Crusade and Narrative: Bohemond and the Gesta Francorum

Document Type



History (Pomona)

Publication Date



first crusade, narrative structures, Gesta Francorum, Bohemond, Slexius Comnenus, pilgrimage, Antioch, Jerusalem


Historiographical studies of the histories of the First Crusade have focused more on establishing the relationship between the extant texts than on the narrative structures adopted by their authors. In the case of the anonymous Gesta Francorum, the author's decision, first of all, to depict the expedition as a pilgrimage, and second, to cast Bohemond as its protagonist meant that he had to explain away the Norman leader's refusal to respect his oath to Alexius Comnenus as well as his failure to complete the pilgrimage. It may also have led the author to give extra narrative weight to the conquest and defense of Antioch, at the expense of Jerusalem.

Rights Information

© 1991 Elsevier