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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 367

Ch. XI THE CRUSADE OF 1101 367 
tions with the princes and the oaths he secured from them at considerable
expense show clearly that he expected to profit by their fighting as he had
by the victories of the earlier crusaders. He was not the man to destroy
potential allies out of spite because of their disorders and insults, and
certainly he was not the man to send them out to rescue his archenemy Bohemond.38
 The failure of the crusade can be explained without making a traitor of
Alexius. The crusaders had planned to meet at Constantinople, but the several
armies missed the rendezvous by a very narrow margin of time; this was partly
the result of their own behavior, partly a matter of chance. Separately they
fell before a temporary alliance of Moslem princes; together they might have
fought their way through to Syria. Perhaps they would not have been able
to do so. Their leadership was poor, their knowledge of the enemy's territory
and tactics slight. For any army so long a march through a rugged and skillfully
defended area is a prodigious task that requires good organization, a sound
system of logistics, and a bit of luck. The crusaders of 1101 had no organization,
no system, no luck, and so they set a pattern of failure that was to be followed
by those of 1147 and 1190. Of more immediate importance was their failure
to reinforce the Latin kingdom. The newly established states of the crusaders
were forced, therefore, to rely largely on their own resources for both defense
and administration. These resources were very limited, and herein lies the
major problem of the ensuing years. 
 3~ For Alexius' character I have relied heavily on F. Chalandon, Essai sur
le r~gne d'Alexis Jer Comnt~ne (Paris, 5900), especially chapter VII, which
deals with the Crusade of 1101, and on his briefer treatment in the Cambridge
Medieval History, IV, chapter xi. 

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