Siege of Jerusalem (1099)

Siege of Jerusalem (1099)

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{{Dablink|For other sieges laid upon the city of Jerusalem in history, see [[Siege of Jerusalem]].}} {{Campaignbox First Crusade}} {{Campaignbox Fatimid-Crusader War}} The '''Siege of Jerusalem''' took place from June 7 to July 15, 1099 during the [[First Crusade]]. The Crusaders stormed and captured the city from [[Fatimid]] [[Egypt]]. ==Background== After the successful [[siege of Antioch]] in June of 1098, the [[crusade]]rs remained in the area for the rest of the year. The [[papal legate]] [[Adhemar of Le Puy]] had died, and [[Bohemund I of Antioch|Bohemund of Taranto]] had claimed [[Antioch]] for himself. [[Baldwin I of Jerusalem|Baldwin of Boulogne]] remained in [[Edessa, Mesopotamia|Edessa]], captured earlier in 1098. There was dissent among the princes over what to do next; [[Raymond IV of Toulouse|Raymond of Toulouse]], frustrated, left Antioch to capture the fortress at [[Ma'arrat al-Numan]] in the [[Siege of Maarat]]. By the end of the year the minor knights and infantry were threatening to march to [[Jerusalem in Christianity|Jerusalem]] without them. ==The siege of Arqa== At the end of December or early in January, [[Robert Curthose|Robert of Normandy]] and Bohemond's nephew [[Tancred, Prince of Galilee|Tancred]] agreed to become vassals of Raymond, who was wealthy enough to compensate them for their service. [[Godfrey of Bouillon]], however, who now had revenue from his brother's territory in Edessa, refused to do the same. On January 5, Raymond dismantled the walls of Ma'arrat, and on January 13 began the march south, barefoot and dressed as a pilgrim, followed by Robert and Tancred. Proceeding down the coast of the [[Mediterranean]], they encountered little resistance, as local Muslim rulers preferred to make peace and give supplies rather than fight. The local [[Sunni]]s may have also preferred Crusader control to [[Shi'ite]] [[Fatimid]] rule.{{Citation needed|date=March 2009}} Raymond planned to take [[Tripoli, Lebanon|Tripoli]] for himself to set up a state equivalent to Bohemund's Antioch. First however, he besieged nearby [[Arqa]]. Meanwhile, Godfrey, along with [[Robert II of Flanders|Robert of Flanders]], who had also refused to become Raymond's vassal, joined together with the remaining crusaders at [[Latakia]] and marched south in February. Bohemond marched out with them but quickly returned to Antioch. At this time Tancred left Raymond's service and joined with Godfrey, due to some unknown quarrel. Another separate force, though linked to Godfrey's, was led by [[Gaston IV of Béarn]]. Godfrey, Robert, Tancred, and Gaston arrived at Arqa in March, but the siege continued. The situation was tense not only among the military leaders, but also among the clergy; since Adhemar's death there had been no real leader, and ever since the discovery of the [[Holy Lance]] by [[Peter Bartholomew]] in Antioch, there had been accusations of fraud among different clerical factions. Finally, in April, [[Arnulf of Chocques]] challenged Peter to an [[Trial by ordeal|ordeal by fire]]. Peter underwent the ordeal and died of his wounds, thus discrediting the holy lance as a fake and one of Raymonds holds on his ultimate authority over the Crusade. ===Arrival at the Holy City=== The [[siege]] of Arqa lasted until May 13 when the crusaders left having captured nothing. The Fatimids had attempted to make peace, on the condition that the crusaders not continue towards Jerusalem, but this was ignored; [[Iftikhar ad-Daula]], the Fatimid governor of Jerusalem, was aware of the Crusaders' intentions. Therefore, he expelled all of Jerusalem's Christian inhabitants. He also poisoned most of the wells in the area. On the 13th the Crusaders came to Tripoli where the ruler of the city gave them money and horses. According to the anonymous chronicle ''[[Gesta Francorum]]'', he also vowed to convert to Christianity if the crusaders succeeded in capturing Jerusalem from his Fatimid enemies. Continuing south along the coast, the crusaders passed [[Beirut]] on May 19, [[Tyre (Lebanon)|Tyre]] on May 23, and turning inland at [[Jaffa, Israel|Jaffa]], reached [[Ramlah]] on June 3, which had already been abandoned by its inhabitants. The bishopric of Ramlah-[[Lod|Lydda]] was established there at the church of [[St. George]] (a popular crusader hero) before they continued on to Jerusalem. On June 6, Godfrey sent Tancred and Gaston to capture [[Bethlehem]], where Tancred flew his banner from the [[Church of the Nativity]]. On June 7 the crusaders reached Jerusalem itself. Many cried upon seeing the city they had journeyed so long to reach. As with Antioch the crusaders put the city to a siege, in which the crusaders themselves probably suffered more than the citizens of the city, due to the lack of food and water around Jerusalem. The city was well-prepared for the siege, and the Fatimid governor [[Iftikhar ad-Daula]] had expelled most of the Christians. Of the estimated 5,000 knights who took part in the Princes' Crusade, only about 1,500 remained, along with another 12,000 healthy foot-soldiers (out of perhaps as many as 30,000). Godfrey, Robert of Flanders, and Robert of Normandy (who had now also left Raymond to join Godfrey) besieged the north walls as far south as the [[Tower of David]], while Raymond set up his camp on the western side, from the Tower of David to [[Mount Zion]]. A direct assault on the walls on June 13 was a failure. Without water or food, both men and animals were quickly dying of thirst and starvation and the crusaders knew time was not on their side. Coincidentally, soon after the first assault, 2 Genoese galleys sailed into the port at Jaffa, and the crusaders were able to re-supply themselves for a short time. The crusaders also began to gather wood from [[Samaria]] in order to build siege engines. They were still short on food and water, and by the end of June there was news that a Fatimid army was marching north from [[Egypt]]. ===The barefoot procession=== Faced with a seemingly impossible task, their spirits were raised when a priest by the name of [[Peter Desiderius]] claimed to have a divine vision in which the ghost of [[Adhemar of Le Puy|Adhemar]] instructed them to fast for three days and then march in a barefoot procession around the city walls, after which the city would fall in nine days, following the [[Bible|Biblical]] example of [[Joshua]] at the siege of [[Jericho]]. Although they were already starving, they fasted, and on July 8 they made the procession, with the clergy blowing trumpets and singing psalms, being mocked by the defenders of Jerusalem all the while. The procession stopped on the [[Mount of Olives]] and sermons were delivered by [[Peter the Hermit]], [[Arnulf of Chocques]], and [[Raymond of Aguilers]]. ===The final assault=== Throughout the siege, attacks were made on the walls, but each one was repulsed. The Genoese troops, led by commander [[Guglielmo Embriaco]], had previously dismantled the ships in which the Genoeses came to the [[Holy Land]]; [[Guglielmo Embriaco|Embriaco]], using the ship's wood, made some [[siege engine|siege towers]]. These were rolled up to the walls on the night of July 14 much to the surprise and concern of the garrison. On the morning of July 15, Godfrey's tower reached his section of the walls near the northeast corner gate, and according to the ''Gesta'' two Flemish knights from [[Tournai]] named Lethalde and Engelbert were the first to cross into the city, followed by Godfrey, his brother [[Eustace III of Boulogne|Eustace]], Tancred, and their men. Raymond's tower was at first stopped by a ditch, but as the other crusaders had already entered, the Muslim guarding the gate surrendered to Raymond. ===Muslims=== Many Muslims sought shelter in the [[Al-Aqsa Mosque]], the [[Dome of the Rock]], and the [[Temple Mount]] area generally. According to the [[Gesta Francorum]], speaking only of the Temple Mount area, "...[our men] were killing and slaying even to the Temple of Solomon, where the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles..." According to Raymond of Aguilers, also writing solely of the Temple Mount area, " in the Temple and porch of Solomon men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins." However, this imagery should not be taken literally; it was taken directly from biblical passage [[Wikisource:Bible (King James)/Revelation#Chapter 14|Apocalypse 14:20]]. Writing about the Temple Mount area alone [[Fulcher of Chartres]], who was not an eyewitness to the Jerusalem siege because he had stayed with [[Baldwin I of Jerusalem|Baldwin]] in Edessa at the time, says: "In this temple 10,000 were killed. Indeed, if you had been there you would have seen our feet coloured to our ankles with the blood of the slain. But what more shall I relate? None of them were left alive; neither women nor children were spared". The eyewitness [[Gesta Francorum]] states that some people were spared. Its anonymous author wrote, "When the pagans had been overcome, our men seized great numbers, both men and women, either killing them or keeping them captive, as they wished." Later the same source writes, "[Our leaders] also ordered all the [[Saracen]] dead to be cast outside because of the great stench, since the whole city was filled with their corpses; and so the living Saracens dragged the dead before the exits of the gates and arranged them in heaps, as if they were houses. No one ever saw or heard of such slaughter of pagan people, for funeral pyres were formed from them like pyramids, and no one knows their number except God alone. But Raymond caused the Emir and the others who were with him to be conducted to Ascalon, whole and unhurt." Another eyewitness source, Raymond of Aguilers, reports that some Muslims survived. After recounting the slaughter on the Temple Mount he reports of some who "took refuge in the Tower of David, and, petitioning Count Raymond for protection, surrendered the Tower into his hands." These Muslims left with the Fatimid governor for Ascalon. A version of this tradition is also known to the later Muslim historian [[Ibn al-Athir]] (10, 193–95), who recounts that after the city was taken and pillaged: "A band of Muslims barricaded themselves into the Oratory of David (Mihrab Dawud) and fought on for several days. They were granted their lives in return for surrendering. The Franks honoured their word, and the group left by night for Ascalon." One Cairo Geniza letter also refers to some Jewish residents who left with the Fatimid governor. Tancred claimed the [[Temple in Jerusalem|Temple quarter]] for himself and offered protection to some of the Muslims there, but he was unable to prevent their deaths at the hands of his fellow Crusaders. Although the Crusaders killed many of the Muslim and Jewish residents, eyewitness accounts (Gesta Francorum, Raymond of Aguilers, and the Cairo Geniza documents) demonstrate that some Muslim and Jewish residents were allowed to live, as long as they left Jerusalem. ===Jews=== The chronicle of [[Ibn al-Qalanisi]] states the Jewish defenders sought refuge in their synagogue, but the "Franks burned it over their heads", killing everyone inside. One account alleges that the Crusaders circled the flaming building while singing "Christ, We Adore Thee!, Thee are our light, our direction, our love"., however, this account is still questionable. But there is no question that there was some massacre of some Jerusalem Jews, for contemporary letters from the [[Cairo Geniza]] seeking aid for Jews who escaped Jerusalem at the time of the Crusader siege refers to such killings. However, the same letters also clearly reveal that there were some Jewish survivors as well. ===Eastern Christians=== Contrary to what is sometimes alleged, no eyewitness source refers to Crusaders killing Eastern Christians in Jerusalem, and early Eastern Christian sources (Matthew of Edessa, Anna Comnena, Michael the Syrian, etc.) make no such allegation about the Crusaders in Jerusalem. According to the Syriac Chronicle, all the Christians had already been expelled from Jerusalem before the Crusaders arrived. Presumably this would have been done by the Fatimid governor to prevent their possible collusion with the Crusaders.{{Citation needed|date=July 2009}} The [[Gesta Francorum]] claims that on Wednesday August 9, two and a half weeks after the siege, Peter the Hermit encouraged all the "Greek and Latin priests and clerics" to make a thanksgiving procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This indicates that some Eastern Christian clergy remained in or near Jerusalem during the siege. In November 1100, when [[Fulcher of Chartres]] personally accompanied Baldwin on a visit to Jerusalem, they were greeted by both Greek and Syrian clerics and laity (Book II, 3), indicating an Eastern Christian presence in the city a year later. ==Aftermath== Following the battle, [[Godfrey of Bouillon]] was made ''Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri'' (''Advocate of the [[Church of the Holy Sepulchre|Holy Sepulchre]]'') on July 22, refusing to be named king in the city where Christ had died, saying that he refused to wear a crown of gold in the city where Christ wore a crown of thorns. Raymond had refused any title at all, and Godfrey convinced him to give up the Tower of David as well. Raymond then went on a pilgrimage, and in his absence Arnulf of Chocques, whom Raymond had opposed due to his own support for Peter Bartholomew, was elected the first [[Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem|Latin Patriarch]] on August 1 (the claims of the [[Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem|Greek Patriarch]] were ignored). On August 5, Arnulf, after consulting the surviving inhabitants of the city, discovered the relic of the [[True Cross]]. On August 12, Godfrey led an army, with the True Cross carried in the vanguard, against the Fatimid army at the [[Battle of Ascalon]] on August 12. The crusaders were successful, but following the victory, the majority of them considered their crusading vows to have been fulfilled, and all but a few hundred knights returned home. Nevertheless, their victory paved the way for the establishment of the [[Kingdom of Jerusalem]]. The siege quickly became legendary and in the 12th century it was the subject of the [[Chanson de Jérusalem]], a major ''[[chanson de geste]]'' in the [[Crusade cycle]]. ==Sources== {{Ibid|date=May 2010}} {{Refbegin}} * Rodney Stark, ''God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades'', New York, 2009. * Hans E. Mayer, ''The Crusades'', Oxford, 1965. * [[Jonathan Riley-Smith]], ''The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading'', Philadelphia, 1999. * Frederic Duncalf, [http://www.archive.org/details/parallelsourcepr00dunciala ''Parallel source problems in medieval history''], New York, London : Harper & Brothers, 1912. via [[Internet Archive]]. See Chapter III for background, sources and problems related to the siege of Jerusalem. * Sir Archibald Alison, ''Essays, Political, Historical, and Miscellaneous – vol. II'', London, 1850. * [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/cde-jlem.html The Siege and Capture of Jerusalem: Collected Accounts] Primary sources from the Internet Medieval Sourcebook. * [http://historymedren.about.com/library/prm/bl1cfc.htm Climax of the First Crusade] Detailed examanination by J. Arthur McFall originally appeared in ''Military History'' magazine. {{Refend}} {{Coord missing|Israel}} {{DEFAULTSORT:Jerusalem (1099), Siege Of}}