Post-classical history

Baldric of Dol (1046-1130)

Author of an account of the First Crusade (1096-1099). Born at Meung-sur-Loire, Baldric became abbot of Bourgueil in 1089. Leader of a classicizing circle of poets, he systematized the use of parallel biblical and antique exemplary figures. His learning and piety earned him promotion to the controversial “archdiocese” of Dol in northeast Brittany in May 1107.

Baldric’s Historia Hierosolimitana was a more literary and dramatic rewriting of the anonymous Gesta Francorum in a formal Latin style. It added limited but nonetheless valuable additional information from oral sources, including information about some of those in the contingent led by Alan IV of Brittany. His work was extensively used by the Anglo-Norman chronicler Orderic Vitalis, who added further information about Breton crusaders after 1101.

Baldric wrote beautiful Latin but had weaknesses as a historian; although interested in the moral or exemplary aspects of the past, he paid scant attention to practical matters, such as dates. He also wrote an important life of his contemporary Robert of Arbrissel.

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