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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe
(1989)

II: Crusade Propaganda,   pp. 39-97 PDF (23.6 MB)


Page 52

 52 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES 
of sin, excessive fear of bodily suffering, the bad advice of men, the bad
example of others, excessive love of one's own country, excessive love of
one's own people, a pretended inability (on grounds of weakness, or lack
of means, or unfinished business), or, finally, deficiency of faith. 
 A final list is of the qualities necessary for a preacher of the crusade:
sanctity of life (to be worthy of his subject), the signs of penance (unfitting
that he who lacks these should all day invite others to the cross and death),
the assumption of the cross (to do what he recommends others to do, lest
he be like the scribes and pharisees), discretion in action (the calculation
of great transactions in taxation, absolutions, and dispensations requires
absolute exactness), a careful solicitude (to preach effectively), a circumspect
judgment (since there are so many doubtful questions involved in the business),
the offerings of prayers (necessary in the least of matters, the more so
in great ones), a moderate zeal (because excess of zeal has very questionable
results), and, lastly, the necessary knowledge of what relates to the business27
(this was Humbert's special contribution, the provision of homiletic material;
his lack of originality did not save him from the vanity of authorship).
As in all contemporary scholastic writing, more is packed into Humbert's
work than we can do justice to. It is interesting for its inclusion of so
much of the crusade propaganda that had preceded it, and for the scholastic
bias which it gives to this familiar material. There are long lists of suitable
biblical texts, many of them not immediately relevant to the theme. It is
not easy to believe that the scholastic approach made effective propaganda
for purposes of recruitment. 
 To sum up, there are certainly differences of emphasis between the propaganda
associated with Urban II and that of a hundred years and more later; we must
explain these changes not only in the crusading scene, but in the recruiting
as well. The themes that are constant are the misery and sinfulness of this
life, and the long story of holy war, from Moses and Joshua and David, through
the Maccabees and, oddly, the Acts of the Apostles, to Constantine and Charlemagne,
Urban and Godfrey, a sacred history perpetually renewed, for example by Louis
IX. The history of Arab expansion was told in parallel, perhaps an essay
in justifying the new European aggression. Urban was starting a new enterprise,
and it is at least certain that his preaching was emotive. So was Bernard's.
In later treatises (Depredicatione) the periodic 
 27. Opus tripartitum in Appendix adfasciculum rerum expetendarum etfugiendarum,
ed. Edward Brown (London, 1690), II, 185 if., and De predicatione, cap. 28.


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