Peter the Hermit


  • “Peter the Hermit was born in 1050 on Amiens, France.”
  • He was a Catholic priest.
  • “He is widely considered one of the most vocal advocate and preacher of the First Crusade.”
  • “Peter is also remembered for leading the People’s Crusade to the east along with Walter Sans Avoir.”1


Peter the Hermit leading the First Crusade, as depicted in Abreviamen de las estorias, 14th century.

“As Peter the Hermit also began to preach Crusade. Charismatic and passionate, Peter appealed not just to a select portion of travel-ready combatants but to all Christians — men, women, children, the elderly, nobles, commoners — even serfs. His enthralling sermons fired the religious zeal in his listeners, and many people not only resolved to go on Crusade but to go right then and there, some even following Peter himself. The fact that they had little food, less money, and no military experience did not deter them in the least; they believed they were on a holy mission, and that God would provide,” Melissa Snell says to ThoughtCo.2

“Miracles followed Peter wherever he went. Demons were exorcised, illnesses healed, and confirmed sinners turned to God. It was widely believed that Peter carried with him a letter sent from heaven in which God exhorted all Christians to move quickly against the Turks so that he could take vengeance upon them. Peter’s preaching drew thousands into the crusade,” Madden writes to Critical Issues in World and International History: Concise History of the Crusades.3

“It has long puzzled scholars how the crusader army could continue to hold Peter the Hermit in high esteem if he had attempted to desert during the siege of Antioch,as claimed by the anonymous author of the Gesta Francorum and the authors of seven other contemporary works. Flori demonstrates that the Gesta is the only source for this claim, as the other works depend on this text for the story about Peter,” written from History Today.4


Snell, Melissa. “How Peter the Hermit Instigated a People’s Crusade.” ThoughtCo. ThoughtCo, February 7, 2019. [Biography] 2. [History P.1 2]

Madden, Thomas F. Critical Issues in World and International History: Concise History of the Crusades. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2013.3. [History P.2-3 3]

“Peter the Hermit Dies in Flanders.” History Today. Accessed February 19, 2020. [History P.4 4]

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