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Urban and the Council of Clermont

Uploaded by seanmscanlon on Feb 29, 2000

There are many accounts of that day in November, 1095. Some were written by monks, others by bishops, and even a few by warriors themselves. Historians are constantly asking, "What exactly did Pope Urban II say at the council of Clermont to persuade Christians to set forth on such a difficult venture as the Crusades?" One man, an early 12th century cleric named Fulcher of Chartres wrote perhaps the best historical chronicle of the events at Clermont and the speech of Urban II. Fulcher begins his account with a prologue that states how blessed the journeymen of the Crusades were to take up such a conquest. He follows this by speaking on the Council of Clermont. Fulcher describes Pope Urban II and what he heard was happening to the Christians in the east. What comes next in Flucher’s writing is a long speech, allegedly quoted from Urban II himself. In the speech, Urban first lectures his fellow clergymen regarding problems in the church, saying that they should "set [themselves] right before [they] do others"1 Fulcher, 51. Urban II next, as according to Fulcher, declares the doctrine of the church and re-instates the idea of the "Truce"2 McGinty, 52. He also discussed various crimes for which the criminal would be excommunicated from the Church. In Fulcher’s third section, Urban speaks of the "evils" in the east. He says, "there is work to do, you must help your brothers living in the Orient, who need your aid for which they have cried out many times"3 Fulcher, 52. He gives word that these "brothers" (Christians) are being threatened by the Turks who must be pushed back to Persia. Urban will grant remission of sins for their services. In closing, Fulcher tells how Urban II presses on to say, " Let no delay postpone the journey"4 Fulcher, 53. Fulcher of Chartres’ account of what happened at the Council of Clermont is a great piece, full of detail. Fulcher obviously held Pope Urban II in high regard. Throughout his chronicle, he douses him with compliments saying that he is " a man distinguished in life and character."5 Fulcher, 49. It might not seem like much now to put the Church’s interests before all others; however, in the Middle Ages people were extremely religious. The better Christian one was, the better man he was. Urban II speaks to his clergy about the problems in the Church and as Fulcher tells the...

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Uploaded by:   seanmscanlon

Date:   02/29/2000

Category:   European History

Length:   4 pages (838 words)

Views:   1887

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