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God Wills It! Supplementary Divine Purposes for the Crusades according to Crusade Propaganda

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2019

VALENTIN PORTNYKH*
Affiliation:
Laboratory for Humanities, Novosibirsk State University, 1 Pirogov St., 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia; e-mail: valport@list.ru

Abstract

It is well known that the crusades were represented as wars sanctioned by God, who helped the crusaders. At the same time, according to crusade propaganda, the liberation of the Holy Land was most probably not the only purpose of the crusades. Some sources allow us to affirm that the papacy and preachers had the idea that God would allow the crusaders to settle in Outremer only when they would merit it by the absence of sin. Furthermore, in the second half of the twelfth and, to a greater extent, in the thirteenth century, there was a spread of the idea that God could destroy the Saracens on his own, but was testing his faithful. In fact, all these ideas together suggested that, according to the propaganda, the liberation of the Holy Land was not considered to be God's only goal, for he also wished to bring to this land faithful people without sin who would settle there, elected by God.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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Footnotes

This article is based on a paper read at the Ninth Quadrennial Conference of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (Odense, Denmark, 27 June–1 July 2016). The preparation of the article was sponsored by the Russian grant programme for young researchers, project MK–294.2018.6. I am very grateful to the peer-reviewer for this Journal and Nicholas Morton for useful suggestions and to Elisabeth Baranova, Gregory Leighton and Christine Linehan for assistance with the English text.

References

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2 The most recent works are Throop, Susanna, Crusading as an act of vengeance, Farnham–Burlington, Vt 2011Google Scholar, and Bysted, Ane, The crusade indulgence: spiritual rewards and the theology of the crusades, c. 1095–1216, Leiden 2015Google Scholar.

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8 PL cc.1294D.

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35 ‘dissimulat interdum clamorem exaudire gementium … ut videat si aliquis sit intelligens aut requirens Deum [Psalm xiii.2]’: PL cc.599D.

36 ‘necessitas orientalis ecclesie et fidelium christianorum’: ibid.

37 ‘Poterit Dominus quidem sola eam voluntate servare … Voluit enim forsitan experiri, et in notitiam ducere aliorum, si quis sit intelligens aut requirens Deum’: PL ccii.1542A.

38 ‘Poterat enim omnipotens Deus terram illam, si vellet, omnino defendere … agonem illis proposuit in quo fidem eorum velut aurum in fornace probaret … ut qui fideliter pro ipso certaverint, ab ipso feliciter coronentur’: PL ccxvi.817BC.

39 ‘instat necessitas … ut terre sancte necessitatibus succurratur’: PL ccxvi.817A.

40 ‘ad exercitationem tamen fidelium eam passus est ab infidelibus detineri ut videat, si est intelligens aut requirens ipsum, qui eius ulcisci velit iniurias’: Epistolae saeculi XIII, 174.

41 ipsam tamen ad exercitationem fidelium patitur ab infidelibus detineri’: Groot Charterboek der Graaven van Holland, van Zeeland en Heeren van Vriesland, ed. van Beijere, Jacob, i, Leiden 1753, 200Google Scholar.

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44 ‘Poterat Dominus Ierusalem liberare, sed voluit amicos probare suos’: ibid. 186.

45 Portnykh, Valentin, ‘“L'Argument vassalique” au service de la prédication des croisades en Terre sainte (fin xiie–xiii siècles)’, Medieval Sermon Studies lxi (2017), 5972CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

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49 ‘ecce ipse … ad suam subventionem auxilium nostrum quasi exhereditatus implorat’: ibid. xi. 296.

50 ‘Posset siquidem in momento Dominus omnia vindicare, sed ut habeat occasionem gloriose remunerandi, vult probare fideles suos, et scire, quos tangit ignominia sibi illata, et dicit: Quis consurget mihi [Psalm xciii.16], hoc est ad honorem meum, adversus malignantes, ad vindicandum scilicet contumeliam ab eis mihi factam?’: Humbertus de Romanis, De predicatione crucis, 42.

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61 ‘Si carnales illi homines sola carnalia sapientes, et carnales ceremonias venerantes, ad sanctorum suorum profanationem adeo inconsolabiliter doluerunt, quid facturi sunt Christiani, qui non in vetustate littere serviunt, sed in novitate spiritus ambulant, qui non ad servitutem tam multarum, tamque importabilium ceremoniarum, sed ad libertatem gratie sunt vocati; qui non spiritum servitutis in timore, sed spiritum adoptionis, in quo Abba Pater exclament, acceperunt?’: Henricus de Castro Marsiaco, De peregrinante civitate Dei, PL cciv.352CD.

62 Le «Liber» de Raymond d'Aguilers, 115.

63 Humbertus de Romanis, De predicatione crucis, 10.

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