Sunday, May 23, 2010

Deeds of the Franks, Book 8, Chapter 19

At last nearly all paths had been closed to the Turks and they were cut off on all sides, excepting that side where a fort was by the river and a certain monastery(St. George). If this fort had been completely fortified by our men, none of them(Turks) would dare to step outside of the city. Our men at length got together, and with one voice in agreement said: "Let us choose one from our numbers, who will firmly hold that fort and bar the way to the mountains and the plains to our enemies and even the entrance and exits to the city." Tancred was first on his feet to put himself before the others saying: " If I would know what would be to my profit(reward), I would diligently strengthen that fort with my own men only, and that path by which our enemies are accustomed to frequently indulge their savagery, I would valiantly prevent them." They without a delay pledged four hundred silver marks to him. Tancred was done talking, right away he went out with his own most noble knights and servants, and outside of the temple, he blocked the way on both sides to the Turks. Thus terrified, none of them(Turks) would dare to step outside the city from fear of him, neither to go near fodder or near wood or near any other necessary item. Tancred remained there with his men and he zealously began to restrict the city. Also that day was coming a great force of Armenians and Syrians securely through the mountains, who were carrying food aid to the Turks of the city. Tancred went out to meet these and seized them and everything they were carrying, namely corn, wine, barley, oil, and other items of this sort. In this way, Tancred was conducting himself so toughly and favorably that he was having the paths to the Turks barred and cut off until Antioch had been captured.

I would not be able to describe all the things that we had done before the city had been captured, since there is no one in these parts either of the clergy or the laity who is able to write it all down or tell of it, just as a history. However, I will tell something about it.

Every time supplies show up, Anonymous gives a list of what there was. I assume it was because, he like the rest, was starving most of the time so food was intensely interesting. The monastery of St. George's was later called Tancred's Fort.
I did not look really, really hard but I couldn't find any photos of remains of this fort. There are not much of the remains of old Antioch in Antakya. I did find this interesting blog which includes a couple of nice photos of Antakya and some commentary about Antioch.

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