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Preservation of the Greek Empire--Numbers, Passage, and
Event, of the Second and Third Crusades-St. Bernard
– The Emperor Frederic the Second-Louis the Ninth of
IN a style less grave than that of history, I should perhaps CHAP. compare the emperor Alexiusl to the jackall, who is said to follow the steps, and to devour the leavings, of the lion. Whatever had been his fears and toils in the passage of the Success of first crusade, they were amply recompensed by the subsequent A. D. 1627 benefits which he derived from the exploits of the Franks. His dexterity and vigilance secured their first conquest of Nice; and from this threatening station the Turks were compelled to evacuate the neighbourhood of Constantinople. While the crusaders, with blind valour, advanced into the midland countries of Asia, the crafty Greek improved the favourable occasion when the emirs of the seacoast were recalled to the standard of the sultan. The Turks were driven from the isles of Rhodes and Chios; the cities of Ephesus and Smyrna, of Sardes, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, were restored to the empire, which Alexius enlarged from the Hellespont to the banks of the Mæander, and the rocky shores of Pamphylia. The churches resumed their splendour; the towns were rebuilt and fortified ; and the desert country was peopled with colo
i Anne Comnena relates her father's conquests in Asia Minor, Alexiad, l. xi. p. 321-325, l. xiv. p. 419; his Cilician war against Tancred and Bohemond, p. 323-342; the war of Epirus, with tedious prolixity, l. xii. xiii. p. 345–406 : the death of Bohemond. 1. xiv, p. 419.
CHAT. nies of Christians, who were gently removed from the more disLIX. tant and dangerous frontier. In these paternal cares, we may
forgive Alexius, if he forgot the deliverance of the holy sepulchre ; but, by the Latins, he was stigmatized with the foul reproach of treason and desertion. They had sworn fidelity and obedience to his throne ; but he had promised to assist their enterprise in person, or, at least, with his troops and treasures; his base retreat dissolved their obligations; and the sword, which had been the instrument of their victory, was the pledge and title of their just independence. It does not appear that the emperor attempted to revive his obsolete claims over the kingdom of Jerusalem ;? but the borders of Cilicia and Syria were more recent in his possession, and more accessible to his arms.
The great army of the crusaders was annihilated or dispersed ; the principality of Antioch was left without a head, by the surprise and captivity of Bohemond; his ransom had oppressed him with a heavy debt; and his Norman followers were insufficient to repel the hostilities of the Greeks and Turks. In this distress, Bohemond embraced a magnanimous resolution, of leaving the defence of Antioch to his kinsman, the faithful Tancred; of arming the West against the Byzantine empire, and of executing the design which he inherited from the lessons and example of his father Guiscard. His embarkation was clandestine ; and if we may credit a tale of the princess Anne, he passed the hostile sea, closely secreted in a coffin.3 But his reception in France was dignified by the public applause, and his marriage with the king's daughter; his return was glorious, since the bravest spirits of the age enlisted under his veteran command; and he repassed the Adriatic at the head of five thousand horse and forty thousand foot, assembled from the most remote climates of Europe. The strength of Durazzo, and prudence of Alexius, the progress of famine, and approach of winter, eluded his ambitious hopes; and the venal confederates were seduced from his standard. A treaty of peaceó suspended the fears of the Greeks; and they were finally delivered by the death of an adversary, whom neither oaths could bind, nor dangers could appal, nor prosperity could satiate. His children succeeded to the principality
2 The kings of Jerusalem submitted, bowever, to a nominal dependence, and in the dates of their inscriptions (one is still legible in the church of Bethlem,) they respectfully placed before their own, tbe name of the reigning emperor (Ducange, Dissertations sur Joinville, xxvii. p. 319.)
3 Anne Comnena adds, that to complete the imitation, he was shut up with a dead cock; and condescends to wonder how the barbarian could endure the confinement and putrefaction. This absurd tale is unknown to the Latins.
4 ATO Ounns, in the Byzantine Geography, must mean England ; yet we are more credibly informed, that our Henry 1. would not suffer bim to levy any troops in his kingdom (Ducange, Not. ad Alexiad, p. 41.)
5 "The copy of the treats (Alexiad, l. xiii. p. 396–416,) is an original and curious piece, which would require, and might afford, a good map of the principality of Antioch.
of Antioch; but the boundaries were strictly defined, the chap. homage was clearly stipulated, and the cities of Tarsus and Malmistra were restored to the Byzantine emperors. Of them coast of Anatolia, they possessed the entire circuit from Trebizond to the Syrian gates. The Seljukian dynasty of Roum was separated on all sides from the sea and their Mussulman brethren; the power of the Sultans was shaken by the victories, and even by the defeats of the Franks; and after the loss of Nice, they removed their throne to Cogni or Iconium, an obscure and inland town about three hundred miles from Constantinople. Instead of trembling for their capital, the Comnenian princes waged an offensive war against the Turks, and the first crusade prevented the fall of the declining empire.
In the twelfth century, three great emigrations marched by Expeditions land from the West to the relief of Palestine. The soldiers the first and pilgrims of Lombardy, France, and Germany, were excited gue.de by the example and success of the first crusade. Forty-eight the second years after the deliverance of the holy sepulchre, the em- III. and peror, and the French king, Conrad the Third, and Louis the A. D. 1117 Seventh, undertook the second crusade to support the falling Frederico fortunes of the Latins. A grand division of the third crusade A. D. 1189. was led by the emperor Frederic Barbarossa," who sympathized with his brothers of France and England in the common loss of Jerusalem. These three expeditions may be compared in their resemblance of the greatness of numbers, their passage through the Greek empire, and the nature and event of their Turkish warfare, and a brief parallel may save the repetition of a tedious narrative. However splendid it may seem, a regular story of the crusades would exhibit the perpetual return of the same causes and effects; and the frequent attempts for
6 See in the learned work of M. de Guignes (tom. ii. part ii.) the history of the Seljukians of Iconium, Aleppo, and Damascus, as far as it may be collected from the Greeks, Latin's and Arabians. The last are ignorant or regardless of the affairs of Roum.
7 Iconium is mentioned as a station by Xenopbon, and by Strabo, with the ambiguous title of K@Morones (Cellarius, tom. ji. p. 121.) Yet St. Paul found in that place a multitude (tangos) of Jews and Gentiles. Under the corrupt name of Kunijah, it is described as a great city, with a river and gardens, three leagues from the mountains, and decorated (I know not why) with Plato's tomb (Abulfeda, tabul. xvii. p. 303, vers. Reiske; and the Index Geograpbicus of Schultens from Ibn Said.)
8 For this supplement to the first crusade, see Anne Comnena (Alexiad, l. xi. p. 331, &c. and the eighth book of Albert Aquensis.
9 For the second crusade of Conrad III. and Lewis VII. see William of Tyre (l. xri. c. 18—29,) Otho of Frisingen (1. i. c. 34-45. 59, 60,) Matthew Paris (Hist. Major. p. 63,) Struvius (Corpus, Hist. Germanicæ, p. 372, 373,) Scriptores Rerum Francicarum à Duchesne, tom. ir. Nicetas, in Vit. Manuel, I. i. c. 4, 5, 6, p. 41-48, Cinnamus, l. ii. p. 41-49.
10 For the third crusade, of Frederic Barbarossa, see Nicetas in Isaac. Angel. 1: ii. c. 3—8, p. 257-266, Struv. (Corpus Hist. Germ. p. 414,) and two bistorians, wbo probably were spectators, Tagino (in Scriptor. Freher. tom. I. p. 406 --416, edit. Struv.) and the Anonymus de Expeditione Asiaticâ, Fred. l. (in Canisii, Antiq. Lection. tom. ill. p. ii. p. 498-526, edit. Basnage.)
CHAP. the defence or recovery of the Holy Land, would appear so LIX. many faint and unsuccessful copies of the original.
I. Of the swarms that so closely trod in the footsteps of the Hebeir num- first pilgrims, the chiefs were equal in rank, though unequal in
fame and merit, to Godfrey of Bouillon and his fellow adventurers. At their head were displayed the banners of the dukes of Burgundy, Bavaria, and Aquitain: the first a descendant of Hugh Capet, the second a father of the Brunswick line: the archbishop of Milan, a temporal prince, transported, for the benefit of the Turks, the treasures and ornaments of his church and palace; and the veteran crusaders, Hugh the Great, and Stephen of Chartres, returned to consummate their unfinished vow. The huge and disorderly bodies of their followers moved forwards in two columns; and if the first consisted of two hundred and sixty thousand persons, the second might possibly amount to sixty thousand horse, and one hundred thousand foot." The armies of the second crusade might have claimed the conquest of Asia : the nobles of France and Germany were animated by the presence of their sovereigns; and both the rank and personal characters of Conrad and Louis, gave a dignity to their cause, and a discipline to their force, which might be vainly expected from the feudatory chiefs. The cavalry of the emperor, and that of the king, was each composed of seventy thousand knights and their immediate attendants in the field ;12 and if the light-armed troops, the peasant infantry, the women and children, the priests and monks, be rigorously excluded, the full account will scarcely be satisfied with four hundred thousand souls. The West, from Rome to Britain, was called into action ; the kings of Poland and Bohemia obeyed the summons of Conrad ; and it is affirmed by the Grecks and Latins, that in the passage of a strait or river, the Byzantine agents, after a tale of nine hundred thousand, desisted from the endless and formidable computation.'s In the third crusade, as the French and English preferred the navigation of the Mediterranean, the host of Frederic Barbarossa was less numerous. Fifteen thousand knights, and as many squires, were the flower of the German chivalry : sixty thousand 'horse, and one hundred
" Anne, who states these later swarms at 40,000 horse, and 100,000 foot, calls them Normans, and places at their head two brothers of Flanders. The Greeks were strangely ignorant of the naines, families, and possessions of the Latiu princes.
12 William of Tyre, and Matthew Paris, reckon 70,000 loricati in each of the armies.
13 The imperfect enumeration is mentioned by Cinnamus (ervevnxovoa pupiede,) and confirmed by Odo de Diogilo apud Ducange ad Cinnamum, with the inore precise sum of 900,556. Why must therefore the version and comment suppose the modest and insufficient reckoning of 90,000 ? Does not Godfrey of Viterbo (Pantheon, p. xix. in Muratori, tom. vii. p. 462,) exclaim ?
-Numerum si poscere quæras.
thousand foot, were mustered by the emperor in the plains of CHAP. Hungary; and after such repetitions we shall no longer be LIX. startled at the six hundred thousand pilgrims, which credulity has ascribed to this last emigration.14 Such extravagant reckonings prove only the astonishment of contemporaries; but their astonishment most strongly bears testimony to the existence of an enormous though indefinite multitude. The Greeks might applaud their superior knowledge of the arts and stratagems of war, but they confessed the strength and courage of the French cavalry and the infantry of the Germans ;45 and the strangers are described as an iron race, of gigantic stature, who darted fire from their eyes, and spit blood like water on the ground. Under the banners of Conrad, a troop of females rode in the attitude and armour of men; and the chief of these Amazons, from her gilt spurs and buskins, obtained the epithet of the Golden-footed Dame.
II. The numbers and character of the strangers was an Passage object of terror to the effeminate Greeks, and the sentiment Greek em
pire. of fear is nearly allied to that of hatred. This aversion was suspended or softened by the apprehension of the Turkish power; and the invectives of the Latins will not bias our more candid belief, that the emperor Alexius dissembled their insolence, eluded their hostilities, counselled their rashness, and opened to their ardour the road of pilgrimage and conquest. But when the Turks had been driven from Nice and the seacoast, when the Byzantine princes no longer dreaded the distant sultans of Cogni, they felt with purer indignation the free and frequent passage of the western barbarians, who violated the majesty, and endangered the safety, of the empire. The second and third crusades were undertaken under the reign of Manuel Comnenus and Isaac Angelus. Of the former, the passions were always impetuous, and often malevolent; and the natural union of a cowardly and a mischievous temper was exemplified in the latter, who, without merit or mercy, could punish a tyrant, and occupy his throne. It was secretly, , and perhaps tacitly, resolved by the prince and people to destroy, or at least to discourage, the pilgrims, by every species of injury and oppression, and their want of prudence and discipline continually afforded the pretence or the opportunity. The Western monarchs had stipulated a safe passage and fair market in the country of their Christian brethren ; the treaty
14 This extravagant account is given by Albert of Stade (apud Struvium, p. 414 ;) my calculation is borrowed from Godfrey of Viterbo, Arnold of Lubec,, apud eundem, and Bernard Thesaur. (c. 169, p. 804.) The original writers are silent. The Mahometans gave him 200,000, or 260,000, men (Bohadin, in Vit. Saladin, p. 110.)
15 I must observe, that in the second and third crusades, the subjects of Conrad and Frederic are styled by the Greeks and Orientals Alamanni. The Lechi and Tzechi of Cinnamus, are the Poles and Bohemians; and it is for the French, that be reserves the ancient appellation of Germans. He likewise names the Βριίτοι, or Βρεταννοι. VOL, VI.