Joinville accompanied Louis IX of France on his first crusade — and was captured alongside the king when the Egyptians defeated the Christian army at al-Mansura, Egypt, in This witty minstrel flourished during the reign of Louis IX, to whom many of his works are dedicated.
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At the time this poem was written, people began to question the value of participating in a crusade. However, Louis had already decided to go on his second crusade — , much to the unhappiness of his wife, many of his ministers and members of the clergy, and even some of his subjects. Rutebeuf did not want to anger the monarch by criticizing his plans, and possibly risk the loss of his patronage, so he presented the argument about taking up the cross in a dialogue form.
Louis IX died in Tunisia in during this second crusade. This account, critical of crusader actions, appears in a European text. What point does the author want to make by including this account?
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What criticisms of the Crusades does Rutebeuf present in his poem? Do you think the poet favors one perspective over the other? How would you characterize his attitude towards the Crusades? Why might the poet feel this way? This thirteenth-century poem, originally written in French, offers contrasting views on the merits of crusading.
The fourteenth-century writer John Barbour has been called the father of Scottish poetry. Robert the Bruce was born in , and descended from Scots, Gaelic, and English nobility. A fight broke out, daggers were drawn, and Bruce killed Comyn near the Church altar. To commit murder in a church was seen as sacrilege and a mortal, or serious sin. The Pope excommunicated Bruce, but the Bishop of Glasgow in Scotland absolved or forgave him and made plans for Bruce to quickly take the throne, which he did in In his quest for Scottish sovereignty, Bruce made a sacred vow that, if God would grant Scotland freedom from English rule, he would take up the cross.
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Bruce died on June 7, , without making the journey. This gesture was his penance for breaking his sacred vow to go on crusade during his lifetime and to atone for his past sins, including the sacrilegious murder of John Comyn in the Greyfriars church.
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When a planned international crusade failed to occur, Douglas and his company of soldiers sailed to Spain where Alfonso XI of Castile was mounting a campaign against the Moorish Muslim kingdom of Granada. How does the passage demonstrate the importance of oaths and vows? What role does loyalty play in the story? How do these values relate to the Crusades?
John Barbour, called the father of Scottish poetry, completed this poem on the life of Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland, in This edition is based on a manuscript dated Therefore presently he sent letters to the lords of his country and they came as he bade them. Then before these lords and prelates, he made his testament, and to many religious bodies he gave money in great quantity for the saving of his soul.
Therefore I take this sickness and this pain as reward for my trespass. And since He now takes me to Him, so that the body cannot fulfill the device of the heart, I would that the heart, wherein that resolve was conceived, were sent thither. Therefore, I pray you, every one, that among you ye choose one who is honest, wise, doughty [fearless], and a noble knight of his hand, to carry my heart against the enemies of God, when my soul and body shall be parted.
I would that it were brought there worthily, since God will not that I have the strength to go thither. The Crusades: Idea and Reality, — Riley-Smith, Jonathan. Harf-Lancner, Laurence. La Disputation du Croise et du Decroise. Introduction The Crusades were a series of religious and political wars fought between and for control of the Holy Land. C55 Location General Collections 2nd floor. Questions to Consider What information does this list record? Why was this type of record keeping necessary?
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What does the document tell you about the organization and logistics of a crusade? How does it reflect lessons learned from previous crusades? Bohn Publication Date Pages pp. How does the crusader defend his actions?
“Speech of Urban II at the Council of Claremont, November 26, 1095”
Do the two speakers agree on any points? Riley-Smith reminds his reader that on the matter of violence Christ was not as clear as pacifists like to think. He praised the faith of the Roman centurion but did not condemn his profession. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me, And he was reckoned with transgressors. Augustine articulated a Christian approach to just war, one in which legitimate authorities could use violence to halt or avert a greater evil.
The Crusades Were an Act of Love
It must be a defensive war, in reaction to an act of aggression. For Christians, therefore, violence was ethically neutral, since it could be employed either for evil or against it. As Riley-Smith notes, the concept that violence is intrinsically evil belongs solely to the modern world. It is not Christian.
A ll the Crusades met the criteria of just wars. They came about in reaction attacks against Christians or their Church. The second was called in response to the Muslim conquest of Edessa in The third was called in response to the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem and most other Christian lands in the Levant in In each case, the faithful went to war to defend Christians, to punish the attackers, and to right terrible wrongs.
As Riley-Smith has written elsewhere, crusading was seen as an act of love—specifically the love of God and the love of neighbor. By pushing back Muslim aggression and restoring Eastern Christianity, the Crusaders were—at great peril to themselves—imitating the Good Samaritan. But the Crusades were not just wars. They were holy wars, and that is what made them different from what came before. The Crusade was a pilgrimage and thereby an act of penance.
When Urban II called the First Crusade in , he created a model that would be followed for centuries. Crusaders who undertook that burden with right intention and after confessing their sins would receive a plenary indulgence. The indulgence was a recognition that they undertook these sacrifices for Christ, who was crucified again in the tribulations of his people. And the sacrifices were extraordinary. Without financial assistance, only the wealthy could afford to embark on a Crusade.
Many noble families impoverished themselves by crusading. Historians have long known that the image of the Crusader as an adventurer seeking his fortune is exactly backward. The vast majority of Crusaders returned home as soon as they had fulfilled their vow. What little booty they could acquire was more than spent on the journey itself.
One is hard pressed to name a single returning Crusader who broke even, let alone made a profit on the journey. And those who returned were the lucky ones. As Riley-Smith explains, recent studies show that around one-third of knights and nobility died on crusade. The death rates for lower classes were even higher. One can never understand the Crusades without understanding their penitential character. It was the indulgence that led thousands of men to take on a burden that would certainly cost them dearly.