Christopher Tyerman introduces us to a preacher known as the instigator of the First Crusade.
Peter the Hermit was described by one observer as the instigator of the Crusade. He certainly plays a large role. What he actually said when he was preaching, we have very few direct pieces of evidence. What he’s saying is that – as far as we can reconstruct it – is that Jerusalem is controlled by an infidel violent group, the Turks, that are persecuting Christian pilgrims, that are persecuting indigenous Christians in Palestine, and this has to be reversed. That God is instructing his faithful to redeem, not merely Palestine and the Holy Land, not merely other Christians, but redeem themselves by this holy act of saving Jerusalem from the infidel. This was the populist message and the key point was, if you do this, you will be saved. And this applies across the social board.