of Burgundy, who had arrived in Palestine ^rlth tlie 
remains of an army dispersed by the Turks in Asia Min , r, 
were killed under the walls of Kamla. As the Grreeks were 
accused of having prepared the ruin of the armies sent to 
the assistance of the Latins, murmurs arose in all the Chris- 
tian colonies against the emperor Alexius. This prince, con- 
stantly in dread of the powers of the West, sent to congra- 
tulate the king of Jerusalem on his victories, and exerted 
himself to procure the liberty of the Christians who had 
fallen into the hands of the Egyptians and Turks. After 
having delivered or ransomed some Christian knights, he re- 
ceived them at Constantinople, loaded them with presents, 
and sent them back to their own country. 

But whilst thus breaking the chains of a few captives, he 
was equipping fleets and raising armies to attack Antioch, 
and obtain possession of the cities on the coast of Syria 
which belonged to the Latins. He offered to pay the ran- 
som of Bohemond, still a prisoner among the Turks, not for 
the purpose of setting him at liberty, but to have him 
brought to Constantinople, where he hoped to obtain from 
him the renunciation of his principality. Bohemond, who 
saw through the projects of Alexius, gained the good- will 
of the emir who detained him prisoner, promised him hia 
alliance and support, and persuaded him to accept for his 
ransom, half the sum offered by the emperor of the Greeks. 
After a captivity of four years, he returned to Antioch, 
where he employed himself in repulsing the aggressions of 
A lexius. The fleets of the Pisans and the Genoese came to 
his relief, and several battles, both by sea and land, were 
fought vdth various success ; the Latins and the Greeks, by 
turns, obtaining the advantage. 

Whilst this war was being carried on between Alexius and 
Bohemond, the Franks neglected no opportunity of coming 
into collision with the infidels. Bohemond, Baldwin du 
Bourg, count of Edessa, and his cousin Josselin de Courte- 
nay,* master of several cities on the banks of the Euphrates, 
united their forces to attack Charan, a flourishing city of 
Mesopotamia. The Christians, after a siege of several days, 

* See Gibbon for the interesting memoir of this noble family, whose 
name so frequently occurs in our own history, and is, I believe, still 
extant, in the Courtenays, earls of Devon. — Trans. 


were on the point of entering the place, when the count o1 
Edessa and the prince of Antioch disputed the possession of 
it. Whilst the debates kept the best leaders in the Chris- 
tian tents, the Saracens of Mossoul and Aleppo came to the 
assistance of the city, and gave battle to the besiegers. A 
great number of Christians were slain in this conflict ; and 
many fell into the hands of the infidels, who, in the intoxi* 
cation of victory, insulted both the vanquished and the reli- 
gion of Christ. History relates that the railleries of tlie 
Mussulmans inspired rage and despair among the army of 
the Christians, and that towards the end of the fight, one 
knight braved alone the victorious infidels, and rushed among 
the enemy's ranks, crying, " Let all who are willing to sup 
with me in Paradise, follow me^ This brave knight at first 
astonished the Saracens by his daring, but he soon fell, 
pierced "with many wounds. The archbishop of Edessa, 
Josselin de Courtenay, and Baldwin du Bourg were loaded 
with irons, and taken to the prisons of Mossoul. The 
prince of Antioch and Tancred were alone able to escape the 
pursuit of the Mussulmans, with a small number of their 
soldiers. This defeat spread terror among all the Christians 
of the East. Bohemond, on his return to his capital, was 
menaced at the same time by the Grreeks and the Saracens ; 
and, as he had now neither allies nor auxiliaries, and was 
destitute ©f both men and money, he determined to go back 
into Europe, and to call upon the nations of the West to 
assist him. 

After having spread abroad a report of his death, he em- 
barked at Antioch, and, concealed in a coffin,* passed through 
the fleet of tlie Greeks, who rejoiced at his death, and heaped 
curses on his memory. Oil arriving in Italy, Bohemond 
went to throw himself at the feet of the sovereign pontiff ; 
describing the misfortunes he had endured in defence of the 
holy religion, and invoking the vengeance of Heaven upon 
Alexius, whom he represented as the greatest scourge of the 
Christians. The pope welcomed him as a hero and a martyr; 
lie praised his exploits, listened to his complaints, intrusted 
to him the standard of St. Peter, and permitted him, in the 

* ** Anna Comnena adds, that to complete the deceit, he was shut up 
with a dead cock ; and wonders how the barbarian could endure the con* 
finement and putrefaction." — Notes to Gibbon. — Trans. 

Vol. I.— 14 


name of tlie Churcli, to raise in Europe an army to repair 
his misfortunes and aveuge the cause of God. 

Boliemond next went to Trance, where his adventures and 
exploits had made his name familiar to all classt s. He pre- 
sented himself at the court of Philip T., who received him 
with the greatest honours, and gave him his daughter Con* 
stance in marriage. Amidst the festivities of the court, 
he was by turns the most brilliant of knights and the moist 
ardent of missionaries ; he attracted general admiration 
by his skill in the tournaments, and preached war against 
the enemies of the Christians. He easily fired hearts already 
glowing with a love of military glory ; and a great number 
of knights contended for the honour of accompanying him 
into the East. He crossed the Pyrenees and raised soldiers 
I'n Spain ; he returned into Italy and met everywhere with 
the same eagerness to follow him. All preparations being 
completed, he embarked at Bari, and sailed towards the ter- 
ritories of the Grreek emperor, where his threats and the 
fame of his expedition had already spread terror. 

The prince of Antioch never ceased to animate by his 
speeches the ardour of his numerous companions : to some 
he represented the Grreeks as the allies of the Mussulmans 
and the enemies of Christ ; to others he spoke of the riches 
of Alexius, and promised then the spoils of the empire. He 
was on the point of realizing his brilliant hopes, when he 
was, all at once, abandoned by that fortune which had 
hitherto performed such prodigies in his favour. 

The city of Durazzo, of which he had undertaken the 
siege, for a long time resisted all his efforts ; disease, in the 
meanwhile, ravaging his army. The warriors who had fol- 
lowed him in the hopes of pillage, or from a desire to visit 
the Holy Land, deserted his standard ; he was forced to make 
a disgraceful peace with the emperor he had endeavoured to 
dethrone, and came back to die in despair in the little prin- 
cipality of Tarentum, which he had abandoned for the con- 
quest of the East. 

The unfortunate issue of this crusade, which was directed 
entirely against the Greeks, became fatal to the Christians 
estabhshed in Syria, and deprived them of the succours they 
had reason to expect from the West. Tancred, who still 
governed Antioch, in the absence and after the death of 
Bohemond, was attacked several times by the Saracens 


of Aleppo, and only resisted them by display/ in^ p/odigies of 
valour. Josselin and Baldmn du Bourg did rjt return to 
their states till after five years of captivity, ^nen Baldwin 
came back to Edessa, he was so poor that he cuuid not pay 
his common domestics ; and an Armenian prince, whose 
daughter he had married, was obliged to redeem iJie beard * 
of his son-in-law, which he had pledged for the means of 
paying his soldiers. The resooi'ces of the government of 
Antioch were not less exhausted than those of the county 
of Edessa. In the extremes of tlieir misery, Tancred and 
Baldwin du Bourg had sevevul disputes ; each, by burns, 
called in the Saracens to defend his cause, and everything was 
in confusion on the banks of the Euphrates and the Orontes. 
JSTeither was Jerusalem free from discord. Baldwin could 
not pay his soldiers, and demanded money of the patriarch, 
who was the depositary c>f the alms of the faithful. Daim- 
bert at first refused to assist the king, who resolved to em- 
ploy force to compel him : " Yes," said he to the patriarch, in 
a transport of anger, " I will bear aw^ay the treasures of the 
chiurch and the holy sepulchre ; I wish to save Jerusalem 
and the Christian people ; when I have accomplished that 
noble project, I will restore the riches of the all-powerful 
God." Daimbert, intimidated by the menaces of Baldwin, 
consented to give up a part of his treasures ; but as fast as 
the king of Jerusalem experienced new wants, he made fresh 
demands, to which the pontiff respoiided by an insulting 
refusal. He accused the king of profaning and plundering 
the sanctuary ; w^hilst the king, on his part, accused Daim- 
bert of betraying the cause of the Christians, and of dissi- 
pating in pleasures and festivities the treasures of Jesus 
Christ. The quarrels of Baldwin and the patriarch were 
renewed every year ; both, in the end, often conveyed their 
complaints to the Holy See, which pronounced no decision 
likely to conciliate the angry parties. The death of 
Daimbert could alone put an end to these discussions, which 
spread scandal through the church of Christ, and by weak- 

* This may at first appear a singular pledge ; but when wc remember 
the great consideration in which beards were and are held in the East, we 
are reconciled to the fact. Beckford makes Vathek inflict loss of beard 
upon the sages who cannot: decipher the magic characters upon the sabres, 
as the greatest possible punishment ; and fbw were better acquainted with 
E&stera manners than the master of Font-hill Abbey. — TRANg. 


ening the autliority of the king, were likely to leac to tlw 
ruin of the kingdom. 

Whilst the patriarch was unceasingly making complaints 
against Baldwin, the king seldom made any other reply than 
gaining new victories over the infidels ; nothing being able 
to divert him froin his purpose of every day aggrandiamg 
his dominions. The prosperity and the safety of Jerusalem 
appeared closely connected with the conquest of the mari- 
time cities of Syria and Palestine ; it being by them alone 
that it could receive succour, or establish prompt and easy 
communications with the West. The maritime nations of 
Europe were interested in seconding, in this instance, the 
enterprises of the king of Jerusalem. The navigation of 
tlie Mediterranean, and the transporting of pilgrims to the 
Holy Land, were to them an inexhaustible source of riches ; 
the ports of Syria would offer to them a commodious asylum 
for their vessels, and a safe entrepot for their commerce. 

Erom the period of the first crusades the Pisans and the 
Genoese had constantly sent vessels to the seas of the East ; 
and their fleets had aided the Christians in several expedi- 
tions against the Mussulmans. A Genoese fleet had just 
arrived in the seas of Syria when Baldwin undertook the 
siege of Ptolemais. The Genoese were invited to assist in this 
conquest ; but as religion was not the principle to bring them 
into action, they required, in return for their assistance and 
their labour, that they should have a third of the booty; 
they likewise stipulated to have a separate church for them- 
selves, and a national factory and tribunal in the conquered 
city. Ptalemais was besieged by land and sea, and after a 
bloody resistance of twenty days, the inhabitants and the 
garrison proposed to surrender, and implored the clemency 
of the conquerors. The city opened its gates to the Chris- 
tians, and the inhabitants prepared to depart, taking with 
them whatever they deemed most valuable ; but the Genoese, 
at the sight of such a rich booty, paid no respect to the capi- 
tulation, and massacred without pity a disarmed and defence- 
less people. This barbarous conduct, which Baldwin could 
neither repress nor punish, excited the Mussulmans more 
than ever against the Christians. 

At each fresh conquest of Baldwin's, a new army came 
from the banks of the Nile to impede the course of his vic- 
tories ; but the liad for a long time been accii8« 


tomed to fly before the Pranks, and they were never seconded 
in their expeditions by the Mussuhnans of Syria, who were 
jealous of their appearance in their territories, A small 
number of Christian warriors, who could never have been 
taken for an army if they had not performed prodigies, were 
sufficient to put to the rout a multitude of soldiers who 
made a sortie from the walls of Ascalon. In consequence 
of this victory, several places which the Egyptians still held 
on the coasts of Syria, fell into the hands of the Christians. 

Bertrand, son of Eaymond de St. Gilles, arrived from 
Europe with the purpose of attacking the city of Tripoli. 
This city, taken at first by the Egyptians before the first 
crusade, and fallen again under the power of a Turkish 
commander, had, in order to defend itself against the Chris- 
tians, once more recognised the authority of the caliph of 
Egypt. But this caliph thought more about pimishing tho 
rebellion of Tripoli than of providing for its defence. He 
had put the principal inhabitants in irons, had levied heavy 
tributes, and when the people implored his assistance against 
the enemies of Islamism, the caliph sent a vessel to demand 
a beautiful slave who was in the city, and whom he destined 
for his seraglio. The irritated people, instead of giving u^ 
the slave he demanded, sent him a piece of wood, saying, 
" That he might make something out of that to amuse himself 
withy * The inhabitants of Tripoli, then being without 
hope, surrendered to the Christians. 

Baymond, count de St. Grilles and of Thoulouse, one of 
the companions of Godfrey, after having wandered for a long 
time about Asia, had died before this place, of which he had 
commenced the siege. In memory of his exploits in the 
first crusade, the rich territory of Tripoli was created a 
county, and became the inheritance of his family. 

This territory was celebrated for its productions. Limpid 
streams, rushing with impetuosity between the rocks of 
Libanus, flowed in many channels to water the numerous 
gardens of Tripoli. In the j.\ains, and on the hills adjacent 
to the sea, grew in. abundance wheat, the vine, the olive, and 
the white mulberry, whose leaves nourish the silkworm, 
which had been introduced by Justinian into the richest 
provinces of his empire. The city of Tripoli contained 

* These details are taken from the Arabian liistorian Novdiry. 


inore tlian four thousand workmen, skilful in the manufac- 
tures of woollen stuffs, of silk, and of linen. A great part 
of these advantages was, no doubt, lost for the conquerors, 
who, during the siege ravaged the country round, and on 
taking *he city, carried fire and sword throughout the whole 
of it. 

Tnpoli contained other riches for which the Franks showed 
no less disdain than they had evinced for the productions of 
industry. A library established in this city, and celebrated 
through all the East, contained the monuments* of the an- 
cient literature of the Persians, the Arabians, the Egyptians, 
and the Greeks. A hundred copyists were there constantly 
employed in transcribing manuscripts. The cadi sent into 
aU countries men authorized to purchase rare and precious 
books. After the taking of the city, a priest, attached to 
Count Bernard de St. Gilles,t entered the room in which 
were collected a vast number of copies of the Koran, and as 
he declared the library of Tripoli contained only the impious 
books of Mahomet, it was given up to the flames. Some 
eastern authors have bitterly deplored this irreparable loss ; 
but not one of our contemporary chronicles has spoken of 
it, and their silence plainly shows the profound indifference 
with which the Erank soldiers were witnesses of a fire which 
consumed a hundred thousand volumes. 

Biblies, situated on the smiling and fertile shores of Phoe- 
nicia; Sarepta, where St. Jerome saw still in his day the tower 
of Isaiah ; and Berytus, famous in the early ages of the 
Church for its school of eloquence, shared the fate of Tri- 
poli, and became baronies bestowed upon Christian knights. 
After these conquests the Pisans, the Genoese, and several 

* Sir William d'Avenant elegantly calls books "the monuments of 
deceased minds." — Trans. 

f Aboulfeda in his account justifies the Genoese for the massacre of the 
Mussulmans ; the city being taken by assault, they did not exceed the 
usual rights of war. Another Arabian historian, Ebn-Abi-Tai, says that 
the Christians exhibited at the taking of Tripoli the same destructive fury 
as the Arabs had who burnt the library of Alexandria. The same his- 
torian speaks of the incredible number of three millions of volumes. We 
have preferred the version of Novairy, who reduces the number of volumes 
to a hundred thousand. This author states that the library of Tripoli 
was founded by the cadi Aboutaleb Hasen, who had himself composed 
several works. 


warriors who had followed Baldwin in his expeditions, 
returned into Europe ; and the king of Jerusalem, abandoned 
by these useful allies, was obliged to employ the forces which 
remained in repulsing the invasions of the Saracens, who 
penetrated into Palestine, and even displayed their standards 
on Moiuit Sion. He had given up the idea of subduing the 
maritime cities which still belonged to the Egyptians, when 
Sigur, son of Magnus, king of Norway, arrived in the port 
of Jaffa. Sigur was accompanied by ten thousand ISTor- 
wegians, who, three years before, had quitted the north of 
Europe for the purpose of visiting the Holy Land. Baldwin 
went to meet the prince of Norway, and conjured him to 
join with him in fighting for the safety and aggrandizement 
of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Sigur acceded with joy to 
the prayer of the king, and required nothing as a recompense 
for his laboijM' but a piece of wood from the true cross. 

The patriarch of Jerusalem, in order to give additional 
value to that which the prince required, hesitated at first to 
grant it, and made with him a treaty at least as solemn as if 
it had concerned the possession of a kingdom. When they 
had both taken an oath to fulfil the conditions of the treaty, 
Sigur, accompanied by his warriors, entered Jerusalem in 
triumph. The inhabitants of Jerusalem beheld with surprise, 
mingled with their joy, the enormous battle-axes, the light 
hair, and lofty stature of the pilgrims from Norway ; the 
presence of these redoubtable warriors was the sure presage 
of victory. It was resolved in a council to besiege the city 
of Sidon ; Baldwin and Bertrand, count of Tripoli, attacked 
the ramparts of the place, whilst the fleet of Sigur blockaded 
the port, and directed its operations against the side next 
the sea. After a siege of six weeks the city surrendered to 
the Christians ; the knights of Baldwin and the soldiers of 
Sigur performed during the siege prodigies of valour, and 
showed, after their victory, the humanity which always 
accompanies true bravery. After this conquest Sigur qaitted 
Palestine, accompanied by the blessings of the Christian 
people. He embarked to return to Norway, carrying with 
him a piece of the true cross, a precious memorial of his 
pilgrimage, which he caused to be placed in a church oi 
Drontheim, where it was for a long time the object of the 
veneration of the faithful. 


Baldwin, on Ms return to xiis capita'i, learnt with gryei 
that Gervais, count of Tiberias, had been surprised by thtf 
Turks, and led prisoner, together with Lis most faithful 
knights, to the city of Damascus. Mussulman deputie? 
came to offer the king of Jerusalem the liberty of Gervais in 
ex<;hange for Ptolemais, Jaffa, and some other cities taken 
by the Christians ; a refusal, they added, would be followed 
by the death of Count Grervais. Baldwin offered to pay a 
considerable sum for the liberty of Gervais, whom he Icved 
tenderly: "As for the cities you demand," said he to them, 
" I would not give them up to you for the sake of my own 
brother, nor for that of all the Christian princes together." 
On the return of the ambassadors Gervais and his knights 
were dragged to an open place in Damascus, and shot to 
death by the Saracens with arrows. 

The Christians shed tears at the death of Count Gervais, 
tut they soon had to weep for a much more painlul loss. 
Tancred, who governed the principality of Antioch, died in 
an expedition against the infidels. He had raised high in 
the East the opinion of the heroic virtues of a French 
knight ; never had weakness or misfortune implored his aid 
in vain. He gained a great many victories over the Sara- 
cens, but never fought for the ends -of ambition. Nothing 
could shake his fidelity, nothing appeared impossible to his 
valour. He answered the ambassadors of Alexius, who re- 
quired him to restore Antioch : " I would not give up the 
city which is confided to me even if the warriors who pre- 
sented themselves to conquer it had bodies and bore arms of 
fire." Whilst he lived, Antioch had nothing to fear from 
the invasion of the infidels or the discord of the inhabitants. 
His death consigned the colony to disorder and confusion, it 
spread mourning through all the Christian states of the 
East, and was for them the signal of the greatest reverses. 

The kingdom of Jerusalem had hitherto only had to con- 
tend against armies drawn from Egypt ; the Turks of Syria, 
much more terrible in war than the Egyptians, had never 
united their forces to attack the Christians of Jerusalem.* 

The sultans of Damascus and Mossoul, with several emira 
of Mesopotamia, assembled an army of thirty thousand 

* The governor of Mossoul is called by the Latins Maledoctus, Mandalt; 
tad by the Arabians Mauduts. Togdequiu was prince of Damascus. 


fighting men, and penetrated through the mountains ol 
Libanus into Galilee. During more than three months the 
banks of the Jordan and of the Lake of Genesarefchwere devas- 
tated by the horrors of war. The king of Jerusalem placed 
liimself at the head of his knights to encounter this re- 
doubtable enemy, and was defeated by the Saracens on the 
plains near Mount Tabor. Eoger of Sicily, who had been 
governor of Antioch since the death of Tancred, and the 
counts of Tripoli and Edessa, came with their troops to the 
assistance of Baldwin. The Christian army, although it 
then mustered under its banners eleven thousand combat- 
ants, took up its encampment on the mountains, and did not 
dare to risk a battle. The Christians, intrenched upon the 
heights, beheld their fields ravaged and their cities burnt. 
All the banks of the Jordan seemed to be in flames ; for a 
vast number of Saracens from Ascalon, Tyre, and other 
Mussulman cities, had taken advantage of the reverses of 
the Christians to lay waste many of the provinces of Pales- 
tine. The country of Sechem was invaded, and the city of 
Naplouse delivered up to pillage. Jerusalem, which was 
without defenders, shut its gates, and was in momentary 
fear of falling again into the power of the infidels. 

The Turks, however, dreading the arrival of fresh pilgrims 
from the West, abandoned Galilee, and returned to Damas- 
cus and Mossoul. But other calamities soon followed those 
of war. Clouds of locusts from Arabia finished the devas- 
tation of the fields of Palestine, A horrible famine pre- 
vailed in the county of Edessa, the principality of Antioch, 
and all the Christian states. An earthquake was felt from 
Mount Taurus to the deserts of Idumea, by which several 
cities of Cilicia were reduced to heaps of ruins. At Samo- 
sata, an Armenian prince was swallowed up in his own 
palace ; thirteen towers of the walls of Edessa, and the 
citadel of Aleppo, fell down with a fearful crash ; the towers 
of the highest fortresses covered the earth with their remains, 
and the commanders, whether Mussulmans or Christians, 
fled with their soldiers to seek safety in deserts and forests. 
Antioch sufiered more from the earthquake than any other 
city. The tower of the northern gate, many public edifices, 
and several churches were completely destroyed. 

Great troubles always inspired the Christians with feelingft 



of penitence. A crowd of men and women rushed to the 
church of St. Peter of Antioch, confessed their sins to the 
patriarch, and conjured him to appease the anger of Heaven. 
The shocks, nevertheless, were renewed during five months ; 
the Christians abandoned the cities, and, a prey to terror, 
wandered among the mountains, which now were more 
thickly inhabited than the greatest cities. The few who 
remained in cities constantly formed religious processions, 
put on habits of mourning, and totally renounced pleasures 
of every kind. In the streets and the churches nothing was 
heard but lamentations and prayers ; men swore to forgive 
all injuries, and were profuse in their charities. At length 
Heaven appeared to be appeased ; the earthquake ceased its 
ravages, and the assembled Christians celebrated the mercy 
of Grod by a solemn festival. 

Scarcely were the Christians delivered from these alarms 
than a new tempest threatened Syria and Palestine.* Mau- 
doud, prince or governor of Mossoul, had been kiUed by two 
Ismaelians, as he was coming out of a mosque. As the 
prince of Mossoul was considered the most firm support of 
Islamism and the most redoubtable enemy of the Christians, 
the caliph and the sultan of Bagdad placed him in the rank 
of the martyrs, and resolved to revenge his death. They 
accused the Pranks and the sultan of Damascus of the 
murder of a Mussulman prince. A nmnerous army set out 
from the banks of the Tigris, and advanced towards Syria, 
to punish at the same time both the Christian and Mussul- 
man infidels. The warriors of Bagdad, united with those ol 
Mossoul, penetrated as far as the lands of Aleppo, and 
carried destruction and death wherever they went. In 
this pressing danger the Saracens of Damascus and Meso- 
potamia did not hesitate to form an alliance with the Chris- 
tian princes. The king of Jerusalem, the prince of Antioch, 
and the count of Tripoli united their troops with those of 
the Mussulmans. The Christians were fuU of zeal and 
ardour, and were eager for battle, but their new fdlies were 
nat mUing to give them the advantage of a victory, as they 
mistrusted the soldiers of Christ, and used every efibrt to 

* We have avoided mentioning too frequently the sultans and emirs of 
Syria, whose names seem the more barbarous as they are correctly 


avoid a decisive engagement, in which they dreaded the 
triumph of their auxiharies as much as that of their foes. 
After having ravaged the territory of Aleppo, and the hanks 
of the Euphrates and the Orontes, the warriors of Bagdad 
returned to their own country without trying their strength 
with their formidable adversaries. The Christians in thia 
campaign did not illustrate their arms by any very brilliant 
exploits, but they kept up the division among the Saracens, 
and the discord of their enemies was more serviceable tc 
them than a great victory. 

The king of Jerusalem, no longer having the Turks of 
Bagdad or the Turks estabhshed in Syria to contend with, 
turned his attention towards Egypt, whose armies he had so 
frequently dispersed.* He collected his chosen warriors, 
traversed the desert, carried the terror of his arms to the 
banks of the Nile, and surprised and pillaged the city of 
Pharamia, situated three days' journey from Cairo. The 
success of this expedition gave him room to hope that he 
should one day render himself master of a great kingdom, 
and he was returning triumphant, and loaded with booty, to 
Jerusalem, when he fell sick at El-Arrich, on the confines of 
the desert which separates Egypt from Palestine. His life 
was soon despaired of, and the companions of his victories, 
assembled around him, could not conceal their deep sorrow. 
Baldwin endeavoured to console them by his discourses: 
"My dear companions," said he to them, "you who have 
suft'ered so many evils and braved so many perils, why do 
you allow yourselves to be overcome by grief? E-emember 
that you are still in the territories of the Saracens, and that 
you stand in need of all your customary courage. Consider 
that you only lose in me a single man, and that you have 
among you several warriors who surpass me in skill. Think 
of nothing but of returning victorious to Jerusalem, and of 
defending the heritage of Christ. If I have fought a long 
time with you, and my many labours give me the right of 
addressing a prayer to you, I conjure you not to leave my 
bones in a foreign land, but to bury them near to the tomb 
of my brother Godfrey." 

The king of Jerusalem then caused his servants to b« 

* Tabari and Aboul-Feda. 


assem'^ib.' ^ind gave them orders for his sepulture. After 
having iif niinated Baldwin dii Bourg as his successor, he 
expired, surrounded by his companions, who, though deeply 
grieved, endeavoured to conceal their tears, that the Sara- 
cens might not learn the great loss the Christians had 

Baldwin lived and died in the midst of camps. During 
his reign, which lasted eighteen years, the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem were annually warned of the approach of the 
Saracens by the sound of the great bell ; and they scarcely 
ever saw the wood of the true cross in the sanctuary, fei 
this sacred relic always accompanied the armies to battle, 
and its presence not unfrequently was sufficient to give 
victory to the Christians. 

During the time he occupied the throne of Jerusalem, 
the only means Baldwin had of keeping up his necessary 
army arose from the tenths of the produce of the cultivated 
lands, some taxes upon commerce, the booty obtained from 
enemies, and the ransom of prisoners. When peace lasted 
some months, or war was unsuccessful, the revenues of the 
state were diminished to half their usual amount, and could 
not meet the most necessary expenses. The forces of the 
kingdom were scarcely sufficient to defend it in the hour ot 
danger. Baldwin could never undertake any great enter- 
prise except when reinforcements arrived from the West ; 
and when pilgrims who bore arms returned to their own 
country, he was often obliged to abandon an expedition 
which he had begun, and -sometimes foimd himself without 
means of resistance, when exposed to the attacks of an 
enemy always eager to avenge his defeats. 

The brother and successor of Godfrey was often on the 
point of losing his kingdom, and only preserved it by pro- 
digies of valour. He lost several battles by his rashness 
and imprudence ; but his wonderfid activity always extri- 
cated him from whatever perils he chanced to fall into. 

The historians of the times bestow warm eulogies upon 
the brilliant qualities of Baldwin. In the first crusade he 
made himself greatly hated for his ambitious and haughty 
character ; but as soon as he had obtained w^hat he desired 
and ascended a throne, he was at least equally admired for 
his generosity and clemency. When he becaiae king of 


Jerusalem, lie followed the example of Grodfrey, and deserved 
in his turn to be held up as a model to his successors. 

His extreme love for women sometimes drew upon him 
the severe censures of the clergy. To expiate his offences, 
in accordance with the opinions of the times, he richly en- 
dowed churches, particularly that of Bethlehem ; and manj 
other religious establishments owe their foundation to him. 
Amidst the tumidt of camps, he added several articles to 
the code of his predecessor ; but that which did most honour 
to his reign, was his constant anxiety to repeople Jerusalem. 
He offered an honourable asylum to all the Christians scat- 
tered over Arabia, Syria, and Egypt. Christians persecuted 
by Mussulmans came to him in crowds, with their wives, 
their children, and their wealth. Baldwin distributed 
amongst them lands and uninhabited houses, and Jerusalem 
began to be flourishing. 

The last wishes of Baldwin Were accomplished. The 
Christian army, preceded by the mortal remains of its chief, 
returned to Jerusalem. Baldwin du Bourg, who came to 
the holy city to celebrate the festival of Easter and to T'isit 
the brother of Godfrey, arrived on Palm-Sunday at the hour 
in which the clergy and the people, according to ancient 
custom, go in procession to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. As 
he entered by the gate of Ephraim, the funeral train of 
Baldwin, accompanied by his warriors in mourning, entered 
by the gate of Damascus. At this sight melancholy cries 
were mingled with the hymns of the Christians. The 
Latins were deeply afflicted, the Syrians wept, and the 
Saracens, says Eoulcher de Chartres, who were witnesses of 
this mournful spectacle, could not restrain their tears. In 
the midst of the sorrowing people, the count of Edessa 
accompanied the funereal convoy to the foot of Calvary, 
where Baldwin was buried close to Godfrey. 

Although the late king had pointed out Baldwin du Bourg 
as his successor, the barons and the prelates met to elect a 
new prince. Several proposed to offer the crown to Eustace 
de Boulogne, the brother of Godfrey. Josselin de Courtenay, 
one of the first counts of the kingdom, declared himself in 
favour of Baldwin du Bourg. Josselin, on arriving in Asia, 
had been welcomed and loaded with favours by the count of 
Edessa, who gave him several cities on the Euphrates. 


Expelled afterwards ignomiiiiously by his benefactor, wbo 
accused Mm of ingratitude, he had taken refuge in the kingt 
dom of Jerusalem, in which he had obtained the principality 
of Tiberias. Whether he wished to make amends for old 
offences, or whether he hoped to obtain fresh benefits, he 
represented to the assembled barons, " that Baldwin du 
Bourg belonged to the family of the last king ; that his 
piety, his wisdom, and courage were known to the entire 
East ; and that no country on that side or beyond the sea 
could offer a prince more worthy of the confidence and love 
of the Christians. The benedictions of the inhabitants of 
Edessa pointed him out to the choice of the barons and 
knights, and Providence had opportunely sent him to Jeru- 
salem to console the Christian people for the loss of Grodfrey 
and Baldwin." This discourse united all the suffrages in 
favour of Baldwin du Bourg, who was crowned a few days 
after, and made over the county of Edessa to Jossehn de 

Scarcely was Baldwin du Bourg seated on the throne of 
Jerusalem than he was obliged to fly to the succour of 
Antioch, attacked by the Saracens of Damascus and the 
Turcomans from the banks of the Euphrates. Hoger of 
Sicily, son of Richard, who since the death of Tancred 
governed Antioch during the minority of the son of Bohe- 
mond, had been killed in a bloody battle. Baldwin, accom- 
panied by the count of Tripoli, hastened to the barAs of the 
Orontes, attacked the victorious Mussulmans, and dispersed 
their army.* 

After this victory he returned to Jerusalem, when he 
learnt that Josselin de Courtenay had been made prisoner 
by the Turks. Baldwin flew to the defence of the county 
of Edessa, which was threatened with an invasion, and him- 
self fell into the hands of tlie Mussulmans. 

Old chronicles have celebrated the intrepid zeal of fifty 
Armenians, who swore to deliver two princes so much be- 
loved by their subjects, and whose captivity spread desola- 
tion amonof the Christians of the East. Their efforts broke 
the chains of Josselin, but after having braved a thousand 
dangers vtdthout being able to release Baldwin du Bourg, 

* See, for an account of this disaster, Kemaleddin and Tabari. 


they were themselves taken by the infidels. They all dic^d 
Amidst tortures, and received from Heaven alone, add the 
same chronicles, the reward of their generous devotion. 

Josselin, escaped from his prison, repaired to Jerusalem, 
where he deposited in the church of the Holy Sepulchre the 
chains which he had borne among the Turks, and entreated 
prompt assistance for the deliverance of Baldwin. The 
mourning kingdom was menaced by the Saracens of Egypt, 
who, seeking to take advantage of the captiAdty of Baldwin, 
had assembled in the plains of Ascalon for the purpose of 
driving the Franks from Palestine. In this pressing danger 
the Christians of Jerusalem could pay attention to nothing 
but the defence of the kingdom. After the example of the 
inhabitants of Nineveh, they first sought to mitigate the 
anger of Heaven by penitence and prayer. A rigorous fast 
was commanded, during which women withheld the milk of 
their breasts from their children in the cradle, and the flocks 
even were driven to a distance from their pastures and de- 
prived of their ordinary nourishment. War was proclaimed 
by the sound of the great bell of Jerusalem. The Christian 
army, which consisted of little more than three thousand 
combatants, was commanded by Eustache G-renier, count of 
Sidon, named regent of the kingdom in the absence of Bald- 
win. The patriarch of the holy city bore the true cross at 
the head of the army ; he was followed, says Kobert of the 
Mount, by Pontius, abbot of Cluni, carrying the lance with 
which the side of the Saviour was pierced, and by the bishop 
of Bethlehem, who held in his hands a vase, in which the 
Christian priests boasted of having preserved the milk of 
the Virgin mother of God ! * 

The Christians met the army of the Saracens on the plains 
of Ascalon. The battle immediately began, and the Franks 
were at once surrounded by the Mussulmans, who reckoned 
forty thousand men beneath their standards. The defeat of 
the Christians appeared certain, when all at once, says the 

* The account of this battle, and the preparations for it, are taken from 
Robert of the Mount {Robertus de Monte, Appendice ad Sigebertum). 
This author speaks of the fast the troops were ordered to underg^o, as had 
been done at Nineveh : " Universe pecori pabula negabantur." He also 
speaks of the milk of the holy Virgin, carried in a vase; — ** Episcopus 
Bethleemides ferens in pyxide lao sanctse Manse virginis." 


liistorian we liave just now quoted, a light like to that of a 
thunderbolt darted throufjh the air, and fell upon the army 
of the Mussulmans. This light, which the Christians con- 
sidered as a miracle from Heaven, became the signal for the 
rout of the Saracens. The Mussulman warriors, still more 
superstitious than the Christians, were fascinated by a sud- 
den terror, and no longer had either courage or strength to 
defend themselves. Seven thousand of them fell on the 
field of battle, and five thousand perished, swallowed up by 
the waves of the sea. The victorious Christians returned to 
Jerusalem, singing the praises of the Grod of armies. 

The Christian knights thenceforth wept with less bitter- 
ness over the captivity of a king without v^hom they had 
been able to conquer the army of the Saracens ; but the 
army of the Eranks, employed in the defence of cities and 
frontiers constantly threatened by the enemy, could not leave 
the kingdom to make new conquests ; and the warriors, who 
were detained in the Christian cities, after so great a victory, 
were deeply afilicted at their inaction, and appeared to place 
all their hopes in succours from the West. It was just at 
this time that a Venetian fleet arrived off the coast of Syria. 

The Venetians, who for several centuries enjoyed the com- 
merce of the East, and feared to break their profitable rela- 
tions with the Mussulmans of Asia, had taken but very little 
interest in the first crusade, or in the events that had fol- 
lowed it. They waited the issue of this great enterprise, to 
take a part and associate themselves without peril with the 
victories of the Christians ; but at length, jealous of the ad- 
vantages that the Genoese and the Pisans had obtained in 
Syria, they w^ished likewise to have a share in the spoils of 
the Mussulmans, and prepared a formidable expedition 
against the infidels. Their fleet, whilst crossing the Medi- 
terranean, fell in with that of the Grenoese, which was re- 
turning from the East ; they attacked it with fury, and 
forced it to fly in great disorder. After having stained the 
sea with the blood of Christians, the Venetians pursued their 
course towards the coasts of Palestine, where they met the 
fleet of the Saracens, just issuing from the ports of Egypt* 
A violer .; corflict ensued, in which all the Egyptian vessela 
were dispersed or destroyed, and covered the waves with 
their wrecks. 


"Wliilst the Venetians were thus destropng the fleet of 
the Mussulmans, an army sent by the caliph of Cairo was 
beaten by the Christians under the walls of Jaffa. The doge 
of Yeniv^e, who commanded the Venetian fleet, entered the 
port of Ptolemais, and was conducted in triumph to Jerusa- 
lem. "When celebrating the double victory, they resolved to 
profit by it, by following it up by an important expedition. 
In a council, held in presence of the regent of the kingdom 
and the doge of Venice, it was proposed to besiege either 
the city of Tyre or the city of Ascalon. As the opinions 
were divided, it was resolved to interrogate God, and to fol- 
low his will. Two strips of parchment, upon which had 
been written the names of Ascalon and Tyre, were deposited 
upon the altar of the Holy Sepulchre. In the sight of a 
numerous crowd of spectators, a young orphan advanced 
towards the altar, took one of the strips, and the chance fell 
upon the city of Tyre. 

The Venetians, more devoted to the interests of their 
commerce and of their nation than to those of a Christian 
kingdom, demanded, before beginning the siege of Tyre, 
that they should enjoy a church, a street, a common oven, 
and a national tribunal in every city in Palestine. They 
further demanded other privileges and the possession of a 
third of the conquered city. The conquest of Tyre appeared 
to be so important, that the regent, the chancellor of the 
kingdom, and the great vassals of the crown accepted the 
conditions of the Venetians without hesitation : in a deed 
which history has preserved,* they engaged not to acknow- 
ledge Baldwin du Bourg or any other prince who would 
refuse to subscribe to it. 

When they had thus, by a treaty, shared the city they 
were about to conquer, they began their preparations for 
the siege. Towards the commencement of the spring, the 
Christian army set out from Jerusalem, and the Venetian 
fleet sailed from the port of Ptolemais. The historian of 
the kingdom of Jerusalem, who was for a long time arch- 
bishop of Tyre, stops here to describe the antique wonders 
of his metropolis. In his recital, at once religious and pro- 
fane, he invokes by turns the te-stimony of Isaiah and of 

* This act is reported in its entirety by William of Tyre. 


Virgil ; after having spoken of the king, Hyram, and the 
tomb of Origen, he does not disdain to celebrate the 
memory of Cadmus, and the country of Dido. The good 
archbishop boasts above all of the industry and the com- 
merce of Tyre ; of the fertility of its territory, its dyes so 
celebrated in all antiquity, that sand which is changed into 
transparent vases, and those sugar-canes which, from that 
time, were souglit for by every region of the universe. Tyre, 
in the time of Baldwin, was no longer that sumptuous city, 
whose rich merchants, according to Isaiah, were princes ; 
but it was yet considered as the most populous and the most 
commercial of all the cities of Syria. It was budt upon a 
delightful beach, which mountains sheltered from the blasts 
of the north ; it had two large moles, which, like two arms, 
stretched out into the waves, to form a port to which no 
tempest could find access. Tyre, which had kept the victo- 
rious Alexander seven months and a half before its walls, 
was defended on one side by a stormy sea and steep rocks, 
and on the other by a triple wall surmounted by high 

The doge of Venice, with his fleet, entered the port and 
closed up all issue on the side of the sea. The patriarch of 
Jerusalem, the regent of the kingdom, and Pontius, count 
of Tripoli, commanded the army by land. In the early days 
of the siege, the Christians and the Mussulmans fought with 
obstinate ardour, and with equal success ; but the divisions 
among the infidels soon came in to second the efforts of the 
Franks. The caliph of Egypt had yielded half of the place 
to the sultan of Damascus, to induce him to defend it 
against the Christians. The Turks and the Egyptians were 
divided among themselves, and would not fight together. 
The Franks profited by these divisions, and every day gained 
great advantages. After a siege of some months, the walls 
crumbled away before the machines of the Christians ; pro- 
visions began to be short in the city, and the infidels were 
ready to capitulate, when discord arose to disunite the 
Christians in their turn, and was on the point of rendering 
useless the prodigies of valour, and the labours of the long 

The land army complained aloud of being obLged to sup- 
port alone, both fighting and fatigue ; the knights and their 


soldiers threatened to remain as motionless under their tents, 
as the Venetians did in their ships. To prevent the effect 
of their complaints, the 'doge of Venice came into the camp 
of the Christians, with his sailors armed with their oars, and 
declared that he was ready to mount the breach. From that 
time a generous emulation animated equally the zeal and 
courage of the land and sea forces. The Mussulmans, being 
without hope of succour, after a siege of five months and a 
half, were obliged to surrender. The standards of the king 
of Jerusalem and the doge of Venice waved over the walls of 
Tyre ; the Christians made their triumphal entry into the 
city, whilst the inhabitants, according to the terms of the 
capitulation, went out with their wives and children.* 

The day on which they received at Jerusalem the news of 
the conquest of Tyre, was a festival for the population of the 
holy city. To the sound of the bells the Te Deum was sung 
on bended knees ; flags were hoisted on the towers and the 
ramparts of the city ; branches of olive, and garlands of 
flowers were suspended in the streets and public places, and 
rich stuffs were hung upon the outsides of the houses, and 
upon the doors of the churches. Old men reminded their 
neighbours of the splendour of the kingdom of Judah, and 
young virgins repeated in chorus the psalms in which the 
prophets had celebrated the city of Tyre. 

The doge of Venice, on his return to the holy city, was 
saluted by the acclamations of the people and the clergy. 
The barons and the principal inhabitants did all in their 
power to detain him in Palestine ; they even went so far as 
to offer him the crown of Baldwin ; some believing that that 

* Albert d'Aix finishes his history in the first year of the reign of 
Baldwin II., and Foulcher de Chartres terminates his after the siege of 
Tyre. We may consult for this reign many passages of Baronius, Robert 
of the Mount, Sanuti, and particularly William of Tyre and Bernardus 
Thesaurius. We are in possession of the second part of a History of 
Jerusalem, the anonymous author of which speaks of the reigns of the 
two first Baldwins. 

It will be said perhaps that I have borrowed from these different his- 
torians too many details ; but I could not resist the desire I had to im- 
part to my readers things that have never hitherto been related in the 
French language. It is surprising that, notwithstanding Jerusalem was 
almost always governed and defended by the Franks, no writer of ouf 
nation has spoken of it. 


prince had died among the infidels, others only reoognisinfi 
a kinsf when at the head of an army, or on the field ol 


battle. The doge refused the crown they offered him ; and, 
satisfied with the title of prince of Jerusalem, sailed with his 
victorious fleet back to Italy. 

Whilst they were offering the throne of Jerusalem to a 
foreign prince, the captivity of Baldwin du Bourg was draw- 
ing to an end. The emir Balac,* who held him prisoner, 
after having conquered in a battle ten thousand Christians 
commanded by Josselin, besieged the citadel of a Mussulman 
city of Syria, and was preparing to succour the city of Tyre, 
when he was wounded by a javelin, and died regretted by 
the most ardent disciples of Mahomet. Baldwin was then 
enabled to purchase his liberty, and, after a captivity of 
eighteen mo^nths, appeared once again among the Christians. 
The king of Jerusalem had promised the Saracens a consi- 
derable sum as his ransom ; but it was much more easy for 
him to fight and conquer his enemies than to fulfil such a 
promise. The Mussulmans, besides, by ill-treating the 
hostages he had left with them,t furnished him with a pre- 
text to attack them. When the infidels demanded of him 
the stipulated price of his liberty, he only replied by gaining 
victories over them. The Christian knights, who seemed to 
have forgotten him, now that they saw him once again in 
arms, returned thanks to Heaven for his deliverance, and 
came in troops to range themselves under his banners, and 
recognised with joy the authority of a prince who appeared 
only to have issued from his prison to lead them to new 

The Christian states at that period numbered as enemies 
the caliphs of Bagdad and Damascus, the emirs of Mossoul 
and Aleppo, and the descendants of Ortoc, who were mas- 
ters of several places on the Euphrates.;]: The Egyptians 
wore weakened by their numerous defeats, and of all their 
ancient conquests on the coasts of Syria, only retained the 

* The emir Balac was a prince of the family of Ortoc, who possessed 
many places on the Euphrates, reigned in Aleppo and Mesopotamia, and 
could set on foot innumerable armies of Turcomans. 

f Edma, the daughter of Baldwin, still a child, was violated by tha 

Mussulmans, to whom her father had given her as an hostage. 


iiane, Kemaleddin, Tabari, and Aboul-Feda. 


city of Ascalon. But the garrison of this place, formed of 
the wrecks of several conquered armies, still threatened the 
territories of the Christians. Although the Egyptians had 
lost the cities of Tyre, Tripoli, and Ptolemais, they still con- 
tinued masters at sea, and their fleets cruised without obsta- 
cle along the coasts of Syria, when the maritime nations ol 
Europe did not happen to send succour to the Eranks esta- 
blished in Palestine. 

The Tiu-ks, accustomed to the military and pastoral life, 
did not aspire to the empire of the seas, but they never left 
the Christians at rest. They made themselves dreaded, not 
so much by their great armies, which were frequently no- 
thing but confused and undisciplined multitudes, but by 
their continual, harassing incursions. Docile and patient, 
they endured hunger, thirst, and fatigue, better than they 
would face an enemy. Their knowledge of the country, 
their being accustomed to the climate, and the intelligence 
they kept up with the inhabitants, gave them, in all their 
warlike expeditions, a decided advantage over the Christians. 
Their soldiers surpassed the Eranks in the arts of shooting 
with, the bow, or hurling a javelin, as well as in horseman- 
ship ; and their leaders w^ere practised, and excelled in all 
the stratagems of w^ar. Their tactics consisted in wearing 
out their enemies, in preparing ambushes for them, or in 
drawing them into difficult positions, where they might 
triumph without fighting. The endless discord which pre- 
vailed among the Mussulman princes of Syria, and the revo- 
lutions which daily threatened their power, prevented them 
from following up, for any length of time, the same plan of 
defence or attack ; but when in the enjoyment of a transient 
tranquillity, sometimes excited by a thirst for plunder, or 
sometimes animated by the prayers and the counsels of the 
caliph of Bagdad, they would burst like a sudden and unex- 
pected storm over the territories of Antioch, Edessa, Tripoli, 
or the kingdom of Jerusalem. If the Mussulmans expe- 
rienced a defeat, they retired with the hope of finding a 
more favourable opportunity ; if they were conquerors, they 
ravaged the cities and the plains, and returned to their coun- 
try, loaded with booty, singing theie words : '' The Koran 
rejoices, and the Gospel is in tears.''* 

The hopes of booty every year attracted new hordes and 


tribes, which poured down from Mount Caacasus, Mount 
Taurus, from Kora9an and the banks of the Tigris. These 
tribes, for the most part wild and barbarous, mingled among 
the Mussulmans of Syria and Mesopotamia, and replaced in 
armies and cities the hosts which war had swept away. 
Among the tribes which had thus established themselves 
in Syria, history must not forget that of the assassins or 
Ismaelians, whose sect had sprung up, towards the com- 
mencement of the eleventh century, in the mountains of 
Persia. A short time before the first crusade, they took 
possession of a part of Libanus, and founded a colony be- 
tween Tripoli and Tortosa, which colony was governed by a 
chief whom the Franks called — tJie Old 3fan, or the Lord of 
the Jlountain. The chief of the Ismaelians only reigned 
over about twenty castles or towns, and scarcely more than 
sixty thousand subjects ; but he had converted despotism 
into a species of worship, and his authority was without 
bounds. His subjects considered that he alone was the de- 
positary of the laws of Mahomet, and that all who opposed 
his will merited death. The Old Man of the Mountains, 
according to the belief of the Ismaelians, could distribute, at 
his pleasure, the delights of Paradise to his servants ; that he 
who died in an act of obedience to his chief, ascended to 
heaven, whither the prophet of Mecca welcomed him, whilst 
he who died in his bed went through long probationary pains 
in the next world. 

The Ismaelians were divided into three classes : the peo- 
ple, the soldiers, and the guards. The people lived by the 
cultivation of the lands and by commerce ; they were docile, 
laborious, sober, and patient : nothing could exceed the skill, 
strength, and courage of the soldiers, whose qualities were 
particularly valued in the defence or sieges of cities. The 
greater part of the Mussulman princes were very desirous 
of having them in their pay. 

The most distinguished class was that of the guards or 
feddis. Nothing was neglected in their education. Prom 
their infancy their bodies were strengthened by constant 
and violent exercises, and their minds were cultivated by the 
study of the arts. They were taught the languages of Asia 
and Europe, in order that they might be sent into those 
countries to execute the orders of their master. All sortg 


cf means were employed to inflame their imaginations and 
heighten their courage ; during their sleep, which was pro- 
voked by intoxicating drinks, they were transported into 
delicious gardens, and awoke sm'rounded by the seductions 
of voluptuousness. It was there that the Old Man of the 
Mountains, by showing them the image of the joys of Para- 
dise, inspired them with a blind obedience. In the midst of 
illusions which fascinated them, their master could order 
them to cast themselves from the height of a tower, to pre- 
cipitate themselves into flames, or to pierce themselves with 
mortal wounds. When the Old Man of the Mountains had 
pointed out to them any one he wished to punish, they went, 
armed with a poniard, indifferently, to seek him in palaces or 
camps, and were impeded by neither obstacles nor dangers. 

Princes often intrusted the charge of their revenge to the 
chief of the Ismaelians, and looked to him for the death of 
their rivals or enemies. Powerful monarchs were his tribu- 
taries. The fears which he inspired, and the murders com- 
mitted by his orders, heaped up his treasures. Surrounded 
by his intrepid soldiery, he sent death into distant regions ; 
the terror of his name was spread everywhere, whilst he 
himself had nothing to fepi^ from his ene'jiies- 

The Ismaelians, as implacable sectarians, entertained a 
profound aversion for the Turks of Syria. Many of them 
were in the pay of the emirs and the sultans of that na- 
tion ; but they sold their services at a very high price, and 
often took an active part in the bloody revolutions which 
precipitated from thrones the Mussulman dynasties of the 
East. They had less hatred for the Christians, because the 
latter fought against the Turks ; nay, sometimes they became 
useful auxiliaries to the Pranks. When Baldwin du Boiu-g 
was liberated, they proposed to deliver up Damascus to him, 
a great nimiber of their warriors being in that city ; but the 
plot being discovered, they miscarried in their enterprise, 
and six thousand Ismaelians were slaughtered by the 

* Our learned Orientalists have furnished us with some very useful 
and profound works on the Ismaelians ; at their head is M. de Sacy, who 
has made us acquainted with the doctrine and many of the usages of this 
lingular people. M. Jourdain has on this subject supphed us with a very 
interesting memoir. 


The Old Man of the Mountains commanded the death ol 
the emir of Mossoul, who had defended the city of Damas- 
cus against the Christians. The murder of the Mussulman 
emir threw Syria into a state of excitement and trouble ; 
but from the bosom of this disorder arose a new and for- 
midable power. Zengui, son of Aksancar, one of the most 
skilful captains of his age, obtained the principality of 
Mossoul, got possession of Emessa and Aleppo, with several 
other cities of Syria, and founded the dynasty of the Ata- 
becks, or governors of the prince, which was destined to 
dominate over the East, and render itself formidable to the 

Whilst this new power was rising in Syria, tlie Christian 
states of the East were at their highest point of prosperity. 
The county of Edessa, which contained a great portion of 
the rich provinces of Mesopotamia, had all the Armenian 
princes as its allies and auxiliaries. Several cities of Coele- 
Syria, Cilicia, and Lower Armenia constituted tlie principality 
of Antioch, the most extensive and the most flourishing of 
the Christian provinces. 

The county of Tripoli comprised several places situated 
on the Sea of Phoenicia, from Margath to the river Adonis. 
This river, celebrated in both sacred and profane history, 
bounded on the north the kingdom of Jerusalem, which, 
towards the south, extended on the sea-coast as far as the 
gates of Ascalon, and towards the east, to the deserts of 

These four states formed a redoubtable confederacy. 
Europe beheld with pride these Christian colonies, which 
had cost her so much blood ; she was afflicted at their re- 
verses, and rejoiced at their progress. The safety of Chris- 
tianity appeared identified with their preservation. The 
bravest of the Christians were always ready to devote 
themselves for the heritage of Christ ; religion offered no 
recompense equal to that promised to their valour, and 
charity itself became warlike. 

.From the bosom of an hospital consecrated to the service 
of' pilgrims and the poor, issued heroes armed against the 

• See, for the origin and the reign of Zengui, the History of fhi 
Aiabecks, by Ben Latir. 


mfidels, — the humanity and the bravery of the knights cf 
St. John* were equally conspicuous. Whilst some grew old 
in the offices of hospitality, others went forth to combat 
with the enemies of their faith. After the example of these 
pious knights, several men of gentle birth met near the place 
where the temple of Solomon had stood, and took an oath to 
protect and defend the pilgrims who repaired to Jerusalem. 
Their union gave birth to the order of the Templars, which, 
from its origin., was approved of by a council, and owed its 
statutes to St. Bernard. 

These two orders were governed by the same principle 
that had given birth to the crusade, the union of the mihtary 
spirit with the religious spirit. Ketired from the world, 
they had no other country but Jerusalem, no other family 
but that of Jesus Christ. Wealth, evils, and dangers were 
all in common amongst them ; one will, one spirit, directed 
all their actions and all their thoughts ; all were united in 
one house, which appeared to be inhabited but by one man. 
They lived in great austerity, and the severer their discipline 
became, the stronger appeared the bonds by which it en- 
chained their hearts and their wills. Arms formed their 
only decoration; precious ornaments were never seen in 
their houses or churches ; but lances, bucklers, swords, and 
standards taken from the infidels abounded. At the cry of 
battle, says St. Bernard,t they armed themselves with faith 
within and with steel without; they feared neither the 
number nor the fury of the barbarians, they were proud to 
conquer, happy to die for Jesus Christ, and believed that 
every victory came from Grod. 

Beligion had sanctified the perils and the violences of war. 
Every monastery of Palestine was a fortress, in which the 
din of arms was mingled with the voice of prayer. Humble 
cenobites sought glory in fight ; the canons, instituted by 
Godfrey to pray near the holy tomb, after the example ol 

* The history of the knights of St. John has been written in Italian by 
Bosio, and translated into French by Boyssat. The history since written 
by the Abbe de Vertot has caused all that preceded it to be forgotten. 
The Templars, after their tragical end, had no historian of their exploits 
in the Holy Land ; but they have in our days found a very eloquent one in 
M. Raynouard. 

•f" See Saint Bernard, Exhortatio ad Milites Templi, 

Vot. I.— 15 


the Hospitallers and the Templars, had clothed themselves 
with the casque and the cuirass, and, under the name of the 
Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, distinguished themselves 
amongst the soldiers of Christ. 

The glory of these military orders was soon spread 
throughout the Christian world. Their renown penetrated 
even to the isles and the most remote nations of the West. 
All who had sins to expiate hastened to the holy city to 
share the labours of the Christian warriors. Crowds of men, 
who had devastated their own country, came to defend the 
kingdom of Jerusalem, and take part in the perils of the 
most firm defenders of the faith. 

There was not an illustrious family in Europe which did 
not send at least one knight to the military orders of Pales- 
tine. Princes even enrolled themselves in this holy militia, 
and laid aside the insignia of their dignity to assume the 
red coat of arms of the Hospitallers, or the white mantle of 
the knights of the Temple. In all the nations of the West 
castles and cities were bestowed upon them, which offered 
an asylum and succour to pilgrims, and became auxiliaries to 
the kingdom of Jerusalem. As monks, as soldiers of Christ, 
they were remembered in every will, and not unfrequently 
became the heirs of monarchs and princes. 

The knights of St. John and of the Temple for a length 
of time were deserving of the greatest praises ; more happy 
and more worthy of the benedictions of posterity would 
they have been, if, in the end, they had not allowed them- 
v'^elves to be corrupted by their success and their wtiilth ; 
and if they had not frequently disturbed the welfare of tho 
state of which their bravery was the support ! These two 
orders were like a crusade that was unceasmgly renewed, 
and preserved emulation in the Christian armies. 

The military customs and manners of the Pranks who 
were then engaged in Palestine, present an object worthy of 
fixing the attention of the historian and the philosopher, 
and may serve to explain the rapid rise and the following 
decline of the kingdom of Jerusalem. The spirit of ho- 
nour which animated the warriors, and permitted them 
not to fly, even in an unequal fight, was the most active 
principle of their bravery, and with them took the place of 
oiscipUne. To abandon a companion in danger, or to retire 


before an enemy, was an action infaraous in tlie sight of Grod 
or man. In battle, their close ranks, their lofty stature, 
their war-horses, like themselves covered with steel, over- 
turned, dispersed, or bore down the numerous battalions of 
the Saracens. In spite of the weight of their armour, 
nothing could exceed the rapidity with which they passed to 
places the most distant. They were to be seen fighting 
almost at the same time in Egypt, on the Euphrates, and on 
the Orontes ; and only left these their customary theatres 
of victory to threaten the principality of Damascus, or some 
city of Arabia. In the midst of their exploits they recog- 
nised no other law but victory, abandoned and rejoined at 
pleasure the standards which led them to the enemy, and 
required nothing of their chief but the example of bravery. 

As their militia had under its colours warriors of divers 
nations, the opposition of characters, the difference of man- 
ners and language kept alive amongst them a generous 
emulation ; but sometimes, likewise, gave birth to discord. 
Very frequently chance, or some unexpected circumstance, 
decided an enterprise or the fate of a campaign. When the 
Christian knights believed themselves in a condition to fight 
an enemy, they went to seek him, without taking the least 
pains to conceal their march ; confidence in their strength, 
in their arms, and, above all, in the protection of Heaven, 
made them neglect the stratagems and the artifices of war, 
and even the precautions most necessary to the safety of an 
army. Prudence in their chiefs frequently appeared to 
them an evidence of timidity or weakness, and many of 
their princes paid with their lives or their liberty for the 
vain glory of encountering useless perils in the Christian 

The Eranks of Palestine saw scarcely any dangers or 
enemies except such as met them in the field of battle. 
Several important enterprises, which fortune alone seemed 
to direct, were necessary to assure the safety and the 
prosperity of the Christian states in Asia. The first of 
these enterprises was to xower the power of the caliphs of 
Egypt ; the second, to conquer and preserve the maritime 
cities of Syria, in order to receive fleets and succom* from 
the "West ; the third was to defend the frontiers, and oppose 
on all sides a bai'rier against the Tui'ks and Saracens. Each 


of those great interests, or rather all of these interestB anited, 
constantly occupied the Franks established in Asia, without 
their having any other policy but that of circumstances, and 
without their employing, in order to succeed, any other 
means but their swords. It is in this view we must admire 
their efforts, and find the bravery, which supplied the place 
of everything, wonderful. 

Among the illustrious pilgrims who at this time repaired 
to Palestine, and took part in the labours of the Christian 
knights, history ought not to forget Foulque, count of 
Anjou. He was the son of Foulque le B-echin and Ber- 
trade de Montfort, who became the wife of Philip I., and 
for whose sake the king of Frarce had braved all the 
thunders of the Church. Foulque of Anjou could not be 
consoled for the death of his wife Eremberge, daughter of 
Elie, count of Maine. His grief led him into Palestine, 
where he maintained during a year a himdred men-at-arms, 
whom he led to battle. He united piety with valour, and 
attracted admiration by displaying all the qualities of a good 
prince. Baldwin, who had no male offspring, offered him 
his daughter Melisende in marriage, and promised to have 
him nominated his successor. Foulque accepted the pro- 
position with joy, and became son-in-law to the king ol 

From that time the two princes gave all their attention 
to promote the prosperity of the kingdom and to defend it 
against the Saracens. Their union served as a model to 
Christian princes, and lasted till the death of Baldwin, who, 
seeing his last hour approach, ordered himself to be carried 
to the spot where Christ had risen again, and died in the 
arms of his daughter and his son-in-law, to whom, vdth his 
latest breath, he recommended the glory of the Christiana 
of the East. 

Baldwin had a right mind, a lofty spirit, and unalterable 
mildness. Beligion presided over his least actions and 
inspired all his thoughts ; but he perhaps had more devotion 
than was suited to a prince or a warrior. He was constantly 
seen prostrated on the earth, and, if we may believe WiUiam 
of Tyre, his hands and knees were hardened by practices of 
piety. He passed eighteen years on the throne of Edessa, 
and twelve on that of Jerusalem ; he was made prisoner 


iwice, and remained seven years in tlie chains of tlie infidels. 
He had neither the faults nor the high qualities of his pre- 
decessor. His reign was rendered illustrious by conquests 
and victories in which he bore no part ; but he was not the 
less regretted by the Christians, who loved to contemplatfe 
in him the last of the companions of Godfrey. 

Under his reign the public manners began to decline : by 
his directions a council was assembled at Naplouse to check 
licentiousness, and punish offenders against order and mo- 
rality. But the decrees of this council,* deposited in the 
churches, only served to prove the existence of disorders 
among the Christians, and did not, in any way, stop the pro- 
gress of corruption, which rapidly increased under the follow- 
ing reigns. Baldwin was more happy in the measures which 
he undertook to increase the number of his subjects and enrich 
his capital. An edict suppressed all duties upon grain and 
vegetables brought into the holy city by the Syrians. Bald- 
win, by this means, improved the trade and population of Jeru- 
salem, and revived agriculture in the neighbouring provinces. 

Foulque, count of Anjou, was crowned king of Jerusalem 
after the death of Baldwin. At his accession to the throne, 
discord disturbed the Christian states, and even threatened 
with speedy ruin the principality of Antioch. The son ol 
Bohemond, who had recently assumed the reins of govern- 
ment, had been killed in a battle against the Turks of Asia 
Minor, and a daughter, whom he had had by Alise, sister of 
Melisende, was called to the inheritance of her father's 
throne ; but the weakness of her sex and age did not permit 
her to make good her claim. Alise, her mother, wished to 
get possession of the royal seat, and in the prosecution of 
her projects did not scruple to avail herself of the aid 
of the Saracens. Another candidate appeared in E-oger, 
king of Sicily, who, as a member of the family of Bohemond 
and Tancred, had pretensions to the principality of Antioch. 
The people, the clergy, and the nobility were divided into 
several factions. 

* We will relate in full the decrees of the council of Naplouse, which 
form a precious monument of the history of these distant tiuies ; but the 
greater part of the crimes and offences against which the fathers of this 
council raised their voices, do not permit us to give these statutes in 
French or English, or present the most curious details of them. 


The king of Jerusalem, as protector of the confederation 
of the Eranks in Asia, determined to re-establish order, and 
took the road to Antioch with his barons and the knights of 
the Temple and St. John. The count of Tripoli, who had 
embraced the party of Alise, undertook to stop the king of 
Jerusalem on his passage. The powers of these two princes 
met; a battle ensued, and the plains of Phoenicia were 
stained wdth the blood of Christians shed in unnatural strife. 
Foulque of Anjou, after having routed the troops of the 
count of Tripoli, gained the banks of the Orontes, silenced 
the contending factions, and re-established peace. To per- 
fect his work, he resolved to bestow the daughter of Bohe- 
mond on a husband able to defend her rights, who w^ould 
merit the confidence of the Christian warriors. Syria pre- 
senting to him no prince or knight worthy of his choice, he 
turned his eyes towards the princes of Ein-ope, and nominated 
[Raymond of Poictiers governor of Antioch, as Baldwin II. 
had chosen him himself governor of Jerusalem. Thus 
Europe, which had found defenders for the Christian states 
of Asia, supplied them also with princes and kings. E-ay- 
mond of Poictiers, brother of William, duke of Aquitaine, 
^effc Erance with the scrip and staff" of a pilgrim, and came 
iivto Syria to espouse the daughter of Baldwin, and reign 
with her on the banks of the Orontes. 

The troubles of Antioch had revived the pretensions of 
tlie emperors of Constantinople. John Comnenus, son 
and successor of Alexius, put himself at the head of an 
army, took possession of some places in Cilicia, and en- 
camped before the walls of Antioch. After several conflicts, 
m which victory remained uncertain, negotiations were 
opened, which ended in the oath of obedience to the emperor 
being taken by Eaymond of Poictiers. The two princes, 
united by a treaty, resolved to turn their arms against the 
Saracens. Their troops, which they commanded in person, 
attacked without success Aleppo and several other cities of 
Syria; the want of a good understanding, which accom- 
panied the Greeks and Latins at all times, was sure to defeat 
their enterprises. The emperor retiu-ned with vexation to 
Antioch, of which he endeavoured to make himself master, 
but was compelled by a sedition to leave the city hastily. He 
iJ*on formed the project of visiting Jerusalem at the head of 


his army, with the intention, if tlie Latins are to be believed, 
of obtaining possession of Palestine. Foulque sent ambas- 
sadors to inform him that he could only be received in the 
holy city in the character of a simple pilgrim ; whereupon 
John, who did not dare to complain, sent presents to Foulque 
of Anjou, and gave up, without much pain, his idea of a 
pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After a campaign, for which he 
had drawn out all the strength of the empire, he returned 
to his capital, having obtained nothing by his enterprise but 
the vain and hollow homage of the prince of Antioch. 

Foulque of Anjou, after having re-established peace among 
his neighbours, found, on his return, that discord not only 
prevailed in his states, but had even made its way into his 
own house. Walter, count of Caesarea, accused Hugh, 
count of Jaffa, of the crime of treason towards his king. 
This latter noble had drawn upon himself the hatred of the 
king and the principal people of the kingdom, some say by 
his pride and disobedience, and others by his guilty con- 
nection with the queen Melisende. When the barons had 
heard Walter of Csesarea, they decided that a battle, en 
champ clos, should take place between the accused and the 
accuser ; and as the count of Jaffa did not appear in the 
lists on the day nominated, he was declared guilty. 

Hugh was descended from the famous lord of Puyset, who 
raised the standard of revolt against the king of France, 
and who, conquered in the end by Louis le Grros,* despoiled 
of his possessions and banished his country, had taken 
refuge in Palestine, where his exploits had secured him the 
county of Jaffa, which he had transmitted to his son. Hugh 
possessed the turbulent and impetuous character of hia 
father, and, like him, could neither pardon an injury nor 
submit to an act of authority. On learning that he was 
condemned without being heard, he set no bounds to hia 
anger, but hastened immediately to Ascalon, to implore the 
aid of the infidels against the Christians. The Mussulmans, 
highly pleased with the division which had sprimg up among* 

* The castle of Puyset, near Orleans, was besieged three times by all 
the forces of Louis le Gros ; this castle was at length taken and demo- 
lished. Veilly, and all the French historians, having neglected to read 
William of Tyre, make the seigneur de Puyset die in the kingdoss oi 
Naples. ■ o. - 


their enemies, at once took the field, and ravaged the country 
as far as the city of Asur. Hugh, after having contracted a 
criminal alliance 'vidth the Saracens, shut himself up in Jaffa, 
where he was soon besieged by the king of Jerusalem. 

The thirst of vengeance animated both parties ; Poulque 
of Anjou had sworn to punish the treason of his vassal ; and 
Hugh was equally determined to succeed, or bury himself 
under the ruins of Jaffa. Before tlie king's forces com- 
menced the attack, the patriarch of Jerusalem interposed 
his mediation, and recalled to the minds of the Christian 
warriors the precepts of Grospel charity. Hugh at first 
rejected all mention of peace with indignation ; but having 
been abandoned by his followers, he at last lent an unwilling 
ear to the pacific appeals of the patriarch, and consented to 
lnj down his arms. The king of Jerusalem sent home his 
army, and the count of Jafia agreed to quit the kingdom, 
into which he was not to return till after three years of 
exile. He was awaiting at Jerusalem the favourable moment 
for his departure, when an unexpected circumstance was on 
the point of renemng stifled quarrels. " It happened," 
says William of Tyre,* " as the count was playing at dice i:i 
the street of the Furriers, before the shop of a merchant 
named Alpham, that a soldier, a Breton by nation, having 
drawn his sword, fell suddenly upon the said count, who, 
being attentive to his game, expected nothing less than such 
an attack, and with the first cut, without the least warning, 
dealt him such a blow with the said sword on the face as 
stretched him upon the ground." At the sight of such a 
tragical scene the people gathered round in crowds, anxiously 
inquiring the cause of it. The whole city was filled with 
rumours of various kinds ; all mourned the fate of the count 
of Jaffa, and thought no more of his rebellion. They ditl 
not even hesitate to whisper complaints igainst the king, 
whom they accused of having himself directed the poniard 
of the assassin. The king, however, caused the murderer 
to be immediately arrested, and he was tried with the utmost 
rigour of the laws. He was ordered to have his Hmbs 
broken ; and the king, whilst confirming the sentence, only 

* When quoting William of Tyre, I avail myself always of the old 
translation, whose nn'if and simple style associates best with the spirit and 
manners of the twelfth century. 


added that the assassin of the count of Jaffa should not, aa 
was usual, have his tongue cut out, in order that he might 
name his accomplices. The unhappy wretch expired, de- 
claring that no one had induced him to commit the deed, 
but that he thought he should serve religion and. his king 
by it. Every one was thus left free to form conjectures 
according to the feeling that animated him, or the party he 
had adopted. The count of Jaffa was not long in recovering 
from his wound; at the end of a few months he quitted 
Palestine, and went to Sicily, where he died before the time 
fixed for the end of his exile. 

Queen Melisende entertained a deep resentment at all 
which had taken place; by which she proved that she was not 
a stranger to the origin of these fatal discords. " From the 
day on which the count left the kingdom," says William of 
Tyre, " all who had against him been informers to the king, 
and brought him into his ill graces, so incurred the indig- 
nation of the queen that they were not in too great safety 
of their persons, and even the king did not seem to be quite 
at his ease among the relations and favourites of the queen." 
The anger of the queen, however, yielded to time, and did 
not outlive the count of Jaffa. Toulque himself, whether it 
was that age had blunted his feelings, or that it appeared 
more prudent to him to efface the last traces of an unfor- 
tunate affair, repented of having compromised the honour of 
the queen, and neglected nothing that coidd make her 
forget the excess of his jealousy and the rigours he had 

Amidst these disagreeable events the king of Jerusalem 
had reason to congratulate himself at having no invasion 
of the Mussulmans to repel. The prince of Mossoul, 
Zengui, attacked some Christian fortresses, but he was soon 
diverted from his enterprises against the Pranks by the pro- 
ject of uniting the principality of Damascus to his states. 
The Mussulman prince who reigned at Damascus could find 
no other means of resisting Zengui than by calling in the 
Christians to his help. The king of Jerusalem, after having 
received hostages and considerable sums of money, took the 
field at the head of his army, for the purpose of defending a 
Mussulman city ; but Zengui, who feared to try his strength 
with the Franks, did not venture to attack Damascus. 



According to the conditions of tlie alliance witli the Chris- 
tians, the city of Paneas, or Caesarea of Philippi, which had 
recently fallen into the hands of the Saracens, was to be 
given up to them. The warriors of Damascus and Jerusa- 
lem marched together to lay siege to that city, situated at 
the foot of Libanus, and near the soui'ces of the Jordan. 
For the second time the standards of Christ and Mahomet 
were seen floating over one army and one camp. Caesarea 
of Philippi capitulated after a siege of a few days, and was 
given up to the king of Jerusalem. 

This couQuest was the most important event that signal- 
ized the latter years of the reign of Poulque of Anjou. The 
king of Jerusalem, whilst hunting in the plain of Ptolemais, 
fell from his horse, and died of the fall, leaving no one to 
succeed him but two children of tender age. He was less 
regretted on account of his personal qualities than for the 
sad condition in which his death left the kingdom. William 
of Tyre, who praises the virtues of Foulque of Anjou, 
remarks, with a naivete worthy of these remote times, that 
this prince had red hair, and yet he could not be reproached 
with any of the faults usually attributed to men of that 
colour. He was more than sixty years of age when he 
ascended the throne of Jerusalem ; in the last years of his 
life his memory was so weakened that he did not know his 
own servants, and had not sufficient strength and activity to 
be the head of a kingdom surrounded by enemies. He 
employed himself more in building fortresses than in col- 
lecting armies, and in defending his frontiers than in making 
new conquests. Under his reign the military ardour of the 
Christians seemed to grow weaker, and was displaced by a 
spirit of discord, which brought about calamities much 
greater than those of war. At the period of the coronation 
of Toulque of Anjou, the Christian states were at the 
highest degree of their prosperity ; towards the end of his 
reign they showed a tendency to decline. 

Baldwin III., thirteen years of age, succeeded his father, 
and Queen Melisende became regent of the kingdom. Thus 
the reins of government fell from the weak and powerless 
hands of an old man into those of a woman and a child. 
Parties soon sprung up around the throne ; the clergy, the 
knights, the barons, even the people took a dangerous part 


in aifairs of state, and the authority of the prince, which 
hitherto had been but that of the general of an army, lost 
under the regency of Queen Meli&ende the consideration 
and splendour it had derived from victory. The government 
insensibly assumed the turbulent form of a republic, and in 
the political relations which the Christians held at this 
period with the Saracens,* the latter believed that several 
chiefs were at the head of the kingdom of Jerusalem. 

Baldwin did not wait for the period of his majority to be 
crowned king, being scarcely fourteen years old, when, in 
the presence of the barons and the clergy, he received the 
sword t with which he was to defend religion and justice ; the 
ring, the symbol of faith ; the sceptre and the crown, marks 
of dignity and power ; and the apple or globe, as an image 
of the earth and the kingdom he was called upon to govern. 
Young Baldwin already displayed courage above his age ; in 
the very first days of his reign he achieved a glorious expe- 
dition beyond the Jordan, in which he gained possession of 
the Valley of Moses ; but he had not experience enough to 
know what enemies he ought to attack or what allies he 
ought to defend. On his return from the expedition of the 
Jordan he undertook an unjust and unfortunate war, the 
presage of a sad future for the kingdom of Jerusalem. 

An Armenian, who governed the city of Bosra in the name 
of the sultan of Damascus, came to Jerusalem to oifer to 
deliver up to the Christians the place which he commanded, 
and the barons and principal people were convoked to hear 
his proposals. The wiser part of the assembly referred to 
the alliance made with the Saracens of Damascus ; the 

* In William of Tyre may be seen the letter which the vizir of Damascus 
addressed to the Christian princes of Jerusalem. 

f The Assizes of Jerusalem speak thus of the coronation of the king : — 
Ly met I'anneau au doiiit, qui sinefie foi ; et aspres ly ceint I'espee, qui 
sinefie justice, a deffendre foi et sainte esglise ; et aspres la couronne, qui 
sinefie la dignite ; et aspres le sceptre, qui sinefie chastier et deffendre ; et 
aspres la pomme, qui sinefie la terre du royaume. [Although offering a 
translation, I cannot resist giving this very curious piece of old French.— 

Tliey put the ring on his finger, as sigtwfying faith ; then they girded 
on the sword, which means he must defend justice, faith, and the holy 
church ; next the crown, which denotes dignity ; after that the sceptre, 
with which he is both to punish and defend ; and at last the apple or globe, 
ivbich signifies the kingdom of the earth. 


promises of an unknown soldier appeared to tliem to have 
no security, and to inspire no confidence ; they said the 
kingdom of Jerusalem did not want for enemies to combat, 
or conquests to attempt ; it was their duty to attack the 
most formidable, and protect the others as useful auxiliaries. 
This advice, which was the most reasonable, was that which 
obtained the smallest number of suffrages. Wonders were 
related of the country they were about to conquer ; Bosra 
was the capital of tipper Arabia, all the riches of that 
country appeared already to belong to the Christians, and 
all who opposed a conquest so brilliant and so easy were 
accused of treason. They deliberated in the midst of 
tumult,* and the cries of a misled multitude smothered the 
voice of reason and prudence. The council of the barons 
and the principal people decided that an expedition, upon 
which so many hopes were built, should be undertaken. 

The Christian army was soon on its march, and across the 
mountains of Libanus. "When it arrived in the territory of 
Damascus, its first conflict was with the Saracens gathered 
together to oppose its passage. After sustaining several 
severe encounters, the Christians succeeded in gaining the 
country called Traconite, where they found nothing but plains 
burnt up by the ardent rays of the sun. The roads were 
difficult, and the locusts having fallen into the wells and 
cisterns, had poisoned all the waters. The inhabitants, con- 
cealed in subterranean caverns, laid ambushes in all direc- 
tions for the Christian army ; whilst the Mussulman archers, 
planted upon all the hills and acclivities, left the warriors of 
Jerusalem not a moment's repose. The misfortunes of the 
army (it is William of Tyre who speaks) increased every 
day, and there was poured upon the Christians such a quan- 
tity^ and as it were continually, of all sorts of arrows, that 
they appeared to descend upon them like hail or heavy rain 
upon houses covered tvith slates and tiles, men and beasts 
being stucrc all over with them. Nevertheless, the hope of 
winning a rich city sustained the courage of the Christian 
soldiers, and enabled them to brave all these perils. But 

* William of Tyre attributes the determination of the king and the 
b*rons to the cries of the populace of Jerusalem ; the same historian 
relates this expedition with many details in his sixteenth book, oh. vii. — 


when they arrived within sight of Bosra, it was an- 
nounced to them that the wife of the Armenian commandant 
had called the garrison to arms, and that she was prepared 
to defend the city which her husband had promised to give 
up to the king of Jerusalem. This unexpected news at once 
spread consternation and discouragement through the Chris- 
tian army. The knights and barons, struck with the mis- 
fortunes that threatened the Christian soldiers, pressed the 
king to abandon his army, and save his person and the cross 
of Christ. Young Baldwin rejected the advice of his faithful 
barons, and insisted upon sharing all their perils. 

As soon as the order for retreat was given, the Mussul- 
mans, with loud cries, set out in pursuit of the Christians. 
The soldiers of Jerusalem closed their ranks, and marched in 
silence, sword in hand, beariug away their wounded and dead. 
The Saracens, who could not shake or break through their 
enemy, and who, in their pursuit, found no trace of carnage, 
believed they were actually fighting against men of iron. 
The region which the Christians were traversing was covered 
with heath, thistles, and other plants dried by the heat of 
the summer. The Saracens set fire to these ; the wind bore 
the flames and smoke towards the Christian army, and the 
Franks marched over a burning plain, with clouds of smoke, 
ashes, and dust floating over and around them. William of 
Tyre, in his history, compares them to smiths, to such a 
degree were their clothes and their faces blackened by the 
fire which devoured the plain. The knights, the soldiers, 
and the people who followed the army, gathered in a crowd 
around the bishop of Nazareth, who bore the wood of the 
true cross, and conjured him with tears to put an end by 
his prayers to calamities they were no longer able to bear. 

The bishop of Nazareth, touched by their despair, raised 
the cross, imploring the mercy of Heaven, — and, at the 
moment the direction of the wind was changed. The flames 
and the smoke which desolated the Christians were imme- 
diately wafted against the Mussulmans. The Franks pur- 
sued their march, persuaded that Grod had wrought a miracle 
to save them. A knight, whom they had never before seen, 
mounted on a white horse, and bearing a red standard, 
preceded the Christian army, and conducted it out of 
danger. The people and the soldiers took him for an angel 


from heaven, and his miraculous presence re-animated the if 
strength and their courage. At length the army of Baldwin, 
after having undergone all sorts of misery, returned to 
Jerusalem, where the inhabitants rejoiced at its arrival,, 
singing these words from the Scriptures, — " Ziet us give 
ourselves up to joy, for that people that was dead is resus- 
citated ; it was lost, and hehold here it is found againP 

But whilst the inhabitants of Jerusalem were rejoicing at 
the return of their warriors, the Christian states lost one 
of their most important places, and experienced an irre- 
parable misfortune. Zengui, whom the caliph of Bagdad 
and all true Mussulmans considered as the buckler and the 
support of Islamism, extended his empire from Mossoul to 
the frontiers of Damascus, and was continuing without 
intermission the course of his victories and conquests. The 
Christians made no effort to stop the progress of so redoubt- 
able a power. Zengui, who united M'ith bravery all the 
resources of a skilful policy, left them in a deceitful security, 
and determined only to awaken them from their long sleep 
when he had it in his power to give a mortal blow to their 
empire. He knew, by experience, that nothing was more 
fatal to the Christians than too long a repose ; the Franks, 
who owed everything to their arms, were almost always 
weakened by peace, and when not fighting against the 
Saracens, generally fell out among themselves. 

The kingdom of Jerusalem had two formidable barriers, 
the principality of Antioch and the county of Edessa. 
Kaymond of Poictiers defended the Orontes from the invasion 
of the Saracens, and old Josselin de Courtenay had been for 
a long time the terror of the infidels on the banks of the 
Euphrates; but he was recently dead. He had fought to his 
last breath, and even on his bed of death made his arms and 
his br-avery respected. 

JoBselin was besieging a castle near Aleppo, when a tower 
fell down near him and covered him with its ruins. He was 
transported in a dying state to Edessa, and as he lay lan- 
guishing on his bed, expecting nothing but death, it was 
announced to him that the sultan of Iconium had laid siege 
to one of his strong places ; upon which he sent for his son 
and commanded him to go instantly and attack the enemy. 
Young Josselin hesitated, and represented to his father that 


he had not a sufficient number of troops to meet the Turks. 
The old warrior, who had never acknowledged the existence 
of obstacles, was determined before he died to leave an exam- 
ple to his son, and caused himself to be borne in a litter at 
the head of his soldiers. As they approached the besieged 
city, he was informed that the Turks had retired, whereupon 
he ordered his Utter to stop, raised his eyes towards heaven 
as if to return thanks for the flight of the Saracens, and 
expired surrounded by his faithful warriors. 

His mortal remains were transported to Edessa, the inhar- 
bitants of which city came out to meet and join the funeral 
procession, which presented a most affecting spectacle. Here 
were to be seen the mourning soldiers bearing the coffin of 
their chief; and there a whole people lamenting the loss of 
their support and defender, and celebrating the last victory 
of a Christian hero. 

Old Josselin died deploring the fate of Edessa, about to 
be governed by a weak and pusillanimous prince ; for from 
his childhood the son of Courtenay had been addicted to 
drunkenness and debauchery. In an age and a country in 
which these vices were sufficiently common, the excesses of 
young Josselin had frequently scandalized the Christian 
warriors. As soon as he was master, he quitted the city of 
Edessa, to take up his abode at Turbessel, a delicious retreat 
on the banks of the Euphrates. There, entirely abandoned 
to his vicious inclinations, he neglected the pay of his troops 
and the fortifications of his forts, equally heedless of the 
cares of government and the menaces of the Saracens. 

Zengui had been for a length of time watching for a 
favourable opportunity of surprising the city of Edessa ; as 
this conquest would not only flatter his pride and ambition, 
but would render him dearer to all the disciples of Mahomet. 
In order to retain Josselin in his fancied security, the prince 
of Mossoul feigned to make war against the Saracens ; but 
at the moment he was supposed to be most busily engaged 
in an attack upon several Mussulman castles in the east of 
Mesopotamia, he appeared at the head of a formidable army 
before the walls of Edessa.* A great number of Curds and 

* Kemaleddin, an Arabian historian, and William of Tyre agiee as to 
the principal circumstances of this siege. 


rurcomans, wandering and barbarous tribes, had joined his 
standard, attracted by the hopes of a rich booty. At the 
first signal given by Zengui, the city was surrounded on all 
sides ; seven enormous wooden towers were raised higher 
than the ramparts ; numbers of formidable machines un- 
ceasingly battered the waUs, or hurled into the city stones, 
javelins, and inflammable matters ; whilst the foundations of 
the towers of the fortifications were being undermined by 
the infidels. The walls, which were only supported by 
slight, iU-fixed posts, were falling to pieces, and, covering 
the earth with their ruins, seemed ready to offer an easy 
passage to the Mussulman soldiers. 

When on the point to give the signal for destruction, the 
fierce Mussulmans stopped, and summoned the city to sur- 
render. The sight of the death which threatened them did 
not at all w^eaken the courage of the inhabitants, and they 
answered that they would all perish sooner than give up a 
Christian city to the infidels. They exhorted each other to 
merit the crown of martyrdom : " Let us not fear," said they, 
" these stones launched against our towers and our houses ; 
he who made the firmament, and created legions of angels, 
defends us against his enemies, or prepares us an abode in 
heaven." Animated by such discourses, the inhabitants of 
Edessa exerted themselves to destroy the towers and the 
works of the besiegers, the hopes of being succoured re- 
doubling their zeal and courage. They expected, says an 
Armenian author, assistance from a nation which they called 
the valiant, and every day looked to see, from the height of 
their walls, the standards of the victorious Franks. 

The hoped-for succours were vainly expected. "\i\^en 
Josseiin learnt the danger of his capital, he aroused himself 
from his sloth, and sent information of it to E-aymond of 
Poictiers, and the queen regent of Jerusalem. But tlie 
prince of Antioch, who disliked Josseiin, refused to assist 
Edessa, and the troops of Jerusalem, although set forward 
on their march, could not arrive in time. Josseiin ought to 
have devoted himself to repair the consequences of his faults, 
but he had not the courage to seek death under the walls of a 
city he could not save, and whose defence he had neglected. 

On the twenty-eighth day of the siege, several towers feU 
dt^wn with a horrible crash ; and Zengui at oi>?e ordered hia 


army to enter the place. To paint the frightful scenes of 
this last attack, I must borrow the words of a contemporary 
author : — " The moment at which the sun began to shint 
above the horizon, appeared like a night illumined by the 
fires of the storm. As soon as the ramparts and towers 
fell, all the city was filled with terror. Nevertheless the 
defenders of Edessa thought not, for a moment, of flight, 
but all joined in the cry of the brave, conquer or die. 
Some employed themselves in propping up the walls, whilst 
others boldly flew to meet the enemy ; the clergy, clothed in 
helmet and cuirass, marching at their head. The bishops, 
bearing each a cross in his hands, bestowed their benedic- 
tions on the people and animated them to the fight." 

The enemy advanced uttering frightful cries ; even amidst 
the din of a general assault, the voices of the Saracen 
heralds-at-arms were heard encouraging the soldiers, and 
promising the pillage of the city to the conquerors. Then, 
to employ the expression of an Armenian poet, the pusilla- 
nimous were seen shedding torrents of tears, whilst the 
brave, heedless of the stroke of the sabre, rushed amidst the 
ranks of the Mussulmans. 

Neither prodigies of valour, nor the last efforts of despal ' 
could save the city or its inhabitants. A great part of the 
Mussulman army was already in the place; and all who 
crossed the steps of the conquerors fell beneath the sword. 
Most of those who sought safety in the citadel, found death 
under its ramparts, and were trampled upon and stifled by 
the crowd. The city of Edessa presented, everywhere, the 
most lamentable scenes ; some fell whilst flying, and died, 
crushed to death by the feet of the horses ; whilst others, 
hastening to the succour of their friends and neighbours, 
were themselves slaughtered by the barbarians. Neither 
the weakness of a timid sex, nor age on the brink of the 
tomb ; neither the cries of infants, nor the screams of young 
girls who sought safety in the arms, or beneath the garments 
of their parents, could abate the rage of the Saracens. They 
whom the sword had not yet reached, looked for nothing but 
death ; some crept to the churches to await it, and died em- 
bracing the altars of Christ ; whilst others, yielding to their 
despair, remained motionless in their houses, where they 
Were massacred with their families. 


The citadel soon surrendered ; the soldiers who defended 
it only asking their lives ; but, notwithstanding the capitula- 
tion, many were put to the sword. A great part of the 
priests who had survived the carnage were condemned to 
slavery ; an Armenian patriarch was stripped of his vest- 
ments, dragged through the streets, and beaten with rods. 
Matthew of Edessa, one of the most celebrated historians 
of Armenia, fell under the sword of the Mussulmans. Hugh, 
a Latin archbishop, having endeavoured to escape, was, with 
all his clergy, slaughtered by the infidels. His treasures, 
which he carried with him, and which might have been use- 
fully employed for the defence of the city, became the prey 
of the enemy. Pious historians impute the fall of Edessa 
to the avarice of this prelate, and appear to believe that he 
was punished in another world for having preferred his gold 
to the safety of his fellow-citizens.* 

"When the Mussulmans had become masters of the citadel, 
their priests ascended the steeples of the churches to pro- 
claim these words : " Oh Mahomet ! prophet of heaven, we 
have gained a great victory in thy name ; we have destroyed 
the people that worshipped stone, and torrents of blood 
have been shed to make thy law triumph." After this pro- 
cla;mation, the Saracens redoubled their excesses. The 
G-azis or conquerors satiated themselves with blood; the 
dead bodies were mutilated, and their heads sent to Bagdad; 
and even to Khorasan. All who remained alive in the city 
of Edessa were treated as a flock of animals, and sold in the 
public places. The Christians, loaded vdth chains, after 
having lost their property, their country, and their liberty, 
had the still further grief of seeing their religion, which was 
all they had left to console them in their misfortunes, made a 
subject of ridicule by the infidels. The churches were plun- 
dered of their ornaments, and the sanctuary became the 
scene of the most shocking debaucheries. Many of the 

* We have before us in manuscript some historical and geographical 
notes upon the city of Edessa, communicated to us by M. J. Chahan de 
Cerbied, an Armenian professor. This work is rendered more vahiable 
by M. J. Chahan de Cerbied's (its author) being born at Edessa, where 
he passed many years. These notes are to be published in a general 
picture of Armenia, which will not fail to attract the attention of the 


faithful whom the horrors of war had spared, could not sup« 
port the sight of such profanations, and died with despair. * 

Thus a city, whose citadel, ramparts, and position on two 
mountains, rendered one of the strongest places in Asia, feW 
into the power of the Mussulmans. The traditions of reli- 
gion and history carry hack its origin to the highest anti- 
quity. Narses, in a pathetic elegy, deplores the faU of this 
celebrated city, and makes itself speak of its ancient splen- 
dour.f " I was," says she, " as a queen in the midst of her 
court ; sixty towns standing around me formed my train ; 
my numerous children passed their days in pleasures ; the 
fertility of my fields, the freshness of my limpid waters, and 
the beauty of my palaces were admired ; my altars, loaded 
with treasures, shed their splendour afar, and appeared to he 
the abode of angels. I surpassed in magnificence the proud- 
est cities of Asia, and I was as a celestial edifice built upon 
the bosom of the earth." 

The conquest of Edessa exalted the pride of the Saracens. 
The caliph of Bagdad ordered that the barbarous destroyer of 
the Christians should be named in the public prayers of the 

* The greater part of the Arabian historians assert that Zengui sought 
to repair the evils his army had caused to the inhabitants of Edessa. 
Kemaleddin relates the following anecdote on this subject, which makes 
us at the same time acquainted with the Mussulman spirit of history and 
manners. We will transcribe the Latin extract from Dom. Berthereau : 
— Norredinus ingressus est urbem, diripuit earn, incolas jugo captivitatis 
submisit ; illis evacuata fuit urbs, pauci tantiim remanserunt. Ex cap- 
tivis unam misit ancillam Norredinus ad Zeineddinum Ali Koudgoucum, 
pro rege, patris sui in Mosula inter munera quae ad eum misit ; quam cum 
vidisset ilie, statim ilia usus est ; lavit se postea, dixitque suis : Nostisne 
quid mihi hac die acciderit ? Dixerunt, non. Dixit : Cum Roham 
cepimus, regnante Zengui, inter res raptas in manus meas incidit ancilla 
pulchra, ejusque pulchritudo mihi admodiim placuit ; ad eam declinavit 
cor meum, statimque jussu Zengui martyris fuit inclamatum : Redde 
servos opesque raptas. Metuendus porrb erat et reverendus ; ancillam 
reddidi, ei vero semper adhsesit cor meum : nove verb misit mihi dona 
Norredinus, quae inter, ancillas misit plures, quas inter eamdem ancillam. 
Coitu eam subegi, ne adhuc etiam toUetur. — Kemaleddin, Hist, de Haiep. 
p. 62, translation of Dom. Berthereau. 

t M. Cerbied has translated this piece into French, which for several 
reasons deserves to be known. This poem, in seven cantos, was com- 
posed by Narses-le-Beau, the Armenian patriarch of the city of Edessa, 
to console his fellow -citizens in their misfortune, and arouse the zeal of 
the defenders of the ^hristian religion against the Turks, 

326 HISTORY or the crusades. 

Fridays, and tliat the whole Mussulman people should offer up 
thanks to Heaven for his victories. Zengui left some troops 
in the conquered city, and pui'sued the course of his triumphs; 
but fortune did not permit him to finish that which he had 
begun. He was besieging the castle of Schabar, in Meso- 
potamia, when he was assassinated by some slaves whom ill- 
treatment had irritated. The news of his death consoled 
the Christians for their defeats, and they expressed a joy as 
immoderate as if they had beheld the whole power of the 
Mussulmans fall at once. But this joy was of very short 
duration, for abundance of new enemies and new misfor- 
tunes soon followed to overwhelm them. 

Josselin, who had taken advantage of the troubles which 
ensued upon the death of the prince of Mossoul to retake 
the city of Edessa, ill-guarded by the Mussulmans, found 
himself unexpectedly besieged by Noureddin, the second son 
of Zengui. Noureddin had received, as his share of the 
heritage of his father, the principality of Aleppo, and was 
eager to signalize his zeal against the Christians. Josselin 
and his companions, who had surprised the city of Edessa 
amidst the darkness of night, were wanting in machines of 
war to besiege and get possession of the citadel. "When the 
city was invested by the prince of Aleppo, the Christian 
warriors who were placed between the garrison of the for- 
tress and the M iissulman army, saw at once the danger of 
their position. As in desperate circumstances, a thousand 
resolutions are, by turns, formed and rejected ; whilst they 
deliberated, the enemy pressed and threatened them. There 
soon remained no safety for them in a city which they had 
entered as conquerors ; and, after having braved death to 
get possession of it, they decided upon facing equal perils to 
get out of it. The soldiers of Josselin, consisting of Chris- 
tians who had gathered to the city, and of the small number 
of inhabitants who had siu*\4ved the massacre of their bre- 
thren, had now nothing left but their endeavours to escape 
the barbarity of the Mussulmans. They made their prepa- 
rations for flight in silence ; the gates were opened in the 
middle of the night, and every one bearing away that which 
he esteemed most valuable, a weeping crowd pressed along 
the streets. Already a great number of these unhappy 
fugitives had passed the gates of the ci^^y, headed by the 


warriors commanded by Josselin, and had advanced into thtf 
plain where the Saracens were encamped, when the garrison 
of the citadel, warned by the tumult, made a sortie^ and 
uniting themselves with the soldiers of Noureddin, who 
hastened towards the city, gained possession of the gates 
by which the Christians were issuing. Many severe con- 
flicts were here maintained, of which darkness increased the 
horrors. The Christians succeeded in opening themselves 
a passage, and spread themselves about in the neighbouring 
fields. They who carried arms united in battalions, and en- 
deavoured to pass through the camp of the enemy ; whilst 
others, separated from the troop of warriors, went on at 
hazard, wandered about the plains, and everywhere found 
death following their footsteps. Whilst relating the events 
of this horrible night, William of Tyre cannot restrain his 
tears. " Oh disastrous night ! " cries the historian Aboul- 
farage, " dawn of hell, day without pity, day of misfortune 
which arose upon the children of a city formerly worthy of 
envy!'* In Edessa, out of Edessa, nothing was heard but 
cries of death. The warriors who had formed battalions, 
after having pierced through the army of the infidels, were 
pursued as far as the banks of the Euphrates, and the roaas 
were strewed with their remains, their arms, and their bag- 
gage. Only a thousand of them succeeded in gaining the 
city of Samosata, which received them within its walls, and 
deplored their misfortunes, without being able to avenge 

History relates that more than thirty thousand Christians 
were slaughtered by the soldiers of Zengui and Noureddin. 
Sixteen thousand were made prisoners, and dragged out 
their lives in misery and slavery. Noureddin in his ven- 
geance did not spare either the ramparts or buildings of a 
rebel city ; he razed the towers, the citadel, and the churches 
of Edessa to the ground. He banished all the Christians 
from it, and left nothing but a few mendicants to dwell 
amidst the ruins of their country. 

Zengui had been considered as a saint, as a warrior 
jeloved by Mahomet, for having conquered the city of 
Edessa ; the blood-stained expedition of Noureddin rendered 
him dear to the Mussulmans, contributed much to the exten- 
sion of his renown and hi? power, and already the laans 


and the poets promised to his arms the much more glorious 
conquest of Jerusalem. 

The inhabitants of Jerusalem and other Christian cities 
Bhed tears of despair on learning the fall and destruction of 
Edessa, sinister presages adding much to the terror which 
the news from the banks of the Euphrates inspired them 
with. Thunder fell upon the churches of the Holy Sepul- 
chre and Mount Sion ; a comet with shining hair was seen 
in the heavens, and spread general consternation ; several 
other signs appeared, says William of Tyre, contrary to cus- 
tom^ and out of time, indicative of future things. As a 
crowning misfortune, Kodolphe, chancellor of Jerusalem, 
was taken by force to the siege of Tyre, and scandal pre- 
vailed in the sanctuary. All the faithful of the East were 
persuaded that Heaven had declared itself against them, and 
that horrible calamities were about to fal upon the Christian 



A.D. 1142—1148. 

The Christian colonies, threatened by the Mussulmans, 
called upon the princes of Europe to assist them. The 
bishop of Gaballa in Syria, accompanied by a great number 
of priests and knights, repaired to Yiterbo, where the sove- 
reign pontiff then resided. The recitals of the Christian 
embassy not only caused tears to flow from the eyes of the 
chief of the faithful ; the misfortunes of Edessa, and the 
impending dangers of Jerusalem excited universal commise- 
ration and dread. Cries of alarm were raised throughout 
Europe. Eorty-five years had passed away since the deli- 
verance of the Holy Sepulchre, yet the minds of men were 
not at all changed, and eagerly, as at the first crusade, they 
flew to arms. In this instance it was principally the voice 
of St. Bernard that excited the nations and kings of Chris- 
tendom to range themselves under the banners of the cross. 
Born of a noble family of Burgimdy, St. Bernard, whilst yet 
m the dawn of manhood, had, with thirty relations and com.- 
panions whom his discourses and his example* influenced, 
Beciuded himself in the monastery of Citteaux. He was 
Bent two years after to Clairvaux, a then unknown retreat, 
which he vivified with his presence, and rendered one of the 
most celebrated monasteries of Christendom. Many of the 
most learned doctors consulted the wisdom of the abbot of 

* Godfrey, who was abbot of Clairvaux after St. Bernard, has left us 
a life of this saint, in which he does not speak of the crusade ; the reason 
of this is that St. Bernard was reproached with the crusade, and that his 
panegyrist thence thought proper to pass ove/ this remarkable epoch. 
We have several other lives of St. Bernard ; the best and most complete 
% that which is printed in La France Liit&aire. 


Clairvaux, and several councils bowed to his decisions. By 
the power of his eloquence alone he humbled the anti-popo 
Leo, and placed Innocent II. in the chair of St. Peter. 
Pope Innocent III. and Abbot Suger were his disciples. 
Prelates, princes, and monarchs glorified themselves in fol- 
lowing his counsels, believing that Grod spoke by his mouth. 

Wlien the ambassadors from the East arrived in Europe, 
Louis VII. had just ascended the throne of France. The 
reign of this young monarch began under the most happy 
auspices. Most of the great vassals who had revolted 
against the royal authority had laid down their arms and 
renounced their pretensions. By a marriage with the 
daughter of William IX., Louis had added the duchy of 
Aquitaine to his kingdom. France, in her enlarged con- 
dition, had nothing to fear from neighbouring states, and 
whilst civil wars were desolating both England and Ger- 
many, she flourished in peace under the administration of 

Peace was not for a moment disturbed but by the unjust 
pretensions of the pope and by the intrigues of Thibaut, 
count of Champagne, who took advantage of the ascendancy 
he had over the clergy to direct the thunders of the Church 
against his sovereign. Louis resisted the attempts of the 
Holy See vrith firmness, and was determined to punish a 
rebellious and dangerous vassal. Urged on by a spirit of 
blind revenge, he carried fire and sword through the states 
of Thibaut; he besieged Vitri; was himself first in the 
assault, and put to the sword every inhabitant to be met 
with in the city. A great number of persons of all ages 
had taken refuge in a church, hoping tc find the altar a 
secure asylum against the anger of a Christian prince ; but 
Louis set fire to the church, and thirteen hundred people 
perished in the flames. An action so barbarous spread ter- 
ror among the nation whom Louis was appointed to render 
happy ; when he returned from this expedition to his capi- 
tal, the people received him in melancholy silence ; his 
ministers allowed him to read their regret in ihe dejection 
of their countenances ; and St. Bernard, like another Am- 
brosius, boldly compelled him to hear the complaints of 
religion and outraged humanity. 

Jji an eloquent letter, he represented to the monarch th'3 


country desolated, and pointed to the Churcli despised and 
trampled under foot. "I will fight for her," he said, "to 
the death ; but instead of bucklers and swords, I wiU em- 
ploy the arms which become me — my tears and my prayers 
to God.'^ At the voice of the holy abbot, Louis became 
sensible of his error ; and the dread of the anger of Heaven 
made such a lively impression upon his mind, that he sank 
into a deep and alarming depression. He believed he saw 
the hand of God ready to strike him; he renounced all 
pleasures, and abandoned even the care of his authority, in 
order to devote himself to grief and tears. The abbot of 
Clairvaux, who had awakened his remorse, was obliged to 
calm his spirits and reanimate his courage, by representing 
to him the great mercy of God. The king of France re- 
covered from his remorseless dejection; but as in the 
opinion of his age great crimes could only be absolved by 
a voyage to the Holy Land, his earnest desire to expiate 
the tragical death of the inhabitants of Yitri made him form 
the resolution of going to combat against the infidels. 

Louis VII. convoked an assembly at Bourges, at which he 
made his project known to the principal nobility and the 
clergy. Godfrey, bishop of Lang:res, applauded his zeal, 
and in a pathetic discourse deplored the captivity of Edessa, 
and the dangers and disasters of the Eastern Christians. 
His eloquence moved his auditors ; but the oracle of the 
assembly, he who held all hearts in his hand, had not yet 
spoken. Whether that he was yet not convinced of the 
utility of the crusade, or that he was desirous of giving it 
more solemnity, St. Bernard advised the king of France to 
consult the Holy See before he undertook anything. Thia 
advice was generally approved of. Louis sent ambassadoris 
to Home, and resolved to convoke a new assembly as soon 
as he should have received the answer of the sovereign 

Eugenius III., who then 311ed the chair of St. Peter, had 
already in several of his letters solicited the assistance of 
the faithful against the Saracens. The Holy See had never 
had stronger motives for the preaching of a crusade. A 
spuit of sedition and heresy was beginning to insinuate 
tself among the people, and even among the clergy of the 
West, threatening at the same time the power of the popea 

Vol. L— 16 


and the doctrines of the Church. Eugemus had to contend 
agamst the troubles excited by Arnold of Bressia; and 
nothing was talked of in the capital of the Christian world 
but rebuilding the Capitol, and substituting for the pontifical 
authority that of the consuls and tribunes of ancient E/ome. 
In such a state of things, a great event like that of a crusade 
was likely to turn men's minds from dangerous novelties, 
and make them rally round the sanctuary. The sovereign 
pontiff could not avoid seeing in a holy war the double 
advantage of defending Jerusalem against the enterprises of 
the Saracens, and the Church and himself against the attacks 
of heretics and innovators. Eugenius congratulated the 
king of France on his picfus determination, and by his 
letters again exhorted all Christians to assume the cross 
and take up arms, promising them the same privileges and 
the same rewards that Urban II. had granted to the war- 
riors of the first crusade. Detained in Italy, where he was 
engaged in appeasing the troubles of E-ome, he regretted 
not being able, as Urban had done, to cross the Alps, and 
reanimate the zeal of the faithful by his presence and his 
discourses ; but he confided to St. Bernard the honourable 
mission of preaching the crusade in Erance and G-ermany. 

After having received the approbation of the Holy See, 
Louis convoked a new assembly at Yezelai, a little city of 
Burgundy ; and the reputation of St. Bernard and the letters 
addressed by the pope to all Christendom, drew to this 
assembly a great number of nobles, knights, prelates, and 
men of all conditions. On the Palm-Sunday, after having 
invoked the Holy Grhost, all who had come to hear the abbot 
of Clairvaux repaired to the side of a hill just without the 
gates of the city. A large tribune was erected, in which 
the king in his royal robes, and St. Bernard in the humble 
costume of a cenobite, were saluted by the acclamations of 
an immense multitude. The orator of the crusade first read 
the letters of the sovereign pontiff*, and then spoke to his 
auditors of the taking of Edessa by the Saracens, and of the 
desolation of the holy places. He showed them the universe 
plunged in terror on learning that God had begun to desert 
his beloved land ;* he represented to them the city of Sion aa 

* Commota est qxiidem et contremuit terra, quia coepit Deus coeli per- 
Aerc terram suam. — St. Bernard, epist. cccxxii. 


imploring theii* succour, Christ as ready to immo'Jate nimself 
a second time for them, and the heavenly Jerusalem opening 
all its gates to receive the glorious martyrs of the faith. 
"You cannot but know," said he to them, "we live in a 
period of chastisement and ruin ; the enemy of mankind has 
caused the breath of corruption to fly over all regions ; we 
behold nothing but unpunished wickedness. The laws of 
men or the laws of religion have no longer sufficient power 
to check depravity of manners and the triumph of the wicked. 
The demon of heresy has taken possession of the chair of 
truth, and God has sent forth his malediction upon his sanc- 
tuary. Oh, ye who listen to me ! hasten then to appease 
the anger of Heaven, but no longer implore his goodness by 
vain complaints ; clothe not yourselves in sackcloth, but cover 
yourselves with your impenetrable bucklers ; the din of arms, 
the dangers, the labours, the fatigues of war are the penances 
that God now imposes on you. Hasten then to expiate your 
sins by victories over the infidels, and let the deliverance of 
the holy places be the reward of your repentance." 

These words of the orator excited the greatest enthusiasm 
in the assembly of the faithful, and, like Urban at the coun- 
cil of Clermont, St. Bernard was interrupted by the repeated 
cries of " J^ is the will of God! It is the will of God! ^* 
Then raising his voice, as if he had been the interpreter of 
the will of Heaven, he promised them, in the name of God, 
success to their holy expedition, and thus continued his 
discourse : — 

" If it w ere announced to you that the enemy had in- 
vaded your cities, your castles, and your lands, had ravished 
your wives and your daughters, and profaned your temples, 
w^hich among you would not fly to arms ? Well, then, all 
these calamities, and calamities still greater, have fallen upon 
your brethren, upon the family of Jesus Christ, which is 
yours. Why do you hesitate to repair so many evils — to 
revenge so many outrages ? Will you allow the infidels to 
contemplate in peace the ravages they have committed on 
Christian people ? Remember that their triumph wdll be a 
subject for grief to all ages, and an eternal opprobrium upon 
the generation that has endured it. Yes, the livmg God has 
charged me to announce to you that he will punish them 
who shall not have defended him against his enemies. Fly 


then to arms ; let a holy rage animate you in the fight ; and 
let the Christian world resound with these words f the 
prophet, ' Cursed he lie who does not stam his sword with 
blood ! ' If the Lord calls you to the defence of his heri- 
tage, think not that his hand has lost its power.* Could he 
not send twelve legions of angels, or breathe one 'vord, and 
all his enemies would crumble away into dust ? But God 
has considered the sons of men, to open for them the road 
to his mercy. His goodness has caused to dawn for you a 
day of safety, by calling on you to avenge his glory and his 
name. Christian warriors, he who gave his life for you, to- 
day demands yours in return. These are combats worthy of 
you, combats in which it is glorious to conquer, and advan- 
tageous to die. Illustrious knights, generous defenders of 
the cross, remember the example of your fathers who con- 
quered Jerusalem, and whose names are inscribed in heaven; 
abandon then the things that perish to gather eternal palms, 
and conquer a kingdom which has no end." 

All the barons and knights applauded the eloquence of St. 
Bernard, and were persuaded that he had but uttered the 
wiU of God. Louis VII., deeply moved by the words he 
had heard, cast himself, in the presence of aU the people, 
at the feet of St. Bernard and demanded the Cross. Clothed 
with this revered sign, he himself addressed the assembly of 
the faithful, to exhort them to follow his example. In his 
discoiu*se he showed them the impious Philistine casting op- 
probrium upon the house of David, and reminded them of the 
holy determination which God himself had inspired in him. 
He invoked, in the name of the Christians of the East, the aid 
of that generous nation of which he was the chief ; of that 
nation which would not endure shame when directed at 
itself or its allies, and which always carried terror amidst 
the enemies of its worship or its glory. At this discourse 
the whole auditory was melted in tears. The touching piety 
of the monarch persuaded all who had not been convinced 
by the eloquence of St. Bernard. The hill upon which this 
vast multitude was assembled, resounded for a length of 
time with the cries of " It is the will of God ! It is the 

* Nunquid potest mittere angelorura plusquam duodecim legiones, aut 
certe dicere verbo, et liberabitur terra sua ? — St. Bernard, epist. cccxxii. 


will of God!'' and ''tie Cross! the Cross!'' Eleanor of 
Guienne, who accompanied Lonis, received, as his wife, tlie 
sign of the cross from the hands of the abbot of Clairvaux. 
Alphonso, count of St. Grilles de Thoulouse, Henry, son of 
Thibaut, count of Champagne, Thieri, count of Planders, 
William of Nevers, E-enaud, count de Tenniere, Yves, count 
de Soissons, "William, count de Panthien, William, count df 
Varennes, Archanbaud de Bourbon, Enguerard de Coucy, 
Hugh de Lusignan, the count de Dreux, brother of tha 
king, his uncle the count de Maurinne, and a crowd of 
barons and knights followed the example of Louis and 
Eleanor. Several bishops, among whom histor}^ remarks 
Simon, bishop of Noyon, Godfrey, bishop of Langres, Alain, 
bishop of Arras, and Arnold, bishop of Lisieux, threw them- 
selves at the feet of St. Bernard, taking the oath to fight 
against the infidels. The crosses which the abbot of Clair- 
vaux had brought were not sufiicient for the great number 
who claimed them. He tore his vestments to make more, 
and several of those who surrounded him, in their turns, 
tore their clothes into strips in order to satisfy the impa- 
tience of all the faithful whom he had inflamed with a desire 
for the holy war. 

To preserve the memory of this day, Pons, abbot of Yeze- 
lai, founded upon the hill where the knights and barons had 
assembled, a church, which he dedicated to the holy cross.* 
The tribune, from the top of which St. Bernard had preached 
the crusade, remained there a long time the object of the 
veneration of the faithful. 

After the assembly of Yezelai, the abbot of Clairvaux 
continued to preach the crusade in the cities and neighbour- 
ing countries. Prance soon resounded with the fame of the 
miracles by which God seemed to authorize and consecrate, 
in some sort, his mission. He was everywhere considered 
as the messenger of Heaven, as another Moses, who was to 
conduct the people of God. All the Christians were per- 
suaded that the success of the enterprise depended upon St. 
Bernard, and in an assembly held at Chartres, in which were 
met several barons and princes, illustrious by their exploits, 

* The pulp't from which St. Bernard preached the crusade remained in 
the church of "^ezelai until t'jie period of the revolution of 1789. 

336 HisroET OF the cbusades. 

it was resolvea by unanimous consent, to give him the com- 
mand of the holy war. The Crusaders, they said, could 
never fail to be victorious under the laws of a leader to 
whom God appeared to have confided his omnipotence. The 
abbot of Clairvaux, who remembered the example of Peter 
the hermit, refused the perilous employment with which 
they desired to honour him ; he was even so much terri- 
fied by the pressing entreaties of the barons and knights, 
that he addressed himself to the pope, and conjui*ed the 
sovereign pontifi*not to abandon him to the fantasies of men. 

The pope answered St. Bernard that he only need arm 
himself with the sword of the word of God, and content him- 
self with sounding the evangelical trumpet to announce the 
war. The abbot of Clairvaux employed himself in nothing 
thereafter, but his mission ; and he acquitted himself with 
so much zeal, and his preachings produced such an extraor- 
dinary, and I will venture to add, so unfortunate an effect, 
that they depopulated cities and countries. He wrote to 
Pope Eugenius : " The villages and the castles are deserted ; 
and there are none left hut widows and orphans, whose hus- 
bands and parents are still living ^ 

While St. Bernard was thus preaching the crusade in the 
provinces of Prance, a German monk, named B/odolphe, ex- 
horted the people of the E/hine to massacre the Jews, whom 
he represented in his vehement discourses as the allies of the 
Saracens, and the most dangerous enemies of the Christian 
religion. The abbot of Clairvaux fearing the effect of these 
preachings, hastened into Germany to impose silence on this 
seditious apostle of the holy war. As the German monk 
had flattered the passions of the multitude, St. Bernard re- 
quired all the ascendancy of his virtue and his fame to com- 
bat his doctrines. He ventured to raise his voice in the 
midst of an ii-ritated people, and to make them feel that 
Christians ought not to persecute Jews, but pray to Heaven 
for their conversion ; that it belonged to Christian piety to 
pardon the weak, and make war against the exalted and 
proud. The preacher of the crusade at length silenced the 
turbulent orator, and sent him back to his monastery, re- 
minding him that the duty of monks was not to preach, but 
to weep ; that they ought to consider cities as prisons, and 
solitude as their paradise. 


This action of St. Bernard,* which was scarcely observed in 
his own barbarous age, and which has been turned into ridi- 
cule in ours, does honour to his character, and may excuse 
the extravagant zeal he displayed for a disastrous war. 
When he arrived in Grermany, the Grermanic empire was be- 
ginning to breathe after the long troubles that had followed 
the election of Lothaire. Conrad III., clothed with the 
purple, had just convoked a general diet at Spires. The 
abbot of Clairvaux repaired thither with the intention ot 
preaching war against the Mussulmans, and peace among 
Christian princes. St. Bernard pressed the emperor, Con- 
rad, several times to take up the cross ; he at first exhorted 
him in private conferences, and afterwards renewed his 
exhortations in sermons preached in public. Conrad could 
not make up his mind to take the oath to go and fight 
against the infidels in Asia, alleging the recent troubles of 
the Grerman empires. St. Bernard replied that the Holy 
See had placed him upon the imperial throne, and that the 
pope and the Church would support their work. " Whilst 
you shall defend his heritage, Grod himself will take care to 
defend yours ; he will govern your people, and your reign 
will be the object of his love." The more hesitation the 
emperor felt, the warmer became the zeal and eloquence of 
St. Bernard to persuade him. One day as the orator of the 
crusade was saying mass before the princes and lords con- 
voked at Spires, all at once he interrupted the service to 
preach the war against the infidels. Towards the end of his 
discourse, he transported the imagination of his auditors to 
the day of judgment, and made them hear the trumpets 
which were to call all the nations of the earth before the 
tribunal of Grod. Jesus Christ, armed with his cross and 
surrounded by his angels, addressing himself to the emperor 
of Germany, recalled to him all the benefits with which he 
had loaded him, and reproached him with ingratitude. Con- 
rad was so much afiected by this vehement apostrophe, that 
he interrupted the speaker, and, with tears in his eyes, cried 

* The Abbe Velly thus relates the same fact: — "Satisfied with the 
character of preacher and thaumaturge (performer of miracles), St. Ber- 
nard set out for Germany, where he put to silence another monk, who, 
without having the authority of the pope, dared to exhort the Christian 
nations to take up arms for the assistance of their brethren in Asia." 


out : " I knoio what I owe to Jesus Christ, and I swiar to go 
wherever he shall call we." Then the nobles and the people 
who believed they had been witnesses of a miracle, threw 
themselves on their knees and returned thanks to God for 
his blessings. Conrad received from the hands of the abbot 
of Clairvaux the emblem of the Crusaders, together with a 
flag which was placed upon the altar, and which Heaven 
itself had blessed. A great number of barons and knights 
assumed the cross in imitation of Conrad, and the diet which 
had been assembled to deliberate upon the interests of the 
empire, was occupied entirely with the safety of the Chris- 
tian colonies in Asia. 

A new diet was convoked in Bavaria, where the letters of 
St. Bern?ird determined a great number of bishops and Ger- 
man nobles to take the cross. Ladislas, duke of Bohemia, 
Odoacer, marquis of Syria, Bernard, count of Carinthia, 
Amadeus, duke of Turin, and the marquis de Montferrat 
took the oath to go into the East to fight the Saracens. 
Among the prelates who enrolled themselves under the ban- 
ners of the Cross, history names the bishop of Passau, the 
bishop of Ratisbon, and the wise Otho of Frisingen, brother 
of the emperor, to whom posterity owes a relation of the 
principal events of this war. 

The most dear interests, the most tender affections had 
no power to detain the knights and princes in their coun- 
tries and homes. Frederick, nephew of the em.peror, who 
had taken the cross, allowed himself not to be moved by the 
tears of his aged father, the duke of Suabia, who died with 
grief, in spite of the consolations of St. Bernard. A war- 
cry was heard from the lihine to the Danube ; Germany, 
although so long agitated by its own troubles, found in all 
parts warriors for the holy expedition. Men of all condi- 
tions obeyed the voice of the preacher of the holy Avar, and 
followed the example of kings and princes : a thing to be 
woiidered at, says Otho of Frisingen, thieves and robbers 
were seen performing penance, and swearing to shed their 
blood for Jesus Christ. "Every reasonable man," adds the 
same historian, " a witness of the changes that were ope- 
rated in them, plainly perceived the work of God, and was 
not the less astonished at it." 

The Germans were so easily persuaded, that they came 


and listened to the abbot of Clairvaux, who preaclied to them 
in a language they did not understand, and returned con- 
vinced of the truth and holiness of the discourse. The 
sight of a preacher so much reverenced, appeared to bestow 
a marvellous sense upon every one of his words. The mira- 
cles rhich were attributed to him, and which were performed 
sometimes in private, sometimes in public, as Otho of Fri- 
singen says, were like a divine language which warmed the 
most indifferent, and persuaded the most incredulous. Shep- 
herds and labourers abandoned the fields to follow him iuto 
towns and cities ; when he arrived in a city, all labours were 
suspended. The war against the infidels, and the prodigies 
by which Grod promised his protection to the soldiers of the 
cross, became the only business of men of aU classes. Some- 
times the abbot of Clairvaux assembled the clergy, and 
preached reform in their manners ; sometimes he addressed 
the people and animated them against the Saracens. 

St. Bernard visited all the cities of the Rhine, from Con- 
stance to Maestricht ; in each city, say the ancient chroni 
cles, he restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and 
cured the lame and the sick ; they report thirty-six miracles 
performed in one day, at each prodigy the multitude crying 
out,* " Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us ! all the saints, suc- 
cour us!" The disciples who followed the abbot of Clair- 
vaux could not help regretting that the tumult which was 
constantly raised upon his passage, prevented their seeing 
several of his miracles, t Every day an increasing crowd 
pressed around him. History relates that he was once on 
tlie point of being stifled by the multitude which followed 

* These exclamations were pronounced in old German : — Christ uns 
gende, die heiligen alle helffen uns. 

"t Philip, archdeacon of Liege, afterwards a monk of Clairvaux, has 
made a detailed relation of the miracles of St. Bernard, from the first 
Sunday in Advent, the first day of December, 1146, to Thursday, the 
second day of the following January. In his relations he produces ten 
ocular witnesses, whose names he gives. Le Pere Maimbourg, in his 
History of the Crusades, does not appear to believe in the authenticity o( 
the miracles of St. Bernard ; the author of the Life of Suger, 3 vols, in 
12mo., sharply reproves Maimbourg for his incredulity. We do not think 
it at all necessary to go into this question ; we believe it to be quite suffi- 
cient to know that the contemporaries of St. Bernard had faith in his 
miracles, and that this faith made them perform things which simple 
reason might call miraculous. 



his steps, and only owed liis safety to tlie emperr r of Ger- 
many, who took him in his anns, and drove back the people, 
who were impatient to see and touch him whom they re- 
garded as the interpreter and messenger of God. 

After having set Germany in a blaze with his preaching, 
and revived the zeal of the countries of Italy by his pathetic 
letters, St. Bernard returned to France, to announce the 
success of his mission. His absence had suspended every- 
thing, and that multitude of Crusaders, upon whom his elo- 
quence had acted so powerfully, appeared to have neither 
chief, direction, nor rallying-point whilst he was not in the 
midst of them. The king of France and the nobles of the 
kingdom, assembled at Etampes, had formed no resolution ; 
but the return of St. Bernard restored life to the councils 
of the princes and the barons, and made them resume with 
new ardour the enterprise of the holy war. 

When he made, before the lords and prelates, the recital 
of his journey, and of the prodigies God had effected by 
his hand; when he spoke of the determination he had 
induced the emperor of Germany to form, a determination 
which he called the miracle of miracles, all hearts expanded 
with enthusiasm, and were filled with hope and joy. 

At the same time several ambassadors, appeared in the 
assembly of Etampes, to announce that their princes had 
determined to enrol themselves under the banners of the 
cross ; and letters were read from distant countries, by 
which a great number of foreign lords and barons promised 
to join the French in their projected expedition against the 
Saracens. From that period no doubt was entertained of 
the happy results of the crusade ; and the zeal which was 
displayed by all the nations of Europe was considered as a 
manifest expression of the will of Heaven. 

Among the ambassadors who were present at the assembly 
of Etampes were some from Boger, king of Apulia and 
Sicily, who offered the Crusaders vessels and provisions, and 
promised to send his son with them to the Holy Land, if 
they determined to go by sea. The Sicilian deputies re- 
minded the king of France and his barons of the perfidy of 
the Greeks towards the Franks in the first crusade. " Yc a 
may," said they, " brave the forces of the most powerful 
nations, but nothing can secure you against the artifices and 


machinations of a deceitful and perfidious people." The 
assembly deliberated upou the offers of the king of Sicily, 
and upon the route it would be most advisable to take ; the 
greater part of the barons, full of confidence in their arma 
and the protection of God, could not be brought to doubt 
the faith of the Greeks. The route by sea seemed to offer 
fewer wonders to their curiosity, and fewer perils for th^ 
exercise of their bravery ; besides, the vessels which Eoget 
could furnish would not nearly suffice to transport all whom 
religious zeal would lead to join the holy bands. It was 
therefore resolved that preference should be given to the 
route by land. The historian Odo de Deuil speaks with 
deep regret of this resolution, which proved so fatal to the 
Crusaders, and about which they had neglected to consult 
the Holy Ghost. The Sicilian deputies could not conceal 
their sorrow, and returned to their country predicting all 
the misfortunes that would ensue. 

The assembly of Etampes appeared to act under a much 
better influence when it became necessary to choose the 
persons who should be intrusted with the government of the 
kingdom during the pilgrimage of Louis VII. When the 
barons and the prelates had deliberated upon this important 
choice, St. Bernard, who was their interpreter, addressed the 
king, and, pointing to Abbot Suger and the count de Nevers, 
said, " Sire, there are two weapons, and they are enough. ^^ 
It was necessary that this choice of the assembly should 
obtain the approbation of the king and the suffrages of the 
people. The abbot of St. Denis had blessed France with a 
long peace, and had been the author of the glory of two 
reigns. He was opposed to the crusade ; and what perfects 
his eulogy, he had preserved his popularity without sharing 
in the prevailing opinions. Suger advised the king not to 
abandon his subjects, and represented to him that his errors 
would be much better repaired by a wise administration of 
the kingdom God had placed him over, than by conquests 
in the East. He who could dare to give such advice as this, 
was more worthy than any other to represent his sovereign ; 
but Suger at first refused an employment of which he 
plainly saw the burthen and the danger. The assembly 
would not make another choice ; and the king himself had 
recourse to prayers and tears to induce his Uiinister to taka 


Qis place in the government of the kingdom. The pope, 
who arrived a short time after in France, orderei Suger to 
yield to the wishes of the monarch, the nobles, and the 
nation. The sovereign pontiff", in order to facilitate the 
honourable task which he imposed upon the abbot of St. 
Denis, launched, beforehand, the thunders of the Chijrch 
against all who should make any attempts against the regal 
authority during the absence of the king. 

The count de Nevers, who had likewise been pointed out 
by the assembly of the barons and bishops, declined, as the 
abbot of St. Denis had done, the dangerous charge which 
they offered him. When he was warmly pressed to accept 
the government of the kingdom, he declared that he had 
made a vow to enter into the order of St. Brimo. Such was 
the spirit of the age, that this intention was respected as 
the wi.l of Grod; and whilst the assembly congratulated 
themselves upon inducing a monk to leave his cloister to 
govern a kingdom, they saw without astonishment a prince 
take an eternal farewell of the world, and bury himself in a 

From this time preparations for departure were actively 
commenced, and all the provinces of France and Germany 
were in motion. The same motives which had armed the 
companions of Godfrey in the first expedition, inflamed the 
courage of the new Crusaders. The eastern war held out 
to their ambition the same hopes and the same advantages, 
The greater part of the people were animated by the never- 
Torgotten remembrance of the conquest of Jerusalem. The 
relations that this conquest had established between Syria 
and Europe added still to the zeal and ardour of the soldiers 
of the cross ; there was scarcely a family in the West that 
did not furnish a defender to the holy places, an inhabitant 
to the cities of Palestine. The Christian colonies in the 
East were to the Franks as a new country ; warriors who 
assumed the cross appeared to be only arming themselves to 
defend another France^, which was dear to all Christians, and 
which might be called the France of the East. 

The example of two monarchs also necessarily influenced 
many warriors when ranging themselves under the banners 
of the crusade. MaDy of those turbulent nobles, who were 
fchen called prcedones, must have had, as well as Louis VIL, 


aumerous guilty violences to expiate. The spirit of cliivalry^ 
wliieh. was every day making fresh progress, was not a lesa 
powerful principle with a nobility purely and entiiely warlike 
A great number of "w '.men, attracted by the example oi 
Eleanor of Guienne, took up the cross, and armed themselves 
with sword and lance. A crowd of knights eagerly followed 
them ; and indeed a species of shame seemed attached to all 
who did not go to fight the infidels. History relates that 
distaffs and spindles were sent to those who would not take 
arms, as an appropriate reproach for their cowardice. The 
troubadours and trouveres, whose songs were so much liked, 
and who employed themselves in singing the victories of 
knights over the Saracens, determined to follow into Asia 
the heroes and the dames they had celebrated in their verses. 
Queen Eleanor and Louis the Young took several trouba- 
dours and minstrels with them into the East, to alleviate 
the tediousness of a long journey. 

And yet the enthusiasm of the Crusaders did not bear 
quite the same character as that of the first crusade. The 
world was not, in their eyes, filled with those prodigies 
which proclaim the especial will of Heaven ; great phe- 
nomena of nature did not work upon the imagination of the 
pilgrims so vividly. God seemed to have delegated all his 
power to a single man, who led the people at his will by his 
eloquence and his miracles. Nobody was seen, nobody was 
heard, but St. Bernard ; whereas in the time of Peter the 
Hermit orators everywhere abounded, and nature seemed 
charged by God himself to promote the crusade. 

The only extraordinary occurrence of the time was the 
peace which prevailed throughout Europe.* As at the 
approach of the first crusade, wars between individuals, civil 
troubles, and public outrage ceased aU at once. The de- 
parture of the Crusaders was accompanied by less disorder 
than at the setting out of the first expedition ; they neither 

* A German historian speaks thus of this crusade : — Si autem aliter 
non, hac tamen ratione, exitum habuit expeditio frequens, purgaretur eo 
genere horainum qui rapinis consueverunt victitare ; moestura devotione 
qualicunque, omnes id genus homines, pro remedio peccatorum sacraiu 
amplexi militiam, in earn nomine dedere volentes expeditionem. — Kraniz, 
vi. sax. c. 13 ; De Rejfibtia Hierosolymorum, auctore Christophano 
Besoldo, p. 214. 


Bl>owed tlie same imprudence in the choice c£ their leaders, 
nc r the same impatience to mar'^^h. Prance and Grermany 
had not to suffer the depredations of an undisciplined mul- 
titude. The first crusade, some of the armies of which were 
commanded by princes and knights, and others by adven- 
turers and monks, exhibited all the license and the tumul- 
tuous passions that are met with in unsettled republics. In 
the second holy war, which was led by two powerful princes, 
the more regular forms of a monarchy were preserved. The 
smaller vassals gathered around their lords, and the latter 
were obedient to the orders of the king of France or the 
emperor of Germany. Such good order in the outset of the 
holy enterprise appeared to promise certain victory, and 
could create no forethought of the disasters which awaited 
the Christian armies. 

The city of Metz was the rendezvous of the Erench Cru- 
saders, and E,atisbon that of the Germans. The roads 
which led to these cities were covered with pilgrims, march- 
ing under the banners of their lords. A great number of 
warriors also repaired to the ports of Manders, England, and 
Italy, where fleets were prepared for the transport of pro- 
visions and arms, with Crusaders who were impatient to 
arrive in Asia. 

As the routes to the East were now known, the pilgrims 
deceived themselves less with regard to the countries they 
had to pass through. The sovereign pontiff had advised the 
barons and knights not to take with them either dogs or 
birds for sport ; they renounced the luxury of their castles, 
and contented themselves with their arms.* They even had 
the precaution to take with them things that might be re- 
quired in a distant journey ; the Crusaders, but particularly 
the Germans, carried all sorts of instruments for throwing 
bridges, cutting down forests, and clearing roads. 

The greatest difficulty was to find money to defray the 
expenses of the holy war. All whom infirmities or particular 
circumstances detained in Europe were anxious to assist, by 

* The pope had forbidden luxury among the Crusaders ; he expressed 
himself thus in a circular : — Nee eant in vestibus pretiosis, et cum canibus 
give avibus, aut aliis quae osteutationi potius et lascivise, quam necessariis 
videantur usibus deservire, sed in modesto apparatu, et habitu, in quo 
poenitentiam potius agere quam inauem affectari gloriam videantur. 


fcheir offerings, tlie enterprise of tbe crusade. According to 
the devotion of the times, the greater part of the rich who 
died without having seen Jerusalem, left by their will a sura 
for the promotion of pilgrimages to the East. All these 
pious gifts were, no doubt, considerable, but they could not 
suffice for the support of a large army. To porcure the 
necessary money Louis VII. had recourse to loans, and levied 
imposts, which were regulated and approved of by the 
sovereign pontiff. St. Bernard and Peter the Venerable 
had exerted themselves with much courage against the per- 
secution of the Jews ; but the abbot of Cluny thought they 
ought to be punished in that which they held dearest, their 
wealth, amassed hy usury, and even hy sacrilege. He advised 
the king of Erance to take from the Jews the money neces- 
sary for the war against the Saracens. It is probable that 
the advice of Peter the Venerable was not disdained, and 
that the Jews furnished a considerable part of the expenses 
of the crusade. The clergy also, who had so much enriched 
themselves by the first crusade, were obliged to advance 
considerable sums for this expedition. The monastery of 
rieury alone paid three hundred silver marks and a large 
sum in gold. In many other abbeys the vases and cliurch 
ornaments were sold to purchase arms, and to pay the 
expenses of a war undertaken for the glory of Christ. 

The lords and barons followed the example of the king of 
France. Some pledged or sold their lands, but the greater 
part made their vassals furnish means for their pilgrimage. 
The hea^^ taxes laid upon the people, and particularly the 
spoliation of the churches, excited many complaints, and 
began to cool the ardour for the crusade. " There was,"* 
says an ancient historian, " neither state, condition, age, nor 
sex, which was not forced to contribute to the equipment of 
the king and the princes going with him ; whence followed 
the discontent of every one, and innumerable maledictions, 
as well directed against the king as the troops.'* 

* We quote here the words of Belle Forest, which we should not use 
if they vrere not translations from contemporary chronicles. We will only- 
repeat a single passage, which is taken from the chronicle of Raoul : — 
De dioette : V*^ totam Galliam fit descriptio generalis ; non sexus, non 
ordo, non dignitas quempiam excusavit, quin auxilium regi conferret ; cujuf 
iter multis imprecationibus persequebatur. . . > . . 


Nevertheless Louis YII. prepared for his undertaking 
by acts of devotion ; he visited the hospitals, and caused 
prayers to be put up in all the churches for the success of 
the crusade. When his departure drew near, he went to 
St. Denis, to take the famous Oriflamme, which was borne 
before the kings of France in battle. The church of St. 
Denis was at that time decorated with great magnificence ; 
among the historical monuments which were there collected, 
the portraits of Godfrey de Bouillon, Tancred, Eaymond de 
St.. Gilles, and the battles of Dorylceum, Antioch, and 
Ascalon,* traced upon the windows of the choir, must have 
attracted the eyes and fixed the attention of Louis and his 
companions in arms. The king, prostrated on the tomb of 
the holy apostle of Erance, implored his protection and that 
of his pious ancestors, whose ashes reposed in the same 
place. The pope, who had come to St. Denis, placed anew 
the kingdom of France under the safeguard of religion, and 
presented to Louis YII. his scrip and staff, as the emblems 
of his pilgrimage. After this ceremony Louis set out, 
accompanied by Queen Eleanor and a great part of his court. 
He wept while he embraced Abbot Suger, who could not 
himself restrain his tears. The people, says a modern his- 
torian, who crowded his passage, after having followed him 
for a long distance with the most vociferous applauses, re- 
turned in melancholy silence to their homes as soon as he 
was out of sight. He left Metz at the head of a hundred 
thousand Crusaders, traversed Germany, and directed his 
march towards Constantinople, where he had appointed to 
meet the emperor of the West. 

The emperor Conrad, after having caused his son Henry 
to be crowned, left Katisbon in the beginning of spring. He 
was followed by an army so numerous, that, according to the 
report of Otho, of Erisingen, the waves were not sufficient 
to transport it, nor the fields spacious enough to contain all 
its battalions. He had sent ambassadors to announce hi^ 
coming to Constantinople, and to demand permission to cross 
the territories of the Greek empire. Manuel Comnenus re« 
turned him a most friendly and flattering answer ; but when 

* Montfaucon speaks of these pictures in Les Monuments de la Mo 
r»^€hie Francaiae, vol. i. 


the Germans arrived in Bulgaria and Thrace, they were not 
long in perceiving that they must not reckon upon the pro- 
mises that had been made them. 

At the time of the first crusade, Constantinople was in 
great dread of the Turks, which was of service to the 
Pranks ; but from that period the capital of the Greeks had 
experienced no alarms, and no longer feared the attacks of 
the Mussulmans. An opinion likewise had spread through 
all the provinces of the empire, that the warriors of the 
West entertained the project of taking possession of Con- 
stantinople. This report, nrobable in itself, and strength- 
ened by the threats of tht Crusaders, was very Kttle calcu- 
lated to reestablish peace and harmony between people who 
despised each other reciprocally, and, perhaps with equal 
reason, exchanged accusations of violations of the faith of 

Manuel Comnenus, whom Odo de Deuil will not even 
name, because, he says, his name is not written in the book 
of life, was the grandson of Alexius I., who reigned at the 
time of the first crusade. Eaithful to the policy of his an- 
cestor, more able, and above all more artful and hj^Docritical 
than he, he neglected no means to annoy and ruin the army 
of the Germans. In his councils the warriors of the West 
were considered as men of iron, whose eyes darted flames, 
and who shed torrents of blood with the same indifference 
as they would pour out the same quantity of water. At 
the same time that he sent them ambassadors, and furnished 
them with provisions, Manuel formed an alliance with the 
Turks, and fortified his capital. The Germans, in the course 
of their march, had often to repulse the perfidious attacks of 
the Greeks, and the latter had, more than once, cause to com- 
plain of the violence of the Crusaders. A relation of Conrad, 
who had remained sick in a monastery at Adrianople, was 
slain by the soldiers of Manuel ; Frederick, duke of Suabia, 
gave the monastery in which this crime had been committed, 
up to tne flames ; and torrents of blood flowed to avenge an 

Upon approaching Constantinople, the Germans had set 
up their tents in a rich valley watered by the river Melaa 
All at once a violent storm burst over the neighbouring 
mountains ; the river, increased by the torrents, inundated 


the plain where the Christian army was celebrating the feast 
of the A^ssiimption,* and as if it had conspired with the 
Greeks, says a FrencH historian, and as if it imitated their 
perfidy and treason, i ; carried away the horses and baggage, 
and brou^it desolation into the camp of tlie Crusaders. The 
Greeks afforded some succour to the German soldiers, but 
they saw with joy, in an event they affected to deplore, a 
presage of the defeats which threatened the armies of the 

Constantinople, on the arrival of Conrad, presented the 
novel spectacle of two emperors who had inherited the vrrecks 
of the empire of Augustus, and each of whom called himself 
the successor of Caesar and Constantino. Their pretensions 
created some divisions ; the emperor of the West had a va- 
liant army to support his rights ; he of the East did not 
dare to insist too openly upon his. He called in perfidy to 
his aid, and wounded vanity avenged itself in a manner as 
cowardly as it was- cruel. 

As soon as the Germans had passed the Bosphorus, they 
found themselves exposed to all sorts of treachery. All who 
straggled from the army were slain by the soldiers of Com- 
nenus ; the gates of all the cities on their route were closed ; 
when tliey asked for provisions, they were obliged to put the 
money into the baskets w^hich were lowered down from the 
walls, and af cer all, they frequently obtained nothing but in- 
sult and ridicule. The Greeks mixed lime with the flour 
they sold them ; and when the Crusaders had anything for 
sale, they w^ere paid in a false coin, which was refused 
when they became purchasers. Ambuscades awaited them 
throughout their route ; the enemy was aware of their line 
of march, and as the height of perfidy, furnished them at 
Constantinople with faithless guides, who misled the army 
in the defiles of Mount Taurus, and delivered them up, worn 
out with fatigue, to famine and despair, or to the swords of 
the Mussulmans. The Germans, ill-treated by the Greeks, 
did not seek to revenge themselves, although it would have 
been easy to have done so, and, according to the ideas of the 
age, might have appeared glorious. This is the reason why 

* Otto of Frisingen, an eye-witness, describes this misfortune at great 


Aiontesquieu says, that the Germans were the best sort of 
people in the world. The French, who came after them,, 
showed themselves less patient, and were more respected. 
The emperor sent the principal lords of his court to tb.e 
king of Erance, before whom they prostrated themselves, 
and only spoke to him on their knees. French haughtiness 
was more surprised than pleased at such homage, and only 
answered the flattery of the East by a disdainful silence. 
The two monarchs had an interview, in which they recipro- 
cated the most tender caresses, and sought to surpass each 
other in magnificence. If Manuel on this occasion excelled 
his rival in the display of his riches, he showed less sincerity 
than Louis in the demonstrations of his friendship, for in 
the midst of the banquets which he gave to the Crusaders, 
the latter learnt that he preserved a close alliance with the 
sultan of Iconium, and that the Turks were fully informed 
of the plans of the French kmg. 

This treachery irritated the French lords, and when the 
emperor required them to render him homage, as the 
leaders of the first crusade had done, it was proposed in the 
council that the only reply should be to take possession of 
Constantinople. " You have heard," said the bishop of 
Langres, " that the G-reeks propose to you to recognise their 
empire, and submit to tlieir laws : thus then weakness is to 
command strength, and cowardice bravery ! What has this 
nation done ? What have their ancestors done, that they 
should show so much pride ? I will not speak to you of the 
snares and the ambushes that they have everywhere planted 
in your way ; we have seen the priests of Byzantium ming- 
ling ridicule wdth outrage, purify with fire the altars at which 
our priests had sacrificed. They ask of us new oaths, which 
honour repudiates. Is it not time to revenge treasons, and 
repulse insults ? Hitherto the Crusaders have sufiered 
more from their perfidious friends than from their open ene- 
mies. Constantinople has long been a troublesome barrier 
between us and our brothers of the East It is our duty at 
last to open a free road to Asia. The Grreeks, you know, 
have allowed the sepulchre of Christ, and all the Christian 
cities of the East, to fall into the hands of the infidels. 
Constantinople, there is no doubt, will soon become a prey 
to Turks and barbarians, and by her cowardly weaknccs, Bl.e 


inll one day open the barriers of tho West. The emperors 
of Eyzantium neither know how to defend their own pro- 
vinces nor will they suffer others to do it for them. They 
have always impeded the generous efforts of the soldiers of 
the cross ; even lately, this emperor, who declares himself 
your support, has endeavoured to dispute their conquests 
with the Latins, and ravish from them the principality of 
Antioch. His aim now is to deliver up the Christian armies 
to the Saracens. Let us hasten then to prevent our own 
ruin by effecting that of these traitors ; let us not leave 
behind us a jealous and insolent city, which only seeks the 
means of destroying us ; let us cast upon her the evils she 
prepares for us. If the Greeks accomplish their perfidious 
designs, it is of you the West wiU one day ask back its 
armies. Since the war we undertake is holy, is it not just 
that we should employ every means to succeed ? Necessity, 
country, religion, all order you to do that which I propose 
to you. The aqueducts which supply the city with water 
are in our power, and offer an easy means of reducing the 
inhabitants. The soldiers of Manuel cannot stand against 
our battalions ; a part of the w^alls and towers of Byzantium 
has crumbled away before our eyes, as by a species of 
miracle. It appears that God himself calls us into the 
city of Constantino, and he opens its gates to you as he 
opened the gates of Edessa, Antioch, and Jerusalem to your 

When the bishop of Langres had ceased to speak, several 
knights and barons raised their voices in reply. The Chris- 
tians, they said, were come into Asia to expiate their own 
sins, and not to punish the crimes of the Greeks. They had 
taken up arms to defend Jerusalem, and not to destroy Con- 
stantinople. It was true they must consider the Greeks as 
heretics, but it was not more just for them to massacre them 
than to massacre the Jews ; when the Christian warriors 
assumed the cross, God did not put into their hands the 
sword of justice. In a word, the barons found much more 
policy than religion in that which they had heard, and could 
not conceive that it was right to undertake an enterprise 

* Odo de Deuil gives an account of this deliberation, ard reports the 
spc<ech of the bishop of Langres, on whom he bestows the greatest praiso. 


which was not in accordance with the principles oi honour. 
Neither had they faith in the misfortunes with which thej 
were threatened, and relied upon Providence and their own 
valour to enable them to surmount all obstacles. The most 
fervent of the pilgrims dreaded any delay in the march of 
the Crusaders, and this fear increased their scruples ; at 
length the loyalty of the knights, the general pious impa- 
tience to behold the sacred places, and perhaps also the pre- 
sents and the seductions of Manuel, procured a triumph for 
the party advocating moderation. 

The emperor was nevertheless alarmed at seeing a body of 
warriors, full of confidence and coiu-age, thus deliberate so 
near to him on the conquest of his capital. The homage 
that the barons and knights paid him did not at all re-assure 
him as to their intentions. To hasten their departure, he 
caused a report to be spread that the Grermans had gained 
great victories over the Turks, and that they had made 
themselves masters of Iconium. This succeeded even be- 
yond Manuel's hopes. 

When the Crusaders, impatient to pursue the Turks, were 
leaving Constantinople, they were surprised by an eclipse of 
the sun. A superstitious multitude saw in this phenomenon 
nothing but a fatal presage, and believed it to be either the 
warning of some great calamity, or of some new treachery 
on the part of Manuel ; and the fears of the pilgrims were 
not long in being reahzed. Scarcely had they entered 
Bithynia when they were taught how to appreciate the false 
reports and perfidy of the Grreeks. Louis, when encamped 
upon the shores of the Lake Ascanius, in the neighbourhood 
of Nice, received information of the complete defeat of the 
Germans. The sultan of Iconium, on the approach of the 
Christians of the West, had assembled all his forces, and at 
the same time solicited the aid of the other Mussulman 
powers to defend the passages of Asia Minor. Conrad, 
whom William of Tyre styles vir simplex, whom le Pere 
Maimbourg compares to a victim crowned with flowers that 
is being led to slaughter, had advanced, on the faith of some 
unknown guides, into the mountains ot Cappadocia. Impa- 
tient to be before the French, for whom he was to hava 
waited, he marched on in perfect ignorance of the roads, and 
^"ithout provisions to feed the multitude which followed him. 


At a time that he entertained no suspicion of their vicinity, 
he was surprised by the Turks, who covered the summits oi 
the mountains, and rushed down upon the exhausted and 
famished Christians.* The Mussulmans were lightly armed, 
and performed their evolutions with the greatest rapidity. 
The Grermans could scarcely move under the weight of their 
bucklers, corselets, and steel brassets ; every day skirmishes 
were fought, in which the Christians had the disadvantage. 
Such as were more lightly armed, and bore sheep-skin buck- 
lers, sometimes would rush among the enemy and put them 
to flight ; but the Turks soon rallied upon the heights, and 
darted down again, like birds of prey, upon the terrified 
Christians. A crowd of pilgrims, whose arms only consisted 
of their scrip and staff, created tlie greatest trouble and con- 
fusion in the Christian army. The Mussulmans took advan- 
tage of their disorder, and never allowed their enemies a 
moment's repose. Despair and terror put an end to all dis- 
cipline among the Crusaders ; they no longer obeyed the 
orders of their leaders, but every one sought to insure his 
own safety by flight. At length the rout became general ; 
the country was covered with fugitives, who wandered about 
at hazard, and found no asylum against the conquerors. 
Some perished with want, others fell beneath the swords of 
the Mussulmans ; the women and children were carried oflp 
with the baggage, and formed a part of the enemy's booty 
Conrad, who had scarcely saved the tenth part of his army, 
was himself wounded by two arrows, and only escaped the 
pursuit of the Saracens by a kind of miracle. 

The news of this disaster threw the French "nto the 
greatest consternation. Louis, accompanied by his bravest 
warriors, flew to the assistance of Conrad. The two monarchs 
embraced in tears. Conrad related the particulars of his 
defeat, and complained the more bitterly of the perfidy of 
Manuel, from feeling the necessity of excusing his own im- 
prudence. The two princes renewed their oath to repair 
together to Palestine, but the emperor of Germany did not 
keep his word. Whether he was ashamed of being without 

* Otto of Frisingen, an ocular witness, gives none of the details of the 
rout of the Germans, saying as his excuse that he had nothing agreeable 
to relate. The Gesta Ludovici and William of Tyre supply the silence ol 
Otto of Frisingen. 


an army, whether he could not endure the hau'^htiness of 
the French, or that he dreaded their too just reproaches, he 
Bent back the few troops he had left, and returned to Con- 
stantinople, where he was very well received, because he waa 
no longer to be feared. 

The French army, in the mean time, pursued its march, 
and, leaving Mount Olympus on its left, and Mount Ida on 
its right, passed through ancient Phrygia. The French, 
on their passage, passed Pergamus, Ephesus, and several 
other celebrated cities, which the Greeks had allowed to go 
to ruin. Winter was coming on, and the abundant rains 
and melted snows had swollen the rivers till they overflowed 
the country, and made the roads impracticable. The inha- 
bitants of the mountains, a savage, wild people, fled away at 
the approach of the Christians, taking with them their 
flocks, and all that they possessed. The inhabitants of the 
cities shut their gates against the Crusaders, and refused 
provisions to all who had not full value to give in return. 
Whilst the French army was crossing Phrygia, Manuel sent 
ambassadors to the king of France, to inform him that the 
Turks were assembling in all parts for the purpose of im- 
peding his march. He offered the Crusaders an asylum in 
the cities of the empire ; but this offer, accompanied by 
menaces, appeared to be only a snare, and Louis preferred 
braving the enmity of the Turks to trusting to the promises 
of the Greeks. The Christian army pursuing its march 
towards the frontiers of Phrygia, arrived at last at the banks 
of the Meander, towards the embouchure of the Lycus. 
The Turks, who had destroyed the army of the Germans, 
prepared to dispute the passage of the river with the French. 
Some were encamped on the mountains, others on the banks ; 
the rains had swollen the Meander, and the passage was 
difficult and dangerous. 

Animated by the speeches and the example of their king, 
no obstacle could stop the French. In vain the Turks 
showered their arrows upon them, or formed their battle- 
array on the banks ; the French army crossed the river, 
broke througli the ranks of the barbarians, slauf,/itered 
vast numbers of them, and pursued them to the foot of 
the moimtains. The two shores of the Meander were 
covered with the bodies of the Turks : the historian Nice* 


tas,* who some years after saw their heaped-up bones, could 
not help saying, whilst praising the courage of the Franks, 
" that if such men did not take Constantinople, their mode- 
ration and patience were much to be admired." 

After the battle they had fought with the Saracens, some 
pilgrims asserted that they had seen a knight, clothed in 
white, march at the head of the army, and give the signal for 
victory. Odo of Deuil, an ocular witness, speaks of thia 
apparition, without giving faith to it, and satisfies himself 
with saying that the Christians would not have triumphed 
over the Turks without the protection and the will of God. 

This .victory gave great confidence to the Crusaders, and 
rendered their enemies more cautious. The Turks, whom it 
was impossible to pursue far in an unknown country, rallied 
again after the battle of the Meander. Less confident in 
their strength, and not daring to attack an army that had 
conquered them, they watched for a moment in which they 
might safely surprise them. The imprudence of a leader 
who commanded the French vanguard soon presented to 
them this opportunity. On quitting Laodicea, a city 
situated on the Lycu«, the Crusaders had directed their 
course towards the mountains which separate Phrygia from 
Pisidia. These mountains ofiered nothing but narrow pas- 
sages, in which they constantly marched between roqjts and 
precipices. The French army was divided into two bodies, 
commanded every day by new leaders, who receiyed their 
orders from the king. 

Every evening they laid down in council the route they 
were to follow the next day, and appointed the place where 
tlie army was to encamp. One day when they had to cross 
one of the highest mountains, the order had been given to 
the vanguard to encamp on the height-s, and to wait for the 
rest of the army, so that they might do«cend into the plain 
the next day in order of battle. Geotfrcy de Ran9on, lord 
of Taillebourg, this day commanded the ^r.«t body of the 
French army, and bore the Oriflamme, or ^oyal standard. 

^ Nicetas, in his account, confounds the army of Iht F.ench with that 
of the Germans, who did not fight on the banks of tht l^eander ; all 
which Louis did he attributes to Conrad. The German hi«\t)rians hava 
followed him, and state the victory near the Meander to have been gained 
by the sovereign of their own nation. 


He arrived early at the spot where he was to pass the night 
which offered no retreat for his soldiers but woods, ravines, 
*ind barren rocks. At the foot of the mountain they beheld 
an extensive and commodious valley ; the day was jBue, and 
the troops were in a condition to march without fatigue 
Beveral hours longer. The count de Maurienne, brother of 
the king, Queen Eleanor, and all the ladies of her suite, who 
had accompanied the vanguard, pressed Greoffrey de Ean9on 
to descend into the plain. He had the weakness to comply 
with their wishes ; but scarcely had he gained the valley, 
when the Turks took possession of the heights he had 
passed, and ranged themselves in order of battle. 

During this time the rearguard of the army, in which was 
the king, advanced full of confidence and security ; on seeing 
troops in the woods and on the rocks, they supposed them 
to be the Erench, and saluted them with cries of joy They 
marched without order, the beasts of burde.l and the chariots 
were mingled with the battalions, and the greater part of 
the soldiers had left their arms with the baggage. The 
Turks, perfectly motionless, waited in silence till the Chris- 
tian army should be enclosed in the defiles, and when they 
thought themselves sure of victory, they moved forward, 
uttering frightfuJ. cries, and, sword in hand, fell upon the 
unarmed Christians, who had no time to rally. The disorder 
and confusion of the French army cannot be described. 
"Above us," says an ocular Avitness, "steep rocks rose up 
to the clouds ; beneath us precipices, dug by the torrent, 
descended to the infernal regions." The Crusaders were 
upon a narrow path, upon which men and horses could 
neither advance nor retreat ; they dragged each other down 
into the abysses ; whilst rocks, detached from the tops of the 
mountains, rolling down with horrible noise, crushed every- 
thing in their passage. 

The cries of the wounded and the dying mingled with the 
confused roar of the torrents, the hissing of the arrows, and 
the neighing of the terrified horses. In this frightful tumult 
the leaders gave no orders, and the soldiers coidd neither 
fight nor fly. The bravest rallied around the king, and 
advanced towards the top of the mountain. Thirty of the 
principal nobles that accompanied Louis perished by hia 
Bide, sellmg their Uvea dearly. The king remained almost 

Voi 1—17 


alone on the field of battle, and took refuge upon a rockj 
whence he braved the attack of the infidels who pursued 
him. With his back against a tree, he singly resisted th« 
eiforts of several Saracens, who, taking him for a simple 
soldier, at length left him, to secure their share of the pil- 
lage. Although the night began to fall, the king expected 
to be attacked again, when the voices of some Frenchmen 
who had escaped the carnage, gave him the agreeable infor- 
mation that the Turks had retired. He mounted a stray 
horse, and, after a thousand perils, rejoined his vanguard, 
where all were lamenting his death. 

After this defeat, in which the king had been exposed to 
such dangers, the report of his death was not only spread 
throughout the East, but reached Europe, where it filled the 
Christians, particularly the Erench, with grief and terror. 
Wil'iam of Tyre, whilst relating the disastrous defeat of the 
Crusaders, exp:.\?sses astonishment that Grod, always full of 
mercy, should have allowed so many illustrious warriors 
armed in his cause, to perish so miserably. The Crusaders 
who formed the vanguard of the army, whilst deploring the 
death of their brethren, raised their voices against Geofirey 
de 3lan9on, and demanded that the loss of so much blood 
shoidd be visited upon him. The king, however, had nob 
wafficient firmness to punish an irreparable fault, and only 
sb far yielded to the wishes of the barons and the soldiers 
as to give them as a leader an old warrior named Gilbert, 
whose skill and bravery were the boast of the whole army. 
Gilbert shared the command with Evrard des Barres, grand 
master of the Templars, who had come, with a great number 
of his knights, to meet the Christian army. Under these 
two leaders, whom the king himself obeyed, the Crusaders 
continued their march, and avenged their defeat several times 
upon the Mussulmans. 

On their arrival in Pisidia the French had almost every- 
where to defend themselves against the perfidy of the Greeks 
and the attacks of the Turks ; but winter was even a more 
dangerous enemy than these t© the Christian army. Tor- 
rents of rain fell every day ; cold and humidity enervated 
the powers of the soldiers ; and the greater part of the 
horses, being destitute of forage, perished, and only served 
to feed the army, which was without provisions. The clothef 


of the soldiers hung about them in rags ; the Crusadera 
sold or abandoned their arms ; the tents and baggage lay 
scattered on the roads, and the army dragged in its train a 
crowd of sick, and numbers of poor pilgrims, who made the 
air resound with their cries and lamentations. The king of 
Erance consoled them by his discourses, and relieved them 
by his charitable gifts ; for in the midst of so many reversed 
God alone seemed to sustain his coiu*age. " Never," says 
Odo of Deuil, " did he pass a single day without hearing 
mass, and without invoking the God of the Christians." 

At last the Christians arrived before the walls of Attalia, 
idtuated on the coast of PamphyHa, at the mouth of the river 
Cestius. This city, inhabited by Greeks, was governed in 
the name of the emperor of Constantinople. As the inha- 
bitants were mistrustful of the intentions of the Christian 
army, they refused to open their gates to them, and the 
Crusaders were obHged to encamp on the neighbouring 
plains, exposed to aU the rigours of the season. 

They could neither find provisions for themselves nor 
forage for their horses in a barren uncultivated country, 
constantly ravaged by the Turks. The Greeks refused to 
assist them in their distress, and sold them everything at 
its weight in gold. Famine, and the evils which the Chris- 
tians had hitherto suffered, became still more insupportable 
to them when they lost all hope. Louis YII. having called 
a council, the chief men of the army represented to him 
that the Crusaders were without horses and without arms, 
they were not in a condition to give an enemy battle, nor 
could they support the fatigues of a long march. There 
remained, they added, no other resource for the Christians 
but to abandon themselves to the perils of the sea.* The 
king did not agree with their opinion, and wished that they 
should only embark the multitude of pilgrims that embar- 
rassed the march of the army. "As for us," said he, "we 
will redouble our courage, and we will follow the route 
which our fathers, wlio conquered Antioch and Jerusalem, 
followed. Whilst anything remains to me, I will share it 
with my companions ; and when I shall have nothing left, 

* The Crusaders had then a march of forty days before them to arrivt 
at Antioch by land. They niijjht have reached it in three days by sea. 


(s'liich of you will not undergo with me poverty and misery ?*^ 
The barons, touched with this speech, swore to die with 
their king, but were not willing to die without glory. Ani- 
mated by the example of Louis, they might triumph over 
the Turks, over their misfortunes, and the rigours of winter ; 
but they were without defence against famine and the per- 
fidy of the Grreeks. They reproached Louis YII. with not 
ha\TLng followed the counsels of the bishop of Langres, and 
with having pardoned enemies more cruel than the Mussul- 
mans, more dangerous than the tempests or rocks of the 

As at the end of this council, strong murmurs against the 
Greeks arose in the Christian army, the governor of Attalia 
became fearful of the effects of despair, and came to offer 
Louis vessels, in which to embark all the Crusaders. This 
proposition was accepted ; but they had to w^ait for the pro- 
mised vessels more than five weeks. In so long a delay the 
Crusaders consumed aU the resources they had left, and 
many died of hunger and misery ; the vessels which at 
length arrived in the ports of Attalia, w^ere neither large 
enough nor sufficient in number to embark the whole Chris- 
tian army. The Crusaders then perceived the abyss of evils 
into which they were about to fall; but such was their 
resignation, or rather the deplorable state of the army, that 
they committed no violence towards the Grreeks, and did not 
even threaten a single city which refused to help them. 

A crowd of poor pilgrims, among whom were barons and 
knights, appeared before the king, and spoke to him in these 
terms : — " We have not means wherewith to pay for our 
passage, and we cannot foUow you into Syria; we remain 
here victims to misery and disease ; when you shall have left 
us, we shall be exposed to greater perils ; and being attacked 
by the Turks is the least of the misfortunes we have to 
dread. E^member that we are Pranks, that we are Chris- 
tians ; give us leaders who may console us for your absence, 
and assist us to endure the fatigue, the hunger, and the 
death which await us." Louis, in order to reassure them, 
spoke to them in the most feeling terms, and distributed 
considerable sums amongst them. He was as liberal in ^is 
assistance, says Odo de Deuil, as if he had lost nothing, or 
wanted nothing for himself. He sent for the governor of 


jlttalia, and gave him fifty silver marks to provide for the 
sick who remained m the cit j, and to conduct the land array 
as far as the coasts of Cilicia. 

Louis VII. gave as leaders for aU who could not embark, 
Thierri count of Flanders and Archambaud de Bourbon ; he 
then went on board the fleet that had been prepared for 
him, accompanied by the queen Eleanor, the principal lords 
of his court, and all that remained of his cavalry. Whilst 
looking at the Crusaders whom he left at Attalia, the king 
of France could not refrain from tears ; a multitude of pil- 
grims assembled upon the shore, followed with their eyes the 
vessel in which he had embarked, putting up vows for his 
voyage ; and when they had lost sight of him, they thought 
of nothing but theii' own dangers, and sank into the deepest 

On the day following the departure of Louis YIL, the 
pilgrims, who were expecting the escort and the guides that 
had been promised them, saw the Turks come upon them, 
■'ager for murder and pillage. Archambaud and Thierri for 
a moment re-animated the courage of the Crusaders, and 
sereral times repulsed the infidels. But the Turks returned 
to the charge Avithout ceasing ; every day the Christians 
sustained fresh encounters without being able to compel 
their enemy to retreat. The Greeks would not consent to 
receive them into the city, and there remained to the Cru- 
saders no means of safety. Despair stifled in their breasts 
even the sentiments of humanity ; every one of these unfor- 
tunate wretches became insensible to the fate of his com- 
panions, and felt nothing but his own ills, saw nothing but 
his own dangers. The soldiers did not endeavour to rally 
or to succour each other ; they no longer recognised or fol- 
lowed leaders ; the leaders themselves were no longer guided 
by the spirit of religion, or governed by the love of glory. 
In the midst of the general desolation, Archambaud and 
Thierri, only anxious to avoid death, threw themselves on 
board a vessel which was going to join the fleet of Louis VII. 
The horrible disorder that then reigned anvong the mise- 
rable remains of the Christian army and the sick in the city 
of 'Attalia, is perfectly beyond description. 

Two troops of pilgrims, one of three thousand and the 
other of four thousand, resolved to brave all dangers and 


fnarcli towards Cilicia. They had no boats to cross over- 
flowing rivers ; they had no arms with which to resist the 
Turks, and they almost all perished. Others who followed 
them shared the same fate, whilst the sick in the c:ty of 
Attalia were ruthlessly massacred. It has been a painful 
task for the historian to record even a few details of these 
frightful disasters ; and it is in this place we find the words 
of the old chronicles so applicable — " God alone knows the 
number of the martyrs whose blood flowed beneath the 
blade of the Turks, and even under the sword of the 

Many Christians, bewildered by despair, believed that the 
God who thus left them a prey to so many ills could not be 
the true God ;* three thousand of them embraced the faith 
of Mahomet and joined the Mussulmans, who took pity on 
their wretchedness. The Greeks were soon punished for 
their perfidious cruelty ; pestilence uniting its ravages with 
those of war, left the city of Attalia almost without inhabi- 
tants, a very few weeks after the departure of'Louis YII. 

When Louis arrived in the principaKty of Antioch,t he 
had lost three-fourths of his army ; but he was not the less 
warmly welcomed by Raymond of Poictiers. The French 
who accompanied him soon forgot, in the midst of pleasures, 
both the dangers of their voyage and the deplorable death 
of their companions. 

Antioch could then boast of having within its walls the 
countess of Thoulouse, the countess of Blois, Sibylla of 
Flanders, Maurille countess de Koussy, Talquery duchess 
de Bouillon, and several other ladies celebrated for their 
birth or their beauty. The fetes which E/aymond gave 
them received additional splendour from the presence of 
Eleanor of Guienne. This young princess, daughter of 
"William IX. and niece of the prince of Antioch, united the 
most seducing gifts of mind to the graces of her person- 
She had been much admired at Constantinople, and had 
folmd no rival in the court of Manuel. She was accused, 
and vdth some reason, of being more desirous of admiration 
than became a Christian queen. It was neither sincere 

* Odo de Deuil is the only writer who speaks of these events ; but his 
iccount appears to us full of obscurity in some parts. 
t The 19th of March, 1148. 


Eicty nor an inclination to perform penance, that had led 
er to make a pilgrimage to Constantinople. The fatigues 
and dangers of the journey, the misfortunes of the Cru- 
saders, the remembrance of the holy places, always present 
to the minds of true pilgrims, had not in the least abated 
her too lively taste for pleasures, or her strong inclination 
for gallantry. 

E-aymond of Poictiers, amidst the fetes given to Queen 
Eleanor, did not forget the interests of his principality; he 
was anxious to weaken the power of Noureddin, the mo^t 
formidable enemy of the Christian colonies, and ardently 
desired that the Crusaders would assist him in this enter- 
prise. Caresses, prayers, presents, nothing was spared to 
engage them to prolong their sojourn in his states. The 
prince of Antioch addressed himself at first to the king of 
France, and proposed to him, in a council of the barons, to 
besiege the cities of Aleppo and Csesarea, in Syria. This 
enterprise, which favoured his ambition, offered real advan- 
tages to all the Christian states of the East, which were 
threatened by the const^ftitly increasing power of Noureddin; 
but Louis yiL, who had been only brought into Asia by a 
spirit of devotion, answered Raymond that he could engage 
himself in no war before he had visited the holy places. 

The prince of Antioch did not allow himself to be dis- 
couraged by this refusal ; he employed every means to touch 
the heart of the queen, and resolved to make love subser- 
vient to his designs. William of Tyre, who has left us the 
portrait of Raymond, informs us that he was " 7mld and 
affable of speech* exJiihiting in his countenance and manner, 
I do not know what singular grace and hehaviour of an exceU 
lent and magnanimous prince.''^ He undertook to persuade 
Queen Eleanor to prolong her stay in the principality of 
Antioch. It was then the beginning of spring ; the smiling 
banks of the Orontes, the groves of Daphne, and the beau- 
tiful skies of Syria, doubtless added their charms to the in- 
sinuating speeches of Raymond. The queen, seduced by 
the prayers of this prince, infatuated wdth the homage of a 
voluptuous and brilliant court, and, if historians may be be- 
lieved, too much disposed to pleasures and indulgences un- 

* See the translation of William of Tyre, book xiii. ch. 21. 


worthy of her, warmly solicited the king to delay his departure 
for the holy city. The king, in addition to an austere devotion, 
possessed a jealous and suspicious disposition ; the motivea 
therefore that made the queen desirous of remaining at An- 
tioch strengthened his determination to go to Jerusalem. 
The instances of Eleanor filled his mind with suspicions, and 
rendered him still more inexorable ; upon which E-aymond, 
disappointed in his hopes, was loud in his complaints, and 
determined to be revenged. This prince, says William of 
Tyre, " was impetuous in his will, and of so choleric a dis^ 
position, that when he was excited he listened to 7ieither rhyme 
nor reason.'*^ He easily communicated his indignation to 
the mind of Eleanor, and this princess at once boldly formed 
the project of separating herself from Louis VII., and of 
dissolving their marriage, under the plea of relationship. 
Haymond, on his part, swore to employ force and violence 
to detain his niece in his dominions. At length the king of 
Erance, outraged both as a husband and a sovereign, resolved 
to precipitate his departure, and was obhged to carry off his 
own wife, and bear her into his camp by night. 

The conduct of the queen must have scandalized both the 
infidels and the Christians of the East ; and her example was 
likely to produce fatal effects in an army in which there were 
a great number of women. Among the crowd of knights, 
and even of Mussulmans, who during her abode at Antioch 
by turns were favoured by her partiality,* a young Turk is 
particularly mentioned, who received costly presents from 
her, and for whom she desired to abandon the king of France. 
In such affairs, ingeniously remarks Mezerai, " more is fre- 
quently said than there is ; hut sometimes also there is more 
than is said^ However that may be, Louis VJl. could not 
forget his dishonour, and felt obliged some years after to re- 
pudiate Eleanor, who married Henry IL, and bestowed the 
duchy of Gruienne upon England, which was for Erance one 
of the most deplorable consequences of this second crusade. 

* Some romancers, and even some historians, have advanced that Eleanor 
of Guienne was in love with Saladin, who founded the dynasty of the 
Ayoubites. Saladin, the son of Ayoub, was born the same year that 
Eleanor married Louis VII., and was scarcely ten years old at the tima 
of the second crusade. Her second son, by Henry II. of England* 
became the great rival of Saladin in military glory. — ^Trans. 


The king and the ba?rons of Jerusalem, who dreaded the 
stay of Louis VII. at Antioch, sent deputies to conjure him, 
in the name of Jesus Christ, to hasten his march towards 
the holy city. The king of Erance yielded to their wishes, 
and crossed Syria and Phoenicia without stopping at the 
court of the count of Tripoli, who entertained the same pro- 
jects as Kaymond of Poictiers. His arrival in the Holy Land 
created the greatest enthusiasm, and re-animated the hopes 
of the Christians. The people, the princes, and the prelates 
of Jerusalem came out to meet him, bearing in their hands 
branches of olive, and singing the same words as the Saviour 
of the world was saluted with — " Blessed he he iclio comes in 
the name of the Lord^ The emperor of Germany, who had 
left Eiu-ope at the head of a powerful army, had just reached 
Jerusalem in the character of a simple pilgrim. The two 
monarchs embraced, wept over their misfortunes, and re- 
pairing together to the church of the Hesurrection, adored 
the inscrutable decrees of Providence. 

Baldwin III., who then reigned at Jerusalem, was a young 
prince of great hope ; and being as impatient to extend his 
own renowTi as to enlarge his kingdom, he neglected no 
means to obtain the confidence of the Crusaders, and urge 
on the war against the Saracens. An assembly was con- 
voked at Ptolemais, to deliberate upon the operations of this 
crusade. The emperor Conrad, the king of France, and the 
young king of Jerusalem repaired thither, accompanied by 
their barons and their knights. The leaders of the Chris- 
tian armies, and the heads of the Church deliberated toge- 
ther upon the subject of the holy war in the presence of 
Queen Melisinde, the marchioness of Austria, and several 
other Q-erman and Prench ladies, who had followed the 
Crusaders into Asia. In this brilliant assembly the Chris- 
tians were astonished at not seeing the queen, Eleanor of 
Guienne, and were thus reminded with regret of the sojourn 
at Antioch. The absence of Raymond of Antioch, and the 
counts of Edessa and Tripoli, who had not been invited to 
the meeting, must necessarily have created sad reflections, 
and given birth to presages upon the effects of discord among 
the Christians of the East. 

The name if the unfortunate Josselin was scarcely men- 
tioned in the eo aneil of the princes and barons ; nothing 



was said of Edessa, the loss of which had raised the entire 
West to arms, nor of the conquest of Aleppo, which had 
been proposed by Eaymond .^f Antioch. From the begin- 
ning of the reign of Baldwin, the princes and lords of Pales- 
tine had cherished a project for extending their conquests 
beyond Libanus, and gaining possession of Damascus, As 
the Christians, when they entered into a Mussulman pro- 
vince or city, divided amongst them the lands and the 
houses of the conquered, the people who dwelt on the bar- 
ren mountains of Jiidea, the greater part of the warriors of 
Jerusalem, and even the clergy, all appeared to direct their 
wishes towards the territory of Damascus, which offered the 
rich booty to its captors of pleasant habitations, and fields 
covered with golden harvests. The hope of driving the 
Mussulmans from a fertile province, and enriching them- 
selves with their spoils, made them even forgetful of the re- 
doubtable power of Noureddin and the Attabecks. In the 
assembly at Ptolemais, it was resolved to commence the war 
by the siege of Damascus. 

All the troops assembled in Galilee in the beginning of the 
spring, and advanced towards the source of the Jordan, com- 
manded by the king of France, the emperor of Germany, and 
the king of Jerusalem, preceded by the patriarch of the holy 
city, bearing the true cross. The Christian army, to which 
were attached the knights of the Temple, and of St. John, 
in the early days of June set out from Melchisapar, a little 
city, memorable for the miraculous conversion of St. Paul, 
and crossing the chains of Libanus, encamped near the town 
of Dary, from whence they could see the city of Damascus. 

Damascus is situated at the foot of the Anti-Libanus, 
forty-five leagues from Jerusalem ; hills covered with trees 
and verdure arise in the neighbourhood of the city, and in 
its territory were several towns which have maintained a 
name in history. A river which falls impetuously from the 
mountains, rolls over a golden-coloured sand, and separating 
into several branches, waters the city, and bears freshness 
and fertility to the valley of Ahennefsage, or the valley of 
violets, planted with all sorts of fruit-trees. The city of 
Damascus was celebrated in the remotest antiquity, having 
Been both the rise and fall of the city of Palmyra, whose 
ruins are still objects of curiosity and wonder in its nei^h- 


liourhood. Ezekiel boasts of its delicious wines, its mime 
rous workshops, and its wools of admirable tints ; and severa4 
passages of Scripture represent Damascus as the abode of 
Toluptuousness and delight. The beauty of its gardens, and 
the magnificence of its public edifices, many of which were 
built of marble of different colours, were much admired. 

Damascus, after being conquered in turn by the Hebrews, 
the kings of Assyria, and the successors of Alexander, fell 
into the hands of the Eomans. From the age of Augustus 
the preaching of St. Paid had filled it with Christians ; but 
at the beginning of the Hegira it was attacked and taken 
by the lieutenants of Mahomet, and a great part of the 
inhabitants, who, after capitulation, endeavoured to seek an 
asylum in Constantinople, were pursued and massacred by 
the fierce conquerors, in the territories of Tripoli. 

Erom this time, Damascus, which formed a government 
or a principality, had remained in the power of the Mussul- 
mans. At the period of the second crusade, this principality, 
attacked by turns by the Franks, the Ortokides, and the 
Attabecks, and almost reduced to nothing but its capital, 
belonged to a Mussulman prince, who had no less occasion 
to defend himself against the ambition of the emirs than 
the invasion of foreign enemies. Noureddin, master of 
Aleppo and several other cities of Syria, had already made 
several attempts to gain possession of Damascus, and had 
by no means abandoned the hopes of uniting it to his other 
conquests, when the Christians formed the resolution of 
besieging it. 

The city was defended by high walls on the east and the 
south; whilst on the west and the north it had no other de- 
fence but its numerous gardens, planted with trees, in all parta 
of which were raised palisades, walls of earth, and little towers, 
in which they could place archers. The Crusaders, when 
ready to begin the siege, resolved in a council to take pos- 
session of the gardens first, hoping to find therein water and 
abundance of fruits. But the enterprise was not without 
great difficulties ; for the orchards, which extended to the 
foot of the Anti-Libanus, were like a vast forest, crossed by 
narrow paths, in which two rien could scarcely walk abreast. 
The infidels had every wheie thrown up intrenchments, 
where they could, without duigor to themselves, resist the 


attacks of the Crusaders. Nothing could, hDwever, damp 
the bravery and ardour of the Christian army, which pene- 
trated on several sides into the gardens. From the heights 
of the little towers, from the interior of the wall enclosures, 
and from the bosoms of the bushy trees, clouds of arrows 
and javelins were showered upon them. Every step taken 
by the Christians in these covered places was marked by a 
oombat in which they could scarcely see their enemy. The 
infidels, however, attacked without intermission, were, in the 
end, obHged to abandon the positions they had occupied and 
fortified. The king of Jerusalem marched first at the head 
of his army and the knights of St. John and of the Temple ; 
after the Christians of the East, advanced the French Cru- 
saders, commanded by Louis VII. ; whilst the emperor of 
Germany, who had got together the poor remains of his 
army, formed the body of reserve, to protect the besiegers 
from the surprises of the enemy. 

The king of Jerusalem pursued the Mussulmans with 
ardour ; his soldiers rushing with him into the midst of tha 
enemy's ranks, comparing their leader to David, who, accord- 
ing to Josephus, had conquered a king of Damascus. The 
Saracens, after an obstinate resistance, united on the banks 
of the river which flows under its walls, to drive away with 
arrows and stones the crowd of Christians brought thither 
by fatigue and heat. The warriors commanded by Baldwin 
endeavoured several times to break through the army of the 
Mussulmans, but always met with an invincible resistance. 
It was then the emperor of Germany signalized his bravery 
by a deed of arms worthy of the heroes of the first crusade. 
EoUowed by a small number of his people, he passed through 
the French army, whom the difiiculties of the situation 
almost prevented from fighting, and took his place in the 
vanguard of the Crusaders. Nothing could resist the impe- 
tuosity of his attack, all who opposed him falling beneath 
his arm ; when a Saracen of gigantic stature, and completely 
clothed in armour, advanced to meet him, and defy him to 
the combat. The emperor at once accepted the challenge, 
and flew to meet the Mussulman warrior. At the sight of 
this singular combat, the two armies remained motionless, 
waiting in fear, tiU one of the champions had defeated the 
other, to re-commence the battle. The Saracen warrior waa 


Boon hurled from his horse, and Conra-d with one blow of his 
sword, dealt upon the shoulder of the Mussulman, divided 
his body into two parts.* This prodigy of valour an(f 
strength redoubled the ardour of the Christians, and spread 
terror among the infidels. From this moment the Mussul- 
mans began to seek safety withm the waUs of the city, and 
left the Crusaders masters of the banks of the river. 

Eastern authors speak of the fright of the inhabitants of 
Damascus after the victory of the Christians. The Mussul- 
mans prostrated themselves f upon ashes during several days; 
they exposed in the middle of the great mosque, the Koran 
compiled by Omar ; and women and children gathered around 
the sacred book to invoke the aid of Mahomet against their 
enemies. The besieged already contemplated abandoning 
the city ; they placed in the streets, towards the entrance 
into the gardens, large posts, chains, and heaps of stones, in 
order to retard the march of the besiegers, and thus to afford 
them time to fly with their riches and their families by the 
north and south gates. 

The Christians were so thoroughly persuaded they should 
shortly be masters of Damascus, that it became a question 
among the leaders, to whom the sovereignty of the city 
should be given. The greater part of the barons and lords 
who were in the Christian army, courted the favour of the 
king of France and the emp<?ror of Germany, and all at 
once forgot the siege of the city, in their earnest endeavours 
to obtain the government of it Thierri of Alsace, count of 
Manders, who had been twice in Palestine before the cru- 
sade, and who had given up to his family all his possessions 
in Europe, solicited the principality more warmly than the 
others, and prevailed over his oppoxients and rivals. This 
preference gave birth to jealousy, and infused discouragement 
in the army ; as long as the city thev were about to conquer 
remained a bait for their ambition, the leaders showed them- 

* Percussit eum inter coUum et sinistrum hu«ne*um ictu mirabili ; ita 
quod ensis secuit totum pectus cum humeris et descendit obliquando 
usque ad latus dextrum, taliter quod pars dexterior ab&'^issH penitus cum 
capite cecidit super terram, et tunc omnes Turci, qui ictum t^m formida- 
Wlem vitierant stupefacti, statim fug^ remedio nostrorum gladios evase- 
runt. — G. C. chap. ii. 

t All these details, and some others which were not knoi 'Ti to tne 
BUthors of the West, are taken from the Arabian chronicle of Ibufemi, 


selves full of ardour and courage, but when they were with* 
out liope, some remained inactive, whilat others, no lougei 
regarding the Christian glory as their own cause, sought 
every means to insure the failure of an enterprise from 
which they should reap no personal advantage. 

The leaders of the besieged took advantage of these feel- 
ings to open negotiations with the Crusaders. Their threats, 
their promises and presents, succeeded in destroying what 
remained of the zeal and enthusiasm of the Christians. 
They addressed themselves particularly to the barons of 
Syria, and exhorted them to be on their guard against war- 
riors come, as they said, from the "West, to take possession 
of the Christian cities of Asia. Th^y threatened to deliver 
up Damascus to the new master of the East, Noureddin, 
whom nothing could resist, and who would soon take pos- 
session of the kingdom of Jerusalem. The barons of Syria, 
whether deceived by these speeches, or that, in their hearts, 
they dreaded the successes of the Franks who had come to 
succour them, employed themselves only in retarding the 
operations of a siege they had themselves prosecuted with 
ardour ; and, abusing the confidence of the Crusaders, 
they proposed a plan, which, being adopted too lightly, com- 
pleted the ruin of aU the hopes that had been built on this 

In a council, the barons of Syria proposed to the leaders 
to change the mode of attack ; the closeness of the gardens 
s,nd the river, said they, prevented the placing of the ma- 
chines of war in an advantageous manner ; and the Christian 
army, in the position it occupied, might be surprised, and 
ran the risk of being surrounded by the enemy without the 
power of defending itself. It appeared to them, therefore, 
much more certain and safe to assault the city on the south 
and east sides. 

Most of the chiefs possessed more valour than prudence, 
and the confidence which victory inspired made them think 
everything possible ; besides, how could they mistrust the 
Christians of the East, for whom they had taken up arms, 
and who were their brothers ? In addition to this, the fear 
of dragging out the siege to a greaj length made them adopt 
the advice of the barons of Syria. After having changed 
their points of attack, the Christian army, instead of find'ng 


easy access to the place, saw nothing before them but towers 
and impregnable ramparts. Scarcely had the Christians 
seated themselves in their new camp when the city of 
Damascus received within its walls a troop of twenty thou- 
sand Curds and TLu-comans, determined to defend it. The 
besieged, whose courage was raised by the arrival of these 
auxiliaries, put on, says an Arabian historian, the buckler of 
victory, and made several sorties, in which they gained the 
advantage over the Christians. The Crusaders, on their 
part, made several assaults upon the city, and were always 
repulsed. Encamped upon an arid plain, they were desti- 
tute of water ; all the adjacent country had been devastated 
by the infidels, and the corn that had escaped the ravages of 
war was concealed in caves and subterranean hiding-places, 
which they could not discover. The Christian army wanted 
provisions ; then discord revived among them ; nothing was 
spoken of in the camp but perfidy and treason ; the Chris- 
tians of Syria no longer united with the Christians of 
Europe in their attacks upon the city ; they were soon in- 
formed that the sultans of Aleppo and Mossoul were coming 
with a numerous army ; then they despaired of taking the 
city, and raised the siege. Thus the Christians, without 
having exercised their constancy, or tested their courage, 
abandoned, at the end of a few days, an enterprise, the pre- 
parations for which had cost so much to Europe, and raised 
su(;h expectations in Asia. One of the circumstances of 
this siege the most worthy of remark is, that Ayoub, chief 
of the dynasty of the Ayoubites, commanded the troops of 
Damascus, and that he had with him his son, the young 
Saladin, who was destined one day to be so formidable to 
the Christians, and render himself master of Jerusalem. 
The eldest son of Ayoub having been killed in a sortie, the 
inhabitants of Damascus raised a tomb of marble to his 
memory, which was to be seen under the ramparts of the 
city many centuries after. An old Mussulman priest, who 
had passed more than forty years in a neighbouring cavern, 
was obliged to quit his retreat, and came into the city which 
the Christians were besieging. He regretted his solitude 
troubled by the din of war, and became ambitious of gather- 
ing the palm of martyrdom. In spite of the representations 
of his disciples, he advanced, unarmed, in the front of the 


Crusaders, found on the field of battle the death he 
desired, and was honoured as a saint by the people of 

If we may believe the Arabian historians, the Christian 
ecclesiastics who followed the army negler.ted no means of 
rekindling the enthusiasm of the soldiers of the cross. 
Diu-ing a conflict under the walls of the city, a grey-headed 
Christian priest, mounted on a mule, and carrying a cross in 
his hands, advanced between the two armies, exhorting the 
Crusaders to redouble their bravery and ardour, and pro- 
mising them, in the name of Jesus Christ, the conquest of 
Damascus. The Mussulmans directed all their arrows at 
him ; the Christians pressed around to defend him ; the 
combat became fierce and bloody ; the priest fell at length 
pierced with many wounds, upon a heap of slain, and the 
Crusaders abandoned the field of battle. 

The greater part of both Arabian and Latin authors* 
describe the siege of Damascus in a contradictory manner, 
but all agree in attributing the retreat of the Christians to 
treachery. A Mussulman historian asserts that the king of 
Jerusalem received considerable sums from the inhabitants 
of Damascus, and that he was deceived by the besieged, 
who gave him pieces of lead covered with a thin coatmg of 
gold.f Some Latin authors attribute the shameful raising 
of the siege to the covetousness of the Templars ; others to 
Raymond of Antioch, who burned to revenge himself on the 
king of France. William of Tyre, whose opinion ought to 

* Abulfeda, Abulfarage, and some other Arabian historians speak of 
the siege of Damascus ; but it is difficult to reconcile their p-ccount with 
that of the Latins. We have taicen some few circumstances from them 
that appeared the most probable. The Chronicle of Ibuferat is that which 
gives the most circumstantial details. 

t The Chronicle of Geuvais attributes the retreat of the Christians to 
the perfidy of the Templars : — Cum civitas Christianis reddenda esset, 
accesserunt Templarii, dicentes se primam habituros pugnam, ut omnes 
deinde in communi vicforiam obtinerent, statuerunt itaque tentoria sua 
inter civitatem et exercitum Christianorum, etcum his qui erant in civitate 
paganis proditionis pactum inierunt. Cives igitur eorum agnoscentes 
cupiditatem, promiserunt eis tres cados plenos bisantis aureis, si eos ab 
obsidione liberarent. Delusi itaque Christiani per milites Templi, Damasco 
recesserunt. Post modicum verb cum Templarii promissos a viribua 
recipissent cados, in eisdem non nummos aureos, sed cupreos inrenerantt 
miraculoque qute ascripserunt. 


have great weight, accuses tlie barons cf Syria ;* but sm*ely 
all must blame tlie ignorance and incapacity of the other 
chiefs of the crusade, who followed advice without examining 
it, and proved themselves incapable of remedying an evil 
they had not foreseen. 

After so unfortunate an attempt, it was natural to despair 
of the success of this war. In the council of leaders the 
siege of Ascalon was proposed, but men's minds were soured, 
and their courage was depressed. The king of France and 
the emperor of Germany thought of returning into Europe, 
bearing back no other glory than that of having, the one 
defended his own life against some soldiers on a rock in 
Pamphylia, and the other of having cleft a giant in two 
"luider the walls of Damascus. " From that day," says Wil- 
liam of Tyre, " the condition and state of the Oriental Latins 
began continually to proceed from bad to worse." The Mus- 
sulmans learnt no longer to dread the warriors and princes of 
the West. Full of confidence in their arms, they who had 
only thought of defending themselves, formed the project of 
attacking the Franks, and were excited to their enterprise 
by the hopes of sharing the spoils of an enemy who had 
invaded several of their provinces. Whilst the infidels thus 
regained their daring and their pride, and united against 
their enemies, discouragement took possession of the Chris- 
tians, and the division which prevailed so fatally among 
them weakened every day their spirit and their power. " The 
Franks who returned into Europe" (we leave William of 
Tyre to speak) " could not forget the perfidies of the Oriental 
princes, and not only showed themselves more careless and 
tardy concerning the affairs of the kingdom of Jerusalem, 
but discouraged all those equally who had not been the 
voyage with them, so that they who heard speak of thia 
crusade never after undertook the road of this peregrination 
with so much good- will or so much fervour." 

This crusade was much more unfortunate than the first ; 
no kind of glory mitigated or set off" the reverses of the 
Christians. The leaders committed the same faults that 
Godfrey and his companions had committed ; they neglected, 
as they had done, to found a colony in Asia Minor, and to 

* William of Tyre, b. xvii. chap. 6. 

J572 HisTOKY or the crusades. 

possess themselves of cities wliich might protect the marcli 
of pilgrims into Syria. We admire the patience with which 
the J endured the outrages and tlie perfidies of the Grreeks ; 
but this moderation, more religious than politic, only led 
them to their ruin. We must add that they entertained too 
low an opinion of the Turks, and did not take suificient 
heed of the means necessary to contend with them. The 
Germans, in particular, were so full of confidence, that, 
according to the report of Nicetas, they would rather have 
thought of taking shovels and pick-axes with them than 
swords or lances, believing that they had nothing to do but 
to cut themselves a road across Asia Minor. By another 
singularity, the Crusaders, in this war, did not employ the 
cross-bow, which a council of the Lateran had condemned 
as too murderous, and the use of which was interdicted to 
the warriors of the West. The infantry was left almost 
without arms, and when the Crusaders had lost their cavalry, 
tliey had no defence against an enemy. 

The Christian armies, as in the first crusade, dragged in 
their train a great number of children, women, and old men, 
who could do nothing towards victory, and yet always greatly 
augmented the disorder and despair consequent upon a 
defeat. With this multitude no discipline could be esta- 
blished ; nor is it apparent that the leaders made any attempt 
to prevent the effects of license. Geofirey de Ilan9on, 
whose imprudence caused the destruction of half the French 
army, and placed the king of France in the greatest peril, 
had no other punishment but his repentance, and thought 
he expiated his neglect of duty by prostrating himself at 
the tomb of Christ. That which was still more injurious to 
discipline was the depravity of manners in the Christian 
army, which must be principally attributed to the great 
number of women that had taken arms, and mixed in the 
ranks of the soldiery. In this crusade there was a troop of 
Amazons, commanded by a general whose dress was much 
more admired than her courage, and whose gilded boots 
procured her the name of " the lady with the legs of gold. ^^ 

Another cause of the dissoluteness of manners was the 
extreme facility with which the most vicious men, even con- 
victed malefactors, were admitted among the Crusaders. 
St. Bernard, who coutiidered the crusade as a road to heaven, 


Bummoned the greatest sinners to take part in it, and re- 
joiced at seeing them thus enter into the way of eternal life, 
in a council of Bheims, of which the abbot of Clairvaux waa 
the oracle, it was decreed that incendiaries should be 
punished by serving Grod one year either in Jerusalem or 
Spain. The ardent preacher of the holy war did not reflect 
that great sinners, enrolled under the banners of the cross, 
would be exposed to new temptations, and that dui'ing a 
long voyage it would be much more easy for them to corrupt 
their companions than to amend their own conduct. Dis- 
orders were unhappily tolerated by the leaders, who believed 
that Heaven was ever indulgent towards Crusaders, and did 
not wish to be more severe than it. 

And yet the Christian army, amidst a most frightful state 
of morals, presented examples of an austere piety. Sur- 
rounded by the dangers of war, and harassed by the fatigues 
of a long pilgrimage, the king of France never neglected 
the most minute practices of religion. The greater part of 
the leaders took him for their model, and when in camp, 
paid more attention to religious processions than to military 
exercises ; so that many warriors actually placed more con- 
fidence in their prayers than in their arms. In general, 
through the whole of this crusade, sufficient dependence was 
not placed on human m_eans and human prudence, — every- 
thing was left to Providence, which seldom protects those 
who stray from the ways of reason and wisdom. 

The first crusade had two distinctive characters, — piety 
and heroism ; the second had scarcely any other principle 
but a piety which partook more of the devotion of the 
cloister than of a generous enthusiasm. The influence of 
the monks who had preached it, and who then meddled very 
much in temporal affairs, was but too evident through the 
whole of this crusade. The king of France in his misfor* 
tunes displayed nothing but the resignation of a martyr, and 
in the field of battle was only distinguished by the ardo'-u* 
and courage of a soldier. The emperor of G-ermany did not 
evince greater ability ; he lost all by his mad presumption, 
and from having thought himself able to conquer the Turks 
without the assistance of the French. Both were limited 
in their views, and were greatly wanting in that energy 
which produces great actions. In the expedition which 


tliey directed, there was nothing elevated, everything seemed 
to keep down to the level of their character. In a word, this 
war developed neither heroic passions nor chivalric qualities. 
Camps had no great captains to admire or imitate ; and the 
period we have described can boast of only two men of 
marked genius, — he who had roused the Western world by 
his eloquence, and the wise minister of Louis, who had to 
repair in France all the misfortunes of the crusade. 

All the energies of this crusade were not directed against 
Asia. Several preachers, authorized by the Holy See, had 
exhorted the inhabitants of Saxony and Denmark to take up 
arms against some nations of the Baltic, still plunged in the 
darkness of paganism. This crusade was led by Henry of 
Saxony, several other princes, and a great number of bishops 
and archbishops. An army, composed of a hunded and fifty 
thousand Crusaders, attacked the barbarous and savage 
nation of the Sclaves, who unceasingly ravaged the sea- 
coasts, and made war upon the Christians. The Christian 
warriors wore upon their breasts a red cross, under which 
was a round figure, representing and symbolizing the earth, 
which ought to be obedient to the laws of Christ. Preachers 
of the gospel accompanied their march, and exhorted them 
to extend the limits of Christian Europe by their exploits. 
The Crusaders cons'igned to the flames several idolatrous 
temples, and destroyed the city of Malehon, in which the 
pagan priests were accustomed to assemble. In this holy 
war the Saxons treated a pagan people exactly as Charle- 
magne had treated their own ancestors ; but they were not 
able to subdue the Sclaves. After a war of three years, the 
Saxon and Danish Crusaders grew weary of pursuing an 
enemy defended by the sea, and still further by their despair. 
They made proposals of peace ; the Sclaves, on their part, 
promised to become converts to Christianity, and to respect 
Clu-istian people.* They only made these promises to pacify 
their enemies ; and when the latter laid down their arms, 
they returned to their idols and resumed their piracies. 

* This crusade from the north is ^mentioned by Otto of Frisingen. 
Saxo the grammarian gives the most ample details in his thirteenth book. 
The reader may likewise consult the Latin History of Germany, by 
Kruntz. The History of Denmark ^ by Mallet, does not say a word ol 
this war. 


Other Crusaders, to whom Christendom ^aid very little 
Rttention, prosecuted a more successful war on the banks ol 
the Tagua It was several centuries since Spain had been 
invaded bj' the Moors, and still two rival nations disputed 
empire ana fought for territory in the names of Mahomet 
and Jesus Christ.* Tlie Moors, often conquered by the Cid 
and h is companions, had been driven from several provinces, 
and when the second crusade set out for the East, the 
Spaniards were besieging the city of Lisbon. The Christian 
army, small in numbers, was in daily expectation of rein- 
forcements, when a fleet which was transporting to the East 
a great number of French Crusaders, entered the mouth of 
the Tagus. Alphonso, a prince of the house of Burgundy 
and grandson of King E-obert, commanded the besieging 
arm.y. He visited the Christian warriors, whom Heaven 
appeared to have sent to his assistance, and promised, as 
the reward of their co-operation, the conquest of a flourishing 
kingdom. He exhorted them to join him in combating 
those same Saracens whom they were going to seek in Asia 
through all the perils of the sea. " The Grod who had sent 
them would bless their army ; noble pay and rich possessions 
would be the meed of their valour." Nothing more was 
necessary to persuade warriors who had made a vow to fight 
with the infidels and who were eager for adventures. They 
abandoned their vessels and joined the besiegers. The Moors 
opposed them with determined pertinacity, but at the end 
of four months Lisbon was taken, and the garrison put to 
the sword. They afterwards besieged several other cities, 
which were wrested from the Saracens ; Portugal submitted 
to the power of Alphonso, and he assiuned the title of king. 
Amidst these conquests the Crusaders forgot the East, and, 
without incurring much danger, they founded a prosperous 

* Arnold, a Flemish preacher, on the publication of the second crusade, 
exhorted the nations of France and Germany to enrol themselves in this 
pious army; he followed the Crusaders who laid siege to Lisbon, under 
the command of Arnold count d'Arschot. Arnold sent an account of this 
siege to Milo, bishop of Terouane, in a letter published by Dom Martene, 
in the first volume of his great collection, upon two manuscripts. The 
relation of Arnold, an eye-witness, different from that of Robert of the 
Mount, is adopted by Fleury. The historian of Portugal, Manoel de 
Faria y Sousa, speaks also of this expedition of the Crusader*. 


and splendid kingdom, whicli lasted much longer than that 
of Jerusalem. 

We may judge by these crusades, undertaken at the same 
tin^e, against nations of the north and others of the south, 
that the principle of holy wars began t»o assume a new cha- 
racter ; Crusaders did not fight only for the possession of a 
eepidchre, but they took up arms to defend their religion 
wherever it might be attacked, and to make it triumphant 
among all nations that rejected its laws and refused its 
benefits. The diversity of interests which set the Crusaders 
in action, necessarily divided their forces, weakened their 
enthusiasm, and was sure to be injurious to the success of a 
holy war. 

France, which then turned anxious looks towards Pales- 
tine, no longer demanded of God the deliverance of the holy 
places, but the return of a king over whose misfortunes they 
had wept. Por a length of time, Suger, who was unable to 
sustain the royal authority, had endeavoured to recall his 
master by letters full of tenderness and devotion. Their 
interview, which proved an affecting spectacle for the Prench, 
alarmed the courtiers, who were desirous of awakening sus- 
picions of the fidelity of the minister. A kingdom at peace 
and a flourishing people were the reply of Suger. The king 
pmised his zeal, and bestowed upon him the title of Father 
of Ms Country. Suger enjoyed a great advantage, as he 
had been the only man of any consequence in Europe who 
had opposed the crusade. His wise foresight was everywhere 
the subject of praise, whilst aU complaints were directed 
against St. Bernard. There was not a family in the king- 
dom that was not in mourning ; and the same desolation 
reigned throughout Germany. So many widows and orphans 
had never been seen, and the glory of martyrdom, promised 
to aU whose loss was regretted, had no power to dry their 
tears. The abbot of Clairvaux was accused of having sent 
Christians to die in the East, as if Europe had been without 
sepulchres ; and the partisans of St. Bernard, who had seen 
his mission attested by his miracles, not knowing what to 
reply, were struck wdth stupor and astonishment. " God, in 
these latter days," said they among themselves, "has neither 
spared his people nor his name ; the children of the Church 
have been given over to death in the desert, or massacred by 
the sword, or devoured "bv hunger; the contempt of the 


Lord has fallen even upon princes ; Grod has left them to 
wander in unknown ways, and all sorts of pains and aiSic- 
tions have been strewed upon their paths." So many evils 
resulting from a holy war, from a war undertaken in the 
name of Grod, confounded the Christians who had most 
applauded the crusade, and St. Bernard himself was aston- 
ished that Q-od had been willing to judge the universe before 
the time, and without remembrance of his mercy. " What 
a disgrace is it for us," said he in an apology addressed to 
the pope, " for us who went everywhere announcing peace 
and happiness ! Have we conducted ourselves rashly ? 
Have our courses been adopted from fantasy ? Have we 
not followed the orders of the head of the Church and those 
of the Lord ? Why has not Grod regarded our fasts ? Why 
has he appeared to know nothing of our humiUations ? With 
what patience is he now listening to the sacrilegious and 
blasphemous voices of the nations of Arabia, who accuse 
him of having led his people into the desert that they might 
perish! All the world knows," added he, " that the judg- 
ments of the Lord are just ; but this is so profound an- 
abyss, that he may be called happy who is not disgraced by 
it." St. Bernard was so thoroughly persuaded that the 
unfortunate issue of the crusade would furnish the wicked 
with an excuse for insulting the Deity, that he congratulated 
himself that so many of the maledictions of men fell upon 
him, making him as a buckler to the living Grod. In his 
apology, he attributes the want of success in the holy war 
to the disorders and crimes of the Christians ; he compares 
the Crusaders to the Hebrews, to whom Moses had pro- 
mised, in the name of Heaven, a land of blessedness, and 
who all perished on their journey, because they had done a 
thousand things against God. 

St. Bernard might have been answered that he ought to 
have foreseen the excesses and disorders of sci undisciplined 
multitude, and that the brigands called upon to take up the 
cross were not the people of Grod. It appears to us, at the 
present time, that the partisans of the abbot of Clairvaux 
might have found better reasons for the justification of the 
holy war. The second crusade, although unfortunate, pro- 
cured several advantages for Europe. The peq.ce which 
reigned in the West, caused states to flourish, and repaired, 
in some sort, the disasters of a distant war. It was held 


shameful to carry arms in Europe, whilst the Crusaders werd 
contending with the Saracens in the East. Religion itsek 
watched over Germany, which had been so long troubled by 
civil wars. Conrad, a weak monarch without character, who 
had lost his army in Asia, was more powerful on his return 
from Palestine than he had been before he quitted his domi- 
nions. The king of France also found his authority in- 
creased, from having been defended during his absence by 
the thunders of the Church and the eloquence of St. Ber- 
nard.* The crusade gave him a pretext for imposing taxes 
upon his people, and placed him at the head of a numerous 
army, where he accustomed the great vassals to consider him 
as their supreme head. 

Still, if it is true that the divorce of Eleanor of Guienne 
was one of the consequences of the crusade, it must be ad- 
mitted that the evils which resulted from this war were much 
greater for the French monarchy than any good it derived 
from it. The kingdom which then lost the province of 
Aquitaine, which fell into the hands of the English, was 
doomed to become the prey of the children that Eleanor had 
by her second marriage. A following age saw the descend- 
ants of these children crowned kings of France and England 
in the church of Notre Dame, at Paris, and the successors 
of Louis YII. found themselves almost reduced to seek an 
asylum in foreign lands. 

Flattery undertook to console Louis the young, for the 
reverses he had experienced in Asia, and represented him, 
upon several medals,t as the conqueror of the East. He 
left Palestine with tlae project of returning thither ; and in 

* St. Bernard wrote to the Estates of the kingdom, assembled by Suger, 
to repress the ambition of a brother of the king and some great vassals. 
He also wrote to the abbot of St. Denis : " Whilst Louis,'' said he in his 
letter, " is fighting for a king whose reign is eternal ; whilst in the flower of 
his age he exiles himself from his kingdom to serve Him who causes them 
to reign that serve him, is it possible there can be men so rash as to create 
disorder and troubles in his states, and to attack in his person the Lord 
and his Christ V'—Ep. 337. 

"j* The legend of one of these medals is conceived in these terms:— 
Regi invicto ab oriente reduci, 
Frementes Isetitia cives. 
In another medal the Meander is represented, and a trophy raised upon 
its banks, with this inscription — 

Turcis ad ripas Mseandri caesis fugatis. 


his journey to Eome, lie promised the pope to place himself 
^c the head of a new crusade. 

And never did the Christian colonies stand in greatel 
need of assistance. From the time the Trench quitted 
Palestine not a day passed without some new misfortune 
befalling the Christians established in S}T:'ia. A ve""y short 
time after the siege of Damascus, Raymond of Poict.ers lost 
his life in a battle against the Saracens, and his head was 
sent to the caliph of Bagdad. Josselin, after having lost 
the city of Edessa, himself fell into the hands of the infidels, 
and died in misery and despair in the prisons of Aleppo. 
Two emissaries of the Old Man of the Mountain assassi- 
nated E-aymond II., count of Tripoli, under the walls of his 
capital, which was plunged into trouble and desolation. Two 
young Mussulman princes, of the family of Ortok, excited 
by their mother, believed that the moment was come to re- 
conquer Jerusalem from the Christians. An army which 
they had assembled, came and pitched its camp on the 
Mount of Olives, and the holy city only owed its safety to 
the courage of some knights who induced the people to take 
arms. Noureddin had got possession of all the Christian 
cities of Mesopotamia, and several places in the principality 
of Antioch had opened their gates to hun. Arrived on the 
shores of the sea, which he had never before seen, he bathed 
in its waves, as if to take possession of it ; and, still accom- 
panied by victory, he established the seat of his empire at 
Damascus, whence he menaced the city of Jerusalem. 

The afflicting news of these occurrences created great sor- 
row among the Christians of the West, and the sovereign 
pontiff exhorted the faithful once again to take up the cross 
and arms ; but neither the danger of the Christians beyond 
the sea, nor the exhortations of the pope, could change the 
opinion which the French had formed against distant wars. 
Louis VII. was obliged to renounce his intention of return- 
mg to the Holy Land. At this period a circumstance 
occurred which it is very difficult to give credit to. The 
abbot Suger, who had so strongly opposed the first expedi- 
tion, formed the resolution of succouring Jerusalem ; and 
in an assembly held at Chartres, exhorted the princes, 
barons, and bishops to enrol themselves under the banners 
of the holy war. As he was only answered by the silence of 
grief and astonishment, he formed the project of attempting 

Vol. L— .3 


an enterprise alone in wliicli two monarclis had failed. 
Suger, at the age of seventy, resolved to raise an army, to 
maintain it at his own expense, and to lead it himself into 
Palestine. In accordance with the devotion of the time, he 
went to Tours, to visit the tomb of St. Marin, in order to 
obtain the protection of Heaven, and already ten thousand 
pilgrims had taken up arms, and were preparing to follow 
him into Asia, when death came to prevent the execution of 
his designs. 

In his last moments Suger invoked the assistance and the 
prayers of St. Bernard, who sustained his courage, and ex- 
horted him not to turn his thoughts from the heavenly Jeru- 
salem, in which both of them hoped soon to meet ; but in 
spite of the exhortations of his friend, the abbot of St. Denis 
regretted, when dying, not having been able to succour the 
holy city. St. Bernard was not long before he followed 
Suger to the tomb, bearing with him a deep regret at having 
preached an unfortunate war. 

Trance lost in the same year two men who had greatly 
illustrated her, the one by talents and qualities useful to his 
country, the other by his eloquence and virtues dear to all 
Christians. At a time when general attention was given to 
the defence of the privileges of the Church, Suger defended 
the interests of royalty and the people ; whilst eloquent 
preachers were animating the public zeal for holy wars 
which were always accompanied by disasters, the skilful 
minister of Louis YII. was preparing France, at a future day, 
to gather the salutary fruits of these great events. He was 
accused of having gone too deeply into the mundane affairs of 
his age ; but politics never banished from his mind the pre* 
cepts of the gospel. According to the judgment of his con- 
temporaries, he lived at the court like a wise courtier, and 
in his cloister like a pious monk.* If there is in the church 
of France, wrote St. Bernard to Pope Eu genius, any vase of 
price which would embellish the pala^-e of the King of 

* We have a life of Suger, written by his secretary . We have in French 
a Life of the abbot of St. Denis, in three volumes. L' Academic Fran^aise 
in 1778 proposed the Eulogy of Suger as a subject for a prize ; the dis- 
course of M. Garrat, which was crowned, contains many very eloquent 
passages. We have before us another discourse which was published in 
1779, which presents an exaggerated, but very ingenious satire upon tha 
life and administration of Suger. 


kings, it is doubtless tlie venerable abbot Suger. As abbot 
of St. Denis, he, perhaps, enjoyed more wealth than any 
monk ought to possess, since we see he proposed to main- 
tain an army, but he always employed his treasures in the 
service of his country and the Church, and never had the 
state been so rich as under his administration. His whole 
life was a long series of prosperity, and of actions worthy of 
bemg remembered. He reformed the monks of his order 
without incurring tlieir hatred ; he created the happiness of 
the people without proving their ingratitude ; and served 
kings, and yet obtained their friendship. Eortune favoured 
all his undertakings, and that there should be nothing un- 
prosperous in his life, and that he might be reproached with 
no fault, he died when he was about to conduct an army to 
the East. 

Suger and St. Bernard, united by religion and friendship, 
had a very different destiny ; the first, born in a low condi- 
tion, ga\e himself to the disposal of fortune, who carried 
him up to the highest dignities ; the second, born in a more 
elevated rank, hastened to descend from it, and was nothing 
but by his genius. St. Bernard rendered few services to the 
state, but he defended rehgion with indefatigable zeal ; and 
as church then took precedence of country, he was greater 
than the abbot Suger in the eyes of his contemporaries. 
Whilst he lived, the eyes of all Europe were fixed upon the 
abbot of Clairvaux ; he was as a light placed in the midst of 
Christendom, every word he preached had the holy authority 
of the religion he taught. He stifled all schisms, silenced 
all impostors, and by his labours, merited in his age the title 
of the last father of the Church, as richly as the great Bos- 
Buet merited it in his. 

St. Bernard may be reproached with having too frequently 
issued from his retreat, and with not haviQg always been, as 
he himself expresses it, the disciple of oaks and beeches. 
He had a hand ia most of the political events of his time, 
and interfered in all the affairs of the Holy See. Christians 
often asked who was the head of the Church ; popes and 
princes sometimes murmured against his authority ; but it 
must never be forgotten that he unceasingly preached mode- 
ration to kings, humanity to the people, and poverty to the 



A.D. 1148—1188. 

We cannot help being convinced, whilst reading this his* 
tory, that the religion of Mahomet, thoroughly warlik(i aa 
it is in principle, does not endue its disciples with that 
obstinate bravery, that boundless devotedness, of which the 
Crusaders presented so many examples. The fanaticism of 
the Mussulmans required victory to keep up its power or its 
violence. Bred in a conviction of blind fatalism, they were 
accustomed to consider successes or reverses as simple de- 
crees of Heaven ; victorious, they were full of ardour and 
confidence ; conquered, they were depressed, and without 
shame succumbed to an enemy, whom they believed to be 
the instrument of destiny. An ambition for renown seldom 
excited their courage, and even in the excesses of their war- 
like fervour, the fear of chastisements and punishments kept 
their faces towards the enemy more frequently than any 
generous love of glory. A chief, whom they themselves 
dreaded, was the only captain that could lead them to vic- 
tory ; and thus despotism became necessary to their valour. 

After the conquest of the Christians, the dynasties of the 
Saracens and the Turks were dispersed and almost annihi- 
lated ; the Seljoucides themselves had fallen back to the 
very extremities of Persia, and the people of Syria scarcely 
knew the names of those princes whose ancestors had 
reigned over Asia. Everything, even despotism, was de- 
stroyed in the East. The ambition of the emirs took advan 
tage of the general disorder ; slaves shared the spoils of 
their masters ; provinces and cities became so many prin- 
cipalities, the uncertain and transient possession of which 
was a constant subject of dispute. The necessity for de- 
fending the Mussulman religion, whilst threatened by the 
Christians, had alone preserved the credit of the caliphs of 


Bagdad. They were still the chiefs of Islamism; their 
approJbation seemed necessary for the preservation of the 
power of usurpers or conquerors ; but their authority, which 
was nothing but a sacred phantom, commanded nothing but 

frayers and vain ceremonies, and inspired not the least fear, 
n tliis state of degradation their only employment seemed 
to be to consecrate the fruit of treachery and violence. It 
was not sufficient to bestow cities and employments which 
they had no power to refuse ; all whom vid;ory and license 
had favoured came to prostrate themselves before the vicars 
of the prophet ; and crowds of emirs, viziers, and sultans, to 
borrow an Eastern expression, appeared to rise from the 
dust of their feet. 

The Christians were not sufficiently aware of the state of 
Asia, which they might have conquered ; and agreed so ill 
among themselves that they could never take advantage of 
tlie divisions which prevailed among their enemies. They 
seldom had, either in attack or defence, a well-sustained 
plan, and their impetuous bravery, directed generally by 
chance or passion, could only be compared to the tempest, 
whose fury rages or abates at the pleasure of the winds 
which reign over the horizon. Fortune, which had oiFered 
them such a brilliant opportunity for extending their empire, 
became, at last, adverse to them, and from the bosom of the 
chaos in which the East was plunged, arose a formidable 
power, which was destined to conquer and destroy them. 

Noureddin, son of Zengui, who had obtained possession 
of Edessa before the second crusade, liad inherited the con- 
quests of his father, and added to them by his valour. He 
was bred among warriors who had sworn to shed their blood 
in the cause of the Prophet, and when he mounted the 
throne he revived the austere simplicity of the early caliphs. 
Noureddin, says an Arabian poet, united the most noble 
heroism with the profoundest humility. When he prayed 
in the temple, his subjects believed they saw a sanctuary in 
another sanctuary. He encouraged the sciences, cultivated 
letters, and, above all, applied himself to the maintenance 
of justice throughout his states. His people admired his 
clemency and moderation; and the Christians even were 
forced to praise his courage and his profane heroism. After 
the example of his father Zengui, he made himself the idol 
of his soldiers by his liberaHtj ; by taking charge of their 

384 niSTOET OF the CErSADES. 

families, ke prevented their desire for the possession of 
lands, and thus accustomed them to consider the camp as 
their home and their country. In the midst of armies 
^hich he h?d himself formed, and which respected in him 
the avenger of the Prophet, he restrained the ambition of 
the emirs, and directed their efforts and their zeal towards 
one sole object, the triumph of Islamism. His victories, 
his fortune, his religious and political virtues drew upon 
him the attention of the entire East, and made the Mussul- 
mans believe that the period of their deliverance had arrived. 

Baldwin III., who undertook to stop the career of Nou- 
reddin, displayed great valour in several battles. The most 
important and the most fortunate of bis expeditions was the 
taking of Ascalon, in which the Mussulmans always kept 
up a formidable garrison. This city, which is situated in a 
fertile plain, and which the Mussulmans call the Spouse of 
Syria, was succoured by an Egyptian fleet, and for a long 
time resisted all the efforts of the Christians. Rivers of 
blood flowed before its waUs during several months ; both 
Mussulmans and Christians fighting with fury, and neither 
gi™g nor receiving quarter. During the siege the knights 
of the Temple particularly distinguished themselves by their 
valour ; the thirst for booty, far more than the love of glory, 
making them brave the greatest perils. The garrison and 
the inhabitants, exhausted by fatigue and pinched by famine, 
at length opened the gates of the city. Baldwin granted 
them a capitulation, permitted them to retire into Egypt 
with their families, and caused a Te Deum to be sung in the 
great mosque, which he consecrated to St. Paul. 

After this victory the king of Jerusalem marched to en- 
counter Noureddin, and compelled him to raise the sieges of 
both Paneas and Sidon. Baldwin was engaged in assisting 
the principality of Antioch, always disturbed by factions, 
always threatened by the Mussulmans, when he was poisoned 
by a Syrian physician. As soon as he became sensible of 
his danger, he set out for Jerusalem, and died in the city of 
Berouth. His remaius were transported to the holy city, 
the clergy coming out to meet the funeral train. The 
people descended from the mountains to join tne procession, 
and through the country and in the cities nothing was heard 
out lamentations. Noureddin himself, if we are to believe 


a Christian historian,* was affected by the sorrow of the 
Franks. Some of his emirs advising him to take advantage 
of this melancholy occasion to enter Palestine, " God forbid," 
replied he, " that I should disturb the proper grief of a 
people who are weeping for the loss of so good a king, or 
fix upon such an opportunity to attack a kingdom which I 
have no reason to fear." E-emarkable words, which at once 
denote two great men, and which further show what a 
serious loss the Christians had sustained. 

As soon as the fimeral ceremonies of Baldwin III. were 
over, warm debates arose upon the choice of a successor. 
The greater part of the barons and knights attached to the 
memory of Baldwin proposed to call to the throne his 
brother Amaury, count of Jaffa and Ascalon. This party 
was the most reasonable and the most conformable to the 
laws and interests of the kingdom ; but the brother of 
Baldwin, by the haughtiness of his deportment, had made 
himself many enemies among the people, the clergy, and 
the army. He was reproached with an ambition and an 
avarice fatal to the interests of the Christians ; and he was 
accused of not being restrained by honour, justice, or even 
the precepts of religion,t in the execution of his projects. 
His partisans extolled his active and enterprising character, 
his bravery so often proved, and his great skill in war. 
Among the nobles of the kingdom who opposed his succes- 
sion, and attributed to him ambitious views much to be 
dreaded, were several who themselves nourished aspiring 
projects, and allowed themselves to be seduced by the hope 
of ascending the throne. The conflicting parties were on 
the point of taking np arms to sustain their pretensions 
or their hopes, when the grand master of the Hospi- 
tallers exhorted the barons and knights to preserve the 
peace and the laws of the kingdom by crowning young 
Amaury. " The crown," said he to them, " which you 
refuse to place upon the head of a Christian prince will soon 
be upon that of Noureddin or of the caliph of Egypt. If 
this misfortune shoaid happen, you wiU become the slaves 

* Robert of the Mount. 

t William of Tyre says that he was once much scandalized by a quet* 
tion Amaury put to him concerning the next world. 

886 HISTORY or the cetjsades. 

of tlie iiifidels, and the world will accuse jou of having 
opened the gates of the holy city to the Saract is, as the 
traitor Judas gave up the Saviour of the world into the 
hands of his enemies." This speech, and the sight of the 
troops which Amaury had already collected to defend his 
rights, disarmed the factions which disturbed the kingdom. 
The brother of Baldwin was crowned in the Holy Sepulchre, 
and received the oaths of allegiance of those even who had 
openly declared themselves opposed to his claims. 

As soon as Amaury had ascended the throne, he directed 
all his energies towards Egypt, now weakened by the vic- 
tories of the Christians. The caliph of Cairo having refused 
to pay the tribute due to the conquerors of Ascalon, the 
new king of Jerusalem placed himself at the head of hia 
army, traversed the desert, carried the terror of his arms to 
the banks of the Nile, and only returned to his kingdom 
when he had forced the Egyptians to purchase peace. The 
state in which Egypt was then placed was likely soon to 
recall the Christians thither ; and happy would it have been 
for them if the.y had known how to profit by their advan- 
tages ; and if their fruitless attempts had not served to 
favour the progress of a rival power. 

Eg}^t was at that time the theatre of a civil war, occa- 
sioned by the ambition of two leaders who disputed the 
empire of it. For a length of time the caliphs of Cairo, liko 
those of Bagdad, shut up in their seragho, had borne no 
resemblance to the warrior from whom they derived their 
origin, who had said, whilst pointing to his soldiers and his 
sword, " These are my family and my race^ Enervated by 
effeminacy and pleasures, they had abandoned the govern- 
ment to their slaves, who adored them on their knees, and 
imposed laws upon them. They no longer exercised any 
real authority but in the mosques, and only preserved the 
disgraceful privilege of confirming the usurped power of the 
viziers, who corrupted the armies, disturbed the provinces, 
and in the field of battle quarrelled with each other for the 
rlgl t of reigniag over both people and priace. 

Each of the viziers, to secure the triumph of his cause, 
called in by turns the arms of the neighbouring powers. 
On the arrival of these dangerous auxiliaries, all was in con- 
fusion on the banks of the Nile. Blood flowed in all the 


provinces, sometimes shed by tlie executioners, sometimes by 
the soldiers ; Egypt was at once desolated by its enemies, its 
allies, and its inhabitants. 

Chaver, who, amidst these revolutions, had raised himself 
from the humble condition of a slave to the post of vizier, 
had been conquered and displaced by Dargan, one of the 
principal officers of the Egyptian militia. Obliged to fly 
and abandon Egypt, where his rival reigned, he went to seek 
an asylum at Damascus, imploring the assistance of Noured- 
din, and promising a considerable tribute if that prince 
would furnish him with troops to protect his return into 
Egypt. The sultan of Damascus yielded to the prayers of 
Chaver. To command the army which he resolved to send 
into Egypt, he selected Chirkou, the most skilful of his 
emirs, who having always shown himself cruel and implaca- 
ble in his military expeditions, was likely to be without pity 
for the vanquished, and to take all advantage of the miseries 
of a civil war, for the benefit of his master. The vizier 
Dargan was not long in being warned of the projects of 
Chaver and the preparations of Noureddin. To resist the 
storm about to burst upon him, he implored the aid of the 
Christians of Palestine, and promised to give up his trea- 
sures to them if they succeeded in preserving his power. 

Whilst the king of Jerusalem, seduced by this promise, 
was collecting an army, Chaver, accompanied by the troops 
of Noureddin, crossed the desert, and approached the banks 
of the Nile. Dargan, who came out to meet him with the 
Egyptian army, was conquered by the Syrians, and lost his 
life in the battle. The city of Cairo soon opened its gates 
to the conqueror. Chaver,* whom the victory had delivered 

* Among the Arabian authors who give the greatest number of details 
of the conquest of Egypt, the continuator of Tabari deserves remark ; 
Chehabeddin, son of Mohammed, the author of the Roudatins (the two 
gardens or lives of Noureddin and Salaheddin), is also very explicit upon 
this war between the Christians and the Mussulmans. Moudjireddin, in 
his History of Jerusalem, says a few words of the conquest of Egypt by 
Chirkou. Aboulmahason speaks also of the conquest of Egypt by tha 
Turks. When speaking of the influence the Franks exercised at Cairo, 
he says they had a particular quarter of the city, and a market which 
Chaver had had built for them. Kemaleddin, in his History of Aleppo j 
relates these events with his usual clearness. This author agrees with 
Tabari. Ibu-elatir, in his History of the Atiabeks, says but a very fe% 



from his enemy, slied torrents of blood in the capital to in- 
sure his triumph, received amid the general consternation 
the congratulations of the caliph, and resumed the reins of 

It was not long, however, before divisions arose between 
the general of Noureddin, who daily placed a more excessive 
price on his services, and the vizier, whom Chirkou accused 
of perfidy and ingratitude. Chaver desired in vain to send 
the Mussulmans back into Syria ; they replied to him only 
by threats, and he was on the point of being besieged in 
Cairo by his own deliverers. All the Egyptians, particularly 
the people of the capital, were seized with trouble and con- 

In the midst of so pressing a danger, the vizier Chaver 
placed his only hope in the Christian warriors, whose ap- 
proach he had not long since so much dreaded. He made 
the king of Jerusalem the same promises that he had offered 
to Noureddin ; and Amaury, who only wanted to enter 
Egypt, whatever might be the party that prevailed there, set 
out upon his march to defend Chaver with the very same 
army he had collected to light against him. When arrived 
on the banks of the Nile, he united his troops with those of 
the vizi«r, and they sat down before the city of Bilbeis, into 
which Chirkou had retired. Noureddin's general resisted 
during three months all the attacks of the Christians and 
Egyptians ; and when the king of Jerusalem proposed peace 
to him, he demanded payment of the expenses of the war. 
After some negotiations, in which he displayed great haugh- 
tiness, he marched out of Bilbeis still threatening the Chris- 
tians, and led back his army to Damascus, loaded with the 
spoils of his enemies. 

Chirkou had beheld the riches of Egypt, and become 
acquainted with the weakness of its government ; the first 

words about the conquest of Egypt ; he agrees with the continuator of 
Tabari and Kemaleddin. Dzemaleddin, in his History of Egypt, is also 
very brief on this important event. Macrizi, in his Kitab-alsolouek 
Timaresch Doual Almoulouek (Institution on the Knowledge of the 
Dynasties of Kings), only speaks with brevity of these events. Amongst 
the Latin authors who have spoken of the conquest of Egypt, we princi- 
pally quote William of Tyre, and the Latin history of the latter years of 
the kingdom of Jerusalem, which, is met with in the Collection of Bongars, 


advice he offered to Noureddin, after Ms arrival, therefore, 
was to endeavour to unite this rich country t: his own 
empire. The sultan of Syria sent ambassadors tf the caliph 
of JBagdad, not to ask aid of him, but to give a religious 
colour to his enterprise. During several centuries, the 
caliphs of Bagdad and Cairo had been divided by an impla- 
cable hatred ; each of them boasting of being the vicar of the 
Prophet, and considering his rival as the enemy of Grod. In 
the mosques of Bagdad, they cursed the caliphs of Egypt 
and their sectarians ; in those of Cairo, they devoted to the 
mfernal powers, the Abassides and their partisans. 

The caliph of Bagdad did not hesitate to comply with the 
wishes of Noureddin. Whilst the sultan of Syria was solely 
occupied by his endeavours to extend his empire, the vicar 
of the Prophet was only ambitious to preside alone over the 
Mussulman religion. He commanded the Imans to preach 
a war against the Eatimites, and promised the delights of 
Paradise to all who should take up arms in the holy expedi- 
tion. At the call of the caliph, a great number of faithful 
Mussulmans flocked to the standard of Noureddin, and 
Chirkou, by the order of the sultan, prepared to return into 
Egypt, at the head of a powerful army. 

The fame of these preparations spread throughout the 
East, particularly m Egypt, where it created the most seri- 
ous alarms. Amaury, who had returned to his own states, 
received ambassadors from Chaver, soliciting his help and 
alliance against the enterprise of Noureddin. The states of 
the kingdom of Jerusalem were assembled at Naplouse, and 
the king there exposed to them the advantages of another 
expedition into Egypt. An impost was levied to carry on a 
war from which the greatest hopes were entertained, and the 
Christian army soon set out from Gaza to fight vdth the 
troops of Noureddin on the banks of the Nile. 

In the mean time Chirkou was crossing the desert, where 
he encountered the greatest dangers, A violent tempest 
surprised him on his march ; all at once the heavens were 
darkened, and the earth, which was strewed with the pros- 
trate Syrians, became like a stormy sea. Immense waves ot 
sand were lifted by the winds, and rising into whirlwinds or 
forming moving mountains, scattered, bore away, or swal- 
lowed up men and hor^^s. In this tempest the Syrian 


army abandoned its baggage and lost its provisiors and 
arms, and when Cliirkou arrived on the banks of the Nile, 
he had no means of defence left except ths remembrance of 
his former victories. He took great care to conceal the losses 
he had experienced, and the wreck of an army dispersed by 
a fearful tempest proved sufficient to throw all the cities of 
Egypt into consternation. 

The vizier Chaver, frightened at the approach of the 
Syrians, sent ambassadors to the Christians, to promise them 
immense riches, and press them to hasten their march. On 
his side, the king of Jerusalem deputed to the caliph of 
Egypt, Hugh of CaDsarea, and Foulcher, a knight of the 
Temple, to obtain the ratification of the treaty of alliance 
with the Egyptians. Amaury's deputies were introduced 
into a palace in which no Christian had ever before been 
admitted. After having traversed several corridors filled 
with Moorish guards, and a vast number of apartments and 
courts in which glittered all the splendour of the East, they 
arrived in a hall, or rather a sanctuary, where the caliph 
awaited them, seated on a throne shining with gold and pre- 
cious stones. Chaver, who conducted them, prostrated him- 
self at the feet of his master, and supplicated him to accept 
the treaty of alliance with the king of Jerusalem. The 
prayer of the vizier was an imperious order, and the com- 
mander of the faithful, always docile to the will of the lowest 
of his slaves, made a sign of approbation, and stretched his 
uncovered hand out to the Christian deputies in presence of 
the officers of his court, whom so strange a spectacle filled 
with grief and surprise. 

The army of the Pranks was close to Cairo ; but as the 
policy of Amaury was to lengthen the war, in order to pro- 
long his stay in Egypt, he neglected opportunities of attacldng 
the Syrians with advantage, and gave them time to recruit 
their strength. After having left them a long time in repose, 
he gave them battle in the isle of Maalle, and forced their 
intrenchments, but did not follow up his victory. Chirkou, 
in his retreat, endeavoured to reanimate the depressed courage 
of the soldiers of Noureddin, the latter not having yet for- 
gotten the evils they had encountered in the passage over the 
desert. This calamity, still recent, together with the first 
Tictory of the Christians, destroyed the confidence they had 


in their arms and the protection of the Prophet. One of the 
lieutenants of Chirkou, upon witnessing their gloomy rage, 
cried out in the midst of the Mussulman army : " You who 
fear death or slavery, return into Syria; go and tell ]N oureddin 
that to repay him for the benefits with which he has loaded 
70U, you abandon Egypt to the infidels, in order to shut 
yourselves up in your seraglios with women and children." 

These words reanimated the zeal and fanaticism of tho 
Syrian warriors. The Franks and the Egyptians who pur- 
sued the army of Chirkou, were conquered in a battle, and 
forced to abandon in disorder the hills of Baben,* where 
they had pitched their tents. The general of Noureddin 
took all possible advantage of his victory ; he passed as a 
conqueror along the fertile banks of the Nile ; penetrated, 
without encountering an obstacle, into lower Egypt ; placed a 
garrison in Alexandria ; and returned to lay siege to the city 
of Koutz, the capital of the Thebais. The ability with 
which Chu-kou had disciplined his army, and planned the 
last battle he had fought with his enemies ; his marches and 
his counter-marches in the plains and valleys of Egypt, from 
the tropic to the sea, announced the progress of the Mus- 
sulmans in military tactics, and warned the Christians be- 
forehand of the enemy that was destined to put an end to 
their victories and conquests. 

The Turks defended themselves during several months in 
Alexandria, against the seditions of the inhabitants and the 
numerous assaults of the Christians. They at length ob- 
tained an honourable capitulation, and as tlieir army was 
becoming weaker every day by famine and fatigue, they re- 
tired a second time to Damascus, after exacting very dear 
payment for the transient tranquillity in which they left the 
people of Egypt. 

A^fter the retreat of the Syrians j the vizier Chaver has- 
tened to send back the Christians, whose presence made him 
very uneasy. He cDgagcd to pay the king of Jerusalem an 
annual tribute of a hundred thousand crowns in gold, and 
consented to receive a garrison in Cairo. He loaded the 
barons and knights with rich presents, and the soldiers even 

* Near the castle of Toura, two Isagues from Cairo, opposite ancient 


had a share in his bounties, proportionate to the fear the 
Franks inspired him with. The Christian warriors returned 
to Jerusalem, bearing with them riches which dazzled both 
people and nobles, and inspired them with other thoughts 
than that of defending the heritage of Christ. 

As Amaiu-y returned to his capital, the sight of his moun- 
tainous and sterile provinces, the poverty of his subjects, 
and the narrow limits of his kingdom, made him deeply re- 
gret having missed the opportunity of conquering a great 
empire. Soon after his return he married a niece of the 
emperor Manuel ; but whilst the people and his court gave 
themselves up to joy, and put up vows for the prosperity of 
his family and his kingdom, one single thought occupied him 
night and day, and haunted him even amongst the most sump- 
tuous and brilliant festivities. The riches of the caliph of 
Cairo, the populousness and fertility of Egypt, its numerous 
fleets, and the commodiousness of its ports, presented them- 
selves constantly to the mind of Amaury. His first endeavour 
w^as to make the marriage he had just contracted subservient 
to his projects, and he sent ambassadors to Constantinople, 
with instructions to induce Manuel to assist him in the 
conquest of Egypt. Manuel approved of the plans of the 
king of Jerusalem, and promised to send him fleets and 
share with him the glory and perils of a conquest which 
must so deeply interest the Christian world. Then Amaury 
hesitated no longer to declare his designs, and called toge- 
ther the barons and principal people of his kingdom. In 
this assembly, in w^hich it was proposed to invade Eg}^t, the 
wisest among whom was the grand master of the Templars, 
declared loudly and decidedly that the undertaking was 
unjust. " The Christians," said they, "ought not to set the 
Mussulmans the example of violating treaties. It perhaps 
'ifvould not be a difiicult matter to obtain possession of Egypt, 
but it would not be so easy to keep it as to conquer it. 
Noureddin was the most formidable enemy of the Chiis- 
iians ; it was against him they should bring all the united 
forces of the kingdom to bear. Egypt must belong to the