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Crusade and Christendom

Annotated Documents in Translation from Innocent III to the Fall of Acre, 1187-1291

Edited by Jessalynn Bird, Edward Peters, and James M. Powell

Publication Year: 2013

In 1213, Pope Innocent III issued his letter Vineam Domini, thundering against the enemies of Christendom—the "beasts of many kinds that are attempting to destroy the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth"—and announcing a General Council of the Latin Church as redress. The Fourth Lateran Council, which convened in 1215, was unprecedented in its scope and impact, and it called for the Fifth Crusade as what its participants hoped would be the final defense of Christendom. For the first time, a collection of extensively annotated and translated documents illustrates the transformation of the crusade movement.

Crusade and Christendom explores the way in which the crusade was used to define and extend the intellectual, religious, and political boundaries of Latin Christendom. It also illustrates how the very concept of the crusade was shaped by the urge to define and reform communities of practice and belief within Latin Christendom and by Latin Christendom's relationship with other communities, including dissenting political powers and heretical groups, the Moors in Spain, the Mongols, and eastern Christians. The relationship of the crusade to reform and missionary movements is also explored, as is its impact on individual lives and devotion. The selection of documents and bibliography incorporates and brings to life recent developments in crusade scholarship concerning military logistics and travel in the medieval period, popular and elite participation, the role of women, liturgy and preaching, and the impact of the crusade on western society and its relationship with other cultures and religions.

Intended for the undergraduate yet also invaluable for teachers and scholars, this book illustrates how the crusades became crucial for defining and promoting the very concept and boundaries of Latin Christendom. It provides translations of and commentaries on key original sources and an up-to-date bibliography.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 8-11

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Editors' Note

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pp. xi-xii

In 1971 Edward Peters published Christian Society and the Crusades, 1198–1229, a modest volume of historical documents in English translation intended to make available to students a number of widely scattered source materials and a brief survey of scholarship ...


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pp. xiii-xviii

Note on Abbreviations and Translation

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pp. xix-xxii

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Introduction: Crusade and Christendom, 1187–1291

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pp. 1-23

In his letter Vineam Domini of April 1213, laced with familiar biblical citations and echoes of others, Pope Innocent III (b. ca. 1160, r. 1198–1216) called for a general council of the Latin Church, vividly depicting the dangers facing universal Christendom and what he perceived to be the two most pressing and ...

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Part I: The Pope, Crusades, and Communities, 1198–1213

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pp. 24-105

As Christoph Maier has observed, the thirteenth was ‘‘arguably the century with the most intense and varied crusading activity of the entire Middle Ages.’’1 Ofcourse the circumstances of earlier crusade activity in northern Europe and Iberia and the changing fortunes of the ...

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Part II: Crusade and Council, 1213–1215

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pp. 106-129

The Fourth Lateran Council, first announced in the letter Vineam Domini of 1213, took place in the Lateran basilica and palace complex in Rome from November 11 to November 30, 1215. Not only did it represent the culmination of the work of the legislative councils of the twelfth century, but ...

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Part III: The Fifth Crusade, 1213–1221

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pp. 130-236

The Fifth Crusade was the campaign envisioned in Vineam Domini in 1213, announced to the faithful and to crusade preachers in Quia maior and Pium et sanctum, also in 1213, and formally announced in Ad liberandam in 1215. A pope, not individual nobles and their willful and underfunded ..

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Part IV: The Emperor's Crusade, 1227–1229

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pp. 237-265

Behind all the planning and mobilization of the Fifth Crusade was the figure of the emperor Frederick II (1194–1250). After the sudden death of Henry VI in1197, Frederick’s mother, Constance, regarded by the nobles of Sicily as the heiress of Roger II, proved ...

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Part V: The Barons' Crusade, 1234–1245

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pp. 266-305

Honorius III was succeeded in 1227 by Cardinal Hugolino, who took the papal name Gregory IX (1227–1241). Gregory had been protector of the Franciscan order, papal legate in Lombardy for the Fifth Crusade, and was a relative of Innocent III. His complex relations with ...

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Part VI: The Mongol Crusades, 1241–1262

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pp. 306-347

The Mongol Empire and its expansion into China, eastern Europe, and the eastern Islamicate in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries turned the geopolitical world of Eurasia upside down. Assembled by a talented chieftain named Temujin (d. 1227), who overcame and ....

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Part VII: The Saint's Crusades, 1248–1270

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pp. 348-393

Like Frederick II and other thirteenth-century crusaders, Louis IX of France came from a distinguished crusading dynasty. His great-grandfather Louis VII had been one of the leaders of the Second Crusade, his ...

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Part VIII: The Italian Crusades, 1241–1268

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pp. 394-427

Crusades launched by popes against European Christian opponents have often been called (and criticized as) ‘‘political crusades,’’ as if they were devoid of religious significance and could only be understood as conflicts between ...

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Part IX: Living and Dying on Crusade

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pp. 428-447

Crusades did not consist solely of preaching, recruiting, and fighting in distantlands. They also involved planning, local arrangements, and travel across great distances. Those distances were originally crossed overland, but as early as 1125 the idea of maritime expeditions with Egypt ...

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Part X: The Road to Acre, 1265–1291

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pp. 448-491

Between 1198 and 1291 both Christendom and crusade underwent a number of substantial changes. Considering crusade, we can see that earlier military expeditions between 1096 and 1204 tended to be responses by various popes to ...


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pp. 493-509


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pp. 511-512

E-ISBN-13: 9780812207651
E-ISBN-10: 0812207653
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812244786
Print-ISBN-10: 0812244788

Page Count: 568
Illustrations: 5 illus.
Publication Year: 2013