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

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

Page 314

in face of the coming Turkish attack, if not from actual treachery. When
the emperor's representative acted so dishonorably, surely there was no obligation
to regard the emperor's claims to Antioch.4 
 It was now known that another Turkish relieving force was on the march;
so Bohemond next declared that it was time for him to return to his home.
He had been away a long time, he said, and his estates needed his presence.
As he expected, the army was horrified. He had proved himself its ablest
commander; to lose him now would be disastrous. So he let it be understood
that, if he were promised the lordship of Antioch, he would think it worth
his while to remain. The other princes were not taken in; but there was much
sympathy for him in the rank and file. 
 The Turkish army coming to relieve Antioch was led by Ridvan of Aleppo,
with whom Yaghi-Slyan had made his peace when Dukak failed him. Ridvan now
regretted his earlier inaction, and had brought with him his cousin, Sokman
the Artukid, emir of Amida (Diyarbakir), and his father-in-law, the emir
of Hamah. Early in February he reoccupied Ilãrim. As he approached
Antioch the Franks on Bohemond's advice sent out all their cavalry to lure
him to the narrow terrain where the lake of Antioch comes nearest to the
Orontes. When he moved toward the Iron Bridge, the Franks attacked. They
made no impression on the mass of the Turks, but succeeded in drawing them
away from the bridge to the chosen battlefield. There Ridvan had no opportunity
to make use of his numbers to outflank the Franks; and when the heavily armed
knights charged again and again into the tightly packed Turks, the latter
fell back in confusion and soon were in full flight. As they passed through
Uarim the garrison joined them in panic, and the town was reoccupied by the
 Yaghi-Slyan had meanwhile come out in full force against the infantry defending
the camp and was gaining ground when the triumphant knights returned. When
he thus learned that Ridvan had been defeated, he retired into the city.
 The victory raised the Franks' morale, though it did not ease their food
situation. They determined to tighten the blockade on Antioch by building
towers to command the gates. Raymond had 
 " Raymond of Aguilers, vi (RHC, 0cc., III, 245—246), says that Taticius
left the army when his suggestion of a tighter blockade was rejected, but
that he allotted Cilician towns to Bohemond first (an extremely unlikely
transaction; presumably Bohemond put the story about). The Gesta, VI, i6
(ed. Bréhier, pp. 78—80), says that he fled from cowardice,
pre-. tending to arrange for better provisioning for the army; Albert of
Aix, III, 38, IV, 40 (RHC, 0cc., IV, 366, 417), that he had always meant
to flee. Anna Comnena's story, based presumably on Taticius's own reports,
is that Bohemond frightened him into leaving. See the diexiad, XI, iv, 3
(ed. Leib, III, 20). 

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