Raymond of Saint-Gilles (1041- 1105)

Raymond of Saint-Gilles or Raymond of Toulouse, one of the leaders of the First Crusade (1096–1099) and later first count of Tripoli (1102–1105).

Raymond was born around 1041, the second son of Pons II, count of Toulouse, and Almodis of La Marche. Raymond inherited the lordship of Saint-Gilles (situated at the mouth of the Rhône), as well as lands in Provence; to these he was able to add an inheritance from his cousin Bertha, consisting of the marquisate of Gothia and the county of Rouergue. On the death of his childless elder brother William IV (1094), Raymond was the ruler of a vast aggregate of territory; he had already taken the title of count of Toulouse. His first marriage  (probably  dissolved  on  the  grounds  of consanguinity) produced one son, Bertrand (later count of Tripoli); around 1080 he married his second wife, Matilda, daughter of Roger I of Sicily. His third marriage, to Elvira, daughter of Alfonso VI of Castile, may well have been contracted in 1088 on the occasion of a campaign conducted by several French lords in Spain against the Almoravids, in which Raymond probably took part.

Raymond in The First Crusade:

Raymond of Toulouse led a second army composed of the men of Languedoc. He was the most opulent and haughty of the chieftains, as well as the most experienced in years and war. He had fought by the side of the Cid in Spain, and was haloed in popular estimate with some of the glory of that great knight. Alfonso VI. of Castile had not hesitated to bestow upon him his daughter Elvira, who shared with her husband the hazard of the expedition. One hundred thousand warriors followed in Raymond's train as he took the cross. With him went Bishop Adhemar of Puy , the papal legate, who, in the name of the Holy Father, was the spiritual head of the combined expeditions.

Raymond and Alexius:

Raymond, unlike Bohemond, Godfrey, and Robert of Flanders, would  take no oath to the Emperor. " Be it far from me," were the words of his proud humility, " that I should take any lord for this way save Christ only, for whose sake I have come hither. If thou art willing to take the cross also, and accompany us to Jerusalem, I and my men and all that I have will be at thy disposal." While at Constantinople Raymond received news that during his absence the Emperor's troops had attacked his men. In his wrath it is said that he invited the other Latin chiefs to join him in the sack of Constantinople. Bohemond, however, was staunch to the Emperor, and even gave himself as a hostage that Alexius would recompense the count if it should prove true that the Imperial troops had done him injury. Godfrey, too, refused to bear arms against a brother Christian, and so Raymond had to endure his wrong as best he might. Nothing could induce him to become the Emperor's liegeman, but at last he swore to do Alexius no harm to his life or honour, and not to suffer any such wrong to be done by another. " But when he was called on to do homage," says Raymond of Agiles, " he made answer that he would not, even at the peril of his life. For which reason the Emperor gave him few gifts." Yet Raymond's oath proved of better worth than that of those who had sworn more. Anna Comnena perhaps writes by the light of later events, but her words are very precise, and apparently refer to this time: "One of the Crusaders, the Count of St. Gilles, Alexius loved in a special way, because of his wisdom, sincerity, and purity of life ; and also because he knew that he preferred honour and truth above all things."


Hill (J. H.) and Hill (L. L.), Raymond IV, count of Toulouse. Syracuse, Syracuse University Press, 1962.

Tancred of Hauteville (1075-1112)

Tancred of Hauteville or Tancred of Antioch prince of Galilee (1099–1101) and regent of the principality of Antioch (1101-1103 and 1104–1112).

Tancred was born around 1076, a scion of the Normandynasty of Hauteville in southern Italy. His parents were Odo “the Good Marquis” and Emma, a daughter of Robert Guiscard, duke of Apulia and Calabria.

Tancred de Hauteville by his splendid character amply compensated the defects of Bohemond, his kinsman. In history and romance he is celebrated as the type of the perfect soldier:

"Than whom
is no nobler knight,
More mild in manner, fair in manly bloom,
Or more sublimely daring in the fight"

Dissatisfied with even the ideals of Chivalry, Tancred hailed the new lustre that might be given to arms when wielded only in the cause of justice, mercy, and faith, which, perhaps too sanguinely, he foresaw in the crusade. Thus nobly seconded by Tancred, Bohemond took the field with one hundred thousand horse
and twenty thousand foot.

In 1096 Tancred joined his maternal uncle, Bohemund of Taranto, in taking part in the First Crusade (1096–1099) and very soon distinguished himself as one of its chieftains, especially in the fighting at Nicaea (mod. Ωznik, Turkey) and Dorylaion (near mod. Eskiflehir, Turkey), to the point that his uncle gave him the command of a company of knights. He then penetrated into Cilicia, where he clashed with Baldwin of Boulogne, brother of Godfrey of Bouillon, over the possession  of  Tarsos  (mod.  Tarsus,  Turkey).  Tancred rejoined  the  main  armies  at  Antioch  (mod.  Antakya, Turkey), where he played a significant role in the siege and the conquest of the city. After the establishment of Bohemund’s principality at Antioch (1098), Tancred continued toward Jerusalem, joining first Raymond of Saint-Gilles and then Godfrey of Bouillon. Tancred became one of the most important chiefs of Godfrey’s army; in June 1099 he conquered Bethlehem on Godfrey’s behalf and, having joined him  at  the  siege  of  Jerusalem,  he  commanded  raids  to obtain materials for building siege machines and ladders. During  the  conquest  of  the  Holy  City  (15  July  1099), he seized the mosques of the Temple Mount and claimed the lordship of the area.


William of Tyre, A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea, trans. Krey (A. C.) and other, Columbia University Press, 1943.

Fulcher of Chartres, A History of the Expedition to Jerusalem, 1095-1127, University of Tennessee Press, 1969.