The Crusades >> The
First Crusade >> The Spoils of War
As soon as the Turks were gone, the Latins fell to quarreling, this time
over who should rule Antioch. Raymond insisted that the city should be
turned over to Emperor Alexius, as per their oaths. While he may have been
genuine in the sentiment, there is no doubt that Raymond also would do
almost anything to prevent Bohemond from having the city. In addition to all
the other insults and irritations, Raymond had even been denied the honor of
taking the citadel of Antioch. The emir's son watched Kerbogha's defeat and
sent out an offer of surrender. But he refused to surrender to Raymond, who
was in command of the troops set to guarding the citadel during the battle.
Instead, he surrendered to Bohemond, probably by earlier arrangement, and so
it was Bohemond's banners that flew there. He was openly claiming the city
for his own, although he certainly had no real right to it.
Bohemond had no intention of leaving "his" city. Raymond did
not want to leave so long as the situation was unresolved. So the Christians
stayed at Antioch; they were in poor condition to march anyway. An epidemic
broke out in August; its most prominent victim was Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy.
He had often acted as a moderating influence on the princes. With his death,
there was no one with the authority and prestige to mitigate their quarrels.
Peter Bartholomew continued to be visited by St. Andrew. The details of
these visions irritated some among the Crusaders. For example, Peter was
told that Antioch should be given to Bohemond, that the city should have a
Latin patriarch, and that Bishop Adhemar (who had never believed Peter)
would go to hell. Raymond was in an awkward position: possession of the Holy
Lance was prestigious and Raymond was convinced it was genuine; at the same
time, Peter Bartholomew's visions could be downright embarassing.
Over August and September, a number of the barons rode out from Antioch.
They secured various towns and fortresses in the Orontes valley. Some went
to Edessa to visit Baldwin. October passed. In November the leaders agreed
they should go on to Jerusalem and Raymond at last yielded to Bohemond about
Antioch. Another month passed and still they had not left. The common troops
now began to exert pressure. They offered leadership of the Crusade to
Raymond if he would lead them now. He accepted. A couple of weeks was spent
reducing the last major fortress to the south of Antioch, then Raymond led
the army southward on January 13, 1099. Seeing him leave, Robert of Normandy
and Tancred immediately followed. Godfrey and Robert of Flanders left at the
end of February, not wantng to admit that Raymond was their leader. Bohemond
refused to budge from Antioch.
Arqa never fell. Raymond kept the army at the siege another month, but at
last on May 13th he reluctantly moved on. The emir of Tripoli sent gifts and
kept his city safe. Palestine was under the control of the Fatimids of Egypt
and they did not keep troops to guard the province, so the Crusaders passed
onward in safety. Beirut, Tyre, Acre, none of these cities offered any
resistance and the Crusaders did not try to attack. They turned inland at
Jaffa and passed through Ramleh on June 3rd. Emissaries from Bethlehem met
the army there and persuaded Tancred to come liberate that Christian town
from the Turks. He complied and was back the next day.