University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years

X: The First Crusade: Antioch to Ascalon,   pp. 308-341 PDF (13.4 MB)

Page 309

part of Mount Silpius. Inside the fortifl~ations there were gardens as well
as houses and some pasture ground for flocks, and water was abundant. 
 Antioch had been captured by the Selchükids in io85. In 1087 Malik-Shãh
installed as its governor a Turkoman called YaghiSlyan. Late in February
1095 Ridvan of Aleppo became overlord of Antioch; but Yaghi-Slyan had been
a disloyal vassal, openly intriguing with Dukak of Damascus and with Kerbogha
of Mosul against Ridvan. Consequently, when Yaghi-Siyan heard of the Franks'
approach and sought eagerly for allies, Ridvan would do nothing to help him.
Ridvan's rivals were more amenable. YaghiSlyan's son, Shams-ad-Daulah, went
to Damascus and secured a promise from Dukak that he would send an army to
rescue the city; and Dukak's regent (Turkish, atabeg), the Turkoman Tughtigin,
and the emir of Horns, Janali-ad-Daulah, both promised to join the expedition.
Help was also offered by Kerbogha, who had long wanted to establish himself
as overlord of Antioch in order ultimately to control Aleppo.' 
 In the meantime, as the crusade was marching across Anatolia, Yaghi-Slyan
sought to clear Antioch itself of disloyal elements. The population was mainly
Christian. Hitherto he had treated the Christians with tolerance. Now he
felt that only the Syrian Jacobites, who hated the Greeks and the Armenians,
could be trusted. The Greek patriarch, John the Oxite, who had till now been
allowed to officiate in the city, was thrown into prison, and the cathedral
of St. Peter was desecrated, to become a stable for the emir's horses. Many
leading Greeks and Armenians were forcibly exiled. Others fled. There was
some persecution in the villages in the suburbs, which provoked massacres
of the Turkish garrisons as soon as the Franks drew near. 
 On October 20, 1097, the crusading army entered Yaghi-Slyan's territory
at the village of Ma~ratah, whose Turkish garrison fled as they approached.
Robert of Flanders led a detachment off to Artãli, to the southeast,
where the Christian population had massacred the garrison, while the main
army attacked the Iron Bridge across the Orontes. The bridge was fortified
by two towers flanking its entrance, but the Frankish onslaught, which was
directed by Adhémar of Le Puy, was immediately successful. Their swift
victory enabled the Franks to capture on the other side of the river a large
convoy of cattle, sheep, and corn that was on its way to revictual Antioch.
Next day Bohemond led the 
1 For the Turkish situation see above, chapter V. 

Go up to Top of Page