Deserters from the First Crusade and their ambiguous portrayal in twelfth-century Latin sources

Author: Sitár, Adam
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2018, vol. 23, iss. 2, pp. 109-126
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
License: Not specified license
This paper addresses the reception of desertions from the First Crusade in the Latin West in early twelfth century. As the crusading deserters did not accomplish their crusading vows, they were often targets of criticism and mockery. However, the chronicles do not reflect this social phenomenon entirely. While some authors criticised the deserters, the others were making excuses for their withdrawals. The study proposes the reasons of this incoherence and discusses the attitude of the twelfth-century crusading authorities. It appears that the ambiguous portrayal of crusading apostates might have been caused by pope Paschal II's understanding of the crusading vow, as well as by personal motivations of the French Benedictine chroniclers.
  • This study is based on the paper which was originally presented at the 25th Leeds International Medieval Congress (IMC) hosted by the University of Leeds, 02–05 July 2018, 1246-c: The Ambiguous Portrayal of Deserters from the First Crusade in Twelfth-Century Latin Sources. The completion of the study was funded by the grant of the Slovak Secretary of Education VEGA 1/0814/18: Dejiny diplomacie v ranom stredoveku.
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