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who, towards evening, wound away into the mountains in the direction of Aleppo. The garrison of the place believed that it was a detachment sent to lay wait for the forces of Kerboga; but knowing the immense army the vizier brought with him, they might well view the movement with contempt, under the mistaken notion which they entertained of its purpose.
In the dead of the night, however, traversing the rocks and precipices which lay around the city, the force which they had seen returned towards Antioch ;* and as the wind blew in sharp gusts, its howling amongst the passes of the mountain, prevented the near approach of an enemy from being heard in the town. The object of their expedition was then, but not till then, explained to the troops; a single interpreter was sent forward to confer with Firouz; and the tidings being soon brought back that all was ready, Boemond, Robert of Flanders, and Godfrey himself, instantly led the troops to the foot of the tower. A rope was let down from the battlements, and a ladder of hides was raised; but for a moment, the men who had encountered
* Such is the account of Robert the Monk, who was present at the siege of Antioch, and this detachment is undoubtedly the same which was commanded by Tancred, and which we find, set out from the camp the day before the capture of the city. The testimony of Radulphus, or Raoul of Caen, who was not present at the siege of Antioch, is not to be received in opposition to that of eye-witnesses.
danger and death in all its varied shapes, hesitated when an enterprise which was new and strange, was presented to them. At first no one could be found to mount; but at length a gentleman named Fulcher of Chartres, * exclaimed, “In the name of Christ I will mount the first. I am ready to receive whatever God sends me, either the crown of martyrdom, or the palm of victory.” He then
* In a former work, I expressed some doubt as to who was the person that mounted first on this occasion, and expressed myself as follows, “ There is some reason to believe that Boemond was the first who entered, as stated by William of Tyre; but as Albert of Aix makes no mention of the fact, and as Guibert of Nogent declares positively that Boemond, who is certainly his favourite hero, did not mount till sixty others preceded him, as Raimond de Agiles gives the honor of the feat to Fulcher de Chartres, and as Robert the Monk confirms that assertion, I have left the matter in doubt, as I found it.” On farther consideration, however, I have rejected the story of Boemond mounting first altogether, and have adopted the account of the two contemporary writers, who were present in the camp at the time, especially as three contemporaries who were not present, confirm the account, and the opposite statement rests only on the authority of William of Tyre, which though excellent where confirmed by, or not opposed to contemporary writers, can never be put in competition with the account of eye-witnesses. I have taken the whole of the narrative of the capture of Antioch, from the accounts of those who were in the camp at the time, with the exception of one sentence from Fulcher, who was at the time with Baldwin at Edessa, and one sentence regarding the slaughter of several Franks by their companions, from the work of Albertus, also a contemporary. It will be remarked that the Fulcher of Chartres, who mounted first into the tower of Firouz, is not the same Fulcher to whom we owe an account of the first crusade.
began to ascend, and those below soon finding that he had effected his entrance in safety, rushed up in such numbers, that the ladder broke. Several, however, had previously gained the top of the wall, more were aided up afterwards, either by ropes or by other ladders; and, while some of the numbers hastened to open a postern for the entrance of the rest, others attacked the three neighbouring towers, and slaughtered the Turks whom they found within them.
Amongst the victims of the first assault of the crusaders, were the two brothers of Firouz; but the traitor was now in the hands of the Christians, and consequently, though he wept for the death of his relations, he had no power to avenge them. Many anecdotes are related in regard to the taking of Antioch, upon which we cannot pause; and it is sufficient to say that the rest of the forces which had been prepared, rushed into the gates which had been opened for them, and began the work of destruction in the town. The trumpets of the Christians soon roused the slumbering Turks; arms were seized up and battalions marshalled in haste; and, though no hope was left, the troops of Baguisian for some time opposed the Christian army with the most determined courage. They were slaughtered in every direction, however; the towers, the public buildings, the private houses, were entered; and during the whole night the crusaders continued to massacre all they found, with the brutality and VOL. II.
virulence of long defeated rage, and successful fanaticism. In the morning it was discovered that not only the Turks had fallen, but that a number of the Syrian and Armenian Christians had been slain in the indiscriminate slaughter of that night; and yet we are told that all the Christians had been previously drawn out of the city, and that many of the Franks themselves had been killed, not without a suspicion, that they had been slain during the darkness, in the bloody and mistaken zeal of their countrymen.
The success of the army of the cross, however, was not complete ; Antioch indeed was taken, but the citadel still remained in the hands of the Mussulmans, and we are informed by the Arabian writer, Abou-yali, * that three thousand found refuge therein, and prepared to defend themselves to the last. Baguisian, however, was not so fortunate; at the first sound of the Christian trumpets, he was seized with panic, imagined that the citadel was in the hands of the Christians, as well as the town, mounted his horse with all speed, and directed his course towards the mountains.t What
* Cited by Ibngiouzi.
† Some of the Christian writers say, that Baguisian took refuge for a time in the citadel, but at length, despairing, left it in disguise, and made his escape from the city. The Arabian historians, however, agree with the best contemporary authorities, in stating that he fled at once, without any delay, thinking that the citadel was in the hands of his enemies.
befel him afterwards, is differently related, even by different Arabian writers. By some he is said to have fled alone, by some we are told that he was accompanied by one or more attendants. The account of Ibngiouzi is most probable, however; and by it we are led to believe that after having left Antioch and passed beyond the lines of the Christian camp in safety, the recollection of his mighty loss came suddenly upon Baguisian, and dismounting from his horse he threw himself down upon the ground in despair, and cast the dust upon his head. At that moment an Armenian woodcutter passed by, and recognizing the tyrant of Antioch, killed him upon the spot.
Whatever was the manner of his death, certain it is that his head was struck off after he had quitted the city, and was brought in, together with his baldric and dagger, and laid at the feet of the crusading princes.
Great riches of various kinds were found in Antioch; but where the necessaries of life are not to be procured by wealth, gold is in reality but as the dust of the ground. Scarcely any provisions remained in the city at the time of its fall; and after the first tumults of joy had subsided in the Christian army, reflection showed the chiefs that their situation had been but little improved by their victory. The army of Kerboga was approaching with rapid marches; and the first news that reached the place after its occupation by the forces of the crusade,