Readings in Medieval History dig deeper into the four accounts of the Middle East’s invasion by the Europeans. These accounts cite different motives behind the first crusade, being documented from the diverging sources of information on the war. By reading the events as they unfold in this narration, one gets a broader perspective of the conflict between the Middle East’s occupants and the Christians. Fulcher of Chartres persuaded the Christians to immediately intervene at the council of Claremont, arguing that it was a symbol of “strength of goodwill.” However, Solomon Simson has a different view arguing that the crusades were aimed at banishing the Ishmaelite’s before annexation for greed.
As the author of this account, Fulcher of Chartres’s words Byzantine and Jewish were not meant to analyze the importance of the crusades or the perception of its influence. He was using the Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Byzantine account for comparison and weighing the impact of the crusades’ core missions. Being a witness of the events, Fulcher’s chronicles come out as vivid and accurate, having recorded the divergent group’s different views and perspectives. The excerpts from the chronicles in medieval times like Fulk le Rechin, the Jewish sources about their persecution in Germany, and the Arab documents like the Ibn al-Athir make his works an outstanding masterpiece. The validity of the narration is further reinforced by the references to Pope Urban II on the crusade and The Song of Antioch. Scholars, particularly historians who wish to understand the major drives of the early crusades, should have a good grasp of Fulcher’s work because of the objectivity and the adherence to the scientific process of research in gathering data.
Geary, Patrick, ed. Readings in Medieval History. University of Toronto Press, 2015.