The Roots of Lay Enthusiasm for the First Crusade

To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

This important new study of episcopal office and clerical identity in a socially and culturally dynamic region of medieval Europe examines the construction and representation of episcopal power and authority in the archdiocese of Reims during the sometimes turbulent century between 1050 and 1150. Drawing on a wide range of diplomatic, hagiographical, epistolary and other narrative sources, John S. Ott considers how bishops conceived of, and projected, their authority collectively and individually. In examining episcopal professional identities and notions of office, he explores how prelates used textual production and their physical landscapes to craft historical narratives and consolidate local and regional memories around ideals that established themselves as not only religious authorities but also cultural arbiters. This study reveals that, far from being reactive and hostile to cultural and religious change, bishops regularly grappled with and sought to affect, positively and to their advantage, new and emerging cultural and religious norms.
While the previous chapter focused on early medieval eastern images and their westward migration, this chapter looks at two high medieval images prevalent in Latin Christendom or, roughly, today’s Western Europe.1 These images cast Muslims in the familiar roles of pagans and as heretics, respectively. I will examine a more positive variation of each of these dominant roles and also introduce a third image—that of the Lustful Muslim—but will leave until later chapters to analyze this last representation further. The chronological and geographical differences between the images examined in this and the preceding chapter are important because, as our analysis has already indicated, a comprehensive understanding of the types of representations we are interested in here requires that we see them in light of the historical context in which they emerged.
Holy Land Crusades were among the most significant forms of military mobilization to occur during the medieval period. Crusader mobilization had important implications for European state formation. We find that areas with large numbers of Holy Land crusaders witnessed increased political stability and institutional development as well as greater urbanization associated with rising trade and capital accumulation, even after taking into account underlying levels of religiosity and economic development. Our findings contribute to a scholarly debate regarding when the essential elements of the modern state first began to appear. Although our causal mechanisms—which focus on the importance of war preparation and urban capital accumulation—resemble those emphasized by previous research, we date the point of critical transition to statehood centuries earlier, in line with scholars who emphasize the medieval origins of the modern state. We also point to one avenue by which the rise of Muslim military and political power may have affected European institutional development.
Full-text available
One of the most famous works in Portuguese Medieval History and, certainly, the most well-known outside Portugal, the De Expugnatione Lyxbonensi purports to furnish a contemporary eye-witness account of Portuguese King Afonso Henriques’s 1147 conquest of Lisbon accomplished in combination with a passing fleet of Anglo-Norman, German and Flemish crusaders on their way by sea to Palestine and the Second Crusade. For over a quarter of a century, most commentators have accepted without demur the late Harold Livermore’s assertion that the author of the Lyxbonensi, identified in the text only as “R”, could be none other than the Anglo-Norman crusader-priest, Raul, who donated the battlefield church founded by him during the siege of Lisbon to the royal monastery of Santa Cruz de Coimbra, as recorded in a deed dated April of 1148. This article will argue that such identification must now be rejected, or at least substantially qualified, in the light of more recent scholarship and following a comprehensive consideration of the likely circumstances subsisting in Portugal around the time of Afonso Henriques’s Lisbon campaign. Examining previously over-looked complexities in the relationship between Afonso Henriques’s war on the Saracens of al-Andalus and the conduct of the “crusades” taking place both in the East and in other parts of Iberia, this article suggests an alternative and more likely authorship than that proposed by Livermore, and puts forward the case for the true purpose behind the construction of this extraordinary text, which has, until now, remained something of an enigma.
Many explanations have been offered for the commencement of the crusading movement in the late eleventh century. However, the ecological and socio-economic background of the 1090s has been, largely, neglected by scholars up until today. The current paper surveys and analyzes the ecological and economic crisis of 1093-1096, as the prelude to the First Crusade, chiefly in its "popular" form. The pestilence of 1093-1094, drought and famine of 1095 have increased the religious zeal and social violence of the popular masses in regions of Germany, the Low Countries and France. This combination has turned into the (failed) crusade. The collective behaviour of the crusading rustics reflects their economic distress, religious zeal and violent mood, at the same time.
This article offers an analysis of the iconography of the programme of mural paintings of the church of Poncé-sur-le-Loir (Sarthe), executed in the third quarter of the 12th century. It focuses particularly on the cycle of three images on the western wall of the church, which represents the Battle of Antioch, one of the crucial military encounters of the First Crusade. First, the article attempts to reconstruct the meaning of crusading for the inhabitants of the region at the time of the execution of the paintings. Second, it strives to establish a middle path between two traditional approaches of crusading iconography: as propaganda for the crusades in the Holy Land and as an allegorical representation of spiritual warfare.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. Jn 1:1–4 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
The conflicts commonly known as feuds, private wars ( guerres privées ), or vendettas constituted an important type of recurrent political process in Northern France during the later eleventh and earlier twelfth centuries, as well as in earlier and later periods. Because the conflicts to which medievalists have applied these terms could take different forms and cannot be routinely distinguished from other sorts of disputes and because at least one of the most common medieval terms for ‘feud’ — namely werra or guerre — covered such a wide and variable field of meaning, no rigorous definition of the medieval French feud for our period can now be formulated, or, perhaps, should ever be proposed. Nevertheless, the conflicts analyzed in this study of feuding and peace–making in the Touraine during the years around 1100 had several identifiable traits in common. The combatants were adult or at least adolescent males who came from relatively restricted and elevated social circles. A few were the lords of castles. The others, at least some of whom were explicitly identified as ‘noble,’ can generally be identified as the tenants or clients of castellans and/or as the men of a particular castle. All these men carried on feuds as members of armed groups, not as isolated individuals. While taking many different actions in feuds and striving for various goals through this political process, their avowed objective throughout these conflicts was to gain revenge for an alleged injury. This they tried to achieve by expressing, in conventionalized and well–understood ways, their hatred and loathing for their enemies and their anger. Nevertheless, because the opposing parties to feuds were never complete strangers to one another, but belonged to the same loosely defined regional community, conflicts of this kind could, in theory, be ended or at least temporarily halted in such a way as to create or restore amicable relations between groups that had previously been at war. Whether in practice such settlements could actually be established and create real social peace is another matter.
Adémar de Chabannes was both a witness and an enthusiast supporter of the Movement for God's Peace. As a witness, in his writings he produces precious information about the Peace Assemblies held in Limousin from 994 to 1031. As a supporter, he kept connecting the ideal of Peace with the assumption that saint Martial, as a direct disciple of Christ, was entrusted by Him with the task of enforcing peace in Aquitaine, during his life and after his death.
  • Cowdrey H. E. J.