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Source Exercise 2: The First Crusade: 6


This source is taken from the account of the Crusades written by Raymond of Aguilers. He had been educated as a clerk in a monastery in Vezelay, was ordained during the journey to the east, and was a chaplain in the household of Raymond of St Gilles, count of Toulouse. He produced one of four eyewitness narratives of the Crusades and is considered a very important chronicler, even though he was mostly describing visions and miracles. His language and imagery tend to biblical and liturgical rather than descriptive, but this is not unusual for the time. One of the visions and miracles he described was the discovery, at which he was present, of the relic of the Holy Lance, under the floor of the cathedral of Antioch. In Christian mythology the Holy Lance is the lance used at the crucifixion.

The Lance’s hiding place had been revealed to the visionary Peter Bartholomew. Although many of the leaders of the crusade were sceptical about the discovery, believing Peter Bartholomew to be a charlatan, it proved to be a turning point and boosted the morale of the Crusaders at a time when they themselves were besieged.

Finally, take all these sources together and look at the following statements. For each statement decide to what extent it is supported by the evidence of these extracts. It may be shown to be true; shown to be probably true; shown to be possibly true; shown to be untrue; or not shown (which does not necessarily mean it is not true, merely that no evidence for it has been shown here).

a) The Crusaders were motivated by greed:

  • Definitely true;
  • Probably true;
  • Possibly true;
  • Definitely untrue;
  • Not shown by the evidence.

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