Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Deeds of the Franks, Book 4, Chapter 11

The bigger army, namely Raymond the Count of St. Giles, and the most learned Bohemond, and Duke Godfrey and many others, came into the land of the Armenians (Cappadocia) thirsting and burning for the blood of the Turks. Then they came to a certain fort, which had been built so strongly that they could do nothing to it. There was however a man there by the name of Symeon, who had been born in these parts and who sought this land so that he could defend it from the hands of the Turkish enemy. They gave him this land on the spot and he remained there with his own people. And then we left there and happily came to Caesarea in Cappadocia. However we had left Cappadocia and came to a certain most beautiful city and beyond measure most fertile, which a little while before our coming there had been besieged by the Turks over three weeks but the Turks were unable to overcome. Soon after our arrival there, without more ado the city surrendered itself into our hands with great joy. A certain knight, named Peter of Alps, sought this from the nobles, seeing that he would defend the city with firm adherence to God and the Sacred Sepulcher, and the noblemen and the emperor. They gave this favor to him with much love. On the next night, Bohemond heard that the Turks, who had besieged the city, were moving ahead of us in large numbers. So he prepared himself alone with his knights, seeing that he would fight them from all sides, but he was not able to find them.

Then we came to a certain city called Coxon in which there was the greatest abundance of goods which were essential to us. Therefore the Christian foster sons of the city gave it back to us immediately and we remained there very well for three days. There our men were much recovered. Count Raymond, hearing therefore that the Turks who guarded Antioch had departed, formed his own plan where he would send some of his own knights there, who would take guardianship for him assiduously. Then he chose those who he was wanting to dispatch, namely Viscount Peter of Castellon, Wilhelm of Montpellier, Peter of Roasa, Peter Raymond of Haute Poul with five hundred knights. They came to the valley next to Antioch to a certain fortified town of the Publicani, and there they heard that the Turks were in the city and were preparing strong defenses for it. Peter of Roasa separated himself there from the others and that night he crossed near Antioch, came into the valley of Rugia and found Turks, Saracens and had fought with those, and killed many of them and had pursued the others vigorously. The inhabitants of these lands, the Armenians, seeing him so forcefully overcoming the pagans, placed themselves in his hands immediately. He himself suddenly captured the city of Rusa and many forts.

However, we who remained, leaving there, we came to a diabolical mountain which was so high and narrow that none of our men would dare to go before another along that path which was stretching out across the mountain. The horses were falling over the edge and one of the pack horses was pulling down another. Therefore the knights were sad standing on all sides and were striking themselves with their own hands with too much sadness and sorrow, doubting what they should do and selling their arms, their shields, their best breastplates, with helmets only for about three or five denaries, or for just anything they could get for them. However those who were unable to sell them, threw them down for free and left. Then, exiting the accursed mountain, we came to a city which was called Marash. The inhabitants of that city came out to meet us, bringing the greatest market, and there we had all abundance. While waiting, Lord Bohemond came. And thus our knights came into the valley, in which the royal city of Antioch had been placed, which was the capital of all Syria and which the Lord Jesus Christ handed over to the blessed Peter, the chief of his apostles, just as he had recalled him to the labor of the sacred faith, Jesus who lived and reigned with God the Father united with the Holy Spirit through all ages of ages. Amen.

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