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Antioch

October 21, 1097-June 28, 1098


Strategic Context
After the Seljuk Turk victory at Manzikert in 1071, the Byzantine Empire loses much territory. Fortunately for new
Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnenos, the Seljuk Empire devolves into civil war in 1093. Alexios appeals to the
Christian kingdoms of Western Europe for help in 1095, hoping to recover lost territory in Anatolia. The Seljuks of
Rum defeat the first wave of Crusaders under Peter the Hermit in 1096 but have more difficulty with the second wave
under various leaders in 1097; the Crusaders capture the Seljuk Rum capital of Nicaea and defeat a combined Seljuk
Rum and Danishmandid army at the Battle of Dorylaeum. Reflecting the divisions within the Seljuk Empire at the time,
the Seljuk Rum and Danishmandid leaders allow the Crusaders to pass through their territory towards the real
objective: Jerusalem. In October 1097, the Crusaders besiege Antioch en route. Antioch governor Yaghi Siyan
appeals for help from nearby Seljuk dominions must hold out and await a relief army as a scratch Seljuk coalition
slowly forms.

Stakes
+ A Crusader victory would clear a large
Seljuk fortress from the route to
Jerusalem and further divide the Seljuk
response.
+ A Seljuk victory would threaten to
destroy the Crusader army in hostile
territory
and
strengthen
Seljuk
cooperation.
By Jonathan Webb,

Antioch, 1097-1098
Strength
Crusaders
Bohemond of Taranto
Robert II of Flanders
Godfrey of Boullion
30,000

Seljuks
Yaghi Siyan
Duqaq of Damascus
Ridwan of Aleppo
Kerbogah
5,000 (garrison)
7,000 (relief army)
12,000 (relief army)
40,000 (relief army)
By Jonathan Webb,

Europe and Mediterranean c.1096

The terrain around the fortress of Antioch makes any approach difficult. The Orontes River runs along its western side with only two bridges
across; the Orontes is not very deep but its banks are steep. West of the river is marshy brush and a hill. The main elevated area is Mount
Silpius, which much of Antioch is based on, with the citadel occupying the highest point. The fortress features high walls, 400 towers, and
significant urban area inside. There are six gates into Antioch and three major roads. The Crusaders rely on the southwestern road for supply
from port St Symeon while the Seljuk Turks rely on the southern road for supply.

Crusaders

(Bohemond/Robert/Godfrey)

Orontes River

Bridge
Gate

Dukes
Gate
Dog Gate
St Pauls
Gate
Antioch

St George
Gate
Iron Gate

Citadel

Mount Silpius

Seljuks
(Yaghi Siyan)

With
the
defeat
ofharsh
yet
another
Seljuk
relief
Siyan
appeals
to
Kerbogah
of most
for
aid,
who
begins
mobilizing.
Bytroops
March,
the
Crusader
supply
The
Crusaders
winter
is
deploy
for
to
the
enforce
Crusaders
aarmy,
close
as
blockade
starvation
of
and
Antioch
disease
with
become
forces
rampant,
deployed
causing
at
many
along
the
to
western
or
and
die
In
Kerbogahs
early
February,
army,
a
numbering
larger
Seljuk
40,000,
relief
represents
army
approaches
aYaghi
much
under
greater
Ridwan
effort
of
than
Aleppo,
previous
who
hopes
relief
attempts
to
pull
Antioch
but
his
into
army
his
is
sphere
deeply
of
divided.
influence;
Many
the
army
of
Kerbogahs
includes
May
passes
relatively
quietly
around
Antioch,
the
two
sides
apparently
colluding
to
arrange
aCrusaders
surrender
ifgates
a further
relief
army
does
not
arrive
in
The
evening
Crusader
of
foraging
June
2/3,
expedition
Bohemond
is
and
successful
Godfrey
lead
until
a
it
force
runs
away
into
from
a Mosul
Seljuk
Antioch
relief
as
ifarmy
to
meet
numbering
Kerbogah
7,000
in
battle
under
like
Duqaq
previous
of
As
In
The
Seeing
late
the
arrival
December,
the
immediate
of
Crusader
at
least
the
area
flag
Crusader
some
is
and
exhausted
of
believing
the
supply
supplies
situation
of
the
forage,
from
city
begins
the
to
the
have
English
Crusaders
to
worsen
fallen,
fleet
Antiochs
as
begin
allows
winter
tothe
approaches.
venture
Christian
even
population
Robert
to
construct
and
attacks
from
Bohemond
two
Antioch
the
additional
Seljuk
take
for
Kerbogah
next
sends
a
strong
force
to
establish
communication
with
the
Seljuk
citadel
garrison,
which
the
In
late
November,
November,
the
Seljuk
a
Genoese
garrison
flotilla
cavalry
arrives
become
at
St
Symeon,
active,
providing
harassing
the
Crusaders
Crusader
with
foragers
adesert
shipment
in
the
situation
begins
toDiyarbakr,
improve
as
spring
arrives
and
an
English
fleet
arrives
at
Stmore
Symeon.
Yaghi
Siyan
sends
his
cavalry
to ambush
the
anticipated
supply
contingents
allies
fear,
rightfully
from
so,
that
he
Damascus,
intends
to
and
capture
Hama,
Antioch
and
numbers
and
increase
12,000.
his
With
own
the
power
threat
in
the
of
region.
fighting
Nonetheless,
on
two
fronts,
Kerbogah
Crusader
begins
leaders
operations
elect
Bohemond
by
sending
to
northern
between
December-January.
sides,
leaving
the
Many
rough
knights
terrain
lose
to
the
their
south
mounts
more
as
horses
loosely
die
guarded.
or
are
killed
The
Crusader
for
sustenance.
leaders
Tatikios,
recognize
leader
Antiochs
of
the
time.
By
this
time,
Kerbogah
commands
a
large
relief
army
but
spends
most
of
May
unsuccessfully
besieging
Baldwin
of
Boulognes
Damascus,
relief
attempts.
who
Instead,
has
answered
they
march
Yaghi
back
Siyans
to
calls
the
southeastern
for
help.
In
a
wall
confused
of
Antioch
meeting
under
battle,
cover
Robert
of
darkness.
attacks
Firuz
while
drops
Bohemond
ladders
acts
for
supplies.
200
forts
garrison.
knights
in
March
Many
However,
and
and
Seljuks
April.
other
flee
infantry
The
Seljuk
toThe
Crusaders
the
in
garrisons
citadel,
athe
long
build
distance
harass
which
Laand
Godfrey
and
Mahomerie
foraging
ambush
attacks
expedition
to
Crusader
guard
unsuccessfully.
to
Bridge
foraging
gather
Gate
provisions
Yaghi
parties.
and
Siyan
Tancreds
Bohemond
and
believes
ensure
Fort
ambushes
the
clear
to
citadel
guard
routes
St
to
convoy.
The
Seljuk
cavalry
plunder
much
of
the
supply
convoy
and
nearly
annihilate
it.
Bohemond,
accompanying
the
supply
convoy,
escapes
to and
alert
Crusaders
fail
to1,000
interdict.
Seljuks
coordinate
aby
combined
attack
and
fierce
fighting
breaks
out
around
take
forces
the
to
remaining
take
the
forts
700
around
knights
Antioch,
with
mounts
which
to
defeat
Crusaders
Ridwan
try
before
he
hold.
can
After
reach
fierce
Antioch.
fighting,
Bohemond
particularly
divides
at
his
Malregard,
force
into
the
six
Seljuks
divisions
capture
and
sends
the
forts
the
first
and
Orontes
of
supplies.
marshy
The
arrival
areas.
is
The
timely
Crusaders
as
it
gives
respond
Crusaders
building
the
apostern
pontoon
provisions
bridge
to
build
across
a
fortress
the
Orontes
(named
to
Crusaders
in
Edessa,
which
is
reported
to
Crusader
leaders
around
Antioch.
Crusader
leaders
debate
the
siege
until
Bohemond
defences
Byzantine
too
contingent,
formidable
argues
to
take
for
by
aand
long
assault
distance
and
plan
blockade
tothe
starve
to
provide
out
the
more
garrison
foraging
although
opportunities,
itabandoning
is not
completely
but
is
rebuffed
isolated.
by
other
Yaghi
as
the
a
Crusader
rearguard
knights,
to
protect
who
the
take
rear
control
of
flanks.
Firuz
The
towers
Crusaders
and
then
marginally
open
up
defeat
a
the
gate
Seljuks
for
but
follow-on
abandon
forces.
their
By
plunder
daylight,
in
the
other
Crusader
leaders
of
the
attack,
and
organizes
a
counter-attack.
Bohemond
and
Godfrey
ambush
the
returning
Seljuk
cavalry,
weighed
down
by
defeats
for
George
already
other
the
be
Gate.
foraging
taken
Harenc
The
parties.
construction
garrison
flees
The
the
but
Seljuk
city
this
of
these
but
does
garrison
he
not
forts
is
solve
captured
cavalry
finally
theCrusaders
isolates
become
basic
and
killed.
supply
Antioch
more
Just
problem.
aggressive
as
completely
The
Crusaders
inthe
Seljuk
the
and
heeds
garrison
take
control
immediate
of
meanwhile
these
ofThe
Antioch,
Crusader
results:
is
still
a
five
force
in
the
waves,
Crusaders
hoping
back
toand
create
into
the
the
city.
illusion
As they
of
abecome
larger
force
the
besieged,
while
pinning
the
the
Seljuk
are
horse-archers
disappointed
inthe
to
close
find
combat.
that
after
Asabsence
athe
long
Crusader
siege,
Antioch
knights
has
begin
little
toto
give
no
the
citadel.
Kerbogahs
troops
nearly
break
into
the
city
but
are
held
back
as
Crusaders
hastily
construct
reveals
he
has
cultivated
anorthern
relationship
with
Firuz,
who
commands
three
towers,
and
has
arranged
a relief
deal
for
their
surrender.
Crusader
rapidly
Malregard)
at
the
troops
to
respond
foot
to
ofreserve
the
Mount
threat.
Silpius
to
protect
against
sallies
by
the
Seljuk
garrison
Siyan
Crusader
deploys
leaders;
his
the
forces
Byzantine
to
defend
contingent
all
walls
abandons
and
the
he
siege
plans
in
to
early
hold
February.
out
until
a Seljuk
army
while
using
spoils, and
adeploy
brief
but fierce
fight
ensues.
Yaghi
Siyan
attempts
to
send
more
cavalry
torouting
hit
the the
Crusaders
from
both
sides
but
hisarrives
troops
are
forced
back.his
retreat
Crusaders
and
capture
return
to
and
Antioch
raise
awithout
flag
over
the
ten
necessary
towers.
for
winter.
ground
supplies
against
left.
Kerbogah
Seljuk
numbers,
meanwhile
Bohemond
leisurely
leads
establishes
the
campgates;
sixth
inprovisions
the
division
north.
into
battle,
Seljuks.

not
troops,
Crusaders
Seljuk
completely
relief
inflicting
atarmy
Tancreds
isolated
casualties
under
Fort
and
Kerbogah
on
capture
continues
besiegers.
a Seljuk
to receive
to
the
periodic
wagon
soon
after. before Kerbogah arrives.
leaders
decide
to
use
Bohemonds
inarrives
Antioch
andsupply
try north.
to
take
the supplies.
city
by assault
further
walls
and
defences
intheir
the
area.
cavalry
to
harass
the
Crusaders.man
cavalry.
Crusaders

Seljuks

(Bohemond/Robert/Godfrey)

Garrison: 5,000 (Yaghi Siyan)

Symbol guide

Relief army: 7,000 (Duqaq of Damascus


Relief army: 12,000 (Ridwan of Aleppo)
Crusaders

Relief army: 40,000 (Kerbogah)


Seljuks

Infantry

Infantry

Knights

Cavalry

Supply convoy

Supply convoy

Crusaders
(Bohemond of Taranto/
Robert II of Flanders/
Godfrey of Boullion)
30,000

Seljuks
Seljuks
(Yaghi
(Kerbogah)
Siyan)

Kerbogah
settles
down
for out
a long
executing
a close
blockade
of the
the
city.
Kerbogah
deploys
troops,
mostly
to closely
guard every
gate and
The
Kerbogah
Crusaders
cannot
surge
attack
the
of siege,
Crusaders
Bridge
Gate
outside
with
Godfrey
Bridge
Gate
in
without
front,
engaging
his
the
right
Seljuk
flank
infantry
to infantry,
attack
opposite.
from
Adhemars
Adhemars
division
Adhemars
force
becomes
encircled
soare
Bohemond
organizes
aexposing
counter-attack
with
available
infantry
against
Seljuks
Seljuk
guarding
George
Gate
move
to
the
Crusaders
streaming
offorce.
Bridge
keeps mostinfantry
of his cavalry
at camp. The St
Crusaders
in crisis
as starvation
and engage
desertions again
become
rampant. Encouraged
by theout
supposed
discovery
makes
With
many
a sharp
of his
right
allies
and
already
heads deserting
directly
for
the
the
field
hill.and
Seljuk
not horse-archers
trusting
his
move
to troops
engage
inbut
a surely
Crusader
archers
battle,
in
Kerbogah
the
front
in
Adhemars
rear.
Adhemar
is able
to
push
through,
drive
off remaining
the
attackers,
andfierce
reach
theoperation.
hill
just
asrank
the
of
the
Holy
Lance within
the
city, the
Crusader
leaders
decide
to attempt
a break-out
andSeljuk
elect arrives
Bohemond
as commander
of the
Bohemond
Gate.
Adhemar
makes
slow,
gradual
progress
as
Seljuk
cavalry
to
launch
piecemeal
attacks.
repel
retreats.
them
Some
with
Seljuk
a
shower
infantry
of
arrows,
hastily
create
giving
fire
them
to
cover
reason
their
to
desert
withdrawal.
the
field.
The
majority
Other
Seljuk
of
the
units
Seljuk
also
infantry
take
the
are
opportunity
left
to
be
to
plans
to
break
out
of
Bridge
Gate
and
quickly
seize
the
hill
to
the
northwest;
Adhemar
leads
the
main
attack
towards
the
hill
while
Raymond
is
to
guard
the
Seljuk main force leaves camp. Kerbogah, seeing the Crusaders occupy the hill and threatening his right flank,
Adhemar,
incidentally
drawing
the
majority
of
responding
Seljuk
troops,
is
becoming
dangerously
desert
destroyed
the however.
field expects
at this
Theatime.
Seljuk
citadel
garrison
surrenders
from
theback
citadel
upon
hearing
garrison
Kerbogahs
thefight
events
retreats.
unfolding,
Kerbogah
at mounts
first takes
no
citadel. Bohemond
tough Despite
andwarning
holds many
troops
in reserve.
Mostofand
knights
dismounted
as there
are only 200
left. The
hesitates
and
pauses
at
thisbattle
tactical
dilemma.
Seljuk
citadel
garrison
notices
Crusader
preparations
and
alerts
Kerbogah.
immediate
action
in
order
to
lure
the
Crusader
army
out
before
destroying
it
entirely.
exposed as he advances.

Crusaders

Seljuks

(Bohemond/Robert/Godfrey)

Garrison: 5,000 (Yaghi Siyan)

Symbol guide

Relief army: 7,000 (Duqaq of Damascus


Relief army: 12,000 (Ridwan of Aleppo)
Crusaders

Relief army: 40,000 (Kerbogah)


Seljuks

Infantry

Infantry

Knights

Cavalry

Supply convoy

Supply convoy

Crusaders
(Bohemond of Taranto/
Robert II of Flanders/
Godfrey of Boullion)
30,000

Seljuks
(Kerbogah)

Antioch, 1097-1098
Casualties & Aftermath
Crusaders:

Seljuk Turks:

10,000

~12,000

or

or

33%

19%

Upon hearing of the Seljuk defeat, the Fatimids quickly marched north and captured Jerusalem
in August 1098. This brought the Fatimids into conflict with the Crusaders when they marched
on Jerusalem in 1099, while the Seljuks returned to quarrelling amongst themselves. The
Crusaders stormed and captured the city in July and then consolidated their prize by defeating
the Fatimids at the Battle of Ascalon in August. Christian Crusaders occupied Jerusalem for
nearly a century until an Ayyubid army led by Saladin captured it in 1187, provoking further
Crusades.
By Jonathan Webb,

The Art of Battle:


Animated Battle Maps
http://www.theartofbattle.com

By Jonathan Webb,