July 13 – The Crusaders attack Jerusalem

July 11, 2013

Godfrey of Bouillon

Godfrey of Bouillon

The attack began the night of July 13, [1099,] and the defenders let loose a hail of stones and rivers of Greek fire…. The battle hung in the balance during the morning hours of July 15. Archers shot blazing firebrands to drive the defenders from the walls, but the siege towers were battered and burned. Toward the end of morning it appeared that the attack was doomed.

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“However, when the hour approached on which Our Lord Jesus Christ deign to suffer on the cross for us,” the Gesta Francorum exults, “our knights began to fight bravely in one of the towers—namely, the party with Duke Godfrey and his brother Count Eustace. One of our knights, named Lethold, clambered up the wall of the city, and no sooner had he ascended than the defenders fled from the walls and through the city.”

Capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, 1099, from a medieval manuscript.

Capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, 1099, from a medieval manuscript.

Godfrey himself soon followed, and the pick of his army swarmed up scaling ladders and into the city. They opened the Gate of the Column (now excavated beneath the Damascus gate), and the Crusaders’ shock troops streamed through the streets….

Toward evening the leaders of the Crusade, who only a week before had filed barefoot around the seemingly impregnable walls of the city to the jeers of the Moslem defenders, walked in solemn state to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. There they gave thanks to God. “It was well worth all our previous labors and hardships to see the devotion of the pilgrims,” wrote Raymond of Aguilers.

Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099. Painting by Emile Signol

Franc Shor, “In the Footsteps of the Crusaders,” in ed. Merle Severy, the Age of Chivalry (n.c.: National Geographic Society, 1969), pp. 264, 268.

 

Nobility.org Editorial comment: —

Sadly, General George S. Patton, Jr. was not a religious man. Had he been virtuous and pious, he would have been not just a better person, but he would have achieved a superior form of greatness.
Nevertheless, when General Patton visited Jerusalem during World War II’s Africa campaign, he could not refrain from displaying his enthusiasm. He wanted at all costs to see the large gate that Tancred of Sicily and his troops had stormed through during the Crusaders’ 1099 conquest of the city.

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Also of interest:

The Lord of Joinville’s chaplain routs eight Saracen chiefs

The Last Battle of the Valiant Don Alonso de Aguilar

Kings should teach their people to shun sin

Meditation on our Crusade

St. Louis: Kings should make themselves loved by their people, and never lie, not even to the enemy

St. Louis the King urged his nobles to virtue and to never quarrel among themselves

Catholic Spain’s fate in the balance at the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa

December 23 – The Knights of Aviz and Their Cistercian Founder

November 25 – The Battle of Montgisard

October 28 – Col. John W. Ripley: Uncommon Valor

October 18 – A date which will live in infamy

October 9 – Superb and valiant knight

August 25 – King Crusader Saint

June 15 – Battle of Lyndanisse during the Northern Crusades

April 3 – Collected the Crusader tax because he was honest with the money of others

November 25 – She Defied the Emperor

October 18 – A date which will live in infamy

October 7 – How the Rosary saved Christendom

September 16 – The pope who exacted tribute from the Mohammedan ruler of Tunis

July 29 – When he finished preaching, the nobles and knights responded with a thunderous “Deus Vult”

 

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