Fulcher of Chartres (c. 1059 in or near Chartres– after 1128) was a priest who participated in the First Crusade. He served Baldwin I of Jerusalem for many years and wrote a Latin chronicle of the Crusade.
Fulcher was born c. 1059.His appointment as chaplain of Baldwin of Boulogne in 1097 suggests that he had been trained as a priest, most likely at the school of Chartres. However, he was probably not a member of the cathedral chapter, since he is not named in the listing of the Dignitaries of the Church of Our Lady of Chartres.
The details of the Council of Clermont of 1095, in his history, suggest he attended the council personally,or knew someone who did; perhaps Ivo, Bishop of Chartres, who influenced Fulcher's opinions on Church reform and the investiture controversy with the Holy Roman Empire.
Fulcher was part of the entourage of Count Stephen of Blois and Robert of Normandywhich made its way through southern France and Italy in 1096, crossing into the Eastern Roman Empire from Bari and arriving in Constantinople in 1097, where they joined with the other armies of the First Crusade. He travelled through Asia Minor to Marash, shortly before the army's arrival at Antioch in 1097, where he was appointed chaplain to Baldwin of Boulogne. He followed his new lord after Baldwin split off from the main army, to Edessa, where Baldwin founded the county of Edessa.
After the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 Fulcher and Baldwin travelled to the city to complete their pilgrimage. When Baldwin became king of Jerusalem in 1100, Fulcher came with him to Jerusalem and continued as his chaplain until Baldwin died in 1118.At that time, Fulcher may have been serving as Prior at the Mount of Olives. After 1115 he was the canon of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, possibly attached to the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre, and was probably responsible for the relics and treasures in the church. Fulcher was a resident of Jerusalem at least through 1127, but nothing further is known of him.
Fulcher wrote his chronicle of the Crusade Gesta Francorum Iherusalem Peregrinantium (A history of the expedition to Jerusalem) in three books.He started writing it in 1101 and finished around 1128. The chronicle is considered among the best records of the crusade. Included in the chronicle is his account of Pope Urban II's November 1095 speech at the Council of Clermont where Urban calls for the First Crusade:
[Your] brethren who live in the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory of Romania [the Greek empire] as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont, which is called the Arm of St. George. They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire. If you permit them to continue thus for awhile with impurity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them.
At the earliest, Fulcher began his chronicle in the late autumn of 1100, or at the latest in the spring of 1101, in a version that has not survived but which was transmitted to Europe during his lifetime. This version was completed around 1106 and was used as a source by Guibert of Nogent, a contemporary of Fulcher in Europe.
He began his work at the urging of his travelling companions, who probably included Baldwin I. He had at least one library in Jerusalem at his disposal, from which he had access to letters and other documents of the crusade. In this library the Historia Francorum of Raymond of Aguilers and the Gesta Francorum must also have been available, which served as sources for much of the specific information in Fulcher's work that he did not personally witness.
Fulcher divided his chronicle into three books. Book I described the preparations for the First Crusade in Clermont in 1095 up to the conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem by Godfrey of Bouillon. It included an enthusiastic description of Constantinople. The second book described the deeds of Baldwin I, who succeeded Godfrey and was king of Jerusalem from 1100 to 1118. The third and final book reported on the life of king Baldwin II, until 1127 when there was a plague in Jerusalem, during which Fulcher apparently died. The second and third books were written from around 1109 to 1115, and from 1118 to 1127, compiled into a second edition by Fulcher himself.
Fulcher's work was used by many other chroniclers who lived after him. William of Tyre and William of Malmesbury used part of the chronicle as a source. His chronicle is generally accurate, though not entirely so. It was published in the Recueil des historiens des croisades and the Patrologia Latina, and a critical edition of the Latin version was published by Heinrich Hagenmeyer in 1913.
Pope Urban II, otherwise known as Odo of Châtillon or Otho de Lagery, was the head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 12 March 1088 to his death. He is best known for initiating the Crusades.
The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars, or Crusades, initiated, supported and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Islamic rule. While Jerusalem had been under Muslim rule for hundreds of years, by the 11th century the Seljuk takeover of the region threatened local Christian populations, pilgrimages from the West, and the Byzantine Empire itself. The earliest initiative for the First Crusade began in 1095 when Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos requested military support from the Council of Piacenza in the empire's conflict with the Seljuk-led Turks. This was followed later in the year by the Council of Clermont, during which Pope Urban II supported the Byzantine request for military assistance and also urged faithful Christians to undertake an armed pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Godfrey of Bouillon was a French nobleman and pre-eminent leader of the First Crusade. First ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1099 to 1100, he avoided the title of king, preferring that of princeps or Defender of the Holy Sepulchre. Second son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, Godfrey became Lord of Bouillon in 1076 and in 1087 Emperor Henry IV confirmed him as Duke of Lower Lorraine, a reward for his support during the Great Saxon Revolt.
The Council of Clermont was a mixed synod of ecclesiastics and laymen of the Catholic Church, called by Pope Urban II and held from 17 to 27 November 1095 at Clermont, Auvergne, at the time part of the Duchy of Aquitaine.
The Principality of Antioch was one of the crusader states created during the First Crusade which included parts of modern-day Turkey and Syria. The principality was much smaller than the County of Edessa or the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It extended around the northeastern edge of the Mediterranean, bordering the County of Tripoli to the south, Edessa to the east, and the Byzantine Empire or the Kingdom of Armenia to the northwest, depending on the date.
The Treaty of Devol was an agreement made in 1108 between Bohemond I of Antioch and Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, in the wake of the First Crusade. It is named after the Byzantine fortress of Devol. Although the treaty was not immediately enforced, it was intended to make the Principality of Antioch a vassal state of the Byzantine Empire.
The Battle of Harran took place on 7 May 1104 between the Crusader states of the Principality of Antioch and the County of Edessa, and the Seljuk Turks. It was the first major battle against the newfound Crusader states in the aftermath of the First Crusade, marking a key turning point against Frankish expansion. The battle had a disastrous effect on the Principality of Antioch as the Turks regained territory earlier lost.
Raymond of Aguilers was a participant in and chronicler of the First Crusade (1096–1099). During the campaign he became the chaplain of Count Raymond IV of Toulouse, the leader of the Provençal army of crusaders. His chronicle, entitled Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem, which he co-wrote with Pons of Balazun, ends with the events immediately following the capture of Jerusalem in 1099.
The siege of Jerusalem was waged by European forces of the First Crusade, resulting in the capture of the Holy City of Jerusalem from the Muslim Fatimid Caliphate, and laying the foundation for the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, which lasted almost two centuries. The capture of Jerusalem was the final major battle of the first of the Crusades to liberate and occupy the Holy Land begun in 1095. A number of eyewitness accounts of the siege were recorded, the most quoted being that from the anonymous Gesta Francorum. Upon the declaration of the secular state, Godfrey of Bouillon, prominent among the leaders of the crusades, was elected ruler, eschewing the title "king." The siege led to the mass slaughter of thousands of Muslims and Jews and to the conversion of Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount into Christian shrines.
Tancred was an Italo-Norman leader of the First Crusade who later became Prince of Galilee and regent of the Principality of Antioch. Tancred came from the house of Hauteville and was the great-grandson of Norman lord Tancred of Hauteville.
The Gesta Francorum, or Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum, is a Latin chronicle of the First Crusade written in 1100–1101 by an anonymous author connected with Bohemond of Taranto.
Arda was the queen of Jerusalem as the 2nd spouse of King Baldwin I of Jerusalem. She was the first Queen consort of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, as Baldwin's brother and predecessor Godfrey of Bouillon was unmarried.
Deus vult is a Christian motto relating to Divine providence. It was first chanted by Catholics during the First Crusade in 1096 as a rallying cry, most likely under the form Deus le veult or Deus lo vult, as reported by the Gesta Francorum and the Historia Belli Sacri.
Historia Hierosolymitana is a chronicle of the First Crusade by written between c. 1107–1120 by Robert the Monk, a French prior.
Thoros was an Armenian ruler of Edessa at the time of the First Crusade. Thoros was a former officer (curopalates) in the Byzantine Empire and a lieutenant of Philaretos Brachamios. He was Armenian but practiced the Greek Orthodox faith.
The Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem, which has also been published under the simple title Liber ("Book"), is a Latin chronicle of the First Crusade written between 1098 and 1105, probably completed by 1101, by Pons of Balazun and Raymond of Aguilers.
Cecilia of Le Bourcq, was a Cilician fiefholder as Lady of Tarsus. She was the daughter of Hugh I, Count of Rethel, and Melisende of Crécy, the daughter of Guy I of Montlhéry. Cecilia’s brother was Baldwin II of Jerusalem.
Raymond Pilet (1075–1120), the only child of Bernard I Pilet of Narbonne and his wife, whose name is unknown. Seigneur of Alès. Bernard was the son of Raymond II, Viscount of Narbone from 1066 to 1067. The name “pilet” refers to a fur that the nobility wore over their cuirass and coats-of-arms. Raymond distinguished himself as a combatant during the First Crusade.
The Gesta Francorum Iherusalem peregrinantium is a Latin chronicle of the First Crusade written on 1101, 1106, 1124 until 1127 by Fulcher of Chartres. He was a priest who participated in the First Crusade. He served Baldwin I of Jerusalem for many years, and wrote a chronicle of the Crusade, writing in Latin.
Heinrich Hagenmeyer (1834–1915) was a German Protestant pastor and historian, specializing in writing and editing texts from the beginning of the Crusades. Closely associated with fellow German Reinhold Röhricht, their contribution to the history of the kingdom of Jerusalem set a sound archival footing for the discipline. In particular, Hagenmeyer's biography of Peter the Hermit, Peter der Eremite, established the basis for the study of the People's Crusade.