McCabe, Mark (2020) 'Opus Virile': Masculinity and Crusade Narratives 1200-1309. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis examines the representation and function of masculinity in crusade narratives 1200-1309. It specifically considers elite masculinity as this was the concern of the authors of these narratives. This addresses an important scholarly gap and will demonstrate that masculinity was a vital concept to the historical representation of these crusades. To achieve this a close of analysis of the following texts will be undertaken: Richard of Templo’s account of the Third Crusade, Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi. Peter of Vaux-de-Cernay’s history of the Albigensian Crusade, Historia Albigensis. Robert of Clari’s Fourth Crusade recollection, La Conquête de Constantinople. The final text is John of Joinville’s memoir and personal account of the Seventh Crusade, Vie de Saint Louis. A gendered analysis of these texts will reveal that the representation and function of masculinity served a practical purpose either as a didactic tool or narrative device. The use of a variety of narratives about different crusades authored by a diverse selection of people reveal universal understandings of the importance of gender performance during the period under investigation. To achieve this both medieval ideas of gender and the following sociological theory will be applied to these texts: hegemonic masculinity, performativity, homosociality and hypermasculinity. This will demonstrate that crusade narratives are a rich and valuable source of information regarding elite masculinity and make a useful knowledge to our understanding of gender in the Middle Ages that have hitherto been overlooked.

FINAL THESIS - McCabe.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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