Pope's Speech On The Crusades

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The two sources I have chosen are Fulcher of Chartres’ account of Pope Urban II’s speech at the Council of Clermont in 1095, calling the Christians to crusade, and an extract from Arab politician and chronicler Ibn-al-Qalanisi’s account of the First Crusade, describing the behaviour of the Franks as they seize a town from the Muslims.

Fulcher of Chartres was trained as a priest and was appointed as chaplain to Baldwin of Boulogne in 1097 after leaving for crusade in 1096 with the entourage of Stephen of Blois. He would have been a very religious man even for the period and so the account would have been written with an emphasis on the most important religious content in Urban’s speech. In origin, it is a part of his Gesta Francorum Jerusalem
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The most important part is the second half, which is the call for crusade. Pope Urban refers to the Turks as a “vile race” in “the lands of our friends” saying that “Christ commands” the crusade. Shortly after he adds that “All who die by the way...shall have immediate remission of sins”. Near the end he makes another statement of great weight “on this side will be the sorrowful and poor, on that, the rich; on this side, the enemies of the Lord, on that, his friends” referring to the people that stay behind as “on this side”. This source has great value as it shows us that the religion was a very powerful motive for the people who left in the months after. It gives an idea of the extent to which religious motives influenced and persuaded the people of Europe as a force of at least 40,000 gathered in …show more content…
It is important not to overlook the fact that in the Medieval period the people of Western Europe were extremely devout, with a great fear of sin and, more importantly, of hell. The conventional crusader, unlike famous leaders and royal warriors like Bohemond of Taranto who did have significant political and economic motives, was a person determined to get to Jerusalem, prepared to die on the way, and above all looking to secure his place in the kingdom of heaven. To get closer to understanding the truth about the crusaders’ motives it is important to try and understand the religious culture of 11th century Christendom, why they felt the need to leave when they did, and the type of individuals who made up the giant force that set out for the Holy Lands. It was a combination of these factors that led to the First Crusade and gave the first crusading armies a unique single-mindedness and tenacity, which was necessary to take Jerusalem in

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