Thursday, May 27, 2010

Deeds of the Franks, Book 9, Chapter 22 & 23

We can skip over Chapter 22. It is dreadfully boring. I will give you a brief idea of what it says. Curbara's mother calls him over because she is worried that he will be killed by the Franks. He tells her that she is a crazy woman. She says the Christian god is very strong and watches out for his people. He tells her that Bohemond and Tancred are not gods and it is they he has to defeat. She goes home to Aleppo sad and he goes off to war. Back to Antioch.

Chapter 23 On the third day, Curbara armed himself and the greatest part of the Turks with him and went to the city from the part where the citadel was situated. Moveover we, reckoning to be able to resist them, prepared for war against them. But the strength of them was so great, that we were unable to fight them, and thus we were forced to go into the city, by which there was a wonderfully tight and narrow door where there were many dead by the pressure of others. Meanwhile some were fighting outside the city, others inside on the fifth day of the week through the whole day all the way to nightfall. Among these was William de Grandmesnil, his brother Alberic, Guy Trousseau, and Lambert the Poor, these men were trembling with fear from the battle yesterday that lasted all the way til night. So they snuck out secretly by night over the wall and, fleeing on foot, headed for the sea and thus nothing remained on their hands and feet but the bones. Many men fled with them; I do not know who. Then arriving at the ships which were at the port of St. Simeon; they said: "Why do you stand here wretched ones? All of our men are dead and we scarcely escaped alive since the army of the Turks besieges the others in the city." But they, hearing such a tale, stood amazed and terrified, and they ran with fear to the ships and set themselves off to the sea. Then, the Turks, following them, killed those that they could find and the ships, that still remained in the rivers, had been set on fire and they seized the cargo of them.

Then we who remained were unable to endure the force of their arms(coming from the citadel which they had not yet captured), and we made a wall between them and ourselves which we guarded day and night. Meanwhile, we were oppressed by such great hunger that we ate our horses and our donkeys.


Tracy said...

That's what I call a cliffhanger! It really isn't looking very good for them, is it?

The Red Witch said...

Nope. And I was wrong. Stephen of Blois hasn't run away yet. Soon though. I was looking ahead. You know they are going to be alright because Bohemond later used his newly acquired principality to go back to Europe and find himself a suitable royal bride.

Anachronist said...

You really must wonder at this point why they wanted to continue at who did the hunky Bohemond marry?

The Red Witch said...

@You really must wonder at this point why they wanted to continue at who did the hunky Bohemond marry?

They carried on because they got absolution from all sins. They swore an oath. The Pope promised them a get into Heaven free card if they went. If they broke their oath and abandoned the quest, they would be damned and shamed at home.

Bohemond married no less than the daughter of Philip I of France. Her name was Constance, she was sister to the future Louis VI. Philip would have gone to the Middle East but he was excommunicated at the time. His brother Hugh went instead.
Bohemond also secured a wife for Tancred - Constance's sister Cecilia. So he married into one of the top families in Europe. Not bad for a no name Viking raider.