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The Spoils Of War
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  Home >> 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.

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