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

VIII: The First Crusade: Clermont to Constantinople,   pp. 253-279 PDF (13.0 MB)

Page 279

were able to buy what they needed. No doubt the long wait in Apulia, and
the fear and cost of transportation by sea, had elimi nated many of the impecunious
pilgrims. While encamped with out the walls, small parties were permitted
to enter the city to visit the churches. Among these visitors was the chronicler
Fulcher, who was greatly impressed by the sights of this "excellent and beautiful
 With the arrival of Robert of Normandy and Stephen, the first stage of the
crusade, the march of the armies to Constantinople, was ended. That the Byzantine
officials had handled the large numbers of crusaders and pilgrims very successfully
is indicated by the rarity, as a whole, of the complaints made by the western
chroniclers who accompanied the armies. But it must also be noted that the
crusading leaders had managed their undisciplined crowds very well, especially
in restraining the propensity of their men to forage. For, although most
of the crusaders, and also the noncombatant pilgrims, seem to have understood
that they had to have the means to buy food, they were all ready enough to
forage when the opportunity came. Certainly, this was true of the Lorrainers,
the Normans from southern Italy, and the Proven├žals. That they were
difficult folk to manage, Alexius knew very well, and as they arrived at
Constantinople, he undertook to come to terms with the leaders, one by one.

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