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Chapter Summary

The social structure of the First Crusade shown diagrammatically would resemble a diamond sitting on a flattened base. Non-Christians captives, a few hundred people perhaps, were the very bottom of the social hierarchy. Next, came the pauperes, who were a substantial part of the crusading army. Above the poor were a sizeable body of the middle ranks; defined above all by the fact they fought on foot. Higher still were the knights, who were of a much higher social status than those on foot and were present in much fewer numbers. Above the knights, were the magnates, the counts and dukes of territories. Looking at the sources with an eye for what they reveal about social structure can bring a fresh approach to old debates to the benefit of all those interested in the crusades. Hopefully, the value of such an approach is evident in this book.

Keywords:First Crusade; foot soldiers; knights; magnates; non-Christians captives; pauperes; social structure



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