FIRST CRUSADE Jacob Newton

The First Crusade - which was directed by Pope Paul Urban II

BATTLE NEWS: SIEGE OF ANTIOCH MORE THAN WHAT THE CRUSADERS BARGAINED FOR. As the four armies of the Crusade had merged in Constantinople there was hope that Alexius could unite the leaders and their troops and recognize him as the authority of any lands that got conquered but due to political infighting relations between the Crusaders and its Byzantinian leaders has hit an all time low. On October 21st, 1097 the army of the Crusaders arrived outside the city walls of Antioch after they crossed over the Iron Bridge. They were prepared for a quick siege of the city but the surrounding landscape and the walls protecting the city rebuffed attack after attack. In talking to some of the troops on the front line, Stephen of Blois said "I do not believe that God has intended for us to win this battle" and he took his volunteer services back to Western Europe. The leaders of Antioch had known of our armies pending arrival and determined the best way to succeed was to store enough subsistence in the form of food, water, wood, etc to ride out the the Crusader troops. The winter months had proven to be harsh for our army as many men have died from starvation, the numbers have dwindled due to desertion. Most notably Peter the Hermit the leader of the peasant and commoner forces of the Crusade was caught trying to flee and were forced to stand before Boheond where he stated: "Why did you so vilely flee? Was it, perchance, for the reason that you wished to betray these knights and the host of Christ?" In the first two weeks of the siege we had stripped the land of the requirements to sustain life and it forced the army to scour the remote countryside. This left our troops open to assaults from the armies within the walls of Antioch as raiding parties were a continuous harassment. unbeknownst to our commanders Muslim reinforcement armies under the command of Duqaq engaged and did tremendous damage to the Crusader armies which cost a tremendous loss of life and resulted in not having nearly enough supplies to lead a successful winter campaign. Success came with a changing of seasons as the warm spring allowed our armies to pick away at the main gates of the fortress of Antioch. The situation was indeed dire as news had arrived that a large Muslim army from Mosul which was larger that had been faced to date was on its way to Antioch to reinforce the city and repel the Crusaders. There was only one chance for survival and that was to take the city and use its defenses to stop the coming Muslim army. Perhaps it was God's will or petty revenge but Boheond made contact with Firouz whom was a former Christian that had converted to Islam and was a sentry at one of the gates of Antioch. According to sources close to the situation there was talk of an exchange of riches and title that swayed the Islam convert to betray his own people. A deal was made that would turn the tide of the siege by allowing the Crusaders access to the fortress while Firouz was on watch at one of the tower gates. Finally in the July time period under the scorching heat the Crusader armies finally had success in getting inside the city walls and killing any and all Muslims and unfortunate civilian Christians which chose to remain in the city. While the outer defenses had been breached and the population had been purified their remained a remaining challenge in that there was still an oncoming army and an armed citadel at the cities center was still under Muslim commanders. Fearing the oncoming army more desertion took place and even Alexius himself decided the city was a loss for the Crusader based on information from the deserters he encountered. Needless to say reinforcements were not on the way and the heroics of Boheond and he was able to inflict large loss of life to the Muslim army and negotiate a surrender of the citadel at the center of Antioch. It was a great win for the Crusader army. -- By Crusader Reporter Sir Christopher the Bald

Artist depiction of taking of the Tower at Antioch

Artist rendition of a Crusader defeating a Muslim army horseman

Artist depiction of the Crusader army at the walls of Antioch

Deus Le Volt

CRUSADER BLOG: Twas but a fortnight that I was serving the noble of the the farm lands of Lyon. As I now risk my life to support his holiness Pope Urban II and the Kingdom of God I am often reminded of how I got to where I am today. My father was of noble lineage and I was a privileged youth however something was always amiss. I wanted adventure and the feeling that I was making a difference in the times to which I was living. In my teenage years I had asked my father if I could train to serve as a knight and fight for my king and the beliefs to which had been instilled as a part of my noble upbringing. My father granted my wishes and I was asked to serve under his lordship Count Eustace III of Boulogne. In my days I spent time providing security to his lordship while also dishing out divine justice to any peasant and apostate that would challenge the rule of the land. In my knighthood vow I swore to uphold the code of the realm and therefore I struck down without pity anyone deemed a threat. Unfortunately all of the cool medieval cans of whoop ass I was dealing out came to an abrupt halt as the Church declared the "Peace of God" and the "Truce of God" which was a mechanism for ensuring that we as knights could not beat field workers, women, children or any other defenseless souls that were protected under the cloak of Christianity. We were asked to not burn down villages, not to attack churches, and even if possible stop being violent and pillaging for fiefdom expansion on Sundays. What was I going to do? You know you can't exactly jump from being a knight where the world is your oyster to lets say doing bodyguard duty for a young sniveling lord that has the look of Sir Justin Beiber and has no similar values to your own.

First Crusade - The realm is calling, sign up today

Along came a great gift from God. In 1092 the the leader of the Turkish Empire died and Pope Urban the II decided that it was time to stop the Muslim Infidel expansion into the Christian Empire. The motivation of such a move was first and foremost a religious one. Christians living in the city of Jerusalem were under threat from Muslims and it was our duty to protect those living in the home of our lord in savior who died on the cross. I could easily also say we did everything in the name of the lord but I would not be honest. In reality it was a way for the many Christians in our lands to expand our foothold in Europe and the Middle East and get rid of anyone who stood in our way. If you were not a Christian may god have mercy on your soul as you would see the ways of God through our attacks on farmers, the looting of villages, and many other things. Our religious brand was to instill fear to those not under the banner of Christianity. Pope Urban names our effort the "Crusade". I feel blessed to be able to use my training for a higher calling. Today I find myself in a land far away near the city of Antioch in the southern regions of the Turkish Empire. In the summer months my chain mail armor is beginning to feel like I am carrying stones for building and the heat of this land is sweltering, this is a hellish place. The winter has set upon this land and we are starting to succumb to the lack of food and the elements.My quest is noble and I am hearing that dawn tomorrow we will make camp and we form a strategic plan in how we go about taking the city as it is surrounded by walls and could prove to be a difficult task. I pray thee that God allows me to live through this and I will update you all once I get through this battle. --Sir Galahad the Pure

  1. Asbridge, Thomas. "Siege of Antioch." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 07 Mar. 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.
  2. History.com Staff. "Crusades." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.
  3. MadeInTurkey. "History Of The Siege of Antioch." YouTube. YouTube, 21 June 2015. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

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