Family Traditions and Participation in the Second Crusade

  • Jonathan Riley-Smith


To take the cross involved committing oneself to an expensive and dangerous enterprise, but the decision cannot have been made in isolation from all kinds of pressure, including the expectations of a family that traditionally supported the crusading movement. Such traditions of commitment built up very quickly, and their strength was recognized by Pope Eugenius III when, proclaiming the Second Crusade, he called on sons to emulate their fathers.

It will be seen as a great token of nobility and uprightness if those things acquired by the efforts of your fathers are vigorously defended by you, their good sons. But if, God forbid, it comes to pass differently, then the bravery of the fathers will have proved to be diminished in the sons.2


Family Tradition Eleventh Century Papal Reform Strong Circumstantial Evidence Great Uncle 
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Copyright information

© Michael Gervers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Riley-Smith

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