VII, 2011, 1

An “Exemplum” from the Holy Land and Ion Neculce’s “O samă de cuvinte” | p. 319–332

crusade, historiography, Ibn al Furat, Ion Neculce, legend


The present study proposes the analysis from a comparative perspective of a fragment from an Arab chronicle and a legend narrated by chronicler Ion Neculce. The two texts, with no possible influence between them, narrate stories with similar content. A defeated army leader is denied access to the home citadel by his own mother. The nobleman Joscelin de Tourbessel from the story of chronicler Ibn al Furat, who copies older sources, unfortunately no longer extant, is denied access to the citadel because his mother doubted his courage and warrior virtues. In the case of the legend about the mother of Stephen the Great, recorded by Ion Neculce, the refusal is explained by the fact that the defeat against the Turks jeopardized the very existence of the country. Though written in different cultural settings both texts are built on the idea of a special bond between a mother and her son. They also offer insights on the way war was thought of in those particular societies.