Feeding victory: the logistics of the First Crusade 1095-1099

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William Donald O'Dell Jr. (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Vicki Szabo

Abstract: This thesis addresses the First Crusade with a focus on the crusaders’ logistics during the course of the campaign. It addresses the campaign in three phases, each the focus of its own chapter. The first chapter covers the preparatory phase of the crusade which began with the Council of Clermont in 1095 and lasted through the siege of Nicaea in 1097. Crusader logistics in the preparatory phase, though negatively affected by five years of ecological crisis, operated under familiar regimes, and benefitted from the support of their Byzantine allies. In the second phase of the Crusade, from 1097 through 1098, the crusaders departed Nicaea and their Byzantine allies crossing into Asia Minor and Syria. This transition carried the crusaders beyond the reach of Byzantine infrastructure, and into an unfamiliar and often hostile landscape. At Antioch, the crusaders suffered the greatest number of losses of any siege in the Crusade, with the winter months posing the greatest challenge to their logistical systems. The final phase the Crusade was drastically different than the previous phases. In this phase, the armies of the First Crusade separated into two factions, and took disparate paths south before reuniting at Arqah. Isolated from the Mediterranean Sea and the crusaders’ familiar logistical system, Raymond IV of St. Gilles was forced to adapt his logistical approach to guarantee his faction’s survival in enemy territory. In approaching the First Crusade from a primarily logistical perspective, this thesis shifts the focus from the battles and tactics, to address the support systems which enabled the crusaders to seize ultimate victory at Jerusalem.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Crusades, Food, Logistics, Military
Crusades--First, 1096-1099
Military supplies

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