Fulcher of Chartres:
The Latins in the East (Chronicle, Bk III)
Consider, I pray, and reflect bow in our time God has transferred
the West into the East, For we who were Occidentals now have been
made Orientals. He who was a Roman or a Frank is now a Galilaean,
or an inhabitant of Palestine. One who was a citizen of Rheims
or of Chartres now has been made a citizen of Tyre or of Antioch.
We have already forgotten the places of our birth; already they
have become unknown to many of us, or, at least, are unmentioned.
Some already possess here homes and servants which they have received
through inheritance. Some have taken wives not merely of their
own people, but Syrians, or Armenians, or even Saracens who have
received the grace of baptism. Some have with them father-in-law,
or daughter-in-law, or son-in-law, or stepson, or step-father.
There are here, too, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One
cultivates vines, another the fields. The one and the other use
mutually the speech and the idioms of the different languages.
Different languages, now made common, become known to both races,
and faith unites those whose forefathers were strangers. As it
is written, "The lion and the ox shall eat straw together."
Those who were strangers are now natives; and he who was a sojourner
now has become a resident, Our parents and relatives from day
to day come to join us, abandoning, even though reluctantly, all
that they possess. For those who were poor there, here God makes
rich. Those who had few coins, here possess countless besants;
and those who had not had a villa, here, by the gift of God, already
possess a city. Therefore why should one who has found the East
so favorable return to the West? God does not wish those to suffer
want who, carrying their crosses, have vowed to follow Him, nay
even unto the end. You see, therefore, that this is a great miracle,
and one which must greatly astonish the whole world. Who has ever
heard anything like it? Therefore, God wishes to enrich us all
and to draw us to Himself as His most dear friends. And because
He wishes it, we also freely desire the same; and what is pleasing
to Him we do with a loving and submissive heart, that with Him
we may reign happily throughout eternity.
August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses
and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), 280-81
This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book.
The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted
texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the
document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying,
distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal
use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source.
No permission is granted for commercial use.
© Paul Halsall December 1997