The Franks Return to the Holy Land

Matthew Gabriele

in An Empire of Memory

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199591442
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725128 | DOI:
The Franks Return to the Holy Land

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Chapter 5 determines what it meant to be a ‘Frank’ in the eleventh century. Beginning in the eighth and ninth centuries, Frankish identity was an expansive, supplemental category that relied more upon ascription to a set of ideas than to blood or territory. When speaking of how one related to a specific place, one could be a Norman, Bavarian, or Provençal but when speaking of a larger, greater, more Christian, and unified collectivity, one was a Frank. We see this shine through even in eleventh‐century Norman sources, where the Normans thought of themselves as the true inheritors of (now lost) Frankish martial glory. Although we must remember that there was no one origin of the First Crusade, the language of Frankishness pervades the event's sources because men across Europe thought they were descendents of Charlemagne's Golden Age. Here, ideas translated into action.

Keywords: Franks; identity; First Crusade; Urban II; Gregory VII; Sergius IV; empire; memory; Normans; historiography

Chapter.  18253 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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