The study aims to analyse the status and image of Parma civic knights in the second half of the 13th century. The author investigates how the participation in the fourth crusade by milites was used by Salimbene de Adam as a mark of nobility (in line with the Italian and European aristocratic tradition), and with the aim of enhancing the role of the militia within the city. The analysis will be carried out on a double track: the cultural one, through the words of two chroniclers (Salimbene de Adam and the Anonimo parmense) and the political-institutional one, on the background of the evolution of politics in late 13th century Parma. The essay is meant to contribute to a reconsideration of the militia in the 13th-century urban society: starting from different cultural models, Salimbene and the Anonimo parmense allow us to highlight new developments in civic memory, observing how the self-representation of the part of noble families was in agreement with the changed cultural and political climate that emerged in Parma after the rise of the Popolo.
Keywords: Salimbene de Adam, Fourth Crusade, chivalry, Parma, Italian city-communes, 13th century.