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Walter Sans Avoir

Walter Sans Avoir, Fr. Gautier Sans-Avoir, d. 1096, French Crusader, known as Walter the Penniless. He joined Peter the Hermit as leader of an army to the Holy Land. In what came to be known as the Popular Crusades, he and his followers left well in advance of the main army of the First Crusade (see Crusades). They passed peacefully through Germany and Hungary, but plundered the Belgrade area and were set upon by the Bulgarians, who killed many of them. Walter and the remnants of his army were joined at Constantinople by the forces of Peter the Hermit. The Byzantine emperor Alexius I agreed to provide transportion across the Bosporus to Bithynia in Asia Minor, where they were utterly defeated (1096) by the Seljuk Turks, and Walter was killed.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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