Robert The Monk Response Paper

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Kyle De Jan Dr. Hosler History 312 11/05/12 Response Essay to History of the First Crusade Robert the Monk’s history of the First Crusade, Historia Iherosolimitana (HI), was composed several years after the events it records. There is also no evidence making him an eyewitness for the anything he transcribes except for the Council of Clermont. Robert is generally accepted as a valuable source for the First Crusade as his story is based on the Gesta Francorum and he was commissioned by his abbot to offer a new more exciting account of the crusades.1 Robert’s account includes a number of themes as he describes different people the Crusaders encounter. In the history of the First Crusade, Robert the Monk uses his description of the Muslims…show more content…
Robert goes into great description as to why a crusade general, who is supposed to be brave, would leave the battle. Bohemond unwillingly and reluctantly leaving the battle implying bravery as Bohemond was bleeding to death yet he reluctantly leaves the battle. According to the source, no one forced Bohemond leave and the troops retreated following Bohemond’s example. This is a clear indication of bias as the Turkish tactics are described with a sense of cowardice where Bohemond’s retreat was honorable. The reluctant retreat of the Christians and their willingness to fight to the death portrays them as heroic. Bohemond fought until he could fight no more. Both are an example of acting safely yet Bohemond’s decision has a heroic feel and the Turks are constructed as fearful. Robert also depicts Muslim confidence as arrogance and foolishness whereas Christian confidence is bravery. Take the example of Persian general Kerbogha. Robert describes his confidence as “misguided pride”4 Robert writes this after describing a letter Kerbogha sent to the Caliph describing how he had the Crusaders trapped inside of Antioch and their defeat was imminent. From Kerbogha’s position this is a reasonable conclusion but according to Robert the Monk it was foolish arrogance. Robert the Monk pits the foolish arrogance of Kerbogha against the Crusaders’ fervent belief and faith in God in the meeting between them. Robert tells the story of Kerbogha meeting with Peter the
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