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Title: Contextualising the Gosuini de Expugnatione Salaciae Carmen : the development of crusading ideology in the Portuguese Reconquista
Author: Wilson, Charles
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 5282
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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The Gosuini de Expugnatione Salaciae Carmen (the Carmen) is a Latin text whose unique exemplar is found in a codex dating to the latter half of the thirteenth century belonging to the library of the Portuguese Cistercian monastery of Alcobaça. A versified work in elegiac couplets, the Carmen recounts the Portuguese conquest, in combination with Northern European crusaders en route by sea to the Holy Land, of a strategically vital Muslim fortress during the formative years of the autonomous kingdom of Portugal; namely the capture of Alcácer do Sal in 1217. In contemplating the circumstances of production of this important text, this dissertation undertakes an examination of the interface between the Crusades and the Portuguese Reconquista and in so doing considers similar events highlighted in the historiography, the conquests of Lisbon in 1147 and of Silves in 1189. Since it is argued herein that the hitherto unknown author of the Carmen is Goswin de Bossut, a monk of the Cistercian house of Villers in Brabant who flourished as cantor of that eminent abbey in the 1230s, and since evidence for the involvement of the Cistercians in the Portuguese Reconquista is otherwise strong, there is an exploration of the origins of the Order in Portugal along with a reassessment of the possible involvement of Bernard of Clairvaux in the planning of Afonso I Henriques’ Lisbon campaign. The likely commissioner of the Carmen was Bishop of Lisbon, Soeiro Viegas, one of the leaders of the Alcácer enterprise. Accordingly there is due exposition of the career and possible motivations of Bishop Soeiro along with an investigation into the plausibility of his protagonism in a wider policy, underway after 1147, to attract Northern European crusaders to the fight on the Portuguese-Andalusi frontier. In examining the person of Goswin of Bossut, the postulated author, evidence gleaned from his known works, namely three vitae and one musical office, is combined with a consideration of those individuals, some more well-known than others, likely to have come within his circle of colleagues and acquaintances. From a nexus of connection mingling Cistercian ideology with a sometimes convoluted network of religious operating in the Southern Low Countries and in Portugal, emerges the proposition that Goswin’s literary canon should now be extended not only to include the Carmen but also a small number of other important works whose authorship has until now remained a mystery. Finally the Appendix contains a full edition of the text of the Carmen along with, for the first time, an English translation of the work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available