«Peregrini et in pugna»: l’Autunno della Crociata attraverso i diari di pellegrinaggio in Terrasanta di cavalieri italiani nel Tardo Medioevo


  • Alessandro Navone Sapienza Università di Roma

Parole chiave:

chivalry, crusade, pilgrimage , Holy Land


The bond between pilgrimage and holy war is an ancient one. The marriage that sealed it, blessed by Urban II at the time of the first expedition and celebrated in a liberated Jerusalem, had been witnessed by the great protagonists of the enterprise – the milites, lords and knights, who for centuries to come would hold its memory as an integral part of their identity. By the end of the Middle Ages, the institution of crusade had changed significantly from its origins – Jerusalem was lost and distant, the Turks and Saracens ever closer – but the memory of the old bond remained among them. This study aims to shed light on certain aspects of it, drawing from a privileged source: pilgrimage diaries. Seven travel diaries of Italian knightly pilgrims from the Late Middle Ages have been examined to uncover this social group’s perception of the crusade during its “autumnal period”: their relationship with the present, amidst ongoing crusades, the victorious march of Islam, and the oppression endured in the Holy Land; their vision of the past, evoking glories lost, fading to imagination and legend; their hopes for the future, amidst plans for revenge, prophecies, dreams of conversion and conquest of Christ’s usurped fief.






Sezione monografica