The duke, in search of the favor of this pope, whom he had knowledgeable of the enterprise in hand, acquired a banner (vexillum) from him with his blessing, as although he experienced been given the backing of St Peter, by subsequent which he may assault his adversary with greater self confidence and safety.
William of Poitiers is the sole modern authority on the assert that Pope Alexander II sponsored William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066. Poitiers’ references to the banner are best explained as laconic, referring to it a few occasions in the Gesta Guillelmi. The banner was initially recorded in a solitary sentence in which Poitiers associated how an embassy was despatched to Rome. It then reappears at Hastings, in which Poitiers described how the Normans fashioned up ‘behind the banner which the pope had sent’. Finally, it was alluded to when Poitiers recounted how booty and Harold’s conventional had been despatched to Rome as ‘an equivalent return to the pope for the present sent to him as a result of the pope’s generosity’.
This posting will re-take a look at Poitiers’ claim that the papacy sponsored the Conquest. The present consensus has been to acknowledge Poitiers’ testimony, with H.E.J. Cowdrey, David Bates, and Elisabeth van Houts heading as much as to affix their have expectations to the mast, with all three arguing that there is no question as to the banner’s existence. This uncritical acceptance of Poitiers’ declare does not satisfy the recent technique to the proof on the Conquest. The operate of George Garnett and Tom Licence has encouraged a significantly far more arduous appraisal of the sources for 1066, arguing that we ought to read the Norman promises to the throne as primarily fabricated in the aftermath of the invasion. It is this solution that will be used here, arguing that the present-day consensus is unwarranted, and that it was remarkably not likely that Alexander granted William a banner in 1066 to sanction his invasion.
In undertaking so, this report will request to develop upon the lone thorough critique on the papal sponsorship, which was supplied by Catherine Morton. Three arguments were at the heart of Morton’s scenario in opposition to the banner: first, the improbability that Alexander would have sanctioned William’s invasion next, our reliance on Poitiers’ sole testimony and 3rd, that the Penitential Ordinance undermines the likelihood of papal sponsorship.