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Constructing KingshipThe Capetian Monarchs of France and the Early Crusades$
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James Naus

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090974

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090974.001.0001

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The First Crusade and the new economy of status, 1095–1110

The First Crusade and the new economy of status, 1095–1110

(p.28) 2 The First Crusade and the new economy of status, 1095–1110
Constructing Kingship

James Naus

Manchester University Press

Chapter two argues that the First Crusade had a polarizing impact on French society. The unlikely success of the expedition opened a new route to power for ambitious mid-ranking nobles and castellans, who suddenly were presented with the opportunity to transform heroic deeds done in the East into political status and capital at home. A good number of these men and women amassed political and economic benefits on the basis of their crusading reputations, a point that has (rightfully) led many to argue that the First Crusade had a generally positive impact on European society. And yet, the expedition’s success also occasioned a serious challenge for Europe’s non-crusading elite, in particular, the kings of France, who had to very quickly adapt their ruling methods to complete in the new ‘economy of status’. Through a close examination of Capetian marriage patterns and royal involvement with the production of crusade-related tests, this chapter builds up a picture of cultural frames, scripts, and schemata that in the early years of the twelfth century combined and resulted in what can appropriately be termed a ‘crisis of crusading’ for the French royal court.

Keywords:   Philip I, Hugh of Vermandois, First Crusade, Bohemond, Robert the Monk

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