This is the first English translation of Robert the Monk's Historia Iherosolimitana, a Latin prose chronicle describing the First Crusade. In addition to providing new and unique information on the Crusade (Robert claims to have been an eyewitness of the Council of Clermont in 1095), its particular interest lies in the great popularity it enjoyed in the Middle Ages. The text has close links with the vernacular literary tradition and is written in a racy style which would not disgrace a modern tabloid journalist. Its reflection of contemporary legends and anecdotes gives us insights into perceptions of the Crusade at that time and opens up interesting perspectives onto the relationship of history and fiction in the twelfth century. The introduction discusses what we know about Robert, his importance as a historical source and his place in the literary tradition of the First Crusade.
'… [Carol Sweetenham's] research is clearly meticulous and, despite being aimed at a scholarly readership, her text is easily accessible and pleasant to read… a valuable tool for crusade scholars and a very welcome addition to crusade historiography.' The Medieval Review ’Sweetenham has made Robert's Historia accessible to a wider readership. Hers is a lively translation with a useful commentary.’ Crusades '… this volume in Ashgate's Crusade Texts in Translation series performs an indispensable function for anyone who wants to understand European crusaders' motivations and self-promotion. … Sweetenham has provided a highly usable volume suitable for teaching and research.' MESA
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.