Walter the Chancellor's vivid first-hand account of the wars between the Muslims and the principality of Antioch in the early 12th century describes a less well-known period in the history of the Crusades, and provides a useful counterpart to the usual focus on Jerusalem. It is here presented for the first time in English, along with a selection of comparative sources and an important introduction assessing the work's place in the historiography of the Crusader states, and analysing the military campaigns it details. As a highly-placed Antiochene official, Walter was able to write the most authoritative account of the principality's fortunes and internal workings, and his book also sheds light on the relationship between Latin settlement in the Levant and contemporary Western perceptions of Islam and Eastern Christianity.
'…a worthy addition to Ashgate’s Crusade Texts in Translation series…the translation gives wider exposure to a little-known chronicle that is important for military history.' Journal of Military History, Vol. 64, No. 3 '…a welcome volume…' English Historical Review, vol. 115, no. 463 '…a useful tool for scholars which makes a neglected source much more accessible to a wider readership.' History, Vol. 86, No. 282
Contents: Introduction; Walter’s subject matter; Walter as a historian; Our knowledge of Walter; Historiographical background; Walter’s purpose in writing The Antiochene Wars; Roger of Salerno; Baldwin of Le Bourcq; Bernard of Valence, patriarch of Antioch; The historical value of Walter’s account; Walter and the early history of the principality of Antioch; Walter as a military source; The depiction of Islam and eastern Christendom; Walter’s attitude to religion and piety; Summary; Walter the Chancellor’s The Antiochene Wars: Book One; Book Two; Other Texts: Fulcher of Chartres; Albert of Aachen; Matthew of Edessa; Orderic Vitalis; William of Tyre; Charter (a); Charter (b); Bibliography.
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.