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By Wilfred Thesiger

Arabian Sands is Wilfred Thesiger's checklist of his impressive trip during the parched "Empty Quarter" of Arabia. proficient at Eton and Oxford, Thesiger was once repulsed by way of the softness and pressure of Western life-"the machines, the calling playing cards, the meticulously aligned streets." within the spirit of T. E. Lawrence, he got down to discover the deserts of Arabia, touring between peoples who had by no means obvious a eu and regarded it their responsibility to kill Christian infidels. His now-classic account is useful to figuring out the trendy center East.

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E. Siberry (Oxford, 1997), pp. 58, 32. 48 Caffaro, ‘De liberatione civitatum orientis’, ed. T. Belgrano, Annali genovesi, 1 (Genoa, 1890), pp. 100, 101. Caffaro was, in fact, an eyewitness to the First Crusade, but did not compose his account until the 1150s. D. Face, ‘Secular History in Twelfth-Century Italy: Caffaro of Genoa’, Journal of Medieval History, 6 (1980), p. 172. 53 What is apposite, however, is to refer to three episodes of particular relevance in the development of ideas of penitential warfare in the generation immediately before the proclamation of the First Crusade.

166–71. 127 Leclercq, Spirituality of the Middle Ages, p. 132, wrote that ‘To go on the Crusade was a way of answering the call of Christ, of taking up one’s cross and following him; it was an opportunity to imitate Jesus in his sufferings and death’. 128 For a contemporary discussion of the idea that one form of religious life might be regarded as melior than another, see ‘Un document sur les débuts des Templiers’, pp. 88–9. See also G. Constable, ‘The Interpretation of Mary and Martha’, Three Studies, pp.

The centrality of this spirituality can perhaps be summarised best by the words of the Benedictine monk known as Gilo of Paris, who, at some point before the year 1120, wrote a brief exposition on why the pursuit of imitatio Christi equated to a search for Christian perfection: OV 3, pp. 266–7. ‘Sigeberti continuatio Praemonstratensis’, MGH SS 6, p. 448. 113 Otto of Freising, Chronica sive historia de duabus civitatibus, ed. A. Hofmeister, MGH SSRG 45 (Hanover and Leipzig, 1912), p. 369. 114 Constable, Reformation, pp.

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