Council of Clermont

The Council of Clermont was a mixed synod of ecclesiastics and laymen of the Catholic Church, called by Pope Urban II and held from 18 to 28 November 1095 at Clermont, Auvergne, at the time part of the Duchy of Aquitaine.[1]

Pope Urban's speech on November 27 included the call to arms that would result in the First Crusade, and eventually the capture of Jerusalem and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In this, Urban reacted to the request by Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus who had sent envoys to the Council of Piacenza requesting military assistance against the Seljuk Turks.[2] Several accounts of the speech survive; of these, the one by Fulcher of Chartres, who was present at the council, is generally accepted as the most reliable.

Urban also discussed Cluniac reforms of the Church, and also extended the excommunication of Philip I of France for his adulterous remarriage to Bertrade of Montfort. The council also declared a renewal of the Truce of God, an attempt on the part of the church to reduce feuding among Frankish nobles.[3]

Passages d'outremer Fr5594, fol. 19r, Concile de Clermont
Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, given a late Gothic setting in this illumination from the Livre des Passages d'Outre-mer, of c 1474 (Bibliothèque nationale)


The council was attended by about 300 clerics. No official list of the participants or of the signatories to the decrees of the Council survives. A partial list of some of the attendees can nonetheless be constructed.[4]

  • Joannes, Cardinal Bishop of Porto
  • Dagobert, Archbishop of Pisa
  • Bruno, Bishop of Segni
  • Galterius, Cardinal Bishop of Albano
  • Rangerius, O.S.B., Archbishop of Reggio Calabria
  • Richard, Cardinal Priest and Abbot of S. Victor in Marseille
  • Teuzo, Cardinal Priest of SS. Joannis et Pauli
  • Albertus, O.S.B., Cardinal Priest of Santa Sabina
  • Joannes Gattellus, the Pope's Chancellor
  • Gregory Papiensis, deacon
  • Hugo of Verdun, deacon
  • Hugues de Die, Archbishop of Lyon and Papal Legate
  • Amatus, Archbishop of Bordeaux and Papal Legate
  • Rainaldus, Archbishop of Reims
  • Richerius, Archbishop of Sens
  • Rollandus, Bishop of Dol
  • Dalmatius, Archbishop of Narbonne
  • Bernard de Sedirac, Archbishop of Toledo and Legate in Spain
  • Hoellus (Hoël) Bishop of Le Mans
  • Gaufredus, Bishop of Angers
  • Benedict, Bishop of Nantes
  • Petrus, Bishop of Poitiers
  • Ivo, Bishop of Chartres
  • Joannes, Bishop of Orléans
  • Roger, Bishop of Beauvais
  • Radulfus (Raoul), Archbishop of Tours
  • Hilgot, former Bishop of Soissons, monk of Marmoutiers


There are six main sources of information about this portion of the council:

  1. a letter that was written by Urban himself in December 1095 referring to the council
  2. the anonymous Gesta Francorum ("The Deeds of the Franks" dated c. 1100/1101),[5]
  3. Fulcher of Chartres, who was present at the council, in his Gesta Francorum Jerusalem Expugnantium (c. 1100–1105);
  4. Robert the Monk, who may have been present at the council, in Historia Hierosolymitana (1107);
  5. Baldric, archbishop of Dol (written c. 1105);
  6. Guibert de Nogent, Dei gesta per Francos (1107/8).

The five versions of the speech vary widely in their details, and especially those of Baldric and Guibert, both of whom were not present at the council, are certainly colored by later events. The account by Fulcher, who is known to have been present at the council, is generally considered the most reliable version.[6]

Urban's own letter, written in December 1095 and addressed to the faithful "waiting in Flanders," does lament that "a barbaric fury has deplorably afflicted and laid waste the churches of God in the regions of the Orient". Urban does allude to Jerusalem, saying that this barbaric fury has "even grasped in intolerable servitude its churches and the Holy City of Christ, glorified by His passion and resurrection". He calls upon the princes to "free the churches of the East", appointing Adhemar of Le Puy as the leader of the expedition, to set out on the day of the Assumption of Mary (15 August 1096).[7]

The Gesta Francorum does not give an account of the speech at any length, it merely mentions that Urban called upon all to "take up the way of the Lord" and be prepared to suffer much, assured of their reward in heaven. It goes on to emphasize how news of Urban's call to arms quickly spread by word of mouth "through all the regions and countries of Gaul, the Franks, upon hearing such reports, forthwith caused crosses to be sewed on their right shoulders, saying that they followed with one accord the footsteps of Christ, by which they had been redeemed from the hand of hell."[8]


Fulcher of Chartres was present at the speech, and recorded it in Gesta Francorum Jerusalem Expugnantium. He was writing from memory a few years later (c. 1100–1105).[9] He asserts, in his prologue, that he is recording only such events as he had seen with his own eyes, and his record is phrased in a way consistent with the style of oration known from papal speeches in the 11th century.[10]

In Fulcher's text, Urban begins by reminding the clergy present that they are shepherds, and that they must be vigilant and avoid carelessness and corruption. He reminds them to refrain from simony and to adhere to the laws of the church. Urban complains about the lack of justice and public order in the Frankish provinces and calls for the re-establishment of the truce protecting clergy from violence. In the Historiography of the Crusades, there is a long-standing argument as to how much the pacification of the Frankish realm was designed to go hand in hand with the "export of violence" to the enemy in the east.[11]

Fulcher reports that everyone present agreed to the pope's propositions and promised to adhere to the church's decrees. Then, after this and other matters had been attended to, Urban spoke about the suffering of Christianity in another part of the world.

In this second part of his speech, Urban urges the Frankish Christians that once they have re-established peace and righteousness in their own land, they should turn their attention to the East and bring aid to the Christians there, as the Turks[12] had attacked them and had recently conquered the territory of Romania (i.e. Byzantine Anatolia) as far west as the Mediterranean, the part known as the "Arm of Saint George" (the Sea of Marmara),[13] killing and capturing many Christians and destroying churches and devastating the kingdom of God.[14] In order to avoid further loss of territory and even more widespread attacks on Christians, Urban calls on the clergy present to publish his call to arms everywhere, and persuade all people of whatever rank, both nobles and commoners, to go to the aid of the Christians currently under attack. Concluding his call to arms with "Christ commands it" (Christus autem imperat),[15] Urban defines the crusade both as a defensive just war and as a religious holy war.[16]

Urban goes on to promise immediate absolution to all who die either on the way or in battle against the infidels. He then connects his call to arms with his previous call for peace in Gaul: "Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor."[17]


Some historians prefer the version of the speech reported by Robert the Monk in his Historia Iherosolimitana, written in 1107.[18] Robert gives a more vivid account, consisting both of a more elaborate sermon and the "dramatic response" of the audience, bursting into spontaneous cries of Deus vult.[19] In Robert's version, Urban calls the "race of the Franks" to Christian orthodoxy, reform and submission to the Church and to come to the aid of the Greek Christians in the east. As in Fulcher's account, Urban promises remission of sins for those who went to the east.[20] Robert's account of Urban's speech has the rhetoric of a dramatic "battle speech". Urban here emphasizes reconquering the Holy Land more than aiding the Greeks, an aspect lacking in Fulcher's version and considered by many historians an insertion informed by the success of the First Crusade. Both Robert's and Fulcher's account of the speech include a description of the terrible plight of the Christians in the East under the recent conquests of the Turks and the promise of remission of sins for those who go to their aid. Robert's version, however, includes a more vivid description of the atrocities committed by the conquerors, describing the desecration of churches, the forced circumcision, beheading and torture by disemboweling of Christian men and alluding to grievous rape of Christian women.[21] [22] Perhaps with the wisdom of hindsight, Robert makes Urban advise that none but knights should go, not the old and feeble, nor priests without the permission of their bishops, "for such are more of a hindrance than aid, more of a burden than advantage... nor ought women to set out at all, without their husbands or brothers or legal guardians."

Other versions

About the same time, Baldric, archbishop of Dol, also basing his account generally on Gesta Francorum, reported an emotional sermon focusing on the offenses of the Muslims and the reconquest of the Holy Land in terms likely to appeal to chivalry. Like Fulcher he also recorded that Urban deplored the violence of the Christian knights of Gaul. "It is less wicked to brandish your sword against Saracens," Baldric's Urban cries, comparing them to the Amalekites. The violence of knights he wanted to see ennobled in the service of Christ, defending the churches of the East as if defending a mother. Baldric asserts that Urban, there on the spot, appointed the bishop of Puy to lead the crusade.

Guibert, abbot of Nogent in his Dei gesta per Francos (1107/8) also made that Urban emphasize the reconquest of the Holy Land more than help to the Greeks or other Christians there. This emphasis may, as in the case of Robert and Baldric, be due to the influence account of the reconquest of Jerusalem in the Gesta Francorum. Urban's speech in Guibert's version, emphasizes the sanctity of the Holy Land, which must be in Christian possession so that prophecies about the end of the world could be fulfilled.


  1. ^ E. Glenn Hinson, The Church Triumphant: A History of Christianity Up to 1300, (Mercer University Press, 1995), 387.
  2. ^ Helen J. Nicholson, The Crusades, (Greenwood Publishing, 2004), 6.
  3. ^ Peters 1971, p. 18.
  4. ^ A contemporary pamphlet (libellus), complaining about the injustices done to the abbey of Majoris-Monasterii, included a narration of their appeal to the Pope in the Council. A list of the witnesses to their charter of liberties Martin Bouquet; Michel-Jean-Joseph Brial (1877). Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France (in French and Latin). Tome quatorzieme (14) (nouvelle ed.). Gregg Press. p. 98.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Georg Strack, The sermon of Urban II in Clermont 1095 and the Tradition of Papal Oratory, in: Medieval Sermon Studies 56 (2012), 30–45. (
  7. ^ August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, Princeton (1921), 42–43. Riley-Smith, Louise; Riley-Smith, Johnathan, eds. (1981). The Crusades: Idea and Reality, 1095-1274. Documents of Medieval History. 4. London: E. Arnold. p. 38. ISBN 0-7131-6348-8.
  8. ^ August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, Princeton (1921), 28–30. Rosalind M. Hill, ed. and trans., Gesta francorum et aliorum Hierosolymitanorum: The Deeds of the Franks (London: 1962).
  9. ^ Historia Hierosolymitana: Mit Erläuterungen und einem Anhange, ed. by Heinrich Hagenmeyer (Heidelberg: Winter, 1913), pp. 44–45.; translation: A History of the Expedition to Jerusalem: 1095–1127, trans. by Frances R. Ryan, ed. by Harold S. Fink (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1969), pp. 19–20.
  10. ^ Starck (2012): "only the version reported by Fulcher of Chartres corresponds to a sort of oratory common to papal speeches in the eleventh century" Georg Strack, "The Sermon of Urban II in Clermont and the Tradition of Papal Oratory", Medieval Sermon Studies 56 (2012), 30–45, DOI 10.1179/1366069112Z.0000000002 (
  11. ^ Peters 1971, p. 17.
  12. ^ Hagenmeier (1913:133f.): some manuscripts have Turci et Arabes "the Turks and Arabs", but Hagenmeier prefers Turci, gens Persica as an ememdation by Fulcher in his second redaction of the text, as it was well known to him that only the Turks, but not the Arabs, had advanced "as far as the Mediterranean", and Fulcher is elsewhere punctilious in distinguishing Turks on one hand from Arabs or Saracens on the other.
  13. ^ Fulcheri Carnotensis Historia Hierosolymitana 1.3.3, ed. Hagenmeier (1913), p. 133.
  14. ^ regunum Dei vastando; some mss. instead read regnum quoque vastando, "and devastating the realm" (Hagenmeier 1913:134).
  15. ^ Fulcheri Carnotensis Historia Hierosolymitana 1.3.5, ed. Hagenmeier (1913), p. 135.
  16. ^ Starck (2012:33)
  17. ^ Bongars, Gesta Dei per Francos, 1, 382 f., trans. in: Oliver J. Thatcher and Edgar Holmes McNeal (eds.), A Source Book for Medieval History, New York: Scribners (1905), 513–517
  18. ^ Starck (2012:34)
  19. ^ Philippe Le Bas (ed.), Historia Iherosolimitana, Recueil des Historiens des Croisades: Historiens Occidentaux vol. 3, Paris: Imprimerie Royale (1866), p. 729.
  20. ^ The 'Liber Lamberti', a source based on the notes of Bishop Lambert of Arras, who attended the Council, indicates that Urban offered the remission of all penance due from sins, what later came to be called an indulgence.
  21. ^ Madden, Thomas. The Concise History of the Crusades. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 264. ISBN 9781442215740.
  22. ^ 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), 5–8 (


  • Peters, Edward, ed. (1971). The First Crusade. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0812210174.
  • Somerville, Robert, "The Council of Clermont and the First Crusade", Studia Gratiana 20 (1976), 325–337.
  • Somerville, Robert, "The Council of Clermont (1095), and Latin Christian Society", Archivum Historiae Pontificiae 12 (1974): 55–90 (

External links


The 1090s was a decade of the Julian Calendar which began on January 1, 1090, and ended on December 31, 1099.

== Events ==

=== 1090 ===

==== By area ====

====== Africa ======

Béjaïa becomes the capital of the Hammadid Dynasty in Algeria.

====== Europe ======

A third expedition of the Almoravid Army is launched in al-Andalus, designed to finally subdue the Taifa's Kingdoms. Córdoba, Seville, Grenada, Málaga, Almería and Ronda fall to the troops of Yusuf ibn Tashfin.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and culture ======

Troubadours begin playing in Provence.

====== Science and technology ======

Song Dynasty Chinese author Qin Guan writes the Can Shu (Book of Sericulture), which describes a silk-reeling machine that has the world's oldest known mechanical belt drive.

=== 1091 ===

==== By area ====

====== Europe ======

King William II of England invades Normandy, and gains a foothold in it.

Ladislaus I of Hungary occupies Slavonia.

King Stjepan II of Croatia, the last member of the Trpimirovic Dynasty, dies peacefully without leaving an heir.

====== British Isles ======

October 17 – London Tornado of 1091: A T8/F4 tornado is recorded in St Mary-le-Bow of London, England; the storm destroys London Bridge.

Henry, the third son of William the Conqueror, is forced to surrender his property of Cotentin in Normandy, after his two older brothers, William Rufus and Robert Curthose, make a peace agreement.

King Malcolm III of Scotland makes an unsuccessful attempt to invade English territory, but is finally forced to pay homage to King William II of England.

Cardiff Castle is built.

====== Mediterranean ======

February – With the taking of Noto, the Normans complete the 30-year-long conquest of Sicily from the Islamic rulers.

April 29 – Battle of Levounion: The Pechenegs besiege Constantinople, but are defeated so decisively by Emperor Alexius I, that they fade into oblivion.

June or July – The Norman invasion of Malta takes place.

The Islamic Abbadid dynasty ruling in Spain falls, when the Almoravids storm Seville. Confronted with this new threat, King al-Mutawakkil ibn al-Aftas of Badajoz obtains the support of Castile, in exchange for the Muslim positions on the Tagus River (Sintra, Santarém and Lisbon).

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Athanasius VI bar Khamoro becomes Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch.

=== 1092 ===

April 21 – The Diocese of Pisa is elevated to the rank of metropolitan archdiocese, by Pope Urban II.

May – King William II of England annexes Cumbria from the Scottish Celtic kingdom of Strathclyde, and builds Carlisle Castle.

May 9 – Lincoln Cathedral is consecrated in England.

May 21 – Synod of Szabolcs in Hungary: Its decrees regulate the life of national clergy and laymen, as well as the relation between Christians, Jews and Muslims.

High tides cause great flooding in England and Scotland. The Kentish lands of Earl Godwin are inundated, becoming known as the Goodwin Sands.

The Song Dynasty Chinese scientist and statesman Su Song publishes his Xin Yi Xiang Fa Yao, a treatise outlining the construction and operation of his complex astronomical clocktower, built in Kaifeng, China. It also includes a celestial atlas of five star maps.

=== 1093 ===

April – Sviatopolk II becomes Grand Prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus'.

March 6 – The Frankish monk, philosopher and theologian Anselm is nominated as Archbishop of Canterbury; he is consecrated on December 4.

April 8 – Construction of Winchester Cathedral, by Bishop Walkelin in England, is completed.

May 26 – Battle of the Stugna River: The Cuman people defeat the princes of Kievan Rus'.

September – Magnus Barefoot is crowned king of Norway.

August 11 – Construction of Durham Cathedral in England begins.

November 13 – Battle of Alnwick: Malcolm III of Scotland, while attempting to invade England, is defeated and killed by the forces of William II of England. Malcolm's brother Donald takes the Scottish throne.

Normans occupy southern Wales, constructing Cardiff and Pembroke Castles.

Henry of Burgundy becomes Count of Portugal, through his marriage to Theresa, Countess of Portugal.

Saint Canute's Cathedral is built in Odense, Denmark.

Fire causes extensive damage in London.

=== 1094 ===

May – El Cid completes his conquest of Valencia, Spain, and begins his rule of Valencia. The Almoravid campaign to regain the city fails.

May 15 – The Cathedral of Saint Agatha in Catania is consecrated by the Breton Abbot Ansger of Saint Euphemia.

October 8 – St Mark's Basilica is consecrated in Venice.

November 12 – Donald III succeeds Duncan II, as King of Scotland.

The city of Zagreb, Croatia, is first mentioned as a bishopric see.

Raymond IV of Toulouse becomes Count of Toulouse.

Antipope Clement III is deposed, and Urban II becomes pope.

=== 1095 ===

March – Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus sends ambassadors to Pope Urban II, at the Council of Piacenza, to discuss sending mercenaries against the Seljuk Turks.

July – Coloman begins to establish himself as King of Hungary, following the death of his father.

August 5 – The Valence Cathedral is consecrated in Valence, France.

November 19 – The Council of Clermont begins. The council is called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land.

November 27 – Pope Urban II preaches the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont; Peter the Hermit begins to preach throughout France.

Overpopulation in France, according to Pope Urban II.

November 28 – On the last day of the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II appoints Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy and Count Raymond IV of Toulouse, to lead the First Crusade to the Holy Land.

The Cumans invade Thrace, to support the pretender Constantine Diogenes.

The Second County of Portugal is established for the second time, by Count Henry of Burgundy. The same year, the Almoravids start pushing back the Christians to the positions they occupied a decade earlier. This offensive begins with the reconquest of Lisbon, which had been given away to Castile four years before.

Pembroke Castle is built in Wales.

=== 1096 ===

Bernard becomes Bishop of Brandenburg.

In Ireland, the Diocese of Waterford is erected.

The first documented teaching at the University of Oxford occurs.

In England, Norwich School is founded as an episcopal Grammar School.

The People's Crusade, the Rhineland massacres, and the First Crusade begin.

On October 21 – Battle of Civetot: Kilij Arslan I, of the Sultanate of Rum, ends the People's Crusade near İznik.

King Peter I of Aragon conquers Huesca.

Phayao, now a province of Thailand, is founded as a kingdom.

Late April – A large band of Crusaders approaches Speyer, and massacres the Jewish population.

The University of Salerno is founded.

=== 1097 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Edgar deposes Donald III and Edmund, to become King of Scotland.

The First Crusade proceeds toward Palestine:

June 3 – The Norman crusaders join the rest of the army, during the siege of Nicaea.

June 19 – The city of Nicaea falls to the Crusaders after a month siege.

July 1 – Battle of Dorylaeum: Crusaders capture Latakia from the Seljuk Turks.

October 21 – The siege of Antioch by the Crusaders begins..

December 31 – Battle of Harenc: The Crusaders defeat troops from Aleppo, which try to come to the relief of besieged Antioch.

Battle of Gvozd Mountain: King Petar Svačić dies as the last Croatian king, against the army of King Coloman of Hungary.

A new Almoravid campaign is launched in al-Andalus.

=== 1098 ===

==== By area ====

====== Asia ======

The First Crusade proceeds towards Palestine:

February 9 – The Crusaders defeat Ridwan of Aleppo.

June 3 – After eight months of the first Siege of Antioch, the Crusaders take the city.

June 5 – Kerbogha, atabeg of Mosul, leader of the Seljuq Turks, arrives at Antioch, beginning the second siege a few days later.

June 28 – Battle of Antioch: Kerbogha is defeated by the Crusaders.

December 12 – After a month's siege, the Crusaders take Ma'arra, and massacre part of the population.

July 14 – Donation of Altavilla: Bohemond I, the new crusader ruler of Antioch, grants commercial privileges, and the right to use warehouses (fondaco) and the church of Saint John, to the Republic of Genoa. This marks the beginning of Italian merchant settlements in the Levant.

August – The Fatimids retake Jerusalem from the Turks.

The Byzantine Empire retakes Smyrna, Ephesus and Sardis.

====== Europe ======

June or July – Battle of Anglesey Sound: A fleet led by Magnus Barefoot, King of Norway, reverses an Anglo-Norman invasion of north Wales. Magnus also conquers the Orkney Islands, the Hebrides and the Isle of Man for Norway.

June 2 - First Crusade: The first Siege of Antioch ends as Crusader forces take the city; the second siege began five days later.

December 12 - Siege of Ma'arrat al-Numan

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

March 21 – Cîteaux Abbey is founded by the Cistercian Order.

Council of Bari discuses relations between Christian East and West.

=== 1099 ===

==== By area ====

====== Asia ======

Siege of Jerusalem during the First Crusade:

January 13 – Crusaders set fire to Mara, Syria.

June 7 – The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem begins.

July 8 – 15,000 starving Christian soldiers march around Jerusalem.

July 15 – Christian soldiers under Godfrey of Bouillon, Robert II of Flanders, Raymond IV of Toulouse and Tancred take Jerusalem at the end of this difficult siege.

July 22 – The Kingdom of Jerusalem is founded in the Middle East.

August 12 – Battle of Ascalon: The Crusaders defeat the Fatimids.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

August 13 – Pope Paschal II succeeds Pope Urban II, as the 160th pope.


Year 1095 (MXCV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Albert of Aix

Albert of Aix(-la-Chapelle) or Albert of Aachen (floruit circa AD 1100), historian of the First Crusade, was born during the later part of the 11th century, and afterwards became canon (priest) and custos (guardian) of the church of Aachen.Nothing else is known of his life except that he was the author of a Historia Hierosolymitanae expeditionis (“History of the Expedition to Jerusalem”), or Chronicon Hierosolymitanum de bello sacro, a work in Latin in twelve books, written between 1125 and 1150. This history begins at the time of the Council of Clermont, deals with the fortunes of the First Crusade and the earlier history of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, and ends somewhat abruptly in 1121.The Historia was well known during the Middle Ages, and was largely used by William, archbishop of Tyre, for the first six books of his Belli sacri historia. In modern times, it was accepted unreservedly for many years by most historians, including Edward Gibbon. In more recent times, its historical value has been seriously impugned, but the verdict of the best scholarship seems to be that in general it forms a true record of the events of the First Crusade, although containing some legendary matter.

Albert never visited the Holy Land, but he appears to have had a considerable amount of discourse with returned crusaders, and to have had access to valuable correspondence. Unlike many other chronicles of the First Crusade, Albert did not rely on the Gesta Francorum, but used his own independent interviews; he may also have had access to the Chanson d'Antioche, as his work shares textual similarities with that poem. The first edition of the history was published at Helmstedt in 1584, and a good edition is in the Recueil des historiens des croisades, tome iv (Paris, 1841–1887). A modern edition in Latin and English translation by Susan B. Edgington is available in the Oxford Medieval Texts series.

Army of Hugh the Great on the First Crusade

The Army of Hugh the Great on the First Crusade was formed after the Council of Clermont, led by Pope Urban II in November 1095. Hugh, son of Henry I, King of France, and his wife Anne of Kiev, was Count of Vermandois, de jure uxoris, due to his marriage to Adelaide, Countess of Vermandois, daughter of Herbert IV, Count of Vermandois, and his wife Adele of Valois.

In August 1096, Hugh and his small army left France in prima profectione, the first army of the third wave to leave France, and travelled to Bari, Italy, and then crossed the Adriatic Sea to the Byzantine Empire, in an armada commanded by Arnout II, Count of Aarschot. When Hugh entered Byzantium, he carried a vexillum sancti Petri, a banner given to him by the pope, Hugh being the last such noble to carry the banner.The known nobles, clergy and knights of Hugh’s army include:

Eudes of Beaugency, Hugh’s Standard-Bearer and Seneschal

Robert of Buonalbergo, later Constable and Standard-Bearer for Bohemond of Taranto. Son of Girard (Gerard) of Buanalbergo.

Raymond Pilet d’Alès

Walker, Lord of Chappes

Everard III of Puiset, Viscount of Chartres

Ralph of La Fontanelle, a vassal of Everard III

Renaud II of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis (later Count)

Miles Louez, a renown knight

Stephen of Aumale, son of Odo, Count of Champagne, and Adelaide of Normandy (sister of William the Conqueror)

Walter of Domart-en-Ponthieu (St.-Valery) and his son Bernard

Gerard of Gournay-en-Bray. Gerard’s wife Edith was daughter of William de Warenne and Gundred. Hugh II, the son of Gerard and Edith participated in the Second Crusade.

Ruthard, son of Godfrey

Rudolf, Count of Sarrewerden

William, likely son of Odo the Good Marquis and so nephew of Behemond of Taranto

Conon the Breton of Lamballe, son of Geoffrey I, Count of Lamballe, and grandson of Odo, Count of Penthièvre

Walo II of Chaumont-en-Vexin

Gerard of Roussillon, son of Gilbert, Count of Roussillon

Drogo of Nesle, formerly in the army of Emicho, Count of Flonheim

William V, Lord of Montpellier.The army of Hugh participated in numerous battles including the siege of Nicaea, the Battle of Dorylaeum, and the siege of Antioch. After Hugh’s return to France, many of the knights under his command joined other Crusader armies.

Council of Clermont (535)

The Council of Clermont (Concilium Arvernense) of 535 was one of the early Frankish synods.

Held at Arvernum, (the later Clermont, conquered by Clovis I in 507), it was attended by fifteen prelates of the kingdom of Austrasia under the presidency of Honoratus, bishop of Bourges. Among those bishops attending was Saint Gal, the bishop of Clermont.

Seventeen canons were drawn up at the council, of which the first sixteen are contained in the Decretum Gratiani (compiled in the 12th century by Gratian); they have become part of the corpus of canon law of the Catholic Church, the Corpus Iuris Canonici.

In summary, the canons prohibit bishops from submitting to the deliberations of councils any private or temporal affairs, before having dealt with matters regarding discipline; clerics are forbidden to appeal to seculars in their disputes with bishops; excommunication is pronounced against bishops who solicit the protection of princes in order to obtain the episcopacy, or who cause forged decrees of election to be signed.

The council also declared itself forcefully against the marriages of Christians with Jews, marriages between relatives, and the misconduct of the clergy.

Two further Frankish synods were held in Clermont (Arvernum), one in 549, and the other at an uncertain date towards the end of the 6th century (584/591).


The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most commonly known Crusades are the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule, but the term "Crusades" is also applied to other church-sanctioned campaigns. These were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At the time of the early Crusades the word did not exist, only becoming the leading descriptive term around 1760.

In 1095, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade in a sermon at the Council of Clermont. He encouraged military support for the Byzantine Empire and its Emperor, Alexios I, who needed reinforcements for his conflict with westward migrating Turks colonizing Anatolia. One of Urban's aims was to guarantee pilgrims access to the Eastern Mediterranean holy sites that were under Muslim control but scholars disagree as to whether this was the primary motive for Urban or those who heeded his call. Urban's strategy may have been to unite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom, which had been divided since the East–West Schism of 1054 and to establish himself as head of the unified Church. The initial success of the Crusade established the first four Crusader states in the Eastern Mediterranean: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch, the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the County of Tripoli. The enthusiastic response to Urban's preaching from all classes in Western Europe established a precedent for other Crusades. Volunteers became Crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the Church. Some were hoping for a mass ascension into heaven at Jerusalem or God's forgiveness for all their sins. Others participated to satisfy feudal obligations, obtain glory and honour or to seek economic and political gain.

The two-century attempt to recover the Holy Land ended in failure. Following the First Crusade there were six major Crusades and numerous less significant ones. After the last Catholic outposts fell in 1291, there were no more Crusades; but the gains were longer lasting in Northern and Western Europe. The Wendish Crusade and those of the Archbishop of Bremen brought all the North-East Baltic and the tribes of Mecklenburg and Lusatia under Catholic control in the late 12th century. In the early 13th century the Teutonic Order created a Crusader state in Prussia and the French monarchy used the Albigensian Crusade to extend the kingdom to the Mediterranean Sea. The rise of the Ottoman Empire in the late 14th century prompted a Catholic response which led to further defeats at Nicopolis in 1396 and Varna in 1444. Catholic Europe was in chaos and the final pivot of Christian–Islamic relations was marked by two seismic events: the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 and a final conclusive victory for the Spanish over the Moors with the conquest of Granada in 1492. The idea of Crusading continued, not least in the form of the Knights Hospitaller, until the end of the 18th-century but the focus of Western European interest moved to the New World.

Modern historians hold widely varying opinions of the Crusaders. To some, their conduct was incongruous with the stated aims and implied moral authority of the papacy, as evidenced by the fact that on occasion the Pope excommunicated Crusaders. Crusaders often pillaged as they travelled, and their leaders generally retained control of captured territory instead of returning it to the Byzantines. During the People's Crusade, thousands of Jews were murdered in what is now called the Rhineland massacres. Constantinople was sacked during the Fourth Crusade. However, the Crusades had a profound impact on Western civilisation: Italian city-states gained considerable concessions in return for assisting the Crusaders and established colonies which allowed trade with the eastern markets even in the Ottoman period, allowing Genoa and Venice to flourish; they consolidated the collective identity of the Latin Church under papal leadership; and they constituted a wellspring for accounts of heroism, chivalry, and piety that galvanised medieval romance, philosophy, and literature. The Crusades also reinforced a connection between Western Christendom, feudalism, and militarism.

First Crusade

The First Crusade (1095–1099) was the first of a number of crusades that attempted to recapture the Holy Land, called for by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095.

Urban called for a military expedition to aid the Byzantine Empire, which had recently lost most of Anatolia to the Seljuq Turks.

The resulting military expedition of primarily Frankish nobles, known as the Princes' Crusade, not only re-captured Anatolia but went on to conquer the Holy Land (the Levant), which had fallen to Islamic expansion as early as the 7th century, and culminated in July 1099 in the re-conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The expedition was a reaction to the appeal for military aid by Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Urban's convocation of the Council of Clermont was specifically dedicated to this purpose, proposing siege warfare against the recently occupied cities of Nicaea and Antioch, even though Urban's speech at Clermont in the testimony of witnesses writing after 1100 was phrased to allude to the re-conquest of Jerusalem and the Holy Land as additional goals.

The successful Princes' Crusade was preceded by the "people crusade", which was a popular movement

instigated by Peter the Hermit in the spring of 1096. Mobs of peasants and laymen travelled to Anatolia where they came up against the Turks, on the way attacking populations of Jews in the Rhineland. They were decisively defeated at the Battle of Civetot in October.

The Princes' Crusade, by contrast, was a well-organized military campaign, starting out in late summer of 1096 and arriving at Constantinople between November 1096 and April 1097.

The crusaders marched into Anatolia, capturing Nicaea in June 1097 and Antioch in June 1098. They arrived at Jerusalem in June 1099 and took the city by assault on 7 July 1099, massacring the defenders. A brief attempt by the Saracens to recapture Jerusalem was repulsed at the Battle of Ascalon.

During their conquests, the crusaders established the Latin Rite crusader states of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, and the County of Edessa. This was contrary to the wishes of the Eastern Rite Byzantines, who wanted the land that the Muslims took from them returned, rather than occupied by Latin Catholics. After the retaking of Jerusalem, most of the crusaders returned home. This left the crusader kingdoms vulnerable to Muslim reconquest during the Second and Third Crusades.

Gal I (Bishop of Clermont)

Saint Gal of Clermont (also Gall) (c. 489 – c. 553) was the sixteenth Bishop of Clermont, holding that see from 527 to 551. This bishop of Clermont shares a name with a later bishop of the diocese, who, though less illustrious than the first Gal, is also revered as a saint. Gal played important role in the politics of the Church, as the Council of Clermont (535) was hosted under his episcopate. He was the uncle and teacher of Gregory of Tours.Gal was the scion of a senatorial family, born in Clermont, Auvergne circa 489. His mother was descended from the family of Vettius Apagatus, a revered martyr from Lyon. While his parents proposed to have him married to a daughter of a respectable senator, Gal had other plans, and privately withdrew to a monastery at Cournon. Once he received the consent of his parents, he joyfully embraced a life of religious poverty. Gal's intelligence and piety caused his recommendation as councilor to Quintianus, the bishop of Clermont, who ordained him a priest.

Theuderic I, the king of Austrasia, invaded Auvergne and took Gal prisoner. He was afterwards attached to the oratory in the palace of the king. Gal regained liberty after a few years, and returned to Clermont.When Quintianus died in 527, Gal was chosen as the successor to the Bishopric of Clermont. It was during this time that Gal's extraordinary equanimity was most tested: one story reports that the bishop was "struck on the head by a brutal man, [yet] he discovered not the least emotion of anger or resentment, and by this meekness disarmed the savage of his rage." A similar anecdote involves a man named Evodius, a priest who had once been a senator. Although the proud man acted insultingly to Gal, the bishop's reaction was simply to arise from his seat and make a visit to the churches of the city. Touched by Gal's patience, Evodius cast himself at the feet of the bishop in the middle of the street.Gal played a major political and religious role as Bishop of Clermont. He became known as a defender of the rights of the Church against Sivigald, the governor appointed by Theuderic. The chief event of his episcopate was the Council of Clermont in 535. He also took part in the Fourth (541) and Fifth (549) Councils of Orléans.Gal died in the year 553. His feast day in the Roman Catholic Church is 3 July; in the Eastern Orthodox Church it is 1 July.

Ghibbelin of Arles

Ghibbelin of Sabran (also spelled Gibelin) (c. 1045 – 1112) was Archbishop of Arles (1080–1112), papal legate (1107–1108), and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (1108–1112).

Ghibbelin was named Archbishop of Arles at the Council of Avignon in 1080, at which Archbishop Aicard was deposed. He was consecrated by Pope Gregory VII. However, the clergy and people of Arles preferred Aicard, a relative of the viscounts of Marseilles who had taken the side of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor against Gregory VII. Although Ghibbelin was supported by Bertrand I, Count of Provence, he was unable to take possession of his archdiocese. He was threatened by the citizens of Arles when he approached he city, and had to renounce his claim.

Ghibbelin waited many years to take his post. In 1096, when Pope Urban II toured southern France before preaching the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont, he neglected to visit Arles. After 1096 Ghibbelin was able to occupy the archdiocese during the periodic absences of Aicard; meanwhile he also directed the diocese of Avignon. He finally succeeded Aicard around 1098, when Urban II overturned the renouncement he had made under duress from the citizens of Arles in 1080. In 1105, the will of Raymond IV of Toulouse ordered his heirs to restore everything he had usurped from Ghibbelin in Arles, Argence, Fourques, Albaron, and Fos.

At the end of 1107, Ghibbelin left Arles for Palestine, as papal legate for Pope Paschal II. He was sent to settle a dispute over the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Dagobert of Pisa had been deposed as Patriarch in 1102 and replaced by Ehremar. The pope reinstated Dagobert, who then died before he could return to Palestine. The pope was now inclined to reinstate Ehremar, but King of Jerusalem, Baldwin I, objected as he regarded him as incompetent, and Ghibbelin was chosen to decide the matter. He deposed Ehremar, and at the invitation of Baldwin himself accepted the office. He died there in December, 1112, and was succeeded by Arnulf of Chocques as Patriarch, while the archdiocese of Arles remained vacant until 1115.

Historia Hierosolymitana (Robert the Monk)

Historia Hierosolymitana is a chronicle of the First Crusade by one Robert the Monk (Robertus Monachus), written between c. 1107–1120.Robert has been identified with a prior of Senuc and former abbot of Saint-Remi, who lived c. 1055 – 1122; hence he is also referred to as Robert of Reims or Robert of Saint-Remi (Robertus Remensis).

Robert asserts in his prologue that he had been present at the Council of Clermont of 1095, which makes his account of Pope Urban II's speech that of an eye-witness, even though written from memory, twelve or more years later.

Outside of this part, however, the author proposes not to write about his own observations but as a chronicler, having agree to rewrite, at the request of his abbot, the Gesta Francorum, an account written by a soldier of Bohemond I of Antioch, in a less "rustic" style.

Robert's chronicle contains an account of Pope Urban II's speech at the Council of Clermont of November 1095, the call to arms for the First Crusade. This speech is also recorded by another eye-witness, Fulcher of Chartres, and most historians tend to consider Fulcher's version as closer to the original speech, while Robert's version is seen as embellished and more "dramatic", and in parts informed by the later success of the First Crusade.

Both Robert's and Fulcher's account of the speech include a description of the terrible plight of the Christians in the East under the recent conquests of the Turks and the promise of remission of sins for those who go to their aid. Robert's version, however, includes a more vivid description of the atrocities committed by the conquerors, describing the desecration of churches, the forced circumcision, beheading and torture by disemboweling of Christian men and alluding to grievous rape of Christian women.

According to Robert, Urban addressed his call explicitly to the race of the Franks, of which he was himself a member, invoking the valour of their ancestors, "the glory and greatness of king Charles the Great, and of his son Louis", culminating in "Oh, most valiant soldiers and descendants of invincible ancestors, be not degenerate, but recall the valour of your progenitors."

Robert's version also describes the spontaneous reaction of Urban's audience, bursting into cries of Deus vult ("God wills it"); this motto and battle cry is also found in the Gesta Francorum, there in the more "vulgar" or vernacular form of Deus le volt.

In a further element not found in Fulcher's account, and perhaps inspired after the fact by the failure of the People's Crusade, Urban warns

that the expedition is not commanded or advised for the old or feeble, those unfit for bearing arms, or for women, but for experienced soldiers, that clergy should only take part with the consent of their bishop and laymen only with the blessing of their priest.

History of Auvergne

The history of the Auvergne dates back to the early Middle Ages, when it was a historic province in south central France. It was originally the feudal domain of the Counts of Auvergne.

History of the papacy (1048–1257)

The history of the papacy from 1048 to 1257 was marked by conflict between popes and the Holy Roman Emperor, most prominently the Investiture Controversy, a dispute over who— pope or emperor— could appoint bishops within the Empire. Henry IV's Walk to Canossa in 1077 to meet Pope Gregory VII (1073–85), although not dispositive within the context of the larger dispute, has become legendary. Although the emperor renounced any right to lay investiture in the Concordat of Worms (1122), the issue would flare up again.

The Imperial crown once held by the Carolingian emperors was disputed between their fractured heirs and local overlords; none emerged victorious until Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor invaded Italy. Italy became a constituent kingdom of the Holy Roman Empire in 962, from which point emperors were Germanic. As emperors consolidated their position, northern Italian city-states would become divided by Guelphs and Ghibellines.

Long-standing divisions between East and West also came to a head in the East-West Schism and the Crusades. The first seven Ecumenical Councils had been attended by both Western and Eastern prelates, but growing doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, and geographic differences finally resulted in mutually denunciations and excommunications. Pope Urban II (1088–99) speech at the Council of Clermont in 1095 became the rallying cry of the First Crusade.

Unlike the previous millennium, the process for papal selection became somewhat fixed during this period. Pope Nicholas II promulgated In Nomine Domini in 1059, which limited suffrage in papal elections to the College of Cardinals. The rules and procedures of papal elections evolved during this period, laying the groundwork for the modern papal conclave. The driving force behind these reforms was Cardinal Hildebrand, who later became Gregory VII.

List of Frankish synods

A list of church synods held in the Frankish kingdom and its immediate predecessors in the Frankish area, including the Visigothic Kingdom, the Ostrogothic Kingdom, and the Kingdom of Burgundy.

Papal travel

Papal travel outside Rome has been historically rare, and voluntary travel was non-existent for the first 500 years. Pope John Paul II (1978–2005) undertook more pastoral trips than all his predecessors combined. Pope Francis (2013-), Pope Paul VI (1963–1978) and Pope Benedict XVI (2005–2013) also travelled globally, the latter to a lesser extent due to his advanced age.

Popes resided outside Rome—primarily in Viterbo, Orvieto, and Perugia—during the 13th century, and then absconded to France during the Avignon Papacy (1309–1378). Pope Vigilius (537-555) in 547, Pope Agatho (678-681) in 680, and Pope Constantine in 710 visited Constantinople, whereas Pope Martin I (649-653) was abducted there for trial in 653. Pope Stephen II (752-757) became the first pope to cross the Alps in 752 to crown Pepin the Short; Pope Pius VII repeated the feat over a millennium later to crown Napoleon.

Philip I of France

Philip I (23 May 1052 – 29 July 1108), called the Amorous, was King of the Franks from 1060 to 1108, the fourth from the House of Capet. His reign, like that of most of the early Capetians, was extraordinarily long for the time. The monarchy began a modest recovery from the low it reached in the reign of his father and he added to the royal demesne the Vexin and Bourges.

Pope Urban II

Pope Urban II (Latin: Urbanus II; c. 1035 – 29 July 1099), born Odo of Châtillon or Otho de Lagery, was Pope from 12 March 1088 to his death in 1099.

Urban II was a native of France. He was a descendant of a noble family in Châtillon-sur-Marne. Reims was the nearby cathedral school that Urban, at that time Eudes, began his studies at 1050.Before his papacy he was the abbot of Cluny and Bishop of Ostia under the name Eudes. As the Pope he would have to deal with many issues including the antipope Clement III, infighting of various christian nations, and the Muslim incursions into Europe. He is best known for initiating the First Crusade (1096–99) and setting up the modern-day Roman Curia in the manner of a royal ecclesiastical court to help run the Church. He promised forgiveness and pardon for all of the past sins of those who would fight to reclaim the holy land, and free the eastern churches.This pardon would also apply to those that would fight the Moors in Spain.

Quantum praedecessores

Quantum praedecessores is a papal bull issued on December 1, 1145, by Pope Eugenius III, calling for a Second Crusade. It was the first papal bull issued with a crusade as its subject.

The bull was issued in response to the fall of Edessa, in December 1144. Pilgrims from the east had brought news of the fall of Edessa to Europe throughout 1145, and embassies from the Principality of Antioch, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and the Kingdom of Armenia soon arrived directly at the papal court at Viterbo. Hugh, Bishop of Jabala, one of the dioceses of Jerusalem, was among those who delivered the news.

As with most papal bulls, it had no specific title, and has come to be known by its opening words; in Latin the first sentence read "Quantum praedecessores nostri Romani pontifices pro liberatione Orientalis Ecclesiae laboraverunt, antiquorum relatione didicimus, et in gestis eorum scriptum reperimus" – in English, "How much our predecessors the Roman pontiffs did labour for the deliverance of the oriental church, we have learned from the accounts of the ancients and have found it written in their acts."

The bull, issued at Vetralla, briefly recounted the acts of the First Crusade, and lamented the loss of Edessa, Mesopotamia, one of the oldest Christian cities. The bull was addressed directly to Louis VII of France and his subjects, and promised the remission of sins for all those who took the cross, as well as ecclesiastical protection for their families and possessions, just as Pope Urban II had done before the First Crusade. Those who completed the crusade, or died along the way, were offered full absolution.

Louis was already preparing a crusade of his own, independent of Eugenius' bull, and it appears that Louis may have at first ignored the bull completely. It is possible that the embassies from the east had visited Louis as well. However, in consultation with the preacher Bernard of Clairvaux, Louis eventually sought Eugenius' blessing, and Louis' crusade enjoyed full papal support. The bull was reissued on March 1, 1146, and Bernard began to preach the crusade throughout France and later in Germany as well, where he persuaded Conrad III to participate.

Although this is the first papal bull calling for a crusade, the papacy was largely absent from the rest of the expedition. The First Crusade had no such bull – support was gathered at the Council of Clermont in 1095, and spread quickly through popular preaching. Urban II was seen as the leader of the crusade, through his legates, such as Adhemar of Le Puy. By the mid-12th century, papal power had dwindled somewhat, and Rome was controlled by the Commune of Rome. Although there were papal legates accompanying the crusade, the expedition was controlled by Louis and Conrad, not a religious leader.

The crusade was mostly destroyed during its march through Anatolia. Louis and Conrad later joined with the army of Jerusalem at the unsuccessful Siege of Damascus in 1148.

Second Council of the Lateran

The Second Council of the Lateran is believed to have been the tenth ecumenical council held by the Roman Catholic Church. It was convened by Pope Innocent II in April 1139 and attended by close to a thousand clerics. Its immediate task was to neutralise the after-effects of the schism which had arisen after the death of Pope Honorius II in 1130 and the papal election that year that established Pietro Pierleoni as the antipope Anacletus II.

Theodoric I, Count of Montbéliard

Theodoric I (French: Thierry) (ca. 1045 – 2 January 1105) was a Count of Montbéliard, Count of Bar and lord of Mousson (as Theodoric II) and Count of Verdun. He was the son of Louis, Count of Montbéliard, and Sophie, Countess of Bar and Lady of Mousson.

After his father's death, he claimed the estate of the Duchy of Lorraine, which his father had already claimed. The claim was dismissed by Emperor Henry IV, confirming the duchy to Theodoric the Valiant. In retaliation, he ravaged the diocese of Metz, but he was defeated by Adalbéron III, bishop of Metz, and the Duke of Lorraine Theodoric the Valiant. Reconciled with the Church, he founded an abbey in 1074 in Haguenau and rebuilt the church at Montbéliard in 1080. He did not participate at the Council of Clermont in 1095, or the Crusades, but rather sent his son Louis in the Crusades. In 1100, the Bishop of Verdun gave the county to Thierry for life, but the relationship between the spiritual and temporal powers was turbulent.

In 1065 Theodoric married Ermentrude of Burgundy (1055–1105), daughter of William I, Count of Burgundy, and Stephanie. They had the following issue:

Theodoric II (1081–1163), Count of Montbéliard

Louis, who became a crusader, returned in 1102 and was assassinated in 1103

Frederick I († 1160), Count of Ferrette and Altkirch

Reginald I (1090–1150), Count of Bar and lord of Mousson

Stephen (†1162), bishop of Metz

William, who died before 1105

Hugh, cited in 1105, probably religious, because he did not share his father's possessions

Gunthilde (†1131), abbess of Biblisheim

Agnes, married in 1104 (†1136)

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