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Crusading Warfare

Exploring the Military History of the Crusades


William James Hamblin
Walters March to
Constantinople
April - July 1096
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Primary Sources: Thames
Mobilization of Walters Crusade 1096/02-04

Rhine
Albert 1.6
Cologne
Orderic 9.4b
e
England 2 Me
us

2- {early April}: Walter Sansavoir,

le
arrives in the Rhineland. He spends

el
CE 4:1240

os
Amiens

M
France 90-91 Easter consulting with Peter, and raising

kar
Rouen funds and followers.

Nec
Rubenstein 56-58 Se
ine Marne
Runciman 1:122-123 nu be
Danube
Da

e
Boissy-Sans-Avoir

in
Paris Regensburg

Rh
1 Wa
Seine

1- {Feb/Mar?} Under the Rheims


influence of Peters preaching,
Loire Walter, Lord of Boissy-Sans- Holy Roman Empi8re
Avoir, takes
Tours the cross along others (Germany)
Franceof the lesser nobility of France.

Loire
ao ne
S
[Albert 1.6a;
CreusOrderic
e 9.4b]

1- Traditionally, Walter Sans-Avoir has


Vienne
been interpreted as Without (sans)
possessions (avoir), Anglicized as
Penniless. Modern scholars have
Clermont Lyon Venice Venic
e

ne
Milan

o
determined that Sans Avoir is the place

Rh
Po
name of his landBoissy-Sans Avoir. Thus,
Walter was the lord of the demesneLeof Sans

ne
Puy

Rho
Avoir rather than a penniless lord. Orderic
G
ar

Genoa
on

calls him and eminent French knight.


ne

Genoa
n
Tar

Toulouse Pisa
Avignon
Pisa

Rome
Thames
Walters March to Hungary 1096/04-05

Rhine
Cologne
3- 15 April: Walter Sansavoir,
e
Wa marches down the Rhine route
England M eus towards Hungary [Albert 1.6]
with around 15,000 people
3 [Orderic 9.4a]

le
el
os
Amiens

M
3- Albert says that Walter had a great

kar
Rouen

Nec
Se
ine
fellowship of Frankish foot soldiers
Marne
(peditum) and only eight knights nu be
Danube
Da
(equites) (Albert 1.6a). Orderic says Walter

e
Boissy-Sans-Avoir

in
Paris Regensburg

Rh
Seine had eminent French knights (militibus) and
unmounted men (peditibus) to the number of
about fifteen thousand (9.4b). Size of
Rheims
medieval armies is always difficult to
Loire determine with certain. I would speculate Holy Roman Empi8re
perhaps 15,000 total people, of which half to
Tours
a third mightebe fighting me.
(Germany)
France

Loire
n
Sao
Creuse

Vienne

Clermont Lyon Venice Venic


e

ne
Milan

o
Rh
Po

ne
Le Puy

Rho
G
ar

Genoa
on
ne

Genoa
n
Tar

Toulouse Pisa
Avignon
Pisa

Rome
Regensburg
Walters March through Hungary 1096/05
Wa
4 4- {21 May} King Coloman of Hungary gives Walter
Bug
Vienna permission to pass through Hungary and purchase Dn
ie
Wieselburg st
food; they advance through Hungary peacefully. er
Danube
[Albert 1.6a]. m a n s
Cu

er
iep
Budapest

Dn
Hungary

Pru
t
Si
Dr

re
a
ava

t
Tis
Slavonia Olt
VeniceVenice Zagreb
Po
Sav
a
Bosnia
Patzinaks
Da
nu Kherson
Belgrade b e
Cro
atia

Olt
Florence u be
Dan Dristra

Mor
Serbia

ava
Spaleto V

r Varna
Nish Iska Preslav

Ragusa V Sofia

Philippopolis
Rome
Ardas
Scutari
Byzantine Empire Adrianople
Constantinople
Naples Bari Durazzo

Salerno Rodosto

Taranto Avlona Nicaea


Brindisi Thessalonica
Regensburg
Walters March through Hungary 1096/05
Wa Dn Bug
Wieselburg Vienna ie
st
er
Danube
m a n s
Cu

er
iep
Budapest

Dn
Hungary
5

Pru
5- {Late May}Walters army

t
passes through Hungary to
Zemun (Semlin)/Belgrade

Si
Wa

Dr

re
a
ava

t
Tis
Slavonia Olt
VeniceVenice Zagreb
Po
Sav
a
Bosnia
Zemun
Patzinaks
Da
nu Kherson
Belgrade b e
Cro
atia

Olt
Florence u be
Dan Dristra

Mor
Serbia

ava
Spaleto V

r Varna
Nish Iska Preslav

Ragusa V Sofia

Philippopolis
Rome
Ardas
Scutari
Byzantine Empire Adrianople
Constantinople
Naples Bari Durazzo

Salerno Rodosto

Taranto Avlona Nicaea


Brindisi Thessalonica
Regensburg
Walters March to Constantinople 1096/06

Dn Bug
Wieselburg Vienna ie
st
er
Danube
m a n s
Cu

er
iep
Budapest

Dn
Hungary

Pru
t
6- {mid-June} Sixteen men of Walters army stay
behind to purchase arms. They are robbed and

Si
Dr

re
a
stripped naked by the Hungarians. Walter, on the

ava

t
Tis
Byzantine side of Slavonia
the border, decided not to avenge 7a- {11 June}Walters army crosses the Sava River
Olt
VeniceVenicethe attack. [AlbertZagreb
1.6b] into Byzantine territory. They camp on the outskirts
Po
Sav
of Belgrade, but are forbidden to proceed further or
a
Bosnia 6 purchase supplies in Byzantine territory until they
Zemun
Patzinaks
receive permission from the governor. [Albert 1.6b]
Da
nu Kherson
Belgrade7 b e
Cro
atia
7b- Crusaders plunder the Hungarians {mid-June} Wa

Olt
u be
Florence [The crusaders] began forcibly to seize and to lead away the Dan Dristra

Mor
Bulgars' herds of cattle and sheep which had been let out
Serbia

ava
into the fields to graze and were
Spaleto V wandering here and there. It
came to the point where a serious quarrel began to develop
Varna
between the pilgrims and the Bulgars who were driving off Nish Iska
r
Preslav
their herds, and arms were joined, until at length when the
strength of the Bulgars was prevailingRagusa V hundred and
some Sofia
forty of the pilgrims were cut off from the great number Philippopolis
Rome of their fellowship and, fleeing, they came to a certain
Ardas
chapel. [Albert 1.6b] Scutari
Byzantine Empire Adrianople
Constantinople
Naples Bari Durazzo

Salerno Rodosto

Taranto Avlona Nicaea


Brindisi Thessalonica
Regensburg
Walters March to Constantinople 1096/06

Dn Bug
Wieselburg Vienna ie
st
er
Danube
m a n s
Cu

er
iep
Budapest

Dn
Hungary

Pru
t
Si
Dr

re
a
ava

t
Tis
Slavonia Olt
VeniceVenice Zagreb
Po
Sav
a
Bosnia
Zemun
Patzinaks
Da
nu Kherson

Cro
Belgrade
b e

atia 8

Olt
Florence 8- Battle of Belgrade {mid-June} Dan
u be
Dristra
The Bulgars were increasing in strength, while 9 9- Crusaders flee. Walter abandoned his

Mor
and taking flightSerbia

ava
Walter was losing heart with comrades who were fleeing all around, and
Spaleto V
all his company, and [the Bulgars] besieged the he passed through the Bulgarian woods in
chapel, where they burnt sixty of the men shut Nish eight days and
Iska
r withdrew to a very rich city Varna
Preslav
up in it and inflicted severe wounds on very in the middle of the Bulgarian kingdom,
many more of the rest who Ragusa V managed
only just calledSofia
Nish. [Albert 1.6c]
to slip away from the enemy and from the
chapel to save their lives. [Albert 1.6c] Philippopolis
Rome
Ardas
Scutari
Byzantine Empire Adrianople
Constantinople
Naples Bari Durazzo

Salerno Rodosto

Taranto Avlona Nicaea


Brindisi Thessalonica
Regensburg
Walters March to Constantinople 1096/07

Dn Bug
Wieselburg Vienna ie
st
er
Danube
m a n s
Cu

er
iep
Budapest

Dn
Hungary

Pru
t
Si
Dr

re
a
ava

t
Tis
Slavonia Olt
VeniceVenice Zagreb
Po
Sav
a
Bosnia
Patzinaks
Da
nu Kherson
Belgrade b e
Cro
atia

Olt
Florence u be
Dan Dristra

Mor
Serbia

ava
Spaleto V Wa
10
Varna
10- At Nish The Byzantine Nish Iska
r
Preslav
governor Niketas gives Walters 11- {c. 20 July}Walters army
Ragusa V permission to buy at
army Sofia arrives at Constantinople.
Byzantine markets and proceed [Albert 1.6d]
Philippopolis
Rome to Constantinople [Albert 1.6d].
Ardas
Scutari
Byzantine Empire 11
Adrianople
Constantinople
Durazzo Wa
Naples Bari

Salerno Rodosto

Taranto Avlona Nicaea


Brindisi Thessalonica
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