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Monastic ideas, Third crusade, Jerusalem, Garnerius of Rochefort, Adam the Scot


In the crusading era of the Twelfth Century, a majority of Latin sermons presented Jerusalem as a visio pacis (“vision of peace”) that maintained an original characterization of the city made by Pope Urban II’s 1095 sermon at Clermont that launched the First Crusade. This essay demonstrates significant ways in which Garnerius of Rochefort and Adam the Scot transformed that visio pacis by the end of the twelfth century. For Garnerius (d. 1215)—a bishop at Langres (in northeastern France) from 1193 who wrote against the Amaurian pantheistic heresy, and died at Clairvaux—the traditional Augustinian visio spiritualis of Jerusalem was reversed, in that Garnerius saw not a celestial or even idealized earthly city, but a physical Jerusalem whose “dwellers in shadows” were practicing abominations in the eyes of the Lord. Similarly, in sermons by Adam the Scot (c. 1140-1212)—a Premonstratensian abbot at Dryburgh (Borders area of Scotland) from 1184 to 1188, who wrote many tracts and sermons before retiring as a Carthusian at Witham—the writer described a Jerusalemite visio pacis that could be seen via a journey no farther than the walls of an abbey. This investigation serves a couple of purposes; first, it hopefully contributes to the study of mentalities in the Middle Ages, in that its attention to previously untranslated Latin sermons brings into relief aspects of a monastic homiletic discourse bounded almost solely by biblical typologies without reference to the multitude of contemporary sources about conditions in Jerusalem and the Latin Kingdom; secondly, it continues the necessary foundational work for an upcoming monograph on western sermon depictions of locales and peoples in the Holy Land during the Crusades from 1095-1291.