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Title: Peter the Hermit - A Tale of Enthusiasm
Author: Goodsell, Daniel A.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Peter the Hermit - A Tale of Enthusiasm" ***

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                         Men of the Kingdom

                          Peter the Hermit
                       A STORY OF ENTHUSIASM

                        DANIEL A. GOODSELL

             A Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church

                   NEW YORK: EATON AND MAINS

                        COPYRIGHT, 1906, BY
                        JENNINGS AND GRAHAM


Original material for a biography of Peter the Hermit either does not
exist in this country, or, if here, does not yield itself readily to
knowledge and use. The "Life of Peter the Hermit," by D'Outremant, and
another by André Thevet, on which Michaud draws heavily, seem beyond
reach, as are also the histories of the Crusades, by von Raumer and

On examining a number of English and American "Histories of the
Crusades," I found them to be largely abridgments or paraphrases of
Michaud's monumental work.

It is, then, from Michaud and Milman chiefly that the writer has drawn
the facts herein recorded, having often found it necessary to chasten
the too pronounced Roman sympathies of Michaud by the equally pronounced
Protestantism of Milman. To these authors I am so much indebted as to
call for the fullest acknowledgment. The Rev. Dr. J. A. Faulkner,
Professor in Drew Theological Seminary, has put me under great
obligations by permitting me to use Hagenmeyer's "Life of Peter,"
especially valuable to the early and late parts of Peter's life.

BROOKLINE, _June, 1906_.


     CHAPTER                      PAGE

  I. PETER THE HERMIT,               7




Peter the Hermit




The great movements called the Crusades followed the leading of
universal religious instincts.

[Sidenote: _The Cause of Pilgrimages_]

[Sidenote: _Belong to all Religions_]

[Sidenote: _The Impulse of To-day._]

[Sidenote: _Pilgrimages and Historic Memory_]

Wherever a great leader has been born, has taught, has suffered, died,
or been buried, the feet of his followers have been glad to stand. At
such spots religious emotions are revived, holy influences are believed
to be absorbed, and a sense of nearness to the prophets of God acquired.
Whatever the teacher wore, used, or even looked upon, became a treasure
through its relation to him. In India pilgrimages to holy shrines,
rivers, and cities have been works of merit, even from prehistoric
times. The same is true of China as to temples, tombs, springs, and
mountain summits. Devotees of later religions, like that of Mahomet,
have their Meccas, as the Roman Church has her Loretto and her Lourdes.
The murder of Thomas á Becket was followed by the Canterbury
pilgrimages, immortalized by Chaucer. "From the lowest Fetichism up to
Christianity itself this general and unconquerable propensity has either
been sanctioned by religion or sprung up out of it."[1] Humanity leans
more readily on the Incarnate Savior than on Him who was "before the
world was." To-day the devout Christian feels the impulse to walk where
the Master walked, to behold the sea which He stilled, to sit by the
well where He preached, to pray in the garden of His agony, and to stand
on the summit above which He shone. And if his faith can be assured as
to the site of Calvary, the great tragedy loses all historical dimness
and is made real, visible, and present, though its story be read through
penitent tears. The place suggests the man; the man suggests the Divine
Man; He seems nearer when we worship where an apostle said, "My Lord and
my God."

[Sidenote: _The East the Fountain of Religions_]

[Sidenote: _Influence of Magna Græcia_]

The East has always been the fountain of religions to the European mind.
To the westward flowed the stream of doctrines which sprang up in the
Orient. We are beginning to see that Greece came to many of her gods
through instruction from the Asiatic continent, and that her originality
in religion lay chiefly in her refinement of nature worship and in the
beautiful marble forms in which Greek genius enshrined her divinities.
From Greece the stream reached Italy in Magna Græcia, and later by the
adoption through Roman assimilation of the gods of the Greek Pantheon.
The worship of Isis and Osiris came from Egypt to Rome, and became an
influential cult there, as witness the abounding symbols of that worship
still preserved in the Capitoline Museum.

[Sidenote: _The Charm of Judea to Christians_]

To the Christian no land could be so full of religious suggestions,
remembrances, and associations as Judea. France, Spain, Italy, Britain
were no sooner Christianized in any degree than pilgrims began to set
out for the Jordan, for Bethlehem, for Jerusalem with its Gethsemane,
its Calvary, and its Holy Sepulcher. Those who were taught that blessing
came "by the work wrought," especially when the years prophesied a brief
space of life left, eagerly sought to wash sin away in Jordan or to die
near the hill of the atonement.

[Sidenote: _Greater Number of Pilgrims_]

[Sidenote: _Buildings by Constantine and Helena_]

When Christianity became imperial by alliance with the State, and
corrupt by the ascendency of Constantine in its Councils, the number of
pilgrims greatly increased. Ambitions as well as devotions drew men to
Palestine. Constantine had evoked Jerusalem again as a name and as a
city from the ruins of the preceding three centuries. The liberality of
Constantine and Helena had identified the holy places sufficiently for
the credulous faith of the time, and has decorated them with churches
and colonnades. Michaud says: "An obscure cavern had become a marble
temple paved with precious stones. To the east of the Holy Sepulcher
appeared the Church of the Resurrection, where the riches of Asia
mingled with the arts of Greece and Rome."[2]

[Sidenote: _Security in Pilgrimages_]

The attraction of such buildings, however, was not so great a stimulus
to pilgrimages as the security which the pilgrim might have, both on his
journey and after his arrival, through the extended and effective
authority of the Roman emperor. The pilgrim could now journey without
fighting his way, could be housed without secrecy after his arrival, and
could worship without stripes at any one of the many shrines which
attracted his piety.

[Sidenote: _Dangers of the Earlier Journeys_]

It is doubtful if any pilgrims traveled so far at first in such numbers
through unsympathetic and unfriendly people as those who went as
palmers before the settlement of the roads by Constantine or just
before the Crusades. During the stay of St. Jerome at Bethlehem, in the
fourth century, the pilgrims were so numerous that he speaks of them as
coming in crowds, and says that the praises of God could be heard there
in many languages.

[Sidenote: _Early Fathers and their Cautions_]

[Sidenote: _Warnings of St. Jerome_]

Some of the great leaders of the Church, Jerome himself with varying
note, were wise enough to point out the evils of these pilgrimages, and
to remind the faithful that the Christ might be honored by good deeds at
home. Gregory of Nyssa wrote: "The Lord has not said, 'Go to the Orient
and seek justice.' Travel even to the west and you shall receive
pardon." St. Augustine said in the first sermon on the words of the
Apostle Peter: "I am unwilling to consider a long journey. Where you
believe, there you arrive."[3] Jerome from Bethlehem itself writes,
"Heaven is equally open to Britain and Jerusalem." He could not have
advised against pilgrimages more strenuously if he had wished to keep
Bethlehem for himself and for the Roman ladies drawn thither by his

[Sidenote: _Good Roads and Travelers' Homes_]

For several centuries the passion for the pilgrimage increased steadily.
Roads were indicated, resting places pointed out, and wealth sought to
buy salvation by building hospitals and providing for doles of bread and
wine to those who made the sacred journey. Charlemagne made their case a
tax on his subjects through whose bounds they passed. "Even in our
entire kingdom neither rich nor poor shall dare to deny hospitality to
the pilgrims.... On account of the love of God and the salvation of our
souls, no one shall deny them shelter, fire, or water."

[Sidenote: _Shelters in Jerusalem_]

In Jerusalem vast caravanseries were built for them, Gregory the Great
building there one of the largest of all shelters.

[Sidenote: _Washing Sins Away_]

The signs of the pilgrim--the staff, the wallet, and the
scallop-shell--were blessed by priest or bishop before departure, and
took on added sanctity, and even miracle-working power, if they had
reached actual use in the Holy Land. It was not long before an indulgent
Church guaranteed that bathing in Jordan should wash away all sin. And,
as the Holy Land must be rich in the bones of martyrs and in the relics
of Christ and His apostles, it was within the ambition of the pilgrims
to possess a hair of the Virgin, a thread from the seamless coat, a nail
which had pierced His hand, a splinter from the cross, or a thorn which
had torn His brow. All these were believed to possess powers of
healing, and their possession permanently increased the dignity of
families and the wealth of Churches.

[Sidenote: _Relics and Miracles_]

The demand for such relics from the Christian world was great and the
supply was greater. Traffic in these was enriched by the purchase of the
silks, spices, and other treasures of the East, and commercial greed
came to move men under the cover of the cross.

[Sidenote: _Chosroes Conquers Syria_]

The stream of pilgrimage was full until the reign of Heraclius. Then the
Persian king, Chosroes, carried his arms through Syria and Palestine to
Egypt. The fire-worshipers defiled the holy city by their authority and
their worship. They tainted and robbed the churches, and carried off
what was believed to be the cross of the crucifixion, which had been
guarded by the Church of the Resurrection.

[Sidenote: _Return of the Cross_]

The wailing of the Christian world over this loss strengthened the
courage of Heraclius through ten years of reverses, and aided in the
late but full victory which not only brought back to Jerusalem the
enslaved Christians but the Cross of Calvary, as the most glorious of
trophies. The emperor himself bore this barefooted to the summit of
Calvary, and at Constantinople received the congratulations of the
Christian world.

Jerusalem was soon, however, to feel the weight of a new and heavy hand.

[Sidenote: _Rise of Mahomet_]

[Sidenote: _Greek Empire Corrupt_]

In Arabia a religion arose with a singular power of advance, which it
retains to this day. The union of the spiritual with the material, of
the sensual with a fatalistic theology, made the followers of Mahomet
eager for heaven by way of the battle-field. The Jews had now no unity;
Christianity had become divided into sects cursing each other; the
Persian Empire had exhausted itself; the Greek Empire was wasted with
its own corruptions. The way was open for the stern, sober, and, in all
respects but one, self-denying followers of Mahomet. Until they learned
to navigate they swept the eastern and southern coasts of the
Mediterranean. They early overwhelmed Palestine. Becoming masters of
maritime peoples, they conquered even to Spain; were held at bay for a
while by Constantinople; came even under the walls of Vienna, and were
at length beaten back by Charles Martel.

[Sidenote: _Jerusalem Sacred to Mohammedans_]

[Sidenote: _Jerusalem Taken by Omar_]

Jerusalem was almost as sacred a city to the Mohammedans as to the
Christians. Their prophet had visited it, and had journeyed to heaven
from it. Attacked by the soldiers of Omar shortly after the death of the
prophet, the Christians endured the horrors of a siege for four months,
resisting armies which claimed the city as theirs by the promises of
God. Omar came to receive the keys of the exhausted city, and Christians
cried out in agony as the chief infidel defiled by his presence the Holy
Sepulcher. They were permitted to worship, but not openly to exhibit
their crosses and sacred books. Their conqueror erected a mosque on the
site of the temple. This was more than the breaking heart of the
Christian patriarch could bear. He died bewailing the sorrows and
desolation of the city of the Great King.

[Sidenote: _Omar Checks Persecution_]

While Omar lived the hand of persecution was in good measure stayed, but
worked in full vigor as soon as he was dead. Christians were certain
neither of their homes nor of their churches. Their taxes were increased
to the point of exhaustion. They could not mount a horse nor bear a
weapon. A leather girdle must always show their subjection. No Arabic
word must fall from their lips, nor could they speak the name of their
own Patriarch without permission.

[Sidenote: _Hardships Stimulate Pilgrimages_]

These hardships awakened the sympathy of the Christian world, and
stimulated many to go to the Holy Land that they then might be
"accounted worthy to suffer with Christ."

Arculphus and Antoninus, of Plaisance, reached sainthood by making this
journey and certifying to the Western Churches the persecutions of the
Christians in the Holy Land.

[Sidenote: _Haroun al Raschid Just_]

Yet truth compels the statement that the Mohammedans were not always
unjust or unkind. Intervals of peace came to cheer those who wept, and
the reign of Haroun al Raschid offered them the largest hope. The great
Charles was now great enough, even in Eastern eyes, to secure liberty
and peace to Christians in far-off Palestine, and was treated as an
equal through embassies and presents by the great Caliph.

Never could a monarch have received a more welcome present than did
Charlemagne when the Caliph sent him the keys of the Holy Sepulcher.

[Sidenote: _Christ Expected 1000 A. D._]

It is also to be remembered that prophecy had been interpreted to mean
that in the year 1000 A. D. Christ would appear and set up His
millennial kingdom. This greatly stimulated the pilgrimages to the Holy
Land, as it did all other phases of devotion. Thousands felt that it
would be well to be at the scene of the cross and of the resurrection
when Christ came with His angels. It were well they should be near where
He ascended, whether they were living or dead when He came.

[Sidenote: _Haroun Dead Persecution Follows_]

Persecutions followed the death of the great Caliph, particularly in
the sultanate of Egypt. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was destroyed.
Other Christian buildings shared the same fate. Then as now, the Jews
had to suffer from suspicions created by their voluntary segregation as
well as by their forced isolation. The Christians in France heard that
the French Jews had sent word to the Sultan Hakim that a great Christian
invasion of the Holy Land was intended. This led to a revenge, the
justice of which in any degree remains unsettled to this day.

[Sidenote: _Toll for Entering Jerusalem_]

Unexpected calm came to Palestine through the development of the
maritime powers of Italy, which could fall on Hakim's dominions at will.
The largest annoyance of the pilgrims for awhile was the enforced
payment of a toll for entering Jerusalem, established near this time by
the Mohammedan powers. In the cooler blood of historical inquiry to-day,
we can not wonder at a tax which failed at its greatest height to meet
the increased cost of government when thousands of pilgrims were added
to the population of Jerusalem and its environs. But it was often gladly
paid by those who could, and the gates of Jerusalem were opened by the
richer pilgrims for those to whom it was an impossible or severe

[Sidenote: _Christianity now Wealthy_]

Christianity had now attained a history of a thousand years. It had
climbed to stately thrones and to cathedrals. Princes of great names,
like Robert of Normandy, and bishops who were also secular princes made
the pilgrimage and returned to speak with authority on the attractions
of the holy places and on the shame of the infidel's domination.

[Sidenote: _Pilgrimage Guaranteed Pardon_]

In the shrewd management of the Church at this time, pilgrimages were
substituted for penances, and troublesome sinners were sent out of their
country on a pious mission which promised forgiveness if it could not
pledge reform. It at least secured a period of quiet to their families
and of security to the neighborhoods from which they came.

The Bollandist manuscripts afford many details of the pilgrim life at
Jerusalem which had, however, to be enjoyed by permission of the
infidel, always a bitter portion in the pilgrim's cup.

[Sidenote: _Round of Pilgrim Duties_]

On arrival they prepared themselves by fasting and prayer. Then, covered
by a mourning robe, they visited the Church of the Sepulcher. The robe
thus attained such sanctity that it was preserved until death and
enshrouded the owner at burial. They then visited, in turn, the sacred
spots in and adjacent to the city. This accomplished, they sought the
holy mountains of the Sermon, the Transfiguration, and Ascension. Then
they washed their sins away in Jordan, and tore off palm-leaves near
Jericho to attest on their homeward journey that the holy pilgrimage was

The tenth and eleventh centuries thus kept by the thousands of pilgrims
yearly, all Christian Europe became informed of the conditions which
obtained in the land where Christ suffered for the sins of men.

[Sidenote: _Services to Pilgrims_]

Slowly there grew up a devotion which was nearly equal to a secondary
religion. Service rendered to a pilgrim was almost the same as being a
pilgrim. Nor did the pilgrims fail to profit by the reverence they
inspired. Some of them paid their way by their prayers. There is record
of one who paid his fare for a voyage from Alexandria to Palestine with
a copy of the Evangelists.

On the St. Bernard, on Mt. Cenis, on the frontiers of Hungary, in Asia
Minor, as well as in Palestine, hospitals and hostelries were built by
the faithful as works of salvation.

[Sidenote: _Impure Accretions_]

No pious movement has ever long existed without drawing to itself some
of impure and selfish motive. The rich had no surer way of advertising
their generosity than by making the journey and aiding in the comfort
of their poorer brethren. Some made the pilgrimage as many times as
planet pilgrims now visit Europe. Yet to the credit of the pilgrim it
must be said that no act of violence is recorded against any one who
really made the whole journey. It is recorded of a Mussulman governor
that he said of such, "They are not away from home with bad intent, but
to keep their law."

[Sidenote: _Confusion of Moral Sense_]

Confusing to the moral sense as we possess it, and destructive of true
morality as we must hold it to be, we must further admit with
astonishment that pilgrimage was held to be a cure for the most dreadful

A Brittany lord who murdered his brother and his uncle was ordered to
make the journey twice with humiliating conditions, and returned, after
three years on Mount Sinai, to be received as a saint and to dignify a
monastery by his narrations and his residence.

[Sidenote: _A Journey Condones Murder_]

One journey was enough to free from further penalty a Roman prefect who
had dragged a pope from his altar. Foulque-Nerra, Count of Anjou,
pursued by the ghosts of those he had murdered, sought to quiet them
through three unavailing journeys.

For such reasons and for many others, some of which can hardly be
brought within religious motives, thousands made the journey. Three
thousand, beginning with the Bishop of Cambrai, were nearly all starved
or murdered in Bulgaria, and the few who went on as far as Laodicea
turned back or died there, while their leader went back to his diocese.

[Sidenote: _Bloody Welcome in Bulgaria_]

[Sidenote: _Three Thousand Killed_]

One more band, or army rather, of ten thousand started ten years later
with the Archbishop of Mayence and the Bishops of Spires, Cologne,
Bamberg, and Utrecht. They were almost in sight of Jerusalem when the
Bedouins besieged and captured them. Saved from death by a neighboring
Emir, they followed the news of their tribulations to Jerusalem, where
they were received with joy. They lost during the whole journey three
thousand of their number, and went back to fire Europe with accounts of
their impressions, their perils, and their undeserved dangers.

[Sidenote: _Rejoicing in Martyrdom_]

[Sidenote: _Fanaticism of Turks_]

[Sidenote: _Degenerate Greeks_]

As the tolerance of the earlier caliphs was succeeded by the fanaticism
of the Turks, the Christians of Jerusalem ceased to be treated with any
other consideration than that accorded to despised slaves. Pilgrims were
no longer guests, but intruders. No persecution, however, stopped the
flow of pilgrims. The harder the way, the greater the cost, the greater
the merit. The pilgrim might, under these later conditions, easily
become a martyr. The martyr's crown was sure, by the faith of the times,
to become a heavenly crown. Few now survived the journey. These often
came back starved, cut, and mutilated. Their appearance and the great
gaps in the ranks of those who returned, kindled a smoldering fire under
all Europe. Such had been the pre-eminence of Constantinople and the
Greek Empire that if the Greeks had retained their former quality, the
Turks might have been driven back by those who sat on that famous
throne. But when the corruption of decay was attacked by the vigor of an
almost savage state, there could be but one result.

[Sidenote: _Greeks Truculent_]

Among the Greeks the lowest qualities and the basest acts found
justification under the name of policy. Courage in battle was supplanted
by the shield and mechanism of bodily safety. They killed the men who
tried to rouse them. They had wasted all their inheritance but great
memories, and had acquired a truculent and factious spirit. While they
were nearing the utter decay of their influence the infant West was
found to have grown until all that was noble in character and all that
was true in Christianity, all which could respond in courage and
self-sacrifice to the call of Jerusalem for deliverance, was to be
found among those whom the Greeks had held to be Barbarians.

[Sidenote: _Papal Ambition_]

[Sidenote: Greatness of Gregory]

The Roman Curia, from its first date of political influence, had never
ceased to enhance its authority by the use of the secular arm when it
had none of its own, or by its own secular arm when it could command
one. The disturbed conditions in the East, together with the decay of
Greek influence and the cowardice and helplessness of the Byzantine
emperors, had led Michael Ducas to appeal to Pope Gregory for help. The
prize offered Gregory was the submission of the Greek to the Roman
Church and the removal of all barriers. From the standpoint of ability,
Gregory well deserves the title "Great." He seems as great in statecraft
as in executive ability. The hope of being a universal pope led him to
promise aid. He urged the faithful to take up arms against the
Mussulmans, and promised to lead them himself. His letters were full of
the loftiest ideas. Fifty thousand agreed to follow his lead. But he
found the management of Europe more to his taste and perhaps to his

The decay of Byzantine power was wisely used for the development of
pontifical authority and the spread of the Latin Church. And, again, the
Eternal City through its popes, and particularly through Gregory,
became the ruler of the world. Gregory summoned all monarchs to derive
their authority and their enthronement from him, and endeavored to make
laws for every country in which his Church had place. Resisted by some
monarchs, his influence widened nevertheless, and while he forgot his
pledge to deliver Jerusalem, he prepared the way for a final unity of
action which he could not secure in his own lifetime.

In the pontificate of his successor, mingled religious and commercial
motives led to a movement against the Saracens, which, while never
numbered among the Crusades, almost deserved that name. The acquisition
of maritime power by the Saracens had led to interference with Italian

[Sidenote: _"Christian" Butchery_]

Promising remission of sins to all who fought, Victor besought
Christians to take up arms. Christians crossed to Africa and professed
to have slain a hundred thousand Saracens; certainly did decorate
Italian churches with the spoils of victory, and made a Moorish king pay
tribute to the pope.

What kings, emperors, and popes could not do, a pilgrim accomplished. We
pass from the Foreground to the Figure.



[Sidenote: _Preparation for Peter_]

The study of the Foreground of the Crusades exhibits the preparation for
the man who was to be the great leader and, one might say, originator of
these astonishing movements. Whatever part others played, or whatever
the measure of the aid given, to Peter the Hermit is to be given the
credit of the effective inspiration and active leadership.

The leadership here claimed for Peter is challenged, it is only fair to
say, by Von Sybil whose views are, in the main, accepted by Hagenmeyer.
Von Sybil gives credit to the Pope alone for inspiration and direction.
It seems more probable, however, that the Pope utilized and magnified
the enthusiasm and influence of Peter; and directed it into channels
more likely to permit the movement of the Roman Church Eastward and the
growth of Pontifical supremacy. This is the view contained in these

[Sidenote: _Peter's Birth_]

We know where Peter came from. Born in Picardy, the historians are not
agreed whether of obscure or noble family. It makes little difference,
since if this were known all their dignity and life in history would
proceed from Peter. He was called Peter the Hermit because he was a
hermit, and not, as some have maintained, because it was his surname.
The weight of opinion favors his descent from humble parents.

All are agreed that he was of very ordinary appearance; one says
"ignoble and vulgar." The sum of the statements of contemporaries as to
his personality, is that he was of sharp understanding, energetic,
decided; coarse and sometimes brutal; enthusiastic; of great imaginative
power. If a Picard, then a Frank, and if a Frank, then a fighter, and
very ready to fight for religion. His nationality, therefore, gave him
access by speech to a most restless, gallant, and adventurous people.
Born with courage, moral intensity, restlessness, and activity, he
experimented for satisfaction in every direction.

[Sidenote: _Chooses Hermit's Life_]

[Sidenote: _Effect of Self-confidence_]

It seems that neither celibacy nor marriage, study nor warfare, long
attracted him. The conditions about him seemed beyond his remedy, and,
like many others, he retired from a sinful world to the harshnesses and
austerity of a hermit's life. Fasting did for him what it seems to do
for all when excess is reached either by self-will or necessity. He
became truly a "visionary." "He saw visions and dreamed dreams." His
temperament and his religious exercises made him feel that, better than
others he knew the will of God and that he was chosen to execute it. In
this stage a man becomes capable of great things in a poor cause. The
world is always impressed by the confident and the courageous. No great
movement, however wrong in doctrine, defective in morals, or disastrous
in results, has been without such leadership.

Like all orators of the Latin race, his fervor showed itself, not only
in his tones, but in his gesticulation and his postures. He was a master
of pantomime. If any were beyond his voice, they were not beyond his
meaning. If he had lived in our time he would have been counted among
the most "magnetic" of preachers. The reputation of his sanctity
showered him with gifts. He kept nothing for himself. All went to the
poor, and evil women were dowried by him that they might cease from evil
in honorable marriage.

[Sidenote: _Generosity Self-Sacrifice_]

Peter was not stirred alone by the relations of returning pilgrims as to
the ignominies heaped alike on the sacred places and on the religious by
the Turks. He followed in the wake of the devotees who traversed the
long road to the Holy City. That Peter actually made this journey is
sufficiently attested by his contemporary, Anna Conmena. She probably
met him while tarrying in Constantinople, and could easily know of his
presence at the palace of her father, Alexius. From her we learn that he
had to flee before the Turks and Saracens, and her narration makes it
doubtful if he reached Jerusalem on his first attempt. By so much as he
was more enthusiastic than others by nature, by so much was he fired
with indignation, which to him was but the just expression of his zeal
and his piety.

[Sidenote: _Emotions in Jerusalem_]

He stood with agony on Calvary. He adored with tears the tomb of Christ.
Then he sought speech with the Patriarch of Jerusalem. His name was
Simeon, and like another, waited for "the salvation of God." Who is
responsible for the report of this interview we do not know, but one
more probable and pathetic is not on record outside the Bible.

[Sidenote: _Patriarch Simeon_]

[Sidenote: _Simeon's and Peter's Hope_]

Simeon had suffered much for his faith as well as for his leadership.
The impatient enthusiasm of Peter was moved to tears by the patient
enthusiasm of Simeon. "Is there no remedy?" cried Peter, weeping. And
Simeon answered: "Is it not evident that our sins have shut us away from
the mercy of the Lord? All Asia is in the power of the Mussulmans; all
the East is enslaved; no power on earth can help us." Peter asked, "May
not the warriors of the West come to your help?" "Yes," said Simeon,
"when our cup is full, God will soften the princes of the West, and will
send them to the help of the Holy City." This was Peter's thought, and,
weeping with joy over a great hope, the patriarch and the pilgrim
embraced. The patriarch pledged himself to appeal to Europe by letter
and Peter by word of mouth.

The plan of Peter was strengthened by his further devotions at the Holy
Sepulcher. There are two ways in which men of strong will become sure
that their will is the will of God.

[Sidenote: _Peter's Mental Constitution_]

One is to make a plan, and then submit it to God in prayer. The other,
and the truer, is to ask God's help in the making of the plan as in its
execution. The first, as was probable from Peter's intellectual and
moral constitution, seems to have been the way in which he came to
certainty as to his life mission. There is no reason to doubt that in
his exiled state, moved at once by piety and peril, he saw the vision,
though inwardly, which inspired his return. At the Sepulcher he thought
he heard the voice of Christ commanding him to proclaim the sorrows of
Christ's land and of Christ's people. The best account of this vision
and commission is that of the Historia Belli Sacri: "One evening as
Peter went to rest the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him in a vision,
saying, 'Peter, stand up. Go back quickly into the West. Betake thyself
to Pope Urban with this commission from Me that he get all My brothers
as quickly as possible to hasten to Jerusalem, in order to purge the
city of unbelievers. All who do this from love to Me, to them stand open
the doors of the kingdom of heaven.'" This became to him a daily
commission from on high. Bearing letters from Simeon, he went to Italy
by sea, and sought the presence and aid of Urban II, then pope.

[Sidenote: _Pope Urban_]

Urban felt that this call, recognized by his predecessors, was more
fully and loudly given to him.

The refusal of Hagenmeyer to credit this vision and its influence on
Pope Urban seems to be the result of an ultra critical spirit. When a
pope speaks, after argument and urging, he is not likely to think it
consonant with his dignity to give credit in allocution or bull to those
who urged him. Holding that all men are properly servants of the Holy
See, he speaks as if he was the original source of knowledge and
impulse. Urban does not, in his famous speech at the Council of
Clermont, give Peter's vision or Peter's urgency as a ground for his
utterance or action. But he followed Peter on that occasion, and it may
well be that if Peter mentioned his vision as the inspiration of his
mission, the pope would not speak of its influence on himself.

[Sidenote: _Urban's Emotions_]

The Roman pontiffs, whatever their own ability or lack of it, have
always been distinguished for the wise use of enthusiasm. If not able to
make the wise direction of it themselves, some one of the Curia has
always been at their service to value the force and direct it into
channels of wider influence for the Church. There can be little doubt
that Urban was moved by a true and generous feeling. It would have been
almost impossible for any one to have simulated the grief he manifested
at the Council of Clermont.

[Sidenote: _Mixed Motives_]

But there can be as little doubt that, as the proposed movement must
inevitably aggrandize Roman Catholicity and make her the leader of the
Christian world, Urban was happier and stronger by the coincidence and
collaboration of both forces. There was a rival pope, and there were
sovereigns who were his enemies. What a God-given opportunity to humble
the Antipope and bring the unfriendly kings to his feet!

[Sidenote: _Peter's Garb_]

The pope gave Peter his commission and sent him forth with his blessing.
Mounting a mule, which soon attained in the thought of the people
something of its master's sanctity, he passed through Italy, crossed the
Alps, was in every part of France, and stirred the larger part of
Europe. With a crucifix in his hand, his body girdled with a rope,
clothed in a long cassock of the coarsest stuff, and a hermit's hood, he
could not have had, from the standpoint of public attention, a better
appearance. He kept himself free from monkish evils in habits and
conduct, and as he preached the loftiest morality by word as by life,
the people honored holiness in him.

[Sidenote: _Ready to Preach Anywhere_]

Like all who have been great reformers, he was indifferent as to where
he preached so that he could get a hearing. When the pulpits were open
and could reach the multitude, he was glad to preach in the sacred
inclosures; when his mission could reach more minds on the high roads
and public squares, he as gladly preached there. He knew how to use
apostrophes and personifications, and made the holy places themselves
clamor for help. He sometimes showed a letter which he said had fallen
from heaven wherein God called upon all Christendom to drive the
heathens out of Jerusalem and possess it forever. His favorite prophecy
was "Jerusalem shall be destroyed till the time of the heathen shall be
fulfilled." The agonies endured by the Christians of Palestine he
described with such accuracy of language and appropriateness of gesture,
that his hearers seemed to see them writhe under the lash and to hear
them groan in their wounds.

[Sidenote: _Waving his Crucifix_]

When he had exhausted his vocabulary and was exhausted by his emotions,
he would wave the image of Christ suffering on the cross before his
sobbing and wailing hearers.

The news of such preaching and of such scenes travels fast and far.
Wherever the Hermit went he was received as a saint, and if the people
could not obtain a thread of his garment they contented themselves with
a hair from the tail of his mule!

[Sidenote: _Effect of His Preaching_]

Whatever the modern mind may see of credulity among the people or of
fanaticism in Peter, contemporary annals show that his preaching was
followed by the results promised to the Gospel. Michaud says:
"Differences in families were reconciled, the poor were comforted, the
debauched blushed at their errors. His discourses were repeated by those
who heard to those who did not. His austerities and his miracles were
widely known and credited. When Peter found those who had been in
Palestine, or confessed to have been there, he used them as living
examples, and made their rags speak of the barbarities they had
suffered, or claimed to have suffered, at Turkish hands."

[Sidenote: _Constantinople in Peril_]

Additional strength was given to the cry for relief from Palestine by
the perils of Constantinople. This city, under nominally Christian
emperors, had become a museum of sacred relics. Alexius Comnena
threatened by the same warriors who had subjected the Holy City, offered
his sacred treasures and his secular riches to the leaders who would
rescue his capital. The poor esteem in which the haughty but, when in
danger, servile Greek held the Franks, as to everything but warlike
power, is indicated by his promising the Frank warriors the beauty of
the Greek women. As if these warriors were of the same tastes as the
Turks! To pass under the Mussulman yoke was infinitely more degrading
than to hand his scepter to the Latins.

[Sidenote: _Urban Concentrates Opinion_]

Urban now found it a suitable time to attempt to concentrate opinion and
prepare for action by summoning a Council at Plaisance. There was a
great response to the papal summons. Two hundred bishops and
archbishops, four thousand ecclesiastics, thirty thousand of the laity
came to the Council which had to meet, on account of its size, outside
the city wall.

[Sidenote: _Ambassadors of Alexius Humble_]

The tone of the Eastern emperors had long been so haughty that the
presence of their ambassadors at a Latin Council was a sufficient proof
of their humiliation. The pope seconded their requests and prayers with
all the force of speech and authority; yet the Council concluded
nothing. It seems probable that the astute pope passed the word that no
conclusion should be formulated, as he was not yet ready to indicate all
that was in his mind. It may well be that the danger to Constantinople
was not yet so evident to Alexius and to all as to indicate the hour for
absolute submission to the Roman authority.

[Sidenote: _Italy not yet Roused_]

[Sidenote: _Opening of the Council_]

It is more probable, however, that Urban could not yet command Italian
aid and unity. Commerce had so developed that religion, where it
interfered with it, could not command undivided allegiance. The
Italians, too, were near enough to know the limitations of Urban's
power, his failures and disgraces, and could not be summoned to action
as successfully as those who were farther away from knowledge of the
weakness of the papal grip. So the second Council met at Clermont in
Auvergne, and was equally weighty in the numbers attending and the
authority represented. "The cities and villages of the neighborhood were
so filled that tents and pavilions were erected in the meadows, although
the weather was very cold."[4]

Various matters of Church and social discipline were first considered
and determined. The purposed delay in reaching the real object of the
Council seemed to whet the appetites for the consideration of the wrongs
of the East. Enthusiasm grew to fanaticism, and a grand and universal
impatience of other topics finally brought the greater matter before the

[Sidenote: _Artful Delay_]

The opening of the subject was had in the great square before the
cathedral. A throne had been prepared there for the pope, who approached
it followed by his cardinals and accompanied by Peter the Hermit in the
garb now known to the Christian world everywhere.

[Sidenote: _Describes Sufferings of Christians_]

Peter was put forward to speak first. His countenance was cast down with
humiliation, and his voice expressed his inward agony as he told what he
had seen of the sufferings of Christians at the scene of the world's
redemption. He told how they had been chained, beaten, harnessed like
brutes; how their bread had been taken away; how they had been compelled
to pay from the poverty of the pilgrim's wallet for approach to the
sacred shrines; how Christian ministers had, like their Lord, known the
rod, and met their death.

It is not needful to suppose that the growth of Peter's emotion, as he
told this tale of horrors, was simulated. In the cooler blood of to-day
the narrative stirs a sluggish heart. He ceased to speak because choked
with sobs.

[Sidenote: _Urban's Great Speech_]

The speech of Urban, who followed Peter, was one of the greatest ever
spoken in its effect on the history of the world. Delivered undoubtedly
in French, it survives only in ecclesiastical Latin. He was in France.
He wished to stir the French. He could not have moved them through an
interpreter as he moved them in his own tongue and theirs. He began in
the language of compliment.

[Sidenote: _Urban Compliments Franks_]

[Sidenote: _Describes Desecration of Palestine_]

"Nation beloved of God, it is in your courage that the Christian world
has placed its hope. Because I am well acquainted with your piety and
your bravery, I have crossed the Alps to preach to you.... You have not
forgotten that but for the exploits of Charles Martel and Charlemagne
France would have been under the rule of Mahomet.... Your fathers saved
the West from slavery. More noble triumphs await you. Under the guidance
of the God of Armies you will deliver Europe and Asia, you will rescue
the City of Jesus Christ from whence the Lord has come to us. Whose soul
does not melt? Whose bowels are not stirred with shame and sorrow? The
holy place has become not only a den of thieves, but the dwelling place
of devils. Even the Church of the Holy Sepulcher has become a stable for
cattle. Men have been massacred and women ravished within those blessed
walls. European Christians are warring on each other when they ought to
be rescuing their brethren from the yoke, and from the unbeliever's

[Sidenote: _Offers Rewards for Crusading_]

[Sidenote: _Pathetic Closing_]

[Sidenote: _Further Appeals_]

He appealed to every passion by captivating prophecies. "The wealth of
the unbelievers shall be yours. You shall plunder their treasuries. Your
commander, Christ, will not permit you to want bread or deny you a just
reward. There is no crime which may not be absolved by this act of
obedience to God. I offer absolutions for all sins; absolution without
penance to all who for this cause will take up arms.... I promise
eternal life to all who die on the battle-field or on the way to it. The
crusader shall pass at once to Paradise. I myself must stand aloof, but,
like Moses, I will be fervently and successfully praying while you are
slaughtering the Amalekites. I will not seek to dry the tears which
images so painful for a Christian and for the father of the faithful
draw from you. Let us weep over the sins which have withdrawn the favor
of God from us, but let us also weep over the calamities of the Holy
City. But if tears be all, we shall leave the heritage of the Lord in
the hands of the wicked. How can we sleep in comfort when the children
of Jesus Christ live in torments? Christian warriors, eager for pretexts
to unsheath your swords, rejoice that to-day you have found a just cause
for war. You mercenaries who have hitherto sold your valor for money, go
now and merit an eternal reward.... If you must have blood, bathe your
sword in the blood of infidels. Soldiers of Hell become soldiers of the
living God. Remember that 'he who loves father and mother more than Me,
is not worthy of Me.' Thus speaks Christ to you to-day."

[Sidenote: _Spread of Enthusiasm_]

[Sidenote: _Pardon by Fighting_]

Long before this final sentence, Urban's hearers had been lifted to
indescribable enthusiasm. A mighty shout as from a single throat
answered him: "God wills it. God wills it. We will join the army of
God!" Urban commands the bishops to rouse their dioceses by preaching
the instant duty of war for the Holy Sepulcher. The enthusiasm spread
everywhere like an infection under ripe conditions. France took the
lead; Germany with slower step; the Italians slowest of all, except the
Normans who dwelt among them. England contributed least of all, the
Normans being still busy in holding what they had won, and Anglo-Saxons
too discouraged over their own defeats. Spain had her own
anti-Mohammedan battle to fight. Some noblemen, unable to prevent their
vassals from going, joined them and took command that they might not
wholly lose their authority over them. Many had fought notwithstanding
papal prohibition. So many had sins to expiate that they were happy that
they could find forgiveness while indulging their chief passion, and
could wash away their sins by shedding blood.

Here again contemporary chronicles prove that humanity is seldom
governed by other than mixed motives. Bishops who were also barons bore
the skill in warfare which they had gained in defending their bishoprics
in the Crusades. Some of the priests, whose eyes were upon the rich
bishoprics of the East, found hope enlarged by arming for the war.
"Knights of God and Beauty" found a new field in the march to Jerusalem.

The distresses due to scanty harvests in 1094-95 contributed in some
measure to the easy gathering of the hosts of the first crusade. Famine
seemed so close at hand that those who left their homes had little to
lose and much to gain. Nor were the masses unwilling to fly from the
oppressions and exactions of rulers who claimed the privilege to do
wrong by Divine Right.

[Sidenote: _Normans and Saracens_]

[Sidenote: _Marvels Begin_]

Apulia and Sicily had been wrested from the Saracens by a few hundred
Normans. This bred confidence in the final result of the war. One of the
most curious of the fanaticisms, which developed from the larger
fanaticism, was that of the sign of the cross in the flesh. Women and
children imprinted crosses on their limbs. A monk who made a large cross
on his forehead kept it from healing and colored the gash with prepared
juices. He declared it was a miraculous stigma done by an angel, and his
lie served him well in abundant help. It is further related that a
company of Crusaders being shipwrecked near Brundusium all the bodies
had a cross imprinted on their flesh just under where the cross had been
sewed on their clothes. Perhaps they had done what the monk did; perhaps
poor dyes soaked through. A miracle was in those days the easiest
explanation of all marvels.

[Sidenote: _True Religion in the Movement_]

Yet all this was no more than the earth which clings for awhile to all
plants which spring from the soil. The essence of the movement as to
the masses was truly religious and the duties of religion released the
doer of "the will of God" from all other obligations. The monk from his
cloister and the hermit from his cave declared they had heard God's

[Sidenote: _Sacrifices for the Cause_]

Men do not part with property for what they do not deem a valuable
consideration. Many at this time surrendered their castles, their lands,
their cottages, to "leave all and follow Him." Small sums sufficient to
eke out the alms of the pilgrimage, were accepted as pay, and, if not
forthcoming, the property was abandoned to him who might remain to use
it. It seemed as if all Europe was to emigrate to Palestine.

The Crusaders have been ordered to march on the Feast of the Assumption
in the year following the November of the Council. The whole winter was
given to preparation.

[Sidenote: _Spring Revives Enthusiasm_]

The warmth of spring rekindled the fires of crusading zeal, if indeed
they anywhere burned more slowly during the winter cold. Those who had
been at first indifferent to the movement now became in large numbers as
enthusiastic as those first influenced. Both classes set out to the
appointed camping places. On horseback, in carts, and on foot, the
multitudes marched. Sin marched with purity, and indulgence with
penitence. Prostitutes in arms appeared with the warrior and dragged
down many whom devotion sought to uplift. Secular and warlike music was
sometimes overcome by psalms and other religious songs.

[Sidenote: _Crazy Enthusiasm_]

[Sidenote: _Ignorance of the Crusaders_]

More pitiful sights could be occasioned only by a famine or pestilence.
Men who had dependent families were followed by the wives and children
who could not afford to be separated from their natural protectors. Old
men, helpless as to livelihood, dragged after their strong-armed sons.
There was no joy over staying at home. Happiness seemed to abide only
with those who were going to war. A stream starting from a village drew
other streams from the villages and towns through which it passed until
a river of humanity rushed on. They did not know the length of their
journey, and could not conceive of the dangers they must approach and
pass. Some had been so steadfast in residence as to have no idea of the
size of the world even as it was known to other men. Great lords with
hounds in front, and falcon on wrist, went out as if the chief aim was
to hunt and fish. All were crazed, and at first no sane mind was left to
point out the dangers, or prepare a commissariat, or plan a campaign.



[Sidenote: _Trace of Common Sense_]

There seems, at first, just one trace of common sense, one semblance of
a plan for the movement of the hordes and mobs toward the Holy Land.
Some who had had a taste of war agreed that, as the numbers were great
enough for several armies, they should not start at the same time nor
traverse the same route, and that the rallying-place should be

[Sidenote: _Peter Chosen General_]

[Sidenote: _A Monomaniac_]

Those who had followed Peter from place to place, eager to be the first
to start, chose the Hermit for their general. It would seem as if Peter
had seen enough of war to know that his undisciplined mob could meet but
one fate. It is very probable that he had become a monomaniac before he
began to preach the Crusade, and that, for the greater part of his
career, he had lost whatever balance of judgment he had had. It is
sometimes very hard to distinguish between the unbalanced and the
enthusiast, between the enthusiast and the fanatic, and between the
fanatic and the monomaniac. Men can certainly be sane on every point
but one. Peter in accepting the military command, passed the bounds of
reason. A monk might well think himself called to preach on a great
theme, to arouse the nations to a great duty. He might easily and
properly feel himself competent to be the prophet of God in denouncing
the sluggish and the time-serving. But to accept military command
without experience of war except as an observer, and to lead an
untrained and unprepared mob from Western Europe to Palestine through
difficulties of which, as a pilgrim, he had had experience, connotes
insanity, or, at the best, "zeal without knowledge."

[Sidenote: _Wore Old Cassock_]

[Sidenote: _Walter the Penniless_]

He did not assume a new uniform. He wore his old one. It was still his
coarse woolen cassock, his hood, his sandals, and his rope, and he rode
the same old mule with which his wanderings began. His army was not less
than eighty thousand strong. But the camp followers were almost as many,
made up of old men, women, and children. Peter's crazy faith promised
food to all. They had joined him from Northern France, and as he
approached Germany great numbers from Southern and Central France
swelled his ranks. A gleam of sense appears in the division of his
rabble into two bands, one to be led by himself; the other by Walter
the Penniless, who appears, from some points of view, like a twin of
Peter. Historians have little to say of Walter's origin. Some say he was
of gentle birth and had exchanged his all for his title of "Penniless;"
others that Walter was not put in command until his uncle died. The only
certain thing seems to be that his poverty and enthusiasm were equal to
those of his followers.

[Sidenote: _France Helps Crusaders_]

All goes well while the Crusaders march through loyal and liberal
France. Help was literally poured into their laps; nor did the Germans,
from the earliest historic days easily touched by noble sentiments, fail
to respond both to the plea for the Holy Land and for practical
sympathy. The Rhine people smoothed the pilgrims' way. They were,
however, to meet trouble on the banks of the Danube.

[Sidenote: _Western Christendom Disordered_]

[Sidenote: _Rumors of Cannibalism_]

The expectation that the end of the world was to come about the year
1000 was, for a century before that date, well-nigh universal and
dominant. As that year approached the condition apparently confirmed the
prophetic warnings of the New Testament. Western Christendom seemed to
be hopelessly disordered. It was at this time that a worse invasion than
that of the Turks threatened Europe. The Magyars, or Huns, were
barbarous, irresponsible, undrilled, and rapacious; less responsible to
authority and less moved by pity than the Turks had ever been. In their
love for indiscriminate massacre they seem to have been the wild Indians
of Europe. They came, nobody anticipating them, nobody knowing from
whence. Their ranks were filled up and increased, nobody knew how.
Rumors of cannibalism preceded them, and they were believed to be less
than human in form and mind. A Finn might have partly understood their
talk, but, to the people they attacked, their speech was gibberish.

[Sidenote: _Huns in Europe_]

The weakness and divisions of Christendom invited their approach and
palsied resistance. At almost the same date Bremen on the Baltic and
Constance on the lake, felt their power. They swarmed over the Alps.
They menaced Southern France, and peered from the Pyrenees at Spain.
Italy felt their heaviest hand, and Rome saw their devastating flames
almost under its walls. For fifty years Christendom quaked and fell
before them, and halted them for the first time in A. D. 936 by the
hands of Henry the Fowler. Gradually they were restrained to the limits
of modern Hungary, and in the eleventh century they were Christianized
and the worst enemies of Christianity became guides and caterers to the
Crusaders, while not sharing largely in their enthusiasms.

[Sidenote: _The Bulgarians_]

It was very different with the Bulgarians south of the Danube over whose
great plain of Sophia a smoother path would be found if the Crusaders
could reach it. Sometimes protecting, sometimes robbing Constantinople,
their chiefs drank from the gold-banded skull of a Byzantine emperor.
Basil conquered them only to show himself more barbarous by putting out
the eyes of fifteen thousand Bulgarian captives.

[Sidenote: _Bulgarian Allegiance_]

[Sidenote: _Queer Christianity_]

At the beginning of the Crusades Bulgaria was nominally subject to the
Greek Empire, but held that authority in contempt. Heavy forests then
grew to the southern edge of the Danube where now there are bare hills.
This mingling of forest and hill gave to the Bulgarians a security in
self-rule which was only, in general, ineffectively interrupted by the
army of the empire. The Bulgarian type of Christianity did not extend
the idea of brotherhood beyond its own borders. They could cheerfully
make themselves, without the least trouble of conscience, the terror of
their Christian brethren who were making their way to Jerusalem.

[Sidenote: _Bulgars Attack Crusaders_]

The march, which began in piety and was conducted for a time with due
consideration for the rights of others, soon, almost of necessity,
became a raid on the property of the people through whose lands they
passed. Bulgarian authority not being able to supply provisions to
Walter's army, they foraged along their lines of march, and, when
resisted, burned houses and slew their inmates. The Bulgars answered in
kind; attacked the Crusaders when loaded down with booty; penned some
scores of them in a church to which fire was promptly put, and one
hundred and forty were cremated. Walter did not stop to attempt to
revenge, but dragged after him a starving and diminishing army.

[Sidenote: _Crusaders Learn Something_]

The Governor of Nissa, moved by their condition, refreshed them with
food, warmed them with clothing, and strengthened them with arms. Taught
by the Bulgarian lesson, they passed through Thrace without thieving,
and came at last, worn and miserable, to the walls of Constantinople,
where Alexius permitted them to await the arrival of Peter and his army.

[Sidenote: _Peter's Brave Follies_]

[Sidenote: _A Devastated Country_]

Peter and his army passed safely through Germany, but behaved worse and
fared worse than Walter and his following. The frontiers of Hungary were
decorated with the bodies of Crusaders hanging at the gates of Semlin.
Immediately Peter ordered war. The people of the city fled to a hill,
with the Danube on one side and a forest on the other. They were driven
into the river, four thousand being put to the sword. Belgrade first
knew of the battle by the corpses floating past her walls. Naturally, on
penetrating further into Bulgaria, the Crusaders found only abandoned
cities, food carried away, and as much as was possible, the road bereft
of support of any kind. At Nissa they found a well-fortified city, where
Bulgarians looked down from the walls on the Crusaders, and these last
did not dare to try their strength on such an obstacle.

[Sidenote: _A Great Loss_]

At Nissa they seemed to have obtained supplies and marched on. Some
Germans paid off real or fancied scores by burning some mills on the
Nissava River. The Nissans fell on Peter's rear guard, killed all who
fought, captured two thousand carriages and many prisoners. Peter turned
back immediately, and flamed with wrath as he saw the dead who lay near

[Sidenote: _A Tart Answer_]

Peter cooled down enough to send messengers to the city and ask, on the
ground of a common Christianity, for the restoration of the prisoners
and spoil taken from the Crusaders. The governor of the city tartly
reminded the messengers that Christian conduct alone proved men to be
Christians, and that the Crusaders having made the first attack, he
could only count them as enemies.

This answer fired the Crusaders to fight. Peter, apparently growing in
wisdom by experience, tried to hold the warriors back and begged them to
negotiate. To wrath opposition is always treason, and Peter found
himself regarded as a coward and placarded as a traitor.

[Sidenote: _Fighting and Negotiations_]

While Peter was parleying with the Governor of Nissa, two thousand
Crusaders tried to scale the city walls and carry the city by assault.
The Bulgarians drove them back. A general fight began even while the two
chiefs were negotiating. Peter proved his courage by waving his crucifix
between the combatants and demanding that the fighting should cease. The
uproar of battle gave no heed to his voice. His army was utterly routed
and cut to pieces. They had fought without command, and were beaten into
death and disorder. The Bulgarians captured horses, equipages, the chest
which held the offerings of the faithful, and the women and children.
The greater skill and strength of the Bulgars won the fight which the
unreasoning fury of Peter's followers had provoked.

[Sidenote: _Peter's Five Hundred_]

On the top of a hill near by Peter bemoaned his losses and, it is said,
his foolhardiness. At that moment but five hundred men answered his
call. The next day seven thousand who had been put to flight rejoined
him at the call of his trumpet. They came in day by day until thirty
thousand were mustered. The rest had perished.

[Sidenote: _Penitent Rebels_]

The survivors had small stomach or ability for fighting. They made their
way toward Thrace in a humble and peaceable frame, and seemed to feel
the mistake of rebellion against authority. Pity came to their relief.
Their thin bodies, their staggering gait, their rags, and their tears
brought them the aid denied to their arms. None seemed to have turned
back. The combatants who were not killed still kept their faces toward
the Holy City.

[Sidenote: _A Greek Welcome_]

There seems good evidence that the Greeks would have met them
differently had they been less helpless. The aversion of the Greeks to
the Latins had grown now for centuries. The Latins were tolerable to the
Greeks only when the Greeks needed their aid. The Latins had arrived.
For the present they could do no harm. The emperor, Alexius, intending
to complain, sent messengers to Peter. These returned with tales of
weakness and suffering. They were permitted to journey on, and, with
palms waving, came at last to Constantinople.

[Sidenote: _Peter Captivates Alexius_]

Peter, an object of universal curiosity, if not of admiration, had
audience with the emperor, captivated the monarch as he captivated all,
and went forth loaded with help for his army and some good advice. This
last was to the effect that Peter had better await the arrival of the
military princes and generals who had pledged themselves to the Crusade.
But these, perhaps with calculated delay, lingered at home while other
bodies of Crusaders as ill prepared, as troublesome, and as ill-fated as
those which had followed the lead of Peter, marched away.

[Sidenote: _Roving Crusaders_]

Two notable instances may be given. Gottschalk, a German priest, had
gathered fifteen thousand Crusaders, who made him their leader. His army
arrived in Hungary near the end of summer. Here they gave themselves up
to every kind of wrong-doing. They left behind them daily a trail of
outraged women, robbery, and arson. The Germans were good fighters and
checked the punitive expeditions of the Hungarian ruler. What was not
possible to valor was accomplished by trickery. The Crusaders admitted
the Hungarian chiefs to their camps and fraternized with them. They
yielded to promises and allowed themselves to be disarmed. Promptly they
were attacked and slaughtered.

[Sidenote: _Crusaders Practice on Jews_]

[Sidenote: _Commerce in Jewish Hands_]

Incidentally the Jews suffered from the Crusading craze. One band of
rascally and ungovernable Germans, who had many sins to be washed away
and who availed themselves of the hope for absolution in the promise of
the pope to those who fought for the Holy Tomb, thought it ridiculous to
attack the Unitarian Mussulman so far away, when the Unitarian Jew who
had slain the Lord was close at hand. Then, as now, the commerce of the
world was in Jewish hands, and it was felt that so much wealth ought not
to be in such hands. That element which still exists in the Jewish
character of being purse-proud and offensively familiar in prosperity,
is reported to have twitted the Christians with the worship of a Jewish
prophet as a God.

[Sidenote: _Slaughter of Jews_]

Whatever was the proportion of motive, it is certain that this mob fell
on the Jews and robbed and killed all they found in the cities of the
Rhine and the Moselle. It is said that many perished by kindling flames
they felt to be more merciful than their Christian persecutors. Others,
with stones tied to their necks, drowned themselves and their treasures
in the adjacent rivers. Let us be thankful that there was pity somewhere
and that the Bishops of Worms, Treves, Mayence, and Spires gave asylum
to the persecuted race and denounced the marauding bands as beyond the
pale of the Church.

[Sidenote: _A Goose for a Leader_]

[Sidenote: _Fear of such Maniacs_]

This band set out for Jerusalem in pious rapture that the soldiers of
God had been given victory and had been supplied by the God of Battles
with money for the journey! Blinded with superstition, they measure
themselves to us by what they did. Albert of Aix tells us that they
found a goose "filled with the Holy Ghost," which they made leader in
equal authority with a goat not less filled with the same Spirit (_et
capellam non minus eodem repletam_)! Fear of such maniacs closed the
gates of Hungarian cities. The city now known among Germans as
Ungarish-Altenburg, situated in the marshy embouchure of the Leytha, was
attacked by them by means of a causeway made of the trunks of trees.
Ladders were built, and walls, defended by darts, arrows, and boiling
oil, were almost scaled and won, when the breaking of ladders caused a
panic and the plain was soon covered by fugitives who had, like all
panicky soldiers, thrown away their arms. Multitudes of these were
butchered without resistance while others died hopelessly mired in the

[Sidenote: _Horrors of the March_]

Surely these are enough to show the horrors of such marches in the name
of Christ. A sentence may express the fate of those who survived. The
Bulgarians almost finished what the Huns began. The Greeks received the
news with joy.

[Sidenote: _Forget Their Lessons_]

At length Peter and Walter, between them, could muster an army of one
hundred thousand men, when the re-enforcements from Italian cities were
counted. Still under the walls of Constantinople it was not long before
they forgot the lessons of their defeats and began again to rob and
murder. Alexius soon found it expedient to ferry them across the
Bosporus. The subjects of Alexius suffered worse than the Turks at
first. Anna Comnena, perhaps prejudiced, yet quoted by Michaud, declares
that the Normans in Peter's army when near Nicea, chopped children to
pieces, stuck others on spits, and harried old people. The Germans,
stung by Norman gibes, took a fort in the mountain near Nicea, killed
the garrison and there met the attack of the Turks only to be slain by
the sword. Their commander purchased his life by apostasy and a
treasonable oath.

[Sidenote: _Cruelties of Crusaders_]

Once again the army sets forward, against the protest of the Penniless
Walter, but by his forced consent. Once again they meet the reward of
ignorance and undisciplined courage.

[Sidenote: _Walter Killed at Nicea_]

The ruler of Nicea, concealing a part of his army in the woods, waited
for the Crusaders at the foot of a hill. The Turks pretended flight, but
suddenly turned, surrounded the Crusaders on all sides, routed them,
and slew them with dreadful carnage. Walter died of seven arrow wounds.
The whole army found refuge in a castle close to the sea. The Chronicler
says, "Their monument was a heap of bones piled upon the plain of

[Sidenote: _Turkish Contempt for Crusaders_]

The two results in the East were intense prejudice among the Greeks
against the whole movement and contempt of the Turks for Christian

[Sidenote: _Peter Belabors His Followers_]

[Sidenote: _Peter's Failure as Leader_]

But where was Peter? Losing all authority among the Crusaders he went
back, before the battle of Nicea, to Constantinople and turned the
batteries of his abusive eloquence on those he had lately commanded. He
called them robbers and brigands, and said that their sins shut them out
of the Holy Land. In this he follows the sad habit of all, or almost
all, of those who lead their followers into trouble. It is probable that
he had at this moment led three hundred thousand to death. It may be
that his conscience troubled him a little, though in general the fanatic
is superior to such pangs. At any rate Peter calmed himself by the
consideration that his army was chiefly a rascally crowd. This was the
final proof that he was not of the stuff of which leaders are made. The
verdict of the historian is just: "He had neither the prudence, the
coolness, nor the firmness of the commander." He could rouse but not
control. He could preach, but could not conserve the results of his
preaching. Hereafter we shall see him as a preacher chiefly or in
kindred work. Others supply true leadership.

[Sidenote: _Later Leadership Wiser_]

Those who lingered at home, when the armies of Peter the Hermit and
Walter the Penniless started for Jerusalem, may have been of the wiser
sort, and certainly seemed to have profited by the calamities of their
brethren, both in the matter of preparation and in the treatment of the
nations through which they passed. The first army was led by enthusiasm
almost wholly. The second had true military leadership.

[Sidenote: _Christianity Coalesces With Military Spirit_]

[Sidenote: _Defects of Crusading Christianity_]

[Sidenote: _Europe Callous as to Losses_]

It is interesting to observe how the two great dominant forces,
Christianity and the military spirit, co-operated, and even coalesced,
yet allowed neither to govern in its proper sphere. The early Crusaders
had piety enough to hold them to the march, notwithstanding the awful
trail of death. They did not have enough to prevent their behaving on
the way more like devils than Christians. They had sufficient military
spirit to make them willing to fight, but not enough to make adequate
preparation. The Christianity of that time had devotional but not
humanizing power. It carried along faith, obedience to ceremonial,
abundant prayers, personal humility; but it had little restraint for
passion whether corporal or revengeful. Its hand was powerless to
restrain fury or prevent or relieve misery "The knight before the battle
was as devout as the bishop; the bishop in the battle as ferocious as
the knight."[5] Little better fate availed the women when Christians
prevailed than when Turks won the day. Whatever mourning there was for
individuals, the failure to win the Holy City appears to have given more
sorrow to Europe than the death of three hundred thousand men.

[Sidenote: _Peter Ceases to be General_]

One might gather up at this point the remaining appearances of Peter,
and call his work done. But while he ceased to be a military leader, his
work continued, his spiritual influence remained. We shall see him at
one time arguing with Turks, and at another praying for victory over
them. His strength and his weakness can only be brought out by briefly
sketching some of the men who took up leadership after his failure, and
with whose victories he was identified as priest, prophet, and

[Sidenote: _Godfrey of Bouillon_]

[Sidenote: _A Great Character_]

The noblest, greatest of the leaders was Godfrey of Bouillon, Duke of
Lower Lorraine. Born in Brabant, the blood of Charlemagne was in his
veins through his mother. He had fought for the antipope, and was the
first to enter Rome when captured by the army of Henry. His sentiments
changed until he was ready to expiate his sacrilege by a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem and as a warrior for her deliverance. A giant in strength, a
hero in bravery, his simplicity was that of a hermit. He was wise enough
not to be reckless, and courageous enough never to shrink from the
supreme moment of danger. The common soldier was his friend. His word to
all was his bond. Men felt braver and safer under his lead. Others might
seem by name to be weightier than he in leadership, but in fact he
composed quarrels and compelled unity by his wisdom, and, in moments of
peril, what he thought prevailed.

[Sidenote: _Accessions to His Leadership_]

When his leadership was known, France and the Rhine country gave him of
their best in treasure, of men, arms, and money. Women denied their
amiable vanities that their jewels might furnish outfit for husbands and
sons. The Abbe Guibert[6] declares that what avarice and war had hidden,
now came leaping in marvelous abundance into the hands of the chiefs of
the army. Heaps of gold were visible in their tents, as if fruits had
been carried there instead of untold wealth. Yet some robbed their
vassals that they might be ready. Godfrey sold his dominions chiefly to
the bishops so that it was well said that the secular princes stripped
themselves for the Crusaders while the bishops enriched themselves by
the enthusiasm of the laity.

[Sidenote: _Mixed Motives Again_]

[Sidenote: _Godfrey Welcome_]

Yet here again we must see mixed motives. To regain Jerusalem was also
to be enriched by Saracenic spoils. To give up a petty government or
heritage in Europe might lead to dominion in Asia. These things were
promised by the authority of pope and general. Many great names acceded
to Godfrey's roster, and aided in leading a fairly disciplined and
restrained army toward Palestine. The Huns and Bulgars who had slain the
hosts of Peter welcomed the army of Godfrey, and sped them on their way
with food and prayers. He sent to the East more than eighty thousand
men. Their advance made it easier for the pope to put the dominion of
unfriendly kings in peril by excommunications and other ecclesiastical
penalties. He trimmed the talons of princes while their defenders were
absent. Papal authority rose as secular authority went down. It gave the
people peace at home at the expense of national independence.

[Sidenote: _Fear of Eclipse_]

How much science has done for humanity in relieving it of evil signs and
omens we may know by this, that the reddened moon under eclipse and the
waving streamers of the Aurora combined to persuade the people that the
war was of God. The indifferent were stirred by these prodigies, and
joined the Crusade, and Italy was moved as never before. More princes,
knights, and bishops than can be recorded joined in the march. Alexius,
the craven emperor, who had invited Latin help, trembled with good
reason at the hundreds of thousands now headed toward his capital. He
was a true Greek in sending ambassadors to greet them and in hiding his
troops where they could harass them.

[Sidenote: _Confused Tracks_]

[Sidenote: _A Mean Emperor_]

No one can untangle the tracks of the many bands as described by the
annalists of each expedition. Some went the ruggedest way; some the
smoothest. Alexius made a prisoner of a shipwrecked count, only to have
Godfrey shake him into frenzies of fear by attacking one of his
provinces. He purchased allegiance from his prisoner only to make
himself and his prisoner objects of contempt. He tried to starve
Godfrey's army by refusing provisions, only to have that army bring the
fear of famine to his capital through the energy with which it helped
itself. The approach of Christmas was used as a basis of peace. The
foraging ceased, and Alexius provided food.

[Sidenote: _Christians Quarreling_]

The spectacle of disagreement and of growing contempt for each other is
painful to any who this day bear the Christian name. The Greeks had the
same contempt for the Latins which the Chinese have for the foreign
devil. Unable to resist their arms, they took refuge in the futilities
of philosophy as their proof of superiority, and in the trickery which,
at some periods, had helped them well. But nothing could meet or
restrain the skill, courage, and discipline of the forces pledged to the
cross, and no complacency was proof against the contempt of the Latins
for the Greeks, who, calling themselves Christians, were indifferent to
the cry of the oppressed city of the Savior's passion.

[Sidenote: _Alexius Deceives Godfrey_]

Alexius did succeed in blinding Godfrey, and possibly Bohemond, who was
coming toward Constantinople through Macedonia. He obtained pledges from
both for the integrity of his empire, and apparent submission. Alexius
used money because he could not use force, to create dissensions and to
win over the venial. His temporary success would be astonishing were it
not almost always the case that the craft of an old civilization at
first befools the inexperience of more youthful, more rugged, and more
trusting nations. Alexius finally got all to the other side of the
Bosporus, but failed to wheedle all who came near his throne.

[Sidenote: _On the Track of Peter_]

[Sidenote: _The Crusaders' Discipline_]

At this point, as the army marched through Bulgaria, traces of Peter and
his army begin to appear. Refugees who had hidden in the woods came to
the camps in rags and emaciation. The castle where Rinaldo sought refuge
was pointed out to the new comers as the tomb of all his companions. The
mountain at the foot of which Walter's army had died was indicated with
tears. The site of the camp where Walter had left the women and the
sick, and which was captured by the Turks at the supreme moment of the
mass, only that the venerable might be slain and the women and children
carried into slavery, roused the indignation of the Crusaders beyond any
other spot. It had one good effect. In bringing on a much needed unity,
it brought also a discipline enforced by the calamities whose evident
cause was the lack of it.

[Sidenote: _Arrive at Nicea_]

The spring brought the opportunity of battle to the Crusaders, and a
strong foe met them in the person of the Turk David and his army. He had
fortified Nicea, a city famous for two Councils and now the capital of
David's kingdom. Nature defended it by high mountains and a lake, and
art by walls, towers, and flooded ditches. Garrisoned by the best of
David's troops, one hundred thousand more waited near by to their help.
Five hundred thousand foot-soldiers and one hundred thousand horsemen
came at length in sight of the city for the first real battle of their
Crusade against the infidel. These, in camping before the city, divided
their allotments by walls piled from the bones of the Crusaders who had
fallen on that field. Nineteen languages were heard in the camp, and
each nation fought as it would. Clash and clang soon came, and the
Turks, routed, fled to the hills, only to return the next day and to be
beaten a second time. Three thousand Turkish heads were hurled by
catapults into the city by way of information.

[Sidenote: _Awful Scenes_]

[Sidenote: _Bodies Hurled into City_]

The records paint an awful picture of the siege. Whatever of mechanism
or method was known to Greeks or Romans was employed by besiegers and
besieged. Stones, fireballs, bunches of arrows, heavy beams were fired
into the city by ballista and catapult, and were fired back with equal
skill and abundance. The battering-rams breached the wall and found new
walls rising just within. The besieged fished with iron hooks from the
top of the walls, and hauled the captured Crusaders alive to their
death at the summit. Stripped, they were used as stones for catapults,
and stark naked were fired back into the Christian camp. A Goliath among
the Saracens being killed, the Crusaders were greatly heartened, and,
having gained some advantages, redoubled their attack. The enemy's
supplies by way of the lake were cut off, and their resistance grew
feebler. A tower was undermined, and the thunder of its fall in the
night alarmed both Christians and Turks.

[Sidenote: _The Trick of Alexius_]

After a siege of seven weeks, and when the city was ready to fall,
Alexius succeeded in putting his emissary into the city, who persuaded
the Turks to surrender to him, and the besiegers found the standard of
Alexius floating from the walls. The indignation of some was stayed by
presents, and craft brought Tancred to a slow oath of allegiance. But
the mass understood the treachery, and henceforth good feeling between
Latin and Greek was impossible.

[Sidenote: _Resumes March_]

Resting awhile near Nicea, the Crusaders in two bodies at length resumed
their march through Asia Minor. One was led by Godfrey, the other by
Bohemond and Tancred. Both were equally ignorant of the perils of the
mountains and of the arid plains which were in their way. Bohemond's
army was surprised near a river by which they were encamped. Wave after
wave of Turks rolled over them and were driven back. Their women were
captured by the Turks when they did not first prefer death at their own

[Sidenote: _Bravery of the Leaders_]

[Sidenote: _Rout of the Turks_]

The different leaders--Bohemond, Robert the Duke of Normandy, Tancred,
Richard of Salermo, Stephen, Count of Blois--threw themselves into the
fight, drove the Turks back, but yielded ground, through exhaustion, to
fresh Turkish re-enforcements. All seemed lost when Raymond and Godfrey
appeared with the other division of the Christian army. These chased the
Turks into the mountains, flanked them on both sides, got into their
rear, and met them as they fled down the mountain. The wearied ranks
which had despaired had joined in the charge. The Turks were routed;
twenty thousand fell on the field, and the enemy's camp fell into
Crusading hands. Returning to bury their four thousand dead, they
stripped off the Saracen robes and swords and seem little less than
barbarians in their orgies of joy.

[Sidenote: _Pestilence and Famine_]

The Turks now gave up direct battle, and devastated the country through
which the Christians must pass. Determined to separate no more, the
Crusaders became by their numbers more exposed to the dangers of
pestilence and famine. Almost all the horses perished in the desolated
country. The knights laden with armor found it impossible to march, and
some rode asses and oxen when they could be found. The lowliest animals,
even hogs were made burden-bearers until these, too, perished and left
their loads to be wasted on the road. After unmentionable horrors of
birth and death, the army was rescued by the finding of water by the
dogs, who, however, exposed by their finding it many incautious drinkers
to death from too quickly filling themselves with water. The fair and
fertile Pisidia reached, the Crusaders were in comfort, plenty, and

[Sidenote: _Victory Opens Road_]

The news of their victories preceding them opened the timid cities to
their entrance, and brought them abundant supplies. Brought into despair
by the apparent death of Raymond of Toulouse and the serious wounding of
Godfrey by a bear, they rejoiced in the recovery of both as a miracle in
the camp.

How childish these and other giants in warfare were, appeared by the
breaking out of rivalries and quarrels even in the face of the enemy.

[Sidenote: _Baldwin Forgets the Cross_]

These details multiplied as they passed on until Baldwin forgot the
cross entirely, and became king in Edessa, which served as a city of
help and refuge to later Crusaders.

[Sidenote: _Famine and Pestilence Again_]

[Sidenote: _Bad News and Desertions_]

A dreadful mountain passage where men must march in single file, and
where pack-horses were crowded off precipices, introduces them at length
to Syria, within whose bounds the Palestine of their desire was
included. Antioch lay in their way, and was besieged with many
difficulties and dangers; some from the presumption of a foolish faith;
others from the thoroughness with which supplies had been destroyed by
the Turks. Famine came on through the lack of foresight, and pestilence
quickly followed. The winter rains inundated the camps, and the dead in
the general distress were left unburied. The foraging parties could
repulse the Turks and even capture their camps, but could not find
within practicable range food enough for the army. Their communications
were cut off by sea through the withdrawal of the Italian and Flemish
fleets, and the army settled down to abject misery, despair, and death,
as they heard that Swerro, King of Denmark, with his promised bride and
fifteen hundred warriors, had been slain by the Turks while marching to
join the main army. Almost for the first time soldiers began to desert,
hopeless of capturing Antioch or of reaching the Holy Land.

[Sidenote: _Peter Reappears_]

Peter the Hermit, who appears to have marched silently with the army,
now, of all men, shrinking under the criticisms of the army, flees
secretly from the camp. They had lost the Duke of Normandy, Tatius,
William of Melun, by temporary or permanent desertion, but the flight of
Peter made the most noise and caused the greatest scandal. He was
punished by Tancred and brought back in disgrace, and was compelled to
swear on the Bible that he would never run away again.

[Sidenote: _A Wicked Camp_]

[Sidenote: _Remedy for Wickedness_]

Perhaps he ran from the awful wickedness of the camp as well as from the
famine and pestilence. The soldiers, expecting soon to die, gave
themselves up to gambling, every phase of lust, and to drunkenness, when
the means thereof could be obtained. A good element of the clergy,
notably the Bishop of Puy, by word and example sought to stay the full
flood of wickedness. It happened then, as in every age, that a sign,
something seen of the eye, had more power than words addressed to the
conscience. An Aurora, a rare phenomenon to most, was claimed by the
preachers to be a warning from God. Processions of penitents began to
march about the camp. Penalties for drunkenness were devised, the hair
being cut off in drunken sleep. Blasphemers were branded. Turks and
Syrians were spitted and roasted by Bohemond, who thus rid the camp of
unfriendly mouths and dangerous spies. The good bishop who preached
against sin wrought practical godliness by compelling the soldiers to
plant the fields about Antioch. This provided food and persuaded the
Turks of the indomitable spirit of the Crusaders. Provisions began to
come in greater abundance, and pestilence was stayed by the opening of

[Sidenote: _Egyptians Seek Reliance with Crusaders_]

It is a curious fact that at this time an alliance, wisely rejected for
the most part, was sought by the Egyptians with the Christians as
against the Turks. This condition would have put the Christians wholly
in the hands of the Caliph of Egypt the moment the allied armies had
possessed Jerusalem. The spirits of the Crusaders were greatly raised by
a victory over twenty thousand Turks who came to the relief of Antioch.
Two thousand men and one thousand horses were killed. The "gentleness"
of the Crusaders' conception of Christianity was shown by loading two
hundred Turkish heads on four camels and sending them as a present to
the departing Egyptian envoys, and two hundred more Turkish heads were
thrown into the city of Antioch, while many more were stuck on pikes
around the walls.

[Sidenote: _Carlessness Brings Attack_]

But they met disaster as well, because nothing seemed to make them see
the importance of discipline and of precaution against surprise. Going
unarmed in great numbers to St. Simeon to bring provisions from the
Italian fleets, they were dispersed by the Turks. Godfrey, whose great
figure is always seen when disaster is to be retrieved, follows the
Turks, heavy with their plunder, routs them, and, having made wise
disposition of troops, prevents the retreating army from re-enforcing

[Sidenote: _Slaughter of the Turks_]

[Sidenote: _Details of Valor_]

The besieged in Antioch witnessed the awful battle from their walls, and
the river Orontes drowned two thousand who escaped from the Crusaders'
swords. A great picture of personal valor is seen when, in hand-to-hand
battle with a Saracen leader, Robert of Normandy salutes him with the
words, "I devote thy impure soul to the powers of hell," and splits his
skull to the shoulders with a single blow. Even a greater tale of
ferocious strength is told of Godfrey, who, when his shield had been
broken by a great Saracen, raised himself on his stirrups and cut with
such appalling strength that one part of the Saracen remained on the
horse and the other fell to the ground. The Mohammedans having buried
most of their number who died near their walls in their arms and robes,
camp followers of Christian name dug them up, stripped off all
valuables, and paraded through the Christian camps two thousand Turkish
heads, which were thrown, when the procession was over, into the

[Sidenote: _An Armenian Scoundrel_]

[Sidenote: _Antioch Taken by Treachery_]

These details are surely enough to show the diabolical cruelty with
which the siege of Antioch was carried on by both sides. The wily
governor of Antioch decrees a truce, and breaks it as soon as he has
provisioned the city. What would possibly have been refused to arms was
given, after seven months' siege to policy and stratagem. Bohemond found
an Armenian, a renegade Christian, among the commanders of the army of
Antioch, managed to meet him, and baited him with great promises. The
project to buy the way into the city was rejected by the noble minds,
but Bohemond took advantage of the approach of a great Turkish army,
then only seven days distant, to fill the camp with dread of surrender
and of safety only in talk. Phirous, the Armenian, had been well trained
by Bohemond, and offered to surrender his corner of the city only to
Bohemond. Fear of destruction brought all the leaders to Bohemond's idea
except Raymond. The defenders of Antioch suspected treason through
Phirous, and almost defeated the plans of that scoundrel. But the
renegade, keeping an inscrutable face under question, and being
dismissed with praises, stabbed his own brother to the heart when he
refused to aid the traitorous plan, and in the blackness of a night
storm admitted one and another by means of a leather ladder until there
were enough to take the city and put the surprised and awakened
Mussulmans to the sword. The morning light showed the flag of Bohemond
waving over Antioch, but at the expense of six thousand defenders dead.

Phirous received great wealth for his treachery; followed the Crusaders
to Jerusalem; remained Christian for two years; then turned Mohammedan
again, and died detested and abhorred by Mohammedan and Christian alike.

[Sidenote: _Attacked by Egyptian Army_]

[Sidenote: _Famine Once More_]

The fall of Antioch was quickly followed by new dangers for the
Christians. The army whose approach brought them to acquiesce in the
treachery of Phirous was soon at hand, and the Christians were soon
besieged in front of and within the city they had just won. Famine once
more was on them. Horses were eaten first, and then hogs and dogs;
finally the leather of their boots and the corpses of Saracens. The
usual desertions followed, and starvation brought all the horrors of
frenzy and blasphemy from those who believed God ought to correct human
follies by miraculous power. Alexius, who had begun a march to the
relief of Antioch, stopped when deserters told him the situation of the
Latins. Perhaps he was not ill-pleased over the news.

[Sidenote: _Encouraged by Prodigies_]

The historians of the time say that the courage of the Crusaders was
revived through their superstitions. At the moment of the greatest
despair and when the infidel general had refused their terms of
surrender, prodigies and visions came for their encouragement. St.
Ambrose, the Virgin, Jesus Himself, were seen by some in the churches.
The leaders bound themselves anew by oath not to desert the cause, and
the army finally followed the example of their captains. New wonders
were reported to confirm their resolve. A priest in his sleep saw St.
Andrew three times, who told him to dig near the principal altar of St.
Peter's church, and he would find the head of the spear which pierced
the Redeemer's side. This should lead them to victory. After three days
of prayer twelve of the clergy and knights dug in silence, and had gone
down twelve feet without avail. At night, when the twelve witnesses were
at prayers, Barthelmi jumped into the hole and climbed out with the
iron in his hands!

[Sidenote: _Peter Delivers Challenge_]

[Sidenote: _Peter's Boldness_]

Whether the Christian leaders felt that they could better spare Peter
than a general we do not know, but we do know that, with the great
revival of courage, challenge was sent to the Saracens for general
engagement or single combat, and Peter the Hermit was the messenger. He
was in his element when he could talk. Though treated contemptuously by
his audience, he spoke as if he was the greatest ruler of the earth. It
is a wonder that they did not promptly kill him for his insolence. He
told them that Asia Minor properly belonged to Christians, that God had
permitted it to fall into Turkish hands on account of Christian sins,
but God was now arisen to fight on the Christian side. "Now," he says,
"leave and go to your own country. We will not humble you. We will pray
for your conversion to the true faith. If you will not go, and will not
become Christians, let us decide all matters by battle by a few knights,
or by one, or by a general fight."

[Sidenote: _Embassy Driven Away_]

The perilous situation of the Christians was known to Kerbogha, the
Mohammedan general, and he was enraged at the impudence of Peter. "You
are as good as conquered and come to me to dictate terms. Go back and
tell them they must receive conditions, and not make them. If you will
acknowledge Mohammed, I will feed and clothe you, and may leave Antioch
in your hands. If not, we shall see what the sword will do!" Peter and
his escort were driven off, and were several times in danger of death on
the way back. Battle was ordered for the next day by the Christian

During the night a hidden supply of provisions was found. The Crusaders
strengthened themselves by a meal and the offices of religion, and day
coming, the Christian army, representing the twelve apostles, marched
out in twelve divisions.

[Sidenote: _Carrying the Lance-Head_]

[Sidenote: _Disposition for Battle_]

Raymond D'Agiles carried the lance-head and fixed their attention on it.
Some of the priests chanted a warlike psalm in the front rank, while
others blessed the outgoing army from the walls. The walls and the hills
echoed the cry, "God wills it! God wills it!" The appearance of the army
was such as to fill the Mussulmans with contempt. Ragged, thin, and
weak, mounted on asses and camels, on anything which could carry them,
they deployed to meet the fifteen masses of Saracens. The Crusaders soon
cut to pieces the two thousand who guarded the bridge of Antioch, and
ranged themselves where the mountain protected them from surprise. The
great names commanded the wings and the center, with Bohemond in
reserve. The early hours were friendly to the Christians. Later they
were sorely hurt by a surprise from a body of Saracens who had passed
around the mountain and had attacked their rear. The grass was fired in
front of the Christians by the sultan of Nicea, a fact which was near
ruining the prospects of the Christians.

[Sidenote: _Prodigy of Horsemen_]

[Sidenote: _Hundred Thousand Turks Killed_]

Once again a prodigy is reported. A squadron descends from the
mountains, led by three white horsemen. A bishop, perhaps himself the
inventor of this pious fraud, cries out to the wavering Crusaders:
"Behold, heavenly succor has come!" Instantly the Christians revive and
renew the attack, and the Saracens were put to rout. Failing even to
rally on the other side of the river, they left behind them their arms
and their baggage. Their general had only a small body-guard as he fled
toward the Euphrates. With horses captured on the field, the Christians
kept up the pursuit. A hundred thousand of the infidels died, and four
thousand Christians won the martyr's crown. The battle enriched the
Crusaders beyond any hope or experience, and Antioch was filled with the
captured booty. The historian declares, "Horrors had made the Christians
invincible. This was the only miracle."

[Sidenote: _Disputes Follow Victory_]

With this astounding victory the march of the Crusaders almost ceased to
meet armed resistance. The mass of the army clamored to march on to
Jerusalem. The leaders were divided. Some said, "Let us march before the
enemy recovers from the terror of our arms." The majority of the leaders
forgot the Holy City in the pleasures, securities, and conquests of
Syria. This gave strength to their arguments to wait for the
re-enforcements of men and horses for which they asked the home

[Sidenote: _Fifty Thousand Christians die of Pestilence_]

Pestilence was the penalty of delay, and fifty thousand old and new
warriors died in and near Antioch. Yet in such times Christians could
quarrel, and Bohemond was denied by the Count of Toulouse the full
possession of Antioch. They were ready to fight. Others followed their
example, and all important time was wasted by quarrels and
recriminations. At the very foot of the altar some of the leaders lied
and quarreled to gain power. Bands roamed over Syria wherever there was
a chance to loot; fighting over it when taken, and dying of starvation
and thirst whenever they met unexpected resistance.

[Sidenote: _Piety and Villainy_]

The world has never seen a greater mixture of piety and villainy than
among these Crusaders. They could rape, rob, and murder with a good
conscience, yet must be numbered among the most heroic of men. They
endured uncomplainingly long marches in heat and cold, in hunger,
thirst, and pestilence. They fought superior numbers with amazing
courage. The one supreme virtue was valor against man and beast.

[Sidenote: _Excursions While Waiting_]

[Sidenote: _Careless Again_]

The long wait for orders to march to Jerusalem sent some leaders out to
take cities over which they might rule, and others to visit the
Christian leaders who had already won thrones. But most remained in a
demoralizing inactivity until a prodigy of electrical balls of light, or
possibly a meteoric shower, started, by various interpretations, the
mass into securing their rear by the capture and subjugation of several
Syrian cities. In one of these sieges the Saracens threw something like
Greek fire down on the besiegers, and followed this with hives of bees.
Always the Crusaders seemed to be without a proper preparation for food,
and before more than one city the Christian soldiers cooked and ate the
bodies of their enemies; and it is even reported that human flesh was
sold in the shambles of their camp, as the flesh of dogs certainly was.

[Sidenote: _Saracens Defile the Cross_]

In all this horror the spirits of the Crusaders were fortified by the
outrages of the Saracens on the symbol of Christianity. They erected
crosses on their walls, covered them with filth, and reviled the
worshipers. It was poor policy for the besieged. It infuriated the
natural passions and inflamed the religious zeal of the besiegers.
Constructing engines which shattered the walls, the Crusaders made
themselves masters of the fortifications. In the dusk they did not dare
to enter the city. In the morning it appeared to be deserted, but the
inhabitants were discovered in subterranean refuges. They were soon
smoked out, and were slaughtered without regard to age or sex. Thus fell
the city of Maarah, of which no stone was left. Awful as this was for
men wearing the cross of Christ, it spread such terror that life may
have been saved thereby, since other cities willingly opened their

[Sidenote: _Soldiers Desire Attack_]

The common soldiers refused longer to interest themselves in the
quarrels of their leaders, and, hearing that the Egyptians had taken
Jerusalem, demanded to be led on, and threatened to choose new leaders
unless their old ones showed the way to Jerusalem. Raymond finding that
he must lead or be left behind, forsook his ambition, led in a
procession of penitence, and gave the signal for departure.



During the six months after the capture of Antioch most of the leaders
seemed to have contemplated no forward step.

[Sidenote: _Raymond Orders March_]

[Sidenote: _Re-enforcements from England_]

[Sidenote: _Quarrels and Miracles_]

[Sidenote: _Alexius and His Craft_]

[Sidenote: _Egyptian Bribes_]

But the orders of Raymond to march filled many with enthusiasm, and,
under the lead of Raymond, Tancred, and the Duke of Normandy, the army
traversed the territories of Syrian Cæsarea, Hamath, and Edessa. They
were welcomed by Moslem and Christian alike. Fear pleaded for this with
the first, and sympathy with the last. Protection was sought at the
hands of the invaders, and presents and food were abundantly provided.
They were surprised and delighted by the return of Christian prisoners
believed to have perished on the battle-field. A portion of the army
reached Laodicea, and welcomed there re-enforcements from England. But
the main object was still postponed, and the army under separate leaders
attacked neighboring cities. Raymond sat down before Archas, and was
firmly resisted. Godfrey went to lay siege to Gibel, and Raymond of
Turenne to Tortosa. This period of delay and of excursions for the sake
of loot, was chiefly occupied by those who remained in camp, with
disgraceful quarrels when not engaged in inventing miracles, and noising
them abroad. The first seem to have been largely checked by the
appearance of an ambassador from the Emperor Alexius of Constantinople,
who proved himself, while professing friendship, about the worst enemy
the Crusaders had. Just now he reproached them with gentleness, being
afraid of them, for not putting the cities they had captured under his
dominion. He promised to follow them with an army into Jerusalem if the
Crusaders would give him time to prepare. Sick of his treacheries, and
feeling only contempt for him personally, his new complaints and
promises served only to cement and unify them and make them the more
ready to march on. As to the miracles, they ceased when, in the ordeal
by fire, Barthelemi, the author of the Holy Lance, came through the
flames mortally injured. The Caliph of Cairo, with whom it was believed
Alexius was in league, had already possessed himself of Jerusalem, and,
fearing for his authority there, sent ambassadors to treat with the
Christian army. Rich presents were brought to the leaders sufficient to
tempt the avarice which had grown by conquest. The announcement by the
ambassadors that the gates of Jerusalem would be opened only to unarmed
Christians--a proposition which the leaders had rejected when in the
miseries of the siege of Antioch--enraged those in authority.

[Sidenote: _The Crusaders' Answer_]

The answer of the Christian leaders was an order to prepare to march and
a threat to carry the war into Egypt itself. The Emir of Tripoli
attacked them with fearful loss, and was mulcted heavily in tribute and
provisions. All headed toward Jerusalem with the way cleared by fear of
Christian arms, except Raymond, who was finally compelled to march also
by the threatened rebellion of his soldiers. Late May found the
Crusading army in the field. They passed through a rich country, whose
harvests were finished and whose orchards bore abundantly oranges,
pomegranates, and olives.

[Sidenote: _A Rich Country_]

Yet as they marched they were mindful that battle and pestilence had
reduced their numbers by two hundred thousand. Some had returned home,
unable to endure the hardships, and many had remained in the conquered
cities through which they had passed. The army numbered scarcely fifty
thousand real soldiers. Yet much that was gone was a relief to their
camp-chests and their commissary. One historian thinks this fifty
thousand to have been really stronger than the horde which besieged

[Sidenote: _Along the Sea Coasts_]

The line of march was along the seacoasts that the sea might furnish
them provisions through the Flemish and Italian fleets. They reach
Accon, the modern Acre, to find the Emir promising everything but
immediate surrender, and that also when Jerusalem was occupied. A
wounded pigeon, picked up by the Bishop of Apt, had under its wing a
letter from the Emir of Accon to the Emir of Cæsarea which said, "The
accursed Christians have just passed through my territories, and will
soon be in yours. Let the Mussulman rulers be warned, and let our
enemies be crushed!" The Crusaders naturally believed this a providence
of great assurance and value, and presently moved inland and took
possession of Lydda and Ramla.

[Sidenote: _Near Jerusalem_]

They were now but sixteen miles from Jerusalem. A stronger desire to
march on Egypt led some to counsel delay. But agreement to march to
Jerusalem was had, and, with temporary desertions and cautious advances
and the marking houses and towns as private possessions, they came at
last near Emmaus. Terrified by a lunar eclipse, some are
panic-stricken, but the phenomenon is well explained and held to be a
sign of victory.

[Sidenote: _Jerusalem from the Hill_]

Now, those who slept that night could hope, could know that, with the
climbing of a hill, daylight would reveal Jerusalem. On the 10th of
June, 1099, the first who reached the summit at break of day, cried out,
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem," and the crowd rushing after cried, "God wills
it!" as they looked upon the Mount of Olives and the Holy City. Riders
climbed down from their horses and marched on foot; many knelt, and
multitudes kissed the ground. The sense of the sin for whose forgiveness
Christ had died, brought many to tears of honest penitence and some to
conscious pardon. As they looked on the height where His profaned tomb
must be, they wept bitter tears and vowed again to deliver the city.

[Sidenote: _Country Laid Waste_]

Before the Christians could invest the city its ruler took care to
ravage the adjacent territory, poison the wells, and thus belted the
walls with a desert. He provisioned the city against a siege, and
fashioned all known engines of war. The garrison of forty thousand was
increased by twenty thousand arm-bearing citizens.

[Sidenote: _Plan for Attack_]

On the day after arrival, the various leaders distributed the territory
and laid siege to the city. Egress from the city was possible only
through the valley of Gihon and the valley of Jehoshaphat. Christians
from the city, driven out for fear of treason and to burden the
resources of the besiegers, quickened the ardor of the Christian army by
an account of the wrongs they had suffered at Mussulman hands. Churches
had been robbed for the benefit of infidel soldiers, and the most sacred
buildings were threatened with destruction by the unbelievers. All these
conditions led to a determination of an early assault. They had made no
adequate provision for scaling walls or battering gates, but expected
Divine intervention in their favor. The assault was repulsed, and their
losses brought the victory of reason.

[Sidenote: _Constructing Engines of War_]

Finding some large beams, they demolished churches and houses to obtain
other material. The drought of summer came on; the cisterns had been
filled up or poisoned; Kedron ran dry, and thirst added its horrors. The
intermitting fountain of Siloam was insufficient. The soldiers were
reduced to licking the dew from the stones. Animals died in great
numbers. The loot of great cities was exchanged for a few draughts of
foul water. Fear alone prevented the sortie from the city which would
have nearly extinguished the Christian army. Some fled. The wonder is
that so many remained and saw that the only remedy for their evils lay
in the capture of the city.

[Sidenote: _Aided by German Fleet_]

[Sidenote: _Scarcity of Water_]

As if a sudden gift from God, a German fleet reached Jaffa. It was well
unloaded before capture by a Saracen fleet, and the detachment sent from
the besiegers to open communication, searched Jaffa, and the provisions
and instruments and material for war were carried to the Crusaders'
camp. Desiring yet more, a native led the Duke of Normandy to a forest
thirty miles from the city, and this timber was dragged to the city.
Regular expeditions to find water were successfully organized, and lines
of women and children quickly passed it to the camp. Bunches of faggots
were rapidly accumulated and machines of war grew each day, and were
planted for the next attack. They made three towers higher than the
walls of the city, with a draw-bridge, over which the besiegers might
reach the top of the walls.

[Sidenote: _Religious Processions_]

[Sidenote: _Peter's Address_]

All being ready, they fortified their courage by religious exercises,
and with the clergy leading, marched around the city. From the valley
which faces Calvary, the Crusaders set out, passing by the reputed tomb
of Mary, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Mount of Olives. They halted
on the Mount of the Ascension to reconcile all differences and seal
pardon with mutual prayer. The Saracens raised crosses on the walls, and
denied them in every way which could be devised by a foul imagination.
After a long silence, Peter the Hermit once more finds voice: "You hear
them! You hear their threats and blasphemies! Christ dies again on
Calvary for your sins. Swear, swear to defend them. The army of infidels
will soon disappear. The mosques shall be temples of the true God." And
much more did Peter say after his old eloquent fashion, and with results
which were wholly like those which followed his early preaching. The
soldiers fell on each other's necks, praised God, and pledged themselves
to finish the holy work they had begun. They passed the night after
their return to camp in prayer and in the reception of the holy

The Mohammedans spent their time also in exercises of their religion,
and thus both sides were animated by the extreme of devout zeal.

[Sidenote: _Saracen Machines_]

The Christian leaders resolved to make the attack before the courage of
their army could diminish by longer contemplation of the difficulties
and dangers of the assault. The Saracens had built up their machines
opposite those of the Christians, and to the last determined, as their
mechanism seemed more movable, to change their locality and attack at a
less prepared spot. During the night Godfrey moved his quarters to the
gate of Kedar. With the greatest difficulty the tower on wheels and
other machines were moved. Tancred got his machines ready between the
gate of Damascus and the angular tower known later as the Tower of

[Sidenote: _Filling a Ravine_]

A ravine which needed to be filled delayed Raymond, who succeeded, by
paying a small sum to every one who would throw three stones, in
building, in three days, a good path across the ravine. This done, the
signal was given for a general attack.

[Sidenote: _The Fight Begins_]

The camp of the Christians was summoned to arms by the trumpets on the
14th of July, 1099. Men and machines began their awful task. The air was
full of flints hurled to the walls by ballistas and mangonels. Under
large shields and covered galleries, the battering-rams approached the
walls. A cloud of arrows swept the ramparts, and the ladders were
erected at the most promising points. Northeast and south the rolling
towers were pushed to the walls, and Godfrey set the example of being
first to open the battle from their tops. The resistance was as vigorous
as the attack. Arrows, spears, boiling oil, Greek fire, and the
missiles from the besieged machines repulsed the attack. Through a hole
made by the besiegers the besieged attacked the machines of the
Christians, hoping to burn them. Night came on after a twelve hours'
fight without victory to either side.

[Sidenote: _Battle of Second Day_]

[Sidenote: _Saracens Attempt to Burn Towers_]

The next day, after a night spent in repairing the attacking machines on
the one hand and the guardian walls on the other, the order to attack
was early given after heartening speeches by the Christian leaders and
tent-to-tent visitations by the clergy. An Egyptian army was reported as
approaching and the report greatly encouraged the besieged. The
besiegers were infuriated by a damaging resistance, whose strength and
energy they had underrated. The battle opened with a fierceness
unparalleled. Javelins, stones, and beams were hurled in such numbers
that some met in the air and both fell on the besiegers. Flaming torches
and firepots were hurled from the walls. The Christian towers did their
work in the midst of flames, particularly the Tower of Godfrey, on whose
roof a golden cross shone. The leaders fought amidst piles of their dead
and seemed to be invulnerable themselves. Breaches were made in the
walls behind which stood a living barricade of Saracens. An Egyptian
emissary was caught, his message to the besieged squeezed from him, and
his body was then hurled from a catapult into the city. The wooden
machines of the Christians began to burn, as well as the battering-rams
and their roofs, while their guards and operators were crushed and
buried under their ruins. The attacking force was fought to a
standstill, and was reviled for their worship of a helpless God.

[Sidenote: _Body Hurled From Catapult_]

[Sidenote: _Inspiring Vision_]

[Sidenote: _Crusaders Enter City_]

A vision of a knight waving his buckler above the Mount of Olives, and
signaling that the Christians should advance, renewed the attack. It is
said women and children defied all dangers, brought food and helped push
the towers against the walls. Godfrey's Tower got near enough to lower
its gangway on the walls. Fire now came to the aid of the Crusaders,
being carried by a favoring wind to the bags of hay, straw, and wool
which made the last inner defense. Godfrey, preceded by two and followed
by many, pursued the smoke-driven enemy and entered the city. They
killed as they went. Tancred, encouraged by another apparition, entered
the city from another point; some through a breach; others by ladders;
others from the top of the towers. The enemy at length fled, and the cry
heard first under Peter's preaching, "God wills it!" was echoed in the
streets of the Holy City. While these were in the city, Raymond still
met with resistance which led them to abandon their tower and machines,
and to attack with the sword. They scaled the walls by ladders, and were
soon the victors.

The Saracens made a brave rally and charged the Christians, who had
already begun to pillage. These were, however, soon led to victory by
Everard de Puysaie, and the infidels were finally routed.

[Sidenote: _Christians Possess the City on Friday_]

Where prodigies are so constantly related and truth sacrificed to
marvels, we can not be certain that the statement is true that the
Christians entered Jerusalem on a Friday at three, at the same hour at
which Christ died for all men. The Crusaders forgot the teaching of the
hour; remembered only their wounds, losses, and sufferings, and put to
death without mercy all who came in their way and all they could ferret

[Sidenote: _Christians Murder Saracens_]

Death by jumping from the walls seemed more desirable to many than
appeal to Christian mercy. Their last resort was to the mosques, and
particularly the Mosque of Omar. Into this the Christians rode on
horseback and trampled the heaps of dead and dying laid low by
"Christian" swords. An eyewitness, Raymond d'Agiles, says that in the
porch of this mosque blood rose to the knees and bridles of the horses!
Ten thousand were slain there. The authority cited above declares that
bodies floated in the blood, and arms and hands were tossed by sanguine
waves. An Arabian author says, "Seventy thousand were killed in the
Mosque of Omar." God alone knows the truth. Only once before in human
history can be found a record of such slaughter, and that was when Titus
conquered the city centuries before.

[Sidenote: _Peter Object of Great Interest_]

The fame of Peter the Hermit was such that the Christians of the city
coming from their hiding-places to greet their deliverers had no eyes
for anybody but the eloquent monk, nor praises for any other. He was the
sole cause of their deliverance as he was the prophet of their cause.

[Sidenote: _Godfrey Goes to Holy Sepulcher_]

The nobility of Godfrey appears in this, that, refraining from revenge,
as soon as the battle was over he laid aside his weapons, bared his
feet, and went to pray at the Holy Sepulcher. This was the signal for
the cessation of bloodshed as soon as known. The bloody garments were
thrown aside, and, barefooted and bareheaded, the Crusaders marched to
the Church of the Resurrection.

In this sudden change from fiends to the penitence and devoutness of
Christians, we note a constantly recurring fact. These changes of mood
are characteristic of fanaticism, which is always possessed by its
ideas, and never rules over them. Elijah stepped down from the
exaltation of the God-accepted prophet on Carmel to be the murderer of
the prophets of Baal, and was left to cowardice, to melancholy, and to
wandering in the desert until taught by the fire, the wind, and the
earthquake that he was not to bring human passion into God's work.

[Sidenote: _Crusaders Again Butcher Saracens_]

The Crusaders seem to have learned no permanent lesson of pity. They
soon returned to the sword. Fearing the care of too many prisoners;
dreading that, if released, they would have to fight them again, and
feeling that they must make ready to meet an Egyptian army whose arrival
was daily expected, they decreed the death of all the unbelievers who
remained in the city. Passion energized policy. They compelled the
Saracens to leap from the walls or into flames, and heaped up their
corpses as altars on which others were sacrificed. The city was
everywhere strewn with corpses, even, as one remarks, "the very place
where Christ forgave His enemies." The habit of killing was now so
inveterate that such sights distressed none except as the odors and
dangers of pestilence. A few Mussulmans, saved chiefly from the
fortress of David, were compelled to remove for burial the bodies of
their kindred and people beyond the walls. The soldiers of Raymond aided
them, not from motives of humanity, but because being the last to enter
the city, they hoped to secure what they had missed in pillage by
robbing the bodies of the dead.

[Sidenote: _Heaps of Corpses_]

The city was soon cleaned, and, as all respected the marks of private
ownership upon which the Crusaders had agreed, they were enriched and
soon contributed to the life of a most orderly city.

[Sidenote: _Exhibition of True Cross_]

It will be recalled that when Heraclius conquered Chosroes he claimed to
have brought back the true cross to Jerusalem. During the Saracenic
occupation the Christians had concealed it and now brought it forth for
the adoration of the faithful. With triumph they bore it to the Church
of the Resurrection.

[Sidenote: _Godfrey Refuses Crown_]

The question of government was settled, after debate, fasting, some
ceremony and prayer, by a special Council of Ten. Godfrey of Bouillon
was chosen king with acclamation, all but universal, yet he refused to
receive a diadem because his Savior had in that city worn a crown of
thorns, and would receive no other title beyond "Defender of the Holy

The effort to organize the Church admittedly was less successful in
putting wise and holy men in high places than the attempt to elect a
suitable king. The bishops of the Latin Church, then as now, took high
ground, claimed to be above the civil power, and demanded that the bulk
of the captured wealth be put into their hands. The Greek priests had
the right of possession, but were sacrificed. Simeon, who had invited
the Crusaders, and who from Cypress had repeatedly sent the Latins
succor, died while a Latin bishop was claiming his patriarchate. Arnold,
believed by most to be tainted, was made pastor of Jerusalem.

[Sidenote: _Arrogance of the Latin Bishops_]

[Sidenote: _A New Peril_]

The Saracens, much as they had suffered, were not ready to abandon the
field. Such as were left joined the Caliph of Cairo who was advancing to
attack Jerusalem. Godfrey, deserted by some of his colleagues, went out
to meet him; the deserters following after when the peril became more
visible and imminent. Peter led the clergy and prayed for a final
success. They numbered not more than twenty thousand, yet they won a
great victory, some of their enemies being driven to the mountains,
others perishing in the sea. They dropped their arms in terror, and were
literally mowed down. Thus ended the battle of Askalon, and it was the
last victory of the first Crusade.

[Sidenote: _Peter and His End_]

Peter returned to Europe, resumed a quiet life in a monastery, which was
built at Huy on the right bank of the Meuse, in pursuance of a vow made
when in danger at sea by Peter's fellow voyager, the Count de Montaigne.
It was dedicated in 1130. Peter died there at a great age, and was
buried at his request outside the church on the ground of humility. One
hundred and thirty years later the abbot removed (in 1242) his bones to
a shrine before the Altar of the Apostles in the Abbey Church. His life
was ended, "but his works followed him."

The church where he was buried was wasted and wrecked during the French
Revolution and Peter's coffin destroyed. His gravestone still exists.

Other Crusades followed, of which mere mention must suffice. Their
results, however, in part remain to this day, and deserve to be here

[Sidenote: _Greek and Latin Church_]

As we have seen, the first Crusade had in the minds of its originators,
as at least a secondary object, the reconciliation of the Greek and
Latin Church. But the result was directly opposite. Their relations were
submitted, and the gap is as wide open to-day as then. The Saracens were
less dangerous to the Eastern Church and empire than the Latins proved
to be. The Latins conquered for themselves. It must be admitted that
the treachery of Alexius gave large justification if not full warrant.

[Sidenote: _Power of Papacy Augmented_]

The strength and wealth of the papacy were greatly increased. It
attached all who went to its authority by its dispensation, not only
from purgatorial pains but from the penalty of sin here and hereafter.
It made freemen of all who wore the sign of the cross, and absolved from
all allegiance except to itself. By persuading departing lords to make
over their sovereignty to him, the pope became the arbiter and
consecrator of all sovereignty, and at length obtained the right to
release from allegiance the subjects of two independent sovereigns.

No pope led an army. The shock of defeat to a "Vicar of Christ" would
have been very great. So legates were sent and upheld in his name the
supremacy of the Church.

[Sidenote: _Reasons for Irrevocable Vow_]

The vow to crusade was irrevocable, and sovereigns took it to obtain
pardon, to secure glory, and propitiate favor. The pope alone could
release the votary, and he took good care to make the price heavy in the
acknowledgment of his authority.

By sending legates to every country to preach the Crusades, the
authority of the pope was also greatly advertised and augmented. Through
these the pope acquired a right to tax for his purposes within the
domain of independent States.

[Sidenote: _How Clergy Grew Rich_]

[Sidenote: _Papal Ambitions_]

The clergy and the Church grew rich because unable to alienate their own
estates, they bought in the property and domains of princes, dukes, and
counts, who sold all to enter upon the Holy War. For two centuries this
went on among the most fruitful of the many methods by which the Church
added to her temporal substance. The Church, by the Crusade, established
the principle that religious wars were just, and for five centuries the
principle was indorsed with blood. Incidentally the hurling back of the
Mohammedan advance occurred, but the hunger for papal dominion spurred
on the popes to bless those who fought. Called defensive at first, they
quickly became aggressive, and many a Crusading band hacked at the Jews
before carving a path through to Mohammedans.

Chivalry took on a more religious tone through the Crusades, if indeed
it was not in some countries directly born of the wars of the cross.

[Sidenote: _Principles of Chivalry_]

Most of the principles of chivalry were Christian in the quality of
conduct, if not always of motive. To be just, generous, brave, the
defender of weakness, and to be pure in life were certainly Christian
duties. The Crusades gave a great field for such virtues. But, alas! it
was only to Christians that these virtues were obligatory. The knight
often became a devil ranging over lands wrested from Saracen control.

But respect for women, undoubtedly enhanced by chivalry, took high
ground in the reverence for the Virgin, and, while it did not secure
chastity, gave some check to the master passion of the human race.

[Sidenote: _Debt to Arabic Learning_]

And, finally, the Crusade, introduced the notation, the science, the
manufactures, and the medical skill of the Arabs into Europe,--all of
which aided the coming of the light to the Dark Ages.

Of all these results, Peter the Hermit was the unconscious forerunner
and prophet.


[Footnote 1: Milman, Hist. Latin Christianity, Book VII, p. 16.]

[Footnote 2: Hist. Crusades, Vol. I, p. 1.]

[Footnote 3: Cf. Milman, Book VII, p. 17.]

[Footnote 4: Aubert's History of the Conquest of Jerusalem, quoted by

[Footnote 5: Milman.]

[Footnote 6: See Michaud.]

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use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.