chapter  7
17 Pages

Memories of the preaching for the Fifth Crusade in Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus miraculorum

WithWilliam J. Purkis

In April 1213, with the dissemination of the papal bull Quia maior, Pope Innocent III (11981216) once again called upon the Christians of Western Europe to fight for the liberation of Jerusalem and the holy places – a call that resulted in a military expedition known to historians as the Fifth Crusade.1 In the years that followed, both in the build-up to the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 and in its wake, specially commissioned preachers traversed Europe encouraging the arms-bearing aristocracy and, for the first time, the wider community of the faithful, to participate in a war for the recovery of the Holy Land.2 Various contemporary sources present entry-points into the study of these events, including narrative accounts composed by the crusaders and the preachers themselves, such as Oliver of Paderborn’s

*Email: [email protected] 1 Innocent III, ‘Quia maior’, in Innocentii III Romani pontificis, Opera omnia, vol. 3, ed. J.-P. Migne. Patrologiae cursus completus, series Latina 216 (Paris: J.-P. Migne, 1855) [hereafter PL], cols. 817-22. For a discussion of the content and significance of Quia maior, see Penny J. Cole, The Preaching of the Crusades to the Holy Land, 1095-1270 (Cambridge, MA: Medieval Academy of America, 1991), 104-7. For the history of the Fifth Crusade more generally, see especially James M. Powell, Anatomy of a Crusade, 1213-1221 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986), who discusses Quia maior at 17-22. 2 For the appointment and activities of Fifth Crusade preachers, see Powell, Anatomy of a Crusade, 22-7, 33-41, and Cole, Preaching of the Crusades, 107-10, 127-33.