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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 310

vanguard up to the walls of the city, and the whole army followed close behind.2
 It was through treachery that the Turks had captured Antioch in 1085; and
treachery was what Yaghi-Slyan most feared. His garrison was not very large.
If he was to man the walls and police the city adequately he could not afford
engagements that might reduce his strength in men. He allowed the invaders
to install themselves around the walls and left them for a fortnight unmolested.
When they arrived, Bohemond took up his position opposite the Gate of St.
Paul, with Raymond on his right, opposite the Gate of the Dog, and Godfrey
beyond him, opposite the Gate of the Duke. Work was at once begun on a bridge
of boats to cross the river from Godfrey's camp. It was completed quickly,
and detachments of the army moved across to camp opposite the fortified bridge
and to open the road to the sea. 
 Yaghi-Siyan had expected an immediate assault on the city; but among the
crusaders only Raymond wished to storm the walls at once. God would carry
them to victory, he said. The other leaders were less hopeful. They could
not afford to lose men, and they expected reinforcements. Tancred was due
to arrive from Alexandretta, and there were rumors of help coming by sea.
Bohemond, whose opinion carried most weight in the army, counseled delay.
He had his own reasons for so doing. Almost certainly he already planned
to secure Antioch for himself and intended therefore that it should be surrendered
to him personally. Raymond pleaded in vain; and the one chance of capturing
the city quickly was lost. Yaghi-Siyan had been thoroughly frightened and
might not have been able to put up a vigorous resistance; but with the delay
his confidence was restored. 
 It was easy for Bohemond to make friends within the city. 
There were local Christians in the camp who had relatives in 
Antioch; and as yet it was possible to pass to and fro through the 
Gate of St. George on the west. But, while the Franks found 
agents within the walls, Yaghi-Siyan equally well found agents 
2 The story of the siege of Antioch is told in detail in the Gesta Francorum,
V, 12 — VIII, 
20 (ed. Bréhier, pp. 66—i so), and by Albert of Aix, III, 2
— IV, z (RHC, 0cc., IV, 358—432), and by Raymond of Aguilers,
v—ix (RHC, 0cc., III, 241—259). Fuicher of Chartres, I, xv—xviii
(ed. Hagenmeyer, pp. 216—233), who was not present, gives a shorter
account. William of Tyre and the chronicles based on the Gesta add a few
details. There are accounts in Anna Comnena, XI, ~V, 5—7 (ed. Leib,
III, 19—23), and Matthew of Edessa, II, cli—cliv (tr. Dulaurier,
pp. 2 17—222). The Arabic chroniclers pass over the siege briefly (Kamãl-ad-Din,
pp. 579—582, and Ibn-al-Athir, Kämil, pp. 592—593). An account
by a contemporary Armenian monk is published by P. Peeters, "Un Témoignage
autographe sur le siege d'Antioche par les croisées en 5098," Miscellanea
bistorica Alberti de Meyer (z you., Louvain, 5946), I, 373—390. A critical
summary of the sources is given in C. Cahen, La Syrie du nord, pp. 211—218.

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