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 1099
Location Arsuf, Fatimid Caliphate
Result Fatimid victory
Arms of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.svg Kingdom of Jerusalem Fatimid Flag.png Fatimid Caliphate
Commanders and leaders
Armoiries de Jérusalem.svg Godfrey of Bouillon Fatimid Flag.png Governor of Arsuf
Unknown Unknown
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.[1] Raymond even encouraged the garrison at Arsuf to hold out against Godfrey, touting his perceived weakness.[2] Within Godfrey's army, Franco I of Maasmechelen, a relative of Godfrey, is known to have died in the battle.

Baldwin I finally took the city in 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.


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

Riley-Smith, Jonathan, The First Crusaders, 1095-1131, Cambridge University Press, London, 1997


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