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First Crusade: Battle of Dorylaeum 1097 AD

First Crusade: Battle of Dorylaeum 1097 AD


The last years of the XI century. Answering the Pope’s Call, thousands of the finest European nobles gather near Constantinople, forming one of the biggest armies since the Fall of the Roman Empire. Their ultimate goal is the holy city of Jerusalem, the cradle of Christianity, currently under Muslim rule. The unprecedented string of both glorious and brutal events committed in the name of God, is about to begin. It is the year 1095. The Byzantine Empire was slowly recovering after a period of civil war and invasions from all sides. Emperor Alexios Komnenos struggled to recover the empire’s former power after years of poor rule at the hands of his predecessors, beginning the period known today as the Komnenian Restoration. He dispatched a message to Pope Urban II, requesting military support for his fellow Christians, hoping for help with reclaiming the lands lost to the Muslims in Anatolia and on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Pope Urban had numerous reasons to help, as he sought the possibility to warm relations between western and eastern Christendom after the Great Schism, and more importantly – strengthen his unstable position as leader of the Catholic Church. He organised the Council of Clermont, attended by both laymen and ecclesiastics, during which he moved the hearts of men with an inspirational speech, ending with the phrase: „Deus Vult!”, which soon became a motto for the upcoming Crusade. The Pope’s call to reclaim the Holy Land quickly spread over Western Europe through the following months, even though Jerusalem was taken by the Muslims almost 400 years earlier and three great religions coexisted in Levant with no major friction between them. Also the Seljuq Turk’s invasion of the Byzantine Empire wasn’t particularly recent news, as it was 25 years since the disastrous encounter near Manzikert, but one could not underestimate the power of words used at the right time and right place. With snow melting away in early 1096, various groups of peasants, townsmen, minor knights and even petty criminals gathered to follow the charismatic monk Peter the Hermit in a so-called People’s Crusade, unauthorised by Pope Urban, months before the planned gathering of European nobility. The beginning of their march was marked with Jewish massacres committed by crusaders in Rhineland and Central Europe. Despite the protection provided by Christian clergy, several thousand Jews were killed. The barely prepared and organised mass of people soon entered Hungary. Though initially welcomed by King Koloman, they quickly changed his mind by plundering Hungarian cities, searching for supplies and treasuries. Koloman was determined to protect his people and domain, as a result some regular fighting ensued. The ill-disciplined crusade finally reached Constantinople, and unexpecting emperor Alexios quickly transferred them through the Bosphorus to Asia Minor, to get rid of the problem. With no strong military leadership and lacking a good plan, the crusaders dispersed over the area and began unorganized raiding of Turkish territories. They took the minor castle of Xerigordon few kilometres from Nicaea, but that was just a single and not truly noteworthy success of the People’s Crusade. The end of their story is a brutal one. The Turkish sultan Kilij Arslan dealt with the invaders mercilessly. Xerigordon was retaken and its defenders killed. Separated groups of foraging Christians were slaughtered, while the main body of the army was lead to an ambush and virtually erased by superior Turkish forces near Civetot. Out of a total of 20,000 men, who reached Asia Minor, barely a few survived. Peter the Hermit avoided the massacre and later joined the Prince’s crusade, the first components of which soon reached the city of Constantinople. Emperor Alexios didn’t really expect such a far-reaching response. Thousands of Latin nobles heeded the Pope’s call and together with retinues departed their homelands to relieve their orthodox brothers in the East, and eventually take back the Holy Land from Muslim hands. Among the most famous crusaders were: Godfrey of Bouillon, duke of Lower Lorraine, and his brother Baldwin, leading the Imperial contingent. Robert Curthose, duke of Normandy with another Robert, count of Flanders leading a detachment from Northern France. One of the wealthiest nobles of the time – deeply religious Raymond, count of Toulouse accompanied by the Pope’s representative Adhemar of Le Puy. And last but not least, fierce Bohemond, prince of Taranto, and his nephew Tancred, leading the Norman contingent from southern Italy. There were plenty of reasons for this unusual gathering, maybe even as many, as the number of European magnates willing to participate. The desire of adventure, remission of sins offered by the Pope and simple eagerness to fight the infidels were just the more popular reasons. But, let’s move the story forward. Alexios took advantage of the crusade leaders arriving at Constantinople one by one and forced them to pledge to return all future reclaimed lands back to the Empire. Just after making the vow, they were then transported via the strait to Anatolia, where the combined crusader force assembled in spring of 1097. Despite the inability to choose a single leader, they agreed to set the city of Nicaea as their first target. It was the former capital of the recently established Sultanate of Rum, a state that seceded from the Seljuq Empire, which suffered a heavy decentralization of power since the death of sultan Malik-Shah five years earlier. Nicaea was a well-fortified stronghold, on the eastern shore of Lake Ascanius. However, its walls were more than 6 kilometres long, making it quite hard to defend by the undermanned Turkish garrison. The first Christian units reached the city on the 14th of May, and began preparations for the siege. Alexios aided the crusaders with a two thousand strong detachment under general Tatikios together with an engineering unit and siege equipment. Nicaea was supplied across the lake to some extent, and stood strong despite lack of sufficient defence. The crusaders surrounded the city, but their initial attempts to crush the walls and storm inside failed. In the meantime, sultan Kilij Arslan rushed back west with relief forces. After wiping out the People’s Crusade, he had little respect for another Latin army gathering near Constantinople and was busy campaigning in the east. Yet as soon as he learned of how numerous the following Christian invasion was, he quickly moved the Turkish army back to defend his lands. They reached the besieged city on the 21st of May and immediately struck the crusaders from the south. The sultan’s forces tried to break through to the city, but the attack of his light armoured mounted units was pushed back by Raymond’s well equipped soldiers. It was surely a surprising experience for Kilij Arslan, when he saw the impetus of the charge of heavy cavalrymen serving the Frankish lord. Soon, willing to avoid further losses, the sultan commanded a general retreat, dismaying the Nicaean garrison. Despite the failed attempt to break the siege, the city garrison kept up a rugged defence, unwilling to surrender. Then, after a few days of fruitless attempts to overwhelm the Nicaean defence, crusaders finally decided to complete the encirclement using Byzantine help. Some ships of the Imperial fleet were pulled to the lake and soon blocked the harbour completely. Upon losing the last line of supply, the defenders morale was crippled. They surrendered the city to the Byzantine sailors during the night, yet kept the city gates closed. This was a part of Emperor Alexios’s plan, as for centuries, Nicaea was an important Byzantine stronghold, so he didn’t let the crusaders into the city, fearing the possible plundering. Of course, the crusaders felt cheated, when they saw imperial banners waving on the walls in the morning, but Alexios cunningly quelled their discontent with money and precious gifts. With the first objective accomplished after the one month long siege, the uplifted crusader army departed farther south in the middle of June. Due to the huge size of the marching column, the leaders made the uneasy decision to split their forces. Normans under Bohemond and Robert Curthose formed the vanguard, while the bigger part lead by Raymond and Godfrey marched a day behind them. They obviously knew, that such a move was risky, since the Seljuq troops were still a threat, but it was much easier to provision two smaller groups, especially on the hilly terrain the crusaders had to pass through. The Norman contingent reached a wide plain near the ancient town of Dorylaeum, and set a camp there in the evening of June 30th. Bohemond and Robert received scout reports about a brief Turkish presence in the vicinity a few days earlier, but they most likely underestimated the risk and didn’t even inform the rear-guard. This soon turned out to be a big mistake. With sunrise on the horizon, thousands of Turkish mounted units encircled the surprised Normans, raining arrows on their unprepared camp. Kilij Arslan allied himself with neighbouring Danishmends and struck the crusader force once again. Bohemond quickly organised the defence, and together with all Norman mounted knights lead a ferocious charge at the Turks. Yet the lightly armoured Muslim units easily evaded their attack, and horse archers armed with composite bows dealt significant damage while on the move. Bohemond rode back to the camp, realizing that he couldn’t defeat the enemy who presented an eastern style of warfare, exploiting hit and run tactics combined with outstanding mobility. Though the Normans formed a solid defence with dismounted heavy armoured knights on the front, their situation was disastrous. Yet in spite of being overwhelmed and encircled by an enemy raining thousands of arrows on them, the Norman army endured the Turkish attack thanks to the heavy armour of the frontal units, the brave attitude of their commanders, and an iron discipline. Regardless, their losses constantly increased. Five long hours had passed, when the first units of the rear-guard under Godfrey finally made it to the battlefield and immediately hacked their way to the besieged camp. Yet the relief force wasn’t able to turn the tide of the battle either. The now close-fought encounter raged for another two hours, when another relief force commanded by the Pope’s legate Adhemar le Puy and led by Byzantine guides, got around the hills and struck the Turkish camp and rear units. This was a decisive blow to the sultan’s forces. His tactical advantage rapidly diminished, many of the Turks fled the battlefield and the battle was essentially over. The casualties were significant, as probably more than 5,000 men in total among the opposing forces had fallen that day. It’s worth noting, that both sides were surprised by the other’s combat potential. The Muslim troops had shown a flexibility unknown to many Europeans, with crucial use of mounted archers, while the Crusader army made efficient use of heavy armour, endurance and discipline under constant pressure. Kilij Arslan learnt, that the Christian force was a hard nut to crack, and if he wanted to win this war, he needed to adopt a new approach to deal with this extraordinary threat. Meanwhile, after the initial successes, the Latin army treated their wounds and prepared to continue their march south to Cilicia, through the hot inland of the Anatolian plateau.

100 thoughts on “First Crusade: Battle of Dorylaeum 1097 AD

  1. Looking both back to the rise of Islam and the territories muslims control today it is a clear consequence of Christians destroying the remnants of the Roman civilization like the knowledge that the earth is a globe to establish a Rule of Religion.
    That Islam did not take over all of the world was thanks to the same disregard of science and knowledge for the same reasons in the 11th century.
    Now Evengelical Christians are surging ahead again, spearheading flat earthers and young earth creationists, followed by the less foolish.

  2. You missed the entire context of the Crusades which was a response to 400 years of Muslim conquest and aggression.

  3. The crusades were also a response to Islamic expansion and slaughter that took place previous to the time of the first crusade. Thus it became easier to justify the horrendous acts of violence as a means of revenge and a curing of a blight against God. Then the crusades were labeled as holy, but were more so a means of revenge upon the guilty and innocent.

  4. real reason for the first crusades was over 400 years of islam agrression vs europe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_To-cV94Bo&t=62s

  5. 11:30 Player Godfrey69 has entered the server
    11:55 Player XxAdhemarxX has entered the server

    12:14 Player [SLTN] RumJ1H4D has left the server

  6. "no major friction " you gonna mention how islam got into the levant at all baz? what they just started hanging out? also why is it always brought up that it was 400 years? i mean honestly its so disingenuous to ignore the political state of europe in those 400 YEARS. but you like all revisionists have to throw out bullshit because you know the truth doesnt fit your narrative.

  7. The Battle of Dorylaeum was certainly an important battle as it was the first major pitched battle of the crusades.

  8. I dont think the Christians fought any Crusade for religious matters… It was always for land & power… Yet the Sunni Muslims were fighting for land & power as well. Not just cause they believed Jerusalem belonged to them. Both sides fought for land $$$ & power! Religion always gets a bad wrap because people use it for their own greed! Religion shouldn't be crapped on because certain people try & expose for it for their corruption & greed.

    There are people who truly believe in Christianity & when people like the POPE use Christianity to fight wars for power… Its not Christianity doing that… Its people like the POPE who isn't a true Christian twisting the word of God for his own means!

  9. A few mistakes:
    1) The map: up until Ottoman conquest, division between Western and Eastern christianity was more-or-less the same as that of Western and Eastern Empire, running along Drina river
    2) Three religions had coexisted in Jerusalem up until its conquest by Seljuk Turks few decades before the First Crusade. However, unlike Arabs, Seljuks were quite interested in openly persecuting Christians, and there were also quite few attacks (and some massacres) by Seljuks against Christian pilgrims visiting Jerusalem. These provided cassus belli for Crusades.

  10. Your map is wrong. Sicily was firmly in the hands of the Muslims until the 1100's. Also you forgot to mention that the Muslims had committed far worse atrocities plus I know you are going to say that the Crusaders killed the entire population of Jerusalem and I will simply point to the small Christian population that had been there since Byzantine times and btw the Christian population of that region in 1911 was actually in the majority. Tell me again about this "mass wipe out?" The idea that Crusaders killed everyone in Jerusalem was Muslim propaganda. In fact the Crusaders killed only armed resistors but peacefully ruled the region for almost 300 years.

  11. In 1097, they weren't "Turkish" territories. And "no friction" is laughable. I love your videos and most of the scholarship therein, but you need to stop pulling punches when it comes to Islam. The events of 1097 have their root in 632AD. C'mon Baz.

  12. I remember hearing the story that Bohemond never took an oath to Alexios, because Bohemond already served the greatest lord (Jesus Christ) and got Alexios to back off.

  13. Bazd meg magad!!! Bu-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! Surely, King Kálmán's most famous quote!

  14. 2:02 nice white washing of Muslims… Do remind me why were Christians and Jews not allowed to build churches and synagogues? Why were they not allowed to keep weapons? Why were they kept as second class citizens and had to pay a tribute to Muslims? Why were they obligated to give a seat to a muslim if he demanded it? Why did Christians and Jews need to wear discriminative clothing to distinguish themselves from Muslims? Peaceful coexistence my foot, more like peaceful coexistence by humiliation and the threat of the sword.

  15. laten we voorkomen dat de geschiedenis zich herhaalt

    A https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkPhmtD1wUI

    B https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F4wBeshTsw&t=51s

    C https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERou_Q5l9Gw&t=300s

    D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5MZPYC-yMg

    E https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-5kKEHPODE

    F https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aACpy7fLjFo&t=400s

    G https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_To-cV94Bo&t=62s (kort)

    H https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Qpy0mXg8Y&t=1611s

    I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ilFbbk9jw4&t=22s

    J https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31E1gHowYcA&t=88s

    K https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztos_j0-_04&t=77s

  16. 9:05 Sadly it would never work in civilization, players want just to take the city instead of getting generous bonuses in exchange for it.

  17. Such good story telling. There has to be more material like this to cover even after all your videos today, surely?

  18. This video is typically how Europeans downplay the threat of the Turks and try to make a fool out of the Christian crusaders. Who took the land of the Greeks? The Turks! Who destroyed monasteries and killed Christians in the Middle East? The Turks! Yet for some kind of strange reason we Europeans seem to search for the fault in our ancestries…Have you ever seen a Turk being sorry for having taken away Konstantinople and the land of the Greeks and Armenians? Have you ever seen Turks being sorry for their invasion in the Middle East and the slaughter of people???

  19. I see u managed to push Medieval Romanticism quite successfully combining realism , komnenos was a potent leader unlike the palaiologians who set the eastern flank of the roman empire to its dimise along with arrogance and lots and lots of bad luck and choices.

  20. I'm detecting Howard Zinn levels of dishonest propaganda in this video, attempting to glorify Islam as the innocent victim and Christianity as the evil aggressor.

    Actual history:

    1) Islam invaded the region by force hundreds of years prior, and is therefore the aggressor.

    2) Institutional oppression of non Muslims in the region was commonplace, and sanctioned by Sharia law as a way of twisting the screws until local subjugates submitted and converted.

    So real history was almost the polar opposite of what Baz Battles wrote.

  21. Always hilarious that people think the crusades were 100% religious in nature and totally not just a bunch of nobles looking to get some thicc rich land. Saladin did the same thing, Christians and Muslims both just used religion as a means to a political end, whether or not they really supported crusade/jihad. I mean hell, Third Crusade was just Richard looking to stroke his ego.

  22. , Ummmm, if Jerusalem was that important, if God really wanted that city, don't you think HE would have easily taken it from anyone? As for the so called "Holy Land", the place has greatly changed since the time of Moses. But to make my point, have of you so called Christians ever considered reading the Scriptures? IF Christ had wanted any of you to fight & kill people over Jerusalem he probably would have preached that.

  23. We must drive them out of Europe now. I have read and understood the "holy books" which they live by. Its not compatible with any other religion or race. Google the Islamic sources through Islamic websites.
    Muhammad
    QURAN – 70:22-30 (rapist)
    QURAN – 4:24(rapist)
    QURAN – 33:50(rapist)
    QURAN 8:1 (robber)
    Ibn Ishaq 464 (murderer)
    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 82, Number 795 (murderer)
    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64: (pedophile)
    Ibn Ishaq :675,676 (killer)
    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 370: (killer)
    Sahih al Bukhari 2442 verse 54 (Cross dressing)

  24. This is not a historical approach but just a simplistic way to present an aspect the events of that er, isn't it? Otherwise for sure this nthg to do with history as science (that's for sure) but even as a serious of events. You not even try how to pronounce the names of the protaganonists not perectly but even just to try.

  25. I love this channel, great content, great visuals, decisive and doesn’t bog down with side bar info. Keep this up!

  26. This is bullshit the Jews wanted Jerusalem to make their nwo they financed the crusades
    Sorry European historians are full of it

  27. The great schism didn't departed Hungary as well, because our first king, Szent István (Stephen the Saint) joined to Rome, and his whole kingdom was inherited in this state. Furthermore 1095 was the year, when our second saint king died, Szent László (Ladislaus the Saint), who had a strong and relegiously uniformed kingdom as well. These rulers had problems only with pagan rebellions, not with orthodox elements. The Hungarian Kingdom was under the sign of Rome.

  28. Another reason why monotheism is the worst kind of religion. My god is bigger than your God is all you see in the comments. Cant wait until the entire world wakes up and removes the yolk of those 3 eastern cults we might start solving a few problems (god forbid)

  29. Kilij was prolly like, wtf is this?? a bunch of europeans with pitchforks? are they insane?? oh well, kill them all.

  30. no major friction between the 3 religions in jerusalem? According to who? I imagine you will also say that Christians and Jews loved living under Sharia.

  31. Doing everything in the name of Christianity, have Christianity a bad name. Because so many people are too ignorant to actually find out and research into Christianity itself before saying anything about it

  32. Sick of hearing the poor Jews! The poor Jews! It's propaganda is getting fecking long in the tooth! It's funny the poor Jews are shooting unarmed school kids and then crushing Palestinians homes for fun! Yeah you are being lied to by these cowards who keep pushing
    The Jews is innocent!

  33. You should do a video on the capture of Bethlehem, most people don't get why taking Bethlehem before Jerusalem was strategically important.

  34. "Coexisted with no major friction" as the Muslims collected tax for them being non-muslim. Guess what happened if you didn't pay the tax for not believing in Islam?

  35. Urban II was not, in fact, in rome when this happened, he'd ben kicked out and an anti-pope had been put in power, he called the crusade in order to lose the heat.

  36. Kind of a ultra-simplistic explanation of why Europe was so enthusiastic for the Crusades. They were sick and tired of 400 years of Islamic expansion, enslavement and slaughter.

  37. Koporye Castle https://www.google.com/maps/@59.7092132,29.0352284,3a,41.2y,258.53h,78.91t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sD2VZefL75AO0lcOPERnSQw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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