Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Deeds Of the Franks, Book Two, Chapter Eight

However, on the day of the Ascension of the Lord, we began to attack around the city (Nicea) and to build wooden siege equipment and towers, with which we would be able to flatten towers of the wall of the city. We attacked the city with such strength and enthusiasm for two days. We had even dug out under the wall of the city. Since the Turks, who were in the city, had sent out messengers to others who came to give help to the city. In this way, they would boldly and confidently draw near. They would enter the city through the south gate because no one will rush out to meet them from the city nor did any darken their path. This was the very gate at which the Count of St. Giles and the Bishop of Puy were encamped on the sabbath after the Ascension of the Lord. The Count, coming from other parts, was defended by divine virtue and was flashing his earthly weapons with his very strong army. And thus here he found Turks, coming to fight against us. Armed with the sign of the cross on all sides, he impetuously rushed out against the Turks and vanquished them. They had given flight and there was a very great number of dead on the part of those. Who, rejoicing with the aid of others and exulting, came back to unwavering battle, dragging ropes with them, with which they would have lead us bound to Corosanus. However, arriving and killing, they began gradually to descend from the peak of the mountain. However many would descend, the heads of these men stayed behind, yielded to the hands of our men. Moreover they were flinging the heads of the slain men as pebbles into the city so that the Turks would be more frightened from this.

Then the Count of St. Giles and the Bishop of Le Puy were one in agreement how they would dig under the walls of a certain turret, which was in front of their tents. They arranged for men who would dig under this wall and men who would defend them with projectiles and arrows on all sides. They dug all the way to the foundations of the wall and had placed posts and wood, and then they set fire to them. Moreover by this late deed, the tower fell in the night, but since it was night, they were not able to engage the Turks in battle. The Turks were roused quickly that night and had rebuilt the wall so strongly that with the coming day, no one was able to break them from that part.

The Count of Normandy, Count Stephan, and many others came and in succession Roger of Barneville. Then Bohemond besieged the city on the main front and next to him was Tancred, and after him Duke Godfrey, and then Count of Flanders, next to whom was Robert of Normandy, and next to him was the Count of St. Giles, next to whom was the Bishop of Puy. Thus the city was blockaded across the land, so that no one dared to leave or enter. There all men were united as one. And who would be able to count so great an army of Christ? I reckon that no one saw so many most skillful soldiers before or will be able to see again.
second half tomorrow.........

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