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

XII: The Foundation of the Latin States, 1099-1118,   pp. 368-409 PDF (16.5 MB)

Page 374

Cyprus and these ports gave the Byzantines several strategically located
naval bases. 
 During this time Bohemond had begun the siege of the important port of Latakia.
Suddenly, late in the summer of 1099, a great Pisan fleet of one hundred
and twenty ships arrived. Though sent to take part in the crusade against
the Moslems and very probably to get commercial concessions in captured Syrian
and Palestinian ports, this fleet, on the way out, had engaged in hostilities
against the Byzantines. It had seized Corfu and wintered there, and had fought
a punitive Byzantine naval squadron near Rhodes in the spring of 1099.8 The
dominating personality in this fleet, archbishop Daimbert of Pisa, was accordingly
in a receptive frame of mind when Bohemond accused the Greeks in Latakia
of being enemies of the crusaders, although Bohemond was more properly an
enemy of the Greeks. The upshot was that Daimbert joined Bohemond in the
siege of Latakia. At this juncture, in September, there arrived three of
the principal chieftains of the First Crusade, Raymond of St. Gilles, Robert,
duke of Normandy, and Robert, count of Flanders, leading their troops home
from the conquest of Jerusalem. The three princes vigorously protested against
this attack upon fellow Christians. This is excellent evidence that they
were still strongly motivated by pope Urban's original plans for reconciliation
with the Greek church, as well as by their oaths to Alexius. They won over
Daimbert and forced Bohemond to desist. Raymond must have had another motive;
he must have also desired to embarrass his old rival Bohemond. Robert of
Normandy, Robert of Flanders, and most of Raymond's Provençal army
now returned home, by way of Constantinople, in ships furnished by the Byzantines.
Raymond himself wintered at Latakia among the Greeks, and went on to visit
Alexius at Constantinople the next year. 
 Bohemond meanwhile was in an uneasy position. He realized that he did not
have the support of the other Latins in his war with the Byzantines. He had
violated his oath to Alexius and the intent of Urban's crusade, and had not
even fulfilled his vow to go to Jerusalem. But Bohemond was resourceful.
He invited Baldwin of Edessa, who likewise had not fulfilled his vow, and
8 The fact that the Pisan fleet wintered in Corfu is among the reasons why
A. C. Krey, 
"Urban's Crusade, Success or Failure.?" AHR, LIII (1948), 241, note 21, and
his student J. Bohnstedt, to both of whom I am indebted, believe that Daimbert
and the Pisan fleet left Italy before the news of the death, August I, 1098,
of the papal legate, bishop Adhémar of Le Puy, could have been brought
back to Italy from Syria. Hence Daimbert could not have been sent out from
Italy as legate in succession to Adhémar, as has been widely assumed.

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