Battle of Dorylaeum (1097)

Battle of Dorylaeum
Part of the First Crusade
Dorylee2.jpg
The Battle of Dorylaeum
DateJuly 1, 1097
Location
ResultCrusader victory
Belligerents
CrusadersSultanate of Rûm
Commanders and leaders
Bohemond of Taranto
Robert II of Normandy
Godfrey of Bouillon
Adhemar of Le Puy
Kilij Arslan I
Danishmend Gazi
Strength
Bohemond (vanguard):
~20,000[1]
Main force:
~ 30,000[1] (not all engaged)
~6,000-8,000 mounted archers[1][2]
Casualties and losses
~ 4,000[3]~ 3,000[3]
*Perhaps 2,000 knights and 8,000 men at arms, no more than 3,000 knights and 12,000-foot.

The Battle of Dorylaeum took place during the First Crusade on July 1, 1097, between the crusaders and the Seljuk Turks, near the city of Dorylaeum in Anatolia.

Background

The crusaders had left Nicaea on June 26, with a deep distrust of the Byzantines, who had taken the city without their knowledge after a long siege. In order to simplify the problem of supplies, the Crusader army had split into two groups; the weaker led by Bohemond of Taranto, his nephew Tancred, Robert Curthose, Robert of Flanders, and the Byzantine general Tatikios in the vanguard, and Godfrey of Bouillon, his brother Baldwin of Boulogne, Raymond IV of Toulouse, Stephen II, and Hugh of Vermandois in the rear.

On June 29, they learnt that the Turks were planning an ambush near Dorylaeum (Bohemond noticed that his army was being shadowed by Turkish scouts). The Turkish force, consisting of Kilij Arslan I and his ally Hasan of Cappadocia, along with help from the Danishmendids, led by the Turkish prince Danishmend Gazi, the Persians, and the Caucasian Albanians. Contemporary figures place this number between 25,000-30,000, more recent estimates are between 6,000 and 8,000 men.[1][2] Back then numbers were mentioned absurdly high in order to give it a heroic twist, 150,000 men according to Raymond of Aguilers, which was not possible due lack of logistic support, men and since Turks fought a hit and run guerrilla-tactic indicating a small army. Fulcher of Chartres gives the exaggerated number of 360,000.

In addition to large numbers of noncombatants, Bohemond's force probably numbered about 10,000, the majority on foot. Military figures of the time often imply perhaps several men-at-arms per knight (i.e., a stated force of 500 knights is assumed to contain perhaps 1,500 men-at-arms in addition), so it seems reasonable that Bohemond had with him approximately 8,000 men-at-arms and 2,000 cavalry.

On the evening of June 30, after a three-day march, Bohemond's army made camp in a meadow on the north bank of the river Thymbres, near the ruined town of Dorylaeum (Many scholars believe that this is the site of the modern city of Eskişehir).

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