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Crusading and Pilgrimage in the Norman World

Crusading and Pilgrimage in the Norman World

Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Crusading and Pilgrimage in the Norman World
    Book Description:

    The reputation of the Normans is rooted in warfare, faith and mobility. They were simultaneously famed as warriors, noted for their religious devotion, and celebrated as fearless travellers. In the Middle Ages few activities offered a better conduit to combine warfare, religiosity, and movement than crusading and pilgrimage. However, while scholarship is abundant on many facets of the Norman world, it is a surprise that the Norman relationship with crusading and pilgrimage, so central in many ways to Norman identity, has hitherto not received extensive treatment. The collection here seeks to fill this gap. It aims to identify what was unique or different about the Normans and their relationship with crusading and pilgrimage, as well as how and why crusade and pilgrimage were important to the Normans. Particular focus is given to Norman participation in the First Crusade, to Norman interaction in later crusading initiatives, to the significance of pilgrimage in diverse parts of the Norman world, and finally to the ways in which crusading and pilgrimage were recorded in Norman narrative. Ultimately, this volume aims to assess, in some cases to confirm, and in others to revise the established paradigm of the Normans as crusaders par excellence and as opportunists who used religion to serve other agendas. Dr Kathryn Hurlock is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Manchester Metropolitan University; Dr Paul Oldfield is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Manchester. Contributors: Andrew Abram, William M. Aird, Emily Albu, Joanna Drell, Leonie Hicks, Natasha Hodgson, Kathryn Hurlock, Alan V. Murray, Paul Oldfield, David S. Spear, Lucas Villegas-Aristizábal.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-500-7
    Subjects: History, Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Contributors
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Timeline
    (pp. xi-xiii)
  7. [Map]
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
  8. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    The reputation of the Normans is rooted in an uneasy interplay between warfare and faith. The Normans were famed as warriors and at the same time noted for their religious devotion; their association as builders of both great castles and cathedrals is seemingly symbolic of the key juxtaposition inherent in Norman history. Yet, we might add a third defining feature of the Normans, one that underpinned the other two: mobility. The Norman proclivity to operate on and beyond established frontiers, and to move between different theatres of action across the medieval world, is a noteworthy one. In the Middle Ages...

  9. Part I

    • 1 ‘Many others, whose names I do not know, fled with them’: Norman Courage and Cowardice on the First Crusade
      (pp. 13-30)

      Visitors to the great city of Antioch after its capture by the first crusaders in June 1098 might have noticed two memorials to certain less than heroic aspects of the siege. From the city walls dangled a number of ropes, and if our travellers had asked why these had been left there, they might have been told how several men, among them Normans from southern Italy, had deserted the crusade army when it was besieged by a great Turkish force led by Kerbogha, the emir of Mosul.² The anonymous author of theGesta Francorum, arguably the most influential of the...

    • 2 The Enemy Within: Bohemond, Byzantium and the Subversion of the First Crusade
      (pp. 31-48)

      This famous passage from the anonymousGesta Francorumnarrates one of the most decisive incidents in the course of the First Crusade, describing how on the night of 2/3 June 1098, followers of Bohemond, son of Robert Guiscard, climbed up the walls of the city of Antioch on the Orontes to seize three towers commanded by one Firuz (or Pirrus), an officer in Turkish service, who had agreed to betray his section of the walls to the crusaders. The anonymous author dramatically conveys the uncertainty of the situation, highlighting the danger that the traitor of Antioch was about to get...

  10. Part II

    • 3 Norman Italy and the Crusades: Thoughts on the ‘Homefront’
      (pp. 51-64)

      Già mai non mi comforto, or ‘never will I be comforted’, by thirteenth-century Italian poet Rinaldo d’Aquino, details the emotional world, the sorrows and the frustrations of a woman who had just seen her lover off on crusade, most likely from the shores of Messina, Sicily. She expresses her feelings of abandonment, neglect; she asks what will happen to her, whether anyone had thought of her. She exclaims that while ‘the Cross’ may save others it ‘destroyed’ her and is her ‘undoing’. She denounces those whom she holds accountable – in addition to her lover – including the emperor (Frederick...

    • 4 The Norman Influence on Crusading from England and Wales
      (pp. 65-80)

      The tradition that the Normans were at the forefront of the early crusading movement has a long history. From the 1130s, Norman and Anglo-Norman writers were keen to establish the idea that Norman crusaders were a united force, and they highlighted the piety and military qualities of the Norman people.¹ Several conflicts had already received papal backing by this time, and Norman mercenaries were fighting for the Byzantine emperor before the First Crusade, suggesting that they were already linked to the idea of Holy War and conflict in the East.² Interpretations based on early sources understandably emphasised the Norman involvement...

    • 5 The Secular Clergy of Normandy and the Crusades
      (pp. 81-102)

      The goal of this chapter is to add to current crusading scholarship focusing on regional studies.² Work has appeared previously on the Normans and the crusades.³ In fact, the story of the central role of the Normans and the crusades extends back at least a century to that great researcher and populariser Charles Homer Haskins, and continues right up to the present with the recent study of John France on precisely this topic.⁴ However, far fewer studies have dealt with Normandy itself (as opposed to Anglo-Normans and Italo-Normans),⁵ and no one, to my knowledge, has examined exclusively the role played...

    • 6 Norman and Anglo-Norman Intervention in the Iberian Wars of Reconquest before and after the First Crusade
      (pp. 103-122)

      The Normans were interested in various parts of Iberia from the eleventh to the twelfth centuries. In the eleventh century, the main arena of Norman participation was the valley of the Ebro, but by the mid-twelfth century, Anglo-Norman arrivals gravitated towards the Portuguese frontier. Norman and Anglo-Norman participants came from different social groups over time. For example, during the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, the Norman contingents were largely from the higher nobility.¹ In the mid-twelfth century, when their interest moved from the east to the west of the peninsula, most were from the lower ranks of the nobility...

  11. Part III

    • 7 The Pilgrimage and Crusading Activities of the Anglo-Norman Earls of Chester
      (pp. 125-138)

      This chapter explores the devotional and political dynamics behind the promotion of shrines, pilgrimage centres and crusading by the Norman and Anglo-Norman earls of Chester. Following the Norman invasion and settlement of England the earldom of Chester was established as a powerful centre of lordship along the northern march with Wales. Owing to its vital strategic function and the loyalty to the Crown of its successive earls, the earldom of Chester enjoyed semi-independent status which invested authority in the earl, hence, the royal writ did not apply there, and the king possessed no property in the county of Cheshire. As...

    • 8 The Use and Abuse of Pilgrims in Norman Italy
      (pp. 139-156)

      The figure of the pilgrim was a ubiquitous and unifying presence in southern Italy during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the region’s so-called Norman period. While the territories of southern Italy and Sicily hosted a variety of different religious and ethnic communities – Greek Christians, Latin Christians, Muslims, Jews – and featured numerous socio-ethnic, religious and political boundaries, these same lands and boundaries were traversed by an ever-increasing influx of pilgrims which created comparable, shared exchanges all over the region. Some were drawn to any number of the region’s renowned shrine centres, perhaps to Saint Nicholas’ at Bari, Saint Benedict’s...

  12. Part IV

    • 9 Antioch and the Normans
      (pp. 159-176)

      In an assault engineered by Bohemond, a South Italian Norman and eldest son of Robert Guiscard, Antioch fell to the Latin forces of the First Crusade on 3 June 1098. Those first crusaders encountered this highly fortified city as the most formidable obstacle on their journey to Jerusalem. After a contentious struggle for control, Bohemond claimed lordship over the ancient city. He and his successors then held it as the heart of a territory now known as the Norman principality of Antioch, longest lived of the Latins’ possessions in the Levant (1098–1268) and outlasting Latin Jerusalem for more than...

    • 10 The Landscape of Pilgrimage and Miracles in Norman Narrative Sources
      (pp. 177-194)

      The chronicles we associate with the Normans are full of accounts of the miraculous, both good and bad. Some narrative sources, for example Orderic Vitalis’sEcclesiastical History, contain saints’ lives andmiracula. Sometimes the historian’s encounter with the supernatural has elements of macabre humour as in the case of Wace’s story of Duke Richard I’s experience of a revenant, which led to his instituting a decree that dead bodies should be watched over and attended before burial. In reading these sources we also revisit familiar descriptions of the monastic landscapes and the trials and tribulations faced by the monks in...

    • 11 Normans and Competing Masculinities on Crusade
      (pp. 195-214)

      In the late 1130s the Byzantine princess Anna Comnena wrote a history of the deeds of her father Emperor Alexius I, and described his encounter with the Italian Norman, Bohemond of Taranto, following the fateful siege of Dyrrachium (1107). Even in defeat, Anna was impressed by the masculine characteristics of this renowned war leader:

      Bohemond’s appearance was, to put it briefly, unlike any other man of those days seen in the Roman world, whether Greek or barbarian. The sight of him inspired admiration, the mention of his name, terror … His stature was such that he towered almost a full...

  13. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 215-222)
  14. Index
    (pp. 223-234)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 235-235)