BOOK REVIEW: Genoa ‘La Superba’: The Rise and Fall of a Merchant Pirate Superpower by Nicholas Walton

Book cover: Genoa ‘La Superba’: The Rise and Fall of a Merchant Pirate Superpower by Nicholas Walton

While most books about Italy have been dedicated to tourist hubs like Milan, Florence, Rome, Sicily and Venice, Genoa with its rich history, rugged landscape, and tenacious residents, has been given only a passing mention.

Ten Unusual Things during the First Crusade

Godfrey of Bouillon slaying a bear, f. 41v. Sébastien Mamerot, Les Passages d’Outremer, Fr. 5594, BnF

The First Crusade was one of the most written about events during the Middle Ages. Many Christian writers, including some who took part in the pilgrimage/campaign, left detailed accounts of what happened. They sometimes also included some more unusual tales, ranging from battles with bears to sitting on a throne when you are not supposed […]

Byzantium and the First Crusade: Three Avenues of Approach

Godfrey of Bouillon before the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus in Constantinople, 1097. Painting by Alexandre Hesse.

A recurring theme in the historiography of the First Crusade is that of the Byzantine emperor asking Pope Urban to send a small contingent against the Turks and receiving instead vast armies over which he had no control

Satiric Vulgarity in Guibert de Nogent’s Gesta Dei per Francos

Gesta Dei per Francos

Attempts to characterize Guibert de Nogent (1053-1121) generally focus upon his Autobiography, not on his history of the First Crusade.

Islamophobia, the First Crusade and the Expansion of Christendom to Islamic World

first crusade battle

Through the description of the First Crusade, mostly from the Western sources, this paper is intended to show that it was the Pope who systematically sown the seeds of Islamophobia among Western Christians so that they will realise his vision of expanding his Imperial Christendom to the Islamic World.

‘De civitatis utriusque, terrenae scilicet et caelestis’: Foundation Narratives and the Epic Portrayal of the First Crusade

Siege of Antioch - from a 15th-century miniature painting.

My summary of a paper given at the Institute of Historical research on the accounts of Antioch and Jerusalem during the First Crusade.

Cannibals and Crusaders

The First Crusade -- 14th century depiction of the Battle of Antioch

Almost all the dozen chroniclers who wrote books about the Crusade in the twenty years following Jerusalem’s capture acknowledge it, sometimes with disbelief or disgust or denial, but always with discomfort.

The Knight, the Hermit, and the Pope: Some Problematic Narratives of Early Crusading Piety

Peter the Hermit - First Crusade

A much more general question, one that extends beyond the geographic confines of the Limousin and the period between 27 December 1095 and 15 August 1096 is why an individual choose to confront any of these difficulties at all. Why did they go?

Jews in the First Crusade: Culpability, Martyrdom, and Blood Vengeance

Massacre of the Jews of Metz

In medieval Europe, Jewish writers struggled to make sense of Crusaders’ violence and the Jewish response. Zohar Atkins argues that Jews conceived of theology as a weapon.

CONFERENCES: Count Hugh of Troyes and the Crusading Nexus of Champagne

Image of the First Crusade

This is my summary of a paper given at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London.

Why did the First Crusade succeed while later Crusades failed

Adhémar de Monteil carrying the Holy Lance in one of the battles of the First Crusade

The overwhelming success of the First set off a chain of events that would eventually make it almost impossible for future Crusades to achieve the same levels of success as the first.

BOOK REVIEW: “Defending the City of God” : A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem, by Sharan Newman

Defending the City of God - Sharan Newman

This is my review of Sharan Newman’s latest book, Defending the City of God: A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem.

Take a Quiz about the First Crusade

First Crusade quiz

Here is our quiz on the First Crusade. Eight questions to test how well you know some of the key people and events of the 11th century invasion of the Holy Land.

Mass Pilgrimage and the Christological Context of the First Crusade

Bamberg Apocalypse - the New Jerusalem

The importance of Jerusalem as a holy city for Christians serves as a starting point for understanding the motivations of eleventh-century pilgrims.

Muslims as Pagan Idolaters in Chronicles of the First Crusade

Image of the First Crusade

If the crusade is indeed a working out of God’s will, how does one fit it into the context of divine history?

Rivers of Blood: An Analysis of One Aspect of the Crusader Conquest of Jerusalem in 1099

Image of the First Crusade

The blood that was spilled in the massacre of Jerusalem was real; the rivers of it that course down the pages of modern newspapers and popular books are not.

The Sermon of Urban II in Clermont and the Tradition of Papal Oratory

Pope Urban II preaching the First Crusade in the presence of Philip I before the assembly.

The speech that Pope Urban II delivered at Clermont in 1095 to launch the First Crusade is probably one of the most discussed sermons from the Middle Ages.

Church Reunification: Pope Urban II’s Papal Policy Towards the Christian East and Its Demise

First  Council  of Nicaea - Emperor Constantine 381 AD

What separates this brief work from that of previous historians is that it focuses on the formation and changes of papal policy in regards to the Eastern Orthodox Church during the First Crusade, exclusively.

Interview with Damien Kempf on Robert the Monk’s Historia Iherosolimitana

Robert the Monk's Historia Iherosolimitana

Damien Kempf, Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Liverpool, has recently completed with Marcus Bull The Historia Iherosolimitana of Robert the Monk, the first critical edition of this important text since the 1860s.

The Author and the Hierosolimitanus: Reading the Gesta Francorum as a Pilgrim Narrative

Often cited as the only crusade which succeeded in its purpose, this groundswell of fervor throughout all ranks of Christendom’s population, and the subsequent military campaign which placed the holy city in Christian hands and established the Latin Crusader States in the Levant, has raised quite a few historiographical and even ethical questions for historians.

Often cited as the only crusade which succeeded in its purpose, this groundswell of fervor throughout all ranks of Christendom’s population, and the subsequent military campaign which placed the holy city in Christian hands and established the Latin Crusader States in the Levant, has raised quite a few historiographical and even ethical questions for historians.

The Jerusalem Conquest of 492/1099 in the Medieval Arabic Historiography of the Crusades: From Regional Plurality to Islamic Narrative

1099_Siege_of_Jerusalem

A number of contemporary or near-contemporary Arabic texts leave no doubt that a massacre did take place, but they contain no evidence of large-scale carnage of the town’s population that was any greater than that which took place in cities and towns such as Antioch, Caesarea or Maʿarrat al-Nuʿmān.

Peter the Hermit: Straddling the boundaries of lordship, millennialism, and heresy

Peter the Hermit

He preached Pope Urban II’s call to crusade against the Muslims of the Holy Land. He raised an army of paupers with the goal of marching from northern France to conquer Jerusalem. These hosts never reached their destination.

Essential and despised: Images of women in the First and Second Crusades, 1095-1148

Peter the Hermit leading the Crusaders

The image of women in the First and Second Crusades was inherently dualistic and oppositional. The evidence shows women who were vigorous and active participants in the crusades.

Great Battles: The First Crusade

Great Battles: The First Crusade

It really seemed like the final bitter and wretched end to an endlessly long and brutal march and an endless horrific siege.

Salutare Animas Nostras: The Ideologies Behind the Foundation of the Templars

Knights Templar on a tomb

The meteoric rise of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon (more commonly known as the Knights Templar) and their equally swift fall has fueled fanciful tales and scholarly research. The order promoted their mythological origins and the extreme charges leveled against them by Philip IV of France (1285-1314) created an atmosphere of speculation.

medievalverse magazine