Raymund Of Toulouse - Encyclopedia

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RAYMUND OF TOULOUSE (sometimes also called Raymund of St Giles, after a town to the south of Nimes), count of Provence, one of the leaders of the first Crusade. According to an Armenian authority, he had lost an eye on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem before the first Crusade; but the statement probably rests on the fact that he was one-eyed, vir monoculus. He is also recorded to have fought against the Moors in Spain before 1096; and it is certain that he was the first of the princes of the West to take the cross after Pope Urban's sermon at Clermont. The oldest and the richest of the crusading princes, the count of Provence started, at the end of October 1096, with a large company,, which included his wife, his son, and Adhemar, bishop of Puy, the Papal Legate. His march lay by Ragusa and Scutari to Durazzo, whence he struck eastward, along the route also used by Bohemund, to Constantinople. At the end of April 1097 he was with difficulty induced to take a somewhat negative oath of fealty to Alexius; for the obstinacy which was one of his characteristics, coupled perhaps with some hope of acquiring new territories, made him reluctant to submit like the other crusaders to Alexius. He was present at Nicaea and Dorylaeum; but he first showed his hand in October 1097, when, as the army neared Antioch, and a rumour was spread that Antioch had been deserted by the Turks, he sent a detachment in advance to occupy the city - an action which presaged his future difficulties with Bohemund, the would-be prince of Antioch. In the siege of Antioch (which was far from having been deserted) Raymund played his part. When the city was taken by Bohemund (June 1098), the count garrisoned the palatium Cassiani (the palace of the emir, Yagi Sian) and the tower over the Bridge Gate. He lay ill during the second siege of Antioch by Kerbogha; but in his camp a great spiritualistic activity culminated in the discovery of the Holy Lance by the Provengals. The miracle stimulated the crusaders to defeat Kerbogha: the Lance itself, discovered by the Provengals and carried henceforward by their count, became a valuable asset in Raymund's favour; and he began to put difficulties in the way of Bohemund's retention of Antioch, obstinately alleging the oath to Alexius, and refusing to surrender the positions in the city which he had occupied. A struggle thus arose between the Provengals and the Normans, partly with regard to the genuineness of the Lance, which the Normans naturally doubted, and partly with regard to the possession of Antioch - the real issue at stake. Raymund was the first of the princes to leave Antioch, moving southward in the autumn of 1098 to the siege of Marra, but leaving a detachment of his troops in Antioch. With Bohemund left behind in Antioch; with the possession of the Holy Lance to give him prestige; and with the wealth which he had at his disposal, the count of Provence now definitely began to figure as the leader of the Crusade. If he could have consented to leave Bohemund in possession of Antioch and push southward, he might have achieved much. But he could not stomach the greatness of Bohemund; and when the Normans turned his troops out of Antioch in January 1099, he marched from Marra (which had been captured in December 1098) into the emirate of Tripoli, and began the siege of Arca (February 1099) evidently with the idea of founding a power in Tripoli which would check the expansion of Bohemund's principality to the south. The siege of Arca was protracted; and the selfish policy of the count, which thus deferred the march to Jerusalem, lost him all support from the mass of the crusaders. A wave of indignation in the ranks, and the inducements which the emir of Tripoli offered to the other princes, forced Raymund to desist from the siege (May 1098), and to march southwards to Jerusalem. After the capture of Jerusalem, Raymund was offered, but refused, the advocacy of the Holy Sepulchre. He alleged his reluctance to rule in the city in which Christ had suffered: it is perhaps permissible to suspect that he hankered for the principality of Tripoli and the renewal of hostilities with Bohemund. As at Antioch, so at Jerusalem, he fell into strife with the new ruler; and it was only with difficulty that Godfrey was able to secure from him the possession of the Tower of David, which he had originally occupied. The grasping nature of Raymund again appeared after the battle of Ascalon, when his eagerness to occupy Ascalon for himself prevented it from being occupied at all; while Godfrey also blamed him for the failure of his army to capture Arsuf. It almost seems as if the count could not appear without becoming a centre of storms; and when he went north, in the winter of 1099-1100, his first act was one of hostility against Bohemund, from whom he helped to wrest Laodicea. From Laodicea he went to Constantinople, where he fraternized with Alexius, the great enemy of his own enemy Bohemund. Joining in the ill-fated Crusade which followed in the wake of the First, he was successful in escaping from the debacle, and returning to Constantinople. In 1102 he came by sea from Constantinople to Antioch, where he was imprisoned by Tancred, regent of Antioch during the captivity of Bohemund, and only dismissed upon promising not to attempt any conquests in the country between Antioch and Acre. He broke his promise, attacking and capturing Tortosa, and beginning to build a castle for the reduction of Tripoli (on the Mons Peregrinus). In this policy he was aided by Alexius, who was naturally willing to see the erection of a tributary county of Tripoli to the south of Bohemund's principality. In 1105 Raymund died. He was succeeded by his nephew William, who in 1109, with the aid of Baldwin I., captured the town and definitely established the county of Tripoli. William was ousted in the same year by Raymund's eldest son Bertrand; and the county continued in the possession of his house during the 12th century.' Raymund of Toulouse represents the Provençal element in the first Crusade, as Bohemund represents the Norman, and Godfrey and Baldwin the Lotharingian. Religiosity, obstinacy and greed seem curiously blended in his composition. The first quality appears in the episode of the Lance, and in his renunciation of the advocacy of Jerusalem: the second appears in the whole of his attitude to Bohemund: the third appears again and again, whenever the progress of the Crusades brought any new conquest. If in temperament he is the least attractive among the princes of the first Crusade, he was yet one of its foremost leaders, and he left his mark upon history in the foundation of the county of Tripoli.

Raymund of Agiles, a clerk in the Provençal army, gives the history of the first Crusade from his master's point of view. For a modern account of Count Raymund's part in the crusading movement, one may refer to ROhricht's works (see Crusades).

(E. BR.)

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