Baldwin III (1143–1163)

A month later King Baldwin II. secured his liberation. In 1 129 he strengthened his throne by the marriage of his daughter, Melisende, to Foulque of Anjou, son of the notorious Bertrade, who had deserted her legitimate husband for the embrace of King Philip of France. This monarch had put away his wife Bertha for this new union. Thus was brought upon Philip the famous excommunication of the Pope. Two years later (August 13, 1 131) Baldwin II. died and was buried with Godfrey and Baldwin I. in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Foulque ascended the throne. His first work was to settle a dispute for the lordship of Antioch, which was accomplished only after bloodshed between brethren. Next he baffled the Greek emperor, John Comnenus, who attempted to gain for himself the kingdom of Jerusalem. Later he made alliance with the Mussulman Prince of Damascus and fought against Zenghi, Prince of Mosul. His queen, Melisende, by her rumored amours brought him additional perplexity. King Foulque died from an injury while hunting (November 13, 1143), leaving two children, Baldwin and Amalric.

Baldwin III succeeded his father at the age of thirteen, with Melisende as regent. Effeminacy not only marked the government, but infected the spirit of the people. The heroism of the founders of the kingdom seemed to die in the blood of their successors, or, if danger fired the ancient valor, it was without the light of discretion.

Young Baldwin III. inaugurated his reign by a foolish expedition to take Bozrah, which had been offered in surrender by its traitorous commandant. To accomplish this it was necessary to break a fair and useful alliance which the Christians had made with the Sultan of Damascus, the rightful lord of Bozrah. On reaching Bozrah, instead of the keys of the city, there was placed in the hands of the king an announcement from the wife of the treacherous governor that she herself would defend the walls. The perplexity of the king and his equally callow advisers was followed by an ignoble retreat. The enemy pursued not only with sword, but with fire. The wind, which seemed to the retreating army to be the breath of God's wrath, covered them with smoke and cinders, while the flames of the burning grass chased their fleeing feet. The Christians would have perished had not, say the chronicles, the wood of the True Cross, raised with prayer, changed the direction of the breeze and beaten back the pursuers.

At this time there was felt the need of an astute mind at the head of the kingdom. Christian progress had been arrested, and events of evil omen were thickening, especially tThe star of Zenghi, the ruler of Mosul, the father of Nourredin, and the forerunner of Saladin, had arisen.

References:

Archer (T. A.) and Others, The Crusades; The story of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, New York, 1902.

James (M. L.), The age of the crusades, New York, 1914.

Murray (A. V.), The Crusades: an encyclopedia, CA : ABC-CLIO, 2006.

Baldric of Dol

Baldric of Dol was born at Meun, near Orleans. He was] first a monk, and then became Abbot of Bourgueil in 1079, and in 1107 was appointed Archbishop of Dol in Brittany. His personal character was a complete contrast to that of his contemporary Guibert. I dwell with the greater pleasure upon it, as it forms an agreeable relief to that of Guibert, and also because Baldric represents a more common though, at that time, an oppressed type.

The ascetic zeal which pervaded the hierarchy of the eleventh century, was as hatefuLto the nature of Baldric as it was congenial to the Abbot of Nogent. Baldric saw no impediment to a Christian life in secular learning and art; the mortification of the senses was not to his mind ; sullen looks and strict fasts — in short, the whole pomp and ceremony of holy works — appeared to him not sufficient to fill up human life. He enjoyed the quiet of his cloister, the smiling garden, the clear running stream, the budding groves, while in his own room there were books, manuscripts, and all the appliances of learning. “ This is the spot,” writes he to a friend, “in which peace can be found .” There he wrote his verses ; nothing remarkable, but unpretending, and a labor of love . There also he applied himself to severer studies, and interchanged letters with friends of similar tastes. They carefully discussed their works, among others the History of the Crusades . They allowed the ecclesiastical contests to be settled elsewhere; it concerned them but little that a new hierarchy had conquered and remodelled the world ; not that they neglected their duties , but their true life lay in their books, in their gardens, and in their meadows. They were not always able to defend their peaceful existence from the incursion of a hostile element; their ideas were peculiar and too much opposed to the dominant party. Baldric writes to the Bishop of Ostia : “ My vessel sails only by stealth, for pirates of all sorts swarm around me ; they hem me in on every side, gnashing with their teeth because I do not quit my books, because I do not go about with eyes cast on the ground. Thus am I flagging in my work. May your hand protect me.

As bishop, he remained true to himself and to his nature. He was very religious, but gentle and mild. It is true this did not always succeed in his diocese, with his fierce Bretons . He was not fit to hold ecclesiastical power. He quitted Brittany, and sought a more peaceful asylum at Bee, Fecamp, and finally in England . Men like him would never have gained honours and triumphs for the hierarchy; but it is a pleasure to meet with a nature so pure, so cheerful, and so gentle, in times so full of energy, war, and austerity .

His history of the Crusades breathes the same spirit. He is exact and trustworthy in his use of the * Gesta he has not made many additions to its contents, but the views and opinions which he expresses are in keeping with his character. He does not withhold praise, even from the Turks: he omits the word “ faithless,” as applied to the Emperor Alexius, which constantly occurs in the "Gesta". He endeavours to excuse Count Stephen of Blois, who is . generally styled impudens et abominabilis , on the score of the general weakness of human nature. The additions he makes are mostly taken from oral testimony, and generally well selected. Of course it is only in few instances that he can be called an eye-witness; he undoubtedly is so where he mentions the effect caused by the beginning of the Crusades in France.

Baldric died before 1130, as his death was known to Pope Honorius II. His work on the Crusades seems to have been widely known. Ordericus Vitalis made use of it, and William of Tyre in many instances took it as the groundwork of his own history.

References:

"The Version of Baldric of Dol", in The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and other source materials, 2nd ed., ed. Edward Peters (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998)

John (T.) and Henningsen (G.). Inquisition in Early Modern Europe:  Studies on Sources and Methods (Papers from a conference in Denmark, 5-9 Sept. 1978).  (DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 1986).

Guibert of Nogent

Guibert of Nogent was bom in the year 1053, at Beauvais, of noble parents. His youth was passed in those times when the Roman Church began to bring the world under its dominion. Many circumstances concurred to subject Guibert altogether to these ecclesiastical influences, his mother was enthusiastically pious, and lived only in the mortification of the outward senses, and in the cultivation of the inward and spiritual perceptions. Before his birth his parents had vowed to devote their son to the service of the Church, and long before manhood he assumed the monk’s cowl at Mavigny. As he grew up, the lusts of the world awoke within him: he became a poet and learned music; he attempted imitations of Ovid and of Virgil’s Bucolics. But his teacher was warned in a vision, and the lad himself saw how he sinned against the rules of his Order. In this frame of mind he met with Anselm, Abbot of Bee, afterwards primate of the English Church, whose powerful influence at once directed him into the strict path of the Church. Gifted as Guibert was, he soon attained fame by his eloquence and learning, and at an early age became abbot of Nogent on the Seine. He remained there, respected by a large circle, and distinguished in politics and literature, until his death, in 1124.

The results of such a career are visible throughout his writings ; he was not without abilities, and for the times in which he lived, he was well read. The advantages of his birth and of his ecclesiastical dignity were of great service to him in writing a history of the Crusades. His acquaintances and connections extended over all France ; he was indebted for many valuable hints to Count Robert of Flanders ; Archbishop Manasses of Rheims allowed him to consult the letters of Anselm of Ripemont and he was himself present at the Council of Clermont. As a man of learning he affects a cultivated style and artistic form, but he only selected the Crusades as his subject, in order to make the ‘ Gesta Francorum,’ in his paraphrase, more agreeable to cultivated readers. It is true that he has succeeded very ill : the simple tone of his original is overwhelmed by his inflated and pompous style; he appears, conscious of his own high position, to disregard the opinion of others ; and frequently intimates that those who do not approve his manner of writing may seek some other. Valuable as his work is, in his literary character, full of pedantry and conceit, he is most offensive . The dignified servant of the Church, the man with whom everything has succeeded, the ecclesiastic who belongs to a ruling party, is too conscious of a proud position. He feels all his power when he attacks Fulcher of Chartres, as to his doubts with respect to the Holy Lance, and reproaches him with credulity and superstition as to other miracles . It was not in vain that Guibert had studied the science of demonology, that he had himself seen visions, and had everywhere found the doctrine of apparitions and wonders flourishing . Nor was it either doubt or enthusiasm that stirred Guibert to anger against Fulcher. The pride of superior learning, the consciousness of belonging to a dominant orthodox party, made him look down with contempt on his rival .

The close of his work is remarkable, hard as he had worked at the historical form of his book, he could not master his mass of learning. He had come to the end of the ‘ Gesta Francorum/ which was his guide, and he still had on hand a. variety of unused materials, too good to be lost to posterity. He determined to use them at all events, and strung fragment upon fragment, digression upon digression, important and useless matter in utter confusion, until his store of knowledge was exhausted. These stories extend as late as the middle of the reign of Baldwin L, and it is easy to conceive how they vary in value and credibility ; the most ordinary and the most unexpected matters are mixed together ; occasionally we find individual notices on points but little known, which throw new light on familiar subjects. Such are the details as to the government of Robert of Normandy in Laodicea, which Lappenberg has made use of, and which are important as correcting a widely spread statement by Albert of Aix, and the account of the Crusade of the year 1011. Of more special subjects we would also mention the death of Anselm of Ripemont and the end of Baldwin of Hennegau ; the former serves to supply deficiencies in the narratives of Raymond and Radulph, the latter is remarkable for its accurate agreement with the local history of Giselbert of Bergen.

The book was begun in the year 1108 or 1109, and certainly not finished till 1110. Guibert says that he is writing two years after the death of Manasses, Archbishop of Rheims, 70 which occurred on the 17th September, 1106, 71 and in another place he mentions the death of Bohemond, which is known to have taken place in the year 1110.

References:

Levine (R.), The Deeds of God through the Franks : A Translation of Guibert de Nogent's "Gesta Dei per Francos", Boydell & Brewer, 1997.

Rubenstein (J.), Guibert of Nogent: Portrait of a Medieval Mind, London, 2002.

Peter Tudebode

We know but little about Peter Tudebode life. Besly asserts that he was with the army of Poitou, commanded first by Hugo of Lusignan, and then by Gaston of Bearn. But there is no positive proof of this. Besly was led to this conclusion because Hugo was then Lord of Sivray. The book copies the ‘ Gesta Prancorum/ nearly word for word; many of the interpolations are mere episodes, and of little importance. He gives some details concerning the capture of Jerusalem, which may serve partly as an amplification, partly as a rectification of the ‘Gesta.’

Peter Tudebode's Source:

Besly, in the preface to Tudebod’ s History of Jerusalem,’ positively asserts that the  Gesta Francorum,’ edited by Bongars as a genuine and authentic narrative, and frequently used as such by former writers, was nothing more than a plagiarism of the grossest kind, the anonymous author being entirely indebted to Tudebod for his facts, and thinks it his duty to expose such a wholesale plagiarism. Besly grounds this assertion chiefly upon three passages, — one in which Tudebod speaks of himself, and two wherein he mentions the death of his brothers. In these cases, Tudebod, he says, speaks as an eye-witness, and the anonymous author of the ‘ Gesta Francorum’ has carefully omitted all mention of these occurrences in his narrative. Besly’s views met with general concurrence, and have been followed by all subsequent historians of the Crusades .

I must confess that the reasons urged for this opinion appear to me thoroughly unsatisfactory, and that there is evidence of exactly the reverse. In the case in point, Tudebod narrates an unlucky event which occurred at the siege of Jerusalem ; “the author,” he adds, “Tudebod, a priest of Sivray, was present, and was an eye-witness.” The whole narrative, to which this statement is appended, is omitted in the ‘ Gesta Francorum/ and I can conceive nothing unlikely in the supposition that Tudebod, having got so far in his transcription of the * Gesta/ should have inserted in this place something he had himself witnessed. There is nothing to disprove that he and his brothers were present with the army, but there are many objections to looking upon his narrative as the original source of the "Gesta Francorum".

First of all, the anonymous author invariably speaks in the first person ; Tudebod, sometimes in the first, at other times in the third person.

Further, the anonymous author, as we shall presently see, was a knight. Tudebod was a priest. The first remains true to his character, whereas Tudebod introduces himself sometimes as a warrior, at others as a priest , which can easily be accounted for, if we consider him only as the secondary author.

In both works passages occur which are wanting in the other. Those which Tudebod alone has are anecdotes, traits of individual character, etc., which can be easily inserted or omitted, without interfering with the narrative. But it is not so in the other case. It clearly appears 'that Tudebod, from a mistaken endeavour at compression, has omitted passages essential to the meaning. His narrative of the conquest of Nicaea has faults inexcusable in an eye-witness, but easily understood as the errors of a transcriber. It is impossible not to see that the "Gesta Francorum" is the source from which he draws.

This leads me to the last and most important point, which Besly passes over lightly, but which appears to me conclusive. Tudebod makes use of Raymond’s work, as well as of the "Gesta" He has inserted several passages from the former, word for word, in his compilation. Had the author of the ‘ Gesta Francorum ’ followed Tudebod, it would be impossible that some passage from Raymond should not have slipped into his text. Precisely the one passage which is to be found both in Raymond and in the anonymous author of the * Gesta Erancorum/ makes the matter quite clear. Tudebod follows first the ‘ Gesta/ then Raymond, and then repeats the last sentences from the * Gesta ’ for a second time.

References:

Tudebodus (P.), Historia de Hierosolymitano itinere Trans. with introd. and notes by John H. Hill and Laurita L. Hill., Philadelphia, 1974.

James (M. L.), The age of the crusades, New York, 1914.

Murray (A. V.), The Crusades: an encyclopedia, CA : ABC-CLIO, 2006.

Saladin

    In 1138, Ayyub sadly departing from the castle of Tekrit, with his brother, on the very night of Saladin’s birth. They betook themselves to Zengy at Mosil, and were not disappointed of their welcome. The great Atabeg had not forgotten the ferry on the Tigris, and was never the man to turn away a good sword. The two brothers served in his armies in many wars, and when Baalbekk fell, in October, I139, Ayyub became the governor of the conquered city. Baalbekk, or Heliopolis, the old “ city of the Sun," was celebrated not only for its antiquity and its temples, but for its lofty situation. It stood between Lebanon and Antilibanus, overhanging the valley of the Litany, at a height of four thousand feet above the sea, and was said to be the coldest town in Syria. A legend tells how men asked the Cold,“ Where shall we nd thee?" and it answered, “ My home is Baalbekk." Though far from being the magnicent city that it was in the days when Antoninus Pius built the great temple of which a part still stands, Baalbekk in the time of Ayyub was yet an important town, surrounded by fertile elds, orchards, and gardens, and defended by a strong wall, with a citadel, or acropolis, on the west. It had not yet suffered the vandal touch of the Mongols, or the nal upheaval of earthquake, which reduced it to its present ruined state. Its “ presses overowed with grapes,” sweet water ran through the town, and mills and water wheels all around bore witness to fertility. To be placed in command of so great and prosperous a city was a convincing proof of Zengy's condence, especially when it happened to be the southernmost outpost over against the hostile city of Damascus, distant only thirty ve miles.

    Here the governor's son Saladin spent some years of his childhood ; and, according to the saying, they ought to have been happy years, because they have no history. We know absolutely nothing of the family of Ayyub between 1139 and I I46, the period of their residence at Baalbekk. No doubt Saladin received the usual education of a Moslem boy; probably as the son of the commandant he had the best teaching within reach. Ayyub was particularly devout, and even founded a convent for Sufy recluses at Baalbekk. His son was doubtless drilled for years in the Koran, in Arabic grammar, and the elements of rhetoric, poetry, and theology; for, whatever the race of the Saracen rulers of those days, their educational standard was Arabian; and to in stil the Koran and traditions, to teach a pure Arabic style and the niceties of Arabic syntax, formed the chief aim of the learned but limited men who were entrusted with the training of distinguished youth.

    Whatever schooling Saladin had at Baalbekk must have been meagre compared with his later opportunities. He was not yet nine years old when his father's patron was murdered, and the death of the great Atabeg was of course the signal for the recovery of Baalbekk by its old Damascus owner. Ayyub made no effort to defend the town. He was ever a diplomatic, prudent sort of man, keenly alive to his own interests. He saw that the two sons of Zengy, who shared their father's dominions, were occupied in watching each other, and had no time to look after Baalbekk. Mosil was distant, and Aleppo timid. On the other hand, Damascus was near, and was resolved to get back her own. When her troops entered Baalbekk, Ayyub made terms from the citadel, and before he surrendered he had arranged to receive a handsome ef, including ten villages near Damascus, a good sum down, and a house in the capital. Here his statecraft and sagacity soon procured him a high position at the court of Abak, the grandson of Tughtigin, and in a few years he rose to be commander in chief of the Damascus army.

    Ayyub held this exalted post when Zengy’s son, the King of Aleppo, Nur ed din Mahmud, marched against Damascus in April, 1154. The name of Nur ed din (Noradin) is second only to Saladin among the great defenders of Islam. After the catastrophe at Jaabar, the Atabeg’s kingdom had fallen into two been brought to a successful issue,’ says William of Tyre,‘ had it not been for the greed of the great princes, who commenced negotiations with the citizens.’ At the advice of traitors, the camp was shifted to the south west, where, so ran the rumour, the wall was too weak to with stand the feeblest onslaught. But here the Crusaders found a more deadly enemy than strong fortications; for in their new position they were cut off from the river and deprived of the orchard fruits ; and through lack of food and leadership despair fell upon the host, until men began to talk of retreat. There was jealousy, likewise, between the Syrian Franks and their Western allies, and out of this too fertile source of evil, Anar, the Vezir of Damascus, was not slow to reap prot for himself. He pointed out to the former the folly of helping their brethren to seize Damascus, the capture of which would be but the prelude to the seizing of Jerusalem also. His arguments, supported as they doubtless were by bribes, brought about the abandonment of the siege."

    In such a crisis no man who could bear a sword could have been idle in Damascus. Ayyub, though he probably did not attain the rank of commander in chief until after Anar's death in the August following the siege, must have played a prominent part in the defence.  Saladin was of course too young to be more than an absorbed spectator. It is true that Western legend tells how Eleanor of France carried on her amours with the future “ Soldan ”; but as he was then but eleven years old, King Louis’s jealousy found a more probable accomplice for the divorce, which afterwards took place, than a good little boy at school.

    Five years later, Ayyub was the chief agent in changing the dynasty and admitting the son of his old patron to the capital of Syria. It happened that whilst the elder brother had made terms with Damascus and had there risen to high power, the younger, Asad ed din Shirkuh, the“ Mountain Lion,” had taken service with Nur ed din, and such was the valour he showed in every engage ment, that his master not only gave him valuable cities in ef—such as Emesa and Rahba,—but placed him in command of the army which was destined for the conquest of Damascus.

    The great opportunity seemed at last to have come. The Franks were discredited and dismayed after the miserable collapse of the Second Crusade; Meso potamia was quiet under the magnanimous rule of Zengy’s eldest son ; the indomitable Anar, who had repeatedly withstood the great Atabeg himself, was dead, and in his stead had risen Ayyub, whose brother was Nur ed din’s trusted marshal; and already the Prince of Damascus had humbly paid hom  age to the King of Aleppo. If ever the hour had struck for the realising of Zengy’s dream of a Syrian empire, centred at Damascus, it was now.

Rise of Saladin:

    Nourredin, however, divined the genius of the young vizier and assigned to him the supreme command in Egypt. He then deposed the caliph, and with his reign brought to an end the dynasty of the Fatimites, which for two hundred years had held the land of the Nile. Thus Nourredin ruled supreme from Babylonia to the desert of Libya. Only the kingdom of Jerusalem marred the map of his dominion. To reconquer this for Islam was his incessant purpose. With his own hands he made a pulpit, from which he promised the faithful one day to preach in the mosque of Omar on the temple site.

    But the Moslem world was already attached to one destined to be greater than Nourredin. The youth of Saladin had been one of apparent indolence and dissipation, but he veiled beneath his indifference the finest genius and most unbounded ambition. As soon as he felt the possession of power he assumed a corresponding dignity, and men recognized him as one appointed of Heaven. Turbulent emirs, who had ignored him as a chance holder of position, now sat reverently before him. Even the priests were struck with the sincere austerity of his devotion. The caliph of Bagdad bestowed upon him the distinguished dignity of the vest of honor. Poets began to mingle his name with those of heroes as the rising star. The pious included it in their prayers as the hope of Islam.

    Knowing that experience is often wiser than genius, Saladin judiciously guarded himself from the errors of youth by associating his father, Ayoub, with him in the government of Egypt. Nourredin, whose successful career had allowed him no jealousy of ordinary men, showed that he was restless at the popularity and ability displayed by his young subaltern, and was preparing to take Egypt under his own immediate government when death, his first vanquisher, came upon the veteran (May, 1 1 74). Saladin immediately proclaimed himself Sultan of Egypt, and hastened to secure the succession of Nourredin's power as Sultan of Damascus.

References:

Lane-Poole (S.), Saladin and the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, London, 1889.

James (M. L.), The age of the crusades, New York, 1914.

Murray (A. V.), The Crusades: an encyclopedia, CA : ABC-CLIO, 2006.

Raymond of Aguilers

In the retinue of the Count of Toulouse and of the Bishop of Puy, were two Crusaders, the one a brave and worthy knight ; the other an ecclesiastic, uneducated, but well disposed. These two men were intimately bound together by friendship. The knight Pontius, Lord of Baladun, was desirous that the memory of so many great exploits should not perish for want of a chronicler. He was constantly pressing his friend to write down, in the quiet of his tent, the events that had occurred in the battle-field, to edify and stir up all the faithful, and especially their friend the Bishop of Vivars. The ecclesiastic Raymond was easily moved thereto : he wrote down day by day what he had seen, always with the help and encouragement of his friend, until Pontius found an honorable death in battle, before the castle of Arkas. Nevertheless he did not leave off the work begun in common with his friend. "My best friend", said he, "died in the Lord ; but love dieth not, and in love will I finish this work ; so help me God".

Raymond of Aguilers only received consecration as a priest on his way to the Holy Land , and then became one of the immediate personal followers of the Bishop of Puy and the Count of Toulouse. He was present at the discovery of the Holy Lance ,  carried this relic in the battle against Kerboga , and read the formulary at the ordeal by which Peter Bartholomew proved the identity of this instrument of the Passion . There is no doubt, therefore, as to the opportunities he had of observing ; and his capacity to judge events may be gathered from his works. Above all things, Raymond is simple and straight forward; he states, in the strongest and coarsest manner, what he thinks. We may have some doubt as to the correctness of his facts, but never as to ' the truth of the impression they make on him. Then he is Provencal to the backbone. He is not highly gifted, but thoroughly enthusiastic for the success of the undertaking, and, whenever there is an opportunity, for his countrymen and their leader. The manifestations of his character are not always of the pleasantest : they display an extravagant belief in miracles, and a fierce hatred of all who are opposed to him, and a vile way of connecting divine things with the lowest motives; when to this is added a very rude manner of expressing himself, it is obvious that in the course of his narrative there must be many things to shock the reader.

Por instance, he mentions as a glorious deed of the Count of Toulouse, that once when hard pressed by the Dalmatians, he caused the eyes of six of the prisoners to be tom out, and their noses, arms, and legs to be cut off, in order to inspire the rest with terror;“ At the taking of Antioch, he says, "Something pleasant and diverting occurred after their long tribulations. A troop of Turkish horse, more than three hundred in number, hard pressed by the Crusaders, were driven over a precipice; a pleasure to see, much as we regretted the loss of the horses .”  It is true that in this war little regard was paid to humanity, but it would be difficult to find a second example of such excessive virulence.“ Thus he goes on, expressing delight and rapture with the same eagerness, and is completely carried away when a supernatural apparition manifests itself within his immediate circle. When the point of the Holy Lance projected above the earth, he says, “ Then I, Raymond the chaplain, sprang forward to kiss it .” The narratives of subsequent visions occupy about one-fourth of the whole book.  In one word, his was a vigorous but vulgar nature, thrown by a great impulse into an extraordinary course. The book would soon excite disgust, were it not so guilelessly written, and did it not so thoroughly show the personal character of the man.

It is obvious that his judgment is only to be trusted in certain cases : he can be followed when once he is known. He may be depended upon as to matters of fact, which he narrates with the strictest accuracy. He is rich in detail, but not in anecdote. A few cases, unimportant in themselves, may be found in which we are forced to reject his statements ; on the other hand, he gives conclusive accounts of the most important events, and, in comparison with others, he must be looked upon as a guiding authority. On some points his narrative is essential to a right view of events, eg. the battle with Kilidje Arslan, before Nicaea — the siege of Antioch — and, above all, the quarrel between Bohemund and the Count of Toulouse. He agrees perfectly in the main points with the ‘ Gesta Francorum the discrepancies are few, and those only on special matters, quite independent of the general view of affairs.

Moreover, the two works are quite independent of each other, although, from their similarity, it has been supposed that they had a common origin ,  and that Raymond had only amplified the * Gesta.’ Each author tells the exact truth as far as he knew it, the one as to what occurred among the Normans, the other among the Provencals. The events were neither secret nor involved, and the similarity of the statements of the two authors is therefore by no means wonderful. Identity of expression, even in isolated passages, nowhere occurs ; in two places, pointed out by critics, it is only apparent : but at the end of the book, which has not come down to us in its perfect, form from Raymond himself, passages have been added from the ‘ Gesta ’ by a foreign hand.

The question is, when and by whom the interpolations were made. In all manuscripts which have hitherto been found, the passages in question invariably occur. It is still more important that Tudebod, who in this instance follows Raymond, found these words, and copied them ii^to his text, perhaps comparing them with the * Gesta .’  It is probable, indeed, that Raymond himself made the interpolations, that he felt the omission in his own narrative, and endeavoured to fill it up with the fragment from the ‘ Gesta.’ This circumstance is important, as affording the most convincing proof of the contemporaneous composition of the ‘ Gesta,’ even if the book did not contain sufficient internal evidence.

We have dwelt at some length on this apparently trifling circumstance, for various reasons. First, in order to establish the date of the ‘ Gesta,’ and next for those which relate to the subject itself. We hear on all sides that it is impossible to form an exact or authentic picture of the occurrences in Constantinople from the original authorities . This is mainly owing to the confusion that prevails in Albert’s narrative , which renders it impossible to combine the Latin authorities with the Alexiade, But if we can succeed in extracting from the eyewitnesses clear and unanimous statements, if we have the courage upon their authority to pronounce a strict judgment on Albert of Aix, the apparent discrepancies which exist in Anna Comnena’s w orks offer no further difficulties.

To sum up our judgment on the work of Raymond of Agiles, we should say it was full of ample and trustworthy details, the value of which is somewhat impaired by the passion and superstition of the otherwise veracious author. As a writer, Raymond, in spite of his violent, zealous, and superstitiou8 nature, takes a correct view of things, and with all the vulgarity of his mind he is a true representative of his time and of his country. He is genuine and outspoken, and no one who enters into his spirit can read his work without benefit.

References:

Raymond of Aguilers, in August C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eye-witnesses and Participants, Princeton University Press, 1921.

Varney (A.), The Crusades: Campaign Sourcebook, Lake Geneva, 1994.

Peters (E.),  The  First  Crusade:  The  Chronicle  of  Fulcher  of  Chartres and other source materials, 2nd ed,  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.

Peter Tudebode

We know but little about Peter Tudebode life. Besly asserts that he was with the army of Poitou, commanded first by Hugo of Lusignan, and then by Gaston of Bearn. But there is no positive proof of this. Besly was led to this conclusion because Hugo was then Lord of Sivray. The book copies the ‘ Gesta Prancorum/ nearly word for word; many of the interpolations are mere episodes, and of little importance. He gives some details concerning the capture of Jerusalem, which may serve partly as an amplification, partly as a rectification of the ‘Gesta.’

Peter Tudebode's Source:

Besly, in the preface to Tudebod’ s History of Jerusalem,’ positively asserts that the  Gesta Francorum,’ edited by Bongars as a genuine and authentic narrative, and frequently used as such by former writers, was nothing more than a plagiarism of the grossest kind, the anonymous author being entirely indebted to Tudebod for his facts, and thinks it his duty to expose such a wholesale plagiarism. Besly grounds this assertion chiefly upon three passages, — one in which Tudebod speaks of himself, and two wherein he mentions the death of his brothers. In these cases, Tudebod, he says, speaks as an eye-witness, and the anonymous author of the ‘ Gesta Francorum’ has carefully omitted all mention of these occurrences in his narrative. Besly’s views met with general concurrence, and have been followed by all subsequent historians of the Crusades .

I must confess that the reasons urged for this opinion appear to me thoroughly unsatisfactory, and that there is evidence of exactly the reverse. In the case in point, Tudebod narrates an unlucky event which occurred at the siege of Jerusalem ; “the author,” he adds, “Tudebod, a priest of Sivray, was present, and was an eye-witness.” The whole narrative, to which this statement is appended, is omitted in the ‘ Gesta Francorum/ and I can conceive nothing unlikely in the supposition that Tudebod, having got so far in his transcription of the * Gesta/ should have inserted in this place something he had himself witnessed. There is nothing to disprove that he and his brothers were present with the army, but there are many objections to looking upon his narrative as the original source of the "Gesta Francorum".

First of all, the anonymous author invariably speaks in the first person ; Tudebod, sometimes in the first, at other times in the third person.

Further, the anonymous author, as we shall presently see, was a knight. Tudebod was a priest. The first remains true to his character, whereas Tudebod introduces himself sometimes as a warrior, at others as a priest , which can easily be accounted for, if we consider him only as the secondary author.

In both works passages occur which are wanting in the other. Those which Tudebod alone has are anecdotes, traits of individual character, etc., which can be easily inserted or omitted, without interfering with the narrative. But it is not so in the other case. It clearly appears 'that Tudebod, from a mistaken endeavour at compression, has omitted passages essential to the meaning. His narrative of the conquest of Nicaea has faults inexcusable in an eye-witness, but easily understood as the errors of a transcriber. It is impossible not to see that the "Gesta Francorum" is the source from which he draws.

This leads me to the last and most important point, which Besly passes over lightly, but which appears to me conclusive. Tudebod makes use of Raymond’s work, as well as of the "Gesta" He has inserted several passages from the former, word for word, in his compilation. Had the author of the ‘ Gesta Francorum ’ followed Tudebod, it would be impossible that some passage from Raymond should not have slipped into his text. Precisely the one passage which is to be found both in Raymond and in the anonymous author of the * Gesta Erancorum/ makes the matter quite clear. Tudebod follows first the ‘ Gesta/ then Raymond, and then repeats the last sentences from the * Gesta ’ for a second time.

References:

Tudebodus (P.), Historia de Hierosolymitano itinere Trans. with introd. and notes by John H. Hill and Laurita L. Hill., Philadelphia, 1974.

James (M. L.), The age of the crusades, New York, 1914.

Murray (A. V.), The Crusades: an encyclopedia, CA : ABC-CLIO, 2006.

William of Tyre

While the West appropriated and developed the history of the Crusades in the manner we have described, a very remarkable man was engaged in Palestine with the praiseworthy object of giving to that kingdom a history of its past, and to Europe a " memorial for the future. He wrote with a strong feeling of patriotism, and at the same time under the sad impression that he could only find solace for present sorrow in the recollection of former happiness. The means at his disposal and his personal character fitted him for the task. The strong and persistent energy with which he mastered his materials enabled him to produce one of the greatest historical works of the Middle Ages.

William of Tyre was born in Palestine, but we have no information as to the place of his birth or his parentage. 1 He was educated in Europe, most probably at Paris ; but this surmise is merely conjectural ; for he himself (our sole authority) only states that he quitted Syria about the year 1163, in order to pursue his studies. Pour years afterwards we find him an archdeacon of the Church of Tyre, a friend of King Amalric, and tutor to the subsequent I King Baldwin IV. Even at that time the King employed him in the most important negotiations ; he went to Greece in 1168, to ratify .an offensive alliance with the Emperor Manuel against Egypt. Personal affairs carried him to Rome in 1169. On his return, at the death of. the Bishop of Bethlehem, he was made Chancellor of the kingdom, and in I the year 1174 Archbishop of Tyre. 2 Prom that time, he was naturally considered one of the most important members of the aristocracy of the land ; he took an active part in all negotiations of any importance, and his influence was felt by all ranks throughout the kingdom. The time and place of his death are involved in mystery ; the information on this point given by Hugo Plagons is unworthy of credit, and scarcely deserves mention.

The idea of writing his history had occurred to William of Tyre in the year 1170. Besides his own wish, there was an additional reason in the command of King Amalric, at whose desire he had already written a history of the Arabs since the time of Mahomet. For this latter work he employed Greek and Arabic materials, above all the history of Saith, the Patriarch of Alexandria. Amalric also busied himself in procuring him materials, and doubtless much that was valuable in this book has been lost. It cannot be asserted that it would have been free from error. The work of William of Tyre which we do possess precludes such a supposition. But that work shows a more complete and scientific knowledge of Saracen life than any” of his contemporaries or coreligionists possessed. It appears that in the year 1182 he had nearly completed the collection of his materials ; at all events, he then began to put them into form ; and he mentions in several passages, in the first and nineteenth books, the year we have given as the time when he wrote them.  In 1184 he had completed twenty-two books, and brought down his narrative to the autumn of the preceding year. He was then in doubt whether to continue to portray the increasing miseries of those times, and determined to complete the history of the year 1184 in a twenty third book. But his purpose was not carried out, the work that has come down to us breaks off with the first chapter of that book.

The manner in which the author collected his materials appears to me similar to that already described. He wrote partly from information obtained from those who had still a vivid recollection of the past, partly from his own observation I and the honest reports of eye-witnesses. It is an important consideration, that the materials of his first fifteen books are still, for the most part, extant in their original sources. Albert of Aix, archbishop Baldrich, Fulcher of Chartres, Raymond of I Agiles, and Chancellor Gauthier, supply him with ; the materials for the First Crusade, and the reigns of Godfrey, Baldwin I., and Baldwin of Burg. We shall see further on what changes he introduced ; but, in general, the accuracy of the copy spares me the trouble of pointing out individual instances. Before passing, however, to the consideration of his own original contributions, I will notice a few doubtful points.

References:

Sybel (H.), The History And Literature Of The Crusades, London, 1861.

Atiya (A. S.), The Crusade: Historiography and Bibliography, London, 1962.

Brundage, (J. A.), "Recent Crusade Historiography: Some Observations and Suggestions", CHR (49), 1964.

Edbury (P. W.), William of Tyre: Historian of the Latin East, Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Fulcher of Chartres

    Fulcher of Chartres a chaplain from Chartres, took the cross, in the year 1095, and joined the army of Count Robert of Normandy and Stephen of Blois, with which he marched through Apulia and Greece, and reached the camp before Nicaea in June, 1097. He remained with the bulk of the crusading army until its arrival in Meerasch, and went thence to Edessa with Count Baldwin, who then commenced his enterprise against that town.  Up to this point his information is good, and frequently most important ; both on particular facts and on the general aspect of affairs. I allude more particularly to his account of the journey through Italy and Greece. He here shows the incorrectness of the impression that the armies had met together in the west of Europe, and that great masses of them had marched towards the East in regularly organized bodies. “ We wandered,” says Eulcher, “ as we could, in April, May, June, until October, wherever we could obtain supplies.” Adhemar had appointed Constantinople as the general rendezvous. Moreover Fulcher’s narrative of the march from Dorylaeum to Eikle is important, and very attractive,* from the great descriptive powers of the writer. His account of the occurrences in Edessa is conclusive, as he was the only eye-witness . It agrees in the main with that of Matthew Eretz of Edessa, who is the next best authority ; whereas both Albert of Aix and Guibert have followed quite different reports .

    Unfortunately Fulcher breaks off here, and turns his attention to the main body of the crusading army, which then seemed the point of most interest. It is scarce credible that a contemporary, living at the distance of only a few days’ journey, should receive such absurdly false accounts. What reliance can be placed on these traditions, when even in a few score years they circulated in the distant West in such wild and uncertain forms ? The chronological sequence of events is lost ; the accuracy of the narrative disappears, and a blind enthusiasm finds vent in miraculous stories. Even here however some few passages are important : such as the account of Tancred’s conquest of Bethlehem, which checks a different report given by Albert of Aix ; Tancred’s plundering of the Temple, and the subsequent negotiations, which are supported by the testimony of Radulph against Albert.

    Eulcher remained in Jerusalem, after a short absence, until the death of Godfrey of Bouillon at Edessa. He then accompanied Baldwin I. to Palestine, and remained there with the King in the same capacity as he had previously been with the Count. From this time his work is most important. Here, where all other eye-witnesses fail, his account is trustworthy, and often full. Let us attempt from this point to determine its general character.

    It is obvious, in the first place, that the author by no means intended to write a history : the work is in reality a diary of his own life, with all the circumstances as they happened ; in which state Gui bert saw it in the year 1108 or 1110, in the West ; though it does in fact come down to 1127. He records what personally concerns himself, and devotes to it more or less space, according to his own individual taste. I will select the first example that occurs to me (to which many might be added); the passage in which he relates Baldwin’s taking possession of Jerusalem. He begins with a vivid description of the march from Edessa : “ Collegit exercitulum suum,” — two hundred knights and seven hundred infantry ; they go from city to city ; the Prince of Tripolis sends bread, wine, wild honey, and mutton to their tents ; at the same time he tells them of an ambush prepared for them near Berytus.

    This they found terribly confirmed, for the narrow and wild passes were occupied by the Saracens. He then describes the battle, and how the Christians were at first unsuccessful. “ We were ill at ease,” says he ; “ we affected courage, but we feared death. I wished myself home again at Chartres or Orleans.” Luckily, however, they fought their way through, and Pulcher devotes many pages to a description of the happy manner in which they brought this adventure to a close. They subsequently reached Kaiphas, which then belonged to Tancred, who, as is well known, was one of the leaders of the opposition against’ Baldwin’s succession.

    Fulcher enters into no explanation of the relations between the two princes. He only says shortly : “ We did not enter Kaiphas, because Tancred was then at enmity with us ; but,” he continues, “ Tancred being then absent, his people sold us bread and wine outside the walls, for they considered us as brothers, and were anxious to see us.” And a little further on : “ As we approached Jerusalem, the clergy and the laity came forth to meet the King in solemn procession ; likewise came the Greeks and the Syrians, with crosses and candles, who received him with joy and honour and loud shouts, and escorted him to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.” After this the narrative again becomes very meagre. “The Patriarch Dagobert was not present; he had been slandered to Baldwin, and bore him a grudge ; wherefore he sat apart on Mount Sion until his malice was forgiven.” Not one word explaining the cause and purport of this quarrel.

    No one could suppose that the whole existence of the Christian' kingdom in the Bast was at that moment at stake; nor does he bestow more attention upon the King and his peculiar talent for government. He proceeds :  “ We remained six days in Jerusalem, rested ourselves, and the King made his first arrangements; then we started again. Then follows a detailed and most lively journal .of his travels through the whole southern portion of the kingdom. Later we find a short narrative of the Second Crusade. He was in 1102 with the King during an expedition against Ascalon in Joppa. “There,” he says, “he met several knights who were waiting for a favourable wind, in order to return as speedily as possible to France. They had lost their horses the year before, together with all their baggage, during a march through Rumania.”

    Fulcher’s work has been much used, both by his contemporaries and by subsequent writers. We have already mentioned that Guibert knew the book. Spite of his obligations to Fulcher, Guibert speaks contemptuously of him, without however bringing any specific charge against him. Bartholf de Nangiejo was more grateful : he compiled the ‘ Gesta Expugnantium Hierusalem,’ distinctly acknowledging his authority. 120 Many passages are taken from the * Gesta Francorum,’ not exactly word for word, but they betray their origin. Others, again, are evidently fabulous tales, having no pretence to authenticity. The work is in no way important.

References:

Fulcheri Carnotensis Historia Hierosolymitana (1095-1127), ed. by. Heinrich Hagenmeyer, Heidelberg, 1913.

Fulcher of Chartres, A History of the Expedition to Jerusalem (1095-1127),  trans. by. Francis Rita Ryan, University of Tennessee Press, 1969.

King Fulk of Jerusalem (1131–1143)

King Fulk of Jerusalem or Count Fulk of Anjou V, later Fulk, King of Jerusalem. He was the grandfather of Henry II, ruler of England and France. Fulk was born between 1089 and 1092 in Angers, Pays de la Loire in France. He was the son of father Count Fulk IV of Anjou and mother Bentrade de Montfort. In 1092 Bentrade later left her husband and went to marry  King Philipe I  de France, despite  never officially obtaining a divorce from Fulk’s father. Fulk became count of Anjou after his father died in 1109; in 1110, he married Erembourg of Maine. He had a daughter Matilda and a son Geoffrey of Anjou. Fulk was a gentle and pious man, although said to have an embarrassingly bad memory for names and faces. 

Fulk  went  on  a  Crusade  in  1119  or  1120;  his  involvement  with  the  Knights  Templar  began  during  this expedition to the Holy Land, including the stipend of two Knights. He returned to France in late 1121 and was planning to go back to Angiers in 1127. He received a group of ambassadors from King Baldwin II of Jerusalem in 1127. While, Baldwin had no male heir  to  the  throne,  he  had  chosen  his  daughter  Melisende  to  rule  Jerusalem  upon  his  death.  However,  Baldwin needed a powerful lord to marry her and safeguard his daughter’s inheritance. Fulk  was  good  nominee,  because  he  was  a  wealthy  crusader,  an  experienced  military  commander  and  a widower, as his wife Erembourg had died in 1126. Fulk, however, did not immediately agree to Baldwin’s terms and insisted on not only being the consort of the Queen. Rather, he wanted to be King of Jerusalem in his own right. Baldwin reflected Fulk’s proposal and accepted it.

His relations with the Templars, and his marriage to Melisende. He came not by conflict, but from political relations.

Once he and Baldwin came to an agreement, Fulk gave the county seat of Anjou to his son Geoffrey and went to Jerusalem. He and Melisende married on 2 June 1129. Their son Baldwin III was born in 1130. The couple became joint rulers after Baldwin II died in 1131. Fulk brought French influences to the kingdom. For example: he allowed countrymen from Anjou to settle in Jerusalem. Other Crusader states from the North of possible invasions from Fulk to their territory. These states included the Principality of Antioch or the County of Tripoli. The leaders  of  the  Crusade  states  saw  Fulk  as  illegitimate  for  possible  reasons:  They  saw  him  as  less powerful then Baldwin, Fulk didn’t follow Baldwin’s orders on the throne, and he was not from Jerusalem, he was from far away. In 1136, Fulk and Melisene’s second son, Amalric I, was born. 

After Baldwin’s death, Fulk quickly took sole control of the governance of Jerusalem, excluding Melisende. The second  Generation of Jerusalem Christians on the whole supporting  the  Queen’s family, including her cousin Hugh II of le Puiset. He was very devoted to the Queen and saw Fulk as a rival. In 1134, Fulk accused Hugh of infidelity with Melisende. Hugh rebelled in protest and secured the city of Jaffa. He resisted Fulk’s army until the Patriarch, the Catholic Archbishop of Jerusalem intervened the Conflict.  •  This was called the revolt of Hugh of Jaffa. Later, a peace treaty was signed; Hugh was exiled for four years. When Hugh was assassinated in his exile, Fulk or his supporters were accused, but there was no concrete proof to show their involvement. The  scandal  was  enough  for  those  who  supported  the  Queen  to  initiate  a  palace  coup  and  take  over  the government. Fulk’s supporters were terrorized in the palace, and the king was unable to fight back. This resulted in Queen Melisende’s direct control over the government from 1136 onwards. 

Fulk aimed to secure Jerusalem’s northern borders; in particular his greatest concern was the rise of Atabeg Zengi of Mosul, a Turkish King of the north Zengrid dynasty. In 1137, Fulk was defeated in a battle at Barin by Zengi. He subsequently allied himself with Mu’in ad-Din Unar,  the  vizier  of  Damascus,  as  the  vizier  was  threatened  by  Zengi  as  well.  Fulk  captured  the  fort  of Banians, in the north lake of Tiberias and then secured the northern border. Fulk also strengthened the southern borders; fortresses were built in Kerak to the south of the Dead Sea. And have connection with Jerusalem to the Red Sea. Fulk also had forts built in the south – west in order to overpower the Egyptian fortresses at Ascalan. The city was  a  base  to  launch  frequent  raids  on  the  Kingdom  of  Jerusalem.  His  plan  was  to  neutralize  the  threat against the Egyptian Fatimids. In 1137 and 1142, the Byzantine emperor John II Comnenus arrived in Syria attempting to impose control over the crusader states His arrival was ignored by Fulk, who declined an invitation to meet the emperor in the capital city. Because of being against John’s assertion of authority. He was willing to cooperate with non-Christian empires to succeed in his goals, including Adin Unur, leader of Damascus.  

In 1143, as the king and queen holidayed in Acre, Fulk died in a horse riding accident. When carried back to the city, he lay unconscious for three days before dying. He was buried in the church of the Holy Sepulch in Jerusalem. Melisende mourned him privately and publicly, despite the previous conflict in their marriage. Queen Matilda of Jerusalem succeeded to the throne, which was later taken by her son Baldwin III. 


References:

Conder (C. R.), The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, New York, 2011.

Tyerman (Ch.), God's War: A New History of the Crusades, Harvard University Press, 2006.

Melisende of Jerusalem (1131–1153)

Melisende was probably born around 1109, the eldest daughter of Baldwin II, count of Edessa, and his wife Morphia. Baldwin became king of Jerusalem in 1118, and named Melisende heiress to the kingdom in 1127 after it was apparent that he would have no male heir.

Melisende and Fulk’s marriage was celebrated in early June 1129, and at that time her father the king endowed them with the cities of Acre and Tyre to be held during his lifetime.

Through Melisende, the status of heir to the throne was transmitted to Fulk. Their marriage must have been a grand occasion of celebration in the kingdom, and all of the important barons and churchmen would have been present.  Within a few months of the wedding, Melisende became pregnant with the couple’s first child and heir, the future Baldwin III, who was born in 1130.  

Baldwin II died on August 21, 1131, and he was mourned with “great pomp and ceremony.”  He was buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, next to his predecessors at the foot of Mt. Calvary known as Golgatha.  On September 14, Holy Cross Day (an important feast day in the crusader kingdom), Fulk and Melisende were “solemnly crowned and consecrated, according to custom, in the Church of the Sepulcher of the Lord, by William, patriarch of Jerusalem, of happy memory.”

One of the most interesting developments at this time during Fulk and Melisende’s reign was an alliance between Jerusalem and Damascus.  Zengi, the leader of Aleppo, had entered the territory of Damascus with a hostile army and Mu’īn ad-Din Unur, the Muslim ruler there, appealed to the crusaders for aid against this common enemy who threatened all of them.  Not only did Unur agree to pay for the campaign, but he also promised to restore the city of Banyas, which had been conquered from the Christians some years before but had come to be held by Zengi.  He also promised to ensure the treaty with noble hostages, relatives of his army commanders.

Fulk and Melisende agreed to the treaty’s terms, but not before lengthy deliberations with the barons and clerics in the High Court were held.  After the hostages had arrived, Fulk’s army marched out to join the Damascenes accompanied by Patriarch William and, although Zengi retreated, the two armies began a fierce siege of Banyas, where the prince of Antioch and the count of Tripoli and their forces joined them as well.  The city surrendered in 1140 and keeping his word, Unur handed it over to the crusaders.  Patriarch William and Fulcher, archbishop of Tyre, who was also present chose Adam, the archdeacon of Tyre, to be the city’s bishop, and then it was returned to its former Lord Renier de Brus, the constable of the kingdom.

Fulk’s death in November of 1143 dramatically altered Melisende’s political life and the future of the kingdom’s monarchy.  Her political power and authority as queen were to grow far beyond that which she had enjoyed after her second son Amalric was born.  William of Tyre recorded the circumstances of Fulk’s tragic accident.  Visiting Acre with Fulk, Melisende of Jerusalem had proposed a trip outside the city to a place that had many springs.  The king and queen had ridden together with the royal escort and a party of servants.  Along the way, the group surprised a hare, which fled from its burrow and aroused shouts and attention.  Fulk grabbed his lance, joined the other men in the hunt, and urged his horse on recklessly.  Suddenly, his horse stumbled and fell, throwing him onto the ground where his heavy saddle struck his head and crushed his skull.  The members of his escort who had joined him in the pursuit rushed to his aid but it was too late.  

Melisende and the rest of the train caught up quickly and were horrified by the sight. The queen “tore her garments and hair and by her loud shrieks and lamentations gave proof of her intense grief.  Flinging herself upon the ground she embraced the lifeless body.  Tears failed her through continual weeping; frequent sobs interrupted her voice as she tried to give expression to her grief; nor could she do justice to it, although she cared for naught save to satisfy her anguish.  The people of the household also manifested their grief by tears, words, and aspect and gave plain proof of great sorrow.”

They bore Fulk to Acre, and still unconscious, he died three days later on November 10.  He was buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher next to his predecessors at the foot of Mt. Calvary.  As Fulk and Melisende’s son Baldwin was only thirteen years old at this time and Amalric only ten, “the royal power passed to the Lady Melisende, a queen beloved of God, to whom it belonged by hereditary right.”

Thus, Melisende took over the government but, as William of Tyre emphasized, did not do so as regent for her eldest son.  Future events would demonstrate that she took up her new role at the death of her husband because she knew it was her responsibility to do so as the kingdom’s reigning queen.  Through her unexpected widowhood, she gained an extraordinary amount of independence.  She would make the most of it and do whatever she would have to in order to protect it.  It is no surprise, then, that she did not remarry, even though the pressure to do so must have been great.

During the feast of the Nativity, 1143, “Baldwin [III] was solemnly anointed, consecrated, and crowned, together with his mother, in the church of the Sepulcher of the Lord.  The ceremony was conducted by William, patriarch of Jerusalem, before the customary assemblage of the princes and all the prelates of the church.”

Crowned at his mother’s side, he was, however, under the legal age to rule.  Melisende was required to rule alone until Baldwin came of age and could rule with her.  Nevertheless, despite her sacred status and abilities, because she was a woman, she was immediately forced to cope with the limitations of her gender.  Alone for the first time, she had the added responsibilities of controlling and administering the crown’s offices and fiefs as well as defending the crusader states from the constant threats of invasion from Zengi, the leader of Aleppo, and the other neighboring Muslim powers.  Although she marshaled and directed the kingdom’s army as the reigning monarch, she did not lead it herself.  By 1144, she appointed and deputized her cousin Manasses of Hierges, who had recently arrived in the East, as constable of the kingdom.  Owing his new prestigious position to her, Manasses would loyally lead the kingdom’s military affairs for her.  

Melisende and the kingdom’s first challenge was at hand because the crusader lands were all facing a dangerous threat from the still undefeated Zengi, who had laid siege to the city of Edessa “during the interval between the death of King Fulk and the elevation of Baldwin to the throne.”

It is very likely that Zengi and the rest of the Muslim world viewed Melisende’s throne in the Latin Kingdom as empty or as if the kingdom was in a period of interregnum.  The timing was perfect for the prosecution of a jihad to restore the lands taken by the crusaders back to Islam, and Zengi would be the most successful Muslim warrior to present himself as a leader for such an endeavor.

References:

Hamilton (B.), "Medieval Women", in, Women in the Crusader States: The Queens of Jerusalem. Oxford: Ecclesiastical History,ed. by. Derek Baker, Oxford, 1978.

Gaudette (H.), The Second Crusade: The War Council of Acre, 1148, March 2009.

Baldwin II of Jerusalem (1118–1131)

King Baldwin II of Jerusalem, or Baldwin II of Edessa, or Baldwin of Bourcq was the son of Hugh, count of Rethel, and his wife Melisende, daughter of Guy I of Montlhéry. He had two younger brothers, Gervase and Manasses, and two sisters Matilda and Hodierna. He left his own family behind to follow his cousins on the First Crusade in 1096.

Baldwin, Count of Edessa:


Baldwin of Boulogne became the first count of Edessa, while Baldwin of Bourcq entered the service of Prince of Antioch, acting as an ambassador between Antioch and Edessa. Baldwin of Boulogne was elected king of Jerusalem upon the death of Godfrey, and Baldwin of Bourcq was appointed count of Edessa. In 1101 Baldwin married Morphia of Melitene, the daughter of the Armenian prince Gabriel of Melitene.

In 1102 Baldwin and Tancred (his nephew) assisted King Baldwin against the Egyptians at Ascalon. 1104 the Seljuk Turks invaded Edessa and with help from Antioch, Count Baldwin met them at the Battle of Harran. The battle was a failure and Count Baldwin was captured; Tancred became regent of Edessa while he was away. Tancred and Bohemund preferred to ransom their own Seljuk prisoners for money rather than an exchange them for Baldwin, so the count remained in captivity in Mosul until 1108 when he was ransomed for 60,000 dinars by Joscelin of Courtenay. Tancred refused to restore Edessa to him, but with the support of the Kurds, Arabs, Byzantines, and even the Seljuks, Tancred was forced to back down.

Baldwin II King of Jerusalem:

After the death of Baldwin I in 1118, the crown was offered to the king's elder brother Eustace III, but Joscelin of Courtenay insisted that the crown be passed to Baldwin of Bourcq, despite Count Baldwin having exiled Joscelin from Edessa in 1113. Baldwin of Edessa accepted and was crowned king of Jerusalem as Baldwin II on Easter Sunday, 14 April 1118. Almost immediately, the kingdom was simultaneously invaded by the Seljuks from Syria and the Fatimids from Egypt. By showing himself ready and willing to defend his territory, Baldwin forced the Muslim army to back down without a battle. 1119, the crusader Principality of Antioch (crusader state) was invaded, and Baldwin hurried north with the army of Jerusalem. Roger of Salerno, prince of Antioch, would not wait for Baldwin's reinforcements, and the Antiochene army was destroyed in a battle the crusaders called Ager Sanguinis (the Field of Blood).

Although it was a crushing blow, Baldwin helped Antioch recover and drove out the Seljuks later that year. Baldwin called the Council of Nablus in 1120, where he probably established the first written laws for the kingdom, and extended rights and privileges to the growing bourgeois communities. In 1122 Joscelin, who had been appointed count of Edessa when Baldwin became king, was captured in battle. Baldwin returned to the north to take over the regency of the county, but he too was taken captive by the Ortoqids while patrolling the borders of Edessa in 1123, and was held captive with Joscelin. Eustace Grenier acted as regent in Jerusalem, and at the Battle of Yibneh defeated an Egyptian invasion hoping to take advantage of the king's absence. Baldwin and Joscelin escaped from captivity with help from the Armenians in 1124. In 1125 Baldwin assembled the knights from all the crusader territories and met the Seljuks at the Battle of Azaz. Although the Seljuk army was much larger, the crusaders were victorious, d they restored much of the influence they had lost after the Ager Sanguinis. Baldwin attempted to take Damascus in 1126 with the help of the Templars, but the attempt was pushed back by Emir Toghtekin.

Succession of Baldwin II:

Baldwin had no sons with Morphia, but four daughters: Melisende, Alice, Hodierna, and Ioveta. In 1129 Baldwin named Melisende his heir, and arranged for her to marry Fulk V of Anjou. Fulk assisted Baldwin with the attack on Damascus. His daughters Alice and Hodierna also married important princes, Bohemund II of Antioch and Raymond II of Tripoli.In 1131 Baldwin fell sick and died on 21 August, and was buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Melisende, by law the heir to the kingdom, succeeded her father with Fulk as her co‐ruler. The new queen and king were crowned on 14 September.

References:

Röhricht (R.), Regesta Regni Hierosolymitani (MXCVII–MCCXCI), Innsbruck, 1893.

Mayer (H. E.), 'The Succession to Baldwin II of Jerusalem: English Impact on the East', Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 1982, PP. 531-541.

Hugh of Vermandois (1057-1101)

Hugh of Vermandois. He was the brother of Philip I, king of France (1052-1108). Hugh partook to the first crusade (1096-1099).

Those of the Langue d'Oil had gone before, and under the guidance of Hugh, Count of Vermandois, had been the first of all the Crusaders to take the field. " Hugh," writes a contemporary, " was first to cross the sea to Durazzo, where the citizens took him prisoner, and sent him to the Emperor at Constantinople." How he was released from his captivity we have already seen.

Hugh of Vermandois and the Expeditions of 1101:

Hugh the Great, who had been sent to Constantinople after the fall of Antioch, shared in the disastrous expedition of 1101 and died at Tarsus. The recreant Count Stephen of Blois, driven back to the East by his wife's reproaches, took part in the same expedition, and was slain in the great battle of Ramleh (1102). This expedition, which ended so disastrously for the two French counts, must detain us for a little.

The conquest of Jerusalem kindled a warlike enthusiasm in many hearts which had been cold to the impassioned pleading of Urban and Peter. Amongst those who now took up arms was the powerful Duke William of Aquitaine. Religious feeling had not restrained him from the endeavour to turn Count Raymond's absence on the Crusade to his own profit He is perhaps the first of all the Crusading chiefs who undertook the expedition in the frivolous spirit of the mere adventurer eager for some new thing. The details of this crusade, or series of crusades, are difficult to follow ; but first of all a large and unruly horde of Lombards reached Constantinople, and after some riotous conduct, in the course of which they broke into the palace and killed one of the Emperor's pet lions, crossed the Bosphorus. At Nicomedia they were joined by Conrad the Constable of the Emperor Henry, and the two Stephens of Blois and Burgundy.

¬It was now Whitsuntide, 1101, and the Crusaders, eager to depart, begged Alexius for a guide. He offered them Raymond of St. Gilles, who was present at Constantinople But when the time for departure arrived a feud broke out between the two divisions. Stephen of Blois was for following the old Crusading track through Iconium to Antioch. The Lombards, however, were seized with a wild desire to push across the highlands of Asia Minor to the realm of Chorazan, by which they probably understood Persia or the region of the Lower Tigris. There they hoped to rescue Bohemond from captivity or, happier still, to seize Bagdad itself. Others, among whom was Ekkehard, our chief authority for this expedition, took alarm at a reported speech of the Emperor Alexius, to the effect that he would let the Franks and the Turks devour one another like dogs ; these went by sea from one or other of the Greek ports, and, as Ekkehard says, " Through the Divine mercy, after six weeks we reached the haven of Jaffa."

References:

Archer (T. A.),  The Crusades; the story of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, London, 1894.

Riley-Smith (J.), The First Crusade and Idea of Crusading, New York, 1993.

Murray (A. V.), The Crusades: an encyclopedia, CA : ABC-CLIO, 2006.

Stephen of Blois and his Letters to his wife Adela

    Stephen of Blois spent about two weeks (from c.14-28 May,  1097) in Constantinople. From there he sent Adela a letter, which has since been lost. However, his next letter, which does survive, said that he  was repeating some at least of what he  wrote in the first.  He then crossed the Bosporos and marched to Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) to join the other Crusader forces already there, arriving on 3 June.

    He wrote his first surviving letter to Adela from Nicaea around 24 June 1097. In it he said that the emperor, Alexios I Comnenos, had received him like a son,  that there was  no  duke or count in the army in whom Alexios had placed more trust or who he had more favored, that the emperor had asked that Stephen send one of their sons  to Constantinople and had promised to  pay him a great honor, and that there was no man alive whose munificence could  compare  to  that  of the  emperor.  Even  Adela's  father, William the Conqueror, could not compare to him:  'In our times, as it seems to us, there was no prince so magnificent in his whole integrity of character. Your father,  my  beloved, gave many and great things, but [compared] to him he was almost nothing.'

Stephen of Blois and Chartres
Letter to his wife Adele (29 March 1098)

    Count Stephen to Adele, his sweetest and most amiable wife, to his dear children, and to all his vassals of all ranks--his greeting and blessing.

    You may be very sure, dearest, that the messenger whom I sent to give you pleasure, left me be before Antioch safe and unharmed, and through God's grace in the greatest prosperity. And already at that time, together with all the chosen army of Christ, endowed with  great  valor by Him, we had been continuously  advancing for twenty-three weeks toward the home of our Lord Jesus. You may know for certain, my beloved, that of gold, silver and many other kind of riches I now have twice as much your love had assigned to me when  I left  you.  For all our princes with  the common  consent  of the whole army,  against  my  own  wishes,  have  made  me  up  to  the  present  time  the  leader,  chief  and director of their whole expedition.

    You have certainly heard that after the capture of the city of Nicaea we fought a great battle with the Turks and by God's aid conquered them. Next we conquered for the Lord all Romania. And we learned that there was a certain Turkish prince Assam, dwelling in Cappadocia; thither we directed our course. All his castles we conquered by force and compelled him to flee to a certain very strong castle situated on a high rock. We also gave the land of that Assam to one of our chiefs and in order that he might conquer the above-mentioned Assam, we left there with him many soldiers of Christ. Thence, continually following the wicked Turks, we drove them through the midst of Armenia, as far as the great river Euphrates. Having left all their baggage and beasts of burden on the bank, they fled across the river into Arabia.

    The bolder of the Turkish soldiers, indeed, entering Syria, hastened by forced marches night and day, in order to be able to enter the royal city of Antioch before our approach. The whole army of God learning this gave due praise and thanks to the Lord. Hastening with great joy to the aforesaid chief city of Antioch, we besieged it and very often had many conflicts there with the Turks; and seven times with the citizens of Antioch and with the innumerable troops coming to its aid, whom we rushed to meet, we fought with the fiercest courage, under the leadership of Christ. And in all these seven battles, by the aid  of  the  Lord  God,  we  conquered  and  most  assuredly  killed  an  innumerable  host  of them. In those battles, indeed, and in very many attacks made upon the city, many of our
brethren and followers were killed and their souls were borne to the joys of paradise.

    We found the city of Antioch very  extensive, fortified with  incredible strength  and almost impregnable. In addition, more than 5,000 bold Turkish soldiers had entered the city, not counting the Saracens, Publicans, Arabs, Tulitans, Syrians, Armenians and other different  races  of  whom  an  infinite  multitude  had  gathered  together  there.  In  fighting against these enemies of God and of our own we have, by God's grace, endured many sufferings  and  innumerable  evils  up  to  the  present  time.  Many  also  have  already exhausted all their resources in this very holy passion. Very many of our Franks, indeed, would have met a temporal death from starvation, if the clemency of God and our money had not saved them. Before the above-mentioned city of Antioch indeed, throughout the whole winter we suffered for our Lord Christ from excessive cold and enormous torrents of rain. What some say about the impossibility of bearing the heat of the sun throughout Syria is untrue, for the winter there is very similar to our winter in the west.

    When  truly  Caspian  [Bagi  Seian],  the  emir  of  Antioch-that  is,  prince  and  lord-perceived that he was hard pressed by us, he sent his son Sensodolo [Chems Eddaulah] by  name,  to  the  prince  who  holds  Jerusalem,  and  to  the  prince  of  Calep,  Rodoam [Rodoanus], and to Docap [Deccacus Iba Toutousch], prince of Damascus. He also sent into Arabia to Bolianuth and to Carathania to Hamelnuth. These five emirs with 12,000 picked Turkish horsemen suddenly came to aid the inhabitants of Antioch. We, indeed, ignorant of all this, had sent many of our soldiers away to the cities and fortresses. For there are one hundred and sixty-five cities and fortresses throughout Syria which are in our power. But a little before they reached the city, we attacked them at three leagues' distance  with  700  soldiers,  on  a  certain  plain  near  the  "Iron  Bridge."  God,  however, fought for us, His faithful, against them. For on that (lay, fighting in the strength that God gives, we conquered them and killed an innumerable multitude--God continually fighting for us-and we also carried back to the army more than two hundred of their heads, in order that the people might rejoice on that account. The emperor of Babylon also sent Saracen messengers to our army with letters and through these he established peace and concord with us.

    I love to tell you, dearest, what happened to us during Lent. Our princes had caused a fortress to he built before a certain gate which was between our camp and the sea. For the Turks daily issuing from this gate, killed some of our men on their way to the sea. The city of Antioch is about five leagues' distance from the Sea. For this reason they sent the excellent  Bohemond  and  Raymond,  count  of  St.  Gilles,  to  the  sea  with  only  sixty horsemen, in order that they might bring mariners to aid in this work. When, however, they were returning to us with those mariners, the Turks collected an army, fell suddenly upon our two leaders and forced them to a perilous In that unexpected flight we lost more than 500 of our foot-soldiers--to the glory of God. Of our horsemen, however, we lost only two, for certain.

    On that same day truly, in order to receive our brethren with joy, and ignorant of their misfortunes,  we  went  out  to  meet  them.  When,  however,  we  approached  the  above-mentioned gate of the city, a mob of horsemen and foot-soldiers from Antioch, elated by the victory which they had won, rushed upon us in the same manner. Seeing these, our leaders sent to the camp of the Christians to order all to be ready to follow us into battle. In the meantime our men gathered together and the scattered leaders, namely, Bohemond and  Raymond,  with  the  remainder  of  their  army  came  up  and  narrated  the  great misfortune which they had suffered.

    Our men, full of fury at these most evil tidings, prepared to die for Christ and, deeply grieved for their brethren, rushed upon the sacrilegious Turks. They, enemies of God and of us, hastily fled before us and attempted to enter their city. But by God's grace the affair turned out very differently: for, when they wanted to cross a bridge built over the great river Moscholum, we followed them closely as possible, killed many before they reached the bridge, forced many into the river, all of whom were killed, and we also slew many upon the bridge and very many at the narrow entrance the gate. I am telling you the truth, my beloved, and you may be very certain that in this battle we killed thirty emirs, that is princes, and three hundred other Turkish nobles, not counting the remaining Turks and pagans. Indeed, the number of Turks and Saracens killed is reckoned at 1,230, but of ours we did not lose a single man.

    While on the following day (Easter) my chaplain Alexander was writing this letter in great haste, a party of our men lying in wait for the Turks, fought a successful battle with them and killed sixty horse-men, whose heads they brought to the army.

    These which I write to you, are only a few things, dearest, of the many which we have done, and because I am not able to tell you, dearest, what is in my mind, I charge you to do right, to carefully watch over your land, to do your duty as you ought to your children and your vassals. You will certainly see me just as soon as I possibly return to you.

Farewell. 

(Before Antioch, March 29, 1098)

Reference:

Munro, "Letters of the Crusader", Translations and Reprints from the  Original  Sources  of  European  History,  University  of  Pennsylvania History Department, 1898-1912, volume 1, number 4, 5-8.

Stephen of Blois (1045-1102)

    Stephen of Blois (1045-1102) or Stephen Henry, the eldest son  of Count Thibaut of Champagne by  his  first  wife,  was  born between  1045  and  1048.  Sometime between 1080 and 1084 he married Adela, a daughter of William the  Conqueror,  who  was  herself born between  1067 and  1069. Why Stephen did not marry until so late in life is unknown but at the time of their marriage he must already have been in his mid to late thirties while Adela was probably still in her mid teens.? On the one hand,  it is  important to  appreciate that Adela had  been born after William had become King of England in 1066 and that she  was  thus  a king's  daughter,  a porphyrogenita,  not just the daughter of someone  who  later became a  king.  The difference was important. Adela was named for her maternal grandmother, Adela  of France,  daughter  of Robert  II  the  Pious  (996-1031), thus  emphasising  her royal  descent on  both  sides.  For Stephen the marriage was extremely advantageous both for him personally and for his house of Champagne, Blois, Chartres in its internecine struggles with the Capetian royal house and the Counts of Anjou. Their children might hope to wear a crown, as indeed their second son, Stephen, eventually would. On the other hand, although Adela was  the  daughter  of a  king,  her  lineage  could  not  compare  in antiquity to that of Stephen. He could trace his back to Herbert II of Vermandois,  who  had  married  Adela,  a  daughter  of King Robert  I  of France,  and  who  was  himself  directly  descended from  Charlemagne,  even  if by  an  illegitimate  line.  Moreover, Stephen's  house  of Champagne  was  the  most  powerful  noble family  in  Northern France. William the Bastard would not have been unhappy with this marriage.

    Stephen succeeded to his father's counties of Chartres, Blois, Meaux, and Chateaudun in 1089 and as such he became one of the most important barons of the Kingdom of France. According to  Guibert  of Nogent,  he  had  extensive  lands  and  was  very powerful.

    Very little is known about his life before the Crusade, but he appears  to have been a  conventionally pious  man,  like most of the other leaders of the Crusade. Despite some dispute with bishop Ivo  of Chartres,  he  was  apparently  generous  to  the  Church; however,  this  was only normal for a man of his status.  (In  fact the reputations of various Crusader leaders for piety or lack of it in modern scholarship are quite misleading. Godfrey of Bouillon's reputation for  piety  was  a  creation of his  own legend.  Because he became the first ruler of the new Crusader state in Jerusalem, ipso facto a deep religiosity became attributed to him. But in fact the sources  which  we have for him before the Crusade show a man who was frequently in conflict with the Church, even fighting with Emperor Henry IV against Papal forces in Italy. Bohemond of Taranto, on the other hand, has acquired a reputation for lack of any religiosity, largely because he stayed in Antioch after its capture and became its first Prince rather than marching on with the other armies to Jerusalem. But the sources for his life before the  Crusade  show  a  man  who  was  unusually  generous  to  the Church, had close relations with Pope Urban II, and even attended several Church Reform Councils.)

     Stephen and his two fellow leaders marched south across the Alps  into  Italy, where  they  met the  Pope at  Lucca and had  an interview with him and received his blessing. They then went to Rome, where they prostrated themselves and prayed in the Basilica of St. Peter. Then, because it was already late in the year, Stephen and  Robert  of Normandy  wintered  with  Norman  friends  in Calabria.32  They  crossed  from  Brindisi  to  Durazzo  in  Albania at  Easter 1097,  and  then  followed  the  ancient  Via  Egnatia  to Constantinople.

References:

Pryor (J. H.):

"Stephen of Blois: Sensitive New-Age Crusader or Victim of History?", Arts: journal of the Sydney University Arts Association, (20) 1998, PP. 26-74.

Logistics of Warfare in the Age of the Crusades, Ashgate, 2006.

Murray (A. V.), The Crusades: an encyclopedia, CA : ABC-CLIO, 2006.


Asbridge (T.), The First Crusade: A New History,  Oxford University Press, 2004.

The leaders of the First Crusade (The First Crusaders)

    Thus the leaders of the First Crusade were not kings but rather major princes and territorial lords of the high nobility, related in various degrees to the royal  houses  of  Europe.  Some  of  them  controlled  very extensive lordships, like the count of Toulouse, whose possessions were greater than those of the French king. Some of them already had experience fighting  Muslims,  such  as  Raymond  of  Toulouse  in  Spain  and Bohemond in southern Italy. Whether they had fought Muslims or not, all were practiced in the arts of war. It appears that no military commander-in-chief  was  officially  designated.  Indeed,  this  would  hardly have been possible, considering the heterogeneous affiliations of several armies, bound together in highly diverse ways by feudal hierarchies and including also some completely independent nobles. The most that can be said is that the count of Toulouse enjoyed a higher degree of authority, based on his particularly close relations with Urban II. A sign of this prestige is that Raymond appears to have been informed about plans for the crusade at a private meeting with the pope before the Council of Clermont. The selection of the campaign’s spiritual leader is also a sign of  Raymond’s  importance.  The  choice  fell  on  Adhémar  of  Monteil, bishop of Le Puy, which lay within the count of Toulouse’s domains. However,  Raymond  was  culturally  and  linguistically  different  from many  other  crusade  leaders,  who  appear  in  the  sources  as  franci  (in contrast  to  Raymond’s  western  and  southern  French  provinciales). Raymond’s  Provençal  roots  may  have  had  the  long-term  effect  of isolating him from the other princes.

    In the months before their departure, the crusaders took legal and financial  steps  to  place  the  expedition  on  a  secure  footing.  Questions  of inheritance  had  to  be  resolved,  possessions  sold,  goods  mortgaged. Many private documents still survive that shed light on these transactions  and  the  important  role  that  ecclesiastical  institutions  played  in them.  A  great  many  monasteries  and  churches  made  the  money “flow”—sometimes  in  the  most  literal  sense  of  the  word  by  melting down valuable reliquaries—to purchase goods and finance travel. In this preparation or planning phase of the crusade, a multitude of problems arose  at  the  individual  as  well  as  the  collective  level,  especially  with logistics. Later crusaders would have to confront the same issues.

References:

Riley-Smith (J.), The First Crusaders, 1095-1131, Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Asbridge (T.), The First Crusade: A New History,  Oxford University Press, 2004.

Jaspert (N.), "The crusades in the Near East", in The Crusades, ed. by Nikolas Jaspert, New York, 2006.

Robert of Flanders (1065-1111)

    Robert of Flanders or Robert count Flanders (1093–1111) and one of the leaders of the First Crusade (1096–1099).

    Robert was born in the third quarter of the eleventh century, the eldest son of Robert I the Frisian, count of Flanders, and Gertrude of Holland. In 1087 he was entrusted with the government of Flanders when his father undertook a pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Land.  Around  that  time  he  married Clementia, daughter of Count William I of Burgundy, and in 1093 he succeeded his father as count of Flanders.

References:

James (M. L.), The age of the crusades, New York, 1914.

Archer (T. A.) and Others, The Crusades; The story of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, New York, 1902.

Sources of the First Crusade

    We have excellent sources of First Crusade or the successful expedition of 1096–1099. There are a number  of  crusade  chronicles,  some  composed  by  actual  participants  in  the expedition.  Among  these  eyewitnesses  was  an  anonymous  writer,  probably  a Norman cleric from southern Italy. His "Gesta Francorum" (Deeds of the Franks), in (1100/1101), strongly partial to the Norman prince Bohemond (1050/1058–1111), was widely employed as a source by other authors. Among the “crusader chroniclers” was also a chaplain named Raymond of Aguilers, who sometime between 1099 and 1105 composed a "Historia francorum qui ceperunt Hierusalem" (History of the Franks who conquered Jerusalem) completely from the perspective of Provence. The already-familiar Fulcher of Chartres should also be mentioned in this context.

    These  one-sided  eyewitness  reports  can  be  supplemented  with  the  works  of authors who did not actually take part in the expedition, but rather compiled their own impressions from written and oral sources. We have already encountered two of these, Robert of Rheims and Baldric of Dol. Other important sources of this sort are Guibert of Nogent (d. 1124) source "Dei gesta per francos", completed in (1109), and the work of the educated Norman knight Radulfus (Raoul) of Caen, who was in the service of the Norman prince Tancred and honored his lord in the "Gesta Tancredi" of 1112. Scholars for a long time unjustly discounted the six-book crusade chronicle of Albert, probably a cleric from Aachen. Albert of Aachen’s anecdote-filled  account  is  the  only  one  composed  without  reliance  on  the anonymous Gesta Francorum and gives a perspective significantly different from that of the French chroniclers. He writes favorably of Godfrey of Bouillon, within whose duchy Aachen lay, and Albert’s informants for the most part were members of Godfrey’s force. Besides these various texts we have about twenty letters written by participants in the crusade. These are outstanding sources that report first-hand on the crusaders’ troubles, wishes, and state of mind. And finally, the crusaders produced many documents before their departure. By using all these complementary and sometimes contradictory sources it is possible to create a picture of the crusade waves of 1096 to 1101.

References:

Krey (C.), The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, Princeton, 1921.

Peters (E.), The First Crusade "The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres" and Other Source Materials, University of Pennsylvania Press
, 1998.