Robert the Monk, who was present at the Council of Clermont in 1095 and heard Urban II preach the crusade sermon, reports that when he had finished speaking all who were there shouted: ‘God wills it. God wills it’. The pope, Robert tells us, saw in this unanimity a sign of divine inspiration: ‘I tell you that God has drawn this response from you to express the feeling which he has inspired in your hearts’. Yet although Urban’s arguments and eloquence convinced his audience at Clermont, reactions to the crusade were more ambivalent among some people in the West, even among some of those who took the cross. This was a legacy of the ambiguous attitude of Western churchmen towards violence and warfare. Western society in the early medieval centuries was very violent, and, as Guy Halsall has rightly pointed out, the Church helped to determine the norms of violence which Christian society found acceptable. No doubt churchmen viewed their intervention primarily as a limitation exercise. From the later ninth century onwards, as the Carolingian Empire declined, the popes intermittently called on the warriors of the West to come to their aid. Indeed, in some ways the campaign of the Garigliano, conducted by a league of Byzantine and Lombard forces organized by Pope John X, who himself took part in the fighting, and which achieved its objective of ridding the Papal States of bands of Muslim raiders who had settled there, was like a rehearsal for the First Crusade. The Church further tried to influence the behaviour of Christian fighting men by encouraging the Truce and Peace of God movements in the early eleventh century, and in some areas the liturgical blessing of swords was introduced. Consequently, by 1095 the fighting men in Western Europe were accustomed to the Church hierarchy’s calling on them for help.