Memories of the preaching for the Fifth Crusade in Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus miraculorum

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This article examines Caesarius of Heisterbach's Dialogus miraculorum as a repository of memory for the preaching of the Fifth Crusade. It begins with a consideration of what insights Caesarius has to offer historians of the Fifth Crusade on the mise en scène of the preaching of the cross in the thirteenth century, before demonstrating how the Dialogus miraculorum might be used to recover some of the exempla deployed by Fifth Crusade preachers. Further, the article explores some of the ways in which Caesarius appropriated and adapted his oral sources' memories of the preaching for the Fifth Crusade to suit the particular needs of his Cistercian audience. In so doing, the article seeks to demonstrate the significance of experiences associated with religious violence – whether remembered or imagined – for the shaping of medieval monastic identity.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-345
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2014


  • crusades, Fifth Crusade, Cistercians, Caesarius of Heisterbach, Dialogus miraculorum, memory, preaching