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B-Bottoms FIHOTD Thread (the Childrens Crusade)


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Children's Crusade




The Children's Crusade is the name given to a variety of fictional and factual events in 1212 AD that combine some or all of these elements: visions by a boy, children marching to south Italy, an attempt to free the Holy Land, and children being sold into slavery. Several conflicting accounts exist, and the facts of the situation continue to be a subject of debate among historians.






The long-standing view

The long-standing view of the Children's Crusade is some version of events with similar themes. A boy began preaching in either France or Germany claiming that he had been visited by Jesus and told to lead the next Crusade. Through a series of supposed portents and miracles he gained a considerable following, including possibly as many as 20,000 children. He led his followers southwards towards the Mediterranean Sea, where it is said he believed that the sea would part when he arrived, so that he and his followers could march to Jerusalem, but this did not happen. Two merchants gave passage on seven boats to as many of the children as would fit. The children were either taken to Tunisia and sold into slavery, or died in a shipwreck. In some accounts they never reached the sea before dying or giving up from starvation and exhaustion. Scholarship has shown this long standing view to be more legend than fact.



Modern research

According to more recent research1 there seems to have been two movements of people in 1212 in France and Germany. The similarities of the two allowed later chroniclers to lump them together as a single tale.


In the first movement Nicholas, a German shepherd, led a group across the Alps and into Italy in the early spring of 1212. About 7,000 arrived in Genoa in late August. However, their plans didn't bear fruit when the waters failed to part as promised and the band broke up. Some left for home, others may have gone to Rome, while still others may have traveled down the Rhone to Marseilles where they were probably sold into slavery. Few returned home and none reached the Holy Land.


The second movement was led by a "shepherd boy"2 named Stephen de Cloyes near the village of Ch

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