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Council of Clermont

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Carolina Brewer
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« on: November 18, 2007, 03:29:16 am »

In 1095 Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus sent envoys to the west requesting military assistance against the Seljuk Turks. The message was received by Pope Urban II at the Council of Piacenza; later that year, in November, Urban called the Council of Clermont to discuss the matter further. In convoking the council, Urban urged the bishops and abbots whom he addressed directly, to bring with them the prominent lords in their provinces.

The Council lasted from November 18 to November 28, and was attended by about 300 clerics from throughout France. Urban discussed Cluniac reforms of the Church, and also extended the excommunication of Philip I of France for his adulterous remarriage to Bertrade of Montfort. On November 27, Urban spoke for the first time about the problems in the east, as he declared bellum sacrum against the Muslims who had occupied the Holy Land and were attacking the Eastern Roman Empire.

There are six main sources of information about this portion of the council: the anonymous Gesta Francorum ("The Deeds of the Franks") influencing others: Fulcher of Chartres, Robert the Monk, Baldric, archbishop of Dol, and Guibert de Nogent, who were apparently present at the council; also a letter survives that was written by Urban himself in December of 1095.

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