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Old November 14th, 2012, 03:53 AM   #1
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About Peter the Hermit


I have been told to look at why some contemporary writers would have wanted to write Peter out of their writings on the crusades.

Admittedly I haven't read a huge amount on the topic just yet but so far I have yet to find a chronicle without him mentioned or in which he is totally downplayed (because, of course, I am reading about him so it's only natural he would turn up!)

So, I am wondering if there are any sources I should look at, or any ideas as to why some people may have not wanted to emphasise him as a great man?

I hope this makes sense...
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Old November 14th, 2012, 05:16 AM   #2

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Originally Posted by cruhisa View Post
I have been told to look at why some contemporary writers would have wanted to write Peter out of their writings on the crusades.

Admittedly I haven't read a huge amount on the topic just yet but so far I have yet to find a chronicle without him mentioned or in which he is totally downplayed (because, of course, I am reading about him so it's only natural he would turn up!)

So, I am wondering if there are any sources I should look at, or any ideas as to why some people may have not wanted to emphasise him as a great man?

I hope this makes sense...

Check out later redactions of earlier source material as well as chronicles of the first crusade written later on in the 12th century. Guibert of Nogent, Orderic Vitalis etc. Those who had 10-20 years to consider the matter after it occurred, those with the benefit of hindsight and removed from the immediate events.

Why might people want to write him out.

1. Regional politics and mythos. Some writters, like Albert of Aachen wrote to put their local man, their local ord in the position of hero protagonist of events. If Peter didnt fit, why have him in it.

2. Peters expedition failed. Perhaps it is later excluded for literary reasosn to make a better story, or to streamline events, or to simply play down the man in favour of hero protagonist. Perhaps it is didactic, aimed to show why peter failed and why the army of the First Crusade succeeded.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 07:45 AM   #3
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Check out later redactions of earlier source material as well as chronicles of the first crusade written later on in the 12th century. Guibert of Nogent, Orderic Vitalis etc. Those who had 10-20 years to consider the matter after it occurred, those with the benefit of hindsight and removed from the immediate events.

Why might people want to write him out.

1. Regional politics and mythos. Some writters, like Albert of Aachen wrote to put their local man, their local ord in the position of hero protagonist of events. If Peter didnt fit, why have him in it.

2. Peters expedition failed. Perhaps it is later excluded for literary reasosn to make a better story, or to streamline events, or to simply play down the man in favour of hero protagonist. Perhaps it is didactic, aimed to show why peter failed and why the army of the First Crusade succeeded.
Thanks! - I am currently reading Guibert and Albert : )

So, writers were trying to show that the princes etc, the 'true soldiers' of god were the real heroes, and not Peter - in hindsight, of course?
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Old November 14th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #4

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Thanks! - I am currently reading Guibert and Albert : )

So, writers were trying to show that the princes etc, the 'true soldiers' of god were the real heroes, and not Peter - in hindsight, of course?

Some. The question one has to ask, is what story are the particular chroncilers trying to tell, and why? The failures and later troubles with Peter the Hermit stand in contrast to the successes of Godfrey, Bohemond, Raymond and others.

Also when are they writing and to what end. Writing about the events of the First Crusade in 1100 is different given the events of some 25 years later. Does the history of the Latin East and Western Europe between c1099-c1130 play a role in what the later writers are writing.

Things to consider.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Some. The question one has to ask, is what story are the particular chroncilers trying to tell, and why? The failures and later troubles with Peter the Hermit stand in contrast to the successes of Godfrey, Bohemond, Raymond and others.

Also when are they writing and to what end. Writing about the events of the First Crusade in 1100 is different given the events of some 25 years later. Does the history of the Latin East and Western Europe between c1099-c1130 play a role in what the later writers are writing.

Things to consider.
I see, I see. I think I'll end up with a lot to say - I only hope I can manage with the word limit!

Thanks very much...I understand what direction I need to take now : )
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Old November 14th, 2012, 03:13 PM   #6

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Glad I could help.
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