Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Deeds of the Franks, Book 10, Chapter 30

When all our enemies (for which we give thanks to God, the three and the one, with the greatest of honors) had been completely defeated, they were fleeing here and there, some only half alive, others wounded. They were falling dead in the valleys, groves, fields and pathways. The victorious people of Christ, namely the pilgrims, were returning joyfully to the city in their happy triumph over the defeated enemies. Our leaders, that is Duke Godfrey, Raymond the Count of St. Giles, Bohemond, Count of Normandy, and the Count of Flanders and others immediately sent their noblest knight Hugo the Great to the emperor of Constantinople so that he would come and receive the city and have meetings with those who had performed this feat. Hugo went and did not return.

Afterwards, when these deeds had been done, all of the assembled leaders arranged a plan, by which they would fruitfully prosper in leading and ruling the people, until they undertook to complete the pilgrimage to the Sacred Sepulcher, for which they had endured much danger. A plan was found since they did not yet dare to penetrate further into pagan land, because there, in the summer time, it was very hot and very arid; therefore they agreed on a considered limit of staying until Kalends of November(Nov. 1). Then the leaders split up and each one profited from his own land, until the time for departing would be near. The princes had it heralded through the city, that if any poor man was perhaps lacking in gold and silver who had participated in the fighting, he could enter an agreement and remain behind if he wished and he would be released from his vow with joy.

Moreover, there was there a certain soldier from the army of the Count of St. Giles, whose name was Raymond Pilet. He kept many men, knights and footsoldiers. He went out with his assembled army and manfully penetrated into Saracen lands. He was successful beyond two cities and came to a certain fort which was named Talamania(Al-Bara?). The inhabitants of the fort, namely the Syrians, immediately and spontaneously surrendered to him. And when they had been there for nearly 8 days, messengers came to them saying that there was a fortified town full of a multitude of Saracens nearly. The Christian knights went to that fort and attacked them on all sides, which was captured without delay with the aid of Christ. They then seized all of the colonists of that place and those, who were unwilling to receive Christianity, they killed; those who preferred to recognize Christ saved their life. Having completed this act, our men returned with great joy to the previous fort. On the third day, they went out and came to a certain city named Marra(Ma'arrat an-Numan), which was nearby to them. Moreover that was a large assembly of Turks there and Saracens from the city of Aleppo and from all cities and fortified towns which were around them. When the barbarians came out to fight us, and our men, reckoning to struggle with them in battle, forced them into flight but however they were attacking our men for a whole day in turns and the invasion lasted all the way to evening. For the heat was immense. Our men were unable to endure so much thirst, since they were unable to find any water for drinking there, nevertheless they wished to return safely to their fort. For the Syrians and the common folk had been seized with too great a dismay because of the sins of them, so the Franks began to make their way back. However the Turks, seeing them retreating, immediately began to pursue those and victory was attending to the Turks. Many men from that group returned in spirit to God, for love of whom they were in that congregation. This massacre had been done on the fifth day of the month of July. Moreover the Franks returned to those who remained in their fort and Raymond stayed there with his own people for many days.

The others, who remained in Antioch, stood there with joy and great happiness, of whom the guide and pastor became the Bishop of Le Puy (Adhemar, the Papal legate). He was seized (by the will of God) with a grave sickness and the will of God transported him from this age, and he rests in peace, sleeping in the Lord, on the feast of St. Peter which is called 'Ad Vincula'(St. Peter in Chains, August 1). Then there was a great anguish and immense tribulation in the entire Christian militia, since he was a support to the poor, advisor to the rich, and he himself was ordaining priests, was speaking before and summoning knights, saying: "None of you is able to be saved unless he respects the poor and cherishes the poor, and you are not able to be saved without them, and they are unable to live without you. Thus it is fitting that daily they pray on behalf of your sins to God, whom you offend daily with many things.. From whence I ask you that you esteem them for the love of God, and you would be able to sustain them in so many things."

The Bishop of Le Puy, as the official Papal envoy, kept this a proper Crusade and was a unifying force with the diverse armies. His passing leaves them freer to go their own ways. I am curious as to why Hugo did not come back.
A number of historians all say that Anonymous appears to have joined Raymond Pilet on this expedition and remained with his forces after this.
I found a great article on the First Crusade on the BBC website 'H2G2', link here.
On Raymond Pilet, "They didn't have it all their own way, however. Raymond Pilet, a lesser noble of Raymond of Toulouse's army, set up an expedition to go further southeast from the Ruj valley, to do a bit of conquering and plundering of his own. He reached the Jabal as-Summaq, the fertile plateau where the previous year Bohemond and Robert of Flanders had found such rich pickings before they stumbled across Duqaq's army. He bit off more than he could chew when he attacked the sizable town of Marrat on 27 July, 1098. He didn't bring enough water and when he arrived at Marrat, it was strongly defended. The inhabitants came out and attacked Raymond's troops who were weak from thirst. Many were killed and they had to retreat in disarray."


Tracy said...

immediately sent their noblest knight Hugo the Great to the emperor of Constantinople so that he would come and receive the city and have meetings with those who had performed this feat. Hugo went and did not return.
Sounds very ominous.

"None of you is able to be saved unless he respects the poor and cherishes the poor, and you are not able to be saved without them..."
well said, Bishop of Le Puy!

Yes, that H2G2 article is very good. well done for stumbling across it - not a website I've heard of, especially considering it's a BBC one.

The Red Witch said...

The Bishop did try to keep the crusade on track and stay on Alexius' good side. He was the first person to volunteer for the crusade after Pope Urban made his speech.