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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 322

declared that he was illiterate. Moreover St. Andrew soon re appeared, to
recommend five fast-days, after which the crusaders were to go out and attack
Kerbogha. This advice conveniently coincided with Bohemond's known wishes.'2
 Bohemond, who was now in sole command, as Raymond had fallen ill, had learned
of difficulties in Kerbogha's camp. His great army was not homogeneous. The
bedouins from the desert disliked the Turks from Mesopotamia. The emir of
Horns had a feud with the emir of Manbij; and none of the emirs relished
being under the command of a mere atabeg. Kerbogha decided that Ridvan's
help was needed, but to court Ridvan meant to offend Dukak. There were quarrels
in the Moslem camp, and desertions became more frequent. 
 The Christian princes were aware of this and hoped that perhaps Kerbogha
could be persuaded to raise the siege on terms. On June 27 they sent an embassy
to him, composed of Peter the Hermit and a Frank called Herluin, who spoke
both Arabic and Persian. Peter was chosen partly as the most eminent non
military figure in the army and partly that he might redeem his reputation,
damaged by his attempted flight. He fulfilled the task bravely; but Kerbogha
made it clear that he would consider only unconditional surrender. The ambassadors
returned empty-hand ed, but Herluin may have learnt something of the enemy's
 On the failure of the embassy Bohemond easily persuaded the princes to risk
a battle. Early on Monday, June 28, he drew the army up for action, in six
divisions. The first, the French and Flemish, was led by Hugh of Vermandois
and Robert of Flanders; the second, the Lorrainers, led by Godfrey; the third,
the Normans of Normandy, under duke Robert; the fourth, Raymond's army, under
bishop Adhémar, as Raymond was still ill; and the fifth and sixth
of Italians and Normans of Italy, under Bohemond and Tancred. Raymond, from
his sickbed, was to command the two hundred men left to contain the citadel.
After a service of inter cession, the troops marched out across the fortified
bridge and wheeled right up the river bank. Though many of the knights had
to fight on foot for lack of horses, the general morale was high. 
 12 The fullest contemporary account of Peter Bartholomew's visions is given
by Raymond of Aguilers, who believed completely in them (x; RHC, 0cc., III,
253—255). The author of the Gesta (IX, 35; ed. Bréhier, pp.
132—134) seems also to have believed, and omits the story of his later
fiasco. The princes in their letter to Urban II were also convinced at the
time (Hagenmeyer, Epistulae, p. 163). For the story of the lance, see S.
Runciman, "The Holy Lance Found at Antioch," Analecta Bollandiana, LXVIII
(i5o), 197—205. 

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