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Robert of Courcon
Cardinal Robert of Courcon (d. 1218) had the tough job of preaching the Fifth Crusade in France at a time when most French knights were engaged in the Albigensian Crusade. As a result, not as many French knights participated in the Fifth Crusade as might have under different circumstances. After a long and varied clerical career, Robert accompanied the warriors of the Fifth Crusade to Egypt where he died at Damietta.

Robert was born at Kedleston, England and as a young man studied at Oxford, later at Paris, and then in Italy. His excellent education and reputation for learning led to his becoming Chancellor of the University of Paris in 1211. Only one year later he was made cardinal of St. Stephen on the Cedilla Hill. Robert was active against heresy in France and was twice appointed as a papal legate in relation to the Fifth Crusade, first by Pope Innocent III in 1213 to preach the crusade in France and again in 1215 by Pope Honorius III to accompany the crusaders to Egypt. Shortly before Robert set out on the Fifth Crusade he also headed a commission that looked into reported errors at his former University at Paris in 1215.

Robert died in 1218 at the siege of Damietta in Egypt. His death apparently happened during an outbreak of widespread disease which reportedly killed Robert and many other crusaders.

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Robert de Courcon-
Statutes for the University of Paris, 1215- Internet History Sourcebooks

(c) Andrew Holt, August 2005- Permission is granted for electronic copying and distribution in print for educational and personal use. No permission is granted for commercial use.