Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

which marched in the ensuing age under the banner of th« cross. About thirty years before the first crusade, the arch bishop of Mentz, with the bishops of Utrecht, Bamberg, and Ratisbon, undertook this laborious journey from the Rhine to the Jordan; and the multitude of their followers amounted to seven thousand persons. At Constantinople, they were hospitably entertained by the emperor; but the ostentation of heir wealth provoked the assault of the wild Arabs: the) lrew their swords with scrupulous reluctance, and sustained

siege in the village of Capernaum, till they were rescued by the venal protection of the Fatimite emir. After visiting the holy places, they embarked for Italy, but only a remnant of two thousand arrived in safety in their native land. Ingulphus, a secretary of William the Conqueror, was a companion of this pilgrimage: he observes that they s;t 'ied from Normandy, thirty stout and well-appointed horsemen; but that they repassed the Alps, twenty miserable palmers, with the staff in their hand, and the wallet at their back."

After the defeat of the Romans, the tranquillity of the Fatimite caliphs was invaded by the Turks." One of the lieutenants of Malek Shah, Atsiz the Carizmian, marched into Syria at the head of a powerful army, and reduced Damascus by famine and the sword. Hems, and the other cities of the province, acknowledged the caliph of Bagdad and the sultan of Persia; and the victorious emir advanced without resistance to the banks of the Nile: the Fatimite was preparing to fly into the heart of Africa; but the negroes of his guard and the inhabitants of Cairo made a desperate sally, and repulsed the Turk from the confines of Egypt. In his retreat he indulged the license of slaughter and rapine: the judge and notaries of Jerusalem were invited to his camp; and their execution was followed by the massacre of three thousand citizens. The cruelty or the defeat of Atsiz was soon punished by the sultan Toucush, the brother of Malek Shah, who, with a higher title and more formidable powers, asserted the

T* Baronius (A. D. 1064, No. 43—56) has transcribed the greattr part of the original narratives of Ingulphus, Marianus, and Lamtwrtus.

TM See Rlmacin (Hist. Saracen, p. 349, 350) and Abulpharagi'4* (Dynast, p. 237. vers. Poenck.) M. De friiignes (Hist, des Huns, torn iil part i. p. 215, 216) adds the te»' monies, or rather the name?, of Abnlfeda and Novairj,

[ocr errors]

dominion of Syria and Palestine. The house of Seljuk reigned about twenty years in Jerusalem;" but the hereditary command of the holy city and territory was intrusted or abandoned to the emir Ortok, the chief of a tribe of Turkmans, whose children, after their expulsion from Palestine, formed two dynasties on the borders of Armenia ar.d Assyria." The Oriental Christians and the Latin pilgrims deplored a revolution, which, instead of the regular government and old al iance of the caliphs, imposed on their necks the iron yoke of the strangers of the North/8 In his court and camp the great sultan had adopted in some degree the arts and manners of Persia; but the body of the Turkish nation, and more especially the pastoral tribes, still breathed the fierceness of the desert. From Nice to Jerusalem, the western countries of Asia were a scene of foreign and domestic hostility; and the shepherds of Palestine, who held a precarious sway on a doubtful frontier, had neither leisure nor capacity to await the slow profits of commercial and religious freedom. The pilgrims, who, through innumerable perils, had reached the gates of Jerusalem, were the victims of private rapine or public oppression, and often sunk under the pressure of famine and disease, before they were permitted to salute the holy sepulchre. A spirit of native barbarism, or recent zeal, prompted the Turkmans to insult the clergy of every sect: the patriarch was dragged by the hair along the pavement, and cast into a dungeon, to extort a ransom from the sympathy of his flock; and the divine worship in the church of the Resurrection was often disturbed by the savage rudeness of its masters. The oathetic tale excited the millions of the West to march under

74 From the expedition of Isar Ateiz, (A. H. 469, A. D. 1076,) t* the expulsion of the Ortokides, (A. D. 1096.) Yet William of Tyre (L i. c. 6, p. 633) asserts, that Jerusalem was thirty-eight years in the hands of the Turks; and an Arabic chronicle, quoted by Pagi, (torn, iv. p. 202) supposes that the city was reduced by a Carizmian general tn the obedience of the caliph of Bagdad, A. H. 463, A. D. 1070 These early dates are not very compatible with the general history of Asia; and I am sure, that as late as A. D. 1064, the regnum Babylonicum (of Cairo) si til prevailed in Palestine, (Baronius, A. D. 1064, Go. 56.)

76 ^e Guignes, Hist, des Huns, torn. L p. 249—252. * Willierm. Tyr. 1. i. c. 8, p. 634, who strives hard to magnify the Christian grievances. The Turks exacted an aureus from each pilgrim 1 The caphar of the Franks now is fourteen dollars: and Europe doai not complain of this voluntary tax.

i

the standard of the cross to the relief of the Holy Land; and yet how trifling is the sum of these accumulated evils, if com pared with the single act of the sacrilege of Hakem, which had been so patiently endured by the Latin Christians! A ^lighter provocation inflamed the more irascible temper of hoir descendants: a new spirit had arisen of religious chiv lry and papal dominion; a nerve was touched of exquia't* wing: *nd the sensation vibrated to the heart of Europe.

CHAPTER LVII1.

JBIGIN AND NUMBERS OF THE FIRST CRUSADE.—CHARACTERS

OF THE LATIN PRINCES. THEIR MARCH TO CONSTANTS

NOl'LE. POLICY OF THE GREEK EMPEROR ALEXIUS.

CONQUEST OF NICE, ANTIOCH, AND JERUSALEM, BY THK FRANKS. DELIVERANCE OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE. GODFREY OF BOUILLON, FIRST KING OF JERUSALEM. INSTITUTIONS OF THE FRENCH OR LATIN KINGDOM.

About twenty years after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Tvirks, the holy sepulchre was visited by a hermit of the name of Peter, a native of Amiens, in the province of Picardy' in France. His resentment and sympathy were excited by his own injuries and the oppression of the Christian name; he mingled his tears with those of the patriarch, and earnestly inquired, if no hopes of relief could be entertained from the Greek emperors of the East. The patriarch exposed the vices and weakness of the successors of Constantine. "I will rouse," exclaimed the hermit, " the martial nations of Europe in your cause;" and Europe was obedient to the call of the hermit. The astonished patriarch dismissed him with epistles of credit and complaint; and no sooner did he land at Bari, than Peter hastened to kiss the feet of the Roman pontiff. His stature was small, his appearance contemptible; but his eye was keen and lively; and he possessed that vehemence of speech, which seldom fails to impart the persuasion of the soul* He was born of a gentleman's family, (for we must

1 Whimsical enough is the origin of the name of Pi.ards, and from thence of Picardie, which does not date later than A. D. 1200. It was an academical joke, an epithet first applied to the quarrelsome humor of those students, in the University of Paris, who came from the frontier of France and Flanders, (Valesii Notitia Galliarum, p. 447, Longuerue. Description de la France, p. 54.)

9 William of Tyre (1. i. c. 11, p. 637, 638) thus describes the hermit: Pusillus, persona contemptibilis, vivacis ingenii, et oculum hribeno pcrspicacem gratumque, et sponte fluent ei non deerat eloquium. Set Albert Aquensis, p. 185. Guibert, p. 482. Anna Comr/jna in Alex ted, I. x. p. 284, Ac, with Ducarge's Notes, p. 349.

now adopt a modern idiom,) and his military service was under the neighboring counts of Boulogne, the heroes of the firM crusade. But he soon relinquished the sword and the world; and if it be true, that his wife, however noble, was aged and Ugly, he might withdraw, with the less reluctance, from her bed to a convent, and at length to a hermitage.* In this auctera Bolitude, his body was emaciated, his fancy was inrlamea; whatever he wished, he believed; whatever he believed, he taw in dreams and revelations. From Jerusalem the pilgrim returned an accomplished fanatic; b'^.t as he excelled in thi» popular madness of the times, Pope Urban the Second received him as a prophet, applauded his glorious design, promised to support it in a general council, and encouraged him to proclaim the deliverance of the Holy Land. Invigorated by the approbation of the pontiff, his zealous missionary traversed, with speed and success, the provinces of Italy and France. His diet was abstemious, his prayers long and fervent, and the alms which he received with one hand, he distributed with the other: his head was bare, his feet naked, his meagre body was wrapped in a coarse garment; he bore and displayed a weighty crucifix; and the ass on which he rode was sanctified, in the public eye, by the service of the man "of God. He preached to innumerable crowds in the churches, the streets, and the highways: the hermit entered with equal confidence the palace and the cottage; and the people (for all was people) was impetuously moved by his call to repentance and arms. When he painted the sufferings of the natives and pilgrims of Palestine, every heart was melted to compassion; every breast glowed with indignation, when he challenged the warriors of the age to defend their brethren, and rescue their Savior: his ignorance of art and language was compensated by sighs, and tears, and ejaculations; and Peter supplied the deficiency of reason by loud and frequent appeals to Christ and his mother, to the saints and angels of paradise, with whom he had personally conversed.! The most perfect orator of Athens might have envied the success of his eloquence; the rustic enthusiast inspired the passions which he felt, and Christendom expected with impatience the counsels and decrees of the supreme pontiff.

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »