Siege of Nikai

Article

May 21, 2022

The siege of Nikai took place from May 14 to June 19, 1097, when the city surrendered to Byzantine troops. The siege was the first success of the crusade, which took place in 1096-1099. After most of the crusader troops were transported across the Bosphorus, they continued on to Nikai, which they arrived under Godefroy of Bouillon on May 6, 1097. Gradually, the other leaders arrived. The Crusaders were accompanied by a 2,000-strong Byzantine unit led by Butumit and Tatik. The situation was favorable for the Crusaders, because the city itself was occupied by a not very strong crew. Its ruler, Sultan Kilic Arslan, needed his army in the east and, moreover, did not consider the Crusaders a dangerous enemy. Only after the siege of the city did he return quickly and try to free Nikaia. His attack was directed at Raimond of Toulouse near the southern city walls. The Provencals managed to resist the attack, and after Robert Flanders and Godefroy of Bouillon came to their aid, they drove the Turks away. Many crusaders were killed in the fight, including Count Balduin of Ghent. Many other crusaders were then wounded. The siege could continue and its conquest became only a matter of time, because the defenders could no longer count on further assistance. The situation of the besieged worsened when the Byzantine Emperor Alexios sent ships to Lake Tuscany, which completely blocked the city and prevented its supply. The city's crew understood that surrender was inevitable and decided to extradite the city to the Byzantines. After secret talks and the promise of a safe departure of the Turkish garrison, the city was handed over to Butumit on June 19. However, the Crusaders, who knew nothing about the negotiations, were preparing for the final attack on the city. After gaining the city, Emperor Butumita appointed Nikai commander. When the Crusaders wanted to enter the city, they could only do so in small groups. This action contributed to the disillusionment of the Crusaders, who were thus denied the conquest of the city and thus the share of the booty gained.

Reference

Literature

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