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the First Crusade

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Author Topic: the First Crusade  (Read 7079 times)
Rachel Dearth
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Posts: 4464

« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2009, 01:23:17 pm »

2. Version of William of Tyre

William of Tyre was born in the Holy Land, born in the Holy Land and was, after a French education, appointed Archbishop of Tyre and Chancellor of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He wrote at the end of the twelfth century. Although William is an excellent historian, his account of Peter the Hermit, written almost a century later, shows how Peter became a mythic figure. Research by Hegenmeyer in the mid 19th century showed that Peter did not incite Urban to preach, did not speak at Clermont, and preached for only a few months.

A certain priest named Peter, from the kingdom of the Franks and the bishopric of Amiens, a hermit both in deed and name, I by the same ardor, arrived at Jerusalem. He was small in stature and his external appearance contemptible, but greater valor ruled in his slight frame. For be was sharp witted, his glance was bright and captivating, and be spoke with ease and eloquence. Having paid the tax which was exacted from all Christians who wished to enter, he went into the city and was entertained by a trusty man who was also a confessor of Christ. He diligently questioned his host, as he was a zealous man, and learned more fully from him not only the existing perils, but also the persecutions which their ancestors had suffered long before. And if in what he heard any details were lacking, he completed the account from the witness of his own eyes. For remaining in the city and visiting the churches he learned more fully the truth of what had been told to him by others.

Hearing also that the Patriarch of the city was a devout and God-fearing man, he wished to confer with him and to learn more fully from him the truth concerning some matters. Accordingly lie went to him, and having been presented by a trustworthy man, both be and the Patriarch mutually enjoyed their conferences.

The name of the Patriarch was Simeon. As he learned from Peter's conversation that the latter was prudent, able and eloquent, and a man of great experience, be began to disclose to him more confidentially all the evils which the people of God bad suffered while dwelling in Jerusalem.

To whom Peter replied: "You may be assured, holy father, that if the Roman church and the princes of the West should learn from a zealous and a reliable witness the calamities which you suffer, there is not the slightest doubt that they would hasten to remedy the evil, both by words and deeds. Write them zealously both to the lord Pope and the Roman church and to the kings and princes of the West, and confirm your letter by the authority Of your seal. I, truly, for the sake of the salvation of my soul, do not hesitate to undertake this task. And I aim prepared under God's guidance to visit them all, to exhort them all, zealously to inform them of the greatness of your sufferings and to urge them to hasten to your relief."

Of a truth, Thou art great, 0 Lord our God, and to thy mercy there is no end! Of a truth, blessed Jesus, those who trust in Thee shall not be brought to confusion! How did this poor pilgrim, destitute of all resources and far from his native land, have so great confidence that he dared to undertake an enterprise so much beyond his strength and to hope to accomplish his vow, unless it was that he turned all his thoughts to Thee, his protector, and filled with charity, pitying the misfortunes of his brethren, loving, his neighbor as himself, he was content to fulfill the law? Strength', is a vain thing, but charity overcometh. What his brethren prescribed might appear difficult and even impossible, but the love of God and of his neighbor rendered it easy for him, for love is strong as death. Faith which worketh by love availeth with Thee, and the good deeds near Thee do not remain without fruit. Accordingly Thou didst not permit Thy servant long to remain in doubt. Thou didst manifest Thyself to him. Thou didst fortify, him by Thy revelation that he might not hesitate, and breathing into him Thy hidden spirit, Thou madest him arise with greater strength to accomplish the work of charity.

Therefore, after performing the usual prayers, taking leave of the lord Patriarch and receiving his blessing, he went to the seacoast. There he found a vessel belonging to some merchants who were preparing to cross to Apulia. He went on board, and after a successful journey arrived at Bari. Thence he proceeded to Rome, and found the lord Pope Urban in the vicinity. He presented the letters of the Patriarch and of the Christians who dwelt at Jerusalem, and showed their misery and the abominations which the unclean races wrought in the holy places. Thus faithfully and prudently he performed the commission entrusted to him.


Dana C. Munro, "Urban and the Crusaders", Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, Vol 1:2, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1895), 20

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