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On the Psychology of the Crusades. II

  • William W. Ireland

In the “children's Crusade” we witness the enormous credulity of the Dark Ages in its simplest form, although the delusions which the children indulged in must have been encouraged by their parents. The orders of the King of France to stop their pilgrimage had evidently been disregarded. Was it that a whole people had become mad? Some writers have argued that nobody is quite sane; in that case we should need another word for those who cannot do without restraint.

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(1) de Nogent, Guibert, Histoire des Croisades, 54. iv, p. 148. Jacques de Vitry, Liv. ii, chap. iv.

(2) Alexiados, Lib. x, Venetiis, 1729.

(3) Kugler, , Geschichte der Kreussüge, Berlin, 1891, p. 19, treats Peter's dream as a legend, which gives a supernatural origin to the first Crusade. He quotes Anna Comnena to show that the hermit did not succeed in reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the passage appealed to the Princess leaves it to be understood that Peter, after enduring many hardships from the Turks, had failed to attain his object, and fearing to go the same road alone, desired to take with him a powerful force which would insure his safety. For this somewhat insufficient motive Peter incited the Franks to make an armed pilgrimage to Jerusalem. But under the conditions there was nothing supernatural in Peter's dream. The story is related by several writers much more likely to be well informed than Anna Comnena, whose narrative is not free from errors. It is given by Albert d'Aix, a contemporary, and by Jacques de Vitry, nor is it contradicted by any Western writers who left histories of the Crusade.

(5) Peter was at the taking of Jerusalem. He returned to France in 1102 and founded the Abbey of Neufmontier, near Huy, in Flanders, where he died at an advanced age.

(6) See Entwickelung und Untergang des Tempelherrenordens, von Dr. (ph.) Hans Prutz, Berlin, 1888; The History of France, by M. Michelet, translated by G. H. Smith, pp. 312–330; Kugler's Geschichte der Kreussüge, Berlin, 1891, kap. xi.

(7) Histoire de la Poesie Provençale, par M. Fauriel, Paris, 1846, tome 2, p. 138.

(8) Les Hospitaliers, en terre sainte et à Chypre, 1110–1310, par. H. Delaville le Roulx, Paris, 1904, chap. ii.

(9) Vie de St. Bernard, Livre Troisième, par. Geoffroi, Moine de Glairvaux, chap. iv.

(10) Penan Averroes et Averroïsme, Paris, 1866; chap, ii, sec. xiv.

(11) Hallam's State of Europe during the Middle Ages, vol. 3, chap, ix, London, 1834.

(12) Michaud's History of the Crusades; translated by W. Robson, London, 1852, vol. iii, p. 57; Die Kreussüge und die Kultur ihrer Zeit von Otto Henne am Rhyn, Dritte Auflage, Leipzig, 1903, p. 510.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
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On the Psychology of the Crusades. II

  • William W. Ireland
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