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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 389



mined to remain there till the arrival of the princes :* but Soliman the lord of that country, hearing that the Teutonic soldiers had presumed to take and keep possession of his town, marched thither with all speed, and besieging the fortress, took it by storm, and put to the sword all he found therein. Meanwhile, the rumour spread in the camp that the Teutonic troops had fallen into the hands of Soliman, and when the truth was known, notwithstanding the reluctance of their leaders, all the army to a man flew to arms, thirty-five thousand foot and five hundred horse, and marched prepared for battle towards Nice. They found Soliman, with an immense multitude of Turks, in a plain, and attacked him in full force ; but the Turks, knowing that they were fighting for their lives, made a valiant resistance, and the Christians, heavily pressed, and no longer able to endure the weight of the battle, broke their ranks and took to flight, whilst the Turks pursuing them, inflicted a severe loss upon the army. There fell in that battle Walter the penniless, Reginald de Breis, Fulcher of Orleans, and of thirty thousand footmen and five hundred cavalry who issued from the camp, hardly one escaped either captivity or death. Such was the event of this battle of disobedience, which the people fought so rashly, contrary to the commands of their leader, who advised his ignorant army to wait patiently at Constantinople until the arrival of the princes who were to follow them, who were more prudent than themselves, and more experienced in military affairs. But Soliman, not satisfied with the success which he had gained, fiercely attacked the camp, and put them to the sword without mercy, the old and the invalids, monks and clerks, matrons, girls, and boys, though some of them whose age or appearance interceded in their behalf, were saved alive, to be made slaves for life. Near the camp, however, and close by the sea-side, was an old, uninhabited fortress, into which three thousand of the pilgrims fled for safety. Soliman immediately laid siege to it, but those who were within defended themselves bravely ; and Peter, coming into the emperor's presence, persuaded him by much entreaty to send his army and rescue the * That is, of the princes and nobles who were collecting their forces in different parts of Europe, to follow Peter the hermit.


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