The Crusades interest me to a degree and over the past year, I've spent a fair amount of time reading over the period, and the people involved. The one key person that has fascinated me is.....Peter Bartholomew.
In the first wave of the Crusade period....Pete is this half-soldier, half-mystique, half-nutcase guy.
There's simply not a lot about Pete. Most know that he was a servant to William (Lord of Cunhiat), and at some point in 1097, having deployed to the Middle East and faced some action....he's there in Antioch and has these delusions. Some folks think he had PTSD. Some folks think he was crazy well before he left France.
Anyway, at some point....he has this vision of Saint Andrew. With this vision, and some sword that he found.....he goes off to tell folks that the sword needs to go Raymond (the head of the Crusaders).
All of his instructions to Raymond, and the act of the sword....has convinced everyone that he's getting personal instructions via God. You have to remember.....this is the 1097 period.
History says that Pete is basically going blind as 1098 comes around....slowly.
Most all of the Crusader crowd is now hyped up. Even if Pete was a nutcase....they basically needed a morale booster, and that was the key to success.
As time passes in 1098, he comes around to announce that Jesus has also appeared to him in some vision, and as part of the fight ahead in Jerusalem.....everyone on the Crusaders side....needs to walk barefoot all the way there. That didn't go over well, and virtually everyone felt faked out by Pete at that point.
So toward the early part of 1099....Pete has stood up and suggested that everyone needs to a test by 'fire'. This meant to walk through some path with fire on both sides. Most of the folks aren't buying into this idea....but Pete goes full-turbo through the path of fire.
Sadly, Pete gets burned pretty bad, and he dies on 20 April 1099.