This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Villehardouin: Grandeur And Nobility Essay

1865 words - 7 pages

Geoffroy de Villehardouin was a French noble born in the middle of the twelfth century who participated in the Fourth Crusade. After the crusade he wrote Chronicles of the Crusades which covers not only the foundation of the Fourth Crusade and events up through the conquest of Constantinople, but the ensuing conflicts after as well. Prior to the crusade he was Marshal of Champagne, and while this did not give him direct experience in war he probably took part in disputes in Champagne. This position probably gave him an administrative and military focus which explains the general statesmanlike tone throughout the book, as well as his choice to describe strategies.
Throughout the book, Villehardouin makes his religiosity clear. This is hardly surprising considering the status of religion in the time period and the fact that Villehardouin is a crusader. The reverence for crusaders among European nobles likely also contributed to his values. Early on, he speaks in the typical vocabulary of the crusades by speaking of acting “in God's name” or “by God's Grace.” More interestingly, he repeatedly relates the days of their events to religious days. He observes that the day of the agreement between the Venetians and the envoys was in Lent, the day the siege of Zara began was Saint Martin's Day, the day of departure from Scutari was Saint John the Baptist's Day, the day Constantinople was taken was the Monday before Palm Sunday, and so on. This suggests the level of importance he attributes to the events of the Fourth Crusade. It is not merely a matter of conquest, personal pilgrimage, or military glory, but something deeply tied to the history and health of Christendom in the eyes of Villehardouin.
Additionally, the repeated use of religious dates shows that Villehardouin perceived the omnipresence of God in human events. The dates not only commemorate religious figures and such but also bring the idea of God's presence to each step of the Fourth Crusade. This displays not only the way that Villehardouin looked at the world, but also the way his audience, the people of medieval Europe, perceived events in a very religious context.
Through most of the chronicle, Villehardouin says that God punishes those who sin and blesses the crusaders with victories. Villehardouin describes that every deserter during the winter of Zara either drowned or was killed in Sclavonia. He also emphasizes that all of those who went to Syria instead of Constantinople did nothing useful because it was not part of God's plan for them to go to Syria. He even describes some of those who were captured or died uselessly in Syria as “one of the best knights in the world” or “one of the most innocent souls alive”. This implies that in Villehardouin's worldview, being of good character is irrelevant if you are not in alignment with the plans of God. Similarly, he is confident that God wanted them to take Zara, otherwise the crusade would have fallen apart due to all those inside...

Find Another Essay On Villehardouin: Grandeur and Nobility

The Baroque Period Essay

1046 words - 4 pages War 2. World war was a term coined during the baroque era. This absolutist changed the way their country was run. The first thing they did was separate the churches form the state as a way of controlling more power. They next implemented many new institutions and reformed old ones. Positions once occupied by great lords were now occupied by college educated middle class men. This is when the feudal nobility began to parish. The absolutist

Onate Language, Detail and Symbolism in The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas

1497 words - 6 pages D’Artagnan’s thoughts of Athos as “of medium height, but built in such flawless proportions…Athos, who more than once, when wrestling with Porthos, a giant whose physical strength was proverbial, had felled him…Athos, with his finely chiseled features, his proud stance of head, his glittering eyes and his aristocratic nose… Athos, with his chin so like that of Brutus…Athos, alive with the high indefinable gifts of grandeur and grace” (262). The

Depiction of Class in Tess of the d’Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy

2559 words - 10 pages deterministic. Her mother’s ancestral sexual charm ultimately determines her downfall. Tess is ultimately ‘shackled by ancestry’ and is bound to the fate of the class she was born into. The nostalgia of the past D’Urbervilles lineage is prevalent from the opening chapters of the novel. John Durbeyfield’s acquisition of his past nobility from a parson establishes his childlike behaviour towards the revelation, and eventually brings the family great

She Stoops to Conquer

1360 words - 6 pages authority over the court is demeaning to their supposed importance and superiority. The image of a body more powerful than the nobility and kings diminishes their grandeur and self-importance. In addition to weakening their power by introducing their master, the sun, this line diminishes their importance by equating them with school-boys and country ants, or peasant farmers, all of whom must likewise answer to the sun. While the king is placed

Escaping to Discover the Truth

884 words - 4 pages on the north by the vast Sahara Desert; a desert that blinded the early scholars’ eyes to the magnificent wonder and beauty that is the second largest land mass on this third rock from the sun. A limited worldview plagued early scholars of the grandeur of the African Rainforests, Snowcapped Mountains of Kilimanjaro, the scorched earth of the Kalahari Desert, the vast expanse of the Serengeti Plains, and the amiable climes throughout the vast

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - The Power of Money

678 words - 3 pages , in search of the power that enables them to live. But, money can play many parts in the drama of life. It can represent or give the illusion of wealth, prestige, nobility, and power. Those that seek to harness its powers must also strive to conquer its ability to destroy and corrupt. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, the repeated image of money, no matter in what form or through whom it is portrayed, is used to such an extent that it

The truly tragic figure in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra is Cleopatra. Discuss

836 words - 3 pages Barbara Everett rightly claims that the play ‘is continually suggestively of different kinds and categories of drama.’ This is not simply a tragedy and no character is simply and ‘truly’ tragic. However, Cleopatra, Antony and Enobarbus have tragic elements – grandeur, nobility, fateful misjudgements and a fall from the heights – as well as lesser qualities. It would be true to add, though, that Cleopatra is the

The French Revolution

2041 words - 8 pages .’1 The French Revolution, beginning in 1789 was an era of social and political upheaval that saw the collapse of the absolute monarchy and its prejudice class system. Before the French Revolution of 1789, France was subject to a social division dictated by ones circumstance of birth and wealth. The entire French population of twenty-three million was separated into three estates; the Nobility, Clergy and the Third Estate. This hierarchical

The Pope and Blackmore Feud

918 words - 4 pages Sublime (1st century AD). Pope takes Longinus's description of the five sources of the sublime – grandeur of thought; inspired passion; the effective use of rhetorical figures; nobility of diction; and the dignity of the overall composition – and ironically advocates their opposites as guidance in the modern poet's quest to achieve true profundity.

The Age of Enlightenment

716 words - 3 pages flourish during the reign of Louis XV (Mautz.) The prevailing taste for elegance, comfort and beautiful possessions even infiltrated the ranks of the bourgeoisie. Works such as The Swing painted by Jean-Honoré Fragonard shows light-hearted flirtation, an element intrinsic to the Rococo period (Schneider Adams 714.) Louis XV and Louis XVI were both inadequate leaders. Pressures from the French nobility and the church mounted, the monarchy tried

Burial Practices of Ancient Egypt

1639 words - 7 pages ornate, religious burial practices to fit to every member of their society. The grandeur with which Egyptians regarded their funerary customs does not come without explanation. They delighted in tying the occurrences of the natural world with supernatural dogma, and their burial practices exemplified this deluge of religion. A special deity was even attributed to cemeteries and embalmers: Anubis (Fiero, 46). Due to this deep sense of religion, a

Similar Essays

Wealth And The Medieval Individual Essay

2328 words - 10 pages While the birth of the individual began in the late thirteenth century, so did the swap of primarily Christian icons to iconography of wealthy patrons and nobility. As religion still played a incredibly important role in medieval society, the rise of the individual began with the rise of the representation of wealthy nobility. As the role of singular man became more and more realized, the relationship of the individual and their connection to

The Satire Of Gulliver's Travels Essay

862 words - 3 pages creature could assume such a high degree of superiority.        Gulliver's Travels is a satirical novel of the eighteenth century English society, a society with superficial ideas of grandeur and nobility.  Through clever representations, Jonathan Swift successfully humbles this society's pride and human vanity.  He reveals the flaws it their thinking by reducing them to what they are, human beings, which, like any other group of human

The Satire Of Johnathan Swift Revealed. Refers To "Gulliver's Travels

788 words - 3 pages with superficial ideas of grandeur and nobility. Through clever representations, Jonathan Swift successfully humbles this society's pride and human vanity. He reveals the flaws it their thinking by reducing them to what they are, human beings, which, like any other group of human beings is able to do, have merely adopted a superficial self righteous attitude. In doing so, Swift makes a broader statement about mankind today. Despite all the self

To What Extent Did High Culture Become The Tool Of State Interest During The Period 1624 1715?

2233 words - 9 pages During the Renaissance, humanists, having recovered numerous ancient texts, suggested 'that the grandeur of a king although established by war, was maintained by peace. The fruits of peace, they claimed, were commercial prosperity and the progress in the arts, which in turn immortalised the prince's glory.' Ritual, art and architecture may all be seen as the instruments of self-assertion, as the continuation of war and diplomacy by other means