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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.
page 30



Stephen, count of Blois, Bohemond, the nephew of Tancred, and others whose names this page is insufficient to contain. Peter the Hermit was the first actually to set out for Jerusalem, at the head of an innumerable army. But, as thirty thousand of his men were slain before he reached Jerusalem, he incurred an irreparable loss. The first battle of the Christians was at the bridge over the river Pharphaz, on the twenty-first of February. The second was before Nice, which they took on the nineteenth of June. They also took Laodicea. But though more than three hundred thousand armed men had taken the vow, there was such plenty in their camp, that a sheep was sold for a shilling, and an ox for less than twelve. When, therefore, after seven weeks and three days, they divided the army, and proceeded onward to Antioch, that division was surrounded by a body of three hundred and sixty cavalry, and an innumerable host of Arabs. They sent to the other division for assistance, and a terrible battle took place, in which the Christians were very severely handled ; and, as they were beginning to think of flight, Robert, duke of Normandy, met them, and shouted, " Oh, soldiers, whither are you fleeing ? Their horses are more speedy than ours ; we must not flee, for it is better to die honourably than to flee disgracefully. Follow me." There was a man of great and marvellous prowess ! Scarcely had he finished speaking, when he directed the point of his spear against a certain king of the pagan host, which pierced through wood and iron and body of the man. Then he overthrew a second and a third, and many more who were fated never to rise again. In like manner, Tancred, Bohemond, Richard, and Robert dealt valiant blows among the enemy. When lo ! Hugh the Great and Anselm de Ribeaumont came with a numerous force, in advance of the other division of the army, and, being fresh, completely routed the wearied pagans ; who, when they saw such a number of enemies coming up unexpectedly, took to flight. So the Christians gained the victory, though it was but a disastrous one, on the first day of July. From thence they marched onwards to Heraclea, and from thence to Tarsus, which became subject to the noble count Baldwin. Athènes and Mamistra were subdued by Tancred. The duke of Normandy took a certain city called Simeon ; and Raymond and Bohemond took another, which they entrusted to Peter of the Alps. At last, they arrived at bo n Bridge ; and, on the twentieth of October, they


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