The chronicle of Arnold, Abbot of the monastery of St John of Lübeck, is one of the most important sources for the history of Germany in the central Middle Ages, and is also probably the major source for German involvement in the Crusades. The work was intended as a continuation of the earlier chronicle of Helmold of Bosau, and covers the years 1172–1209, in seven books. It was completed soon after the latter date, and the author died not long afterwards, and no later than 1214. It is thus a strictly contemporary work, which greatly enhances its value.
Abbot Arnold’s very readable chronicle provides a fascinating glimpse into German society in the time of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his immediate successors, into a crucial period of the Crusading movement, and also into the religious mentality of the Middle Ages.
The Chronicle of Arnold of Lübeck
Appendix: Frederick II’s Privilege for Lübeck 1226
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.