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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

IX: The Children's Crusade,   pp. 325-342 PDF (7.1 MB)

Page 336

children, coming together from all around. They first came from the area
of the castle of Vendôme to Paris. <46> When they numbered around
30,000 they went to Marseilles, intending to cross the sea against the Saracens.
The ribaldi and other evil men who joined them sullied the entire army, so
that while some perished at sea, and others were sold, only a few of so great
a multitude made their way home, Of these, those who had escaped from all
this gave the pope their promise that when they became of age they would
then cross the sea as crusaders. Now, the betrayers of those children are
said to have been Hugh Ferreus and William Porcus, merchants of Marseilles.
Since they were the captains of vessels, they were supposed to carry them
overseas in the cause of God at no cost, as they had promised to them. They
filled seven large ships with them; and when they were two days out, off
the island of St. Peter ad rupem, which is called Recluse, a storm blew up,
two of the ships were lost, and all the children aboard were drowned. It
is said that some years later pope Gregory IX built a church of the New Innocents
on that island, and installed twelve prebendaries. In the church repose the
bodies of the children which the sea threw up there, and up to the present
time pilgrims may see them uncorrupted. The betrayers meanwhile sailed the
other five ships to Bougie and Alexandria, and there sold all those children
to Saracen princes and merchants. From them the caliph [an-Nasir] bought
four hundred, eighty of them priests and all of them clerics, whom he wished
to separate from the others, and he dealt with them more honorably than was
his custom. This was the same caliph of whom I spoke earlier as studying
at Paris in the guise of a cleric. He learned well those things which are
known amongst us, and lately he has given up sacrificing camel's flesh. <47>
In the same year in which the children were sold there was a meeting of Saracen
princes at Baghdad where they slew eighteen children, who were martyred in
various ways, since they were quite unwilling to give up the Christian faith;
but they diligently reared the rest of the children in slavery. One of these
clerics, who saw all this, and whom the caliph had purchased for himself,
has faithfully reported that he heard of absolutely none of these children
apostatizing from Christianity. The two betrayers, Hugh Ferreus and William
 46 This is a reminiscence of the processions of Stephen and the other shepherds;
the explanation of Hansbery, "The Children's Crusade," The Catholic
Historical Review, XXIV, 33, that Aubrey confused the processions to St.
Denis and Paris with the crusade proper, and that here he is reconciling
two separate traditions, seems most probable. 
 47 At the suggestion of the editor, Paul Scheffer-Boichorst, reading "carnem
camelinam" for "panem camelinum" which makes no sense. 

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