History 3850 Readings
|EKKEHARD OF AURA, Jerusalem Journey, chapter
After the sign in the sun that had been foretold was seen, many portents appeared in the sky as well as on the earth and excited not a few who were previously indifferent to the Crusade. We thought that some of these signs could be usefully inserted here: to give all of them would be very tedious. About the fifth of October we saw a comet in the south, its tail extending sideways like a sword. In the third year after these events, on February 24, we saw another star in the east changing its position by leaps and bounds after a long interval. We and many witnesses attest to have seen blood-red clouds rising from the west as well as the east and rushing together in the center of the sky, as well as brilliant fires from the north in the middle of the night, and frequently even sparks flying through the air. Not many years before, a priest of venerable life by the name of Siger one day at about three in the afternoon saw two knights charging against each other in the sky and fighting for a long time. The one who was carrying a good-sized cross with which he struck the other turned out the victor. At the same time the priest G. (now a monk with us, paying the humble service of a proud man to Christ for the sins of our first parents) was walking in the woods with two companions about noon. He saw a sword of marvelous length, arising from an unknown source, borne off into the heavens in a whirlwind. Until the distance hid it, he heard its din and saw its steel. Others who kept watch feeding horses reported that they saw the likeness of a city in the air and that they beheld various crowds hurrying to it from different places both on horseback and on foot. Some showed the sign of the cross stamped by divine influence on their foreheads or clothes or on some part of their body, and by that mark they believed themselves to be ordained for the army of God. Others who were converted by a sudden change of heart or instructed by a vision in the night sold their manors and household possessions and sewed the sign of mortification on their clothes. In the midst of all of this, more people than can be believed ran to the churches in crowds, and the priests blessed and handed out swords, clubs, and pilgrim wallets in a new ritual. Why should I report that at that time a woman, pregnant for two years, gave birth to a son already speaking when her womb finally opened? Why should I speak of the infant born with two members in all parts, or of another with two heads, or of the lambs with two heads, or of the foals who at birth put forth the large teeth which are commonly called "equine," and which nature grants only to three-year-olds?
Translated from RHC. Hist. occ. 5:18—19.