Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Peter Edbury's Keynote

Peter Edbury, of Cardiff University, is widely considered the world expert on French language texts from the Latin East. His keynote speech, which you can hear by clicking below is entitled “Ernoul, Eracles and the Collapse of the Kingdom of Jerusalem." The handout that accompanies this talk has been reproduced below the recording.

Dr. Edbury's paper will be published alongside other contributions to the conference in a forthcoming collection.


Ernoul, Eracles and the collapse of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

The discussion in this paper will focus on two texts:

·         La Chronique d’Ernoul et de Bernard le Trésorier, ed. L. de Mas Latrie (Paris, 1871). This dates from the early 1230s and will be referred to as Ernoul-Bernard. I consider the following passages likely to have originated with Ernoul, the squire of Balian of Ibelin: pp. 4-5 (opening sentence), 16-17, 25-34, 41-5, 47-50, 54-61, 80-2, 82-8, 96-106, 114-19, 124, 125-6, 129-39, 141-63, 167-70, 172-6, 178-88, 211-35.

·         ‘L’estoire de Eracles empereur et la conqueste de la Terre d’Outremer: c’est la continuation de l’Estoire de Guillaume arcevesque de Sur’, in: Recueil des historiens des croisades: Historiens occidentaux, 2 (Paris 1859), 1-481. The version of the Continuation (or Eracles) in large print in this edition dates to ca 1250 and will be referred to as ‘Colbert-Fontainebleau’.

Another version of the Old French William of Tyre Continuations, the so-called Lyon Eracles (La continuation de Guillaume de Tyr (1184-1197), ed. M.R. Morgan, Paris 1982), is rather later than Colbert-Fontainebleau. It appears to represent a further development of the Colbert-Fontainebleau text, although with reference to earlier versions. It is not for discussion here.

Some dates

1099                Capture of Jerusalem

1160s               Visit of Toros of Armenia to Jerusalem

1163-74           Reign of King Amaury

1174-85           Reign of Baldwin IV the Leper

1177                Battle of Montgisard

late 1170s and 1183: Reynald of Châtillon seizes Muslim caravans passing by his lordship

1180                Marriage of Sibylla, the future queen, to Guy of Lusignan

1183                Reynald of Châtillon’s Red Sea venture

1184                William of Tyre’s Latin History ends

1185                Death of Baldwin IV and coronation of Baldwin V

1186                Death of Baldwin V and coronation of Guy of Lusignan

late 1186          The Colbert-Fontainebleau account of Reynald’s seizure of a Muslim caravan

1 May 1187     Battle of Le Cresson

4 July 1187      Battle of Ḥiṭṭīn

2 Oct. 1187      Surrender of Jerusalem to Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn

Nov – Dec. 1187: Siege of Tyre

1188-1192       Third Crusade

1193                Death of Balian of Ibelin

1204                Fourth Crusade takes Constantinople

ca 1220           Translation of William of Tyre’s history into French

1232                 Ernoul-Bernard ends

mid-late 1230s Creation of the first form of the Continuations (BL Yates Thompson MS. 12)

ca 1250            Composition of the Colbert-Fontainebleau version of the Continuations



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