Crusade of 1101

The Crusade of 1101 was a minor crusade which actually consisted of three separate movements, organized after the successful First Crusade.

The First Crusade produced a call for reinforcements from the newly established Kingdom of Jerusalem, and Pope Paschal II, successor of Urban II, who pushed for a new campaign. He spoke in particular, which had made ​​a crusade vow, but were not broken, and those who were reversed before they reached Jerusalem. Some of these people were already back home and saw there the contempt and subjected to enormous pressure to return to the East. Adela of Blois, wife of Stephen II of Blois, was so ashamed of her husband's escape from the siege of Antioch in 1098 that they did not allow him to stay at home.

The Lombards

In September 1100 left a large group of Lombard Milan, mostly in the fight untrained peasants who were led by the Archbishop of Milan, Anselm IV. When they reached the territory of the Byzantine Empire, they plundered unconcerned the country, so that the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos had them escorted to a camp outside Constantinople. From there they journeyed to the city, where they plundered Blachernae Palace. The emperor had the Lombards bring quickly to the other side of the Bosphorus, where they settled in Nicomedia, to wait for reinforcements.

In Nicomedia in May came a smaller but better -armed group of Frenchmen, Burgundians and Germans under Stephen of Blois, Stephen of Burgundy, Odo of Burgundy and Konrad, the constable of the Emperor Henry IV to them. Added to this was Raymond IV of Toulouse, one of the leaders of the First Crusade, who now was in the service of the Byzantine emperor and was now appointed supreme leader. Alexios let her accompany by a troop petschenegischer mercenaries under the command of General Tzitas.

The end of May this crowd marched towards Eskisehir, where they followed the route Raimund and Stephan had already elected in 1097. They planned to continue their way through Iconium, but the Lombards, whose colony strength surpassed all other contingents in number, were determined to go north Niksar where Bohemond of Taranto was detained by the Danishmends. After the conquest of Ankara on 23 June and the return of the city to Alexius, the crusaders turned north, where they were almost immediately attacked by the Rum - Seljuks. The Turks harassed the crusaders for weeks, a group that got food was destroyed in July in Kastamonu.

Battle of Mersivan

The Lombards realized their mistake, the whole army turned east and invaded the territory of the Danishmends. The Seljuks under Kilij Arslan I, who knew that their disagreement was the reason that they could not stop the First Crusade, now allied themselves with the Danishmends and Ridwan of Aleppo. In early August the crusaders met on the Allied Muslim troops at Mersivan. The Crusaders were divided into five groups: Burgundy, Raymond and the Byzantines, the Germans, the French and the Lombards. The Lombards were defeated as a vanguard, the Pechenegs deserted, the French and the Germans had to withdraw. Raimund was surrounded on a rock and rescued by Stephen and Conrad. The battle went on the next day, the camp of the Crusaders was conquered, the knights fled, leaving women, children and priests back who were killed or enslaved. Most Lombards, who had no horses, were soon tracked down and killed by the Turks. Raymond, Stephen of Blois and Stephen of Burgundy fled to Sinope in the north and came back with a ship to Constantinople Opel.

The Nivernaiser

Shortly after the Lombards had left Nicomedia, another army came under William II of Nevers in Constantine Opel. They had set from Bari on the Adriatic Sea and the Byzantine Empire crosses, without leading to incidents. Wilhelm quickly broke again to take on the other, but did not found, although both armies must have been very close to each other several times. He briefly besieged Iconium, but could not conquer it, and soon got it at Heraclea in an ambush Kilij Arslan, who had just defeated the Lombards in Mersivan and urged it to drive this new army as soon as possible also. At Heraclea almost the entire troupe William was wiped out, with the exception of William and some of his men. William of Nevers then fled to Tarsus.

The French and the Bavarians

In the moment in which Wilhelm II Constantine Opel left, met a third army, the. , Under the command of Wilhelm IX of Aquitaine, Hugh of Vermandois ( one of those who had not fulfilled their vow from the First Crusade ), and Welf IV of Bavaria was. In her companion Ida of Austria, was the mother of Leopold III. of Austria. They had pillaged Byzantine territory on the way and a battle with so emitted by Byzantium Petcheneg mercenaries could only just through the intervention of William IX. and Welf IV be prevented.

In Constantinople, Opel, the army divided into two parts. The one traveled by ship directly to Palestine; among them was the chronicler Ekkehard of Aura. The other took the land, reached Heraclea in September and there was, like the previous army, destroyed in an ambush Kilij Arslan. William and Welf escaped, but Hugo was mortally wounded. The survivors eventually reached Tarsus, where Hugo died on October 18. Ida disappeared during the ambush and was probably killed. Later legends say, however, that she had been captured and was to become the mother of Zengi, a major enemy of the crusaders in the 1140s.

Next trip to Jerusalem

The survivors gathered in Tarsus. Raymond of Toulouse met with the survivors from Sinope later one also. Under his command, they then conquered by Genoese help Tortosa, but the crusade was now more of a pilgrimage. End of 1101 Antioch was reached, Easter 1102 Jerusalem.


After the Crusaders had reached Jerusalem, many simply went back home, because they had no other aim than to fulfill her vow. Other helped King Baldwin I. in the defense of the country against an Egyptian invasion at Ramla. Stephen of Blois was killed in this battle, as well as Hugh of Lusignan, ancestor of the later Lusignan dynasty of Jerusalem and Cyprus. Joscelin of Courtenay also remained in the country and was in 1118, Count of Edessa.

The victory over the Crusaders allowed Kilij Arslan to move his capital to Iconium. In addition, this defeat showed the Muslim world that the crusaders were not invincible quite how it had seemed during the First Crusade. The Crusaders and the Byzantines made ​​each other's responsible for the defeat, but neither of them was able to provide a safe route through Anatolia, where Kilij Arslan had now strengthened its position. The only open route to the Holy Land was on the lake, which in turn benefited the Italian cities. The lack of safe road link also benefited the Principality of Antioch, where Tancred, who ruled for his uncle Bohemond, could consolidate his power without interference from Byzantium.

Also the Second Crusade suffered while trying to cross Anatolia, a fate similar to the crusade of 1101.


  • Albert of Aachen: Historia Hierosolymitana.