The article (originally published in the newspaper The Australian) doesn't go into too much detail about Dr. Frankopan's new findings, but these paragraphs give a small picture of what his new book will propose:
For Dr Frankopan, the First Crusade was therefore not a religious war, but instead a "very specific, targeted military expedition against the cities of Nicaea and Antioch", two former Byzantine possessions that the crusader army swore an oath to hand over to Alexios. Jerusalem was just a carrot.
The Crusade mythology that emerged from all this was a result of what happened next, Dr Frankopan claimed. Some of the Norman commanders refused to hand the newly conquered cities over to the Emperor.
To justify this course of action, and a subsequent attempt to launch an expedition against Constantinople, they embarked on a propaganda war of "horrific vilification" against Alexios and his Empire. Urban successfully used the recapture of Jerusalem to cement the power of his papacy and Alexios was written out of the historical record.I am very curious to read this book once it is released (my Amazon Wish List has been updated accordingly). Dr. Frankopan's claim is an interesting one, but it seems that he would have to discredit dozens of Western sources which attribute the Crusaders' original motivations to their desire to retake the Holy City. Perhaps Emperor Alexios thought he was getting an army of compliant mercenaries, but Urban, Bohemond, Godfrey, and Tancred thought otherwise....