Peter the Hermit

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Peter the Hermit,

c.1050–1115, French religious leader. In 1095 he was a very successful preacher of the First Crusade (see CrusadesCrusades
, series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. First Crusade

In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar.
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), and he led one of its bands. In 1096 he reached Constantinople with his undisciplined followers; when they arrived in Asia Minor, Peter went back to get help from the Byzantine emperor Alexius I. In 1098 at Antioch he tried to run away; however, he later undertook a mission to the Muslim ruler of Mosul. He went home after the taking of Jerusalem and founded the monastery of Neufmoutier at Liège, where he settled. His place in the Crusade was greatly exaggerated, for he seems to have been only one of many preachers and leaders, although a very early one.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Peter the Hermit


Born circa 1050 in Amiens; died 1115 in Neufmoûtier. French monk; leader of the largest contingent of the poor in the First Crusade.

Peter’s sermons attracted the poor to the ranks of the Crusaders. After the defeat of the first wave of Crusaders by the Seljuks in Asia Minor, Peter escaped to Constantinople and joined with the knightly militias. He returned to France after the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. Shortly before his death, he founded a monastery at Neufmoûtier.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Peter the Hermit

?1050--1115, French monk and preacher of the First Crusade
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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With which historic event are Baldwin of Boulogne and Peter the Hermit associated?
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He harshly equated the British prime minister William Gladstone, who disliked Jesuit missionaries and was an unenthusiastic imperialist, with Peter the Hermit, the eleventh-century French monk who helped direct the first popular Crusade towards the Holy Land.
Sylvie Weil's My Guardian Angel (0439576814, $16.95) is set in the Jewish community and tells of one Peter the Hermit, whose Crusaders are moving through town--and who are known to hate Jews.
for the brethren Peter the Hermit, surnamed Kiku Peter.
For instance, Peter the Hermit is mentioned on page 21 without even his identifier ("the army of Peter and the others") and is explained only some sixty pages later.
Crusading historians have long regarded Peter the Hermit, the charismatic preacher, as a relatively minor figure in the First Crusade.
Can one say with certainty that the followers of Peter the Hermit marched along "impelled by simple faith" and be sure that faith is ever simple (18)?