CHAPTER 9

The siege of Antioch: victory


The second siege of Antioch was to be a desperate affair. From the outset it was clear that it would be very different from the first siege, for both sides must have recognised that it would be fairly short. The crusaders had broken into a city with food supplies depleted after a nine-month siege. Some effort was made to purchase food at St Symeon, but the speed of Kerbogah’s arrival meant that there was simply no time. Sitting out the siege was, therefore, not an option for the crusaders.1 In any case their military situation was quite different from that of the earlier defenders for the enemy controlled the citadel which was commanded by Kerbogah’s man Ahmad ibn-Marwan, and far outnumbered the crusaders even if seven to one is an exaggeration.2 It is unfortunate that there are no good estimates of the size of Kerbogah’s army but it was very large. The crusader army must have been very reduced and even before the fall of Antioch there were further desertions when news came of the approach of Kerbogah’s army, although they were in part compensated for by troops coming in from outlying places.3 Their numbers cannot have been as high as 30,000, including non-combatants, and were probably much lower so Kerbogah’s army could quite credibly have been twice or three times the size.

In these circumstances it is little wonder that the early reactions of the crusader army were dominated by fear. Fulcher says that Stephen of Blois left the siege on the day before Kerbogah’s arrival but gives no clear reason. Raymond of Aguilers says frankly that Stephen was frightened by rumour of the coming of Kerbogah and the Anonymous implies as much by saying that he pretended to be ill. Albert on the other hand actually says that he was ill and went to rest in Alexandretta where he remained in a state of indecision until other deserters joined him about 11 June; their reports impelled him to flee with 4,000 in his train. Fulcher seems to have been closely connected with Stephen, whose career he followed with interest, so his guardedly neutral tone suggests the worst.4 Stephen was a major leader, elected, as we have seen, to lead the army during the siege of Antioch. His departure had a considerable effect on the morale of the army.5 He was not alone, for after initial fighting in the city Bohemond’s brother-in-law William of Grandmesnil, his brother Aubré, Guy Trousseau Lord of Montlhéry, Lambert the Poor count of Clermont and William the Carpenter joined the ranks of the ‘rope-danglers’, so named from the method of their escape down the walls of Antioch. So general was the terror in the Christian army that the Anonymous says that Bohemond fired part of the city to drive out deserters.6 Such desertions weakened the army and sapped its morale. Rumours were rife; Albert says many believed that the princes would desert, perhaps the foundation of Matthew of Edessa’s reports that the leaders of the army had decided to surrender on terms when a vision revealing the Holy Lance changed their minds. It was against this background that when the priest Stephen had a vision promising divine aid, Adhémar took the opportunity of making all the leaders swear publicly not to abandon the siege.7

The vanguard of Kerbogah’s army arrived before Antioch on 4 June and sent thirty men ahead to trail their coats. Such Turkish tactics had not lost effectiveness through repetition for they were obligingly attacked by Roger of Barneville with fifteen knights who were in turn ambushed by a hidden force some 300 strong and Roger was killed in sight of the city walls; a lance was stuck in his back and he was decapitated. According to a variant story his horse stuck in a bog and, after defending himself well on foot, he was struck in the head by an Arab with a long lance and killed. He was North French, but evidently well known in the army for his death was widely noted. Albert reports the jubilation of the enemy and the shame of the Christians for no-one had dared to go out to his assistance, a circumstance which Albert attributes to the shortage of horses.8 A large element of Kerbogah’s force encamped near the Iron Bridge on 5 June; the crusaders had apparently attempted to defend it because its garrison was destroyed and its commander was found in chains after the great battle. On 6 June Kerbogah’s main army approached Antioch, apparently around the northern side of the Antioch Lake for they encamped, according to the Anonymous, ‘between the two rivers’.9 This could mean by the Wadi al Quivaisiya which entered the Orontes on the west bank just south of the Bridge of Boats. Much more likely, however, is at or near the junction of the Orontes and the Kara Su which drains from the Lake above the city and meets the Orontes about five kilometres above Antioch (see fig. 12).10 This is an odd position from which to conduct a siege, but it is confirmed by Raymond of Aguilers who says that Kerbogah camped some two miles (five kilometres in his usage) from Antioch because he believed that the crusaders would fight outside the city – this must be hindsight. Albert says that Kerbogah made camp ‘in the plain’ and that subsequently he and a section of his army climbed into the mountains near to the citadel while another part of his force established itself outside the St Paul Gate; this implies that the original camp was to the north of the city.11 Since encampments are mentioned later much closer to the city we can perhaps assume that Kerbogah established his main base at the confluence of the two rivers, probably to prevent a sally from the three northern gates of the city against his forces, and that other encampments were set up according to need.12

After their experiences during the siege the crusaders were determined to hold sally-points protecting two of the gates of the city. On 5 and 6 June the Turks attacked the Mahommeries Tower and there was savage fighting as Robert of Flanders held it for the Christian army. On 8 June, however, it was abandoned as untenable.13 At a date unknown, but presumably about the same time, a similar redoubt outside the St Paul Gate was held by Godfrey whose troops were driven back into the city after heavy fighting with 200 casualties.14 But much of the fiercest fighting in the early part of the siege took place close to the citadel on the eastern wall of the city at the top of Mt Silpius.

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Fig. 12 Kerbogah’s siege of Antioch, 4–29 June 1098

It is important to recollect that the city of Antioch covered only a small part of the area enclosed by the walls on the lower slopes of the mountain and on the flat area by the Orontes. The walled circuit protected access to this but for the most part the land within was as wild and precipitous as it was outside. When the city fell in 969 the attacking force was isolated for three days on the lonely part of the wall where they had entered through bribery.15 Both Kemal ad-Din and Ibn al-Athir implicitly blame Yaghisiyan for panicking instead of holding the citadel as his son did16 and with reason, for the citadel, though not a particularly powerful fortification, was very difficult to approach. At the time of the city’s fall Bohemond had placed his banner on a tower which stood on the high ground overlooking the citadel some 300–400 metres to the north. Between this tower and the citadel was a steep gully accommodating an ancient cistern, across the mouth of which ran the only access road to the citadel on a piece of flat land less than thirty metres wide along the edge of a precipitous drop (see fig. 13). Thus the crusaders controlled the only road by which the garrison could get into Antioch, for the land to the west and north is simply almost impossible to cross.17 Immediately after the fall of the city Bohemond seems to have advanced along the wall to the last tower on the opposite side of the gully below the citadel, but was ejected from it by the Turks and wounded by a Turkish arrow in the process. In the fighting here this tower seems to have been one of the key points in no-man’s-land.18 The Turks of the citadel could either advance along the line of the wall, from which the land drops sharply away to the cistern, towards Bohemond’s tower, assisted by forces on the outside, or attack along the road: two very narrow fronts. This set the scene for the savage fighting which erupted with the arrival of Kerbogah’s army on 6 June which the Anonymous emphasises so vividly. He fails to mention attacks on other areas which suggests that he was involved in this part of the city.

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Fig. 13 The fighting around the citadel of Antioch

According to the Anonymous on the third day after his arrival, by which is meant 8 June, Kerbogah led a major force up the mountain towards the citadel. This began a serious assault, for the Turks established a camp on the mountain outside.19 Their purpose was obvious: to reinforce the citadel whose forces could then drive down into the city while further assaults on the outside of the wall held by Bohemond distracted the defenders. The crusaders sallied out of the city by a postern gate to attack them. Raymond of Aguilers says that after initial success the crusaders were driven back into the city with terrible losses; the visionary Peter Bartholemew was badly crushed in the scrum to get through the gate. The failure of this pre-emptive strike by the crusaders is confirmed by Anselm of Ribemont.20 The enemy was now in a position to take the fight to the crusaders and the Anonymous describes ferocious fighting over the next two days, both outside and inside the walls, which ended only with the exhaustion of the combatants, and this is confirmed by Raymond of Aguilers, by Anselm and by the letter sent to the pope by the Princes in September 1098 which says that the enemy were driven back into the citadel. The demoralising effect of all this was making itself felt on the army for on the night of 10 June many deserted the city and fled to St Symeon – amongst them William of Grandmesnil.21 On 11 June fighting was renewed and Peter Tudebode’s brother Arved was killed. Perhaps it was during this stage of the fighting that Bohemond was nearly killed and rescued only by the combined efforts of Robert of Flanders, Godfrey and Robert of Normandy who now reappears at Antioch. The Anonymous reports that the enemy got into a tower trapping three knights, including Hugh the Beserk who fought bravely after the others fled wounded. This is not unlike another episode in which Albert reports that the enemy got into a tower left unguarded by laxity, and were driven out by Henry of Esch, a relative of Godfrey. It may well be that this is the tower on the slope below the citadel in no-man’s-land which Bohemond had already tried to seize.22 Pressure from the citadel was so severe that the crusaders built a wall to counter attacks. Albert mentions it, as does Ralph of Caen, but Raymond of Aguilers implies that it was built just before the great battle on 28 June.23 The Anonymous twice refers to the building of this wall; on the first occasion after he tells us how the deserters fled to St Symeon, which would imply a date about 11–12 June 1098; the second was the day on which a meteor fell into the enemy camp, the night of 13–14 June. It seems likely, however, that the wall could be built because Kerbogah changed the emphasis of his attack.

Anselm of Ribemont says ‘But they moved their camp and set siege to all the gates of the city’, while the letter sent by the Princes in September 1098 states:

when they saw that they could do no harm on that side [by the citadel], they surrounded us all about, so that none of our men could go out or come to us. As a result of this we were all so destitute and afflicted that many of our men, dying of starvation and many other wants, killed and ate our famished horses and asses.

The Anonymous says that after a meteor fell in the enemy camp on the night of 13–14 June 1098 the enemy fled down to the plain ‘to my lord Bohemond’s gate [the St Paul Gate besieged by Bohemond]’ which precisely dates the change of attack.24 It must surely be the case that the wall against the citadel was built during the lull as the enemy changed the emphasis of the attack from assault through the citadel to investment and blockade, almost certainly on and just after 14 June. It was probably little more than a barricade across the access road to the citadel and along the crest of the gully up to the wall, (see fig. 13) This does not mean that fighting stopped in the city altogether for even at the last, as the army prepared for the great battle, they left a considerable force under Count Raymond of Toulouse to blockade the citadel.25 Kerbogah probably withdrew because this line of attack was proving unprofitable. The crusader defence was stubborn and able to take advantage of the passive strength of Antioch’s defences and the extremely confined space outside the citadel which made it difficult for the Turks to bring their superiority in numbers to bear. The large Turkish force outside provided reinforcements for the citadel and attacked the wall but it must have been difficult to maintain a protracted effort in this wild and waterless terrain: Albert of Aachen says that the camp in the mountains was abandoned because the enemy found it difficult to supply it with food and fodder. Water must have been even more difficult to carry up the mountain side. Perhaps also it was expensive in manpower and Kerbogah was beginning to understand how desperate was the situation of the crusader army. He was also discovering the problems posed to an attacker by the sheer size of Antioch which threatened to disperse even his strong army. Kerbogah’s decision to switch the emphasis of his attack was a great relief to the crusaders on whom the fighting in the city had imposed great strains. On the night of 11 June the priest Stephen had his vision in the church of St Mary where he had retired in terror at the news that the enemy might get down into the city. The reduction in this pressure was undoubtedly a grave mistake.

Conditions in the city, however, did not improve, for starvation now set in.26 The sources are eloquent, particularly the Anonymous with his account of poor food and high prices:

many of us died of hunger, for a small loaf cost a bezant, and I cannot tell you the price of wine … men boiled and ate the leaves of figs, vines, thistles and all kinds of tree. Others stewed the dried skins of horses, camels, oxen or buffaloes.27

Raymond of Aguilers tells much the same tale but he says that the rich could afford the high prices; even so the knights found things difficult and some were reduced to bleeding their horses for nourishment.28 Albert of Aachen has much the same story of awful things which had to be eaten, but adds the curious detail that they were made palatable by the addition of cumin, pepper and other spices; these were normally luxury goods, but presumably had been captured in Antioch. He says that many of the poorer people died and that some were in the habit of sneaking off to St Symeon to buy food until the enemy ambushed a group, burned the port and then drove away the ships. Later he reports that during the famine even substantial men were reduced to poverty. The noble Herman went to war on an ass and he and Henry of Esch were reduced to beggary and rescued by Godfrey.29

This was the state of the army in Antioch within less than two weeks of siege – starvation, bitter fighting, panic, desertion, even, according to Raymond of Aguilers, treachery when some crusaders went over to the enemy.30 It was against this background that there occurred a remarkable series of visions. On the morning of 11 June a priest, Stephen of Valence, revealed that Christ had appeared to him and promised divine aid to the crusaders in a vision which he was commanded to reveal to the Legate Adhémar who accepted the tale and took the opportunity to make the crusader leaders swear not to abandon the army.31 And well he might, for this visionary was highly respectful of church order and in his account invoked the structure of the divine economy in his icon-like portrayal of the Virgin interceding for her people. Far different was the other revelation by a poor Provençal, Peter Bartholomew, who inveighed against Adhémar for not preaching to the people and promised not merely divine aid in return for penance, but a material token of God’s favour to His chosen people, the Holy Lance which was discovered in the church of St Peter on 14 June.32 It is undoubtedly true that these two visions, and others such as that of St Ambrose reported by Albert, expressed the deepest beliefs of the crusaders that God was on their side, a combatant in the great struggle who would give them aid according to their desserts.33 Nor is there much doubt of the impact upon the army as a whole. Raymond of Aguilers speaks of joy and exultation in the city when the Lance was discovered. He was a great partisan of the Lance in its later troubles, but the Anonymous was not and yet he is even clearer: ‘throughout the city there was boundless rejoicing’.34 In a letter written very shortly after the siege was over Anselm of Ribemont says of the Lance ‘So when this precious gem was found, all our spirits were revived’ and the crusading princes in their letter of September 1098 to Urban II were absolutely explicit: ‘We were so comforted and strengthened by finding it, and by many other divine revelations that we, who before had been afflicted and timid, were then most boldly and eagerly urging one another to battle’.35 The visions are a deeply interesting topic in themselves, but what matters here is their military effect; they profoundly improved the depressed morale of the crusader army.36 However, the impression given by the Anonymous that spirits revived and the army was ready to proceed to battle once it had received the Lance is a mistaken product of the fractured nature of his narrative at this point.37 The Lance was discovered on 14 June, but it was not until 28 June that the army ventured out to battle, and Raymond of Aguilers makes it clear that there were another two visions and much suffering before the army was ready to march out.38 One of the most important events of this period was the selection of Bohemond to command the army on 20 June. Raymond says he was chosen because Count Raymond and Bishop Adhémar were both ill, but he had already admitted his high military reputation. Previously, he and Adhémar had abruptly closed the gates of the city to prevent the army melting away from desertion.39

The appointment of a single commander showed that the leaders were now acting to prepare the army for the inevitable, an attempt to break out of the city and destroy Kerbogah’s force. It was a dangerous gamble, though not without precedent, for we have noted that when he was cornered by his father at Gerberoi Robert Curthose suddenly sallied forth, knocked his father from his horse and scattered the besiegers. The practical alternative for both Curthose and the crusaders was slow destruction and dissolution. In the end, as Albert says, they had little choice: ‘All, great and small, declared that they could no longer endure such suffering, and when they were asked said it would be better to die fighting than to succumb to the cruel famine and watch the miserable Christian people perish day by day’.40 What distinguished the crusader situation and made it especially perilous was that because the citadel of Antioch was in enemy hands, its garrison could see all preparations to sally out; on 28 June Albert reports that they duly raised a black flag as a sign of the coming break-out.41

But before then the leaders sent an embassy to Kerbogah. In the version of the Anonymous this is made to appear purely as a morale-raising episode in which the ambassadors, Peter the Hermit and his translator Herluin, defied Kerbogah. Raymond of Aguilers gives much the same impression, and adds that at the time when the army sallied out Kerbogah announced that he was ready to take up their suggestion of five or ten from each side fighting a kind of trial by battle – but it was then too late. Albert presents the matter rather differently. According to him the leaders were still very uncertain because of the weakness of the army, and in particular the loss of horses; Peter first offered the city to Kerbogah if he would become a Christian. When this was refused he suggested a trial by battle with twenty on each side. When this was refused he left and reported back, being told by Godfrey not to talk about what he had seen in the enemy camp lest it demoralise the army.42 It is very hard to take this embassy as seriously as Albert suggests; perhaps his attitude reflects distrust of the princes amongst ordinary crusaders who were his informants. The embassy of Peter the Hermit was probably also the root of the story in Matthew of Edessa that the leaders were prepared to surrender on terms until the Lance was revealed.43 Now, strengthened by fasting and the rites and ceremonial of the church, almost certainly decreed by Adhémar, the army prepared to attack Kerbogah in a desperate sally.

This battle was profoundly affected by one simple fact – the army had lost almost all its horses. Speaking of the skirmishing around Antioch, Raymond of Aguilers remarks:

‘And so it came about through assaults of this kind that they lost all their horses, because the Turks, not prepared to fight with lances or swords, but with arrows at a distance, were to be feared while they fled, as well as when they pursued.’

The description is vividly endorsed by Ralph of Caen and reminds one of the careful instructions in Islamic manuals on how to fire to the rear.44 Quite apart from its effect on foraging, loss of horses was disastrous for the crusader army. The scale of the loss has not usually been appreciated by historians.45 Overall the chronicles give us more specific information about numbers of horses than they do about numbers of people; even allowing for the fact that numbers were much smaller, this shows an interesting perception of priorities. But it was a correct one, for without mobility the army would be gravely weakened. Anselm of Ribemont says that by late November 1097 after the construction of Malregard the army could muster only some 700 horses. Raymond of Aguilers, whose comment that the enemy killed many horses has been noted, remarks that for the expedition against Harem shortly before this Bohemond and Robert of Flanders could raise only 150 knights and that for the major foraging expedition of late December 1097 the army raised only 400. During the famine of early 1098 Raymond reports that horses were dying and that the Provençals were reduced to 100 horses when their count invented the compensation scheme for losses. While Bohemond and Robert of Flanders were foraging there was fighting around the city, in the midst of which the cavalry broke off the battle to pursue a riderless horse – an event which caused panic and heavy losses and indicates the value of a horse by this time. The Anonymous states that by late January or early February 1098 there were only about 1,000 horses in the army and this figure is supported by Albert of Aix. However, we have already noted that for the Lake Battle, for which the knights as a whole were mobilised, the sources agree that only 700 could be found – the only dissenter from this figure is Ralph of Caen who speaks of only 200, but he was surely exaggerating and we can suppose that some mounts were left in the camp, so between 700 and 1000 were available at this time. However, Albert says this figure included many on mules, asses and pack horses. Albert mentions horses dying in May 1098, and explains that nobody went to rescue Roger of Barneville because there were few horses; only 150 were left in the army at the time of the fall of Antioch when a further 400 were found in the city. Many of these must have died during the second siege because the Anonymous speaks of horse-flesh and hides being eaten during the famine, while Raymond of Aguilers stresses that many knights, expecting battle, lived on the blood of their horses but would not slaughter them. Albert records a sally against the Turks outside the city which broke down because of the exhausted state of the crusaders’ horses. By the time the army was ready to face Kerbogah he says that they had lost all the horses they had brought from France and that there were only 200 horses fit for war left in the army. At this time the German Count Hermann was reduced to riding an ass so small his feet dragged, and even Godfrey de Bouillon and Robert of Flanders had to beg horses from the Count of Toulouse.46 As usual with medieval numbers there is some doubt; could it be that the chroniclers were exaggerating weakness to maximise the sense of achievement? In this case the general impression of the sources all points in much the same direction – a dramatic reduction in numbers. It is hardly surprising. The crusade had endured a bitter journey across the arid Anatolian plateau in the summer of 1097 during which, the Anonymous says:

we lost most of our horses, so that many of our knights had to go as foot-soldiers, and for lack of horses we had to use oxen as mounts, and our great need compelled us to use goats, sheep and dogs as beasts of burden.

A little later the passage of the Taurus range took its toll of men and beasts, according to the same author.47 Many horses were lost, according to Raymond of Aguilers, in the fighting around Antioch and disease and starvation must have accounted for most. In sum, it would appear that by the time the army reached Antioch it had little more than a 1,000 horses and their numbers had dwindled to 700, including beasts of burden, by February 1098 and to 200 or so by the time they fought Kerbogah on 28 June 1098.

The decision to break out of the city on the morning of 28 June 1098 was undoubtedly taken by all the leaders but we can safely attribute credit for the dispositions of the army to Bohemond. The subsequent battle resulted in a remarkable crusader victory; to those who were eyewitnesses and others who later described it, it was no less than a miraculous delivery, the very climax of the crusade. So important was it that ‘The sources give more exact detail concerning this battle than of any other fought in Latin Syria during the twelfth century’.48 As a result scholars have felt able to reconstruct the battle in some detail. It is the account given by Raymond of Aguilers, supplemented by that of the Anonymous, which has been most credited by historians, partly because he is known to have been present as standard-bearer in the army of Adhémar of Le Puy, partly because it is a very clear description and partly because it reports a particular tactical formation in which foot-soldiers were thrown forward to protect the cavalry which was later much used in the crusading kingdom.49

Raymond of Aguilers tells us that the Provençal army formed up inside the Bridge Gate under the command of Adhémar. Raymond of Toulouse their natural commander, was ill and therefore stayed behind to protect the city against the garrison of the citadel. According to Raymond of Aguilers this army divided into two squadrons each of two lines with the foot thrown forward of the cavalry and this formation was replicated in the other divisions of the army each of which comprised broadly national groups organized around the great leaders. There were four of these when they marched out, the first led by Hugh of Vermandois, Robert of Flanders and Robert of Normandy, the second by Godfrey, the third by Adhémar and the fourth by Bohemond. As they emerged Kerbogah was playing chess with one of his followers, Mirdalin, and their dialogue suggests that he was frightened by the Franks, but nonetheless formed his army although he allowed the Franks to exit from Antioch unopposed. Raymond says that in order to evade encirclement (a theme we have noted in Raymond before) Adhémar’s force marched towards the mountains some two miles (five kilometres) away, disregarding Kerbogah’s offer to undergo a trial by battle as Peter the Hermit had suggested. Some of the Turks did move to the left of the crusader line to take them in the rear and a crusader infantry detachment fought them off well until the enemy set fire to the grass and drove them back. Adhémar’s force, though encircled, fought its way towards the mountain, then the army in eight divisions (augmented by five more, by a miracle and their horses wonderfully refreshed by light rain) charged the enemy who fled. The Anonymous makes it clear that Bohemond’s force was in reserve and that the North French led by Godfrey, Robert of Flanders and Hugh were on the Christian right by the river and they engaged the main enemy force.50 The general outline of the plan and its outcome has been summarised neatly thus:

The Franks were marshalled in four divisions, each of two squadrons, in which were both horse and foot-soldiers. The infantry were arrayed in front of the knights … Bohemond was again commander … he led the fourth and last division which was to be in reserve … As soon as the first division had passed through the gate and crossed the Orontes bridge, it was to turn into line, and to march upstream with its right flank on the bank of the river. The second division marched across the rear of its predecessor and turned to face the enemy in line when it was in a position to advance in line with and on the left of the first division. The third did likewise and came into line on the left of the second. The plan ensured that each division as it left the city changed its formation from column into line at the earliest possible moment, so that it faced the enemy ready to attack, and covered the deployment of the succeeding column… The flanks were covered by natural obstacles … Some two miles ahead of the Franks as they left the city was high ground. The head of the third division was ordered to reach this before it turned into line; after it had done so the left flank of the Franks was protected just as its right was covered by the river … The battle developed almost in accordance with Bohemond’s plan. The Turks resisted the attempts of the third division … and were able to send a detachment across the head of the Latin column … a body of crusaders was detailed to meet its attack and in the resulting encounter the pedites showed they were well able to defend themselves … the three leading divisions … were able to attack in echelon. The Turks … fled with little resistance to the Latin charge.51

Now something like this must have happened, but the neatness of the event as described must, on a priori grounds, raise some suspicions. Deployment from column into line is a notoriously complicated manoeuvre and undertaken after crossing the rear of a force under attack, in the close presence of the enemy, is a military nightmare. Raymond asks us to believe that the crusader force was seeking to block the plain as it executed a right turn, yet the plain in question is four to five kilometres wide as he says. Moreover, his account suffers from some internal contradictions. He tells us that the army was divided into four divisions but does not explain whence came the infantry unit which dealt with the enemy to the rear. Adhémar’s division was opposed and encircled yet no arrows were shot against it and nobody killed – but Raymond himself tells us that he replaced Heraclius of Polignac who was wounded in the face by an arrow as the standard-bearer of the bishop. Finally he refers to a total victory and pursuit to the setting of the sun, but remarks that few of the enemy’s mounted men were killed, though many foot. When we look at other accounts we can see some indication of the difficulties simply from the variant numbers of divisions in the crusader army which they record. The Anonymous, who was certainly present, gives six and Ralph agrees on the number and the make-up but suggests a different order. Anselm, who was a participant and wrote his second letter very shortly after the battle, mentions only five divisions and omits the name of Godfrey de Bouillon who was most certainly present and in charge of a major division. Albert of Aachen says there were no fewer than twelve divisions which he carefully enumerates specifying who the leaders were.52 Anselm’s slip of memory should remind us that this was an exciting and emotional occasion. The importing of camp gossip by Raymond and his concern with enemy encirclement point to his efforts to explain events post facto. The Anonymous does much the same – he refers to Kerbogah at the start of the battle ordering that grass-firing be used to signal retreat and records its use against the crusader infantry deployed against the enemy in the rear as signalling the end of the battle – but nobody else does this. Presumably he connected the appearance of a grass-fire with the enemy flight, though there is clear reason to believe that it signified nothing of the sort.53 There is always a tendency to tidy up a battle in retrospect, to give it a shape which will inevitably reflect the deductions and predilections of the writer as much as events, and that is what we are dealing with here in what was a remarkable event and a deeply felt experience for all who lived through it. If we bear all this in mind it seems to me that the crusaders had a much simpler battle plan than has been suggested and that the reasons for their victory are fairly clear.

The most remarkable thing about the battle against Kerbogah was that it was a victory of a largely infantry army over a much larger force with infantry and cavalry. For the crusaders must have been overwhelmingly dismounted. Albert of Aachen says that there were only 150–200 horses in the army fit for battle. This would suggest that there were barely more than thirty knights on average in each if there were six crusader divisions. It is possible that the Provençal force was stronger in horses than others, for Godfrey and Robert of Flanders had begged horses from Count Raymond, but if that was the case then other divisions would have been weaker in mounted men.54 Albert makes his comments about the shortage of horses in the context of explaining that its consequence was that there was little pursuit of the enemy after the battle. The other sources seem to point in the same direction. Raymond of Aguilers, who does not comment directly at this point on the number of horses, says that few of the enemy’s horsemen were killed, but many of their footmen. Ralph of Caen says exactly the same thing – only Tancred and his small force really pursued the enemy beyond his camp as far as ‘Artāh. This is confirmed by Kemal ad-Din who says that there was no pursuit and no prominent men were lost although many volunteers became casualties. Matthew of Edessa stresses that it was the Islamic infantry which bore the weight of the crusader attack.55 We need not suppose that Albert was exactly right, and he does qualify his number by saying that the 200 were those fit for battle. However Fulcher, without giving figures, says much the same thing: ‘They [the enemy] knew that our knights had been reduced to weak and helpless footmen’.56 The crusader army was overwhelmingly an army on foot and the few horsemen in its divisions must have been precious nuclei round which the others could rally. We can assume that in this desperate situation every fit man was pressed into service, for after the capture of the city they would have had ample supplies of arms for even the poorest. Amongst these were the Tafurs, a hard-core of poor men organised under their own leaders, whose name may be derived from the big light wooden shield which many of them carried, the talevart or talevas. Their ferocity and in particular their cannibalism would later repel friend and foe alike, although their supposed ‘king’ may well have been a later invention grafted on like the nobility of Robin Hood. These desperados seem to have been pre-eminently North French and Fleming in origin and to have represented a quasi-autonomous force within the army.57 Such troops as these would have been well-stiffened by large numbers of dismounted knights, so that a formidable infantry existed, and would continue to exist for the rest of the crusade. The use of infantry thrown forward of the knights was not so much a skilful tactical invention – rather a necessity, for the shortage of horsemen meant that the foot would have to carry the battle to the enemy. In the event the battle proved their value in spectacular fashion.

Here we come to the whole point of the crusader deployment. They needed to get to close quarters with the enemy as quickly as possible and in the most favourable circumstances. They could not afford to fight at a distance for that would be to the enemy’s advantage. This was why they chose to break out of the Bridge Gate. The main enemy camp was situated up the valley of the Orontes some five kilometres above Antioch, as we have noted (see fig. 12). It seems to have remained there for all the sources indicate that after the battle the enemy were pursued up the valley and their camp sacked.58 To have attacked through the three north-facing gates would have sent the army into the narrow funnel of the Orontes valley, close to where the enemy main force lurked in its camp at the confluence of the Orontes and the Kara Su. It is clear that his main force was there, for the crusader sources speak of Kerbogah being in the camp at the time of their sally and being separated from the main focus of the fighting.59 To have attacked south through the St George Gate would have been folly, for the enemy would have been massed behind an army which would inevitably have fled to the sea. Rather, a key factor in the defeat of Kerbogah was the decision of the crusaders to attack against the force in the plain above the Bridge Gate and the speed with which this was achieved. It is easy to forget the sheer size of Antioch. This had troubled the crusaders who for six months could only sustain outposts on the west bank. Kerbogah made the fatal mistake of dispersing his forces, something the crusaders had been at pains to avoid during their siege. He held much of his army to the north but this separated him from the force by the Bridge Gate, much of which was mainly on foot to judge by comments in the sources that the infantry suffered the bulk of the losses. If all the gates of the city were invested as the crusader sources say we can envisage much of his huge army rallying to the battle which developed to the north of the Bridge Gate and being committed to action piecemeal (see fig. 14). Presumably some of those who attacked the crusaders in the rear came from the force outside the St George Gate. As the crusaders marched out, all these groups would have had to concentrate and either await the coming of their commander or rush into a developing battle without any direction.60 The formation adopted by the crusaders was designed to strike at the enemy in the plain and to seize them in close combat; this was the job of the first divisions to emerge. The long march of the Provençals across the plain was to protect their own flanks and this was especially useful as Kerbogah and his main force approached, while the reserve under Bohemond was there to give support as needed. Bohemond probably counted on the distance between Kerbogah and the forces in the plain to aid his plan; Kerbogah was suffering from dispersal of his forces, which the crusader leaders had been at such pains to avoid. In the event, the crusaders were able to achieve success because of hesitations in the enemy camp and the speed of their own action.

When the garrison of the citadel flew the black flag to warn Kerbogah that a break-out was imminent the news seems to have triggered not action but a debate in the enemy camp. Some crusader sources report a dialogue between Mirdalin and his commander which shows Kerbogah as fearful. This follows the poetic tradition of imaginary exchanges amongst the enemy, in this case designed to explain an extraordinary fact, the slowness of the enemy army to react to the attack.61 According to Kemal ad-Din, the Arab leader Wassab ibn-Mahmud and some emirs urged Kerbogah to fall on the Franks as they appeared at the gate but the majority of the commanders wanted to let the enemy out to attack them in the plain. Ibn al-Athir says there was in any case considerable friction between many of the emirs and Kerbogah, and that some favoured an immediate attack but Kerbogah favoured letting the enemy out.62 Kerbogah’s view seems to have prevailed, but that is not to say that no effort was made to attack the Franks as they left the Bridge Gate. According to Albert of Aachen a force of 2,000 mounted bowmen rode up to the Bridge Gate as it opened. However, the crusaders had concentrated a force of bowmen with Hugh of Vermandois at the very head of their column and they advanced with shields held up against the enemy arrows and drove back the enemy until they got his horses in range, at which point the Turks took flight; they may well be the Turkomen to whom Kemal ad-Din refers as causing disorder in the ranks of Kerbogah’s army. Anselm of Ribemont then led his forces into the retreating enemy, followed by Hugh of Vermandois and the whole group of the North French as they turned right across the Bridge Gate – Robert of Flanders, Robert of Normandy, Baldwin of Hainault and Eustace of Boulogne.63 It was here on the Christian right by the Orontes that the main engagement was fought largely by the North French and against a largely infantry force (see fig. 14). The Anonymous says they were led by Godfrey, Robert of Flanders and Hugh of Vermandois, and it is these people that Albert mentions in his vivid, though often confusing description of events. As we have noted, the other accounts give much the same list of divisions in the army and Albert identifies some of these major groupings – those of Hugh of Vermandois, Robert of Flanders, Robert of Normandy, Adhémar who he says marched across the plain, Godfrey, Tancred and Bohemond whose force he describes as the biggest of all in knights and foot, committed to supporting the others according to need. Since his description of the main course of the battle accords with that of other sources, we can assume that the long list of divisions given earlier were the units in which men actually fought, and which they recalled being amongst and told Albert about later.64 Each of these groups, as they crossed the Bridge, turned right and attacked the enemy to the left of its predecessor, fanning out like the fingers of a hand. It is unlikely that there was a deployment into tidy formations in line and far more likely that each charged in column pell-mell against the enemy. But the general battle plan was followed. Raymond of Aguilers describes how the army of the bishop struck across the plain, surrounded by the enemy who swarmed about it like flies, but never came to close quarters. It is quite likely that enemy cavalry forces, coming up piecemeal from their siege deployments, were attracted into attacking Adhémar’s force, leaving their infantry isolated. An important action was caused by a large group of the enemy led, so Albert says, by Soliman and Rossilion, who moved to the left of the bishop’s force with the obvious intention of taking the Christians in the rear. The Anonymous says that to counter this the leaders improvised a force from the armies of Godfrey and Robert of Normandy under Count Renaud of Toul. Albert says that this enemy force of 15,000 fell by chance into conflict with the corps led by Renaud III of Toul and others who are all associated with Godfrey. Raymond of Aguilers remarks that a group of the enemy moved to their rear and were attacked by crusader infantry who fought well, and Ralph of Caen says that an enemy force of 100,000 passed across the Frankish column to take them in the rear precipitating a two-faced battle. Raymond of Aguilers simply records that this infantry force fought well, but the Anonymous says that it had heavy casualties. Albert says that it was wiped out, save for the knights and, like the Anonymous, says that the enemy set fire to the grass in order to defeat them. Ralph never mentions Renaud and his men, but says that Bohemond fought the two-faced battle.65 It is at least possible that after the infantry was wiped out Bohemond’s force lent support. The improvisation of such a force in an emergency suggests that the leaders had established very tight control over their forces which had become disciplined and trained through hard and long contact with the enemy. This was a grim and costly engagement fought out in the rear of the main crusader force, but their sacrifice bought time for the main army. The only writer to give any detail about the fighting near the Bridge Gate is Albert of Aachen whose account is confusing and, in at least one minor respect, demonstrably erroneous. His account tends to exalt the role of Godfrey and very much to play down that of Bohemond who he never suggests to have been in command. According to Albert, while the fight in the rear was going on, Bohemond was attacked by a force led by Qaradja of Harrân, Duqaq of Damascus and Ridwan of Aleppo. It is quite definitely known that Ridwan was not present. Godfrey was, at this time, engaged in attacking a force led by, amongst others, Balduk of Samosata and, as he defeated them, received a call for help from Bohemond. Godfrey rallied to Bohemond’s aid with Hugh of Vermandois, and it is interesting that they changed position slowly so that horse and foot could stay together. The enemy then fled, crossing a stream which flowed into the Orontes, probably the Wadi al Quivaisiya, which must mean that they fled north, and dismounted on a hilltop to resist, but were driven off. This could well represent confused memories of what the Anonymous records in tidier form; he says that at the moment that the Saracens to the rear were setting fire to the grass around the beleaguered force led by Renaud of Toul, Godfrey and the North French began to press forwards on the right by the river, Bohemond committed his own force to the charge and the enemy fell into disorder and retreat.66 Albert is reporting recollections of confused close-quarter fighting which was witnessed from a distance by the Anonymous who was caught up in it just at the moment that the enemy broke. But such fighting was confined to this part of the battlefield and to the gallant stand of Renaud of Toul’s men. Raymond reports being attacked with arrows but:‘the enemy turned in flight without giving us a chance to engage in battle’, by which he probably means they never got to close quarters.67 In the meantime it would appear that Kerbogah’s main body had reached the battlefield on the Christian left where, Albert says, it stood still unable to come to the aid of the retreating Turks by the river. This was not divine intervention as Albert suggests, but because of the presence of Adhémar’s force in the valley which would threaten his right wing should he undertake such a difficult manoeuvre as to gallop to the rescue of an already broken force. Albert says that at this point Kerbogah was informed that the crusaders were in the camp, which presumably means the camp in the plain immediately above the Bridge Gate, and he retreated, barely pursued because of the lack of horses. This general picture of really hard fighting in only a limited area of the battlefield is confirmed by Ibn al-Athir who says that only one division of the Islamic army stood, fought and was wiped out.68

image

Fig. 14 The defeat of Kerbogah

image Turkish bowmen routed by Hugh of Vermandois

1 and 2: Godfrey and the North French attack the Turks by the Bridge Gate

3: South French under Adhémar, attempting to outflank the enemy, are engaged by piecemeal attacks

4: Bohemond’s forces act as a reserve and engage only when the enemy wavers

5: Renaud of Toul’s force holds off the enemy in the rear

6: The Count of Toulouse continues to blockade the Citadel

7: Kerbogah with his main force advances from the base camp, then turns back as he sees the rest of his army breaking up in defeat

The Islamic sources tend to attribute the defeat of this great army to divisions in its own ranks. According to Ibn al-Athir there had been a lot of friction which came to a head in the debate over whether to attack the crusader army as it emerged from Antioch and as a result most of the army took flight out of sheer irritation with Kerbogah. Kemal ad-Din is rather more specific. According to him, Kerbogah opened negotiations with Ridwan of Aleppo during the siege, annoying Duqaq while Janah ad-Daulah of Homs feared vengeance for his part in the murder of a rival, Youssef ben Abiks, and the nomad Turks disliked Ridwan.69 There is a sense in which this is making excuses. After all, if the fortune of battle had gone the other way doubtless the nascent disputes between Raymond of Toulouse and Bohemond would have been blamed for the defeat. This is not to say that friction within Kerbogah’s coalition was not a factor, but it was only a factor. Kerbogah’s army was very large, as even the Islamic sources admit, but the dispersal of its forces and its commander’s hesitations meant that its power was never brought to bear. It is possible that he had always intended to allow the Franks to exit from Antioch, counting on his 2,000 archers to exact a heavy toll of their numbers, and so was surprised by the speed with which this force was brushed aside. But he also seems to have hesitated over plans and this was fatal. By contrast the Franks knew what they wanted, to engage the enemy rapidly and in this they succeeded by a well-planned and swift exit. Battle was therefore joined on the river bank between only a part of Kerbogah’s army and a very large proportion of the Franks, and despite the initiative of a Turkish force which tried to attack from the rear, there seems to have been a piecemeal commitment of the Islamic army which became disordered under Frankish pressure. As Kerbogah’s main force appeared on the right, his allies’ forces on the left by the river were breaking up while Adhémar’s sizable force was uncommitted. This was the situation in which all the distrusts and frictions in the Moslem army came into play and sauve qui peut became the rule. The Frankish battle plan, which was surely Bohemond’s, was to engage a proportion of Kerbogah’s army closely, while, as far as possible, taking precautions against being surrounded and overwhelmed. It worked because of the dispersal of Kerbogah’s army, his hesitations and the distrust which this unleashed, and also because of another factor. The Franks were desperate for battle by 28 June. It is certain that their spirits had been revived by the finding of the Holy Lance and other divine messages, and the leaders may have noted with interest Kerbogah’s failure to press home his attacks from the citadel in favour of simple attrition. But the army was faced with starvation – they had to fight and win if they were to survive and Albert says that they expressed this view to the leaders.70 Of course, such an experience could have broken them, but sustained by faith and determination, by that driving religious enthusiasm which was the motor of the crusade, they fought for the chance to live. It was a gambler’s throw of all or nothing which their enemies did not fully understand. Some of the Moslems did – the volunteers seem to have fought to the death as the chronicles of Aleppo and Damascus point out.71 But for most of the emirs of Kerbogah’s army this was a war for this or that advantage – that was the tradition in this fractured borderland of Islam. When things went badly distrust flourished, and this vile plant was fed all the more by the military incompetence of Kerbogah. So a combination of factors destroyed this great army, as it has destroyed so many others which were never, as a whole, brought to battle. The great, the rich and the lucky saved themselves – the foot, the women and children and other camp followers were destroyed. Fulcher, speaking of the fate of women in the enemy camp, expresses the true savagery of the crusader spirit: ‘In regard to the women found in the tents of the foe the Franks did them no evil but drove lances into their bellies’.72

In this great victory we can see the improving military technique of the crusader army. There was no single tactical or technical advance. Its leaders were now very experienced soldiers, and Bohemond was an exceptional commander. By the end of the siege of Antioch the army was cohesive and disciplined. This was the result of working together in shared hardship. The leaders knew that solidity in formation was important before they left the west, and any doubts they may have had would have been dispelled by the advice of Alexius and the experience at Dorylaeum where it is evident they knew what was important but were handling a much less skilled and practised army. It took time for this kind of lesson to percolate through the army as it welded itself into an effective fighting unit. For knowing what is needed and bringing troops to the point where they can achieve it are two different things. Luck was a major factor in their early battles in Asia Minor. It continued to be important, but the army was becoming more cohesive and the Lake Battle and the fight against Kerbogah demonstrated this. There are some indications, especially at the Lake Battle, that the army was using the mass charge with couched lances which is so characteristic of warfare later in the twelfth century, but of which there is little evidence before the crusade.73 The crusaders enjoyed no technical advantage over amongst their enemies though we do not hear of lamellar and scale armour amongst the Franks and it is possible that chain-mail was more widespread amongst them than their enemies and this would reflect their predilection for close-quarter combat. Even the large kite-shaped shield, which is clearly an adaptation to this style of war, was known in the East, though smaller round ones were perhaps commoner. The westerners were adaptable, with the knights, the key element in the army, quite capable of fighting on foot. The real innovation was in command. The near disaster of the Foraging Battle forced them into appointing a single commander and, in the person of Bohemond, they found an able general. The enemy was particularly adept at avoiding close quarter fighting until their opponents were suitably weakened, and used encirclement and ambush to that end. Bohemond turned the tables on the enemy by ambushing them at the Lake Battle, holding his own force as a reserve to reinforce weak points. At Antioch he again sought to bring the enemy to battle at close quarters by a sudden sally against a part of his army, and devised a formation which offered some protection from encirclement to the Frankish force most closely engaged. The hallmark of his dispositions was aggression – he never stood on the defensive and never allowed the enemy to settle his formation. The crusader army was by this time a seasoned and disciplined force fired by religious fervour and the desperate need to win food. The lessons of war were gradually learned, though at enormous cost in lives. The deadly effectiveness of ambush, which might trap a handful of men, or overwhelm a whole army as at the Foraging Battle, was only slowly brought home to the Franks. This continued to be a weakness, as it was of all armies, in part because of poor communications and in part because of weak discipline. Also it is a simple and unavoidable fact that armies, like all organisations, fall into routine or are obliged to do predictable things. At the Lake Battle they ambushed Ridwan; less than a month later Bohemond, who had commanded them and devised the stratagem, was himself ambushed on the St Symeon road but then it was the only road down to the sea and it seems to have been a well-laid ambush. But two clear-cut victories, in February and June 1098, achieved over larger forces in very adverse circumstances, showed an army whose cohesiveness was growing and whose commanders were adapting to new conditions. Franks and Turks were used to different styles of war, and the Franks worked hard to bring their enemy to battle at close quarters. Theirs were victories of military ability, but also of militant temperament. Their enemies did not, in the main, share that willingness to conquer or die – the very essence of crusading. For the most part they fought for more limited ends without properly understanding the nature of their new adversary. Having said this, we need to recognise that the savagery during the siege of Antioch and the fate of the volunteers outside in the final battle show that a quite different spirit could be engendered in their enemies. It is a fine irony that this supreme triumph of the crusading spirit in the battle over Kerbogah opened the way to a marked change in the way the army conducted itself.


1 AA 407–408.

2 Runciman, 1. 319; Cahen, Syrie du Nord, p. 217; GF, p. 50, has a vignette of Shams-ad-Daulah reluctantly conceding the citadel to Kerbogah: on the size of Kerbogah’s army see above p. 203: Matthew, pp. 39, 41.

3 RA, p. 64.

4 FC pp. 6, 97; RA, p. 77; GF p. 63; AA, 414–15.

5 J. A. Brundage, ‘An errant crusader: Stephen of Blois’, Traditio, 16 (1960), 388, suggests that the last part of Stephen’s letter to Adela written in late March 1098; Hagenmeyer, Kreuzzugsbriefe, p. 152, in which he says that he will see her soon, means that he had already resolved to leave the crusade, perhaps delaying until Antioch was in Christian hands. Even if the passage could be interpreteted in this way it would have been extraordinary for him to persist in such a course of action as Kerbogah closed in on the city. Stephen was a deserter.

6 GF pp. 56, 61: AA 41; RC, 660–1, says that it was Robert of Flanders who fired the city.

7 AA, 418; Matthew, 41: GF, p. 59.

8 AA, 4078; HBS, 198; RA, p. 66.

9 GF, pp. 50, 51.

10 The Wadi has now vanished under the concrete of the new city. By June it was probably dry anyway. The Kara Su is the only waterway which could be described as a river.

11 RA, p. 66; AA, 411.

12 See below, p. 275.

13 RA, pp. 66–7: AA, 411–12.

14 AA, 409–10 is the only source for this event, which he appears to place early in the siege.

15 Bouchier, Antioch pp. 218–19.

16 Aleppo Chronicle, 581; Ibn al-Athir, p. 193.

17 RA, p. 67 Krey, First Crusade, p. 169, has an extremely accurate, almost photograhic description of this battlefield: ‘The Turks who had entered the fortress wanted to go down into the city. For the valley between our mountain and their fortress was not large, and in the middle of it was a certain cistern and a little level place. Nor did the enemy have a path down into the city except through our mountain; wherefore they strove with every intent and all their might to drive us out and remove us from their path.’

The roughness of the land and the steepness of the gulley must be emphasised. It is possible to pick one’s way down from the citadel and then up the mountainside to the crusader positions, but it is a slow and difficult business for the walls of the gulley are sown with rocky projections often waist-high, with loose shale below, the whole masked by a covering of low scrub. Effectively an attack against or from the citadel can only proceed either along the line of the wall or on the access road – two very narrow fronts.

18 RM, 806–7.

19 GF p.561 AA, 411.

20 GF p. 56; RA, pp. 66–8; Hagenmeyer, Kreuzzugsbriefe, pp. 157–60.

21 GF pp. 56–7; RA, pp. 66–8; Hagenmeyer Kreuzzugsbriefe, pp. 157–65.

22 GF pp. 56–7, 60–1: PT, p. 67; RA, pp. 67–8; AA, 410–11, 413. On the tower, see above, p. 266; the suggestion is that of Rey, Monuments, pp. 201–2.

23 AA, 410; RC, 659–60; RA, p. 79.

24 AA, 411: Hagenmeyer, Kreuzzugsbriefe, pp. 157–65; Krey, First Crusade, p. 190, 193; GF, p. 62. Presumably the St George Gate to the south of the city had remained open and this explains the contact between Antioch and St Symeon noted above, p. 211, and below p. 278, after the coming of Kerbogah.

25 GF p. 68; RA, p. 79; AA, 422.

26 On the impact of starvation on numbers see above, pp. 132, 133.

27 The story of the visions of Stephen of Valence and Peter Bartholemew is given in the GF, pp. 57–60. The building of the wall against the citadel, and the initial comments on starvation, occur on p. 57 and are repeated, the latter in vastly expanded form, p. 62. The sense is of a work which has been quite violently chopped around, GF, p. 62–3.

28 RA, pp. 76–7 may have based his account here on GF.

29 AA, 412–414, 427.

30 RA, p. 77.

31 RA, pp. 72–4; GF, pp. 57–9.

32 RA, pp.68–75; GF, pp.59–60.

33 AA, 417.

34 RA, p. 75; GF, p. 65.

35 Hagenmeyer, Kreuzzugsbriefe, pp. 157–65; Krey, First Crusade, pp. 190, 193.

36 On the visions see Morris, ‘Policy and Visions’, pp. 33–45 and J. France, ‘Prophet, Priest and Chronicler on the First Crusade’, (forthcoming).

37 The words of the finder of the Lance, GF, p. 65, clerly refer to the vision as reported on p. 60. This account has been changed a good deal.

38 RA, pp. 75–8.

39 RA, pp. 53–4, 74.

40 AA, 421 and see above, p. 44.

41 AA, 423.

42 GF, pp. 65–7; RA, pp. 79, 81; AA, 419–21.

43 See above, p. 271, n. 7.

44 RA, p. 50; RC, p. 715; see above, p. 147.

45 Though useful comments are made by Riley-Smith, Idea of Crusading, p. 65.

46 Hagenmeyer, Kreuzzugsbriefe, p. 157; RA, pp. 49, 51, 53, 55, 77; GF, pp. 34, 62; PT, p. 44;RC, 646–7; AA, 381, 395, 408, 418–19, 426–8; on the figure of 700 in February 1098, see above, p. 281.

47 GF, pp. 23, 27; in 1984 the author Tim Severin, Crusader (London, 1986), followed the path of the first crusade on horseback and had the greatest difficulty looking after his horses, even with modern aids and the support of motorised transport.

48 Smail, Crusading Warfare, p. 173, n. 5.

49 Smail, Crusading Warfare, pp. 173–4, based his reconstruction upon that of O. Heerman, Die Gefechtsführung abendländischer Heere im Orient in der Epoche des ersten Kreuzzugs (Marburg, 1888), p. 41, though he had reservations about his methods notably expressed p. 171, n. 8. Heerman depended heavily upon Raymond of Aguilers. In its main lines, this reconstruction has been followed by modern scholars, notably C. Morris in his computer program published by the HIDES Project of Southampton University, ‘The battle at Antioch’, which provides a sequential representation of the battle.

50 RA, pp. 79–83; GF, p. 70.

51 Smail, Crusading Warfare, pp. 173–4.

52 GF, p. 68; RC, 666; Hagenmeyer, Kreuzzusbriefe, pp. 157–60; AA, 422; FC, pp. 105–6 is entirely dependent on RA for his account of the battle.

53 Using smoke to confuse and choke the enemy was a well-known device of Islamic armies, employed, for example, at Hattin; Ibn al-Athir, 684. More exotic and even poisonous substances were also sometimes used: A. L. S. Muhammad Lutful-Huq, A critical edition of the Nihayat al-Sul of Muhammad b. Isn b. Isma’il Al-Hanafi, Ph.D thesis, University of London (1955), p. 15.

54 See above, pp. 281–2.

55 AA, 427; RA, p. 83; RC, 669–70; Aleppo Chronicle, 583; Matthew, 43.

56 FC, p. 103.

57 The origin of the name is suggested by L. A. M. Sumberg, ‘The Tafurs and the First Crusade’, Medieval Studies, 21 (1959), 227–8; on the Tafurs see La Chanson d’Antioche, 11. 2987, 4042, 4049, 4066, 4087, 4100, 4106, 4115, 4118, 4299, 4318, 6395, 6398, 6417, 8251, 8921; GN, 242 says their lord was a Norman knight who had lost his horse.

58 See above p. 286; on pursuit up the valley see AA, 426; RA, p. 83; RC, 670; GF, p. 70. Other Turkish camps were made at various times; for example, that on Mount Silpius which was soon abandoned, and then down in the plain to the north of the Bridge Gate.

59 GF, pp. 68–9; RA, p. 80; RC, 667; AA, 426.

60 See below, p. 293.

61 RC, p. 667 repeats exactly the same story, telling it, however, as a rumour. It was probably current in the crusader camp to explain events, and it is worth noting that Mirdalin passed into the corpus of crusader legend: Cahen, Syrie du Nord, p. 215, n. 35.

62 AA, 423; Aleppo Chronicle, p. 583; Ibn al-Athir, p. 195.

63 AA, 423; Aleppo Chronicle, p. 583.

64 The following are the other groups mentioned by Albert:

a Peter of Astenois* and his brother Renaud III of Toul*, Warner count of Grez*, Henry of Esch-sur Sûre*, all kinsmen of Godfrey, Renaud of Hamersbach and Walter of Domedart.

b Raimbaud d’Orange, Louis count of Mousson*, Lambert son of Cono of Montaigu*.

c Hugh of St Pol and his son Engelrand, Thomas de Fé, Baldwin of Bourcq*, Robert FitzGerald, Raymond Peleth, Galon of Calmon, Everard of Puiset, Dreux of Nesle, Rodolfus son of Godfrey, and Conan and another Rodolfus, both Bretons. Albert says they formed two divisions. Robert FitzGerard is surely the standard-bearer of Bohemond who fought with such distinction at the Lake Battle: GF, p. 37–8.

d Gaston of Béarn, Gerard of Roussillon, William of Montpellier.

On those marked * see Murray, ‘The army of Godfrey de Bouillon’.

65 AA, 424; GF, p. 69; RA, p. 81; RC, 667.

66 AA, 425–6; GF, p. 70.

67 RA, p. 83; Krey, First Crusade, p. 189.

68 AA, 426; Ibn al-Athir, 196.

69 Ib al-Athir, 194–6; Aleppo Chronicle, 582–3.

70 See above, p. 279.

71 Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades, p. 46; Aleppo Chronicle, 583.

72 FC, p. 106.

73 See above, pp. 71–2, 74.

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