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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 407



402 ROGER OF AVENDO VER. [A.D.1097. Turks were not far off, and Boamund sent off the count of Flanders with a body of men to meet them, promising that he would himself follow with a larger body. But the count, who was a brave man in war, attacked the enemy vigorously, and slew a hundred of them. As he was returning to the camp, intelligence was brought that there was a stronger body advancing on the other side. The pilgrims at once attacked them with a more numerous force, and by God's grace, put them all to flight, and pursued them two miles with great slaughter. Thus they returned triumphantly to the camp with horses and mules, camels and asses, cattle, and other abundant spoils which they had collected. The fields round the camp were filled, and the princes, who had suffered much from want, were now elated with joy and gladness. But yet, even so large a spoil could not subsist such a great multitude more than a few days, and famine in a short time again began to prevail in the camp : an immense number of soldiers, forgetful of their vows and of thenprofession, returned secretly to their country ; amongst whom was Tacinus, the subtle and favourite minister of Alexius, for he feared that the pilgrims would act tyrannically, and though he left his family with their tents behind him, by way of concealing his treason, he departed from the camp never to return. At this time, Swain,* son to the king of Denmark, had taken the cross, and on his way to join in the siege of Antioch with fifteen hundred well-armed men, he was surprised by an ambuscade of the Turks not far from Nice, -and slain with all his men ; but by reason of their valiant resistance, their deaths were nobly avenged, and the enemy paid dearly for their victory. How the pilgrims were afflicted by a famine and mortality. At this time the famine among the besiegers became daily greater and greater, followed by a pestilence ; and the bishop of Puy, who was the pope's legate in the camp, appointed a fast for three days to be observed by all the people ; for the more prudent and learned men among them agreed that their sins were the cause of their sufferings. They also commanded that all loose females should be removed from * This story is omitted by the Danish historians.


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