The Siege of Jerusalem: Crusade and Conquest in 1099

A crime still so bitter: the fall of Jerusalem in the First Crusade.
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The Capture of Jerusalem, CE. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Cartwright, Mark. Last modified July 16, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 16 Jul This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms.

Remove Ads Advertisement. Bibliography Asbridge, T.

The Crusades. Maalouf, A. The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. Schocken, Phillips, J. The Crusades, Routledge, Riley-Smith, J. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades. OUP Oxford, Runciman, S. A History of the Crusades I. Penguin Classics, God's War. Belknap Press, About the Author Mark Cartwright.

Mark is a history writer based in Italy. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common.

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Related Content Filters: All. The First Crusade CE was a military campaign by western The Council of Clermont in central France was held in November The Sixth Crusade CE , which for many historians was Help us write more We're a small non-profit organisation run by a handful of volunteers.

Recommended Books God's War. Everyman's Library 21 December On the morning of July 15, Raymond's men began their assault from the southwest. Facing prepared defenders, Raymond's attack struggled, and his siege tower was damaged. As the battle raged on his front, Godfrey's men had succeeded in gaining the inner wall.

Spreading out, his troops were able to open a nearby gate to the city allowing the Crusaders to swarm into Jerusalem. When word of this success reached Raymond's troops, they redoubled their efforts and were able to breach the Fatimid defenses. With the Crusaders entering the city at two points, ad-Daula's men began fleeing back towards the Citadel.

Seeing further resistance as hopeless, ad-Daula surrendered when Raymond offered protection. Crusaders cried out " Deus volt " or "Deus lo volt" "God wills it" in celebration.

The Siege of Jerusalem During the First Crusade

In the wake of the victory, the Crusader forces began a widespread massacre of the defeated garrison and the city's Muslim and Jewish populations. This was sanctioned mainly as a method for "cleansing" the city while also removing a threat to the Crusader rear as they would soon need to march out against the Egyptian relief troops. Having taken the objective of the Crusade, the leaders began dividing the spoils.

Four days later, Arnulf discovered a relic of the True Cross. These appointments created some strife within the crusader camp as Raymond and Robert of Normandy were angered by Godfrey's election. With word that the enemy was approaching, the Crusader army marched out on August Meeting the Fatimids at the Battle of Ascalon , they won a decisive victory on August Share Flipboard Email.

The finds confirm medieval chroniclers' reports of defensive works at Jerusalem.

Military and naval history expert Kennedy Hickman has nearly 20 years of experience as a museum curator and director, and has been featured on The History Channel. The following is a run-down of what medieval Muslim chroniclers and many modern historians alike maintained happened in Jerusalem after the Christians captured it:. So, he and all those who were with him, retreated to the Tower of David where Iftikhar offered Raymond a large amount of money in exchange for his life, the lives of his bodyguard and for the lives of the other noncombatants who were with him.

Raymond accepted his offer and they were escorted safely out of the city. They joined the Muslim garrison at Ascalon. They had tried to use that area as their last fortress for which to launch an offense, but it was too late. Tancred and his men had forced themselves into the temple area. Desperate to save their lives, the Muslims surrendered with the promise to pay Tancred a handsome ransom.

They even flew his banner over the mosque. Tancred, desiring nothing but wealth and property, took their word and, in return, promised to spare their lives. In my opinion this was poetic justice that the Temple of Solomon should receive the blood of pagans who blasphemed God there for many years. Meanwhile, the Jewish inhabitants fled to their synagogue.

The crusaders, devoid of all love and sympathy for the Jews — they accused the Jews of siding with the Muslims — burned the synagogue to the ground killing Jews. While historians have since discredited that figure, the image of blood-thirsty, savage Christians endures. No one can dispute the fact that the crusaders were violent: they slaughtered Muslims and Jews, not just in Jerusalem, but throughout their journey.

Siege of Jerusalem, 1099: What REALLY Happened...

They also hated Jews just as much as they hated Muslims. However, was the massacre in Jerusalem a savage massacre, or was it just another example of typical post-siege violence? But that figure is a far cry from the over-exaggerated 70, Moreover, contemporary historians credit Raymond of Aguilers as a crazed fanatic who was delirious with religious zeal and hate for Muslims.

A rule of thumb in siege warfare was this: surrender quickly and your lives shall be spared. Fight, and you will all be massacred. Ancient and Medieval times witnessed numerous prolonged sieges that ended in the demise of the besieged. The capture of Jerusalem in was no different.

Since the crusaders were isolated, surrounded by their enemies, they would have embraced negotiations with Iftikhar had he decided to surrender the Holy City that June. Translations from documents written shortly after the Christian conquest of Jerusalem prove that to be true. They killed whom they chose, and whom they chose, they saved alive. Many Jews and even Muslims were taken as captives. The crusaders forced them to collect the bodies, remove them from the city and burn them.

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Most likely, the crusaders also had their captives rebuild what had been destroyed during the siege. It should also be noted that the east and west walls were left unguarded, so no doubt, several Muslim and Jewish inhabitants managed to escape unnoticed. Given these facts, why was the siege of Jerusalem in portrayed as a savage atrocity?

Because the Muslim accounts were so plausible and persuasive that it was easy to take their accounts for gospel. Granted, it was a ruthless time in history.

First Crusade: Siege of Jerusalem

Warfare was bloody as it is now. Nothing ever pleasant happened in warfare, but the siege of Jerusalem was no more cruel than any other prolonged siege of that time. After they took the Holy City, the crusaders wept and gave thanks to God for their victory. He died at the end of July; less than one month after Jerusalem fell to the crusaders. They were faced with the task of setting up a new kingdom, a task not easy to accomplish, especially since they were literally surrounded by their enemies. Asbridge, Thomas.

About The Siege of Jerusalem

Ecco; New York, France, John. Thomas Madden. London; Duncan Baird Publishers,