Siege of Nicaea

Siege Of Nicaea

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Siege of Nicaea

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The Siege of Nicaea took place from May 14 to June 19, 1097, during the First Crusade.


Nicaea , located on the eastern shore of Lake İznik, had been captured from the Byzantine Empire by the Seljuk Turks in 1081, and formed the capital of the Sultanate of Rüm. In 1096, the People's Crusade, the first stage of the First Crusade, had plundered the land surrounding the city, before being destroyed by the Turks. As a result, Sultan Kilij Arslan I initially felt that the second wave of crusaders were not a threat. He left his family and his treasury behind in Nicaea and went east to fight the Danishmends for control of the Melitene.

Crusader siege

The crusaders began to leave Constantinople at the end of April 1097. Godfrey of Bouillon was the first to arrive at Nicaea, with Bohemund of Taranto, Bohemond's nephew Tancred, Raymond IV of Toulouse, and Robert II of Flanders following him, along with Peter the Hermit and some of the survivors of the People's Crusade, and a small Byzantine force under Manuel Boutoumites. They arrived on May 6, severely short on food, but Bohemund arranged for food to be brought by land and by sea. They put the city to siege beginning on May 14, assigning their forces to different sections of the walls, which were well-defended with 200 towers. Bohemund camped on the north side of the city, Godfrey on the east, and Raymond and Adhemar of Le Puy on the south.

Defeat of Kilij Arslan

On May 16, the Turkish defenders sallied out to...
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