Godfrey of Bouillon's Reign - Episode 6: Tancred vs. the Fat Peasant


Real Crusades History


Published on May 29, 2017


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The source I'm reading from in this video is Albert of Aachen.

To follow up on the success of his men, Godfrey himself led a major raid on Arsuf which, as Albert tells us, ultimately resulted in Arsuf submitting to Godfrey and paying tribute (read Albert, p. 18). It was also at this time that, according Albert of Aachen and the Saracen chronicler Ibn al-Qalanisi, Godfrey refortified the port city of Jaffa. Albert tells us that these two successes acted as an example to other nearby Saracen cities and fortresses, like Caesarea, Acre, and Ascalon, which began paying tribute to Godfrey. Shortly after this, Godfrey was surprised and delighted when his knight Gerard, thought killed at Arsuf, returned to him (see Albert of Aachen, p. 20). Tiberias, which lies on the Sea of Galilee, became another of the first cities that Godfrey incorporated into the new Kingdom of Jerusalem. After the city was captured by Tancred, Godfrey fortified it with a new wall and ramparts. Godfrey granted Tiberias to Tancred as a fief. Soon Tancred requested aid from Godfrey against Sawar, a vassal of the Emir of Damascus known to the Crusaders as “The Fat Peasant”. This Saracen lord, whose territory bordered Tancred’s, is described by Albert of Aachen as “The Fat Peasant”, because, “of his great and gross corpulence and his worthless character, in which he seemed entirely a peasant.” Tancred had attempted to impose tributary status on him, but was unsuccessful. Godfrey thus assembled his cavalry and rode to join forces with Tancred in ravaging Sawar’s lands. Sawar tried to call on the aid of Duqaq, the Emir of Damascus, but ultimately Duqaq proved unable to prevent Godfrey and Tancred from ravaging Sawar’s lands. Eventually, Sawar submitted and began paying tribute to the Crusaders.

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