Post-classical history

Historia de profectione Danorum in Hierosolymam

A short narrative describing the participation of a Danish- Norwegian fleet in the Third Crusade (1189-1192).

The work was written by an unknown canon from the Premonstratensian monastery in Tønsberg (Norway) at the instigation of a superior cleric known only as Dominus K, and some of the participants, probably in the late 1190s and certainly before 1202.

The narrative tells of five Danish nobles and their followers who left for the Holy Land in 1191 on four ships ahead of a Norwegian contingent of 200 men. The Danish ships were abandoned on the Frisian coast after a violent storm in the North Sea where one ship was lost and several people drowned. The survivors continued by land but only reached the Holy Land after the peace of September 1192. The text was probably written to demonstrate that the expedition was a real crusade, in view of the fact that the participants reached the Holy Land too late for the actual fighting.

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