Popular Literacies and the First Historians of the First Crusade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The earliest histories of the First Crusade were informed by the testimonies of combatants who aligned their experiences with available historical models, especially the master narrative of sacred history. Within a few years of the Christian occupation of Jerusalem, and several years before elite monastic chroniclers began their work, laymen and clerics who had participated in the crusade were producing narratives that circulated in small booklets (*libelli*) and other ephemeral formats, influencing public opinion and provoking responses from the ecclesiastical establishment. The documentation inspired by the First Crusade allows us to reconstruct the forms of popular literacy shared by the crusaders and their audiences, the media through which they accessed writing, and their historiographical agency.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-67
Number of pages31
JournalPast and Present
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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