IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 1614: Holy Innocents

Thursday 15 July 2004, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Shaun Tougher, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Paper 1614-b'This day will be remembered forever': The Fall of Jerusalem, 15 July 1099
(Language: English)
Conor Kostick, School of Histories & Humanities, Trinity College Dublin
Index terms: Crusades, Social History
Paper 1614-cThe Jewish Holy Innocents: A Jewish Motif of Martyrdom and its Christian Background
(Language: English)
Lena Roos, Department of Theology, Uppsala Universitet
Index terms: Crusades, Hebrew and Jewish Studies

grouped by Liz James 24-10-03:
Abstract paper a-
This paper examines the Syrian chronicler Al-‘Azami’s claims of Western pilgrims being massacred on their way to Jerusalem in 1092 by the Muslims of the Levantine ports, and his supposition that it was a direct cause of the First Crusade. Comparisons with other Muslim chroniclers of the period, and analysis of Muslim-Christian relations will be made to discover the likelihood of this being true and the ramifications to the Islamic Mediterranean of the period.
Abstract paper b
The bloodshed at the fall of Jerusalem 15 July 1099 shocked non-Christian contemporaries and has become notorious – echoing through the centuries in the politics of the Middle East. But why was the violence of that day so thorough? This question has been much examined, but one aspect of it that offers an interesting addition to the discussion is the strong political position of the pauperes on the eve of the battle. An examination of the sources, particularly Raymond d’Aguilers, suggests that the distribution of booty among the army of the First Crusade was untypical for its time, and that their insistence on property rights led to a thorough purge of the city by the pauperes.

Abstract paper c-
The paper will deal with the motif of innocent martyrdom in the Hebrew Chronicles of the First Crusade. In these Chronicles, the martyrs are referred to as ‘innocent’, and are compared to children who had never sinned. This is not known from earlier Jewish martyr texts. This should be connected to the fact that during the twelfth century, the soldiers responsible for the slaughter of the Holy Innocents (Matt. 2:16-18) were increasingly identified as Jews. The Hebrew Chronicles seem to respond to that charge, claiming that their martyrs were the true ‘Holy Innocents’. This shared motif is clearly another sign of how much these Hebrew Chronicles were influencend by their Christian surroundings.