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Prologue

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2021

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Summary

[3] Baldric, abbot of the monks of Bourgueil, although unworthy, wishes peace and love of the truth to all Christians. Blessed be our Lord Jesus Christ, originator of the Christian name and most invincible guide, and wisest propagator of Christianity's spread. It is fitting that you bless Him, dearest brothers, and praise Him in all His works, and never forget His unfailing mercy towards us. He changes kings and times, He improves the pious to advance them; He punishes the impious to improve them. Indeed, there is no failure of mercy in Him. In our times He roused almost all His Christendom, all over the world; and He incited all His faithful so that Christian knights flocked to seize Jerusalem, where He especially suffered, from the hands of the filthy Turks who were lording over her as if she were a captive. For it is incredible that without divine inspiration men who were abundantly provided with all things would be willing to go on a military campaign from the western region to the east, and to set out joyfully, leaving their estates and homes, their children and their wives, to fight with their arm against barbarous nations amidst countless calamities. For whoever heard before that time of so many princes, so many dukes, so many knights, so many footsoldiers fighting without a king, without a commander? Indeed, in that army there was no man who was in charge of a second, none who commanded another: no one made arrangements for anything that seemed to be his private property, unless the common deliberation of wise men decided it, unless a decree of the common people approved it. Therefore it is certain that the Holy Spirit, ‘that breathes where it will’, both encouraged them to embark on such labours and inspired in them indivisible concord.

I have striven with my pen to commit the sequence of this history to the next generation, although it is not refined enough and although the slightness of my small talent is not adequate to describe it suitably.

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Baldric of Bourgueil "History of the Jerusalemites"
A Translation of the Historia Ierosolimitana
, pp. 39 - 42
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2020

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