Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Tancred

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TANCRED, a hero of the first crusade; son of the Marquis Odo the Good and of Emma, Robert Guiscard's sister; born in Sicily in 1078; in 1098 assumed the cross, and with his cousin Bohemond set out on the crusade. Through the Byzantine empire they marched to Constantinople, whence Tancred crossed the Bosporus disguised as a common soldier, that so he might escape from swearing allegiance to the emperor. Alexios followed the Crusaders, and Tancred reluctantly, yielding to Bohemond's counsel, took the required oath. At Dorylaion (July 4, 1097) his bravery saved the camp of priests and women; his banner was the first to float from the towers of Tarsus, though Baldwin's jealousy dislodged it thence. In the siege of Antioch he slew, say chroniclers, 700 infidels; with Robert of Normandy he first set foot in the Holy City July 15, 1099. Appointed by Godfrey de Bouillon prince of Galilee, he founded churches in Nazareth, in Tiberias, and on Mount Tabor, and helped at Ascalon to guard the new Christian kingdom against the Fatimite caliph. His efforts on Godfrey's death (1100) to secure the crown of Jerusalem to Bohemond only roused Baldwin's jealousy again; but his own principality he held successfully against both Turks and Greeks, even Edessa owning his supremacy. He was busy with plans for bringing the Syrian chieftains under his sway, when he died in Antioch of a wound received in battle (1112).