skip to primary navigationskip to content

Source Exercise 2: The First Crusade: 1

Source 1

We have heard that many of you have felt the longing to go to Jerusalem, which you should understand pleases us exceedingly. You should know, moreover, that if any men among you go there not because they desire earthly profit but only for the salvation of their souls and the liberation of the Church, we, acting as much on our own authority as on that of all the archbishops and bishops in Gaul, through the mercy of almighty God and the prayers of the Catholic Church, relieve them of all penance imposed for their sins, of which they have made genuine and full confession, because they have risked their belongings and lives for the love of God and their neighbour. But we do not allow either clerics or monks to go unless they have permission from their bishops and abbots. Bishops should also be careful not to allow their parishioners to go without the advice and foreknowledge of the clergy. You must also see to it that young married men do not rashly set out on such a long journey without the agreement of their wives.
  • From what sort of work might this passage have been extracted?
  • What sort of person might have written it?
  • Who and what might it have been written for?
  • Is there any evidence that the writer was directly connected with the events described? If so, how might that affect the way we read this account?

When you have worked out some thoughts on these, click here to find out more about this extract.