Guibert of Nogent: The Development of Rhetoric from Anti-Judaism to Anti-Semitism

Elyse Sulkey


Guibert of Nogent wrote Gesta Dei per Francos, or The Deeds of God through the Franks, between 1106 and 1109. It was a revision of an earlier anonymous chronicle titled Gesta Francorum. Though his chronicle of the First Crusade was not well known in his own time, Guibert of Nogent is today one of the best known chroniclers of the crusades, perhaps due to his autobiography Monodiae, or Memoirs, which is popularly referred to as A Monk’s Confession. Guibert wrote his memoirs around 1115, which was quickly followed by his treatise against relic cults, On the Relics of Saints, in 1119. In these later works, Guibert accused Jews of using black magic; he was one of the first anti-Semitic writers to do so.

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Guibert, Abbot of Nogent-sous-Coucy. The Deeds of God through the Franks: a Translation of Guibert de Nogent’s Gesta Dei per Francos. Trans. Robert Levine. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press, 1997.

Guibert, Abbot of Nogent-sous-Coucy. A Monk’s Confession: The Memoirs of Guibert of Nogent. Trans. Paul J. Archambault. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996.

Guibert, Abbot of Nogent-sous-Coucy. On the Relics of Saints. Trans. Joseph Mcalhany and Jay Rubenstein. New York: Penguin Books, 2011.

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