How Did Christians Justify Their Claim to the Holy Land B

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Final Paper
How did Christians justify their claim to the
Holy Land before and during the Crusades?

One of the most significant and remarkable incidents of the Middle Ages was the series of conflicts known collectively as the Crusades. Generally these conflicts were militant pilgrimages to the Levant (though sometimes elsewhere) undertaken by medieval Europeans in the name of Christendom. Though there were many political and social issues involved in the whole affair, the primary theme, however superficial, was religious. The adversaries in these “wars” were non-Christians, namely Muslims, who were widely seen as the oppressors of Eastern Christians. Those engaged in the Crusades, especially the authorities preaching and
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Robert of Rheims was a monk living in France during the time of the First Crusade. His chronicle of the conflict, written around 1107, is one of the most widely studied sources of Crusading history. For accounts of the actual battles he used other contemporaneous sources, such as the Gesta Francorum, but he claims to have actually been present at the Council of Clermont. He gives a very detailed description of that event, and attributes a very extravagant, oratorical speech to Pope Urban II. Robert’s account was likely commissioned (by the abbot of his monastery) as a response to some level of discontent with the existing chronicles of the First Crusade. It may also have served as an attempt to encourage another expedition to the Holy Land, as it plainly glorifies the First Crusade and emphasizes its more romantic elements. Since Robert is clearly supportive of Crusading, one must be wary of the bias in his account. His possible agenda of preaching another Crusade may very well compromise his account’s reliability in certain respects. In short, Robert’s role as an eyewitness at Clermont certainly lends him credibility, but it does not imply that his chronicle is devoid of embellishments or propagandistic aspects. La Chanson d’Antioche, or the Song of Antioch, is an epic poem dating from the late 12th century whose central subject is the Siege of Antioch. The Siege
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