Sunday, June 6, 2010

Deeds of the Franks, Book 10, Chapter 34

However, Bohemond was not able to reach an agreement with the Count of St. Giles over that which he was seeking and he returned angry to Antioch. Count Raymond, after a short delay, sent messengers to Antioch to Duke Godfrey, Count of Flanders, Robert of Normandy and Bohemond so that they would come to the city of Rugia to speak with him. They came there and all the seigneurs formed a plan by which they could with honor keep to the road to the Sacred Sepulcher, for which they had bestirred themselves and so that they would go all the way there. They had been unable to obtain an agreement between Bohemond and Raymond, not unless Count Raymond would give Antioch to him. The Count was unwilling to agree to this, because of the oath he made to the emperor. Then the counts and the duke returned to Antioch together with Bohemond. Count Raymond then returned to Marra where there were pilgrims. He ordered his men to fix up the palace and the fort which was above the gate of the city's bridge.

Raymond, seeing that he was the cause by which none of the other leaders would carry on the road to the Sacred Sepulcher, left Marra bare footed on the thirteenth day of January and went all the way to Capharda. He stayed there for three days. There the Count of Normandy directed himself to Count Raymond. Moreover the King of Caesarea had often decreed through his messengers to the counts at Marra and Caphara that he wished to have peace with them and he would give a payment to them of his own, and he would value Christian pilgrims, and he would swear an oath since he held so many under his rule, pilgrims would not be given offense to, and he would joyfully give them a market of horses and food items. Then our men left and went to camp next to Caesarea, above the river Farfar. And when the king of Caesarea saw a horde of Franks camped so near to the city, he was pained in mind, and ordered the market to be turned aside unless they would set themselves up further from the city. On the next day, he sent with them two Turks as heralds, who would show them the ford of the rivers, and would conduct them to where they could find booty. Then they went to a certain valley below a certain fortified town, and there they pillaged more that five thousand animals and enough grain and other goods, from whence the whole Christian army was much restored. However that fortified town gave itself to the count, and gave to him horses and the purest gold, and they swore by their own law that pilgrims would not be subjected to ill treatment in that place. We were there for five days. (note the 'we'. Anonymous was traveling with Raymond.) Having left there, we joyfully went to camp by a certain Arab fort. Then the lord of the fort came out and formed an agreement with the count. Leaving this place, we came to a certain most beautiful city by the name of Kephalia, situated in a certain valley, and it was crammed with all sorts of good things. The inhabitants, hearing the Franks had come, abandoned the city with gardens full of vegetables and homes full of food and they fled. On the third day from that city, we crossed through a very high and immense mountain (Ansarieh range) and we went into the valley of Sem, in which there was the greatest richness of all goods; and we were there for nearly fifteen days. Near us was a certain castle, in which there was assembled the greatest multitude of pagans. Our men attacked the castle, and valiantly had overcome it, until the Saracens had tossed outside a large herd of animals. (Monty Python and the Holy Grail leaps to mind "Fetchez la vache!") Our men went back to the tents bearing all goods. At earliest light, our men folded up their tents and went to besiege that same castle, and they were reckoning to set up the tents there; but the pagan people gave themselves over to flight (Sure they probably figured the Crusaders weren't happy with the cows and were coming to eat them.) and left the castle empty. However, going inside, our men found there large stores of grain, wine, wheat, oil, and everything that they needed. There we most devotedly celebrated the feast of the Purification of Blessed Mary, and the heralds of the city of Camela(Homs) came. For their king had sent horses and gold to the Count and made a pact with him that they would in no way offend Christians, and would cherish and honor them. Moreover the king of Tripoli sent, since he had formed a faithful pact and had friendship with the Count, ten horses and four mules and gold. But the Count said he would in no way receive peace from him unless he became a Christian.

However, leaving this optimum valley, we came to a certain castle which was called Archas(Arqa), on the Monday at noon, in the second week in the middle of February(Feb. 14, 1099), around which we extended our tents. The castle was full of innumerable pagan people, namely Turks, Saracens, Arabs, Publicani, and they had wonderfully fortified the town and valiantly defended it. Then fourteen of our knights, went out and attacked the city of Tripoli which was next to us. Those fourteen found approximately sixty Turks and others, who had in front of them an assembly of humans and animals of more than 1500. Fortified by the sign of the cross, (those crazy bastards) attacked them and by the aid of God, were miraculously able to defeat them and killed six of their number and they seized six horses.

Then Raymond Pilet and Raymond, Vicomte of Turenne, left the army of Count Raymond and went before the city of Tortosa and bravely attacked it, which had been too well fortified with a multitude of pagans. Moreover having done this too late, they retreated to a certain corner, camped there and set up many campfires so that it would appear as if the entire host was there. The pagans fled trembling with fear secretly at night and they abandoned the city full of goods. (Take my goat, just don't eat me) It even had a very good port next to the sea. On the next day, our men came to the city and looked everywhere but found it empty. And entering in, they lived in it while the siege lasted before the city of Archas. There was next to that city another city, which was called Maraclea(Maraqiya). The emir, who was ruling over it, made a pact with us and let our men and standards into the city.

Interestingly, with regards to this disagreement between Bohemond and Raymond, Raymond of Aguilers wrote that the Duke of Lorraine showed up in November having fought his way through to Antioch and he brought the news that Alexius was not coming. Then there was the discussion of what to do with Antioch because, if they left it unmanned, the Turks would retake it. The rest were all for giving it to Bohemond since he had influence over the Turks in the area. Count Raymond was the only fly in the ointment. Of course the count and Bohemond got into an argument over the booty at Marra. Bohemond's men did the least but got the largest share of the booty due to Bohemond's sneaky trick. The desperate poor who ate the dead at Marra also started to tear down the walls so no city would remain and there would be no need to fight over who would guard the city. This was the signal to Raymond that he should keep going to Jerusalem.


Tracy said...

Then there was the discussion of what to do with Antioch because, if they left it unmanned, the Turks would retake it. The rest were all for giving it to Bohemond since he had influence over the Turks in the area. Count Raymond was the only fly in the ointment.
So what did they do about Antioch, in the end?

The Red Witch said...

Is there any doubt? Bohemond kept it and used it to elevate himself so he could court Philip I's daughter.

Tracy said...

So Raymond capitulated, eventually?

The Red Witch said...

No, Gesta Tancredi carries on and relates that Raymond went on attacking towns that Bohemond and Tancred held after the Crusade was more or less over. He got some help from Alexius and no doubt none of this fighting helped the Christians keep a hold on the land. All the Turks seemed to need to do is stand back and let them kill each other.
Raymond seems to have been a bit of an idiot. Maybe he got pissed because Godfrey was chosen as the first King of Jersusalem so he went back to Antioch to kick Bohemond's ass as if he could.