From Antioch to Ascalon – the Spear Leads Toulouse to Victories

From the moment the Spear of Antioch (the alleged spear of Longinus) was found until the moment it “disappeared” from history after the battle of Ascalon, it was the rallying point of the First Crusade in the hands of Raymond of Toulouse. Raymond used the spear to lead the Crusaders out of the city of Antioch to victory against a much greater army.

Raymond st. GilesTyre and Tripoli fell before Raymond, who held the spear, as the crusaders marched towards Jerusalem. Raymond continued to follow the advice of Peter Bartholomew who originally had the vision that led to finding the spear at Antioch.

Raymond won the battle for Jerusalem but refused to be made king and instead carried out the humble, ritual baptism in the River Jordan that Peter advised him to do. He also baptized his two-year old son Alphonso Jordan at the same time.

There was one battle left for Raymond to secure Jerusalem and that was at Ascalon; where, it is said, Raymond “lost” the Spear of Antioch and it was never seen again. The likelihood of the spear that was so important to winning Jerusalem getting “lost” is doubtful. More likely that the vows that Raymond and the other Crusaders made to the Roman Catholic Church bound them to turn over any relics found in the holy land to the Pope in Rome.

Raymond continued in his battles to secure the road to the Holy Lands but without any word of the spear being in his custody or used in battle. His wife, Elvira of Castile and his son, Alphonso Jordon returned to France, more than likely with the spear and the other alfonso jordonholy relics that Raymond might have be given (or found) in Jerusalem. These relics would, by necessity, need to have remained secret and probably protected by Elvira and her descendants, even though there is no outer history of the spear or other relics being openly displayed by Elvira or Alphonso Jordon.

The is a long history of grail items that were kept by Elvira’s Spanish cousins who claimed to own the chalice of the Last Supper and many other blood relics of Jesus of Nazareth.

The trail of the provenance of the Spear of Antioch grows rather cold once it goes from queen to queen in Occitania. The legends and stories of the grail blossom in this very area of France and Spain in the royal houses descended from Raymond IV of Toulouse.

Eventually after years of hiding in Leon, the spear and the other relics of Raymond might have come into the hands of Conrad III who placed them in what was known as the Imperial Regalia that became the property of the Hapsburg dynasty over the centuries.

The location of the Spear of Antioch has been mixed together with the Spear of Maurice and the two often are confused. One spear is a humble centurion’s spearhead and the other was held as the greatest Christian talisman of victory by over forty kings down through the ages. Both alleged to be the spear of Longinus. Both were revered by many over the years. The true history is still unfolding and we may yet see the true provenance of the Longinus, yet.

Learn more about the Siege of Antioch in 1098 AD
Learn about the Battle of Ascalon in 1099 AD. This video does not mention that Raymond carried the spear into battle, which he did.


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