Post-classical history

Humbert of Romans (d. 1277)

A preacher and theorist of crusade.

Born around 1200, Humbert joined the Dominican Order as a theology student in Paris in 1224. While serving as provincial minister of the order in northern France (1244), Humbert organized its substantial contributions to the preaching and organization of the first crusade undertaken by Louis IX, king of France. He continued to promote the crusading movement as Dominican master general (1254-1263) and during his subsequent retirement at Lyons.

His Opus tripartitum, a treatise written for the Second Council of Lyons (1274), reiterated earlier moralists’ assertions that the reform of the institutional church and laity was essential for the success of the crusades.

Humbert also described contemporary criticism of the crusading movement, dealt with the proposed reunion of the Latin and Greek Orthodox churches, and suggested that traditional crusade expeditions should be replaced by a permanent military force stationed in the Holy Land, supported by taxation and donations. His De predicatione crucis (1266/1268) was intended to provide preachers with material and guidance for the construction of crusade sermons. Humbert’s own sermons to pilgrims and crusaders were reworked as part of the material included in his De eruditione praedicatorum (1266/1277).

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