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Studies about Christian perceptions of Islam and other non-Christian cultures in the Middle Ages in recent years have tended to focus on individual authors and their works. New research in the field of manuscript philology, particularly its focus on the idea of the “whole book,” however, suggests some new interpretive vistas that can sharpen our understanding of how medieval readers engaged with, and responded to, texts about the non-Christian Other. This article takes as its subject a twelfth-century miscellany manuscript from the Westfalian monastery of Grafschaft that constitutes a remarkable dossier of hagiographical and exegetical texts relating to Muslims, pagans, and holy war. This codex, Darmstadt Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, Cod. 749, offers a window onto how works dealing with these subjects were read not only on their own terms, but in dynamic relationship to one another. Focusing on the associative resonances between the different works in a single manuscript allows us to understand how one monastic community in northern Germany sought to place the twelfth-century Crusades in a broader historical and theological context. The results of such an approach complicate the traditional Christian-Muslim binary we usually encounter in studies of Crusading or medieval views of non-Christians, underscoring how one community of medieval readers thought about the problem of religious conflict in several temporal, geographic, and conceptual dimensions.

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1 Die Handschriften der Hessischen Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek Darmstadt, ed. Staub, Kurt Hans and Knaus, Hermann, vol. 4 (Wiesbaden, 1979), no. 110, pp. 176–79. The contents are also discussed in detail by Wattenbach, Wilhelm, “Handschriftliches II. Codex bibl. Darmstadt 749,” Neues Archiv 7 (1882): 621–29.

2 For an older assessment, see the collection of essays in Heidenmission und Kreuzzugsgedanke in der deutschen Ostpolitik des Mittelalters, ed. Beumann, Helmut (Darmstadt, 1963; repr. 1973).

3 Several essential works now include: Tolan, John V., Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination (New York, 2002); Heng, Geraldine, Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy (New York, 2003); Kinoshita, Sharon, Medieval Boundaries: Rethinking Difference in Old French Literature (Philadelphia, 2006); Akbari, Suzanne Conklin, Idols in the East: European Representations of Islam and the East, 1100–1450 (Ithaca, 2009); and most recently Frakes, Jerald C., Vernacular and Latin Literary Discourses of the Muslim Other in Medieval Germany (New York, 2011). For a theoretical orientation, see the important collection of essays in The Postcolonial Middle Ages, ed. Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome (New York, 2000).

4 Latin European expansion into Eastern Europe and the Baltic is given equal treatment with the Mediterranean expansion in Bartlett, Robert, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change, 950–1350 (Princeton, 1993). See more recently, Fraesdorff, David, Der barbarische Norden: Vorstellungen und Fremdheitskategorien bei Rimbert, Thietmar von Merseburg, Adam von Bremen und Helmold von Bosau, Orbis mediaevalis 5 (Berlin, 2005); and Wolverton, Lisa, Cosmas of Prague: Narrative, Classicism, Politics (Washington, DC, 2014).

5 An essential introduction is the article by Nichols, Stephen G., “Philology in a Manuscript Culture,” Speculum 65 (1990): 110 .

6 Nichols, Stephen G. and Wenzel, Siegfried, eds., The Whole Book: Cultural Perspectives on the Medieval Miscellany (Ann Arbor, 1996), 1 .

7 The work of Rosamond McKitterick and Walter Pohl, as well as that of their students, has been fundamental in reorienting the study of early medieval historiography around original manuscripts. See, e.g., McKitterick, Rosamond, History and Memory in the Carolingian World (Cambridge, 2004); Pohl, Walter, Werkstätte der Erinnerung: Montecassino und die Gestaltung der langobardischen Vergangenheit, Mitteilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Ergänzungs-Band 39 (Vienna and Munich, 2001); Reimitz, Helmut, “Ein karolingisches Geschichtsbuch aus St. Amand: Der Cvp 473,” in Text, Schrift und Codex: Quellenkundliche Arbeiten aus dem Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, ed. Egger, Christoph and Weigl, Herwig, Mitteilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Ergänzungs-Band 25 (Vienna, 2000), 34–90; Kretschmer, Marek Thue, Rewriting Roman History in the Middle Ages: The Historia Romana and the Manuscript Bamberg, Hist. 3, Mittellateinische Studien und Texte 36 (Leiden, 2007). Julia Crick's pathbreaking study of the manuscripts of Geoffrey of Monmouth and in particular her analysis of the texts associated with it — among which were a number of texts relating to the East — is another key work in the field. See The Historia Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth, vol. 4, Dissemination and Reception in the Later Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 1991).

8 Higgins, Iain Macleod, Writing East: The Travels of Sir John Mandeville (Philadelphia, 1997); Taylor, Andrew, Textual Situations: Three Medieval Manuscripts and Their Readers (Philadelphia, 2002), chap. 2. See too Yeager, Suzanne, “World Translated: Marco Polo's Le Devisement dou monde, The Book of Sir John Mandeville, and Their Medieval Audiences,” in Marco Polo and the Encounter of East and West, ed. Akbari, Suzanne Conklin, Iannucci, Amilcare A., and Tulk, John (Toronto, 2008), 156–81. On the history and transmission of Marco Polo's Devisement du monde, see now Gadrat-Ouerfelli, Christine, Lire Marco Polo au Moyen Âge: Traduction, diffusion et réception du Devisement du monde, Terrarum Orbis 12 (Turnhout, 2015); and Dutschke, Consuelo, “Francesco Pippino and the Manuscripts of Marco Polo's Travels” (PhD diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1993).

9 In addition to the introduction to Nichols and Wenzel, eds., The Whole Book, see too the brief but theoretically rich “Epilogue” by Butterfield, Ardis in Le receuil au Moyen Âge: Le Moyen Âge central, ed. Foehr-Janssens, Yasmina and Collet, Olivier (Turnhout, 2010), 269–77.

10 The Autograph Manuscript of the Floridus, Liber: A Key to the Encyclopedia of Lampert of St.-Omer, Corpus christianorum autographa medii aevi 4 (Turnhout, 1998), 182 . I thank an anonymous reader for Traditio for suggesting Derolez's formulation here.

11 Il contributo dei testi agiografici alla conoscenza dell'oriente nel medioevo latino,” in Tra edificazione e piacere della lettura: le vite dei santi in età medievale, ed. Degl'Innocenti, Antonelle and Fulvio Ferrari (Trent, 1998), 929, quotation on 27. See too Anežka Vidamanová, “Die mittellateinische ‘Belletristik’ als Mittel zum Kennenlernen von fremden Ländern im Königreich Böhmen zur Zeit der Luxemburger,” in King John of Luxembourg (1296–1346) and the Art of His Era, Proceedings of the International Congress, Prague, September 16–20, 1996 (Prague, 1998), 46–52; Walter Pohl, “History in Fragments: Monte Cassino's Politics of Memory,” Early Medieval Europe 10 (2001): 343–374, at 350–51.

12 Rubenstein, Jay, “Putting History to Use: Three Crusades Chronicles in Context,” Viator 35 (2004): 131–68.

13 Cf. Buck, Thomas Martin, “Von der Kreuzzugsgeschichte zum Reisebuch: Zur Historia Hierosolymitana des Robertus Monachus,” Deutsche Vierteljahresschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte 76 (2002): 321–55.

14 Grafschaft,” Germania Benedictina (St. Ottilien, 1980), 8:351–76, s.v.

15 Die Handschriften der hessischen Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek Darmstadt (n. 1 above), no. 110, pp. 176–79.

16 Fol. 1v: “Liber S. Alexandri in Grascaph … Expositio Rabani in libros Judith et Hester; Vita Sci Heinrici imperatoris et miraculi; Passio S. Ignatii epi; Passio sci Thiemonis archiepi.; Narratio metrica de casu Theophili; Vita sce Pelagie metrica; Vita sce Euphrosine v[ir]ginis metrica; Et quedam alia ut patet i[n]spicie[n]ti.”

17 Wattenbach, “Handschriftliches” (n. 1 above), 622. See too Staub and Knaus, Handschriften (n. 1 above), 179 for further details.

18 Cf. Darmstadt, Codd. 752; 754.

19 Cf. too the observations of Wattenbach, “Handschriftliches,” 623: “Aber Material und Schrift sind ganz gleichartig, und sie müssen gleichzeitig entstanden und sehr früh verbunden sein.”

20 Wattenbach first suggested that the metric saints’ lives were probably also by the same author as the Epitaphium Rainaldi, that is, Gevehard. See “Handschriftliches,” 623. For further discussion, see below, n. 123.

21 The Epitaphium Reinaldi is printed in Regesten der Erzbischöfe von Köln, ed. Knipping, Richard (Bonn, 1901), 2:161.

22 Wattenbach, “Handschriftliches,” 628–29.

23 Staub and Knaus, Handschriften, 177 (n. 1 above) erroneously gives the folio range as 116v–117r.

24 Constable, Giles, “The Second Crusade as Seen by Contemporaries,” Traditio 9 (1953): 213–79, repr. in Crusaders and Crusading in the Twelfth Century (Surrey and Burlington, VT, 2008), 229300 first made the case that twelfth-century writers had a much more expansive view of the Crusade project than modern scholars tended to acknowledge. Constable's view has since become a well-established framework for studying the Crusade, e.g., in Phillips, Jonathan, The Second Crusade: Extending the Frontiers of Christendom (New Haven, 2007).

25 On the Wendish Crusade, and the history of the German-Slavic frontier generally, the best English-language treatment, in addition to Phillips, Second Crusade, 228–43, is Lotter, Friedrich, “The Crusading Idea and the Conquest of the Region East of the Elbe,” in Medieval Frontier Societies, ed. Bartlett, Robert and McKay, Angus (Oxford, 1989), 267306 .

26 Reuter, Timothy, Germany in the Early Middle Ages, 800–1056 (Harlow, UK, 1991), 160–66; Althoff, Gerd, “Saxony and the Elbe Slavs in the Tenth Century,” in The New Cambridge Medieval History (Cambridge, 2015), 3:267–92.

27 Althoff, “Saxony and the Elbe Slavs,” 280.

28 Lotter, “Conquest,” 271–72.

29 The chronicler Adam of Bremen provided a particularly vivid description of the violence that accompanied the 1066 uprising. See History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen, 3.50 (49)–51 (50), trans. Tschan, Francis J. (New York, 1959; repr. 2002), 157–58.

30 Knonau, Gerold Meyer von, Jahrbücher des deutschen Reiches unter Heinrich des IV. und Heinrich des V., 7 vols. (Leipzig, 1890–1909), 1:585–86. Cf. Annales Augustana, MGH SS 3, 128, s. a. 1068.

31 Giles Constable, “Early Crusading in Eastern Germany: The Magdeburg Charter of 1107/8,” in Crusaders and Crusading, 197–214.

32 Lotter, “Conquest,” 273–74, referring to the observation of Helmold of Bosau, Chronicle of the Slavs, 1.56, ed. B. Schmeidler, MGH SS rer Germ. 23 (Hanover, 1937), trans. Francis J. Tschan (New York, 1935), 167, that they were mostly “accustomed to watch over the Slavs for the purpose of increasing their incomes.”

33 Phillips, Second Crusade, 37–60.

34 Regesta Imperii, vol. 4, 1.2, no. 421, accessed 24 March 2015,

35 Phillips, Second Crusade, 84–88. Otto of Freising provides an extensive account of Ralph's preaching and Bernard's efforts to combat it. See Deeds of Frederick Barbarossa, 1.38(37)–39(38), trans. Mierow, Christopher J. (New York, 1953; repr. 2004), 7475 . While the forcible conversion of Jews was technically not permitted in Christian law, Jews were increasingly viewed in the twelfth century as a pernicious and destabilizing presence in Christian society. On the place of Jews in the medieval Christian imagination, see Cohen, Jeremy, Living Letters of the Law: Ideas of the Jew in Medieval Christianity (Los Angeles and Berkeley, 1999), and 147–66 in particular on the growth of anti-Judaism in the twelfth century.

36 Bernardi, Wilhelm, Jahrbücher des deutschen Reiches unter Konrad III, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1883), 2:523 .

37 Otto of Freising, Deeds of Frederick Barbarossa, 1.39(38)–40 (39), trans. Mierow, 74–76.

38 Jean Le Clercq et al., eds., Sancti Bernardi Opera, 8 vols. in 9 (Rome, 1957–98), 8:pt. 2 (hereafter Epistolae), no. 457, pp. 432–33. See too idem, “L'Encyclique de saint Bernard en faveur de la Croisade,” Revue bénédictine 81 (1971): 282–308.

39 “Et ad delendas penitus, aut certe covertendas nationes illas.” Bernard, Epistolae, no. 432. On the Frankfurt diet and Bernard's meeting with the Saxons, see Regesta Imperii, vol. 4, 1.2 no. 446, accessed 24 March 2015,; and further, Kahl, Hans-Dietrich, “Wie kam es 1147 zu einem Wendenkreuzzug?” in idem, Heidenfrage und Slawenfrage im deutschen Mittelalter: Ausgewählte Studien, 1953–2008 (Leiden, 2008), 623–32.

40 “Illud enim omnimodis interdicimus, ne qua ratione ineant foedus cum eis, neque pro pecunia, neque pro tributo, donec, auxiliante Deo, aut ritus ipse, aut natio deleatur.” Bernard, Epistolae, no. 433.

41 “Rex quoque Hispaniarum contra Saracenos de partibus illis potenter armatur, de quibus iam per Dei gratiam saepius triumphavit. Quidam etiam ex vobis tam sancti laboris et praemii participes fieri cupientes, contra Sclavos caeterosque paganos habitantes versus Aquilonem ire, et eos Christianae religioni subiugare, Domino auxiliante, intendunt.” Divini dispensatione (JL 9017), PL 180:1203A. On this bull, see now Fonnesberg-Schmidt, Iben, The Popes and the Baltic Crusades, 1147–1254, The Northern World 26 (Leiden, 2007), 3134 .

42 See too Lees, Jay T., Anselm of Havelberg: Deeds into Words in the Twelfth Century (Leiden, 1998), 78 .

43 See Lotter, , “Conquest” (n. 25 above), 290–92, and, more expansively, idem, Die Konzeption des Wendenkreuzzugs: Ideengeschichtliche, kirchenrechtliche und historisch-politische Voraussetzungen der Missionierung von Elb- und Ostseeslawen um die Mitte des 12. Jahrhunderts (Sigmaringen, 1977), 38, 69, and passim.

44 Hans-Dietrich Kahl, “‘Auszujäten von der Erde die Feinde des Christennamens’: Der Plan zum ‘Wendenkreuzzug’ von 1147 als Umsetzung sibyllinischer Eschatologie,” in Heidenfrage und Slawenfrage, 631–64; idem, “Die Ableitung des Missionskreuzzuges aus sibyllinischer Eschatologie: Zur Bedeutung Bernhards von Clairvaux für die Zwangschristianisierungsprogramme im Ostseeraum,” in Die Rolle der Ritterorden in der Christianisierung und Kolonisierung des Ostseegebietes, ed. Nowak, Zenon Hubert, Ordines Militares 1 (Torún, 1983), 129–39. A brief, English-language précis of Kahl's arguments in the above works is idem, Crusade Eschatology as Seen by Bernard in the Years 1146–48,” in The Second Crusade and the Cistercians, ed. Gervers, Michael (New York, 1992), 3541 .

45 On the Sybilline tradition and the legend of the Last Emperor, see now Möhring, Hannes, Weltkaiser und Endzeit: Enstehung, Wandel und Wirkung einer tausandjährigen Weissagung, Mittelalter-Forschung 3 (Stuttgart, 2000).

46 Kahl, “Plan zum Wendenkreuzzug,” 148–49.

47 McGinn, Bernard, “St. Bernard and Eschatology,” in Bernard of Clairvaux: Studies Presented to Dom Jean Le Clercq, Cistercian Studies 23 (Washington, DC, 1973), 161–95. Cf. too Möhring, Weltkaiser, 169–70 for a discussion of Kahl's views, with which Möhring disagrees, as well as the remarks of Dinzelbacher, Peter, Bernhard von Clairvaux: Leben und Werk des berühmtesten Zisterzieners (Darmstadt, 1998), 304 .

48 Pegatha Jean Taylor, “Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and the West Slavic Crusade: The Formation of Missionary and Crusader Ideals on the German-Slavic Border” (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1999), chap. 2. See too Hans-Dietrich Kahl, “Compellere intrare: Die Wendenpolitik Brunos von Querfurt” in Staub and Knaus, Handschriften (n. 1 above), 183–210.

49 In addition to Taylor, “Bernard and the West Slavic Crusade,” chap. 2, which explores these issues in depth, see eadem, Moral Agency in Crusade and Colonization: Anselm of Havelberg and the Wendish Crusade of 1147,” International History Review 22 (2000): 757–84.

50 Chronicle of the Slavs (n. 32 above), 1.62, trans. Tschan, 175, also noted by Saxo Grammaticus, Gesta Danorum, 14.2.1, ed. J. Olrik and H. Raeder, 2 vols. (Copenhagen, 1931), 1:374. See Lotter, “Conquest,” 290.

51 Kahl, Hans-Dietrich, Slawen und Deutsche in der brandenburgischen Geschichte des 12. Jahrhunderts, 2 vols. (Cologne and Graz, 1964), 1:382–88.

52 Kahl, Slawen und Deutsche, 1:231. See too Lees, Anselm of Havelberg, 81.

53 “Eos aut christiane religione subderet, aut Deo auxiliante omnino deleret.” MGH SS XVI, 188.

54 MGH SS XVII, 663. On Otto's mission to the Pomeranians in the 1120s, see Vlasto, A.P., The Entry of the Slavs into Christendom (Cambridge, 1970), 134–35. Stettin was the principal town and episcopal see of the Pomeranians.

55 Chronicle of the Slavs, 1.65, trans. Tschan, 180.

56 Ibid., 1.69, trans. Tschan, 188.

57 Kahl, Slawen und Deutsche, 1:225–35.

58 Chronicle of the Slavs, 1.57, 63, trans. Tschan, 168–69; 177–78.

59 Lees, Anselm of Havelberg, 19–21; Lübeck, Konrad, “Abt Wibald von Stablo und Korvey und die Kölner Kirche,” Annalen des historischen Vereins für den Niederrhein 140 (1942): 2159 . See too Wolter, Heinz, Arnold von Wied: Kanzler Konrads III. und Erzbischof von Köln (Cologne, 1973).

60 “The Frescoes of Schwarzrheindorf, Arnold of Wied, and the Second Crusade,” in The Second Crusade and the Cistercians (n. 44 above), 141–54; Wolter, Arnold von Wied, 51. Both Wibald of Corvey and Otto of Freising were present for the dedication as well.

61 Stegmüller, Repertorium, nos. 7038–39, printed in PL 109:539–670.

62 de Jong, Mayke, “Exegesis for an Empress,” in Medieval Transformations: Texts, Power, and Gifts in Context, ed. Cohen, Esther and Jong, Mayke de, Cultures, Beliefs and Traditions: Medieval and Early Modern Peoples 11 (Leiden, 2001), 69100 , esp. 88–89.

63 Ibid., 87–88.

64 Cf. Alba, Benzo of, Ad Heinricum IV, 4.38.5, ed. Seyffert, H., MGH SS rer. Germ. 65 (Hanover, 1996), 419 ; Lautenbach, Manegold von, Liber ad Gebhardum, chap. 44, ed. Franke, K., MGH LdL 1 (Hanover, 1891), 388 ; Die Briefe des Petrus Damiani, ed. Reindel, K., MGH Briefe der deutschen Kaiserzeit 4, 4 vols. (Munich, 1983–93), 4: no. 153, p. 38 .

65 Esther 9:11–13.

66 “Intentio haec reginae Esther, quia hostes suos valide insequi et exstirpare contendit, stadium atque solertiam verae reginae, hoc est ecclesiae, exprimit, quae hostes suos sine cessatione persequitur, et funditus prosternere atque subiicere certat.” PL 109:0666D.

67 “Sicque truncum hostis corpus evolvit, cum ipsum inimicum ex omni parte infirmum et debilem esse ostendit, ut eo facilius bellatores Christi confidant hostem nequissimum se vincere posse.” PL 109:0573B.

68 British Library, Cotton, Vitellius A.xv.

69 Orchard, Andy, Pride and Prodigies: Studies in the Monsters of the Beowulf Manuscript (Toronto, 2003), 41 . See too de Jong, “Exegesis for an Empress,” 96–97.

70 For a discussion of Old Testament imagery and theology in the context of twelfth-century Crusader chivalry, see Green, D. H., The Milstätter Exodus: A Crusading Epic (Cambridge, 1966), chap. 7 (“The Relevance of the Old Testament to the Medieval Present”).

71 Historia Ecclesiastica, 10.2, ed. and trans. Chibnall, Marjorie, 6 vols. (Oxford, 1969), 5:359 .

72 A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea, 16.7, ed. Krey, A. C. and Babcock, E. A., 2 vols. (New York, 1943), 2:146.

73 Deutsche Gedichte des XI. und XII. Jahrhunderts, ed. Diemer, Josef (Vienna, 1849 ; repr. Darmstadt, 1968 117–23. Cf. Green, Millstätter Exodus, 236.

74 Gärtner, Kurt, “Vorauer Handschrift 276,” in Verfasserlexikon, 2nd ed. (Berlin and New York, 1999), 10:516–21. See also vol. 11 (2004), 1638.

75 Urkundenbuch des Hochstifts Merseburg, ed. Kehr, P. F. (Magdeburg, 1937), no. 91, p. 75 . See in particular Constable, “Early Crusading” (n. 31 above), 203–14, which surveys the extensive body of twentieth-century scholarship on the text. For a close analysis of the text, particularly its biblical imagery, see Dygo, Marian, “Crusade and Colonization: Yet Another Response,” Quaestiones medii aevi novi 6 (2001): 319–25.

76 Constable, trans., in “Early Crusading,” 211–12.

77 History (n. 29 above), 3.50–51, trans. Tschan, 157–58.

78 Chronicon Sclavorum (n. 32, above), bk. 1, chap. 52, trans. Tschan, 159–60.

79 See above, n. 75.

80 Monk, Robert the, Historia Iherosolymitana, ed. and trans. Sweetenham, Carol, Crusade Texts in Translation 11 (Aldershot and Burlington, VT, 2005), 80 .

81 Knoch, Peter, “Kreuzzug und Siedlung: Studien zum Aufruf der Magdeburger Kirche von 1108,” Jahrbuch für die Geschichte Mittel-Ostdeutschlands 23 (1974):135 ; The Historia Iherosolimitana of Robert the Monk, ed. Bull, Marcus and Kempf, Damien (Rochester, NY and Woodbridge, UK, 2013), xxxvxxxviii .

82 Medieval Cruelty: Changing Perceptions; Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period (Ithaca and London, 2003), 810 .

83 Constable, “Early Crusading,” 210.

84 Dygo, “Crusade and Colonization,” passim.

85 Vita sancti Heinrici regis et confessoris und ihre Bearbeitung durch den Bamberger Diakon Adelbert, ed. Marcus Stumpf, MGH SS rer. Germ. 69 (Hanover, 1999). The version in Darmstadt 749 is the so-called “Fassung I.” See Klauser, Renate, Der Heinrichs- und Kunigundenkult im mittelalterlichen Bistum Bamberg (Bamberg, 1957), 7174 .

86 See Stumpf, “Einleitung,” in Vita Sancti Heinrici, ed. idem, 32–48; and Klauser, Heinrichs- und Kunigundenkult, 71. On Henry's legacy as leader in the Christian expansion to the east (particularly among Slavs and the Hungarians) in the context of his canonization in 1146, see Phillips, Second Crusade (n. 24 above), 92.

87 Vita Sancti Heinrici, chap. 3, ed. Stumpf, 234–35.

88 Lawrence's patronage in Merseburg was itself attributed to the battlefield oath made by Otto I at the Lechfield in 955 to create a bishopric dedicated to the Roman martyr if he defeated the Hungarians. See Vlasto, Entry of the Slavs into Christendom (n. 54 above), 147.

89 Vita Sancti Heinrici, chap. 4, ed. Stumpf, 235–39. As noted by Stumpf, “Einleitung,” 36, this episode in the vita conflates a number of campaigns against the Poles and Slavs over the course of Henry's reign into a single, epic battle described in terms not unlike a crusade. The vita passes over the fact that Henry actually fought the Poles in an alliance with the pagan Liutizi. See Schulze, Hans K., “Eine unheilige Allianz: Was die Quedlinburger Annalen zum Jahre 1003 berichten und was sie verschweigen; das Osterfest zu Quedlinburg und das Bündnis Heinrichs II. mit den heidnischen Slawen,” Quedlinburger Annalen 6 (2003): 613 . See too Klauser, Heinrichs- und Kunigundenkult, 73.

90 Phillips, Second Crusade, 228–43.

91 Regesta Imperii, vol. 4, 1.2 no. 342, accessed 26 March 2015,, citing Adalberti miracula s. Heinrici, MGH SS IV, 813. See too Klauser, Heinrichs- und Kunigundenkult, 51, who argues that Conrad's efforts were aimed at compensating for his failure to be crowned emperor.

92 JL 8882.

93 Schoedel, W. R., “Polycarp of Smyrna and Ignatius of Antioch,” in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, 2nd series, vol. 27.1 (New York and Berlin, 1993), 272358 . The vast majority of scholarly material on Ignatius is dedicated to the theological significance of his letters, not the accounts of his martyrdom, which are of a much later date and largely fictitious.

94 BHG 813, in Lightfoot, J. B., ed. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3, pt. 2 (London, 1889), 477–94 (Engl. trans. 575–79).

95 Martyrium Ignatii Latinum alterum siue Bollandianum (compilatum ex Actis Antiochenis et Romanis graece conscriptis) (BHL 4256) = AA SS Feb. 1, cols. 29–33. On the manuscripts, see, accessed 23 October 2014. This recension, the earliest witness for which dates to the ninth century, appears to be a reworking (and elaboration) of an earlier sixth-century Latin account of Ignatius's martyrdom edited by Mallet, J. and Thibaut, A., Les manuscrits en écriture bénéventine de la Bibliothèque capitulaire de Bénévent, 3 vols. (Paris, 1984–97), 1:283–85; 287–90. See too the discussion by Lightfoot, ed., The Apostolic Fathers, 371–73.

96 Bolhuis, A., “Die Acta Romana des Martyriums des Ignatius Antiochenus,” Vigiliae Christianae 7 (1953): 143–53.

97 The confrontation or debate between the martyr and pagan judge was a feature of the earliest martyr accounts, beginning with Polycarp. See Delehaye, Hippolyte, Les passions des martyres et les genres littéraires, 2nd ed., Subsidia Hagiographica 13b (Brussels, 1966), 254–73, and on interrogations by the emperor personally, 245–46.

98 On various topoi of torture, see Delehaye, Les passions des martyres, 273–87. Thomas Sizgorich also drew attention to these graphic depictions of torture in his Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity: Militant Devotion in Christianity and Islam (Philadelphia, 2009), and in particular their role in forging narratives of communal history and identity. See esp. chap. 2, “The Living Voice of Kindred Blood: Narrative, Identity, and the Primordial Past.”

99 Cf. Constable, “Early Crusading” (n. 31 above), 199.

100 See Carol Sweetenham, “Chanson d'Antioche,” in Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, ed. Graeme Dunphy, Brill Online, s.v., accessed 12 May 2016,

101 Phillips, Second Crusade (n. 24 above), 269–72.

102 BHL 8132: Passio Thiemonis auct. Heinrico Abbate Breitenowensi, ed. W. Wattenbach, MGH SS XV.2, 1236–38.

103 On the Crusade of 1101, see Baldwin, Marshall W., ed., A History of the Crusades, vol. 1, The First Hundred Years, 2nd ed. (Madison, WI, 1969), 350–67; and, more recently, Riley-Smith, Jonathan, The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (London and New York, 1986), chap. 5. On Thiemo and the various extant passion narratives, see now John Eldevik, “Thiemo of Salzburg: Violence, Sanctity, and Religious Identity in the Age of Crusade,” in Christian Discourse, Distinction, and Identity, ed. Walter Pohl and Andreas Fischer, Social Cohesion, Identity and Religion in Europe 2 (Vienna, forthcoming); Tolan, John V., “The Martyrdom of Bishop Thiemo,” in Muslim-Christian Relations: A Bibliographical History, ed. Thomas, David and Mallett, Alex, vol. 3, (1050–1200) (Leiden, 2011), 555–57. Older treatments include: Muth, K., St. Thiemo: Erzbischof von Salzburg und Kreuzfahrer, † 28. September, 1102 (1101) (Passau, 1896); Riant, Paul, “La Legende du martyre en Orient de Thiemon, archevêque de Salzbourg (28 septembre 1102),” Revue des questions historiques 39 (1886): 218–37; and Wichner, Jakob, Geschichte des Benediktiner-Stiftes Admont, 4 vols. (Admont, 1874–80), 1:50–58.

104 Ekkehard, Chronik, ed. Franz Schmale-Ott and Irene Schmale-Ott (Darmstadt, 1972), s. a. 1101, 171, 327–33 (the so-called Hiersolymita); Albert of Aachen, Historia Ierosolimitana: History of the Journey to Jerusalem, ed. and trans. Susan Edgington (Oxford, 2007), bk. 8, chap. 34, 625–27.

105 BHL 8132–35. Otto of Freising knew the story of Thiemo, if not any of the extant written versions specifically, and famously remarks in his world history that while Thiemo did indeed die as a martyr following the Crusade, the episode about the sultan's idols should not be taken at face value, as Islam is a monotheistic religion: Quod ob fidem Christi passus sit [viz. Thiemo], fidelissima traditio habet, quod autem ydola comminuerit, ex hoc credere difficile est, quia constat universitatem Sarracenorum unius Dei cultricem esse, librosque leges necnon et circumcisionem recipere.” Chronica sive historia de duabus civitatibus, ed. Hofmeister, A., MGH SS rer. Germ. 45 (Hanover, 1912), bk. 7, chap. 7, 317.

106 Of the author Heinrich of Breitenau himself, little is known aside from this work. See Verfasserlexikon, 2nd ed. (1981), 3:703–4, s.v. In his history of the abbey Hirsau (ChroniconHirsaugensis 2:159 [Basil, 1559]), the sixteenth-century scholar Johannes Trithemius noted that a certain monk Heinrich from Hirsau became abbot of the monastery Breitenau near Kassel in 1132, where he achieved distinction as an author and scholar.

107 “Martyrizatur etiam cum ipso abbas eiusdem monachi, cuius relatu haec didici, et eius passio talis erat. Aperiebant latus eius ferro et de ventre eius viscera vel intestina extrahebant unco, donec circa sudem eadem convolverent et vacuum ventrem relinquerent.” Passio Thiemonis auct. Heinrico, chap. 5, ed. Wattenbach, 1238.

108 BHL 8133–35. Cf. Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie (Rome, 1974), 8:468. The apostatizing Viking chieftain Brodr meets a remarkably similar fate in Njal's Saga, following the Battle of Clontarf near Dublin. See Hill, Thomas D., “The Evisceration of Brodir in Brennu-Njals Saga ,” Traditio 37 (1981): 437–44.

109 Tolan, Saracens (n. 3 above), chap. 5. See too Rogemma, Barbara, “Muslims as Crypto-Idolaters: A Theme in the Christian Portrayal of Islam in the Near East,” in Christians at the Heart of Islamic Rule: Church Life and Scholarship in ‘Abbasid Iraq, ed. Thomas, David (Leiden, 2003), 118 ; and Martin, Jean-Pierre, “Les Sarrasins, l'idolâtre et l'imaginaire de l'Antiquité des chansons de geste,” in Littérature et religion: Au Moyen Age et à la Renaissance, vol. 1, ed. Vallecalle, Jean-Claude and Blum-Cuny, Pascale (Lyon, 1997), 2746 .

110 Cf. Judith 3:13: “praeceperat enim illi Nabuchodonosor, rex, ut omnes deos terrae exterminaret ut ipse solus diceretur Deus ab his nationibus quae potuissent Holofernis potentia subiugari.”

111 The best edition and discussion of the texts relating to the Prester John myth are still Zarncke, Friedrich, Der Priester Johannes, Abhandlungen der philologisch-historischen Classe der Königlichen Sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaft 17 (1879): 8271028 (erste Abhandlung) and 19 (1883): 1–186 (zweite Abhandlung). The text in question here is the so-called “Abgekürzter Text” of the letter commonly titled De adventu patriarchae Indorum ad Urbem sub Calisto papa II, discussed by Zarncke, Priester Johannes, 1:832–43. An English translation (of the more complete text) is now available in Brewer, Keagan, Prester John: The Legend and Its Sources, Crusade Texts in Translation 27 (Burlington, VT and Surrey, UK, 2015), 3438 . On the history of the Apostle Thomas generally, see Williams-Krapp, Werner, “Thomas (Apostel),” Verfasserlexikon, 3rd ed. (1995), 9: 811–12.

112 Calixtus himself had been an outspoken proponent of crusade and issued a call for a new expedition to support the Latin Kingdom in the wake of the devastating Christian defeat (“Field of Blood”) in Syria in 1119. See Sroll, Mary, Calixtus II (1119–1124): A Pope Born to Rule (Leiden, 2004), 441–45. Anne Derbes has also noted some striking similarities between the fresco program sponsored by Calixtus in the church of S. Maria in Cosmedin in Rome and that in the church of Schwarzrheindorf undertaken by Arnold II of Cologne (n. 60 above). See Crusading Ideology and the Frescoes of S. Maria in Cosmedin,” Art Bulletin 77 (1995): 460–78.

113 Cf. Zelzer, K., ed., Die alten lateinischen Thomasakten, TU 122 (Berlin, 1977), 342 . See too Wilhelm, F., ed., Deutsche Legenden und Legendare (Leipzig, 1907), 159 . Hamilton, Bernard, “The Lands of Prester John: Western Knowledge of Asia and Africa at the Time of the Crusades,” Haskins Society Journal 15 (2006): 126–41; Stoneman, Richard, “Romantic Ethnography: Central Asia and India in the Alexander Romance ,” The Ancient World (1994): 93107 .

114 The Glory of the Martyrs, chap. 31, trans. Van Dam, Raymond (Liverpool, 1988), 51 ; Wilhelm, Deutsche Legenden, 43–44.

115 Historia Ecclesiastica (n. 71 above), 2.8, ed. Chibnall, 1:182–83. See Hingst, Amanda Jane, The Written World: Past and Place in the Work of Orderic Vitalis (South Bend, IN, 2009), 8283 .

116 Taylor, Christopher, “Prester John, Christian Enclosure, and the Spatial Transmission of Islamic Alterity in the Twelfth-Century West,” in Contextualizing the Muslim Other in Medieval Christian Discourse, ed. Frakes, Jerold C. (New York, 2011), 3964 .

117 Passio Thiemonis (BHL 8133), chap. 16, ed. Wattenbach, MGH SS 11, 62.

118 Isidori Hispalensis episcopi Etymologiarum sive originum libri XX, ed. Lindsay, W. M. (Oxford, 1911). For identifications of the individual places in the text, see Vollmöller, Karl, “Zu RF VI, 37–39,” Romanische Forschungen 6 (1891): 428 .

120 On the liberal arts as tools of scriptural exegesis, see chap. 1, Theology, Scripture and the Fourfold Sense,” in de Lubac, Henri, Medieval Exegesis: The Four Senses of Scripture, 3 vols. (repr. Grand Rapids, MI, 1998), 1574 .

121 Letter of Adelgoz, trans. Constable, in “Early Crusading” (n. 31 above), 213: “Most holy fathers, monks, hermits, and recluses, you have chosen the best part with Mary, but the times now require you to rise with Martha from the quiet of contemplation, since your deeply troubled brothers greatly need Mary and Martha.” On the history of the Mary and Martha story in monastic literature, see Constable, Giles, “The Interpretation of Mary and Martha,” in Three Studies in Medieval Religious and Social Thought (Cambridge, 1995), 1143 .

122 I thank Manu Radhakrishnan for first bringing the conversion/penance theme in these legends to my attention. On these and other accounts of cross-dressing female saints, see Patlagean, Évelyne, “L'histoire de la femme déguisée en moine et l’évolution de la sainteté féminine à Byzance,” Studi Medievali, 3rd series, 17 (1976): 597623 .

123 I am not aware of any single treatment of Gevehard as an author, but see Beyers, Rita, “‘Narratio de casu Theophili uicedomini’: La pénitence de Théophile dans la version de Gevehardus de Grafschaft (BHL 8124d) ,” in Mémoire en temps advenir: Hommage à Théo Venckeleer, ed. Vanneste, Alex et al. (Leuven, Paris, and Dudley, MA, 2003), 195216 ; Dolbeau, François and Tilliette, Jean-Yves, “Vie métrique de sainte Pélagie attribuable à Geverhardus de Grafschaft,” in Pélagie la pénitente: Métamorphose d'une légende, vol. 2, La survie dans les littératures européennes, ed. Petitmengin, Pierre et al. (Paris, 1984), 129–44.

124 BHL 8121.

125 BHL 8123 and 8124, respectively.

126 In the original version, Mary imposes forty days and nights’ penance on Theophilus.

127 Gevehard, Vita sanctae Pelagiae, fol. 128r, lines 8–11.

128 See esp. Riley-Smith, Jonathan, The First Crusaders, 1095–1131 (Cambridge, 1997), 6870 .

129 On this theme, see Dorn, Erhard, Der sündige Heilige in der Legende des Mittelalters (Munich, 1967).

130 “Cuius capellanus de Christo interrogatus vivus absortus est, quia ydola est professus et reliquit Deum factorem suum et recessit a Deo salutari suo. Provocaverunt tamen illum ad penitentiam quidam fideles et ad satisfactionem concitaverunt, atque ut pro tali apostasia domnum apostolicum expeteret, persuaserunt. Quod et faciens, non aliud in peni tentiam suscepit, nisi ut quantocius reverteretur atque eo loco quo Christum negaverat libere profite retur.” Passio Thiemonis auct. Heinrico (n. 102 above), chap. 5, ed. Wattenbach, 1238. It is supposedly from this contrite chaplain that the pope learns of Thiemo's martyrdom.

131 “Hoc utrum fecerit, ad nos pervenire non potuit, quia non omnes capiunt verbum istud, sed quibus datum est a Deo.” Ibid. Cf. Matt. 19:11. On this point, see the remarks of Morrison, Karl F., Understanding Conversion (Charlottesville, 1992), 137–38, which offers an insightful reading of the Passio, focusing on the dramatic structure and its relationship to ideas about monastic piety and the possibility of converting pagans.

132 “Quia non solum illos qui de peccatis suis poenitentiam agere nolunt, sed etiam ipsos qui fidem sanctae Trinitatis bonis operibus adornare negligunt, dignos perpetua morte ostendit.” PL 109:667A.

133 Martène, Edmond and Durand, Ursin, eds., Veterum scriptorium et monumentorum historicum, dogmaticorum, moralium, amplissima collection, 9 vols. (Paris, 1724–33), 1:853–56. On Rainald, see McCord, Jonathan Rotondo, “Rainald of Dassel (ca. 1120–1167),” in Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia, ed. Jeep, John M. (New York, 2001), 636–37.

134 “Qui levaverunt manum contra Christum, et offuscare conati sunt claritatem qua decreverat clarificare personam tui coelestis Pater tuus, sed ille tulit lucernam tuam de sub modio latebrae, et posuit super candelabrum Agrippinensis ecclesiae splendidissimum firmamenti radium.” Martene and Durand, Collectio, 1:854.

135 Cf. Passio Thiemonis auct. Heinrico, chap. 1, ed. Wattenbach, 1237: “Ibi inter theoreticae disciplinae magistros tam diu sub modio humilitatis dlituit, quo adusque dextera Domini exaltus et super candelabrum Iuvavensis ecclesiae, ut luceret omnibus qui in domo fidei sunt, est positus.” Letter of Adelgoz, trans. Constable (n. 31 above), 213 (quoting Matthew 5:15).

136 Dictionairre de Spiritualité, vol. 9 (Paris, 1976), cols. 1142–73, s.v. “Lumiere”; and Jestice, Phyllis, “The Gorzian Reform and the Light under the Bushel,” Viator 24 (1993): 5178 .

137 Sharon Kinoshita, review of Contextualizing the Muslim Other in Medieval Christian Discourse (cited in n. 116 above), in The Medieval Review (online), 12.8.11,

138 Cf. for example the copy of BHL 8133 found in Vorau, Cod. 277, a far more elaborate reécriture of the Passio Thiemonis produced in the diocese of Salzburg sometime in the latter half of the twelfth century. It contains a number of works of Old Testament exegesis (particularly Jerome), as well as a number of other philosophical and hagiographical texts, including a short excerpt of the acrostic poem of the Erythraean Sybil entitled De sybilla et iudicio futuro, the Passio S. Quirini by the monk Heinrich (BHL 7032), and the story of Barlaam and Josephat, a popular tale of faith and ascetic devotion loosely based the story of the conversion of Gautama Buddha. See the full description at:

The research for this article was supported by the Hamilton College Dean of Faculty and the Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the ERC AdG Project SCIRE (No. 269591). I thank in particular Walter Pohl, Max Diesenberger, Christina Glassner, and Franz Lackner at the Institute for their assistance and support. I also thank participants in the October 2013 California Medieval History Seminar and Prof. Suzanne Yeager for their insightful comments and critiques on an earlier version of this paper.


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