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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years

VIII: The First Crusade: Clermont to Constantinople,   pp. 253-279 PDF (10.6 MB)

Page 253

when the pope announced his plan for a holy war against the Moslems in the
east for the recovery of the Holy Sepulcher, he directed his appeal to fighting
men. Plenary indulgence and other inducements seem to have been intended
for those who would fight their way through to Jerusalem or die in the attempt.
To men who regarded fighting as an honorable profession, what could 
 Information concerning the march of the crusaders to Constantinople must
be obtained chiefly from Latin chroniclers, as only one Greek source has
much on this subject; this is Anna Comnena, Alexiad (ed. B. Leib, Collection
byzantine de I'association Guillaume Budé, 3 vols. Paris, 1937—1945;
also parts relating to the crusade in RHC, Grecs, I). There is also an English
translation by E.A. S. Dawes (London, 1928). Anna was well informed, but
as she wrote forty years after, her work suffers from the defects which so
often characterize memoirs, and she does not hesitate to eulogize her father,
Alexius. But the impression left on her as a young girl by the crusaders
remained vivid, and she makes clear the Greek attitude toward the crusade.
 For those who followed, or attempted to follow, the route from Germany through
Hungary and Bulgaria, with the exception of a few references in Ekkehard,
the main source is Albert of Aix, Liber Christianae expeditionis pro erepsione,
emundatione, restitutione sanctae Hierosolymitanae ecclesiae (RHC, 0cc.,
IV). The author, who did not go on the crusade, wrote his chronicle sometime
between I 119 and the middle of the century. He collected much information
from returning pilgrims and crusaders, which is often so precise that it
gives the assurance of accuracy even when it cannot be checked. Albert also
incorporated material more suited to romance and epic poetry than history,
but he is indispensable. Although it is necessary to use his history with
care, it is not too difficult to decide what the author obtained, as he says,
from those "qui praesentes adfuissent." 
 Although the author is unknown, the [Anon ymi] Gesta Francorum et aliorum
Hierosolimitanorum (ed. H. Hagenmeyer, Heidelberg, 1890; ed. L. Bréhier,
Les Classiques de l'histoire de France au moyen age, Paris, 1924), was much
used by contemporary historians and has acquired great respectability in
recent times. It was read in Jerusalem in 1101 by Ekkehard, copied by Tudebod,
a Poitevin crusader, and done over into what was regarded as more popular
form by Guibert of Nogent, Baidric of Dol, and Robert the Monk. It is a factual
account of the expedition by a follower of Bohemond, presumably a knight
of no particular prominence (cf. A. C. Krey, "A Neglected Passage in the
Gesta," The Crusades and Other Historical Essays Presented to Dana C. Munro
[New York. 1928], pp. 57—76). 
 Raymond of Aguilers, chaplain of count Raymond of St. Gilles, began Writing
in 1098, and probably finished in 1099 his Historia Francorurn qui ceperunt
Iherusalem (RHC, 0cc., III). The author early became prejudiced against the
Greeks, and was credulous and naïve, but more interested than other
writers in the poor pilgrims. 
 The principal secondary works include, for the early bands known as the
Peasants' Crusade: H. Hagenmeyer, Peter der Eremite (Leipzig, 1879), the
work which first revealed the falsity of the Peter legend; T. Wolff, Die
Bauernkreuzzüge des Jahres 1096: em Beitrag zur Geschicbte des ersten
Kreuzzuges (Tubingen, 1891); and F. Duncaif, "The Peasants' 

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