The Crusades >> The
First Crusade >> Antioch Falls Again
The situation was hardly better than it had been for the Crusaders. While
they were able to hold off an initial assault on June 9th, they had few
supplies and Kerbogha was able to seal the city off. He would starve the
Christians into surrender.
Alexius Comnenus very nearly came to the rescue. The Greeks had secured
western Anatolia, and the Emperor was on the march to Antioch, likely to
make sure the Crusaders turned over the Byzantine territories as promised.
In any case, he was met on the road by Stephen of Blois and other deserters
who told him that the Crusaders were hopelessly trapped and that Antioch
would fall any day. Moreover, the Danishmends were forming up again. Faced
with the prospect of a Turkish army ahead of him and behind him, Alexius
turned around and went home. To the Crusaders, it seemed as if the Emperor
had abandoned them to the infidel. Stephen of Blois was branded a coward and
upon his return to France his wife was so ashamed she refused to have
anything to do with him.
Kerbogha continued to press the city hard. On 12 June he nearly captured
one of the towers. The Crusaders were starving and were hard-pressed just to
hold the 400 towers that lined the city walls.
And then, even as the situation seemed hopeless, a miracle occurred.
Holy Lance -->