By Steven Runciman
Sir Steven Runciman's 3 quantity A background of the Crusades, one of many nice classics of English old writing, is now being reissued. This quantity describes the Frankish states of Outremer from the accession of King Baldwin I to the re-conquest of Jerusalem via Saladin. As Runciman says in his preface, 'The politics of the Moslem global within the early twelfth-century defy ordinary research, yet they need to be understood if we're to appreciate the institution of the Crusader states and the later motives of the restoration of Islam ... the most topic during this quantity is conflict ... i've got the instance of the outdated chroniclers, who knew their company; for battle was once the historical past to lifestyles in Outremer and the dangers of the battlefield frequently determined its destiny.'
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Extra info for A History of the Crusades, Volume II: The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Frankish East, 1100-1187
The object of the Crusade was to reach the Holy Land and on the way to reopen the route across Asia Minor, a secondary aim that had the Emperor's full support. Stephen of Blois therefore recommended that the army should follow the road taken by the First Crusade, through Dorylaewn and Konya. Raymond, in conformity with the instructions given him by Alexius, agreed with him. But the Lombards, who formed the vast majority ot the army, held other views. Bohemond was their hero, the one warrior that they trusted to carry them to victory.
At the Emperor's request he went on to Italy and reported to the Pope everything that had been said to him; but he did so in such terms that the Pope's fury was roused against Byzantium. Had Pope Urban II still been alive, no harm would have been done; for Urban had large views and no wish to quarrel with eastern Christendom. But his successor, Paschal II, was a smaller man, short-sighted and easily influenced. He readily fell in with the vulgar Frankish view that the Emperor was an enemy. Alexius obtained no redress.
Count Raymond, it was said, was obeying the Emperor's instructions when he led the army out of its course to perish in a prearranged Turkish ambush. But in fact Alexius was furious with Raymond and his colleagues. He received them politely but icily and made no secret of his displeasure. 1 Had the Crusade won for him Kastamuni and the Paphlagonian interior, he might have forgiven it; but he was far more anxious to secure the direct road to Syria, to safeguard his reconquests in the south-west of Asia Minor, and to enable him to intervene in Syrian affairs.