Title

The Cursed Carolers As Crusaders In Twelfth-Century Flanders

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

3-23-2021

Department

History

School

Humanities

Abstract

One of the earliest texts that transmit the story of the cursed carolers of Kölbigk is the Relatio miraculi. This short text was often copied alongside miracle stories or hagiographical texts. In a small cluster of codices made in the southern part of the county of Flanders in the aftermath of the Second Crusade, however, the Relatio miraculi appears with crusade texts such as Robert the Monk’s Historia Iherosolimitana, rather than with miracle tales or vitae. The scribes who chose to copy the Relatio miraculi into these books seem to have intended for the story of the cursed carolers to serve as a commentary on the failure of the Second Crusade. By copying it into crusade books, they appear to have transformed the Relatio miraculi into a crusade text; that is, in the medieval Flemish monasteries where the story circulated, scribes and readers likely understood the tale as a story about crusading, rather than a text about an eleventh-century miracle.

Publication Title

The Cursed Carolers in Context

First Page

57

Last Page

72

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