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How important was the discovery of the Holy Lance in the Crusader success in Antioch?

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Introduction

How important was the discovery of the Holy Lance in the Crusader' success in Antioch? During the 11th Century religion permeated all aspects of life and it was arguably the major factor in both recruitment in preparation for the first crusade, and motivating the crusaders whilst they travelled and fought. As a consequence of this religious imperative, religious relics were of massive importance to people at the time as they provided tangible evidence for their faith; the possibility of discovering these artefacts in the Holy Land was of great interest to many of the crusaders as the majority of them were crusading for their faith, and the discovery of a relic would vindicate their belief. This fervent enthusiasm for the discovery of religious artefacts was the catalyst for the impact of the discovery of the Holy Lance during the siege of Antioch, an event which raised morale considerably after the onset of famine and the desertion of Peter the Hermit and Stephen of Blois. However, although it was an important factor in the outcome of the battle of Antioch on June 28th 1098, it was by no means the sole factor in the Crusaders' success at Antioch. ...read more.

Middle

If Bohemond had not convinced Firouz to let Fulk of Chartres and sixty knights into the city, it would have been nigh on impossible for the Crusaders to physically break through the city's defences in the short time it took for Kerbogha's army to arrive and they would almost certainly have been annihilated- this point is further supported by the fact that Kerbogha's army arrived only two days after the city had been captured. One could argue that Bohemond's ambitious character and military prowess was the most important factor in the Crusaders' success at Antioch as it was his negotiations which persuaded Firouz to let the Crusaders in and he successfully coordinated the battle of Antioch by forming six distinct divisions to fight the Turks. If Bohemond had not organised the army it is likely that the battle would've been lost as a poorly-managed and fractured army will lose- regardless of their morale or confidence. However, it is also true that a well-managed and cohesive army can lose if they are low in morale and have no belief or will to fight; the argument that the discovery of the Holy Lance was the most important factor in the Crusaders' success at Antioch ...read more.

Conclusion

battle of Antioch, there were other reasons for the success in that battle, such as Bohemond's tactics and poor Turkish organisation and leadership, without which the discovery of the Holy Lance would've been rendered void. Furthermore, the battle of Antioch was the culmination of a series of important, somewhat fortuitous factors which resulted in the conquer of the walls of Antioch; the supplies provided by Edgar Atheling enabled the Crusaders to secure their supply lines and restrict the supplies of the city and Bohemond's cunning allowed him to forge a relationship with Firouz and allowed the Crusaders entry into the city before Kerbogha's forces arrived. The most reasonable assessment of the importance of the discovery of the Holy Lance is that it was one of many crucial factors in the success at Antioch, it is arguable that without the motivation of the discovery the Crusaders would've lost the battle of Antioch and ultimately failed to secure the city, but it is also probable that even with the discovery of the Lance the Crusaders would have lost- had they not been organised effectively by Bohemond, manoeuvred themselves into a stable position and been successful in breaching the city walls. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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