The Crusades >> The
First Crusade >> Lessons Learned
Kilij Arslan had won a great victory for Islam. The Turks had been
hearing stories of a great army of the Franj (their name for all Latin
Europeans) marching against Allah. He had met this fearful army and had
annihilated it. To his mind, the Franj were not so fearful after all, but
were hardly more than peasants.
He was both right and wrong, of course. The army he had beaten was in
fact not much of an army, but he had not faced the real
army yet. His victory near Civetot would cause the Turk to underestimate the
next wave of Crusaders when the arrived, with serious consequences.
The disaster also had consequences for the Christians. It showed plainly
that mere piety and fervor would not be enough to liberate the Holy
Sepulchre. There would be no crusade of the common people to the Holy Land,
but an organized invasion by armies. And Peter the Hermit would not be its
leader. That role would fall to the princes who were beginning to arrive at
Constantinople even as the Turks were crushing the People's Crusade.