Monks, Hermits and Crusaders in Medieval Europe

Constable, Giles
Date published: 
March 1988

The present collection of Professor Constable’s articles centres on religious life and thought in 11-12th-century Europe, Western Europe in particular, though the scope broadens, for example, when dealing with the Crusades. The author’s method is to take a particular topic or episode, and to see how this actually worked and what people at the time thought about it - and whether or not this corresponded with what they actually did. The principle theme is the history of monasticism (and the various forms this took) at a time when it was undergoing a period of far-reaching renewal and expansion. This is illustrated, on the one hand, by the administrative reforms and the insistence upon discipline instituted by Suger, abbot of St Denis, or the scandalous tale of the nun of Watton, and, on the other hand, by the wealth, especially in land, which monasteries were able to accumulate when financing the Crusades.