The Bible and Crusade Narrative in the Twelfth Century
Title Details

306 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

3 b/w, 1 line illus.

Series: Crusading in Context

Series Vol. Number: 4

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Bible and Crusade Narrative in the Twelfth Century

by Katherine Allen Smith

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
A new investigation into the twelfth-century accounts of the First Crusade, showing their complex relationship with the Bible.

The Bible exerted an enormous influence on the crusading movement: it provided medieval Christians with language to describe holy war, spiritual models for crusaders, and justifications for conquests in the East. This book adds tothe growing body of scholarship on the biblical underpinnings of crusading, offering a reappraisal of the early twelfth-century narratives of the First Crusade as works of biblical exegesis rather than simply historical texts. Itrestores these works and their authors to the context of the monastic and cathedral schools where the curricula centred on biblical study, and demonstrates how the crusade's narrators applied familiar methods of scriptural commentary to the crusade, treating it as a text which could, like the Bible, be understood through historical, allegorical, and mystical lenses.
These glosses of the First Crusade, which collectively constitute one of the greatintellectual achievements of their age, drew upon the Scriptures and earlier Christian theology, pilgrimage guides, and polemic to construct the crusade as a new chapter of sacred history. Within this story, the first crusaders played various biblically inspired roles: as new Israelites, they wrested the promised land from Muslims cast as new Canaanites and Babylonians; as new apostles, they reenacted some of the greatest miracles of the Gospels. By reconstructing the interpretive processes that made such readings possible, this study allows us to better appreciate the crusading movement's relationship to church reform, the apostolic revival, and the growth of anti-Jewish sentiment in twelfth-century Europe.

KATHERINE ALLEN SMITH is professor of history at the University of Puget Sound.
Introduction
History and Biblical Exegesis in the Latin West
The Bible in the Chronicles of the First Crusade
Into the Promised Land
Babylon and Jerusalem
Conclusion
Appendix 1: Tables and Charts of Biblical References
Appendix 2: List of Biblical References in the Texts
Bibliography
"As Katherine Allen Smith convincingly demonstrates in this thorough and fascinating book, we stand to learn a significant amount about the authors of crusade texts, their audiences, and what it meant to write crusade narrative, if we take the time to tap into this rich seam. This book should be required reading for any student or scholar of the medieval historiography of crusading, or of medieval Latin Christian historiography in general." SPECULUM
"[A] highly interesting work that should be essential reading for anyone who teaches or studies the crusades." JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL RELIGIOUS CULTURES
"[This] rich study opens the door to further investigations of the relationships between different literary genres and between exegesis, theology, and history." SEHEPUNKTE

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9781837650729

June 2023

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9781787448506

April 2020

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9781783275236

April 2020

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Title Details

306 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

3 b/w, 1 line illus.

Series: Crusading in Context

Series Vol. Number: 4

Imprint: Boydell Press