Illustrations of Franks and Saracens of the 12th century

Les Monuments de la Monarchie Françoise

Qui Comprennent l'Histoire de France
Tome Premier

A series of 10 painted windows in the monastery church of St Denis in Paris

Plate LIV (54)

PL. LIV.    The story told above, that Robert Earl of Flanders threw himself among the squadrons. The picture & the inscription adds that there was between him and a Parthian a single combat, which is here called duel. Duellum Parti & Roberti Flandrensis Comitis. They fight, and we do not see the outcome of the battle. The Parthian or Arab was apparently defeated. The last painting, because it is at the top of the window, narrows like one of the preceding. It represents the last battle of the crusade, which was against the Sultan of Egypt. The Sultan can only be the one who appears at the front, and whose helmet has almost the form of a radial ring. Some of the band of infidels start to do an about face & take flight. The inscription is so blurred, that I can get almost nothing out. The beginning reads, BELLVM AMI. It should apparently read Bellum Amiravisi: the rest is so confusing that one can not read it. These horn rows at the bottom that are in four paintings, are an enigma, that I could not even guess.
   After this victory, the Count of Flanders, Duke of Normandy and the Count of Toulouse, quit the army, went to Constantinople to see the Emperor, and withdrew to their countries. Godfrey King of Jerusalem, died after a year of reign. Baldwin his brother succeeded him. We will see below other Crusades.
   While these things were passing to the glory of Francis, who formed the main part of the Christian troops in the East, Philippe who had been excommunicated in the council, became so despicable that even the Lords of the neighborhood of Paris, were holding him no account. Miles de Montleheri & his son Gui Troussel, thanks to their castle Montleheri, and some other castles they had in the neighborhood, were holding with impunity the countries in servitude & were troubling trade from Paris to Orleans. A brother of Miles was yet in the good graces of King Philip, who had made him his great Seneschal. Gui Troussel or Troucel took the cross the following year in 1097 & went to the Holy Land.
   William Rufus King of England, took advantage of the absence of his brother Robert to seize Normandy. After which seeing Philip enchanted with his Bertrade & incapable of making any resistance, he began to do business on his lands. But Louis, Philippe's son, the chronicle of St. Denis calls the Damoisel Louis, Prince, brave and of great hope, though he was only seventeen to eighteen years, set himself to resist him though, sometimes only four or five hundred against ten thousand men, without money, rather his adversary was very rich; he had to first put to ransom the lords he took in war to gain some money, instead those King William held such a long time in prison were obliged to take sides with him. Despite all this, he defended so well the estates of his father, that William, seeing he advanced nothing, himself retired to England. He was killed long after by a shot loosed at random and in the absence of Robert who was in the Holy Land, Henry the younger of the brothers himself seized the kingdom of England.
PL. LIV.    L'hiſtoire dit ci-deſſus , que Robert Comte de Flandres ſe jetta au milieu des eſcadrons. Le tableau & l'inſcription ajoutent qu'il y eut entre lui & un Parthe un combat ſingulier, qui eſt ici appellé duel. DuelIum Parti ¤ Roberti Flandrenſis Comitis. Ils ſe battent , & on ne voit point l'iſſue du combat. Le Parthe ou l'Arabe fut apparemment vaincu. Le dernier tableau parce qu'il eſt au plus haut de la fenêtre, n'a pas toute ſa rondeur comme un des précedens. Il repreſente la derniere bataille des Croiſez , qui ſut contre le Soudan d'Egypte. Ce Soudan ne peut être que celui qui paroît ſur le devant , & dont le caſque a preſque la forme d'une couronne radiale. Quelques-uns de la troupe des Infideles commencent à faire volte face & a prendre fuite. L'inſcription eſt ſi brouillée, qu'on n'en peut preſque rien tirer. Le commencement ſe lit ainſi, BELLVM AMI. Il faut apparemment lire Bellum Amiraviſi : le reſte eſt ſi confus qu'on ne ſauroit le lire. Ces cornes rangées au bas qui ſe trouvent dans quatre tableaux, ſont un enigme, que je n'ai pû encore deviner.
   Après cette victoire, le Comte de Flandres, Le Duc de Normandie & le Comte de Toulouſe, quitterent l'armée, s'en allerent à Conſtantinople voir l'Empereur , & ſe retirerent en leur payis. Godefoi Roi de Jeruſalem, mourut après un an de regne. Baudouin ſon frere lui ſucceda. Nous verrons plus bas d'autres Croiſades.
   Pendant que ces choſes ſe paſſoient à la gloire des François , qui faiſoient la principale partie des troupes des Chrétiens en Orient, Philippe qui avoit été excommunié dans le Concile, devint ſi mépriſable , que les Seigneurs même du voiſinage de Paris, ne tenoient nul compte de lui. Miles de Montleheri & ſon fils Gui Trouſſel , à la faveur de leur château de Montleheri, & de quelques autres châteaux qu'ils avoient aux environs , tenoient impunément le payis en ſervitude , & troubloient le commerce de Paris à Orleans. Un frere de Miles étoit pourtant dans les bonnes graces du Roi Philippe, qui l'avoit fait ſon grand Sénéchal. Gui Trouſſel ou Troucel ſe croiſa l'année ſuivante 1097 & paſſa dans la Terre Sainte.
   Guillaume le Roux Roi d'Angleterre, prit occaſion de l'abſence de ſon frere Robert pour ſe ſaiſir de la Normandie. Apré quoi voiant Philippe enchanté de ſa Bertrade & hors d'état de faire la moindre reſiſtance, il commença à faire des entrepriſes ſur ſes terres. Mais Louis fils de Philippe, que la cronique de S. Denis appelle , le Damoiſel Louis, Prince brave & de grande eſperance, quoiqu'il n'eut que dix-sept à dix-huit ans, ſe mit en devoir de lui reſiſter , n'aiant quelquefois que quatre ou cinq cent hommes contre dix mille, dépourvû d'argent ; au lieu que ſon adverfaire étoit fort riche; obligé de mettre d'abord à rançon les Seigneurs qu'il prenoit en guerre pour en tirer quelque ſomme ; au lieu que le Roi Guillaume tenoit long-tems en priſon ceux qu'il prenoit pour les obliger de prendre parti avec lui. Malgré tout cela , il défendit ſi bien les Etats de ſon pere , que Guillaume voiant qu'il n'avançoit rien ſe retira en Angleterre. Il y fut tué de tems après par un coup tiré au hazard: & en l'abſence de Robert qui étoit en la Terre Saint, Henri le plus jeune des freres s'empara du Roiaume d'Angleterre.

Next

Back to the series of 10 painted windows in the monastery church of St Denis in Paris