The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 5
Edward Gibbon

Part 14 out of 14

enmity to Bohemond was the fruit of disappointed love. In the
transactions of Constantinople and Nice, her partial accounts
(Alex. l. x. xi. p. 283 - 317) may be opposed to the partiality
of the Latins, but in their subsequent exploits she is brief and

[Footnote 65: In their views of the character and conduct of
Alexius, Maimbourg has favored the Catholic Franks, and Voltaire
has been partial to the schismatic Greeks. The prejudice of a
philosopher is less excusable than that of a Jesuit.]

[Footnote *: Wilken quotes a remarkable passage of William of
Malmsbury as to the secret motives of Urban and of Bohemond in
urging the crusade. Illud repositius propositum non ita
vulgabatur, quod Boemundi consilio, pene totam Europam in
Asiaticam expeditionem moveret, ut in tanto tumultu omnium
provinciarum facile obaeratis auxiliaribus, et Urbanus Romam et
Boemundus Illyricum et Macedoniam pervaderent. Nam eas terras et
quidquid praeterea a Dyrrachio usque ad Thessalonicam
protenditur, Guiscardus pater, super Alexium acquisierat; ideirco
illas Boemundus suo juri competere clamitabat: inops haereditatis
Apuliae, quam genitor Rogerio, minori filio delegaverat. Wilken,
vol. ii. p. 313. - M]

[Footnote 66: Between the Black Sea, the Bosphorus, and the River
Barbyses, which is deep in summer, and runs fifteen miles through
a flat meadow. Its communication with Europe and Constantinople
is by the stone bridge of the Blachernoe, which in successive
ages was restored by Justinian and Basil, (Gyllius de Bosphoro
Thracio, l. ii. c. 3. Ducange O. P. Christiana, l. v. c. 2, p,

The same arms which threatened Europe might deliver Asia,
and repel the Turks from the neighboring shores of the Bosphorus
and Hellespont. The fair provinces from Nice to Antioch were the
recent patrimony of the Roman emperor; and his ancient and
perpetual claim still embraced the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt.
In his enthusiasm, Alexius indulged, or affected, the ambitious
hope of leading his new allies to subvert the thrones of the
East; but the calmer dictates of reason and temper dissuaded him
from exposing his royal person to the faith of unknown and
lawless Barbarians. His prudence, or his pride, was content with
extorting from the French princes an oath of homage and fidelity,
and a solemn promise, that they

would either restore, or hold, their Asiatic conquests as the
humble and loyal vassals of the Roman empire. Their independent
spirit was fired at the mention of this foreign and voluntary
servitude: they successively yielded to the dexterous application
of gifts and flattery; and the first proselytes became the most
eloquent and effectual missionaries to multiply the companions of
their shame. The pride of Hugh of Vermandois was soothed by the
honors of his captivity; and in the brother of the French king,
the example of submission was prevalent and weighty. In the mind
of Godfrey of Bouillon every human consideration was subordinate
to the glory of God and the success of the crusade. He had
firmly resisted the temptations of Bohemond and Raymond, who
urged the attack and conquest of Constantinople. Alexius esteemed
his virtues, deservedly named him the champion of the empire, and
dignified his homage with the filial name and the rights of
adoption. ^67 The hateful Bohemond was received as a true and
ancient ally; and if the emperor reminded him of former
hostilities, it was only to praise the valor that he had
displayed, and the glory that he had acquired, in the fields of
Durazzo and Larissa. The son of Guiscard was lodged and
entertained, and served with Imperial pomp: one day, as he passed
through the gallery of the palace, a door was carelessly left
open to expose a pile of gold and silver, of silk and gems, of
curious and costly furniture, that was heaped, in seeming
disorder, from the floor to the roof of the chamber. "What
conquests," exclaimed the ambitious miser, "might not be achieved
by the possession of such a treasure!" - "It is your own,"
replied a Greek attendant, who watched the motions of his soul;
and Bohemond, after some hesitation, condescended to accept this
magnificent present. The Norman was flattered by the assurance
of an independent principality; and Alexius eluded, rather than
denied, his daring demand of the office of great domestic, or
general of the East. The two Roberts, the son of the conqueror
of England, and the kinsmen of three queens, ^68 bowed in their
turn before the Byzantine throne. A private letter of Stephen of
Chartres attests his admiration of the emperor, the most
excellent and liberal of men, who taught him to believe that he
was a favorite, and promised to educate and establish his
youngest son. In his southern province, the count of St. Giles
and Thoulouse faintly recognized the supremacy of the king of
France, a prince of a foreign nation and language. At the head
of a hundred thousand men, he declared that he was the soldier
and servant of Christ alone, and that the Greek might be
satisfied with an equal treaty of alliance and friendship. His
obstinate resistance enhanced the value and the price of his
submission; and he shone, says the princess Anne, among the
Barbarians, as the sun amidst the stars of heaven. His disgust
of the noise and insolence of the French, his suspicions of the
designs of Bohemond, the emperor imparted to his faithful
Raymond; and that aged statesman might clearly discern, that
however false in friendship, he was sincere in his enmity. ^69
The spirit of chivalry was last subdued in the person of Tancred;
and none could deem themselves dishonored by the imitation of
that gallant knight. He disdained the gold and flattery of the
Greek monarch; assaulted in his presence an insolent patrician;
escaped to Asia in the habit of a private soldier; and yielded
with a sigh to the authority of Bohemond, and the interest of the
Christian cause. The best and most ostensible reason was the
impossibility of passing the sea and accomplishing their vow,
without the license and the vessels of Alexius; but they
cherished a secret hope, that as soon as they trod the continent
of Asia, their swords would obliterate their shame, and dissolve
the engagement, which on his side might not be very faithfully
performed. The ceremony of their homage was grateful to a people
who had long since considered pride as the substitute of power.
High on his throne, the emperor sat mute and immovable: his
majesty was adored by the Latin princes; and they submitted to
kiss either his feet or his knees, an indignity which their own
writers are ashamed to confess and unable to deny. ^70

[Footnote 67: There are two sorts of adoption, the one by arms,
the other by introducing the son between the shirt and skin of
his father. Ducange isur Joinville, Diss. xxii. p. 270) supposes
Godfrey's adoption to have been of the latter sort.]

[Footnote 68: After his return, Robert of Flanders became the man
of the king of England, for a pension of four hundred marks. See
the first act in Rymer's Foedera.]

[Footnote 69: Sensit vetus regnandi, falsos in amore, odia non
fingere. Tacit. vi. 44.]

[Footnote 70: The proud historians of the crusades slide and
stumble over this humiliating step. Yet, since the heroes knelt
to salute the emperor, as he sat motionless on his throne, it is
clear that they must have kissed either his feet or knees. It is
only singular, that Anna should not have amply supplied the
silence or ambiguity of the Latins. The abasement of their
princes would have added a fine chapter to the Ceremoniale Aulae

Private or public interest suppressed the murmurs of the
dukes and counts; but a French baron (he is supposed to be Robert
of Paris ^71) presumed to ascend the throne, and to place himself
by the side of Alexius. The sage reproof of Baldwin provoked him
to exclaim, in his barbarous idiom, "Who is this rustic, that
keeps his seat, while so many valiant captains are standing round
him?" The emperor maintained his silence, dissembled his
indignation, and questioned his interpreter concerning the
meaning of the words, which he partly suspected from the
universal language of gesture and countenance. Before the
departure of the pilgrims, he endeavored to learn the name and
condition of the audacious baron. "I am a Frenchman," replied
Robert, "of the purest and most ancient nobility of my country.
All that I know is, that there is a church in my neighborhood,
^72 the resort of those who are desirous of approving their valor
in single combat. Till an enemy appears, they address their
prayers to God and his saints. That church I have frequently
visited. But never have I found an antagonist who dared to
accept my defiance." Alexius dismissed the challenger with some
prudent advice for his conduct in the Turkish warfare; and
history repeats with pleasure this lively example of the manners
of his age and country.

[Footnote 71: He called himself (see Alexias, l. x. p. 301.) What
a title of noblesse of the eleventh century, if any one could now
prove his inheritance! Anna relates, with visible pleasure, that
the swelling Barbarian, was killed, or wounded, after fighting in
the front in the battle of Dorylaeum, (l. xi. p. 317.) This
circumstance may justify the suspicion of Ducange, (Not. p. 362,)
that he was no other than Robert of Paris, of the district most
peculiarly styled the Duchy or Island of France, (L'Isle de

[Footnote 72: With the same penetration, Ducange discovers his
church to be that of St. Drausus, or Drosin, of Soissons, quem
duello dimicaturi solent invocare: pugiles qui ad memoriam ejus
(his tomb) pernoctant invictos reddit, ut et de Burgundia et
Italia tali necessitate confugiatur ad eum. Joan. Sariberiensis,
epist. 139.]

The conquest of Asia was undertaken and achieved by
Alexander, with thirty-five thousand Macedonians and Greeks; ^73
and his best hope was in the strength and discipline of his
phalanx of infantry. The principal force of the crusaders
consisted in their cavalry; and when that force was mustered in
the plains of Bithynia, the knights and their martial attendants
on horseback amounted to one hundred thousand fighting men,
completely armed with the helmet and coat of mail. The value of
these soldiers deserved a strict and authentic account; and the
flower of European chivalry might furnish, in a first effort,
this formidable body of heavy horse. A part of the infantry
might be enrolled for the service of scouts, pioneers, and
archers; but the promiscuous crowd were lost in their own
disorder; and we depend not on the eyes and knowledge, but on the
belief and fancy, of a chaplain of Count Baldwin, ^74 in the
estimate of six hundred thousand pilgrims able to bear arms,
besides the priests and monks, the women and children of the
Latin camp. The reader starts; and before he is recovered from
his surprise, I shall add, on the same testimony, that if all who
took the cross had accomplished their vow, above six millions
would have migrated from Europe to Asia. Under this oppression
of faith, I derive some relief from a more sagacious and thinking
writer, ^75 who, after the same review of the cavalry, accuses
the credulity of the priest of Chartres, and even doubts whether
the Cisalpine regions (in the geography of a Frenchman) were
sufficient to produce and pour forth such incredible multitudes.
The coolest scepticism will remember, that of these religious
volunteers great numbers never beheld Constantinople and Nice.
Of enthusiasm the influence is irregular and transient: many were
detained at home by reason or cowardice, by poverty or weakness;
and many were repulsed by the obstacles of the way, the more
insuperable as they were unforeseen, to these ignorant fanatics.
The savage countries of Hungary and Bulgaria were whitened with
their bones: their vanguard was cut in pieces by the Turkish
sultan; and the loss of the first adventure, by the sword, or
climate, or fatigue, has already been stated at three hundred
thousand men. Yet the myriads that survived, that marched, that
pressed forwards on the holy pilgrimage, were a subject of
astonishment to themselves and to the Greeks. The copious energy
of her language sinks under the efforts of the princess Anne: ^76
the images of locusts, of leaves and flowers, of the sands of the
sea, or the stars of heaven, imperfectly represent what she had
seen and heard; and the daughter of Alexius exclaims, that Europe
was loosened from its foundations, and hurled against Asia. The
ancient hosts of Darius and Xerxes labor under the same doubt of
a vague and indefinite magnitude; but I am inclined to believe,
that a larger number has never been contained within the lines of
a single camp, than at the siege of Nice, the first operation of
the Latin princes. Their motives, their characters, and their
arms, have been already displayed. Of their troops the most
numerous portion were natives of France: the Low Countries, the
banks of the Rhine, and Apulia, sent a powerful reenforcement:
some bands of adventurers were drawn from Spain, Lombardy, and
England; ^77 and from the distant bogs and mountains of Ireland
or Scotland ^78 issued some naked and savage fanatics, ferocious
at home but unwarlike abroad. Had not superstition condemned the
sacrilegious prudence of depriving the poorest or weakest
Christian of the merit of the pilgrimage, the useless crowd, with
mouths but without hands, might have been stationed in the Greek
empire, till their companions had opened and secured the way of
the Lord. A small remnant of the pilgrims, who passed the
Bosphorus, was permitted to visit the holy sepulchre. Their
northern constitution was scorched by the rays, and infected by
the vapors, of a Syrian sun. They consumed, with heedless
prodigality, their stores of water and provision: their numbers
exhausted the inland country: the sea was remote, the Greeks were
unfriendly, and the Christians of every sect fled before the
voracious and cruel rapine of their brethren. In the dire
necessity of famine, they sometimes roasted and devoured the
flesh of their infant or adult captives. Among the Turks and
Saracens, the idolaters of Europe were rendered more odious by
the name and reputation of Cannibals; the spies, who introduced
themselves into the kitchen of Bohemond, were shown several human
bodies turning on the spit: and the artful Norman encouraged a
report, which increased at the same time the abhorrence and the
terror of the infidels. ^79

[Footnote 73: There is some diversity on the numbers of his army;
but no authority can be compared with that of Ptolemy, who states
it at five thousand horse and thirty thousand foot, (see Usher's
Annales, p 152.)]

[Footnote 74: Fulcher. Carnotensis, p. 387. He enumerates
nineteen nations of different names and languages, (p. 389;) but
I do not clearly apprehend his difference between the Franci and
Galli, Itali and Apuli. Elsewhere (p. 385) he contemptuously
brands the deserters.]

[Footnote 75: Guibert, p. 556. Yet even his gentle opposition
implies an
immense multitude. By Urban II., in the fervor of his zeal, it
is only rated at 300,000 pilgrims, (epist. xvi. Concil. tom. xii.
p. 731.)]

[Footnote 76: Alexias, l. x. p. 283, 305. Her fastidious
delicacy complains of their strange and inarticulate names; and
indeed there is scarcely one that she has not contrived to
disfigure with the proud ignorance so dear and familiar to a
polished people. I shall select only one example, Sangeles, for
the count of St. Giles.]

[Footnote 77: William of Malmsbury (who wrote about the year
1130) has inserted in his history (l. iv. p. 130-154) a narrative
of the first crusade: but I wish that, instead of listening to
the tenue murmur which had passed the British ocean, (p. 143,) he
had confined himself to the numbers, families, and adventures of
his countrymen. I find in Dugdale, that an English Norman,
Stephen earl of Albemarle and Holdernesse, led the rear-guard
with Duke Robert, at the battle of Antioch, (Baronage, part i. p.

[Footnote 78: Videres Scotorum apud se ferocium alias imbellium
cuneos, (Guibert, p. 471;) the crus intectum and hispida chlamys,
may suit the Highlanders; but the finibus uliginosis may rather
apply to the Irish bogs. William of Malmsbury expressly mentions
the Welsh and Scots, &c., (l. iv. p. 133,) who quitted, the
former venatiorem, the latter familiaritatem pulicum.]

[Footnote 79: This cannibal hunger, sometimes real, more
frequently an artifice or a lie, may be found in Anna Comnena,
(Alexias, l. x. p. 288,) Guibert, (p. 546,) Radulph. Cadom., (c.
97.) The stratagem is related by the author of the Gesta
Francorum, the monk Robert Baldric, and Raymond des Agiles, in
the siege and famine of Antioch.]

Chapter LVIII: The First Crusade.

Part IV.

I have expiated with pleasure on the first steps of the
crusaders, as they paint the manners and character of Europe: but
I shall abridge the tedious and uniform narrative of their blind
achievements, which were performed by strength and are described
by ignorance. From their first station in the neighborhood of
Nicomedia, they advanced in successive divisions; passed the
contracted limit of the Greek empire; opened a road through the
hills, and commenced, by the siege of his capital, their pious
warfare against the Turkish sultan. His kingdom of Roum extended
from the Hellespont to the confines of Syria, and barred the
pilgrimage of Jerusalem, his name was Kilidge-Arslan, or Soliman,
^80 of the race of Seljuk, and son of the first conqueror; and in
the defence of a land which the Turks considered as their own, he
deserved the praise of his enemies, by whom alone he is known to
posterity. Yielding to the first impulse of the torrent, he
deposited his family and treasure in Nice; retired to the
mountains with fifty thousand horse; and twice descended to
assault the camps or quarters of the Christian besiegers, which
formed an imperfect circle of above six miles. The lofty and
solid walls of Nice were covered by a deep ditch, and flanked by
three hundred and seventy towers; and on the verge of
Christendom, the Moslems were trained in arms, and inflamed by
religion. Before this city, the French princes occupied their
stations, and prosecuted their attacks without correspondence or
subordination: emulation prompted their valor; but their valor
was sullied by cruelty, and their emulation degenerated into envy
and civil discord. In the siege of Nice, the arts and engines of
antiquity were employed by the Latins; the mine and the
battering-ram, the tortoise, and the belfrey or movable turret,
artificial fire, and the catapult and balist, the sling, and the
crossbow for the casting of stones and darts. ^81 In the space of
seven weeks much labor and blood were expended, and some
progress, especially by Count Raymond, was made on the side of
the besiegers. But the Turks could protract their resistance and
secure their escape, as long as they were masters of the Lake ^82
Ascanius, which stretches several miles to the westward of the
city. The means of conquest were supplied by the prudence and
industry of Alexius; a great number of boats was transported on
sledges from the sea to the lake; they were filled with the most
dexterous of his archers; the flight of the sultana was
intercepted; Nice was invested by land and water; and a Greek
emissary persuaded the inhabitants to accept his master's
protection, and to save themselves, by a timely surrender, from
the rage of the savages of Europe. In the moment of victory, or
at least of hope, the crusaders, thirsting for blood and plunder,
were awed by the Imperial banner that streamed from the citadel;
^* and Alexius guarded with jealous vigilance this important
conquest. The murmurs of the chiefs were stifled by honor or
interest; and after a halt of nine days, they directed their
march towards Phrygia under the guidance of a Greek general, whom
they suspected of a secret connivance with the sultan. The
consort and the principal servants of Soliman had been honorably
restored without ransom; and the emperor's generosity to the
miscreants ^83 was interpreted as treason to the Christian cause.

[Footnote 80: His Mussulman appellation of Soliman is used by the
Latins, and his character is highly embellished by Tasso. His
Turkish name of Kilidge-Arslan (A. H. 485 - 500, A.D. 1192 -
1206. See De Guignes's Tables, tom. i. p. 245) is employed by
the Orientals, and with some corruption by the Greeks; but little
more than his name can be found in the Mahometan writers, who are
dry and sulky on the subject of the first crusade, (De Guignes,
tom. iii. p. ii. p. 10 - 30.)

Note: See note, page 556. Soliman and Kilidge-Arslan were
father and son - M.]

[Footnote 81: On the fortifications, engines, and sieges of the
middle ages, see Muratori, (Antiquitat. Italiae, tom. ii.
dissert. xxvi. p. 452 - 524.) The belfredus, from whence our
belfrey, was the movable tower of the ancients, (Ducange, tom. i.
p. 608.)]

[Footnote 82: I cannot forbear remarking the resemblance between
the siege and lake of Nice, with the operations of Hernan Cortez
before Mexico. See Dr. Robertson, History of America, l. v.]

[Footnote *: See Anna Comnena. - M.]

[Footnote 83: Mecreant, a word invented by the French crusaders,
and confined in that language to its primitive sense. It should
seem, that the zeal of our ancestors boiled higher, and that they
branded every unbeliever as a rascal. A similar prejudice still
lurks in the minds of many who think themselves Christians.]

Soliman was rather provoked than dismayed by the loss of his
capital: he admonished his subjects and allies of this strange
invasion of the Western Barbarians; the Turkish emirs obeyed the
call of loyalty or religion; the Turkman hordes encamped round
his standard; and his whole force is loosely stated by the
Christians at two hundred, or even three hundred and sixty
thousand horse. Yet he patiently waited till they had left
behind them the sea and the Greek frontier; and hovering on the
flanks, observed their careless and confident progress in two
columns beyond the view of each other. Some miles before they
could reach Dorylaeum in Phrygia, the left, and least numerous,
division was surprised, and attacked, and almost oppressed, by
the Turkish cavalry. ^84 The heat of the weather, the clouds of
arrows, and the barbarous onset, overwhelmed the crusaders; they
lost their order and confidence, and the fainting fight was
sustained by the personal valor, rather than by the military
conduct, of Bohemond, Tancred, and Robert of Normandy. They were
revived by the welcome banners of Duke Godfrey, who flew to their
succor, with the count of Vermandois, and sixty thousand horse;
and was followed by Raymond of Tholouse, the bishop of Puy, and
the remainder of the sacred army. Without a moment's pause, they
formed in new order, and advanced to a second battle. They were
received with equal resolution; and, in their common disdain for
the unwarlike people of Greece and Asia, it was confessed on both
sides, that the Turks and the Franks were the only nations
entitled to the appellation of soldiers. ^85 Their encounter was
varied, and balanced by the contrast of arms and discipline; of
the direct charge, and wheeling evolutions; of the couched lance,
and the brandished javelin; of a weighty broadsword, and a
crooked sabre; of cumbrous armor, and thin flowing robes; and of
the long Tartar bow, and the arbalist or crossbow, a deadly
weapon, yet unknown to the Orientals. ^86 As long as the horses
were fresh, and the quivers full, Soliman maintained the
advantage of the day; and four thousand Christians were pierced
by the Turkish arrows. In the evening, swiftness yielded to
strength: on either side, the numbers were equal or at least as
great as any ground could hold, or any generals could manage; but
in turning the hills, the last division of Raymond and his
provincials was led, perhaps without design on the rear of an
exhausted enemy; and the long contest was determined. Besides a
nameless and unaccounted multitude, three thousand Pagan knights
were slain in the battle and pursuit; the camp of Soliman was
pillaged; and in the variety of precious spoil, the curiosity of
the Latins was amused with foreign arms and apparel, and the new
aspect of dromedaries and camels. The importance of the victory
was proved by the hasty retreat of the sultan: reserving ten
thousand guards of the relics of his army, Soliman evacuated the
kingdom of Roum, and hastened to implore the aid, and kindle the
resentment, of his Eastern brethren. In a march of five hundred
miles, the crusaders traversed the Lesser Asia, through a wasted
land and deserted towns, without finding either a friend or an
enemy. The geographer ^87 may trace the position of Dorylaeum,
Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Archelais, and Germanicia, and may
compare those classic appellations with the modern names of
Eskishehr the old city, Akshehr the white city, Cogni, Erekli,
and Marash. As the pilgrims passed over a desert, where a
draught of water is exchanged for silver, they were tormented by
intolerable thirst; and on the banks of the first rivulet, their
haste and intemperance were still more pernicious to the
disorderly throng. They climbed with toil and danger the steep
and slippery sides of Mount Taurus; many of the soldiers cast
away their arms to secure their footsteps; and had not terror
preceded their van, the long and trembling file might have been
driven down the precipice by a handful of resolute enemies. Two
of their most respectable chiefs, the duke of Lorraine and the
count of Tholouse, were carried in litters: Raymond was raised,
as it is said by miracle, from a hopeless malady; and Godfrey had
been torn by a bear, as he pursued that rough and perilous chase
in the mountains of Pisidia.

[Footnote 84: Baronius has produced a very doubtful letter to his
brother Roger, (A.D. 1098, No. 15.) The enemies consisted of
Medes, Persians, Chaldeans: be it so. The first attack was cum
nostro incommodo; true and tender. But why Godfrey of Bouillon
and Hugh brothers! Tancred is styled filius; of whom? Certainly
not of Roger, nor of Bohemond.]

[Footnote 85: Verumtamen dicunt se esse de Francorum generatione;
et quia nullus homo naturaliter debet esse miles nisi Franci et
Turci, (Gesta Francorum, p. 7.) The same community of blood and
valor is attested by Archbishop Baldric, (p. 99.)]

[Footnote 86: Balista, Balestra, Arbalestre. See Muratori,
Antiq. tom. ii. p. 517 - 524. Ducange, Gloss. Latin. tom. i. p.
531, 532. In the time of Anna Comnena, this weapon, which she
describes under the name of izangra, was unknown in the East, (l.
x. p. 291.) By a humane inconsistency, the pope strove to
prohibit it in Christian wars.]

[Footnote 87: The curious reader may compare the classic learning
of Cellarius and the geographical science of D'Anville. William
of Tyre is the only historian of the crusades who has any
knowledge of antiquity; and M. Otter trod almost in the footsteps
of the Franks from Constantinople to Antioch, (Voyage en Turquie
et en Perse, tom. i. p. 35 - 88.)

Note: The journey of Col. Macdonald Kinneir in Asia Minor
throws considerable light on the geography of this march of the
crusaders. - M.]

To improve the general consternation, the cousin of Bohemond
and the brother of Godfrey were detached from the main army with
their respective squadrons of five, and of seven, hundred
knights. They overran in a rapid career the hills and sea-coast
of Cilicia, from Cogni to the Syrian gates: the Norman standard
was first planted on the walls of Tarsus and Malmistra; but the
proud injustice of Baldwin at length provoked the patient and
generous Italian; and they turned their consecrated swords
against each other in a private and profane quarrel. Honor was
the motive, and fame the reward, of Tancred; but fortune smiled
on the more selfish enterprise of his rival. ^88 He was called to
the assistance of a Greek or Armenian tyrant, who had been
suffered under the Turkish yoke to reign over the Christians of
Edessa. Baldwin accepted the character of his son and champion:
but no sooner was he introduced into the city, than he inflamed
the people to the massacre of his father, occupied the throne and
treasure, extended his conquests over the hills of Armenia and
the plain of Mesopotamia, and founded the first principality of
the Franks or Latins, which subsisted fifty-four years beyond the
Euphrates. ^89

[Footnote 88: This detached conquest of Edessa is best
represented by Fulcherius Carnotensis, or of Chartres, (in the
collections of Bongarsius Duchesne, and Martenne,) the valiant
chaplain of Count Baldwin (Esprit des Croisades, tom. i. p. 13,
14.) In the disputes of that prince with Tancred, his partiality
is encountered by the partiality of Radulphus Cadomensis, the
soldier and historian of the gallant marquis.]

[Footnote 89: See de Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. i. p. 456.]

Before the Franks could enter Syria, the summer, and even
the autumn, were completely wasted: the siege of Antioch, or the
separation and repose of the army during the winter season, was
strongly debated in their council: the love of arms and the holy
sepulchre urged them to advance; and reason perhaps was on the
side of resolution, since every hour of delay abates the fame and
force of the invader, and multiplies the resources of defensive
war. The capital of Syria was protected by the River Orontes;
and the iron bridge, ^* of nine arches, derives its name from the
massy gates of the two towers which are constructed at either
end. They were opened by the sword of the duke of Normandy: his
victory gave entrance to three hundred thousand crusaders, an
account which may allow some scope for losses and desertion, but
which clearly detects much exaggeration in the review of Nice.
In the description of Antioch, ^90 it is not easy to define a
middle term between her ancient magnificence, under the
successors of Alexander and Augustus, and the modern aspect of
Turkish desolation. The Tetrapolis, or four cities, if they
retained their name and position, must have left a large vacuity
in a circumference of twelve miles; and that measure, as well as
the number of four hundred towers, are not perfectly consistent
with the five gates, so often mentioned in the history of the
siege. Yet Antioch must have still flourished as a great and
populous capital. At the head of the Turkish emirs, Baghisian, a
veteran chief, commanded in the place: his garrison was composed
of six or seven thousand horse, and fifteen or twenty thousand
foot: one hundred thousand Moslems are said to have fallen by the
sword; and their numbers were probably inferior to the Greeks,
Armenians, and Syrians, who had been no more than fourteen years
the slaves of the house of Seljuk. From the remains of a solid
and stately wall, it appears to have arisen to the height of
threescore feet in the valleys; and wherever less art and labor
had been applied, the ground was supposed to be defended by the
river, the morass, and the mountains. Notwithstanding these
fortifications, the city had been repeatedly taken by the
Persians, the Arabs, the Greeks, and the Turks; so large a
circuit must have yielded many pervious points of attack; and in
a siege that was formed about the middle of October, the vigor of
the execution could alone justify the boldness of the attempt.
Whatever strength and valor could perform in the field was
abundantly discharged by the champions of the cross: in the
frequent occasions of sallies, of forage, of the attack and
defence of convoys, they were often victorious; and we can only
complain, that their exploits are sometimes enlarged beyond the
scale of probability and truth. The sword of Godfrey ^91 divided
a Turk from the shoulder to the haunch; and one half of the
infidel fell to the ground, while the other was transported by
his horse to the city gate. As Robert of Normandy rode against
his antagonist, "I devote thy head," he piously exclaimed, "to
the daemons of hell;" and that head was instantly cloven to the
breast by the resistless stroke of his descending falchion. But
the reality or the report of such gigantic prowess ^92 must have
taught the Moslems to keep within their walls: and against those
walls of earth or stone, the sword and the lance were unavailing
weapons. In the slow and successive labors of a siege, the
crusaders were supine and ignorant, without skill to contrive, or
money to purchase, or industry to use, the artificial engines and
implements of assault. In the conquest of Nice, they had been
powerfully assisted by the wealth and knowledge of the Greek
emperor: his absence was poorly supplied by some Genoese and
Pisan vessels, that were attracted by religion or trade to the
coast of Syria: the stores were scanty, the return precarious,
and the communication difficult and dangerous. Indolence or
weakness had prevented the Franks from investing the entire
circuit; and the perpetual freedom of two gates relieved the
wants and recruited the garrison of the city. At the end of
seven months, after the ruin of their cavalry, and an enormous
loss by famine, desertion and fatigue, the progress of the
crusaders was imperceptible, and their success remote, if the
Latin Ulysses, the artful and ambitious Bohemond, had not
employed the arms of cunning and deceit. The Christians of
Antioch were numerous and discontented: Phirouz, a Syrian
renegado, had acquired the favor of the emir and the command of
three towers; and the merit of his repentance disguised to the
Latins, and perhaps to himself, the foul design of perfidy and
treason. A secret correspondence, for their mutual interest, was
soon established between Phirouz and the prince of Tarento; and
Bohemond declared in the council of the chiefs, that he could
deliver the city into their hands. ^* But he claimed the
sovereignty of Antioch as the reward of his service; and the
proposal which had been rejected by the envy, was at length
extorted from the distress, of his equals. The nocturnal
surprise was executed by the French and Norman princes, who
ascended in person the scaling-ladders that were thrown from the
walls: their new proselyte, after the murder of his too
scrupulous brother, embraced and introduced the servants of
Christ; the army rushed through the gates; and the Moslems soon
found, that although mercy was hopeless, resistance was impotent.

But the citadel still refused to surrender; and the victims
themselves were speedily encompassed and besieged by the
innumerable forces of Kerboga, prince of Mosul, who, with
twenty-eight Turkish emirs, advanced to the deliverance of
Antioch. Five-and-twenty days the Christians spent on the verge
of destruction; and the proud lieutenant of the caliph and the
sultan left them only the choice of servitude or death. ^93 In
this extremity they collected the relics of their strength,
sallied from the town, and in a single memorable day, annihilated
or dispersed the host of Turks and Arabians, which they might
safely report to have consisted of six hundred thousand men. ^94
Their supernatural allies I shall proceed to consider: the human
causes of the victory of Antioch were the fearless despair of the
Franks; and the surprise, the discord, perhaps the errors, of
their unskilful and presumptuous adversaries. The battle is
described with as much disorder as it was fought; but we may
observe the tent of Kerboga, a movable and spacious palace,
enriched with the luxury of Asia, and capable of holding above
two thousand persons; we may distinguish his three thousand
guards, who were cased, the horse as well as the men, in complete
steel. [Footnote *: This bridge was over the Ifrin, not the
Orontes, at a distance of three leagues from Antioch. See
Wilken, vol. i. p. 172. - M.]

[Footnote 90: For Antioch, see Pocock, (Description of the East,
vol. ii. p. i. p. 188 - 193,) Otter, (Voyage en Turquie, &c.,
tom. i. p. 81, &c.,) the Turkish geographer, (in Otter's notes,)
the Index Geographicus of Schultens, (ad calcem Bohadin. Vit.
Saladin.,) and Abulfeda, (Tabula Syriae, p. 115, 116, vers.

[Footnote 91: Ensem elevat, eumque a sinistra parte scapularum,
tanta virtute intorsit, ut quod pectus medium disjunxit spinam et
vitalia interrupit; et sic lubricus ensis super crus dextrum
integer exivit: sicque caput integrum cum dextra parte corporis
immersit gurgite, partemque quae equo praesidebat remisit
civitati, (Robert. Mon. p. 50.) Cujus ense trajectus, Turcus duo
factus est Turci: ut inferior alter in urbem equitaret, alter
arcitenens in flumine nataret, (Radulph. Cadom. c. 53, p. 304.)
Yet he justifies the deed by the stupendis viribus of Godfrey;
and William of Tyre covers it by obstupuit populus facti novitate
.... mirabilis, (l. v. c. 6, p. 701.) Yet it must not have
appeared incredible to the knights of that age.]

[Footnote 92: See the exploits of Robert, Raymond, and the modest
Tancred who imposed silence on his squire, (Randulph. Cadom. c.

[Footnote *: See the interesting extract from Kemaleddin's
History of Aleppo in Wilken, preface to vol. ii. p. 36. Phirouz,
or Azzerrad, the breastplate maker, had been pillaged and put to
the torture by Bagi Sejan, the prince of Antioch. - M.]

[Footnote 93: After mentioning the distress and humble petition
of the Franks, Abulpharagius adds the haughty reply of Codbuka,
or Kerboga, "Non evasuri estis nisi per gladium," (Dynast. p.

[Footnote 94: In describing the host of Kerboga, most of the
Latin historians, the author of the Gesta, (p. 17,) Robert
Monachus, p. 56,) Baldric, (p. 111,) Fulcherius Carnotensis, (p.
392,) Guibert, (p. 512,) William of Tyre, (l. vi. c. 3, p. 714,)
Bernard Thesaurarius, (c. 39, p. 695,) are content with the vague
expressions of infinita multitudo, immensum agmen, innumerae
copiae or gentes, which correspond with Anna Comnena, (Alexias,
l. xi. p. 318 - 320.) The numbers of the Turks are fixed by
Albert Aquensis at 200,000, (l. iv. c. 10, p. 242,) and by
Radulphus Cadomensis at 400,000 horse, (c. 72, p. 309.)]

In the eventful period of the siege and defence of Antioch,
the crusaders were alternately exalted by victory or sunk in
despair; either swelled with plenty or emaciated with hunger. A
speculative reasoner might suppose, that their faith had a strong
and serious influence on their practice; and that the soldiers of
the cross, the deliverers of the holy sepulchre, prepared
themselves by a sober and virtuous life for the daily
contemplation of martyrdom. Experience blows away this
charitable illusion; and seldom does the history of profane war
display such scenes of intemperance and prostitution as were
exhibited under the walls of Antioch. The grove of Daphne no
longer flourished; but the Syrian air was still impregnated with
the same vices; the Christians were seduced by every temptation
^95 that nature either prompts or reprobates; the authority of
the chiefs was despised; and sermons and edicts were alike
fruitless against those scandalous disorders, not less pernicious
to military discipline, than repugnant to evangelic purity. In
the first days of the siege and the possession of Antioch, the
Franks consumed with wanton and thoughtless prodigality the
frugal subsistence of weeks and months: the desolate country no
longer yielded a supply; and from that country they were at
length excluded by the arms of the besieging Turks. Disease, the
faithful companion of want, was envenomed by the rains of the
winter, the summer heats, unwholesome food, and the close
imprisonment of multitudes. The pictures of famine and pestilence
are always the same, and always disgustful; and our imagination
may suggest the nature of their sufferings and their resources.
The remains of treasure or spoil were eagerly lavished in the
purchase of the vilest nourishment; and dreadful must have been
the calamities of the poor, since, after paying three marks of
silver for a goat and fifteen for a lean camel, ^96 the count of
Flanders was reduced to beg a dinner, and Duke Godfrey to borrow
a horse. Sixty thousand horse had been reviewed in the camp:
before the end of the siege they were diminished to two thousand,
and scarcely two hundred fit for service could be mustered on the
day of battle. Weakness of body and terror of mind extinguished
the ardent enthusiasm of the pilgrims; and every motive of honor
and religion was subdued by the desire of life. ^97 Among the
chiefs, three heroes may be found without fear or reproach:
Godfrey of Bouillon was supported by his magnanimous piety;
Bohemond by ambition and interest; and Tancred declared, in the
true spirit of chivalry, that as long as he was at the head of
forty knights, he would never relinquish the enterprise of
Palestine. But the count of Tholouse and Provence was suspected
of a voluntary indisposition; the duke of Normandy was recalled
from the sea-shore by the censures of the church: Hugh the Great,
though he led the vanguard of the battle, embraced an ambiguous
opportunity of returning to France and Stephen, count of
Chartres, basely deserted the standard which he bore, and the
council in which he presided. The soldiers were discouraged by
the flight of William, viscount of Melun, surnamed the Carpenter,
from the weighty strokes of his axe; and the saints were
scandalized by the fall ^* of Peter the Hermit, who, after arming
Europe against Asia, attempted to escape from the penance of a
necessary fast. Of the multitude of recreant warriors, the names
(says an historian) are blotted from the book of life; and the
opprobrious epithet of the rope-dancers was applied to the
deserters who dropped in the night from the walls of Antioch. The
emperor Alexius, ^98 who seemed to advance to the succor of the
Latins, was dismayed by the assurance of their hopeless
condition. They expected their fate in silent despair; oaths and
punishments were tried without effect; and to rouse the soldiers
to the defence of the walls, it was found necessary to set fire
to their quarters.

[Footnote 95: See the tragic and scandalous fate of an archdeacon
of royal birth, who was slain by the Turks as he reposed in an
orchard, playing at dice with a Syrian concubine.]

[Footnote 96: The value of an ox rose from five solidi, (fifteen
shillings,) at Christmas to two marks, (four pounds,) and
afterwards much higher; a kid or lamb, from one shilling to
eighteen of our present money: in the second famine, a loaf of
bread, or the head of an animal, sold for a piece of gold. More
examples might be produced; but it is the ordinary, not the
extraordinary, prices, that deserve the notice of the

[Footnote 97: Alli multi, quorum nomina non tenemus; quia, deleta
de libro vitae, praesenti operi non sunt inserenda, (Will. Tyr.
l. vi. c. 5, p. 715.) Guibert (p. 518, 523) attempts to excuse
Hugh the Great, and even Stephen of Chartres.]

[Footnote *: Peter fell during the siege: he went afterwards on
an embassy to Kerboga Wilken. vol. i. p. 217. - M.]

[Footnote 98: See the progress of the crusade, the retreat of
Alexius, the victory of Antioch, and the conquest of Jerusalem,
in the Alexiad, l. xi. p. 317 - 327. Anna was so prone to
exaggeration, that she magnifies the exploits of the Latins.]

For their salvation and victory, they were indebted to the
same fanaticism which had led them to the brink of ruin. In such
a cause, and in such an army, visions, prophecies, and miracles,
were frequent and familiar. In the distress of Antioch, they were
repeated with unusual energy and success: St. Ambrose had assured
a pious ecclesiastic, that two years of trial must precede the
season of deliverance and grace; the deserters were stopped by
the presence and reproaches of Christ himself; the dead had
promised to arise and combat with their brethren; the Virgin had
obtained the pardon of their sins; and their confidence was
revived by a visible sign, the seasonable and splendid discovery
of the Holy Lance. The policy of their chiefs has on this
occasion been admired, and might surely be excused; but a pious
baud is seldom produced by the cool conspiracy of many persons;
and a voluntary impostor might depend on the support of the wise
and the credulity of the people. Of the diocese of Marseilles,
there was a priest of low cunning and loose manners, and his name
was Peter Bartholemy. He presented himself at the door of the
council-chamber, to disclose an apparition of St. Andrew, which
had been thrice reiterated in his sleep with a dreadful menace,
if he presumed to suppress the commands of Heaven. "At Antioch,"
said the apostle, "in the church of my brother St. Peter, near
the high altar, is concealed the steel head of the lance that
pierced the side of our Redeemer. In three days that instrument
of eternal, and now of temporal, salvation, will be manifested to
his disciples. Search, and ye shall find: bear it aloft in
battle; and that mystic weapon shall penetrate the souls of the
miscreants." The pope's legate, the bishop of Puy, affected to
listen with coldness and distrust; but the revelation was eagerly
accepted by Count Raymond, whom his faithful subject, in the name
of the apostle, had chosen for the guardian of the holy lance.
The experiment was resolved; and on the third day after a due
preparation of prayer and fasting, the priest of Marseilles
introduced twelve trusty spectators, among whom were the count
and his chaplain; and the church doors were barred against the
impetuous multitude. The ground was opened in the appointed
place; but the workmen, who relieved each other, dug to the depth
of twelve feet without discovering the object of their search.
In the evening, when Count Raymond had withdrawn to his post, and
the weary assistants began to murmur, Bartholemy, in his shirt,
and without his shoes, boldly descended into the pit; the
darkness of the hour and of the place enabled him to secrete and
deposit the head of a Saracen lance; and the first sound, the
first gleam, of the steel was saluted with a devout rapture. The
holy lance was drawn from its recess, wrapped in a veil of silk
and gold, and exposed to the veneration of the crusaders; their
anxious suspense burst forth in a general shout of joy and hope,
and the desponding troops were again inflamed with the enthusiasm
of valor. Whatever had been the arts, and whatever might be the
sentiments of the chiefs, they skilfully improved this fortunate
revolution by every aid that discipline and devotion could
afford. The soldiers were dismissed to their quarters with an
injunction to fortify their minds and bodies for the approaching
conflict, freely to bestow their last pittance on themselves and
their horses, and to expect with the dawn of day the signal of
victory. On the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, the gates of
Antioch were thrown open: a martial psalm, "Let the Lord arise,
and let his enemies be scattered!" was chanted by a procession of
priests and monks; the battle array was marshalled in twelve
divisions, in honor of the twelve apostles; and the holy lance,
in the absence of Raymond, was intrusted to the hands of his
chaplain. The influence of his relic or trophy, was felt by the
servants, and perhaps by the enemies, of Christ; ^99 and its
potent energy was heightened by an accident, a stratagem, or a
rumor, of a miraculous complexion. Three knights, in white
garments and resplendent arms, either issued, or seemed to issue,
from the hills: the voice of Adhemar, the pope's legate,
proclaimed them as the martyrs St. George, St. Theodore, and St.
Maurice: the tumult of battle allowed no time for doubt or
scrutiny; and the welcome apparition dazzled the eyes or the
imagination of a fanatic army. ^* In the season of danger and
triumph, the revelation of Bartholemy of Marseilles was
unanimously asserted; but as soon as the temporary service was
accomplished, the personal dignity and liberal arms which the
count of Tholouse derived from the custody of the holy lance,
provoked the envy, and awakened the reason, of his rivals. A
Norman clerk presumed to sift, with a philosophic spirit, the
truth of the legend, the circumstances of the discovery, and the
character of the prophet; and the pious Bohemond ascribed their
deliverance to the merits and intercession of Christ alone. For a
while, the Provincials defended their national palladium with
clamors and arms and new visions condemned to death and hell the
profane sceptics who presumed to scrutinize the truth and merit
of the discovery. The prevalence of incredulity compelled the
author to submit his life and veracity to the judgment of God. A
pile of dry fagots, four feet high and fourteen long, was erected
in the midst of the camp; the flames burnt fiercely to the
elevation of thirty cubits; and a narrow path of twelve inches
was left for the perilous trial. The unfortunate priest of
Marseilles traversed the fire with dexterity and speed; but the
thighs and belly were scorched by the intense heat; he expired
the next day; ^** and the logic of believing minds will pay some
regard to his dying protestations of innocence and truth. Some
efforts were made by the Provincials to substitute a cross, a
ring, or a tabernacle, in the place of the holy lance, which soon
vanished in contempt and oblivion. ^100 Yet the revelation of
Antioch is gravely asserted by succeeding historians: and such is
the progress of credulity, that miracles most doubtful on the
spot, and at the moment, will be received with implicit faith at
a convenient distance of time and space.

[Footnote 99: The Mahometan Aboulmahasen (apud De Guignes, tom.
ii. p. ii. p. 95) is more correct in his account of the holy
lance than the Christians, Anna Comnena and Abulpharagius: the
Greek princess confounds it with the nail of the cross, (l. xi.
p. 326;) the Jacobite primate, with St. Peter's staff, p. 242.)]

[Footnote *: The real cause of this victory appears to have been
the feud in Kerboga's army Wilken, vol. ii. p. 40. - M.]

[Footnote **: The twelfth day after. He was much injured, and
his flesh torn off, from the ardor of pious congratulation with
which he was assailed by those who witnessed his escape, unhurt,
as it was first supposed. Wilken vol. i p. 263 - M.]

[Footnote 100: The two antagonists who express the most intimate
knowledge and the strongest conviction of the miracle, and of the
fraud, are Raymond des Agiles, and Radulphus Cadomensis, the one
attached to the count of Tholouse, the other to the Norman
prince. Fulcherius Carnotensis presumes to say, Audite fraudem
et non fraudem! and afterwards, Invenit lanceam, fallaciter
occultatam forsitan. The rest of the herd are loud and

The prudence or fortune of the Franks had delayed their
invasion till the decline of the Turkish empire. ^101 Under the
manly government of the three first sultans, the kingdoms of Asia
were united in peace and justice; and the innumerable armies
which they led in person were equal in courage, and superior in
discipline, to the Barbarians of the West. But at the time of
the crusade, the inheritance of Malek Shaw was disputed by his
four sons; their private ambition was insensible of the public
danger; and, in the vicissitudes of their fortune, the royal
vassals were ignorant, or regardless, of the true object of their
allegiance. The twenty-eight emirs who marched with the standard
or Kerboga were his rivals or enemies: their hasty levies were
drawn from the towns and tents of Mesopotamia and Syria; and the
Turkish veterans were employed or consumed in the civil wars
beyond the Tigris. The caliph of Egypt embraced this opportunity
of weakness and discord to recover his ancient possessions; and
his sultan Aphdal besieged Jerusalem and Tyre, expelled the
children of Ortok, and restored in Palestine the civil and
ecclesiastical authority of the Fatimites. ^102 They heard with
astonishment of the vast armies of Christians that had passed
from Europe to Asia, and rejoiced in the sieges and battles which
broke the power of the Turks, the adversaries of their sect and
monarchy. But the same Christians were the enemies of the
prophet; and from the overthrow of Nice and Antioch, the motive
of their enterprise, which was gradually understood, would urge
them forwards to the banks of the Jordan, or perhaps of the Nile.

An intercourse of epistles and embassies, which rose and fell
with the events of war, was maintained between the throne of
Cairo and the camp of the Latins; and their adverse pride was the
result of ignorance and enthusiasm. The ministers of Egypt
declared in a haughty, or insinuated in a milder, tone, that
their sovereign, the true and lawful commander of the faithful,
had rescued Jerusalem from the Turkish yoke; and that the
pilgrims, if they would divide their numbers, and lay aside their
arms, should find a safe and hospitable reception at the
sepulchre of Jesus. In the belief of their lost condition, the
caliph Mostali despised their arms and imprisoned their deputies:
the conquest and victory of Antioch prompted him to solicit those
formidable champions with gifts of horses and silk robes, of
vases, and purses of gold and silver; and in his estimate of
their merit or power, the first place was assigned to Bohemond,
and the second to Godfrey. In either fortune, the answer of the
crusaders was firm and uniform: they disdained to inquire into
the private claims or possessions of the followers of Mahomet;
whatsoever was his name or nation, the usurper of Jerusalem was
their enemy; and instead of prescribing the mode and terms of
their pilgrimage, it was only by a timely surrender of the city
and province, their sacred right, that he could deserve their
alliance, or deprecate their impending and irresistible attack.

[Footnote 101: See M. De Guignes, tom. ii. p. ii. p. 223, &c.;
and the articles of Barkidrok, Mohammed, Sangiar, in D'Herbelot.]

[Footnote 102: The emir, or sultan, Aphdal, recovered Jerusalem
and Tyre, A. H. 489, (Renaudot, Hist. Patriarch. Alexandrin. p.
478. De Guignes, tom. i. p. 249, from Abulfeda and Ben Schounah.)
Jerusalem ante adventum vestrum recuperavimus, Turcos ejecimus,
say the Fatimite ambassadors]

[Footnote 103: See the transactions between the caliph of Egypt
and the crusaders in William of Tyre (l. iv. c. 24, l. vi. c. 19)
and Albert Aquensis, (l. iii. c. 59,) who are more sensible of
their importance than the contemporary writers.]

Yet this attack, when they were within the view and reach of
their glorious prize, was suspended above ten months after the
defeat of Kerboga. The zeal and courage of the crusaders were
chilled in the moment of victory; and instead of marching to
improve the consternation, they hastily dispersed to enjoy the
luxury, of Syria. The causes of this strange delay may be found
in the want of strength and subordination. In the painful and
various service of Antioch, the cavalry was annihilated; many
thousands of every rank had been lost by famine, sickness, and
desertion: the same abuse of plenty had been productive of a
third famine; and the alternative of intemperance and distress
had generated a pestilence, which swept away above fifty thousand
of the pilgrims. Few were able to command, and none were willing
to obey; the domestic feuds, which had been stifled by common
fear, were again renewed in acts, or at least in sentiments, of
hostility; the fortune of Baldwin and Bohemond excited the envy
of their companions; the bravest knights were enlisted for the
defence of their new principalities; and Count Raymond exhausted
his troops and treasures in an idle expedition into the heart of
Syria. ^* The winter was consumed in discord and disorder; a
sense of honor and religion was rekindled in the spring; and the
private soldiers, less susceptible of ambition and jealousy,
awakened with angry clamors the indolence of their chiefs. In
the month of May, the relics of this mighty host proceeded from
Antioch to Laodicea: about forty thousand Latins, of whom no more
than fifteen hundred horse, and twenty thousand foot, were
capable of immediate service. Their easy march was continued
between Mount Libanus and the sea-shore: their wants were
liberally supplied by the coasting traders of Genoa and Pisa; and
they drew large contributions from the emirs of Tripoli, Tyre,
Sidon, Acre, and Caesarea, who granted a free passage, and
promised to follow the example of Jerusalem. From Caesarea they
advanced into the midland country; their clerks recognized the
sacred geography of Lydda, Ramla, Emmaus, and Bethlem, ^* and as
soon as they descried the holy city, the crusaders forgot their
toils and claimed their reward. ^104

[Footnote *: This is not quite correct: he took Marra on his
road. His excursions were partly to obtain provisions for the
army and fodder for the horses Wilken, vol. i. p. 226. - M.]

[Footnote *: Scarcely of Bethlehem, to the south of Jerusalem. -

[Footnote 104: The greatest part of the march of the Franks is
traced, and most accurately traced, in Maundrell's Journey from
Aleppo to Jerusalem, (p. 11 - 67;) un des meilleurs morceaux,
sans contredit qu'on ait dans ce genre, (D'Anville, Memoire sur
Jerusalem, p. 27.)]

Chapter LVIII: The First Crusade.

Part V.

Jerusalem has derived some reputation from the number and
importance of her memorable sieges. It was not till after a long
and obstinate contest that Babylon and Rome could prevail against
the obstinacy of the people, the craggy ground that might
supersede the necessity of fortifications, and the walls and
towers that would have fortified the most accessible plain. ^105
These obstacles were diminished in the age of the crusades. The
bulwarks had been completely destroyed and imperfectly restored:
the Jews, their nation, and worship, were forever banished; but
nature is less changeable than man, and the site of Jerusalem,
though somewhat softened and somewhat removed, was still strong
against the assaults of an enemy. By the experience of a recent
siege, and a three years' possession, the Saracens of Egypt had
been taught to discern, and in some degree to remedy, the defects
of a place, which religion as well as honor forbade them to
resign. Aladin, or Iftikhar, the caliph's lieutenant, was
intrusted with the defence: his policy strove to restrain the
native Christians by the dread of their own ruin and that of the
holy sepulchre; to animate the Moslems by the assurance of
temporal and eternal rewards. His garrison is said to have
consisted of forty thousand Turks and Arabians; and if he could
muster twenty thousand of the inhabitants, it must be confessed
that the besieged were more numerous than the besieging army.
^106 Had the diminished strength and numbers of the Latins
allowed them to grasp the whole circumference of four thousand
yards, (about two English miles and a half, ^107) to what useful
purpose should they have descended into the valley of Ben Hinnom
and torrent of Cedron, ^108 or approach the precipices of the
south and east, from whence they had nothing either to hope or
fear? Their siege was more reasonably directed against the
northern and western sides of the city. Godfrey of Bouillon
erected his standard on the first swell of Mount Calvary: to the
left, as far as St. Stephen's gate, the line of attack was
continued by Tancred and the two Roberts; and Count Raymond
established his quarters from the citadel to the foot of Mount
Sion, which was no longer included within the precincts of the
city. On the fifth day, the crusaders made a general assault, in
the fanatic hope of battering down the walls without engines, and
of scaling them without ladders. By the dint of brutal force,
they burst the first barrier; but they were driven back with
shame and slaughter to the camp: the influence of vision and
prophecy was deadened by the too frequent abuse of those pious
stratagems; and time and labor were found to be the only means of
victory. The time of the siege was indeed fulfilled in forty
days, but they were forty days of calamity and anguish. A
repetition of the old complaint of famine may be imputed in some
degree to the voracious or disorderly appetite of the Franks; but
the stony soil of Jerusalem is almost destitute of water; the
scanty springs and hasty torrents were dry in the summer season;
nor was the thirst of the besiegers relieved, as in the city, by
the artificial supply of cisterns and aqueducts. The circumjacent
country is equally destitute of trees for the uses of shade or
building, but some large beams were discovered in a cave by the
crusaders: a wood near Sichem, the enchanted grove of Tasso, ^109
was cut down: the necessary timber was transported to the camp by
the vigor and dexterity of Tancred; and the engines were framed
by some Genoese artists, who had fortunately landed in the harbor
of Jaffa. Two movable turrets were constructed at the expense,
and in the stations, of the duke of Lorraine and the count of
Tholouse, and rolled forwards with devout labor, not to the most
accessible, but to the most neglected, parts of the
fortification. Raymond's Tower was reduced to ashes by the fire
of the besieged, but his colleague was more vigilant and
successful; ^* the enemies were driven by his archers from the
rampart; the draw-bridge was let down; and on a Friday, at three
in the afternoon, the day and hour of the passion, Godfrey of
Bouillon stood victorious on the walls of Jerusalem. His example
was followed on every side by the emulation of valor; and about
four hundred and sixty years after the conquest of Omar, the holy
city was rescued from the Mahometan yoke. In the pillage of
public and private wealth, the adventurers had agreed to respect
the exclusive property of the first occupant; and the spoils of
the great mosque, seventy lamps and massy vases of gold and
silver, rewarded the diligence, and displayed the generosity, of
Tancred. A bloody sacrifice was offered by his mistaken votaries
to the God of the Christians: resistance might provoke but
neither age nor sex could mollify, their implacable rage: they
indulged themselves three days in a promiscuous massacre; ^110
and the infection of the dead bodies produced an epidemical
disease. After seventy thousand Moslems had been put to the
sword, and the harmless Jews had been burnt in their synagogue,
they could still reserve a multitude of captives, whom interest
or lassitude persuaded them to spare. Of these savage heroes of
the cross, Tancred alone betrayed some sentiments of compassion;
yet we may praise the more selfish lenity of Raymond, who granted
a capitulation and safe-conduct to the garrison of the citadel.
^111 The holy sepulchre was now free; and the bloody victors
prepared to accomplish their vow. Bareheaded and barefoot, with
contrite hearts, and in an humble posture, they ascended the hill
of Calvary, amidst the loud anthems of the clergy; kissed the
stone which had covered the Savior of the world; and bedewed with
tears of joy and penitence the monument of their redemption.
This union of the fiercest and most tender passions has been
variously considered by two philosophers; by the one, ^112 as
easy and natural; by the other, ^113 as absurd and incredible.
Perhaps it is too rigorously applied to the same persons and the
same hour; the example of the virtuous Godfrey awakened the piety
of his companions; while they cleansed their bodies, they
purified their minds; nor shall I believe that the most ardent in
slaughter and rapine were the foremost in the procession to the
holy sepulchre.

[Footnote 105: See the masterly description of Tacitus, (Hist. v.
11, 12, 13,) who supposes that the Jewish lawgivers had provided
for a perpetual state of hostility against the rest of mankind.

Note: This is an exaggerated inference from the words of
Tacitus, who speaks of the founders of the city, not the
lawgivers. Praeviderant conditores, ex diversitate morum, crebra
bella; inde cuncta quamvis adversus loagum obsidium. - M.]

[Footnote 106: The lively scepticism of Voltaire is balanced with
sense and erudition by the French author of the Esprit des
Croisades, (tom. iv. p. 386 - 388,) who observes, that, according
to the Arabians, the inhabitants of Jerusalem must have exceeded
200,000; that in the siege of Titus, Josephus collects 1,300,000
Jews; that they are stated by Tacitus himself at 600,000; and
that the largest defalcation, that his accepimus can justify,
will still leave them more numerous than the Roman army.]

[Footnote 107: Maundrell, who diligently perambulated the walls,
found a circuit of 4630 paces, or 4167 English yards, (p. 109,
110: ) from an authentic plan, D'Anville concludes a measure
nearly similar, of 1960 French toises, (p. 23 - 29,) in his
scarce and valuable tract. For the topography of Jerusalem, see
Reland, (Palestina, tom. ii. p. 832 - 860.)]

[Footnote 108: Jerusalem was possessed only of the torrent of
Kedron, dry in summer, and of the little spring or brook of
Siloe, (Reland, tom. i. p. 294, 300.) Both strangers and natives
complain of the want of water, which, in time of war, was
studiously aggravated. Within the city, Tacitus mentions a
perennial fountain, an aqueduct and cisterns for rain water. The
aqueduct was conveyed from the rivulet Tekos or Etham, which is
likewise mentioned by Bohadin, (in Vit. Saludio p. 238.)]

[Footnote 109: Gierusalomme Liberata, canto xiii. It is pleasant
enough to observe how Tasso has copied and embellished the
minutest details of the siege.]

[Footnote *: This does not appear by Wilken's account, (p. 294.)
They fought in vair the whole of the Thursday. - M.]

[Footnote 110: Besides the Latins, who are not ashamed of the
massacre, see Elmacin, (Hist. Saracen. p. 363,) Abulpharagius,
(Dynast. p. 243,) and M. De Guignes, tom. ii. p. ii. p. 99, from

[Footnote 111: The old tower Psephina, in the middle ages
Neblosa, was named Castellum Pisanum, from the patriarch
Daimbert. It is still the citadel, the residence of the Turkish
aga, and commands a prospect of the Dead Sea, Judea, and Arabia,
(D'Anville, p. 19 - 23.) It was likewise called the Tower of

[Footnote 112: Hume, in his History of England, vol. i. p. 311,
312, octavo edition.]

[Footnote 113: Voltaire, in his Essai sur l'Histoire Generale,
tom ii. c. 54, p 345, 346]

Eight days after this memorable event, which Pope Urban did
not live to hear, the Latin chiefs proceeded to the election of a
king, to guard and govern their conquests in Palestine. Hugh the
Great, and Stephen of Chartres, had retired with some loss of
reputation, which they strove to regain by a second crusade and
an honorable death. Baldwin was established at Edessa, and
Bohemond at Antioch; and two Roberts, the duke of Normandy ^114
and the count of Flanders, preferred their fair inheritance in
the West to a doubtful competition or a barren sceptre. The
jealousy and ambition of Raymond were condemned by his own
followers, and the free, the just, the unanimous voice of the
army proclaimed Godfrey of Bouillon the first and most worthy of
the champions of Christendom. His magnanimity accepted a trust
as full of danger as of glory; but in a city where his Savior had
been crowned with thorns, the devout pilgrim rejected the name
and ensigns of royalty; and the founder of the kingdom of
Jerusalem contented himself with the modest title of Defender and
Baron of the Holy Sepulchre. His government of a single year,
^115 too short for the public happiness, was interrupted in the
first fortnight by a summons to the field, by the approach of the
vizier or sultan of Egypt, who had been too slow to prevent, but
who was impatient to avenge, the loss of Jerusalem. His total
overthrow in the battle of Ascalon sealed the establishment of
the Latins in Syria, and signalized the valor of the French
princes who in this action bade a long farewell to the holy wars.

Some glory might be derived from the prodigious inequality of
numbers, though I shall not count the myriads of horse and foot
^* on the side of the Fatimites; but, except three thousand
Ethiopians or Blacks, who were armed with flails or scourges of
iron, the Barbarians of the South fled on the first onset, and
afforded a pleasing comparison between the active valor of the
Turks and the sloth and effeminacy of the natives of Egypt.
After suspending before the holy sepulchre the sword and standard
of the sultan, the new king (he deserves the title) embraced his
departing companions, and could retain only with the gallant
Tancred three hundred knights, and two thousand foot-soldiers for
the defence of Palestine. His sovereignty was soon attacked by a
new enemy, the only one against whom Godfrey was a coward.
Adhemar, bishop of Puy, who excelled both in council and action,
had been swept away in the last plague at Antioch: the remaining
ecclesiastics preserved only the pride and avarice of their
character; and their seditious clamors had required that the
choice of a bishop should precede that of a king. The revenue
and jurisdiction of the lawful patriarch were usurped by the
Latin clergy: the exclusion of the Greeks and Syrians was
justified by the reproach of heresy or schism; ^116 and, under
the iron yoke of their deliverers, the Oriental Christians
regretted the tolerating government of the Arabian caliphs.
Daimbert, archbishop of Pisa, had long been trained in the secret
policy of Rome: he brought a fleet at his countrymen to the
succor of the Holy Land, and was installed, without a competitor,
the spiritual and temporal head of the church. ^* The new
patriarch ^117 immediately grasped the sceptre which had been
acquired by the toil and blood of the victorious pilgrims; and
both Godfrey and Bohemond submitted to receive at his hands the
investiture of their feudal possessions. Nor was this sufficient;
Daimbert claimed the immediate property of Jerusalem and Jaffa;
instead of a firm and generous refusal, the hero negotiated with
the priest; a quarter of either city was ceded to the church; and
the modest bishop was satisfied with an eventual reversion of the
rest, on the death of Godfrey without children, or on the future
acquisition of a new seat at Cairo or Damascus.

[Footnote 114: The English ascribe to Robert of Normandy, and the
Provincials to Raymond of Tholouse, the glory of refusing the
crown; but the honest voice of tradition has preserved the memory
of the ambition and revenge (Villehardouin, No. 136) of the count
of St. Giles. He died at the siege of Tripoli, which was
possessed by his descendants.]

[Footnote 115: See the election, the battle of Ascalon, &c., in
William of Tyre l. ix. c. 1 - 12, and in the conclusion of the
Latin historians of the first crusade.]

[Footnote *: 20,000 Franks, 300,000 Mussulmen, according to
Wilken, (vol. ii. p. 9) - M.]

[Footnote 116: Renaudot, Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 479.]

[Footnote *: Arnulf was first chosen, but illegitimately, and
degraded. He was ever after the secret enemy of Daimbert or
Dagobert. Wilken, vol. i. p. 306, vol. ii. p. 52. - M]

[Footnote 117: See the claims of the patriarch Daimbert, in
William of Tyre (l. ix. c. 15 - 18, x. 4, 7, 9,) who asserts with
marvellous candor the independence of the conquerors and kings of

Without this indulgence, the conqueror would have almost
been stripped of his infant kingdom, which consisted only of
Jerusalem and Jaffa, with about twenty villages and towns of the
adjacent country. ^118 Within this narrow verge, the Mahometans
were still lodged in some impregnable castles: and the
husbandman, the trader, and the pilgrim, were exposed to daily
and domestic hostility. By the arms of Godfrey himself, and of
the two Baldwins, his brother and cousin, who succeeded to the
throne, the Latins breathed with more ease and safety; and at
length they equalled, in the extent of their dominions, though
not in the millions of their subjects, the ancient princes of
Judah and Israel. ^119 After the reduction of the maritime cities
of Laodicea, Tripoli, Tyre, and Ascalon, ^120 which were
powerfully assisted by the fleets of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, and
even of Flanders and Norway, ^121 the range of sea-coast from
Scanderoon to the borders of Egypt was possessed by the Christian
pilgrims. If the prince of Antioch disclaimed his supremacy, the
counts of Edessa and Tripoli owned themselves the vassals of the
king of Jerusalem: the Latins reigned beyond the Euphrates; and
the four cities of Hems, Hamah, Damascus, and Aleppo, were the
only relics of the Mahometan conquests in Syria. ^122 The laws
and language, the manners and titles, of the French nation and
Latin church, were introduced into these transmarine colonies.
According to the feudal jurisprudence, the principal states and
subordinate baronies descended in the line of male and female
succession: ^123 but the children of the first conquerors, ^124 a
motley and degenerate race, were dissolved by the luxury of the
climate; the arrival of new crusaders from Europe was a doubtful
hope and a casual event. The service of the feudal tenures ^125
was performed by six hundred and sixty-six knights, who might
expect the aid of two hundred more under the banner of the count
of Tripoli; and each knight was attended to the field by four
squires or archers on horseback. ^126 Five thousand and seventy
sergeants, most probably foot-soldiers, were supplied by the
churches and cities; and the whole legal militia of the kingdom
could not exceed eleven thousand men, a slender defence against
the surrounding myriads of Saracens and Turks. ^127 But the
firmest bulwark of Jerusalem was founded on the knights of the
Hospital of St. John, ^128 and of the temple of Solomon; ^129 on
the strange association of a monastic and military life, which
fanaticism might suggest, but which policy must approve. The
flower of the nobility of Europe aspired to wear the cross, and
to profess the vows, of these respectable orders; their spirit
and discipline were immortal; and the speedy donation of
twenty-eight thousand farms, or manors, ^130 enabled them to
support a regular force of cavalry and infantry for the defence
of Palestine. The austerity of the convent soon evaporated in
the exercise of arms; the world was scandalized by the pride,
avarice, and corruption of these Christian soldiers; their claims
of immunity and jurisdiction disturbed the harmony of the church
and state; and the public peace was endangered by their jealous
emulation. But in their most dissolute period, the knights of
their hospital and temple maintained their fearless and fanatic
character: they neglected to live, but they were prepared to die,
in the service of Christ; and the spirit of chivalry, the parent
and offspring of the crusades, has been transplanted by this
institution from the holy sepulchre to the Isle of Malta. ^131

[Footnote 118: Willerm. Tyr. l. x. 19. The Historia
Hierosolimitana of Jacobus a Vitriaco (l. i. c. 21 - 50) and the
Secreta Fidelium Crucis of Marinus Sanutus (l. iii. p. 1)
describe the state and conquests of the Latin kingdom of

[Footnote 119: An actual muster, not including the tribes of Levi
and Benjamin, gave David an army of 1,300,000 or 1,574,000
fighting men; which, with the addition of women, children, and
slaves, may imply a population of thirteen millions, in a country
sixty leagues in length, and thirty broad. The honest and
rational Le Clerc (Comment on 2d Samuel xxiv. and 1st Chronicles,
xxi.) aestuat angusto in limite, and mutters his suspicion of a
false transcript; a dangerous suspicion!

Note: David determined to take a census of his vast
dominions, which extended from Lebanon to the frontiers of Egypt,
from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean. The numbers (in 2 Sam.
xxiv. 9, and 1 Chron. xxi. 5) differ; but the lowest gives
800,000 men fit to bear arms in Israel, 500,000 in Judah. Hist.
of Jews, vol. i. p. 248. Gibbon has taken the highest census in
his estimate of the population, and confined the dominions of
David to Jordandic Palestine. - M.]

[Footnote 120: These sieges are related, each in its proper
place, in the great history of William of Tyre, from the ixth to
the xviiith book, and more briefly told by Bernardus
Thesaurarius, (de Acquisitione Terrae Sanctae, c. 89 - 98, p. 732
- 740.) Some domestic facts are celebrated in the Chronicles of
Pisa, Genoa, and Venice, in the vith, ixth, and xiith tomes of

[Footnote 121: Quidam populus de insulis occidentis egressus, et
maxime de ea parte quae Norvegia dicitur. William of Tyre (l.
xi. c. 14, p. 804) marks their course per Britannicum Mare et
Calpen to the siege of Sidon.]

[Footnote 122: Benelathir, apud De Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom.
ii. part ii. p. 150, 151, A.D. 1127. He must speak of the inland

[Footnote 123: Sanut very sensibly descants on the mischiefs of
female succession, in a land hostibus circumdata, ubi cuncta
virilia et virtuosa esse deberent. Yet, at the summons, and with
the approbation, of her feudal lord, a noble damsel was obliged
to choose a husband and champion, (Assises de Jerusalem, c. 242,
&c.) See in M. De Guignes (tom. i. p. 441 - 471) the accurate and
useful tables of these dynasties, which are chiefly drawn from
the Lignages d'Outremer.]

[Footnote 124: They were called by derision Poullains, Pallani,
and their name is never pronounced without contempt, (Ducange,
Gloss. Latin. tom. v. p. 535; and Observations sur Joinville, p.
84, 85; Jacob. a Vitriaco Hist. Hierosol. i. c. 67, 72; and
Sanut, l. iii. p. viii. c. 2, p. 182.) Illustrium virorum, qui ad
Terrae Sanctae .... liberationem in ipsa manserunt, degeneres
filii .... in deliciis enutriti, molles et effoe minati, &c.]

[Footnote 125: This authentic detail is extracted from the
Assises de Jerusalem (c. 324, 326 - 331.) Sanut (l. iii. p. viii.
c. 1, p. 174) reckons only 518 knights, and 5775 followers.]

[Footnote 126: The sum total, and the division, ascertain the
service of the three great baronies at 100 knights each; and the
text of the Assises, which extends the number to 500, can only be
justified by this supposition.]

[Footnote 127: Yet on great emergencies (says Sanut) the barons
brought a voluntary aid; decentem comitivam militum juxta statum

[Footnote 128: William of Tyre (l. xviii. c. 3, 4, 5) relates the
ignoble origin and early insolence of the Hospitallers, who soon
deserted their humble patron, St. John the Eleemosynary, for the
more august character of St. John the Baptist, (see the
ineffectual struggles of Pagi, Critica, A. D 1099, No. 14 - 18.)
They assumed the profession of arms about the year 1120; the
Hospital was mater; the Temple filia; the Teutonic order was
founded A.D. 1190, at the siege of Acre, (Mosheim Institut p.
389, 390.)]

[Footnote 129: See St. Bernard de Laude Novae Militiae Templi,
composed A.D. 1132 - 1136, in Opp. tom. i. p. ii. p. 547 - 563,
edit. Mabillon, Venet. 1750. Such an encomium, which is thrown
away on the dead Templars, would be highly valued by the
historians of Malta.]

[Footnote 130: Matthew Paris, Hist. Major, p. 544. He assigns to
the Hospitallers 19,000, to the Templars 9,000 maneria, word of
much higher import (as Ducange has rightly observed) in the
English than in the French idiom. Manor is a lordship, manoir a

[Footnote 131: In the three first books of the Histoire de
Chevaliers de Malthe par l'Abbe de Vertot, the reader may amuse
himself with a fair, and sometimes flattering, picture of the
order, while it was employed for the defence of Palestine. The
subsequent books pursue their emigration to Rhodes and Malta.]

The spirit of freedom, which pervades the feudal
institutions, was felt in its strongest energy by the volunteers
of the cross, who elected for their chief the most deserving of
his peers. Amidst the slaves of Asia, unconscious of the lesson
or example, a model of political liberty was introduced; and the
laws of the French kingdom are derived from the purest source of
equality and justice. Of such laws, the first and indispensable
condition is the assent of those whose obedience they require,
and for whose benefit they are designed. No sooner had Godfrey of
Bouillon accepted the office of supreme magistrate, than he
solicited the public and private advice of the Latin pilgrims,
who were the best skilled in the statutes and customs of Europe.
From these materials, with the counsel and approbation of the
patriarch and barons, of the clergy and laity, Godfrey composed
the Assise of Jerusalem, ^132 a precious monument of feudal
jurisprudence. The new code, attested by the seals of the king,
the patriarch, and the viscount of Jerusalem, was deposited in
the holy sepulchre, enriched with the improvements of succeeding
times, and respectfully consulted as often as any doubtful
question arose in the tribunals of Palestine. With the kingdom
and city all was lost: ^133 the fragments of the written law were
preserved by jealous tradition ^134 and variable practice till
the middle of the thirteenth century: the code was restored by
the pen of John d'Ibelin, count of Jaffa, one of the principal
feudatories; ^135 and the final revision was accomplished in the
year thirteen hundred and sixty-nine, for the use of the Latin
kingdom of Cyprus. ^136

[Footnote 132: The Assises de Jerusalem, in old law French, were
printed with Beaumanoir's Coutumes de Beauvoisis, (Bourges and
Paris, 1690, in folio,) and illustrated by Gaspard Thaumas de la
Thaumassiere, with a comment and glossary. An Italian version
had been published in 1534, at Venice, for the use of the kingdom
of Cyprus.

Note: See Wilken, vol. i. p. 17, &c., - M.]

[Footnote 133: A la terre perdue, tout fut perdu, is the vigorous
expression of the Assise, (c. 281.) Yet Jerusalem capitulated
with Saladin; the queen and the principal Christians departed in
peace; and a code so precious and so portable could not provoke
the avarice of the conquerors. I have sometimes suspected the
existence of this original copy of the Holy Sepulchre, which
might be invented to sanctify and authenticate the traditionary
customs of the French in Palestine.]

[Footnote 134: A noble lawyer, Raoul de Tabarie, denied the
prayer of King Amauri, (A.D. 1195 - 1205,) that he would commit
his knowledged to writing, and frankly declared, que de ce qu'il
savoit ne feroit-il ja nul borjois son pareill, ne null sage
homme lettre, (c. 281.)]

[Footnote 135: The compiler of this work, Jean d'Ibelin, was
count of Jaffa and Ascalon, lord of Baruth (Berytus) and Rames,
and died A.D. 1266, (Sanut, l. iii. p. ii. c. 5, 8.) The family
of Ibelin, which descended from a younger brother of a count of
Chartres in France, long flourished in Palestine and Cyprus, (see
the Lignages de deca Mer, or d'Outremer, c. 6, at the end of the
Assises de Jerusalem, an original book, which records the
pedigrees of the French adventurers.)]

[Footnote 136: By sixteen commissioners chosen in the states of
the island: the work was finished the 3d of November, 1369,
sealed with four seals and deposited in the cathedral of Nicosia,
(see the preface to the Assises.)]

The justice and freedom of the constitution were maintained
by two tribunals of unequal dignity, which were instituted by
Godfrey of Bouillon after the conquest of Jerusalem. The king,
in person, presided in the upper court, the court of the barons.
Of these the four most conspicuous were the prince of Galilee,
the lord of Sidon and Caesarea, and the counts of Jaffa and
Tripoli, who, perhaps with the constable and marshal, ^137 were
in a special manner the compeers and judges of each other. But
all the nobles, who held their lands immediately of the crown,
were entitled and bound to attend the king's court; and each
baron exercised a similar jurisdiction on the subordinate
assemblies of his own feudatories. The connection of lord and
vassal was honorable and voluntary: reverence was due to the
benefactor, protection to the dependant; but they mutually
pledged their faith to each other; and the obligation on either
side might be suspended by neglect or dissolved by injury. The
cognizance of marriages and testaments was blended with religion,
and usurped by the clergy: but the civil and criminal causes of
the nobles, the inheritance and tenure of their fiefs, formed the
proper occupation of the supreme court. Each member was the
judge and guardian both of public and private rights. It was his
duty to assert with his tongue and sword the lawful claims of the
lord; but if an unjust superior presumed to violate the freedom
or property of a vassal, the confederate peers stood forth to
maintain his quarrel by word and deed. They boldly affirmed his
innocence and his wrongs; demanded the restitution of his liberty
or his lands; suspended, after a fruitless demand, their own
service; rescued their brother from prison; and employed every
weapon in his defence, without offering direct violence to the
person of their lord, which was ever sacred in their eyes. ^138
In their pleadings, replies, and rejoinders, the advocates of the
court were subtle and copious; but the use of argument and
evidence was often superseded by judicial combat; and the Assise
of Jerusalem admits in many cases this barbarous institution,
which has been slowly abolished by the laws and manners of

[Footnote 137: The cautious John D'Ibelin argues, rather than
affirms, that Tripoli is the fourth barony, and expresses some
doubt concerning the right or pretension of the constable and
marshal, (c. 323.)]

[Footnote 138: Entre seignor et homme ne n'a que la foi; ....
mais tant que l'homme doit a son seignor reverence en toutes
choses, (c. 206.) Tous les hommes dudit royaume sont par ladite
Assise tenus les uns as autres .... et en celle maniere que le
seignor mette main ou face mettre au cors ou au fie d'aucun
d'yaus sans esgard et sans connoissans de court, que tous les
autres doivent venir devant le seignor, &c., (212.) The form of
their remonstrances is conceived with the noble simplicity of

The trial by battle was established in all criminal cases
which affected the life, or limb, or honor, of any person; and in
all civil transactions, of or above the value of one mark of
silver. It appears that in criminal cases the combat was the
privilege of the accuser, who, except in a charge of treason,
avenged his personal injury, or the death of those persons whom
he had a right to represent; but wherever, from the nature of the
charge, testimony could be obtained, it was necessary for him to
produce witnesses of the fact. In civil cases, the combat was
not allowed as the means of establishing the claim of the
demandant; but he was obliged to produce witnesses who had, or
assumed to have, knowledge of the fact. The combat was then the
privilege of the defendant; because he charged the witness with
an attempt by perjury to take away his right. He came therefore
to be in the same situation as the appellant in criminal cases.
It was not then as a mode of proof that the combat was received,
nor as making negative evidence, (according to the supposition of
Montesquieu; ^139) but in every case the right to offer battle
was founded on the right to pursue by arms the redress of an
injury; and the judicial combat was fought on the same principle,
and with the same spirit, as a private duel. Champions were only
allowed to women, and to men maimed or past the age of sixty.
The consequence of a defeat was death to the person accused, or
to the champion or witness, as well as to the accuser himself:
but in civil cases, the demandant was punished with infamy and
the loss of his suit, while his witness and champion suffered
ignominious death. In many cases it was in the option of the
judge to award or to refuse the combat: but two are specified, in
which it was the inevitable result of the challenge; if a
faithful vassal gave the lie to his compeer, who unjustly claimed
any portion of their lord's demesnes; or if an unsuccessful
suitor presumed to impeach the judgment and veracity of the
court. He might impeach them, but the terms were severe and
perilous: in the same day he successively fought all the members
of the tribunal, even those who had been absent; a single defeat
was followed by death and infamy; and where none could hope for
victory, it is highly probable that none would adventure the
trial. In the Assise of Jerusalem, the legal subtlety of the
count of Jaffa is more laudably employed to elude, than to
facilitate, the judicial combat, which he derives from a
principle of honor rather than of superstition. ^140

[Footnote 139: See l'Esprit des Loix, l. xxviii. In the forty
years since its publication, no work has been more read and
criticized; and the spirit of inquiry which it has excited is not
the least of our obligations to the author.]

[Footnote 140: For the intelligence of this obscure and obsolete
jurisprudence (c. 80 - 111) I am deeply indebted to the
friendship of a learned lord, who, with an accurate and
discerning eye, has surveyed the philosophic history of law. By
his studies, posterity might be enriched: the merit of the orator
and the judge can be felt only by his contemporaries.]

Among the causes which enfranchised the plebeians from the
yoke of feudal tyranny, the institution of cities and
corporations is one of the most powerful; and if those of
Palestine are coeval with the first crusade, they may be ranked
with the most ancient of the Latin world. Many of the pilgrims
had escaped from their lords under the banner of the cross; and
it was the policy of the French princes to tempt their stay by
the assurance of the rights and privileges of freemen. It is
expressly declared in the Assise of Jerusalem, that after
instituting, for his knights and barons, the court of peers, in
which he presided himself, Godfrey of Bouillon established a
second tribunal, in which his person was represented by his
viscount. The jurisdiction of this inferior court extended over
the burgesses of the kingdom; and it was composed of a select
number of the most discreet and worthy citizens, who were sworn
to judge, according to the laws of the actions and fortunes of
their equals. ^141 In the conquest and settlement of new cities,
the example of Jerusalem was imitated by the kings and their
great vassals; and above thirty similar corporations were founded
before the loss of the Holy Land. Another class of subjects, the
Syrians, ^142 or Oriental Christians, were oppressed by the zeal
of the clergy, and protected by the toleration of the state.
Godfrey listened to their reasonable prayer, that they might be
judged by their own national laws. A third court was instituted
for their use, of limited and domestic jurisdiction: the sworn
members were Syrians, in blood, language, and religion; but the
office of the president (in Arabic, of the rais) was sometimes
exercised by the viscount of the city. At an immeasurable
distance below the nobles, the burgesses, and the strangers, the
Assise of Jerusalem condescends to mention the villains and
slaves, the peasants of the land and the captives of war, who
were almost equally considered as the objects of property. The
relief or protection of these unhappy men was not esteemed worthy
of the care of the legislator; but he diligently provides for the
recovery, though not indeed for the punishment, of the fugitives.
Like hounds, or hawks, who had strayed from the lawful owner,
they might be lost and claimed: the slave and falcon were of the
same value; but three slaves, or twelve oxen, were accumulated to
equal the price of the war-horse; and a sum of three hundred
pieces of gold was fixed, in the age of chivalry, as the
equivalent of the more noble animal. ^143

[Footnote 141: Louis le Gros, who is considered as the father of
this institution in France, did not begin his reign till nine
years (A.D. 1108) after Godfrey of Bouillon, (Assises, c. 2,
324.) For its origin and effects, see the judicious remarks of
Dr. Robertson, (History of Charles V. vol. i. p. 30 - 36, 251 -
265, quarto edition.)]

[Footnote 142: Every reader conversant with the historians of the
crusades will understand by the peuple des Suriens, the Oriental
Christians, Melchites, Jacobites, or Nestorians, who had all
adopted the use of the Arabic language, (vol. iv. p. 593.)]

[Footnote 143: See the Assises de Jerusalem, (310, 311, 312.)
These laws were enacted as late as the year 1350, in the kingdom
of Cyprus. In the same century, in the reign of Edward I., I
understand, from a late publication, (of his Book of Account,)
that the price of a war-horse was not less exorbitant in


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