Leeds 2016 - International Medieval Congress, 4-7 July 2016

Wednesday THE 6TH OF July 2016, 14.15-15.45

Session 1210

James Doherty

School of Modern Languages

University of Bristol


Hugh of Troyes and the Impact of the First Crusade

As he neared the end of his days in the Latin East c.1130, Count Hugh of Troyes must have occasionally contemplated the tremendous impact that the First Crusade had exerted on his own life. Within ten years of the capture of Jerusalem in 1099, Count Hugh lost his eldest brother, Stephen of Blois, his wife was married to Bohemond, and he had led his own independent crusading venture. Over the next two decades, Hugh would continue his dedication to the crusading cause, setting out on another independent expedition in 1114 and then ending his days associated with the Order of the Temple in the East after placing Champagne into the hands of his nephew. While the impact of crusading on Hugh’s life was profound, he was certainly not an isolated case, and it is little wonder that scholarship has turned its attention to the influence of crusading on aristocratic culture and society. 

Through an examination of charter evidence and surviving epistles, this paper will examine the immediate impact of the First Crusade on traditional aristocratic concerns such as reputation, kinship bonds and lordship. By exploring the life of Count Hugh of Troyes in the period 1100–1104 two issues become clear. Firstly, the count’s first independent crusading venture was an attempt to resolve several of the troubles that had emerged in the four-year period under examination. For Hugh, crusading in the East was also about power and authority in the West. Secondly, rather than simply bringing into existence a new method of dealing with traditional concerns, crusading was absorbed into the fabric of aristocratic culture to such an extent that it influenced the perception of those concerns. After 1099, nobody could ignore the cultural capital accrued by the knights of Christ or the tangible benefits of crusader identity. 

Luigi Russo

Scienze Storiche

Università Europea di Roma


Some Thoughts and Reflections about a Missed Opportunity: Norman Italy and the Holy Land, 11th-12th Centuries 

The paper aims to reassess and scrutinize all the reasons that prevent a strong enrollment of crusading knights from Southern Italy during the Norman hegemony. The main focus of my research is to elucidate the reason of crusading participation, considering the topic from a case study in which crusading tradition didn't take root, in comparison with that of mainland France where such traditions certainly did.

James Naus

Department of History

Oakland University


Deciding to Crusade in the Age of Philip Augustus

Despite several major crusades being launched during his reign, Philip Augustus only participated on the Third Crusade, from which he fled. As a consequence, scholars have tended to ignore his crusading contributions, many claiming that he was opposed to the movement. This paper argues that Philip was actually supportive of the crusading movement, but had to balance it against the political circumstances of the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Moreover, the paper examines the relationship between Philip and the leading nobles who participated in the Fourth Crusade, arguing that their late decision to join that venture is best understood in the context of the political and cultural situations in northern France c. 1200. The broad goal of the paper is to better situate the crusading ideas of Philip Augustus and also to reconsider noble recruitment around 1200.

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