This essay is concerned with the papal legatine missions dispatched between 1095 and 1204 to the Anglo-Norman territories to preach the crusade to the Holy Land. The essay focuses on legates a latere, legates nati and semi-permanent legates, addressing their prosopographies, their faculties and the outcomes of their missions, especially as far as funding, preaching and organization of the crusade were concerned. New evidence, now preserved in Canterbury Cathedral Archives and dealing with the organization of the crusade in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, is provided and edited in the Appendix. This evidence sheds new light on Innocent III ’s use of ‘semi-permanent’ legates as well as legates a latere to the Anglo-Norman territories, underpinning the papal attempt to centralize and manage the local organization of crusading through a careful and ad hoc delegation of papal faculties to the most suitable candidates, who were chosen because of their individual abilities, often in defiance of their status and education and notwithstanding the prerogatives of the local ordinaries. Furthermore, the study allows us to challenge Christopher Tyerman’s argument that the papacy was unsuccessful in organizing and systematically controlling crusade preaching, recruitment and money-collection in England until the time of the Third Crusade. As argued in the essay, in organizing the Fourth Crusade Innocent III did not ‘invent’ papal control over preaching, recruitment and fundraising for the Holy Land. On the contrary, the pope built on a lengthy tradition that had seen a continuous papal involvement in the organization of the crusade through the employment of papal legates in the localities from the late eleventh century.

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Legati, delegati e l’impresa d’Oltremare (secoli XII-XIII) / Papal Legates, Delegates and the Crusades (12th-13th Century): Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi Milano, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 9-11 marzo 2011

Publisher: Brepols Publishers
Published: January 2014
ISBN: 978-2-503-55441-9
e-ISBN: 978-2-503-55510-2

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