Talk:Siege of Ma'arra

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Info Box[edit]

I added one and reorganized the article a bit. Xelnanga 01:48, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


A quote in the article reads "In Ma'arra our troops boiled pagan adults alive in cooking-pots; they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled." However, this source ( has it as "In Ma'arra our troops boiled pagan adults in cooking-pots; they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled." How did the 'alive' get put in there? I've googled both quotes- while a source cited in the article, an indepdendant Utah news site contains the alive, I found many more which did not. I'm removing the 'alive' for now, if you object please post here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:31, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Seconded. The French original (quoted in Maalouf) does not say "alive": "Les nôtres faisaient bouillir des païens adultes dans les marmites, ils fixaient les enfants sur des broches et les dévoraient grillés." Maalouf, p.55 PHG (talk) 05:32, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
"For reasons of hunger or fanaticism the Franks resorted to widespread cannibalism." Fanaticism? --Wetman (talk) 12:08, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Maalouf's exact words are "Cannibales par nécessité? Cannibales par fanatisme?" p.56. PHG (talk) 19:49, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Also, why is Maalouf being used (again...) when there are so many other better sources? The First Crusade is well-covered even in popular literature. Adam Bishop (talk) 19:10, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
As always, other sources are welcome. PHG (talk) 19:49, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I found the original text in latin on these sites: , . It seems to me that the translation given by Maalouf is biased. The original text reads: "Pudet referre quod audierim, quodque didicerim ab ipsis pudoris auctoribus. Audivi namque qui dicerint cibi se coactos inopia, ad humanae [0553D] carnis edulium transisse, adultos gentilium cacabo immersisse, pueros infixisse verubus, et vorasse adustos: vorando aemulati sunt feras, torrendo homines, sed caninos." Radulph of Caen, GESTA TANCREDI IN EXPEDITIONE JEROSOLYMITANA, XCVII --- A rough translation: "It's shameful to say what I heard and what was said by the same authors of the disgrace. I heard in fact people who said that, constrained by the lack of food, they began to eat human flesh, dipped pagan adults in cooking pots, impaled children on spits and devoured them roasted: they emulated wild animals, grilling men and even dogs." So the statement "without a hint of moral justification" is simply wrong and I'll delete it. Moreover this is a second hand source because it reads "Audivi namque qui dicerint" (I heard someone say). Since it's the only verifiable source of the section and one of the two of the whole article (the other being albert of aix, who is a chronicler and not a first hand source), the whole article is a bit biased and probably needs more citations for verification. (talk) 11:59, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the great sourcing. This might help nuance a bit Maalouf's portraying of the event. Perhaps the full quote (in latin with translation) should be introduced in the article? Cheers PHG (talk) 12:18, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the full quote should be a good feature. A native english speaker should write it. From further readings of Radulph's Gesta Tancredi, I found that, according to Radulph, the famine was caused by an exceptional rain that soaked Crusaders' stocks of bread and grain, that began to rot: Inundantia haec nimia peperit famem, putrescente in castris allata cerere, nullam de foris quoquam afferente, protelabatur victoria. Panis fluxerat, fames invalescebat.-- (talk) 17:43, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
It's me again. I rewrote the italian version of this article and I found some new source. Moreover I found that Ma'arrat was in the lands of the Seljuk Empire and not under Egyptian Fatimidis'rule.-- (talk) 20:20, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Now how is this article in anyway nuetral or balanced?[edit]

To make this article truly neutral. Please add more people than this one biased guy and a website. For if you don’t take action than I surely will in providing a genuinely balanced article.--GunneySarge —Preceding unsigned comment added by GunneySarge (talkcontribs) 00:18, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

You should probably leave that to someone else, unless you can do it more competently than your other edits. Adam Bishop (talk) 02:14, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Attempting to rewrite[edit]

Since this was based almost entirely on the unreliable Maalouf book, I've started to rewrite it. I started off with Thomas Asbridge since that is the most recent book about the First Crusade. There is still much to be done though; the amount of literature on this event alone is rather large. We'll have to look through the usual primary sources as well. Albert of Aix is already quoted; Robert the Monk also has one sentence about the cannibalism. Ibn al-Athir and Ibn al-Qalanisi, however, say nothing about it. Adam Bishop (talk) 19:57, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Some more info (some of the primary sources must be different editions): Tyerman lists Gesta Francorum pg. 80, Raymond of Aguilers pg. 81, Guibert of Nogent pp. 241-42, the Chanson d'Antioche, L.A.M. Sumberg's article in Medieval Studies (1959, pp. 224-246) "The Tafurs and the First Crusade".

Asbridge says Raymond of Aguilers pg. 101, Fulcher of Chartres pp. 266-67, Gesta Francorum pg. 80, Peter Tudebode pp. 124-5, and M. Rouche "Cannibalisme sacré chez les croisés populaires" in La Religion populaire by Y-M Hillaire, pg. 29-41.

Riley-Smith has a sentence about it and his footnote lists Raymond of Aguilers pp. 94-96, Tudebode pp. 121 and 124-5, Gesta Francorum pg. 80, Fulcher of Chartres pp. 266-67, Albert of Aix pg. 450, Ekkehard of Aura pg. 209, and Hagenmeyer's Kreuzzugsbriefe pg. 170. He calls Rouche's interpretation "interesting but unlikely". I'll look these up when I get a chance. Adam Bishop (talk) 20:48, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi Adam. Thank you for the great additional info. May I ask you however why you deleted reference to Amin Maalouf, and got rid of all the inline refs? Regards. PHG (talk) 05:55, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Well all the inline refs were to Maalouf...he's just not a very good reference, and we can do much better. Adam Bishop (talk) 06:57, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Not quite, there was also a reference to Lebedel. I am not sure it is right to eliminate an important reference such as Amin Maalouf (although you may of course wish to complement him with "better" references) and erase all existing inline references. This is rather destructive. You are not placing any new inline references either... Regards PHG (talk) 07:48, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Not yet, no, but I'm getting to it. Maalouf isn't that important. Adam Bishop (talk) 09:04, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


Hi. Although commons doesn't offer many details on its description, I'm fairly certain that this image is an illuminure of the Siege of Nicaea, where the sources even mention catapulting the heads of the enemies into the city. Could someone check and eventually remove the image from this article to include it on the Siege of Nicaea? Thanks -- (talk) 22:29, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Legacy section[edit]

Since the first crusade was prompted by the emperor of Byzantium, the statement "The Crusaders already had a reputation for cruelty and barbarism towards Muslims, Jews and even Eastern Orthodox Christians" was unlikely and I modified it as "The Crusaders already had a reputation for cruelty and barbarism towards Muslims and Jews". -- (talk) 20:31, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Crussaders being refered as Cannibals in "middle eastern langages"![edit]

I will remove this mention since it's flat out wrong in my humble opinion as a fluent speaker of two "middle eastern languages".Ravi84m (talk) 17:48, 18 July 2009 (UTC)