The Saint and the Wry-Neck: Norse Crusaders and the Second Crusade
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Original versionSvenungsen, P. B. (2021). The saint and the wry-neck: Norse crusaders and the second crusade. In K. B. Aavitsland & L. M. Bonde (Eds.), Tracing the Jerusalem code (pp. 95–131). De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110639438-007
During the twelfth century, a Norse tradition developed for participating in the different campaigns instigated by the papacy, later known as the crusades.1 This tradition centred on the participation in the crusade campaigns to the Middle East, but not exclusively, as it included crusading activities in or near the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean. By the mid-1150s, the tradition was consolidated by the joint crusade of Earl Rognvald Kolsson of Orkney and the Norwegian magnate and later kingmaker, Erling Ormsson, which followed in the footsteps of the earlier crusade of King Sigurd the Crusader in the early 1100s. The participation in the crusades not only brought Norse crusaders in direct contact with the most holy places in Christendom, but also the transmission of a wide range – political, religious and cultural – of ideas. One of them was to bring back a piece of the holiness of Jerusalem, by various means, in order to create a Jerusalem in the North.