The Old French ’Rothelin’ Continuation of William of Tyre’s Historia provides one of the best contemporary narratives of the history of the crusades and of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in the mid-thirteenth century. Covering the period 1229-61, it has vivid accounts of the disastrous expeditions led by Count Theobald of Champagne (1239-40) and King Louis IX of France (1248-54) as well as of other events in the East. But the text contains far more than this, with a detailed description of Jerusalem itself, songs of protest written by crusaders, and a variety of marvels and adventures, including stories of Alexander the Great, and the poisonous snakes encountered by the Roman army under Cato. This text is here translated into English for the first time, together with a narrative for the same years taken from another Old French Continuation of William of Tyre’s work, part of L’Estoire de Eracles. Both accounts are translated from the Receuil des historiens des croisades: Historiens occidentaux vol. 2 (Paris, 1859). An introduction and full notes make these thirteenth-century events and ideas accessible to students of medieval history and to anyone interested in the lives and patterns of thought of people of that time.
'The editors of this series and the translator deserve congratulations for making these continuations of the History of William of Tyre more accessible….' Church History, Vol. 69, No. 1 'This is a very welcome addition to a new series, Crusade Texts in Translation, whose editors are making a determined effort to commission translations of works which hitherto have languished in relative obscurity…The aim of this series is to provide good translations of texts, and the present volume certainly satisfies that requirement. Janet Shirley is a highly experienced translator, and in this volume her translation lives up to the very high standard set by her Song of the Cathar Wars in the same series…This is a very useful and stimulating text and its translation is important to sustaining the development of crusading studies.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 10, No. 1
Contents: Plan of Jerusalem; Map of the Holy Land; Map of Egypt and southern Palestine; Introduction: the continuations of William of Tyre; Manuscripts; Content of the Rothelin text; Content of the Eracles text; Reliability of the texts; Notes on the translation; Bibliography; Acknowledgements; The Rothelin Continuation; The Eracles or Acre Continuation; Index.
The crusading movement, which originated in the 11th century and lasted beyond the 16th, bequeathed to its future historians a legacy of sources which are unrivalled in their range and variety. These sources document in fascinating detail the motivations and viewpoints, military efforts and spiritual lives, of the participants in the crusades. They also narrate the internal histories of the states and societies which crusaders established or supported in the many regions where they fought. Some of these sources have been translated in the past but the vast majority have been available only in their original language. The goal of this series is to provide a wide ranging corpus of texts, most of them translated for the first time, which will illuminate the history of the crusades and the crusader-states from every angle, including that of their principal adversaries, the Muslim powers of the Middle East.