First Siege of Arsuf

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Siege of Arsuf
Part of the Crusades
Gustave dore crusades gerard of avesnes exposed on the walls of asur.jpg
Gerard of Avesnes exposed on the walls of Arsuf. Illustration by Gustave Doré (1877)
Date late October – mid-December 1099
Location Arsuf, Fatimid Caliphate
Result Fatimid victory
 Fatimid Caliphate  Kingdom of Jerusalem
Commanders and leaders
Fatimid Caliphate Governor of Arsuf Armoiries de Jérusalem.svg Godfrey of Bouillon
Unknown 3,000[1]
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The first siege of Arsuf, originally Apollonia, took place in the First Crusade. Arsuf was an ancient city in Judea dating from the late Roman era, situated on a cliff above the Mediterranean Sea, about 21 miles south of Caesarea, now in Israel. The city fell to the Muslims in 640 and was fortified to protect against attacks by the Byzantine armies.

Godfrey of Bouillon attempted to capture the city in 1099, but failed for want of ships. The city rulers offered to surrender to Raymond of Saint-Gilles, but Godfrey refused.[2] Raymond even encouraged the garrison at Arsuf to hold out against Godfrey, touting his perceived weakness.[3] Within Godfrey's army, Franco I of Maasmechelen, a relative of Godfrey, is known to have died in the battle.

Second Siege of Arsuf[edit]

Baldwin I started the second siege and finally took the city on 29 April 1102, after a siege by land and sea, allowing the inhabitants to withdraw to Ascalon, and his troops rebuilt the city. In 1187, Arsuf was captured by the Muslims, but fell again to the Crusaders on 7 September 1191 after the Battle of Arsuf, fought between the forces of Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.


  1. ^ Stevenson 1907, p. 39.
  2. ^ Runciman, Steven (1951). A History of the Crusades, Volume One. p. 298. 
  3. ^ Runciman, Steven (1951). A History of the Crusades, Volume One. pp. 308–309. 


  • Riley-Smith, Jonathan, The First Crusaders, 1095-1131, Cambridge University Press, London, 1997
  • Runciman, Steven, A History of the Crusades, Volume One: The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Cambridge University Press, London, 1951
  • Stevenson, W (1907). The Crusaders in the East: a brief history of the wars of Islam with the Latins in Syria during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Cambridge University Press.