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 Council of Clermont

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Join date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: Council of Clermont   Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:43 am

In 1095 the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus sent envoys to the west requesting military assistance against the Seljuk Turks. The message was received by Pope Urban II at the Council of Piacenza; later that year, in November, Urban called the Council of Clermont to discuss the matter further. In convoking the council, Urban urged the bishops and abbots whom he addressed directly, to bring with them the prominent lords in their provinces.

The Council lasted from November 19 to November 28, and was attended by about 300 clerics from throughout France. Urban discussed Cluniac reforms of the Church, and also extended the excommunication of Philip I of France for his adulterous remarriage to Bertrade of Montfort. On November 27, Urban spoke for the first time about the problems in the east, as he urged Western Christians fight against the Muslims who had occupied the Holy Land and were attacking the Eastern Roman Empire.

There are six main sources of information about this portion of the council: the anonymous Gesta Francorum ("The Deeds of the Franks" dated c. 1100/1101)[1], which influenced all versions of the speech except that by Fulcher of Chartres, who was present at the council; Robert the Monk, who may have been present; Baldric, archbishop of Dol; and Guibert de Nogent, who were not present at the council. All of these accounts were written down quite a bit later than the council, and all differ widely from one another. More important than the five composed speeches from the later sources, which tend to be colored by the authors' own views of crusading, is a letter that was written by Urban himself in December of 1095 referring to the council.

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