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Feudal Society in Champagne

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The fundamental institutions of medieval feudal society are something that many historians have researched at great length. One of the best existing windows into medieval institutions, society, culture, and other matters, is Feudal Society in Medieval France: Documents from the County of Champagne; One of the sections contained in this compilation of documents is on the Crusades. The documents contained in this section are of correspondence between various parties all pertaining to the Crusades.

Contained in this subsection, there are eighteen different compositions pertaining to the crusades, their subjects vary widely as do the motivations of the authors.

1. Work by William of Tyre describing the Templars, a group of Knights whose sworn duty was to protect pilgrims to the holy land and keep the routes safe for travel, also known as the Knights of the Temple.

2. Letter by Bernard of Clairvaux, in this letter he justifies the need for a "monastic military order" to protect the holy land and all pilgrims. He also writes this to show the benefit of knights who were out for nothing but protection of Christianity, instead of the usual Knights who were out for material gain and used protection of Christianity as an excuse.

3. Letter by Bernard of Clairvaux, to the Byzantine Emperor, Manuel Comneus, requesting that Henry, the son of Count Thibaut II of Champagne, be granted a Knighthood by the Emperor. He makes this request to make an impression on Henry and most likely also in an effort to strengthen ties between the two powers.

4. Letter from Louis VII to Count Thibaut II, praising his son Henry. This letter was written as a peace offering to Thibaut, with whom Louis had had extensive prior conflict.

5. Letter by Bernard of Clairvaux, to Abbot Suger of Sait-Denis, reminding him of the Church's prohibition of tournaments and alerting him to an upcoming one staged bye Robert, Louis' brother, as a direct provocation that could lead to an attempt to seize the throne. Bernard wants Suger to stop the tournament before it can happen.

6. Letter from Henry, son of Thibaut, to Abbot Suger, requesting a meeting to arrange the release of Anseric Lord of Montreal.

7. Letter by Bernard of Clairvaux, to Countess Mathilda, in response to her son Henry the new successor for Count of Champagne's behavior towards her.

8. Statement by Josbert of La Ferte-sur-Aube giving his property to Clairvaux as part of his preparations for going on Crusade this also serves as a document proving title to the land.

9. Statement by Thibaut II noting the sale of the townsman Odo of Troyes' mills to the Church, also noting the lease of his oven by the monks and stating that it will be returned to his full possession upon his return or turned over to his family along with the lease fee if he doesn't return. This was basically a written contract.

10. Letter by Count Henry II notifying the priests of the Cathedral church of Sens, and the residents of Chablis, that he had collected the tithe approved by the king of Spain and would not be collecting it again. This was in response to unrest among the clergy that this would set a precedent and become commonplace.

11. Statement by Knight Hagan of Ervy contractualizing the sale of a 10l a year fief from sales tax paid by the merchants of Ypres at Troyes, to the chapter Saint-Etienne of Troyes, to give his sons monies with which to pay their way to Constantinople.

12. Excerpt from the "Life of Saint Louis" by Jean of Joinville, describing his preparations for the first crusade of Louis IX.

13. Statement by Count Henry of Troyes, rendering judgment on a petition raised by Guy of Garlande and his son, to get the barony of Possesse, because its owner Hugh went on crusade to Jerusalem and had not returned yet. It was decided that

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