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Geoffrey of Monmouth and the De-Judaized Crusade

From: Parergon
Volume 21, Number 1, January 2004
pp. 19-37 | 10.1353/pgn.2004.0076



Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britannie presents Britain as the product of a de-Judaized crusade. Geoffrey's Anglo-Norman ecclesiastic and aristocratic readers were familiar with both crusading chronicles and contemporary debates about Jewish-Christian relations. Against this backdrop, a number of episodes resonate as instances of crusading rhetoric divorced from its Judaic connotations. This program is darker, more disturbing, and more fundamental than are the desires to break free of monastic modes of thought or to sow 'mischief' in the world of historiography upon which so many critics have concentrated.

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