Odense 2016 - Diversity of Crusading, 9th Quadrennial SSCLE Conference


University of Southern Denmark, Odense. 27th of June - 1st of July 2016, Room 0-96

Sessions 23 & 31

Tuesday the 28th of June 2016, 13.30-15.00  //  Thursday the 30th of June 2016, 10.30-12.00.


Richard A. Leson

Department of Art History

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


'They are painted in many great halls': Extra-textual Incursions in the Illuminated Histoire d’Outremer

In his 1968 doctoral dissertation, Jaroslav Folda surveyed the impressive corpus of some fifty illuminated manuscripts that contain the Old French translation of Archbishop William of Tyre’s History of Deeds done Beyond the Sea, or Histoire d’Outremer. As Folda and subsequent scholars have shown, the pictorial content of these manuscripts often followed a separate logic or reference narrative sources that were distinct from William’s chronicle and its many textual “continuations.” Along these lines, this paper is an examination of two of the most unusual illuminated History of Outremer manuscripts, namely London, British Library MS Yates Thompson 12 (usually dated ca. 1250) and Baltimore, Walters Art Museum MS 142 (ca. 1300 and ca. 1340). The pictorial content of each manuscript contains examples of narrative imagery inspired by texts other than the Histoire. For example, I demonstrate that the illuminator of the London manuscript was familiar with the Chanson de Jerusalem, as evidenced by his illustration of a legendary feat attributed to Thomas of Marle in the epic poem. This particular reference, heretofore unnoticed, provides an opportunity to re-evaluate the controversial question of the provenance of Yates Thompson 12; I propose that the manuscript was written and illuminated for Enguerrand III of Coucy (d. 1244), Thomas’ descendant and possible patron of the Chanson de Jerusalem.

A century later, the painter of the “continuation” portion of the Baltimore manuscript included the earliest extant pictorial treatment of the Pas Saladin. Similar to the earlier Yates Thompson miniature, the reference to this well-known poem of the late thirteenth century may be explained in terms of a patron’s particular concerns, in this case a member of the Crusade council of Philip VI. While such illustrations are valuable clues to the provenance of particular manuscripts of the Histoire, they serve more broadly to substantiate the workings of Paul Zumthor’s concept of mouvance within the particular context of the creation and dissemination of William of Tyre’s crusader history. This study will use these particular examples as touchstones for the development of a larger, epistemological argument concerning the nature of the visual and the intertextual in the total corpus of illuminated Histoire d’Outremer manuscripts.

Carol Sweetenham

Department of French Studies

University of Warwick / Independent Scholar


When the Saints Go Marching In: Reality and Fiction in the Depiction of Saints in the First Crusade

Visions of saints were common in accounts of war. So it is hardly surprising that they should be found in the accounts of the First Crusade. Some such as Albert of Aachen, say little. Others, notably that of Raymond of Aguilers, lay heavy stress on saintly intervention. The Gesta Francorum and accounts based on it have a particular intervention by military saints at Antioch.

The actual facts are hard to establish. We do not know what the soldiers at Antioch really saw, or thought they saw. But it is likely that some people saw something. The Crusade and their survival were on a knife edge. Starvation and stress weakened the boundaries between reality and fantasy: visions are well attested in warfare. The visions would have taken a form reflecting contemporary perceptions and expectations; and stories would have spread quickly.

In the immediate aftermath of the Crusade, saintly intervention became an accepted part of accounts. It was used to further two conflicting interpretations of events. Raymond of Aguilers underlined the legitimacy of Raymond IV’s claims through appearances by St Andrew. Conversely Bohemond bolstered the legitimacy of his possession of Antioch both through St George and by claiming the support of Byzantine saints.

In later texts it was Bohemond’s version which became accepted. However this in turn was overlaid with an increasing emphasis on the apocalyptic nature of what had apparently been seen reflecting the evolution of the telling of the Crusade. We will never know what really happened. But the portrayal of what happened evolved over the twelfth and thirteenth century to support differing viewpoints of what could or should have happened.

Martin Hall

Department of History

Royal Holloway, University of London



John of Garland (c. 1190-1258) was an English-born schoolsman and celebrated grammarian who taught in Toulouse and Paris. He wrote a large number of textbooks and religious works.. His 8-book epic poem, De triumphis Ecclesie, gives an intelligent and well-connected cleric’s view on contemporary events from the Third Crusade to the Seventh, also including the Albigensian Crusade, the Mongol invasions and Henry III’s invasion of Poitou in 1242. John saw Franco-English in-fighting, and the diversion of Christian
resources to fight heretics and the Emperor as the main reasons for setbacks to the West. John finished work on De triumphis Ecclesie in 1252. He is guardedly critical of popes, kings, magnates and corrupt bishops; and vituperative towards heretics, Muslims and women (with notable exceptions). He shows an unusual empathy with the suffering of rural people in wartime, and some sympathy with the
counts of Toulouse, the Emperor and Hugh of Lusignan. His aim visibly evolves from celebrating Louis IX’s impending triumph, to countering gnawing doubts among his academic colleagues. John seeks to convince them how well things are going for the Church, and rally their support for a fresh crusade.

De triumphis Ecclesie appears in a single, virtually unread, thirteenth century manuscript (MS London, British Library, Cotton Claudius A x.). Thomas Wright discovered it in the British Museum, but his edition of 1856 left many mysteries unsolved. This paper attempts to cast new light on this complex and hitherto untranslated poem, and analyses what John says---and what he omits—about the crusades of his own lifetime.








Gil Fishhof

Department of Art History

Tel-Aviv University



Studying the 'crusading culture of Berry', Christopher Gardner has noted that in addition to prominent examples of the Berry nobility, such as Eudes Arpin, Vicomte of Bourges, the region's participation in the Crusades also included lesser aristocrats, modest land-holders and even local artisans. He thus concluded that the relation to the Crusades of the region of Berry and its lay nobility was very strong. Although it is known that crusaders were important patrons of ecclesiastical institutions, and made considerable donations to various churches, their contribution to the visual culture in various areas of France has never been systematically investigated. The region of Berry thus offers an opportunity to study various manifestations of the visual culture connected to the crusaders. My research project surveys the activity of crusading patrons and their possible contribution to the visual culture of Berry in the 12th century; and I present here three foci of my research:

A) The study of the sculptural program of the 12th-century castle chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Gargilesse built by the crusader lords of Gargilesse. This sculptural program includes a unique combination of scenes from the lives of Joseph, Nebuchadnezzar, Delilah and Samson, as well as a Nativity scene, several of which, I contend, manifest the crusading ideas and notions of the patrons.

B) The investigation of the Church of St. Aignan in Brinay and its extensive mural cycle. This cycle has never been interpreted in the crusading context, which I contend is suggested by the choice and combination of several scenes of the cycle, such as the unusually rich narrative of the journey and return of the Magi.

C) The investigation of the architecture and sculptural program of the church of Neuvy-Saint-Sepulcre. This church was constructed in the 11th century by Eudes, Lord of Deols and Chatearoux, who had been a pilgrim to the Holy Land. In the 12th century, many members of the dynasty of the Lords of Deols and Chatearoux participated in the crusades. I would like to examine the way in which the church of Neuvy-Saint-Sepulcre was in all probability perceived in the 12th and 13th centuries as a testimony and manifestation of the continued devotion and connection to the Holy Land and to the Crusades.

Simon Parsons

Department of History

Royal Holloway, University of London



This paper contends that the Latin First Crusade texts consistently, to a greater extent than other contemporary Latin literature, use terms, phrases, and words with a vernacular Old French root or association. To a large extent, this is unsurprising: most of the authors as far as they can be identified, were probably themselves francophone, and utilized phrases and vocabulary familiar to them in their efforts to describe the expedition. Moreover, the Latin texts exhibit a close but non-hierarchical relationship in terms of their subject matter and methods of presentation. But the consistency of the ways in which this usage manifests itself is striking. For example, the two earliest Latin texts to utilize dextrarius (Old French analogue destrier) as a word for a warhorse are Raymond of Aguilers and Fulcher of Chartres: it is doubtful whether either one directly consulted the other’s work, and the usages appear in different narrative locations.


 The paper also assesses the previous historiographical assertion, made at different times by Ernest Blake, Colin Morris, and Matthew Bennett among others, that the Gesta Francorum’s use of Latin prudens and sapiens is analogous to that of Old French preux and sage. Links such as these are analysed in an attempt to cast further light on the relationship between francophone literary activity and the Latin crusading tradition, and to contextualize the historiography of the First Crusade in European context.

Lucas Villegas-Aristizabal

Department of History

Richmond, The American University in London



Savary of Mauléon was a Pontevin nobleman who played a significant role in some of the most important events in England, France, and the Holy Land in the first quarter of the thirteenth century. He is also remembered for his prolific career as a troubadour. Because of his eventful life, he has received a fair amount of attention in the historiography. On the other hand, Savary of Mauleon’s participation in the campaigns of reconquest in Iberia is an episode of this noble’s life, which has not been fully researched. The involvement of this Pontevin in the failed attempt to conquer Caceres by Alfonso IX of Leon with the aid of the Iberian military orders in November 1217 is only described by the Anales toledanos. Most recent scholars have accepted the Anales’ reference without question. Yet, Savary’s contribution if it really occurred would have been significant in relation to this nobleman’s campaigns on the side of King John of England or the side of the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade. Henry John Chaytor who wrote Savary’s bibliography and was well acquainted with Iberian history seems to have been unaware of the Iberian connection. The purpose of this paper is to assess the evidence on whether Savary of Mauleon could have been present in the campaigns of Alfonso IX of Leon around the autumn of 1217. Also, it will explore what were the historical circumstances that would have encouraged the involvement of this particular noble in the wars of reconquest in a campaign led by this most duplicitous Iberian monarch of the period. Moreover, it will also attempt to contextualise his participation in Iberia in relation to his later contribution in the siege of Damietta during the Fifth Crusade.

For a full programme, and registration details, see the Diversity of Crusading website