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Chronique d'Outremer by William of Tyre

Chronique d'Outremer- William of Tyre


In the late twelfth century Archbishop William of Tyre wrote a history in Latin of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Known in earlier editions as the Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum (History of the Deeds Done Beyond the Sea) the text provided an account of the First Crusade and the subsequent political history of the Latin East until 1184, at which point the work abruptly ends, left unfinished perhaps because of William's death. At some point in the 1220s (most likely between 1220 and 1223) William’s Historia was translated into French. Modern historians refer to this translated text as Eracles, because its first sentence describes the Emperor Heraclius (r. 610-641), the “good Christian who ruled the empire of Rome” at the time of the first emergence of Islam.

Eracles circulated widely in the medieval west and in Outremer, surviving in fifty-one complete manuscripts and nine fragments dating from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. The recent discovery of translated excerpts of the text in Italian, Spanish, and even back into Latin could suggest a much larger medieval availability of the text. Many of the surviving manuscripts are deluxe productions replete with extensive painted miniatures and ornamentation.

Two manuscripts from the Acre Contination of this tradition circulated in Italy after the fall of Acre in 1291. For more details on this tradition, see the French of Outremer website.


Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, fr.2631 (Genoa)
Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, fr.9082 (Rome), circa. 1295


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