Towards the end of the 1190s a Norwegian canon - his name is unknown - composed a dramatic account of the Danish-Norwegian expedition which, as part of the so-called Third Crusade, had left for Jerusalem some years earlier. Since 1187 the city had been in Muslim hands, and the Danish and Norwegian travellers set out to join in the liberation of the city. They came too late to fight, however, since a peace arrangement had been agreed upon by the Christian and Muslim leaders. In spite of this the canon makes the most of the heroic nature of the enterprise, drawing upon a series of literary and theological themes used in connection with crusading in the twelfth century.
Karen Skovgaard-Petersen er seniorforsker på Det Kongelige Bibliotek i København. Hun har bl.a. skrevet A Journey to the Promised Land: Crusading Theology in the Historia de profectione Danorum in Hierosolymam.