The title of this post is a bit misleading. The Council of Clermont actually ran from November 18 through November 28, 1095, so November 27 commemorates neither its beginning nor its end. What it does commemorate, however, is the day on which Pope Urban II (d. 1099) got to the point. It was on November 27, the second to last day of the council, when Urban turned its focus onto the challenges facing the Byzantine Empire in the east in the aftermath of the Battle of Manzikert. Urban’s speech, calling for an army of Christian warriors to head east and drive the Turks out of Byzantine territory, kicked off the Crusades.
Urban II addressing the Council, an illumination from the 15th century text Passages d’outremer, which was illuminated by miniaturist Jean Colombe (Wikimedia)
The bulk of the council was actually taken up with internal Church matters…
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