Crusades and Crusaders Has Moved!

I should have posted this notice one month ago, but for those of you who are visiting this blog, wondering when I will post another article: I won’t. Although Crusades and Crusaders remains on a WordPress platform, it is no longer here. You can now fnd it at www.crusadesandcrusaders.com. There, you will find the same articles and more. I’ve just posted an article on the Battle of Dorylaeum today.

I hope to see you over at the new Crusades and Crusaders!

Cheers

Deanna

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Crusades and Crusaders has moved!

Please find us at our new home at crusadesandcrusaders.com. We look forward to your visit!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Crusades and Crusaders is Moving!

Just to put your mind at ease, Crusades and Crusaders is not moving to an entirely different platform. It will still be hosted on a WordPress platform and it should look the same as it does now, but instead of crusadesandcrusaders.wordpress.com, it will now be crusadesandcrusaders.com.

The move should be complete within the next two weeks. I will be sure to keep you all posted when the move is complete.

I look forward to seeing you on the flip side.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Prominent Figures of the First Crusade

While Peter the Hermit and his followers plundered and pillaged their way through Europe in the first half of the year 1096, the great lords of Europe were taking the extra time to prepare for the expedition. Not only did they have to finance their own way, these lords–who would, in the Holy Land, assume control over the crusade–had to assemble an army. They also had to make sure their army was well equipped and supplied.

crusaders1.jpg

Who were these great lords of Western Europe?

Robert II of Normandy

Robert II of Normandy–other known as Robert Curthose or Robert Courteheuse–played a key role in the First Crusade; he aided his comrades in the capture of Jerusalem.

In Europe, his life was complete chaos. Being the eldest son of William the Conqueror, Robert inherited the duchy of Normandy after his father’s death in 1087. Unlike his father, Robert was an incompetent leader: he wasn’t able to establish his authority in Normandy and he couldn’t subdue his vassals. In the early 1090s, Robert faced an even greater threat: his younger brother, King William II of England invaded Normandy and demanded Robert to hand two counties over to him. A peace was made between the two brothers in 1094, shortly before Robert took the Cross.

Stephen, Count of Blois

Born the eldest son of Theobald III, Count of Blois, and Garsinde du Maine, Stephen inherited his father’s vast estates in Blois and Chartres. In around 1080–nine years before his father passed on–Stephen married Adela of Normandy, the daughter of William the Conqueror.

During the First Crusade, Stephen wrote several letters to his wife–letters that would be translated and passed down throughout the ages, giving us a good insight into what really happened during the First Crusade.

Raymond of St. Gilles (Count of Toulouse)

Raymond of St. Gilles, Count of Toulouse, was the first noble who responded to Pope Urban’s call for Holy War. Rumor has it that Urban told Raymond about the idea of Holy War before he preached it in Clermont.

Raymond was also, by far, the wealthiest lord who lead the First Crusade. He brought with him military expertise, for it was reported that he fought alongside the Christians against the Muslims in Spain. Regardless, Raymond had the resources and the know-how to command an army because he commanded a standing army in the Provencal region of France. Many of his contemporaries regarded Raymond as a devout Catholic; his motives for joining the crusade were purely religious; Raymond was prepared to give up his wealth forever.

Bohemond of Taranto

Bohemond was the son of Robert Guiscard–other known as ‘Robert the Wily’. Bohemond, around the age of forty when he took the Cross, was already highly skilled in the art of warfare.

In the early 1080s, he fought alongside his father in the ill-fated Balkan campaign against the Byzantines. Upon Robert’s death in 1085, Bohemond’s younger brother, Roger took Robert’s estates for himself, leaving Bohemond with only the small fief in the duchy of Apulia. In response, Bohemond launched a military campaign against his brother; he managed to win back most of his father’s lands before he left for the Holy Land.

Bohemond’s motives for joining the crusade are undisputed: having garnished little wealth in Europe, compared to the likes of Raymond of Toulouse and Stephen of Blois, he was determined to obtain an eastern kingdom for himself.

Tancred of Hauteville

Tancred of Hauteville was only age twenty-four when he took the Cross in 1096, and poor. Bohemond, who was Tancred’s uncle, financed Tancred’s expedition. Because Tancred was related to Bohemond and because of his prowess in battle and capability of commanding an army, he would play a significant role in the First Crusade.

Godfrey of Bouillon

Godfrey of Bouillon, son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and Ida, daughter of Godfrey III, the Duke of Lorraine, was supposed to inherit the Duchy of Lorraine from his uncle, Godfrey III. However, the German Emperor, Henry IV, took the Duchy for himself, leaving Godfrey with little wealth. For that reason, Godfrey had to sell his estates of Rosay and Stenay in order to finance his own army.

Godfrey was a pious man: his motives for joining the Crusade were, for the most part, purely religious.

Baldwin of Boulogne

Baldwin of Boulogne was the younger brother of Godfrey. For that reason, Baldwin was not in line to inherit his family’s estates. They had intended for him to spend the rest of his life as a cleric, dedicated to the Church. Baldwin, though, was unfit for such a pious lifestyle and it’s likely he didn’t even want it. So, he chose instead to live the life of a layman.

Baldwin was a man who lusted after land and riches; quite unlike his brother Godfrey, who wanted only to serve God. He found no prospects of wealth in being a layman, so when Baldwin joined the crusade, he took his wife and children with him to the Near East.

Categories: Crusader Princes, The First Crusade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peter the Hermit’s Crusade Meets its Fate

Once they set foot on the other side of the Boshporus, the motley crew marched with Peter the Hermit south to Nicomedia, an abandoned Byzantine camp, plundering and pillaging every village in their path. Greater trouble broke out once the rabble-rousing crusaders reached Nicomedia. This time, conflict broke out between the Germans, Italians and the French. Peter lost a significant amount of control over his followers after the Italians and Germans broke away from his command and elected the Italian lord, Rainald, as their leader in his place. Then, the French troops elected Geoffrey Burel as their commander.

The French departed from the main army and marched westward along the Gulf of Nicomedia until they came to Civetot, a fortified camp placed strategically on fertile land near the Gulf of Nicomedia. They were supposed to wait there for the rest of the army and for supplies from Constantinople, but they were impatient. They marched into Turkish territory, pillaging and killing Greek Christians in the worst ways imaginable. “They dismembered some of the babies; others they put on spits and roasted over a fire; those of advanced years, they subjected to every form of torture,” Anna Comnena wrote about forty years after she encountered the crusaders.

The French grew wealthy off their booty, which aroused great jealously amongst the Germans and Italians. Sometime at the end of September, Rainald led a force of about six thousand men–including some priests and bishops–deeper into the heart of Turkish held territory. These men had well perfected the art of plunder and pillage, but they failed to read their enemy; the Turks.

Rainald and his force took the castle of Xerigordon, a castle that was well stalked with provisions and located high on a hill, directly above a small stream. From there, they planned on how they were going to raid the surrounding countryside.

News of the crusaders’ brutal exploitation reached the Seljuk Sultan, Klij Arslan, probably from a Turkish spy who witnessed their acts of pillage and murder from a safe distance. Kilij Arslan immediately sent an army to take back the castle of Xerigordon. His troops quickly surrounded the castle, blocking off water supplies and entrapping the crusaders.

“Soon the besieged grew desperate from thirst. They tried to suck moisture from the earth; they cut the veins of their horses and donkeys to drink their blood; they even drank each other’s urine,” Steven Runciman wrote.

After eight days of agonizing suffering and realizing he could not defeat this Turkish army, Rainald surrendered. Many of his men were slaughtered and those who were spared were taken into captivity, including Rainald himself. After his swift defeat, “he (Kilij Arslan) instructed two energetic men to go to Peter’s camp and announce that the forces had captured Nicaea and were dividing up the spoil from the city,” Anna Comnena wrote.

Upon hearing this news, Peter’s followers prepared at once to march on Nicaea. They were so determined to have their share in the booty that they forgot all matters of discipline and training. As they underwent preparations for the march, Peter hastened back to Constantinople and appealed to Alexius for more help. Peter also hoped that Alexius would somehow restore his control over his followers, but it was too late for that.

Walter Sans Avoir, one of the few knights who remained tightly loyal to Peter, advised the troops to wait for Peter’s arrival, but they ignored him. At the end of October 1096, the entire crusading army marched out of Civetot, leaving behind the elderly, women and children.

The Turks were a foe to be greatly admired and respected; they were fearless, valiant and lions in battle. The Turks were probably most renowned for their skill as bowmen; they used light, composite bows, designed to release arrows at amazing speeds. They shot arrows from foot, but also while riding on top their horses. Their armor, unlike that of the Europeans, was made of a lighter material, yet protective, giving them the ability to move swiftly. That’s likely one reason why the Turks were able to fire their arrows while charging the enemy on horseback.

The Turks also used hills and woodlands to their advantage; they hid and waited ever so silently until the enemy was within their midst and then…

The road between Civetot and Nicaea ran through a narrow, thickly wooded valley. On Kilij Arslan’s instructions, the Turkish army hid in those woods and waited.

The crusaders, thinking that the Turkish army had been roundly defeated at Nicaea, marched on, not suspecting anything until, out of nowhere, a hail of arrows whished through the air and fell upon them, wounding and killing knights and horses. The Turks emerged from their hiding spots and descended upon the crusaders. The knights fought hard and bravely, but a great many of them were slaughtered. Those who did survive fled back to Civetot, but they were hotly pursued by the Turks. When the non combatants saw their knights racing into camp, their eyes ablaze with terror, they attempted escape, but were massacred mercilessly. Young children–only those who the Turks considered as physically appealing–were taken as slaves. The few people who managed to escape the wrath of the Turks, fled back to Constantinople by way of sea and told Peter and the emperor of the horrid news.

No evidence had been recorded of Peter’s reaction to the demise of his followers, his Crusade. However, one thing was for sure: the massacre at Civetot marked a tragic end to the People’s Crusade.

                                                 ****

Did Peter’s followers deserve to meet such a cruel fate? Given all the trouble they caused on their journey to Constantinople; all the food, money and pack animals they stole from benevolent townspeople; all of the innocent people–men, women and children–they ruthlessly murdered, yes, Peter’s followers deserved what came to them. Moreover, the atrocities they committed caused several Europeans to question the validity of the decree, “God wills it,” that was made by their Pope in Clermont. Yet, crusading enthusiasm throughout Western Europe was so strong  that nothing quenched it.

Sources Used:

Carey, Brian T., Joshua B. Allfree and John Cairns. Road to Manzikert: Byzantine and Islamic Warfare 527-1071. Barnsley, South Yorkshire; Pen & Sword, 2012.

Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades: The First Crusade. Vol.1. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 1951.

Various contributors. Chronicles of the Crusades: Eye-Witness Accounts of The Wars Between Christianity and Islam. Bramley Books; Portugal, 1997.

Categories: The First Crusade, The People's Crusade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Arrival of Peter the Hermit in Constantinople

lal301285

Peter the Hermit riding on his donkey; followed by a great many peasants, knights and laymen, women and children included.

While a contingent of pilgrims under the command of Emich and Gottschalk ravaged the Jewish communities in the Rhineland, Peter the Hermit and his followers stirred up great trouble in Nish.

Nicetas, the Bulgarian prince, received them well and so had the locals. Nicetas opened the markets to the crusaders, trusting that they would purchase everything they needed, then move on. Sadly that was not the case. As the crusaders set out east, few of the German knights in the rearguard set fire to seven of the mills situated along the river after having quarreled with a townsman.

The moment Nicetas learnt of this horrible deed, he sent his army after the crusaders. The Bulgarian troops attacked the rearguard of Peter’s army while Peter the Hermit journeyed on about a mile ahead. He didn’t know what was happening until one of his followers–probably one of his knights–raced up to him and alerted him of the attack. Peter turned his donkey around at once and headed back to Nish where he attempted negotiation with Nicetas. Whether Peter begged for mercy or aggravated Nicetas, we will never know. Regardless, Nicetas was so enraged by what Peter’s men had done that he attacked them anyway. In the event of the skirmish, thousands of crusaders were massacred; most of their supplies were plundered by the Bulgarians, including Peter’s treasure chest, full of silver and gold. Many crusaders who did survive were captured and held in captivity for the rest of their lives. A few lucky thousand escaped and hid in the mountains, including Rainald of Breis, Walter of Breteuil and Peter himself.

Once Nicetas returned with his army back to Nish, Peter the Hermit and what remained of his following, continued on their journey. The fugitives who had survived Nicetas’s wrath emerged from their hiding places and rejoined Peter until his following totaled 7,000.

When they reached Sofia in July, they met with the envoys that had been sent from Constantinople–the ones Nicetas had requested to accompany the crusaders. From there, the pilgrims’ journey went much smoother and more peaceful: their Byzantine escorts treated them kindly and the locals in Philippopolis gave them money, food, horses and mules.

Once they reached Constantinople, the Emperor Alexius invited Peter to court, but made sure the rest of the crusading army was camped outside the walls of the great city. He gave Peter gifts and advised him to stay in Constantinople and wait for the main crusading armies to arrive. In the meantime, few of the pilgrims camped outside the walls, set fire to some buildings and pillaged food and other supplies from the locals. Some pilgrims even stripped lead from church buildings.

Soon enough, news of the trouble those rabble rousing pilgrims caused found its way into the  imperial court. Annoyed and worried that this disorder will escalate, Alexius had the pilgrims ferried across the Bosporus river in early August, nearly one month after they arrived in Constantinople. Against the advice of Alexius, Peter joined his followers.

Sources Used:

Archer, T.A. and Charles L. Kingsford. The Crusades: The Story of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. New York; G.P.  Putnam’s Sons, 1900.

Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades: The First Crusade. Vol.1. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 1951.

Categories: Peter the Hermit, The First Crusade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Demise of the Rhineland Jews

The Jews of the Rhineland greatly feared that the crusading movement would lead to their demise, so they sought protection against persecution. They wrote to the German Emperor, Henry IV, imploring him to forbid all his Christian subjects to pillage their colonies, murder their people and destroy their homes and synagogues. The Jews of Mainz and Cologne offered Godfrey of Bouillon a handsome sum of five hundred pieces of silver just so he could ensure their protection.

Both Godfrey and Henry IV did their best to uphold their promise to the Jews, but they were unable to stop Peter the Hermit’s brutal and unruly followers from hurting them. Peter’s German followers, under the leadership of the petty lords, Emich of Lusingen and Gottschalk, gathered an army of well equipped knights and pilgrims. Their first target was Cologne, the very city where Peter preached. “They suddenly attacked a small band of Jews; they decapitated many and inflicted serious wounds; they destroyed their homes and synagogues and divided a very great sum of looted money amongst themselves,” the twelfth century chronicler, Albert of Aechen wrote sometime after 1100.

Emich and his army then marched onto Worms; they slaughtered several hundred Jews despite the bishop’s attempts to stop them. After completing his dirty deed in Worms, Emich decided to march onto Mainz.

Upon hearing about the plight of their brethren, the Jews of Mainz fled to the Archbishop Rothard’s palace and sought protection. Tried as the archbishop did, he could not stop Emich. The Jews even knew of their impending fate, but they attempted to fight the crusaders. However, they were quickly overwhelmed. To make matters worse, the bishop and his men abandoned them in favor of their own safety.

Emich and his men set fire to the bishop’s palace and slaughtered Jews mercilessly, sparing no man, woman and child, except perhaps those who decided to renounce their faith. Those who were spared killed themselves to avoid any potential suffering. “The women slaughtered their sons and daughters, then themselves. Many of the men too, slaughtered their wives, their sons and children,” the Jewish chronicler, Saloman bar Simson wrote. “One man burnt down the synagogue to keep it from further desecration, then killed himself and his family.”

About 1,000 Jews were slaughtered in the Mainz massacre, enough for the merciless Emich to consider his work in the Rhineland done. He set out east for the Holy Land, but a large part of his army broke off and headed into the Moselle Valley where they ravaged more Jewish colonies.

Only a small contingent of Emich’s army made it to the Holy Land; they joined forces with Godfrey of Bouillon’s army. Many others returned home or met their fate in a pitched battle against the Hungarian army that failed miserably.

Sources Used:

Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades: The First Crusade. Vol.1. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 1951.

Various contributors. Chronicles of the Crusades: Eye-Witness Accounts of The Wars Between Christianity and Islam. Bramley Books; Portugal, 1997.

Categories: Crusade Against the Jews, The First Crusade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Master Traders Thrown Into the Depths of Despair: The European Jews at the Start of the First Crusade

The Jews in the late eleventh century were never good warriors because they never immersed themselves, nor their sons, in the art of warfare. They were master traders and financial gurus, eager to work with the Christians on peaceful terms. Yet, in the months following Pope Urban’s sermon at Clermont, they were brutally massacred in the worst way imaginable by overzealous crusaders.

Colonies of Jews had existed in Europe, all situated along trade routes, since the time of the Roman Empire. Sometime in the early Middle Ages, large groups of Jews migrated west and settled in several regions in Europe. Somehow they managed to maintain relations with their brethren in Byzantine and Arab held lands in the east. Probably for that reason alone, the western Jews had access to trade relations with the east. They also established one practice that the Pope had forbidden his Christian flock to engage in: money lending.

The Jews, although successful in business and wealthy, were in a peculiar situation: they had no legal or civic rights. Yet, kings and bishops befriended and protected them because they knew the Jews were the only race of people who kept Europe’s economy afloat. Kings and bishops borrowed money from the Jews whenever they needed it, despite the Pope’s advice against such a practice. The Jews, in turn, worked with the Christians. However, they were not popular amongst the commoners.

Throughout the course of the eleventh century, a cash economy replaced the older one of services. For that reason the poorer classes, including landless knights, had to rely on the Jews for money.

The Crusade (then termed armed pilgrimage) was an extremely expensive venture. A knight had to properly equip himself for such a lengthy expedition. The cost of armor and war horse combined cost more than what a knight earned in two years. He could rely on his lord or wealthy uncle–such was the case with Tancred de Hauteville–to finance his pilgrimage, and many knights did have all expenses paid by their lords. However, it’s quite likely that not all men-at-arms had that luxury. Those who were on their own had to rely on the goodwill of the Jews which they genuinely did not want to do.

As crusading enthusiasm swept throughout Europe in the late eleventh century, resentment towards the Jews intensified, particularly amongst Peter the Hermit’s poor and crazed followers. Those nutty crusaders viewed the race of Jews as an infidel worse than the Muslims. In their eyes, Muslims were persecuting Jews, but the Jews had crucified Christ. They needed to be purged from Christendom. For that reason alone, Peter’s crusaders thought it wrong to rely on the Jews for money. The Jews needed to be dealt with just as much as the Muslims, and few of Peter’s German followers decided to wage a most violent war against the Jews before they departed Europe for the Holy Land.

Sources Used:

Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades: The First Crusade. Vol.1. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 1951.

Categories: Crusade Against the Jews, The First Crusade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Wills It! God Wills It Not!

Adele heard the sound of a trumpet from across the camp. Confused and frightened, she squinted her eyes so that she could better see and understand why they would attack the Hungarian people–fellow Christians–within those walls. But all Adele could see atop of the great stone walls were clothes and arms.

“These barbarians have stripped Sir Walter’s men naked! They must be punished,” one man yelled.

“Peter wills it! God had told him to avenge our brethren,” another man shouted.

“God wills it! God wills it,” people all around her screamed. Those words, which at one time filled Adele with hope and anticipation for an exciting new adventure and a heavenly reward, now sent icy shivers up and down her spine. Her heart pounded so hard against her chest, it hurt.

Adele pushed her way through the throngs of people, calling out her sisters’ names. She glanced around feverishly, but she didn’t see them anywhere. Several pilgrims shot her wary looks, but she ignored them. Adele had to get out of here. Now. But first, she had to find her little sisters. They were all she had left and she couldn’t bear the thought of living life without them.

Finally, after what felt like several agonizing minutes of searching, Adele heard a tiny voice, above the frantic chatter, call out her name.

“Josie,” Adele screamed while running in the direction of the small child’s voice. She instantly caught sight of her young sister racing towards her. Her thick blond curls, normally always pleated, now flowed in an untidy fashion down her back and in front of her little face. Josie was followed by Elle and…Simon.

Josie jumped into Adele’s arms and burst into tears, making Adele forget momentarily about Simon.

“I am afraid, Adele,” she sobbed.

Tears pricked Adele’s own eyes. She was terrified herself; afraid of the sword, of hunger (not that she hadn’t suffered from that enough already) of illness and outlaws. But she was most afraid of Peter. He was not the great Christian man who had prayed over her dying mother; who gave everything he owned to the needy and promised protection and eternal salvation. Adele now saw that Peter was a heartless tyrant, bent on the destruction of anyone who supposedly jeopardized his journey to the Holy Land. The Hungarians had stripped several men naked. It was most certainly an awful, humiliating way to treat pilgrims. But that did not justify war. Adele refused to believe that God had sanctioned war against the Hungarians. To make matters worse, Adele realized that if anyone–especially Peter–knew her thoughts, they would denounce her as an infidel and perhaps even slay her. That very thought made her blood run cold.

Adele tightened her grip on Josie. “I am too. We must get out of here.”

Elle scrunched up her face. “Where will we go? We cannot return home. It is…”

“I know,” Adele said. She then turned to face Simon. As happy as she was to see him again, she didn’t understand why he had chose her over his own family. “Why are you not with your family?”

“Because,” he said, draping his arm over her shoulders. “I couldn’t leave you. I just couldn’t.”

He learned so close, Adele could feel his breath on her ears. It stank, but she didn’t care. Despite the fact she didn’t know Simon well, she really liked him.

“I love you, Adele. I have loved you the moment I laid eyes on you. And,” he lowered his voice. “I’m also not like them.”

Tears streamed down her face. The last person who spoke those words to her was her mother.

Simon tightened his grip on her shoulder. “We must leave before it is too late,” he whispered into her ear.

Categories: Peter the Hermit, The First Crusade, Vignette | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Massacre in Semlin

Peter the Hermit departed Cologne with his following on around 20 April. He had a much larger following than Walter’s and it grew bigger as he passed through villages that lay along the Danube River. By the time Peter arrived in Oedenburg, the gateway into Hungary, his force numbered more than 20,000 pilgrims. King Coloman must have forgiven the first wave of crusaders for the trouble they caused in Semlin, or else news of their attempted theft did not reach him. He granted Peter and his followers food, other supplies and safe passage through his kingdom on condition they would not pillage and commit murder.

All went well until they entered Semlin. Steven Runciman credited Peter the Hermit as being a genuinely pious and
humble man; he sought to build friendly relations with the kings and bishops of Europe because he wanted safe passage for himself and his followers. He did not, according to Runciman, wish his followers to pillage and murder their way through the various villages.

In Semlin, a dispute over the sale of a pair of shoes escalated into a pitched battle in which Geoffrey Burel, a knight, led an attack on the town, killing four thousand Hungarians.

Albert, a chronicler of the First Crusade, painted a much different picture of the events that transpired in Hungary. Word of what the Hungarians had done to several of Walter’s men, reached Peter at Oedenburg, but Peter refused to believe that fellow Christians would do such a thing to their own men until he “saw hanging from the walls the arms and spoils of the sixteen companions of Walter who had stayed behind a short time before, and whom the Hungarians had treacherously presumed to rob.” At the site of their clothes and arms, Peter “urged his companions to avenge their wrongs.”

They raised their banners high and attacked the Hungarians, letting loose a hail of arrows from their bows. The Hungarians, completely caught off guard and unprepared for battle, gathered their strongest knights, who numbered about seven thousand. But they were quickly overwhelmed by Peter’s far more numerical force. Four thousand Hungarians were massacred in that pitched battle, while, Albert wrote, only one hundred pilgrims perished.

After their quick victory, Peter and his followers remained in the city for a few days where they gathered enough grain, sheep, cattle, horses and wine to feed and supply the entire army. But then Peter learnt that King Soloman was marching on Semlin with an army to avenge his slain people. Taking all their newly acquired supplies, Peter hastened with his followers to the Save River, but they found very few boats to carry them safely across the river. On the other side, Nicetas ordered his Pecheneg mercenaries to restrict the crusaders’ crossing to one area. Desperate to get away from the Hungarian king’s army, the crusaders repelled the Pecheneg mercenaries; they sank the boats that carried Pechenegs and slay those who had not drown. Very few of Nicetas’ mercenaries escaped the wrath of Peter and his pilgrims.

Furious and unstoppable, the crusaders descended upon Belgrade, a prosperous city in Bulgaria. There, they found the city abandoned. The townspeople, after undoubtedly hearing about the brutal massacre in Semlin, fled the city. They were wise to do that, for many–if not most–of them would have been slaughtered. Peter and his followers pillaged the city and then razed it to the ground.

Sources Used:

Krey, August C. The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eye-Witnesss and Participants. Princeton; Princeton University Press, 1921

Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades: The First Crusade. Vol.1. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 1951


			
Categories: Peter the Hermit, The First Crusade, The People's Crusade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: