Cannibalism During the Crusades
Several Christian sources of the First Crusade report instances of cannibalism. Specifically, starving crusaders were reported to have eaten their fallen Muslim opponents.
Radulph of Caen, an eyewitness to events at Ma'arra in 1098, wrote, "In Ma'arra our troops boiled pagan adults in cooking-pots; they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled."
The chronicler Albert of Aix seemed to rank Muslims lower than dogs when he wrote, "Not only did our troops not shrink from eating dead Turks and Saracens; they also ate dogs!"
Guibert of Nogent, in his work Historia Hierosolymitana, provides more details on the incident of cannibalism at Ma'arra. There he notes that whenever the Tafurs who took part in the expedition discovered "scraps of flesh from the pagan's bodies" cannibalism was practiced with little discretion. According to Guibert, the Tafurs were well aware that the Muslims feared them because of cannibalism. For that reason, on at least one occasion, the Tafurs publicly "roasted the bruised body of a Turk over a fire as if it were meat for eating, in full view of the Turkish forces." Guibert notes that the Franks also practiced cannibalism,
but they did so "in secret and as rarely as possible."
Fulcher of Chartres also refers to the same instance of cannibalism at Ma'arra. In his Historia Hierosolymitana, also known as A History of the Expedition to Jerusalem, Fulcher confirms that when the crusaders "suffered from excessive hunger" at Ma'arra, they engaged in cannibalism. He wrote, "I shudder to say that many of our men, terribly tormented by the maddness of starvation, cut pieces of flesh from the buttocks of Saracens lying there dead. These pieces they cooked and ate, savagely devouring the flesh while it was insufficiently roasted."
Raymond of d'Aguilers also recorded incidents of cannibalism...
Anonymous author of the Gesta Francorum...
Anna Comnena- Normans- Roasted babies
Muslim authors also attest to the practice by Crusaders...