In addition to the spiritual reward this little work of mine may bring, my purpose in writing is to speak as I would wish someone else, writing the same story, would speak to me. For my mind loves what is somewhat obscure, and detests a raw, unpolished style. I savor those things which are able to exercise my mind more than those things which, too easily understood, are incapable of inscribing themselves upon mind always avid for novelty. In everything that I have written and am writing, I have driven everyone from my mind, instead thinking only of what is good for myself, with no concern for pleasing anyone else. Beyond worrying about the opinions of others, calm or unconcerned about my own, I await the blows of whatever words may fall upon me. And so let us take up what we have begun, and calmly bear the judgements that men bark at us.
We do not think it possible for anyone to tell what happened at the siege of Antioch, because, among those who were there, no one can be found who could have seen everything that happened everywhere in the city, or who could have understood it entirely in the order in which it happened. Since we have already briefly touched upon the privations and misfortunes of war that they suffered, it now seems proper to pass on to how they managed to end the siege, and what the fruits of such labor were.
One of the Turkish leaders in the city was called Pyrrus; having become familiar with Bohemund by some means or other, he began communicating with him by frequent messengers, and they often informed each other about what was happening on both sides. As their friendship grew, kindled by their steady conversations, little by little Bohemund began to propose that the city, over which the Turk had significant power, be surrendered to the Christians, and that he accept Christianity. He promised him, if he did these two things, that he would receive greater wealth, along with greater honor than he had ever had. After these offers had been made not once, but many times, attracted by the reward, he consented, and wrote a letter like this, "I am in charge of three towers: I shall hand them over to you; at whatever hour you please, or whatever time is convenient, I shall gladly permit either you or whomever you wish to enter them." Hope now began to lift Bohemund's spiritgreatly, and while he waited to enter the city, his handsome face shone with inward pleasure. Fearing that, at the moment the city was being betrayed, one of our leaders might seize control of the whole city for himself he cleverly called the leaders of the army together.
"It is no secret," he said, "O excellent peers, what starvation, what cold, what harsh vigils you have had to endure while besieging this city; clearly a deadly weariness, for which there is no known remedy, has descended equally on all of our people, the highest, the lowest, and those in between. I ask you to hold a meeting among yourselves, to consider whether you will give power over this city to one of us, if he is able to obtain its surrender. It seems to me right, if someone, whether by force, or in secret, or by bribery, manages to gain entrance, that everyone categorically agree to grant him rule over the city." The attitude of the leaders was very much at odds with Bohemund's; with angry frowns they said, "It is not right that, after the work and the fear have been shared by all, and undertaken without seeking the honor of reward, and when danger has hung in an equal balance over all, that rule over the city, struggled for so long and through so much pain, by so many great men, should be granted to any one man. For who does not think it just, that, since the struggle raged for everyone, the rest and his own share after the victory rightly belongs to everyone." Unhappy with these developments, weighing in his troubled mind what he had heard, Bohemund left. Suddenly, news came to the leaders that an innumerable army, formed from among the barbarous nations that were their enemies, was forming to come to the aid of Antioch. After a swift change of mind, they called a meeting, and said to each other, "Should Bohemund take the city by some trick, we might permit him to possess it, with this one condition: if the emperor supplies the help he has promised us, and carries out with matching generosity what he has offered and sworn to give us, we must ourselves hand over the city to the emperor's jurisdiction. Should he fail us, the entire city will be given over to Bohemund, as he requested." When he found out what they had said, the splendid man was reassured, and repeated his imprecations to Pyrrus every day, seducing him with promises and praise. "Lo," he said, "fine Pyrrus, you see that opportunity smiles in the working out of these matters. Therefore, I say, do not delay, lest you lose what we have labored together for, because it is discovered, God forbid, by someone." Pleased with Bohemund's message, Pyrrus promised that his efforts would in no way be delayed. And, lest the effect of the daily delay create anxiety in the noble man, Pyrrus secretly sent his own son to Bohemund, informing him that he faithfully looked forward to the surrender of the city. "Tomorrow," he said, "at the first light, collect the entire force of the Franks army, with horns blowing, and order them to proceed some distance from the encampment, as though they were going to make one of their usual raids on Saracen territory; but then bring them back immediately through the mountains on the right. I shall wait inside the city for your return, ready to admit immediately into the towers which seem to be under my control those whom you choose to send. Bohemund eagerly hastened to carry out the plan he had heard; summoning one of his retainers, he ordered him to carry out the office of herald, circulating throughout the Franks' camp, telling them to prepare themselves with the greatest care, as though they were proceeding into the land of the Saracens. Without delay, the wisdom of the servant carried out the command of the leader directly, nor did the men of France refuse to comply. At last Bohemund told the joy in his heart to duke Godfrey, to the count of Flanders, to the count of Saint-Gilles, and to the bishop of Puy; trusting the promises of Pyrrus, he said that Antioch would be surrendered to him that night. Therefore, when the army was drawn up in the order we have described, the knights were ordered to march through the plain; the band of foot-soldiers marched through the mountains. Throughout the night they marched, and before dawn offered its first rays, they stood before the towers over which the blessed traitor vigilantly stood watch.
When Bohemund got down from his horse, he spoke to the Franks with a tone of unusual authority, "Go forward, and breathe free of the anxiety which you have long endured; climb the ladder built for you; let me detain you no longer -- seize the city you have been hoping for so long. Long under subjection to the Turks, it will now surrender, God willing, to your custody." The Franks reached the ladder, which was attached and very firmly tied to the walls of the city, offering a way to ascend to the sixty men who, when they reached the towers, were given authority over them. However, because so few Franks had climbed up, Pyrrus, waiting, and anxious, not for our men but for himself, as became very clear later, feared that the outcome of the betrayal he had undertaken would lead to his own destruction, and he cried out brusquely in Greek to those near him, "We have too few Franks." With these words he eagerly called upon Bohemund to proceed quickly, before the inhabitants knew that the Franks were assembling. But certain Lombard servant, understanding that Pyrrus was complaining about the absence of Bohemund, hastened as quickly as he could to the man who was being sought, "Why," he said, "are you behaving so foolishly? Why do you carry out such an arduous task so slowly? See how we now have obtained control of three towers; why do you watch the doubtful outcome of this affair from a distance? Wake up, move your forces, place yourself in the midst of the action." Very swiftly now he hastened with his men to the ladder, and he revived the hopes both of the good traitor and of those who had already climbed the wall. Immediately those who already occupied Pyrrus' towers, waiting for the Franks to assemble from all sides, began to shout with great joy, "God wishes it!" Those who were standing before the walls, about to climb up, shouted the same thing with all their might. With great competitiveness each tried to climb the wall first; once up the ladder, they took over the towers, and others, as quickly as possible. Whoever stood in 1 - their way was put to death; among those who died was Pyrrus' brother. Meanwhile a ladder broke, and the great crowd of our men below, and those who had preceded them, were sorely troubled; those on the top of the wall feared that they were cut off from aid, and those at the bottom feared that those who had climbed up could not receive support. But great effort quickly made a way. There was a hidden gate to their left; it was not remarkable that it could not be seen at night; even during the day it was hardly ever seen, since it was located in a place where there was little traffic. By tapping the wall, however, impelled by urgent need, they found it; immediately they ran up to it, and opened it by breaking the hinges and locks, making an entry for the Franks, who rushed in.
You would have heard the whole city shaken with terrible roar. While some rejoiced in the completion of such a task, others wept at the unlooked-for destruction of their prospects. Neither the victors nor the vanquished showed any moderation or self-control. Bohemund ordered his standard, easily recognized by the Turks, to be placed on top of a certain mountain, in full view of the citadel, which was still resisting, to make the city aware of his presence. Wailing and shrieking filled the city; while throngs pressed through the narrow streets, the brutal, bloody shouts of the victors, eager to kill, resounded. As they recalled the sufferings they had endured during the siege, they thought that the blows that they were giving could not match the starvations, more bitter than death, that they had suffered. The same punishment inflicted upon the hordes of pagans was justly meted out to the treacherous Armenians and Syrians, who, with the aid of the Turks, had eagerly and diligently pursued the destruction of our men, and our men were, in turn, unwilling to spare them painful punishment. And yet I say that they would have spared many of them, had they known how to make a distinction between the natives pagans and those of our own faith. In the confusion of the moment and of the action (it was night, and eagerness to capture the town and impatience with delay incited everyone), perhaps nothing permitted distinguishing foreigners by their clothing or beards. A terrible neglect covered the thinness of the weary cheeks of our men, who, continually prepared for battle, worn out by continual traveling, had stopped shaving their beards in the Franks' manner. The bishop of Puy noticed this, and to prevent mutual slaughter in case they confronted each other in battle, (each thinking the other a Turk because of the beard), ordered them to shave often, and to hang on their necks crosses made of silver or of some other material, so that no one, mistaken for a foreigner, would be struck down by a comrade. In the morning, those who had remained in the tents heard the tumult in the city, and came out. They saw Bohemund's standard fixed on the lofty mountain, in front of the walls of the citadel, which had not yet been captured. They quickly ran towards the gates of the city and broke in, cut down the Turks and Saracens whom they found there, while those, however, who had fled into the citadel, escaped death. Some of the Turks, having learned that the Franks had taken control of the city, escaped through other gates of the city. Within the city, however, no one was spared because of sex; young children were killed, and, since those weak with age were not spared, there can be no doubt about the ferocity with which those who were young enough to be fit for battle were killed.
Meanwhile, fearing capture by the Frankish forces, and wishing to purchase his life by running away, Cassian, who was in charge of the city of Antioch, together with several of his leaders, took refuge not far from Antioch, in an are occupied by Tancred. Exhausting their horses by the speed of their flight, unable to proceed any further, they turned aside and stopped at a small house. When the inhabitants of the mountains, Armenians and Syrians, found their greatest enemy hidden, at the mercy of fortune, in a poor hut, they recognized him at once, decapitated him, and brought the severed head as a gift to Bohemund, expecting that they would obtain their freedom from him in exchange for the unusual gift. His baldric and the scabbard of the sword they took from him were estimated to be worth 60 besants. These events occurred on Thursday, the fifth of June. Then you would have seen the city overflowing with bodies and with intolerable stench. Markets, public places, the porches and vestibules of homes, which once were adorned with beautifully polished marble surfaces, were now completely stained with gore. Infinite numbers of corpses heaped up everywhere, a horrible spectacle, and the savagery of the foul air, horribly infected both the eyes and the ears. The narrow streets were strewn with deep piles of stinking bodies, and since there was no way to carry off so many dead, and there was no escape from the smells, the constant sight and stink made men used to the horror. Thus habit led to audacity, and no one feared to walk down the streets filled with bodies.
Therefore Kherboga, the mayor of the palace or rather the leader of the troops of the king of the Persians, whom they were accustomed to call Sogdianus, the name of previous king of the Persians (as the Romans are accustomed to call their leaders Caesars), while he was still within the kingdom of Persia, in the province called Khorasan (some say that this land derives its name by corruption from the name of the land around the Caucasus), was summoned by frequent messengers from Cassianus, the ruler of the city of Antioch, to bring help to him in his beleaguered position. Cassianus promised that, if he drove off the Franks, he would either turn over to him the liberated city, or provide him with a gift equal to his great labor. When the general, enticed by this promise, had put together a huge army, and had asked for and received permission to kill the Christians from the chief pontiff of their heresy (for even they have their Pope, in the likeness of ours), he quickly set off to relieve the siege of Antioch. The prefect of Jerusalem (whom they call in their barbaric language "emir") also immediately increased the invading forces with his own army, which was, in turn, augmented by the considerable forces of the king of Damascus. The pagans recruited by the infidel prince, in addition to the Turks, Saracens, Arabs, and Persians (who are already familiar to historians), bore new names: they were the Publicans, the Kurds, the Azimites, and the Agulani, together with innumerable others, who were by no means human, but monsters. Three thousand of those who were called Agulani were said to be present, and they were afraid neither of swords, lances, arrows, nor any kind of arms, because they and their horses were covered with armor everywhere. In battles the only weapons they used were their swords. Kherboga therefore, with the great arrogance of the pagans, strove to drive the Franks from Antioch. As the prince approached the city, the son of the dead Cassian, Sensadolus by name, met him, and, with great sadness, said to him, "Since your strength is widely renowned, and the victories of you and your people are everywhere judged to be incomparable, certainly my hope for your aid will not be disappointed, O most victorious of men. No one denies the worth of your judgements; because of the brilliance of your deeds, your power is worshipped everywhere; therefore I need not be ashamed of lamenting my misfortune in your presence. I know for certain that I am not begging in vain for the things for which I ask. Your excellency remembers that you received ambassadors from my father when Antioch was being besieged, and that, while you were deciding to come to his aid, you heard that the city had been captured by the Franks. Now my father is dead, and I am besieged in the citadel of the city, undoubtedly awaiting the same fate that overtook my father. If they have invaded Antioch, and have done the same to many cities and towns of Armenia and Syria, they undoubtedly intend to do the same thing to you and to others of our race. May your excellency carry out with all your force what you have undertaken against these vicious men, so that the usurpations intended by these most wretched of men may be thwarted. For me, in this crisis, you remain the last hope." In response to these laments, Kherbog replied, "If you want my help in these present dangers, turn over to me the city which you are defending and for which you are pleading, and after I have put my men in charge of the citadel, then you will find out what I shall do on your behalf." Sensadolus replied, "If you kill the Franks for me, and bring me their severed heads, I shall let you into the city; then I shall swear allegiance to you and as your liege rule the citadel." Corboran said to him, "You will not behave like that towards me, but will hand over the city immediately." What more? The demand of the infidel ruler prevailed, and the young man, surrendered control of the citadel to him who wrested it from him, but who would not long enjoy his power.
On the third day after the Franks had broken into Antioch, the vanguard of the Turks had appeared before the walls of the city, while the rest of their vast army set up their tents at the Pharfar bridge. First they attacked the tower closest to the bridge, and after they had captured it with very great effort, they killed everyone they found within in it, sparing only the commander of the tower, whom our men found, after a later battle against them, chained in irons. The next day the army hurried towards the city, chose a spot between two rivers for their tents, and remained there for two days. After capturing the fort whose commander, as I said, was put in chains, Kherboga summoned one of his officers, whom he knew to be wise and trustworthy, and gave him the following orders, " Go and defend the fort for me, with the fidelity that you owe me, and which I expect of you." He replied, "I shall have difficulty carrying out your command in this matter, but I shall carry it out on the condition that, if the Franks are victorious, you permit me to surrender the citadel to the victors." Kherboga replied, "I trust your discretion and your faithfulness in this matter, and shall firmly support whatever you choose to do." After the fort had been provisioned, the ill-fated prince returned to his camp, where some of his Turks, having stripped a poor foot-soldier of his arms, brought them to Kherboga to make sport of us. The sword was filthy with rust, the bow was black as soot, the dull lance was covered with the smoke of many years. Joking, they said to him, "Here are the weapons with which the Frankish army will defeat us." Smiling, Kherboga said to them, "Will they depopulate the East with with these shining, powerful arms? Will the far reaches of the Caucasus submit to these men? Will the unarmed Franks be able to take away from us the lands which the Amazons once held, and which our ancestors once claimed?" He spoke, called scribe, and said, "Write as quickly as possible the same letters on different pieces of parchment, so that they may be sent throughout the provinces of Persia, to our Pope, to the lord and king of our Persians, to the governors and to our military peers in the different areas." This is the tenor of what he wrote:
To the magnificent lord and king of the Persians, to the blessed Pope, and to all of those sworn to fight a holy war against the Christians, Kherboga, prince of his army, wishes health and victory. Fathers and lords, I am grateful that the supreme divinity continually provides us with good fortune, and offers us victory everywhere over the enemies of the people. We are sending you three weapons which we have taken from the Franks, so that you may see what with what equipment those who wish to drive us from our country fight. I would like you to know that I am besieging the Franks, who intend to destroy us, in the very city, Antioch, which they have just captured. I am in possession of the lofty citadel in the heart of the city. Since I can either put to death those who are shut up there, or place them in abject captivity, I do not want you meanwhile to be tortured with worry out of concern for us, but I want you to know that we are completely in control. Therefore give yourselves up to pleasures: in greater security than that to which you are accustomed, eat the finest foods; lie with multitudes of wives and concubines to propagate the race, so that the increasing number of sons may oppose the Christians, whose number now grows. I swear by the high Thunderer, that I, protected by the blessed Mahomet, will not appear before the eyes of your majesty until I have subdued the royal city, that is, Antioch, as well as neighboring Syria, the Greeks and the Epirites, whom they call the Bulgars, and I have conquered the Apulians and Calabrians as an additional ornament to your glory. Farewell.
Kherboga's mother, who lived in the city of Aleppo, came to him at this time, and sadly offered him counsel: "I would like to know whether what is said of you is true." Her son replied, "What is that?" She said, "They say that you are going to fight the Franks." He replied, "Absolutely true." She said, "Son, best of men, I dare to appeal to your native nobility not to fight them, lest you mar your reputation. Since the brilliance of your arms gleams as far as the furthest reaches of the Indian Ocean, and remote Thule resounds with your praise, why would you soil your weapons with the blood of poor men, whom it does not pay to attack, and from whose defeat you can gain no glory? Since you can compel distant kings to tremble, why harm wretched foreigners? My son, I say that you rightly despise them as individuals, but you should know for a fact that the authority of the Christian religion is superior. Therefore I beg you not to attempt something that you will later regret having undertaken." When he heard what she had to say, he looked at her with anger in his eyes and said, "Why do you weave these old wives' tales? You are raving, I suggest, insanely pouring forth words without understanding. All the men in their army do not amount even to the number of noble leaders from the cities who are fighting under my command. And do you, in your insanity, think that Christian presumption will obscure my power?" She said, "Oh most dearly beloved son, I place little value on the names of the 1 - people about whom we are speaking, but I beg you not to shun their leader, Christ. Perhaps they themselves do not have the power to fight you, but victory is certain for their God, if he wishes to prevail. He customarily defends his own men, though they be weak and ignorant, purely for his own glory, and watches over and protects them, whose shepherd, or rather redeemer, he says he is. Do you think that he who has looked after the empires of his faith, who has thus far granted them victory over us, is incapable at this very moment of easily overturning our efforts? For it was said to him by the Father, as though to a God about to rise again from the dead, 'Arise God, and judge the earth, for you will inherit it among the nations of men.' Therefore, if he judges the earth, he sees and sets apart some from the mass doomed to destruction, while others he condemns, and he takes as his inheritance not all nations, but only a portion of the whole. May your foresight hear, my son, how severely he punishes those whom he permits to be ignorant of him. The prophet David says, 'Pour forth thy wrath against the nations that have not known thee, and against the kingdoms that have not cried out thy name.' You do not condemn these Franks because they are strangers and you are gentiles; you do not reject them because their arms are humble or because they are impoverished; but rather you hate in them the name of Christ. Certainly He who is despised in them will fight for them, if necessary, with 2 - overflowing anger. If he has promised them with prophetic mouth that 'the name of God will be praised from east to west,' for he is said to be exalted not over the Jews, but over all nations, and by the mouth of God himself it was said that the people who had not been his people were now his people, and those who had not been loved were now loved, and what had been among the Jews was transferred to all nations by the grace of adoption, and among the rest of them the face of the God of the Jews was provided, then who except a madman would dare attack the sons of God? I predict that if you fight them, you will bring upon yourself great discomfort and shame. You will undergo certain military defeat, enrich the Christians with booty taken from you, and you yourself will run off in ignominious flight. Even if death does not wait for you in this battle, you may be certain that your life will end within a year. Their God does not take immediate vengeance when a crime is done, but defers the punishment until the crime itself has come to full fruition. For this reason, my son, I fear that you may be increasing the horror of your death by delaying it." Stunned by his mother's miraculous eloquence, pale and weakened by the announcement of his impending death, Kherboga replied, "And you, I would like to know how you came by this knowledge, how you have discovered that the Christian people will use its strength against us, that they are about to triumph in battle over us, that they will 3 - despoil us, and that I shall die a sudden death within the year." She said, "Son, we know that nearly one hundred years have gone by since it was discovered in certain secret books of a pagan sect that the Christian people would rise up against us in battle and subjugate us entirely, setting up their kingdom where we now exercise dominion, so that pagans would be subject to those of the true faith. But our knowledge was not clear in this respect: we did not know whether it would come about now or after a long time. I then diligently studied astronomy, examining innumerable possibilities, until, checking them against each other, I learned that we would inevitably be conquered by Christian men. For this reason I grieve for you with all my heart, because I have no doubt that I shall soon be deprived of you." And he replied, "mother, I would like you to explain some things about which I am uncertain." She said, "ask, so that you will not be in doubt. Whatever I know you will know immediately." He said, "Tell me whether Bohemund and Tancred should be considered gods or men, and tell me whether they will bring victory in battle to the Franks." She replied, "Son, Bohemund and Tancred are like us, subject to mortality, but because they fight for their faith, they have merited glorious renown, for God helps them. They declare that God is the Father, whose son, made into a human being, they worship in the same manner, and they believe that both are the same in the unity of the holy Spirit." He replied, "Since you testify, O mother, that they are not Gods, but merely human beings like us, no more doubt remains, and we may try our strength in battle."
Therefore, understanding that her son, intent on fighting with the Franks, was unwilling to heed her advice, the mother collected whatever supplies she could gather and, spurned by her son, retired to the above-mentioned city of Aleppo. And so, three days later, Kherboga took up arms, and a large group of Turks approached the city with him on the side where the fort they had recently captured and fortified was located. Our men, however, judging that they could resist them, set up lines of defense against them, but the number of Turks was so great that our men did not have the force or boldness to resist. Therefore they were compelled to retreat into the city, but, as they were entering the gate in crowded flight, the entrance proved too narrow, and many were crushed to death. It was the fifth day of the week, and some outside the city were attacking the gate, while others continued to battle the inhabitants inside the city until evening.
But because Christ knew once and knows now whom he has chosen, some men who, so to speak, were not of the kind by means of whom salvation would come to Israel, when they saw that they were surrounded by the Turkish army,
and that the day's battle was scarcely ended when night came, they grew fearful and panic-stricken, aware only of their imminent death. Petrified, each saw his own life hanging before him, and in their frightened minds the men saw Turks already before them, about to strike them with deadly spears. Each lost faith in his own ability to fight, and therefore turned his mind to flight. Those who gave up hope in God made a filthy descent into the foul sewers, a worthy place for those who were giving such a bad example to the troops. The crawling cowards made their way to the sea, with the skin from their hands and feet torn away, and their bones stripped of flesh by the sharp rocks. Like Paul the doctor, who escaped from Damascus by means of a wall, they showed that the sewers were fitting for them.
Among those who retreated were a certain William of Normandy, nobly born, and his brother Alberic, sent to school early, who became a cleric, and then, out of passion for fighting, dropped away from the church and foully, like an apostate, became a knight. I would name the towns from which they came, were I not constrained by my close friendship with some members of their family to limit my remarks, thereby protecting them from shame. A certain Guido Trossellus, well known for his power and influence in cities across the Seine, and who was considered remarkable by the whole race of Franks, was the standard-bearer for the escape. There were other deserters from the holy army also, who, when they came back to their native land, were held in contempt and denounced as infamous everywhere. Some of them we do not know; others we know very well, but we prefer not to humiliate them.
They came to the port which is called the gate of Saint Simeon, where they found boats and sailors, and they asked the sailors, "Why are you waiting here, unhappy men? You should know that all those to whom you customarily bring food are about to die, for the city and those within it are besieged by an army of Turks, and we scarcely escaped from their onslaught with our naked bodies." Stung by the dire news, they hesitated, stunned for a long time, and then placed all their hope in flight.
They got into the ships and sought the depths of the sea.
Almost immediately afterwards, as their prows began to move through the waves, the Turks arrived, killed everyone they found there, burned the ships they found riding at anchor, and despoiled the bodies of those whom they had killed. After those base men, fleeing from divine assistance, had escaped through the foul places we have mentioned, those who had chosen to remain were no longer able to withstand the enemies' weapons or onslaughts. Therefore they built a wall between themselves and their enemies, which they patrolled night and day. The suffering of our men was so great there that they were compelled to eat the foulest food, the flesh of horses and donkeys.
One day, when the leaders of the army were standing before the citadel they were besieging, and were gravely worried about the misery they were suffering, a priest presented himself before them, and said, "Leaders and elders, I shall relate a vision of your excellence which, if you give it credence, may offer you some consolation, as I hope. While I was asleep one night in the church of the blessed mother of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, together with his most blessed mother and the blessed leader of the apostles, Peter, appeared standing before me and said, 'Do you know who I am?' 'Not at all,' I said. He spoke, and lo in a cloud above his head a cross appeared, like those one sees in paintings. Again questioning me, the image of the Savior repeated, 'Now do you know whom you see?' I said, 'O lord, I can recognize your identity only because I see above your neck the figure of the cross, which customarily represents your image wherever it is painted.' He said, 'you are not wrong. I am he.' Aware of how much we have suffered, I threw myself immediately at his feet and urgently begged him to relieve the suffering of those who were fighting for our faith. 'I have seen what you have endured,' he said, 'and I shall not now hesitate to bring you help. At my instigation you vowed to undertake this expedition; you have captured the city of Nicea with my support; under my leadership you have won many victories; having brought you this far, I have grieved for the sufferings you endured in besieging the city of Antioch, and which you are suffering even now within the city itself. However, after I raised you up with so much help and with so many victories, and I granted you victory in the city, preserving you safe and unharmed, you have behaved badly towards Christians, and have entered into filthy relations with pagan women; you have raised a foul clamor to heaven.' At this point the Virgin of unconquerable piety, always the intercessor with God for the human race, and Peter, the heavenly gatekeeper, and the patron bishop of Antioch, threw themselves at the feet of the most merciful Lord, praying and asking that He grant relief to his people. The miraculous Peter himself said, 'Your majesty remembers with what shameful things the pagans desecrated my home in this city, insulting your divinity by filling your shrines with disgraceful actions and with murder. Since you at last showed pity and expelled them, bringing joy to the heavenly kingdom, will you now relent and permit their pride to regain its former position against you yourself?' Moved by these words, God said to me, 'Go and tell my people to return with all their hearts to me, and I shall eagerly restore myself to them; within five days I shall provide the greatest help. Let them recite litanies, and let each man sing this response from <I>Ecclesiastes<R>: Our enemies have joined against me, and they rejoice in their strength; destroy their strength, O Lord, and scatter them (add here the verse)." The priest then added, "If you have any doubt about what I have said, I shall submit, in the name of truth, to whatever trial you wish, gladly undergoing trial by fire or by being thrown from a cliff. If I am harmed in the test, you may add to my injuries the worst punishment you can imagine." The bishop of Puy, always attentive to church law, ordered the bible and the Cross brought forward, so that the reliability of his words might be tested by oath.
When this had been done, the leaders, after consultation, mutually pledged that neither death nor life would compel them to abandon the defense they had undertaken, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Therefore first Bohemund, then the count of Saint Gilles, Hugh the Great, Robert of Normandy, duke Godfrey, and the count of Flanders, swore with equal vigor that they would never abandon the undertaking. But Tancred swore on this condition, that as long as he could rely on the support of forty knights he would not only refuse to retreat from the siege under which they presently labored, but he would not turn from the path to Jerusalem, unless death intervened. The news of these transactions fortified the hearts of the multitude.
Before Antioch was captured, a vision of the apostle Andrew appeared to one of the soldiers, whose name was Peter, and the vision said, "What are you doing?" Stunned, he did not reply, but asked who he was. He revealed that he was the apostle Andrew. "You should know, my son, that when the army of the Franks enters the city which God will open for them, you will go to the church of the blessed Peter, my brother and fellow apostle, and there in a certain place you will find the lance with which it is said the side of our Savior Jesus Christ was pierced." Saying no more, he departed. Peter wanted no one to know about the vision, nor did he think that it was anything more than one of those deceptive dreams to which we are all regularly subjected. But during his conversation with the apostle he had the presence of mind to ask him, "Lord, if I tell to our people what you have told me to do, what reliable evidence can I offer to overcome their doubts and to convince them to believe me?" In response, the glorious apostle took him and carried him in spirit to the basilica of his blessed brother, to the place in which the lance rested. After the city had been captured, when the people of God were subjected to the tribulations which we have described, the same memorable apostle who had undertaken to preserve in every way the elaborate beauty of the home of his famous brother again appeared to the man Peter, and said, "Why have you delayed carrying out my command? Since you see your people undergoing terrible hardships, attacked by the Turks, about to fall into the depths of despair, you should tell them what you learned from me, since they certainly should know that wherever they bear this same lance, they will have certain victory." After this second warning from the apostle, Peter began to relate to our people what he had seen in the vision. However, the people rejected his words, thinking them false, since they were surrounded on all sides by misfortunes, and could in no way conceive of any hope for their conditon. Firmly relying on the authority of what the apostle had said, Peter insisted that the apostle had appeared to him and had said to him twice in a vision, "Hurry, do not delay telling the imperilled army of God, as quickly as possible, to set aside their fears and cling to their firm belief in God, who will help them. Within five days the Lord will reveal things that will joyfully relieve their hearts. If they go into battle carrying this sign before them, their opposition will quickly be defeated and will submit to them." Peter's steady persuasiveness began to have an effect, and the Christians began to urge each other to have some hope, and they began to feel some relief. They said, "We should not be so stupid as to believe that God, who has thus far given us so many victories, would now permit us, besieged while defending the true faith, having placed our trust in Him, with our souls eagerly groaning for him, to be cut down by Turkish swords. Instead, we should certainly believe that, after our long suffering, He will shine the light of pity on us, and will cast fear of Himself upon the peoples who have not sought Him out."
Then the Turks who were guarding the citadel made sudden attack on our men, trapping three of our knights at fortification facing the citadel. Then the pagans stormed out of the citadel against our men with such force that they were unable to resist. Two of the men under attack were wounded and escaped, while the third continued to defend himself vigorously against the enemy, killing two of them on the top of the ramparts, having broken the shafts of their spears, while the Turks themselves had shattered three spears in their hands. The name of this knight was Hugh, nicknamed "the Madman," and he was one of the servants of certain Godfrey of Mount-Scabieuse.
Famed Bohemund, however, scarcely able to persuade some men to attack the citadel (for of those who hid in their homes, some suffered from lack of bread, while others were frightened by the ferocity and number of the pagans), driven by great anger, ordered that the part of the city around the palace of the now dead Cassian be burned. When they saw what was happening, they fled the conflagration, some towards the citadel, some towards the gate guarded by the count of Saint-Gilles, and some towards Godfrey; each fled towards the people to whom he most closely connected. Soon the suffering was increased by a very powerful storm, and the power of the wind was such that almost no one could walk upright. Meanwhile, when Bohemund saw that the city would be entirely destroyed by the conflagration, he was seized with anxiety about the fate of the church of blessed Peter and of the Holy Mother, and other churches as well. From the third hour until midnight the raging flames turned two thousand churches and homes into dust. In the middle of the night, the force of the raging fire abated.
Meanwhile those in the citadel cruelly attacked our men, who turned back into the city, worn out by hunger; they struck our men with steady effort, and by day and by night the two sides were separated only by the length of their swords and spears. When our men saw that they were caught in a non-stop battle, and had no opportunity at all to eat or drink, even if they had had a great supply of food, they built a wall out of cement and stone, and quickly surrounded it with many machines, so that they would have a feeling of greater security. In the citadel, a group of Turks remained who would, almost continually, come out to harass our men in battle, while other Turks remained in the field, facing the fortification. On the following night, a kind of fire appeared in the western sky, falling between the enemy camps. To both sides the sight of the falling fire seemed miraculous. In the morning, the Turks left the place in which the celestial fire had fallen as quickly as possible, and set themselves up in front of the gate that Bohemund was guarding. The portent which had appeared clearly before them announced the destruction that was obviously approaching them, had they understood it. The inhabitants of the citadel, who made frequent, relentless sorties against our army, their bows always stretched, inflicted wounds and death upon our men. The Turks who surrounded the city outside, and who occupied all the territory near the walls, vigilantly blocked every entrance to the city, so that the Christians were unable to leave or to enter, except at night, and even then only secretly. The enemy had assembled here in such great numbers and with such wealth, that everywhere one looked there were only men and tents, expensive furnishings, the brilliance of variegated costumes, flocks of cattle and sheep to be eaten, and women dressed as though they were, so to speak, temples. To add to this list of luxury, young women came with quivers full of arrows, looking like a new form of the ancient Diana; they seemed to have been brought here not to fight, but rather to reproduce. When the battle was over, those who were present asserted that new-born babies, born by women brought for this purpose on the expedition, were found thrown into the grass by these women, who, in their urgent flight from the Franks, could not endure the burden, and, more concerned for themselves than for the babies, heartlessly cast them away.
In the way in which we have described, then, with Turks everywhere preventing our men from getting out, and therefore unable to procure provisions from outside, the dangers of famine took hold of nearly the entire army, and the extraordinary lack of food particularly weakened the courage of the poor people. Since the Franks, at the time that they were besieging Antioch, had prevented the inhabitants from increasing their dwindling supply of food, when they captured the city they found very little to eat. After they had used up everything they could find, a mere piece of bread cost a bezant. The scarcity of produce and of spices resulted in great hardship, and many died, their bellies bloated with starvation. About wine I shall say nothing, since no one had any at all, and he who had nothing to eat would certainly drink fruit juice. Since there was no proper meat to eat, no one finally refused to eat the flesh of horses, and the small amount of donkey meat, sought for throughout the marketplaces and purchased at exorbitant prices, was a bitter resource for many crusaders. A chicken sold for fifteen sous, an egg for two sous, and a nut for penny. If many men assemble in a place where food is scarce, everything becomes expensive. They ate a mixture of figs, thistles, and grape leaves; fruit could no longer be found on the trees; out of the leaves they made a substitute for vegetables. Wealthy men ate the flesh of horses, camels, cows, and deer, but the poor prepared the dried skins of these animals, cut them into slices, boiled them and then ate them.
Among the ancient stories of besieged cities, where might we find people who, exiles from their native land, enduring such suffering, were able to persevere as steadfastly as these men? Even the ten-year siege of Troy was often interrupted by mutually beneficial truces, during which men might recover their strength, and the earth and the se might offer them sustenance. And even if any besieged men had suffered similar dangers, certainly they suffered to preserve their own freedom, and the defense of one's own life and country is considered more important than all other things. The crusaders, however, were driven from their native soil by no desire for personal gain, but by the intention of working for God. To deliver the church from harm, they endured the hardships of famine, rough sleeping places, long watches during the night, cold, rain, and the torment of ceaseless fear, which exceeded that endured by anyone whose sufferings have ever been recorded. What must be recognized as even more of a miracle is the fact that these men, at home in their own native lands, could scarcely endure setting up their tents as part of the king's army for three days, even when they were not forced to venture beyond the borders of their own regions. In my opinion, none of those who risked such danger could remember all of the anxieties of mind and agonies of body they had been compelled to endure. For twenty-six straight days this punishment continued.
At that time, Count Stephen of Blois, formerly a man of great discretion and wisdom, who had been chosen as leader by the entire army, said that he was suffering from painful illness, and, before the army had broken into Antioch, Stephen made his way to a certain small town, which was called Alexandriola. When the city had been captured and was again under siege, and he learned that the Christian leaders were in dire straits, Stephen, either unable or unwilling, delayed sending them aid, although they were awaiting his help. When he heard that an army of Turks had set up camp before the city walls, he rode shrewdly to the mountains and observed the amount the enemy had brought. When he saw the fields covered with innumerable tents, in understandably human fashion he retreated, judging that no mortal power could help those shut up in the city. A man of the utmost probity, energetic, pre-eminent in his love of truth, thinking himself unable to bring help to them, certain that they would die, as all the evidence indicated, he decided to protect himself, thinking that he would incur no shame by saving himself for a opportune moment. And I certainly think that his flight (if, however, it should be called a flight, since the count was certainly ill), after which the dishonorable act was rectified by martyrdom, was superior to the return of those who, persevering in their pursuit of foul pleasure, descended into the depths of criminal behavior. Who could claim that count Stephen and Hugh the Great, who had always been honorable, because they had seemed to retreat for this reason, were comparable to those who had steadfastly behaved badly? The results of the action for which they are blamed were so splendid, that surely one might praise them for what they did, while the behavior of the others embarrasses all good men. Let us look carefully at those who take pride in having been present at the capture of Jerusalem; we shall see that none permitted himself to be second to anyone else in committing crimes, betrayals, and perjuries. These two, however, were known for the nobility of their previous and subsequent behavior. The others, because they had seen Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre, thought that they could safely commit any crime, offering their own example as a reproach to holy men who had retreated, without considering how much they themselves should be blamed for the many stinking crimes they had committed. But laying these matters aside, let us continue in the direction in which we set out.
When he left Alexandriola, his own town, the count went to the town called Philomena. The capture of Antioch had been made known to the tyrannical emperor, who had quickly set out in that direction with many troops, thinking that he would undoubtedly be given the town by the Franks. When he had met the greedy emperor, who asked him about the condition of the Christian army and of the betrayed town, the count told him that the town had been captured, but he also told him that the citadel was held by the Turks. "Alas," he said, "a second siege destroys the joy of winning the city, for those who had at first besieged the Turks are now, in a wretched reversal, surrounded by Turks. I do not know what happened between them after I left." This is what the count said in secret to the prince. When the emperor heard this, he became discouraged, and summoned Bohemund's brother Guido, a man conspicuous for his martial spirit, together with some others, and described the situation to them, although he exaggerated what the count had told him. "What do you think should be done? The Franks are surrounded by a terrible Turkish siege, and perhaps have already fallen before their swords, or have been led away to different regions under the yoke of perpetual slavery. Since we do not have the ability or occasion to provide them with aid, particularly since, if we went forward, we would have to fear being killed by the Turks we might encounter, we should turn back, if this is in accord with your judgement." Having said this, the traitor was undoubtedly pleased with himself, because he had heard that those whom he hated no less than the Turks had been killed.
But Guido, having heard of the danger in which his brother and the Franks found themselves, together with the entire Norman household, began to howl with grief, launching complaints self-righteously even against God himself; they said, "All powerful God, whose judgement never errs, who never permits the unjust to triumph over the just, why have you betrayed those who, out of love for you, have given themselves over to daily torment and death, who have left their relatives, wives, sons, the greatest honors, their native land, and why have you exposed them, without the aid of your protection, to be cut down by the swords of abominable men? If it becomes known that you have permitted profane hands to deliver them to a horrible death, whom will you find willing to obey your commands, since everyone will judge you unable to defend your own people? But so be it. It may be that you want them to die for you, and that you you will crown them with glory and honor, yet even if you bestow land one hundred fold on these people, you will have brought about eternal shame among nations for the people of your own faith. You have plunged the entire Christian world into the depths of despair and incredulity, and you have provoked the worst men to display relentless aggression against your people. From this day forth no man will expect anything great from you, since those who believed themselves dearer to you than all other mortals have been subjected to such an unworthy fate. Therefore, O most gracious one, from now on why should they call upon you, when your own people will expect such a death?" Thus they expressed their terrible grief and desperate anguish, so that for several days none of the astonished bishops, abbots, clerics or laymen in the entire army led by the tyrant dared to call upon God. Guido, remembering his love for his noble brother, going over in his mind the splendid qualities of the man, expressed his inmost anguish with many a groan.
Ready to retreat, the emperor, fearing that, with the Frankish bulwark broken, the Turks might now more freely move against him, gave orders to his troops, "Go," he said, "and promulgate an imperial edict throughout this region. Lay waste the Bulgar's land, so that, when the Turks attack to depopulate our lands, they will find no useful supplies." Willingly or not, the Christians who had been eager to rejoin us were compelled to return with the emperor. The knights hastened to carry out the tyrant's orders, while the conscripted foot-soldiers followed the army. In their attempt to follow the swift cavalry, they fell into inextricable problems because of their weakness. Therefore, wearied by the effort, they continually dropped away, falling in their tracks, worn out by exhaustion. When the tyrant returned to the city of Constantinople, the troops returned, by way of Greece, to the lands from which they had come. Let this book end here.
When we read in the authentic histories of the holy Fathers about the wars waged under God's direction, and when we see that such things were accomplished by inconsequential people of such little faith (we do not place in this class the blessed Joshua, David, Samuel, but we are speaking of the despicable vanity of the Jewish people, with the exception of those whose radiance is now celebrated by the church of God), then we might think, if reason did not intervene, that such wretched men, serving God for their bellies only, were more pleasing to God than those whose whole spirit was devoted to him. For them, whose only virtue perhaps was that they were not idolaters, everything went well; they were frequently victorious, and had an abundance of everything. But for these Christians, victories came about only with great difficulty, at great cost; they had little wealth, and they lived in continual and great need, leading the lives not of knights but of piously impoverished monks. All of this is explained, however, by the grace of reason, when we recall that "God torments with whips every child whom he loves," and to those whom he deprives of the things of this world out of the rigor of his teaching, he gives spiritual gifts, out of the affection of his sweet love.
Therefore, after Peter had told what the blessed Andrew had revealed in a dream to him about the Lord's lance, the Christian people were filled with joy, and, in anticipation of the marvelous event, emerged out of the depths of despair. Lead by this man, everyone rushed to the designated place, and a hole was dug beside the altar of the Lord in the church of the blessed Peter. After thirteen men had dug up the earth from dawn to dusk, Peter himself found the Lance. What they saw before them corresponded in every way with the dream-vision which had been reported to them; they all began to rejoice, and their boldness against the enemy matched their joy. They bore off the lance with great exultation, and from that day forth they confidently went about planning to wage war. Then the leaders of the Christian army met in council, considered together what action was needed, and decided that the wisest thing to do before fighting was to meet first with the Turks, to urge them not to occupy Christian territory, not to drive the servants of Christ out of their lands, and not to kill them, but instead to remain within their own territories, content with their own lands. Peter the Hermit, who had helped to initiate the undertaking, was summoned, together with a man named Herluin, an interpreter proficient in both languages, and they were both sent to the pagan prince, with instructions about what to say. When they reached the tent of the pagan, and stood in the terrible presence of the diabolical man, they delivered a speech like this: "You should understand that our leaders are shocked to find that you have profanely and wickedly undertaken to usurp a land firmly and freely possessed since ancient times by Christians. Since you have undoubtedly learned by our relentless victories against you that Christ's power has not declined, and you have found that your forces have little power against Christ, our leaders think that you, having been beaten so many times, will in no way dare to resume the madness of war against God. Therefore we unanimously judge that, in your wisdom, you have come here for no other reason than to learn the teaching of our faith from the Christian bishops who have come with us. For we are absolutely certain that you will hardly be able to ensure your safety if you try to wage war against the Catholic belief. Therefore, aware of your ignorance, we ask that you desist from this presumption, for we know that God gave the blessed apostle Peter authority over the city, and he who was its first bishop intends to restore the worship of God, which he was the first to bring here, using us, sinners that we are, as his instruments. Our princes, in their extreme generosity, will permit you to carry off everything which you have brought here, nor, if you retreat peacefully, will any of us do you any harm whatever."
But Kherboga was deeply stung by the words of Peter, and when the arrogant Turks who accompanied him raged when they heard these things, he said: "We shall demonstrate that we have every right to the land which you say has belonged to your Christianity since ancient times, particularly since we took it, by means of our remarkable strength, from a nation scarcely better than women. Moreover, we think that you are mad to come from the ends of the earth, threatening with all your might to drive us from our homes, when you have insufficient supplies, too few arms, and too few men. Not only do we refuse to accept the name of Christians, but we spit upon it in disgust. To respond briefly to the message you have brought: return, you who form this delegation, to your leaders swiftly and tell them that if they are willing to become like us and renounce the Christ upon whom you seem to rely, we shall give them not only this land, but land of greater wealth and size. After granting them castles and cities, we shall allow none of them to remain foot-soldiers, but shall make them all knights; and, when we have shared the same ceremonial rites, each side will rejoice in mutual and close friendship. But if they shall decide not to accept this proposal, they will undoubtedly die horribly, or endure the exile of eternal imprisonment, as slaves to us and to our descendants." He spoke, and the delegation quickly returned and told the leaders of the Christian army everything that had taken place.
The army was still in dire straits, suffering, on the one hand, from extreme hunger, and, on the other hand, tormented by fear of the pagans who surrounded them. Finally, placing their faith in divine assistance, they observed a three-day fast, instituted by the splendid bishop of Puy. In every church they poured forth suppliant litanies, purifying themselves by sincere confession of sins; when the bishop had granted them absolution, they faithfully took communion of the body and blood of the Lord. Each gave alms according to his ability, and all prayed that divine offerings might be made for them. Finally, having derived some comfort from these activities, they prepared to fight, drawing up six lines of battle inside the city.
The first line of battle, which would bear the brunt of the Turkish attack, was led by Hugh, who truly was, as his cognomen indicated, great; he and his men were supported by the entire contingent of Franks, led by the count of Flanders. I have heard about this royal man that, before the battle began, his quartermaster paid a remarkable amount of money for a camel's foot, since he was unable to find anything better for him to eat at that point. The unusual quality of this food had so weakened this man of God that he was scarcely able to remain on his horse, and when someone suggested that he not go into battle, but remain with those besieging the citadel, he quickly replied, "No! I certainly shall go; I only hope that I find a blessed death there with those who are to die today!"
The noble duke Godfrey and his men formed the second line. Count Robert of Normandy and his men made up the third line, and the fourth was led by the splendid bishop of Puy, carrying with him the recently found Lance of the Savior. This line was composed of the bishop's men and those of Raymond, count of Saint-Gilles, who remained within the city, blockading the citadel, so that the inhabitants might not escape. Tancred and his men made up the fifth line, and Bohemund with his army made up the sixth.
Bishops, priests, clerics, monks, dressed in their ecclesiastical garb, marched forward, holding their crosses before them, eager to aid the soldiers with their tearful prayers, themselves awaiting the gift of martyrdom, if they should happen to be cut down. Others looked out from the ramparts of the walls, to watch the outcome of the battle, holding the sign of the Lord's cross in their hands, faithfully making the sign of the cross over the army as it marched forth. In the order I have given, they marched out the gate in front of the temple which our people call the Mahometry, walking so slowly that even a weak old woman would not have asked for a slower pace. God Almighty, with what heartfelt groans were you invoked; while their frail, frightened bodies were being overcome by long hunger, how rapidly did the grief of their wretched hearts reach your ears, O most high one! With what anguish were their minds still lingering in their racked bodies! When weakness was compelling them to despair of victory, God alone remained steadfast in the minds of all in their suffering for You. Their hearts were shattered by long anguish; desiccated by famine, their eyes were too dry to weep; since the exterior man was almost without material substance, spiritual desires struggled violently. Good God, what could you have denied to such devotion when you saw them, or rather made them burn in such agony? When I consider how they maintained a military fierceness on their faces, while their inmost hearts were preparing to undergo martyrdom, I seriously think that no army ever equalled their constancy. Indeed I truly should have said that they raised a shout to heaven; but then I say that they, who performed not with physical strength but with unusual daring of soul, made the sacred trumpets sound.
Meanwhile Kherboga saw them leaving the city, moving slowly; he laughed at the small size of the group, and said, "Let them leave, the better that they may, when they have fled from battle, be shut out of the city." But when the entire army had passed through the gates, and Kherbog noticed that the Frankish forces were mighty in order and in number, then, at last, he trembled. As he made preparations to flee, he immediately ordered the master of his palace to let it be known throughout the army, as soon as he saw flames coming from the nearest tents, that the French troops had won the victory. Meanwhile Kherboga began to retreat, little by little, heading for the mountains, while our men were pursuing him relentlessly. Then the Turks, uselessly clever, split their forces into two parts, one of which moved along the shore of the sea, while the other waited in place for the Franks to reach them, thinking that in this manner they might surround our men. When our men perceived this, they turned audaciously towards the Turkish troops, separating themselves from their fellows; because of this excessive boldness, they were the only group of our army that suffered a loss, with only a few knights and scarcely any foot-soldiers escaping alive. The instigator of this foray, together with some others, was Clairambaut of Vandeuil, who, although reputable in his own lands, did nothing useful in the East. Meanwhile, to face the Turks at the edge of the sea, a seventh group was formed out of the two armies led by duke Godfrey and the count of Normandy, and a certain count Renaud was placed in charge. That day the battle was very bitter, and many of our men were slaughtered by the arrows of the enemy. The cavalry of the enemy extended from the river Pharphar to the mountains, length of two miles. Squadrons of pagans attacked from both sides, and struck with arrows and javelins the group of Franks whom our men had placed in the vanguard as the strongest and most likely to resist the Turkish attacks. In charge of them was magnificent Hugh, regal in mind, no less brave than his ancestors, who proudly called out to his men, "Endure, and wait courageously for the second and third discharge of missiles, because they will then flee more quickly than speech."
And lo, innumerable forces began to come down from the mountains, and their horses and standards shone brightly; our men, however, were stunned even more now, fearing that these men were bringing reinforcements for the Turks, until they discovered that this was aid, now visible, sent by Christ. After the battle, they thought that these glorious leaders were, in particular, the martyrs George, Mercurius, and Demetrius. These things were seen by many of our men, and when they told what they had seen to others, their words were taken in good faith as true. And if celestial help appeared long ago to the Maccabees fighting for circumcision and the meat of swine, how much more did those who poured out their blood for Christ, purifying the churches and propagating the faith, deserve such help. Therefore, when the first line of the enemy at the shore were driven back by our men, unable to bear our attack, they set fire to the grass, thereby giving the agreed-upon signal to retreat to those who were guarding the tents during the battle. In response to the signal, they snatched anything of any value, and fled. But the Franks, when they saw where the pagans greater forces were, raced to their tents. Duke Godfrey, the count of Normandy, and Hugh the Great joined forces to attack those who were riding along the shore. These three, together with their men, with the image of the son of God crucified for their sake before their eyes, eagerly plunged into the thick of the melee. When our men saw this, they too drove forward vigorously. The enemy, screaming like madmen, rushed to meet them. For it was their custom when they entered battle to make constant, terrible noise with the metal shafts they used as spears, as well as with cymbals and with their own horrifying voices, so that horses and men could scarcely check their terror of such sound. But their efforts were entirely in vain; our men immediately overcame the enemy; once the battle had been joined, they subdued the enemy in the first attack, encouraging those who had for a long time been considering flight to carry out their plan. And even so, our men pursued them through the middle of their encampment. They were not carried away by the desire for the booty lying about, but instead preferred to feed only on the blood of the enemies of Christ, pursuing them to the bridge over the Pharphar, and to the fortress of Tancred. The glorious spoils covered the ground of the enemy encampment; the tents, though filled with gold, silver, and many kinds of equipment, stood there abandoned; herds of sheep, cows, goats, horses, mules, asses were spread about everywhere; there also was a great supply of wheat, wine, and grain. But, when the Syrian and Armenian colonists, who were scattered throughout the region, learned that the Franks had won an unexpected victory, they rushed into the mountains to face the fleeing Turks, killing those whom they found. Our own men, joyfully shouting praises to Christ for his help, entered the city with the honor of a heavenly victory. The Turk in charge of the citadel, however, seeing the leader of his own army fleeing with our men in hot pursuit, became frightened. Judging that he could no longer defend the citadel, he immediately asked for the standard of one of our leaders. The count of Saint-Gilles, who was close to the spot where the request was made, quickly ordered that his own standard be offered to the man who made the request, who promptly affixed it to the tower. But the Lombards, striving to obtain the favor of their leader Bohemund (for they relied upon hjis favor), cried out to the man in charge of the citadel, "This is not Bohemund's standard." He asked to whom did it belong, and when he was told that it belonged to the count of Saint Gilles, he took it down and gave it back to the count. Having asked for and received Bohemund's standard, he also accepted the promise that those who were with him might, if any wished to accept our religion, remain with Bohemund. Those who did not, might freely leave. With this agreement, the citadel was surrendered to Bohemund, who then chose men to guard it. After a few days, the man who surrendered the citadel received baptism, together with the other pagans who decided to take communion in the name of Christ. Those who chose to remain pagan were free to do so, and they were brought by Bohemund himself to Saracen territory.
On August 28, on the eve of their passion, Peter and Paul waged this battle, out of compassion for their wretched city, unable to tolerate the expulsion of the new citizens, who had driven out the pagans who had contaminated the holy temple of God. And it was right that they took pity on the city which they had both instructed by their preaching. In the churches stables for horses had been set up, and in part of the great basilica of saint Peter they had erected house of their Mahomet. While the defeated enemy was retreating in different directions, the mountains and the vallies, the fields and the forests, the roads and pathless places overflowed with the dead and the dying, and with innumerable wounded men. The objects of God's sudden compassion, however, were relieved of the pain of daily hunger; where an egg might have cost two sous, one might now come away with a whole cow for less than twelve cents. To sum up briefly, where hunger had raged like a disease, there was now so much meat and other food that great abundance seemed everywhere to pour in a sudden eruption from the earth, and God seemed to have opened the cataracts of heaven. There were so many tents that, after all of our people had plundered one, they were so wealthy and sated with the weight of their booty, that almost no one wanted to take any more. If a poor man took something that he wanted, no wealthier man tried to take it from him by force, but each permitted the other to take what he wanted without fight.
Then our leaders, duke Godfrey, the count of Saint-Gilles, Bohemund, the count of Normandy and Robert of Flanders, and all the others, consulted with each other, and sent Hugh the Great and Baldwin, the count of Mons, together with some others of great repute, to the emperor, so that he might receive Antioch from them, according to their agreement. They departed, but afterwards were slow to return to those who had sent them. For, in a certain place, the Turks attacked them; those who had horses nearby escaped; those who were not close enough to their horses were carried away as captives, or were slain by the sword. We are not at all certain yet about the unfortunate fate that befell the count of Mons. According to some people, this provided Hugh the Great with a reason to delay his return; although capable in other matters, he showed himself less concerned in obtaining those things which are thought to be fitting for such a great man. A man highly fastidious about honor, he was afraid of being less well off among men to whom he was superior or in no way way inferior, but who were either more tenacious or more eager to acquire things. However, no one should complain about the return of a man who later died with the deserved repute of a martyr and fine soldier.
Finally, a short time later, they began again to consider how to get to Jerusalem, a task for which they had suffered so much, and how the people who so greatly wanted to arrive might be governed until they got there. The leaders took into consideration the fact that there would be very little water during the heat of summer, and therefore decided that the journey would be put off until the calends of November. Meanwhile, after everyone had agreed to this plan, the nobles of the army visited the various cities and towns they had captured, and sent heralds among the conquered people, to tell them that if anyone of them were in need, he could join them and receive remuneration for his services. Among them was a knight, exceptionally skilled with weapons, among the leading followers of the count of Saint-Gilles, named Raymond Pelet, to whom many knights and foot-soldiers had affiliated themselves. His generosity and energy had attracted many men, and he set out with a large army into Saracen territory, and the first place they reached was fortress called Talamina. The inhabitants, since they were Syrians, immediately surrendered to him. After staying in this town eight days, he heard that not far away there was town filled with a large group of Saracens. He quickly launched an assault to enter the town; God led the penetration, and the town was captured. Those inhabitants who agreed to become Christian were spared; those who refused were killed. Having finished this business, they gave thanks to God and returned to Talamina. On the third day they again went out, this time to attack a village called Marrah, a fine city, well fortified, where people of many different nations had assembled. Close to the previously mentioned fortress, it attracted the refuse of Saracens and Turks from nearby towns and cities, especially from Aleph. A force of pagans ready to fight approached our men, who judged themselves able to fight in the usual manner, but who were quickly deceived by the pagan's trickery. The enemy, advancing in great numbers, did great harm to our men. All that day each side in turn advanced and retreated. Our men suffered from the intense heat, and, their insides parched with unusual thirst, weary and unable to find relief, they decided to pitch their tents near the city. When the inhabitants understood that our men were faltering somewhat (it was the Syrians who first began to talk of flight more seriously), they became more aggressive in response to their enemies' fears, and no longer were afraid to attack. Struck down in this attack, many of our men piously delivered their souls to God; they died on the fifth of July. The remaining Franks returned to Talamina, remaining there with their leader Raymond for several days. Those who had remained at Antioch enjoyed peace and prosperity.
For reasons hidden from us, God confounded their rest with a cloud. He who had led them, and piously nourished both their internal and external needs, a man admired by God and by the world, Adhemar, bishop of Puy, fell ill; the Omnipotent in his generous compassion permitted him to wipe away the sweat of his pious labor in a sabbatical of eternal rest. He died on the holy day of Saint-Peter-in-Chains, and he had earned absolution by him to whom the keys to the Kingdom and the powers of absolution belonged, and it was fitting that Peter greet him at the gates of the celestial realm. A great sadness and bitter grief arose throughout the entire army of Christ; when each person, of whatever rank, sex, and age, recalled how many benefits he had received from this most compassionate of men, and understood that the bishop was past help, he grieved inconsolably. At his funeral the princes themselves let out heartfelt groans fit for the death of the entire army. Before he was even buried, such offerings of money were made at the litter on which his corpse was carried by the people over whom he had ruled like a father, that I think no one had ever made such offerings in such a short time at the altars of any nations. These offerings were immediately distributed to the poor, for the benefit of his soul. While he was alive, he showed great care for the souls of the poor, always teaching the rich to love the needy, to help them in their need, insisting that they were the guardians of the poor. He said: "He will be judged mercilessly who has shown no mercy. If you do not show compassion for your inferiors, who are also by nature your brothers, and if you do not share with them equally those things that were created by God for you and them, which are now unfairly seized from them by you, you will undoubtedly shut the gate of divine mercy for yourselves. Give them, I say, out of gratitude for these things, some of your goods, certain that even as they cannot survive in this world without you, so you cannot live eternally without them." Of these and similar matters the remarkable man often reminded them.
Then Raymond, count of Saint Gilles, enter the territory of the Saracens, and led his army to a city called Albara, which he attacked and quickly captured, putting to death all the Saracen men and women he found there. Once in control of the city, he filled it with Christian colonists, and, on the advice of wise men, ordered that a bishop be ordained for the city, who would gradually teach the natives Christian doctrine, and who would carry out in their temples, once they had been purified, the services of devotion, and the mysteries of rebirth. They chose a man of an appropriate age, who was known for his learning, and they brought him to Antioch to be ordained. After he had been ordained a bishop, he did not neglect to carry out the journey to Jerusalem, but he assigned the task of guarding the city to someone who volunteered for the task, and set out with the others. brave man, with little income, he who remained behind set out to protect the citadel with the few people he could afford to hire. Because there were very few Saracens in the city, those pagans who remained submitted to his authority, and in exchange for their lives gave him part of their earned income.
Antioch was now flourishing with prosperity, and the holiday of All Saints was approaching, at the end of which the expedition was scheduled to begin again. Mindful of this, the leaders assembled at Antioch, and began to consult with each other about how they might best expedite the journey for which they had come. Before the army of the Lord made a move, Bohemund brought up the matter of turning the city over to him, according to the agreement which had been made. But the count of Saint Gilles refused to assent, since he respected the oath he had given to the emperor. The bishops, who acted as intermediaries between them, met frequently in the church of the blessed Peter. Bohemund said that after the city had been betrayed by Pyrrus, parts of the city had been granted to him generously by the leaders themselves. The count of Saint Gilles replied that he had given an oath to restore the city to the ruler of Constantinople, unless their agreement was broken by the emperor, and that all this was done on the advice of Bohemund. Meanwhile, the bishops, who were trying to bring the disagreement to an end, summoned duke Godfrey, the counts of Flanders and Normandy, and other leaders, listened to what each had to say, and then met separately to sift the arguments and to come to a correct decision. However, after having heard the arguments, they remained undecided, and when they returned to the assembled leaders, afraid to alienate such men, they postponed making a decision. When the count saw that this was done deliberately, he said: "To prevent the present disagreement from generating discord among those faithful to Christ, and thereby delaying the day on which the tomb of the Savior will be set free, and to prevent us from being tainted with the charge of greed, I agree to the decision of my peers, the princes now present, as long as it does not contradict what you know, brothers and leaders, I unwillingly promised to the prince of Constantinople." Bohemund immediately agreed to the count's proposal, and they put aside their quarrel, placed their right hands in the hands of the bishops as a sign of good faith, and swore solemnly that the army of God in no way would be disturbed by their disagreements. After consulting with the others, Bohemund then fortified his fortress with men and food from the mountains. The count of Saint Gilles also consulted with his men, and fortified at great expense the palace of Cassian, which the pagans called the Emir, as well as the tower which guarded the gate of the bridge which led to the port of Saint Simon.
The city of Antioch is incomparably beautiful, second to none in the majesty of its buildings; it is pleasantly situated, with an unequalled climate, and with fertile vines and rich fields. To the east it is surrounded by four high mountains; to the west its walls are washed by a river renowned in the Bible, the Pharphar, whose waves are dense with fish. At the top of one of the mountains remarkable, impregnable fortification stands; below it stands the city itself, filled with past glory and fiercely proud of the noble monuments of its ancient splendor, with 360 churches within its confines. The pontiff of the city, by right of apostolic succession honored with the title of patriarch, was in charge of 153 bishops. The city was surrounded by a double wall, one of which was of normal height, the other, however, remarkably broad and high, built out of massive stones, surrounded by four hundred and fifty towers. They say that it was rebuilt from that ancient Antioch in testimony of whose power many monuments have survived, and that such lofty citadels and such a variety of buildings were erected by the efforts of 50 subject kings and their subjects. This is false, since Pompeius Trogus correctly said that it was founded by king Seleucus, who named it after his father, and it was built up by him and by the kings who succeeded him, even as he founded Laodicea, named after his mother, and Seleucia, which he named after himself. All sorts of siege engines were of no avail against this city, and had Pyrrus not betrayed it to the besiegers, or rather had God not aided those whom he wished, French bravery would have endured famine and other suffering in vain. Our men had besieged the city for eight months and one day. Then they were themselves besieged for three weeks by an uncountable horde of pagans; after they finally defeated them, the Christians remained there five months and eight days, until the people were urged by their leaders again to take up the journey to Jerusalem.
But because it seems to me that I shall not have another chance to report what happened to the Pyrrus whom I mentioned earlier, I should do it now. Having received the sacraments, he accepted Christianity, taking, as his baptismal name, Bohemund. He helped us out at the siege of Jerusalem, and, when it was captured, returned to Antioch. There he sent out a messenger to announce that any Christian in the city or in the vicinity of the city might come with him to a far-off land, where he had considerable land, and he offered to make everyone rich. He inspired a large group of people with this hope, and he is said to have led this deceived group off to what he called his own land. When he had reached his own encampments, he betrayed some of the knights who had accompanied him by killing them, and he exiled others. Had word of the betrayal not reached the others, who were lodged outside of the encampment because of their great numbers, and who therefore managed to hide or to escape wretchedly, the freedom of all of them would have perished by the sword or in slavery. There Pyrrus deserted Christianity and returned to the filth of his old lechery and paganism. Nor was this unfitting, for the name Pyrrus in Greek is Rufus in Latin, and the mark of treachery is branded on red-haired people; he is shown by no means to have been deprived of his lineage.
Towards the end of November, Count Raymond of Saint-Gilles moved his army out of Antioch; after passing the cities of Rugia and Albara, on the fourth day, which was the last day of November, he reached the city of Marrah. A large group of Saracens, Turks, and Arabs had come together in that city, and the count prepared to attack with all his forces on the day after he arrived. Bohemund and his army quickly followed the count, and set up his camp next to him on a Sunday. The next day they attacked the walls so vigorously that their ladders clung to the walls, and they stepped on the walls themselves as they went up. The inhabitants resisted with such energy that nothing could be gained by our men that day. Then the count of Saint-Gilles, seeing that his men were toiling in vain, ordered that a very tall, strong wooden fort be built, placed on four wheels, with room at at the top for a large group of soldiers. This armed group then moved the war-machine with great force against the walls of the city, near one of the towers. In response, the inhabitants quickly built a ballistic machine, with which they tried to bombard our fort with huge stones, threatening to destroy both our machine and men. They also hurled Greek fire at the machine, trying to set the scaffolding afire, but God thwarted their plan. The machine stood high over the city wall, and, in the midst of the clash, the sound of trumpets ringing stirred the combatants. Meanwhile, some of our soldiers who were in the upper part of the machine, including William of Montpellier and some others, were hurling huge stones against those who were defending the walls. As a result, many shields were pierced, and the shields and their owners, both now useless, fell from the wall. Others, with iron hooks at the tips of their spears, tried to hook the Saracen defenders on the walls, to pull them off. The battle went back and forth, and was hardly over by evening. In the rear, priests, clerics, and monks, dressed in sacred attire, each according to his rank, earnestly prayed that God intervene by reducing the strength of the pagans, and by increasing the strength of those who fought for the true faith. On the other side of the siege machine, other knights were climbing ladders that had been set in place, while the wildly energetic pagans tried to push them off the walls. A certain Goufier, impatient with their resistance, was the first to climb the wall, together with a very small group of men. The inhabitants fiercely attacked these brave men, with spears and arrows, and some of them became frightened at this resistance, and jumped from the wall. Those who remained stood up to the enemies' missiles, spurning flight, returning blow for blow, while those who remained below continued to mine the wall. Soon the inhabitants saw that they were doomed by the mining of the wall, and, intent only on the safety of flight, climbed back down into the city. This happened on a Sunday, while the sun was already setting in the West, when December had reached its eleventh day. Bohemund quickly sent an interpreter to the Saracen leaders, offering to conduct them, together with their own knights, children, and wives, and with all the goods and supplies they could gather, to a palace near the gate of the city, promising to protect their lives, and to defend their people and possessions. Having taken the city in this manner, they took possession of everything they found in the caves and in the homes. When night had ended and daylight began to appear, a crowd of our people raced through the city, killing every pagan they found. No gate of the city, no matter how small, was without a pile of dead Saracens, and the narrow streets were impassable, because pagan bodies obstructed the public ways. Bohemund himself attacked those whom he had commanded to shut themselves up in the palace mentioned before, and took what they had from them. Some he killed, others he ordered brought to Antioch and sold. The Franks remained there for a whole month and four days, and the people suffered from great hunger. Some of our men, entirely without resources, finding nothing in nearby areas to satisfy their needs, desecrated the bellies of dead Saracens, daring to probe their internal organs, because they had heard that pagans in serious danger would try to preserve their gold and silver by eating them. Others, they say, cut pieces of flesh from the corpses, cooked them and ate them, but this was done rarely and in secret, so that no one could be sure whether they actually did this.
Meanwhile, Bohemund had not forgotten the quarrel that had taken place between him and the count of Saint-Gilles, but returned angrily to Antioch when the count refused to yield to him. The count quickly sent men to Duke Godfrey, to the count of Flanders, to the count of Normandy, and to Bohemund, summoning them to a conference in Rugia (a city I mentioned above). They hurried to the meeting to arrange for an agreement, so that the journey to Jerusalem might be delayed no longer. Angry and proud, Bohemund resisted reconciliation unless the count agreed to what Bohemund wanted, granting him the part of Antioch over which he had control. The count, however, was adamant, insisting that he had given his word to the emperor. Therefore, divided against each other by bitterness of mind, the man from Saint-Gilles, Bohemund, and the duke returned to Antioch. The count of Saint-Gilles, however, placed his knights in charge of the palace and castle that looked down upon the gate at the bridge, and went off to Marrah, which he had recently captured. However, the count was not entirely unreasonable; considering that everyone would suffer because of his obstinacy, which would delay the liberation of the Tomb of the Lord, the noble man went barefooted out of Marrah on the thirteenth of January, and reached Capharda, where he stayed three days. There he was joined by the count of Normandy, who gave up his resistance.
The king of Caesarea had often sent ambassadors to the count of Saint-Gilles, to persuade him to enter into a pact with him, promising that he would offer aid to the Christians everywhere in his kingdom, permitting them to purchase food, clothing, horses, and whatever else they needed. Pleased with this offer, our men chose to set up their tents near the city, where the Pharphar river flowed near the city walls. But the king of the city, not overjoyed at the prospect of such an army so close to him, took the move badly, and forbade them to purchase supplies unless they quickly moved further away. The next day he sent two of his people together with our own men, to show them a passage of shallows across the river, and to lead them to where they might capture some booty. Our men were led to a valley below the encampment, where they found many animals, and they took about five thousand of them; they also found abundant wheat and other supplies, so that God's cavalry was ready again for action. The fort was also surrendered to the count, giving him a considerable amount of gold as well as horses. They also promised that they would not harm our men. After remaining there five days, our men left, and reached another fort which was held by Arabs. When they had set up their tents, the leader of the town came out and made an agreement with the count. After hastily packing their tents, the Christians moved on to a beautiful, prosperous town called Kephalia, situated in a valley. When the inhabitants heard that the Franks were coming, they fled from the city, leaving homes filled with food, and gardens overflowing with produce; all that was in their minds was to save their lives. Our men left this city after three days; they climbed tall, jaggedly rocky mountains, then descended into a valley no less fertile than the valley in which Kephali was situated, where they stayed for fifteen days, rejoicing in the abundance, and resting. The Franks then found out that there was a nearby fort, to which many pagans had come. Our men quickly laid siege to it, and were about to win the town, when the inhabitants offered a plentiful supply of cattle to them, together with some flattering words, tricking them into delaying the siege for a while. The next morning, our men moved their tents closer to the city, preparing to undertake the siege. When the pagans perceived what was happening, they fled quickly, leaving the town deserted. The Christian army entered, and found plentiful supplies of grain, wine, wheat, oil, and other useful items. They celebrated the holiday of the Purification of the Blessed Mary there, and received the delegates sent by the king of the city of Camela, who promised to give the count horses, gold and silver, and to do no harm to the Christians, but to show them appropriate respect. The king of Tripoli asked the count if he wished to enter into an agreement with him, in exchange for ten horses, four mules, and a large amount of gold. The count said that he would not consider a peaceful settlement with him, unless the king became Christian. Then they left the fertile valley, which I mentioned above, and reached a place well fortified by nature, high on a rock, called Archas, on the thirteenth of February, on the second day of the week. They set up their tents near the fortress, which was filled with an innumerable multitude of pagans, Turks, Saracens, and Arabs, whose numbers increased the original strength of the locations. At this point, fourteen knights from the Christian army fighting at Tripoli, which was near to this fortress, happened to come along, for no other reason, I think, than to find food. The fourteen of them came upon nearly sixty Turks, who were accompanied by others, leading more than fifteen hundred men and animals whom they had captured. Those who were carrying out the Lord's promise that two would make ten thousand flee before them, and one would make a thousand flee, called to their pious minds the sign of the cross and, with the aid of God, attacked them with unbelievable bravery, killing six men and capturing as many horses. From the retinue of the count of Saint-Gilles, Raymond, to whom we have given the additional name of Pelet, who deserves to be mentioned often in this little book, man remarkable for sternness as well as for eagerness in battle, together with another man whose surname I do not know, who performed the duties of a vicount, sought out the city of Tortosa. At their first attack, which they launched with great ferocity, they terrified the inhabitants. Like a swarm of flies, a remarkably large crowd of pagans flocked to the fort. The following night, our men set up their tents at one end of the city, and lit many beacon fires, giving the impression that the entire Frankish army was there. Desperately afraid, the pagans judged that they could not protect their lives with their shields, and decided that the only way to escape death was to flee on foot. During the night they slipped away silently, leaving the city filled with wealthy treasure, and empty of inhabitants. Thus they piously fulfilled Scripture, which says that, "Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath he will give for his life." This city, situated on the sea, has a fine port in one of its suburbs. The next day our men prepared to attack the city in full strength, but when they assembled to fight, they found that the city was empty. After entering, they remained there only until they set off to besiege the city of Archas, which I mentioned above. However, there was another city nearby, which was called Maraclea. He who was in charge of it, whom they called the emir,
immediately prepared to enter into an agreement, and soon accepted our men and their banners in the city.
Meanwhile duke Godfrey, Bohemund and the count of Flanders had reached Laodicia. But Bohemund, impatient at being separated from his beloved Antioch, left his companions and returned to her. With equal desire, the others set out to besiege a city called Gibel. Rumor reached count Raymond of Saint-Gilles that a huge force of pagans had assembled to wage war against him. He quickly called all the leaders of his army together, and asked them what should be done. The group replied that there was nothing to be done in these circumstances, except to call for help from their companions on the Lord's journey. He accepted and quickly carried out this plan. When the leaders, that is duke Godfrey and Robert of Flanders, found out that their companions were in trouble, they made an agreement with the ruler of the city of Gibel, who gave them magnificent gifts of horses and gold, and they gave up the siege of the city, and went off to bring help to the count. Their expectation of waging war was disappointed, however, and they all decided to go back to the siege of the fort at Archas. They gave themselves to the project energetically, and a short time later undertook an expedition against the inhabitants of Tripoli, whom they found ready for battle, with an army of Turks, Saracens, and Arabs lined up in front of the walls of the city. Our men attacked them vigorously and compelled them to take refuge in flight. The result was not merely a carnage of the nobles of the city, but wholesale slaughter, to the point that the waves of the river that ran through the city were died red with their blood, and the sewers were stained with this foulness. From that point on a day of no commerce arose in the minds of the pagans, and the hearts of those who survived were so riddled with fear that none of them, for any reason whatsover, dared to go beyond the walls of the city. On the next day, our men went beyond the valley of Sem, an are which had been reached by those mentioned above on the third day after the capture of Kephalia. They found that it was rich in supplies, and stayed there fifteen days. They happily returned with what they had found there: cows, asses, sheep, with many other kinds of animals, including three thousand camels. They continued to lay siege to the fort of Archas for three months less one day, and celebrated Easter there on April 10. While they were engaged in the siege, the fleet which usually brought them provisions reached a nearby port, bringing a large amount of grain, wine, meat, cheese, barley, and oil, which provided the Lord's army with abundant supplies. Although they had to suffer no privation in this place, it seems to me foolish to have undertaken for such a long time such a useless task for such a trivial result.
After the death of the noble bishop of Puy, who had managed, by a combination of love for his flock and discipline, to bind them together in harmony and unity, arguments and rude, arrogant behavior began to arise among the leaders; in particular, the middle and lower ranks began to behave badly, so that one might have thought that the Old Testament statement, "There was no longer a king in Israel, but each man did what seemed right in his own eyes," was being fulfilled. The bishops and others who remained, after the death of that glorious man who had been assigned the office of father and leader, did not have the same concern for them, particularly because they knew that that had not been granted the same powers that had been given to the bishop of Puy. Therefore, since they had no single ruler, and every man thought himself the equal of every other man, justice diminished among them, and the will of the mob often prevailed. Therefore it happened that, after the discovery of the Lance, which the late bishop had accepted devoutly, a shameful and faithless rumor began to circulate; some said that the discovery had been staged, and that he had exhibited not the Lord's Lance, but merely lance. Many people from the lower ranks began to grumble, and, by relentlessly lying, they corrupted those who had believed truly and had venerated the lance. They demanded proof of the discovery; they asked that the discoverer be tested by divine judgment. The man was compelled to pledge his word to those who were in doubt; he was compelled to offer what they forced from him, merely to deal with their lack of faith. Two pyres were constructed, in accordance with his orders, scarcely a cubit apart; many of the people, avid for novelty, heaped up a mass of kindling material, and when they had crowded together on both sides of the fire, only a narrow path remained between the flames. He then delivered a pitiful prayer, as was fitting, to merciful God, who is the Truth, without whose permission he knew he could do nothing about the situation, and walked briskly across the dark path of the flames, and then returned by the same path. A large crowd of western soldiers, in their war-gear, was present at this spectacle, awaiting, with different expectations, the outcome of this unusually daring undertaking. When he had returned, as I said, a huge crowd welcomed him as he came forth from the flames, and when they saw that he had escaped from the fire safe and sound, they snatched at his body and at his clothes, as though they were relics, and in the tumult of tearing and pushing, they killed him. Having barely escaped from the flames with his life, frightened by the danger from which he would not have escaped without God's help, trapped by people clutching at him from all sides, exhausted by the terror he had undergone, he could hardly have avoided being suffocated. When the man died, the common people, unreliable and fickle in their judgement, were disturbed by an even worse form of confusion, arguing about the outcome of the trial by fire. Some said that he had come out of the flames burned, others that he had escaped unharmed, and they reproached those who had killed him for no reason. However, whatever popular opinion may have been, we know that the glorious bishop embraced the sacred Lance with veneration, to the point that, in accordance with his directions, the body of the bishop was buried in the place where the Lance was found. So much for this matter.
While our men were unsuccessfully engaged in the lengthy siege of the citadel of Archas, set atop a high mountain, and the army had pitched their tents in a distant valley, Anselm of Ribemont, a rich and powerful lord, exceedingly generous and remarkably capable at leading an army, saw how difficult the siege had become, and, without delay, advised our men to use machines for launching stones. They had already begun to undermine a lofty tower, digging a long tunnel which they shored up with planks and posts; they dug and scraped steadily every day with great energy, and women and the wives of the nobles, even on holidays, in flowing robes or tunics, carried off the material that had been dug up. When those inside the citadel discovered what our men were trying to do, they put up great resistance to those carrying out the digging, doing them great harm. When he saw that undermining the tower could not be accomplished, Anselm undertook the task of urging our men to use the ballistic machines. When the machines were set in place, and had fired many stones at the tower, the besieged put in place similar machine at the same spot. After it had been set in place, the machine hurled massive rocks down, doing great damage to the entire Frankish army; Anselm himself was the first, or among the first, to be struck down. He, who had always behaved faithfully and steadfastly as a member of the Lord's army, had shown other signs of his wisdom and strong faith; one particular example, which is most pleasing to men of letters, is brilliantly evident in the set of two letters he composed to Manassas, the archbishop of Rheims, a man of pious memory, who died about two years ago, in which Anselm related everything which our men did at the siege of Nicea, how they traveled through Romania and Armenia, how they attacked, captured, and defended what they had captured at Antioch, and how at the same time they had fought against the king of Aleppo, against the king of Damascus, and against the king of Jerusalem, whom he called the adulterer. As testimony of his devoted love towards the noble martyr, on the day of the anniversary of the passion of the blessed Quintinus, he held a celebration, surrounded by a crowd of clergy whom he had assembled to honor the saint, and he offered a fine ceremony for the celebrants. On the same day Anselm himself, together with many others, underwent joyous martyrdom, earning the kingdom of heaven as their reward for a holy death.