This study describes the way in which the Franciscan and Dominican orders became involved in preaching the cross and examines their contribution to the crusading movement of the thirteenth century. The availability of large numbers of trained preachers from the Franciscan and Dominican orders allowed the papacy to use them to provide the crusades with a well-organised and efficient propaganda back-up throughout Europe unknown before the thirteenth century. The book explains how the propaganda campaigns were organised and how the recruitment of crusaders took place. It shows that mendicant friars became the most important group of crusade propagandists, recruiting crusaders for virtually all thirteenth-century crusades. The book also shows that friars were involved in providing finance for the crusades as part of their propagandist effort, despit their vows of absolute poverty. It also challenges the traditional pacifist view of the found saints of the two orders by showing them to be supporters of the crusades themselves.
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