The First Crusade in late medieval exempla.
To these sources may be added another that is often overlooked--the short historical tales used by preachers in sermons that make reference to the First Crusade. The majority of these stories are clearly drawn from the chronicles and chansons and often include a statement proclaiming the story's veracity and telling the audience from what source the preacher drew his information. Yet some such tales are problematic in that they either present details whose provenance is not easily identifiable or that do not exist in the surviving historical and literary record. Whatever the case, these stories were transmitted to the audience of a sermon as statements of historical fact. Their importance is thus twofold: (1) They represent a source of information about the First Crusade that, when conveyed in a sermon, would have been more widely accessible to the laity than either the chronicles or chansons, both of which were intended primarily for an elite clerical and/or aristocratic audience; (2) They reveal stories about the First Crusade that circulated in the Middle Ages but which are preserved nowhere else. By extension, the intent of this study is also twofold. First, through an examination of the stories that preachers told about the First Crusade, and an exploration of the ways in which these tales differ from those found in the chronicles and chansons, a clearer sense of what medieval people knew and thought was most meaningful about the First Crusade will emerge. Second, such an analysis will reveal that one of the sources upon which preachers relied for information about the First Crusade was a now-lost text called the Hystoria Antiochena. To date, the efforts of medieval historians and literary scholars to identify this source have proven unsatisfactory. Through an examination of the surviving references to this source, it will be possible to arrive at a greater understanding of both the provenance and content of the Hystoria Antiochena--an endeavor that will aid future scholars of the Crusades and medieval preaching in accurately identifying it.
In order to achieve these aims, it is necessary to focus on a specific medieval literary form called the exemplum. The prevailing definition of an exemplum is still that formulated by Jacques LeGoff more than twenty years ago: "A brief story given as truthful (that is, historical) and used in a discourse (usually a sermon) to convince listeners by offering them a salutary lesson." (1) Sermons, and the exempla related in them, were thus intended to convey a moral message that was inspirational and would persuade listeners to amend their behavior. If one assumes that exempla about the First Crusade were used primarily in crusade sermons, then the use of such exempla was obviously intended to motivate potential crusaders to take the cross by relating edifying tales about the heroic crusading past. However, such an assumption, while accurate, may not be applied uniformly to exempla about crusading. Given that exempla tend to survive in greater numbers than the sermons in which they were used, it is difficult at best to determine in what context an individual preacher would have used a particular exemplum. It is therefore possible to identify the crusade exemplum as a subgenre within the broader category of exempla, but we must simultaneously be cognizant of the reality that exempla about crusading were not necessarily associated with crusade preaching.
With this understanding in mind, it should be noted that the earliest exempla about the First Crusade are found in the context of crusade recruitment. The early history of crusade preaching has been studied by Penny Cole, who has determined that crusade sermons often entailed reference to the "ancestors" of potential crusaders. Beginning with Urban II's call to the First Crusade in 1095, and throughout the remainder of the Middle Ages, this most often meant the heroes of the ancient Christian past such as the Maccabees, the martyrs of the Early Church, and Charlemagne. By the middle of the twelfth century, however, this list of ancestors was updated. The First Crusade had itself become an historical event--one more recent than the exploits of the Maccabees or Charlemagne--and the deeds of its heroes could now be used as an example for potential crusaders. (2) This potential was realized by Pope Eugenius III when he issued the papal bull Quantum praedecessores (1145) urging Western warriors to undertake the Second Crusade (1147-49). In the bull's opening exhortation, Eugenius recalled Urban II's proclamation of the First Crusade and praised the French and Italian warriors who had fulfilled the aims of Urban's mission. Casting himself as Urban's successor, and contemporary knights as the successors of the first crusaders, Eugenius sought to motivate a new generation of crusaders by reminding them of the deeds of their predecessors in the Holy Land.
How much our predecessors the Roman pontiffs did labour for the deliverance of the oriental church, we have learned from the accounts of the ancients and have found it written in their acts. For our predecessor of blessed memory, pope Urban, did sound, as it were, a celestial trump and did take care to arouse for its deliverance the sons of the holy Roman church from different parts of the earth. At his voice, indeed, those beyond the mountain and especially the bravest and strongest warriors of the French kingdom, and also those of Italy, inflamed by the ardour of love did come together, and, congregating a very great army, not without much shedding of their blood, the divine aid being with them, did free from the filth of the pagans that city where our Saviour willed to suffer for us, and where He left His glorious sepulchre to us as a memorial of His passion, and many others which, avoiding prolixity, we refrain from mentioning. (3)
By appealing to the crusading past in this way, Eugenius established the precedent, whether intentionally or not, that the events of the First Crusade would play a role in the recruitment efforts for subsequent expeditions to the East.
Despite Eugenius's willingness to use the example of the First Crusade in Quantum praedecessores, there is little evidence before the late thirteenth century that crusade preachers imitated the pope's example. When they did, it is notable that their exempla, like Eugenius's, touched on the events of the First Crusade in very general terms. Thus, in an ad status (or model) sermon composed in the 1260s by the Cistercian Cardinal Eudes of Cheteauroux (c.1190-1273), crusade preachers are advised to inform their audiences that those who go on crusade will be equated in the eyes of God with the first crusaders: "The Lord will compare them and will put them on par with those ancient nobles who left the Kingdom of Francia and conquered Antioch and the Land of Jerusalem." (4) Here again, the heroes of the First Crusade are used to incite fervor among potential crusaders, but the story is short on details, thereby allowing the audience to understand and interpret the comparison to past people and events in the broadest possible way.
Other crusade preachers provided their audience with a bit more information. Perhaps one of the earliest surviving exemplum about the First Crusade is found in the Hystoria Constantinopolitana, composed by the Cistercian chronicler Gunther of Pairis (c.1150-c.1210) in the first decade of the thirteenth century. Gunther's abbot, Martin, was active in preaching the Fourth Crusade in the Holy Roman Empire and Gunther includes the text of one of Martin's sermons in his chronicle. In it the abbot, much like Eugenius fifty years earlier, reminded his audience of the successes of the First Crusade by urging them to remember the deeds of their predecessors, in this case the French and German princes who liberated the Holy Land. Yet, if we are to believe Gunther's report, Martin was more specific than Eugenius in that the abbot included the name of Godfrey of Bouillon and identified him as the leader of the First Crusade. (5) This is significant because Martin consciously used Godfrey's heroic reputation as an example for potential crusaders at the very time that Godfrey's deeds were being recorded in the vernacular chansons of the Old French Crusade Cycle. (6) From the pulpit, Martin reinforced the information conveyed to the laity by the jongleurs and used it as a tool in the recruitment of new crusaders.
So close was the association between Godfrey and the First Crusade that the name Godfrey could be used in any exemplum about crusading to lend it authority. Thus, the anonymous Ordinacio de praedicacione sancte crucis, an Anglo-Norman crusade-preaching manual composed around 1216, tells the story of two brothers from Flanders, Godfrey and Eustace, who went on crusade. During their journey to the Holy Land, Godfrey fell gravely ill and asked his brother not to enter battle for fifteen days while he recuperated. Eustace denied this request, expressing his desire not to wait for martyrdom, and died the next day on the battlefield. (7) This story has no known precedent in any chronicles or chansons and, even more importantly, it cannot, strictly speaking, be about Godfrey of Bouillon and his brother Eustace, as it is known that Eustace returned home alive after the First Crusade. (8) Whether the story told in the Ordinacio is true or not is irrelevant to its impact as an exemplum; it describes the attitude and behavior of a proper crusader and thus fulfills its purpose. Furthermore, by using the names Godfrey and Eustace, and defining their fraternal relationship, the story creates an historical link with the heroic deeds of the First Crusade.
Not only could the example of Godfrey be used to motivate knights to take the cross, but it could also be utilized to demonstrate how someone signed with the cross should conduct himself. An exemplum related by the Dominican Stephen of Bourbon (c.1190-1261) in the last decade of his life states that when Godfrey governed Jerusalem (July 1099-July 1100), the Saracens were distraught because none among them was able to resist him or a blow from his sword. One day, Godfrey received a Saracen embassy and they asked the duke the source of his great strength. After Godfrey split the skulls of two horses with his sword, the Saracens concluded that only a virtuous individual could wield a blade so effectively. They then enquired about the source of the duke's virtue--a virtue superior to that which they had encountered in other men--and Godfrey explained that he never sullied his hands with wealth or prostitutes. (9) Unfortunately, Stephen does not state from whence he obtained the information contained in this exemplum, but the story resembles one about Godfrey told by William of Tyre, in which a group of Muslim chieftains met the duke and concluded that his humility and wisdom would lead him to conquer all their lands. (10) In both cases, the purpose of the story was to remind crusaders that once they were signed with the cross, they ceased being simple laymen and became knights of Christ. Having established the necessity of this conversion experience, the exemplum then outlines the proper behavior of a crusader and the practical military advantages that humility, poverty, and chastity would bestow upon the virtuous warrior in the service of the Lord.
This message is reinforced in a second exemplum by Stephen, this time about an anonymous knight captured by the Saracens during the Christian siege of Antioch. In an effort to sap the morale of the Christian forces, the knight was led onto the city's walls and ordered by his captors to tell the crusaders that they labored in vain to take the town. Feigning cooperation, the knight mounted the wall but instead praised the courage of his comrades and thus encouraged them to continue the siege. For this insolence, the knight was decapitated and as the Saracens were preparing to hurl his amputated head into the Christian camp, it laughed as a sign of the crusader's salvation. (11) As with Stephen's previous exemplum, the moral of this tale is clear--salvation is the reward of those knights who struggle, persevere, and die in the service of Christ.
Based on the details of the story, the anonymous knight in Stephen's exemplum is identifiable as Rainald Porchet who, according to the eyewitness chronicle of Peter Tudebode, was martyred on the walls of Antioch for the very same act of defiance. (12) Stephen does not, however, identify Peter's chronicle as the source of his information, but rather cites a work called the Historia Antiochiensi. Given this title, there are two works that could have potentially served as Stephen's source: the Chanson d'Antioche and the Estoire de Jerusalem et d'Antioche. Unfortunately, even though both of these works mention Rainald Porchet, neither contains the necessary details to have been Stephen's source for this story. (13) Where, then, did Stephen get his information and, more importantly, what is the Historia Antiochiensi? Both of these questions are difficult to answer based on the evidence of a single exemplum, and past attempts to identify Stephen's source have been unsuccessful because they have relied on scanty evidence. Stephen, however, was not the only medieval preacher to cite a "History of Antioch" in his works. It will therefore be necessary to examine additional references to this mysterious source before formulating a theory about its content and identity.
Leaving aside the search for Stephen's "History of Antioch" for the time being, the four exempla discussed so far are important because they demonstrate that the events and personalities of the First Crusade could be used to motivate the faithful to take the cross and/or otherwise amend their lives. They are, however, isolated examples and do not contain any significant historical details about the conquest of the Holy Land or the life of Godfrey. Furthermore, their brevity and lack of specific detail suggests that those who preached exempla, and those who heard them preached, had at least a cursory knowledge of the First Crusade and its leadership. But was this enough to motivate would-be crusaders to take the cross? In the 1260s, the Dominican Master-General Humbert of Romans (c.1194-c.1275) composed De praedicacione crucis, a preaching manual intended to supply preachers with the material necessary to write and deliver effective crusade sermons. To this end, Humbert outlines the arguments used to justify warfare against the Saracens, gives direction on how to properly motivate potential crusaders, and provides a lengthy list of biblical texts that can be used as the basis for crusade sermons. More importantly, Humbert believed that crusade preachers should also have an adequate knowledge of the crusading past, not only to make their preaching more authoritative, but also to provide them with examples they could use to inspire their audiences. (14)
The history of the First Crusade, therefore, figures prominently in Humbert's text and, as in the previous examples, it initially speaks in broad terms about the Crusade's success and the deeds of Godfrey. Yet Humbert is different in that he presents his readers with a greater amount of detail than his predecessors and peers. Following William of Tyre's chronicle and Jacques de Vitry's Historia Orientalis (cited by Humbert as the Hystoria Transmarina), Humbert outlines the origins of the First Crusade--Peter the Hermit's pilgrimage to Jerusalem, his role in influencing Urban II to call the Council of Clermont, and Urban's address to the council. (15) The bulk of Humbert's historical information, however, focuses on events at Antioch between 1097 and 1098. He recounts the hardships suffered by the crusaders during their siege of the city and of its capture through the agency of a Turk within its walls. He also tells the story of the discovery of the Holy Lance, relates several visions experienced by crusaders while trying to flee the Muslim siege of the city, and, finally, describes the great victory over the Turks once the crusaders had properly repented. (16) Through these stories, it is possible to discern the types of information Humbert identifies as edifying to potential crusaders, chiefly the miraculous assistance that God bestowed upon the warriors in his service if they took the cross and behaved as true knights of Christ.
Humbert attributes all his stories about Antioch to a work by Fulcher of Chartres called the Hystoria Antiochena. (17) Although no such work by Fulcher is known today, the information provided by Humbert is, generally speaking, found also in Fulcher's Historia Hierosolymitana. Yet not all of the stories that Humbert attributes to the Hystoria Antiochena are found in the surviving versions of Fulcher's chronicle, nor are they found in the Chanson d'Antioche or the Estoire de Jerusalem et d'Antioche--the sources commonly associated with the Historia Antiochiensi cited by Stephen of Bourbon. For example, Humbert relates that after the crusaders captured Antioch, Saint Luke appeared to a Syrian in Tripoli. He told this man that he was going to Antioch, where the Lord was gathering a heavenly militia of apostles and martyrs to assist the crusaders against the Turks. Shortly thereafter, the Christians achieved victory. (18) Rather than Fulcher's chronicle, the nearest analogue to this story is found in the chronicle of Raymond d'Aguilers, although Raymond's story is about Saint Mark. (19) This raises the question of whether or not Humbert actually had the Hystoria Antiochena in front of him when he committed this story to writing because the attribution of a story to a source does not necessarily imply direct access to it. Rather, because such references were added to an exemplum to lend it authority, it may be that Humbert took these stories from sources other than the original or that he was reporting what he had heard orally. In this particular case, the only other source that tells the Saint Luke story is the Legenda Aurea by the Dominican hagiologist Jacobus de Voragine. Also writing in the 1260s, Jacobus attributes the tale to the Hystoria Antiochena, although he does not connect Fulcher of Chartres, the Chanson d'Antioche, or the Estoire with this source. (20) Whatever the provenance of the Hystoria Antiochena, we see that the stories circulating about the First Crusade in exempla do not necessarily correspond to the information in the surviving chronicles. Other sources of crusade history must have existed in the 1260s that are no longer extant, and we have in crusading exempla an opportunity to glimpse some of these lost traditions.
Returning to Humbert's text, it is interesting to note that very little of the material that he presents says anything about the capture of Jerusalem in 1099--an event to which Humbert refers only in passing as indicative of the success of the First Crusade. One possible explanation for this silence is that Humbert was in fact using a history of Antioch that, like Fulcher of Chartres's chronicle, said little about the capture of Jerusalem as compared to events at Antioch. Yet it could also be that Humbert consciously chose to tell stories about Antioch because he found them more edifying than the tales he knew about Jerusalem. Whatever the case, this lack of emphasis on Jerusalem is surprising because it was the ultimate goal of crusading activity in 1095, and again after 1187.
Considered together with the isolated exempla from Gunther of Pairis, the Ordinacio, Eudes of Chateauroux, and Stephen of Bourbon, Humbert's preaching manual enables us to see how crusade preachers likely used historical information to motivate individuals to take the cross. Yet exempla about the First Crusade are not only found in sources explicitly connected with crusading. Beginning around 1250, the first general collections of exempla appeared. The intent of these sources was to gather into one place exempla on a variety of subjects and themes so that preachers might easily locate them when composing sermons. (21) One such compendium that contains a large number of exempla about the First Crusade is the Scala coeli compiled in the 1330s by Jean Gobi, the Dominican prior of Montpellier. The fact that Gobi did not create his collection specifically for crusade preaching is demonstrated by the dispersal of crusading exempla throughout the work. This allowed him to categorize each story within an alphabetical list of themes, placing the crusade exempla under such headings as crux, crucisignatus, penitentia, and peregrinacione. Gobi's system is valuable because it shows the types of moral lessons that fourteenth-century preachers could illustrate by using exempla about the First Crusade. More importantly, even though these themes are commonly associated with crusading by modern scholars, this does not mean that medieval preachers would have used these exempla solely within the context of crusade preaching.
Although the Crusade exempla are not linked within Gobi's work, at least two of the stories in the Scala coeli mirror Humbert's selection, focusing mainly on the origins of the First Crusade and the siege and capture of Antioch. (22) Additionally, Gobi includes five episodes not related by Humbert: (1) The fate of an unnamed knight captured by the Saracens and martyred on the walls of Antioch. (23) Based on the details, it is obvious that this is the story of the death of Rainald Porchet already encountered in the exemplum by Stephen of Bourbon. (2) The story of a Provencal peasant visited in a vision by two men who ordered him to speak with Bishop Adhemar to admonish him to rouse the Christian faithful to recover the Holy Land. (24) In its details, this story closely mirrors Raymond d'Aguliers's account of the visitation of Saint Andrew to the peasant Peter Bartholomew that presaged Peter's discovery of the Holy Lance at Antioch. (25) (3) The story that during the Muslim siege of Antioch, the Christians were saved from starvation by a heavenly dew that sustained them and their horses for three days until they were able to achieve victory. (26) This story is similar to that told by Jacques de Vitry in which the Christian host, when marching out of the city to meet the Muslims, was refreshed by an analogous supernatural misting. (27) (4) An account of an incident that occurred during the passage from Antioch to Jerusalem in which a dead knight appeared to his living lord, promising that the lord would be martyred and join him in paradise on the next day. (28) The story is clearly that told by Raymond d'Aguliers about the vision Anselm of Ribemont received the evening before his death of Enguerrand of Saint Pol who had died at Antioch. (29) (5) The story that while the crusaders were besieged in Antioch and suffering on account of their sins, a dead man arose in their midst, urging them to repent and admonishing those who were contemplating fleeing the siege. His words and appearance so moved the crusaders that they repented and, shortly thereafter, achieved victory. (30) Unlike the previous four exempla, this one has no apparent analogue in the surviving chronicle literature.
In all, Gobi relates seven exempla about the First Crusade, yet cites only two works as the source for his information: the Hystoria Transmarina (three exempla) and the Hystoria Antiochena (four exempla). As in Humbert, the former title is apparently a reference to Jacques de Vitry's Historia Orientalis, although the story of the Provencal peasant is not told by Jacques. Again, this implies that direct access to a work was not necessary for a collector/compiler of exempla to cite it. Gobi's use of the Hystoria Antiochena, however, is more problematic. Like Jacobus de Voragine, Gobi does not associate this source with Fulcher of Chartres, nor with the Chanson d'Antioche or the Estoire de Jerusalem et d'Antioche. Furthermore, not all of the stories related by Gobi are found in all of these sources. Nevertheless, the citation of the Hystoria Antiochena by four Dominicans--Stephen of Bourbon, Humbert of Romans, Jacobus de Voragine, and Jean Gobi--suggests that this source, whatever its identity, circulated within the Order after c.1260.
Another interesting comparison is that Gobi's compendium, like Humbert's manual, lacks any reference to the capture of Jerusalem. Again, this is unusual given the understood goal of crusading in the Holy Land, but perhaps less of an oversight for Gobi, whose intent is not necessarily to preach crusade, but rather to provide edifying exempla for any type of sermon. Yet, while both Humbert and Gobi did not include exempla about Jerusalem in their works, other exempla compilers did relate stories regarding the capture of the holy city. One such source is the anonymous exempla collection found in a thirteenth- or fourteenth-century manuscript cataloged as British Library MS Arundel 52. This very short collection offers three stories about Jerusalem--the largest assemblage of exempla about the capture of the city during the First Crusade. The first is an account of the appearance of Bishop Adhemar on the walls of Jerusalem, rallying the crusaders to victory, during the final assault on the city. (31) Although the story of Adhemar's appearance was originally told by Raymond d'Aguliers, the details of the story in Arundel 52 point to William of Tyre as the source for this exemplum. Whereas Raymond merely mentions the appearance in passing, stating that it was seen by some crusaders, William's chronicle states that everyone saw the bishop. The universality of the bishop's apparition is also related in the exemplum, but the Arundel compiler diverges from the chronicle evidence by combining this story with an incident involving a hermit on the Mount of Olives who advised the crusading army before their attack on Jerusalem. Although this information is also contained in William's chronicle, the compiler of the Arundel manuscript creatively combined the two tales in order to form a single exemplum. (32) Further distancing himself from the historical record, the Arundel compiler even gave Adhemar a line of dialogue found neither in Raymond's nor in William's account, in which the bishop informs the crusaders that God has given Jerusalem into their hands.
The story of Adhemar is followed by one in which Thomas de Marie, upon entering Jerusalem, went straight to the Holy Sepulcher to pray while the other crusaders spread throughout the city plundering and claiming the best houses for themselves. Because of his piety, we are told that after Thomas dismounted, his horse went through the city and parked itself in front of the door of the finest house, thereby claiming it for his master. (33) This corresponds with information found in Fulcher's chronicle and others that the crusaders agreed to a first come, first serve policy regarding the spoils of Jerusalem. (34) Furthermore, we know from other chronicle sources that Thomas de Marie was among the crusading host that took the city in July 1099. (35) What makes this exemplum unique is the use of Thomas's name rather than the formulaic "quidem milites" ("A certain knight ..."), which is used in this exemplum in other sources. (36) As a result, an exemplum that normally lacks the specifics necessary to associate it with the First Crusade is clearly identified with the event by means of a proper name. More importantly, this particular exemplum illustrates that the deeds of crusaders other than Godfrey of Bouillon circulated in the medieval West and could be used as models for aspiring crusaders.
Finally, Arundel 52 includes an exemplum about the survival of a knight who was captured by the Saracens and hung from the walls of Jerusalem during the siege of the city. Seeing their comrade's plight, the besieging forces hesitated. The suspended knight, however, urged the crusaders not to cease the assault on his account, and when they resumed the attack, one of their projectiles severed his bonds, allowing him to return to the Christian host. (37) This same story is retold in other sources, including the Ordinacio de praedicacione sancte crucis, although the connection with Jerusalem is never made as explicit as it is in Arundel 52. (38) Still, all versions of this story resemble a tale told by Albert of Aachen about Gerard d'Avesnes who, during Godfrey's campaign for Arsuf, was suspended over the walls in an effort to discourage the Christian assault on the town. Gerard, however, did not act quite as bravely as the unnamed knight in the exemplum: He begged Godfrey to cease the assault and spare him. In the end, Godfrey refused and Gerard was struck by at least ten of his comrade's arrows before the Muslims had mercy on him and brought him back into the city where he eventually recovered. (39) It seems likely that the episodes from the Ordinacio and Arundel 52 are revised accounts of Gerard's story, intended to present events as they should have occurred. The tale departs from history in order to be an effective exemplum, demonstrating not the fact of Gerard's cowardice and lack of faith, but the proper behavior of a crusader in those particular circumstances. Furthermore, by relocating the action from Arsuf to Jerusalem, the exemplum and its moral are connected with the heroic history of the First Crusade.
Despite the concentration of stories about Jerusalem in Arundel 52, exempla about the holy city remain the exception rather than the rule in late medieval exempla collections--an indication that late medieval preachers continued to find little or nothing inspirational in the surviving accounts of Jerusalem's capture. This general trend is mirrored in the exempla collected by John Bromyard, a Cambridge Dominican, in the late fourteenth century. Beginning with the siege of Antioch, we are told that when Adhemar bore the Holy Lance during the defense of the city, a terrible voice was heard in the air. As a result, the enemy was put to flight and converted. (40) While most of the chronicles associate Adhemar with the Holy Lance, none describe the hearing of voices or the mass conversion of the defeated Turkish forces. Uniquely, Bromyard also includes an exemplum about Jerusalem that describes the miraculous appearance of a rider, bearing arms like those of Saint George, who led the crusaders to victory. (41) Here, there is no analogue in the chronicles, but the same story is told by Jacobus de Voragine in the Legenda Aurea. (42) Finally, Bromyard includes two exempla that are different from those encountered thus far because they outline the reasons why the Christians lost the Holy Land despite the success of the First Crusade. Using Godfrey of Bouillon as an example of a virtuous crusader, Bromyard states that greed and disunity among the crusaders and clerics after the capture of Jerusalem led, over time, to the city's loss to the Muslims. (43) While both Raymond d'Aguilers and William of Tyre allude to dissension within the crusading host at Jerusalem in 1099, the teleological connection between this and Jerusalem's fall is unusual. (44) Rather than describing the way in which crusaders ought to behave, these stories worked as counterexamples, portraying behavior that was considered unacceptable in a knight of Christ.
All of Bromyard's exempla have an interesting connection with those told by Stephen of Bourbon, Humbert of Romans, Jacobus de Voragine, and Jean Gobi in that he attributes them all to the Hystoria Antiochena. Like most of his predecessors, Bromyard does not name Fulcher of Chartres in association with this source. Furthermore, none of Bromyard's stories are found in Fulcher's Historia Hierosolymitana, thus reiterating that Fulcher's chronicle cannot be the same as the Hystoria Antiochena. The same conclusion applies to the Chanson d'Antioche and the Estoire de Jerusalem et d'Antioche. Finally, whatever its identity, it is interesting to note that Bromyard's use of the Hystoria Antiochena again suggests that this source circulated, and may even have originated, within the Dominican Order.
Given that the Hystoria Antiochena figures so prominently in exempla about the First Crusade, its identity is worthy of further inquiry. In his seminal study of the medieval exemplum, Jean Thiebaut Welter postulated two identities for this source. When discussing the exempla of Stephen of Bourbon, Welter equated the Dominican's use of the Hystoria Antiochena with the Chanson d'Antioche. In all probability, Welter made this association based on Stephen's telling of the Rainald Porchet story. (45) Elsewhere, however, Welter provides an alternate title for the Hystoria Antiochena, calling it the Historia captionis Antiochiae and stating that it was probably derived from the chronicle of Albert of Aachen. (46) The identity of the Historia captionis Antiochiae is uncertain, but Albert's chronicle cannot be the Hystoria Antiochena because it does not contain all of the stories related by the exempla about the First Crusade.
Suzanne Duparc-Quioc amends the assertions made by Welter. She argues that the Chanson d'Antioche is the Hystoria Antiochena and that a version of the chanson in the Provencal dialect was used by Stephen of Bourbon as a source for his exemplum about Rainald Porchet. Unfortunately, this suggestion falls short because it is based on a single exemplum and does not take into account references to the Hystoria Antiochena found in the works of Stephen's contemporaries.
None of the other stories attributed to the Hystoria Antiochena may be associated with the Chanson d'Antioche, whether Old French or Provencal, as neatly as the Rainald story, thus indicating that the two sources are not the same. Despite opting for the Provencal Antioche as the identity of the Hystoria Antiochena, Duparc-Quioc points to another source worth investigating in this regard--the Estoire de Jerusalem et d'Antioche. Composed around 1221, the Estoire is a short Old French history of the First Crusade adapted from the chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres. Duparc-Quioc asserts that both Stephen and the author of the Estoire used the Provencal Antioche when recounting their tales about Rainald. As both Stephen's exemplum and the Estoire include the detail about Rainald's head smiling when it is projected into the Christian camp, she concludes that both authors used the same source--the Hystoria Antiochena or, more specifically, the Provencal Antioche. (47) As it is based solely on the Rainald story, Duparc-Quioc's assertion is far from convincing. Yet the association between the Estoire and Fulcher of Chartres is worth investigating, given the association between Fulcher and the Hystoria Antiochena established by Humbert of Romans. Again, a comparison between the Estoire and the Hystoria Antiochena demonstrates that these sources are not synonymous because the former does not contain all of the tales related by the latter.
More recently, Giovanni Maggioni has suggested yet another possible identity for the Hystoria Antiochena in his edition of Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda Aurea. As discussed above, Jacobus cites the Hystoria Antiochena twice, once in the legend of Saint Luke and again in the legend of Saint George. In the legend of Saint Luke, Jacobus relates that the saint appeared to a man in Tripoli and informed him (the man) that he (the saint) was going to Antioch to aid the Christians besieged there by the Muslims. Again, this tale is virtually identical to the one about Saint Mark told by Raymond d'Aguilers. Assuming that Raymond's chronicle was the source used by the author/redactor of the Hystoria Antiochena, the decision to alter this story makes sense, given Saint Luke's background as a native of Antioch. In the legend of Saint George, Jacobus states that during the First Crusade the saint appeared to a priest and ordered his relics to be carried to Jerusalem. When the Christians later besieged Jerusalem, Saint George appeared on the walls of the Holy City, restored their confidence, and thus enabled them to capture the town. The story about the relics is analogous to the story told by Raymond d'Aguilers about the discovery of Saint George's remains at Antioch and their translation by the Christian host. Raymond, however, never mentions these relics again and the story about the saint's appearance at Jerusalem is entirely novel--no chronicle or chanson records such an act of intercession on 15 July 1099. Seeking to identify the Hystoria Antiochena cited by Jacobus, Maggioni points to the Historia Nicaena vel Antiochena--a chronicle of the First Crusade and Latin East composed in 1146 or 1147 for King Baldwin III of Jerusalem. (48) For the years covering the First Crusade, the Historia Nicaena vel Antiochena represents a paraphrase of the chronicles by Robert of Rheims and Fulcher of Chartres. Again, the association of this work with that of Fulcher is intriguing but a careful examination of its contents reveals that it also cannot be the Hystoria Antiochena. Neither the story about Saint Luke nor that about Saint George in the Legenda Aurea is contained in the Historia Nicaena vel Antiochena. (49)
Despite the best efforts of these scholars, the identity of the Hystoria Antiochena remains a mystery. Given its prominence as a source cited by the medieval authors/collectors of exempla, its apparent extinction is unfortunate. Recovering this text is further complicated, however, by the fact that not all exempla attributed to the Hystoria Antiochena have clear connections to the history of the First Crusade because they lack specific references to persons and/or events. The result is a category of exempla that are related to crusading more broadly. Humbert of Romans, for example, relates an exemplum about a battle in which the Christians were victorious over the Saracens because the patriarch of Jerusalem bore the cross (crucem ferret--a reference to the relic of the True Cross) on the campaign. Based on its details, this story cannot be about the First Crusade as there was no patriarch at Jerusalem until after 1099, nor was the relic of the Cross discovered until after the city was captured. It does, however, correspond to information found in Fulcher of Chartres's chronicle about a battle against the Muslims outside of Ramla in August 1105. (50) Similarly, Jean Gobi relates two exempla drawn from the Hystoria Antiochena that are broadly related to crusading. In the first of these, a group of pilgrims is saved from shipwreck by a miracle wrought by the relics of the nails of the Cross. (51) Although contained in none of the surviving Crusade chronicles, the details of Gobi's tale suggest that this exemplum was inspired by Gregory of Tours's account of the miracles attributed to these relics shortly after their discovery by the Empress Helena. (52) The other exemplum relates the story of a knight, signed with the cross, who had two beautiful sons. Before his departure, the knight spoke often with his sons and embraced and kissed them frequently. When asked why he did this, the knight replied that he wanted to show Christ how much he loved what he was abandoning in the Lord's name so that Christ would reward him well for his efforts. (53) While not contained in any chronicle, this exemplum was most likely borrowed from a sermon by Jacques de Vitry, although Jacques never attributed this tale to any source. (54)
Although exempla about crusading are the norm, there is at least one exemplum associated with the Hystoria Antiochena that is entirely unrelated to the history of the Crusades. It comes from a collection of exempla compiled by Clemente Sanchez, a canon at Leon, at the beginning of the fifteenth century. In this work, Sanchez includes a single exemplum that he attributes to the Ystoria de Antiochia: A priest has a vision in which death takes the form of a fantastic beast, having the body of an ass, the legs of a deer, the feet of a horse, the face of a lion, a diverse array of teeth, a very large body, and the voice of a man. With these attributes, death is able to strike anywhere at any time, sparing no one regardless of age, sex, or socioeconomic standing. (55) Were it not for Sanchez's citation of the Ystoria de Antiochia, it would appear that his source was a sermon by Stephen of Bourbon in which death is compared to a beast called a Centrocote, which has characteristics similar to those described by Sanchez. (56) Stephen, however, provides no citation for his information.
While the inclusion of an exemplum unrelated to crusading may seem extraneous to this study, knowledge of its existence is crucial for understanding the types of information conveyed by the Hystoria Antiochena. It also provides greater insight into the possible identity of this source and allows for speculation in this regard that is more informed than that of Welter, Duparc-Quioc, and Maggioni. There is no evidence that the Hystoria Antiochena existed before c. 1260 and, with the exception of Clemente Sanchez, it was primarily Dominicans who referenced it. Stephen of Bourbon, Humbert of Romans, Jacobus de Voragine, Jean Gobi, and John Bromyard. Assuming that those who cited it consulted a unique copy of the text, there was one copy in northern Italy and two in southern France at the end of the thirteenth century; one copy at Montpellier in the early fourteenth century; one copy at Cambridge in the late fourteenth century; and one copy at Leon at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Based on its content, it is possible that the Hystoria Antiochena is a lost eyewitness account of the First Crusade, although this is extremely unlikely given its sudden appearance around 1260 and its apparent reliance on authors that postdate 1099 such as William of Tyre and Jacques de Vitry. It is more likely that it is an historical compilation, albeit not necessarily wholly about crusading, that circulated, and may even have been compiled, within the Dominican Order. Its content is most closely associated with the First Crusade chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres, although there was apparently input from other eyewitnesses such as Raymond d'Aguilers and Peter Tudebode. Furthermore, it is possible that the Chanson d'Antioche, or a source closely linked with it, may also have influenced the content of the Hystoria Antiochena.
Whatever its identity, the Hystoria Antiochena is important because the majority of the exempla associated with it identify this work as a unique source of information about the First Crusade--one that both complements and supplements the chronicles and chansons. Furthermore, the exempla that reference the Hystoria Antiochena are themselves important because they preserve the sole remaining record of this text's existence. Should a copy of this work ever resurface, a thorough knowledge of its content and intertextual relationships--gleaned solely from exempla--will enable scholars to properly identify this influential historical and pastoral work. Similarly, future research in medieval collections of exempla may reveal other tales that cite the Hystoria Antiochena, thereby further enhancing our understanding of this source and its origins.
Beyond speculation concerning the Hystoria Antiochena, the stories conveyed by all of the exempla about the First Crusade are significant because they offer historians a glimpse into the historical information about this event that circulated in the West during the Late Middle Ages. Not surprisingly, some names recur--Peter the Hermit, Godfrey of Bouillon, Adhemar of Le Puy--as do the triumphant deeds of the crusaders at Antioch and, in some sources, the Christian victory at Jerusalem. Yet, the authors of sermons, preaching manuals, and exempla collections were not primarily concerned with creating an accurate historical narrative. Rather, their chief concern was to create a moral narrative that would motivate individuals, whether signed with the cross or not, to amend their behavior based on edifying stories about the deeds of the first crusaders. Ultimately, what we have is not two separate narratives of the First Crusade, but rather a single history refocused through a pastoral lens. Read in parallel with the historical and literary sources of the First Crusade, the exempla enhance our understanding of the way in which the history of this event evolved over time. They also demonstrate what sorts of stories about the First Crusade resonated in the medieval mind and how those stories were interpreted by the late medieval imagination.
(1.) Jacques LeGoff, The Medieval Imagination, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (Chicago: University Press, 1988), 78. For content, intent, and intended audience of the exempla, see J.-Th. Welter, L'Exemplum dans la literature religieuse et didactique du moyen age (Paris: E. H. Guitard, 1927; reprint New York: AMS Press, 1973); Claude Bremond, Jacques LeGoff, and Jean-Claude Schmitt, "L'Exemplum" (Turnhout: Brepols, 1982); Bronistaw Geremek, The Common Roots of Europe, trans. Jan Aleksandrowicz, et al. (Cambridge, U.K.: Polity Press, 1996), 40-69; Jacques LeGoff, "Introduction," in Les exempla medievaux: nouvelles perspectives, eds. Jacques Berlioz and Maria Anne Polo de Beaulieu (Paris: H. Champion, 1998), 11-17; Claude Bremond, "L'exemplum medieval est-li un genre litteraire?," in Les exempla medievaux, 21-28; Peter von Moos, "L'exemplum et les exempla des prechers," in Les exempla medievaux, 67-81.
(2.) Penny J. Cole, The Preaching of the Crusades to the Holy Land, 1095-1270 (Cambridge, Mass: Medieval Academy of America, 1991), 14, 18, 22, 24, 27-32. See also Colin Morris, "Propaganda for War: The Dissemination of the Crusading Ideal in the Twelfth Century," Studies in Church History 20 (1983): 79-101; James M. Powell, "Myth, Legend, Propaganda, History: The First Crusade, 1140-ca. 1300," in Autor de la Premiere Croisade, ed. Michel Balard (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1996), 127-41.
(3.) Ottonis Episcopi Frisingensis et Rahewini, Gesta Frederici, ed. Fanz-Joseph Schmale (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1965), 202; translation from Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages, trans. & ed. Ernst F. Henderson (London: G. Bell, 1912), 334. See also Powell, "Myth, Legend, Propaganda, History," 134-36.
(4.) Christoph Maier, Crusade Propaganda and Ideology: Model Sermons for the Preaching of the Cross (Cambridge: University Press, 2000), 9-10, 29, 154, 155.
(5.) Gunther of Pairis, Hystoria Constantinopolitana, ed. Peter Orth, Spolia Berolinensia 5 (Hildesheim: Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1994), 113; Cole, Preaching of the Crusades, 94-95.
(6.) Geoffrey M. Meyers, "The Manuscripts of the Cycle," in The Old French Crusade Cycle. Volume I: La Naissance du Chevalier au Cygne, eds. Emanuel J. Mickel and Jan A. Nelson (Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1977), xii-xv.
(7.) Reinhold Rohricht, ed., Quinti belli sacri scriptores minores (Geneva: J. G. Fick, 1879), vii-x, 20; Christoph T. Maier, Preaching the Crusades: Mendicant Friars and the Cross in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge: University Press, 1994), 114; Cole, Preaching of the Crusades, 117-26.
(8.) For this error, see Rohricht, Quinti belli sacri, ix note 2; Cole, Preaching of the Crusades, 124.
(9.) A. Lecoy de la Marche, ed., Anecdotes historiques. Legendes et apologues tires du recueil inedit d'Etienne de Bourbon (Paris: Librairie Renouard, 1877), 442; Welter, L'Exemplum clans la literature religieuse et didactique du moyen age, 215-23.
(10.) Willelmi Tyrensis Archiepiscopi, Chronicon, ed. R. B. C. Huygens, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 63 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1986), 446-47.
(11.) Lecoy de la Marche, Anecdotes historiques, 91.
(12.) Petrus Tudebodus, Historia de Hierosolymitano Itinere, eds. John Hugh Hill and Laurita L. Hill (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1977), 79-80.
(13.) Suzanne Duparc-Quioc, ed., La Chanson d'Antioche, 2 vols. (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1977-78), 1: 212-32; Li Estoire de Jerusalem et d'Antioche, Recueil des Historiens des Croisades: Historiens Occidentaux, 5 vols. (Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1844-95; reprint Farnborough, Hants, UK: Gregg, 1967), 5: cxxxvii, 634.
(14.) James A. Brundage, "Humbert of Romans and the Legitimacy of Crusader Conquests," in The Horns of Hattin, ed. B. Z. Kedar (London: Variorum, 1992), 302-06; Penny Cole, "Humbert of Romans and the Crusade," in The Experience of Crusading, eds. Marcus Bull and Norman Housley, 2 vols. (Cambridge: University. Press, 2003), 2: 157-74; Cole, Preaching of the Crusades, 202-17; Maier, Preaching the Crusades, 114-16.
(15.) Humbert of Romans, De Praedicacione Crucis (Nuremburg, Peter Wagner, c.1495), Chapters 10, 16, 39, 41.
(16.) Ibid., Chapter 40.
(17.) Spellings of this title vary; this form will be used throughout.
(18.) Humbert of Romans, De Praedicacione Crucis, Chapter 26.
(19.) John Hugh and Laurita L. Hill, eds., Le << Liber >> de Raymond d'Aguilers (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1969), 117-18.
(20.) Iacopo da Varazze, Legenda Aurea, ed. Giovanni Paolo Maggioni, 2d ed., 2 vols. (Florence: SISMEL, 1998), 2: 1070.
(21.) Bremond, LeGoff, and Schmitt, "L'Exemplum," 56-59.
(22.) Jean Gobi, La scala coeli, ed. Marie-Anne Polo de Beaulieu (Paris: Edition du Centre national de la recherche scientifique, 1991), 529-30, 534-35.
(23.) Ibid., 589.
(24.) Ibid., 535.
(25.) Hugh and Hill, Le << Liber >> de Raymond d'Aguilers, 112-16.
(26.) Gobi, La scala soeli, 533.
(27.) Jacques de Vitry, Histoire des Croisades, ed. M. Guizot (Paris: Briere, 1825), 58. See also Willelmi Tyrensis Archiepiscopi, Chronicon, 332-33.
(28.) Gobi, La scala coeli, 535-36.
(29.) Hugh and Hill, Le << Liber >> de Raymond d'Aguilers, 108-09.
(30.) Gobi, La scala coeli, 530.
(31.) London, British Library, MS Arundel 52, folio 113v.
(32.) Willelmi Tyrensis Archiepiscopi, Chronicon, 408, 414-15; Hugh and Hill, Le << Liber >> de Raymond d'Aguilers, 151.
(33.) London, British Library, MS Arundel 52, folio 113v.
(34.) Fulcheri Carnotensis, Historia Hierosolymitana, ed. Heinrich Hagenmeyer (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1913), 304; Willelmi Tyrensis Archiepiscopi, Chronicon, 412-13.
(35.) Jonathan Riley-Smith, The First Crusaders, 1095-1131 (Cambridge: University Press, 1997), 156-57. For more on Thomas de Marie's colorful career, see Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century (New York: Knopf, 1978), 7-9.
(36.) For example: London, British Library, MS Royal 7 D I, folio 90; J.-Th. Welter, ed., Le Speculum Laicorum (Paris: A. Picard, 1914), 49-50, 130, note 240.
(37.) London, British Library, MS Arundel 52, folio 113v.
(38.) Rohricht, Quinti belli sacri, 25.
(39.) Alberti Aquensis, Historia Hierosolymitana, Recueil des Historiens des Croisades, 4. 507-08; Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades, 3 vols. (Cambridge: University Press, 1951-54), 1: 308-09.
(40.) Joannes de Bromyard, Summa Praedicantium (Venice: Dominicum Nicolium, 1586), folios 163-163v. I am grateful to Dr. Peter Binkley of the University of Alberta Libraries for bringing these references to the Hystoria Antiochena in Bromyard's work to my attention.
(41.) Bromyard, Summa Praedicantium, folios 97v-98.
(42.) Iacopo da Varazze, Legenda Aurea, 1: 398.
(43.) Bromyard, Summa Praedicantium, folios 99, 167.
(44.) Hugh and Hill, Le << Liber >> de Raymond d'Aguilers, 152; Willelmi Tyrensis Archiepiscopi, Chronicon, 421-22.
(45.) Welter, L'Exemplum, 219, note 10.
(46.) Welter, L'Exemplum, 98.
(47.) Duparc-Quioc, La Chanson d'Antioche, 2: 29-30, 92-94.
(48.) Iacopo da Varazze, Legenda Aurea, 1: xlviii, 398, note 139.
(49.) Historia Nicaena vel Antiochena, Recueil des Historiens des Croisades, 5: xxxi-xxxii, 134-85.
(50.) Fulcheri Carnotensis, Historia Hierosolymitana, 495-501.
(51.) Gobi, La scala coeli, 330.
(52.) Gregorii Episcopi Turonensis, Liber in Gloria Martyrum, ed. Bruno Krusch, Monumenta Germaniae Historica Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum, 2 vols (Hanover: Hahn, 1951-69), 1: 41; Iacopo da Varazze, Legenda Aurea, 1: 468.
(53.) Gobi, La scala coeli, 339.
(54.) Thomas Frederick Crane, ed., The Exempla or Illustrative Stories from the Sermones Vulgares of Jacques de Vitry, Publications of the Folklore Society 26 (London: D. Nutt, 1890), 57, 188. See also Mary Macleod Banks, ed., An Alphabet of Tales. An English 15th Centur), Translation of the Alphabetum Narrationum of Etienne de Besancon, Early English Text Society, Original Series 126-27, 2 vols. (London: K. Paul, 1904-05), 2: 334.
(55.) Clemente Sanchez de Vercial, Libro de los Exenplos por A. B. C., eds. John E. Keller and Connie L. Scarbourough (Madrid: Ars Libris, 2000), 250-51.
(56.) Stephani de Borbone, Tractatus de Diversis Materiis Predicabilibus, Prima Pars: De Dono Timoris, ed. Jacques Berlioz, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 124 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003), 276-77.
James B. MacGregor is an assistant professor of history at Missouri Western State University.
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|Author:||MacGregor, James B.|
|Article Type:||Critical essay|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2006|
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