Kyle De Jan
Response Essay to History of the First Crusade Robert the Monk’s history of the First Crusade, Historia Iherosolimitana (HI), was composed several years after the events it records. There is also no evidence making him an eyewitness for the anything he transcribes except for the Council of Clermont. Robert is generally accepted as a valuable source for the First Crusade as his story is based on the Gesta Francorum and he was commissioned by his abbot to offer a new more exciting account of the crusades.1 Robert’s account includes a number of themes as he describes different people the Crusaders encounter. In the history of the First Crusade, Robert the Monk uses his description of the Muslims
…show more content…
This comes at a time where the Crusaders were all but defeated. They had very little access to food and water and were running out of resources quick. A large number of the crusading army died from starvation inside of Antioch yet Peter the Hermit spoke such bold words. According to Sweetenham, Robert may have added to this speech. Robert was charged with writing a more appealing crusade story and his possible addition significantly dramatizes the battle for Antioch. By exaggerating the words of the Crusaders, Robert portrays them as warriors of Christ with their backs up against the wall and relying on their faith to deliver them out of Antioch. This makes the Crusaders seem more courageous and heroic because when everything around them seemed gloom and death certain the Crusaders were able to remain faithful and miraculously defeated Kerbogha. This provides for excellent drama to the story and further justifies the crusades as a holy war. Robert continues to dramatize scenes from the crusades to make the Crusaders seem more heroic in his description of the Babylonians in a conflict before the Crusaders captured Jerusalem. Robert’s language creates an Armageddon like scene writing:
It was the Friday on which the Redeemer of the human race defeated utterly with the victorious symbol of the cross the devil of the human race, the King of Babylon; now in the same way the Lord overcame the Emir of the Devil’s Babylon through his followers.