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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 430



A.D. 1099.] TH E CRUSADERS A T LAODICEA. 425 city called Archis not far from the sea-coast, and pitch d their camp near it. This is one of the Phoenician cities, at the foot of Mount Libanus, and was founded, according to ancient tradition, by Aracheus, the seventh of the sons of Canaan, who called it after his own name Aracheus, afterwards corrupted into Archis. The Christians besieged it a long time, but without success. Here the question was again mooted concerning the lance with which our Lord's side had been pierced ; some said that it had really been pointed out by divine inspiration, for the consolation of the army ; whilst others maliciously contended that it was a stratagem of the count of Toulouse and was no discovery at all, but invented solely for gain. A large fire was therefore kindled, of a size sufficient to terrify even the standers by, and when all the people were assembled together on the sixth day of the week before our Lord's passover, the priest Peter, to whom the discovery of the lance had been made, underwent a perilous ordeal : for when he had offered up a prayer, he took the lance with him, and passed unhurt through the midst of the fire ; but, as he died a few days afterwards, the ordeal did not give entire satisfaction to the opposite party. About the same time duke Godfrey and the other princes, who had remained at Antioch, prepared, at the urgent request of the army, to continue the march, and on the 1st day of March, arrived at Laodicea, in Syria, with twenty-five thousand brave soldiers. This city was inhabited by Christians, and Godfrey demanded of its prefect that Guenemer of Boulogne, who was there detained in prison, should be released : the authorities, not daring to resist the duke, released him with all his companions and the whole of his fleet ; for Guenemer, after he had taken the cross, put in there with a strong fleet, and was surprised by the citizens and thrown into prison. The duke put him again at the head of his fleet, and ordered him to follow the army along the coast. How the princes passed through many districts and arrived at Tripolis. The princes now followed the sea-coast as far as the city of Gabula, otherwise called Gibel. It is distant about twelve miles from Laodicea. The army pitched their tents round the city, which they besieged for some time, when the governor, who was the sultan of Egypt's procurator, offered


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