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Orderic Vitalis

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Chapter Summary

Orderic was born in Mercia in 1075 to a Norman father and English Mother. His output was considerable, as many manuscripts bearing his handwriting survive, and these include lives of saints, liturgies, hymns, biographies and histories. The Ecclesiastical history was written, at the request of the abbot of St Evroul, as an historical record of the abbey, but it soon grew to become a much wider historical work. While Orderic's account of the First Crusade is factually similar to his source, Baldric of Bourgueil, it is the differing presentation of the Muslims that is important. The large amount of space given to the Crusade shows how important he, and probably therefore others in Western Europe, regarded the liberation of Jerusalem from the Muslims.

Keywords: abbey; Baldric of Bourgueil; Ecclesiastical history; First Crusade; muslims; Orderic Vitalis; saints; St Evroul

10.1163/ej.9789004195158.i-804.290
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