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Constantine, Helena and Heraclius in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

  • BARTŁOMIEJ DŹWIGAŁA (a1)

Abstract

Before the First Crusade, Constantine, Helena and Heraclius occupied an important place in the papal vision of the past. They had already been memorialised in the Latin liturgy, especially in the rituals of festivities surrounding the holy cross. The First Crusaders encountered Constantine, Helena and Heraclius as a part of the religious imagery at the very heart of Christian memory: at the Holy Sepulchre. This article presents research into whether and how the elite of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem developed the historical memory of Constantine, Helena and Heraclius, and argues that it was a central element in the political culture of the crusader states.

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AA = Albert of Aachen, Historia Ierosolimitana: History of the Journey to Jerusalem, ed. S. Edgington, Oxford 2007; CCCM = Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis; FC = Fulcheri Carnotensis Historia Hierosolymitana (1095–1127), ed. H. Hagenmeyer, Heidelberg 1913; WT = Willelmi Archiepiscopi Tyrensis Chronicon, ed. R. B. C. Huygens, CCCM lxiii, Turnhout 1986.

I am grateful to the De Brzezie Lanckoroński Foundation for financial aid that allowed me to work on this article in London libraries in August 2018. My thanks also to Professor M. Cecilia Gaposchkin for help in the course of the work on this article and to this Journal's anonymous expert reader whose advice was invaluable.

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1 Cowdrey, H. E. J., ‘Eleventh-century reformers’ views of Constantine’, Byzantinische Forschungen xxiv (1997), 6391.

2 Cowdrey has pointed out the significance of the text Descriptio basilicae Lateranensis: ibid. 79.

3 On churches and altars dedicated to the holy cross by Urban ii during his journey through France in 1095–6 see ibid. 86.

4 Gaposchkin, M. Cecilia, Invisible weapons: liturgy and the making of crusade ideology, Ithaca, NY–London 2017, 5364.

5 ‘Venerunt autem omnes nostri gaudentes et prae nimio gaudio plorantes ad nostri Salvatoris Iesu sepulchrum adorandum’: Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum: the deeds of the Franks and the other pilgrims to Jerusalem, ed. R. Hill, New York 1962, 92, 93.

6 Pringle, D., The churches of the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem: the city of Jerusalem, Cambridge 2007, 12, 13.

7 See Seawulf's account: Pegrinationes tres: Seawulf, John of Würzburg, Theodericus, ed. R. B. C. Huygens, CCCM cxxxix, Turnhout 1994, 64, and Descriptio sanctorum locorum Hierusalem in Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum, 98.

8 Jerusalem pilgrimage, 1099–1185, ed. J. Wilkinson, J. Hill and W. F. Ryan, London 1988, 127.

9 At this point I do not refer to a rebuilding of the Holy Sepulchre that occurred in 1140s. During these works the mosaic decoration was not changed with the exception of the Anastasis icon, which was transferred to a new part of the church: Jaroslav Folda, The art of the crusaders in the Holy Land, 1098–1187, Cambridge 1995, 231.

10 See Theodericus’ account in Peregrinationes, 150, and Jerusalem pilgrimage, 280, 281.

11 Quaresmius, Franciscus, Historica theologica et moralis Terrae Sanctae elucidatio, ii, Antwerp 1639, 368–70. See also Bulst-Thiele, Marie Luise, ‘Die Mosaiken der “Auferstehungskirche” in Jerusalem und die Bauten der “Franken” im 12. Jahrhundert’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien xiii/1 (1979), 446–8.

12 Folda, Art of the crusaders, 40.

13 ‘dominum ducem unanimiter eligunt electumque Sepulchro domini cum hymnis et canticis devotissime obtulerunt’: WT, 423.

14 See Flori, J., Chroniqueurs et propagandists: introduction critique aux sources de la Première Croisade, Geneva 2010.

15 ‘Placuit tunc Deo, quod inventa est particula una crucis dominicae in loco secreto, iam ab antiquo tempore a viris religiosis occultata, nunc autem a quodam homine Syro, Deo volente, revelata, quam cum patre suo inde conscio diligenter ibi et absconderat et conservarat’: FC, 309, 310; ‘quidam fidelissimus Christianus urbis indigena, lege Christi pleniter instructus, crucem quandam semiulne auro vestitam, cui dominici ligni particula in medio inserta erat, sed fabrili opere expers et nuda, indicavit se abscondisse in loco humili et pulverulento deserte domus, propter metum Sarracenorum’: AA, 450–2; ‘Nactus itaque Arnulfus hanc potestatem, coepit requirere ab incolis civitatis ubi erat crux quam peregrini ante captam Iherusalem adorare consueverant … Post haec deduxerunt eos ad quoddam atrium ecclesiae et ibi effodientes reddiderunt’: Le ‘Liber’ de Raymond d'Aguilers, ed. J. H. Hill and L. L. Hill, Paris 1969, 154.

16 Frolow, A., La Relique de la vraie croix: recherches sur le developpment d'un culte, Paris 1961, 287–8; Schein, S., Gateway to the heavenly city: crusader Jerusalem and the Catholic West (1099–1187), Farnham-Burlington, Vt 2005, 84.

17 Acre Breviary (Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, ms Lat. 10478).

18 Dondi, C., The liturgy of the canons regular of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem: a study and a catalogue of the manuscript sources, Turnhout 2004, 86–8.

19 Acre Breviary, 750–5.

20 Jerusalem Sacramentary (Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, ms Lat. 12056, 191v). This manuscript is examined by Dondi in Liturgy of the canons regular, 62, 63.

21 Gaposchkin, Invisible weapons, 61, 62.

22 Borgehammar, Stephan, ‘Heraclius learns humility: two early Latin accounts composed for the celebration of Exaltatio Crucis’, Millenium: Jahrbuch zu Kultur und Geschichte des ersten Jahrtausends n.Chr. vi (2009), 145201.

23 John, Simon, ‘Claruit ibi multum Dux Lotharingiae: the development of the epic tradition of Godfrey of Bouillon and the bisected Muslim’, in Parsons, S. T. and Paterson, L. M. (eds), Literature of the crusades, London 2018, 724.

24 Borgehammar, ‘Heraclius learns humility’, 196, 197.

25 Ibid. 186–8; Acre Breviary, 854, 855.

26 AA, 436, 437.

27 AA, 458–61.

28 In medieval legends of the discovery of the cross Judas Cyriakus plays a role as a representative of the Jewish community in Jerusalem. After the finding of the relic he converts to Christianity and becomes the bishop of Jerusalem: Borgehammar, Stephan, How the holy cross was found: from event to medieval legend, Stockholm 1991, 145–84.

29 For liturgical reading about Helena's discovery of the cross for the Inventio see Acre Breviary, 750, 751. On the Helena legend see, in general, Borgehammar, How the holy cross was found, and Baert, B., A heritage of holy wood: the legend of the holy cross in text and image, Leiden-Boston 2004, 15132.

30 Die Kreuzzugsbriefe aus den Jahren 1088–1100, ed. H. Hagenmeyer, Innsbruck 1901, 178, 179.

31 Borgehammar, ‘Heraclius learns humility’, 188–91; Acre Breviary, 855.

32 ‘Videmus Orientalem ecclesiam post longa captivitatis tempora magna iam ex parte ad antiquae libertatis gloriam redisse’: Kreuzzugsbriefe, 178. The emperor Constantine was associated with the liberty of the Church: Cowdrey, ‘Eleventh-century reformers’ views of Constantine’, 66.

33 Gaposchkin, Invisible weapons, 141–3.

34 The full text is in Amnon Linder, ‘The liturgy of the liberation of Jerusalem’, Mediaeval Studies lii (1990), 119, 120; the English translation in Fassler, M. E., The Virgin of Chartres: making history through liturgy and the arts, New Haven 2010, 154, 155.

35 Guiberti abbati Novigentis Dei gesta per Francos, ed. R. B. C. Huygens, CCCM 127A, Turnhout 1996, 89. ‘Crucis signaculum in vestibus idem vere crucifer exercitus ob mortificationis preferebat commonitorium, credens in hoc iuxta visionem Magno quondam Constantino revelatam ab inimicis crucis Christi se triumphaturum’: Frutolfi et Ekkehardi chronica necnon anonymi chronica imperatorum, ed. F.-J. Schmale and I. Schmale-Ott, Darmstadt 1972, 138.

36 Folda, Art of the crusaders, 37, 38; AA, 516.

37 For the full examination of the political context see Murray, A. V., The crusader kingdom of Jerusalem: a dynastic history, 1099–1125, Oxford 2000, 8197.

38 ‘Exierunt ei obviam tam clerici quam laici omnes, Graeci quoque ac Syri cum crucibus ac cereis. Qui cum ingenti gaudio honorificentia vocibus altisonis laudes agendo usque in ecclesia dominici Sepulcri eum deduxerunt’: FC, 368; ‘Cum triumpho Hierusalem intravit … nec multo post inclinans caput suum super dominici sepulchri tumbam ipsius se servituti perpetualiter subiugavit’: Frutolfi et Ekkehardi chronica, 162; Murray, Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem, 94, 95.

39 ‘Posthaec patriarcha Daimberto in sede reformato et omnibus communi assensu et voluntate reelecto, rege Balduino corona et regalis vestibus ornato, cantore introitum missae incipiente, solemniter missa celebrata est’: ‘Gesta Francorum Iherusalem expugnantium’, in Recueil des historiens des croisades: historiens occidentaux, iii, Paris 1866, 526; Rubenstein, Jay, ‘Holy fire and sacral kingship in post-conquest Jerusalem’, Journal of Medieval History xliii (2017), 470–84.

40 See Qualiter, Ottobonian Guide, Seawulf, Abbot Daniel, De situ in Jerusalem pilgrimage, 90, 92, 102, 129, 178.

41 Folda, Art of the crusaders, 57, 499 n. 83. See also Pringle, The churches of the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem: the city of Jerusalem, 14, 15.

42 Jerusalem pilgrimage, 178.

43 As an illustration see a passage from Fulcher of Chartres's chronicle about the battle of Ramla in 1105: ‘Vere dignum erat et iustum, ut qui ligno Dominicae crucis muniti erant, super inimicos eiusdem sanctae crucis victores existerent’: FC, 453. See also Murray, Alan V., ‘“Mighty against the enemies of Christ”: the relic of the true cross in the armies of the kingdom of Jerusalem’, in France, J. and Zajac, W. G. (eds), The crusades and their sources: essays presented to Bernard Hamilton, Aldershot 1998, 217–38, and Gerish, Deborah, ‘The true cross and the kings of Jerusalem’, Haskins Society Journal viii (1996), 138–55.

44 Edgington, Susan, ‘The Gesta Francorum Iherusalem expugnantium of “Bartolf of Nangis”’, Crusades xiii (2014), 2135.

45 FC, 309, 310; ‘Gesta Francorum Iherusalem expugnantium’, 516.

46 ‘Paululum remotior est locus ab eodem dictus Calvariae, ubi Lignum dominicum … a beata Helena, Juda praemonstrante, inventum est … Pars autem Ligni pretiosi in eisdem locis a fidelibus retenta, diligenti veneratione adoratur et exaltatur’: ‘Gesta Francorum Iherusalem expugnantium’, 510.

47 For a detailed examination of this manuscript see S. Salvado, ‘The liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre and the Templar rite: edition and analysis of the Jerusalem Ordinal (Rome, Bib. Vat., Barb. Lat. 659) with a comparative study of the Acre Breviary (Paris, Bib. Nat., Ms. Latin 10478)’, unpubl. PhD diss. Stanford 2011. This also has an edition of the Latin text.

48 Ibid. 602–4.

49 Letters from the East: crusaders, pilgrims and settlers in the 12th–13th centuries, trans. M. Barber and K. Bate, Farnham–Burlington, Vt 2013, 41.

50 AA, 748, 749.

51 Peregrinationes, 68.

52 AA, 436, 437.

53 Murray, Alan V., ‘Dynastic continuity or dynastic change: the accession of Baldwin ii and the nobility of the kingdom of Jerusalem’, in Jotischky, A. (ed.), The crusades: critical concepts in historical studies, New York 2008, 184–98.

54 AA, 870; FC, 615.

55 WT, 548.

56 John, ‘Royal inauguration and liturgical culture’, 493, 494.

57 ‘Et die, quo Exaltationis eius celebrant, sicut Heraclius imperator de Perside victor eam reportavit’: FC, 632, 633.

58 FC, 668.

59 Folda, Art of the crusaders, 119.

60 WT, 633, 634; Mayer, Hans E., ‘Das Pontifikale von Tyrus und die Kronung der lateinischen Konige von Jerusalem. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Forschung uber Herrschaftszeichen und Staatssymbolik’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers xxi (1967), 141232.

61 Melisende Psalter (British Library, London, ms Egerton 1139).

62 See Kühnel, B., ‘The kingly statement of the bookcovers of Queen Melisende's psalter’, in Dassmann, E. and Thraede, K. (ed.), Tesserae: Festschrift für Joseph Engemann, Münster 1991, 340–57; Norman, Joanne S., ‘The life of King David as a psychomachia allegory: a study of the Melisenda Psalter bookcover’, University of Ottawa Quarterly l/ii (1980), 193201.

63 Folda, Art of the crusaders, 157, 158.

64 Melisende Psalter, fo. 205r.

65 Folda, Art of the crusaders, 333, 567 n. 10.

66 Melisende Psalter, fos 21v–22r.

67 Ibid. fo. 15v.

68 Folda, Art of the crusaders, 175.

69 Ibid. 235; Bulst-Thiele, ‘Die Mosaiken der “Auferstehungskirche”’, 469, 470.

70 Quaresmius, Terrae Sanctae elucidatio, ii. 459.

71 Peregrinationes, 153.

72 WT, 97–127.

73 Lapina, E., Warfare and the miraculous in the chronicles of the First Crusade, University Park, Pa 2015, 5474.

74 Folda, Art of the crusaders, 239.

75 Cowdrey, H. E. J., ‘The reform papacy and the origin of the crusades’, in Le Concile de Clermont de 1095 et l'appel à la Croisade: actes du Colloque Universitaire International de Clermont-Ferrand (23–25 juin 1995), Rome 1997, 6583.

76 Gaposchkin, Invisible weapons, 64.

AA = Albert of Aachen, Historia Ierosolimitana: History of the Journey to Jerusalem, ed. S. Edgington, Oxford 2007; CCCM = Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis; FC = Fulcheri Carnotensis Historia Hierosolymitana (1095–1127), ed. H. Hagenmeyer, Heidelberg 1913; WT = Willelmi Archiepiscopi Tyrensis Chronicon, ed. R. B. C. Huygens, CCCM lxiii, Turnhout 1986.

I am grateful to the De Brzezie Lanckoroński Foundation for financial aid that allowed me to work on this article in London libraries in August 2018. My thanks also to Professor M. Cecilia Gaposchkin for help in the course of the work on this article and to this Journal's anonymous expert reader whose advice was invaluable.

Constantine, Helena and Heraclius in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

  • BARTŁOMIEJ DŹWIGAŁA (a1)

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