Book Series Sermo, vol. 14

Crusade Preaching and the Ideal Crusader

Miikka Tamminen

  • Pages: x + 332 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Language(s):English, Latin
  • Publication Year:2019

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-57725-8
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-57726-5
  • E-book
  • Available

Presents, for the first time, a study of the crusade model sermons of the thirteenth century as a corpus in its entirety, in order to explore the creation of the ideal crusader in thirteenth-century society. 


Crusading Preaching invites scholars of history of crusade, religion, and medieval sermons to reconsider the vital role preachers and ecclesiastics had in crafting the identity of crusaders. It also provides a valuable basis for further research on the connections between the University of Paris and Rome, propaganda and policy, and the larger influence that the concept of the "ideal crusader" had on the perception of defeat and the memorialization of the dead.” (Lydia M. Walker, in The Medieval Review, 10/09/2019)

“(…) this valuable synthesis of the treatment of the ideal crusader in sermons of the thirteenth century would be well suited for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses and provides a tremendously useful starting point for anyone wishing a state-of-the-field survey of crusade sermon studies.” (Jessalynn Lea Bird, in Speculum, 95/1, 2020, p. 243)

“(…) overall this is a carefully researched and thoughtful book which brings to light a number of important themes in relation to crusade preaching and the construction of the best sort of crusade participant.” (Megan Cassidy-Welch, in Sehepunkte, 20, 2020)

« Dans l’ensemble, il s’agit donc d’un livre très complet et impressionnant, et il convient de mettre en relief la qualité et la quantité de la mise en contexte que Tamminen fournit dans ses analyses de ces sources – recourant souvent et considérablement à des textes théologiques ou ecclésiastiques – pour mettre en évidence la portée et le sens d’un thème particulier. » (Nicholas Morton, dans Le Moyen Âge, 1, 2020, p. 179)

“On balance, Tamminen makes a lucid and instructive contribution to scholarship on the crusade model sermons and thirteenth-century crusade ideology more broadly. His analysis effectively complements the best recent work in this field and shows that, even if we can tease out some features that are common to all of the model sermons, there was no monolithic conception of the ‘true’ crusader in the thirteenth century, but rather many different conceptions of this idealized figure. Students, teachers, and researchers seeking to understand the complex development of crusading ideas in this period will no doubt read this book with great interest.” (James H. Kane, in Parergon, 37/2, 2020, p.253)


Crusade preachers had a number of responsibilities during the Middle Ages. Preachers were responsible for communicating crusading messages to Christian subjects. They recruited crusaders and sought supporters for the movement. They collected crusading funds and participated in campaigns. During the journeys, the preachers played a central role in creating the identity of the crusading armies, in sustaining the morale of the crusaders, and in explaining the goals of an expedition to the participants.

This book explores the creation of the ideal crusader in thirteenth-century society. It presents, for the first time, a study of the crusade model sermons of the thirteenth century as a corpus in its entirety. How were the crusades promoted? How was crusading ideology disseminated throughout Christendom by experienced crusade preachers? What were the characteristics of the ideal crusader?

The book considers various dimensions of crusade ideology and the values associated with crusading in thirteenth-century society – the qualities that were appreciated and valued by contemporaries, and the traits that were considered disadvantageous in a crusading context. The expectations, the aspirations, and the concerns of crusade preachers with regard to the conduct and the quality of the crusaders are also explored.




Chapter 1. Introduction

  • Veri Crucesignati
  • Crusade Studies
  • The Authors of the Crusade Sermons
  • Spreading the Message
  • Primary Sources
Chapter 2. The Crusader and the Bible

  • The Shield of Joshua
  • The Dream of Judas Maccabaeus
  • From Patriarchs to Prostitutes
  • Biblical Prophecy
Chapter 3. The Crusader and God

  • In the Service of God
  • The Imitatio Christi
  • Bearing the Stigmata
  • The Treasury of Christ’s Passion
  • Crusading Martyrdom
Chapter 4. The Crusader and the World

  • Mundane Obstacles
  • Earthly Wealth
  • Pilgrimage Through the Torrent of the World
  • Harmonious Crusading
Conclusions. The Features of the True Crusader


  • Appendix I. Crusade Preaching Manual
  • Appendix II. Crusade Model Sermons of Philippe le Chancelier
  • Appendix III. Crusade Model Sermons of Jacques de Vitry
  • Appendix IV. Crusade Model Sermon of Roger of Salisbury
  • Appendix V. Crusade Model Sermons of Eudes de Châteauroux

Index of Manuscripts

General Index