God wills it: communitas, penance and ritual in the spatiotemporal of the First Crusade
Dwyer, William Warren (California State University, Sacramento)
M.A. Thesis, California State University, Sacramento (2010)
In 1095 the call for the First Crusade went out and by the summer of 1096 the penitential expedition was well on the way. On the journey, in the city of Antioch, the participants reached a political and spiritual impasse of petty bickering and spiritual doubt. In Antioch they would turn to one of the most precious relics in Christendom, the Holy Lance in their time of indecision for guidance. The Holy Lance’s symbolic nature and physical properties defined points of spiritual interrelation with public and private decisions made in the city of Antioch. Through the help of eyewitness accounts, contemporary and modern historical sources, and accentuated by sprinklings of religious anthropology insight is given as to why the Lance determined whether a Greek or Frankish lord would control the First Crusader state and ultimately who would lead the way to Jerusalem.