Peter the Hermit

Peter the Hermit
Peter the Hermit points the way to Jerusalem. Adapted from a 13th-century illuminated manuscript of Roman du Chevalier du Cygne. Public Domain; courtesy of Wikimedia

This profile of Peter the Hermit is part of
Who's Who in Medieval History

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Peter the Hermit was also known as:

Cucu Peter, Little Peter or Peter of Amiens

Peter the Hermit was known for:

Preaching Crusade throughout France and Germany, and instigating the movement of common folk that became known as the Crusade of the Poor People.

Occupations:

Crusader
Monastic

Places of Residence and Influence:

Europe
France

Important Dates:

Born: c. 1050
Disaster at Civetot: Oct. 21, 1096
Died: July 8, 1115

About Peter the Hermit:

Peter the Hermit may have visited the Holy Land in 1093, but it wasn't until after Pope Urban II made his speech in 1095 that he began a tour of France and Germany, preaching the merits of crusade as he went. Peter's speeches appealed not only to trained knights, who usually followed their princes and kings on crusade, but to laborers, tradesmen and peasants. It was these untrained and disorganized folk who followed Peter the Hermit most eagerly to Constantinople in what became known as "The People's Crusade" or "The Crusade of the Poor People."

In spring of 1096 Peter the Hermit and his followers left Europe for Constantinople, then moved on to Nicomedia in August. But, as an inexperienced leader, Peter had trouble maintaining discipline among his unruly troops, and he returned to Constantinople to seek assistance from Byzantine Emperor Alexius.

While he was gone the bulk of Peter's forces was slaughtered by the Turks at Civetot.

Disheartened, Peter almost returned home. Eventually, however, he made his way to Jerusalem, and just before the city was stormed he preached a sermon on the Mount of Olives. A few years after the capture of Jersualem, Peter the Hermit returned to France, where he established an Augustinian monastery at Neufmoustier.

More Peter the Hermit Resources:

The Crusade of the Poor People

Peter the Hermit on the Web

Catholic Encyclopedia: Peter the Hermit
Concise biography by Louis Brehier.

Peter the Hermit and the Popular Crusade: Collected Accounts
Collection of documents taken from August. C. Krey's 1921 publication, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants.

The First Crusade
Monasticism
Medieval France



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