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

XI: The Crusade of 1101,   pp. [342]-367 PDF (10.9 MB)

Page 366

was a defeat. Chroniclers found this failure an unpleasant contrast to the
marvelous success of the First Crusade, and they believed that the destruction
of the armies of 1101 was God's punishment for their manifest sins: their
pride, their atrocities against fellow Christians, their wantonness. God's
agent, though an evil one, was the emperor Alexius. 
 Friction between the Latins and Greeks, rooted in ethnic and cultural differences,
had been in evidence during the First Crusade. The antagonism had been sharpened
in 1101, largely through the undisciplined actions of the crusaders and Alexius's
precautionary moves. Most of the western writers who describe the Crusade
of ITO! accuse the basileus, either directly or indirectly, of betraying
the armies of that year to the Turks. Those authors, writing at some remove
from the events, were infected by the growing hostility to Alexius, the result
partly of Bohemond's propaganda in the west in i io6, partly of an earlier
incident described by Albert of Aix. When the pilgrims at Jerusalem in April
1102 had asked Baldwin to negotiate with the emperor, the king had complied.
He sent an embassy to Constantinople and in the conversations which followed
Alexius cleared himself by oath of all charges and promised to deal kindly
with future pilgrims. Among Baldwin's ambassadors was a bishop whom Albert
calls Manasses of "Barzenona"; his name first appears as one of the Italian
prelates who survived the battle at Mersivan and reached Antioch early in
1102. Manasses was commissioned to exonerate Alexius before Paschal II on
his return to Europe, but he became piqued over an imagined affront and at
the Council of Benevento later in the year impeached rather than defended
the emperor. The charges, Albert reports, were spread throughout Gaul.37
Some of the sources that repeat those charges contain details so fanciful
that they deserve no credence. Ekkehard, the only western author who was
an eye-witness, knew of rumors of treachery but had no evidence. Albert of
Aix repeats the charges in several places but tends to disprove them by other
statements. He and other authors show that Alexius and Raymond, far from
sending the first army off on a wild goose chase into Pontus, had pleaded
with the leaders to go directly to Syria. These statements are corroborated
by the emperor's evident interests. His negotia~'  Albert of Aix, VIII, xli
(p. 58z), and VIII, xlv—xlviii (pp. 584—585). Albert speaks in
the~ first citation of "Manases de Barzenona, alii quoque episcopi Italiae."
I cannot identify him. Certainly Albert does not mean Barcelona in Spain,
whose bishop, Berengar, was then in his own see. Cf. D. S. Puig y Puig, Episcopologio
de la sede Barcinonense (Barcelona, 5925), pp. ' 35—537; Runciman,
Crusades, II, 35, note I. 

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