Sunday, January 26, 2020


The Siege of Lisbon

Extract from De Expugnatione Lyxboniensi (On the Siege of Lisbon) (1147), in James A. Brundage, The Crusades. A Documentary Survey (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1962) p. 101:
While we kept watch, meanwhile, under their walls through the days and nights, they [the Moorish defenders of Lisbon] heaped derision and many insults upon us. They considered us worthy of a thousand deaths, especially since they thought that we spurned our own things as vile and lusted after others' goods as precious. Nor did they recall doing us any injury, save that if they had anything of the best quality in their possession we might consider them unworthy of having it and judge it worthy of our possession. They taunted us with the many children who were going to be born at home while we were gone and said that our wives would not be anxious about our deaths, since home was well supplied with little bastards. They promised that any of us who survived would go home miserable and poverty-stricken and they mocked us and gnashed their teeth at us. They also continuously attacked Blessed Mary, the mother of God, with insults and with vile and abusive words, which infuriated us. They said that we venerated the son of a poor woman with a worship equal to that due to God, for we held that he was a God and the Son of God, when it is apparent that there is only one God who began all things that have begun and that he has no one coeval with him and no partaker in his divinity.... They attacked us with these and similar calumnies. They showed to us, moreover, with much derision the symbol of the cross. They spat upon it and wiped the feces from their posteriors with it. At last they urinated on it, as on some despicable thing, and threw our cross at us….
De Expugnatione Lyxboniensi, f.12v:
Dum interim per dies et noctes excubaremus sub eorum muris, derisiones atque improperia multa nobis ingerebant, mille nos mortibus dignos judicantes, quippe qui nostra fastidientes quasi vilia, aliena quasi pretiosa concupisceremus, nec aliam se nobis injuriam fecisse commemorant, nisi quod nos si quid optimi penes eos haberetur, possessione nostra dignum aestimaremus, ipsosque indignos habendi judicaremus, prolemque domi nascituram multiplicem nobis absentibus improperabant, nec ob id de obitu nostro curae uxoribus nostris fore, satis cum sibi domi spuria suppeteret progenies. Sed et si qui ex nobis superforent, miseros et inopes repatriandum promittebant, et subsannantes dentibus in nobis fremebant. Conviciis insuper et verbis contumeliosis et probris Beatam Mariam matrem Domini incessanter afficiebant, indignantes nobis, quod filium paupris muleieris tanto quasi Deum veneraremur obsequio, Ipsum dicentes Deum Deique filium, cum unum Deum solum a quo omnia quae initia habent coepta sunt, constet esse, nec aliquem coaevum et divinitatis Suae habere participem; […] Haec et his similia adversum nos calumniantes obtrectabant, crucis insuper signum cum magna irrisione ostentare nostris, atque in illam exspuentes, foeditatis suae posteriora extergebant ex illa; sicque demum micturientes in illam quasi opprobrium quoddam, crucem nostram nobis projiciunt… .
Hat tip: Eric Thomson, who also sends this photograph of Lisbon's Praça do Comercio, taken minutes ago:

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