Monday, June 7, 2010

Deeds of the Franks, Book 10, Chapter 35 and 36

35.Duke Godfrey as well as Bohemond and the Count of Flanders went all the way to the city of Lichia(Laodicaea). There Bohemond separated himself from them and went back to Antioch. They went and besieged a certain city named Gibellum. Raymond, Count of St. Giles, hearing that innumerable pagan peoples were proceeding in haste against them in certain war; immediately he formed a plan with his men that he send a delegate to the seigneurs, who were in the siege at Gibellum, in order that they come as reinforcements to him. Hearing this, they immediately made a pact with the emir, making peace with him and they accepted gifts of horses and gold and leaving the city, came to aid us. But the pagans did not come to fight against us. The counts mentioned before set up camp beyond the river and they besieged a fort there.

After a short time, our men rode against Tripoli and found Turks, Arabs and Saracens outside the city, who attacked our men. Our men set them to flight and killed a great portion of the nobility of the city. There was so much killing of pagans and spilling of blood, that even the water which was flowing in the city, was seen to turn red and flow into their cisterns, from whence the others were very sad and sorrowful. Now they were trembling with so much fear that none of them would dare to go outside of the gate of the city.

Another day, our men rode beyond the Sem and found cows, sheep, asses and many animals and also camels which they seized as booty and numbered nearly three thousand. We besieged that before mentioned fort for three months less a day and there we celebrated the Passion of the Lord (Easter) on the fourth day before the Ides of April (April 10th?). Since our ships came near us at a certain port, as long as we were occupied in that siege, they were bringing a great market, in other words, grain, wine, meat, cheese, barley, oil and there was a very great abundance on that whole campaign. On that siege, many of our men happily received martyrdom, namely Anselm of Ribemont, William Picard and many other whose names I do not know. The king of Tripoli was often sending messengers to the seigneurs that they would leave the fortified town and enter into an agreement with him. Our leaders, hearing this, namely Duke Godfrey, Raymond Count of St. Giles, Robert of Normandy, Count of Flanders and, seeing that the ripening of new fruit had sped up, since we were consuming new beans in the middle of March, and grain in the middle of April, consulted, saying that it would be very good to be fulfilling the trip to Jerusalem with the new fruits.

36. We therefore left that fort and came to Tripoli on the sixth day of the week, the 13th day of May and we were there for three days. Then an agreement was reached between the seigneurs and the king of Tripoli, and he immediately released more than three hundred pilgrims who had been captured there, and gave to them 15,000 besants and 15 horses of great value. He even gave to us a great market of horses, asses, and every goods from which all of the army of Christ was too rich. A pact was made with them, since the emir of Babylon(Cairo) was preparing war, if they would be able to defeat him and seize Jerusalem, he would convert to Christianity and he would recognize his land (as coming) from them and by such means, the deed was settled.

We left the city in the second day of the week in the month of May and we passed along a narrow and hard road all day and night and we came to a fortified town which was named Bethelon; then to a city name Zebari next to the sea, on which(the road) we endured too great a great thirst. And thus, tired out, we arrived at a river named Braym. Then we traveled on the day and night of the Ascension of the Lord across the mountain, on which there was a too narrow road and we reckoned to find ambush by the enemies there but with God smiling upon us, none of them dared to make a move against us. Then our knights, who gone ahead of us, cleared the road ahead of us and we joined up at the city next to the sea which is called Baruth and from there we went to another city called Sagitta, from there to another called Sur(Tyre), and from Sur to the city of Acra. From Acra we went to a castle called Cayphus,(Haifa) and then we set up a camp next to Caesarea. There we celebrated the Pentecost, on the third day before the end of May. Then we went to the city of Ramola(Ramleh), which the Saracens abandoned empty on account of their fear of the Franks. Next to this was a distinguished church in which the most precious body of St. George rested, since it was there that he happily fell into martyrdom on behalf of Christ's name due to the treachery of the pagans. There our leaders held a council so that they could elect a bishop who would guard and repair this church and they gave tithes to him and, made rich with gold and silver, horses and other animals, he would devoutly and honorably live with those who were with him.

Anonymous does not say but Raymond of Aguilers does. When the Count of St. Giles first started heading south, Tancred was the first to follow him and the Count of Normandy. Tancred later joined up with the Duke of Lorraine. He also wrote that of the original 100,000 knights that set out, there were only 1000 left on the road with them, and of the 200,000 foot soldiers there were only five thousand left. Barbara Tuchman wrote that the numbers in Medieval documents were often rounded off and inflated because of the difficulty of working with Roman numerals. The Arabic number system we use today did not displace Roman numerals until the 14th century. Tomorrow I will take a moment to deal with Peter Bartholomew. Anonymous does not seem to write more about him but, while they were heading south, he underwent trial by fire which Raymond of Aguilers and Raoul of Caen do write about.
The illustration above is by Gustave Dore again. It depicts Godfrey of Bouillon and Bohemond. I assume Bohemond is the fellow on the left since he appears to be clean shaven.

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