Death of Tancred, a man-symbol, and an exemplary Crusading knight

January 10, 2019

Tancred, Prince of Galilea

Tancred, who governed the principality of Antioch, died in an expedition against the infidels. He had raised high in the East the opinion of the heroic virtues of a French knight; never had weakness or misfortune implored his aid in vain. He gained a great many victories over the Saracens, but never fought for the ends of ambition. Nothing could shake his fidelity, nothing appeared impossible to his valor. He answered the ambassadors of Alexius, who required him to restore Antioch: “I would not give up the city which is confided to me even if the warriors who presented themselves to conquer it had bodies and bore arms of fire.” Whilst he lived, Antioch had nothing to fear from the invasion of the infidels or the discord of the inhabitants. His death consigned the colony to disorder and confusion, it spread mourning through all the Christian states of the East, and was for them the signal of the greatest reverses.

Joseph François Michaud, The History of the Crusades, trans. W. Robson (New York, Redfield, 1853), 1:290.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 660

 

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