Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years
XV: The Second Crusade, pp. 463-512 PDF (5.7 MB)
Ch. XV THE SECOND CRUSADE 507 engaged in defending their lands against Nür-ad-Din, and the count of Tripoli had serious internal problems to settle. In his description of the court William of Tyre characterizes the nobles of the realm of Jerusalem as possessing an accurate knowledge of affairs and places, attributes which were normal enough for the inhabitants of the country, but in sharp contrast to the elementary and romantic notions that the European crusaders entertained concerning the Holy Land. On foreign soil, among situations which had repeatedly proved far more complex than they had suspected, the western princes felt and were made to feel that they needed the advice of men who knew the place intimately. The day was past when they could afford to dash ahead into practically unknown territory or plod ahead without a vigorous plan for a campaign. With the nobles of Jerusalem they entered into careful consideration as to what action would be most expedient. Various plans were presented before the council and discussed. Some crusaders like the count of Flanders and Arnuif of Lisieux were eager to leave the Holy Land behind and to go home without attempting the campaign, and Conrad seemed to be turning to that point of view. Louis and his warlike supporters like the bishop of Langres wanted to stay and perform some deed worthy of their country and their ancestors. Surely there must have been advocates for the northern campaign planned by Raymond of Antioch or for the relief of Edessa. In the end, however, the recommendation of the more belligerent Syrian barons won out, even though there was a native faction which considered an expedition against a city as consistently friendly as Damascus unwise. At this decision some of the crusaders like Welf did go home; but the greatest part of the troops, numbering at least 50,000 and commanded by Baldwin, Louis, and Conrad, assembled at Tiberias in mid-July.37 Fired by the sight of the True Cross, the Christian army marched to Banyas for a further conference about strategy. Here the leaders received the advice of men well acquainted with the situation of Damascus and its surroundings, and in council with the barons and prelates decided to attack from the west, where the city's strongest fortifications were protected by orchards that ~ William of Tyre, History, XVI, 28—29; XVII, I—a; Otto, Gesta, I, 6z; Historia pontificalis, xxiv; Historia Welforum Weingartensis (MGH, SS., XXI), p. 27. The Syriac Fragment (ed. Taylor), pp. 123—124, after speaking of the second fall of Edessa, mentions the many refugees from Edessa among the great crowds in Jerusalem in I 148. See also Giesebrecht, Kaiserzeit, IV, 288—289; Devic et Vaissete, Histoire ginirale de Languedoc, III, 754; IV, 223—224; Jean Richard, Le Comti de Tripoli, p. 6ff.; Grousset, Histoire des croisades, II, 270; Bernhardi, Konrad ill, pp. 663—665.
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