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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 375

Daimbert to accompany him to Jerusalem to celebrate Christmas 
at the Holy Sepulcher. As a result the three leaders arrived with 
a large force, principally Bohemond's, at Jerusalem, December 21, 
 Now let us examine the situation at Jerusalem when Bohemond, Baldwin, and
Daimbert arrived. The dominating influence there was Godfrey of Bouillon,,
duke of Lower Lorraine, who now held the title of Advocate of the Holy Sepulcher.
Godfrey's greatest immediate problem was the safety of the city and the surrounding
area. After the battle of Ascalon, disagreements between Godfrey and the
other leaders and his unwillingness to permit any advantage to Raymond of
St. Gilles prevented further cooperation. There were two unfortunate consequences.
First, Ascalon. did not surrender and, indeed, was only captured with great
labor a half century later. Second, there followed an almost wholesale exodus
of crusaders led, as we have seen, by count Raymond and the two Roberts.
The chronicler Albert of Aix writes that about twenty thousand left with
them. Of the leaders only Godfrey and Tancred, a nephew of Bohemond, remained.
Godfrey begged the departing princes to send him aid when they returned home.
Albert reports that Godfrey had about three thousand men that fall (1099).
Next spring it was estimated that Godfrey had only two hundred knights and
a thousand footmen. William of Tyre writes that men who had originally decided
to stay deserted their holdings and went back to Europe.9 
 The little state of Jerusalem was thus left an island in the sea of Islam.
It consisted of Godfrey's own domain in southern Palestine and of a semi-independent
barony begun by Tancred around Tiberias. Godfrey's domain chiefly comprised
the port of J affa and the inland towns of Lydda, Ramla, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem.
At first it consisted of little more than these towns. The peasants of the
countryside, largely Arabs, were hostile and given to ambushing the unwary
on the highways. The towns were depopulated, short of food, and subject to
plundering by the Arabs at night. The nearest possible source of help was
Tancred, seventyfive miles to the north, and Tancred's resources were even
more insignificant than those of Godfrey. Godfrey had no sea power. Saracen
squadrons from Sidon, Tyre, Acre, Caesarea, Ascalon, and Egypt scoured his
coast and threatened traffic into Jaffa. 
~ Albert of Aix (RHC, 0cc., IV), pp. 503, 507, 517; William of Tyre, IX,
i~. For discussion of conditions in Jerusalem see J. Prawer, "The Settlement
of the Latins in Jerusalem," 
Speculum, XXVII (1952), 491—495. 

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