By James Kingsley Plumtree
MA Thesis, Central European University, 2010
Abstract: Historiography regarding the movement for multiple groups through Hungary during the First Crusade has predominantly used twelfth century accounts of the event in an attempt to construct what historically occurred in the kingdom. This thesis examines the anonymous Gesta Francorum, Robert the Monk’s Historia Iherosolimitana, Guibert of Nogent’s Gesta Dei Per Francos, Ekkehard of Aura’s Hieroslymita, and Albert of Aachen’s Historia Ierosolimitana with a different purpose.
Rather than quoting the texts selectively and amalgamating them into a single narrative, the texts are analyzed individually. Each treatment of the route through Hungary is examined in terms of focus, narrative, allusion, and position in the text, with methods taken from modern literary theory being employed. These accounts, when examined together, show the evolution of the role of Hungary in the crusader narratives: from being a functional detail used to assert the role of the Franks in the crusades, to being an episode to stress the authority of the Benedictine order, to being an extensive exemplum in how crusaders should act.