Book Series Outremer. Studies in the Crusades and the Latin East, vol. 7

The Fourth Lateran Council and the Crusade Movement

The Impact of the Council of 1215 on Latin Christendom and the East

Jessalynn Bird, Damian Smith (eds)

  • Pages: xii + 340 p.
  • Size:178 x 254 mm
  • Illustrations:5 b/w
  • Language(s):English, French
  • Publication Year:2018

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58088-3
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58089-0
  • E-book
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“This is a very strong collection. Its essays together paint a picture of the significance of the Fourth Lateran Council in a range of contexts and help us to better understand the crusading movement's many influences on the Council's business, rhetoric, and outcomes, as well as the many impacts the Council had on crusading activity. The strength of the volume lies in its integration of the range of contemporary perspectives brought to bear on the Council's discussions about crusade and reform.” (Megan Cassidy-Welch, in Sehepunkte, 19, 2019)

« Bien présenté (…) l’ouvrage dirigé par Jessalynn Bird et Damian Smith apporte un nouvel éclairage sur l’un des conciles les plus importants du Moyen Âge. » (Michel Balard, in Francia-Recensio, 3, 2019)

“(…) the editors are to be congratulated for producing a volume that fully justifies their blurb on the back cover.” (Chris Schabel, in Rottenburger Jahrbuchs für Kirchengeschichte, 38, 2019, p. 361)


Jessalynn L. Bird is an Assistant Professor in Humanistic Studies at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN. She has co-authored a sourcebook for the crusades with Edward Peters and the late James Powell and has written numerous articles on the activities of members of Peter the Chanter’s circle.

Damian J. Smith is Professor of History at Saint Louis University. He has written multiple books on the history of medieval Aragon and is currently writing a history of the reign of James I of Aragon (1213-1276).


The Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 is often considered as the high water-mark for the medieval church with its decisions affecting the cultural, social, religious and intellectual history of the later medieval world. The council was also a major event in the history of the crusades not only because the reform of the church and the recovery of the Holy Land were the central concerns of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) but also because at the time of the council political decisions were made which affected all theatres of crusading and the canons of the council dealt with issues concerning piety and economics which had very long-term implications for the crusading movement. This book, bringing together an international team of scholars, is the first to deal with Fourth Lateran and the crusades in entirety and argues for the centrality of the council in the history of the crusades. It will be of interest not only to scholars of the history of the crusades but also to those interested in the history of the religious life of the Middle Ages as well to students of the particular areas and themes under discussion.


Damian J. Smith and Jessalynn L. Bird
The Fourth Lateran Council and the Crusades

Part I. Liturgy, Indulgences, and Elections

Richard Allington
Chapter One: Crusading Piety and the Development of Crusading Devotions at the Fourth Lateran Council

Ane L. Bysted
Chapter Two: Remission of Sins or of Penances? The Meaning of Crusade Indulgences before and at the Fourth Lateran Council

Thomas F. Madden
Chapter Three: Oaths Broken, Yet Fulfilled: Venice, Innocent III and the Patriarchate of Constantinople

Part II. The Albigensian Crusade

Martín Alvira
Chapter Four: La convocation du Quatrième Concile du Latran et la Croisade contre les Albigeois

Marjolaine Raguin-Barthelmebs
Chapter Five: Le concile de Latran dans la Chanson de la Croisade albigeoise, une acmé

Marco Meschini
Chapter Six: Innocent III, the Fourth Lateran Council and the Albigensian Crusade

Damian J. Smith
Chapter Seven: The Reconciliation of Guillem Ramon de Montcada, the Albigensian Crusade and Fourth Lateran

Part III. The Baltic and the Iberian Peninsula

Alan V. Murray
Chapter Eight: Adding to the Multitude of Fish: Pope Innocent III, Bishop Albert of Riga and the Conversion of the Indigenous Peoples of Livonia

Torben Kjersgaard Nielsen
Chapter Nine: The Virgin at the Lateran – The Baltic Crusades, Rome and the Mother of God

Miguel Gomez
Chapter Ten: Archbishop Rodrigo, Honorius III, and the Fifth Crusade in Spain

Part IV. Ad liberandam, The East, and Crusaders’ Rights

Thomas W. Smith
Chapter Eleven: Conciliar Influence on Ad liberandam

James J. Todesca
Chapter Twelve: Mediterranean Trade in the Wake of Lateran IV: The Millares Revisited 241

Jessalynn L. Bird
Chapter Thirteen: The Fourth Lateran Council, Peace, and the Protection of Crusader Rights during the Crusades of Frederick II

Jan Vandeburie
Chapter Fourteen: Dominus papa volens scire – Echoes of the Fourth Lateran Council’s Crusade and Mission Agenda in Thirteenth-Century Manuscripts